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48 7Police13 nab suspect

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Death toll mounts as bombs hit Damascus

Chinese blind activist makes mystery escape

Barcelona coach Guardiola ends four-year reign

after London siege 49-year-old man armed with gas canisters

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Pakistan expels Osama’s family SANAA: The three widows of slain Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and other family members arrived in Saudi Arabia yesterday after being expelled from Pakistan, a Yemeni non-government group head said. “The Yemeni woman has arrived in Saudi Arabia along with other members of the Bin Laden family, his children and her brother who was looking after her case in Pakistan,” Mohammed Naji Allaw of the NGO Hood said. So far there has been no confirmation of their arrival from Saudi Arabia, which has kept total silence on the issue. The other two widows are Saudis. At around midnight Pakistan time on Thursday night, a minivan whisked the 9/11 mastermind’s relatives from the Islamabad house where they had been in detention to the city’s airport. They then left for the Gulf kingdom on a specially chartered flight just before 2:00 am. “We have begun making representations for her return to Yemen,” Allaw said of Bin Laden’s Yemeni widow Amal, adding that his information on their arrival came from Zakaria Abdulfattah Al-Sadaa, her brother. Hood, which deals with human rights cases in Yemen, especially those concerning children, has been tasked by the widow’s brother with looking after her case. Sadaa went to Pakistan to personally oversee the deportation of his 30-year-old sister-bin Laden’s youngest and reportedly favorite wife-and her five children. — AFP

Fruit, veggies tied to lower diabetes risk LONDON: People who eat more fruits and vegetables may have a slightly lower risk of type 2 diabetes than people who don’t, and getting a wide variety of those healthy foods may be key to avoiding the disease, according to a UK study. The findings, reported in the journal Diabetes Care, do not prove that eating fruits and vegetables will ward off the condition, which is associated with obesity and old age, but researchers said it should give people yet more incentive to improve their diet. The study of over 3,700 UK adults found that those who ate the most servings of fruits and vegetables in a week had a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes over 11 years versus people who ate the fewest. The diabetes risk was also lower among people who consumed a wider variety of fruit and vegetables, regardless of the actual quantity they ate. This suggests that people should focus not only on how many servings they get each day, said senior researcher Nita Forouhi, of the Institute of Metabolic Science in Cambridge, UK. “The finding on variety of intake is new and exciting, because it demonstrates that independent of the quantity consumed, we have the potential to gain additional and important benefits from choosing a mixture of different fruits and vegetables as part of a balanced diet,” she said. One serving is equal to a half-cup of cooked vegetables or a medium-sized piece of fresh fruit. For the study, her team looked at data from 3,704 adults aged 40 to 79 who were part of a larger study on nutrition and chronic diseases. — Reuters

LONDON: Heavily armed, masked police surrounded a site in central London yesterday after a woman reported that a man had walked into her office threatening to blow himself up. (Inset) Police arrest the suspect after a three-hour standoff yesterday. — AP/Sky news LONDON: Police snipers and heavily armed officers put several blocks of central London’s shopping district into lockdown yesterday after a man allegedly armed with gas canisters entered an office building and threatened to blow himself up. Police said a 49-year-old man was arrested hours after a stand off with police at Advantage, a training company near London’s Tottenham Court Road that offers tests for truck drivers. A shirtless man in green khaki pants was seen being led out with his hands behind his back by two unarmed officers. Armed officers followed behind. British media had claimed that the man was holding people captive, but police said they were “not aware of any hostages at this stage.” Police and security personnel said the incident was not terror-related and presented no risk to

the upcoming 2012 summer Olympics. An Advantage employee interviewed by The Huffington Post identified the suspect as a former customer and said he had come in “strapped up in gasoline cylinders.” “Basically he threatened to blow up the office,” Abby Baafi, 27, told the news website. Police declined to say whether he had been armed in any way. The Huffington Post’s UK editor Carla Buzasi said that her organization’s offices shared a fire escape with Shropshire House, where Advantage is headquartered. She said that two men ran into their offices when the suspect arrived, sending “a ripple of panic” across the newsroom. The Huffington Post’s offices were one of several buildings in the area evacuated as police with heavy weapons and riot gear got into position. Several blocks were cordoned off and

subway stations were closed as office equipment was chucked from a fifth floor window. “He threw 10 computers,” 26-year-old construction worker Martynas Vristiuk said, adding that one of the computers landed on a police car. The three-hour-long siege turned the normally bustling Tottenham Court Road into a ghost town. The motive behind the standoff wasn’t immediately clear. Police Commander Mak Chishty, who gave a brief statement following the arrest, identified the suspect only as “a local man” and said the incident was over a “quite local” matter. A phone message left with Advantage was not immediately returned. “This was an isolated incident and has no bearing on security preparations ahead of the summer games,” said a British security official on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of his work. — AP


Iraqi blocs demand open meetings with Kuwait Discussions on unsolved issues By A Saleh

KUWAIT: One of the rare birds detected by Kuwaiti environmentalists.

Environmentalists detect 390 rare birds KUWAIT: The total number of the rare migrating birds detected in Kuwait over the last six decades tops 390, a local environmentalist said yesterday. Khaled Al-Nasrallah, head of the nature reserve team of the local Voluntary Work Center (VWC) said the detection work started in Kuwait 60 years ago when the Natural History Group was founded in Ahmadi. “The pioneering research group consisted of 50 expatriate workers in local oil companies and a few local environmentalists such as Mahmoud Shehab,” Al-Nasrallah said. “At that time, the group detected 230 species of the flora and fauna in Kuwait including birds, all of which were documented at a book titled ‘Natural History in Kuwait’,” he added. The biological diversity in the country attracted a steadily growing number of local and foreign researchers, who realized the fact that the country is attractive for migrating birds given its distinguished geographic location at the intersection of routes between Asia, Europe and Africa, Al-Nasrallah concluded. — KUNA

KUWAIT: The Free Iraqi Bloc (FIB), known to be anti-Kuwait, recently demanded that meetings of the IraqiKuwaiti joint ministerial committee be made open to the Iraqi public so that they can follow up details of the discussions and talks held therein. The FIB said Iraqi public opinion should have a say in any settlements between both sides, and that such settlements should prioritize Iraqi public interests. Both countries’ joint committees are scheduled to meet next week to discuss unsolved issues in the course of positive development of both countries’ relations following Prime Minister, AlMalki’s visit to Kuwait in mid March. That was later enhanced by His Highness the Amir’s visit to Iraq to participate in the Arab Summit, held in Baghdad on 29 March. Alia Naseef, former spokesperson of the Iraqi White Bloc who was dismissed for her offensive remarks about Kuwait, stressed that boosting Iraq’s relations with Kuwait will help develop better ones with other GCC states. Jamal Al-Batteekh, White Bloc secretary general, said Iraq wishes to make a fresh start with the whole world. It will

be based on mutual respect and cooperation in various fields, he said. Iraq shall absorb and contain all forms of tension with any country, especially as Iraq is the head of this cycle of the Arab Summit, he added. Minority MPs plot Well-informed parliamentary sources said the Parliament Minority will not hesitate to demand a no-confidence vote in discussing the grilling motion to be filed by MP Mohammed Al-Juwaihel against Interior Minister, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Humoud, if the latter’s response is weak and unconvincing. The sources said such an option was not considered during discussions of the previous grilling against the Information Minister and the Prime Minister as the minority had not arranged for it. “Juwaihel’s motion is different,” remarked the sources, noting that it includes elements of great interest to Majority MPs and this will be a golden opportunity to expose them before public opinion by demanding a no-confidence vote. “In this way, the Majority MPs will lose either way and even if they abstain from voting”, stressed the sources. The

sources highlighted that MP Obaid AlWasmi, a Majority MP, announced that he will vote for the motion if the minister’s replies are weak, regardless of who filed the motion. Oil secrets MP Waleed Al-Tabtabae recently filed an inquiry to Oil Minister, Hani Hussein, asking about foreign investments in the oil sector. Al-Tabtabae said Kuwaiti oil companies have lately been racing to hire international oil companies, such as Exxon Mobil, Shell, Chevron, BP and others, to provide operational services in drilling, production, refining and petrochemical manufacturing. He said such contracts grant access for many foreign staff members working for these companies to secret confidential information about the locations of Kuwaiti oil fields and reservoirs, as well as detailed information about their durability. “This is against Kuwait’s national security,” he warned and demanded full lists of foreign companies, their staff, the authority they have been given, the nature of research they have been conducting and the impact of such contracts on the development, or lack of, on national labor skills.

Heritage Meeting ‘a forum for interaction’ KUWAIT: Information Minister, Sheikh Mohammad AlAbdullah Al-Sabah, affirmed the significance of Kuwait hosting the Gulf Heritage Meeting that will constitute a forum for interaction among peoples of the GCC countries. Sheikh Mohammad, also Chairman of the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters, said during the first session late on Thursday that Kuwait hosted the meeting in line with its genuine cultural role in the Gulf region. The importance of national heritage lies in linking what is past and present, he said, adding that such activities constitute a message to the new generation seeking to solidify interaction with the past through the cultural heritage. Troupes from the GCC states are participating in the event, with handicrafts and singing performances, reflecting the unique civilization of the communities in the Gulf. Sheikh Mohammad expressed satisfaction at honoring prominent artists like Abdul Hamid Al-Sayed. —KUNA

‘Mad Cow’ disease KUWAIT: Kuwait Municipality food safety committee said they have not been officially informed by the World Health Organization or by the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fishing Resources (PAAAFR) about a ban on importing beef from the US, where it has been declared that the ‘mad cow’ disease was discovered. They said they received the news from the media. They added that at the last meeting they had on Wednesday last week, the subject was not raised as it was not received officially. The meeting was attended by an American delegation, which asked to lift the ban completely on importing beef from the US, as Kuwait has currently banned the import of beef from two states in America.

MEXICO CITY: Kuwaiti Ambassador Samih Jowhar Hayyat and other dignitaries at the opening of Asian Cultural Festival.

Asian Cultural Festival opens in Mexico MEXICO CITY: Kuwaiti Ambassador to Mexico, Samih Jowhar Hayyat, has inaugurated the First Asian Cultural Festival in the Mexican capital. The opening ceremony was attended by several Mexican ministers, senior officials, public figures, intellectuals, journal-

ists and businesspeople. Ambassadors of Asian, Arab and non-Arab countries participated in the ceremony. Hayyat, head of accredited Asian ambassadors in Mexico, said the fourday festival is meant to promote Asian culture and traditions among Mexican

people. Marcelo Luis Ebrard, Head of Government of the Federal District and Mayor of Mexico City, said the festival will help to bolster Mexican-Asian ties and acquaint Mexicans with Asian cultures.


KUWAIT: Jahra Municipality cleaning department recently launched a wide scale cleaning campaign in blocks 1 to 13 of Kabd area. They removed 222 truck-loads of waste and carcasses, which required working morning and evening shifts to keep the Kuwaiti deserts clean. — Photos by Hanan Al-Saadoun

90 men, women caught at parties By Hanan Al-Saadoun

KUWAIT: After raiding various dens and places suspected to host illegal parties, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) investigations and vice department arrested over 90 persons. The MoI recently launched several inspection campaigns in Ahmadi and Hawally, security sources said. The campaigns resulted in the arrest of both men and women, the majority of whom were heavily intoxicated. Road accidents A 12-year-old Syrian sustained various bone fractures all over when a speeding vehicle knocked him over while crossing Gulf Road, said security sources noting that the boy was rushed to Mubarak Al-Kabeer ICU in critical condition. Three citizens, aged between 19 and 22 years old, were injured in a road accident in Kabd said security sources, noting that the three were rushed to Farwaniya Hospital for treatment. A 22-year-old non-Kuwaiti broke his right leg in a traffic accident along Salmi highway, security sources said. Three senior citizens, an Indian and two 60-year-old Kuwaitis, sustained minor injuries when their vehicles collided in Shamiya, said security sources noting that the three were taken to the Amiri Hospital for treatment. A 22-year-old Lebanese male sustained head and neck injuries and a 19-year-old Syrian teenager dislodged his right shoulder when their vehicles collided in Salmiya. Five people were injured in a collision on the Sixth Ring Road, said security sources, noting that the injured were taken to Mubarak and Farwaniya Hospitals for treatment.

Cafes ‘fertile soil for crimes’ KUWAIT: MP Mohammad Hayef said many cafes have become a place for immoral acts, without supervision or legal action to stop such acts. He said they have become fertile soil for crimes like drugs, fighting and murder. He refused the administrative ease by Government organizations in applying the law, which are supposed to prevent such cafes in markets and public places. He added that official leaders have great responsibility to apply the law. Contrary to that, they are partners in the crime and the continuation of such immoral acts. He disclosed that shortly a law will be passed through which officials, including undersecretaries, can be held accountable. Hayef said he considers any official or leader who does not apply the law to be a corrupt person and participating in making laws useless. He said some of the officials themselves participate in corrupt parties and sit in the back seats at those places.

Two Asians in police net for trading in drugs Man rapes underage girl KUWAIT: A Bangladeshi and a Pakistani were arrested on charges of possessing hashish and heroin. Sources said information was received about two Pakistani expatriates trading in drugs. They were kept under supervision. One of them was approached by an undercover agent to ask for three joints of hashish at KD 160. The man was arrested at delivery time. After searching his house in Salmiya, police found half a kilogram of hashish. The second suspect was arrested at Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh. The Bangladeshi expatriate was arrested after selling an undercover agent two joints of heroin at KD 150. After searching his house, police found 19 joints of heroin hidden inside the washing machine. He confessed that he was working for an inmate in the Central Jail. Sexual assault Ahmadi governorate Public Prosecution Department ordered the arrest of a Kuwaiti man in his twenties for sexual assault. An underage girl reported to Qurain police station that during three days she was a guest at his family house in Qurain, he sexually assaulted her. The girl, who was accompanied by her mother, told police that she got acquainted with the young men and he told her that he was in love with her. He asked her to accompany him to become acquainted with his sick mother. She said out of love and his promise that he wanted to marry her, she accompanied him to the house. But no one was in the house. Suddenly the man became a beast and raped her, she claimed. He detained her for three days. Police checked and verified that the house was empty and a case was filed. Rape attempt An Arab women reported to Hawally police accusing a salesman of Arab nationality of attempted rape. She said the man, who works in a clothing show room, offered her KD 20 to not report him. She said she entered the showroom to buy some clothes, and went inside the fitting room. She was surprised to see him follow her inside the room, but the door did not lock properly. He tried to rape her, but she started shouting. He got a KD 20 note out of his pocket and asked her to forgive him. She took the KD 20 and kept it with her

to prove the case against him. Vice den raided Mahboula police raided a place used for multiple crimes, including illegal international calls and prostitution. Three expatriate women and two men were arrested, along with some communications equipment. Valuables stolen A Syrian expat working as teacher reported to Abu Hlaifa police accusing unknown thieves of stealing KD 8,000, and jewelry belonging to his wife estimated at a value at KD 1,500. In addition, three passports for himself, his wife and their infant child was taken. He did not accuse anyone in particular, saying that the stolen things were in his bed room. A case was filed. Rent stolen A Kuwaiti man reported to Jleeb AlShuyoukh police that the guard in his building was approached by three unknown persons who entered his room and accused him of working for others. They said he was in violation of the residency law. Then they stole from him the rent he had collected from residents in the building, amounting to KD 1,800. A case was filed. Kuwaiti wife beaten A Kuwaiti woman reported to police that she was beaten hard by her Kuwaiti husband due to a dispute that hap-

pened between them late last night. She supported her claim with a medical report. Poachers caught A raid carried out on Salmi Road resulted in the arrest of six Kuwaiti men, who were found in possession of the hunting gun ‘shozen’. They were sent to the concerned parties. Livestock thieves Jahra police arrested seven Bangladeshi expatriates who specialized in stealing livestock from barns located in the desert next to Naseem. Salon complaint The owner of a beauty salon reported to Khaitan police accusing two unknown women of repeatedly coming to the salon and threatening the girls working there. The women asked for the IDs and health papers of the employees. When the owner asked for the official papers of the two women, they refused and said they carried no identity cards. Tires stolen A Kuwaiti woman reported to Sabah Al-Salem police that unknown persons stole the tires and tire rings from the German car belonging to her daughter. She told police that as her daughter was on her way to the university, she was surprised to see her new German car standing on stones and the four tires were stolen.

Morocco boosts cultural relations with Kuwait GENEVA: Morocco is keen to boost cultural ties with Kuwait and an initiative is being formulated to achieve this goal, the Moroccan Minister of Culture said yesterday. Speaking at the 26th Geneva International Fair for books and press, Muhammad Amin Sbihi said Kuwaiti cultural relations are unique and historical, noting that both nations are planning to expand such ties in the near future. In regards to the cultural scene in his country, the Moroccan Minister affirmed that the new Moroccan constitution encourages cultural diversity, noting that the educational curriculum in Morocco makes sure that the younger generations will be informed about other cultures. He said the current situation in Morocco helps spread the culture of democracy, which is now heavily supported by the state. The Arab Spring had its impact on the Arab world, said Sbihi, stressing that its positive impact on Morocco helped to expand freedoms in several domains, including culture and heritage. —KUNA


New move to ease protests Lawmakers campaign against Twitter abuse KUWAIT: Islamists in Kuwait, stepping up pressure in their battle to have social networks monitored, have called for a massive rally tomorrow. The call was reportedly prompted by the posting of a new message on Twitter targeting Aisha, the wife of Prophet Mohammad [PBUH]. Kuwaitis said that Abdullah Khalaf, a stateless Arab who had moved to London to work for Yasser Al Habeeb, the self-exiled religious figure whose Kuwaiti nationality was revoked for his attacks on the relatives and companions of Prophet Mohammad [PBUH]. The rally is a message against those who use the networks to abuse Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] and his relatives and companions, the Islamists, including several lawmakers, said. “It seems that some people have not really drawn lessons from what happened to those who insult the Prophet or his family or his companions,” MPs Waleed Al-Tabtabai and Musallam Al-Barrak said. “We need a strong mobilization to address this matter. The interior minister has been requested to take action against those who posted the abusive remarks,” they said. Al-Tabtabai said that the interior minister informed him that the security agencies are exerting efforts to locate the person behind the insults. The use of social networks has slid into deep controversy in Kuwait following the posting of

remarks that targeted religious icons and seemed to be part of an expanding sectarian standoff. Authorities in Kuwait last week said that they planned to regulate the use of social networking as a move to ease protests prompted by cases of alleged blasphemy and ominous sectarianism. Sunni and Shiite MPs clashed over a draft law that would make insulting God or Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] punishable by death. Several Kuwaitis have expressed concerns that social networks are being used not just to share gossip and advertise events, but also to promote political and sectarian agendas. A Sunni writer has been sentenced to seven years in jail and a heavy fine for insulting Shiites on Twitter while a Shiite was

Stage ready for urban development meeting KUWAIT: Preparations are in full swing for Municipal Management and Urban Development for Sustainability of Arab Cities, the Director-General of Kuwait Municipality said yesterday. Ahmed Al-Subeih said the conference is being organized by Kuwait Municipality and UN-HABITAT in Kuwait city for three days from May 7 to 9. He added the conference will be co-chaired by Kuwaiti Minister of Electricity and Water, Abdulaziz Al-Ibrahim. The Kuwait Municipality chief said 70 research papers have been presented to the conference, representing 17 countries from the four corners of the globe. The conference will focus on the following themes: local urban governance and urban planning; affordable housing, slum upgrading and urban regeneration; urban economy, urban labor market and youth employment; and climate change, urban energy and mobility. The conference is considered a preparatory meeting for Arab states for the WUF6 that will take place in Naples in Italy from Sept 1 to 7. It will also discuss Arab States directions towards sustainable urban Development, prior to the United Nations Conference for Sustainable Urban Development scheduled to take place this June in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The conference will mark the launch of the first report on the State of Arab Cities 2012. The report is the first attempt by UN-HABITAT and the Arab Towns Organization, supported by the Government of Kuwait, to document urban trends in Arab cities and present a snapshot of Arab cities demographic, social, economic, environmental, physical and housing conditions (within sub-regional contexts). It also provides an analysis of recent Arab uprisings within national and local governance contexts, and marks the potentials and merits of Arab cities within regional and international integration prospects. — KUNA

arrested for allegedly insulting Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] on Twitter. Sheikh Mohammad Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, the information minister, last week said that the government was in the process of estab-

lishing laws that will allow competent agencies to regulate the use of the different new media outlets, including social networks, in order to maintain and reinforce national unity. — Agencies


KUWAIT: The National Security College completed a scientific seminar organized by the Strategic Studies Institute under the title of “Fighting electronic crimes”. The seminar lasted for three days under the patronage of First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Sheikh Ahmed Al- Humoud.

Arab officials urge Syria govt to halt violence Full support for UN mission CAIRO: Arab foreign ministers called on the Syrian government to halt immediately all forms of violence and killing and ensure freedom of demonstration and respond to the peoples’ aspirations. The ministers, at conclusion of their extraordinary session, held till late hours of the past night, affirmed in their statement necessity of full abidance by all Arab League resolutions related to the Syrian crisis. They affirmed full support for mission of Kofi Annan, the joint envoy of the Arab League and the United nations, on basis of a specific timetable, urged the Syrian government to literally and immediately implement Annan’s plan and honors its obligations, outlined in the Security Council Resolution Number 2042. Meanwhile, Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah left the Egyptian capital yesterday concluding a visit during which he participated in the extraordinary session of Arab foreign ministers. The permanent delegate at the Arab League, Ambassador Jamal Al-Ghnem, and charge D’affaires, Mohammad AlMohammad, bid farewell to Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled at the airport. The Arab ministers urged the Security Council to speed up deployment of the international observers on the Syrian territories in line with the council resolution, and called on the government in Damascus to facilitate stationing of the observers and allowing them to move freely in the country, according to the timing they choose. They stressed that this government should not dictate conditions to obstruct mission of the observers and called for guarantees to ensure that the government would not punish or exert pressure on individuals, or their families, who may hold contact with the UN team or present them with information or testimonies. Moreover, they condemned continuing violence targeting the Syrian civilians, called on all parties of the conflict to stop all armed actions, violations of human rights, urged for ensur-

ing delivery of humanitarian aid for those in need and cooperating with Annan for implementation of his plan. They affirmed necessity of pursuing the Arab and international efforts to ensure delivery of urgent aid for the civilians, in coordination with the international and Arab organizations. And, they decided to task the Secretariat General of the Arab Legaue and relevant ministerial councils to present social and psychological aid to those who were traumatized with the violence, namely children, young girls and women, who have taken up refuge in makeshift refugee camps in neighboring countries. They assigned the Secretary General to call on all opposition parties to hold a meeting at the league headquarters, in May, to follow up on outcome of the conference of Syria’s friends, that was held in Tunisia and Istanbul. Furthermore, the foreign ministers urged the Arab states to abide by the league resolutions, namely respecting boycott of the Syrian regime. On the UAE islands, the ministers affirmed Abu Dhabi’s sovereignty on Abu Moussa, Greater and Lesser Tunbs, and expressed support for any peaceful measures that might be taken by the UAE to reclaim them. They condemned the Iranian government moves to consolidate its occupation of the three islands, in violation of the UAE sovereignty, posing a threat to the regional stability and security, as well as the peace and security of the whole world. The Arab officials condemned recent visit by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Abu Moussa in blatant breach of the UAE sovereignty, labeling the move as a provocative act that would not help in building confidence and threatens regional security and stability, as well as regional and international maritime navigation. They urged Iran to take positive steps to try rebuild its strained ties with the Arab states. On Sudan, they called on South Sudan to respect the borders with North Sudan and rejected label of Hjeilej as a disputed region. — KUNA

GCC boasts youth potential MANAMA: Kuwaiti Ambassador in Bahrain, Sheikh Azzam Mubarak AlSabah, said yesterday that Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states enjoy great youth potential that ideally should be utilized.

Speaking at a luncheon for a Gulf motorcycle team, the Kuwaiti ambassador said: “The youth potential in the GCC countries is so great that it should be utilized in a way that will serve society.”

He also called for enabling Gulf youths to play a role in their society, and to highlight their own issues. Sheikh Azzam said such activities will contribute to enriching the skills and talents of youth. —KUNA

Mother may be allowed to own housing unit KUWAIT: The Housing authority is studying a legal solution to enable a mother to own the housing unit in which she lives after the death of her husband and the last one of her children gets housing care, instead of living on lease basis as is currently the law. State Minister for Housing, Shuaib AlMuwaizri, gave his instructions to study this matter, and report back to his office to find out methods of executing it in reality. Sources said that the legal affairs department is currently studying issuing a ministerial decision which enables a mother to own the housing unit in which she lives.

Arab diplomats’ visit to Scotland ‘successful’ EDINBURGH: Kuwaiti Ambassador to Britain, Khaled Al-Duwaisan, hailed the outcome of a recent tour by Arab diplomats to Scotland as successful. Al-Duwaisan, also the dean of the Arab and foreign diplomatic corps in the UK, headed the team of Arab diplomats on an official three-day visit to Edinburgh and Glascow. AlDuwaisan affirmed in a statement at a banquet, held by First Minister Alex Salmond to honor the eminent Arab guests, the keenness of Scottish officials to cement ties with the Arab world and support Arab causes. He said the visit was part of the efforts by Arab states to strengthen cooperation with Scotland, considering its political and economic weight in the United Kingdom. Both the Arabs and the Scots are keen to expand the scope of mutual cooperation in the trade and cultural sectors, he said, noting that the two sides are pondering the prospect of dispatching Arab students to Scottish universities. The Arab diplomats toured the two cities, met the mayors and attended a session of the Scottish parliament. —KUNA


Top Qaeda bomb maker resurfaces


Mother and 3 children gunned down in Iraq


MI6 denies cover-up in British ‘spy-in-bag’ case


DAMASCUS: A Syrian forensic expert examines human remains gathered from the site of a blast in the central Midan district of Damascus yesterday. — AFP

Suicide bomber kills 11 in Syria Thousands protest, bombs rock Damascus DAMASCUS: Tens of thousands protested across Syria yesterday as a deadly suicide bombing rocked the capital, killing 11 people and fuelling growing skepticism over the prospects of a UN-backed peace plan. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said three people, including a child, were killed as regime forces opened fire to disperse protests. “Tens of thousands of people protested yesterday in various areas of the country,” Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based group said. He said one protester was killed in the village Daf Al-Shok in Damascus province. Another died in the Sakhur district of northern Aleppo, Syria’s second city, and the child was killed in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor. Three members of the security forces and a deserter were also killed in other clashes across the country, the Syrian Observatory said. At least 11 people died and 28 were wounded in the Damascus bomb blast which hit as worshippers were leaving weekly Muslim prayers at nearby Zein Al-Abidin mosque in the central Midan district, state television said. The report blamed “terrorists,” the term used by President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime to refer to the armed opposition, and said civilians and security force members were among the casualties.

Television footage broadcast gruesome images, including a severed hand and leg. The official SANA news agency reported the interior ministry as saying “it will not tolerate the armed terrorist groups and vowed to strike with an iron fist those who are terrorizing citizens.” A separate blast hit an industrial zone of Damascus where there were no reports of casualties, but three security agents were wounded in an explosion in the coastal city of Banias, the Observatory said. Assad’s regime has repeatedly blamed “armed terrorist groups” for the violence, and for failing to abide by a putative ceasefire that went into force on April 12. But UN chief Ban Kimoon said the regime was in contravention of a sixpoint peace deal by keeping troops and heavy weapons in urban areas, and expressed alarm about reports of population centers being shelled. More than 9,000 people have died since a popular uprising erupted against Assad’s regime in March 2011, the UN says, while non-governmental groups put the figure at more than 11,100. Opposition figure Walid Al-Bunni said the accord drawn up by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan was likely to fail because it obliges Syria to allow free

demonstrations. “If the Annan plan which provides for peaceful demonstrations is applied, millions of Syrians will take to the streets and the regime will fall,” he said in Cairo. Syria’s exiled Muslim Brotherhood urged Ban to acknowledge that Damascus had failed to honor the peace plan and to suspend its UN membership. “We ask Ban Ki-moon to announce that Assad’s government has failed to honor the peace plan and to declare the plan finished... at a time when dozens of innocent people are dying,” the group said in a statement issued in Britain. It also called for “the freezing of Syria’s membership in the international organization, until a transitional government that represents the Syrian people’s will is established.” Ban himself yesterday, during a visit to New Delhi, reiterated his alarm at the continuing violence in Syria on each day since the truce, saying it was a clear contravention of the government’s commitments under the Annan plan. “The continued repression of the civilian population is totally unacceptable. It must stop immediately. The government of Syria must live up to its promises to the world,” he said. The shaky truce is to be monitored by 300 UN

observers due to arrive in Syria in the coming weeks. A small advance team is already on the ground, and the numbers will be doubled to 30 by month’s end, according to a UN official. The UN yesterday appointed Norway’s Major General Robert Mood to head the monitoring force. Mood, 54, knows Damascus well and was there to negotiate conditions for the advance team. Western nations have expressed strong doubts that the observers will be able to work, however, and the United States has already warned it may not renew the mission’s initial three-month mandate. The US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, said the Security Council must be ready to order sanctions if Syria flouts its commitments. NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in Italy that Syria was not respecting the Annan peace plan, but added: “We have no intention to intervene in Syria. We believe the right way forward is to ensure a political, peaceful solution.” Meanwhile the UN refugee agency (UNHCR)’s Syria Regional Refugee Response web page says there are 65,070 Syrian refugees in neighboring countries-49,193 of whom have registered and 15,877 others who are waiting to do so. — AFP


South Sudan border oil brings bombs, not blessings BENTIU: Despite a dozen years of oil extraction in South Sudan’s Unity state, the capital Bentiu has little to show for it. Donkeys drag carts bearing oil drums filled with water around the dusty, litter-strewn streets and evenings hum with private electricity generators and occasional gunfire. “There’s no benefit to Bentiu. We’re still drinking water from the river,” said David Biphal, sitting at tea stand near a scratched out picture of Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir. A dusty town some 80 km from the contested Sudanese border, Bentiu has, like much of South Sudan, never seen any development. Instead, nine months after South Sudan separated from the rest of Sudan to form a new country, the area is now seeing air strikes from Sudanese planes. At least two people were killed on Monday when a bomb was dropped on a large market near Bentiu, and 10 people have been killed by other air strikes in the Bentiu area since April 14, South Sudan officials say. Residents here say they have seen no benefit from oil because it all flows north through Sudan. “The North is taking all the petrol through the

pipeline. We’re still poor and have no roads,” said Biphal. Since South Sudan split away from Sudan last July, the two have been at loggerheads over how much Juba should pay to export its crude through pipelines in Sudan. Oil talks have fallen apart and fighting erupted at the disputed border three weeks ago, raising concern the conflict could spill into all-out war. For people in Bentiu, even before

the latest flare-up, the prized resource has not provided the most basic of necessities. “I have never seen any benefits from the oil field,” said Ruach Rueth, straddling his donkey-drawn water cart. Some critics of South Sudan’s authorities blame corruption in the newly independent capital Juba for the failure to develop towns like Bentiu. They point out that the South Sudan regional government

YIDA: A displaced woman and her child from the Nuba Mountains wait outside the Yida refugee camp registration center in Yida, South Sudan. — AFP

Blasts kill 9 Iraqis Mother, 3 children gunned down BAGHDAD: Twin explosions ripped through a crowded cafe northeast of Baghdad, killing nine people and wounding 21, Iraqi officials said yesterday. The attack late Thursday in the village of Garma, near the city of Baqouba in Diyala province, came a week after a series of blasts killed dozens in the capital and across the country. An interior ministry official and a local police officer said a suicide car bomber set off the first explosion outside the packed cafe. A few minutes later, another bomb went off inside the cafe, they said. Iraqis often go out on Thursday evenings, which mark the start of the Muslim weekend that falls on FridaySaturday, flocking to cafes, restaurants and parks. A medic at the Baqouba general hospital confirmed the toll.

Baqouba, the provincial capital of Diyala, is 60 kilometers northeast of Baghdad. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. Although the level of violence in Iraq is nowhere near where it was five years ago, when the country almost descended into civil war, deadly attacks are still common. Meanwhile, a Sunni mother and her three children were shot dead in an apparent sectarian attack in a village in central Iraq, after twin bombings killed eight people, mostly Shiites, police said yesterday. “Unknown gunmen broke into a house in the village of Abu Garma and killed a 45-year-old woman and her three children,” who were between 10 and 15 years old, Lieutenant Colonel

Ahmed Al-Karkhi said. The attack with silenced weapons probably occurred between 3:00 and 4:00 am yesterday, he said, adding the bodies were found about 9:00 am by a family member. A police lieutenant colonel involved in the investigation said the attack might have a sectarian motive, and could lead to further violence. “Most of those killed in the two attacks on Thursday were Shiite, and the family killed later was Sunni,” he said. “It seems like a sectarian incident, and there is a risk that it might lead to more sectarian violence in the area.” Karkhi said a suicide car bombing near a cafe in Abu Garma on Thursday followed by another bombing inside it as the casualties were being carried out killed eight people and wounded 18 others. — Agencies

Top Qaeda bomb maker resurfaces WASHINGTON: When a drone strike killed one of the leaders of Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen last year, US intelligence officials thought they also had wiped out the terrorist group’s top bomb maker. Soon it became apparent that Ibrahim Hassan Al-Asiri, the brains behind sophisticated bombs that have been used in attempts to attack the US, was still alive. Al-Asiri went underground, knowing the US was after him, particularly after the US killed Anwar AlAwlaki, one of the Yemen group’s top leaders. But US counterterrorism officials say he has resurfaced. They worry he might be at work doing what he does best: building bombs that could defeat airline security, The Associated Press has learned. While the intelligence community sees no credible or specific threat related to the one-year anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death, counterterrorism officials remain anxious about the Yemen

group plotting attacks and aren’t taking any chances. The group, known as Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has been a major threat since 2009, when one of its adherents with a bomb in his underwear tried to bring down a Detroit-bound jetliner on Christmas Day. In the past six months, counterterrorism officials have seen an uptick in intelligence about potential threats from the group, according to an intelligence official speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information. The US just recently changed its rules so that it can conduct more drone strikes in Yemen. The terror group twice has tried to attack US-bound flights and is considered the most dangerous Al-Qaeda affiliate, recruiting Westerners. Al-Asiri constructed the bombs that were used in the attempted attacks. Last year, the US designated Al-Asiri as a terrorist for his suspected involvement in terror attacks. — AP

received tens of billions of dollars in oil money under a pre-independence deal in place from 2006-11. It is not a sentiment you will hear often here, where most people blame Khartoum for their woes. Some threequarters of the two countries’ combined oil reserves are located in South Sudan, but the only ports are to the north. In January, after Sudan seized a portion of the South’s oil to compensate for what it called unpaid transit fees, the Juba government shut down its 350,000-barrel per day production. “Oil is a good thing, but our neighbor wants to grab everything. They don’t have oil in their country but they want to benefit from this oil,” explains John Jal who runs a market where sunlight through coke bottles filled with petrol casts an amber glow. During the peace negotiations that ended their two-decade civil war, a 50-50 split of oil revenues provided an incentive for both Sudans to reach a peace deal. Talks continued after southern secession, but the oil production shutdown since January has left little cash to grease the wheels of peace. — Reuters


in brief

Anti-police rally DUBAI: Thousands of Bahrainis demonstrated yesterday against police repression, witnesses said, after the Gulf kingdom insisted it respects the right to protest and that its security forces intervene only when demonstrations turn violent. The march called by the main Shiite opposition group Al-Wefaq took place west of the capital Manama under the slogan “Democracy unites us,” they said. Some demonstrators called for the departure of Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa, the uncle of King Hamad and Bahrain’s premier since independence from Britain in 1971. Late on Thursday, in response to US State Department concerns, the foreign ministry said that Bahrain “authorizes the peaceful expression of opinion within the constitution and the law.” “The security forces exercise maximum restraint even though they are regularly the target of acts of violence,” it said in a statement. “But these forces reserve the right to take necessary measures in the face of any escalation in violence.” Four bombs explode KIEV: Four bombs planted in rubbish bins exploded in the Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk yesterday at short intervals, injuring up to 14 people, authorities said. President Viktor Yanukovich said the bomb blasts were “a challenge ... to the whole country.” The first blast occurred at a tram stop at 11:50 am, injuring five people. The second explosion came 30 minutes later next to a cinema, injuring seven people, the Emergencies Ministry said in a statement. The third blast followed shortly afterwards next to a park, injuring 2 people, it said. It was unclear whether there were any injuries from the fourth explosion which also took place in the downtown area. Police said the blasts had been caused by explosive devices planted in trash bins. Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko immediately left for Dnipropetrovsk to head an investigation, police said. “No-one has been detained yet,” a police spokesman said. Authorities offered no immediate explanation of any motive or say who they thought could be behind the bombs.


ECOWAS to send troops to Mali, Guinea-Bissau ABIDJAN: West African leaders have decided to send troops to coup-hit Mali and Guinea-Bissau to support their return to civilian rule and demanded coup leaders “return to barracks” in both countries. At an extraordinary summit in Ivory Coast, the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) also said the two countries must prepare for legislative and presidential elections within a year. Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, current head of ECOWAS, pledged a firm response to the instability “to prevent our sub-region from giving into terrorism and transnational criminality”. “The safety of Europe and of the United States now starts in the Sahel and the Gulf of Guinea,” Ouattara said. The coup in Mali on March 22 allowed Tuareg separatist rebels and

armed Islamist groups, including alQaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, to take control of an area roughly the size of France in the remote desert north. The troops would help with Mali’s transition and “deal with any eventuality in the event of use of force for the recovery of the territorial integrity of Mali”, said ECOWAS commission chief Desire Kadre Ouedraogo. ECOWAS did not say troops would be sent to fight in the north of Mali. “We expect negotiations first,” said Ouedraogo. He said the first contingent would help ensure a safe transition but that, if talks failed, the deployment of combat troops would not be ruled out. Regarding Mali’s transitional government, “the heads of state and government decided that the transition period should last 12 months”, followed by presidential and legislative

elections, said ECOWAS. In a warning to the coup leaders, the grouping urged them to “return to barracks” and refrain from arbitrary and unilateral actions. Under an agreement between the bloc and the junta, the soldiers have handed power to a civilian government. But Ouedraogo warned that, despite the deal, “the junta still retains autocratic leanings”. ECOWAS also insisted that the toppled president, Amadou Toumani Toure, has the right to return home from exile in Senegal. Turning to Guinea-Bissau-a politically volatile country and drug trafficking hub between South America and EuropeECOWAS decided to deploy troops with immediate effect following its April 12 coup. They gave the junta 72 hours to accept the decision or face diplomat-

ic, economic and financial sanctions, a final statement said, also threatening prosecution before the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Nigeria, Togo, Ivory Coast and Senegal will provide between “500 and 600 men” to be sent to GuineaBissau, said Ouedraogo. The force, to be led by Barro Gnibanga of Burkina Faso, is to “facilitate the withdrawal of Angola’s technical and military assistance mission from Guinea-Bissau, help in securing the transition process” and prepare the reform of the defense and security sector, said the statement. ECOWAS also called for the immediate and unconditional release of Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior and interim President Raimundo Pereira, who were arrested during the coup, staged ahead of a run-off presidential election. — AFP

MI6 denies cover-up in British ‘spy-in-bag’ case Agency apologizes for slow response

NICE: An employee of a fashion shop, sets out tee shirts representing candidates for the 2012 French presidential election, France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy (right) and Francois Hollande, of the Socialist Party, in Nice. — AP

Hollande toughens immigration stance PARIS: French Socialist presidential frontrunner Francois Hollande toughened his stance on immigration yesterday in a campaign increasingly fought on themes dear to the far right. Hollande will face right-wing Nicolas Sarkozy in a May 6 runoff for the presidency, and both are scrambling to recruit voters who backed far-right anti-immigrant candidate Marine Le Pen in the first round. Sarkozy has gone the furthest to reach out to the former pariah, insisting that her values are not incompatible with France’s republican tradition, and vowing to secure Europe’s borders and fight multiculturalism. But first-round winner Hollande, attacked by the right for his plan to give foreign residents the vote in local elections, has come under pressure to clarify his stance on immigration and citizenship ahead of a debate next week. Le Pen did well in Sunday’s first-round among white working class voters who might once have backed the left and in a radio interview yesterday the Socialist candidate made a concession to their concerns. “In the period of crisis we are going through, limiting economic immigration is necessary and essential,” he told RTL radio. “I also want to fight illegal immigration on the economic front. It is not right that a certain number of employers, in a cynical way, are hiring illegal migrants,” he said. Hollande repeated a pledge to ask parliament to cap the number of migrants allowed into France every year-Sarkozy has vowed to halve the number to around 100,000 — but warned it would never halt the flow. “I don’t think there will ever be zero immigration, there will always be legal immigration. Can we reduce the number? That’s a debate,” he said. Sarkozy and his UMP party have said there will be no electoral deal with Le Pen’s National Front before a parliamentary vote in June, but Sarkozy defended his outreach program to win over her supporters. Insisting there was no contradiction in going after centrist voters who backed Francois Bayrou in the first round and those of Le Pen, Sarkozy said people across the spectrum shared his concerns about open borders. — AFP

LONDON: Britain’s MI6 foreign intelligence service has denied that the mysterious death of one of its agents whose naked body was found in a padlocked bag had anything to do with his work or that it had covered the episode up. The decomposing body of Gareth Williams, 31, was found in August 2010 inside a red sports bag in his bathtub at his central London flat, a week after he had failed to show up to work. A lawyer for his family has said it was their belief that “a member of some agency specializing in the dark arts of the secret services” was involved in removing evidence related to his death, stoking media speculation that he was murdered by foreign spies. But in testimony given from behind a screen to protect her identity at his inquest, an MI6 employee known only as “F” said there was no evidence to suggest the agency was involved in a cover-up of Williams’ death or that his death was work-related. “There was no reason to think his death was in any way connected to his work,” the witness said. Nor, she added, was there any evidence that Williams’ identity as an MI6 officer had been discovered by any foreign agencies. Williams, a mathematics prodigy on a three-year secondment from the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in western England, did technical work for MI6. His role was to “think up and design technology that could be used by others” in his four-person team, said “F”. He had successfully completed a training course for conducting operations within Britain, but was still involved in relatively low-risk activities, she added. AN APOLOGY Williams’ body was discovered inside his Pimlico flat on Aug. 23 two years ago. He had been scheduled to attend a work meeting on Aug 16 but did not show up, and there were several other meetings

that week that he had been expected to attend but did not. If normal agency procedures had been carried out, “F” said that action would have been taken within two to four hours after he had failed to show up for work. “It took far too long,” she said. “There are chains of steps one can take upon non-arrival within the second hour.” She added: “We are very sorry for that.” Witness “F” said he understood that the delay in finding Williams’ body had made it more difficult for his family to come to terms with his death. As far as she knew, there had been no disciplinary action taken against anyone responsible for the delay in the discovery of the body, she said. Williams’ death has puzzled investi-

gators, who have struggled to understand how he ended up in the bag, which also contained keys that would have unlocked its padlock. There were no signs of a struggle. On Tuesday, Jackie Sebire, a detective on Williams’ case, testified she believed someone had helped him get into the bag. Specks of unknown DNA were found on it. Inside the flat, police also found women’s clothing and make-up. Witness “F” said Williams’ job did not require him to dress in women’s clothing. The inquest heard on Wednesday that several years earlier, he had been found tied to his bed at his lodgings unable to free himself. He told his landlady at the time he had wanted to see if he could free himself. — Reuters

LONDON: CCTV image shows Gareth Williams at Holland Park Tube station in London on August 14 2010. — AP


Victims of cyberbullying fight back in US lawsuits ATLANTA: When a Georgia middle school student reported to police and school officials that she had been bullied on Facebook, they told her there was not much they could do because the harassment occurred off campus. So the 14-year-old girl, Alex Boston, is using a somewhat novel strategy to fight back: She’s slapping her two classmates with a libel lawsuit. As states consider or pass cyberbullying laws in reaction to high-profile cases around the country, attorneys and experts say many of the laws aren’t strong enough, and lawsuits such as this one are bound to become more commonplace. “A lot of prosecutors just don’t

have the energy to prosecute 13year-olds for being mean,” said Parry Aftab, an attorney and child advocate who runs “Parents are all feeling very frustrated, and they just don’t know what to do.” Almost every state has a law or other policy prohibiting cyberbullying, but very few cover intimidation outside of school property. Alex, who agreed to be identified to raise awareness about cyberbullying, remembers the mean glances and harsh words from students when she arrived at her suburban Atlanta middle school. She didn’t know why she was being badgered until she discovered the phony Facebook page.

It was her name and information, though her profile picture was doctored to make her face appear bloated. The page suggested Alex smoked marijuana and spoke a made-up language called “Retardish.” It was also set up to appear that Alex had left obscene comments on other friends’ pages, made frequent sexual references and posted a racist video. The creators also are accused of posting derogatory messages about Alex. “I was upset that my friends would turn on me like that,” she told The Associated Press. “I was crying. It was hard to go to school the next day.” Alex learned of the phony page a year ago and told her parents, who

US House passes cyber bill despite veto threat Senate Democrats back broader cyber bill WASHINGTON: The US House of Representatives have passed a cybersecurity bill that would allow the government and companies to share information about hacking, but which has raised privacy concerns and a veto threat from the White House. The House approved the bill 248168, prompting the top Republican and Democrat on the intelligence committee who sponsored it to issue a joint statement lauding the bipartisan approval. “Economic cyber spies will have a harder time stealing American business plans and research and development as the House took the first step today by passing a cybersecurity bill that will help US companies better protect themselves from dangerous economic predators,” the statement said. The legislation allows federal agencies such as the National Security Agency, an intelligence agency that eavesdrops overseas and protects classified US government computer networks, to share secret cyber threat information with American companies to help the private sector protect its networks. Critics had raised privacy concerns that the sharing in return of “threat information” from private network operators to the government was so broad as to allow the NSA to effectively collect data on American communications, which is generally prohibited by law. House intelligence committee chairman Mike Rogers and senior Democrat CA “Dutch” Ruppersberger said changes had been made to the legislation to strengthen privacy provisions, and that Facebook, the US Chamber of Commerce, Boeing, AT&T and others had supported it. “We can’t stand by and do nothing as US companies are hemorrhaging from the cyber looting coming from nation states like China and Russia,” Rogers said. But amendments favored by engineering experts and civil rights advocates were not adopted. The legislation would still allow the information from private companies to be used for intelligence and national security purposes, not just cybersecurity. The House bill would essentially override “important provisions of electronic surveillance law without instituting corresponding privacy, confidentiality, and civil liberties safeguards,” the White House said in a statement Wednesday. “The bill would allow broad sharing of information with governmental entities without establishing requirements for both industry and the government to minimize and protect personally identifiable information.” The administration also faulted the bill’s grants of broad immunity from privacy and antitrust lawsuits to the private companies that share threat information with the government and with corporate competitors. The outlook for the House legislation in the current form is uncertain. It matches up with a Senate bill introduced by Republican John McCain,

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walk on the South Lawn at the White House to board Marine One yesterday. — AFP but Democrats, who control the chamber, are aligned behind a broader bill authored by Senator John Rockefeller and others. The White House strongly supports that bill, which has provisions that would allow the Department of Homeland Security to direct companies maintaining critical infrastructure, such as water and power utilities, to meet new standards. The American Civil Liberties Union said the House bill would allow companies to share private information with the government without a warrant and proper oversight. “Cybersecurity does not have to mean abdication of Americans’ online privacy. As we’ve seen repeatedly, once the government gets expansive national security authorities, there’s no going back. We encourage the Senate to let this horrible bill fade into obscurity,” Michelle Richardson, ACLU legislative counsel, said in a statement. — Reuters

soon contacted administrators at Palmer Middle School and filed a report with Cobb County Police. “At the time this report was taken in May 2011, we were not aware of any cyberbullying law on the books that would take her specific situation and apply it to Georgia law,” said Cobb County police spokesman Sgt Dana Pierce. Police encouraged the Boston family to report the fake account to Facebook. Alex’s family said despite requests to Facebook to take the page down, the company did not do so. The website was taken down around the time the lawsuit was filed a week ago. —AP

Texas man executed HUNTSVILLE: A Texas man condemned for a robbery in which three people were shot, one fatally, apologized to a woman who survived the 2002 attack and family members of the slain man before receiving a lethal injection Thursday. Beunka Adams said he was a stupid kid in a man’s body at the time of the crime, which started at a convenience store southeast of Dallas and ended in a remote area several miles away. “Everything that happened that night was wrong,” Adams, 29, said, as he stared at the death chamber ceiling, never looking at the people who gathered to watch his final moments. “If I could take it back, I would. ... I messed up and can’t take that back.” His death was carried out less than three hours after the US Supreme Court rejected a last-day appeal to postpone the execution, the fifth this year in Texas. Adams’ attorneys had asked the nation’s highest court to halt the lethal injection, review his case and let him pursue appeals claiming he had deficient legal help at his trial and during earlier stages of his appeals. He won a reprieve from a federal district judge earlier this week, but the Texas attorney general’s office appealed the ruling, and the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the death warrant Wednesday. Adams expressed love to his family Thursday and asked those witnessing his execution to avoid letting any hate they had for him consume them. “I really hate things turned out the way they did,” he said. “For everybody involved, I don’t think any good came out of it.” He took about a dozen breaths, then started to wheeze and snore. Eventually, he became still. He was pronounced dead at 6:25 pm CDT, nine minutes after the lethal drugs began to flow into his body. Adams and another man were sent to death row for the slaying of Kenneth Vandever, 37, who was in a convenience store on Sept 2, 2002, in Rusk, about 115 miles southeast of Dallas, when two men wearing masks walked in. The men announced a holdup; one of them was carrying a shotgun. After robbing the store, Adams and Richard Cobb, both from East Texas, drove off with the two female clerks and Vandever in a car belonging to one of the women. Testimony at Adams’ trial showed he gave the orders during the holdup and initiated the abductions. They drove to a remote area about 10 miles away in Cherokee County, where Adams ordered Vandever and one woman to get inside the car trunk and then raped the other woman. Testimony also showed he forced all three to kneel as they were shot. Vandever was fatally wounded. The women were kicked and shot again before Cobb and Adams, believing they were dead, fled. Both women were alive, however, and one was able to run to a house to summon help. “He asked for forgiveness and I forgive him, but he had to pay the consequences,” said one of the women, Nikki Ansley, referring to Adams after witnessing his execution. — AP


US Secret Service scandal widens to El Salvador WASHINGTON: The Secret Service said Thursday it is investigating explosive new allegations of misconduct in El Salvador, broadening a sex scandal that a US lawmaker said may lead to changes in how agents do their work abroad. A CBS broadcast affiliate in Seattle aired new accusations emerging from the Central American nation, where members of a presidential advance team one year ago reportedly were seen by a government subcontractor paying for sex at a strip club and taking escorts back to their hotel rooms. They are the latest claims to hit the presidential protection force still reeling from a Colombia sex scandal that saw eight agents dismissed, and follow revelations that three US Marines and a State Department employee were punished for

involvement with a prostitute in Brazil. “Right now they have begun to question supervisors that were on the ground, personnel attached to the embassy,” Representative Sheila Jackson Lee told CNN after a briefing with under-fire Secret Service director Mark Sullivan. “They have not completed an investigation, but they really need more facts and they really are seeking for anyone who would come forward.” The Secret Service sent a memo to members of Congress Thursday saying it was looking into the allegations, and any credible information “will be followed up on in an appropriate manner,” a congressional source told AFP. KIRO 7 Eyewitness News quoted a subcontractor who worked “exten-

sively” with the Secret Service advance team and some military specialists, and spent time with them at a popular San Salvador strip club days before President Barack Obama’s trip to the country in March 2011. “Our witness tells us he repeatedly saw the Secret Service agents exchange money for sexual favors within the club, and on at least two occasions, those agents took escorts back to their hotel rooms,” Chris Halsne, the investigative reporter who broke the story, said on CBS. He also said the club owner verified that Secret Service agents had been there that week. The White House was mum on the allegations. “I simply don’t have anything for you on that from here,” Obama spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. Asked whether the presi-

dent previously knew of the claims, he said: “I don’t know that any of us were aware of it until we read newspaper reports.” While the Pentagon is investigating 12 military personnel allegedly involved in the Colombia events, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said “there’s no investigation ongoing” regarding the El Salvador accusations. Two days earlier, he said three US Marines and an embassy staffer in Brazil “were severely punished” and sent home over an incident involving a prostitute, another potential black eye in the broadening scandal. The events in Colombia, where agents allegedly brought sex workers back to their hotel rooms in Cartagena, have brought deep embarrassment to the agency in an election year. — AFP

US: Mexico seized 68,000 guns from US since 2006 Mexico claims that US is responsible for arming cartels WASHINGTON: The government said Thursday that 68,000 guns recovered by Mexican authorities in the past five years have been traced back to the United States. The flood of tens of thousands of weapons underscores complaints from Mexico that the US is responsible for arming the drug cartels plaguing its southern neighbor. Six years of violence between warring cartels have killed more than 47,000 people in Mexico. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives released its latest data covering 2007 through 2011. According to ATF, many of the guns seized in Mexico and submitted to ATF for tracing were recovered at the scenes of cartel shootings while others were seized in raids on illegal arms caches. All the recovered weapons were suspected of being used in crimes in Mexico. At an April 2 North American summit in Washington, Mexican President Felipe Calderon said the US government has not done enough to stop the flow of assault weapons and other guns from the US to Mexico. Calderon credited President Barack Obama with making an effort to reduce the gun traffic, but said Obama faces “internal problems ... from a political point of view.” There is Republican opposition in Congress and broad opposition from Republicans and gun-rights advocates elsewhere to a new assault weapons ban or other curbs on gun sales. The Obama administration says it is working to tighten inspections of border checkpoints in the absence of an assault rifle ban that expired before Obama took office. For more than a year, ATF has been reeling from accusations that some of its agents in Arizona were ordered by superiors to step aside rather than intercept illicit loads of weapons

headed for Mexico. The Justice Department’s inspector general and Congress have been looking into the Arizona gun probe, Operation Fast and Furious. The issue of gun control legislation hasn’t been part of the Republican-led probe of Fast and Furious by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The number of all types of ATF-traced firearms manufactured in the US or imported into the US and later recovered in Mexico rose from 11,842 in 2007 to 14,504 in 2011, according to ATF. The figures for US-sourced firearms were 21,035 in 2008; 14,376 for 2009; and 6,404 in 2010. Included in those totals, the number of rifles recovered in Mexico, submitted to ATF for trac-

ing and found to have come from the US rose from 4,885 in 2007 to 8,804 last year. Mexican law enforcement officials report that certain types of rifles such as AK variants with detachable magazines are being used more frequently by drug trafficking organizations, ATF said in a news release. Mexico has provided ATF information on 99,691 guns. ATF determined that the source for 68,161 of the weapons was the U.S, 68 percent of the total. For the remainder, ATF was unable to determine a US source or was unable to trace the request to a country of origin. The 68 percent figure is down from estimates of 90 percent in years past when Mexico was sharing less information with the US. — AP

WASHINGTON: In this April 2, 2012 file photo, Mexican President Felipe Calderon participates in a joint news conference with President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington. — AP

LOS ANGELES: Rev Al Shapton speaks during a rally on behalf of the family of shooting victim Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman’s attorney is claiming that he was not aware of the money raised by a website that Zimmerman set up for his legal defense. — AP

Lawyer will disclose $200K at Zimmerman hearing ORLANDO: George Zimmerman’s attorney said his client’s bail might have been set higher if a judge had known about $200,000 raised by a website and that only came to light this week. Mark O’Mara said on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 that he only learned about the money Wednesday and will inform the judge. Zimmerman, who has been charged with second-degree murder in the Feb. 26 shooting of 17year-old Trayvon Martin, was released from jail this week after paying 10 percent of $150,000 bail. O’Mara told CNN late Thursday the money was raised by a website that Zimmerman set up for his legal defense. Yesterday’s hearing was initially scheduled to deal with several media organizations, including The Associated Press, asking the judge to unseal documents from Zimmerman’s court file. The website used to raise the money has since been shut down, but O’Mara said he’ll likely start a new defense fund for Zimmerman. O’Mara did not immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press. The website was created almost two weeks ago by Zimmerman’s family to thank his supporters and to receive donations from anyone who wanted to help with his legal defense. The 44-day delay in Zimmerman’s arrest spurred protests nationwide and inspired a national debate about racial profiling, equal justice under the law and Florida’s self-defense law. Martin was black; Zimmerman’s father is white and his mother is from Peru. Zimmerman has gone into hiding since his release on bail. Under terms of his bond, he has to wear a GPS ankle bracelet that authorities can use to track his location round the clock. — AP


3.3 tons of cocaine seized at Venezuelan seaport CARACAS: Security forces seized 3.3 tons of cocaine during an anti-drug operation at one of Venezuela’s main seaports Thursday, a top security official said. Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami said National Guard troops found the cocaine inside 1,680 boxes containing ceramic mix at La Guaira port. The cocaine was destined for Mexico, he

said. El Aissami told state television that two Venezuelans and a Mexican were arrested. Venezuela has become one of South America’s most important routes for smuggling drugs to the United States and Europe due to its proximity to Colombia, where most of the world’s cocaine is produced and smuggled abroad by drug traffickers.

“We will continue battling to prevent these criminal organizations from using our territory,” El Aissami said. In a separate bust Thursday, National Guard troops arrested a US citizen, Jose Alberto Reyes, after discovering 4 kilograms of cocaine hidden inside the man’s luggage as he prepared to board a plane at La Chinita International Airport in the

western city of Maracaibo, officials said. The flight was going to Madrid, Spain. Reyes’ hometown in the US was not released. US officials accuse Venezuela of failing to effectively combat drug smuggling through its territory. El Aissami has said that US officials should do more to stem the flow of drugs into the United States. — AP

US Supreme Court moves to center of presidential race

MONTREAL: In this April 20, 2012 photo, a demonstrator is taken away from the Montreal Convention Centers students demonstrate against hikes to university and college tuition fees in Montreal. — AP

85 arrested as Canadian students protest tuition MONTREAL: The Quebec government withdrew its offer Thursday to resume talks with university student leaders following the arrests of 85 people during riotous protests by thousands in Montreal over planned tuition hikes. Windows of local businesses, banks and cars - as well as a police station - were smashed after talks broke off Wednesday between the provincial government and student groups over the planned tuition increase of $325 a year. Some protesters fought with police. Three police officers were injured. Several thousand students took to the streets after the government excluded the more militant of the student groups from the bargaining table, accusing CLASSE of promoting violence. The government said talks would resume yesterday, but the other major student groups said they will not return to the bargaining table without student federation CLASSE. Education Minister Line Beauchamp said Thursday there would be no negotiations with members of CLASSE. The government believes the group has not done enough to condemn the violence that has plagued student protests over the past two months. Quebec Public Security Minister Robert Dutil accused Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, a spokesman for CLASSE, of fueling the fire by condoning violence. “I think the CLASSE has a mode of operating that involves violence in the streets. We read it in their literature, and it’s extremely unfortunate,” Dutil said. The student coalition has said repeatedly it had nothing to do with violence in the weekslong protests. Beauchamp is excluding any possibility of backtracking on plans to raise tuition by $325 a year over five years. — AP

WASHINGTON: The Supreme Court, suddenly at the heart of presidential politics, is preparing what could be blockbuster rulings on health care and immigration shortly before the November election. The court, sometimes an afterthought in presidential elections, is throwing a new element of uncertainty into the campaign taking shape between President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Sharply divided between four conservatives, four liberals and one conservative-leaning swing justice, the court already is viewed as being nearly as partisan as Congress. Within weeks it will rule on the contentious 2010 Democratic-crafted health care overhaul and a Republican-backed Arizona law that’s seen as a model for cracking down on illegal immigrants. Obama sometimes seems to be running against the court, or at least its conservative members. Whether that will sway voters in November is unclear. The public receives far less information and visual imagery of the Supreme Court than it does of the White House and Congress. An anti-court strategy by Obama “will fire up his base, but I doubt it will make any bigger impact on swing voters,” said Republican consultant John Feehery. Meanwhile, strategists in both parties are hoping they can turn the upcoming decisions to their advantage - for instance, possibly boosting Democratic turnout among Hispanic voters unhappy with Republican immigration policies or emboldening the Republican base if Obama’s landmark health care law is ruled unconstitutional. The Supreme Court already has played a huge and direct role in US presidential politics. Its 5-4 ruling in Bush v. Gore settled the bitter 2000 contest by barring a Florida ballot recount, which Democrats hoped would prevent George W. Bush’s election. And the 2010 Citizens United case, also decided 5-4, greatly eased political spending restrictions on corporations and unions. It gave birth to the “super PACs” that are reshaping campaigns by raising millions of anonymously donated dollars for TV ads attacking Obama, Romney and targeted congressional candidates. By holding well-publicized hearings on the health care and immigration cases - and now writing keenly awaited decisions - the court is stirring passions on key issues in this year’s elections. Less clear, however, is how the politics might play out. Many court-watchers expect the jus-

tices to throw out most or all of the health law, which Republicans derisively call “Obamacare.” During public oral arguments, the most conservative justices questioned Congress’ authority to require all Americans to obtain health insurance. Romney may be poorly positioned to exploit such a ruling, however. The similar “individual mandate” that he successfully pushed as Massachusetts governor was a model for Obama’s federal plan. “I don’t think the Romney campaign will want to make health care a major issue,” said Democratic strategist Doug Hattaway. “Every time Romney criticizes the president’s health care reform, he opens himself up to the Etch A Sketch attack.” Hattaway was referring to claims that Romney switches back and forth on important policies, erasing and redrawing pages when convenient. Republican strategist Terry Holt said a court decision overturning the health care law would be an unmistakable setback for Obama. “It repudiates the singular achievement of this administration,” Holt said. Feehery agreed, saying such a ruling would make Obama “look like a weak president.” But it might help other Democrats, Feehery said. “It takes away a law that is unpopular,” he said, “but puts health care back on the agenda for the Democrats, which has been a winning issue in the past.” In the

immigration case, the Obama administration opposes Arizona’s requirement that police check the legal status of people they stop for other reasons. The law, pushed by a Republican governor and Legislature, has angered some voters, including Hispanics, in battleground states such as Florida, New Mexico and Colorado. A number of court analysts predict the justices will uphold parts of the Arizona law but may overturn others. That could energize Americans who want tougher sanctions, including deportation, against millions of illegal immigrants in the country. “This could prove problematic for Romney,” Feehery said, because it would pit his conservative base against much-needed Hispanic voters in targeted states. “If Romney handles it right, by largely ignoring it, it could take out a major source of irritation for Hispanics and maybe help a portion of them see the good side of Romney,” Feehery said. Earlier this month, Obama, a former constitutional law professor, delivered what some considered a misleading warning to the court regarding the health care law. “I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress,” the president said. — AP

In this March 28, 2012 file photo, the Supreme Court is seen in Washington. Suddenly at the heart of presidential politics, the Supreme Court is preparing what could be blockbuster rulings on health care and immigration just before the election. President Barack Obama already seems to be running against the justices at times in a year that’s brought unprecedented campaign spending after the high court rewrote the nation’s election finance laws. — AP


9,000 Marines to pull out of southern Japan US, Japan unveil revised plan for Okinawa TOKYO: The United States said yesterday it would pull 9,000 Marines out of Japan as it seeks to ease a long-running standoff over the future of its huge military presence in one of its top Asian allies. The redeployment will see the troops sent to Guam, Hawaii and Australia. Withdrawing troops was originally part of plans to move a busy US airbase on Okinawa to another area of the southern island chain but US officials decided to separate the two issues due to ongoing opposition to the base relocation. In a joint statement issued in Washington and Tokyo, the two sides said they remained committed to move the Futenma base from its present urban site to a coastal spot. The relocation is being heavily resisted among many locals, who want to see the base moved out of Okinawa altogether. The two governments “reconfirmed their view that (this) remains the only viable solution that has been identified to date”, the statement said. No defi-

nite timeframe was put on the redeployment, with the statement saying only that the “relocations are to be completed as soon as possible while ensuring operational capability throughout the process”. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta hailed the deal, which he said would reduce the burden on residents of Okinawa. “I am very pleased that, after many years, we have reached this important agreement and plan of action,” Panetta said in a statement. Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba said the agreement reflected evolving regional realities, at a time of growing fears among Asian countries and the United States about China’s increasing military might. “Changes in the security environment will not wait for us. Japan and the United States have to assume our responsibility and do our part and implement the plans in a speedy manner,” he told reporters in Tokyo. “The (base-move) problem brought everything to a halt. We

must make progress where we can.” The deal comes just ahead of a visit to Washington by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who will meet with President Barack Obama on Monday for what both sides hope will be a demonstration that the alliance is back on track. Japan and the United States have long clashed over Okinawa, the site of sporadic tensions with US troops. Around half of the 47,000 US service personnel in Japan are based on the strategically located island chain, which is nearer to Taiwan than it is to Tokyo. The United States had agreed in 2006 to shift the Futenma air base-a longtime source of grievance as it lies in a crowded urban area-to a quiet stretch of seashore, with 8,000 Marines leaving Okinawa for Guam. Some activists in Okinawa have pressed for the base to be removed completely and the controversy felled one Japanese Prime Minister, Yukio Hatoyama, who failed to fulfill campaign pledges in 2009 to renegotiate the deal. —AFP

Blind activist ‘escape’ Chen makes emotional plea to Chinese PM

PYONGYANG: North Koreans look for articles at a store in Pyongyang. — AFP

North Korea elite enjoy life despite sanctions PYONGYANG: Nuclear-armed North Korea has been under heavy sanctions for years but there is little sign of any effect on the elite in Pyongyang, who enjoy unfettered access to upmarket cars and consumer goods. The economy of the isolated North-where famine killed hundreds of thousands in the 1990s-is widely believed to be battered and stuttering, but the luxury shops of the showcase capital tell a different story. According to expatriates living in the city, there are ever more cars on the roads and traffic in the centre is increasingly busy. Many vehicles are old, but the number of newer Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, Toyota and Land Rover models is on the rise. The international community imposed a strict embargo on all luxury goods for North Korea and its ruling elite in 2009, but it is ignored by supply networks running through Pyongyang’s key ally China, said South Korean MP Yoon Sang-Hyun. North Korean imports of luxury goods, including flat-screen televisions, digital cameras and other electronic equipment, almost doubled between 2008 and 2010, rising from $272 million to $446 million, he said. “Pyongyang lacks for nothing,” said one foreign resident. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the two-storey Pothongang Ryugyong department store, which displays

imported products ranging from food and clothing to electronics and furniture. Foreign currency only is accepted. Champagne is on sale-for about 70 euros ($93) a bottle, more than double the price in France-along with marquee wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy, and various brands of whisky, gin, vodka and rum. The heaving food shelves are packed with Danish and New Zealand butter, French and European cheeses, beef from Australia, and virtually all brands of soft drinks-with the exception of Coca-Cola. Tokyo has a strict trade embargo against North Korea, but the store offers Japanese products including food, cooking utensils and crockery. Another section displays high-end watches and jewelry, foreign perfumes, flat-screen TVs and stereos. The shop’s clientele are members of the political and military elite, but also include newly wealthy businessmen. Ordinary North Koreans have recourse to a limited number of free markets where imported goods are also available-and they are packed. The Tongil market in the south of Pyongyang opened in 2003 and fills a 7,000-square-metre hall. “People elbow each other out of the way in front of stalls offering everything: meat, vegetables, fruit, Singaporean beer, Western spirits, cosmetics, and South Korean and Japanese electronics,” said a French journalist who has visited several times.—AFP

BEIJING: Blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng, one of the China’s most prominent human rights advocates, has escaped from home imprisonment, activists said yesterday, but uncertainty over his whereabouts and fears about his health have worried supporters. Chen, a self-schooled legal advocate who campaigned against forced abortions, had been restricted to his village home in Linyi in eastern Shandong province since September 2010 when he was released from jail. His confinement and relentless surveillance with his family fanned protests by Chinese sympathizers and criticism from foreign governments and activist groups. Chen’s reported escape and the furor it has unleashed could add to the headaches of China’s ruling Communist Party, which is striving to ensure stability and authority ahead of a leadership transition later this year. Bob Fu, president of the Texasbased religious and political rights advocacy group ChinaAid, said in a statement that Chen was in Beijing and “100 percent safe”. “There is speculation that Chen is in the US Embassy in Beijing,” the group added. The US Embassy and China’s Foreign Ministry both said they had no immediate comment. In a video posted on YouTube, Chen confirmed he had escaped, and asked Premier Wen Jiabao to order an investigation in the maltreatment of him and his family by local officials. Guangcheng made an emotional video appeal yesterday to Premier Wen Jiabao to look after his family, while exposing those he said abused him when he was under house arrest. In the video, an emotional Chen-speaking in a dark room in an undisclosed location-revealed the names of several government officials he said had beaten him and his wife, and made his son’s life a misery. “Even though I am now free, I am still concerned because my family-my mother, my wife, my child are still in their hands,” he said. “They have hurt them for a long time, and they could enact crazed revenge on them because of my departure. This revenge could be completely unrestrained.” While Reuters was not able to authenticate the video, there was scant doubt it was Chen, wearing his trademark dark glasses and speaking in his halting, Shandong-accented Mandarin Chinese. Fu earlier said in a telephone interview that Chen’s wife, daughter and mother were still at the family’s village home, which was surrounded by authorities after they discovered Chen had disappeared. “The entire village and government leaders were stunned by the developments when Chen Guangcheng was not found. So they are surrounding his home,” he said. SCARED OF REVENGE Another activist, He Peirong said that Chen had talked with her. “His spirits are okay, but he is passing blood and is very weak,” she said. “His hands won’t stop shaking.” She said Chen was worried about his family. “He is really worried about his wife, child and mother now he has escaped. He is

scared the guards will take revenge now he has escaped. The guards have beaten his old mother this year. They broke some of his wife’s bones which have yet to heal.” Chen’s fate has become a test of wills, pitting a crackdown on dissent against rights activists who have rallied around his cause and that of artist Ai Weiwei. Officials in Shandong did not comment immediately on Chen’s escape. The news was widely discussed on China’s popular Twitter-like service Weibo, with users referring to him as “the blind man” to avoid censorship of his name, reflecting his status as a Chinese cult hero. “He has escaped from the clutches of the devil,” wrote “Brave to speak”. “Never has the fate of single blind man moved the hearts of an entire nation,” added “Jing Huili”. Phelim Kine, Senior Asia Researcher for Human Rights Watch, a New York-based advocacy group, expressed concern about Chen’s health. “If Chen has successfully escaped, it comes not a moment too soon as there have been reports that Chen has been in extremely poor health due to severe multiple beatings by his captors,” Kine said in an email. Chen angered Shandong officials in 2005 by exposing a program of forced abortions as part of China’s one-child policy. He was formally released in September 2010 after four years in jail on a charge of “blocking traffic”. Chen and his wife endured a “brutal four-hour beating” by local authorities last July, ChinaAid has said. Last year, dozens of supporters were blocked from visiting Chen. Many of them were beaten by men in plain clothes. In December, Hollywood actor and “Batman” star Christian Bale was roughed up by security guards while trying to visit Chen. Bale had been in China to promote a movie with Chinese director Zhang Yimou. Guo Yushan, a Beijing-based researcher who has campaigned for Chen’s release, said he believed Chen remained free as of midday yesterday. — Agencies

Chen Guangcheng


Taleban website hacked as Afghan cyber war heats up KABUL: Hackers have for the third time in less than a year crippled the main website of the Afghan Taleban, with a Taleban spokesman yesterday blaming Western intelligence agencies amid an intensifying cyber war with the insurgents. The unidentified hackers broke into the Taleban’s El Emara website twice on Thursday, replacing usual insurgent victory messages with images of executions and support for the Afghan government and security forces in English, Arabic and Pashto. Some of the photographs showed women being shot in the head or hanged by former Taleban executioners, while another showed two women in head-to-toe burkas being beaten. “Violence is wrong in all its forms, especially the encouragement by the Taleban of cowardly betrayal and the senseless murder of innocent civilians,” a screenshot from Afghan Pajhwok News

showed the message as saying in English. “The Afghan Security Forces are accountable to Allah and the Afghan people, and seek to restore peace as the foreigners leave the land,” it said. Taleban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters that the website was hacked around 12:30 am on Thursday and fixed in three hours, before being breached again at midday and put out of commission again. It was still being repaired on yesterday, “It was hacked again by enemies and foreign intelligence services,” Zabihullah said. “The enemy tries to push its propaganda. The enemy is worried by what gets published in our webpage. It’s confusing for them, so they try to react.” A NATO spokesman declined comment on the claim. The Taleban have in recent months waged an intensifying information war with NATO forces in the country, distributing anti-government mes-

sages on mobile phone networks and using Twitter to claim largely improbable successes as most foreign combat troops look to leave the country by 2014. A day rarely passes without a Taleban spokesman using Twitter to claim the destruction of numerous NATO armoured vehicles and the deaths of scores of Western or Afghan security forces, with NATO quickly countering in its own Twitter feeds. The Taleban also employ a sophisticated network of spokesmen to distribute messages and even have their own mobile radio broadcast service, which frequently moves location to avoid the threat of retaliatory airstrikes by NATO warplanes. Unknown hackers brought down the main Taleban website earlier this month, when El Emara’s English language page was replaced temporarily with images of Taleban atrocities and photographs of

roadside bombs, according to the Long War Journal website, which tracks progress in the war, now dragging into its eleventh year. Another cyber attack took place on June 20 last year, when false messages were distributed about the death of the Taleban’s one-eyed leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, from both the website and the phones of Taleban spokesman. Thursday’s hacking attack came as a man wearing an Afghan security forces uniform shot and killed a US soldier in the country’s south, in the latest incident of so-called green-on-blue killings by local police and soldiers of Western mentors. Three soldiers were killed by an improvised bomb in the east, where NATO recently launched one of the last large offensives of the war to try to clear insurgent strongholds near the Pakistan border and around Kabul. — Reuters

Defiant Pakistan PM refuses to quit following conviction ‘I have not committed a crime’: Gilani

NEW DELHI: Relatives of Sikh victims who were killed in the 1984 riots shout anti-government slogans during a protest in front of Jamia Millia Islamia University, where United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon was present for a convocation yesterday. Hundreds of Sikh protesters demanded the UN Secretary General to seek justice. According to official figures, 2,732 Sikhs were killed, largely on the streets of India’s capital New Delhi, after former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi was gunned down October 31, 1984, by her two Sikh bodyguards to avenge the military operation against Sikh separatists holed up in the Golden Temple. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s prime minister refused to step down yesterday as he made a defiant appearance in parliament a day after his conviction over a corruption investigation into the president. Yousuf Raza Gilani faced opposition calls to quit after the Supreme Court convicted him of contempt for refusing to write to Swiss authorities asking them to reopen a multi-milliondollar graft probe into President Asif Ali Zardari. His lawyer has said he will appeal against the verdict, which made him the first sitting premier in Pakistan’s history to be convicted, and Gilani said only parliament had the authority to remove him from office. “There is no law to remove an elected prime minister, parliament is the supreme authority and only this parliament has the authority to remove me,” he said. Nawaz Sharif, the head of the main opposition Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) said Thursday that Gilani should quit to avoid pushing the

country into “further crisis”. “I am an elected prime minister, representing 180 million people. How can any body order an elected prime minister to go home?” Gilani said. “Only the speaker of the house, who is the custodian of this house, has the authority to decide.” The conviction opened the way for proceedings to remove him as a lawmaker, but addressing the speaker, Gilani said: “I will step down only if you de-notify me. I will accept if this parliament disqualify me.” Though it looks unlikely to bring down the coalition government led by Gilani’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Thursday’s ruling is likely to cause fresh uncertainty in a country already struggling with Islamist militancy and economic woes. Legal experts say the process to remove Gilani from office, which involves the speaker referring the matter to the Election Commission, could drag on for months. Gilani urged the speaker, who is a PPP member, to apply her “own mind” and

“own legal assessment” on the case and said his conscience was clear over the Swiss letter. “I have not committed a crime, I have done nothing wrong but I have protected the constitution of this country,” he said. The Zardari allegations date back to the 1990s when he and his late wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, are accused of using Swiss bank accounts to launder about $12 million in bribes from companies seeking customs inspection contracts. Gilani has always insisted Zardari has full immunity as head of state and last month said that writing to the Swiss would be a violation of the constitution. The case has been highly politically charged, with members of the government accusing judges of over-stepping their reach and of trying to bring down the prime minister and president, a year before the administration would become the first in Pakistan to complete an elected term. — AFP

Rights groups decry Bangladesh opposition, activist disappearances DHAKA: A global human rights group yesterday urged Bangladesh to order an independent investigation into the growing number of cases where opposition members and activists have disappeared. The New York-based Human Rights Watch expressed concern as local rights group AinO-Salish Kendra said at least 22 people have disappeared this year. Another Dhaka-based group, Odhikar, says more than 50 people have disappeared since 2010. Security agencies including the elite anti-crime force Rapid Action Battalion have been blamed for many disappearances, but the agencies deny the allegations. Bangladesh’s opposition parties enforced three days of nationwide general strike this week to protest the latest disappearance: that of opposition official Elias Ali, who went missing April 17, along with his driver. Ali’s car was recovered later after residents found it abandoned on a street in the capital, Dhaka. —AP

DHAKA: An onlooker looks out from the window of a restaurant during a rally by Islamist activists in Dhaka yesterday. The rally was organised by radical Islamist political parties to demand the introduction of Sharia law in Bangladesh. — AFP

BoE risks backlash with growth gamble



US growth slows down on weak business spending


Japan cuts Iran crude imports



Foreign carmakers ‘pressed’ to release Chinese brands


MADRID: A woman shouts at the police officers during a protest yesterday. — AP

Spanish economy in ‘huge crisis’ Spain reels from record jobless figures, downgrade MADRID: Spain’s sickly economy faces a “crisis of huge proportions”, a minister said yesterday, as unemployment hit its highest level in almost two decades and Standard and Poor’s downgraded the government’s debt by two notches. Unemployment shot up to 24 percent in the first quarter, one of the worst jobless figures in the developed world. Retail sales slumped for the twenty-first consecutive month as a recession cuts into consumer spending. “The figures are terrible for everyone and terrible for the government ... Spain is in a crisis of huge proportions,” Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said in a radio interview. Standard and Poor’s cited risks of an increase in bad loans at Spanish banks and called on Europe to take action to encourage growth. The downgrade spooked financial markets, raising the interest rate fellow euro zone struggler Italy was forced to pay to sell 10-year bonds at auction. The yield was its highest since January as investors worried about the economic outlook in the bloc’s indebted states. Analysts said the 5.95 billion euro Italian auction went well under the circumstances, but

Rabobank strategist Richard McGuire said the 5.84 percent 10-year yield “leaves a question mark over how long Italy will be able to finance itself at levels that can be deemed sustainable”. Italy’s main banking association said the economy may contract by 1.4 percent this year, more than the government’s 1.2 percent forecast. Spain’s country risk, as measured by the spread on yields between Spanish and German benchmark government bonds, spiked before le veling off to around 420 basis points. Spain has slipped into its second recession in three years and fears that it cannot hit harsh deficit cutting targets this year have put it back in the centre of the debt crisis storm, pushing up its borrowing costs. Recovery and job creation are still two years off, Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said on Friday in a news conference where he forecast 0.2 percent growth in the gross domestic product next year and 1.4 percent growth in 2014. De Guindos also said Spain would increase the valueadded tax and other indirect taxes next year, but would seek to reduce payroll taxes. Spain has a low VAT compared with other European countries even after raising it in 2010.

The government has already rescued a number of banks that were too exposed to a decadelong construction boom that crashed in 2008, and investors fear vulnerable lenders will be hit by another wave of loan defaults due to the slowing economy. “It’s a very challenging situation. I don’t think that the banks are cornered yet, but the government must come out soon to say how they will address them,” said Gilles Moec, an economist with Deutsche Bank. Deficit targets doomed S&P’s head of European ratings, Moritz Kraemer, told Reuters Insider television that Spanish banks could need state aid and the country faced further downgrades if its debt troubles continue to escalate. “It is not going to be an easy job for most Spanish banks to find funding in the market. So the state may be called for at some point. But that, for now at least, is something the Spanish government seems to be unwilling to contemplate,” he said. Spain has ruled out any use of European funds to recapitalise its banks, weighed down by bad property loans. Economy Secretary Fernando Jimenez Latorre said Spain

had sufficient financial capacity to handle a rescue itself in case of need. The government is considering whether to create a holding company for the banks’ toxic real estate assets after three rounds of forced cleanups and consolidations in the financial sector have failed to draw a line under the problem. Conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, in office since December, has passed an austerity budget and introduced new laws to try to make the economy more competitive, such as by reducing costs for companies to lay off workers. He has also agreed with Brussels a higher deficit target for this year. But he has not convinced investors, and Spain’s borrowing costs have shot up recently as the effect of a flow of cheap loans from the European Central Bank has worn off. On Thursday Rajoy said he was determined to stick to austerity measures even though they are aggravating the economic slump and calls for growth measures are mounting around Europe. The treasury ministry estimated the increase of 365,900 jobless people in the first quarter meant a loss of 953 million euros in tax income, making deficit cutting even harder. —Reuters


Gold heads for monthly loss LONDON: Gold prices slipped back towards $1,650 an ounce yesterday as investors cashed in gains after a three-session rally, with confidence in the metal still soft as consumers in major Asian bullion-buying centres held off making fresh purchases. The metal lifted from lows in line with a recovery in the euro after a smooth Italian bond auction eased concerns over peripheral euro zone debt markets, but remained under pressure. Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,653.30 an ounce at 1135 GMT, off an earlier low of $1,649.94, while US gold futures for June delivery were down $6.70 at $1,653.80. It has largely held between $1,610-1,680 an ounce in April, its tightest monthly spread since June, but is on track to decline 0.8 percent in the month as a whole. “The euro/dollar has held above $1.30 for some time, in the $1.30-$1.32 range, which coincides with gold also being caught in a range,” Societe Generale analyst Robin Bhar said. “If the euro zone crisis deepens and we see the euro/dollar correct below $1.30 that could give a bit of a lift to gold.” The euro recouped losses yesterday after a wellreceived auction of Italian debt eased jitters over the financial health of the euro zone, which were earlier sparked by a downgrade of Spain’s sovereign debt and

dismal Spanish economic data. Standard & Poor’s cut Spain’s credit rating to BBB-plus from A late on Thursday and gave it a negative outlook, warning it expects the government’s budget deficit to deteriorate even more than previously thought. Safe-haven German bund futures rose to record highs, while Spanish 10-year bond yields broke above 6 percent. “The downgrade of Spain by S&P has focused attention again on the euro zone problems and may cap gold’s advance if the euro stays in the doldrums,” Marex Spectron said in a note. “US figures out today include GDP and Personal Consumption at 1330 BST and the University of Michigan Confidence figure at 1455 BST,” it added. “Keep an eye on these for clues as to what the afternoon will bring us.” Asian buyers uninspired Physical demand for the metal in major consumer India was light after the last major gold-purchasing festival of the wedding season earlier this week, while the listless performance of spot prices deterred buyers elsewhere in Asia. Gold bar premiums in Singapore were around $1 an ounce above London prices, while in Hong Kong, premiums were quoted in the range between $1

and $1.60 an ounce. “People don’t have much confidence that prices will move higher once we approach (the) $1,660-$1,670 level,” a Hong Kong-based dealer said. He said trading volume has been sluggish as speculators shifted interest to better-performing markets, such as equities. Among other precious metals, silver was down 0.2 percent at $31.06 an ounce The metal is set to end the week down 1.8 percent after sliding below $30 an ounce for the first time since mid-January on Wednesday. Prices fell in six of the previous eight weeks. Sales of American Eagle silver coins from the US Mint are on track to hit their lowest monthly rate since July 2008 in April, figures from the Mint showed, at 1.28 million ounces, against 2.542 million ounces in March. “Silver closed (Thursday) higher at 31.20 but remains within the range of Monday’s steep sell-off,” ScotiaMocatta said in a note. “Resistance is at 31.71, Monday’s high. Support is at 30.00, around yesterday’s low. The gold-silver ratio is trading lower at 53.26, its first pause after four sessions higher.” Spot platinum was up 0.2 percent at $1,565.74 an ounce, while palladium was up 0.2 percent at $667.03. — Reuters

US urges financial reform in China ahead of meeting SAN FRANCISCO: The United States on Thursday urged China to undertake financial reform that would help to level the playing field between the two largest economies, in advance of high-level talks next week. “Financial reform in China will help reduce one of the main advantages China’s state-owned enterprises have in competing with US companies,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in a San Francisco speech. Geithner pointed out that China’s financial system is dominated by large state-owned banks, which favor lending to large state enterprises. They also cap the interest rate savers can earn to below the rate of inflation, a system that forces people to “save excessively,” limiting consumption and starving more deserving firms of capital, he said. Geithner made the reform call in a speech ahead of highlevel bilateral economic and political talks with China on May 3-4. He and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will hold talks with State Councillor Dai Bingguo and Vice Premier Wang Qishan in Beijing, in the fourth annual US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. Geithner lauded a pilot program launched last month in Wenzhou, allowing new private lenders to lend to private enterprises, as “a step in the right direction,” according to the prepared text of the speech. He called for interest rates that better reflect market forces to foster a more efficient financial sector, and which in turn could boost US exports to China. “Raising the ceiling on deposit rates will also allow Chinese households to earn a higher return on their savings, both increasing their income and reducing their need to save, thus increasing their ability to consume goods and services, including from the United States,” he told the Commonwealth Club, a public policy forum. Geithner gave a sweeping summary of “significant progress” the US has made in addressing imbalances with China since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, particularly on trade and intellectual property. US exports of goods to China have almost doubled, growing twice as fast as exports to the rest of the world, he said. Benefiting from China’s fast-growing economy and rising incomes, the United States exported around $130 billion in goods and services to China in 2011, supporting over 600,000 jobs in the US. —AFP

BEIJING: (Left) An Audi R8 Spyder car is displayed during the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition yesterday. (Right) A visitor takes a picture of a Nissan ESFLOW concept EV sports car. — AP/AFP

Foreign carmakers ‘pressed’ to release Chinese brands Nissan launches three electric cars BEIJING: Foreign carmakers in China say Beijing is pressuring them to produce dedicated new brands so their local partners can gain technical know-how, but experts warn the strategy could backfire. The government, keen to boost the local automotive industry, has long required foreign companies looking to make cars in China to set up joint ventures with domestic manufacturers, many of them state-owned. In the past year, companies say they have also come under pressure from Beijing to launch brands specifically for the local market, even though there are no explicit rules requiring them to do so. “Many of our competitors that have not launched a dedicated brand have had the brakes put on their plans to develop manufacturing,” said Maxime Picat, the director general of PeugeotCitroen’s Chinese joint venture. “We are putting together plans to launch our own brand, in line with what the government requires.” Picat said Beijing had been reviewing the 20 years since international auto partnerships were authorised.

“There has been very little transfer (of technology),” he added. Experts say there is a danger that by helping their Chinese partners gain access to technology foreign manufacturers could end up creating more competition for themselves at home. General Motors, the biggest foreign carmaker operating in China, was the first to fulfil the government’s desire, launching its Baojun brand a year ago in association with its partner Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC). Volvo announced at this week’s China Auto 2012 showthe country’s biggest-that it was working on a new brand for the Chinese market, while Nissan used the expo to launch three electric cars under the new Venucia name. The Japanese company, which works with China’s Dongfeng Motor Corporation, said it was important to be able to count on government help given the uncertainty of the electric car market in the world’s secondbiggest economy. “Foreign brands do not benefit from incentives, even if they are manufactured in

China,” Nissan’s China public relations manager Shen Li pointed out. But experts warn that flooding the already crowded Chinese car market-the world’s biggest since 2009 — with new logos could hit existing domestic car brands, which are already far less popular than their foreign competitors. “The overall idea of the indigenous brands is that they are catering to the needs of the less affluent in the inner provinces,” said Klaus Paur, a Shanghai-based industry analyst with research firm Ipsos.”This goes directly into competition with the Chinese domestic brands, so overall these Chinese domestic brands are as a group losing market share.” Some foreign players, such as Ford, have so far held back from launching dedicated Chinese brands. Ford vice-president Joe Hinrichs told journalists at the auto show the company was carefully watching the progress of the joint-venture brands, but had no current plans to launch one itself. “We believe that the Ford brand has even more potential to offer value products,” he said. — AFP


Japan cuts Iran crude imports Increased Saudi, Kuwaiti imports to fill gap

FRANKFURT: Stockbrokers work at the stock exchange yesterday. — AFP

German union calls for strikes FRANKFURT: Germany’s powerful IG Metall labour union called yesterday for country-wide strikes in the key engineering and metalworking sectors from this weekend in an escalating dispute over pay. IG Metall said in a statement that workers in a whole range of states-from Berlin and Brandenburg in the north to Bavaria in the south of Germany-would down tools from midnight Saturday in protest over the “totally unacceptable” wage offer from employers. Among the big industrial companies affected would be truck-maker MAN in Augsburg, industrial conglomerate Siemens via its Osram unit in Berlin, heavy industry giant ThyssenKrupp in Andernach, and automotive parts suppliers Continental and Bosch, the statement said. The wage negotiations in the electrical, engineering and metalworking sectors, which employ more than 3.5 million people in Germany, are the bellwether for other key sectors of industry. Talks are currently in a third round, and while unions are demanding pay hikes of 6.5 percent, employers have so far tabled an offer for 3.0 percent over 14 months. Earlier this month, after several weeks of negotiations interrupted by warning strikes across the country, the two million people working in Germany’s public sector secured a 6.3-percent pay hike for two years. — AFP

TOKYO: Japan’s crude imports from Iran fell 36.4 percent in March from a year earlier, with the world’s third-largest oil consumer staring at a complete halt in imports from the OPEC member due to tightening Western sanctions. European sanctions are making it impossible for buyers to find insurance cover for ships carrying Iranian oil from July. That’s made JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp, Japan’s top refiner, say it would not be able to continue importing oil from the Islamic Republic. Japan is reducing Iranian imports even though overall oil demand is rising for power generation. South Korea, India and China, the other three main buyers of Iran’s 2.2 million barrels per day of exports, have made deep cuts in the first quarter as sanctions make it impossible to pay, ship and insure the crude. “Given the bottlenecks in shipping, we can’t rule out the possibility of there being no crude imports from Iran. Saudi Arabia, UAE and other countries will be able replace most shipments but it’ll be difficult to meet the entire shortfall,” said Tatsufumi Okoshi, senior economist at Nomura Securities. “Conditions will probably be tough for fuel oil users as demand for reconstruction (after last year’s tsunami) picks up and as we approach the summer.” Japan’s imports from Iran fell to 270,700 barrels per day in March, while overall crude oil imports rose 11.3 percent to 4.2 million bpd, data from the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) showed yesterday. For the fiscal year ended in March the decline from Iran was 22.4 percent. Kuwait and top exporter Saudi Arabia are the main beneficiaries of the fall in Iranian shipments, along with new suppliers such as Gabon, as Japan buys more oil for firing generators following last year’s nuclear disaster. Japan’s crude imports from Kuwait rose 45.4 percent over the year and 27.5 percent from February, the METI data showed. Imports of Saudi oil rose 14.4 percent from a year earlier and 29.5 percent from the previous month. Iran’s share of Japan’s total imports fell to 6.4 percent to become the fifth-biggest supplier, from 7.9 percent in February and 11.2 percent in March last year.

The north Asian nation imported 305,114 bpd of crude from the Islamic Republic in the first quarter, down 31.2 percent from 2011, when it purchased 443,535 bpd, the data showed. The United States and Europe are trying to squeeze the revenues Iran makes from its oil exports to force it to halt a nuclear programme they fear will be used to make weapons but which Tehran says is for power generation. Exemption, deeper cuts Japan has deepened cuts in Iranian imports even after securing a waiver from the United States from financial sanctions, reflecting the difficulties buyers are facing in trading with Iran. The US exemption means Japan and 10 other EU nations have been given a six-month reprieve from the threat of being cut off from the US financial system. In addition, tough new European Union sanctions aimed at stopping Iran’s oil exports to Europe also ban EU insurers and reinsurers from covering tankers carrying Iranian crude anywhere in the world from July. Around 90 percent of the world’s tanker insurance is based in the West, so the measures threaten shipments to Iran’s top Asian buyers. That is making Japan cut loadings from Tehran by almost 80 percent in April, while Hyundai Oilbank will halt lifting from June, effectively reducing South Korea’s purchases by 35 percent to 130,000 bpd. South Korea’s largest refiner SK Energy, also the country’s top buyer of Iranian crude, is securing alternative supplies to make up for a potential cut in Iranian imports. China’s crude imports in the first quarter of this year from Iran were a third lower at 346,183 bpd compared to a year earlier, while South Korea cut by 22 percent to 195,000 bpd. Japan’s customs-cleared data released on Thursday showed imports from Tehran fell just 6.3 percent in March from a year earlier, and slumped 22.6 percent for the quarter. The METI numbers are more closely watched because they take into account shipments to refineries and oil terminals and often these numbers don’t immediately show up in the customs data. — Reuters

Italy pays higher yields in pair of bond auctions MILAN: Italy was forced to pay higher interest rates yesterday to entice investors to buy a little under €5 billion ($6.6 billion) worth of its 5- and 10-year bonds as jitters over Europe’s debt problems have resurfaced. Investors demanded yields of 5.84 percent on the 10 year-bonds, compared with 5.24 percent last month. On the 5-year bonds, Italy paid 4.86 percent, up from 4.18 percent. The Treasury raised €4.9 billion, with the demand for both bonds below last month’s. Concerns over Europe’s debt crisis have swelled over recent weeks as France goes to the polls, Spain struggles with its debts and Italy acknowledged that it won’t balance its budget until 2015, instead of 2013 as pledged. Italian Premier Mario Monti, who took office in November as the head of a government of technocrats to confront the debt crisis, said Thursday that budget cuts with structural reforms alone “will never deliver growth.” “If there is not demand, the reforms are useless and there will be no growth,” he said. In a joint statement with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Monti affirmed yesterday that growth must come from “improving competitiveness and not through higher levels of debt.”

Following a meeting in Brussels, the pair said austerity measures need to be paired with “targeted investments to enhance competitiveness” while helping to increase consumer demand. Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen, a spokeswoman for Barroso, said that investments should be targeted at areas like green technology, energy or the improvement of broadband networks, which could help growth. One way of financing such investments without further stretching national budgets would be for the European Commission to issue bonds to finance specific projects, Ahrenkilde Hansen said. Barroso has been pushing hard for these so-called project bonds, and Monti also hinted at them in a speech in Brussels on Thursday. In October, the Commission made a proposal to use some €230 million of its own budget to back bonds for specific infrastructure projects. It said at the time that it could raise as much as €3.5 billion that way. While some see project bonds as a first step toward joint debt issuance by European countries, the amounts currently under discussion are far too small to significantly boost growth on the continent. —AP

NORTH OLMSTED: In this photo, new Goodyear tires are displayed in the waiting area. Goodyear said sales increased 2 percent and revenue per tire rose 16 percent. — AP


Angola needs ‘longer’ plans for oil shocks LUANDA: Angola’s prudent fiscal and monetary policies have helped re-build foreign exchange reserves but the country must develop medium-term economic plans to protect itself from possible oil price drops, the IMF’s representative in Luanda said yesterday. Angola is Africa’s second-largest oil producer after Nigeria and depends on crude output for 95 percent of its export revenues. It faced a balance of payment crisis after prices fell in 2008 and the country had to deplete its exchange reserves. “Foreign reserves are now back to about the level they were before the crisis, but I think it is premature to say that Angola is protected,” IMF representative Nicholas Staines told Reuters. “Protecting the economy is not only about having enough reserves, but also a policy implementation structure to

then implement the strategy. Part of that is having a medium-term macroeconomic and fiscal framework to actually respond to a crisis,” he added. Staines said the government needs to move from an “ad hoc annual fiscal strategy” to create a five- to 10-year plan on how it is going to spend, save and invest revenues from oil. “They are not quite there yet. Those sort of formulations take quite a bit of time to develop. It is difficult to pin down, but we could see them in about a year’s time,” he added. The IMF official warned against overstating the risks posed by oil price drops to Angola’s bright growth outlook as the government “has given itself some room” by basing the 2012 budget on a forecast of $77 per barrel, much lower than current the Brent Crude market

price of around $120. The IMF expects the economy to expand 9.7 percent this year. Angola has invested heavily in rebuilding its infrastructure destroyed by a 27-year civil war that ended a decade ago. Staines said the government must now ensure its spending is well prioritised, evaluated and implemented. “I think it is quite determined to improve its ability to get value for money. The free-spending days are over,” he said. The IMF has praised Angola’s implementation of macroeconomic reforms during a $1.4 billion loan programme agreed in 2009 and whose last tranche was disbursed last month, particularly monetary policy management that helped curb inflation and keep the kwanza currency stable. “To some extent, that is the easy part. Everybody benefits from a stable exchange and

lower inflation,” Staines said. “The much more difficult part is to deal with the sort of structural changes to address the more fundamental issues of growth outside the oil sector, which includes and extends to the rest of the population inclusive growth,” he added. Long-serving President Eduardo dos Santos’ government has been accused of mismanaging oil revenues and doing too little to fight widespread poverty. It came under the spotlight again last year when the IMF highlighted a $32 billion discrepancy in public funds thought to be linked to the state oil company, Sonangol. The government has denied the funds are missing and said the discrepancy resulted from insufficient record-keeping. The IMF expects the government to explain much of the discrepancy. — Reuters

BoE risks backlash with growth gamble BoE determined to look past weak GDP data

TOKYO: Visitors watch a Honda Asimo robot performing at a showroom at the headquarters of Honda Motor Co. Yesterday. — AP

Honda quarterly profit jumps on better sales TOKYO: Honda’s January-March profit jumped 61 percent as the Japanese automaker sold more cars and motorcycles in a turnaround from a disaster-battered 2011. It forecast record global sales of 4.3 million vehicles for this fiscal year. Honda Motor Co., which makes the Accord sedan, Fit subcompact and Asimo robot, reported net profit of 71.5 billion yen ($882.7 million) for the fiscal fourth quarter, up from 44.5 billion yen a year earlier. The results underline a recovery at all Japanese automakers from the sales plunge that hit last year after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disrupted the supply of auto parts from northeastern Japan. Tokyo-based Honda’s quarterly sales improved 8.7 percent to 2.41 trillion yen ($29.7 billion), mainly because of rising sales in Japan and North America. It achieved record quarterly sales of motorcycles at 3.5 million bikes, up nearly 18 percent from a year earlier, with demand especially robust in Asia and South America. Demand for its auto models was also strong, including the Odyssey minivan, the remodeled CR-V sport-utility vehicle as well as hybrid models. For the fiscal year ended March 31, Honda’s profit fell 60 percent to 211.4 billion yen due to the disruptions to production from the tsunami disaster in Japan and last year’s flooding in Thailand where Honda has assembly lines. The automaker has also been hurt by an unfavourable exchange rate. A strong yen erodes the overseas earnings of Japanese exporters such as Honda. The dollar been trading near 80 yen compared with 86 yen the previous year. But Honda is confident of a rebound, forecasting record global vehicle sales and an annual net profit of 470 billion yen - more than double what it earned last fiscal year. It sold 3.1 million vehicles worldwide for the fiscal year ended March 31. The recovery tale is likely to be repeated at other Japanese automakers. Japan’s No. 1 automaker Toyota Motor Corp. reports earnings May 9. Nissan Motor Co., the nation’s No. 2 automaker, reports earnings May 11. Not so upbeat were the results at Mazda Motor Corp., whose January-March profit slipped to 5.1 billion yen ($63 million) from 9.9 billion yen a year earlier. — AP

LONDON: The Bank of England risks seeming out of touch to recessionhit Britons next month if - as still seems likely - it calls a halt to its 325 billion pound programme of monetary stimulus. The central bank seems to believe that a raft of upbeat private-sector surveys offer a better guide to the growth than Britain’s official data. However, it may take an uncomfortable six months before it knows whether its hunch was right, or it stopped helping the economy at just the wrong time. Britain’s economy shrank more than 7 percent during its 2008-09 recession, and had only partly recovered when the Office for National Statistics’ numbers showed that it had slid back into recession, contracting 0.2 percent in the first three months of this year. This inflamed the political debate about the austerity plans that form the raison d’etre of Britain’s coalition government, with opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband accusing Prime Minister David Cameron of “arrogance and complacency”. But the BoE, which usually stays above the political fray, may soon face similar accusations. Moreover, the BoE’s determination to look through weak growth data due to one-off effects echoes the controversial approach it has taken to inflation, where it has played down a series of price spikes. “I think they have boxed themselves into a corner,” said David Page, UK economist at Lloyds. “The committee was keen to take a break from QE, but I’m not sure latest GDP data gives them that luxury.” In the minutes to its April Monetary Policy Committee meeting, published last week, the BoE said it “was minded not to place much weight” on weak official construction data that risked causing another quarter of falling GDP.

Instead it said a wide range of business surveys pointed to moderate underlying growth in the first half of 2012, and that inflation - which had just risen for the first time in six months - risked remaining above target for longer than expected. BoE deputy governor Paul Tucker went further in a rare speech on monetary policy the same day. “Mismeasurement” was a possible factor behind the weak construction data, and he said Britain’s “growth outlook still looks broadly on track, but it is not always going to seem like that ... as the ONS data for the first half of the year are published.” Taking the minutes and Tucker’s comments together, financial markets reduced bets on further quantitative easing in May when the 50 billion pounds of gilt purchases approved in February are complete. Wednesday’s GDP data did not cause a big reappraisal. “We suspect they won’t provide more QE because of what they were saying in April, but it is a tough call,” said Page. Doing the right thing? Monetary policy - whether it is changing interest rates, or buying government bonds with newly created money - takes months if not years to have its full effect, and so inevitably involves looking beyond short-term volatility. In recent years, the BoE has looked past a series of shocks which sent inflation well above its 2 percent target when deciding to conduct QE, due to worries about growth weakness and the medium-term downward effect of this on inflation. MPC member Adam Posen - hitherto a big supporter of QE - said last week that the committee was now prepared to do the same with the ONS growth data. “My own personal view is that I think the economy is stronger than what that data is

going to show,” he said. “There’s a truth that’s different from the numerical reality.” The tricky bit, he acknowledged, would be persuading the public to believe that. The BoE already sees a risk that GDP will fall in the second quarter due to an extra public holiday, so it could be late October before third-quarter data appears, confirming Britain is out of recession. And convincing the public is about more than avoiding unflattering newspaper headlines. April’s minutes explicitly identified the risk of Britain’s entry into recession triggering a vicious cycle of falling business and consumer confidence, turning a temporary dip into a more lasting downturn. Posen said he was encouraged by the BoE’s past ability to persuade most of the public to look beyond inflation spikes. “It’s absolutely fair to then say: is that going to work this time? I don’t know. But that’s all we’ve got. In the end we have to do what we think is right,” he said. But some officials already harbour doubts. Martin Weale - who in February was the first MPC member to say there was unlikely to be a case for QE in May - said this week that growth had not materialised as expected, strengthening the case for QE. Moreover, not all economists are convinced that the central bank is on the right track. Simon Kirby, a senior research fellow at NIESR, Britain’s leading macroeconomic think-tank, suggested the BoE’s sudden focus on inflation’s failure to fall quite as fast as forecast appeared arbitrary. “Just because it’s proved a little bit more sticky than they thought is not a reason to change their view on where the economy is heading,” he said. “The one thing we can say for certain is that the economy is in a very weak position.” — Reuters


Ireland on track with deficit cuts, says EU DUBLIN: Ireland is successfully cutting its deficits, bolstering its banks and pursuing job-creation strategies, its international bailout creditors said Thursday as they signalled support for a further round of loans. Ireland welcomed the verdict from the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund following the organizations’ latest 10-day review of Irish efforts to rein in runaway debts as part of the country’s 2010 bailout agreement. Ireland has already spent more than two-thirds of the 67.5 billion ($90 billion) credit line that is designed to finance it until 2013 when, all sides hope, it will resume borrowing on bond markets at affordable rates. Finance Minister Michael Noonan said he hoped that rising confidence in Ireland would permit its treasury to resume market-testing bond sales as soon as

this summer, though he conceded “we don’t have a fixed timetable.” In a joint statement, officials from the EU, ECB and IMF - known as the troika - said Ireland’s work to cut spending and inefficiency, boost tax collections and restructure its debt-crippled banks “continues to be strong.” They noted Ireland met its 2011 deficit targets “with a healthy margin,” said it appeared on course to do the same this year, and voiced support for government efforts to create new jobs amid rising emigration and 14.3 percent unemployment. As part of its bailout accord, Ireland has pledged to sell up to 3 billion ($3.95 billion) in state assets, including power plants. In an important development, the government said EU and IMF officials had agreed to permit it to funnel an increased proportion of those

profits into job-creation efforts, not plow it all back into debt reduction as originally planned. Prime Minister Enda Kenny said Ireland intended to invest half of the expected privatization profits into projects to stimulate business growth. The Irish and foreign officials agreed that Ireland remains particularly vulnerable to economic pressures beyond its shores, because of the country’s exceptional dependence on the performance of some 950 multinationals based here. The export-minded companies focused on drugs, microchips, software and information technology generate nearly a fifth of gross domestic product. The troika said Ireland’s ability to achieve a 2011 deficit of 9.4 percent of GDP, excluding exceptional bank-bailout costs, was much better than their target of 10.6 percent and reflected better-than-expected

profits by the multinationals. They said Ireland would likely see tepid GDP growth of just 0.5 percent this year. Noonan said Ireland was more optimistic, but still intended to trim its own 2012 growth forecast from 1.3 percent down to around 0.75 percent of GDP. The troika officials said their leaders in Brussels, Frankfurt and Washington are expected to approve Ireland’s next instalment of loans - 2.3 billion from the EU and 1.4 billion from the IMF - within the next few weeks. Ireland in 2010 was forced to negotiate an EU-IMF rescue loan as investors fearful of an imminent national default quit lending to the country at affordable rates. Ireland found itself financially overwhelmed as it nationalized five of its six banks at a cost expected to reach 70 billion ($90 billion), or approximately 15,000 ($20,000) per man, woman and child in Ireland. — AP


Mexico central bank may cut rate MEXICO CITY: Mexico’s central bank may cut interest rates for the first time in nearly three years yesterday in a decision that could split the board and test the market’s confidence in policymakers’ will to rein in inflation. Markets and analysts are divided over the chance of a 25 basis point cut to the country’s benchmark interest rate to a record low of 4.25 percent. Most economists expected the bank to hold but said there was a chance that central bank governor Agustin Carstens may have convinced a majority of the five-person board to lower the country’s key rate after holding costs steady since mid2009. While Brazil aggressively slashed borrowing costs since last August to head off a global slowdown, Mexico

stood pat while its economy followed the arc of the U.S. recovery and its peso whipsawed with global markets. Although policymakers gave no clear sign of an imminent cut following their last meeting in March, minutes later showed at least two had argued to move the rate lower. In an interview on Saturday, Carstens said Mexico could afford to grow and create jobs without fanning inflation, which he said would near the central bank’s 3 percent target in the next year. Other policymakers have argued there is no room to cut while inflation expectations remain well above 3 percent. “It is very clear that the position of the governor is to cut rates,” said Benito Berber, an analyst at Nomura in New York. “But will he be willing to cut given

US growth slows down on weak business spending WASHINGTON: US economic growth cooled in the first quarter as businesses cut back on investment and restocked shelves at a moderate pace, but stronger demand for automobiles softened the blow. Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.2 percent annual rate, the Commerce Department said on Friday in its advance estimate, moderating from the fourth quarter’s 3 percent rate. While that was below economists’ expectations for a 2.5 percent pace, a surge in consumer spending took some of the sting from the report. However, growth was still stronger than analysts’ predictions early in the quarter for an expansion below 1.5 percent. Although the details were mixed, the GDP report offered a somewhat better picture of growth compared with the fourth quarter, when inventory building accounted for nearly two thirds of the economy’s growth. In the first quarter, demand from consumers took up the slack. Consumer spending which accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity, increased at a 2.9 percent rate - the fastest pace since the fourth quarter of 2010. That compared to a 2.1 percent rise in the fourth quarter. There were PORTLAND: In this photo, job some signs of underlyseeker Don Meikle, of ing strength, with even Hillsboro looks around during home construction rising at its fastest pace a job fair. — AP since the second quarter of 2010, thanks to the unusually warm winter. But business spending fell for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2009, with investment in equipment and software rising at its slowest pace since the recession ended. Business spending fell at a 2.1 percent pace after rising 5.2 percent in the fourth quarter. The report will probably not change views on monetary policy. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday expressed comfort with the current stance of Fed policy, but held out the prospect of more bond buying if the economy deteriorated. Americans stepped up spending on automobiles in the first quarter, with motor vehicle sales rising by the most in four years. —Reuters

that some members are against that view?” Most economists expect Mexico to hold its key interest rate steady at 4.50 percent, according to a Reuters poll from last week. Since the March 30 minutes, the market has tilted to bet on at least a 25 basis point cut, driving a 3 percent loss in the peso and a 20 basis point slump in yields on short-term interest rate swap contracts. Meanwhile, a patch of soft U.S. data may bode for an economic slowdown that could weigh heavily in Mexico, which sends nearly 80 percent of its exports to its northern neighbour. Gabriel Casillas, an economist at JPMorgan in Mexico City, said it still looks more likely that growth will remain strong and inflation above target. He expects no move in the 9 am.

“It is a really close call,” he said. Some analysts said a split vote might hold the bank from cutting, especially since it would be the first such move under Carstens, who took over in 2010. But others said the inflation outlook was now more benign than a few months ago. In the minutes of the March decision, a majority agreed that if inflation data kept looking good, it may be time to lower borrowing costs. Mexican data this week showed much cooler inflation in early April at 3.40 percent, giving policymakers some cover to lower borrowing costs. “I don’t think they need much more,” said Alonso Cervera, an economist at Credit Suisse in Mexico City, who is calling for three 25 basis point cuts in the next three meetings. — Reuters

Ford earnings beat Wall St estimates Ford earnings strongest since 2000 DEARBORN: North America propped up Ford Motor Co.’s profits in the first quarter, which otherwise took a beating from plummeting European sales and higher taxes. Ford said yesterday its net income fell 45 percent from a year earlier. The first quarter of 2011 was the company’s best first quarter since 1998. But Ford beat Wall Street’s expectations, and the company’s outlook was upbeat. Ford expects improvement in the second half of the year as more plant capacity opens. It’s also hoping a new plan to offer lump-sum pension payments to retirees will wipe millions of dollars in liabilities off its books. Ford will offer the payments to about 90,000 US white-collar retirees and former employees. Ford said it’s the largest such offer in US history. Payouts will start later this year. Ford doesn’t yet know how much the plan will cost. Ford earned $1.4 billion, or 35 cents per share, in the first quarter. That was down from $2.5 billion, or 61 cents, a year earlier. Ford said nearly half the decrease was due to paying a higher tax rate. At the end of last year, the company moved tax credits and other assets back onto its books, after moving them off in 2006 when it wasn’t making a profit. Ford is now paying a 32.5-percent tax rate, compared with 8 percent a year ago. Revenue fell 2 percent to $32.4 billion. Without one-time items, including buyouts of 1,700 US factory workers, Ford earned 39 cents. Analysts polled by FactSet had forecast earnings of 35 cents per share on revenue of $32.3 billion. Shares rose 1 percent in premarket trading. Ford lost money in Europe, where sales fell by 60,000 vehicles, and Asia, where sales fell by 25,000 as China’s appetite for new cars slowed. But in North America, Ford recorded the highest quarterly profit since 2000. Pretax profit for the region rose 17 percent to $2.1 billion.

WASHINGTON: The Ford C-Max is on display at the 2011 Washington Auto Show in this file photo. —AFP

That performance came even as Ford’s US market share fell to 15.2 percent, from 16 percent in the year-ago quarter. The company has cut production costs and is making more money on each vehicle because buyers are choosing more expensive options, like its MyFord Touch touch-screen dashboard system. Ford said it doesn’t know how many retirees or former workers will take the pension payments. The payments will vary depending on a worker’s salary and years with the company. Money for the payments will come from the global pension plan, which was $15.4 billion short of its $74 billion in liabilities at the end of last year. Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks said the pension payments will help the company by reducing its obligations. Ford also would no longer have to shoulder the risk of low asset returns for people who take the lump sums. “There’s no exposure to the

volatility of the obligations,” he said. “They’re just gone. They’re just not anything we have to deal with.” Shanks also said Ford doesn’t expect to lose any car or truck production due to a global shortage of a nylon resin used to make fuel lines, brake lines and other auto parts. Automakers have been scrambling to find more resin after a March explosion and fire damaged a German chemical factory that was a major producer of the resin. The resin, called PA-12, is critical to fuel and brake lines because it can carry liquids without deteriorating. Few other plastics can do that. But Shanks said Ford has alternate materials it can use to carry fuel that either have been tested already or are in the process of being tested. “We think we’ve gotten past that graveyard,” he said. “We kind of lucked out, I guess, on that because the work had been done.” — AP


Don Omar, Prince Royce top Billboard Latin Awards

In pursuit of finer things, men finding fashion Page 28

A man jumps into Lake Starnberg near Tutzing, southern Germany, on April 26, 2012. Meteorologists forecast temperatures up to 21 degrees for southern parts of Germany for the coming days. — AFP

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Q8 Raft Race

splash! makes a

By Nawara Fattahova t was again that time of the year when people had a chance to get wet, wild and tanned under the Kuwait sun. Men, women, and kids came out in full force to prove that age is just a number when it came to having fun. Hundreds of people attended the Q8 Raft Competition 2012, held at the Marina Crescent beach yesterday from 10 am to 4 pm. This competition is a part of the first Spring Fling Sports Carnival, held from April 26-28 by Activemedia in cooperation with Marina World. It is held under the patronage of the National Committee for Drug Prevention. This raft race is organized by the Q8 Raft Competition, and this is the second year it has been held. There were 18 teams participating in three categories: Men, Women, and Mixed. Each team consisted of 10 players on each raft. The race is 500-meters long. Five teams in the first heat qualified for the final phase. Then the first winner from each category was awarded. Gold, silver and bronze medals were given depending on the timing. The winner in the Men’s category was the British Military Mission (BMM). In the Women’s category, the Techno Vision ranked first, while in the Mixed category the Honda accord team was the winner. This carnival was sponsored by Kuwait Times, Sebamed, Rauch, Crocs, KUFM, Alghanim Marine, Goal, First Source, and “The winners of the raft competition will


The winners, sponsors, attendees and visitors were pictured having a great time. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

receive gift items from Sebamed. We are also distributing some products to the public. We are presenting some of the new items, especially those for the summer season,” said Ayman AlSharaa, Marketing Manager of Sebamed. The organizers were satisfied with the high attendance by the public at this competition and the accompanying activities. “We aimed to provide sports activities that are not available in other places. Many people are passing by here and asking to participate in any of the activities held during this carnival. We are sure that sports is fun for young people and children. We also have a five-year plan to hold similar carnivals in other GCC countries,” Mohammed Al-Damiri, PR Executive for Activemedia, told the Kuwait Times yesterday. The carnival, held at Marina Crescent beach, includes different sports and fun activities. “Besides the raft competition, there is a beach football competition, beach volleyball competition, tug-of-war competition, stage event and other entertainment activities for the whole family, including games for kids,” added AlDamiri. Public institutions were present at the event as well. “I would like to thank the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defence, and the Coast Guards for providing high quality services, and they were the main part of the success of this carnival. We are organizing this carnival to let people have fun and enjoy sports activities in open air for free,” said Waleed Abu Baker, Operations Director.




ecord label XL was the big winner at the Music Week Awards late on Thursday, picking up four prizes mainly for its work on Adele’s chart-topping “21”. At a ceremony in central London, music business publication Music Week honoured XL Recordings with the A & R Award, the artist marketing campaign prize for 21 and the best record company award. Richard Russell, XL Recordings boss, also picked up the outstanding contribution prize, while Adele turned up to present her manager Jonathan Dickins with his manager of the year award. XL, which is independent but dubbed a “mini-major” by the music trade after it’s huge success with Adele and other acts, began in 1989 as a specialist rave label. The big breakthrough came in 1997

Presenters Ximena Duque, center, and singers Alex, left and Fido, right, call out to Don Omar after he won the Latin Rhythm Song of the Year, during the Latin Billboard Awards in Coral Gables.

with The Prodigy’s hit album “The Fat of the Land”, which reached number one in 26 countries including the United States. The label branched out to other genres, signing artists like Dizzee Rascal, The White Stripes and, crucially, Adele. The British singer’s second album “21” has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide, earned her a raft of major music awards and turned her into one of the biggest names in pop. Among the other winners on the night was BBC’s Radio 6 programme, which picked up the radio station and radio show awards, the latter going to DJ Steve Lamacq. — Reuters

Singer Don Omar lifts awards for Latin Pop Song of the Year and Latin Rhythm Song of the Year, Solo artist, during the Latin Billboard Awards.


uerto Rican native Don Omar and the Bronx’s Prince Royce have taken top honors at the 2012 Billboard Latin Music Awards. Each received eight awards. They are among a growing group of Latin artists who mix English and Spanish into their songs. Mexico’s Mana took home five awards, while Colombian pop star Shakira earned four. La Adictiva Banda San Jose de Mesillas group won best new artist. Thursday’s live show was hosted was presented by State Farm. Telemundo broadcast the production from the BankUnited Center at the University of Miami in Coral Gables. Juanes, Pitbull and Marc Anthony - along with the top winners - performed. Anthony received a Billboard Hall of Fame Award for his global, artistic influence. Billboard winners are selected based on sales and radio airplay. — AP

Pitbull smiles after accepting the award for the Song of the Year by a male performer. — AP photos

Cristian Castro performs during the Latin Billboard Awards.

Music producer Emilio Estefan walks the red carpet at the Latin Billboard Awards.


Rolling Stones museum opens in German backwater


German couple opened yesterday a museum devoted to legendary British rock band, the Rolling Stones, complete with urinals in the shape of the group’s famous “tongue” logo. The museum, in the small eastern German town of Luechow, will show “thousands of pieces” of memorabilia, including an original signed pool table the group

took on tour, instruments, posters and a Stones pinball machine. The Stones-mad couple, Birgit and Ulrich Schroeder, say the museum - in a town with a population of less than 10,000 - is the world’s first devoted to the ageing rockers. The grand opening party was due to be attended by Stones backing singer Blondie Chaplin but Birgit Schroeder said she was

hopeful that they would soon have a visit from one of the band members. “There’s constant contact between us and the Stones,” she told AFP. “The problem is that it is up to the management to decide, not the band. But we think that if the Rolling Stones are anywhere in the vicinity that they will come to visit us. “But we can’t expect them to fly over from San

Francisco or Ireland just to visit the museum,” Schroeder added. The museum’s famous urinals made headlines around the world after several local women complained they were degrading. “It was the best publicity we could possibly have had,” said Schroeder, confirming the toilets were still on display. “People came from far away just to use the toilet.” — AFP

Pete Fornatale, pioneering 1< URFN 'dies at 66

In this April 25, 2012 photo released by Fox, contestant Skylar Laine performs on the singing competition series “American Idol.” — AP


ock music fans Thursday were mourning the death of Pete Fornatale, a beloved New York radio disc jockey who promoted the best new musicians for decades in his easy, free-form style. He was 66. Fornatale died in New York a week after suffering a stroke, his son, Peter Thomas Fornatale, told The Associated Press. “He represented the golden age of progressive FM radio,” he said. When The Beach Boys “were the most uncool thing in the world,” he said, his father had the clout, in the 1970s, to help make them popular again - by introducing them on the Carnegie Hall stage. Fornatale entered with a surfboard. “It’s a very sad day for radio,” said songwriter Paul Simon. “New York has lost one of its most acclaimed and wonderful radio personalities. ... He really knew his era and his music.” At New York’s Fordham University, the DJ’s alma mater, president Joseph McShane called Fornatale “the voice of several generations” who conducted soul-searching interviews with the hottest musicians and played their work. As a DJ on WNEW-FM in the 1970s, he established a loyal following by spinning Pete Fornatale records by lesser-known artists and album cuts beyond the hit singles. One of his favorites was Poco, a country-rock band he championed. He helped launch the careers of singer-songwriters like Suzanne Vega, John Gorka and Christine Lavin. Grammy winner Shawn Colvin told The New York Times in 2001, “Pete helped pave the way for so many of us. He was a rare guy in radio then.” In the 1990s, Fornatale was featured on the station known as “K-Rock,” following Howard Stern’s show. Fornatale’s hallmark was “to use music in a very creative way,” his son said. “He could take a song that you heard a hundred times, but play it in a context - whether on a special occasion or the music around it - that would make some of the most familiar tracks in rock history sound like you were hearing them for the first time.” Until his death, his father still hosted the show “Mixed Bag” on Saturdays for Fordham University’s WFUV-FM station. The Bronx native was a Fordham student DJ when he developed the style that grew into the kind of FM rock broadcasting listeners still enjoy. “The complete freedom to put this package together, for better or for worse stamped me then and is still with me today,” Fornatale said in 2001. In recent years, he also became a rock historian. He and his son worked together on a book celebrating the Rolling Stones’ 50th anniversary that they finished just before Fornatale’s death, titled “50 Licks,” to be published later this year or in early 2013. The DJ also wrote “Bookends,” the story of the Simon & Garfunkel album by that title. Fornatale leaves three sons, including Mark and Steven, and his former wife, Susan Fornatale, all of New York. The funeral will be private, but a tribute concert is planned for a date to be set. — AP

Another finalist dismissed from



he rockin’ 28-year-old teacher was revealed to have received the fewest viewer votes Thursday on the Fox singing competition. Testone delivered energetic renditions of Queen’s “I Want It All” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Bold as Love” on Wednesday but wasn’t able evade eviction after appearing at the bottom of the pack six times this season. Testone was joined in the bottom three Thursday by 18-year-old vocalist Hollie Cavanagh, who tugged at the judges’ heartstrings with Queen’s “Save Me” and Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb,” and 18-year-old country rocker Skylar Laine, who wowed with Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” and Jason Aldean’s “Tattoos on This Town.” The other singers remaining in the competition are powerful 20-year-old gospel singer Joshua Ledet; 16-year-old budding diva Jessica Sanchez and blusey 21-year-old pawn shop worker Phillip Phillips. The five finalists will return to the stage next Wednesday and face another elimination Thursday. An 11th season “Idol” champion is scheduled to be crowned May 23. — AP

In this April 25, 2012 photo released by Fox, contestant Hollie Cavanaugh performs on the singing competition series “American Idol,” in Los Angeles. — AP In this April 25, 2012 photo released by Fox, contestant Elise Testone performs. — AP


‘War Witch,’ ‘Una Noche’ win top honors at Tribeca he African child soldier drama “War Witch” won best film and its 15-year-old star earned best actress Thursday night at the Tribeca Film Festival. Tribeca announced its winners as the 11th annual edition of the New York festival wound down. Montreal filmmaker Kim Nguyen shot “War Witch” in the Congo, where his young lead, Rachel Mwanza, was previously living on the streets. Mwanza, who earlier won best actress at the Berlin Film Festival, plays a pregnant teenager swept In this undated film image released by Tribeca Film Festival, up in an unspecified revolution. “I realized quickly that she has actors Javier Nunez Florian, left, and Analin de la Rua de la Torre an immense talent,” Nguyen said are shown in a scene from, “Una Noche,” a film that premiered at in an earlier interview. “When I the film festival. asked her how she does it - how she bursts out in laughter, how native Cuba, where the film was shot. “Una she starts crying so normally - she just told me Noche” also won best cinematography for that she thinks of her past.” The festival jury Trevor Forrest and Shlomo Godder’s photograsaid “War Witch” “balances scenes of crazy phy, and Mulloy was cited as best new narraenemy hatred with moments of luminous pri- tive director. vate love.” Best actor was given to both Dariel Best documentary went to Nisha Pahuja’s Arrechada and Javier Nunez Florian, who star “The World Before Her,” a film that juxtaposes in Lucy Mulloy’s “Una Noche.” The film is about the lives of Indian girls pursuing pageant glory Cuban teenagers, struggling in poverty, who as Miss India with those participating in a decide to flee to Florida. Hindu fundamentalist movement. The Dutch It’s a fiction that became reality when filmmaker Jeroen van Velzen, whose Nunez Florian and another actor from the film, “Wavumba” depicts fishermen on the coast of Analin de la Rua de la Torre, disappeared in Kenya, was named best new documentary Miami en route to Tribeca from Havana. They director. The Tribeca Film Festival concludes are presumed to have defected from their tomorrow. — AP


In this image released by the Tribeca Film Festival, Rachel Mwanza is shown in a scene from “War Witch,” a film being featured at the Tribeca Film Festival. — AP

NBC’s ‘30 Rock’ rocks out with live episode

n a break from its usual filmed style, NBC’s “30 Rock” went live Thursday night with an episode that was full of fun and, yes, very lively. As promised, the setup for the episode had boss Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) delivering the bad news that, as a cost-cutting measure, “TGS,” the fictitious show-within-a-show produced by Liz Lemon (series star Tina Fey), would henceforth be filmed, not broadcast live. “From now on,” he said, “you write and shoot the season in two weeks, like ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and Fox News.” Liz erupted in protest. “‘TGS’ has to be live or it will lose all its excitement and spontaneity,” she declared. “That’s the beauty of live TV: Anything can happen!” And at that moment, Kenneth the NBC Page (Jack McBrayer) entered Donaghy’s office with Paul McCartney in tow, telling him, “Here’s a bathroom you can use.” McCartney disappeared into Donaghy’s executive loo. Anything indeed. Liz was easily won over once she realized that filming “TGS” would be quicker and easier. But Kenneth argued passionately for the excitement that live TV represents, reminding his colleagues of historic live programs from NBC’s rich past.


This paved the way for several wacky flashbacks, including the 1950s live sitcom “The Lovebirds,” a spoof of “The Honeymooners.” In

the black-and-white sequence in a bare-bones Brooklyn apartment, Baldwin assumed the Jackie Gleason role, with Fey as the long-suffer-

In this 2011 image released by NBC, Alec Baldwin portrays Jack Donaghy, left, and Tina Fey portrays Liz Lemon in the NBC comedy series, “30 Rock.” — AP

ing wife originally portrayed by Audrey Meadows. “You’re a real cut-up,” sneered Baldwin in a send-up of Gleason’s ranting Ralph Kramden. “In fact, one of these days I’m gonna cut you up in pieces and feed you to the neighbor’s dogs.” “It’d be the first time you’ve taken me out for dinner in years,” replied the poker-faced Fey. In another flashback, Baldwin played a pickled parody of Dean Martin from his 1960s variety series. And “30 Rock” star Tracy Morgan appeared in a flashback from a pioneering 1950s sitcom that featured African-Americans a spoof of “Amos ‘n’ Andy” with a burnt-corkfaced Jon Hamm as his black sidekick. Among other surprise guests were Amy Poehler, Jimmy Fallon and Fred Armisen. Thursday’s episode was the second such venture for “30 Rock,” which aired live the first time in October 2010. As it did then, this halfhour was broadcast from NBC’s Studio 8H - otherwise the home of “Saturday Night Live” - in front of a live studio audience. The initial performance - telecast at 8:30 pm Eastern time went smoothly, with no noticeable technical glitches and one minor flubbed line. —AP



Five classic shocker endings

he sci-fi thriller “Sound of My Voice,” starring Brit Marling as a mesmerizing cult leader, keeps its audience guessing as to her true intentions before wrapping up with an a-ha ending that could still be interpreted in a number of ways. It’s a bold and exciting move. And it got me thinking about other movies with famously stunning conclusions. Warning! Spoilers abound. In fact, all you’re going to get here are spoilers. So if you haven’t seen these movies and it’s hard to believe you haven’t keep reading at your own risk:


“Citizen Kane” (1941): Rosebud is actually a sled. The word Charles Foster Kane whispers mysteriously at the beginning of the film is revealed again at the end, painted on his childhood sled, which has been tossed in the furnace. Admit it, you never would have guessed that. “Planet of the Apes” (1968): The planet is actually Earth. As Charlton Heston laments, we’re maniacs, we blew it all up. Or as “The Simpsons” so brilliantly phrased it in the Troy McClure musical parody, “Oh my god, I was wrong/It was Earth all along.”

“The Sixth Sense” (1999): Bruce Willis is actually dead. The first big M. Night Shyamalan twist remains the best big M. Night Shyamalan twist. Sure, if you go back and look for clues, you can probably find some. But the first time you saw this movie, it was head-spinning. “Fight Club” (1999): Brad Pitt and Edward Norton are actually the same person. Tyler Durden is everything Norton’s character wants to be: charismatic, commanding and, most importantly, fearless. As Pitt puts it in the aha scene: “You were looking for a way

to change your life. You could not do this on your own.” “Sleepaway Camp” (1983): The teenage girl killer is actually a boy. Now, this is the one movie on the list you may not have seen but it’s become a B-horror classic. Counselors and kids alike are terrorized one summer in gory slasher fashion. When it turns out the killer is the shy, bullied camper Angela, it also turns out that Angela is really her brother Peter, who was thought to have died in a boating accident. The big reveal truly is a big reveal. — AP

‘Leap of Faith’ jumps around too much he last musical of the official Broadway season comes into town like a huckster promising salvation. But it is the show itself that needs saving. There is a strong musical somewhere in “Leap of Faith,” which stars a soulful Raul Esparza and has some of Alan Menken’s best songs. But what opened Thursday at The St. James Theatre is sometimes confusing in its tone. Like its main character - the devious Rev Jonas Nightingale, ready to scam residents of a down-and-out Kansas town - the musical is hard to pin down. There is too much misdirection. The show is based on the 1992 film starring Steve Martin that was written by Janus Cercone. This time, she has teamed up with Warren Leight for a book that keeps the preacher’s rhinestone jacket but plays up the romance. “Leap of Faith” feels like many hands have tried to heal it over the years since it had its world premiere in late 2010 at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. It is both overwritten and yet underwritten. It breaks the fourth wall repeatedly and also pretends it hasn’t. It sometimes comments on itself and then falls back into being a conventional musical. It exposes the high-tech tricks that fraudulent preachers use - and then tries to pull its own magic tricks on us. It keeps tripping itself up. “Do you even know when you’re lying anymore?” the preacher is asked at one point. “Not so much,” he answers. All that obscures a terrific Esparza and



Jessica Phillips, left, and Raul Esparza are shown during a performance of “Leap of Faith.” — AP photos

Jessica Phillips, who plays the widowed town official skeptical of Nightingale’s motives. It takes away, too, from strong songs by Menken and lyrics by Glenn Slater that include “I Can Read You,” ‘’Long Past Dreamin’,” ‘’Are You on the Bus?” and the thunderously good title tune. The bones of a very good show are here if only the muscle was toned, or at least moving in one direction. Perhaps just too many layers accreted as the show passed over the years through directors Taylor Hackford to Rob Ashford to now Christopher Ashley. The hard sell starts as soon as the audience files into the theater, with a cameraman sweeping over the crowd and broadcasting his images on six screens. There are actors wearing red buttons that say “Rise Up” handing out fake dollar bills. At points during the performance, baskets are shoved into the crowd to retrieve the cash. The revival

where Nightingale’s traveling revival show has been stranded after their bus breaks down. Despite the threat of arrest and fines from the skeptical sheriff, Nightingale decides to put on a three-day event to pray for rain and wheedle money from the townsfolk. Romantic sparks fly between Nightingale and the sheriff (Phillips), but she worries that her crippled son (Talon Ackerman) is being hoodwinked into believing that the preacher can help him walk again. Meanwhile, the preacher’s sister (Kendra Kassebaum) warns him about losing sight of the payday. In a secondary plotline, the traveling revival show’s bookkeeper (Kecia LewisEvans) is visited by her son (Leslie Odom), a student at college who knows a scam when he sees one. Esparza throws himself into the role, finding the vulnerability and self-doubt in his sleazy character even as he prowls the ramps and slithers

Raul Esparza is shown during a performance of “Leap of Faith.” In this theater image released by Boneau/ Bryan-Brown, Leslie Odom Jr, left, and Kecia Lewis-Evans are shown during a performance of “Leap of Faith,” at the St. James Theatre in New York.

meeting feeling continues with metal walkways connecting the stage and audience and even the loss of the theater’s best seats to accommodate a ramp thrusting out into the crowd. Further blurring the boundaries, actors sit in the orchestra seats, waving their hands and shrieking with delight. The effect is, oddly, distancing - the opposite of the intention. The play is mostly set in the droughtstricken town of Sweetwater, Kansas,

on his back to sell his lies. Phillips is a cool drink of water in her tight jeans and cowboy boots. She has a beautiful voice and the vocal skills of Lewis-Evans, Odom and Brown are also heavenly. There are some nifty touches, including choir robes that descend on a rod for the quickest onstage costume changes in Broadway history, a killer duet between Brown and Odom, and the final thrilling scene. If only the show itself had enough faith to leap in one direction. — AP


In this undated image released by Park & Bond, a model is shown wearing denim jeans.

In this undated image released by Park & Bond, a model is shown wearing a suit. Fashion insiders say men are taking a keen interest in how they dress _ and that means developing their own shopping habits. You now see men dressing for the life they want to lead and image they want to project, agrees Eric Jennings, vice president and fashion director of menswear for Saks Fifth Avenue. Shopping and, even worse, trying things on to ensure a proper fit are necessary evils to get there. — AP photos


on’t be fooled by the old “my girlfriend bought me this” line. Fashion insiders say men are taking a keen interest in how they dress - and that means developing their own shopping habits. The biggest difference in how they shop for clothes? Probably research - and purpose. A Saturday at the shopping mall is not a highlight on most men’s calendars, says Tyler Thoreson, head of Gilt Groupe’s menswear editorial and creative divisions. Even when they’re shopping online, they’re not surfing many websites or coming back to them day after day, he says, but when they find something they like, they are passionate and potentially more loyal than women. Call shopping “entertainment” and they’re not buying it, but describing it as a “hobby” is something else, he says. Men can “geek out” when it comes to construction and even minutia of a garment. “I’m not just talking about a ‘fashion guy.’ For many men, your wardrobe is part of your program of discernment. They’ll learn about it like a car or a wine or a watch,” Thoreson says. “Guys can be busting each other’s chops in one breath and talking about soft construction on the shoulder of a suit in the next. They love construction, specs. It’s about what’s under the hood.” You now see men dressing for the life they want to lead and image they want to project, agrees Eric Jennings, vice president and fashion director of menswear for Saks Fifth Avenue. Shopping and, even worse, trying things on are necessary evils to get there. They go to stores on a mission and like to get it accomplished, he says. They’ll come in knowing exactly what they want and will buy in multiples. But, he adds, the modern customer is buying a broader range of products and sees a value in having knowledge about them. Paul Grangaard, CEO of shoe brand Allen Edmonds, says when it comes to fashion, men are

hunters and women are gatherers. Different methods, different mentalities, but both can end up with full closets, he says. “Shopping is not a man’s favorite when it’s about waiting for women. It’s not a leisure activity. Shopping for their own clothing isn’t their favorite place, either, but there is a renaissance - it’s small but steady - as men are interested in an upgrade,” Jennings says. “Coming out of the recession, they know they have to take appearance more seriously. It can be that thing for a new job or a promotion.” And, he adds, if they’re dressing well during the week, it’s likely to become a habit on weekends. “Men travel in herds, and when it’s OK in your friendship group to care about how you look on the weekends, it spreads pretty quickly,” observes Grangaard. “Since the recession of 2008, you’re always networking. Men dress better for midweek coffees and lunches and on weekends because you never know who you’ll run into where. You always want to look secure, stable and reliable.” It’s hard to do that in beat-up jeans and running shoes. Thoreson says he looks around midtown Manhattan and quite literally sees the change. You see men - creative types and hipsters, not just bankers, he stresses - voluntarily wearing ties. On Gilt’s upscale Park & Bond website, for example, neckwear sales increased 33 percent in 2011 over the previous year. “They’re wearing ties because they want to, not because they have to.” Other booming items are pocket squares, Converse sneakers, tie bars and rope bracelets. Suiting was the overall best-seller on Gilt for men in the second quarter of the current fiscal year, Thoreson says, and 85 percent of its customers were doing their own shopping. (They’ll still leave cuff links and sweaters to the women in their lives to buy. They’re just not as exciting, he says.)

Suits are selling better with unexpected customers, from DJs to hoteliers, notes Saks’ Jennings, but they’re not necessarily wearing them every day. It might be a suit one or two days a week, a sportcoat another and dressed-up denim the other days at the office, he describes. “Men just have more options. It used to be that you were a suit guy or a business casual guy in khakis and a polo, or jeans and a T-shirt. Those days are over.” Back to that pack mentality, Jennings says he notices groups of friends and colleagues often dress in similar styles. Many men don’t want to ask for style advice from wives, friends or salespeople - the way they don’t like to ask for directions - and even compliments are few and far between, but, he says, they more easily ask peers, “Who makes that suit?” or “Where did you get that?” Fashion might even start to appeal to a man’s sense of friendly competition, Thoreson says with a laugh. “You want to know more than the guy next to you. The guys who were obsessing over types of denim a few years ago are now obsessing over Neapolitan tailoring. ... Now you hear guys talk about this stuff. There’s no fear and all enthusiasm, and there can be some one-upmanship of dropping the lingo and that’s part of the fun.” — AP

In this undated image released by Park & Bond, a model is shown wearing denim.


In this April 29, 2011 file photo, Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge stand outside of Westminster Abbey after their Royal Wedding in London. The couple celebrate their first anniversary tomorrow. — AP


ith her first wedding anniversary approaching, the former Kate Middleton’s transformation into a highly regarded member of the royal family is nearly complete. She is now the Duchess of Cambridge, a striking woman who is comfortable speaking in public, going to charity events with husband Prince William or having tea with Queen Elizabeth II, her grandmother-inlaw. But the best times seem to be the quiet moments walking in the wilds of North Wales with William and their black cocker spaniel puppy, Lupo. “The main point is that they look as if they’re enjoying themselves,” said Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine. “The first year of marriage is difficult for everybody and they’ve adapted to their role admirably.” Seward believes the royal couple, who were college buddies before romance developed, have benefited tremendously from their long, solid friendship. The first year of their marriage has been largely free of controversy. “They were together a long, long time and maybe this is a demonstration of how much it helped for them to be the friends that they are,” she said. Kate and William plan to celebrate their first anniversary tomorrow in private, palace officials said. On Thursday they visited the London headquarters of the MI6 intelligence agency, and also attended a reception, with Kate looking resplendent in a charcoal gray dress. The duchess has faced considerable pressure in her first year as she has eased into her increasingly public royal role, but she has avoided any missteps, seeming to have benefited from strong family support and good advice from palace professionals. She was reluctant at first to speak in public, although she showed an immediate skill at interacting with British citizens at casual events. The royal wedding - a television spectacle seen throughout the world - gave William and his bride the chance to recast the image of the British monarchy as more down-to-earth. After the wedding, they shunned the spotlight to spend what would typically have been a honeymoon period on Anglesey, a wind-swept spot off

northwest Wales where William works as a search-andrescue helicopter pilot at the Royal Air Force Valley base. Their first year of married life has been a study in balancing their dual roles: Royal and regular. The couple like to dress down when they walk Lupo, but they also wear designer duds at gala dinners and speak out in support of their chosen charities. After they said “I do” in a gala spectacle at Westminster Abbey, the first images to emerge of the couple were of a casually dressed Kate picking up groceries. Her later appearances on William’s arm were more typically royal: Stunning red carpet walks in designer gowns while championing charitable causes. While the royal wedding was the culmination of a long courtship, it was also Kate’s coronation in the eyes of the public - as a fashion icon, a philanthropist and a possible future queen. She has been widely praised for her fashion choices and her emphasis on British designers - many of the outfits she chooses become immediate favorites, selling out within hours. With William by her side, she rendered celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon star-struck on a whirlwind tour of California shortly after the wedding, but also struck a chord at the less-highbrow Calgary Stampede wearing tight jeans, a cowboy hat and large belt buckle. The duchess has also had to select charities to patronize, mindful of the causes her husband’s late mother, Princess Diana, pursued. She’s been photographed hugging cancer patients and doing arts and crafts with young Britons. The charities she now supports have praised her approachability and dedication. That dedication was put on display when William was deployed to the Falkland Islands for several weeks earlier this spring. As William proudly served his country, the duchess delivered her first public address - noting in her brief but confident delivery that she was sorry her husband could not join her. Kate might consider giving some advice to her younger sister on media management. While the

duchess has generated some of the most positive royal press in years, Pippa Middleton made some unpleasant headlines this month when she was photographed in a car in Paris with a driver who pretended to point a gun at photographers. The gun was later said to be a toy. Still, when the royal couple marks their anniversary tomorrow, the ever-present question that trails many newlyweds will be right there with them: When will baby make three? — AP

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave Goldsmith’s Hall in the City of London, following a reception to celebrate the centenary of the expedition to the South Pole by Scott-Amundsen on Thursday. — AP


Panasonic advances automotive millimeter-wave radar technology OSAKA: Panasonic Corporation yesterday announced it has developed an advanced radar technology for nextgeneration traffic safety systems that enables to detect humans and vehicles in a range of several tens of meters. This millimeter-wave radar technology allows for detecting objects outdoors in poor visibility conditions, such as night, rain and snow, as well as against the sunlight. When applied in traffic surveillance sensors located at intersections, this innovative technology will help increase automotive safety by detecting pedestrians and bicycles hidden in the driver’s blind spots. As accidents at intersections account for about a half of all traffic fatalities, preventive measures are required to avoid collisions there involving cars, pedestrians and cyclists. Panasonic’s new radar technology enables traffic monitoring sensors at intersections to detect pedestrians and bicycles up to 40 meters ahead even at nighttime and under bad weather conditions that hinder the driver’s visibility. By alerting the driver of the presence of

pedestrians in the crosswalk or bicycles in blind spots, this technology helps to reduce the driver’s burden and traffic accidents. Panasonic’s new automotive radar technology has overcome the difficulties with conventional millimeterwave radar technologies the advanced radar technology is capable of detecting humans and cars simultaneously in spite of the fact that human body reflects extremely weak radar signals compared with car body. This innovative radar technology has also achieved high detection performance with a range resolution of less than 50cm and an angular resolution of 5 degrees, which enables to detect pedestrians and vehicles. Furthermore, unlike optical and infrared cameras and laser sensors, whose detection performance can be significantly affected by visibility conditions, this new radar technology will not be subject to such conditions as nighttime, rain, snow or dense fog. Panasonic has developed and incorporated the fol-

lowing new element technologies to realize the new millimeter-wave radar technology for automotive applications: Coded pulse modulation technique that employs a newly designed code sequence for pulse radar method to improve sensitivity characteristics, thereby achieving extension of the detection range and finding out small objects that have weak radar reflection. 2) Adaptive antenna technique that combines radar beamforming transmission and adaptive array antenna reception with signal processing algorism for estimation of target direction, thereby achieving high angle resolution even with a smaller antenna compared with conventional one. With regard to millimeter-wave radars, there presently exist radars for vehicle to measure distance to the vehicle in front. However, these radars cannot detect human body with high resolution due to very weak radar reflection of human body. In addition, an optical camera is commonly used as a traffic surveillance sensor. —AFP

UK company to build Sun orbiter PARIS: The European Space Agency said yesterday it had awarded a 300-million-euro ($400 million) contract to a British technology firm to build a satellite to examine the Sun from closer up than any before it. The Solar Orbiter, to be built by Astrium UK, is due to launch in January 2017 — coming to within 45 million kilometers (28 million miles) of the Suncloser than its nearest planet, Mercury. Project scientist Daniel Mueller said the satellite, roughly eight cubic meters in size, would have to withstand ten times the solar heat than that on earth. “The satellite will have to be equipped with a massive heat shield which is about 500 degrees Centigrade (932 degrees Fahrenheit) on the sunfacing side and about room temperature on the back side to protect the sensitive electronics,” he said. The shield would be about 30 centimeters (12 inches) thick, and could be composed either of titanium wrapped in an insulating foil or a carbon-fiber composite. The spacecraft will examine solar wind, a phenomenon that disrupts satellite communications. It will also study the poles to understand how the Sun generates its magnetic field. The contract with Astrium, a subsidiary of defense giant EADS, is one of the largest ever between the ESA and a UK company, a statement said. Several European companies will supply parts, while the United States and ESA member states will fund some of the scientific instruments. “Solar Orbiter is a fantastic mission,” said Alvaro Gimenez Canete, ESA director of science and robotic exploration. “It will help us understand how the Sun, essential to almost all life on Earth, forms the heliosphere (a magnetic ‘bubble’ surrounding our solar system) and the origin of space wheather, which can have an enormous influence on our modern civilization.” —- AFP

SEOUL: Samsung Electronics’ notebook computers are displayed at its showroom in Seoul yesterday. — AP

Smartphones fuel Samsung profit to record SEOUL: A surge in Galaxy smartphone sales fueled earnings at Samsung Electronics to a record high in the first quarter, usually a tough season for the global consumer electronics industry, outshining handset rivals such as Nokia Corp. Samsung sold more smartphones in the first three months of the year than Apple Inc. and raked in more than 70 percent of its operating profit from mobile businesses. Shares of Samsung Electronics Co. shot up nearly 3 percent. Net profit nearly doubled from a year earlier to a record 5.05 trillion won ($4.46 billion) for the fiscal quarter ended March 31. Operating profit also logged a record high: 5.85 trillion won, which was in line with the company’s guidance provided earlier this month. Sales rose 22 percent from a year earlier to 45.3 trillion won. Strong demand for high-end smartphones, such as the Galaxy Note and the Galaxy S2 introduced last year, helped mask lower profit from memory chips, another Samsung flagship business. “It was a shock for semiconductor, a surprise for handset,” said Lee Ka-keun, a Seoul-based analyst at Hana Daetoo Securities. The Suwon, Korea-based company expects to outdo its record profit in the coming quarters. It will announce a new version of the Galaxy phone next week and global demand for personal computers is picking up, bringing more cash to memory chipmakers.

“We cautiously expect our earnings momentum to continue going forward, as competitiveness in our major businesses is enhanced,” Robert Yi, head of investor relations, said on a conference call. Samsung’s mobile communications division, which includes smartphones, pocketed 4.27 trillion won of operating profit in the quarter after seeing significant sales growth of high-end smartphones in developing markets including China, a key battlefield for mobile phone makers. After narrowly beating Apple last year, Samsung’s smartphone sales exceeded Apple’s by a large margin in the first quarter. Strategy Analytics said Samsung became the world’s top smartphone maker, selling 44.5 million handsets in the January-March period, followed by Apple’s 35.1 million. Yet Apple’s iPhone and iPad business remains more lucrative. The Cupertino, California-based company earned $11.6 billion in the January-March quarter, more than twice as much as Samsung, even though its revenue was about 10 percent less. Once regarded as a laggard in smartphones, Samsung moved rapidly to take on Apple with Google Inc.’s Android operating system. Samsung’s rise came largely at the expense of Nokia. The Finish handset giant, which had been the world’s biggest handset maker since 1998, reported a dismal loss in the latest quarter and

fell behind Samsung in shipments. According to Strategy Analytics data, Nokia sold about 10 million fewer handsets than Samsung in the quarter. Samsung’s mobile business president, Shin Jongkyun, told reporters in February that it eyes 380 million handset sales this year, including 200 million smartphones. The company shipped 330 million handsets in 2011, including 97 million smartphones. While Samsung fights Apple in the smartphone and tablet markets and in bitter patent lawsuits on four continents, its first-quarter results also owed something to brisk sales of Apple’s iPhone and iPad. Apple, which is Samsung’s key customer in its semiconductor and display screen businesses, was credited for helping turn around Samsung’s display panel division into profit. Samsung’s display panel business posted a 280 billion won profit as increased sales of lucrative 3-D TV panels and high-resolution tablet PC panels propped up the bottom line. Samsung, which is the world’s biggest supplier of memory chips, said its operating profit from its semiconductor business in the first quarter reached 760 billion won, less than half from a year earlier. Weak demand for personal computers sapped memory chip prices and forced Tokyobased Elpida Memory Inc. to file for bankruptcy in February.—AP


Honda allowed to make IndyCar engine changes SAO PAULO: Honda will be allowed to make changes to the turbochargers on its IndyCar engines after a three-person panel denied an appeal by Chevrolet. The panel decided at a hearing in Indianapolis on Thursday that Honda can change the compressor cover on its single turbocharger, a move that Chevrolet and its teams were against. The changes should allow Honda to improve the performance of its engines. IndyCar recently allowed Honda to make the changes but Chevrolet decided to protest, saying the modification would go against some of the series’ rules. It can still appeal the panel’s decision. “We respect the diligence of the panel appointed to hear the protest and examine the situation,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet’s U.S. vice president for performance vehicles and motorsports. “While we are disappointed with today’s decision, we are prepared to continue to compete at the highest level in the IZOD IndyCar Series.” Chevrolet said it believed the modification wanted by Honda “was contrary to the series rules and asked IndyCar to thoroughly review the issue so that the rules were applied fairly.” Honda had been saying that the changes had been agreed a long time ago in an effort to maintain parity among teams in the series. Honda wanted to make the changes before the Long Beach race two weeks ago but was not allowed because of the Chevrolet protest. It will be allowed to try to make the changes for the Sao Paulo 300 on Sunday. The change in the compressor cover on its single turbochargers could help Honda decrease the engine’s disadvantage in performance compared to the twin turbo engines currently used by Chevy and Lotus. IndyCar has multiple engine manufacturers this season for the first time in seven years. Chevrolet has won all three poles and all three races in its return to the series, all with Team Penske. Helio Castroneves won the season-opener in St. Petersburg and Will Power was first in Alabama and Long Beach. Honda has a pair of second-place finishes so far, in St. Petersburg and Alabama, both with Chip Ganassi Racing driver Scott Dixon. The next race is Sunday on the streets of Sao Paulo, where Power is a two-time defending champion. The panel that made the decision in a lengthy hearing Thursday included Hans Peter Kollmeier, Jack Snyder and Jim Voyles. Each team was able to select a member and the third was picked by IndyCar as the engine manufacturers failed to agree on a name themselves. —- AP

Space shuttle Enterprise lands in NY atop jet A visual delight to observers NEW YORK: The space shuttle Enterprise flew to New York from Washington yesterday piggybacked atop a Boeing 747, making a dramatic flight along the Hudson River past the Statue of Liberty to the delight of observers. En route to John F. Kennedy International Airport, the retired shuttle flew at low altitude along the river, giving residents of New York and New Jersey an extraordinary view of the craft. After three decades, the United States retired its space shuttles last year after building the $100 billion International Space Station, a 15-nation project. It will begin work on a new generation of spaceships to carry astronauts beyond the station’s 240-milehigh (384-km-high) orbit. The Enterprise flight took off from Washington Dulles International Airport at

about 9:30 a.m. EDT (1330 GMT). The flight was rescheduled from Wednesday due to weather. It flew past the Statue of Liberty, up the Hudson River and over the George Washington Bridge before turning to land to the cheers of school children clad in astronaut garb. Among those watching its arrival was actor Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock on the Star Trek television series. Nimoy said he recalled watching as Enterprise, which bears the same moniker as the spaceship from the original Star Trek series, was unveiled in California. “I was there in September 1976 when they rolled it out of the hangar,” he said. “The Air Force band was playing the theme from Star Trek - da-da-da-da-daaaaa. I love it.”

A prototype orbiter that was used for atmospheric test flights in the 1970s but never on a space mission, the Enterprise is scheduled later to be moved by barge up the Hudson for display at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in Manhattan. It will be lifted by crane onto the Intrepid, an aircraft carrier that has been a museum since 1982. NASA has been flying the shuttles to cities around the nation for display. On April 19, space shuttle Discovery was flown over Washington on its way to being displayed at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum annex in Virginia. Sister ship Endeavour will head to the California Science Center in Los Angeles in the fall, while Atlantis will go on exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. — AP

FORT LEE: Space shuttle Enterprise, mounted atop a 747 shuttle carrier aircraft, flies over the George Washington Bridge prior to landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport yesterday. — AFP photo

FTC hires outside lawyer to steer Google probe SAN FRANCISCO: The Federal Trade Commission has hired a prominent trial lawyer and former federal prosecutor to oversee its broad investigation into Google’s business practices, signaling the agency is troubled by what it has discovered so far in its year-old probe. Former Justice Department prosecutor Beth Wilkinson will take the reins as the FTC digs deeper into allegations that Google Inc. has been abusing its dominance of Internet search to stifle competition and drive up online advertising prices. The FTC announced the move Thursday. Wilkinson is best known for helping to convict Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh in 1997. Now a partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, in Washington, D.C., Wilkinson also has experience in antitrust law and white-collar criminal cases. The FTC stressed that Wilkinson’s hiring

shouldn’t be interpreted as a sign it intends to sue Google Inc. “We are delighted to have someone of her caliber helping us on such an important matter,” said Richard Feinstein, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition. Wilkinson’s involvement in the case is a clear sign that the FTC’s staff has uncovered problems that may require taking Google to court to resolve, said Dave Wales, who preceded Feinstein as the FTC’s director of competition. “This may not be a declaration of all-out war, but it’s like things have been ratcheted up to ‘Defcon 4,’” said Wales, now a partner at the law firm of Jones Day. “You don’t do something like this unless you think there is a good chance there will be litigation.” Wilkinson’s involvement in the investigation also may give FTC more leverage to negotiate a settlement, Wales said. He predicted it could be

a year or more before there’s a settlement or lawsuit. Google declined to comment on Wilkinson’s hiring. The company, which is based in Mountain View, Calif., has consistently denied doing anything wrong. The FTC’s investigation was triggered by complaints that Google has been highlighting its peripheral services in its influential search results and relegating offerings from its rivals to the back pages. The agency also has been examining whether Google has rigged its results in a way that has prodded websites to pay more to promote their services through Google’s advertising network. European regulators are conducting a similar investigation into Google’s tactics. The European Commission is expected to update the status of its in inquiry at some point this spring. — AP

TV listings SATURDAY, APRIL 28, 2012

00:45 Untamed & Uncut 01:40 Up Close And Dangerous 02:35 In Search Of The Giant Anaconda 03:30 Human Prey 04:25 Amba The Russian Tiger 05:20 Going Ape 05:45 Wildlife SOS 06:10 Vet On The Loose 06:35 Vet On The Loose 07:00 Gorilla School 07:25 Crocodile Hunter 08:15 The Jeff Corwin Experience 09:10 Natural Born Hunters 09:35 Natural Born Hunters 10:05 The Really Wild Show 10:30 The Really Wild Show 11:00 Chris Humfrey’s Wildlife 11:25 Bondi Vet 11:55 Dogs 101 12:50 Wildlife SOS 13:45 Must Love Cats 14:40 Wild Animal Orphans 15:05 Safari Sisters 15:35 Big Five Challenge 16:30 Wild Britain With Ray Mears 16:55 Wild Britain With Ray Mears 17:25 Panda Adventures With Nigel Marven 18:20 Speed Of Life 19:15 Mutant Planet 20:10 Weird Creatures With Nick Baker 21:05 Austin Stevens Adventures 22:00 Baboons With Bill Bailey 22:25 Baboons With Bill Bailey 22:55 Into The Lion’s Den 23:50 Animal Cops Philadelphia

00:05 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 00:30 Indian Food Made Easy 00:55 Antiques Roadshow 01:45 Saturday Kitchen 2007/08 02:15 Living In The Sun 03:05 Bargain Hunt 03:50 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 04:10 Antiques Roadshow 05:05 Living In The Sun 05:55 Bargain Hunt 06:35 Cash In The Attic USA 07:00 Come Dine With Me 12:50 Come Dine With Me 13:15 Bargain Hunt 15:30 Bargain Hunt 16:15 Bargain Hunt 17:00 Antiques Roadshow 20:25 Antiques Roadshow 21:15 10 Years Younger 22:05 Gok’s Fashion Fix 23:00 Gok’s Fashion Fix 23:50 Diy SOS

00:00 00:30 00:40 01:00 01:30 02:00 02:30 03:00 03:10 03:30 04:00 04:30 05:00 05:10 06:00 06:30 07:00 07:30 08:00 08:30 09:00 09:30 10:00 10:10 10:30 11:00 11:10 11:30 12:00 12:10 13:00 13:10 13:30 14:00 14:30

BBC World News Sport Today Weekend World BBC World News America Extra Time BBC World News Newsnight BBC World News Weekend World Tim Marlow On... BBC World News Horizons BBC World News My Country BBC World News Fast Track BBC World News Africa Business Report BBC World News Middle East Business Report BBC World News Click BBC World News Weekend World Tim Marlow On... BBC World News World Football Focus Horizons BBC World News BBC World News BBC World News World Features Newsnight BBC World News Our World

THE REUNION ON OSN ACTION HD 15:00 15:10 15:30 16:00 16:15 16:30 17:00 17:30 18:00 18:10 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:30 21:00 21:15 21:30 22:00 22:30 23:00 23:10 23:30

00:00 00:30 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 05:45 06:00 07:00 07:30 07:45 08:00 08:15 08:30 09:00 09:15 09:30

BBC World News Weekend World Talking Movies BBC World News Sport Today Fast Track BBC World News Dateline London BBC World News My Country BBC World News Final Score BBC World News Africa Business Report BBC World News Sport Today Fast Track BBC World News Extra Time BBC World News World Features Dateline London

The Best Of Backstory World Sport Piers Morgan Tonight World Report Anderson Cooper 360 Piers Morgan Tonight Quest Means Business CNN Marketplace Africa Erin Burnett Outfront World Sport Leading Women Future Cities World Report CNN Marketplace Africa The Best Of Backstory World Report CNN Marketplace Middle East The CNN Freedom Project

10:00 World Sport 10:30 Open Court 11:00 The Best Of The Situation Room 12:00 World Report 12:30 The Best Of Backstory 13:00 The Brief 13:30 Inside Africa 14:00 World Report 14:30 Road To Rio: A Green City Journey 15:00 Talk Asia 15:30 I Report For CNN 16:00 World’s Untold Stories 16:30 The Best Of Backstory 17:00 International Desk 17:30 African Voices 18:00 CNN Marketplace Europe 18:15 CNN Marketplace Africa 18:30 World Report This Week 19:00 World Sport 19:30 Aiming For Gold 20:00 International Desk 20:30 Inside Africa 21:00 International Desk 21:30 Leading Women 21:45 Future Cities 22:00 The Best Of The Situation Room 23:00 World Report 23:30 World’s Untold Stories

00:15 01:10 01:35 02:30 03:25 04:20 05:15 05:40 06:05 07:00 07:25

Ultimate Cops Destroyed In Seconds Dirty Jobs Battle Machine Bros Ultimate Survival Mythbusters How It’s Made How Stuff’s Made Dirty Jobs How Stuff’s Made Really Big Things

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

00:35 01:25 01:50 02:40 03:35 04:00 04:25 05:20 06:10 07:00 07:03 07:30 08:00 08:55 09:45 10:35 14:20 14:45 14:48 15:15

Building The Biggest Extreme Engineering X-Machines Man, Woman, Wild Dual Survival Ultimate Survival Ultimate Survival Oil, Sweat And Rigs Swamp Loggers Bering Sea Gold Gold Rush Storm Chasers River Monsters Man vs Fish With Matt Watson Extreme Fishing Freddie Flintoff vs The World Scrappers Carfellas Bering Sea Gold

How The Universe Works The Tech Show Futurecar Ways To Save The Planet How Does That Work? How Does That Work? Punkin Chunkin 2010 Ultimate Power Builders How The Universe Works Head Rush Sci-Fi Science Weird Connections Eco-Tech Futurecar Ways To Save The Planet Tech Toys 360 Tech Toys 360 Head Rush Sci-Fi Science Weird Connections

15:45 16:10 17:00 17:50 18:40 19:30 20:20 20:45 21:10 22:00 22:50 23:40

The Tech Show Eco-Tech Robocar Futurecar Smash Lab Catch It Keep It Cool Stuff & How It Works Cool Stuff & How It Works Weird Or What? Smash Lab Catch It Keep It Robocar

00:15 00:40 01:05 01:30 01:55 02:20 02:45 03:10 03:35 04:00 04:25 04:50 05:15 05:35 06:00 06:25 06:40 Cody 07:05 07:30 07:41 07:55 08:20 08:45 09:10 09:35 10:00 10:25 11:50 12:05 12:25 12:30 12:55 13:20 13:45 14:10 14:35 15:00 15:25 15:36 15:50 16:15 16:40 17:05 17:30 19:00 19:10 19:35 20:00 20:25 20:50 21:15 22:40 22:55 23:06 23:20 Cody 23:45

Fairly Odd Parents Fairly Odd Parents Brandy & Mr Whiskers Brandy & Mr Whiskers Replacements Replacements Emperor’s New School Emperor’s New School Brandy & Mr Whiskers Brandy & Mr Whiskers Replacements Replacements Fairly Odd Parents Fairly Odd Parents Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates The Suite Life Of Zack And So Random Phineas And Ferb Phineas And Ferb Wizards Of Waverly Place Good Luck Charlie Shake It Up Jessie Austin & Ally Austin & Ally Frenemies Phineas And Ferb Fish Hooks Have A Laugh Shake It Up Good Luck Charlie A.N.T. Farm Recess Suite Life On Deck Wizards Of Waverly Place So Random Phineas And Ferb Phineas And Ferb Shake It Up Austin & Ally Austin & Ally Austin & Ally Frenemies Have A Laugh So Random Wizards Of Waverly Place Jessie Austin & Ally Austin & Ally Frenemies Phineas And Ferb Fish Hooks Fish Hooks The Suite Life Of Zack And Sonny With A Chance

06:00 Kid vs Kat 06:20 American Dragon 06:45 Rekkit Rabbit 07:10 Pokemon: Black And White 07:35 Phineas And Ferb 07:45 Phineas And Ferb 08:00 Kick Buttowski 08:30 Rated A For Awesome 09:00 Mr. Young 11:20 Mr. Young 11:45 Phineas And Ferb 12:10 Rekkit Rabbit 12:35 Pair Of Kings 13:00 Rated A For Awesome 13:25 Kid vs Kat 13:45 Zeke & Luther 14:10 Fort Boyard - Ultimate Challenge 14:35 Kickin It 15:00 Phineas And Ferb 15:25 Timon And Pumbaa 15:50 Pair Of Kings 16:15 The Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes 16:40 Zeke & Luther 17:05 Mr. Young 17:30 I’m In The Band 17:55 Rated A For Awesome 18:20 Kickin It 18:45 Phineas And Ferb 19:10 Scaredy Squirrel 19:35 Pokemon: Black And White

20:00 Rekkit Rabbit 20:25 Zeke & Luther 20:50 I’m In The Band 21:15 Pair Of Kings 21:40 Phineas And Ferb 22:05 The Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes 22:30 Kid vs Kat 23:00 Programmes Start At 6:00am KSA

00:25 Kendra 00:55 Style Star 01:25 25 Celebrity Near Death Experiences 03:15 Behind The Scenes 03:40 Extreme Close-Up 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Extreme Hollywood 06:00 THS 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 E! News 09:15 Bridalplasty 10:15 E!es 14:05 E!es 15:00 THS 15:55 THS 17:55 E! News 18:55 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 19:55 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 20:55 Style Star 21:25 Fashion Police 22:25 E! News 23:25 Chelsea Lately 23:55 Keeping Up With The Kardashians

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

Final Fu Final Fu World Combat League Carpocalypse M1 Selection 2010 Winter Dew Tour 09/10 Winter Dew Tour 09/10 World Combat League Ride Guide Mountainbike 2009 Ride Guide Mountainbike 2009 Ride Guide Mountainbike 2009 Best Of The Streets Best Of The Streets X Games Heroes X Games Heroes Eddie’s Day Simpel Session 2011 I’ll Do Anything Dragrace High Dragrace High Cowboy U Cowboy U Cowboy U Simpel Session 2011 Carpocalypse Dragrace High Dragrace High Eddie’s Day Simpel Session 2011 I’ll Do Anything Carpocalypse Dragrace High Dragrace High Pinks: Lose The Race, Lose Your

00:30 01:20 02:05 02:30 02:55 03:45 04:30 05:20 06:10 07:00 07:50 08:40 09:30 09:55 10:20 11:10 12:00 12:50 13:40 14:30 14:55 15:20

The Haunted A Haunting I Was Murdered I Was Murdered On The Case With Paula Zahn Dr G: Medical Examiner The Haunted A Haunting Disappeared FBI Files Murder Shift Mystery ER Real Emergency Calls Mall Cops – Mall Of America On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared FBI Files Murder Shift Mystery ER Real Emergency Calls Mall Cops – Mall Of America On The Case With Paula Zahn

Pinks: Lose The Race, Lose Your Wrestling With Reality

TV listings SATURDAY, APRIL 28, 2012 16:10 17:00 17:50 18:40 19:05 19:55 20:20 21:10 22:00 22:50 23:40

Disappeared FBI Files Murder Shift Real Emergency Calls Mystery ER Mall Cops – Mall Of America On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Ghost Lab The Haunted A Haunting

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

Ultimate Traveller Calcutta Or Bust Making Tracks Danger Beach Danger Beach City Chase Rome David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy Ultimate Traveller Calcutta Or Bust Making Tracks Danger Beach Danger Beach City Chase Rome David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy Ultimate Traveller The Best Job In The World Madventures Departures Nomads Extreme Expeditions Don’t Tell My Mother Solo The Best Job In The World Madventures Departures Nomads Extreme Expeditions Don’t Tell My Mother

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

Ultimate Traveller Calcutta Or Bust Making Tracks Danger Beach Danger Beach City Chase Rome David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy Ultimate Traveller Calcutta Or Bust Making Tracks Danger Beach Danger Beach City Chase Rome David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy Ultimate Traveller The Best Job In The World Madventures Departures Nomads Extreme Expeditions Don’t Tell My Mother Solo The Best Job In The World Madventures Departures Nomads Extreme Expeditions Don’t Tell My Mother

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

Salvage Code Red Inside Evolutions Britain’s Greatest Machines Caught In The Act Dangerous Encounters Dogtown Taboo Salvage Code Red Inside Evolutions Britain’s Greatest Machines Caught In The Act Dangerous Encounters Dogtown Taboo Salvage Code Red Inside China’s Mystery Mummies Drain the Great Lake One Ocean Lockdown

22:00 Adventure Wanted 23:00 Departures

00:00 Wild Chronicles 00:30 Wild Chronicles 01:00 Striker! 01:55 Wildlife Rescue Africa 02:50 World’s Wildest Encounters 03:45 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 04:40 Secret Shark Pits 05:35 Wildlife Rescue Africa 06:30 Megafish 07:25 Swamp Men 08:20 Clouded Leopard 09:15 The Living Edens 10:10 I, Predator 11:05 Built for the Kill 4 12:00 Shark Men 13:00 The Living Edens 14:00 Crocs Of Katuma 15:00 Night Stalkers 16:00 Wildlife Rescue Africa 17:00 World’s Wildest Encounters 18:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 19:00 Crocs Of Katuma 20:00 Night Stalkers 21:00 Wildlife Rescue Africa 22:00 World’s Wildest Encounters 23:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr

00:00 Wild Chronicles 00:30 Wild Chronicles 01:00 Striker! 01:55 Wildlife Rescue Africa 02:50 World’s Wildest Encounters 03:45 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr

04:40 Secret Shark Pits 05:35 Wildlife Rescue Africa 06:30 Megafish 07:25 Swamp Men 08:20 Clouded Leopard 09:15 The Living Edens 10:10 I, Predator 11:05 Built for the Kill 4 12:00 Shark Men 13:00 The Living Edens 14:00 Crocs Of Katuma 15:00 Night Stalkers 16:00 Wildlife Rescue Africa 17:00 World’s Wildest Encounters 18:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr 19:00 Crocs Of Katuma 20:00 Night Stalkers 21:00 Wildlife Rescue Africa 22:00 World’s Wildest Encounters 23:00 Dangerous Encounters With Brady Barr

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

Luster-18 Cross-18 Nine Dead-PG15 Planet Of The Apes-PG15 X2-PG Fatal Secrets-PG15 Rocky IV-PG15 X2-PG Largo Winch 2-PG15 Rocky IV-PG15 Legion-18 The Reunion-PG15

00:45 03:00 05:00 07:00 09:00 11:00 13:00

Mr. Nice-18 Takers-PG15 Gasland-PG15 The Green Hornet-PG15 Oceans-PG15 Gasland-PG15 The Green Hornet-PG15

15:15 17:15 19:00 20:45 23:00

Oceans-PG15 Mars Needs Moms-PG Brotherhood-PG15 True Grit-PG15 Winter’s Bone-18

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 03:00 New Girl 03:30 Happy Endings 04:00 King Of The Hill 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 06:00 Weird Science 08:00 King Of The Hill 08:30 New Girl 09:30 30 Rock 10:00 Modern Family 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:00 Weird Science 12:30 King Of The Hill 14:00 Happy Endings 14:30 Modern Family 15:00 30 Rock 16:30 Weird Science 18:00 Parks And Recreation 18:30 2 Broke Girls 19:00 The Office 19:30 Man Up! 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report

00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00

American Idol Smash Survivor: One World Glee Boardwalk Empire

05:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 18:00 18:30 19:00 20:00 21:00 23:00

Live Good Morning America Switched At Birth Castle The Ellen DeGeneres Show The View American Idol Glee Castle Live Good Morning America Switched At Birth The Ellen DeGeneres Show Emmerdale Coronation Street Warehouse 13 Criminal Minds Sons Of Anarchy Boardwalk Empire

00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 12:30 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 16:30 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 23:00

Parenthood Survivor: One World Combat Hospital American Idol Glee Smash Parenthood The Chicago Code Castle The Chicago Code American Idol Glee Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Castle Parenthood Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Surface Warehouse 13 Criminal Minds Sons Of Anarchy The Tudors

01:00 Full Metal Jacket-18 03:00 Restitution-PG15 05:00 Luster-18 07:00 Riddles Of The Sphinx-PG15 09:00 Triassic Attack-PG15 11:00 Game Of Death-PG15 13:00 Long Weekend-PG15 15:00 Triassic Attack-PG15 17:00 The Bannen Way-PG15 19:00 Talento De Barrio-PG15 21:00 The Reunion-PG15 23:00 Paranormal Activity: Tokyo Night-PG15

00:00 Kuffs-PG 02:00 Crazy On The Outside-PG15 03:45 The Parent Trap-PG 06:00 For Richer Or Poorer-PG 08:00 My Sassy Girl-PG15 10:00 The Fighting TemptationsPG15 12:15 Tom And Huck-PG15 14:15 How To Train Your Dragon-PG 16:00 Kuffs-PG 18:00 Spud-PG15 20:00 There’s Something About Mary-18 22:00 American Virgin-18

01:00 Cinema Verite-PG15 03:00 All Good Things-18 05:00 Talhotblond-18 07:00 Oscar And The Lady In PinkPG15 09:00 Desperate Hours: An Amber Alert-PG15 11:00 Freestyle (2010)-PG15 12:45 The Remains Of The Day-PG15 15:00 Paws-PG 16:45 Mammoth-PG15 19:00 The Headless Woman-PG15 21:00 American History X-18 23:00 Secretariat-PG15


01:30 Get Him To The Greek-18 03:30 Cats & Dogs: The Revenge Of Kitty Galore-PG 05:00 Flipped-PG 07:00 Love The Beast-PG 09:00 Post Grad-PG15 11:00 Lottery Ticket-PG15 13:00 Get Low-PG15 15:00 The Lovely Bones-PG15 17:15 Post Grad-PG15 19:00 Due Date-PG15

21:00 Senna-PG15 23:00 Repo Men-18

00:00 Good Boy!-PG15 02:00 The Adventures Of Don Quixote-FAM 04:00 Shipwrecked-PG 06:00 Good Boy!-PG15 08:00 Mia And The Migoo-PG 10:00 Emilie Jolie-PG15 12:00 The Lion King 2: Simba’s PrideFAM 14:00 Shipwrecked-PG 16:15 Happiness Is A Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown-PG 18:00 Emilie Jolie-PG15 20:00 Adventures Of A Teenage Dragonslayer-PG 22:00 The Lion King 2: Simba’s PrideFAM

00:00 01:30 03:30 06:00 08:00 09:45 11:30 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00

Deadline-18 Never Let Me Go-PG15 The Karate Kid-PG Soul Surfer-PG15 5 Dollars A Day-PG15 Diary Of A Wimpy Kid-PG The Karate Kid-PG My Last Five Girlfriends-PG15 Diary Of A Wimpy Kid-PG Megamind-FAM Extract-PG15 Unknown-PG15

01:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 10:00 10:30 14:30 15:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 21:00

Super Rugby Trans World Sport UFC Unleashed UFC The Ultimate Fighter Live European PGA Tour Volvo Ocean Race Highlights Live Super Rugby Futbol Mundial Trans World Sport Super Rugby Live Super Rugby WWE Bottom Line Live Snooker

01:00 01:30 02:30 05:00 07:00 10:00 10:30 11:30 12:00 16:00 16:30 20:00 20:30 21:00 23:00

Asian Tour Golf Trans World Sport AFL Premiership NRL Premiership Live AFL Premiership Total Rugby Trans World Sport Futbol Mundial Live Snooker Total Rugby Live Snooker Volvo Ocean Race Highlights Futbol Mundial European Challenge Cup Scottish Premier League

00:30 NRL Premiership 02:30 Futbol Mundial 03:00 Snooker 06:00 Golfing World 07:00 Trans World Sport 08:00 Futbol Mundial 08:30 Total Rugby 09:00 NRL Full Time 09:30 Live NRL Premiership 13:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 14:00 Live Scottish Premier League 16:00 Trans World Sport 17:00 Live European Challenge Cup 19:00 European PGA Tour 23:30 NRL Premiership

00:00 01:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 10:00 11:00 11:30 13:30 14:30 16:30 17:00 19:00 20:00 23:00

UFC Unleashed WWE SmackDown WWE Bottom Line UFC Unleashed UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC Unleashed WWE NXT WWE Smackdown WWE Bottom Line Mobil 1 The Grid Live NRL Premiership WWE Vintage Collection WWE SmackDown SPL Highlights Live Scottish Premier League UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC 145 UFC The Ultimate Fighter


Birthday Greetings


any, many happy returns of the day to Sai Samhitha Daruru who celebrates her birthday today. Best wishes from parents Lavanya and Kishore, uncle and aunt Balaram, Sheela, sister Rishitha, brother Satya and friends, relatives, family members of Basineni, Daruru.

ABS field trip to Fit 4 Fun

Announcements ‘Arangetram 2012’ Nandhanam School of Dance, an institute to promote India’s rich culture and values in Kuwait, is conducting its first “Arangetram 2012”, a student’s debut on stage dance performance, at the American International School, Maidan Hawalli - Kuwait on Friday, May 4, 2012. The program will start by 05:45 pm and the guests are requested to be seated 15 minutes before the program. Intensive Free Arabic Course in IPC IPC is opening an intensive Basic Arabic Course for ladies commencing from June 3July 8, 2012. The class will be from 5 -7 pm and 3 days a week. Registration is on! For information, call: 22512257. SADU HOUSE Opening: 7 May 2012 5pm-8pm Exhibition Hours: 8 May, 9am - 1pm & 4- 8pm, 9 May, 9am - 1pm. For its launch exhibition, Zen Crafts presents the richness of Gulf handicrafts, blending traditional and modern design to create unique and expertly crafted contemporary pieces. An exquisite limited collection of hand-woven textiles inspired by the bedouin art of Sadu weaving, and award-winning designer/ silversmith Nedda El-Asmar’s take on the modern mabkhar, the Gulf’s iconic incense burner, will be unveiled. Join us on this cultural journey from Kuwait to Laos and Brussels in the brand’s quest for new interpretations of our Gulf heritage. Sodu House is located in Kuwait City, on Gulf Street, next to the Kuwait National Museum. For more Information please call 99402406 or email Visit Golf Tourney American Business Council of Kuwait invites you to its 11th Annual 4-man 18 hole Golf tournament at the Sahara Club on Friday, May 4th. If interested to participate, register now, individually or a team off our at americanbusinesscouncil@abckuwait2012 Non-Golfers are welcome to enjoy the day-out at the Sahara club and experience the delicious luncheon at the tournaments prize distribution ceremony.


he ABS elementary school field trip to Fit 4 Fun in Hawally was a great success. Fit 4 Fun’s kind and energetic staff had us screaming with enthusiasm throughout the entire morning. Students and staff boogied down while learning the latest hip hop moves, increased their heart rates while bouncing on their own individual trampolines, acquired

new martial arts skills, climbed their way through a boot-camp course mixed with gymnastics, and tested their ability to follow dance moves when being challenged in a simulated dance-off. Students returned to school with smiles on their faces, and everyone slept like babies that night after having such an active day.


Graphic Design student winner Sarah Ahmad

Co-Chair Marcella Kulchitsky, President Thompson, Chair Sharon Orleans Lawrence are seen.

President Thompson presents a certificate to senior graphic design student Maha Ali.

AUK announces winners of ‘President’s Exhibition’ competition


Selections from drawing, graphic design, and capstone artwork.

he American University of Kuwait announced the winners of the student competition for The President’s Exhibition, Spring 2012. The winning art work was selected from the best of the best student class work from the previous semester. All entries were submitted to the competition by the AUK ART and Graphic Design (GDES) professors. The exhibition includes painting, drawing, graphic design, cut paper, and photography work juried for creativity, originality, and technique. The 21 winners of the competition are: Sarah Ahmad, Nasser A. AlSager, Arwa S. Al-Enezi, Zahraa J. Hamadi, Hayat T. Al Zafiri, Shahad Al-Terkait, Fatima Al-Tamimi, Rawan Al-Omani, Hassan Shah, Jumana Al-Refai, MatrahAldooseri, Hiam AlAli, Sarah Al Ajmi, Sundes Al-Blushi, Sarah Khalid Al-Bloshi, Bashayer Al-Hussinan, Roaa Al-Majed, ArwaMulla Ali, Sarah Al-Haddad, Maha Ali, and Khadijah Al-Najadah. Students with winning artwork received a certificate signed by AUK President Dr. Winfred Thompson and were honored at a reception inaugurating the exhibition. They will also enjoy having their work displayed in the president’s office for the coming six months, ensuring that their work will be viewed by dignitaries and other honored visitors to the University. The AUK President’s Exhibition is an excellent opportunity for students, as it works to increase student pride in execution, rewards excellent work, and provides a valuable accomplishment on their resumes as they graduate and go out from AUK to graduate school or the workplace. Professor Sharon Orleans Lawrence, Assistant Professor of Art History and Studio Arts, is Chair of the AUK President’s Exhibition; Professor Marcella Kulchitsky, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design, is Co-Chair. The American University of Kuwait (AUK) is an independent, private, equal opportunity, and co-educational liberal arts institution of higher education. The educational, cultural and administrative structure, methods and standards of AUK are based on the American model of higher learning. The language of instruction is English.

President Thompson presents a certificate to Bashayer AlHussinan.

President Thompson presents a certificate to Matra Al-Doos.

Sundes Al-Bloshi explains the concept between her artwork to the President and Professor Lawrence.

Winning student Rawan Al-Omani and Professor Lawrence are pictured.

Chair of the President’s Exhibition Sharon Orleans Lawrence with a selection of exhibition artwork.

Selections from drawing classes.

health & science SATURDAY, APRIL 28, 2012

Top Philippine dishes emerge from junk food shadows ANGELES CITY: Claude Tayag sees himself as a food missionary, hoping to convert people at home and abroad to the secret cuisine wonders of the Philippines. The Southeast Asian nation’s table-fare has long suffered a poor reputation internationally compared with its regional neighbors. Across the world, Indian curry houses compete with Vietnamese noodle soup shops or Chinese dim sum restaurants in offering a taste of Asian food, but there are comparatively very few places serving Filipino dishes. Back home, many locals also undoubtedly prefer their meals fast and cheap in the style of their former American colonial rulers-with deep-

fried chicken and hamburger chains dominating the food scene. But standing in his kitchen over a huge pot of pork bone marrow slowly simmering in a traditional adobo-style mix of vinegar, soy sauce and garlic, Tayag insists Philippine food can “wow” as much as any other in Asia. “It’s a very misunderstood cuisine. Firstly, Filipino cuisine is so diverse,” Tayag says as he stirs the pork that he is preparing for dozens of guests who have gathered at his home. “You cannot explain it in one sentence. You need a whole day, a whole month to talk about it.” Tayag, an artist, writer and chef, has turned his rustic home a couple of hours’ drive north of Manila into an

informal restaurant, where diners feast on a 10-course meal that takes them on a culinary tour of the archipelago. The lunchtime extravaganza lasts for three hours and one version of his menu starts with an eclectic trio of dips-fermented rice, crab fat and a pesto made from the native pili nut. It ends with a Filipino version of the Italian panna cotta-made from carabao’s milk, which has a higher fat content and is thus richer than that produced by cows. In between, grilled chicken is served after being marinated in lemongrass and a local lime-like citrus fruit called calamansi. Throughout the afternoon diners wash down their food with jugs

of ice-cold tea made from calamansi juice, ginger, lemongrass and honey. A particular highlight for diners is when they crowd around Tayag to take photos as he prepares a pork dish called sisig that sizzles and pops on a frying pan. Popular particularly among latenight beer drinkers around the Philippines, sisig is made of finely chopped pigs’ ears and cheeks. Tayag serves it with boiled chicken livers, calamansi extract, white onion, salt and chilli. Bookings often have to be made weeks in advance for the restaurant that Tayag runs with his effervescent wife, Mary Ann, who entertains the guests as hostess with in-depth descriptions of all the dishes. — AFP

PAMPANGA: A picture shows a “Seafood Kare-Kare”, a peanut based delicacy with giant tiger prawn, squid, mussels and string beans partnered with shrimp paste and cooked by chef and artist Claude Tayag in Angeles, Pampanga, north of Manila. (Right) Customers eat their lunch at the Bale Dutung, the house of chef and artist Claude Tayag in Angeles. — AFP

Study: Global warming speeds up rainfall cycle SYDNEY: An Australian study of ocean salinity over the past 50 years has revealed a “fingerprint” showing that climate change has accelerated the rainfall cycle, a researcher said yesterday. The study published in the journal Science and conducted by Australian and US scientists looked at ocean data from 1950 to 2000 and found that salinity levels had changed in oceans around the world over that time. Co-author Susan Wijffels said the figures were revealing because ocean salinity was indicative of changes in the water cycle of rainfall and evaporation. “What the results are saying is we have an ocean fingerprint, a very clear fingerprint, that the earth’s water cycle has already spun up,” she said. “What we see in the observations of how the salinity field has changed already over the last 50 years, (is) our hydrological cycle has already intensified significantly.” Wijffels said the pattern was amplifying over time and it could be inferred that the same dynamics were also happening over land. “What it really means is that the atmosphere can actually shuttle more water from the areas that are drying out to the areas that have lots of rain faster,” she said. “And essentially it means that the wet areas are going to get wetter and the dry areas are going to get drier.” Wijffels said getting a clear picture of what had happened historically with rainfall was frustrating because there was little quality data, and most of this was collected on land, in particular in the northern hemisphere. “Yet most of the earth’s surface is the ocean and actually most of the evaporation that drives our water cycle is happening over the ocean,” Wijffels said, making the oceans a worthy object of climate change study. — AFP

US mulls ban on phoning and texting while driving 3,000 fatalities from distracted driving last year SAN ANTONIO: US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called yesterday for a federal law to ban talking on a cell phone or texting while driving any type of vehicle on any road in the country. Tough federal legislation is the only way to deal with what he called a “national epidemic,” he said at a distracted-driving summit in San Antonio, Texas, that drew doctors, advocates and government officials. LaHood said it is important for the police to have “the opportunity to write tickets when people are foolishly thinking they can drive safely or use a cell phone and text and drive.” LaHood has previously criticized behind-the-wheel use of cell phones and other devices, but calling for a federal law prohibiting the practice takes his effort to a new level. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 3,000 fatal traffic accidents nationwide last year were the result of distracted driving. Using a cell phone while driving delays reaction time the same amount as having a blood alcohol concentration of .08, the legal limit, the highway

agency said. But Gary Biller, president of the National Motorists Association, said laws banning specific actions like talking on a phone or texting are not necessary because those actions are already covered by existing distracted-driving laws. It would be more productive, he said, to invest resources in campaigns that discourage inattentive driving in general. “It shouldn’t matter if the driver is distracted by a conversation with another vehicle passenger, tuning the radio, eating a snack, or talking on a cell phone,” Biller said in a statement. “Existing laws cover all those distractions and more.” LaHood said, however, he was not as concerned about people who eat, apply makeup, or perform other distracting activities in cars because “not everyone does that.” “But everyone has a cell phone and too many of us think it is OK to talk on our phones while we are driving,” he said at the summit, sponsored by insurance company USAA, the Texas Department of Transportation and Shriners Hospitals for Children. LaHood was joined by

people who have been hurt in accidents caused by motorists talking on cell phones, including children in wheelchairs who were paralyzed. Such accidents are “100 percent preventable,” he said. He compared the situation facing the United States today with the problem of drunk driving 20-30 years ago. “It used to be that if an officer pulled you over for drunk driving, he would pat you on the back, maybe call you a cab or take you home, but he wouldn’t arrest you,” LaHood said. “Now that has changed, and the same enforcement can work for people who talk on cell phones while driving.” Thirty-eight states have laws restricting or outlawing the use of electronic devices while driving, LaHood said. LaHood said his department was researching the effect that hands-free devices and new systems like Ford Motor Company’s Sync have on distracting drivers. He said he has called the CEOs of major car companies and encouraged them to “think twice” before placing too many Internet-based systems into new cars. — Reuters

health & science SATURDAY, APRIL 28, 2012

New Yorkers bring fish farms to urban jungle NEW YORK: So you recycle, drive a small car, and try to eat organic. But what about running an eco-sustainable fish farm combined with a naturally fertilized vegetable patch in your kitchen? Christopher Toole and Anya Pozdeeva, two former New York bankers who founded the Society for Aquaponic Values and Education (SAVE), are there to help. “We call it ‘beyond organic,’” Pozdeeva, 39, said. Aquaponics is a technique with ancient roots for breeding tank fish, recycling their effluent-filled water to fertilize vegeta-

tion, then allowing this naturally cleaned water to drip back into the tank below. It’s a perfect, miniature eco system that will let you grow healthy food right in a cramped apartment with almost no specialist equipment. “We built our system just from trash cans,” said Pozdeeva, a slender woman who emigrated from Russia’s Siberian region 20 years ago and still speaks English with a gentle accent. If growing fish to eat in your New York apartment sounds unlikely, then Toole and Pozdeeva are

even unlikelier urban eco pioneers. Just a short time ago they were bankers working crazy hours among the skyscrapers of Manhattan, a far cry from the gritty Bronx where they are based today. After the 2008 financial crash floored the banking industry, Toole, a vice president at Sovereign Bank, discovered he had a serious eye problem, which he says was stress-related. And both of them were severely disenchanted with their careers. “They know how to squeeze every drop out of you and then throw

you away,” Pozdeeva said. “We wanted two feet on the ground,” said Toole, 47, and striking-looking with a bushy gray beard and pork pie hat. Instead, he put two feet in the water. Toole knew a little about fish from childhood summers with his scientist father out at Woods Hole in Massachusetts, a famed marine biology research center in the Cape Cod area. Aquaponics, he reckoned, would let him marry sustainable food production with what he hopes will be an equally sustainable business model. — AFP


112 Hospitals Sabah Hospital


Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital


Chest Hospital


Farwaniya Hospital


Adan Hospital


Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital


Physiotherapy Hospital


Clinics Rabiya














Abdullah Salim




Industrial Shuwaikh






Bneid Al-Ghar






Ayoun Al-Kibla










Maidan Hawally












New Jahra


West Jahra


South Jahra


North Jahra


North Jleeb












Prayer timings Fajr: Duhr: Asr: Maghrib: Isha:

03:43 11:46 15:21 18:23 19:46

ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available with Pakistani family in Kheitan, bachelor or couple. Please contact: 99868113. (C 3972) Sharing accommodation for decent bachelor (non smoking) or working ladies. Location: Amman street, opposite to Al Rashid Hospital, Salmiya, building no: 44 2nd floor, room no: 10. Contact: 66232356, 50223132. (C 3976) 26-4-2012 Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya, single bachelor accommodation, double bedroom flat, rent KD 40/-, from May 1st. Contact: 99162583 (C 3968) 23-4-2012 Two bedroom, drawing room flat with air conditioners ready for occupancy from next month in Abbassiya, near Learners’ Own Academy School. Contact: 66619705. (C 3963) Sharing accommodation available for Indian bachelors in old Riggae, block-1, Street1, Jada-3, building-43. Contact: 97525930 21-4-2012

LOST Policy No: 633002951-7 Mohd Naeem policy no: 633003318-4 Manzar Ali Khan of State Life Insurance has been lost if anybody found please contact: 22452208-9 Mirqab Kwt. (C 3975) 26-4-2012

CHANGE OF NAME I, Nazia Begum, D/o Syed Aziz, R/o 18-8-134, Dargah Barhaneh Shah, Santoshnagar, Hyderabad, having passport No. E8384809, have changed my name, henceforth I shall be known and called as “Nazia Syed Aziz”. (C 3969) I, Sajna Kunhi Mohamed, holder of Indian passport No. E2271200 hereby change my name to Ayesha Mohammed hereafter. (C 3970) 24-4-2012 I, Penigalapati Chinnanarsaiah, holder of Indian passport No. G9940624, residence of Venkatanarayanampalli, Chakrampeta post, Rajampeta, Kadapa District, Andhra Pradesh, have changed my name to Polarapu Babu Naidu. (C 3967) 22-4-2012

No: 15432 FOR SALE PC Desktop Siemens, Core2 Duo, Ram 2GB, HD 160GB, DVD Writer, multi card reader, CPU in small shape, Windows-7 Ultimate, Multimedia, LCD Screen 17”, excellent condition. Contact: 50505120. (C 3973) Mitsubishi Colt model 1993, white color, engine & transmission (gear), external (body) all in good condition, insurance till 25th January 2013, price KD 220/-. Contact: 99337034. (C 3974) 26-4-2012

TUITION An experienced M.Sc lady teacher is organizing home private tuition only for class 10 students in Abbassiya. Contact: 99396335. (C 3978) 28-4-2012 Math teacher for secondary stage, language schools, bilingual schools and intermediate stage: Algebra, Gmath, Geometry, Statistics for arts and science branches. Tel: 66974020. English language teacher specialized in starting elementary and intermediate, 10th and 11th experienced in starting functions, grammar, set book, vocabulary, notes and model exams available. Tel: 65791555. Arabic language teacher, masters in methods of teaching for secondary and intermediate students. Tel: 50644685.

Senior Arabic language teacher, elementary and intermediate, long experience in Kuwait curricula, explaining grammar rules and starting those weak in reading and writing. Tel: 99262948. Senior chemistry and physics teacher. Long experience for 10th, 11th and 12th stages. Intermediate science and applied institutions. Highly competent. Tel: 99542922. Mathematics and statistics female teacher for female students in the secondary, intermediate, university and applied institutions female students. Tel: 99410370. Female Syrian Arabic language teacher for elementary and intermediate, and starting the weak using Halaby method in her house located in Abdallah AlMubarak area. Tel: 50513699.

information SATURDAY, APRIL 28, 2012



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Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (

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6 6 0


Word Sleuth Solution

Yesterday始s Solution

ACROSS 1. A man who serves as a sailor. 4. A northeastern Iranian language spoken in Russia. 10. The syllable naming the first (tonic) note of any major scale in solmization. 13. A dark-skinned member of a race of people living in Australia when Europeans arrived. 14. Abnormally enlarged thyroid gland. 15. Any of various primates with short tails or no tail at all. 16. A system of solmization using the solfa syllables. 18. An aggressive and violent young criminal. 19. Goddess of the dead and queen of the underworld. 20. Relating to or resembling or made of or adorned with pearls or mother-of-pearl. 21. Ratio of the adjacent side to the hypotenuse. 23. A town in central Belgium. 25. Any substance that can be used as food. 32. A port city in southwestern Iran. 34. The brother of your father or mother. 35. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 36. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 37. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 38. The sign language used in the United States. 41. (zoology) Lacking a tail or taillike appendage. 44. A Russian river. 46. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 47. A user interface in which you type commands instead of choosing them from a menu or selecting an icon. 48. Wood of a sumac. 50. (biology) Of unlike parts or organs. 55. Essential oil or perfume obtained from flowers. 59. American professional baseball player who hit more home runs than Babe Ruth (born in 1934). 60. Large brownish-green New Zealand parrot. 63. Black tropical American cuckoo. 64. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 65. A large fleet. 66. A piece of furniture that provides a place to sleep. DOWN 1. A short labored intake of breath with the mouth open. 2. A slender double-reed instrument. 3. A cord fastened around the neck with an ornamental clasp and worn as a necktie. 4. A member of the Siouan people formerly inhabiting the Black Hills of western South Dakota. 5. Conforming to truth. 6. A situation comedy. 7. The distinctive spirit of a people or an era. 8. Something (as property) held by one party (the trustee) for the benefit of another (the beneficiary). 9. A graphical record of electrical activity of the brain. 10. Tropical woody herb with showy yellow flowers and flat pods. 11. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 12. Goddess of the dead and queen of the underworld. 17. Intentional deception resulting in injury to another person. 22. Chief port of Yemen.

24. The goddess of the moon. 26. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 27. A small cake leavened with yeast. 28. Made by polymerizing butadiene. 29. Any of a number of fishes of the family Carangidae. 30. Leaf or strip from a leaf of the talipot palm used in India for writing paper. 31. The food served and eaten at one time. 33. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 39. A mark left by the healing of injured tissue. 40. Resinlike substance secreted by certain lac insects. 42. An independent agency of the United States government responsible for collecting and coordinating intelligence and counterintelligence activities abroad in the national interest. 43. The inner and longer of the two bones of the human forearm. 45. Genus of East Indian trees or shrubs. 46. A white soft metallic element that tarnishes readily. 49. A flat-bottomed volcanic crater that was formed by an explosion. 51. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 52. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 53. The quality of a person's voice. 54. A town in north central Oklahoma. 56. A room or establishment where alcoholic drinks are served over a counter. 57. (Australian and New Zealand) A disparaging term for English immigrants to Australia or New Zealand. 58. A master's degree in business. 61. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 62. A public promotion of some product or service.

Yesterday始s Solution


NL roundup

AL roundup

Padres rally past Nationals SAN DIEGO: San Diego pinch-hitter Mark Kotsay’s two-run double in the eighth inning gave the Padres a 2-1 win over the Washington Nationals on Thursday. With the Padres trailing 1-0, Orlando Hudson drew a one-out walk and Cameron Maybin dropped down a bunt single against Tyler Clippard (1-2). Kotsay followed with a double to right-center. Andrew Cashner (1-1) pitched a perfect eighth for the win and Huston Street earned the save. The National League East-leading Nationals (14-5) had won four straight and eight of 10. GIANTS 6, REDS 5 In Cincinnati, Angel Pagan hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning, lifting San Francisco over Cincinnati. Joaquin Arias led off the ninth against Cincinnati closer Sean Marshall (0-2) with a walk, and Ryan Theriot followed with a single. After a strikeout, Pagan lofted a pitch into the left field seats to snap the Giants’ losing streak in Cincinnati at seven. Javier Lopez (2-0) pitched a scoreless eighth to earn the win.

Santiago Casilla struck out the side in the ninth for the save. METS 3, MARLINS 2 In New York, a bases-loaded walk and a two-out single in the ninth inning lifted New York to victory over Miami. Pitching for the first time in a week, and working in a steady drizzle, Marlins closer Heath Bell (0-3) couldn’t find the plate, walking four and throwing a whopping 46 pitches. The Mets trailed 2-1 when David Wright drew a leadoff walk in the ninth. Two more walks loaded the basespasses for Justin Turner, who fell behind in the count 0-2 but fouled off seven pitches before his walk made it 2-2. After a forceout at the plate notched the second out, Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a single off the right-field wall for the winning run. Before Nieuwenhuis’ hit the Mets were 0 for 16 when batting with the bases loaded this season. Ramon Ramirez (2-1) pitched two scoreless innings to take the win for the Mets, who completed a three-game sweep. — AP

MLB results/standings Kansas City 4, Cleveland 2; San Francisco 6, Cincinnati 5; Seattle 5, Detroit 4; Tampa Bay 4, LA Angels 3; NY Mets 3, Miami 2; Baltimore 5, Toronto 2; Boston 10, Chicago White Sox 3; San Diego 2, Washington 1. American League Eastern Division W L PCT Tampa Bay 12 7 .632 Baltimore 12 7 .632 NY Yankees 10 8 .556 Toronto 10 9 .526 Boston 8 10 .444 Central Division Cleveland 9 8 .529 Detroit 10 9 .526 Chicago W Sox 10 9 .526 Kansas City 5 14 .263 Minnesota 5 14 .263 Western Division Texas 15 4 .789 Oakland 10 10 .500 Seattle 10 10 .500 LA Angels 6 13 .316

GB 1.5 2 3.5 5 5 5.5 5.5 9

National League Eastern Division Washington 14 5 .737 Atlanta 12 7 .632 NY Mets 11 8 .579 Philadelphia 9 10 .474 Miami 7 11 .389 Central Division St. Louis 12 7 .632 Milwaukee 9 10 .474 Cincinnati 9 10 .474 Pittsburgh 8 10 .444 Houston 7 12 .368 Chicago Cubs 6 13 .316 Western Division LA Dodgers 13 6 .684 San Francisco 10 9 .526 Colorado 9 9 .500 Arizona 9 10 .474 San Diego 6 14 .300

2 3 5 6.5 3 3 3.5 5 6 3 3.5 4 7.5

Arsenal gunning to cling onto 3rd LONDON: Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson has said the Gunners are desperate to cling onto third place in the Premier League in order to ensure Champions League qualification for next season. Chelsea’s passage into the Champions League final has increased the likelihood of just the top three clubs in the Premier League qualifying for next year’s competition, instead of four. Normally the English top flight’s first, second and third-placed sides gain entry to the Champions League group stage, with the team that finishes fourth going into a preliminary qualifying match. But if Chelsea, who are currently sixth, beat Bayern Munich in the May 19 final, they will gain a qualifying berth at the expense of the fourthplaced club in the Premier League. Arsenal head into today’s match at Stoke City in third place, three points above Newcastle United, who have a game in hand on the Gunners. And Jenkinson wants to end the Premier League season knowing Arsene Wenger’s side are in next term’s elite European competition, rather than relying on Bayern beating Chelsea. “Of course Chelsea can

win it, they wouldn’t have got this far if they didn’t have it in them to win,” Jenkinson said. “But it is in our hands now, we are in third place and we can’t be relying on other things for us to be in the Champions League now. “We need to make sure of it ourselves and the only way to do that is finish in third place. We just have to do everything we can to win our next three games and make that place ours.” Arsenal have won just once in their last four visits to Stoke City’s Britannia Stadium, most recently succumbing to a 3-1 defeat last May. And Jenkinson added that Stoke’s physical style of play under manager Tony Pulis is something Arsenal must accept. “I think it is fair to say that most teams struggle with the physical side that Stoke have,” the Arsenal right-back added. “It is something we have to be aware of and it is no surprise anymore, everybody knows how Stoke play. “They are a big, strong and physical side but we are prepared for that, know what is coming and just have to deal with it as best as we can.—AFP

BALTIMORE: Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar (left) throws to first after stopping a ground ball by Baltimore Orioles’ Adam Jones in the sixth inning of a baseball game in Baltimore. — AP

Orioles complete sweep of Blue Jays BALTIMORE: Baltimore’s Adam Jones led off the eighth inning with a tiebreaking homer as the Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2 on Thursday to complete a three-game sweep with its fourth straight victory. Jones ripped the first pitch from Casey Janssen (1-1) just above the glove of the leaping left fielder and into the first row. Darren Oliver replaced Janssen after Jones’ home run and allowed Matt Wieters’ single before Chris Davis hit a two-run homer. Darren O’Day (2-0) pitched two perfect innings in relief to take the win. The Blue Jays have lost three straight and are 1-5 against the Orioles this season. MARINERS 5, TIGERS 4 In Detroit, Chone Figgins hit a tiebreaking double in the seventh inning as Seattle completed a threegame sweep of Detroit. Figgins’ drive was misjudged by the right fielder and scored Brendan Ryan, who had reached on a two-out walk from Rick Porcello (12). Former Tiger Charlie Furbush (1-1) got the win for the Mariners with a perfect inning of work. RAYS 4, ANGELS 3 In St Petersburg, Florida, Brandon Allen hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning to lift Tampa Bay over Los Angeles. Allen, recently acquired from Oakland, homered off closer Jordan Walden (0-1) after B J Upton had a oneout single. Brandon Gomes (1-0) worked a 1-2-3 ninth, helping the Rays win their

fifth straight. Angels’ big-money recruit Albert Pujols ended his career-worst 21 games without a hit but is still yet to hit a homer for his new team and, dating back to last season, he has gone 105 atbats without a long shot, equaling the longest drought of his career. RED SOX 10, WHITE SOX 3 In Chicago, Kevin Youkilis hit a grand slam and Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered twice and Boston roughed up Chicago starter Philip Humber. Youkilis hit his second career slam during a fiverun third inning against Humber, who was making his first start since pitching a perfect game at Seattle on Saturday. Humber (1-1) walked the leadoff batter in the first, snapping his streak of 29 straight batters retired. He was tagged for a career-worst nine runs in five innings. The resurgent Red Sox have scored 34 runs in winning their past four games, a streak coming on the heels of a five-game skid. Boston starter Felix Doubront (1-0) went six innings for his first big league win since 2010. ROYALS 4, INDIANS 2 In Cleveland, Luis Mendoza pitched into the sixth inning and Kansas City’s bullpen made a lead stand up in the win over Cleveland. Mendoza (1-2) was pulled with the bases loaded and no outs in the sixth, but the Indians scored only one run from that situation. Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin (1-2) allowed four runs in 4 2-3 innings.— AP


Jimenez, Poulter, Casey ready for Korea charge SEOUL: Some of The European Tour’s most famous names were poised to mount an assault on the Ballantine’s Championship over the weekend after an intriguing second round yesterday. Conditions at the Blackstone Golf Club layout could not have been more contrasting to the gales of Thursday as an almost flat calm and bright blue skies made conditions perfect for scoring at the picturesque hillside course. Austria’s world number 170 Bernd Wiesberger took full advantage to shoot a bogey-free seven-under 65, the best round of the week, and take a one-shot lead into the weekend ahead of former winner Marcus Fraser of Australia. But loom-

ing just three behind Wiesberger on four-under par was seasoned campaigner and multiple European Tour winner Miguel Angel Jimenez. “Well I feel nice, I feel calm and I feel peace and they (the leaders) don’t feel very good because they can feel my breath on their necks,” laughed Jimenez after a four-under par 68. The Spaniard was runner-up here last year by one shot to Lee Westwood and feels the course suits his game. “It looks like we are in the right mood, the golf course and myself. I like it very much and I hope we can make a good deal during the weekend,” he added. Big name players Paul Casey (72)

and Ian Poulter (67) are also well in the hunt at two-under par. “Westy (Lee Westwood) made the cut on the number last year and went on to win. So I’m certainly not going to be sitting back,” said Poulter. “I need to put birdies in the bag, really. “I’m right in the mix. It’s about going out there and making as many birdies as I can.” Other big names did not fare so well: the highest ranked player in the field, Australia’s world number 12 Adam Scott plunged down the leaderboard and only just made the weekend after a 76 left him just inside the four-over par cut mark. And British Open champion Darren Clarke could not undo the

damage caused by his opening day 77 and missed the cut despite improving with a second-round levelpar 72 which contained four birdies. Fraser is bidding to become the first double winner of this championship as it celebrates its fifth anniversary-he won in 2010 at Jeju Island. And he announced his intentions with a superb six-under round of 66, a flawless card without a single five on it after birdying all four of Blackstone’s par fives. “Obviously yesterday was very windy, pretty tricky for everybody,” said Fraser, the two-time European Tour winner who is in good form having finished sixth in the Volvo China Open last week. — AFP

Raonic routs Murray in Barcelona upset BARCELONA: Canadian Milos Raonic handed second seed Andy Murray a clay-court humiliation yesterday as the big-hitting youngster hammered the Scot 6-4, 7-6 (7/3) to reach the semi-finals of the Barcelona Open yesterday. Raonic, ranked 25th, will be playing in his second career clay semi on Saturday against one of two Spanish seeds in number three David Ferrer or number seven Feliciano Lopez. Murray was to have been Raonic’s opponent in Miami last month, but the Canadian had to withdraw injured before that showdown on hardcourt. With the scene shifted to clay, the momentum went with the Canadian as he took the biggest scalp of his fast-rising career in just under one and three-quarter hours at the Real Club de Tenis. “It was important to play a few games on clay, I had some good tennis from time to time,” said Murray. “It’s most important to get ready for the upcoming Masters 1000s (Madrid from May 7 and Rome to follow). Murray, a Monte Carlo quarter-finalist who admitted that he’s had a difficult time trying to make the change from hardcourt to clay, praised Raonic’s big game. “Milos has always played well on hardcourt - now he’s a threat on all surfaces. “He’s got a huge serve, you must find ways to neutralise it. If you manage, you have options.” Raonic, winner of two titles this season on indoor hardcourt where his huge game is always a threat, showed that he’s getting comfortable on the dirt as he fired 14 aces in victory. His only other final-four on clay came a year ago in Estoril, when he

BARCELONA: Canada’s Milos Raonic returns the ball to Andy Murray of Britain during the Barcelona open tennis in Barcelona yesterday. Raonic won 6-4, 7-6. — AP lost to Spain’s Fernando Verdasco. Raonic’s shock win over Murray backed up his defeat of Spanish specialist Nicolas Almagro in the third round. The Canadian ended Murray’s best run in Barcelona, where he has claimed only a single match win in three previous appearances. Raonic won the first set thanks to one break of serve and stayed steady well into the second as he dueled with Murray. The Canadian broke for a 4-3 lead but was unable to close out victory immediately as Murray got the break back in the tenth game for five-apiece.

As the set went to a tiebreaker, Raonic’s huge serve came to bear, with the 11thseeded Canadian taking a 3-0 lead. He earned five match points, with Murray saving two before sending a week backhand into the net. Raonic converted on two of five break points while Murray missed on three of his break chances. Murray had dropped just eight games in his first two matches in Barcelona, where he trained as a teenager and where Raonic has a base to go train with his Spanish coach Galo Blanco. Murray was Raonic’s sixth career win over a top 10 player. — AFP

Double tear rules Petkovic out of Paris, Wimbledon STUTTGART: German number one Andrea Petkovic will miss both the French Open and Wimbledon after tearing ankle ligaments less than a week after making her comeback from a back injury. The 24year-old, ranked 12th in the world, badly twisted her right ankle during her second-round tie against world number one Victoria Azarenka as she slid to reach a ball on Thursday night which left her in obvious distress. Scans at hospital in Stuttgart yesterday revealed she has torn two ligaments, and damaged a third, in her right ankle and may need an operation. She will be out for around three months, having only returned

on Sunday from a three-month break after suffering with back problems. She also tore the ACL ligaments in her right knee in 2008. It means she will definitely miss Grand Slam tournaments at Roland Garros, which starts in Paris on May 27, and Wimbledon, which begins June 25. She may yet be able to play at the London Olympic Games which takes place from July 27-August 12. “I have to start the recovery process all over again,” said the German number one who reached the quarter-finals of last seasonís Australian, French and US Opens, as well as the third round at Wimbledon. — AP

Tringale, Duke share lead in New Orleans NEW ORLEANS: Cameron Tringale and Ken Duke shared the lead at the $6.4 million Zurich Classic on Thursday, with defending champion Bubba Watson six adrift in his first start since his Masters triumph. Duke and Tringale both shot seven-under 65 on the par-72 TPC Louisiana course. Tringale surged to his share of the lead with birdies at the last four holes, recovering from his early bogey at the par-three third with eight birdies overall. “When I had chances to make birdies I was making them and made a couple 20-footers as well,” Tringale said. “So, turned into a good day.” Duke, who like Tringale is seeking a first career US PGA Tour victory, had seven birdies, including three in a row from the fifth. He had two more at 11 and 12, and capped his round with a birdie at 18. “The greens were good. Weren’t too fast,” said Duke, who has spent the past two seasons toiling on the Nationwide developmental tour. “You can’t have them too fast here because of the wind and it will really will smack you. They’re receptive. The course is in good shape, great shape.” The leading duo were one stroke in front of South African Ernie Els, Sweden’s Daniel Chopra and Americans Steve Stricker and Chris Stroud. Els made a birdie from a bunker at 18 to cap his 66. “It was a tough day,” Els said. “Good start and just kept at it.” Stricker started on the 10th tee and after his only bogey of the day, at the par-five 18th, played his last nine holes in fiveunder. It was another shot back to Ben Curtis, John Rollins and Jason Dufner on 67. Former British Open champion Curtis arrived in Louisiana fresh from victory in the Texas Open on Sunday, his first tour title since 2006. Watson had four birdies and three bogeys in his 71. He admitted he was “mentally exhausted” in the wake of his first major title at Augusta National earlier this month. “I’m very exhausted, tough trying to play golf today,” said Watson, who took a fortnight off after the Masters. “I knew I needed to be here being the defending champ for the local fans. So I’m here, but mentally I’m not here.” He teed off on 10 and was two-over through seven holes. He held on, however, and finished his round with three bogeys and four birdies. “Very happy with my score today,” Watson later said via Twitter. “To shoot under par was awesome!” England’s Luke Donald, ranked second in the world, signed for a 73. — AFP


Hosting of Bahrain GP backfires on F1 DUBAI: An incident free Bahrain Grand Prix was just what the country’s rulers and Formula One had wanted. But they paid a heavy price for holding the race. Fans are as likely to remember the huge demonstrations against the government as much as they are Sebastian Vettel’s first victory of the season. “The strategy of pretending that Bahrainis don’t have legitimate criticisms of their government has completely backfired on Formula One organizers and Bahraini government officials,” Amnesty International’s Sanjeev Bery said. “It is one thing to hold an event,” he said. “It is another thing entirely to actively pretend that the host government has committed no human rights violations, when facts on the ground reveal other-

wise.” The decision by Formula One to go ahead with the race wasn’t surprising, given the sport has history of ignoring the political realities in some countries where it races. Bahrain seemed to be an opportunity to change. The race was canceled last year due to the anti-government protests and then a bid to reschedule the race for later in 2011 was abandoned by local organizers amid increasing pressure from rights groups. It was restored to the 2012 calendar with the hopes that reforms promised by the Sunni rulers would help end the country’s political crisis. But with few signs the leadership was giving the Shiite majority greater political power, rights groups called for the race to be can-

celed. But in stepped Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone, who declared Bahrain safe to race despite ongoing clashes between riot police and anti-government protesters that have left at least 50 dead. He claimed to be unaware of any trouble in the Gulf country. The teams and drivers dutifully agreed to take part, taking the official line that they were only there to race. Sponsors and investors, too, followed suit and none pulled out. Among them was Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund, Mumtalakat, which owns 50 percent of leading team McLaren. Teams and race fans were greeted with huge protests and heavy security. A cultural exhibit set up to promote the race was also targeted by protesters, sending visitors scurrying for

cover. In the end, Bahrain’s rulers celebrated what they called a successful and safe grand prix - even though the circuit was half full. For critics of the race, safety was never the issue. No one expected trouble with all the checkpoints and layers of heavy security put in place by the government. Rather, it was the fact the race was held while thousands of protesters several miles away vented their anger at what they see as an abusive regime. “As you saw, there was a very negative reaction to the glib responses from Formula One and the drivers in terms of the human right concerns,” said Christopher L. Avery, the director of the Londonbased Business & Human Rights Resource Centre. — AP

Rangers and Devils advance after wins

KBC Bowling Championship kicks off KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti Banks Club (KBC)’s Bowling League Championship kicked off yesterday at the Cosmo Bowling Court in Salmiya with the participation of 90 competitors of local banks employees and

KBC members. In a KBC press release, KBC also announced that the Masters competition would also kick off at the same court with the participation of the top 16 players.

Tendulkar batting his way into India politics Batting superstar nominated to parliament NEW DELHI: Sachin Tendulkar’s nomination to India’s parliament was met with widespread bemusement yesterday, with many questioning whether the publicly apolitical batting superstar will have the time or inclination to serve as an MP. President Pratibha Patil approved the government’s nomination of Tendulkar late Thursday, offering him one of the 12 seats in the Rajya Sabha, or upper house, that are reserved for presidential appointees. He is the first active sportsman to receive the honor, with the seats normally gifted to people who have distinguished themselves in the arts, sciences or social services. The adoration of the cricketer in India verges on religious worship-a fact not lost on Friday’s newspaper headline writers, with the Times of India announcing that “God has a New House”. But while a number of sitting MPs welcomed the celebrity starpower Tendulkar could bring to their affairs, the reaction of media commentators and some of the “Little Master’s” fellow cricketers was one of puzzled caution. “Frankly, I am at a loss for words,” said former Mumbai and India team-mate Sanjay Manjrekar. “I never realized these sort of

things interested him. “He is not one to express his views publicly and this would be a real test for him. I hope he can make a difference in parliament.” Tendulkar, who turned 39 on Tuesday, has played more Tests (188) and one-day internationals (463) than any other player since his debut in 1989. He is the highest run-getter in both forms of the game and last month became the first batsman to complete 100 international centuries - 51 in Tests and 49 in onedayers. Despite recent speculation about his retirement, Tendulkar has given no indication that he plans to hang up his pads, leading some to question how he could fit an MP’s duties into his hectic playing schedule. “He plays almost right through the year, where is the time to go to parliament?” said another ex-international Akash Chopra. “I will be disappointed if he did not contribute and make a mark for himself in the Rajya Sabha.” Noted cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle suggested the nomination was a cynical ploy to gain “political mileage” out of Tendulkar, who has rarely, if ever, spoken out on political issues or professed any party affiliation. — AFP

NEW YORK: The New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils advanced to the Stanley Cup quarter-finals Thursday, winning their opening round series in seven games over a pair of tough Eastern Conference opponents. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 26 shots as the top-seeded Rangers edged eighth seed Ottawa 2-1 to win their first playoff series in four years. Rookie Adam Henrique scored his second goal of the game in double overtime to lift the Devils to a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers at the BankAtlantic Center. New Jersey will face the Philadelphia Flyers in the quarter-finals. The Rangers were playing their first game seven at the Madison Square Garden arena since the Rangers’ last Stanley Cup championship-when they beat Vancouver four games to three in 1994. “They are a good team and they got a lot of offence so I have to tip my hat to them,” Rangers captain Ryan Callahan said of the Senators. “This series win is going to help us through the rest of the draw.” Marc Staal and Dan Girardi scored one goal apiece for New York, who will next face Washington. The Capitals also needed a game seven on Wednesday to eliminate the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins. In the Western Conference playoffs, the Los Angeles Kings meet the St Louis Blues and the Phoenix Coyotes will battle the Nashville Predators for a berth in the semifinals. Daniel Alfredsson scored the only goal

for the Senators, who were looking to win a playoff series for the first time since advancing to the Stanley Cup finals five years ago. Goaltender Craig Anderson kept his team in it for all three periods, finishing with 27 saves. “We’re not happy with the result, but we thought we played real good and that it was a real good series,” said Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean. The win comes one day after Lundqvist was named as one of three finalists for the NHL’s Vezina Trophy for the league’s top goaltender. Lundqvist helped the Rangers to the top seed in the Eastern Conference. He posted a record of 39-18-5 in 62 regular season games, setting a career high for wins this season. “With him back there we are a more confident team,” said Callahan. “He has played good for us all year.” New Jersey netminder Martin Brodeur recorded 43 saves for the Devils, who advanced to the quarter-finals for the first time in five years. Henrique opened the scoring with his first career playoff goal then bagged the overtime winner by beating Florida goalie Jose Theodore with a wrist shot through the legs. “This is a huge win for us and it will give us momentum going forward,” said Henrique. “We had to stay confident. It was an up and down series but if we keep forechecking then we are going to be all right.” Up next for New Jersey are the fifth-seeded Flyers, who eliminated Sidney Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins in six games. — AFP

FLORIDA: Florida Panthers’ John Madden (left) falls after a collision with teammate Tomas Kopecky (82) during the first period of Game 7 in a first-round NHL Stanley Cup playoff hockey series against the New Jersey Devils in Sunrise. — AP


Grizzlies clinch No 4 seed Spurs overpower Warriors MEMPHIS: The Memphis Grizzlies claimed the No 4 seed in the Western Conference and home-court advantage in the first round of NBA playoffs by beating the Orlando Magic 88-76 on Thursday. Marc Gasol scored 22 points and Rudy Gay added 20 for the Grizzlies, who won their 11th straight home game and will open the playoffs at home tomorrow against the Los Angeles Clippers, who dropped to the fifth seed. Hedo Turkoglu, playing for the first time in 10 games because of a facial fracture, led the Magic with 18 points, hitting 7 of 13 shots from the field. The Magic rested all their starters, already guaranteed of being the No 6 seed in the East. HAWKS 106, MAVERICKS 89 In Atlanta, the hosts clinched home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs by beating defending champ Dallas. Josh Smith scored 23 points for the Hawks, who raced to a 23-point lead in the first quarter and wrapped up the fourth-best record in the East and host fourth-seeded Boston tomorrow. Dirk Nowitzki’s 22 points led the Mavericks, who will open the playoffs today at Oklahoma City. SPURS 107, WARRIORS 101 In OAkland, Patty Mills had career highs of 34 points and 12 assists as undermanned San Antonio beat Golden State. DeJuan Blair added 22 points and 13 rebounds for the Spurs, who finished with the best record in the Western Conference despite having one of the league’s oldest rosters. San Antonio hosts Utah in the first round of the playoffs beginning tomorrow. Mills took over the scoring load for the Spurs after the team sent its Big Three of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker home on Wednesday to rest for the postseason. The Warriors, decimated by injuries, became the first NBA team in modern history to start five rookies in one game. BULLS 107, CAVALIERS 75 In Chicago, the hosts clinched the top

overall seed in the playoffs by routing Cleveland. John Lucas III scored a career-high 25 points and Joakim Noah had 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Bulls, who had already claimed the top seed in the East and with Thursday’s win they guaranteed they would finish ahead of San Antonio for the best record overall. Chicago will host Philadelphia today. Tristan Thompson scored 13 points for the Cavaliers, who lost four straight games to end the season, their second straight lastplace finish in the Central Division. CELTICS 87, BUCKS 74 In Boston, Paul Pierce scored all 12 of his points in the first half despite missing most of it with a sprained toe as Boston set up the win over Milwaukee. Rajon Rondo had 15 assists for the Celtics, who were nearly back at full strength in their final tuneup before the playoffs. Tobias Harris led Milwaukee with 17 points. WIZARDS 104, HEAT 70 In Washington, the hosts inflicted the heaviest loss of the season on a Miami team that was resting its stars. Miami rested LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh for the second straight game. The Heat are locked into the Eastern Conference’s second playoff spot and will open the postseason today against New York. Mo Evans had a seasonhigh 18 points, while Nene and Kevin Seraphin each scored 15 for the Wizards, who closed the season with their first six-game win streak since 2007. With a lineup featuring only one regular starter the Heat had only two players in double figures: Norris Cole had 14 and Eddy Curry 10. NUGGETS 131, TIMBERWOLVES 102 In Minneapolis, Denver locked up the sixth seed in the West by defeating Minnesota. JaVale McGee scored 19 points and Arron Afflalo added 18 for the Nuggets, who won their fourth straight game ahead of a clash with the Los Angeles Lakers in the first playoff

NBA results/standings Toronto 98, New Jersey 67; Washington 104, Miami 70; Boston 87, Milwaukee 74; Atlanta 106, Dallas 89; NY Knicks 104, Charlotte 84; Detroit 108, Philadelphia 86; Utah 96, Portland 94; Denver 131, Minnesota 102; Chicago 107, Cleveland 75; Houston 84, New Orleans 77; Memphis 88, Orlando 76; San Antonio 107, Golden State 101; Sacramento 113, LA Lakers 96. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT Boston 39 27 .591 NY Knicks 36 30 .545 Philadelphia 35 31 .530 Toronto 23 43 .348 New Jersey 22 44 .333 Central Division Chicago 50 16 .758 Indiana 42 24 .636 Milwaukee 31 35 .470 Detroit 25 41 .379 Cleveland 21 45 .318 Southeast Division Miami 46 20 .697 Atlanta 40 26 .606 Orlando 37 29 .561 Washington 20 46 .303 Charlotte 7 59 .106

GB 3 4 16 17 8 19 25 29 6 9 26 39

Western Conference Northwest Division Oklahoma City47 19 .712 Denver 38 28 .576 Utah 36 30 .545 Portland 28 38 .424 Minnesota 26 40 .394 Pacific Division LA Lakers 41 25 .621 LA Clippers 40 26 .606 Phoenix 33 33 .500 Golden State 23 43 .348 Sacramento 22 44 .333 Southwest Division San Antonio 50 16 .758 Memphis 41 25 .621 Dallas 36 30 .545 Houston 34 32 .515 New Orleans 21 45 .318

9 11 19 21 1 8 18 19 9 14 16 29

MEMPHIS: Orlando Magic’s Ishmael Smith (left) shoots over Memphis Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol, of Spain, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Memphis, Tenn. — AP round. Nikola Pekovic had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who will miss the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season. The Wolves lost 13 of their last 14 games of the season. JAZZ 96, TRAIL BLAZERS 94 In Salt Lake City, rookie Alec Burks scored 18 points as Utah put together a 10-0 fourthquarter run that beat Portland. The Jazz finished the season on a five-game winning streak and will face top-seeded San Antonio in a first-round Western Conference matchup starting tomorrow. J J Hickson scored 20 points for the injury-depleted Blazers, who didn’t qualify for the postseason for the first time since the 2007-08 season. KINGS 113, LAKERS 96 In Sacramento, DeMarcus Cousins had 23 points and 19 rebounds as Sacramento beat Los Angeles’ bench players. Tyreke Evans scored 17 points for the Kings who enter an offseason of uncertainty about whether the team will stay in Sacramento or relocate. Kobe Bryant sat out along with four other Lakers’ starters, conceding the NBA scoring title to Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant. Los Angeles opens its first-round playoff series tomorrow at home against Denver. Josh McRoberts had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers. PISTONS 108, 76ERS 86 In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Ben Gordon scored 26 points, including eight 3-pointers, to help Detroit cruise past Philadelphia. The 76ers entered the game with a mathematical chance at the Eastern Conference’s seventh seed, but didn’t make much of an effort, resting several players ahead of today’s postseason opener against top-seeded Chicago. Spencer Hawes led Philadelphia with 16 points, while Jodie Meeks had 15.

ROCKETS 84, HORNETS 77 In Houston, Chase Budinger scored a season-high 27 points to lead Houston over New Orleans. Marcus Morris hit the go-ahead 3-pointer for Houston, which finished a spot above New Orleans in the standings after a late-season collapse cost the team a playoff spot. The Hornets got 13 points apiece from Jerome Dyson, Lance Thomas and Darryl Watkins. RAPTORS 98, NETS 67 In Toronto, the hosts handed New Jersey a loss that slightly improves the Nets’ chances in the NBA draft lottery. Ben Uzoh had 12 points, a career-high 12 assists and 11 rebounds for his first career triple-double and the first by a Toronto player since Alvin Williams in 2001. Ed Davis had a career-best 24 points to go with 12 rebounds for the Raptors, who snapped a four-game skid. Anthony Morrow and Armon Johnson each had 11 points for the Nets, who lost their fifth straight and finish last in the Atlantic division, one game behind Toronto. BOBCATS 104, KNICKS 84 In Charlotte, the hosts couldn’t even beat a New York team resting most of its starters, suffering a loss that left them with the worst winning percentage in NBA history. J R Smith scored 22 points for the Knicks, who pulled away in the second half to clinch the Eastern Conference’s No 7 seed and a first-round playoff matchup against No 2 Miami beginning today. Gerald Henderson had 21 points for the Bobcats, whose 23rd consecutive loss left them with a winning percentage of .106 (7-59) in the lockout-shortened season. The record was set 39 years ago, when the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers finished 9-73 (.110) in a full regular season. — AP


Italian League Preview

Battle for Europe pips Juventus-Milan duel ROME: The impending duel between Juventus and AC Milan for Italy’s Serie A title could be put in the shade this weekend as five teams continue the battle for next season’s coveted European places. Juventus and Milan, already directly qualified for next season’s Champions League, squeezed in narrow victories in midweek to stay in the hunt for a title which will be won by one of the two northern clubs. With four games remaining, Juve, on 74 points, have a three-point lead on Milan and a 19-point lead on third placed Lazio. Only one other team will join Juve and Milan in the Champions League in 2012-2013, with the next two places being reserved for the Europa League. And after Lazio’s latest slip-up, their rivals are waiting to pounce. On Wednesday Lazio spurned the chance to tighten their grip on third place, which offers qualification to Europe’s premier club competition via the preliminary rounds, by succumbing to a surprise 2-1 defeat against relegation-threatened Novara.

Only five points now separate Lazio (55) from seventh-placed city rivals Roma (50), and both clubs face crucial away fixtures with Roma hosting Napoli today and Lazio away to Udinese in tomorrow’s late game. Roma manager Luis Enrique, who has already faced the wrath of the Giallorossi fans this season by leaving club icon Francesco Totti on the bench, is under increasing pressure after two straight defeats. If Roma fail to beat Napoli, they can virtually kiss their Champions League qualification hopes goodbye. The absences of Brazilian playmaker Hernanes and Germany striker Miroslav Klose, meanwhile, continue to dog Lazio. The only positive for the Biancocelesti ahead of their trip north is the fact Udinese’s recent form has left a lot to be desired. From the five teams sitting below Juve and Milan, it is Inter and Napoli who look to have the momentum. Inter’s exit from the Champions League at the hands of Marseille in the round of 16 six weeks ago was followed by a small lull

in the league, which resulted in the sacking of Claudio Ranieri. His replacement, Andrea Stramaccioni, has since restored a number of veterans to the starting line-up and Inter have been unbeaten for their last five league outings. Inter’s 3-1 away win over Udinese on Wednesday, was marked by a brace from Dutch striker Wesley Sneijder, who ended a six-month goal drought, and gave the visiting fans hope that the Champions League is within reach. Tomorrow Inter host Cesena at the San Siro where anything less than three points will cause uproar among the Nerazzurri fans. Novara’s return to Serie B will be guaranteeed if they are defeated by Juventus, meaning the minnows from the northwestern Piedmont region need a win to have any chance of beating the drop. That task comes with the caveat that Antonio Conte’s giants from Turin-who sent Cesena back to Serie B on Wednesday-are unbeaten in 2012. — AFP

Minnows Quevilly block Lyon path to Cup glory PARIS: Having already lost one Cup final this month, Lyon are hoping to get their hands on the French Cup by beating third-tier outsiders Quevilly in today’s showpiece at the Stade de France. Lyon have not won a trophy since lifting the French Cup for the fourth time by beating Paris Saint-Germain at the Stade de France in 2008 but, as well as ending their silverware drought, Remi Garde’s team will also be eager to erase the memory of their most recent visit to France’s national stadium. Just two weeks ago in the League Cup final against Marseille, Lyon never got going and lost 1-0 after extra time to a side who have otherwise not won a game in three months. There was a sense of anti-climax about both Lyon’s performance in that game, and about the occasion as a whole. But, given the choice, Lyon would surely rather win the national knockout competition. Especially as it would be difficult to ever recover from the humiliation of losing to amateur opponents whose annual budget, in comparison, is 79 times smaller, not to mention less than a third of the annual salary of OL midfielder Yoann Gourcuff. “Personally, I am not considering the prospect of losing,” says Gourcuff’s teammate Maxime Gonalons. “We would be ridiculed if we lost. We have one objective, and that is to win.” This will be Lyon’s 53rd match of an exhausting season, and consistency has been a problem throughout, with their League Cup final reverse being followed by a comprehensive 3-0 defeat at Toulouse that effectively ended their chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League. However, they showed great fighting spirit to come from two goals down and beat Lorient 3-2 last weekend. “We are finding things difficult at the moment but we are trying to find solutions for today because this final is very important to the club,” added Gonalons. “We can’t use the number of games we’ve played as an excuse, we are taught to be able to cope. “They (Quevilly) will be playing the biggest game of their lives so we need to show the necessary desire and aggression.” Lyon have certainly had plenty of practice at playing against lower-league opponents, having beaten three teams from the lower reaches of the French game as well as Bordeaux and PSG en route to the final. However, Quevilly have already eliminated Marseille and Rennes and will have most neutrals on their side as they seek to go one better than the famous Calais side of 2000. On that occasion, the amateurs from the Channel coast went down 2-1 to Nantes in the final, with only a last-minute penalty winning it for the top-flight club. Quevilly-from Petit-Quevilly, a suburb of the Normandy city of Rouen-have been to the final before, losing 3-0 to Marseille in 1927. They beat Lyon 1-0 in the last 16 in 1968 while, more recently, they saw off three clubs from the top two divisions before going down 1-0 to PSG in the 2010 semi-finals. Despite being officially labeled an amateur club, coach Regis Brouard’s squad includes 17 players who make a living from the game, either courtesy of full-time federal contracts or as youth coaches.—AFP

Geraman League Preview

DORTMUND: (Left to right) Dortmund’s midfielder Moritz Leitner, midfielder Mario Goetze and defender Mats Hummels celebrate with a mock trophy after winning the German first division Bundesliga football match Borussia Dortmund vs Borussia Moenchengladbach in Dortmund. While winning 2-0 Dortmund was confirmed as German league champions. — AFP

Champions Dortmund eye more records BERLIN: Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp said although they have retained their Bundesliga title, his goal-hungry team wants more records and to add the German Cup to their league crown. Today, Dortmund are at bottom side Kaiserslautern, who are already relegated, looking to extend their record run of 27 games without defeat in a single German league season. With his team on 75 points and with two games left, Dortmund are closing in on Bayern Munich’s record, from the early 1970s, of 79 points earned in a single German league season. “We can only break that record if we win our last two matches, so that’s the goal for us now” said Klopp. They are also chasing more silverware and take on Bayern in the German Cup final on May 12, just a week before the Bavarians play Chelsea in the Champions League final at their own Allianz Arena. Having partied hard last Saturday night after their 2-0 win at home to Moenchengladbach confirmed they had defended the league title, Klopp said it was business as usual this week. “The Saturday night we enjoyed to the fullest, but on Monday I did not feel anything was different and we want to quickly get back into the season,” said Klopp. Dortmund will be without Poland captain Jakub Blaszczykowski, who has a chest infection, while left back Marcel Schmelzer is an injury concern having strained a calf muscle. “It doesn’t look good for him,” said Klopp. Germany’s teenage star Mario Goetze is expected to play a full part having come on as a second-half substitute last Saturday for his first appearance of

2012 after suffering with a groin problem. “He will definitely play,” Klopp said. “He is in a great shape and he needs practice, but we are not sure whether he will get the 90 minutes.” Having beaten Real Madrid 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out on Wednesday to book their place in the Champions League final, second-placed Bayern return to league duty at home to VfB Stuttgart. Bayern confirmed Thursday that Croatia striker Ivica Olic will leave for Wolfsburg at the end of the season, but he could feature against fifth-placed Stuttgart as coach Jupp Heynckes looks to rest key players. Unbeaten in their last 10 league games, Stuttgart have risen up to claim one of the Europa League places for next season and will be eager to take more points off Bayern who will be coming down from their own European high. At the other end of the table, second-from-bottom Hertha Berlin badly need a win at third-placed Schalke to keep alive their hopes of staying in the Bundesliga. Coach Otto Rehhagel, 73, took his squad away for a three-day training camp to west Germany in midweek to escape the pressure of the media and fans as he looks to keep the capital club in the top flight. Likewise, Cologne need points at Freiburg today to escape 16th place, which means a relegation play-off against the third best team in the second division at the end of the season. Cologne are almost sure to lose Germany striker Lukas Podolski to Premier League giants Arsenal at the end of the season, according to numerous reports in the German media. — AFP


Man City ‘our biggest rivals now’: Man Utd LONDON: Manchester City have become more important rivals to Manchester United than old foes Liverpool, manager Alex Ferguson said ahead of Monday’s crucial Premier league derby match. “They are our direct opponents now. Manchester City are up against us to win titles. That is what our focus is on, the team who can stop us winning,” he told reporters on Thursday. “We have to get used to playing Manchester City in important games. They are not going away. “The support they have means we are going to be playing them in a lot of big games - finals maybe. We already have done in semi-finals and an important cup tie this season. “If we are going to be contesting for league titles regularly - and I think we will be doing - it will become just as important as the Liverpool game. “Maybe not in terms of emotion but there is certainly an importance which, at this moment in time, supercedes the Liverpool games. United will go all out to win at City even though a draw would be a good result for the visitors, Ferguson added. United go into Monday’s game at the Etihad Stadium three points ahead of their neighbors at the top of the table with three matches left in the season.

Matches on TV (Local Timings)

English Premier League Everton v Fulham Abu Dhabi Sports HD


Swansea v Wolves Abu Dhabi Sports HD


West Brom v Villa Abu Dhabi Sports HD


Wigan v Newcastle Abu Dhabi Sports HD


Sunderland v Bolton Abu Dhabi Sports HD


Stoke City v Arsenal Abu Dhabi Sports HD


Norwich v Liverpool Abu Dhabi Sports HD


Spanish League Getafe v Real Mallorca Aljazeera Sports +7


Real Sociedad v Real Racing Aljazeera Sports +6


Levante v Granada Aljazeera sports +2


Espanyol v Sporting Aljazeera Sports +4


Villarreal v Osasuna Aljazeera Sport +2


Italian League Palermo v Catania Aljazeera Sport +5


Cagliari v Chievo Verona Aljazeera Sports +1


AS Roma v Napoli Aljazeeras Sports +1


BETTER POSITION “We know the exact situation we’re in. We’re in a better position than Manchester City,” Ferguson told a news conference. “We could come out with two good results whereas they only have one. Although you know my attitude and this club’s attitude - we’ll be trying to win.” Ferguson, seeking his 13th Premier League title with United, said he trusted his players to perform in such a high pressure game. “I think there’s enough experience. Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand, even Wayne Rooney has amassed a lot of football in his short time in the game,” he said. “Michael Carrick as well. There’s enough experience in the camp to cope with this situation.” City humbled United 6-1 at Old Trafford in their first league meeting this season but the champions knocked their local rivals out of the FA Cup with a 32 victory at the Etihad Stadium. “I think the previous encounters this season are irrelevant,” Ferguson said. “We’ve already met three times but the past is the past,” added Ferguson referring to United’s victory in the pre-season Community Shield match. “It doesn’t matter. It’s all down to Monday.”

INEVITABLE HYPE Ferguson tried to play down the inevitable hype surrounding the match, with City bidding to win the title for the first time since 1968. “I suppose when the fixture came out at the beginning of the season all the roads pointed to this game,” Ferguson said. “It was inevitable maybe. But we are where we are and it doesn’t matter what’s happened before, who’s dropped points or who hasn’t dropped points. It really is all down to this game. “It will be a fantastic atmosphere and I hope it lives up to the billing.” Ferguson said his players were still angry about conceding two late goals in their last match against Everton, allowing the visitors to snatch a dramatic 4-4 draw at Old Trafford. “We’re smarting from throwing that game away last week,” he added. “In the context of our history we almost expected it. We tend to make it hard for ourselves. Our supporters have been subjected to that sort of drama for years and years. “God knows what their nerves are like now but, hopefully, we’ll make amends on Monday,” said Ferguson. — Reuters

Chelsea Euro glory raises Premier League stakes LONDON: Chelsea’s improbable march to the Champions League final has raised the stakes as the battle for places in next season’s competition resumes in the Premier League this weekend. With leaders Manchester United not facing second-placed Manchester City in their heavyweight title duel until Monday, all eyes are on the race for a top-four spot between Arsenal, Newcastle, Tottenham and Chelsea. Chelsea’s miraculous elimination of Barcelona on Tuesday means that the once fanciful idea of the Londoners winning the competition now has to be taken seriously by their Premier League rivals. Chelsea, who are currently four points adrift of the top four in sixth, would be guaranteed a place in next season’s Champions League if they beat Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on May 19. Most worrying for Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle is the fact that should Chelsea finish outside the top four, their inclusion in the 2012/2013 Champions League will be at the expense of the team who finishes in fourth place. Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, whose side stormed into fourth last weekend after their sixth straight win, admits that he is spooked by the possibility of the Magpies missing out if Chelsea are crowned European champions. “If that happened with us finishing fourth but missing out on the Champions League, it would be a kick in the teeth for us,” Pardew said. “We don’t want Chelsea to win the Champions League because we want that spot. It would be very harsh if we finished fourth and then missed out.” Newcastle will be chasing their seventh win in a row today when they travel to relegationthreatened Wigan. The Magpies are three points behind third placed Arsenal with a game in hand. Arsenal, who have stumbled recently with a home defeat to Wigan followed by a draw at the Emirates against Chelsea, face a potentially awkward trip to Stoke, where they have lost on three out of four of their last visits. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has acknowledged that the prospect of Chelsea usurping the team which finishes fourth is “unfortunate.” “We would not be happy but it’s the rules and

COBHAM: Chelsea interim manager Roberto Di Matteo gestures as he speaks during a press conference before Chelsea’s English Premier League football match against Queens Park Rangers at their training ground in Cobham yesterday. — AFP we have to accept it,” Wenger said. “We cannot change the rules just because it’s us.” Chelsea meanwhile will attempt to build on the momentum generated by the elimination of Barcelona in a potentially explosive meeting with Queens Park Rangers at Stamford Bridge. Premier League chiefs have tried to defuse controversy by abandoning the pre-match handshake at tomorrow’s game because of racism allegations involving John Terry and Anton Ferdinand. Chelsea skipper Terry is facing a July 9 court case over claims he racially abused Ferdinand during QPR’s victory over their fellow Londoners in October. Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has meanwhile challenged his team-mates to kick on from the heroics at the Camp Nou. “We can enjoy it, but we certainly need to keep focused,” Lampard said. “We’re on a decent run of performances for sure, but the last thing we want to do is lower our standards,” he said. “There’s a determination among the players, people may have watched

us against Wigan and Fulham recently and thought we were on our last legs, but you can’t knock this team down because we’ll keep coming back.” Tottenham meanwhile host struggling Blackburn in a game they can ill-afford to lose if they are to stay in touch with in-form Newcastle. Spurs fell out of the top four for the first time since October after last weekend’s defeat at QPR and now trail the Magpies by three points. Redknapp is refusing to be unsettled by the possibility that Tottenham’s quest for Champions League football next year might be doomed if Chelsea lift the title next month. “We’ve got to make sure we finish fourth or third, make sure we’re in a position to qualify,” Redknapp said. “If we don’t, it doesn’t matter what happens. “It’s still wide open - Arsenal, Chelsea, ourselves, Newcastle - it’s still any two from four. “We’ve got to go on a good run now. If we pull off good results in these last four games we’ll be in the Champions League and I’m very confident we’ll do that.”— AFP


Spanish League Preview

Real focus on league after Euro heartache MADRID: Spanish hopes of a mouth watering Champions League final between Real Madrid and Barcelona evaporated this week with both sides crashing out at the semi final stage but at least Real have the consolation of being on the verge of claiming their first la liga title since 2008. Jose Mourinho’s side now prepare to face Sevilla after their elimination by Bayern Munich knowing that they need just six points more to win the league and so if they win and Barca lose against Rayo Vallecano they will be champions. It will be a tough task for Pep Guardiola to raise his Barca side after a couple of morale sapping games where they lost any realistic hope of winning the league with defeat in the El Clasico last weekend and then followed that up by defeat by Chelsea on Tuesday night. An impressive run had seen Barca reduce the gap at the top to four points and they knew that a victory at the Nou Camp over Real would really put the pressure on the leaders but instead their star players looked weary and they failed to rise to the

occasion. Similarly against Chelsea after a bright start where they turned the tie around to lead 2-1 on aggregate, they conceded a goal on the counterattack and Lionel Messi missed a penalty before they ran out of steam. The main question now at the Catalan club is the future of a project which has up until now brought an astonishing 13 trophies from 16 competitions as Guardiola is still deciding on whether to stay for another season. He is due to make an announcement later. At the Bernabeu, though, Mourinho has already announced that he will remain and he refused to be downbeat following his side’s defeat in a penalty shoot-out against Bayern. “I am going to continue and if we keep this empathy, the club and the team have a margin to keep growing,” said the Portuguese. “We need to go out tomorrow with pride. It is disappointing to have gone out (of the Champions League) because of all the work we put in but now we have four games to finish our season and it is down to us. If

we win the championship then it will have been a good season.”Real face a Sevilla side who are still aiming for a place in Europe despite an inconsistent campaign. “We have to give everything to get the win at the Bernabeu and we have won there in the past but Real are going to be very motivated now,” said Spain international Jesus Navas. “We need to be fully concentrated on the game, forget the bad results that we have had, and we will have our chances to win.” Meanwhile there is a crunch battle for third place between Valencia and Malaga, who currently trail their rivals by three points. “This is the most important game of the season and we know we are up against a strong side who have been well placed in the league all year,” said Joaquin Sanchez. Currently Levante and Athletic Bilbao hold the two Europa League places and they face Granada and Zaragoza respectively but there are a number of teams also in the hunt. — AFP

Bilbao face Atletico in all-Spanish final Adrian fires Atletico into Europa final MADRID: Fernando Llorente netted a dramatic late winner for Athletic Bilbao to eliminate Sporting and Atletico Madrid comfortably held on to a first-leg lead to oust La Liga rivals Valencia on Thursday and set up an all-Spanish Europa League final. A 3-1 success for Bilbao, chasing their first continental title, and the presence of their compatriots and 2010 winners Atletico, who won 1-0 on the night, in the May 9 showpiece in Bucharest may help ease Spanish pain in Europe this season. The country’s two heavyweight clubs, Real Madrid and Barcelona, were dumped out of the Champions League this week. Towering striker Llorente was the hero at a typically vibrant San Mames, setting up Bilbao’s first two goals and then pouncing to volley the crucial strike two minutes from time that took the Basques through 4-3 on aggregate. “This is incredible,” Llorente said in a television interview, struggling to make himself heard over the fans celebrating wildly in the stands. “It’s the first time I have felt like crying on a football pitch,” added the Spain international, whose nickname is the Lion King due to his mane of thick blond hair. “That was without doubt the most important goal I have ever scored.” Atletico won last week’s semi-final first leg at their Calderon stadium 4-2 and when Adrian powered home a stunning goal from wide on the right on the hour at the Mestalla Valencia’s hopes of turning the tie around were crushed. Diego Simeone’s side had midfielder Tiago sent off in the 79th minute after players from both sides became involved in an ugly melee and the Portuguese slapped Valencia striker Roberto Soldado across the face to earn a straight red card. It all came too late for the home side and Atletico cruised to their 11th straight win in Europe this season as they claimed a 5-2 aggregate success.

BILBAO: SCP Sporting’s Ricky van Wolfswinkel from Netherlands (left) looks on as Athletic Bilbao’s Fernando Amorebieta falls during their Europa League second leg, semifinal soccer match at San Mames stadium. —AP “We knew it would be difficult and they pressured us well, which is to be expected here at the Mestalla,” Simeone said in a TV interview. “In the second half we made a tactical change and didn’t suffer as many problems and we knew as time went on the spaces would open up and the goal pretty much settled the tie.” DREAM FINAL The last time two Spanish teams contested the final of the competition formerly known as the UEFA Cup was in 2007, when Sevilla beat Espanyol on penalties after a 2-2 draw. Athletic were the only side in the last four never to have won a European trophy, their only previous final coming in 1977 when they lost the UEFA Cup showpiece match to Juventus before most of the current squad were even born. Marcelo Bielsa’s side grabbed the opening goal on Thursday when Llorente cleverly chested a cross into the path of Markel Susaeta who volleyed past Rui Patricio from close range. Both sides drove for-

ward at every opportunity and both had chances before Sporting pulled level on the night in the 44th minute when the ball fell to Dutch striker van Wolfswinkel on the edge of the penalty area and he fired low into the corner. Sporting’s aggregate lead lasted a mere two minutes before Llorente got his second assist when he set Ibai Gomez clear to finish with a shot into the far corner in first half added time. The second period followed a similar pattern to the first, Bilbao’s Javi Martinez heading against a post from a corner and Emiliano Insua also striking the frame of the goal with a powerful deflected low drive for Sporting. With extra time looming, Llorente nipped in front of his marker and diverted a Gomez centre in off the post to send the home fans into raptures. “It’s the dream final,” Susaeta said. “The atmosphere was spectacular and we still haven’t grasped what we have done,” he added. — Reuters

Scottish League Preview

Rangers focusing on Old Firm, not crisis GLASGOW: Steven Whittaker says his Rangers teammates will be fully focused on tomorrow’s Old Firm showdown with Celtic despite uncertainty growing over the Scottish Premier League club’s future. The crisis-stricken Ibrox club’s prospects of being taken over by a new owner were dealt a major blow this week after it was hit with severe sanctions from the Scottish Football Association. The Glasgow giants have been hit with a 12-month ban from signing any new players as well as a £160,000 fine after the SFA judicial panel ruled Rangers had brought the game into disrepute after entering administration in February. The move has shocked the club’s manager Ally McCoist who claimed the punishment could “kill” Rangers, who could face dropping into Scotland’s third division if they are liquidated. The developments have been unsettling for the Rangers players as well with many now unsure whether they will remain at the club after the end of the 2011/12 campaign. However, Whittaker insists the players are putting the club’s problems to the back of their minds and are only thinking about winning the final Old Firm game of the season and restoring some pride to the Ibrox club. “We can only concentrate on the games right now. And tomorrow takes care of itself,” Whittaker said. “It is important that we are professional and treat every game on its own merits. We want to go into the game tomorrow and get the three points and I am sure we will do that. “Obviously, there is a lot happening. But we as football players need to concentrate on what is happening on the pitch, on playing well at the weekend. Hopefully, everything else can take care of itself. “There are uncertain times ahead. But we are optimistic things can be sorted out as quickly as possible for the sake of the players, the fans and the club. Hopefully, we can bounce back stronger. “I haven’t given any thought to the prospect of the club folding and dropping down to the bottom division. “We all want the club to continue as it is. Hopefully, whoever comes in will keep the club as it is.” Rangers will be without Steven Davis through injury and his Northern Ireland team-mate Kyle Lafferty, who was suspended for two weeks for a breach of club discipline. Meanwhile, Victor Wanyama says Celtic will not slack off against Rangers despite having the SPL title in the bag. The Hoops are 18 points clear of their fierce rivals, who were docked 10 points for entering administration, but Wanyama, who was sent off the last time the sides met at Ibrox says he and his team-mates want to make amends for that defeat. — AFP



Bilbao face Atletico in all-Spanish final


Pep Guardiola

BARCELONA: Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola (right) hugs Argentine midfielder Lionel Messi following the announcement of his departure to the squad at a training session yesterday. — AFP

Guardiola ends 4-year reign Barcelona coach quits; Assistant Vilanova to take charge BARCELONA: Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, who led the club to unprecedented heights with a brand of football widely regarded as the closest to perfection the game has seen, will leave at the end of the season and be replaced by assistant Tito Vilanova. Guardiola’s decision to step aside to rest and recuperate brings to an end a four-year tenure during which he led the Catalans to 13 trophies, including two Champions League triumphs and three straight Spanish La Liga titles. The announcement yesterday at an emotional news conference at the Nou Camp, with Guardiola flanked by President Sandro Rosell and sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta, came after months of speculation over the 41-year-old’s future. It was also three days after his team were denied a place in the Champions League final by Chelsea in a spectacular match and followed last weekend’s 2-1 La Liga defeat at home to rivals Real Madrid that all-but ended their hopes of a fourth title in a row. “Four years is an eternity for a coach of Barcelona,” Guardiola said as stony-faced first-team players including Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Victor Valdes and Carles Puyol looked on. “Four years wear you

down and that’s the fundamental reason,” the former midfielder added. “The person who will occupy my place will give something that I cannot, because being here for four years is hard, the demands are very high and you have to be very strong. “When I started out I thought I could achieve everything and that’s what I want to get back.” INSIDE KNOWLEDGE Rosell and Zubizarreta said they had promoted Vilanova, who had an undistinguished career as a player but has been a crucial part of Guardiola’s coaching success, because he was well placed to protect his close friend’s legacy. The pair were contemporaries at Barca’s famed ‘La Masia’ youth academy and Vilanova was also Guardiola’s assistant in his first coaching role in charge of the club’s B team. He was famously poked in the eye by Real coach Jose Mourinho during a mass brawl earlier this season and had surgery to remove a tumor on his saliva glands in November which sidelined him for several weeks. “Personality, integrity, commitment to the club and inside knowledge,”

Zubizarreta said when quizzed about why Vilanova was a good candidate. “We have always said that when we need a player we look to the reserve teams but when we need a coach we look within too, to Tito,” added the former Barca and Spain goalkeeper. Media reports had expected a more high-profile replacement for Guardiola such as Athletic Bilbao’s Marcelo Bielsa. Guardiola, who said he would be available for consultation if ever needed, had previously renewed his Barca contract on an annual basis and waited until Feb. 8 last year before agreeing a new deal. He went on to capture a third consecutive La Liga title and a second Champions League crown, as well as the Spanish and European Super Cups and the Club World Cup thanks to a passing style of unmatched fluidity and control. Known as a superb motivator, he has managed to get the very best out of hugely-gifted players like Argentina forward Lionel Messi, winner of the last three World Player of the Year awards. “I want to thank Pep with all my heart for the huge amount he has contributed to my career, both professionally and personally,” Messi said in a state-

ment on his Facebook page. The 24-year-old added that he had preferred not to attend Guardiola’s farewell news conference as he was feeling too emotional. Guardiola hinted he would be taking a break from the game but a host of suitors will be queuing up to persuade him to return. Inter Milan, Manchester City and Chelsea are among the clubs to have been linked with the sharp-suited Catalan while national team jobs with England and Qatar have been mentioned in other media reports. Reaction to his impending departure poured in from across world football. “I would have loved him, even going through a disappointing year, to stay and come back and insist on this philosophy at the club because that would be interesting as well,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, once linked with Barca given his love of the ‘beautiful game’, told a news conference. Italy coach Cesare Prandelli told reporters that he hoped Guardiola brought “his fantastic idea of football” to Serie A, where he played for Brescia and AS Roma. Barca have the chance to say goodbye to their coach by winning more silverware as they play Athletic Bilbao in next month’s King’s Cup final. — Reuters

28 April 2012  
28 April 2012  

Kuwait Times