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Gaddafi son offers to surrender to Hague


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THULQADA 29, 1432 AH

Dreamliner carries its first passengers and Boeing’s hopes


City slickers rout Wolves to reach last eight

Nokia hails new dawn with Windows phones



Opposition united on call for new premier Khorafi says panel elections constitutional

Max 35º Min 19º Low Tide 06:01 & 18:08 High Tide 12:16 & 23:40

By B Izzak

Kuwait to ban home slaughter of Aussie sheep SYDNEY: Australia’s live sheep export industry has reached an agreement with three key Middle East markets to prevent the slaughter of these animals at homes, an executive of the Sheepmeat Council of Asutralia said yesterday. The agreement with governments and livestock industries in Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar comes ahead of Eid al Adha between Nov 6 and 9 when Muslims are required to sacrifice animals as an act of obedience to Allah. Ahead of the festival, individual sheep are often bought from holding feed lots after arriving in Middle East countries, tossed in a car boot and taken home for slaughter - a practice which animal welfare agencies claim is cruel. “Key to assuring the welfare of Australian sheep is the implementation by importers and importing governments of a ‘no private sales’ policy to unknown slaughter points in these markets,” the council’s chairman Kate Joseph said.Individual buyers of sheep will be required to use slaughter facilities that comply with global animal welfare standards. Earlier this year, Australia banned live cattle exports to Indonesia for a month, after television footage showed cattle being beaten, whipped and Continued on Page 13

Bangkok faces massive floods BANGKOK: Floods swamped a new area of Thailand’s capital yesterday as some shops rationed food and Bangkok’s governor warned of “massive water” on the way that could put many parts of the sprawling city in danger by the end of the week. Large-scale evacuation was underway in Bang Phlad, a riverside area some way from Bangkok’s inundated northern districts, as floods hit the capital on a second front, deepening anxiety in the city of 12 million people, many of whom were expected to flee before a special five-day holiday. “Now we’re at a critical moment, we need to monitor the situation closely from 28-31 October, when many areas might be critical,” Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra told reporters on Wednesday. “Massive water is coming.” Sukhumbhand said 90 percent of the northern Don Muang district was under water and Bang Phlad was in a critical situation. Fourteen city districts were threatened by floods and two more could be hit today, he said. Thailand’s worst flooding in half a century has killed at least 373 people since mid-July and disrupted the lives of nearly 2.5 million, with more than 113,000 in shelters and 720,000 people seeking medical attention. Bangkok residents scrambled to stock up on food, but bottled water was nowhere to be seen and some shops restricted customers to small quantities of food to Continued on Page 13

DAMASCUS: Tens of thousands of people rally in support of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad yesterday. (Below) A woman with the Syrian flag painted on her cheek and ‘we love you Assad’ written in Arabic on her chest joins the massive rally. — AFP

League holds ‘frank’ meeting with Assad DAMASCUS: An Arab League team held “frank” talks with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad yesterday in a bid to mediate with the opposition, as activists said at least 20 people were killed in violence. “The meeting with President Assad was frank and friendly and we are going to continue our talks on October 30,” said Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem Al-Thani. “We took note of the commitment of the Syrian government to work with the Arab committee to reach a solution.” Headed by Qatar, the League’s current chair, the delegation comprised the foreign ministers of Algeria, Egypt, Oman and Sudan, in addition to Arab League chief Nabil Al-Arabi. Faced with a tough mission, Arabi has said he hopes “the Syrian regime will agree to this initiative, and begin with genuine reforms,” in comments to pan-Arab dai-

ly Al-Hayat. “It is my prerogative as secretary general of the Arab League to meet with any member of the peaceful opposition,” said Arabi, referring to a “disagreement” with Damascus after he met members of the Syrian opposition. At an emergency session in Cairo on Oct 16, the 22member League called for “national dialogue” between the government and opposition by the end of October to help end the violence and avoid “foreign intervention” in Syria. Syria’s representative to the League, Youssef Ahmad, slammed what he said was a “conspiracy ” against Assad’s regime at the Cairo meeting. But the initiative has also been criticised by the opposition. “Arabs, do not get more involved in the bloodshed against us,” said the Syrian Revolution General Commission, a coalition representing some 40 opposition blocs. Continued on Page 13

KUWAIT: Some 18 opposition MPs yesterday formed a seven-member committee entrusted to study the political situation in the country and propose specific actions against the government, MP Abdulrahman Al-Anjari said. The announcement was made following a lengthy meeting by 18 opposition MPs attended by almost all the lawmakers who walked out of the opening parliamentary session on Tuesday and boycotted the election of Assembly panels, forcing the selection of panel members without competition in an unprecedented move in Kuwait’s half century of parliamentary democracy. MP Falah Al-Sawwagh, who attended the meeting, said there was an agreement to form a new group called the “Opposition Bloc” that brings together all lawmakers opposed to the prime minister. Liberal MP Saleh Al-Mulla said he attended the meeting on behalf of the National Action Bloc and agreed to a statement prepared by the meeting that calls for a new government with a new prime minister. Al-Mulla said that he believes the rest of the six-MP National Bloc supports the same goals, but added that he will convey to his colleagues what happened at the meeting. If the MPs of the National Bloc and independent Shiite MP Hassan Jowhar join the opposition, it will then have 25 votes, which are enough to vote the prime minister out of office. But at the moment, the number of the opposition will rise to 20 because two leading opposition lawmakers, Jamaan Al-Harbash and Ali Al-Deqbasi, were absent and will attend future meetings. Al-Anjari said the elected committee will hold almost daily Continued on Page 13

NYPD shadows Muslims who change names NEW YORK: Muslims who change their names to sound more traditionally American, as immigrants have done for generations, or who adopt Arabic names as a sign of their faith are often investigated and catalogued in secret New York Police Department intelligence files, according to documents obtained by AP. The NYPD monitors everyone in the city who changes his or her name, according to internal police documents and interviews. For those whose names sound Arabic or might be from Muslim countries, police run comprehensive background checks that include reviewing travel records, criminal histories, business licenses and immigration documents. All this is recorded in police databases for supervisors, who review the names and select a handful of people for police to visit. The program was conceived as a tripwire for police in the difficult hunt for homegrown terrorists, where there are no widely agreed upon warning signs. Like other NYPD intelligence programs created in the past decade, this one involved monitoring behavior protected by the First Amendment. Since August, an AP investigation has revealed a vast NYPD intelligence-collecting effort targeting Muslims following the terror attacks of September 2001. Police have conducted surveillance of Continued on Page 13

Yemeni women burn their veils SANAA: Hundreds of Yemeni women yesterday set fire to traditional female veils to protest the government’s brutal crackdown against the country’s popular uprising, as overnight clashes in the capital and another city killed 25 people, officials said. In the capital Sanaa, the women spread a black cloth across a main street and threw their full-body veils, known as makrama, onto a pile, sprayed it with oil and set it ablaze. As the flames rose, they chanted: “Who protects Yemeni women from the crimes of the thugs?” The women in Yemen have taken a key role in the uprising against President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s authoritarian rule that erupted in March, inspired by other Arab revolutions. Their role came into the limelight earlier in October, when Yemeni woman activist Tawakkul Karman was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, along with two Liberian women, for their struggle for women’s rights. Yesterday’s protest, however, was not related to women’s rights or issues surrounding the Islamic veils - rather, the act of women burning their clothing is a symbolic bedouin tribal gesture signifying an appeal for help to tribesmen, in this case to stop the attacks on the protesters. The women who burned clothing in the capital were wearing traditional veils at the time, many SANAA: Protesting Yemeni women burn their veils during a demonstration covered in black from head to toe. demanding the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh yesterday. — AP Continued on Page 13

A digital artist impression shows a solar panel installation in the desert with icemaking capabilities. — AP

Water crisis? Artist to make ice in desert ZOETERMEER, Netherlands: Is it a piece of art, or a groundbreaking water experiment in the desert? Take the design of a leaf - nature’s master at absorbing the sun’s energy - and cover its 200 sq m surface with solar cells. Under the face of the elm leaf-shape structure are cooling condensers that soak up humidity from the desert air. Even in the hottest conditions, it will produce a layer of ice on the leaf’s ridged underside - so the theory

goes. Ap Verheggen’s vision of creating a “glacier” in the desert is a statement. It’s not meant to solve the world’s everworsening water problems, but to demonstrate, as he says, that the seemingly impossible is indeed possible. For the Dutch artist, his sculpture will be a cry of alarm at the rapid pace of global warming. Impractical in itself, it is meant to spur others to strive for Continued on Page 13



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Saving for postgraduate studies becoming increasingly popular Kuwaiti students save to further careers By Lisa Conrad KUWAIT: “I didn’t upgrade my car for the past two years so that I’d be able to get my Masters degree from abroad,” said 24-year-old Mohammad. Kuwaiti graduates are increasingly taking the initiative to save money for postgraduate studies in the hope that doing so will improve their future career prospects. Citizen Aicha Al-Faraj said that education aspirations are fuelling better budgeting. “I began saving because I didn’t receive a scholarship for my postgraduate studies. Even if you study locally, there aren’t any internal scholarships for postgraduate studies here yet, and the fees are expensive.” She added, “Salaries in Kuwait just don’t cut it, and more and more people are now heading towards graduate studies to make more money later on in their career. Paying for further qualifications, however, is expensive, and is a reason many in my social circle have begun saving.” Despite controversial increases in the salaries of many within the public sector, many fresh graduates are struggling to save enough money to fund postgraduate studies abroad. According to a source within the banking sector, more graduates are starting to save for their future. “We have quite a few 20-some-

things opening accounts to save specifically for further education. Some succeed, but many empty the accounts within six months to a year of opening them.” He added, “Traditionally, parents pay for such costs if the government doesn’t cover it. But many aren’t in the position to do so anymore, especially since their kids can secure good jobs in the public sector without an MA.” However, according to Economist Hajjaj Bukhadour, pursuing further education abroad is valuable even if work has already been secured locally. “It’s best to continue onto a Masters degree, and to reach international qualification standards. The work environment in Kuwait is very bad usually, so students won’t necessarily gain much practical experience at work.” He added, “Management are often appointed because of connections, not because of qualification, and their weaknesses seep throughout the entire organization, and this has an especially detrimental effect and influence on fresh graduates.” Mohammad added, “We can’t complain about inefficiency and mismanagement unless we plan to do something about it. I don’t like how my manager is at work, so I’m saving for the qualifications that will make me a better manager in the future. Change requires effort and planning, not constant

complaining.” Mohammad has been saving for two years, and is aiming to save KD 15,000 for his Masters in International Business and Management. “I can’t just go to my parents now and ask for the money. I’m 24. I’ve been working for three years and I make good money. But the problem here is that the lifestyle is expensive.” He added, “The experience of being abroad is really valuable, and worth saving for. Costs like utilities and groceries are low, but you have to maintain an image, and that eats into savings.” He continued, however, “Studying abroad is an image thing in itself, and I think most people are actually saving for the chance to be abroad more than the chance to further their education. Plus, sacrifice in this society is hard; even being caught in a sale section or a discount store can spark ridiculous gossip.” The sacrifice, according to Bukhadour, is worth it. “The only way to excel is through strong qualifications and valid experience. Many youths get generous allowances, and instead of spending them on entertainment they could invest in themselves and save for further education.” He added, “If they’re working to save for the money themselves, it will make them more responsible, which is important.”

Zain KSA OKs capital restructuring program RIYADH: In order to strengthen Mobile Telecommunications Company Saudi Arabia in the long-term interests of all stakeholders, and to deliver a better service to customers through extensive network upgrades and new product offerings, Prince Dr Hussam bin Saud bin Abdul Aziz, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Zain KSA announced that the Company’s Board of Directors has recommended at its meeting yesterday that the Company should undergo a reduction of its capital followed by a SAR 6.0 billion ($1.6 billion) rights issue subject to the consent of the Capital Market Authority, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the approval of other relevant parties. The Capital Reduction will result in the Company’s paid-up capital being reduced from SAR 14.0 billion (approximately $3.73 billion) to SAR 4.801 billion (approximately $1.28 billion). The paid-up capital will be subsequently increased to SAR 10.801 billion (approximately $2.88 billion) by way of the Rights Issue. The Rights Issue will consist of raising fresh equity and the capitalisation of subordinated shareholder loans to the Company. The fresh equity will, subject to obtaining the relevant approvals, be used to reduce bank debt, enhance the quality and performance of the existing network as well as to expand the Company’s recently launched 4G LTE hi-speed internet network. The fresh equity will also be used to fund the future growth of the Company, while the capitalisation of the shareholder loans will further reduce the debt levels of the Company. The Capital Reduction and the Rights Issue will be subject to shareholder approval at respective extraordinary general assemblies of the Company, to be held after all relevant consents and approvals have been obtained. Commenting on the Capital Restructuring, Nabeel Bin Salamah, Zain Group CEO said that, “Zain KSA stands on the threshold of an exciting new dawn in

KUWAIT: The Ambassador of Vietnam to Kuwait Bui Quoc Trung paid a visit to Kuwait Times and discussed matters of mutual concern with the Editor-in-Chief Abd AlRahman Al-Alyan.

Local firms allowed more work permits for expats KUWAIT: Following a three-year period of strict limits on the numbers of expatriate workers allowed into Kuwait, local companies will be able to freely recruit new expatriate workers beginning from next year, according to a senior Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL) official. Speaking to reporters following an award ceremony on Tuesday held to honor the recipients of the Al-Baghli Ideal Son Award, MSAL Undersecretary Jamal Al-Dousari explained that the recruitment process would still be closely monitored and managed by the use of a strategy which controls workforce numbers through a quota system used to maintain the country’s demographic structure. From 2012, he said, all firms will be able to recruit staff from outside the country, rather than preference only being given to some companies, as has been the case for the past three years. Al-Dousari, who attended the awards

ceremony on behalf of Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Dr. Mohammad AlAfasi, explained that Al-Afasi, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister for Legal Affairs and Minister of Justice, is shortly to review a list of those countries whose citizens will be allowed to transform visitors’ visas to work permits. Expatriates have been prevented from doing so for most positions with a few exceptions in recent years. The nations named on the list include European Union countries, the USA and Japan, added the MSAL official. “The main objective of the labor sector’s work is to help [Kuwaiti] citizens work in the private sector”, Al-Dousari stressed, indicating that the recruitment of expatriate workers would be limited to only those areas in which Kuwaiti candidates cannot be found for the positions. He estimated that the current number of expatriate workers in Kuwait stands at around 1.17 million. — Al-Qabas

Jordan thanks GCC states for support Nabeel Bin Salamah

Khalid Al Omar

the Saudi Arabian mobile telecom sector and this capital restructuring and rights issue will strengthen the financial position and ensure the long-term viability of the Company. The relationship between Zain KSA and Zain Group will be stronger and the opportunities to achieve genuine synergies will become apparent with a new management team. Zain KSA will be transformed, allowing the company to deliver the very latest network technology and exciting broadband product offerings to all our customers.” Bin Salamah further added, “We have decided to take a vigorous approach towards Zain KSA and to make it a key pillar of Zain Group’s focus. The combination of a new management team, an ambitious investment plan and new financial structure will have a positive impact on the performance of the company and create value for all its stakeholders. We have every confidence in the future prosperity of Zain KSA as the company is operating in a vibrant economy of which the mobile telecom sector is a key driver.” Responsible for implementing the new strategy, the recently appointed Managing Director and CEO of Zain KSA, Khalid Al

Omar said, “I look forward to playing a key part in the future enhancement of the telecommunications sector in the Kingdom and contributing to the economic development of this great nation. Backed by this proposed new financial structure and with the sound foundations of a state-of-the-art 4G LTE hi-speed network, we will be in a position to continue offering appealing broadband services to an ever growing customer base, making Zain KSA a force to be reckoned with in the Kingdom. In close coordination with Zain Group, we will spare no effort in ensuring that customers receive the best mobile telecommunications services and that growth is achieved across the operation.” Not for release, publication or distribution, directly or indirectly, in or into the United States, Canada, Australia or Japan. Before deciding to take up any rights pursuant to the Rights Issue (as defined below) you should (a) consult a financial adviser and obtain your own financial advice and (b) ensure that you have read carefully the prospectus prepared by Zain KSA relating to the Rights Issue which, following approval by the Capital Market Authority will be made available to shareholders of Zain KSA.

AMMAN: King Abdullah II of Jordan yesterday voiced appreciation on behalf of his country for the expected support from the existing GCC member nations for Jordan’s membership of the regional bloc. In his speech at the opening of the second ordinary session of the country’s 16th parliament, the Jordanian monarch also said, “Jordan has always been and will always remain, with God’s help, the first line of defense in Arab and Islamic causes. The first amongst these is the Palestinian cause; we are committed to supporting our Palestinian brethren until they regain their rights and establish an independent state on their national soil.” He continued, “We will not accept, under any circumstances, any settlement of the Palestinian cause at the expense of Jordan or at the expense of any of our national interests. We will continue to fulfill our duties and exercise our historic role in the custodianship of Islamic and Christian holy places in the sacred city of Jerusalem..” King Abdullah said that Jordanians currently face major comprehensive reforms to shape the new Jordan through a united team spirit and a concerted effort from all its people to come together to ensure progress, reform and national security in its widest sense. Political reform is a priority, said the king, adding, “We have made great strides in our reform process with the

completion and ratification of constitutional amendments. Now we need to build the legislative foundations on which political life can develop.” King Abdullah also affirmed his commitment to strengthening the parliamentary foundations of Jordan’s political system by incorporating the deliberations of the House of Deputies, which he said represents the aspirations and ambitions of the Jordanian people, into the consultative process, leading to the designation of prime ministers. “We are keen to implement this as of the next elected House of Deputies, which will be one of the first results of this comprehensive democratic transformation,” he revealed. The king further emphasized that Jordan belongs to all Jordanians, adding that loyalty to the nation is measurable only by one’s achievements and services to the country, saying, “The diversity of backgrounds and heritage enriches our Jordanian national identity, which respects the rights of the citizenry in a spirit of unity, tolerance and moderation.” In conclusion, King Abdullah emphasized the need for unity and fairness for all, saying, “I stress that nobody is above the law and nobody is immune [to it]. We shall protect the values of justice and equal opportunity with the full power of the law and we shall not allow anyone to misuse or abuse public funds or to encroach upon the rights of others.” — KUNA

Food labs to be set up at border KUWAIT: The Kuwait Municipality will allocate a portion of its budget (2012-2013) to build laboratories at the border to test food items that conform to international safety standards. This was mentioned in a letter sent by Mohammad AlOtaibi, Assistant General Manager for Municipality Services Affairs in response to recommendations made by the Reform and Development Committee, reported Al-Qabas. In other news, the Kuwait Municipality received a request from minister of the Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Ali Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah to allocate two units in Salmiya that covers a total area of 8,500 square meters. The new headquarters for the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science(KFAS) and its conferences center will be based there. Meanwhile, the Kuwait Municipality assured that a fingerprint attendance system that records employees’ attendance is of high quality standards and poses no threats to the health of staff members. This response was made in connection with reports that the clocking system poses risks to human health, reported AlRai.



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2 drug dealers arrested By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: A Pakistani expatriate was reportedly caught yesterday whilst attempting to smuggle 35,000 narcotic tablets across the land border via the Khubari Al-Awazim border crossing point used by the US military. The would-be drug smuggler was apparently driving a tow truck towing a vehicle in which the tablets were hidden. He was referred to the General Department of Drug Control (GDDC) for further action. In a separate case, officers from the GDDC’s Operations Department raided the

KUWAIT: The bedoon drug dealer pictured after his arrest.

home of a bedoon (stateless) drug dealer. The raid followed a surveillance operation launched after a tip-off from an informant about the man’s drug-dealing activities. On searching his home, the officers found 500 grams of hashish. On being questioned, the dealer admitted that he had been obtaining the drugs from a Gulf expatriate. A hunt is now on for the supplier, whilst the dealer is in custody awaiting trial. Hit and run A 60-year-old Egyptian died after being run over by a car in Firdous. His body was removed for an autopsy. Also, a 40-year-old Bangladeshi in Fahaheel sustained multiple injuries after being knocked down by a car near the Qubqub restaurant. He was admitted to Adan hospital. Both incidents took place Tuesday. Meanwhile, a 27-year-old citizen sustained injuries to the head in Qusoor after the motorcycle he was driving met with an accident. He was admitted to Adan hospital. Motor accidents A 35-year-old Egyptian broke his teeth and suffered facial injuries in a car accident that took place along Airport Road near Khaldiya. He was admitted to Amiri hospital yesterday morning. Also, two Egyptians sustained multiple injuries and one suffered a headache in a car accident that took place along Fifth Ring Road near Qairawan. A 26year-old female citizen sustained a fractured right arm in a car accident that took place along Sixth Ring Road. An 18-year-old citizen complained of back pain in a car accident that took place in south Jahra. All were admitted to Jahra hospital.

Researches help tackle environmental crises KUWAIT: The Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) on Tuesday hosted a workshop on the role of scientific research in tackling environmental crises in Kuwait. The workshop also saw discussion of the KISR’s strategic plans for supporting those bodies responsible for decision-making in environmental issues and reviewing the current coordination strategies between the relevant organizations in order to reduce the risk of environmental problems. Speaking at the event, Dr. Mohammad AlSalman, the institute’s Deputy Director of Research Affairs, said that Kuwait, like every other nation, faces the possibility of various environmental disasters, whether natural or manmade. The catastrophic destruction of the country’s environment and ecosystem during the Iraqi invasion and occupation of 1990-91 which still affects the country today is one the largest environmental disasters in human his-

tory, said the distinguished scientist. He added that in order to deal with environmental crises in an efficient and effective way, the relevant information, statistical data and predictive programs should be made easily accessible, with modern technology playing an important role in early prediction and warning systems, and in rapid collation of the relevant data and ensuring full coordination with the associated government bodies. This should be achieved in coordination with responsible and non-sensationalist media to achieve the most effective communication between all concerned and increased public awareness before, during and after any environmental crisis. During the workshop, Dr. Al-Salman also reviewed some recent proposals to update the current environmental crisis management system in Kuwait.—Al-Anba

KUWAIT: (Left) Eisa Al-Ghanim, Ali Al-Muwli, Anaam Al-Hasan, Ali Thuweini Al-Ali. (Right) The audience including Faisal Al-Qinae Secretary General of KJA. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

‘Amend laws to include more provisions for the elderly’ Senior citizens face host of problems By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Outlining its aims and goals for the near future, the National Assembly to Amend the Elderly Law (NAAEL) held a press conference on Tuesday evening at the Kuwait Journalist Association (KJA) premises. It plans to achieve them by corralling support from social organizations. Senior citizens in Kuwait face obstacles of different kinds, “Not only does the government ignore us, other institutions oppress us too. For instance, the European embassies refuse to issue a Schengen visa for a senior citizen aged over 70 years as we don’t receive medical insurance. This is not fair. I own a home in Switzerland and I can’t travel there to enjoy a holiday. Why don’t they perform a medical check-up to test our eligibility. A visa was issued to my wife who is a decade younger than me,” complained senior Eisa Al-Ghanim.

He is a member of NAAEL and was present at the conference. According to Al-Ghanim, a special hospital should be built to cater to the needs of elderly in Kuwait. “Now, when a senior citizen goes to the hospital to receive treatment, he is administered quick treatment and released even if he needs to stay for a longer period. This is because the hospital refuses to provide long-term care. His relatives may place him to a retirement home. This is not the solution. These people need a special hospital, and this is better than building a hospital for Kuwaiti citizens,” he pointed out. The organizers demand that the first article of the elderly law be amended. “According to Law No. 8/2010, the senior citizen can only enjoy the benefits provided by the government if he or she is disabled. This aspect has been covered in the law for the dis-

abled, and we demand that a law be passed for aged people in general. This particular law considers all seniors as being disabled. Many are active people in the community,” noted Ali AlMawli from the NAAEL. NAAEL sees a great conflict between the articles stipulated in the Constitution and the Elderly Law. “The Constitution guarantees free healthcare, education and housing care to every citizen. This conflicts with Article 4 of Law Number 11/2077 regarding social care extended to seniors. This article stipulates that the senior citizen pay for medical care. This responsibility lies on children, grand children, brothers or sisters. The court will decide who will pay,” added Al-Mawli. Ali Thuweini Al-Ali believes that many are afraid of the words ‘elderly’ or ‘senior citizen.’ “Many of those who are aged 60 and above are still healthy and can take care of themselves. We aim

to delay the debilitating effects of old age and provide them a healthier life. Also, with the older age more expenses are incurred. Regular medical checkup and medical equipment are needed,” he said. The organization aims to provide the elderly with more facilities. “We aim to take care of our grandparents by understanding their needs, encouraging their children to take care of them and to preserve heritage. We also aim to provide medical care, to give the seniors a loan to rebuild their homes in accordance with their health situation. We also aim to provide them with the necessary items needed like medicines and the like. The amendment we demand should also include offering facilities to caregivers and support workers, voluntar y retirement option, shortened working hours, and allowing more holidays,” Al-Ali added.




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LOCAL in my view

Local Spotlight

Hamas gains with prisoner swap deal

Majilis Al-Umma resumes session

By Suliman Al-Atiqi MA in International Affairs he deal between Hamas and Israel to swap hundreds of Palestinian prisoners for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier held captive for five years by Hamas came as a surprise. However, the timing is anything less than shocking. For years now, Egypt and Turkey have been involved in negotiations to swap between Palestinian prisoners and the young Israeli soldier. The deal which included the phased release of 1,027 Palestinians has no stark differences between previously attempted deals. But new developments since the Arab Spring has prompted both sides to see this as the most opportune time to make the swap. On Hamas’ side, Mahmoud Abbas’ recent announcement of a Palestinian bid for full membership at the UN is nothing less than historic. The Fatah leader once seen as weak and always caving in to Israeli and American demands, has reinvented himself as a Palestinian hero with his defiant decision despite bold threats made by Israel and the US. This has elevated Abbas’ popularity among Palestinians, even those living in Gaza. Hamas’ envy of the UN bid is obvious - for instance, it banned celebrations in Gaza. Hamas had to make a move to show the Palestinians why their methods are more tangible than the pacifistic Fatah. Hamas saw the swap deal an opportunity to steal the spotlight from Abbas. And by doing so, they have actually achieved an important result of securing the release of more than 1,000 prisoners (more than 20% of the Palestinian prisoners in jail) to their families - a tangible reality which will impact thousands of Palestinians both in Gaza and the West Bank. The timing aimed to show the Palestinians that against a hawkish Israeli state, Hamas has a pragmatic approach that yields results. And all the positive images of Palestinians reuniting with their families will be associated with Hamas. Israel, on the other hand, is now wary of the unpredictable developments taking place in the Middle East. Turkey, a longtime friend of Israel has now become a bitter rival and can no longer be counted on to help mediate negotiations that are favorable for Israel. More importantly, Israel no longer knows what their relationship will look like with their Egyptian neighbors, who brokered the deal, once the first elections take placeone which is expected to empower the Muslim Brotherhood, perceived as a threat to Israel. Moreover, the soldier’s family organized constant marches and even camped outside Netanyahu’s residence. Their engagement with the society transformed Shalit into a national hero, placing further pressure on the Prime Minister to make the deal. With all these pieces together, Israel, as Netanyahu confessed may never have another chance to make a better deal than now. In the end, Hamas gets more with this deal. This also sets a dangerous precedent for Israel, as the rewarding nature of the deal for Hamas will inspire further attempts to capture more soldiers.


Muna Al-Fuzai ct 25 was another tense day for Kuwaiti politics after the National Assembly — commonly known as Majilis Al-Umma — resumed work after recess. I doubt if it was anything but relaxing thanks to the multi-million dinar cash deposits scandal. Clearly, the atmosphere was quivering with tension. It was interrupted by several verbal clashes . And then there were those that were in favor of proceeding with urgent topics and detractors. Now, I agree that the Majilis can proceed with what the Kuwaitis need to hear on issues like education. A recent reac tion by the Ministry of Education has proved that it is removed from the needs of the country’s youth. High schools students held strikes for two weeks and there are pressing matters of concern for Kuwaitis related to health and the use of public money. A funny comment I came across over the cash deposits scandal is that a man is innocent until he is convicted! Of course, the MP is not an ordinary man; he represents the state and has to fulfill his share of duties and obligations. They are expected to be above suspicion. It is very frustrating to witness anger and the exchange of insults. Where is Tony Blair? Why doesn’t he advise the government? Doesn’t he get paid to do his job? Advising the Kuwaiti people and helping the government run political affairs is part of his job function, isn’t it? It is sad to see our National Assembly collapse by not being able to defend our rights as citizens. The Kuwaitis waited all summer for new developments to take place, sadly we are all disappointed. The question of dissolving the National Assembly will not come soon. After all, the Majilis is not bothered about who is angry.

O kuwait digest

Fighting corrupt traders By Dr Nasser Behbehani any in Kuwait are demanding stiffer penalties against all retailers found to be selling foodstuffs unfit for human consumption, feeling that the current penalties are not strong enough to put those involved off participating in this lucrative trade. While we all support any stronger penalties against corruption and long to see an end to the sale of all rotten foodstuffs, however, the problem here is not the size of the penalties but their implementation in real life against those involved in this trade which enriches traders at the cost of consumers’ health. What is the use of introducing more severe penalties when the worst offenders easily disregard the existing laws without any real punishment? Whilst it ’s true that this problem was only recently noted by the authorities, the question is, is the problem itself a recent one or is it simply an old one which the authorities only recently chose to take note of? Given my dedication to keeping it real, I’d go with the first option; this is a very old issue and one in which those who are involved are extremely adept at out-maneuvering those attempting to stop them. This can be seen through


the means used to sell these rotten foodstuffs. It would also help to explain the recurring episodes of poor health amongst many in the country over the years, especially the increases in diseases which were previously rare, such as cancer, although high pollution levels might be another credible reason for the increase in these conditions. This means that some corrupt individuals have been getting very rich indeed on the back of making many people very ill. It also led to massive expenditure by the health sector in treating these illnesses, which I believe are associated with these rotten and expired foodstuffs. I would suggest, therefore, that whilst the penalties should certainly be increased, another important move would be to enable those who have suffered food poisoning due to eating these rancid items to claim compensation for themselves and their dependents from the corrupt individuals who hurt them and their families economically and socially. Many problems in Kuwait are dealt with in a superficial manner, removing the visible social tumors of corruption whilst allowing the cancer to continue growing in the social body. —Al-Anba

kuwait digest

How to fight corruption

kuwait digest

Biased greetings

By Fuhaid Al-Basairi

By Thaar Al-Rashidi

couldn’t bring myself to write anything for my weekly column last week. I apologize to my readers — if there are any — for the absence. No, I wasn’t on a strike (I’m certainly not asking for an allowance). I haven’t made any demands in the four years I’ve been writing. Sometimes, I just run out of ideas, as I do not enjoy writing about cliched subjects. I find myself less passionate about writing these days, as much writing today is lacking in substantiating proof, professionalism, or in some cases, discipline. Most columns today express the writer’s point of view in which he either supports or opposes a certain subject. This is a form of extremist writing, similar to religious and sectarian extremism. I am not saying that writers should stop condemning corruption or applauding good deeds. But the uproar we are witnessing in the country today is as useful as the noise of waves crashing on the beach. It’s also ironic when corrupt individuals are today on the front lines of those calling for reform. Calling for the ouster of the Cabinet and HH the premier is a right that protestors exercise. Development would not magically result in the elimination of corruption in the country. The only change, rather, would be the replacement of one state official with someone else. Nations are not ruled by individuals, but by regulations and legislations. They are not run as per certain individual desires but on principles. If anything, demands for an individual’s ouster could be interpreted as efforts to appoint certain individuals to senior posts, which necessarily means further boosting corruption. We do not need change in the Cabinet if we are to avoid encountering same problems in the future as much as we need a change in the general approach to issues. The subject of political bribes is not a new one but is one as old as parliamentary life in Kuwait. If political activists are sincere about their efforts to fight corruption, they should come up with a clear approach that diagnoses the centers of corruption and outlines the method by which corruption will be eradicated through legislation. Law enforcement is the perfect antidote to corruption. Instead of stirring an protest in Iradah Square, MPs ought to return to their offices and reformulate laws in Kuwait in order to eliminate loopholes through which corruption spreads. They could start by amending election regulations and the conditions for nominations as well as the mechanism by which the prime minister is appointed. Then they should enforce the financial disclosure law and boost the judicial sector’s independence, while amending the payroll system and updating the penal code with the developing world of crime. —Al-Rai

female MP and member of the National Assembly Council has sent ‘Eid’ greeting cards to mark the occasion of Eid Al Adha to some writers in the local dailies. She made sure to send those cards to certain writers and not all. By chance, I have discovered that she had sent the cards only to those writers who are supportive of the Prime Minister, who did not oppose his policies, purposefully omitting all those who had written critically about him, whether these criticisms were positive or negative. This is in spite of the fact that His Highness the Prime Minister himself sends greetings to all through his office on every occasion and his office practices no such naÔve favorable selection only of those who support him. The MP, who deprived the rest of us of her festive greetings has practiced a clumsy form of PR, one area in which every politician should be skilled. My discovery of her selectivity in sending greeting cards led to another conclusion, that this MP is no good for the NA Council, especially since, despite having reached retirement age, she still apparently operates in her professional life on the childish principle of “I’m cross with you, so I won’t talk to you.” I have followed some of the articles by the writers who she ignored, and found that most of them wrote criticizing the prime minister’s or government’s policy, or that of the cabal of MPs of who she is a member. I concluded that she is a blind heartand-soul follower of the government, as if her slogan were “I don’t greet government enemies.” An MP who adopts this position rather than reflecting the wide range of public opinions does not deserve to represent the nation, more especially since she has used cards, envelopes and stamps especially reserved for parliamentary members, which I believe were bought from public funds allocated to the budget of NA Council, which our representatives approve every year. The costs of these cards did not come from her private funds or even from the government. She or anybody else, regardless of their importance, has no right to be selective in the use of public funds. If she wants to send such greetings she must end this biased policy and send them to everyone, whether she likes or doesn’t like the individual. If she wishes to send such greetings on the basis of her personal preferences, she should be compelled to pay for these from her own earnings as an MP and NA council member rather than using the NA Council’s budget to do so. Note: It is very shameful to represent the nation, then start categorizing the nation into sections on the basis of personal preference. Either represent all the people or stay at home. —Al-Anba






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Oracle roadshow in Kuwait to interact with customers Unprecedented growth in market By Ben Garcia

KUWAIT: The Medical Contingency Department, in co-operation with Farwaniya Hospital Administration, held an mock rescue operation at ward number 9 The drill was staged after a mock call was placed informing about a fire that broke out in the ward where eight patients were trapped. Yaqoub Al-Yaqoub Public Relations and Coordination Director said that this is part of several training plans being carried out in accordance with a previous schedule. —Photos by Hanan Al-Saadoun

KUWAIT: A one-day intensive seminar on the power of Oracle hardware and software took place yesterday at Arraya Ballroom in Kuwait City. Among the keynote speakers at the ‘Oracle Day 2011’ event were several executive specialists and experts from various countries across the Middle East, North Africa (MENA) and Europe. Fadi Abdulkhalek, the Vice President of Oracle Gulf, inaugurated the event along with Marc Heger, Senior Director of Systems for Oracle in the MENA region. The seminar which was part of the ‘Oracle Day’ roadshow which is traveling across the MENA region, was organized by Oracle Corporation, and is sponsored by Intel and iTS. Speaking exclusively with the Kuwait Times on the sideline of the seminar, Abdulkhalek explained the company’s objectives and latest innovations, talking about its continuing presence and future plan in the region. Kuwait Times: What is the ‘Oracle Day’ about? Abdulkhalek: We are here with the roadshow tour to interact with our partners and customers and explain some of our latest innovations. We are holding this intensive seminar to show the wide-ranging audience our activities from hardware to software. We’re going to discuss different subjects in multiple rooms here, to be conducted by different keynote speakers and presenters, from Oracle Core Technology to Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Applications and Business Intelligence. The Oracle Day event held here and to be held in other major cities in the MENA region was a powerhouse combination of C-level, functional, and technology tracks, all dedicated to one goal: showing Oracle customers and prospects how the power of simplicity can change IT to a force that drives business innovation. The Oracle Day event was yet another opportunity to showcase Oracle’s commitment to its current and potential customers in the Kuwaiti market. KT: How important is the Kuwaiti market to Oracle? A: Kuwait is one of the key markets in the region and we’ve been serving this market for more than 20 years now. If you’re going to compare the Kuwaiti mar-

ket to others, this is one of the most progressive markets in this part of the world, so Kuwait is very important to us. We have a big team of employees who cover Kuwait to make our venture here successful. I myself come every now and then [from his Dubai office] to visit our partners. We have partners specializing in hardware and software applications, and each areas has level of specialization to which we dedicate our expertise. Our operation depends on our partners; many are local Kuwaiti companies who’ve [been partners with] us for a long time. KT: How is Oracle growth in the Kuwaiti market? A: The growth in the market has been wholly unprecedented despite the economic problems the world’s facing right now. We are very strong in some areas, although we have to admit that in other areas we’ve really slowed down. For the record, we have unprecedented demand in the internet sector; we are continuously growing there, as in the latest networking systems. At Oracle, we find ways to become more efficient; the business has been growing, as you know. The use of internet today is one of the areas in which we are continuously benefiting. Over the last quarter we recorded double digit growth. KT: What is Oracle’s role in Kuwait’s egovernment initiative? A: E-government is deploying technologies which enable or facilitates services, maybe internally within the government sectors and services provided to the public. There are many services that we facilitate, like for example mobile computing for iPods, blackberries, to telephone or call centers. What we do is to help them facilitate the transaction between the public and government sectors. One of the sectors is the case management sector, what you see for example and reported directly to the government, the central monitoring system therefore will send or route this request to distinguished government agencies to take the appropriate action. There are many products designed for the e-government initiative, one is security related, there are also things like accessing profiles, products which enables mobility, applications, smart reporting where we enable people to see intelligence reports sent direct to your own system. Some

First Haj flights leave for Saudi KUWAIT: Whilst activities at Kuwait International Airport (KIA) were suspended briefly on Monday due to strike action, Tuesday saw frantic activity at the airport as the first groups of pilgrims caught flights bound for Saudi Arabia for the annual Hajj pilgrimage. The first flight chartered especially for Haj pilgrims, a Kuwait Airways jet carrying 150 passengers, left KIA at 1:30pm bound for Jeddah, with

another flight, this one with Saudi Airlines, leaving for Medina at 3pm. “All airport departments have been put on high alert and are following a plan designed specifically to ensure smooth transportation for pilgrims,” said a senior airport official. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official also revealed that Kuwaiti aviation authorities are working closely with their Saudi

counterparts to avoid any delays in Kuwaiti pilgrims’ flight schedules similar to those which took place at the end of last year’s Haj pilgrimage, which saw dozens of pilgrims stuck at Jeddah Airport for hours due to scheduling problems. Meanwhile, many other pilgrims, at least 5,000 according to official estimates, are expected to travel to Saudi Arabia overland with a number of Hajj agencies. —Al-Qabas

Minister affirms govt support for teachers

KUWAIT: The Fifth Annual Specialized Book Exhibition organized by the Information Center of the State Audit Bureau’s International Organization Department will conclude today. Publications related to Audit, Law and other aspects concerning Bureau’s work were on display. Some were distributed to employees from the International Book Fair being held in Mishref. The event was inaugurated on Tuesday by the Bureau’s Acting President Abdul-Aziz Al-Roumi.

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s education minister Ahmad Al-Mulaifi on Tuesday affirmed the government’s eagerness to support teachers and every aspect of educational development, praising teachers’ “noble mission” to educate the younger generations. Speaking to the press after the inauguration of the fourth session of parliament’s 13th legislative term, Al-Mulaifi said that the government is as keen as the parliament to provide support to teachers and education in general. On the subject of pay rises proposed for teachers, the minister explained that the government “agreed at the outset” to two pay increase proposals, but added, “The difference between us and the members of the parliament is how to pay these sums.” Whilst some insist that the pay increase should be granted “for all [teachers]” without exceptions, he said, “in my opinion, as well as the Government’s, the increase must be paid according to performance.” Al-Mulaifi pointed out that it would be unjust to grant the same privileges to a teacher who teaches one class as to another who teaches 10 classes in the same period, or to pay the same amount to a teacher who constantly on sick leave as to another who is present the whole semester. The minister voiced optimism that all teachers would make the necessary effort to obtain all the additional payments and bonuses granted in the recent salary increases, indicating that the amounts actually granted in the pay rises approved by the government were higher than those requested in the proposals originally put forward by teachers’ representatives and that the increases are to be paid retroactively. In reference to requests from some members of the joint parliamentary committee on education and finance for details of the evaluation criteria to be used by the education ministry to assess teachers’ professional performance, Al-Mulaifi vowed that the ministry would submit this information when the ministry completes work on drawing up the relevant criteria “at the beginning of the current session.” —KUNA

applications, for example, can be viewed on iPods, iPhones and Blackberries, so wherever you are, you’ll be connected. KT: What are the products already in use in Kuwait? A: In Kuwait there are many, but the biggest is the Government Resource Planning (GRP), a module that helps the government’s human resources departments, in paying salaries or optimizing the procurement process — these are just examples of our products which are already in place in Kuwait e-government initiative, which have been there for quite some times now. There are many more, like in the oil and gas sectors and ministries. KT: How can Oracle contribute to optimizing performance for Kuwait businesses/organizations?

KUWAIT: Fadi Abdulkhalek, Vice President of Oracle Gulf talking with the Kuwait Times yesterday —Photo by Ben Garcia A: There are many ways in which we can contribute; number one we can provide the infrastructure, both software and hardware infrastructure, essentially to speed up the operations. So we can make services fast but efficient. As the product comes along, the cost to deploy applications is going down too and also improving fast. KT: What new products are you going to launch? A: In San Francisco a week back at the Oracle Open World event, we launched the ‘Oracle Exalytics Business Intelligence Machine’-the industry’s first in-memory hardware and software system engineered to run analytics faster than ever, providing real-time speed-of-thought visual analysis, and enabling new types of analytic appli-

cations. With Oracle Exalytics, organizations will be able to extend their business intelligence initiatives beyond reporting and dashboards to modeling, planning, forecasting, and predictive analytics. Planning applications can be scaled across the enterprise with faster, more accurate planning cycles. As an example, in terms of data processing, it delivers faster, maybe ten times the usual. We expect innovations to continue as usual and we’ve always introduced products that are better compared to the previous ones; some of them can perform even 50 times better than their predecessors. KT: What are the latest trends in the IT industry in Kuwait? A: Number one, just as in other countries, there’s greater usage of the internet, greater interaction between organizations and employees, governments and individuals; we will see more and more of this usage. More and more applications are being used nowadays; apart from the traditional internet, people here are carrying them through their mobile phones. KT: What are Oracle’s future plans, in Kuwait in particular and in the GCC in general? A: We consider Kuwait and the GCC market as a growth market. We’re going to concentrate more on these markets; a large proportion of our investments is focused here. We have had several aggressive acquisitions of companies over the last few years and the way it looks, this is indeed great news for our customers and partners. We’ll continue to expand our global reach and our market in the future; we are banking on our network and partners here. KT: What’s been the effect of the Arab Spring on your business? A: Effects vary in every countries. Like if you talk about Libya, Egypt and Tunisia, some of our operations there had to stop [whilst the uprisings were taking place]. But we are now coming back - in Egypt we’re back, in Tunisia we are also back, and we’ll be back shortly in Libya as well. In Bahrain we experienced some slowdown, but we’re okay now, getting back to normal. We can say that Arab Spring effects to Oracle is mainly to North Africa. In Syria, we don’t have any office there, but we operate through a channel network, so there’s been no direct impact on Oracle business.



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Arab ‘investment expert’ in Kuwait police custody Murder hunt underway KUWAIT: Police have arrested an Arab conman who posed as a Kuwaiti to swindle several Kuwaiti victims by posing as an investment expert, telling them that he would invest money on the stock market for them before making off with their cash. The fraudster was caught in a sting operation, with one of his previous victims calling him to say that he wished to invest more money in the non-existent investment scheme. Believing that he was about to dupe the victim out of more money, the conman arrived to meet him, only to be arrested. Investigations revealed that there were already several outstanding fraud allegations against the man, a citizen of another unidentified Arab nation, who used his perfect mimicry of a Kuwaiti accent and dressed in traditional Kuwaiti garb to fool his victims into believing he was also Kuwaiti. He is currently in custody awaiting trial. Foul play A murder investigation is underway after police found evidence of foul play in the death of a 47-year-old Asian man who worked as a driver for the Ministry of Defense. Passersby called police on spotting the man’s body in an unnamed location in Sabah Al-Salem, with emergency services personnel rushing to the scene. Paramedics confirmed that the man had died some time before, with preliminary investigations by police and crime scene investigators suggesting that he was killed by a number of fatal blows to the head. The body was removed for topsy to determine the cause and approximate time of death and police are continuing with their investigations. Fatal accident A 42-year-old Asian man died of the injuries he sustained when he was hit by a car whilst crossing a street in Fahaheel. Although emergency services personnel were quickly at the scene, with para-

medics rushing the man to Adan Hospital, he was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival there. An investigation is underway into the incident. Vengeful ex A Kuwaiti woman and three female friends of hers are facing a number of charges after she enlisted their help to attack her ex-boyfriend. The woman apparently flew into a rage after spotting her ex having a good time with his new girlfriend, calling her friends to come to her aid in attacking him at an unidentified public location in Salmiya. Passersby called police when they spotted the man being violently assaulted by the four women. On arriving at the scene and taking the women into custody, police officers discovered that the ringleader had lost her temper on spotting her ex, who she claimed had split up with her for no reason, enjoying himself with his new girlfriend. Charges have been filed against the four women at Rumaithiya police station. Suicide bid An Asian woman working as a housemaid was rushed to Mubarak Hospital after her employer found her unconscious in her room where she had apparently attempted suicide by overdosing on prescription medication, with several empty pill bottles discovered around her body. Police are waiting until the woman’s condition stabilizes to question her over her reasons for wishing to kill herself. Claim, counter-claim An investigation is underway into a female Ministry of Interior (MoI) employee’s claim that she was sexually harassed by a male coworker. The woman lodged a complaint at Sulaibiya police station, telling officers there that her colleague, who worked alongside her at the Central Prison, had pestered her to go with him to an apartment he maintains for illicit liaisons in order

to have sex. When the accused man was summoned for questioning, he strongly denied the allegations against him, indicating that apart from anything else he maintains no such apartment, and suggesting that a previous argument with his colleague may have motivated her to make false charges against him. The investigation into the case is continuing. Drug bust Police who pulled a car over on the coastal road in Ahmadi after spotting the vehicle swerving across the road discovered that the two young male occupants were both in an intoxicated state. On searching the young men, officers discovered a quantity of hashish in their possession. Both were referred to the General Department for Drug Control for further action. Truck thieves Police have caught a four-man gang who stole and dismantled parked trucks to sell the component parts. The thieves, all Bangladeshi, were caught after they attempted to escape when police patrol officers caught them red-handed as they were dismantling a truck in Jleeb AlShuyoukh. The men, who have been referred to the Public Prosecution Service, admitted that they had previously sold a number of truck parts to various unwitting garage owners. Drug bust Police who pulled a car over on the coastal road in Ahmadi after spotting the vehicle swerving across the road discovered that the two young male occupants were both in an intoxicated state. On searching the young men, officers discovered a quantity of hashish in their possession. Both were referred to the General Department for Drug Control for further action.—Al-Rai, Al-Qabas, AlAnba, Al-Watan

Agreement to expand Kuwait industrial base KUWAIT: The Public Authority for Industry (PAI) signed yesterday with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) an agreement to expand the industrial base and help the Kuwaiti local factories to export their products. Deputy Director-General of the Export Development in PAI Saqr AlAnzi said in a statement to the press today that the agreement is to raise

the proportion of export of national products abroad and enhance their competitiveness. Al-Anzi said the agreement would focus on the sectors of chemical industries, petroleum, coal, rubber and plastics, in addition to conducting a comprehensive developmental study of 10 industrial facilities that can be exported with rehabilitating and marketing them technically and

administratively to export their products out of Kuwait. He explained that the two-year project will see a team specializing in the development of exports from UNIDO to implement the requirements of the project. In a related statement, PAI pointed out that UNIDO experts have recently visited several industrial facilities in Kuwait specializing in the fields of

chemicals, rubber and plastic in order to identify the working conditions of industrial installations. It said that a workshop was held earlier in the targeted industrial facilities, through which director of the business sector, investment and technological services in the United Nations Industrial Development Dr. Mohammed Dawi reviewed details of the project.— KUNA

MEXICO CITY: Kuwait’s Ambassador to Mexico Sameeh Johar Hayat visited Oaxaca State yesterday and held talks with its Mayor Gabino Cue Monteagudo on ways of boosting bilateral relations and cooperation. The meeting featured participation of key businessmen from Oaxaca State, as well as Mexican foreign minister Patricia Espinosa, the Kuwaiti Embassy said in a statement. Hayat and the Mexican officials discussed investment and trade opportunities, it said.

Teachers to join student demonstration KUWAIT: The stage has been set for a weekly demonstration outside the Ministry of Education’s building. Unlike previous incidents where high school students protested against the newly introduced evaluation system, they will be joined today by teachers who will push for their demand for more financial allowances. MP Musallam Al-Barrak incited a crowd of 50 students, during last week’s protest, to prepare for staging a massive rally today. Al-Barrak is expected to show up at today’s rally, and be joined by other MPs following the strong reactions evoked during the parliamentary session on Tuesday when Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi approved the government’s request to delay voting which would have secured a general salary raise for teachers. Immediately after the session, the Kuwait Teachers Society (KTS) urged teachers to gather outside the MoE building starting from 10:00 am. The Minister of Education and Higher Education Ahmad Al-Mulaifi insisted on Tuesday the government’s commitment to the bonus system that will reward

teachers financially. The K TS previously rejected the notion of holding strikes, as it had high hopes when at least 40 MPs were expected to vote in favor of general allowance bill where only 33 votes should be enforced. Once it is passed, the bill will act as a decree that the MoE must follow as per the Constitution. Yesterday Al-Mulaifi reiterated support to teachers “either through the proposed bonus or the general allowance. It should be passed by the Parliament as per constitutional regulations.” He also pleaded during his press conference, to call off the protest and “keep the educational process away from political struggles.” In other news, a committee was formed within the Ministry of Interior to study demands made by the ministry’s civil employees. They met on Tuesday to coordinate and find ways to enhance the living and work conditions of staff members. Also, Dr Qais Al-Duwairi Ministry of Health Acting Undersecretary formed a task force to reconsider financial privileges accorded to the ministry’s employees, reported Al-Qabas.

Interior keen to ensure Haj pilgrims’ safety MAKKAH: The head of the Ministry of Interior (MoI) team formed to supervise Kuwaiti Hajj pilgrimage agencies yesterday stressed his determination to ensure that these agencies take all the necessary safety measures in order to ensure pilgrims’ wellbeing. Brigadier Bader Baker Al-Najjar said that the ministry’s team includes members from the Kuwait Fire Services Directorate (KFSD), who are inspecting all 73 Kuwaiti agencies’ facilities and the convoys of vehicles to be used to transport pilgrims to ensure that they comply with all the health and safety regulations. Brig. Al-Najjar revealed that teams from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs also regularly inspect the agencies’ facilities and all the vehicles used in the Hajj convoys. He added that

inspectors check various features, such as the presence of fire extinguishers in every convoy vehicle and place of accommodation used during the pilgrimage, the presence of working and unimpeded emergency exits in all the vehicles and accommodation units, and the soundness of the electrical wiring at all the facilities used by the agencies, amongst other things. If any of the vehicles or properties used by the Haj agencies are found to be non-compliant with the health and safety regulations, the agency owners face stringent penalties, added the senior MoI official. Brig. Al-Najjar thanked all the Kuwaiti Haj pilgrimage organizers for their cooperation and understanding attitude towards the various official bodies’ performance of their duties, stressing the importance of spreading

awareness amongst pilgrims of the vital nature of the precautionary measures. He revealed that the Department of Civil Defense recently held a number of special training courses for Hajj pilgrimage organizers and agency personnel on safety measures and First Aid to enable them to cope with any possible emergency. Brig. Al-Najjar called on all pilgrims to avoid risky behavior during the Hajj pilgrimage, citing examples such as overcrowding in certain areas leading to stampedes or the use of gas-powered grills which could explode or cause fires. The senior MoI official concluded by lauding the great care shown for the wellbeing of all pilgrims by the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud. — KUNA

KUWAIT: At least 77 karate students were awarded in an event sponsored by the Beaches and Sea Clubs Department of the Touristic Enterprises Company (TEC) at the Shaab Sea Club. Prizes were distributed to winners of the tournament in which 30 contestants as well as 20 players participated. The event was supervised by Ali Al-Qallaf Department Manager and Salem Al-Jeeran, Supervisor at the Shaab Sea Club.


Panetta pledges US ‘nuclear umbrella’ for South Korea

Dirty tricks’ row dominates Irish presidential election Page 9

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Gaddafi son wants to surrender Intelligence chief proposing deal with ICC ABU DHABI: Muammar Gaddafi’s fugitive son Saif al-Islam and former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi are proposing to hand themselves into the International Criminal Court in The Hague, a senior Libyan military official with the National Transitional Council said yesterday. “They are proposing a way to hand themselves over to The Hague,” Abdel Majid Mlegta told Reuters from Libya. Saif al-Islam is wanted by the war crimes court, as was his late father. There is also a warrant out for Senussi. Saif al-Islam has been on the run since Libyan forces overran his father’s home town of Sirte at the weekend. He is thought to be somewhere near Libya’s southern border with Niger. Mlegta said his information came from intelligence sources who told him that Saif alIslam and Senussi were trying to broker a deal to surrender to the court through a neighbouring country, which he did not name. They had concluded that it was not safe for them to remain in Libya, or to go to Algeria or Niger, two countries where Gaddafi family members are already sheltering. “They feel that it is not safe for them to stay where they are or to go anywhere,” Mlegta said. In any case, they said that Niger was ask-

ing for too much money for them to stay. Neither the ICC spokesman or the prosecutor’s office was immediately available to comment on the report. In June the ICC issued arrest warrants for Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam and Senussi on charges of crimes against humanity after the UN Security Council referred the Libyan situation to the court in February. All three were charged with crimes against humanity for the Libyan regime’s violent crackdown on protesters in February in what ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said was part of a “pre-determined” to stamp out the unrest. It was only the second time that the UN Security Council had referred a conflict to the ICC, the world’s first permanent war crimes court. The Security Council previously referred the crisis in Sudan’s Darfur region to the ICC in 2005. But at the Brussels headquarters of the alliance, whose air strikes and intelligence backed the motley rebel forces for eight months at substantial financial cost, NATO officials recalled that their UN mandate was to protect civilians, not target individuals. A meeting of NATO ambassadors, postponed from Wednesday to Friday to allow for further discussion with the NTC and United Nations,

was still due to endorse a preliminary decision to halt the Libya mission on Oct. 31, a spokeswoman for the bloc said. Speaking in Qatar, the most active Arab backer of the Western move against Gaddafi, Abdel Jalil told reporters: “We look forward to NATO continuing its operations until the end of the year.” He added: “We seek technical and logistics help from neighbouring and friendly countries.” The Libyan war, which saw Gaddafi’s power extinguished in late August at a cost of no casualties for NATO forces, has been proclaimed a triumph for Western intervention. But the expense of thousands of air strikes, led by French and British jets with U.S. logistical support, has left NATO governments keen to end it now. Asked if NATO ambassadors tomorrow would stick to the decision to end the mission at the end of the month, spokeswoman Carmen Romero said: “That is the preliminary decision ... The formal decision will be taken this week.” She added that, for the time being, “NATO continues to monitor the situation on the ground, and retains the capability to respond to any threats to civilians”. Romero said NATO Secretary-General

DOHA: Qatari Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (C-R) and Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil pose with military officials during the “Friends of Libya” group meeting held in Doha, Qatar yesterday to discuss the future of the country after Muammar Gaddafi was buried in secret. — AFP

Tehran hails Kirchner win TEHRAN: I ran has congratulated Argentine President Cristina Kirchner on her re-election victory and expressed hope for improved ties, which have been clouded by suspicions of Tehran’s involvement in a 1994 attack in Buenos Aires. “I hope that friendly relations between the great nations of Iran and Argentina will further develop and expand on the path of prosperity,” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a message sent to Kirchner on Tuesday, the presidency website reported yesterday. Argentina has accused current and former top Iranian officials of being behind its worst-ever terrorist attack: a 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people. An Argentine court in October 2006 indicted eight Iranian officials over the attack, with prosecutors alleging the attack was planned and financed in Tehran and carried out by a Hezbollah cell. Argentina issued warrants for the arrest of five Iranians, including Ahmad Vahidi, Iran’s current minister of defence; former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and ex-foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati, as well as a Lebanese man for their alleged roles in the bombing. In July this year, Iran’s foreign ministry denied any involvement by the officials. It said it would “cooperate with the Argentine government to shed all light ” on the attack-an offer that Argentina’s government has said it was studying. Two years before that attack, 29 people were killed in a bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, an attack that has never been solved. — AFP

Anders Fogh Rasmussen was in consultations with the United Nations and the National Transitional Council about plans to conclude the mission. NATO states took their decision last week based on military recommendations. The commander the Libya mission Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard said on Monday he saw virtually no risk of forces loyal to Gaddafi mounting successful attacks to regain power and NATO believed NTC forces were able to handle security threats. NATO states have been keen to see a quick conclusion to a costly effort that has involved more than 26,000 air sorties and round-the-clock naval patrols at a time when defence budgets are under severe strain due to the global economic

crisis. NATO has said it does not intend to keep forces in the Libyan region after concluding its mission and has repeatedly stated that its UN mandate is to protect civilians, not to pursue individualsalthough Gaddafi himself was captured after his convoy was hit in a NATO air strike. On Tuesday, NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy James Appathurai said he expected the alliance to confirm its decision to end the mission. “I don’t expect that there will be a change to that decision,” he said. NATO has already begun winding down the mission, and diplomats have said the majority of NATO equipment, including warplanes, has already been withdrawn. — Agencies



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Quartet envoys meet Israeli, Palestinian negotiators JERUSALEM: Envoys of the Middle East Quartet were yesterday holding talks with Palestinian and Israeli negotiators in a bid to find a way to bring the two sides back to the negotiating table. But the chances of a breakthrough in the deadlock which has gripped the negotiations for more than a year looked extremely remote with both sides taking very different positions on the conditions for restarting talks. Yesterday’s talks at Government House, the UN headquarters in annexed east Jerusalem, is the latest in a series of international initiatives aimed at resuscitating direct negotiations which broke down in autumn 2010. Envoys from the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States met Quartet envoy Tony Blair before holding talks with Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat, a diplomat-

ic source told AFP. They are also scheduled to sit down for discussions with Israel’s chief negotiator Yitzhak Molho. “The whole aim of this is to bring them back to negotiations,” the source said, on condition of anonymity. “They’re trying to do it back-to-back at this stage to get them back to negotiations because that’s probably the only way it’s going to happen.” It is the first time the Quartet envoys have met the two sides since Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas submitted a request for UN state membership on September 23 that was sharply condemned by both Israel and Washington. Just hours later, the Quartet issued a loosely worded statement proposing that Israel and the Palestinians resume direct peace talks within a month and make a commitment to securing a deal

by the end of 2012. But October 23 came and went with no sign that the parties were any closer to resuming talks, with both sides holding a different interpretation of the initiative. Israel says it accepts the Quartet’s proposal for an immediate resumption of talks as long as there are no “preconditions” but the Palestinians say they won’t talk until Israel freezes settlement-a demand they say is written into the proposal. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat repeated that position in his meeting with the Quartet envoys, he said in a statement after their discussions. “These are not favours that Israel is doing for us. These are its obligations in accordance with international law and the road map,” he added, referring to a document that was intended to pave the way for a peace deal.

“Anything short of that will simply put us back on the failed track that we have been on for the last 20 years.” Erakat said the Palestinians wanted to know what “concrete measures” the Quartet would take to hold Israel accountable during any future peace talks. “Issuing statements and press releases is not enough as evidenced by Israel’s continued intransigence,” he said. The Quartet’s September 23 proposal was issued with the aim of heading off a diplomatic showdown over the UN membership bid, which is set to be put to a vote in the UN Security Council in coming weeks. Washington and Israel say a Palestinian state can emerge only as the result of a negotiated settlement between the parties, and not through a UN resolution. But Abbas says the bid can run concurrently with peace talks. — AFP

Three people pulled out of Turkish quake rubble ERCIS: Two teachers and a university student were rescued from ruined buildings in eastern Turkey yesterday, three days after a devastating earthquake, but searchers said hopes of finding anyone else alive were rapidly fading. NTV television said 25-year-old teacher Seniye Erdem was pulled out around the same time that rescue workers also freed another teacher. The woman was thirsty and asked about her husband, who had died, it said Excavators with heavy equipment began clearing debris from some collapsed buildings in Ercis after searchers removed bodies and determined there were no other survivors. The 7.2-magnitude quake Sunday has killed at least 461 people and injured over 1,350. “At the moment, we don’t have any other signs of life,” said rescuer Riza Birkan. “We are concentrating on recovering bodies.” Still, rescue efforts continued in some areas of Ercis, the worst hit town in the temblor that also rattled Iran and Armenia. Gozde Bahar, a 27-yearold English teacher, was pulled out of a ruined building on Wednesday with injuries as her tearful mother watched anxiously. The staterun Anatolia news agency said her heart stopped at a field hospital but doctors managed to revive her. Earlier in the day, rescuers pulled out 18-year old university student Eyup Erdem, using tiny cameras mounted on sticks

to locate him. They broke into applause as he emerged from the wreckage. Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said 63 teachers were among the dead and he alleged that shoddy construction contributed to the high casualty toll. He compared the alleged negligence of some officials and builders to murder because they ignored safety standards. “Despite all previous disasters, we see that the appeals were not heeded,” Erdogan said. He acknowledged problems in sending aid for thousands of people who were left homeless, but said close to 20,000 tents have since been sent to the quake zone. Turkey has said it will accept prefabricated homes and containers from other countries to house survivors, many of whom have slept in the open in near-freezing temperatures for three nights. “There was a failure in the first 24 hours, but in such situations such shortcomings are normal,” Erdogan said. “There may not be sufficient equipment in depots at the start, but these have (now) been resolved with equipment from other depots.” The quake destroyed one school and Turkish engineers were making sure other schools were safe or rendering them fit to resume lessons. Some 800 students at that school in Ercis were probably saved because the quake hit on a Sunday. On Tuesday, some groups of desperate sur-

ERCIS: Rescue workers carry a dead body pulled out from a collapsed building, in Ercis, yesterday, after a major earthquake of 7.2 magnitude hit the eastern province of Van on October 23. The latest official death toll was 461 but the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has said that “hundreds, possibly thousands” of people are still trapped under the rubble. — AFP

Iraq attacks kill nine BAGHDAD: Bomb and gun attacks in Iraq have killed nine people, including a mayor, four soldiers and two family members of a Shiite cleric, and wounded 29 others, security officials said yesterday. “A car bomb targeted an Iraqi army patrol in Al-Zuhour neighbourhood, killing three soldiers and wounding three civilians” in Mosul in Iraq’s north, a first lieutenant in the Mosul police said. “Another car bomb exploded ... in the same neighborhood, killing two civilians and wounding 16,” he said, adding that the bombs went off at about 9:00 am (0600 GMT). A doctor at Mosul General Hospital confirmed the deaths, saying: “We received five bodies, including three soldiers.” In Iskandiriyah, 50 kilometres (30 miles) south of Baghdad, “unknown armed men attacked the house of Safaa al-Mussawi, a Friday prayer leader, with bombs” during the night, a police first lieutenant said.

The Shiite cleric “and his son were seriously injured and his wife and daughter were killed,” the officer said. A source in the office of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq’s top Shiite cleric, confirmed the attack on Mussawi’s home. The mayor of Iskandiriyah was also killed on Tuesday night, a police source said. “Armed men killed the mayor of the Iskandiriyah sub-district yesterday night. His name was Ali al-Massudi, from the Sadr movement,” the source said, referring to the movement of antiUS Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. One Iraqi soldier was killed and another wounded in an attack by gunmen on a patrol in the Iskandiriyah area, an army captain said. And a roadside bomb wounded seven Iranian pilgrims in a bus north of Baghdad yesterday, an Iraqi army officer said. The toll was confirmed by Dr Kawyan Aziz of Khanaqin Hospital, who said they were not seriously wounded. — AFP

BAGHDAD: An Iraqi traffic police officer holds an automatic weapon as he controls traffic in Baghdad, Iraq, yesterday. On Monday four separate attacks against traffic police in Baghdad killed two policemen and three civilians, on Tuesday one traffic policeman died and eight others were wounded when their patrols were hit in three separate roadside bombings in eastern and northeastern Baghdad, police said. — AP

vivors fought over aid and blocked aid shipments while a powerful aftershock ignited widespread panic that triggered a prison riot in a nearby provincial city. Health Ministry official Seraceddin Com said some 40 people were pulled out alive from collapsed buildings on Tuesday. They included a 2-week-old baby girl brought out half-naked but alive from the wreckage of an apartment building two days after the quake. Her mother and grandmother were also rescued, but her father was missing. The pockets of jubilation were however, tempered by many more discoveries of bodies by thousands of aid workers. Yesterday, health officials said they had detected an increase in diarrhea, especially among the children, and urged survivors to drink bottled water until authorities can determine whether the tap water may be contaminated. With thousands left homeless or too afraid to return to damaged houses, Turkey said it would accept international aid offers, even from Israel, with which it has had strained relations. Israel offered assistance despite a rift between the two countries over last year’s Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla that killed nine Turkish activists. Over 500 aftershocks have rattled the area. A 5.7-magnitude aftershock on Tuesday sent residents rushing into the streets in panic while sparking a riot that lasted several hours by prisoners in the city of Van, 55 miles (90 kilometers) south of Ercis. Yesterday, authorities transferred some 350 of the inmates to jails in other cities after prisoners, demanding to let out, set bedding on fire and the revolt spread inside the 1,000-bed prison, NTV television reported. The region is mostly-Kurdish populated and an area where Kurdish rebels are waging an armed campaign for autonomy from Turkey. The conflict, which has killed tens of thousands since 1984, continued despite the quake. Suspected Kurdish rebels detonated a roadside bomb as a military vehicle drove by 50 miles (80 kilometers) from Van on Monday. Turkey lies in one of the world’s most active seismic zones and is crossed by numerous fault lines. In 1999, two earthquakes with a magnitude of more than 7 struck northwestern Turkey, killing about 18,000 people. Istanbul, the country’s largest city with more than 12 million people, lies in northwestern Turkey near a major fault line, and experts say tens of thousands could be killed if a major quake struck there. — AP

Egyptian court jails two cops over activist’s death ALEXANDRIA: An Egyptian court jailed two policemen yesterday for seven years for their “cruel” treatment of an activist whose death helped kindle the popular revolt against Hosni Mubarak. Khaled Said, 28, died in the port city of Alexandria in June last year after two plainclothes policemen dragged him out of an Internet cafe and beat him, witnesses and rights groups say. Authorities said he died choking on drugs. “The court sentences the defendants to seven years in jail for using cruelty against the victim,” Judge Moussa alNahrawy said in a statement read out in court at the end of a case that began before the uprising erupted. In the courtroom, families of the two policemen shouted angrily at the judge over guilty verdict, while activists and Said’s family complained men had got off lightly. “Inside the court, the military police locked the doors of the court and the families of the two defendants literally beat up four lawyers in protest. Justice has not been done to Khaled Said and we will not budge,” Said’s uncle Ali Qassem told Reuters. He said he had expected a tougher sentence. “The response to the verdict will be on the street and not inside the court,” he added. “The rights for Khaled Said and Egyptians who have been tortured, humiliated and killed must be reclaimed,” Wael Ghonim, one of the founders of the Facebook page “We are all Khaled Said” said on the page. Before he died Said posted an Internet video purportedly showing two policemen sharing the spoils of a drug bust. His death became a rallying cry for activists behind the Jan.

25 uprising that culminated with Mubarak’s ouster on Feb. 11. A Facebook site was set up named “We are all Khaled Said”. The site hosted calls for a demonstration on Jan. 25 and was used to organise silent protests demanding an end to police corruption and brutality in the months before. After the sentence, activists on the Internet said the ruling may fuel more public anger on the streets. One of the activists who set up the Khaled Said website said he would not comment until he had consulted lawyers. “So Khaled Said’s trial is over? We have given the judiciary its chance, so prepare yourselves now for the next revolution that will bring back Khaled Said’s rights,” wrote Tarek on Twitter, a site used to devastating effect against Mubarak. One person commenting on the Khalid Said Facebook page wrote: “A shameful verdict! 28th of October is the next revolution!”-referring to Friday, a day on which protesters often take to the streets. Mahmoud Afifi, a spokesman for the April 6 Youth movement which helped lead the uprising, also criticised the verdict. “This verdict allows for this sort of thing to happen again because it is not a deterrent, and it is not acceptable to us and to the entire Egyptian society,” he said. Government autopsies carried out before the uprising found that Said had choked on a plastic roll of drugs and his injuries were not the cause of his death. US-based Human Rights Watch has said there was evidence that two plainclothes policemen killed Said and the state had failed to explain signs of beatings on his body.—Reuters

TUNIS: Tunisian supporters of the moderate Islamic party Ennahda celebrate as they claim victory at the party’s headquarters in Tunis, Tuesday. Partial results released supported the Ennahda party’s claims that it had won the most seats in a 217-member assembly tasked with running the country and writing its new constitution. — AP

Islamists vow new Tunisia government within a month TUNIS: Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda party vowed to form a new government within a month yesterday as early results gave it a commanding lead in the Arab Spring’s first free election. The party had started coalition talks, said its leader Rached Ghannouchi, adding that Ennahda’s early vote tally of around 40 percent made it the “natural” choice to lead the new executive. “It is natural that the party which obtained the majority heads the government,” Ghannouchi said in a radio interview, with final results in Sunday’s historic vote yet to be released. The party did not seem headed for an outright majority, hailing complicated coalition negotiations with all of Ennahda’s possible partners on the leftist, liberal side of the political spectrum. “The government will be put together as soon as possible, within no more than a month,” Ghannouchi said. An AFP count of provisional results listed Wednesday morning gave Ennahda 44 of the 111 seats in 15 domestic polling districts counted so far for a new 217-member assembly that will rewrite the constitution and appoint a caretaker government. Results released on Monday showed Ennahda taking half of the 18 seats reserved for expatriate assembly representatives in an early vote held abroad last week. This meant the party had 53 of the 129 seats accounted for so far. The decisive tally for the greater Tunis area, which covers five of the 27 polling districts in the country, was not yet known Asked about the identity of the interim president, Ghannouchi said: “It will be a person who had militated against the dictatorship. Nothing has been decided yet. Discussions are continuing,” without saying with whom. He added that Ennahda was in favour of a “big, national alliance that will lead to a democratic government.” Massive numbers of voters turned out Sunday for Tunisia’s first elections since the ouster of dictator Zine el Abidine Ben Ali in a popular uprising in January. ISIE secretary general Boubaker Bethabet said Tuesday the results would be published piecemeal, explaining: “The mechanisms of counting

demand time”. The interim results gave a joint second place to the leftist Congress for the Republic (CPR) and the Petition for Justice and Development-a grouping backed by Hachmi Haamdi, a rich London-based businessman with close ties to Ben Ali. The leftist Progressive Democratic Party shared third place with Ettakatol, whose leader Mustapha Ben Jafaar Tuesday proclaimed himself willing to “assume the highest responsibility” in a new government. Ben Jafaar told AFP that coalition discussions with Ennahda had started for the new assembly, which will also have interim authority to write laws and pass budgets. A broad-based executive was required, he added, to avoid “polarisation between Islamists and modernists”. The new assembly will decide on the country’s system of government and how to guarantee basic liberties, including women’s rights, which many in Tunisia fear Ennahda would seek to diminish despite its assurances to the contrary. Analysts say that Ennahda, even in a majority alliance, would be unable to “dictate” its programme to the assembly, having no choice but to appease its alliance partners, a moderate-minded society, and the international community on whose investment and tourism the country relies heavily. Leftist parties may yet seek to form a majority bloc against Ennahda. Ennahda says it models itself on the ruling AKP party in Turkey, another Muslim-majority country which, like Tunisia to date, is a secular state. But its critics accuse the party of being moderate in public and radical in the mosques. Even before the official results are known, Ennahda has sought to reassure investors of stability, and women that it will respect their equality, and said it was open to a coalition with any party “without exception”. The electoral system was designed to include as many parties as possible in drafting the new constitution, expected to take a year, ahead of fresh national polls for a government. — AFP

AMMAN: Jordan’s King Abdullah II reviews honor guards prior to the opening of the Jordanian Parliament in the capital Amman yesterday. King Abdullah II said that Arab uprisings had emphasized the need for political reform in the kingdom which would eventually lead to a system of parliamentary government. — AFP



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Croatia opposition takes firm lead ahead of vote ZAGREB: Croatia’s Social Democrat-led opposition bloc has built up a considerable lead over the ruling conservatives ahead of the Dec. 4 parliamentary election in the future European Union member state, according to a new poll. The survey, conducted on a sample of 1,000 Croats by IpsosPuls for Nova TV, a private national broadcaster, put the Alliance for Change in pole position with support of 38.8 percent six weeks before the vote. The ruling HDZ party, which has failed to overturn negative economic trends of the past two years, was a distant second with 20.3 percent despite a month of campaigning that focused on this year’s conclusion of EU membership talks and an economic

recovery programme they launched in 2010. Labour, a small leftist party demanding more welfare and workers’ rights, was above the 5 percent threshold to enter parliament. Several smaller parties are still likely to make it to parliament due to their popularity on the regional level. The survey results were consistent with others in the last two months, all of which gave the Alliance, led by Zoran Milanovic’s Social Democrats (SDP), a strong lead. But analysts said their victory should not be taken for granted just yet. “The surveys provide a psychological boost to the opposition but it is impossible to say if their results will correspond to the final election outcome

as, for example, we cannot know what the turnout will be,” said Andjelko Milardovic, a prominent political analyst. Because of Croatia’s complex electoral system, it is difficult to translate the support precisely into parliament seats. Furthermore, the HDZ can count on 35 seats reserved for Croats in Bosnia, who traditionally vote for HDZ. The HDZ government led by Jadranka Kosor launched an anti-corruption campaign that made it possible for Croatia to complete EU accession talks in June and the former Yugoslav republic should join in mid-2013. Its economy remains shaky, with modest growth seen this year and next, after two years of deep

recession. Central bank Governor Zeljko Rohatinski warned last week that Croatia’s credit rating, just one notch above speculative grade, would suffer soon unless reforms were tackled quickly. . The two main election contenders offer similar economic programmes but have been scant on details of the pace and scope of reforms analysts say are badly needed to boost the country’s competitiveness. “We don’t really know their programmes, we only know their people. For the HDZ, seeking another mandate after two in a row in which they have not done much does not look very serious,” said Ante Babic of the Centre for International Development. — Reuters

‘Dirty tricks’ row dominates Irish presidential election ‘It’s Ireland that is at stake’

MOSCOW: Young girls, cadets of a military boarding school march during a rehearsal of a military parade in Moscow, yesterday.The parade, which is scheduled on November 7, is to mark the 70th anniversary of the 1941 Moscow parade, when Red Army troops marched past the Kremlin and then went directly to the front line to fight the Nazi Germany troops at the gates of the Russian capital. — AFP

Main Basque party urges concessions for prisoners MADRID: The main Basque political party asked Spain’s government yesterday to put an end to special prison conditions that see members of armed separatist group ETA held far away from their homes. The request came after ETA last week declared an end to its armed activity following a four-decade campaign of bombings and shootings in its quest for an independent Basque homeland in northern Spain and southwest France. “ETA prisoners should have the same conditions as others,” Inigo Urkullu, leader of the Basque Nationalist Party, told reporters after meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in Madrid. Communication Minister Ramon Jauregui responded that Spain’s centre-left government will not change its stance on ETA before a general election scheduled for November 20. Right-wing opposition leader Mariano Rajoy, who is widely expected to win the election, has said he will refuse any dialogue with ETA. Some 700 ETA members are currently serving jail sentences in France and Spain.

Many of them are in prisons far away from the Basque country to stop them coordinating. ETA is blamed for the killings of more than 800 people. Urkullu said there is no need to continue with the “special measures” for its prisoners now that ETA is no longer waging an armed campaign. ETA declared last week a “definitive” end to armed activity but said nothing about giving up its weapons nor disbanding, as the Spanish government had previously demanded. The movement also called on the Spanish and French governments to hold talks with it. ETA’s announcement has raised the prospect of increased clout for Basque political groups. “Here in the Basque country, we are facing a transition from being a society that has suffered from terrorism to one that is now trying to overcome it once and for all,” Urkullu said. He called for the former political wing of ETA to recognise the armed group’s victims. “The radical left must recognise its victims and take responsibility for the violence that has been done,” he said. — AFP

Police shortfalls could threaten Congo peace KINSHASA: A lack of training and proper antiriot gear could prevent Democratic Republic of Congo’s police from keeping the peace in elections scheduled for next month, the United Nations and others have warned. The Nov. 28 polls will be the second time the Congolese have voted since the end of a war in 2003 which left millions dead, and the first time local authorities themselves have taken the lead in organising an election. Gunbattles between militias of rival candidates left hundreds dead in the capital Kinshasa after the 2006 vote, which was largely managed by international players. This time none of the presidential hopefuls have private armies, but the U.N. head of police told Reuters a lack of training and non-lethal equipment among the country’s estimated 110,000 police officers could lead to problems. “If there are spontaneous violent protests, there is certainly a risk things could get out of control,” said General Abdallah Wafy of the UN mission MONUSCO. He added the United Nations was urging police to use only “conventional” crowd control tools such as teargas and batons. The police have received help from international partners in the run-up to the elections, including the training of around 4,000 “rapid reaction” officers to head off potential trouble. “(This) progress is largely insufficient, but there are moves towards the professionalisa-

tion of some elements of the police,” Wafy said of internationally backed efforts to reform a force known for corruption and human rights abuses. Congo’s chief of police, General Charles Bisengimana, also acknowledged that efforts so far had been lacking. “Logistical support... in 2006 was hugely important. That really helped in securing the process. This time that’s not the case,” he told Reuters. “With the limited means we have, we’ll do our job properly,” Riot police wielding batons and teargas have successfully broken up regular protests in Congo’s populous and largely opposition supporting capital Kinshasa. Yet the opposition accuses some police of having used live rounds to break up marches. At least two protesters have been killed in recent clashes, including one shot dead last month. For over a month, opposition parties have seen weekly protests in Kinshasa broken up. They cite a right to peaceful protest while authorities say marches are banned in the town centre and accuse them of not controlling their supporters. Etienne Tshisekedi, candidate for the opposition UDPS and main rival to incumbent President Joseph Kabila, has called for a repeat of this year’s uprising in Tunisia if Kabila wins. This could spark serious violence after the vote, according to Philippe Biyoya, a political expert at Kinshasa university.—Reuters

NAIROBI: Suspect Elgiva Bwire Oliacha, 28, center, appears in court to face charges related to the twin grenade blasts which took place on Monday, in Nairobi, Kenya yesterday. The Kenyan suspect arrested after two grenade blasts rattled Nairobi this week pleaded guilty in court to nine charges, including causing grievous bodily harm to two people during Monday evening’s blast at a bus stop, and said that he is a member of the alQaeda-linked Somali militant group al-Shabab. — AP

DUBLIN: The frontrunner in Ireland’s presidential election, TV personality Sean Gallagher, says he is fighting off a “political assassination” attempt from his rival, ex-IRA commander Martin McGuinness. Gallagher, an entrepreneur who starred in the “Dragon’s Den” TV programme in which contestants pitch business ideas, accused McGuinness of dirty tricks as a row over a 5,000euro ($6,950) cheque dominated debate before Thursday’s vote. Sinn Fein candidate McGuinness, the former Irish Republican Army paramilitary commander who went on to become Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister, provoked the spat in the final head-to-head TV debate. He accused Gallagher of collecting the cheque from a convicted fuel smuggler on behalf of the opposition Fianna Fail party. Gallagher hit back Tuesday, denying he handled the money and accused McGuinness of a flawed attempt to knock him out of the race. At 49, Gallagher, a stocky, shaven-headed technology entrepreneur, is the youngest of the seven candidates standing to become the Irish Republic’s ninth president, a largely ceremonial role. The election throws up the intriguing prospect of McGuinness-a man who has spent has life rejecting British rule of Northern Irelandbecoming president of a country which this year

paid host to Queen Elizabeth II. McGuinness was in fourth place on 15 percent according to the final opinion poll conducted before Monday’s TV debate, which put Gallagher in the lead on 40 percent. Michael D. Higgins, a poet and former arts minister representing Labour, the junior governing coalition party, was on 25 percent. Independent Senator David Norris, the first openly gay presidential candidate, was on eight percent, and Gabriel Mitchell, a European Parliament lawmaker for Ireland’s Fine Gael senior governing coalition party, on six percent. Two other independents, Mary Davis and 1970 Eurovision Song Contest winner Dana Rosemary Scallon, were locked at three percent. After the stormy TV debate, Gallagher scrapped meet-thepeople visits on Tuesday, choosing instead to tour the broadcasters to condemn McGuinness and explain his version of events. “I stand over everything I have done as being impeccable with honesty and integrity. I refute any allegations,” he told RTE radio. “My view will not be diverted by tactics such as political assassination by Martin McGuinness or anyone else in Sinn Fein.” The convicted fuel smuggler donor had “loaded the gun and Mr McGuinness pulled the trigger”, he said. The winner of the seven-year

post is responsible for representing the republic, receiving foreign heads of state and making visits abroad to promote Irish interests and strengthen links with the large global diaspora. The new president also gets the keys to the Aras an Uachtarain, the splendid official residence in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. Second-placed Higgins has the most to gain should the donation furore dent Gallagher’s support. The veteran politician feels the momentum has now swung behind him. “It’s Ireland that is at stake,” the 70-year-old told AFP on a visit to a Gaelic-speaking school in Carlow, central Ireland. “At the end of seven years, people will look back and say ‘why did we elect such a president?’ “If questions are raised that are so fundamental in relation to transparency, they should be answered in such a way that will satisfy all the anxieties of the voting public.” More than 3.1 million people are entitled to cast their ballots in the election to replace Mary McAleese. The single transferable vote system is used, whereby voters rank their choices. Candidates are eliminated one by one and their votes redistributed until one has an absolute majority. Voting on Ireland’s remote Atlantic Ocean islands began Monday, but most of the country votes today. Counting begins Friday with a full result possible Saturday. — AFP

Russia links Chechens shot in Turkey to bombing MOSCOW: Russian investigators said yesterday they suspected two Chechens shot dead in Turkey last month of involvement in a January suicide bombing at Moscow’s biggest airport that killed 37 people. Berg-Hadj Musayev, Zaurbek Amriyev and Rustam Altemirov were shot dead on Sept. 16 in a parking lot in Istanbul, in a killing that was blamed on Russian special ser vices by a Turkish-based suppor t group for refugees from the Caucasus. Russia’s Federal Investigative Committee said it was probing the murders of Amriyev and Altemirov as part of an investigation into the suicide bombing at Domodedovo airpor t. The third Chechen, Musayev, has been closely linked to Russia’s most-wanted militant leader, Chechen-born Doku Umarov, according to, a website affiliated with the Islamist insurgency in the North Caucasus. Umarov has said on video that he organised the airport suicide bombing, which was carried out by a 20-year-old man from the Ingushetia region neighbouring Chechnya. “ The murder in September 2011 in Istanbul of Zaurbek Amriyev and Rustam Altemirov, who were on an international wanted list, is being probed,” investigators said in a statement on the Domodedovo bombing. The three Chechens were shot dead by 11 bullets fired from a pistol fitted with a silencer, Turkish media reported. Russia is grappling with an Islamist insurgency led by Umarov in its mainly Muslim North Caucasus, where rebels seeking to carve out a separate Islamic state stage neardaily shootings and bomb attacks. The United States has offered a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Umarov. Umarov has also claimed responsibility for twin attacks on the Moscow metro last year that killed at least another 40 people, as well as the derailing of a train in 2009 that killed at least 26. While Vladimir Putin was president, 2006 amendments to Russian legislation gave the president the right to order special forces to hunt down suspected “terrorists” abroad. Putin, now prime minister but seeking a return to the presidency in March, asked for such rights after four Russian diplomats were killed in Iraq. Russian intelligence has been accused of a series of killings abroad in recent years, including the 2004 murder of former Chechen rebel Zelimk han Yandarbiyev in Qatar and the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko in London. Russia’s SVR Foreign Intelligence Service declined to comment on the killings in Turkey. Russia’s powerful military intelligence, known as GRU, is so secretive it does not have a spokesman. — Reuters

MOGADISHU: Somalia President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed (C), Somalia Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali (L) and another Somalia government official attend a press conference at the Capital, Mogadishu’s presidential palace, yesterday. Somalia President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed had stated on October 24 that the military operation conducted by the Kenyan army and authorities in Somalia had been decided without his agreement. — AFP

Somali fighting worsens humanitarian crisis NAIROBI: Recent heavy fighting in Somalia including Kenya’s military assault in the south is deepening the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in the war-torn nation, aid agencies warned yesterday. Fighting has choked aid deliveries and blocked civilians trying to escape across the border into Kenya, while heavy rains have raised the risk of water-borne diseases potentially fatal for a weakened population. The United Nations estimates that 3.7 million Somalis-around one-third of the population-are on the brink of starvation and tens of thousands have already died in a country that has lacked effective government for two decades. Civilians who have already fled extreme drought are now “facing multiple displacements in the wake of the military activities,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned. “The military build-up is causing anxiety among the civilian population,” it said. “Movement of humanitarian personnel and supplies are also likely to be restricted, subsequently affecting the timely delivery of assistance to populations in need.” Kenya’s unprecedented military incursion 11 days ago, launched after attacks on its territory and the abduction of several foreigners on its soil who were taken to Somalia, stunned the region. Oxfam warned that “the situation in Somalia is increasingly alarming,” adding that famine zones are “expected to spread over the next month, including to some of the regions that are now facing further conflict.” “Kenya has legitimate security concerns, and has already welcomed a huge number of refugees, but it must continue to ensure that people can seek safety and shelter,” it said in a recent statement. Kenyan troops have pushed some 100 kilome-

tres (60 miles) into southern Somalia, areas controlled by the Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab militants, but restricting routes for civilians fleeing fighting, aid workers say. “Continued insecurity and military activities at the Somali-Kenya border have restricted movement, causing a sharp decline of Somalis entering Kenya to 100 last week, down from 3,400 week before,” OCHA said. In effect, nearly 5,000 Somalis fled into Ethiopia in the first half of October, almost twice the rate of arrivals in September, it added. But humanitarian work inside Kenya has also been restricted, especially in Dadaab-the world’s largest refugee camp with some 463,000 peoplefollowing the kidnap of two Spanish aid workers earlier this month. Their employer, Medicins Sans Frontiers (MSF, Doctors Without Borders), said it remained committed to provide healthcare to those in need, but that “the level of assistance to populations is being deeply impacted by such attacks.” The UN refugee agency says provision of food, water and critical healthcare continues but other routine activities are suspended in Dadaab. “We are trying our best to work under security constraints, but the humanitarian needs in Dadaab remain huge and the challenges are mounting,” Fafa Attidzah, UNHCR chief in Dadaab, said in a statement. Some 152,500 Somalis have registered in Dadaab camp this year alone, UNCHR says. The International Organisation for Migration said its works in Dadaab was “abruptly brought to an end” after the kidnappings, halting crucial activities including polio immunisations. Recent battles in Mogadishu against Shebab fighters have also also forced the suspension of a measles vaccination by MSF, which it warns has become “the main killer of children in Somalia” alongside malnutrition. — AFP



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Hurricane Rina barrels towards Mexico resorts NHC warns of storm surge

VATICAN: Pope Benedict XVI arrives in the Pope Paul VI hall at the Vatican to hold a pre-trip prayer service for the Catholic faithful, yesterday. The pontiff has invited Jews, Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims to a pilgrimage to the Umbrian hilltop town of Assisi, central Italy, where 25 years ago Pope John Paul II, the Dalai Lama and others spent the day praying for peace amid the Cold War. — AP

Atheists to attend Pope’s talks with religious leaders VATICAN CITY: Four leading atheist intellectuals will for the first time take part in interreligious talks in Assisi in a sign of Pope Benedict XVI’s growing interest in dialogue between “faith and reason.” French theorist and writer Julia Kristeva, Italian philosopher Remo Bodei, Mexican philosopher Guillermo Hurtado and Austrian economist Walter Baier will attend the meeting today in St. Francis of Assisi’s birthplace. Kristeva will speak just before the pope at a council attended by 300 religious leaders including Islamic, Taoist and Confucianist representatives, as well as Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, a Zoroastrian and a Bahai. The pope’s decision to invite atheists to the event, which marks the 25th anniversary of the first interreligious talks in Assisi organised by John Paul II in 1986, has surprised some cardinals. The pontiff has spoken out against “atheist extremism” and aggressive secularisation in the past-comparing it just last year to Nazi tyranny-and his apparent turnaround is likely to anger Catholic fundamentalists. “It was his idea, it’s his personal touch,” Laurent Mazas from the Pontifical Council for Culture told AFP. At the end of 2009, the pope announced his intention to open up dialogue with other religions to include “dialogue with those to whom God is unknown.” His speech has given rise to meetings between religious and atheists dubbed the “Courtyard of the Gentiles,” inspired by the idea of Christ knocking down the wall that divided Gentiles and Jews in the temple in Jerusalem.

A few courtyard meetings aimed at fostering good relations with humanists have already taken place in Paris, and the Council has organised other cultural meetings in Barcelona, Palermo, Prague, Milan, New York and Tirana. In July, the Vatican number two Tarcisio Bertone said atheists and agnostics raised legitimate questions that could help believers and “play a beneficial role in religion.” The pontiff went on to surprise some Vatican observers in a speech in Germany in September by saying agnostics who struggle with the concept of God were “closer to God’s kingdom than routine believers” with conventional faith. “The pope wants to break down the barrier between two worlds,” Mazas said. But the culture council’s head, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, admits dialogue with intellectuals who have a benevolent interest in Christianity has its limits, ignoring as it does the huge “grey zone” of people who are simply indifferent to questions of religion. Assisi’s meeting is aimed at repudiating “violence in the name of God” amid growing tensions fuelled by fundamentalists across the world. The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has also highlighted problems that religions-and atheists-can tackle together, including immigration, cultural diversity, religious liberty and defence of the family. Held in St. Francis of Assisi’s birthplace, the day of interreligious council is intended to be a “journey of reflection, dialogue and prayer for peace and justice in the world,” the Vatican said. — AFP

GREENSBORO: Former US Sen. and presidential candidate John Edwards, right, arrives with his attorneys including Abbe Lowell, left, at federal court for an appearance in Greensboro, NC, yesterday. A federal judge in North Carolina will hold a hearing yesterday in response to five motions filed by lawyers for John Edwards seeking the dismissal of the case against the former presidential candidate. — AP

CANCUN: Hurricane Rina barreled towards Cancun and other international tourist resorts yesterday on track to strengthen before slamming into Mexico’s Caribbean coast. Already packing 110 mile (175 kilometer) per hour winds, Rina was forecast to become a major category three storm before making landfall near the sprawling resort city of Cancun today. Rina was about 235 miles (380 kilometers) south of Cozumel, Mexico, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its 0900 GMT advisory. The “strong category two” hurricane was moving west at five miles (seven kilometers) per hour and was expected to dump 8-16 inches (20-40 centimeters) of rain on the eastern Yucatan peninsula from early yesterday into Friday. The NHC also warned of a storm surge of five to seven feet (over two meters) above normal sea levels. A hurricane warning was in effect for the east coast of the Yucatan peninsula from Punta Gruesa up to Cancun on the northern tip. Honduras put its Caribbean resort island of Roatan under tropical storm watch. The US State Department on Tuesday warned its nationals living or on vacation in the area to prepare for the storm, and perhaps consider leaving Mexico as flights could be disrupted once the storm starts to bear down. “Identify local shelter, monitor local media reports, and follow the instructions of local emergency officials,” it said in a travel warning. “In some areas, adequate shelter from a severe hurricane may not be available to all who choose to stay.” A Nicaraguan naval vessel that disappeared on Sunday with 29 people on board during an evacuation mission ahead of the storm was found with its occupants all “safe and sound,” officials said. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega had ordered the ship to remove people from flood-prone coastal areas but contact was lost

after four sailors had picked up 25 indigenous Miskito fishermen, the military said. The country’s civil defense chief, Lieutenant Colonel Freddy Herrera, told AFP that a shrimping boat was trawling when it chanced upon the missing navy boat and notified the authorities, who had been looking for it for two days. The naval vessel was one of three ships dis-

PLAYA DEL CARMEN: A couple stands next to a boat in Playa del Carmen beach, Quintana Roo State, mexico yesterday. Hurricane Rina gathered force Tuesday, churning towards a possible direct hit on Cancun and other busy international tourist destinations on Mexico’s resort-filled Caribbean coast. — AFP patched on Sunday by Ortega to help evacuate Miskito residents from Sandy Bay, a coastal town north of the provincial capital Bilwi. Central America is still struggling to recover from recent torrential rains that trig-

Mother’s trial begins in disputed Iowa killing FORT DODGE: Tracey Richter was hailed as a hero after fatally shooting her neighbor, telling police she was protecting her children after he and another man broke into her Iowa home. But ten years later investigators are calling her a murderer, saying the 2001 killing was a calculated attempt to frame her first husband. The starkly different visions of the mother of three will be laid out for jurors yesterday during opening statements in Richter’s first-degree murder trial. Prosecutors allege she shot 20-year-old Dustin Wehde nine times with two weapons, then falsely told police she was the victim of a home invasion. They also say she’d planted a notebook in Wehde’s car that implicated her first husband in an apparent murder-for-hire scheme. Defense attorney Scott Bandstra told potential jurors Tuesday that his client used guns she was able to get from a safe to protect her home, herself and her three children after Wehde and another man broke in and assaulted her Dec. 13, 2001. Bandstra also is expected to suggest yesterday that investigators failed to follow leads that could have identified the alleged second intruder - who prosecutors say doesn’t exist. Richter, 45, was introduced to jurors Tuesday wearing a black sweater and a white dress shirt, not the orange jail jumpsuit she wore at previous hearings. Six men and six women were selected to hear the case. Wehde was found dead in the bedroom of Richter’s home in Early, a small town about 100 miles northwest of Des Moines. Richter has long acknowledged she was the shooter, insisting she acted to protect her children, ages 11, 3 and 1, who were home with her while her second husband was away on business. No second intruder was ever found, and the investigation stalled in the years after the shootings. No charges were filed. But the Division of Criminal Investigation took a fresh look at the case in 2008 and devel-

oped new evidence, including a forensic expert who concluded the final three shots came as Wehde was face down on the ground. Investigators said not only did the new evidence disprove Richter’s claims of selfdefense, it also provided a strange motive: She was trying to frame an ex-husband she had feuded with for years. District Judge Kurt L. Wilke said the trial is expected to last more than one week at the Webster County courthouse in Fort Dodge, where the case was moved after the defense argued Richter could not get a fair trial near Early. Richter, a Chicago native, moved to Early with her second husband Michael Roberts in the late 1990s. Michael Roberts and Richter have since divorced and feuded over child support, custody and related issues. He wrote in an email to The Associated Press that he thinks Wehde, a loner who had gone to church and played paintball with the family, was “simply a prop” used by Richter in a scheme to frame her first husband. After they filed for divorce in 2004, she later suggested Roberts also could have been involved in the home invasion. Investigators said they found a pink notebook in the front seat of Wehde’s car days after the shooting, and it’s expected to be a key piece of evidence at the trial. In it, Wehde wrote he was hired by a “mysterious fellow” named John Pitman, a Virginia plastic surgeon whose divorce with Richter was finalized in 1996, to kill her and her 11-yearold son, Bert. Investigators have said that while the entry was in Wehde’s handwriting, they never believed it was credible or that Wehde was actually a hit man, and they kept the existence of the notebook and its contents a secret. Investigators said an acquaintance of Pitman later came forward and said Richter told her shortly after the shooting that authorities had found the notebook and would soon be arresting Pitman. — AP

Former UN inspector due in court in sex case STROUDSBURG: A former UN weapons inspector convicted in an online sex sting is scheduled to appear in a nor theastern Pennsylvania courtroom yesterday and may learn his sentence. Scott Ritter, 50, of Delmar, N.Y., exchanged explicit messages with a detective posing as a 15-year-old girl, then performed a sex act on himself in front of a webcam. He testified in his own defense at his April trial that he believed the person he met in a Yahoo chat room in 2009 was an adult acting out her own fantasy. A Monroe County jury convicted Ritter on six counts, including unlawful contact with a minor. Ritter is expected to ask for a new trial yesterday, basing his request on an appeals court ruling in New York that records from previous incidents in that state should not have been unsealed and

given to prosecutors in Pennsylvania to be used at his trial. The Monroe County district attorney’s office said the New York ruling has no bearing on Ritter’s conviction and wants him sentenced immediately. Ritter was one of the UN’s chief weapons inspectors in Iraq from 1991 to 1998. He resigned after accusing the United States and the UN of failing to get tough with Saddam Hussein. Later, he said that Iraq had destroyed its weapons of mass destruction, and he became a vocal critic of the US invasion. Ritter was charged in New York a decade ago with trying to lure an undercover police officer posing as a 16-year-old girl to a restaurant. The charges were later dropped, and he said in 2003 that the case was designed to silence his war criticism. — AP

gered deadly flooding and landslides, swamped huge swathes of farmland, and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. More than 120 people across the region were killed, including 39 in Guatemala, 34 in El Salvador, 29 in Honduras, 16 in Nicaragua and five in Costa Rica. Rina is the sixth hurri-

FAIRFAX: Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (C) campaigns at the headquarters of the Fairfax County Republican Committee yesterday in Fairfax, Virginia. Romney campaigned with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and thanked phone bank volunteers for their efforts in an upcoming state election. — AFP

cane and 17th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30. After passing near or over Mexico, it is forecast to weaken as it spins towards Cuba and Florida. - AFP

Oakland tense after police, protesters clash OAKLAND: The scene was tense early yesterday as a crowd of hundreds of protesters dwindled to just a few dozen at the site of several clashes between authorities and supporters of the Occupy Wall Street movement a night earlier. Police in riot gear stood watch only a few yards away from a group of stalwart demonstrators in the aftermath of skirmishes in front of City Hall that resulted in five volleys of tear gas from police, in blasts that seemed to intensify with each round, over a roughly three-hour stretch of evening scuffles. The conflict began much earlier in the day when police dismantled an encampment of Occupy Wall Street protesters that had dominated a plaza across the street from the government building for more than two weeks. Police fired tear gas and beanbag rounds, clearing out the makeshift city in less than an hour. Hours after nightfall Tuesday evening, protesters had gathered at a downtown library and began marching toward City Hall in an attempt to re-establish a presence in the area of the disbanded camp. They were met by police officers in riot gear. Several small skirmishes broke out and officers cleared the area by firing tear gas. The scene repeated itself several times just a few blocks away in front of the plaza, where police set up behind metal barricades, preventing protesters from gaining access to the site. Tensions would build as protesters edged ever closer to the police line and reach a breaking point with a demonstrator hurling a bottle or rock, prompting police to respond with another round of gas. The chemical haze hung in the air for hours, new blasts clouding the air before the previous fog could dissipate. The number of protesters diminished with each round of tear gas. Police estimated that there were roughly 1,000 demonstrators at the first clash following the march. About 200 remained after the final conflict around 11:15 PDT, mostly young adults, some riding bicycles, protecting themselves from the noxious fumes with bandanas and scarves wrapped around their faces. Police have denied reports that they used flash bang canisters to help break up the crowds, saying the loud noises came from large firecrackers thrown at police by protesters. Helicopters scanned the area late Tuesday and scores of officers wearing helmets and carrying clubs patrolled the streets. Fire crews put out small blazes in trash containers. Protesters moved about uneasily even as one used a bull horn to express his resolve. “This movement is more than just the people versus the police,” Mario Fernandez said. “It’s about the people trying to have their rights to basic services.” He added, “This crowd isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.” Acting Police Chief Howard Jordan told reporters at a late night news conference that authorities had no other choice, saying the protesters were throwing rocks and bottles at officers. “We had to deploy gas to stop the crowd,” he said, according to a KCBS report. City officials say that two officers were injured. At least five protesters were arrested and several others injured in the evening clashes. In the morning raid authorities removed about 170 demonstrators who had been staying in the area overnight after repeatedly being warned that such a camp was illegal and they faced arrest by remaining. City officials said 97 people were arrested. Protesters promised to reconvene yesterday morning. Police, meanwhile, remained in riot gear standing watch. The Oakland site was among numerous camps that have sprung up around the country as protesters rally against what they see as corporate greed and a wide range of other economic issues. The protests have attracted a wide range of people, including college students looking for work and the homeless. In Oakland, tensions between the city and protesters have been escalating since last week as officials complained about what they described as deteriorating safety, sanitation and health issues at the site of the dismantled camp. — AP



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Taleban commanders say Pakistan intelligence helps them LONDON: Pakistan’s security service provides weapons and training to Taleban insurgents fighting US and British troops in Afghanistan, despite official denials, Taleban commanders say, in allegations that could worsen tensions between Pakistan and the United States. A number of middle-ranking Taleban commanders revealed the extent of Pakistani support in interviews for a BBC Two documentar y series, “Secret Pakistan”, the first part of which was being broadcast yesterday. A former head of Afghan intelligence also told the programme that Afghanistan gave Pakistan’s former president, Gen. Per vez Musharraf, information in 2006 that Osama bin Laden was hiding in northern Pakistan close to where the former al Qaeda leader was eventually killed by US special forces in May.

Admiral Mike Mullen, then the top US military officer, accused Pakistani intelligence last month of backing violence against US targets including the US Embassy in Kabul. He said the Haqqani network, an Afghan militant gro u p b l a m e d fo r t h e S e p t . 1 3 embassy attack, was a “veritable arm” of Pa k i s t a n’s I n te r - S e r v i ce s I ntelligence agenc y (ISI). Pak istan d e n i e s t h e U S a l l e g a t i o n s. O n e Taleban commander, Mullah Qaseem, told the BBC the important things for a fighter were supplies and a hiding place. “Pakistan plays a significant role. First they support us by providing a place to hide which is really important. S e co n d l y t h e y p rov i d e u s w i t h we a p o n s,” h e s a i d, a cco rd i n g to excerpts provided by the BBC. Other Taleban commanders described how they and their fighters were, and are,

t r a i n e d i n a n e t wo r k o f c a m p s o n Pakistani soil. According to a commander using the name Mullah Azizullah, the e x p e r t s r u n n i n g t h e t r a i n i n g a re either members of the ISI or have close links to it. “They are all the ISI’s men. They are the ones who run the training. First they train us about bombs; then they give us practical guidance,” he said. Another Taleban fighter, known as Co m m a n d e r N a j i b, s a i d a l Q a e d a trainers also operated in the camps, talent spotting possible suicide bombers. “I was in the camp for a month ... They were giving us practical training in whatever weapons we specialised in ... Suicide bombers were taken to a different section and were kept apart from us. Those who were taught to be suicide bombers were there,” he said.

A former head of Afghan intelligence told the BBC Afghan officials gave Musharraf information in 2006 suggesting bin Laden was hiding in Mansehra, a town just 12 miles (20 k m ) f ro m A b b o t t a b a d, w h e re b i n Laden was killed by US forces in May, but that the information was not acted upon. Amrullah Saleh, head of Afghan intelligence from 2004 to 2010, said Syed Akbar, a Pakistani believed to be smuggling guns to the Taleban, told Afghan intelligence he had escorted bin Laden from one location to another. “The information we had was sugg e s t i n g M a n s e h r a w a s t h e tow n where bin Laden was hiding ... It happens af ter so many years that bin Laden was about 12 miles from that location,” he said. Saleh and Afghan President Hamid Karzai took the evidence to Musharraf

w h o, a cco rd i n g to S a l e h , re a c te d angrily. “He (Musharraf ) banged the table and looked at President Karzai and said, ‘Am I president of a banana republic? If not, then how can you tell me bin Laden is hiding in a settled area of Pakistan’. I said ‘Well, this is the information s o yo u c a n g o a n d c h e c k i t .’,” s a i d Saleh, who quit last year after disagreeing with Karzai over plans to talk to the Taleban. Th e B B C s a i d Pa k i s t a n s t ro n g l y denied the allegations made in the programme. Gen. Athar Abbas, director general of the Inter Services public relations and official spokesman for the Pakistan military, told the BBC: “To say that these militant groups were being supported by the state with the organised camps in these areas ... I think nothing could be further from the truth.” — Reuters

Karzai to announce second round of NATO transition Some districts will be phased over to local control

KABUL: Afghans check a car which was destroyed following an explosion in a fuel tanker in Parwan province, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, yesterday. A bomb hidden inside a fuel truck in a central Afghan province exploded as scores of people gathered around the vehicle to collect fuel that was leaking, killing at least five in a blast that shattered a period of relative quiet in the war-ravaged nation, officials said yesterday.—AP

Afghan fuel tanker blast kills 10, injures 25 KABUL: At least 10 people were killed and two dozen wounded yesterday when a fuel truck supplying one of the largest US-run bases in Afghanistan erupted in flames after being bombed, an official said. A magnet bomb stuck on the side of the civilianoperated tanker blasted a hole in the fuel truck.“When people gathered around it to collect the pooling fuel, a bigger explosion took place,” said Parwan provincial spokeswoman Roshna Khalid, who confirmed the truck was bound for NATO base Bagram north of Kabul. It was not clear what caused the second explosion. “Ten people are dead and 25 others injured,” Parwan governor Basir Salangi told AFP, condemning the attack as “an act of terror ”. A Parwan hospital spokesman said it received three dead and 35 injured. Khalid initially gave a toll of 50 dead or wounded. Mud graves were dug at the roadside for the dead as residents flocked to inspect the charred remains of the truck and the wreckage of several cars and motorbikes caught in the blast, an AFP reporter at the scene said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. In northwest Pakistan, Taleban and other Islamist militants routinely blow up NATO tankers carrying fuel from the Arabian Sea to US-led troops in landlocked Afghanistan. Parwan is expected to be part of a second wave of transition from NATO to Afghan control which President Hamid Karzai will announce at a regional conference in Istanbul on

November 2. Violence has increased in northern Afghanistan, but the region has been spared the worst fighting in the 10-year war, with most Taliban attacks concentrated on NATO and Afghan troops in the southern and eastern regions. There appears to have been a spike in attacks in the north since last month’s assassination of government peace broker Burhanuddin Rabbani, a former president and key leader in the ethnic Tajik and Uzbek Northern Alliance. On Sunday, a suicide bomber targeted Interior Minister Bismullah Khan as he travelled through Parwan. On October 15, four Taleban bombers killed two men at a US-run development base in the first suicide attack of the war in the province of Panjshir. The interior minister is an ethnic Tajik former anti-Soviet commander who fought the Taleban alongside Afghanistan’s northern hero Ahmad Shah Masood and was appointed to his cabinet post in June last year. The Taleban, dominated by ethnic Pashtuns, have so far shown little willingness to talk peace despite various overtures by Western and Afghan brokers, 10 years since the US-led invasion ousted them from power. Istanbul and another international conference in Bonn, Germany in December are aimed at stepping up efforts to end the conflict as Western voters tire of the long war that has cost billions of dollars and thousands of lives. — AFP

NATO helicopters violate air space PESHAWAR: Pakistani officials yesterday accused NATO helicopters of violating Pak istan’s air space over the Taleban and Haqqani stronghold of North Waziristan, along the Afghan border. “Two helicopters intruded several kilometres inside Pakistan territory in Datta Khel town around 2:00 am (2100 GMT Tuesday),” a military official told AFP, speak ing on condition of anonymity. The helicopters flew in from the eastern Afghan province of Paktia and circled the border village of Zoi Nara for more than five minutes, the official in the provincial capital Peshawar said. But a spokesman for NATO’s US-led International Security Assistance Force told AFP that their “operational reporting” showed that no ISAF helicopter crossed the border, which is unmarked in many places. A Pakistani military official said the choppers left after “warning shots” were fired by Pakistan troops. Officials said they were not attack helicopters. Dildar Khan, a tribal police official in Datta Khel, said the helicopters flew at a relatively low altitude and returned after the warning shots. Militants are dug in on both sides of the border and US Secretary of State

Hillar y Clinton last week called on Pakistan to do more to squeeze militant havens on its territory, particularly those of the Haqqani network. NATO said Monday that 200 Taliban-linked militants were killed or captured in military operations lasting about a week along the border designed to hit the insurgency hard ahead of the winter, when rebels retreat to hideouts. NATO commanders in Afghanistan have reported a huge increase in rocket attacks from Pakistani territory over the summer. Pakistani officials have also complained about an increase in cross-border attacks from Afghanistan. In the tribal district of Bajaur, officials said an anti-Taleban elder was killed by mortar rounds fired across the border from Afghanistan. At least six mortar shells landed in Zarri village in Mamound district, 45 kilometres (28 miles) nor thwest of Khar, the main town in Bajaur, local administration official Shah Nasim told AFP. “A tribal elder Malik Rehman was killed when one shell hit his house,” Nasim said. An intelligence official said the shells were fired from Afghan province Kunar and that Rehman was member of a government-sponsored anti-Taleban milita. — AFP

KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai will next month announce up to 17 new areas transferring from NATO to local control, moving ahead with plans for Afghanistan to take responsibility for security by 2014. The second phase of handover is part of plans for the US-led Western coalition to gradually draw down troops and end the war after more than a decade, as officials search for negotiation opportunities with the Taleban. A list of seven entire provinces and 10 other provinces where some districts will be phased over to local control, will be announced by Karzai at a regional conference in Istanbul, said the local governance directorate. Badakhshan, Badghis, Balkh, Daykundi, Ghazni, Ghor, Helmand, Herat, Kabul, Laghman, Nangarhar, Nimroz, Parwan, Samangan, Sar-ipul, Takhar and Wardak provinces are likely to be named. Most of Herat and Kabul were handed over to Afghan control in a first wave of transition in July, but some districts remain under NATO’s remit. Karzai “will announce the names of the provinces... at Istanbul conference on November 2,” Abdul

Khaliq Farahi, director of the Independent Directorate of Local Governance, told governors gathered at a meeting in Kabul. But questions remain over the handover and Farahi gave no indication about when the second phase of transition would begin or how long it would take. The first phase, this summer, was heralded as a success by officials, but the process has not been smooth, with insurgents continuing to bomb those areas and staging high-profile complex attacks in the capital Kabul. Significantly, once-peaceful Panjshir, a hotbed of anti-Taliban resistance, was hit this month by its first suicide bombing of the war, while unrest dogs the transferred capital of southern Helmand province, Lashkar Gar. Although there is widespread criticism of the Afghan army and police, and their ability to stand alone, NATO insists the handovers are only the beginning of a twoyear process before Afghans can assume full control of each area. Defence ministr y spokesman General Zahir Azimi said the ambitious second phase focused on areas where there is currently a

large international presence. “Definitely we will start the second phase with complete preparation,” he insisted to reporters at a press conference. Istanbul will gather regional leaders in an attempt to further peace efforts to end the Taleban-led insurgency after 10 years, the deaths of thousands of troops and civilians, and a war bill of billions of dollars. The phased transition from foreign to Afghan control across the war-torn countr y is par t of a timetable set to withdraw all USled NATO combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, leaving the Afghans in charge. Farahi said leaders from the likely areas for transition would be consulted about their views and concerns yesterday, which could lead to the removal of some troubled districts from the list. But the names of the provinces are unlikely to be changed, he said. The entire province of Parwan, where a fuel tanker was bombed overnight, leading to the deaths of 10 people, would be part of the second phase. Other provinces likely to be handed over in their entirety are

Balk h, Daykundi, Nimroz, Samangan, Sar-i-pul and Takhar. Parwan is considered generally peaceful and is home to Bagram, one of the biggest US-run bases in Afghanistan. “Parwan is prepared, there is no problem. We are ready to take security responsibility for the entire province,” said provincial governor Basir Salangi, branding the truck bomb an “act of terror”. Kabul city was handed over in 2008, with most of the wider province handed over in July. But the next phase would see the transition of the final district of Sarobi, where French-led forces have been fighting. Laghman province has long been troubled by insurgents, particularly by the Hezb-e-Islami faction led by former prime minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. The provincial capital, Mehtar Lam, was handed over in July. Only Qarghayi district would be ready for the next handover, according to a list of the new locations obtained by AFP. “I’m very happy and confident that Laghman is included in the second phase of transition. Yes, we are ready,” said provincial governor Iqbal Azizi. — AFP

Pakistan extends detention of militant leader ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has extended the detention by 60 days of a leader of the country’s most extreme Sunni Muslim terror group wanted over sectarian killings, an official said yesterday. Malik Ishaq, a founder of the feared Lashkar-e-Jhangvi group, was initially put under house arrest, then sent to Rahim Yar Khan jail in central Punjab province on September 25 for 30 days. “The authorities have extended his detention for another 60 days,” jail superintendent Shahid Naeem Sheikh told AFP by telephone. “We received a notification from the Punjab government after the expiry of the previous order on Tuesday,” he said. His detention has been extended in the interest of public order and to preempt any sectarian strife, Sheikh said. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is regarded as the most extreme Sunni terror group in the Sunni Muslim-majority country and is accused of killing hundreds of Shiite Muslims after its emergence in the early 1990s. It was banned by then president Pervez Musharraf in 1999. Ishaq was also accused of masterminding, from behind bars, the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore which wounded seven players and an assistant coach, and killed eight Pakistanis. But he has been acquitted in 34 cases against him and granted bail in the remaining 10, official documents said. Rights groups say a lack of action from the government has emboldened sectarian militant groups, blamed for the deaths of thousands in past years. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi also played a key role in the 2002 kidnap and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl and in twin failed assassination bids on key US ally Musharraf in December 2003. — AFP

PESHAWAR: Pakistani investigators examine the site of an explosion in Peshawar, Pakistan yesterday. A bomb planted in a shop went off injuring six people, police said. — AP

PERTH: Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard (L) meets Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa during a bilateral summit ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM) in Perth yesterday. CHOGM will be opened by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II tomorrow. — AFP

No plans to move 2013 summit from Sri Lanka PERTH: Australia yesterday assured Sri Lanka there were no plans to strip it of hosting rights to Commonwealth talks in 2013 over war crimes allegations, but called for a UN probe into the claims. Prime Minister Julia Gillard raised the accusations in bilateral talks with President Mahendra Rajapakse in Perth ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which opens tomorrow. Speaking ahead of the meeting, Gillard told reporters: “I have been clear about Australia’s position in relation to allegations of human rights abuse in Sri Lanka. We believe that this is a serious question.” As a lawyer’s group said it had new evidence showing Sri Lankan troops committed war crimes in 2009, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said the UN Human Rights Council must examine whether atrocities occurred. He also said Sri Lanka, which strongly denies any wrongdoing by government forces, should investigate the claims as part of its own Reconciliation Commission report, due out next month. “It is of fundamental importance that the upcoming Reconciliation Commission report deal with various questions which have now been raised in the UN report on allegations of human rights abuses in Sri Lanka,” Rudd said. “Australia’s national position is that the Human Rights Council also needs to revisit its earlier deliberations on this matter.” The war crimes claims centre on Sri Lanka’s final push against Tamil Tiger separatists in 2009, when it is alleged government forces killed tens of thousands of civilians. Commonwealth countries such as Australia

and Canada have been vocal in their calls for Sri Lanka to investigate, placing the issue high on the agenda at the 54-nation grouping’s twoyearly meeting. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has threatened to boycott the next CHOGM summit, scheduled to be held in Colombo in 2013, unless Sri Lanka takes action. Gillard declined to back Harper’s boycott call and said there were no plans to relocate the 2013 meeting. “My understanding is there is no intention to revisit the question of hosting of the next CHOGM meeting,” she said. Rudd said all countries attending the meeting of mainly former British colonies in Perth were free to raise concerns with Sri Lanka individually. The International Commission of Jurists’ Australian chapter said Wednesday it had received fresh photographic evidence of atrocities, including the alleged execution and degradation of female victims. “(It) deals with executions, it deals with (crimes) such as shooting through the forehead ... it deals with the exposure of women’s bodies, presumably after death, and it deals with other evidence showing Sri Lankan army officials and officers,” IJC Australian chief John Dowd told reporters in Sydney. Dowd said the photographs, collected by an Australian union official, had been forwarded to police. An ethnic Tamil living in Australia, Arunachalam Jegatheeswaran, this week tried to launch a war crimes case against Rajapakse in a Melbourne court, but officials quashed the action, citing laws that protect visiting heads of state. — AFP


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Sri Lankan refugee ‘poisons’ himself in Australia SYDNEY: A Sri Lankan man died in Australian immigration detention, officials said Tuesday, with refugee advocates claiming he killed himself with poison after being refused permission to attend a Hindu festival. The man died shortly after midnight at Sydney Immigration Residential Housing-a family compound adjacent to the Villawood detention centre in western Sydney-after being found in a distressed state, officials said. His death comes as leaders from 54 Commonwealth countries, including Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, arrive in Australia for a summit set to discuss the plight of asylum-seekers and other human rights issues. Refugee advocates said the man, an ethnic Tamil aged in his mid-20s, had been granted asylum in Australia several

months ago but was awaiting a background security check before he could be freed. He had been in detention for over two years and had repeatedly requested permission to live in the community while his application was processed, according to Ian Rintoul from the Refugee Action Coalition. Rintoul said the man had taken poison after receiving a letter refusing him permission to be temporarily released to celebrate Diwali, the biggest festival in the Hindu calendar which is marked across South Asia. “Tragically, he had witnessed three other successful suicides in Villawood,” Rintoul said. “How absolutely tragic, but how telling, that an accepted refugee could feel despair enough to take their own life in a detention centre.” Immigration Minister Chris Bowen confirmed the

man had been accepted as a refugee but authorities were reviewing whether he was a “risk to national security” and he was not considered a candidate for community release in the meantime. “This was a long, involved, complex and protracted case,” he told reporters. Bowen said the man’s request to join a friend for Diwali celebrations had been refused and he had received counselling whilst in detention for trauma and torture. “There is always a risk of self harm for people in difficult circumstances, whether they be in detention or not,” he said. “So obviously that will always be a concern in relation to people who are having their claims for asylum processed.” Bowen could not comment on the claims of poisoning, saying the cause of death was a matter for police and “no doubt” a coronial inquest. It is the seventh death in immigration detention in the past

year. Australia’s top medical body warned last month that even children were attempting to take their own lives and self-harming in the riot-plagued centres. The government has ordered an investigation into reports that incidents of self-harm have surged 12-fold in the past year as waiting times ballooned due to a surge in boatloads of asylum-seekers arriving in Australia. A government inquiry is examining Australia’s mandatory detention of refugees, which has been criticised by human rights groups including the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR. Canberra announced that it would release more people into the community this month after failing to secure political support for its refugee swap deal with Malaysia, which would also have seen boatpeople processed in Papua New Guinea. — AFP

Panetta pledges US ‘nuclear umbrella’ for South Korea ‘Working together will deter North’s aggression’

SEOUL: South Korea’s ruling Grand National Party Chairman Hong Joon-pyo, center, and his party members watch a TV broadcasting of the election exit polls for Seoul mayor at the party headquarters in Seoul, yesterday. — AP

Voters in Seoul go to polls in political test SEOUL: Millions of residents from South Korea’s capital went to the polls yesterday to choose a new mayor, in a vote seen as a key test of sentiment before parliamentary and presidential elections next year. Voters in the city of 10.4 million were choosing between an opposition-backed civic activist standing as an independent and a prominent female politician from the conservative ruling party. Supporters of activist Park Won-Soon are hoping for a high turnout, which would indicate that the political novice has galvanised his younger support base into voting. Despite a brisk initial turnout, by 3 pm (0600 GMT) 32.2 percent had cast ballots compared to 39.9 percent at the same time in last year’s mayoral election. With parliamentary polls just six months away, the ruling Grand National Party (GNP) and the left-leaning Democratic Party (DP) threw all their resources into the fiercely-contested race. But analysts say support for the independent appears to reflect disenchantment with both major parties. “There is massive voter distrust of existing political parties and equally massive hope for a new, alternative leadership,” said Kim Yong-Ho, a professor of politics at Incheon’s Inha University. Opinion polls last week showed Park neck-and-neck with the GNP’s Na KyungWon. Her party holds both the presidency and a large parliamentary majority. It also held the Seoul mayoralty until Oh Se-Hoon stepped down in August over a bungled referendum. Apart from the upcoming general election, the mayoral race will also test sentiment before the December 2012 presidential vote, after two top potential contenders for the highest office backed rival mayoral camps.

Ahn Cheol-Soo, a software mogul who became an overnight political sensation when he expressed interest in running for mayor, later bowed out and gave his backing to Park. Supporting Na is another high-profile female politician, Park Geun-Hye. She has long been seen as the GNP front-runner in the next presidential poll. Ted Park, a 29-year-old office worker, said he had voted for civic activist Park despite his lack of political experience, to “express anger at the GNP”. He cited its perceived cuts in welfare spending and tax policies which he said favoured the rich. “I might not have voted for Park had I not hated the ruling party so much... but I strongly believe today should be a judgement day for the GNP,” he told AFP. A 48-year-old housewife who declined to be named said she had voted for Na. “I think Park merely got the right time and opportunity even though he wasn’t ready. I don’t think the opposing party should support just anyone for the sake of winning against the GNP,” she said at a polling station in Jongno district. Amid strong public interest in the election, the National Election Commission said its website was hit by a suspected DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack for about two hours Wednesday morning, prompting the police to launch an investigation. North Korea, which habitually heaps criticism on the GNP, urged Seoul voters to “bring about new politics” by voting against it. “ The S outh Koreans who want something new have nothing to expect from the South Korean ruling forces,” said ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun. Voting ends at 8 pm (1100 GMT ), with early results expec ted around midnight. — AFP

Vietnam, Philippines eye alliance in Spratlys row MANILA: The Philippine and Vietnamese presidents met yesterday to oversee the signing of agreements that would allow their navies and coast guards to better monitor and respond to emergencies in and near the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. President Benigno Aquino III and President Truong Tan Sang, who arrived for a three-day state visit, were also to discuss proposals to involve other countries, and possibly the United Nations, in seeking a solution to the disputes over the islands, which they claim along with four other countries, including China. “We’re trying to see if a common, united approach can be had between our two countries in terms of the claims that we both have in the West Philippines Sea,” Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said, referring to the new name Manila uses for the South China Sea. China wants bilateral negotiations with other claimant countries in trying to resolve the dispute over the potentially resource-rich Spratlys and has rejec ted any role by non- claimant countries like the United States. Aquino was to propose that the Philippines and Vietnam work together to raise the

territorial conflicts in international forums, including at an annual summit nex t month of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Indonesia, according to Philippine documents listing topics the leaders would tackle. That event will also be attended by the United States, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. Both sides would also sign an accord to intensify information-sharing between the two countries’ navies to allow them to better respond to natural calamities and carry out “maritime security operations,” according to the Philippine documents. Another agreement would set up a hotline between the countries’ coast guards and marine police to strengthen their capability to monitor “maritime incidents,” protect their marine resources, prevent smuggling, drug trafficking, illegal immigration and piracy, the documents said. The Philippines and Vietnam have accused Chinese vessels of repeatedly intruding this year into Spratlys areas that they claim and of disrupting oil explorations well within their territorial waters. China has denied the accusations and reiterated its claim to the entire South China Sea. — AP

SEOUL: Defense Secretar y Leon Panetta pledged yesterday to keep a “nuclear umbrella” over close ally South Korea to deter threats from its neighbour, as he visited a day after US talks with North Korea ended. Panetta, on the last leg of an Asian tour which also took him to Indonesia and Japan, was later in the day to meet troops at the huge Yongsan US army base in central Seoul. US forces have been based in the South since the end of the 1950-53 war with the North, with 28,500 currently stationed in the country. The Pentagon chief, in an article in yesterday’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper, reaffirmed the commitment to defend the South-which accuses the North of two border attacks last year that cost a total of 50 lives. “Working together, our militaries will continue to deter North Korean aggression, and stand prepared to defeat the North should it ever force war upon us,” Panetta wrote. “It is important to send this signal because North Korea remains a serious threat. Pyongyang has demonstrated its willingness to conduct provocations that target innocent lives.” The North also defied the international community by bolstering its nuclear and missile capabilities, he said in the article, which appeared after US and North Korean negotiators met in Geneva to discuss a possible resumption of disarmament talks. Panetta said the US and South Korea are developing capabilities to address the North’s ballistic missile threats, and strengthening operational planning. In addition, the US “will ensure a strong and effective nuclear umbrella over the ROK (South Korea) so that Pyongyang never misjudges our will and capability to respond decisively to nuclear aggression”. Panetta during his three-day visit will stress the two countries’ capability to deter provocations and to defeat the North if deterrence fails,

a senior defence official travelling with the secretary told reporters. He would also share views with his counterparts on the Geneva meeting, which was part of a recent flurry of diplomacy designed to revive six-nation talks on the North’s nuclear disarmament. South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak yesterday met with visiting Chinese Vice-Premier Li Keqiang, who earlier this week had held talks with the North’s leader Kim Jong-Il in Pyongyang. US and North Korean officials had held talks Monday and Tuesday in Geneva, their second such meeting in three months. Chief US envoy Stephen Bosworth described discussions as “very positive and generally constructive” but cautioned that not all differences could be quickly overcome. The North quit the

six-party forum in April 2009, a month before staging its second atomic weapons test. It has since repeatedly said it wants to return without preconditions to the negotiations grouping the two Koreas, the US, China, Russia and Japan. Washington and its allies say Pyongyang must first take action to show its sincerity, such as shutting down a uranium enrichment plant that could be converted to make nuclear weapons. The official said it was important to ensure that US defence and security policy was aligned with the diplomatic process. “Our experience is that our North Korean friends go through cycles of diplomatic engagement and provocation. We need to be prepared for how that cycle may play itself out in the next turn.” — AFP

SEOUL: US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta talks with US military soldiers at Yongsan US military base in Seoul, South Korea, yesterday. Panetta visited US military base to encourage the US troops. — AP

China rejects US praise, arms sales to Taiwan BEIJING: China yesterday criticised US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta for praising Beijing’s measured reaction to the latest US arms sales to Taiwan, repaying his compliment by saying the deal was “unprofessional”. Past US arms sales to Taiwan have prompted Beijing to temporarily cut-off ties with the US military, as happened after last year’s $6.4 billion arms package. China deems the selfruled island an illegitimate breakaway from Beijing’s rule that must accept eventual reunification. But last month’s US announcement of a $5.85 billion arms package for Taiwan, including upgrades to F-16 A/B fighter aircraft, has been different, with China handling it in a “professional and diplomatic way”, Panetta said. Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun begged to differ. “Frankly, if I may borrow Mr Panetta’s words, I think the way the United States handles certain issues in SinoUS relations is neither professional nor diplomatic,” he told a news briefing in Beijing. The United States had not abided by prom-

ises to reduce and ultimately stop arms sales to Taiwan, once more damaging China’s core interests, Yang said, according to a transcript posted on the ministry’s website. “An important precondition for the stable development of Sino-US military relations is the respect and consideration shown towards each other’s core interests and important areas of concern,” he said. Meanwhile, China’s top lawmakers are considering granting police powers to make more frequent citizen ID checks, state media said yesterday, sparking criticism from rights lawyers. A draft legal amendment being debated this week would allow police to check people’s identity documents at train stations, airports and major events, the Global Times daily said. Under current law, police may only check a Chinese citizen’s identity card in an emergency or if the person is suspected of a crime. Public Security Vice Minister Yang Huanning said the proposal being considered this week by the National People’s Congress

MANILA: This handout photo taken on October 26, 2011 and released by Malacanang Photo Bureau (MPB) shows Philippine President Benigno Aquino (standing R) and his Vietnamese counterpart Truong Tan Sang (standing L) looking at Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario (seated R) and Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh signing bilateral agreements during a ceremony at Malacanang Palace in Manila. Sang is here for a three-day state visit. — AFP

Standing Committee was designed to maintain public security in today’s “complicated environment”. But some Chinese lawyers said the amendment, if passed, would give police too much power and violate individual rights. “The (proposed) change to resident identity cards law is really a rollback to the rule of law,” said Li Jinsong, who was previously detained by police for his work with renowned Chinese rights activist Hu Jia. “In some places, police and local governments work together to harass people,” Beijingbased human rights lawyer Li Fangping told AFP. “The amendment could make the law more unfair.” The draft amendment also would see fingerprints added to next-generation ID cards in an effort to make them harder to forge. The meeting of the Standing Committee ends on Saturday. The group of leading Communist Party legislators has the power to pass amendments on their own, while the broader National People’s Congress is not in session. — Agencies

SEOUL: South Korean Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik, right, meets with Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang before their meeting at Government House in Seoul, South Korea, yesterday. — AP



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NEWS NYPD shadows Muslims who change names Bangkok faces massive floods Continued from Page 1 entire Muslim neighborhoods, chronicling every aspect of daily life, including where people eat, pray and get their hair cut. Police infiltrated dozens of mosques and Muslim student groups and investigated hundreds more. Monitoring name changes illustrates how the threat of terrorism now casts suspicion over what historically has been part of America’s story. For centuries, immigrants have Americanized their names in New York. The Roosevelts were once the van Rosenvelts. Fashion designer Ralph Lauren was born Ralph Lifshitz. Donald Trump’s grandfather changed the family name from Drumpf. David Cohen, the NYPD’s intelligence chief, worried that would-be terrorists could use their new names to lie low in New York, current and former officials recalled. Reviewing name changes was intended to identify people who either Americanized their names or took Arabic names for the first time, said the officials, who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the program. NYPD spokesman Paul Browne did not respond to messages left over two days asking about the legal justification for the program and whether it had identified any terrorists. The goal was to find a way to spot terrorists like Daood Gilani and Carlos Bledsoe before they attacked. Gilani, a Chicago man, changed his name to the unremarkable David Coleman Headley to avoid suspicion as he helped plan the 2008 terrorist shooting spree in Mumbai, India. Bledsoe, of Tennessee, changed his name to Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad in 2007 and, two years later, killed one soldier and wounded another in a shooting at a recruiting station in Little Rock, Arkansas. Sometime around 2008, state court officials began sending the NYPD information about new name changes, said Ron Younkins, the court’s chief of operations. The court regularly sends updates to police, he said. The information is all public, and he said the court was not aware of how police used it. The NYPD program began as a purely analytical exercise, according to documents and interviews. Police reviewed the names received from the court and selected some for background checks that included city, state and federal criminal databases as well as federal immigration and Treasury Department databases that identified foreign travel. Early on, police added people with American names to the list so that if details of the program ever leaked out, the department would not be accused of profiling, according to one person briefed on the program. On one police document from that period, 2 out of every 3 people who were investigated had changed their names to or from something that could be read as Arabic-sounding. All the names that were investigated, even those whose background checks

came up empty, were cataloged so police could refer to them in the future. The legal justification for the program is unclear from the documents obtained by the AP. Because of its history of spying on anti-war protesters and political activists, the NYPD has long been required to follow a federal court order when gathering intelligence. That order allows the department to conduct background checks only when police have information about possible criminal activity, and only as part of “prompt and extremely limited” checking of leads. The NYPD’s rules also prohibit opening investigations based solely on activities protected by the First Amendment. Federal courts have held that people have a right to change their names and, in the case of religious conversion, that right is protected by the First Amendment. After the AP’s investigation into the NYPD’s activities, some US lawmakers, including Reps Yvette Clarke and Rush Holt have said the NYPD programs are blatantly racial profiling and have asked the Justice Department to investigate. Two Democrats on congressional intelligence committees said they were troubled by the CIA’s involvement in these programs. Additionally, seven New York Democratic state senators called for the state attorney general to investigate the NYPD’s spying on Muslim neighborhoods. And last month, the CIA announced an inspector general investigation into the agency’s partnership with the NYPD. The NYPD is not alone in its monitoring of Muslim neighborhoods. The FBI has its own ethnic mapping program that singled out Muslim communities and agents have been criticized for targeting mosques. The name change program is an example of how, while the NYPD says it operates under the same rules as the FBI, police have at times gone beyond what is allowed by the federal government. The FBI would not be allowed to run a similar program because of First Amendment and privacy concerns and because the goal is too vague and the program too broad, according to FBI rules and interviews with federal officials. Police expanded their efforts in late 2009, according to documents and interviews. After analysts ran background checks, police began selecting a handful of people to visit and interview. Internally, some police groused about the program. Many people who were approached didn’t want to talk and police couldn’t force them to. A Pakistani cab driver, for instance, told police he did not want to talk to them about why he took Sheikh as a new last name, documents show. Police also knew that a would-be terrorist who Americanized his name in hopes of lying low was unlikely to confess as much to detectives. In fact, of those who agreed to talk at all, many said they Americanized their names because they were being harassed or were having problems getting a job and thought a new

name would help. But as with other intelligence programs at the NYPD, Cohen hoped it would send a message to would-be bombers that police were watching, current and former officials said. As it expanded, the program began to target Muslims even more directly, drawing criticism from Stuart Parker, an in-house NYPD lawyer, who said there had to be standards for who was being interviewed, a person involved in the discussions recalled. In response, police interviewed people with Arabic-sounding names but only if their background checks matched specific criteria. The names of those who were interviewed, even those who chose not to speak with police, were recorded in police reports stored in the department’s database, according to documents and interviews, while names of those who received only background checks were kept in a separate file in the Intelligence Division. Donna Gabaccia, director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota, said that for many families, name changes are important aspects of the American story. Despite the myth that officials at Ellis Island Americanized the names of people arriving in the US, most immigrants changed their names themselves to avoid ridicule and discrimination or just to fit in, she said. The NYPD program, she said, turned that story on its head. “In the past, you changed your name in response to stigmatization,” she said. “And now, you change your name and you are stigmatized. There’s just something very sad about this.” As for converts to Islam, the religion does not require them to take Arabic names but many do as a way to publicly identify their faith, said Jonathan Brown, a Georgetown University professor of Islamic studies. Taking an Arabic name might be a sign that someone is more religious, Brown said, but it doesn’t necessarily suggest someone is more radical. He said law enforcement nationwide has often confused the two points in the fight against terrorism. “It’s just an example of the silly, conveyor-belt approach they have, where anyone who gets more religious is by definition more dangerous,” Brown said. Sarah Feinstein-Borenstein, a 75year-old Jewish woman who lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, was surprised to learn that she was among the Americans drawn into the NYPD program in its infancy. She hyphenated her last name in 2009. Police investigated and recorded her information in a police intelligence file because of it. “It’s rather shocking to me,” she said. “I think they would have better things to do. It’s a waste of my tax money.” FeinsteinBorenstein was born in Egypt and lived there until the Suez Crisis in 1956. With a French mother and a Jewish religion, she and her family were labeled “undesirable” and were kicked out. She came to the US in 1963. “If you live long enough,” she said, “you see everything.” —AP

Yemeni women burn their veils Continued from Page 1 The women’s protest came as clashes have intensified between Saleh’s forces and renegade fighters who have sided with the protesters and the opposition in demands that the president step down. Medical and local officials said up to 25 civilians, tribal fighters and government soldiers died overnight in Sanaa and the city of Taiz despite a ceasefire announcement by Saleh late Tuesday. Scores of others were wounded. A medical official said seven tribal fighters were among those killed in Sanaa’s Hassaba district. Another medical official said four residents and nine soldiers also died in the fighting there. Government forces also shelled

houses in Taiz - a hotbed of antiSaleh protests - killing five people, including four members of one family, a local official said. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. Saleh has clung to power in the face of more than eight months of massive neardaily protests against his rule. As they burned their veils, Yemeni women activists handed out leaflets appealing for help and protection. “This is a plea from the free women of Yemen; here we burn our makrama in front of the world to witness the bloody massacres carried by the tyrant Saleh,” the leaflets read. Across town, a group of women supporters of Saleh marched yesterday up to the UN

office to voice their opposition to international pressure on the president to step down. The women entered the UN building to hand in their protest note. During a meeting with the US ambassador on Tuesday, Saleh offered to sign a US and Gulf Arabbacked power transfer deal that gives him immunity from prosecution if he steps down. The meeting with US Ambassador Gerald Feierstein was Saleh’s first since he returned last month from Saudi Arabia, where he was treated after an attack on his presidential compound in June left him badly wounded. Saleh has repeatedly backed out of the deal at the last minute and the opposition has dismissed his latest offer. — AP

Continued from Page1 prevent hoarding. Bus stations were packed as thousands prepared to leave the city. With high tide approaching in the Gulf of Thailand, Seri Supharatid, director of Rangsit University’s Centre on Climate Change and Disaster, said the city’s fate rested with river dykes holding. “In the worst-case scenario, if all the dykes break, all parts of Bangkok would be more or less flooded,” Seri said. The economic damage is difficult to quantify, but the central bank has revised its growth forecast for southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy to 3.1 percent this year from 4.1 percent. The finance minister’s projection was a gloomier 2 percent. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who said two weeks ago that Bangkok was likely to escape the floodwaters, said yesterday that it could be flooded for as long as a month. “But we shouldn’t face water as high as two or three metres or staying for two or three months as we’ve seen in other provinces,” she told reporters. Flooding has forced the closure of seven industrial estates in Ayutthaya, Nonthaburi and Pathum Thani provinces bordering Bangkok, causing billions of dollars of damage and disrupting international supply chains for industry and putting about 650,000 people temporarily out of work. The cabinet agreed on Tuesday on a 325 billion baht ($10.6 billion) budget to rebuild the country, while city authorities and the Commerce Ministry were meeting with industrial estate operators, hotels and food producers to try to minimise the damage and kick-start a recovery. Authorities have called a holiday from today until Monday to allow people to get out of Bangkok, although financial markets will

BANGKOK: Thai residents riding on a vehicle evacuate from a flooded area to a safer place yesterday. — AP remain open. The rising tide could and a river around Bangkok’s east complicate efforts to drive water from and west towards the sea. the swelling Chao Phraya river out to But the large volume of water the sea, putting more pressure on a flowing through the city remains a city that accounts for 41 percent of concern, with the vast Chao Phraya Thailand’s gross domestic product. river at record levels and running The floods are expected to take a toll past high-end hotels, embassies and on Thailand’s tourism industry, which the Sathorn and Silom areas of the employs more than 2 million people city’s business district. Water has and makes up 6 percent of GDP. engulfed two areas, with levels climbTourism Minister Chumphol Silpa- ing higher than half a metre in the archa said arrivals could be 500,000 to densely populated Bang Phlad dis1 million below the government’s tar- trict near to the Chao Phraya and get of 19 million this year. closer to the commercial heart. Three northern districts of Overloaded trucks shuttled out evacBangkok have been under water uees from Bang Phlad, gas stations since Saturday, with army vehicles were inundated and shop owners driving at a snail’s pace through 1.5 pulled down shutters and added m of water, ferrying evacuees away sandbags to makeshift defence walls. on roads shared by cars and boats. “My shop is damaged. I’ve preSome people were being evacuated pared for this, but it’s not enough for a second time, with 4,000 shelter- there’s too much water,” said grocery ing in Don Muang moving to the store owner Vichit Pookmaitree. As province of Chon Buri. Evacuees at a panic grew, shoppers at a central university in Pathum Thani province Bangkok hypermarket run by Big C also had to move on as floodwater Supercenter Pcl were being restrictengulfed the campus. To tackle the ed to one packet of rice and one flooding, the authorities have tray of eggs. Toilet paper was also pumped an estimated 8 billion cubic being rationed. Bottled water had metres of water daily through canals run out. — Agencies

Water crisis? Artist to make ice in desert Continued from Page 1 innovative responses to the evolving circumstances of changing climates. “I give inspiration. What you can do with it is up to others,” he says. “You have to open the borders of your thinking,” he said, in his apartment surrounded by his works. “To make ice in the desert is breaking down the border, and that is opening a new world.” Verheggen’s giant sculpture is so far only a sketch and a series of charts in a laboratory in Zoetermeer, near his home in The Hague. Cofely, a refrigeration company that makes ice rinks and custom-designed cooling units for food storage, is testing the principles of creating ice in desert conditions. Tests should be concluded by next year, then the task of sculpting the massive work will begin, said Verheggen. An unidentified north African country will be the first to host it. Scientist Andras Szollosi-Nagi says Verheggen’s work falls at the crossroads of art, environment and science. “It’s an amazing piece, it’s very unusual and that makes it very exciting.” In Zoetermeer, engineers have produced a 10-cmthick layer of ice on a slab of aluminum inside a shipping container-sized box that simulates desert conditions, with the temperature set at 30 Celsius and plans to crank it up to 50 C. A humidifier provides the moisture, and a fan is directed at the ice like a desert breeze, resulting in a pool of water dripping off the surface of the ice sheet even as it thickens. The company is using off-the-shelf technology.

“Everybody thinks it’s dry in the desert, but it’s roughly the same amount of moisture in the air as here,” said project manager Erik Hoogendoorn. It’s unlikely the idea will be developed anytime soon on an industrial scale to bring water to arid areas for human or agricultural use. But Verheggen’s work will carry symbolic importance, says Szollosi-Nagi, the rector of the UNESCO Institute for Water Education, an arm of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The institute, which brings students from developing countries to study water issues, will use the work on its website and in promotional movies, he said. “We are not good at conveying simple messages in a powerful way. Science has its own limits, beyond which art can go,” he said at his office in the nearby city of Delft. “The project demonstrates that in a totally hopeless environment you can still generate hope. The message is that what many call the looming water crisis is not inevitable. There are solutions, and it all depends on human ingenuity. It all depends on us,” he said. Last year, Verheggen, a cultural ambassador for UNESCO, erected a huge sculpture on an iceberg off the coast of Greenland, an area he has visited annually for many years. It was the struggle of the indigenous Inuits to cope with extreme temperatures and shrinking ice that prompted thoughts of building an ice-making piece of art in the desert. “Let’s accept the climate is changing,” he says. “We have to see that as a challenge, to find new ways to deal with the changes in climate circumstances.” — AP

Kuwait to ban home slaughter of Aussie sheep Continued from Page 1 maimed prior to slaughter in some Indonesian abattoirs. The sheep meat council’s chief executive, Ron Cullen, said the plan was being implemented ahead of a new framework to be put in force next year to ensure Australian animals were only exported to audited supply chains which meet global animal welfare standards. “The plan is very much in line with recommendations by the government (announced last week) but we’re bringing the time -line for ward ahead of Eid al Adha,” said Cullen. Cullen said as part of the plan there would be observers on the ground to ensure that individuals

did not buy sheep for home slaughter as well as advertising and the continuation of education programs. Australia, the world’s largest exporter of live animals, shipped 2.9 million sheep valued at A$343.5 million ($358.9 million) to Middle Eastern markets in 2010/11. The Australian government’s chief commodities forecaster yesterday released a survey conducted in late June and early July, before the ban on live cattle exports to Indonesia was lifted, that found 278,000 head of cattle were available for export to Indonesia over the remainder of 2011. The survey found ranchers in northern Australia intended to export 597,000 head of cattle to Indonesia this year, of

which 274,000 had already being shipped. The first shipment to Indonesia after the ban was lifted was on Aug 10, when Elders Ltd , one of Australia’s largest shippers of live cattle to Indonesia, restarted shipments to an abattoir the company owns in Indonesia. The month-long ban was lifted on July 6 after export control orders were revised to require ranchers to apply for permits to meet welfare requirements, and to trace cattle from farms through shipping to abattoirs with agreed standards. The suspension of live cattle exports to Indonesia placed many cattle ranches in northern Australia, which is close to Indonesian markets, under financial stress. — Reuters

Opposition united on call for new premier Continued from Page 1 meetings to discuss ways to deal with the government - accused by them of failure to run the country and with a number of MPs suspected of accepting millions of dinars in political bribes. Anjari however declined to explain the specific issues discussed by the opposition MPs during their first meeting, but a number of them have said in the past that a collective decision to resign is not entirely ruled out. Veteran MPs Ahmad Al-Saadoun, Khaled Al-Sultan, Musallam Al-Barrak and Faisal Al-Mislem were among those who attended the meeting. The committee includes MPs AlAnjari, who was appointed spokesman, Al-Saadoun, Al-Sultan, Mohammad Al-Mutair, Naji AlAbdulhadi, Al-Mislem and Mubarak

Al-Waalan. Al-Mislem said the committee will hold a meeting today while the opposition will hold a meeting on Sunday. About 19 MPs walked out of the opening session after attending the Amiri speech in protest against the government and as an indication that they refuse to deal with about 15 MPs allegedly involved in an unprecedented corruption scandal that has shaken the country. According to opposition MPs, the public prosecutor is investigating the bank accounts of 16 lawmakers suspected of receiving huge deposits estimated at KD 100 million. The boycott of the opposition to the election of Assembly committees resulted in forming some committees with a number of MPs lower than that required by the Assembly’s internal charter. But speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi

denied reports and statements that the election of such committees breached the internal charter of the Assembly and should be considered illegal. Khorafi said there is no problem in the formation of the committees and if there is a desire to complete those committees, it can be done in the coming sessions, although he added that he cannot force an MP to join a particular committee. The speaker also said that so far he has not decided whether to contest the forthcoming general election scheduled for 2013 unless the Assembly is dissolved and early polls called. Khorafi also denied allegations that MPs being investigated by the public prosecutor will be able to exploit their membership in the Assembly committees to prevent any legal action against them if they are proven guilty.

League holds ‘frank’ meeting with Assad Continued from Page 1 “We will not accept anything less than Bashar AlAssad’s resignation and his trial,” they said. In a show of support for the embattled president, a huge crowd of Assad supporters rallied in Damascus yesterday. State news agency SANA said more than a million people took part. The demonstrators, waving Syrian flags and brandishing pictures of Assad, swarmed to Omayyad Square, chanting, “The people want Bashar Al-Assad.” Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 20 people, including nine government soldiers, had been killed in the latest unrest between Assad loyalists and opponents. “Nine servicemen, including an officer of the Syrian regular army, were killed by a rocket, fired by armed men, probably deserters. The soldiers were on a vehicle in Al-Hamrat village, on the Hama-Salamiyah road,” it said. Clashes between security forces and soldiers who have deserted and joined the opposition calling for the ouster of Assad have become more frequent in past weeks, particularly in the centre of the country. The Britain-based Observatory said that seven civil-

ians, including a baby, were shot dead by security forces in the central Homs region, a bastion of the Syrian opposition. Another civilian was killed by shots from a military checkpoint at Saraqeb, in the northwestern province of Idlib, a 63-year-old man was killed in the eastern region of Abu Kamal, and a child in Douma, near the capital, it added. The Syrian opposition called a nationwide general strike in protest against the regime’s crackdown on protest that has left at least 3,000 people dead since midMarch, according to UN figures. The Local Coordination Committees, which organise protests on the ground, said it was widely followed in Daraa, southern Syria, in areas of Damascus, Idlib, and in Hama and Homs in the centre of the country. It posted videos on the Internet of deserted streets and shuttered shops. The leading opposition group, the Syrian National Council, urged “all categories of people to go on strike” ahead of the launch of a massive campaign of civil disobedience. SNC head Burhan Ghaliun, meanwhile, called for the international community “to protect the Syrian people from the daily massacres,” in an interview with AlJazeera television. — AFP





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Afghan talks hopes show revival signs By Martin Petty hen a suicide bomber posing as a Taleban envoy detonated his explosives at a meeting with the government’s top negotiator last month, he appeared to have killed hopes of an Afghan peace process along with his human target. But after over a month of puzzling about who exactly was behind the killing, which a Taleban spokesman has both claimed and denied, many of the Western countries with troops in Afghanistan have started cautiously trying to rekindle an effort that many see as the only real hope to end decades of war. Violence is at the worst levels since the 2001 overthrow of the Taleban, and although NATO-led forces say they may be turning the tide, they have only three more years to do it. All combat troops are due home by the end of 2014, and mounting bills and war weariness back home mean there is almost no chance foreign troops will be fighting on Afghan soil in significant numbers beyond that date. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on a recent trip to Pakistan that the United States had held preliminary meetings with one of the main insurgent groups, the Haqqani network, and said she believed Pakistan had the capacity “to encourage, to push, to squeeze” them towards talks. Her British allies seem equally sanguine about the chances eventually bringing everyone to the same table. “Every conflict ends in a negotiated solution, it’s just a historical inevitability,” Britain’s ambassador to Kabul, William Patey, told Reuters in a recent interview. He conceded that September’s killing of the chairman of the high peace council, former President Burhanuddin Rabbani, meant that the current outlook for talks was “pretty bleak”, but said NATO-led forces should focus on military and diplomatic pressure to steer the Taleban towards negotiations in the longer term. The Afghan government and elite have been more circumspect. Rabbani’s assassination confirmed the fears of those who had opposed talks and argue that the Taleban are irreconcilable. It stoked anger and hatred, opening old wounds and deepening ethnic tensions in an already volatile country, where fear of civil war is growing. But for some, that unleashed tension was further evidence of the need to at least try talking. President Hamid Karzai, a long-time proponent of trying to negotiate an end to violence, known to sometimes describe the Taleban as errant brothers, has not turned his back on talks although he has signalled a major change in approach. He put his neighbour in the spotlight before Clinton arrived, suggesting that Pakistan-based insurgents are so closely controlled by their hosts that he must go directly to Islamabad to negotiate an end to the fighting. Afghanistan’s intelligence agency believes the plot to kill Rabbani originated in Pakistan and said the shadowy assassin was a Pakistani citizen, demanding answers from Islamabad. Pakistan denies controlling the Taleban, or linked insurgent groups like the much-feared Haqqani network, but analysts say a settlement without Pakistan involved is doomed to fail. “I don’t think we really know how open the Taleban are to talks, nor are we likely to find out unless we involve Pakistan directly in the negotiations,” said Stephen Biddle of the Washington-based Council on Foreign Relations. “The Pakistanis have shown their ability to block any negotiation they’re not happy with, and they are very unlikely to tolerate bilateral talks without them as a direct party.” The Taleban are now a reclusive, battle-hardened guerrilla group, who many believe have little incentive to talk; at present they are far stronger than Afghanistan’s police and army, which are being rapidly expanded under NATO supervision. “The West wants out and the Taleban might now feel that they have the power, they don’t need to negotiate and can just wait,” said Shamila Chaudhary, a Eurasia Group analyst and former head of the US National Security Council for Pakistan/Afghanistan. “But for the Taleban to come back, there’ll be a lot of obstacles and resistance...maybe there are Taleban who are sick of fighting and want political roles, and therefore dialogue.” The fight would still likely be protracted and bitter, as groups that fought the Taleban in the 1990s or suffered under their rule start gearing up for a possible return to combat. And current plans for a US-Afghan strategic partnership envisage long-term bases on Afghan soil that could be used for bomber planes and drones. With their support, Afghan government forces could probably hold key cities for a long time, even if they lost their hold on the countryside. Patey, Britain’s ambassador, said that patience was not, on its own, enough to win the war. —Reuters


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Arab Spring boosts Islam, but which kind? By Tom Heneghan ore democracy is bringing more political Islam in the countries of the Arab Spring, but Islamist statements about sharia or religion in politics are only rough indicators of what the real effect might be. The strong showing of Tunisia’s moderate Islamists in Sunday’s election and a promise by Libyan National Transitional Council leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil to uphold sharia have highlighted the bigger role Islamists will play after the fall of the autocrats who opposed them. These Islamists must now work out how to integrate more Islam into new democratic systems. Many terms used in the debate are ambiguous and some, especially the concept of sharia, are often misunderstood by non-Muslims. Jan Michiel Otto, a Dutch law professor who led a recent study of how 12 Muslim countries apply sharia, said political Islam covers a broad spectrum of approaches. “If sharia is introduced, you don’t know what you’ll get,” said the Leiden University professor, editor of the book Sharia Incorporated. His study indicated that, contrary to what many Western observers might think, more Islam did not always mean less liberty. Yasin Aktay, a Turkish sociologist at Selcuk University in Konya, said sharia itself was not a defined legal code and not limited to the harsh physical punishments seen in Saudi Arabia or Iran. “That’s a fetishised version of sharia,” he said. Many Middle Eastern constitutions already enshrine Islam as the official religion and mention sharia as the basis of law, but also have civil and penal codes based on European models. Apart from Saudi Arabia, which has only Islamic law, Middle Eastern countries apply a complicated mix of religious


and civil law. Sharia can be applied almost symbolically in one country, moderately in another and strictly in a third. Ennahda, the Islamist party leading the vote for Tunisia’s constituent assembly, is the first in the Arab Spring countries to have to start spelling out how much Islam it wants. It says it respects democracy and human rights and wants to work with secularist parties to draft a new constitution. Its leader Rachid Ghannouchi has long advocated moderate Islamist policies like those of the AKP, the ruling party in Turkey. The Tunisian constitution declares Islam as the official religion but does not mention sharia as the foundation of the legal system. Given the country’s strong secularist traditions, Ennahda would face serious opposition if it tried to have sharia declared the basis of law there. Aktay said Ghannouchi’s writings in the 1980s helped to influence Turkish Islamists to shift their paradigm from seeking a state based on sharia to entering democratic politics. Since then, the AKP’s success in Turkey has served as a model for Ghannouchi as he entered practical politics in Tunisia, he added. Egypt, which is due to elect a new lower house of parliament by early December, describes Islam as the state religion in its constitution and calls it the main source of laws. The Muslim Brotherhood is expected to emerge as the largest party. Its bid to build a “Democratic Alliance” has foundered, with most of the liberal and rival Islamist groups splitting away to run on their own or form other blocs. “I don’t believe the Brotherhood will claim more than 25 percent of the parliamentary seats, which is an important bloc but not a majority,” said Hassan Abu Taleb from Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies. Egypt has also allowed several Salafist

groups to run. The Salafists, who Abu Taleb said could take up to 10 percent of the vote, want strict implementation of Islamic laws, including those their critics say are anti-democratic. In Libya, former dictator Muammar Gaddafi ruled by decrees that included mention of Islam as the state religion and sharia as the inspiration for at least some laws. NTC chairman Jalil surprised some Western observers on Sunday by saying sharia would be the source of Libyan law, but he had already spoken in more detail about it. “We seek a state of law, prosperity and one where sharia is the main source for legislation, and this requires many things and conditions,” he said in early September, adding that “extremist ideology” would not be tolerated. The exact place of sharia in the legal system in practice will only be settled once a new constitution is written by a constituent assembly and approved by a referendum. Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood has fewer than 1,000 members because under Gaddafi recruitment was secretive and restricted to elites, said Alamin Belhaj, a member of the NTC and a senior member of the group. Syria, where an uprising against President Bashar Al-Assad has been raging since March, has a secularist government but mentions Islam as the source of law in its constitution. The main opposition body, the National Council, has so far named 19 members to its general secretariat. Four are members of Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and six are independent Islamists. It has yet to spell out its platform or make clear what kind of a state should take over, if Assad is overthrown. “In Syria, the Islamist current is a moderate movement,” said Omar Idlibi, an activist with the grassroots Local Coordination Committees. — Reuters

Fuel subsidies double-edged sword for UAE By Humeyra Pamuk uel subsidies have become a doubleedged sword for the United Arab Emirates, which is caught between raising petrol prices - an unattractive option at a time of social unrest in the Arab world - or shutting down petrol stations, leaving hundreds of people scrambling to find fuel in the oil-exporting country. Heavy subsidies on gasoline are a common characteristic of the Middle East. Analysts say the region accounts for almost half of the $409 billion that the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates the world spends annually on government subsidies for fossil fuel consumption. In the UAE, a petrol price cap is set by the federal government and petrol is sold to customers at a fraction of what retailers pay to buy it from global markets, where the price of gasoline has risen some 70 percent in the last few years along with surging crude oil prices. The system leaves the retailers to operate at a loss. Three of the UAE’s four fuel retailers -Dubai government-owned Emirates National Oil Co (ENOC), Emirates Petroleum Products Co and federally owned Emarat - have been making losses for many years. The fourth is Abu Dhabi National Oil Co, which has been largely unaffected because its upstream operations and vertically integrated supply system allow it to absorb any potential losses. The retailers have put up with this system because they are government-owned and to some extent view themselves as state utilities. But there are now signs that they are tiring of this role. In a rare and surprisingly frank public statement last week, ENOC, which has shut its petrol stations in the northern emirate of Sharjah since June, asked authorities to change the system. “The current scenario, where ENOC has to bear the burden of higher international fuel prices while at the same time distributing fuel at subsidised rates, is clearly not sustainable or viable for the company,” it said. “ENOC looks forward to the support of the concerned authorities in addressing the concern.” Standard grade gasoline in the UAE is sold to the public at 1.72 dirhams (47 US cents) per liter, less than half of the global average price of $1.21 a liter, according to the World Bank. ENOC predicted this system would cause it to suffer a loss of 2.7 billion dirhams this year. The shutdown in June of some petrol stations by ENOC and its subsidiary Emirates Petroleum Products Co caused mayhem in the relatively poor and


neglected northern emirates of the UAE. Citizens were forced to drive for kilometers to find a functioning station and then wait for hours in queues to fill their tanks - embarrassing scenes for a country which has over 7 percent of the world’s oil reserves. Some of rival Emarat’s petrol stations ran dry in April after a payment problem with suppliers. “Petrol prices are set federally so this is not a Dubai-specific issue. The issue is in federal policy and it guarantees you’re going to lose money,” said Robin Mills, head of consulting at Dubai-based Manaar Consultancy. “I’m sure Dubai must be saying to Abu Dhabi, ‘if you want

The UAE government has not yet responded publicly to ENOC’s plea. Short-term solutions such as recapitalising or making cash injections into the loss-making fuel retailers could allow the UAE to avoid raising pump prices at a politically sensitive time. This approach has already been taken at least once; in June the federal government raised Emarat’s capital by 50 percent to 9 billion dirhams, state news agency WAM reported. But some analysts argue that given the wastefulness of the system and the disincentives it creates for retailers to maintain reliable fuel supplies, such solutions can only delay the

An ENOC gas station which has been closed for a few months is seen in Sharjah Oct 16, 2011. – AP this policy, you have to back it up’.” Since the federal government sets the price cap for fuel in the UAE, the wealthiest emirate Abu Dhabi, which owns the bulk of the country’s oil, has the biggest say in deciding the policy. That can threaten to create an imbalance between costs and benefits. Dubai, which is slowly recovering from its 2009 debt crisis, spent just over 5.7 billion dirhams on various subsidies including energy and other transfers in 2010, according to International Monetary Fund data. Abu Dhabi spent 22.2 billion dirhams - but its budget is more than four times the size of Dubai’s.

inevitable: the eventual phasing out of the subsidies. “The optimal outcome here would be not to have blanket subsidies for everyone,” said a Dubai-based independent energy analyst, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue. “And instead to have those subsidies for those who really need them: Emiratis with lower incomes or anyone who earns below a certain level.” The UAE has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, thanks to its oil wealth; according to HSBC, the country’s fuel subsidy level per capita was the highest worldwide in 2009 at $2,290. Petrol prices in the UAE were

raised three times in 2010, and sources in the Abu Dhabi government and the oil industry say bringing prices in line with global markets is the ultimate goal for the government. But it is not an urgent goal. A source close to the Abu Dhabi government, who declined to be named, said fuel retailers had complained about the price before ENOC’s public outburst. “Is this issue more urgent today compared with yesterday? Not really, because oil prices are not as high as they were, like in 2008,” he said, predicting that international oil prices would ease further in coming months, reducing pressure for the UAE to hike pump prices. The source agreed with ENOC that fuel retailers’ business model was not sustainable in the long run. But it is a model practiced in variations across the Gulf, including Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Yemen and Saudi Arabia. At $0.16 a liter, Saudi Arabia offers the second cheapest fuel price in the world, after Venezuela, while Qatar’s heavy subsidies allow it to sell fuel at $0.19 a liter, well below the Middle East average of $0.56, according to World Bank data. Iran was part of this group until late last year, when it removed government subsidies on items including food and fuel, causing the price of gasoline to surge between 400 and 700 percent overnight. “Iran made a political decision to deal with the subsidy issue and has drastically raised the price of domestic fuel, and has severely reduced its (fuel) imports on the back of that,” said Chris Bake, managing director of Vitol Dubai. Vitol, the world’s biggest oil trading firm, was one of many gasoline suppliers to Iran when the Islamic republic was importing 12-16 cargoes a month, depending heavily on imports because of a lack of refining capacity and booming demand. US-led economic sanctions on Iran, aimed at its disputed nuclear program, prompted companies to stop doing business with it and were instrumental in the decision to phase out subsidies, because demand had to be curbed. Iran’s daily gasoline consumption has fallen from around 76 million litres per day in 2006 to around 60 million litres in early October, according to the Iranian government, despite the number of vehicles roughly doubling over the period. “Subsidies around the Gulf and North Afria are problematic for governments,” Bake said. “It is not only in the UAE, there is Saudi, Egypt. They are funding massive deficits on the back of subsidies. “It is an issue that has to be dealt with.”— Reuters



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BERLIN: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin wanted to block Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer’s switch from Schalke 04 to Bavarian giants Bayern Munich, according to Royal Blues chairman Clemens Toennies. Neuer, 25, joined Bayern from arch-rivals Schalke in July for a reported fee of 22 million euros ($30.6m). The deal was agreed by the two clubs in April, but Putin, who is heavily linked to Schalke’s main sponsor, Russian gas company Gazprom, approached Schalke about doing everything possible to make Neuer stay. “He (Putin) was absolutely besotted with Manuel and is a huge fan of his,” Schalke’s Toennies told German magazine Sport-Bild. “He asked me to do everything we could to keep Manuel.” Neuer was under contract with Schalke until June 2012, but having held a news conference in April to say he would not be extending his stay in Gelsenkirchen, Schalke were powerless to prevent him leaving. Had the Royal Blues not sold him to Bayern last summer, they would have risked losing Germany’s first-choice goalkeeper on a free transfer when his contract expired and Neuer had made it clear he wanted to leave. “For Manuel, it was no longer a question of money-we had to accept that,” said Toennies. “It shows what an impeccable character he has. He wanted to change.”—AFP

LJUBLJANA: Slovenia named Slavisa Stojanovic as coach on Tuesday following Matjaz Kek’s departure by mutual consent. Stojanovic, who won two national league titles with NK Domzale before becoming an assistant to United Arab Emirates coach Srecko Katanec in 2009, will take charge for the first time in a home friendly against United States on Nov. 15. “We had a big dilemma who to appoint after we parted company with Kek (on Monday) and we opted for Stojanovic because we are convinced he is capable of guiding the team at the top level,” Slovenian Football Federation president Aleksander Ceferin told a news conference. “Stojanovic will be in charge for the duration of the 2014

Napoli, Pujols swing deep into World Series tradition ST. LOUIS: Those massive home runs that Alber t Pujols hit at R angers Ballpark, they’ll be rattling around for years to come. Same goes for those long drives that Mike Napoli delivered. A huge swing or two or three, a masterful job on the mound, a sparkling play in the field can do more than win a World Series game. They can create a legacy that lasts forever. Just ask “Mr. October.” “It absolutely can define a career,” Reggie Jackson said by telephone this week. “I’m not saying whether that’s right or wrong, but that’s how it happens.” Every fall, in fact. Someone steps up - maybe a monster talent like Pujols, perhaps a good player like Napoli given a chance when the stars align. Might even be a fringe guy - Allen Craig for St. Louis this year, Cody Ross for San Francisco the last time around. Napoli and the Texas Rangers can close out the St. Louis Cardinals in G ame 6 at Busch Stadium on Wednesday night. If they win their first championship, the catcher who was traded twice within a week in January is destined to part of the lore. For a long, long time. “What year did Babe Ruth call his shot? 1932? You still see kids out there, calling their shot,” Jackson said. “That game wasn’t on TV, those kids didn’t see it. But they’ve heard about it, they know about it all these years later.” Jackson hit a Game 7 home run in a 1973 win for Oakland, then earned a nickname for life when he homered three times in the Yankees’ Seriesclinching victory in 1977. Suppose he’d done a little less, say, hit three balls off the wall at Yankee Stadium on that signature night. Would he still be “Mr. October ”? “Probably not,” he said. Already a three-time NL MVP, Pujols put on what many called the greatest hitting show in postseason histor y when he tied Series records with three home runs, six RBIs and five hits during the Cardinals’ romp in Game 3. Those are Pujols’ only hits in the Series so far, with Texas often pitching around him or simply issuing intentional walks. Yet if the Cardinals win the championship, chances are his pulverizing performance will be the featured shots in replays. I n G ame 5, Texas manager Ron Washington made Pujols the first player in World Series history to receive an intentional walk with nobody on base, STATS LLC said. “I’ve never seen Albert Pujols before other than on TV. It’s my first time seeing him. And what he did the other night, no, I wouldn’t mess with that,”

Jones ready for Japan job

Slovenia name new coach

Putin opposed Neuer sale

Washington said. Not everyone gets to savor the big stage. Ted Williams slumped in his lone World Series, fellow Hall of Famer Ernie Banks never got close. Nolan Ryan made 773 starts over 27 seasons, yet his total S eries time amounted to a relief appearance of 2 13 innings for the champion 1969 Mets. The Rangers president and part-owner understands the October glare. “Well, I think there’s expectations that the media and the fan base have with certain players,” he said this week. “ You can’t judge on a shor t series about players, but people’s expectations are Albert Pujols is capable of doing what he did the other night, and that adds to his reputation and expectations.” Texas fans are hoping Josh Hamilton can provide the same sort of shot. The reigning AL MVP went 2 for 20 in last year’s World Series; this time, hobbled by a strained groin, he’s just 3 for 19 without a home run. For Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter, the franchise leader in postseason wins, it’s not really right how October efforts can frame a player. And that’s coming from an ace who outdueled Roy Halladay 1-0 in the deciding Game 5 of the first-round NL playoffs. “No, not at all. I don’t think it defines who you are,” he said. “I think what defines who you are is, one, the consistency you put in day in and day out as a professional, and two, how you go about your business on and off the field. That defines who you are.” “Postseason is just at a different level. I think the guys that are successful maybe might be a little more relaxed and able to deal with the distractions,” he said. “But I don‘t think that it should define - if you scuffle in the postseason, it shouldn’t define what type of player you are. That could just be that series.” Orel Hershiser sees it differently. The former Dodgers star set a major league record by pitching 59 scoreless innings to close the 1988 season, then stamped his greatness by going 3-0 with a 1.05 ERA in the postseason and leading Los Angeles to the title. “It is fair to judge someone that way because these are the most important games of your life,” Hershiser said at Rangers Ballpark. “That’s the way it is; that’s what October means.” “When you’re growing up, you’re not with your brother in the backyard pretending it’s the top of the sixth inning and the middle of the season and your team’s in last place. No. You’re dreaming that it’s the bottom of the ninth inning, Game 7 of the World Series,” he said. “ You wind up, and here comes the pitch.” —AP

World Cup qualifiers and his contract will be extended automatically for the rest of the tournament if we qualify for the finals in Brazil.” The 42-year-old started his coaching career in 1998, winning under-16 and under-18 Slovenian league titles with ND Slovan before he clinched successive senior championships with Domzale in 2007 and 2008. Stojanovic then joined compatriot Katanec, who had steered Slovenia to Euro 2000 and the 2002 World Cup, at the United Arab Emirates and helped them qualify for this year’s Asian Cup. Slovenia failed to qualify for Euro 2012 under Kek after finishing four th in their group behind I taly, Estonia and Serbia. —Reuters

Blue Jackets clip Red Wings COLUMBUS: James Wisniewski made his long-awaited Columbus debut after serving an eight-game suspension, and rookie Ryan Johansen scored his first career goal and added an assist to give the Blue Jackets their first win of the season, 4-1 over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday. R.J. Umberger had a goal and an assist, rookie John Moore scored his first NHL goal and Derek MacKenzie had one into an empty net for Columbus, which entered as the only winless club at 0-7-1, the worst start in team history. Grant Clitsome added a careerbest three assists and goalie Steve Mason, who was shaken up on Detroit’s first goal and left for a few minutes, rebounded with a sturdy performance and 30 saves. Penguins 3, Islanders 0 At Uniondale, New York, Pascal Dupuis and Richard Park had goals, and Marc-Andre Fleury was sharp in making 33 saves in his 20th NHL shutout as Pittsburgh earned its fourth straight win by beating the New York Islanders. Star center Evgeni Malkin returned to the Penguins’ depleted lineup after missing five games because of his troublesome right knee, but Pittsburgh didn’t need any offense from him to send the Islanders to their third straight loss following a three-game winning streak. Jordan Staal added his sixth of the season, scoring into an empty net off an assist from Dupuis, with 2 minutes left.

Chicago edged Anaheim. Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp scored for Chicago, which has won three of four and recorded at least one point in seven of its eight games. Teemu Selanne had a goal and an assist for the Ducks in Randy Carlyle’s 500th game as Anaheim’s

Stars 3, Coyotes 2, SO At Glendale, Arizona, Trevor Daley scored on Dallas’ eighth shootout attempt af ter Adam Burish equalized with 61 seconds left in regulation, helping Dallas beat Phoenix for its second comeba ck v ic tor y over the

straight. Cody Hodgson and Alexandre Burrows responded for the Canucks (4-4-1). Va n co u ve r g o a l i e R o b e r to Luongo was pulled in the second period after allowing three goals on 14 shots. He was replaced by Cory Schneider who stopped all

COLUMBUS: Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason (1) in action against Red Wings. —AP head coach. Ryan Getzlaf scored in the opener of the Ducks’ sevengame road trip. Oilers 3, Canucks 2 At Edmonton, Alberta, Nikolai

Coyotes in two weeks. Dallas rallied to beat Phoenix in a shootout after scoring with 27 seconds left on Oct. 10 and forced another on Burish’s one-timer past Mike Smith. Shane Doan scored his 300th career goal and Raffi Torres had his first goal for Phoenix. Sheldon Souray scored for the Stars and Kari Lehtonen stopped 33 shots in regulation.

eight shots he faced. Edmonton defenseman Ryan Whitney got his sk ate tied up with teammate Corey Potter midway through the first period and went down hard before limping

Senators 3, Hurricanes 2 At Raleigh, North Carolina, Jason Spezza beat Cam Ward between the pads on the second round of the shootout, giving Ottawa a win over Carolina. Ottawa led 2-0 with five minutes to play before late goals from Tuomo Ruutu and Jeff Skinner forced extra play. Spezza and Zenon Konopka had the Senators’ goals in regulation. The win, Ottawa’s third straight, stopped the Senators’ seven-game losing streak in Raleigh. Cam Ward had 26 saves for the Hurricanes, while Craig Anderson made 32 stops for Ottawa. Lightning 4, Sabres 3 At Buffalo, New York, Mathieu Garon made 36 saves to help lift Tampa Bay to a sweep of their home-and-away series with Buffalo. Vincent Lecavalier, Nate Thompson, Steven Stamkos, and Ryan Malone all scored for the Lightning (4-3-2), who defeated the Sabres 3-0 on Saturday in Tampa Bay. Garon made his third straight start after registering his 20th career shutout Saturday. He tightened up after allowing two goals on Buffalo’s first three shots, giving Tampa Bay a chance to erase an early two-goal deficit and win its third straight. Brad Boyes had a goal and assist, and Thomas Vanek and Nathan Gerbe scored for the Sabres (5-3-0), who’ve now squandered leads in both of their losses in Buffalo so far this season. Sharks 3, Predators 1 At Nashville, Tennessee, Joe Pavelski scored twice to lead San Jose past Nashville. Logan Couture also scored for the Sharks. Rookie Craig Smith had the lone Nashville goal. Just 57 seconds after Smith tied the game at 1-1, Pavelski grabbed a loose puck behind the Nashville goal and stuffed it just inside the right post past Pekka Rinne. Couture scored the game’s first goal at 14:22 of the opening period. Pavelski added an empty net goal with 1:12 to play.

ARLINGTON: St. Louis Cardinals’ Albert Pujols stretches before Game 5 of baseball’s World Series against the Texas Rangers in this file photo. —AP

TOKYO: Former Australia coach Eddie Jones said yesterday he has the “passion” to improve Japanese rugby if he is appointed to replace All Blacks legend John Kirwan as the country’s coach. “I’ve always had a passion for Japanese rugby. Obviously, now is the time when, if it doesn’t change, it’s going to be very difficult for the game to get forward,” he told reporters. “What I’d do with Japan is what someone else will do,” said Jones, 51, who has been guiding Japan’s major Top League side Suntory Sungoliath since 2009. Jones, who took the Wallabies to the 2003 World Cup final, which they lost to England, has emerged as the likely successor to Kirwan after Japan came home winless from New Zealand. Kirwan, who failed to break the Brave Blossoms’ 20year World Cup win drought, has said he would not seek a new contract when his current five-year deal expires in December. Jones denied that he had already been approached by the Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) for the national coach’s job. “If Japan came to me, I’d be very, very pleased as it’s a great honor.” He said he would “definitely” take the national team job if all conditions are met, including “Suntory’s blessing.” Jones said Kirwan, 46, “definitely improved” both the team and a number of players. —Reuters

Blackhawks 3, Ducks 2 At Chicago, Patrick Kane scored the winning goal in a shootout and had two assists in regulation as

Devils 3, Kings 0 At Los Angeles, Dainius Zubrus scored two of New Jersey’s three second-period goals and ended Los Angeles’ franchise-record shutout streak after more than 221 minutes. Johan Hedberg made 31 saves in his 18th career shutout, and Patrik Elias had a goal and an assist as the Devils snapped the Kings’ four-game winning streak with their second win over Los Angeles this month. Jonathan Bernier stopped 20 shots while Kings coach Terry Murray gave a night off to Jonathan Quick, who set a club record with three consecutive shutouts last week. The longest stretch of scoreless defense in the Kings’ 44-year history ended at 221 minutes, 22 seconds when Zubrus charged the crease and muscled a rebound past Bernier. —AP

GLENDALE: Lauri Korpikoski No.28 of the Phoenix Coyotes skates with the puck under pressure from Jamie Benn No.14 of the Dallas Stars during the NHL game. —AFP Khabibulin made 35 saves, and Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall had a goal and an assist each as Edmonton beat Vancouver. Shawn Horcoff scored for the Oilers, who won their second

off the ice. Whitney only played 35 games last season and missed the first fou r g ames this s eas on, s till recovering from off-season surgery to his right ankle.

NHL results/standings NHL results and standings on Tuesday. Pittsburgh 3, NY Islanders 0; Ottawa 3, Carolina 2 (SO); Columbus 4, Detroit 1; Tampa Bay 4, Buffalo 3; San Jose 3, Nashville 1; Chicago 3, Anaheim 2 (SO); Edmonton 3, Vancouver 2; Dallas 3, Phoenix 2 (SO); New Jersey 3, Los Angeles 0. (SO denotes shootout victory)

Pittsburgh Philadelphia New Jersey NY Rangers NY Islanders

Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF 7 2 2 33 5 2 1 27 4 2 1 16 3 2 2 14 3 4 0 14

Toronto Buffalo Ottawa Boston Montreal

Northeast Division 5 2 1 26 5 3 0 23 4 5 0 27 3 5 0 19 1 5 2 18

Washington Florida Tampa Bay Carolina Winnipeg

Southeast Division 7 0 0 30 5 3 0 20 4 3 2 29 3 3 3 24 2 5 1 17

GA 22 21 16 14 17 27 17 36 19 26 14 19 30 30 27

PTS 16 11 9 8 6 11 10 8 6 4 14 10 10 9 5

Chicago Detroit St. Louis Nashville Columbus

Western Conference Central Division 5 1 2 27 5 2 0 20 4 4 0 22 3 4 1 16 1 7 1 21

20 18 24 23 30

12 10 8 7 3

Colorado Edmonton Minnesota Vancouver Calgary

Northwest Division 6 2 0 26 4 2 2 16 3 2 3 18 4 4 1 24 2 4 1 15

20 14 20 26 20

12 10 9 9 5

17 13 20 17 25

14 11 9 8 8

Dallas Los Angeles Anaheim San Jose Phoenix

Pacific Division 7 2 0 5 2 1 4 3 1 4 3 0 3 3 2

22 17 18 21 22

Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L)



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Weather headache for PGA Tour organisers LOS ANGELES: Hurricanes, earthquakes, lightning, slow play, burrowing moles-Mark Russell has had to contend with a wide range of obstacles in his role as a tournament director for the PGA Tour. There were 45 events during the 2011 season that ended with the Disney Classic in Florida on Sunday and by far the biggest headache for Russell has been the vagaries of the weather. “We’re like airline pilotshours of boredom and moments of terror,” Russell told Reuters with a glint in his eye while reflecting on this year’s tour. “The weather is by far our biggest problem. “It’s great when you set the golf course up and we have good weather, the players stay in position and we don’t need any rulings. But we play a game that is basically outdoors daylight till dark. “If you count the pro-am, that’s five straight days and it’s very difficult to go somewhere and get five straight days without a weather change. We can’t take a chance on people getting struck by lightning so we monitor that very closely.” In one of the most

unlikely buildups to any PGA Tour event, the Aug. 2528 Barclays Classic in Edison, New Jersey, faced the threat of Hurricane Irene after a rare earthquake had struck the area earlier in the week. Hardly surprisingly, the tournament was eventually reduced to 54 holes because of the severe weather and American Dustin Johnson ended up winning the title shortly before the arrival of a heavy thunderstorm. “We deal with volatile weather from time to time and we have meteorologists on our staff,” Russell said. They have the best equipment and they are invaluable. “But no two situations are ever the same so there is no standard operating procedure. You’ve got to look at what you have with the weather, evaluate the situation and make a plan from there.” Weather delays in the opening round can be a nightmare for tournament organisers as playing catchup with a full field of 156 players is never easy. Remarkably, though, there was only one Monday finish on the 2011 PGA Tour due to weather issues- at the frost-delayed Phoenix Open in February. “If you can at

least get some golf in, you’ve got something in the bank but when you have weather problems on a Thursday morning, there’s not much you can do,” Russell said. “Our regulations say that we need to play 72 holes so that’s pretty much what we do ... even if it would come down to playing 36 holes on a Monday, which is difficult.” Apart from coping with weather problems, tournament directors and their staff have to set up the golf course, monitor the pace of play and issue rulings when required. “We decide where the holes go on the greens, we decide where the tees go and then once the golf tournament starts, we are out there monitoring the pace of play,” Russell said. “We spend our whole day dealing with the pace of play and then if somebody needs a ruling, we will come in and make that.” Asked what had been the most bizarre ruling he had experienced, Russell recalled an incident which took place during a playoff between Fijian Vijay Singh and Sergio Garcia for the 2008 Barclays Classic at Ridgewood Country Club.

Garcia leads Spanish charge SOTOGRANDE: Sergio Garcia leads a strong Spanish contingent intent on a Valderrama victory at this weekend’s Andalucia Masters, where defending champion Graeme McDowell heads the challengers. Garcia, coming off an 11-shot Castello Masters win for his first victory in three years, is among 14 Spanish players looking for a first ever home triumph since Spain’s most famous golf course began hosting tournaments 23 years ago. Miguel Angel Jimenez, Jose Maria Olazabal, Alvaro Quiros, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Garcia lead the local contenders’ bid to triumph at the Robert Trent Jones designed course. Martin Kaymer, Thomas Bjorn, Matteo Manassero and Italian brothers Edoardo and Francesco Molinari will also compete at the 96-player, €3 million ($4.17 million) event. Since 1988, when the Volvo Masters was first held, there have been 20 European Tour events at Valderrama but not one Spanish winner. “I’ve been three times runner-up on this course, and that really spurs me to try harder,” Garcia said. “It’s been really positive recently, after two really bad years. I’ve had great feelings and at the end of the day the most important thing is what I feel. I’ve been putting really well since before the US Open, I like the consistency I’m achieving now. “I think I am going the right way but that doesn’t mean that it’s time to relax.” Valderrama’s cork tree-lined, par-71 course offers tight fairways and small greens that test a golfer’s game from tee to green, especially rewarding those who show patience and accuracy.

These characteristics suited McDowell on his way to a 2-shot victory last year, which was the Northern Irishman’s last European win. The former US Open champion is keen on a first 2011 title to improve his Race to Dubai position at the European Tour’s last continental event before moving on to Asia. “It’s one of those iconic courses on the European Tour, and I have a bit of a love-

hate relationship with it,” McDowell said. “There are holes you can consider being decent birdie chances, and when the wind is up, well, good luck. “But I like that challenge.” Kaymer was second here in 2008 and the German player is looking for his first victory since January to put pressure on Dubai leader Luke Donald. Bjorn has won three tournaments this season while Manassero’s

first win came in Spain last year. South African player Thomas Aiken will also be expected to challenge for the ‚Ǩ500,000 ($695,450) winner’s cheque after his Spanish Open victory earlier this year, coupled with top-10 finishes in Madrid and Castellon. Valderrama gained fame in 1997 when former Spanish great Seve Ballesteros captained Europe to Ryder Cup victory. Ballesteros died in May from cancer. — AP

Sergio Garcia in action in this file photo.

Foreign invaders fuel local angst for Melbourne Cup MELBOURNE: The Melbourne Cup has proved an unconquerable fortress for all but a handful of foreign raiders in its long history but the paucity of home-bred entrants for next Tuesday’s running has seen local administrators come in for a whipping. Final acceptances on Saturday for the A$6.2 million ($6.5 million) race might see only two Australian-bred horses make the field of 24, prompting industry figures to blame greed and the emphasis on big-money sprints in the domestic racing calendar for the local crop’s lack of staying power. In the past two decades, overseas trainers have spent a fortune flying horses south in the hope of winning the gruelling 3,200-metre handicap but only four from outside Australia or New Zealand have succeeded. That three of them have won in the last decade, including France-trained Americain last year, has set alarm bells ringing among local commentators not comfortable with Australia’s racing riches being ridden off on foreign horses. “There are no staying races (here),” celebrated local trainer Gai Waterhouse told local media this week. “All they do is keep pulling (the races) back in distance,” she added, referring to the decline in high-profile two-mile races on local tracks. “They must be mad, the clubs and the authorities. People love staying races.” Waterhouse, who fell just short of triumph in the Melbourne Cup when three-year-old Nothin Leica Dane was runner-up in 1995, may have the only Australian-bred and trained runner in the Cup, five-year-old mare Older Than Time. A number of Australian race tracks have downgraded their traditional two-mile races to 2,400m, including the Perth and Brisbane Cups in recent years. Meanwhile, the proliferation of rich sprints meant few potential owners had the patience to invest for the long haul, according to Mark Kavanaugh, the 2009 Melbourne Cup-winning trainer of Shocking. “You can buy a staying horse and you can’t find owners... Pay $200,000 for a Zabeel and you end up racing it yourself,” he said, referring to the Australian sire of multiple Melbourne Cup winners. “Get some broken-down stayer from Europe and they are all over you.” Critics have urged the race’s governing body provide more incentives for owners to enter locally-bred and trained horses, including giving domestic race results more weight in qualifying and even suggesting a cap on foreign entrants. The Victoria Racing Club, who have overseen the Cup’s transition from a largely provincial meeting into the world’s richest handicap over the last two decades, are having none of it. “We will closely monitor the race and nothing is ruled out, but at this stage we don’t see any reason to change,” VRC chairman Michael Burn said. Odds are for parochial punters to be disappointed again

this year, with Americain rated a 4-1 favourite among local bookmakers to go back-to-back in the 151st running of the race, despite only five horses winning it more than once. The Alain de Royer-Dupre-trained stayer cruised to victory in the warmup Drake International Cup at Moonee Valley on Saturday but will have to carry a top-weight 58kg for Tuesday’s race. Only triple winner Makybe Diva (2005) and Think Big (1975) have won the Cup carrying 58kg or higher. “He didn’t have a hard run on Saturday and mentally he has recovered better (than last year),” said assistant trainer Stephanie Nigge of Americain, who will again be ridden by last year’s winning jockey Gerald Mosse. “He is ready now and we don’t need to do anything different before the Cup, just keep him happy.” — Reuters

SINGAPORE: This is a Saturday Jan. 10, 2009 file photo of Ericsson 4 (left) Puma Ocean Racing Team (center) and Delta Lloyd as they approach the start line during the second race of the 2009 Volvo Ocean Race In-Port race in Singapore, where they ended the third leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. When the Volvo Ocean Race starts this Saturday Oct. 29, 2011, it will feature the smallest starting field of six yachts in the 38-year history of the event. — AP

On the second extra hole, the par-five 17th, Garcia hooked his drive into the left rough from where he hit his second shot behind a huge tree in the right rough. However, the Spaniard ended up getting a free drop six feet to the left of where his ball had settledall because of a burrowing mole. “Sergio was in a situation where the mole was under the ground and the mole was moving the ground while he was trying to play his shot,” Russell grinned. “That was a pretty crazy thing, so he got a drop. “But the rules are the rules. As long as you stand on the rules no matter how crazy it seems, you can’t go wrong. If you deviate from the letter of the law, that’s when you have a problem.” Russell’s definition of a successful PGA Tour event, from his point of view, is very simple. “We need to stay behind the scenes,” he said of the tournament director and his fellow officials. “When you see our staff out and about, nothing good is taking place.” — Reuters

Gallery of stars vie for huge prize in China SHANGHAI: World number two Lee Westwood and US Open champion Rory McIlroy are headlining a powerful field chasing a $2 million winner’s cheque at the Lake Malaren Shanghai Masters starting today. The glitzy competition is the latest exhibition in China to attract some of the game’s biggest names but as an unsanctioned event it carries no rankings points for the players, leading to criticism of “vanity” projects. Englishman Westwood and McIlroy, from Northern Ireland, will vie for the top prize at the inaugural tournament along with Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley. Three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington of Ireland and South Africa’s two-time Major champion Retief Goosen will also make the trip to China to play on the Jack Nicklaus-designed course. The tournament also features England’s Ian Poulter, Scottish veteran Colin Montgomerie and China’s Zhang Lian-wei, all eyeing a chunk of the $5 million purse. KJ Choi heads a three-strong Korean contingent. “This week we have everything, a great field of players, a great course and organisation and a great city. It is a perfect setting, a world class course for a world class field,” said Zhang.

The huge winner’s purse has raised eyebrows among established tours, anxious such exhibition events, including the recent made-for-TV Shui On Land China Golf Challenge, are undermining the game’s structure. Asian Tour executive chairman Kyi Hla Han criticised the organisers for undermining the development of Chinese and Asian players, saying such “vanity” tournaments only catered to the world’s elite. But tournament organisers strongly defended the event, which has strong backing from Chinese golfing authorities and the government. “We have ten Chinese players and three Korean players in the tournament flying the flag for Asia. These events give rare opportunities to Chinese and Asian players to go up against the game’s best players,” said a tournament spokesman. “This gives them better exposure and development chances and also attracts golfing fans.” On the greens there was intrigue for the first day of play on Thursday with Westwood and McIlroy playing in a group with with China’s Zhang. Westwood has been reported as being upset by McIlroy’s sudden sacking of their joint agent, International Sport Management’s Chubby Chandler, last Friday tweeting: “Bizarre decision!”. — AFP

NCAA last amateur left in college sports NEW YORK: The number of people who buy the NCAA’s argument that amateurism is the backbone of college sports is dwindling by the day. The notion is increasingly being challenged in the courts, questioned by Congress and earlier this month, some of the kids on whose backs the business is actually built decided to call the organization’s bluff. More than 300 major college football and men’s basketball players signed and sent a petition to the NCAA asking the college presidents who run it to spend some of their new-found riches on education. “The things we go through, the hours we put in, what our bodies go through, we deserve some sort of (results),” said Georgia Tech defensive end Denzel McCoy, a redshirt freshman who signed and helped circulate the petitions drawn up by the National College Players Association (NCPA), an athletes advocacy group. “College football is a billion-dollar industry.” The NCPA petition doesn’t ask for a specific amount to be set aside, or for players to be paid salaries. Instead, it seeks a hike in scholarships of about $3,200 to make up a shortfall in school-related expenses each year, better medical coverage and an “educational lock box” that players could use to fund their educations if they’re permanently injured or exhaust their athletic eligibility before they graduate. They also would be entitled to what’s left in the lock box upon graduation, with no strings attached. The response from the NCAA, which begins its quarterly Division I Board of Directors meeting Wednesday in Indianapolis, has been near-total silence. “We’d eventually like a seat at the table, but all we asked for off the bat was a meeting,” Ramogi Huma, a former UCLA linebacker who founded the NCPA more than a decade ago, said Tuesday over the telephone from his office in California. “I’m looking at the letter from (NCAA President Mark) Emmert right now. The answer was a definite ‘no.’” Instead, Emmert will get up in front of an informal meeting with university presidents and unveil the organization’s latest meager stab at reform: a proposal to be voted on Thursday that would give each conference the option to dig into its own pocket and increase the cost of a scholarship by about $2,000. That sum won’t solve any of the problems currently bedeviling major college sports - in fairness, $3,200 wouldn’t make a dent in the number of athletes taking money under the table, either - and it might actually make things worse. College football and basketball, the big-revenue producing sports, already

suffer from a widening gap between the haves in the six major conferences and the have-nots who compete outside them. Yet the fact that the NCAA may finally be bending to pressure from below is a very good sign. More than a dozen years ago, it agreed to try and police its members by applying pressure from the top, turning control of the organization over to university presidents with a mandate to clean up the shady dealings in football and basketball and sign a truce on what was fast becoming “an athletic arms race” between competing schools. What the presidents did instead was hide the brooms, green-light ever-bigger budgets and promise each other to behave better. The recent scandals at Southern California, Ohio State and Miami look the same as those in the past - academic fraud, cheating coaches, corner-cutting recruiters and agents hanging around preying on easy marks - only the dollar figures involved have a lot more zeroes attached to them. The only other difference is that the presidents now stand alongside embarrassed athletic department officials in front of microphones to explain why they didn’t know, let alone act, when they should have. Emmert paid lip service only last July to the growing perception that the NCAA itself was guilty of what used to be one of its most dreaded judgments against rogue schools, a lack of institutional control. “The integrity of collegiate athletics is seri-

WASHINGTON: NCAA President Mark Emmert speaks about policy changes being considered by the NCAA during the Knight Commission. — AP

ously challenged today by rapidly growing pressures coming from many directions. We have reached a point where incremental change is not sufficient to meet these challenges. I want us to act more aggressively and in a more comprehensive way than we have in the past,” he said then. “A few new tweaks of the rules won’t get the job done.” Yet that’s all the NCAA appears capable of doing at the moment. Meanwhile, former players are pushing a class-action lawsuit threatening the organization’s antitrust status and seeking back pay for the use of their names and images on jerseys and video games. Congress, too, is expressing interest in NCAA’s inconsistent and sometimes-inexplicable decisions in meting out punishment, as well as its refusal to follow due process in some disciplinary matters. More troubling still could be the conference realignment that continues to alter the college sports landscape; in those moves to bigger, even more powerful conferences, some observers see the outlines of a system controlled so thoroughly by the conferences that they might one day be emboldened enough to cut the NCAA out of the postseason basketball tournament, much the same way the Bowl Championship Series pushed the organization out of the postseason football picture. And now, the players themselves are threatening to organize and demand their share of the ever-increasing TV deals rolling in. “We’re on the right side of this debate, No doubt about it,” said Huma, who has been invited to make the case for the 7,000 or so members the NCPA represents at a roundtable discussion in Washington, DC, next week organized by Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush. Huma paused for a moment, then told a story about a teammate of his at UCLA who said on a radio show one day that he didn’t have enough money left that week to buy food. When the player returned home, he found a bag of groceries on his doorstep, took them in and wound up being slapped with a one-game suspension for receiving improper benefits. “We were the No. 5 team in the nation at the time, his jersey was on sale in shops all over the place and he didn’t have enough to go down to the corner and buy a sandwich,” Huma recalled. “Everybody agrees the system is broken, they’ve known it for years. I don’t think players resent other people making money from college sports, but if the underlying mission is supposed to be the education it provides, making sure the players get that at the very least - doesn’t seem like too much to ask for.” — AP



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India raises the flag for F1

LAS VEGAS: In this Oct. 16, 2011, file photo, drivers Dan Wheldon (front) and Will Power crash during a wreck that involved 15 cars during the IndyCar Series’ auto race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. —AP

IndyCar CEO revisits series ‘horrific’ week INDIANAPOLIS: Randy Bernard knows there are people who blame him for Dan Wheldon’s death, who say the IndyCar CEO pushed the series over the edge. In the 24 hours after the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner was killed in a fiery 15-car accident in the season finale, Bernard wondered if perhaps all the hate mail accusing him of sacrificing safety for the show was right. “The last week was probably the most horrific week of my life,” Bernard told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview. It’s been open season on Bernard since the accident, and his silence all last week only intensified the scrutiny on his leadership of the openwheel series. Now, nine days later, Bernard is able to publicly talk about Wheldon and the day all his work toward building a spectacular finale went terribly wrong minutes into the race. He still becomes emotional about it, taking a deep breath in his office at IndyCar headquarters as he recalls the controversial decision to cancel the race. Bernard is focused on moving forward and helping IndyCar through this dark period. He says he never once considered resigning but admits IndyCar is now “in crisis, and we have to get answers.” “In tough times, that’s when you have to be focused,” Bernard said. “You have to lead, and I know this is a time I have to make sure I am going to be very decisive, very articulate and be a leader. In tough times is where you build your character; it’s not in good times.” The second-year CEO was hired to revitalize the series despite no auto racing experience, and that’s contributing to blaming Bernard for creating the circumstances that led to Wheldon’s death. He allowed a season-high 34 cars on a high-banked oval, where a field of mixed experience levels had enough room to race three-wide at over 220 mph around Las Vegas Motor Speedway. And he offered a jobless Wheldon the chance to earn a $5 million bonus if he could drive from the back of the field to Victory Lane. All those elements created a buzz around the race, where Dario Franchitti and Will Power would end their championship battle and superstar Danica Patrick would run her final event as a full-time IndyCar driver. It was everything Bernard had been hired to do when IndyCar lured him away after running Professional Bull Riders for 15 years. He was so confident of improving on the poor TV ratings from the year before that he promised to resign if ABC’s broadcast drew anything less than a 0.8 rating. That would have meant that fewer than 1 percent of the nation’s homes with televisions watched the race. Bernard insists he did not sensationalize the inherent danger in auto racing. “I think anytime we are on any track it’s always dangerous - we do as much as we can to make it safe - (and) our storylines were never, ‘Come watch this dangerous event!’” he said. “Our storylines going to Las Vegas were first and foremost ‘Come watch Will and Dario fight it out for the world championship.’ The No. 2 storyline was Dan Wheldon competing for $5 million starting at the back. Our third storyline was Danica Patrick. ... Our fourth storyline was 34 cars in the race. “I think none of those, looking back on it, had any type of connotation of any danger. If the race was tomorrow, it would still be the same storylines.” Compelling competition, yes, but with a happy ending. IndyCar now must look at making sweeping changes. And Bernard is prepared, even eager, to do that. He called a three-hour driver meeting Monday, and Franchitti, a four-time champion, said there was no sense of anger toward Bernard as the drivers all had a chance to speak. Franchitti also said the CEO earned an immeasurable amount of respect by canceling the race after Wheldon’s death when grief-stricken drivers were unable to decide if the show - per tra-

dition - should go on. Bernard, with such limited auto racing experience, wasn’t tied to that etiquette. Instead, he went with his gut. “I felt that I didn’t really care about tradition on this,” he said, becoming emotional for the only time in the hour-long interview. “I felt like no driver in their right mind could have a clear head knowing that one of their friends had just died, and I felt this is where I needed to make a stand and say ‘No.’” Bernard called instead for a five-lap tribute. Drivers, including Tony Kanaan, Franchitti and Patrick, were seen sobbing as they climbed back into their cockpits. Bernard took Wheldon’s death extremely hard and essentially isolated himself in Las Vegas after the race. “I was numb. I didn’t, I was, just numb,” he said. But he went to work immediately. The first step was the driver meeting, followed by a three-hour strategic session with a small focus group to discuss the 2012 car that’s supposed to be a tremendous upgrade in safety and technology standards. “It’s been an unfair beating on Randy because nobody singlehandedly makes decisions. I just don’t understand the criticism I’m seeing. It’s from people unaware of this industry and aiming with the buck-stops-here mentality,” said Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage. “But there’s no doubt Randy’s got his hands full, and it’s an ugly situation.” Bernard is hesitant to discuss specifics about Wheldon’s death, citing his desire to see what comes from the ongoing investigation. A team of series safety and competition officials is evaluating the data and will use independent experts and consultants for analysis before it’s turned over to a third-party group for validation. “I think everything is premature right now,” Bernard said. “I want to see the investigation.” But the questions remain, especially about the $5 million bonus. Without it, Wheldon never would have been in the race. Originally, the promotion was designed to lure someone from outside the series to the season finale. Bernard had hoped that would be someone such as NASCAR stars Tony Stewart or Juan Pablo Montoya, but in the end only XGames star Travis Pastrana seriously tried to put together a deal. Then Pastrana broke his foot and ankle two days before his scheduled debut in NASCAR’s Nationwide Series in Indianapolis, where he was to sign an agreement to run for the $5 million IndyCar bonus. That left Wheldon. Out of work all season except for his victorious one-off in the Indy 500, Wheldon met the spirit of the promotion because he wasn’t a series regular. He wasn’t a slouch, either. Las Vegas was his 134th career start, and he had 16 career victories - 15 on ovals - and on the morning of the race, Wheldon had made a deal with Michael Andretti to replace Patrick full-time next season. “On the bonus, if you are a professional race car driver, whether you are (ranked) 33rd, 23rd or first, your job is to win,” Bernard said. “That’s why they race. Every series has bonuses attached to winning, so I am not sure why people say that played a role.” But what if it had been Pastrana? With so many questions swirling about the level of experience in the field, how would Bernard have justified letting Pastrana race at Las Vegas? “I am not confident Travis Pastrana would have passed the testing required to compete in that race,” he said. According to the contract Pastrana had been presented, a copy of which was obtained by AP, participation in the $5 million challenge required at least three two-day test sessions at Las Vegas and Kentucky Speedways supervised by IndyCar competition director Brian Barnhart and a designated active driver serving as a mentor. If he had passed testing, Pastrana still would have been subjected to a vote of approval from the current IndyCar drivers.—AP

NBA talks to resume NEW YORK: Officials from the NBA and players’ association was due to meet late yesterday, less than a week after three days of talks with a federal mediator couldn’t produce a deal to end the lockout, a person with knowledge of the plans said. Talks broke down last Thursday after players said owners insisted they agree to a 50-50 split of revenues before they would further discuss the salary cap system. By not reaching an agreement last week, the NBA will likely be forced to cancel more games to go with the two weeks that were already scrapped. There was a far nastier tone than usual to the breakdown, with union president Derek Fisher of the Lakers accusing Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver and Spurs owner Peter Holt, chairman of the league’s labor relations committee, of lying during their press conference. But just as they have multiple times this month when they walked away from the table without another meeting scheduled, the sides are getting back at it relatively

quickly. The meeting, first reported by the Daily News of New York, will be small groups from each side, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because details of the negotiations were to remain private. Commissioner David Stern will take part after he was forced to miss the session last Thursday because of an illness. Stern said without a deal last week, he feared games could be lost right through Christmas. The sides tried, spending 30 hours together while meeting for three straight days for the first time since the lockout began July 1. They made some progress on minor issues, but continue to be stuck on the two main ones. Players proposed lowering their guarantee of basketball-related income to 52.5 percent, leaving the sides about $100 million apart annually based on last season’s revenues. They are also sparring over the length of contracts and the raises attached to them, along with the penalties teams would face for exceeding the luxury tax level.—AP

NEW DELHI: With both Formula One championships already wrapped up by Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull team, India takes the starring role on its long-awaited grand prix debut this weekend. It would be little short of a miracle if Narain Karthikeyan, the only Indian on the starting grid, scores a point with struggling Hispania but there is plenty of pride nonetheless at the new Buddh International Circuit. Built as scheduled at a cost of some $400 million, the track promises to change perceptions about the capabilities of Indian sport after the chaotic preparations for last year’s corruption-hit Commonwealth Games in the capital. “This weekend is a very significant moment and I’m extremely proud,” said liquor and aviation tycoon Vijay Mallya, the principal of the Force India team. “It’s a major step forward for Indian motorsport and for sport in general in our country. We are all looking forward to it immensely.” British-based Force India, who have no Indian drivers or mechanics, have taken out full-page advertisements in local media and set up a website calling on fans to ‘Raise the Flag’ under the slogan ‘One nation. One soul. One Indian Team’. Indian cricket great Sachin Tendulkar is set to wave the chequered flag on the race while Bollywood’s leading lights are sure to be jostling for a share of the limelight before the start. Mallya’s team are sixth in the championship and hope to score more points in the 17th of 19 grands prix this season. He said it would be the biggest race in Force India’s history. “We are all determined to be as competitive as possible,” he declared. “I want to savour every moment of what will surely be one of the most spectacular events of the season and the start of a great Formula One tradition in India.” There will inevitably be teething problems, and critics also question the staging of such an elite and costly event in a country that combines a booming economy with grinding poverty and severe malnutrition. Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone,

who turns 81 on Monday, is confident all will go to plan. “I was pessimistic a fortnight ago. I was sent pictures of the track and I thought: ‘Christ, we’re not going to get it finished in time’,” he told Britain’s Guardian newspaper. “But what they have done in the meantime - and I’ve been sent more recent pictures - is incredible. The people there are very anxious to be sure they’re doing a good job and they are very passionate about their sport.” On the track, the main battle will be

al laps of the track on the simulator,” he said this week. “We’re expecting the track to have the second highest average speed of the season after Monza. That means that we’ll be completing a lap at an average speed of 235kph, so there should be plenty of good opportunities to overtake.” McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, who ended Red Bull’s run of 16 successive pole positions at the last race in South Korea, is also looking forward to the weekend after

NOIDA: Switzerland’s Neel Jani drives a Red Bull car at the Buddh International Circuit that will hold the first ever Indian Formula One Grand Prix. —AP between Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari with the leading drivers focusing purely on winning now that the championships are over. Vettel will be gunning for his 11th victory of a season in which the German could still equal compatriot Michael Schumacher’s 2004 record with Ferrari of 13 in a single year. Like his rivals, the 24-year-old has been busy learning the layout of the new track. “By the time we race in India, I’ll have done sever-

doing a demonstration in Bangalore last month. “I think we’re set to be competitive at all of the final three races,” said the 2008 champion. “We were quick at Singapore, Japan and Korea, and I think the pattern at the front has sort of settled down now as we reach the end of the season. “I think we have a car that can be quick anywhere, so I’d like to think we’d be in the hunt again next weekend.”—Reuters

SCOREBOARD DUBAI: Scoreboard at the close on the first day of the second test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Dubai yesterday: Sri Lanka innings T. Paranavitana c Misbah b Gul 6 L. Thirimanne lbw b Gul 1 K. Sangakkara c Shafiq b A. Rehman 78 M. Jayawardene c Misbah b Gul 6 T. Dilshan c Misbah b J. Khan 7 A. Mathews c A. Akmal b J. Khan 19 K. Silva lbw b A. Rehman 20 D. Prasad c A. Akmal b Ajmal 7 R. Herath c Y. Khan b Ajmal 29 C. Welegedara st A. Akmal b Ajmal 48 S. Lakmal not out 0 Extras (b-5, lb-7, nb-6) 18 Total (all out; 79 overs) 239 Fall of wickets: 1-3 2-24 3-30 4-45 5-73 6-127 7-154 8-154 9-229 Bowling: Gul 19-2-78-3 (4nb), J. Khan 15-2-57-2 (1nb), Ajmal 26-9-45-3, A. Rehman 17-5-40-2 (1nb), M. Hafeez 20-7-0.

DUBAI: Pakistan’s cricketer Azhar Ali (center) takes an unsuccessful catch against Sri Lanka’s batsman Chanaka Welegedara (left) as wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal (right) looks on during the second cricket Test.—AFP

Pakistan dominates Sri Lanka in 2nd Test DUBAI: Pakistan bowled and fielded well to bowl Sri Lanka out for another low score of 239 in the first innings to finish the opening day of the second Test on top here yesterday. Paceman Umar Gul (3-78) did the early damage in company with Junaid Khan (2-57) before spinners Saeed Ajmal (3-45) and Abdul Rehman (2-40) completed the job on a bouncy Dubai Stadium pitch. Pakistan, who spurned a good chance to go 1-0 up in the three-match series with sloppy fielding in the first Test at Abu Dhabi last week, moved to 42-0 at close. Openers Mohammad Hafeez (18) and Taufiq Umar (20) were at the crease on a day when Pakistani bowlers dominated yet again. Sri Lanka, who chose to bat after winning the toss, slumped to 30-3 and then 154-8 despite a valiant 78 from Kumar Sangakkara before a ninth wicket stand of 75 between Chanaka Welegedara (48) and Rangana Herath (29) lifted them past the 200-mark. Sangakkara, who celebrates his 34th birthday today, hit eleven boundaries and added an invaluable 54 runs for the sixth wicket with debutant Kaushal Silva (20). Welegedara, whose previous best score of 11 came at Abu Dhabi, hit two sixes and four boundaries during his 127ball surpirsing knock. But Sri Lanka’s batting, managing just 197 in the first innings in the first Test, failed yet again against a hostile pacecum spin attack by Pakistan. When Sangakkara looked set for another century he lost his concentration as he jumped down the crease to hoist Rehman straight into the hands of deep mid-wicket fielder Asad Shafiq. Sangakkara, who also added 27 for the seventh wicket with Dhammika Prasad (seven), had defied the Pakistani

bowlers during the first session in which Sri Lanka lost five wickets, three in Gul’s incisive first spell. Gul said the pitch had moisture. “Our coach (Mohsin Khan) told us that there is moisture on the pitch so we bowled in the right areas and got the initial reward,” said Gul. “We are happy to get them out cheaply.” Sangakkara showed disappointment. “Pakistan made good use of the new ball and it was a bit disappointing to lose early wickets but a good fightback took us to 239 and now we must keep Pakistan to a low total,” said Sangakkara. Junaid Khan ably complemented Gul by dismissing Tillakaratne Dilshan (seven) and Angelo Mathews (19) to leave Sri Lanka struggling at 78-5 at lunch. Gul had trapped opener Lahiru Thirimanne (one) leg before with the second delivery of his second over before he accounted for Tharanga Paranavitana (six) caught in the slip off a rash drive off the second delivery of his fifth. Off his sixth delivery, Gul had the experienced Mahela Jayawardene (six) edging into the slips for Misbah to make two in two, leading by example in the slips after Pakistan floored seven chances in the first Test. Khan, who took a career-best 5-38 in the first Test, had Dilshan caught in the slip and then Mathews caught behind by keeper Adnan Akmal. Sangakkara dispatched Gul for his eighth boundary to bring up his 37th half-century before Rehman’s dismissed him and Silva in his first spell. Sri Lanka were forced to make two changes from the first Test line-up, leaving Prasanna Jayawardene and Nuwan Pradeep to include Prasad and Silva. Prasanna, who made a fighting 120 in the first Test, had a abdominal strain. Pakistan replaced paceman Aizaz Cheema with Rehman.—AFP

Pakistan innings M. Hafeez not out 18 T. Umar not out 20 Extras (lb-1, nb-3) 4 Total (no loss; nine overs) 42 To bat: A. Ali, Y. Khan, Misbah-ul Haq, A. Shafiq, A. Akmal, U. Gul, S. Ajmal, J. Khan, A. Rehman Bowling: Welegedara 3-0-14-0, Prasad 4-0-23-0 (3nb), Herath 1-0-4-0, Lakmal 1-1-0-0.

Even victory bores India’s fans NEW DELHI: India’s adored cricketers put on an awesome display of power to whitewash England 5-0 in the one-day series at home-a mighty achievement that was played out in front of rows of empty seats. For a country famed for its love of cricket, the sparse crowds were a shocking revelation that has sparked a debate about how the sport treats both its fans and its stars. High ticket prices and too many tournaments are seen as two prime suspects behind the sad sight of Indian heroes such as Mahendra Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina competing against a backdrop of plastic seats. The 45,000-capacity Wankhede stadium in Mumbai, which was fully renovated for this year’s World Cup, suffered its worst turnout for an international game since 1975 with just 13,000 tickets sold for Sunday’s clash. In the final fixture on Tuesday, the iconic Eden Gardens venue in Kolkata echoed to the sound of bat on ball instead of being a seething cauldron of passion, as could once be guaranteed by loyal and excitable followers. Decent-though far from sellout-crowds attended earlier games in Hyderabad and New Delhi, but Mohali was less than half-full to witness India take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series. “It is a clear sign of fatigue,” popular television commentator and sports analyst Harsha Bhogle said. “People need to get excited about a contest, but with one series following another the sense of excitement and anticipation is not there.” India won the World Cup final at the Wankhede on April 2, triggering a nationwide party, before the players headed straight into the Indian Premier League (IPL), then a tour of the West Indies, before going to England. The Indians were thrashed 4-0 in the Test series in England, losing their number one ranking, and were blown away 3-0 in the one-dayers. “They call this one the ‘payback’ series but it is nothing compared to India’s World Cup win,” Amrit Mathur, chief operating officer of the IPL team Delhi Daredevils, told AFP. “It is difficult to get easily excited about a game so soon after that high. People won’t pay to watch any game.” Mathur pointed out the absence of injured top players such as Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh. “It matters... these players pull in the crowds,” he said. Much attention on television and in newspapers has focused instead on India’s inaugural Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday, though cricket’s dominance of the sporting scene in India does not seem under long-term threat. Even so the poor turnout has amazed and disappointed Indian cricket experts, who had come to expect every one-day international at home against top-class competition to sell out rapidly. The Board of Control for Cricket in India, which has become hugely wealthy and influential due to the country’s passion for the sport, admits there have been problems but it denies that fans have overdosed on action.—AFP




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Jamaican sprinters still rule men’s 100 meters GUADALAJARA: When it comes to the 100meter dash, Jamaica is still the team to beat with or without Usain Bolt. Jamaican sprinter Lerone Clarke added the Pan American Games title to the gold medal he won last year at the Commonwealth Games, winning Tuesday’s race in 10.01 seconds. “I ran as fast as I could,”

the 21-year-old Clarke said. “For me, running is a pleasure.” The gold was Jamaica’s first of the games, but it came in a race they have come to own. Besides Bolt’s world records at both the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2009 world championships in Berlin, Yohan Blake won the 100 at the 2011 worlds in South Korea after Bolt was

MEXICO: Jeremy Hicks, of the United States, hits the sand pit during the finals of the men’s long jump event at the Pan American Games. —AP

MEXICO: Mexico’s Cecilia Villar makes an attempt during the women’s pole vault competition at the Pan American Games. —AP

disqualified from the final for a false start. Overall, the United States still leads the medals table with 66 gold and 176 in total. Brazil is next with 29 gold and 81 overall. The Americans won a pair of gold medals in bowling and two more in fencing on Day 11 of the games, while Cuba also claimed four gold. Leonel Suarez led the way for the Cubans with gold in the decathlon, scoring 8,373 points and setting three personal bests in the 10-discipline event. Suarez earned bronze in August at the world championships in South Korea. Adriana Munoz also won gold for Cuba on the track, taking the title in the women’s 800. “It was easier than I expected,” Munoz said. “I thought the race was going to be tougher. I really thought I was going to be behind a couple of opponents in the last 100 meters, but oh well, I capitalized on this opportunity.” Cuba also earned a pair of weightlifting gold medals. Ivan Cambar won the men’s 77kilogram category and Yoelmis Hernandez took the title at 85 kilograms. Canada picked up three more gold medals as well, including one in a 2-1 win over the United States in the baseball final. In gymnastics, Brazil won the men’s team title and earned a spot at an Olympic qualifying event in London in January. Brazil is hoping to qualify a full team for the Olympics for the first time. Paola Longoria became Mexico’s biggest winner at this year’s Pan American Games by capturing her third gold medal in racquetball as part of the women’s team champions. Longoria already won the singles and doubles titles in Guadalajara. “We are extremely happy for these medals because we know we worked for them,” Longoria said. “The only thing I have left to do is to thank our trainers because without them we wouldn’t be here.” The track competition at the Pan American Games is well below the level of the world championships, but there were still some familiar faces. Besides Suarez, Maurice Smith of Jamaica took silver in the decathlon. He was also at the worlds in Daegu, but failed to complete all 10 events. In the 100 meters, 2003 world champion and 2011 bronze medalist Kim Collins of St. Kitts and Nevis was second behind Clarke. “I am still proud and happy to have won a medal for my country, despite not winning the gold medal,” the 35-year-old Collins said. “But these things happen and now I am going to put more effort into this.” —AP

Canada beat US in volleyball thriller GUADALAJARA: Canada saved 11 match points in the fourth set Tuesday to beat the United States 3-2 in a first round match at the Pan American Games. “ They played a great game and we played a great game, too,” Canada captain Louis-Pierre Mainville said. “We’ve been training for less than two months together and this is definitely the best I’ve seen us play.” After the teams split the first two sets, the Americans won the third 39-37 and Canada took the four th 35-33. The Canadians closed out the victory by winning 15-12 in the fifth. “Obviously it was a very close

match, with two sets going extra innings,” United States captain Evan Patak said. “It’s really frustrating for me and the guys because we were close and had opportunities to seal the victory. Canada played well down the stretch. It’s a difficult loss to swallow.” Spencer Leiske led Canada with 36 points, while Antonio Ciarelli had 30 for the Americans. “I’m happy with the way the guys fought. I’m disappointed with the loss of course,” United States coach John Speraw said. “ We came here to get some experience, and with the number of points we played tonight, we

certainly got some experience.” With the Mexican crowd on its side, Canada closed the third set with a block by Kyle Caldwell after 42 minutes and four wasted set points. The Americans also had 11 set points in the third before eventually winning it. In the fourth, Canada had only two set points against the 11 of the United States, but it made the most out of it. “In the second set we made some mental errors,” Canada coach Vincent Pichette said. “At that point I just told the guys to play the point and be focused and we were able to do that. I’m happy with what the guys were

Del Potro defeats Petzschner VIENNA: Second seed Juan Martin Del Potro lifted his game with the Davis Cup final approaching as the Argentine defeated German Philipp Petzschner 6-3, 6-4 to progress to the third round of the Austrian Open yesterday. A week ago Del Potro was beaten in the first round in Stockholm by James Blake, a poor start to the indoor season which will climax with the 2009 US Open winner leading his side in the Davis Cup final with Spain in Seville December 2-4. “I played much better today than the Blake match,” said Del Potro, winner of nine career titles. “But I need to play better. I’m in the quarter-finals but I must lift my level. “Whomever I meet on Friday will be tough, I have to be ready to fight. I’m feeling very good but Petzschner’s game is difficult for me. “I’m the taller player and he was playing a lot of drop shots and slices.” Del Potro, ranked 15th as he builds on his comeback from wrist surger y in 2010, will play either German veteran Tommy Haas or Slovenian qualifier Aljaz Bedene, who advanced when Ivo Karlovic quit with a bad back in their match. The Argentine - making his first appearance here since 2008 - got an early break in the first set against Petzschner, who captured his lone ATP singles title here three years ago as a qualifier with a win over Gael Monfils. The last two games of the 43-minute

set were marathons, with the German saving two Del Potro set points for 3-5. A game later, Del Potro was again pushed, forced to salvage four break points and requiring three more set points to finally take the lead. In the second, Del Potro broke for 5-4 and served out for the win a game later, ending with a spectacular reflex forehand off his shoelaces which landed good in the far corner for victory in just under 90 minutes with eight aces. South African sixth seed Kevin Anderson joined Del Potro in the last eight with a straight sets defeat of Marcos Baghdatis 6-2, 7-6 (7/5) “I executed well when I needed to and played a really good first set,” said Anderson, playing Vienna for the first time and a career-best 39-24 this season. “I was glad to get out in straight sets. I was hitting the ball really well today (Wednesday).” He will be playing in his ninth quarter-final of 2011 when he faces the winner of the match between Austrian holder Jurgen Melzer and Guillermo GarciaLopez. In concluding first-round contests, Belgian qualifier Steve Darcis brought Nikolay Davydenko’s first visit to Vienna since 2003 to an abrupt end with a 3-6, 6-0, 7-6 (7/2) win. Stockholm finalist Jarkko Nieminen continued his good run of form with a defeat of Dutchman Robin Haase 7-6 (7/3), 6-4. —AFP

able to do tonight.” The United States now needs to beat Brazil on Wednesday to advance from the group stage. It will be a rematch of the 2008 Olympic final won by the Americans in Beijing, although both teams have changed significantly since then. “If you analyze how we handled the situation as a team and as players, there is a lot we can take from this to use to our benefit,” Patak said. “That will be very important, especially with the young age of our team. Mentally you have to get over it, but at the same time you have to learn from your mistakes.” —AP

LOS ANGELES: In this photo made Oct. 20, 2011, boxer Manny Pacquiao trains at the Wild Card Boxing Club in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. —AP

Pacquiao takes it personal in third fight against Marquez LOS ANGELES: Manny Pacquiao never takes his fights personally. The poundfor-pound king’s opponents are usually quite respectful of his throne, and the easygoing Pacquiao shrugs off any stray insults with a smile. Not this time. Not in his third fight with Juan Manuel Marquez, the closest thing to an archrival for this unrivaled eight-division champion. Pacquiao’s trainers are sensing an unsettling edge in the Filipino congressman, who started an all-out training regimen with pre-dawn runs and lengthy gym workouts before the fight was even announced. The steady stream of bloody, beaten sparring partners leaving the Wild Card Gym testifies to a focus that nobody in Pacquiao’s camp has ever seen. “I’m not upset, but I get excited because he’s claiming that he won the fights,” Pacquiao said while wrapping his hands in the broom closet that serves as his dressing room at trainer Freddie Roach’s gym in Hollywood. “That’s why I train hard, because I want to end this, all the doubts. This is our last fight.” Pacquiao admits he’s insulted by Marquez’s boastful insistence that he won their first two fights, which ended in a draw in 2004 and a split decision for Pacquiao in 2008. Marquez even traveled to the Philippines to plead his case to the public, wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with: “We Were Robbed.” In truth, both bouts were dazzling displays of style and hear t, with Pacquiao’s aggression and toughness matching Marquez’s counterpunching and combinations for 24 fascinating rounds. Pacquiao knocked down Marquez three times in the first round of the first fight, and he floored Marquez once in the rematch, but Marquez rallied both times to even the bouts, doing more damage to Pacquiao than any opponent in the past decade. “It seems personal to him because he talks too much, and he needs to prove it,” said Pacquiao, who will meet Marquez at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas on Nov. 12. “He talks a lot, and it’s not good for a fighter to talk a lot without action. Me, I don’t talk a lot. I just do some action.” Pacquiao is sparring more aggressively and running more miles than he usually does at this point in his preparation for a fight, Roach said. He’s also training smarter, with strength trainer Alex Ariza finally selling him on the benefits of an occasional day off to rejuvenate the calf muscles that cramped against Marquez. “I don’t think I’ve seen him more focused, and I think it’s because it’s per-

sonal, for sure,” Ariza said shortly before Pacquiao knocked another palooka through the Wild Card ropes twice in the same sparring round. “When something is personal, it’s a lot different. He knows that he has to make a statement in this one. With everyone having questions about the first two, he has to make sure in this one that there’s no doubt. ... We’re going through sparring partners like you change underwear. I’m surprised that these guys are still coming back.” Even with his stellar career in full bloom over the past two years, Pacquiao has been generous to a fault with his recent opponents. He noticeably let up on Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito when they couldn’t match him last year, and he irked many fans by constantly touching gloves with overthe-hill Sugar Shane Mosley last May, even hugging Mosley before the 12th round. “I don’t see Manny even touching gloves (with Marquez),” Ariza said. “He has a disdain for the guy, and I’ve never known him to dislike anyone. ... Manny is still a nice guy and ever ything, but there’s something ver y Third World about him when he wants to be. He can be merciless. I’ve seen it, and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen that. Usually he lets guys off the hook. He isn’t letting anybody off the hook.” It’s unlikely Pacquiao would get a hug back from Marquez, a relentless competitor from the old-school Mexican tradition of brawlers. Marquez and his trainer, Nacho Beristain, are still sore losers about the second fight, with Beristain improbably alleging corruption in the judging when Pacquiao won by one round on one judge’s scorecard. Pacquiao insists he won’t be disappointed if he doesn’t knock out Marquez, but his trainers will be surprised. The WBO welterweight title bout will be fought at a 144-pound catch weight, and Pacquiao fights comfortably at a weight Marquez has only tried once before - in a one-sided loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. “I don’t think this fight is going to go six rounds,” Roach said. “With Manny’s footwork, he’s just a completely different animal to the guy that fought Marquez the first time. (Marquez) has gotten up against Manny before, but I don’t think he’s going to be able to get up from the power Manny has now. He’s a much stronger guy than he was at those smaller weight classes. He’s just a completely different animal. We can put it to bed, finally shut them up, and be happy.”—AP

Tipsarevic rolls in St. Petersburg ST. PETERSBURG: Second-seeded Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia advanced to the second round of the St. Petersburg Open with a straight-set victory yesterday, while sixth-seeded Marcel Granollers of Spain was beaten. Tipsarevic beat Olivier Rochus of

Belgium 6-2, 7-5. Igor Andreev of Russia rallied to oust Granollers 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4). Later, fifth-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia advanced to the quarterfinals, beating Julien Benneteau of France 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 in their second-round match.

Fresh from winning his second career title in Moscow on Sunday, Tipsarevic broke Rochus twice in the first set and served for the match at 5-2 up in the second. But Rochus, ranked 70th, broke him twice to level at 5-all. The 13-ranked Serb then broke for

ST PETERSBURG: Mikhail Youzhny of Russia returns the ball to Julien Benneteau of France at the St. Petersburg Open ATP tennis tournament. —AP

the third time and served for the match. He double-faulted on his first match point at 40-30 up before closing the match on his second one. Youzhny, who won the event in 2004 and was runner-up last season, broke twice in the deciding set for a 5-2 lead. He then saved a break point before wrapping up the victory on his second match point. The 117th-ranked Andreev saved a match point while serving at 5-4 down in the decider to force a tiebreaker. Serving at 5-4 up in the tiebreaker, Andreev landed a precise backhand down the line to earn two match points and then served a winner to close the match. Andreev said he was struggling with his first serve in the first set. “But it could have gone either way in the tiebreaker,” said Andreev, who lost in a third-set tiebreaker in the first round at the Kremlin Cup last week. “Last week I lost (in a tiebreaker). I decided to play more aggressively and risk today and I won.” With the victory, Andreev, a former top-20 player, ended a five-match losing streak on hard courts. “It was a very close match,” Granollers said. “We both played good but in the tiebreaker Igor (Andreev) was better than me. When you are in the tiebreaker, the match can be decided by two points.” Also in the first round, Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany rallied to beat Carlos Berlocq of Argentina 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-1, while Andreas Seppi of Italy eliminated Vasek Pospisil of Canada 7-5, 7-6 (4). —AP



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Al Sadd, Jeonbuk in final Asian Champions League

DIJON: Dijon’s French forward Christophe Mandanne (right) vies with Paris’ Uruguayan defender Diego Lugano during the French League Cup match. — AFP

Red hot Dijon dump PSG PARIS: Paris Saint Germain’s dream start to the season hit the skids yesterday after a 3-2 defeat to Dijon dumped the French league leaders out of the League Cup. PSG have spent more than 85 million euros ($118m) on transfers since being bought out by Qatar Sports Investments in the summer and currently sit top of France’s Ligue 1. But a few days after a 2-0 defeat of Ligue 1 new boys Dijon, the big-spending Parisians failed a repeat against the Burgundy side that would have seen them join arch-rivals Marseille in the quarter-finals of the competition. PSG coach Antoine Kombouare said he was disappointed with the result but not the manner of it and added that while some might question him making so many personnel changes to the side that won the league match he had little choice. “There are a lot of matches,” he said. “We have four in nine days and I wanted to give Javier Pastore some breathing space. “The players are not supermen. They know that there is a great hunger here to build a great PSG team, that the club has embarked on an ambitious voyage with

the arrival of great players. “We have to bounce back, to move forwards by the big door. On Saturday, we will test our capacity to react against Caen.” PSG had started the round of 16 match in positive fashion, with goals from Jean-Christophe Bahebecq and Mevlut Erding putting them 2-0 up inside the first 20 minutes.However the hosts were soon back on level terms thanks to goals from former PSG player Younousse Sankhare, on the half hour with a penalty, and Florin Berenguer two minutes later. The match turned in Dijon’s favor when the referee again pointed to the penalty spot on the hour mark after the ball appeared to bounce off defender Zoumana Camara’s arm. It looked a harsh decision for the visitors, but Brice Jovial was in no mood for charity as he stepped up to send the ball just past the outstretched glove of PSG ‘keeper Nicolas Douchez. Marseille, who have had a dreadful start to their league campaign, began their quest for an unprecedented third consecutive League Cup title with a 4-0 win at home to Ligue 2 side Lens on Tuesday. — AFP

FIFA opens 10 more bribery cases GENEVA: FIFA’s election bribery scandal went deeper yesterday, as 10 more Caribbean football officials were put under investigation over an alleged plot involving former presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam. FIFA said it wanted to interview 10 officials from six countries, as part of an investigation being conducted by the agency of former FBI director Louis Freeh. “The cases will be submitted to the FIFA Ethics Committee at its next meeting in mid-November,” the governing body said in a statement. Former prime minister of Dominica, Patrick John, is among those under suspicion. FIFA is also investigating Oliver Camps, general secretary of Trinidad and Tobago’s football federation and an ally of disgraced former FIFA vice president Jack Warner. One of the accused is from the Bahamas federation, which was the original whistleblower that alerted FIFA to $40,000 cash payments being offered during bin Hammam’s campaign visit to Trinidad in May. Lionel Haven was general secretary of Bahamas football then, when Warner summoned his Caribbean Football Union members to a two-day conference to meet the Qatari candidate. Bin Hammam denies bribery and is appealing his life ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Warner resigned all his football positions after 28 years in FIFA’s high command to avoid an investigation. Last week, Warner threatened to release a “tsunami” of allegations implicating FIFA President Sepp Blatter when bin Hammam’s CAS case is completed. A verdict is unlikely before March. FIFA committee members Colin Klass

and Horace Burrell also were suspended, for 26 months and six months respectively. Burrell was a leading candidate to succeed Warner as CFU president in a Nov. 20 poll in Jamaica. Three more elected officials and two CFU staffers also have been banned for between one and 18 months. FIFA’s ethics panel has reprimanded three more officials, warned five and dropped cases against two who resigned. Another two men had their cases postponed or left open. FIFA has not specified why they were punished or what the 10 new cases are about. Under FIFA’s code of ethics, officials are not allowed to accept cash gifts and must report suspected corruption. Some officials declined to cooperate with Freeh’s investigators, who set up several meetings in Miami, the Bahamas and elsewhere in the Caribbean to interview officials. Montserrat football president Vincent Cassell, one of the 10 accused, said in June that his first scheduled interview clashed with a 2014 World Cup qualifier against Belize, being played in neutral Trinidad. “We weren’t involved in whatever they are talking about,” Cassell told the Associated Press then of the bribery allegations, “so we didn’t see it as a priority. Montserrat is a very small fry in the world of football. I didn’t think they would see us as important.” After the scandal emerged in May, bin Hammam withdrew his election bid three days before the FIFA vote. Blatter ran unopposed and won a fourth fouryear presidential term, with the backing of 186 FIFA members, including most Caribbean islands. He has pledged a zero-tolerance anti-corruption drive to clean up world football and its damaged image. — AP

DOHA: Al Sadd will meet Jeonbuk Motors in the final of the Asian Champions League after edging past Suwon Bluewings 2-1 on aggregate. Al Sadd maintained its hopes of becoming the first Qatari side to win the revamped competition despite losing 1-0 at home in Wednesday’s semifinal second leg. There was none of the acrimony of the first leg - a game Al Sadd won 20 and which featured a controversial second goal and three red cards - and although the South Korean visitors took the lead through Oh Jang-eun’s eighth minute strike, they could not force the second they needed. Jeonbuk, whose Jeonju stadium will host the final, beat Saudi Arabian side Al Ittihad 2-1 earlier in the day to advance from its semifinal 5-3 on aggregate. In Jeonju, South Korea’s Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors booked their place in the Asian Champions League final with a 2-1 victory yesterday over Al Ittihad of Saudi Arabia. The victory at Jeonju World Cup Stadium gave Jeonbuk a 5-3 aggregate win over the two-legged semi-final, after they prevailed 3-2 in a hardfought match in Jeddah last week. Brazilian forward Eninho scored two first-half goals for Jeonbuk, who last week clinched the regular season K-League title. Manager Choi Kang-Hee, who led the club to the continental crown five years ago, said he was glad to have put in the hard work in Saudi Arabia. “The lead we took from the first leg gave us some breathing space at home but we knew well that Al Ittihad are a very good team,” he said. “We expected them to come at us strongly and we were ready for that. Eninho’s goals were a big help but we still had work to do and were able to get the result we needed.” Both sides ended the match a man down, with the Saudi club playing most of the game with 10 men. Striker Naif Hazazi, who scored two goals in the first leg, was sent off in only the 12th minute after an altercation with Jeonbuk’s Cho Sung-Hwan, while the home side’s substitute Krunoslav Lovrek picked up a second yellow in the closing stages. Hazazi, who scored both Al Ittihad goals in the first leg, appeared to headbutt Cho after a tangle and the referee had no hesitation in giving him his marching orders. Jeonbuk made the advantage count 10 minutes later when Eninho wriggled past Osama Al Harbi into the penalty box and fired a low shot past keeper Mabrouk Zaid. He produced a moment of magic nine minutes before the break when he curled a corner directly into the goal, despite the despairing efforts of Zaid and his defenders. The visitors pressed in the second half but could not breach the Jeonbuk defence until Mohammed Noor produced a brilliant pass to split the defence 17 minutes from time, and Brazilian midfielder Wendel swept home from close range. Jeonbuk will be without their captain Cho for the final due to suspension, but Choi said he hoped tournament top scorer Lee Dong-Gook would return from injury.—Agencies

DOHA: UAE referee Ali Hamad gestures during the match between South Korea’s Suwon Samsung Bluewings club against Qatar’s AlSadd club in their semi-final football match in the AFC Champions League. — AFP

More Nigerian heartache looms as Stars set to fall JOHANNESBURG: More heartbreak is looming for Nigerian football with Sunshine Stars facing elimination from the African Confederation Cup this weekend. Stars from the south-western town of Akure lost the first leg of a semi-final 1-0 at home two weeks ago with Chad-born goal poacher Ezekiel Ndouassel hitting the early second-half winner for Tunisian visitors Club Africain. That result leaves the North Africans needing just a draw at home to secure a place in the final of the second-tier African club competitiion loosely modelled on the Europa League. The probable departure of Sunshine will complete a dark October for football followers in the

most populous country on the continent after Africa Cup of Nations and African Champions League failures. Nigeria conceded a last-minute equaliser against Guinea in Abuja and the 2-2 draw not only deprived the ‘Super Eagles’ of top place in the group, but prevented them gaining a back-door entry as one of the best two runners-up. Enyimba, the only Nigerian club to win the Champions League, then became the focus of hope only to be held goalless at home by Moroccan outfit Wydad Casablanca and made a semi-finals exit. Sunshine will draw hope from a record of two victories and a draw in five away

African outings this season and Club Africain must play behind closed doors as punishment for crowd trouble during a group game. Nigerian coach Gbenga Ogunbote is upbeat despite a home reverse that leaves his team with little chance of making the final against Moghreb Fes of Morcoco or InterClube of Angola. “I do not see Club Africain standing between us and our target of winning this Cup. It is not a crime to fall, but it is a crime to fall and not rise up,” he told the Nigerian media. Club Africain are the only semi-finalist to have won an African title-lifting the Champions Cup 20 years ago with a 7-3 aggregate triumph over Ugandans Nakivubo Villa. —AFP

Tevez fined by City

GERMANY: Dresden’s supporters set fireworks in the stadium during the German Soccer Cup match between German champion Borussia Dortmund and second divison club Dynamo Dresden. Police say 15 people were arrested and several injured in clashes between officers and Dynamo Dresden supporters. — AP

LONDON: Carlos Tevez was found guilty of breach of contract and fined more than $1 million by Manchester City on Tuesday following an internal disciplinary hearing into his behavior during a Champions League match. But the dispute threatens to drag on for weeks if the striker challenges the verdict that he disobeyed club officials when he did not come off the bench during last month’s 2-0 loss at Bayern Munich when requested to do so. Tevez was suspended for two weeks by City after the row in Germany, but despite manager Roberto Mancini initially declaring that the Argentina international would never play for the club again, he received no further ban from the club’s disciplinary panel. Tevez was fined four weeks’ wages, which equates to around 800,000 pounds ($1.3 million), after also being given a written warning about his future conduct, according to the verdict published on City’s website. City maintains that Tevez will only be sold in the January transfer window if a club meets its asking price of around 40 million pounds ($80 million) for a player with almost three years remaining on his contract. The 27-year-old Tevez remains available for selection despite Mancini’s initial assertion. Tevez maintained to City that he would only not resume warming up in the second half in Munich, insisting he had already done so - a point which formed the club’s charge against the player last week. But City published five contractual breaches by Tevez on its website. Topping the list, City said Tevez had not fulfilled “an obligation to participate in any matches in which the player is selected to play for the club when directed by a club official”. City also said Tevez did not follow the instructions of his manager, and brought the club into disrepute. Tevez has 14 days to appeal against the decision. He would also have the right to a second appeal to the Premier League. That whole process could see the saga run into December, with Tevez’s legal team exploring whether anything initially said publicly by City could be construed as defamation as he maintains that he did not refuse to play. —AP

Brazil’s sports minister to be replaced - Reports SAO PAULO: Brazilian media reported yesterday that the nation’s sports minister will be replaced soon because of corruption allegations. Minister Orlando Silva has been under fire for more than a week as several people have come forward to accuse him of involvement in kickback schemes linked to projects for social sports programs. Silva has denied the allegations. On Tuesday, Brazil’s Supreme Court said it opened an investigation into the allegations. Silva has already denied the accusations before a congressional panel. “After that Supreme Court decision, Orlando was a minister who was already on his way out,” a spokesman with the president’s office told the Estado de S. Paulo newspaper in a story posted on its website Wednesday. The Globo newspaper and the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper have similar reports. A spokesman with the office of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and with Silva’s Communist Party would not comment on

the matter when contacted by The Associated Press. Silva is tasked with overseeing Brazil’s preparations for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, though his departure is unlikely to affect preparations for those events because responsibilities are spread across many federal ministries, as well as state and city governments. It was not clear if Silva would resign or be fired. The Brazilian Communist Party is a loyal supporter of the ruling Workers Party, and presumably would like another one of its members to take Silva’s spot if he leaves. Silva returned from the Pan American Games in Mexico last week to defend himself against the accusations, which first surfaced in the newsmagazine Veja, whose reports on corruption have helped lead to the removal of four other ministers since June. Veja quoted police officer Joao Dias Ferreira, who runs a nonprofit sports youth organization, as saying he personally handed money to Silva

in the minister’s garage so that the group could get government funds. Silva denies receiving any money from Dias and said he believes the allegation was made in retaliation for an investigation he launched into how Dias’ group was using government money. A spokeswoman for Brazil’s organizing committee for the World Cup said the organization did not have any immediate comment. A spokesman for the Olympic organizing committee did not return calls Wednesday, though the group’s president, Carlos Nuzman, told the AP last week that the Silva scandal will not affect Rio de Janeiro’s preparations for the Olympics. If Silva leaves his post, he would be the sixth minister forced from Rousseff ’s government. Four of the five who have already left faced corruption allegations. “Brazil must hold the world record now for the number of ministers forced out because of corruption,” said Gil Castello Branco, founder of

the nonprofit watchdog group Contas Abertas, which campaigns for transparency in government. He said that Silva’s exit is inevitable, “but I don’t think it will have any affect on the preparations for our two megaevents, the World Cup and the Olympics. Silva is more of a figurehead, the preparations will go ahead without him,” Branco said. “This is likely to have more repercussions on Brazil’s international reputation than any actual work here,” he said. The exit of Rousseff’s ministers began in June, when her chief of staff, Antonio Palocci, was forced from his post amid reports about the rapid growth his personal wealth during his tenure as a legislator, from 2006-2010. The ministers of agriculture, transportation, and tourism have also resigned following allegations of irregularities. The defense minister was forced out after publicly criticizing other ministers in Rousseff’s government. — AP

Blue Jackets clip Red Wings



Jamaican sprinters still rule men’s 100 meters


India raises the flag for Formula one

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LONDON: Manchester City’s Samir Nasri (left) scores during their League Cup fourth round football match against Wolverhampton Wanders. — AFP

City rout Wolves to reach q-finals Liverpool, Chelsea in League Cup quarters LONDON: Manchester City kept up its free-scoring form by thrashing Wolverhampton Wanderers 5-2 in the League Cup, while Chelsea and Blackburn scored late winners in extra time to advance to the quarterfinals yesterday. Buoyant after routing Manchester United 6-1 to take a five-point lead in the Premier League, City rallied with three goals in a four-minute span just before halftime after conceding an early goal at Molineux. Adam Johnson and Samir Nasri started the comeback, with Edin Dzeko adding a double either side of an own goal by goalkeeper Dorus de Vries at Molineux. “Them getting the early goal lifted everyone,” said Johnson. “The first 20 minutes

were shaky but once we got the ball down and passing and moving and the second goal, it was virtually over.” Substitute Daniel Sturridge scored Chelsea’s winner with four minutes left in extra time as the London club beat Everton 2-1 in a match that saw both teams finish with 10 men. Salomon Kalou made up for Nicolas Anelka’s missed penalty in the 16th by putting Chelsea ahead before the visitors had goalkeeper Ross Turnbull sent off in the 58th for bringing down Louis Saha. Petr Cech, Turnbull’s replacement, saved the resulting penalty by Leighton Baines but Saha took the game into extra time with a near-post header in

the 83rd. Royston Drenthe was dismissed for Everton in a frenetic extra 30 minutes before Sturridge slammed home a rebound after Florent Malouda’s shot was parried out. Gael Givet was Blackburn’s match-winner in the last minute of extra time as Newcastle was beaten 4-3 for its first defeat of the season, while Liverpool rallied to beat Stoke 2-1 thanks to a second-half brace by Uruguay striker Luis Suarez. Manchester United, Arsenal, Cardiff and Crystal Palace reached the quarterfinals on Tuesday. City took its tally of goals to 15 in its last three away matches but it needed Nenad Milijas’ 18thminute goal to stir the visitors into action. With a point to prove after being ignominiously

hauled off by Mancini before halftime in the Champions League victory over Villarreal last week, Adam Johnson was instrumental in City’s comeback The England winger ran on to Dzeko’s lay-off and clipped a shot into the bottom corner before turning provider, slipping through a pinpoint through-ball for Nasri to score with a low finish from the edge of the area. “I think Adam can do a bit more but he has everything to be one of the best wingers in Europe,” City manager Roberto Mancini said. Dzeko - fresh off a double as a substitute against United - bundled in the third and fifth goals from close range, sandwiching an unfortunate own goal by De Vries in the 50th. Jamie O’Hara grabbed

a consolation for Wolves a minute later. With United easing past fourth-tier team Aldershot 3-0 on Tuesday, City could face its local rival in the last eight. “We’ll play anyone at the moment,” Johnson said. “Our confidence is up - it doesn’t really matter who we get.” While City made wholesale changes to the team that thrashed United at the weekend, Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish fielded a number of first-team players and will be thankful he retained Suarez. The striker missed a number of chances in the 1-1 league draw against Norwich on Saturday but was more efficient against Stoke, equalizing with an unstoppable drive after dribbling past Ryan Shotton. —AP

Real romp keeps pressure on Levante MADRID: A first half exhibition of attacking play set Real Madrid up for a 3-0 win over Villarreal yesterday but they still trail surprise leaders Levante who earlier came from behind to beat Real Sociedad 3-2. Real are in blistering form and have now scored 28 goals in their last seven games in all competitions, an average of four a match, but they are a point adrift of Levante. Karim Benzema sent Real on their way with a clinical finish after just three minutes and then Kaka fired in the second minutes later against Villarreal whose coach Juan Carlos Garrido is under pressure with the side having not won in seven games. Angel Di Maria finished off a fine team move for the third after 30 minutes and with the game won Real relaxed in the second half while Villarreal offered little threat. A sensational injury time winner against Sociedad kept Levante in pole position. Ruben Suarez’ injurytime winner allowed Levante to retake top spot in La Liga off champions Barcelona. The modest side from Valencia are sweeping all before them at the moment in a superb start to the season. Sociedad went ahead after just three minutes when a poor clearance from the keeper fell to Daniel Estrada who slotted the ball home. It looked as though it was going to be Sociedad’s night as they then hit the post through Alberto De la Bella and had the better of the first half. Levante came back strongly though after the

MADRID: Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema from France reacts after scoring against Villarreal during a Spanish La Liga soccer match. —AP break with goals from Nano Rivas and Valdo Lopes but it appeared as though they would have to settle for a draw with Inigo Martinez equalising with three minutes to go. However, four minutes into injury time Suarez gave Levante a stunning victory with a freekick from distance which went in off the post. “We are not used to playing three games a week. The run we are on at the moment is almost impossible and in this game we could have easily dropped points,” said Levante coach Juan Martinez. “When we were behind, the team had to respond

and they have confidence at the moment and a small amount of luck which you need.” A Jordi Alba goal after 82 minutes gave Valencia a 1-0 win away to Real Zaragoza and was a welcome victory after a poor run of just one win in seven matches. Malaga, though, failed to bounce back from their 4-0 thrashing by Real Madrid at the weekend as they lost 2-0 to Rayo Vallecano while Getafe drew 2-2 at home to Osasuna. On Tuesday a Xavi Hernandez free-kick gave a lacklustre Barcelona a 1-0 win over nine-man Granada 1-0 which extended their club record run to seven games without conceding a goal. The visitors dominated possession from start to finish but lacked a finishing touch. Messi and Pedro Rodriguez went close before Xavi hit a fine free-kick from distance after 32 minutes which flew into the top corner. They still couldn’t wrap the game up with a second goal despite a man extra after Jaime Romero was sent off In injury time Daniel Benitez was also red carded after being cautioned for a second time. Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said that fatigue had been behind his side’s unusually ineffective display. “We didn’t play the ball around very quickly and we tried to have more control of the game but this is all understandable when you play so many matches,” said Guardiola. “With the score at 1-0 anything can happen. Any mistake against a side as quick as this (Granada) can be very costly.” —AFP

Napoli stop Udinese ROME: Goals from Ezequiel Lavezzi and Christian Maggio helped Napoli to a 2-0 home win against Udinese yesterday and prevent their visitors returning to the top of Serie A. That result ended Udinese’s unbeaten start to the season and allowed Juventus, who beat Fiorentina 21 on Tuesday, to remain at the top. Lazio could have earned that honor but they were held to 1-1 draw at home to Catania and drop to third, a point behind Juve in the congested table. Napoli looked to have got a flying start as Marek Hamsik headed home Lavezzi’s free-kick off Kwadwo Asamoah but the effort was ruled out for a marginal offside. The deadlock was broken on 20 minutes with a goal of sumputuous quality as Lavezzi played a one-two with Edinson Cavani, whose inventive return pass hooked over his head was bettered only by Lavezzi’s volleyed finish. It was the energetic Argentine striker’s first goal at the San Paolo stadium in a year and a day and the first time Udinese goalkeeper Samir Handanovic had

been beaten in more than 400 minutes. The second came a minute before the break as Blerim Dzemaili crossed from the left and Maggio leapt like a salmon to power home a header. Last season when Lazio narrowly missed out on qualification for the Champions League to Udinese many people said what they lacked was a goal-scorer. They seem to have put that right with veteran German Miroslav Klose now in their ranks. On 17 minutes he bravely threw himself into the mix to head home Cristian Brocchi’s right-wing cross at the back post despite the attentions of Giuseppe Bellusci’s raised boot. But a horrible defensive error from Marius Stankevicius gifted Gonzalo Bergessio a free shot from 15 yards and the Argentine made no mistake, although Lazio goalkeeper Federico Marchetti probably could have done better. Many eyes will now be on rapidly rising AC Milan who thumped Parma 4-1 to move up to fifth, just two points off the top. It was the second time in successive games that they hit four goals following

ITALY: Napoli’s Hugo Campagnaro (left) of Argentina and Udinese’s Dusan Basta of Serbia fight for the ball during a Serie A soccer match in Naples. —AP Sunday’s stunning come-from-behind 4-3 win at Lecce, in which they trailed 3-0 at the break. In that match Kevin-Prince Boateng scored a hattrick and this time it was the turn of Antonio Nocerino. —AP



e niv rsar n


Gold reprises haven role in 4-day rally


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Gulf Bank reports KD 27.4m net profit Page 23


Olympus Chairman Kikukawa resigns

Extra billions can be fed, but who will pay?

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Wataniya posts KD 324.0m net profit for Q3 Performance continues to drive positive returns KUWAIT: Wataniya Telecom yesterday announced its financial results for the nine months 2011. Total customer base increased to 17.4 million at the close of Q3 2011, versus 16.2 million at the same period in 2010, amounting to growth of 7.2 percent. Revenues for first nine months of 2011 amounted to KD 540.2 million ($1.96 billion), compared with KD 400.7 million ($1.46 billion) for the same period in 2010, amounting to growth of 34.8 percent. EBITDA for the year to date Q3 2011 was KD 234.8 million ($853 million), compared to EBITDA of KD 155.7 million ($565.5 million) for the same period in 2010, amounting to growth of 50.8 percent. The consolidated Net Profit was at KD 324.0 million ($1.18 billion), compared to net profit for the same period in 2010 of KD 53.7 million ($195.2 million). Net profit in Q3 2011 compared to 2010 impacted mainly by foreign currency exchange fluctuations in Algeria and Kuwait. The consolidated Earnings Per Share was 646 fils ($2.3), compared to 107 fils (39 cents) per share earned for the same period last year. Excluding revaluation gain the Earnings Per Share increased to 117 fils (42 cents), amounting to an increase of 8.8 percent. In this regard, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani, Chairman of Wataniya Telecom commented: “The first nine months of 2011 have shown a continuation of the positive performance Wataniya Telecom demonstrated in the first half of the year. During this period, Wataniya Telecom has seen an increase in revenue of 34.8 percent and EBITDA by 50.8 percent compared with the same period in 2010.” The Chairman added: “Year on year increases in revenue of 13.4 percent in Kuwait and 28.9 percent in Algeria shows that key operations in the Group con-

tinue to deal effectively with ongoing competitive and market challenges. Overall as a Group, our growth has remained strong with a customer base that now exceeds 17 million.” Net Profit for the year to date Q3 2011 includes a fair value gain of KD 265.5 million ($964.3 million) recorded due to revaluation of existing held interest in Tunisiana following the increase in the shareholding from 50 percent to 75 percent. The Net Profit for the nine months of 2011 without the fair value gain was KD 58.4 million ($212.3 million), an increase of 8.8 percent on the same period of 2010. Review of operations The Group’s operational performance can be summarized as follows: Wataniya - Kuwait: Wataniya Kuwait’s customer base increased to 1.94 million customers at the end of Q3 2011, an increase of 12.7 percent on Q3 2010. Revenues for the first nine months of 2011 were KD 185.5 million ($673.7 million), an increase of 13.4 percent compared to revenues for the same period in 2010 of KD 163.6 million ($594.1 million). EBITDA for Q3 2011 was KD 85.5 million ($310.6 million) compared to EBITDA for the same period in 2010 of KD 71.8 million ($260.6 million), an increase of 19.2 percent. Net profit was at KD 321.1 million ($1.17 billion), compared to Net Profit for the same period in 2010 of KD 49.4 million ($179.6 million). Net profit for the year to date Q3 2011 includes a fair value gain of KD 265.5 million ($964.3 million) recorded due to revaluation of existing 50 percent held interest in Tunisiana following the increase in the shareholding from 50 percent to 75 percent. The Net Profit in Q3 2011 without the fair value gain was KD 55.5 million ($201.7 million), an increase of

12.3 percent on the same period of 2010. Tunisiana - Tunisia: As a result of the increased Tunisiana shareholding (now 75 percent) both revenue and EBITDA have been consolidated at 100 percent (previous year 50 percent) from Q1 2011 onwards. The Tunisiana customer base at the end of Q3 2011 stood at 6.41 million customers: an increase of 10.5 percent on the same period in 2010. Revenues for the first nine months 2011 were KD 154.5 million ($561.3 million), compared to revenues for the same period in 2010 of KD 80.0 million ($290.6 million). EBITDA for the year to date Q3 2011 was KD 87.3 million ($317.0 million) from KD 42.0 million ($152.7 million) for the same period last year representing an increase of 107.6 percent.

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani

The total Net Profit stood at KD 3 8 . 2 million ($138.9 million) an increase of 110.2 percent when compared with KD 18.2 million ($66.1 million) for the same period in 2010. The Net Attributable Profit to Wataniya Telecom for the first nine months of 2011 was KD 28.7 million ($104.2 million), compared to KD 18.2 million ($66.1 million) for the same period in 2010. This reflects the new 75 percent shareholding. Nedjma - Algeria: The Nedjma customer base at the end of Q3 2011 was 8.24 million customers, an increase of 2.1 percent compared to the same period last year. Revenues for the year to date Q3 2011 were KD 163.7 million ($594.6 million), an increase of 28.9 percent compared with revenues of KD 127.0 million ($461.2 million) for the same period in 2010. EBITDA for the year to date Q3 2011 was KD 62.0 million ($225.3 million), an increase of 31.9 percent on KD 47.0 million ($170.8 million) for the same period in 2010. The total Net Profit for the first nine months of 2011 was KD 11.2 million ($40.5 million) compared to a total Net Profit of KD 0.2 million ($0.6 million) for the same period in 2010. The Net Attributable Profit to Wataniya Telecom for the nine months of 2011 was KD 7.9 million ($28.8 million) compared to a Net Attributable Profit of KD 0.1 million ($0.4 million) for the same period in 2010. Bravo - Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Bravo’s customer base was 0.21 million at the end of Q3 2011, an increase of 5.8 percent from the same period of 2010. Revenues for the nine months of 2011 decreased to KD 14.1 million ($51.4 million) from KD 16.4 million ($59.5 million) for the same period in 2010. The total Net Loss for the year to date Q3 2011 was KD 8.1 million ($29.3 million) compared to a total Net Loss of KD 6.0 million ($21.7 million) for the

same period in 2010. The Net Attributable Loss to Wataniya Telecom for the first nine months of 2011 was KD 4.5 million ($16.3 million), compared to a Net Attributable Loss of KD 3.3 million ($12.1 million) for the same period in 2010. Wataniya - Maldives: The total customer base at end of Q3 2011 was 0.13 million, an increase of 27.0 percent from the same period of 2010. Revenues were KD 7.1 million ($25.8 million) for the year to date Q3 2011 compared to KD 6.6 million ($24.1 million) for the same period 2010. EBITDA for the nine months 2011 was KD 1.3 million ($4.7 million) compared to an EBITDA of KD 0.7 million ($2.5 million) for the same period in 2010. The Net Attributable Loss for the first nine months of 2011 was KD 2.1 million ($7.6 million) compared to a Net Attributable Loss of KD 3.8 million ($13.7 million) for the same period in 2010. Wataniya - Palestine: The total customer base at end of Q3 2011 was 0.43 million, an increase of 43.2 percent from the same period of 2010. Revenues were KD 15.2 million ($55.1 million) for the nine months ending 2011 compared to KD 7.1 million ($25.8 million) for the same period 2010. Wataniya Palestine has passed the breakeven point on EBITDA with KD 0.8 million ($2.9 million) in the first nine months of 2011, compared to a negative EBITDA of KD 5.1 million ($18.5 million) for the same period in 2010. The total Net Loss for the year to date Q3 2011 was KD 6.9 million ($25.0 million) compared to a total Net Loss of KD 12.5 million ($45.4 million) for the same period in 2010. The Net Attributable Loss for the first nine months of 2011 was KD 3.3 million ($12.1 million) compared to a Net Attributable Loss of KD 7.1 million ($25.9 million) for the same period in 2010.

Hopes fade of grand Europe debt deal

DUBAI: This photo shows Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman of DP World (second right) as he talks about the expansion of cruise terminal facilities at Rashid Port during a press conference yesterday. Dubai plans to significantly expand its cruise ship port in an effort to attract more seafaring tourists to the Gulf city. Port operator DP World laid out plans yesterday to open a second cruise ship terminal at the downtown Port Rashid by the end of 2012 to allow up to five cruise liners to dock at a time. — AP

Mideast oil importers face fiscal slowdown DUBAI: Middle Eastern countries without significant oil resources face a sharp slowdown in economic growth as the effects of the Arab Spring reverberate across the region, the International Monetary Fund said yesterday. In a twice-yearly report, the IMF cut its economic growth forecast for the Mideast’s oil importing countries - including Egypt and Tunisia - to just 1.9 percent this year. That is down from an earlier IMF forecast of 2.3 percent and well below the more than 4 percent growth in 2010. The Washington-based fund predicts their growth in 2012 will also be weaker than anticipated, coming in at

around 3 percent. “Since the beginning of this year, a deterioration in the international economic outlook and the buildup of domestic social pressures have resulted in an economic slowdown in many of the region’s oilimporting countries,” said Masood Ahmed, the director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia department. Among the Mideast’s oil importers are Tunisia and Egypt, whose longtime leaders were overthrown in revolutions earlier this year. The unrest hurt their economies by causing a drop in tourism and other trade. Oil exporting countries - a diverse group that includes wealthy

IMF lowers Lebanon growth forecast to 1.5% DUBAI: The International Monetary Fund said yesterday it has revised down its forecast for economic growth in Lebanon to 1.5 percent in 2011 after many years of robust expansion, due to political uncertainty and unrest in neighboring Syria. The drop revealed in the IMF’s Regional Economic Outlook, released in Dubai, is the second this year after the fund lowered its expected growth to 2.5 percent in the spring. “That is our best estimate,” the IMF’s director for the Middle East and Central Asia, Masood Ahmed, told AFP. A five-month delay in the formation of a government until June and unrest in Syria have “led to a slowdown in economic activity quite significantly in Lebanon resulting in the revision of our estimates,” he said. He said the two factors have had “consequences on confidence” in the economy which grew at no less than 7.5 percent between 2007 and 2010, according to IMF figures.

Ahmed said that the slowdown is noticed in the property sector, which grew rapidly over the past couple of years, but also in the whole economy. “It is a more generalized slowdown that we have seen,” he said, noting that “the fiscal position has deteriorated a bit, in part because of the slowdown in the economy and also because fuel tax excises have been halved.” Lebanon’s fiscal deficit will rise to 7.8 percent of GDP in 2011, compared to 7.3 percent in 2010, the IMF report said. The fund is more optimistic on the prospects for next year, expecting the economy to pick up pace and expand by 3.5 percent. “In the second half of the year, there has been a government in place. There is a bit more certainty coming from that,” Ahmed said, adding that the “assumption is that during the course of next year, things in the region will continue to stabilize.” —AFP

OPEC nations such as the United Arab Emirates and Qatar as well as much poorer states like Yemen - will fare far better thanks to a boom in oil prices and output. The IMF left its growth target of 4.9 percent for those countries unchanged. That is ahead of its outlook of 4 percent for the world economy as a whole. For next year, the same group can expect 3.9 percent growth, the IMF forecast. Libya was left out of the IMF’s overall forecasts because of uncertainty caused by months of civil war there. The fighting has clearly taken a toll on the North African country’s economy, however. The IMF estimated that Libya’s overall economy is likely to shrink by more than half this year because of the near-shutdown in oil production, which accounted for more than 70 percent of the economy before the war. The fund praised the decision by Saudi Arabia and its Gulf neighbors to temporarily boost oil output to make up for supplies that dried up when Libya descended into civil war earlier this year. Ahmed called the increased output “an essential contribution toward global energy market stability.” Many oil-exporting countries, particularly the Gulf monarchies, have boosted spending on public-sector salaries, government subsidies and other perks in response to this year’s uprisings. While they have plenty of cash to cover those handouts for now, the increased costs are pushing some of their budgets - which now mostly run at a surplus - closer to the break-even point. That makes them more vulnerable to swings in oil prices at a time when the global economy looks increasingly shaky, the IMF cautioned. For the region as a whole, the IMF forecast economic growth of 3.9 percent this year and 3.7 percent in 2012. The IMF report includes oil exporters Algeria, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the UAE and Yemen, and oil importers Afghanistan, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Syria and Tunisia. —AP

BRUSSELS: Hopes faded of a grand new plan to fix the eurozone debt crisis at a much-awaited EU summit yesterday as China and Russia waded in with offers of help to safeguard the global economy. European Union presidents and prime ministers gather from 1600 GMT for their second summit in days as markets and world leaders urge a watertight deal to defuse fears the crisis will trigger global recession. “There are still many problems to settle and negotiations to carry out, so the work is not yet over,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters on arriving for the summit. Europe’s leaders have been scrambling to produce a battle-plan to shield the euro after two years of turmoil embroiling Greece, Ireland and Portugal and now threatening the eurozone’s third and fourth econonmies, Italy and Spain. “We are near the moment of truth. We must today take tangible decisions,” said Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who heads the 17-nation euro-group. But confirming whispers in Brussels corridors that the summit could well fall short of expectations, Juncker told reporters: “We will likely not set out everything in the finest details, but the general direction” that must be taken. Embattled Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi was in the spotlight after being ordered by his peers at a weekend summit to return yesterday armed with tangible proof of planned reforms to reassure markets on the health of the Italian economy. Tighter eurozone fiscal discipline is one element in a package that includes beefing up a rescue fund to guard against further contagion, agreeing a massive write-off for banks on Greek government debt, and recapitalising Europe’s banks so they can absorb the hit. Draft conclusions leaked ahead of the talks showed no deal on a figure for recapitalization though finance ministers have given broad agreement to a 108 billion euros ($150 billions). Diplomats warned too that negotiations with banks on a write-down of Greek debt were proceeding with difficulty. Officials want the banks to accept losses of 50 to 60 percent while lenders are offering a 40 percent ‘haricut.’ “It looks as if we may have quite a weak statement, at the lower end of expectations,” said an EU diplomat speaking on condition of anonymity. “We do not even expect a headline figure on the rescue fund.” A primary aim of the summit is to beef up the size of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), which rescued Ireland and Portugal but is too small to fly to the rescue of more potential victims, Italy, Spain, and even France. With the world on tenterhooks over any such prospect, emerging powers China and Russia earlier yesterday offered to leap in to help. Hopes the EFSF could be swollen from 440 million euros to more than a trillion rose when diplomats told AFP that China has agreed to invest. Russia then too offered to help boost the size of the bailout fund by acting with other countries through the International Monetary Fund. President Dmitry Medvedev’s economic advisor, Arkady Dvorkovich, said Russia would participate, but through the auspices of the IMF. “We will be insisting on this particular mechanism,” he told the Voice of Russia radio station. The development came as global powers, from the United States to Japan and China, pressed European leaders to come up with a lasting solution to the debt crisis before a G20 summit in France on November 3 and 4. Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa-the other BRICS stateshad “yet to” indicate if they would join China in helping, a diplomat said. Europe’s leaders are examining two options to boost the EFSF without increasing guarantees from members states as taxpayers in countries such as Germany are fed up with pouring money down a bottomless hole. One option is to use the EFSF to insure investors against potential losses on bonds of troubled countries, a bid to tempt nervous traders into buying the debt of shaky economies. The other option is to create a second fund, possibly linked to the EFSF or to the IMF, to entice the likes of China, as well as private investors the world over, to buy this debt. — AFP




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Gold reprises haven role in 4-day rally Gold rises above $1,700 an ounce

Egypt’s drivers neglect tire safety: Bridgestone CAIRO: Bridgestone Middle East and Africa FZE unveiled results from a survey on Egyptian vehicle owners’ approach to tire safety. The findings reveal that almost half of all respondents (45 percent) do not check the condition of their vehicle’s tires and three quarters (74 percent) do not know what a tread wear indicator is. The survey was conducted during the Bridgestone Tire Safety and Eco Station roadshow held in Cairo at City Stars Mall last month. A total of 1,316 people, mainly aged between 21 and 40 (76 percent), took part in the survey, and more than nine out of ten respondents (95 per cent) were male. “Our survey results show all too clearly that many drivers are unaware of basic tire safety measures and travel in vehicles that are potentially unsafe for them, their families and friends,” said Shoichi Sakuma, President of Bridgestone Middle East & Africa. “For all those people who drive, checking the proper condition of your tires should be a routine habit, like filling up with petrol.” As a safety measure it is recommended that tire checks for air pressure and tread wear should be carried out at least once a month. The good news for Egyptian drivers and passengers is that, according to the Bridgestone survey, of those drivers who practiced tire checks almost two out of three (65 percent) claimed to do so on a monthly basis or even more frequently either weekly or every time they drive. The remaining respondents conducted tire checks either annually (5 percent) or quarterly (27 percent), exposing themselves and their passengers to unnecessary and easily avoidable risk. Of those who declared never to check their tires, the principal reason for failing to do so was a lack of knowledge, with more than half of those who didn’t check (57 percent) saying ‘I do not know how’. The other reasons given in the survey were ‘I don’t find it important’ (9 percent), ‘I forget to do so’ (12 percent), ‘I am busy’ (20 percent) and ‘It’s a bother’ (2 percent). “Checking tire pressure and treadwear is something that is very easy to do and is ex tremely impor tant. I t is an essential task that every driver should learn to carr y out, especially here in

Egypt which has one of the highest rates of road fatalities in the world,” added Sakuma. “Implementing some quick and easy checks before driving can really increase the level of safety on our roads and help reduce the number of road accidents and fatalities.” Equally alarming are levels of awareness among respondents about the correct air pressure measurement (psi/kpa/bars) to be maintained in their tires, with almost half (46 per cent) of respondents stating they ‘do not know’ or ‘not sure’ what it should be. Proper tire air pressure varies according to vehicle type. Drivers should check on the driver’s door or petrol cap, or in the owner’s manual for the correct air pressure to be maintained in their tires. An even greater number (74 percent) did not know about the ‘tread wear indicator’ on tires, which are small triangular marks around the tire sidewall which indicates the minimum level that the tire tread can wear down for safe use. Additionally, almost two thirds (65 percent) of all survey participants did not k now that there was a relationship between tire safety and eco friendliness. “Driving a vehicle on properly inflated tires helps to reduce rolling resistance, which aids in reducing fuel consumption thereby reducing CO2 emissions which helps the environment,” said Sakuma. As direct encouragement for families a n d d r i ve r s t o p r a c t i c e t i re s a fe t y, Bridgestone freely distributed tire safety compact gauges to mall-goers and s u r ve y p a r t i c i p a n t s d u r i n g i t s Ti re Safety and Eco Station Campaign in City Stars Mall in September. All people visiting the station also had the opportunity to learn and practice how to use them with the assistance of Bridgestone staff. The ‘Tire Safety and Eco Station’ campaign was developed by Bridgestone Middle East and Africa FZE to help lower the levels of road traffic accidents through education and awareness on p ro p e r t i re c a re a n d m a i n t e n a n c e. Before stopping in Cairo, the roadshow toured six major cities across GCC Muscat, Doha, Riyadh, Kuwait City, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai - between February and July this year.

LONDON: Gold hit one-month highs yesterday in its longest stretch of gains in over two months, as investors sought the safety of bullion in the face of an uncertain outcome to a key EU summit and after a surprisingly poor read of US consumer confidence. Expectations of a comprehensive solution emerging from a second European Union summit in four days have fallen as officials wrangle over how to scale up the euro zone rescue fund, and with little sign of agreement on how much of a loss private bondholders will take on Greek debt. Equity markets in Europe have risen by 0.8 percent so far this week, propelled by hopes of a resolution to the crisis and by healthy US earnings, while the euro is flat so far and gold is up by more than 4 percent. Gold rose above $1,700 an ounce for the first time in a month on Tuesday, driven by data on US consumer sentiment that showed confidence among shoppers in the world’s largest economy fell to its lowest in 2-1/2 years this month. Gold also appeared to reprise

its traditional role as a contrarian indicator, after having behaved more like a risk-related assets over the last five weeks and tracked equities and copper more closely than at any time in the last five months. Spot gold was last up by nearly 0.9 percent at $1,715.09 an ounce by 0917 GMT, having risen by as much as 1.1 percent earlier to a session high of $1,719.80. US gold futures for December delivery were last up 1.1 percent at $1,718.40 an ounce, having seen their largest traded volume in a week on Tuesday, above 195,000 lots, or 19.5 million ounces, topping the 30-day rolling average level of daily volume by its widest margin in a month. “After the release of the weak US consumer confidence, bond yields dropped and that pushed gold prices higher. Now we are above $1,700, which is good because the technical momentum is looking better ... this is already in itself encouraging,” said Credit Suisse analyst Tobias Merath. “The EU summit is a bit of a two-edged sword. If the package

is deemed credible that would have to bring down bond yields across euro zone countries, but would also bring down the perceived credit ris, which is negative for gold,” he said. “Now with the price jump we had yesterday, we have a bit more momentum and the bigger picture for gold is that there will be no interest-rate hikes due from any of the major central banks.” Low-rate boost Gold tends to perform strongly in an environment of low real interest rates, which include the impact of inflation, as it bears to yield of its own but also bears no credit risk, as a government bond would. Most of the major developed-market central banks, including the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Bank of England or the Bank of Japan set to keep monetary policy as loose as they can to ward off recession and gold stands to benefit from both low rates and heightened uncertainty. “With Europe teetering on a knife edge gold has once again resumed its role as the custodian

Accenture completes joint venture formation KUWAIT: Accenture and Al-Faisaliah practices and cutting edge technoloGroup have completed the formation of a gy solutions in that market. FBTC will joint venture aimed at strengthening their b e re n a m e d Ac c e n t u re a n d w i l l IT capabilities in the Middle East. become part of the Accenture global Accenture has now acquired a majority network. stake in the leading information technolo“Establishing the joint venture is an gy services business Al-Faisaliah Business important step to enhancing our capa& Technology Company bilities and positioning (FBTC), a subsidiary of Accenture as a leading the Saudi Arabia-based technology ser vices Al-Faisaliah Group. Plans provider in Saudi Arabia,” to establish the joint said Omar Boulos, manventure were first aging director of announced on June 7, Accenture in the Middle 2011. East. “We will now turn The joint venture comour focus to supporting bines FBTC’s enterprise the business goals of our architecture, systems clients and addressing implementation and the growing needs of technology consulting companies in the market.” skills, with Accenture’s Prince Mohammed K A broad management conAl-Faisal, President and Omar Boulos sulting, technology and CEO of Al-Faisaliah Group, outsourcing experience, said: “The completion of industry depth, focus on innovation and this joint venture will provide organizaglobal delivery capabilities. tions in the Kingdom with access to As a result, Accenture will be able global best practices and industry leadto provide a comprehensive set of IT ing solutions. We look forward to continservices and delivery capabilities to uing to build upon the local Saudi workclients in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia force and to provide exciting employwhile implementing its global best ment opportunities for Saudi nationals.”

of safe - and perhaps sane wealth,” said Ross Norman, director of bullion broker Sharps Pixley. “The financial markets are giving a very clear signal. They are saying that they doubt that the 27 EU nations will reach an accord on policies to resolve sovereign debt while stimulating economic growth. The market is looking for “specifics” and not “generalities”. There is a sense that we have heard too much talk and we need clear, cogent and doable proposals.” In the latest development from the summit, a phrase calling on the European Central Bank to continue its “non-standard measures” will likely be dropped out of conclusions drafted ahead of the euro zone’s summit later yesterday following Germany’s opposition, a senior euro zone source said. In other metals, silver was last up 1.2 percent at $33.62 an ounce, echoing the strength in gold, while its correlation with bullion reached a three-month high of 86 percent. Platinum was last up 0.4 percent at $1,562.49 an ounce, while palladium was up 1.0 percent at $643.38. —Reuters

Burgan Bank offers special discounts KUWAIT: Burgan Bank announced yesterday that it has collaborated with renowned Swiss watch manufacturer Omega to offer its classic, gold and platinum cardholder’s exclusive discounts on a range of luxury watches during the upcoming Eid Al-Adha holiday. The bank’s latest offer is only valid from October 28-30, 2011, at the Omega branches in Marina Mall and Avenues. Haneen Al-Rumaihi, Head of Marketing said: “This promotion is a reflection of our continuous efforts to provide our customers with exceptional services and benefits that go beyond just banking. During this three day promotion, our credit card holders can benefit from an extensive international range of luxury watches only by using their cards. Burgan Bank continuously strives to offer distinctive services to every segment of its wide client base, and this time our credit card holders are privileged to enjoy exclusive benefits that have been catered to meet their needs.” Burgan Bank urges its credit card holders to take advantage of this three day promotion, and enjoy a range of discounts on luxury watches only from Omega. The bank continues to offer its customers special discounts across various categories, and is committed to providing them with more convenience by ensuring the continuous use of their cards across various outlets.

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

.2720000 .4360000 .3780000 .3090000 .2670000 .2810000 .0040000 .0020000 .0742800 .7236840 .3810000 .0700000 .7094400 .0040000 .0430000

.2775000 .4470000 .3870000 .3190000 .2770000 .2910000 .0072500 .0035000 .0750260 .7309580 .4010000 .0760000 .7165700 .0072000 .0530000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2736000 .2757000 GB Pound/KD .4387450 .4421130 Euro .3808510 .3837740 Swiss francs .3114750 .3138660 Canadian dollars .2697030 .2717730 Danish Kroner .0511530 .0515460 Swedish Kroner .0417740 .0420940 Australian dlr .2838460 .2860250 Hong Kong dlr .0351920 .0354620 Singapore dlr .2159430 .2176010 Japanese yen .0035990 .0036260 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 .0056270 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 .0025140 Pakistan rupee .0000000 .0031890 Bangladesh taka .0000000 .0036440 UAE dirhams .0745200 .0750920 Bahraini dinars .7260180 .7315910 Jordanian dinar .0000000 .3899580 Saudi Riyal/KD .0729790 .0735400 Omani riyals .7109260 .7163830 Philippine Peso .0000000 .0064120

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 3.627 5.546 3.162 2.491 3.464 217.430 35.383 3.609 6.362 8.913 0.271 0.273

GCC COUNTRIES 73.363 75.591 714.560 730.700 74.911

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 48.000 46.040 1.259 197.130 388.500 1.846 5.939 34.678

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 275.000 Euro 383.760 Sterling Pound 442.200 Canadian dollar 272.680 Turkish lire 154.980 Swiss Franc 313.800 Australian dollar 285.400 US Dollar Buying 274.700

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 289.600 730.990 3.850 274.300 539.900 36.500 51.800 167.800 48.070 386.600 36.030 5.830 0.032 0.237 0.239 3.720 390.090 0.186 90.200 46.100 4.230 222.900 1.781

50.400 713.930 3.200 6.490 76.040 73.390 218.340 37.310 2.597 445.000 42.700 316.600 5.400 9.300 198.263 74.940 275.200 1.200

713.750 3.175 6.370 75.610 73.390 218.340 37.310 2.491 443.000 315.100 5.400 9.110 74.840 274.800

10 Tola

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 443.000 274.800

Sterling Pound US Dollar

SELL DRAFT 288.100 730.990 3.615 272.800

218.300 46.063 385.100 35.880 5.555 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

288.91 275.24 319.14 386.15 442.54 3.68 3.637 5.543 2.494 3.477 3.170 74.80 730.96 46.06 390.96 714.18 75.78 73.37

289.60 275.00 316.60 387.00 445.00 3.62 3.705 5.800 2.590 4.250 3.220 75.00 731.00 48.15 392.00 717.00 76.10 73.50

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd 389.480 0.185 90.200 3.490 221.400

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

Selling Rate 274.950 274.585 439.935 384.350 311.290 728.985

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

74.835 75.470 73.280 387.025 46.049 2.491 5.523 3.175 3.621 6.354 674.425 3.700 8.965 5.790 3.540 91.330

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co.

GOLD 1,766.810

UAE Exchange Centre WLL

GOLD 315.000 159.000 82.000

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 274.800 Pak Rupees 3.165 Indian Rupees 5.545 Sri Lankan Rupees 2.505 Bangladesh Taka 3.625 Philippines Peso 6.395 UAE Dirhams 74.920 Saudi Riyals 73.435 Bahraini Dinars 730.600 Egyptian Pounds 46.040 Pound Sterling 446.200 Indonesian Rupiah 3.190 Yemeni Riyal 1.550 Jordanian Dinars 390.400 Syrian Pounds 5.750 Euro 388.200 Canadian Dollars 277.500 Nepali rupee 3.690

Al Mulla Exchange Currency Transfer Rate (Per 1000) US Dollar 274.650 Euro 385.500 Pound Sterling 441.500 Canadian Dollar 275.200 Japanese Yen 3.625 Indian Rupee 5.515 Egyptian Pound 46.000 Sri Lankan Rupee 2.492 Bangladesh Taka 3.615 Philippines Peso 6.345 Pakistan Rupee 3.179 Bahraini Dinar 731.450 UAE Dirham 74.750 Saudi Riyal 73.450 *Rates are subject to change



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Oil prices slide as concerns over global outlook intensify KUWAIT: After being more or less range bound for the past five months, oil prices saw a significant slide through September. The price of Kuwait Export Crude (KEC) fell from nearly $110 per barrel (pb) near the start of the month to $98 by the beginning of October - its lowest level since mid-February. Other global benchmark crudes also suffered. Brent fell nearly $16 to $102, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) dropped $15 to $75. The unusually large price spread between the two major global blends that emerged at the start of 2011 shows little sign of closing. The drop in oil prices has been associated with renewed fears about the outlook for the global economy, and therefore world oil demand. Yet the causal relationship has been perhaps less obvious than it may seem. Almost the entire decline in oil prices through September can be accounted for by the 6 percent rise in the US dollar on a trade-weighted basis: in Euro terms, oil prices remained at their five month average. However, the strengthening dollar is itself a reflection of fears about the global economy, which has generated a flight to “safe haven” assets. This highlights the uncertainties involved in projecting dollar-denominated oil prices in an environment of volatile capital flows. There is some doubt amongst analysts as to the damage a weaker global economy may do to oil prices. Few forecasters are predicting a major shock to world demand such as that seen in 2008: a period of slower growth is seen as more likely. Meanwhile, a combination of geopolitical risks, modest increases in OPEC output and uncertainty over future gains from non-OPEC countries are seen as helping support oil market fundamentals. The demand for crude oil exceeded supply in 2010, resulting in a stock drawdown. A further drawdown is possible both this year and next. Oil demand outlook Continued turmoil in the eurozone and the risks of spillover effects into other regions have led to a further round of downgrades to analysts’ forecasts of global oil demand. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has revised down its forecast for oil demand growth by 0.2 million barrels per day (mbpd) to 1.0 mbpd (1.2 percent) for 2011 and by 0.4 mbpd to 1.4 mbpd (1.6 percent) for 2012. The downgrades stem from revisions to their previously upbeat global economic growth outlook to bring them closer to the consensus view. The Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES) has left its forecasts unchanged at 0.9 mbpd for both 2011 and 2012, but theirs was already one of the most pessimistic forecasts in the market. These annual forecasts mask pronounced quarterly patterns, with demand growth slowing sharply in mid-2011 before picking-up somewhat in 2012 as the world economy recovers some of its poise. Needless to say, demand growth comes exclusively from outside the OECD, and the world economy manages to avoid a ‘double-dip’ recession. Oil supply outlook Latest data shows that OPEC’s crude output climbed again in August, though at a slower rate than in previous months. Production of the OPEC-11 (i.e. excluding Iraq) rose by 109,000 bpd from July, on top of the 1 mbpd increase seen since April. The rise in output came partly from familiar sources - the four Gulf OPEC members. But in addition, Nigerian output rose to its highest level since 2006 as major attacks on its oil infrastructure abate. Although Libyan output was shown to have fallen further (to just 30,000 bpd) in August, there are hopes that production will return closer to its pre-crisis levels sooner than previously expected. The IEA have penciled in Libyan production of up to 400,000 bpd by end-2011 and 1.1 mbpd by end-2012 (compared to its December 2010 rate of 1.6 mbpd). The net impact of this extra output on the market is unclear, however as it could prompt other OPEC members to scale back production. Overall OPEC output is expected to rise by no more than 0.5 mbpd for this year as a whole, half of which may come from Iraq. Non-OPEC supplies are forecast to increase by between 0.6 mbpd and 1.0 mbpd this year. This includes around 0.5 mbpd from OPEC natural gas liquids, or NGLs, and some 0.2 mbpd from the IEA’s stock release in June. Next year could see a larger increase of 0.9 to 1.3 mbpd, helped by rising output in Canada and Brazil, as well as a further 0.4 mbpd increase in OPEC NGLs. Price projections Despite clear risks in relation to the strength of the global economy, current mainstream forecasts point to an oil market that will remain well supported by fundamentals. Using the CGES’s more cautious projections for oil demand growth as a baseline, but its more optimistic forecast of a 1.2 mbpd increase in non-OPEC supplies next year, crude oil inventories are likely to see another drawdown this year and stabilize in 2012. This also assumes that OPEC’s output remains little changed from current levels. The price of KEC slips from $106 in 3Q11 to just over $100 pb in early 2012 as a result of the slowdown in global growth. But prices pick up from 2Q12 as the world economy recovers. If economic growth in the developed world turns out to be stronger than expected - perhaps as a result of aggressive monetary stimulus or an easing of European debt concerns - oil demand growth could turn out stronger, at 1.1 mbpd in 2012. If oil supplies remain the same as described above, this scenario could see the price of KEC jump to around $116 in 1Q12, and higher thereafter. The main risk to prices clearly comes from a much weaker than expected global economy. Oil demand could suffer both inside the OECD and - as a result of slower export growth and weaker confidence - outside, with overall oil demand rising by just 0.5 mbpd in 2012. Despite a significant cut in OPEC output of 1.6 mbpd over the course of 2012, the price of KEC could fall to $95 in 1Q12, and below $80 later in the year. At this level, the budget surpluses of some GCC countries would be threatened, perhaps encouraging further OPEC action to restrict supply. Budget projections With more than half of the fiscal year 2011/12 already gone, the full force of the scenarios described above will not be felt this year. The scenarios imply fiscal year average oil prices of between $104 and $111 pb, an increase of 26-35 percent on a year earlier and up to 75 percent higher than that used by the government in its budget projections. If as we expect, spending comes in at 5-10 percent below the government’s forecast, the budget could see a surplus of between KD 7.7 billion and KD 11.6 billion before allocations to the Reserve Fund for Future Generations. This would equate to between 17 percent and 26 percent of forecast calendar year GDP, and would represent Kuwait’s 13th successive budget surplus.



Ex-Goldman director arrested Gupta accused in insider trading scandal NEW YORK: Former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta surrendered to the FBI yesterday, becoming the most prominent corporate executive ensnared in a broadening Wall Street insider trading scandal. Charges against Gupta, who is accused of leaking confidential trade information to disgraced hedge fund magnate

Raj Rajaratnam, would mark a stunning reversal for one of America’s elite executives. An FBI spokesman said Gupta, the longtime head of the prestigious McKinsey international consultancy, surrendered at 8:10 am (1210 GMT) and was due to appear later yesterday in a New York court.

DAVOS: This file photo shows Rajat Gupta, senior partner emeritus at McKinsey and Company as he listens during a televised session by Indian NDTV at the World Economic Forum. — AFP

“The facts demonstrate that Mr Gupta is an innocent man and that he has always acted with honesty and integrity,” said his lawyer Gary Naftalis, calling the criminal allegations “totally baseless” and vowing to fight the charges. “He did not trade in any securities, did not tip Mr Rajaratnam so he could trade, and did not share in any profits as part of any quid pro quo.” However, the Connecticut-based business consultant and former Procter & Gamble director has previously been investigated over whether he broke the law by tipping off Rajaratnam, the founder of the Galleon Group hedge fund who was sentenced this month to 11 years in prison. Prosecutors said Gupta tipped Rajaratnam about Warren Buffett’s surprise $5 billion investment in Goldman Sachs during the financial crisis, allowing Rajaratnam to profit from trade before the market knew about the transaction. He also allegedly told Rajaratnam in advance that Goldman was about to post its first ever quarterly earnings loss, another major event on the market. Rajaratnam is said to have used the inside information to trade on behalf of some of Galleon’s hedge funds, or shared the information with others at his firm who then traded on it ahead of public announcements by the companies. The insider trading by Rajaratnam and others produced more than $18 million in illicit

profits and loss avoidance, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. At the time of the insider trading Gupta was a direct or indirect investor in at least some of these Galleon hedge funds, the US markets regulator said after charging him in March, adding that the consultant “had other potentially lucrative business interests with Rajaratnam.” According to the SEC, Gupta had tipped off Galleon that P&G would have lower-thanexpected sales growth in the 2008 final quarter, allowing the hedge fund to pocket illicit profits of more than $570,000. Gupta joined the Goldman board in November 2006 and served as a member of the Wall Street giant’s audit, compensation and corporate governance and nominating committees. The bank’s announcement in March 2010 that Gupta, a senior partner emeritus at McKinsey, would not stand for re-election came amid speculation that he was a suspect in the insider-trading probe. The Indian-born naturalized US citizen became chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce last July. The Harvard Business School graduate has been affiliated with a number of organizations, including the United Nations, where former secretary-general Kofi Annan tapped him in 2005 as his special adviser for management reform. — AFP

Dubai Events launches calendar for Eid Al-Adha KUWAIT: The Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (DEPE) has unveiled an exciting calendar of events for the Eid Al-Adha edition of ‘Eid in Dubai’. Starting from the first day of Eid Al-Adha, ‘Eid in Dubai’ will feature an array of entertainment activities including concerts, fireworks, and international character shows. Being organized for the fourth consecutive year, ‘Eid in Dubai’ aims at promoting Dubai as a festive destination during EidAl-Fitr and Eid-Al-Adha celebrations through various entertainment events to highlight Dubai’s unique manner of celebrating this special occasion. It also aims at bringing together the diverse cultures and nationalities residing or visiting Dubai to celebrate this joyous occasion in festivities designed to cater to all ages. Ibrahim Saleh, Festivals Coordinator General and Deputy CEO of DEPE, said: “Into its fourth year, ‘Eid in Dubai’ has succeeded in making Eid Al-Adha a unique celebration for residents and visitors in Dubai. This city proudly boasts of over 200 nationalities and ‘Eid in Dubai’ is a platform for diverse cultures to interact and celebrate Eid. Through this celebration, everyone in Dubai will be introduced to the core values of Eid that incorporates giving and sharing, tolerance and caring for the others, as well as highlight the Emirati tradition of celebrating this occasion.” “Our aim is to position Dubai as a main destination during Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha and in the process contribute to Dubai’s exciting annual events calendar,” he added. Emaar Boulevard Celebration District To mark Eid Al-Adha festivities, DEPE is organizing a ten-day heritage celebration named Min Bladi Al-Emarat at the Emaar Boulevard from November 3 to 12. Held between 5 pm and 11 pm each day, activities cover art, culture, heritage, entertainment, and music. One of the main highlights will be the heritage zone where visitors will be welcomed with sweets. The zone presents an ideal opportunity to explore Emarati tradition and features a

souk, craftsmen, Emarati cuisine, a traditional band, a henna-designing area, and a majlis for visitors to rest. Children can also look forward to an exciting fun fair including inflatables, skill games, and activities such as face painting, coloring, and entertainment by performers. Horse and camel riding add to the list of fun activities. A display of paintings is also being organized along the Boulevard in addition to pottery-making demonstrations. Various products crafted by inmates of penal institutions are also being displayed. To add to the Eid excitement, solo musicians will be performing along the Boulevard to entertain visitors. Character shows Barbie, the famous fashion doll, is all set to stage a brand new show titled It’s a Barbie World at Mirdif City Centre. Organized for free as part of ‘Eid in Dubai’ activities, the interactive musical show will feature Barbie and her long term friend Ken. Also awaiting children this Eid Al-Adha is a Marvel heroes show at Dubai Festival City featuring super heroes like Captain America, Spiderman, the Hulk, and others. Both shows are being brought to Dubai for the first time and are open to all for free. Global village In addition to diverse cultures presented through the different pavilions, Global Village will host Tannoura performers and the Dubai Drums Community Drum Circles. ‘Eid in Dubai’ concerts Famed Saudi singer Rabeh Saqr is all set for an Eid concert on November 7 at the Ritz Carlton DIFC. Renowned Arab singers Fadel Shaker and Elissa follow up with a scintillating concert on November 9 at the Ritz Carlton DIFC. Well-known Iranian musicians, Dariush and Faramarz Aslani, will perform at the Dubai World Trade Centre on November 6. Indian heartthrob Sonu Nigam is also coming to Dubai and will perform at the Madinat Arena, Madinat Jumeirah, on November 7.

Ipsos announces Synovate acquisition PARIS: Ipsos announced that it successfully completed yesterday the acquisition of the Synovate business for an enterprise value of £525 million. Following this transaction, Ipsos becomes the third largest global market research company. The acquisition was announced on July 27, 2011 and was conditional upon various approvals, which have been obtained since then: the transaction was approved by Aegis ordinary shareholders on August 16, 2011 and obtained the mandatory anti-trust clearances thereafter. The completion of the transaction occurs following the successful capital increase with preferential subscription rights of 200 million launched by Ipsos on September 8, 2011, to fund part of the acquisition price, and completed on September 30, 2011. Didier Truchot, Ipsos Co-President, says: “We are delighted to have completed the acquisition of Synovate which is transformational for our company. With Synovate, Ipsos strengthens its leadership position in its chosen areas of specialization and enhances its intellectual and commercial offer to bring enriched and improved solutions to our clients. We are working quickly and jointly with the Synovate team and are delighted to welcome them within Ipsos. We are confident in our ability to achieve the objectives of the combination identified at the announcement of the transaction.”

BEIRUT: A handout picture obtained by AFP shows the Breitling Jet Team performing over the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of the Lebanese capital. — AFP

Tourism in Lebanon falters over unrest JEITA: All too often the centre of Middle East upheaval, Lebanon has taken a back seat as a wave of revolts surge through the region. But the small country is not immune to the tumult around it and tourism here has taken a hit. At the bottom of the Nahr Al-Kalb valley, a trickle of tourists get almost-exclusive access to the Jeita Grotto, karstic limestone caves which stretch more than 10 km into the mountains. Deep in the cave, small metal guideboats make their way noiselessly along a smooth underground river, rarely passing each other and never filled to capacity. The sound of droplets from giant stalactites hitting the water can be heard and the caves are lit up by blue and orange lights, specially adapted to emit virtually no heat to prevent mosses from growing in the caves and ruining the delicate stone structures. “We’ve had a very bad summer,” a Jeita Grotto employee whispers, as if the quiet of the cave has awarded it a church-like respect. “During previous summers, we used to get 3,000 to 4,000 visitors a day to the caves, now it’s more like 700.” She said tourists from the Gulf and other Arab countries make up the majority of visitors. “But we’ve been having big problems.” The biggest problem, this time, comes from neighboring Syria where President Bashar al-Assad has been accused of killing at least 2,900 civilians in a military crackdown against prodemocracy protests which started in March. Around 600,000 Arab tourists drive into Lebanon yearly through Syria-the only country Lebanon shares an open border with as the small country is in a state of war with Israel. Cutting through Syria is a cheap option for most regional tourists and they can take the whole family for the summer. But the instability has shrunk tourist traffic through Syria, which accounts for a quarter of all tourist arrivals to Lebanon, and Arab arrivals on the Syrian-Lebanese border are down 90 percent. Employees at the grotto say 10 to 15 buses used to arrive each day, full of Arab tourists who had come through Syria. Now two to three buses arrive, they say, and there are no more queues for the underground boat rides.

Tourism 20 percent down “Lebanon saw a 20 percent decrease in international arrivals for the first half of 2011,” John Kester, who observes industry trends at the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The second half of 2011 could be much worse as the situation in Syria has since escalated and data from Lebanon’s summer high season has not been released. “No country is immune from what is happening in the surrounding region and most people have to travel overland (into Lebanon),” Kester said. “Lebanon is affected indirectly, not because of what is happening in the country itself.” Western tourists have shied away from the Middle East after a wave of popular revolts spread through the region toppling leaders in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Even countries that have remained relatively stable, such as Lebanon and Jordan, have seen a decline in arrivals for the United States and Europe. The Jeita Grotto’s general manager, Nabil Haddad, said visitors from Europe and elsewhere outside the Middle East often include Lebanon as part of a regional tour. “But when Syria is cancelled, Lebanon is automatically cut out,” Haddad said. Natural wonder? In an attempt to boost tourism Lebanon has been campaigning to have the Jeita Grotto chosen as one of seven ‘wonders of nature’ in an international competition. The cave system, which is home to the longest stalactite on the planet at over 8 metres (yards), was entered into the ‘New7Wonders of Nature’ contest in 2007 and Lebanon is trying to shore up votes in the global poll which ends next month. “It is an exercise in PR,” Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud told Reuters. “We are trying our best to make people vote,” added the minister, who persuaded his political allies to attend a cabinet meeting in T-shirts declaring: “I voted for Jeita Grotto”. Jeita has made it into the 28 finalists, along with Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro and the Mud Volcanoes in Azerbaijan, but with tourism numbers down Haddad is worried. “Now we are in the final stages,” he said. —Reuters

Gulf Bank reports KD 27.4m net profit KUWAIT: Gulf Bank announced a net profit of KD 27.4 million for the first nine months of 2011, against KD 10.4 million, an increase by 165 percent over the first nine months of the previous year. Earnings per share amounted to 11 fils. As of the end of September 2011, the bank’s total assets increased by 5 percent, deposits were up by 4 percent, whilst total shareholders’ equity increased by 8 percent compared to the same period of 2010. Ali Al-Rashaid Al-Bader, Gulf Bank’s Chairman, said: “ These strong results reflect the hard work and dedication of the Gulf Bank management and staff. They are a continuation to the outstanding start the bank made in the first half of the year. The results we have announced today show the stable growth of the Bank’s customer base,

and continued growth of net profits and core earnings. The last two years have seen us put Gulf Bank back into a winning

Ali Al-Rashaid Al-Bader

position; we have strengthened our balance sheet significantly; made good progress to meet challenges, delivered good results by focusing on our core banking areas of consumer and corporate banking and seen our customer service levels greatly enhanced. More importantly, we have seen increases in the amount of money deposited with us by our customers, indicating that we are being successful in our efforts to rebuild trust with our customers and expand our customer base”. In closing Al-Bader said: “ Gulf Bank recently launched its new ‘We Promise’ campaign to offer its customers the best and the fastest financial service in Kuwait. The campaign aims at highlighting the bank’s constantly upgraded service.”



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Zain, Agility push KSE gains up GLOBAL DAILY MARKET REPORT

Egypt stocks slip before elections MIDEAST STOCKS

KUWAIT: Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended in the green backed by last minute trading. Heavyweights, Zain and Agility changed market indices direction in the last second. Zain and Agility closed up by 1.08 percent and 1.30 percent, respectively. Furthermore, Investors sentiment were fueled by optimism on corporate earnings for the third quarter. Three companies were out with their earnings reports during the day, two of which realized hefty earnings. Market indices Global General Index (GGI) ended the day up by 0.40 percent, at 183.53 point. Market capitalization was up for the day, reaching KD 30.04 billion. On the other hand, KSE Price Index closed at 5,905 point, adding 3.70 points (0.06 percent) to its previous close. Market breadth During the session, 109 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards advancers as 42 equities advanced versus 24 that declined. Daily trading activity Total volume traded was down by 0.27 percent with 164.24 million shares changing hands at a total value of KD 22.73 million (10.97 percent lower compared to Tuesday’s session). Investment sector was the volume leader, accounting for 35.80 percent of total shares exchanges. Danah Al-Safat Foodstuff Company

was the session’s most traded stock with 11.48mn shares exchanged. The services sector was the value leader, having 29.51 percent of total traded value. Top gainers and biggest decliners In terms of top gainers, Kuwait Syrian Holding Company was the top gainer for the day, adding 8.20 percent to its share value and closing at KD 0.0305. On the other hand, Sanam Real Estate Company shed 15 percent and closed at KD 0.051, making it the biggest decliner in the market. Sectors wise Global’s sectoral indices ended the day on a positive note with Global Real Estate Index and Global Food Index being the only losers. However, Global Services Index posted the biggest gain for the day, adding 0.76 percent in daily gains. Heavyweight Zain contributed to the index’s gain by ending the day up 1.08 percent and closed at KD 0.940 while Wataniya Telecom, another heavyweight added 1.02 percent to its share price and closed at KD 1.980. Within the sector, KGL Logistics Company announced realizing a 26.54 percent growth in its 9M211 earnings figures compared to the corresponding period of 2010, at KD 7.84 million. This translates to an EPS of 28.42fils. However, the scrip went back to close flat at KD 0.255 after inching up to KD 0.260 during the day.

Global Banking Index was also a big support to the market after ending the day with a 0.43 percent increase backed by the increase in National Bank of Kuwait (NBK). The scrip ended the day up 1.79 percent, closing at KD 1.140. Fur thermore, Burgan Bank also aided the index’s advance by ending the day up by 2.15 percent to close at KD 0.475. For the 9M2011, the bank announced net profit of KD 41.39 million compared with KD 3.59 million reported for the same period of 2010. In Global analyst comment; Burgan Bank posted a good set of results and exceeded our estimates for the quarter, most likely on reduced levels of provisions. Additional information and analysis will be provided once the detailed statement and financials are provided. Investment stocks too were notable advancers, producing 0.24 percent in sector gains. Trading was intense in the sector on the counters of component stocks during the day. Out of the total 164.24 million shares traded in the market yesterday, 58.79 million shares (or 35.80 percent) were attributable to sector constituents. Oil news The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at $109.11pb on Monday, compared with $108.31 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations.

CAIRO: Egypt’s benchmark eased on caution ahead of elections, while strong earnings helped lift shares in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank yesterday, but most Gulf markets ended flat as risk-weary investors stayed on the sidelines. Cairo’s main index inched down 0.6 percent, slipping from Tuesday’s five-week high. Heavyweight Orascom Construction Industries was the main drag on the index, down 1.9 percent and Commercial International Bank fell 1.7 percent. Decliners outnumbered gainers 16 to 11. “I think the market will stay in its sideways trend with a decline on the medium term,” said Ashraf Salman, chief executive of Cairo Financial Holding. “Volumes should play a vital role and the election will have to confirm stability.” Egypt’s first parliamentary elections since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak will commence on Nov. 28. In Abu Dhabi, heavyweight lender ADCB climbed 3.2 percent after its quarterly earnings nearly doubled and beat forecasts. “At some point, loan demand and supply will even out and people will borrow more, then banks will do better,” said an Abu Dhabibased trader who declined to be named, adding that it would be reflected in stock prices but not in the short-term. “As we look forward to the fourth-quarter numbers and as the global background improves, you will see UAE shares come back,” the trader added. Abu Dhabi’s gained 0.2 percent, up for a third-day since Sunday’s 30-month low. Dubai’s Emaar Properties and Deyaar rose 0.4 and 1.8 percent respectively after a report that Investment Corporation of Dubai and Brookfield Asset Management would seek up to $1 billion for a joint investment fund eyeing opportunities in the emirate’s battered property market. In Saudi Arabia, petrochemical stocks, one of the two market heavyweight sectors, dragged down the index as dampened sentiment in world markets and a drop in oil prices weighed. Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) and Saudi Arabian Fertilizer slipped 0.8 percent each.

Brent crude futures edged lower yesterday, paring back earlier gains, amid worries that Europe may fail to deliver a firm solution to its burgeoning sovereign debt crisis. Meanwhile, insurance stocks hit a fresh 18-month high, dominating trade with nearly half of the total shares exchanged. “It’s not a surprise that with global uncertainty and a week-long holiday coming up we’re seeing more trading in speculative stocks,” said Paul Gamble, head of research at Jadwa Investment. Investors are winding down positions ahead of Eid Al-Adha, a Muslim holiday in the second week of November. SAAB Takaful rose 1.6 percent and Sagr Insurance gained 4.1 percent. The index ended 0.1 percent lower, extending yearto-date losses to 7.1 percent. In Qatar, the index edged higher 0.1 percent, up for three of last six sessions. Banks were the main support, with Qatar National Bank and Commercial Bank of Qatar rising 0.3 and 0.4 percent respectively. Dubai, Kuwait and Oman’s markets also ended little changed. Yesterday’s highlights: Egypt The index fell 0.6 percent to 4,320 points. Abu Dhabi The measure gained 0.2 percent to 2,455 points. Dubai The index edges up 0.01 percent to 1,354 points. Saudi Arabia The index slipped 0.1 percent to 6,148 points. Qatar The measure advanced 0.1 percent to 8,464 points. Kuwait The index edged up 0.06 percent to 5,905 points. Oman The index climbed 0.06 percent to 5,545 points. Bahrain The measure gained 0.7 percent to 1,152 points. — Reuters



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Boeing Dreamliner dazzles on debut Carriers to save fuel with carbon-composite jet

TOKYO: Olympus Corp new President Shuichi Takayama bows before reading a statement at an impromptu press conference yesterday. — AP

Olympus Chairman Kikukawa resigns TOKYO: Olympus Corp head Tsuyoshi Kikukawa resigned yesterday after a scandal over hefty advisory fees wiped out half of the 92-year-old firm’s market value, but his successor stuck with the company’s line that it had done nothing wrong. Sources told Reuters that Japan’s securities watchdog was looking into past Olympus takeover deals, focusing on whether it has properly disclosed relevant information. Olympus fired its British President and Chief Executive Michael Woodford on Oct. 14, just two weeks after his appointment as CEO, saying he failed to understand the company ’s management style and Japanese culture. Kikukawa then took over Woodford’s role. Woodford, who joined the camera and endoscope maker in 1980, said he was sacked for questioning a $687 million advisory fee paid in relation to a $2.2 billion takeover in 2008 as well as other deals, and for urging Kikukawa to step down. “For now the stock should rebound on his resignation, but in reality nothing has been cleared up. There are still many investigations left to come,” said Koichi Ogawa, chief portfolio manager at Daiwa SB Investments. Woodford told Reuters that Kikukawa’s resignation was “a start” but added that his replacement-Shuichi Takayama, a 41-year company veteran-had also failed to demand explanations about hefty fees linked to acquisitions. Takayama sniped back at the ex-CEO turned whistleblower, telling a news conference there was no problem with fees paid by Olympus and that the company was extremely angry that Woodford revealed internal information while he was still a director. “I was one of those who agreed to Mr Woodford’s dismissal. The reason was his autocratic actions, and these included intimidation of my own staff.” Kikukawa said in a separate statement he had stepped down to restore confidence in the company under the new management and that he would continue to work as a director.

Unanswered questions The Olympus scandal could re-ignite debate over what critics say is a deep-seated weakness of Japanese management-a lack of strong independent oversight of boards, which gives shareholders’ rights short shrift. A small Japanese business monthly magazine called Facta first raised red flags about Olympus M&A deals in August and the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission (SESC) started paying particular attention to the company around that time, said two sources, who were not authorised to discuss the matter publicly. SESC officials declined to comment on the probe, as did an Olympus spokeswoman. Olympus shares fell 7.6 percent yesterday and have lost more than half their value since Woodford was sacked. The former British CEO said he was fired for questioning the payment to advisers in the $2.2 billion takeover of medical equipment maker Gyrus. At about 30 percent of the acquisition price, that set a record in M&A fees. Unanswered questions about the Gyrus deal and other Olympus acquisitions spurred various theories, including speculation Japan’s yakuza crime syndicates, euphemistically referred to as “anti-social forces”, could be involved. Asked whether the company’s financial advisers had any connection with organised crime, Takayama said: “You are asking me about anti-social forces, but I am absolutely not aware of any such thing.” A senior Japanese lawmaker on Tuesday called for probes by financial and securities watchdogs and urged Olympus to explain the fees, which could risk shareholders losing confidence in Japan. “At least the fees were outlandish. The company must explain the whole circumstances behind the incident,” said Tsutomu Okubo, deputy policy chief of the Democratic Party of Japan. While Okubo suggested parliament should look into the matter, Japanese politicians’ and the media’s initial reaction to the scandal has been remarkably muted.—Reuters

TOKYO: Carrying its first paying passengers yesterday, the Boeing Co Dreamliner, the world’s first carbon-composite airliner, flew to Hong Kong yesterday from Tokyo. Its takeoff into clear blue skies after a salute and shower by an airport fire truck marked what its maker hopes will set a new benchmark in air travel. The Dreamliner won’t fly any faster than the first 707 jetliner the U.S. company built a half century ago, but it’s not supposed to. Instead, it is designed to make the hours aloft more pleasant for passengers and cheaper to fly for its owners. The Dreamliner that flew yesterday is owned by All Nippon Airways Co and a jubilant Shinichiro Ito, the airline’s president and CEO, described his brand new plane as a “game changer.” He acknowledged, however, that production hiccups that delayed delivery for three years had put his carrier “through hard times.” With its mostly carbon-composite body, Boeing’s technological flagship offers a 20 percent improvement in fuel efficiency and a 30 percent reduction in maintenance costs. Its cabin builders promise a flight with ambient lighting, with settings such as sleep long, cruise bright and beverage medium, engineered to lull passengers to sleep. The cabin also boast higher air pressure that will make the interior feel like 6,000 feet rather than the 8,000 feet on other jetliners. Passengers on ANA’s jet were treated to shifting hues of color, including a rainbow display as the aircraft lifted off from the tarmac in Tokyo, its engines a gentle whistle. The quiet engines and greater cabin air pressure might create a new problem in air travel: making conversations of fellow passengers easy to hear. Its other bells and whistles include windows that are 30 percent bigger and which can be dimmed electronically. Seat-to-seat e-mail, bidet-equipped lavatories with their own windows and bigger touchscreen entertainment panels. Gino Bertuccio, an Italian cosmetic importer living in Miami, said he liked the windows, although he wondered how well they will work after wear and tear and curious children. Bertuccio, who describes himself as an aviation enthusiast spent $30,000 in an auction to buy his ticket on the flight. “I don’t have a wife that might say no,” he explained as the cabin dimmed to a mellow rainbow. Boeing’s focus on making the 787 more comfortable and lighter also points to the reality that faster, gas-guzzling air travel is not the industry’s future. A continuing squeeze on profits and the rise of budget carriers has made the luxury of timesaving too rich for ANA and other airlines and forced Boeing and European rival Airbus to adapt their products. “For carriers with high operating margins, the 787 is critical for gaining a cost competitiveness,” said Masaharu Hirokane, an analyst at Nomura Holding in Tokyo. “For ANA to be a launch customer is a plus,” he added. The Dreamliner was originally conceived in 2001 as the “Sonic Cruiser,” designed for a bygone era of aviation that quickly morphed into one filled with bankruptcies and soaring fuel costs. It was

a design that promised the first serious speed increase since the advent of the now defunct Concorde. Most jetliners cruise at around eight-tenths the speed of sound. The Sonic Cruiser promised mach 0.98, lopping hours off long-haul flights between Tokyo and New York. The apparent end of cheap oil, with prices close to $100 a barrel, forced Boeing and other airlines to change course. Thus was born the Dreamliner, its only link to the shelved Sonic Cruiser proposal being the use of carbon composites. Japan dominance The Dreanlimer’s success or failure will depend much on Japan, the only major aviation market where Boeing clearly dominates its European rival. More than a third of the Dreamliner is built by Japanese companies, including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Fuji Heavy Industries. Of Boeing’s Dreamliner backlog of 821 orders built up over the three years of delays, nearly a tenth of them are from Japan. ANA’s Ito said yesterday his airline expects to have seven 787 by the end of the year, nine by the end of the business year in March 31 and 20 a year after that. Boeing’s vice president in charge of the Dreamliner program, Scott Fancher, joined Ito on the first commercial flight and said his company was sticking to a target of building 10 of the aircraft a month by 2013. “We are comfortable we have an executable plan,” he said, declining to say how many will be built by the end of the year. He also demurred on the question of what Boeing would do with production slots for 24 Dreamliners cancelled by China Eastern Airlines on Oct. 17 because it was unable to wait for output to pick up. Air New Zealand too voiced con-

HONG KONG: Passengers of an All Nippon Airways Boeing 787 are welcomed by lion dance to celebrate the airplane’s inaugural commercial flight from Japan, at Hong Kong International Airport yesterday. — AP

A tale of new cities: India’s push to industrialize DHOLERA: Chotubhai Raghani’s fields in a dry, salty strip of Indian coastline on the Arabian Sea never yielded much wheat but he feels like a lucky man now he’s started selling them at a juicy markup. He expects his land may one day make way for a car factory or an air-conditioned shopping mall, all part of what may be India’s most ambitious infrastructure project ever. Excitement is rising almost as quickly as land prices in his village, one of the sites chosen for building 24 industrial cities from scratch along a 1,483 km (920 mile) railway line. The government plans to build a corridor bigger in land size than Japan, stretching from New Delhi down to the financial hub Mumbai in the west, that could help transform India’s economic landscape and give its choked, teeming cities room to breathe. “It’s going to change our lives,” said Raghani. “We’ve tilled this land for generations but we only get a small mouthful out of it.” Sceptics call the $90 billion project, known as the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), over-ambitious. India, bogged down by corruption, staggering bureaucracy and land battles, has a long history of failed infrastructure plans. “It’s a very crucial project for supporting GDP growth,” said Pratyush Kumar, President & CEO of GE Transportation in India, a company with interests from railway engines to wind turbines. So far it is not involved in the DMIC project. “Nobody is saying that it’s not moving, but the glacial pace will choke the GDP ambitions,” he said. “The pace has to pick up and they need to get away from this whole decision-making paralysis of ‘hey, we can’t award large projects because of all the scams’.” If the DMIC fails, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government will have lost a golden opportunity to sell India to investors and will feed the perception that, unlike China, it lacks the will to act when it counts. If it succeeds, the project could be the jolt Indian industry needs to sustain the country’s heady economic rise. The timing couldn’t be better amid global financial strife, rising interest rates and domestic policy stagnation caused by government corruption cases that have dampened confidence. Infrastructure lags boom New Delhi has earmarked an initial fund

of $4.5 billion to build the core infrastructure of each city, such as roads, power supplies and sewage treatment plants, and expects a similar contribution from the project’s partner, Japan. Once the basics are there, the thinking goes, investors will be convinced of the DMIC’s value and will build factories, housing and more in a public-private partnership. The government can then sell them the land it has acquired from farmers, using the funds to start building the next city. Despite years of economic boom, India’s infrastructure is rickety and its manufacturing sector sluggish. Transporting goods is expensive and slow-it can take more than two weeks to move a container from Delhi to Mumbai. It is hoped the new freight line will slash that to under 24 hours. “If India does not create new cities, many of its existing cities will be slums,” said Amitabh Kant, the civil servant in charge of the project. The idea for an industrial corridor took shape in 2006 as a deal hatched by the governments of India and Japan, inspired by a similar project around Tokyo that helped Japan’s economic rise after World War Two. Work on the first hub, Dholera, is to start shortly, with Indian firms Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd and Hindustan Construction Co Ltd already on board. Plans envisage Dholera being transformed

from a cluster of small villages and hamlets, where cows laze to the sound of women pounding clothes in the village pond, into a city of 2 million people by 2040 with its own international airport. If all goes to plan, Dholera will become a magnet for engineering, electronics and pharmaceutical firms, helping meet the corridor’s target of doubling employment and tripling industrial output across the six states through which it runs. “I am eagerly awaiting the day that a plane lands in our village,” jokes one skeptical farmer as others around him laugh. Although building even a single highway can be achingly slow in India, a crowded democracy of 1.2 billion, the DMIC project may have enough going for it to prove doubters wrong. One big plus is Kant himself, a widely respected official who is no stranger to selling India’s image abroad. He was the architect of a flagship ‘Incredible India’ tourism campaign that sought to dispel stereotypes of snake charmers and touts. Authorities in the DMIC are also trying hard to minimize risks to potential investors while ensuring that the farmers get a good deal, obtaining clearances and negotiating land sales. This is somewhat unusual for India, where a major deterrent for businesses is that they must first bid to build projects before wading in to acquire land

NEW DELHI: An Indian vendor sells marigolds, used in acts of worship and to decorate homes on Diwali yesterday. — AP

cerns over possible further delays last week. The carrier said it is seeking compensation from Boeing. The plane builder on Sept. 26 said it expects to break-even on the plane this decade. Boeing releases its latest earnings results in the United States yesterday. ANA however, remains fiercely loyal. That enthusiasm may extend to a stretched version of the Dreamliner, the 787-10. While Boeing has yet to commit to a launch, the Japanese airline’s vice president, Keisuke Okada told Reuters on the flight “the dash 10 is very attractive for us.” ANA, he added, encouraged Boeing to go ahead with a launch. Enthusiasm among other Japanese and other airlines for the Dreamliner has been undimmed by the delayed Dreamliner. “Airlines are, if anything, even more keen to get their hands on the aircraft. The advanced technology used in the 787 mean that, in spite of the delays, it is still ahead of its time,” said Paul Sheridan, head of risk advisory at aviation consultancy Ascend. The 100 seats available to paying passengers on the flight yesterday sold out as soon as they went on sale, with 25,505 people scrambling online for the scarce tickets priced at 78,700 yen. A pair of tickets that ANA offered on the Yahoo auction site for charity sold for 890,000 yen ($11,693.601). Tsuneko Hayashi, from Tokyo, was one of the few that got a ticket. “It’s light so it might flip over in the wind,” she quipped as she waited to board the plane as ANA’s Ito and Boeing’s Fancher prepared to crack open a sake cask with wooden hammers to toast the flight. “I am really interested in it,” she added. The aircraft made it safely to Hong Kong where it was greeted by another fire engine shower, drums and dancing lions on the 53rd anniversary of the 707’s first commercial flight by Pan Am on Oct 26, 1958. — Reuters

or permissions from umpteen ministries, with all the hassles and delays that entails. The DMIC is being kicked off by Gujarat state, a favorite of investors who like its lack of red tape, easy land sales and ambition to become a global industry powerhouse like China’s Guangdong. Raghani, and many others like him, were happy to sell their land-a marked contrast to the deadly clashes over land that have happened elsewhere in India. Road to scandals However, the challenges Kant faces are enormous, not least tackling the bureaucracy inside his own government. Getting permission to build even one power plant needs 44 clearances. “Look at the number of sanctions and approvals. This page, this page,” he exclaimed during an interview in his office, thumbing through pages of stapled documents. Corruption, one of the biggest hindrances to business in India, is another. Land acquisition has not even started in Uttar Pradesh, a state of 200 million people with a reputation for kickbacks. “Unless you bribe, they will not give up the land,” said a government source involved in the project. Graft scandals have haunted Singh’s government since last year, with a clutch of high-profile politicians sent to trial amid mass street protests. The DMICDC, the company created to steer the project, is changing its business model from being majority-owned by two private lenders to being under government control. It wants to ensure private firms are not seen as being cozy with the state, the government source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “It’s public money being put in, so immediately people will start saying the DMICDC is nothing but a front for siphoning money,” the source said. Progress on the rail line, which is headed by a separate state-run company, is also slow. India has a mixed record on project implementation. Stories of bribery, construction delays and filthy athletes’ rooms made Delhi’s hosting of the 2010 Commonwealth Games a PR disaster. But swanky new airports in Delhi and Mumbai, a high-speed metro in the capital and some slick new highways show that the government’s huge infrastructure push, with a planned splurge of$1 trillion over the next five years, is paying some dividends. — Reuters

Debt crisis hits China’s cradle of private firms WENZHOU: With more than $16 million in debts she had no hope of repaying, Zheng Zhuju did what scores of other business owners in the eastern Chinese city of Wenzhou have done in recent months-run away. More than 90 bosses have fled and two have committed suicide in Wenzhou-renowned for its factories specializing in everything from cigarette lighters to shoes-after borrowing from private lenders at very high interest rates. Underground lending has flourished in the city and other parts of China in the past 12 months as authorities clamped down on official financing channels and major banks favored large state-owned enterprises. China’s private lending market is worth an estimated four trillion yuan ($628 billion) — or 10 percent of gross domestic product-fuelling concerns about a potential explosion in bad debts. Nowhere is it more developed than in Wenzhou, whose 400,000 private companies have earned the city a reputation for business savvy in a country where many big enterprises are state-controlled. Zheng was among those who flourished early on, setting up an appliance store which made her an admired businesswoman with a fleet of luxury cars. With a trusted reputation, she borrowed from more than 300 small business owners, pooling their money and channeling it into lucrative property investments and high-interest loans to other companies. As China’s economy slowed, however, the scheme collapsed: property values plunged, her borrowers defaulted, and she could not pay back her own creditors. So Zheng quietly shuttered her store, transferred her remaining assets to her daughter and disappeared in late August. She has since been found and is now in police custody. One victim, who runs an industrial valve business, lost 1.5 million yuan ($236,000) to Zheng. “This is having a huge impact. We will probably get little money back,” he told AFP. Private lending has boomed in Wenzhou and other cities such as Ordos in resourcerich Inner Mongolia. Cash-rich individuals and businesses wanting to make better returns on their funds than the low interest rates offered by banks have opted instead to lend their money to small- and mediumsized enterprises-typically charging annual interest rates of 40 percent or even more. Nearly 90 percent of Wenzhou’s residents and almost 60 percent of the companies engage in private lending, the central bank says, although officially the government says only 20 percent of lending in the city is private. One financial industry figure likened the underground loan market to betting, as lenders take big risks in search of high returns. “It’s like gambling. These high interest rates are like a casino,” said Fang Peilin, chairman of the Wenzhou-based Fang Xing Guarantee Co., which helps small companies get loans by providing guarantees to lenders. — AFP



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Extra billions can be fed, but who will pay? US govt pledges lagging in economic downturn KANSAS CITY: In China, dairy cows revolve on carousels in synchronized milking; in Kenya, small farmers are planting a new high-yielding sweet potato; and in laboratories in Iowa, scientists play with plant genetics to create corn that grows well even in drought. These projects, and scores more, are shaping a new century of agriculture. Whether it be cattle herders in sub-Saharan Africa or rice growers in rural Asia, farmers and ranchers need help to produce enough nutritious food to feed a population forecast by the United Nations to hit 7 billion on Oct 31. The United Nations further predicts the population will grow to some 9 billion by 2050. With no increase in arable land, an already taxed supply of fresh water and fears of ongoing drought and harmful climate change, figuring out how to feed that many people is a top priority for both government and private interests. But just as research, development and expansion of agricultural programs are most critical, the public dollars pledged to this effort remain a pittance of what is needed, and are in fact in danger of sharp decline, experts say. “We are talking about adding 2.6 billion people between now and 2050. That is two Chinas,” said Robert Thompson, who serves on the International Food & Agricultural Trade Policy Council and is former director of rural development for the World Bank. In the 1980s, about 25 percent of US foreign aid went to agriculture, but that fell to 6 percent by 1990 and was only about 1 percent last year, Thompson said. And the share of world bank lending going to agriculture is down from about 30 percent in 1978 to less than 10 percent, he said. “We have to raise productivity,” Thompson said. “I think we can do it all if we invest enough in research. But at the moment we aren’t.” Moves by US lawmakers to slash spending are threatening food security programs being set up in poor coun-

tries, and will likely lead other nations to similarly trim pledged agricultural development dollars, say experts in the field. While charitable foundations, nonprofit development groups and private-sector corporations are funneling billions into agricultural programs, without the heft of significant funding from the world’s wealthy nations, needs will go unmet, according to food and agricultural experts. “There is by far not enough investment made,” said Claude Fauquet, scientific director at the US-based Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, which is developing a cassava for Africa that is enriched with beta carotene. “We estimate that already today there are 1 billion people in the world suffering from malnutrition,” said Fauquet. “This will not go down unles we invest more.” The Danforth Center, which has a budget of about $4 million a year, will be asking its donors, including the US government, for increased contributions in 2012, he said. ‘Feed the future’ For decades, the world’s focus has been more on food aid- donating excess grains and other agricultural supplies to poor nations. Over the last few years, that focus has shifted toward better positioning poor farmers to feed themselves. The goals include increasing food productivity, developing rural roads, building processing and storage plants, and broadening access to markets to provide higher incomes and long-term food security for people in poor countries. The key targets are an estimated 600 million people who live in poverty in rural areas of SubSaharan Africa and South Asia and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. The need for improved crop productivity was underscored by a 2008 spike in food prices tied to production shortages. In July

2009 the United States pledged $3.5 billion over three years in funding for world food security programs. Another $18.5 billion was pledged by other wealthy nations. But keeping the pledge is getting harder as the global economy has faltered and cuts hit US and European budgets. “We do have to keep up the effort to secure funding,” said Jonathan Shrier, acting special representative for Global Food Security at the U.S. State Department. The World Bank is also overseeing a fund dubbed the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP). The United States is the largest donor, but Canada, Spain, South Korea, Australia, Ireland and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have also pledged funds that total $970 million. But more than $400 million of the pledged dollars have not come in, including close to $300 million from the United States. A GAFSP report issued last month said several countries had to be turned away due to the shortage of funds. “In terms of the global food security debate, agriculture is paramount,” said Emily Alpert, Londonbased senior policy manager for agriculture for ONE, an advocacy organization for development in Africa. “More funding is extremely critical for addressing poverty reduction and food insecurity.” Alongside that effort, the administration of Barack Obama last year launched a “Feed the Future” initiative that is targeting 19 countries for agricultural development assistance. US officials are putting $10 million to $15 million in an irrigation system for 8,000 farmers in Tanzania, for example. And they are helping teach farmers in Kenya new crop production and management techniques and improving access to better seeds that have helped the farmers triple their incomes off “orange fleshed” sweet potatoes. The US program has also helped launch an insur-

ance program for cattle herders in northern Kenya, and is helping fund development of heat- and drought-resistant corn and other cereal crops. The program is considered a bright spot in global agricultural development but its funding is in doubt. “We’re feeling good about the strategic planning process we’ve made. We think we can make a huge impact,” said Paul Weisenfeld, head of the Bureau for Food Security, which oversees the Feed the Future initiative. “Our concern about budget cuts is if we back away it will potentially have an impact on donors worldwide. That is our big concern,” he said. Private efforts With the uncertainty surrounding the sustainability and expansion of government funding, private investments into agricultural research and development are rising. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and other charitable groups have committed billions of dollars for programs to improve the nutrition and yields of maize, sorghum, rice, wheat and other crops. And many corporations have dived in. Monsanto the world’s largest seed company, and DuPont also a major seed company and one of the world’s largest chemical concerns, have development projects under way to improve food security in Africa and elsewhere. Drought-tolerant crops and crops that use fertilizer more efficiently are among the projects on the drawing board. Earlier this month, DuPont announced a partnership aimed at training 1,000 African educators to work with youth in five African counties to teach them innovative farming practices. “There is no silver bullet. We need to work together,” said DuPont Executive Vice President James C Borel. “We collectively need to do everything we can. “A handful of companies can’t be expected to carry the load.” — Reuters

BAA’s earnings boosted as Heathrow traffic holds up Q3 group revenues up 7.1%

EDINBURGH: A KLM aircraft takes off from Edinburgh Airport, following airport operator BAA’s announcement that it is to sell Edinburgh airport yesterday. — AP

LONDON: British airport operator BAA said third-quarter earnings rose, helped by continued growth at London’s Heathrow airport, where passenger traffic is holding up despite global economic uncertainty. “Revenues rose 7.1 percent in the thirdquarter and were up 8 percent at Heathrow where traffic rose 1.5 percent during the period, despite tough comparisons from a strong summer in 2010,” Jose Leo, BAA’s chief financial officer told Reuters in an interview yesterday. “Our expectation for 2011 was to grow earnings by 15 percent and we expect to do that.” BAA, majority owned by Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial , has, in recent months, reported a steady rise in traffic to emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil, and said steady growth in US traffic had also helped. BAA, which owns London’s Heathrow-Europe’s busiest airpor t-as well as Southampton and Stansted in England and Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen airpor ts in Scotland, said it expected the company to perform well in the coming year despite economic uncertainty in Europe and the US that analysts believe could hit passenger numbers. “We, and many other players in our market are cautious about the coming months but Heathrow is well equipped to deal with recessions and downturns,” said Leo. “Interestingly, in the last few months we have seen over the fortnights when traffic is fundamentally leisure that growth has held up but those fortnights where traffic is fundamentally business it has softened slightly.” Business travel is traditionally

Brazil’s social miracle transforms poor clients BRASILIA: For decades, Brazil’s poor had little else to cling to than their meager possessions and scant hopes for a better future. But a government program now is helping lift tens of millions in dire need out of poverty, in the process creating a vast new Brazilian consuming class. “I can buy things with that money: clothes, shoes, I pay for services, and the best thing: I was able to buy roof tiles, and put a proper roof on my home,” Maria Alves, 45, an illiterate mother of six, one of Brazil’s newlyenabled consumers, told AFP. There are 13 million families in poverty now receiving a government subsidy in Brazil, Latin America’s emerging economic and political giant, in what many studies call a huge leftist government success story. The Family Basics subsidy, as the program is called, is geared toward Brazilians whose income is between 3978 dollars per person, providing an average subsidy of 75 dollars-perhaps a bit more, depending on the number of children in the home. With 190 million people in a sprawling, continent-sized country, Brazil boasts that it was able to lift out of poverty 30 million people during the 2003-2010 government of ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. A popular leader with the Workers Party, former union leader Lula was Brazil’s first democratically elected leftist president. Although markets at first were skittish, Lula allowed businesses to prosper while remaining stepping up the battled against poverty. In the half-decade from 2003 to 2008, extreme or abject poverty was reduced sharply from 12 percent to 4.8 percent. Brazil now is way ahead of the game in

efforts to eradicate want and suffering, achieving nothing short of a social miracle as it makes major inroads in confronting the same crisis that has flummoxed much wealthier countries. The United Nations set Millennium Goals that gave 25 years to make the same progress against abject poverty that Brazil made in five, said Andre Portela Souza, a professor at the Getulio Vargas Foundation and researcher on family economics. Millions of poor who once had nothing to eat now have become consumers because they are given a subsidy in exchange for making sure their kids get to school and get medical care. Typical of the types of gains possible under the program is Alves, who lives on the outskirts of modernist Brasilia. Her humble home is far from the middle class comfort enjoyed by what economists call the C-class, the growing number of Brazilians with incomes between $674 and $2,907 per month — enough to afford them access to credit, which has helped fuel breakneck domestic growth. Still, for Maria, her monthly government subsidy payment of $114 dollars has been a life-changer. Combined with her earnings as a babysitter, the money has made it possible for her to see her daughter Cleyde through high school-the first in her family to complete secondary education. “Now I would like to study (at university), but I can’t because private universities are very expensive and public ones are too hard to get into,” the young woman, 22, said. Another receipt of the government largesse, Veroneide Lima de Santos, at 28, has six children and a seventh on the way.—AFP

more resilient than leisure travel during a downturn as cash strapped consumers cut down on discretionary spending when times are tough. British consumer confidence fell for a fourth consecutive month in September, according to a monthly survey by mortgage lender Nationwide published last week. BAA last week put Edinburgh airport up for sale, bowing to a UK watchdog’s order to sell a Scottish airport in order to pave the way for better competition. After a two-year battle with BAA over whether it exerted a dominant hold on British airports, the UK’s Competition Commission told BAA earlier this month that it must sell one of its Scottish airports before it disposes of London Stansted airport. “Informally in the past we have had many approaches ... we are obviously not in the best time ever (to sell) but Edinburgh airport is performing well and is attracting a lot of interest,” said Leo. Analysts value Edinburgh airport at around 600 million pounds ($958 million). BAA said a judicial review of the UK competition watchdog’s ruling requiring it to sell off Stansted would take place in December 2011. Earlier yesterday BAA said adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose 17 percent to 842.2 million pounds ($1.3 billion) in the nine months to the end of September on revenues 10.2 percent higher at 1.7 billion pounds. It said traffic at its airports rose 4.3 percent during the period, with Heathrow traffic up 6.1 percent. Shares in Ferrovial in Madrid were 0.7 percent down at 9.53 euros by 0835 GMT. — Reuters

Peugeot to slash 5,000 jobs PARIS: French auto giant PSA Peugeot Citroen yesterday announced an 800-million-euro cost-cutting plan for next year, including up to 5,000 lay-offs amid a stagnating European car market. “It’s quite possible there will be an impact on the workforce,” the company’s chief financial officer Frederic Saint-Geours warned during a teleconference announcing the plan. Management is to inform unions on details at a meeting later Wednesday, with union leaders already slamming what they said was a “scandalous” plan. The chairman of PSA’s board of directors Philippe Varin said: “This could concern 10 percent of the workforce.” A spokesman clarified that the 10 percent could come from the around 50,000 people employed in Europe and not linked to production. The company, France’s largest automaker and Europe’s second-largest after Germany’s Volkswagen, employs over 205,000 people in the world, including 100,000 in France. It employs 167,000 people in Europe.The new plan comes on top of a savings program announced in 2009 that aims to save a total of 3.7 billion euros. The savings plan comes after the company announced that sales in its cars division were down 1.6 percent to 9.3 billion euros ($12.94 billion). However, overall sales were up 3.5 percent in the third quarter to 13.45 billion euros. CGT union representative Bruno Lemerle slammed the savings plan as “scandalous.” “Logically when the results are good, the company should employ people, try to develop,” Lemerle told AFP, pointing to the increased overall turnover figure. “Our workload is excessive as it is, we don’t need a reduction in the workforce,” he said. With two huge manufacturers, PSA and Renault, France’s auto industry is key to the country’s economy and accounts for around 10 percent of the overall workforce. —AFP

NOSOVICE: In this photo, workers check a car at the end of the assembly line at the Hyundai car plant in Nosovice, northeast Czech Republic. — AP

Carmakers in top gear in Central Europe NOSOVICE: If it’s true that the global economy is grinding to a halt, carmakers in Central Europe seem to have not heard about it. Assembly lines continue to hum and some are even increasing production and hiring new workers as the automotive sector shifts to a higher gear in what seems to have become a safe haven region for many companies. South Korea’s Hyundai introduced last month a third shift at its plant near the northeastern Czech town of Nosovice to be able to produce SUVs and sedans for European markets 24 hours a day. Despite the painful financial turmoil that has engulfed the eurozone and cast uncertainty over world economic growth, there is still plenty of demand for new cars from low-cost plants like the one at Nosovice. “We do not expect any problems with car sales in Germany and Europe in the near future,” said plant spokesman Petr Vanek. “If we just look at Germany itself, August year to year, 2010 to 2011, there was an increase on the car market of 19 percent,” he said. Automakers invested in the Czech Republic and neighboring countries are attracted by the cheap but skilled work force, low taxes, weak labor unions and good highways and train connections. That combination makes the country a desirable place for investment even during an economic slowdown, when costs need to be cut in more expensive developed markets like Western Europe. The region is also strategically placed in the geographic heart of Europe close to the continent’s biggest economies as well fast-growing emerging markets to the east, like Russia. The €1.12 billion ($1.51 billion) Nosovice plant has been steadily increasing output since it opened three years ago, in the middle of a global credit crunch and recession. It sold 200,010 of Hyundai’s i20 compact cars, i30 station wagons and ix35 SUVs across 48 countries in 2010. With its new third shift and 755 new workers in place, the company hopes sales will reach 240,000 this year and 300,000 by 2013.

Just on the other side of the border from Nosovice, business is also booming in the northwestern Slovak city of Zilina, known as Europe’s Motor City or a “Detroit East.” South Korea’s Kia Motors Corp., which is part of the Hyundai Motor Group, just opened a new 100 million ($135 million) motor plant there and is hiring another 1,000 new workers to add a third shift in early 2012. “So far, we have enough orders,” plant spokesman Dusan Dvorak said. In the Slovak capital, Bratislava, a Volkswagen AG plant has been producing the Up, a new subcompact car, since August. It already makes the Volkswagen Touareg, the Audi Q7 and the bodies of the Porsche Cayenne. It has also started producing lowemissions city cars for Volkswagen’s Skoda Auto and Seat brands. A € 308 million investment in the facility created 1,500 new jobs and should boost total production from 144,000 units in 2010 to some 400,000 next year. Skoda Auto in the Czech Republic has reported increasing sales in the key European markets as well as in the faster-growing Asian economies. It expects global sales to grow by double digits this year to well over its record of 800,000 vehicles. The region is of course not immune to the global economic slowdown, and the first warning signs have appeared. A plant of French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen in the western Slovak city of Trnava announced last week it is halting production lines for nine days between Oct. 28 and Nov. 18 due to falling demand linked to “a tense economic situation and social unrest in Europe.” Despite the output halt, the plant is still planning to ramp up annual output to 300,000 cars by introducing a third shift in July 2012, spokeswoman Ivana Pavelkova said. That is a sharp increase from last year’s production of 186,000 cars. Renault SA’s subsidiary Dacia in Romania reported a 21.4 percent drop in sales in its key French market while car exports for the first 7 months of 2011 were down by 7.7 percent compared with 2010 in that country.—AP

MIAMI: This photo, shows a wheel of a 2012 Ford Mustang GT California Special at the Maroone Ford of Miami dealership. Ford says it earned $1.6 billion in the third quarter, down 2 percent from a year ago. The drop was partly due to a charge for hedging on commodities like copper whose prices fell during the quarter. — AP



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Agreement seen distant at London cyber conference LONDON: When ministers, officials, tech executives, Internet activists and security experts meet in London next week to discuss the management of cyberspace, they will be taking some of the first steps down a very long road. With worries over social media’s ability to fuel unrest, intellectual property theft, computer hacking and military cyberwarfare all rising, experts warn that technology has far outpaced policy. Fledgling discussions have been taking place over several years, including largely secret talks between the US and China often conducted through proxies such as think tanks. Other broader meetings - including within the Commonwealth and United Nations - have addressed a host of Internet-related issues. But British Foreign Secretary William Hague and organisers of the London Cyber Summit - due to take place between Nov 1-2 - aim to take things further still. A closed session at the conference on international security could be an early step to some kind of ultimate “cyber arms control”, some experts suggest, although that could take years - and would require much greater international trust. A more likely area for imminent agreement is seen in cooperation to tackle conventional crime, child pornography and perhaps criminal hacking and militancy. As well as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, officials say there will be senior representatives from China, Russia, India and other governments as well as Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, executives from Google , Facebook and other firms alongside bloggers and civil society groups. “We need to have a much more focused debate about cyberspace and the issues that are involved,” said John Duncan, UK special representative for the conference. “We need to bring together the range of actors involved... The discussions we will have... provide a framework which will allow this debate to go

forward in a more structured manner.” But finding true global consensus, some experts and officials say, could still take a decade or more. The last year has seen a dramatic rise in reported cyber attacks often linked to governments, from apparent attempts at data theft at the International Monetary Fund and elsewhere often blamed on China to the Stuxnet computer worm attack on Iran’s nuclear program linked to Israel and the United States. It has also seen the Internet, smart phones and social media revolutionising politics and dissent, with authoritarian states such as China and Russia alarmed as protest spread virally and rapidly during the “Arab Spring”. With great power tensions already on the rise, nations are pouring billions into often barely discussed or even understood cyberwarfare capabilities alongside techniques to monitor the Internet and social media. “A meeting of minds is much more important than diplomatic agreements at this stage,” said John Bassett, a former senior official at UK signals intelligence agency GCHQ and now senior fellow at the Royal United Services Institute. “If we find enough ground to start a dialogue between governments and other players, that would be an excellent result.” British officials had initially suggested that the conference would aim to begin to frame “norms of behaviour” for cyberspace. But such wording has largely been dropped. Jim Lewis, a senior fellow at the Washington DC Centre for Strategic and International Studies and veteran of previous USChina cyber talks, said he believed the conference agenda had been “diluted” to reduce the risk of damaging arguments. Broadly speaking, the key immediate concern for Beijing, Moscow and other authoritarian capitals is seen to be finding ways to rein in and limit online dissent. Western states par-

ticularly the United States, in contrast, are much more worried about rampant intellectual property theft and hacking that they believe often come from within China and Russia. Earlier this year, Russia, China and others put forward a draft “code of conduct” including an agreement to work together to police the Internet against a range of threats, both criminal and those that threatened “social stability”. “The main task will be to avoid endorsing it,” said Lewis. “The Chinese and others have to realise there is simply no deal to be done on freedom of speech. The (US constitutional) First Amendment is considered absolutely sacrosanct over here. If they come away realising that it would be a step forward.” Like their US counterparts, Britain’s Hague and UK Foreign Office officials say attempting to simply control information exchange and limit dissent is the wrong approach. Not only might it prove technically impossible but - as Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak found with his Internet shutdown - it can further inflame protest whilst paralysing the economy. But some worry that message was somewhat confused by the speed with which British Prime Minister David Cameron threatened to temporarily shut down social networks following London’s August riots. “I think that was rather an unfortunate aberration,” Nigel Inkster, a former deputy chief of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), said of Cameron’s comments. “I think in this context, he might rather wish he hadn’t made them.” While officials poured cold water on suggestions the UK has any serious intentions of imposing censorship, some believe Cameron’s move confused the Western position. Speaking on condition of anonymity, one cyber security expert was blunt. “They (the Chinese) are never going to let the UK (or)...US forget it,” he said.

“Cameron threw us back 10 years.” But for many experts including former MI6 official Inkster - now head of transnational threats and political risk at London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies - the immediate challenge for the West remains reining in hacking and holding those responsible accountable. Inkster said he had no doubt that much of that originated from China, often from semi-independent hackers with some degree of state patronage or protection. Beijing denies that. That data theft is seen complicating already difficult relations. But while some say worries over devastating “cyber warfare” are overblown, there seems little doubt a deliberate attack on infrastructure could prompt dangerous escalation - the United States has already warned that it reserves the right to retaliate militarily to a particularly damaging attack. “What we are seeing in cyberspace is essentially the return of the ‘privateer’,” Inkster said, referring to semi-authorised but privately owned raiding ships sent out by nations in previous centuries to attack their enemies often in time of peace. “And what we know from history is that privateers can, sometimes, start wars... We are talking about states that do retain substantial nuclear arsenals.” But a more immediate danger, some worry, is that with so many potential aims and topics in play, the London summit ends up as little more than a wasted opportunity. “There is a risk it could turn into something without any genuine content, particularly if the agenda is ill-defined,” said Graham Wright, a former deputy director for cyber security at the UK Cabinet Office and now a vice president of Northrop Grumman. “But if the conference can identify some principles we can all agree on and energise the international community to implement and build upon these, that would be real progress.” — Reuters

Nokia hails new dawn with Windows phones Lumia 800 and 710 to go on sale in Europe by Xmas

TOKYO: Chairman of Taiwan’s ASUSTek Computer Inc Jonney Shih introduces its new laptop computer called the ‘ASUS Zenbook’ during a press conference yesterday. — AFP

Internet role in human rights gets spotlight SAN FRANCISCO: Technology titans and political activists are grappling with how to make social responsibility and human rights part of the fabric of doing business on the Internet. A Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference will wrap Wednesday in San Francisco after two days of networking and brainstorming regarding how to ensure that the Internet is a tool for human rights instead of a weapon of oppression. “Today we face a series of challenges to the intersections of human rights, connected technology, and government,” said Michael Posner, US assistant secretary of state for the bureau of democracy, human rights and labor. “It is a busy intersection and a lot of people want to put up traffic lights,” he continued in a keynote presentation. The goal of the conference was to collaborate on principles for entrepreneurs to balance pursuit of profit with making sure their creations are used for social good instead of evil. “Silicon Valley has always been the epicenter of technological innovation,” said conference organizer Brett Solomon. “But now it is also a digital beacon of hope,” he said. “From the creation of the chip to the writing of the code... we can commit together to make sure the technologies are a force for good.” Engineers, entrepreneurs, and executives joined with political analysts, activists, and charity groups to delve into the vital role that the Internet plays in social reform. Sponsors of the gathering include Google, Facebook, Skype, Mozilla and Yahoo! “I view the Internet as the greatest opportunity to advance human rights in our lifetime,” Facebook vice president of global communication and public policy Elliot Schrage told attendees. “The Internet gives people a voice, and we need to make sure it stays that way.” Threats targeted at the conference included Western technology firms cooperating with governments to censor what is shared on the Internet or track down people disliked by authorities. “The bottom line is: we’re here because of the actions of governments,” Google public policy director Bob Boorstin said. “It’s not just repressive regimes, but democratic ones too,” he said. “We know more than 40 regimes that are actively blocking content

around the world.” Google on Tuesday updated its online Transparency Report to provide the public with more insights into government requests for information about its users and demands that it remove content from its services. “Like other technology and communications companies, Google regularly receives requests from government agencies and courts around the world to remove content from our services and hand over user data,” Google said. In the first six months of this year, US courts and law enforcement made 5,950 requests for data on users, Google said, 93 percent of which were fully or partially complied with. Most requests involved criminal investigations. India was next with 1,739 data requests, 70 percent of which were fully or partially complied with, Google said. Google said officials in India also asked for the removal of YouTube videos showing protests against social leaders or containing offensive language aimed at religious leaders. Most of the requests were denied. China asked that 121 items be removed from Google during the same period. Western countries that ramped up the number of requests for Google to take down items included Britain, France, Germany, and Spain, according to the Mountain View, California-based company. Among the hot conference topics was how much regulation is appropriate for objectives ranging from net neutrality to protecting copyrights or fighting crime. “We saw the British government fantasizing about a kill switch and witnessed the implications of the Patriot Act in the United States,” European Parliament member Marietje Schaake of the Netherlands said in a video. “I’m against over regulating this space when it is not needed, but we may need we may need regulation to keep it open to competition,” she continued. Craigslist founder Craig Newmark saw the world at a tipping point where democracy was working, sometimes painfully, thanks to the Internet. “The street finds its own uses for technology and I’m pretty happy if we could just avoid getting in the way,” Newmark said during a panel discussion of Internet regulation. —AFP

LONDON: Nokia unveiled two sleek new Microsoft Windows phones yesterday in time for Christmas, a first step in the ailing cellphone maker’s fightback against Apple and Google. Chief Executive Stephen Elop presented the two new smartphones, the first fruits of his big bet on Microsoft software, to a 3,000-strong audience in London, saying they represented the beginning of a new era for the Finnish giant. “It’s a new dawn for Nokia,” Elop said as he unveiled the high-end Lumia 800 and mid-range Lumia 710, which will go on sale in key European markets next month. In an interview with Reuters, Elop said the world’s biggest cellphone maker had transformed itself during his 13month tenure, which has seen a shakeup of senior management and thousands of lay-offs. “It is a different company operating on a different clock speed,” he said. “The amount of effort and passion and work that’s been accomplished that we were able to show off today is the best evidence of that.” Nokia shares, which have halved in value since Elop announced his highrisk partnership with Microsoft and ditched its old software platform in February, were up 3.1 percent at 1323 GMT, outperforming the wider market. Elop said the new phones’ minimalist design and superior navigation features would make them stand out among rival Windows phones, some of which have been faster to market with Microsoft’s new Mango mobile platform. Christian Lindholm, a partner at design agency Fjord who formerly managed Nokia’s classic S60 and S40 user interfaces, said the new phones showed a renewed confidence in Nokia’s traditional strengths. “They’re getting back to their roots - simplicity,” he said. “They’ve stripped out the noise and focused on what people need to communicate, navigate and socialise.”

Analysts were positive about the new phones, though they said the first results of the Nokia-Microsoft pairing remained well short of an iPhone killer. “These devices are a good start, but the reality is that they are pretty much plain vanilla Windows Phone products,” said Ben Wood, director of research at UKbased telecoms analysis firm CCS Insight. “The real fruits of Nokia’s and Microsoft’s labours will come next year ... but it remains a Herculean task to recapture this lucrative market from Apple and (Google platform) Android.” The Lumia 800, with vivid colours and a curved, black display, features Windows Phone’s live icons on the home screen, which automatically update news, weather and Facebook feeds. It also boasts free navigation and

Microsoft’s new Internet Explorer 9 browser, and will sell for about Ä420 ($584) excluding taxes and subsidies, putting it in the same bracket as Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s top Galaxy phones. The Lumia 710 will sell for about Ä270. “The Lumia phones do have some strong selling points in their own right ... and they offer a look and feel that’s radically different from anything seen previously on a Nokia device,” said John Delaney, research director at technology research firm IDC. Nokia has suffered most in recent years in the United States, where operators have spurned its offerings in favour of the iPhone and popular Android models such as the Motorola Droid. Elop said the company planned a portfolio of new products for the US market early

LONDON: Nokia President and CEO Stephen Elop holds the new Nokia Lumia 800 smartphone as he delivers a speech during the first day of the Nokia World 2011 conference yesterday. — AFP

next year, and said Nokia did have US carrier support. In Europe, Nokia has launched the new phones with the support of 31 operators and retailers, which will help push the phones into the hands of consumers and secure subsidies. Microsoft’s mobile platform has a market share of just 2-3 percent, compared with Android’s near 50 percent and Apple’s 15 percent of the smartphone market. Analysts and developers said Microsoft’s platform was emerging as the third player at a fortuitous time, when Google’s planned $12.5 billion offer for Motorola Mobility was creating uncertainty among other Android phone makers. “They got really lucky. There is a lot of confusion in the Android marketplace now,” said Carolina Milanesi, analyst with technology research firm Gartner. Elop said it was an open question as to how much disruption the GoogleMotorola deal would have, but said any indication of problems should help. “I think that any confusion or questions in the other ecosystems can be something that can be an advantage to the Windows Phone,” Elop told Reuters. The phones will go on sale in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Britain in November, and in Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan before the end of the year. Nokia also unveiled four new basic phones for emerging markets, where it still holds a leading position. Nokia’s third-quarter results beat low expectations, sparking hopes that the company can survive a painful revamp, but smartphone sales still dropped 38 percent from a year ago. The annual Nokia World media and industry event in London, where the launch took place yesterday, includes speakers from the world’s largest carriers, China Mobile , Vodafone, Orange and MTN . — Reuters

UBISOFT to open development studio at twofour54 Abu Dhabi KUWAIT: Ubisoft, one of the world’s leading video game publishers and the developers of brands such as Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, Assassin’s Creedand Prince of Persia, announced an agreement that will see Ubisoft establish a new development studio and participate in a new game development academy in Abu Dhabi. This marks the first time a major games publisher has established a direct presence in the GCC. Based at twofour54 tadreeb, the twofour54 gaming academy in partner-

ship with Ubisoft is scheduled to welcome its first intake of full-time students in March 2012. It will allow them to receive international standard training to prepare them for a career in the digital gaming industry; one of the fastest growing sectors within the media industry generally and especially in the Middle East. Under the agreement, Ubisoft will establish a games development studio at twofour54. This studio will provide exciting job and talent development opportunities for graduates of the

Academy as well as other games developers looking to create games that have universal appeal. “Digital gaming has always been a priority sector for twofour54 and to partner with an international market leader such as Ubisoftis great news for the region’s gaming industry,” commented Wayne Borg, Deputy CEO & Chief Operating Officer, twofour54. “The digital games played by Arabs have traditionally been developed outside the region, which means that they rarely have a direct relevance to Arab gamers. Our agreement with Ubisoft will benefit the region in that it will enable the development of titles with universal appeal, whilst also building the skills of young Arabs to allow the region to create its own games and developing a gaming industry base here at twofour54.” Ubisoft has the second largest inhouse development staff in the world, employing more than 5,400 developers in studios around the world. The young students that sign up to be part of the

new academy will have the opportunity to engage with these experts who will provide the guidance, knowledge and tools required to ensure that their gaming ideas turn from concept into reality. Yannick Theler, a ten-year veteran at Ubisoft has been chosen to manage the new studio. Yannick’s experience at Ubisoft began at Ubisoft Switzerland as Marketing & Sales Directorbefore being appointed Vice President of Business Development for Ubisoft’s China activities and most recently served as Human Resources Director of Ubisoft Shanghai. “We are excited by the partnership with twofour54. Their commitment to developing a strong regional gaming industry and their knowledge of the region were the perfect foundation on which to continue building our development teams,” said Christine BurgessQuÈmard, executive director, worldwide studios at Ubisoft. “The demographics and the pool of skilled technical talent in the Middle East and North Africa region are key factors that will contribute to the success of this new studio.”



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US advisers recommend diabetics get Hep B vaccine People with diabetes likelier to get infected with Hep B WASHINGTON: US vaccine advisers on Tuesday voted to recommend routine vaccination for Hepatitis B for adults with diabetes under the age of 60, and said people older than 60 may get the vaccine. The Advisor y Committee on Immunization Practices, which advises the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, voted 12-2 to include diabetics in the high-risk group of unvaccinated adults that should get vaccinated. It is the first time the panel made a Hepatitis B vaccine recommendation for people with diabetes, af ter studies showed those under the age of 60 were more than twice as likely to get infected than people without diabetes. Studies found no observed significant increase of Hepatitis B in diabetics over the age of 60, researchers said in a presentation

This undated handout image provided by NASA, combines data from four different space telescopes to create a multi-wavelength view of all that remains of the oldest documented example of a supernova, called RCW 86.—AP

Telescopes solve 2,000 year-old stellar mystery CAPE CANAVERAL: Astronomers finally know why the first documented supernova was super-sized. The exploded star was observed by the ancient Chinese in the year 185, and visible for eight months. It was later found to be a biggerthan-expected supernova remnant, 8,000 light years away. Each light year is about 6 trillion miles. New observations in the infrared

show the explosion took place in a cavity in space. The cavity allowed the stellar shrapnel to shoot faster and farther out into the universe. The star - similar to our sun - died peacefully and turned into a dense white dwarf. It sucked up material from another star, and then exploded in a supernova. NASA announced the findings Monday. Four space telescopes were used in the study.—AP

Climate: Which nations, cities most at risk? PARIS: A third of humanity, mostly in Africa and South Asia, face the biggest risks from climate change but rich nations in northern Europe will be least exposed, according to a report released yesterday. Bangladesh, India and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are among 30 countries with “extreme” exposure to climate shift, according to a ranking of 193 nations by Maplecroft, a British firm specializing in risk analysis. Five Southeast Asian nations-Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, the Philippines and Cambodia-are also in the highest category, partly because of rising seas and increasing severe tropical storms. Maplecroft’s tool, the Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI), looks at exposure to extreme weather events such as drought, cyclones, wildfires and storm surges, which translate into water stress, loss of crops and land lost to the sea. How vulnerable a society is to these events is also measured, along with a country’s potential to adapt to future climate change-related hazards. Of 30 nations identified in the new report as an “extreme” risk from climate change, two-thirds are in Africa and all are developing countries. Africa is especially exposed to drought, severe flooding and wildfires, the report says. “Many countries there are particularly vulnerable to even relatively low exposure to climate events,” said Charlie Beldon, co-author of the study. Weak economies, inadequate healthcare and corrupt governance also leave little margin for absorbing climate

impacts. At the other end of the spectrum, Iceland, Finland, Ireland, Sweden and Estonia top the list of nations deemed to be least at risk. With the exception of Israel and oil-rich Qatar and Bahrain, the 20 least vulnerable countries are in northern and central Europe. China and the United States-the world’s No. 1 and No. 2 carbon emitters are in the “medium” and “low” risk categories, respectively. In a parallel analysis of major cities at risk, Maplecroft pointed to Dhaka, Addis Ababa, Manila, Calcutta and the Bangladesh city of Chittagong as being most exposed. Three other Indian metropolitan areas-Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi-were listed as being at “high” risk. “Vulnerability to climate change has the potential to undermine future development, particularly in India,” Beldon observed. Recent studies-reviewed in a special repor t by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), due out next monthpoint to strengthening evidence of links between global warming and extreme weather events. Record droughts in Australia and Africa, floods in Pakistan and central America, and fires in Russia and the United States may all be fuelled in part by climate change, some experts say. Current warming trends are on track to boost average global temperatures by 3.0 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, according to some predictions.—AFP

Depression risk no higher for older first-time mums NEW YORK: Women who have their first baby at an older age aren’t at any greater risk of postpartum depression than their younger counterpar ts, according to an Australian study of more than 500 first-time mothers. Researchers led by Catherine McMahon at Macquarie University in Australia found that women aged 37 or older were no more likely to get postpartum depression than younger women, regardless of whether they conceived naturally or had infertility treatment. “Older mothers are frequently discussed in the media. There are a lot of myths, and limited empirical data,” McMahon, a psychology professor, said in an email. There has been speculation, for instance, that older mothers might have a tougher time adjusting to motherhood after being in the workforce for a long time, or have more trouble dealing with the lifest yle changes that a baby brings. “There is no research evidence to support these speculations,” McMahon added, although she noted that it is k nown that older mothers have a greater risk of pregnancy complications and that these complications

have been linked to the risk of postpartum depression. For their study, reported in the journal Fertility and Sterility, McMahon’s team followed 266 women who had conceived naturally and 275 who had undergone fertility treatment. All of the women answered questionnaires during their third trimester and had a diagnostic inter view for depression when their babies were four months old. Overall, eight percent of the women had major depression symptoms-at the lower end of what’s seen among new mothers in general, the researchers said. There were 180 women aged 37 or older. McMahon said a number of questions remained for future studies, including whether going through menopause while caring for a young child presents challenges. “There is considerable evidence that vulnerability to depression is greatest in mid-life for women,” she said. She said it would also be interesting to see how older mothers fare when they go back to work, as well as looking at the psychological welfare of women who put off having children and then are unable to conceive.

on Tuesday. Hepatitis B is a serious disease that can turn chronic and lead to liver damage or cancer. People infected with the virus can spread it to others through contact with blood or other body fluids even if they show no symptoms. Although there is no cure, the disease can be prevented with a vaccine. The CDC has recommended routine Hepatitis B vaccination for children and adolescents since 1991. The recommendation also applies to unvaccinated adults at risk of getting infected, such as people with chronic liver or kidney disease, men who have sex with men, people with more than one sex partner or those whose jobs expose them to human blood. If the CDC follows its advisers’ recommendation, that list will be expanded to include people with diabetes under the age of 60.

The unstable future of a world full of men NEW DELHI: As the global population hits seven billion, experts are warning that skewed gender ratios could fuel the emergence of volatile “bachelor nations” driven by an aggressive competition for brides. The precise consequences of what French population expert Christophe Guilmoto calls the “alarming demographic masculinisation” of countries such as India and China as the result of sex-selective abortion remain unclear. But many demographers believe the resulting shortage of adult women over the next 50 years will have as deep and pervasive an impact as climate change. The statistics behind the warnings are grimly compelling. Nature provides an unbending biological standard for the sex ratio at birth of 104-106 males to every 100 females. Any significant divergence from that narrow range can only be explained by abnormal factors. In India and Vietnam the figure is around 112 boys for every 100 girls. In China it is almost 120 to 100 — and in some places higher than 130. And the trend is spreading: to regions like the South Caucasus, where Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia all post birth ratios of more than 115 to 100, and further west to Serbia and Bosnia. Global awareness of the problem was raised back in 1990 with an article by the Nobel prize-winning Indian economist Amartya Sen that carried the now famous title: “More Than 100 Million Women Are Missing.” Demographers say that figure is now more than 160 million-women selected out of existence by the convergence of traditional preferences for sons, declining fertility and, most crucially, the prevalence of cheap prenatal sex-determination technology. As many as half a million female foetuses are estimated to be aborted each year in India, according to a study by British medical journal The Lancet. “Earlier villagers had to go to the city to get a sonogram (ultrasound),” said Poonam Muttreja, executive director of the non-profit Population Foundation of India. “Today sonographers are going into the villages to cater to people who want sons.” Even if the sex ratio at birth returned to normal in India and China within 10 years, Guilmoto says men in both countries would still face a “marriage squeeze” for decades to come. “Not only would these men have to marry significantly older, but this growing marriage imbalance would also lead to a rapid rise in male bachelorhood... an important change in countries where almost everyone used to get married,” he said. How that change might manifest itself is hotly debated, although nearly everyone agrees there is no foreseeable upside. Some forecast an increase in polyandry and sex tourism, while others predict cataclysmic scenarios with the rise of male-surplus societies where sexual predation, violence and conflict are the norm. A particularly alarmist note was sounded several years ago by political scientists Valerie Hudson and Andrea den Boer, who wrote that Asian countries with too many men posed a security threat to the West. “High-sexratio societies are governable only by authoritarian regimes capable of suppressing violence at home and exporting it abroad through colonization or war,” they said. Mara Hvistendahl, a correspondent for Science magazine and author of the recently published “Unnatural Selection”, says fears of full-scale wars are unfounded, and points out that India remains a thriving democracy, despite its shockingly high gender imbalance. However she does agree with the underlying premise.”Historically, societies in which men substantially outnumber women are not nice places to live,” Hvistendahl stressed. “Often they are unstable. Sometimes they are violent,” she said, adding that leaders in both China and India have spoken of the threat gender imbalance poses to social stability. UN agencies have issued similar warnings about the correlation between a scarcity of women and increases in sex trafficking and marriage migration, albeit with certain caveats. “The data is really limited,” said Nobuko Horibe, AsiaPacific director of the UN Population Fund. “It is very likely that this marriage squeeze would lead to these phenomena... but it’s very anecdotal at this stage.” But while more and more red flags are being raised over the long-term implication of skewed sex ratios, few solutions are being offered. Sex-selective abortion is illegal in both China and India, but officials say the law is incredibly difficult to enforce. There is “no silver bullet”, admits Guilmoto, who believes the first priority is to make sure the problem is properly publicized-and not just in the developing world. “In some countries in eastern Europe, people are absolutely not aware of what is going on,” he warned.—AFP

For older diabetics, the panel allowed flexibility for consultation with doctors on the need for the vaccine. Two Hepatitis B vaccines are available in the United States: Engerix-B by GlaxoSmithKline and Recombivax by Merck & Co’s. Dynavax Technologies Corp’s has another Hepatitis B vaccine targeted at adults, Heplisav, in clinical trial. People with diabetes have been the focus of Hepatitis B vaccination discussions for several years, as studies started pointing to their increased likelihood of having the virus, generally acquired through blood glucose monitoring. The test involves puncturing skin to get a drop of blood to put on a strip of a device that gives a reading. Any lapse in sterility, such as several people being tested using the same device or supplies, can increase risk of exposure to

infected blood. Younger people are more responsive to the vaccination, the effectiveness of which could wane over time, researchers said. Earlier vaccinations may also start protecting newly-diagnosed patients sooner, as studies find two-thirds of diabetes diagnoses have been made by age 60. The cost of immunization versus gained benefits also quadruples from people in their forties to people in their fifties, but then it leaps almost sixfold for people over 60. Bearing in mind that healthcare law makes the panel’s recommendations binding for insurance coverage, members voted for agespecific Hepatitis B recommendations with the caveat that they could further detail them later to ensure vaccinations were covered for those who needed them regardless of age. — Reuters

Living near fast food joints may not up weight NEW YORK: Having a fast food restaurant in the neighborhood may have little to no impact on the weight of adults who live nearby, according to a US study of more than 3,000 people. The findings, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, add to a conflicting body of research. A number of previous studies have suggested that people living in fast food-heavy neighborhoods have a higher obesity rate. The latest study, led by Jason Block of Harvard Medical School, looked at 3,113 adults who entered a heart-health study in 1971, and followed them for 30 years. They found no consistent relationship between participants’ driving distance to fast food facilities and their weight during that time. “Maybe proximity is not the thing we should be focusing on,” Block told Reuters Health, adding that it may be more important to look at why people make the choices they do at restaurants, grocery stores and other food outlets. “In theory, you can make healthful choices wherever you go,” he added. The participants were about 38 years old on average when the study began. Over the next 30 years, they were interviewed and had physical exams seven times. Block’s team collected information on all restaurants, grocery stores and food outlets in the region over that time period, then calculated the participants’ driving

distance from home to the nearest restaurant or store. The only evidence of a slight link between proximitys to a fast food restaurant and weight was among women. On average, for each km (0.6 miles) women lived from the nearest fast food place, they showed a slightly lower body mass index (BMI), a measure of weight against height. Researchers said that meant a woman would weigh about half a kg (one pound) less for each additional km of distance from a fast food restaurant. The current study does not, though, mean that neighborhood food choices are unimportant, especially for lower income people, experts said. In particular, having a goodquality grocery store nearby, meaning that people do not rely on convenience stores to shop, may make a difference in weight, said Lisa Powell, a senior research scientist at the Institute for Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. If a higherincome person does not live close to a supermarket, he can probably drive to one fairly easily. A lower-income person might be relying on public transportation, making the distance from quality food offerings an obstacle. In any case, Block noted that fast food places are now “ubiquitous,” meaning that having one close to where you live may no longer be of great importance.—Reuters

Starlight study shows Pluto’s chilly twin PARIS: Sky-watchers reported yesterday that a small planet in deep space that triggered one of the fiercest controversies in modern astronomy appears to be a colder “twin” of Pluto. The study, published in the journal Nature, is the biggest probe into the enigmatic planet known as Eris, whose discovery in 2005 raised questions about the Kuiper Belt, a zone of icy objects beyond the orbit of Neptune. Eris stunned astronomers. It was initially estimated to be as big as Pluto, which had been enshrined as the Solar System’s smallest, outermost planet after discovery in 1930. The existence of Eris implied that scores, maybe even hundreds, more planets were just waiting to be spotted in the Kuiper Belt. But were these objects-even Pluto itself-big enough to be considered real planets? The question was answered in 2006, when Pluto was relegated by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to a new category of “dwarf planet,” where it has been joined by Eris, the big asteroid Ceres and two other large Kuiper belt objects, Makemake and Haumea. Pluto’s downsizing was unpopular with the public and is hotly contested even

today by many astronomers, thus making Eris’ name-after the Greek goddess of strife and discord-very apt. The new probe used two giant telescopes in Chile’s Atacama desert, which observed Eris as it passed in front of a star in November 2010, gaining clues about its size and surface from the distorted starlight. This is a technical feat, for Eris was nearly 100 times as distant from Earth as Earth is from the Sun. It is the most distant object in the Solar System to be successfully observed this way. The tableau of Eris that emerges is of a sphere-shaped object with a diameter of 2,326 kms (1,453 miles), plus or minus 12 kms (eight miles), which is a fraction smaller than earlier measurements. In size terms, it is strangely a near-double of Pluto, whose diameter is estimated at 2,3002,400 kms (1,437 -1,500 miles). The surface of Eris is unusually bright, which suggests that it has an icy covering that is somehow refreshed. If the surface were permanently like this, it would become darkened by cosmic rays and impacts by micro-meteorites over time. —AFP

ATLANTA: File photo shows a doctor holds the human papillomavirus vaccine Gardiasil in his hand at his Chicago office.—AP



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Elusive luck lures Macau’s compulsive gamblers MACAU: Stanley once spent two days and nights without sleep in a casino, and was eventually reduced to gambling away six-figure sums of other people’s money, but he still believed he was on the verge of a big win that would solve everything. Now 48, Stanley, who asked to be identified by only one name, was one of the growing number of gambling addicts in the Chinese territory of Macau, which has become the world’s biggest gaming hub. In just under two years, he saw his solvency, businesses, reputation and his freedom vanish at the tables. “The illusion is that you will always have the chance to win more, more, more,” he told AFP. A softly-spoken man, Stanley came to Macau in the 1990s from Guangdong, looking for opportunity, and found it: he set up his own store, worked hard and prospered. He never gambled. In 2003 he expanded, opening a property agency. At the same time, a drastic change was taking place in Macau’s economy, already profiting from a handful of casinos: the government liberalized gaming licenses, enabling foreign operators including Las Vegas giants to move in. The economy surged. “Everything was so open,” Stanley said. Even for non-gamblers, “there was this incredible freedom, this sense that you could earn money overnight.” As the property agency grew, Stanley gained clients in other parts of China who began visiting Macau and wanted to see the famous casinos. He showed them around and began putting 100 Macau patacas (US $12) or 200 on the tables, mostly playing baccarat. He was astonished one day to find himself about 10,000 patacas richer by the time he left. “I suddenly got this feeling that winning money was easy in casinos, and after that, my reasons for going changed,” he said. “At first it was just with clients, but after I won that time, I thought it would help me to get rich.” He began gaming alone whenever he was free, but of course, he didn’t always win. “Losing gave me a heartbroken feeling. I just wanted to win back the money I had lost,” he said. Stanley became part of the local gambling culture, which he said includes rituals like entering casinos by the side door, using one’s left hand to turn the cards, and carrying Buddhist beads and jade charms. If he lost in one casino he would switch to another in search of luck. The sums he was gambling grew and grew. He had joined the legions of Macau’s gambling addicts-of whom there is an increasing number among the 570,000-strong population. ‘My biggest sorrow’ The Resilience Centre of the government’s Social Welfare Bureau has received 2,800 calls to its hotline since it opened in late 2005, and counseled over 500 addicts face-to-face, while several non-governmental groups also advise problem gamblers. But many

addicts are unwilling to accept help. Elaine Tang of the Resilience Centre, who has worked with Stanley, said: “I am sure the clients we have are only small pieces of the whole picture. If people are not ready to change, it is hard to open their ears.” In Stanley’s case, he realized on some level that he had a problem, but to tell anyone was unthinkable. His children were 13 and 7 at the time. “My parents and my family all thought I was a good son, a good father, a good husband,” he said. His finances lurched wildly: once he walked into a casino

bling were gone. “We borrowed from relatives, from friends, from banks, from loan sharks. I no longer cared about the property business,” he said. “My biggest sorrow was that I didn’t even go back to the mainland to take care of my father, who had lung cancer. I just spent all day in the casino.” The clients of Stanley’s property agency still trusted him, and so he told them he needed money for further investment. In 2006, they paid over another two million patacas, all of which vanished at the tables. One by one, the clients found out, and Stanley’s

wife and children, crying as they left the prison one day after visiting. His feeling of “total heartbreak and guilt” was accompanied by the strength to change, he said. He began learning plumbing and electrical maintenance, and became the prison champion in Chinese chess, a crown he held for two years. Impressed, a judge opted to release Stanley after two-thirds of his sentence. Now, he has been out of jail for about a year and works as a driver, with a third of his earnings going to repay his debts by court order. He also works through his church to help other gambling addicts.

MACAU: “Stanley”, a softly-spoken man who came to Macau in the 1990s from Guangdong, China, gesturing during an interview with AFP at the Resilience Centre of the government’s Social Welfare Bureau.—AFP with 400 patacas in hand and won 300,000. Another time he started with 200,000 patacas and was reduced to 20,000, but then he won 1.2 million-only to lose 800,000. One day, Stanley found he had emptied the family bank accounts of two million patacas. He could no longer hide his addiction from his family, but Stanley’s response to their discovery was to invite his wife along to a casino. “This was the worst thing that I did,” he said. “She wanted to help me, but I wanted to show her that gambling is easy and you might have a chance to win. ‘You can’t be always losing,’ I said.” His wife bought into the illusion, and the two began gambling together. Now, all barriers to Stanley’s gam-

gambling whirl hit a sudden end. He was sentenced to five years and three months in prison, and his wife-who had helped at the property firm-was handed three years and nine months. “In that whole period of addiction, one and a half or two years, I lost a total of five or six million (patacas),” Stanley said. He and his wife went to jail, and his children were taken into care. This was Stanley’s lowest point, and he began thinking of suicide. But thoughts of family held him back, while friends from his church and social workers kept visiting. With time, he began to understand the real price of his gambling. The image that remains in his mind is that of his

Most importantly, he has regained his family’s trust, despite his daughter’s reproaches for the years she endured without a father. “I see a very good future,” he said. “When I first came to Macau I started a business all by myself. Now I have nothing again, but I believe that I can build.” Stanley still lives with the presence of the mega-casinos. Their ads flash from buses, and the casino buildings-extravagantly decorated in gold and bright lights-dominate the horizon. But although relapse is a problem for many compulsive gamblers, he says he is never tempted to go inside. “I’d be much too afraid,” he said.—AFP




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W H AT ’ S O N Announcements Colva Feast Colva United Centre - Kuwait invites all Colvenkars and well wishers to attend Feast Mass at Holy Family Cathedral Kuwait - on 27th October 2011 at 6.00 p.m. Emigration law seminar Kerala Art Lovers Association (Kala Kuwait) is organizing a seminar today 27th October 7 pm at United Indian School Abbassiya. The main objective of the seminar is the requirement of a ‘Comprehensive Emigration Law’ in Indian sector. The recent threat risen from the world economic crises can be caused a black mark in the future of Indians working abroad. In this circumstance ìKala Kuwaitî decided to conduct such a seminar. The Indian Lawyers Forum, Kerala Islamic Group, Kuwait Kerala Muslim Association, Representatives from Congress group and otherpProminent cultural activist will be participating in this seminar. For details contact 97817100, 66656642, 24317875. Exhibition on healthcare The India Medical Tourism Destination (IMTD) exhibition and conference, which aims at promoting India as a global healthcare destination, is to take place on the 2nd & 3rd of November at the Hall No 7, Kuwait International Fair Grounds in Mishref. The two-day mega medical tourism exhibition and conference is being organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Trident Exhibitions in collaboration with the Embassy of India, Kuwait and the Indian Doctors Forum, Kuwait. EDA Onam 2011 Ernakulam District Association Kuwait (EDA) ‘Onam 2011” celebration will be on November 4th at Indian Community School, Salmiya (Senior Girls). It will be a full day entertainment from 9 am to 5 pm. Indian Ambassador Satish C. Mehta will be the chief guest. EDA family will be staging various cultural activities bringing back the nostalgic memories of a bygone era of prosperity, equality and righteousness under the golden reign of Mahabali. In addition, a sumptuous traditional meal “ONASADYA” will be served to all the members and invitees. All members and their families are requested to participate in the event. Contact Baburaj (66080256), Bipin (66024732) or visit our website Free medical camp MES conducts their 12th Free Medical Screening Camp on Friday 11th November at Central School - Abbasiya in association with Kuwait Medical Association (KMA), Indian Doctors Forum (IDF), Kuwait Heart Foundation and Indian Dentists Alliance in Kuwait. The camp will be from 8 am to 2:30 pm. Around 50 specialized doctors from IDF will lead the examination. Thousands of poor and needy community members were benefited from the past 11 Medical Camps. Doctors specialized in Gynecology, Ortho, Cardiology, Surgical, Pediatrics, Diabetes, Ophthalmology, ENT, Skin, General Medicine and Dental are available in the camp. Applicant should bring any medical records he/she have i.e. X-ray, Lab Test Report. Application forms are available at all the Branches of Gulf Mart, Tasty Restaurant, Al-Yaqza Book Shop (Kuwait City), Dress Mart (Fahaheel), Highland Supermarket (Abbasiya), Azizia Book Shop (Salmiya). Duly filled application will be acceptable maximum by 5th November 2011. For details contact Zubair (99826195) & Hassan Managad (99131104). Art competition The eleventh Onam celebrations of Pathanamthitta District Association will be held tomorrow, October 28. The association is holding an art competition in poetry and short story writings and the association is inviting poems and short stories from talented individuals among Malayalees in Kuwait. Persons interested in participating may send their writings with photograph to the following address Email:, for more information, contact 97863052 or 66501482. Indian Lawyers’ Forum Onam Indian Lawyers’ Forum will celebrate Onam, the unique, secular, harvest festival of Kerala on 18th November, 2011 Friday 10.30 am at Hi-Dine Restaurant Auditorium, Abbassia. Celebrations will include traditional variety entertainments, with the grand ‘ONASADHYA’. All Indian Lawyers & Law graduates working here in Kuwait are invited with their families. For details contact Panicker 97203939, Pulikkal 97260159. Email: Tulukoota talent hunt Tulukoota Kuwait will hold a “Talent Hunt 2011” a chance to prove an inborn trait in you that confirms your individuality, uniqueness. For more information and registration form kindly log on to our Website: or visit our facebook page Tulukoota Kuwait Talent Hunt 2011. You could also email your form request to: or contact our area coordinators mentioned below. Mangaf, Fahaheel, Abuhalifa : Ronald Dsouza- 60035824, Shalini Alva23726164, Suma Bhatt- 97834578 Salmiya & Hawally: Swarna Shetty- 99006934, Kripa Gatty- 66044194 Kuwait City, Jahra, Sharq: Rekha Sachu65044521,97862115 Farwaniya, Abbassiya, Shuwaikh & Khaitan: Sathyanarayana- 66585077 Sanath Shetty67712409. BEC T10 Cricket tournament The BEC T10 Tennis Ball Cricket Tournament will be organized & played from 7th October to 11th November, 2011. The Tournament being organized by RED N BLACK CRICKET CLUB and sponsored by BEC EXCHANGE will be played out in Abu Halifa cricket grounds. For registration and other queries please mail at or call 66820148/ 66130940/ 66841653.

Konkani drama


uwait Goan Association (KGA) after presenting popular Konkani tiatrs ‘Ghor Bandlem ghorabo Modlo’ and ‘Tujea Moga Passot’, now all set to present Tragedy King Mario Menezes most popular Konkani drama “Hatachim Panch Bottam” in Kuwait on Friday, 18th November 2011 with full troupe. Await for more details or email:

GUST celebrates graduation ceremony


nder the patronage of Ahmad AlMulaifi, Minister of Education and Higher Education in Kuwait, the Gulf University for Science and Technology hosted pioneers in the educational sector, families, friends and students at their 2nd MBA and 6th Bachelors classes graduation ceremony on their esteemed outdoor theater on campus. Dr Christos Koulamas, Senior Associate Dean of the College of Business Administration at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, was the guest speaker at the grand ceremony. The theater was filled with not only the smiling faces of the graduates and their family and friends but also with GUST faculty, staff, and proud leaders including Dr Abdulrahman Al-Muhailan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Dr Shuaib Abdullah Shuaib, GUST President, all of who came to show their support and acknowledge the importance of this occasion. Dr Al-Muhailan opened the ceremony with a speech addressing everyone, from the students whom he noted are the

future of this country and now it is their time to give back, to the faculty whom he thanked for working tirelessly to convey all the information to the students ensuring that the quality of education at GUST is maintained and finally to the parents whom he thanked for their trust in the university with their children’s futures. He stressed on GUST’s promise to work closely with the Ministry of Higher Education to ensure that the highest levels of education are maintained and improved upon day after day. The 452 Bachelors graduates and 84 MBA graduates listened with glistening eyes at all the familiar faces in the crowds as the Minister took the stage and expressed his commitment to attending this ceremony: “as it is on occasions like this that we witness first-hand the future of our beloved country, and we couldn’t be more proud of what this batch of minds has achieved thus far and what they will give back to the development and progress of their country.” He mentioned that the train of progress won’t wait for

anyone and that is why we have continually look forward and better ourselves every day to be able to compete not only locally, but globally as well. Dr Shuaib spoke next, referring in his speech to the university slogan “University for Life” which he noted means that we try to instill all the values of life to our students during their time here, from discipline to work ethic to loyalty - all of which apply to life here in university and to their lives outside the university as they enter the workforce. Dr Thomas F. George, Chancellor of the University of Missouri - St. Louis (UMSL), GUST’s affiliate university, joined the graduates live via webcam, showcasing the strengths of technology available on the university campus. “This is a very important moment in your life,” he said and asked the students to savor it, enjoy it and relish in this grand achievement - they have every right to. He noted that UMSL continues every year to see the rapid growth of GUST and is proud to have seen it grow from an idea to an expanding edu-

cational force. Dr. Christos Koulamas, Senior Associate Dean of the CBA at FIU, encouraged the graduates to play an active role in the social, economic and intellectual realms in not only Kuwait, but the world. He also advised the students to stay in touch with each other, despite the fact that they are all now separating to go on their own journey in life, “remember the connections you’ve made here,” for these connections were made to last and be a source of inspiration and reminder of this achievement. One of the graduates, Reem Mohammed, was honored to be chosen for the graduates’ speech and was ecstatic about this night; this night that she said they’ve worked for four years for and dreamt of and they were finally standing here with their caps on and under those caps, wide smiles and hopes that go beyond the sun. The night ended with a musical performance and dinner as well as a photo booth where the students were able to capture this evening with their families.




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W H AT ’ S O N

ISP holds 17th annual award ceremony


SP’s Senior Annual Award Ceremony has always been very special. On Thursday, 20th October, a huge number of students at SSC, HSSC, IGCSE and A Level stood with outstanding results from International School of Pakistan, Khaitan, Kuwait. It was immense honour for ISP at the presence of Iftikhar Aziz, Ambassador of Pakistan to Kuwait as chief guest, Madam Sousan from Ministry of Private education and Dr Saad Mohana. The chief guest was received by a group of senior faculty staff and prominent students. The toppers welcomed him with a bouquet. After the National Anthem of Kuwait, this memorable day started with the recitation of Holy Quran by Qutaiba Muhammad from Sr 3, IGCSE and its translation by Noor ul Am from Gr 12. Flags of Kuwait and Pakistan, during the anthems were held by Muhammad Saleh Ali, student of Sr 5 A Levels. The role of stage secretaries was immaculately performed by Mrs Rohina Ali and Mrs Saima Kashif.

Anjum Masood, Principal of ISP, feeling at the peak of pride and gratitude presented his welcome address. He was at

full praise for his hardworking students and committed faculty staff. Parents, guests and educa-

tors assembled in the auditorium to show their spontaneous cheers of success, applause and smile as big as the stage

each student to receive their certificates, medals and handshakes from the chief guest, owner of ISP, director of ISP

and Principal of ISP. Keeping up their tradition, Abdullah Rash Id Al Hufaiti, owner of ISP and Madam

Nadia Al Hufaiti, director of ISP, generously awarded scholarship money to the winners who stood at first three posi-

tions at SSC, HSSC, IGCSE and A Level. A group of students under the guidance of Mrs Shaista Tahir and Mrs Eman performed on a Naat in Urdu and a skit on an Arabic Song which was highly appreciated by the audience. Chief guest in his address congratulated the students, their parents and the school on such a remarkable success. Towards the end of program, the administrative and the academic staff had a photo session with the chief guest. Amjad Latif, Senior Section In charge concluded the program, before National Anthem of Pakistan, with his words of thanks in his most humble and modest way. He appreciated the efforts of the students and the worthy teachers. Students received enormous round of applause roaring through the auditorium from the audience to celebrate their scholastic achievements. This memorable day came to an end with a solemn promise for another dynamic year of ISP to come.

KDA to hold Rafi-Kishore nite


afi Kishore Nite will be held on 8th November 2011 at the Indian Central School, Open Auditorium, Abbasiya. Famous Kuwaiti singer Mubarak Al Rashid will sing the songs of legend Late. Kishore Kumar. Late Mohammed Rafi’s famous songs will be rendered by Muhammad Rafi popularly known as Junior Rafi. Jameel, famous Pakistani singer will be another attraction of the event. TV artists from India Vinod Kovoor and Devaraj will entertain the crowd with their famous numbers. Reputed local singers including Rebecca, Idea Star fame Neelima will join the musical extravaganza.

The distribution of Raffle- Coupon for Rafi Kishore Nite was inaugurated by Siddiq Valiyakath, former Patron of the Association and FIMA President by handing over the first coupon to Ashraf Aydeed, Patron of the Association on 14th October. The function organised in connection with Onam-Eid celebration was attended by a large crowd including Satish C Mehta, Indian Ambassador to Kuwait, Shabeer Mandoly, Patron of the Association, Malayil Moosakoya, former Chief Patron of the association, Hameed Keloth, former Patron, other dignitaries and members of the Association.

Upcoming events SOS’s annual function Friends of SOS children’s villages Pakistan, Kuwait Chapter are in action once again. The much awaited ‘Annual-Function’ has been planned. It will be an evening of entertainment for a noble cause. ‘Friends’ are engaged with SOS children’s villages for the past many years. We have Alhadulillah done a lot to support the villages in Pakistan. Our regular ‘Friends’ are well aware of the hospitality and joyful environment at the function. We are also looking forward to welcoming new friends from all communities. The venue is at GUST Auditorium, Mishref on Thursday 24th November at 7:30 pm. For details contact: Aziz Mamuji: 99837040

Ghazala Bano: 66385203.

Fitness programme To All Filipinos In Kuwait ..”Tara Na, MagExcersice Na Tayo Tuwing Biernes!! The Filipino Cultural Club (FCC), coordially invites you to attend /participate in” FCC’s beach Clean-up and Physical Fitness” programme dubbed as “A Dance with the Sun by the Sea... Season -2” on 28 November, 7 am, McDonald’s Corniche, Gulf Road. Fitness program will run for four months evry Friday 7:00 am McDonald seaside. Come, join us and tag along your family and friends in this very exciting and stimulating activity. For details contact Bong -99530665, Maria99079341, Cynthia & Danny-99169310.


Information EMBASSY OF AUSTRIA The Austrian Embassy would request to take note that in respect of the official mourning in the State of Kuwait in memory of the former Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz of Saudia Arabia, the reception of the Austrian Ambassador on the occasion of the Austrian National Day on October 26th has been cancelled. The official reception is now rescheduled to Monday, October 31, 2011 from 19:00 to 21:00. nnnnnnn

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. All previous Temporary Resident Visa application forms will no longer be accepted by CIC and instead will be returned to applicants. Should old applications be submitted prior to January 15, 2011 they will continue to be processed. To ensure that the most recent version of the Temporary Resident Visa application form is being utilized, applicants should refer to the CIC website. As of January 15, 2011, forms are to be filled in electronically. The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00 on Sunday through Wednesday. The forms are available on the internet at: 5257E.PDF. A guide explaining the process can be found here: 56E.PDF. nnnnnnn

EMBASSY OF GERMANY 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 (Al-Babtain) Mezzanine (M3) opposite Sharq Mall Kuwait 22924444 Fax: 22924442 Further information are available on the following websites:

Indian Fiesta-2011 The entertainment wing of Creative Indians Association announces their forthcoming event “INDIAN FIESTA-2011” on 28th October, 2011 at the Kuwait Entertainment City Doha from 2 PM till 11 PM. The day will offer tons of free rides, games, discount stalls, mouth watering Indian food stalls, dance performances, music, and a whole lot more of entertainment. The highlight of the carnival will be performances by the gorgeous looking and rocking performer Anushka Manchanda of the Golmaal 3 , Cash - Naughty Naughty , Kites, Mit Jaaye Gham (Dum Maaro Dum) songs Fame and the Handsome versatile singer/ music director Harshit Saxena of the Haal e Dil song from the Film- Murder2 Fame. The Hot Stepper group invites sponsors to be part of this Grand Indian Fiesta. Call 22455818. For dance performances, email at Visit and register on our website for timely updates on the event.

KTAA events Oct. 29: The Annual KTAA Bazaar at Al Sadu House Nov. 15: “A Century of Color: Maya Weaving and Textiles from Guatemals.” Linda Fouke, KTAA Vice President, presenter Dec. 13: Mr. Hindi from Samovar Carpets. Location to be announced. For more info: 23903462 (English)/22432395 (Arabic) Email: or

Enjoy Friday Brunch and Sprunch at Hotel Missoni


otel Missoni’s newly opened restaurant, Luna, presents an exciting experience for all to gather during Fridays for Friday Brunch and Sprunch. Luna Restaurant and Lounge, located on the 18th floor of the hotel, provides a spectacular view overlooking the Arabian Gulf and the Kuwait skyline. It is Hotel Missoni Kuwait’s newest restaurants, and offers a Mediterranean cuisine with a good measure of Arabesque influence, ideal for weekly gatherings between friends and family. Presenting a unique Friday brunch experience with an amazing food selection , a dedicated kids play-area, and the choice of using the spa, Luna is a

supreme venue during the weekend. Children will be allowed to meet others their age, while enjoying an exceptional play-area for their entertainment. Similarly, parents will be able to pamper themselves from rough work-days by upgrading to a Sprunch and enjoying the additional treatments. These include a day pass for six senses spa, usage of the pool, and a 50 minute signature massage. The restaurant offers a rate of 15 KD per person inclusive of all beverages, and the option of upgrading to a Sprunch for an additional 35 KD. Luna’s Friday brunch is available on every Friday between the hours of 11:30 am to 3:30 pm.

Eid at The Palms Beach Hotel & Spa or the occasion of Eid Al-Adha, you are invited to spend a memorable moments at The Palms Beach Hotel & Spa. Families can celebrate this joyful occasion from 4th to 11th of November through an unforgettable stay at the hotel’s spacious and luxurious suites. The package includes Palms I (One bedroom suite, spacious living & dining room) for 2 adults + one child & Palms II (Two bedrooms suite, spacious living & dining room) for 4 Adults + 0ne child inclusive of service charge, buffet breakfast and lunch or dinner in Palmerie restaurant. The offer is rich with valuable benefits for the families to enjoy this occasion, the entire family can entertain themselves in a relaxed and luxurious environment. Plamerie Restaurant offers a wide variety of Oriental & International cuisine with the highest standards of presentation & preparation starting form salad buffet, to sumptuous dishes from around the world, the buffet also includes a selected variety of European pastry & Arabic sweets in addition to the selected


live cooking stations. Tagine Restaurant & lounge offers you a new & modern experience that reflects the magic & beauty of art to savor sumptuous delights in a cap-

tivating & stylish ambiance where you enjoy the taste of new dishes that added to the menu. Seafood lovers can enjoy Al-Muhallab Seafood Restaurant, with rich authentic local seafood flavor & original legacy of

Kuwait’s traditions with a direct & fascinating view over the gulf waters where Al-Muhallab offers a wide variety of seafood which will appeal to all connoisseurs and satisfy the most difficult taste buds. The Palms has also planned several kids programs that include: competitions face painting and other activities at the Junior Care Center & at The Little Palm with the characters they love, designed to spread happiness & laughter. Moreover, Families can enjoy access to the hotel’s Beach Club, first of its class and furnished with the latest sport’s equipments and overlooking the beach and swimming pools, not to forget the Orchid Spa special discounts on massage and special beauty treatments run by people


EMBASSY OF PERU The Embassy of Peru announces the formal opening of the offices of the Embassy of Peru in Kuwait which will be located at Al-Arablya Tower, Sharq, Ahmed Al-Jaber Street, at the 6th Floor. In the same place, as a part of the Chancellery of the Embassy of Peru in Kuwait, also will be located the Showing Room of “PeruExpo-Tour, Trade & Invest.” nnnnnnn

EMBASSY OF NIGERIA The Nigerian embassy has its new office in Mishref. Block 3, Street 7, House 4. For enquires please call 25379541. Fax- 25387719. Email- or nnnnnnn

EMBASSY OF US The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) Leadership for Democracy Fellows Program is now accepting applications - deadline Nov 1, 2011. The MEPI Leaders for Democracy Fellowship (LDF) Program is an exciting, selective 3-month program in the United States for 20-25 young civic leaders from the Middle East and North Africa. The program begins with 6 weeks of academic coursework, where fellows focus on the concepts of leadership, democracy, communication, and conflict resolution among other issues. After completing the academic portion of the program, participants engage in a 6-week professional assignment with a political, non-governmental, or public policy organization in Washington, DC. For more information about the program, please e-mail: Visit us @ USEmbassyQ8 nnnnnnn


with the industry’s best expertise. The Palms Beach Hotel & Spa is Kuwait’s only unique five star city resort, located in Al Bedaa, Al Ta’won St. Salwa District.

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



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

Dogs 101 Galapagos Wildest Africa Untamed & Uncut Beast Lands Dogs 101 Animal Cops Specials 2009 Chris Humfrey’s Wildlife The Really Wild Show Growing Up... Cheetahs Breed All About It Bad Dog Dogs 101 Animal Cops Miami Michaela’s Animal Road Trip Wild Animal Repo Galapagos Weird Creatures With Nick Chris Humfrey’s Wildlife The Really Wild Show Baby Planet Dogs 101 Must Love Cats Weird Creatures With Nick Dogs 101 Galapagos Queens Of The Savannah Untamed & Uncut I Shouldn’t Be Alive

00:00 Dinnerladies 00:30 Dinnerladies 01:05 The Weakest Link 01:50 Casualty 02:40 Full Circle With Michael Palin 03:30 Doctors 04:00 Dinnerladies 04:30 Tweenies 04:50 Gigglebiz 05:05 Me Too 05:25 Charlie And Lola 05:35 Buzz & Tell 05:45 Tweenies 06:05 Gigglebiz 06:20 Me Too 06:40 Charlie And Lola 06:55 Buzz & Tell 07:05 Tweenies 07:25 Gigglebiz 07:40 Me Too 08:00 Charlie And Lola 08:10 Buzz & Tell 08:20 Tweenies 08:40 Gigglebiz 08:55 Me Too 09:15 Charlie And Lola 09:25 Buzz & Tell 09:40 Dinnerladies 10:10 Dinnerladies 10:40 The Weakest Link 11:25 Lark Rise To Candleford 12:15 Doctors 12:45 Eastenders 13:15 Casualty 14:10 Dinnerladies 15:40 Lark Rise To Candleford 16:30 The Weakest Link 17:15 Doctors 17:45 Eastenders 18:15 Casualty 19:10 Lark Rise To Candleford 20:00 The Weakest Link 20:45 Doctors 21:15 Eastenders 21:45 Incredible Journeys With Steve Leonard 22:35 Coast 23:35 Afterlife

00:20 01:10 02:00 02:50 03:40 04:25 04:55 05:45 06:35 07:10 07:40

Come Dine With Me What Not To Wear Antiques Roadshow Antiques Roadshow Masterchef Australia The Naked Chef Come Dine With Me What Not To Wear Daily Cooks Challenge Daily Cooks Challenge Daily Cooks Challenge

08:10 08:35 09:00 09:55 10:45 12:30 13:15 14:45 15:30 17:10 18:00 18:25 18:55 19:50 20:40 22:25 23:10

The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook Indian Food Made Easy Eating In The Sun Come Dine With Me Antiques Roadshow Bargain Hunt Daily Cooks Challenge Bargain Hunt Antiques Roadshow Come Dine With Me The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook Indian Food Made Easy Eating In The Sun Come Dine With Me Antiques Roadshow Bargain Hunt Masterchef Australia

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

00:20 00:45 01:10 01:35 02:00 02:25 02:50 03:00 03:25 03:50 04:15 04:35 05:00 05:10 05:35 06:00 06:15 06:30

Droopy: Master Detective The Flintstones Johnny Bravo Duck Dodgers King Arthur’s Disasters The Scooby Doo Show Popeye Classics Tom & Jerry Popeye The Jetsons The Flintstones Looney Tunes Pink Panther & Pals Tex Avery Yogi’s Treasure Hunt The Garfield Show New Yogi Bear Show Bananas In Pyjamas

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

Baby Looney Tunes Gerald Mcboing Boing Jelly Jamm Pink Panther And Pals Puppy In My Pocket The Garfield Show Dastardly And Muttley The Flintstones Tom & Jerry Pink Panther And Pals Top Cat New Yogi Bear Show Puppy In My Pocket Jelly Jamm Baby Looney Tunes Bananas In Pyjamas The Jetsons Duck Dodgers Looney Tunes Scooby Doo Where Are You! Tom & Jerry The Perils Of Penelope Pitstop Droopy: Master Detective Wacky Races Scooby-Doo And ScrappyDastardly And Muttley Tom & Jerry Puppy In My Pocket The Garfield Show The Flintstones Pink Panther & Pals Gerald Mcboing Boing Bananas In Pyjamas Top Cat Wacky Races Tom & Jerry The Scooby Doo Show Dastardly And Muttley Tom & Jerry Johnny Bravo Dexters Laboratory The Garfield Show Scooby Doo Where Are You! The Perils Of Penelope Pitstop

00:05 Robotboy - Elements 00:30 Squirrel Boy 00:55 George Of The Jungle 01:20 Cramp Twins 01:45 Chop Socky Chooks 02:10 Best Ed 02:35 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 03:00 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 03:25 Generator Rex 03:50 Adventure Time 04:15 Flapjack 04:40 Chowder 05:05 Powerpuff Girls 05:30 Ed, Edd n Eddy 05:55 I Am Weasel 06:20 Squirrel Boy 06:45 Cow & Chicken 07:00 Eliot Kid 07:04 Cow & Chicken 07:12 Eliot Kid 07:25 Angelo Rules 07:50 Best Ed 08:15 Flapjack 08:40 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 09:05 The Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy 09:30 Courage The Cowardly Dog 09:55 Cow & Chicken 10:20 I Am Weasel 10:35 Adventure Time 11:00 Ben 10 11:25 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 11:50 The Secret Saturdays 12:15 Samurai Jack 12:40 Ben 10: Alien Force 13:05 Codename Kids 13:30 Skunk Fu! 13:50 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 14:15 The Amazing World Of Gumball 14:40 Ed, Edd n Eddy 15:05 Camp Lazlo 15:30 Chowder 15:55 The Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy 16:25 Cow & Chicken 16:50 Courage The Cowardly Dog 17:15 I Am Weasel 17:40 George Of The Jungle 18:05 Casper’s Scare School 18:30 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 18:55 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien


19:20 Generator Rex 19:45 Star Wars: The Clone Wars 20:10 Hero 108 20:35 Bakugan: New Vestroia 21:00 Total Drama Action 21:25 The Amazing World Of Gumball 21:50 Billy And Mandy 22:00 Ben 10 22:25 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 22:50 The Secret Saturdays 23:15 Samurai Jack 23:40 Megas XLR

00:00 Backstory 00:30 World Sport 01:00 The Situation Room 02:00 World Report 03:00 World Business Today 04:00 Piers Morgan Tonight 05:00 Anderson Cooper 360 06:00 World Sport 06:30 Talk Asia 07:00 World Report 07:30 Backstory 08:00 World Report 10:00 World Sport 10:30 The Boss 11:00 World Business Today 12:00 American Morning: Wake-Up Call 12:30 Icon 13:00 World One 14:00 Piers Morgan Tonight 15:00 News Stream 16:00 World Business Today 17:00 International Desk 18:00 The Brief 18:30 World Sport 19:00 Prism 20:00 International Desk 20:30 Icon 21:00 Quest Means Business 22:00 Piers Morgan Tonight 23:00 Connect The World With Becky Anderson

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

Swamp Brothers Swords: Life On The Line Stunt Junkies Time Warp Dirty Jobs Ultimate Survival Mythbusters How It’s Made How Do They Do It? Dirty Jobs Wheeler Dealers Fifth Gear Stunt Junkies Time Warp How It’s Made Mythbusters Cake Boss Border Security Auction Kings Dual Survival Ultimate Survival Ultimate Survival Swords: Life On The Line Swamp Brothers Cash Cab Us Wheeler Dealers Fifth Gear Stunt Junkies Time Warp Mythbusters Cake Boss Border Security Auction Kings How Do They Do It? How It’s Made Cash Cab Us One Man Army Ultimate Survival Kidnap And Rescue

00:05 The Tech Show 00:30 Mega Builders 01:20 Stunt Junkies 01:45 Body Spectacular 02:35 Brainiac 03:25 The Gadget Show 04:15 How Stuff’s Made 04:45 Mega Builders 05:40 One Step Beyond 06:10 Engineered 07:00 Catch It Keep It 07:55 Moon Machines 08:50 The Tech Show 09:15 Weird Connections 09:40 The Gadget Show 10:35 Engineered 11:30 Sci-Fi Science 11:55 How Stuff’s Made 12:25 Body Spectacular 13:15 Moon Machines 14:05 One Step Beyond 14:30 Stunt Junkies 14:55 Mega Builders 15:45 Weird Connections 16:10 Catch It Keep It 17:00 Brainiac 17:50 Sci-Fi Science 18:15 The Tech Show 18:40 Speed Junkie 19:30 Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman 20:20 Ecopolis 21:10 The Gadget Show 22:00 Speed Junkie 22:50 Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman 23:40 The Gadget Show

00:00 00:25 01:15 02:00 02:50 03:35 04:25 05:15 06:00 06:20 Cody 06:45 07:05 07:30 07:55 08:20 08:35 09:00 09:10 09:20 09:30 09:40 10:05 Cody

Kim Possible Fairly Odd Parents Stitch Replacements Emperor’s New School Stitch Replacements Fairly Odd Parents Emperor’s New School The Suite Life Of Zack And Phineas And Ferb Wizards Of Waverly Place Suite Life On Deck Good Luck Charlie Fish Hooks Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates Jungle Junction The Hive Handy Manny Imagination Movers The Suite Life Of Zack And

10:30 Phineas And Ferb 10:50 Good Luck Charlie 11:15 Phineas And Ferb 11:35 Suite Life On Deck 12:00 Wizards Of Waverly Place 12:25 Sonny With A Chance 12:45 Good Luck Charlie 13:10 Hannah Montana 13:30 Suite Life On Deck 13:55 Wizards Of Waverly Place 14:20 The Adventures Of Disney Fairies 14:55 Good Luck Charlie 15:20 Phineas And Ferb 15:45 Fish Hooks 16:10 Shake It Up 16:35 The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody 17:00 Wizards Of Waverly Place 17:25 Good Luck Charlie 17:50 Fish Hooks 18:15 Shake It Up 18:45 Wizards Of Waverly Place 19:35 Good Luck Charlie 20:00 Wizards Of Waverly Place 20:25 Jake & Blake 20:50 Hannah Montana 21:15 Sonny With A Chance 21:35 Good Luck Charlie 22:00 Shake It Up 22:25 The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody 22:50 Sonny With A Chance 23:15 Wizards Of Waverly Place 23:35 Jonas

00:25 Kendra 00:55 Then And Now 01:25 Beauty Queens Gone Wrong 03:15 25 Most Stylish 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Extreme Hollywood 06:00 50 Most Insane Celebrity Oops 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 E! News 09:15 Khloe And Lamar 10:15 15 Remarkable Celebrity Body Bouncebacks 12:05 E! News 13:05 Fashion Police 13:35 Extreme Close-Up 14:05 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 14:35 Giuliana & Bill 15:30 E!es 16:25 Behind The Scenes 16:55 Ice Loves Coco 17:55 E! News 18:55 E!es 19:55 Giuliana & Bill 20:55 Chelsea Lately 21:25 Bridalplasty 22:25 E! News 23:25 Chelsea Lately 23:55 Keeping Up With The Kardashians

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

The Haunted A Haunting I Almost Got Away With It Dr G: Medical Examiner A Haunting The Haunted Mystery Diagnosis Murder Shift Forensic Detectives Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Street Patrol Ghost Lab FBI Files Murder Shift True Crime With Aphrodite Fugitive Strike Force Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol Real Emergency Calls Ghost Lab FBI Files Forensic Detectives Murder Shift Real Emergency Calls Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol True Crime With Aphrodite Fugitive Strike Force Cuff Me If You Can Forensic Justice Dr G: Medical Examiner

00:00 Danger Men 01:00 Destination Extreme 01:30 First Ascent 02:00 Chasing Che: Latin America On A Motorcycle 02:30 Chasing Che: Latin America On A Motorcycle 03:00 Endurance Traveller 04:00 Departures 06:00 Danger Men 07:00 Destination Extreme 07:30 First Ascent 08:00 Chasing Che: Latin America On A Motorcycle 08:30 Chasing Che: Latin America On A Motorcycle 09:00 Endurance Traveller 10:00 Departures 12:00 Danger Men 13:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 13:30 Bondi Rescue 14:00 Bondi Rescue: Bali 14:30 Travel Madness 15:00 The Ride: Alaska To Patagonia 16:00 Cruise Ship Diaries 17:00 Ultimate Traveller 18:00 Warrior Road Trip 19:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 19:30 Bondi Rescue 20:00 Bondi Rescue: Bali 20:30 Travel Madness 21:00 The Ride: Alaska To Patagonia 21:30 The Ride: Alaska To Patagonia 22:00 Cruise Ship Diaries 23:00 Ultimate Traveller

00:00 02:00 04:00 06:00 08:15 10:15 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00 18

Brotherhood-PG15 Midnight Meat Train-18 The Killer Inside Me-18 Coach Carter-PG15 The Karate Kid III-PG Bangkok Adrenaline-PG15 From Paris With Love-PG15 The Karate Kid III-PG Heaven’s Fall-PG15 From Paris With Love-PG15 Paranormal Activity-PG15 Wrong Turn 3: Left For Dead-


00:45 Mother And Child-18 03:00 Attack On Leningrad-PG15 05:00 Mee Shee-PG 07:00 Paper Man-PG15 09:00 Attack On Leningrad-PG15 11:00 Ramona And Beezus-PG 13:00 The Flyboys-PG15 15:00 Who Is Clark Rockefeller-PG 16:45 Emotional Arithmetic-PG15 18:45 Secretariat-PG15 21:00 Easy A-PG15 23:00 Swansong: Story Of Occi Byrne-PG15

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 Party Down 02:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 03:00 Friends 04:00 According To Jim 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Malcolm In The Middle 06:00 Coach 06:30 Weird Science 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 According To Jim 08:30 Friends 09:00 Malcolm In The Middle 09:30 The Simpsons 10:00 Parks And Recreation 10:30 Coach 11:00 Weird Science 11:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:30 According To Jim 13:00 Friends 13:30 Malcolm In The Middle 14:00 Coach 14:30 The Simpsons 15:00 Parks And Recreation 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 Weird Science 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Friends 19:00 Community 19:30 Wilfred 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Funny Or Die Presents 22:30 Entourage 23:00 Party Down 23:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno

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

00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 07:30 08:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00

Terra Nova True Blood Big Love Warehouse 13 The Invisible Man Good Morning America Law & Order: Criminal Intent Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show The Martha Stewart Show The View Terra Nova Warehouse 13 Live Good Morning America The Invisible Man The Ellen DeGeneres Show Emmerdale Turn Back Your Body Clock Eureka The X Factor (US) Treme Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Law & Order Rescue Me Terra Nova True Blood Warehouse 13 The Good Guys Law & Order Two And A Half Men Coronation Street Burn Notice The Good Guys Terra Nova Warehouse 13 Two And A Half Men

12:30 14:00 15:00 16:00 16:30 18:00 22:30 23:30

Coronation Street Burn Notice Law & Order Two And A Half Men Two And A Half Men Burn Notice Treme No Ordinary Family

01:00 From Hell-18 03:15 Lake Placid 3-18 05:00 Neowolf-18 07:00 The Bannen Way-PG15 09:00 Superman/ Batman: Apocalypse-PG15 11:00 Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time-PG15 13:00 Staten Island-PG15 15:00 Secret Window-PG15 17:00 Case 39-18 19:00 Inglourious Basterds-18 21:30 Halloween 2-18 23:15 Case 39-18

00:00 02:00 04:00 06:00 08:00 PG15 10:15 PG 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00

01:00 03:00 PG15 05:00 07:00 09:00 11:00 13:00 14:45 17:00 19:00 19:15 22:00

Cats & Dogs-PG Love Hurts-PG15 The Addams Family-PG Addams Family Values-PG The Fighting TemptationsAce Ventura: Pet Detective Jr.Straight Talk-PG15 Just Married-PG15 Cats & Dogs-PG Marci X-PG15 When In Rome-PG15 My Best Friend’s Girl-18

Ishtar-PG15 Elephants Of The OkavangoLittle Man Tate-PG Free Style (2008)-PG15 Little Man Tate-PG Flying By-PG15 Free Style (2008)-PG15 Ghost-PG15 Simon Birch-PG The Six Dollar Fifty Man-U My Name Is Khan-PG15 Nine-PG15

01:00 Order Of Chaos-R 03:00 Made In Dagenham-PG15 05:00 Revenge Of The Bridesmaids¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†-PG15 07:00 Flicka 2-PG15 09:00 Don’t Fade Away-PG15 11:00 The Brothers Bloom-PG15 13:15 Fantastic Mr. Fox-FAM 15:00 My Sassy Girl-PG15 17:00 Don’t Fade Away-PG15 19:00 Cemetery Junction-PG15 21:00 Easy A-PG15 23:00 A Single Man-PG15

00:00 Gladiators: The TournamentPG 02:15 Ed-PG 04:15 Tom Tom & Nana-FAM 06:00 Gladiators: The TournamentPG 08:00 A Venetian Rascal Goes To America-PG15 10:00 Toy Story 3-FAM 12:15 The Spy Next Door-PG 14:15 Young Fisherman-PG 16:00 The Nutty Professor-FAM 17:45 Toy Story 3-FAM 20:00 Treasure Island-PG 22:00 The Nutty Professor-FAM

00:00 01:45 04:00 05:45 08:00 10:00 12:00 13:45 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:30

Little Fish, Strange Pond-PG15 Salt-PG15 Oceans - Into The Deep-PG South Solitary-PG15 Diary Of A Wimpy Kid-PG Post Grad-PG15 A Trace Of Danger-PG15 Gasland-PG15 Diary Of A Wimpy Kid-PG Grown Ups-PG15 Robin Hood (2010)-PG15 Helen-PG15

02:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 09:00 11:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00

RWC Tournament Highlights Trans World Sport Intercontinental Le Mans Cup WWE Tough Enough Rugby World Cup RWC Tournament Highlights Currie Cup Speedway FIM World Trans World Sport Live European PGA Tour WWE NXT The Ultimate Fighter UFC 137 Countdown RWC Tournament Highlights

00:00 Asian Tour Golf Show 00:30 Rugby League International 02:30 Beach Volley Ball 03:00 European PGA Tour Highlights 04:00 Masters Football 07:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 07:30 FEI Equestrian World 08:00 Spirit of Yachting 08:30 Golfing World 09:30 Total Rugby 10:00 Masters Football 13:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 13:30 Beach Volley Ball 14:00 Trans World Sport 15:00 Spirit of Yachting 15:30 Total Rugby 16:00 Scottish Premier League 18:00 Futbol Mundial 18:30 Rugby League International 20:30 Total Rugby 21:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 21:30 Premier League Snooker

00:00 Futbol Mundial 00:30 European Tour Weekly 01:00 Golfing World 02:00 Premier League Snooker 05:30 European PGA Tour Highlights 06:30 European Tour Weekly 07:00 Golfing World 08:00 Trans World Sport 09:00 Beach Volley Ball 09:30 SPL Highlights 10:00 Scottish League Cup 12:00 Total Rugby 12:30 European Challenge Tour Highlights 13:30 Golfing World 14:30 European Tour Weekly 15:00 Live European PGA Tour 19:00 Golfing World 20:00 Trans World Sport 21:00 European PGA Tour

00:00 01:00 03:30 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 16:00 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00

Intercontinental Le Mans Cup Super Formula Aquabike World WWE Tough Enough UFC Unleashed UFC 137 Countdown WWE SmackDown WWE Bottom Line WWE Tough Enough Intercontinental Le Mans Cup WWE Vintage Collection WWE Bottom Line V8 Supercars Championship Speedway FIM World Intercontinental Le Mans Cup WWE Vintage Collection WWE NXT UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC 137 Countdown V8 Supercars Championship

01:10 The Appointment 03:05 All This, And Heaven Too-PG 05:20 Blackboard Jungle-PG 07:00 Bonnie Scotland-FAM 08:20 The Asphalt Jungle-PG 10:10 Butterfield 8-PG 11:55 Captain Nemo And The Underwater City-FAM 13:40 Come Fly With Me-FAM 15:25 The Shoes Of The FishermanFAM 18:05 The Comedians-PG 20:35 The Honeymoon MachineFAM 22:00 Brotherly Love 23:50 The Split

Classifieds THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011

ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available in two bedroom flat for bachelors / small family with three executive bachelors near Garanada Cinema, Khaitan. Contact: 66502405 / 99775589. (C 3714) 26-10-2011 2 BR C-A/C apartment in Abbasiya with complete items as good as new from 1st December. Ample parking and decent locality KD 1250/-. Tel: 99556160. (C 3712) 24-10-2011

Sharing furnished single room available in 2 BR/2 bath flat in Farwaniya for a Muslim working lady. Contact: 90027245. (C 3709) 23-10-2011 Luxurious fully furnished one bed + bath, sea view in Salmiya, in a 2 bed apartment in Salmiya. Triweekly cleaning, OSN, wifi, pool, Gym. Shared kitchen and lounge with 1

person. 55359977.

Contact: (C 3707) 20-1-2011

SITUATION VACANT Wanted female Sri Lankan or Indian cook and one driver for a Kuwaiti family in Surra. Attractive salary will be paid. Contact: 22431872/4 / 99771850. (C 3710) 24-10-2011

FOR SALE Toyota Prado, model 2009, pearl white color, full option with sunroof, wood décor, cruise control CD changer, original paint, price KD 8,700/-. Contact: 66636551. (C 3715) 26-10-2011 Chevrolet Captiva, 2007 model, silver color, Price KD 3,400/-. Contact: 66526872

model, 3.5 engine immaculate condition, only genuine buyers contact, price KD 2,400/-. Contact: 99705708 / 66228340. (C 3711) Bus Mitsubishi L300 9 seater 2008 model, NATIVA 2007 model. Contact: 66052331. (C 3713) 24-10-2011

Nissan Pathfinder 2003


Mechanical Engineering graduate, with immaculate English language skills, looking for a job in Kuwait. Transferable residency. Contact: 67078742. (C 3663) 24-10-2011



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Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (


673 617 1706 178 505 773 512 141 613 538 82 304 404 135 858 216 128 328 184 266 3554 511 64 228 134 9624 283 361 571 62 616 331 351 648 403 457 543 619 373 445 1711 860 102 218 137 301 205 5463 502 554 607 411 981 613 415


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stars CROSSWORD 481



Aries (March 21-April 19) There are decisions to be made and putting them off only makes them harder and less effective: action, not debate, is what is needed. Challenges will be handled with much energy today. Make sure this is positive energy. Insert flexibility into your day today. If something is not working, change direction or styles of working. Others may disagree with what you say or think, or in some way oppose your ideas. Wait a bit . . . that person will be asking you to repeat your ideas or instructions. Do not dwell too long on a situation you cannot change and did not cause. Be prepared—this could be a learning type of day. The positive results for you will depend on your actions. This is a good day to seek any advice you may feel you need.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) There are favorable aspects pointing to success at this time. You are vulnerable to deception just now. Business presentations or meetings can open new career horizons. Your reputation grows stronger if you know how to work within the limitations you are facing. It is when you fall into set boundaries that you get into trouble. If you are making investments, concentrate on short-term outcomes now and look for longer-term options next month. The feelings and emotions of those around you may be very clear today. This is another good day to start a diet, or perhaps a new and positive habit. Your imaginative and creative talents turn the tide in your favor this evening. Check out a method of safeguarding your ideas.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. Having nine hinged bands of bony plates. 5. State in northeastern India. 10. A small piece of cloth. 13. Any place of complete bliss and delight and peace. 14. A city in southeastern South Korea. 15. An extension at the end and at right angles to the main building. 16. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 17. A member of the Siouan people formerly living in the Missouri river valley in NE Nebraska. 18. (informal) Of the highest quality. 19. A primeval personification of air and breath. 21. Any of numerous ornamental shrubs grown for their showy flowers of various colors. 23. Plant with an elongated head of broad stalked leaves resembling celery. 24. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 26. Large ornamental tropical American tree with bipinnate leaves and globose clusters of flowers with crimson stamens and sweet-pulp seed pods eaten by cattle. 27. A native-born Israeli. 29. A heavy brittle metallic element of the platinum group. 30. Any of various systems of units for measuring electricity and magnetism. 33. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 38. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 42. A gradual decline (in size or strength or power or number). 43. Singing jazz. 46. Trailing grass native to Europe now cosmopolitan in warm regions. 47. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 50. The striking of one body against another. 54. Unknown god. 55. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 59. Cause annoyance in. 61. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural). 62. Fallow deer. 63. A drama set to music. 64. The cry made by sheep. DOWN 1. Large dark brown North American arboreal carnivorous mammal. 2. Swelling from excessive accumulation of serous fluid in tissue. 3. An early form of modern jazz (originating around 1940). 4. A genus of tropical American plants have sword-shaped leaves and a fleshy compound fruits composed of the fruits of several flowers (such as pineapples). 5. A highly unstable radioactive element (the heaviest of the halogen series). 6. South Asian deer with three-tined antlers. 7. Relating to or characteristic of or occurring on the sea or ships. 8. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 9. The Moslem official of a mosque who summons the faithful to prayer from a minaret five times a day. 10. A domain in which something is dominant. 11. Genus of erect herbs of the Middle East having showy flowers. 12. Gather, as of as crops. 20. A small cake leavened with yeast. 22. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 25. An intensely radioactive metallic element that occurs in minute amounts in uranium ores. 28. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 31. (British) A waterproof raincoat made of rubberized fabric. 32. A reptile genus of Iguanidae. 34. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 35. Having been read. 36. A unit of magnetomotive force equal to 0.7958 ampereturns. 37. A soft silvery metallic element. 39. Unarmed feather palms of central and northern South America. 40. The United Nations agency concerned with the international organization of food and agriculture. 41. Capital of modern Macedonia. 42. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 44. (astronomy) A measure of time defined by Earth's orbital motion. 45. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 48. Jordan's port. 49. The capital and largest city of Bangladesh. 51. Type genus of the Majidae. 52. The inner surface of the hand from the wrist to the base of the fingers. 53. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 56. Worthless or oversimplified ideas. 57. The sense organ for hearing and equilibrium. 58. A workplace for the conduct of scientific research. 60. An artificial language for international use that rejects rejects all existing words and is based instead on an abstract analysis of ideas.

Yesterday’s Solution

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You could make subtle changes now. It is a good day to get things done. Good eye-hand coordination and a sustained effort make almost any task run well. You may feel like exercising or getting outside today. Intuition can help you select the best health care or the best workout group. Emotions are very present but within control. Perhaps after a little exercise this afternoon, you will be good for study, research, etc. You have a real appreciation for unique ideas. You may find yourself enjoying a little time to visit with a friend or communicate through the written word. Harmonious ties to others are what you seek. The ideal partnership and the perfect balance are some of the things that quicken your pulse.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)


This day may become a bit challenging. Your career and life direction are putting some real pressure on your home and emotional life. Obviously you cannot live without both, so some kind of middle line or balance is indicated. There are opportunities to excel in many areas of your life just now. Your career could open up by taking the road less traveled and by daring to be the oddball and taking new approaches, you will be successful. You may receive some special attention regarding your particular skills. An old problem comes to an end today. You can take risks and dare to be a little unconventional. You will prosper through new insights, inventions and a determination to secure relationships. This is a good day for practical ideas and planning.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Family and security are things that rattle your chain more than ever. These are areas where you make new beginnings and bold moves. You are at your most practical when it comes to dealing and working with others. You know just what to do and can act without haste and emotion. You can make whatever constructive changes are necessary at this time. Now is a good time to polish your skills. Complete any work requiring analysis, precise measurements or mathematical aptitude. New technologies and gadgets are an asset. Work, achievement and ambition mean a lot to you now. You are working hard to improve and evolve—you have a need for respect. Someone important to you may not give you the recognition you want—patience.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) This is an important time, during which, depending upon what age this takes place, you may reach new highs of accomplishment. This will bring great discipline and focus that could make or break you. You may decide to respond to old situations a bit differently from the usual. You will prosper through new insights, inventions and an independent point of view. Patience is still the guideline here but your career could open up by taking some new approaches. You do not like monotonous situations and the faster life moves along the happier you seem. Your living situation may be in a flux but this is good for you; however, others may be confused and not as willing as you are to pull up roots. This is an opportunity to learn patience.

Libra (September 23-October 22)


This can be your most rewarding day in many areas of your life. Be prepared emotionally for the challenging days that can bring some wonderful changes in your life. The challenging days like today can be quite rewarding. This is where your most exciting, life-fulfilling dreams can be met. This is the time to come to an understanding of just where you are in life and where you want to go next—create a focus, achieve and appreciate. The energies that are available are hot and ready to be used however; you must choose the direction by looking at the possible results—negative or positive. Outer circumstances are favorable and it should be easy for you to push forward in projects and in all aspects of your life. Life is magical in the world of romance.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Your sense of direction when handling a person or a problem is perhaps the key element in your personality make-up. It is important how you manage difficulties, find diplomatic solutions or come up with the right approach. Your outward charm and ability to be all things to all people is most central to your personality. This ability to solve problems, to counsel and always to put others at ease is the key to meeting and coming to know you. There is a greater than usual interest in relationships, social connections and the arts—on a more intellectual level than in the past. You and a loved one will put a closure to some disagreement this evening. You have learned to see both sides of an issue and you can figure out resolutions to opposing views.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You may want to attend a lecture or speak in a conference today. There is a yearning to broaden horizons and reach for the ultimate. Law, politics, education, travel and religion are some of the areas where an emotionally charged drama may be played. Ideas are flowing and come with ease. You may find yourself chatty. Circumstances seem to bend to your will and things have a way of working out smoothly. There are real opportunities to complete and work out difficulties and projects that require both long-term effort and a high degree of discipline. You could receive unexpected help or support from those around you, especially someone younger or a woman. You may get insight into your support system and a new understanding of a special relationship.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) This is a positive and fast moving day and plenty of room for accomplishments. You could see yourself moving closer to those long-term goals of yours. This will bring great discipline and a concentration or focus that could show off your talents. Emotional seriousness, a sober orientation and a practical awareness of scheduling and timing are keynotes of your deepest concern. There is a tendency to be too strict with your own self and to insist that whatever does not contribute to security and other long-term goals is trivial. Your ambition is profound. Guidance from higher-ups is advisable; easily obtainable and may currently be beneficial to your career. Someone special supports you and encourages you now. To

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You appear perhaps more charming and refined than usual. Now could be the time to make a date, apply for a special job or otherwise make yourself known. A new way of thinking may take you into an understanding of any personal desires. Meeting yourself in another person is the keynote of a new cycle that begins now. Through this person, you can see how you have improved and progressed over the years, as well as some of the improvements that still may be needed. This recognition helps you to come to a better understanding of yourself. It’s easy in theory, but it’s only in practice that it comes to mean anything real—so practice until you get it right! Vacationing or a drive into the country is favorable soon—make your plans now.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

Patience is one of your biggest issues today. Instant gratification may be interference just now: you want things and you want them this instant—you are not alone. It’s as if ambition and authority are answers in themselves, rather than only a means to an ideal objective. This can lead to duplicity, confusion and ambitious schemes that tend to become lost along the way. Know what you want—write your goals down in a clear form. The next step is to let a plan guide you. This evening, you may want to give much thought to your inner feelings about a recent romantic attraction. You could be romantically motivated or attracted to a person that has a particular personality you would have never been attracted to before this time in your life—you have grown.



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Amiri Hospital




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Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital


Physiotherapy Hospital


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LIFESTYLE G o s s i p

Cowell talks voting by social media on X Factor

Aerosmith s Tylerfalls, Paraguay concert delayed teven Tyler, the lead singer of rock band Aerosmith, had a “small accident” Tuesday that forced him to postpone a planned show in Paraguay by one day, a spokesman for the local concert organizers said. Tyler received stitches and had emergency dental work done during a nearly four-hour stay at the La Costa medical center in Paraguay’s capital, according to a hospital statement. Hewas in good condition when discharged. The 63-year-old frontman reportedly suffered cuts to his face and lost two of his teeth after falling in his hotel bathroom, the country’s largest newspaper ABC said. Aerosmith planned to perform in the South American nation of Paraguay Tuesday during a tour through Latin America. “Mr Tyler had a small accident that prevents him from staging the concert tonight,” Marcelo Antunez, a spokesman for the local concert organizers, told reporters. “He is fine,


imon Cowell doesn’t use Twitter but he wants “X Factor” fans to use the site to vote for their favorite contestants. The Fox show announced Tuesday that beginning Nov. 2, fans can cast a ballot by sending a direct message over Twitter to the official “X Factor” account. Viewers can also cast a ballot on the show’s Facebook page and its official website.”It’s a sign of the times,” said Cowell, who believes more votes will come in as a result of expanding the process. “Sites like Twitter and Facebook give (the audience) a much bigger voice.” Aside from social media, votes can be sent the old fashioned way, by making a phone call or sending a text message and by using a special App created for Verizon Android devices. Cowell uses the Internet to gauge what people think of the series so far. He goes online during and after the show to see what people are saying and plans to join Twitter once he learns “how to type quicker.” The show is averaging about 12.5 million viewers an episode, but one thing that’s hindered it in recent weeks is the Major League Baseball World Series. Games on Fox have pre-empted the show leading to confusion among viewers and causing some DVRs to not record “X Factor.” Cowell says the conflict has been frustrating but they “knew in advance this was going to happen.” He believes the ratings have been consistent so far and word of mouth will get people to tune in. On Tuesday’s first live show, five acts were cut leaving 12 remaining contestants. With the competition heating up, so has the tension among its judges, who are each mentoring


he’s in his hotel but he’s not able to do the concert,” Antunez said, adding the show would be postponed until today. Nicolas Garzia, whose firm organized the Paraguay gig, said via Twitter that Tyler had been dehydrated and was suffering gastrointestinal problems. A man who identified himself as Gustavo Perez, a bellboy at the Bourbon hotel near Asuncion, told local radio that Tyler slipped when he was taking a shower and “had a nasty fall.” Two years ago, Tyler broke his shoulder after falling off the stage during a concert in South Dakota, forcing the group to scrap the rest of its North American tour that summer and aggravating tensions within the band. Tyler has signed up for a second season as a judge on the singing talent show “American Idol,” and he published a memoir this year called “Does this Noise in My Head Bother You?”

TV newsman Andy Rooney hospitalized


he ‘Die Hard’ actor - who already has three daughters, Rumer, 23, Scout, 20, and 17year-old Tallulah, with ex-wife Demi Moore - is set to become a father for the fourth time after it was revealed his spouse Emma Heming is expecting their first child together. A source close to the couple - who married in 2009 - added to Life & Style magazine: “Emma is showing!” Bruce, 56, recently said he was indifferent to having children with 33-year-old Emma as the only thing that mattered was being with her. He said: “I’d like to have a thousand more children, or zero more children. It doesn’t matter. Emma makes me feel great.” Bruce also revealed how meeting and falling in love with the British lingerie model turned his life around. He said: “I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and this comes after a long period of being kind of lonely, even though I tried to convince myself I was enjoying my life. “Before I met Emma I was very pessimistic about finding that special woman with whom I would want to spend my life with. “I thought it would be difficult for someone like me, who is well known, to find a woman who didn’t have an agenda and who just wanted to be with me because they loved me, pure and simple.”


Depp plays surprise concert in Texas ohnny Depp played a surprise concert in Texas. The Hollywood heartthrob is currently in Austin to promote new movie ‘The Rum Diary’ and stunned the crowd at the Continental Club by performing an impromptu set with ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons. The packed venue - which was reportedly at three times its normal capacity - went crazy for Johnny, who stayed on stage for an impressive 90 minutes. Earlier this year, Johnny joined rock legend Alice Cooper on stage at London’s 100 Club. The ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star played guitar on two songs during the ‘Poison’ singer’s intimate gig. Twelve songs into his 75-minute set, Alice announced the arrival of a special guest, “the bluesmaster, Mr Johnny D from Kentucky”. He then joined Alice on stage to play rhythm guitar on versions of the classics ‘I’m Eighteen’ and ‘School’s Out’. Johnny has a history with rock bands as in 1997 he played slide guitar on Oasis song ‘Fade In-Out’ and on Shane MacGowan’s first solo album. He also formed the group P with members of Butthole Surfers, Sex Pistols and Red Hot Chili Peppers, and until 2004 was part-owner of the Los Angeles rock club the Viper Room.


ucy Liu donned a bullet-proof vest as she toured some of the most dangerous parts of Los Angeles in a police car. The actress is to play a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officer in police drama ‘Southland’ and wanted to get some real-life experience, so she strapped on some body armor for a ride-along. According to gossip website TMZ, Lucy toured some of the most gang-infested parts of the city in a squad car, but was not involved in any police activity. However, she is set to participate in a more active ride-along in the near future. Lucy is not the only celebrity to have taken part in a police sitin. Earlier this year, Jake Gyllenhaal witnessed a shooting in Los Angeles while he was doing research for his film ‘End of Watch’, in which he plays a police officer. The incident happened on the 5700 block of Second Avenue at Van Ness Park during an anti-gang event called Summer Night Lights. LAPD officials said bullets grazed the victim above his lip and on an arm. He was taken to an area hospital where he was listed in stable condition.


hardest category to mentor, but disagrees with her. He mentored the groups in the UK version of the show and “loved doing it. “Right now each judge has someone in their category who could win the show,” he said. “But if I had to bet on it, I’d back me.”

Williswife is reportedly pregnant

eteran television commentator Andy Rooney, who earlier this month at age 92 took his final bow on the CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes,” has been hospitalized due to complications from surgery, the network said on Tuesday. “Andy Rooney underwent minor surgery last week and suffered serious complications,” CBS said in a statement. “For that reason, he remains in the hospital, but his condition is stable. The Rooney family asks that their privacy be respected at this difficult time.” No further details were available. Rooney, a curmudgeonly commentator whose TV essays remarked on facets of everyday life, won numerous awards throughout his long career in journalism. On Oct 2, his final “60 Minutes” segment titled, “A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney,” capped a 33-year run in which Rooney famously commented on everything from trivial items - often displaying collections of household possessions, wanted and unwanted-to societal issues. Rooney began his 70-year journalism career on the US. Army’s “Stars and Stripes” newspaper, and joined CBS in 1949 as a writer for “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts. In his final “60 Minutes” segment, Rooney noted he never considered himself a TV personality but always was a writer.”I’m not retiring,” he said. “Writers don’t retire, and I’ll always be a writer.”

Liugoes on police ride-along

a class of contestants. Cowell has the girls. LA Reid is mentoring the boys. Paula Abdul is helping the groups and Nicole Scherzinger has the solo acts over 30-yearsold. Cowell says Abdul claims to have the

Aniston and Theroux are very happy ennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux are “very happy together”. The couple started dating earlier this year and are absolutely smitten with each other, according to Jennifer’s ‘Just Go With It’ co-star Ben Stiller. Ben told Us Weekly: “They seem to be really happy together. They’re both great people. I love them both.” Ben’s actress wife Christine Taylor added: “They’re both just very cool, terrific people.” Although she is very happy with Justin, Jennifer, 42, has insisted claims that she is pregnant and set to wed Justin are all false. Jennifer - who was previously married to Hollywood heartthrob Brad Pitt - revealed: “Rumor number one: I am not planning to get married any time soon. I’ve been married once, and I don’t know if I’ll get married again. But I can tell you that as of this very moment, I have no plan to get married. Got that?” “And rumor number two: No, we’re not pregnant. It’s just I quit smoking, so I’ve gained a couple of pounds.” —Bang Showbiz


Timberlake, Goslingonce stole a golf cart ustin Timberlake once stole a golf cart with Ryan Gosling. The singer-and-actor revealed he stole the unusual transportation when he was a member of the ‘Mickey Mouse Club’ as a child with his co-star Ryan Gosling, with the pair thinking they were being “cool” for doing so. Speaking on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’, the 30year-old heartthrob said: “We used to do terrible things. We thought we were so cool when we were on the ‘Mickey Mouse Club’. Looking back on them, they weren’t as bad as I thought they were at the time. We stole a golf cart . we drove into MGM Studios, which is totally illegal by the way.” He added that he and ‘Ides of March’ star Ryan have always been close, and known one another from a young age because they had to live together and share a bathroom. ‘Bad Teacher’ actor Justin added: “He’s always been that charismatic and that talented. we actually lived together when we were that age. So we were probably a little closer than the rest of the kids that were on the show just because we had to share a bathroom.”




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lifestyle M u s i c


M o v i e s

Depp channels pal Thompson again for ‘Rum Diary’ ohnny Depp vividly recalls the first time he met Hunter S Thompson, sparks flying as the author parted a bar crowd with a cattle prod and a Taser. Seventeen years later, Depp is making good on one of his close friend’s last wishes, producing and starring in a film adaptation of Thompson’s “The Rum Diary,” written in the early 1960s but not published until Depp stumbled on the manuscript a quarter-century after. Depp and Thompson, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 2005, bonded instantly at that first meeting in 1994, when the actor was spending Christmas in Aspen, Colorado, near the author’s home. A fan of Thompson’s since reading the gonzo journalist’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” in his late teens, Depp jumped at the chance when a mutual friend asked if he wanted to meet him. Depp was told to turn up at the tavern at midnight. Soon after, Thompson entered brandishing his cattle prod and Taser. “People were hurling their bodies, leaping out of the way to try and save themselves from this maniac,” Depp said in an interview. “Then he made his way to me. The sparks had died down, he just walked right up to me and put his hand out and said, ‘How do you do? My name is Hunter.’” Thompson and Depp quickly discovered they both were born in Kentucky and shared many literary heroes, among them Ernest Hemingway and Nathaniel West. Around 2:30 that morning, they were at Thompson’s house, where Depp admired a nickel-plated shotgun on the wall. “‘Would you like to fire it?’” Depp recalled Thompson


saying. “I said, ‘Yeah. Great, man.’ He says, ‘All right, great. We must build bombs.’ So we built bombs in his sink out of propane tanks and nitroglycerin. Then we took them out back and he said, ‘All right, you get first crack.’ So I leveled that 12 gauge and I blew it up 80-foot fireball. “I think that was my kind of rite of passage with Hunter. I think that was my test that I was OK.” Depp went on to play Thompson’s alter ego in the 1998 movie adaptation of “Fear and Loathing.” While preparing for that role, Depp spent time in the basement of Thompson’s home, sorting through boxes of “Fear and Loathing” artifacts - “cherry stems and cocktail napkins and all these weird notations, and photographs of monkeys. Who knew what was in there?” Depp recalled. Then he opened another box and found a manuscript titled “The Rum Diary” in red letters. He figured Thompson had not looked at it since writing it decades earlier, the story based on the author’s experiences as a young reporter in Puerto Rico. Sitting cross-legged on the floor, Depp and Thompson passed pages back and forth. Within about half an hour, Depp had persuaded Thompson to publish the novel. In return, Thompson insisted they should do a film version. They developed the project together for years, and Depp became even more committed to bringing the story to the screen after Thompson killed himself amid assorted maladies and declining health. “There’s nothing more delightful than to see an actor play a role that he puts everything into,” said Graham King, a producer on “The Rum Diary.”

“I’m not saying he doesn’t put everything into every movie, but this was different. This was something that was so close to his heart. It wasn’t a gig. It wasn’t a job for him.” “Johnny is Hunter in many ways. Hunter set out to do something that no one else had done before, and I feel like Johnny does that in many things,” said co-star Amber Heard. “He’s doing exactly what he wants to do, and I think it’s wonderful and important to fight to make projects that he feels have artistic integrity.” A box-office risk early in his career for oddball films that rarely made money, Depp has been able to call his own shots in the years since he became a Hollywood breadwinner with hits such as the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Still, it was a challenge to find backers for “The Rum Diary,” which stars Depp as Paul Kemp, a Thompson alter ego in his formative years, arriving in San Juan as an aimless tenderfoot who encounters corrupt developers despoiling an island paradise and discovers his purpose - to take on “the bastards” wherever he finds them. Aaron Eckhart co-stars as a slimy public relations man whose girlfriend (Heard) becomes Kemp’s object of lust. The cast also includes Giovanni Ribisi, Richard Jenkins and Michael Rispoli. To write the screenplay and direct, Depp and Thompson enlisted Bruce Robinson (“Withnail & I”), a filmmaker who recognized himself and Thompson as kindred spirits. “We were writing in the same vernacular, a voice of comedic rage,” Robinson said. “What are you going to have, a hand grenade or a word? Hunter chose the word.” Though

Thompson was gone, Depp made him a spectral producer from beyond, insisting there be a chair with Thompson’s name on the set, beside it an ashtray, a packet of Dunhill cigarettes and a highball glass. Each morning, Depp and Robinson would pour a drink for Thompson. “Everybody was there for Johnny, and Johnny was there for the love of the man,” Eckhart said. “That was palpable on the set, between Hunter’s chair and their sacrament to him each day.” If Thompson were around to review his performance, Depp figures he would “come up with some unbelievably witty, clever remark that would just sort of chop me off at the ankles. ... And then seconds later, he would have praised it, I believe. “When I called him for ‘Fear and Loathing,’ I was scared that was the end of our friendship, because I had played him, I think, pretty close to the bone,” Depp said. “I told him early on, ‘If I do this right, you might hate me forever.’ He said, ‘Well it’s a chance you’ve got to take, isn’t it?’ So I did it, but after ‘Fear and Loathing,’ I called him and I said, ‘All right, you saw it? Do you hate me?’ “And I think by me saying, ‘Do you hate me?’ he knew I was in pain. He couldn’t stand the idea of (messing) with me, and he said, ‘No, no, man. It was like an eerie trumpet call over a lost battlefield.’ I mean, that just came out of his mouth on the telephone. ... It doesn’t get better.” — AP

File photo shows Johnny Depp, a cast member in the film ‘The Rum Diary,’ poses for a portrait in Beverly Hills, Calif. — AP

Spielberg’s Tintin teven Spielberg’s computer animated 3D adaptation of Belgian comic book hero Tintin premiered in Brussels on Saturday, aiming to capture a new global audience for the adventures of the boy reporter with the trademark quiff. “The Adventures of Tintin,” first penned in 1929 by Brussels-born author Georges Remi, better known as Herge, are already hugely popular in most of Europe and Spielberg said he hoped his film would find fresh fans. “American audiences will look at this as an original movie,” Spielberg told reporters in Brussels. “Hopefully, if it is successful in America, perhaps for the first time in 80 years the books will start being published in America.” Spielberg, who sported crossed Belgian and American flags on his lapel during the prescreening press conference, after which he was made a commander of the order of the Belgian crown. In “The Adventures of Tintin The Secret of the Unicorn,” Spielberg, who directed blockbusters including “Indiana Jones,” “ET” and “Jaws,” aims to bridge the gap between Herge’s comics and the big screen by employing a technique similar to that deployed in James Cameron’s record-breaking “Avatar.” Actors including Jamie Bell, who portrays Tintin, had to adapt to acting in a studio wearing a special suit which registered his movements. The data was then transformed into a computer generated, three dimensional, image of his character. “It actually becomes like a rehearsal stage, like you are rehearsing for a play you will never put on stage,” Bell said. Spielberg added that he was in touch with Herge, shortly before the author died in 1983, about adapting Tintin. “He was a big fan of Raiders of the Lost Ark and actually on the telephone said he wanted me to adapt his books into movies so it was one of the most exciting phone calls in my life,” Spielberg said. For Belgium’s comic book store owners, renewed interest in Tintin is good news. “Without doubt we have noticed an uptick in sales. We have also seen this with the recent Smurfs film but even more so with Tintin,” said Beo Hanssen of the Beo comic book store in Antwerp.


Metallica’s Robert Trujillo and Kirk Hammett perform on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island late on October 25, 2011, as part of the group’s World Magnetic tour concert . — AFP

inger Amy Winehouse was more than five times over the British drink drive limit when she died, an inquest heard yesterday, as a coroner delivered a verdict of death by misadventure. Winehouse, 27, was found dead at her London home on July 23 following years of alcohol and drug addiction. The inquest, in London, was told she had suddenly drunk heavily after abstaining from alcohol for three weeks and was poisoned by alcohol. The singer had 416 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood. The legal drink-drive limit is 80mg. Coroner Suzanne Greenway said: “She had consumed sufficient alcohol at 416mg per deciliter (of blood) and the unintended consequence of such potentially fatal levels was her sudden and unexpected death.” Her father Mitch Winehouse has said that his daughter made repeated attempts to quit alcohol but without any medical supervision. Following her death, Winehouse’s 2006 album “Back to Black” has become the Britain’s highest-selling album of the 21st century. She rocketed to fame after winning five Grammy awards off the back of “Back to Black” and famously sang about her refusal to seek treatment for her addiction in her single “Rehab”. Winehouse was found in bed in her flat in the trendy north London neighborhood of Camden on July 23. Police recovered three empty bottles of vodka, two large and one small,


from her home. The inquest heard confirmation that a post-mortem examination of her body found her vital organs in good health and with no traces of illegal drugs. But the high level of alcohol in her system probably stopped her breathing and plunged her into a coma. Winehouse is believed to have come close to death four years earlier, in August 2007, following an overdose. She was admitted to a London hospital after taking cocaine, ecstasy, ketamine and marijuana. There were hopes that she could be returning to full health after she spent eight months on the Caribbean island of St Lucia, but her comeback soon fizzled out amid reports of shambolic performances at low-key concerts.—AFP

Janis Winehouse leaves the St Pancras Coroner’s Court in central London yesterday following the announcement of the results of the inquest into the death of her daughter, British singer Amy Winehouse. The verdict of ‘misadventure’ revealed that Ms Winehouse was five times over the legal drink-drive limit when she died at her home in Camden, north London on 23 July, 2011. — AFP

Positive reviews Early reviews for the film, which combines three of Tintin’s comic book adventures, were broadly positive, with the Belgian press particularly glowing about Spielberg’s adaptation. “Action and humour dominate in a very pleasant spectacle,” Belgian French-language magazine Le Vif wrote in a review. “Herge would have loved this Tintin, full of character,” French daily Le Soir wrote on Saturday. Some British reviews were less enthusiastic, arguing that the computer graphics made the characters seem dull. “How curious that Herge achieved more expression with his use of ink-spot eyes and humble line drawings than a bank of computers and an army of animators were able to achieve,” British daily The Guardian wrote. Racism controversy Tintin has also made negative headlines as a lawsuit alleging racism in Herge’s second

book “Tintin in the Congo” commenced in Belgium in late September. The case, brought by Congolese-born campaigner Bienvenu Mbutu Mondondo, says Herge’s depiction of native Africans is racist and propagates a colonialist view of the continent. “What poses a problem today is not (author) Herge, it’s the commercialisation of a cartoon book which manifestly diffuses ideas based on racial superiority,” a lawyer for Mondondo told a Brussels court in September. The book was published in 1931 and Bienvenu is taking action against a modern version of the original. Racist language was removed in subsequent editions. “I don’t know anything about the court case, I haven’t followed it. It was just brought up before coming here, in case a question was asked,” Spielberg said. “There is no real reason for me to contribute to whatever the dialogue has been.” —Reuters

US director Steven Spielberg poses after signing a special Thalys train in the colors of Tintin to take the crew from the premiere in Brussels to the premiere in Paris on October 22, 2011 in Paris. — AFP

ichael Jackson begged to be given a propofol drip to help him sleep two months before he died, saying medics had assured him it was safe, a nurse told his doctor’s manslaughter trial Tuesday. The King of Pop told nurse Cherilyn Lee, a holistic expert, that doctors had told him he could take the drug-a surgical anestheticintravenously as long as he was monitored. “‘The only medication that really helps me fall off to sleep right away is Diprivan’,” she quoted Jackson as saying, using a brand name for propofol, the drug which killed the singer. The singer’s doctor Conrad Murray is on trial for involuntary manslaughter for allegedly giving Jackson a cocktail of drugs including propofol on June 25, 2009, to help him sleep, but abandoning him at the crucial moment. Murray had been hired for $150,000 a month to look after Jackson at his Los Angeles mansion while he rehearsed for a series of ill-fated “This is It” comeback concerts at London’s O2 Arena. Lee told how she went to Jackson’s home on April 19, when the singer asked her to treat him with propofol by intravenous (IV) drip because other treatments were not working. “He told me, ‘Doctors have told me that it’s safe, I just need to be monitored’,” she told the Los Angeles Superior Court, adding that she refused to treat him with the drug, after learning that it was a surgical anesthetic. Murray, 58, told police that he had been treating Jackson with propofol via IV for two months, but had begun to wean him off of it three days before his death. In a police interview played earlier during the five-week trial, Murray told how he tried to get Jackson to sleep from around 1:00 am, but failed and finally gave him 25 mg of propofol at 10:40 am.—AFP


film targets new audiences

erner Herzog’s “Into the Abyss” is the second high-profile 2011 documentary to focus on a murder for which men were sentenced to death. But it’s a far cry from “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory,” the Joe Berlinger/Bruce Sinofsky doc that will play on HBO in the aftermath of the release of its subjects after decades in prison. “Into the Abyss” follows a Texas case in which there will be no lastminute reprieve; one of its two subjects was executed for a senseless triple homicide eight days after Herzog filmed him, and the other is serving a life sentence. The tough and powerful film features Herzog’s interviews with the two convicted killers, as well as with their family and the kin of their two victims. Other interviews include a deathhouse chaplain who unexpectedly breaks down when recounting a seemingly innocent story about encountering a squirrel on the golf course. “Everybody tells me that these crimes are monstrous, and that these men are monsters who deserve to be killed off,” Herzog told TheWrap in a recent interview. “I respectfully disagree. Correct, the crimes are monstrous, but the perpetrators are just human beings who have done something senseless, violent, evil. “They are still human, and they are not monsters. I treat them as human beings, and I do


not believe that the government should have the power to execute anyone.” The film, which is subtitled “A Tale of Death, a Tale of Life,” will be released on November 11 by IFC/Sundance Selects. The film, said Herzog, was designed to “look into the deepest recesses of the human soul”-though that’s certainly something he’s done with regularity throughout his career of more than 40 years. — Reuters




e niv rsar n



LIFESTYLE T r a v e l

The north front of the Castle Museum in York, England, is prepared for the launch of Envisions, the centrepiece artwork in the 2011 Illuminating York Festival late Tuesday. Envisions uses video projection mapping combined with a music soundtrack to provide the audience with a journey through York’s history from the very old to the more modern and the event runs from Wednesday Oct 26, until Saturday Oct 29. —AP

ROYAL CARIBBEAN partners with

Miami chef on Oasis of the Seas ichael Schwartz, one of Miami’s top chefs, is bringing his star power and farm-to-table cuisine aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, designing all-new menus for one of the ship’s fine-dining restaurants, 150 Central Park, beginning with the Oct 29 sailing. At first glance, it looks like an odd fit. Schwartz, owner of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in the Design District and two other restaurants, specializes in rustic dishes, simple preparations and local, seasonal ingredients. The menu at his flagship restaurant changes often based on what’s available each day. 150 Central Park offers a tasting menu of six or seven courses, fancier cuisine and a luxe ambience with white linens and Limoges china. The room is small, serving about 90 meals a night for a cover charge of $40 a person-high for a ship’s alter-


native restaurant-with optional wine pairings for an extra fee. As with the ship’s other restaurants, its galley must be stocked every Saturday with all the ingredients required during the next seven days of Caribbean cruising. Unlike a land-based restaurant, 150 Central Park has no leeway to change its menu to incorporate, for example, an unexpected bushel of baby squash. Royal Caribbean had shunned the celebrity-chef concept while other lines brought in big names to develop recipes. One reason, said Frank Weber, Royal Caribbean’s vice president of food and beverage, is that the cruise line wants its chefs to be in the dining room interacting with guests-something a culinary star doesn’t have time for. In this partnership, Schwartz will design the recipes and set the tone, but James Seyba, one of his sous

chefs at Michael’s Genuine, will be the chef de cuisine, overseeing dayto-day operations of the shipboard restaurant and making the rounds in the dining room. Schwartz will give the cruise line entree to farmto-table cuisine, Weber said. Starting with Swank Specialty Produce in Loxahatchee, Royal Caribbean will buy small quantities of local produce just for 150 Central Park. With South Florida’s upsidedown growing season, the variety of vegetables available for the first seasonal menu (they’ll change quarterly) is limited, Schwartz said: baby beets, radishes, a mix of lettuces and bok choy. The next one will be the “harvest” menu, Schwartz said, with a much greater variety of local produce. All will be bought from Swank initially, with the goal of gradually adding other farms. Schwartz is adapting his signature

style for the new venue. Michael’s Genuine’s short ribs _ marinated in a dry spice rub, slow-roasted for hours, then grilled _ will be served aboard the ship, but portions will be smaller and the dish “will be tweaked in terms of presentation” to fit the high-end restaurant, he said. On the other hand, the Design District restaurant’s popular onion stuffed with cinnamon-spiced lamb and apricots won’t be served at 150 Central Park. “It’s a rustic dish that doesn’t translate,” he said. Instead, Schwartz created a not-so-simple dish with two cuts of lamb, one braised, the other seared, “sort of Indian-inspired” with some surprising ingredients including pistachio cream. —MCT

Chef Michael Schwartz, right, at Oasis of the Seas’ 150 Central Park, with James Seyba, a sous-chef at Michael’s Genuine who was named chef de cuisine at the shipboard restaurant.

150 Central Park, a premium restaurant on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, where Michael Schwartz of Michael’s Genuine is designing the dishes on the menu. —MCT photos

Picturesque mountain hamlet in British Columbia shows its colors p in the northwest forest where Washington, Idaho and British Columbia converge, there’s a lazy little international border crossing called Nelway, about the size of a gas station. “Where are you headed?” a Canadian border patrol agent


Jackson’s Hole restaurant is in an old brick mercantile building in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada. —MCT Photos

Part of the Great Northern Rail Trail, a train route that’s now set aside for cyclists and hikers, runs through the trees along the edge of Nelson.

Dogs laze about at Boomtown Emporoium in Nelson, where mountain biking and other outdoor activities are popular.

asked when my family rolled up a few months ago, heading north from Washington. “Nelson,” I told him as he began his search of our car. “It’s OK,” said the officer, unenthusiastically. “Kinda hippie-ish. Very laid-back.” Not a problem, sir. The town of Nelson, semi-Victorian, substantially bohemian, sportier and more artsy than your average hamlet of 9,700 souls, sits in the Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia, about 30 miles north of the US border. Picture a college town that has misplaced its university. It has dramatic leaves in fall, skiing in winter, swimming and boating in summer, hiking and mountain biking much of the year. Thousands of American draft resisters and back-to-thelanders chose this area as a haven 40 years ago, and hundreds are said to remain, but it gets barely a trickle of US tourists. Just below the town lies the west arm of photogenic Kootenay Lake. Just above town rises Toad Mountain, where the discovery of silver prompted the founding of Nelson about 125 years ago. Nelson’s stone and brick Victorians, once the province of off-duty miners and loggers, now house or neighbor eccentric shops, galleries and restaurants. The Sacred Ride (on Baker Street) peddles bikes. Downward Dog (Front Street) offers pet supplies. The Funky Monkey (Front Street) grills burgers. ROAM (Baker Street) promises gear for rivers, oceans and mountains. Summer may be the busiest season, but “fall is the most beautiful time,” said Virginia Wassick, who, with her husband, Duncan, runs the three-room Grand Lakefront Bed & Breakfast in a rambling old house near the lake’s edge. In September and October, Wassick said, the guests “come and stay a week or two and sit on the deck, look at the colors and read books. I love the September-October people. They’re so laid-back.” Nelson-about 150 miles north of Spokane, Wash., more than 400 miles east of Vancouver, Canadais too little and isolated to stand as a major destination by itself. But you can fly into Spokane or Castlegar, British Columbia

(about 25 miles south of Nelson), and spend a few days driving a 135-mile loop from Nelson past the mountains, lakes, rivers, meadows and towns of Kaslo, New Denver, Silverton and Slocan. Or follow the 280-mile International Selkirk Loop (, which includes handsome chunks of Idaho and Washington. For us, Nelson was a three-day respite at the northernmost point of a 1,200-mile road trip that began in Seattle and ended in Portland, Ore. We windowshopped on Baker Street; bought many “Magic Treehouse” volumes in Otter Books for our 7-year-old daughter, Grace; paced the little pier that juts into the lake; took a skiff for a buzz around on the water; and drove across the big orange bridge-which locals call “BOB” because, remember, it’s a Big Orange Bridge-toward the postcard views at Pulpit Rock overlook and Kokanee Creek

hemp boutique on Ward Street, so no hemp hat trick. We stayed at the Prestige Resort, a pricey hotel at the water’s edge that should be the greatest place in town, given its location. Instead, it felt like an opportunity squandered-a dull, dark building best suited to the housing of DunderMifflin business travelers. Next time we’ll look more closely at the New Grand Hotel (more character, lower rates) or a local B&B. This being Canada, the town has a hockey team and a curling club, both busy from fall through late winter or early spring. The Whitewater Ski Resort, about 20 minutes outside Nelson, is a small operation (three chairlifts, 1,184 skiable acres, no lodgings) that gets big powder _ an average of 40 feet of snow per winter. The resort’s Fresh Tracks Cafe is a favorite among B.C. foodies, many of whom revere the “Whitewater Cooks” cookbook by former resort chef Shelley Adams.

If you go: Nelson is about a 30-mile drive from Castlegar and the Castlegar Municipal Airport, a 150-mile drive north of Spokane. Currency: The US dollar and Canadian dollar have been neck-and-neck lately. As of early October, $1 US bought $1.03 Canadian. To learn more: Nelson & District Chamber of Commerce, Tourism British Columbia,—MCT

Provincial Park. With more time, we would have soaked at Ainsworth Hot Springs (about 30 miles northeast) and caught the free ferry at nearby Balfour (a 35-minute ride across the lake to Kootenay Bay). But we did ride an antique streetcar along the Waterfront Pathway to Lakeside Park, where you’ll find an organic concession stand (summer only) and busy playground. Downtown, we shared a good but pricey brunch at BiBO, followed by a great (and pricier) dinner at the All Seasons Cafe, Nelson’s top restaurant. Uptown, I took a ride on old BNSF railroad track that has been converted into a mountain-biking trail. One day I drank hemp ale. Another, I ate a hemp cookie. But there were no purchases at the

“I just moved here to retire,” Aza Samchuck told me one afternoon as he sat astride a bicycle and watched teenagers leap from a piling into the chilly water. He is 35, Samchuck said, but because he’s done well in his profession, he can arrange a few lucrative days of out-of-town work per month, then hang loose in Nelson the rest of the time. Of course, I had to ask his profession. “I tattoo people,” he said. For a less bohemian, more Victorian Nelson, head to Vernon and Ward streets, where you can nurse a drink inside the stone-faced Hume Hotel (1898) and gaze north to the old ivy-cloaked courthouse (1902) or east to the Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History (1902 again). Nearby on Victoria Street, there’s

the restored Capitol Theatre (1927) and the old jail, now Selkirk College’s Kootenay School of the Arts. Near Latimer and Ward streets, there’s the big, old red-brick fire hall (1913) and the old brewery (1899), now home to the new Nelson Brewing Co, which specializes in organic ales. As the buildings were going up, Nelson and environs were getting more than the usual influx of miners and woodsmen. A Pacific agrarian sect of Russian Christians known as Doukhobors also arrived, about 5,000 of them, and with them a militant fringe group, the Sons of Freedom, that staged hundreds of nude marches, arsons and anti-government bombings. Then during World War II, the Canadian government set up internment camps and imprisoned about 8,000 Japanese Canadian men, women and children. As the Vietnam War stretched from the 1960s into the ‘70s, came the Americans-perhaps as many as 10,000 draft resisters (aka draft dodgers, aka conscientious objectors) by some estimates, along with others eager to start communes in the countryside. Most of the communes fell apart fast, and President Jimmy Carter pardoned the draft resisters in 1977. But like many Doukhobors and Japanese Canadian families before them, many of these immigrants stayed, raised families and worked as farmers, artisans or entrepreneurs. In the late ‘70s, Nelson boosters started tidying up the town’s then-bedraggled old buildings. By the summer of 1986, the renewed downtown was fetching enough to attract Steve Martin, who arrived with a prosthetic nose and film crew to work on “Roxanne.” The film, released the following year, features Martin as the big-nosed chief of a bumbling small-town fire department and Daryl Hannah as the bespectacled astronomer of his dreams. After learning all that, it was a letdown to meet no avowed draft resisters, Doukhobors, Japanese Canadians or movie stars. But I did hear plenty about the furor of 2004, when Isaac Romano of Nelson proposed a monument to the draft resisters, stirring scorn

from many sides, prompting denunciations from local business leaders and inspiring a New York Times headline that dubbed Nelson “Resisterville.” The monument idea was quickly shelved, but in 2006 a reunion of resisters was staged (with Doukhobor help) in nearby Castlegar. Locals say a 3-foot-high bronze model of artist Naomi Lewis’ proposed draft-resister memorial now resides at the Vallican Whole Community Centre in the nearby Slocan Valley, a favored haunt of countercultural folk. Yet when author Ernest Hekkaman and his partner, Margrith Schraner, were looking to relocate from Vancouver 11 years ago, Hekkaman told me, they chose Nelson “because it’s a small town with an active arts community and literary community. ... I didn’t realize there was such a large antiwar population here, so many draft dodgers from the ‘60s and ‘70s.” But since Hekkaman is a draft dodger himself-having moved from Seattle to Vancouver in 1969 — that was hardly a problem. He helped underwrite the 2006 reunion and briefly housed the model draft-resister sculpture at his home-gallery. When I reached him by phone after our visit, he estimated that perhaps 300 draft resisters remain in Nelson and surrounding areas. But good luck spotting them among the other free spirits. On our last morning in town, we grabbed breakfast at the Kootenay Bakery Cafe (vegetarian), then watched as the real firefighters of Nelson-an entirely competent-looking bunch, noses unremarkable-fanned out from their truck, shut down Baker Street and sent a man skyward on the ladder. His task: to string up a banner for an upcoming event. Half an hour later, amid nods of approval from a dozen sidewalk superintendents, they reopened the street. Through it all, traffic was unaffected, and you could nearly hear, on the surrounding slopes, a billion leaves fluttering in the Sunday morning breeze. Nelson was at peace, and we were due to head south again.


lifestyle A R T

A picture taken on October 24, 2011 during a media tour in the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, shows journalists observing the theatre’s auditorium. —AFP

Russia’s Bolshoi Theatre to unveil spectacular refit


ussia’s historic Bolshoi Theatre will finally raise its curtain on Friday after a massive, six-year overhaul that aims to create a state-of-the-art space for its world-renowned ballet and opera troupe. Stars including prima ballerina Svetlana Zakharova and French soprano Natalie Dessay will tread the new stage at a lavish gala attended by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev as well as major arts figures. The invitation-only gala in Moscow will be broadcast on a giant screen to crowds outside the theatre as well as airing on Russian television and in cinemas worldwide, the theatre’s director Anatoly Iksanov said. Other big names scheduled to appear include opera stars Dmitri Hvorostovsky and

Angela Gheorghiu as well as the Bolshoi’s wildly popular young dancers Natalya Osipova and Ivan Vasilyev, a real-life couple famed for their gravity-defying leaps. The pink-painted columned building in central Moscow closed in 2005 for repairs that ran seriously behind schedule and cost at least $800 million, as the state of the 1820s building was found to be far worse than first believed. “Seventy percent of the building was crumbling and the risk was that it would simply collapse,” said Mikhail Sidorov, a representative of the Russian building company Summa Capital, which took over the project in 2009. “Usually in such cases people don’t do repairs but demolish,” he said. Ever since, the Bolshoi ballet troupe, feted for recent ventures into mod-

ern dance, and the opera have performed on the theatre’s second stage in another building opposite the old one. Now despite skeptical murmurs, the historic building is on the point of reopening after a grandiose reconstruction that not only spruced up the facade and the gilded interior, but also updated cramped backstage areas. Improvements include a larger orchestra pit and better greenrooms for the dancers, who will no longer have to share toilets in the first major renovations since 1856, when it was restored after a devastating fire. Theatre director Iksanov called the reopening of the theatre, which features on banknotes, a “state holiday” and it will undoubtedly be a

boost for national pride. In symbolic changes, restorers removed the Soviet coat of arms from the facade, replacing it with the double-headed eagle, the Tsarist symbol readopted by Russia. The Soviet hammer and sickle is also gone from the curtain. “Today we enter an imperial theatre, and no longer that of the Soviet era,” said Sidorov. “We took everything that we could from the 19th century.” Painstakingly, restorers spent three years replacing red silk wallpaper in the so-called Imperial Foyer, opened in the late 19th century to celebrate the coronation of the last tsar, Nicholas II. The glittering gilding is also a labour of love, with seven layers of gold leaf laid on top of an egg-white base, which was then washed

with vodka and polished with squirrel tails, Sidorov said. The showpiece theatre was originally due to reopen in 2008, but in an embarrassing scandal the opening date was postponed several times amid spiraling costs and the main contractor was replaced in 2009. After a period in the doldrums, the Bolshoi has found a new artistic lease of life ahead with innovative new stagings of great operas and productions of seminal works of modern dance on the second stage. Most notably, US ballet star David Hallberg has joined the Bolshoi for the new season, the first time an American has become a member of the legendary company whose stars until now were all Russian or from ex-Soviet states. —AFP

Islam’s treasures back on display at New York’s Met

Tibetan monks pray during a public installation art project at the Tibetan Children’s Village School in Dharmsala.

Visitors look at ancient artifacts during a press preview of new galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, October 24, 2011. —AFP


asterworks of Islamic art will once again be on view at New York’s Metropolitan Museum, which next week reopens an exhaustive installation following an eight-year renovation. New York’s biggest and most comprehensive art museum unveils on November 1 its “New Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia.” Refurbished at a cost of some $50 million, the 15 galleries will display 1,200 breathtaking works from the Middle East and North Africa meticulously arranged in a stunning new exhibition space. “I think that what these galleries provide is a much better understanding of the complexity and also the interconnection between different cultures within Islamic art,” said curator Mechthild Baumeister. “If you think about the art in these galleries, it spans 13 centuries,” she said. “It’s important to go back in history to understand the development of a culture, development of a style, interaction between cultures. Nothing exists in isolation.” The museum’s galleries have been refurbished and re-envisioned to provide a show-stopping setting for the Metropolitan’s Islamic art collection, one of the largest anywhere in the world. “The opening of these extraordinary new galleries underscores our mission as an encyclopedic museum and provides a unique opportunity to convey the grandeur and complexity of Islamic art and culture at a pivotal moment in world history,” said Met director Thomas Campbell. The 15 new galleries trace the course of Islamic civilization over 13 centuries, covering a broad geographic expanse encompassing the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and Central and South Asia. “This new geographic orientation signals a revised

perspective on this important collection, recognizing that the monumentality of Islam did not create a single, monolithic artistic expression, but instead connected a vast geographic expanse through centuries of change and cultural influence,” Campbell said. “The public will find galleries filled with magnificent works of art that evoke the plurality of the Islamic tradition and the vast cross-fertilization of ideas and artistic forms that has shaped our shared cultural heritage.” The art pieces were acquired by collectors in the United States between the last quarter of the nineteenth century and the early 1930s. Many works came to the American market as exotic treasures as interest in and travel to the Middle East from Europe and the United States exploded, spawning a vast travel literature and piquing curiosity on both sides of the Atlantic about “The Orient”. They cut across numerous domains including the world of science, such as a 13th-century astrolabe, the tool used by astronomers, navigators and astrologers of the era. From the world of architecture, there is an example of Indian windows made from intricately carved wood. The world of sculpture is represented by Iranian statues, made from stucco, measuring a meter and a half (five feet) tall. There is beautiful Arabic calligraphy next to ancient holy Qurans and ornate weaponry, including swords encrusted with rubies, silver and gold. One gem is the recreation of the reception room of a large residence in Damascus, dating back to the 18th century. Its marble floor has a geometric design with magnificent red velour pillows strewn throughout and its wooden walls are inscribed with verses from the Koran. “It’s one of the highlights of the galleries,” Baumeister said. “It’s one of our biggest achievements.”— AFP

Art installation evokes nostalgia for Tibetan home A

n art installation created with tons of soil from Tibet has touched a deep emotional chord among thousands of Tibetan exiles in India. Hundreds lined up yesterday to walk over the nearly 20 tons of soil from Tibet that contemporary artist Tenzing Rigdol spread on a stage on a basketball court in northern India. Rigdol says his method for getting the soil to the town of Dharmsala will be revealed in a documentary in a few months. The Dalai Lama and the new prime minister in exile have both accepted it as genuine Tibetan soil. For Tibetans living in exile for more than five decades it has evoked strong nostalgia for a homeland to which they hope to return. —AP

(Above) Tenzing Rigdol, a 29-year-old Tibetan artist, is blessed by the Dalai Lama. (Right) Tibetan monks walk on a stage containing Tibetan soil during a public installation art project at the Tibetan Children’s Village School in Dharmsala, India, yesterday. —AP

Islam’s treasures back on display at New York’s Met



Bi-annual China Fashion Week

Models parading creations by the Chinese fashion house NE Tiger during the bi-annual China Fashion Week in Beijing. The 10-day fashion extravaganza will highlight some 44 fashion shows and six contests hosting over 200 designers. — AFP

‘Project Accessory’ seeks fashion’s next big name


Models showcasing collection by the Chinese fashion house Toray Liu Wei .

S African retailer withdraws ‘how to get laid’ T-shirts


South African retailer has pulled off the shelves T-shirts printed with sexual slogans such as “how to get laid”, after complaints that they were sexist, reports said yesterday. Three shirts were withdrawn after complaints over the designs which offered suggestions of “how to get laid”, spelled out the word “single” as “Stay Intoxicated Nightly Get Laid Everyday”, and read “I put the STD in stud. All I need is u”. “Those withdrawn are three we felt crossed

the line between humorous and offensive,” the Cape Times quoted Foschini group communications manager Kathryn Sakalis as saying. The petition on a feminist website argued the shirts were “explicitly misogynistic” and “neither humorous nor satirical”. Instead they encouraged drunken sex with multiple partners, in a nation hard-hit by AIDS where violence against women is rife, it said. In April, the same group withdrew a shirt stating “I recycle girls” after it also sparked an online furore, local media reported.—AFP

ights, camera, accessorize!”Project Accessory,” the latest spinoff of the long-running hit reality show “Project Runway,” pits 12 unknown designers against each other for a shot at becoming the next big name in fashion. It debuts on Thursday on the Lifetime television network. “This is the biggest money maker in fashion,” executive producer Rich Bye told Reuters of the accessories business. “When they came to me with this idea,” he added, “my first thought was: ‘Why hasn’t anyone done this before?’ It seemed like a ‘no brainer.’” Bags, belts, jewelry and shoes are among the mainstays of the accessories business, which rakes in an estimated $30 billion a year in the United States alone, according to the Accessories Council. The New York-based nonprofit group represents designers, retailers, publications and suppliers in the accessories, eyewear and footwear industries. “Project Accessory” gives TV audiences a close-up glimpse of what goes into making those items that “can make or break a look,” said Ariel Foxman, editor-in-chief of InStyle magazine and a judge on the show. The winner of “Project Accessory” will get an InStyle feature spread and $100,000 from eBay Fashion for startup. Bye contends that the prospects all add up to even more exciting television than designing clothes. “In terms of the creative process, it’s much more visceral, more workmanlike, kind of gritty,” he said. “There’s drills, saws, soldering irons and hammers-all these machines just to make the stuff. It’s like going to the back room of Tiffany or Saks to see how they set the stones” for jewelry. That’s shoe biz Actress and model Molly Sims, who hosts “Project Accessory,” said the show “gives an insider look at how designers create their whole look-the bags, the shoes, the jewelry.” The competition is so “hands on,” she said, adding: “Imagine making a pair of shoes in two days.” Sims, who launched her own jewelry line, Grayce, last year so she knows something about the business, said the competition forced the aspiring designers out of their comfort zones. “They learned very quickly to ask questions, to get help.” Eva Lorenzotti, the CEO of jewelry, fashion and gifts company Vivre, who mentors the contestants, noted that “accessories require amazing know-how.”“If it’s well made, it will last forever. It’s iconic. Fashion is no different than great architecture. When it’s really good, it stands tall. It stands apart,” she said. Even before the cameras rolled, Bye and the “Project Accessory” team logged marathon sessions with artisans and other industry experts in New York, where the show was filmed. “Shoes, oh my God, we spent a couple of months just talking to cobblers and getting the right kind of last,” (a key shoe component) said Bye, who also was the executive producer of “Project Runway” for its first five seasons on Bravo. Designer Kenneth Cole, a “Project Accessory” judge, told Reuters that “shoes are absolutely the most difficult accessory to bring to market. There’s more than 100 operations that go into bringing shoes,” from initial sketch to retail. Most important, shoes, more than any other accessory, affect how a person feels, not just how they look, Cole added. Asked about the show’s appeal at a time of economic turmoil, Cole said “Accessories are critical. In a difficult economy, no one looks to start from scratch.” So when times are hard, people look to accessorize what they already own-whether “last year’s dress, a different pair of shoes, or last year’s suit, a different tie.” Close call Timing, and an act of nature, also played a role as the show wrapped its eight-episode shoot, Bye recalled. On what was supposed to have been the last weekend of filming in New York, Hurricane Irene bore down on New York and “the mayor’s film production office pulled all the permits.” But Irene mostly gave Manhattan the slip, and “Project Accessory” wrapped without incident. Sims said she became emotional while filming the final episode, when the winner was chosen. “We found someone we think is fantastically talented ... who can oversee an accessory line.” And perhaps, she added, give some competition to fashion’s leading lights-maybe the next “Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors or Rachel Roy.” — Rreuters

27 Oct  

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