Page 1



100 dead, 250,000 stranded in B’desh floods

Queen shakes hands with ex-IRA commander

150 FILS

Federer in royal show, Wozniacki, Stosur out



Khorafi awaits new Cabinet to convene 2009 Assembly


NO: 15492

Glencore delays $26bn Xstrata bid after Qatar move



SHAABAN 8, 1433 AH

Liberals criticize rejection of court ruling By B Izzak

Inflation slows to 25-mth low DUBAI: Kuwait’s annual inflation rate eased to a 25month low of 2.8 percent in May and prices edged down slightly from the previous month, mainly because of cheaper food, state news agency KUNA reported yesterday. Inflation in the major oil exporter has been slowing gradually. It hit 3.3 percent in April, down from a peak of 5.4 percent in May 2011. Consumer prices fell 0.1 percent monthon-month in May, compared to a 0.6 percent drop in April, KUNA said, citing data from the Central Statistics Office. “The low inflation reading is testament to a weak demand climate and anaemic credit growth,” said Liz Martins, senior regional economist at HSBC in Dubai. “Even with the salary hikes we have seen in recent months, we don’t expect a major pick-up in the short- to medium term.” Around 3,000 Kuwaiti customs workers went on a week-long strike for higher pay in March, disrupting port traffic, while employees at national carrier Kuwait Airways grounded planes for three days during a walkout. The civil service commission eventually agreed to wage rises of 25 to 30 percent for public sector employees, and proposed increases of up to 330 dinars ($1,190) per month for Kuwaiti private sector workers. Paul Gamble, head of research at Jadwa Investment in Riyadh, said there was very little inflationary pressure coming from abroad, while Continued on Page 13

Max 45º Min 30º High Tide 06:00 & 18:15 Low Tide 12:22 & 23:40

DONETSK, Ukraine: Portuguese defender Pepe vies with Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso during the Euro 2012 football championship semifinal match between Portugal and Spain at the Donbass Arena yesterday. Spain won on penalties after a goalless draw. — AFP (See Page 20)

KUWAIT: Speaker of the reinstated 2009 National Assembly Jassem Al-Khorafi said yesterday he is waiting for the formation of the new Cabinet to invite MPs to hold the first Assembly session after it was revived, but added that he has no guarantees that a majority will be secured for the meeting. Addressing a press conference during his first visit to the Assembly following the landmark constitutional court ruling last week, Khorafi said members of the new Cabinet must take the oath in the Assembly so as to avoid a repeat of a similar constitutional controversy in the future. But he insisted that he does not have guarantees that a majority of the 2009 MPs will attend the meeting and if no majority is secured, “I will refer the issue to HH the Amir to take Jassem Al-Khorafi whatever action is needed for such occasions”. In an unprecedented verdict last week, the constitutional court, whose rulings cannot be challenged, nullified the general elections held in February, which meant the scrapping of the opposition-dominated 2012 Assembly, and reinstated the 2009 Assembly. The ruling was strongly criticized by the opposition, which considered it “null and void” as thousands of its supporters Continued on Page 13

The quiet influence of Kuwait’s Salafis

Bahraini Shiites run for cover from tear gas and sound bombs fired by riot police in the village of Bori yesterday. (Inset) Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab is greeted by his mother as he returns to his home from jail in Bani Jamra yesterday. — AFP/AP

Bahrain releases leading activist DUBAI: Bahrain released from jail yesterdauy leading Shiite rights activist Nabil Rajab, his lawyer said, just hours after the government announced $2.6 million compensation for 17 people killed in last year’s bloody crackdown. Rajab was released three weeks after his arrest for tweeting insults deemed insulting to Sunnis, his lawyer told AFP on condition of anonymity, adding that the next hearing in his client’s case was set for July 9.

Rajab was detained on June 6 after he was accused of “public insults” made on tweets against the predominantly Sunni population of the province of Muharraq, according to prosecutors. In a statement earlier this month, prosecutors said they received complaints that Rajab “talked on social networks about the people of Muharraq in a way that questioned their patriotism and Continued on Page 13

KUWAIT: When Salafi Islamists objected to a youth forum on politics and religion in Kuwait earlier this year they took to Twitter and other media, but not to the streets. While the state’s Salafis follow an interpretation of Islam that is just as puritanical as that of counterparts elsewhere, the means they use to assert their influence are more sophisticated - lobbying Cabinet members, comments on social media and seminars. Allowed relative freedom within Kuwait’s circumscribed and turbulent political system, they see themselves as an example for Salafis taking part in politics for the first time in other countries after the Arab Spring uprisings. “The Salafi movement is known for its credibility and it takes a middle position between government and the opposition,” Kuwaiti Salafi MP Abdulatif Al-Ameeri told Reuters after a parliamentary session earlier this month. In the most recent election, four Salafis were elected to the 50-member parliament and six other men who share their line of thought also gained seats, he said. In Tunisia, by contrast, thousands of Salafis rioted in the capital last month over an art exhibition they said insulted Muslims. One of Kuwait’s most vocal Salafi MPs, Waleed AlTabtabaei, has more than 198,000 followers on Twitter. Some worry that the Salafis’ ties to neighbouring Saudi Arabia, strengthened during Iraq’s 1990-91 occupation, have made them into a fundamentalist force that will push Kuwait toward a more austere form of Islam and closer to the Saudi sphere of influence. But others and Salafis themselves - deny a direct political link. “The Salafis participate in the political system of Kuwait. They are elected and with time they will change and they have changed,” said Shafeeq Ghabra, professor of political science at Kuwait University. “This is a process that this region and Kuwait is going through.” A court on June 20 annulled the results of the February election on grounds the process was unconstitutional, reinstating the previous parliament and Continued on Page 13

Syrian rebels storm pro-Assad TV channel

DAMASCUS: A general view shows damage at the site of an attack on the progovernment Al-Ikhbariya satellite television channel’s offices yesterday. — AFP BEIRUT: Gunmen stormed a pro-gov- against rebel forces who are getting ernment Syrian TV channel headquar- stronger. The dawn attack on Ikhbariya ters yesterday, bombing buildings and television’s offices, 20 km south of the shooting dead seven staff, state media capital, as well as overnight fighting on said, in one of the boldest attacks yet the outskirts of Damascus showed the on a symbol of the authoritarian state. 16-month-old violence now rapidly President Bashar Al-Assad declared late encroaching on the city. Ikhbariya resumed broadcasting yesterday that his country was “at war”. US intelligence officials said the Syrian shortly after the attack, which killed government was “holding fairly firm” three journalists and four security Continued on Page 13 and digging in for a long struggle

in the


11 militants jailed over Kuwait plot

Saudi train derails, 34 passengers hurt

RIYADH: A Saudi court jailed 11 suspected Al-Qaeda members yesterday for plotting attacks on US forces in neighbouring Kuwait and on oil installations in the kingdom. Members of the group, who were charged with “belonging to a terrorist cell”, were sentenced to between two and 15 years, the official SPA news agency said. The prosecutor’s office had sought the death penalty for all 11, and a representative of the office said it would appeal the verdicts. “The verdicts ... include 15 years in prison for the first defendant for joining a terror cell which targeted American forces in Kuwait and important Aramco sites,” Alriyadh newspaper said. A spokesman from the Justice Ministry could not be reached for comment. Saudi courts last June began trying dozens of people accused of involvement in deadly attacks between 2003 and 2006 after authorities launched an all-out campaign to eradicate Al-Qaeda in the country. Human rights groups say peaceful political activists have also been imprisoned in the kingdom’s crackdown on militants.

RIYADH: At least 34 people were injured yesterday, two of them in critical condition, when a Saudi passenger train derailed east of the capital, a railway official and a medical source said. The accident occurred east of Riyadh as the train was heading to the capital from the eastern city of Dammam, they said. Hamad Abdel Qader, deputy chief of operations at the Saudi Railways Organisation, told AFP that the train derailed “100 km east of Riyadh”. A company statement put the location of the accident at 70 km away from Riyadh - in almost the same location where another passenger train derailed two years ago. The train was carrying 332 passengers and an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the accident. There were “no deaths in the accident ... but several” people were wounded, including one man who was evacuated to Riyadh for medical treatment, said Abdel Qader. In all 34 passengers were wounded, two of them in critical condition, according to Saad bin Misfer Al-Qahtani, a Riyadh health official.

Google unveils tablet computer SAN FRANCISCO: Google yesterday unveiled its own branded Nexus 7 tablet computer designed to challenge Apple’s iPad and be a window into its online shop for films, books, movies and more. The seven-inch tablet powered by the latest generation of Android software was made for Google by Taiwan-based Asus and weighs about as much as a paperback book, Android team head Hugo Barra said during a presentation opening the Internet titan’s annual developers conference in San Francisco. Nexus tablets were available for order in Australia, Canada, Britain, and the United States at the Google Play store at a price of $199 and would begin shipping in mid-July, Barra said. The tablets come with a $25 coupon for Google Play content. Google also Introduced an Android-powered Nexus Q device for wirelessly streaming films or music to televisions or speakers. Executives also showcased the new 4.1 “Jelly SAN FRANCISCO: Hugo Barra, Director of Google Bean” version of Android operating system at the event. Product Management, holds up the new Google The new software delivers faster performance, according to Nexus7 tablet yesterday. — AP the company, and new features such as “voice search”.




Real-estate business grows more than 33 % KUWAIT: According to statistics unveiled in a report by the Kuwait Financial Center (Markaz), there was an increase of 33.5 percent in real estate transactions in the period January through May 2012. The value of transactions grew 10.2 percent year-on-year (Y-o-Y). In May 2012, the number of deals declined 35.8 percent Y-o-Y and 56 percent month-on-month (M-o-M). The value of the transactions dropped 24.6 percent Y-o-Y and 45.1 percent M-o-M. There are administrative procedures underway for the allocation of 7,400 private residential units of 600 sq. meters each located west of Abdullah Al-Mubarak. In addition, there are 52,625 units north of Subbiya of 400 sq. meters that are already completed. Procedures for an additional allocation of 48,000 private residential units are also ongoing. In Dubai, the credit rating agency Fitch has noted that stability has come to the industrial and office rent sector in the Jabal Ali free Zone (JAFZ). They foresee stable rents, which will flow from a high land lease renewal rate. This is due to the fact that approximately 80 percent of companies have been operating there since January 2007. The agency also noted that high occupancy rates in the free zone with 79 percent leaseable land, 90 percent warehousing, 78 percent offices, and 80 percent on site residential accommodation occupied as of December 2011. Fitch expects the free zone business to be less volatile compared to the overall office market sector of the Emirates. They anticipate short term rental contracts at JAFZ with 60 percent of the contracts signed for just one year. They concluded that the growing number of available rental properties will also impact on the zone’s earnings. In the UAE, the Institute of International Finance (IIF) estimates real GDP growth to slow to 2.8 percent Y-o-Y in 2012 and 3.2 percent in 2013 from 4.2 percent in 2011, primarily due to a steep decline in the growth of crude oil output. In Qatar, the NAI Qatar in its latest monthly release indicated that residential rentals remained largely stable on M-o-M basis. Rentals for furnished units increased 0.5 percent M-o-M, while those for unfurnished units edged down 2.1 percent M-o-M. On a Y-o-Y basis, a prominent downtrend in rentals was noted, except in three-bedroom furnished and one-bedroom unfurnished apartments. Furnished villas led the decline with a 6.9 percent Y-o-Y correction. — KUNA

Amiri Hospital: Cleanest, safest and ‘friendliest’ Toilets unfriendly to disabled patients By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Public toilets have earned the dubious distinction of being the dirtiest among government facilities. That included, sadly, even hospitals. That was the case before. This time, Kuwaiti hospitals have changed this reputation and many public hospitals nowadays from Amiri, to Sabah to Farwaniya, Adan, Jarah and Mubarak hospitals are heavily guarded by ‘cleaners’ who are on standby 24 hours to clean toilets after they are used. In fact, the Amiri Hospital was voted ‘role model’ in cleanliness last month. The hospital has received a citation for being the cleanest, safest, ‘friendliest’ hospital in Kuwait by Canadian KUWAIT: A narrow washrooms Accreditation Team, that is unfriendly toward the who inspected the disabled at the Amiri Hospital. facility and checked their readiness, safety and cleanliness. However, staff admitted that most of their toilets were generally ‘unfriendly’ to the disabled. “I think many of our hospitals, including here in Amiri Hospital do not have a friendly toilet facilities for the disabled. That is sad but I can agree with you on that,” said a staff-nurse. The general toilet ‘unfriendliness’ toward the disabled can be observed in other hospitals like Al-Sabah, Mubarak, Adan, Farwaniya and Jarah hospitals. “Some facilities have been installed for disabled patients but not all. For example, there are some wheelchair lanes installed in some areas in and around the hospitals. Maybe because most of the disabled people here are accompanied by family members or by their nurses when visiting hospitals, it is perceived as being unnecessary to install such facilities in washrooms,” staff nurse wondered. The Amiri Hospital’s washrooms not only have narrow doors but cant barely accommodate a wheelchair. “So, a disabled person can never function on their own,” she said. The Amiri Hospital has a reputation for being the ‘Sheikh’ Hospital, probably because its houses a special ward [room] for the Al-Sabah Royal Family. “Many citizens consider this hospital the best. They believe they will be taken good care of here when compared to other hospitals. They want to be admitted here instead of other hospi-

The Amiri Hospital

tals,” the staff noted. Ten years ago, according to staff nurse, many hospital facilities were smelly and filthy, adding: “Well, if you compare the facility now to how it was ten years ago, there has been a lot of improvement, although the smelly bathrooms are still there, maybe because our hospital is already old, but anyhow, chemicals overpower the smell when applied. In the last few years, I’ve noticed strict

hygiene being observed more in a hospital like Amiri,” said a nurse employed at the Amiri hospital. Although not equipped with friendly disabled apparatus, each wards and almost every corner of Amiri including its toilets are installed with hand sanitizers or chemicals that kills bacteria/germs. Sometimes, problems are faced in the supply of chemicals or tissue papers, admits a cleaner at the Amiri hospital.

MEW payment clearance to finalize transactions KUWAIT: Government departments have been asked to process all paperwork only after receiving electricity and water bills from the individual, a senior Ministry of Electricity and Water appealed through the press. “Collecting dues is not a technical specialty, but an administrative and financial function,” said Ali Al-Wazzan, Undersecretary Assistant for Control Centers and Information Systems, explaining that “smart meters are not required to help collect dues.” Smart meters are devices that have been installed by the

ministry to help control consumption “by alerting users and ministry staff with an updated reading of electricity load,” said Al-Wazzan. “The main reason that smart meters are being used is to protect the distribution network against accidents resulting from an overload,” he added, explaining that a meter ensures that users use the limit power consumption as per the guidelines spelled out by the ministry to prevent an overload. In other news, Ministry of Commerce insiders told Al-Rai that a sum of KD 107 million in dues has accrued against phone and cable services. — Al-Rai



Al-Khorafi calls for session after Cabinet’s formation Opposition agreed to avoid marches

KUWAIT: “The Information Ministry’s is keen on organizing programs and specialized courses for all journalists,” said Undersecretary Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah. He was speaking at the closing ceremony of the journalists’ training course held on ‘Developing information and journalistic skills.’ He lauded Kuwait Journalists Association (KJA) for organizing the course in which more than 150 journalists participated.

10,000 US visas issued for Kuwaitis in 2012 KUWAIT: The United States of America’s embassy in Kuwait has received 18,000 applications for visit visas since early 2012; 10,000 of which were filed by citizens, Wendy Ryde Consul General at the US Embassy in Kuwait said in a recent interview with Al-Rai. “The majority of visa applications forwarded to the embassy were accepted, as the percentage this year exceeded 90,” Ryde said, adding that citizens from over 100 countries living in Kuwait applied for visas to visit the United States. The official predicts a 20 percent

increase in visa applications made this year when compared to 2011 “when 29,600 applications were submitted,” adding that 26,300 visa applications were submitted in 2010. Ryde added that the demand for touristic, commercial and student visas have increased. Meanwhile, Ryde announced the launch of a ‘joint initiative’ between the embassy and the National Union of Kuwait Students (NUKS) to “facilitate procedures for Kuwaiti students to obtain visas to study in American universities.” — Al-Rai

Kuwaiti team in possession of rarest copy of Holy Quran KUWAIT: The head of the Kuwaiti Folklore and Ar tifacts preser vation team, Anwar Al-Rifaei, proudly announced yesterday the group had in their possession the rarest copy of the Holy Quran. It is said to have been produced in Kuwait in 1253 during the reign of the Third Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Jaber bin Abdullah bin Sabah. The volume is said to be in excellent condition and is the work of calligrapher Sulaiman bin Mohammad Al-Ghanim. Speaking at a press conference, AlRifaei commented on the beauty of the penmanship, which was a testimony to the sophisticated level of education of the time. The Islamic patterns which adorn the beginning and end of the

KUWAIT: A fire broke out in a tent during a condolence meeting in Salmiya, Block 6, yesterday. No injuries were reported. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

holy manuscript also highlight the equally sophisticated expertise in creativity and production. The manuscript will be exhibited at the Al-Uthman House Museum in Hawally and there are also plans to have it displayed in three other museums. It is hoped some light can be shed on the artistic legacy behind the production. The Kuwaiti Team for Preservation of Kuwaiti Folklore and Artifacts is a volunteer group under the umbrella of the Volunteer Work Center. The group’s aims are to preserve and unveil information on Kuwait’s legacy, folklore and the artefacts they discover. They work in close cooperation with the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters, as well as other state institutions. —KUNA

KUWAIT: Following the court verdict that ruled the dissolution decree unconstitutional, former National Assembly Speaker, Jassem Al-Khorafi, announced to members of the 2009 parliament that he intended to call for a session to the reinstated parliament as soon as a Cabinet is formed, in accordance with the court’s verdict. Parliamentary sources explained that Al-Khorafi was committed to the courts ruling “which he believes clearly states that the new cabinet must be sworn in before the 2009 parliament, ahead of other procedures”. In the meantime, the same sources who spoke to Al-Qabas on condition of anonymity explained

that the mere call for holding a session is enough for the cabinet to file a letter for the dissolution’s decree constitutionally. Constitutional expert Dr. Mohammad Al-Feeli explained that the lack of a quorum that prevents the 2009 parliament from holding any sessions “provides a justification to the cabinet to file no cooperation”. However, he noted that such a case has never occurred in Kuwait’s history. His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah already made it clear to the opposition that his future cabinet does not have plans to cooperate with the 2009 parliament. The ‘promise’ came during his meeting with Dr Jamaan

Al-Harbash and Musallam Al-Barrak which preceded the cabinet’s announcement to resign Monday. “The premier assured that neither he nor any minister plans to attend a session of the 2009 parliament”, the sources said. In a return gesture, the opposition has agreed not to hold marches during the demonstrations they have arranged in Iradah Sqaure. The press reported yesterday that members from the 2009 parliament told Al-Khurafi during their meeting Monday that they “prefer not to take part in one session as a prelude for dissolving the parliament, instead of allowing it to end its constitutional term”, which expires next summer.

This was confirmed by MP Adnan Abdulsamad who said that “the majority of members in the 2009 parliament did not plan to attend a session if it is going to be followed by a dissolution”. Furthermore, sources speculated that the Prime Minister might offer MP Naji Al-Abdulhadi a position in the cabinet to replace Shuwaib AlMuwaizri. He announced that he would not be returning as minister for housing and cabinet affairs. In the meantime, Al-Abdulsamad said that he is mulling a decision to call for the parliament’s budgets committee which he chairs - to meet “in order to discuss matters of urgency regarding the budget”. —Al-Qabas & Al-Rai



LOCAL kuwait digest

in my view

Overstaffed state departments

Work abroad to gain experience

By Dr Yaqoub Al-Sharrah here are many theories that try to determine the real reasons behind problems facing the public sector. These are mostly supported by studies that the government has failed to achieve reform. One such theory identifies an overstaffed administration department as the main cause of fund wastage, and a waste of employees’ efforts. The inflation refers to redundant sections within a single state department, each of which requires a team of staff members whose actual level of productivity is negligible. This problem is often attributed to the existence of masked unemployment- a term used to describe employees who do not contribute effectively in any way. There are also the effects of bureaucracy to consider. Each ministry contains a number of divisions, under which many other subdivisions operate. The problems occur when sectors are established without conducting proper studies. Each departments is required to tackle a specific problem. Some state department sectors are unnecessary and there is a lack of coordination between different sectors. This often paves the way for conflicts. Official statistics show that majority of the state’s annual budget is used to pay the salaries of public sector employees. We assume public funds are being squandered away. Salaries are being paid disproportionately when compared to actual level of employee productivity.


Each ministry contains a number of divisions, under which many other subdivisions operate. The problems occur when sectors are established without conducting proper studies. There are arguments that inflation cannot be identified as the only reason for the flaws present in the public sector’s administrative system, highlighting other aspects such as political and social effects. While these arguments are true to some extent, the reason why inflation is considered the most serious aspect lies in its repercussions. There is a general decline in the government’s level of productivity, wastage of public funds as well as the damaging effects of attempting to recruit citizens into the private sector. Furthermore, the dangerous aspect of inflation is that it continues to grow with time. If we take the Ministry of Education (MoE), we find that it employs the most number of citizens. Staff are recruited to a vastly divergent administrative structure that includes six separate educational departments, each branched out into many divisions that monitor institutions which are spread out around the country. Some Education Ministry departments often struggle to achieve their role either because they have unclear goals or a work plan that is similar to those of other ministry departments. For example, the Supreme Council of Education was established to place the necessary policies and road map for educational work. Its job, therefore, is to provide consultative services to MoE officials, which means that its members are supposed to be an elite team of academics. The reality is that the council has made almost no contributions to the educational sectors in the years since its establishment. In the meantime, the council works simultaneously with another ministry department called ‘The National Center for Development of Education,’ which plays a limited role in actually improving the educational process. Meanwhile, the ministry also runs a department called the ‘National Center for Evaluation,’ whose main job is to identify problems facing the educational process and to provide best solutions to improve students’ performances. Clearly, no real steps have been taken in that direction so far. The creation of more job opportunities does not necessarily equal to improving the quality of performance unless employees are recruited to achieve a clear goal for which their department has been established. — Al-Rai

By James McCallum

he energy industry is a cool place to work. At least that is what the generation that came into the industry in the 1970s and the early 1980s thought. Of course, that was before Yahoo, Google, Facebook and six-figure Wall Street bonuses started to compete for the very best of aspiring graduate brains. Our hair is a little shorter and a little greyer, but that enthusiasm for the exciting pioneering work of the energy industry still runs through the veins of my generation. We have an obligation to use the last decade before our retirement to communicate that drama to a new generation and ensure we leave the business well supplied with talent and ideas for the future. Time is short, especially when you bear in mind that the historical source of petroleum engineers has been the West. Since the 1970s, 40 colleges in the United States, the world’s largest energy consumer, offered degrees in petroleum engineering. Today, there are fewer than 20. The development of local national talent in countries rich in energy resources across the world, especially in the Middle East, is one of the key ways for the global industry to mitigate the pending talent crisis. Kuwaitization, Qatarization, Emiratization and Saudization are becoming familiar terms as resourcerich countries set national quotas for international partners to employ locals. It is a vital tool to ensure that resource holders reduce their dependence on foreign talent and have the skills domestically to manage and develop their vast hydrocarbon resources through the 21st century. These initiatives guarantee career paths for Arab nationals to enter and progress through their countries’ respective energy industries, but I would recommend that these nationalization programs include a requirement for the young Gulf Arab petroleum engineers and geoscientists to work abroad to garner vital experience. Otherwise we will not drive forward the kind of indigenous technological development and skills that we need to see emerge in the Middle East to manage the third generation of resource extraction in what many refer to as post-easy oil. In Qatar, the nationalization program is, by decree, designed to increase to 50 per cent by 2015 the Qatari proportion of the energy-sector workforce.


kuwait digest

People: The source of authority By Iman Shamsuddine he concept of a civil state is a debatable issue pass their judgments on facts and what can be in Kuwait where it is subject to various per- proven by evidence, instead of being influenced by spectives, most notably the Islamic point of a lawmaker’s position, sectarian belonging or reliview. The public ideology in the Salafist school is gious belief. Since the constitution insists on the dominated by the trilogy of worship, submission separation of authorities, MPs and cabinet memand sanctification. This gives the Salafist school the bers are required to avoid interfering in the judicial ability to ‘rally’ supporters without the need to use authority’s work, while also accept court rulings rational convincing or proof, and instead focus on made on a legal basis. An official’s position cannot people’s emotions. allow him to be above the law or out of the peoThere was evidence of this when the govern- ple’s range of assessment and accountability. The ment rejected a draft law that made capital punish- public has to become free from the worship, subment the penalty for an offender of God or the mission and sanctification dominance, and endorse Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). The decision drew an the approach based on proof, evidence, the law uproar with calls to stage public demonstrations. and constitution. People were called upon to “defend God, his reliCorruption cannot be countered with similarly gion and Prophet”, in a manner that showed disre- corrupt procedures, but only by legal and constitugard for the law and constitution. It was a rebellion tional steps. A corrupt individual is stopped by proagainst the princividing proof of their ples of civil state, actions, after which Since the constitution insists on the which require that they are penalized as separation of authorities, MPs and cabiregulations are per the law. There are net members are required to avoid interpassed through the no people in the execfering in the judicial authority’s work, legislative authority utive, legislative or instead of public legal authorities who while also accept court rulings made on a pressure. are impeccable. All are legal basis. The public are equal before the law. required today to The public must libstand up in order to stop the systematic destruc- erate themselves from the dominance of the relition of the achievements of Kuwaiti democracy. The gious-tribal ideology. They must endorse the law ongoing practices by MPs against the constitution and constitution, which recognizes Islam as a main and the law, as well as the government’s incompe- source of legislation and doesn’t allow regulations tence with regards to carrying out its programs. The that violate the general traditions, fending off allepublic need to achieve a high level of awareness in gations about the need of ‘Islamizing’ laws and conavoiding the culture of emotions’ instigating stitutional principles in the process. actions and instead lean towards reason in tackling People are the source of all authority, achieved problems. Corruption, for example, requires setting through their understanding of the law and constipriorities based on legal and constitutional meth- tution. They are therefore the source for tackling ods, such as MPs providing evidence when making corruption when authorities violate the law and corruption claims. As such, the public must always constitution.— Al-Qabas


kuwait digest

Twitter called worldwide diwaniya By Dr Mubarak Al-Therwa uring a trip to France, I met someone in the misconceptions, but creates many others. Many elevator of the Institute Gustave Roussy in people changed their ideologies following interacParis who greeted me excitedly when he tion on Twitter, while others are branded as ‘infilearned I was from Kuwait. He then started speak- dels’ for the opinions they express. Twitter has ing in broken English about his admiration for helped people collect charity for people in need, and was used by something he referred thousands of Arabs to as a ‘meeting room’ Diwaniya is a gathering of men who to call for revolution. in Kuwait. Eventually, I How has Twitter realized he was talkexchange their opinions and ideas about come to have this ing about the many topics, including politics, economics much influence on diwaniya! and sports. But times have changed, and our lives? As much as ‘The diwaniya... an I dislike conspiracy educational mediator an integral part of Kuwait’s culture is now theories, I cannot in Kuwaiti society ’. I right between your hands in a small help but wonder- is remember reading device where friends create and gather there someone this term as the title behind Twitter and of a Master’s thesis I their own ‘diwaniya’. its popularity? came across in the I n the United Faculty of Education library of Kuwait University, and that was a little Kingdom last year, riots took place in the streets where stores were looted and destroyed and police more than a decade ago. So, what is a diwaniya? It is a gathering of men clashed with protestors. This wave of violence was who exchange their opinions and ideas about preceded by an influx of wild and angry tweets on many topics, including politics, economics and the British diwaniya of Twitter! In other words, we sports. Their discussions also tackle living condi- can say that Twitter can become an index or catations and the problems they face in their daily lyst for upcoming events! Why stay in an actual diwaniya, trapped in a lives. But times have changed, and an integral part of Kuwait’s culture is now right between your room with a number of people, when you can go hands in a small device where friends create and to a limitless diwaniya and hold conversations with the entire world? I believe Kuwait can benefit gather their own ‘diwaniya’. Twitter has become a diwaniya which gathers all from this, if experts and researchers are assigned the people of Kuwait, and across the globe. to study instigating tweets and hatred speech. Recently, the whole world anxiously followed the They could predict developments in the political latest updates of Egypt’s presidential elections as if scene or relationships between citizens. After all, it is likely that there are people who they were sitting inside the counting halls. Twitter provides a platform for all kind of information, con- deliberately start provocative conversations on versations, ideas and criticism to be discussed in a Twitter in the hope that it escalates into a larger way never discussed before. Twitter corrects many struggle. — Al-Rai


The development of local talent for the petroleum industry in hydrocarbon-rich nations should include a requirement for experience in foreign countries. This presents a great challenge, given the increasing career options that are open to young nationals in a diversified economy that is seeing consistent double-digit growth, and given the limited number of appropriately qualified graduates leaving the region’s academic institutions. It is true that you can develop talent within a closed environment of a degree course and then spin that talent out to work in a particular national industry. What emerges in the end, however, is a narrow experience profile. And so, as we get into the world of enhanced reservoir production in the Gulf, much of the experience to handle that will still need to come from afar. When you are drilling a 12,192-metre horizontal well into a high-pressure reservoir, you cannot turn up with someone with a degree and just a few years of experience working in a simple production environment. You can guarantee big salaries and new technology, but more money is not a replacement for experience in an industry full of operational challenges. The increasing cost of failure, in monetary and environmental terms, cannot be ignored. Technology is not a panacea. It is part of the story, but it has to be employed in collaboration with the mitigation of the general risks that are associated with its application, and that starts with answering these questions: Where are we going to get people? And where are they going to get access to the appropriate experience? I came into the industry in the early 1970s with the development in the North Sea. At that time, young engineers out of Britain and Europe were considered inferior to the talent that was being exported from North America. Today, European engineers from Scotland, Norway Denmark and elsewhere are succeeding all over world with the unique experience garnered from developing the highly complex and challenging North Sea environment. You can build a tanker designed to haul liquefied natural gas in three years, you can build one of the world’s most advanced deepwater drilling ships in three years, but you cannot develop a person in anything remotely close to that time frame to take on the responsibility and accountability that is needed to manage the processes of wells costing a minimum of US$100 million (Dh367.3m). It will take 10 to 15 years from the person leaving university before to becoming competent to take on technical managerial and operational responsibility. (James McCallum is the chief executive of Senergy, an integrated global energy services company specialising in the skills associated with the identification, quantification and extraction of hydrocarbon structures)



Kuwait delegation hails Turkey ANKARA: A delegation of Kuwait’s Ministry of State for National Assembly Affairs met with Turkish officials yesterday to get acquainted with relations between the executive and legislative authorities. The delegation met with officials in the government, parliament and judicial authority to discuss the historic of democracy in Turkey, as well as relations between the three authorities, the Ministry’s Undersecretary Ahmad AlMarshad said. Al-Marshad praised the Turkish

KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah receiving Bahrain’s Deputy Premier Sheikh Mohammad bin Mubarak Al-Khalifa at Seif Palace yesterday.

Execution of ambitious 25-year education plan slow in Kuwait Govt should be more focused KUWAIT: Kuwait might not be at the top of the usual MBA Business School rankings, but the northern Gulf state does have institutions of higher education which are highly regarded in the region. “We are not spending as much as the Gulf countries have spent, especially the Emirates and Qatar, but our government is spending enough to have the human capital that they need for the development of the country,” said Abdullah Abdul Mohsen Al-Sharhan, the Chairman of the Australian College of Kuwait or ACK. “I think the importance of higher education was recognized earlier in Kuwait than it may have been in some parts of the region, and that came as a result of the relatively early development of the oil industry in Kuwait.” When we met Al-Sharhan for an interview, he did not hesitate to identify the challenges in the Kuwait’s education sector: “Kuwait has a 25 year plan for education, but the execution of this education plan is slower than we would like it to be. At school, pupils should have knowledge of language, whether it is Arabic or English, and mathematics when they graduate, since all higher education institutions demand those subjects today.” However, Al-Sharhan does not blame the politicians for these deficits. “No, the government is very much interested in improving education, but we need to be more focused. High school graduates should be prepared for tertiary education, and higher education needs to be more focused on what is needed for the development of the country.” How did “learning for life” develop in Kuwait? Dr

Winfred Thompson, President of the American University of Kuwait, known as AUK, gave Marcopolis a free lecture on the Kuwait’s history in education. “I think the importance of higher education was recognized earlier in Kuwait than it may have been in some parts of the region, and that came as a result of the relatively early development of the oil industry in Kuwait,” he said. Despite the fact that many American expatriates live and work in Dubai, Dr Thompson does not want to see his institution of higher education as an isolated learning camp. “Three quarters of our students are Kuwaiti nationals. We compete with the other institutions of higher education in Kuwait and we benefit from government scholarship programs that support Kuwaiti nationals who attend the AUK. We’re reasonably comfortable with, and proud of, our competitive position in this society.” Nevertheless, the American University of Kuwait cherishes co-operations with universities abroad. Dr. Winfried Thompson: “We have a relationship with Dartmouth College in New Hampshire in the United States. You may be aware that Dartmouth College is one of the Ivy League schools - one of the top ten higher education institutions in the United States.” Marcopolis was eager to learn how the ACK and AUK tackle the aforementioned challenges and provide better tools of wisdom for future generations. Al Sharhan said: “What is unique about us is that we have project-based learning. Knowing that the high school graduates love to work with each other, you don’t overwhelm them with theories, you give them

some theory and then they have to work together on projects. We have found this to be great motivation.” The AUK is not only open to students but also to talented teachers. Dr. Thompson said: “Beyond the physical facilities and the location, my greatest hope and ambition for the institution is to improve the quality of the programs. Fundamentally, that means two things: to recruit faculty members with the best possible credentials to the institution, and to compete in the market for students, attracting the very best students that we can and providing them with a diverse education.”The American institution AUK has a different approach. “Keep in mind that we are exclusively an undergraduate institution, and primarily a teaching institution rather than a research institution. We do, however, try to support the scholarship and research efforts of our faculty members, and that has been one of the projects where there has been collaboration between Dartmouth and the AUK,” Dr. Thompson explained, adding that “there is a centre in Dartmouth that focuses on cyber security, and one of our exchange programs has involved cooperation with that cyber security institute at Dartmouth; both our students and faculty members participate as fellows there.” For Thompson, there are also hurdles to tackle as an American citizen living in Kuwait: “Probably the biggest issue in a professional sense is that the faculty members have fewer opportunities for collaboration and professional development than they would have if they were in major metropolitan or academic centers in the West.” — Marcopolis

democracy as “deep-rooted and quite similar to the democratic experience in Kuwait” despite differences in the shape of the parliamentary system in both countries. He said they have met with President of the Constitutional Court, describing the encounter as “fruitful.” “We got acquainted with the role played by the court in achieving balance between the role of the legislative and executive authorities, and how to monitor legislations and their compatibility with the constitution,” he said.—KUNA




Watermelon vendor attacks policeman Hit-and-run suspect in custody KUWAIT: Police are on the hunt for a roaming vendor who escaped arrest after attempting to attack a policeman. The suspect was caught by municipality inspectors selling watermelons without a license along the Fourth Ring Road. He was taken to Roudhah police station and an officer was asked to escort him to the scene where he abandoned his vehicle. The suspect quickly entered his car and hit the police patrol vehicle. The officer stopped him, after which the suspect stepped outside of his car with a knife. He escaped following a quarrel during which the officer managed to avoid getting stabbed. His car was impounded and is being used to help police identify and arrest its owner. Driver arrested A sports car driver was arrested following a hit-and-run incident which left a senior American citizen dead. A 60-yearold man died in Hawally after eyewitnesses provided police

with descriptions and the license plate number of a car. Officers traced the driver down after conducting a search at nearby streets. He was arrested and taken to the Hawally police station. Police chase A driver was injured in an accident that took place while trying to escape police in Al-Nugra. The citizen lost control over his vehicle and it flipped over after hitting a pavement. Patrol officers called an ambulance and the man was administered treatment at the Mubarak Hospital. He was taken to Nugra police station. Angry lawyer A lawyer approached Salmiya police recently to press charges against a citizen she accused of failing to pay her dues for defending his son who was convicted in a drug case. In statements made to officers, the angry lawyer explained that the man refused to pay her KD 500 fees after the trial’s conclusion.

The accused was summoned for investigations, during which he confirmed that he refused to pay the lawyer under the pretext of failing to work strongly enough. Investigations are ongoing in the case. Warden attacked A security officer at the Central Jail was hospitalized with head injuries inflicted by an inmate’s attack using his handcuffs. The officer and prisoner were engaged in a heated argument as the latter was being escorted to his cell after attending a trial. The dispute soon escalated and the prisoner repeatedly struck the officer’s head. Officers put the prisoner under control before their colleague was sent to Al-Farwaniya Hospital. Rape charge Police are searching for a citizen who has been accused by his ex-wife of sexually assaulting her in his car in Al-Rumathiya. In her complaint, the 21-year-old

woman explained that her 26year-old ex-husband invited her to a rendezvous with the intention of a possible reconciliation. The suspect reportedly raped the victim after he halted his vehicle at a hidden location after they began quarreling. A case was filed for investigations. Suicide attempt A domestic worker was hospitalized in a critical condition after she attempted suicide in response to some bad news received from home. The Nepalese woman was rushed to Al-Adan Hospital by her employer who found her in a critical condition in Al-Dhahar. The man told medical staff that empty medication bottles were found in the maid’s room. Tests confirmed that she was suffering from complications arising out of medication overdose. The woman later explained that she attempted suicide after receiving a call from her family back in Nepal informing her that her mother had passed away. —Al-Rai, Al-Watan

Conference calls for effort to reclaim graft money, illegal gains AMMAN: At the regional conference organized by the Arab Anti-Corruption and Integrity network here in Amman, the message was that there should be a greater effort to reclaim graft money and other illegal gains. A representative of the Kuwait Transparency Society, Yagoub Abdulrahim told the press that the conference was making a recommendation that the Arab League ought to be making continued efforts to promote awareness on corruption. The conference was entitled: ‘The role of national justice authorities in imple-

menting the United Nations Anti-Corruption Convention’. In all, 16 Arab countries were represented by official and civil society groups, with Abdulrahim calling for stronger legal and judicial cooperation between the various Arab states. The conference delegates also called for laws that were on par with international and regional standards. The participants called for faster implementation of the United Nations AntiCorruption Convention and for provisions of objective data on discrepancies between

state of affairs and what is required to implement the convention. The two-day conference was supported by the UN Development Program and sought to exchange expertise and find the best methods to implement Chapters 111 and V1 of the UN Charter. Issues discussed included the problems which stopped anti-corruption effor ts and finding the means to make the Arab anti corruption legislation more effective in guaranteeing protection against external interference in a state’s internal affairs. —KUNA

KUWAIT: The Interior Ministry inspection campaign in progress.

32 illegal residents nabbed KUWAIT: At least 32 expatriates have been arrested for violating the residency law in ‘intensive security campaigns’ held at Fahaheel harbor. In a press statement, the Ministry of Interior said the campaign was led by Major General Sheikh Mohammad Yussef Al-Sabah, Assistant Undersecretary for

Border Affairs. It added that immigration police as well as coastal guard forces took part in the campaign. The Ministry affirmed security authorities that they would continue a crack down on violators of residency law and those wanted in criminal cases. —KUNA


Paraguay’s Lugo changes tack ahead of summit

1 dead, 130 rescued from capsizing off Aussie isle Page 12

Page 11

CHITTAGONG: Bangladeshi rescuers search for survivors and bodies following landslides on the outskirts of Chittagong ,Bangladesh yesterday. Rescuers said the slides caused by heavy monsoon rains have killed at least 30 people in southern Bangladesh. —AP

100 dead, 250,000 stranded in Bangladesh floods Hundreds of homes wash away DHAKA: At least 100 people have died and 250,000 left stranded by flash floods and landslides in Bangladesh set off by the heaviest rain in years, police and officials said yesterday. The low-lying and densely populated country, which is in its wet season, has been battered by five days of torrential downpours. The deaths took place late on Tuesday and yesterday. Most were caused by landslides, others by wall collapses, lightning strikes and surges of floodwater. Army, police and fire brigade personnel were helping in rescue efforts. Weather officials said more rain was

expected over the next few days. Hundreds of homes have been washed away, while authorities have moved many families from shanty housing and told others to leave quickly. At least 23 people were killed in and around the southeastern port city of Chittagong, while 36 died in Bandarban in an area known as the Chittagong Hill Tracts. “Several more people are feared trapped in hillside homes buried under heaps of mud. Rescue operations are continuing,” Chittagong Deputy Commissioner Faiz Ahmed said. A further 38 died in the coastal district of Cox’s Bazar near the Myanmar bor-

Egypt’s Morsi starts work as court curbs army arrest powers CAIRO: Egypt’s president-elect Mohamed Morsi pushed ahead yesterday with selecting a government, after a court delivered a blow to the ruling military by suspending its powers to arrest civilians. Egypt’s first civilian president, and its first elected leader since an uprising ousted president Hosni Mubarak early last year, still has to contend with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. The SCAF, which took control after Mubarak resigned in February 2011, will retain broad powers even after it formally transfers control to Morsi at the end of June. The president-elect has met Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the head of SCAF and the man to whom Mubarak handed power. Before appointing a prime minister for the postMubarak Egypt, media reports said, Morsi has been holding consultations with a cross-section of Egyptian society. He met with a delegation from Al-Azhar, the highest authority in Sunni Islam, as well as from the Coptic Christian church, whose members have voiced concern over the election of an Islamist president. Newspapers said the president-elect had held talks with families of “martyrs” killed in last year’s uprising to discuss their demands for renewed trials of those responsible. On the political front, the new president also has to contend with the fact that the country’s top court earlier this month ordered the Islamist-dominated parliament to be disbanded. The military subsequently assumed legislative powers and also formed a powerful national security council that is headed by the president but dominated by generals. The military also reserves the right to appoint a new constituent assembly should the one elected by parliament be disbanded by a court decision expected on September 1. But the Muslim Brotherhood has insisted that only parliament can appoint the assembly. Morsi was the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, but he resigned from the movement in order to take the top job, pledging to represent all Egyptians. “All these details are on the table for discussion,” said a senior aide to the president-elect on Tuesday, of the military’s powers. “Nothing has been settled yet, and no decision has been taken.” Another aide said Morsi was holding talks to appoint an “independent national figure” as his premier. —AFP

der, officials and police said. Officials in the affected areas said about 100 people were missing, many swept away by floodwater, and about 200 injured. In Sylhet, a rice and tea-growing area in the northeast, houses were filled by up to three feet (one metre) of floodwater, and residents were forced to perch on boats or scramble to high ground. Three children were reported killed. Flooding also hit districts northwest of the capital Dhaka. The downpours lashed the borders with Myanmar and India, with the weather office recording 463 mm (18.2 inches) in Chittagong over the past

24 hours. “We are having the worst rainfall in many years,” said Jainul Bari, district commissioner for Cox’s Bazar. Disaster control officials said about 150,000 people had been marooned by the floods in the southeast while 50,000 were stranded in Sylhet. About 50,000 were reported stranded in their flooded homes in the nor thern districts of Gaibandha and Kurigram. Local television showed villagers trudging through waist-high water to relief camps while some moved their cattle on to the roofs of buildings for safety. Farming officials said it was too early to gauge crop damage. “In flash floods, water

recedes soon after the rain stops, so we don’t anticipate any major damage to rice and other crops,” one official said. Most road and rail links between Chittagong and the rest of the country were suspended late on Tuesday, while Chittagong airport was closed after part of the runway was flooded. Authorities have started distributing food, drinking water and medicine among survivors. “The government has allocated about 750 tonnes of rice and 6.6 million taka ($80,500) for the affected people,” Atiqur Rahman, a senior disaster ministry official, said. — Reuters



Palestinian president to meet Israel vice PM RAMALLAH: Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas will hold talks with Israeli vice prime minister Shaul Mofaz on Sunday, a senior Palestinian official told Voice of Palestine radio. “President Abbas will meet with Mofaz on Sunday in Ramallah at Mofaz’s request,” negotiator Mohammad Eshtayeh told the official radio station yesterday. It will be the highest-level meeting between Israeli and Palestinian officials since May 12, when Israeli negotiator Yitzhak Molcho met Abbas to deliver a letter from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. A spokesman for Mofaz declined to con-

firm or deny the report. The Palestinians’ official news agency WAFA initially carried quotes from Abbas adviser Nimr Hammad confirming the Sunday meeting, but later changed the story, saying it was unconfirmed. Eshtayeh told Voice of Palestine that the meeting was a standard part of Abbas’s dialogue with various parties. “Such a meeting is nothing new and comes in the framework of president Abbas’s meetings with a full spectrum of actors in the Israeli and Jewish communities,” he said. “President Abbas will listen to Mofaz’s ideas, but we do not think that he will present politi-

cal ideas that we can work with,” he said. “We do not count much on such meetings nor believe that the Israeli government as currently composed can offer anything serious on the peace process.” He added that the meeting “is not a round of negotiations,” and stressed that the Palestinians remained committed to seeking a settlement freeze and clear parameters for discussions on borders before returning to direct peace talks. Talks between the two sides have been on hold since late September 2010, with the Palestinians refusing to resume them without the moratorium

and a deal to base border talks on the lines that existed before the 1967 Six Day War. Israel wants talks without preconditions, and the international community has urged both sides to pursue a path back to the negotiating table. Early this year Molcho and Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat held several rounds of “proximity” talks in Amman, intended to chart a path back to negotiations. But the talks ended without a way forward, and a later exchange of letters between Abbas and Netanyahu also failed to result in a plan for the resumption of negotiations. — AFP

Bombs at homes of Iraqi cleric, militiaman kill 11 Violence surge seen as attempt to undermine Iraqi govt

SIDON: A veiled Lebanese Muslim woman swims in the Mediterranean sea in the southern Lebanese city of Sidon yesterday. —AFP

Israel accuses Iran of anti-Semitism in drug speech JERUSALEM: Israel said yesterday Iran was governed by fanatical anti-Semites after its vice president told a UN forum that Zionists were inciting drug trafficking and Jewish religious law called for the annihilation of non-Jews. The verbal clash highlighted festering tension in an international stand-off over Tehran’s nuclear program. A third round of nuclear talks between world powers and Iran 10 days ago failed to resolve the stalemate. With that process seemingly close to death’s door, Israel renewed veiled threats of military action against Iranian nuclear production sites, which it deems a mortal threat. While Iran and Israel have traded hostile rhetoric for years, the remarks at a global drug enforcement conference in Tehran by Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi seemed unusually vitriolic and inflammatory to Western delegates. Speaking on Tuesday, Rahimi said the Talmud, or canon of Jewish religious law, “teaches them how to destroy non-Jews so as to protect an embryo in the womb of a Jewish mother”, according to excerpts published by the Fars news agency. He accused “Zionists”, a term the Iranian government usually applies to Israelis and their Jewish supporters abroad, of inciting drug trafficking. “You cannot find a single addict among the Zionists,” Rahimi said. The New York Times, which covered the conference marking a UN -sponsored International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, further quoted Rahimi as saying Zionists ordered gynecologists to kill black babies and that the Russian Revolution of 1917 was started by Jews although none, he was also quoted as saying, died in it. The speech, at which at least 10 Western diplomats were present, drew furious condemnation from Israel, which has been angered in the past by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s description of the Nazi Holocaust as a lie. “The fact UN representatives and European delegates still attend conferences in Tehran, at which the worst kind of antiSemitism is sounded, lends legitimacy to the Iranian ayatollah regime,” Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said. Iran’s government, he said in a statement, is “made up not of madmen but of fanatical, anti-Semitic people with an agen-

da, who have a detailed global plan including, as they say openly and forthrightly, the destruction of the State of Israel”. Widely assumed to have the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal, Israel has hinted at preemptive war to prevent its arch-enemy from getting the atom bomb. Iran denies having any such designs, though its often secretive nuclear programme has stoked foreign suspicion and drawn increasingly tough sanctions. Lieberman likened Iran to Hitler ’s Germany but said that, post-Holocaust, Israel would “not allow any Jew to be harmed”. He said the Islamic Republic, and any failure by the international community to curb its nuclear work, would be “a sure recipe for disaster and a threat to world peace”. A Western diplomat who was at the conference said Rahimi’s 10-minute address left him “really shocked and surprised”. “We’ve heard speeches like this before but this was so much worse than the usual rhetoric. This wasn’t about drugs. It seems the Iranians want to create an issue and are deliberately looking to stir things up,” the diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity. Israel reacted to the latest fruitless nuclear talks between six world powers and Iran with a well-seasoned message sanctions must be intensified while the clocks ticks down towards possible military action. A high-ranking Iranian general then warned that any Israeli military strikes on Iran’s nuclear program would bring about the collapse of the Jewish state. No further negotiations were planned after the June 18-19 round in Moscow, and the European Union is to launch a total embargo on Iranian oil exports on July 1. Alun Jones, spokesman for the Viennabased United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, said UNODC attended the Tehran conference as well as related events across the world on Tuesday, as mandated by the UN General Assembly, and that it could not anticipate what the Iranian hosts would say. Jones added: “The drug trade is motivated by business and profit, not by ideological considerations, and also drug addiction is a health challenge which affects all people, of all kinds, of all race, of all creed and it is a health challenge that affects people in the same way.” — Reuters

Yemen FM admits US drones used on Qaeda DUBAI: Yemen has asked for US drones to be used “in some cases” to target AlQaeda leaders in the country, its foreign minister told AFP yesterday. “Drones were used upon Yemen’s request in some cases against fleeing Al-Qaeda leaders,” Abu Bakr al-Kurbi told AFP on the sidelines of a counter-piracy conference in Dubai, in a first official Yemeni confirmation. Yemeni troops have this month recaptured a string of towns which Al-Qaeda militants overran last year across the province of Abyan. In an interview with ABC television’s “This Week,” US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta defended in May the use of drones as “the most precise weapons we have” in the campaign against the militant group. His comments were the first time the US formally acknowledged the use of unmanned drones against Al-Qaeda suspects in Yemen, where such reports had not been confirmed. “ The fear lies in the infiltration of extremists and terrorists into Yemen” from Somalia, said Kurbi. “It is very difficult for us to tell the difference between someone displaced for humanitarian reasons and a terrorist.” In February, the commander of the African Union forces in Mogadishu, Major General Fred Mugisha, said Somalia’s Al-Qaeda allied Shebab fighters, close to collapse, were fleeing the war-torn country in large

numbers for Yemen. Earlier this month, a Somali suicide bomber killed the army commander for southern Yemen, General Salem Ali Qoton, who had led a five-week-long offensive against the jihadists. Last year a record 103,000 refugees, asylum seekers and migrants crossed the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea from the Horn of Africamainly Somalis and Ethiopians. Kurbi said Al-Qaeda militants had “developed their capabilities to move from one place to another,” adding that “it is not unlikely” that jihadists in Yemen might have in turn fled to neighbouring Oman. Omani media on Tuesday quoted foreign ministry official Saeed Badr bin Hamad Al-Busaidi as saying his country was investigating reports that Al-Qaeda militants had infiltrated the Gulf sultanate. His remarks came after a security official in Sanaa said five Al-Qaeda militants had escaped from a prison in the western Yemeni city of Hudaydah. Yemen and Oman share a long border through deser t and mountainous regions. On Saturday, the army took control of the southeastern town of Azzan, an Al-Qaeda bastion deserted by the militants a week earlier. According to several sources, the fighters who fled Azzan, in the southeastern Shabwa province, have sought refuge in an eastern region of Yemen close to the border with Oman.— AFP

BAGHDAD: Bombs targeting the homes of Shiite cleric and a member of a Sunni militia that fights Al-Qaeda killed at least 11 people, including four teenagers, yesterday in Baghdad as extremists ramp up attacks in Iraq. The attacks on two of AlQaeda’s favorite targets bring Iraq’s death toll for June to at least 186, making it the bloodiest month since January, when at least 255 were killed. That surge in violence was widely seen as an attempt to undermine the Iraqi government after the last American troops withdrew in midDecember. The first blast at about 7 am blew out the front wall of the home of a Shiite cleric who was prominent in the southeastern suburb of Wahda, damaging surrounding houses, police and witnesses said. The explosives appeared to have been planted just outside the home. Neighbor Nasir Luaibi, awakened from the explosion, rushed to the scene with family members to help but a second explosion at the site minutes later killed his cousin and wounded three of his nephews. “We tried to search for survivors when the second blast came,” said Luaibi, a 50-year-old day laborer. A police official said the attack killed eight people, including the cleric’s teenage son and daughter, and wounded 19. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information. Hospital officials confirmed the deaths. Another neighbor, Sattar Hassan, was hit in the leg by shrapnel from the second bomb as he searched the debris of the house. “I fell down and screamed for help,” he said from Zafaraniyah hospital where many of the wounded were taken. He said he did not know why his neighbors’ house was targeted. “They are nice people who have no quarrel with anybody.”

BAGHDAD: An Iraqi soldier and people inspect the damage of a house caused by a bomb attack in Baghdad’s southeastern suburb of Wahda, Iraq yesterday. —AP Shiite Muslims in particular have been targeted by recent attacks in Iraq, which authorities have blamed on Al-Qaeda-linked Sunni militants. Elsewhere in Baghdad, another bomb exploded just outside the home of a member of a local Sunni militia, killing the man’s wife and two teenage daughters, police and hospital officials said. The man is in the Sahwa, or Sons of Iraq, a Sunni militia that was instrumental in turning the tide against Al-Qaeda during the country’s worst violence. He was not at home during the attack and was unharmed, said a police officer who asked not to be named because he was not

authorized to release the information. Six months after the last American troops left the country, the violence has set back government efforts to provide security and basic services like electricity, despite years of assistance from the US , billions of dollars in foreign aid and the country’s oil wealth. While wholesale violence has dropped dramatically since the peak of sectarian fighting in 2006-2008, analysts say the militants’ recent campaign shows they have been emboldened by government divisions, weak Iraqi security and the absence of international forces. — AP

Iraq PM calls for early elections BAGHDAD: Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki has called for early elections, a statement said yesterday, the latest move in a series of political crises that has seen his opponents seek to unseat him.” When the other side refuses to sit at the table of dialogue and insists on the policy of provoking successive crises in a way that causes serious damage to the supreme interests of Iraqi people, the prime minister found himself forced to call for early elections,” said the statement on Maliki’s website. The next parliamentary polls were to be held in 2014. According to Article 64 of the Iraqi constitution, parliament may be dissolved by an absolute majority vote. The process can be initiated in two ways-a request from either onethird of MPs or from the prime minister whose request has to be first approved by the president. President Jalal Talabani’s position on the issue was not immediately clear. After the last parliamentary polls in March 2010, a government was not formed until December, and some key cabinet posts including the defence and interior ministers remain vacant to this day. Maliki’s call provoked mixed reactions from his opponents, who have been seeking to oust him. Powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr “is not with this measure, as it requires time and consensus is difficult to obtain at this stage,” Dhia al-Assadi, the secretary general of Sadr’s Ahrar bloc, told AFP. “The consensus that was obtained for the current government cannot be obtained under these circumstances, and we therefore say that it is not appropriate to dissolve parliament because it would not be in the interest of the people,” Assadi said. Haidar al-Mullah, a leading MP from the secular, Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc, said that the bloc is “with any constitutional choice” and would respect the dissolution of parliament if it was carried out constitutionally. “But we also demand that the prime minister understand both sides of democracy-when it is to his interests and when it does not serve him,” Mullah said, adding that “we have a problem with the executive authority, with the head of the government specifically.” Even if new elections were called, organising them is another matter. The mandate of the Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), which is responsible for organising all elections in Iraq, is set to expire next month, and no replacements have been named. “Until now, the (new) commission has not been formed,” current IHEC president Faraj al-Haidari told AFP. “I believe that the political situation also affects in one way or another the selection of the new commissioners, and at the same time it affects our work.” Haidari spent several days in jail in April over corruption allegations he said were part of just one of many often-frivolous court cases against IHEC pushed by an MP from Maliki’s coalition. Iraq has been hit by a series of intertwined political crises that began in mid-December with accusations that Maliki was concentrating power in his hands and has escalated into calls to unseat him. An effort to persuade Talabani to call a no-confidence vote stalled earlier this month when he said that Maliki’s opponents lacked the votes to oust him.

BAGHDAD: A picture dated on May 11, 2011 shows Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki addressing a press conference in Baghdad. Maliki called for early elections, a statement released yesterday said after a series of political crises escalated into calls for his removal. — AFP That decision meant the only way Maliki’s opponents could press their drive for a no-confidence motion was by requesting he appear before parliament and then holding the vote. Parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi said on June 21 that Maliki’s opponents were to ask in the coming days for him to appear before the house in a renewed bid to oust him. The crises have paralysed government, especially parliament, which has passed no significant legislation except for the budget, while other impor-

tant measures such as a hydrocarbons law regulating Iraq’s oil sector have been delayed. The latest political development comes as three roadside bombs killed 11 people in Iraq yesterday, security and medical officials said. Yesterday’s toll brings to at least 187 people killed in Iraq since June 13 more than the number of people killed in all of May. Violence has declined significantly since its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks remain common, killing 132 people in May, government figures show. — AFP

Sudan keeps up protest crackdown KHARTOUM: Sudanese police yesterday kept up a 12-day crackdown against anti-regime demonstrators, witnesses said, despite concerns raised by the United States and Britain. Students in the eastern town of Kassala took to the streets for a second day in a row, witnesses said. About 100 young people, carrying pictures of an allegedly detained colleague, marched against high food prices until riot police confronted them with tear gas, they said. Rights groups say scores of people have been arrested since the protests against inflation began on June 16 at the University of Khartoum. They quickly spread to include a cross-section of the population in numerous locations throughout the capital and several other parts of Sudan. Demonstrators in groups of 100 or 200 have burned tires, thrown stones and blocked roads in a growing call for regime change, which has been met by police tear gas. “Sudan should end the crackdown on peaceful protesters, release people who have been detained, and allow journalists to report freely on the events,” New York-based Human Rights Watch said yesterday. “While

many of those arrested were released after hours or days, Sudanese groups following the situation estimate that more than 100 people are still in detention,” the watchdog said. US State Depar tment spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Tuesday that “arresting and mistreating protesters” will not solve Sudan’s economic crisis. “There have been reports of protesters being beaten, imprisoned and severely mistreated while in government custody. We call for the immediate release of those detained for peaceful protest,” she said. Britain’s minister for Africa, Henr y Bellingham, called for “the immediate release of those detained while engaged in peaceful protest and for the security forces to act with restraint and avoid the use of force.” Protests by tens of thousands in 1964 and 1985 helped bring about the downfall of the Sudanese regimes then in office. President Omar al-Bashir, an army officer who seized power in June 1989, has called the latest protests small-scale and not comparable to the Arab Spring uprisings against regional strongmen over the past year.— AFP



Paraguay’s Lugo changes tack ahead of summit Former prez will not attend summit

COLORADO: Homes are destroyed by the Waldo Canyon fire in the Mountain Shadows area of Colorado Springs, Colo., on Tuesday.—AP

More than 32,000 ordered to flee fire WOODLAND PARK: A towering wildfire jumped firefighters’ perimeter lines and moved into the city of Colorado Springs, forcing frantic evacuation orders for more than 32,000 residents, including the US Air Force Academy, and destroying an unknown number of homes. The fire doubled in size overnight to more than 24 square miles (62 square kilometers), fire information officer Rob Dyerberg said yesterday. “It was like looking at the worst movie set you could imagine,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said after flying over the fire late Tuesday. “It’s almost surreal.” Heavy smoke and ash billowed from the foothills west of the city as the Waldo Canyon Fire has become the top challenge for the nation’s firefighters. With flames cresting a ridge high above its campus, the Air Force

Academy told more than 2,100 residents to evacuate. Elsewhere, fleeing residents covered their faces with T-shirts and bandanas to breathe through the smoke. Throughout the West, firefighters have toiled for days in searing, record-setting heat against fires fueled by prolonged drought. Most, if not all, of Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana were under red flag warnings, meaning extreme fire danger. The nation is experiencing “a super-heated spike on top of a decades-long warming trend,” said Derek Arndt, head of climate monitoring at the National Climatic Data Center. In central Utah, authorities found one woman dead Tuesday when they returned to an evacuated area, marking the first casualty in a blaze that consumed at least two dozen homes. —AP

Violence tops debate ahead of Venezuela vote CARACAS: Natalia Guzman stepped hesitantly into the morgue looking for her only son. She was led to rows of refrigeration units, where after peering at more than a dozen corpses she finally found 17-year-old Jaime. Trembling and in tears, she embraced relatives outside the building and said her son’s body had been riddled with bullets. She blamed a drug-dealing gang in her slum for the killing and complained that police might have prevented it had they been patrolling her neighborhood. The rising tide of violent crime that has engulfed Venezuela has become a top issue in the country’s presidential campaign, with opposition candidate Henrique Capriles blaming President Hugo Chavez’s government for failing to halt the bloodshed. Yet Guzman and many other Venezuelans appear to have lost faith in the ability of any government as well as the police to address the problem, no matter who wins the October vote. “Crime is out of control, and I don’t think any politician, neither Chavez, nor Capriles, is going to change that,” Guzman said, speaking in a low voice that at times cracked when she cried. The government says more than 14,000 people were killed in Venezuela last year, giving the country a murder rate of 50 per 100,000 people and making it one of the most violent countries in Latin America and the world. The murder rate has more than doubled since 1998, when Chavez was first elected. At campaign rallies, Capriles has been promising to fix what he calls one of Chavez’s most glaring failures, declaring: “We will have to choose between life or death.” Chavez has responded by banning gun sales, expanding a new national police force and launching an anti-crime plan with stepped-up policing and other programs in high-crime areas. It’s unclear how the political tug-of-war on crime may affect the race. But Chavez’s opponents are hammering away on the issue, convinced that some voters will be swayed. Capriles’ campaign manager, Leopoldo Lopez, said as he presented the opposition’s “Security for All” anti-crime plan that nearly 14 years after Chavez was first elected, the president’s promises are too little, too late. “He’s never made the issue of security a priority, until now when he tries to use it as a political banner,” Lopez said. Experts say violent crime has increased in the country due to easy, cheap access to guns, a culture of violence among young men in the slums, and severe shortages of police officers and prosecutors. Criminologist Fermin Marmol Garcia said Venezuela’s fundamental problem is that for more than a decade, “the institutions that weigh heavily on crime prevention and suppression were not strengthened.” In polls, Venezuelans consistently rate violent crime as their top concern. But many tend to blame long-standing institutional problems such as police forces viewed as corrupt and incapable, rather than pointing fingers at politicians. “For Capriles, the challenge is putting the issue on the pedestal, linking it directly to Chavez, showing that he’s responsible and creating hope that it’s possible to solve the problem,” said Luis Vicente Leon, a Caracas-based pollster and political analyst. He said Capriles, who has been trailing in the polls, hasn’t yet been able to gain traction on the issue. Guzman isn’t committed to either presidential candidate, and so far Capriles’ anti-crime message hasn’t resonated with her. She said her son’s motorcycle was stolen when he was killed after a street party, and she suspects the gunmen who killed him are the same toughs who terrorize her neighborhood. “The police are almost never around when there’s a problem. They always arrive hours afterward and they never capture anybody,” Guzman said. “It’s the thugs, not the police, who control the neighborhoods.” The authorities say a majority of the country’s killings involve young men, often battling in poor neighborhoods over turf or drug dealing, or in simple rivalries. Crime has also been expanding into places once seen as safe, such as movie theaters, shopping malls and parking garages where security guards stand watch. Shooting victims are often brought to the Perez de Leon Hospital near Petare, Venezuela’s largest slum, where Guzman’s son was gunned down. At the hospital, janitors mop blood from the white tile floor while doctors scramble to save lives. The victims’ friends and relatives anxiously wait outside the emergency ward. Abductions for ransom have grown rapidly in the past decade, with kidnapping reported to police rising from 52 in 1998, when Chavez was first elected, to 618 in 2009. Security experts say the real number of kidnappings is much higher because most cases aren’t reported to authorities. Recently diplomats from Costa Rica, Mexico and Chile were kidnapped, and all were eventually freed after ordeals lasting from two hours to more than a day.—AP

ASUNCION: Paraguay’s former president again shifted course on Tuesday, saying he has decided not to attend a South American summit this week where he had planned to protest his dismissal by Congress. Fernando Lugo has surprised Paraguayans with conflicting announcements since the Senate voted to remove him from office last week. At first, he said he would comply and leave office. Then, he said he would fight the decision and make his case to the region’s leaders. After saying on Monday that he would travel to Mendoza, Argentina, for a summit of the Mercosur trade bloc, on Tuesday Lugo said he had decided against it. “I don’t want the other presidents to feel pressured,” Lugo said on television. South American leaders plan to discuss a regional response to Lugo’s dismissal at the meeting, and Mercosur has barred Paraguay’s new government from attending. Ruben Penayo, an ally of the ex-president and a former government spokesman, said that Lugo “wanted the other presidents to have their hands free in order to analyze the situation in Paraguay.” Congress booted Lugo out of office in fast-track proceedings last week triggered by a clash between police and landless protesters in which 17 people died. The Senate found him guilty of “poor performance of his duties,” citing a clause in the constitution that leaves wide room for congressional interpretation. Former Vice President Federico Franco took office as president after Lugo’s removal, and intends to serve out the remainder of his term until August 2013. Franco said Tuesday that he wouldn’t support pushing up the general elections, which are scheduled for April 21. In Washington, the Organization of American States Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza said

Tuesday that he or his representatives will visit Paraguay and neighboring countries this weekend on a fact-finding mission. Franco told reporters that he is “the one responsible for guaranteeing there will not be a civil war,” the state news agency Ipparaguay quoted him as saying. He said he assumed the presidency “to avoid bloodshed.” Pro-Lugo protests that were held during last week’s impeachment process, however, largely faded after Lugo was dismissed and left the presidential palace. The newly appointed foreign minister, Jose Felix Fernandez, had warned on Monday night that Lugo could face legal consequences if he tried to represent the country at the summit. “Paraguay is represented by President Federico Franco, and I don’t think it’s appropriate for the ex-president to claim responsibilities he no longer has,” Fernandez said. Franco’s newly installed government has been trying to counter growing diplomatic repercussions. Ambassadors have been called home for consultations by the governments of Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile and Peru. Cuba’s government said in a statement on Tuesday that it was withdrawing its ambassador and will not recognize any administration in Paraguay that isn’t the product of a “legitimate vote” by the country’s people. Venezuela and Argentina have taken similar stances, saying they would not have ambassadors in Paraguay under the new government and calling Lugo’s ouster a congressional “coup.” Cuban President Raul Castro said the crisis in Paraguay shows that “the coups have returned, but disguised,” the government newspaper Granma reported on Tuesday. Castro recalled the 2009 ouster of President Manuel Zelaya in Honduras, as well was the failed 2002 coup against Venezuelan President

Hugo Chavez. The government of Honduran President Porfirio Lobo, elected five months after Zelaya was whisked out of the country at gunpoint, said Lugo’s Senate trial was too short for him to mount a “legitimate defense,” though it said it respects Paraguay’s right to determine the outcome of its political situation. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said he believes Lugo’s dismissal wasn’t a coup because the country’s constitution lays out the impeachment process under which he was removed.—AP

ASUNCION: Former Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo is pictured at the headquarters of the Solidarity Country party in Asuncion, where he arrived in the early morning yesterday to hold meetings with his former cabinet and leftist leaders. —AFP



Tuareg, Islamist rebels clash in northern Mali BAMAKO: Malian Tuareg and Islamist rebels clashed in the town of Gao yesterday as tensions soar between the armed groups who have had a fractious relationship since seizing the north of Mali three months ago. Fighting broke out between the Tuareg National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and members of the Al-Qaeda offshoot Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) in at least two suburbs of the northeastern town. “It is happening not far from the governorate, fighters from the two movements are firing at each other with heavy weapons,” said the owner of a petrol station next to the governor’s offices. “We can hear gunfire, the fighters from MUJAO and the MNLA are shooting at each other,” said Nina Oumarou, the sister of an official who was killed by armed men on Monday night, provoking

violent protests on Tuesday. She said a group of MUJAO fighters had moved towards the MNLA camp in the town, which was seized by the various rebel groups in late March after a coup d’etat by renegade soldiers in Bamako. Residents reported the fighting continued into the early afternoon and that both sides had received reinforcements. The clashes followed Tuesday’s protest by residents angry over the death of municipal councillor Idrissa Oumarou, who belongs to the party of Mali’s transitional president Dioncounda Traore. Oumarou was shot dead on Monday and the protesters blamed the rebel groups for his murder. Armed men on Tuesday fired on the group of demonstrators, leaving at least one dead and a dozen injured. Witnesses accused the MNLA of the shooting, which the Tuareg movement denied,

saying it was “manipulation” on the par t of MUJAO. “The MNLA firmly condemns those who shot at the crowd protesting its discontent in Gao,” said Ibrahim Ag Mohamed Assaleh, a leader of the movement. MUJAO said it had arrested two people for the murder of Oumarou, without identifying them. The jihadist group is an offshoot of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), both of which are backing the Islamist rebel group Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith). The MNLA spearheaded the takeover of the north when the March 22 coup left the country in chaos, and were soon joined by the previously unknown Ansar Dine, which has since taken the upper hand. Tensions have been high between the two rebel groups, as they both pursue different objectives and ideologies. While the secular Tuareg

want independence for their northern homeland, which they call Azawad. Ansar Dine’s main demand is a state where Islamic law is strictly implemented. Last week a young couple was publicly lashed for having a child out of wedlock, while smokers have also been whipped and women forced to wear veils in the towns of Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal. Ansar Dine and Tuareg leaders have been holding talks in the Burkina Faso capital with mediator President Blaise Compaore on a way forward for the troubled north. Compaore’s foreign minister, Djibrill Bassole, held talks yesterday in neighboring Algeria, the region’s top military power. “Algeria’s role in solving the cris in Mali is extremely important,” Bassole told the official APS news agency. Most of AQIM’s top leaders are from Algeria. — AFP

History unfolds: Queen, ex-IRA chief shake hands Encounter symbolizing Northern Ireland’s progress

NIROBI: A Kenyan policewoman escorts two Iranian nationals Sayed Mansour Mousavi, left, and Ahmed Abolfathi Mohammed, in the Nairobi magistrate court in Nairobi, Kenya yesterday. —AP

Iranian: Israeli agents interrogated me in Kenya NAIROBI: One of two Iranians facing charges related to accusations that the pair planned to carry out an attack with explosives in Kenya told a court yesterday he had been interrogated by Israeli agents while in detention. Ahmad Abolfathi Mohammad and Sayed Mansour Mousavi were arrested last week with 15 kilograms (33 pounds) of explosives. Mohammad yesterday said the two were interrogated by Israeli agents, a claim that, if true, would suggest security officials believe the Iranians might have been targeting an Israeli-owned property. Iranian agents are suspected in several attacks or thwarted attacks around the globe over the last year, including in Azerbaijan, Thailand and India. Most of the plots had connections to Israeli targets. Several resorts on Kenya’s coast are Israeli-owned. Militants in 2002 bombed an Israeli-owned luxury hotel near Mombasa, killing 13 people. The militants also tried to shoot down an Israeli airliner at the same time. An Al-Qaeda operative was linked to those attacks. Israel’s deputy ambassador to Kenya, Yaki Lopez, told The Associated Press yesterday that “this whole incident is an internal Kenyan issue.” He said he had no further comment, including on whether Israeli agents were involved in interrogations. Human rights lawyers say interrogations of suspects by foreign security agents in Kenya are unconstitutional unless the suspects will also be taken to face charges in the foreign country. Mohammad also told the court he was tortured in Kenyan custody. He said he went without food for long periods and that he was forced to sleep on a cement floor with only his jacket to keep him warm.

Police prosecutor Daniel Musangi denied the accusations that the suspects were tortured. Magistrate Paul Biwott said the allegations were serious and ordered an investigation. Days after the arrest of the Iranians, the US government, citing information about an imminent terrorist attack, withdrew its government workers from Mombasa and issued an alert last Friday warning against non-essential travel to Kenya’s second largest city. But the warning may not have been linked to the Iranians. On Sunday attackers carried out a grenade and gunfire attack on a bar outside Mombasa, killing three people and wounding 25. Kenya has seen a spate of attacks in recent months following the country’s decision last October to send troops into neighboring Somalia to fight al-Shabab militants. However, al-Shabab and its partner organization Al-Qaeda have not traditionally used Iranian operatives in its operations. The two Iranians were charged Monday. Prosecutors say they were possession of explosives known as RDX “in circumstances that indicated they were armed with the intent to commit a felony namely, acts intended to cause grievous harm.” RDX is a powerful military-grade explosive. They denied both charges and through a translator asked for bond. Yesterday, lawyer David Kirimi, who represents Mohammad and Mousavi, argued that the two suspects are investors and their arrests will harm Kenya-Iran relations. But Biwott dismissed that argument, citing the magnitude of the accusations. Musangi, the police prosecutor, said the two were likely to flee if released. — AP

BELFAST: Queen Elizabeth II and a former Irish Republican Army commander offered each other the hand of peace yesterday in a long-awaited encounter symbolizing Northern Ireland’s progress in achieving reconciliation after decades of violence. The monarch and Martin McGuinness met privately inside Belfast’s riverside Lyric Theatre during a cross-community arts event featuring Northern Ireland musicians, poets and artists. Media were barred from seeing their first handshake during an ice-breaker over coffee and tea. But the two shook hands again a halfhour later for the cameras’ benefit, documenting a moment that would have been inconceivable back in the days when IRA leaders were plotting to kill the British royal family. McGuinness’ Irish nationalist Sinn Fein party had never attended a royal function before. Underlying the sensitivity of the occasion, no live footage or sound was permitted to be broadcast. Outside, flak-jacketed police shut down all roads surrounding the theater and told residents to stay inside their homes. Both smiled broadly as McGuinness took the queen’s white-gloved hand and spoke to her for about 5 seconds. Afterward McGuinness said he had told her in Gaelic - a language neither of them speaks - “Sl·n agus beannacht” and told her this meant “goodbye and godspeed.” The latter word actually means “blessing.” The 86-year-old head of state, resplendent in a suit and broad-brimmed hat of matching apple green, didn’t speak but kept smiling as she shared a stage with a man linked to the killing of her cousin Lord Louis Mountbatten. Experts on Irish republicanism say McGuinness, 62, was the IRA’s chief of staff when the outlawed group blew up Mountbatten’s yacht in 1979, killing the 79-year-old and three others. McGuinness quickly left afterward. “It went really well. I’m still a republican,” he said in response to a reporter’s question as he stepped into his chauffeur-driven government car. The queen - in Belfast officially to celebrate her 60th year on the throne with an open-air party attended by more than 20,000 royalists overwhelmingly from the Protestant majority - also received a gift from Northern Ireland’s unity government that McGuinness leads alongside a Protestant, Peter Robinson. Their unlikely but surprisingly stable coalition is the central achievement flowing from Northern Ireland’s 1998 peace agreement and the IRA’s 2005 decision to renounce violence and disarm. But McGuinness stepped back as Robinson presented the gift, a delicate woven porcelain basket made by renowned Northern Ireland pottery firm Belleek. Sinn Fein officials said they didn’t want McGuinness pictured offering a present to the queen. The event marked the latest, per-

Clinton cites concerns over human rights in Russia HELSINKI: US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says she’s optimistic that relations with Moscow will not suffer despite planned legislation in Congress that would impose tough sanctions on Russian human rights violators. Clinton says she expects “something to move” on both the repeal of the Jackson-Vanik law and on Congress’ concerns about Russian human rights. She told reporters in Finland yesterday that the concerns could be expressed “without derailing the relationship (with Moscow) and that is what we are working with our Congress to do and we have every reason to believe we can accomplish that.” The 1974 Jackson-Vanik Act tied trade with the then-Soviet Union to Moscow’s willingness to allow Jews and other minorities to leave the country. The repeal of Jackson-Vanik is necessary if US businesses are to enjoy lower tariffs and increased access to Russian markets when Russia joins the World Trade Organization this summer. Following talks with Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja, Clinton told reporters that “we discussed this directly with President (Vladimir) Putin when I was with President Obama in Mexico. We made it very clear that, you know, we do have concerns about human rights in Russia.” A Senate panel in Washington moved forward Tuesday on a bill that would impose tough sanctions on Russian human rights violators, a measure certain to be linked to congressional efforts to lift the Cold War-era Jackson-Vanik trade restrictions. The Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate approved the measure that would impose visa bans and freeze the assets of those held responsible for gross human rights violations in Russia, as well as other human rights abusers. Specifically, it targets those allegedly involved in the imprisonment, torture and death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a Russian jail in 2009. Clinton said, “We think there is a way of expressing those concerns without derailing the relationship” with Moscow, and she added that is “what we are working with our Congress to do, and we have every reason to believe we can accomplish that.” “We are very keen in the administration for repealing the Jackson-Vanik bill because we want to open doors to

greater trade and investment between our two countries,” the secretary said. “However there is great concern in our country, and in particular in our Congress over human rights in Russia,” she added, “and in particular the case of the lawyer Mr. Magnitsky, who died in prison.” “There’s a lot of interest in our Congress over a full, transparent investigation of the circumstances of his death in prison,” Clinton said. “And so our Congress, while they are being asked by the administration to repeal Jackson-Vanik, want to pass legislation that will require the United States government to take action against any persons who are connected with the death of Mr. Magnitsky.”— AP

HELSINKI: US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (L) meets Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen yesterday at the Parliament House in Helsinki. —AFP

BELFAST: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II (C) shakes hands with Peter Sheridan (L) from Co-operation Ireland, as Prince Philip (R) meets Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness (3rd L) at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast, Northern Ireland yesterday. —AFP haps ultimate, moment in Northern Ireland peacemaking that has delivered a series of onceunthinkable moments of compromise. Irish republicans long had rebuffed invitations to attend British royal events that occur regularly in Northern Ireland. But analysts said McGuinness’ U-turn became inevitable once the queen made her first state visit to the Republic of Ireland in May 2011, where she won public acclaim and made generous gestures, including honoring Irish rebels who died fighting for independence from Britain. Sinn Fein’s leaders suffered sharp criticism for boycotting her visit. Diplomatic pressure built on Sinn Fein after McGuinness, who ran unsuccessfully last year to be the Republic of Ireland’s president, said on the campaign trail that he would meet the queen if elected. He came third. The winner of that election, President Michael D. Higgins, accompanied McGuinness in meeting the queen. “The exchange of greetings and courtesies that took place this morning marks another important step on the journey to reconciliation on this island,” Higgins said. Peter Sheridan, director of Cooperation Ireland, the cross-border charity that organized yesterday’s meeting, described the atmosphere as unexpectedly low-key and relaxed given that it was ‘ a seminal event” in relations between both parts of Ireland and Britain. Sheridan, a former senior Northern Ireland policeman, accompanied the queen and McGuinness as they inspected a row of painted

portraits of figures from the Northern Ireland arts scene and chatted with two of the subjects, poet Michael Longley and pianist Barry Douglas. Sheridan said he was struck by “the very ordinariness of it, even if it was not ordinary people.” While the queen showed no sign of unease, the same couldn’t be said of her 91-year-old husband, Prince Philip, who is well-known for blunt speaking and the occasional diplomatic gaffe. At one point, as McGuinness sought to engage him in conversation, Philip quickly shot ahead to his wife’s side. And at the farewell, McGuinness got only a quick, silent handshake from Philip, who was Mountbatten’s nephew. Later, Elizabeth visited Northern Ireland’s big new tourist attraction, a four-story interpretive center about the doomed sea liner Titanic that was constructed in 1911 in Belfast’s shipyards. Welcoming her, the Protestant power-sharing leader Robinson demonstrated how much Northern Ireland’s majority community values the British monarchy. McGuinness didn’t attend. “I know for many in the media the focus has been on a handshake and a photograph, but for most people in Northern Ireland it is not about one moment of history but the opportunity to celebrate and give thanks for 60 very full years of your majesty ’s ser vice to this nation,” Robinson said. “If I may give voice to the oftdeclared desire of the people of Northern Ireland, on whose loyalty and support you can always depend: Long may you reign over us,” he said. — AP

Nigeria: Death toll from latest clashes rises to 18 KANO: The death toll from the latest gun battles between militants and police in northern Nigeria, wracked by Islamist and ethnic violence, rose to 18 yesterday, police said. Gunmen attacked five police posts and a prison across three cities late Tuesday, sparking responses from security forces, with the heaviest fighting concentrated in Kano, Nigeria’s second city and the largest in the north. No group claimed the raids, but the violence was likely to be blamed on Boko Haram Islamists, responsible for more than 1,000 deaths in Nigeria since mid-2009. The militants launched gun and bomb attacks on Kano’s Dala, Panshekara and Challawa police posts late Tuesday, state police commissioner Ibrahim Idris told AFP. The Goron Dutse prison was also targeted. “All these attacks were repelled,” he said. “A total of 17 extremists were killed by our men. We lost a police corporal.” He added that three suspects were arrested and were being interrogated, while officers recovered 14 improvised explosive devices as well as rifles, ammunition and vehicles following the clashes. Kano was the site of Boko Haram’s deadliest attack yet, when coordinated bombings and shootings left at least 185 people dead in January. In Taraba state, residents said gunfire and explosions broke out late Tuesday and continued into yesterday morning. A police spokesman confirmed there was an attack on a regional police headquarters. Taraba is located near northeastern states badly shaken by Boko Haram violence. It also neighbors Plateau state, hit by waves of ethnic violence as well as Islamist attacks. The Islamist group’s insurgency, concentrated in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north, has frequently targeted the security forces, the though the group has attacked churches and other symbols of authority. It has recently taken to attacking Christians worshipping on Sundays, leading to deadly reprisal violence from Christian mobs in the city of Kaduna earlier this month and sparking fears of wider unrest. Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and largest oil producer, is roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south. On Sunday,

President Goodluck Jonathan said Boko Haram was seeking to incite a religious crisis by attacking churches in an attempt to destabilise the government. Jonathan, who has come under heavy criticism in recent days over the spiralling violence, described how the group had moved from targeting local rivals to government institutions and now churches. —AFP

43 Ethiopians, Somalis suffocate in truck smuggle ARUSHA: Forty-three Ethiopians and Somalis who paid to be smuggled from their homelands in search of better living conditions died in the back of a crowded, suffocating truck, an official said yesterday. Deputy Home Affairs Minister Pereira Silima yesterday said it was sad that so many people died from the illegal smuggling scheme. Tanzania’s state television said the dead bodies were thrown off the truck and dumped in the bush after the driver of the truck realized on Tuesday that some of the people he was smuggling had perished. Some 70 people in the truck survived and are receiving medical treatment and being questioned by police. Tanzania lies on a smuggling route Africans use to travel to South Africa, where there are more economic opportunities. Area residents were the first to report the deaths because of a foul smell. The deceased have been taken to the hospital in Dodoma, Tanzania’s new capital city. “It is extremely sad and unfortunate that people die by using wrong and self-torturing means to illegally transport themselves to other destinations,” Silima said. The immigrants were said to be on their way to South Africa in hopes of finding better jobs. Many immigrants pay agents between $3,000 and $4,000 to reach Africa’s southernmost country. The illegal trip passes through Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi or Zambia, Zimbabwe or Botswana and then into South Africa. —AP




Kyrgyz Parliament votes to revise mine license BISHKEK: Kyrgyzstan’s parliament backed a motion yesterday to review the operating license of a company developing a major gold mine that accounts for 12 percent of the Central Asian nation’s economy. The decree approved by 67 votes to 11 calls for an increase in the government’s current 33 percent stake in Toronto-based Centerra Gold, which is developing Kumtor mine. A state commission is to be set up to assess the environmental damage that deputies say served as a leading motivation for reviewing the licensing agreement. This decision will come as a blow to Centerra and will likely ser ve to fur ther depress investor confidence in the former

Soviet nation. Deputies who back the license revision question the legality of the operating agreement sealed in 2009 and say that it deprives Kyrgyzstan of deserved revenue. Centerra says the Kumtor project, which has been operating since 1997, is in full compliance with Kyrgyz laws and meets or exceeds Kyrgyz and international environmental, safety and health standards. The company also says the project has generated $1.9 billion in benefits for Kyrgyzstan, including $620 million in taxes. Deputies rejected a more extreme proposal also voted yesterday to nationalize Kumtor outright. “This is the right decision for

the civilized settlement of the issue,” said Ravshan Jeyenbekov, a deputy with the Ata-Meken party, which is a member of the governing coalition. “Some aspects of the operating agreement will be canceled, but they will not strategically affect Kumtor’s work.” Kumtor mine lies around 4,000 meters above sea level some 50 kilometers from the border with western China. Centerra is 33 percent owned by Kyrgyz state gold company Kyrgyzaltyn. The open-pit gold mine run by Centerra’s Kumtor Operating Company subsidiary, or KOC, has been the source of a string of toxic spills in past years, including a cyanide spill into a river. Deputies have voted to compel

KOC to increase the contributions it makes toward protecting the environment and reclaiming agricultural land near the mine. The government has until Nov. 1 to report back to parliament on how the decree has been implemented. Political analyst Tatyana Vygovsk aya said foreign investors who contemplate entering Kyrgyzstan would think twice about doing so after yesterday’s vote. “This will lead to renewed pressure for investors, who had until now doubted that this country has a normal investment climate,” she said. Kumtor has already been assailed by industrial disputes. Centerra has said that a 10-day work stoppage by striking workers in February exacerbated

the buildup of ice and waste at Kumtor, preventing access to higher grade ore. It said that as a result gold output in 2012 could drop to a low of 390,000 ounces, down from an earlier upper forecast of 625,000 ounces. Kyrgyzstan, a country of five million people on China’s mountainous western border, has come to prominence in recent years because it hosts a US air base used to support militar y operations in nearby Afghanistan. Years of political instability and rampant corruption have left the country of 5 million people in dire economic straits, forcing hundreds of thousands to leave the country for work in Russia. —AP

Alleged Mumbai plotter confirms Pakistan involved Planned Pakistani foreign secretaries talks will happen: India THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: India said yesterday that a man arrested on suspicion of helping plot the 2008 Mumbai attacks had “confirmed” during interrogation that Pakistan was involved. India has repeatedly accused its neighbor and arch rival of some degree of involvement in the attacks on its financial capital that killed 166 people and of acting too slowly in arresting those responsible. The latest tit-for-tat underscores the fragility of ties between the nuclear-armed neighbors despite the resumption of peace talks broken off after the Mumbai attacks and warming trade relations. However, India on Tuesday emphasised that talks between the Indian and Pakistani foreign secretaries, scheduled for July 4-5 in New Delhi, would go ahead as planned. Indian police arrested Sayeed Zabiuddin Ansari at Delhi airport on June 21, accusing him of helping coordinate the attack by 10 gunmen of Pakistan’s Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group from a “control room” in the Pakistani city of Karachi. “He has confirmed that he was in the con-

trol room and he has named a few people who were in the control room,” Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said of Ansari, despite the fact he has yet to be charged, let alone found guilty. “So that confirms our suspicion that it was an organised effort which had some kind of state support. The argument that it was non-state actors who were behind the 26/11 massacre is no longer valid. We’ve always said that some state support was there for these people.” Indian media reported yesterday that members of Pakistan’s ISI military intelligence agency were also in the control room at the time of the attack and supplied the plotters with laptops that enabled them to communicate with the attackers via an Internet voice service. It was not possible to independently verify the information, which was sourced to Indian security officials. Indian officials have in the past accused members of the ISI of involvement in the Mumbai attacks, although yesterday Chidambaram did not directly blame the

intelligence agency. Islamabad swiftly rebutted the latest charge. Rehman Malik, an adviser to Pakistan’s prime minister on interior affairs, said there was no record of Ansari having entered the country legally. “What I am saying is, let’s stop the blame game,” he told a news conference in Islamabad. “At that point in time (the Mumbai attacks), Pakistan was blamed, that perhaps the state was involved. But we proved, not only to India, but to the world, that non-state actors were involved, not the state.” Pakistan routinely denies Indian accusations of Pakistani involvement in militant attacks on Indian soil. Ansari’s arrest casts a fresh spotlight on Pakistan’s history of backing militant groups as a tool of foreign policy. Pakistan’s ISI nurtured the emergence of the LeT in the early 1990s to serve as a proxy to fight Indian forces in Kashmir. Pakistan denies backing militant groups, but experts believe the security establishment maintains a relationship with LeT. —Reuters

Bombs, ambush killed 10 police in Afghanistan

KARACHI: Indian fishermen wait for transportation to leave for India after their release from Landhi jail in Karachi, Pakistan yesterday. A prison official says 311 Indian fishermen have left for home after being freed by Pakistan. —AP

Pakistan frees 315 Indian fishermen KARACHI: Pakistan yesterday released 315 Indian fishermen, including 14 teenagers, who were held in prison for violating territorial waters, officials said. The release, described as a “goodwill gesture”, is part of an understanding between the nuclear-armed rivals to release citizens who mistakenly stray into each other’s territorial waters. It came one day after India said a planned meeting between the Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers had been postponed. Pakistan has been in political upheaval since the supreme court dismissed the prime minister last week. “We have released 315 Indian fishermen from our jail on the instructions of the government,” Nazeer Husain Shah, superintendent of the Malir district prison in K arachi told AFP. “ Those released include 14 teenage boys,” he said. Haider Ali Haider, who runs charity

Saiban designed to help imprisoned fishermen, said six buses had taken the Indians to the eastern city of Lahore, from where they would cross the Wagah border. Officials say at least 150 Indian fishermen are still in Pakistani jails and 250 Pakistanis in Indian prisons. Sharjeel Memon, the information minister for southern province Sindh on the Arabian Sea, said the releases were “a goodwill gesture”. India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence in 1947, two of them over the Himalayan region of Kashmir, which is divided by a heavily militarised Line of Control and which both countries claim in full. Last year they resumed their tentative peace process, which collapsed after Islamist gunmen from Pakistan k illed 166 people in Mumbai in November 2008. —AFP

Taleban release video of beheaded Pakistani soldiers ISLAMABAD: Taleban militants yesterday released a video showing severed heads of 17 Pakistani soldiers who they claimed to have killed in a cross-border attack on a check post in Pakistan. The beheading, claimed by the Tehreek-eTaleban Pakistan, took place on Sunday when Taleban militants from Afghanistan infiltrated into the northwestern district of Upper Dir. A senior security official in the northwestern regional capital Peshawar yesterday confirmed to AFP that a total of 17 soldiers were targeted by the attackers who came from the eastern Afghan province of Kunar. “Six troops were killed on the first day, then another seven were slaughtered the next day,” the official said. “Four were missing and now they have also been beheaded,” he said. Dir, a

key border transit route, neighbours Swat valley where Pakistan defeated a local Taleban insurgency in 2009. Intelligence officials blamed the attack on loyalists of Pakistani cleric Maulana Fazlullah, who fled to Afghanistan after losing control of Swat to the army. The video prepared by the Taliban’s media wing shows 17 severed heads of soldiers placed on a white sheet while masked men stand behind clutching assault rifles captured from the soldiers. Local security officials confirmed that all the victims were Pakistani soldiers. “God has given us a great victory, we have killed them all. Four of the heads you can see are from Frontier Corps (paramilitary force), the rest are from the army,” an unseen commentator said in the video. —AFP

KABUL: Roadside bombs and an ambush have killed at least 10 Afghan policemen over the past 24 hours in Afghanistan, officials said yesterday. Four policemen were killed in Musa Qala district of the volatile southern province of Helmand yesterday when a roadside bomb they were trying to defuse exploded, provincial spokesman Daud Ahmadi told AFP. “All four policemen trying to defuse the bomb died on spot when the bomb detonated” he said. Another roadside blast killed two policemen and wounded two others in Kunduz province in the country’s northeast, provincial police spokesman Sayed Sarwar Husseini told AFP. In Herat province in Western Afghanistan a militants’ ambush killed four police on patrol late on Tuesday. “Late last night a Taleban ambush killed four policemen, including one officer in Ghoryan district”, Abdul Rauf Ahmadi a spokesman for security forces in western Afghanistan told AFP. The Taleban , who have waged a bloody 10-year war against foreign and Afghan military forces, claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks in Herat and Kunduz provinces on their website. Afghan security forces are particular targets of the Taleban , as they prepare to take over full responsibility for security from 130,000 foreign troops by 2014. Roadside bombs remain one of the Taleban ‘s weapons of choice, along with suicide bombers and commando-style raids. —AFP

MAHARAJ GANJ: Recently-wedded women (center R to L) Priyanka Bharti, Jyoti and Priyanka, who left their marital homes in protest due to the lack of toilets in the households, inaugurate a toilet during a ceremony as they return to their in-laws residences at Vishnupur village in Maharaj Ganj, some 30 kms from Gorakhpur in India’s Uttar Pradesh state yesterday following construction of toilets by sanitation nonprofit Sulabh International. —AFP

Population plunge in Lanka’s Tamil base COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s first national census in 30 years has shown a dramatic 20 percent drop in the population of the Jaffna peninsula, the long-time base of Tamil rebels during the island’s ethnic conflict. According to a preliminary census report released yesterday, the population in Jaffna, which the rebels once ran as a de facto separate state in the northeast, had fallen from 734,000 in 1981 to 583,000. Work on the census began last year. The report offered no analysis, but a Tamil legislator in the national parliament said it reflected an exodus during the fighting between Tamil rebels and government forces from 1972 to 2011 that claimed an estimated 100,000 lives. “Our estimate is that out of the one million Tamils who fled the fighting and are living abroad, at least 80 percent were

from Jaffna,” said Suresh Premachandran. “If not for the war, the population in Jaffna would have been over 1.4 million,” he added. One likely consequence of the new census figures will be a reduction in ethnic Tamil minority representation in the national parliament, which is dominated by members of the Sinhalese majority. Seats in the 225-member parliament are allocated on the basis of a region’s population. Nine seats are currently allocated for Jaffna, but Premachandran said that would now drop to six. The census put the national population at 20.27 million, about 600,000 down on estimates based on a sample survey carried out in 2001. Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict ended in May 2009, with the final defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LT TE) by government forces. —AFP

Pakistani, US generals in border talks RAWALPINDI: The US commander in Afghanistan discussed border coordination with Pakistan’s army chief yesterday as the Taleban released a video showing the remains of 17 beheaded Pakistani soldiers. General John Allen, who commands 130,000 NATO troops fighting the Taleban in Afghanistan, flew into Chaklala air base and went straight into the talks with General Ashraf Kayani at his Rawalpindi headquarters, before jetting out of the country, officials said. There was no immediate comment from NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), but a Pakistani official said Kayani demanded greater efforts from the Americans on stopping crossborder incursions.”It was a routine meeting to discuss the border coordination,” a senior Pakistani military official told AFP. “We also raised the issue of cross-border attacks on the Pakistan military from Afghanistan. We demanded that ISAF take action against the militant sanctuaries in Afghanistan and eliminate the militant groups involved in cross-border attacks inside Pakistan,” he added. Pakistan said around 100 Afghan-based militants crossed the border into the northwestern district of Upper Dir on Sunday. Six soldiers were killed and 11 went missing. Pakistani officials said Tuesday that seven of them were beheaded. Yesterday, a senior security official in the northwest admitted that all 17 had in fact been beheaded after the Pakistani Taleban released a video showing the slaughtered heads. Pakistan’s main umbrella Taleban faction claimed responsibility for the attack. Intelligence officials said the perpetrators were loyalists of Maulana Fazlullah, a Pakistani cleric who led a two-year Taleban insurgency in the northwestern Swat valley before fleeing into Afghanistan to escape an army offensive in 2009. But both the Afghans and the Americans repeatedly blame Pakistan for not doing more to eliminate havens on its soil, which are used as launch pads for attacks across the border. Last Friday, Allen blamed the Pakistan-based Haqqani network for a siege on a lakeside hotel in Kabul that killed 18 people. Earlier this month, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Washington was running out of patience with Pakistan over militant havens. On Tuesday, officials and witnesses in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Kunar also said that thousands of villagers have been forced to flee their homes to escape a barrage of cross-border artillery and rocket attacks from Pakistan. —AFP

SRINAGAR: Kashmiri Muslim cleric and caretakers display centuries old hand written holy book Quran retrieved from inside the Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani shrine in downtown Srinagar, India yesterday.—AP

Most of Kashmir shut for 3rd day over shrine fire SRINAGAR: Thousands of Indian forces patrolled tense streets in Kashmir ’s main city yesterday as residents boycotted work for a third straight day to protest the fiery destruction of a 200year-old Muslim shrine. Shops, businesses and schools remained closed in Srinagar, while public buses and taxis were nowhere to be found. Police asked residents to stay indoors in parts of the city, in an effort to prevent anti-India demonstrations that could lead to violence, officer Rajendra Kumar said. It is still unclear what started the fire Monday that destroyed a shrine that held a few relics from Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani, an 11th-century saint known widely as Ghaus-e-Azam who is buried in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. The fire sparked angr y protests by thousands demanding an end to Indian rule in the disputed Himalayan territory. Several clashes erupted, with police using tear gas to disperse stone-throw-

ing crowds, and 30 protesters and 10 officers were injured. Separatists have dismissed the government’s promise to investigate the blaze and are demanding an independent probe. The separatists had called for a strike on Tuesday, but residents maintained it yesterday on their own partly because of police restrictions, though areas not under curfew also participated in the shutdown. “Police and soldiers are not allowing us to come out of our homes,” resident Wasim Ahmed said. K ashmir, where most people are Muslim, is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed by both. AntiI ndia sentiment runs deep in the Indian-administered portion, where rebel groups have fought since 1989 for independence or merger with Pak istan. More than 68,000 people have been killed in the uprising and subsequent Indian crackdown. —AP




Witness in Philippine massacre killed MANILA: A man who was fatally shot in February was a potential witness in the massacre of 57 people in the Philippines in 2009, prosecutors said yesterday. The victim was among six witnesses, wouldbe witnesses and their relatives who have been gunned down since the massacre trial opened in 2010, prosecutor Nena Santos said. The killings have sown fear among other witnesses, she said. Santos said police established that the victim of the drive-by shooting, who

used the alias Alijol Ampatuan, was the same man prosecutors approached about testifying in the trial of the powerful Ampatuan political clan accused of orchestrating the 2009 killings of their rivals. The dead included relatives and supporters of an election candidate and at least 31 media workers who were traveling with them in a caravan. They were stopped on a highway by gunmen suspected of working for the Ampatuan clan and mowed down and buried in

mass graves. It was the single worst killing of journalists in the world and the bloodiest recent massacre in the Philippines, where election violence is common. “I am very concerned that witnesses have been killed,” said Maguindanao provincial Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, whose wife and relatives were among those killed. He lamented that the trial has been slow but expressed confidence that victims will be able to obtain justice despite delays

and problems that have dogged the proceedings, which are held inside a maximum-security prison in Manila. “We have good evidence and credible witnesses,” Mangudadatu said. “We highly expect that we will obtain justice.” More than 20 witnesses have testified so far against 103 suspects who have pleaded not guilty to murder charges. They include Andal Ampatuan Sr., the clan patriarch who allegedly gave orders to his son to carry out the massacre.

Nearly 100 suspects are still at large. In March, gunmen killed Esmail Amil Enog after he testified in court last year that he drove dozens of gunmen to the site of the massacre from the residence of one of the suspects. Enog also implicated Alijol Ampatuan, saying he ordered him to drive 36 gunmen. However, Santos said Alijol Ampatuan was never charged and prosecutors instead sought to have him testify against the Ampatuans. —AP

1 dead, 130 rescued from capsizing off Aussie isle As many as 19 people could still be missing CANBERRA: A crowded boat carrying asylum seekers to Australia capsized and sank yesterday and 130 survivors and one body were recovered from the Indian Ocean, less than a week after more than 90 people drowned on a similar journey. An air and sea search was ongoing for as many as 19 people who could still be missing, Home

to the capsizing, which occurred midway between Australia’s Christmas Island and the main Indonesian island of Java. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said the 150 people aboard the wooden fishing boat included men, women and children. The search area is 200 kilome-

said. Last Thursday, 110 people were rescued when a boat carrying more than 200 mostly Afghan asylum seekers capsized just 24 kilometers (15 miles) from the latest tragedy. Only 17 bodies were recovered. The survivors’ refugee applications were being assessed at Christmas Island, where Australia

CHRISTMAS ISLAND: This handout picture released by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and taken by the MV Bison shortly after arriving on the scene yesterday, shows a boat carrying asylum seekers off the north coast of Australia, prior to it capsizing 107 nautical miles north of Christmas Island. —AFP Affairs Minister Jason Clare said. “The information that we have is that there were as many as 150 people on the boat,” Clare told reporters. “That leaves many people still unaccounted for.” Three merchant ships, two Australian warships and an Australian air force plane that can drop life rafts to the sea responded

ters (120 miles) north of Christmas Island and 185 kilometers (115 miles) south of Java. The boat capsized in Indonesia’s search and rescue zone but Australian authorities raised the alarm, Australian Maritime Safety Authority spokeswoman Jo Meehan said. The first merchant ship reached the scene more than four hours later, she

runs an immigration detention center. Clare said the survivors of the latest tragedy would be delivered to Christmas Island early Thursday. Australia is a common destination for boats carrying asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Iraq, Sri Lanka and other poor or wartorn countries. In December 2010, an estimat-

ed 48 people died when an asylum seeker boat broke up against Christmas Island’s rocky coast. Last December, about 200 asylum seekers were feared drowned after their overcrowded ship bound for Australia sank off Java. Other boats are suspected to have sunk unnoticed with the loss of all lives. Last week’s disaster rekindled debate in Parliament on how Australia should deter asylum seekers from risking the hazardous sea journey. The government wants to send new boat arrivals to Malaysia in exchange for accepting U.N.-recognized refugees living there. The opposition won’t support the legislation because Malaysia has not signed the UN Refugee Convention. Yesterday, Parliament began debating legislation that would enable the government to send asylum seekers to both Malaysia and the opposition’s preferred option, Nauru. Clare, who oversees ocean rescues, called for political compromise so that asylum seekers would learn that those who attempt to reach Australia by boat will not be allowed to stay. “I believe that Australia has had a gutful of us fighting on this issue,” Clare told Parliament. “They’re sick of the politics, they’re sick of hearing of more people dying, they’re sick of us yelling at each other and they just want us to fix this.” The bill scraped through the House of Representatives by two votes late yesterday, but the minor Greens party has pledged to vote with the opposition to block it in the Senate on Thursday. Gillard warned senators that Thursday was their last chance to introduce laws before Parliament adjourns until Aug. 14 and urged them to consider their votes carefully. “We are on the verge of getting the laws we need,” Gillard told reporters. —AP

Manila says Chinese boats back in disputed lagoon

SINGAPORE: City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee, center, is surrounded by supporters as he leaves the Subordinate Courts yesterday in Singapore. Authorities have arrested Hong and alleged millions of dollars in church money was used to aid the career of his pop singer wife Ho Yeow Sun. — AP

Singapore mega-church founder charged with fraud SINGAPORE: The founder of one of Singapore’s largest evangelical churches was charged with fraud yesterday for allegedly funneling millions of dollars to his wife’s singing career. City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee, 47, was charged with three counts of conspiracy to commit criminal breach of trust in connection with a scheme to syphon at least 23 million Singapore dollars (US$18 million) of church funds from 2007 to 2010 to finance the singing career of his wife, Ho Yeow Sun. Known professionally as Sun Ho, the 40-year-old has put out several Mandarin and English pop albums and songs, including a 2007 collaboration with pop star Wyclef Jean called “China Wine.” She was not charged yesterday. Kong did not enter a plea and was freed on SG$500,000 (US$390,000) bail after his passport was seized. He would face up to 20 years in prison or a fine for each charge if found guilty. He did not comment on the accusations in court but earlier had tweeted that he trusted Jesus and referred to Tuesday, when he was arrested, as a “tough day.” Prosecutors also charged four other church leaders with breach of

trust and conspiracy to commit falsification of accounts. The charges follow a two-year police investigation sparked by local media reports that depicted Ho’s lavish lifestyle, including a $20,000-amonth Los Angeles mansion. A church member had alleged in 2003 that City Harvest funds were paying for Ho’s singing career, but he later retracted the statement and publically apologized to Kong and Ho. Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said in a statement that the church is free to hold regular services. City Harvest, which has a congregation of more than 30,000 people, said in a statement that church operations would continue as usual and declined to comment on the case. The Charities Commissioner on Tuesday suspended the five charged church leaders along with Ho and two others from their positions as trustees, board members and employees at City Harvest. Kong gained notice for his charismatic preaching style in front of tens of thousands of worshippers during services at the Suntec Convention Center. He said on his Twitter account Tuesday, “Tough day. I trust in You, Lord Jesus. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done!” —AP

MANILA: Chinese fishing boats have returned to a lagoon in a disputed South China Sea shoal despite an agreement to clear the area of all vessels, dashing hopes of an early resolution of a territorial rift with the Philippines, officials said yesterday. Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said the Philippine government will ask China why six Chinese fishing boats and 17 smaller dinghies returned to the lagoon this week after both countries withdrew their vessels from the area as part of a recent agreement. The accord concerning the sprawling lagoon, which is at the heart of Scarborough Shoal off the northwestern Philippines, is part of efforts by China and the Philippines to negotiate an end to a territorial dispute that erupted on April 10. A Philippine plane spotted the Chinese vessels inside the lagoon on Monday afternoon, Hernandez said. He said five Chinese government ships were sighted outside the lagoon in the vicinity of Scarborough. Hernandez urged China to abide by its commitment in talks aimed at diffusing the rift. “It is important for parties in negotiations and discussion on any issue to always act in good faith,” he told reporters. The Chinese Embassy in Manila did not immediately reply to a request for comment. The territory is claimed by both countries. Tensions flared in April when the Philippines accused Chinese fishermen of poaching in its exclusive economic zone, including the shoal. China responded by sending paramilitary vessels to protect the fishermen. Two Philippine government vessels faced off with the Chinese vessels at the shoal starting in April. Philippine President Benigno Aquino III later withdrew the two vessels, citing stormy weather, temporarily ending the tense standoff. But he threatened to send the vessels back if the Chinese ships and boats did not leave the shoal. The shoal is one of several areas contested by China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei in the South China Sea which straddle busy sea lanes and are believed to be rich in oil and gas deposits. Many fear the disputes could spark a violent conflict. Vietnam has protested a Chinese state oil company’s invitation for bids for energy development in disputed areas of the South China Sea. The China National Offshore Oil Corp. opened nine oil and gas lots for international bidders over the weekend. Vietnam Foreign Ministry spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi said the lots lie entirely within Vietnam’s 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. He said in a statement posted Tuesday on the ministry’s website that China’s move was illegal and the bidding should cease immediately. PetroVietnam President and CEO Do Van Hau told a news briefing in Hanoi yesterday that the Vietnam-owned oil and gas company would go ahead with exploration contracts it signed with foreign oil companies in offshore areas now being offered by the Chinese company to investors. —AP

PHNOM PENH: A Cambodian woman from the Boeung Kak lake community falls unconscious after clashes with police as they try to go to the courthouse in Phnom Penh yesterday before an appeal by 13 women arrested last month for illegally occupying land and obstructing public officials. —AFP

Court frees 13 Cambodian land eviction protesters PHNOM PENH: An appeals court yesterday ordered the release of 13 women who were jailed for protesting being evicted from their homes without adequate compensation, in a case that had critics had highlighted as an example of injustice. The women cheered in the courtroom, their supporters applauded and observers from foreign embassies, including the United States, smiled in the audience after the judge’s ruling. “Finally, justice has been done for us,” defendant Heng Mom said tearfully, before being driven away again in a prison van. “From now on I can see my children and live with them.” Judge Seng Sivutha upheld last month’s convictions of the women for aggravated rebellion and illegal occupation of land, for which each had been sentenced to 21/2 years in prison. They had been arrested when they tried to rebuild their homes on land where their old houses had been demolished by developers in 2010. The judge reduced their sentences to time served of one month and three days and freed them because he said they have children at home to take care of and had little knowledge of the law. They were to be freed yesterday evening after being processed out of prison. The women had lived in Phnom Penh’s Boueng Kak lake area, which the government awarded to a Chinese company for commercial development, including a hotel, office buildings and luxury hous-

ing. Residents complained they were not given new land titles they were promised by the government. Their trial came amid heightened concern in Cambodia about land grabbing, which is sometimes linked to corruption and the use of deadly force to carry out evictions. The human rights group Amnesty International this week had called on the court to reverse the convictions, which it said had been imposed after a “grossly unfair trial.” “The trial occurred just one hour after the women were charged,” said Amnesty’s statement. “Their lawyers were not given time to prepare a defense, nor were they given access to evidence or witnesses.” It called the women “prisoners of conscience, imprisoned solely for speaking out on behalf of their community and for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression.” The Boueng Kak evictees had been doggedly protesting for several years, despite facing a government that has little tolerance for dissent. The protests continued on the morning of the trial, with supporters - the women’s relatives and human rights activists - trying to gather near the court. Some 200 supporters tried to gather about 100 meters (yards) away, but about 300 police and military police were deployed to block them. At one point the two sides clashed when the authorities tried to push the crowd back. —AP

Kazakh opposition leader charged, associates say ALMATY: Supporters of Kazakhstan opposition leader Vladimir Kozlov said yesterday that he has been charged with incitement to topple the Central Asian nation’s government. If found guilty on this and another outstanding charge of inciting social unrest, Kozlov could face more than a decade in prison, Alga party representative Mikhail Sizov told The Associated Press. Sizov said the campaign against Kozlov is politically motivated and aimed at eliminating all signs of opposition to the former Soviet republic’s authoritarian regime. Kozlov has been in jail since January and already stands accused of fomenting the violent unrest among striking oil workers that hit the town of Zhanaozen in western Kazakhstan in December when at least 14 people died. People killed during the riots were shot dead by police attempting to quell the violence. The National Security Committee, which arrested Kozlov, could not be reached for comment. Sizov said that Kozlov stands to have his property seized if found guilty, leading in effect to the destruction of his party. “All the party’s affiliates in the country are registered in his name, so the party will lose all its real estate,” he said. Sizov said Kovloz has additionally been charged with creating

and leading a criminal group. It is unknown when any of Kozlov’s trials will begin, but Sizov said the first hearings are expected in late July or early August. Kazakhstan had hoped to prove its democratic credentials with elections in January that brought an end to the five-year monopoly in parliament held by veteran President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s Nur Otan party. But international observers strongly criticized the conduct of the vote, which ushered an additional two largely compliant parties into parliament. Other opposition figures have been arrested in the authoritarian former Soviet nation over recent months. In mid-June, prominent theater director Bolat Atabayev and youth activist Zhanbolat Mamay were arrested by the National Security Committee, the successor agency to the KGB. Both had earlier been charged with inciting social unrest by speaking to striking oil workers in the town of Zhanaozen, but were released on bail. Security services said they were jailed for ignoring investigators’ summons to appear for questioning. Amnesty International has said in a statement that Atabayev is a “prisoner of conscience, detained solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression.” —AP



Coconut trees are reflected on water as an Indian village woman walks with a cow after work near an irrigation canal on the outskirts of the eastern Indian city of Bhubaneswar, India yesterday. — AP

Syrian rebels storm pro-Assad TV channel

The quiet influence of Kuwait’s Salafis

Continued from Page 1

Continued from Page 1

guards, displaying bullet holes in its two-storey concrete building and pools of blood on the floor. One building was almost entirely destroyed. “I heard a small explosion then a huge explosion and gunmen ran in. They ransacked the offices and entirely destroyed the newsroom,” an employee who works at the offices in the town of Drousha told state media at the scene. Syrian media are tightly regulated by the Ministry of Information. Although Ikhbariya is privately owned, opponents of Assad say it is a government mouthpiece. After Tuesday’s fighting unprecedented in its intensity around Damascus, violence appeared to ease off around the capital following the attack on the television complex. But rebel forces were clearly becoming stronger and more ambitious. During the pro-democracy revolt against the Assad family’s four-decade rule, Ikhbariya has been pushing to counter what it says is a campaign of misinformation by Western and Arab satellite channels on the uprising that began in March 2011. “We live in a real state of war from all angles,” Assad told a cabinet he appointed on Tuesday, in a speech broadcast on state television. “When we are in a war, all policies and all sides and all sectors need to be directed at winning this war.” The declaration marks a change of

rhetoric from Assad, who had long dismissed the uprising against him as the work of scattered militants in “terrorist gangs” funded from abroad. The rambling speech Assad also commented on subjects as far afield as the benefits of renewable energy - left little room for compromise. He denounced the West, which “takes and never gives, and this has been proven at every stage”. International mediator Kofi Annan said he had convened a ministerial-level meeting on Syria in Geneva on Saturday with the aim of seeking an end to the violence and agreeing on principles for a “Syrian-led political transition”. In a statement, the joint United Nations-Arab League envoy said he had invited foreign ministers from the five major powers - Britain, France, China, Russia and the United States - as well as Turkey, the European Union, Iraq, Kuwait and Qatar. Despite the deterioration in Syria, so far there has been no sign of an appetite for full-scale Western intervention. However, last week’s shooting down of a Turkish warplane by Syrian air defences has focused attention on a volatile situation on Turkey’s southeastern border with Syria. “We will not refrain from teaching a lesson to anyone trying to test Turkey’s greatness,” Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday, referring to the incident near the countries’ maritime borders. — Reuters

Bahrain releases leading activist Continued from Page 1 insulted them.” Last year, a significant part of the Sunni community rallied around the government as Shiites led protests against the regime of the ruling Sunni Al-Khalifa family. This is the second time Rajab has been arrested and then released in the last two months. He was first taken into custody on May 5 for posting tweets deemed insulting to security forces. He was released on bail on May 28 and re-arrested on June 6. Rajab is now on trial for four separate charges - two for posting comments on Twitter deemed insulting to the government and the kingdom’s Sunni population and two others for protests. In a separate announcement late Tuesday, the government said it had paid out $2.6 million in compensation to the families of 17 people killed in the midMarch 2011 crackdown on pro-democracy protests, a government statement said. It was the first time the

authorities had paid compensation for those who perished when the security forces crushed the kingdom’s Arab Spring uprising, leaving 35 people dead, according to an independent inquiry. The statement said the compensation payments came in response to a recommendation by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, set up by King Hamad to probe allegations of government wrong-doing and excessive use of force by the security forces. In a separate announcement Tuesday, the government said the kingdom’s High Criminal Court has filed murder charges against three police officers, including one lieutenant, for their role in the deaths of three people during last year’s protests. The policemen were originally charged with manslaughter but “are now facing murder charges in the deaths of Ali Ahmed Abdulla, Isa Abdul Hassan and Hani Abdulaziz Goma in three separate incidents,” the statement said. — AFP

Khorafi awaits new Cabinet to convene... Continued from Page 1 staged a massive rally late Tuesday night to demand dissolving the revived Assembly and holding fresh polls. Several speakers at the rally acknowledged the ruling and said it must be implemented. Khorafi said he returned to Kuwait from abroad in order to complete the required constitutional procedures after the formation of the new Cabinet, adding that if the formation takes a long time, he might leave and come back. The speaker cautioned that statements by the information minister that the new Cabinet does not require to take the oath in the Assembly “may lead the country into a new constitutional crisis”.

The liberal National Action Bloc meanwhile warned in a statement yesterday that rejecting court orders amounts to a coup against the constitution, in a direct reference to the rejection of the opposition of the constitutional court verdict. The bloc stressed that instigating the people against the judiciary and exploiting the ongoing crisis as a “fuel for election battles is an act of burning the country”. The statement insisted that the bloc, which comprises five MPs, considers that the 2009 Assembly is like dissolved despite being revived by the court because the objective reasons for dissolving it last December still exist, which means that fresh elections must be held. The bloc warned that the country’s future was at

stake and called for rejecting attempts to undermine the judiciary and spread chaos, adding that such responsibility lies mainly on the government in addition to political groups and the Assembly. The opposition however has vowed that it will fight the election this time to achieve key constitutional reforms that will eventually lead to the establishment of a constitutional monarchy. Islamist opposition MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei said the immediate reforms needed include that the government must secure the Assembly’s confidence before assuming office, that ministers do not become members of the Assembly unless elected and that the Assembly should not be dissolved before the lapse of two years.

guaranteeing more political turmoil for the country of 3.6 million inhabitants - which has seen eight cabinets in six years. The Amir is expected to dissolve the reinstated Assembly, leading to fresh parliamentary elections in the autumn, analysts say. In the four months between the election and the court ruling, Kuwait’s Salafi lawmakers made their voices heard as part of the majority opposition bloc along with more moderate Islamists, particularly on topics relating to religion and freedom of speech. The bloc backed a proposal to amend the constitution to make all legislation in the state comply with Islamic law, and pushed for the death penalty to be introduced for blasphemy after a high-profile case in which a young Kuwaiti was jailed for insulting Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on Twitter. One reason for the relative freedom granted Islamists in Kuwait is that the ruling family can check their powers, as it can for all political groups, political analysts say. Coopting them into the “system” moderates their views, they believe. “People are able to stand up to them, debate them, reject their pressures,” Kuwait University ’s Ghabra said. Political parties are banned and all legislation is subject to veto from HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, who effectively blocked the most recent proposals. The Islamists nevertheless can point to some significant legislative and other successes in recent years, including segregating the sexes at university, restrictions on mixed sports and dancing and live music, analysts say. They have proposed legislation to prevent women from becoming judges. Salafi lawmakers also proposed a “decency” law earlier this year to ban flirtatious behaviour and “indecent attire” in public, which would include swimsuits on

beaches. Kuwait banned the “Star Academy” TV talent show in 2004 for featuring women singing to men, revealing clothes and mixed dancing after complaints from Salafi MPs. Liberal commentators are concerned about the effect of such developments on Kuwait, which although a socially conservative society, does not restrict personal freedom to the extent of Saudi Arabia. Women dress modestly in public, often in Western-style clothing, but are not required to wear a veil. Some women may wear revealing swimwear, though only on private beaches. They are allowed to drive and travel without legal restrictions and occupy some important positions in business, if not in parliament at present. “I remember watching television in Kuwait, back when it was black and white, you used to have performers wearing miniskirts on stage,” said Ali Al-Ahmed, a Saudi dissident and scholar at the Institute for Gulf Affairs in Washington. “This all changed because of the Saudi influence.” He said the turning point came after Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s invasion, which pushed many Kuwaitis out of the country into Saudi Arabia where they were exposed to the more puritanical form of Islam practiced in the kingdom. During the occupation, Kuwait’s Amir and government ruled from Saudi Arabia. The countries are linked through religious, tribal, cultural and businesses ties. Some analysts saw Saudi influence - channelled through the Salafis - behind the recent decision to cancel a youth forum that would have included Saudi dissidents. The Multaga Alnahdah or “Awakening Forum” was meant to bring together liberals and Islamists, Shiites and Sunnis from across the Arab world in March to debate religion and politics. Participants said Kuwait’s Salafis had pressured the Interior Ministry to stop the forum. The ministry declined to comment on what

role the Salafis played. “The ministry did not stop them, but they did not have permission to hold the forum in a public place,” an official at the Interior Ministry said, declining to be named because they were not authorised to comment on the matter. Participants said the Salafis had objected to some of the invited guests, who included Saudi speakers deemed controversial in their home country, as being un-Islamic. They objected in particular to influential Saudi cleric Salman Al-Ouda, viewed as sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood, which the Salafis see as too moderate. Al-Ouda has run into trouble with Saudi authorities for praising the Arab Spring uprisings. Hala Al-Dosari, a Saudi womens’ rights activist, was also scheduled to speak. Some involved in the forum said the incident was evidence of growing Salafi influence and, in turn, of the influence of Saudi Arabia. Salafi MP Ameeri denied that Salafists forced the cancellation of the Awakening Forum and said that while Kuwait’s Salafis drew on the same religious teachings followed by many in Saudi Arabia, there was no political link with the country. Ebrahim Al-Adasani, head of the AWARE centre in Kuwait for improving Arab/Western relations, said that while Kuwait’s Salafis did have Saudi relationships, the group was generally misunderstood. “ They might sound like they are fundamentalist, especially when they vote for things like capital punishment. But bear in mind that they are MPs and they have voters that they are looking after,” he said, suggesting their actions were more pragmatic than their rhetoric might suggest. “People are confusing fundamentalists and traditionalists. There are people who are traditionalist and yes, they are growing. They want to go back to their traditions. They think they are invaded through their culture by the West,” he said. — Reuters

Inflation slows to 25-mth low Continued from Page 1 consumer and government spending were not increasing that much. “In general, the political uncertainty has hindered project implementation, which has kept a lid on one aspect of inflation,” he said. Project spending in Kuwait has been slowed by political instability, which has seen eight governments come and go in just six years. On Tuesday, thousands of Kuwaitis protested against a court ruling that effectively dissolved a parliament dominated by opposition Islamists. “June will be potentially sluggish but then we have Ramadan coming

up, so we will obviously see the usual Ramadan impact on food prices,” Gamble said. Food prices normally rise during the holy month of Ramadan, which begins in late July, as families enjoy elaborate evening meals after a daylight fast. In May, food costs, which account for almost a fifth of Kuwait consumer expenses, fell 1.3 percent month-on-month, after a 2.6 percent plunge in April. Transport prices edged up 0.1 percent from the previous month, KUNA said. Analysts polled by Reuters in March predicted average inflation in Kuwait of 4.5 percent in 2012, down from a three-year high of 4.8 percent last year. — Reuters





Founder and Publisher

YOUSUF S. AL-ALYAN Editor-in-Chief

ABD AL-RAHMAN AL-ALYAN EDITORIAL : 24833199-24833358-24833432 ADVERTISING : 24835616/7 FAX : 24835620/1 CIRCULATION : 24833199 Extn. 163 ACCOUNTS : 24835619 COMMERCIAL : 24835618 P.O.Box 1301 Safat,13014 Kuwait. E MAIL Website:


London Games will be ‘very British affair on very global stage’ By Nick Clegg ne month to go, and London is calling... As the first city to host the Olympics three times, we’re looking forward to welcoming the world to London in the days and weeks ahead. Every Games - from Sydney to Barcelona to Beijing - says something unique and distinctive about the country that hosts them. London will be no different. From the Olympic Torch Relay, where British people from all walks of life touch a little bit of Olympic history, to the opening ceremonies (which remain top secret as I write this) to the Paralympics, which first began in a British town called Stoke Mandevile in 1948. This will be a very British affair on a very global stage. So what will London 2012 say about the UK in 2012? First, it will show that Britain delivers. Our construction industry has pulled out all the stops to create an amazing Olympic Park, including a new Olympic Village just minutes away from the main sporting venues. It was all built on time, Within budget and to awardwinning standards, including groundbreaking commitments to sustainability and green technology which have raised the bar for major construction projects in the UK and beyond. Second, for those who haven’t been to the UK, I hope these Games will shine a light on Britain as an incredible place to visit. The Olympic Torch, currently on its 8,000 mile journey across the UK, is showing off our attractions like never before: the amazing coastlines in the South West and the East of England, beautiful landscapes in Wales and Scotland, and a depth of history and heritage stretching from Stonehenge in the South to Hadrian’s Wall in the North. We’ve also got the buzzing, metropolitan hotspots like Belfast, Edinburgh, Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester and Liverpool. Indeed, from the Beatles to Shakespeare, the UK has a cultural heritage like no other. For many people, though, London is still the big draw. As one of the world’s great cities, it encapsulates everything we cherish in Britain: our multiculturalism and openness, our respect for our past, and our ambition for the future. I n London, you find a city of 200 different languages. You can eat cuisine from every Olympic nation. You see the pomp of the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace sitting alongside the buzz of Soho and the bright lights of the West End. This blend of old and new, the traditional and the cutting edge, will shine through our Games. Alongside the new Olympic Park, events will be staged in some of the most historic and iconic sporting venues in the count r y : Lo rd s, t h e h o m e o f wo r l d c r i c k e t ; Wimbledon, famed for its tenths; Greenwich, synonymous with maritime history. London is, in every sense, a world within a city. It will be busy, yes, but also full of energy, excitement and potential: the perfect backdrop for the best in global sport and culture. For any country, hosting a third Olympics is a huge honour. London has waited a long time for this moment and the whole world will be watching. In one month’s time, we hope to live up to those expectations - by putting on an amazing show and offering a glimpse of Britain at its best.


NOTE: Nick Clegg is the British Deputy Prime Minister.

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

Did referee’s whistle end fight in Egypt? By Omar Mekky fter an extraordinary revolution that toppled a 30year regime, Egyptians enthusiastically witnessed the result of the first post-uprising presidential race, and they were eager to know who would be the countr y ’s first democratically elected president. The extremely polarized presidency race took place between Ahmad Shafiq, Mubarak’s last prime minister, the old regime candidate, also widely presumed to be the military’s candidate who represents “stability and security” and Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) candidate who represents the Islamists and supposedly the “revolutionar y powers”. On 24 June, the Supreme Presidential Electoral Committee (SPEC) declared Morsi as Egypt’s president. Despite the fact that all the members of SPEC are judges, most Egyptians were still very suspicious about the impartiality of the committee, as most Egyptians perceive the role the judiciary is taking in Egyptian politics nowadays is not a perception of the rule of law but of a fragile political one where courts are used to settle political scores. However, the judges of the committee demonstrated that they were undertaking their job in neutrality, integrity and independence and that the judicial body is still the most trustful institution in Egypt. Now Egypt has an elected president who is supposed to be the only legitimate authority at the moment, as the majority of Egyptians have gone to the polls to give Morsi the authority to lead the country to accomplish the three main demands of the revolutionaries “bread, freedom and social justice”. But of course this is not the case in Egypt, as the Generals of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) decided otherwise. Following the issuance of a government decree that enables Egypt’s military police and intelligence to detain civilians and possibly to refer them to military tribunals, then the constitutional court verdict that led to the dissolution of the Islamistled parliament and the unconstitutionality of the political disenfranchisement law which allowed Shafiq to pursue the presidency race, SCAF issued an addendum to last year’s constitutional declaration, in which it reassumed parliament’s legislative powers until new parliamentary elections can take place. It also assumed the authority to select constituent assembly members and extremely restricted the authorities of the president. Although many political analysts believed that these very recent events made Shafiq’s victory inevitable, Morsi won the race. Nevertheless, what is certain now that no matter who the winner is, a continuing tension between MB and SCAF will take place and thus make the occurrence of extra political instability extremely expected. As we can see from the current political scene, on the one hand, the SCAF manifested their determination not to let MB seize power. On the other hand, and for the first time in their history, the MB is embracing a confrontational


approach, after having long depended on a policy of negotiation and persuasion. Therefore, any future talks between the two sides will be of an antagonistic, rather than friendly, nature. Now MB has the highest chair in the country, moreover, they are the most influential, largest and well-organized political force in Egypt. Despite the fact that their performance during the last 18 months put them in a scrawnier position than ever, now they are doing everything they can to recuperate their popular support base. Last Friday, MB reached an agreement with several revolutionar y political figures - including Mohamed ElBaradei, Wael Ghoniem and Hamdy Kandil - in order to provide a counterweight to what they see as a militaristic threat of not handing over the power to a civilian authority. For MB, the victory of Morsi was just symbolic as he has very limited power, as SCAF’s latest addendum stripped him of most of his actual powers. After losing the first round, it is very likely that SCAF will push to dissolve the current constituent assembly, headed by the most respected Judge Hossam Al Gheireany (Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council). And then use the latest addendum to establish a new constituent assembly to draft a constitution that fulfils SCAF’s demands and strengthens its domination. Moreover, SCAF could also corrupt the parliamentary election battle using various means and might delay the work of the constituent assembly - all in order to stay in power as long as possible. In pursuing this kind of approach, SCAF would give the MB an incomparable opportunity to mobilize protestors all over Egypt. As a result, MB would probably launch mass protests - a tactic which has proven effective since the beginning of the revolution. The MB and its supporters have learnt that if they leave the squares they will not gain anything and that they will definitely lose the support of the revolutionary powers. Actually, MB already announced that they will continue with the protests until SCAF withdraws its latest addendum to the constitutional declaration, the continuation of the parliament as the court dissolved only one third of it and the continuation of the current constitutional committee. MB has already prepared complete open-ended sit-ins with bathroom facilities made of bricks, daily food supply and tight security at the entrances of Tahrir Square. Here, the clashes between MB and SCAF will start as it will be the sort of large scale protests and the reaction of SCAF might be one of the following actions: First, they might execute their threat and repress the protest, as SCAF’s representative has said in his last speech on Friday “we will meet any troubles in the streets with an iron-hand” and this kind of mass violent confrontation has the highest possibility, in other words, the Algerian scenario won’t be that far in this case. Second, SCAF might start using their “legitimate” tools by implementing the newly issued government decree that allows the military officers to detain civilians and prosecute them. Third, SCAF might back the remnants of the old regime, also known as “foloul”, to orchestrate attacks on protestors by thugs; a scenario similar to the one that happened in Feb 2011 but maybe without camels this time. The SCAF will have the courage to commit any of these actions as they know that they

have half of the Egyptian society supporting them (Shafiq’s supporters). We have to admit that what we have seen from Shafiq’s supporters in the last two days before the result of the elections was quite shocking for all of his opponents. A new phenomenon that came to the surface which is the ability of SCAF to mobilize protesters as well, to back up his newly adopted policies and support its candidate. Thousands of supporters of Shafiq and SCAF gathered in Cairo’s Nasr City district chanting anti-Islamic slogans “No to Brotherhood, no to Salafists, down to the rule of the Supreme Guide”, calling SPEC to announce Shafiq as the winner, objecting against the transformation of Egypt to a theocratic state, and supporting all the decisions that were taken by SCAF, the Supreme Constitutional Court and the Minister of Justice in the last few days. Even the place where Shafiq’s supporters have chosen to be their protesting spot indicates that it is a conflict between militarism and Islamism, as they chose the Unknown Soldier Memorial and the tomb of former President Anwar Sadat, who was assassinated by a radical Islamist in 1981 during the annual victory military parade to celebrate Egypt’s victory in the October War of 1973. I think these protests, specifically the one that has taken place on the eve of the result, delivered a highly informative message as to the type of conflict we are going through. To conclude, it is gloomy to say that Egypt is now entering a period of political transition with the likelihood that this political instability will continue for some time. This transition will further deteriorate the capacity of the Egyptian government to manage economic, social, and foreign policy challenges, thus sharpening the potential for future political instability. The ideological conflict between the military and the Islamists will not facilitate Egypt’s expedient exit from this muddled situation. The military grew crooked under the Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak regimes but it still commands the respect of many Egyptians as it played a heroic role in asserting nationalism and secularism throughout Egyptian history. On the other hand, MB has played a very significant role in the Egyptian society as a group that promote development, progress and advancement based on Islamic principles. Its principles and ideologies have successfully convinced many Egyptians of the value and power of the MB nationwide. These two camps will hold Egypt hostage for the next five years at least, as it is assured for both sides that the idea of the Western-style democracy is simply not genuine or at least won’t work for their favour. Consequently, I would say that most of Egyptians were not that affected by the result of the presidential election as they know that SPEC’s announcement of the winner was actually starting the fight not ending it. Egyptians are still dreaming of a civil state that takes from militarism security -a strong army able to guard Egypt’s sovereignty - and political independence, and takes from Islamism strong morals and spiritual meaning. NOTE: Kuwait based Omar Mekky is a member of the Egyptian Judicial Authority, lecturer of international law and human rights researcher.

UK outside EU: Switzerland with nukes? By Guy Faulconbridge ithout a coherent plan for going it alone, Britain may be drifting towards its biggest strategic move in a generation: a disorderly exit from the European Union. Prime Minister David Cameron wants Britain to remain inside the EU, but if the British people ever get a referendum on whether to stay inside a Europe that sees its survival in closer unity then polls suggest they would vote “No”. Even if the politicians, jittery at a stagnant economy before the 2015 election, avoid promising a referendum, attempts to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the EU are unlikely to be countenanced by Germany, the bloc’s dominant power. Britain might well take the plunge, but beyond exhilaration there is little realistic sense of what may lie below. “We are sliding towards the exit without any strategising about what comes afterwards,” said Charles Grant, the pro-European director of the Centre for European Reform, an influential think-tank which seeks to make the EU work better. “(Finance minister George) Osborne and Cameron actually want to stay in the EU so I don’t think they have a sort of plan B. There is no strategy and the sceptics can’t agree on what to do.” Leaving the European Union was once farfetched: only a decade ago, British leaders were arguing about when to join the single currency and talk of an EU exit was the reserve of a motley crew of sceptics on the fringes of both major parties. But the turmoil of the euro zone crisis and the prospect of the currency bloc forming a closer political union that London would not want to join have convinced some wiser heads that Britain is in danger of heading to the exits. Such is the concern, that a senior banker was photographed leaving a breakfast at Cameron’s Downing Street office on Tuesday carrying a document stating: “What would most threaten the City? i) the UK leaving the EU.” Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg warned this week that Britain could be sidelined or forced out of the door. The coalition between Cameron’s more sceptical Conservatives and Clegg’s proEuropean Liberal Democrats was formed in 2010 on the basis of standstill pact to move neither forward nor backward in European integration. But the EU has inconveniently refused to stand still. And the euro zone crisis is driving the 17 members of the currency


area towards much closer political and economic union. Dropping out for a future as an off-shore Switzerland or quixotic dreams of an making London a world trading centre for Chinese currency and Russian oil money would sit badly with the British elite’s postimperial penchant for global statecraft. “The rationale for Europe today is not peace anymore - it is power,” former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, whose ambition to be the first president of the European Council of EU leaders was thwarted in 2009, told the BBC. “The European project of integration is going to go ahead, like it or not, and it is important that we are part of that because we as a country - 60 million people in a small island nation - if we want to exercise weight and influence we have got to do it through our alliances in part and one of those is the European Union.” Ditching a 60-year strategy of trying to hedge European integration with national beliefs about a special relationship with Washington or a brittle Commonwealth of former colonies would undermine what remains of Britain’s global influence. The United States would take less notice of the world’s sixth largest economy if it were no longer inside the EU, while British leaders might find trade talks with China or gas talks with Russia altogether more intimidating without EU backing. A source close to Britain’s leaders said talk of an imminent exit was overblown and that London would continue to hedge its bets. The source said the government would seek to redefine its relationship with the EU when it became clear how the bloc would look after reforms mainly driven by Germany. “We are not going to be part of a fiscal union, so where could we be? We are not talking about leaving the EU but of being part of a different, perhaps looser EU that could result from this euro crisis,” the source said. “And we can do it. Those who say there is no alternative for Britain are wrong: we can still trade with Europe and the rest of the world.” The prospect of Britain’s $2.5 trillion economy, one seventh of EU gross domestic product, slipping away would damage both the EU and Britain. Britain might come off worst, especially if the euro zone can somehow resolve the debt crisis. Armchair dreams of splendid isolation might turn out to be hollow: a former imperial power stranded just 35 km from continental Europe having to pay for market access to its biggest trade partner and with no seat

at the policy table. The options outside are limited: following the path of Norway, Switzerland or Turkey or even a full break leaving Britain stranded in the World Trade Organization. Open Europe, a Eurosceptical think thank which says it wants to save British membership by reforming it, said in a paper entitled “Trading Places: Is EU membership still the best option for UK trade”, that all options were inferior to EU membership. It argued for a new “UK model” which would see Britain retain the benefits of the single market and the customs union but allow London to pick-and-mix its own EU policies. Such an approach would be hard to sell to European partners and could lead to confrontation, e specially if British leaders were backed by a referendum demanding a new deal they could not deliver. Britain has already renegotiated its entry terms once. Facing such a failure, Cameron could be vulnerable to more sceptical leadership rivals plus the electoral threat from the UK Independence Party, which has drawn voters away from his Conservatives with its promise to take Britain out of the EU. Cameron told City of London financiers he was a sceptic a month before he vetoed a new EU fiscal treaty in December, forcing euro zone states to set their new rules outside the formal EU structure, although using its institutions. But the prime minister insists it is not in the national interest to leave the EU, the destination for half of Britain’s exports. “Outside, we would end up like Norway, subject to every rule for the single market made in Brussels but unable to shape those rules,” he said in his most nuanced speech on Europe. Sceptics say pan-European financial regulation and talk of a banking union already threaten the City of London, which they see as Britain’s strongest card at the world’s top table. Outside, London might market itself as a low-tax, offshore trading centre and a playground for the international rich, but that may not sell to a local population which expects London to pay its way in tax revenues for a welfare state. Many of the banks trading there would also be subject to EU rules formed without London. Foreign investors who use Britain as a springboard for an EU market of half a billion people might find Britain a much less interesting proposition. Britain would be alone in the open sea. — Reuters


sp orts Liu to run in London GP LONDON: China’s 110 metres hurdler Liu Xiang will complete his Olympic preparation by running in the London Grand Prix just two weeks before the Games begin, meeting organisers said in a statement yesterday. The 2004 Olympic champion has been confirmed to race on July 13 in the Diamond League meeting at Crystal Palace. The Olympics open on July 27. “This will be my last race before the Olympic Games so I will be looking for a very strong performance,” Liu said. “I am really excited to be competing in London for the first time ever... The event will be a great opportunity for me to experience the conditions and atmosphere of the Olympic host city just two weeks before the Games.” Liu, who has the fastest time in the world this year of 12.97 seconds for the event, is a medal favourite at the Games but is likely to face stiff competition from Cuba’s Olympic champion and world record holder Dayron Robles.—Reuters

Getafe swindled by investors posing as rich Arabs BARCELONA: Seven people claiming to represent investors from Dubai and Egypt with interest in investing in Spanish businesses and football teams were arrested after cheques, they deposited for the purchase of Spain’s first-division club Getafe failed to clear. Six of the seven of those in custody are Spanish, and one of them is from the Dominican Republic, police said yesterday. The Mossos d’Esquadra, the Catalan regional police, said that before making the supposed investments the individuals, who are now in custody, requested business owners to deposit money into a bank account as “collateral.” They then withdrew the funds and the businesses never received the

Dodgers fall to Giants SAN FRANCISCO: San Francisco’s Ryan Vogelsong pitched seven scoreless innings to outduel Los Angeles’ Clayton Kershaw for the second time this season, as the Giants beat the Dodgers 2-0 on Tuesday, cutting the gap between the National League West’s top teams to just one game. Vogelsong (7-3) followed Barry Zito’s seven innings in an 8-0 win in the series opener Monday with his own gem, marking only the second time the Dodgers had been blanked in consecutive games in San Francisco - the other was in 1987. Melky Cabrera’s leadoff homer in the fourth snapped Kershaw’s streak of 35 2-3 consecutive innings in San Francisco without allowing an earned run. Pablo Sandoval

Louis scored five unearned runs in the first. The Marlins have lost eight of nine and are 3-17 in their last 20 games. Miami manager Ozzie Guillen was ejected for arguing balls and strikes with plate umpire Dan Bellino. Lohse (7-2) allowed two runs and four hits while striking out four to lower his ERA to 2.82. Jason Motte pitched the ninth for his 16th save in 20 chances. Reds 4, Brewers 3 At Cincinnati, Bronson Arroyo took a nohitter into the eighth inning before giving up a three-run lead, but Drew Stubbs led off the bottom half with a homer, sending Cincinnati to the victory over Milwaukee. Arroyo allowed only one runner through the first seven innings, hitting Ryan Braun in the first. The slumping Brewers hit only four balls out of the infield during that stretch. Sean Marshall (2-3) escaped the threat, and Aroldis Chapman struck out three in the ninth for his ninth save in 12 tries, celebrating the three-hitter with a pair of somersaults in front of the mound. Phillies 5, Pirates 4 At Philadelphia, Ty Wigginton and Carlos Ruiz homered to back Vance Worley as Philadelphia won its second straight to climb out of last place in the National League East. Worley (4-4) allowed three runs and six hits in six-plus innings. Michael Schwimer pitched out of a jam in the seventh, Antonio Bastardo worked the eighth and Jonathan Papelbon finished for his 18th save in 19 tries, allowing a solo homer to Michael McKenry. Ruiz hit his career-best 10th homer to give the Phillies an insurance run in the eighth. It was his 10th three-hit game.

SAN FRANCISCO: Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw delivers against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning of a baseball game.—AP added an RBI single for the Giants, who haven’t been this close to first place since after the first day of the season. Kershaw (54) allowed eight hits in six innings. Braves 8, D’backs 1 At Atlanta, Tim Hudson pitched eight sharp innings as Atlanta opened its longest homestand of the season with a win over Arizona. Hudson (6-3) allowed one run and seven hits, struck out seven and walked one. Freddie Freeman had three hits and drove in two runs, Chipper Jones also had three hits and Michael Bourn cracked a first-inning homer for Atlanta, which had 17 hits. Arizona right-hander Daniel Hudson (3-2) left in the second inning with right elbow tightness, and manager Kirk Gibson said he will have an MRI on Wednesday. Hudson gave up five runs and seven hits in 1 2-3 innings. Arizona had won four straight. Cardinals 5, Marlins 2 Yadier Molina hit a three-run homer and Kyle Lohse pitched into the eighth inning to lead St. Louis past Miami for its fifth straight victory. One night after Molina’s tying homer in the ninth inning keyed a huge comeback, St.

Nationals 12, Rockies 5 At Denver, Adam LaRoche homered twice for Washington, and Ryan Zimmerman collected his 1,000th career hit and also homered as Washington beat Colorado. The Nationals had a season-high 21 hits, which tied the club mark since the team moved to Washington in 2005. Rockies starter Christian Friedrich (4-5) gave up four runs in 4 1-3 innings. Washington’s Gio Gonzalez (10-3) picked up the win despite allowing five runs in six innings. He struck out seven. Cubs 5, Mets 3 At Chicago, Anthony Rizzo had two hits and drove in the go-ahead run in his first game with the Cubs, leading the hosts past New York. Rizzo doubled home Steve Clevenger with two outs in the fourth, making it 4-3 and sending the Mets to their fourth straight loss, matching a season worst. Rizzo was called up earlier in the day for his highly anticipated Cubs debut after posting big numbers in the minor leagues. Dillon Gee (5-6) struck out six in five innings for the Mets, but gave up four runs. Chicago’s Scott Maine (1-1) threw two scoreless innings for his first big league victory.

LA Angels 7, Baltimore 3; NY Yankees 6, Cleveland 4; Philadelphia 5, Pittsburgh 4; Boston 5, Toronto 1; Atlanta 8, Arizona 1; St. Louis 5, Miami 2; Cincinnati 4, Milwaukee 3; Chicago Cubs 5, NY Mets 3; Houston 5, San Diego 3; Texas 7, Detroit 5; Kansas City 8, Tampa Bay 2; Chicago White Sox 3, Minnesota 2; Washington 12, Colorado 5; Seattle 3, Oakland 2; San Francisco 2, LA Dodgers 0. American League Eastern Division

Chicago W Sox Cleveland Detroit Kansas City Minnesota Texas LA Angels Oakland Seattle

W L PCT 45 28 .616 41 32 .562 40 34 .541 39 35 .527 38 36 .514 Central Division 39 35 .527 37 36 .507 36 38 .486 33 39 .458 30 43 .411 Western Division 46 29 .613 41 33 .554 36 39 .480 32 44 .421

GB 4 5.5 6.5 7.5 1.5 3 5 8.5 4.5 10 14.5

LONDON: Gareth Bale signed a new four-year contract with Tottenham yesterday, tying the pacy winger to the London club until 2016 amid reported interest from a number of leading European teams. Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid are among the clubs to have been linked with a move for the Wales international, who has emerged as one of the Premier League’s standout players over the last two years. His future at Tottenham had also been in doubt after the team failed to qualify for next season’s Champions League. However, Bale said: “I love the club and the fans and I want to play my part in trying to get us back into the Champions League - where we belong.” Tottenham managed to keep hold of one of its two biggest assets, along with Croatia midfielder Luka Modric, despite not having a manager in place following the departure of Harry Redknapp this month.—AP

Angels hit four homers in 7-3 victory over Orioles BALTIMORE: Albert Pujols homered in his Camden Yards debut, CJ Wilson allowed one run in seven innings and the Los Angeles Angels had a season-high 17 hits in a 7-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday. Peter Bourjos, Mark Trumbo and John Hester also connected for the Angels, who have won 12 of 16 overall and 12 of their last 13 road games. The four home runs were a season high. Pujols doubled and hit his 12th homer, a two-run shot in the fifth inning off Brian Matusz (5-9). Pujols has now homered in 33 ballparks off 282 different pitchers. Wilson (94) gave up six hits and improved to 5-0 with a 1.30 ERA in seven starts since May 18. Steve Pearce and Wilson Betemit homered for the Orioles, who have lost five of seven. Baltimore has totaled 11 runs over those seven games. The Orioles went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position and are 2 for 41 in that situation over their last eight games.

Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 1 At Boston, Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a tying homer with two outs in the seventh inning as Boston rallied to beat Toronto. Saltalamacchia’s drive to left off reliever Jason Frasor just cleared the Green Monster for his 14th home run, tying it at 1. The Red Sox then loaded the bases on a double, a hit batter and a walk before Dustin Pedroia drove in two with a single. The rally spoiled a strong performance by Aaron Laffey in his first start in nearly two years. Adrian Gonzalez added an RBI double in the eighth after David Ortiz hit his second double of the game. Red Sox starter

end, but has trumped Tampa Bay 16-2 so far in this series. Chen (7-6) gave up a run in the first and Brooks Conrad’s solo shot in the second as he won for the seventh time in nine decisions. White Sox 3, Twins 2 At Minneapolis, Gavin Floyd struck out nine in seven shutout innings as Chicago edged Minnesota. Floyd (6-7) didn’t walk a batter and increased his scoreless streak to 13 1-3 innings. Alex Rios hit a two-run homer for the AL Central-leading White Sox. Addison Reed gave up a two-run single in a shaky ninth but

Yankees 6, Indians 4 At New York, Phil Hughes bounced back from a rough outing to pitch eight scoreless innings and Alex Rodriguez hit a long home run as New York downed Cleveland. Hughes (8-6) gave up six hits and a walk to win for the fifth time in six decisions. He lasted only 4 1-3 innings in his previous start. Curtis Granderson had a two-run single and Chris Stewart added an RBI hit against Justin Masterson (4-7) in the second. The Indians, losers of four straight, scored four runs against Cory Wade in the ninth on Johnny Damon’s RBI single and Jose Lopez’s three-run homer. Rodriguez’s homer in the seventh off Tony Sipp was No. 642 of his career and helped the Yankees to their fourth straight win and 14th in 17 games. Rangers 7, Tigers 5 At Arlington, Texas, Yu Darvish struck out 10 in seven innings to lead Texas over Detroit and win his seventh consecutive start at Rangers Ballpark. Darvish (10-4) recovered from a shaky start to post his fourth double-figure strikeout game while joining teammate Matt Harrison and Tampa Bay’s David Price as the AL’s only 10-game winners. The Japanese pitcher is the first major leaguer since 1995 to win his first seven career home starts. Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton homered in the seventh. It was his 24th of the season to match Toronto’s Jose Bautista for the major league lead. Hamilton has a big league-best 67 RBIs. Tigers starter Drew Smyly (2-3) allowed six runs over 4 2-3 innings in his return from injury.

BALTIMORE: Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols singles in the third inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles.—AP Daisuke Matsuzaka went 5 2-3 innings, allowing five hits. Royals 8, Rays 2 At Kansas City, Missouri, Bruce Chen went seven innings in another workmanlike start, and Jeff Francoeur and Yuniesky Betancourt both homered for Kansas City, which scored exactly eight runs for the third straight game. Betancourt hit a two-run shot during a four-run third inning against Chris Archer (02). Francoeur added a three-run homer during a four-run eighth, Alex Gordon and Billy Butler also drove in runs to pace a Royals offense that was outscored by St. Louis 30-14 over the week-

picked up his 10th save in 11 chances. Twins starter Liam Hendriks (0-5) yielded three runs in 6 1-3 innings. Mariners 3, Athletics 2 At Seattle, Brendan Ryan hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning to lift Seattle over Oakland. Casper Wells singled leading off the eighth against Jim Miller (2-1). Dustin Ackley struck out as Wells stole second, and Ryan lined an RBI single over a leaping second baseman to score Wells. Mariners starter Jason Vargas matched a career high with 10 strikeouts in 6 2-3 innings. Charlie Furbush (4-1) earned the win with a scoreless eighth.—AP

Astros 5, Padres 3 In Houston, J.D. Martinez hit a two-run homer and Jed Lowrie added a solo shot as Houston held on for the win against San Diego. Houston starter Jordan Lyles (2-4) allowed a run in 6 1-3 innings to break a three-game personal losing streak. Houston took the lead when a run scored on a wild pitch and extended it with an RBI single by Chris Johnson. Martinez’s soaring drive to left-center off Kip Wells (0-1) made it 5-1.—AP

MLB results/standings

NY Yankees Baltimore Tampa Bay Boston Toronto

investment. Police did not say how much money Getafe or other businesses lost. Getafe president Angel Torres signed agreements supposedly worth euro10 million ($12.5 million), but the two checques he received failed to clear, police said, adding that the alleged swindlers paid a Brazilian, who had worked as a waiter, to pose as a wealthy Arab sheik in meetings with potential scam victims. Torres and team captain, Manuel del Moral, flew to Dubai in April 2011 to attend a news conference, where a Dubai business group called The Royal Emirates Group of Companies had announced it had bought Getafe for at least $100 million.—AP

Bale extends Spurs deal

Washington Atlanta NY Mets Philadelphia Miami Cincinnati St Louis Pittsburgh Milwaukee Houston Chicago Cubs LA Dodgers San Francisco Arizona Colorado San Diego

National League Eastern Division 42 30 .583 39 34 .534 39 36 .520 36 40 .474 34 40 .459 Central Division 41 32 .562 40 35 .533 38 35 .521 33 41 .446 31 43 .419 26 48 .351 Western Division 43 32 .573 42 33 .560 37 36 .507 28 45 .384 27 48 .360

3.5 4.5 8 9 2 3 8.5 10.5 15.5 1 5 14 16

Over two million fans flood Hyundai’s Euro fan parks By the end of the quarter finals of the UEFA EURO 2012 tournament, over two million footballing fans in seven countries had enjoyed the special Fan Parks that have been set up by UEFA partner, Hyundai, across Europe. And Hyundai is ensuring that football fans across the Middle East don’t miss out on the excitement either, with special venues and competitions being set up across the region to help them enjoy the beautiful game. In Berlin alone, some 450,000 fans came out to support the national team in their last group stage match against Denmark, equating to nearly 10 per cent of the city’s population! Fans in Germany and other major European cities, including Madrid, Moscow, Paris and Turin, have flooded the Hyundai Fan Parks to take in the action from Poland and

Ukraine on 60 meter square LED screens. Football fans across the Middle East have also been able to get involved courtesy of Hyundai. In Jordan, the Bel Mondo CafÈ, an upscale venue, was turned into a special ‘fan zone’, with numerous screens broadcasting the games. In Dubai, UAE, Hyundai teamed up with the world-renowned Atlantis hotel to allow thousands of fans to watch the action in front of a massive ten-by-six metre screen, and take part in fun, football-related activities, all hosted within the ‘Hyundai tent’. Hyundai distributors across the region also ran UEFA EURO 2012 competitions with a range of great prizes. In Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, Syria, UAE and Saudi Arabia, customers could win amazing, all expenses paid trips to watch the matches in person, while a

Hyundai Veloster was one of the prizes in the UAE. CEO of Hyundai Middle East, Mr Tom Lee said: “The Hyundai Fan Parks have once again proved to be extremely successful. We’re thrilled to have brought together millions of fans to enjoy the dynamism and passion of this sporting extravaganza in a truly unique environment. We are equally pleased to be able to bring some of the excitement from the UEFA EURO 2012 tournament to the millions of football fans in the Middle East.” The competition sees 16 teams from across Europe battle it out to be crowned the best of Europe. The UEFA EURO 2012 tournament started on the 8th of June and runs through to the 1st of July where the final will be held in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.


sp orts

Athletes’ deaths in workouts prompt new guidelines CHICAGO: The most dangerous time for amateur athletes may not be during the heat of the game or even in rigorous practices. A total of 21 college football players have collapsed and died during conditioning workouts since 2000 - many on the first few days, when even the fittest players are often pushed too hard. There’s little regulation of these sessions, and coaches “just run willy-nilly” trying to make men out of boys, said athletic trainer Douglas Casa. “A lot of them are not focused on health and safety issues.” Conditioning sessions typically include running sprints, lifting weights, and endurance exercises. Games and practices have more oversight and safeguards. These include heat acclimatization rules limiting equipment worn, intensity and number of sessions for summer practices. Between 2000 and 2011, there were no deaths among top-level college football players in practices or games. Now, health and sports professionals are seeking to make conditioning sessions just as safe. They have collaborated to create the first consensus guidelines on preventing sudden deaths during these workouts. The sessions last about two hours each and most run from January to June or July, depending on the sport, though some teams schedule them throughout the year. The football conditioning deaths “generally occurred with excessive exercise under the direc-

tion of a coach, often in extreme conditions, and in some cases with staff inadequately prepared to deal with the emergency in a timely or appropriate fashion,” said Dr. Jolie Holschen, a Chicago emergency medicine and sports medicine specialist and coauthor of the new guidelines. The same recommendations are good advice for high schools and younger athletes, too, not just to prevent deaths but to keep players safe at every stage in every sport, said Casa, the University of Connecticut’s athletic training education director. He helped draft the new guidelines. The most common causes of the 21 NCAA deaths were heat stroke, heart conditions and a genetic trait related to sickle cell anemia that affected 10 athletes who died. Under ordinary conditions it doesn’t cause problems. But pushing athletes with the trait too hard can disrupt the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to muscles, which can be deadly. Casa said about 10 percent of black athletes carry the trait; smaller numbers of whites and Hispanics have it too. US infants are tested at birth for the trait, and the NCAA in 2010 began requiring blood tests for it in Division I athletes after Rice University football player Dale Lloyd II died during a conditioning workout in 2006. The requirement for Division II athletes took effect this year. “At the high school level, we still have to rely on

birth records,” which coaches may not have access to, Casa said. Bridgette Lloyd, the Rice player’s mother, said she supports the move to make conditioning workouts safer. “Our mission and goal since we lost our son has been more awareness. They need to be trained what to look for in any athlete, not just sickle cell trait,” she said. The new recommendations stress that conditioning workouts should be phased in rather than start at maximum intensity on day one. Exercise should not be used as punishment. Conditioning coaches should be trained in health and safety issues; certified in first aid, resuscitation and heart defibrillation; know which athletes have sickle cell trait; and know how to recognize signs and treat exercise-related complications from the condition. And they should be present during all conditioning sessions. The recommendations come from several groups, including the National Athletic Trainers Association, the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association, the American College of Sports Medicine and the American College of Emergency Physicians. They were released Wednesday at the National Athletic Trainers Association annual meeting in St. Louis. NCAA has policies echoing some of the recommendations and is evaluating the others, said David Klossner, the NCAA’s director of health safety. “We’re

supportive of the effort to address these issues that they raise,” he said. The guidelines challenge “the old athletic mentality that if a little bit is good, a lot must be better,” said Jim Thornton, president of the trainers’ association and head athletic trainer at Clarion University in Clarion, Pa. Thornton said the new advice highlights the need better oversight in high schools, too. Many high schools have no athletic trainer and practices for many sports often take place without anyone trained in first aid present, he said. “It’s like dropping a kid off at a swimming pool with no lifeguard,” he said. Many of the athlete injuries cited involve a muscle-damaging condition called exertional rhabdomyolysis, rhabdo for short. Intense exertion can cause muscle cells to leak enzymes and protein into the blood. Symptoms include extreme muscle pain and dark urine. Severe cases can lead to kidney failure and sudden death. Avoiding sudden, intense exertion and drinking plenty of fluids can help. Reported cases include 13 University of Iowa football players hospitalized last year after a toostrenuous offseason weightlifting session and 12 Oregon high school football players treated in 2010 after an intense preseason workout. “Working athletes longer and harder “is not exercising smart,” said Holschen, the Chicago physician. — AP

Felix and Tarmoh head to London despite 100m tie

LONDON: The Olympic rings are seen atop the iconic Tower Bridge in London, after they were lowered into position, coinciding with one month to go until the start of London 2012 Games. — AP

Ring in the Games LONDON: Time to ring in the games. Almost. Five super-sized Olympic rings were lowered off Tower Bridge yesterday, draping the internationally recognized symbol over the landmark spanning the Thames river. London Mayor Boris Johnson gave the order to lower the rings with a few words barked into a walkie-talkie from a barge circling below. The fusing of a London icon - the gateway to the city - with the rings is a signal that London is ready to go one month before the Olympic games, which start July 27 and end on Aug. 12. “We are as ready as any city has ever been at this stage in the Olympic process,” Johnson said. “I think probably better.” The massive rings - 25 meters (82 feet) wide and 11.5 meters (37 feet) tall - are part of efforts to bedeck the city in Olympic banners and bold colors. LOOKIN’ GOOD - OR AT LEAST BRIGHT Meanwhile, all over London, the theme colors of the games are being raised on light posts, city buildings and in shopping areas.

London’s look is predominantly pink, aqua blue, yellow, purple and green - not quite neon but usually shown in shards at the edges of Olympic banners. There’s even a “Look Book” for ideas. Local neighborhoods can purchase materials to festoon their buildings in games-approved decor. BUILDING A BEACH With most of the Olympic venues finished, one of the few big projects still under way is the beach volleyball venue on the Mall, a street near Buckingham Palace in central London. The construction had to wait because of celebrations marking Queen Elizabeth II’s 86th birthday and her Diamond Jubilee celebrations of 60 years on the throne. It’s a big project - not just a few piles of sand and some bleachers. A 15,000-seat arena is being built, complete with lighting rigs, facilities for athletes, media and staff, six training courts and security screening areas. And yes, there is sand. Lots and lots of it - about 4,115 tons. — AP

London moves into final month of preparations LONDON: London moved into the final month of preparations for its Olympic Games yesterday with a new landmark to greet visitors, and a warning that some others would not be welcome. London Mayor Boris Johnson and Seb Coe, chairman of organisers LOCOG, watched as a giant set of interlocking Olympic Rings were eased into place on Tower Bridge across the River Thames. The rings, 25 metres wide and 11.5 metres tall, are a centrepiece of the “2012 look” that visitors from around the world will experience as they flood into the capital for the Games starting on July 27 and ending on Aug. 12. “Tower Bridge is recognised the world over and, adorned with the famous Olympic Rings, is the perfect choice to showcase what London has to offer this summer,” declared Johnson. “With just a month to go, we are making our final preparations and want to ensure each and every person in the capital gets a flavour of the celebrations and feels part of the Games.” The Tower Bridge rings, which cost some 260,000 pounds ($405,500) to produce, have been paid for out of a 32 million pound ‘Look and Celebration’ budget with events scheduled across the capital. Not everyone will be allowed to attend the party, however. Britain has already refused a visa for the head of Syria’s national Olympic Committee, General Mowaffak Joumaa, to travel to London. Mowaffak is seen as a close friend of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has been strongly criticised by Britain and other Western and Arab nations for a crackdown on an opposition movement seeking his overthrow. Sports Minister Hugh Robertson told BBC radio that he expected more exclusions in the days and weeks to come. “Any (applications) that are controversial are referred to the Foreign Office, the Home Office and myself as the Sports Minister and we take decisions on a case by case basis,” he said. “If people apply for visas that have connections with regimes that are guilty of human rights abuses they will not be allowed in... nobody connected with the human rights abuses taking place in Syria at the moment should be part of our Games.”—Reuters

EUGENE: Women’s sprinters Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh are already on the American team for the London Games even though their controversial tie in the 100 metres trial has not been resolved, United States coach Amy Deem said on Tuesday. “ The first four names (in the 4x100m relay pool) have to be your top four finishers at the championships,” the women’s Olympic coach told reporters, naming 100m winner Carmelita Jeter, runner-up Tianna Madison, Felix and Tarmoh as automatic selections for the sixmember relay pool. Felix and Tarmoh finished in a dead heat for third and face a runoff or a coin flip to decide who takes the final individual 100 spot on the US team. “But the result of the 100 metres will not affect the relay pool at all,” Deem said. The final two relay pool spots will be chosen after the trials end on Sunday and will likely go to athletes who have not made the team in individual events, she said. Felix and Tarmoh have until Sunday to either participate in a runoff or coin flip unless one of them withdraws from the 100. “I think all of us need to take a step back and let these young women focus on the 200, make the team and then everybody sit down and we go from there,” Deem said. All four 100m finalists have entered in the 200, for which qualifying starts on Thursday. The final is on Saturday. At the halfway point of the trials, Deem, along with men’s Olympic coach Andrew Valmon, said the United States would bring

a strong team to London but both shied away from predicting it would meet the 30 medals goal that USA Track and Field executives have set for the Games. “We had a couple of mishaps here and there but we had some surprises,” Valmon said. Valmon was particularly impressed by Ashton Eaton’s decathlon world record and 2012 world-leading performances by LaShawn Merritt in the 400 and Reese Hoffa in the shot put. He also praised Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay’s 1-2 finish in the 100. “There are a lot of opportunities to get those 30 medals,” Valmon, a two-times Olympic 4x400 relay gold medallist said. “I think the big thing is reclaiming the sub-45 seconds,” Valmon said of 400m contenders Merrett, Tony McQuay and Bryshon Nellum. “For years we have been a dominant nation, and we have got the three guys who are 44-second quarter-milers and they are going to go out there and compete for medals. And they are young.” The three will afford the US another chance for gold in the 4x400 relay, even though former Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner failed to make the team. Josh Mance and Manteo Mitchell, who also ran under 45 seconds in the final but finished out of the top three, will have a chance to run in the relay. Deem was pleased with Olympic discus champion Stephanie Brown Trafton’s performance at the trials and that of former world 400 champion Sanya Richards-Ross. Brown Trafton’s victory in the

rain was not a personal best, but a timely confidence boost, while Richards-Ross, the year’s fastest in the 200 and 400, was running as well as she ever had, Deem said.

“We have a great group of women who have been there, have experience,” the coach said. “And I think that is really going to help us in the medal count.” — Reuters

EUGENE: This Saturday, June 23, 2012, photo provided by USA Track & Field shows the third-place finish of the women’s 100-meter final from a photo-finish camera, shot at 3,000-frames-per-second, during the US Olympic Track and Field Trials. — AP

‘Blade Runner’ still subject of scientists’ debate LONDON: While South African athlete Oscar Pistorius attempts to become the first amputee runner to compete at the Olympic Games, scientists are still arguing whether his artificial limbs give him a critical advantage or not. Pistorius, born without fibulas and who had his lower legs amputated when a baby, uses carbon fibre prosthetic running blades and is hoping to qualify for the 400 metres at the Games. Pistorius beat the Olympic qualifying time of 45.30 in Pretoria in March but must repeat that performance in an international meeting before June 30 to make the team for the London Games which start on July 27. Pistorius, who has a personal best is 45.07 , won the 100, 200 and 400 gold medals at the 2008 Paralympic Games. He also became the first amputee to compete at the athletics world championships when he ran in Daegu, South Korea last year.“ The science is fully clear that ... Mr. Pistorius runs considerably faster with his artificial limbs,” said Peter Weyand, associate professor of Applied Physiology and Biomechanics at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He said in an email that the findings, with Matthew Bundle, assistant professor at the University of Montana’s Department of Health and Human Performance, al so showed P istorius h ad an adv antage over one legged amputees. Pistorius has already won a legal case to compete against able-bodied athletes after the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2008 overturned a ban which had been imposed by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The court said its ruling applied only to Pistorius and only to the type of artificial limb he

uses and that the IAAF had failed to prove its case. The irony is that data used in support of Pistorius at the arbitration court came from a group which included Weyand and Bundle. They only made known their dissenting opinion later and five other scientists in the same group reject their arguments. Icelandic company Ossur, which makes the carbon fibre limbs, and the athlete himself, are certain he has no advantage and that is it sheer hard work which is behind his success. “I have been competing on the Ossur flex foot Cheetah since I first started in athletics in 2003,” said Pistorius. “The leg has not changed and I have not run on any other prosthetic sprinting leg. My advances in time are down to how hard I train,” he added in an email. The futuristic look of the limbs, which are curved like an upside-down hook and which affix via sockets to the stumps of his legs, have earned him the nickname “Blade Runner”. The science behind the limbs themselves is surprisingly simple and has barely changed since Pistorius first starting using them, according to Richard Hirons, a clinical prosthetist and specialist in sports feet at Ossur. “The bottom line is that it minimises the disadvantages,” Hirons told Reuters. “He is basically on stilts, he has to take that into account, he has to think about the wind, he gets nervous when it rains. “There is a big amount of extra effort required in the upper body to generate power, lift and compensation,” he added. Ossur, founded in 1971, makes many limbs and works with many Paralympians, but Pistorius is their highest profile client. The limbs he uses, called the Flex

Foot Cheetah, were developed by U.S. inventor Van Philips in the 1980s. He had the bottom half of his left leg cut off by a motor boat when water skiing, but was a keen sportsman and was frustrated by the clunky prosthetic designs then available. Ossur bought Philips’ company in 2000 in an international expansion which has made it a leading global prosthetics firm, growing well beyond its Icelandic birthplace. Sales grew from $18 million in 1991 to $401 million in 2011. Hirons

Oscar Pistorius

said the limbs were curved carbon fibre, which were specially designed for high impact sports. The company also produces limbs with a more gentle curve for joggers, as well as feet and legs for daily use for ordinary people. Also for non-athletes, the future is bionic limbs, combining small electronic motors and computer sensors. Despite the findings of Weyand and Bundle, Ossur says the carbon fibre legs are much less efficient than real

legs, ankles and muscles in absorbing the impact from running and returning energy back to the runner for forward movement. “There is a huge amount of extra effort required in the upper body to generate power and lift and compensation,” Hirons said of Pistorius. Weyand and Bundle disagree, setting out their views in a debate with their five fellow scientists who worked on the Pistorius case in an issue of the journal Applied Physiology in November 2009. They say the prosthetic limbs are lighter than legs and allow Pistorius to take quicker strides. That meant he spent more time getting tread on the ground and less in the air, which in turn meant his athleticism needed to be less than able-bodied runners to reach the same speeds. “We conclude that the moment in athletic history when engineered limbs outperform biological limbs has already passed,” the two men wrote. In a rebuttal, the other five scientists completely disagreed, writing that it was “common sense that amputation and prosthetic legs impair force generation”. They said the rapid leg swings could have resulted from training and Pistorius having to compensate for his disability. Weyand told Reuters that he stuck to his views, which he said were backed up by scientific data. While the scientists debate, Pistorius is still working to achieve his Olympic goal, though has fallen short so far. “I have worked hard to achieve the Olympic qualification time - I have already run this time twice and my aim is to consistently run within this time ahead of the Olympics and I hope to be selected to represent South Africa,” he said. —Reuters.




Soggy summer no threat to London Olympic spirit LONDON: A quarter of a million rain ponchos, an army of volunteers equipped with umbrellas and rain jackets, and five dedicated weather forecasters - it must be a British Olympics. Planning any outdoor event during the unpredictable British summer, renowned for its potential to throw up more rainy spells than sunshine, requires drawing up contingency plans and keeping a close eye on the weather. Multiply that challenge for several million spectators, 70,000 volunteers and 10,500 of the world’s top athletes, and then you have some idea of the challenge facing organisers of the London Olympics. The United Kingdom’s national weather forecaster, the Met office, has a dedicated five-person team working on Olympic weather predictions, but said it was too early to forecast with any accuracy conditions for the July 27-Aug. 12 Games. However, organisers are confident bad weather would not disrupt their plans, while the love-hate relationship between the British public and their country’s weather looked likely to ensure solid support for the athletes. “By definition, being British you have no choice but to prepare for the weath-

er,” said Debbie Jevans, director of sport for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). Jevans is responsible for making sure the sporting venues across the UK run smoothly. She is not losing any sleep over the possibility of wet weather in the middle of summer. “It doesn’t keep me awake at night. Clearly if you gave me the choice of rain or no rain, you’d rather have no rain and that’s for the spectators as much as anything else,” she said. “(But) we’ve known from day one when we looked across the sports that they will happen whether it’s raining or not, and so the plans have always included that.” Those plans have been extensive. At Greenwich Park, Britain’s oldest royal park that also forms part of a world heritage site, specialist consultants have been drafted in to make sure the venue is up to the challenge of hosting the equestrian events. “We’ve been working on the wet areas in the park for the past two and a bit years now,” said Lee Penrose, project manager at the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI). Their work has focused on the 5.7 kilometre cross-country course that is seen as the most exposed of the eques-

trian events to bad weather conditions. STRI said over one hundred million half-centimeter “thin but really, really deep” holes had been bored into the course every three weeks to ensure there was no standing water on the turf. In addition, up to 40 staff armed with mechanical water-removing devices and last-resort hand pumps will be on site for the July 30 event - just in case. “You can never really plan for all events but notwithstanding a biblicaltype flood I think the cross country course is going to run pretty well on the day,” Penrose said. The cancellation of the high-profile Badminton Horse Trials event after the UK’s wettest April in more than a century underscored the need for meticulous preparation. The wet weather already experienced this year has also proved a blessing in some respects. Heavy rain throughout some of the test events held across London gave planners the chance to tweak their preparations. However, knowing that the sport will go ahead regardless of the weather may be cold comfort for the spectators. At the eastern end of the Olympic Park the high stands of the Riverbank arena that hosts the hockey competi-

tion are uncovered and exposed to elements. A test event held in early May left some spectators chilled to the bone. “It was good, so I’m looking forward to the Olympics events, but the weather will play a big part,” said Morag Campbell, an admin worker based in London who watched the test events and holds tickets for several hockey sessions during the Olympics. “On the Saturday night my feet were frozen - by the time I got home they were literally blue!” For some, wet weather may even prove a bonus. Par t of the event planning has involved kitting out the stores inside the venues with enough wet weather gear to keep spectators dry and happy - around 250,000 red, white and blue ponchos will be on standby in case the heavens open. In addition, stalls inside the venues will sell Olympic-branded umbrellas for between £14 and £20 ($22-32). Storekeepers around the Westfield mall that lies adjacent to the Olympic Park say business inside the centre will be brisk, and that rain will push more shoppers inside. “It ’ll be rammed,” said Oliver Winterborne, a sales assistant working in Westfield. “You can always tell if it’s

rainy from how busy it is in here.” Several store managers said they were taking on extra staff for the Olympic period and some based in the mall’s outdoor shopping streets were expecting an improvement in trade as crowds are funnelled past their shops. Regardless of whether conditions turn sour over the two-week period, at least one venue is expecting a downpour. Danny Boyle, the artistic director behind the Games’ opening ceremony on July 27, said he was seeking to capture the spirit of the British countryside by bringing an elaborate set of meadows, rivers and live animals into the Olympic stadium. “You begin with a certain kind of philosophy, which is, you think what were we, where have we come from, what’s our heritage ... what are we now and where are we going?” Boyle said at a media briefing that unveiled part of the ceremony. Presumably that vision includes a little rain - a model of the opening scene featured clouds made of cotton wool, and Boyle promised to provide artificial rain, delivering a controlled rain shower to kick off the Games. —Reuters

Woman boxer Jonas proud to knockout last male sport LONDON: When Natasha Jonas took up boxing to lose weight seven years ago, she had no idea she was about to dramatically change her life and enter the history books as one of the first female Olympic boxers. Within a month of pulling on gloves, Jonas had her first bout in the ring and it became clear she had talent. Jonas, 28, is now ranked third in the world and will be one of 36 women competing in London when women’s boxing makes its Olympic debut, knocking out the Games’ last all-male sport. She was the first British female boxer to qualify for the Olympics. “I was always a bit of tomboy growing up so no one was that surprised when I liked boxing, but they have been shocked at how seriously I have taken it and the level I have reached,” Jonas told Reuters in a telephone interview between training sessions. “A month after trying out boxing I was in a bout and I have been there ever since. I found where I belong. I just love the atmosphere of the gym.” Jonas, who was born and raised in Liverpool in northern England, said she was always sporty as a child as she came from a family where exercise was part of daily life. Her mother dances and runs while her father has always been into the gym. “Sport was the one thing at school that I was good at. I just loved it. I was captain of most teams,” said Jonas, known as Tasha to her friends, who is currently on a sabbatical from her job as a youth worker with Liverpool City Council. She originally intended to be a soccer player and even went to the United States for 18 months on a scholarship but she was sidelined by a ligament injury and returned to the UK to take a media studies course at university. It was in 2005 as she started to put on weight that a friend suggested she join a women’s boxing lesson in Liverpool to get back into the shape and that took her in a new direction. Jonas won the ABAE (Amateur Boxing Association of England) Championship four times in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, took home

gold medals from the EU Championships in 2009 and 2011, and won the GB Championship in 2010. Olympic glory was never her aim, nor financial reward as women’s boxing remains an amateur sport with little money attached. But she said she had found her calling and during her work with youngsters has adopted the slogan “respect your talent” to urge them to find what they are good at. It was only in 2009 that the International Olympic Committee announced women’s box-

Natasha Jonas ing would be included at London. Women’s boxing was a demonstration sport at the 1904 Games but was banned in most nations for most of the 20th century. The British Amateur Boxing Association said a major breakthrough came in 1996 when the Amateur Boxing Association of England lifted the ban on women boxing. New rules for women’s boxing were formed

McIlroy excited about Irish Open PORTRUSH: Backed by record galleries and buoyed by his stunning feats here as a 16-yearold rising star, Rory McIlroy heads into the Irish Open at Royal Portrush intent on reviving his stuttering season and winning his home tournament for the first time. McIlroy’s recent dip in form has seen him miss the cut in four of his last five tournaments and lose his No. 1 ranking to Luke Donald. However, memories of an 11-under 61 on the links course in Antrim during the 2005

Rory McIlroy North of Ireland Championship are spurring the former US Open champion on, as is the prospect of playing in front of the European Tour’s first ever advance sellout crowds. “The last couple of years, I didn’t really enjoy the tag of home favorite, I just didn’t feel very comfortable with it,” said McIlroy. “This year I really want to embrace that.” With McIlroy joined by fellow countrymen and major winners Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell, Friday, Saturday and Sunday are already 27,000-capacity sellouts, while Thursday is also expected to be close to full as Northern

Ireland hosts the Irish Open for the first time since 1953. McDowell will be full of confidence after his second-place finish at the US Open a fortnight ago, while Clarke knows the course well having relocated back to the area from London four years ago, a move he claims was a crucial factor behind his win at the British Open last year. “It’s almost got an Open feel, which is what I think the course deserves. It’s just a very special place,” said Clarke, who hasn’t finished better than 20th at a tournament since his victory at Royal St. George’s last July. The second-ranked McIlroy is the player most eyes will be on, however. His consistent form from the start of 2012 has deserted him and he failed to make the weekend at his last event in Europe, the flagship BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, as well as the US Open in San Francisco. “I’ve put 10 days of really good work in. My game feels good,” said the 23-year-old McIlroy. “It actually felt pretty good at the US Open. “I felt like it was starting to come around. In a way it couldn’t be a better time to come back here and play Portrush. It brings back so many good memories, and you can feed off that, and that gives you some confidence.” With the British Open less than a month away, the Irish Open gives players some timely experience of links golf. The forecast is for wind and rain, conditions Clarke usually relishes. Double British Open champion Padraig Harrington, of Ireland, is also in the field along with two US PGA Championship winners from the United States, Rich Beem and Keegan Bradley. —AP

for the first European Cup for Women in 1999 and the first World Championship 2001 and the sport’s popularity has increased hugely. The Women’s World and European Championships held biannually involve 130 nations registering female competitors. Jonas is training three times a day in preparation for the Olympics where she will be competing as a lightweight alongside two other British women boxers, flyweight Nicola Adams and middleweight Savannah Marshall. There are only three weight classes for women boxers compared to 10 classes for the 250 male competitors. Jonas said some things never change and she is back on a diet again, having to shed a few kilos as lightweights can only weigh up to 60 kilogrammes (132 lbs). Flyweights can weigh up to 51kg (112 lbs) and middleweights up to 75kg (165 lbs). “You just have to get used to the sacrifices you need to make. I am having no chocolate, less carbs, and smaller meals,” said Jonas, who was also picked to appear this summer in a documentary called “Glory Road” about aspiring Olympic boxers. What will she reach for when the Olympics are over? “Some form of chocolate,” she laughed. Jonas said she was proud to be among the first group of women boxers at the Olympics, bringing equality to the ring, and hoped she would be a role model for other women to get involved in sport. “But I don’t feel that I need to prove a point in any way because of this. As a competitor I want to do well. I am totally focused on what I want to achieve,” she said. As to those who campaigned against women’s boxing being included at the Olympics, Jonas has a clear message. “Sport changes. I used to watch the Olympics as a kid and I knew I wanted to be there. This is a children dream come true for me,” she said. “Anyone can get hurt in boxing and it is ridiculous to say that women can get hurt more than men. No one enters the ring thinking they are going to come out with brain damage. You know the risks but you just don’t dwell on them.” —Reuters

KSSC launches shooting tourney KUWAIT: Kuwait Shooting Spor ts Club will launch the first shooting tournament for the 2012 shooting school season “The Late Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah Cup” on Saturday, under the patronage of President of Asian and Kuwait Shooting Federations and Vice President of ISSF Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud AlSabah. Competition of the tournament will be in the 10m pistol and rifle, skeet and trap. Arab and Kuwait Shooting Federations secretar y general Obaid alObaid Al-Osaimi Osaimi in a statement lauded the major role of the Late Sheikh Sabah Al-Humoud Al-Sabah family in supporting the sport of shooting. He said the family is keen on organizing this annual tournament since the establishment of Kuwait shooting school in 1998. Al- Osaimi said the shooting academy is accepting applications from Kuwaitis aged 10 to 24 years old, who wish to learn the principles of Olympics shooting. He said there is a special staff that supervises and cares for students at the Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Olympic Shooting Complex. Al-Osaimi concluded by inviting Kuwaiti youth of both genders to register in the academy, as they may excel and represent their country abroad.

Jordyn Wieber

Wieber, Orozco under spotlight US gymnastics trials SAN JOSE: Jordyn Wieber, a likely gymnastic darling at the London Games, and John Orozco will capture much of the spotlight this week as they vie with 28 other hopefuls for 10 Olympic spots on offer at the US trials. The 16-year-old Wieber, who won the world all-around women’s title in Tokyo last year, signalled she is close to her best by claiming her second consecutive US all-around title earlier this month in St. Louis, Missouri. Orozco, 19, also laid an early marker for Olympic selection, edging out defending champion Danell Leyva to claim the men’s all-around crown in St. Louis as he chases his lifelong dream. “Whether it’s team, individual or allaround, I just want an Olympic medal in the sport I love so badly,” the ever-smiling Orozco told reporters while preparing for the first day of competition at the US trials today. “I lay in my bed and I think about how it would feel to stand on that podium and get the medal put on my neck and be able to salute and be proud, knowing that all of these years and sacrifices have paid off. “Being able to wear that medal in all its glory and honour, that would be amazing. That would be the moment that my life changes ... Being able to wear ‘USA’ on your chest is the most honorable thing that I can think of.” Orozco, a member of the US men’s team which won bronze at last year’s world championships, edged past Leyva in the final event of the two-day competition to land the men’s all-around title by 184.850 points to 184.800. He sealed victory in the floor exercise, where he dismounted with a two-and-a-half twist. “I can’t even describe what I’m feeling right now,” Orozco said. “Danell gave me such a great fight. The level of gymnastics was incredible.” While Leyva was disappointed to lose

out in the battle for gold, the world parallel bars men’s champion was delighted with his form heading into the US trials. “It was a really good competition for me,” said the 20-year- old CubanAmerican. “I think it was one of my best competitions ever, and I’m still not done peaking.” Wieber, who also won world championship gold in October in the team event, has been in scintillating form this year. She won her third American Cup in the all-around ahead of compatriot Alexandra Raisman in March, then later that month led the US to team gold at the Pacific Rim Championships in Everett, Washington, where she also landed the all-around title. Just 16 days ago, Wieber successfully defended her US all-around title at Saint Louis University, scoring 121.900 after two days of competition. Gabrielle Douglas was second (121.700) and Raisman third (120.950). “It’s so exciting to come out and win the championships in an Olympic year,” Wieber said after securing victory with her signature vault, the Amanar. Several other big names in US gymnastics have converged on the Silicon Valley capital of San Jose this week in pursuit of places on the US team at the London Games. Olympic women’s all-around champion Nastia Liukin is back at the age of 22 in a comeback bid, along with Beijing Olympic team captain Alicia Sacramone, who missed last year’s world championships after tearing her Achilles tendon. On the men’s side, Jake Dalton, Jonathan Horton and Steven Legendre each of them bronze medallists with the US team at last year’s world championships - are among 15 gymnasts competing for five spots on offer at the 2012 Olympic Games. —Reuters




Federer’s royal Wimbledon show, Wozniacki, Stosur out LONDON: Six-time champion Roger Federer reached the Wimbledon third round yesterday with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 win over Italy’s Fabio Fognini, a regal performance witnessed by Britain’s Prince Charles. The third-seeded Swiss took just 74 minutes to defeat Fognini, who received a quick lesson in bowing from Federer before walking onto Centre Court where Charles, on a first visit in more than 40 years, was watching with

Federer. “We were told beforehand that they were coming and we were asked to bow. We said no problem.” Federer, who has lost in the quarter-finals for the last two years, next faces either France’s Julien Benneteau or Michael Russell of the United States for a place in the last 16. In delayed first round matches, three-time runner-up Andy Roddick saw off Britain’s Jamie Baker 7-6 (7/1), 6-4, 7-5, while

was extended with a 6-2, 0-6, 6-4 defeat against world number 72 Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands. “This year I hated the grass a little bit less than in previous years,” said Stosur, who was the last surviving Australian in the singles events. “I still love playing at Wimbledon, but obviously it hasn’t been my best tournament.” Tamira Paszek saved two match points to send Wozniacki crashing out in the first round under the

WIMBLEDON: Roger Federer of Switzerland returns a shot to Fabio Fognini of Italy during a second round men’s singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships. —AP

his wife Camilla from the royal box. Federer, chasing Pete Sampras’s record of seven Wimbledon titles, fired 13 aces and 35 winners and has lost just nine games in his first two rounds. “I’m very happy to have won and to be back on Centre Court. It’s great to have that feeling and to see Charles and Camilla up there is just great for tennis,” said

Spanish seventh seed David Ferrer defeated Germany’s Dustin Brown 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 6-4. The bottom half of the women’s draw opened up with fifth-seeded US Open champion Samantha Stosur and seventhseeded Caroline Wozniacki both knocked out. Stosur had never been past the third round in nine previous visits to the All England Club and that miserable sequence

Centre Court roof. The 21-year-old Austrian, fresh from claiming the grasscourt title in Eastbourne at the weekend, prevailed in a three hour 12minute marathon to win the first round clash 5-7, 7-6 (7/4), 6-4. “I came here in a great rhythm from Eastbourne, but this was really tough,” said Paszek, the world number 35 who was a quarterfinalist last year.

“Caroline is a real fighter and a great competitor. It was tough under the roof because the court slows down but I gave it everything I had.” Wozniacki, who hadn’t lost in the first round of her last 20 majors, praised Paszek. “It’s not a nice feeling. It sucks when you lose, especially after having two match points. But I didn’t play badly, she went for it and that’s it,” said the Dane. But there were no problems for low-key third seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland who defeated Russia’s Elena Vesnina, the first-round conqueror of Venus Williams, 6-2, 6-1. Radwanska, who didn’t commit one error, next meets Heather Watson who ended Britain’s 10year wait to have a woman in the third round by sweeping to a 6-1, 6-4 victory over America’s Jamie Hampton. Four-time Grand Slam titlewinner Kim Clijsters, playing her last Wimbledon before retirement, eased into the third round with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic. Italy’s 10th seed Sara Errani, the French Open runner-up, needed just seven seconds to complete her 6-1, 6-3 first round win over American qualifier Coco Vandeweghe after the tie had been rained off Tuesday. Errani had been on match point but on the resumption she didn’t have to hit a ball as her opponent handed her victory with a double fault. Also making progress was former world number one Ana Ivanovic, the 14th seed from Serbia, who defeated Spain’s Maria Jose Martinez 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 and German 15th seed Sabine Lisicki. Last year’s semi-finalist Lisicki reached the third round, beating Serbia’s Bojana Jovanovski 3-6, 62, 8-6. Later, defending champion Novak Djokovic faces Ryan Harrison of the United States, while women’s top seed Maria Sharapova takes on Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova. —AFP

Sun not setting on Venus just yet, says father Richard LONDON: Venus Williams’ father will brook no argument - the five-times Wimbledon champion is doing just fine despite slumping out of the tournament in the opening round for the first time in 15 years. At 32, the graceful American is fighting her way back to fitness after being diagnosed with the autoimmune, fatigue-inducing illness Sjogren’s Syndrome but looked flat on Monday when she was beaten 6-1 6-3 by Russia’s Elena Vesnina. Gone was the air of invincibility that was so evident in the last decade, when she and sister Serena dominated women’s tennis. But their father, Richard, bridled at any suggestion it was time to start writing tennis obituaries for the powerful player who has won seven grand slam titles. “Venus will be alright and Jehovah, that’s the god we serve, will take care of Venus. I think she is coming along great. She just has to have time to make things work out,” he told Reuters as he looked out from the media balcony at the sunkissed courts where his offspring have rewritten tennis history. His loyalties have never been divided and when the two met in four Wimbledon finals, he would make a point of flying home early so he did not have to watch the match. He did not want to know the result until he touched down back in the United States. His constant mantra is: “There is life beyond the baseline.” Carefully nurturing his daughters through their careers, he has always sought to avoid the burnout that has struck down so many players and has always wanted them to have a life outside the lucrative but claustrophobic world of globe-trotting tennis. “Venus and Serena have great business sense. They have made a ton of money. They serve God, they are very obedient, they listen to me and their mum. They will be alright. They went to college, they have education,” he said. “I always made sure that their education was much better than their tennis.” Venus will return to Wimbledon next month with her sister, where she hopes the pair will successfully defend their doubles title at the London Olympics. “I am tough, let me tell you, tough as nails,” she told reporters after her disappointing loss on Monday. Venus, who returned to the tour in March after seven months out with her illness, added: “I have great tennis in me, I just need the opportunity.” Her father is also convinced there is plenty left in the tank, even if the evidence from the court has not been that positive. “I don’t see why she should retire. She has the biggest serve on this planet,” he added. “She runs faster than anyone else, she has a great forehand, a great backhand. I don’t know a player who has as much speed as her. In this sport, speed is money.” —Reuters

SPAIN: Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso from Spain poses celebrating his victory after the European Formula One Grand Prix at Valencia street circuit. —AP

Alonso separates from pack BARCELONA: Fernando Alonso’s emotional comeback win at the European Grand Prix last Sunday has finally set one driver apart from the pack in the most tightly contested Formula One season in history. Alonso steered his Ferrari from an 11th-place start to a dramatic victory at Valencia to become the first driver to win two races this year, opening up a 20-point gap over his nearest challenger, Red Bull’s Mark Webber. Now the Spaniard and his team are trying to focus on the British GP on July 8, when Alonso will seek to repeat his triumph at Silverstone last season. “These 25 points will definitely not go to our heads,” says Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali. “We are well aware how things can change in the blink of an eye and we must continue to work on improving the car’s performance because it is still not at the level we want.” Alonso called the win in front of his home fans that featured a display of daring driving to pass various front-runners on the notoriously hard-to-overtake street circuit one of the best of his 29-win career. And becoming the sole driver with two victories in a season that saw seven different winners in the first seven races also gave him a commanding lead over the other major candidates for the title. While Alonso collected the 25 points for the win, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel failed to finish the race. After eight races Alonso has a 23-point lead over Hamilton, with Vettel a further three points behind the English driver. Even so, the two-time champion was hesitant to claim he has taken control of the championship race. “I think we always need to be cautious and we always need to be honest with ourselves first and with our supporters, saying that we will fight, will work day and night to be competitive and to fight for the title which is the ultimate goal for Ferrari,” Alonso said. “The championship should be the target, considering the history and the level of the team.”

Alonso’s unexpected victory underscored why he’s considered one of F1’s best ever, but he reminded his followers- and team- that only managing 11th in Saturday’s qualifying showed this year’s Ferrari still needs improvement. His teammate Felipe Massa struggled all weekend, qualifying 13th and then sliding to a 16th-place finish in the race. “We were in 11th and 13th place, so we need to work,” said Alonso. “It’s true that we believe and we will never give up, we will have confidence in ourselves and we will arrive with optimism at every grand prix we go to, but at the same time, apart from winning today ... we know that we are not in the position that we want to be and there are a few cars quicker than us and we cannot be blind to that.” If Ferrari still had doubts following its driver’s big win, then McLaren and Red Bull had even larger ones. Hamilton was heading for a decent point haul at Valencia, hanging onto third place, when Williams driver Pastor Maldonado bumped him off the track and out of the race on the penultimate lap. The incident overshadowed McLaren’s own troubles that included fading pace down the stretch due to spent tires and a botched pit stop that cost Hamilton valuable seconds and positions. “(It) was just a bad day in the office, but that’s motor racing, and I’m already looking forward to the next grand prix, my home race at Silverstone,” said Hamilton, who had gone into the Spanish race at the top of the points standings. Vettel’s concerns are surely deeper as the two-time defending champion looked set to claim his third straight win at the European GP after starting from pole and opening up a huge lead, but his Red Bull suddenly stalled midway through the race. Just a few laps later Romain Grosjean’s Lotus suffered a similar shutdown, robbing the young French pilot of a chance to finish on the podium. Both cars are powered by Renault engines, suggesting a common cause. —AP

HELSINKI: Great Britain’s Mo Farah wins the men’s 5,000 metres at the European Athletics Championships ‘Helsinki 2012’ yesterday. —AP

Farah defends 5000m title HELSINKI: Britain’s Mo Farah became the first man to defend his European 5,000 metres title here yesterday on the opening day of the 2012 championships. The London Olympic hope and reigning world 5,000m champion comfortably took gold for the second successive European championships in a time of 13min 29.91sec. The 29-year-old beat home Germany’s Arne Gabius and Polat Kemboi Arikan of Turkey. Farah, who is also the defending European 10,000m champion, hit the front with five laps remaining. At the bell signalling the last lap Farah pulled away to win by almost two seconds in what was his last 5000m appearance before the Olympics. Gabius took second in a time of 13:31.83. “The race went well, the reason I went to the front early on was because there were too many guys there, we were running very slow and off that anybody could kick,” Farah said. “I wanted to run fast (for the last lap), someone told me it was 53 seconds, but my aim was to run hard without pulling anything.” Farah, who had been accused of being “disrespectful” to his fellow competitors in the 1,500m heats at last weekend’s trials for celebrating 100m from the line and then withdrawing from the following day’s final, defended his behavior.

“I got a little bit of stick for it but I didn’t intend to disrespect anyone,” Farah said after his Helsinki win. “Sometimes you get carried away and do a celebration. “I didn’t do the 1,500m final but it was just to save my legs and to come out here and get a good race and see where I am. “I apologise to everyone who bought tickets (for the final) but this medal means more to me than doing the final and getting a medal there.” The Somali-born Farah won double gold in the 5,000 and 10,000m at the European championships in Barcelona in 2010 but is opting out of defending his 10,000m title on Saturday although he is targeting both in London 2012. Elsewhere on the opening day European sprinting hope Christophe Lemaitre cruised into the 100m final where he will come up against fellow Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut. Lemaitre won his semi-final in 10:14s, pulling away in the second part of the race after a modest getaway. In today’s final he and Vicaut will meet Norway’s Jaysuma Saidy Ndure, who won his smei-final easily enough in 10:13, his best time of the season. Lemaitre, the defending double European sprint champion, is seen as one of the biggest hopes of breaking Jamaican and US sprinting dominance at this summer’s Olympics. —AFP

Wiggins the favorite in unpredictable race PARIS: All the stars are aligned as Bradley Wiggins gears up to become the first Briton to win the Tour de France, but he knows too well how cruel road cycling can be to even think past Saturday’s prologue. The suspended Alberto Contador will miss the race, fate took care of injured Andy Schleck’s ambitions, the route is tailormade for ‘rouleurs’ and Team Sky rider Wiggins has had the best possible preparation. Road cycling, however, is an unpredictable affair and this year’s Tour, which starts with a 6.4-kilometre prologue in Liege, Belgium, will be no exception. Team Sky promised when they started competition two and a half years ago that they world put a Briton in yellow on the Champs Elysees within five years. This year the team have even issued an official soundtrack for the Tour, a turbocharged, steely electronic song called ‘Go Far’ by The Elite. “I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time and I’ll do everything I can to win the Tour de France,” Wiggins said. However, all the hype surrounding the team counted for nothing last year as Wiggins crashed out early in the race. Another factor in the June 30-July 22 race will be Contador’s absence after the Spaniard was banned for failing a dope test during the 2010 race. Last year’s runner-up, Luxembourg’s Andy Schleck, has pulled out with a broken bone in his pelvis after a terrible season, leaving the race open for a duel between Wiggins and defending champion Cadel Evans, who has been struggling for form this year. “There is a little pressure from not having results but it’s also a motivation. I have a good tam around me and my body is capable of doing it,” the Australian told Reuters. Wiggins, on the other hand, is coming into the Tour having won the Paris-Nice and Criterium du Dauphine stage races. The Belgium-born rider has prepared in Tenerife, Spain, to improve in the climbs and is expected to follow the pace in some demanding ascents on the route. He will also be surrounded by an awe-

inspiring team, with only two riders picked by team principal Dave Brailsford to support green jersey hopeful Mark Cavendish, whose main goal this year is the London Olympics. Wiggins will rely on Vuelta runner-up Chris Froome, but also on Belarussian Kanstantsin Siutsou, who has three top 20 finishes in grand Tours, as well as Australians Michael Rogers and Richie Porte to support him in the mountains. But with no pure climber set to take the race by storm, the Tour will likely be decided in the time trials as this year’s edition features 101.4 kms against the clock, compared with 65.5 last year and 60.9 in 2009. Wiggins has been almost unbeatable in time trials this year. “The Tour will not be won or lost in the mountains, it will sort out the contenders. But the Tour will certainly be won or lost in the time trials,” said Evans of the BMC Racing team. In that discipline, Russian Denis Menchov could have a strong card to play. The Katusha rider, a two-times Vuelta champion who has also won the Giro d’Italia, will be ready to step in should Evans or Wiggins experience difficulties. Italian Vincenzo Nibali, who can rely on a very strong Liquigas team featuring twotimes Giro champion Ivan Basso and gifted Polish climber Sylwester Szmyd, as well as green jersey contender Peter Sagan of Slovakia. Spaniard Samuel Sanchez, third overall in 2010, could hurt his rivals in the mountains but seems too weak in the time trials to hope for a podium finish. Another contender is Giro champion Ryder Hesjedal of Canada but the often surprising Garmin-Sharp team could pull another hopeful from their hat, possibly Tom Danielson, while RadioShack Nissan will count on their old guard featuring Andreas Kloeden and Chris Horner to support Frank Schleck. They will be without team manager Johan Bruyneel, who is sitting out the race after the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) made doping allegations against him and his former protege Lance Armstrong earlier this month. —Reuters

FRANCE: A picture taken yesterday in Liege, Belgium, shows a toy representing Tour de France 2011 winner, Australia’s Cadel Evans, displayed in a shop window, days before the start of the 99th edition of the 2012 Tour de France cycling race. —AFP



Today’s Matches on TV UEFA European Championship


Germany v Italy

21:45 Al-Jazeera Sport 1 HD Al-Jazeera Sport +9 Al-Jazeera Sport +10 Al-Jazeera Sport 2 HD Al-Jazeera Sport - Euro

Euro 2012 briefs

From Euros, to dollars, to Asian match-fixing SINGAPORE: The small man in the baseball cap looks like any other customer as he watches Euro 2012 in the busy coffee shop. It’s not until he turns and offers a wager that his real intention is revealed. He is a “runner” for an illegal bookmaker, one of hundreds in Singapore, a foot-soldier in a loose criminal network which rakes in millions of dollars a day across Asia-and is at the root of a global epidemic of match-fixing. “We just sit there and pretend like we’re watching the match. But actually we’re taking bets,” the runner, who does not want to be identified, tells AFP at a quiet, undisclosed location. For him, big football events like Euro 2012 are lucrative enough to risk Singapore’s strict penalties of jail and the dreaded cane, which flays flesh from the buttocks, and leaves prisoners unable to sit down. He says there are hundreds of illegal betting operations across Singapore, each employing several runners who persuade punters to place bets and then pay out winnings and chase up debts. “Many (illegal bookmakers) fly by the night. So they open for a week, after that they close, take a break and then come back again,” he says. “Because it’s really illegal here-you get caught, it’s caning and jail.” These are the small-time hustlers. But from them, the money trail does not travel far before it is funding match-fixing in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, South America and Europe-including Italy’s “Calcioscommesse” scandal-which has all been linked to Singapore.

Finland, it exposed a web which is still being untangled. On the eve of Euro 2012, Lazio captain Stefano Mauri was arrested and defender Domenico Criscito was axed from Italy’s squad over “Calcioscommesse” (football betting), which has been tied to Perumal’s alleged boss in Singapore. Former Italy striker Giuseppe Signori was among those arrested last year. More arrests have been made in Hungary, where Perumal is now being held after his jail term for match-fixing in Finland. Last year Chris Eaton, then FIFA’s head of security, said Perumal had graduated from an “academy” of match-fixing in Singapore where criminals closely linked to the illegal bookmakers learn their trade locally before spreading further afield. “Wilson Raj Perumal is not alone. There are others like him (in Singapore). Singapore seems to feature a great deal in these (match-fixing) allegations,” the former Interpol officer told Singapore’s New Paper. Fuelled by a boom in online gambling, which means customers anywhere can bet on obscure games all over the world, football match-fixing has now been uncovered in dozens of countries. For bookmakers, it’s clear when a match is fixed, because of its unusual odds. These games are usually in smaller leagues, where low-paid players and referees are susceptible to bribes. “The most important thing is to buy the referee. Once you get the referee on your side, you can instruct him what to do, for example with penalties and free-kicks,” the Singaporean runner explains.

* “Buy the referee” When Singapore’s Wilson Raj Perumal, a virtuoso fixer whose schemes extended to organising, and then rigging, international friendlies, was arrested last year in

* “No holds barred”Match-fixing in Italy is at the top of the illegal betting tree. At its base are Singapore’s runners, who work in groups of two or three, and report by phone to a shad-

owy bookmaker they never meet. Every week, after collecting their debts, runners destroy their papers, books and all other evidence, get a new temporary mobile phone number, and start afresh. “I don’t know who my boss is. I only know his voice, that’s it. The numbers change every day,” says AFP’s source. Each bookmaker employs five or six runners and reports to a “ringleader”, who controls several bookies and their winnings, and has connections to big-time organised crime across Southeast Asia and China. “This guy is rich. He gets money from every placeand we’re not the only umbrella, he’s got a lot of umbrellas. This ringleader is involved in a bigger organisation,” the runner says. In one well-known cafe in the city’s west, up to six groups of runners can be working at any one time, taking Sg$12,000-13,000 ($9,400-10,200) per head, for a personal cut of Sg$2,000-3,000 a day. But this face-to-face operation is nothing compared to the business done by phone and the Internet, favoured by a younger, more technologically adept clientele, which is thriving in clandestine call-centres across Asia. In Singapore these betting sweatshops, featuring computers and people taking calls, are small and temporary, employing only about four people at a time-to make it “easy to run”. Elsewhere, the operations are more brazen. Across the border in Malaysia, police in April raided a group of five luxury bungalows guarded by closed-circuit security cameras and arrested more than 100 people. Just days into Euro 2012, three smaller operations were busted. “In Malaysia it’s no holds barred. Even the government officers can be bribed there, not in Singapore,” the Singaporean runner says. Scott Ferguson, author of the “Sport is

made for betting” blog and former head of education at Betfair, says stories abound of betting kingpins in Indonesia who occupy entire fortified islands complete with girls to entertain guests and accessible only by private boat. * “My family at risk” With their mobility and flexibility the betting networks are hard to contain and, without extensive cross-border cooperation and witness protection schemes, they’re almost impossible to stamp out, Ferguson says. “It’s like drugs. They might have taken a couple of kingpins, but I don’t think it’s going to be a huge deterrent,” he says, referring to the demise of Perumal and his associates. Singapore has stiff penalties for illegal bookmaking and has introduced its own state-run football betting. “But the odds are terrible,” says the runner, who laughs when asked if authorities are getting a grip on the problem. He can bear the thought of the cane and prison, and the weekly risk of being punched by a reluctant debtor. Of greater concern is getting on the wrong side of the betting underworld. “If they find out I’m a snitch, I’m putting my family at risk. You won’t see killings or anything, but it’s more like threats,” he says. “If you’re living in a house and every day you’re being threatened by phone, they’re calling you and saying your son, your whole family’s going to die, it’s psychologically scary.” And although he is happy to talk, even boastful about his activities, any discussion of Perumal’s alleged Singapore boss is strictly off-limits. “We can’t talk much about that. Because we know one way or another, there’s definitely a link,” he says. — AFP

Montolivo ready to upset mother for Italian cause

German head coach Joachim Loew takes part in a training session. —AP

Loew closing in on crowning moment GDANSK: Joachim Loew heads to Warsaw for today’s Euro 2012 semi-final against Italy edging ever closer to the elusive title which would underline his status as one of Germany’s top coaches. The 52-year-old, who German fans affectionately refer to simply as “Jogi”, took charge in 2006 and has long since been told by Germany’s football bosses that his job is safe until the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and beyond. Having taken Germany to the Euro 2008 final and third-place at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Spain thwarted Germany’s title ambitions on both occasions and la Roja linger again on the other side of the Euro 2012 draw. Germany have justified their pre-tournament status amongst the favourites here and having brought the youngest of the 16 teams to Poland and Ukraine, Loew’s side are now on a record 15match winning streak in competitive games. The last time Germany lost at a tournament was when they were beaten 1-0 by Spain in the 2010 World Cup semi-final. After 10 wins in qualifying for Euro 2012, they won the socalled “Group of Death”, beating Portugal, Holland and Denmark in the process then demolished Greece 4-2 in Friday’s quarterfinal. “We all agree that in Loew and (team manager Oliver) Bierhoff we have the best pair possible,” Wolfgang Niersbach, the president of the German Football Federation (DFB) has said. “They both do excellent jobs and so we see no reason to change a winning formula.” Despite his impressive 57 wins in 82 internationals with 13 draws and 12 defeats in six years, Loew needs the Euro 2012 crown to be considered one of Germany’s outstanding coaches. Other than a title, his record compares favourably with other German coaches Franz Beckenbauer, who coached the 1990 World Cup winning team, and Berti Vogts, whose side won Euro 96. Loew’s legacy so far has been to inject pace and patience into the attack and built on the Germans’ reputation for solid defence. A self-confessed fan of youth, Loew has made sure the Bundesliga’s rising stars have had a clear run to the national side and is not afraid to drop any big name resulting in fierce competition for places in the starting line-up. “I am only focused on success and improving this team as much as I can, nothing else interests me,” said Loew when asked about his growing status in Germany. “I have always said I favor youth over experience and the competition for places in the team is healthy.” Loew showed his daring in the win over the Greeks when he dropped striker Mario Gomez, who had netted three goals in three games here, plus star forwards Thomas Mueller and Lukas Podolski. Attacking midfielder Marco Reus made his tournament debut and rewarded Loew’s trust with Germany’s fourth goal in an eye-catching performance. Loew’s first criteria for selection is form either in training or in matches, as ex-captain Michael Ballack, 35, discovered in 2010 when back-to-back injuries saw the former Chelsea star dumped from the squad. —AFP

KRAKOW: Riccardo Montolivo will risk upsetting his German mother today by helping Italy beat Germany in their Euro 2012 semi-final. The 27-year-old Italian midfielder, whose mother Antje met his father Marcello when they both studied in London, had an outstanding game in the quarter-final victory over England with the only blot missing his penalty in the shootout which Italy ended up winning 4-2. “I thought the world was falling apart,” admitted Montolivo. However, his world was put back together quickly by his team-mates — especially the

peerless playmaker Andrea Pirlo whose cheeky penalty rattled the English who missed their next two to all but hand victory to their opponents. “I was waiting a long time for this moment, I am delighted to have played well but even more delighted that we qualified,” he gasped with relief afterwards. His performance in what was his first start of the tournament was also much appreciated by those around him. “He (Montolivo) was one of the best performers,” said coach Cesare Prandelli. Montolivo, who also sports small German flags on his boots, and Prandelli know each other well from having

WARSAW: Lukas Podolski warms up during a training session ahead of today’s Euro 2012 soccer semifinal match between Germany and Italy. — AP

played for the classy coach at Fiorentina from 2005-10 where he also was entrusted with the captaincy. Montolivo is perhaps lucky that it was Prandelli who replaced Marcello Lippi after the 2010 World Cup catastrophe - where Lippi was unable to work the magic of 2006 with a squad largely made up of the World Cup winners and they became the first defending champions to exit in the first round. Montolivo played in all three group games there but it didn’t tarnish his reputation and Prandelli kept faith in him almost always pencilling him in as a starter in his two years in charge, though Thiago Motta looked to have displaced him here. However, while Motta is a solid and reliable performer and started all three of the group games - as Prandelli flirted with a five man defence - the return of Montolivo and his more creative artistry added what many thought was a perfect balance to the Italian midfield for the England game. For all his delightful play, though, there is one department where he has been lacking in his 35 appearances for the Azzurri and that is goals with just one to his credit. However, Prandelli being a canny character may also want Montolivo on the pitch from the start for his knowledge of the German language. German veteran Miroslav Klose, who speaks Italian as he plays for Lazio, has said he will if selected try and relay anything he can glean back to his teammates and the same will be expected from Montolivo whether his mother approves or not! — AFP

Magisterial Buffon set to face next young pretender WARSAW: Having already seen off one pretender to his throne, Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon will face another as the Azzurri tackle Germany in the Euro 2012 semi-finals here today. The 34-year-old 2006 World Cup winner had said a couple of years ago that Joe Hart could become the best goalkeeper in the world, the honorific title most observers would still hang around the veteran Juventus stopper’s neck. But when those two met on the pitch in Sunday’s quarterfinal, it was Buffon who came out on top, proving he is still the best. Opposite him at the National Stadium today will be Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer, whose form for Schalke 04 two seasons ago was so impressive that Manchester United were also rumoured to be amongst his suitors before the Bavarians snapped him up. Neuer is as good as they come as a shot-stopper but has proved more suspect on crosses and positioning. At 26, though, he is still young for a goalkeeper and can continue to learn his trade. Already he is second only to Buffon on the list of most expensive goalkeepers following his 22 million euro move to Bayern 12 months ago.

He regularly shone when playing for a limited Schalke side, not least in a Champions League defeat to Man United in the 2010/11 season. But at Bayern and with Germany he is far less tested and so concentration becomes all the more important. And he could do a lot worse than casting an eye over the master to see how a goalkeeper performs at the highest level. Buffon is well used to spending large swathes of a game as a spectator, both with Juve and Italy. But when called upon, he is always ready, as he proved against England. His instinctive, one-handed, reaction save from Glen Johnson in the first half of the quarters was crucial in a period in which England appeared to be capable of troubling Italy. He then later showed who was the boss of the box when he took a clattering from England forwards but stil claimed a cross out of the sky. And most importantly he guessed the right way and got down quickly to clutch Ashley Cole’s spot-kick to give Italy the advantage in the shoot-out. He wasn’t asked to do much in a game that lasted over two hours by the time penalties had come to a conclusion but he was immaculate in everything he did. —AFP

Podolski on song

Lukas Podolski’s Germany are on song at the Euros. And even if the new Arsenal star has seen the attacking limelight largely stolen by Mario Gomez the former Cologne man is proving not slow in blowing his own trumpet. The striker has released a record in time for a hoped-for final entitled Halleluja with the help from Brings, a Cologne-based band. In what could be construed as Germany’s answer to the hardly trendy any more Bay City Rollers Podolski croons in a barely less sartorial cutting edge white t-shirt and tartan tie.

‘Water carriers’

Portugal are taking a leaf out of the book of former Brazil manager Mario Zagallo as they deploy what some might call the “water carriers” of the team in Joao Moutinho and Raul Meireles. The pair may not be stars shining as brightly as Ronaldo but nevertheless have helped to keep the heart of Paulo Bento’s side ticking over. Bento was himself a tough defensive midfielder so it is to be expected he would have time for what in Portugal and Brazil - they call those who “carry the piano.” Only when they have set the stage can the likes of Ronaldo and Nani come on and play their overtures.

WAGS feel overshadowed

The German Football Federation has asked Lena Gercke, model fiancee of midfield star Sami Khedira, to tone down a dress sense seen as a little risque at matches. Gercke was snapped in Ukraine last week wearing a skimpy pair of shorts on arrival at the airport and the Federation says other German wives and girlfriends have taken umbrage, according to Bunte magazine. The magazine reported some other WAGS felt overshadowed and the issue should be nipped in the bud.

English humor

England may have lost six out of seven penalty shoot-outs since 1990 but the country has at least not lost its sense of humor. Visit England, the country’s tourist board, sensed an opportunity on Sunday night after Roy Hodgson’s side went out 4-2 after spot kicks to Italy. “England lose on penalties. For more on our culture and traditions go to” a tweet read on its Twitter account @VisitEngland.

Copyright on Peter Pan

Peter Pan may be one of the books seen as quintessentially English and that has been enchanting young children for decades but maybe no more as two of the main characters have been adopted by the Italian team unlikely as that might seem. Their hypnotic playmaker Andrea Pirlo was memorably nicknamed ‘Tinker Bell’ by the ‘Milan Channel’s’ legendary commentator Carlo Pellegatti for the manner he magically distributes the ball, though, whether he appreciates being named after a fairy is questionable.


Loew closing in on crowning moment Page 19


Italy look to extend their proud record

Spain Shoot(out) Portugal DONETSK:-Spain reached their third consecutive major tournament final after overcoming neighbours Portugal 4-2 on penalties in the first Euro 2012 semifinal in Donetsk yesterday. After an attritional game finished 0-0 following extra time at Donbass Arena, Cesc Fabregas swept home the winning spot-kick to put Spain in the final. Xabi Alonso and Joao Moutinho both saw their opening penalties saved, but Portugal blinked first when Zenit Saint-Petersburg centreback Bruno Alves slammed his side’s fourth penalty against the crossbar. Fabregas stepped up and, just as he had done in the penalty shootout win over Italy in the Euro 2008 quarter-finals, the Barcelona man held his nerve, steering the ball into the bottom-left corner to send Portugal home. “We are so happy to have reached another final. I don’t know if that has ever been done in history,” Fabregas told Spanish television channel Telecinco, his voice cracking with emotion. “They told me I was going to take the second kick, but I said: ‘No, I want to take the fifth one.’” Reigning world and European champions Spain, who are bidding to become the first team in history to win three major competitions in a row, will face either Italy or Germany in Sunday’s final in Kiev. “We were stronger in extra time, but overall it was a fairly even contest,” said Spain coach Vicente del Bosque. “It was tough. We took a while to get into our stride. The Portuguese

were very well organised. Germany and Italy are equally strong.” It was a deeply disappointing end to the tournament for Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo, who had threatened to fire his side into only their second major final but who did not even get a chance to have his say in the shoot-out. “If I had to choose a way of losing, I wouldn’t choose this,” said Portugal coach Paulo Bento.

“But you have to lose some way. Spain are a great team and we can leave the pitch with our heads held high.” A surprise inclusion in Spain’s starting line-up, Alvaro Negredo was at the source of the game’s first chance, with Alvaro Arbeloa side-footing over after the Sevilla striker was crowded out in the Portuguese area. Portugal’s match-winner against both the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, Ronaldo was a spectator in the first 10 minutes, but gradually his influence grew. After fluffing a free-kick into the base of the wall from a tight angle on the left, he lashed a half-volley high

over the crossbar from the edge of the area and then drilled a left-shot narrowly wide of the right-hand post.As in the quarter-final win against France, Spain struggled to find holes in their opponent’s defence, and it was a surprise to see Alonso club a long ball forward in the 29th minute. It produced a sight of goal, however, with Andres Iniesta bending a shot narrowly over the bar after Negredo had chased down Alonso’s pass, held off Fabio Coentrao, and worked the ball back to the edge of the area. The snap in Portugal’s tackles

was helping them establish a presence in the Spanish half and with Negredo failing to provide enough of an outlet for Spain, it was no surprise to see him replaced by Fabregas early in the second half. Del Bosque introduced Jesus Navas in

place of David Silva, before Xavi worked Rui Patricio for the first time in the match with a speculative effort that found the Portugal goalkeeper’s midriff. Ronaldo had a fine opportunity to snatch a winner in the last minute of normal time but he could only shoot over from Raul Meireles’ pass, prompting mocking cries of ‘Messi! Messi!’ from the Spain fans. A succession of late flare-ups gave the game added spice going into extra time, and after a watchful opening, Spain finally began to show. Shortly before half-time in the extra period, Iniesta drew the first real save of note from Patricio after ghosting into the box to meet Jordi Alba’s cut-back.Sergio Ramos then sent a free-kick whistling over the bar, while Navas tested Patricio early in the second half after wriggling down the

inside-right channel in the Portuguese box. Fabregas sent fellow substitute Pedro Rodriguez clear with seven minutes left but he delayed, allowing Coentrao to clear, and the time for penalties had arrived. —AFP

WARSAW: Italy coach Cesare Prandelli will be looking for his side to extend their proud record of never losing to Germany in a major finals when they meet in today’s Euro 2012 semi-final in Warsaw. Germany - who are seeking their first trophy since lifting the Euro ‘96 title - will be by contrast hoping to end that run in what is their eighth meeting at either a World Cup or a European championship finals. “There is no such thing as an invincible side,” said Prandelli. “Germany has that sense of knowing what they need to do. “They are also physically strong and have players who have tasted international success at club level, so they are a side with the ingredients to go all the way. “But we will study them closely and work on the few weak points they have.” Italy needed a penalty shoot-out to beat England 4-2 in Sunday’s quarterfinal in Kiev with the Azzurri failing to hit the net in normal play despite 68 percent ball possession and 35 shots compared to England’s nine. Prandelli has said the Italians will have to be daring in order to beat Germany, who are on a 15-match winning run in competitive matches since losing to Spain at the last World Cup. Germany’s forwards shone in Friday’s 4-2 quarter-final win over Greece and Prandelli is mindful of the risk of pushing too far forward against a German side with the pace to punish on the counter-attack. Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli is one player the Germans have admitted they will pay close attention to after he spearheaded an Italian attack which had periods of impressive form against the Three Lions. With only a three-day turn-around between the quarter and semi, Prandelli has injury concerns over midfielder Daniele De Rossi and right-back Ignazio Abate, while Italy’s other right-back Christian Maggio is suspended. Aside from a 1-1 draw in a friendly in February 2011, the last time the teams met in competition was the 2006 World Cup semi-final when the Italians won 2-0 after extra time as they went on to win the title. But Germany coach Joachim Loew was defiant when asked about the lack of German success against the Azzurri over the years. “We can’t turn back time, forget about about it, the past doesn’t play a role in our planning,” said the 52-year-old. “Another stat is that Germany has never won against Italy in a major tournament, but so what? “The situation is entirely different now and this is not an issue for us.”—AFP


Investcorp inks $504 m debt refinancing deal Page 22

Focus on India tourism; Envoy seeks initiatives


Page 26

Evidence suggests anti-foreclosure laws may backfire

European leaders at odds before summit Page 23

Page 24

DUBAI: Laborers work on a bridge construction site in Dubai in this file photo. — AP

Contractors face perils in Gulf construction boom Construction boom masks problems ABU DHABI: For British architects Austin-Smith:Lord, winning a contract in 2006 to help design a cultural complex in Abu Dhabi looked like a lucrative deal as oil-rich Gulf states were showering billions of dollars on infrastructure and tourism projects. Its involvement, however, proved disastrous after its client, a government agency, failed to pay it millions of dollars in fees on time, forcing the company to announce lay offs late last year and hold discussions with creditors, the company said at the time. The case underlines the perils of the Gulf’s infrastructure boom, which has seen construction firms, architects, engineers and consultants flock to the region from around the world. The Gulf Arab countries’ enormous wealth and the size of its projects mean rewards can be huge. The total value of construction projects planned or underway in the six Gulf Cooperation Council states - the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman - was about $1.9 trillion in 2011, according to a report by Citigroup. But the risks are considerable - problems that go well beyond the usual travails of the construction business in developed economies. Irregular payments, a lack of transparency in dealmaking, weak enforcement of the law and occasional political turmoil have left some companies badly burnt. Last year, the average value of disputes in the construction industry in the Middle East doubled to $112 million from $56 million in 2010, bucking a downward global trend, according to global consultancy firm EC Harris. In Kuwait, a political crisis, which saw the cabinet submit its resignation on Monday, has put the implementation of multi-billion dollar economic projects on hold. ERRATIC Abu Dhabi enjoys political stability but the government can

be a capricious client. Erratic payments have been compounded by the global economic downturn, which has seen even the emirate, which owns some 95 percent of the UAE’s oil, slow projects. “We can’t make a big fuss as we don’t want to upset them too much, but in the long run we can’t afford this,” an executive at a European consultancy firm told Reuters. It claims to be owed 50 million dirhams ($13.6 million) by an Abu Dhabi state entity. Major local companies have been hit too; slow payments from Abu Dhabi for projects were a factor in the troubles of Al Jaber Group, a family-held conglomerate that is conducting a $1 billion-plus debt restructuring, a c ompany source and bankers have said. Last year Abu Dhabi launched a strategic review of government spending that saw big projects pushed back, funds frozen and management shake-ups at the top of state-linked companies. Even the most high-profile projects were not spared; openings of branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim museums and the Zayed National Museum planned for Saadiyat Island, a $27 billion cultural and tourism project, were pushed back. After neighboring Dubai’s debt crisis of 2009 and 2010, some contractors were left unpaid for years. Dubai renegotiated many of the contracts, leaving builders with no option but to take a cut on their payments. By contrast, analysts do not think Abu Dhabi is running out of money, seeing its spending review as a prudent step to avoid waste and shift emphasis to social welfare rather than prestige projects. But the review has put enormous strain on the construction industry. Scores of companies, including British, US and Australian firms, are waiting to be paid by Abu Dhabi government entities. A total value for the amount owed to contractors has not been made public, but it is likely to be several billion dol-

lars, according to estimates by three construction industry sources. WILLING TO FIGHT Companies affected by slow payments in Abu Dhabi say their options to recover the money are limited. “There is an absence of effective recourse, or fear that recourse will mean no future contract,” a partner at a company carrying out advisory work for an Abu Dhabi government entity told Reuters on condition of anonymity. A local contractor agreed: “If anything happens, you don’t dare to go down the route of legal action. You will definitely have a black mark against your company if you do that.” However, attitudes are starting to change as even some big companies find they need to obtain funds owed to them to stay afloat, said David Dale, regional head of contract solutions at EC Harris International. “More contractors are now seriously considering taking these developers on. There seems to be a growing appetite for fighting to get their money back,” said Dale. Dale and an Abu Dhabi-based lawyer involved with the industry, who declined to be named, said they had seen an increase in disputes being referred to arbitration. Abu Dhabi authorities, who estimate government-linked entities are working on around 1,300 projects in the emirate, say they have taken steps to address the situation. “The Abu Dhabi Government is fully aware of its obligations in terms of outstanding payments to contractors, and has taken the appropriate steps to ensure that all these obligations are met by the responsible government entities,” the government said in a statement issued to Reuters this week. “One may appreciate that ... in such a large portfolio of projects some delays in delivery or payment are to a certain extent inevitable,” it added. Earlier this year some funds were released to settle some late payments, foreign diplomats and industry sources said. —Reuters

Qatar flexes muscle in shock Glencore move Glencore under pressure to sweeten bid for Xstrata LONDON: Commodities trader Glencore will need to sweeten its $26 billion bid for miner Xstrata or risk losing a deal it has coveted for years after key shareholder Qatar made a late demand for better terms. Qatar, which remained silent for months as it built the secondlargest stake in Xstrata, said in a surprise statement on Tuesday that it supported the principle of the deal but wanted 3.25 new Glencore shares for every Xstrata share, up from the 2.8 on offer. The 11th-hour rebuff will make it very difficult for Glencore and Xstrata to push the merger through on current terms, several sources close to the deal said, leaving just two days for Glencore to sweeten the offer or delay shareholder meetings scheduled for mid-July. The very public move could embolden other vacillating investors, particularly those angry over the hefty packages being offered to retain top executives at Xstrata, including an extra 29 million pounds over three years just to keep Chief Executive Mick Davis. “The intervention by Qatar was unexpected but highly welcome and will certainly bolster the resolve of current holdouts,” Simon Wong, partner at corporate governance watchdog and shareholder advisory firm, Governance for Owners. “Most investors understand the rationale

for the proposed merger and, in that sense, there may not be lasting damage at the company level. At the board level, it may be difficult to restore trust with shareholders without changes in board leadership.” Analysts and other Xstrata shareholders warned that the stakes were high as Glencore could refuse to budge, effectively kicking the deal down the road for at least six months or as much as 12. “Whether Glencore now wishes to raise its offer, having faced down independent shareholders for the last four months, is questionable,” said Neil Dwane of CIO Allianz Global Investors Europe, another top 35 Xstrata investor. “The Qatar ratio would be circa 10 percent dilutive to Glencore. In fact, given the coordinated global economic slowdown, an argument could be made for actually lowering the price to reflect worsening prospects for miners.” CHARM OFFENSIVE The statement triggered intense negotiations and an emergency charm offensive from Glencore executives trying to understand the Gulf state’s motivations and bring them back onside. “Glencore need to talk to Qatar and find out what they are thinking,” said one source familiar with the matter, adding it

was too soon to write off the deal. In the first sign of movement, Glencore released a short statement on Wednesday morning saying the board of Xstrata had proposed to change certain aspects of the management incentive arrangements. A source familiar with the situation said the proposed changes included tying the retention packages to performance and shifting the plans from cash to equity. “On the surface, one cannot understand why Xstrata’s CEO requires a retention package given that he will be the CEO of the combined entity and, moreover, he is already extremely well compensated,” said Wong at Governance for Owners. “I really don’t expect them to go to 3.25 or to get rid of the retention package completely, but I think it may well be worth their while to come up with some sort of compromise,” said Charles Stanley analyst Tom GidleyKitchin. At a ratio of 3.25 percent, the offer would be worth $30 billion as opposed to $26 billion for a ratio of 2.8. The structure of the offer gives minority investors substantial power opposition from just over 16.5 percent of the total shareholding could sink the deal, given approval is required from 75 percent for the main vote on the offer, and Glencore does not vote. —Reuters


in brief

Indian PM Singh takes over finance portfolio NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has taken temporary charge of the finance ministry, officials said yesterday, at a time of slowing growth, stubbornly high inflation and a falling rupee. The finance portfolio fell vacant Tuesday following the ministerial resignation of Pranab Mukherjee, who left to contend India’s presidential election in July. “The prime minister has decided to look after the finance ministry for a month or two. A new finance minister will only be appointed when he thinks the time is right,” an official in Singh’s office said. India’s once-booming economy is suffering from slowing industrial growth, troublesome fiscal and current account deficits and a stalled reform agenda. The economy grew just 5.3 percent in January to March, its slowest quarterly expansion in nine years. A former governor of the International Monetary Fund, Singh previously served as finance minister between 1991 and 1996, when he famously launched the reforms that opened the Indian economy.

Ford to close assembly plant in the Philippines MANILA: US auto giant Ford said yesterday it is to close its vehicle assembly plant in the Philippines by the end of the year, with the loss of 360 jobs, as part of an ongoing restructuring across Asia. The decision will leave the country without a motor vehicle exporter, Ford Group Philippines president Randy Krieger said in a statement. “This is a very difficult decision. The company studied every possible scenario and opportunity, but we could not make a strong enough business case for future manufacturing,” he added. The company said it had exported more than 80,000 vehicles worth $1 billion over to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia since 2002. Ford invested $270 million in the 36,000 vehicles per year factory in Santa Rosa, south of Manila that opened in 1999.

Iran’s NITC doubles floating oil storage

BAAR: The headquarters of Glencore in Baar, Switzerland is photographed. — AP

TEHRAN: Iranian oil tanker operator NITC has had eight tankers anchored off Iran’s coast for more than a month storing as much as 14 million barrels of crude, double the amount from a month ago, according to Reuters calculations. The draught measurements of the six very large crude carriers (VLCC) and two suezmax indicated they were full, or nearly full, with cargo, according to independent shipping data and Reuters Freight Fundamentals Database. Oil trade with Iran has become increasingly difficult as the European Union and the United States impose stricter sanctions, aimed at cutting Tehran’s oil trade to pressure it to halt its nuclear program. Some captains on Iranian tankers have turned off the black box transponders that monitor the ships’ movement, making it difficult to determine whether the tankers were storing crude or not. Iran-based shipping sources said in April that Iran had been forced to deploy more than half of its national tanker fleet to store around 35 million barrels of crude. Iranian oil exports this month have dropped to between 1.2 million and 1.3 million barrels per day, a decline of as much as 1 million bpd from last year, as customers in Asia and Europe stop or scale back purchases, industry sources say.



Gold dips on deflation worries SINGAPORE: Gold reversed early gains yesterday, extending previous session’s losses, as deflation fears took over on concerns European leaders may fail to come up with concrete measures to solve the region’s debt crisis at this week’s summit. Gold, typically seen as a hedge against inflation, has seen an unbeaten 11-year winning run till 2011, but markets are now worried that slowing global economic activity could force jewelers, investors and speculators to curb spending. “I guess some people are getting pessimistic about the outcome. You cannot really expect too much coming out of the summit,” said Yuichi Ikemizu, branch manager for Standard Bank in

Falling oil prices put Iran over US sanctions barrel WASHINGTON: For most of this year, the threat of tough US sanctions on Iran, the world’s third-largest oil exporter, helped push crude oil prices higher and higher, adding a menacing headwind for struggling global economies. But in the past few weeks, a combination of higher output from Iran’s rival Saudi Arabia and economic troubles in China and Europe have pushed oil prices down 25 percent, putting the threat of sanctions back squarely on Iran. As June 28 approaches - the day the law allows US President Barack Obama to enforce sanctions on countries that do oil deals with Iran’s central bank - Washington is revving up efforts to tighten the squeeze on Tehran. Lawmakers in Congress hope to finalize in July a new package of sanctions aimed at further crippling Iran’s oil revenues after international talks in Moscow last week failed to convince Tehran to scale back its nuclear program. “Thanks to Saudi production increases and the slump in Europe, it appears that we can have our cake and eat it too,” said Suzanne Maloney, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy. “We can exact a painful price on Tehran for its recalcitrance and avoid any blowback to our own economy, at least in the near term,” Maloney said. Countries in the West believe Iran is working on building nuclear weapons, while Tehran has maintained its nuclear program is strictly for civilian purposes. Iran’s oil exports have fallen as much as 1 million barrels per day, worth about $90 million as the sanctions and an EU embargo starting July 1 push its crude customers to seek alternatives, according to industry sources. Iran, OPEC’s second-largest oil exporter, has a reserve fund of $80 billion to $100 billion that can shield its leaders from the drop in revenues, analysts say, but that cushion only pushes sanctions backers to turn up the pressure. “Enough is enough. It’s time to fully implement crippling sanctions on Iran,” said Howard Berman, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “We must finish the process of cutting off Iran’s access to the global financial system, close loopholes in sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran, and tighten the screws on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the regime’s energy and shipping industries,” Berman said. MORE SANCTIONS Congress wants the White House to push even harder on Iran. Last December, before Obama had even signed off on the banking and oil sanctions, the House of Representatives had already passed two more bills with additional punitive measures to close what lawmakers see as a laundry list of glaring loopholes. The Senate followed, finally passing its version of the bill in May. The sanctions are designed to crack down on transactions with Iran’s national oil and tanker companies, and hamper Iranian banks’ ability to transfer funds electronically. “House and Senate stakeholders are meeting now and comparing preliminary drafts of a final sanctions law,” a congressional source said. To quickly sort out the differences between the two versions, the bill may be ping-ponged “between the chambers” rather than negotiated through a more formal conference process. “We’re trying to see if we can get the House either to largely accept what we put through, or to come to what would be a quick staff conference that would lead us to a final conclusion that we could ratify,” said Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, who helped craft the Iran sanctions package. Some lawmakers want to add provisions to address loopholes they believe may allow Iran to move money through accounts held by others, including from energy companies. Also in play is a proposed US ban on insurance to oil cargoes, except for those countries that have received exemptions allowing them to continue a lower level of imports. Menendez said “one or two” new measures may be added, but said he favored quickly moving the existing bill. “While there’s things I’d like to see, I’d be happy to impress upon the Iranians that we’re going to continue to ratchet up the consequences,” Menendez said. — Reuters

Tokyo. “We could see some more selling, maybe, but I think the $1,550 level should hold. I don’t really expect it to go down to $1,500.” Gold hit a high around $1,574 an ounce and was at $1,569.54 by 0611 GMT, down $2.24. It hit a low around $1,567 on Tuesday after German Chancellor Angela Merkel sought to bury once and for all the idea of common euro zone bonds to deal with the debt problems. US gold for August delivery fell $4.50 an ounce to $1,570.40. Trading volume was very thin at around 7,900 lots, versus around 100,000 lots at the close on Tuesday. Gold hit a record of about $1,920 in 2011, when investors turned to the metal as a safe haven during

the debt crisis in Europe. But this year, declines in other markets have caused investors to sell gold for cash, sending prices to the lowest in more than four months at $1,527 in mid-May. Asian shares rose yesterday but the euro was capped as hopes faded that this week’s summit would deliver concrete measures to ease euro zone’s sovereign debt crisis. A firm dollar has also weighed on gold. The dollar index , which measures the strength of the greenback against a basket of currencies, is on track for a more than 4 percent gain this quarter, while cash gold is set for a near 6 percent drop. Overall trading was muted in the physical markets in Singapore and Hong Kong as dealers turned

their attention to the summit in Europe. “The jewelry sector is quiet even though prices have come down. It doesn’t help much,” said a dealer in Hong Kong, who offered gold bars at premiums of $1 to the spot London prices. Dealers in Singapore said that Thailand, which had bought gold on a price dip earlier this week, was absent. “The price is neither up nor down. It’s stuck in a range and there’s not even buying or selling today,” said a dealer. Holdings of the largest gold-backed exchange-traded-fund (ETF), New York’s SPDR Gold Trust, and that of the largest silver-backed ETF, New York’s iShares Silver Trust, remained unchanged on Tuesday from Monday. — Reuters

Oil falls on Europe anxiety EU summit skepticism grows LONDON: Brent crude oil fell yesterday on mounting concerns that European leaders would fail to solve the region’s intractable debt crisis at a key meeting this week, offsetting tighter North Sea oil supply. Brent crude had fallen $1.13 to $91.89 per barrel by 0833 GMT. US crude was down 59 cents at $78.77. The closure of oil platforms in the North Sea due to an oil strike in Norway saw a sharp spike in the price of Brent crude on Tuesday. Norway does not plan to intervene to halt the strike and may change its stance should the strike escalate, labor minister Hanne Bjurstroem said yesterday. But low expectations for a bold move from a Thursday summit of European leaders to halt contagion from the 30-month long debt crisis once again switched the focus from supply back to a weak demand outlook. German Chancellor Angela Merkel snuffed out the idea of common euro zone bonds, which are favored by France, Italy and Spain, saying that Europe would not share total debt liability “as long as I live”. “The global supply and demand, or macro concerns on Europe have not really changed, hence it might be difficult to carry on the move of yesterday in crude oil,” said Olivier Jakob at Petromatrix in Zug, Switzerland. Brent on Tuesday posted its largest daily percentage gain since March 1, settling above $93 for the first time in a week after Norway’s Statoil ASA said it would shut four more oil platforms in the North Sea. This will reduce output at the world’s eighth-largest oil producer by 150,000 barrels per day. Brent’s price jump stretched its premium over West Texas Intermediate (WTI) prices to more than $13 on Tuesday, the widest in more than a week. Investors, who are closely watching for clues on the supply-demand dynamic, were awaiting US inventory data from the Energy Information Administration. US crude stockpiles were forecast to have fallen by 500,000 barrels last week because of a drop in imports, an extended Reuters poll of analysts found, ahead of to be released at 1430 GMT. But data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) late on Tuesday showed an unexpected rise of 507,000 barrels last week. Oil is on track to drop more than 20 percent in the second quarter, the largest three-month fall since the financial crisis in 2008, due to demand concerns triggered by economic worries. “At current levels, oil is trading almost exactly at fair value,” Credit Suisse analysts said in a monthly report. “The geopolitical risk premium due to a potential escalation of the situation surrounding the Iranian nuclear program now seems to be priced out completely. Whether this is justified is arguable.” US and EU sanctions on Iranian crude would start this week, but the impact was expected to be marginal as higher output from OPEC helped fill the shortfall, Creed said. Iran on Tuesday urged the European Union to reconsider an embargo on Iranian oil that comes into effect on July 1, saying that it wanted engagement and not confrontation with the bloc. Geopolitical tensions rose in the Middle East after NATO allies condemned Syria for shooting down a Turkish military plane. — Reuters

ALASKA: An oil transit pipeline runs across the tundra to flow station at the Prudhoe Bay oil field on Alaska’s North Slope. — AP

Investcorp inks $504m debt refinancing deal More banks still considering deal DUBAI: Bahrain-based investment company Investcorp has signed up to a $504 million-equivalent loan aimed at refinancing debt due in 2013, with the final amount potentially being increased in the coming weeks as more banks join the lending syndicate, sources said yesterday. The loan heads off any refinancing risk next year for the firm, which once owned luxury brands Gucci and Tiffany & Co but like other private equity houses in the Gulf has been hit in more recent times by unfavorable market conditions. Investcorp wanted to secure funds ahead of its financial year-end on June 30 so the loan could be included in its full-year results, two banking sources said. However, it also wanted to allow as much time as possible for banks to join the deal, meaning a so-called accordion clause was written into the documentation, one of the sources, a London-based banker, added. The clause, which creates two signing dates for the same transaction, is uncommon in the Middle East but is a simple feature to add to documentation, a Gulf-based banker said. Investcorp declined to comment. By securing a refinancing well ahead of time Investcorp puts itself in a much stronger position than other investment houses in Bahrain which have faced refinancing issues. In March Arcapita became the first Gulf entity to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States after pressure from hedge funds ahead of a $1.1 billion loan maturity it was struggling to meet. Four banks

joined the Investcorp deal during the latest stage of syndication, taking the total number to 12, two sources said. Most of the banks involved are international names, they added. The refinancing was led by Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc, Deutsche Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland, while Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, Commerzbank, ING and JP Morgan Chase joined the loan during an early round of fundraising. It is structured as a forward-start agreement, where a loan is raised and signed by banks but the term does not begin and the cash drawn down until a later date - usually when the loan matures. Forwardstarts are often used to circumvent volatile market conditions, by putting finance in place ahead of time in case bank funding dries up or pricing increases. The loan is split into three tranches, lasting 1.5 years, 2.5 years and 3.5 years. Commitments from banks were accepted in dollars, euros and all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) currencies. The three-tranche facility will be used to replace existing obligations - loans for $500 million and $243 million due in March and April 2013 respectively and a bilateral facility also maturing next year. The overall amount being refinanced is slightly more than $700 million as some of the debt has already been paid off by the company and Investcorp will pay any shortfall using internal cash, sources familiar with the matter said earlier this month. Investcorp had around $420 million in cash on its balance sheet at the end of 2011, a Feb. 22 note from Fitch Ratings said. — Reuters

EXCHANGE RATES Commercial Bank of Kuwait US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian Dollar Australian DLR Indian rupees Sri Lanka Rupee UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi riyals Omani riyals Philippine peso Egyptian pounds US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian dollars Danish Kroner Swedish Kroner Australian dlr Hong Kong dlr Singapore dlr Japanese yen Indian Rs/KD Sri Lanka rupee Pakistan rupee Bangladesh taka UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi Riyal/KD Omani riyals Philippine Peso

.2740000 .4350000 .3480000 .2880000 .2700000 .2790000 .0040000 .0020000 .0759320 .7397840 .3830000 .0710000 .7252260 .0040000 .0430000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2789500 .4358040 .3486040 .2902400 .2721600 .0468940 .0394460 .2811960 .0359520 .2184930 .0035040 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0759770 .7402150 .0000000 .0744070 .7248280 .0000000

.2830000 .4400000 .3560000 .3010000 .2800000 .2880000 .0070000 .0035000 .0766950 .7472190 .4010000 .0770000 .7325140 .0072000 .0500000 .2825500 .4414280 .3531030 .2939860 .2756720 .0474990 .0399550 .2848250 .0364160 .2213130 .0035500 .0049700 .0021210 .0029970 .0034670 .0769580 .7497680 .3996460 .0753670 .7341820 .0067060

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. Currency US Dollar Pak Rupees

Rate per 1000 (Tran) 280.000 2.980

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

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

5.019 2.115 3.419 6.685 76.335 74.820 744.400 46.272 448.800 2.990 1.550 360.600 280.500 3.190

Transfer Rate (Per 1000) 280.750 353.300 440.900 276.150 3.550 4.920 46.360 2.099 3.425 6.626 2.972 747.000 76.450 74.900

UAE Exchange Centre WLL COUNTRY Australian Dollar Canadian Dollar Swiss Franc Euro US Dollar Sterling Pound Japanese Yen

SELL DRAFT 283.26 277.39 298.34 355.83 280.25 438.67 3.61

3.550 5.200 2.400 3.700 3.200 77.00 746.00 47.75 397.50 732.50 77.75 75.25

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd

Al Mulla Exchange Currency US Dollar Euro Pound Sterling Canadian Dollar Japanese Yen Indian Rupee Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupee Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso Pakistan Rupee Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal *Rates are subject to change

3.428 5.027 2.127 3.155 2.978 76.37 746.22 46.37 399.27 729.38 77.39 74.94

SELL CASH 283.00 277.00 295.00 356.00 281.50 438.00 3.65

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

Selling Rate 280.850 276.895 439.970 351.720 292.820 743.540 76.440 77.090 74.855 395.340 46.340 2.098 4.918 2.977 3.432 6.630 686.925 4.530 8.900 5.915 3.165 88.625

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

Bahrain Exchange Company

GOLD 10 Tola

COUNTRY Australian dollar Bahraini dinar Bangladeshi taka

SELL CASH 286.000 747.170 3.640

SELL DRAFT 285.500 747.170 3.430

283.900 551.800 45.800 48.200 167.800 48.420 355.000 36.910 5.220 0.032 0.160 0.236 3.630 398.140 0.190 91.580 44.300 4.320 225.600 1.820 47.900 729.780 3.130 6.810 77.710 75.010 221.250 36.280 2.676 443.100 41.100 296.200 4.300 9.200 198.263 76.600 281.300 1.350

Sterling Pound US Dollar

1,658.950 TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 441.100 280.900


221.200 46.349 353.500 36.760 5.920 0.031

398.110 0.189 91.580 3.110 224.100

729.640 2.985 6.625 77.280 75.010 221.250 36.280 2.100 441.100 294.700 4.300 9.020 76.500 280.900



Finns get tougher on Europe as crisis drags on PM Katainen strongly opposed to eurobonds

BERLIN: Protesters have placed large effigies of (from left) German Economy Minister Philipp Roesler, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German Social Democrat (SPD) Chairman Sigmar Gabriel in front of the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin during a protest on public spending yesterday. — AFP

Despite efforts, Portugal vulnerable to contagion LISBON: Portugal’s traditional fado music is taking on new meaning with the country’s economic crisis, as variants of the age-old melancholic songs offer an outlet for young people reeling from relentless austerity. “I come from the generation with no income,” blare the powerful lyrics of ‘How silly I am’ by popular fado-inspired band Deolinda, pondering the increasingly hopeless outlook for the one-in-three people under 25 who are out of work. The euro-zone crisis has led Portugal into its deepest recession since the 1970s, with overall unemployment at a record 15 percent as the centre-right government slashes spending under a 78-billion-euro bailout deal with the European Union and IMF. Still, strikes and protests against austerity, which has included wage cuts of up to 20 percent for civil servants, have been low-key compared with places like Greece and Spain. While die-hard leftists rail in parliament and the largest union organizes poorly-attended strikes, the general mood has, until recently, been best summed up by the fatalism expressed in songs like ‘How silly I am’. The government, elected a year ago with clear warnings of the hardship to come, is determined to meet fiscal goals under the bailout and sees no alternative to more of the same. “We received a country on the edge of the abyss, our obligation is to do everything within our reach so that with the help of the Portuguese we will be able to reform it into a free, autonomous country,” said Foreign Minister Paulo Portas. Such unswerving commitment to reform means Lisbon scores high marks in Berlin and Brussels, but criticism of austerity is beginning to extend well beyond fado, and, more importantly, the abyss is still there. CHOKED “Nobody is turning against the single currency, but they are turning against (Europe’s) austerity system,” said Mario Soares, 87, Portugal’s Socialist elder statesman, considered by many as the father of its modern-day democracy. Business leaders are increasingly calling for budget targets to be extended or relaxed to avoid killing the patient with austerity and urging Europe to take action to end the crisis. “I personally believe that the ECB should inject money into these countries,” said Alexandre Soares dos Santos, Portugal’s second richest man and chairman of Jeronimo Martins, the second biggest retailer in Portugal and biggest in Poland. “Why three years and not five (to meet deficit reduction goals), if you can reduce the number of people unemployed?” he asked, saying the government needed more time to distribute its harsh medicine. Jose Avelino, 45, who drives a tourist bus, said people were getting ever more desperate. “ We have choked on the measures.” There are no signs yet of discontent fuelling big strikes or protests and no whispers of dissent within Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho’s centre-right coalition, which has an absolute majority in parliament. The previous Socialist government collapsed last year after Portugal became the third country in the euro-zone-after Greece and Ireland-to seek a bailout, because its financing costs had soared due to its high debt levels. The

country has approved the “fiscal compact” for budget discipline in Europe and the government has said it would support closer political and fiscal union, though it is sees economic reform and fixing state finances as priorities. “The first obligation of a country is to stick to its word, to honor and fulfill the terms of its (loan) program,” the prime minister told parliament on Monday. The problem is that despite Portugal’s best efforts, it remains the second most risky country in the euro-zone after Greece, in terms of bond spreads. Portugal’s 10-year bond yields are at 9.7 percent, above neighboring Spain’s 6.7 percent. That makes it especially vulnerable to further flare ups in the euro-zone crisis, whether in Greece or in increasingly troubled Spain, its biggest export market. EURO FEARS Most in Portugal believe it is unthinkable that such pressures could eventually drive Portugal out of the euro — 80 percent back the single currency in polls. But Joao Ferreira do Amaral, professor of macroeconomics at Lisbon’s School of Economics and Management, is one of those lonely voices and his view has only been reinforced by the crisis. “I always had the view that we did not have a sufficiently strong economy for a strong currency,” said Ferreira do Amaral, who is one of Portugal’s most high profile Eurosceptics, having been an advisor to former Socialist President Jorge Sampaio. “Even without the crisis that started in 2008, we were on an unsustainable path,” he said, advocating a gradual exit with the euro and a new escudo functioning in parallel at first. Debts and bank deposits should remain in euros, Ferreira do Amaral says, while the central bank would carry out “monetary financing” of a new escudo used for all other payments. “Either we have debt forgiveness or inflation,” he said. Those views get little backing from the Portuguese, despite the country having experienced one of Europe’s lowest growth rates in the run-up to the financial crisis. “If we went back to the escudo we would be more competitive as a country but citizens would be subject to mass davaluation of everything they own,” said Paula Fazendas, 42, a cardiologist. “If I could, I would take my money, put it in Switzerland and leave the country, but I won’t do it because I have kids.” Business leaders worry about Portugal’s euro future. “I am very much in favor of the euro, for me it would be an enormous disappointment if we were forced to leave,” said Soares dos Santos. “Now, how can I invest in this country if I don’t know if we remain in the euro or we go back to the escudo?” For a country stuck on the edge of Europe with Spain on one side and the Atlantic on the other, joining the euro was always a way of joining the continent’s mainstream. As such, most Portuguese think lasting solutions to the euro crisis can only come from the centre. “ The day that the European Central Bank can print money the crisis will end, it’s that simple,” the veteran former prime minister Soares said. The ECB has heard a chorus of such calls. Its reluctance to heed them means Portugal’s hopes may go unrealized.— Reuters

LISBON: Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho at the Portuguese Parliament in Lisbon. — AFP

HELSINKI: Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen sounded almost apologetic a year ago when he demanded collateral in exchange for bailout funds for Greece. It was the first time the Finns, who have prospered as EU members since 1995, shedding the shadow of historically dominant neighbors Russia and Sweden, had joined Europe’s awkward squad. Attaching strings to aid was a condition set by the Social Democrats, his conservative party’s coalition partners, and Katainen’s aides privately worried about being troublemakers in Europe’s moment of need. It took weeks of tortuous negotiations to satisfy Helsinki’s demands, compounding financial market jitters. Twelve months on, with the euro zone still in turmoil and Greece nearer to the brink, Katainen no longer sounds sorry for demanding austerity from other member states or for opposing major steps towards closer integration that Finland considers too risky or irresponsible, such as common euro bonds. “Too many countries have gotten too many loans too cheaply for too long,” Katainen told Reuters this month. “We don’t want to institutionalize this unless we know everybody will follow the rules, which hasn’t been the case before.” The Finns were also quick to oppose giving the newly-elected Greek government more time to meet fiscal targets. Katainen’s National Coalition party is the polar opposite of the anti-euro Finns Party which rose from obscurity in the 2011 election to finish a close third, yet he too is now calling for more fairness and fiscal responsibility in the euro-zone. Finland has dutifully obeyed the EU’s fiscal criteria and is one of the few remaining countries in the euro zone with a triple-A credit rating from all major rating agencies. Asked whether he would have supported Finland’s entry into the euro if he had known how the crisis would unfold, Katainen responded with a

qualified “yes”. “We would also have been stricter on how the member countries fulfill the criteria and follow the rules,” he said. Government officials have mixed views on the latest push for a tighter fiscal and banking union. They say a stronger central authority could speed up decision-making and help the EU gain credibility in financial markets, but they are reluctant to give up more sovereignty to Brussels. The Finns Party’s charismatic leader, Timo Soini, says Katainen would be wrong to give away more parliamentary power. “The bailouts were philosophically wrong, deeply morally wrong. Now they want to make those rules prevail in a banking union, with eurobonds and more power to Brussels,” he told Reuters in an interview. “No way.” WE DID IT, WHY CAN’T YOU? At the root of Finland’s self-righteous stance is its own experience of having recovered from a major banking crisis. The Nordic country plunged into a deep recession in the early 1990s after an asset price bubble burst. The economy shrank by 10 percent, bankruptcies soared and unemployment reached around 20 percent. Finland, with a history of selfreliant struggle, managed to recover without help from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). But harsh austerity and punishing years of debt repayments are fresh in the minds of ordinary Finns as well as policymakers. Olli Rehn, the European Commission’s Finnish top economic official, has stark memories of his time as special adviser to then Prime Minister Esko Aho from 1992 to 1993. He recalled starting his mornings in the spring of 1993 by nervously checking share prices and bond yields. “I called the Treasury to ask, ‘do we still have cash to pay the bills and salaries?’ The IMF was a few weeks away. We had to take action and modernize the welfare state,” he said at an IMF panel discussion in Riga. President Sauli

Niinisto, who as finance minister led the country’s entry into the euro, says he feels Finland is wrongly viewed as a wealthy nation reluctant to help others. “I want to break a myth, which is that rich Finland is very capable of giving help to poor countries,” Niinisto said. Instead, he said, the country was merely “well managed”. NOKIA ANXIETIES Recent opinion polls suggest Euroscepticism is no longer rising, but it is still strong enough to keep Katainen wary. Popular support for the Finns Party, which won 19 percent in last year’s parliamentary election, is now around 15 percent, according to the daily Helsingin Sanomat. The decline follows a string of gaffes and racist comments by Finns Party lawmakers. Another poll in tabloid Ilta-Sanomat showed the number of Finns who think abandoning the markka for the euro was a mistake fell to 32 percent in May from 37 percent in December. Analysts say an economic slowdown and further chaos in the euro zone could easily stir resentment and help the Finns Party regain momentum. There’s already a worry that this small economy faces tougher times ahead, with flagship technology firm Nokia bleeding market share to rivals like Apple and Samsung. The Finnish mobile phone maker announced a new round of layoffs this month to preserve cash. Of the 10,000 extra job cuts, around 3,700 will be in Finland. Traditional manufacturing sectors like paper and pulp are also struggling to compete with more nimble Asian rivals, and Soini said Finland’s membership of the strong euro was hurting rather than helping domestic manufacturers. “Foreign exchange, the euro, has destroyed the forest industry,” he said. Finland posted a current account deficit of 1.3 billion euros in 2011 due to slower export growth, and the central bank expects the deficit to continue for another few years. — Reuters

European leaders at odds before summit Merkel rules out sharing total debt liability MADRID: European leaders sound unusually divided before a high-stakes summit, with Germany’s Angela Merkel saying total debt liability would not be shared in her lifetime and giving little support to Italian and Spanish pleas for immediate crisis action. Rome and Madrid have seen their borrowing costs spiral to a level which for Spain at least would not be sustainable as it battles to recapitalize banks ravaged by a burst property bubble and cut a towering government deficit. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said yesterday he would ask other European Union leaders to allow the bloc’s bailout funds or the European Central Bank to stabilize financial markets. Speaking in parliament before a meeting of European heads in Brussels today and tomorrow, Rajoy warned that Spain would not be able to finance itself indefinitely with 10-year bond yields near seven percent. “The most urgent issue is the one of financing. We can’t keep funding ourselves for a long time at the prices we’re currently funding ourselves,” he told parliament. Even when there are profound disagreements, EU leaders have been burned by the markets enough times to generally make sure they sound united before major gatherings. But divisions have been exposed by the ousting of Nicolas Sarkozy by socialist Francois Hollande as French president and the fact that Rome and Madrid have muscled into the traditional Franco-German axis. The leaders held an unusually discordant news conference in Rome tomorrow. Hollande said there must be more solidarity in Europe before countries hand over more sovereignty over their national budgets, while Merkel said she would not accept extra liabilities without overarching budget control. The pair will have a working dinner in Paris today evening, an opportunity to repair the damage. An initial attempt to smooth over differences came at a meeting of the four countries’ finance ministers late on Tuesday after which nothing was said. In Rome, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said he would not simply rubber stamp conclusions at the EU summit and said he was ready to go on negotiating into Sunday evening if necessary to agree on measures to calm markets. With Hollande’s support, Monti is pushing for the euro

zone’s rescue funds to be used to help limit the spreads over German Bunds on bonds issued by countries that respect EU budget rules. Rajoy would settle for that or the European Central Bank doing the same job by reviving its bond-buying program.The proposal has run into stiff opposition from Germany, the largest economy in the European Union and the bloc’s effective paymaster, and has been rejected by Jens Weidmann, the powerful head of the German central bank, the Bundesbank. Stock markets perked up last week on the hope that the 20th EU summit since the bloc’s debt crisis exploded into the open in Greece would come up with dramatic measures. Investors have since thought better of that view. European shares edged up yesterday and the euro was flat, with many investors out of the markets before the Brussels meeting. “People are waiting for the inevitable - which is that policymakers will probably fail to do what is necessary,” said Neil Mellor,

currency analyst at Bank of New York Mellon. Merkel stomped on the idea of mutualising debt - favoured by France, Italy and Spain - at a meeting of lawmakers from her Free Democratic coalition partners in Berlin on Tuesday, according to people who attended the closed-door session. “I don’t see total debt liability as long as I live,” she was quoted as saying, a day after branding the idea of euro bonds “economically wrong and counterproductive”. The words may have been carefully chosen and do not at face value rule out mutualising some portion of euro zone members’ debts as the end point of a drive towards fiscal union. Merkel find herself in a dwindling minority but holds the euro zone’s purse strings and therefore nearly all the cards. German opposition SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel told the Financial Times that urgent measures were needed to lower euro zone sovereign borrowing costs otherwise the currency bloc could “simply explode”. — Reuters

MADRID: Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy speaks during a control session at the Spanish Parliament in Madrid yesterday. —AP

Big banks craft ‘living wills’ NEW YORK: Five of the biggest banks in the United States are putting finishing touches on plans for going out of business as part of government-mandated contingency planning that could push them to untangle their complex operations. The plans, known as living wills, are due to regulators no later than July 1 under provisions of the DoddFrank financial reform law designed to end too-big-to-fail bailouts by the government. The living wills could be as long as 4,000 pages. Since the law allows regulators to go so far as to order a bank to divest subsidiaries if it cannot plan an orderly resolution in bankruptcy, the deadline is pushing even healthy institutions to start a multi-year process to untangle their complex global operations, according to industry consultants. “The resolution process is now going to be part of the cost-benefit analysis on where banks will do business,” said Dan Ryan, leader of the financial services regulatory practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York. “The complexity of the organizations will shrink.”

JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America Corp, Citigroup Inc, Goldman Sachs & Co and Morgan Stanley are among those submitting the first liquidation scenarios to regulators at the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, according to people familiar with the matter. The five firms, which declined to discuss their plans for this story, have some of the biggest balance sheets, trading desks and derivatives portfolios of financial institutions in the United States. Great Britain and other major countries are imposing similar requirements for “resolution” plans on their big banks, too. The liquidation plans are coming amid renewed questions about the safety of big banks following JPMorgan’s stunning announcement last month that a trading debacle has cost it more than $2 billion - a sum far too small to endanger the bank, but shocking enough to bring back memories of the financial crisis. A NOD TO GLASS-STEAGALL If the extensive planning and review process works as proponents

hope, big banks will become less hazardous to the public and regulators will be more confident that they can let wounded institutions die without wrecking the economy. In congressional hearings earlier this month, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said that the bank’s contingency plan for going out of business would let it fail without cost to taxpayers. Living wills reduce the systemic risk of a big bank failing, Dimon said. The living will requirement could actually yield similar results to restoring Glass-Steagall without actual re-enactment of the Depression-era laws se parating commercial banking from investment banking, former FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said earlier this month. Bair said regulators may determine that for a liquidation plan to work, a bank must separate traditional banking and insured deposits into subsidiaries set apart from volatile securities trading and securities underwriting. The rules push banks to untangle their complex structures, which can include thousands of legal entities,

and which, in Bair’s opinion, have effectively blocked proposals for breaking up the corporations. Whether the Fed and the FDIC would actually force any banks to sell businesses or cordon off insured deposits remains to be seen, cautioned Richard Herring, a banking professor at the University of Pennsylvania. “We don’t know if they will have the guts to do it, but the tools are there,” said Herring, a leading proponent of living wills for more than a decade, who was appointed to an FDIC advisory panel on the plans. Herring worries, too, that the plans will be so long and complex that they will overwhelm the staff at the agencies. Still, that the plans are being written at all is progress, Herring said. PLAN FOR TWO WAYS TO DIE Under the Dodd-Frank Act, banks and regulators must imagine liquidations in two different ways. The first is through bankruptcy courts with banks negotiating with their creditors. This is the going-out-ofbusiness method planned in the living wills due July 1. — Reuters




Evidence suggests anti-foreclosure laws may backfire Housing slump worse in states with judicial protection WASHINGTON: US state and federal laws enacted to protect homeowners from eviction in the wake of the 2008 housing crash may be extending the slump, according to a growing number of economists and industry experts. Foreclosures have all but ground to a halt in Nevada, which passed one of the stiffest borrower-protection laws in the country last year. Yet the housing market is further than ever from recovery, local real estate agents say, with a lack of inventory feeding a “mini-bubble” in prices that few believe is sustainable. A recent US Federal Reserve study found that in states requiring a judicial review for foreclosure, delays associated with the process had no measurable long-term benefits and often prolonged the problems with the housing market. Data from housing market researchers points to similar conclusions. “Many state laws that stretch out the period for legitimate foreclosures result in no added benefit for the homeowner and produce harm to the housing finance system and to neighborhoods,” said Alfred Pollard, general counsel to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, at a House of Representatives oversight hearing in March. Some people who have been able to stay in their homes despite failing to pay their mortgages may disagree, but it may be a different matter for the neighborhoods where they live. An overhang of properties that the banks want to foreclose, but have not dared to, not only can hold back a sustainable recovery in prices but also might encourage blight as the defaulting borrower has less incentive to keep the property in good condition. “Folks with negative equity can’t sell their home and are less likely to invest in improvements or repairs, or pay their property taxes,” said Sean O’Toole, chief executive officer of, which tracks foreclosures. The increasing doubt about the impact of antiforeclosure laws on the long-term health of the housing market calls into question a basic principle of the Obama Administration’s approach to the housing crisis. Many Democrats, including Obama, say struggling homeowners should get more time to make good on their mortgage arrears, or have the breathing room to renegotiate their loans with lenders, especially in the wake of the “robo-signing” scandal in which banks were

found to have falsified foreclosure paperwork. In the latest expression of this philosophy, the California legislature, at the urging of Attorney General Kamela Harris, is poised to pass a “homeowners bill of rights” that would mean new requirements for lenders looking to foreclose. And certainly many consumer advocates say that forcing banks to mediate with those behind on their mortgages rather than foreclosing on them has reduced the pain and sense of dereliction in many communities. But conservative and free market economists have long been passionate in their belief that the foreclosure process should be allowed to work efficiently. Delays in clearing the huge backlog of distressed properties will only push back a meaningful recovery of the housing market, they say.

CRIMINAL PENALTIES According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan organization serving the legislators of all 50 states, more than 400 foreclosure laws were enacted across the United States in 2011 alone, and most slowed down the process. The Nevada law, passed in October, may be the most stringent: It imposes criminal penalties on lenders that try to foreclose without the proper paperwork. That has led to a dramatic drop in foreclosures in a state that was among the hardest-hit by the housing crash. In September, banks filed nearly 5,000 foreclosure notices in Nevada. By February, just 460 were served, according to online foreclosure property marketplace RealtyTrac. Ricky Beach, a real estate agent in Reno,

FRAMINGHAM: In this file photo, a sign advertises a pending residential real estate sale in Framingham, Mass. - AP

Nevada, said the new law, AB 284, “has pretty much killed the market here.” The lack of foreclosure activity has led to a dearth of inventory, he said, with the number of homes for sale in the area down to 778 today from more than 1,700 in September. This has triggered a “mini-bubble” in housing prices because the few properties available are receiving multiple bids. The only problem: No one thinks the gains are sustainable. “The bill did nothing to solve the crisis - it’s just prolonged it,” Beach said. “Sooner or later the banks will work out how to deal with the law. And then foreclosures will hit the market, and prices will crash back down.” Malik Ahmad, a Las Vegas foreclosure defense lawyer who has spent the last six years trying to help vulnerable borrowers deal with unscrupulous banks, said the law had completely changed his view of the nature of the crisis. “This law has become a mockery,” Ahmad said. “I am now turning down clients every day who I know have no intention of ever trying to pay their mortgage. They just want to stay in their homes for free. And that is a bad situation for everyone, lenders and homeowners.” In a statement, Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said: “AB 284 was enacted to address one aspect of the troubled housing market - the fact that certain banks and mortgage loan servicers were attempting to use Nevada’s nonjudicial foreclosure process to foreclose on Nevadans’ homes without documenting that they had the right to do so.” The law has certainly helped some homeowners. Bernardo Becerra recalls that on Sept 29 - two days before the law took effect - Bank of America Corp initiated foreclosure proceedings against his Las Vegas home. He had last paid his mortgage in May 2009 on loans totaling $550,000, but for a house now valued at $348,000. When he took out the loans in May 2006, his home was worth $700,000. Becerra says Bank of America has not pursued the foreclosure, and for the first time in three years seems willing to consider a loan modification. Yet comparisons with nearby Arizona and other states with few barriers to foreclosure suggest that homeowner protection laws can delay a market recovery. — Reuters

MAF in second stab at the bond market Scarcity value as private, investment-grade credit DUBAI: A year after it called off its maiden conventional bond issue in the international market, Dubai’s Majid Al Futtaim Holding is trying again. This time, stronger global demand for Gulf debt, and better investor sentiment towards Dubai in particular, mean a much smoother ride for MAF. The shopping mall developer is eyeing a sevenyear, $500 million conventional bond, longer than the five-year tenor favoured in the region. It released price guidance at 5.375 percent yesterday. It tapped the global market with a $400 million, five-year sukuk (Islamic bond) in February at 5.85 percent. The sukuk has since rallied to yield 4.47 percent yesterday - meaning the company is offering about 90 basis points for an additional 2-1/2 years with its conventional bond. That is seen as an ample premium by many potential investors. “One would expect the conventional bonds to come at a slight premium to the existing 2017 sukuk although in today’s market, supply/demand technical factors could well skew this logic,” said John Bates, head of fixed income at asset manager Silk Invest. A regional fixed income trader described the premium as “attractive”. “It has been fairly priced with some value left for investors,” he said. SPECIAL FACTORS In June last year, MAF decided not to issue its bond because of market volatility stemming from the euro zone debt crisis. At the time, sources close to the

deal said the company was playing hardball on pricing, which was difficult for a first-time issuer. Since then, MAF may have decided to take a slightly more generous approach to pricing, while February’s successful sukuk issue has also helped its case. It is riding a general improvement in sentiment towards Dubai issuers, thanks to perceptions that the Gulf is riding out the global financial crisis comfortably and that Dubai is succeeding in solving its corporate debt problems. GCC conventional bond spreads have narrowed about 20 percent this year, according to HSBC NASDAQ Indexes. Dubai’s seven-year credit default swaps were at 385 bps yesterday, about 100 bps tighter since mid-January. Beyond these factors, MAF has some special attractions. It has indicated it will cap the new bond at $500 million; limited supply is likely to support the paper in the secondary market. Also, the company, which is also the sole franchisee for French hypermarket chain Carrefour in the Gulf, can use its rarity value as the only corporate issuer in the Gulf which is both investment-grade and completely privately owned. So many investors are expected to be eager to diversify their portfolios with MAF. “MAF is a one-off credit within the Gulf region; it is one of the highest-rated private corporates,” Bates said. GROWTH MAF’s core business is mall development and the expansion of leisure facilities such as cinemas and retail outlets.

The firm, which conceived Dubai’s popular indoor ski slope, plans to build shopping destinations in other parts of the Middle East. The developer has said it expects to open around 15 new Carrefour hypermarkets and about 25 to 30 new supermarkets in 2012. It both builds and operates its malls. It has previously focused on bank financing, but appears to believe funding its ambitious long-term growth plans solely from banks is increasingly difficult and not necessarily desirable. “Terming out the debt maturity reduces liquidity risk and is therefore positive for the credit profile of the company. If it manages to lower its cost of debt by diversifying its funding sources, this is also positive for the company,” said Tommy Trask, credit analyst at Standard and Poor’s in Dubai. “The key risks are geographic concentration, high development exposure, rapid rollout of new hypermarkets, and political instability in some countries where the company is present.” MAF’s income from businesses outside the United Arab Emirates reached 46 percent in 2011, and about 10 percent of the company’s revenue comes from Egypt, its largest revenue base after the UAE. The mall developer secured a $500 million loan in March to build the Mall of Egypt project in Cairo, a 160,000-square meter site which will be one of North Africa’s largest. Following the Arab Spring unrest last year, MAF was forced to take writedowns of 300 million dirhams ($82 million) on its hotel assets in Bahrain and 250 million dirhams on its Egypt assets. — Reuters

Stocks eke out gains LONDON: European shares edged up yesterday but the euro was flat, with investors increasingly cautious a day ahead of an EU leaders summit that few expect will do much to resolve the region’s debt crisis, now in its third year. The German Chancellor meets new French President Francois Hollande later to try to hammer out a common line to take to the meeting, but Angela Merkel’s reported comments that debt sharing would not happen in her lifetime, dashed hopes of a breakthrough. “The disillusionment is palpable at the moment because, whatever happens over the next couple of days during this summit, no one is expecting anything concrete to come out the other side,” said Richard Hunter, Head of UK Equities at Hargreaves Lansdown. The disappointment left the dollar slightly firmer against a basket of major currencies, while riskier assets like commodities eased, with all markets reluctant to advance before the June 28-29 summit in Brussels. The euro was barely changed at $1.2491, recovering from the fall to a two-week low of $1.2441 on Tuesday, which was its lowest level since June 8. Markets had been hoping this week’s summit would deliver at least a high-level agreement on greater fiscal and financial integration across the euro area that could then ultimately lead to the issuance of common euro bonds. There were also hopes that Europe’s bailout funds, the European Financial Stability Facility and the soon to be launched European Stability Mechanism, could use their money to ease the pressure on peripheral debt

markets. But Merkel’s rejection of the idea of mutualising the region’s debt burden favoured by France, Italy and Spain -, saying Europe would not share total debt liability “as long as I live”, signaled that deep divisions remain, though Germany is expected to offer some flexibility on the use of bailout funds. “People are waiting for the inevitable - which is that policymakers will probably fail to do what is necessary,” said Neil Mellor, currency analyst at Bank of New York Mellon. EQUITY RECOVERY Following sharp falls last week and Monday as hopes for a quick solution to Europe’s crisis at the summit faded, stock markets around the world have steadily recovered. Rises in US equities on Tuesday and across Asia earlier lifted the MSCI world equity index by 0.25 percent to 303.70 points, though the index is down around 1 percent for the week so far. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.3 percent at 989.77 points after ending unchanged on Tuesday following falls in the three preceding sessions as investors positioned for a poor outcome at the summit. But there were signs in the derivatives market that some market players are expecting a rebound in the coming weeks. The put/call ratio of Euro STOXX 50 options, a ratio of the trading volume of options to benefit from share price falls versus gains, has fallen to 0.75, a level not seen in nearly two months. The Euro STOXX 50 volatility index - Europe’s main gauge of anxiety, known as the VSTOXX -

has also fallen sharply this month, down 27 percent since a peak on June 4, breaking its usually strong negative correlation with stocks. The last time there was such a drop in the correlation between the volatility index and underlying equities was in mid-December, at the start of a 20 percent rally in euro zone stocks that lasted three months. EURO DEBT ON HOLD Debt markets continue to reflect the worsening funding outlook for many euro zone nations and the impact of the crisis on the region’s growth prospects, with investors reluctant to increase their exposure, even to safe-haven debt, ahead of the summit. German 10-year Bund yields rose 4 basis points to 1.536 percent, while 10-year bond yields in Spain, which has already requested EU bailout funds for its troubled banking sector, were steady at 6.86 percent. The Bank of Spain warned yesterday the rate of economic contraction was accelerating, and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said his country would be unable to keep financing itself at current yields for long. Italy’s six-month borrowing costs rose sharply yesterday to nearly 3 percent at an auction of 9 billion euros of new Treasury bills, which was expected to have been largely bought by its domestic banks. Ten-year Italian government bond yields were steady at 6.14 percent, with Italy facing a much bigger test of investor sentiment on Thursday when it auctions up to 5.5 billion euros of new five-and 10year bonds.—Reuters




Largest fine ever imposed by CFTC Barclays pays $453 million fine to settle Libor probe WASHINGTON: British bank Barclays will pay at least $450 million to US and British authorities to settle a probe into manipulation of the key interbank lending rate known as Libor. Regulators have been investigating allegations that several banks, including Barclays, manipulated the London Interbank Lending Rate (Libor), which underpins trillions of dollars of derivatives contracts worldwide and is also widely used as a reference rate for corporate lending. Barclays regularly reported borrowing rates lower than the rates it was actually paying during the financial crisis, in order to mask its distress, according to a statement from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission yesterday. Damning emails that regulators released yesterday make clear that

traders and the “submitters” tasked with reporting daily rates worked together for years to make the rates submitted suit the traders’ and the bank’s purposes. In some cases, submitters set themselves reminders on their calendars to submit low rates on certain dates, according to the emails. In others, traders expressed overwhelming gratitude for low submissions that protected them from losses. The US CFTC said Barclays attempted to manipulated Libor submissions “sometimes on a daily basis” over a four-year period starting in 2005. The CFTC ordered the bank to pay a $200 million penalty, saying it was the largest civil monetary penalty it has ever imposed. Barclays also settled with the US Department of Justice and the UK’s Financial

Services Authority and will pay fines of $160 million and $92.8 million, respectively. The Department of Justice said Barclays was the first bank being probed “to provide extensive and meaningful cooperation to the government,” adding that the bank’s assistance had aided its criminal investigation. In March the bank said it was engaged in a possible resolution with regulators looking into potential enforcement proceedings. As well as the FSA and CFTC, other authorities probing Libor manipulation include the European Commission and Japan’s Financial Services Authority. Other banks involved in the probe include Citigroup, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS. Several banks have suspended traders over the investigations. No criminal charges have been filed.

Libor is the benchmark for about $360 trillion worth of financial contracts worldwide. A daily poll asks banks at what rate they think they will be able to borrow money from one another in 10 major currencies and for 15 borrowing periods, ranging from overnight loans to 12 months. Thomson Reuters Corp is the British Bankers’ Association’s official agent for the daily calculation and publishing of the Libor rates. A spokesman for the company was not immediately available for comment. As the credit crisis took hold in 2008, allegations started mounting that Libor no longer reflected banks’ real borrowing costs, and authorities began examining whether traders tried to influence whether the rate went up or down to profit on bets on its future direction. — Reuters

StanChart on course for 10% year profit growth Euro-zone crisis, currency add to downside risks

UTTAR PRADESH: Indian farmers sow paddy in a field in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh yesterday. —AFP

India’s 2012 tea exports resilient as Iran sales fall MUMBAI: India’s 2012 tea exports are likely to remain steady at last year’s level despite negligible sales to Iran as poor output in other key producing countries ensure strong demand, a senior executive at the world’s biggest tea producer said. The country’s exports to Iran, a key traditional buyer, started falling from 2011 after India’s central bank ended a longstanding payments mechanism the two countries had used to settle trade under US pressure. “Exports to Iran are down ... but global production is lower. So I think demand will be there. We will be able to export as much as we exported last year,” Kamal Baheti, chief financial officer at McLeod Russel, told Reuters in an interview. The world’s second-biggest tea producer has recently allowed exporters to settle payments with Iran using the rupee, but so far it has failed to have any meaningful impact on tea exports. The south Asian country had produced a record 988.3 million kg tea in 2011 and exported 192.87 million kg. India exports CTC (crush-tear-curl) tea mainly to Egypt, Pakistan and the UK, and the premium orthodox variety to Iraq, Iran and Russia. The country is likely to produce less tea in 2012 than last year on dry weather in key producing areas and the shortfall is likely to keep tea prices at a higher level in India and even in the world market, Baheti said. “Weather is currently okay. But whatever loss was there due to bad weather, I don’t think that can be recovered,” Baheti said. Dry weather in the north eastern Assam state, the country’s top producer, trimmed production in the first four months of 2012 by over 14 percent from a year ago. “Like India, everybody has lost crop this year. Kenya is

down, Sri Lanka is down. African countries are down. World production is down by more than 50 million kg till April,” Baheti said. He forecasts tea prices would stay at higher levels in the next few months. Sri Lanka’s tea production fell 8.4 percent in May from a year earlier, the fourth straight month of lower output. Uganda’s tea production is forecast to drop 8 percent this year, while Kenya’ tea output for the first three months of 2012 fell 15 percent on the year. In India, the average tea price was 138 rupees ($2.42) per kg in the latest auction, up 30 percent from a year ago. The average price of top grade tea sold at Kenya’s regular weekly auction rose for the second straight week to $3.77 per kg from $3.64 per kg last week, traders said on Tuesday. Demand for Indian tea from European countries is strong despite the financial crisis there, Baheti said. McLeod Russel, which has tea gardens in India and African countries such as Uganda, expects its production in the current financial year ending March 31, 2013 to remain stable at last year’s level of 102 million kg. The Kolkata-based company, however, is forecasting an improvement in margins due to higher tea prices, Baheti said. “We expect the tea price should be higher than the rise in production cost. That should improve the margins.” The jump in tea prices is likely to help other Indian tea producers like Jay Shree Tea & Industries, and Harrisons Malayalam. The supply situation in India is likely to remain taut in coming years as well, as annual tea consumption in the country is rising by 2.5 percent per annum, surpassing the growth rate in production which is tiny, Baheti said. — Reuters

NICOSIA: People sit in a cafe in the 16-century han (inn) in the Turkish-controlled northern side of Nicosia. Tiny Cyprus, divided after a Turkish invasion 38 years ago and its economy reeling from the Greek debt crisis, is hoping to prove it can carry its weight when it takes over the EU presidency on July 1. — AFP

Cyprus seeks IMF aid WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund said yesterday that Cyprus has asked for financial aid amid the euro-zone sovereign debt crisis. “Today, the IMF received an invitation from the Cypriot authorities to participate in the external financial assistance to contain the risks to the Cypriot economy,” IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said in a statement. Lagarde noted that the request followed the Cypriot authorities’ request for financial support from the EU emergency funds, the European Financial Stability Facility and the European Stability Mechanism. ”We stand ready to join the efforts of our European partners to help Cyprus return to stable and sustainable economic growth and

restore a solid financial sector,” Lagarde said. “We expect to send an IMF team to Cyprus to evaluate the situation in the field as soon as possible in preparation for discussions on an economic program that will help Cyprus meet the economic challenges it is facing.” Meanwhile, the Bank of Cyprus, the island’s largest lender, said yesterday it will ask the state for 500 million euros ($625 million) to meet a June 30 deadline to bolster its regulatory capital. The bank said that it needs a total of 1.56 billion euros to recapitalize against the global financial crisis but would fall short of securing the full amount. It said the central bank had rejected a request to extend the deadline so that it could obtain the full amount. —Agencies

HONG KONG: Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered still expects full-year profit growth of 10 percent after slowing below that rate in the first half as the euro-zone crisis hit wealth management income and Asian currencies weakened. First-half revenue growth was also expected to be below 10 percent, as Indian and Korean markets were weak and mortgage income in Hong Kong fell, StanChart said yesterday. “My numbers show we can hit doubledigit (full-year) income growth,” finance director Richard Meddings said. “The issue is, in a world like this with the euro-zone pressures and exchange rates, there is more risk to the downside.” Africa, China, Indonesia and Malaysia all delivered revenue growth over 10 percent in the first half. But the euro-zone crisis hit investor sentiment in May and June, Meddings said, and wealth management income was hurt by weak demand for equity products. Global trade volumes could be hurt if the crisis continues, he said. Staff numbers were kept largely flat at the end of May from the end of 2011, StanChart said. The bank employed about 85,000 people at the end of last year, it said in March. Led by chief executive Peter Sands, the bank grew exponentially

for much of the past decade, riding on Asia’s rise and reporting a ninth straight year of record earnings in 2011 on the back of buoyant growth in Hong Kong and Singapore. However, concern over slowing growth in large Asian markets, such as China and India, has weighed on its stock this year. Meddings told reporters he was comfortable with analysts’ 2012 forecasts. Pretax profit was forecast to rise 10.6 percent to $7.4 billion, according to a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll. “Many people are expecting things to slow, and this has been reflected in the share price,” said Adam Chan, an analyst at CCB International who has an “outper form” rating on the stock. “Management knows that sentiment is weak, and that is why they are choosing to invest this year and have those investments pay off in 2013 or 2014 when things get better.” The bank said it will step up the pace of investment. In Africa, it aims to add 100 branches to its 160 branches within two years, rather than three years as previously planned. INDIA PROFIT WEAK The update provided few numbers as StanChart only issues half-year and full-year earnings reports. The weakness of the Indian

rupee and other Asian currencies would drag income down more than 2 percent, as the bank reports in dollars. Profit in India, once its biggest market, continued to be weak, hit by deteriorating business confidence that has pushed the rupee to a multi-year low. Growth in the Asian financial hubs of Hong Kong and Singapore also slowed. Its biggest market, Hong Kong, was expected to see income grow around 10 percent, while the bank said Singapore saw “good income momentum” without naming it among markets that saw double-digit growth. Previously, both cities had consistently reported earnings growth of more than 10 percent. Revenues and profit from Singapore have more than doubled since 2007. Standard Char tered, which star ted life financing trade between Europe and Asia and Africa, expected its wholesale bank which includes investment banking and accounts for about three quarters of earnings - to drive future growth. Its London-listed shares were up 1.0 percent at 1,347 pence at 0752 GMT, in line with a firmer European bank index. The shares are down 5 percent this year, in line with the banking index. — Reuters

Ivory Coast Eurobond hits record high on debt relief

NEW YORK: Shoppers carry their purchases along 33rd Street in New York. Americans’ confidence in the economy in May had its biggest drop in eight months as consumers fretted about slow hiring. — AP

US durable goods orders rise 1.1% WASHINGTON: Demand for long-lasting US manufactured goods rebounded more than expected in May and a gauge of planned business spending increased, but a slowing of growth in the global economy suggests the momentum might not be sustained. China’s slowdown and a looming recession in the euro zone have taken some of the shine off the US manufacturing sector, leaving the economy stuck in a soft patch. Despite the 1.1 percent increase in durable goods orders last month, a Commerce Department report on Wednesday showed underlying weakness in manufacturing, which has shouldered the broader economy’s recovery from the 2007-09 recession. “With global and domestic demand continuing to weaken we believe that this relatively brisk pace of new orders activity is unlikely to be sustained, and expect the pace of activity to be tepid in the coming months,” said Millan Mulraine, senior macro strategist at TD Securities in New York. Durable goods range from toasters to aircraft and are meant to last more than three years. Economists had expected orders to rise 0.4 percent last month. Orders tend to be volatile and when assessed over a three-month period they showed a slowing trend, consistent with weakness in industrial production and regional factory activity. While the economy is slowing, it is not falling off a cliff and the housing market is showing signs of recovery. Signed contracts for home purchases jumped 5.9 percent in May, the most in seven months, the latest sign of improvement in a sector that has been a drag on the economic recovery. Data this week showed new homes sales at a two-year high in May and house prices rising in April for the third straight month. Home-builder Lennar Corp reported a rise in new orders for the fifth straight quarter and was able to demand higher prices. Shares on Wall Street were trading higher but lingering worries about Europe capped gains. Prices

for US Treasury debt were little changed, while the dollar rose against a basket of currencies. UNCERTAIN OUTLOOK Non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, increased 1.6 percent after dropping 1.4 percent in April. The gain snapped two straight months of declines. Shipments of non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, used to calculate equipment and software spending in the gross domestic product report, rose 0.4 percent after declining 1.5 percent in April. May’s data suggested businesses are willing to spend on capital goods despite uncertainty clouding the economy. But looking at the numbers on a three-month basis, spending plans were weak, posting their biggest decline since early 2009. Regional surveys of factory activity have mostly shown a weakening in orders this month, a trend that is likely to be highlighted in a report on national manufacturing next week. “The underlying trends in orders and shipments of investment goods not only remain weak but point to further deceleration from the already subdued levels,” said Harm Bandholz, chief economist at Unicredit Research in New York. “That implies some modest downside risks to our outlook for the second half of the year. One reason, why companies remain reluctant to invest is the uncertain global economic outlook, including the situation in Europe.” Uncertainly about fiscal policy in the US, in particular the automatic spending cuts and the end of major tax cuts due next year unless Congress acts, was also making businesses nervous about committing to spending plans. Orders were lifted by a 2.7 percent jump in transportation equipment as aircraft bookings picked up and motor vehicles demand increased, though at a slower pace than in the prior month. — Reuters

LONDON: Ivory Coast’s $2.3 billion defaulted bond rose sharply to a record high yesterday on news the country would receive over $4 billion in debt reduction from lenders and expectations it will resume coupon payments on its bond. President Alassane Ouattara, a former IMF executive, who had made debt relief, a cornerstones of his economic policy as he tries to get the country back on rails following the decade-long bloody political crisis, welcomed the announcement. Ouattara said the debt reduction would give the government the leeway to tackle urgent social needs, invest in infrastructures which have been neglected during the crisis period, and create jobs. “This is an important step towards making the country an emerging economy by the 2020s,” Ouattara said in a statement yesterday. Ivory Coast, the world’s largest cocoa producer, has attracted risk-hungry investors given the relative scarcity of African dollar bonds. The country will receive more than 2.15 trillion CFA francs ($4.09 billion) in debt reduction after meeting conditions under the IMF-World Bank Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) scheme. Ivory Coast’s dollar debt has been the best-performing emerging hard currency debt this year, according to JP Morgan, after the country repeatedly said it would again pay coupons, after three missed payments following a four-month civil war. “The debt relief marks a crucial stage for the shoring-up of the country’s sovereign debt, which reduces substantially as a result,” said John Bates, head of fixed income at Silk Invest. “Of course, the announcement of a coupon payment is great for investor confidence after three missed payments.” The next payment of more than $43 million is expected on July 2, to include a good faith payment of nearly $2.1 million against outstanding arrears. The bond rose 1.5 points to a record 75 cents on the dollar yesterday, giving a yield around 8.7 percent. REVIVE ECONOMY The bond, which starts paying back principal ahead of maturity, traded at around 60 cents at launch in April 2010 and fell to a record low around 34 cents in March 2011, during the civil war after a disputed presidential election in late 2010. The London Club of commercial creditors is due to meet Ivory Coast officials in Paris on Thursday and is expected to discuss repayment of the arrears, which analysts said was around $90 million. “I expect they will try to propose an arrears clearance schedule,” said Samir Gadio, emerging markets strategist at Standard Bank. “We think they would like to pay the arrears in 2013 to 2014.” Analysts are upbeat on the bond, with Barclays recommending an overweight position with a price target of 80. “Ivory Coast has its own story and is not so affected by anything else,” said Gadio. The debt relief is expected to bring down the world’s top cocoa producing nation’s foreign debt burden from around 50 percent of GDP to a more manageable 40 percent. On busy streets in the nation’s commercial capital where major infrastructure works are being carried out in a sign of economic recovery, newspaper headlines welcomed the announcement. “Phew!, the HIPC is here,” said Le Nouveau Reveil daily, while Ivorian state daily Fraternite Matin said the country’s debt burden had become sustainable. “We have been hearing about this (debt relief ) for a long time. We just want the economy to be revived and that things really start moving,” said 34years old nurse Roger Belem. — Reuters




BMW X Models continue their success story KUWAIT: 13 years ago, BMW Group pioneered a whole new segment in the automotive industry with the launch of the world’s first Sports Activity Vehicle, the BMW X5. Although many questioned the suitability of a Sports Activity Vehicle to the global market and to the BMW brand, the car was the first of its kind and it was an instant success going from trendsetter to bestseller. Today, not only is the X5 the most successful car in the premium Sports Activity Vehicle category with over one million models sold, but it has also won numerous awards for outstanding product quality with regards to design, driving pleasure, safety and reliability. Since its inception in 1999, the BMW X model line-up has grown to comprise four members: BMW X6, X5, X3 and X1 that account for a large percentage of all new BMW vehicles sold in the Middle East and globally. BMW X5 Sports With superior dynamic performance on the road and outstanding traction on rough terrain, the BMW X5 has been on an unstoppable course of success for 13 years. BMW presented the first generation of the all-wheeldrive five-door vehicle at the North American International Auto Show in 1999. As proof of its ongoing success, the BMW X5 has celebrated numerous awards for design, quality and safety. In 2007 the BMW X5 received the design award “autonis” of the automobile journal “auto motor und sport” for the most attractive design and a gold award in the JD Power customer satisfaction study in North America, as well as securing class victory in the “auto 1” competition of the international “Auto Bild” Group.

These prizes were followed in 2008 by class victory in the “auto, motor und sport” readers’ vote “The best cars”. Twice in succession, the BMW X5 also won a place among the three vehicles with the most stable value in the German automobile market, causing the magazine “Auto Bild” to pronounce it “Value Master of the Year” in both 2007 and 2008. The X5 is the first BMW vehicle to offer space for seven occupants and is available with two engines variants: xDrive50i and xDrive35i both have eight speed auto-

matic transmission and offer outstanding fuel economy and low exhaust emissions. Enhanced intelligent fourwheel drive technology ensures superior dynamics both on and off-road. Numerous driver assistance system options and BMW ConnectedDrive features are available on the new BMW X5. These features offer a wide range of driver-assist technologies that increase the comfort and safety for all passengers while travelling in the vehicle.

BMW X3 Sports Following on from the resounding success of the X5, BMW entered a new era in driving dynamics and innovative technology with the launch of the X3 model in 2003. The second generation X3 model was launched last year and was named ‘Off Roader of the Year 2011’ just weeks after its German launch by Off Road magazine, one of the most important and traditional reader polls in Germany. The X3 continues to be one of the most successful BMW X

models with global sales continuously achieving double digit growth. For the first quarter of 2012, X3 global sales rose by 59%. BMW X6 Sports Activity Coupe In 2008, BMW pioneered another sector with the launch of the X6 Spor ts Activity CoupÈ. It was an entirely new type of car with a unique design concept and driving dynamics that combines the sporty elegance of a large BMW CoupÈ with the power-

Time for Africa KUWAIT: Africa’s compelling fundamentals have set the continent up to become a leading engine of global growth in the decades to come - creating outstanding opportunities for private equity investment in the process. Enduring macro fundamentals including a diverse natural resource wealth, 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land and what will become by 2040 the world’s largest workforce together make Africa home to outstanding potential long-term investments as the continent becomes an engine of global growth, the co-founder of the continent’s largest private equity firm told a gathering of global PE leaders in Geneva, Switzerland, today. “We will add more than 700 million people to our continent-wide workforce by 2050 at the same time as population growth in China and India flags. Africa’s proven oil reserves have climbed from 58.7 billion barrels of oil to 132.1 billion in the past two decades. Supportive policymaking has helped FDI to Africa grow nearly ten-fold in the period 19952009, a pace that outstrips even growth in FDI to Asia,” said Hisham El-Khazindar, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Citadel Capital, the leading private equity firm in Africa with US$ 9.5 billion in investments in 15 industries spanning 15 countries Six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies in the period 2001-10 were African, and while the International Finance Corporation (IFC) noted just one African nation as holding investable private equity opportunities in 2001, nearly two dozen are categorized as such today. “Africa is home to outstanding opportunities for long-term investors in the infrastructure that will support this growth,” El-Khazindar said in a keynote speech today at SuperReturn Emerging Markets in Geneva. In East Africa, for example, Citadel Capital is leading the turnaround of Rift Valley Railways, the national railway of Kenya and Uganda, for which the firm has devised and arranged full funding

of a more than US$ 300 million turnaround program with investments from leading development finance institutions and niche investors, El-Khazindar noted. “Our investments ease road congestion and reduce emissions by shifting transport off our highways and onto un-used waterways through Nile Logistics. And they will substantially curb Egypt’s reliance on diesel imports while simultaneously preventing the release of nearly 180,000 tons of sulfur dioxide each year,” he said, pointing to Egyptian Refining Company (ERC). ERC, which recently reached financial close with US$ 1.1 billion in equity from leading Egyptian, Gulf Cooperation Council and global investors, is building a US$ 3.7 billion greenfield petroleum refinery in the Greater Cairo Area that will halve Egypt’s diesel imports while producing Euro-V diesel, the cleanestburning diesel fuel of its kind in the world. US$ 2.6 billion of the project cost is covered by a debt package. ERC stands as among the largest-ever project finance transactions in Africa and is one of Egypt’s largest inward investments. “The key going forward is for private equity investors to articulate the solutions they offer in a way that is clear to policymakers, to limited partners including development finance institutions with mandates to invest in Africa and to the citizens of the nations in which they do business,” El-Khazindar said. “These opportunities may be distinct, but they are not unique: The continent is wide-open to private investment, in part thanks to a new generation of policymakers who speak the language of the private sector. Transactions of the size of ERC - among numerous other significant transactions in recent years - underscore the fact that Africa has reached a new level within the emerging markets pantheon. We have been saying for years that opportunities in Africa should, at a minimum, be on your watch list. No more: Now is the time to invest. Now is the time for Africa,” El-Khazindar concluded.

ABK extends travel offer

Stewart Lockie

KUWAIT: Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait in collaboration with Visa International is proud to announce the continuation of their hugely successful travel promotion, where ABK Visa Credit and Debit cardholders receive the opportunity to win one of 50 flight tickets to the destination of their choice until the 20th July 2012. Stewart Lockie, General Manager of the Retail Division commented “ABK is extremely pleased to offer such value added benefits, through our partnership with Visa, and in the heart of the travel season, this is the perfect time to reward our Visa cardholders when they travel. Every overseas purchase or cash withdrawal on their ABK Credit or Debit card gives them the chance to win one of 50 flight tickets.” So travel, spend and be rewarded while using your ABK Visa Debit and Credit Cards. For more details, and to apply, please visit any ABK branch or call Ahlan Ahli 1899 899.

ful presence of an X model. The X6 has become a firm favorite with customers particularly in the Middle East where it is consistently among the top five best-selling models. On a global level, more than 150,000 X6 vehicles have been sold in just over three years - far exceeding original plans for the model. In May this year, an upgraded X6 model arrived in the Middle East with enhanced design and innovative equipment features making the BMW X6 more attractive within the premium all-wheel-drive segment. A number of exterior changes include a new kidney grille with a wider chrome frame and revised bars, repositioned

fog lights, new Adaptive LED headlights and revised red light cluster on the rear lights. The powerfully shaped rear section of the new BMW X6 also features more intense styling. In addition, a raised powerdome bonnet appears on the new X6 giving the car a more aggressive and sportier look. A host of attractive color and trim options are available including three new metallic paint colors: Marrakech Brown, Orion Silver and Midnight Blue - and two new upholstery trims: Ivory White Exclusive Nappa Leather and Vermillion Red Nevada leather. The BMW X6 makes use of BMW’s

EfficientDynamics technology innovations that reduce fuel consumption and CO 2 emissions. The petrol engines with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology available for the BMW X6 deliver impressive pulling power and exemplary low fuel consumption figures. The V8 engine of the BMW X6 xDrive50i delivers 407 hp, while in the BMW X6 xDrive35i an in-line 6-cylinder petrol engine with 306 hp. Engine power in both models is transferred by means of a standard 8-speed sports transmission including shift paddles on the wheel. Dynamic Performance Control is a standard feature in all versions of the BMW X6 as an element of the intelligent allwheel drive system xDrive. This gives greater precision to the electronically controlled power distribution to optimise driving stability, traction and dynamic performance. BMW X5 M & X6 M The BMW X5M and X6M were the first all-wheel-drive models to offer the supreme performance, dynamic driving features, athletic design and premium quality typical of a BMW M car. Both the X5M and X6M models are powered by a M TwinPower Turbo V8 high-performance engine delivering 555 hp at an engine speed range between of 6,000 rpm. Acceleration from 0-100km/h is in just 4.7 seconds, and a top speed electronically limited to 250km/h. Offering even greater performance, BMW M GmbH, the specialists for high-performance sports cars, will introduce the BMW X6M. The BMW X6 M is fitted with a 6speed M Sport automatic transmission, also highlighting its individual status with such features as separately developed suspension technology.

BMW X1 With its agile, versatile and modern character the BMW X1 guarantees a new driving experience in the premium compact segment. It expands and enhances the range of BMW X models by yet another innovative vehicle concept. The generous feeling of space, the wide range of storage options and the variable interior offer ideal conditions for enjoying the BMW X1 both in an urban environment and beyond, with agility, spontaneity and versatility of the highest caliber. The BMW X1 is still the only premium vehicle in its segment and it continues to extend its pioneering position in the field of fuel efficiency. This model, which was designed to provide driving pleasure and combined with reduced fuel consumption and emission levels, is powered by a 120 kW/163 hp four-cylinder engine featuring BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. BMW X Models The BMW X6 Sports Activity Coupe and X5 Sports Activity Vehicle continue to be among BMW’s best sellers in the Middle East. 33% of BMW sales in the Middle East in 2011 were from X models, and this success has continued in the first three months of 2012 with X model sales accounting for 44% of Middle East sales. In terms of demand for fuel efficient vehicles; since 2007, all BMW models are fitted with Efficient Dynamics technology that encompasses many technology innovations to lower fuel consumption and reduce CO2 emissions. All BMW X models deliver excellent performance and are the most fuel efficient SAV’s in their competitive segments. The success of the BMW X range continues to evolve and open up to new market segments.

Focus on India tourism Ambassador seeks initiatives KUWAIT: “To accommodate an anticipated growth in tourism arrivals and to facilitate access, a number of developments are taking place within India’s tourism industry. In view of our close historical links, Kuwait is a very attractive source market for us and we would like to work closely with the leading travel agents and tour operators in Kuwait to encourage visitors from here to India to further stimulate tourism between Kuwait and India,” said His Excellency the Ambassador of India, Satish C Mehta during the meeting with Caesars Travel Group, one of the leading travel companies in Kuwait, headed by PNJ Kumar, CEO, Caesars Travel Group and accompanied by Vivek Shetty, Business Development Manager, Caesars Holidays and Thomas Sebastian, Cruise Specialist from Cruise Center. India, the second fastest growing major economy in the World continues to benefit from a growing pool of educated and highly trained Englishspeaking citizens, welcoming and attracting interest from across all industries. With the booming tourism industry, and the increasing number of investments injected into infrastructure development across its every region, India is becoming a tourist-friendly and attractive destination for leisure and business travelers. NATURE INSPIRED India is home to a diverse landscape consisting of beaches, rivers, jungles, deserts and mountains. The wild life parks, tea plantations in the mountains, the historical and cultural aspects and so much more - makes India an attractive destination with the beautiful, warm and friendly people. And the natural beauty of India makes it even more fabulous. India is one of the most visited countries of the world and on top of all travelers wish list. Its vastness and diversity with the right blend of traditional and modern influences makes it an intriguing destination for tourists from every corner. India is a vast land and there are thousands of places you can visit. From North to South, East to West there are numerous places which you can see, each more beautiful than the other. This country has various places to see from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Gujarat to Bengal. Every place is unique in its own way and has lots to offer to the visitors. The Himalayan Range in the Northern part of India provides you with breathtaking places like Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal and many more. The Taj Mahal in Agra is one of the wonders of the world. In western India, you can see majestic forts and palaces in Rajasthan. Gujarat and Maharashtra offer some very charming destinations. The Southern part has the wildlife and backwater. So, visit Kerala, Tamil Nadu and experience a unique holiday. In the Eastern part of India, visit Orissa, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, and other places each with its uniqueness. There are various travel packages for India through which you can club the places you wish to see. Madhya Pradesh in central India also has historical places, forests and cities to see.

MEDICAL TOURISM AND ECOTOURISM India with its rich heritage in the areas of traditional and natural medicine and tremendous advancements made in the field of modern medicine and health care techniques, with state of the art infrastructure and technology available in the country, has become a preferred destination for ‘Medical Value Travel’. The cost-effective treatment in India with nil waiting periods has made it a very attractive destination for medical tourists. With its booming IT sector and a work force comprising millions of highly-qualified and educated medical professionals, India is home to some of the leading hospitals and treatment centers in the world, and the country’s infrastructure now efficiently meets the standards of the US, Europe and the UK, offering technologically-advanced diagnostic equipments. It has got a reputation for excellence in a wide range of specialties - including those related to cardiology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, oncology and neurology. The country’s healthcare providers operate interna-

Embassy of India. While designing the travel packages to India, ecotourism plays an important role. KERALA BACKWATER TOURISM The Kerala Backwaters are a chain of brackish lagoons and lakes lying parallel to the Arabian Sea coast (known as the Malabar Coast) of Kerala state in southern India. The most enchanting way to experience the Kerala backwaters is through the Kerala houseboats. Take a leisurely journey along Kerala backwater on luxurious Kerala houseboats. Have an opportunity to stay in a houseboat floating over beautiful backwaters. Houseboats are also very popular among honeymooners as they provide sheer verdant green surrounding and exceptional natural beauty. The modern Houseboats have all the creative comforts of a hotel, with wellfurnished bedrooms, modern hygienic toilets, cozy living rooms, dining area, beautiful kitchen and in some cases, even a balcony for angling. Taking a journey to the hearts of lagoons, lakes, canals and deltas of Kerala will be an amazing experience for the tourists.

KUWAIT: His Excellency the Ambassador of India-Satish Mehta (middle), Second Secretary of the Embassy of India-Bhaskar Bhatt (right) and P N J Kumar, CEO of Caesars Travel Group, accompanied by Vivek Shetty-Business Development Manager of Caesars Holidays and Thomas Sebastian-Cruise Specialist from Cruise Center. tional patient liaison services that look after the needs of foreign patients, managing everything from hospital arrangements to hotel accommodations, arrival and send-off, as well as sightseeing and other leisure activities. Kerala, in the Southern part of India, is well known for its natural medical treatments and numerous excellent physicians and specialists. Medical tourism has therefore emerged as a strong niche market for the country, whereby many visitors have been able to enjoy a trip for medical treatment combined with a trip to an area with pristine natural environment for recuperation and leisure. With creation of world class medical infrastructure in India, using 3rd generation medical technology, there has been a considerable increase in the number of visitors traveling to the country for medical check-ups and treatment. It is widely accepted that ecotourism’s increasing popularity has been triggered by a change in tourist perceptions, increased environmental awareness, and a desire to venture into and explore natural environments. “Ecotourism is a very fashionable and modern concept now, because people have become increasingly conscious of the need for ecological conservation,” said Bhaskar Bhatt, Second Secretary of

MIDDLE EASTERN INTEREST India, which continues to tap into the corporate market, is hosting several MICE events and is looking to further promote itself to the Middle Eastern MICE markets. It is becoming a great place for international summits all over the world and has become a leader in leisure, pleasure and MICE destination. The consequent rise in passenger traffic has initiated many accommodation providers to boost their product offerings in order to maintain a competitive edge. With the relentless development of such projects across India, confidence in the tourism industry’s future is justifiably optimistic. With increasing optimism of an upward swing in the number of tourists to India, a number of new world-class properties are opening in the hotel sector and existing properties are undergoing renovations & upgrades in preparation for an influx of tourist arrivals. “Families from the Middle East prefer culturally similar accommodation and cuisine. Indeed, with an increasing number of resorts coming up around India catering to such needs, the country has seen a significant increase in interest from the Middle East,” said PNJ Kumar, CEO, Caesars Travel Group. “We have been promoting India in the Kuwaiti market for sometime now.

As such, there has been an ongoing increase in the number of visitors from this market coming for trips to India. India is renowned for its friendly and warm people, majestic world of heritage sites, spectacular destinations and attractions, tasty cuisine, exquisite culture and traditions. All visitors have good memories of India as a destination of unforgettable beauty, luxury, culture and adventure. We want our visitors and guests to feel that they have received warm hospitality and been enriched by our culture and heritage. We would like them to recommend India to their friends, families and colleagues, and then, we want them all to come back for another visit,” Kumar added. AVIATION TO FUEL TOURISM Inbound flights to India are continuously increasing, with India now being served by Middle East aviation company giants such as Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Kuwait Airways, Oman Air, Gulf Air and Air India-the National Carrier of India. There are many low cost carriers also operating to India. Indeed, with the number of flights to and from India having multiplied to suit increasing demand, more Middle Eastern airlines are setting up operations within India in a move to further tap the evergrowing Indian tourism market. Besides, there are many privately owned airlines of India such as Jet Airways, IndiGo, Spice Jet, Kingfisher Airlines, providing top quality services from various international destinations including Middle East. To achieve the passenger’s satisfaction, these airlines are very careful on quality issues with the creation of high standards of service for the Middle Eastern tourist’s expectations. In brief, the tourism zone developments in India are planned in such a way to raise the quality of domestic travel and to better respond to changes in international tourism trends. “We have, in the past, developed several packages in line with Islamic guidelines to make India a welcoming destination for Arab-based Muslims. Currently, we are working on developing a number of tourism packages that cater specifically to Kuwaiti families, and which will provide healthy, relaxing and joyful experiences. Our mission is to help Kuwait residents recognize India as a unique and mustsee destination that can be enjoyed any time of the year,” said Vivek Shetty, Business Development Manager of Caesars Holidays. Backed by an ambitious national drive to promote long-term tourism growth to India from Kuwait, His Excellency the Ambassador of India, Satish C. Mehta along with Indian Tourist Office in Dubai are planning a number of initiatives including an Indian Tourism Road Show in Kuwait. “While trade relations between our two friendly countries are continuously growing, there is a huge untapped potential for tourism to India from Kuwait, due to our longstanding historical relations and geographical proximity, which can be tapped by the travel agents and tour operators of Kuwait with creative packages and marketing,” commented the ambassador of India.



Planned Google tablet to rival Amazon: Asustek exec TAIPEI: Google Inc will soon unveil a tablet cobranded with Taiwan’s Asustek Computer Inc and priced to compete with Amazon’s Kindle Fire device, an Asustek executive said yesterday. Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which runs a version of Google’s Android operating system, sells for $199. Through it users can access Amazon content including books, music and video. “It’s targeting Amazon. The Kindle is based on Google’s platform but with its own service, so Google has to launch its own service, too,” said the executive

of the device. Google has its own store for apps called Google Play, but does not have anything like Amazon’s service. Bloomberg earlier reported that Google would launch a tablet at its developer conference this week, taking direct aim at Apple Inc’s iPad, citing two people familiar with the matter. One of the sources said the 7-inch tablet would showcase new features of Android. The Asustek executive, who did not want to be

named as the planned device has not yet been made public, declined to give details on its price, specifications or launch timetable. Rumours that the search engine giant planned to launch a tablet at its annual developer conference have circulated on tech blogs for weeks. Google declined to comment. Apple’s iPad had a 68 percent share of the market in JanuaryMarch, according to data from IDC. Amazon had a little over 4 percent, lagging Samsung Electronics and Lenovo. Microsoft last

week introduced its own line of tablet computers, marking a major strategic shift for the software giant as it struggles to compete with Apple and re-invent its aging Windows franchise. Google has previously worked with hardware manufacturers HTC and Samsung to produce co-branded Android mobile phones under the Nexus brand. This would be its first such tablet device. Asustek shares gained 2.6 percent in Taipei, outperforming a 0.6 percent gain on the benchmark stock index. — Reuters

Judge halts sales of Galaxy Tab in US Samsung says may take legal action

ATHENS: A security officer stands by the mini-van used by attackers at entrance to the Microsoft office in an Athens northern suburb yesterday. —AFP

Arsonists attack Microsoft office in Athens ATHENS: Attackers targeted the Microsoft main office in the Greek capital in a predawn arson attack yesterday, smashing the entrance with a mini-van and blowing up gas canisters, police said. Anti-terrorist police were investigating, and authorities did not rule out an extremist group was behind the attack, which caused no casualties. Two or three masked men immobilised two security guards around 3:45 am (0045 GMT), then rammed the stolen mini-van through the entrance, and set fire to the van, which was packed with gas canisters, police said. The fire and explosion damaged the entrance and ground floor of the building, the Greece corporate headquar ters of the US technology giant, located in the northern Athens suburb of Maroussi. “We are grateful that there were no injuries and our staff are safe,” the company said in a statement, noting that the assailants had forced the security guards

out of the building before setting the mini-van on fire. “We await the completion of the police investigation to form a more complete picture on the case,” they added. A fire department spokeswoman told AFP: “Serious damage has been caused to the ground floor of the building. Our first estimate is in the region of 60,000 euros ($75,000).” The mini-van used in the attack was entirely gutted, she added. The offices will remain closed yesterday and today, a company source said. Attacks against targets such as diplomatic missions, state offices, companies and banks, which usually do not cause casualties, are frequent in Greece and blamed by police on extremist and anarchist groups. In April, a previously unknown group called “Revolutionary Action” claimed responsibility for an attack with an incendiar y device that badly damaged an annex of the Greek ministry of administration in Athens. — AFP

SAN FRANCISCO: A US judge on Tuesday backed Apple Inc’s request to stop Samsung Electronics selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the United States, giving the iPhone maker a significant win in the global smartphone and tablet patent wars. Samsung’s Galaxy touchscreen tablets, powered by Google’s Android operating system, are considered by many industry experts to be the main rival to the iPad, though they are currently a distant second to Apple’s device. Microsoft and Google are also preparing tablet offerings. US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, had previously denied Apple’s bid for an injunction on the tablet and multiple Galaxy smartphones. However, a federal appeals court instructed Koh to reconsider Apple’s request on the tablet. “Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly, by flooding the market with infringing products,” Koh wrote on Tuesday, adding the order should become effective once Apple posts a $2.6 million bond to protect against damages suffered by Samsung if the injunction is later found to have been wrong. Apple has waged an international patent war since 2010 as it seeks to limit the growth of Google’s Android system, the world’s bestselling mobile operating platform. A decisive injunction in one of the US legal cases could strengthen Apple’s hand in negotiating crosslicensing deals, where firms agree to let each other use their patented technologies. Opponents of Apple say the iPhone and iPad maker is using patents too aggressively in its bid to stamp out competition.

“The relief being given to Apple here is extraordinary. Preliminary injunctions are rarely asked for and rarely granted,” said Colleen Chien, a professor at Santa Clara Law in Silicon Valley. “That this was a design patent and copying was alleged distinguish this case from plain vanilla utility patent cases. Cases involving these kinds of patents are based more on a counterfeiting theory than a competition theory, so I don’t expect this case to have ramifications for all smartphone disputes, but rather those involving design patents and the kind of product resemblance we had here.” The injunction against Samsung comes less than a week after Apple suffered a serious setback when a federal judge in Chicago dismissed its patent claims against Google’s Motorola Mobility unit. Judge Richard Posner ruled that an injunction barring the sale of Motorola smartphones would harm consumers. Samsung will likely seek to appeal Koh’s ruling to a federal appeals court in Washington, DC, which has exclusive jurisdiction over intellectual property disputes. “Apple sought a preliminary injunction of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1, based on a single design patent that addressed just one aspect of the product’s overall design,” Samsung said in a statement. “Should Apple continue to make legal claims based on such a generic design patent, design innovation and progress in the industry could be restricted.” The South Korean firm said it would take necessary legal steps, and did not expect the ruling to have a significant impact on its busi-

ness, as it has a broad range of products. It brought out three tablet models last year alone. Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet reiterated a prior statement from the company, saying Samsung’s “blatant copying” is wrong. Apple sold 13.6 million iPads in JanuaryMarch to control 63 percent of the global tablet market, according to research firm Display Search. Samsung sold 1.6 million tablets, giving it 7.5 percent of the market. The global tablet market is set to nearly double this year to 123.5 million units this year, according to IHS iSuppli. Microsoft last week introduced its own line of tablet computers, making a major strategic shift for the software giant as it struggles to compete with Apple and re-invent its aging Windows franchise, and Google plans to unveil a $199 tablet cobranded with Taiwan’s Asustek Computer Inc at its developer conference this week, according to a media report. Samsung, which has various tablet line-ups with different sizes from 7 inches to 10.1 inches (17.8-25.7 cm), introduced the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in June last year and unveiled an upgraded version, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 II, last month. The company said the US ruling does not affect the updated Tab 10.1 II, and retailers can also clear their existing Tab10.1 inventories. In Seoul, Samsung shares rose 3 percent in a flat market , rebounding from 4-month lows early this week amid concerns over second-quarter profit growth. The case in US District Court, Northern District of California, is Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al, 11-1846. — Reuters

HP empowers small, medium-size businesses to thrive in mobile world DUBAI: HP today announced new offerings to help small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) prepare their technology infrastructures for a growing mobile workforce. With more than 1.1 billion mobile appliances in use worldwide,(1) organizations of all sizes are challenged by the need to access, manage and secure mobile devices and the data generated by them. HP Converged Infrastructure provides the ideal platform for secure continuous access to data and applications. With partner solutions from Citrix, Microsoft and VMware, HP also delivers improved employee accessibility and productivity as the requirements for mobility continue to grow. New offerings from HP include technology solutions and services, as well as financing and training programs that enable resource-challenged SMBs to simplify IT while enhancing collaboration in an increasingly mobile world. Predefined solutions secure, simplify mobile access According to Gartner research, by 2016, at least 50 percent of business email users will rely primarily on a tablet or mobile client instead of a traditional desktop.(2) The trend to use devices to access email and other business data requires SMBs to prepare their infrastructures to support increased mobility. New HP solutions and services enable organizations to: * Improve security with HP Client Virtualization SMB virtual desktop solution. The solution includes reference architectures-such as HP ProLiant Generation 8 (Gen8) servers and client virtualization software from Citrix, Microsoft or VMware-that protects company data by storing user profiles and data on a centralized server. This enables SMBs to provide secure access to applications from thin clients, laptops, tablets and smartphones. Information remains protected on the server even if the device is lost. * Reduce risk and complexity of client virtualization projects with HP Client Virtualization, Analysis and

Modeling, a prepackaged service that analyzes the existing IT environment to simplify and speed deployment of virtualization for medium-size organizations and help them embrace mobile technology. * Simplify adoption of mobile technology with HP Transformation Experience Workshop for Mobility, a service that aligns business and IT stakeholders to ensure employees have access to data while upholding security requirements. * Increase uptime for a growing mobile workforce with HP Business Protection Solutions, preconfigured reference architectures based on HP Converged Infrastructure and best practices in data protection, network security and disaster recovery. These customized solutions guide SMBs in the design of a riskmitigation program to ensure continued accessibility to company data from a mobile device . Collaboration tools improve productivity for mobile workforce To support the acceleration of mobile devices, HP and its partners are helping SMBs improve employee productivity and drive business efficiency. * Improves collaboration with HP Unified Communications & Collaboration (UC&C) Solutions with Microsoft Lync, an integrated hardware and software solution that enables SMBs to securely video conference, share information on desktops and collaborate to improve productivity. The comprehensive UC&C solution includes Microsoft Lync software, HP Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones, HP networking and HP ProLiant Gen8 servers, storage and services. Simplified infrastructure for SMBs embracing mobility Small and medium-size organizations need simple, reliable and economical computing to support growing data and new applications across wired and wireless environments. New solutions based on HP Converged Infrastructure help companies to: * Simplify network management with the expanded

HP Multi-Service Router (MSR) Series, an all-in-one, customizable platform that allows clients to streamline deployment of networks by integrating security and wired and wireless networking features into one device. * Reduce power costs with the HP 1910 8G Switch Series, which features energy-saving Power over Internet (PoE) technology to deliver simple, reliable and cost-effective network access for rich-media applications, such as voice and video. * Address the explosion of unstructured data from a growing mobile workforce with increased capacity and simplified management featured with HP X5000 Storage. This highly available clustered network attached storage (NAS) platform reduces IT administration time for SMBs by ensuring users have access to file data from their mobile devices. Increased support for SMBs and channel partners HP provides SMBs and channel partners with a broad range of programs to drive growth, create new revenue streams and ensure collaboration. Enhanced programs provide: * Favorable financing options with the HP Even Better Than Zero program, which allows companies to lease HP equipment at a less-than-zero implicit lease rate while offering a fair-market-value purchase option, available through HP Financial Services. * Improved business skills for small-business owners through HP Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs (HP LIFE) e-Learning. The new cloud-based platform, hosted on HP Converged Cloud infrastructure, offers free information and courses to help SMBs establish or grow their businesses. HP LIFE has helped establish or expand over 19,700 businesses and helped create 43,000 jobs worldwide since 2007.(3) Availability The HP Client Virtualization SMB Reference Architecture for Microsoft VDI is scheduled to be available in September. All other solutions and services are available now through HP and worldwide channel partners.

FASTtelco posts general secondary school scores on ASTtelco, the leading Internet Service Provider in Kuwait winner of the Bizz Arab Award of 2012 for displaying business excellence and for being the most inspirational company, and winner of the Annual GCC HR Excellence Awards for Best Change Management Strategy of 2012, announced that it will post and publish the General Secondary School Scores as soon as they are being declared by the Ministry of Education. In this regard, all students may check their scores online by simply visiting the following link and by simply logging in their assigned student number. FASTtelco announced that dedicating a special website for posting the General Secondary School Scores in both scientific and literary divisions comes as part of its social responsibility and commitment to the community. Through this ini-


tiative, the company seeks to share all students’ joy of succeeding and wishes them the best of luck in order to continuously achieve success and realize all their dreams

and goals. FASTtelco further added that this initiative proves that the company possesses an advanced technical capacity and is committed to continuously introducing the latest in the field of data communication technology, and reminded that all students and parents may visit the following link as soon as the scores will be declared by the Ministry of Education. In this special occasion, FASTtelco would like to grasp on this opportunity to congratulate all graduates on succeeding in the exams and wished them continued success for achieving all their ambitions and goals in the coming years. At the end, FASTtelco recalled its commitment to continuously introducing the latest Internet and data communication solutions in order to satisfy the needs and requirements of all social groups.

HONG KONG: A woman looks at a mobile phone inside an Apple store in Hong Kong yesterday. Apple yesterday launched its iTunes Store in 12 Asian markets, giving access to millions of songs and movies including local favourites, but regional giants China and India were not on the list. —AFP

Apple launches iTunes in 12 new Asia markets SINGAPORE: Apple launched its iTunes Store in 12 Asian markets yesterday, giving access to millions of songs and movies including local favourites, but regional giants China and India were not on the list. The move by California-based Apple, which has sold more than 16 billion songs worldwide on the platform, opens it up further to growing Asian economies where its devices have proved massively popular. “What took them so long?” said Chen Wei Li, a 28year-old Singaporean who owns an iPhone, iPad and MacBook Pro laptop. “I personally am looking to download some music off the iTunes store,” he added. The iTunes Store is now open to consumers with credit cards issued in Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. It was already available in Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Customers will now be able to choose from more than 28 million songs, including hits by Asian stars, as well as rent or buy movies from studios such as 20th Centur y Fox, Paramount, Universal, Disney and Warner Brothers. “We’re always working to bring the iTunes Store to more customers around the world, as conditions permit,” Apple said in a written reply to AFP when asked why China and India were not yet included. Neha Dharia, a Mumbai-based analyst with business research firm Ovum, said several criteria including support for intellectual property rights are considered by Apple before opening up the iTunes Store to any market. “These include the adoption of Apple devices, consumer preferences for digital distribution of content, ability to forge

partnerships for procuring local content and, of course, levels of piracy and the measures to combat it,” Mumbai-based Dharia told AFP. Apple’s Asian expansion, which followed the December launch of the iTunes Store in Brazil and 15 other Latin American markets, now makes commercial sense despite concerns over piracy, another analyst said. “Up to a certain point, piracy in the whole region was something they were looking at with a critical eye,” said Melissa Chau, a Singapore-based regional research manager with US market intelligence firm IDC. “But what has changed in the last couple of years was how popular iPads and iPhones have become in this region. “It makes sense for them to capture revenues from these users who have iPads and iPhones.” Apple is estimated to have shipped 35 million iPhones and iPads in the AsiaPacific region excluding Japan in 2011, Chau said. “Now that they have reached most markets, what other ways can they expand revenues?” said Chau. “This is the natural evolution of an integrated ecosystem for their own products and ser vices.” Apple’s latest earnings announced in April showed it made a profit of $11.6 billion on revenues of $39.2 billion in the March quarter, thanks largely to booming demand for iPhones and iPads in Asia including China. More than 16 billion songs have been sold through the iTunes Store since it was launched in 2003, according to Apple figures. In March, the firm said more than 25 billion apps had been downloaded from the App Store by the users of more than 315 million iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. — AFP



RIO DE JANEIRO: (Left) Thiago Porrozzi uses a piece of resistance equipment on a beach in Flamengo, Brazil. (Centre) Washington Santos, a former Jiu-Jitsu fighter, stands on the perimeter of a beach in Flamengo, Brazil, watching the locals jog, bicycle and play beach volleyball. (Right) UFC fighter Johnny Eduardo uses gym equipment to work on his arm strength at Upper Gym in Flamengo, Brazil—MCT Photos

Brazil’s beach bodies are getting fatter RIO DE JANEIRO: Nestled in between some of Rio’s ubiquitous fitness centers are food stands selling snacks that are fried or covered in cheese. Butter-laden pastries and creamy pies occupy glass display cases, and sugary fruit juices chill in massive containers. Rio’s women still wear their microscopic Brazilian bikinis, but today they’re often filled out by large midsections and more-than-ample hips and thighs. Men’s Speedos are topped off with jutting beer bellies. In this country known for its beautiful bodies, the evidence is everywhere: Brazil is getting fat. While still the breeding ground for supermodels and the showcase for cosmetic plastic surgery, Brazil’s fabled beaches are no longer the exclusive preserve of the tanned and fit. The toned and body-conscious are surrounded by the overweight as rising obesity rates alarm public health authorities. It’s the “American tendency,” says Gloria Valeria da Veiga, a professor who specializes in obesity studies at the Institute of Nutrition at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Like other emerging economic powers, Brazil’s boom

has spawned a consumer class now able to afford fast food and regular meals out. Especially in urban areas like Rio, Sao Paulo and Brasilia, busy schedules have meant less exercise and more pre-packed, salty and sugary foods. Traditional Brazilian fare like manioc root, sweet potatoes, fish and fruits have been replaced by giant portions of beef, potatoes and rice at restaurants. “They don’t eat bananas,” Veiga says, “but they’ll eat cookies.” Results of a 2008-09 study by the National Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics found that 33 percent of children ages 5 to 9 were classified as overweight while another 14 percent were obese, the next level up on the Body Mass Index scale. About 20 percent of Brazilian teenagers are overweight and 5 percent are obese; 50 percent of Brazilian adults are overweight, and 15 percent are obese. While Brazil hasn’t reached the U.S. obesity rate about 36 percent Veiga said Brazilians increasingly are mimicking American patterns and could match the United States if habits don’t change. In Rio, appearances can be deceiving.

The city’s world-famous beaches and its ubiquitous gyms and workout centers still attract steady crowds of people jogging, bicycling and playing beach volleyball and soccer. But the geography and statistics institute study revealed that only 15 percent of adults are active in their free time. The situation is worse in the city’s poorer neighborhoods, where residents cannot afford gym memberships or healthy foods. Brazilian teenagers’ weight has nearly tripled since the 1970s, Veiga says. Adults are experiencing a similar threefold weight increase, too, and the study indicates the problem afflicts all socioeconomic groups. Concerned by the trend, public health authorities are fighting back. In Rio schools, snack bars are prohibited by law and soda, candy, cakes and greasy foods like French fries are banned from school cafeterias. Some Brazilians are trying to make fitness equipment more available to the general public. In one tiny park near a subway station, bright green, all-weather workout equipment stands ready for anyone to use. People flock to the fitness equipment at all hours of the day to take advantage of free

workout.Beach workouts is noticeably popular, too. On a spot of Flamengo beach, Felipe Marinho and a group of employees _ all toned, tan and energetic _ eagerly help passers-by try out an obstacle course that includes resistance bands, balance equipment, hula hoops (laid on top of the sand for agility exercises) and mats for stretching and sit-ups.”Aesthetics are secondary,” says Marinho, founder of the circuit, who studied physical education and sports training in school. He adds that the majority of gymgoers are concerned with sculpting their bodies simply to look good, but he wants his circuit to be used as a dynamic workout for cardiovascular health. Other fitness trainers and experts in Rio are concerned with exercise habits. Tauska Santos, a fitness instructor and trainer at NBfit gym in Rio’s Ipanema neighborhood, says the strong fitness culture can motivate people to work out _ but at the same time, many take it to the extreme. “We’re very vain,” Santos says. “We have some obsessed clients.” Santos describes the perfect Brazilian body full breasts, a thin waist and toned

buttocks and thighs for women; bulky arms and abdominal muscles for men. She emphasizes that Brazilian women don’t try to achieve the “scary skinny” physique that American women desire; rather, Brazilian women want to look toned and beach-ready. “When you go to the beach, you feel very vulnerable,” Santos says. “We’re more likely to freak out about body image in Rio. There’s this kind of judgment about it.” But Santos says that in recent years, she has noted a difference in the body types that show up to the chic fitness center. “I’ve noticed that people have gained a lot of weight,” Santos says. “More people are working, and when we get too stressed, we release cortisol. The more cortisol you release, the more weight you gain it’s a cycle.” Though some of her clients are too preoccupied with the aesthetics benefit of working out, Santos says, many are aware of the health benefits of exercise. “What you have to highlight is that the exercise shouldn’t be so obsessive,” Santos says. “We should aim for health first and the looks as a consequence.”—MCT

Mexico doctors remove child’s 33-pound tumor A tumor bigger than the person carrying it

MEXICO: In this still image taken from an undated video released by the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) on Tuesday, an image created through medical imaging technology shows an X-ray-like image of 2-year-old Jesus Rodriguez, prior to having a benign tumor removed from his body.

MEXICO: Mexican doctors say they have successfully removed a 33-pound (15-kilogram) benign tumor from the body of a 2-year-old child. Dr. Gustavo Hernandez says the tumor was heavier than the child who at the time of the June 14 surgery weighed 26 pounds (12 kilograms). Hernandez said Tuesday the child from the northern state of Durango was born with a lump that eventually covered the right side of his body from his armpit to his hip. Hernandez says it took doctors at the La Raza Medical Center in Mexico City 10 hours to remove the tumor. Hernandez is the director of pediatrics at La Raza hospital. He says the boy is recovering and doing well. The doctor also said the operation marked the first time Mexican doctors have removed a tumor bigger than the person carrying it.—AP

MEXICO: Jesus Rodriguez, 2, holds onto the hand of his mother Maria Fernandez, in a play area of La Raza Medical Center.—AP photos




Announcements Open House for Indian citizens pen House for Indian citizens by the ambassador which is being held every alternate Wednesday has been found useful by the Indian community and the embassy. It will now be held on every Wednesday from June 2012 between 1500 hrs and 1600 hrs. in the embassy. In case Wednesday is an embassy holiday, the meeting will be held on the next working day. To ensure timely action/follow-up by the embassy, it is requested that, wherever possible, Indian citizens should exhaust the existing channels of interaction/grievance redressal and bring their problems/issues in writing with supporting documents. It may be mentioned that embassy of Indiaís Consular Wing is providing daily service of Open House to Indian citizens on all workings days from 1000 hrs to 1100 hrs and from 1430 hrs to 1530 hrs by the Consular Officer in the Meeting Room of the Consular Hall. For any unaddressed issues, Second Secretary (Consular) could be contacted. Furthermore, the head of the Consular Wing is also available to redress grievances. Similarly, a labour wing Help Desk functions from 0830 hrs to 1300 hrs and 1400 hrs to 1630 hrs in the Labour Hall to address the labour related issues. There is also a 24x7 Help Line (Tel No. 25674163) to assist labourers in distress. For any unaddressed issues, the concerned attaches in the labour section and the head of the labour wing could be contacted.


‘Leniency of Islam’ An unprecedented initiative of KTV2 (English channel) is the new program by the name ‘Leniency of Islam’ presented by Shaikh Musaad Alsane and directed by Hamid Al-Turkait. The program is mainly meant to address the expatriates living in Kuwait. Religious questions are received through the program email and sms can be sent to97822021 and answered by the lecturer and Imam in Awqaf Ministry Shaikh Musaad Alsane - a Master Degree holder in Sharia and fiqih from Kuwait University. So don’t forget to watch the program every Friday at 1:00 pm. Free Arabic course IPC is opening an Intensive Basic Arabic Course for ladies commencing from June 3 to July 8, 2012. The class will be from 5-7 pm for three days a week. Registration is on! For information, call 22512257.

Ranny Pravasi Sangham, Kuwait Hosts Farewell for John Mandooran anny Pravasi Sangham, Kuwait gave an emotional farewell to their Vice Patron John Mandooran (K M John) and his wife Aleyamma John who are leaving Kuwait for good. The sendoff gathering, which was organized in Hidine Auditorium, Abbassiya, was enriched by the presence of eminent personalities of various fields, association members and their families. The function was presided by association President Jacob Mathew and Raju C Ninan delivered welcome speech. Jacob Mathew gave a briefing about Mandooran and his involvement in the Ranny Association. Also M Mathews (Sunny), Aby Varicad, and Lalu spoke and shared their experiences with Mandooran. . On behalf of Ranny Pravasi Sangham members, Manoj Maveli presented a memento to John and Aleyamma and wished both of them and their family all the very best. Mandooran in his speech enumerated the importance of Ranny Pravasi Sangam’s service to the community and its members. He then thanked all members and shared his mixed feelings with the gathering. Vote of thanks was proposed by Varghese Kachanathu, the Vice President of Ranny Pravasi Sangham and the function ended with a grand dinner.


Kuwait celebrates Social media day By Khalil Al Hamar ocial Media Day is one of the annual global events where it is celebrated every June 30th on the calendar. Whether we like it or not, the day has come to be synonymous with the revolutions in the global digital sphere where every Tom, Dick and Harry has a say in what goes on around us as well as on the international stage. This year’s celebration of the event is the second since it was first celebrated in


2010. Social Media Day is a global celebration of the technological advancements that enable everyone to connect with real-time information, communicate from miles apart and have their voices be heard. Social Media which originally was the preserve for bloggers or citizen journalists, is now being widely used by governments, businesses, community organizations, media-practitioners and of course private individuals, mainly using facebook, twitter and other platforms. One of the most significant impacts of Social Media that’s not covered here is the ability to bring together people around the world with a common issue, interest, or

Meshari Abdullah Al-Sanoussi

Entertainment City’s roller coasters repaired KUWAIT: The Touristic Enterprises Company(TEC) is keen on providing the best possible services and enjoyment for visitors, said Meshari Abdullah Al-Sanoussi, Touristic Enterprises Company’s (TEC) Deputy Managing Director for the Entertainment City. He said that the facility’s 88 roller coasters will begin operating on June 29 to mark the beginning of summer activities that will be halted on July 18. Activities will then resume on August 21. Furthermore, Al-Sanoussi added that many programs and activities were prepared for visitors including musical bands, concerts, cartoon figures, competitions and many prizes for winners on Fridays. Mondays have been reserved for female visitors. He also noted that the working hours would be from 5 pm to 1 am on Sunday to Wednesday, and 5 pm to 2 am on Thursdays and Fridays.

need and allow them to interact as a community as if they were in the same room and do something for the good of others There’s no better way to celebrate the revolution of media becoming a social dialogue tool than by socializing with your online community offline. This year’s Social Media Day celebration event is to be held in Manila, Philippines where the phenomenon has seen an unprecedented expansion to the largest group of people across all platforms. Web enthusiasts will also be celebrating the day organizing meetups in their respective localities. Participating in the event for the

first time ever, the Bloggers Gathering Committee of Kuwait, wishes everyone a happy and memorable Social Media Day. Remember to tweet and facebook safely wherever you are!! As we head into our Social Media Day festivities, we’d like to take a look at the effect social media has had on our daily lives. Social media has not only allowed people to change careers, it has also created new careers for peoplecareers that hitherto never existed. People have transitioned from being engineers to becoming sources of inspiration for engineers while helping them break out of their technical shells to enjoy their personal and professional lives.




Embassy Information

Indian ambassador meets IKFS patrons ami Bubere, Patron and Advisor of Indo-Kuwait Friendship Society ( who has arrived in Kuwait by the invitation of IKFS, met Satish Mehta, Ambassador of India on 26th June, at His Excellency’s offices. Sami hails from Mumbai and is the Chief Editor and publisher of 2 magazines (“Indo-Gulf Times”, an English NRI related magazine and “Subhe Ummad” Urdu magazine). Both are published from New Delhi and Mumbai. Dr Ghalib Al-Mashoor, President of IKFS, accompanied the delegation and introduced Sami Bubere as a well known social worker and senior scribe with 50 years of work experience in the field of journalism. His father was a contemporary of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal


Nehru and Moulana Abul Kalam Azad, who was leader and pleader to eradicate illiteracy and vice. Abdul Sami Abdul Hamid Bubere known as Sami Bubere is the President of “Sahyog Cultural Society “and “World Peace Council” and internationally known for his endeavors for peace and communal harmony in country and abroad. Sami is attached with hundreds of local, regional, national and international organizations to serve the nations in the cause of nurturing humanity. Al-Mashoor also introduced other accompanying patrons of IKFS, Muzammil Malik, a well known industrialist and philanthropist who employs more than 2,000 Indians in Kuwait and abroad through Al-Kulaib international Co, Dr Abdul Razzak Rumane , the author of sev-

eral books and winner of international awards in the engineering field especially in the quality management and Abdul Mohsin Al-Sadi, a Kuwaiti national and Chief Executive Officer of Al-Sadi International GTC. The meeting was very cordial and during the one hour meeting with Mehta, views of Indian culture and peace were exchanged, including the contribution and influence of Sufism in the Indian continent as a peace making instrument of various forums of majalis mashahira. Satish said that he himself is a fan of famous ‘mashahiras’ in Urdu language and enquired whether IKFS can join with the coordination of some of the interested ‘mashahira’ personalities in Kuwait. His Excellency’s affection towards “mashahira” was grasped during the meeting.

During the meeting, IKFS Executives invited Meht to inaugurate “IKFS’ Cultural Programs” as being the Chief Guest of the event and handed over the invitation letter. Al-Mashoor explained that ‘IKFS is conducting patriotic songs and essay competitions for school going students of Indian and Kuwaiti schools on Saturday, 27th October, 2012 followed by the general convention and prize distribution ceremony. The planned program will be convened at the auditorium of Salmiya Indian Model school, Salmiya and will be a full day function with plays, games, and fun and entertainment for the schoolchildren and the participating students and a large crowd is expected due to the Eid-Al Adhaa holiday.

Ruby Tuesday serves certified Angus beef uby Tuesday believes that the guest is our number one priority so, we promise you quality. Whether you came for one of your favorites or to try something new, our food and drinks are made to your order with quality ingredients, and we are passionate about how great they taste, how good they look, and how much you enjoy them. Ruby Tuesday is glad to serve you Certified Angus Beef, which surely guarantees a mouthwatering and fully indulgent experience to all our steak lovers. “Certified Angus Beef” (CAB) is a special industry designation developed in 1978 that involves standards for marbling, tenderness, age, and color. According to the National Cattleman’s Beef Association, only about 8% of US beef is entitled to the label “Certified Angus.” Just because something is labeled “Angus” or “Black Angus” doesn’t mean it’s the same quality as “Certified Angus Beef”. USDA Certified Angus Beef has fine marbling, so it is perfectly tender, juicy and full of mar-


velous flavor! Our rich Ruby Tuesday menu gives you an endless variety of lavish taste! Whether it’s top sirloin, petite sirloin, steak & jumbo skewered shrimps or lobster tail, rib eye, cowboy rib eye, or rib eye teriyaki & shrimp; our chefs have perfected each step of the process to serve you the most delicious USDA graded steaks. Handcrafted, seared to perfection, drizzled with seasoned butter and served with your choice of delicious sidings only for you to enjoy the most tender and succulent steak in Kuwait! When it comes to quality, compromise is not in our dictionary and we will take top measures to guarantee you a memorable experience! Choosing top graded USDA beef is our key to that. So, be sure to visit any of our branches in Sharq, Sha’ab, Salmiya, Abu Halifa, 360, and the Avenues and let us pamper your steak cravings. Your satisfaction is our goal and guarantee.

IMA announces quiz winners ndian Muslim Association has announced the winners of the recently held Online Peace Mountain Quiz. IMA conducted an unique online quiz which was from 1st of May 2012 to 31st May 2012 The list of winners is as follows :



under development - from Paris to Palawan. The Movenpick Resort & Spa, Quy Nhon is the company’s third hotel in Vietnam following openings in Saigon and Hanoi. The new resort will be built to

nine-storey central building, the 180-room resort will feature 52 individual cliff and hill villas, a spa, a 600 sq m (6,458 sq ft) ballroom, boardrooms, a large variety of restaurants, cafÈs and bars, extensive pools and tropi-

EMBASSY OF BRITAIN Consular section at the British Embassy will be starting an online appointment booking system for our consular customers from Sunday, 01 July 2012. All information including how to make an appointment is now available on the embassy website. In addition, there is also a “Consular Appointment System” option under Quick links on the right hand side on the homepage, which should take you to the “Consular online booking appointment system” main page. Please be aware that from 01 July 2012, we will no longer accept walk-in customers for legalisation, notarial services and certificates (birth, death and marriages). If you have problems accessing the system or need to make an appointment for non-notarial consular issues or have a consular emergency, please call 2259 4355/7/8 or email us on If you require consular assistance out of office hours (working hours: 0730-l430 hrs), please contact the Embassy on 2259 4320. ■■■■■■■

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

EMBASSY OF KENYA The Embassy of the Republic of Kenya wishes to inform Kenyan residents throughout Kuwait and the general public that with effect from June 1, 2012 the Embassy has moved from its current location to a new location in Surra Block 1, Street 8, Villa 303. Please note that the new telephone and fax numbers will be communicated as soon as possible. For enquiries you can contact Consular Section on mobile 90935162 or 97527306.

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

Movenpick signs hotels in Vietnam, Philippines




ood news for kids still here during the summer vacations. You can join up with me to learn some tricks, tips and how to play Scrabble the right way! Need to know more? Then register with me Rohaina at 66634224 or at You will be given Scrabble boards and have loads of fun games, mind games and quizzes. If this sounds fun, then call soon. Classes will end on July 26th. Classes are on Thursdays ONLY and from 2.30 - 4.00 pm. Loads of fun and games in store.

the highest environmentally sustainable standards on an isolated cliff overlooking the beach and pristine corals of the South China Sea. It is scheduled to open at the end of 2015. In addition to the innovative contemporary design of the

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


1st prize Winner : Sudha 2nd Prize winner : Sujit 3rd prize Winner : Nooruddin Consolation Prizes: * Sabiha * Preetham Please contact IMA Coordinator Mujahid Omeri - 66357548

Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The new properties are impressive additions to the worldwide portfolio of M?venpick Hotels & Resorts which currently operates 72 hotels and has a further 30 projects


EMBASSY OF MEXICO The Embassy of Mexico is pleased to inform that it is located in CLIFFS Complex, Villa 6, Salmiya, block 9, Baghdad street, Jadda Lane 7. The working hours for consular issues are from 9:00 to 12:00 Sunday through Thursday. The reception is closed from 14:00 to 15:00 hours for lunch break. The Embassy of Mexico kindly requests all Mexicans citizens in Kuwait to proceed to the e-mail: in order to register or update contact information. Other consultations or/and appointments could be done by telephone or fax: (+965) 2573 1952

Summer Scrabble for kids

ovenpick Hotels & Resorts is stepping up its ambitious global expansion with a continued focus on Asia and the announcement that it is to manage two new hotels in Vietnam and the Philippines. The new properties are the strikingly contemporary new Movenpick Resort & Spa, Quy Nhon, in Vietnam and the soaring tower of M?venpick Hotel Makati, Makati City, part of Metro Manila in the Philippines. “We already operate seven hotels in Asia including two in Thailand, two in Vietnam and one each in the Philippines, India and Singapore, but the new properties will bring the number of hotels we have under development in Asia up to 18,” said Andreas Mattmuller, chief operating officer for M?venpick Hotels & Resorts Middle East and Asia. “Our vision is to operate 25 hotels in the region by 2015.” The move is in line with the upcale Swiss hospitality company’s strategy to create a balanced portfolio of approximately 25 hotels in each of the regions where it operates -

EMBASSY OF AUSTRALIA The Australian Embassy Kuwait does not have a visa or immigration department. All processing of visas and immigration matters in conducted by The Australian ConsulateGeneral in Dubai. Email: (VFS) (Visa Office); Tel: +971 4 355 1958 (VFS) - +971 4 508 7200 (Visa Office); Fax: +971 4 355 0708 (Visa Office). In Kuwait applications can be lodged at the Australian Visa Application Centre 4B 1st Floor, Al-Banwan Building Al-Qibla Area, Ali Al-Salem Street, opposite the Central Bank of Kuwait, Kuwait City, Kuwait. Working hours and days: 09:30 - 17:30; Sunday - Thursday. Or visit their website www.vfs-au-gcc-com for more information. Kuwait citizens can apply for tourist visas on-line at visa/e676.htm

cal gardens, boat jetty, gym and even a wedding studio and wind power station. The Movenpick Hotel Makati, meanwhile, is set to open in 2016 and is the third property to be operated by the Swiss company in the

Philippines after the M?venpick Resort & Spa Cebu and a stunning new fusion of eco-adventure and lifestyle on the exclusive Huma Island, Palawan. Based in the striking Movenpick Hotel & Residences

Tower, to be built in the heart of Makati City in fashionable Picar Place, the new hotel will feature 304 rooms and suites as well as 250 residences. In addition to a 300-seat allday dining restaurant, the hotel will also enjoy Chinese and Japanese outlets, a panoramic rooftop venue and a bar with entertainment lounge. A striking 1,200 sq m (12,916 sq ft) ballroom and a variety of multifunction rooms will undoubtedly make the hotel a centre of attention for major events. “The announcement of these two significant management contracts comes at an exciting time for Movenpick Hotels & Resorts.” said Mattmuller. This year the company will open the doors to two of its newest hotels; the recently renovated 286-room Movenpick Suriwongse Hotel Chiang Mai in the centre of the city’s legendary night bazaar and a Movenpick property in Huma Island, a private island in the stunning Philippine archipelago of Palawan.


EMBASSY OF NEPAL The Embassy of Nepal has moved to a new location in Jabriya, Block 8, St. 13, House No. 514, effective from 15th April, 2012. Till the new telephone connections are installed, the Embassy may be contacted by email: ■■■■■■■

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

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

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



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

Untamed & Uncut I’m Alive Monster Bug Wars Wildest India Natural World Cheetah Kingdom Predator’s Prey Cell Dogs Escape To Chimp Eden The Planet’s Funniest Animals Dick ‘n’ Dom Go Wild Breed All About It Extraordinary Dogs Extraordinary Dogs Natural World Animal Precinct Animal Cops Philadelphia Clinically Wild: Alaska Clinically Wild: Alaska Chris Humfrey’s Wildlife Wildlife SOS Natural World Cheetah Kingdom Dick ‘n’ Dom Go Wild The Planet’s Funniest Animals Dogs 101 Dogs vs. Cats Wildlife SOS Chris Humfrey’s Wildlife Escape To Chimp Eden Predator’s Prey Natural World Whale Wars: Viking Shores Max’s Big Tracks Miami Animal Police

00:00 Come Dine With Me 00:50 Indian Food Made Easy 01:20 Saturday Kitchen 2008/09 01:50 Saturday Kitchen 2008/09 02:15 Saturday Kitchen 2008/09 02:45 MasterChef 03:10 MasterChef 03:35 Living In The Sun 04:30 Delicious Iceland 04:55 The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook 05:20 Rick Stein’s French Odyssey 05:45 James Martin’s Favourite Feasts 06:10 Indian Food Made Easy 06:35 Saturday Kitchen 2008/09 07:05 Living In The Sun 07:55 MasterChef Australia 08:45 MasterChef Australia 09:10 Bargain Hunt 09:55 Antiques Roadshow 10:45 Come Dine With Me 11:35 10 Years Younger 12:20 Masterchef: The Professionals 12:50 Masterchef: The Professionals 13:40 Dolce Vito: Dream Restaurant 14:05 Delicious Iceland 14:30 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 15:15 Bargain Hunt 16:00 Antiques Roadshow 16:50 The Boss Is Coming To Dinner 17:15 Come Dine With Me 18:00 A Taste Of My Life 18:30 The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook 18:55 Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey: Christmas 19:50 Antiques Roadshow 20:45 Masterchef: The Professionals 21:15 Masterchef: The Professionals 22:05 Bargain Hunt 22:55 Antiques Roadshow 23:45 Come Dine With Me

00:10 00:35 01:00 01:25 01:50 02:15 02:40 03:00 03:25 03:50 04:15 04:40 05:00 05:25 05:50

Duck Dodgers The Perils Of Penelope Pitstop Tom & Jerry Kids A Pup Named Scooby-Doo The Jetsons Puppy In My Pocket Popeye Tom & Jerry Looney Tunes Scooby Doo Where Are You! Droopy: Master Detective Wacky Races The Flintstones A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Popeye Classics

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

Dexters Laboratory Bananas In Pyjamas Baby Looney Tunes Gerald McBoing Boing Ha Ha Hairies Pink Panther And Pals The Garfield Show Dastardly And Muttley A Pup Named Scooby-Doo Scooby Doo Where Are You! The Flintstones Duck Dodgers Tom & Jerry Kids Droopy: Master Detective Wacky Races Jelly Jamm Baby Looney Tunes Ha Ha Hairies The Garfield Show Scooby Doo Where Are You! Dastardly And Muttley Looney Tunes Puppy In My Pocket Pink Panther And Pals Pink Panther And Pals Tom & Jerry The Garfield Show The Garfield Show Dexter’s Laboratory Jelly Jamm Baby Looney Tunes Ha Ha Hairies Gerald McBoing Boing Bananas In Pyjamas Pink Panther And Pals Tom & Jerry Looney Tunes Scooby Doo Where Are You! Droopy: Master Detective The Flintstones Wacky Races Dastardly And Muttley New Yogi Bear Show

00:30 Bakugan: New Vestroia 00:55 Bakugan: New Vestroia 01:20 Powerpuff Girls 02:10 Courage The Cowardly Dog 03:00 The Amazing World Of Gumball 03:25 Ben 10 03:50 Adventure Time 04:15 Powerpuff Girls 04:40 Generator Rex 05:05 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 05:30 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 05:55 Angelo Rules 06:00 Casper’s Scare School 06:25 Eliot Kid 07:00 The Amazing World Of Gumball 07:15 Adventure Time 07:40 Regular Show 08:05 Grim Adventures Of... 08:55 Courage The Cowardly Dog 09:45 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 10:10 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 10:35 Powerpuff Girls 11:25 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 11:50 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 12:15 Ed, Edd n Eddy 13:05 Ben 10: Alien Force 13:30 Bakugan: Gundalian Invaders 13:55 Camp Lazlo 14:45 Powerpuff Girls 15:35 Angelo Rules 16:25 The Marvelous Misadventures... 16:50 Grim Adventures Of... 17:15 The Amazing World Of Gumball 17:40 Adventure Time 18:05 Regular Show 18:30 Ben 10 18:55 Bakugan: Mechtanium Surge 19:20 Hero 108 19:45 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 20:10 Courage The Cowardly Dog 21:00 Ben 10: Alien Force 21:25 The Powerpuff Girls 21:50 Cow And Chicken 22:00 Codename: Kids Next Door 22:50 Ben 10 23:15 Ben 10 23:40 Chowder

00:00 Amanpour 00:30 World Sport 01:00 Piers Morgan Tonight 02:00 World Report 03:00 Anderson Cooper 360 04:00 Piers Morgan Tonight 05:00 Quest Means Business 06:00 The Situation Room 07:00 World Sport 07:30 Talk Asia 08:00 World Report 09:00 World Report 10:00 World Sport 10:30 The CNN Freedom Project 11:00 World Business Today 12:00 Amanpour 12:30 Open Court 13:00 World One 14:00 Piers Morgan Tonight 15:00 News Stream 16:00 World Business Today 17:00 International Desk 18:00 Global Exchange 18:45 CNN Marketplace Middle East 19:00 World Sport 19:30 Open Court 20:00 International Desk 21:00 Quest Means Business 21:45 CNN Marketplace Europe 22:00 Amanpour 22:30 CNN Newscenter 23:00 Connect The World With Becky Anderson

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

One Way Out Behind Bars Dynamo: Magician Impossible Mythbusters Dirty Dozen Mythbusters Behind Bars How Do They Do It? How It’s Made Gold Rush Hot Rod Apprentice: Hard Mythbusters Ultimate Survival Border Security Auction Kings How Do They Do It? How It’s Made Sons Of Guns Battle Machine Bros Extreme Explosions Border Security Auction Kings Ultimate Survival Hot Rod Apprentice: Hard Wheeler Dealers Gold Rush Mythbusters How Do They Do It? How It’s Made Border Security Auction Kings South Beach Classics American Guns Nothing Personal Kidnap And Rescue

00:35 Nyc: Inside Out 01:25 Colony 02:15 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 03:05 The Gadget Show 03:35 Smash Lab 04:25 Race To Mars 05:15 Nyc: Inside Out 06:05 What’s That About? 07:00 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 07:50 Head Rush 07:53 Bang Goes The Theory 08:20 Sci-Fi Science 08:50 Sport Science 09:40 Smash Lab 10:30 The Gadget Show 10:55 The Gadget Show 11:20 Nyc: Inside Out 12:10 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 13:00 Prophets Of Science Fiction


13:50 14:45 15:35 16:00 16:03 16:30 17:00 17:50 18:40 19:30 19:55 20:20 21:10 21:35 22:00 22:25 22:50 23:40

Race To Mars Smash Lab The Gadget Show Head Rush Bang Goes The Theory Sci-Fi Science What’s That About? Sport Science Race To Mars Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger Weird Or What? The Gadget Show The Gadget Show Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger Weird Or What? Sport Science

00:10 00:35 01:00 01:25 01:50 02:15 02:40 03:05 03:30 03:55 04:20 04:45 05:10 05:35 06:00 06:25 06:35 06:50 07:00 07:15 07:30 07:55 08:30 08:45 09:10 09:35 10:00 11:40 12:05 12:30 12:55 13:20 13:45 14:10 14:35 15:00 15:25 15:50 16:00 16:15 16:40 17:00 18:45 19:10 19:35 20:00 20:25 20:50 22:30 22:55 23:20 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 Handy Manny The Hive Mouk Fish Hooks Good Luck Charlie Phineas And Ferb Phineas And Ferb Jessie Jessie Austin & Ally High School Musical Shake It Up Shake It Up A.N.T. Farm A.N.T. Farm Jessie Jessie Good Luck Charlie Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place Phineas And Ferb Phineas And Ferb So Random So Random High School Musical 2 Jessie A.N.T. Farm Good Luck Charlie Good Luck Charlie So Random High School Musical Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place Kim Possible

06:00 Kid vs Kat 06:20 American Dragon 06:45 Rekkit Rabbit 07:10 Pokemon: Black And White 07:35 Phineas And Ferb 08:00 Phineas And Ferb 08:25 Pair Of Kings 08:50 Rated A For Awesome 09:15 Rated A For Awesome 09:40 Rated A For Awesome 10:05 Rated A For Awesome 10:30 Kickin It 10:55 Zeke & Luther 11:20 Rated A For Awesome 11:45 Rekkit Rabbit 12:10 Pair Of Kings 12:35 Kick Buttowski 13:00 Phineas And Ferb 13:10 Phineas And Ferb 13:25 Phineas And Ferb 13:45 Scaredy Squirrel 14:10 I’m In The Band 14:35 Zeke & Luther 15:00 Pokemon: Black And White 15:25 Rekkit Rabbit 15:50 Rated A For Awesome 16:15 Kickin It 16:40 Pair Of Kings 17:05 Zeke & Luther 17:30 Mr. Young 17:55 Phineas And Ferb 18:20 Phineas And Ferb 18:45 Fort Boyard - Ultimate Challenge 19:10 Kick Buttowski 19:35 Pair Of Kings 20:00 Zeke & Luther 20:25 Phineas And Ferb 20:50 Kid vs Kat 21:15 Aaron Stone 21:40 The Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes 22:05 Phineas And Ferb 22:30 Kid vs Kat 23:00 Programmes Start At 6:00am KSA

00:55 Style Star 01:25 E!es 02:20 E!es 03:15 Behind The Scenes 03:40 Extreme Close-Up 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Extreme Hollywood 06:00 30 Best & Worst Beach Bodies 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 E! News 09:15 Kendra 09:45 Kendra 10:15 50 Most Insane Celebrity Oops 12:05 E! News 13:05 Khloe And Lamar 13:35 Khloe And Lamar 14:05 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 14:35 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 15:00 Style Star 15:30 E!es 16:25 Behind The Scenes 16:55 Ice Loves Coco 17:25 Ice Loves Coco 17:55 E! News 18:55 E!es 19:55 Giuliana & Bill 20:55 Keeping Up With The

Kardashians 21:25 Fashion Police 22:25 E! News 23:25 Chelsea Lately 23:55 Keeping Up With The Kardashians

00:30 The Haunted 01:20 A Haunting 02:05 American Greed 02:55 American Greed 03:45 Dr G: Medical Examiner 04:30 The Haunted 05:20 A Haunting 06:10 Disappeared 07:00 Forensic Detectives 07:50 Undercover 08:40 Life Or Death: Medical Mysteries 09:30 Real Emergency Calls 09:55 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 10:20 On The Case With Paula Zahn 11:10 Disappeared 12:00 Street Patrol 12:25 Street Patrol 12:50 Undercover 13:40 Life Or Death: Medical Mysteries 14:30 Real Emergency Calls 14:55 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 15:20 On The Case With Paula Zahn 16:10 Disappeared 17:00 Forensic Detectives 17:50 Undercover 18:40 Real Emergency Calls 19:05 Life Or Death: Medical Mysteries 19:55 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 20:20 On The Case With Paula Zahn 21:10 Disappeared 22:00 Nightmare Next Door 22:50 Nightmare Next Door 23:40 Dr G: Medical Examiner

01:40 03:15 05:00 06:35 08:20 10:25 12:00 12:15 13:45 15:20 16:50 18:35 20:10 22:00 23:45

Just A Little Harmless Sex Two Moon Junction Cotton Comes To Harlem-PG Kiss The Sky Khartoum-PG Crossplot-PG Mgm’s Big Screen-FAM Mary Christmas-PG K-9000-PG Undercover Blues Ned Kelly-PG Once Bitten Brannigan-PG Desperate Hours-18 Some Girls-PG

00:00 Going Bush 00:30 Going Bush 01:00 First Ascent 01:30 First Ascent 02:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 02:30 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 03:00 Madventures 03:30 Madventures 04:00 Graham’s World 04:30 Graham’s World 05:00 Danger Beach 05:30 Danger Beach 06:00 Going Bush 06:30 Going Bush 07:00 First Ascent 07:30 First Ascent 08:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 08:30 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 09:00 Madventures 09:30 Madventures 10:00 Graham’s World 10:30 Graham’s World 11:00 Danger Beach 11:30 Danger Beach 12:00 Going Bush 12:30 Going Bush 13:00 First Ascent 13:30 First Ascent 14:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 14:30 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 15:00 Madventures 15:30 Madventures 16:00 Graham’s World 16:30 Graham’s World 17:00 Danger Beach 17:30 Danger Beach 18:00 Going Bush 18:30 Going Bush 19:00 A World Apart 20:00 Food School 20:30 Food School 21:00 David Rocco’s Amalfi Getaway 21:30 David Rocco’s Amalfi Getaway 22:00 Don’t Tell My Mother 23:00 Ultimate Traveller

00:00 Going Bush 00:30 Going Bush 01:00 First Ascent 01:30 First Ascent 02:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 02:30 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 03:00 Madventures 03:30 Madventures 04:00 Graham’s World 04:30 Graham’s World 05:00 Danger Beach 05:30 Danger Beach 06:00 Going Bush 06:30 Going Bush 07:00 First Ascent 07:30 First Ascent 08:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 08:30 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 09:00 Madventures 09:30 Madventures 10:00 Graham’s World 10:30 Graham’s World 11:00 Danger Beach 11:30 Danger Beach 12:00 Going Bush 12:30 Going Bush 13:00 First Ascent 13:30 First Ascent 14:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 14:30 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 15:00 Madventures 15:30 Madventures

WATER FOR ELEPHANTS ON OSN CINEMA 16:00 16:30 17:00 17:30 18:00 18:30 19:00 20:00 20:30 21:00 21:30 22:00 23:00

Graham’s World Graham’s World Danger Beach Danger Beach Going Bush Going Bush A World Apart Food School Food School David Rocco’s Amalfi Getaway David Rocco’s Amalfi Getaway Don’t Tell My Mother Ultimate Traveller

00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 Barrie 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 22:00 23:00

Ancient Megastructures Warrior Road Trip Taboo Megastructures Britain’s Machines with Chris Animal Mega Moves The Border Air Crash Investigation Ancient Megastructures Warrior Road Trip Taboo Ancient Megastructures Living On Mars Animal Mega Moves Banged Up Abroad Air Crash Investigation Ancient Megastructures Warrior Road Trip Taboo Megastructures Salvage Code Red Animal Impact The Border Air Crash Investigation

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

Wildlife Rescue Africa Bonecrusher Queens Monster Fish of The Congo Live Like An Animal Monkey Thieves Monkey Thieves Built For The Kill Sahara Monster Fish of The Congo Live Like An Animal Monkey Thieves Monkey Thieves Africa’s Deadliest Animal Impact Animal Impact World’s Deadliest Fish Warrior Live Like An Animal Monkey Thieves Monkey Thieves Night Stalkers Built for the Kill 4 Built for the Kill 4 Monster Fish of The Congo Live Like An Animal Monkey Thieves Monkey Thieves Africa’s Deadliest Animal Impact

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

Nine Dead-PG15 The Kingdom-18 Blood Out-18 Camp Hope-PG15 Dangerous Flowers-PG15 Ladder 49-PG15 So Close-PG15 Dangerous Flowers-PG15 Behind Enemy Lines-PG15 So Close-PG15 Mirrors 2-18 The Godfather III-18

01:30 Prom-PG15 03:15 Mars Needs Moms-PG 05:00 Spud-PG15 07:00 Elle: A Modern Cinderella Tale-PG15 09:00 Prom-PG15 11:00 The Cry Of The Owl-PG15 13:00 Like Mike-PG 15:00 The Art Of Getting By-PG15 17:00 The Making Of Plus One-PG15 19:00 Letters To Juliet-PG15 21:00 Water For Elephants-PG15 23:00 No Strings Attached-18

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia 02:00 Hung 03:30 Man Up! 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Til Death 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 09:00 Til Death 09:30 Hot In Cleveland 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 13:00 Til Death 14:00 Man Up! 14:30 Hot In Cleveland 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:30 Man Up! 19:00 Cougar Town 19:30 How I Met Your Mother 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Family Guy 22:30 The League 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

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

Grimm Alphas Supernatural Hawthorne Good Morning America Franklin & Bash Emmerdale Coronation Street The Martha Stewart Show The View Alphas Hawthorne Live Good Morning America Franklin & Bash Emmerdale Parenthood One Tree Hill GCB Downton Abbey True Blood

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

Unforgettable Supernatural Grimm Alphas Hawthorne C.S.I. Miami Unforgettable Emmerdale Coronation Street The Protector Supernatural Alphas Hawthorne Emmerdale Hot In Cleveland The Protector Unforgettable Emmerdale Hot In Cleveland Parenthood One Tree Hill GCB Downton Abbey Boardwalk Empire

01:00 Aeon Flux-PG15 03:00 Gridlock’d-18 05:00 The Burningmoore IncidentPG15 07:00 The Front-PG15 09:00 Tremors-PG15 11:00 Warriors Of Heaven And Earth-PG15 13:00 No Time To Fear-PG15 14:30 Tremors-PG15 16:30 Kingdom Of Heaven-PG15 19:00 Street Kings 2: Motor City-18 21:00 Kalifornia-18 23:00 Survival Of The Dead-18

00:00 Bob Roberts-PG15 02:00 The Lightkeepers-PG15 04:00 The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie-PG 06:00 Whatever Works-PG15

08:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 22:00 PG15

The Lightkeepers-PG15 Open Season 3-FAM Kuffs-PG Finding Lenny-PG15 Open Season 3-FAM How To Train Your Dragon-PG The Trotsky-PG15 The Night Of The White Pants-

01:00 Big Fat Important Movie-18 03:00 District 9-PG15 05:00 The LXD: Secrets Of The RaPG15 07:00 Adventures Of A Teenage Dragonslayer-PG 09:00 Spy Kids: All The Time In The World-PG 11:00 Oceans-PG15 13:00 Open Season 3-FAM 14:30 Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides-PG15 17:00 Spy Kids: All The Time In The World-PG 18:45 The A-Team-PG15 21:00 Water For Elephants-PG15 23:00 Vampires Suck-PG15

01:30 PGA European Tour Highlights 02:00 Super League 04:00 Masters Football 07:00 Trans World Sport 08:00 Super Rugby Highlights 09:00 IRB Junior World Championship 11:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 12:00 Masters Football 15:00 Trans World Sport 16:00 International Rugby Union 18:00 Volvo Ocean Race Highlights 19:00 Futbol Mundial 19:30 Trans World Sport 20:30 PGA European Tour Weekly 21:00 PGA European Tour

00:00 Masters Football 03:00 International Rugby Union 05:00 Trans World Sport 06:00 Volvo Ocean Race Highlights 07:00 Darts 11:00 Futbol Mundial 11:30 Super League 13:30 Trans World Sport 14:30 PGA European Tour Highlights 15:30 PGA European Tour Weekly 16:00 Live PGA European Tour 20:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 21:00 Trans World Sport 22:00 IRB Junior World Championship

01:00 NRL Full Time 01:30 AFL Premiership Highlights 02:30 City Center Races 05:00 Ladies European Tour Highlights 06:00 Ping Pong World Championship 07:00 Golfing World 08:00 Total Rugby 08:30 NRL Full Time 09:00 Mobil 1 The Grid 09:30 Adventure Sports 12:00 Ladies European Tour Highlights 13:00 Golfing World 14:00 Total Rugby 14:30 ITU World Triathlon Series 17:00 NRL Full Time 17:30 NRL Premiership 19:30 International Rugby Union 21:30 ITU World Triathlon Series

01:00 04:00 07:00 09:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 15:30 17:30 18:00 18:30 19:00 20:00 21:00

Prizefighter UFC Unleashed WWE SmackDown Prizefighter WWE Experience WWE Vintage Collection WWE Bottom Line Mobil 1 The Grid V8 Supercars Highlights V8 Supercars Extra UAE National Race Day Series Mobil 1 The Grid WWE NXT UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC 147

Classifieds THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 2012




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



Time 0:05 0:25 0:30 0:35 2:15 2:30 2:45 3:40 3:45 3:50 3:55 4:05 4:05 4:20 4:50 5:40 6:50 6:55 7:00 7:05 7:10 7:30 8:10 8:25 8:25 9:00 9:05 9:10 9:20 9:35 9:35 9:40 10:00 10:00 10:05 10:15 10:15 10:25 10:30 10:35 10:35 10:45 11:30 11:45 11:55 12:00 12:15 12:25 12:25 13:00 13:05 13:10 13:20 14:25 14:25 14:30 14:40 15:00 15:05 15:10 15:15 15:25 15:30 15:45 15:50 15:55 16:00 16:15 16:25 16:30 17:20 17:30 17:45 18:05 18:20 18:20 18:25 18:25 18:30 18:35 18:45 18:50 19:05 19:25 19:30 19:30 19:45 19:55 20:00 20:05 20:35 20:40 20:50 20:55 21:05 21:10 21:15 21:30 21:30 21:35 21:50 21:50 21:55 22:05 22:10 22:20 22:25 22:35 22:40 22:45 22:50 23:00 23:00 23:10 23:10 23:30 23:40 23:50 23:50 23:59

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (

FOR SALE Toyota Corolla 2011 model, white color, well maintained low mileage, excellent condition, wanted price KD 3,750/-. Contact: 60099305. (C 4056) 26-6-2012 SITUATION VACANT Full time live out maid/nanny for three months, starting mid July. Must have own residency. Work from 7am to 7pm, Saturday - Thursday in Salwa. Call 97687172 for interview. 25-6-2012 A multinational company in Africa is looking for an experienced Human Resources/Personnel Manager. Salary will be paid in US dollars - with other incentives. Be ready to relocate to Africa. Indian, Christian, Keralite (pre ferred). Send CV with 3 letters of recommendation to 24-6-2012

CHANGE OF NAME JABIR HUSAIN holder of Passport No: J0978818 has change my name JABIR HUSAIN LAKHARA. (C 4060) 28-6-2012 I, Shri Joao Rodrigues, s/o Shri Diogo Rodrigues residing at H.No. 925, Acsona, Benaulim, Salcete - Goa has changed my name from Joao Diogo Rodrigues to Joao Rodrigues. Hereafter, in all my dealings and documents, I will be known by the name Joao Rodrigues. (C 4059) 27-6-2012 I, Vasanthada Bobee Kingson, s/o V. Devadanam, holder of Indian passport No. F0464754, have changed my name Vasanthada Bobee Kingson to Yusuf Ahmad. Henceforth I will be known as Yusuf Ahmad. (C 4057) 26-6-2012 It is hereby notified for the

information of all concerned authorities and the public that I, Rajee Ramanathan Koolathu, Punaroor House, Panniyaly, Omalloor P.O., Pathanamthitta, Kerala, Pin - 689647, holder of Passport No. K 1677756 issued on 03-11-2011 by the Passport Officer, Thiruvananthapuram, have embraced Islam Religion with a new name Fathima Raja K. Hereafter I will be a member of Islam Religion and will be known by the name Fathima Raja K. only and will sign accordingly. This change will come into effect in all records related to me. 25-6-2012

SITUATION WANTED Sri Lankan lady (housemaid) looking for part-time job, only Monday, Wednesday and Saturday (only English family). Contact: 55680045. (C 4058) 26-6-2012

No: 15492

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

03:15 11:51 15:25 18:52 20:24



stars CROSSWORD 719



Aries (March 21-April 19) You are very skilled at working with people and you would make an excellent negotiator. These same skills make it possible for you to work with the public, in politics or wherever handling sensitive or hot issues are routine. Today, negotiations, sales or the best buy ever will work to your best interest—as well as your company’s interest. Communicating with others is at a high just now. As a natural socialite, you love decorum and etiquette, but relationships are the big thing—friends. You have a strong drive to be seen—to relate to others. Personal appearance is a motivating factor in your day. A shopping trip may be in order this evening—take an honest and interested friend along, for a second opinion.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) You are born to love and care for others and may tend to worry overmuch. Your fear of being left out or not being fully used up in this life can be alleviated by some sort of hobby like gardening, artistic endeavors, cooking. Jumping in with both feet and putting your thoughts into action are called for today. You have a natural insight and understanding of what the public wants. Your career gets plenty of support from other people and will help you feel comfortable as you make management decisions. Your career may be built around the way you appear or present yourself—the way you come across to others. Your spontaneous personality and ability to fascinate others are key elements in being successful. You develop sound and productive ideas.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. Light informal conversation for social occasions. 4. New Zealand timber tree resembling the cypress. 10. A drug combination found in some over-the-counter headache remedies (Aspirin and Phenacetin and Caffeine). 13. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 14. Type genus of the Otariidae. 15. (in golf) The standard number of strokes set for each hole on a golf course, or for the entire course. 16. A coffee cake flavored with orange rind and raisins and almonds. 18. Distinguished from Bovidae by the male's having solid deciduous antlers. 19. An artificial language that is a revision and simplification of Esperanto. 20. Of or relating to or involving an area. 21. Of the dull yellowish green of the meat of an avocado n 1. 23. Informal or slang terms for mentally irregular. 26. Indian religious leader who founded Sikhism (1469-1538). 27. Having nine hinged bands of bony plates. 30. A light touch or stroke. 32. (Norse mythology) Goddess of old age who defeated Thor in a wrestling match. 33. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 38. An independent agency of the United States government responsible for collecting and coordinating intelligence and counterintelligence activities abroad in the national interest. 40. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 41. Having undesirable or negative qualities. 42. Of or pertaining to Sabah or its people. 45. Lower in esteem. 47. Resinlike substance secreted by certain lac insects. 49. A detailed description of design criteria for a piece of work. 56. Offering fun and gaiety. 58. Harmony of people's opinions or actions or characters. 60. A master's degree in library science. 63. The cry made by sheep. 64. Towards the side away from the wind. 65. African tree having an exceedingly thick trunk and fruit that resembles a gourd and has an edible pulp called monkey bread. 66. One of the five major classes of immunoglobulins.

DOWN 1. An amino acid that is found in the central nervous system. 2. Any culture medium that uses agar as the gelling agent. 3. A very young child (birth to 1 year) who has not yet begun to walk or talk. 4. Sluggish tailless Australian arboreal marsupial with gray furry ears and coat. 5. A highly unstable radioactive element (the heaviest of the halogen series). 6. (often followed by `of') A large number or amount or extent. 7. A particular geographical region of indefinite boundary (usually serving some special purpose or distinguished by its people or culture or geography). 8. Capital and largest city of the Ukraine. 9. American professional baseball player who hit more home runs than Babe Ruth (born in 1934). 10. Relating to or having the characteristics of bees. 11. A genus of Ploceidae. 12. Someone who has committed (or been legally convicted of) a crime. 17. A family of Sino-Tibetan languages spoken in southeastern Asia. 22. Someone who is morally reprehensible. 24. A federal agency established to regulate the release of new foods and health-related products. 25. A sharp hooked claw especially on a bird of prey. 28. English essayist (1775-1834). 29. Divulge information or secrets. 31. (Scotland) A small loaf or roll of soft bread. 34. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 35. A master's degree in business. 36. An associate degree in applied science. 37. A lyric poem with complex stanza forms. 39. The federal agency that insures residential mortgages. 43. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. 44. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 46. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 48. Jordan's port. 49. A Chadic language spoken in northern Nigeria. 50. Very light colored. 51. Other than what is under consideration or implied. 52. A Spanish river. 53. A desert in central Asia. 54. A steep rugged rock or cliff. 55. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 57. An undergarment worn by women to support their breasts. 59. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 61. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 62. A Russian river.

Yesterday’s Solution

Gemini (May 21-June 20) The key to current career moves involves tending to nagging details—whatever you have neglected or delayed. Attention to matters of health and efficiency are important. Opportunities are obvious and you may find yourself ready to tackle almost anything. Things are working with rather than against you—do not hold back. However, do not overdo or try to go too far too fast. Circumstances may stimulate an appreciation of your life situation. Your mind may be very clear and your thoughts focused. It is easy to organize your thoughts—communication of all kinds is furthered. Write that book or take that course, etc. Communication is productive. Your friends and family support you in just about anything.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) Before the workday begins, you may hear from a friend. Friends are very important in your life and they probably present a large amount of spiritual nourishment. Your input and advice to a friend seems important and you will make a positive difference. You can penetrate and get to the very heart of a problem. However, you must guard against doing for this person what that person can do alone. There is an emphasis on the expression of ideas in the workplace today. This is also a good time to reap the benefits or rewards of your efforts. You express good practical job-related thoughts. Being more closely involved with another person may become your highest priority. Marriage, contracts and partnerships are seen as keys to the future.


Leo (July 23-August 22) You could be most persuasive with others today. Your own partiality for routine and the traditional may result in your feeling challenged by anything new or different. You could find yourself struggling against change and progress, clinging onto the status quo. Although a conformist, you may surround yourself with partners and friends who are themselves unconventional and offbeat. Given the opportunity, you may choose the path of least resistance, willing to bypass some of the things you always wanted in favor of expediency. Career moves must be given special attention. Pressure happens when you ignore your own desires and the things you need. Tonight is a good time to sit and lounge and watch the stars.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) Because you may often be impulsive, concentrated and spontaneous, you could find yourself representing your company, lecturing or teaching. A well-trained salesperson could do well to learn your techniques because you tend to rush in where others fear to tread. Your energy is magnanimous. There is something essential that starts or causes something else to happen—a reaction or response when you promote a product, instruct or give a lecture. Others will benefit from your experience and your leadership. You may be able to enjoy and value your own life situation today. There is much laughter and merriment in your home this afternoon and evening. A visitor may compliment you on your tastes or belongings.

Libra (September 23-October 22)


You are gifted when it comes to career decisions these days. Things almost always manage to work out for you and this day is no different. There are some important facts to obtain before expressing your viewpoints to higher-ups this day. Your theories and mental activities may be fine, but you could lack the necessary patience to let things evolve. Patience—you will not forget what you want to say if you keep a notepad handy and write your ideas down for referencing later. You have plenty of enthusiasm and warm up to things and people quickly. Figuring out ways to make your nest egg grow can be a preoccupation this evening. You will enjoy soft music as you spend a little time in meditation or quiet time.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Your career runs smoothly until the question of personal freedom arises. This is a source of some tension—you may want to revolt. A career in communication of one kind or another is indicated. You love investigations, reporting, writing, speaking, broadcasting and advertising—all networking. Forever curious, you love searching for answers and following leads. The good life, and all that is fine and luxurious, may be what you value. You could enjoy making your own way and finding solutions to whatever problems you have. There is likely to be an emphasis on reading, writing, studying and all forms of exchanging information with others in the years ahead. This will all serve as a path for self-discovery and personal development.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) The word today is accomplishment. You have a winning attitude that will get you through any sort of difficulty or problem-solving issues that you might find. As a concerned worker, you pour yourself into any task with absolute determination. You enjoy the discipline that must be applied today. You would make a good teacher of others in matters of organization, practical competence, etc. You probably are more of a mentor to others than you realize. Investments that seem too good to be true are—so hang onto your checkbook. One thing that is essential this evening is for you to have some fun! Get the camera out and take a shadow picture of you and your loved one—experiment—it will be fun. Similar to hand play on a wall.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) This is a time when support and recognition should be available from public, family and friends. You feel at home in the world and it more than takes care of you. You have deep insight into your own feelings and inner spiritual nature. Your surroundings, circumstances and support system are the crucial keys in the chain of your life. When things get hectic, it is in these areas that you can expect the greatest activity. You may find yourself being put to good use by your friends today. This is a great time to be with others and to work together. Creative endeavors and friendships make up most of your day. There is an opportunity to understand those around you and to have a special time with someone you love. This is a happy time. To

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Your sense of responsibility is clear and requires no training. You have an appreciation for education and may be looking through brochures today in order to find the right schedule or teacher or subject that would serve your needs. You have clarity and competence in practical and business matters and are pleased when others pay attention to what you have to say. There is a passion for inventions and electronics. This is a fine time to try out some new ideas or engage in some new business dealings or investments. There is a great deal of interaction with young people this afternoon. A hobby that you enjoy may be something you can teach or share. There is an opportunity to sit in on conversations and be of help to these youth.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

You may want to avoid the superficial today—you hate small talk anyway. Exercise the talents you have to quietly investigate and explore the possibilities of new techniques in business. Uncomplicated explanations of your idea(s) may find others intently listening for more. Your communication skills have improved and others are listening to your ideas more closely than ever. You are, perhaps, a genius—at least others may think so. Computers, radical methods of thought and communication are for you. Improvements of existing circumstances and insights into new possibilities are available. Inventions, electronics and computers are all fantastic voyages for you. Self-confidence and self-discipline will help you succeed.


i n f o r m at i o n For labor-related inquiries and complaints: Call MSAL hotline 128 GOVERNORATE Sabah Hospital


Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital


Chest Hospital


Farwaniya Hospital


Adan Hospital


Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital


Physiotherapy Hospital















Abdullah Salim




Industrial Shuwaikh






Bneid Al-Ghar






Ayoun Al-Kibla










Maidan Hawally




Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

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

23915883 23715414 23726558


Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622


Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967


New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638

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

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

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554 25721264 25380581 25628241





el.: 161 Te



Hot with light variable wind changing to light to moderate north westerly wind, with speed of 08 - 30 km/h


Relatively hot with variable wind changing to light to moderate north westerly wind, with speed of 06 - 28 km/h No Current Warnings arnin a


34 °C


45 °C

29 °C


41 °C

30 °C


46 °C

28 °C


43 °C

28 °C


46 °C

30 °C


44 °C

30 °C



45 °C

29 °C




37 °C

34 °C




37 °C

31 °C




41 °C

28 °C







27/06/2012 0000 UTC

4 DA AY YS FORECAST Temperatures DA AY



Wind Direction

Wind Speed

29 °C


08 - 30 km/h

30 °C


06 - 28 km/h

48 °C

31 °C


06 - 26 km/h

47 °C

33 °C


20 - 45 km/h



New Jahra




hot + humid over coastal areas

46 °C

West Jahra





47 °C

South Jahra




very hot



hot + blowing dust




MAX. Temp.

45 °C


MIN. Temp.

28 °C 22 %














MAX. Wind i








All times are local time unless otherwise stated.


















Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh












Expected Weeather for the Next 24 Hours

44 °C





North Jleeb






Fax: 24348714


North Jahra

2627 - 2630 Ext.: 262




The Public Institution for Social Security

Ministry of Interior

Public Authority of Industry

Public Authority for Civil Information

Prisoners of War Committee

Kuwait News Agency

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affair

Kuwait Municipality

Ministry of Energy (Oil)

Kuwait Electronic Government

Ministry of Energy (Electricity and Water)

Ministry of Finance

Public Authority for Housing Welfare

Ministry of Commerce and Industry

Ministry of Justice

Ministry of Education

Ministry of Communications

Ministry of Information

Supreme Council for Planning and Development

Kuwait Awqaf Public Foundation

03 % NW 57 km/h .21 mm

Afghanistan 0093 Albania 00355 Algeria 00213 Andorra 00376 Angola 00244 Anguilla 001264 Antiga 001268 Argentina 0054 Armenia 00374 Australia 0061 Austria 0043 Bahamas 001242 Bahrain 00973 Bangladesh 00880 Barbados 001246 Belarus 00375 Belgium 0032 Belize 00501 Benin 00229 Bermuda 001441 Bhutan 00975 Bolivia 00591 Bosnia 00387 Botswana 00267 Brazil 0055 Brunei 00673 Bulgaria 00359 Burkina 00226 Burundi 00257 Cambodia 00855 Cameroon 00237 Canada 001 Cape Verde 00238 Cayman Islands 001345 Central African 00236 Chad 00235 Chile 0056 China 0086 Colombia 0057 Comoros 00269 Congo 00242 Cook Islands 00682 Costa Rica 00506 Croatia 00385 Cuba 0053 Cyprus 00357 Cyprus (Northern) 0090392 Czech Republic 00420 Denmark 0045 Diego Garcia 00246 Djibouti 00253 Dominica 001767 Dominican Republic 001809 Ecuador 00593 Egypt 0020 El Salvador 00503 England (UK) 0044 Equatorial Guinea 00240 Eritrea 00291 Estonia 00372 Ethiopia 00251 Falkland Islands 00500 Faroe Islands 00298 Fiji 00679 Finland 00358 France 0033 French Guiana 00594 French Polynesia 00689 Gabon 00241 Gambia 00220 Georgia 00995 Germany 0049 Ghana 00233 Gibraltar 00350 Greece 0030 Greenland 00299 Grenada 001473 Guadeloupe 00590 Guam 001671 Guatemala 00502 Guinea 00224 Guyana 00592 Haiti 00509 Holland (Netherlands) 0031 Honduras 00504 Hong Kong 00852 Hungary 0036 Ibiza (Spain) 0034 Iceland 00354 India 0091 Indian Ocean 00873 Indonesia 0062

Iran 0098 Iraq 00964 Ireland 00353 Italy 0039 Ivory Coast 00225 Jamaica 001876 Japan 0081 Jordan 00962 Kazakhstan 007 Kenya 00254 Kiribati 00686 Kuwait 00965 Kyrgyzstan 00996 Laos 00856 Latvia 00371 Lebanon 00961 Liberia 00231 Libya 00218 Lithuania 00370 Luxembourg 00352 Macau 00853 Macedonia 00389 Madagascar 00261 Majorca 0034 Malawi 00265 Malaysia 0060 Maldives 00960 Mali 00223 Malta 00356 Marshall Islands 00692 Martinique 00596 Mauritania 00222 Mauritius 00230 Mayotte 00269 Mexico 0052 Micronesia 00691 Moldova 00373 Monaco 00377 Mongolia 00976 Montserrat 001664 Morocco 00212 Mozambique 00258 Myanmar (Burma) 0095 Namibia 00264 Nepal 00977 Netherlands (Holland) 0031 Netherlands Antilles 00599 New Caledonia 00687 New Zealand 0064 Nicaragua 00505 Nigar 00227 Nigeria 00234 Niue 00683 Norfolk Island 00672 Northern Ireland (UK) 0044 North Korea 00850 Norway 0047 Oman 00968 Pakistan 0092 Palau 00680 Panama 00507 Papua New Guinea 00675 Paraguay 00595 Peru 0051 Philippines 0063 Poland 0048 Portugal 00351 Puerto Rico 001787 Qatar 00974 Romania 0040 Russian Federation 007 Rwanda 00250 Saint Helena 00290 Saint Kitts 001869 Saint Lucia 001758 Saint Pierre 00508 Saint Vincent 001784 Samoa US 00684 Samoa West 00685 San Marino 00378 Sao Tone 00239 Saudi Arabia 00966 Scotland (UK) 0044 Senegal 00221 Seychelles 00284 Sierra Leone 00232 Singapore 0065 Slovakia 00421 Slovenia 00386 Solomon Islands 00677




he Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (DEPE), an agency under the Department of Economic Development of Dubai (DED), unveiled the agenda for Dubai Summer Surprises 2012 which will run from June 14th to July 14th with its exciting marketing campaign slogan “Dubai. Summer Fun and More”. This year’s packed line-up includes more than 100 different shows and activities, huge prizes and winning opportunities, great discounts and shopping promotions over 31 days. To indicate the summer fun that Dubai has to offer, the press conference was held in (-3) degrees temperature and snowy ambience at Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, marking the official announcement of the agenda of the 15th anniversary edition of the popular summer festival. The press conference was attended by H.E. Laila Suhail, CEO of DEPE, Ibrahim Saleh, Festival’s Coordinator General and Deputy CEO of DEPE, in addition to a large corps of local, regional, and international media. Addressing the attendees, H.E. Suhail explained that the unique way which DEPE chose to announce DSS 2012 calendar of events comes as part of its firm commitment to promoting Dubai’s tourism landmarks and incredible infrastructure unique within the region - and the role it has played in building Dubai’s reputation as a yearround international tourism destination, hailing at the same time DSS as a game changer in the regional festival industry. “Dubai Summer Surprises, in its fifteenth edition, has become undoubtedly the largest summer event in the region. This annual event has helped change the concept of summer in Dubai, and put the emirate on the map as an international summer holiday destination. The first edition of the DSS was launched in 1998, welcoming 600,000 visitors, while last year’s edition welcomed around four million visitors with a total visitor spend in 2011 of nearly nine billion dirhams, compared to 850 million dirhams in the first edition of DSS,” said Suhail. She continued: “Over the years, Dubai Summer Surprises has built an outstanding reputation as a summer festival of not just regional, but international repute, making the city of Dubai synonymous with entertainment, shopping rewards and fun for the whole family.” She added: “If you browse through the “Dubai Calendar”, a government initiative which was launched by DEPE over a year ago, you will find that the calendar gives visitors and residents a month-by-month line-up of the unique and entertaining events taking place in the city all year round and that it is a great source of reference for anyone wanting to make the most of their time in Dubai. We are determined to continue to develop the activities and events - not just during key festival periods but all through the year - to maintain our leadership in this area, and thus strengthen our efforts to support the retail and tourism sector through choosing to host exciting and unique events in Dubai.” Suhail expressed her appreciation to key strategic partners and sponsors which includes Emirates Airlines, AW Rostamani, Al Futtaim Group, Emaar Malls Group, Emaar Properties, Majid Al Futtaim Properties, Al Ghurair City, Mercato, Paris Gallery, EPPCO and ENOC, Dubai World Trade Center, Dubai Duty Free in addition to Master card and Dubai Shopping Malls Group (DSMG), all of which, over the years, have played an important role in the success and continuing growth of DSS. She also extended a special thanks to the venue hosts Ski Dubai, and media in attendance. A packed agenda Ibrahim Saleh said this year’s line-up of activities, shopping rewards and family entertainment promised a summer spectacle sure to appeal to both residents and visitors alike. In addition, he stressed the important boost the summer event continues to provide to the Dubai economy during what was traditionally a lean tourist period, with DSS succeeding in pumping billions of tourist dirhams into the economy over the past few years.

Ibrahim Saleh Saleh said: “DSS 2012 will feature various signature events that present a great diversity of choice and reflect the international theme that DSS has acquired over the years from its efforts to tailor the events to suit different tastes. Malls across the city will play host to DSS signature events, such as World of Stories, Kids Fashion Week, Min Bladi Al Emarat, and the Sheila and Abaya Fashion Show, and kids can look forward to 8 highly popular international stage cartoon shows such as The Smurfs, Barbie, Hello Kitty, Sponge Bob, Charlie and Lola, Ice Age, and Teletubbies. Saleh added that one of the most popular DSS attractions Modhesh World will move to a new home this year at DWTC, placing this exciting edutainment attraction in the very heart of the city. Kids can look forward to enjoying the various themed zones, events, and activities that Modhesh World offers in a convenient and child-friendly environment. As always, the highly anticipated shopping rewards and raffles will once again be back this year. Shoppers can look forward to Nissan Patrol and Micra raffles, cash prizes, shopping vouchers and shopping mall raffles offering prizes worth AED 3 million in total. In addition, DSS will feature huge sales and discounts across a range of brands in malls all across the city as well as a re-launched spa offers program under a brand new identity called “Dubai Spas”. Spa enthusiasts will be able to avail of unbeatable discounts at the cream of Dubai’s luxurious spas all through the festival period. Other highlights of DSS include the much anticipated annual regional destination-marketing internship program - the DSS Apprenticeship Program - which will once again bring top student talent from across the Middle East, North Africa and Levant to Dubai for an intensive two-week marketing internship. The highlights of the upcoming DSS 2012 agenda were well received by the attendees who were welcomed to the Ski Dubai venue by the DSS mascot Modhesh, wearing a scarf and posing for pictures with attendees. The attendees were also treated to a penguin show and roaming entertainers dressed as snowmen. The entire Ski Dubai snow park was decorated in the festival’s summery colours, acting as a harbinger of the fun and excitement due to follow in the coming weeks.



DEPE Schedule

14th June - Modhesh World (DWTC) Considered one of the largest indoor edutainment theme parks in the Middle East, Modhesh World will play the host of DSS 15th edition opening festivity. The popular destination, which will run for 73 days from 14th June to 25th August, will witness a day full of fun and surprises that will reflect the slogan “Dubai. Summer Fun and more” in the best way possible. ‘Dubai...your favorite shopping destination’ Discounts and reductions during Dubai Summer Surprises Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment began to receive applications for shopping centers who wish to participate in the summer promotional offers this DSS. It is expected that the number of participants for this summer to exceed 6000 who will offer discounts on various types of items and merchandise in some cases reaching up to 75%. DEPE will issue a special booklet for the promotions taking place this DSS in both Arabic and English and distribute it to visitors and residents of the emirate to be their guide while shopping in Dubai. ‘Dubai ... your destination for winning’ Dubai Summer Surprises grand draws 5 Patrol cars and AED 750,000 Eager to increase the dose of thrill and excitement during the Dubai Summer Surprises, DEPE in collaboration with ENOC and EPCO a strategic partners for the festivals of 2012, will offer weekly draws at the end of each week this DSS, where everyone can participate by purchasing a raffle ticket (AED 200) at select ENOC and EPCO stations, ZOOM markets, Dubai Metro stations in addition to Dubai Mall, Deira City Centre, Mall of the Emirates, Al Ghurair Center and other sites to enter the weekly draw for the luxurious Nissan Patrol and 150,000 dirhams in cash. Dubai shopping malls raffles and draws AED 3 million Shoppers who spend up to 200 dirhams will receive a voucher to participate in the DSS weekly draw, which includes 5 winners to AED 50,000 and 1 grand prize worth AED 500,000. Shopping centers participating in this campaign include: Al Arabi Center, Al Ghurair , Al Manal Plaza, Al Mulla Plaza, BurJuman Mall, Deira City Centre, Ibn Battuta Mall, Lamcy Plaza, Mirdiff City Centre, Oasis Center, Al Reef Mall, Mall of the Emirates, The Outlet Mall and Humor Ein Mall, Palm Strip, Sun Set Mall and The Twin Towers Mall. The 15th edition of DSS In celebration of the fifteenth edition of the Dubai Summer Surprises, DEPE has prepared many surprises to welcome the festive season this summer, decorations and lights will fill the city in a unique form this year .DEPE will also distribute gifts to passengers arriving at Dubai International Airport who will be visiting Dubai during DSS. Also employees who will be working long hours and will not have the chance to witness the festive season, DEPE has arranged a special program for them where the festivities will be visiting their offices at work. Mind’s pleasure 15 June - 13 July Dubai World Trade Centre This highly popular cultural program is back to add an intellectual flavor to DSS. Consisting of a series of interactive Arabic and English lectures and workshops preformed by some of the most famous speakers in the region. The program focuses on the main challenges of our modern day life offering ways and solutions to overcome and solve these issues in a fun and interactive way. The Puppet Festival 6 - 14 July: Mirdif City Centre Enter the conceptually dazzling and creatively daring world of puppet and marionette theatre with the highly acclaimed International Puppet Festival. The festival will present state-of-theart puppetry, marionettes, shadows, rod puppets, and masks from around the world. In addition to the traditional puppet theatre, the festival will include stage shows, parades, workshops, and children’s acts, in addition to marionette, visual and shadow theatres. Min Biladi Al Emarat 14 - 23 June - The Dubai Mall One of Dubai Summer Surprises’ signature events for this year, Min Biladi Al Emarat will take place at the Dubai Mall from the 14th to the 23rd of June. Showcasing the various traditional lifestyle aspects of the UAE, this event will comprise an array of competitions and demonstrations, including traditional Arabian tents, huts and traditional shows.

World of Stories 14 - 23 June: Mercato (except 17th June) This summer, imagination will turn into reality, if only for a limited time, at Mercato Mall! One of Dubai Summer Surprises most successful in-mall events, World of Stories was first launched in 2006. Six years later, the event has evolved into an entertaining array of customized shows, workshops and meets and greets. Kids Fashion Week 8 - 14 July: Deirah City Centre Dubai’s trendiest fashion show is just around the corner! Kids Fashion Week will present this season’s most sought after children’s wear. Watch fashionable young models walk the ramp and make a style statement at Deira City Centre. A series of training workshops for all participating kids will be held from 5-14 of July to complement the event. Sheila and Abaya Fashion Show 11 - 14 July: The Dubai Mall Catch the latest trends in Sheilas and Abayas this DSS! The Fashion Catwalk at The Dubai Mall will be hosting the Sheila and Abaya Fashion Show. This unique DSS signature event will present three different fashions shows per day. The first show will be dedicated to retailers, the second to aspiring designers, and the third to established designers. Smurfs: “A Very Smurfy Festival” 14 - 24 June: Mirdif City Centre A treat for all ages, “A Very Smurfy Festival” will delight children and adults alike. Watch the Smurfs village come to life as Papa Smurf attempts to rally his fellow Smurfs in an effort to organize the Blue Moon Festival! Fans can enjoy singing along with everyone’s favorite blue people at Mirdif City Centre where daily performances will be held. Ice Age “ADVENTURECAMP” 24 - 28 June: Mall of the Emirates This summer, Manny, Sid, Diego and Scrat will be trading their ice slopes for Dubai’s desert dunes! The stars of the popular Ice Age movies will be performing daily at Mall of the Emirates. A unique interactive live show, Adveturecamp, plays along with the audience’s reactions, incorporating them into the storyline. Barbie: ‘I can be a fashion designer’ 21 June - 1 July: Al Ghurair Centre AL Ghurair Centre invites all budding fashionistas to strut their stuff on Barbie’s very own runway! Participants will assist Ken and Teresa (Barbie’s best friend) in styling, makeup, hair and accessories as Barbie prepares for her big fashion debut. With a little help from the audience, Barbie might just succeed in conquering the tough world of fashion! Sponge Bob Dubai Marina Mall 14-24 June (except 17 June) A favorite among children of all nationalities, Sponge Bob and his friends will entertain visitors of Dubai marina Mall with 3 shows every day that will captivate kids and parents alike. City of Friends 28 June - 8 July: The Dubai Mall Welcome to the City of Friends... You’re always safe with us! City of Friends is a lively pre-school series where people and animals live together in a harmonious community. The series centers around three emergency service teams and their day-to-day adventures. Through exciting storytelling preschoolers will learn positive values and lessons including the importance of friendship and cooperation. Hello Kitty: ‘KarakokeKitty’ 4 - 14 July: Dubai Festival City Lights! Cameras! Action! Welcome to KTV: Hello Kitty’s very own live karaoke TV show. The cameras roll as the KTV floor manager (our live host) bursts on stage to get the studio set and the studio audience warmed up for the show. Join Hello Kitty and her friends as they take the Karaoke world by storm at Dubai Festival City. Charlie and Lola 4 - 14 July: Mercato Charlie and Lola is a fun filled and imaginative animated series for young children. It focuses on the relationship between siblings, Charlie and Lola, and tells the story of how they handle the little issues that they, as young children, encounter every day. Teletubbies July 5 to 14: Modhesh World except 9 June One of the cartoon shows offered by DSS this year, the well known children’s series will be coming to town, where children will enjoy dancing and singing with the famous characters which enjoy an international reputation worldwide. DSS Spa Promotions Visitors to and residents of the Emirate of Dubai will be able to rejuvenate and relax while enjoying a range of treatments offered by some of the most luxurious health resorts in the world. DEPE in coordination with around 15 luxury spa’s in Dubai will offer various spa treatment programs. Spa visitors this DSS will also get a chance to win prizes and valuable gifts offered by DEPE. DSS Apprenticeship Program The Apprenticeship Program in its 7th year allows students from 12 Arab countries including Morocco which will be participating for the first year, the chance to gain professional experience through working and training under the supervision of one of the best tourism establishments in the world. Other great events Dubai will witness more great events running through DSS 2012, which includes “Dubai Sports World” at DWTC running from 8 June to 31 July. “CATS”, Broadway’s most popular show in history will have its presence this summer at DUCTAC, Mall of Emirates from 10-14 July. For music lovers, ‘Evanescence’ will perform a great concert at DWTC on 22 June. For full details and more events in Dubai public are encouraged to visit and see what Dubai has to offer in terms of events and attractions.


lifestyle M u s i c


M o v i e s

Writer-filmmaker Nora


ora Ephron, the essayist, author and filmmaker who thrived in the male-dominated worlds of movies and journalism, has died. She was 71. She died of leukemia Tuesday night at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, her family said in a statement. “She was so, so alive,” said her friend Carrie Fisher. “It makes no sense to me that she isn’t alive anymore.” Born into a family of screenwriters, Ephron was a top journalist in her 20s and 30s, then a bestselling author and successful director. Loved, respected and feared for her devastating and diverting wit, she was among the most quotable and influential writers of her generation. She wrote and directed such favorites as “Julie & Julia” and “Sleepless in Seattle,” and her books included the novel “Heartburn,” a roman a clef about her marriage to Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein; and the popular essay collections “I Feel Bad About My Neck” and “I Remember Nothing.” She was tough on others - Bernstein’s marital transgressions were immortalized in “Heartburn” - and relentless about herself. She wrote openly about her difficult childhood, her failed relationships, her doubts about her physical appearance and the hated intrusion of age. Even within the smart-talking axis of New YorkWashington-Los Angeles, no one bettered Ephron, slender and dark-haired, her bright and pointed smile like a one-liner made flesh. Friends from Mike Nichols and Meryl Streep to Calvin Trillin and Pete Hamill adored her for her wisdom, her loyalty and turns of phrase. As a screenwriter, Ephron was nominated three times for Academy Awards, for “Silkwood,” “When Harry Met Sally ...” and “Sleepless in Seattle,” and was the rare woman to write, direct and produce Hollywood movies. Fisher and Meg Ryan were among the many actresses who said they loved working with Ephron because she understood them so much better than did her male peers. “I suppose you could say Nora was my ideal,” Fisher said. “In a world where we’re told that you can’t have it all, Nora consistently proved that adage wrong. A writer, director, wife, mother, chef, wit there didn’t seem to be anything she couldn’t do.” “Sleepless in Seattle” star Tom Hanks said Ephron “knew what was important to know; how things really worked, what was worthwhile, who was fascinating and why.” The eldest of four children, Ephron was born in New York to screenwriters Harry and Phoebe Ephron, who moved to Beverly Hills, Calif., when she was 4 years old. Regular visitors included “Casablanca” co-writer Julius J. Epstein, “Sunset Boulevard” collaborator Charles Brackett, and the team of Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich, who worked on “The Thin Man” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Determined by high school to be a journalist, Ephron graduated from the single-sex Wellesley College in 1962, moved to New York and started out as a “mail girl” and fact checker at Newsweek.

A newspaper strike at the end of the year gave her a chance. Victor Navasky, the future editor of The Nation, was then running a satirical magazine called the Monacle. He was working on a parody of the New York Post, “The New York Pest,” and asked Ephron for a spoof of Post columnist Leonard Lyons. She succeeded so well that the newspaper’s publisher, Dorothy Schiff, reasoned that anyone who could make fun of the Post could also write for it. Ephron was asked to try out as a reporter. Within a week, she had a permanent job and remained there five years. Ephron began writing for Esquire and The New York Times and developed a national following as a throwback to the prime of Dorothy Parker and S.J. Perelman and a worthy peer of such new and hip journalists as Gay Talese and Tom Wolfe. Part of her gift was her fresh takes on such traditional subjects for women as food and fashion. By the 1970s, she had met Bernstein, who teamed with fellow Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward on prize-winning coverage of the Watergate scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon. They married in 1976, and had two children, but love soon turned to hate - and matured into art. Ephron was pregnant with their second child when she learned Bernstein was having an affair. She wrote “Heartburn,” later a film starring Streep and Jack Nicholson and directed by Nichols, with whom she collaborated often. The book was so close to her life that Bernstein threatened to sue. Another perk from her time with Bernstein: She sussed out that “Deep Throat,” the unnamed and unknown Watergate source, was in fact FBI official Mark Felt. She would allege that she told countless people about Felt, who did not acknowledge his role until years later. Her screenwriting credits included “Heartburn,” the nuclear power drama “Silkwood” and the romantic comedy “When Harry Met Sally ...” She twice directed the team of Ryan and Hanks, in “Sleepless in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail,” and also worked with John Travolta (in the fantasy “Michael”), Steve Martin (“Mixed Nuts”) and Nicole Kidman (“Bewitched”). Ephron was married three times: to Dan Greenburg, Bernstein and to “Wiseguys” author Nicholas Pileggi, whose book was adapted into the Martin Scorsese film “Goodfellas.” Sisters Delia, Amy and Hallie Ephron also are writers and Nora and Delia collaborated on such films as “This Is My Life” and “Sleepless in Seattle.” — AP

Ephron dies at 71 S

This Nov. 3, 2010 file photo shows author, screenwriter and director Nora Ephron at her home in New York. — AP

In this film publicity image released by Columbia Pictures, Meryl Streep portrays Julia Child in a scene from, “Julie & Julia,” written and directed by Nora Ephron. — AP



ith furrowed brows and fervent nods, the French and native American musicians were introducing a new form of jazz to New Orleans centered on a colonial trade language used by their ancestors. There were no furs or beads on the table. Instead, the musicians were exchanging traditions to create a unique sound that hops from jazz standards to blues, to reggae to mellow, cymbal-heavy lounge music. Holding it all together were the soulful chants of ancient folk tales and more modern stories told in Mobilian, a language once used by tribes across the Gulf of Mexico to communicate with each other and with the French traders. The collaboration began a year ago after the Montpellier-based Mezcal Jazz Unit got a gig in the Big Easy. “It’s like for a Muslim to go to Mecca,” Emmanuel de Gouvello, the band’s bass player and arranger said of his first-and too brief-visit to the birthplace of jazz. An attache at the French consulate knew of the band’s interest in working with indigenous musicians and introduced them to Grayhawk Perkins, a staple of the Louisiana music scene and a member and historian of the Muskogeean nation. Mezcal has collaborated with indigenous musicians all over the world, from Nigeria to Vietnam. They aim to first understand the culture of their collaborators and then add their own “color” to it in a way that complements and preserves the traditional form, de Gouvello said. “We have to do something that is not usual world music, you know, just putting some drums or electronics on it,” he told AFP. “We have to respect the tradition, but do something new.” Perkins already blends modern music-mostly blues and funk-with indigenous chants in his Grayhawk Band and was eager to add a French influence to his repertoire. “It was really intriguing for me to have him come in and say ‘Hey, I’d like to take that traditional [sound] and see what I can do,’” Perkins said. ‘Historic moment’ “I can feel that French jazz style to it, which I don’t get here. I get more of that New Orleans jazz-funk style when I do my music.” The cross-Atlantic collaboration blossomed with the help of online video chats and e-mail. Perkins would send a capella tunes as audio files, and de Gouvello would work on the instrumentation. The ensemble settled on the name 13 Moons in a nod to the Muskogee calendar and created 13 songs which tell the tales of the different moons. “Turkey Moon” tells how the spirits of elders are celebrated through a process similar to the Mexican Day of the Dead. “Chestnut Moon” is about Native American and black musicians collaborating at Congo Square, a site where slaves and freedmen gathered in pre-Civil War New Orleans to create the sound that has evolved into contemporary regional music.—AFP

Drummer Grayhawk Perkins, a staple of the Louisiana music scene and a member of the Muskogeean nation, performs with Christophe Azema and other members of the Montpellier-based Mezcal Jazz Unit at Cafe Istanbul in New Orleans, Louisiana on June 15, 2012. — AFP

ome memorable scenes from the films of Nora Ephron, who died Tuesday at age 71: “When Harry Met Sally” (1989): The scene in Katz’s Delicatessen when Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan’s characters discuss fake orgasms and Ryan’s character launches into an over-the-top version, prompting a nearby woman (played by director Rob Reiner’s mother) to deadpan, “I’ll have what she’s having.” “Sleepless in Seattle” (1993): The moment when Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan’s characters meet atop the Empire State Building for the first time. Ryan’s character convinces an elevator operator to take her to the top after the observation deck has closed. “Michael” (1996): While most of the movie was forgettable, John Travolta added another memorable dance scene to his credits when he lured all the women in a bar to groove with him to Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools.” “You’ve Got Mail” (1998): The moment when Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan’s star-crossed characters meet at New York’s Riverside Park. She tells him, “I wanted it to be you.” “Julie & Julia” (2009): The scene in which Amy Adams’ Julie Powell has to cook live lobsters for the first time, complaining, “I have to murder and dismember a crustacean.” — AP

This CD cover image released by RCA Records shows the latest release for R. Kelly, “Write Me Back.”


aroon 5 frontman Adam Levine may have charmed TV viewers as a judge on NBC’s hit singing competition “The Voice,” but music critics have given mixed reviews to the band’s latest album “Overexposed,” out on Tuesday. The album is the fourth studio effort from the Los Angeles quintet led by Levine, who shot to fame in 2002 with singles “This Love,” and “She Will Be Loved,” from its debut album “Songs About Jane.” “Overexposed” sees the band moving away from the alternative rock that influenced their previous records, and embracing pop music whole-heartedly. The set has already spawned a hit with the angstdriven lead single “Payphone” featuring rapper Wiz Khalifa, and the band is following up with reggae-infused second single “One More Night.” “Payphone” has had 2.7 million digital song sales in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. But reviews for “Overexposed” are mixed, with the album earning a score of 51 out of 100 on review aggregator site Entertainment Weekly’s Adam Markovitz criticized the album’s lyrics, saying “verses alternate between horndog rhapsodies ... and bratty put-downs of some Everygirl who always disappoints.” He said the “strongest wordcraft” was in the album title. Levine, who co-wrote each track on the album, stuck to the themes that Maroon 5 is best known forlove and heartache, with playful innuendos. The singer also conjures up the troublesome femme fatale throughout the

ear R. Kelly, You’ve gone and done it again. I don’t know what’s going on with two back-to-back, rather wholesome and anachronistic albums, but your eleventh “Write Me Back” feels like a breath of fresh air on the contemporary urban scene. You may be trying to subvert expectations of your chosen genre, you may be showing off your voice, maybe you are preaching a newfound understanding of relationships, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’ve single-handedly produced and written an album with a voice. Mixing 1970s funk and soul, ‘50s beats, church organ sprinkles and ‘90s nostalgia R&B was an excellent idea. Those sounds, coupled with romantic lyrics, may sound like a cheesefest, but that’s what makes the dish so delicious. You start off with vivacious ode “Love Is” and meander through retro beats and ballads with a purposeful

album in tracks such as “Lucky Strike” and “Tickets,” where Levine sings of his female subject being “perfect on the outside, but nothing at the core.” In “Ladykiller,” Levine pays a subtle homage to the late Michael Jackson with his falsetto in the chorus singing “she’s in it just to win it, don’t trust her for a minute.” The band revive 80s disco sounds in tracks such as “Tickets” and “Doin Dirt,” and

club-friendly beats in “Lucky Strike” and “Love Somebody,” - the two tracks on which One Republic’s hit-maker Ryan Tedder makes his mark on lyrics and pro-

gait. Your only pit stops on the love highway are on the party dance floor with the engaging swing song “All Rounds On Me,” and the lively “Party Jumpin’.” “Believe That It’s So” is the one tune on the record that wanders from the realm of personal into the club. This highly enjoyable dance romp is a testament to your enduring presence on the music scene. You know I’m a “Fool For You”; You’ve got the “Green Light” to move on to your next album in the knowledge you’ve nailed this one. Check out this track: “Feeling Single” puts an imaginary cane, a fedora and tux on you, some smooth moves and pushes you right in that spotlight. — AP

duction. The move towards pop comes after the band scored its biggest hit with the single “Moves Like Jagger,” featuring Christina Aguilera, which has sold 5.2 million copies in the U.S. since June 2011 according to Nielsen SoundScan. The song’s success was fueled by Levine and Aguilera’s roles as judges on “The Voice”, which has seen their popularity soar in the last year. —Reuters


lifestyle M u s i c


t’s impossible to avoid the comparisons, so we may as well just get them out of the way early so we can move on. “The Amazing Spider-Man” a reboot? Prequel? New chapter? It’s hard to decide what to call it - is pretty much different in every way from the staggeringly successful Marvel Comics-inspired trilogy that preceded it. The basics are the same: A high school kid gets bitten by a scientifically modified spider, discovers he has newfound super powers, decides to use them as a vigilante crime fighter and takes to the streets of New York in an unforgiving tight red-andblue suit. But in terms of tone, characters, performances and even visual effects, “The Amazing Spider Man” feels like its own separate entity. It may not be as transporting or genre-altering an experience as those earlier films, especially the first two, but it finds a distinct voice. And a great deal of that has to do with the central performance from Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker. In the hands of Tobey Maguire, who originated the role in “Spider-Man” a decade ago, Peter was nerdy, scrawny, insecure that’s how his everyman relatability manifested itself. Garfield plays Peter as more of a misunderstood outsider, a rebel with a chip on his shoulder, a guy who wasn’t afraid to stand up to the class bully even before he underwent his transformation. And that slightly arrogant attitude gives the whole movie a restless, reckless energy and a welcome sense of danger. At the helm, Marc Webb is a very different sort of director. He may not have sounded like the most obvious choice for a hugely anticipated blockbuster based on his only previous feature, the romantic comedy charmer “(500) Days of Summer.” His big set pieces may lack some of the imagination that director Sam Raimi brought previously, but they’ll do. More importantly, though, he conveys an emotional truth, a pervasive sense of humanity, which may be an even tougher feat in this kind of fantastical scenario.

Webb’s deft touch is especially clear in the scenes between Garfield and Emma Stone as Peter’s classmate Gwen Stacy, who has to be the cutest, best-dressed science geek on the planet. (In this version of the “Spider-Man” universe, we must be pre-Mary Jane Watson.) Stone radiates the cute, bright, quick-witted presence we’ve come to know and love in films like “Easy A” and “Crazy Stupid Love,” and she and Garfield have a sweetly flirty chemistry. (The scene where he finally asks her out without really asking her out is adorably awkward.) But there’s depth and sensitivity there, too, since she’s the only one who knows his secret for a long time. The script from James Vanderbilt, Steve Kloves and veteran Alvin Sargent begins when Peter was a boy. A sudden threat forces his parents to leave him with his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field) before disappearing forever. As Peter grows into a teenager, be begins to ask questions about who they were - especially his mysterious scientist father (Campbell Scott). (If you hadn’t noticed, it’s a great supporting cast. All these longtime actors show what total pros they are by finding just the right balance in tone and never overor under-playing their parts.) This brings him to the gleaming high-rise where his father’s former partner, Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), is deeply involved in some groundbreaking and unproven - genetic research. When Connors finally tests his latest formula on himself, the results don’t exactly turn out the way he (or the unsuspecting residents of Manhattan) might have hoped. The destruction he causes in his altered state, and Spider-Man’s attempts to stop him from causing even more, provide the basis for the film’s obligatory noisy showdowns. Which brings us to the use of 3-D: “The Amazing Spider-Man” didn’t need it. I realize I say that a lot but it’s an observation that seems especially true this time around. Webb barely applies this de


M o v i e s

rigueur trick - maybe to make the background pop here and there, or in an aerial shot of the city, but he never puts the technology to its fullest use to make you feel immersed in this world. Basically, the 3-D feels like an attempt by the studio to sling more summer movie going dollars into its web; you should resist, especially since, based on a quick tease during the closing credits, a sequel is clearly

being hatched. “ The Amazing Spider-Man,” a Columbia Pictures release, is rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence. Running time: 138 minutes. Three stars out of four. — AP


In this picture taken on May 28, 2012, an Afghan shopkeeper waits for customers in his shop which sells musical instruments in the old city of Kabul. — AFP photos

An Afghan shopkeeper arranges a drum in his shop which sells musical instruments in the old city of Kabul.

Afghans sing again - of


n a country where music was silenced in the name of Allah for five years, the beat is back and even rock shares the airwaves with the romantic strains of traditional Afghan songs. The Islamist Taliban, who banned all music as sinful while they were in power between 1996 and 2001, are now waging an insurgency against the Western-backed government-but they can’t stop the music. They have even developed an a capella style of their own, chanting religious poems to the glory of suicide bombers and their fighters waging war on government forces and some 130,000 NATO troops. The Central Asian nation has an ancient tradition of songs built on its rich culture of poetry, ranging from war, heroism and epic tales of life in this harsh land, to delicate love stories. But there is a vast difference between traditional lyrics and those of the Taliban: Traditional: “Last night I stole a quick glance at your moon-like face through your dark hair,” goes a famous Afghan song performed in the 1970s by celebrity Abdul Rahim Sarban. “Your half-open crimson dress was prettier than a hundred roses in the garden... a narcissus shies away before the beauty of your seducing eyes.” Taleban: “The youth is out on a fedayee (suicide) mission, his heart filled with passion for his religion. “The youth is out on fedayee mission, the angels are watching him, the paradise houris (pure companions) are watching when the suicide bomber strikes.” Even in the new forms of pop and rock, imported along with the NATO troops, the war is never far away. In a makeshift studio in their apartment in west Kabul, four young men have formed a band called Morcha (Ants), which they describe as Afghanistan’s first rock band. Vocalist Shekib Musadeq, drummer Shafiq Najafi and two bass players Hassanzada and Behroz Shujahi gather daily for practice, rocking their

love and war

building and their neighbors-with Western beats. “Music has been part of the people’s life ever since history remembers,” says Hassanzada. He describes their lyrics as “neither about love, nor Taliban hatred” but about current realities in their war-shattered country: a deadly insurgency, corruption, the illicit drugs trade and natural disasters. ‘Afghanistan’s Elvis’ “Fifteen died in Helmand, the drought ended in Herat... NATO conducted a rapid air strike on a wedding party,” the band sings against the beat of drum and bass guitar while practicing for a big concert in Kabul. “The Taliban peace plan on the president’s desk, the elders of Paktika endorsed it... The headlines from Afghanistan, thanks to the world are all about these.” But love songs accompanied by traditional tabla drums and elegant, lute-like rubab strings, remain a staple of the old style: “I’m a worshipper of flowers, drunk without drinking (because) tonight I’m with a flower,” sings Sarban. And in a country where many women still wear the all-enveloping blue burqa that was enforced by the Taliban, lyrics are not short of erotic elements. “I still smell your scent in my bed, feeling your sweet lips all over me,” sang the late Ahmad Zahir, who was nicknamed “Afghanistan’s Elvis”. The Taliban, who shunned modernity while in power, now use video and the Internet to get their message across. As a background to a video posted on their website showing dozens of Taliban fighters attacking a US military base in Paktika province, they chant: “The lion cubs can’t be tamed... you’ll be crying, lost, unable to find your way home, your child will never see you again... leave our home before it’s too late or Afghanistan will become your second Vietnam.” The Taliban chants are sometimes used as mobile phone ring tunes across southern Afghanistan, the heartland of the insurgency-where

Afghan guitar player Massoud Hassanzada, bass players Behroz Shujahi, and drummer Shafiq Najafi practise rock music at a makeshift studio in their apartment in west Kabul. they can be a passport through any trouble with the militants. But the rest of the range of musical styles can be heard on dozens of radio and television channels, and drifting though open car windows as drivers negotiate the chaotic streets of the once silent capital, Kabul. Abdul Satar Qasimi, a professional rubab player and singer who runs a musical instrument shop in Kabul’s “Musician Street”, says Western-style music has pushed many classical performers to the sidelines. Qasimi, 45, fled to Pakistan when the Taliban took Kabul in 1996, and his music store was destroyed by the militants. He returned after the Taliban were toppled in a US-led invasion in late 2001. “Now music has flourished but not for us. More and more people are listening to the new music, rock, pop and all these new forms of music,” he said. — AFP

Traditional Afghan drums are sold at a musical shop in the old city of Kabul.

In this film image released by Sony Pictures, Andrew Garfield is shown in a scene from “The Amazing Spider-Man, set for release on July 3, 2012. — AP

omic book superhero blockbuster “The Avengers” was set Tuesday to become the third highest-grossing film in box office history, behind “Avatar” and “Titanic.” Directed by cult favorite Joss Whedon, the Walt Disney Studios high-thrills action adventure made in collaboration with Marvel Comics earned $7 million over the weekend, for a total of $598 million since its release in early May. And it was expected to cross the $600 million US box office threshold on Tuesday, Disney said in a statement. Its global total, meanwhile, is now an estimated $1,438.3 million. “The Avengers” starring Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Downey Jr., Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo was made for an estimated $220 million. Released first abroad in April, it brings together a team of superheroes, which include Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Captain America and Thor, to help save the Earth from mythical prankster Loki and an alien army. It opened in North America on May 4 with a staggering $207.4 million in ticket sales-the biggest domestic weekend debut of all time-and has been shattering domestic box office records ever since including the industry’s alltime second weekend record with $103 million. It was also the fastest film to reach $200 million, in three days. The movie’s success will help mitigate Disney’s $200 million loss on the sci-fi fantasy film “John Carter” in March, which prompted the departure of Walt Disney Studios boss Rich Ross. Only 12 films have grossed $1 billion at the global box office. Five of them are Disney films: “The Avengers”, two “Pirates of the Caribbean” chestnuts, Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” and, in collaboration with Pixar, “Toy Story 3”. The two greatest money-making movies were Canadian James Cameron’s “Avatar” ($2.78 billion) and his “Titanic” ($2.19 billion). — AFP

Afghans sing again of love and war



An Afghan youth visits the Documenta Exhibition in Bagh-e Babur in Kabul on June 26, 2012. —AP photos

A general view shows the outside of the Bagh-e Babur, where the Documenta Exhibition is taking place.

POST-NAZI ART THERAPY comes to Kabul n art exhibition that began as an attempt to heal Germany after the horrors of Nazi rule and World War II is now being replicated in Afghanistan. “Documenta” arose from the ruins of the bombedout German city of Kassel as artists sought to reconnect West Germany, as it then was, with movements of contemporary culture banned under Adolf Hitler’s murderous 1933-45 regime. The show has been held every five years since 1955 but is now making its international debut with a month-long exhibition in Kabul, which opened last week. The parallels between post-war Germany and Kabul-battered by three decades of conflict-are obvious and much of the exhibition explores ideas of destruction, rebuilding and memory. But the aim is also to create an alternative vision, to counter the precarious reality of everyday life in the Afghan capital, said Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, the artistic director of the exhibition, Documenta 13. She describes it as “choosing to act” as if the checkpoints, cement walls, conflict and militarisation do not exist, “through acts of radical imagination and creativity”. In one of the works, a video by Belgian artist Francis Alys entitled “Reel-Unreel”, children run through the streets of Kabul rolling a film reel along like a toy. Smiling and laughing, the boys whizz past cars and market


stalls, donkeys and checkpoints, leaving a trail of film on the undulations of the city’s rocky, battered streets. Behind them more children spin another reel, rolling the film back up. For 20 minutes the unforgiving trafficclogged streets of the city are trans-

Viliani, one of the exhibition’s curators, said this sense of otherness is at the heart of Documenta 13. “It’s a catalyser of change,” he told AFP. “Saying you don’t feel like you’re in Kabul is working ‘as if’. This is not like escaping reality, it’s to advocate for

An Afghan man visits the Documenta Exhibition in Bagh-e Babur.

bition was about creating links between cultures and countries. American artist Michael Rakowitz used stones from Bamiyan to make sculptures of medieval books from Kassel that were damaged by Allied bombing raids, creating objects that

Afghan youths look at paintings displayed at the Documenta Exhibition in Bagh-e Babur. formed into a children’s playground as the film the youngsters unwind feeds through Kabul’s topography as if passing through a giant projector. Strolling around Documenta in the peaceful rooms of the Queen’s Palacerestored in the past 10 years after being destroyed during the 1992-96 civil war-it is easy to imagine yourself in a gallery in western Europe. Andrea

different realities.” Documenta features works created by artists from 13 countries, some stemming from seminars organised in Kabul and Bamiyan, the central Afghan valley where the Taliban destroyed two giant ancient Buddha statues in 2001. While the majority of the artists are Afghan, Viliani stressed that the exhi-

has a major role to play in social processes of reconstruction through imagination,” said Christov-Bakargiev. Rahraw Omarzad, director of Kabul’s Centre for Contemporary Art Afghanistan, agreed. “War has been going on in

that something is happening in contemporary art in Kabul and there are more people to work in this field, so they are encouraged to work,” he said. There are fears that when foreign forces leave Afghanistan the country will slide back to the oppressive

A general view shows the outside of the Bagh-e Babur, where the Documenta Exhibition is taking place.

forge connections between World War II and Taliban destruction. Afghanistan faces countless challenges as NATO troops prepare to pull out in 2014, but the Documenta organisers are passionate about the importance of art in rebuilding a society battered by conflict. “War creates facts, but art, too, creates fact of a different order, and art

Afghanistan for 30 years. The first step to develop Afghanistan is to bring peace and art is the language of peace,” he said. Such a major exhibition will revitalize a Kabul art scene that is stuck in traditional ideas and techniques, and help inspire young Afghan artists, he said. “From the outside they will see that they are not alone. They will see

Islamist moralizing of the Taliban, but Omarzad sees hope. “After the foreigners go contemporary art will develop, but maybe not very fast. It may be very slow, it may be with only a few artists, but it will continue,” he said. —AFP

Fashionable with a cause - Being Human Salman Khan launches the brand in Dubai harity, cause awareness and fashion all came together; as Being Human, a brand owned by Salman Khan, was launched across fashion labels Splash & ICONIC stores, in the region. The brand which supports Being Human: The Salman Khan Foundation was unveiled in Dubai in a press conference held at The Address, Dubai Mall that was attended by Salman Khan along with the Being Human team and Raza Beig, CEO Splash. Being Human was launched in 2007, when Salman Khan envisioned a concept that would support the underprivileged. The Foundation has a unique model wherein it is a lifestyle brand at the front-end and a registered chari-


table trust at the back-end, all royalties from the lifestyle brand go to support the twin causes of Education and Healthcare for the needy. Salman’s passion, love and dedication for the brand ensures that he not only wears the product, but also signs off every style, which guarantees his connection with the customer and the product. Speaking at the press conference, Salman Khan said, “We have had an overwhelming number of requests from the UAE asking us to launch Being Human clothing here. I am delighted that Splash will now make Being Human clothing available across the region. All fashion labels are about looking good, Being

Human is also about doing good.” Talking at the press conference, Raza Beig, CEO, Splash, said, “Salman is a true cinematic and cultural icon who is loved equally for his movies and philanthropy. Being Human is an integral part of Salman’s life as he is personally involved in building the brand and extending it to a collection that is hip, cool and funky and one where the message stands out loud and clear. In Salman’s own words, wearing Being Human means you “look good, do good” because you help people by the simple act of slipping on your clothes every day.” “The fundamentals of Being Human are very similar to those of Splash- affordable yet

making a style statement, with the addition of a clothing line with a conscience. With the brand being available in key markets across the Region, we have strived to make Being Human reach the masses so that the cause is widely popularized. With our reach in terms of number of stores, we are giving every consumer an opportunity to be a part of the Being Human Foundation,” he further added. As part of the launch, Salman also visited the Splash store in Mall of the Emirates to meet and interact with his fans where he received a warm welcome from the people of Dubai. Raza Beig, also went ahead to thank Manish Mandhana, Managing Director, Mandhana

Industries for introducing Being Human to the brand and actively promoting the launch. The line-up will offer 29 options in t-shirts for men while carrying the signature Being Human tagline which is the core and the underlying principle. Semi-formal trousers, denims, shorts and shirts in various styles are also part of the entire gamut of offering from the brand. ‘Being Human’ is available in Centrepoint stores located at Al Rai, Salmiya, Fintas, Awqaf, Hawally & Fahaheel and Splash store at The Avenues, so all you fashion-savvy people, get ready to rock the collection and support a cause while having fun with fashion!

28th Jun  

Kuwait Times

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you