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Morocco Islamists win parliamentary elections

Homs, a Syrian city ripped apart by sectarian killing


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150 FILS




‘Curiosity’ rover launches for Mars

Man United stutter in pursuit of leaders City



NATO air raids kill 28 Pakistani troops Islamabad slams attack, stops NATO supplies In my view

Kuwait at a crossroads! By Dr Shafeeq Al-Ghabra


e mustn’t underestimate or take the significance of what happened in Kuwait last week lightly because it voiced a number of young opposition groups and parliamentary figures calling the government to step down and to change the PM. The rally started by a group of young men gathering outside the parliament house who were soon joined by a number of MPs on Nov 16. Things soon accelerated into breaking into the parliament, which split Kuwaiti public opinion between those understanding the incident and others condemning it while a third party was speechless in shock. However, breaking into the parliament made ripples in the stagnant water of Kuwait’s political arena, thus creating an unusual event in such a small country with a native population of a little over a million where everybody knows one another. The youth taking part in the event belong to newly founded youth movements like the Fifth Fence who adapt a clear stance demanding changing Kuwait into a constitutional parliamentary state where the PM is elected by the people. There are other movements such as Enough, Nahj, youth affiliated to major liberal movements and the Muslim Brotherhood. There is a rise of youth in Kuwait and the occupation of the parliament gave it more momentum. Last Monday, another rally of around 15,000 took place under the motto of ‘Change the government and remove the PM’. What we are witnessing in Kuwait nowadays is a different state of change following the steps of the Arab Spring in determination to reform the regime. The youth found this movement controlled by icons such as MPs Musallam Al-Barrak and Faisal AlMislem who gave them even more momentum. In other words, this youth movement was not created in parliament, it’s the youth who are choosing their own opposition leaders and remove others showing more acceptance of the status quo. Kuwait is now going through a treacherous turning point where a third party - a younger bolder generation is more willing to accelerate things and change the idle rules of politics. There is a traditional conflict between the Kuwaiti Cabinet presided by one of the ruling family seniors (the crown prince used to be the PM until the posts were separated over ten years ago) and the parliament that includes opposition blocs with various orientations. So, this conflict is nothing new, but it used to go on under full control of the executives who could consequently control the results since the Kuwaiti parliament is not allowed to form a cabinet nor is it supported by a party background as we don’t have political parties in Kuwait. This political game involving a fragmented parliament is beginning to get on the nerves of younger generations. The addiction of iconic politicians to the parliament-government game in a way that fully observes the interests of influential people started moving the youth to seek different formulas of social justice, more freedoms, defined rights and a civil modern state that does not discriminate between citizens. The Kuwaiti youth is after blowing up the current formula and changing its course. The current public youth movement is driven by a number of motives with general frustration as the most important of all. It’s unfair to blame a certain person or even the PM for this state. The problem has been snowballing since 1991. In other words, there has been a great deal of deterioration in ruling methods, official administration, ideology and selecting leaderships in addition to deterioration in the state’s political thought that has been focused inwards since 1991. It tends to leave problems unsolved, is afraid of initiatives - even those suggested by the most dedicated -, is irritated by planning and annoyed by achievements. Kuwait lost its development and leadership spirit years ago and therefore, we haven’t witnessed any remarkable achievements in energy, education, health, commerce nor economy since the 1990s. The youth only see fortunes spent without any achievements or futuristic projects. Continued on Page 13

KUWAIT: Protesters raise a giant gavel as they gather outside the Palace of Justice for the third consecutive day yesterday to show solidarity with opposition activists and supporters on hunger strike and support those being interrogated over charges of storming the National Assembly. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Filipina maids hone skills to go abroad MANILA: All Filipina maid Cherry Pie Antaban wants is a simple job as a domestic helper in Singapore, but training for her new role sometimes feels like sweating through an engineering degree. Like all women in the Philippines wanting to work overseas as maids, Antaban has to go through a government-mandated crash course in domestic duties that can be bewilder-

ing, daunting and occasionally humiliating. “I didn’t know there would be so many different techniques just for cleaning. It isn’t just sweeping and mopping,” Antaban, 30, said during a break recently from Domestic Duties 101. “We have to know the different types of vacuum cleaners, the different kinds of air-conditioners and how Continued on Page 13

MANILA: A Filipina maid cleans a glass door during a government-mandated crash course in domestic duties in this Sept 14, 2011 photo. — AFP

Riyadh urged to embrace Shiites to keep out Iran RIYADH: Saudi Arabia should embrace its Shiite minority to prevent Iran from using them to destabilise the Sunnidominated kingdom, experts said after four Shiites were shot dead in clashes with police. But they also advised Saudi security forces to clamp down on suspected armed men infiltrating protests, after the interior ministry said gunmen with foreign agendas had attacked security forces in the Eastern Province. “The region is going through a historic phase,” said a political science lecturer at Riyadh’s King Saud University, Khaled Al-Dakheel. “This should be borne in mind when dealing with the Shiite issue so that it does not become a political card for foreign parties to play,” he said, in a clear reference to Iran, the arch rival of Saudi Arabia across Gulf waters. Warning that the Arab Spring which has swept the region and toppled three autocratic leaders could reach any part of the Middle East, Dakheel said the Shiites should be recognised

as full citizens. “Shiites are citizens. They stress that, and should be treated on these bases. But they should also voice their demands as citizens and not as Shiites,” he said. “The difference between sects is part of a social and intellectual pluralism in the society that should contribute to enrichment, not division,” he argued. Four Shiites were shot dead this week in the Shiite region of Qatif in the Eastern Province, scene of protests. The interior ministry said security forces had come under fire from gunmen operating on “foreign orders”. The region that is home to the majority of the kingdom’s Shiite population of around two million is no stranger to uprisings, going back to 1979 with riots which came hot on the heels of the Islamic revolution in Iran. In March, Shiites in the oil-rich Eastern Province demonstrated in sympathy with fellow Shiites in neighbouring Bahrain, after security forces clamped down Continued on Page 13

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YAKKAGHUND, Pakistan: NATO helicopters and fighter jets attacked two military outposts in northwest Pakistan near the Afghan border yesterday, killing as many as 28 troops and plunging US-Pakistan relations deeper into crisis. Pakistan retaliated by shutting down vital NATO supply routes into Afghanistan, used for sending in nearly half of the alliance’s shipments by land. The attack is the worst incident of its kind since Pakistan uneasily allied itself with Washington immediately following the Sept 11, 2001 attacks on US targets. Relations between the United States and Pakistan, its ally in the war on militancy, have been strained following the killing of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by US special forces in a raid on the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad in May, which Pakistan called a flagrant violation of sovereignty. A spokesman for NATO-led troops in Afghanistan confirmed that NATO aircraft had been called in to support troops in the area and had probably killed some Pakistani soldiers. “Close air support was called in, in the development of the tactical situation, and it is what highly likely caused the Pakistan casualties,” said General Carsten Jacobson, spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). He added that he could not confirm the number of casualties, but ISAF is investigating. “We are aware that Pakistani soldiers perished. We don’t know the size, the magnitude,” he said. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said the killings were “an attack on Pakistan’s Continued on Page 13

Egypt unrest casts shadow over polls Junta meets ElBaradei, Moussa CAIRO: Egyptian protesters demanding an end to army rule clashed with police firing tear gas in central Cairo yesterday in a flare-up that cast another shadow over a parliamentary election billed as the nation’s first free vote in decades. Two days of voting begin tomorrow in the first stage of a complex, drawn-out election that will be completed in January. One protester, Ahmed Sayed, 21, died after being hit by a riot police vehicle in the clashes. His death was the first since a truce between police and protesters on Thursday calmed violence that had killed 41 people around Cairo’s Tahrir Square and elsewhere. Alarmed by the violence, the United States and the European Union have urged a swift handover to civilian rule in a country where prolonged political turmoil has compounded economic woes. The latest clash occurred near the cabinet office on the second day of a sit-in to protest against the army’s appointment of 78-year-old Kamal Ganzouri, a premier under ousted President Hosni Mubarak, to form a “national salvation government”. An army source said the ruling military council held separate talks with presidential candidates Mohamed ElBaradei and Amr Moussa. “I met Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi over the current crisis and discussed ways to resolve it,” Moussa told

Reuters later, but gave no details. ElBaradei’s office said in a statement that he had been in touch with all relevant parties to “activate the demands of the revolution”. It said he had met Tantawi and army chief of staff Sami Enan to discuss these demands, without reaching agreement. Protest groups have named ElBaradei as their choice to head a civilian body to supervise Egypt’s transition to democracy instead of the army council that took over from Mubarak. Ganzouri met with youth activists, but the April 6 movement, prominent in the anti-Mubarak revolt, disavowed those involved, saying they were “planted by the military council”. Ganzouri told reporters he had not yet offered anyone a ministerial portfolio. “I am ready to sit with all political currents. The new government will have new faces and youth will be part of it as they are the backbone of this nation,” he said. Tahrir Square protesters have dismissed Ganzouri, premier from 1996 to 1999, as another face from the past whose appointment reflects the generals’ resistance to change. A television clip circulated on Facebook in the past 24 hours shows him sitting one seat away from Tantawi on Jan 25, the first day of Egypt’s revolt, as they listen to a speech by former Interior Minister Habib Al-Adli, Continued on Page 13

CAIRO: A wounded cleric leads Egyptian demonstrators as they pray yesterday at a protest camp set up overnight outside the prime minister’s office. (Inset) The sculpture of a lion on the Qasr el-Nil bridge wears an eye patch symbolizing protesters wounded in clashes with security forces near Tahrir Square. — AFP/AP




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‘Philippines products need more exposure in Kuwaiti market’ Business delegation in town

CBK workshop to boost credit card security KUWAIT: The Commercial Bank of Kuwait organized a joint workshop with MasterCard to train its regional directors and branch managers on the latest technologies regarding procedures to tackle forgery of credit cards and banking scams. “The CBK is always committed to provide best level of security for its client and take all necessary measures to protect the confidentiality of their information”, said the head of

KUWAIT: The delegation poses with guests. —Photos by Ben Garcia By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: The Philippines needs more exposure to a ‘highly competitive Kuwaiti market,’ said Dr Hani M Al-Mazeedi, Associate Research Scientist at the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR). Speaking before the delegation of Filipino business representatives from food sectors, AlMazeedi said that the Philippines has a lot more to do when it comes to securing Kuwaiti consumer’s trust when it comes to buying products. “I think the fact that food products from the Philippines were not exposed to Kuwaiti market they need a lot more of ‘convincing power’ to persuade us [Kuwaitis] to buy your food products. An exhibition of this kind will help, but I proposed that a commercial trading facility is necessary. They need to introduce their products and explain the ingredients to consumers,” he added. He also proposed labeling all their products/ingredients with ‘halal’ as many in Kuwait would prefer to eat/use halal food products under the super vision of Halal Cer tification Board of the Philippines. The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) is visiting the country as part of the Middle East roadshow, which will take them to Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia.

The message of Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Shulan Primavera was read out by Vice Consul Rea Oreta during the event. He said, the event was being held at a unfortunate time when the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Kuwait was shut down a year of operations. “Short-lived as it was, it helped sustain opportunities to promote the Philippines as a viable invest-

Dr Hani M Al-Mazeedi over a billion dollars in developing of global gateway logistics city which could generate of up to 70,000 new jobs,” the envoy added. He said, the Philippines is awaiting promised investments from Alghanim and Alshaya group of companies. In terms of product availability in Kuwait, Primavera noted that almost all major supermarkets here have already been selling

Vice Consul Rea Oreta distributes some token of appreciation to visitors. ment destination with the entry of Kuwait Gulf Link in Clarkfield Pampanga,” he said. “KGL invested

the CBK’s credit cards center, Mushari Al-Hamad, while explaining the main re a s o n b e h i n d h o l d i n g t h e wo r kshop. The workshop was managed by deputy director for the clients security ser vices in MasterCard - Middle East, Eyan Getter, as he made sure to provide statistics and charts explaining the different ways in which credit cards can be forged, and the best ways to counter each case.

products which captured not just the Filipino market but also the Kuwaiti and other expat groups

alike. He revealed that the 2009 CITEM exhibition in Kuwait produces about US $10 million worth of contracts. “That is why we are supporting such exhibitions which are constant variables in our economic work plan, support the proposal to relax documentary procedures for our exporters, reduce the cost of authentication fees for documents and shortens the clearance period for trade samples in addition to relaxing visa requirements for visiting businessmen and exporters to the Philippines,” he stated. Jojie Dinsay, Commercial Attache for the GCC region, remarked that the food exhibition has offered a very good opportunity for both the delegates and prospective buyers to penetrate Philippines and Kuwaiti markets. According to Dinsay, food accounts for 35 percent of Philippines’ total expor ts to Kuwait. “Some of our top food exports were tuna [15 percent], fresh bananas [14 percent] canned and fish products [4.5 percent]. Kuwait serves as the gateway to the Iraqi and Saudi Arabia. However, it still has a lot of untapped potential as a market for our world-class food products.” There are 12 companies from the Philippines that participated in a one-day food exhibition event held at the Cour tyard Marriott Hotel last Thursday.

Probe continues in Iran money laundering scandal KUWAIT: The State Security Service is currently collecting data from local banks about the bank accounts of a local company as well as an MP who has business relations with the same company, which is accused in a major money laundering case that involves cooperation with Iran’s nuclear program. According to a report, the Public Prosecution Department launched investigations recently after an Egyptian woman reported that a company is involved in money laundering operations to support Iran’s nuclear program, revealing at the same time that an MP from the first constituency who has business relations with the same company is also involved in the case. On Saturday, a local newspaper reported that a team from the State Security Service assigned by the Public Prosecution to investigate the case spent last week studying “extremely serious” documents that the complainant provided, while orders were given to investigate bank accounts of both the com-

pany and the lawmaker involved. Meanwhile, the same report also quotes sources with knowledge of the ongoing investigations who indicated that the Kuwaiti company owns a group of companies including one that was established in Iran, but subjected to sanctions US Department of the Treasury that include freezing its accounts. Speaking on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, the sources notified that these measures were taken against the Iranian company after several container ships it owns were busted carrying weapons while en route to Syria, where the shipments were reportedly going to be moved to Lebanon where they are believed to be handed over to Hezbollah. Furthermore, the daily report quotes letters from the American Senate to former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, alerting him regarding dealing with “a Kuwaiti firm that has logistic contracts with the US Department of Defense”. — Al-Jarida

KUWAIT: The Canadian embassy held a dinner banquet on Wednesday in honor of the ambassador of Canada Douglas George at the Six Palms Hotel in Marina Hotel. It was attended by a remarkable number of diplomats and other dignitaries. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Canada woos more Kuwaiti investors (Excerpts from the speech of Canadian Ambassador to Kuwait Douglas George) “I would like to offer a special thank you to Michael El Hage and Paul Douglas of Alpha2 Logistics and Nu Pro Consultants for organizing this lovely dinner. “While I have been in Kuwait for only a very short time, I have been warmly received, and I can now appreciate first hand Kuwait’s well-deserved reputation for friendliness and hospitality. “Before arriving in Kuwait, I had the opportunity to be a part of the visit of His Highness Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser to Ottawa in September. Our Prime Ministers discussed the importance of keeping the Canada-Kuwait relationship strong and resolved to grow our trade and investment relationship. “This week, our Foreign Minister visited Kuwait and met with His Highness the Amir, as well as His Highness the Prime Minister and His Excellency the Foreign Minister, where we had a chance to reinforce the close ties between our two countries. “Our partnership is already a strong one, with nearly $145 million in two-way merchandise trade last year. We believe that this can grow and we are very excited about doing more business with Kuwait in the years ahead. “We certainly appreciate Kuwait’s position as a leader in the global oil economy, and as a respected leader in the Gulf Cooperation Council. “In fact, we’ve identified the Gulf Cooperation Council as a priority market

under Canada’s Global Commerce Strategy. Through this strategy, our government is pursuing a range of market opportunities, particularly in the oil and gas, services, health, agriculture and education sectors. “We certainly see many opportunities here in Kuwait. We recognize Kuwait’s efforts to diversify the economy beyond oil and gas, and to develop the wide range of infrastructure your country needs as it continues to build its economic strength. “In all these areas, we have a lot to offer. For example, Canada is an energy superpower, and Canadian companies offer a range of world-class technologies that can contribute to Kuwait’s development plans in your impressive oil sector, and beyond. “We offer expertise in a number of sectors, including transportation, high technology, agriculture, environmental energies and infrastructure. Transportation, schools, construction, engineering these are all areas where Canada excels. “Healthcare is another good example where Canadian organizations have impressive contracts with the Kuwait Ministry of Health. These are great examples of what Canada can offer and a vote of confidence in Canada’s healthcare sector. We want to see more successes like this. “Our Trade Commissioners at the Canadian Embassy here in Kuwait City are working hard to make more connections between Canadian expertise and Kuwaiti demand. The Embassy is here to help build strong partnerships. “You should also know that several of the chain stores you see here Second Cup,

Caf Supreme and Cinnabon are Canadian. So Canada has a lot to offer in a range of sectors. “Canada also has a lot to offer as an investment destination. That’s why we were very pleased to have signed a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) with Kuwait. This agreement gives investors from both of our countries greater predictability, certainty and protection, and will help us strengthen our investment ties in the years to come. “Canada has many advantages as an investment destination: With our open and attractive free-enterprise environment, Canada has been ranked by the Economist Intelligence Unit as the best place to do business in the G-7 this year and over the next four years; We have the lowest tax rate on new business investment in the G-7; Canada had the fastest economic growth in the G-7 in 2010, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); It is our policy to become the first tariff-free zone in the G-20 for imports of equipment and machinery; We have a skilled workforce, with the second-highest proportion of post-secondary graduates among countries of the OECD; Canada is a vibrant environment for innovation, with one of the most advantageous research and development tax incentive programs in the industrialized world; We have a strong commitment to good governance and the rule of law; and finally, Canadians enjoy a high quality of life.



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Request to lift 8 MPs’ immunities KUWAIT: The Parliament received a notice from the Public Prosecution containing names of eight MPs whose immunities are requested to be lifted so that they can be called for investigation with regard to the Parliament’s storming incident that happened on Nov 16. According to a report quoting a parliamentary source, the MPs mentioned in the notice are: Musallam Al-Barrak, Jam’an AlHarbash, Faisal Al-Mislem, Waleed AlTabtabaei, Khalid Al-Tahous, Falah AlSawagh, Salem Al-Namlan and Mohammad Al-Mutair. Meanwhile, 35 Kuwaiti citizens remain in custody at the Criminal Investigations General Department for their role in the Parliament’s storming. Reports on Friday indicated that 20 of the detained citizens went on hunger-strike in protest of what they perceive as their arbitrary lock-up decision. Meanwhile, MP Saleh Al-Mulla of the liberal National Action Bloc announced that he is going to participate in a public gathering at the Irada Square tomorrow, and also went on to criticize the arrest of protestors. “The detainees were supposed to be released on bail following investigations”, he said, “and there’s no concern over their potential escape from the country since their names are blacklisted at all outlets”. Al-Mulla further rejected the approach of “forcing the legal system into the political struggle”. Being a rapporteur of the Parliament’s human rights committee, AlMulla also indicated that he tried calling Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Hmoud Al-Sabah, but the minister never returned his calls. Several other lawmakers criticized the public prosecutor’s decision to extend the activists’ detention, with MP Falah AlSawagh describing it as “an arbitrary governmental action that will spark reactions from the public”; mentioning in specific tomorrow’s rally that is organized by the opposition. MP Naji Al-Abdulhadi announced in the meantime that the opposition will hold a press conference tomorrow morning, while expressing support to “any grilling motion that leads to the Prime Minister’s ouster”. And while MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei called the mass detention of Kuwaiti protestors as an unprecedented incident in Kuwait’s history, MP Salem Al-Namlan called the interior minister to hold accountable “police officers who provoked citizens and MPs demonstrating outside the Criminal Investigations General Department building”. On that note, the detainees’ attorney

Abdullah Al-Ahmad announced on Friday that the Public Prosecution agreed to allow for charges to be pressed against Major General Mahmoud Al-Dousary “after investigations proved that he lured protestors to enter the Parliament in a trap so that they can be later prosecuted”. In other news, MP Hassan Jowhar has almost finished preparing a grilling motion against Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad AlHmoud Al-Sabah, according to a recent report quoting a source who indicates that the motion could be filed next week if the government is able to foil the debate of the graft scandal’s grilling against Prime Minister His Highness Sheikh Nasser AlMohammad Al-Sabah. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the source noted that the grilling is likely to tackle subjects that include prosecuting people over remarks posted on Twitter, as well as the naturalization subject, adding that “talks are currently ongoing to add excessive use of power against protestors”. The source further noted that the grilling could be co-presented with MP Naji Al-Abdulhadi, and could be supported by some pro-government MPs including Saleh Ashour. Separately, Ashour made recent statements in which he said that the Cabinet could ask for the Premier’s grilling motion to be sent to the Parliament’s legislative committee to have its constitutionality verified. He explained that the motion can be deemed unconstitutional since the two subjects it addresses - the suspected multimillion-dinar deposits and suspicious foreign transactions - fall under the responsibility of the finance and foreign ministers respectively. On Thursday, MP Husain Al-Huraiti said during a televised interview that he would vote in favor of a request to lift the immunity of MPs accused in raiding the Parliament, but denied rumors which suggested that he personally called the interior minister to arrest people who stormed the Parliament. Speaking in an interview with Al-Rai TV, AlHuraiti further insisted that the current developments in Kuwait are a result of “struggles between conflicting parties in which the Parliament is the battlefield”, without making specifications. Former MP and former minister Ahmad Baqer said in the meantime that dissolving the Parliament and Cabinet as soon as possible is the best way to save Kuwait from “costly repercussions”, blaming both authorities for failing to curb public spending that he says will lead Kuwait to face a financial deficit in 2020’s budget. — Al-Rai, Al-Jarida

KUWAIT: A trade and investment meeting was held between British Ambassador to Kuwait Frank Baker, UK entrepreneur James Caan and 90 North Team last week. Discussions were held to promote the creation of small and mediumscale enterprises in Kuwait.

Temperature expected to get colder after Dec 6 Weathering the changes in Kuwait By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: People in Kuwait, especially women, have begun to pull out their winter clothes like fur jackets and boots from the closet. Those of you who still think it’s warm, you have been warned that the temperatures are set to drop this coming month, especially at night. The temperatures are currently between 19 -11 degrees Celsius, and may rise by about two degrees during the next two nights. “It’s not expected for the temperature to drop under 10 degrees Celsius during these few days except on Thursday, Dec 1. The expected temperature during night hours will reach only 7

These are part of new quality standards placed by the Ministry of Health in line with World Health Organization conditions. According to a news report quoting sources, staff members at all medical divisions must undergo training courses at least once a year. In other news, public health specialist at Al-

KUWAIT: Dr Mohammad Al-Afasi, Minister of Social Affairs and Labor has ordered an investigation into reports that senior citizens from ministry’s old age homes were used to numerically strengthen a progovernment rally held at Irada

Jahra Hospital, Dr Abdurrahman Lutfi, warned in a recent statement that 45 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year in Kuwait, adding that annual fatality rate of the disease in the country reached 16, according to World Health Organization statistics. — Al-Jarida, Al-Rai

Burgan Bank honors top three premier banking executives KUWAIT: Burgan Bank recently awarded three of its top performing premier banking executives in an effort to shed more light on the outstanding results achieved using the bank’s customer relationship management (CRM) channel. Abdulaziz Baskati, Mashael Rajab, as well as Saad A Deferi were all selected on the basis of providing added value information to all customers about the reasons as to how successfully

other products are cross-sold to increase customers’ regaining possibilities. Haneen Al- Rumaihi, Burgan Bank’s Head of Marketing said, “We are delighted to have been able to realize the success of our executives’ astonishing accomplishments using the CRM channel as a tool to reach out to our customers. The launch of the CRM program has been a turning point for the bank’s retail division. The program has

KUWAIT: Haneen Al-Rumaihi poses with the top performing premier banking executives and a number of executives from Burgan Bank’s Retail Department.

yielded exceptional results, allowing us to realize significant improvements in the ability of our sales staff to access the information they need about our customers, identify successful selling opportunities, and as a result, provide better service and increased sales.” “The continued success of this program is attributed to three major elements, the choice of an efficient CRM system as well consultants, a healthy teamwork relationship amongst Burgan Bank’s Retail, IT and Project Management teams, as well as the way the system is being used by the staff,” added Al-Rumaihi. Burgan Bank’s CRM program was launched in Retail Banking Division in 2009, in line with the bank’s strategy of adopting state-of-the-art services and technology to improve performance. It was developed with an aim to increase sales revenues, improve cross sales, generate new customers and deliver better customer service, and since then has proved valuable in obtaining information about customers, identify sales opportunities, tracking progress and managing sales campaigns in a timely and efficient manner.

‘UN accepted Kuwait’s stance on un-Islamic conditions’ KUWAIT: Kuwait will not adopt international human rights recommendations that contradict Islamic rules like banning polygamy and permitting homosexuality, said a senior Cabinet member. The United Nations Human Rights Council had listed 32 negative practices in Kuwait, and made a series of recommendations including cancellation of the sponsorship (kafeel) system for expatriate laborers, capital punishment, as well as banning polygamy and legalizing same-sex relationships. “[Kuwait]

had expressed its point of view during the previous annual sessions in Geneva. It was accepted because the subject pertains directly with Islamic regulations,” said Mohammad Al-Afasi Minister of Justice and Minister of Social Affairs and Labor in a recent statement to AlRai. Al-Afasi further explained that Kuwait is not obliged to adopt conditions laid down in international human rights agreements that contradict Islamic values. “Kuwait expressed its point of view regarding polygamy, capi-

timings, by adding or decreasing an hour. According to Al-Sadoun this may cause problems and confuse many people. “For instance, a passenger may miss his flight owing to this. Also Russia, which was applying this system, canceled it this year. As far as I know about the Arab countries, only Lebanon is following this time-changing system,” he further said. “I don’t think we need such a system in Kuwait. The countries applying it are mostly in the North, and the difference between night and day gets more, when the day is longer in summer and the night is longer in winter, so they apply this system. In Kuwait and the tropical countries on the equator,

the difference in time is not really that much. Also this problem can be solved by delaying the working hours for instance from 8 am to 9am,” Al-Sadoun pointed out. Meteorologist Eisa Ramadan said that there is a proposal submitted by the Weather Broadcast Depar tment to apply the time changing system in Kuwait. “This proposal was not applied yet as the opposition MPs are wasting the time of the Parliament with their nonsense and chaos, instead of discussing important issues. At the end approving or rejecting is left to the government. There are many developed countries following this system, and they use it to save energy.”

Ministry investigates ‘senior citizens at rally’ issue

MOH adopts safety standards KUWAIT: Medical facilities in Kuwait are required to ensure that information pertaining to patients are transferred in a precise manner between medical and nursing staff, and to come up with a system to make sure that patients receive accurate information about their medication doses.

degrees Celsius,” Ashraf of the Weather Broadcast Department of the Civil Aviation Department told the Kuwait Times yesterday. “Today is expected to be little warmer than yesterday and the day before. Tomorrow it will get colder, and it may reach 10 degrees during the night,” he added. Meteorologist Adel AlSadoun said that the coldest days will star t on Dec 6 during the ‘Mirbeaniya’ season. “On that day and after that, the temperature will definitely be less than 10 degrees Celsius. We can also expect mild showers which may not be continuous,” he stated. Many countries are changing the timing to winter and summer

tal punishment and homosexuality. It was accepted because these issues pertain directly with regulations of Islam,” he said. The Constitution stipulates Sharia Law as the main source of legislation in the country. Al-Afasi explained that the sponsorship system will soon be scrapped after the public authority for labor is inaugurated. “The authority will recruit workers as per the needs of the market and employers. It will also supervise contracts,” he said. — Al-Rai

Square last Tuesday. This was revealed by a reliable source who dismissed the likelihood of such reports being proven true, reasoning that the number of citizens residing in the ministry’s care homes is limited. “After the

ministry began providing services to senior citizens, only seven senior citizens remained in the ministry’s care homes,” explained the source. The source further explained that the participation of the seven senior citizens at the gathering

could’ have been mere coincidence, rejecting the notion that they were deliberately brought in. “A decision has been made to investigate the issue to make sure that no wrongdoings are involved,” the official added. —Al-Rai




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Local Spotlight

in my view

Are you with or against us?

Looks that can kill

Muna Al-Fuzai By Lisa Conrad taring is somewhat of an uncontrollable human habit, but the extent of staring, glaring and ogling is changeable between different places. Kuwait, however, is a hotbed for staring as locals and expats alike are often seen getting an eyeful of one-another. While it’s quite predictable that staring (in the case of men) and glancing (in the case of women) at the opposite gender is quite natural, the defining thing here that I can’t quite comprehend the extent to which women stare at each other. Any woman residing in Kuwait, local or expat, will certainly know what I’m talking about. In a country where image means so much, it’s understandable that women are curious to see how others are keeping up. The problem, however, is that the glances often turn into glares as they size-up one another. Locals stare at expats, expats stare at locals, and they both stare at each other without any attempts to even try and conceal their actions. It’s, at best, subtle and at worst downright rude. What’s worse is the longer you reside here, the more prone you become to staring. The most obvious reaction to being stared at is, after all, to stare back. If you haven’t seen what I’m talking about, head to any popular restaurant at any time of day and take notice of the women staring back and forth at one another. It is quite surreal to find that. In fact, women are much more concerned with the opinions of their own gender than of the opposite sex. The chances that men would notice immaculately manicured nails, the hottest nail-color or the newest designer bag is, let’s face it, pretty minimal. So why all of the effort, if not for each other? The sad thing about this trend, interesting as it may be, is that if women are partaking in this, persistent, almost aggressive, staring at one another, it’s usually because they see each other as competition or a threat. What’s worse is that women around the world, including in this region, are still struggling to get even basic equal rights in many issues, yet we’re spending our free time and energy staring at one another? Wouldn’t it be better if women spent as much energy supporting one another and pushing forward, instead of glaring and exerting this much energy in a competition which, at the end of the day, will have no winners?



in my view

From Tahrir to Irada

re you with or against the current government? This is the most commonly asked question among Kuwaitis. An answer in the negative or affirmative needs to be justified! The air is thick with conflicting ideas and complaints when we are not aware of where we are heading to! What is all this? Why do we Kuwaitis do nothing but speak, eat, and think about ruling family affairs and methods of decision-making. For example, who says it is anyone’s business to speculate about what the prime minister’s next move will be like? All kinds of propaganda is spread to the minds of the public, none of the propositions may come true. Sadly, the people are fed this by the media. The worst part is, they believe what they read. Why should we all turn into politicians? Why should we assume that MPs know better than anyone else? Does that mean I don’t love my country or that the government has paid me to buy my blessings and support. Many are misinterpreting the present scenario , Kuwaitis may disagree with their government but will never rebel against it. Some MPs seem to ignore this and why do they assume that anyone who has a different opinion has been bribed by the government! I disagree with those who claim that when you don’t show up at the ‘shouting match’ it means you are dishonest and that the government has paid you to keep your mouth shut! Many Kuwaitis deny the recent incident in which the National Assembly was stormed into. Yet, I have not seen any MP involved in these attacks apologize for his act. It has brought nothing but more discredit to the so-called democratic set up we lavish praises on! We, the Kuwaitis have no problem with the ruling family or the prime minister. Clearly, some MPs face problems which the public are unaware of. The government now is facing the dilemma of how to end bickering in a civilized manner. A few MPs work hard to turn the public against this government and any possible government in the future is that they want to ‘see’ an endless mess. They want to see chaos, confusion that matches with the violence that the Arab spring has brought with it. The truth that many fail to see is that Kuwaitis will never rebel against their government. It never happened and will not happen for any other reason. Sheikh Nasser Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah is His Highness the Amir of Kuwait’ s choice as prime minister. Many will have to reluctantly accept and deal with this.

KUWAIT: Chinese folk dancers from Heilongjiang Province who will take part in the activities celebrating the Kuwaiti-Chinese relations’ anniversary from Dec 3-7 are pictured. kuwait digest

The black day By Ibrahim Al-Awadhi uesday, November 15, was Kuwait’s true ‘black have the right to use the court’s ruling as an excuse to day ’ when the Cabinet and its allies in the render the grilling motion invalid. The decision must Parliament brought the country’s democratic come from the Parliament itself. Meanwhile, the Parliament has formulated regulaframework into disrepute by passing the grilling motions of MPs Ahmad Al-Saadoun and Abdurrahman tions and strict controls under which a grilling motion Al-Anjari. Not only was it an unprecedented action in can be dropped. For example, Article 142 stipulates that the history of democracy, but the incident violated an interpellation motion can only be withdrawn if a minconstitutional principles that created a relationship ister resigns, if an MP who presents it loses his/her membetween people and their government, laying the bership, if a parliamentary term ends before the grilling motion is debated, or if foundations of political the presenter withdraws freedom and social Article 142 stipulates that an interthe motion. What actually equality. happened, however, did Who can justify the pellation motion can only be withnot comply with any of Cabinet’s action when drawn if a minister resigns, if an MP these four conditions. This its members participatwho presents it loses his/her membermeans that it was in violaed in the voting session tion of the Parliament’s to withdraw the grilling ship, if a parliamentary term ends regulations (not to menmotion filed against before the grilling motion is debated, tion that the Cabinet their prime minister members’ voting was on the pretext that or if the presenter withdraws the biased in favor of their ministers are also conmotion. What actually happened, premier). The incidents sidered members of the however, did not comply with any of that took place the folParliament? The lowing day, November 16 Cabinet argued that the these four conditions. are also unacceptable. said grilling motion was Violence must not be unconstitutional based on a recent Constitutional Court’s ruling. However, met with violence, and stubbornness must not also be Article 137 of the Constitution said that only the met with chaos. I do support the opposition blocs justifiParliament is entitled to make decisions on the rulings cations in holding accountable a government rocked by passed by the Constitutional Court on interpellation scandals and lethargy. However, that doesn’t justify motions. This means that the Cabinet doesn’t even ‘storming the parliament’ incident. — Al-Rai


Satire Wire kuwait digest

By Fouad Al-Obaid

Wise political approach leads to solutions

The logistics of a demonstration

Twitter: @Fouadalobaid

By Abdullah Al-Naibari he Arab Spring turned autumn is now heading for winter. The events that marked 2011 are both serious, and troubling. An Arab awakening of a sort, a renewed desire to make voices and concerns heard. Reality has it that a region blessed with multiple natural resources, nonetheless; oil - is not living up to its possibilities. The lacks are starting to be felt. In cases where the economy is not the prime concern of protestors, human dignity is. The age-old tribal system has been the modus operandi of the region for centuries. it served its purpose in nomadic semi-sedentary societies. In the 21st Century, the wider struggle is about self-determination, not dissimilar to the liberation wars and conflicts of past generations from colonialism, the new struggle seems to be that of people trying to ‘liberate’ their dignity from times of brutal rule. Placing the entire Arab World in the same basket would be akin to mixing unmixable elements together. The region as is obvious to any long-time observer, quite diverse; and yet - it seems that 2011 has bridged even this gap. Whereas in the past, blame was placed on Arab entities that are often seen as ‘dinosaurs’ unable to react swiftly to solve problems at both national and regional levels, the renewed youth vigor and the harsh economic reality is giving impetus to a new generation of grass-root leaders helped by technology little-understood by the ruling elites to organize and proclaim new demands. The status quo seems to be in jeopardy in most countries of the Arab world, with many are realizing that today it is a matter of time before change happens. The only paradigm left to be determined is how will such change happen and when will it reach one’s shores. In Tunisia, it was the self-immolation of a single youth. In Egypt the mass were tired of a single man’s tyranny. In Libya, it was with foreign help and intervention against a murder machine set to cleanse fellow nationals. In Bahrain, you can hear the desperation of a nation set on improving their basic living conditions. In Yemen, an autocrat who is keen on killing to sustain his seat in power. Killings led to a dear childhood friend losing his life in a shelling campaign in his area. What links all these events are the galvanization of a youth-centered majority populous, tired of the old rhetoric which it has a hard time understanding -with much justification. In an era when smart phones are the norm, the leadership in many Arab countries doubtfully is able to use computers let alone understand the dynamics of social networking sites and platforms, which is the main venue for national consternation. The age divide is not to be left unchecked, with seniority being a key traditional means of power in not only country leadership, but even in family patriarchy’s, the ‘elders’ which used to symbolize wisdom, are having a hard time mustering the wisdom they self-proclaim, vis-‡-vis a youth majority tired of inaction. When you look at official speeches you can only but wonder what message they are attempting to pass to the populace? Technology has made communication in the 21 Century, a two-way stream. And yet, the majority Arab leadership still wants to believe in a hierarchy of orders. Yet in this century of ours, the narrative is the end game. Those that have the best stories will emerge as victorious while those that stick to non-sense literally end up in the abyss of history where their predecessors now lay!


torming the Parliament was unacceptable and unjusti- work. The Parliament gives people the authority to monitor fied; so are the excuses made by opposition MPs who the government and hold its members accountable for their claimed they were forced to lead protestors there to errors. Today, the Cabinet continues to obliterate this right avoid clashes with security officers. This justification would by lobbying for grilling motions to be debated in confidenhave had some merit if the protestors stayed away from the tial session - provided that they are debated in the first place. Today we should turn the page on the Parliament’s Sabah Al-Salem Hall, or if the thousands of other protestors storming incident and shift our focus back to efforts to they left outside were actually subjected to a police attack. The gamble made by the protestors left multiple nega- uproot corruption, enforce political reform and boost nationtive repercussions; the most serious of which is perhaps tak- al unity. Combating corruption can be achieved through ing the spotlight of people’s attention from the main two enforcements of anticorruption laws as well as by investigatissues at hand: the graft scandal and the Cabinet violating ing the multimillion-dinar graft scandal. That cannot happrinciples of democracy by working for a grilling motion to pen, however, unless probe committees are formed by the Parliament. While many people, including HH the Amir, be lifted off the Parliament’s schedule. Before the events of Nov 16, Kuwaitis were unified with agree that the issue must be left to be dealt with by authoriconcern over the level that corruption has reached after it ty as being a suspected case of money-laundering, this doesallowed MPs to obtain bribes thinking that they can avoid n’t mean in my opinion that the Parliament shouldn’t launch an internal probe regarding prosecution. This unanimity this crime committed was divided following reacBefore the events of Nov 16, Kuwaitis against parliamentary work. tions against the Parliament’s raid, with some people were unified with concern over the level In order for that to happen, two things must be expressing disapproval of that corruption has reached after it achieved: what happened, while others First, the opposition must took the incident as an allowed MPs to obtain bribes thinking reconsider their decision to opportunity to speak up that they can avoid prosecution. This boycott Parliament sessions when they kept silent during unanimity was divided following reac- and voting processes, as the time in which the graft scandal dominated public tions against the Parliament’s raid, with they had waived away a very strong tool when they chose attention. some people expressing disapproval of not to vote on the National Either way, divisions emerged following that inciwhat happened, while others took the Action Bloc’s proposal to MPs to investigate the dent. Statements made by incident as an opportunity to speak up send graft case. Second, the govsome MPs about the involvewhen they kept silent during the time in ernment should reconsider ment of Saudi or other GCC citizens among the parliawhich the graft scandal dominated pub- their corrupt approach of handling situations with ment’s raiders, was their lic attention. security measures and legal opportunistic way to achieve actions. Not only does this popularity among voters approach fail to calm the sitalbeit being a method that boosts sectarianism in society. A similar dreadful approach uation down, but it also makes it worse by adding fuel to the was adopted by certain individuals who stood by the oppo- already flaming tension. Instead, the current situation needs sition despite having a history of being dishonest - since I a flexible political approach that takes into account reasons don’t see much difference between lawmakers who collect- behind people’s frustration, while learning simultaneously ed multimillion bribes, and an MP who once illegally from other countries in the region affected by the Arab obtained a piece of land that is worth an estimated KD 300 Spring. Decision makers in Kuwait are highly urged to read a recent op-ed published by the Washington Post, in which million today. Therefore, young protestors leading current movements they advised the government to listen to the oppositions’ must work on ‘purifying’ their national activities by eliminat- demands after the Parliament was prevented from investiing all suspicious individuals and forming a unified public gating the graft scandal, instead of threatening to use demand for protecting the constitution. Most sectors of the stricter security measures against public protests. society expressed their disapproval of the Parliament’s Furthermore, the highly revered American newspaper writes storming last week. The main issue that we face today is that instead of crackdowns, Kuwait actually needs prompt making sure that this event doesn’t hinder efforts to tackle progression to true democracy in which the Prime Minister is the suspicious multimillion-dinar deposits case, as well as elected through parliamentary majority. Kuwait needs a wise the Cabinet’s manipulation of principles of parliamentary political remedying approach by all parties. — Al-Qabas


Sawsan Kazak ith the Arab spring in full swing, the media is flooded with images of demonstrations taking place all over the region. Egypt, Syria, Libya, and Yemen are but a few of the countries witnessing almost daily demonstrations on their streets. Thousands of protestors take to the streets and stay there for hours and camp even overnight in order to get their message across. Never having been a part of any demonstration, I wonder about the logistics behind them. How are these people getting to this chosen location? Are they taking buses, cars or public transportation to get there or are they simply walking the whole way there? Once there, do they choose a specific demonstration location they want to hang out in or is it on a first-come-firstserve basis? Is it better to be located right in the middle or to the far-left? Are there locations that have a better view than others or do you simply go to the place you demonstrated from the day before? Once there, how are these people surviving for hours on end? What are all these people eating? On the news, you can’t really see any concession stands, restaurants or food carts for people to eat from. Are these people bringing their own food, or does passionate demonstrating cut your appetite so much that you don’t need to eat all day long? (New diet trend alert). Standing for hours is sure to exhaust you, so where are these people resting? Are there locations they can sit down at or take a nap in order to reenergize? I think the most disturbing question is this: Where do all these people go when they need to use the bathroom? I know it’s not something we really want to think about, but it’s a fact of life; humans need to go to the bathroom periodically throughout the day. Are there portable toilets being installed around the protest area? And if so, who is taking these precautionary measures? Or maybe the protesters are just really good at ‘holding it’ for a really long time. These questions might sound silly, but you cannot deny wondering about them yourself while watching TV and seeing such large crowds. Well no matter what is taking place at these demonstrations, it seems to be working just fine as people keep showing up day-in and day-out.




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Minister submits report on university city By A Saleh KUWAIT: The Minister of Education and Higher Education Ahmad AlMulaifi has submitted a report, on the new university city under construction at Al-Shadadia, to the Parliament. The report lays down the “design and execution standards to be followed by all consultants and contractors as per a new consulting service agreement to run the university projects.” He pointed out, “we are reviewing it for approval so as to circulate it to all consultants and contractors.” He revealed that ministry has

referred a letter to the technical bureau to the university complex on a ‘Build-Operate-Transfer’ basis, adding that his office has submitted relevant papers to specialized consulting offices. A feasibility study on prospects will be conducted in April 2011. Al-Mulaifi said that administrative services building that includes offices of the construction program, construction and maintenance administration, safety and security administration have been completed. Also, construction of the main university premises has begun, approved by the Central Tender Committee.

KUWAIT: Bill Anderson addressing the meeting.

KUWAIT: A partial view of the audience.

Kuwait Flying Center offers life-like flying experience to amateurs ‘Infotainment’ event By Nawara Fattahova

Lighthouse relay voyage ceremony held KUWAIT: When leading maritime services provider Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) sponsored the bicentenary of the building of the Bell Rock Lighthouse in February this year, the company realized it had an opportunity to do more than just celebrate 200 years of alerting mariners to the perils of the hidden Inchcape Reef off Scotland’s stormy coast, from which ISS takes its name. Now, having journeyed around Europe, the baton has reached Kuwait, in support of the ISS Lighthouse Relay Voyage, ISS Kuwait showed its commit-

ment to raising funds for Kuwait Association for the Care of Children in Hospital (KACCH). The ceremony took place at Inchcape Company on Oct 25. KACCH is a nongovernmental charitable organization registered with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor in 2003 to help children and their families cope with the stresses of hospitalization. It is managed by volunteers and funded by donations from organizations, businesses, banks, schools and individuals within Kuwait.

KUWAIT: The Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) hosted an infotainment event entitled ‘Flight Adventures’ on Wednesday at its premises in Mishref. Bill Anderson, Business Development Manager of Kuwait FSC for Europe and Middle East, who is visiting Kuwait for five days visit attended the event and addressed a presentation about the FSC. “In six months, this center became a reality. The visitor may get a professional experience or just enjoy the flying experience. The best of all is that is you crash, nobody gets hurt. This center gives great opportunity for those interested in aviation to enjoy many activities through the packages offered,” he noted. Furthermore, the Center also provides a course on treating aerophobia, not available anywhere in the world. All hardware and software related to the subject is available in the Center. “The Center plans to expand and develop in the future by adding ships, other projects for educational and entertainment-related purposes,” he added. After that, he presented an introduction to the live simulation displayed on a huge screen, where the attendees flew with Captain Kareem Al-Sayid to London. The audience was able to experience the real role of a captain flying the airplane, and received a detailed information and instructions. A raffle draw was also held where valuable

prizes were distributed. Basher Al-Kanderi held a presentation on the history of aviation in Kuwait. “The first airplane to arrive in Kuwait was in 1928 near the gate of Kuwait. This was the Imperial Airlines, now known as the British Airways. It arrived from India en route to United Kingdom, and landed in Kuwait to fuel. Then Amir Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-

One was used for Amiri purposes by the late Amir Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem. In 1947, the first airport was built and the runway was made using mud. Water was regularly poured on the surface to facilitate a smooth landing. If the weather conditions are bad, the planes did not land. Tents were built for different purposes. The shade served as the hangar for

KUWAIT: Part of the live simulation. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat Sabah and some people witnessed the spectacle. After that, aircrafts landing in Kuwait arriving from Asia and Europe,” he said. The first Kuwaiti aircraft was brought by the Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) to scout for locations to conduct oil drilling. “The first airport was an empty land located in Ahmadi in 1934, and there was only one Kuwait airplane. After the Second World War, two airplanes were added.

the aircrafts. It was only operated two days a week,” he elaborated. “After the liberation, particularly in 1962, the first phase of the present airport was completed. It was one of the five best designs in the world at that time. The second phase was launched in 1980, and it is still operating till today,” stressed Al-Kandari. In 1953, the first aviation club and school was launched in Kuwait. “It was founded by Sheikh

Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah. This was the first step where Kuwaiti pilots were trained. This school offered courses in aviation sciences. At that time, five aircrafts were used for training. After that the first airlines company was established and the second was established in 1955, which became the Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC). The first aircraft of the KAC’s fleet was Kathma, and the first Kuwait pilot was Marzouq Al-Ajeel. The first Kuwaiti female captain was Sherifa Al-Mulla who graduated in 1963, and was the first woman in GCC to obtain the aviation license,” he explained. Al-Kanderi concluded by highlighting the achievements of a Kuwaiti inventor who built the first Kuwait-made airplane in 1969, costing him about KD 4,000. Another citizen built three airplanes in 1972, 1974, and 1982. The Kuwait Flight Simulation Center (FSC) is the largest and first of its kind center in the world. They have the latest flight simulators in the field of real flight simulation and offer an Airbus A320, A321, A330, MD11, Boeing 747, Boeing 737, Cessna 172-1, a helicopter, and in addition the F-16 or F-18 simulator similar to the ones used by NASA. The training department offers basic and advanced aviation courses which include Flying Training (theoretical and practical), Radiotelephony, Meteorology, Air Law, Air navigation and Instrument Flying and Air Traffic Control.

Kuwait, China celebrate 40 years of ties KUWAIT: Kuwait and China mark the anniversary of 40 years of diplomatic relations by launching many celebratory activities throughout the year to further enhance these ties. China’s ambassador to Kuwait Huang Jiemin said in an interview yesterday that among this year’s activities is the arrival of the ninth Chinese navy escort fleet to Shwuaik port on Nov 27 to Dec 1, upon an invitation from the Kuwaiti Army. The fleet consists of “Wuhan” and “Yulin” ships, with a total number of 264 naval officers and sailors onboard. The fleet started

its mission of combating sea piracy in July 2011. The Chinese government has been sending escort fleets to the Gulf of Aden and coasts of Somalia since 2008, as part of an implementation to a UN resolution to fight piracy and protect merchant ships, the envoy explained. The fleet’s arrival ceremony will be attended by the fleet’s commander and top Kuwaiti military personalities. The ceremony will provide an opportunity for the Chinese and Kuwaiti sides to exchange expertise to further deepen military ties. The fleet’s visit is considered the first of


in brief

Emergency landing at KIA KUWAIT: Sources at civil aviation revealed that an American civil plane pilot asked for an emergency landing at Kuwait International Airport after noticing some smoke coming out of the engine yesterday. All precautionary measures were executed and the captain managed to land the place without any untoward incident. The plane was carrying more than 100 passengers and was flying from Washington. MoH, KU delegation on tour A delegation from Ministry of Health (MoH) and Kuwait University (KU) are making visits to private universities and pharmacy colleges in Jordan and Saudi Arabia, to evaluate the academic level for those institutions. Sources revealed that the delegation will check the academic syllabus for institutions in order to compare it with modern specializations in Kuwait and see if is suitable. They will have meetings with officials in those universities and colleges to know the way of teaching during the coming years and see if it is compatible with the latest medical developments and report back to Ministry of Health and the university director. If found compatible with the system in Kuwait, those universities and colleges will be approved and accredited. 988 plots to be distributed Informed sources at Public Authority for Housing (PAHW) revealed that they will distribute 988 residential plots in Bloc C at Sabah Al-Ahmed City towards the end of the current month. In the meantime, sources at MoD said that the ministry refused to hand back the land allocated to MoD at the Seventh Ring Road, to Public Authority for housing. Sources said that the municipality had promised to provide another plot of land in replacement but it hasn’t happened so far. — Al-Anba

its kind since the diplomatic establishment 40 years ago. Ambassador Jiemin also noted that on December 3-7, a group of Chinese folk dancers from Heilongjiang Province will take part in the activities celebrating the Kuwaiti-Chinese relations’ anniversary. The Heilongjiang band has been giving singing, dancing and acrobatic performances for more than 50 years. It has visited more than 30 countries since it is regarded the messenger of art and cultures between nations. “These art performances will further familiarize the Kuwaiti people with the Chinese culture,” the envoy noted, pointing

out that such events have always enhanced communication and friendship ties. The opening ceremony of Heilongjiang band will be attended by ambassador Jiemin and China’s Ministry of Culture undersecretary who will visit the country and meet with senior Kuwaiti officials to discuss exchanging views on strengthening cultural cooperating and communication between Kuwait and china. The visiting Chinese official will also sign the implementation program for the cultural, educational and media agreements that were signed between the two countries for

the years of 2011-2014. Since 40 years ago, Kuwait and China have witnessed a “healthy development” in diplomatic relations, the Chinese envoy stressed0. He added that these ties have deepened even further throughout the years in all possible domains, especially in economy, trade, energy, transportation and infrastructure. Volume of trade exchanges between the two countries had reached $8.5 billion, an increase of 40 per cent, since the launch of diplomatic ties, till 2010. The volume of commercial exchange came to $ 9.28 billion in the first 10 months of this year. — KUNA



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KUWAIT: Some of the sites identified by the Dive Team in Kuwait’s waters where marine plants are found on the seafloor; and the flag salute ceremony in progress.

Dive team appreciates Amir’s support KUWAIT: The financial aid that the Kuwait Dive Team receives annually from the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS) reflects the commitment of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah towards voluntary work that serves Kuwait and its environment. This was stated by leader of the dive team, in a

recent press statement released to express gratitude to HH the Amir for the team’s activities. “HH’s support is pivotal in encouraging the Kuwait Dive Team to continue projects to protect Kuwait’s marine environment,” Waleed Al-Fadhel said. Meanwhile, the Kuwait Dive Team began the process of detecting and documenting sites in

Kuwait’s waters where marine plants are found on the seafloor. The process aims to identify biodiversity in these locations where all the information is detected in a database. Meanwhile, the Kuwait Dive Team held a flag salute ceremony 20 feet under water near the Qarouh island, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the current flag of Kuwait.

“Kuwait’s flag is the symbol of belonging that all social categories feel with pride towards our country”, said the team’s leader Waleed Al-Fadhel in a statement. He further indicated that the team created a photo archive on this occasion that includes photographs of Kuwaiti divers holding Kuwait’s flag during documented missions above and under water throughout its voluntary career.

Indian man decapitated in horrific elevator accident Security officer kidnapped KUWAIT: A man died in a work mishap after he was left decapitated with his head trapped in the door of an elevator where he was working. The horrific accident took place at a construction site in Salhiya where the 31-year-old Indian worker was inside the elevator. He had his head sticking outside when the door closed and trapped him before the elevator unexpectedly went down. Criminal investigators were present at the scene shortly after the incident was reported, before leaving with the body to the forensic department. A case was opened for investigations. Thief robbed? Investigations are currently ongoing in a case involving a camp thief who accuses police officers of robbery following his arrest. The suspect was caught red-handed at a camping site in the Abdullah Port desert after campers reported seeing a thief roaming in the area. After he was taken to the nearest police station, the thief alleged that he had left KD 7,000 in his car located near the camping site. A police officer had brought the suspect’s car in the meantime, but the money was nowhere to be found; prompting the suspect to press robbery charges against police. He faces theft charges while investigations are underway regarding his claim.

KUWAIT: General Director of the Saad Al-Abdullah Police Academy, Maj Gen Fahad Al-Sharqawi hosted an orientation meeting recently for the families of newly recruited cadets (batch number 41). This was done in order to familiarize them with the course outline.

Drivers with contraband A Kuwaiti man in his thirties was referred to the State Security Service following his arrest with possession of multiple weapons and alcohol. The suspect was forced to stop at a street in the Mubarak Al-Kabeer governorate after he ini-

tially ignored orders to pull over. The man was placed under arrest after police found a sports bag containing six handguns and a machinegun - which were all loaded and ready to use. Four imported liquor bottles were also found in the trunk. The man claimed that he collects weapons as a hobby, something which didn’t convince police who detained him for investigations. Meanwhile, Hawally police arrested a Kuwaiti man in Salmiya after he was busted with possession of 15 imported liquor bottles. The man first attempted to escape by driving away instead of pulling over as per police’s orders, and even tried to run away on foot after he was forced to stop his car. He was detained and referred to the proper authorities after alcohol was found in his vehicle. Kidnappers at large Hawally investigators are looking for four people accused of kidnapping a security officer from the Yachts Club in Shaab, before releasing him at the Jamaal Abdul-Nasser street in Shuwaikh following police pursuit. According to a report quoting an anonymous security source, the unknown suspects were also accompanied by a 15-year-old girl who they dropped at a Salmiya mall before leaving, while the girl walked away and disappeared between nearby buildings. Police are trying to detain the girl for questioning which could lead them to the suspects. Meanwhile, the source also noted that police were able to identify the owner of the suspects’ car through its license plate number; who was summoned for interrogations to reveal

Iraqi premier to visit Kuwait BAGHDAD: Iraqi Premier Nouri Al-Maliki will visit Kuwaiti within the next few days, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari announced here yesterday. “All pending files between the two countries will be mulled over during the visit,” Zebari noted. The announcement came during a press

conference Zebari held in Najaf to stand on preparations to celebrate the city as capital for Islamic Culture for 2012. Mariam Al-Rayes, media advisor at AlMaliki’s office, confirmed the announcement in a press release, stressing that “the Iraqi government adopted dialogue as means to solve

issues with Kuwait and avoid media escalation that would harm interests of both countries.” Al-Maliki’s last visit to Kuwait was last Februar y, while His Highness the Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Nasser AlMohammad Al-Sabah headed a senior delegation to Baghdad earlier in the year. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Amidst amicable, family spirit and fun-filled ambience, more than 200 staff members from all departments of the National Bank of Kuwait together with their family members spent two-day event at Khairan Resort. The event provided a unique opportunity for NBK employees to openly mingle and enjoy the various indoor and beach entertainment, activities, games and competitions in addition to other day-long sportive functions. The event was concluded with the distribution of valuable prizes and gifts for the winners in the various competitions and draws.

whether he has relations with the suspects or not. Ingrate son held A Kuwaiti man in his twenties was arrested after he threatened his mother with a knife when she refused to lend him money. Police rushed to a house in Al-Waha where a middle-aged female citizen reported being attacked by her son. The man was detained by the authorities who suspected that he was under the influence at the time. He was referred to the proper authorities for further action. Gambling den Two people were arrested at an apartment in Mahboulah which they made available for gamblers who were also served alcohol. A security team was sent to the location after Ahmadi police received a tip-off about two Asian men hosting illegal parties at their apartment for a KD 5 entrance fee. The duo was arrested after police raided their apartment with a warrant. They found gambling tools and homemade liquor inside after which they were referred to the proper authorities. Unexpected encounter A group of campers used their hunting rifles to shoot down a wolf that approached their tent at the Abdaly desert. The young men went out hunting only to find a wild animal waiting for them outside. According to their statements, they had to shoot the wolf down after it attempted to attack them. The group decided to take the dead animal to a taxidermist before keeping it as a souvenir. — Al-Watan, Al-Rai, Al-Anba,

Kuwaiti ambassador seeks closer ties with Argentina BUENOS AIRES: Kuwait and Argentina plan to cement bilateral relations between the two countries, according to statements made by officials and diplomats of the two countries during a ceremonial luncheon, organized here by the Kuwaiti ambassador, Abdel-Aziz Al-Roumi over the weekend. The luncheon was held, at the residence of the ambassador, for honoring the outgoing governor of the province of Santa Fe, Hermes Binner and his successor, Antonio Bonfatti. It was attended by M inister of Production in the province, Juan Jose, a visiting delegation of the Kuwaiti Municipality and Arab diplomats. Addressing attendees, Binner touched on necessity of enhancing the Arab-Argentine relations, topics related to a recently-held convention by Zionist organizations and various issues of common interest for the two nations. Binner, who was accompanied by his spouse, expressed gratitude to the Kuwaiti ambassador for giving him the chance to meet directly with the Arab diplomats, ahead of end of his tenure, due on Dec 10. He apologized for absence of the new governor, due to some emergency meetings. The outgoing governor affirmed necessity of lifting level of the ArabArgentine relations, keenness of the new government in Santa Fe on maintaining cooperation with Kuwait. He also called on the present Kuwaiti municipal figures to tour landmark sites across the province, visit its provincial capital, Rosario, and called for twining between it and Kuwait City. The Kuwaiti figures expressed readiness to pay such visits and meet heads of municipal councils for discussing mutual cooperation. In turn, the attending Arab diplomats made statements about progress of the ties between the two nations that have noticeably

improved, as a result of appreciated efforts by the two sides to set up basis for mutual understanding. For his part, Al-Roumi affirmed that the gathering was intended to cement bridges of interaction and communications between the State of Kuwait and Santa Fe for enhancing mutual understanding for service of common interests between the two friendly countries. At conclusion of the reception, the Kuwaiti ambassador granted an award, a golden framed picture of His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, to the outgoing governor, as an expression of keenness on maintaining these bilateral ties. Meanwhile in Brasilia, Kuwaiti Ambassador to Brazil Yousif Abdulsamad stressed on the importance of enhancing relations in all domains with the South American’s countries. The Kuwaiti envoy expressed appreciation for the diplomatic participation of Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Guyana in an upcoming conference of Arab and South American Education ministers, which will be held in Kuwait from Nov 28 to 30. The conference comes as a result of an announcement made in Qatar’s Second Arab-South American countries summit, held in 2009, Addulsamad said. The conference will also discuss the Arab league and South American cooperation plan in public education of 2010. “ The gathering will be a real opportunity to discuss educational policies applied in the Arab and South American regions. It will be also a chance to exchange expertise and more contemporary educational methods,” he added. In conclusion, the Kuwaiti envoy expressed hope that this conference would be a “success” in further developing cultural, political and economic ties with both Arab and South American countries. —KUNA


New PM exposes divisions in Egypt

Homs, a Syrian city ripped apart by sectarian killing Page 8

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RABAT: Abdelilah Benkirane, general secretary of the Justice and Development Party (PJD) raises his fist as he arrives at the party’s headquarters in Rabat yesterday. Morocco’s moderate Islamists said yesterday they were poised for an unprecedented electoral win, the latest religious party to achieve spectacular gains on the back of the Arab Spring. — AFP

Islamists claim victory in Moroccan poll King backs gradual change; PJD pushes Islamic finance RABAT: Morocco’s Justice and Development Party (PJD) claimed victory yesterday in a parliamentary election that should produce a stronger government after King Mohammed ceded some powers to prevent any spillover from Arab Spring uprisings. The PJD, supported largely by Morocco’s poor, would be the second moderate Islamist party to lead a North African government since the start of the region’s Arab Spring uprisings, following Tunisia. But the party, which hopes to push Islamic finance but vows to steer clear of imposing a strict moral code on society, will have to join forces with others to form a government. “Based on the information that we have received so far, we are set to exceed our expectations. I think we are on course to obtain between 90 and 100 seats,” said Abdelilah Benkirane, leader of the PJD, referring to the 395-seat chamber. Government officials could not immediately confirm the party’s assertion, which would be make the PJD one of Morocco’s most successful political parties in recent history. The king revived a reform process this year hoping to sap the momentum out of a protest movement and avoid the violence-ridden revolts in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen and Syria. He has handed over more powers to the government, although he retains the final say on the economy, security and religion. Some 13.6 million Moroccans out of a population of about 33 million were registered to vote in


in brief

Gaza rocket hits Israel JERUSALEM: Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired a Qassam rocket into the Eshkol region of southern Israel yesterday morning causing no casualties, Israeli police said. Earlier this month, the Israeli chief of staff warned MPs that repeated rocket fire from Gaza will push Israel into taking “aggressive” action in the Gaza Strip. “One round after another; we shall in the end need to move to broader, more aggressive action in the Gaza Strip,” Benny Gantz said on November 15, just hours before Gaza-based militants fired rockets into southern Israel. Egypt deports 3 Americans CAIRO: Egypt yesterday deported three American students arrested during protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to demand an end to military rule, an airport official said. The three students of the American University in Cairo were ordered released on Thursday after three days in custody. According to the official MENA news agency, the trio had been arrested with a bag allegedly containing a water bottle filled with petrol-as clashes raged around Tahrir between police and protesters. Thousands of protesters had since Friday converged on Tahrir-the epicenter of protests that toppled Hosni Mubarak-to demand that the ruling military hand power to a civilian authority. Ex-Libyan PM loses extradition appeal TUNIS: A Tunisian appeals court has upheld the extradition of Libya’s prime minister during the last years of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, the final step in the appeals process. The late Friday decision in the Tunis court means Al-Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi has run out of appeals and can now be sent back to Libya, pending the approval of Tunisia’s government and president.

the country’s ninth election since independence from France in 1956. Voter turnout stood at 45 percent, Interior Minister Taib Cherkaoui said, up from a record low in 2007 when only 37 percent of 15.5 million registered voters turned out. The ministry has not accounted for the change in registered voters. The polls “took place under normal conditions and a under a climate of mobilisation marked by fair competition and respect of electoral laws”, Cherkaoui told reporters. The first results will be issued later, the minister added. In contrast to previous elections, Friday’s vote was expected to be a closely-run contest between PJD and a new coalition of liberals with close ties to the royal palace. But Mustapha Al Khalfi, a member of PJD’s politburo, sounded a note of caution among the cries of victory. “We have to wait for the final results because there was a lot of fraud, so we hope that it will not cost us what should be a resounding victory for our party,” he said. Lahcen Haddad, a prominent member of the so-called Alliance for Democracy, declined to comment. Driss Yazami, who heads the official National Council for Human Rights, told the private Aswat radio that observers had recorded violations, including some potential voters being given food. “It did not reach a scale that can affect the overall course of the polls,” Yazami said. The king will pick the next prime minister from the par-

ty that wins the biggest number of seats. But whichever party or bloc comes first is unlikely to be able to form a government on its own. PJD has said it aims to obtain a majority by joining forces with three parties in the current governing coalition, including the left-wing Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) and the nationalist Istiqlal of Prime Minister Abbas Al Fassi. Economists are keen to see the polls leading to the creation of a cohesive government that would be able to narrow a growing budget deficit, cut a 30-percent-plus youth unemployment rate and address the needs of 8.5 million destitute Moroccans. Since becoming king in 1999, King Mohammed won international praise for his efforts to repair a dark legacy of human right abuses under the 38-year rule of his late father King Hassan. But his reform drive lost momentum over the last few years. There remains a vocal minority who say his revived reforms are not enough. Thousands of people joined protests in sever-

Blasts kill 15 in Iraq BAGHDAD: Bomb attacks in central Iraq killed at least 15 people and wounded more than 20 yesterday, security officials and a doctor said. The latest bombings came two days after triple blasts killed 19 people in the southern port city of Basra. In the first attack, bombs on each side of the main road from Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad, to Fallujah hit a truck carrying construction workers, First Lieutenant Omar Zawbai of the Abu Ghraib police said. Dr Omar Delli of Fallujah Hospital said “the hospital received seven bodies and seven wounded,” two of whom later died. An interior ministry official put the casualty toll at eight dead and 13 wounded from the Abu

Ghraib attack. The official also said three bombs exploded in the Baab Al-Sharqi area of central Baghdad, killing seven people and wounding 28 others. A defense ministry official put the toll from the Baghdad blasts at eight dead and 16 wounded. Three bombs exploded in Basra on Thursday, killing 19 people, including highranking army and police officers, and wounding at least 65. Basra provincial council sacked three top security officers the next day. Violence has declined nationwide since its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks remain common. A total of 258 people were killed in October, according to official figures.— AFP

Saudi dynasty should quit: Iran’s top cleric TEHRAN: Saudi Arabia’s ruling Al-Saud dynasty should give up power, a hardline senior Iranian cleric said, warning that the fate of Egypt’s toppled president Hosni Mubarak awaits Saudi King Abdullah. “You should give up power and leave it to the people. They will establish a people’s government,” Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati said in the weekly Muslim prayers at Tehran University. “It is better for the Al-Saud to awaken. The fate of the Egyptian pharaoh (Hosni Mubarak) and that of the (fallen) strongmen in Libya and Tunisia, ultimately, awaits the Saudi pharaoh (King Abdullah)... You should be careful,” he said, as worshippers chanted

“Death to Al-Saud.” His remarks, broadcast on state radio, follow protests this week among the Shiite minority in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich east, resulting in four deaths since Sunday. Shiite activists in Arab states of the Gulf are frequently accused of having links with their co-religionists in the Islamic republic. On Wednesday, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal accused Iran of interfering in neighboring Gulf states. Tensions have heightened between Tehran and Riyadh following US allegations of an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington, something Tehran has repeatedly denied. —AFP

al cities last weekend to back calls for a boycott of the election. “Today marked a victory for the boycott,” said Najib Chawki, an activist with the February 20 Movement, which has been leading protests since February to demand a British- or Spanish-style monarchy and an end to corruption. “Only 6 million out of 21 million Moroccans eligible to vote took part in the polls. This sends a strong signal to authorities that Moroccans are not buying the proposed reforms. We will not give up until our demands are met,” Chawki said. The movement plans new nationwide protests on Dec 4.— Reuters



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In Egypt’s election, youth seek their own voice CAIRO: Just days ahead of Egypt’s first election since Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow, young activists organized their own vote for a civilian council to guard their revolution from military rulers they no longer trust to oversee a transition to democracy. The youthful activists who were at the forefront of the uprising that toppled Mubarak in February are back in the streets, this time challenging the generals still in power. The past of week of violence, in which 42 civilians were killed, has overshadowed the parliamentary election that begins on Monday and has forced the army to name a new prime minister. Young protesters reject Kamal Ganzouri, 78, who served in that post under Mubarak in the 1990s, as a man of the past, and are pushing for his replacement by a leader of their choicehence the impromptu “election” with ballot papers and pamphlets in Cairo’s Tahrir Square this week. But young activists are also keen to make their voices heard in the parliamentary election, despite the formidable challenge of competing against established politicians and groups such as the Muslim Brotherhoodwho they feel are more interested in securing seats than in honoring the goals of the revolution. They worry that the revolution they started was incomplete and they feel unrepresented by existing political parties. So hundreds of them are running in the election and thousands are mobilizing voters and watching out for electoral abuses. “Tahrir Square and all squares across the country are regaining the revolution from the hands of parties that have traded it in for power and those who avoided coming back to the place where freedom was born,” said one pamphlet distributed in Tahrir, where protesters have been camped out for a week. Although a quarter of Egypt’s 80 million people are aged between 18 and 29, youth candidates may not necessarily win seats in the election. They believe it is vital to competeand also to make their voices heard in the street. TAHRIR’S PARLIAMENT “The revolution is in the square!” thousands chanted

in Tahrir, near a banner reading “Here lies the true parliament”. When the latest turmoil erupted, many of the youthful candidates suspended their campaigns and returned to Tahrir. Plunging into politics involves a steep learning curve in a country where elections were

“Whether we win or lose in this election, we’ll keep going. We will evaluate our mistakes, learn from them and prepare for the next battle. There are still many to fight,” said youth activist and parliamentary candidate Shahir George. “The street will always be there,” he

CAIRO: Egyptian demonstrators shout slogans at a protest camp outside the prime minister’s office in Cairo as part of ongoing demonstrations calling for an end to the military rule yesterday. — AFP routinely rigged for 30 years under Mubarak, whose now-dissolved National Democratic Party faced opposition only from a handful of officially approved parties, and sometimes from “independent” Muslim Brotherhood candidates.

added with a smile. When young Egyptians rose up nearly a year ago, Mubarak was 82. Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, who leads the military council that replaced him, is 76. Kamal Ganzouri, the council’s latest pick for prime minister, is 78.

That makes Egypt look like a country for old men, something a young generation of activists is determined to change. “The new Egypt will be more youthful because youth have thrust themselves upon the political scene,” Abdullah Helmy, a member of the newly formed Reform and Development Party, said. “All political groups are now racing to strengthen themselves with those youth,” said Helmy, who formed a union of activists in Tahrir during the anti-Mubarak uprising. He now coordinates the party’s election list, which he says includes more than 140 young candidates to attract voters looking for a clean break from the relics of the past. CANDIDATE’S DREAM Hanging up bright yellow posters with a ‘Yes to Youth’ slogan, 34-year-old candidate Yasser Ali, who never voted in the Mubarak era, says Egypt’s future lies in the hands of its youth. “It is a dream and a goal that an ordinary citizen who does not belong to any party may have a voice in parliament. Change won’t happen through political calculations or agendas, it will only come through the spirit we had in the square,” he said. With a dozen other volunteers, Ali walks the streets of his district, handing out pamphlets and talking to voters in a last-minute appeal that he hopes will turn the odds in his favor. “People genuinely want youth in parliament, they are sick of the old people, the ties and the suits. They want our young force to be unleashed,” said Ali, who owns a small business. But he is virtually unknown in a district where more than 100 other candidates are running. Egypt’s new constituencies are bigger than before, making it hard for newcomers to break in. Most youth candidates simply don’t have the money or resources. In the past, many NDP and other candidates used money and favours to buy votes to secure parliamentary seats from which to further their business interests under a cloak of immunity. —Reuters

Arabs prepare sanctions to punish defiant Syria Sanctions could target flights, central bank

HOMS: A Syrian medic shows the body of Nafla Al-Darwish, a 37-year-old and seven-month pregnant woman who was gunned down in Bayada neighborhood, at a hospital in the flashpoint city of Homs. — AFP

Homs, a Syrian city ripped apart by sectarian killing HOMS: Adnan, an Alawite from Zahra, lies dead in the Al-Ahli hospital, his face ripped by an axe, while at a nearby public hospital women dab clean the corpse of Nafla, a Sunni Muslim woman gunned down in Bayada neighborhood. Eight months after the start of the Syrian uprising against the regime of Bashar Al-Assad, killings are on the rise in the flashpoint Homs region, and they are increasingly taking a sectarian bent. Men with weapons have put this central region of 1.6 million people under siege and Sunni Muslims and Alawites, a minority Shiite branch that includes the ruling Assad family among its adherents, lay the blame for this bloodletting clearly at each other’s doorsteps. “My father Adnan Al-Ali, a truck driver, was heading to his garage on Thursday morning when he was kidnapped by masked gunmen,” explained his son Ali, 24. “Three hours later, his body was thrown into the street,” he went on. “There was a bullet in his neck and his face had been ripped by an axe,” he said as his younger brother, Abdel Karim, screamed out insults against the city’s Sunni population. A few streets away, under a tent, a family mourns the death of Hassan al-Hussein, 46, a Shiite soldier gunned down while riding his scooter to fetch a cylinder of gas. One of the mourners, Shadi Halabi, 25, pays his respects. He fears his father Jamal may have met a simi-

lar fate. He has not heard from him for four months. “He disappeared on his way to work,” Halabi said. In Homs, the old neighborhoods are Sunni and the newer ones, such as Zahra and Nizha built 40 years ago, are Alawite. “Your faith is not indicated on your identity card, but the killers will know it by the neighborhood,” said Mohamed Jubaili, a 48-year-old engineer. The husband of Nafla Al-Darwish, the woman lying in a public hospital murdered at 37 and seven months pregnant, does not want to speak. When the doctors have finished their work, the man collapses in grief over his wife’s corpse, draped in a thin green sheet. “The army is here to protect the people,” said one Sunni man accompanying him, brewing in bitter sarcasm. Explanations for Nafla’s death differ. A doctor in the hospital said she was mowed down by a single bullet fired from a passing car. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a human rights group, said she was killed during a house search. Outside the hospital, three refrigerated trucks have become makeshift morgues containing 80 unclaimed bodies. Syrian laws demands that hospitals keep corpses for one month before they can be buried. According to Basam Al-Mohamed, a medical examiner, in Homs there were 200 killings in October and 250 so far in November. —AFP

Libya displays treasures looted by Gaddafi troops TRIPOLI: Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi stole ancient Roman artefacts when they fled Tripoli, bundled them into sacks and planned to sell them abroad, Libya’s new rulers said yesterday as they displayed the haul for the first time since its recovery. The artefacts-a collection of 17 stone heads, most the size of tennis balls, and terracotta fragments dating from the second or third centuries A.D.-were recovered on Aug. 23 when anti-Gaddafi fighters intercepted a convoy of loyalists heading south from Tripoli. “All of them (the artefacts) date back to Roman times but with very strong local influence,” said Saleh Algabe, director of the Antiquities Department in the new Libyan government. “They were captured in cars belonging to Gaddafi militia which shows they were probably planning to smuggle them out of the country to fund their fight,” against the new Libyan leadership, Algabe told a news conference. The carved stone heads in the collection appear to have been detached from statues. A section of a tile with what looked like an image of a dog decorated on it was also displayed. The items were shown in public for the first time yesterday at a ceremony when

the government’s security committee handed them over to the antiquities department. “It (the collection) is important because it is very rare,” said Algabe.” These pieces confirm the contribution of the Libyan people to early human civilization.” Libya was home to thriving Roman outposts beginning around the first century AD. One Roman emperor, Septimius Severus, was born in Leptis Magna, on the site of the modern Libyan town of Khoms. He turned his hometown into a model Roman city and large parts of it are still intact. Officials said they were not sure if the items were stolen from a state institution because specialists were still conducting an inventory of government-owned antiquities. Mustafa Terjuman, a security official with Libya’s interim leadership, said the haul was recovered on the day anti-Gaddafi rebels marched into Tripoli, forcing most loyalist troops to flee. “The revolutionaries found a unit of Gaddafi soldiers on the airport road (leading south out of Tripoli),” said Terjuman. “There was a heavy battle, and as a result the Gaddafi troops left a number of vehicles. In one of the vehicles was a sack with these items.”—Reuters

BEIRUT: Arab officials is preparing sanctions against Syria over its failure to let Arab League monitors oversee an initiative aimed at ending a violent crackdown on protesters seeking an end to President Bashar Al-Assad’s rule. Damascus missed a Friday deadline to sign an agreement under which the Arab League planned to send observers to Syria, where the United Nations says 3,500 people have been killed since the start of the uprising in March. Despite Syria’s pledge this month to withdraw its army from urban areas and let in the monitors, the violence has continued, prompting reprisals from the Arab League, stinging rebukes from Turkey and French proposals for humanitarian intervention. Damascus, where the Assad family has ruled for 41 years, says regional powers helped incite the violence, which it blames on armed groups targeting civilians and its security forces. The opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said yesterday at least 30 people were killed the day before including 13 members of Assad’s security forces, most of them killed in a clash with army deserters in the eastern Deir AlZor province. Activists said government forces shot dead at least four demonstrators in Damascus on Friday who were appealing for foreign intervention to stop the crackdown. Two other civilians were killed in raids on their homes, they said. Arab ministers had warned that unless Syria agreed to let

monitors in, they could consider imposing sanctions including suspending flights to Syria, stopping dealings with the central bank, freezing Syrian government bank accounts and halting financial dealings. They could also decide to stop commercial trade with the Syrian government “with the exception of strategic commodities so as not to impact the Syrian people”, the ministers said. The League’s economic and social council, which can comprise officials or ministers, will meet to prepare recommendations for a meeting of foreign ministers the next day. Syria’s economy is already reeling from months of unrest, aggravated by US and European sanctions on oil exports and several state businesses. NO MORE TOLERANCE In neighboring Turkey, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said his country could take steps alongside the Arab League if Syria did not respond to the proposal for observers positively. “I want to say clearly we have no more tolerance for the bloodshed in Syria,” he said. The stepped-up pressure followed a French proposal for “humanitarian corridors” to be set up through which food and medicine could be shipped to alleviate civilian suffering. The French plan could link Syrian civilian centers to the frontiers of Turkey and Lebanon, to the Mediterranean coast or to an airport,

and enable supply of humanitarian supplies or medicines to people in need. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said the plan fell short of a military intervention but acknowledged that humanitarian convoys might need armed protection. Foreign powers are seeking to persuade Damascus to accept such a scheme, diplomats say. “So far they haven’t said no, so we may be able to convince them,” said a Western diplomatic source. “As long as we are in the humanitarian dimension it is harder for countries like Syria to refuse to allow aid to civilians.” Without Syrian agreement, the only way humanitarian corridors could work is if they were backed by force, ideally supported by a UN resolution. Some measure of comfort for Assad has come from longtime ally Russia, China and some other countries that have voiced opposition to sanctions and warned against a foreign military intervention. “At the current stage, what is needed is not resolutions, not sanctions, not pressure, but internal Syrian dialogue,” Russian Foreign Ministr y spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said. Lukashevich said Russia supported the Arab League’s call for a halt to the violence but that “radical opposition” groups with foreign support shared the blame. Outside military intervention was “absolutely unacceptable”, he said. After a meeting in Moscow on Thursday, diplomats from Russia, China and the other

three emerging-market BRICS countries - Brazil, India and South Africa also warned against foreign intervention without UN backing. PILOTS KILLED Alongside the mainly peaceful protests, armed insurgents have increasingly attacked military targets in recent weeks. Officials say 1,100 members of the security forces have been killed since the outbreak of uprising. State news agency SANA reported funerals of 22 security force members yesterday, including six pilots killed in an attack on an air force base between Homs and Palmyra two days earlier which the army says was carried out by an “armed terrorist group”. “This confirms the involvement of foreign elements and their support of these terrorist operations in an effort to weaken the fighting capabilities of our forces,” the army said on Friday. The account fits the government narrative that it faces an armed insurrection by trouble -makers backed by its enemies, rather than a largely peaceful pro-democracy movement inspired by the Arab Spring revolts which toppled the rulers of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya and may have forced out Yemen’s president. State television showed footage of thousands of people demonstrating in the Mediterranean city of Latakia yesterday, condemning the Arab League for taking a stance against Syria and chanting in support of Assad.— Reuters

New PM exposes divisions in Egypt CAIRO: The army’s choice of prime minister has polarized debate in Egypt, riling protesters in Tahrir Square who see him as a throwback to Hosni Mubarak’s rule and pleasing others who view him as a “clean pair of hands” with the skills to restore order. The divisions over Kamal Ganzouri, 78, may serve to highlight the army’s argument that protesters in central Cairo, demanding an immediate end to military rule, do not represent the whole nation of 80 million people. But the military may also have found there were few people willing to take on the job of guiding government in a country convulsed by violence and protests on the eve of its first free election in decades, and heading into a deep economic crisis. Ganzouri, who was prime minister for almost four years between 1996 and 1999, acknowledged it would be a thankless job. “The person who takes responsibility now faces a big challenge because right now it is better for any official to stay at home,” he said in his first public statement on Friday. He asked the army for “a little time” to form a cabinet. Friday’s response from Tahrir, where protesters have stayed for a week and often clashed violently with police in nearby streets, was swift. One of the chants in the square was: “Egypt is in a revolution against the militar y council and Ganzouri.” For protesters, the appointment deepened their distrust of the generals: instead of responding to calls for a deep purge, they had revived an old face. “Why are they picking Ganzouri now? This shows that the army is unwilling to let go of any power by recycling a former ally. This government won’t have any powers, why else pick someone that is loyal to them,” said protester Mohamed El Meligy, 20. Some in the square had wanted Mohamed ElBaradei, the former UN diplomat, or Abdel Moneim Abul Futuh, an Islamist-both presidential candidates. Even if

offered the job, activists said it was unlikely they would have accepted terms offered by the army that could have limited their power or undermined their future political plans. ECONOMIC LIBERALISER The army, however, has said those in Tahrir do not represent all of Egypt. Outside the square, many Egyptians backed Ganzouri, saying he was not a Mubarak lackey and had been driven out. “It is the government (of Mubarak) that pushed (Ganzouri) away. They were threatened by him ... He is trustworthy and he has a good economic and administrative background to deal with issues such as budget deficits,” said Waleed Shaffai, 25. Shortly before Mubarak quit, the state daily AlGomhuriya, a newspaper loyal to the president, accused Ganzouri’s cabinet of “weak management, arrogance, aloofness, paralysis and self-love.” The new prime minister was an economic liberalizer

but far more cautious than the government of Ahmed Nazif, who headed the cabinet in Mubarak’s final years in office. Ganzouri virtually balanced the budget-the deficit has now expanded sharply-and reined in inflation to a modest 3.6 percent. One of today’s biggest public grumbles is surging prices. But foreign investors criticized Ganzouri at the time for not moving faster in selling off state assets and other policies. Nazif did move more swiftly, and angered many Egyptians who blamed his cabinet for lining the pockets of the rich at the expense of the poor. Egypt desperately needs a government with economic credibility. Economists say the country is heading rapidly towards a currency crisis. Foreign reserves have tumbled $14 billion since the end of 2010 to $22 billion in October, as the uprising has sapped confidence. The Egyptian pound has slid to its weakest to the US dollar since January 2005. —Reuters

CAIRO: Kamal El-Ganzouri, Egypt’s newly-appointed Prime Minister (left) meets with Egypt’s military ruler, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the head of SCAF, The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, in Cairo. — AP



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London’s Lord Mayor: A modern philanthropist LONDON: The most famous Lord Mayor of London, Dick Whittington, immortalized in traditional British pantomimes, gave all his money to charity on his death nearly 600 years ago. The latest incumbent of the 800-year-old office, David Wooton, is not advocating that for himself or his colleagues in the financial district, but he is suggesting some people could be more philanthropic. “People who do some (philanthropy) could do more, and there are people who do little who can definitely do more,” Wooton, who will for 12 months be responsible for championing London’s financial district, told Reuters. That is not to say the softly spoken 61-year-old corporate lawyer thinks the district, known as the City, is not already generous, pointing to the tens of millions of pounds donated by businesses and individuals each year to good causes. But from his

office at one of London’s grandest Georgian-era palaces, with its abundance of mahogany furniture and green and gold velvet furnishings, one of his first jobs has been to address an “Occupy” protest against banker bonuses and directors’ pay. Camped outside St Paul’s Cathedral just meters from the lord mayor’s 250-year-old residence, the protest has raised questions about equality and wealth distribution and has drawn concerned responses from politicians, and financial and church leaders. The demonstration copies others around the world, most notably in New York, and has spotlighted not only pay but also close ties between politicians, financiers and the Church and the role they play in society. CHAMPION OF SQUARE MILE The job of Lord Mayor is one of the grandest

in the British establishment, a ceremonial figurehead for the oldest continuous municipal democracy in the world, the City of London Corporation, which has jurisdiction over the capital’s financial centre. His promotional role differs from that of the Mayor of London, currently Boris Johnson, who is responsible for the strategic governance of the whole of London, including policing, transport and planning, and who is elected by the public. The City of London Corporation has not escaped the protesters’ wrath since they pitched their 200 tents outside London’s domed cathedral after failing in their original target, the London Stock Exchange. Locked in a legal dispute with the corporation over an eviction order, they have questioned its transparency. Wooton, sipping tea from a bone china cup, said it was

healthy that the Occupy protesters were shining a light on issues that resonated with the public. He said he disapproved of pay structures tilted towards the short-term, where too much was guaranteed regardless of performance and too much paid in cash rather than deferred, though he said progress had been made on improving this. But he rejected a remuneration cap because it could lead to the City becoming uncompetitive. “Persuade people to change or justify it (pay), because some pay rises will be justified, and some will not,” he said. He also criticized the camp for being a “distraction” to the debate. Wooton, a Methodist, rejected accusations that the City was immoral or unethical. “The City’s harshest critics were in the City long before the protesters arrived,” he said. — Reuters

Governor Brownback faces online trashing Kansas governor tattles on teen’s rude tweet

GORKI: Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev (right) speaks with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during a regular meeting of the Russia-Belarus Union State’s Supreme State Council at the Gorki residence outside Moscow, on November 25, 2011. — AFP

Putin riding back to the presidential seat MOSCOW: Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will be nominated to run in Russia’s March presidential polls today in a ruling party congress that hopes to ride its leader’s coattails into next week’s legislative polls. The United Russia gathering in Moscow is expected to offer plenty of pomp and patriotic fervor but little suspense after Putin in September accepted a well-choreographed proposal to swap jobs with President Dmitry Medvedev. Russia’s ruling tandem has since been busy rallying support for its party ahead of December 4 elections to the State Duma in which United Russia is expected to lose some of its current dominance while still coming in first. And the focus today will be squarely on Putin-an exKGB man who has been Russia’s most popular figure since his 2000-2008 presidency-as United Russia tries to absorb his charisma and associate itself more closely with his name. “ With a candidate like Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, we are confident of our victory,” United Russia party secretary Sergei Neverov said on the eve of today’s meeting. The Luzhniki stadium event will be broadcast live across the nation and attended by some 11,000 delegates who besides Medvedev and the top ministers will include famous sports figures and members of Russia’s cultural elite. United Russia will hope to get a boost from the festivities after the publication of two pre-election polls showing the party losing Duma seats for the first time since it stormed the lower house of parliament in 2003. The independent Levada centre

showed United Russia’s support slipping from the 64.3 percent it enjoyed in the 2007 elections to just 53 percent today. This would leave Putin’s party holding 253 of the Duma’s 450 seats-well down on the current 315 figure and below the two-thirds constitutional majority needed for the Kremlin to change Russia’s basic law without outside support. A poll conducted by the state -run V TsIOM agency showed United Russia doing only marginally better with 262 seats. Both studies showed the Communist Part coming in second with about a fifth of the legislature and Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s ultra-nationalist LDPR party placing third with almost 60 seats. A populist group called A Just Russia that has a pro-Kremlin voting record despite official status as a member of the opposition would be the last to sneak past the seven-percent barrier permitting parties to get Duma seats. This breakdown has stirred deep resentment from opposition forces that have either been denied registration or had become too enfeebled since Putin’s rise to power to pose a serious election threat. A series of anti-government demonstrations were scheduled for central Moscow and Saint Petersburg on Saturday afternoon while United Russia held last-minute preparations for its congress. Putin’s presidential nomination will be the first among the major Russian parties. The Communist Party has also confirmed plans to field a candidate. Its leader Gennady Zyuganov has lost badly in three previous races. — AFP

MOSCOW: Russian opposition supporters take part in a rally in central Moscow yesterday, a week ahead of the Parliament’s election in Russia. Hundreds of disgruntled voters from both the nationalist and democratic blocs rallied on the main squares of Moscow and Putin’s native Saint Petersburg to mark what some said would be the start of United Russia’s decline. — AFP

CHICAGO: The governor of Kansas faced an online trashing yesterday for tattling on a teenaged girl who sent out a critical tweet during a visit to the state capitol. Emma Sullivan, 18, was hauled into her principal’s office and ordered to write letters of apology after one of Governor Sam Brownback’s office contacted the tour organizer to complain about the offending note on the social networking site Twitter. “Just made mean comments at Gov Brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot,” Sullivan wrote, despite not saying anything to Brownback during the visit—she said she wrote it to get a laugh out of her friends. The principal “laid into me about how this was unacceptable and an embarrassment,” Sullivan later told the Wichita Eagle. “He said I had created this huge controversy and everyone was up in arms about it... and now he had to do damage control.” Sullivan had just 60 followers on Twitter when she wrote the offending note Monday. Two days later her story hit the local news ahead of the generally

slow Thanksgiving holiday weekend. By Friday morning, she was on CNN discussing the issue of censorship and free speech. A lively discussion filled a dedicated Facebook page. Nearly 1,300 new people signed up to follow her Twitter feed, which until that point had been primarily devoted to her thoughts on the Twilight series and other typical teen musings. “I’m mainly shocked that they would even see that tweet and be concerned about me,” Sullivan-who did not immediately return a request for commenttold the paper Wednesday. “I just honestly feel they’re making a lot bigger deal out of it than it actually was.” Brownback’s office regularly monitors social media for references to the Republican governor to see what his constituents are saying about him, spokeswoman Sherriene Jones-Sontag told the Eagle. His secretary forwarded a copy of the tweet to organizers of the school-sponsored event “so that they were aware what their students were saying in regards to the governor’s appearance,” she said. “We just felt it was

Reagan, Bush ‘not criminally’ liable in Iran-Contra scandal WASHINGTON: One of the prosecutors who investigated the Iran-Contra affair concluded two decades ago that neither Ronald Reagan nor George HW Bush was criminally liable in the scandal that tarnished the presidencies of both men, according to reports made public Friday. Associate independent counsel Christian Mixter reached that conclusion in 1991 even though he found that President Reagan was briefed in advance about every weapon shipment sold to Iran in the armsfor-hostages deals in 1985-86. In a separate report on Bush, Mixter wrote that the then-vice president was chairman of a committee that recommended mining the harbors of Nicaragua in 1983. Mixter ’s reports were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request from the National Security Archive, a nonprofit research group, which released them on the 25th anniversary of the Iran-Contra scandal. At a Nov 25, 1986, White House news conference, Reagan and thenAttorney General Edwin Meese disclosed that money from the arms sales to Iran had been diverted to the Contra guerrillas fighting the leftist government of Nicaragua after Congress had cut off military aid to the rebels. Mixter concluded it would be difficult to prosecute Reagan for violating the Arms Export Control Act mandating congressional notification of arms transfers through a third country - Israel in the case of the Reagan White House’s secret arms sales to Iran in 1985. The reason, said Mixter, was that Meese had told Reagan the National Security Act could be invoked to supersede the export control act. Mixter ’s March 1991 report to his boss, Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh, and his team of prosecutors noted that they were actively investigating Bush, who by then had become president. “As we have discussed,” Mixter wrote to Walsh and the other prosecutors, “there is an outstanding area of investigation that could conceivably lead to wholly new evidence regarding Mr Bush’s role in Iran-Contra.” The topic concerned possible knowledge by Bush of secret military support for the Contras, including the recommendation to mine the Nicaraguan harbors. A year after Mixter wrote his reports, Walsh obtained a grand jury indictment charging former Reagan administration Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger with concealing his detailed notes of the controversy from investigators. Bush pardoned Weinberger and five other IranContra figures shortly before the former defense secretary was to go on trial in a case in which Bush could well have been summoned as a witness either by prosecutors or defense attorneys. Mixter’s reports on Reagan and Bush reflect the absence of evidence demonstrating that Reagan or Bush hid information from investigators. Both men participated in meetings of Reagan and his inner circle in which one or the other covert operations was discussed. “I conclude that President Reagan lacked sufficient information” about what the National Security Council staff was doing, “and the manner in which Congress was deceived, to support a criminal charge that he conspired” with others indicted in the scandal, Mixter wrote. “The record on President Reagan’s awareness of these congressional inquiries is somewhat muddy,” said Mixter. — AP

appropriate for the organizers to be aware... because of what was said in the tweet.” Brownback’s office did not immediately return a request for comment Friday. Sullivan’s school was closed for the holiday, but a spokeswoman for the Shawnee Mission school district told the Eagle that officials would look into the incident on Monday. While it became an embarrassment for her school, the heavy-handed reaction was garnering most of the criticism online. “Good for you! How a ‘small government’ governor can use state resources to harass you is beyond me,” one commentator wrote on Sullivan’s Facebook page. “In general,” spokeswoman Leigh Anne Neal said in an email “students on school-sponsored field trips, in which they are representing the school, would be expected to conduct themselves in accordance with school district policies, including use of electronic devices. “Students may express their personal beliefs, views, and opinions, as long as they do so appropriately and in accordance with school policies.” — AFP

Nuke waste train heads to end of the line in Germany DANNENBERG: Thousands of antinuclear protesters were awaiting the arrival of a train carrying radioactive nuclear waste from France at its destination in northern Germany yesterday. Organizers said they were expecting some 20,000 people to protest in the town of Dannenberg, where the 11 containers of reprocessed German nuclear waste being carried by the train are due to be unloaded. They will then be transported by heavy goods trucks for the final 20 kilometers to Gorleben, where the waste will be stored. A number of largely peaceful protests have slightly slowed the progress of the train since it left Normandy in France on Wednesday. Activists blocked the train tracks at the town of Neunkirchen Friday afternoon where the train stopped for five hours to change engines and television pictures showed activists removing ballast stones from under the tracks in a bid to slow the train’s progress. There were isolated outbreaks of violence on Thursday and Friday in Metzingen, near to Gorleben, where 10 masked people attacked police with bricks and smoke bombs but managed to escape arrest, said an AFP photographer at the scene. Police said unknown assailants had set fire to two patrol cars. Also on Thursday, police deployed

water cannon and tear gas against a few hundred protesters who tried to block the road near Gorleben, resulting in a handful of arrests and light injuries on both sides. The number of protestors expected at Dannenberg is however fewer than half those who turned out this time last year, when Germany was at the height of a debate over nuclear power in the country. In November 2010 tens of thousands of activists protested another shipment, delaying the train by a whole day. Since then, however, in the wake of March’s nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, the German government has decided to abandon atomic power. This appears to have dampened the protests. This is expected to be the last such shipment from France. But from 2014, nuclear waste will be transported to Germany from a British processing plant at Sellafield. In June, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government agreed to halt all German reactors by 2022, forcing energy suppliers to close the plants. But Germany is still debating the problem of storing nuclear waste, which has potentially harmful effects. Environmentalists say that the nuclear radiation in the Gorleben zone exceeds the authorized levels. — AFP

DANNENBERG: Aerial view shows the trucks which will be used to transport the radioactive nuclear waste when it arrives by train in the northern German city of Dannenberg yesterday. The train, carrying 11 wagonloads of German nuclear radioactive waste, left on November 23, 2011 from a yard operated by the French nuclear giant Areva in Valognes. — AFP



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Kirkuk may turn into fertile ground for militants KIRKUK: Iraq’s disputed oil-rich Kirkuk province may turn into fertile ground for militant groups including Al-Qaeda after the US withdrawal, officials from the province warn. Ethnically divided Kirkuk lies at the centre of a tract of territory, which Kurdish leaders want to incorporate in their autonomous region in the north despite the opposition of many of the province’s Arab and Turkmen residents, and of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki. “The US withdrawal and lack of readiness of the Iraqi security forces will be used by forces opposed to the political process, and in particular Al-Qaeda,” Kirkuk provincial council member Sherzad Adel said. Al-Qaeda “want to have a foothold in Kirkuk,” he said, noting that “the conflict between the centre (Baghdad) and the region (Kurdistan), and the failure to resolve problems in Kirkuk are two factors that form fertile ground for terrorism.” US forces have played the role of mediators in Kirkuk, and were involved in setting up the “Golden Lions” unit made up of Arab and Kurdish forces. But all US soldiers except for a small contingent under US embassy authority are to depart Iraq by the end of 2011 leaving a dangerous security vacuum, officials say. “We have indications that Al-Qaeda is reorganizing and coordinating with the other remaining armed groups to launch operations,” said Major General Turhan Abdul Rahman, the deputy director general of the Kirkuk police and commander of its anti-terrorism force. There are signs that operations are in preparation including kidnappings and bomb attacks, Abdul Rahman said. “But

we will stand strong to face them despite the challenges we face today, including the absence of US forces that provided us with aerial reconnaissance and surveillance.” Abdul Rahman expects Al-Qaeda and other militant groups to focus their activities on Kirkuk and other north Iraq cities “because they are trying to stir up

nationalist strife.” General Lloyd Austin, the top US general in Iraq, on Monday also warned about the threat from Al-Qaeda, specifically in Iraq’s north. “We expect that Al-Qaeda will continue to do what it has done in the past,” he said. “We expect that it’s possible that they could even increase in their

BAGHDAD: Army soldiers gather at the scene of a bomb attack in Baghdad yesterday. A series of blasts in central Iraq killed and wounded scores of people, police said. — AP

capability. “Of course, that will depend on how effectively the Iraqi security forces and the government of Iraq are able to focus on that network.” Major General Jamal Taher, the director general of the Kirkuk police, said that his forces were ready to assume security responsibilities from US forces after the withdrawal from Iraq. But Taher warned that “all components” of Kirkuk’s ethnically fragmented society were “subject to terrorism.” Sectarian disputes over Kirkuk pose a threat to today’s fragile status quo. “Kirkuk may be one of the ticking bombs after the US withdrawal from Iraq, especially in the conflict between Arabs and Kurds,” said Ihsan Al-Shammari, a political science professor at Baghdad University. The fate of a US military base in the region sparked a recent ArabKurd row, offering a glimpse of the potential for conflict in the province. Kurdish politicians said that the base should be guarded by police, as the provincial council had voted to turn the base into a civilian airport, and condemned an Iraqi army handover ceremony held on the site. The dispute was eventually resolved with an agreement for the army to guard the base for now, after the Iraqi premier said he was amenable to turning it into a civilian airport. Sheikh Abdulrahman Munshid Aasim, one of the leaders of the Arab Political Council in Kirkuk, said he does not expect “the emergence of Al-Qaeda activity as we have known in 2006 and 2007.” Rather, the conflict will be “Arab-Kurd in areas of common interest, with Kirkuk at its heart, and this is more dangerous than Al-Qaeda’s work.”— AFP

Mexico drug war: Zetas lay claim to Sinaloa turf Increasingly powerful Zetas likely behind brutal killings

WASHINGTON: In this file photo President Barack Obama (left) and Vice President Joe Biden react to cheers as they arrive in the East Room of the White House for the health care bill. — AP

Obama turns to Biden for help in 3 key states WASHINGTON: A year from Election Day, Democrats are crafting a campaign strategy for Vice President Joe Biden that targets the big three political battlegrounds: Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida, states where Biden might be more of an asset to President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign than the president himself. The Biden plan underscores an uncomfortable reality for the Obama team. A shaky economy and sagging enthusiasm among Democrats could shrink the electoral map for Obama in 2012, forcing his campaign to depend on carrying the 67 electoral votes up for grabs in the three swing states. Obama won all three states in 2008. But this time he faces challenges in each, particularly in Ohio and Florida, where voters elected Republican governors in the 2010 midterm elections. The president sometimes struggles to connect with Ohio and Pennsylvania’s white working-class voters, and with Jewish voters who make up a core constituency for Florida Democrats and view him with skepticism. Biden has built deep ties to both groups during his four decades in national politics, connections that could make a difference. As a long-serving member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden cemented his reputation as an unyielding supporter of Israel, winning the respect of many in the Jewish community. And Biden’s upbringing in a working class, Catholic family from Scranton, Pa., gives him a valuable political intangible: He empathizes with the struggles of blue-collar Americans because his family lived those struggles. “Talking to blue-collar voters is perhaps his greatest attribute,” said Dan Schnur, a Republican political analyst. “Obama provides the speeches, and Biden provides the blue-collar subtitles.” While Biden’s campaign travel won’t kick into high gear until next year, he’s already been making stops in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida this fall, speaking at events focused on education, public safety and small businesses and raising campaign cash. Behind the scenes, he’s working the phones with prominent Jewish groups and Catholic organizations in those states, a Democratic official said. Biden is also targeting organized labor, speaking frequently with union leaders in Ohio ahead of a vote earlier this month on a state law that would have curbed collective bargaining rights for public workers. After voters struck down the measure, Biden traveled to Cleveland to celebrate the victory with union members. The Democratic official said the vice president will also be a frequent visitor to Iowa and New Hampshire in the coming weeks, seeking to steal some of the spotlight from the Republican presiden-

tial candidates blanketing those states ahead of the January caucus and primary. And while Obama may have declared that he won’t be commenting on the Republican presidential field until there’s a nominee, Biden is following no such rules. He’s calling out GOP candidates by name, and in true Biden style, he appears to be relishing in doing so. During a speech last month to the Florida Democratic Convention, Biden singled out “Romney and Rick”, criticizing former Massachusetts Gov Mitt Romney for saying the government should let the foreclosure crisis hit rock bottom, and hammering Texas Gov Rick Perry’s assertion that he would send US troops into Mexico. And he took on the full GOP field during an October fundraiser in New Hampshire, saying “There is no fundamental difference among all the Republican candidates.” Democratic officials said Biden will follow in the long-standing tradition of vice presidents playing the role of attack dog, allowing Obama to stay out of the fray and appear more focused on governing than campaigning. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss internal strategy. The Obama campaign has been reluctant to publically define Biden’s role in the re-election bid this early in the run, though campaign manager Jim Messina did say the vice president would deliver an economic message to appeal for support. “You’ll see him in communities across the country next year laying out the choice we face: restoring economic security for the middle class or returning to the same policies that led to our economic challenges,” Messina said. Democrats say Biden will campaign for House candidates in swing states as the party tries to recapture some of the seats in Congress lost during the 2010 midterms. And here again, the vice president’s efforts in politically crucial Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida could be most important. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is targeting 12 districts in those states that Obama and Biden carried in the 2008 presidential race but are represented by Republican representatives. New York Rep Steve Israel, who chairs the committee, said he believes Biden could be a “game-changer” in those districts. “All he has to do is ask voters, has the Republican strategy of no worked for you?” Israel said. Israel met with Obama and Biden at the White House earlier this month to discuss, among other things, their role in congressional campaigns. While Israel said he hopes Obama will actively campaign for Democratic House candidates, he said “the vice president has already volunteered.”— AP

GUADALAJARA: The increasingly powerful Zetas are likely behind the killings of 50 people in strongholds of the rival Sinaloa cartel in western Mexico, analysts say, as a years-long drug war churns on. The message left by the Zetas near some of the 26 corpses found Thursday in Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city, make the targets quite clear: the Sinaloa gang and its fugitive boss, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. The messages also apparently slam an alleged alliance between Guzman and the leaders of Sinaloa state, where 24 bodies were found Wednesday, and Jalisco state, of which Guadalajara is the capital. The killings come two months after a similar massacre in September, when 35 bodies were tipped out of trucks under a busy overpass in the eastern port of Veracruzan act attributed to the Zeta Killers, a group linked to Sinaloa. “Behind the attacks in Guadalajara and Sinaloa, there would appear to be a need for revenge, fueled by the attacks in Veracruz,” Dante Haro, an investigator at the University of Guadalajara said. Haro emphasized the importance of the killings in Guadalajara, a city of more than four million people and relatively unscathed by the drug violence that has claimed some 45,000 lives since a government crackdown began in 2006. “Jalisco state had violence rates that were lower than those in other parts of Mexico, but crime is on the rise there,” Haro said. He noted that authorities in Jalisco had captured several high-level traffickers and a Sinaloa boss was gunned down there in a security operation last year. Those incidents stripped Guadalajara of its prior status as a neutral zone in the drug war, “where the bosses could keep their families safe,” Haro said. Raul Benitez Manuat, an expert at the National Autonomous University of Mexico’s North American Research Center, said a Zetas incursion on Sinaloa turf

could open a new front in a war that has ravaged cities like Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez, on the US border. Monterrey, an industrial center in the north, has seen increased violence in recent months. Until now, the Zetas-set up by former army officers turned hitmen in the 1990s-have operated mostly on the Gulf of Mexico coast in the east of the country. For Manuat, “such a blatant operation could be a harbinger for increased violence, now on the Pacific coast.” In early October, the chief of intelligence for the US Drug Enforcement Administration, Rodney Benson, said the Sinaloa cartel had struck up an alliance against the Zetas with the Gulf cartel in the east

and the La Familia cartel active in the western state of Michoacan. The Guadalajara killings could be the first counter-attack by the Zetas, considered to be the most violent of Mexico’s drug gangs and blamed for spreading extortion, kidnappings and murders. They are believed to have been behind a casino bombing in Monterrey in August that left 52 people dead, as well as the execution of 72 illegal immigrants in August 2010. Some 45,000 deaths have been blamed on rising drug violence since late 2006, when President Felipe Calderon launched a massive crackdown on the drug cartels involving tens of thousands of troops.— AFP

GUADALAJARA: A soldier and police officer stand guard as a van that was discovered carrying bodies inside is taken away in Guadalajara, Mexico. — AP

Journalist who covered JFK assassination dies MONTPELIER: On Nov 22, 1963, Tom Wicker was in the first press bus following John F Kennedy’s motorcade when the president was assassinated. Wicker, The New York Times’ White House correspondent, would later write in a memoir that the day was a turning point for the country: “The shots ringing out in Dealey Plaza marked the beginning of the end of innocence.” At that moment, however, all he knew was that he was covering one of the biggest stories in history. “I would write two pages, run down the stairs, across the waiting room, grab a phone and dictate,” Wicker later wrote. “Dictating each take, I would throw in items I hadn’t written, sometimes whole paragraphs.” Although Wicker didn’t even have a reporter’s notebook that day and scribbled all of his notes on the backs of printed itineraries of the presidential visit, his story captured the detail and color of the tragic events. Wicker died at his home in Rochester, Vermont, after an apparent heart attack Friday morning, his wife, Pamela, said. He was 85. “He’d been ill with things that come from being 85,” she said. “He died in his bedroom looking out at the countryside that he loved.” Wicker grew up in poverty in Hamlet, North Carolina, and wanted to be a novelist, but pursued journalism when his early books didn’t catch fire. He worked at weekly and daily newspapers in North Carolina before winning a spot as a political correspondent in the Times’ Washington bureau in 1960. Three years later, he was the only Times reporter to be traveling with Kennedy when the president was shot in Dallas. Gay Talese, author of the major history of The New York Times, wrote of Wicker’s coverage: “It was a remarkable achievement in reporting and writing, in collecting facts out of confusion, in reconstructing the most deranged day in his life, the despair and bitterness and disbelief, and then getting on a telephone to New York and dictating the story in a voice that only rarely cracked with emotion.” One year later, Wicker was named Washington bureau chief of the Times, succeeding newspaper

legend James Reston, who had hired Wicker and called him “one of the most able political reporters of his generation.” In 1966, Wicker began his “In the Nation” column, becoming, along with colleague Anthony Lewis, a longtime liberal voice on the OpEd page. Two years later, he was named associate editor of the Times, a post he held until 1985. He ended his column and retired to Vermont in 1991 but continued to write. He published 20 books,

WASHINGTON: In this file photo, former New York Times reporter Tom Wicker stands in front of the White House in Washington.— AP ranging from novels about gritty, hard-scrabble life in the South to reflections on the presidents he knew. Among his books was “A Time to Die,” winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award in 1976, which recounted Wicker’s 1971 experience as an observer and mediator of a prison rebellion at New York’s Attica prison. Wicker, the son of a railroad man, started in journalism in 1949 at the weekly Sandhill Citizen in Aberdeen, North Carolina, where he was

paid $37.50 a week to report on such local news stories as the discovery of “the first beaver dam in anyone’s memory on a local creek.” He moved on to a local daily and then to the larger Winston-Salem Journal, where he worked for most of the 50s, with time out in 1957-58 to serve as a Nieman fellow at Harvard University. He went to work for the Nashville Tennessean in 1959 but then a year later was hired by Reston. In mid-1961, when Times veteran Bill Lawrence abruptly quit his post as White House correspondent in a dispute with management, Wicker got the assignment. He said it was a dream assignment - “sooner or later most of the government’s newsworthy business passes through the White House” - and especially covering the excitement of the Kennedy era. After the president’s assassination, he described Jackie Kennedy as she left the hospital in Dallas: “Her face was sorrowful. She looked steadily at the floor,” he wrote. “She still wore the raspberry-colored suit in which she greeted welcoming crowds in Fort Worth and Dallas. But she had taken off the matching pillbox hat she had worn earlier in the day, and her dark hair was windblown and tangled. Her hand rested lightly on her husband’s coffin as it was taken to a waiting hearse.” In 1966, Wicker was named a national columnist, replacing retiring Times’ icon Arthur Krock, who had covered 10 presidents. Wicker’s first column reported on a political rally in Montana. He would later say that it was a huge step to move from detached observer to opinion holder - and especially in the times he was writing. “My own transition from reporter to columnist coincided roughly with the immense American political re-evaluation that sprang in the sixties from the Vietnam War and the movement against it, from the ghetto riots in the major cities, and from the brief flowering of the counterculture,” Wicker wrote in his 1978 book, “On Press.” Wicker was not lacking in opinions, though, and over the years took strong and sometimes unpredictable stands, emphasizing such issues as the nation’s racial divide. —AP



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Nigeria’s Biafra leader Ojukwu dies at 78

ENUGU: A file picture shows former Biafra war leader Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu who died, aged 78, in Britain, the Nigerian presidency announced yesterday. — AFP


in brief

Sri Lanka storm kills 14 COLOMBO: Heavy rains and gale force winds have killed at least 14 people and left more than 30 fishermen missing in southern Sri Lanka, officials said yesterday. Disaster Management centre officials said a total of 14 people were confirmed dead while another 30 were reported missing after coastal areas were lashed by heavy winds on Friday. Officials said nearly 1,500 homes were damaged, with most of them losing their roofs. Sri Lanka depends on monsoon rains for irrigation and power generation, but the seasonal downpours frequently cause death and property damage. Bushfire ravages Australia’s coast PERTH: An Australian bushfire which ripped through a scenic coastal region left some areas looking like a war zone, residents said yesterday as authorities downgraded the alert level. Thirty-four houses, four sheds and nine chalets, including the historic 1865 Wallcliffe House, were lost in the blaze which also damaged a further 16 houses and one shop at Prevelly, Gnarabup and Redgate. “Although the warning was downgraded overnight... a fire threat still exists and may worsen at any time,” Western Australia’s Department of Environment and Conservation’s bushfire advisory said. It is expected it will take a week to fully extinguish the flames which ripped through some 3,363 hectares in the coastal, wine-growing region about 280 kilometers south of the west coast city of Perth. One man who lost his home, Garrath Stewart, said his street had been badly hit by the blaze which burned out his house but left clothes on the washing line in the garden virtually untouched. “Napalm, Vietnam, defoliation-there’s just no vegetation in certain areas-you look out and it’s just sand and dead trees,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation after being taken by bus to see the devastation. India communists demand probe into Maoist killing NEW DELHI: India’s communists and a human rights group condemned yesterday the killing of a top Maoist rebel and suggested that the shootout in which he was killed was staged by security forces. Indian police has been in the spotlight over “fake encounters” or staged killings in the recent past. In 2009, New York-based Human Rights Watch interviewed more than 80 police officers and said nearly all believed illegal detention, torture and even killing were legitimate tools for law enforcement. Police said Maoist military commander Koteshwar Rao, also known as Kishnenji, died Thursday in a gunbattle in a forest in the eastern state of West Bengal, striking a major blow to extreme left-wing fighters who control impoverished but mineral-rich swathes of the country. “The story of the encounter appears to be fake,” Gurudas Dasgupta of the Communist Party of India said, asking for a government probe into whether the rebel leader had been killed in “cold blood”. The government released photographs of the slain 58-year-old rebel commander lying in a pool of blood next to a machine-gun while bullet marks on trees and nearly 100 spent cartridges marked the scene of the shootout.

LAGOS: Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, a millionaire’s son who led Nigeria’s breakaway republic of Biafra during the country’s civil war that left 1 million dead, died in a London hospital yesterday after a protracted illness following a stroke. He was 78. The Biafran war brought the first televised images of skeletal, starving African children to the Western world, a sight repeated in the continent’s many conflicts since. Leaders said the war’s end would leave “No Victor, No Vanquished” - a claim that has yet to be fulfilled as ethnic and religious tensions still threaten the unity of the oil-rich nation more than 40 years later. Maja Umeh, a spokesman for Nigeria’s Anambra state, confirmed Ojukwu’s death yesterday. Anambra state, in the heart of what used to be the breakaway republic, had provided financial support for Ojukwu during his hospital stay. Ojukwu’s rise coincided with the fall of Nigeria’s First Republic, formed after Nigeria, a nation split between a predominantly Muslim north and a largely Christian south, gained its independence from Britain in 1960. A 1966 coup led primarily by army officers from the Igbo ethnic group from Nigeria’s southeast shot and killed Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, a northerner, as well as the premier of northern Nigeria, Ahmadu Bello. The coup failed, but the country still fell under military control. Northerners, angry about the death of its leaders, attacked Igbos living there. As many as 10,000 people died in resulting riots. Many Igbos fled back to Nigeria’s southeast, their traditional home. Ojukwu, then 33, served as the military governor for the southeast. The son of a knighted millionaire, Ojukwu studied history at Oxford and attended a military officer school in Britain. In 1967, he declared the

region - including part of the oil-rich Niger Delta - as the Republic of Biafra. The new republic used the name of the Atlantic Ocean bay to its south, its flag a rising sun set against a black, green and red background. But instead of sparking pan-African pride, the announcement sparked 31 months of fierce fighting between the breakaway republic and Nigeria. Under Gen Yakubu “Jack” Gowon, Nigeria adopted the slogan “to keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done” and moved to reclaim a region vital to the country’s coffers. Despite several pushes by Biafran troops, Nigerian forces slowly strangled Biafra into submission. Caught in the middle were Igbo refugees increasingly pushed back as the front lines fell. The region, long reliant on other regions of Nigeria for food. The enduring images, seen on television and in photographs, show starving Biafran children with distended stomachs and stick-like arms. Despite the efforts of humanitarian groups, many died as hunger became a weapon wielded by both sides. “Was starvation a legitimate weapon of war?” wrote English journalist John de St Jorre. “The hard-liners in Nigeria and Biafra thought that it was, the former regarding it as a valid means of reducing the enemy’s capacity to resist, as method as old as war itself, and the latter seeing it as a way of internationalizing the conflict.” The images fed into Ojukwu’s warnings that to see Biafra fall would see the end of the Igbo people. “The crime of genocide has not only been threatened but fulfilled. The only reason any of us are alive today is because we have our rifles,” Ojukwu told journalists in 1968. “Otherwise the massacre would be complete. It would be suicidal for us to lay down our

Philippines ‘becoming base for cyber crime’ Police, FBI nab hackers funded by Saudi group MANILA: Philippine police and the FBI have arrested four people that Manila said were paid by a militant Saudi Arabian-based group to hack into US telecom AT&T’s system, but the company said it was neither targeted nor breached. The Philippines’ Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said those arrested in Wednesday’s operation in Manila with the Federal Bureau of Investigation were paid by the same group the FBI said had funded the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai. “The hacking activity resulted in almost $2 million in losses incurred by the company,” the CIDG said in a statement. It did not name the group who it said had funded the Mumbai attacks, but

India has blamed the militant Pakistanbased Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) for carrying out the attacks which killed 166 people. AT&T, the No 2 US mobile provider, said it “ended up writing off some fraudulent charges that appeared on customer bills” but did not comment on the $2 million figure. “AT&T and its network were neither targeted nor breached by the hackers,” AT&T spokeswoman Jan Rasmussen said. “AT&T only assisted law enforcement in the investigation that led to the arrest of a group of hackers.” Police said the suspects had hacked into the trunk-lines of different telecom companies, including AT&T, with revenues diverted to accounts of the unnamed Saudi-based group.

Earlier this week, AT&T said it was investigating an attempt to access customer information, but did not believe any accounts had been breached. The CIDG said the FBI sought the help of its Anti-Transnational and Cyber Crime Division (ATCCD) in March after they found the Saudi group had targeted AT&T using the hackers. Among the four arrested was 29-year-old Paul Michael Kwan, who ATCCD chief Police Senior Superintendent Gilbert Sosa said had been arrested in 2007 after the FBI launched an international crackdown on groups suspected of financing militant activities. Sosa said in the statement the Filipinos were being paid by a group

originally run by Muhammad Zamir, a Pakistani arrested in Italy in 2007. He said Zamir was a member of Jemaah Islamiah, a Southeast Asian militant network with links to al Qaeda. “Zamir’s group, later tagged by the FBI to be the financial source of the terrorist attack in Mumbai, India, on November 26, 2008, is also the same group that paid Kwan’s group of hackers in Manila,” Sosa said in the statement. Last month, Philippine police said weak laws against cyber crime and poor technical capabilities had made the country an attractive base for organized crime syndicates involved in cyber pornography, cyber sex dens, illegal gambling, credit card fraud and identity theft.—Reuters

War games spotlight China-Pakistan hype

MAGUINDANAO: File photo shows Ameril Umbrakato (center), leader of a breakaway Muslim separatist group riding a horse in Datu Unsay town, Maguindanao province, the Philippines. Rogue Muslim rebel leader Ameril Umbrakato, whose forces have threatened the peace efforts of the government, has fallen ill, a spokesman for his group said yesterday. However the 65-year-old is not dead despite a flurry of reports of his demise. — AFP

National marches back to power in New Zealand Opposition Labor Party slumps AUCKLAND: The ruling centre-right National Party returned to power in a crushing win in New Zealand’s general election yesterday and secured the backing of minor parties to ensure a majority for asset sales and welfare reforms. National, led by former foreign exchange dealer John Key, was sitting on 48 percent share of the vote on election night. That would give the party 60 seats in the 121-seat parliament from its current 58. Key was guaranteed a second three-year term with the return of current coalition partners, free-market ACT and centrist United Future, each with one member. “New Zealand has voted for a brighter future, and there will be a brighter future,” Key, draped in blue and white streamers, told ecstatic supporters. National campaigned on promises to build on policies of the past three years with an emphasis on sparking economic growth by

arms at this stage.” That final massacre never came. Ojukwu and trusted aides escaped Biafra by airplane on Jan. 11, 1970. Biafra collapsed shortly after. Gowon himself broke the cycle of revenge in a speech in which said there was “no victor, no vanquished.” He also pardoned those who had participated in the rebellion. Ojukwu spent 13 years in exile, coming home after he was unconditionally pardoned in 1982. He returned to politics, but lost a race for a senate seat. He was sent to a maximum-security prison for a year when Nigeria suffered yet another of the military coups that punctuated life after independence. He later wrote his memoirs and lived the quiet life of an elder statesman until he unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Olusegun Obasanjo for the presidency in 2003. Obasanjo served as a colonel in the Biafran war and gave the final statement on rebel-controlled radio announcing the conflict’s end. Despite the long and costly civil war, Nigeria remains torn by internal conflict. Tens of thousands have died in riots pitting Christians against Muslims in the country. Militant groups attack foreign oil firms in the oil-rich Niger Delta while criminal gangs kidnap the middle class. Poverty continues to grind the country. The Igbos, meanwhile, continue to suffer political isolation in the country. While an Igbo man recently became the country’s top military officers, others say they’ve been locked out of higher office over lingering mistrust from the war. Some in the former breakaway region still hold out hope for their own voice, even their own country despite the cataclysmic losses. As did Ojukwu himself. “Biafra,” Ojukwu told journalists in 2006, “is always an alternative.”— AP

cutting debt, curbing spending, selling state assets and returning to a budget surplus by 2014/15. “ The government will be focused on building a more competitive economy, with less debt, more jobs, and higher incomes,” added Key, 52, flanked by his wife and son. The opposition Labor Par ty ’s share of the vote was around 27 percent, which would give it 34 seats, a loss of nine. “It wasn’t our time this time,” Labor leader Phil Goff told supporters. “We’re a bit bloodied, but we’re not defeated.” Under New Zealand’s proportional voting system, parties must secure either a local electorate seat, or 5 percent of the nationwide vote to get into parliament. The final tally of seats could yet change when tens of thousands of absentee votes are counted over the nex t two weeks. Opinion polls published in the last day of the campaign put the National Party up to 25 percent-

age points ahead of Labor. The affable Key has been one of the most popular leaders in New Zealand history and has been seen as a safe pair of hands as he led the country through earthquakes, a coal mine disaster, and the global economic turmoil. He has also benefited from linking himself with film maker Peter Jackson, who is making two movies based on the Hobbit books, and the country’s All Black rugby team, which won the Rugby World Cup on home soil last month. “Of all the politicians that New Zealand could have he’s got the most experience and is best positioned I think to lead us into the future,” said Denis MacNamara, a 63-year-old lawyer from Auckland, as champagne corks popped and supporters danced. Key said the government, including ACT and United Future, would have 62 seats, allowing it to implement major policies, such as asset sales. But he would also look to

renew a deal with the Maori Party representing the interests of indigenous Maori people. “He understands proportional representation. He wants other people with him, including the Maori Par ty,” said Canterbury University political scientist Therese Arsenau. The surprise of the election was the near 7 percent showing for the nationalist New Zealand First Party, led by the mercurial veteran Winston Peters, ousted from parliament in 2008 amid a scandal over secret donations. “Our aim is to be cooperative and constructive...we told people to hang on because help is on its way and tonight it’s arrived,” he said, adding the party would be independent and look to keep the government honest. Of the other parties, the Greens were on track for 13 seats from their current nine, and the Maori Party retained three of the seven seats reserved for Maoris. —Reuters

JHELUM: Paratroopers hurtling head first out of planes, attack helicopters strafing a terror training centre and shacks blown to bits were this week’s latest embodiment of ChinaPakistan friendship. The war games conducted by 540 Chinese and Pakistani soldiers running around scrubland-the fourth joint exercises since 2006 - were ostensibly a chance for China to benefit from Pakistan’s counter-terrorism experience. There was disappointment that fighter jets were unable to carry out a bombing raid, with visibility apparently poor, but the exercises were declared a success in terms of deepening friendship and improving military cooperation. But behind the pomp rolled out for the Chinese, complete with slap-up marquee lunch and bags of presents, the relationship is as transactional as any other, as China competes with Pakistan’s arch-rival India for Asian dominance. And it is far from easy to decipher. “They operate silently so as not to make any statements in public apart from cliches. So one doesn’t know what’s happening,” said retired Pakistani general Talat Masood. China is Pakistan’s main arms supplier, while Beijing has built two nuclear power plants in Pakistan and is contracted to construct two more reactors. But the alliance has been knocked by Chinese accusations that the separatist East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which wants an independent homeland for Xinjiang’s Muslim Uighurs, is training “terrorists” in Pakistani camps. Those accusations mirror long-standing concerns from the United States that Taliban and Al-Qaeda bases are funneling recruits to

fight in Afghanistan and hatch terror plots against the West. During the exercises outside Jhelum, 85 kilometers southeast of Islamabad, generals watched troops attack, clear and destroy a mocked-up training camp, while smoking and sipping cups of tea under a giant tent to keep off winter rays. Chinese deputy chief of staff Hou Shusen and Pakistan’s army chief Ashfaq Kayani sat together in the front row, guests of honor incapable of talking to each other without the help of an interpreter. “We have done our utmost to eliminate this threat of ETIM and other extremists for China because we consider honestly that China’s security is very dear to Pakistan,” Kayani told a news conference after the war games. He said that Pakistan had provided intelligence during the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2010 Shanghai Expo, and reiterated demands for closer military cooperation and larger imports of military hardware from China. Beijing was instrumental in getting the United Nations and United States to blacklist ETIM as a terrorist organization in 2002, but experts have questioned how much of a threat such a small group of people really poses. Pakistani analysts believe members number no more than hundreds and are fairly dispersed in the remote mountains on the Pakistan-China border. Despite that issue, if the language used to describe Pakistan’s febrile relationship with the United States is that of an unhappy couple wishing but unable to divorce, then the hyperbole used to describe China is that of an ecstatic lover. —AFP

AUCKLAND: New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and his wife Bronagh Key wave as they celebrate his victory in the 2011 general election yesterday. — AFP



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FOREST-SUR-MARQUE, FRANCE: French firemen try to extinguish a fire on Friday at a 5,000-sq-m warehouse stocking rolls of paper for a local papermaker in northern France. The fire completely destroyed the hangar, though no casualties have been reported. — AFP

Riyadh urged to embrace Shiites to keep... Continued from Page 1 on pro-democracy protests led by that country’s majority Shiite community. Qatif protesters were back on the street in October demanding the release of those arrested in March. But this week, the interior ministry said two policemen were wounded by gunfire in the confrontations, in an unprecedented development. “This is the first time that gunfire is used in a demonstration,” said the head of the Dubai-based Gulf Research Centre, Abdulaziz Al-Sager. He said the government should clamp down on gunmen, just as it did with Sunni militants from Al-Qaeda who were behind an upsurge of violence in the kingdom between 2003 and 2006. But he also argued the government should appease the Shiites. “The government should work on the political and social front with Shiite leaders who reject foreign meddling,” he said. “The government should act to prevent foreign infiltration.” The governor of the Eastern Province, Prince Mohammed bin Fahd bin Abdul Aziz, is said to

have told Shiite dignitaries that the interior ministry will be probing the deaths of protesters. The head of the Jeddah-based Middle East Centre for Strategic Studies, Anwar Eshki, blamed Iran for the unrest. “Iran wants to cause trouble in Saudi Arabia. This is a matter that goes back more than 20 years, since the (Iranian) pilgrims were mobilised, but they have failed,” he said. In 1987, clashes between Saudi police and Iranian pilgrims demonstrating in Makkah left 402 people dead, including 275 Iranians. “Things appear to have developed, from demonstrations to terrorist attacks ... Saudi Arabia will deal with them in the future on the basis of being terrorists,” he said. In Iran, a hardline senior cleric said on Friday that the Al-Saud dynasty should give up power, warning that the fate of Egypt’s toppled president Hosni Mubarak awaits King Abdullah. “You should give up power and leave it to the people. They will establish a people’s government,” Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati said in the weekly Muslim prayers at Tehran University. — AFP

Kuwait at a crossroads! Continued from Page 1 Kuwait was stricken by an endless wave of strikes over the past few weeks that included Kuwaiti teachers, custom officials and legal staff that shock the whole country causing considerable economic losses, which are but part of the crisis. The government, on the other hand, could only yield to demonstrators’ demands because it lacks proper developed human resources capable of probing the needs of employees even before they demand them and start angrily protesting. The government’s main flaw is that it recruits all applicants and ended up employing the whole populace. At the same time, honest advice provided by Kuwaiti and Arab strategic experts before foreign ones had stressed the importance of involving the private sector in development and employment. Alas, none of this happened, as wage privileges are equal in both sectors. Whereas the government announced intention to turn Kuwait into a regional investment and financial hub, reality was only leading to the opposite direction. Markets retreated and people started feeling the impact of constant economic losses that have been going on since the global financial problem. So far, all government remedies have proved limited and futile in this regard. A few weeks ago, a major ethical problem took place when local banks exposed bank accounts of 14 out of 50 elected MPs where millions had been deposited and rumors started going around that the millions had been

deposited by the government to make sure these MPs would support the government in any parliamentary voting. In protest of such methods, the FM, Sheikh Mohammed Al-Sabah resigned from office. While some observers believed that Kuwait’s political system would be able to regenerate itself through the ruling family’s younger generations, it turned out that the ousting of Sheikh Mohammed Al-Sabah following the footsteps of one of the government’s most powerful political players - Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahd - had contributed to weakening it, which also means that the ruling family’s younger generations who ought to have had major leading roles long ago were out of the frame. Another problem is that most Kuwaitis are below 25, while senior leaders are way too old and middle-aged generations are politically ineffective. For all the above, Kuwait is holding its breath in anticipation whether the Amir would constitutionally dissolve the parliament and call for elections within two months to be followed with forming a cabinet that meets voters’ demands or maintaining the status quo and wait for the next crisis that might be mightier and more raged. In the meantime, the adventurous and bolder youth movements will continue, particularly after they realized some of their potentials last week. Therefore, the political elite has to take youth and public movements as well as political and opposition demands more openly with a futuristic well-studied vision. No matter what the circumstances will be, Kuwait will witness several quakes and reform will not be easy.

Egypt unrest casts shadow over polls Continued from Page 1 who is on trial with Mubarak on charges of ordering protesters to be killed. “Down, down with the marshal,” a group chanted in Tahrir, near tents set up on grassy patches. They were referring to Tantawi, who was Mubarak’s defence minister for 20 years. The Interior Ministry said the protester had been killed by accident, an account backed by Ahmad Zeidan, 18, an activist at the sit-in who said he had seen the youth being run over. “It wasn’t deliberate. They (police) were retreating quickly because (protesters) were throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at them,” he said. The demonstrators had come from Tahrir to confront police vehicles apparently heading for the square. The turmoil of the past week has overshadowed the election, whose initial stage involves Cairo, Alexandria and other areas. One declared reason for the polling marathon is because judges, who retain public respect for their independence, will supervise the election and there are not enough of them available for a single day of nationwide voting. Reflecting security concerns, Ahmed al-Zind, head of Egypt’s Judges Club, told a news conference the organisation had taken out private insurance to cover all the judges involved. Protesters in Tahrir seemed in two minds about the election. Emad Mohamed, 35, wearing a hat in Egyptian national colours, had no faith in the vote, saying it

would enable Mubarak-era politicians to make a comeback. “We do not think it is in our interest. Where are the new parties?” he asked. But Yasser Nasr, assisting at a makeshift clinic, said: “They cannot delay elections. It will mess up the situation. Once they happen, hopefully things will improve.” The Muslim Brotherhood and other mainstream parties which have not joined the protesters in Tahrir want the election to go ahead, eager to establish a strong presence in parliament. They have accepted the army’s transition timetable, but the demonstrators are demanding an immediate end to military rule. Instead, the generals have promised that a new president will be elected by mid-2012, sooner than previously announced. While tens of thousands packed Tahrir Square for what activists dubbed “Last Chance Friday”, at least 5,000 people demonstrated in support of the army in another Cairo square, highlighting splits between youngsters bent on radical reform and people upset by the unrest who want to restore normality. Ganzouri described his task as thankless and “extremely difficult”, saying his priority was to secure the streets and revive the economy. Egypt’s pound has hit a seven-year low and foreign reserves have dropped by a third since Dec 2010. Protest groups have called for another mass rally today to press demands for an immediate transfer of power. — Reuters

Filipina maids hone skills to go abroad Continued from Page 1 to clean them: the window type, the box-type, the splittype.” Nearly 100,000 women in the impoverished Philippines head overseas each year to toil as maids, many of whom come from homes where washing clothes is done by hand and dishes are cleaned in a bucket. For Antaban, passing the month-long training course in Manila is the final step in landing a job in Singapore for $400 a month, nearly six times more than she had been earning as a maid in her hometown in the northern Philippines. “I want to help my mother and younger sister. They need me to support them,” said Antaban, who is unmarried. She said her mother had no work and her sister earned the equivalent of $2.70 a day as a waitress. There is no guarantee Antaban will graduate, with six percent of all students across the country failing the domestic training courses each year, according to the national government’s vocational training department. “Some of the candidates fail the assessment because they cannot operate the vacuum cleaners, the washing machines, the driers,” said Lenny Carreon, who is in charge of the department’s training courses in two districts of Manila. “These are women from poor rural areas. They are not familiar with these state-of-the-art household appliances.” A spike in the number of Filipinas going abroad to work as maids in 2005 prompted the government to order that prospective maids undergo training before being certified to work abroad. This was to address concerns that many poorly educated, unprepared women were not able to cope in foreign environments, and Carreon said that the program had largely been a success. “The people who undergo training, there is an improvement in their skills and level of confidence. They are more competitive,” Carreon said, adding students were taught about foreign cultures as well as domestic duties. At the training centre attended by Antaban, an instructor devoted half a day to teaching the 50 students how to use a washing machine. “Separate the whites and the colours. Be very careful. Don’t be in a hurry and don’t let them mix,” the instructor, Charibel Barrios, called out, inspecting each woman’s basin to make sure they got it

right. In other parts of the course, the women were taught to cook Chinese meals, clean the house and set tables in a style suitable to the culture of Hong Kong and Singapore, their planned future destinations. Windows were also wiped clean with squeegees, while beds were made like in a hotel with blankets and even the edges of pillow cases carefully folded. On another day, the women were taught to polish the floors on their hands and knees, rather than simply by mopping as Filipinos typically do. “When we make you kneel down and wipe the floor, we are not punishing you. We are doing this so your employer will not be angry at you,” explained Barrios. Some of the students said the lessons were humiliating, although this too offered an important lesson about their future careers. “It is painful to have a college degree and then apply as a domestic helper. But I think about my family. I am the one sending my brother and sister to school,” said Janet Quiron, 25, a former schoolteacher. Quiron said she earned just 5,200 pesos ($120) a month as a schoolteacher, but would make four times that in Hong Kong as a domestic helper. Quiron‘s plight is depressingly common in the Philippines, where many give up careers in better-skilled jobs locally to earn more overseas. Over nine million Filipinos, about 10 percent of the population, work abroad. With more than 96,000 women leaving the Philippines last year to work abroad as maids, domestic helpers are the second largest overseas Filipino workforce behind merchant seamen, according to government statistics. The top 10 destinations for Filipina maids are Hong Kong, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Singapore, Bahrain, Oman, Cyprus, and Italy. Annaliza Ambrocio, a former secretary who was attending the Manila training course, said she was planning to join thousands of other Filipinas working in Hong Kong for a second stint overseas after spending two years in Libya. Ambrocio, 38, said she had to go abroad again because her husband’s salary as a gunsmith could not support their family, but she was heartbroken at the prospect of leaving her nine-year-old son. “He is sad I am leaving him again. But I told him not to cry. I told him when I get back, I can buy all the things he wants,” she said, holding back her tears. — AFP

NATO air raids kill 28 Pakistani troops Continued from Page 1 sovereignty” and added, “We will not let any harm come to Pakistan’s sovereignty and solidarity.” Gilani also summoned US ambassador Cameron Munter to lodge a strong protest ahead of crisis talks between civilian and military leaders later yesterday. Munter expressed “regret” over any loss of life and pledged the United States would work “closely” with Pakistan to investigate the incident. Pakistan’s Foreign Office said it would take up the matter “in the strongest terms” with NATO and the United States, while the powerful Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, said in a statement that steps would be taken to respond “to this irresponsible act. “A strong protest has been launched with NATO/ISAF in which it has been demanded that strong and urgent action be taken against those responsible for this aggression.” Two military officials said that up to 28 troops had been killed and 11 wounded in the attack on the outposts, about 2.5 km from the Afghan border. The Pakistani military said 24 troops were killed and 13 wounded. It remains unclear what exactly happened, but the attack took place around 2 am in the Baizai area of Mohmand, where Pakistani troops are fighting Taleban militants. Across the border is Afghanistan’s Kunar province, which has a strong insurgent presence and has seen years of heavy fighting. “Pakistani troops effectively responded immediately in self-defence to NATO/ISAF’s aggression with all available weapons,” the Pakistani military statement said. The commander of NATO-led forces in Afghanistan, General John R Allen, offered his condolences to the family of any Pakistani soldiers who “may have been killed or injured”. Around 40 army troops were stationed at the outposts, military sources said. Two officers were reported among the dead. “They without any reasons attacked on our post and killed soldiers asleep,” said a senior Pakistani military officer, requesting anonymity. The Afghanistan-Pakistan border is often poorly marked, and Afghan and Pakistani maps have differences of several kilometres in some places, military officials have said. However Pakistani military spokesman Major-General Athar

Abbas said that NATO had been given maps of the area, with Pakistani military posts identified. “When the other side is saying there is a doubt about this, there is no doubt about it. These posts have been marked and handed over to the other side for marking on their maps and are clearly inside Pakistani territory.” The incident occurred a day after Allen met Kayani to discuss border control and enhanced cooperation. A senior military source told Reuters that after the meeting that set out “to build confidence and trust, these kind of attacks should not have taken place”. Pakistan is a vital land route for nearly half of NATO supplies shipped overland to its troops in Afghanistan, a NATO spokesman said. Land shipments only account for about two thirds of the alliance’s cargo shipments into Afghanistan. Hours after the raid, NATO supply trucks and fuel tankers bound for Afghanistan were stopped at Jamrud town in the Khyber tribal region near the city of Peshawar, officials said. The border crossing at Chaman in Baluchistan was also closed, Frontier Corps officials said. “We have halted the supplies and some 40 tankers and trucks have been returned from the check post in Jamrud,” Mutahir Zeb, a senior government official, told Reuters. Another official said NATO supplies had been sent back to Peshawar due to the “possibility of attacks on NATO supplies passing through the volatile Khyber tribal region.” A similar incident on Sept 30, 2010, which killed two Pakistani troops, led to the closure of one of NATO’s supply routes through Pakistan for 10 days. NATO apologised for that incident, which it said happened when NATO gunships mistook warning shots by the Pakistani forces for a militant attack. US-Pakistan relations were already reeling from a tumultuous year that saw the bin Laden raid, the jailing of a CIA contractor, and US accusations that Pakistan backed a militant attack on the US embassy in Kabul. “This will have a catastrophic effect on Pakistan-US relations. The public in Pakistan are going to go berserk on this,” said Charles Heyman, senior defence analyst at British military website Other analysts, including Rustam Shah Mohmand, a former ambassador to Afghanistan, predicted Pakistan would protest and close the supply lines for some time, but that ultimately “things will get back to normal”. — Agencies





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Without accountability, no lessons learned By Dr James J Zogby ith the date for US forces to be fully withdrawn from Iraq fast approaching, it is important to remind ourselves how we got into that long and deadly war in the first place, to recognize that this conflict is far from over, and to hold accountable those who are responsible for the horrors they created during the past eight years. In a word, the road to Baghdad was paved with “lies”. I don’t just mean the fictions of “weapons of mass destruction” or of “Saddam’s connection with Al-Qaeda” that were used by the Bush Administration to justify their case for war. In both instances, the White House and its minions throughout the government worked overtime, relying on embellishment, distortion, and outright fabrication to make their arguments for war. What they did in manufacturing and marketing these lies was wrong, both morally and legally. More insidious still, were the subtle and seductive lies that were used along the way to war. These were the lies that led too many Americans, including much of the mainstream media, to conclude, in the words of one Bush apologist, that the war would be “a cakewalk”. When pressed by Congress or the public for answers, Administration officials and their supporters would argue that the war would last but a week; that it would require less than 100,000 US troops who would only need to stay in Iraq for six months; that the entire effort would only cost the US Treasury about two billion dollars; that Americans would be greeted in Baghdad as liberators with flowers in the street; and that with the dictator gone, Iraq would become a “beacon of democracy” lighting up the entire Middle East. Moved by the exaggerated “threat”, and lured by the supposed “relative ease” of the war and its expected apocalyptic outcome, America went marching off to Iraq. Those who attempted to remind then-Secretary of State, Colin Powell, of his “Powell Doctrine”, or who questioned the wisdom of going to war in a country about whose history and culture and people we knew too little, were silenced. No one in government, back then, wanted to hear of “unintended consequences” or projections of anything less than a positive outcome. Eight years later, we leave Iraq with: thousands of Americans dead; hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives lost; millions driven into exile; and a trillion dollars spent. The politics of Iraq can be described as fragile, at best, with the country remaining a sectarian/ethnic tinderbox that can explode in an instant, with the added danger of dragging the neighborhood into a broader conflict. And to all of this must be added the damage done to America’s standing in the region and the world resulting from the recklessness of the war, and its excesses and abuses. US troops will leave, but the scars of this conflict and its still open wounds will remain. This must be recalled because these “sins of the past” have neither been acknowledged nor have those who committed them been held accountable for their actions. Equally important are lessons we should have learned from the fabrications created and the disasters that have resulted from ignoring reality. Listening to the current overheated rhetoric in vogue today in US political discussions about what should be done to confront Iran and Syria, it appears that lessons have not been learned. Those who cavalierly argue for a US military response in either country all too often ignore the consequences of such actions. With the same crowd who lied and seduced us into our eight year disaster in Iraq now spread out amongst the GOP candidates for President, serving as their foreign policy or national security advisers, their dangerous arguments can be heard once again. When they chide the President for not being more aggressive in taking the lead against the brutal regime in Syria, proposing military action, or when they flippantly suggest that the US should support an Israeli military strike against Iran (or that we should do it ourselves) it is as if nothing has been learned from the tragic disaster of the immediate past. One main reason for this sorry state of affairs is our lack of accountability. Because we have not, and, it appears, will not, “call on the carpet” those who justified torture, fabricated the case for war in Iraq, and sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women into a country we did not know in order to engage in a conflict with no good end in sight, this same cast of characters are still polluting the policy debate. From their lofty perches at universities, “think tanks” and as advisers to candidates for higher office, they are recognized as “experts” calling for more wars that will only make a bigger mess, while the mess they created has still not been cleaned up. It makes sense to us when we hear Arab Spring protesters in Tunisia and Egypt demanding that those who were complicit in the crimes of the past governments in which they served should be called to account for their misdeeds or, at the very least, should be excluded from future leadership roles. It makes sense that we apply the same measure of accountability here at home. This is not, as some will suggest, anti-democratic or an effort to “weed out” and exclude those with differing points of view. It is rather a call for us to apply the profoundly democratic principles of transparency and accountability to our politics. Those who abused the public’s trust and who lied us into a war that took so many lives and cost us all so dearly should be called to account for what they have done. To let them “off the hook” is both wrong and dangerous.


NOTE: Dr James J Zogby is the President of the Arab American Institute

All articles appearing on these pages are the personal opinion of the writers. Kuwait Times takes no responsibility for views expressed therein. Kuwait Times invites readers to voice their opinions. Please send submissions via email to: or via snail mail to PO Box 1301 Safat, Kuwait. The editor reserves the right to edit any submission as necessary.

Catholics, Muslims pursue dialogue By Tom Heneghan nly five years ago, critical remarks by Pope Benedict about Islam sparked off violent protests in several Muslim countries. Never very good, relations between the world’s two largest religions sank to new lows in modern times. Last week, while protesters in the Arab world were demanding democracy and civil rights, Catholics and Muslims met along the Jordan River for frank and friendly talks about their differences and how to get beyond their misunderstandings. The Catholic-Muslim Forum, which grew out of the tensions following Benedict’s speech in the German city of Regensburg, was overshadowed by events in Egypt, Yemen and Syria. The lack of any dramatic news here reflected the progress the two sides have made since 2006. “We have passed from formal dialogue to a dialogue between friends,” Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, head of the Vatican’s department for interfaith dialogue, said at the conference held near the Jordan River site believed to be where Jesus was baptised. “We realised that we have a common heritage.” Recalling the strains that prompted Muslims to suggest a dialogue in 2007, Jordan’s Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal said: “Since then, despite some misunderstandings, I dare say the general Muslim-Catholic ambiance has ameliorated considerably.” The 24 Catholic and 24 Muslim religious leaders, scholars and educators meeting here debated how each religion uses reason to strengthen insight into its beliefs. Roman


Catholicism has long argued that faith without reason can breed superstition while nihilism can emerge from reason without faith. This was the core message of Benedict’s Regensburg speech, but it was drowned out when he quoted a 14th century Byzantine emperor describing Islam as violent and irrational. Radical Islamists responded with violent protests. After he expressed his regrets, 38 Muslim scholars wrote to the pope suggesting a meeting to discuss misreading of Islam they found in his text. Benedict, who had long thought interfaith dialogue could blur differences between religions, did not reply. He believed discussing theology was all but impossible because they do not analyse the Quran as Christians and Jews do their scriptures. A year later, 138 Muslim scholars issued a broader appeal to all Christian churches to discuss the commands of love of God and neighbour that both faiths shared. Led by Prince Ghazi, the group included several grand muftis as well as leading Islamic intellectuals from around the Muslim world. This time, the Vatican reluctantly agreed and hosted the first Catholic-Muslim Forum in Nov 2008 in Rome. That meeting was a watershed, allowing Catholics and Muslims to discuss theology seriously instead of simply holding a polite meeting ending with pious calls for peace and understanding. Although he only met the Muslims at a formal session in the Vatican, Benedict was a quick learner. By May 2009, when he visited Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories, the pope echoed their arguments and eased the quest for com-

mon ground. Three years after the introductory session, the second Forum on Nov 21-23 focused on the relationship between faith and reason. Ibrahim Kalin, a Turkish philosopher who is now chief policy advisor to Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, explained how Islam also argues that faith must be tempered by reason. In the main Catholic presentation, Italian philosopher Vittorio Possenti explained how Catholic teaching stresses the intrinsic value and natural rights of every human being. “ There’s a common sense of the urgency and importance of this meeting, even though the context and background we’re coming from are quite different,” said Archbishop Kevin McDonald, the top Catholic official for interfaith dialogue in England and Wales. The Arab Spring uprisings this year have changed the context, especially by allowing Islamist parties to operate more freely in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. This has also opened the door to the Salafists, radical Islamists who have attacked Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority and spread fear among Christians across the Middle East. Aref Ali Nayed, a Libyan theologian who joined his country’s revolutionaries and is now Tripoli’s ambassador in the United Arab Emirates, said the role of faith in the emerging political systems highlighted the need for reasonable religion to prevail. “It is extremely important that the massive movements we are experiencing today do not happen at the level of irrationality or mere emotion,” he said. “Such movements must be guided by the light of faith, but reasoned faith that encourages thinking

and dialogue.” Strains emerged at some of the closed-door talks, especially on the issue of whether Muslims can convert to Christianity. One Catholic noted the Church could not accept any converts in the Gulf countries but Christian foreign workers there who switched to Islam got a warm public welcome to their new faith. Another asked why Muslims would not respect the choice made by people who sincerely wanted to convert despite all the problems they knew would come. In response, a Muslim said Islamic countries remained wary because too many conversions were forced in the past. Some Muslims also expressed difficulty in understanding how the Catholic Church could open dialogue with other faiths after its Second Vatican Council in the 1960s after avoiding it for almost two millennia before that. They also suggested the Catholics had given in too much to modern secularism and not protested enough against depictions of Jesus that Muslims considered blasphemous. Still, the strength of their current ties showed when, during a break on the final day, delegates swapped jokes about religion. Bosnia’s Chief Mufti Mustafa Ceric turned out to be group’s stand-up comedian. “Did you hear about the preacher and taxi driver?” the Sarajevo-based cleric asked. “When they died and came before God, He sent the preacher to hell and the taxi driver to heaven. “When the preacher asked why, God said ‘When you preached, you put people to sleep. But he used to drive his taxi so fast that he made all his passengers pray for eternal salvation’.” — Reuters

Ethiopia dragged back into Somalia By Richard Lough thiopia is being sucked back into Somalia to open another front against Islamist rebels battling Kenyan forces but even a military victory is unlikely to end two decades of anarchy unless the country’s feuding politicians and clans want peace. An Ethiopian government official acknowledged for the first time on Friday that a small force had already rolled across the border and was carrying out reconnaissance missions ahead of a full deployment that would last “weeks”. “We are looking at a brief period of time, weeks. We don’t want our deployment to be used for propaganda by the extremists,” the official told Reuters, declining to be named. “The aim is to support (Somalia’s) Transitional Federal Government troops and their allies to expand their control in the south of Somalia and pull back,” he added. Head of the regional IGAD bloc, Mahboub Maalim, said Ethiopia had promised to “assist in the peace and stabilisation activities” ongoing in Somalia. Kenya has leaned heavily on Ethiopia to send a force to join the assault against the Al-Qaeda-linked al Shabaab rebels. Ethiopian troops are unlikely to stray far this time, aware their last intervention in 2006-2009 to flush out another Islamist group was a rallying call for the militants, who portrayed Ethiopia as Christian invaders in a Muslim country. Kenya too has stressed it will leave Somalia once it has dismantled Al Shabaab’s network and seized strongholds that provide the insurgents a financial lifeline, potentially leaving a void for former warlords to step into. Somalia is a hotspot in the global war against militant Islam. But in the two decades since warlords and then Islamist insurgents reduced its government to impotence, a string of foreign forces, including American, have failed to bring order. “The Ethiopians can be none too happy with the state of affairs,” said J Peter Pham, Africa director with US think-tank the Atlantic


Council. “ The Kenyans, having foolishly charged in with apparently little thought as to realistic strategic objectives... are now bogged down and need an additional front opened against Al Shabaab to relieve the pressure on themselves,” he said. Kenyan forces crossed into Somalia nearly six weeks ago in an incursion designed to dismantle the militants’ network. While they initially advanced smoothly on rebel strongholds in southern Somalia, the Kenyan campaign has stalled as Al Shabaab fighters melt into the population, while heavy rains and muddy terrain swamp its forces. Ethiopia is reviled across much of Somalia. With tacit US backing, and at the invitation of the beleaguered Somali government, Ethiopia blitzed its way through Somalia in late 2006 and 2007 to rout another Somali

Islamist administration from de facto power. Washington said the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) had ties to Al-Qaeda. It now backs a government led by a former ICU boss. Al Shabaab rose from the broken ICU, its ranks swollen by a deep resentment at the perception of Ethiopia as a Christian invader in a Muslim country. “The Ethiopians understand all too well that their presence, as a Christian nation, in Somalia could be propaganda for Al Shabaab,” said an African Union official in Addis Ababa. “They’re not going to repeat that mistake twice,” the official said on condition of anonymity. “They will back up ASWJ, equip them, train them and not stray too far,” referring to the pro-Mogadishu Sufi militia group, Ahlu Sunna Waljamaca, which is also closely allied to Ethiopia. A second AU official

Troops from Burundi serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) are seen manning frontline positions in territory recently captured from insurgents in Deynile District along the northern fringes of the capital Mogadishu on Nov 17, 2011. — AP

said Ethiopian troops might push as deep as Baidoa, about 250 km northwest of Mogadishu with an airport, to stretch rebel lines and cut off some supply routes. An Ahlu Sunna commander told Reuters the militia expected Ethiopia to train 4,000 fighters. Kenya boasts it could seize Kismayu, a nerve-centre for rebel operations and prized Kenyan target, any time it chooses. The advance on the port city was still on and the country’s navy has blockaded the sea port, a Kenyan military source said. Kenya hopes to starve the militants of huge revenues on inflows of smuggled contraband and charcoal exports to the Gulf. The lack of a significant blow to the rebels so far, though, has raised questions about Kenya’s troops numbers and strategy. In 2006, against Ethiopia, a military giant in the region, the insurgents squared up to the offensive and suffered. “This time, they faded among the population ... even as they draw (Kenya) deeper into Somalia, extending their lines of communication and supply and allowing them to get bogged down in the unforgiving terrain,” Pham said. Some Western diplomats believe Kismayu will fall, but acknowledge there are few answers to the question: What next? “I don’t think even within the political and military circles anyone can tell you the end game, the exit plan,” Ndung’u Wainaina, head the Nairobi-based think-tank International Centre for Policy and Conflict said. Kenyan troops might seek to switch berets and join an African peacekeeping force. That, though, would require the United Nations to extend the force’s mandate beyond Mogadishu and raise the ceiling on troop numbers from the current 12,000. Western powers - most likely the United States and European Union - would also need to stump up more cash. “It’s difficult to see how that could happen anytime soon given that the salaries of the soldiers are paid for by the West. There’s no stomach for giving any more money to AMISOM,” said a Western diplomat working in the region.— Reuters


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No place for Harbhajan MUMBAI: India selectors left out off-spinner Harbhajan Singh but have recalled paceman Praveen Kumar for the four-test series in Australia next month, the country’s cricket board (BCCI) said yesterday. Frontline seamer Zaheer Khan, who had surgery for ankle and hamstring problems, would join the 16-man squad subject to fitness, the BCCI said in a statement. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha, who have taken 42 wickets between them in the ongoing three-test series against West Indies, are the two slow bowlers in the squad. The 31-year-old Harbhajan, who has taken more than 400 test wickets, struggled in England and claimed two wickets in the first two tests before an abdominal strain cut short his tour. Since then he has not been picked for the Indian team and below-par performances in domestic matches has not helped his cause. Kumar, who was left out of the squad for the West Indies tests after India’s humiliating 4-0 drubbing in England, will make up the pace battery alongside Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron.—Reuters

Soviet weightlifter dies MOSCOW: Super heavyweight lifter Vasily Alekseyev, who dominated the sport throughout the 1970s and set 80 world records for the Soviet Union, has died. He was 69. The Russian weightlifting federation confirmed the death Friday of Alekseyev, describing him as “one of the strongest people on the planet” and a “legend of Soviet sport.” Alekseyev was unbeaten from 1970 to 1978, winning two Olympic gold medals and eight consecutive world titles. He held the world record of 645 kilograms (1,419 pounds) for three lifts set in 1972. The record will stand because the triple competition is no longer held. Alekseyev died in a clinic in Munich, Germany, where he

was being treated for heart problems, Russian news agencies reported, citing officials from the southern Rostov region where Alekseyev lived. “His brilliant victories will remain forever in the memory of his fans and will serve as an example for young athletes,” said a statement issued by the Rostov governor’s office. Alekseyev lived in Shakhty, a small mining town that had been his home since 1966. He won his first Olympic gold medal in 1972 in Munich and his second four years later in Montreal. He retired after falling short at the 1980 Games in Moscow. Sports Illustrated put him on the cover of its April 14, 1975, issue with the title “The World’s Strongest Man.” —AP

Paralympian joins cycling THE HAGUE: Monique van der Vorst has completed a remarkable transformation - from Paralympic athlete to road racing cyclist with a top professional team. The 27-year-old Dutch rider signed with the Rabobank women’s team, meaning the former wheelchair and handcycle racer will now line up against elite able-bodied cyclists. “My development has been very quick. I never could have imagined one year ago I would be here,” Van der Vorst told The Associated Press. “All the training I did in the last 10 years gives me a good base.” Van der Vorst lost the use of her legs as a young teenager following ankle surgery. But she didn’t lose her drive and determination. She won two silver medals in the handcycling road race and time trial at the Beijing Paralympics. Last year, after a crash during training, she began getting the feeling back in her legs and eventually managed to walk again. A coach lent her a bike as Van der Vorst continued her rehabilitation. Now she joins the likes of Marianne Vos - silver medalist in the road race at the world championships in September - on the Rabo team. “Cycling with arms or legs, tactics, corners are almost the same,” Van der Vorst said.—AP

Oilers slip past Wild ST. PAUL: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored twice to help Edmonton notch its first win at Minnesota in 18 attempts, as the Oilers won 52 on Friday to close within three points of the NHL Northwest Division-leading Wild. Ryan Smyth had a goal and two assists while Taylor Hall and Shawn Horcoff also scored for Edmonton, which last won at Minnesota in the 2006-07 season. Devin Setoguchi and Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored for the Wild, who lost for the first time in six games. Minnesota entered the game with a league-best 29 points.

Feghali claims title in Red Bull Ras B Ras Challenge AL-KHOBAR: Under the patronage and in presence of HRH Prince Mohammed Bin Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Governor of KSA’s Eastern Province, Red Bull’s knockout Ras B Ras competition wrapped up last night with the crowning of Lebanese Roger Feghali as the undisputed champion. Feghali claimed the title after a final face-off with rival Abdulaziz Turki Al-Faisal (KSA) on an 800meter, custom-built track, which saw sixteen star drivers taking turns in staking their claim for the big win. The event was organized with the backing of HH Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Fahd Bin Abdullah Al Saud, chairman of the Eastern Province Tourism Development Council, and HRH Prince Sultan Bin Bandar Al Faisal, President of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation (SAMF), in partnership with Chevrolet, Actionha, STC and Nokia. The Red Bull Ras B Ras showdown was hailed as one of the most exciting, adrenalinepumping sporting events, gathering thousands of motoring enthusiasts packing the AlKhobar Corniche. Bringing together sixteen of the top Arab drivers in the Middle East, the event saw spectators holding their breath as cars thundered by at breakneck speeds and as drivers tested the limits of their tires. All kept a close watch on the scores and the battles, which ended with the crowning of Feghali in an unprecedented feat in Arab motorsports. Feghali overtook rival Al-Faisal in the final confrontation, which sealed his win. On his road to victory, Feghali successfully eliminated many an A-list name, including Tamer Bashat (Egypt) and Abdulaziz Al Kuwari (Qatar). “Through this unprecedented racing competition in the region, we hope we managed to offer motorsports fans an innovative competition filled with adrenaline’, said Alberto Chahoud, Regional Communications Manager for Red Bull. Chahoud praised the backing

provided by Saudi Authorities and the support of SAMF. “Acknowledgment is due to the efforts of Saudi and regional media for having brought this outstanding race closer to the youth across the Middle East’, he added. The final battle emulated a World Cup finale with Roger Feghali and Abdulaziz Turki Al-Faisal facing off in a show of Arab brotherhood, highlighting the keen sportsmanship of contenders. The rat-race ended with a tiny time difference, whereby Feghali managed to end the race with just 1.36.061 minute with a one-second difference over Al-Faisal. Event organizer, Red Bull, placed all its resources at the disposal of the participants in a bid to ensure a successful competition, and to promote motorsports in the region. Red Bull Ras B Ras featured such big names in motoring as Saeed Al Mouri, Majed Ghamdi, Mazen Tantash, Abdulaziz Al Kuwari, Tamer Bashat, Mohammed Al Moutawaa, Fahad AlMusalam and Joe Ghanem. Knockout elimination started early on, in the first rounds of the standoffs, where contenders were pitted against each other across eight separate groups. Feghali and Al-Faisal then went on to the quarterfinals as part of the fastest eight drivers. Red Bull champion Abdo Feghali, aka Dado, who was a main pillar in the event’s organization, gave spectators one of his highly popular drifting shows which set the grandstand ablaze and kept spectators gasping for more. The event’s video production was directed by motoring and automotive expert Nadim Mehanna while Saudi Sports 3 aired the competition live. Victorious Feghali expressed his delight in winning Red Bull Ras B Ras, the first such event in the Middle East. Runner-up Al-Faisal affirmed that the battles were heated and that being one of the last two men standing was an achievement in itself, as the title was given

Maple Leafs 4, Stars 3 In Dallas, Joffrey Lupul scored in the third round of the shootout to give Toronto victory over Dallas. Lupul was the lone scorer in the shootout, firing a shot through the pads of Stars goaltender K ari Lehtonen. Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson denied Dallas’ Mike Ribeiro in the third round to secure the extra point. Clarke MacArthur had given Toronto a 3-2 lead at 6:55 of the third period but Radek Dvorak equalized at 12:47 of the third. Dion Pfaneuf and Joey Crabb scored earlier for the Maple Leafs. Eric Nystrom scored twice for the Stars. Red Wings 3, Bruins 2 In Boston, Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi scored in the shootout to lift Detroit over Boston, snapping the Bruins’ 10-game winning streak. Datsyuk and Valtteri Filppula scored in regulation to help the Red Wings win their fourth straight. Daniel Paille and Patrice Bergeron had Boston’s regulation goals. Nathan Horton scored in the shootout for the Bruins, who hadn’t lost for four weeks. Flyers 3, Canadiens 1 In Philadelphia, Claude Giroux scored twice to lif t Philadelphia over Montreal. Jakub Voracek also scored for Philadelphia, which got all of its goals in the second period. Backup goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 23 saves for the Flyers and improved to 5-1-1. Giroux now has 29 points (13 goals, 16 assists) this season. He entered the game second in the league behind Toronto’s Phil Kessel. Petteri Nokelainen scored for the Candiens. Penguins 6, Senators 3 In Pittsburgh, Chris Kunitz, Tyler Kennedy, Steve Sullivan and Evgeni Malkin scored within a 7-minute stretch of the first period to set up Pittsburgh’s big win over Ottawa. Pascal Dupuis and Jordan Staal also scored for the Penguins while Sidney Crosby collected three assists in his third game back from a long absence with concussion-like symptoms. The Penguins ripped off four goals in the game’s first 10 minutes, chasing Ottawa goalie Chris Anderson, who stopped just four of the eight shots he faced. Rangers 6, Capitals 3 In Washington, Ruslan Fedotenko scored twice and Ryan Callahan had three assists as New York set a season high for goals in a win over erratic Washington. After a scoreless first period, the Rangers scored three times in a 4:18 span in the second. Marian Gaborik scored his 10th goal of the season to give New York a 1-0 lead. Artem Anisimov and Brad Richards had a goal and an assist each. Washington’s Alex Ovechkin broke a sixgame skid without a goal with his eighth of the season - his first at home. It came in the third period, with the Capitals trailing 5-2. Canucks 5, Coyotes 0 In Glendale, Arizona, Vancouver goalie Cory Schneider got his second shutout in a row, needing just 21 saves against Phoenix’s anemic offense. Vancouver, in its third win in a row, scored three goals in a 2:12 span early in the second period. Ryan Kesler had a goal and an assist. Sami Salo and David Booth also scored in the outburst. Maxim Lapierre and Alexandre Burrows added third-period goals. I t was the most one -sided win for

GLENDALE: Derek Morris No. 53 of the Phoenix Coyotes skates with the puck past Christopher Higgins No. 20 of the Vancouver Canucks during the NHL game. —AFP Jets 3, Hurricanes 1 Vancouver and one-sided loss for Phoenix in the young season. In Raleigh, North Carolina, Evander Kane a n d A n d re w L a d d e a c h s c o re d, l e a d i n g Lightning 2, Panthers 1 Winnipeg over Carolina. Bryan Little added In Sunrise, Florida, Steven Stamkos scored an empty-net goal with 9 seconds left to seal a power-play goal 2:29 into overtime, lifting the victory. Ta m p a B ay p a s t Fl o r i d a . Fl o r i d a’s To m a s The Jets, who have earned points in five Fl e i s c h m a n n a n d Ta m p a B a y ’s Vi n c e n t straight games, won on the road for the first Lecavalier scored in regulation. time since Nov. 3. M a t h i e u G a ro n s t o p p e d 2 3 s h o t s fo r Jiri Tlutsy scored for the Hurricanes, who Tampa Bay, which snapped a two-game los- re m a i n a t t h e b o t t o m o f t h e S o u t h e a s t ing streak. The Panthers still have not won Division. four straight since 2008. Blackhawks 6, Ducks 5 I n A n a h e i m , Pat r i c k S h a r p s co re d t h e tying and go-ahead goals in a 2:01 span early in the third period to complete his second career hat trick, and Chicago rallied for a victory over foundering Anaheim. Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews had two goals and three assists, helping Chicago end a three-game skid and send the demoralized Ducks to their sixth straight loss. Dave Bolland also scored for the Blackhawks. Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan, playing despite a bruised hip, scored twice to end an eightgame goal drought. Teemu Selanne had a power-play goal and an assist, and Andrew Cogliano and Corey Perry also scored for the Ducks. Blues 2, Flames 0 In St. Louis, Brian Elliott stopped 24 shots in his third shutout this season, helping St. Louis beat Calgary. David Backes added a goal and an assist while Alex Pietrangelo also scored for the Blues.

Blue Jackets 5, Sabres 1 In Columbus, Rick Nash scored twice and goalie Curtis Sanford was again solid in goal a s Co l u m b u s h a n d e d B u f f a l o i t s t h i rd straight loss. M a r k Le t e s t u , M a r c M e t h o t a n d R . J. Umberger also scored for the Blue Jackets, who notched their highest score and largest margin of victor y this season. The Blue Jackets are on a five-game points streak and a re 4 - 1 - 2 r u n s i n ce a p o o r s t a r t . J o rd a n Leopold scored for the injury-riddled Sabres. Devils 1, Islanders 0 I n U n i o n d a l e, N e w Yo r k , Pe t r S y k o r a scored the sole goal and Johan Hedberg made 23 saves to earn his second shutout of the season and the 19th of his NHL career, leading New Jersey over New York. Sykora scored with a snap shot during a power play with 5:47 remaining in the second period. The Islanders have lost four in a ro w, b e i n g o u t s c o re d 1 6 - 3 o ve r t h a t stretch.—AP

NHL results/standings NHL results and standings on Friday. Detroit 3, BOSTON 2 (SO); New Jersey 1, NY Islanders 0; Philadelphia 3, Montreal 1; Edmonton 5, Minnesota 2; NY Rangers 6, Washington 3; Chicago 6, Anaheim 5; Pittsburgh 6, Ottawa 3; Winnipeg 3, Carolina 1; Columbus 5, Buffalo 1; Tampa Bay 2, Florida 1 (OT); St. Louis 2, Calgary 0; Toronto 4, Dallas 3 (SO); Vancouver 5, Phoenix 0. (SO denotes shootout win) (OT denotes overtime win) Pittsburgh Philadelphia NY Rangers New Jersey NY Islanders Toronto Boston Buffalo Montreal Ottawa Florida Washington Tampa Bay Winnipeg Carolina

W L OTL GF 13 6 4 73 13 6 3 80 11 5 3 54 12 8 1 55 5 11 4 38 Northeast Division 13 8 2 74 13 7 1 71 12 9 1 62 10 10 3 58 10 10 2 65 Southeast Division 12 6 4 63 12 8 1 69 10 9 2 57 9 9 4 64 8 12 4 57

GA PTS 56 30 66 29 43 25 55 25 66 14

Chicago Detroit St. Louis Nashville Columbus

73 45 60 56 76

28 27 25 23 22

Minnesota Edmonton Vancouver Colorado Calgary

54 68 68 70 79

28 25 22 22 20

San Jose Dallas Los Angeles Phoenix Anaheim

Western Conference Central Division 13 7 3 77 13 7 1 61 12 8 2 55 10 7 4 57 6 13 3 53 Northwest Division 13 6 3 52 12 8 2 62 12 9 1 66 9 12 1 56 8 12 1 45 Pacific Division 13 5 1 58 13 8 1 59 11 7 4 54 11 7 3 58 6 12 4 48

73 48 48 57 73

29 27 26 24 15

47 53 57 68 58

29 26 25 19 17

43 61 53 56 71

27 27 26 25 16

Hennessy glory for Carruthers NEWBURY: Carruthers swept to victory in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury yesterday over half a century after his breeder and part-owner Lord Oaksey claimed the famous staying handicap chase on Taxidermist. Carruthers (10-1) jumped his rivals into the ground, leading virtually throughout under Mattie Batchelor to beat Planet Of Sound (14-1) by three quarters of a length, with the fast finishing outsider Fair Along getting up for third ahead of 5-1 favourite Great Endeavour. An emotional Batchelor told Channel 4: “I can’t speak. I lost my mum two years ago today.

He added: “Carruthers a brilliant old horse, last year he was wrong, this year he’s better than ever. “I schooled him the other morning and he was in the form of his life. He doesn’t know when to give up. He came up for me at the last - he’s a great horse.” Trainer Mark Bradstock added: “It’s my biggest win by a long way.” As for Carruthers’ future Bradstock said: “You’ve obviously got the King George and the Gold Cup, but the Hennessy is in the top six races you would want to win as a trainer.

“We bought the mare just as a bit of fun for John Oaksey’s retirement and this is her first progeny. “We’re just a small yard, but we’ve got good owners and horses like this are a reason to get out of bed in the morning.” Oaksey, whose father was a noted jurist who officiated at the Nuremberg trials, was an accomplished amateur jockey in his day and rode the late Fulke Walwyn’s Taxidermist to victory in the 1958 Hennessy. Earlier yesterday’s card Britain’s leading staying hurdler Big Buck’s clocked up win number 13 in the Long Distance Hurdle.—AFP




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NBA owners, players reach tentative deal NEW YORK: After nearly two years o f b i c k e r i n g, NB A p l ayers and owners are back on the same side. “ We want to play basketball,” Commissioner David Stern said. Come Christmas Day, they should be. The sides reached a tentative agreement early yesterday to end the 149-day lockout and hope to begin the delayed season with a marquee tripleheader Dec. 25. Most of a season that seemed in jeopardy of being lost entirely will be salvaged if both sides approve the handshake deal. Barring a change in scheduling, the 2011-12 season will open with the Boston Celtics at New York Knicks, followed by Miami at Dallas in an NBA finals rematch before MVP Derrick Rose and Chicago visiting Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. Neither side provided many specifics about the deal, and there are still legal hurdles that must be

cleared before gymnasiums are open again. “We thought it was in both of our interest to try to reach a resolution and save the game,” union executive director Billy Hunter said. After a secret meeting earlier this week that got the broken process back on track, the sides met for more than 15 hours Friday, working to save the season. Stern said the agreement was “subject to a variety of approvals and very complex machinations, but we’re optimistic that will all come to pass and that the NBA season will begin Dec. 25.” The league plans a 66-game season and aims to open training camps Dec. 9, with free agency opening at the same time. Stern has said it would take about 30 days from an agreement to playing the first game. “All I feel right now is ‘finally,’” Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade told The Associated Press. Just 12 days

after talks broke down and Stern declared the NBA could be headed to a “nuclear winter,” he sat next to Hunter to announce the 10-year deal, with either side able to opt out after the sixth year. “For myself, it’s great to be a part of this particular moment in terms of giving our fans what they wanted and wanted to see,” said Derek Fisher, the president of the players’ association. A majority on each side is needed to approve the agreement, first reported by The NBA needs votes from 15 of 29 owners. ( The league owns the New Orleans Hornets.) Stern said the labor committee plans to discuss the agreement later Saturday and expects them to endorse it and recommend to the full board. The union needs a simple majority of its 430-plus members. That process is a bit more complicated after the players dissolved the union

Nov. 14. Now, they must drop their antitrust lawsuit in Minnesota and reform the union before voting on the deal. Because the union disbanded, a new collective bargaining agreement can only be completed once the union has reformed. Drug testing and other issues still must be negotiated between the players and the league, which also must dismiss its lawsuit filed in New York. “We’re very pleased we’ve come this far,” Stern said. “There’s still a lot of work to be done.” The sides will quickly return to work late yesterday, speaking with attorneys and their own committees to keep the process moving. When the NBA returns, owners hope to find the type of parity that exists in the NFL, where the smallmarket Green Bay Packers are the current champions. The NBA has been dominated in recent years by the biggest spenders, with Boston,

Los Angeles and Dallas winning the last four titles. “I think it will largely prevent the high-spending teams from competing in the free-agent market the way they’ve been able to in the past. It’s not the system we sought out to get in terms of a harder cap, but the luxury tax is harsher than it was. We hope it’s effective,” deputy commissioner Adam Silver said. “We feel ultimately it will give fans in every community hope that their team can compete for championships.” The league hopes fans come right back, despite their anger over a work stoppage that followed such a successful season. But owners wanted more of the league’s $4 billion in annual revenues after players were guaranteed 57 percent of basketball-related income in the old deal. Participating in the talks for the league were Stern, Silver, Spurs

owner Peter Holt, the chairman of the labor relations committee, and attorneys Rick Buchanan and Dan Rube. The players were represented by executive director Billy Hunter, president Derek Fisher, vice president Maurice Evans, attorney Ron Klempner and economist Kevin Murphy. Owners locked out the players July 1, and the sides spent most of the summer and fall battling over the division of revenues and other changes owners wanted in a new collective bargaining agreement. They said they lost hundreds of millions of dollars in each year of the former deal, ratified in 2005, and they wanted a system where the big-market teams wouldn’t have the ability to outspend their smaller counterparts. Players fought against those changes, not wanting to see any teams taken out of the market when they became free agents. —AP

Tipsarevic sends Djokovic packing LONDON: World number one Novak Djokovic followed Rafa Nadal and Andy Murray out of the ATP World Tour Finals on Friday when he lost to fellow Serb Janko Tipsarevic for the first time. As round-robin action concluded at the O2 Arena a jaded-looking Djokovic was beaten 3-6 6-3 6-3 to end Group A with two defeats and one victory and leave Roger Federer as the only mem-

holder Roger Federer who is redhot favourite for a record sixth title at the tournament. The Czech instead faces JoWilfried Tsonga, the charismatic Frenchman who sent Nadal packing on Thursday, in one semi-final while Ferrer’s punishment for letting Berdych off the hook is a clash with Federer who he trails 11-0 in career meetings. “I never win against Roger and

with a first ever victory over close friend Djokovic — $70,000 as his fee for being the on-site alternate and $120,000 for his sole win. While he was delighted with his victory, Tipsarevic admitted his opponent, winner of three of the year’s four grand slam titles, was not firing on all cylinders. “I’m not trying to undermine my performance or my victory today, but I can freely say that this

LONDON: Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia follows through after returning against Novak Djokovic of Serbia during their Group A singles match in the round robin stage on day six of the ATP World Tour Finals tennis tournament. —AFP ber of the ‘Big Four’ to reach the weekend. Djokovic would still have squeezed into the semi-finals of the season-ender through the back door had David Ferrer beaten Tomas Berdych later on Friday but the Spanish dynamo also appeared to run out of steam, going down 3-6 7-5 6-1. After staring elimination in the face when he twice went a break down in the second set, Berdych roared back to win Group A and thus avoid a semi-final against

I hope I can change that,” Ferrer, who led 4-3, 40-15 in the second set against Berdych, told reporters before walking away rather stiffly to try and recover for Saturday’s first semi-final. Djokovic’s exit means the top three players in the world all failed to survive the group stage although in Murray’s case he withdrew after his loss to Ferrer with a groin injury. Tipsarevic, who replaced Murray, walked off with earnings of $190,000 after finishing his year

was not Novak Djokovic from the U.S. Open or Wimbledon,” he said. Djokovic, who will holiday with Davis Cup team mate Tipsarevic in The Maldives next week, admitted the tournament had been a bridge too far. “My body says that it’s overload,” Djokovic, who ended the year with a 70-6 record after his first back-to-back defeats since March 2010, told reporters. “It has been too much this year. Obviously, mentally I feel a little bit drained.”

Djokovic began the match aggressively, striking the ball into the corners with relentless accuracy and pace. A single break of serve was enough to claim the opening set and he still looked comfortable early in the second as the goatee-bearded world number nine Tipsarevic hung on grimly. Gradually, however, the fizz went out of Djokovic’s groundstrokes and a match that he appeared to have in his pocket suddenly began to drift away as Tipsarevic began to dictate many of the baseline exchanges with some venomous hitting. He broke in the sixth game when Djokovic netted a lazy dropshot attempt but surrendered the advantage immediately. Some ragged play, including a double fault by Djokovic at deuce, then helped Tipsarevic break again for a 5-3 lead and he held serve to level the match. Tipsarevic carried his momentum into the third set and broke with an angled winner after dragging Djokovic to the net with a poorly-disguised drop shot that should have been punished. By the time Djokovic buried a forehand into the net to end the contest he appeared to be running on empty. Ferrer had already qualified for the knockout stage and looked on the way to matching Federer’s 100 percent group record before he suffered an astonishing collapse against Berdych. The powerful Czech seized on Ferrer’s slump midway through the second set to turn the match around and reach the semi-finals in only his second appearance at the elite event. Not even a change into a garish pink shirt could spark Ferrer back into action as the final set slipped away after 31 minutes of Berdych’s domination. “This shows my game has progressed and I can fight back and win these matches, I’m able to fight back,” said the world number seven.—Reuters

Gold for Japan’s Hanyu and Asada in Moscow MOSCOW: Japanese teenager Yuzuru Hanyu put the trauma of the earthquake which destroyed his hometown this year behind him to snatch his first senior figure skating gold at the Cup of Russia here yesterday after former twotime world champion Mao Asada won the women’s title. The 16-year-old Hanyu, whose home and ice rink in Sendai were damaged during the earthquake and tsunami catastrophe last March, snatched gold from Spaniard Javier Fernandez by just 0.03 after the free skating final in the last of the six-leg ISU Grand Prix series. Hanyu, who was second just 0.76 behind Jeremy Abbott after the short programme, profited from a disastrous free skate which left the American trailing in fifth after the second of the twoday competition. The Japanese skater scored 158.88 points in his free skate to the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack to take the title with an overall 241.66 points. Fernandez, 20, took his second silver after Skate Canada with 241.63, after scoring highest for his free skate to Verdi with 163.13 to move up from fourth after the short programme to seal his berth in the ISU Grand Prix final next month. Cup of China winner Abbott took bronze with 229.03 after scoring 145.54 in the free skate, and is also through to

the Quebec City final. Earlier Asada, this year’s NHK Trophy silver medallist, held her lead from the short programme despite errors in her free skate to Liebestraum by Franz Liszt. She scored 183.25 points overall to put the 21-year-old Vancouver Olympics silver medallist into the Grand Prix final. “I’m really happy to get a place in the GP finals after two consecutive disastrous seasons,” Asada said. “I decided to avoid the risks and concentrated on the quality of my free routine presentation and it worked as all of my rivals failed to avoid mistakes.” Russia’s Alena Leonova took the last remaining spot in the Quebec City’s GP finals by winning silver with a solid presentation of her free programme Adagio for Strings and Requiem for a Tower for a 180.45 overall mark. Another Russian skater, junior world champion Adelina Sotnikova, took bronze with 169.75 points. Three-time world pairs champions Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy held their lead from the short programme to take their second gold this season after Skate America with 208.69 points. “We finished the last season pretty late and started our preparations for this season late also,” Germany’s Savchenko said. —AFP

HAIKOU: Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain plays from the bunker at the 18th hole during the 56th World Cup of Golf tournament at the Mission Hills golf course. —AFP

Otto surges into lead with 65 at SA Open JOHANNESBURG: Home favorite Hennie Otto surged into a three-shot lead with a 7-under 65 at the third round of the South African Open yesterday as Retief Goosen and Ernie Els both stumbled. Otto hit seven birdies and an eagle to go 14 under at the Jack Nicklausdesigned Serengeti course. The South African, who grew up nearby in eastern Johannesburg, leads from a four-way tie for second made up of Goosen, Sweden’s Magnus Carlsson, Thomas Aiken and Garth Mulroy. Goosen (71) couldn’t capitalize on a blistering start where he birdied his first three holes. He had bogeys at Nos. 9, 13, 17 and 18 for his worst round at the ‚Ǩ1 million ($1.3 million) European Tour tournament this week. Defending champion Els took a nine on the par-5 No. 16 after he hit his tee shot into the water and then his second drive into a bunker. He was on the green in six and three-putted and tumbled down to a tie for 53rd with his 4-over 76. Carlsson carded a 6-under 66 to move to 11-under and break up a run of six South Africans in the top seven. Aiken had a 4-under 68, spoilt only by a doublebogey on No. 9. Last weekend’s Alfred Dunhill Championship winner, Mulroy recovered from four bogeys in his front nine to make four of his six birdies on the way home. Playing alongside Els, Otto bogeyed his first and then dropped another shot at No. 5. But he picked up eight shots from No. 7 to take him within reach of his second European Tour title and the first since the Italian Open in 2008. “I haven’t won it yet. It’s a new day

tomorrow,” said Otto, who has recently appeared calmer on the course after once throwing his clubs into a river during a tournament on the local Sunshine Tour. “I’m not a guy who gets all nervous,” Otto said Saturday. “Maybe angry, not nervous.” Goosen’s late slide came as a surprise after the two-time South African Open winner began sublimely on the pacey greens. He had five birdies overall, but four bogeys as well, including back-toback dropped shots to finish. His slip allowed Carlsson to play alongside Otto in today’s final match, where the Swede will bid to become only the eighth non-African winner in 101 versions of the South African Open. Carlsson also needs a top-two finish to retain his tour card for 2012. “I’m not going to think about it (retaining his card),” Carlsson said. “I’m not going to make stupid decisions.” Merrick Bremner (72) and Jaco Ahlers (65) were tied for sixth on 10 under, a shot ahead of a group of eight players. England’s Richard Bland (66), Spaniard Alvaro Velasco (66), Austrians Markus Brier (67) and Bernd Wiesberger (70) and second-round leader Steven O’Hara of Scotland (74) were all five shots off the lead and in with a chance of a rare foreign win at the tournament. Els’ disaster at No. 16 came after the five-time winner was twice forced to step away from his tee shot because of fans taking photos on their cell phones while he was lining up. “They should ban the guys and get them to hand in their cell phones.” playing partner Otto said. “It gets to you.” —AP

Kim ahead in Australia

MOSCOW: Pernelle Carron and Lloyd Jones of France, perform the free ice dance program at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating. —AP

COOLUM: KT Kim played steadily over the back nine while challengers fell around him, shooting a bogey-free 5-under-par 67 yesterday to take a one-stroke lead over Bubba Watson into the final round of the Australian PGA. Kim, who played for the losing International side at the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne last week, had a 54-hole total of 13-under 203 at the Hyatt Regency resort course. Watson, who held the lead for part of the third round, double-bogeyed the par-5 15th with two bad chips out of the rough to finish with a 69 after eagling the opening par-5 first. Aaron Baddeley was in third place after a 67, three strokes behind. Second-round leader Marcus Fraser (74), Y.E. Yang (70) and David Bransdon (67) were tied for fourth, four strokes behind. Despite winning his last two matches at the Presidents Cup, Kim said he wasn’t expecting a lot at Coolum. “My expectations coming into this week were quite low,” the Korean said through an interpreter. “Off the practice tee on Tuesday and then the pro-am on Wednesday, I sort of thought that this wasn’t my type of course. So I have over exceeded my expectations so far. “The bigger part of it is you don’t really need to crush it off on the tee, so for a guy like me it is more about accuracy. But I still

have got a very long day tomorrow, although I am not feeling a lot of pressure.” Watson had an eventful 18th, pulling his tee shot into the rough, then hitting a shot with his rescue club into the green which ricocheted into a marquee, off a spectator and bounced into rough near the green. But the American got up and down for par to stay within one of Kim. Watson wasn’t happy having to wait 20 minutes on the 18th tee - “for twosomes to be waiting that long is weird.” Then he had to cool his heels for about 15 minutes in the media center while Kim had an elongated interview with an interpreter. But Watson was pleased to save par on the final hole. “I actually had a shot, I thought the wind was going to push it,” Watson said of his approach on 18. “I only had a 52-degree wedge ... tried to hit it real high so the wind would push it, and it didn’t push it and it hit the guy in the chest, I was told, and kicked it by the green. “Making par there to keep me still in it, to make dinner taste better ... making that putt was good for sure.” Robert Allenby moved into a share of the lead before dropping four shots on the last six holes to shoot 71 and was five shots back, tied for seventh with Matthew Giles (68). —AP



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Vettel eclipses Mansell pole record at Brazil GP SAO PAULO: Newly-crowned double world champion Sebastian Vettel stormed into the Formula One record books again yesterday when he delivered a stunning fastest lap to secure pole position for the Brazilian Grand Prix. The 24-year-old German became the first man to achieve 15 pole positions in a season when he steered his Red Bull car round the Interlagos circuit in one minute 11.918 seconds. It bettered the previous mark of 14 set by Nigel Mansell in 1992, although the Briton’s record came from 16 races; Vettel’s is from 19 events. Vettel’s dazzling and dominant lap time meant he was the only man to break into the one minute 12 second barrier, his closest rival coming in the form of teammate Mark Webber, 0.181 seconds slower, but fending off competition to secure another all Red Bull front row. “There has been quite some talk about this record and the best thing was not to think about it at all,” Vettel said. “I am enjoying the moment. I put everything in the last lap and I was very emotional when I crossed the line as I knew that was all I had. “Really special - it took the master in the discipline Nigel Mansell a couple of races less - and now I am looking forward to the race.” Webber added: “I tried to help old Nigel out but it didn’t work out. I just missed it by a tenth. It was close, but not close enough.” McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton were unable to catch the Red Bulls and settled for third and fourth on the grid ahead of Fernando Alonso of Ferrari. “I’m enjoying the moment because this is my best qualifying here for the last six years,” said Button. “I always love racing here; it’s such a good circuit for fighting and overtaking.” Hamilton however, was left feeling disappointed having been tipped by many to beat Vettel to pole. “It’s a little bit disappointing,”

said the 2008 world champion. “We’re still on the second row but I would have liked to have been stronger. I’m not too happy with my performance. I just wasn’t quick enough.” Nico Rosberg took sixth for Mercedes ahead of local hero Felipe Massa in the second Ferrari and Adrian Sutil of Force India. Crowd favorite Bruno Senna of Renault secured ninth place ahead of Michael Schumacher in the second Mercedes. The first part of qualifying Q1 was frantic as all 24 drivers went out on track from the off in order to secure a dry lap time before the rain. Button topped the times ahead of Hamilton, followed by Vettel and Webber, but out went Pastor Maldonado of Williams along with Lotus drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Daniel Ricciardo of Hispania and Virgin drivers Timo Glock and Jerome D’Ambrosio. Vettel was on top in Q2 breezing into the one minute 13 second barrier ahead of Rosberg and Webber. Both Massa and Schumacher scraped into the top ten with supersoft tyres, the local Ferrari driver taking eighth while seven-times champion Schumacher edged out Paul Di Resta to tenth. That meant the Force India driver will start 11th today ahead of local star Rubens Barrichello of Williams. Jaime Alguersuari took 13th on the grid ahead of his Toro Rosso team-mate Sebastien Buemi, Vitaly Petrov of Renault and Sauber drivers Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez who qualified 17th and 17th respectively. The top 10 shootout saw most drivers easing the heat into their tyres with a couple of warm-up laps before Vettel stormed in with a lap of one minute 12.268 seconds. As if that wasn’t fast enough, he set an higher marker just minutes later breaking into the one minute 12 second barrier leaving Webber and Button to fight for second.—AFP

BRAZIL: Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany steers his car during the pole position in the qualifying session at the Interlagos racetrack.—AP

What’s missing for supposed contenders NEW YORK: What’s missing in Indianapolis is obvious: Peyton Manning, and any kind of win. The missing ingredients with other supposed contenders aren’t so obvious. Yet, there are the Eagles, Jets, Chargers and Buccaneers, all winners from 2010 struggling in 2011. Even the Rams were expected to be a rising team in the NFC West after going 7-9 a year ago. Nope. The shortcomings are many, from the Meadowlands to Mission Bay. Let’s start in Philadelphia, where the Eagles were crowned champions of the offseason, whatever that’s worth, after the lockout. They locked up some of the most prized free agents: Nnamdi Asomugha, Jason Babin, Steve Smith, Cullen Jenkins, even a solid backup quarterback in Vince Young. They pulled off an impressive trade, sending their backup quarterback, Kevin Kolb, who would have sat behind Michael Vick, and got back a second-round draft pick and a good cornerback, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Then the season started and the parts didn’t mesh, especially on defense. Asomugha hasn’t looked anything like a shutdown cornerback, let alone an All-Pro. Smith has only 11 receptions. Only Babin has been a standout, if a bit one-dimensional with 10 sacks but not a strong presence against the run. Most damaging has been an inability to hold fourth-quarter leads or rally when those leads are blown, whether it be the offense, defense or special teams that is flopping. Philly is one of the worst teams in the red zone on both sides of the ball. “We knew that expectations were going to be great and it was going to be assumed that we would be undefeated, but we knew there was going to be some work to be done,” Asomugha said. “Everybody was new, everybody was learning, (and) coaches included. We just needed to be real with ourselves and I think it becomes a bigger issue when you think about what the expectations have been and rightfully so. We try to keep it in perspective between what those expectations have been and what the reality of the situation is. When you bring a team together you have to build them.” The Jets have been built by coach Rex Ryan and GM Mike Tannenbaum for more than two years, but are maddeningly inconsistent. They won their first two, lost three, won three and now have lost two. Plagued by mediocre quarterbacking from Mark Sanchez, who has not progressed in his third season, and a leaky offensive line - once the team’s best unit - New York’s offense has stagnated. The defense no longer is dominant, as the Broncos’ 95-yard drive in the final minutes to win last week proved. “Yeah, I expect us to close out games better. I think that’s the biggest criticism,” Ryan

said. “I don’t care when they get the ball in the fourth quarter you’ve got to close it out, and that’s the kind of mentality that you want your defense to have.” Ryan believes the quality of competition causes some teams to unexpectedly struggle. “Since I’ve been a head coach, this is a balanced league, and each week the bottom team can beat the top team,” he said, “and there’s no automatic wins on the schedule.” San Diego used to have virtually automatic wins against Oakland - 13 in a row until being swept in 2010 by the Raiders - and a stranglehold on the AFC West. Now, despite what many consider the most talented roster in the division, the Bolts seem to have a few screws loose. Where once they could rely on quarterback Phillip Rivers and tight end Antonio Gates to lift them out of the mire, both of them have floundered, Gates in great part because of injuries. The Chargers are minus10 in turnover margin, with Rivers leading the league with 17 interceptions. They also are extremely undisciplined, with penalties contributing directly to several defeats; San Diego has lost five in a row. “It’s aggravating because we’re preparing hard, practicing hard, playing hard,” Rivers said. “In the games, we’re fighting like crazy to win. There are no excuses, though. We just have to do it.” That they haven’t after the fastest start in Norv Turner’s regime doesn’t bode well for the coaching staff. Tampa Bay is one of the league’s youngest rosters, and with that comes fragility. Only St. Louis among NFC teams is worse in the red zone on offense, and has been significantly outscored in the first half (152-77) of games. What looked like a breakthrough 2010 for QB Josh Freeman, RB LaGarrette Blount and WR Mike Williams has not developed into a playoff-bound 2011. Plus, the Bucs’ defense has yielded more than 300 yards more than the offense has gained on the ground. Yet coach Raheem Morris still is talking playoffs; Tampa needs to win out to match its 10-6 mark of last year. “I said early on our goal is to win the division,” Morris said. We came out hot (3-1 and 4-2), hit a little sinkhole right here, and now it’s time to come running out of that thing.” The Rams have been running on empty from the outset, disappointing because of the improvement they showed last year. Injuries have devastated them everywhere, and they have the league’s worst run defense. So while San Francisco surged under new coach Jim Harbaugh, St. Louis slid, even with more modest expectations. But even those ambitions can’t be reached when there are so many missing ingredients.—AP

MUMBAI: Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (third left) and teammates VVS Laxman (fourth left) Rahul Dravid (fifth left) and Sachin Tendulkar (sixth left) along with others pose with the trophy after winning the Test series against West Indies. —AP

India clinch series after thrilling draw MUMBAI: West Indies snatched a thrilling draw with the scores level to deny India a series clean sweep on the final day of the third Test yesterday. Needing two runs off the final ball, the last wicket pair of Ravichandran Ashwin and Varun Aaron could manage only a single when Ashwin was run out attempting an improbable second run. It was only the second time that a test has been drawn with the scores level. The other instance was when England failed to beat Zimbabwe in Bulawayo in 1996. Seventeen wickets fell on the Wankhede Stadium pitch, which had been a batting paradise on the first four days with both teams posting huge first innings totals. India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni expressed surprise at the sudden change in the character of the pitch. “Frankly I really don’t know what happened. It started to turn in the morning. Till yesterday everything was fine. It was among the flattest of wickets,” Dhoni told reporters with a wide grin on his face. “Something happened in the morning and it started to turn. Most of us thought it would be a draw but it turned into a close game.” In the morning, the West Indies batsmen, put under pressure by the generous turn on offer, played some atrocious shots and helped India’s spinners give life to a match that had looked like ending in a draw for the past two days. Resuming on their overnight score of 81 for two, the tourists succumbed meekly in just 95 minutes in the morning, losing their last eight wickets in 23.2 overs as Pragyan Ojha (6-47) and Ashwin (4-34) ran riot. It was the third time in the series that the tourists had collapsed in one of their two innings. They made 180 in their second innings in the first test in Delhi and 153 in their first innings in the second test in Kolkata. “I think we took the position for granted, knowing that we scored 590 in the first innings, we relaxed a little,” said West Indies captain Darren Sammy. “Some of the shots we played were not called for and we paid the price for it. I knew the coach will definitely talk about it, like I said, we have to bat well in both innings of a test match.” Sammy would take heart from the performance of

22-year old left-hander Darren Bravo, cousin of former batting great Brian Lara, who made 404 runs in the series with two hundreds. India’s Sachin Tendulkar whetted the appetite of the nation at his home ground by once again getting close to his 100th international ton only to fall short by six runs. He looked set to secure the coveted hundred that has eluded him since he last made three figures in the 50-overs World Cup in April but his innings came to an abrupt end when he edged paceman Ravi Rampaul to Sammy at second slip. Tendulkar, who has been rested for the first three matches in the five-match series against West Indies, will either have to wait for the last two ODIs, if he opts to play, or the four-test series in Australia for his next opportunity. India have also rested regular captain

Dhoni for the series to keep him fresh for the Australia tour, where India will also play two Twenty20 internationals and a tri-series, also involving Sri Lanka. A 3-0 whitewash in the test series would have been ideal preparation for the Indian team, who were blanked 4-0 in their last series in England, before they board the flights for the tough tour to Australia. Dhoni said as much after India took an unassailable 2-0 lead after the second test in Kolkata. “The most important thing was to do well,” Dhoni said. “England was a bad tour for us, there were several reasons why we did not do well there.” The performance of the two spinners, who took 42 wickets in the series between them, also pleased their captain. “Both the spinners really bowled well. They did a good job for us,” he said.—Reuters

SCOREBOARD MUMBAI: Scoreboard on the fifth day of the third and final test between India and West Indies at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday. West Indies first innings 590 (A.Barath 62, K.Braithwaite 68, K.Edwards 86, D.Bravo 166, K.Powell 81, M. Samuel 61; R.Ashwin 5-156) India first innings 482 (G.Gambhir 55, R.Dravid 82, S.Tendulkar 94, V. Kohli 52, R.Ashwin 103) West Indies second innings (overnight 81-2) A.Barath c Laxman b Ojha 3 K.Brathwaite c Tendulkar b Ojha 35 K.Edwards st Dhoni b Ojha 17 D.Bravo c & b Ojha 48 K.Powell lbw Ashwin 11 M.Samuels st Dhoni b Ojha 0 C.Baugh b Ashwin 1 D.Sammy c Dhoni b Ashwin 10 R. Rampaul c Tendulkar b Ojha 0 F. Edwards not out 2 D. Bishoo lbw Ashwin 0 Extras (b-3 lb-4) 7 Total (all out; 57.2 overs) 134 Fall of wickets: 1-6 2-30 3-91 4-112 5-112 6-117 7120 8-129 9-134 Bowling: Ojha 27-5-47-6, Sharma 8-2-15-0, Aaron

4-0-23-0, Ashwin 15.2-0-34-4, Sehwag 2-0-3-0, Tendulkar 1-0-5-0 India second innnings G. Gambhir c Sammy b F. Edwards 12 V. Sehwag c Sammy b Bishoo 60 R. Dravid c sub b Samuels 33 S. Tendulkar c K. Edwards b Samuels 3 VVS Laxman c Barath b Rampaul 31 V. Kohli c Sammy b Bishoo 63 MS Dhoni c K. Edwards b Rampaul 13 R. Ashwin run out 14 I. Sharma b Rampaul 10 V. Aaron not out 2 Extras (nb-1) 1 Total (nine wickets; 64 overs) 242 Did not bat: P. Ojha Fall of wickets: 1-19 2-101 3-106 4-113 5-165 6-189 7-224 8-239 9-242 Bowling: F. Edwards 7-0-28-1 (1nb), Rampaul 16-156-3, Samuels 25-0-93-2, Bishoo 16-0-65-2 Match drawn. India win three-match series 2-0.

LSU power past Arkansas BATON ROUGE: In the biggest game at Tiger Stadium in half a century, No.1-ranked Louisiana State came from 14 points down to beat No. 3ranked Arkansas 41-17 on Friday and secure a spot in college football Southeastern Conference championship game. Tyrann Mathieu returned a punt 92 yards for a score and the Tigers punished Arkansas with 286 yards rushing. Kenny Hilliard, Spencer Ware and quarterback Jordan Jefferson all scored with runs for LSU, which is 12-0 for the first time and will play No. 13 Georgia next weekend in Atlanta. A win over the Bulldogs would assure the Tigers their third trip to college football’s title game in nine seasons. Though at this point, LSU might be able to get there even if it loses. Arkansas took a surprising 14-0 lead on Tyler Wilson’s touchdown pass to Jarius Wright and Alonzo Highsmith’s 47-yard fumble return, but LSU stormed back by scoring 41 of the next 44 points in the game. The rivalry game known as the battle for “The Boot,” a trophy in the shape of Arkansas and Louisiana, marked the first time two teams ranked in the top three had met in Death Valley since 1959, when No. 1 LSU won 7-3 over No. 3 Mississippi. Mathieu, who was playing safety instead of cornerback much of the game because of Eric Reid’s injury the previous week, forced two turnovers with strips, one of which he recovered. He now has six forced fumbles this season. His fifth was a strip of running back Dennis Johnson in LSU territory late in the first half. That set up a touchdown drive that put the Tigers

ahead to stay. LSU trailed 14-7 when Mathieu fielded Dylan Breeding’s punt at his own 8-yard line, started left, made a hard cut straight up field, then angled left again to break into the clear. It was Mathieu’s third touchdown of the season, his second on special teams. LSU’s defense sacked Wilson five times (twice by Barkevious Mingo) and intercepted him once, with Morris Claiborne making his team-leading fifth pickoff of the season. Wilson completed 14 of 22 passes for 207 yards, with 60 yards on a short pass that Cobi Hamilton turned into a long gain. The play put Arkansas in position to tie the game at 21, but

LSU’s defense forced a field goal that made it 21-17, and the Razorbacks never got closer than that again. Jefferson was 18 of 29 for 208 yards and one touchdown, a 9-yard pass to Russell Shepard that gave LSU the lead for good at with 59 seconds left in the first half. Hilliard finished with a career-high 102 yards rushing on 19 carries, while Michael Ford rushed 11 times for 96 yards. Houston 48, Tulsa 16 In Tulsa, Case Keenum threw for 457 yards and five touchdowns as Houston beat Tulsa and earned a spot in the Conference USA championship

BATON ROUGE: LSU running back Michael Ford (42) carries as Arkansas safety Elton Ford (9) and linebacker Alonzo Highsmith (45) pursue on a 49-yard run during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game. —AP

game. Patrick Edwards had 181 yards receiving and four scores for the Cougars, who set a school season record by winning their 12th game. The 12 straight wins also match the school’s longest winning streak, set over the 1990 and ‘91 seasons. Keenum helped Houston pull away by hooking up with Edwards twice for touchdowns after the Cougars faced a fourth down in no man’s land. He found Edwards cutting across the field for a 33-yard score on fourth-and-10 in the second quarter, then threw a deep ball to him for a 38-yard TD on fourthand-1 in the third quarter. That score came in the midst of 28 unanswered points by the Cougars. Nebraska 20, Iowa 7 In Lincoln, Nebraska, Rex Burkhead, who started the week with his right foot in a walking boot, ran for 160 yards and a touchdown on a school-record 38 carries as Nebraska defeated Iowa. Burkhead pounded away at Iowa’s defense 4 and 5 yards at a time and looked like his old self after being held to a season-low 36 yards in last week’s loss at Michigan. He had eight carries for 39 yards on a 10-play drive that ended with his 2yard run and a 20-0 lead early in the fourth quarter. The Hawkeyes avoided getting shut out for the first time in 11 years when Marcus Coker scored on a 2yard run with 3:26 left. The Cornhuskers are hoping to land a berth in the Capital One Bowl, if two Big Ten Conference teams are invited to Bowl Championship Series games, or the Outback Bowl.—AP




Squash: Matthew backs ‘FA Cup’ plan KUWAIT: World Open champion Nick Matthew is advocating a revolutionary tournament system which would replicate the FA Cup’s format in British football. Matthew would like an event in which names are drawn out of the hat after every round, something which has never been seen in squash before, nor in any racket sport. The Englishman’s belief is that this would create an event so refreshingly different for players, it might attract extra media attention as well. “It could be the one tournament a year where you have a proper cup competition, and do the whole thing,” said Matthew, even though the idea

might work against his own interests. The remarks from the sport’s leading player were made on the occasion of a redraw of quarter-final survivors at the $165,000 Kuwait PSA Cup, held as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of this country’s independence. The radical new step was taken for the first time yesterday to add fresh interest to a sport needing to heighten its media profile as a boost to its chances of earning an Olympic place. “I can see the thinking behind it,” said Matthew. “I can also see the view that I and Greg (Gaultier, the former world number one from France) might take. “But if they were going to do try this system they could have had it

from the first round. They are doing it for the top eight and they should have done it from the first round.” His own vested interests and those of other leading players such as Gaultier militate against such a change because it removes the protection which a seeding system provides against early elimination. But Matthew had an answer to this. “You could have a rule that you don’t have to earn (or lose) ranking points from this particular event if you don’t want to.” The risks created for the top four players were immediately illustrated when Matthew was drawn to play a quarter-final against the tournament’s second-seeded player, Karim

Darwish, the former world number one from Egypt. He responded by mimicking his own fury, posing for photographs with his hands around his opponent’s throat, while Darwish threatened mock retaliation. Matthew’s compatriot, Peter Barker, a member of the 2007 world title winning team, was in no doubt that the experimental system helped players just below the top group. “I think it’s great,” he said. “It would give an opportunity for lower ranked players to get into the later stages which they wouldn’t normally get because they have to beat three or four seeds above them. “I am ranked seven in the world.

This year I have played some quarterfinals but have played Nick and James (Willstrop) a few times, plus Ramy (Ashour, the PSA Tour’s player of the year) once. “This way I might have more of an opportunity to have someone other than that,” he said, before learning how the luck of the draw had treated him. He gets Willstrop, winner of last week’s World Series event in Hong Kong, yet again. The other quarter-finals see Gaultier meet Stewart Boswell, the 15th seeded Australian, and LaurensJan Anjema, the Dutch number one, face Mohamed El Shorbagy, the former world junior champion from Egypt.—AFP

Valencia keep up pressure on Barca

LONDON: Wigan Athletic’s Maynor Figueroa (left) battles with Sunderland’s Nicklas Bendtner during the English Premier League soccer match at the Stadium of Light. —AP

Di Santo grabs injury time winner for Wigan Sunderland 1

Wigan 2

SUNDERLAND: Wigan moved off the foot of the Premier League with a gritty come-from-behind 2-1 win at Sunderland’s Stadium Of Light yesterday with Argentina striker Franco Di Santo grabbing the injury time winner. Sunderland took a deserved eighth minute lead when Swedish midfielder Sebastian Larsson, back from suspension, pounced on a failed clearance by Keiran Richardson after Wigan keeper Ali Al-Habsi spilled a shot from Nicklas Bendtner. Just after the half hour Al-Habsi saved Wigan from falling further behind when he turned away John

O’Shea’s flick from Larsson’s curling freekick. On 41 minutes Phil Bardsley should have done better when Richardson found him in plenty of space but he miscued his shot with the ball sailing over the bar. Against the run of play Wigan were back on level terms one minute from the interval after Jordi Gomez converted a side-footed penalty awarded when Nigerian-born striker Victor Moses was brought down chasing the ball in the box with Larsson. This was only Wigan’s third away goal of the season. Their fourth came in the third minute of injury time when Di Santo tapped in James McCarthy’s cross into an open net for what could prove a priceless goal. This was only Wigan’s second win of the campaign and it moved them on to nine points, two points above bottom of the table Blackburn. Sunderland stagnate on 11 points, two above the drop zone.—AFP

Norwich overcome QPR Norwich 2


NORWICH: Club captain Grant Holt scored the winner within minutes of coming off the bench as Norwich City beat Queens Park Rangers 2-1 at Carrow Road yesterday. The striker was thown on with 20 minutes to go in a double substitution along with Wes Hoolahan and Canaries manager Paul Lambert’s move paid off three minutes later, with the midfielder setting up Holt to score. The hosts took the lead in the 15th minute after a sustained spell of pressure when Scotland right-back Russell Martin reacted first in a goalmouth scramble. QPR equalised in the 59th minute through ex-England international Luke Young, the right-back burying a chance that rebounded off the post. The result meant the Canaries leapfrogged the Hoops to sit ninth in the English Premier League table on 16 points, two places ahead of QPR on 15. Lambert made three changes for the game, while QPR had Radek Cerny in goal due to injuries to Paddy Kenny and his understudy, Brian Murphy. Shaun Derry replaced suspended captain Joey Barton in midfield. The match between last season’s Championship top two-QPR winning the trophy-was the pair’s first top-flight clash since 1995.

Cerny, 37, the former Czech Republic goalkeeper, was forced into action early, keeping out shots from Simeon Jackson and Steve Morison. Martin goal’s was no surprise as the Norfolk side piled on the pressure, with the captain on the day getting the decisive touch in a melee following a corner. The Canaries were lucky not to give away a penalty within minutes, however. Shaun Wright-Phillips drifted into the penalty box and fell over the outstretched arms of goalkeeper John Ruddy, but referee Mark Clattenburg dismissed calls for a spot-kick. QPR finally got going towards the end of the first half, when Wright-Phillips forced Ruddy into a save. Hoops boss Neil Warnock replaced defender Clint Hill with striker Jay Bothroyd in the 57th minute as the west London side sought an equaliser. The attack-minded approach paid off quickly as an impressive shot from Jamie Mackie struck the foot of a post and fell straight into the path of Young, who slid in to bury the chance from a narrow angle. Young had scored twice in two years but this was his second goal in two matches, while Norwich have not kept a clean sheet in all of their 14 matches this season. QPR were looking the better side and Lambert responded by bringing on Hoolahan and Grant. Holt was soon in the action, seeing a header blocked on the line by Young, and he converted Hoolahan’s cross in the 73rd minute to delight home fans in the 26,781-strong crowd. Young nearly got a second equaliser, clipping the crossbar, but it was not to be for the Hoops.—AFP

MADRID: Valencia kept their Spanish title campaign on track with a 2-1 win at Rayo Vallecano yesterday which left them a point behind second-placed Barcelona and four off pacesetters Real Madrid. Valencia arrived on the back of a 7-0 rout of Genk in the Champions League and domestically they have now lost only once in seven games. That defeat came last weekend in a hard-fought battle to the end against Real Madrid. Yesterday, they took the lead with the first real chance of the match when Jonas Goncalves had a speculative shot from distance which surprised goalkeeper David Cobeno on 21 minutes. Valencia had their keeper Diego Alves to thank for two excellent blocks from Alejandro Arribas and Andrija Delibasic either side of half time before an excellent team move was finished off by Tino Costa in the 56th minute. Substitute Raul Tamudo scored a consolation

for Rayo six minutes from the end. Later Real Madrid face local rivals Atletico with a three-point lead at the top of the table and looking for their 13 successive victory. But coach Jose Mourinho is not expecting an easy ride against Atletico who are down in ninth place and have not won at the Bernabeu for 12 years. “If you offered me 1-0 or 2-1 then I would accept it. Atletico have a very strong squad which is capable of fighting for a place in the Champions League and with more time and preparation also for the league title,” said Mourinho. “I am expecting to face a very strong team,” added the coach whose side followed on their narrow win over Valencia with a 6-2 demolition of Dynamo Zagreb in the Champions League. “If people think that we are going to score three or four goals and that it will be a match like that against Dynamo Zagreb then they are wrong. Here traditions and statistics go

out of the window. In a derby anything can happen.” Barcelona will look to keep the pressure on the leaders against a Getafe side who have just one win in seven games. With attention in Spain already turning to the first El Clasico in the league against Real Madrid next month, coach Barcelona Pep Guardiola looked to play it down saying it was not high on his list of priorities at the moment. “I am focusing on the Getafe match and then the games after that. We will prepare for El Clasico when it arrives. It is not vital for us to be leaders ahead of that match and I am not obsessive about Real Madrid.” The bubble appears to have burst at Levante who have lost their last three games following their magnificent run which put them top of the table, and they will try and stop the slide today against Sporting Gijon. Below them Malaga are at home to Villarreal and Sevilla travel Zaragoza.—AFP

Dortmund back on top BERLIN: Defending champions Borussia Dortmund went top of the German league for the first time this season yesterday after defeating neighbors Schalke 2-0 as Bayern Munich dropped to third in the table. Only one point separates the top three teams with Dortmund and Borussia Moenchengladbach on 29 points, but Bayern can regain top spot if they win at Mainz today. Having had their Champions League hopes all but ended with defeat at Arsenal in midweek, Dortmund picked up their seventh win in eight league games with goals by Poland striker Robert Lewandowski and Brazilian defender Felipe Santana in front of 80,720 spectators. Lewandowski grabbed his ninth league goal when he headed home on 16 minutes and Dortmund made sure of their first home win over Schalke since 2007 when Santana fired home from 13 metres out in the 139th Ruhr Valley derby. After losing Germany midfielder Sven Bender with a broken jaw at Arsenal, and only having had teenage star Mario Goetze confirmed in the starting line-up on Friday night, Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp praised his team. “We didn’t let the opponents back into the game, we were stronger in the middle of the pitch,” said Klopp. “It was just a good game of football from the first until the last minute and we deserved to win.” There is no love lost between the rival fans and 28 arrests were made at Dortmund’s sold out Signal Iduna Park stadium as fights between supporters had to be broken up by police using batons and pepper spray.

GERMANY: Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski of Poland (right) and Schalke’s Jermaine Jones of the US jump for the ball during their German First Division Bundesliga soccer match. —AP Police told SID, an AFP subsidiary, the number of arrests is expected to rise. Having booked their place in the knock-out phase of the Champions League with a late win at home to Chelsea on Wednesday, Leverkusen sealed a 3-3 draw at Hertha Berlin. Swiss striker Eren Derdiyok, who scored the equaliser against Chelsea, hit a hat-trick, but having put his side in the lead in the 79th minute to make it 3-2, Berlin’s teenage striker PierreMichel Lasogga levelled eight minutes from time. The draw leaves Leverkusen

sixth in the table while Berlin are 10th. Bottom side Augsburg picked up only their second victory of the season, and their first home win, when they inflicted a 2-0 defeat on 2009 champions Wolfsburg. Midfielder Daniel Brinkmann scored his first goal of the season when he fired home on 65 minutes from a tight angle before Albania striker Edmond Kapllani scored their second in the fourth minute of injury time. Augsburg’s win tightens things at the bottom of the table with two points now separating the bottom five sides. Mid-table

Nuremberg enjoyed a 1-0 win over Kaiserslautern, while Hoffenheim grabbed a 1-1 win over Freiburg. On Friday, ‘Gladbach knocked Bayern from top spot in the league with a 3-0 win at Cologne with former Germany striker Mike Hanke getting off the mark for the season with a double to seal his team’s fourth straight win. Having kept his side up last season only after they won a relegation play-off, Swiss coach Lucien Favre has worked a miracle this term by turning ‘Gladbach into genuine title contenders.—AFP

Celtic close gap on Rangers GLASGOW: Celtic cut the gap at the Scottish Premier League to four points as a Gary Hooper hat-trick helped them to a 5-0 rout of St Mirren yesterday. Georgios Samaras made the most of a rare start to open the scoring in the fourth minute before Hooper tapped in the second four minutes later. The English striker lashed home the third in the 53rd minute before he completed his treble just four minutes later when he dinked the ball over Craig Samson. Youngster Dylan McGeouch made only his second appearance for the Hoops as a 65th minute substitute and it took him just seven minutes to get on the score sheet with a superb solo strike after going on an 80-yard lung-busting run.

The result puts the pressure on league leaders Rangers, who face Kilmarnock at Rugby Park today. Neil Lennon said he couldn’t have asked anymore of his players. “We’ve had a clean sheet, ate into the goal difference and won the game. Hooper was sensational as was Samaras,” the Celtic manager said. “On the back of a very good performance on Wednesday they’ve continued in the same vein today. I think the difference was our finishing was a lot better.” His St Mirren counterpart congratulated Celtic on their performance. “To hurt you they have to have possession and we gave them a helping hand in the first two goals,” Danny Lennon said. “We will pick ourselves up and although

we are very disappointed myself and my players will learn great things from this defeat.” St Mirren had looked comfortable in possession as they confidently stroked the ball about the pitch in the opening exchanges but their good work came undone as early as the fourth minute when Samaras gave Celtic the lead. The much-maligned striker capitalised on Marc McAusland’s failed clearance to race in on goal and fired a low shot at keeper Craig Samson, who allowed the ball to squirm under him and cross the line. St Mirren looked shell-shocked and Samaras had a hand in Celtic’s second goal four minutes later as he played the ball out to Anthony Stokes whose cross was turned in by Hooper from a couple of yards.—AFP



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Arsenal settle for draw

English Premier League results Bolton 0 Everton 2 (Fellaini 49, Vellios 78); Chelsea 3 (Terry 7, Sturridge 29, Mata 45) Wolverhampton 0; Manchester Utd 1 (Hernandez 49) Newcastle 1 (Ba 64-pen); Nor wich 2 (Martin 15, Holt 73) QPR 1 (Young 59); Stoke 3 (Delap 28, Whelan 58, Crouch 72) Blackburn 1 (Rochina 86); Sunderland 1 (Larsson 8) Wigan 2 (Gomez 44-pen, Di Santo 90); West Bromwich 1 (Mulumbu 10) Tottenham 3 (Adebayor 25, 90, Defoe 81); Arsenal 1 (Vermaelen 82) Fulham 1 (Vermaelen 65-og). Playing today: Swansea v Aston Villa; Liverpool v Manchester City English Football League results Championship Blackpool 2 Birmingham 2; Brighton and Hove 2 Coventr y 1; Bristol City 2 Southampton 0; Cardiff 1 Nottingham Forest 0; Cr ystal Palace 0 Millwall 0; Doncaster 0 Watford 0; Hull 2 Burnley 3; Ipswich 2 Reading 3; Leeds 1 Barnsley 2; Peterborough 1 Middlesbrough 1; Portsmouth 1 Leicester 1. Playing later: West Ham v Derby County Division One Bournemouth 0 Oldham 0; Bury 1 Preston 0; Carlisle 1 Colchester 0; Chester field 0 Sheffield Utd 1; Exeter 3 Tranmere 0; Hartlepool 0 Yeovil 1; Milton Keynes 4 Wycombe 3; Notts County 3 Scunthorpe 2; Rochdale 1 Brentford 2; Sheffield Wednesday 1 Leyton Orient 0; Stevenage 0 Walsall 0.

McGeough 72) St Mirren 0; Dunfermline 3 (Barrowman 54, Graham 62, Buchanan 69) Aberdeen 3 (Considine 45, Keddie 81-og, Magennis 88); Hearts 2 (Skacel 46, Jonsson 76) Inverness CT 1 (Tokely 58);Motherwell 0 Dundee United 0; St Johnstone 3 (Sandaza 38, Haber 45, MacKay 47) Hibernian 1 (Towell 26). Playing today: Kilmarnock v Rangers Scottish Football League results First Division Dundee 4 Falkirk 2; Livingston 0 Ross County 3; Morton 2 Queen of the South 2; Raith Rovers 3 Hamilton Academical 2. Second Division Airdrie Utd 3 Arbroath 3; Brechin City 0 East Fife 2; Cowdenbeath 0 Dumbarton 0; Stenhousemuir 3 Albion Rovers 0. Third Division Alloa Athletic 1 East Stirlingshire 1; Montrose 3 Berwick Rangers 5 Italian Serie A results Lecce 0 Catania 1 (Barrientos 90); Novara 2 (Rubino 70, Rigoni 78) Parma 1 (Centurioni 29-og) Playing later Atalanta v Napoli, Lazio v Juventus Playing today: Cagliari v Bologna, Cesena v Genoa, Palermo v Fiorentina, Siena v Inter Milan, AC Milan v Chievo Played Friday: Udinese 2 (Di Natale 79, Isla 89) Roma 0

Playing tomorrow: Charlton v Huddersfield Division Two Accrington 3 Dagenham and Redbridge 0; Burton 3 Wimbledon 2; Crewe 1 Hereford 0;Gillingham 0 Bradford 0; Oxford 1 Cheltenham 3; Plymouth 4 Northampton 1; Rotherham 1 Crawley 2; Shrewsbury 2 Morecambe 0; Southend 1 Bristol Rovers 1; Swindon 2 Aldershot 0. Played Friday: Barnet 2 Macclesfield 1; Port Vale 0 Torquay 0 Scottish Premier League results Celtic 5 (Samaras 4, Hooper 8, 53, 57,

Spanish League results Rayo Vallecano 1 (Tamudo 84) Valencia 2 (Jonas 21, Tino 56); Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid; Getafe v Barcelona. Playing today Real Betis v Real Sociedad, Levante v Sporting Gijon, Espanyol v Osasuna, Real Mallorca v Racing Santander, Athletic Bilbao v Grenada, Real Zaragoza v Sevilla Playing tomorrow Malaga v Villarreal

Arsenal 1

Fulham 1

LONDON: Thomas Vermaelen scored at both ends as Arsenal were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw in their Premier League clash against Fulham at the Emirates Stadium yesterday. Martin Jol’s team looked like creating a shock when Gunners defender Vermaelen put through his own net mid-way through the second half while attempting a clearance. But the Belgium international redeemed himself eight minutes from full-time when he headed home his second goal of the campaign, stretching Arsenal’s unbeaten run to 10 matches. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger made two changes for the game, with Laurent Koscielny and Gervinho dropping to the bench, while Johan Djourou and Andrey Arshavin came in from the team that defeated Borussia Dortmund. Fulham had John Arne Riise back following the birth of his son and Bryan Ruiz was given his chance on the left wing, replacing Damien Duff, who had a calf problem. Jol’s side looked to use the counter-attack and Ruiz set up an early chance for Clint Dempsey, which was blocked. Bobby Zamora also fired over the crossbar after spinning around Vermaelen. But Arsenal were creating the more dangerous attacks and Arshavin had a strike disallowed for offside when Robin van Persie sent him through. Mark Schwarzer, who was once a target for Arsenal, clawed away an effort bound for the top corner from Aaron Ramsey when the Wales midfielder was slipped in by van Persie. Schwarzer was in action again when he saved from Theo Walcott at the near post, and the England winger set up Ramsey to blaze over

English Premier League table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): 0 1 2 1 4 4 2 6 5 3 6 6 7 5 5 6 8 10 8 8

42 30 26 19 28 26 16 15 19 16 14 13 12 12 15 15 13 19 12 17

11 13 16 12 17 23 11 16 21 17 24 23 20 16 16 15 23 31 24 30

34 30 28 26 25 23 22 16 16 15 15 15 14 13 12 11 11 9 9 7

English Football League tables Championship Southampton18 12 3 3 West Ham 17 10 4 3 Cardiff 19 9 7 3 M’brough 18 8 8 2 Leeds 18 8 4 6 Blackpool 18 7 6 5 Hull 17 8 3 6 Birmingham 16 7 5 4 Leicester 18 7 5 6 Crystal 18 7 5 6 Brighton 18 7 5 6 P’borough 18 7 3 8 Reading 18 6 6 6 Barnsley 18 6 6 6 Derby 17 7 3 7 Burnley 18 6 3 9 Portsmouth 18 5 5 8 Ipswich 17 6 2 9 Watford 18 5 5 8 Nottingham 18 6 2 10 Millwall 18 4 7 7 Bristol City 18 5 4 9 Coventry 19 2 7 10 Doncaster 18 3 4 11

40 30 33 23 29 30 18 23 24 18 21 34 20 21 22 25 20 25 17 18 20 18 16 13

19 14 22 15 28 23 18 18 20 17 21 31 19 22 25 29 21 33 26 30 20 28 29 30

39 34 34 32 28 27 27 26 26 26 26 24 24 24 24 21 20 20 20 20 19 19 13 13

Division One Charlton 18 Sheffield Wed 19 Huddersfield 18 Milton Keynes19 Sheffield Utd 19 Notts County 19 Brentford 19 Carlisle 19 Stevenage 19 Bury 19 Hartlepool 18 Tranmere 19 Oldham 19 Colchester 19 Bournemouth 19 Preston 18 Exeter 19 Leyton Orient 19 Scunthorpe 19 Rochdale 19 Walsall 19 Yeovil 19 Wycombe 19 Chesterfield 19

13 12 10 10 10 9 8 8 7 8 7 7 7 5 6 7 5 4 3 4 3 3 3 3

4 3 8 6 5 4 5 5 7 3 5 5 5 8 5 2 5 7 9 5 7 7 4 4

1 4 0 3 4 6 6 6 5 8 6 7 7 6 8 9 9 8 7 10 9 9 12 12

40 34 37 39 33 34 22 25 24 25 24 20 27 26 22 31 20 19 25 22 18 21 20 23

14 24 15 21 22 27 20 28 18 27 25 21 29 30 26 36 30 29 30 35 25 30 32 37

43 39 38 36 35 31 29 29 28 27 26 26 26 23 23 23 20 19 18 17 16 16 13 13

Division Two Southend Crawley Cheltenham Shrewsbury Burton Swindon Gillingham Morecambe Oxford Utd Torquay Rotherham Port Vale Wimbledon Macclesfield Crewe Aldershot Accrington Bristol Barnet Hereford Northampton Bradford

13 13 12 11 10 10 9 8 8 7 7 7 7 7 8 7 5 6 5 4 4 3

3 3 2 4 5 3 4 6 5 7 6 5 5 4 1 2 8 4 4 5 4 6

3 3 5 4 4 6 6 5 6 5 6 7 7 8 10 10 6 9 10 10 11 10

37 40 29 32 32 30 33 35 28 31 34 32 29 21 22 23 20 24 24 16 23 20

18 25 18 19 26 16 25 21 23 26 33 28 35 20 27 24 23 32 38 32 39 28

42 42 38 37 35 33 31 30 29 28 27 26 26 25 25 23 23 22 19 17 16 15

19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19

11 9 9 7 8 7 6 5 4 3 4 4 4 3 2 2 3 3 2 1

1 3 1 5 1 2 4 1 4 6 3 3 2 4 6 5 2 0 3 4

Dagenham Plymouth

19 4 19 3

1 3

14 17 36 13 18 38

13 12

Scottish Premier League table Rangers 15 12 3 0 Celtic 16 11 2 3 Motherwell 16 9 3 4 St Johnstone 15 6 5 4 Hearts 16 6 4 6 St Mirren 16 5 5 6 Dundee Utd 16 4 6 6 Kilmarnock 15 3 7 5 Hibernian 16 3 5 8 Dunfermline 16 3 5 8 Aberdeen 15 3 4 8 Inverness CT 16 3 3 10

30 34 20 18 15 14 21 20 16 19 17 20

6 14 18 12 11 19 26 25 26 34 21 32

39 35 30 23 22 20 18 16 14 14 13 12

Scottish Football League tables First Division: Ross County 14 9 4 1 Falkirk 14 6 4 4 Dundee 14 6 2 6 Livingston 14 4 7 3 Morton 14 5 4 5 Hamilton 14 5 3 6 Partick 13 4 4 5 Raith 14 4 3 7 Ayr 13 4 3 6 Q of South 14 3 4 7

24 23 17 20 17 21 19 14 13 14

11 22 16 19 23 17 14 17 24 19

31 22 20 19 19 18 16 15 15 13

Second Division: Cowdenbeath 14 Arbroath 14 Stenhousemuir 14 East Fife 14 Dumbarton 14 Albion 14 Airdrie Utd 14 Brechin 14 Forfar 13 Stirling 13

9 9 7 6 5 5 3 3 3 3

3 3 3 1 3 2 5 5 4 3

2 2 4 7 6 7 6 6 6 7

31 34 26 20 26 23 29 15 21 16

14 21 19 26 28 28 35 21 26 23

30 30 24 19 18 17 14 14 13 12

Third Division: Annan Athletic 12 Alloa 13 Elgin 12 Berwick 13 Stranraer 12 Queen’s Park 12 Clyde 12 Montrose 13 Peterhead 12 East Stirling 13

8 7 6 6 6 5 4 4 1 1

3 4 3 3 2 3 4 1 3 2

1 2 3 4 4 4 4 8 8 10

23 20 22 26 27 18 16 22 11 10

11 18 13 20 18 18 11 33 21 32

27 25 21 21 20 18 16 13 6 5

Italian Serie A table Udinese 12 7 3 Juventus 10 6 4 Lazio 11 6 4 AC Milan 11 6 3 Roma 12 5 2 Catania 12 4 5 Palermo 11 5 1 Napoli 10 4 3 Genoa 10 4 3 Chievo 11 4 3 Parma 12 5 0 Siena 11 3 5 Atalanta 11 5 4 Fiorentina 11 3 4 Cagliari 11 3 4 Inter Milan 10 3 2 Novara 12 2 4 Bologna 11 3 1 Lecce 12 2 2 Cesena 11 1 3 Note: Atalanta deducted six season for match-fixing Spanish League table Real Madrid 12 10 1 Barcelona 12 8 4 Valencia 13 8 3 Levante 12 7 2 Malaga 12 6 2 Sevilla 12 4 6 Bilbao 12 4 5 Espanyol 12 5 2 Atletico 12 4 4 Vallecano 13 4 4 Osasuna 12 3 6 Villarreal 12 3 5 Real Betis 12 4 1 Sporting 12 3 3 Getafe 12 2 4 Mallorca 11 2 4 Zaragoza 12 2 4 Grenade 11 2 3 Sociedad 12 2 3 Santander 12 1 6

2 15 6 24 0 18 7 22 1 16 8 22 2 23 14 21 5 15 14 17 3 14 18 17 5 14 15 16 3 13 7 15 3 14 12 15 4 10 12 15 7 15 20 15 3 14 10 14 2 15 14 13 4 10 9 13 4 10 12 13 5 13 17 11 6 14 21 10 7 9 17 10 8 9 19 8 7 4 13 6 points at start of

1 0 2 3 4 2 3 5 4 5 3 4 7 6 6 5 6 6 7 5

42 38 21 19 15 12 19 9 17 15 14 10 10 12 13 8 12 4 9 8

9 6 13 12 15 10 15 13 16 15 24 17 16 17 19 16 26 12 18 18

31 28 27 23 20 18 17 17 16 16 15 14 13 12 10 10 10 9 9 9

LONDON: Arsenal’s Robin van Persie (left) shoots past Fulham’s John Arne Riise during their English Premier League soccer match. — AP after an exciting run that saw him speed past Riise. Before the break, Moussa Dembele found room on the edge of the penalty area when he received the ball from Ruiz, with his shot deflecting just wide off Vermaelen. Dembele also had an effort saved at the near post following a sweeping counter-attack when Zamora flicked for Dempsey to carry the ball forward and set up his team-mate. With the final touch of the first half, Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker headed just wide when he met a free-kick, and there was more frustration for the hosts after the interval. Van Persie was sent through by Mikel Arteta and he got a shot on target, but Chris Baird was back on the line to hack clear. Referee Mike Dean also turned down a penalty appeal when van Persie was bundled over in

Everton heap more misery on Bolton

English Premier League table

Man City 12 Man United 13 Tottenham 12 Newcastle 13 Chelsea 13 Arsenal 13 Liverpool 12 Everton 12 Norwich City 13 Aston Villa 12 QPR 13 Stoke City 13 W Bromwich 13 Swansea City 12 Fulham 13 Sunderland 13 W’hampton 13 Bolton 13 Wigan Athletic13 Blackburn 13


Bolton 0

Everton 2

BOLTON: Everton secured a 2-0 victory over 10-man Bolton Wanderers as goals from Marouane Fellaini and Apostolos Vellios piled on the misery for the struggling hosts yesterday. David Moyes’ side took the lead four minutes after the break at the Reebok Stadium when Fellaini swept in from close range before substitute Vellios netted a second 12 minutes from time. Wanderers had earlier had David Wheater sent off, the defender’s 20thminute challenge on Diniyar Bilyaletdinov earning him a straight red card. The result moves Everton into the top half of the table, while Bolton, having suffered a 10th league defeat this term, remain in the relegation zone.Everton were on top from the third minute when Seamus Coleman saw his shot blocked by Paul Robinson’s sliding tackle and Bolton goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen palmed the ball away when Phil Jagielka got a flick to Leighton Baines’ free-kick. Jaaskelainen had to scramble to keep out

Bilyaletdinov’s swirling corner and six minutes later Wanderers were reduced to 10 men. Wheater was shown a straight red card by referee Michael Oliver after the former Middlesbrough man lunged in on Bilyaletdinov after losing possession. Everton tried to press home their numerical advantage and Bolton survived a scare shortly after the restart when Gary Cahill just beat namesake Tim Cahill to Coleman’s centre. But within seconds the Toffees were in front as Fellaini slid in to stab a Baines cross from the left into the roof of the net. Everton kept their foot on the pedal, with Baines whipping a dangerous ball across the box, Coleman seeing a deflected effort gathered by Jaaskelainen at the second attempt and Louis Saha shooting at the Finn from the edge of the area. Jagielka headed a corner wide with the Toffees protesting that Kevin Davies had handled before a rare Bolton attack saw Tim Howard deny Ivan Klasnic with his legs. Leon Osman was next to bring a save out of Jaaskelainen, but there was nothing the goalkeeper could do in the 78th minute as Everton finally made it 2-0.Baines crossed, Tim Cahill stretched to knock it back across the face of goal and Vellios, who had come on for Saha, had no problem converting to wrap up the three points.—AFP

the area by Dickson Etuhu and Brede Hangeland. Fulham punished them in the 65th minute when they took a shock lead. Danny Murphy’s diagonal pass found Riise cutting in from the left, with the full-back chesting the ball as he moved into the penalty area. Vermaelen came across to clear but succeeded only in steering the ball past goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Schwarzer saved well from Djourou when he met a corner, but Arsenal were level with eight minutes remaining as Vermaelen redeemed himself. Walcott crossed from the right and the Belgian’s downward header bounced into the roof of the net. Even so, it was still a frustrating result for Arsenal, who also had a penalty appeal turned down when Dempsey appeared to block with his arm in the closing moments. — AFP

Matches on TV (Local Timings) English Premier League Swansea v Aston Villa ........................... 16:30 Abu Dhabi Sports HD 3 Liverpool v Man City ............................. 19:00 Abu Dhabi Sport HD 3 Asian Olympic Qualifiers 2012 South Korea v Saudi Arabia .................. 8:00 Al Jazeera Sport Global Australia v Uzbekistan .......................... 11:15 Al Jazeera Sport Global Japan v Syria ......................................... 13:20 Al Jazeera Sport Global Malaysia v Bahrain ............................... 15:15 Al Jazeera Sport Global UAE v Iraq .............................................. 17:20 Al Jazeera Sport 1 Oman v Qatar ........................................ 18:00 Al Jazeera Sport Global Spanish League Getafe CF v FC Barcelona ....................... 0:00 Al Jazeera Sport +2 Betis v Sociedad ................................... 14:00 Al Jazeera Sport +2 Levante v Sporting .............................. 18:00 Al Jazeera Sport +2 Mallorca v Racing ................................. 20:00 Al Jazeera Sport +2 Espanyol v Osasuna .............................. 20:00 Al Jazeera Sport +1 Al Jazeera Sport 1 HD Bilbao v Granada CF ............................. 21:45 Al Jazeera Sport +2 Zaragoza v Sevilla ................................ 23:30 Al Jazeera Sport +2 Italian League Siena v Inter ......................................... 17:00 Al Jazeera Sport +1 Al Jazeera Sport 1 HD Palermo v Fiorentina ........................... 17:00 Al Jazeera Sport +10 Cesena v Genoa ................................... 17:00 Al Jazeera Sport +6 Cagliari v Bologna ............................... 17:00 Al Jazeera Sport +4

LONDON: Bolton Wanderers’ David Wheater (right) is sent-off by match referee Michael Oliver, second left, during the English Premier League soccer match against Everton at The Reebok Stadium. —AP

AC Milan v Chievo ................................ 22:45 Al Jazeera Sport +1

Defoe, Adebayor sink Albion West Brom 1

Tottenham 3

BIRMINGHAM: Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor scored late goals to hand Tottenham a fifth straight Premier League victory as they boosted their Champions League ambitions with a 3-1 win at West Bromwich Albion yesterday. Youssouf Mulumbu had headed the Baggies deservedly in front only for Adebayor to swiftly level matters when he tapped in after seeing his initial penalty saved. An entertaining clash appeared to be heading for a draw until Defoe, whom manager Harry Redknapp insisted in the build-up to the match is not for sale, lashed home a low shot from the edge of the area in the 81st minute. Adebayor then doubled his tally in injury-time

after converting Gareth Bale’s cross to ensure Spurs ended a run of five visits to the Hawthorns without a victory. Sandro and Defoe replaced Luka Modric and Rafael Van der Vaart in Redknapp’s starting line-up, while Roy Hodgson named the same team which defeated Bolton last weekend. It was a nervous start from the Baggies goalkeeper Ben Foster, who spilt what appeared a routine low strike from Sandro for a corner in the sixth minute. Yet four minutes later the home team were ahead following a superbly-worked passing move. James Morrison slid the ball deep into the right channel Zoltan Gera, who slid to reach the ball before Benoit Assou-Ekotto. He rolled the ball back to Steven Reid and his first-time cross was glanced low into the bottomleft corner beyond Brad Friedel by Mulumbu. However, their early elation was offset by an injury to Gera which forced him off in the 21st minute after his studs appeared to get caught in the turf. Within four minutes Spurs were level when Nicky Shorey’s foul on Aaron Lennon resulted in a penalty and Adeybayor bundled home at the sec-

ond attempt after seeing his initial effort saved. West Brom finished the half the stronger and threatened moments before half-time when Mulumbu weaved his way through the Tottenham defence only to shoot straight at Friedel. Spurs improved upon resumption and six minutes after the restart and Adebayor was denied heroically by Foster from close range following good work by Scott Parker. The previously-quiet Defoe sprang into life when dribbled through but his effort was cleared off the line by Reid. Gareth McAuley showed Shorey how it should be done on the hour-mark with an inch-perfect tackle on Lennon in full flight inside the box. The Baggies continued to look dangerous on the counter-attack and had another penalty appeal waved away when Morrison fell inside the box as he was challenged for possession by Younes Kaboul. They then spurned a glorious opportunity in the 77th minute when Morrison cut back to the unmarked Chris Brunt only for the Northern Irishman to fail to keep his shot down. —AFP

Arsenal settle for draw in EPL action

India clinch series after thrilling draw




NBA owners, players reach tentative deal

Page 16

LONDON: Newcastle’s goalkeeper Tim Krul (left) makes a save from a header by Manchester United’s Nemanja Vidic (center right) during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium. —AP

10-man Newcastle hold United Man United 1

Newcastle 1

MANCHESTER: Manchester United suffered a damaging 1-1 draw with Newcastle at Old Trafford after Demba Ba’s controversial penalty earned a point for the 10-man visitors yesterday. Sir Alex Ferguson’s second-placed side are four points behind Manchester City and that gap will extend to seven if the leaders win at Liverpool today, so it was

no surprise the United boss was fuming at full-time. Javier Hernandez had given United the lead just after half-time but Ba levelled after referee Michael Jones took his assistant’s advice to award a penalty for Rio Ferdinand’s challenge on Hatem Ben Arfa. Newcastle played the last 12 minutes of the game with 10 men, after Jonas Gutierrez’s dismissal for a second yellow card for a clumsy foul on Nani. But, despite intense pressure and a 94th-minute Hernandez goal ruled out for offside, the home side could not record a much-needed victory. Wayne Rooney, back from a hip injury, was involved in an early incident when he hacked at a loose ball on the ground and accidentally kicked Fabricio Coloccini in

the 26th minute. Newcastle’s Ben Arfa needlessly became involved and angrily pushed at Rooney, earning the game’s first yellow card for his troubles. The incident seemed to inject some energy into the home team, with Nani feeding Hernandez for a wild shot over and Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul superbly keeping out a deft flick from Ryan Giggs. United’s opening goal, after 49 minutes, owed much to a large slice of fortune after Newcastle central defender Steven Taylor was judged to have brought down Hernandez on the edge of the penalty area. Rooney took the ensuing free-kick, kicking directly into the wall before

attempting a second shot from the rebound. The ball was blocked by Taylor but his clearance struck Hernandez and ricocheted back into the Newcastle goal from point-blank range. Immediately afterwards, Fabio was played through by Hernandez and easily beat Coloccini before firing over the bar and an Ashley Young corner was helped on for Rooney to head over from seven yards. After 55 minutes, the contest could have been effectively decided as Patrice Evra squared the ball for Young, who took a touch and his time on the way into a shooting position, only to miss wide of the right-hand post. But there were warnings signs from

Mata lifts Chelsea’s spirits

the visitors, with a well-worked corner being kept in at the far-post by Taylor to allow Coloccini a shot from seven yards that was magnificently tipped over by David de Gea. However, Newcastle drew level when Ferdinand tackled Ben Arfa after 61 minutes and, after consulting with his assistant John Flynn, Jones pointed to the penalty spot, to the horror of the home side’s players. Ba kept his composure well during the two-minute delay before placing the penalty kick into the bottom right-hand corner. The half hour that followed was full of intense United attacking play, especially after Gutierrez was sent off. Rooney made room for a wayward shot soon after the

Stoke dump Blackburn Stoke 3

Chelsea 3 Blackburn 1 Wolves 0

LONDON: Chelsea winger Juan Mata gave under-fire boss Andre Villas-Boas the perfect tonic as his superb display inspired a comfortable 3-0 win over Wolves at Stamford Bridge yesterday. Villas-Boas has come under heavy criticism in recent weeks following Chelsea’s woeful run and some reports claimed he could be sacked by owner Roman Abramovich despite only joining the club from Porto in the close-season. Abramovich responded by insisting the 34year-old would be allowed time to build a team capable of winning the Champions League. But after three defeats from their last four league games and a Champions League loss at Bayer Leverkusen, this much-needed victorysecured thanks to goals from John Terry, Daniel Sturridge and the majestic Mata-went someway to easing the pressure on Villas-Boas. There were two changes from the side that succumbed to defeat in Germany with Ashley Cole returning in place of Jose Bosingwa while Frank Lampard was dropped to the bench for Oriol Romeu. Wolves have struggled of late as their manager Mick McCarthy has also seen his position come under scrutiny. And the former Republic of Ireland coach was left furious after a mistake from Nenad Milijas allowed Chelsea to take a sixth minute lead. The Serbian was dispossessed in midfield by Ramires, whose shot was tipped around the post by Wayne Hennessey. Then from the resulting corner Terry headed home unmarked from Mata’s delivery as Villas-

LONDON: Chelsea’s Raul Meireles (right) is tackled by Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Ronald Zubar during their English Premier League soccer match at the Stamford Bridge Stadium. —AP Boas and the majority of Stamford Bridge breathed a sigh of relief. Villas-Boas was made to feel even better when Sturridge scored a second in the 29th minute to finish a neat move. Cole fed Raul Meireles who teed up Mata. He danced his way into the box and crossed for Sturridge, who poked home from close range. The England striker then had an effort from 25-yards that drew another good save from Hennessey. Soon after McCarthy had substituted the ineffective Milijas but the change did little good for Wolves, as Mata made it 3-0 just before half-time when he stroked home from Cole’s cross after Wolves had failed to clear their lines. The visitors, who were toothless in the opening 45 minutes, looked marginally better

af ter the break , although only briefly as Stephen Ward went close. But they almost paid a price for throwing players forward as Sturridge surged down the other end only to be denied by Roger Johnson. Hennessey then made two excellent saves in quick succession to deny Sturridge and Mata. Chelsea sensed this match was over and Villas-Boas introduced Lampard. But the home fans started chanting the name of £50 million striker Fernando Torres. And the Spain international was given a little under 15 minutes to impress as he replaced Didier Drogba. The former Liverpool man looked lively and had a curling effort that was plucked out of the air by the impressive Hennessey, who did not really deserve to be on the losing side after this performance.-—AFP

equaliser and Nani’s impressive run almost presented Young with a scoring chance. Krul saved superbly from a Nemanja Vidic header following Giggs’ free-kick awarded after Gutierrez’s dismissal, then the Newcastle keeper launched himself to turn away Evra’s 18-yard strike. Nani’s 85th-minute cross found an unmarked Young, whose low drive struck the foot of the post, while ex-United defender Danny Simpson somehow managed to clear Hernandez’s header off the line as the forward met a cross from Fabio. United thought they had grabbed a winner in injury time, but Hernandez’s tap-in from a low Giggs cross that was touched on by Michael Carrick was chalked off for offside.—AFP

LONDON: Stoke heaped more pressure on Blackburn manager Steve Kean with a 3-1 victory over struggling Rovers at the Britannia Stadium yesterday. Tony Pulis’s side took the lead through Rory Delap’s first-half header and added further goals after half-time from Glenn Whelan and Peter Crouch. Blackburn got one back through Ruben Rochina in the closing stages, but Kean’s team never threatened a fightback as Stoke ended a run of four successive defeats. Rovers have won just once this season and remain second-bottom of the Premier League-four points from safetyand the travelling Blackburns fans vented their frustrations with chants for Kean to be sacked. It is not the first time they have turned on Kean this season, with one group of fans recently hiring a plane to fly over Ewood Park with a banner reading “Kean Out!” during a match. Blackburn’s Indian owners this week “revised” the terms of Kean’s contract in a move regarded as showing their support for the beleaguered boss, but he is unlikely to last much longer if there are many repeats of this shocking performance. “I don’t think we played badly but they’re not great goals that we have given away,” Kean said. “I felt the third goal was a very poor goal to give away but we kept at it and

kept creating chances and hopefully we can tighten up at the back.” After a drab start, Stoke’s first genuine chance to attack the Rovers goal led to their opening goal in the 28th minute. Steven Nzonzi’s foul on Crouch gave Jermaine Pennant the opportunity to whip in a free-kick from the right and he did so perfectly. The ball just cleared Morten Gamst Pedersen, who was the first defender inside the penalty area, and Delap got in front of Gael Givet to divert a glancing header past goalkeeper Paul Robinson and inside the far post. Five minutes before the break, Stoke midfielder Whelan cleared off the line from Scott Dann’s header as Blackburn finally mounted an attack of their own. Blackburn should have equalised within a minute of the second half restarting after Rochina had dribbled his way to the byline and cleverly backheeled to Mauro Formica but the Argentinian completely missed his shot from four yards. Robert Huth was then left wondering how he missed the target as he powered a header wide from Matthew Etherington’s cross in the 54th minute. But fortunately for Stoke they did not have long to rue that error as four minutes later Etherington picked out Jon Walters in the penalty area and he laid the ball off for Whelan to drive home from 25 yards, with the aid of a deflection off Dann, for his first goal since February 2010. Crouch sealed the win when he clinically converted Marc Wilson’s long ball into the Rovers penalty area with a leftfooted shot in the 72nd minute. Rochina reduced the deficit with a fine strike from distance in the 86th minute after Junior Hoilett had cut in from the left.—AFP

Abu Dhabi airport expects rise in passenger numbers Page 23

NBK wins Localization Award Page 25 SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2011

Belgian parties reach deal on 2012 budget

Page 26

Yusuf A Alghanim & Sons celebrates 100 years of Chevrolet Page 22

CAIRO: An Egyptian trader reads a copy of the Al-Masry Al-Youm local newspaper fronted by pictures of clashes between protesters and security forces, at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo, Egypt. — AP

Egypt’s economy slumps amid unrest Foreign reserves drop, stock market crashes CAIRO: Drivers passing Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo curse the protesters. On radio shows, callers question whether the youth activists and others involved in the new wave of demonstrations over the past week are nationalists, selfish children or saboteurs. Political differences aside, what has become clear is that the latest clamor against Egypt’s military rulers is pummeling the country’s already flailing economy at a crucial time when many hoped winter tourism would pick up. A financial crisis is looming, say analysts. “ We’re not far off,” said Neil Shearing, chief emerging markets economist with Capital Economics. “There’s enough money left in the coffers to get through the year, but not much beyond that. Crunch time is two to three months away.” It took 30 years to engineer the revolution that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak in February. But it only took months to push the 7 percent annual growth rate of recent years to an anemic forecast of only about 1 percent this year. The difficulties keep mounting. The stock market tanks daily and foreign reserves have fallen by almost 40 percent so far this year. The drop is linked to the protests that have persisted since Mubarak’s fall, and more

specifically, the wide gap between the expectations of the population after the uprising and the reality of what the government could deliver. From iconic Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the revolution, to the city’s middle income neighborhoods and slums, the sobering realization that the hopes for democracy have not translated into a better standard of living is leaving Egyptians increasingly frustrated - with the military rulers, with the interim government that resigned a few days ago and, perhaps more troublingly, with each other. “The move toward democracy is something that should be a beacon for the rest of the region,” said Shearing. “But we’ve clearly reached a point ... where there needs to be some political stability because the financing risks are severe.” As of October, the country’s net foreign reserves had fallen to $22 billion from $36 billion at the end of 2010. At least part of that money has gone to supporting the Egyptian pound, which economists worry could face severe depreciation if officials don’t shore up the country’s finances. At the famed pyramids of Giza, when horse rides, papyrus prints and tours failed to entice some tourists, a young guide turned to the unorthodox. “Girls?” offered 23-year-old Samir Adham, flashing a sly grin. “Hashish?”

He apologized when he realized the offer was made to a reporter. “No one comes anymore,” he explained. “What can I do? I have to make a living,” he said, bemoaning the hammering of Egypt ’s vital tourism industry, one of the country’s top money-earners, since the revolution. The troubles confronting Adham and others in the tourism sector are a window into the country’s broader challenges. Egypt’s tourism sector has accounted for roughly 10 percent of gross domestic product and employs Egyptians in a range of supporting industries - from guides and camel touts to hotel workers and artisans. “Most shops have either let go of most of their employees or cut their salaries by at least 50 percent,” said Khaled Osman, who owns a shop near the pyramids employing about 20 people. Since the revolution, the unemployment rate has climbed to almost 12 percent in the third quarter of 2011, compared to just shy of 9 percent a year earlier. If the uprising that pushed Mubarak from power marked the start of the industry’s demise for the year, then the latest protests in Tahrir Square have further cemented the losses. The most recent clashes began as protesters returned to the square calling for the military

to hand over power immediately to a civilian government. Among their complaints was that the ruling generals were no different than Mubarak and that they had run the economy into the ground. The images of activists and security forces hurling rocks at each other through a thick fog of tear gas is hardly encouraging tourists. The unrest hasn’t done well with investors either. The cost of government borrowing has gone up and the central bank on Friday was forced to raise interest rates for the first time in roughly three years. Borrowing costs will likely climb even more after ratings agency Standard & Poor’s on Thursday drove Egypt’s sovereign debt rating deeper into junk status, citing what it said was “an ongoing high, and recently increased, risk of challenges to political institutions that will possibly involve further domestic conflict.” “These challenges could arise if populist demands for greater political participation are thwarted, or from demands for improved living standards from different sectors of the population no matter who is governing Egypt,” the agency said. The impact of the uncertainty is clear at Cairo’s airport, where officials report that passenger traffic has fallen off sharply since the start of the

Dubai businessmen upbeat in Q4 DUBAI: Leading businessmen and investors remain upbeat about the prospect of growth in the emirate business sector in the last quarter of the current year, according to a report released by a local authority. The report, issued by the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED), yesterday, said the optimism assessment was based on a polling that involved a sample of 500 companies operating in the emirate of Dubai. The consumer confidence index amounted to 115 points in Q3 of 2011, the report said, indicating that confidence in the sales sector was high too. Sami Al-Qamzi, the DED Director General,

affirmed importance of this index for forecasting monitoring reactions in the business sector. The polling showed that 57 percent of the sample forecast high yields in Q4 of the year, 30 percent foresaw stability of volumes of sales, 44 percent expected hike of earnings and 39 percent anticipated stability of proportion of returns in Q3 of 2011. Services companies appeared to be much more optimistic, with regard of posting earnings, as compared to those in the industrial and commercial sectors. Moreover, small and medium enterprises, as well as exporting companies, foresee improvement of performance. —KUNA

latest clashes a week ago. Some flights arrive with fewer than 30 passengers. In Luxor, home to some of the country’s most prized archaeological sites, tourism officials said hotel occupancy rates have plunged to under 10 percent. The downturn there is especially troubling because the winter months are typically when tourists head to southern Egypt, and Luxor and Aswan rely overwhelmingly on tourism revenues. The declines are mirrored in Cairo, where five -star hotels sit largely empty. Only Red Sea resorts such as Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheik are still going strong, with occupancy rates of about 70 percent, according to Amani El-Torgoman, tourism operations manager at Travco, one of the region’s largest travel companies. But even there, it has come at a price. “We’re running after clients with best offers and last minute offers,” said El-Torgoman, noting that most properties had cut their rates by as much as 50 percent to lure in visitors with all-inclusive packages that can go for as little as $50 per night. While the latest clashes in Cairo have yet to be reflected in tourism figures, officials expect the hit to be hard and to build on top of an already declining interest on the part of Europeans, the bulk of visitors. Irina Tyurina, a spokesperson for

the Russian Association of Tourist Agencies, said the sales had dropped by 57 percent over the past six months compared to the same period of last year. The so-called “Classic tours,” which involve trips through Cairo and then down to southern Egypt, are all but dead, said Travco’s El-Torgoman. “If things continue like this, there are a lot of people who will go out of business,” she said. “A lot (of smaller companies and shops) can’t afford paying the salaries or even sustaining small losses.” The same argument carries across other sectors of the economy and into the daily lives of Egyptians who complain that the only thing that has come from the ouster of Mubarak has been even more of an increase in p r i ce s, co u p l e d w i t h a s u rg e i n crime and the headaches that come with the daily protests in Cairo. Already nearly half the population of more than 80 million lives near or below the poverty line set by the World Bank of $2 a day. “Why can’t they see that they’re destroying the countr y,” railed M ohammed ElShark aw y, an accountant who moonlig hts a s an elec trician to make ends meet. The activists say “they want democrac y and free dom, but don’t understand that it comes with responsibility.” —AP

Egypt keeps CB chief for 3rd term

Sami Al-Qamzi, the DED Director General

CAIRO: Egypt’s ruling military council has decided to keep Central Bank governor Farouk elOkdah in office for a third fouryear term, a Central Bank statement said yesterday. The council also appointed Gamal Negm and Lobna Helal as deputy governors. US-trained banker Okdah became governor in December 2003 after his predecessor, Mahmoud Abul-Eyoun, oversaw a trouble-free flotation of the pound during his two years in the job.

The Central Bank unexpectedly raised interest rates on Thursday for the first time in more than two years, acting after depleting its foreign reserves trying to defend a local currenc y weakened by street violence and political chaos.Investors have been rattled by violent clashes in Cairo and other cities between security forces and protesters demanding an immediate end to military rule, days before the scheduled start of a parliamentary election tomorrow. — Reuters




e niv rsar n




KUWAIT: Yusuf A Alghanim & Sons Automotive held its own event honoring Chevrolet’s 100 Years Anniversary at Safat Alghanim. The event opened in the presence of eminent personalities, VIP guests and leading media professionals. Yusuf A Alghanim & Sons also extended the invitation to the patrons who have been such an important part of their journey with Chevrolet—the people of Kuwait. —Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Yusuf A Alghanim & Sons Automotive celebrates 100 years of Chevrolet KUWAIT: The Chevrolet story drove past a historic milestone of 100 years this month. Over the decades, the brand has redefined motoring for people across generations through its unrivaled innovations, iconic style, spirited performance and unmatched value. The par tnership between

Yusuf A. Alghanim & Sons Automotive and Chevrolet in Kuwait dates back to the 1940s when Yusuf A. Alghanim & Sons became the exclusive distributor of Chevrolet in Kuwait. In the years that followed, Yusuf A. Alghanim & Sons has become a key par tner in the region to establish the Chevrolet brand,

and contributed significantly towards the economy and development of Kuwait. Such an exceptional occasion deserves an equally enthralling celebration. Rightly so, Yusuf A. Alghanim & Sons Automotive held its own event honoring Chevrolet ’s 100 Years Anniversary at Safat Alghanim.

The event opened in the presence of eminent personalities, VIP guests and leading media professionals. Yusuf A. Alghanim & Sons also extended the invitation to the patrons who have been such an important part of our journey with Chevrolet-the people of Kuwait. The event showcased an exhibition of vintage Chevrolet vehicles, that included the 1970 Chevrolet Camaro BaldwinMotion, 1965 Corvette Stingray Custom, 1953 Chevrolet Bel Air,

1953 Chevrolet 3100 Pick-up Truck. Alongside these timeless legends, visitors also got a sneak peek at the 45th Anniversary Edition Chevrolet Camaro and the Centennial Edition accessorized innovations by KromOzone, which were a huge crowd pleaser and a shining hit. A walk-through gallery highlighted the defining moments in Chevrolet ’s 100year heritage alongside Yusuf A. Alghanim & Sons Automotive key milestones. Above all, the exhibition took everyone on a trip along memory lane by reconnecting with those Chevrolets that has transported generations of families in Kuwait. The event witnessed a remarkable turnout of media, customers, youth, families and the ever so passionate Chevrolet fans. Furthermore, customers could also take advantage of Yusuf A. Alghanim & Sons Automotive once-in-a-lifetime 100th Year promotion on every purchase of Chevrolet vehicles. Even 100 years past, Chevrolet is set on the promise of a proud present and will continue to stand out in the future with smooth and reliable passenger cars, powerful and safe SUVs, luxurious and spacious crossovers for families, in addition to performance cars and dependable pick-ups. Yusuf A. Alghanim & Sons Automotive is just as enthusiastic and looking for ward to the journey with Chevrolet to deliver automotive excellence in Kuwait for the next 100 and beyond.

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

.2725000 .4310000 .3700000 .2980000 .2650000 .2720000 .0040000 .0020000 .0747670 .7284350 .3810000 .0700000 .7140980 .0040000 .0430000

.2785000 .4430000 .3790000 .3140000 .2760000 .2830000 .0072500 .0035000 .0755170 .7357560 .4010000 .0760000 .7212750 .0072000 .0530000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2754000 .2775000 GB Pound/KD .4323920 .4356890 Euro .3706060 .3734320 Swiss francs .2993750 .3015980 Canadian dollars .2668730 .2689080 Danish Kroner .0497950 .0501740 Swedish Kroner .0404670 .0407760 Australian dlr .2732240 .2753080 Hong Kong dlr .0353590 .0356290 Singapore dlr .2118460 .2134620 Japanese yen .0035860 .0036140 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 .0053780 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 .0025220 Pakistan rupee .0000000 .0031910 Bangladesh taka .0000000 .0036390 UAE dirhams .0750100 .0755820 Bahraini dinars .7307950 .7363670 Jordanian dinar .0000000 .3925040 Saudi Riyal/KD .0734600 .0740200 Omani riyals .7156030 .7210600 Philippine Peso .0000000 .0064530

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

ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.617 5.316 3.163 2.427 3.336 212.700 35.571 3.590 6.384 8.866 0.271 0.273

GCC COUNTRIES 73.923 76.168 720.020 736.280 75.484

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

ARAB COUNTRIES 47.750 46.187 1.268 191.100 391.470 1.860 5.984 34.042

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 277.100 Euro 374.090 Sterling Pound 432.550 Canadian dollar 267.470 Turkish lire 153.940 Swiss Franc 304.510 Australian dollar 277.000 US Dollar Buying 276.700

Bahrain Exchange Company COUNTRY Australian dollar Bahraini dinar Bangladeshi taka Canadian dollar Cyprus pound Czek koruna Danish krone Deutsche Mark Egyptian pound Euro Cash Hongkong dollar Indian rupees Indonesia Iranian tuman Iraqi dinar Japanese yen Jordanian dinar Lebanese pound Malaysian ringgit Morocco dirham Nepalese Rupees New Zealand dollar Nigeria

SELL CASH 279.900 735.760 3.850 272.600 543.400 44.700 51.200 167.800 48.240 378.000 36.220 5.790 0.032 0.224 0.241 3.690 392.910 0.187 89.930 46.300 4.260 213.300 1.793

49.000 718.600 3.340 6.600 76.530 73.870 214.290 36.290 2.636 440.200 41.700 305.200 5.500 9.300 198.263 75.430 277.000 1.220

718.420 3.185 6.385 76.100 73.870 214.290 36.290 2.503 438.200 303.700 5.500 9.110 75.330 276.600

10 Tola

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 438.200 276.600

Sterling Pound US Dollar

SELL DRAFT 278.400 735.760 3.605 271.100

214.300 46.268 376.500 36.070 5.360 0.031

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

274.68 270.12 307.70 375.64 434.44 3.65 3.605 5.285 2.431 3.326 3.182 75.37 736.54 46.21 393.94 719.64 76.36 73.94

282.00 270.27 305.00 378.00 437.00 3.62 3.740 5.740 2.610 4.150 3.370 75.75 736.00 48.20 392.00 719.50 76.65 73.95

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd 392.020 0.185 89.930 3.370 211.800

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

Selling Rate 276.850 268.505 443.300 374.970 303.055 733.125

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

75.350 75.990 73.785 389.700 46.310 2.422 5.309 3.179 3.615 6.383 679.095 3.675 8.955 5.830 3.415 91.960

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co.

GOLD 1,783.550

UAE Exchange Centre WLL

GOLD 315.000 159.000 81.500

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

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

Currency Rate per 1000 (Tran) US Dollar 276.900 Pak Rupees 3.165 Indian Rupees 5.310 Sri Lankan Rupees 2.435 Bangladesh Taka 3.620 Philippines Peso 6.430 UAE Dirhams 75.495 Saudi Riyals 73.995 Bahraini Dinars 736.200 Egyptian Pounds 46.220 Pound Sterling 438.100 Indonesian Rupiah 3.190 Yemeni Riyal 1.550 Jordanian Dinars 393.400 Syrian Pounds 5.750 Euro 378.800 Canadian Dollars 272.100 Nepali rupee 3.690

Al Mulla Exchange Currency Transfer Rate (Per 1000) US Dollar 276.250 Euro 376.300 Pound Sterling 438.000 Canadian Dollar 270.900 Japanese Yen 3.625 Indian Rupee 5.335 Egyptian Pound 46.205 Sri Lankan Rupee 2.501 Bangladesh Taka 3.590 Philippines Peso 6.365 Pakistan Rupee 3.170 Bahraini Dinar 735.700 UAE Dirham 75.300 Saudi Riyal 73.825 *Rates are subject to change



Regus expansion into Kuwait boosts presence in Gulf KUWAIT: The positive economic outlook and growing demand for flexible workspace in Kuwait have inspired global workspace provider Regus to open its first business centre there. The opening at Kuwait City ’s Shayma Tower, one of the most sought after business addresses, means Regus now supports businesses in 91 countries worldwide. With Kuwait’s growth prospects boosted by rising demand for oil and government plans to diversify the economy, Regus has opened the centre to help businesses maximise their opportunities. The launch builds on Regus’s recent investment in the Gulf, with openings this year in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, and Abu Dhabi in the UAE. Mark Dixon, CEO of Regus, explains: “Through our business centres and solutions in the Gulf, we have helped countless local and international businesses to introduce more efficient ways of working, to expand, and to test new markets, all without upfront capital investment in infrastructure. We’re now extending this support to companies in Kuwait.” The opportunities for businesses are being boosted by the government’s Development Plan, which aims to expand the role of the private sec-

tor. This, combined, with rising oil revenues, means real GDP growth of around 5% is projected for 2011.1 Regus’s own research in the Gulf backs this bullish forecast. The Regus Business Confidence Index released earlier this month sees more Gulf companies reporting healthy profit growth (45%) and increasing revenues (55%). Confidence levels are twenty points above the global average. Regus’s decision to open its first business centre in Kuwait is also backed by the changing work patterns and how companies use real estate. According to Regus research, 81% of businesses globally offer flexible working options to staff with 60% believing flexible working is lower cost than fixed-office working. “As businesses in Kuwait look to grow, the new Regus business centre here offers them a more efficient and more flexible alternative to traditional fixed ways of working.”Adds Dixon. The mobile worker population is set to expand significantly in Kuwait with predictions of Canada and Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMA), and Latin America, which will see their mobile worker population grow to 153.2 million by 2013. There is a wide-ranging body of

research data evidencing the mainstream trend towards flexible working, and underpinning accelerating demand for flexible workspace, including:• Globally 60% of businesses state that flexible working costs less than fixed office workingi, saving tens of

reduced overheads compared to only 41% globally who say that flexible working increases staff productivityiii and 80% of companies who state that flexible working policies attract and retain skilled staffiv • Interestingly 60%of employees say flexible working creates a better

thousands of dollars per employee per yearii compared to 47% of firms in the Middle East. • A majority of companies surveyed in Kuwait found that flexible working is bringing them major benefits such as improved staff productivity,

work-life balancev in the Middle East and on a global scale. • A whopping 90% of respondents in the Middle East offer the option of flexible working to their staff compared to the global figure of 81% • Today there are over 1bn mobile

workers, predicted to rise rapidly to 1.2bn by 2013vi Mark Dixon, Regus CEO, comments: “Demand for flexible workplaces is clearly burgeoning, the main driver of which is growing awareness of cost savings to be made by converting to flexible working, enabled by developments in cloud and ‘work anywhere’ technology. Looking at the research we have commissioned across the globe over the last 18 months, together with independent third party sources, it is clear that flexible, mobile working is the new normal.” Regus is set to make major investments to capitalise on the accelerating global trend toward flexible working, investing to increase its global network by at least 75% and equating to over 800 additional business centres by 2014. The majority of growth will take place across the USA and emerging markets such as Brazil, China and India and will take the company into 30 additional new countries - those in the pipeline include Zambia, Uruguay, Nepal and Madagascar. Regus is the world’s largest provider of workplace solutions. With a network of 1,200 locations in 550 cities and 90 countries, it enables individuals and companies to work wherever, however and whenever they want to.

Abu Dhabi airport expects rise in passenger numbers Airport sees 12 million passengers in 2012

Air Arabia, SCTDA jointly mark service to Russia KUWAIT: Air Arabia and Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority yesterday officially inaugurated Air Arabia’s service to Russia at a high-profile event held in the country’s capital city, Moscow. The delegation was led by the Chairman of Sharjah Commerce & Tourism Development Authority H.E Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qassimi and the Chairman of Air Arabia H.E Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohamed Al-Thani. Marking the commencement of service to Moscow, which the carrier currently serves three times per week, Chairmen of SCTDA and Air Arabia shed light on the business and tourism ties between the two countries and the role Sharjah plays in developing the strong relationship between the two nations. Air Arabia and SCTDA delegation hosted a special event to mark the occasion and was attended by a range of Russian decision-makers, UAE Consul and diplomats in Moscow, travel and trade leaders and members of the press. During the course of the event, Air Arabia announced that, beginning December 28, 2011, it will increase the frequency of service to Moscow to five times per week. In addition to offering non-stop flights to the Russian capital, Air Arabia also currently provides service to Yekaterinburg, its second destination in Russia and the fourth-largest city in the country. Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, Chairman of Sharjah Commerce & Tourism Development Authority hailed the robust relations between Russia and the UAE, in particular the growing ties between Sharjah and Russia as the emirate attracts hundreds of thousands of Russian visitors each year and is home to a large population of Russian expatriates. “Last year, Sharjah attracted more than 200,000 Russian tourists. Until September this year, some 157,136 Russian tourists visited the

emirate” Said Al Qassimi highlighting that this could grow further with the inauguration of this direct, low-cost air connection between Moscow and Sharjah. “Possibilities of growth in this area are endless,” he pointed out. “We are very pleased to join hands with Air Arabia in launching its services to Moscow and the Russia Federation inwhich it will further contribute to the sustainable tourism and economic growth of the Emirate.” “We are delighted to be here in historic Moscow to inaugurate Air Arabia’s introduction of direct service from Sharjah,” said Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al Thani, Chairman of Air Arabia. “All of us at Air Arabia are grateful to our Russian counterparts for their ongoing support as we help forge even stronger bonds between our two nations, including on behalf of the significant Russian expatriate population in the UAE.” Al Thani continued: “we are extremely pleased to announce the increase in the frequency of service to Moscow to five times per week ; therefore contributing to the increasing travel and tourism ties between the two nations by offering customers the choice for a great value and service.” Air Arabia currently offers service to Moscow on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, departing from Sharjah International Airport at 9:00AM and arriving at Moscow Domodedova Airport at 14:00PM. Return flights depart from Moscow on the same days at 15:00PM and arrive in Sharjah at 20:00PM. The carrier offers ser vice to Yekaterinburg on Wednesdays and Saturdays, departing from Sharjah International Airport at 10:05AM and arriving at Yekaterinburg Airport at 16:50PM. Return flights depart from Yekaterinburg on the same days at 17:50PM and arrive in Sharjah at 20:50PM.

BMW group debuts world’s most advanced 4-cylinder engines in ME BAHRAIN: BMW is adding power and value to its highly popular BMW 5 Series range with the introduction of the world’s most advanced fourcylinder engines with TwinPower Turbo. The new 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine will be introduced to the BMW 5 Series in November 2011 - namely the BMW 520i - and will enhance the model line-up in the Middle East region. The world’s most advanced four-cylinder engines combine a TwinScroll turbocharger with VALVETRONIC variable valve timing, DoubleVanos variable camshaft timing and High Precision Injection direct injection. The result are engines that have more power and torque , with a dramatic reduction in fuel consumption - and lower engine noise. The new engines are based on the multi-award winning BMW TwinPower Turbo six-cylinder in-line engines. In the new BMW 520i, the four-cylinder engine delivers maximum power of 135kW/184 hp at 5,000 rpm and peak torque of 270 Nm available between 1,250 and 4,500rpm. Combining a twin-scroll turbocharger with High Precision Injection, Valvetronic variable valve control and Double VANOS camshaft control, the uber-frugal BMW 520i boasts a combined fuel consumption of just 6.4 litres per 100 kilometres and C02 emissions of just 149 grams per 100 kilometres while accelerating to 100km/hr from a standing start in 8.0 seconds. It

has a top speed of 227 km/h. The new BMW 520i comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission, 17” alloy wheels, automatic stop/start function, dynamic driving control, ECO-PRO mode, business navigation, front and rear park distance control, cruise control with braking function, USB audio interface, Bluetooth functionality and automatic climate control. The introduction of this new generation of four-cylinder engines is a milestone within the BMW EfficientDynamics strategy to reduce CO2 emissions and improve fuel consumption. It also reaffirms BMW’s benchmark position on efficiency and driving enjoyment within the premium segment. The new 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine will also be introduced this year on the Z4 and X1, and on the 3 Series in 2012.

ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi’s airport expects continued double-digit growth in passenger numbers near term as its national carrier Etihad Airways develops and the emirate continues to expand its economy, a top official at the airport’s operator said. James Bennett, Chief Executive of Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), also said a contract to build the airport’s mid-field terminal would be completed by the second quarter of 2012. The airport saw a 12.2-percent growth in passenger traffic in 2010, handling around 11 million passengers. In the first nine months of

this year, passenger traffic stood at 9 million. “We anticipate finishing the year at over 12 million and we’ll see double digit growth for the next few years,” Bennet told Reuters. “The airport infrastructure will support Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi’s 2030 vision of developing into a business and tourist centre,” he said. Abu Dhabi, a major oil exporter, is investing billions of dollars in industry, tourism, infrastructure and real estate to diversify its economy away from oil. Its national carrier Etihad Airways continues to order new aircraft as it expands its network. It already flies to 86 cities and will add 6 new destinations -

Maldives, Seychelles, Chengdu in China, Dusseldorf, Shanghai and Nairobi - over the next six months, the airline said in October. ADAC’s expansion plans, which began in 2006, saw the refurbishment of the airport’s terminal 1, the opening of terminal 3, and a new runway in 2009. The next major expansion is the new mid-field terminal, to be operational in 2017. Six international/local consortiums have been pre-qualified for the midfield terminal contract. “We anticipate processing it and starting construction next year,” he said, declining to give a value for the deal because the selection was ongoing. —Reuters

SKOPOS boosts women’s employment, gains tempo

Al-Corniche holds its 4th Mini-IHRSA conference 2011 KUWAIT: For the 4th consecutive year, Al-Corniche Club in association with IHRSA, the International Health, Racquet and Sports club Association (over 9,500 Member Clubs worldwide) is organizing the 4th Mini-IHRSA conference 2011 specially targeted at further educating Kuwait’s health and fitness professionals. Held at Al-Corniche Club on the 14th and 15th of December the conference will be led by a number of world renowned fitness experts, who will deliver seminars designed to improve the awareness of health and wellness in Kuwait all the while offering valuable insights into the field. International bestselling author, life coach, health & fitness professional and the man behind the unique weight loss program, weight loss guru; Pete Cohen will be one of the speakers leading the seminars. Pete Cohen will talk about specific techniques that will help develop skills of the attendees which in turn will allow them to assist clients’ alter how they behave instinctively and develop their Motivation, Enthusiasm, Determination and Self Confidence. The special seminar by Pete Cohen will be held on 16th, 17th & 18th December at Al Corniche. Registrations to the seminar can be made through contacting AlCorniche Club Resort & Spa. The conference will also include expert speakers from around the world such as Lexie Griffiths who will be conducting special courses for Al Corniche Kids aged between 6 to 12 years. Some of the other expert presenters are 1. Adrian Marks - The leading authority on business growth within the fitness and spa industry 2. Fred Hoffman - Award-winning International Fitness Consultant, Speaker and Author 3. Dr. Mark Slavin: Resistance Training

Specialist 4.Tamara Bennett: Al Corniche Nutrionist The event will mostly be attended by representatives from health clubs across Kuwait and the Middle East. Although it can also be a crucial learning curve for professionals from other fields such as school teachers, personal trainers, group fitness instructors, sales executives and health club owners. The conference will engage professionals in a range of topics such as team building, global trends, how to lose weight, how to drive sales and the importance of branding to resistance training. The main event sponsor of the conference is Ahli Bank Kuwait whereas the speakers are sponsored by Vithel, Inspire Pure Fitness, Multi Works General Trading & Contracting, Indoor Walking Middle East, Tempur Mattresses & Pillows and Al Fuad Exchange. It will be the fourth time that this conference has been hosted by Al Corniche Club and is part of IHRSA and Al Corniche Club’s annual initiative to improve and benefit the health, fitness and educational practices in Kuwait and the Middle East.

KUWAIT: SKOPOS Consulting Group, a leading provider of customized Organization Development (OD) solutions to companies in the Middle East and Africa, is joining a select group of human resource (HR) firms in discussing issues affecting employment of women in the GCC during the 3rd Annual Women in Leadership Forum (WIL) held from November 23 to 24, 2011 at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi. Initiatives such as the WIL are helping drive women employment in different industries across the region. Held under the patronage of Sheikha Shamsa Bint Suhail, wife of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the UAE and Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the Forum is organized in conjunction with the Shamsa Bint Suhail Award for Creative Women. SKOPOS, a Sponsor and Dr Hussein ElKnowledge Partner of the event, Kazzaz, Managing was represented at the Forum Director, SKOPOS by Dr. Hussein El Kazzaz, Consulting Group Managing Director; Marwa Farouq Al-Hefnawi, Partner Consultant; and Ahmad El Nashar, General Manager. Dr. El Kazzaz is a panel member in two panel sessions on the topic, “How are the government, business councils and other organizations actively supporting the Middle East’s women in business? Understanding the importance of networking and connecting with key advocates can help take your career or new business venture to new heights”. Al-Hefnawi and El Nashar will be conducting two workshops titled “Values-Driven Leadership”, which will emphasize the importance of aligning organizational values through leadership. “SKOPOS’ participation in the event is driven by our passion to support the development of leaders in the Middle East. Women will continue to play a more significant role as leaders in the region and we are interested in supporting this trend by offering development tools that can help women enhance their leadership abilities. We are seeing huge progress in efforts to increase women employment levels throughout the region. The Forum will definitely serve as a great platform to identify more opportunities to enhance women employment and create more exciting career prospects for women in the GCC,” said Dr Hussein El-Kazzaz, Managing Director of SKOPOS Consulting Group. The 3rd Annual Women in Leadership Forum covers key women issues and features five main topics: “The changing face of leadership in the Middle East”, “Women breaking barriers in ‘men only’ environments”, “The impact of innovation on company competitiveness”, “Womenomics: Leveraging your value in the workplace” and “Boardroom confidential: What’s next once I’ve reached the top?” More than 300 delegates including high-profile dignitaries will attend the Forum, which will host the Shamsa Bint Suhail Award for Creative Women as well as various conference and panel sessions led by renowned international experts, the Women in Leadership Achievement Awards, interactive discussion groups, VIP networking functions and exclusive product and service demonstrations. More event details are available at



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KSE drops under selling pressure BAYAN WEEKLY MARKET REPORT

KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended last week in the red zone. The price index ended last week with a decrease amounted to 1.29%, while the weighted index dropped by 1.72% compared to the closings of the week before. Furthermore, last week ’s average daily turnover increased by 26.11%, compared to the preceding week, reaching KD 17.73 million, whereas trading volume average was 112.31 million shares, recording increase of 34.02%. KSE performance marked with hesitant selling trend, dominated most of the last week, as selling pressure was notable, especially on Banking and services sectors; on the other hand, the market witnessed fast profit tanking operations, along with speculations on the small stocks. The result was weekly loss, as the market noticed to record calm weekly gains or losses during the past weeks . In addition, some of the companies, which were suspended in the week before, announced its results during last week. The total profits for all the companies, announced its results were KD 1.27 billion, with 28.83% retreat compared to the same period last year, where it was KD 1.79 billion. By the end of the week, the price index closed at 5,782 points, down by 1.29% from the week before closing, whereas the weighted index recorded a 1.72%

decline after closing at 406.95 points. Sectors’ Indices Six of KSE’s sectors ended last week in the red zone, while one recorded increase, On the other hand, the Insurance sector’s index closed with no change from the week before. The Food sector headed the losers list as its index declined by 4.61% to end the week’s activity at 4.257.9 points. The Investment

sector was second on the losers’ list, which index declined by 2.09%, closing at 3,558.3 points, followed by the Real Estate sector, as its index closed at 2,010.5 points at a loss of 1.94%. The Banks sector was the least declining as its index closed at 11.349.6 points with a 1.53% decrease. On the other hand, the Industry sector was last week only gainer, which index grew by 0.56%, closing at 4,376.6 points.

Sectors’ Activity The Investment sector dominated total trade volume during last week with 159.75 million shares changing hands, representing 28.45% of the total market trading volume. The Services sector was second in terms trading volume as the sector’s traded shares were 27.23% of last week’s total trading volume, with a total of 152.93 million shares. On the other hand, the Banks sector’s stocks where the

highest traded in terms of value; with a turnover of KD 35.81 million or 40.38% of last week’s total market trading value. The Services sector took the second place as the sector’s last week turnover of KD 19.62 million represented 22.12% of the total market trading value. Market Capitalization KSE total market capitalization declined by 1.71% during last week to reach KD 28.69 billion, as seven of KSE’s sectors recorded a decrease in their respective market capitalization, whereas the Insurance sector’s market capitalization remained the same from the week before. The Food sector was the most declining as its total market capitalization reached KD 703.35 million, decreasing by 2.72%. The Investment sector was the second in terms of recorded decline with 2.67% decrease after the total value of its listed companies reached KD 2.09 billion. The third place was for the Real Estate sector, which total market capitalization reached KD 1.70 billion by the end of the week, recording a decline of 2.47%. The Industry sector was the least declining with 0.87% recorded decrease after its market capitalization amounted to KD 2.31 billion. For further details, please visit our web site: — Prepared by the Studies & Research Department, Bayan Investment Co.



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business Greece’s smaller coalition partner backs rescue reforms ATHENS: The leader of the Greek farright nationalist party Laos said yesterday he will support newly appointed Prime Minister Lucas Papademos until the government’s work is completed. “It is implied that Laos will support Papdemos’s government until it completes its work,” said Laos chief George Karatzaferis, in an open letter addressed to the Greek people but also to the country’s European partners. “The main goal of this government is to ratify the decisions taken at the October 26 2011 Summit, including the political and economic policies which are associated with these decisions,” Karatzaferis added in the letter published in his party’s newspaper. The EU and the International Monetary Fund have made clear that they will not provide 8 billion euros ($10.76 billion), frozen since August, in loans unless the leaders of the parties in Greece’s new coalition sign up in

writing to the latest bailout package agreed in October. Greece’s international creditors are seeking assurances that the painful austerity drive initiated in 2009 will continue beyond the life of the new government, formed earlier this month in a power-sharing deal between the conservatives, the socialists and the far-right nationalists. Under pressure for a written commitment, New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras backed the debt rescue scheme in a letter to EU and IMF officials. It is not clear if the letter by the Greek conservative leader amounted to the acceptable, written commitment they seek. Both New Democracy and Laos, who until this month were in opposition to a socialist government torn asunder by the unpopular austerity measures, are keen to head into the next elections with as little political damage as possible. — AFP

Jet Airways wins the ‘Best Long Haul Airline Ex-Brussels Travel Magazine Awards 2011’ MUMBAI: Jet Airways, India’s premier international airline, has received the “Best Long Haul Airline ex Brussels, Travel Magazine Awards 2011” award for the fourth consecutive year during the TM Travel Awards 2011, held on Friday November 18, 2011 at the Hilton Hotel, Antwerp, Belgium. The TM Travel Awards are organized every year by Travel Magazine, the leading magazine of the Belgian and Luxembourg travel industry. Over 700 guests attended the Gala event. Stefan Hollands, General Manager Benelux, Bernard Guisset, Sales Manager Continental Europe, Sanna Naqvi, leisure Sales manager Belgium & Luxembourg and Christoffel Couck, Global Sales Manager, Belgium & Luxembourg accepted the award on behalf of Jet Airways. Sudheer Raghavan, Chief Commercial Officer Jet Airways: “With its direct, daily flights to New York (Newark, JFK) and Toronto and its 3 daily direct flights to India and beyond, the Brussels hub remains an integral part of Jet Airways’ international operations. We are delighted to receive this prestigious award for the fourth year in a row, which stands testament to the airline’s commitment to continual customer service innovation and excellence.” For the “Best Long Haul Airline ex Brussels, Travel Magazine Awards 2011” Jet Airways was selected based upon a

vote of travel agents in Belgium & Luxembourg. At the same time, on November 17, 2011, Jet Airways also has been declared the “Best Domestic Airline” at the fifth edition of the CNBC Awaaz Travel Awards 2011 during a ceremony held in New Delhi.

KSE index edges lower Markaz weekly update Open: 5,853, High: 5,855, Low: 5,762, Close: 5,782. KUWAIT: This week, the KSE market price index decreased by 1.3% or 76 points at 5,782 level, while the KSE weighted index lost 1.7% or 7 points at 407 level compared to last week. All the sectoral indices witnessed negative closing and the top losers was the Food sector which declined 4.6% followed by the Investment sector which ended 2.1% lower. The Real Estate, the Non Kuwaiti, the Banking and the services sectors fell by 1.9%, 1.7%, 1.5% and 1% respectively, however the Industrial sector closed marginally higher compared to previous week.

The market sentiment was negative as 85 stocks declined against 21 stocks advanced and 24 stocks remained unchanged on weekly basis. Among the large caps stocks, the major losers were NINV -5%, KPROJ -4.8%, MABNEE -3.4%, NMTC -3.1%, NIND -1.9%, NBK -1.7%, FOOD -1.4% and the gainer was KFH +1.1% compared to last week. The KSE weighted index has downside support at 403 to 399 levels and faces upside resistance at 411 level, while the KSE price index face upside resistances at 5,850 level and it has downside support at 5,750 to 5,700 levels.

LOS ANGELES: Shoppers browse through items on sale at a Target store in Rosemead, east of Los Angeles. US shoppers scrambled for cheap deals during the annual Black Friday sales ritual closely watched for signs of economic recovery. — AFP

NBK wins Localization Award GCC Council of Ministers of Labor honors Kuwait bank KUWAIT: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) has recently received “ The Localization Award” from the GCC Council of Ministers of Labor during a special awarding ceremony held in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Commenting on this achievement, NBK Head of Human Resources Group Emad Al-Ablani who received the award on behalf of NBK said: “It is indeed a source of immense honor and pride for NBK to win this highly coveted and prestigious award. The award is a testament of NBK’s commitment to supporting talented and qualified Kuwaiti nationals and empowering them to realize their potentials”. Al-Ablani added: “NBK maintains its position as one of the country ’s largest private sector employers. NBK’s recruitment plans are meant to keep pace with the bank’s expansion on both regional and international levels”. “This drive is also an illustration of the bank’s continuing endeavors to provide career opportunities for nationals and to support the country’s aim to encourage young nationals to assume roles in the private sector”, AlAblani added.

NBK Head of Human Resources Group Emad Al-Ablani receives the award on behalf of NBK.

EU warns as Italy borrowing rates hit record high ROME: The European Commission warned Italy’s high borrowing costs could hit growth after bond yields surged to new records and France and Germany warned a blow-out on Italian debt could kill the euro. “If the bond yields continue to be this high for long it will have a negative impact on the financial sector, on the real economy and therefore on economic growth,” the EU’s Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said. Italy’s rates were “worrying”, Rehn said. He also emphasised that high borrowing costs were a Europewide phenomenon, saying: “This is an increasingly systemic phenomenon which calls for stronger financial firewalls.” He added however: “I do not see the euro falling down, definitely.” Rehn earlier upped the pressure on Prime Minister Mario Monti’s new government, calling for “an ambitious timeline” on economic reforms. “Italy is faced with formidable challenges,” Rehn told Italian lawmakers.“It would be essential to give strong signals to citizens and markets with a clear and ambitious roadmap for reform and an ambitious timeline,” he said. In a bond auction, Italy raised 10 billion euros ($13.2 billion) but was forced to pay a rate of 6.504 percent on six-month bonds and 7.814 percent on two-year bondsdangerous levels that could drive Italy to insolvency. Italy needs to refinance about 400 billion euros in debt next year and has a debt of 1.9 trillion euros that has set off alarm bells around the world. At a summit in Strasbourg on Thursday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Monti’s press office reported the two leaders had said a debt collapse in Italy would be “the end of the euro.” Merkel and Sarkozy “said they were aware that a collapse of Italy would inevitably be the end of the euro, stalling the process of European integration with unpredictable consequences,” it said in a statement on Friday. Italy’s debt emergency has sparked concerns that it could break the euro-zone and the Milan stock market plunged sharply after the bond sale, with the main FTSE Mib index plunging before recovering and closing 0.12 percent higher. Other European markets also recovered after struggling for much of the day. “Europe is worrying investors more than ever,” forex trader Saxo Bank said. But the euro fell beneath the $1.33 level in US trading Friday, at one stage plunging to $1.3212, its lowest point since October 4. By 2200 GMT it had reached $1.3240, against $1.3347 the day before. Howard Wheeldon from brokers BGC Capital said: “International investors have chosen to ditch the euro in favor of more safe-haven currencies.” Investors were fretting over the apparent failure of proposals to introduce eurobonds-which would help weaker euro-zone economies by spreading the risk and turn the European Central Bank into a lender of last resort. The Strasbourg mini-summit highlighted the differences on finding a solution to the debt turmoil that is gripping Europe. Concerns about Europe’s health were underscored on Wednesday when Germany drew bids of only 3.9 billion euros for a six-billion-euro bond auction. “The recent developments in euro-area sovereign debt markets suggest that contagion is spreading from peripheral countries to the so-called core countries. Export markets could also turn out weaker than expected,” Rehn said. Italy has been forced to agree to auditing of its books by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission has said more austerity measures may be needed to balance the budget by 2013. A first report from the monitoring mission was due on Tuesday, Rehn said. Italy, the euro-zone’s third-biggest economy after Germany and France, passed two budget austerity packages earlier this year when fears over its giant debt and sluggish economic reforms began rattling the markets. Technocrat Monti, himself a former top European Union commissioner and economics professor, has promised rapid action to slash the debt and boost growth and has wide public support, but has yet to launch concrete reforms. Pressure increased on Belgium on Friday as well when Standard & Poor’s cut its credit rating by one notch to AA, citing concerns about its ability to cut its debt amid slowing growth and the country’s worldrecord political impasse. Ratings agencies have long warned Belgium that its debt, which is nearly as big as its annual national output, and its failure to agree a government after a world-record 19 months could hit the country’s credit standing. — AFP

Skyline Builders - On time delivery, all-time trust KUWAIT: Home buying is the most expensive decision you make in your lifetime. When your hard-earned money is at stake, you ought to be certain about the choice of your builder. With more than two decades of expertise in creating value-added housing projects across Kerala, Skyline has geared up to deliver a number of projects across Kerala and has become the number one builder in the state. Skyline Builders offers a home for every dream and a dream for every home-seeker. Since its inception in 1989, Skyline has always maintained focus on integrity, customer delight and commitment to deliver. Skyline offers you more choice in terms of location, design and budget, and is the best choice when it comes to possessing a prestigious home address. Skyline Builders, with 22 years of expertise in creating value-added housing projects, is spanning new horizons in the realtor development segment. Primarily concentrating on the construction of housing projects, Skyline has proved its credibility through its numerous apartment projects and villa projects across Kerala. With 92 projects in 7 cities across the state successfully completed and handed over to satisfied customers, Skyline currently has another 19 projects being readied at various locations in Kerala. Often referred as the No.1 builder in the state, Skyline has several golden feathers on the crown of its credibility.

Among them are the 111 projects to testify the Skyline construction excellence, the highest CRISIL rated builder in the state, creator of the first CRISIL 7star rated project, a matchless track record in on-time delivery, and winner of the CNBC-AWAAZ Real Estate Award 2010. These are just a few of the reasons that took Skyline to the forefront of the construction scenario of Kerala. Skyline Builders is a customer-centric organization going all-out to keep its promises, despite the slump in the real estate sector. Presently, Skyline has ventured in to the construction of a number of outstanding housing projects which are destined to change conventional concepts of apartment living. Skyline Princeton, coming up as a part of the 7 star rated Ivy League, Ranch Garden Bungalows coming up at Tripunithura and Alton Heights luxury apartments in Kottayam are just a few to name. The Skyline Home Care Solutions is an integrated part of Skyline Builders, all set to undertake Homecare, Interiors and After Sales Service. Sri. Abdul Azeez, CMD of Skyline Builders, stated that Skyline is adamant on keeping up the exceptional standards it has set in home making. Now the Skyline team is in Kuwait to introduce the new projects and possibilities of your ultimate dream at the Ramada Kuwait Hotel, Rigga. They can be contacted on the numbers. Mob: 65996732 / 55244941 or on email

Mazda eyes car plant in Russia with Sollers TOKYO: Japanese carmaker Mazda said yesterday it had agreed with Russian auto giant Sollers to consider forming a joint venture to produce cars in the Russian Far East city of Vladivostok. The proposed plant will supply “several Mazda nameplates” for consumers in Russia-Mazda’s second largest market in Europe-as part of its medium-term expansion plans in emerging markets, the company said in a statement. Mazda’s sales in Russia in the first nine months this year jumped 77 percent year on year to about 28,000 units, the statement said. Sollers is said to be one of Russia’s leading automotive companies

engaged in the production, distribution and servicing of vehicles. Toyota is also due to produce sports utility vehicles in Vladivostok in a joint venture with Sollers. Japan’s all five major Japanese automakers already have factories in Russia or are planning to build them. Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi have production bases there with Honda and Mazda following them. The Russian auto market is now showing signs of recovery after enduring a torrid slump during the global economic crisis, with sales in 2009 plunging 49 percent to 1.5 million units. Sales recovered to some 3.3 million units last year. — AFP

Olympus whistleblower heads to US for FBI talks TOKYO: Michael Woodford, the ousted chief executive of Olympus, left Tokyo yesterday for New York, where he will meet US investigators about the Japanese camera maker’s cover-up of huge losses. During a four-day stay in Tokyo, the Briton met police, public prosecutors and members of the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission to cooperate with their probe into a scam which surfaced after he blew the whistle on it. Local media have reported that the investment losses may total more than 100 billion yen ($1.3 billion). The company has yet to disclose details. Adding to its mounting troubles, Olympus said on Friday a US investor had filed a class-action lawsuit against the company accusing it of presenting false financial statements for at least five years. The case was filed with a Pennsylvania court by an individual on behalf of all holders of Olympus American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) purchased between November 7, 2006 and November 7, 2011, Olympus said in

a statement in Tokyo. ADRs allow a foreign company to trade on US stock exchanges. Woodford, who on Friday attended a high-profile Olympus board meeting for the first time since he was dismissed on October 14, told reporters at Tokyo’s Narita airport before his departure that his visit had been positive. He said that he expected Japanese authorities to conduct a thorough probe into the scandal, in which the company has admitted to hiding latent losses on securities investments since the 1990s. “It’s clear to me that they will investigate without bias, they will turn over every stone and they will follow the money flows,” said Woodford, who remains a company director. He will meet FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) agents and prosecutors from the US Department of Justice before returning to London on Wednesday, he said. Woodford urged company board members to resign “as quickly as possible” once the company submits its financial accounts by the December 14 deadline. — AFP




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Europe bond yields to keep stocks spellbound NEW YORK: US investors came to the Thanksgiving holiday table on Thursday mostly thankful that the week was a short one, or losses could have been larger. As another round of news and bond auctions from Europe begins this week, traders will watch closely sovereign bond yields that have kept markets on edge. Yields rose in almost every eurozone country last week, and Germany failed to find enough bids for a 10-year auction. The S&P 500 reacted by posting a second straight week of declines and its worst week in two months. Politicians are scrambling to find a way out of a two-year-old sovereign debt crisis in the euro zone and a visit to Washington from top European Union officials, as well as a meeting of eurozone finance ministers, will provide the market with headlines and possibly add to uncertainty. With the specter of rising yields, France, Britain, Italy, Belgium and Spain are holding debt sales next week. The direction of bond yields will determine the direction of equity markets. “Politicians are trying to buy themselves time so austerity measures kick in and impact budgets and deficits and markets become more forgiving and rates come down,” said Wasif Latif, vice president of equity investments at the San Antonio, Texas-based USAA Investment Management, which man-

WALL STREET WEEKLY OUTLOOK ages about $45 billion. “ The credit market and fixed income are a little bit more in the eye of storm; that’s where the issue is rising, so equities are more reactionary,” he said. “You may continue to see more of the same.” Investors have worried about rising borrowing costs in many euro-zone nations, but Italy, the third-largest euro zone economy, has grabbed most of the focus. On Friday Rome paid a record 6.5 percent to borrow for six months and almost 8 percent to issue two-year zero coupon bonds. Many market participants have said that the sharply differentiated risk-on and -off trades that the euro zone crisis has generated has seen equities being sold as an asset class, with little or no difference between strong and week balance sheets and earnings reports. But a wedge has opened at least from a global perspective, as data show stocks of companies with more exposure to Europe are underperforming. US President Barack Obama will meet tomorrow with European Council President Herman van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, and Europe’s response to the two-year sovereign debt crisis is expected to top

the agenda. “The only thing that will come out of that is speculation,” said Todd Salamone, vice president of research at Schaeffer’s Investment Research in Cincinnati, referring to the meeting in Washington. “It will come down to the US trying to convince European leaders to get something in place to solve this crisis.” Not many hopes are set either on Tuesday’s meeting where euro-zone finance ministers are expected to agree on how to further strengthen the region’s bailout fund. On Thursday, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi presents the bank’s annual report to the European parliament. As the latest reminder from markets to politicians that they are running out of time, Belgium’s credit rating was downgraded by Standard & Poor’s. Some of the most important US economic monthly data will be released next week, but will it be enough to unlink the stock market’s behavior and European yields. New home sales and the S&P/Case-Shiller home prices index will start the week showing if the housing market continues on life support. Data on confidence among consumers, who flooded US stores on Friday as the holiday shopping season started, will be

released on Tuesday. The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing report is due, with investors not only looking at the US number on Wednesday but also factory readings from Europe and China on Thursday. By midweek labor data takes over with the private sector employment report from ADP and Challenger’s job

cuts report, followed Thursday by the weekly jobless claims numbers and topped by Friday’s monthly non-farm payrolls report. “It would be a little bit refreshing to focus on the US data for a change,” said Brian Lazorishak, senior quantitative analyst and portfolio manager at Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia. He said if European headlines allow it, the focus will be in the labor market where “most people are looking for modest improvement.” —Reuters

Belgian parties reach deal on 2012 budget S&P downgrade triggers hectic parleys

JAMMU: Indian workers arrange packets of food at a grocery store in Jammu yesterday. India’s commerce minister said on Friday that the decision to open the country’s $400 billion retail sector to global chains such as Wal-Mart has a built-in safety net for small shops and farmers. —AP

Standoff over bank asset sale threatens European lending LONDON: A stand-off between cashstrapped European banks and possible buyers of trillions of euros of loans, mortgages and real estate they are trying to off-load is putting pressure on the European Central Bank (ECB) to provide more help. The impasse is not only putting in peril plans by the banks to cut their funding needs and meet tougher capital demands, it is also crimping their ability to lend to small and mediumsized businesses, the companies expected to drive economic recovery. Some of the continent’s biggest banks, in France, the UK, Germany and Spain, have pledged to sell assets and run off existing loans in a bid to shrink balance sheets by as much as 5 trillion euros over the next three years. This is in reaction to a sudden and dramatic squeeze on funding since the summer, which saw traditional sources of bank funding dry up completely. As old debts come due - some 1.7 trillion euros is due to roll over in the next three years alone - banks need to find cash from other sources to avoid bankruptcy. Pressure from senior bankers has led the ECB to consider extending the term of loans it offers to the region’s banks to two or even three years in an effort to prevent a credit crunch that would choke the bloc’s economy, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters earlier this week. “Banks are feeling pain on both sides of the balance sheet,” said Alberto Gallo, head of European credit strategy at RBS. “On the one side you have a funding squeeze, with banks unable to raise cash in the capital markets. At the same time, many of the assets they hold are deteriorating in quality.” The resulting asset sales by banks such as BNP Paribas SA, Societe Generale, Credit Agricole SA and Natixis SA in France have been stepped up since August, senior banking sources said. More recently, they have been joined by Spain’s Banco Santander SA and Italy’s UniCredit SpA, the sources added. Loans that have been put up for sale include those made to companies ranging from India’s Reliance Industries to Italy’s Enel and the State of California in the United States, according to Thomson Reuters LPC

data. However, such sales are piecemeal and require time-consuming bilateral negotiations with potential buyers. STICKING POINT Price is proving to be the major sticking point, people involved in the asset sales said. Banks want to sell higher-quality assets at as near to “par,” or face value, as they can. If they sell below this level they are forced to swallow a loss, which eats further into already depleted capital. The trouble for Europe is that potential buyers - a mix of private equity firms, hedge funds, banks in the United States and Asia and insurers have the upper hand, with cash to spend, but at the same time an eye for a bargain. “There is a huge amount of liquidity among investors right now, but they only want to buy at distressed prices,” said Stefano Marsaglia, a chairman within the financial institutions group at UK investment bank Barclays Capital. This gulf is forcing the region’s banks to find other ways of minimizing capital requirements - the amount of equity they have to hold to cushion themselves against bad loans and other shocks - and look at ways of using the assets they can’t sell as collateral to borrow from central banks. There is also a vast overhang of unsold assets from the first stage of the financial crisis. Many banks such as Germany ’s Commerzbank AG and WestLB AG, the UK’s Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and even the Irish government set up so-called “bad banks” whose job it is to wind down and dispose of assets. In many cases, these assets are hard to distinguish from each other. Several investment bankers advising on the process cited Dutch lenders looking to sell very similar mortgage-backed securities, which would be a struggle to off-load. “Many banks in Europe have been looking to sell assets for the past couple of years. If those disposals haven’t been closed in better markets, what makes anyone think they can do it now in larger amounts and much more volatile markets?” said Marc Tempelman, head of EMEA financial institutions capital markets and financing at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. — Reuters

BRUSSELS: Belgian politicians reached a deal on the 2012 budget yesterday, ending a 19month deadlock that had prevented the formation of a stable government and led to a debt downgrade, a negotiator said. “There is an agreement,” a spokesman for the Frenchspeaking socialists, one of six parties in the linguistically-divided country that had been struggling to reconcile spending cuts with tax rises. The accord, reached after 17 hours of negotiations, opens the way to forming a new government after 19 months in caretaker management. Friday night’s downgrade by ratings giant Standard and Poor’s, which saw Belgium drop by one notch to AA, piled pressure on the parties to reconcile spending cuts with tax rises to avoid EU penalties next month. Internal pressure, though, was at least matched by external strains among wider euro-zone leaders, two weeks from a crunch summit dogged by mounting doubts over their ability to resolve the debt crisis. With a national debt worth almost one year’s economic output, which threatens to crush the country with the onset of recession, outgoing Prime Minister Yves Leterme had made it clear he feared a rout when markets re-open on Monday if a way forward was not agreed. “It is blindingly obvious, we have to send a very clear signal... preferably before the markets open,” Leterme had said in a live national television interview before a shocked

Belgian people. The parties had to work out how to trim 11.3 billion euros off the deficit next year and some 20 billion in all by 2015. The ultimatum came days after Leterme’s expected successor, Elio Di Rupo, offered his resignation to Belgium’s king, frustrated at the failure of six-party talks to agree a deficit-cutting 2012 budget to avoid EU sanctions. Albert II rejected the offer and sent Di Rupo back to work.

BRUSSELS: European Commissioner for the Economy Olli Rehn pauses before speaking during a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels. — AP

Swiss group Safra buys Sarasin bank ZURICH: Safra financial group has purchased Dutch lender Rabobank holdings in Swiss bank Sarasin for one million Swiss francs (811 million euros), becoming the majority shareholder, the banks announced on Friday. “I can confirm that Rabobank has sold its shares in Sarasin for around one million Swiss francs (811,000 euros),” Rabobank spokeswoman Fransce Verdeuzeldonk told AFP. A spokesman for Sarasin said the purchase valued Sarasin at 2.3 billion francs. “Safra Group and Rabobank have entered into a share purchase agreement under which Safra will acquire a majority shareholding” in Sarasin bank with 68.63 percent voting rights and 46.07 percent equity interest, the companies added in a combined statement. In acquiring the 46.1 percent stake, Safra hopes to unify the private banking

sector, “bringing additional distribution channels for Sarasin products and an access to new and growing markets,” the statement added. Sarasin, which was established in 1841, is a force in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, while Safra’s markets are the Americas and Europe. Rabobank executive board member Sipko Schat welcomed the deal saying it would benefit all three parties, while Safra group’s Joseph Safra said the investment reflected Safra’s commitment and confidence in Sarasin. Dutch lender Rabobank has around 10 million customers in 48 countries and employs 59,400 people, while the Safra group has a history spanning 200 years with branches in 125 countries and 6,500 employees. Sarasin reported assets of 101.6 billion Swiss francs (83 billion euros) in June. — AFP

PORTUGAL: A man holds a poster mocking Christine Lagarde, director of the International Monetary Fund, and Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, during a demonstration in Porto as trade unions protest austerity measures linked to a 78 billioneuro ($104 billion) international bailout. — AP

The ratings blow underlined a sharp escalation of the debt crisis in a week in which even Germany struggled to raise finance. Concern is growing that the euro currency, in the absence of radical pan-euro-zone action, is close to breaking point. “The ability of authorities to respond to potential economic pressures from inside and outside of Belgium... in our opinion is constrained by the repeated failure of attempts to form a new government,” the S&P statement said. After Greek, Portuguese and Irish bailouts, and with Italy, Spain and France now under pressure, it was more bad news for leaders struggling in the absence of a European Central Bank decision to mount a gigantic financial rescue. The European Commission has repeatedly urged Belgium to bring its public deficit below 3.0 percent of GDP by 2012 — or face a fine of some half a billion euros. Finance Minister Didier Reynders blamed the downgrade on a “global loss of confidence” in euro-zone public finances, while insisting that Belgium’s creditworthiness remained “one of the strongest in Europe.” Analysts said the news had wider significance. “Belgium is the symbolic buffer between the euro-zone periphery and its core, so this is a sign that the crisis-slowly, but surely-is striking at the heart of Europe,” Sony Kapoor, head of the Re-Define think tank, told AFP. — AFP

Bosses of ailing airlines meet India PM: Report NEW DELHI: Bosses of some of India’s largest private airlines met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday to seek government assistance for the beleaguered industry, news agency Press Trust of India said. Those who attended the meeting included Naresh Goyal, chairman of India’s largest private airline Jet Airways, IndiGo promoter Rahul Bhatia, Spice Jet’s chief executive Neil Mill and Go Air owner Jeh Wadia, PTI said. No announcement was made following the meeting which came in the wake of some airlines demanding change in the aviation policy to allow foreign airlines to pick up stakes in Indian carriers and provide a muchneeded cash infusion. The news agency did not say whether billionaire liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya, who is battling to keep money-losing Kingfisher Airlines aloft in the fiercely competitive aviation market, attended the meeting. Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi noted ahead of the meeting that the airline sector in the country running at loss posed a “problem”. “The prime minister is concerned about it, the airlines are the major institution of connectivity, supporting the development of the country,” Ravi added. On the surface, demographics make India, a country of 1.2 billion, an attractive story. India’s passenger aviation sector is estimated to be growing at between 15 and 20 percent each year. But all of India’s six main airlines-barring budget carrier IndiGo-announced steep losses in the financial quarter to September. The country’s airlines may lose a total of $2.5 billion in the year ending in March, according to the Centre for Pacific Aviation, an industry body. Earlier this month, Singh said private sector airlines should be managed efficiently, “but if they do get into difficulties, we have to find ways in supporting the development of the country”. India’s Industry Ministry has proposed allowing 26 percent foreign direct investment by foreign airlines in the domestic carriers. “Private airlines in the country are in dire need of funds for their operations and service upgrade to compete with other global carriers,” the ministry said in a note. A decision by the government Thursday to allow foreign retailers to own 51 percent of multi-brand retailers in India has fanned optimism it may also allow foreign carriers to buy stakes in domestic airlines. — AFP




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Buying clothes online? New technology may help TORONTO: Asaf Moses is in the midst of displaying a new way to measure body dimensions. A virtual instructor prompts him to turn 90 degrees to the left and adopt various poses such as “The Penguin,” aimed at capturing over 20 different measurements using a device that many people have embedded in their laptops-a simple webcam. “It’s capturing everything that’s needed to tailor a shirt to your measurements”, said Moses. And it’s all online. Shoppers generally flock to malls during the holidays beginning on Black Friday, although in recent years many have headed to the Internet. A recent survey by analytics firm comScore predicted online shopping would increase 15 percent this current holiday season. Yet buying apparel from a website can cause problems finding the right size, look and fit for your body type and personal tastes. As a result, several technolo-

gy companies have created new ways for people to size themselves up at home. Moses, the co-founder of one such technology company from Germany, UPcload, said his system takes just three minutes and generates measurements as accurate as a tailor. Once measured, shoppers will be able to access their measurements at supporting retailers’ websites so they can see, for example, if a size small-sized t-shirt will fit around their chest or be long enough to drape down their torso. is taking the task of finding the perfect fit a step further by using robotic mannequins with dimensions similar to a shopper’s in a sort of virtual fitting room. “Robots are a fantastic tool to see how garments look on differently sized human bodies”, said Heikki Haldre, co-founder and CEO of the Estonia-based company. Each garment

is photographed 2000 times, accounting for the permutations of body measurements that the robots morph into. “When the customer goes online to see the garment on their body measurements, they are seeing one of those pre -recorded images,” said Haldre.’s virtual fitting rooms are currently being used by retailers such as Thomas Pink and Ermenegildo Zegna. Haldre said that users of the technology are almost 10 times more likely to make a purchase. That boost is significant. Forrester Research forecasts that only 10.9 percent of apparel and accessories transactions will be conducted online by the end of 2011, far less than the 25 percent for books and 17 percent for consumer electronics. “Books and electronics are the most penetrated categories because they’re easy to purchase online-you don’t need to touch

or feel them,” said Sucharita Mulpuru, vice president and principal analyst of eBusiness for Forrester Research. Mulpuru said the apparel shoppers’ online hesitancy is complex, extending beyond finding the perfect fit. “It’s not just a science. A lot of it is personal preference,” which is difficult for technology to address. Moses of UPcload said accounting for people’s varying tastes is something the company considered during development. “When we started, we had this intention to tell you your size ... (but) people’s preferences play an enormous role. Some people want their clothing tight, and some want it loose,” he explained. Now UPcload just provides details on the fit. Haldre of agrees. “The fitting room looks at size from the perspective that ‘it’s a matter of a style’, he said. “It’s surprising how many people choose a size that is not recommended by the size chart. Almost half would

go for a size smaller, or even a couple sizes larger.” Looking ahead, Haldre envisions an online shopping world where people will “see how clothing will look on them-with their face and other apparel they might be wearing.” For instance, another company, Zugara, lets customers overlay garments on themselves using a webcam. Haldre predicted the convergence of various technologies would create a big shift in shopping, eventually leading to online making up 30 percent of apparel purchases. But Mulpuru was more skeptical.”I don’t know that we’ll ever get to 30 percent, because ultimately it’s a very personal decision,” she said. “So much of what happens in a store is not just about fit. It’s also about someone saying ‘that looks great on you’ and getting social validation for a product-and that’s something that an algorithm definitely can’t account for.” — Reuters

Battery fires prompts US probe of Chevy Volt GM: Volt safe, does not present undue risk

In this 2011 artist’s rendering provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover examines a rock on Mars with a set of tools at the end of its arm, which extends about 2 meters (7 feet). —AP

NASA in high gear for Mars rover launch FLORIDA: The US space agency is poised to launch the most powerful and advanced robotic rover ever built to explore Mars and hunt for signs that life may once have existed on the red planet. The Mars Science Laboratory, a six-wheeled vehicle powered by nuclear fuel, is scheduled to begin its journey at 10:02 am (1502 GMT ) yesterday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida atop an Atlas V rocket. “This is a Mars scientist’s dream machine,” Ashwin Vasavada, MSL deputy project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laborator y, told reporters. “This is the most capable scientific explorer we have ever sent out... We are super excited.” At a price of $2.5 billion, the rover, also known as Curiosity, aims to provide scientists with detailed information about the rocks on the surface of Mars, and clues about whether life ever existed on Earth’s nearest neighbor. To do that, the SUV-sized rover is equipped with a robotic arm, a drill, a set of 10 science instruments including two color video cameras, a laser beam for zapping interesting rocks and a tool kit for analyzing their contents. If all goes as planned and Curiosity lands intact in about nine months, on August 5, 2012, the rover will be able to report back to scientists on what it finds without ever bringing the rock samples back to Earth. NASA’s exploration of Mars began with the 1976 landing of the Viking spacecraft and has continued with, most recently, the twin rovers known as Spirit and Opportunity that began tooling around on the Martian surface in 2004. Spirit finally died last year, but Opportunity is still working. NASA sees Curiosity as the midway point in a long journey of Mars discovery that may lead to a human mission there, or to one of its two moons, in the 2030s. Any clues Curiosity can send back about the habitability of the fourth planet from the Sun, and about the radiation levels there will be important to NASA as it devises future exploration missions. The landing spot for Curiosity, the Gale Crater near Mars’ equator, was chosen after lengthy study because it contains a three-mile high mountain and many layers of sediment that could reveal a lot about the planet’s wetter past. “We are basically reading the history of Mars’ environmental evolution,” said John Grotzinger, project scientist for Mars Science Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. “We start at the bottom where the clays are, we go to the sulfates, and we come up and go to the top of the mound and get rocks we think were formed in largely nonwater bearing environments representing the drier, more recent phase of Mars.” The crater itself is at a low elevation so scientists believe that if water ever did pool on Mars, it likely found

its way there and may have left behind traces of life. Everywhere that water exists on Earth, so does some form of life. So scientists are hopeful that they may find more than just hints that life used to thrive there-perhaps even signs that microbial life still does. “It is going to look for places that are habitable either in the past or potentially even in the future or currently,” said Mary Voytek, director, NASA Astrobiology Program. First, the rover has to travel 354million-mile (570-million-kilometer), arrive intact and survive an elaborate rocketed-powered sky crane landing. The project is meant to last two Earth years, or one full Martian year, but NASA hopes that like some of its other rovers in the past, Curiosity will outlive its expected potential. “Viking did the best it could, but it could only see a couple of samples. MSL is going to look at tons of samples,” said Pamela Conrad, deputy principal investigator of sample analysis at Mars. Her experiment, a set of three spectrometers, is “designed to not only sniff the atmosphere and look for volatile species but to evolve gases from solid samples and then sniff those gases that come out,” she said. “Mars very easily could have produced life. Mars could very easily have evolved the complex chemistry that is necessary to be a habitable environment. And that information is still on Mars.”— AFP

FLORIDA: The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with the NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity stands ready for its launch at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla Friday. —AP

WASHINGTON: New fires involving the lithium-ion batteries in General Motors Co’s Chevrolet Volt have prompted an investigation to assess the risk of fire in the electric car after a serious crash, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday. One Volt battery pack that was being closely monitored following a government crash test caught fire Thursday, the safety administration said in a statement. Another recently crash-tested battery emitted smoke and sparks, the statement said. GM, which was informed of the investigation on Friday, said in a statement that the Volt “is safe and does not present undue risk as part of normal operation or immediately after a severe crash.” The latest fires are in addition to a battery fire in a crash-tested Volt six months ago. NHTSA learned of a possible fire risk involving damaged Volt batteries when a fire erupted in a Volt that was being stored in a parking lot a test facility in Burlington, Wisconsin. The fire was severe enough to cause several other vehicles parked nearby to catch fire as well. The car had been subjected to a side-impact crash test more than three weeks earlier, on May 12, during which the battery was punctured and its coolant line ruptured. Last week’s tests of three battery packs were designed to replicate the May test. In that test, the Volt was subjected to a simulated side-impact collision into a narrow object like a tree or pole followed by a rollover, the agency said. The first battery tested last week didn’t catch fire. But a battery test on Nov. 17 initially experienced a temporary temperature increase, and on Thursday caught fire. Another battery tested on Nov 18 began to smoke and emit sparks shortly after the rotation. The tests were conducted by NHTSA and the Energy and Defense departments at a defense facility near Hampton Roads, Virginia So far, no fires have been reported in Volts involved in roadway crashes, NHTSA said. More than 5,000 of the vehicles have been sold. It’s too soon to tell whether the investigation will lead to a recall of any vehicles or parts, but the government will ensure consumers are informed promptly if that occurs, the agency said. Electric vehicles are critical to President Barack Obama’s plans to reduce US depend-

ence on foreign oil. He has called for putting 1 million of the vehicles on the road by 2015. The Volt and Nissan’s Leaf, with more than 8,000 cars on the road in the US, are among the first mass-marketed plug-in electric cars. They went on sale in the 2011 model year. Other automakers are also working on electric vehicles.

WASHINGTON: In this Jan 26, 2010 file photo, the Chevy Volt appears on display at the Washington Auto Show, in Washington. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday it has opened a formal safety defect investigation of the lithium-ion batteries in General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet Volt.—AP Safety testing hasn’t raised concerns about electric vehicles other than the Volt, NHTSA said. But the agency is asking manufacturers who have electric cars on the market, or who plan to introduce electric vehicles in the near future, for more detailed information on their battery testing as well as what procedures they have established for discharging and handling batteries, including recommendations for reducing fire risks. After the first battery fire, GM officials complained that NHTSA did not drain the battery of energy as called for under the automaker’s crash procedures. NHTSA normally drains fuel from gasoline-powered cars after crash tests, they said. Lithium-ion batteries, which are rechargeable, have been the subject of sever-

Consumer alert about illicit Microsoft Certificates for ‘Play Fair Day’. KUWAIT: Microsoft is advising Kuwaiti consumers and software resellers to be aware of the illicit trade in Microsoft Certificate of Authenticity (COA) labels that are currently being distribuited and sold in the country. In support of the inaugural Play Fair Day, which is a global initiative to emphasize the importance of utilizing legitimate software, and in a bid to level the playing for legitimate resellers and to protect customers, Microsoft warned that anyone dealing in the distribution of illicit Microsoft Cer tificate of Authenticity (COA) labels infringes Microsoft’s intellectual property rights. These rights entitle Microsoft to take legal action preventing further illegal dealings and claiming compensation. It can also be a criminal offence. Further, any unsuspecting customer who is supplied with a PC with one of these illicit COA labels attached to it as a “license” unfortunately ends up with an unlicensed copy of the software. Microsoft confirmed that Certificate of Authenticity labels must only be distributed with the Microsoft software programs that they were intended to accompany and should never be distributed on a standalone basis. By ‘standalone’ Microsoft means that the COA labels are offered without any accompanying Microsoft software or software components. Microsoft confirmed that a Microsoft COA label is not a license or ‘permission to use’ Microsoft software; but that its sole purpose is to authenticate the Microsoft software with which it was originally packaged. COA labels, for example Windows COA labels, should therefore never be ‘matched’ with software or components with which they were not originally distributed. Dale

al recalls of consumer electronics. Millions of laptop batteries made by Sony Corp. for Apple Inc., Dell Inc., Lenovo Group Ltd. and other PC makers were recalled in 2006 and 2007 after it was discovered that they could overheat and ignite. The Federal Aviation Administration issued a warning to airlines about the potential for fires in cargo containing lithium-ion

Waterman, Microsoft’s Corporate Attorney for the Middle East and Africa, said Microsoft is now seeing these loose COA labels combined with other infringing components to deceive customers who purchase the software thinking they are buying genuine software when they are not. For example, Microsoft has found instances where the COAs are shipped with counterfeit recovery media or counterfeit manuals. “Resellers also commonly use hacked Product Keys to install the pirated software onto the PCs they supply to their customers. This can expose the customer and their family members to very real security vulnerabilities,” said Waterman. “In addition, the COA labels are almost always intentionally altered by having the original PC brand names removed from the label to further deceive unsuspecting customers, and we have also had instances where the COA labels supplied to resellers and then incorrectly sold as ‘licenses’ to customers are in fact stolen and the subject of a criminal investigation in another location in the world. This introduces the disturbing increase in the trade of infringing Microsoft compoenents by organzied crime syndicates.” “It does not matter whether or not the dealer is aware that the products are illicit Microsoft Certificate of Authenticity labels; Microsoft’s rights are infringed in any case,” said Savas Yucedag, Anti-Piracy Manager, Microsoft Gulf. “We’re advising anyone who suspects they’ve purchased a illicit Microsoft Certificate of Authenticity label, whether they are resellers or customers, to report it via “ added Yucedag.

and non-rechargeable lithium metal batteries after a United Parcel Service plane crashed near Dubai last year, killing both pilots. The plane, which was on fire, was carrying thousands of lithium batteries. Incorrectly packaged, damaged or overheated batteries can catch fire, the FAA said. GM and NHTSA have pointed out that cars with gasoline-powered engines are susceptible to fires after a crash. In the event of a crash, NHTSA’s advice to consumers is to do the same thing they would do in a gasolinepowered car — get out of the vehicle and move a safe distance away. The agency also recommends against storing a severely damaged electric car in a garage or near other vehicles. — AP

ABB Installs ElectricVehicle Fast Chargers at BP Service Stations ZURICH: ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, announced today that it has started installing multiple fast-charging systems for electric vehicles (EVs) at some BP service stations in the Netherlands as part of a nationwide trial. ABB recently deployed the first two direct current (DC) Terra systems in the central city of Utrecht, which will be officially opened on Nov. 30. Another charger will be installed at a BP service station in Rotterdam in December, with two more to follow at locations to be identified early next year. BP has an intention agreement with Dutch EV charging operator The New Motion to operate BP’s chargers as part of a larger network of DC charging stations throughout the Netherlands. Prestige GreenCab, a Dutch taxi operator with a large electric-vehicle fleet, took the initiative for the installations in Utrecht. ABB’s Terra stations can recharge an EV battery in as little as 15 to 30 minutes - compared with eight hours when using a regular alternating current (AC) power outlet. ABB will install two types of Terra chargers to meet the specific capacity requirements at the various BP locations. The multi-port Terra Base Station 100.2 can charge up to two cars simultaneously and is ideal for locations that are expected to see an increase in electric-vehicle traffic over the next few years. The Terra 51 is a singleport charger designed for locations with regular traffic. “As our market grows and new electric car models are coming to the market, we expect to see more and more segmentation. — AP



health & science

In climate talks, West would redefine rich and poor JOHANNESBURG: As delegates gather in South Africa to plot the next big push against climate change, Western governments are saying it’s time to move beyond traditional distinctions between industrial and developing countries and get China and other growing economies to accept legally binding curbs on greenhouse gases. It will be a central theme for the 25,000 national officials, lobbyists, scientists and advocates gathering under UN auspices in the coastal city of Durban on Nov 28. Their two weeks of negotiations will end with a meeting of government ministers from more than 100 countries. The immediate focus is the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 agreement requiring 37 industrialized countries to slash carbon emissions to 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. Each country has a binding target and faces penalties for falling short. The US , then and now the world’s largest polluter per capita, refused to join Kyoto because it imposed no obligations on countries like China, which has since surpassed the US in overall emissions. Now, with the Kyoto pact’s expiry date looming, poor countries want the signatories to accept further reductions in a second commitment period up to at least 2017. “The Kyoto Protocol is a cornerstone of the climate change regime,” and a second commitment period “is the central priority for Durban,” says Jorge Arguello of Argentina, the chairman of the developing countries’ negotiating bloc

known as G77 plus China. But with growing consensus, wealthy countries are saying they cannot give further pledges unless all others - or at least the major developing countries - accept commitments themselves that are equally binding. The European Union is bringing a proposal to Durban calling for a timetable for everyone to make these commitments by 2015. Separately, Norway and Australia set out a sixpage proposal for all governments to adopt a phased process of scaling down emissions. Japan, Canada and Russia, three key countries in the Kyoto deal, announced last year they will not sign up to a second commitment period. Russia has submitted a proposal calling for a review and periodic amendments to the criteria for being judged rich or poor under Kyoto’s legal prescriptions. “We need to discuss whether we can continue to divide the world in the traditional thinking of the North and the South, where the North has to commit to a binding form whereas the South will only have to commit in a voluntary form,” Connie Hedegaard, the European commissioner on climate policies, told reporters this month. It’s an old debate that has been intensifying with the rapid growth of economies like those of China, India and some in Latin America and the wealth as well as high carbon emissions they generate. The division of the globe into two unequal parts was embedded in the first climate convention

adopted in 1992. At that time China was struggling to liberalize its economy, India was just opening its borders to international commerce, South Africa was breaking out of the apartheid era, and Brazil the host of the Earth Summit where the convention was adopted - was an economic shambles with inflation topping 1,100 percent that year. Everyone agrees that the few wealthy nations have the primary responsibility for reducing carbon emissions, since it was their industries that pumped carbon dioxide into the atmosphere for 200 years. Climate scientists say the accumulation of CO2 traps the Earth’s heat, is already changing some weather patterns and agricultural conditions, and is heightening risks of devastating sea level rise. The industrial countries - the US chief among them have long questioned whether those definitions of rich and poor, drawn up 20 years ago, should still apply. That was one reason why the US backed out of the Kyoto Protocol. The European Union also dismisses the poor countries’ argument that, “you created the problem, now you fix it.” The EU is responsible for just 11 percent of global emissions, says the EU’s Hedegaard, and it can’t solve global warming without the help of those emitting the other 89 percent. Despite their swelling national bank accounts, China, India, South Africa and others say they are still battling poverty and that tens of millions of their people lack electricity or running water. To accept legal

equality with wealthy countries would jeopardize their status as developing societies - even though few countries are doing more than China to rein in the growth of their emissions. It is a world leader in producing wind and solar energy and has closed thousands of outdated and heavily polluting power plants, replacing many with cleaner-burning coal plants. Its fuel efficiency standard already surpasses the 35 miles per gallon (14.7 kilometers per liter) for passenger cars that the US government hopes to reach in 2016. And so the stalemate continues leading up to Durban. “The North-South divide over historical responsibility still has more weight than the forward- looking approach of respective capabilities,” says Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Jennifer Morgan, climate analyst at the Washington, D.C.-based World Resources Institute, says serious discussions are going on behind the scenes over the European timetable plan, although it was not clear this week if an agreement was possible in Durban. Other experts agree that China privately is showing more flexibility than in public. If no deal can be concluded, Figueres said last month, a patchwork of interim arrangements may be needed to keep negotiations alive. “What arrangements? We don’t know yet. According to what rules? We don’t know yet. Interim for how long? We don’t know yet,” she said. — AP

Mowasat successfully concludes its Diabetes Awareness Campaign Over 1300 free screening conducted KUWAIT: New Mowasat Hospital successfully concluded its WDD campaign which aimed to increase awareness of anti-diabetes under the theme “Diabetes comes without warning”. Parallel to the annual international celebrations of World Diabetes Day, on November 14, Mowasat’s campaign lasted for a week inside the hospital and in a number of Kuwait’s grand shopping malls. The Campaign attracted hundreds of visitors and customers inside and outside the the hospital in various regions of the State of Kuwait whereas more than 1300 free Glucose screening were conducted which are still going inside New Mowasat Hospital till the end of the year. With a number of free tests offered to everyone who is concerned, the program took place from November 14th and until November 19th for the purpose of raising awareness about the disease and educating diabetics of different methods to help them live an active life while avoiding the complications. The effective campaign organized by New

Dr Ksahif Rizvi Mowasat offered people an all-inclusive thorough chance to be truly aware of the disease through free tests, educational material, and consultation to instruct people of numeral

approaches to accurately monitor blood glucose levels, engage in exercise, adopt healthy eating habits, and cope with specific diabetes emotional and physical challenges. On this occasion, Director of the Mowasat Diabetes & Medical Center, Dr. Kashif Rizvi, stated that MDMC is consisted of a selection of senior consultants and specialists specialized in the treatment of diabetes. Also the Dietary Department constantly follow up with Diabetic patients offering the nutritional programs best suited to each individual patient. Dr. Kashif further noted that the strong link between diabetes & obesity increased specially recently, and that there are many individuals who are living with diabetes, but are not aware of this and that’s where the Glucose screening is needed to reduce the implications by an early management with the disease. “The hospital give the opportunity for everyone to be more aware and familiar with the disease and its implications in terms of the awareness program which included free diabetes related medical examinations such as blood tests to detect diabetes HBA1C and obesity tests to detect High waist ratio, free analysis, as well as the distribution of fresh fruit baskets prepared by the center’s dietician, Asma Saleh, to all the visitors of the Mowasat Diabetes Center and inpatients as well.” Dr Kashif added. He also explained that educational awareness brochures were handed to people to educate them about all issues related to diabetes, starting with medical advice of how to adopt healthy eating habits away from the diet obsession and ending with the ideal methods to deal with the mental and physical challenges associated with the disease. Mai Roumani, New Mowasat’s marketing manager, believes in such communal contributions saying that “In New Mowasat, we are well aware thatDiabetes is a serious condition, and the sooner it is diagnosed and managed, the lower the risk of complications later.” “Thus, the Marketing department organized the awareness program to be present inside & outside the hospital for an encouraging easy access to the public which lasted for a week in the hospital, Avenues Mall, 360 Mall, Al Kout Mall, and Marina Mall. As a correspondent to the international activities that took place all around the world, the program simply incarnates Mowasat Hospital’s mission: “Caring for Generations”.”Roumani explained. Roumani explained that the awareness campaign attracted a huge number of the interested public who expressed their strong appreciation for the beneficial educative program offered by the hospital. Chronically, New Mowasat Hospital proves itself to be the most dependable hospital in the state of Kuwait. “Caring” being their number one priority mission, the hospital is constantly in the forefront as Kuwait’s most reliable internationally accredited health facility.

Clean air, water rules spark different responses WASHINGTON: Large and small companies have told Republican-led congressional committees what the party wants to hear: dire predictions of plant closings and layoffs if the Obama administration succeeds with plans to further curb air and water pollution. But their message to financial regulators and investors conveys less gloom and certainty. The administration itself has clouded the picture by withdrawing or postponing some of the environmental initiatives that industry labeled as being among the most onerous. Still, Republicans plan to make what they say is regulatory overreach a 2012 campaign issue, taking aim at President Barack Obama, congressional Democrats and an aggressive Environmental Protection Agency. “Republicans will be talking to voters this campaign season about how to keep Washington out of the way, so that job creators can feel confident again to create jobs for Americans,” said Joanna Burgos, a spokeswoman for the House Republican campaign organization.

The Associated Press compared the companies’ congressional testimony to company reports submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The reports to the SEC consistently said the impact of environmental proposals is unknown or would not cause serious financial harm to a firm’s finances. Companies can legitimately argue that their less gloomy SEC filings are correct, since most of the tougher anti-pollution proposals have not been finalized. And their officials’ testimony before congressional committees was sometimes on behalf of - and written by - trade associations, a perspective that can differ from an individual company’s view. But the disparity in the messages shows that in a political environment, business has no misgivings about describing potential economic horror stories to lawmakers. “As an industry, we have said this before, we face a potential regulatory train wreck,” Anthony Earley Jr., then the executive chairman of DTE Energy in Michigan, told a House committee

on April 15. “Without the right policy, we could be headed for disaster.” The severe economic consequences, he said, would be devastating to the electric utility’s customers, especially Detroit residents who “simply cannot afford” higher rates. Earley, who is now chairman and CEO of Pacific Gas & Electric Corp., said if the EPA had its way, coalfired plants would be replaced with natural gas - leading to a spike in gas prices. He said he was testifying for the electric industry, not just his company. But in its quarterly report to the SEC, Detroit-based DTE, which serves 3 million utility customers in Michigan, said that it was “reviewing potential impacts of the proposed and recently finalized rules, but is not able to quantify the financial impact ... at this time.” Skiles Boyd, a DTE vice president for environmental issues, said in an interview that the testimony was meant to convey the potential economic hardship on ratepayers - while the SEC report focused on the company’s financial condition. “It’s two different subjects,” he said. —AP

QUEBEC: A polar bear cub named Taiga plays in a pool Friday, at Aquarium Park in Quebec City, Canada. Taiga was transferred from the Saint-Felicien zoo on Nov. 16, 2011 and will be officially introduced to the public in a few day. —AP

Gold versus water: Peru’s highlands conundrum LIMA: Peru’s biggest mining investment is under threat and government social welfare programs with it as highlands peasants step up protests against a gold-and-copper mine they fear could taint and diminish their water supply. About 400 protesters tried to enter the mine’s grounds Friday and some hurled rocks at police, who responded with tear gas and shotgun blasts, wounding one protester in the leg, Interior Minister Oscar Valdes told a Lima TV station. Opposition to the $4.8 billion project, an extension of the Yanacocha open-pit gold mine that is Latin America’s largest, poses the first major challenge to President Ollanta Humala’s leadership. He won office in June after promising the very people now mobilizing against Conga, whose 51 percent owner is Denver-based Newmont Mining Corp., that he would put clean water above mineral extraction. He told the residents of the northern state of Cajamarca, one of Peru’s most heavily mined, during a May campaign swing that he would ensure their water supply “because you don’t drink gold.” “You don’t eat gold.” But as protests began to rattle the Conga project last month, with heavy equipment vandalized, roads blocked and work temporarily halted, Humala was modifying the message. The choice, he now said, need not be water or gold. Peruvians can have both. After thousands joined protests in Cajamarca against Conga on Thursday, Humala told a gathering of peasant organizations in the capital of Lima: “You have my word. The state will guarantee water. All our children must have water.” Work at Conga was suspended for a third straight day Friday as protests continued, and Valdes said the wounded man was among two protesters arrested. Newmont spokesman Omar Jabara said one Conga worker’s truck was badly damaged Friday in a hamlet on the mine’s periphery. Peru’s Environment Ministry began last month to review the project “some critical aspects of it,” said Fausto Roncal, the ministry official in charge of evaluating environmental impact studies. He said its report would soon be delivered to Peru’s chief Cabinet minister. But investigative journalist Gustavo Gorriti reported Friday night on the IDLReporteros website that the 11-page report was delivered Thursday and raises “serious environmental objections.” He said it recommends a “detailed hydrological and hydrogeological analysis” of the impact of the mine’s two pits on an aquifer not adequately studied by Yanacocha. Neither Roncal nor other Environment Ministry officials could immediately be reached for comment. Once a fiery leftist, Humala slid toward the center to win the presidency of a nation that earns 61 percent of export revenues from mining. A boom in metals prices has fueled 7 percent annual economic growth over the past decade, and Humala inherited a nation with more than $40 billion in mining investment lined up. But little of the

mining wealth has reached the highlands where most mines are located and where Humala won office promising pensions for the elderly poor, a higher minimum wage, more education and health spending, rural electrification and sanitation. To help finance those programs, Humala got the mining industry to agree to a windfall tax that the government says will reap more than $1 billion a year. Conga mining is scheduled to start in 2015 and is projected to yield 11.6 million ounces of gold ($20 billion at today’s prices) and 3.1 billion pounds of copper ($10 billion at today’s prices) over two decades. If the project is scratched, investor confidence could sag and the underpinning of Humala’s social agenda collapse. “This is a trial balloon for the pact Humala’s government made with the mining impresarios,” said Julia Cuadros, executive director of Cooperaccion, a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable development. Yet local opposition to the project is stiff, and led by elected officials. Critics say an environmental impact study for Conga that was approved last year doesn’t adequately address the potential downstream damage of gouging open pits into mountaintops in what is likely an important aquifer. It “will eliminate the principal mountain lakes of the region, which are the last that remain that can supply urban expansion in the coming years” Cajamarca’s regional president, Gregorio Santos, told The Associated Press. Not just the 7,000 or so immediate inhabitants will be affected, he said, but tens of thousands in valleys below. At risk, Santos added, are “probable water supply sources for forestation and sustainable agriculture programs, and also for fish farming.” Four man-made reservoirs will replace the four small mountain lakes to be displaced by the 8-square-mile (2,000-hectare) project at the headwaters of two rivers. The biggest reservoir will be used to help extract metal from rock crushed and laced with cyanide before settling it on barriers to prevent ground contamination. The other three, said Newmont’s Jabara, will more than double stored water for surrounding communities. “We’re doing everything that we can to make sure this project is environmentally sound,” Jabara said. That includes a willingness to modify the environmental impact. “At the end of the day a project can’t be successful if it ends up adversely affecting water supplies.” But environmentalists say that’s exactly what happened with the Yanacocha mine, which began operating in 1993 and produced 3 million ounces of gold in its best year. Peru’s relatively lax clean-water standards permitted it to contaminate waterways, they say, while the regulatory process is biased in favor of miners because the Mining Ministry has the last word on environmental impact studies for mining projects. “ That doesn’t happen in Chile, Colombia or Ecuador,” said Manuel Glave, a respected Lima economist. —AP




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health & science

Power lines a risk for migratory birds BERGEN: When flamingos, storks, pelicans and other migratory birds undertake their long seasonal flights, they risk their lives winging their way through the endless power grids that cover the world. There are some 70 million kilometres (43 million miles) of power lines on the planet. In Africa and Eurasia alone, tens of millions of birds die each year in collisions and hundreds of thousands of others are electrocuted, a study published at this week’s Convention on Migratory Species in Bergen, Norway showed. Alongside hunting, “collision and electrocution are among the most important human-related causes for bird mortality,” Dutch ornithologist Hein Prinsen, the rapporteur of the study, told AFP. Migratory birds have in many cases already seen their habitats destroyed by mankind and global warming. These accidents are pushing their numbers down further, and in some places even putting birds at risk of becoming locally extinct. Each death is a heavy blow for the bigger species who have relatively slow reproduction patterns. For cranes and storks, the death of an adult bird can lead to the death of its young, who depend on their two parents for survival. “Today, Eastern Europe is a hot spot for problems, for great bustards

and birds of prey for example,” said John O’Sullivan, a former member of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. “But the worst situation may well be soon to be found in India and Africa where vast amounts of power lines are being built and where there are very large populations of birds,” he added. In South Africa, 12 percent of blue

cranes-the national bird-die each year in collisions with electricity wires. Collisions are more likely to occur in areas where birds congregate, such as near their watering holes and in flight corridors, while electrocutions are more common in areas with little vegetation where there are few natural places for the birds to perch. “There’s definitely a high cost for

SOUTH AFRICA: Men hold an electrocuted blue crane in this undated picture taken in South Africa. In Africa and Eurasia alone, tens of millions of birds die each year in collisions and hundreds of thousands of others are electrocuted. —AFP

society in the form of power cuts which generate costs for the industry and all kinds of costs such as accidents” caused by blackouts, O’Sullivan said. “So from a financial point of view it completely makes sense to solve this problem,” he said. Such accidents can have unexpected consequences. “Especially in dry areas in the US and Eastern Europe, it has happened that the bird which gets burnt falls down in flames and starts a wild fire,” Prinsen explained. In order to prevent accidents, the authors of the study listed a series of steps that can be taken. The most obvious is to have electricity cables buried underground, a solution already in place in parts of the Netherlands, Britain and Denmark though it is the costliest of remedies. Given the current economic crisis, other simpler solutions that have been proven to work include making the cables more visible with markers, equipping the poles with perches, or reinforcing the wires’ insulation to prevent electrocutions. The study showed that such modifications to Hungary’s 46,000 kilometers (28,580 miles) of electricity cables would cost around 220 million euros ($291 million), 10 times less than the cost of burying the wires underground.— AFP

The shark, a predator turned prey BERGEN: Sharks may strike terror among swimmers at the beach but the predators are increasingly ending up as prey, served up in fish-and-chips shops, sparking concern among environmentalists. The great white shark, the one that most frequently comes to mind, is a protected species-though that hasn’t prevented its stocks from declining-but tens of millions of other sharks are caught each year by fishermen. Why are they in such demand? Their fins are the main ingredient in shark fin soup, a prestigious dish in traditional Chinese cuisine, and even in Europe shark meat is often served to consumers, usually without

their knowledge. “People don’t realise they’re eating shark because it’s not called shark, but they are,” Sonja Fjordham, the head of Shark Advocates International, told AFP on the sidelines of an international conference this week on migratory species in Bergen, Norway. The name can be misleading: “rock salmon” often sold in fish and chips shops in Britain, Australia and elsewhere is actually a small type of shark called spiny dogfish. Ecologists’ main concern is the practice known as “finning”, when fishermen cut the fins off of sharks and then throw the fish back in the water, usually still alive and leaving them to a certain death by

drowning, suffocation, blood loss or to be devoured by other fish. In Asia, where shark fin soup is a sign of status and social standing, a fin can cost several hundred dollars (euros). “It’s as if you cut the arms and the legs off of a person. It’s just a torso. Without fins, they can’t swim, they can’t breathe, they can’t eat, they just sink to the bottom,” explains Rebecca Regnery, the deputy director of the Humane Society International. Finning, which is often carried out on by-catches but also targetted ones, weighs heavily on species that have slow reproduction patterns. Bans on the practice exist in many countries but are often ignored. —AFP

CHICAGO: In this photo taken Nov 18, 2011, provided by the Lincoln Park Zoo, Western Lowland Gorilla mother Bana hold her new her baby which was born on Nov 16, 2011. —AP

Endangered baby gorilla born at Chicago zoo dies CHICAGO: A preliminary exam shows that an endangered baby gorilla born nine days ago at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo died of head trauma. Zoo workers discovered the baby gorilla was dead Friday morning, as she was being carried around by her mother. The zoo says workers allowed the mother, 16-year-old Bana, to keep the baby for several hours “to make peace with what happened.”

She was a first-time mother. The cause of death was determined later in the day during a necropsy, the animal version of an autopsy. The baby’s father was a 22year-old silverback gorilla named Kwan. The baby was the first Western lowland gorilla born at the zoo since 2005. She had not been named. In a statement, the zoo says the baby appeared to be fully developed.—AP




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W H AT ’ S O N


Abdurrahman Khalid and his wife Nashwa Al-Nimr celebrated the birth of their first daughter, Malak. They were congratulated on this occasion by family and friends.

Chamber Ensemble Evening

Upcoming events Rak dance academy new year hangama-2012 The RAK Dance Academy (RDA) Kuwait, is planning to put a charity event as celebration of its New Year Hangama 2012, on 31st December, 2011, from 6.00pm onwards, at Carmel School Khaitan. All participants are well known artists from Kuwait. The main purpose of this celebration is to collect donations and raise money for supporting handicapped children in India. Advertisement will be published throughout Kuwait absolutely free of charge. We are expecting huge crowd for this event. The fund raised will be beneficial handicapped children. In order to make this event joyous and successful we are seeking kind contributions from you. Your attendance is your donation. Please join for an evening for a good cause. Darla Srinivasulu Achari, 99 692266; Mob: 65728740 K. Eswar Babu, Phone 99692266, Lashmeesha 65925730 Email: Aware Center Arabic lessons The AWARE Management is glad to inform you that Winter 1 Arabic language courses will begin on November 20th, 2011 until January 12th, 2012. AWARE Arabic language courses are designed with the expat in mind. The environment is relaxed and courses are designed for those wanting to learn Arabic for travel, cultural understanding, and conducting business or simply to become more involved in the community. We cater to teachers, travelers & those working in the private business sector. Arabic classes at the AWARE Center are unique because students are provided with the chance to practice their Arabic through various social activities that aim at bringing Arabs and Westerners together. AWARE Arabic courses highlight: l Introductory to Level 4 Arabic language basics l Better prepare you for speaking, reading and writing Arabic l Combine language learning with cultural insights l Taught in multi-nationality group settings l Provide opportunities to interact with Western expatriates and native Kuwaitis/Arabs. For more information or registration, call 25335260/80 ext 105/104/0 or log onto:

Program lLudwig van Beethoven lTrio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano in B flat major, Op. 11 lAllegro con brio lAdagio lAllegretto lJohannes Brahms lTrio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano in A minor, Op. 114 lAllegro lAdagio lAndantino grazioso lAllegro lAli Fouad - Clarinet lArzigul Akhmadieva - ‘Cello lIlgiz Romanov - Piano Arzigul Akhmadieva was born in Uzbekistan and studied at the Tashkent State Conservatory, St. Petersburg and Moscow Conservatory. She was laureate of the Republican Contest for cellists and received a diploma at the All Union Contest of string quartets in Tallin. She has per formed in Uzbekistan and abroad; Russia, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Malaysia, Kuwait. At present she is professor at the Higher Institute of Musical Art, Kuwait Ali Fouad studied the clarinet at the Egyptian Conservatory, later participating in the International festival of North Dakota in the USA. In 1988 ?li received his Bachelor’s degree with distinction and his Master’s in 2002. He subsequently worked with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra, touring with them in France, Germany and Austria, also participating in many festivals. He currently teaches the clarinet in Kuwait. Ilgiz Royanov has recorded for Uzbek radio and television and participated as a

solo pianist with many symphony and chamber orchestras around Russia and abroad, he was a piano professor at Cairo conservatory where he performed in Cairo Opera House, the Alexandria Library and other prestigious theatres in Egypt. As with Dr. Arzigul, many of his students are prize winners of Asia and many international competitions. Presently he is a Professor in the College of Basic Education in Kuwait. Ludwig van Beethoven Beethoven’s Trio, Op. 11 was dedicated to Countess Maria Wilhelmine von Thun and likely to have been written at the request of a clarinettist, possibly Beer, in 1797/8. The clarinet as we know

IMAX Film Program on Sunday 27th November, 2011 9:30am Showtime Available for Groups Born to be Wild 3D 10:30am, 1:30pm, 4:30pm, 7:30pm Sea Rex 3D 11:30am, 8:30pm Into The Deep 3D 12:30pm, 5:30pm, 9:30pm Journey to Mecca 2:30pm Arabia 3D 3:30pm Haunted Castle 3D 6:30pm Notes: - All films are in Arabic EXCEPT “Haunted Castle 3D” - For English, Headsets are available upon request - Film schedule is subject to changes without notice. For information call 1 848 888 or visit

Johannes Brahms By the 1890s Brahms’ health suffered

and indeed took its toll on his circle of friends. Even in bursts of good health Brahms declared that his work as a composer was over. Richard M¸hlfeld, clarinettist of the cour t orchestra in Meiningen, however, inspired Brahms to compose; Oop. 114, the Trio and followed by his famous Clarinet Quintet, 115 in 1991. Muhlfeld himself premiered the piece with the cellist Rober t Hausmann and Brahms himself at the piano. The Trio shows Brahms’ deep understanding of instrumental colour and mood. He encapsulates the Romantic movement and Op 114 climaxes with a verve that he had been for a couple of years, with Brahms merely sketching some symphonic movements.

Mandaram holds blood donation program

Christmas music concert Men’s Voice and Choral Society - Kuwait, the renowned Christian musicale group in Kuwait since 2001, who were able to put up a splendid Christmas carol in the form of a Living Christmas tree last year, are going to be back on stage this season of winter with their 11th Annual Christmas Music Concert “Celtic Christmas” for all the music lovers of the region on Wednesday 7th, December 2011 at 7 pm at Hall of Faith, National Evangelical Church (NECK), Kuwait. They are at their final stages of practice rounding up and polishing the best carols from English and Malayalam favorites. Every Music Lovers are cordially invite everyone to this spiritual musical concert, for more details contact 94064465/94063481 or visit


it had been common in orchestras since the 1760s and used to great effect by Mozart in the 80s. It is uncertain why Beethoven failed to grasp the essence of the instrument as he clearly employed the flute to great effect in his Seranade. By the late 19th century the violin was often substituted for the clarinet. One theory is that he disliked Beer and was not his usual innovative self and fell back into classicism, showing the piano as master. The adagio though, shows a variation on a theme he was soon to use brilliantly in his Septet two years later.


andaram Charitable Trust Kuwait conducted a blood donation program at Central Blood Bank Jabriya on Thursday, 24th Nov 2011 after a month long awareness campaign. Around 40 members of various nationalities enthusiastically took part in this noble deed. This movement is a significant one to encourage people, willing to

donate blood to save lives as Kuwait faces extreme shortage of supplies. Mandaram, originated in the internet based social network Orkut, as a platform for the people to interact on various social, political and humanitarian issues in 2005 later grew beyond the cyber world to register as a Charitable trust in 2010.

Angamaly Pravasi Association office bearers


he General body meeting of the Angamaly Pravasi Association, Kuwait (APAK) was held at Indian Central School Auditorium Abbassiya. The meeting was presided over by the President of the Association Saju G Thachil and was inaugurated by the Chairman of Advisory Board Jacob Pynadath. The annual report was presented by Acting General Secretary Libin Thettayil and Nigi Paily Treasurer presented the accounts of the report year and was passed by the General Body.

Following this the General Body elected the Office Bearers for the year 2011 2012: * President: Saju G.Thachil * Vice President: Prabhullakumar * General Secretary: Martin Padayattil * Joint Secretary: Libin Thettayil * Treasurer: Nigi Paily * Joint Treasurer: Lijesh Paul * Office Secretary: Deepak Jose * Advisory Board Chairman: Jacob Pynadath * Auditor: Jose Varghese

CH Memorial Open Football Tournament


s a culmination of one-month long football tournament, under the auspices of Kuwait Kerala Muslim Cultural Center, Winners International kissed the rolling trophy of CH Memorial All India Open Football Tournament. Packed audience witnessed fierce play of a fitting final between “Winners International” and “Malappuram Brothers”, but at the end it was “Winners International” who emerged winners for a solitary goal to win the coveted trophy. The goal was scored in the first half. Though Malappuram brothers tried hard to score, it could not penetrate the defense of Winners. Altogether 10 teams participated in

the tournament which started on 04th October. The match which was held in Al-Nasar stadium, Jeleeb shuwaikh was witnessed by a packed stand and both teams’ supporters made the stadium vibrant with their vociferous support. Indian Ambassador to Kuwait Satish C Mehta inaugurated the match in a festive atmosphere. He stressed the need for this kind of tournaments to inculcate the sportsman spirit and as an opportunity to hone the skills of young people. He stressed that sports is a binding force for all people to come together, and he acclaimed the initiative of Kuwait KMCC of organizing such an event. UAE Exchange country head Pancily Varkey, ‘I-Black’ - Kuwait GM

Abid, Dubai GM Hussain, Siddeeque Vlaiyakath , Kunhamed Perambra, Salam Valancheri , Cine Actor Kailash, Zubair MM, Suresh Mathur were present at the occasion. The trophy for winners was presented jointly by Kuwait KMCC president Sharafuddeen Kanneth and Pancily varkey. The runners-up trophy was presented jointly by General Secretary Basheer Batha and Shifa Al-Jazeera Hospital representative Saleh. National committee office bearers Nazeer Khan, Azeez Thikkodi and H. Ibrahim Kutty & Sports Conveners Salim Kottayil, Iqbal Maviladam & Mustafa Kari coordinated and spearheaded various activities on the final day.




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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

EMBASSY OF BANGLADESH The embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in Kuwait will remain closed today 27 November. 2011 on the occasion of the Arabic New Year 1433 Hizri. nnnnnnn

Sheikh Talal Al-Fahad welcomes Arsenal School at GUST


he Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) welcomed His Highness Sheikh Talal Al-Fahad AlSabah who gave the official announcement that the Arsenal Soccer School one of the leading soccer schools worldwide - is now open in Kuwait. The designated location for the schools teachings will be at the GUST soccer fields. In attendance were His Excellency the Deputy Ambassador of Britain Marc Sheppard, Bader Al-Refai, President of the Kuwait Football Schools, Paul Shipwright, the Arsenal Soccer School’s Franchise Manager and Advisor - ME Division and

Dr Masoud Asad, Director of Public Affairs at GUST. Sheikh Talal started his speech by welcoming the prestigious school to Kuwait as a partner in shaping Kuwait’s future athletes in the best techniques approached by the school in over 400 locations. He also addressed the students, who range between the age of five and 23, to be up to the responsibility, and reminded them that although they are all wearing Arsenal’s known red color, they should never forget the color they aspire to: the blue - which represents Kuwait’s national football team.

Following warm speeches by Bader AlRefai where he mentioned that this announcement marked a dream come true and top of its kind in Kuwait; Arsene Wenger noted that the techniques and classes given at the Arsenal Soccer School have the same principles and values that the actual Arsenal Club uses in their preparations to be one solid, unified team that plays great football; Paul Shipwright expressed his excitement that this young Kuwaiti population has joined 35,000 other youth around the world to be a part of this special soccer school; and Dr. Masoud Asad who was proud

that GUST was part of such partnership as the university has always been anavid supporter of any initiative that supports and motivates our youth to be the best they can be whether it is in education, academics, culture or sports; to give them the necessary tools and knowledge to keep up with the world’s daily progress into the future. That ideal is deeply implanted in the GUST mission. The night was ended on the field, where the school members showcased their existing talents in hopes to hone and grow their skills to reach greater heights.

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 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 Effective January 15, 2011, the only Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) application form that will be accepted by CIC is the Application for Temporary Resident Visa Made Outside of Canada [IMM 5257] form. nnnnnnn


The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Kuwait wishes to announce that as of 1 May 2011, the external service provider Al Qabas Assurex is operating a Visa Application Centre in support of the German Embassy. Short-term visa applications for travels to Germany (e.g. for tourism, visits, business) are to be submitted to the service provider Al Qabas who for your convenience will ensure that all relevant documents are included in your application. Your personal appearance at the Application Centre is not required. Address of the Visa Application Centre: Al Qabas Assurex Sanabel Tower (AlBabtain) Mezzanine (M3) opposite Sharq Mall Kuwait 22924444 Fax: 22924442 Further information are available on the following websites: nnnnnnn


Movenpick Hotels & Resorts opens family resort on Arabian coast


he stunning five-star Movenpick Beach Resort Al Khobar has officially opened, setting a new standard for family holidays on the Arabian coast. The resort is the ninth hotel to be opened by Movenpick Hotels & Resorts in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and offers 36 three-bedroom duplex villas - including two Royal Villas each with a spacious majlis - two restaurants, a spa and fitness centre, free-form swimming pool, a fun kids club, lush landscaping and spectacular private beach. “This resort is truly unique and perfect for families that enjoy holidays in an exclusive, relaxed environment,” said Markus Marti, general manager of the new property. “There is nothing like this resort in the entire Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Everything has been designed to the highest possible stan-

dards offering a seaside experience that is exceptional and comforting.” The design of the villas illustrates this philosophy perfectly. With three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a state-of-the-art kitchen, service quarters as well as spacious dining and living areas, each duplex is the epitome of contemporary comfort with a relaxed Mediterranean feel. Movenpick Beach Resort Al Khobar is just 45 minutes from Dammam International Airport and only 25 minutes away from the five-star shopping outlets and entertainment options of Al Khobar and the King Fahad Causeway to Bahrain. Guests will find it difficult to leave the familyfocused attractions of the resort. The Azure restaurant offers contemporary gourmet seafood in a Mediterraneanstyle lounge atmosphere with magnificent views of the resort’s private marina.

The Clubhouse, meanwhile, offers all-day dining and ‡ la carte where guests can take time with family to enjoy a snack or relaxing meal. Within The Clubhouse is the Retreat Wellness Center & Spa featuring separate rooms for men and women as well as European beauty treatments, private massage, sauna, steam rooms, a fitness area with modern gym equipment and serene spaces where guests can relax. For families who enjoy the splash happy fun of water, an artfully designed swimming pool and a separate private pool area for children are available. There is a Kids Club with fully trained attendants offering a wide range of games and activities as well as a children’s dining menu. Parents can enjoy a variety of water sports and activities or stroll by the waterfront pathways of immaculately mani-

cured grounds or along the world-class marina. Complimentary Wi-Fi coverage is available throughout the resort and there are also dedicated conference and banquet facilities. The Movenpick Beach Resort Al Khobar builds on the strong profile of the upscale international hotel company in the Kingdom. “Movenpick Hotels & Resorts has quickly established a very positive reputation in Saudi Arabia,” said Turki AlMohaisen, representative of property owner Eastern Rehab Company for Tourism Investment. “This is a country that has always appreciated the importance of hospitality and we recognise in Movenpick Hotels & Resorts a partner that celebrates the Swiss values of quality, reliability and care that every Saudi guest appreciates.”

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

EMBASSY OF PERU The Embassy of Peru is located at Al-Arablya Tower, Sharq, Ahmed Al-Jaber Street, on the 6th Floor. In the same place, as a part of the Chancellery of the Embassy of Peru in Kuwait, also is located the Showing Room of “PeruExpoTour, Trade & Invest.” nnnnnnn

EMBASSY OF RUSSIA Embassy of the Russian Federation will hold the elections to the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation (Parliament) on December 3, 2011, between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm in the Embassy s premises by the address: Kuwait City, Daiya, Block 5, Diplomatic campus, Plot 17. All the Russians are invited to participate. They are requested to present valid Russian passports. nnnnnnn

Royal Navy crew visits Shaab Park


he crew of the Royal Navy ship, HMS Argyle, visited Shaab Park on Wednesday evening to play a series of matches against the Premier GOAL Academy/Everton Coaches and the PGA/Everton Under 17s team sponsored by Porsche Centre Kuwait, Behbehani Motors Company. The British warship was visiting Kuwait, along with HRH the Prince of Wales as part of the 50/20 anniversary celebrations organized by the British Embassy in Kuwait. After six exciting and closely fought matches the Royal Navy ‘A’ team came out on top,

although it was the PGA/Everton U-17 youngsters who stole the show with a stunning 2-1 victory over the Navy boys in their final game. The event was supported by GOAL!, providing the perfect venue and Jade Garden Chinese Restaurant who provided a sumptuous buffet for all the players and supporters after the match. Academy Director Mike Finn thanked the match officials and sponsors, congratulated the visitors on their performance and presented the HMS Argyle Captain and players with mementos of their visit to Kuwait.

EMBASSY OF US The United States and Kuwait enjoy a long-standing and fruitful relationship with higher education. As evidence of this enduring partnership, the number of Kuwaiti students enrolled in US institutions of higher education in 2010/11 increased from 2442 to 2998, a 22.8% increase compared to the previous year. Kuwaiti students study in 45 states. This year, embassies and institutions around the world will be celebrating International Education Week the week of November 14-18. In honor of International Education Week, the US Embassy s Mobile American Corner will be at the Marina Mall on Wednesday evening, November 16, and at the Avenues Mall on Thursday evening, November 17. Information about higher education in the US, English language classes and the student visa application process will be available, and staff will be present to answer questions about study in the USA from the general public.



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00:50 Untamed & Uncut 01:45 Dogs 101: Specials 02:40 Jaws Comes Home: Return Of The... 03:35 Monster Bug Wars 04:30 Crocodile Feeding Frenzy 05:25 Dogs 101: Specials 06:20 Animal Cops Houston 07:10 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 08:00 Monkey Life 08:25 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip 09:15 Breed All About It 09:40 The Really Wild Show 10:10 Panda Adventures With Nigel Marven 11:05 Project Puppy 11:30 Monkey Life 12:00 Crocodile Hunter 12:55 Dogs 101: Specials 13:50 Wildest Africa 15:40 Your Pet Wants This 16:35 Your Pet Wants This, Too! 17:30 World’s Ugliest Dog Competition 18:25 Monkey Life 19:20 Ray Mears’ Wild Britain 20:15 Venom Hunter With Donald Schultz 21:10 Cats 101 22:05 Crocodile Feeding Frenzy 23:00 Wildest Africa 23:55 Whale Wars

00:00 Blackadder Goes Forth 00:30 Beautiful People 01:00 Doctor Who 01:45 Elbow with the BBC Concert Orchestra 02:45 Blackadder Goes Forth 03:40 As Time Goes By 04:10 Last of the Summer Wine 04:40 3rd & Bird: set 01 04:50 Bobinogs 05:00 Boogie Beebies: Set 4 05:15 The Adventures Of Spot 05:20 Tweenies: Set 15 05:40 Fimbles: Set 3 06:00 3rd & Bird: set 01 06:10 Bobinogs 06:20 Boogie Beebies: Set 4 06:35 The Adventures Of Spot 06:40 Tweenies: Set 15 07:00 Charlie & Lola: Set 1 07:10 Fimbles: Set 3 07:30 3rd & Bird: set 01 07:40 Bobinogs 07:50 Boogie Beebies: Set 4 08:05 Poetry Pie 08:10 Tweenies: Set 15 08:30 Charlie & Lola: Set 1 08:40 Fimbles: Set 3 09:00 3rd & Bird: set 01 09:10 Bobinogs 09:20 Boogie Beebies: Set 4 09:35 Poetry Pie 09:40 The Adventures Of Spot 09:50 Tweenies: Set 15 10:10 Charlie & Lola: Set 1 10:20 Fimbles: Set 3 10:40 As Time Goes By 11:10 Last of the Summer Wine 11:45 Doctor Who 12:30 The Weakest Link: S10: Set 2 13:15 Casualty: Set 3 14:05 Big Cat Diary 14:35 Big Cat Diary 15:00 The Weakest Link: S10: Set 2 15:45 The Weakest Link: S10: Set 2 16:35 Doctors: Set 2 17:05 Doctors: Set 2 19:05 Doctor Who 19:50 As Time Goes By 20:20 Last of the Summer Wine 20:50 Coast 21:50 Big Cat Diary 22:15 Big Cat Diary 22:45 Emma (2009) 23:35 The Fixer

00:00 BBC World News 00:30 Dateline London

01:00 BBC World News 01:10 The Firing Line 02:00 BBC World News 02:10 World Features 02:30 Middle East Business Report 03:00 BBC World News 03:10 World Features 03:30 Talking Movies 04:00 BBC World News 04:30 Dateline London 05:00 BBC World News 05:10 The Firing Line 06:00 BBC World News 06:30 Newsnight 07:00 BBC World News 07:30 Click 08:00 BBC World News 08:30 India Business Report 09:00 BBC World News 09:30 Fast Track 10:00 BBC World News 10:10 The Health Show 10:30 Talking Movies 11:00 BBC World News 11:10 World Features 11:30 Dateline London 12:00 BBC World News 12:10 World Features 12:30 Horizons 13:00 BBC World News 13:10 World Features 13:30 My Country 14:00 BBC World News 14:10 World Features 14:30 Newsnight 15:00 BBC World News 16:15 Sport Today 16:30 Click 17:00 BBC World News 18:10 The Firing Line 19:00 BBC World News 19:30 India Business Report 20:00 BBC World News 20:30 Talking Books 21:00 BBC World News 21:10 World Features 21:30 My Country 22:00 Sports World Have Your Say 23:00 BBC World News 23:10 This Week With Christiane Amanpour

00:15 Samurai Jack 00:40 Megas XLR 01:05 Robotboy 01:30 Squirrel Boy 01:55 George Of The Jungle 02:20 Cramp Twins 02:45 Chop Socky Chooks 03:10 Best Ed 03:35 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 04:00 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 04:25 Generator Rex 04:50 Adventure Time 05:15 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 05:40 Chowder 05:55 Powerpuff Girls 06:30 Ed, Edd n Eddy 06:55 I Am Weasel 07:20 Squirrel Boy 07:45 Cow & Chicken 08:00The Life & Times Of Juniper Lee 08:04 Cow & Chicken 08:25 Powerpuff Girls 08:50 Cartoon Network Dance Club 09:05 Eliot Kid 09:30 Chowder 09:55 The Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy 10:20 Adventure Time 10:45 The Amazing World Of Gumball 10:55 Cow & Chicken 11:30 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 11:55 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 12:20 Generator Rex 12:45 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 13:10 Bakugan: Gundalian Invaders 13:35 Hero 108 14:00 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 14:25 Robotboy 14:50 I Am Weasel 15:15 Best Ed 15:40 Chowder


TV PROGRAMS 16:05 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 16:30 Courage The Cowardly Dog 16:55 Cow & Chicken 17:20 Adventure Time 17:45 Codename: Kids Next Door 18:10 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 18:35 Generator Rex 19:00 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 19:25 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 19:50 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 20:15 Adventure Time 20:40 The Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy 21:05 Chowder 21:30 Courage The Cowardly Dog 21:55 Cow & Chicken 22:20 Best Ed 22:45 I Am Weasel 23:00 Ben 10 23:25 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 23:50 The Secret Saturdays

00:20 Replacements 01:10 Fairly Odd Parents 02:00 A Kind Of Magic 02:45 Stitch 03:35 Kim Possible 04:25 Emperor’s New School 05:15 Stitch 06:00 Jungle Junction 06:25 Handy Manny 06:45 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 07:10 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 07:25 Mini Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 07:30 So Random 08:10 Fish Hooks 08:25 The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody 08:50 My Babysitter’s A Vampire 09:15 Good Luck Charlie 09:40 Fish Hooks 10:05 Wizards Of Waverly Place 10:30 Phineas And Ferb 12:00 So Random 12:25 The Adventures Of Disney Fairies 12:50 Good Luck Charlie 13:40 Fish Hooks 14:00 Wizards Of Waverly Place 14:25 Stitch 14:50 Shake It Up 15:15 Fish Hooks 15:35 So Random 15:55 The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody 16:45 Wizards Of Waverly Place 17:30 My Babysitter’s A Vampire 20:35 So Random 20:55 Wizards Of Waverly Place 21:25 My Babysitter’s A Vampire 21:50 Good Luck Charlie 22:15 Suite Life On Deck 22:40 Sonny With A Chance 23:05 The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody 23:30 Hannah Montana 23:55 Kim Possible

00:00 Globe Trekker 01:00 Inside Walt Disney Studios Paris 02:00 A Week In Poland 03:00 Trabant Trek 04:00 The Blue Continent 05:00 Globe Trekker 09:00 Travel Today 09:30 Glutton For Punishment 10:30 Rudy Maxa’s World 11:00 Swiss Railway Journeys 12:00 The Big Guide 13:00 Globe Trekker 14:00 Sophie Grigson In The Home Counties 15:00 Journey Into Wine-South Africa 16:00 Essential 17:00 Globe Trekker 18:00 Indian Times 19:00 Globe Trekker 21:00 Rajasthan - A Colourful Legacy


00:40 Extreme Fishing 01:35 Nothing Personal 02:30 How Do They Do It? 03:00 How It’s Made 07:00 American Chopper: Senior vs Junior 07:50 Desert Car Kings 08:45 Ultimate Biker Challenge 09:10 South Beach Classics 09:40 Extreme Fishing 10:30 River Monsters 11:25 Ultimate Survival 12:20 How It’s Made 12:45 Cash Cab Us 15:05 Cake Boss 17:20 Mythbusters 18:15 Ultimate Survival 19:10 Deadliest Catch 20:05 Dual Survival 21:00 Mythbusters 21:55 Curiosity: Is There A Parallel Universe? 22:50 Ross Kemp In Search Of Pirates 23:45 Pit Bulls And Parolees

00:40 Bang Goes The Theory 01:05 The Tech Show 01:30 Nasa’s Greatest Missions 02:20 Catch It Keep It 06:40 The Tech Show 07:10 How The Universe Works 08:00 Nasa’s Greatest Missions 08:55 Head Rush 08:58 Sci-Fi Science 09:25 Weird Connections 09:55 Da Vinci’s Machines 10:45 Prototype This 11:35 Catch It Keep It 15:45 Head Rush 15:48 Sci-Fi Science 16:15 Weird Connections 16:45 Bang Goes The Theory 17:10 The Gadget Show 17:35 The Gadget Show 18:00 Build It Bigger: Rebuilding Greensburg 18:50 How The Universe Works 19:40 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 20:30 Moon Machines 21:20 Nasa’s Greatest Missions 22:10 Invisible Worlds 23:00 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 23:50 Moon Machines

00:15 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 00:40 Grill It! With Bobby Flay 01:05 World Cafe Asia 01:30 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 01:55 Bobby Chinn Cooks Asia 02:45 Food Network Challenge 03:35 Chopped 04:25 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 05:15 Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam 05:40 Unwrapped 06:05 Chef vs Britain 06:30 Paula’s Best Dishes 06:50 Paula’s Party 07:35 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 08:00 Chopped 08:50 Guy’s Big Bite 09:15 Extra Virgin 09:40 Chef vs Britain 10:05 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 10:30 Paula’s Best Dishes 10:55 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 11:20 Aarti Party 11:45 Guy’s Big Bite 12:10 Unwrapped 12:35 Paula’s Party 13:25 Extra Virgin 13:50 Paula’s Best Dishes 14:15 Mexican Made Easy 14:40 World Cafe Asia 15:05 Food Network Challenge 15:55 Unwrapped 16:20 Good Eats - Special 16:45 Chopped 17:35 Guy’s Big Bite 18:00 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 18:25 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 18:55 Extra Virgin 19:15 Lidia’s Italy 19:40 Mexican Made Easy 20:05 Grill It! With Bobby Flay 20:30 Food Network Challenge 21:20 Unwrapped 21:45 Unwrapped 22:10 Lidia’s Italy 23:00 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics

00:20 Special Agent Oso 00:50 Jungle Junction 01:15 Little Einsteins 01:40 Higglytown Heroes 02:10 Jo Jo’s Circus 02:30 Special Agent Oso 03:00 Jungle Junction 03:25 Little Einsteins 03:50 Higglytown Heroes 04:20 Jo Jo’s Circus 04:40 Special Agent Oso 05:10 Jungle Junction 05:25 Jungle Junction 05:35 Little Einsteins 06:00 Higglytown Heroes 06:30 Jo Jo’s Circus 06:50 Jungle Junction 07:15 Higglytown Heroes 07:45 Handy Manny 08:00 Special Agent Oso 08:15 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 08:40 Timmy Time 08:55 Little Einsteins 09:20 The Hive 09:30 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 10:00 Jungle Junction 10:10 The Hive 10:20 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 10:44 Mini Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 10:45 Jungle Junction 11:45 Art Attack 12:10 Imagination Movers 12:30 The Hive 12:40 Lazytown 13:05 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 13:30 Handy Manny 13:45 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 14:15 The Hive 14:25 Timmy Time 14:35 Special Agent Oso

14:50 15:15 16:05 16:20 16:50 17:05 17:20 17:45 18:10 18:35 18:50 19:00 19:25 19:55 20:05 20:25 20:50 21:05 21:10 21:29 21:35 21:50 22:00 22:30 22:55 23:10 23:35 23:55

The Little Mermaid Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Handy Manny Jake & The Neverland Pirates Jungle Junction Handy Manny Lazytown Art Attack Imagination Movers Jungle Junction The Hive Little Einsteins Lazytown Timmy Time Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 101 Dalmatians Jake & The Neverland Pirates A Poem Is... The Little Mermaid Animated Stories Special Agent Oso The Hive Jungle Junction Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Handy Manny Lazytown Jo Jo’s Circus Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

00:25 Fashion Police 00:55 Chelsea Lately 01:25 E!es 02:20 E! Investigates 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Reality Hell 05:30 Wildest TV Show Moments 06:00 THS 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 E! News 09:15 Style Star 10:15 Giuliana & Bill 11:10 Ice Loves Coco 12:05 E! News 13:05 Fashion Police 13:35 Style Star 14:05 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 15:00 Giuliana & Bill 15:55 Dirty Soap 16:55 Behind The Scenes 17:25 Ice Loves Coco 21:25 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 22:25 E! News 23:25 The Soup 23:55 Chelsea Lately

00:00 FIM World Motocross MX3 2011 00:50 Wrestling With Reality 02:30 M1 Selection 2010 03:20 Sports Jobs 05:00 Clay Marzo: Just Add Water 05:50 Lucas Oil Motocross Championships 2009 07:30 Ride Guide Mountainbike 2009 09:00 Best Of The Streets 10:40 Alli Presents 12:20 Lucas Oil Motocross Championships 2009 14:00 Carpocalypse 14:50 Pinks: Lose The Race, Lose Your Ride 15:40 Ty Murray’s Celebrity Bull Riding Challa 16:30 Eurodip 17:20 Shark Park 18:10 Cowboy U 19:00 Pinks: Lose The Race, Lose Your Ride 19:50 Lucas Oil Motocross Championships 2009 21:30 Carpocalypse 22:20 Final Fu 23:10 Pinks: Lose The Race, Lose Your Ride

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

A Haunting The Haunted Ghost Lab A Haunting On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Mystery Diagnosis FBI Files Forensic Detectives Murder Shift Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Real Emergency Calls On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Murder Shift Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Real Emergency Calls On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared FBI Files Forensic Detectives Murder Shift Real Emergency Calls Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Nightmare Next Door I Almost Got Away With It

00:00 Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy 01:00 Word of Mouth 01:30 Food School 02:00 Cooking The World 03:00 Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled 04:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 06:00 Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy 07:00 Word of Mouth 07:30 Food School 08:00 Cooking The World 09:00 Lonely Planet: Roads Less Travelled 10:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 12:00 Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy 13:00 Delinquent Gourmet 14:00 Exploring The Vine 15:00 Word of Mouth 15:30 Banged Up Abroad 17:30 Weird & Wonderful Hotels 18:00 Travel Madness 18:30 Madventures 19:00 Delinquent Gourmet 20:00 Exploring The Vine 20:30 Exploring The Vine 21:00 Word of Mouth 21:30 Banged Up Abroad 22:30 Banged Up Abroad 23:30 Weird & Wonderful Hotels


00:00 Wild Things: Foursome -18 02:00 Ticking Clock-PG15 04:00 Age Of The Dragons-PG15 06:00 Universal Soldier: Regeneration-PG15 08:00 The Next Karate Kid-PG 10:00 Across The Hall-PG15 12:00 Rocky IV-PG15 14:00 The Next Karate Kid-PG 16:00 Tracker-PG15 18:00 Rocky IV-PG15 20:00 From Within-PG15 22:00 Blood And Bone-18

01:15 03:00 05:00 07:00 09:00 11:00 12:45 15:00 17:00 19:00 20:45 23:15

Order Of Chaos-R Freakonomics-PG15 Freestyle (2010)-PG15 Bustin’ Down The Door-PG15 Easy Virtue-PG15 Freestyle (2010)-PG15 Paper Man-PG15 Good Hair-PG15 The Last Airbender-PG Gentlemen Broncos-PG15 Eat Pray Love-PG15 Flipped-PG

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 Eastbound & Down 02:00 Saturday Night Live 03:00 Melissa And Joey 03:30 Mr. Sunshine 04:00 According To Jim 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 06:00 Yes Dear 06:30 Just Shoot Me 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 According To Jim 08:30 Melissa And Joey 09:30 Hot In Cleveland 10:00 Community 10:30 Just Shoot Me 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:00 Yes Dear 12:30 According To Jim 13:00 Melissa And Joey 14:00 Just Shoot Me 14:30 Hot In Cleveland 15:00 Community 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 Yes Dear 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Friends 18:30 Friends 19:00 How I Met Your Mother 19:30 State Of Georgia 20:00 Happy Endings 20:30 The Ricky Gervais Show 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Saturday Night Live 23:00 Eastbound & Down 23:30 Happy Endings

01:00 02:45 04:30 06:15 09:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 17:00 19:00 21:00 23:15

S.W.A.T.: Firefight-PG15 Age Of The Dragons-PG15 The Collector-18 Avatar-PG Secret Window-PG15 Raising Cain-PG15 Rocky II-PG15 Secret Window-PG15 Fast Lane-PG15 Penny Dreadful-18 Shutter Island-18 Blood River-18

16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00

Yogi’s Great Escape-PG Marci X-PG15 When In Rome-PG15 Four Last Songs-PG15

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

Triage-18 The Eclipse-PG15 Just Married-PG15 16 To Life-PG15 Remember Me-PG15 I Am Sam-PG15 Flicka 2-PG15 Date Night-PG15 Remember Me-PG15 Dance Flick-18 Inception-PG15 Looking For Eric-PG15

00:00 A Venetian Rascal Goes To America-PG15 02:00 Delgo-FAM 04:00 The Enchanted Mountain-PG 06:15 A Venetian Rascal Goes To America-PG15 08:15 Legend Of Sleeping BeautyPG 10:00 Toy Story 3-FAM 12:00 In Search Of The Titanic-PG15 14:00 Ramona And Beezus-PG 16:00 Ed-PG 18:00 Toy Story 3-FAM 20:00 North-PG 22:00 In Search Of The Titanic-PG15

02:00 06:30 07:00 09:00 12:30 13:30 17:30 19:30 20:30 22:30

PGA European Tour Futbol Mundial Rugby Union International Premier League Snooker WWE Bottom Line Live PGA European Tour WWE SmackDown Trans World Sport International Rugby Union Live Premier League Snooker

02:00 04:00 06:00 07:00 09:00 12:30 13:30 15:15 15:45 18:00 18:30 20:30 22:30

Scottish Premier League Pro 12 Celtic League Trans World Sport International Rugby Union Premier League Snooker Trans World Sport Scottish Premier League Futbol Mundial Live Scottish Premier League Total Rugby International Rugby Union Scottish Premier League Live Premier League Snooker

01:30 03:30 07:00 11:30 13:30 17:30 21:00

Rugby Union International Premier League Snooker European PGA Tour Rugby Union International Live European PGA Tour Premier League Snooker European PGA Tour

00:00 03:00 04:00 06:30 07:00 08:00 09:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 16:30 17:30 19:30 20:00 23:00

UFC 139 UFC The Ultimate Fighter Super Formula V8 Supercars Extra WWE Vintage Collection WWE Bottom Line WWE SmackDown V8 Supercars V8 Supercars Speedway Super League Formula WWE Bottom Line WWE SmackDown UFC All Access UFC 139 UFC The Ultimate Fighter

00:00 Yogi’s Great Escape-PG 02:00 Jack Goes Boating-PG15 04:00 Happy Ever Afters-PG15 06:00 102 Dalmatians-PG 08:00 Bandslam-PG15 10:00 The Adventures Of Rocky And 00:00 America: The Story Of The Us Bullwinkle-FAM 02:00 Dead Men’s Secrets 12:00 Double Wedding-PG15 03:00 Cities Of The Underworld 14:00 The Country Bears-PG

04:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 21:00 21:30 22:00 23:00

It’s Good To Be The President America: The Story Of The Us America: The Story Of The Us Dead Men’s Secrets Cities Of The Underworld It’s Good To Be The President America: The Story Of The Us Dead Men’s Secrets Cities Of The Underworld It’s Good To Be The President America: The Story Of The Us American Pickers Pawn Stars American Restoration Chasing Mummies Battles B.C.

00:05 Wicked Fit 01:00 Homes With Style 02:00 Videofashion Daily 02:55 Videofashion News 03:25 How Do I Look? 04:20 Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? 05:15 Married Away 06:10 Homes With Style 06:35 Area 07:05 Clean House 08:00 Big Boutique 09:00 Videofashion Daily 10:00 Top 10 10:55 Homes With Style 11:50 Open House 12:50 Videofashion News 13:50 Elements Of Style 14:45 Videofashion Daily 15:45 Married Away: Italian Wedding 16:40 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 17:35 Wicked Fit 18:30 Big Rich Texas 19:25 How Do I Look? 21:20 Fashion Police 21:45 Elements Of Style 22:15 Tia And Tamera 23:10 Jerseylicious

01:15 Cop 03:05 Rollerball (1975) 05:10 Ranch, The 06:40 Little Death, The 08:10 Horse Soldiers, The 10:10 Salt And Pepper 11:50 Escape Clause 13:30 Crime And Punishment (1998) 15:00 In His Life: The John Lennon Story 16:35 Mgm’s Big Screen 16:50 Perez Family, The 18:45 Hannah And Her Sisters 20:30 Valdez Is Coming 22:00 Vera Cruz 23:30 Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia

00:55 Wild Rovers 03:05 The Liquidator-PG 04:45 Tom Thumb-FAM 06:15 For Me And My Gal-FAM 08:00 The Wonderful World Of The Brothers Grimm-FAM 10:05 White Heat-PG 11:55 Welcome To Hard Times-PG 13:35 Edward, My Son-PG 15:25 The Hill-PG 17:35 Please Don’t Eat The DaisiesFAM 19:25 Tortilla Flat-FAM 21:05 An American In Paris-FAM 23:00 Some Came Running-PG

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Boogie Night VH1 Music Smooth Wake Up VH1 Hits Music For The Masses Top 10 Cover Power Evolution Of Weekend Hosted Top 20 Guess The Year Evolution Of Weekend VH1 Rocks

Classifieds SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2011

Washington state scrambles to fight massive tree die-offs SEATTLE: So many pine, fir and spruce trees in the Northwest are riddled with bugs and disease that major tree die-offs are expected to rip through a third of Eastern Washington forests — an area covering nearly 3 million acres — in the next 15 years, according to new state projections. Because Washington's forests are deteriorating so quickly, the state commissioner of public lands last week said he'll appoint an emergency panel of scientists and foresters to seek ways to stabilize or reverse the decline. The problem is largely centered on treekilling scourges such as the mountain pine beetle, which is spreading rapidly and getting into ever higher-elevation trees such as the troubled whitebark pine. The number of acres of trees damaged in the past decade by diseases such as blister rust and invasions of western spruce budworm and bark beetles is more than twice what it was in the 1990s — and three times greater than in the 1980s. That dramatic increase has state officials eager to avoid becoming the next Colorado or British Columbia, both of which have seen millions of acres of forest wiped out in recent years by insects. "If you don't get started doing something soon, it will quickly overwhelm your capacity to respond," said Aaron Everett, state forester with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). "I'm certainly not going to sit by and watch it happen here without doing anything." Few ecologists are eager to just let nature take its course. That could expose the region to potentially catastrophic wildfires, upend wildlife migration corridors and alter forest hydrology, which determines when and how much water is available to all-important river systems. But solutions may prove complex, expensive, politically difficult or elusive. That's because the most significant weapon available to combat forest decay is logging.

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One big room, central A/C available in Bneid Al-Gar, from November 26th for working ladies, very near to Al-Salam International Hospital. Please contact 97879611. (C 3748) 26-11-2011 Bark beetles have damaged pine trees in the Sawtooth Ridge area above the Methow Valley in the North Cascades. The beetles are whittling away at high-elevation trees once thought mostly safe from bugs. — MCT Each type of forest and mix of trees responds differently to particular types of timber harvest. And experts disagree over whether cutting down and thinning out trees will always curb the spread of bugs in some of the hardest-hit forests. "I come from an agency with a strong conservation background, and through time I have come to the conclusion that thinning forests to increase resilience in the face of changing conditions is sometimes a necessity," said Nate Stephenson, an ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in California. "If you've got a forest that's so crowded that the trees are so stressed, sometimes you can reduce the probability of an outbreak by thinning." But University of Washington professor Jerry Franklin, the old-growth expert whose research helped end most federal-land clearcutting in the

Lower-elevation pine trees in the Sawtooth Ridge area that are above the Methow River are being wiped out by bark beetles. — MCT

Northwest in the 1990s, said that was less true in the lodgepole pine stands most affected by bark beetles. "There's not much evidence you can control an outbreak of beetles in lodgepole," he said. "We need to be real honest about what we can do. You can cut in front of it, and take away the potential host, but that's not going to help what you leave standing." The situation has been decades in the making. Since land managers suppressed wildfires for so long, many trees in Eastern Washington's dry forests are the same age, about a century old. That means they're weak and susceptible to natural diseases and bug infestations — but there aren't young, healthy trees around to stop or slow the annihilation. At the same time, federal biologists say, warming temperatures have allowed deadly bugs to reproduce faster, survive through winters and reach trees at higher elevations. That's how hundreds of thousands of whitebark pine trees, which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently determined belong on the endangered species list, wound up infested by pine beetles. The potent combination helped drive the number of acres of damaged forest in Washington in 2009 to 1.9 million, the highest level in 40 years. "I've traveled quite a bit lately in Eastern Washington, and there's hardly anywhere you can go where you don't see problems," said David Peterson, a biologist with the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Research Station. "I think it's going to continue." Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark, a Democrat, called the trend alarming, and decided last week to initiate the first step of the state's forest health "hazard warning." He is soliciting letters of interest from scien-

tists and foresters based on a selection criteria set by the Legislature. He will appoint a panel in December. That panel will debate options to reinvigorate forests, likely focusing on various types of timber harvest. "It's not that anyone's objective is to thin every acre of Eastern Washington forest," said Everett, the state forester. "This is about ID'ing where that might be appropriate." In some cases, such as along Highway 97 between Interstate 90 and Leavenworth, Chelan County, an area hard hit by spruce budworm, even Franklin at UW suspects thinning out grand firs and leaving more resistant ponderosa pine and larches could help reduce the spread of infestations. "I am a strong advocate of active management, and I could see doing restorationtype thinning there," Franklin said. But he also pointed out that some of those areas are home to threatened northern spotted owls. "While some of us have argued that by trying to maintain large contiguous blocks of that habitat either fires or insects or both are going to get it, you still run up against a real resistance from environmentalists," Franklin said. Peterson, meanwhile, said areas thick with mountain pine beetles may pose a different challenge. There, many smaller-diameter trees would need to be removed to provide more light and water to larger, healthier, bug-resistant trees. But to be effective, "we'd need to take action very quickly and over a significantly large area, before we get massive outbreaks," Peterson said. "And we're used to focusing on small events on small time scales." Finding ways to resolve these conflicts, Everett said, is why DNR will be bringing together experts. "If there are matters in dispute, we'll ask our scientists to make recommendations," he said. — MCT


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stars CROSSWORD 510



Aries (March 21-April 19) There is an instinctive imperative to be powerful and in control—pulling the strings. You may think you are in charge, but others have their own ideas and need your listening ear. This may lead to greater interest or experience in healing and investing and in the great mysteries of life and death. You may be reminded of a few responsibilities you previously volunteered to do for today—at work or home. This is a good time to get down to basics and take care of these responsibilities as well as some of your own business, previously postponed. A meeting with someone older is at hand this afternoon. With a listening and patient attitude, satisfactory agreements can be found. You could find that you are very much appreciated.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) While you may be using your analytical abilities today at work, you will also become involved in conversations about the winter seasonal activities ahead. A plethora of subjects, however, could interest you now. This could include law, politics, education, travel or religion. This afternoon you may find yourself being put to good use by your friends, or it could be that circumstances force you to reorganize and become more conservative. You may find yourself involved in a neighborhood meeting. Perhaps it is time to think about recycling, decorating or helping to clean up the neighborhood. You can demonstrate great understanding and sensitivity to the needs of others. Allow the pieces of your life to fall into place in an orderly fashion.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. An association of countries in the western hemisphere. 4. Tall hat. 9. A strong-smelling plant from whose dried leaves a number of euphoriant and hallucinogenic drugs are prepared. 13. Relating to or characteristic of or occurring on the sea or ships. 14. The boy whose upbringing was described by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. 15. A member of the Athapaskan people of the Trinity River valley in California. 16. The sign language used in the United States. 17. The capital and largest city of Yemen. 18. A blue dye obtained from plants or made synthetically. 19. Deciduous South African tree having large odd-pinnate leaves and profuse fragrant orange-yellow flowers. 21. A small pellet fired from an air rifle or BB gun. 23. Fleshy and usually brightly colored cover of some seeds that develops from the ovule stalk and partially or entirely envelopes the seed. 26. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 28. A state in northwestern North America. 29. Conqueror of Gaul and master of Italy (100-44 BC). 33. A dialect of Chinese spoken in the Yangtze delta. 37. Worthless or oversimplified ideas. 38. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 39. Chief port of Yemen. 41. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 42. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 44. Class of protozoa having cilia or hairlike appendages on part or all of the surface during some part of the life cycle. 46. A member of one of the four divisions of the prehistoric Greeks. 48. Infestation of the pubic hair by crab lice. 52. Thin fibrous bark of the paper mulberry and Pipturus albidus. 55. An associate degree in applied science. 56. Used of certain religious orders who wear shoes. 60. The syllable naming the sixth (submediant) note of a major or minor scale in solmization. 61. A United Nations agency that invest directly in companies and guarantees loans to private investors. 62. Wear away through erosion or vaporization. 63. South American wood sorrel cultivated for its edible tubers. 64. Last or greatest in an indefinitely large series. 65. African tree having an exceedingly thick trunk and fruit that resembles a gourd and has an edible pulp called monkey bread. 66. Light informal conversation for social occasions. DOWN 1. Port city on southern Honshu on Osaka Bay. 2. (Norse mythology) The chief race of gods living at Asgard. 3. East Indian tree yielding a resin used medicinally and burned as incense. 4. (superlative of `good') Having the most positive qualities. 5. A benevolent aspect of Devi. 6. In the Arabian Nights a hero who tells of the fantastic adventures he had in his voyages. 7. Divulge information or secrets. 8. An affirmative. 9. An African river that flows northwest into Lake Chad. 10. A man who has been castrated and is incapable of reproduction. 11. The brightest star in Virgo. 12. Small evergreen shrub of Pacific coast of North America having edible dark purple grape-size berries. 20. By bad luck. 22. The basic unit of money in Equatorial Guinea. 24. A percussion instrument consisting of a pair of hollow pieces of wood or bone (usually held between the thumb and fingers) that are made to click together (as by Spanish dancers) in rhythm with the dance. 25. (Akkadian) God of wisdom. 27. A light touch or stroke. 30. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 31. A federal agency established to coordinate programs aimed at reducing pollution and protecting the environment. 32. Austrian physicist and philosopher who introduced the Mach number and who founded logical positivism (1838-1916). 34. A member of the Uniat Church. 35. Feline mammal usually having thick soft fur and being unable to roar. 36. A master's degree in business. 40. An oral antidiabetic drug (trade names DiaBeta and Micronase) that stimulates the release of insulin from the pancreas. 43. Top part of an apron. 45. (electronics) Of a circuit or device having an output that is proportional to the input. 46. A linear unit (1/6 inch) used in printing. 47. A large stringed instrument. 48. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 49. A flat float (usually made of logs or planks) that can be used for transport or as a platform for swimmers. 50. United States writer (born in Poland) who wrote in Yiddish (1880-1957). 51. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 53. Large burrowing rodent of South and Central America. 54. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 57. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 58. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 59. A young woman making her debut into society.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) In the workplace, self-discipline and a sense of self-worth become important issues in your life as a new phase begins. A fear of asserting yourself can hold you back—as can coming on too strong. Attention to matters of health may come to your attention—perhaps you have plans to help the cook or to cook less fatty foods this season. This is a good time to begin an exercise program—perhaps early morning walks are in order. Today, someone new may come into your living situation or surroundings. This could be a birth or the agreement to have someone in your home for a while. You could discover a student or a young person opening up to you now. Later tonight, you dispense with some of the unessential and develop the basics for your environment.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)


You are expressive and outgoing when it comes to your feelings and emotions—you wear your heart on your sleeve. You could successfully work with the arts and theater, in sports, or with the ultimate self-expression: children. Teaching, other than your own professional work, may be where you find yourself today. This could be as a tutor or a private teacher. Creativity and time to create are important to you. You may find yourself leaving things undone around your living area so that you can complete a craft or art project. This is also where you may find yourself teaching. Your attention may be focused on animals this afternoon. Besides your love of music, religion, drama, art or poetry and animals, your day can become rather full. You are satisfied.

Leo (July 23-August 22) This is a good time for clear deliberation and problem solving. You are in a serious frame of mind and find yourself dealing with matters of much concern and responsibility. This may mean that you will find new ways to clear away old debts or perhaps you find yourself tending to the needs of an elderly person in your family. You may be very persuasive—making clear decisions. Your whole base of knowledge and experience could be changing—your mind and your belief system. This afternoon is a good time to spend with a peer or loved one. Emotions are up and you may even find yourself pondering a bit on the meaning of life. You feel at one with your situation. Music, literature and romance are available this evening.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) This year holds plenty of opportunities for you to expand your financial and personal horizons. Your patience could be tested to the limits, however. Sorting things out and getting organized to the utmost efficiency keeps you busy. You find yourself in a very practical mood and working with, instead of against yourself. A friend in need or something you believe in that will suffer from a lack of your support may come to your attention before noon. You may be called upon to lend a helping hand. In helping someone else, you may find new ways to make your own dreams come true. This afternoon is a good time to reflect upon your own situation: just how you feel about yourself. You may wish to join your friends or family in some fun activities tonight.

Libra (September 23-October 22)


Scorpio (October 23-November 21) You possess, at the core, an intensity that burns through superficialities, searching for opportunities to face the truth and rendering the events to view. This ceaseless analytical activity, while central to your nature, may be a source of discomfort to others. This is where you may decide to help others in some way. You are sensitive to others and you know the difference between prying and advising. Conversations with distressed individuals will be encouraged by your positive insights. You enjoy the light-bulb effect that long talks promote. On the whole, this can be a great opportunity to widen the scope of understanding. Psychic worldviews and impressions from others are what fill your day. You enjoy sharing a new dessert recipe tonight.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You may appear very at ease this morning. Everything seems to be working together and you may find yourself expressive and able to communicate well. Interactive conversations find you at your mental best. Your analytical abilities are at a high point. This afternoon you could find yourself in hobby stores buying parts, games or an addition to your favorite pastime. Before you begin to play with those hobbies of yours, clean out or put away some of your collections that do not currently serve a purpose. Some young person may enjoy the items you no longer use. Friends may visit this evening and you could find yourself involved in the old, pick-things-up-before-others-see routine. Do consider a garage sale or a contribution to a thrift store.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)


Yesterday’s Solution

You will learn something new from a mentor today. Take your time and study what is presented. You have some valuable information to assimilate. A young person may need lessons in managing his or her money and you are quick to respond with a plan. You could find yourself teaching several young people about handling money. Careful, do not become too carried away— they will learn about government economy soon enough. This is a great time of the year to plan time with friends and loved ones. Games and some sort of sports participation would not be an unusual activity for the group that gathers this afternoon. You are very competitive—even pushy—when it comes to partners and other people. This evening you spend time nurturing a friendship.

This is not the best time for career or vocational decisions. Problems, however, are valued for the lesson(s) you can learn. You do not mind being slowed from your work in order to learn something new. You love your friends, keeping in touch, catching up on their lives, etc. Family, home and the other roots in your life, give you a sense of mission at this time. There is growth and gain through these things. Being appreciated and admired for your gifts and talents are powerful needs. Taking chances can bring big rewards. There are many opportunities for self-expression and others are interested in your particular ideas and thoughts. A good conversation with those you love is possible. This is generally a fruitful period for real estate investments.

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You could be seen by others as just the person to be put in charge of some project requiring a conservative mind. Work is intense today—there is a rush to complete projects. It is important to take your breaks and get some fresh air. This afternoon the focus could be on a change of residence for you or for a friend of yours. This is a good time to consolidate and organize your private affairs. General good feelings and a sense of support and harmony make this a happy time. Take time later this afternoon for relaxation and to also examine what is important and of lasting value in your life—an appreciative attitude. Friends or relatives give you a lot to ponder—this is a period of great mental activity and heightened communication with others.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

Perhaps this is a time to think and study, for you have a real appreciation for ideas and thoughts. You may find yourself enjoying a long conversation with co-workers or higher-ups today. Progress is inevitable and now is time to fit progress into your professional life. This could mean new equipment, adjustment to a new environment or scheduling of a new time schedule. There are sudden insights and breakthroughs regarding these new changes. There is also the possibility of new visions or sudden insights into your self-image or into your ideals and dreams—your imagination is at full tilt. Your home environment, friends and surroundings in general get attention and receive encouragement. A wish comes true this evening.



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LIFESTYLE G o s s i p

Morgan welcomes his fourth child elevision host Piers Morgan became a father for the fourth time on Friday after his wife gave birth to a baby girl, Morgan announced on Twitter. “It’s true. I’ve become a dad for the 4th time, to a baby girl called Elise. She’s absurdly beautiful, and utterly adorable,” the CNN talk show host posted, adding that the baby arrived after Morgan’s favorite soccer team Arsenal won a match. This is the first child for Morgan and second wife Celia Walden, 34, a writer at British newspaper The Daily Telegraph. The 46-year-


old TV host also has three sons with first wife Marion Shalloe, whom he married in 1991 and divorced in 2008. Morgan, formerly an editor of British newspapers News of the World and the Daily Mirror and a judge on the TV show “America’s Got Talent,” replaced Larry King at CNN in 2010. The host anchors the “Piers Morgan Tonight” show, where he has interviewed celebrities and personalities such as radio shock-jock Howard Stern, actor George Clooney and Republican Tea Party politician Christine O’Donnell.

Kutcher, Moore tweet their thanks ... separately shton Kutcher and Demi Moore have broken their Twitter silence in the spirit of the holiday season. The estranged celebrity power-couplewho announced their split after six years of marriage earlier this month, amid rumors of infidelity on Kutcher’s partboth reignited their social-media presence in recent days, to reflect on the Thanksgiving holiday. Twitter super-user Kutcher, who has amassed 8.5 million Twitter followers and famously beat CNN to become the first user of the service to reach 1 million followers in 2009, fired up his account last Wednesday, after an unusually long dormant period, to share his thoughts of gratitude with the masses. “I’m thankful for family, friends, you, & time to reach my potential. What are you thankful for? #thanksgiving,” Kutcher wrote. The 33-year-old “Two and a Half Men” actor, who’s normally fairly active on Twitter, has remained absent from the service since tweeting that he will “forever cherish” the time that he spent with Moore. That missive was published Nov. 17 — the same day that Moore announced the split. Of course, Kutcher had become a bit tweet-shy even before then. A week prior, the actor announced that he was handing over his Twitter


Urban recovering from throat surgery

account to his production company, Katalyst Media, since coming out in support of fired Penn State coach Joe Paterno-later acknowledging that he didn’t know the facts when he tweeted. Perhaps inspired by her soon-to-be-exhusband’s digital display of gratitude, Moore fired up her Twitter account Friday to lament that the country reserves just one day of the year to express its collective appreciation. “Why do we have only 1 day for giving thanks? Is that why so many people feel unappreciated?” Moore pondered. “Make this 1 of 365 days of Thanksgiving!” Moore’s previous tweet was also on Nov 17, in response to a question from other users about a photo of the actress out on the town. Moore’s split from Kutcher followed months of speculation that Kutcher had been unfaithful. The scuttlebutt came to a head in September, on the weekend of the couple’s sixth wedding anniversary. Moore spent the weekend in New York, where she was promoting her Lifetime movie “Five.” Kutcher, meanwhile, was spotted with his former “That ‘70s Show” co-star Danny Masterson at the Fluxx nightclub in San Diego-where, according to local blonde Sara Leal, Kutcher enjoyed a sexual romp with her.

ountry singer Keith Urban underwent successful throat surgery to remove a polyp from his vocal cord earlier last week and is doing fine, the singer’s spokesman said on Friday. Urban had the procedure on Tuesday, and he will not be able to speak for three weeks, spokesman Paul Freundlich told Reuters. The singer is recovering at an undisclosed location. One day ahead of the procedure, Urban posted a video on his website thanking fans for their support. “I want to thank you for sending such good wishes for my upcoming surgery,” Urban said. “I can’t express enough my gratitude to you guys; it feels like family.” He said he had received cards, gifts, emails, flowers and a large basket of items he would need as he recuperates including hand-written notes to hold up


when he needs something. Urban, whose hits include “Long Hot Summer” and “You Look Good in my Shirt,” announced earlier in November that he was postponing several shows while he sought medical care. The polyp developed during his recent “Get Closer World Tour 2011,” and in Monday’s video Urban took note of the fans who had turned out to see him perform during what he called his “crazy great phenomenal year. “The tour was incredible for me, and seeing you guys sing along with my new songs was heartening for me. Personally I had an incredibly great time and I was sad to see it end,” he said. Urban is not the only singer to have problems with his vocal cords. In the past month, British pop singer Adele had similar surgery as did Kiss frontman Paul Stanley.

Passionate director Madonna

Pitt and Jolie to adopt again

adonna was “a joy” to work with on the set of ‘W.E’. Actress Andrea Riseborough who plays lead Wallis Simpson in the movie, which was written and co-produced by the signer - found the star’s “passion and strength” in telling the tale of the American socialite “infectious”. Asked what Madonna was like to work alongside, she said: “A joy. Her passion was infectious, her strength was admirable and we were complicit from the outset about how and why we wanted to tell this woman’s story.” The 30-year-old star has since been shooting new film ‘Resistance’ in Abergavenny, Wales, and admits after the landscape of her surroundings “rubbed” off on her to the extent that she has now started speaking to her pet dog in Welsh. Andrea explained to Total Film magazine: “The DNA of the landscape rubs off on you. Every morning I’d be taken aback by how the light fell on the land. I didn’t learn Welsh though, besides some words I say to my dog.”


rad Pitt and Angelina Jolie want to adopt another child. The couple - who currently have biological kids Shiloh, five, and three-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne and adopted trio Maddox, 10, Pax, seven, and six-year-old Zahara - reportedly promised their adopted daughter they would take on the care of another youngster from Ethiopia, the povertystricken African nation where she was born. A source said: “They are really excited about it. Brad and Angie made a promise to Zahara years ago that they would adopt another child from the region so she could have a sibling to relate to.” The couple are also said to believe having seven kids will bring them more “luck and happiness”. The source added to the Daily Star newspaper: “Also, seven has always been Brad’s lucky number. He and Angelina think it would bring them luck and happiness.” Brad has previously admitted he always wanted to raise a large family. He has said: “I know it seems extreme from the outside, but I’ve always kind of operated this way. When I know, I know, and why mess around? “I had a friend who had a big family when I was a kid. I just loved the chaos around the breakfast table and the fighting and the ribbing, and the mom making pancakes for everyone or the dad making pancakes. And I just decided then if I was ever going to do it - this left some indelible mark on me - if I was ever going to do it, that’s the way I was going to do it.”


Reynolds a wreck from stunts yan Reynolds found filming ‘Safe House’ left him “a wreck”. The Canadian actor plays CIA agent Matt Weston in the forthcoming action thriller and was very involved in his character’s stunts, despite movie bosses having hired a double for his more physical scenes. He said: “I was fighting this guy for five hours and we’re finishing it later. “The fights in this movie are really long and extensive and they’re ugly and there’s biting and head-butting. Canadian Kung fu, we call it. “I keep seeing a stunt guy dressed like me but they don’t seem to want to put him in. I’m a wreck, but then I get to say, ‘That’s me getting my ass kicked by a 300lb mercenary’.” Ryan’s co-star Denzel Washington has also been involved in some grueling action scenes and while he has found some of the stunts tricky, he insists they haven’t been too scary. He told Empire magazine: “We haven’t done a scene with a page of dialogue in a month. There’s a lot of running and jumping in this film, and I’ve got a bad knee and I got water boarded. “Having someone pour water down your nose when you’re upside-down is a bit difficult, although the guys doing it to me were more scared than I was I think.”


Minogue to make musical return annii Minogue is considering resurrecting her music career. The ‘Australia’s Got Talent’ judge hasn’t released a record since 2007’s ‘Club Disco’ because she has been too busy but was recently offered some tracks that “excited” her. She said: “I just heard two really good demos the other day and got excited. “It isn’t out of the question but it just hasn’t been possible because there’ve been so many Danniis running around - fashion designer, author, judge, mum. There wasn’t room for Disco Dannii.” Dannii - who has a 16-month-old son Ethan with


boyfriend Kris Smith - would also like to return to British television following her departure from ‘The X Factor’ at the end of the last series. The 40-year-old star - who was previously a judge on ‘The X Factor’ and has been tipped to join Simon Cowell’s UK reality TV show ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ - told Now magazine: “There are always options. I’d love it if it worked with family and health. “I’m keeping my mind and options open. I’d love to be back on UK television. I want to make that happen. I miss the UK. Maybe I need to go away and write my own show.” —Agencies

Perry taught Diamandis arina Diamandis learnt a lot from Katy Perry. The Marina and the Diamonds star recently toured with the ‘E.T.’ hitmaker and says the support slot allowed her the chance to understand more about huge stage productions. She said: “I think I relate to Katy because she fought really hard to get where she is right now. “I chose to do the tour with her because I wanted to analyze everything. The production was amazing -


it’s one of the biggest tours in the world right now - and I learnt a lot from her.” Marina used to be annoyed at being grouped with other female singers but insists the comparisons are no longer important to her. She told Stylist magazine: “I don’t care anymore about the comparisons but I used to. As a female singer starting out, you’ll always be grouped with other women. But once you’ve established your name as an individual, it doesn’t happen.”




e niv rsar n





M o v i e s

Tilda Swintondives again y now, it’s certainly no surprise that Tilda Swinton has turned in another riveting performance in a dark and difficult movie; from “Orlando” to “I Am Love,” that’s what she does, with occasional detours to play the white witch in the Narnia films and win an Oscar as a corporate lawyer in “Michael Clayton.” Swinton’s latest, which has made her a dark-horse Oscar candidate, is “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” an intense, intimate and disquieting drama drawn from Lionel Shriver’s novel about a woman struggling through the aftermath of a horrific crime committed by her son. Her performance is often wordless; she may be the only person in the family aware of the depths of evil that reside within her son (played by Ezra Miller and two younger actors), but she’s unable to communicate with her husband (John C Reilly) or turn to anyone in the aftermath of Kevin’s actions. Oscilloscope Laboratories is opening the film Dec 9 for a one-week Oscarqualifying run. Its commercial release begins January 27. Swinton flew to Los Angeles from her home in Northern Scotland for the Governors Awards earlier in the month. Not surprisingly, she’s out of the loop when it comes to Hollywood buzz-when I told her that Billy Crystal had signed on to host the Oscars just moments before we met, she was completely unaware of the turmoil that had surrounded the show in the previous few days. TheWrap: Billy Crystal just tweeted that he’s hosting the Oscars. Tilda Swinton: Things have been happening with that show, haven’t they? I didn’t know anything about it, and then I got to L.A. and people were talking about something. But the news doesn’t reach those of us who live on other planets. TheWrap: Yeah, the original producer had to quit because he said “rehearsal is for fags” at a Q&A, and then talked about his sex life on the Howard Stern show. Swinton: How fantastic! How fantastic. TheWrap: You went through that circus once, with “Michael Clayton.” Swinton: Well, apparently so, but it didn’t feel like it. I was somehow oblivious at the time. I’m trying to remember anything from it. I think maybe the second time you can feel it happening. It’s like taking an anesthetic the first time. You don’t feel it going in. TheWrap: I understand your agent has your Oscar. Swinton: My agent has my Oscar. His Oscar. I gave it to him. TheWrap: I expected “We Need to Talk About Kevin” to be disturbing, and it was, But I didn’t expect it to be as lyrical as it was. Swinton: Did you know the book? TheWrap: No, I didn’t. Swinton: The book is a lot less lyrical. That’s one of the great things about (writer-director) Lynne Ramsay adapting the book. Because she is someone who is ... “Lyrical” is not exactly the word that I’d use, but she is definitely someone who is interested in atmosphere, particularly a kind of atmosphere of discomfort. And it was important that it be beautiful. It’s got a kind of elegiac quality, this feeling of her nostalgia for this life, as well as being a horror story. TheWrap: Were you familiar with the book before the movie came along? Swinton: Yeah, I was. I knew the book, and I was very keen to know what Lynne was doing next, and very interested that she had chosen to adapt this book. There had been this really unwieldy gap of time since (Ramsay’s 2002 film) “Morvern Callar,” and I was wanting to help her make another feature film in any way I could. But then this point came when it became clear that I wanted to be in it. I can’t really remember if it was my idea or hers. But we sort of slowly moved toward that idea. TheWrap: Why? Swinton: As it became more and more developed, and less and less about the social atmosphere in the book, more and more about this


Jehane Noujaim

‘Control Room’ director arrested in Egypt protest ehane Noujaim-director of “Control Room,” a 2004 documentary about Arabic-language news network Al Jazeera-was arrested and later released after participating in a protest in Egypt, according to multiple reports on Twitter. Noujaim was interviewing a military officer when the arrest took place and was accused of being a spy for Israel and a traitor, according to UK newspaper the Guardian. “In solidarity with Jihane Noujaim,” wrote journalist Mona Eltahawy, who was also arrested in the protest. “Friends please kick up huge fuss to releases (sic) her.” “Egypt should be celebrating int’l stars like Jehane Noujaim, not arresting them,” New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote on his Twitter feed. “But glad she’s OK.” Noujaim and others were reportedly charged with congregation and destruction of public property. She was freed after the Committee to Protect Journalists, an international advocacy


group, appealed to Egyptian authorities to let her go. The popular uprising, dubbed “LastChance Friday,” took place in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, which has been a hotbed for protests all year. The protest was intended to galvanize support for a civilian government after the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak earlier this year. Born in Washington, DC, Noujaim was raised in Cairo and Kuwait. Her previous works include “Mokattam,” an Arabic film about garbage-collecting in the Egyptian capital; and “,” a documentary that followed the rise and fall of a start-up company during the dot-com boom. In 2008, Noujaim created Pangea Day, an event during which individuals in cities including Cairo participated in a drum circle that was intended to represent unity across the world. She funded the event with money she won after receiving the TED Prize, granted to people trying to change the world. —Reuters

Baishe Srabon

‘Celebration of Indian Cinema’ to be held on December Dubai: The Indian film selection at the eighth Dubai International Film Festival, the leading film festival of the Middle East, Asia and Africa, to be held from December 7 to 14, 2011, captures the inimitable diversity of the country’s cinema - right from the colourful joviality of Bollywood to the intense dramas, often inspired from real life, by filmmakers who challenge mainstream conventions. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, DIFF 2011’s ‘Celebration of Indian Cinema’ programme will feature three world premieres, two international premieres and several first-ever regional screenings of films in Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam and Bengali. The ‘Celebration of Indian Cinema’ flags off with the brand-new Hindi romantic comedy Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, an eagerly anticipated Bollywood film that will make its world premiere with a red carpet gala on Thursday, December 8, 2011. The film, directed by Maneesh Sharma and with chart-topping music by Salim-Sulaiman, depicts the story of suave and charismatic conman Ricky Bahl (Ranveer Singh), who makes a living by deceiving women until he meets his match in the form of Anushka Sharma’s character. The cast and crew of the film will walk the red carpet prior to the gala screening at the Madinat Arena, the centerpiece of the Festival’s Madinat Jumeirah headquarters. Also making its world premiere is Prague PCFE Film School alumna and former assistant to over 27 Indian and international directors, Shalini Usha Nair’s Palas In Bloom (Akam), based on renowned author Malayattoor Ramakrishnan’s celebrated Malayalam novel Yakshi. Starring up-and-coming actor Fahad Fazil and debutante Anumol, the Malayalam film retells the classic novel in contemporary settings. Young architect Srini (Fahad Fadel) suspects that his wife Ragini (Anumol) is not what she appears to be. He begins to wonder if she is a ‘yakshi,’ or a female demon, who in the guise of a beautiful woman, seduces men and drinks their blood. Debutant director Muthusamy Sakthivel’s Life is a Game (Maithanam), making its international premiere at DIFF, is the story of four friends from a small village in Tamil Nadu, who will do anything for each other. The Tamil film opened to rave reviews in India, and features Suresh Guru, Jyothi Raj, Sekhar and Kennedy, four assistant film directors, on the lead roles. Srijit Mukherji’s 7th August (Baishe Srabon), also making its international premiere, explores

the dark underberlly of Kolkata, and the genteel ‘Bhadraloks’ of this city who have been raised on literature, music, fine arts, politics, and sports, linking the violence in the city’s dark alleys with one of the most controversial chapters in the history of Bengali Poetry - the Hungrealist Movement of the 1960s. Karan Gour’s Corrode (Kshay), which makes its Middle East premiere, is a psychodrama based on the story of a woman’s need for an unfinished sculpture, which blossoms into an obsession. Competing in DIFF’s Muhr AsiaAfrica Awards for feature films is Kaushik Ganguly’s Laptop, which narrates how a single commodity - a laptop - connects several lives and narratives as it changes hands to change lives. The film will make its international premiere at DIFF. Making its world premiere and contending in the Muhr AsiaAfrica Awards for short films is Rohit Pandey’s Safe (Mehfuz), which depicts the story of a city shaken by violence, a man who looks after its dead, and a woman wandering its empty streets. Vying for honours in DIFF’s Muhr AsiaAfrica Awards for documentary films is Sandeep Ray’s Sound of Old Rooms (Kokkho-Poth), chronicling the coming of age of Sarthak, a poet living in Kolkata; and Anand Patwardhan’s Jai Bhim Comrade, filmed over 14 years, which follows the music and the tradition of Vilas Ghogre, a leftist poet and singer, who hung himself in protest. Both films will be screened in the Middle East for the first time at DIFF. Dorothee Wenner, Consultant for the Subcontinent Programme, Dubai International Film Festival, said: “With our selection this year, we wanted to bring the true diversity of Indian cinema to DIFF. While Bollywood dominates the international media when it comes to cinema from India, the country has an amazing wealth of talent, with several powerfully executed films made in vernacular languages having a huge audience base all over the world. The Celebration of Indian Cinema gala will offer a fresh perspective on Indian cinema to DIFF audiences.” All DIFF films will be screened at VOX Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates, or at the Madinat Jumeirah. The DIFF Box Office opens November 22, 2011. The eighth edition of DIFF will be held in association with Dubai Studio City. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah, the home of the Dubai International Film Festival, are the principal sponsors of DIFF. The Festival is supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority. Accreditation for the Festival is open. For more details, log on to

woman’s interior life, then the more interested I became in playing it. And to be honest, I think it was partly to do with a sort of huge budget cut that we faced at a certain point. I always hate to say this, because it sounds like I’m arguing for the stringencies of people cutting budgets, but it became very clear that we were only going to get about half of what we wanted. Which meant that we were going to really have to streamline it and reduce the social context. And there had to be less people in it, less locations. More claustrophic, in fact. Much more Greek. All the action had to take place offscreeen. The cheaper it got, the better it got. But that’s not always the case. TheWrap: So the more it departed from the book, the more it improved? Swinton: Well, it became much clearer as a Lynne Ramsay film. The book is very much about someone who’s trying to work it out. She’s writ-

Tilda Swinton ing letters, trying to work out what happened, trying to explain it to herself and to her husband. It’s quite a political book about Bush-era America, and it’s very socially aware. And we sort of pulled out of that, and locked into her mind, her memories, her fantasies, her nightmares. It became a sort of phantasmagoria, and the more it became about someone who is lonely, who doesn’t have anybody to talk to or to explain things to, the more it became interesting to me. That’s really something I’m interested in, the idea of inarticulacy or dumbness. TheWrap: Does it take away some of your tools as an actress? Swinton: To me, it feels like you gain more capacity, the less you get to say, in cinema at least. I always say that I think cinema has gone downhill since people started talking in it. It’s just a personal preference. I like it when people ... Like what I’m doing now. I think I know what I want to say, but I’m searching for the words. I like that. I don’t like it when people become playwrights on-screen. I like a level of inarticulacy, and also silence. TheWrap: They may have helped develop the material, but did the time and budget constraints feel limiting when you were shooting? Swinton: It meant that we had to work in a more prescribed way than we would have liked to do. Lynne and I were talking earlier about how we’re both looking forward to working in a more loose way. But that is a luxury in this kind of filmmaking. If you get two takes, you’re lucky. It’s a discipline, and it’s painful at times, but you’ve got to keep trucking. TheWrap: Can it be frustrating as an actor? Swinton: In terms of performance, when you’ve been thinking about doing something for four years and then you have to do it in half an

hour and then leave it, that’s always a bit tricky. But you just have to do it. TheWrap: Your character, Eva, has a complicated bond with her son-she’s the one who really knows that something is wrong, but she’s also connected to him in a deeper way than his father is. Swinton: We were always clear that we wanted this to be a sort of double portrait of one person. We knew that Kevin and Eva had to feel like two sides of the same coin. The thing that’s so horrendous is not that his violence and badness is exotic and foreign to her. It’s really familiarthat’s the worst part. She knows it’s hers, and he’s acting it out in front of her. So we needed them to feel very closely linked physically. If he had been short and round and red-haired, I would have been short and round and redhaired. As it happened, he looked like Ezra Miller, so I had to go that way. He led the way, and I had to follow. TheWrap: Do you have to be sensitive when you’re acting with younger children in a work that involves tough, disturbing material? Swinton: To me, it’s much, much easier to play with children. Children know that it’s play. You ask a 6-year-old to dress up as a dog, he’ll go there. You ask a 45-year-old to dress up as a dog, and you’ll have to go through all sorts of questions of method and psychological background. With children, it’s very easy and relaxed. You ask a 3-year-old to be bad and growl at his mommy, it’s easy. It’s what a 3-year-old loves to do. So no, it’s really graceful and easy, working with children. TheWrap: As the lead actor but also a producer, was it easy for you to maintain the split focus required? Swinton: Honestly, that’s always been the way that I’ve worked. If anything, it’s stranger for me and rarer for me to just come in and play and get a check and go away. That’s only happened to me a handful of times in my life. Most of the time I’m minding the shop as well. And I like that. There’s a kind of myopia you get with performance that feels to me potentially hazardous and weird. And I quite like having the actualities of knowing what time it is, and knowing how quickly you have to work. TheWrap: What are you doing next? Swinton: I feel like a farmer who’s had a big harvest. There were three films that I was working on for the last 12 years. “I Am Love” I worked on for 11 years, “Julia” for five and this one for five. And they’ve all now been made, so I’m very happily facing a bit of a plowed field. I worked very briefly and very happily on the new Wes Anderson film, but apart from that I’m back to the drawing board. TheWrap: Do Hollywood-type movies factor into your plans? Swinton: I don’t quite know how to answer that, because I never factored in Hollywood-type movies in the first place. You know, the mountain does tend to go to Mohammed, as far as I’m concerned. I’m totally available to have conversations with pretty much anybody who’s inclined to chat. I have some projects that I’m slowly beginning to seed at home, but given my track record, they’ll probably take so long that there’ll be room at the table. TheWrap: Did “Michael Clayton” and the Oscar change your profile with the industry? Swinton: You’d be the one to tell me. I’ve got no idea. TheWrap: Are you seeing different or better scripts from Hollywood? Swinton: Well, the thing is, everything that I’ve done since then, I was going to do anyway. Because that 12 years I’ve just described, “Michael Clayton” was in the middle of it. I was already working on “I Am Love,” and “Julia,” and this. So I don’t know. The only real change I can see is that people ask me how my life has changed since then. And we’ll see now, I suppose. If it helps take a little film like this and give it a bigger release than it would have had otherwise, then I’m really grateful. —Reuters

‘Breaking Dawn’ causing seizures in moviegoers? reaking Dawn” is causing some moviegoers to tremble-and not in delight at the sight of a shirtless Robert Pattinson. The penultimate installment of the “Twilight Saga” series of vampire movies-which opened Nov 18 — has reportedly caused seizures in at least two audience members. Hardly comparable to the number of fainting viewers of last year’s “127 Hours,” but still... Roseville, California, resident Brandon Gephart claims that the film’s birthing scene-which in addition to graphic gore contains blasts of blinding light-triggered an incident when he attended the movie, causing him to convulse. Gephart’s girlfriend, Kelly Bauman, tells Sacramento station CBS 13 that Gephart suddenly began convulsing during the scene. Gephart claims that he blanked out, and only remembers waking up on the theater floor. According to Bauman, he was “convulsing, snorting, trying to breathe.” Gephart, who was transported by paramedics to a hospital emergency room, is seeking help from a specialist. Meanwhile, a Utah woman told Salt Lake City’s ABC 4 News that her husband experienced similar symptoms while viewing the movie last week. When the birthing scene came on the screen, “(My husband) started mumbling and he was blinking on and off with his eyes at that point. I was kneeling in front of him slapping his face.” The man, who wished to remain anonymous, said he has no memory of the incident. “I didn’t really remember what happened after that. I think I blacked out. According to her, I was shaking and mumbling different noises,” he said. Moreover, when they returned the next day to retrieve the man’s cell phone, they were told that another audience member had experienced the same thing. Though rare, seizures of this type are not unheard of. A 1997 episode of “Pokemon” was pulled from rotation after its first airing, when 685 viewers were taken to the hospital after reportedly suffering seizures while watching the episode, in a phenomenon that the Japanese press dubbed “Pokemon Shock.” —Reuters


Robert Smith of The Cure performs on stage at The Beacon Theatre on November 25, 2011 in New York City. —AFP

Ben Whishaw to play Q in new Bond film ritish actor Ben Whishaw will reprise the character of high-tech weapons specialist “Q” in the upcoming James Bond film “Skyfall,” a role previously played by actors Desmond Llewelyn and John Cleese, media outlets reported on Friday. The BBC said Whishaw’s agent confirmed the young actor in the role of Q opposite Daniel Craig’s Bond in the upcoming 23rd installment of the franchise, directed by Sam Mendes. Whishaw was introduced as a cast member in a London press conference announcing production on “Skyfall” last month, but his specific role was not revealed at the time. Q, who dreams up the super secret weapons


that British spy Bond uses to track down bad guys, has long been one of the favorite characters in the action-packed movies. At 31, Whishaw, known for roles in 2008’s “Brideshead Revisited” and BBC’s drama series “The Hour,” is considerably younger than his Q predecessors Llewelyn and Cleese. Welsh actor Llewelyn played Bond’s gadget scientist for 36 years, delivering his trademark reprimands on the hazards of gun play to Bond actors Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan. After Llewelyn’s death in a fatal car collision in 1999 aged 85, “Fawlty Towers” actor John Cleese took over the role of Q for 2002’s “Die Another Day.” —Reuters


lifestyle T R A V E L

(Left) This undated photo courtesy of Winter Park/Colorado Ski Country USA shows a skier about to land on an artificial horse at Winter Park Resort in Winter Park, Colo. (Above) Ski Resort shows a skier going over a truck tire at Breckenridge Ski Resort .

Recycled junk gives a new look to snowboard trails S

ome ski resorts are turning into junkyards - and snowboarders couldn’t be happier. Satellite dishes, propane tanks, empty oil drums and even a Chevy Impala are popping up in terrain parks across the country. It’s a new form of recycling and is adding back some edge to what has become a mainstream sport. Snowboarding started as a rebellious activity. Riding rails, pipes and picnic benches was a way to break out of the norm. Today, those features have become standard. So to add some uniqueness and push the sport to a new level, resorts have turned to rummaging through junk piles. The recycled objects are placed on the

slopes as challenges for snowboarding jumps, slides and other maneuvers. “We’ve had the same stuff going on for years and years. Now they are just trying to get crazy with it,” said Lakota Sage, a 21-year-old professional snowboarder at Colorado’s Echo Mountain. Sage is out on the mountain almost daily and loves the new features, including a 1960s-era trailgrooming machine called a snowcat. It was found in the woods on the resort with bullet holes from locals who used it for target practice and now sits by a railing on the course. “It helps push the athletes a little more because it’s more intimidating. If you do fall off the railing, you’re going to nail the snow-

cat,” he said. This winter, boarders at Sol Vista Basin at Granby Ranch in Colorado will find a six-foot tall satellite dish poached from a stranger taking it to the dump. Other mountains have taken old chairlift towers, tractor tires, snowmaking pipes, logs and concrete barriers and given them a second life on the mountain. There’s a fiberglass horse at Colorado’s Winter Park, and California’s Northstar has incorporated an old gondola cabin in its terrain park. “It feels pretty unique to hit something that I normally ride up in,” said Mike Schipani, manager of Northstar’s terrain park. The new effort also keeps junk out of the landfill and

saves ski resorts some cash. Schipani said he spends about $1,800 for each 20-foot-long piece of steel he puts on the mountain. Many amateur boarders are creating videos in hopes of pushing themselves into a professional career. The used cars, satellite dishes and other objects help them stand out. “Without innovation, I think our sport would become pretty stagnant,” Schipani said. The idea of putting recycled items on the mountain started about five years ago but really picked up last season, according to Jason George, the terrain park manager at Colorado’s Copper Mountain. “It’s green and we like to recycle,” he said.

Propane tanks are popular but a bit tricky. Before a welder can start to repurpose them, the tanks have to be filled with water, pushing out any leftover combustible gas. The appeal of these obstacles is that they are different. As more and more parks add satellite dishes and cars, mountain workers are just going to have to work harder to find that new, unique item to keep on attracting boarders. George knows that and is already hard at work. “I’m rummaging through all the old boneyards to see what I can come up with. I’m quite the rummager,” he said. “Anything we can find, that kids can slide, we’ll use.” — AP

Caribbean braces for drop in tourism spending


hile the Caribbean anticipates another surge in visitors this winter, officials warn that the amount tourists spend while on vacation likely will decline. That expected drop in expenditures is a concern for Caribbean tourism officials, who said an increase in visitors might not offset the loss of revenue considered vital to the many tiny islands scattered across the region. “The bodies are traveling, obviously, but the spending is clearly impacted,” said Josef Forstmayr, president of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Organization. “The larger destinations have it a little easier. They have more resources, they get better airlift, they have better products.” The economic crisis forced people to postpone their vacations for a few years, and while demand for travel has risen, tourists will not be able to afford much, said Evridiki Tsounta, an economist with the International Monetary Fund. The IMF has encouraged the Caribbean to diversify and seek other tourism markets, especially in Latin America, where the economy has been rebounding, she said in a phone interview. “Given that both the US and the UK are not faring very well, and the outlook is not very rosy moving forward, it will be hard for things to revert quickly,” Tsounta said. Spending is tight amid the ongoing economic crisis, and tourists are cutting back on transportation, food and entertainment, said Winfield Griffith, research director for the Caribbean Tourism Organization. Visitors, especially repeat ones, are increasingly choosing to board public buses instead of hailing taxis to visit popular attractions, and they are buying food and liquor at supermarkets instead of eating out, he said. They also are booking outings through small, local operators instead of relying on hotels or buying pricey packages, Griffith said. “They know the drill,” he said. “In Barbados, for instance, you can pay $2 by public transport to go anywhere in the country. To go around the country by taxi would probably run you in the neighborhood of $150. That’s a massive difference.” Last year, tourists across the Caribbean spent $22.3 billion, compared with a record $27 billion spent in 2007, said Sean Smith, statistics specialist with the Caribbean Tourism Organization. The biggest drop in expenditures in the last decade was reported in 2002, with $18.9 billion spent, he said. Even with falling expenditures, Caribbean countries such as the Bahamas, St. Lucia and the Dominican Republic announced a record number of visitors last year. Tourism officials hope to surpass the more than 23 million visitors reported last year this winter season. Registration for the Caribbean Marketplace, the region’s largest marketing event that will be held in the Bahamas in late January and aims to

create vacation packages, is up by nearly 50 percent compared with last year, Forstmayr said. “We expect a strong winter,” he said. “Overall bookings from all the islands are up from last year.” New routes announced by the airline JetBlue from Puerto Rico to St. Thomas and to St. Maarten also could bring additional visitors, said Gilda Gumbs-Samuel, executive director of the Anguilla Hotel and Tourism Association. Anguilla, a speck of an island in the eastern Caribbean, saw a record double-digit increase in tourists last year, the only place in the region to see such growth. But Anguilla is accessed only through St. Maarten. “That’s a bit of a hindrance,” said Gumbs-Samuel. “Some people like a direct airlift.” The cruise ship industry also promises to draw in thousands of tourists this winter, said Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor in chief of Last winter, cruise lines withdrew their ships from the Caribbean and placed them in the Mediterranean, hoping to attract a wealthy European market. “That was a radical experiment, and it failed,” Spencer Brown said. “So the ships are back in the Caribbean this year.” Puerto Rico, a cruise-ship hub, anticipates a 20 percent increase in visits, bolstered by the new arrival of the Celebrity Silhouette line that is expected to generate $3.6 million in revenue during the winter season, said Jose Perez-Riera, the US territory’s Commerce and Economic Development Secretary. Spencer Brown noted, however, that tourists are demanding cheaper prices and scrutinizing deals before buying anything. —AP

A group of tourists sit in front of a cruise ship terminal in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. —AP photos

Two tourists sit in the sand on a beach in San Juan.

A tourist points to a visitor’s map in Old San Juan.


lifestyle F A S H I O N


Fashion Week

A model displays creation of Georgian designer Gola during Fashion Week in Tbilisi.

Models display creations of Georgian designer Tatuna Nikolaishvili. —AFP photos

Models display creations of Georgian designer Giorgi Amirejibi.

Cheerleaders must cover up or can’t wear team uniforms A

fter decades of allowing cheerleaders to wear skimpy skirts and sleeveless tops to class on game days, some schools are cracking down and requiring the uniforms to meet strict dress codes. In Lake County, Fla, cheerleaders with uniforms too skimpy for the code are being asked to wear long shorts or pants under their skirts and a T-shirt under the sleeveless tops, according to a district memo. Principals at two of Lake’s eight high schools-Leesburg and Lake Minneola-aren’t allowing the outfits in school at all. Michelle Thomas, a varsity cheerleader at Leesburg High School, was disappointed when she learned she couldn’t wear her outfit to school on game days. “It shows that we’re a team just like all the other sports,” she said. Most Central Florida schools allow principals to have the final say in spirit clothing. Schools in Orange, Seminole and Volusia counties allow the uniforms to promote school spirit. Even in Osceola County schoolswhere all students are required to wear uniformscheerleaders can wear the outfits during class. But in Lake, neither varsity nor junior varsity cheerleaders get a pass on the dress code. “During the educational portion of the day, they have to meet the dress code just like every other student,” said School Board Chairwoman Debbie Stivender,

who ordered the staff to bring the outfits into dress code compliance. School administrators elsewhere believe allowing the uniforms during class pumps up school spirit, which boosts game atten-

dance and brings excitement into the classrooms. “It develops and enhances school pride,” said Gene Grace, director of the school safety office in the Seminole County school district. “When stu-

Leesburg JV cheerleaders listen to their coach after a JV high school football game was canceled at Leesburg High School in Leesburg. —MCT

dents are proud of where they go to be assisted with their education, then they respect the grounds, their instructions ... it develops a camaraderie.” Cheerleader midriffs are banned across the state by the Florida High School Athletic Association, but no state rules address cheerleader mini-skirts. Sheila Noone, a spokeswoman with the cheerleading uniform company Varsity Brands, says the outfits haven’t become more revealing over the last 10 years, but the short skirts are designed to help the girls jump and kick. “Cheerleading is athletic,” Noone said. “There’s a lot of jumping, so you won’t want a knee-length skirt that might hamper a toe touch.” Many parents are upset that some of the pricey uniforms-which can cost several hundred dollars when shoes and jackets are included-can no longer be worn during school. “They’re now banning it like it’s a something inappropriate or pornographic,” said Lisa Milligan, whose daughter cheers at Mount Dora High School. “If you’re going to allow them to wear them to the game, then why not allow them to wear them to school?” Superintendent Susan Moxley said it would be unfair if cheerleaders were permitted to wear the short skirts and sleeveless tops during school while other students couldn’t. —MCT

‘Control Room’ director arrested in Egypt protest



Dancers of the Folkloric Ballet of the University of Guadalajara (Mexico), perform during the Bogota Dance Festival at the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Theatre in Bogota. —AFP

‘Who can waltz in heels?’

Backstage at the Debutantes Ball

H Debutantes dance during The 56th annual Viennese Opera Ball at The Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. —AFP photos

A participant in the International Debutane Ball walks with her escort at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York.

air in rollers and wrapped in puffy white dressing gowns, pretty teenagers pick at a fruit buffet between fittings and photoshoots, lending themselves pliantly to the media merry-go-round that is the Debutante Ball, 21stcentury style. The Crillon Hotel in Paris was a hive of activity on Friday with 24 hours to go before the ball, a high-society highlight that updates a custom stretching back to the royal courts of France and England. Like a luxury pyjama party, half a dozen girls-daughters of a global elite of actors, business leaders and aristocrats, the youngest still in high school-clustered at the breakfast table, some chatty and outgoing, others shy and looking every bit their tender age. Theresa Horne, a vivacious brunette from London attending with her identical twin Misha, was worried her dress, a provocative black number with sheer skirts and corset by House of Worth, might not fit. “The last time I tried the dress was September-and since then I can’t stop eating cookies,” she joked with her tablemates. “Have you seen the dancer?” one whispered admiringly, referring to Andie MacDowell’s dark, graceful daughter, Margaret Qualley. Qualley, just 17, was among the youngest of the 23 girls stepping out into the public eye. So was Tallulah Willis, the daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, heading for 18. The celebrity pair were firmly in the spotlight as they were shepherded through back-to-back photoshoots from Teen Vogue to Vanity Fair. “I’m used to exposure to the press-but I’m never usually in the middle of it,” Tallulah told AFP. “It’s a bit

nerve-wracking. But you get to feel like a princess, even just for a day.” The Hollywood princess wore a black silk Lanvin gown, its bustier adorned with crystal and rhinestones, created specially by designer Alber Elbaz, “a very dear friend.” Despite her mother’s film career, Margaret grew up in small town North Carolina. “I’ve had a regular childhood, this is really exceptional for me,” she said, stunning in a gem-encrusted, chocolate brown Elie Saab gown. “But for the waltz, I think I’ll be OK with my dancer background.” Seventeen is the ideal age Downstairs, the tableful of girls in their bathrobes were not so sure. “How are your waltzing skills? Can you waltz in heels?” the young Countess Olimpia Emo-Capodilista asked her neighbor. A worried debate ensued about the challenge ahead, despite the two dance classes planned into their last-minute schedule. Charlotte Dawney-niece of London mayor Boris Johnsonwas confident her fuschia stilettos, custom made by Jimmy Choo, would see her through. Fortunately for the less sure-footed, skilled cavaliers were on hand. “Hello! We are your playboysor escorts if you prefer,” Octavian Donnelly, a Cambridge graduate and ideal son-in-law type returning for the third year running, quipped as he and a fellow cavalier stepped into the room. And when the dancing is done, the girls trade gowns for a pair of jeans and head out clubbing, with the cavaliers as de facto chaperones. In centuries past, the daughters of Europe’s aristocracy were presented to the Queen after leaving the

convent on their 18th birthday. “They used to call it the season-and the aim was to get married,” explained organizer Ophelie Renouard. France’s modern ball was launched in 1957, held up until the student uprising of May 1968. Renouard revived the event 20 years ago as a charity fundraiser, with proceeds this year going to the Feed Foundation of Lauren Bush-who made her debut there in 2000. Debutante balls have a modern following in the United States but what sets the Crillon event apart is haute couture, with top names lending out fairytale creations for the night. Part of the ball’s raison d’etre today is to introduce the young women, no longer to potential husbands, but to the press, who are granted close-up access to feed glossy spreads. Renouard travels the globe for much of the year, scouting for the next crop. Seventeen is the ideal age for a debutante, she explained, on the cusp of womanhood. “At 16 they are still too childlike. But by the time they hit 18, they are already too well known.” Past debutantes include the daughters of actors Forest Whittaker, Clint Eastwood, the blockbuster author Daniele Steel or car tycoon Carlos Ghosn. And when Vogue editor Anna Wintour brought her daughter Bee Schaffer in 2004, the organizers stepped politely aside. “It was a straightforward affair. She had the final say on everything,” said Renouard. “And she chose Chanel.” On her wish-list for the future? Renouard has her sights on Barack Obama’s eldest, Malia, who would come of age just after her father steps down from office if he wins a second term.— AFP

Arizona museum displays bolo ties, symbol of West T

he sometimes plain, sometimes heavily decorated bolo neckties are a symbol of the West, worn with everything from blue jeans to tuxedos. Texas links the bolo to the romanticism of the pioneer era and suggests that anyone who wears one refuses to be bound by convention. New Mexico says they reflect the state’s tri-cultural heritage - a mix of Hispanic, American Indian and Anglo influences. In Arizona, where the bolo tie was declared the official state neckwear in 1971, an exhibit honoring the ubiquitous western neck adornment opened Saturday at the Heard Museum in Phoenix. The braided leather cord with an ornament on a sliding clasp has decorated the necks of cowboys, politicians and runway models, reflecting the bolo tie’s versatility. “I just like it because it’s a distinctive look,” said Norman Sandfield, a Chicago resident who donated his collection of bolo ties to Phoenix’s venerable Native arts and culture museum. “It makes me look

confident. It’s a conversation starter.” The exhibit, “Native American Bolo Ties: Vintage and Contemporary,” showcases Native designers who have brought unique designs with traditional inspirations to the bolo. Small ornaments made with silver and a single turquoise stone have evolved into elaborate figurative pieces with numerous stones or jewels. The bolo tie emerged as a form of men’s neckwear in the 1940s but it’s difficult to pinpoint its exact origin, said exhibit curator Diana Pardue, who co-wrote a book on bolos with Sandfield that accompanies the exhibit. While the authors found pictures with bolos in magazines and other publications from the 1950s and 60s, Pardue said there was little written about them. One common story is that Wickenburg, Arizona, silversmith Victor Cedarstaff hung his silver-trimmed hatband around his neck on a windy day in the 1940s while on horseback to keep it from flying away. Someone If you go...

A selection of Zuni and Navajo bolo ties at the new bolo ties exhibit Native American Bolo Ties: Vintage and Contemporary Artistry.

Native American bolo ties: vintage and contemporary: Through Sept 3 at the Heard Museum; 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, or 602-2528848. Open Monday through Friday 9:30 am to 5 pm, Sunday 11 am to 5 pm. Closed Christmas. Adults, $15; seniors 65 and over, $13.50; students with Idaho and children 6-12, $7.50; children 5 and under, American Indians and members, free. —AP

comment just how nice his “tie” looked. Cedarstaff later patented it. Others say the bolo tie as fashioned by American Indian artists appeared much earlier. Western television personalities including the Cisco Kid, Hopalong Cassidy and Roy Rogers helped popularize the bolo. The bolo tie long has been a staple of western wear in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and surrounding states, and generally is an acceptable replacement for a cloth or bow tie. Popular with men and women, bolos have carried over to more trendy fashion. New Mexico lawmakers declared the bolo the official state tie in 2007 - following up on a nonbinding memorial nearly 20 years earlier. What legislators wore around their necks prompted spirited debates about which chamber had the more professionallyattired members - the bolo-sporting senators or the representatives whose rules didn’t allow bolos on the floor until 2009. Said Sandfield, “The simple rule is - if there are any rules - is that the higher you wear it to the collar, the dresser it is. The lower you wear it, the more casual it is.” Don Prusakowski promotes the wearing of the ties through the Bola Tie Society of Arizona. Yes, bola. Prusakowski quickly explains that b-o-l-a is the tie and b-o-l-o is a knife, showing that not everyone even agrees on the spelling. They’ve also been called string, Texas, lariat and goucho ties, and piggin necklets. “It’s consistent,” said Prusakowski, 77, of the tie’s popularity. “What you do get is a lot of people who come from the East and Mideast, and they want to be cowboys. They start wearing bola ties. They find it’s much easier and much more comfortable.” Texas also designated the bolo as state tie in 2007. The Heard has 350 bolo ties on display, with the exhibit running through September 2012.

Four Charles Loloma, a Hopi Native American, designed bolo ties, at left, along with many others on display at the new bolo ties exhibit Native American Bolo Ties: Vintage and Contemporary Artistry, at the Heard Museum. — AP photos

27 Nov 2011  

Kuwait Times