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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

China, wary of Arab Spring, hosts Egypt’s Morsi

Invasive species: The spiralling cost of the enemy within

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Christina Aguilera: New album is a ‘rebirth’

North Korea’s disabled come in from the cold

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NO: 15552

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Freed Kuwaiti hostage welcomed back home

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150 FILS

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www.kuwaittimes.net

SHAWWAL 11, 1433 AH

Houti narrates kidnap ordeal, denies any ransom paid

Max 45º Min 28º High Tide 08:50 & 23:04 Low Tide 02:37 & 16:08

By Nawara Fattahova conspiracy theories

Abusing innocence

By Badrya Darwish

badrya_d@kuwaittimes.net

I

noticed lately especially when driving in the evening hours that many kids are roaming and jumping between cars at the traffic lights trying to beg in a decent way. They offer silly items like tissue boxes and toys for children. Honestly, up to now I have taken it lightly thinking that this has been on one or two occasions and especially during Ramadan when people go out later in the evening. I thought that the young boys are doing it for pocket money. Yesterday, on the way to work I saw an adolescent selling cheap towels for kitchen cleaning. Today, I saw kids at the traffic lights selling small toy lights. What does this mean? You see the scene of kids begging between cars in poor countries, in what you call highly-populated megacities and other nonpetrol countries where millions of people live. Bottom line, why are we beating about the bush? These are poor Third World countries. In Kuwait, the oil-rich state, I do not accept such a scene. We have a population of hardly 3 million and an incredible money surplus that we always hear about in our annual budget. Whether those who are begging are Kuwaiti or non-Kuwaiti, it is beyond logic and common sense. Or is there a gang that is using these kids for money-making without realizing the danger they put these young innocent children in the night? They could be kidnapped and become an easy target for sick souls and sexual predators. On the other hand, it is also dangerous for them to be jumping from one car to another at traffic lights. Why aren’t these children at home, where are their families? Why can’t the ministry of interior pursue this and see who sends these kids to the streets?? Who buys them the things they sell on the streets? What future do they have if they get the habit of becoming beggars? Now he is eight or 10 years old. Give him another five years and he will become a full-time beggar with no job aspirations. He might turn into a thief and join gangs. I put this question to the ministry of interior. I know they have a lot on their hands but this is part of the security of the country today.

KUWAIT: Well-wishers greet Issam Al-Houti upon his arrival at the airport yesterday, a day after he was freed by gunmen who abducted him last week in eastern Lebanon. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti man who was freed on Monday after being kidnapped in Lebanon returned to Kuwait yesterday to a hero’s welcome. Issam Al-Houti was met by his family at the VIP hall of Kuwait International Airport who arrived from Egypt immediately after they heard he was released. Lebanese Ambassador to Kuwait Bassam Al-Nomani and former MP Mohammed Al-Saqer were also present to welcome him. Houti was kidnapped in front of his house in Housh Al-Ghanam village in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley last Saturday. The kidnappers contacted the father of his Lebanese wife (he is also married to a Kuwaiti and an American) and demanded $2 million in ransom for releasing him. After intense pressure was put on the kidnappers from the Lebanese government, Houti was released without paying any ransom. “As far as I know, I was told that no ransom was paid to release me, although I was kidnapped for money and not for any political or religious reason,” he stated after his arrival yesterday. He appeared in good health without any visible injuries. He said he was beaten after a fight when he was kidnapped. He also stated previously to the press that he had light injuries to his head. When asked if he was beaten by the kidnappers during the three-day ordeal, he said: “I prefer to answer later. I will not give a statement on this issue right now,”. He denied knowing who was behind his kidnapping, and thanked the Lebanese and Kuwaiti governments, including the ministry of foreign affairs and Kuwait’s embassy in Lebanon for making great efforts to secure his safe release. Continued on Page 13

Uneasy ‘Big Easy’ braces for Isaac

PLAQUEMINES PARISH, Louisiana: Jaden Fabian, 1, cries in her car seat as her family evacuates their home yesterday in advance of Hurricane Isaac, which is expected to reach the swampy coast of southeast Louisiana early today. — AP

NEW ORLEANS: Isaac was upgraded yesterday to hurricane status as New Orleans girded for the impact seven years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the “Big Easy” and killed 1,800 people across the US Gulf Coast. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said an Air Force aircraft reported the storm’s maximum winds had increased to 120 km/hour, just above the threshold for an upgrade to a category one hurricane. The storm was expected to make landfall later in the day. US President Barack Obama urged people take the threat seriously, warning of the possibility of major flooding and damage. “I want to encourage all residents of the Gulf Coast to listen to your local officials and follow their directions, including if they tell you to evacuate,” Obama said in a televised statement at the White House. “Now is not the time to tempt fate. Now is not the time to dismiss offi-

cial warnings. You need to take this seriously,” Obama said. Obama said he had managed a wide-ranging effort by federal and local governments to make preparations. His appearance was a reminder of the power of an incumbent president to intervene at politically advantageous moments, as he sought to project an image of strength and competence, just as Republicans met for their National Convention to nominate Mitt Romney as their candidate for the November presidential election. The US National Hurricane Center said in an earlier advisory that in some Gulf Coast areas -such as the MississippiAlabama border east to Florida - a hurricane warning has been replaced with a tropical storm warning. But a full-blown hurricane warning remained in effect for metropolitan New Orleans, a city known as the Big Easy for its jazz and easy-going Continued on Page 13

3 killed in Mombasa as riots rage

TEHRAN: Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi (left) shakes hands with Egyptian Deputy Foreign Minister Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy after the latter addressed the opening session of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) foreign ministers’ meeting yesterday. — AFP

Iran uses summit to buff up diplomatic credentials DUBAI: With blanket official media coverage and graphic memorials to the “martyrs” of its nuclear program, Iran is using an international summit to assert that Western nations have failed to isolate it diplomatically and to present itself as a leading voice in the developing world. The Non-Aligned Movement summit of 120 nations is being held at a time when Iran finds itself at odds with the West over Tehran’s support for President

Bashar al-Assad as he battles to crush insurgents in Syria, and over nuclear development work seen as leading to atomic weapons, something Iran denies. In a symbolic display that may have startled some delegates, the charred remnants of vehicles that were blown up in the assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists have been put on show outside the conference centre in Tehran. Continued on Page 13

MOMBASA, Kenya: Two Kenyan police officers and a civilian were killed when rioters hurled a grenade at officers in the port city of Mombasa yesterday after two days of violence over the killing of a radical Muslim cleric. Mobs of youths had fired at police with machineguns just before throwing the grenade into a police truck, Benedict Kigen, a senior police intelligence officer said. The riots broke out on Monday after Aboud Rogo, accused by the United States of helping al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants in Somalia, was shot dead. Gunmen sprayed Rogo’s car with bullets in an attack many Muslims in Mombasa blamed on the police, who denied involvement. Police said at least 16 police officers were wounded in the grenade attack in Kisauni, a predominantly Muslim area, where youths set two churches on fire and barricaded roads with burning tyres as the riots spread to the outskirts of Kenya’s second-biggest city, a tourist hub and major Indian Ocean port. “These are pure criminals, and now terrorists are infiltrating within to launch grenades at us. They are looting even chicken,” Kigen told Reuters. The city’s main streets, usually thronged with shoppers and foreign tourists, were deserted and some shops were shuttered. Shopkeepers reported looting in some areas of the city and police said rioters had looted and set fire to a bank. Continued on Page 13

HAIFA: Cindy (right) and Craig Corrie, the parents of Rachel Corrie (seen inset), a pro-Palestinian activist who was killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza in 2003, sit together with their daughter Sarah in the courtroom just before the district courtís ruling yesterday. — AP

Court clears Israeli army over death of US activist HAIFA: An Israeli court yesterday cleared the military of any responsibility for the death of US activist Rachel Corrie who was killed by an army bulldozer in 2003, rejecting a civil suit filed by the family. The ruling sparked an angry reaction from the Corrie family, with Rachel’s mother, Cindy Corrie, accusing the Israeli authorities of a cover-up. “The state has worked extremely hard to make sure that

the full truth about what happened to my daughter is not exposed and that those responsible for the killing are not held accountable,” she told reporters after the hearing. And a British peace activist who witnessed her death first hand, insisted it was “inconceivable” that the driver of the bulldozer did not see her, as found by the judge. Continued on Page 13


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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

LOCAL

KUWAIT: Kuwaiti men greet Essam Al-Houti upon his arrival at the airport in Kuwait City yesterday, a day after he was was freed by gunmen who abducted him last week in eastern Lebanon. Al- Houti said his kidnappers accused him wronglly of being a rebel commander in the Free Syrian Army. —Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Court verdict puts election of Municipal Council in jeopardy ‘Lacks justice in voter distribution’ KUWAIT: A Constitutional Court verdict, which finds the electoral system unconstitutional based upon unequal distribution of voters between the state’s five constituencies, would automatically indicate that the distribution of constituencies in the Municipal Council’s elections system is unconstitutional, as well. This was disclosed by constitutional expert Dr Adel Al-Khadhari, who warned that any citizen can appeal the results of the Municipal Council elections scheduled on May 2013 if the present law isn’t adjusted before that. The Cabinet referred the parliamentary electoral system to the Constitutional Court last month in order to verify the constitutionality of the distribution of constituencies, with a verdict expected to be made in late September. If the law is found unconstitutional, sources believe that the government not only would be required to change the parliament’s electoral law, but also the law of the Municipal Council, “which has only seven months left in its term”. The sources, who spoke to Al-Rai on the condition of anonymity, explain that the Municipal Council’s electoral law, which divides Kuwait into 10 con-

Abdullah Al-Sharhan

Al-Hareth Al-Hajeri

stituencies, “lacks justice in voter distribution”. For example, the number of voters in the first constituency which represents Al-Sharq is 15,170, while it reaches 58,092 in the fourth constituency representing Hawally. Moreover, the sources indicate that nearly 40,000 people will be left out of voting in the next Municipal Council elections, as they live in 18 areas still to be assigned to any of the existing 10 constituencies. Additionally, there are other areas established after the last elections in 2009, such as the Jaber Al-Ahmad and Sabah Al-Ahmad areas that have yet to be included in voting. Separately, the Majority Bloc, a coalition of oppositionists who dominated the majority seats in the annulled 2012 parliament, have reportedly rejected the idea to allow its members in the 2009 parliament to resign out of the belief that such an action “would justify a call for the 2009 parliament to convene”. The idea was reportedly pitched during a meeting for the bloc at the dewaniya of Mubarak Al-Wa’lan Sunday, and rejected categorically as “a huge mistake that contributes to prolonging the process of dissolving the 2009

Dana Al-Akhwand

parliament”, given that their resignations can be followed by by-elections to fill the vacant seats if they take the opportunity to convene. According to sources with knowledge of the case, the Majority Bloc is expected to release a statement explaining the reasons behind their step not to present written resignations from the 2009 parliament. The statement could be made following a meeting set next Sunday at MP Ali Al-Deqbasi’s diwaniya, during which the bloc plans to evaluate the political developments following Monday’s mass demonstration against challenging the electoral system’s constitutionality. The 2009 parliament was dissolved early December 2011 following allegations of corruption, hitting members from its pro-government majority, which in turn fueled public pressure that led to the Cabinet’s resignation in late November of the same year. It became reinstated last June following a Constitutional Court verdict that found its dissolution process unconstitutional, and subsequently annulled the parliament elected in February 2012. —Al-Rai & Al-Qabas

Lama Bu Sidwa

Saleh Al-Muawsharji

Boubyan Academy ‘new break towards creating young Kuwaiti banking leaders’ KUWAIT: Boubyan Bank’s ITQAN Academy represents a practical model for a new era in training and human resources development as it offers a brand-new model in the Kuwaiti and Arab banking sectors through developing training concepts from the conventional form to a more advanced form represented in granting well-known university bachelor’s and master’s certificates in cooperation with prestigious American and international universities. IQAN Academy’s launch last July has put Boubyan Bank among the top local and Arab financial institutions pursuing the development of their human resources and enhancing the expertise of promising Kuwaiti youth in the banking sector by adopting unconventional ways for developing young Kuwaiti leaders with 15 young cadres selected to be the first seed of the Academy. Presenting the Academy’s work mechanism, Adel Al-Hammad, GM-Human Resources Group at Boubyan Bank said: “ITQAN Academy’s work is based on combining specialized training programs in the banking business with academic programs accredited by prestigious American, international and local universities. Moreover, the Academy’s attainment of the accreditation certificate from UK’s Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) proves its ability to provide leadership training and development programs which could significantly promote operational efficiency and help create more harmonious work environments focused on team work.” The Academy’s trainees satisfying certain conditions will be able to obtain 24 accredited academic credits of the MBA at GUST, representing 53 percent of the program’s total accredited hours, which suits the key work requirements in Boubyan Bank. Trainees will also be given the opportunity to complete the remaining academic credits of the MBA pro-

gram at GUST to obtain the certificate, in case they so desire. Al-Hareth Al-Hajeri (a Boubyan Bank’s staff member joining the Academy) said: “ITQAN Academy represents a dream for any employee as it is the only place where they can achieve their aspirations through work, training, development of professional capabilities and completion of post-graduate studies.” He added that he felt the extent of care given by the bank’s executives to human resources as this is a reality in the bank, not just hollow slogans for media show, and invited Kuwaiti youth recently joining work market to join this program and benefit from its various advantages aiming at creating qualified leaders for the banking business. On his part, Saleh Al-Muawsharji (a joiner of the Academy) said that he decided to join Boubyan Bank for many reasons including the achievements realized by the bank within a short period and that the advantages he came to know about Boubyan ITQAN Academy made him believe that the private sector is both capable and willing to invest in national human resources, indicating “I could not believe that there are banks which are ready to spend on their human resources in this noticeable manner for the development of their capabilities and enhancing their skills in a way combining the practical nature and distinguished academic learning.” Dana Al-Akhwand (another Boubyan staff member joining the Academy) said: “My first impression was that the Academy is the best environment for developing our skills and capabilities in a way that is ultimately reflected on customer service in the best manner and realizes highest returns for the bank, whether in terms of reputation or profitability.” She added that generally speaking, the

Academy is considered the best practical way to upgrade and develop the Kuwaiti banking sector as the development of its human resources is the corner stone for developing the sector in a way that makes it really the best among all economic sectors able to attract Kuwaiti youth, stressing that “joining ITQAN Academy is not just a gate to professional excellence, but to academic excellence as well.” On the other side, Lama Bu Sidwa (a staff member joining the Academy) said that joining the Academy forms the first step on the way towards a different distinguished future in which practical experience is combined with academic frameworks in order to prepare young Kuwaiti leaders to assume their roles in the future for the Kuwait of tomorrow. She added: “At this stage of the Academy’s work, we are 15 promising Kuwaiti young people with different opinions and ideas, and this is an opportunity for exchanging our experience, however limited, but the very exchange and continuous discussions in practical and academic atmospheres will be a great added value for us.” Meanwhile, Abdullah Al-Sharhan (a staff member joining the Academy) noted that ITQAN Academy’s program is considered a valuable opportunity given to me to join Boubyan Bank that I should not waste. And during the early weeks of joining the program, I developed an excellent impression that exceeded my personal expectations due to the materials provided and explained in an advanced and high quality manner which facilitates understanding and grasping information for participants. Concluding his words, he added: “I advice all fresh graduates to join the Academy for a better future and in order to achieve their goals for occupying key positions in the different

fields”, stressing that the testing process is conducted in an accurate and careful manner so as to admit the best people with highest efficiency into the program through the tests made for graduates. Noteworthy is that Boubyan Bank has signed in early June 2012 an agreement for establishment of ITQAN Academy in cooperation with GUST to act as a centre for developing the bank’s human resources in an academic manner by providing latest specialized programs, administrative sciences, and programs accredited by international institutions, in correspondence with work environment in Boubyan Bank and in compliance with the Islamic Shari’h. The Academy provides the bank’s staff with training opportunities throughout a whole year in many fields comprising specialized training programs in financial management, financial statements analysis, business administration, communication skills, human resources development, as well as advanced, distinguished programs in customer service and professional sales of banking products. Boubyan Bank strives to be the employer of choice for Kuwaiti fresh graduates by providing a work environment that encourages the development of young capabilities and gives opportunities for career development to skilled trainees in a carefully thought-out academic way under the supervision of a professional team accredited by international institutions who participated in providing training courses to international companies in North America, Europe and GCC countries. In addition, ITQAN Academy programs are based on Blended Learning Approach which includes training courses, on-job training, rotation among departments, guidance and instruction, elearning and assessment centers.

OFWs raise blood money for Filipino KUWAIT: Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are raising KD 6,000 as ‘blood money’ to save Joseph Urbiztondo, a Filipino jailed for the past 16 years in Kuwait. Half of the amount - KD 3,000 - has been raised so far by different organizations. The amount was turned over to proper authorities by the Catholic Archbishop of Kuwait. Philippine Labor Attaché to Kuwait David Des Dicang witnessed the turnover and counting of the amount. The Filipino community intend to hold another fundraising for Urbiztondo on September 17, hoping that they can send him back to his family before Christmas. In a phone interview with GMA News Online, Urbiztondo said he has been seeking the help of Philippine officials since 1996 when he was brought to jail. However, his request was always denied and was told that death sentence cases had priority in the Philippine government’s funds for blood money. “Kuwait has sentenced five Filipina women including Minerva Tayag who admitted murdering her employer, and May Vecina who slit the throat of the four-year-old son and stabbed the eight-year-old daughter of her employer,” Urbiztondo said. “May Vecina was sent home in 2009 and so was Minerva Tayag last month. The amount paid for were from OUMWA (Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs) and DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) and the amount was in millions. It would have been better if the court sentenced me to death, so I could have availed the help of these departments,” Urbiztondo said. Urbiztondo urged the DFA and OUMWA to review and consider the cases of OFWs on a caseto-case basis. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison for murdering a Bangladeshi transportation driver. On his death bed, the victim identified Urbiztondo as his attacker. Urbiztondo, however, alleged that he was only forced to admit to the crime after suffering ‘torture.’ “I was forced to admit the crime because local authorities refused to stop torturing me during investigations. I was very afraid and helpless as I was the only Filipino then inside the jail,” Urbiztondo said. — VVP, GMA News

Cabinet slow to fix new budget of Arab Spring pay-out promises KUWAIT: The government is facing a dilemma on meeting budget requirements given the lack of parliament sessions, while an ordinance to approve a new budget cannot be passed before the 2009 parliament is dissolved. In the meantime, the government’s spending is based on the previous general budget that touched KD 19 billion. It estimates the new budget at KD 24 billion. One solution discussed is budget cuts, but this scenario is wrought with problems when the government is required to pay public sector salaries with added pay raises and allowances enforced during the past year. This comes while the opposition bloc resumed preparations for Monday, mass protest, including naming members who will represent them at the Irada Square. “The bloc’s coordination committee ini-

tially agreed with Mubarak Al-Walan, Abdurrahman Al-Anjari, Mohammad AlDallal and Faisal Al-Yahya to represent the bloc at the Iradah Square next Monday,” said member of the annulled 2012 parliament Adel Al-Dahoum. His meeting came following a meeting held with the coordination committee; a coalition of oppositionists who dominated majority seats in the annulled 2012 parliament. The meeting held on Thursday, the first since the committee was assigned late last week to prepare for the bloc’s future steps, focused on organizing the work of the bloc’s media team “which focuses on sending the message of public protest and deflecting accusations,” according to sources. The committee was also scheduled to hold a meeting last night to continue discussing ideas

“including the possibility of broadcasting a TV channel from outside Kuwait to cover public protests,” said sources who spoke to Al-Qabas. Meanwhile, AlDahoum told Al-Qabas that the committee discussed “the framework for establishing the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution,” noting that names of members will be discussed in more detail during the bloc’s next meeting. Ahmad Al-Saadoun, Speaker of the 2012 Parliament released a statement in which he warned the government against “challenging the people’s willpower” by prolonging the dissolution of the 2009 parliament, that was reinstated following a Constitutional Court verdict in June that annulled its dissolution decree. Al-Saadoun also reiterated the necessity to “avoid ignoring the multimillion-dinar deposits, foreign transfers,

diesel fuel smuggling and Shell Oil deal.” These issues were used by the opposition bloc to claim government corruption, which fueled public pressure that ultimately led to the Cabinet’s resignation and the parliament’s dissolution late last year. Hard-line oppositionist lawmaker Musallam Al-Barrak told Al-Jarida daily that “[the opposition] will go as far as it can” in staging public protests if the Constitutional Court renders the current electoral system unconstitutional. “The referral step is clearly the first step of a conspiracy the Cabinet seeks to achieve their goal,” Al-Barrak said, further reiterating claims that the Cabinet plans to use a verdict ruling the current system unconstitutional “in order to issue an emergency decree for new constituencies distribution by which they will be able to control the legislative authority.”

KUWAIT: Items sold by roaming vendors are seen wrapped in large bags at an open space in Hassawi. They are often stored before being sold illegally at later times during the day. Unlicensed trade is one of many illegal activities spreading in the troubled area. Authorities are often criticized for failing to curb them. — Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

LOCAL

School fee increases top issue for parents Kuwait ready for new academic year By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: The 2012-2013 school year will be beginning a couple of days from now and parents will be busy preparing for the expected expenses from tuition fees, books, uniforms and school supplies. The Ministry of Education (MoE) has said they are ready for the opening of classes. Muhammad Al-Khandari, MoE Under Secretary Assistant for Public Education, said newly hired public school teachers will be arriving on Monday. “The new teachers hired from Egypt will be arriving on Monday. There are about 100 of

them, and are the third batch of teachers to arrive as part of our program to hire new teachers from abroad,” mentioned AlKhandari, who spoke with local reporters recently. “A total of 1,798 new teachers were hired by the Ministry of Education. Of 1,798, 1007 are Kuwait University graduates [most are locals], 343 were hired inside Kuwait [majority are expats] and 448 from abroad,” he added. While the problem of teacher shortages seems to be resolved, the tuition fee increases remained the issue for many parents. “I don’t know, every time I pay the school

fees it seems to me that I need to pay more. Tuition fees are rising without advance notice and for us, we need to pay or else who would,” said a Filipina parent, whose two children are studying in a Filipino school in Kuwait. “I am alone, my husband died a few years back, but I have to survive, I thank God, because since I am a Muslim, the charitable organization here at least helps, and it lessens my burden,” she said. Tuition fees in Arabic schools are also expected to rise. Abu Ahmed, a father of three said, “I am expecting an increase come October. I knew I would pay another extra fee because it’s been a yearly increase, so I know it’s another demand on my budget.” Shopping centers, supermarkets and stationary shops are now offering discounts for school supplies. One catchy advertisement on a billboard read: Back to School, First Lesson: Savings. “You know these days, we really need to be more thrifty. If there are shops that offer discounts we need to grab the opportunity,” said a teacher, whose children are also studying in Arabic School. Schools all over Kuwait will be opening in the next couple of weeks. Many, though, will open on the 17th or 20th of September since they had closed their school year sometime in late June. Some English, Pakistani, Filipino and other schools, however, will be opening next week. At least five Indian schools have been having classes since Aug 26. The Ministry of Education (MoE) in the past had already stressed and issued a ministerial decree stipulating conditions for the increase of private school fees according to their categories, or a five percent increase each year depending on the category of the school.

Malayalis celebrate Onam today By Sunil Cherian KUWAIT: As 400,000 Malayalis, the largest group among the Indian community in Kuwait celebrate Onam today, their annual harvest festival, expatriate associations are busy scheduling celebration programs. From stage events performed by visiting

ple to join the festivities that are usually conducted at schools. This time, like every year, associations are ready with their programs, except there is a space crunch - not all schools are willing to rent out their halls. This development is not as tasty as the Onam banquet. At least two schools in Kuwait have

KUWAIT: Keralite couple Aiju Joseph and Shyni pose by the circle of flowers at their flat in Jleeb. Keralites across the world celebrate Onam, their harvest festival, today. In Kuwait, many apartment floors will be decorated as part of the celebration. celebrities to talent shows of children and adults, raffle draws and large banquets that boast of 16 dishes, the Onam celebrations are considered a must for any group. The celebration programs usually span up to Christmas time because of the unavailability of halls. Large associations expect about 2,000 to 3,000 peo-

reportedly banned some associations from holding any food service after organizers left the halls unclean last year. The schools found it difficult to convert the hall back to a classroom. The issue did not aggravate after association leaders apologized profusely, but the ban still prevails, affecting other associations

as well. Issues like this, however, do not take the spirit away from Onam celebrations where people of different castes and creed unite. The celebrations without borders is held all throughput the Keralite world. Kerala Islamic Group (KIG), a prominent Muslim association in Kuwait is holding their Onam celebration next week for friends they interact with on the internet. People, whether members of an expat association or not, join family and friends in cooking and feasting. Many people dress in new clothes, decorate their living room floor with the traditional circle of flowers and sing in Malayalam, their mother tongue. A large number of people order special Onam vegetarian meals from restaurants, costing about KD 2 to KD 3, delivered or served with 16 to 20 dishes. NonMalayali employees join their Malayali counterparts by having a meal together. It is not a rarity when employees gather for the meal after midnight, if Onam falls on a working day. Last year, employees from a food company had their meal at the company accommodation premises at 2am, the only time feasible for them. And last heard: This year the highlight of an expat association’s (Nair Service Society) Onam celebration is a 50-dish vegetarian meal prepared by a visiting chef and his team. The space does not seem to be an issue here, positively.

Waste water still dumped into Arabian Gulf KUWAIT: Periodic test results obtained from samples taken from different points along Kuwait’s shores showed signs of pollution; an indication that sewage water is still being poured into the Arabian Gulf. The Ministry of Public Works (MPW) insists that it is done only during cases of emergency. The Environment Public Authority(EPA) carries out tests at locations that have been affected by pollution caused by sewage poured into the Gulf following the collapse of the Mishref sewage treatment plant in 2009. They provide official results based upon which British specialists to arrive in the country will carry out studies to determine the effect of pollution on marine life.

Mohammad Al-Enizi, Industrial Environment Department Manager and inspection teams leader said that the EPA supports efforts carried out by the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) to prepare studies in cooperation with the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR). Yet, Al-Enizy believes that the government should put in more efforts to stop disposal of waste water. “I hope that alternative plans are found to stop turning the sea into a location where sewage water is disposed, in cases of emergency,” he said, reported Al-Qabas. In other news, Mahmoud Karam, Head of the Sewage Engineering Department at the MPW revealed that the ministry is cooperating with

the Kuwait Fire Services Directorate (KFSD) to use treated waste water in tackling recurrent fires at the Amghara scrap yard, noting that water from a treatment plant in AlJahra was used to extinguish a fire that was reported at a carpentry shop recently. Furthermore, Karam noted that the MPW plans to install eight kilometer long pipelines from the sewage treatment plant in AlSulaibiya to the Amghara scrap yard, so that KFSD tankers can be loaded with water. “The MPW is fully ready to help firefighters tackle recurring fires any time by providing large amounts of treated water,” Karam said, reported Al-Rai.

Mass sick leaves during Ramadan KUWAIT: Fifteen percent of state employees requested sick leaves during Ramadan, a top official from the Civil Service Commission (CSC) revealed in a recent statement. “43,511 registered sick leaves were taken by public sector employees during this past month of Ramadan. At least 107,388 leave days were given”, said Ahmad Al-Abduljaleel Undersecretary Assistant for Information Systems told

Al-Qabas. The cost of these leaves touch around KD 2,147,760, he added. The official statistics show that 15 percent out of 285,000 state employe e s t o o k s i c k l e a ve s d u r i n g t h e month, while nearly 1,385 (or 2.5 percent) were labeled as offenders “for failing to finalize sick leave proce dures they filed through the electronic system” in their respective work places.

KUWAIT: Kuwait Municipality removed a part of a school wall in Sharq, as it posed an obstacle to the First Ring Road project. The step was taken in accordance with a request forwarded by the Ministry of Public Works. Coordination was achieved with concerned authorities, in addition to implementing all safety conditions. Representatives from the Municipality supervised the removal.

KIB organizes second training program

Salem Qabazard

KUWAIT: Kuwait International Bank (KIB) recently held the second training program designed for the children of employees, in an effort to develop their skills in the banking sector and to engage them in constructive activities during leisure time. Executive Manager- Human Resources Department Salem Qabazard said, “It is our pleasure to host young students during this field training program as we aim to enrich their knowledge and educate them on Islamic Banking practices.” Qabazard added, “The pro-

gram includes theoretical and field training as students will be attending specialized lectures explaining the work process of the bank, which operates according to Islamic principles. The program will also include training that will familiarize the youth on the methods and techniques used within the bank departments and divisions, dealing with different customers and the public. KIB is always keen to organize more training programs for the children of employees to enhance their skills and abilities and improve relations with own employees.”


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

LOCAL In my view

The column

Iranians not yet fed up with wars?

National branding and soft power

By Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed

T

he Non-Aligned Movement summit conference in Tehran is, more or less, a festivity of real value only to the Iranian government. It is in need of improving its image, in particular to its own citizens who witnessed three years of continuous damage to the reputation of their president, their supreme spiritual leader and other political forces.

By Fouad Al-Obaid

fouad@kuwaittimes.net Twitter: @Fouadalobaid

The Iranian citizen has reached a point of maturity and boredom where he no longer cares much about the issues the regime is creating abroad, while taking share from his bread to finance them. The Iranian government finances the war against the West and Israel and supports Hezbollah and the Iraqi forces loyal to it. The government displayed ferocious brutality against its own followers who demonstrated peacefully with opponents such as Mir Hussein Mousavi. Later, the Iranian people watched their regime support the Syrian regime whose brutality, crimes and massacres filled the screens. Now the nuclear project of the government is deeply cutting at the ability of ordinary citizens to buy bread or fuel, even though in the end they will not benefit from this project. Though the Non-Aligned Movement has been without value for decades, the summit will provide the Iranian government with an opportunity to reassure citizens who are worried by the besiege, the war talk and the possible strike from the West and Israel. The Iranian citizen has reached a point of maturity and boredom where he no longer cares much about the issues the regime is creating abroad, while taking share from his bread to finance them. The Iranian government finances the war against the West and Israel and supports Hezbollah and the Iraqi forces loyal to it. While the government adopts austerity measures in its spending on the needs of its citizens, it lavishly spends on the Assad regime which is on the verge of collapse. There is no exaggeration or cynicism in the news that the government has issued directives to the official media to avoid printing or showing state feasts where large quantities of delicious food are served. The government is aware that the internal frustration has reached the point of explosion. It is only natural here to ask: Why does the Iranian leadership want to continue these battles? Please note here that the term “leadership” is obscure. In the past, the supreme religious leader represented the final authority. Few partners in the presidency, such as former Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani, decided the country’s policy and worked out the details of its daily life. Though the supreme religious leader is still on his seat, he no longer enjoys complete authority. The Revolutionary Guard, which has grown up, is now sharing the decision-making authority with him. President Ahmadijejad has also lost much of his power. He was several times publicly humiliated. He was forced to appoint some ministers he did not approve of and was prevented from appointing other ministers who were close to him. He made a number of threats, temporarily stopped coming to office but nothing has changed. The question is: Why do these people - the supreme religious leader, the president and the secret officers in the Revolutionary Guard - want to take the path of confrontation with the world? Why does Iran continue to execute costly regional projects in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Sudan, Yemen and Afghanistan? What do the Iranian planners want from projects that erode the country’s revenues and put it into confrontation with countries bigger than it? If we believed in the hypothesis that Iran’s military nuclear project, despite its huge bill, represented an insurance policy to the regime against any threats in the future, why the confrontations with other countries in the region? The only justification is that we are faced with old school leadership, which believes in conflicts of cultures and regimes though the end of the Cold War has proved the fallacy of these theories. Competition today is of economic, scientific and cultural nature. The military confrontation will not yield any benefits save to weapon traders. All that the Americans and the Russians had fought for during the past 40 years seems absurd today. Countries such as Vietnam, Cuba, China, the United States and Russia now enjoy complete peaceful relations. In Tehran as in some Arab countries are leaders who still live on their old readings, hold fast to the conspiracy theories and believe that military and security gains constitute the maximum victory. A country like South Korea is dumping its products manufactured through its technology in large countries, making more gains than North Korea, which, like Iran, is spending all its funds on military and political projects that are a complete failure. Had the Iranian leaders given up their political and military ambitions, they might have built the strongest country in the region. They might also have been able to impose their presence without paying a single dollar to Hezbollah, Assad or the Houthis in Yemen. No doubt the Iranians may one day arrive at this conclusion but this may be too late.

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kuwait digest

Undisciplined statements By Dr Shamlan Al-Essa

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e have been mired with politicians, writers, shows the superficiality and naivety of the former former and current members of parliament MPs and their attempts for political gains, even when who do not care for the simplest political it comes to humanitarian issues where people’s lives matters and attempt to take advantage of the free- are at stake. These MPs are so obsessed with infludoms they have to attack the government and offi- encing public opinion that in spite of the sensitivity cials without any realistic reason. We must be fully of the issue, they still clamor to record a pseudo vicaware that the regretful kidnapping of citizen Essam tory against the government so they might hopefully Al-Houti in Lebanon is a dangerous and sensitive win the next election. The verbal attacks against our brothers in Lebanon are not jusissue that has local and Arab tified, because the incident, as dimensions that call upon us all The verbal attacks the Lebanese Interior Minister to be careful and support the government so as not to endan- against our brothers in said, is isolated and those responsible have not even been ger the life of Al-Houti. Lebanon are not justi- identified; so there is no justifiStatements that were made for the attacks on Shiites by the annulled parliamentary fied, because the inci- cation in Kuwait and the demands to majority are shameful and ridiculous, and only shows how dent, as the Lebanese oust Minister Safar. The question should be, what trivial and superficial those who made them are. Is it necessary Interior Minister said, is are the aims behind these attacks? What could Kuwait or for MP Walid Al-Tabatabae to isolated and those the kidnapped person possibly make saucy statements against a minister and a colleague in responsible have not gain from attacking the Lebanese people, or Hezbollah, parliament, Dr Fadhel Safar, when he said “The government even been identified; so or any other party? MPs know must give time to its minister, there is no justification that the country whose citizens are kidnapped, killed and insultrepresentative of Hezbollah in for the attacks on ed the most is the United States Kuwait, to exert his efforts to America, for many reasons release Al-Houti, otherwise he Shiites in Kuwait and the of that cannot be mentioned here, should be relieved from his job”. and despite the existence of a Salaf MP Khalid Al-Sultan said demands to oust free American press, members the government must announce Minister Safar. of Congress and political opposithat if the Kuwaiti citizen is not tion in America side with the released within 24 hours or if official opinion and all work any Kuwaiti is harmed in Lebanon, then we will deport all related Lebanese through quiet diplomacy to release their citizens. We, as citizens, should thank the government and the and will sever interests. Former MP Dr Adel Al-Demkhi considered the kid- foreign ministry for the efforts of the prime minister, napping incident as a declaration of hostilities foreign minister, and our ambassador in Lebanon, as against Kuwait and the Gulf people must know their well as Lebanese officials, for siding with us during enemy. Former MP Abdellatif Al-Amiri said the mil- the kidnapping ordeal. What can the government do lions that are being distributed here and there must more than what it already has? It warned us against be employed to release Al-Houti. MP Al-Waalan traveling to Lebanon because of the trouble there accused Hezbollah of the kidnapping and of being and sent aircraft to bring back those who did not criminals. Former MP Mohammad Al-Kandari said obey their instructions. For our MPs and writers: The Kuwait’s status has been shaken because it did not situation in the area is very dangerous and calls upon us to be quiet and not stir sectarian strife. Enough protect its citizens from kidnapping. These reckless and undisciplined statements with political games.

kuwait digest

ach age comes with its share of challenges and opportunities. Throughout history, tribes, cities, and nations have vied to control the globe’s resources, and to master the arts and sciences for a military purpose. Numbers were the key to dominance until fairly recently. Primitive technology usually was manpower hungry, and in order to conquer vast spaces establishing dominance, you needed vast resources. As time evolved, the need for numbers subsided as skills became the name of the game. The more efficiently countries mastered technology, the lesser manpower was necessary. An example would be of a battle between two swordsmen, the chances for victory are dependent on the skills of those battling, and generally unless very-able it would be a one-on-one fight. If we extrapolate the struggle and put a sniper in an open field against a battalion of swordsmen, if the marksman is capable he would be able to take many if not all the swordsmen before they even come close! Today’s military technology is developing at a frenetic pace, from cruiser-guided missiles to stealth technology, from drones to remote controlled killing machines. This is bringing a whole new set of opportunities and threats for conventional fire-power subdues to smartpower that would allow even the smallest of nations a chance to put up a decent fight, ensuring its defense in case of aggression. Kuwait has been a prey for at least a century, beginning with the battle of Jahra in 1920, cumulating in the Iraqi invasion of 1990, and the Iranian sponsored terrorism of the 1980s. Our small size and limited manpower has always been a cause of concern and will remain as such so long that we decide to maintain the status quo. And yet, the challenges to our very existence are real. In pursuing a foreign policy strategy that would be effective, we need to do an even better job at creating the deterrence against aggression than we currently have. Military alliances upon which we rely are limited in nature and scope; the changing circumstance should always be factored. Reliance on friends is nice, but nothing beats one’s ability to self-sufficiently stand firm against the waves of time. In the region, there are examples to be studied. Israel has been a country that has survived combined attacks from larger neighbors and has emerged victorious. With a size comparable to ours we should learn from them. Along with establishing an efficient military, we ought to master the best diplomacy that our money can buy. Kuwait is today known as a country lost into its own political mess, with no clear direction and no real construction boom as is seen elsewhere in comparable sized nations in our region. We need to embrace a differentiation strategy that would firmly place Kuwait on the global map not too dissimilar to Stockholm, Geneva, and Oslo. Migration has become a reality that is only going to increase in the 21st century. Already outnumbered by foreigners in Kuwait, we should pursue a strategy of diplomatic engagement by inviting as many nations as possible to set shop in Kuwait. We should make it easy for diplomatic representation to open by donating land for the said embassies, and creating an embassy building fund. With that, we should work hard to establish satellite offices and coordination bureaus of international governmental and non-governmental organizations here in Kuwait bringing in a great number of diplomats as possible. Adopting such a policy would prove to be economically viable, as it would attract high-paying jobs invigorating the private economic sector. If the government wakes up from its current amnesia and decides to streamline projects such as the one proposed amongst other economic diversification plans, it would put impetus on the local economy and firmly set Kuwait on the global map, reducing the likelihood of aggression in the future. Furthermore, by having people from different friendly countries physically in Kuwait with interests to protect, it would make it more likely that our military alliances with such countries would be set for much more time to come.

A new form of forgery kuwait digest By Faisal Al-Zamel

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hat is the use of a “Majority” achieving justice to the Jahra people who lost their parliamentary representation? And why does this so-called “Majority” accept giving the right to certain sectors of society in the 4th constituency? Will this amendment give them the chance to practice their political rights? This group will surely resist an amendment that reduces differences from 152percent between the 4th and 2nd constituencies to 17percent. This justice is refused them, yet they are talking about justice. One of the wise tribal personalities was more honest with himself when he was asked by the late Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah in 1983, “What is your opinion about Kuwait becoming one constituency for elections?” He said “This is good for us, as it will bring us 19 MPs, but not good for Kuwait”. Today, you will not find anyone among the “majority” who puts Kuwait’s interests ahead of his election interest, as this wise man did.

With that in mind it becomes impossible to hand over the constituencies amendment to these people. Under this contradiction of interests the state should do its duty and implement the principal “citizens are equal”, which was destroyed by the five constituencies. It is now being reviewed by a neutral party to decide upon, but it is clear that the election system has weakened the spirit of citizenship and concentrated on groups in a negative way, which led to playing with peoples’ jobs; namely by changing the results of employees’ exams on the computer screen. Even at the scientific institutes failures pass and the successful fail. The one with low average marks is given a scholarship and those who are politically in the margins are ignored. The reason being that the election mechanism is behind political deviations, giving the one who received 2,000 votes the victory over the one who scored 3,000 votes. This is due to the right of voting for four candidates, which

opens the doors for vote exchanges, which must be viewed as a form of forgery that creates unbalanced elections. Today we see the result, the one who had 2,000 votes claims that he represents the majority, but the truth is that he represents the minority. The subject wouldn’t be Minority vs Majority, however, if it was not used in the wrong way to which we have pointed. The groups benefiting from these election defects have become even stronger and have begun transferring power to their relatives, instead of adhering to a truly representative system, one that supports all citizens. Where is the equal opportunity principal? It is time that citizens, themselves, stand up for this violation if officials continue to allow these practices. The honest voice should be heard through these frank articles, similar to what I published during Ramadan or in an article for Mohammad AlMaqatie last Wednesday, urging for the implementation of justice. — Al-Anba

Panel to change electoral law By Abdullatif Al-Duaij

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he Constitutional Court is largely expected to rule that the current electoral law is unconstitutional, which would then require efforts to either amend the existing law or change it altogether. Some speculate that these changes are going to be done by the government alone, and even presume that this is the actual reason why the Cabinet contested the constitutionality of the law with the Constitutional Court. This prompted many to voice their rejection to the referral step, based on the need to stop an alleged governmental plan to solely change the electoral law. Objecting to the government’s step, which is based on jumping to the conclusion that the step is corrupt, is neither realistic nor has integrity, simply because the alleged “governmental tampering” hasn’t happened yet, and might never happen. How can the government be labeled “a violator of the people’s will power” based only on hypothetical conclusions? In my opinion, true democratic forces who truthfully care mostly about Kuwait should start working together so that the decision to change the electoral constituencies’ system is ultimately done through a joint national effort between all parts of Kuwaiti society. — Al-Qabas


local

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

Good pearl harvest despite tough weather conditions KUWAIT: Nearly 160 young men collected at least 200 pearls during the first three days of the ongoing 24th Pearl Diving Expedition which officially concludes tomorrow at the Kuwait Sea Sports Club (KSSC). This was revealed by Ali Al-Qabandi, Head of the Sea Heritage Committee and general coordinator of the trip. Nine pearl diving ships gifted by HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and the late Amir HH Sheikh Jaber AlAhmad Al-Sabah, reached the diving spots in Al-Khairan on Sunday. A celebratory event was held the same night during which divers enacted cultural activities from ancestors’ heritage. “The patronage given annually by HH the Amir to the trip demonstrates the great attention that HH the Amir accords for preserving the heritage of the forefathers, and instilling the spirit of loyalty within young men,” said KSSC Board Chairman Fahad AlFahad in a speech. The trip is supervised by Captain Khalifa Al-Rashid, as well as Captain Abdurrahman Al-Manaie from the Kingdom of Bahrain which sent a team of divers to participate in this year’s event. Al-Rashid said that the number of pearls collected during the first three days is “very good” given tough weather conditions the divers faced, further predicting a higher outcome compared to the past five years. AlRashid further urged authorities to stop overfishing “used to provide pearl oyster supply sold later at the black market,” as well as pollution created by “sewage dumped into Kuwait’s beaches.”

Study identifies barriers to career advancement for women in Gulf KUWAIT: Most executives see a connection between diversity and corporate success. 85 percent of leading organizations view gender diversity as a top priority relative to other diversity issues. However, only about one in five companies have a targeted recruiting strategy for female talent, and only one in four offer job-sharing opportunities in management positions. Moreover, in many GCC countries, basic measures like women’s networks, mentorship programs or diversity trainings for managers - that have emerged widespread in more

Dr Sven-Olaf Vathje mature markets - are deficient. However, even in countries where they are present, such as in the UAE, these measures alone will not turn gender diversity into a competitive advantage. These are some of the central findings of the study Shattering the Glass Ceiling: An Analytical Approach to Advancing Women into Leadership Roles by The Boston Consulting Group, which surveyed some 100 HR managers in 44 international companies. The study highlights the largest institutional and personal barriers preventing women from achieving leadership positions, highlights best-practice examples, and presents a systematic approach to promoting women in management. The BCG study shows

that the majority of the companies analyzed view diversity management in the context of ethical and social aspects. However, adding a strategic approach can help shorten innovation cycles and enable companies to address new markets and customers. The greatest challenge for organizations lies not in a lack of awareness about the diversity topic, but rather in an inability to appropriately identify a company’s own glass ceiling. “The lack of women in leadership positions is primarily a problem of internal talent management; women receive considerably fewer promotions,” explains Dr Sven-Olaf Vathje, Partner and Managing Director in BCG’s Abu Dhabi office.”In the Middle East, the role of women in the work force has not been clearly defined yet. This is surprising, in light of government ambitions to further nationalize the work force. The scarcity of leadership talent can only be resolved by fully tapping into the female talent pool.” According to the BCG report, the barriers most frequently cited by study respondents were the poor management of leadership development for women, the culture of office presence, the difficulty of reconciling family and career, the lack of programs for women who leave and later rejoin the workforce, and male-oriented selection criteria in promotions. “GCC countries like the UAE could play a leading global role in the full integration of women in the work place. Statistically, young UAE women are better educated than their male peers, and they often demonstrate a strong work discipline,” explains Dr Vathje. “Also, unlike their Western peers, UAE women typically marry and have children early in their lives; they could rejoin the workforce as management talent without further family break, given the strong domestic support system in most GCC countries.” In all industries, companies are implementing a variety of measures to increase workforce gender diversity. Since most of these measures are not grounded in quantitative criteria, however, targeted manage-

ment remains elusive. Only 35 percent of the companies analyzed included diversity in their managers’ target agreements, and only one in five offered managers financial incentives for achieving diversity targets. The BCG study explores how a systematic and strategic approach can make diversity management a success factor. Importantly, that does not imply that organizations must simply put more effort into conventional initiatives, such as starting more affirmative-action programs or appointing more women to boards of directors. “It is not about random percentages or yet another diversity training program,” says Dr Vathje. “It is about getting a complete grip on how an organization recruits, retains, and promotes its diverse talent so it can identify its Achilles’ heel in terms of gender diversity.” Such an approach starts with a ‘health check’ that is based on quantitative and qualitative analysis to identify the causes of the imbalance in employee diversity and to generate acceptance of diversity efforts within the company. In the next step, targets and measures are defined that can promote the company’s business success. Three factors-employee acquisition, employee retention, and employee development-should therefore be analyzed using defined key performance indicators (KPIs). One example of a useful KPI is a breakdown of the number of male and female new hires and promotions per business unit, job family, and company location. Surveys and interviews conducted in the second step can shed light on the key problems and prejudices from the perspective of male and female employees. They also highlight the measures that are already applied successfully within the company. “It is BCG’s experience that successfully advance qualified women into leadership positions benefit from an overall increased attractiveness as an employer. Also, such companies typically outperform their industry peers - diversity pays off commercially,” concludes Dr Vathje.

— Photos by Joseph Shagra


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

LOCAL

Kuwaiti woman drowns inside Al-Messila spa Kidnap attempt foiled in Fahaheel KUWAIT: An investigation is underway to determine the circumstances behind the death of a woman who drowned inside a spa in Al-Messila Monday night. The victim, a Kuwaiti in her twenties, was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics who arrived shor tly after 7 pm Monday. The body was taken to the forensic department while an investigation is under way with the resort’s staff to investigate the reason behind the lack of lifeguards at the swimming pool. Meanwhile, a 6-year-old Kuwaiti boy drowned in a pool inside a chalet in Al-Khairan. CPR attempts carried out by the victim’s family and paramedics failed to save his life, as he was pronounced dead at Al-Adan Hospital after being rushed there late Sunday night . An investigation is underway. Kuwaiti held In Fahaheel recently, a male driver was arrested before he was able to kidnap a young man. The suspect reportedly invited the young man to his apartment for a meal and some ‘fun time’ (as he described it) after picking him

up from a street in the area. The Kuwaiti boy, who was merely looking for a ride home, called police after the suspect refused to drop him off. The man, also Kuwaiti, was soon forced to stop and arrested by Ahmadi police. He was taken to Fahaheel police station and charged with attempted kidnapping. Suicide attempt A domestic worker was hospitalized in critical condition after cutting her wrist in a bid to end her life. The Indian woman was found by her Kuwaiti employer lying unconscious in a pool of her own blood inside a bathroom, which he broke into after she did not open the door. The maid was admitted to the intensive care unit at Al-Jahra hospital where doctors managed to stop the bleeding. A case filed for investigations will resume once the woman’s condition stabilizes. Female harasser A Kuwaiti man approached Waha police station officers recently to press sexual harassment charges against a woman

he said invited him to have an illegal relationship. In his statements to officials, the man explained that the girl, whom he had never met before, continuously sends him suggestive themed pictures of herself ; prompting him to ask the police to “stop her continuous harassment”. The sender’s number was given to detectives in order to be identified and summoned for investigations. Travel tickets scam A travel agency employee was arrested for cheating customers after he canceled many clients’ bookings and transferred the money to his personal bank account. Investigations into the suspect began when at least 50 Kuwaiti and expats filed police reports after being told at the airpor t that tickets booked through the travel agency had been canceled. After the Egyptian suspect ’s arrest, he confessed that he had canceled the bookings shortly after they were made and deposited the payments into his personal account. He remains in custody pending legal procedures.

Fugitive nabbed A male suspect sentenced for multiple jail terms that collectively reach 99 years was arrested following a pursuit on the sixth ring road late Sunday night. The fugitive, a 30-year-old bedoon, was seen driving at speeds over 180 km/hr and led police on a 45 minute chase before being forced to pull over. No contraband was found on the suspect following a search conducted after police learned that he is a convicted drug criminal. A detailed security plan, which saw officers close certain roads in order to trap the suspect as he was followed by six patrol vehicles, contributed to his arrest, a security source said. Grenade found Explosives disposal staff deactivated a large grenade found recently near the Amghara scrap yard. The bomb squad was summoned by police after workers reported finding a foreign object half buried in the ground. Preliminary investigations indicate that the grenade dates back to the Iraqi invasion 22 years ago. — AlWatan, Al-Rai, Al-Qabas

Fire at Souq Sharq harbor By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: The Kuwait Fire Services Department received an emergency call operation about a fire that broke out in Souq Sharq harbor. Shuwaikh Marine Fire Center responded to the call supported by Al-Madina Fire Center and Al-Hilali Fire Center. Deputy Director Brig Khalid Al-Mikrad led the operations who supervised the task of extinguishing the fire. Firefighters swiftly dealt with the blaze and out it out within almost an hour. The boats are made of fiber glass which is an inflammable material and contained fuel which caused the fire to rage. The boats were linked to each other. No causalities were reported.

‘Suspend Syrian parliament membership in IPU’ GENEVA: Kuwaiti lawmaker Marzouq AlGhanim announced here yesterday that a request was submitted to the executive committee of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) to suspend the membership of the Syrian parliament, stating that “the current Syrian parliament does not represent the Syrian people.” Al-Ghanim told KUNA “the proposal comes as a request from the Kuwaiti National Assembly and the Arab group in IPU because no parliament, which is supposed to represent its nation should accept the massacres carried out against its people.” He expressed hope that the executive

committee will accept the proposal at its meeting next Thursday. Al-Ghanim said that this move will be a political act that complements the suspension of Syria’s membership in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in accordance with the decision of a recent conference held in Saudi Arabia. In addition, he stressed the need to suspend Syrian parliament’s membership until the crisis is over and a real parliament is formed to represent the true needs and legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people. Al-Ghanim also said that there may be a possibility that the Kuwaiti proposal will be rejected, which would put it to vote, but

there is hope in the clear message sent from governments of Muslim, Arab countries of the world to support this proposal. Furthermore, he said that Kuwait is taking the lead to deal with thorny issues concerning Arab and Muslim countries, noting that this job “is less than what we can offer at the global parliamentary level to support people of Syria.” In the meantime, Kuwait filed a proposal yesterday by MP Ali Al-Deqbasi President of the Arab Parliament to organize a conference to discuss the status of Palestinian parliamentarians detained by Israeli authorities. — KUNA

Fires kill 36 in three months

KRCS continues aid distribution to Syrian refugees KUWAIT: Field teams of the Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) continued to distribute relief aid to Syrian refugees living in several provinces of the Kingdom in cooperation with Jordanian authorities. A press statement issued by the society quoted the team’s head Nabil Buftain as saying that relief aid has been distributed to Syrian refugees in several provinces of the capital Amman, Karak, Mafraq, Irbid, Tafileh, Maan and Ajloun. Buftain added that the distribution of relief aid was carried out in

cooperation and coordination with Kuwait to the Kingdom and with the Jordanian Red Crescent, which have made strenuous efforts to deliver aid to Syrian refugees. He stated that the KRCS has mobilized 12 trucks to Jordan to serve the Syrian refugees while the overall size of the relief aid was 250 tons, which included dates, rice, tea, oil along with canned food. A single batch of relief aid is sufficient to feed a Syrian family for a month. —KUNA

KUWAIT: At least 36 people were killed and 316 others, including 90 firefighters, were injured in more than 1,500 fires that took place in Kuwait during the second quarter of 2012, according to recent statistics released by the Kuwait Fire Services Department (KFSD). Lieutenant Colonel Khalil Al-Ameer, Public Relations and Media Director, said that eight percent of fires recorded in April, May and June of this year were recorded as acts of arson. “The KFSD dealt with 4,033 reports during the second quarter of 2012, up by 24 percent compared to the same period of 2011, including 1,545 fires; which is 16 percent higher than the number of fires recorded during the second quarter of 2011,” AlAmeer said, adding that the number of rescue cases carried out during the second quarter of 2012 reached 868. In addition, 119 fires were started deliberately according to investigations, electric short circuits were responsible for 489 fires, while 348 were caused by a heat source or flammable object, and 174 by cigarette stubs. Meanwhile, fires started by electricity overload were 88 in number. The most number of fire cases were recorded in Al-Farwaniya during the second quarter of 2012 with 1,331 cases, followed by Hawally with 754, Al-Ahmadi with 563, the Capital with 548, AlJahra with 431, and Mubarak Al-Kabeer with 333 cases. — Al-Qabas

Call for political solutions TEHRAN: The draft of the final communique to the Non-Aligned Nations’ summit (NAM) being held here counsels the opening of a US-Syrian dialogue toward seeking a viable exit for the crisis in Syria, said the Iranian TV channel “Al-Alam” on its website yesterday. Among issues the draft addresses is resorting to political rather than military means to end the conflict, easing the mission of the UN envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, and scathing Western sanctions against Syria. The draft, composed by NAM foreign ministers, also frowns on the Israeli nuclear arsenal, urges for a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, but at the same time condones the acquisition of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Furthermore, the draft holds the Israelis responsible for settlement infringements in Palestinian territories, including eastern Jerusalem, and demanding an expeditious end to Israeli blockade of Gaza for humanitarian reasons. The draft communique, moreover, affirms the precepts upon which NAM is based, including human rights and cooperation among nations of the southern hemisphere. It favors intra-faith dialogues and shows concern over the pervasiveness of religious extremism and cultural intolerance. Heads of states of NAM countries are slated to convene next Thursday and Friday to discuss the draft of the final communique, which the foreign ministers of their countries have prepared over the past two days. — KUNA

Two citizens arrested for drug trading By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Police from the General Department for Drug Control (GDDC) arrested a citizen in connection with charges related to abusing and trading in drugs. Based on a tip-received earlier, investigations revealed that he was involved in illegal activities. He was arrested. Upon searching his car, they found 150 grams of heroin and five grams of ICE (methamphetamine) drugs, and one joint of hashish. In a similar case, another citizen was arrested in connection with trading in drugs. He was arrested after an undercover agent posing as a customer struck a deal with him to buy two joints of hashish. The suspect accepted and was eventually caught at the time of the contraband’s delivery. After raiding his residence, they found 1/4 kilograms of hashish and 20 grams of ICE and other drugs. The suspects was referred to concerned authorities.


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

US troops punished over Quran burning Page 10

Morsi steps onto world stage seeking ‘balance’ Page 8

TEHRAN: A ministers’ meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement, NAM, takes place in Tehran, Iran yesterday. Iran is currently hosting a weeklong gathering of the 51-year-old movement, which ends Friday. —AP (See Page 8)

Big radiation risk ‘unlikely’ if Israel hits Iran Risks of wider disaster if Bushehr struck

News

in brief

Iraq executes 21 BAGHDAD: Iraq has executed 21 people convicted of terror-related charges, including three women, on the same day, a justice ministry spokesman said yesterday. “The justice ministry carried out 21 executions against those condemned of terrorist charges, including three women terrorists,” Haidar Al-Saadi said in a text message. He did not give any further details. A justice ministry official said the executions were carried out on Monday morning. Amnesty International in June condemned the “alarming” increase in executions in Iraq, which had at that point put at least 70 people to death this year, more than all of 2011. Iraq has carried out several mass executions in 2012, including one in which 14 people were put to death on February 7, and another in which 17 were executed on January 31. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay expressed shock earlier this year at the number of executions, criticizing the lack of transparency in court proceedings and calling for an immediate suspension of the death penalty. Saudi king in Morocco RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah is in Morocco on what’s described as “special leave” as the country’s affairs are being run by the No 2 to the throne. The official Saudi Press Agency gave no other details about the trip or any possible health issues with the 88-year-old monarch and major Western ally. The agency called the trip both a “special leave” and “private vacation.” Abdullah hosted a gathering of Islamic countries earlier this month and has kept a steady schedule of meetings before his departure late Monday for Morocco, where the Saudi royal family has a palace compound. A royal decree placed Crown Prince Salman in charge of Saudi affairs during the king’s absence. On Sunday, Saudi officials said they uncovered “terrorist” cells plotting attacks in Riyadh, the capital. Indian man beheaded NEW DELHI: Indian police were searching yesterday for a gang of knife-wielding youths who beheaded a man on a train in eastern India in front of horrified passengers. Khokon Ghosh, a 37-year-old sweet seller, was set upon on Monday afternoon near Bazarshau station, about 190 kilometers north of the city of Kolkata in West Bengal. “The assailants escaped after the driver stopped the train midway hearing passengers scream,” district police superintendent Humayun Kabir said. “Preliminary investigation has revealed that Ghosh was murdered over some local issues in his village,” he said. ‘Sit down to pee’ TAIPEI: Taiwan’s environmental minister is calling on the island’s men to sit down when they urinate in order to keep toilets clean, drawing a mixed reaction from the public. Stephen Shen, head of the Environmental Protection Administration, said Monday he himself had adopted the habit, and suggested other men follow suit so toilet seats will be ready for the next user. An environmental official contacted by AFP yesterday acknowledged the advice would be hard to follow in public restrooms, where urinals constitute the main facilities. Therefore, she said, men are encouraged to first try to develop the new habit at home. Reactions to the proposal on the Internet forums and chatrooms were mixed, with some calling it a good idea that should have been brought up sooner while others were more critical. “Brain-damaged politician, why doesn’t the environmental bureaucrat start to wear a skirt,” said a message posted by a user on the United Daily News forum. “I’d love to see Stephen Shen and (President) Ma Ying-jeou demonstrate on TV how to sit down to pee,” said another message left on the forum.

OSLO: Any Israeli attacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities are unlikely to cause a Fukushimascale disaster unless a Russian-built reactor is destroyed, experts say. They could, however, release toxic chemicals - rather than high levels of radiation - causing local contamination affecting health and the environment. That was also the case from US-led strikes on nuclear facilities in Iraq during the Gulf Wars. “I doubt that the radiation effects would be great,” said Hans Blix, a former head of UN nuclear watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Iran says all its facilities are for peaceful purposes. Israel, which in 1981 bombed Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor before it came online, has led international accusations that Tehran is secretly developing atomic bombs. “There could be some chemical hazard (from an Israeli attack on Iran’s uranium refining plants) but I’d think it would be limited to any nearby communities,” said Edwin Lyman, a nuclear expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington. The Vienna-based IAEA and Iran failed on Friday to strike a deal aimed at allaying concerns about Tehran’s nuclear program. Diplomatic sources say Iran has installed many more uranium enrichment centrifuges at Fordow, a fortified underground site and a likely target in any attack. Bellicose rhetoric from some Israeli politicians has fanned speculation that Israel might hit Iran’s nuclear sites before the November US presidential vote. Washington has said there is still time for diplomatic pressure to work, but it might be drawn into any war between the two Middle East foes. Most experts contacted said that Israel would not target the Bushehr nuclear reactor on Iran’s

Gulf coast, which started providing electricity to the grid last September. Such an attack could release a Fukushima-style radioactive plume that could spread to the entire region including Israel. “An attack against Bushehr nuclear power plant would probably be a violation of international law,” Blix said. Attacks on Iran’s other nuclear sites - such as the Natanz and Fordow enrichment plants and a uranium conversion facility east of the city of Isfahan - may have a localised health and environmental impact on a similar scale caused by the bombing of Iraqi nuclear sites Tuwaitha and Al Qaim in the Gulf Wars.

MELTDOWN “Uranium is a very heavy metal, chemically and physically,” so it would not be transported far on the wind if Iranian enrichment facilities were attacked, said Malcolm Grimston, of Imperial College, London. “It is about as poisonous as lead ... the issue would be in the immediate area trying to prevent people from ingesting it for its chemical poisonous properties,” he said. Uranium before it is introduced into a nuclear power plant is also much less radioactive than fissile reactor material. “It is not like a reactor where you got the volatile fission products - the iodines and caesiums - which can be carried in principle all around the world by wind,” Grimston said. Iraqi plants have not become global bywords for disaster, unlike the 1986 Chernobyl reactor explosion in what is now Ukraine and the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan that suffered a meltdown after an earthquake and tsunami last year. “The health effects (in Iraq) were very localized,” said Robert Kelley, of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and a

former director of IAEA inspections in Iraq. Others say health risks linger in Iraq, and estimates of long-term health risks near the sites are difficult because of a lack of monitoring of cancer rates. “In Tuwaitha, they have never seen full decontamination,” said Mike Townsley of environmental group Greenpeace. He and colleagues found a ruptured container of raw uranium “yellowcake” near the plant in 2003. About 1,000 people live near the Tuwaitha reactor complex south of Baghdad, the former site of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear research program destroyed by US-led forces in 1991 and 2003. Al Qaim, where uranium was extracted at a fertilizer factory, was bombed in 1991. Paul Sullivan, a professor of economics and adjunct professor of security studies at Georgetown University in the United States, said there were double standards in judging risks. “If there were a chance of an attack on such facilities in France, Germany, the US, Japan and the like there would be constant and very loud cries about the potential environmental and human health impacts,” he said. Iran says it needs to refine uranium as a fuel for nuclear power. But extra refinement can make uranium for a bomb. POISONING The other main way to build a bomb is to use plutonium, from the waste of spent nuclear fuel rods from power plants. But experts say Bushehr is ill-designed for such uses, and that would also require a separate reprocessing plant. “Iran’s plutonium program is thought to be less advanced than its uranium program,” said Karl Dewey, a nuclear analyst at IHS Jane’s in England.

Any attack on Bushehr, perhaps to cripple nearby buildings without rupturing the reactor, would involve big risks, he said. Israel would probably want to destroy the Arak heavy water research reactor, which is not yet online but which experts say is more suited to producing plutonium than Bushehr. The United Nations said in 2005 that the main impact of the 1986 disaster at Chernobyl would be up to 4,000 thyroid cancer deaths. About 30 people died at the plant, mainly from radiation exposure. Some environmentalists project far more deaths. A Stanford University study in July estimated that radiation from Fukushima Daiichi might eventually cause anywhere from 15 to 1,300 deaths. Radiation poisoning can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches and fatigue in lower doses. In bigger doses, it can cause burns, hemorrhages, cancer and death. Radiation can also damage plants and animals, poisoning food for human consumption. A type of butterfly near Fukushima has been found with high rates of mutation, such as deformed wings and eyes. Part of the risks of enrichment is that the process involves heating uranium to a gas form, Dewey said. The process frees uranium hexafluoride (UF6), which is both toxic and radioactive and can cause kidney damage. When UF6 comes in contact with moisture it converts to uranyl fluoride and toxic hydrofluoric acid, in a gas form. Among accidents, in 1986 the rupture of a cylinder at a uranium enrichment facility run by Sequoyah Fuels Corp. in the United States released a cloud of UF6, killing one worker and injuring 31 others. None of the 31 suffered lasting kidney damage.—Reuters

Gambia executes 9 by firing squad BANJUL: Gambia said it had executed nine prisoners, prompting critics to call for sanctions on the president whose plans to clear the country’s death row by mid-September had already drawn a flurry of international condemnation. Six civilians and three members of the military were executed by firing squad on Sunday after their appeal processes had been exhausted, the interior ministry said in a statement. It named the prisoners and said they had been found guilty

of a variety of crimes, all involving murder. At least one of those named had been previously identified as a Senegalese citizen but there was no immediate comment from Dakar. President Yahya Jammeh last week announced in a speech plans to push through all pending death sentences saying he wanted to “ensure that criminals get what they deserve”. The decision drew condemnation from the African Union, Britain and the European Union, which promised a quick but unspecified response. Monday’s interior ministry statement appeared to reject outside influence, saying Gambia had the right to implement its own laws, and suggested more executions would take place. “All sentences as prescribed by law will be carried out to the letter including the death penalty,” it added. Gambia lures British sunseeking tourists to its beach resorts but Jammeh has frequently been criticized for his rights record since he seized power in a 1994 coup. Amnesty International said that the executions took place last week. An umbrella group calling itself Civil Society Associations Gambia (CSAG) said it believed they were only made public due to the international debate over the issue. Following the confirmation of the executions, Ousainou Darboe, a leading

opposition leader, and CSAG appealed for targeted international sanctions to be imposed on Jammeh. “This is not the first time - this has been going on too long. The abuses in the country are outrageous but nobody seems to notice,” CSAG chairman Banka Manneh said. “We want targeted sanctions. Jammeh’s (foreign) help must stop ... We are willing to fight this fight but we cannot do it without some help from the international community.”—Reuters


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

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TV boss trial shows paradox of new Tunisia TUNIS: TV boss Sami Fehri, an associate of the ousted president’s family, has turned himself into an unlikely champion of press freedom and victim of the Islamist-led government in the new Tunisia. Fehri insists the judiciary is seeking his detention in retaliation for the satirical puppet show broadcast by his Ettounsiya TV channel that was abruptly pulled last week because of “pressures” from the ruling Islamist party Ennahda. “A huge machine has crushed us to death,” he told the Express FM radio station last week, saying the government had “crossed every red line.” Fehri’s lawyer, Sonia Dahmani, said her client was still free on Monday, with the police and the accused yet to be formally notified of his arrest warrant. The authorities have sharply criticized the TV program. But they say its transmission is unrelated to the legal process dogging Fehri, a former business partner of Belhassen Trabelsi, the brother-in-law of ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who fled to Canada. The two men have been named in a corruption case targeting

their production company Cactus and state television. The official TAP news agency said Fehri was being charged with the “illegal use of Tunisian state television resources” during the Ben Ali era. And an influential advisor to the Prime Minister, Lotfi Zitoune, charges Fehri is a “criminal” and “a symbol of the former regime, implicated in corruption, who should return the considerable sums of money that he owes to the state.” But the National Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT) is not convinced. “The SNJT insists on opening the corruption files in the information sector and charging those implicated, but it is surprised that the arrest warrant (against Fehri) coincides” with the move to shut down a TV show that poked fun at Tunisian politics, the union said. “Using the judiciary and government intervention to put pressure on the media is a blow to freedom of expression” in Tunisia, it added. MEDIA MUZZLING OR JUSTICE? Numerous journalists have already accused the authorities of seeking to

manipulate the media in other ways, including by appointing new directors to head public media groups without consulting their editorial staff. Speaking on Sunday, Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem did little to assuage concerns. “The government is currently working to remove from political life the symbols of the former regime and is engaged in sanitizing the political, media and administrative landscape,” Abdessalem said. He added that the government was not trying “to control the media, but at the same time it will not allow certain media to become opposition forums used to attack the government.” The Tunisian press is now asking whether Fehri has become a victim of the post-revolution era. “Media muzzled or justice following its course?” ran the headline of Tunis Hebdo on Monday, with the weekly publication pointing out that of the 18 people accused in the corruption case, only Fehri was being served with an arrest warrant. “For the time being, the others remain free,” it added. Daily publica-

TUNIS: The head of a Tunisian TV channel Ettounsiya, Sami Fehri, speaks during a radio talk show in Tunis. — AFP tion La Presse in an editorial on has led to this judicial-political-media Monday said the case provided an mix-up,” the paper added. “A large secopportunity “to bring out into the tion of public opinion currently open the files on embezzlement regards (this case) as an attempt to under the former regime,” but sug- remove an activist campaigning for gested its timing put the authorities freedom of expression,” La Presse said, in an awkward position. “It is the delay while urging people not to forget to starting the judicial process ... that Fehri’s “original sin.” — AFP

Morsi steps onto world stage seeking ‘balance’ Morsi’s visit to Iran a break with the past

ALEPPO: A man reacts as an ambulance arrives with the body of a Free Syria Army fighter outside a hospital in Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city yesterday. —AFP

Syria rebels dream of arms to down aircraft ALEPPO: On the edge of the Saif Al-Dawla district of Aleppo, a commander argues with a rebel. He has ordered him to try to take out a regime tank, alone and with a single rocketpropelled grenade. “Just one is enough-you can take out the whole army,” the commander tells the reluctant fighter. The scene is one repeated across the frontlines of the battle between the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian regime, as the rag-tag rebel forces try to take on tanks, helicopter gunships and fighter jets with armory that is desperately lacking. Rebel commanders say the weapons they do have-Kalashnikovs, some RPGs, a handful of anti-aircraft guns-are old and expensive while the weapons they need to take on the might of an army are impossible to come by. “I flew MIG war planes for 12 years, and we are fighting these planes with Kalashnikovs, and not even good Kalashnikovs,” says Alaa Saadeddin, a defected pilot. “Anti-aircraft guns are the heaviest weapon we have,” he adds. “We don’t have ground-to-ground rockets, we don’t have Grads, we don’t have surface-to-air missiles.” When Abu Maryam decided to set up his own rebel brigade, he approached the Liwa Al-Tawhid, a rebel umbrella group, to ask about the possibility of getting weapons. “Liwa Al-Tawhid gave us two Kalashnikovs, but we had to find a way to buy the rest. We have 22 men and 12 guns, so we will go in groups. The first group will take the guns, when they come back, they will give the guns to the second group.” And the weapons that are available don’t come cheap-a Kalashnikov goes for 150,000 Syrian pounds, nearly $2,400, bullets start at $2 each, and a grenade will set you back over $150, according to commanders. Syria’s rebels laugh at stories of Libyan fighters who regularly unloaded their weapons into the air to celebrate a victory on the battlefront. “If any rebel in any group fires a single bullet in any direction other than at the enemy, they will be kicked out of the

group,” Saadeddin said. Western nations have said they are providing non-lethal aid, in the form of money or communications equipment to the rebels, and the opposition Syrian National Council says countries including Saudi Arabia and Qatar have provided arms to fighters inside the country. Recycled pickle jars-But the weapons in evidence on the ground look as old as rebels claim they are-beaten-up guns and dusty RPGs that are a world away from the shiny new equipment that was in circulation on the Libyan battlefield. “The vast majority of the weapons we have come from the regime, either we take them from the soldiers when we kill them, or we buy them from shabiha (pro-regime militiamen) or corrupt state army troops,” said Abu Walid, a commander in the city of Marea. “ Take this grenade for example, we bought it from an Alawite soldier,” he said, displaying a plump green grenade with Russian labeling. “He loves money more than he loves his side,” he sneered. Rebels said they had also managed to buy some weapons over the border, mainly in Iraq, but also in Lebanon and to a lesser extent in Turkey. Abu Walid and other commanders said their forces were in need of everything from ammunition to ground-to-ground missiles. But the weapon that the rebels dream of most is something that can take out a plane. The Syrian army has rained destruction on Aleppo and its surroundings with its fleet of warplanes and helicopter gunships. “When we say a neighborhood has been liberated, it doesn’t mean in the air, but only on the ground, because at any point a plane or helicopter can come (and strike) and we don’t have rockets,” said Abul Abbas, another Liwa Al-Tawhid commander in Marea. “The most important thing is to have a weapon that can take out a plane,” Abu Walid added emphatically. In the absence of anything heavier, rebels are working to make homemade devices, bombs and rockets. —AFP

33 Egypt migrants survive shipwreck CAIRO: Fishermen rescued 33 Egyptian would-be migrants after their boat sunk in the Mediterranean sea near the maritime border with Libya, the Egyptian foreign ministry said yesterday. Seven passengers remain missing following Saturday night’s disaster, a statement said. “Libyan authorities informed Egypt’s consul general in Benghazi that 33 Egyptians survived the shipwreck and that seven others are still missing,” the statement said, adding that fishermen had rescued the survivors. The ministry denied initial reports suggesting that three bodies had been plucked out of the water. According to the foreign ministry, the 40 Egyptians were trying to sneak into Libya in a bid to make their way illegally into Europe in search of jobs and a better life. The Libyan state news agency Lana reported on Monday that the boat was carrying around 40 illegal migrants and capsized off Libya’s east coast near the border with Egypt, with only one passenger surviving the tragedy. “All the

migrants who were on board died, except for one person who survived and was able to alert local authorities and inform them of the tragedy,” Lana said, quoting a local official. Lana said the boat sunk some three kilometers off the Libyan coast. Libya has been traditionally a launchpad for African refugees and migrants seeking to make an illegal run across the sea to Europe, with many landing in Italy. Around 1,700 migrants have landed in Malta so far this summer and most said they left from Libya, while thousands more have arrived on the nearby Italian island of Lampedusa. Migrants and refugees often travel in rickety and overcrowded wooden fishing boats and there have been several accidents at sea. The latest disaster comes as a group of 46 Maltese navy officers were in Libya to help train the navy to patrol its border following a recent increase in boat crossings by migrants from Libya, a spokesman for the Maltese navy said.—AFP

CAIRO: Egypt’s new Islamist president said on Monday he would pursue a “balanced” foreign policy, reassuring Israel its peace treaty was safe, hinting at a new approach to Iran and calling on Bashar AlAssad’s allies to help lever the Syrian leader out. Mohamed Morsi, who was elected in June and consolidated his power this month by dismissing top military leaders, is seeking to introduce himself to a wider world ahead of a trip to Iran the first by an Egyptian leader in three decades - and China. “Egypt is now a civilian state ... a national, democratic, constitutional, modern state,” he told Reuters in his first interview with an international news organization since taking office as the candidate of the oncebanned Muslim Brotherhood. “International relations between all states are open and the basis for all relations is balance. We are not against anyone but we are for achieving our interests,” said the US-educated engineer, appearing confident and assertive in the marble-lined presidential palace. The first leader Egyptians have elected in a 5,000-year history dating back to the pharaohs, he spoke in a room for visiting dignitaries surrounded by monarchy-era furniture, oil paintings and a grand tapestry on the wall. Morsi, 61, came to power after the fall of Hosni Mubarak, who served for decades as a loyal US ally and the guarantor of Egypt’s status as the first Arab country to make peace with Israel. His emphasis on balance suggests he is seeking a less explicitly pro-American role in the region, but he has also been at pains to reassure traditional allies. Morsi’s Brotherhood describes Israel as a racist and expansionist state, but he resigned from it on taking power and has avoided inflammatory language. He repeated his position that Egypt will continue to abide by international treaties, including its 1979 peace deal. Without mentioning Israel by name, he indicated Egypt’s neighbor had nothing to fear from a new military campaign in the Sinai Peninsula, which he ordered after gunmen attacked an Egyptian border post, killed 16

guards and tried to burst across the frontier into Israel. “Egypt is practicing its very normal role on its soil and does not threaten anyone and there should not be any kind of international or regional concerns at all from the presence of Egyptian security forces,” he said, referring to the extra police, army and other forces moved to the area.

been welcomed by Iran, the only country in the group that supports Assad. During his interview, Morsi gave a particularly strong call for Assad to be removed from power, suggesting that he is comfortable taking a high profile role in regional affairs. It is a message he will take on his trip to Iran and China, which, along with Russia, are the main

two countries broke off diplomatic relations at the time over Egypt’s support for the ousted Iranian Shah and its peace with Israel, and have yet to formally restore ties. Officially, Morsi’s visit is to attend a summit of the 120-nation NonAligned Movement, and he would not be drawn on whether Egypt would resume full diplomatic ties

BEIJING: Chinese President Hu Jintao (left) and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi review an honor guard during a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People yesterday. — AFP The military campaign was in “full respect to international treaties”, he said. The Egypt-Israel peace deal includes limits on Egyptian military deployment in Sinai. Officials in Israel, already concerned that Egypt’s Islamists will support the Brotherhood-offshoot Hamas in Gaza, have voiced worries about Egypt’s build-up of heavy armor in Sinai to quash militants. Morsi would not say if he would meet Israeli officials. Mubarak regularly received top officials although only went to Israel once for a funeral. In an effort to increase Egypt’s role in regional affairs, Morsi has called for dialogue between Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran to find a way to stop the bloodshed in Syria. Notably, the initiative has

countries backing Assad. “Now is the time to stop this bloodshed and for the Syrian people to regain their full rights and for this regime that kills its people to disappear from the scene,” Morsi said. “There is no room to talk about reform, but the discussion is about change,” Morsi said, adding Egypt had repeated that “the friends of the Syrian people in China and Russia and other states” need to back ordinary Syrians. However, Morsi said he opposed foreign military action in Syria “in any form”. FIRST VISIT TO IRAN In what could be an important sign of a shift in the region, Morsi’s visit to Iran this week will be the first by an Egyptian leader since Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution. The

with Iran. Asked whether he saw a threat from Iran, whose nuclear program has sparked fears in the West and Israeli warnings that it could consider a military action, Morsi said: “We see that all the countries in the region need stability and peaceful co-existence with each other. This cannot be achieved with wars but through political work and special relations between the countries of the region.” After Iran, Morsi will travel in September to the United States, which still gives the Egyptian military $1.3 billion in aid a year. Asked how the outcome of the US election in November might change ties, Morsi said Egypt works with the United States as “a stable institution” rather than dealing with personalities. — Reuters

Syria refugee crisis worsens in Turkey ANKARA: The swelling numbers of refugees on Turkish soil are putting an enormous strain on Ankara which is pushing for safe zones inside Syria to shelter them as it confronts security-related problems at home. More than 9,000 Syrians were waiting near the Turkish border on Monday for more camps to be set up to accommodate those fleeing the fighting in Syria, and Turkish officials fear this number is very likely to increase. This month has seen mass arrivals from Syria as the fighting has intensified between President Bashar Al-Assad’s loyalist troops and rebel forces in the northern city of Aleppo, some 50 kilometers south of the border. Over 80,000 refugees are registered in Turkish camps set up along the 910kilometre border and this number stood at around 45,000 in late July. With the latest influx, the Turkish government announced it could handle no more than 100,000 Syrians, and proposed creating safe zones inside Syria to accommodate the fleeing people. “We articulated the number 100,000 as a psychological barrier,” a Turkish diplomat told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. “It does not mean that we’ll close the border, if the 100,001st Syrian wants to cross into Turkey,” he said. Turkey has thus far allocated 300 million dollars for refugees and insistently called on the international community to share the burden out of fears that it may soon be unable to cope with new

arrivals. Turkish officials have already begun distributing aid for refugees stranded on Syrian soil near the border. While setting up additional camps in several provinces, further inside the country than hitherto, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is also expected to raise the issue of a safe zone on the Syrian side of the border at a UN Security Council meeting on Thursday in New York. Davutoglu is expected to hold bilateral talks with the French, German and British foreign ministers on the sidelines of the New York meeting. Turkish diplomatic sources say a buffer zone or a no-fly zone are steps that can only be taken through “international legitimacy,” not unilaterally. “We can set up a buffer zone or a no-fly zone but what’ll happen if a Syrian soldier reciprocates by firing a missile ? That would automatically mean Turkey is at war with Syria,” indicated the sources. But Turkey is not very optimistic that a solution will come out of the UN Security Council meeting regarding the creation of a safe haven inside Syria, which would require military protection to the dismay of the regime in Damascus. The refugee problem also poses a domestic challenge for the government which is under fire from certain quarters for sheltering Syrians who are accused of disturbing public order in border areas. Local media have reported clashes between Syrian refugees, mostly Sunnis, and

Alawite residents of the border provinces and quoted one Syrian telling Turkish Alawites: “After Assad, it will be your turn.” Assad is from Syria’s minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam. The protesters are Sunni Muslims. In another example of trouble, some Syrians refused to pay in restaurants in the Antakya province saying “Let Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan pick up the bill. It is him who invited us,” according to eyewitnesses. Some opposition lawmakers also complained that wealthy Syrians were renting flats near the border instead of staying in camps and that the safe houses somehow turned into ammunition centers for the rebels in need of weaponry. As well as sheltering refugees Turkey has also provided sanctuary to deserting senior army officers who are working with the rebel Free Syrian Army to encourage mass defections to its ranks. Army defectors are staying at Apaydin camp, separate from civilian shelters, which is some four kilometers from the border and where security is much tighter. The government has barred access to the camp for journalists, blocking any interviews with the rebels who prefer to speak to the media via telephone or Skype. A delegation from the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) was also barred over the weekend “without justification” from visiting an army defectors’ camp, party lawmaker Faruk Logoglu said. —AFP

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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

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Mexican sect vows fight over public schools NUEVA JERUSALEN: Sprouting out of the corn fields of western Mexico rises a hill crowned with two arches and four towers, marking the gates of an improvised “holy land” that farmers built brick by brick over nearly four decades to mark the only spot they believe will be saved in the coming apocalypse: Nueva Jerusalen, or “New Jerusalem.” The faith of the people who live here is built on messages purportedly passed from the Virgin Mary to a defrocked Catholic priest, an illiterate old woman and a clairvoyant who passed messages from beyond the grave. In the intervening decades, a cult has sprung around the detailed instructions that Our Lady of the Rosary supposedly left for followers describing where new temples should be built in the labyrinthine compound, and how believers should dress and live. No non-religious music, no alcohol or tobacco, no television, no radio, no modern dress. But beyond the complex hierarchy of brightly-robed followers, with women wearing purple, red, white or green robes, depending on their “order” or vocation, there is one injunction that has landed the sect in trouble: no public education. That’s at the heart of a confrontation brewing at the complex among the sect’s traditionalists, its more reformist members, and the Mexican government. According to traditionalists, the government-mandated uniforms, school books and lesson plans, not to mention the computers and televisions now used in many Mexican classrooms, supposedly would violate the Virgin Mary’s orders, on her own sacred ground. It is not just an ideological dispute: Organized squadrons of church followers used sledgehammers and pickaxes to tear down at least two school buildings in July, doused the school furniture and

texts in gasoline and set the whole mess on fire. On Monday, authorities in the western state of Michoacan vowed that public, secular education, one of the few common bonds that hold Mexican socie-

MICHOACAN: Photo shows women from the Nueva Jerusalen (New Jerusalem) religious community in Turicato, Michoacan State, Mexico. — AFP ty together, would not be sacrificed, and they pledged that about 250 children would be back in class in Nueva Jerusalen. So conservative church followers formed a line inside the gates to face down dozens of federal and state police who showed up with patrol trucks and an armored vehicle, in what turned out to be a tense, daylong standoff. Federal police commander Miguel Guerrero said he was talking with both sect traditionalists and reformists who believe in the sect’s central tenets but want a modern education for their children, to reach some sort of compromise. “We are simply discussing the community’s situation,” Guerrero said after

Colombian govt seeking peace with FARC rebels BOGOTA: Colombia’s government is seeking peace with the country’s biggest rebel group, the FARC, and could consider also holding talks with a second guerrilla movement to end five decades of war, President Juan Manuel Santos said on Monday. In a televised address from the presidential palace, Santos said his government would learn from the mistakes of so many previous leaders who tried but failed to clinch a lasting ceasefire with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. “Since the first day of my government I have completed my constitutional obligation to find peace. With that aim, we have had exploratory conversations with the FARC to seek an end to the conflict,” he said, confirming weeks of swirling rumors that his government had started behindthe-scenes discussions. He added that the military would continue its operations “throughout every centimeter ” of Colombia while talks continued. Santos did not provide further details, but said he would reveal more about the talks in the coming days. A successful peace agreement with the rebels would secure him a place in history as the leader who ended a conflict that has killed tens of thousands over the years and left the Andean nation’s reputation in tatters. In response to a Reuters interview published on Monday with the head of the nation’s second biggest rebel group, Santos said the National Liberation Army, known as the ELN, could also be involved in the peace talks. “Today the ELN has expressed, via an

international news agency, its interest in participating in conversations to put an end to the violence,” the president said in his brief speech. “I tell that group that, within the same framework, they too can be part of the effort to end the conflict.” A Colombian intelligence source told Reuters earlier that as part of the deal to hold talks, Santos had agreed FARC rebels would not be extradited to any other country to stand trial. Details are still being worked out, the source said, but the negotiations could take place in Cuba or Norway. US President Barack Obama is aware of the process and is in agreement, the source said. Santos, who is at the midpoint of his four-year term, has said he would consider peace talks with the FARC only if he was certain the drug-funded group would negotiate in good faith. The last peace effort ended in shambles. In 1988 former President Andres Pastrana ceded the FARC a safe haven the size of Switzerland to promote talks. The rebels took advantage of the breathing space to train fighters, build more than 25 airstrips to fly drug shipments, and set up prison camps to hold its hostages. News of the latest peace effort was met with guarded hope among Colombians. “Honestly, full peace is probably never possible. Of course it would be good ... but really, an end to the war? I think an end to the world will happen first,” said Maria Eugenia Martinez as she sold cigarettes in an upscale Bogota neighborhood.—Reuters

Year after Irene, mourning and celebration in Vermont WAITSFIELD: For some, there will be block parties and parades. For others, a moment of silence. Or it might be just another day of cleaning up the mess. But if there’s one unifying event, it’ll probably be the sound of all Vermont’s church and town hall bells reverberating simultaneously through the same mountain valleys that Hurricane Irene’s floodwaters shredded exactly a year ago. Gov Peter Shumlin has called for the bellringing commemoration as Vermonters make plans to pause to reflect on how far the state has come since the remnants of Irene unleashed the worst flooding in recent memory, killing six people, wiping out hundreds of homes and businesses, and cutting off whole towns with miles of wiped-out roads and dozens of destroyed bridges. Landlocked Vermont suffered the worst damage along Irene’s trail of destruction, which left more than 65 people dead from the Caribbean to Canada. Cars tumbling like toys in roiling waters and covered bridges crumbling against muddy waves remain among the most indelible images of Irene. “Vermonters have a lot to celebrate on the one-year anniversary of Irene,” Shumlin said as he announced a four-day tour, from Saturday through Tuesday, of towns hurt by the storm. “But we also need to recognize that many people and communities still need our help.” That’s obvious at businesses like the White River Valley Campground in Stockbridge, where owners Rebecca and Drew Smith say they’re still overwhelmed by all the work needed to get the place back open. “We need contractors, we need electricians, we need plumbers,” Rebecca Smith said. But the couple said they have no means to pay for all that’s needed. They’ve been out of business since the storm and

the talks. But neither side was budging: the reformists rejected a compromise to hold classes in another town, and the traditionalists weren’t going to let government schools and teachers into the

have missed their mortgage payments the past two months. It’s easy to see by walking around the campsites by the placid White River, and through the rustic recreation hall, why the campground drew some families to come back every year for decades. But now the grounds are covered in silt, the root balls of upended birches and junk - some of it was the Smiths’; the rest was deposited on their property when the river turned to a raging torrent. Janet Lumbra, a 37-year-old single mother from East Granville, said she’ll observe the anniversary by continuing to work on the project of fixing up her floodgutted home. She and her 16-year-old son, Riley, lived in a camper across the road for months after the storm. But winter set in, and it got too expensive - $255 a week - to run the generator that powered the camper’s heater, so they moved in with Lumbra’s sister. They went back to the camper in the spring. “I can’t cry anymore about this. Now you got to be a big girl and pull strings and try to get (things) done. That’s what I’ve been doing, contacting everybody and trying to get the ball rolling,” Lumbra said. While some still struggle, others are celebrating the progress made to date - even in places where’s there much more to do. In Newfane in southern Vermont, where the Rock River wrought extensive damage, residents held a celebratory parade and barbecue Sunday. The parade started at the “rubble pile” on the Dover Road, where a house had stood before Irene. Gloria Cristelli, the Newfane town clerk, a town board member and president of the Southeastern Vermont Watershed Alliance, marched with a toy singing fish she had bought at a flea market that morning. —AP

community. “New Jerusalem was born when the Holy Mother returned to Earth, with God’s permission, for the last time, to form a new salvation and a new creed,” said Father Luis Maria, who like the rest of the clergy practices a form of the Latin Mass but is not recognized in any way by the Roman Catholic Church. Maria says the community’s rules are aimed at banishing “all the vices and bad habits” that condemn the rest of the world to perdition. But after the group’s prediction that the world would end in 1999 didn’t come to pass, it became hard to keep the younger generation interested in praying almost constantly for the earth’s salvation. Praying is much of what the

sect traditionalists do, aside from temple building and farming. To the reformists, the Virgin’s purported instructions sometimes border on the surreal: sports like soccer are banned because they are played with a round ball that resembles the planet Earth, and thus represent kicking the planet. But American football is allowed because the ball is not round. To people like Oscar Montero, 26, a young man who was born in Nueva Jerusalen after his parents joined the sect in the 1970s, the restrictions have grown too chafing. “I see these things as something very absurd,” said Montero, who joined a group of hundreds of young people who marched through the community Monday to demand access to education. “Dancing isn’t evil, though smoking is,” said Montero. “Drinking too much is bad, but dancing and having a good time isn’t.” Montero says he has a television, radio and internet service at home, noting, “I wasn’t born here because of my faith, I was born here by chance.” The sect was founded in 1973 by a parish priest, Nabor Cardenas, who disagreed with the modernization of the Catholic Church and the abandoning of the Latin Mass. He found his oracle in an illiterate 63year-old local farm woman, Gabina Sanchez, who heard the voice of the Virgin Mary. Dubbed “Mama Salome,” she essentially directed the evolution of Nueva Jerusalen together with “Papa Nabor.” Together, they created an idiosyncratic vision of how life would have been lived in ‘biblical times,’ and imposed it on thousands of followers. “It is like a little state within a state,” said Juan Carlos Ruiz Guadalajara, a historian at San Luis College who has studied the community extensively. “Here, the laws of Mexico don’t mean anything, they are ruled by a sort of traditionalist

Catholicism.” “But that has set up a confrontation between them ... and the new generation of children born in New Jerusalem,” he said. The church’s authorities allowed The Associated Press to tour the compound on the condition that none of the residents could give formal interviews or be quoted by name. They said that was because the news media had identified believers as “fanatics” in previous reports. There is a stern warning on the wall of the gates: “No entry for women with short skirts, pants, low-cut or sleeveless blouses, makeup or fingernail polish, or uncovered heads, nor men with long hair or dishonest dress.” Inside, a huge cross dominates the main street, bordered on each side by the one-story homes of the faithful. Men with rosaries around their necks, and women in headscarves and robes, go about their daily routines of prayer and work. Girls under 11 are known as “Juanitas” and wear yellow head scarves, while single adolescent and adult women are known as “Damsels” and wear blue. There are eight such orders. Further down the main street is the “basilica,” which houses the church’s holiest site, the chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary. Inside the chapel is the tomb of Papa Nabor, who died in 2008, and an image of the Virgin that appeared to Mama Salome, who died in 1981. The leadership of the church has fallen to the daughter of the church’s former clairvoyant, who calls herself a “spokesperson,” and the current “bishop,” who calls himself Martin de Tours. One of the community’s main activities is to keep up a 24hour-a-day chain of prayer in the Virgin’s chapel. The faithful believe only this chain of prayer can save the world. And the entry of “bad habits” could break that delicate thread.—AP

US troops punished over Quran burning Up to 100 Qurans, other religious texts burned WASHINGTON: The US military said it was disciplining US troops over two incidents that provoked outrage in Afghanistan early this year, one involving a video depicting Marines urinating on corpses and another over burned copies of the holy Quran. The administrative punishments-which could include things like reduce rank or forfeiture of pay-fell short of criminal prosecution, and it was unclear whether they would satisfy Afghan demands for justice. Afghan President Hamid Karzai earlier this year branded the Marine’s actions in the video as “inhuman,” and he initially called for a public trial for the soldiers over the Quran incident. A detailed US military investigation showed that up to 100 Qurans and other religious texts from a detention center library-a previously undisclosed figure-were burned on Feb 20. The investigation found that warnings from Afghans, including a Afghan soldier, had been ignored and attributed the incident in part to distrust between Americans and Afghans. “However, I absolutely reject any suggestion that those involved acted with any malicious intent to disrespect the Quran or defame the faith of Islam,” the investigating officer, Brigadier General Bryan Watson, wrote. The question of distrust between American troops and Afghans has come into sharp focus in recent weeks due to a surge of “insider attacks,” in which Afghans believed to be friendly turn their guns against US forces. Such distrust has undermined confidence in a US drawdown strategy that relies on training Afghan forces-sometimes with very small numbers of Americans partnering with them in remote locations-so they can take over security. Most US combat troops are expected to leave the

country by the end of 2014. The Quran-burning incident touched off several days of rioting and attacks on US troops after local workers found charred copies among the trash at an incinerator at the Bagram base north of Kabul. At least 30 people died in the violence that spread across the country after the incident, and two American officers were shot dead in a secure area

of the library at Parwan detention facility due to concerns that detainees were using books to pass messages. It partly blamed a translator who warned that up to 75 percent of the books were extremist in nature, including versions of the holy Quran, but did not instruct American forces how to properly dispose of the texts. A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he believed

nice day, buddy.” The investigation showed that the incident actually took place on or around July 27, 2011, during a counter-insurgency operation in Afghanistan’s Helmand province. Three Marines pleaded guilty to charges over the video, including one for “urinating on the body of a deceased Taleban soldier.” Another wrongfully posed for a photo with human casualties, and the

LOGAR: Afghan residents ride with their weapons in Pul-e Alam district of Logar province yesterday, as they vow to defend their village against Taleban insurgents. — AFP of the Afghan interior ministry, a crime that remains unsolved. The US Army announced on Monday that six soldiers received administrative punishments over the incident, four of them officers and two of them non-commissioned officers, a spokesman said. The investigation found that the texts were removed during a sweep

the translator was an Afghan and that he no longer worked for the US military. The disclosures about the Quran-burning incident came the same day the Marine Corps detailed its punishment over a video that surfaced on the Internet in January. It showed Marines urinating on the corpses of dead Taleban fighters. One can be heard saying, “Have a

third lied about the incident to investigators. Their identities were not disclosed, and the Marines said disciplinary actions against additional Marines would be announced at a later date. Possible punishment includes reduction in rank, forfeiture of pay and punitive letters permanently placed in their records, the Marines said. — Reuters

Romney seeking to close likability gap TAMPA: Mitt Romney will get a carefully scripted convention makeover as the Republican White House hopeful aims to close the yawning likability gap between himself and President Barack Obama. Wife Ann will lead the way with a prime time speech later yesterday to a packed convention center in Tampa, Florida designed to show a more human side to a man whose ramrod straight bearing is lampooned as too stiff, too perfect. During his bitter Republican primary campaign, the immaculately coifed, multimillionaire businessman demonstrated a tin ear with a string of wealth-related gaffes that made it all too easy for opponents to portray him as out of touch with ordinary Americans. “Romney seems to be suffering some real difficulty in coming across as that friendly and likable person,” Charles Franklin, political science professor at the University of Madison-Wisconsin and cofounder of Pollster.com said. “Back in 2000 it was Al Gore who was unusually stiff and had a very hard time coming off as casual with voters under practically any circumstance. John Kerry in 2004

also had some problems seeming like an average guy.” If anyone can reboot Romney’s image and prevent him from ending up on the scrapheap of presidential also-rans it is his wife Ann, whose affable persona has served as a key asset in relaxing her more socially awkward husband. Romney is expected to be in the audience to hear her crucial pitch after flying to Tampa two days earlier than expected-a bid perhaps to steal back the news cycle from Tropical Storm Isaac as it bears down on New Orleans. The couple’s visibly squeaky-clean and loving family life-they have been married for 43 years and have five sons and 16 grandchildren-is a clear vote -winner and will be trumpeted throughout the convention. “We know what he’s all about and I think people will really get a chance to see he’s a great family man, he’s a great leader,” Matt, one of Romney’s sons, told ABC News on Monday. His brother Craig will address the convention. Before Romney’s allimportant acceptance speech on Thursday, former Olympians will also take to the stage to remind Americans that he saved the 2002 Salt

Lake City Olympics from bankruptcy. But while most polls show Romney trumping Obama on the crucial question of who voters trust more to handle the flagging US economy, he trails the president badly in terms of likability. A Gallup survey released on Friday showed that 54 percent of those polled found Obama more likable, compared to just 31 percent answering the question in favor of Romney. Where some people see a skilled manager with the business acumen to turn around the American economy, others see a cutthroat venture capitalist who profited while workers lost their jobs. During the primaries and the full-on presidential campaign, opponents have made hay out of attacking Romney for his tax secrecy and the manner in which he amassed his vast wealth as CEO of the private equity firm Bain Capital. A black-and-white photograph of a young Romney posing with Bain Capital colleagues with dollars bulging out of their pockets has done him no favors at a time when many Americans are unemployed and struggling to make ends meet. —AFP


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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

international

Angola’s opposition splits among rebel past and young future LUANDA: Once a feared rebel force in one of Africa’s most protracted civil wars, Unita has struggled to find its identity as a political party during Angola’s decade of peace and enters Friday’s polls after a dramatic split. Isaias Samakuva took over Unita after longtime rebel leader Jonas Savimbi was killed in battle 10 years ago, an event that marked the beginning of the end of a 27-year civil war in Africa’s second-largest oil producer. After the party’s dismal performance in 2008 elections-winning only 10 percent of the vote in the first peacetime polls-Samakuva faced calls to step down, ultimately provoking a split in the party in April. The charismatic Abel Chivukuvuku formed his Casa party by bringing

together small opposition parties, dissidents from both Unita and the ruling MPLA, as well as key figures in civil society such as William Tonet, publisher of the satyrical weekly Folha 8 newspaper. “If the next election was presidential, Abel Chivukuvuku would be assured of winning. He is ... best equipped to run the country,” said admiral Mendes de Carvalho, Casa’s number 2 and a prominent MPLA defector. Chivukuvuku is eyeing 30 percent of the vote. That might be optimistic, but if Unita holds its own and Casa carves into the MPLA’s majority, the result could be a parliament with a significant opposition voice. Samakuva has found his niche in the campaign as the voice of democratic

standards, finding some success after Unita launched a court battle that resulted in the sacking of the pro-MPLA head of the electoral commission. “Angola needs to create a culture of holding elections that respects the constitution,” said the soft-spoken and composed 66-yearold ex-guerrilla. Once of one Savimbi’s closest confidants, he has enormous baggage in Unita’s past as rebels, often blamed for dragging out the war when Savimbi returned to the bush after losing a firstround presidential vote in 1992. He also has to find a way to make the party relevant to young voters in a country where more than half the population is under 18. Samakuva has managed a series of

demonstrations this year calling for democratic vote, but the ruling MPLA derides his fixation on the logistics of the balloting as a smokescreen for the lack of a policy platform and the fear of another bruising defeat. Chivukuvuku campaigns openly for the removal of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, one of Africa’s last “Big Men” in power for nearly 33 years, while criticising Samakuva as too soft. He speaks several national and foreign languages, and has wartime credentials. He was wounded in combat in Luanda in 1993 and held prisoner by government forces for nearly a year-feats known throughout Angola. Chivukuvuku was one of the strongest voices within Unita encourag-

ing the party to modernize, but lost to Samakuva in Unita’s 2007 leadership elections. Since breaking away, he’s crisscrossed the country opening new Casa offices, speaking at meetings and working the campaign trail, equally at ease in a business suit as in African prints or his party’s trademark yellow T-shirts and caps. Both the MPLA and Unita concede that he’s had an impact among the youth, but question if his four-month-old party has a base of activists strong enough to deliver results at the ballot box. “We surprised the country once, we can do it again,” he said, adding that his main goal is “to shake up Angolan politics”. That he’s already done. —AFP

Rich-poor divide scars Angola ahead of polls Angola to elect lawmakers, president on Friday HUAMBO: A four-lane avenue separates the shelled ruins of the art deco Ruacana Cinema from Huambo’s shiny new Chinese-built railway station, a symbol of the leaps Angola has made to recover from a devastating 27-year civil war that ended a decade ago. As Angolans prepare to go to the polls on Friday for only the second time since the end of the war, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos’s ruling MPLA party reminds them daily of the rewards of peace and boasts of its reconstruction achievements. In power for nearly 33 years in Africa’s second-largest oil producer after Nigeria, Dos Santos - who turned 70 yesterday - is expected to lead his party to a one-sided election win thanks to his political dominance and his carefully cultivated official image as guarantor of

most Angolans. Independently of how they vote on Friday, many ordinary citizens are unhappy and openly clamour for a better life. “We want schools for our children, we want work. I make 10,000 kwanzas (around $100) a month, my husband earns a miserable 20,000 kwanzas, and we have nothing left at the end of the month,” said Tucha Manuel, a market fruit-seller in the capital Luanda, one of the most expensive cities in the world. Backed by an oil output boom, Angola has posted rapid growth. Between 2002 and 2008 the economy expanded by an average of 15 percent per year. A fall in oil prices caused growth to brake to 2.4 percent in 2009 and 3.4 percent the next year. After disappointing oil output due to technical problems last year, when the

Benguela is flanked by dozens of villages composed of shacks whose residents have no electricity and still collect water from nearby streams. The MPLA says it has cut poverty levels from 68 percent of the population in 2002 to around 39 percent in 2009, but in its election campaigning the party and its leader have tried to respond to the popular demands for social improvements. “I am the first to admit the difficult reality that many families face. We will not stand and watch while there are situations of huge inequality in our land,” Dos Santos told supporters in a campaign speech at the weekend. Campaigning under the slogan “Grow More, Distribute Better”, the MPLA has pledged to introduce a minimum wage and subsidies for the elderly.

HUAMBO: Motorcyclists ride behind a Unita (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) truck during a campaign event in the center of Huambo. —AFP Angola’s peace and rebuilding. “We were at the abyss for a long time, now ... we can see the great gains,” said Joao Limpinho, a governmentemployed signals manager at the railway terminal at Huambo, Angola’s second city, 600 kilometers southeast of Luanda. But, while big investments in construction and infrastructure have covered over many of the scars of war, critics and ordinary Angolans say widespread poverty and inequality are festering, unhealed sores. The reserved, inscrutable Dos Santos, Africa’s second longest-serving leader after Equatorial Guinean President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, faces accusations from opponents that he has squandered his country’s huge oil wealth to enrich himself, his family and a small elite, while failing to deliver enough housing, education and jobs for

economy also grew 3.4 percent, GDP is expected to expand between 8 percent and 10 percent this year. The IMF says Angola’s GDP per capita in 2010 was $4,328, among the highest in Africa. But rights groups like Global Witness and Human Rights Watch and local rights activists have levelled a barrage of criticism against Dos Santos and his ruling MPLA for failing to share the oil riches more equally among Angola’s 18 million people. SKYSCRAPERS AND SHANTIES The rich-poor divide is glaringly visible across the nation. In Luanda, glossy skyscrapers and high-end shops and restaurants are close to sprawling, crowded, tin-roof shantytowns whose poor residents sell goods - from flip-flops to smartphones - on the streets. The mostly new road between Huambo and

The party airs video adverts listing its achievements - 2,700 kilometers of railways, 148 railway stations, 10 renovated airports, 400 bridges, 6,500 kilometers of roads. Dos Santos says public investment projects like a new dam in Huambo province and the Chinese-built railway line that links the ports of Lobito and Benguela to Huambo will help diversify the oil-dependent economy, create jobs and reduce poverty. UNEQUAL CONTEST While alleging the government is setting up an unequal electoral battle through its control of state institutions and the electoral process, opposition parties like the MPLA’s former civil war foe UNITA are also battering Dos Santos and his administration with accusations of graft and mismanagement. “We are listening to the people in every corner

of the country saying there is much suffering and that they want change,” UNITA leader Isaias Samakuva told supporters at a rally in Luanda on Saturday. In the unlit UNITA headquarters in Huambo, local party spokesman Liberty Chiaka points to a power cut as evidence that the MPLA’s infrastructure achievements are hollow. In Luanda, Huambo and other cities, the streets are filled with MPLA billboards, dwarfing the publicity efforts of UNITA and the seven other parties and coalitions running in the poll. “The MPLA makes use of the state’s resources for its own benefit, including state-owned media. Angola has one of the most corrupt governments in the world,” Chiaka said. Huambo was one of the main battlegrounds in the war that set the MPLA, backed by Russia and Cuba, against UNITA rebels aided by the United States and apartheid South Africa. The city changed hands several times during the conflict, and suffered most during a 55-day siege by the MPLA to oust UNITA in 1993, a year after a peace deal and an abortive presidential election turned out to be a false dawn. Though covered up with cement, bullet and shell holes are still visible on many buildings. Amputees on crutches or handpedaled tricycles are a common sight on the streets of the airy city of almost a million people that the Portuguese, Angola’s colonial masters until independence in 1975, liked so much they named it New Lisbon. Much of the damage has been repaired. Fresh tarmac covers once wrecked roads and new schools, universities, hospitals, sports and culture centers have been built in the last few years. “We did what we planned, recover and also build from scratch,” said Agostinho Ndjaka, the No 2 MPLA official in Huambo. The MPLA won the civil war and then crushed its rivals in a 2008 election by obtaining 82 percent of the vote before accelerating its reconstruction drive. Opponents and critics say Dos Santos runs an opaque administration and virtual one-party state behind a facade of democracy, avoiding public scrutiny and suppressing dissent. According to a constitution approved in 2010, which was criticized by the opposition for increasing the president’s powers, the head of the winning party in parliamentary elections becomes head of state, without the need for a separate ballot. UNITA, which won 10 percent of the vote in 2008, accused the ruling party then of rigging the polls and has spent much of the current campaign challenging preparations for the ballot. —Reuters

Romania president returns to his post BUCHAREST: Romanian President Traian Basescu resumed his duties yesterday, ending a months-long political saga that raised concerns over the rule of law in the exCommunist country. Basescu returned to his office in the Cotrceni presidential palace a day after Romania’s top court’s decision to invalidate an impeachment referendum was published in the official gazette, becoming final. The Basescu saga began in April when the centre-right government collapsed following an opposition no-confidence motion and the centre-right Basescu had no choice but to name opposition head Victor Ponta, a centre-left political rival, as prime minister. There then ensued a power tug of war between the two men over who should represent the country at European summits, with the Constitutional Court eventually siding with the presi-

dent that he should remain the one to do so. The government then adopted emergency meas-

ures to reduce the court’s powers and eventually parliament voted to impeach the president, a deci-

BUCHAREST: Head of Romania’s Constitutional Cour t Augustin Zegrean (left) and judge Petre Lazaroiu are seen in Bucharest, while waiting in parliament to read the court’s decision regarding the President Traian Basescu. —AP

sion that had to be approved by a referendum to become final. Although 87 percent of those voting in the referendum wanted Basescu removed, he survived the vote as turnout failed to cross the required threshold. The court put a final dot on the case in its ruling that the results were invalid because of the low turnout. Throughout the political crisis, the European Union, of which Romania became a member in 2007, and the United States voiced concern over the rule of law in the country amid reports that the government was trying to intimidate the judiciary and other questionable actions. Basescu will now serve out the remainder of the five-year term to which he was elected in 2009. Parliament is currently dominated by his centre-left rivals and next parliamentary elections are due to take place in December. —AFP

SMOLENSK: A handout photo shows Taisiya Osipova, a radical antiVladimir Putin activist with the Other Russia movement, attending her trial in the city of Smolensk about 400 km west of Moscow. —AFP

Russian activist jailed MOSCOW: Russia yesterday sentenced a radical anti-Vladimir Putin activist to eight years in prison for drug possession in a case that her supporters have decried as politically motivated. Taisiya Osipova, 28, an activist with the Other Russia opposition group, was sentenced by a court in the city of Smolensk about 400 kilometers west of Moscow, her lawyer Natalia Shaposhnikova said. “We are surprised by the sentence, it’s a very long term,” she said, adding that the defense will appeal the unexpectedly harsh decision, which observers are calling a repressive signal to the opposition. The prosecution last week had asked for Osipova to serve only four years in a retrial, and cases in which a sentence dramatically exceeds prosecutors’ requests are extremely rare in Russia. The long-running case has been criticized both inside and outside Russia ever since Osipova was arrested in 2010 on suspicion of selling heroin after police raided her Smolensk home. She was sentenced to 10 years in a prison colony last year despite having a small daughter and suffering from diabetes, which led to health complications while in pretrial jail. The US State Department chronicled the mistreatment of Osipova in its human rights report this year after she said she experienced multiple hypoglycaemia attacks in prison and complained of lack of access to health services. In January, outgoing president Dmitry Medvedev said her sentence was too harsh for a mother of a minor and later ordered prosecutors to review her case, leading to the retrial.

Yesterday’s lengthy punishment caught many by surprise. Other Russia leader Eduard Limonov said the sentence was the harshest in the history of the movement and his now-banned National Bolshevik party, which has had many activists prosecuted. “This is lawlessness by the hand of the law,” he said. “Our laws are too harsh and our regime is man-eating, that’s why the sentence is so brutal.” Other Russia has staged frequent protests for Osipova’s cause, arguing that drugs were planted in her house and investigators were pressuring her for information on her husband, one of the movement’s leaders who was at the time of her arrest trying to register the movement as a political party. Osipova’s husband Sergei Fomchenkov said the sentence was an attempt to scare the opposition following large-scale protests against Putin this winter before he was elected to a historic third term as president in March. “The regime wants to show its power, to scare people who go against it,” he said. “It’s a signal to the entire opposition to sit quietly without complaining.” The long sentence signals a crackdown on anti-Putin protesters and politicians who spoke in favor of political change during the demonstrations over the winter, said political analyst Dmitry Oreshkin. “The sentence is an attempt to send a signal that the regime is ready to ‘tighten the screws’,” he said, adding that planting drugs is often used as a scare tactic by the security services. “There is an unwritten law that if you go against the authorities you are a criminal,” he said. —AFP

Attempted murder trial exposes Rwandan opposition crackdown JOHANNESBURG: Fearing assassination, Rwanda’s ex-army boss Kayumba Nyamwasa said in an interview how he swam across a river and fled for safety halfway around Africa, only to be shot in the stomach four months later. Now the trial of six men accused of trying to kill him in South Africa has put the spotlight on politics in his home country 2,600 kilometers away with assassination attempts, arbitrar y detentions, and murky court cases. Infamous for its 1994 genocide, Rwanda now is often touted as an African success: the economy grew 8.8 percent last year, while poverty and infant mortality rates have plunged over the past five years. But Nyamwasa, who lives in exile in South Africa, said authorities’ crackdown on opposition casts a shadow over the fair y tale. Rwandan President Paul Kagame told parliament in April 2010 he would deal with the former general-his former adviser and army chief-like a hammer crushes a fly. “ Within two months I was shot,” Nyamwasa said in an interview in Johannesburg. So far no evidence links Rwanda’s government to the shooting, but Kigali has hired a lawyer to attend the hearings, as a observer. The Rwandan government could not be reached for comment. Nyamwasa described the shooting as part of a systematic “targeting” of Kagame’s opponents. “He kills, he imprisons, he fires any time any day, and nobody will go to court or any situation to challenge any decision.” “ Why is Rwanda so unique that you’ve got prime ministers in exile, you’ve got foreign ministers in exile, you’ve got former parliament members in exile, we’ve got journalists in exile, we’ve got armed officers in exile?” Three Rwandans and three Tanzanians are accused of attempting to murder Nyamwasa in Johannesburg. He was shot in the stomach outside his home on June 19, 2010, four months after receiving political asylum in South Africa having fled a murder plot in Rwanda. Nyamwasa said he was targeted because of his claims that Kagame ordered the shoot-

ing of a plane that carried President Juvenal Habyarimana in 1994. This set off a genocide during which members of the Hutu ethnic majority killed around 800,000 of the Tutsi minority in three months. Nyamwasa himself is wanted by France for his alleged involvement in Habyarimana’s death and by Spain for the deaths of Spanish citizens during the genocide. The Nyamwasa case fits a larger picture in Rwanda, said Human Rights Watch researcher Carina Tertsakian. “ There’s a very very clear pattern of repression of opposition and criticism more generally which even extends to human rights organizations and others.” “If you take a case like the assassination attempt on Kayumba Nyamwasa that seems to very much fit into that pattern.” A journalist accused the Rwandan government of involvement in the botched assassination. A week later he was shot dead in the Rwandan capital Kigali. Authorities later said a man had confessed to killing the journalist as revenge for murdering his brother in the 1994 genocide. Nyamwasa’s younger brother, Lieutenant-Colonel Rugigana Ngabo, was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment in July by a military court for threatening state security. “Rwandans have been witch-hunted in reference to myself even in reference to my friends,” said Nyamwasa. He’s not alone. A former opposition leader was jailed for four years in April, while another will hear her fate in September on similar charges. All the cases have dragged on since 2010, which prevented the politicians from running in the polls that year. Puppet opposition parties competed instead against Kagame’s RPF, which won 93 percent of the vote. Months before the polls another opposition leader was decapitated. Former president Pasteur Bizimungu was jailed in 2004 for embezzlement. He was released in 2007. “It’s one of the rare cases in Africa... where you can point to achievement, so the human rights problems are somewhat quite inconvenient because they spoil the good news story,” said Tertsakian. —AFP


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

i n t e r n at i o n a l

Christian in Pakistan blasphemy case ruled ‘a minor’ ISLAMABAD: An official medical review of a Pakistani Christian girl accused of desecrating the Quran has determined that the girl is ‘a minor’, a lawyer for the girl said yesterday. The finding, which means the girl will be tried in the juvenile court system, could possibly defuse what has been a highly contentious case in Pakistan, where blasphemy can be punished with life in prison or even death. The accusations against the girl have inflamed religious tensions in Pakistan, and sparked a mass exodus of Christians from the girl’s neighborhood fearful of retribution from their Muslim neighbors. The attorney, Tahir Naveed Chaudhry, said a report by a medical board investigating the age and mental state of the girl determined she was 14 years old. He also said the board determined her mental state did not correspond to her age. It was not clear whether that meant she was mentally impaired. Some Pakistani media reports have said the

girl has Down Syndrome. Chaudhry said a bail hearing has been scheduled later, and that he would move to dismiss the case after the hearing, saying there was “no solid evidence” against his client. He said he saw his client Saturday in the Rawalpindi prison where she’s being held and that she was “weeping and crying.” The Associated Press is withholding her name because it does not generally identify underage suspects. The girl was accused by a neighbor of burning pages of a Quran, Islam’s holy book. But many aspects of the case have been in dispute since the incident surfaced a little less than two weeks ago, including her age, whether she was mentally impaired and what exactly she was burning. The lawyer said a birth certificate provided by the church put her age at eleven years old, but in the end the medical board determined she was 14. Generally, birth certificates must be issued by the Pakistani

government to be considered a legal document. The case has spotlighted once again Pakistan’s troublesome blasphemy laws that critics say can be used to settle vendettas or seek retribution. Many of Pakistan’s minorities, including Christians, live in fear of being accused of blasphemy. Hundreds of Christian families have fled the neighborhood where the girl lived, fearing a backlash from their Muslim neighbors. Once someone is labeled as a blasphemer, even if they are never convicted, they can face vigilante justice by outraged Pakistanis. In July, thousands of people dragged a Pakistani man accused of desecrating the Quran from a police station, beat him to death and set his body alight. The potential public backlash also means few people have spoken out to change or repeal the blasphemy laws. Last year two prominent politicians who criticized the blasphemy law were murdered, one by his own bodyguard who then attracted adoring mobs. — AP

ISLAMABAD: Hundreds of Christian families who fled their neighborhood where a girl was arrested on alleged blasphemy charges sit in a public park for protection in Islamabad yesterday. — AP

Nine die as Typhoon pounds South Korea Chinese fishing ships smashed; 10 fishermen missing

DHAKA: Bangladesh Border Guard soldiers on trial wait in a prison van at the BDR headquarters in Dhaka yesterday. — AFP

Bangladesh jails 665 soldiers for mutiny DHAKA: A Bangladesh court yesterday jailed 665 border guards for their role in a bloody 2009 military mutiny, bringing the total number of soldiers imprisoned for the unrest to over 5,000, a prosecutor said. Fifty-seven senior army officers were killed during an uprising that began when soldiers at the Bangladeshi Rifles (BDR) headquarters in the capital Dhaka went on a killing spree, later dumping victims’ bodies in sewers and shallow graves. A special military court in Dhaka found 665 border guards from the force’s 44th Battalion guilty of “masterminding, joining and leading the mutiny”, state prosecutor Lieutenant Colonel Zakir Hossain said. “Of the 673 soldiers charged, eight were acquitted and the rest were handed out prison terms starting from four months to seven years. A total of 113 soldiers were sentenced to maximum seven years in jail,” Hossain said. The mutiny spread from Dhaka to BDR posts across the country, with thousands of guards taking up arms against their com-

manding officers. Dozens of special courtsrun by the military using a mix of martial and civilian law-were set up to prosecute mutineers, with the first verdict, which saw 29 soldiers convicted, being handed down in April 2010. In all, 5,203 BDR soldiers have now been convicted, Hossain said, in what prosecutors say is the biggest case in the country’s history. Those convicted include hundreds of nurses and sportsmen who represented the country internationally. The courts, headed by military officers, do not allow defendants to have lawyers and there is no right of appeal. Seven years in jail is the maximum penalty they can impose. The BDR has since changed its name to the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) in an effort to distance itself from the mutiny. Soldiers accused of more serious offences-including murder-are being tried separately in civilian courts and could face the death penalty if convicted. Of the 665 soldiers convicted yesterday, 129 still face murder charges, said Hossain. — AFP

Two Tibetans set themselves alight Burning protests top 50 BEIJING: Two teenagers burned to death in southwest China, taking to over 50 the number of Tibetans who have set themselves alight in protest against Beijing’s rule, rights groups said yesterday. Lobsang Kalsang, 18, a Buddhist monk, and former monk Damchoek, 17, died in hospital on Monday after setting themselves on fire in Aba town, which has become a flashpoint for such protests by ethnic Tibetans. China’s Tibetan-inhabited areas have seen an explosion in the violent form of protest since March 2011, when the self-immolation of a monk named Phuntsog at Aba’s revered Kirti monastery sparked riots and a police crackdown. The first recorded similar incident was in February 2009, and there have now been 51 such fiery protests, according to tallies compiled by overseas-based pressure groups Free Tibet and the International Campaign for Tibet. In 2009, a young Kirti monk doused himself in oil and set himself on fire carrying an image of the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader, before being shot by police and taken to a local hospital. The next incident was not recorded until 2011, but since then dozens of ethnic Tibetans, most of them young monks and nuns, have set fire to themselves. Many, though not all, have died. Experts say suicide is a major taboo in Tibetan Buddhist culture, and the immolations are a sign of growing desperation among those living in the vast and remote Tibetan

plateau. The two men in the latest incident shouted slogans condemning Chinese policies in Tibet as they set themselves alight, Radio Free Asia said, citing two India-based monks with contacts in Aba, Sichuan province. They protested close to the Kirti monastery, which has been under intense security since Phuntsog’s immolation. An AFP reporter who managed to gain access in March saw hundreds of armed soldiers, some of them carrying fire extinguishers, lining roads, patrolling the town’s narrow main street and manning road blocks. “Tibetans’ fundamental human rights are being ignored by international leaders who are afraid of risking their relationships with China,” said Free Tibet director Stephanie Brigden in a statement. “The time has come for each one of us to speak up and demand Tibetan freedom.” No one at the Kirti monastery or the hospital where the monks reportedly died could be reached by telephone, while authorities in Aba declined to comment on the latest incident. Free Tibet said Damchoek, who like many Tibetans used only one name, was the brother of Tenzin Choedon, a teenage nun who set fire to herself in February this year. Tibetans have long chafed under China’s rule over the Tibetan plateau, saying that Beijing has curbed religious freedoms and their culture is being eroded by an influx of Han Chinese, the country’s main ethnic group. —AFP

SEOUL: A powerful typhoon pounded South Korea with strong winds and heavy rain yesterday, killing nine and churning up rough seas that smashed two Chinese fishing ships into rocks and forced the coast guard to perform a daring rescue of survivors. Rescuers saved 12 fishermen and searched for 10 still missing from the ships that hit rocks off South Korea’s southern Jeju Island. Five fishermen were killed, officials said. Separately, at least four other people died as Typhoon Bolaven knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of South Koreans, canceled flights and temporarily halted joint war games by US and South Korean military forces. North Korea, which is still struggling to rebuild from massive floods and a devastating drought before that, was next in the typhoon’s path. Heavy rain and strong winds hit many parts of the country yesterday, a day that was supposed to be a North Korean celebration of its young people. The typhoon knocked down hundreds of trees, destroyed power cables and caused blackouts in the western cities of Kaesong and Haeju, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said. It said damage was expected to grow as the typhoon moves across the country. Off South Korea’s Jeju Island, dangerous waves kept rescue vessels from approaching the wrecked fishing ships. The coast guard used a special gun to shoot rope to one ship so officers could pull themselves over and bring the fishermen back to shore, coast guard spokesman Ko Chang-keon said. Eighteen fishermen survived. The coast guard rescued 12, and the others swam or were washed ashore. South Korea issued a storm warning for the capital, Seoul, as Bolaven battered the country’s south and west, knocking over street lights and church spires and ripping signs from stores. A large container box crushed an apartment janitor to death, a woman fell to her death from a rooftop where she kept dried red peppers and another person died after bricks hit a house, according to disaster and fire officials. An 80year-old man died after a small makeshift building fell on him, officials said. Strong wind gusts left Seoul streets covered with leaves, garbage and branches. More than 15,000 schools canceled classes, and businesses and homes taped windows or pasted the glass with wet newspapers to keep them from shattering. About 1.7 million South Korean homes and businesses lost power, the National Emergency Management Agency said, though all but about 200,000 had electricity restored by yesterday night. More than 80 families were left homeless because of floods or storm damage. Nearly 200 flights were canceled, 860 hectares of farmland were flooded and 32 ships were damaged, the agency said in a statement. In Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital, Associated Press cameras captured cars splashing through slightly flooded streets, spraying people on crowded sidewalks who scrambled to avoid the water. Residents appeared to be going about their daily lives, though many wore rain boots and jackets, angling their umbrellas to fight the wind and rain. The bad weather came on North Korea’s first Youth Day since new leader Kim Jong Un took over in December. Big rainstorms often mean catastrophe in the North because of poor drainage, deforestation and decrepit infrastructure. North Korea is still trying to help people with food, shelter, health care and clean water after heavy flooding in July,

JEJU: A Chinese fisherman wearing an orange life vest (center) is rescued by South Korean coast guard officers from a Chinese ship in Jeju, South Korea yesterday. — AFP

according to a recent United Nations situation report. More than 170 died nationwide, and tens of thousands of homes were destroyed in the floods, according to official North Korean accounts. Many flood victims still live in tents with limited access to water and other basic facilities, the UN report said, and there is worry about increased malnutrition in coming weeks. Two South Korean aid groups had been scheduled to visit the North Korean city of Kaesong for talks Wednesday on flood aid, but the North yesterday canceled the meeting, according to aid group officials. One of the groups said the North cited strained ties between the two Koreas. Weather officials had warned that Bolaven would be the strongest typhoon to hit the region in several years, but

its gusts weren’t as powerful as predicted. The typhoon hit the southern Japanese island of Okinawa on Monday, injuring four people but doing less damage than feared before moving off to sea. More than 75,000 households lost power. Farther south, another typhoon, Tembin, doubled back and hit Taiwan three days after drenching the same region before blowing out to sea. Fierce winds and rain toppled coconut trees in the beach resort town of Hengchun. In Manila, the Philippine weather agency reissued typhoon warnings to residents and fishermen for Tembin, which blew out of the archipelago over the weekend. Fishing boats in the north were urged not to venture out to sea while larger ships were warned of possible big waves and heavy rains. — AP

Gandhi slams oppn MPs over deadlock NEW DELHI: Sonia Gandhi, the president of India’s ruling Congress party yesterday upped the stakes in a six-day parliamentary stand-off that has paralyzed government plans to revive the slowing economy. Gandhi, the grand matriarch of Indian politics, attacked the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for holding noisy protests every day in parliament that have forced business to be abandoned. The BJP is demanding that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh resign over allegations that his government missed out on billions of dollars of revenue by giving away coal rights. “We are ready to face the challenges before us,” Gandhi, wife of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, told a Congress party meeting. “Let us stand up and fight, fight with a sense of purpose and fight aggressively.” She said the BJP’s protests in both the upper and lower chamber were a form of “blackmail” and accused the opposition of having “scant respect for the parliament”. On Monday, Premier Singh, 79, was howled

down by opposition MPs as he tried to defend himself against a report by the official auditor that said mining rights were handed out in a process that “lacked transparency and objectivity”. Since he was re-elected in 2008, Singh has struggled with falling economic growth, damaging corruption scandals and accusations of policy drift after U-turns on key reform plans. “Our focus... must be to revive and sustain the momentum of high economic growth,” Gandhi told her party. “Dialogue, debate and discussion is the only way forward... but the opposition has to come forth and show a sense of responsibility.” India recorded near double-digit expansion over much of the last decade but the economy grew by just 5.3 percent in the January-March quarter, a rate that threatens to stall the country’s transformation since the early 1990s. The BJP yesterday dismissed Gandhi’s criticisms and again forced parliament to be adjourned as its members stood up, waving papers and shouting for Singh’s resignation.— AFP

Myanmar trims 2,082 names off its blacklist YANGON: Myanmar’s government has trimmed 2,082 names from its notorious blacklist, opening traveling privileges to roughly a third of the people officially barred from entering or leaving the country, an official said yesterday. The move was the latest sign of change as President Thein Sein’s government implements reforms after decades of harsh military rule. It came a day after he announced a sweeping Cabinet shake-up seen as an effort to remove hardliners opposed to reform in the country previously called Burma. State media reported Tuesday that the government had removed 2,082 names from its

6,165 person blacklist - meaning Myanmar’s blacklist now targets 4,083 people. “These relaxations are in line with the country’s transformation,” Presidential spokesman Nay Zin Latt told The Associated Press. He said more names would eventually be stricken and “only those who were put on the blacklist due to criminal and other economic misdemeanors will remain on the blacklist.” Neither the spokesman nor the news reports gave details about the blacklist, which has included journalists, critics and a wide range of people that the former military junta deemed a threat to national security.

It blocks foreigners and Burmese abroad from entering the country and also prohibits certain Burmese nationals from leaving. The New Light of Myanmar indicated that at least some of those removed from the list were Burmese nationals abroad. It reported that the changes give a “green light ... to those Myanmar citizens who are currently in foreign countries enabling them to return home.” The new government took office in March 2010 after the country’s first elections in 20 years. Until now, it has continued to update the blacklist as it sees fit. Among those famously blacklisted was for-

mer Bond girl Michelle Yeoh, who played prodemocracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in “The Lady,” which was released last year. Yeoh had met Suu Kyi on an initial visit but was deported upon arrival for her second visit in June 2011 and informed she was blacklisted. Author Benedict Rogers, who wrote a 2010 biography on former junta chief Than Shwe has been blacklisted and un-blacklisted a few times. “This is an encouraging and positive step,” said Rogers. “I hope all of the other people on the list will be removed except those who genuinely pose a security threat to the country.”— AP


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

NEWS

ALEPPO: Syrian women walk past a covered body of a Free Syria Army fighter outside a hospital in Syria’s second largest city yesterday. — AFP

Uneasy ‘Big Easy’ braces for Isaac Continued from Page 1 lifestyle. The streets of New Orleans were eerily empty Monday as smatterings of rain and stiff winds forewarned Isaac’s arrival. Most residents had already boarded up their windows and stocked up on essentials as they prepared to either evacuate or hunker down. But weak though Isaac was forecast to be, the timing of the storm - set to arrive on the seventh anniversary of Katrina - had many here on edge. “It brings back a whole lot of memories,” said Melody Barkum, 56, who spent days stranded on a roof without food or water after Katrina struck. “I’m not afraid,” Barkum told AFP. “If I can survive Katrina, I can survive this.” Katrina left behind a devastating sprawl of destruction and death when it hit New Orleans on Aug 29, 2005, and a bungled response by the Bush administration was a black mark on his second term in office. Thousands of people were left stranded on the roofs of their houses for days after Katrina’s powerful storm surge smashed levees long-warned to be inadequate, flooding 80 percent of the low-lying city. Those who managed to make it to dry land faced deadly violence and looting as the city descended into chaos and officials failed to even provide water and food - let alone security and medical aid - to those suffering in the sweltering heat. Officials insisted that the billions of dollars spent to reinforce the city’s storm levees and pumps will protect the Big Easy from inundation, and Isaac is nowhere near Katrina’s strength. But Isaac will still pack powerful winds expected to knock out power lines and churn up a

massive surge of sea water as much as 3.7 m deep that will roll up across the Gulf Coast. Mandatory evacuations have been ordered in a number of coastal counties in Louisiana and Alabama, where people typically build their homes on stilts. The slow-moving and massive storm - which is about 670 km wide - could dump as much as 51 cm of rain and spawn tornadoes, the NHC warned. Obama, no doubt mindful of the bungled handling of Katrina by his predecessor George W Bush on Monday declared a state of emergency in Louisiana, allowing federal funds and aid to flow to local authorities. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission sent extra staff to two nuclear power plants in Louisiana. They are about 20 and 25 miles from New Orleans and Baton Rouge, respectively. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who has recommended voluntary evacuations, urged people to prepare for the worst. “If you are in low-lying areas and are thinking about evacuating, today is the day to do that,” he said Monday. “If you plan on hunkering down at home, today is the day to get supplies. I strongly encourage people not to wait,” added Jindal, who stayed away from the weather-delayed Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. Those heeding the call included Tammy Edmondson, who looked anxious as she picked through the grocery shelves at a Target store with her daughter. Edmondson said she left town ahead of Katrina and that it was a month before she could go home. “We had a lot of damage - we’re still fixing some of it,” she told AFP. “That’s why I’m starting to panic.” — AFP

3 killed in Mombasa as riots rage Continued from Page 1 “People are breaking into our shops and looting our property and police are doing nothing,” said Francis Mutua, 33, a kiosk owner who said he and his colleagues had beaten up an offender. Shopkeeper Kassim Ali also complained about police as they cleared a smouldering roadblock nearby. “These people, the police, are joking. They are taking this thing lightly, but the way I see it, it will not be good,” he said. One person was killed in riots on Monday when protesters set fire to several churches, stoking fears that the unrest may become more sectarian in a city where grenade attacks blamed on Somali militants and their sympathisers have already strained Muslim-Christian relations. Mombasa has a big Muslim minority. Police and Muslim leaders had described the church burnings as impulsive, not premeditated. Yesterday the gangs of youths appeared to focus their anger more on the police. Church leaders scrapped plans for a peaceful march yesterday for fear it might incite further clashes in a country where overall relations between Muslims and Christians have been relatively good. “We have been asking how we will defend ourselves. We are wondering how the killing of Rogo was related to churches and Christians. Muslims are now against the Christians and that is what we need to concentrate on,” said Bishop Lawrence Dena. Sheikh Mfaume Bakari Mfaume, repre-

senting Muslim clerics at a meeting called by Muslim and Christian clerics to end the violence said: “Muslims did not plan these attacks. These were rogue youths, and the fact that they might be Muslims doesn’t drag the entire Muslim fraternity in this.” Washington and Nairobi had both accused Rogo of helping Al-Shabaab, Somalia’s Islamist rebel group. The Al-Qaeda-linked militant group urged Kenyan Muslims yesterday to protect their religion at all costs and boycott next year’s presidential election. It condemned what it called a “witch-hunt” against Muslims by the Kenyan authorities. “Muslims must take the matter into their own hands, stand united against the kuffar (nonbelievers) and take all necessary measures to protect their religion, their honour, their property and their lives from the enemies of Islam,” Shabaab said in a statement posted on the social media site Twitter. The violence could worsen if it taps into long-standing local grievances over land ownership and unemployment, as well as calls by the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) for the coastal strip to secede. The MRC said it was not involved in the unrest. Prolonged trouble in Mombasa would hit Kenya’s vital tourism industry, already damaged by the kidnappings of Western women tourists from beach resorts by Somali gunmen, at the height of the tourist season. The unrest could also knock trade and transport to Kenya’s landlocked neighbours. Rwanda and Uganda rely on Mombasa port for imports of food, consumer goods and fuel. — Reuters

Freed Kuwaiti hostage welcomed back home Continued from Page 1 “They did a great job and helped me be free again. I spent three bad and hard days, but I believe it could have been worse,” he said. “They accused me of terrorism and that I am a commander of the terrorist Free (Syrian) Army. I told them I have nothing to do with politics,” he said. Narrating the story of his kidnapping, he said that when he arrived at his house in Lebanon in his car, six kidnappers attacked him and tried to force him into their vehicle. “After a fight with them, they beat me on my head and put me in their car and drove away after covering my head. They imprisoned me in a dark room and I didn’t know where I was or the distance from my house. Later, I was taken by car and thrown onto the road and told that somebody would pick me up. After a while, a member of Amal took me to their headquarters,

where they held a press conference and from there they took me to the Kuwaiti Embassy, where another press conference was held, “ he explained. His Kuwaiti wife, Sheikha Moza Sabah Al-Jaber AlSabah, expressed her happiness over his release. “The most important thing is the happiness of his kids, who suffered a lot as they refused to eat and were very sad when their father was kidnapped,” she said. Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency said that Houti was released on Monday at the home of Bassam Tleyss, a high-ranking member of the Shiite movement Amal of Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri. Tleyss, meanwhile, denied that he had been commissioned to pay a ransom to secure Houti’s release, adding he was freed thanks to popular pressure and the work of the Lebanese security forces. A Lebanese security official said the kidnapping was likely motivated by money and not politics.

Court clears Israeli army over death... Continued from Page 1 “I reached the conclusion that there was no negligence on the part of the bulldozer driver,” said Judge Oded Gershon at the District Court in the northern city of Haifa. Corrie’s death, he said, was the result of “an accident she brought upon herself”. “The deceased put herself into a dangerous situation, she stood in front of a giant bulldozer in a place where the operator could not see her. She did not distance herself as a reasonable person would have done,” he said. According to eyewitness accounts, the 23-year-old was killed by a military bulldozer in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on March 16, 2003. At the time, she was acting as a human shield with a group of activists from the proPalestinian International Solidarity Movement to prevent troops from demolishing a house. The verdict echoed the findings of an internal investigation by the Israeli military in 2003 which was concluded just four weeks after her death and cleared troops of any responsibility, saying the bulldozer crew did not see Corrie. Following the hearing, the family vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court. “The verdict is based upon distorted facts and could have been written by the state’s attorney,” their lawyer Hussein Abu Hussein told reporters as Corrie’s father Craig stood by stony-face while her mother looked heartbroken and close to tears, an AFP correspondent said. Cindy Corrie said the family was “deeply saddened and deeply troubled” over the verdict. “We believe that Rachel’s death could and should have been avoided,” said the white-haired American, her voice breaking with emotion. “We knew from the beginning that a civil suit would be an uphill battle. “This was a bad day, not only for the family,

but a bad day for human rights, for humanity, for the rule of law and for the country of Israel,” she said. Tom Dale, a former ISM activist who was 10 m away when Corrie was crushed, insisted it was not possible that the driver did not see her. “On 16 March 2003, Rachel could not have been more visible: standing, on a clear day, in the open ground, wearing a high-visibility vest,” he said in a statement emailed to AFP. “It is inconceivable that at some point the driver did not see her, given the distance from which he approached, while she stood, unmoving, in front of it. Just before she was crushed, Rachel briefly stood on top of the rolling mound of earth which had gathered in front of the bulldozer: her head was above the level of the blade, and just a few metres from the driver.” Anyone familiar with the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories was unlikely to be surprised by this verdict, “which reflects a long-standing culture of impunity for the Israeli military,” he said. Craig Corrie expressed similar sentiments. “We’ve seen from the highest levels of the military that they thought they could kill people on that border with impunity,” he said. In Washington, the US State Department reiterated its condolences to Corrie’s family. “We’ve worked with the family all through this process and we will continue to provide consular support. We understand the family’s disappointment with the outcome of the trial,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said. Asked if the State Department shared this disappointment, Nuland noted that the family could yet appeal. “It’s probably not productive to get into the middle of a legal process that may be ongoing,” Nuland said. Corrie’s mother, who struggled to hold back her tears, said she felt let down not just by the Israeli legal system but also by US diplomacy. — Agencies

Iran uses summit to buff up diplomatic... Continued from Page 1 The cars are propped up against a backdrop of rich scarlet fabric. Alongside are pictures of Iran’s nuclear “martyrs” and summaries of how they were killed. At least four scientists associated with Iran’s nuclear program have been assassinated since 2010, most recently in January this year. Washington has denied any role in the killings while Israel has declined to comment. “It’s quite shocking. I was really taken aback,” said one visiting delegate who initially couldn’t understand why such wrecks had been placed outside. The summit has dominated Iran’s state-controlled media, which contend that the country’s position as head of “the world’s second largest international organisation” is an effective response to international sanctions and a demonstration of its important place in world affairs. The leadership has sought to present an air of importance as it takes on the mantle of an organisation that many experts say has struggled to remain relevant since the end of the Cold War. But there are concerns among some members of the movement that Tehran could try to use its position to influence to further its own agenda rather than that of the organisation. “Iran is one of the most important countries in the family of the Non-Aligned Movement,” deputy foreign minister Mohammad Mehdi Akhoundzadeh said in an interview with state television. The foreign ministry has taken on a central role in steering Iran through the six-day summit, presenting the theocratic Shiite state as a modern, progressive country, an image that contrasts with the inflammatory statements from senior figures that usually dominate the headlines. Press TV, Iran’s state-run English-

language news channel, has previewed the summit with a slick promotional advert showing footage of U.N Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi before cutting to picturesque images of Iran’s most historic sites. The network has devoted hours of coverage to the summit, with regular live updates from the conference and interviews with delegates that affirm Iran’s positive role. “The presence of a huge number of delegates proved that all the pressure not to attend Tehran failed,” Yousry Abu Shadi, a member of Egypt’s delegation, told Press TV yesterday. Broadcasting schedules for the state-run Channel One television network show it will provide live cover of the event for five hours on Thursday and Friday, when more than 50 heads of state gather for the final two days, the ISNA news agency reported. For the last two days, Iranian officials have boasted about the summit proceeding smoothly, with one saying that Iran had become “the focal point for political consultations”. Yesterday, more than 50 foreign ministers sat down to debate the draft declarations on a range of issues including “upholding the movement against occupation and military aggression and the rights of members to benefit from peaceful nuclear energy,” the state news agency, IRNA reported. “Domestically, the regime is putting out a rallying cry to its people amidst a serious economic and political situation,” said Scott Lucas, founder of EU Worldview, a news site that specialises in monitoring Iranian media. “Internationally, they’re trying to counter their isolation and this is the obvious showpiece to do it. But there hasn’t been much substance coming out. They have to do something beyond the propaganda display to have any longer-term impact,” he added.

The Islamic Republic has played the event as a great victory against the United States, its old enemy, said Sadeq Zibakalam of Tehran University. “It says we’re powerful and kicking,” he added. Despite its publicity drive and Tehran’s claims it will act in the common interests of the Non-Aligned Movement, there are concerns that Tehran is using the body for its own purposes. “All of us here in Tehran recognise there are some issues it has to deal with and our expectation is that uniquely Iranian issues do not hijack the movement,” Indonesian foreign minister Marty Natalegawa told Reuters by telephone from Tehran. Iran’s representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, told reporters on the sidelines of the summit that Iran would not halt enriching uranium for “even one second”, Iranian media reported. “At least to the Iranian people, Iran is using the summit to get across its own messages,” said Zibakalam. Natalegawa said the movement had a unified position on calling for all member states to meet their obligations under the nuclear NonProliferation Treaty and that included Iran. “We’re calling on Iran to comply and co-operate closely with the IAEA,” he said referring to the UN nuclear watchdog’s repeated request for greater access to Iranian atomic sites. In contrast to the nuclear issue, there has been precious little coverage of discussions on the crisis in Syria, regarded as the trickiest issue at the summit for Iran, Assad’s main ally in the region. A resolution passed by the UN General Assembly this month indicated a majority of NAM members are critical of the Syrian government’s actions in attempting to crush an insurgency that has cost the lives of about 20,000 people. — Reuters


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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

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Myanmar reshuffle aims to reinvigorate reforms: Analysts By Hla Hla Htay yanmar President Thein Sein is striving to put his flagging reform agenda back on track by promoting loyal allies in the first major cabinet reshuffle of the post-junta era, analysts say. The longawaited shake-up, announced late on Monday, follows signs of tensions between reformist members of the quasi-civilian government and conservatives opposed to rapid political change in the former pariah state. Thein Sein brought four of his key ministers into the president’s office in what his aides said was a bid to speed up the decision-making process, particularly on key issues such as the economy and resolving ethnic conflicts. “The concentration of reform-minded ministers at the president’s office is an indication that he’s reinforcing his drive for a second wave of reforms,” said Aung Naing Oo, a Myanmar expert at the Vahu Development Institute. They including outgoing railway minister Aung Min, who has played a leading role in ceasefire talks with ethnic rebels, and departing finance minister Hla Tun and industry minister Soe Thein, key figures in economic reforms. “By surrounding himself with people close to him and loyal former army officers, he’s created a kind of mini-cabinet within a wider government,” said Renaud Egreteau, assistant professor at the University of Hong Kong. “That should allow him to pursue the reform drive, notably on the ongoing economic and ethnic issues.” Since taking office last year, Thein Sein has overseen a number of dramatic changes such as the release of hundreds of political prisoners and the election of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to parliament. But progress has been slower on the legislative front, in part because of a power struggle between the presidency and the parliament, observers say. In June Thein Sein vowed to put the economy at the centre of his next wave of reforms, setting a target of annual economic growth of 7.7 percent over the next five years by attracting investment from overseas. Experts said the move to centralise power in his government aimed to speed up the introduction of stalled legislation such as the foreign investment law, seen as crucial to attracting international firms to the impoverished nation. “The president’s circling the wagons and perhaps saying the reforms will continue even though we can see areas of resistance,” said Sean Turnell, a Myanmar expert at Macquarie University in Sydney. He said there had been “a bit of backsliding and resistance to reform”, particularly on the foreign investment law, elements of which have faced opposition from the regime’s traditional business cronies. One prominent hardliner who was sidelined in the reshuffle was Kyaw Hsan, the long-time information minister with close links to ex-junta chief Than Shwe. He was moved to the lower profile role of minister of cooperatives. Outgoing labour minister Aung Kyi - Suu Kyi’s official liaison while under house arrest - will replace him, a choice that was welcomed by the opposition. “Information Minister U Aung Kyi is an outspoken person. So I think he’s a suitable person for the information ministry,” said Ohn Kyaing, a parliamentarian with Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party. “Aung Kyi and our chairperson Aung San Suu Kyi have good relations. As the information ministry is an important one, I see good potential,” he said. In further changes ysterday, the government announced the resignation of two more cabinet members - construction minister Khin Maung Myint and electricity minister Zaw Min, another hardliner. The reshuffle came a week after Myanmar said it had abolished pre-publication press censorship that was a hallmark of life under the generals who ran the country for almost half a century until last year. Information ministry insiders, however, were more cautious about the prospect for dramatic change, despite the departure of the man who for a decade oversaw the regime’s tight control over the press. “They are the same. They are retired military officials. We cannot tell who is more hardline,” an information ministry official who did not want to be named told AFP. The reshuffle also brought a number of civilians into the cabinet, including one key economic adviser, in what observers saw as another sign of growing political openness. “As we can see some new faces, we can assume that it’s a part of the reforms,” said Khin Maung Swe, chairman of the National Democratic Force, an opposition party formed by breakaway former members of Suu Kyi’s NLD. — AFP

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Balancing act for India over archaic land law By Rosemary Arackaparambil and Manoj Kumar ore than a century after it was drawn up by British colonial rulers, India’s land acquisition law is finally set for a revamp that promises to breathe life into scores of frozen industrial and infrastructure projects and help lift the sagging economy. That’s the optimistic scenario. The reality is that the new law will make the cost of land much higher for businesses and is unlikely to put a stop to protests by millions of people determined to defend their livelihoods or get fair compensation for losing their land. The new bill will govern land acquisition by the government for itself and by private firms to provide public services. This will embrace a wide range of projects in sectors from power and telecommunications to transport and education. Among the major projects which have stalled awaiting the new legislation are 12 million-tonne steel plants planned by Posco and ArcelorMittal and a six-million-tonne steel plant of Tata Steel in Odisha, as well as Coal India’s mine expansion in Chattisgarh. More than 80 highway projects are also running behind schedule. Despite the promise of greater transparency and better regulation, corporate India is worried about cost. The new law may force them to pay four times the market price for land in rural areas and twice the market price in urban areas, and give displaced people homes, jobs, monthly stipends and even a share of their profits in some cases. Even if companies enter into private negotiations for land, they will be required to rehabilitate people if they acquire over 100 acres of rural land or 50 acres in urban areas. The Confederation of Indian Industry lobby group estimates that this will increase land acquisition costs by 3-3.5 times, affecting the viability of projects across the board. Companies are bracing for increased costs and may tweak project plans, but they’re unlikely to ditch projects altogether, having invested years negotiating with state governments and landowners. ArcelorMittal’s boss Lakshmi Mittal said recently his India projects were unlikely to see light for several years because of unresolved policy issues. But a spokeswoman said they were continuing negotiations despite likely cost increases. The government has tried twice to amend the 118-year-old legislation, but until now it has failed to balance demands for an end to the regulatory minefield that confronts developers with a popular clamour to protect the poor. Even as the government prepared last week to introduce its latest version of the Land Acquisition act in parliament, social activists gathered in New Delhi to protest against a law their leaders said falls “far too short of democratic expectation”. “ The redrafted bill ... though accepting certain provisions as suggested by social movements, is promarket and pro-investment and will only fur ther the land conflict,” said Medha Patkar, who led a high-profile

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campaign over two decades against the construction of a huge dam to prevent thousands of tribal people being evicted from their homeland. Safeguarding farmland against the creep of industrialisation to ensure food security is a priority for the left-leaning government led by Sonia Gandhi’s Congress party, which relies heavily on rural voters for support. Back in 2004, when it came to power, Congress pledged to overhaul a law whose wide definition of “public use” means people can be turfed without much ado off their land, and which omitted to lay down rules for compensation and rehabilitation. The government now appears confident that the bill - whose final contours have yet to be made public - will at last be passed despite the fierce partisanship of the main opposition par ty,

which leads to prolonged legal battles, the difficulty of bringing together scattered smallholdings of land and the cost of servicing project debt as they wait for acquisition clearances. “Some politicians are clearly posturing on this issue to get political gain but there is a clear demand from industrial groups, infrastructure developers etc to spell out the processes of land acquisition and amend the law,” said Seema Desai, an analyst at political risk research consultant Eurasia. Take the grand plan for a new international airport near Mumbai, which was envisaged more than a decade ago to relieve pressure on the financial capital’s existing airport. A blue signboard overlooking a vast expanse of waterlogged land with hillocks to one side is all there is to show for the project so far. This is because although environmental

Industries, Mahindra & Mahindra, Indiabulls and Videocon have scrapped plans because land could not be acquired. Aditi Nayar, a senior economist at rating agency ICRA, said the new land bill is urgently needed to ensure that businesses know at an early stage about the viability of proposed projects. “Increasing the share of manufacturing to 25 pct of GDP under the National Manufacturing Policy would be difficult to achieve without significant land being acquired,” she said. The government dismisses industry’s fears of higher costs. “The land acquisition will not cost more than 2-3 percent of the total project cost, while saving a substantial amount spent over delays and legal battles,” the Rural Development Ministry official said. In what will be a huge relief to existing project owners, a proposal to apply the

An Indian roadside dentist’s assistant files the dentures of a customer at a roadside clinic in Varanasi yesterday. Dentist Ramjee Sao said he provides a range of dental services from extractions, filling cavities and routine pain alleviation procedures to making and fitting a complete set of dentures. —AFP which has made a habit of blocking reform. “No party would commit political hara-kiri by opposing the bill as every par ty is committed to the farmers’ cause,” said a senior official at the Rural Development Ministry who asked not to be named. Airport Delay The trick that the government must pull off with the new legislation, however, is mollifying both the social activists and India Inc. Over 200 government projects and several industrial ones have stalled due to land-use snags, contributing to the country’s sharpest economic slowdown in a decade and stifling much-needed growth in employment. Among the many frustrations for developers are a lack of property deeds,

clearance was granted two years ago, villagers who own 24 percent of the land are holding out for a higher compensation package. Mahindra Patil, headman of a village that sits on the airport site, said his people want developed land equivalent to 35 percent of the area they are losing and 25 million rupees ($455,000) per acre. “If they don’t agree, the airport will not come up here,” said Patil from his cramped office on the edge of lush green paddy fields. “ We have been doing farming and fishing here for ages. This is our wealth, how much more will we sacrifice? We will not compromise beyond this.” Land troubles have also plagued special export-oriented zones, which were intended to hasten India’s industrialisation. Companies including Reliance

new acquisition regulations retrospectively is likely to be ditched by the government. The bill is also expected to propose the establishment of a quasijudicial body to settle disputes over compensation within six months, doing away with the practice of going to lower civil courts where cases routinely drag on for years. But social activists believe that the new law, despite its provisions to make compensation fairer, will build in a bias towards land developers at the expense of small landholders. “ The current bill legitimises land acquisition of most kinds and by anyone even for private profit, and is only trying to play with language of transparency and fair compensation,” the Sangharsh (struggle) protest group said in a statement. — Reuters


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

sp orts Degenkolb wins 10th stage SANXENXO: Germany’s John Degenkolb won the Tour of Spain’s tenth stage yesterday, while Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez held on to the overall leader ’s red jersey. Degenkolb of the ArgosShimano team dashed to his fourth stage victory of this year’s race in the mass sprint finish of the 190k ilometre (12-mile) ride from Ponteareas to Sanxenxo in northwestern Spain. The 23-year-old completed the stage in four hours, 47 minutes and 24 seconds. He had already won the second, fifth and seventh stages of this year ’s Tour of Spain. Rodriguez of team Katusha held on to the overall race lead, with a 53 second advantage of his nearest rival, Britain’s Chris Froome of Team Sk y. Spain’s Alber to Contador of Saxo-Bank is in third place in the overall standings, one minute behind the leaders. —AFP

Cancer community rallies around Lance Armstrong MONTREAL: Lance Armstrong, branded a drug cheat and banned from cycling by the US AntiDoping Agency, can still count on support from the cancer community, the head of the Union for International Cancer Control said Monday. US cycling icon and cancer survivor Armstrong is set to be stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after he gave up the right to fight serious doping claims by the US agency at an independent hearing. But Union for International Cancer Control president Mary Gospodarowicz said the “cancer community is behind him.” Gospodarowicz was speaking at the opening of the World Cancer Congress in Montreal. Armstrong is scheduled to speak at the conference today and “donations to his foundation continue” unabated, she said. Armstrong’s Livestrong campaign has so far collected nearly $500 million for cancer research and helping people cope with the disease. —AFP

Yankees’ Teixeira sidelined NEW YORK: New York Yankees slugger Mark Teixeira could be sidelined for up to two weeks after the first baseman suffered a left calf strain against the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday. Teixeira was injured during the fourth inning of New York’s 8-7 home defeat to Toronto and left the game soon after. An MRI exam confirmed the strain and Teixeira has already been ruled out of the final two contests of the three-game series by manager Joe Girardi. “It could be as little as a week, it could be two weeks,” Teixeira told reporters. “I don’t really know. It’s very frustrating.” Teixeira missed two games earlier this month due to a sore wrist and the American League East-leading Yankees (7454) will hope to maintain their 3 1/2-game advantage at the top of the division in his absence. The 32year-old is hitting .255 with 23 home runs and 81 RBIs this season.

Blue Jays rally past Yankees

PHOENIX: Cincinnati Reds’ Ryan Hanigan reaches up to hang on to an Aroldis Chapman fastball as Arizona Diamondbacks’ Justin Upton looks on in the ninth inning during a baseball game in Phoenix. The Reds defeated the Diamondbacks 3-2. —AP

Rockies trash Dodgers DENVER: Jeff Francis and three relievers combined on a four-hitter as the Colorado Rockies beat Los Angeles 100 Monday night to spoil the Dodgers debut of Josh Beckett. Beckett (0-1) was acquired in a nine -player megadeal deal with the Boston Red Sox over the weekend. His career in Los Angeles got off to an inauspicious start as he gave up a leadoff homer to Tyler Colvin on his second pitch, a 91-mph fastball that Colvin hit into the second deck. The righty allowed three runs over 5 2-3 innings as the Dodgers fell 21/2 games behind idle San Francisco in the NL West. Francis (5-4) scattered three hits in five innings and struck out a season-high six batters. Relievers Josh Roenick, Rex Brothers and Matt Belisle closed out the game. Belisle pitched 1 2-3 innings to earn his second save this season. CARDINALS 4, PIRATES 3 In Pittsburgh, Matt Holliday hit a tiebreaking home run and Kyle Lohse won his eighth consecutive decision, leading the Cardinals to a victory over the Pirates. Holliday led off the sixth inning with his 24th homer, a drive to right field off A.J. Burnett that put St. Louis ahead for good at 3-2. Lohse (142) pitched five innings before being lifted following a 34-minute rain delay in the top of the sixth. He allowed two runs and five hits while striking out three and walking none. Lohse has not lost in 13 starts dating to June 15 and raised his career record against Pittsburgh to 9-2. Burnett (15-5) gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings with three strikeouts and one walk. BREWERS 15, CUBS 4 Aramis Ramirez hit two of Milwaukee’s five homers to lead the Brewers to a victory over the Cubs. Ramirez, who played for the Cubs from 2003-11, hit a two-run shot in the fifth and a solo homer in the ninth as Milwaukee beat Chicago for the sixth

straight time. Ramirez’s second homer followed a three-run shot by Ryan Braun that landed on Waveland Avenue, his NL-leading 35th of the season. Braun had four hits and five RBIs. Corey Hart followed Ramirez with another shot that reached Waveland, giving Milwaukee back-to-back-toback homers for the first time since Sept 7, 2007 at Cincinnati. The Brewers sent 14 batters to the plate and tacked on nine runs and eight hits in the ninth, finishing with a season-high 21 hits. Utility player Joe Mather got the final out of the inning for Chicago. PADRES 3, BRAVES 0 In San Diego, Casey Kelly combined with three relievers on a four-hitter to win his major league debut and Yasmani Grandal hit a two-run homer for the Padres, who beat the Braves to extend their season-high streak to eight straight wins. The 22-year-old Kelly was the key player among the four obtained from the Boston Red Sox in the trade for Adrian Gonzalez on Dec 6, 2010. Kelly also got his first big league hit, a single up the middle with two outs in the fifth. The Padres loaded the bases before Chase Headley struck out. REDS 3, DIAMONDBACKS 2 Bronson Arroyo pitched six strong innings and homered in the sixth inning for the go-ahead run of the Reds’ victory over the Diamondbacks. Brandon Phillips added an RBI double for the Reds, who remained six games ahead of St Louis in the NL Central and gave manager Dusty Baker his 400th win with the club. Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth for his 32nd save. Justin Upton drove in both runs for the Diamondbacks, who have lost four straight and six of eight during their 10-game homestand. Arroyo (11-7) allowed two runs and five hits for his fourth straight win. Skaggs (1-1), making his second career start, gave up three runs and five hits over 5 2-3 Innings. —AP

NEW YORK: Colby Rasmus hit a three-run homer off Rafael Soriano with two outs in the ninth inning and Toronto took advantage of Derek Lowe’s wild pickoff throw in the 11th to beat New York 8-7 on Monday night, snapping a sevengame losing streak. Moments after Rasmus’ drive put Toronto ahead 76, Derek Jeter tied it with a home run off Casey Janssen. The lastplace Blue Jays stopped an eightgame slide at Yankee Stadium. Yorvit Torrealba had a two-run shot and Adam Lind also went deep in his first plate appearance for the banged-up Blue Jays since coming off the disabled list. Toronto had dropped a season-worst eight straight on the road. Robinson Cano homered twice and Nick Swisher hit a two-run drive for New York. Torrealba singled leading off the 11th for his third hit and pinch-runner Mike McCoy scampered to third when Lowe’s pickoff attempt got past first baseman Eric Chavez and rolled into foul territory up the right-field line. Lowe (8-11) was charged with an error. After a strikeout, Adeiny Hechavarria hit a slow grounder toward third. Jayson Nix charged the ball and McCoy waited until Nix threw to first, then dashed home. Darren Oliver (3-2) pitched two hitless innings for the win, Toronto’s first at Yankee Stadium since May 23, 2011. RANGERS 6, RAYS 5 Adrian Beltre was 3 for 3 with a home run and four RBIs, including the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fifth inning, for Texas. Elvis Andrus scored on Beltre’s single to give the AL West leaders a seriesopening win. Nelson Cruz also homered and Mike Olt added an RBI for Texas. Derek Holland (9-6)

got the win, giving up five runs three earned - and six hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked one. Relievers Alexi Ogando and Mike Adams, and closer Joe Nathan struck out six of the nine hitters they faced in working perfect seventh, eighth and ninth innings. Nathan earned his 23rd consecutive save opportunity and 26th this season. Tampa Bay ace David Price (16-5) snapped a stretch of 12 consecutive quality starts in which he had pitched at least seven innings. The lefty, who entered with a majors-low 2.28 ERA

MARINERS 1, TWINS 0 Felix Hernandez struck out five in a five-hitter and Eric Thames hit a homer in the eighth inning for Seattle. Hernandez (13-5), who picked up his 23rd career complete game and ninth shutout, hasn’t lost a decision since June 12. Franklin Gutierrez went 1 for 2 with two stolen bases in his first game since June 28 because of a concussion. Liam Hendriks (0-7) gave up three hits and struck out six in nine innings, his only blemish the homer to Thames. Joe Mauer had a single and Justin Morneau had a triple for

NEW YORK: Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar leaps over New York Yankees’ Russell Martin (55) to force out Martin at second base in the fourth inning of a baseball game on Monday, Aug 27, 2012 at Yankee Stadium in New York. —AP and tied for the league lead for victories, didn’t make it to the fifth, giving up six runs on 10 hits in four innings. In eight career regular-season starts against the Rangers, Price is 1-3 with a 6.04 ERA. In four starts at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, his ERA is 10.26.

the Twins, who have lost 14 of their last 17. Hernandez threw a perfect game against Tampa Bay on Aug. 15 and has allowed one earned run or fewer 16 times this season. RED SOX 5, ROYALS 1 In Boston, Daisuke Matsuzaka

MLB results/standings Boston 5, Kansas City 1; St. Louis 4, Pittsburgh 3; Baltimore 4, Chicago White Sox 3; Toronto 8, NY Yankees 7 (11 innings); Oakland 3, Cleveland 0; Texas 6, Tampa Bay 5; Milwaukee 15, Chicago Cubs 4; Seattle 1, Minnesota 0; Colorado 10, LA Dodgers 0; Cincinnati 3, Arizona 2; San Diego 3, Atlanta 0.

NY Yankees Baltimore Tampa Bay Boston Toronto

American League Eastern Division W L PCT 74 54 .578 70 57 .551 3.5 70 58 .547 4 62 67 .481 12.5 57 70 .449 16.5

Central Division Chicago White Sox 71 56 .559 Detroit 69 58 .543 2 Kansas City 56 71 .441 15 Cleveland 55 73 .430 16.5 Minnesota 52 76 .406 19.5

Texas Oakland LA Angels Seattle

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Western Division 76 52 .594 70 57 .551 5.5 66 62 .516 10 62 67 .481 14.5

Washington Atlanta Philadelphia NY Mets Miami

National League Eastern Division 77 50 .606 73 56 .566 5 61 67 .477 16.5 59 69 .461 18.5 58 71 .450 20

Cincinnati St. Louis Pittsburgh Milwaukee Chicago Cubs Houston

Central Division 78 52 .600 71 57 .555 6 68 60 .531 9 60 67 .472 16.5 49 78 .386 27.5 40 88 .313 37

San Francisco LA Dodgers Arizona San Diego Colorado

Western Division 71 57 .555 69 60 .535 2.5 64 65 .496 7.5 60 70 .462 12 52 75 .409 18.5

returned from the disabled list with his best start of the season and Cody Ross drove in three runs for Boston. The Red Sox took three of four games in the wraparound series and won for the second time in three games since trading Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford in a salary-dumping, nine-player deal to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday. Jacoby Ellsbury had a solo homer and double for Boston, which opens a ninegame West Coast trip Tuesday night against the Los Angles Angels. Matsuzaka (1-3), on the DL since early July with a strained neck muscle, gave up an unearned run and five hits, walking two and striking out six over seven innings in just his sixth start of the season. Luke Hochevar (7-12) gave up five runs and eight hits in his second complete game this season. ORIOLES 4, WHITE SOX 3 Nate McLouth hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning and Lew Ford also connected as Baltimore ended Chicago’s sixgame winning streak. It was the franchise-record 13th consecutive one-run win for the Orioles, who trailed 2-1 in the sixth and 3-2 in the eighth. After the White Sox went up 3-2 in the eighth against Pedro Strop (5-2) on a run-scoring infield single by Adam Dunn, Baltimore answered in the bottom half against Brett Myers (2-2). Mark Reynolds drew a one-out walk and McLouth drove a 1-0 pitch far over the wall in right-center. It was his third RBI of the game and second home run since the Orioles purchased his contract from Triple-A Norfolk on Aug 4. Ford hit his first major league homer since July 29, 2007, with Minnesota against Cleveland. After that season, Ford didn’t return to the majors until being summoned by the Orioles in late July. Jim Johnson pitched the ninth for his 40th save in 43 opportunities. ATHLETICS 3, INDIANS 0 In Cleveland, Brett Anderson gave up two hits, one on a questionable call, over seven innings for Oakland, which earned its ninth win in 11 games. The Indians lost starter Roberto Hernandez (0-3) after 2 1-3 innings with a sprained right ankle and fell to 5-24 since July 27. Anderson (2-0), in his second start since returning from Tommy John surgery in July 2011, retired the first 13 batters until Michael Brantley was ruled safe with an infield hit in the fifth inning. T V replays showed that umpire Jerry Meals missed the call. Grant Balfour worked the ninth for his 15th save in 17 chances. Ryan Cook worked a perfect eighth, striking out two, as Oakland recorded its 13th shutout of the season. Cleveland was blanked for the seventh time. Brent Lillibridge opened the sixth with a double for Cleveland’s first legitimate hit. —AP

Yao calls on China to invest in sport BEIJING: Former NBA all-star Yao Ming has called for China’s school system to invest more in sport at the grassroots level, claiming much was needed to be done in his homeland to prevent further stagnation. “The growth of sport’s status in school life in our country has halted now,” the giant former Houston Rockets center told the China Daily newspaper. “We should start over and let it go beyond just a function (for) keeping (students) fit.” With the inaugural season of Yao’s “Foundation Hope” elementary school basketball program recently concluded, he has been making a considerable push of his own. Yao’s foundation had reached some

27,000 students from 47 schools in 17 cities nationwide, providing sports facilities and basketball coaching, according to the China Daily. “The development of school sports activities in China remains small,” said Yao, who retired from the professional game last year after two seasons battling serious foot injuries. “Sport still lags far behind studies in terms of importance in students’ school lives,” said the 31-year-old, who became one of Asia’s biggest sports personalities while in the NBA. “Sport should play a much bigger role in school life for kids than it does now. By taking part in sporting activities, kids can be more confident and happier.” Chinese students face heavy pressure

from the national college entrance exams and most of the nation’s high schools bump sport from the curriculum in the run-up to the tests. Yao, however, wants China to follow the American blueprint. “When I remember primary school, the first thing popping into my mind is the playground,” said Yao, who established his foundation after the deadly Sichuan earthquake in 2008. He has helped build 14 schools around the devastated area and insisted balls, rackets and baskets should be supplied for the students, along with books. “I expect to organize similar events to (fill) my campus with sports activities,” Yao added. —Reuters


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

sp orts

ICC making progress on tests for bowlers MELBOURNE: The International Cricket Council is a step closer to introducing biomechanical testing for bowlers with suspect delivery actions in match conditions. The ICC and the Maryleborne Cricket Club, the traditional custodian of the game, are working with an Australian scientific consortium to develop technology which can be worn during matches by bowlers who have been reported for suspect bowling actions. Biochemist Marc Portus, who is leading the project, told Australian media the technology - similar to that used in IPads and car crash impact detection systems - could be ready for use in first-class matches within two years. Bowlers who competed in the under-19 World Cup have tested the technology at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra. It uses sensors on either side of the elbow joint to measure the degree of elbow flexion, with details transmitted wirelessly to scientists in the stadium or practice facilities. “Testing in a lab does bring some limitations, and one of them is that it’s very hard to recreate the environment of elite match play,” Portus told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper. “With words exchanged between players, a batter getting on top of a bowler, when it’s hot on day five of a test match and you need two wickets to win, it’s almost impossible to recreate that in a lab environment. “So this is a way to bridge that gap.” Portus said using the technology would help identify problems at a junior level so a bowling action can be corrected before a player gets anywhere close to international cricket. The ICC said the second stage of the three-phase project will conclude late next year and is concerned with the technology’s measurement methods and precision against current laboratory conditions. The last phase will start in 2014 and focus on making the technology more comfor table for

players as well as maximizing wireless data transmission. “The ICC is keen to see this technology implemented in elite cricket and believes it will be a significant stride forward in detecting illegal bowling actions in match conditions,” ICC chief executive David R ichardson said. Illegal bowling ac tions, relating to bending and straightening the arm beyond defined limits and often referred to as ‘throwing’ or ‘chucking,’ have long caused controversies and involved some of the biggest names in the game. Muttiah Muralitharan, who retired with a world record 800 test wickets, under went ex tensive testing as debate swirled about his unusual delivery action. In 2004, he went to Perth, Australia, for extensive tests under laboratory conditions to determine if his action was legal. The eventual repor t contained meticulous analysis of the movement of his wrist, forearm, elbow and shoulder as he bowled. The conclusion was that because of a congenital deformity of the elbow and Muralitharan’s unusually quick arm speed, what looked like a throw, was in fact an optical illusion. In calls which almost curtailed his career, Muralitharan was twice noballed in Australia for throwing - once in a test and once in a one-day international - during Sri Lanka’s 1995-96 tour. His bowling action was cleared again by the ICC in 1999, after he had been no-balled on the 1998-99 tour of Australia. His doosra - a delivery that turns the other way - was also questioned in 2004. Muralitharan said his career nearly ended after the 199596 controversy and that he even considered switching to legspin bowling. But when he retired, he said that he had replied to all his critics through technology and testing, saying it was unfair to judge the legalit y of a bowler ’s ac tion using the naked eye. — AFP

HYDERABAD: Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni gestures as the third day of the first Test match between India and New Zealand is delayed due to rain at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad. — AFP

IPL loses title sponsor NEW DELHI: The Indian Premier League has lost its title sponsor after real estate giant DLF declined to renew its five-year deal, a company spokesman said yesterday. “We have just stepped off the IPL,” DLF group executive director Rajeev Talwar told the Press Trust of India. “Sponsoring the IPL over the last five years was a strategic decision wherein we wanted to establish our brand presence across India as the leading real estate player. “We believe that we have been able to achieve the desired objectives to a great extent.” DLF reportedly paid $50 million to be the title sponsor of the glitzy Twenty20 league for the first five years, a deal which ended with the 2012 edition in March-April. The last date for renewal of the contract was July 28, Talwar added. There was no immediate comment from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which owns the IPL. T20 SUPREMACY A swashbuckling West Indies and a talented Pakistan will pose the biggest threats to India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s dream of lifting his second Twenty20 World Cup title, according to former skipper Sourav Ganguly. Under Dhoni, India won the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007 and lifted the 50-over World Cup on home soil last year. Boasting a side packed with exciting stroke-makers, India will head to Sri Lanka for the Sept 18-Oct 7 tournament as one of the favourites but Ganguly remains wary of the West Indies’ skills in the shortest form of the sport. “They are a powerhouse,” Ganguly, who will be part of the commentary team in Sri Lanka, told reporters yesterday. “Guys like Chris Gayle, (Kieran) Pollard, Dwayne Smith, Andre Russel, and they got (off-spinner) Sunil Narine. He can be a match-winner. “They also

have a good fast bowling attack with Fidel Edwards and Kemar Roach - all bowling at 90 miles an hour,” Ganguly added as former India player Sanjay Manjrekar, sitting next to him, nodded in approval. “ West Indies is a strong Twenty20 team because they have got the best four Twenty20 players in the world,” said Manjrekar, who played 37 tests and 74 one-day internationals from 1987-1996. Ganguly also talked up Pakistan’s chances of claiming a second Twenty20 global title to add to their victory in the tournament three years ago. “They have got bundles of talent. If they get going, they can be very dangerous,” he said. Manjrekar reckoned Pakistan, who have not hosted international cricket since 2009 because of the volatile security situation at home, would give a good account of themselves in Sri Lanka. “The thing with Pakistan is that because there is not enough cricket happening back home, they are not in the spotlight very often. Come an ICC event, that ’s Pakistan’s oppor tunity to show the world what they are made of. They have always been the show-off of world cricket. Pakistanis have that thing about showing off their skills. Shoaib Akhtar, you know, wanted to show off his bowling. “This is the time for them to get the attention of the cricketloving public and they would want to seize it.” Both former players, however, still expect India to stave off every challenge and go on to win the title. “India always have a great chance, especially in limited-overs cricket. They have got the players who can clear the boundary with ease and they will be playing in the subcontinent,” Ganguly enthused. “ The Indian team has got plenty of match winners... and if the pitch is conducive to spin, Dhoni is a master of using his slow bowlers,” Manjrekar added. — Agencies

SOUTHAMPTON: England’s Ian Bell hits a ball from South Africa’s Robin Peterson during their one day international cricket match at the Ageas Bowl cricket ground, Southampton, England yesterday. — AP

Amla worsens England agony SOUTHAMPTON: Hashim Amla inflicted another record-breaking hundred upon England with a majestic innings of 150 in the second one - day international in Southampton yesterday. Amla’s 150, the highest individual score in one-day matches between the two countries, was the cornerstone of South Africa’s 287 for five. His tenth hundred at this level surpassed team-mate Graeme Smith’s 141 in Centurion three years ago as the largest solo effort in South AfricaEngland one-dayers and was also Amla’s personal best, overtaking the 140 he made against Bangladesh in Benoni in 2008. England’s attack must be sick of the sight of Amla, who made a South Africa record 311 not out in the first Test at The Oval last month and another hundred as the Proteas sealed the three-match series 2-0 with victory at Lord’s just over a week ago. That South Africa didn’t make 300 was largely down to Nottinghamshire spinners Graeme Swann, who took two for 50 in his 10 overs, and recalled left-armer Samit Patel, unlucky to go wicketless in a 10-over spell costing 47. Opener Amla was in sight of the rare distinction of carrying his bat in a one-day match when, two balls before the end of the innings, he uppercut fast bowler Steven Finn to Tim Bresnan. The ball before the stylish Amla gave himself room to work the ball down to third man for a four that took him to 150. Amla faced 124 balls with 16 boundaries but was missed on 92 when wicket-keeper Craig Kieswetter failed to hold a difficult but catchable legside chance off Finn. After South Africa captain AB de Villiers won the toss in this day/night clash, the Proteas managed 11 runs in the first five overs before upping the tempo in the second of a fivematch series after Friday’s washout in Cardiff. Patel, in for Chris Woakes, was driven through the covers for four by Amla. The opening partnership ended when left-hander Smith charged at first change Tim Bresnan and top-edged a pull, caught by Kieswetter, for 52 with five fours. After JP Duminy and Dean Elgar, bowled by a wellflighted Swann delivery, both fell cheaply, de Villiers- dropped on one by Kieswetterhelped Amla add 65 before he too was bowled by Swann. Francois du Plessis then played second fiddle to Amla in a fifth-wicket stand of 55 in 36 balls. — AFP

SOUTHAMPTON: South Africa’s Hashim Amla is hit by a ball from England’s Steven Finn during their one day international cricket match at the Ageas Bowl cricket ground in Southampton, England yesterday. — AP

SCOREBOARD SOUTHAMPTON: First innings scoreboard in the second one-day international between England and South Africa at the Ageas Bowl yesterday. South Africa G. Smith c Kieswetter b Bresnan 52 H. Amla c Bresnan b Finn 150 JP Duminy run out (Anderson/Kieswetter) 14 D. Elgar b Swann 15 AB de Villiers b Swann 28 F. du Plessis not out 22 W. Parnell not out 0 Extras (b1, lb4, wl) 6 Total (5 wkts, 50 overs) 287 Fall of wickets: 1-89 (Smith), 2-121 (Duminy), 3-

165 (Elgar), 4-230 (De Villiers), 5-285 (Amla) Did not bat: R McLaren, R Petersen, M Morkel, L Tsotsobe Bowling: Anderson 9-0-53-0 (1w); Finn 10-0-59-1; Bresnan 8-0-61-1; Swann 10-0-50-2; Patel 10-047-0; Bopara 3-0-12-0. England: Alastair Cook (capt), Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott, Ravi Bopara, Eoin Morgan, Craig Kieswetter (wkt), Tim Bresnan, Samit Patel, Graeme Swann, Steven Finn, James Anderson.

New Zealand bowling coach Wright resigns

Damien Wright

LONDON: New Zealand’s bowling coach Damien Wright will step down after the World Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka next month after just a year in the job, New Zealand Cricket (NZC ) said yesterday. Australian Wright said prolonged absences from his family was behind the reason to leave. “I have really enjoyed working with the New Zealand team and it was a tough decision to leave the position,” Wright said in a NZC statement. “The decision is related to time away from my family and a need to be based closer to home.” Wright replaced Allan Donald last September after the South African returned home to join Gary Kirsten’s coaching setup with the national side. The 37-year-old Wright played first-class cricket for 15 years, taking 406 wickets in 123 matches before retiring in 2011. “It has been a privilege to work with current crop of bowlers and I’m proud of the progression they have made over the past year,” he said. Wright’s resignation comes on the heels of former New Zealand captain John Wright’s decision not to extend his contract as head coach after the tour of the West Indies ended earlier this month. John Wright was replaced by Mike Hesson, who is leading the side on their tour in India, with the second test against MS Dhoni’s side beginning on Friday. NZC said they would advertise for a new bowling coach later this week. — Reuters


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

sp orts

Patchy putting underpins Tiger’s puzzling year NEW YORK: In many ways, Tiger Woods’ 2012 PGA Tour campaign is the most perplexing of his entire career. While the former world number one has triumphed three times on the US circuit this season - more than anyone else - he has often faded over the weekend after being in prime position to push on for victory. In his latest slide, Woods trailed by just three shots after two rounds at last week’s Barclays tournament in Farmingdale, New York, before struggling with his putter as he closed with scores of 72 and 76. He was so frustrated by his final-round performance at Bethpage Black, where he won the 2002 US Open, that he left the course without speaking to any media outlet. The Tiger Woods of old, especially when in his regal pomp of the late 1990s and early 2000s, was considered a supreme closer and arguably the best pressure putter of all time from inside 15 feet. He relentlessly piled up 14 major titles and, in part because of his unprecedented aura of dominance, he frequently benefited in final rounds as his closest rivals wilted under the spotlight. However the 2012 Tiger model is a surprisingly unpredictable

one. Having ended a two-and-a-halfyear title drought on the PGA Tour with a five-shot win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, it seemed the floodgates would once again open for the greatest player of his generation. For the first time in at least half a decade, Woods was injury-free and he appeared to have successfully completed the latest rebuild of his swing this time with coach Sean Foley. As ever, the majors would prove to be the most accurate benchmark of his progress but, very surprisingly, Woods ended this season with the cupboard entirely bare in that department. Though he recorded a tie for third at the British Open, he spectacularly faded at the US Open and the PGA Championship after reaching the weekend at both events in a tie for the lead. WEEKEND STRUGGLES Perhaps even more remarkably, he failed to break par in a weekend round at any of the four majors this year. “I was there at the US Open after two days and I was right there with a chance at the British Open,” Woods said while preparing for the PGA

S Africa launches 2 new European Tour events JOHANNESBURG: South Africa will host the most events on the 2013 European Tour after the Sunshine Tour announced two new co-sanctioned tournaments yesterday. The Nelson Mandela Championship, to be staged in association with the former South African president’s Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, will be held from Dec 6-9 and the Tshwane Open will take place from Feb 28 to March 3. The two new events bring to six the number of tournaments to be played in South Africa in next year’s Race to Dubai. The Tshwane Open at the Els Club Copperleaf will have prizemoney of 1.5 million euro ($1.9 million), meaning the winner will gain a two-year exemption on the European Tour. The purse for the Nelson Mandela Championship has yet to be finalized but Sunshine Tour executive director Selwyn Nathan said it would

be “a minimum of one million euro”. “I’m particularly excited that we have another two European Tour co-sanctioned events as it shows the confidence one of the two major tours in the world has in us,” Nathan said. The venue for the Nelson Mandela Championship has yet to be finalized but Nathan said it would be held at one of two coastal courses - the Royal Durban Golf Club or Humewood in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. The Tshwane municipality’s executive mayor, Kgosientso Ramokgopa, said his council were guaranteeing 44 million rand ($5.24 million) per annum for their tournament until the Sunshine Tour could find sufficient sponsors. The Sunshine Tour also announced that the prizemoney for the Alfred Dunhill Championship, to be played at Leopard Creek from Dec. 13-16, has been increased to 1.5 million euro. — Reuters

Asian ‘major’ within five years: New CEO SINGAPORE: The Asian Tour is in talks to set up an “iconic” golf event to rival the majors as early as 2015, its new chief executive has revealed. Mike Kerr, who took up his post in March, made the statement as he laid out an ambitious vision which sees the circuit expanding to match the current size of the European Tour in the next 10 years. “Yes, I think we can have an iconic event in Asia. There are some plans that we have that we’re already in the market talking about,” he said at the Asian Tour offices in Singapore. “We’re working on it... let’s say definitely within the next three to five (years).” The so-called “fifth major” is considered the next frontier of Asian golf after years of rapid growth brought new, world-class tournaments and pumped up prize money and standards. Both the WGC-HSBC Champions in China, with a purse of US$7 million, and the US$6 million Singapore Open, have been informally touted as “Asia’s major”. Golf’s majors-the US Masters, US Open, British Open and the PGA Championship-have slightly larger purses, but also prestige and tradition built up over generations. “The majors are not going to move. I think I can say that for certain,” said Kerr, in his first interview with an international press agency since joining the tour. “I’m not sure whether it would ever be confirmed as a major or supported in that way but I think there certainly is room for an iconic event in Asia that would be at a similar level to a major event, which the players can support and which we can build up over time. “Golf is still in its infancy in this part of the world. The majors have hundreds of years of tradition, which is what sets them apart from every other event.” The former ESPN Star Sports TV executive said Asia was not “burdened” by the “old boys network” in Europe and America, enabling it to do things differently-including for example a tournament where all players wear shorts. He predicted the Asian Tour would be offering similar total prize money to the European Tour in a decade, rising from 26 to about 40 tournaments a year with potential new partnerships in the Middle East and the former Soviet bloc. But he did not expect friction with the European and PGA tours, despite their increasing focus on Asia. “I think there’s plenty of opportunity and I don’t foresee that there’s going to be a major crisis or conflict between us and the two major tours in the world,” Kerr said. And he dismissed the challenge of rival circuit OneAsia, which

sprang up in 2009 bringing together the Chinese, South Korean and Australasian tours, and lists 15 events on its schedule for this year. “I don’t think that their fundamentals are sound, I don’t think that they have the right foundation and I don’t think they’re a long-term, ongoing proposition. The Asian Tour is,” said Kerr. “OneAsia itself... is a commercial venture, nothing more than that,” he added. Kerr said the Asian Tour also stands to benefit from golf’s reintroduction to the Olympics in 2016, when players will gain entry through their world rankings. He said not only does the Asian Tour have more events than OneAsia, but they also carry more rankings points. “The only way to get into the Olympics is to gain world-ranking points. And the only realistic way to gain enough world-ranking points in the Asia-Pacific market is to be involved with the Asian Tour,” he said. “There is simply no other way to do it... It just seems practically impossible to get to the Olympics without playing on the Asian Tour.” This could smooth the Tour’s attempts to renew ties with Asia’s biggest market, China, which is under OneAsia’s remit. “The CGA (China Golf Association) have basically refused to cooperate with the Asian Tour over the past couple of years,” said Kerr. “However, we will continue to talk with the CGA and I’m certainly very confident that we will be back in China.” He was unimpressed by the latest headline-grabbing golf show in China, where Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will face off in a one-day matchplay event in October. “I think it helps to profile golf, but does it help Asia? Does it help China? No,” he said. — AFP

KOH SAMUI: This handout photo shows Mike Kerr, chief executive officer of the Asian Tour golf circuit. — AFP

Championship. “ Things have progressed, but still, not winning a major championship doesn’t feel very good.” In this month’s PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, Woods was tied for the 36-hole lead with Fiji’s former world number one Vijay Singh and Swede

Carl Pettersson before losing momentum. Woods felt he had ultimately paid the price for a relaxed strategy going into the third round where he bogeyed four of his first eight holes. “I was right there ... but I came out with probably the wrong attitude,” the 36-

FARMINGDALE: Tiger Woods lines up a putt on the first hole green during the final round of The Barclays at the Black Course at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, New York. — AFP

year-old American said. “And I was too relaxed, and tried to enjoy it, and that’s not how I play. I play intense and full systems go. That cost me.” The cold black-and-white of certain key statistics underlines the perplexing nature of Woods’ 2012 PGA Tour campaign. On the plus side, he leads the money list with earnings of $4,989,158 and, perhaps most crucially of all, he tops the scoring averages with 69.02. However, with the putter, he lies only 41st in strokes gained-his performance relative to the rest of the tournament field. With putts between five and 10 feet, he languishes 79th in the PGA Tour charts and, from between 10 and 15 feet, he lies a staggering 145th. Going into this week’s Deutsche Bank Championship at Norton, Massachusetts, world number three Woods is well-positioned for a fourth victory of the season at a venue where he won in 2006. This is the second of the PGA Tour’s four FedExCup playoff events and Woods occupies third spot in the standings as he prepares for Friday’s opening round. He just needs to get that putter, once a lethal weapon for him, firmly back on his side. — Reuters

Ryder Cup team is perfect: Gallacher LONDON: Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal was right to ignore triple major winner Padraig Harrington’s claims for a wildcard pick and his 12-man team is just about perfect, said former skipper Bernard Gallacher. Olazabal picked Belgian rookie Nicolas Colsaerts and Englishman Ian Poulter as his wildcard choices on Monday for the biennial event against United States in Illinois on Sept 28-30. The pair join automatic selections Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell, Peter Hanson, Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer, Francesco Molinari and Paul Lawrie in a powerful lineup. “It’s a ver y strong side,” Gallacher told Reuters in an interview. “They are the best 12 players in Europe - it’s perfect. “There were absolutely no surprises. Jose Maria reduced the amount of wildcard picks from three to two this time round and the strong message he gave was that he wanted the players to play their way into the team. “That’s exactly what’s happened. Martin Kaymer was in the 10th and final automatic position, Colsaerts was number 11 and the next highest player in the world rankings not already in the side was Poulter,” said Gallacher who led Europe in 1991, 1993 and 1995. The 63-year-old Scot echoed the sentiments of Spaniard Olazabal when he said Harrington was too low on the Ryder Cup points list - at number 19 - to be picked. The Irishman has performed well in two of this

year’s major championships, finishing fourth at the US Open and eighth at the Masters, but his form has not been good enough in the regular events. “Jose Maria has actually gone straight down the points list those that are playing good golf have been selected and Harrington was just too far down,” said Gallacher. “Padraig has three majors under his belt

there but Jose Maria gave clear signals throughout his captaincy he was going to stick very much to his qualifying list.” ( To see Nespresso Trophy ambassador Olazabal in action visit http://tinyurl.com/Olazabal-Film) Gallacher, who lost his first two Ryder Cup matches in charge before finally prevailing on American soil at Oak Hill in 1995,

GLENEAGLES: European Ryder Cup team wildcard selection Nicolas Colsaerts (left) and team captain Jose Maria Olazabal are pictured during a press conference at Gleneagles Hotel, Gleneagles. European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal named England’s Ian Poulter and Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts as his two wild-card picks on Monday. — AP but he’s probably tried to concentrate more on doing well in the majors rather than in regular tournaments week in, week out where you earn your Ryder Cup points. GARCIA RESURGENCE “In a way he’s a bit unlucky

said the captain would have been mightily relieved to see fellow countr yman Garcia’s recent return to form. Garcia won the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina two weeks ago and looked on course for back-to-back victories on the US Tour until a poor final

round at the Barclays Classic on Sunday meant he had to be content with a share of third place. “The last piece in the jigsaw was Sergio because he could have caused Jose Maria problems,” Gallacher said. “I’m sure Jose Maria said to himself, ‘That’s absolutely great, let’s go and have a glass of champagne - he’s a guy I really want in my team’. “He didn’t want to have to pick Sergio as a wildcard - you always want your best players to qualify.” The Scot said the Ryder Cup holders would be concerned by the mediocre form of German Kaymer who chose to miss the last points-counting event, the Johnnie Walker Championship in Scotland last week, to work on his game. “That’s the only disappointment but Jose Maria has been on the phone to him and he’s pleased he’s working on his game and is going to be playing in a few tournaments before the Ryder Cup,” said Gallacher. “Martin’s not the same player he was a couple of years ago when he was US PGA champion and world number one, that’s for sure, but he’s won enough money in this campaign to qualify automatically. “Having only one worry out of 12 players is okay,” Gallacher added. “In my time we had worries about a number of players. “I think it’s just a confidence thing with Martin. Sometimes you can just get on a bad run, but with a young player like Kaymer confidence can turn around ver y quickly.” — Reuters

Cowboys put guidelines in place for Dez Bryant IRVING: The Dallas Cowboys are trying to provide some guidance for Dez Bryant, the talented young receiver who has had issues off the field. Coach Jason Garrett wouldn’t go into specifics Monday or describe potential discipline for not abiding by the rules, but he said the Cowboys (No 15 in AP Pro32) want to support Bryant and his family. “What we’ve tried to do is come up with a plan for Dez like we would for any player who we feel like needs our support, and help him be his best as a player and as a person,” Garrett said. “And the accountability factor is an important part of that with him and with anybody on our football team.” According to numerous reports, Bryant will attend weekly counseling sessions, have a full-time security team and not be allowed to consume alcohol or attend strip clubs. The security members will drive Bryant to team functions, including practices and games, and the receiver will also be subject to a curfew. Bryant was arrested in July for allegedly assaulting his mother, who has since said she doesn’t want authorities to pursue charges against him. The Dallas County district attorney’s office has yet to make a decision about misdemeanor family violence charges. There is still the chance that the NFL could discipline Bryant, who is going into his third season with the Cowboys. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told The Associated Press in an email Monday that the league “will review the facts once the case is resolved by the court.” He said the team’s guidelines for Bryant will have nothing to do with league discipline. “We’re going to control what we can control as an organization, and Dez has done everything that we’ve asked him to do up to this point both on and off the football field,” Garrett said. “Any decision about that is out of

our control.” Despite other off-the-field issues in the past, Bryant was having a solid offseason until his arrest two weeks before the start of training camp. Bryant’s adviser, David Wells, and the player’s attorney, Royce West, didn’t return messages to the AP. “We have some things in place and we are still in the process of working out the rest,” Wells told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in a story published Monday. “We are all working together to accomplish some things to help him succeed.” Bryant hasn’t been available to speak to reporters since the start of training camp because of his pending legal issues. He didn’t talk in the locker room after practice Monday. In 2008, the Cowboys had a security detail in place for Adam “Pacman” Jones, who had missed all of the previous season with Tennessee and was coming off a 17-month NFL suspension because of repeated legal troubles. Six weeks after being reinstated by the NFL, Jones was involved in an alcoholrelated scuffle with one of his bodyguards at a private party in Dallas and was suspended for six games. He was cut by the Cowboys after the season. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones waited a couple of weeks after Bryant was arrested, and a couple of days after the team got to California for training camp, to talk with Bryant. The owner, who called it a serious situation, said he was disappointed and didn’t want to be emotional when talking to Bryant. Jones said then that Bryant had already been involved in the team’s counseling program. Bryant surrendered to authorities July 16, two days after his mother, Angela, made a 911 call about the alleged assault. The 23year-old receiver is only 14 years younger than she is. There had been some trouble for Bryant even before the Cowboys drafted

Bryant with the 24th overall pick in 2010. Bryant missed nearly his entire last college season at Oklahoma State because of an NCAA suspension for lying about having dinner with Deion Sanders. He ran up hundreds of thousands of dollars in bills on game tickets and jewelry, and was sued by people who said they were creditors. Last year, he was kicked out of an upscale Dallas mall for wearing sagging pants. In January, he was reportedly involved in a fight with the rapper Lil Wayne at a Miami nightclub. Bryant said during the offseason that he was spending more time with the playbook, watching more film and concentrating on his conditioning. There were no issues until the incident with his mother, and haven’t been any known problems since then. During the early portion of practice Monday open to reporters, Bryant was initially catching some passes from backup quarterback Rudy Carpenter. Bryant, who has been dealing with right knee tendinitis, then did some rehab work with a trainer alongside tight end Jason Witten (spleen). Bryant and the most of the Cowboys starters aren’t expected to play in Wednesday night’s preseason finale against Miami. That comes a week before their regular-season opener at the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants. Teammate Marcus Spears said the guidelines were between Bryant and team ownership, but that he was “pretty sure” they were on the same page. “Whatever they’re doing, they’re doing the right things,” backup quarterback Kyle Orton said. “He’s a special player. He’s one of those guys, you find ways to get him the ball. ... You want to give him a lot of touches because one of those touches is going to be a special play, and there’s very few of those guys around.”— AP


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

S P ORT S

Valcke inspects World Cup host cities SAO PAULO: FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke is back in Brazil to continue his tour of the host cities for the 2014 World Cup. Valcke is visiting the jungle city of Manaus yesterday and the western city of Cuiaba on Wednesday. He will end his trip by participating in a board meeting of the local organizing committee tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro. “The visits are very important not only to see the stadiums and the general infrastructure progress but also to be able to discuss with the host cities and states representatives our joint mission, as they are providing the essential playing field for the teams and

their fans,” Valcke said. The secretary general is expected to visit all 12 host cities by the end of the year. He visited Recife, Natal and Brasilia in June, and Salvador and Fortaleza in January. Former Brazil striker Ronaldo and sports ministry official Luis Fernandes, members of the local organizing committee, will be accompanying Valcke in this week’s tour. In Manaus, they will meet with local government officials and visit the 44,000-capacity Amazon Arena, which was 42 percent completed by July, according to organizers. The stadium, which will host four group-stage matches, is expect-

ed to be ready by mid-2013. Located at the heart of the Amazon rain forest, Manaus will be a major attraction in two years, and improving local infrastructure for World Cup visitors is one of the priorities for the local government. Travel logistics will prove a challenge, too, as the northwestern city is one of the most isolated among the 12 World Cup venues. Today, Valcke will check on the progress of preparations in Cuiaba, which will also host four group matches in 2014. The 43,000-capacity Pantanal Arena was 46 percent completed in July, according to local organizers. It is expected to be ready

by the end of this year. Cuiaba is located in the geographic center of the South American continent, exactly in between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It’s also a popular tourist destination because it is located by the savannahs of the Cerrado, the wetlands of the Pantanal and the Amazon rain forest. “This time our journey will take us to two very special places in Brazil, the Amazon and the gateway to the Pantanal, perfect examples of the beautiful diversity of the country,” Valcke said. In October, Valcke is expected to visit the southern city of Porto Alegre and Rio de Janeiro, which will host the World Cup

final at the Maracana Stadium. Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte and Curitiba are expected to be inspected by the end of the year. Sao Paulo will host the World Cup opener. Brazil last hosted the World Cup in 1950. The Maracana will also host the final of next year’s Confederations Cup, the warmup tournament which will also have matches in Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Recife, Salvador and Fortaleza. Recife and Salvador still have to show FIFA that it will be able to host matches in the Confederations Cup. Local officials have until November to show they can be included.— AP

Shanghai could lose Drogba and Anelka

MADRID: Real Madrid’s Kaka attends a training session in Madrid. — AFP

Milan move for Kaka off ROME: AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has blamed the Spanish tax system after revealing that the Italian club’s hopes of bringing Kaka back to the San Siro from Real Madrid are dead in the water. “The deal for Kaka is off, we were waiting to hear from a tax man in Spain and we got his reply today. The deal is off because it is too risky,” Galliani told Milan’s official website. The website continued: “After a year in Italy the so-called ‘Beckham law’ would no longer have applied meaning that Kaka’s taxes would have risen drastically as Italian tax laws state making it virtually impossible for the rossoneri to make such an investment.” Kaka left the Rossoneri for Real Madrid in 2009 for a reported 65 million euros ($81.7m), but has endured a difficult spell in Spain, with injuries and loss of form seeing him fall down the pecking order under Jose Mourinho. The ‘Beckham Law’ was introduced in Spain in 2005 as a means of attracting foreign workers into the country by considerably reducing their tax liabilities. Milan did complete one signing on Tuesday, however, with France under-21 international striker Mbaye Niang, 17,

signing from Caen on a three-year deal. “He can play in every role up front, he will train with (coach Massimiliano) Allegri and the first team and we think he is a good player although I always prefer to wait six months before I make up my mind on new signings.” Niang had also been linked with English Premier League clubs Arsenal-with whom he spent time on trial earlier this summer-and Everton. He made his Ligue 1 debut with Caen aged 16 in April, 2011, and went on to make a total of 30 top-flight appearances, scoring five goals. Meanwhile, French second-tier club Caen yesterday confirmed the sale of 17year-old striker Mbaye Niang to Italian Serie A giants AC Milan. The player has signed a three -year deal with the Rossoneri, with the transfer fee remaining undisclosed. Niang, a French under-21 international, had also been linked with English Premier League clubs Arsenal-with whom he spent time on trial earlier this summer-and Everton. He made his Ligue 1 debut with Caen aged 16 in April, 2011, and went on to make a total of 30 top-flight appearances, scoring five goals.—Agencies

Spanish Supercup Preview

Stuttering Real Madrid seeking Super Cup fillip MADRID: A Spanish Super Cup comeback against arch rivals Barcelona and the arrival of Croatia playmaker Luka Modric may provide the perfect springboard for Real Madrid to kickstart their season. Jose Mourinho’s stuttering side, still seeking a first league win of the season, need to overturn a 3-2 deficit from last week’s first leg when they host Barca at the Bernabeu today. Sunday’s shock 2-1 reverse at city neighbours Getafe came after a 1-1 home draw with Valencia in their opening La Liga game. An angry Mourinho did not mince his words in the post-match news conference, calling it a “horrible” game against Getafe. Real deserved to lose and their performance was unacceptable, the Portuguese said, adding he was particularly concerned by the two goals conceded against Valencia and Getafe from dead-ball situations. “We tried to do our best but we agree with the coach that it wasn’t a good performance,” said captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas. “It’s a game to forget and we have to focus on the next. Now it’s the Super Cup and we’ll have the perfect chance to pick ourselves up and forget these three matches.” Real announced on Monday they had agreed to sign Modric from Tottenham Hotspur on a five-year contract and the 26-year-old Croatian’s creativity and guile are what Mourinho’s side have been missing this term. Modric turned in an excellent performance for

Croatia against Spain in a 1-0 groupphase defeat at Euro 2012 and could be up against Barca’s Spanish internationals including Xavi, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets if he makes his debut today. MESSI GENIUS Barca are riding high at the top of La Liga having won their opening two matches, in large part thanks to the genius of World Player of the Year Lionel Messi. The Argentina forward has scored five times in three games in all competitions including a penalty in the Super Cup first leg and both goals in Sunday’s 2-1 comeback win at Osasuna, his best start to a season. The 25-year-old has netted 31 times in Barca’s last 17 league outings stretching back to last season and is only 17 short of the club’s league scoring record of 190 held by Cesar Rodriguez. “The season could not have started better...the team seems in very good shape,” said Pique. Barca coach Tito Vilanova has a question mark over captain and centre back Carles Puyol after he fractured his cheekbone in the Osasuna game. New signing Alex Song may be handed his debut after the Cameroon midfielder joined from Arsenal last week. Real are waiting on the fitness of Portugal defender Pepe who has not played since sustaining a head injury against Valencia.— Reuters

SHANGHAI: Former Chelsea strikers Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka could be sold by China’s Shanghai Shenhua due to an escalating equity stake row among shareholders, local media reported. Chairman Zhu Jun, who holds a 28.5 percent stake, would only pay his share of the club’s daily costs if his demands for greater control were not met, according to the China Daily. Zhu currently controls the Chinese Super League club along with five state-owned enterprises after becoming a shareholder in 2007. The agreement was that if he invested $23.6 million over two years, his stake would increase to more than 70 percent, the newspaper reported. The Oriental Sports Daily reported that Zhu had ploughed more than $94 million into the club in the past five-and-a-half years, while the state-owned companies had spent nothing. The transfer of shares stalled in 2009 and again last year, a source told the Oriental. “It is annoying and has had a bad effect on many of our tasks,” a club official said. “The biggest problem is that the operation and financing work of the club cannot be carried out normally. “The equity stakes issue has become the biggest bottleneck for the development of Shenhua.” If unresolved, Zhu, who has been signing all the cheques, could decide to cough up just 28.5 percent of the club’s expenditure, potentially affecting player salaries. Colombian Giovanni Moreno missed the match against Shandong Luneng at the weekend amid speculation Shenhua had fallen short on his transfer fee with Argentina’s Racing Club. The futures of Drogba and Anelka could be in the balance if Shenhua fail to make their salary payments. Both reportedly earn over $300,000 a week. Despite investing heavily in big-name foreign players, Shenhua sit 10th in the 16-team Chinese Super League on 27 points from 23 matches. Leaders Guangzhou Evergrande are on 47 points.— Reuters

PAOK Salonika and Rapid hit with suspended bans ATHENS: PAOK Salonika and Rapid Vienna were hit with suspended oneseason bans by UEFA yesterday after crowd violence before a Europa League playoff match. PAOK won the first leg 2-1 last week after clashes between rival fans during the warm-up. The return leg is tomorrow in Vienna. PAOK will have to play their next three European home matches behind closed doors and have been fined 150,000 euros ($190,000). Rapid have been fined 75,000 euros and will have to play their following European home game behind closed doors. “This punishment does not apply to the UEFA Europa League play-off second leg between Rapid and PAOK in Vienna on Thursday 30 August,” said UEFA. The bans are suspended for three years and allow the winner of the playoff to continue in this season’s Europa League. But either of the teams will be suspended immediately should any similar incidents occur within the three-year timeframe. “ The Greek and Austrian clubs have been disqualified for one competition in progress and/or excluded from the next competition for which they qualify in the next five years,” said UEFA. “The bans for the two clubs are each suspended for probationary periods of three years.” Dozens of PAOK fans spilled on to the pitch at the Toumba Stadium after flares were thrown by Rapid fans. Rapid said their fans were subjected to “almost unimaginable hatred” at the game. Both clubs have the right to appeal and PAOK spokesman Kiriakos Kiriakos said the club intended to do so. PAOK were

Matches on TV (Local Timings)

uefa champions league Celtic v Helsingborg ......... 21:00 Aljazeera Sport +3 Fenerbahce v Spartak ...... 21:45 Aljazeera Sport +4 Dynamo v M’adbach ....... 21:45 Aljazeera Sport +6 Lille v Copenhagen .......... 21:45 Aljazeera Sport +5 Cluj v Basel ....................... 21:45 Aljazeera Sport +1

spanish league Real Madrid v Barcelona.... 22:30 Aljazeera Sport +2

charged with “the improper conduct of supporters - crowd disturbances, pitch invasion, setting off and throwing of missiles and fireworks - and insufficient organization”. Rapid were charged with “improper conduct of supporters - crowd disturbances and setting off and throwing of fireworks and missiles”.— Reuters

VILLENEUVE D’ASCQ: Copenhague’s Brazilian forward Cesar Santin controls the ball during a training session at the Grand Stade Stadium in Villeneuve d’Ascq yesterday on the eve of the UEFA Champions League football match Lille vs Copenhague. — AFP

Real desperate for first win MADRID: Luka Modric has little time to adapt to his new surroundings as Real Madrid chases its first victory of the season against Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup today. Madrid signed Modric from Tottenham on Monday, a day after a shock loss at Getafe continued its worst start in nearly 40 years. Madrid trails Barcelona 3-2 going into the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. Madrid spent a reported $44 million on the attacking player with its defense, missing Pepe, struggling and having conceded five goals in two straight losses. Modric has already trained with the team and was included in the squad by Coach Jose Mourinho, who also brought back out-of-favor midfielder Kaka for the first time since the opening round. “I’m ready, but coach will decide if he use me or not,” Modric said. “It’s gonna be tough for me to earn a place but that’s the challenge, the biggest challenge of my career.—Agencies

Didier Drogba

Extras Mourinho: Carvalho must find another club or retire MADRID: Ricardo Carvalho will not be part of Real Madrid’s first team squad this season and will have to decide whether to seek another team or end his career, coach Jose Mourinho said yesterday. The central defender, who turned 34 in May, joined Real from Chelsea in August 2010 but has fallen behind Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Raul Albiol and Raphael Varane in the pecking order. Mourinho said a number of clubs had expressed interest in signing Carvalho and it was up to the player to decide if he wanted to leave or stay until his contract expires at the end of June 2013. “Ricardo is not part of our plans for the season,” Mourinho, who also coached his Portuguese compatriot at Chelsea and Porto, told a news conference previewing Wednesday’s Spanish Super Cup second leg against Barcelona. “He has until the end of the transfer window (on Friday) to decide whether he wants to continue to play football or stay at Real Madrid, meeting his contractual obligations like the honorable person he is and basically end his sporting career. “It’s his decision and his alone.” Bulgaria drop Petrov, Bojinov for qualifiers SOFIA: Experienced Bolton Wanderers winger Martin Petrov and clubless striker Valeri Bojinov have been left out of Bulgaria’s opening 2014 World Cup qualifiers at home to Italy on Sept. 7 and Armenia four days later. Coach Luboslav Penev refused to discuss Petrov’s omission at a news conference but it signals the potential end of his long international career. Petrov has scored 19 goals in 89 internationals since making his debut against England in a Euro 2000 qualifier in 1999. Bojinov, largely ignored by previous coach Lothar Matthaeus, was part of Penev’s previous squads and even scored against Hungary in a friendly in February but the 26-year-old remains clubless after being released by Sporting Lisbon earlier this year. In the absence of Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov, who quit the national team last year and Aston Villa midfielder Stiliyan Petrov, who is battling leukaemia, Penev included four players from Bulgarian champions Ludogorets. Bulgaria have been drawn in qualifying Group B, also containing Denmark, Czech Republic and Malta. More stadium woes for hapless Cagliari CAGLIARI: The venue for Cagliari’s first home Serie A match of the season at the weekend was still unknown on Tuesday after local authorities refused to grant approval for their new home. The Sardinian side have moved to the Is Arenas stadium in Quartu Sant’Elena, around five kilometres outside the city, and planned to stage the inaugural game there against Atalanta on Sunday. But with workmen rushing to finish necessary improvements to the new arena, Cagliari said permission to play the match had not been granted. “Cagliari has suspended, until further notice, the renewal of season tickets as the club has not obtained approval of the police and public safety authorities to provide access (to the public) to the Is Arenas stadium,” a club statement said. Cagliari played some home games last season in distant Trieste on the mainland. Italian media said that Cagliari could either return to Trieste, which is over 1,000 kilometers away and close to the Slovenian border, or stage the game behind closed doors. Cagliari had played at the Stadio Sant’Elia, a 1990 World Cup venue, from 1970 until towards the end of last season when they abandoned the dilapidated arena due to disagreements with the local authorities and growing safety worries.


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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

SPORTS

Founder’s ‘far-fetched’ dreams come true LONDON: When Eva Loeffler volunteered as a ball girl during a rudimentary wheelchair sports tournament for World War II veterans in 1948, she had no idea the contest would grow into the Paralympic Games. Sixty-four years on, Loeffler is honorary mayor of the Paralympic Village, welcoming 4,200 athletes to the world’s second-biggest sports event in terms of participation after the Olympics. Yesterday, the disabled sports movement will return to where it all began Stoke Mandeville Hospital in southern England-for the start of a 24-hour torch relay to the Olympic stadium in east London. Loeffler’s father Ludwig Guttmann, widely hailed as the father of the Paralympics, was a German Jewish neurologist who escaped Nazi Germany. He took his young family to England, where he pioneered the use of sport as therapy for soldiers injured in World War II. “They were young, they were soldiers and they got very bored just sitting around in hospital,” Loeffler, 79 said in an interview just outside the Olympic Park, where the opening ceremony takes place today. “So he started getting them to do sport.” Guttmann had been set to become the top neurosurgeon in the German city of Hamburg when Adolf Hitler’s regime banned Jewish doctors from working in non-Jewish hospitals in

1933. He became the director of a Jewish hospital in what is now Wroclaw in western Poland. After “Kristallnacht”-the co-ordinated antiSemitic attacks across Germany on November 9, 1938, which saw thousands of Jews sent to concentration camps-he saved some 60 people’s lives by admitting them to his hospital. Guttmann’s wife was so worried that he would be dragged off to a camp himself that day, their daughter recalled, that she sent him to work wearing a thick coat and heavy boots. The family finally fled to England in 1939 with the help of a charity, although a number of their relatives were not so lucky.They were among the estimated 1.3 million people, most of them Jews, who perished at the Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in southern Poland. “He realised things were so bad that if we stayed in Germany, we wouldn’t surivive,” Guttmann’s daughter said. Once in England, Guttmann found work setting up the world’s first specialist spinal injuries unit at Stoke Mandeville, treating wounded soldiers. “Nobody else wanted to do it,” said his daughter. “They felt it was a lost cause at the time, because the patients died.” But Guttmann soon set about introducing radical new policies such as turning over patients to prevent bed sores, stopping operations on the

North Korea’s disabled come in from the cold LONDON: North Korea is making its debut at the Paralympic Games, a potential sign of change in a country where, according to activists, disabled people have faced enforced isolation and sterilization. Sixteen-year-old swimmer Rim JuSong, a left arm and left leg amputee, is the reclusive, nuclear-armed nation’s first and only athlete in the London Games, which open today. He will compete in the 50m freestyle S6 event. Nine officials from the North Korean delegation were at the Olympic Park in east London on Monday and said they were looking forward to being involved, although they were unsure about how the teenager would fare. “He has been training very hard but I don’t know what will happen,” Kim SungChol, the team doctor said, adding that Rim, who was given a wildcard entry, had not competed internationally to get to the qualifying standard. “But the main thing is that we are participating to experience the Games, then next time, if we can improve further, then maybe at the next Paralympics (in Rio de Janeiro in 2016) we can be involved more,” he said in English. North Korea won four gold medals and two bronze at this summer’s London Olympics, finishing 20th in the overall medal table to register the country’s best performance since Barcelona in 1992. The athletes returned home to a heroes’ welcome on August 17, with cheering crowds lining the streets of the capital Pyongyang before Premier Choe Yong-Rim and other top officials hosted a banquet reception, according to state media. Vice Premier Kim Yong-Jin said in a speech that the gold medalists had glorified “the great era of Kim Jong-Un”, who

took over as the country’s supreme leader after his father Kim Jong-Il’s death in December 2011. The communist state has featured in international sport for many years, most notably the 1966 football World Cup where they reached the quarter-finals, losing to Eusebio’s Portugal 5-3. But people with physical or intellectual impairments have faced a long history of discrimination. Acute malnutrition, which stunts development in children, has exacerbated rates of disability, according to the United Nations. South Korean activists and human rights reports from the US State Department have alleged in the past that disabled people were quarantined within camps far outside Pyongyang and forcibly sterilized. Charities working in the country, however, have said that attitudes are slowly changing and the government now offers welfare programs for disabled people while there is a para-sports centre in Pyongyang. North Korea’s neighbor and arch-rival, South Korea, first participated at the Paralympics in 1968 and has sent athletes to every Games since, winning 279 medals in total, including 110 gold. Kim Sung-Chol said that North Korea has a number of athletes with a disability, particularly in table tennis and powerlifting, yet all failed to qualify for London. He also said that his compatriots were supportive of para-sport, which could bode well for the future. “Of course we have not organized this (the Paralympics) but people do enjoy it. Koreans really like their sport,” he added. “At the Paralympics, we are first timers. Maybe in the future we can select some excellent athletes and win medals.”— AFP

spinal cord-and encouraging the veterans to play sport. “He had opposition from the patients, nursing staff, from the other doctors and from the administrators because his treatment was totally new and different,” said Loeffler. “But the patients, instead of dying within two years, lived.” The 1948 Stoke Mandeville Games involved just 16 competitors in wheelchairs in a handful of events, including archery, and were timed to coincide with the first post-war Olympics in London the same year. Loeffler helped out by “pulling out arrows, picking up table tennis balls, that sort of thing”, and handed out glasses of beer to the competitors in the evening. “In those days, beer was allowed in hospitals,” Loeffler said with a smile. “There were parties every night.” The games were so popular that they were repeated every year, with the first international event in 1952, when a team of Dutch veterans came to compete. Then in 1960, Guttmann managed to convince organizers of the Rome Olympics to allow 400 wheelchair athletes from 23 countries to compete in a “parallel” event. The Paralympics were born. Loeffler, a trained physiotherapist who has dedicated much of her own life to promoting disability sport, marvels at how the Paralympics have evolved into a cele-

WALES: A handout picture shows double gold-winning cyclist Simon Richardson lighting the cauldron with the Welsh Flame at a ceremony for the London 2012 Paralympic Games torch relay outside Cardiff City Hall in Wales.— AFP bration of world-class athleticism. “When I look at the Paralympics now, I see that they’re not disabled people doing sport,” said Loeffler, one of the original directors of the British Paralympic Association. “They’re sportsmen, just like the Olympians. They just happen to be disabled.” The spritely grandmother-often said her father, who died in 1980, would have been gratified to see ath-

Pistorius shifts focus from 100 meters race LONDON: After his trail-blazing Olympic debut, double-amputee Oscar Pistorius is downplaying his chances of dominating at the Paralympics. The “Blade Runner” says he could struggle to defend his Paralympic title in the 100 meters, opting instead to focus on winning again in the 200 and 400. Speaking ahead of today’s opening ceremony, Pistorius says “I just think I have really moved away from the 100.” World champion Jerome Singleton and world-record holder Jonnie Peacock are Pistorius’ greatest threats in the short sprint. Pistorius ran his first 100 race last weekend in 16 months - clocking 11.1 seconds into a strong headwind. Peacock’s world record is 10.85. The South African says he has to be “realistic and say the 200 and 400 are the events I am probably better suited at.” SECURITY LIGHTER The no-fly zone has shrunk and the missiles have been put to bed, but security around London’s upcoming Paralympic Games will still be tight. Britain’s defense ministry said about

South Africa’s double amputee athlete Oscar Pistorius 3,500 military personnel will be available for venue security duties, if needed, compared with 12,200 during the Summer Olympics. Fighter jets put on standby to intercept threats dur-

letes to train. “Sometimes you want to go out to the field or the gym but you can’t,” Nakhumica said. MALARIA INJECTION Nakhumicha, who became disabled after a bad malaria injection paralyzed her leg at five years old, won gold medals in javelin, shot-put and discus at the 2009 Africa Great Lakes Championships in Kenya. She said growing up disabled had been tough. “Many Kenyan people fear the disabled. They don’t want to become friends,” Nakhumicha said, while looking into the distance where eucalyptus and acacia trees surround the sports centre. “Some make you sad. If somebody looks at you and start feeling fear in you, you think what’s happening with me.” Away from professional competitions, Nakhumicha works as an assistant sports coach with ANDY, a Kenyan charity which uses sports to develop selfesteem, confidence and other skills that disabled individuals often lack in workplace. “I train disabled people,” she said. “When I train them, even I train. Because I’m a champion I want my peers to be champions with me.” Much of ANDY’s work is done in Nairobi’s Kibera slum, one of Africa’s largest, where narrow dirt roads littered with rubbish make movement difficult and life harsh for disabled people. Nakhumicha, who also plays table tennis, wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball, said she wanted her success to change mindsets in Kenya. “Many people in Kenya (don’t) think that disabled people can participate and get gold,” she said. “I love sports. In my life, I think that one is the power from God.” —Reuters

ing the Olympics have returned to normal duties, but the HMS Ocean - the largest ship in the Royal Navy’s fleet - will remain berthed in south London to act as a helicopter landing site and

logistics base. The London organizing committee’s chief executive, Paul Deighton, said yesterday that G4S will provide security at the venues, using up to 5,000 workers.—Agencies

Classification a ‘real challenge’

Kenya’s Nakhumicha eyes Paralympic gold NAIROBI: The desire to make Kenya proud and the need for a pain-free orthopaedic leg brace is driving Kenya’s Paralympic team captain Mary Nakhumicha to target a gold medal at the London Games. Nakhumicha won javelin silver at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics and she will also throw discus and shot-put in the F57 category in London. But she walks with a crude 2,500 shillings ($29.73) metal leg brace which is strapped around her knee with coarse leather. “Sometimes I miss the wheelchair. This caliper is not good. When I walk, I feel it squeezing me,” Nakhumicha said as she struggled to walk up the hill at the end of her training session. “But a good model costs a lot of money. Almost 40-50,000 Kenyan shillings ($480-$590). I will try buy that one when God helps me get gold.” People with disability in Kenya often suffer prejudice and stigma, rendering many unemployable, while disabled-friendly access and services are almost non-existent. Nakhumicha believes a key incentive for Kenyan Paralympians in London is the prize money on offer, with telephone operator Safaricom putting up a 1 million shillings ($11,900) reward for every gold won. She said the prize money would be lifechanging. “At present if you get gold, they promise they have presents for you. I’m trying to do best to get gold and I go to my president to give me my gift,” Nakhumicha said, sitting on a grass field in Nairobi’s Moi International Sport Centre after a heavy training session. Kenyan paralympians also say there is a chronic shortage of funding for sports equipment and transport, which makes it impossible for many disabled ath-

letes like South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius, who became the first double amputee to compete at the Olympics earlier this month. “As early as 1956 he said, ‘I dream of the time when disabled people will take part in the Olympic Games’. No-one but he could have made a statement like that in 1956,” she added. “It was very far-fetched but his dream has come true. I think he would be immensely proud.”—AFP

CARDIFF: Fireworks mark the arrival of the Paralympic flame outside the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, Wales. The 2012 Summer Paralympic Games will be the fourteenth Paralympics and will take place from today to Sept 9. — AP

VIENNA: Can an athlete with two prosthetic legs run the 100m more easily than an athlete with just one? Is it fair to pit athletes with visual impairments against those with learning difficulties but 20/20 vision? Compared to the Olympics, the Paralympics, which begins today, present a real challenge when it comes to deciding who should race with whom. Some of the 20 sports featured at the event are relatively straightforward: football five-a-side, for example, is for athletes with visual impairments and all of them, except the goalkeeper, wear a blindfold to ensure fairness. But other disciplines, like athletics, can be a maze to navigate. Track athletes are represented by the letter T plus a classification number, while field competitors have F then a number. In the 100m for men, there are 15 separate events. Three for athletes with different degress of visual impairment (T11, T12, T13). Five for runners with cerebral palsy or other conditions affecting muscle control and co-ordination (T34, T35, T36, T37, T38)Three for leg and arm amputees (T42, T44, T46) - Four for wheelchair racers (T51, T52, T53, T54) Swimming also uses a letter and number classification to represent the type of stroke and the degree of disability, with the lower the number indicating a more severe impairment. But where there are too few competitors in the same category, athletes with different degrees of disability are sometimes grouped together, which critics say does not create a level playing field. In other cases, events for certain categories are dropped altogether. Austrian wheelchair racer Thomas Geierspichler won Paralympic gold in the 1,500m in Athens in 2004 and followed up with a marathon win-and world record-in Beijing four years later. In London, however, the 36-year-old will only compete in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m, after the T52 class for wheelchair athletes with impairments in both lower and upper limbs was dropped. “Severely impaired athletes must now fight against moderately impaired ones.

That’s unfair. Medal chances have become unrealistic,” Geierspichler was quoted as saying in an interview with the Austria Press Agency. “I’ve been training in long-distance and marathon for 14 years. To find out at such short notice that these don’t exist in my category anymore is insane. “It’s like if you told (Ethiopian former Olympic and 10,000m world champion) Haile Gebrselassie he had to run the 400m.” While the new developments are designed to make races as exciting as possible for the viewing public, Geierspichler argued that “it removes prospects for seriously impaired athletes”. “I can promise I will fight till I drop. But just getting into a final will be an achievement... the time was too short to switch (disciplines).” Even South African sensation Oscar Pistorius, nicknamed “Blade Runner” because he runs on carbon fibre blades, remains controversial ahead of the London Games. Earlier this month, he became the first double-amputee to compete in the Olympics, but at the Paralympics he will be running against single amputees, like T44 100m world record holder Jonnie Peacock. “I find that really quite unfair because obviously he’s got two (prosthetic legs) and the other person can only run as fast as their other leg is going to take them,” athlete Kelly Cartwright, of Australia, told broadcaster ABC. The 23-year-old lost a leg to cancer and plans to compete in the 100m and the long jump in London. “I see him as a really great, fast athlete but also I can see the disadvantage for the other athletes as well.” “The public wants to see fit, model athletes,” added Austrian swimmer Andreas Onea. “Seriously handicapped people in wheelchairs are harder to market than an athlete sprinting on prosthetic legs. But wheelchair racers with two functioning arms can also be top athletes,” he told Austrian daily Der Standard. The 20-year-old has no left arm and is set to compete in the 100m breaststroke, 100m butterfly and 200m individual medley.— AFP


Amla worsens England agony

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Classification a ‘real challenge’

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

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IPL loses title sponsor

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NEW YORK: Maria Sharapova of Russia returns a shot to Melinda Czink of Hungary during their women’s first round match on Day One of the 2012 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. (Inset) Agnieszka Radwanska, of Poland, serves to Nina Bratchikova, of Russia, in the first round of play at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament yesterday. — AP

Radwanska, Ivanovic breeze into 2nd round Federer, Clijsters, Azarenka record straight-sets wins NEW YORK: Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka Radwnaska and former world number one Ana Ivanovic breezed into the US Open second round yesterday as both women look to bury their woeful Flushing Meadows records. Polish second seed Radwanska and Ivanovic, the 12thseeded Serb who was French Open champion in 2008, have never got beyond the fourth round in New York but have been quarter-finalists at the other three majors. Radwanska, whose New York best came in 2007 and who lost in the second round in 2011, began her campaign with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Nina Bratchikova with the Russian’s challenge undone by 28 unforced errors. Next up for Radwanska, who became the first Polish woman to make a Grand Slam final when she lost to Serena Williams at Wimbledon last month, is Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro. “It’s always a bit harder (coming in as second seed) because people expect you to play well and go far in the tournament,” said 23-year-old Radwanska, who only needed 54 minutes to progress yesterday. “But I am just trying not to really think about pressure. I don’t really have many points to defend from last year. At least this is the good thing.” Radwanska also admitted that a right shoulder injury is still causing her some concern. “It’s different when I’m playing matches or I’m just practicing and not pushing that much. I’m really taking care of it right now,” said the Pole, who retired from a first-round match in New Haven last week to protect the injury. Ivanovic-whose fourth-round appearances came in 2007, 2010 and 2011 - defeated 17year-old Ukrainian qualifier Elina Svitolina 6-3,

6-2 and goes on to face Sweden’s Sofia Arvidsson. Svitolina, the 2010 French Open junior champion, was one of nine teenagers in the main draw. Arvidsson reached the second round by seeing off 41-year-old Kimiko Date Krumm of Japan 6-4 6-2. Asian hopes took a further battering when Chinese 32nd seed Peng Shuai tumbled out 7-6 (7/5), 6-1 to Russia’s Elena Vesnina. Meanwhile, Andy Murray’s serve was anything but golden on the opening day of the US Open but the Olympic champion still had too much firepower for Alex Bogomolov Jr and led a parade of favorites into the second round on Monday. The top guns had little trouble making it through their first-round encounters, with world number one Roger Federer, three-times champion Kim Clijsters, and topseeded Victoria Azarenka hardly breaking sweat. Murray was at his best when it mattered most, recording a service break in a healthy nine of 19 chances against the 29-year-old Russian to win 6-2 6-4 6-1 in two hours, 15 minutes. However, the Scotsman, who beat Roger Federer to win the gold medal at the London Games in what he called his best career victory, successfully landed only 49 percent of his first serves in humid, windy conditions against Bogomolov. “I played fairly well from the back of the court. I just would have liked to have served a bit better because I wasn’t getting many free points on my serve,” said Murray, looking for his first grand slam title. “Because of that, there were a lot more rallies. When he’s in a rhythm, he’s tough to break down.” Federer, seeking his sixth title at Flushing Meadows, dismantled American Donald Young 6-3 6-2 6-4 while Clijsters overwhelmed

American teenager Victoria Duval 6-3 6-1. Not to be outdone, Azarenka, seeking her second major title after winning this year’s Australian Open, blew past Russian Alexandra Panova 6-0 6-1 in just 50 minutes. Defending champion Samantha Stosur needed only 51 minutes to blitz Croatia’s Petra Martic 6-1 6-1, while 2006 US Open winner Maria Sharapova blew by Hungary’s Melinda Czink 6-2 6-2. Federer landed 70 percent of his first serves and had seven aces to defeat Young, a former junior champion who snapped a 16-match losing streak in an ATP event in Winston-Salem last week. “It was good considering I played a very talented player who I didn’t know much about and never played against,” said Federer. “First round of the US Open can always bring a lot of pressure with it. “It was very windy out there and extremely humid. I’m just happy I was able to weather the conditions and a dangerous opponent. Overall I’m extremely happy.” Clijsters, who will retire after the tournament, said she was not scared that her match against Duval under the lights at Arthur Ashe Stadium could be her last. “I didn’t really think about that,” said the 29-year-old Belgian. “I was just excited to be out there and to have the opportunity to play in this kind of condition, prime time. “A night match, it’s always a very special occasion. The energy, when you step out on court also after the opening show, the stadium was almost full. “So it was a lot of fun to go out there. But still a bit nervous, too.” Stosur said it was “fantastic” to take the court in defense of her title. “It was great to get out there again,” said the Australian seventh seed. “I felt like I was ready to go. First match up, first day, was a good

start, so I certainly won’t complain about being out there.” Stosur lost in the first round of the Australian Open and the Olympics and was beaten in round two at Wimbledon but her rout of Martic suggested she will not relinquish her US Open crown without a fight. GOLDEN SET She won the first 19 points of the match before giving Martic a gift and ending the prospect of a ‘golden set’. “I hadn’t missed a point and the match had been going pretty quick and obviously in my favor,” said Stosur, who blasted 10 aces in the victory. “(The idea of a golden set) did pop into my head for a split second but then I hit the double fault and it was erased and I was quickly on with the next point.” Shortly after the 28-year-old Stosur left the court, fans scrambled for cover as heavy rain pelted the National Tennis Center grounds at Flushing Meadows. The rain caused a two and a half hour delay and threatened to wreak havoc on the schedule but the sun reappeared to create steamy conditions and play resumed. Third seed Sharapova enjoyed a 24-8 advantage in winners and lost her serve to Czink only once in swirling wind to set up a second-round match against Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain. “I haven’t been far here, past the first week, in a long time,” said Sharapova, playing her first match since winning a silver medal at the Olympics. “I would love to get that back. I haven’t played at a level that I wanted to play here. “There shouldn’t be any reason why I can’t, having the success that I had for a few years, winning it in ‘06. That’s certainly something that I’m looking to get back.”— Agencies

Li marriage boosted by the new man in her life NEW YORK: China superstar Li Na has a new man in her life and her husband couldn’t be happier. Ever since Li linked up with Justine Henin’s former coach, Carlos Rodriguez, earlier this summer, her career has been reinvigorated with a runner-up spot in Montreal followed by a title in Cincinnati. It’s a success that meant an end to her on-off coaching relationship with husband Jiang Shan, but Li insisted on Monday that her marriage, as well as her career, have both benefitted. “After I got a new coach I think for both me and my husband it’s much easier,” said 30-year-old Li after reaching the US Open second round. “Love is love; coach is coach. You have to separate. After I changed the coach, I didn’t say my husband didn’t do a good job. I think he’s still doing good job. “But for both sometimes it’s too much, you know. Like it’s really

tough to find a balance between coaching and husband.” Li’s triumph in Cincinnati was her first title since her landmark 2011 French Open victory, and her good form continued on Monday when she eased past 20-year-old Briton Heather Watson 6-2, 6-3 to make the second round at the US Open. It was her first win at Flushing Meadows since her tournament-best performance of a quarter-final run in 2009. Ninth-seeded Li, who goes on to tackle Australia’s Casey Dellacqua for a place in the last 32, believes her win over the 2009 US Open junior champion Watson, was also a victory for mind over matter. “I am 10 years older than her, so I got more experience on the court. She played very good, but sometimes I had to show her how good I am,” explained Li, whose dominance was illustrated by 28 winners

to Watson’s 10. “So maybe I was putting a little more pressure onto her. If she looks at me (she knows) I have always been there, so maybe that’s a little bit tough for her. “I should use that against all the young players because they just come to the tournament and maybe they think, ‘Oh, she’s tough’. Also some girls, they give up in the mind.” Heavy rain scuppered Li’s plans for a quickfire win when a downpour sent the players off Court 17 for more than two and a half hours with the Chinese star 5-3 up in the second set. But she needed just three minutes on the resumption to move into the second round when Watson, the world 71, netted a backhand. Li’s compatriot Zheng Jie, the 28th seed, also made the second round when French opponent Virginie Razzano retired injured with the score level at a set apiece.— AFP

NEW YORK: Na Li of China returns to Heather Watson of Great Britain during their women’s match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament in New York. — AFP

Atletico Madrid maul Bilbao 4-0 MADRID: Radamel Falcao inflicted another mauling on Athletic Bilbao when he netted a fine hat-trick for Atletico Madrid in a crushing 4-0 home win in La Liga on Monday. The Colombia striker known as the tiger took his tally against the Basque club to seven in three matches following last season’s doubles in the 3-0 Europa League final victory and a 2-1 success in La Liga. His first on a warm night at a vibrant Calderon came in the 18th minute when he left marker Mikel San Jose for dead and dinked the ball over onrushing Bilbao goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz from a narrow angle. Three minutes before the break he leaped acrobatically to volley home a Diego Godin centre at the far post, a goal reminiscent of Johan Cruyff’s famous effort for Barcelona against Atletico in the early 1970s. Falcao stroked in a third from the penalty spot in the 59th minute and was given a rousing ovation when he was replaced by Tiago 10 minutes from time. The Portugese midfielder was only on the pitch for three minutes before he lashed a superb drive high into the net from 20 meters for Atletico’s fourth. “Everyone on the team played at a great level and obviously that paves the way for individuals to shine,” Falcao, clutching a match ball for signing by his team mates, said in an interview with Spanish television. “The important thing is to gel as a team and start to collect victories and if I can help by scoring a lot more goals than last season so much the better,” added the 26-year-old, who netted 24 in La Liga in 2011-12 and 12 in the Europa League. Atletico’s impressive victory after last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Levante put them on four points, two behind Barcelona, Real Valladolid and Rayo Vallecano, the only teams to win their opening two matches. It was a wretched night for Bilbao in the Spanish capital and they have now conceded nine goals after last weekend’s 5-3 home thrashing by Real Betis. They looked a shadow of the side that blazed a trail in Europe last season and reached the King’s Cup final, barely troubling Thibaut Courtois in the Atletico goal. Coach Marcelo Bielsa again left Spain pair Javi Martinez and Fernando Llorente out of his squad as they attempt to seal their exits before the transfer window closes on Friday. Bundesliga side Bayern Munich are trying to complete a deal for versatile defensive midfielder Martinez, while towering striker Llorente has been linked with a move to Italian champions Juventus. Promoted Valladolid maintained their impressive start to the campaign on Monday when Victor Perez netted twice from the penalty spot in a 2-0 home win over 10-man Levante. The Castilians were ahead in the 38th minute at their Jose Zorrilla stadium after Levante defender David Navarro handled the ball in the area and was shown a second yellow card. Perez stroked the ball past Gustavo Munua and added a second from the spot three minutes after the break when Papakouly Diop felled Omar. Valladolid coach Miroslav Djukic, a former Serbia manager who played for Deportivo Coruna and Valencia, warned his players not to let their early success go to their heads and to focus on securing their topflight status for another season. “We know what our goal is and right now it’s 39 points away,” Djukic told a news conference. “I am very pleased but we still have a lot of room for improvement,” he added.—Reuters


Kuwait rallies as volumes pick up, Gulf markets dip Page 22

Euro crisis weighs on Merkel’s China trip Page 25

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

Airbus wins $7bn Philippine Air order

Ford Motors to sell luxury Lincoln brand in China Page 23

Page 25

FRANKFURT: In this July 28, 2008 file picture’ Lufthansa planes wait at Frankfurt’s Rhein-Main airport. A union representing cabin crew at German airline Lufthansa says its members plan to go on strike after talks on pay and conditions broke down. German news agency DAPD reported that the UFO union announced walkouts at all the German airports where Lufthansa has staff, hours after talks with the company failed yesterday. — AP

Lufthansa strikes loom Pay talks between Lufthansa, union collapse FRANKFURT: Lufthansa passengers were facing hundreds of possible flight cancellations after cabin crew representatives said yesterday they were planning strike action over the next few weeks following the collapse of last-ditch pay talks. The UFO union, which represents 18,000 Lufthansa flight attendants, said it would give only a few hours’ notice at most of the strikes, raising a threat to the airline’s services, although it ruled out any action for yesterday. The dispute is the latest for Lufthansa as it grapples with rising costs, tough competition and economic uncertainties. Costs of a drawn-out stoppage could quickly mount for the airline, which said in 2010 a fourday strike by pilots would cost it 25 million euros ($31.3 million) a day in lost revenue. Earlier this year, it put its costs from a strike of airfield employees at its main hub in Frankfurt in the high tens of millions of euros. The union - which wants a 5 percent pay rise for its members after a three-year pay freeze had last week called on members to start preparing for a strike so it could take action as swiftly as possible. Negotiations between the union and Lufthansa, Germany’s leading airline, to end a 13-month pay dispute broke down late on Monday. Lufthansa, which typically operates around 1,850 flights a day, said it still wanted to negotiate a deal with the union, which has also called for a better profit-sharing scheme and guarantees that jobs will not be outsourced or given to temporary workers. It said it would give details of its contingency plans only when the union gave strike times, and would do everything possible to minimise disruption. The airline is due to hold a press conference at 1100 GMT. The move comes as Lufthansa cuts 3,500 jobs - about 3 percent of its global workforce of 117,000 - and freezes investment, aiming to boost earnings which had been squeezed by soaring fuel prices and competition from low-cost and Middle East carriers. Lufthansa has also shifted the contracts of pilots and flight attendants at carrier Austrian Airlines to a lowercost subsidiary and has boosted cooperation between its main Lufthansa brand and low-cost carrier Germanwings. While UFO has said that any airline paying a dividend does not need such drastic cuts, Lufthansa executives had last week defended the savings plan, saying the airline needed to take action to maintain its position in Europe. Lufthansa shares were down 1.6 percent at 9.75 euros by 0952 GMT, underperforming Germany’s blue-chip DAX index, which was 0.4 percent lower. Shares in Fraport, the operator of Frankfurt airport and also potentially affected by flight cancellations, were down 0.4 percent. — Reuters

Catalonia seeks rescue as Spain recession deepens MADRID: Spain’s debt-struck Catalonia region reached out yesterday for a 5.0-billion-euro ($6.3-billion) central government rescue as the entire nation lurched closer to a sovereign bailout. The northeastern region’s government, facing huge repayments on its 40-billioneuro debt, said it would tap an 18-billioneuro liquidity fund set up by Madrid to finance troubled regions. “ The government has decided to request participation in the liquidity fund,” Catalan government spokesman Francesc Homs told a news conference. But the region, responsible for one -fifth of Spanish economic output and in open conflict with Madrid over its deficit-cutting demands, would do so “without accepting political conditions,” he said. Catalonia’s announcement highlighted Spain’s tremendous financial squeeze, feeding expectations that the eurozone’s fourth largest economy will be forced to seek a broad bailout-and soon. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said the central government would help Catalonia, “as we help the rest of the

regions.” “The regions are also Spain so the Spanish government will not wash its hands of the regions,” Rajoy told a news conference. Rajoy’s conservative government snatched a 100-billion-euro eurozone rescue loan in June to salvage the balance sheets of its banks. But analysts believe Spain’s high borrowing costs will still force it to seek a sovereign bailout before a repayment crunch in October when more than 30 billion euros in debt payments are due. The Spanish government has called on the ECB to come to its aid by resuming its programme of purchasing government bonds. But the ECB is expected to act only if Madrid accepts new conditions by formally applying to the eurozone bailout funds, the European Financial Stability Facility and its successor the European Stability Mechanism. The prospect of ECB intervention drove down Spain’s short-term borrowing costs as the Treasury raised 3.6 billion euros ($4.8 billion) yesterday, luring solid interest on the market. But the deep underlying economic troubles remain. Latest data showed Spain

was engulfed in a deepening recession that has barely released its jobs-killing grip since a global economic crisis and property crash struck in 2008. On a quarterly basis, the economy shrank by 0.4 percent in the second quarter of 2012, building on a 0.3-percent slump in the first quarter, the National Statistics Office report said. Newly revised figures also showed that Spain has barely escaped recession since mid-2008, when a property crash cast millions out of work and left Spanish banks with piles of bad debts. Spain is still reeling from that calamity, with jobless rate of nearly 25 percent. European Union president Herman Van Rompuy, in Madrid to discuss the eurozone crisis with Rajoy, said the Spanish government would have to choose whether it needs broader help. “But if financial markets defiance persists during this period of adjustment, European leaders have stated during the June European Council their readiness to assist the Spanish authorities further,” he said. Van Rompuy said the banking sector

shakeup would be important. “I am confident that the ongoing financial sector restructuring, if implemented fully, rapidly and thoroughly, will shed complete clarity on the situation of the banking system, restore confidence, stimulate the Spanish economy and eventually reduce the risks weighing on Spanish taxpayers.” Catalonia’s debt, the highest of the 17 regional governments, is emblematic of Spain’s financial woes, though Valencia and Murcia have already said they, too, will need central government help. Catalonia, whose capital is Barcelona, suspended subsidies in July to hospitals, old age homes and other social services. It has cut public sector wages, introduced a charge for medical prescriptions and frozen infrastructure investments. This year, Catalonia’s debt repayments amount to 13.5 billion euros, with 5.8 billion euros to be paid in the second half of 2012, regional government figures show. Spain’s leader will host French President Francois Hollande on Thursday and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on September 6.— AFP

Egypt’s president rules out currency devaluation

SAN DIEGO: This June 13, 2012, file photo, shows a house for sale in San Diego. US home prices rose in all major US cities in June, further evidence of housing rebound. — AP

CAIRO: Egypt’s new president said he would not impose new taxes or devalue the country’s currency and that his government would rely instead on investment, tourism and exports to fix an economy ravaged by a year and a half of political turmoil. Mohamed Morsi, 61, has a window of opportunity to push through economic change while he still commands political goodwill 50 days into his tenure as Egypt’s first freely elected president, economists say. Yet he must tread carefully to avoid angering a population that rose up to oust Hosni Mubarak last year partly because of high inflation and the widespread belief that the fast economic

growth in the last years of the former president’s rule was not reaching the poor. Among measures that have been proposed by economists are a reduction in the value of the currency, which has fallen by only 5 percent over the last 18 months despite the drop in demand from tourists and investors. But asked if his government had any thought of devaluing the Egyptian pound, Morsi said: “No. Definitely not. This is completely out of the question.” Morsi was speaking to Reuters in his first interview with an international news organisation hours before leaving for China, where he hopes to attract investment and improve economic ties. Next month he flies to the United States on a similar mission. — Reuters


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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

BUSINESS

Shell ramps up Qatari gas-to-diesel money machine STAVANGER/LONDON: A Qatari project that has been a drain on Royal Dutch Shell’s capital since 2003 is on the verge of turning into a unique asset that will produce billions of dollars a year in cash for the next 25 years. Shell shareholders in 2013 should see significant benefits from Pearl GTL, a gas-to-liquids fuel project which until now has been notorious for a development cost overrun to $18 billion to $19 billion from the original $5 billion and which is still late for its mid-2012 date for full production. Shell says both Pearl’s trains have now operated at between 90 and 100 percent of design rates, and even though maintenance issues have run into the third quarter and kept them from working together at full capacity, that moment now could be just around the corner. “We are now starting to ramp it up to capacity levels again, and therefore we are on track to deliver the cash flow and production we are expecting from it,” Chief Executive

Peter Voser said this week on the sidelines of the Offshore Northern Seas Conference in Stavanger, Norway. On a coastal site the size of London’s Hyde Park and fed by the world’s biggest non-associated gas field, Pearl, the largest GTL plant on the planet strips methane from wellhead gas and combines it with oxygen to produce diesel, natural gas liquids and ethane. Voser described Pearl last month as a “one-of-a-kind asset”. Scaled up from Shell’s Bintulu GTL plant in Malaysia, it has a lifetime of 25 years based on an estimated 3 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) of gas in the North Field that feeds it - a reserve discovered by Shell in 1971. Shell has paid all the development costs, which amount to around $6 a barrel on that 3 billion boe of gas. In return it gets gas supplies from the Nor th Field plus an undisclosed share of the profits Pearl will make. Shell has said the project would generate $4 billion of free cash flow a year at full production in a market

with crude oil prices, the main determinant of the price of diesel, at $70 a barrel. Free cash flow - cash in the bank from sales after subtracting capital spending - is among the purest profit measures. Shell will say only that returns are in line with other integrated gas projects, but given that Brent crude now sells for over $110 a barrel, while the gas going into Pearl is effectively free, it could clearly be a significant contributor to one of the world’s biggest corporate capital spending budgets - at some $30 billion this year alone. Analysts say crude prices would have to fall below $40 a barrel before the plant loses money. The Qatari government’s decision to buy a stake in Shell, reported to be approaching 3 percent, may be further evidence of Pearl’s cash delivery potential. And the project’s high profile has done no harm to the career of Shell executive Andy Brown, who steered it towards completion from Qatar and then moved into one of the company’s top jobs in The Hague

earlier this year as head of international upstream. Two trains will churn out 140,000 barrels a day of diesel and other gas-to-liquids fuel products, plus 120,000 barrels of natural gas liquids and ethane. The diesel and liquid fuels output alone amounts to over half of all the non-oil-based road fuels used worldwide in 2010, according to International Energy Agency (IEA) figures. The water processing part of Pearl alone would service a small city, and steam from the process is recaptured to generate electricity and power the plant’s turbines. Pearl is Shell’s second major 21st century project in gas-rich Qatar after QatarGas 4, an LNG expor t plant, ramped up to full production in 2011. Shell’s Qatari investments overall will amount to about 10 percent of its production portfolio at full production. That’s a far cry from 1992, when Shell pulled most of its staff out of Qatar, faced with dwindling profits in the years after oilfield nationalisation in the 1970s. Shell left a handful of

people behind. “You’re not going anywhere,” the group was told. “There’s an awful lot of gas in this country. We have to keep a connection open.” The western world’s second-largest international oil and gas company has now become the largest foreign investor in Qatar. So is there another Pearl out there? Unlikely, say Shell insiders. “It’s a pretty unique situation,” one said. “Qatar is mainly an LNG (liquefied natural gas) exporter and was very keen to diversify out of that. Gas reserves on the scale of the North Field combined with that sort of government commitment don’t come around every day.” Nevertheless, Shell has made clear it is looking at the United States, where a glut of gas has forced the price of natural gas to down to levels that make GTL interesting. Louisiana, Texas or anywhere along the US Gulf coast where there is an existing supply chain are potential sites. “The longer that the gas price stays low the better the economics look,” the Shell insider said. — Reuters

Kuwait rallies as volumes pick up, Gulf markets dip Wataniya shares gain 0.8% DUBAI: Kuwait’s bourse rallied yesterday and volumes spiked to their highest in nearly four months as retail investor confidence returned, while profit-taking weighed on most other Gulf bourses. Kuwait’s measure finished 0.9 percent higher, rising for an eighth session in the last nine. Buying momentum has returned but mainly in smaller caps, as retail traders shelve political woes and sentiment improves after nearly all companies report quarterly earnings by the August 16 deadline. “The smaller stocks continue to dominate the market - you have inter-funds buying stocks again,” said Fouad Darwish, head of brokerage at Global Investment House. “People were waiting and minimizing risk due to fears of suspension on stocks but after the deadline when almost every single company reported their financials, it gave a huge boost to the market.” Trading volumes surged to 430 million shares, the highest daily count since May 8. Shares in Wataniya gained 0.8 percent to 2.56 dinars, closing in on Qatar Telecom’s offer price of 2.6 dinars on 47.5 percent of the stake in the firm it doesn’t already own. International Financial Advisors gained 1.3 percent and construction and property firm Inovest BSC rose 2.3 percent. Thousands of Kuwaitis took part in a rally late on Monday to protest changes to the electoral law which they said could harm the prospects of opposition lawmakers in upcoming elections. In the United Arab Emirates, investors

booked recent gains, with property and construction stocks leading the decline. Dubai’s index fell 0.9 percent, down for a third day since Thursday’s 16-week high. Drake and Scull dropped 2.4 percent, Deyaar Development shed 3.6 percent and mortgage lender Tabreed fell 1.6 percent. Abu Dhabi’s benchmark declined 0.6 percent, trimming year-to-date gains to 7.2 percent. “We’re seeing some profit-taking in the UAE and Qatar- this is the last week of August, which is typically the slowest week of the year,” said Sleiman Aboulhosn, assistant fund manager at Al Masah Capital. “The absence of big volumes doesn’t come as a big surprise. There is room for profit taking and repositioning for a new upward wave after the good run we saw in these markets.” Doha’s index eased 0.2 percent, losing for a second session since Sunday’s 15-week high. Elsewhere, Saudi Arabia’s bourse gave back early-session gains and the index closed flat at a 15-week high. Cement stocks rallied with Southern Province Cement rising 1.9 percent, Yamamah Saudi Cement gaining 1.3 percent and Arabian Cement adding 1.4 percent. Retail investors are returning post Eid-holidays, and buying in smaller caps signals a riskon investment attitude. Slight profit taking in petrochemical stocks offset gains in other sectors. National Industrialization lost 0.9 percent and Saudi Arabian Fertilizers shed 0.9 percent. In Egypt, the benchmark index gained 0.8 percent on continued optimism that the

country’s political situation is stabilising and international donors such as the IMF and Gulf countries are lining up to help boost its economy, traders said. On Monday, President Mohamed Mursi flew to China where he will try to attract investors to Egypt and strengthen economic ties. He plans a similar visit to the United States next month. “There is a feeling in the market that all the international donors are coming to the table. Plus there is more clarity on the government,” said Hisham Halaldeen of Naeem Brokerage.

ATHENS: Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras (C) leaves the Presidental Palace in Athens following his meeting with Greek president Carolos Papoulias yesterday. Samaras briefed the Greek president on the results of his recent European trip to Berlin and Paris for talks on the course of his country’s program of economic reform. — AFP

YESTERDAY’S HIGHLIGHTS KUWAIT The measure rose 0.9 percent to 5,839 points. DUBAI The index fell 0.9 percent to 1,545 points. ABU DHABI The benchmark slipped 0.6 percent to 2,574 points. QATAR The index shed 0.2 percent to 8,484 points. SAUDI ARABIA The benchmark ended flat at 7,138 points. EGYPT The index rose 0.8 percent to 5,325 points. OMAN The measure declined 0.5 percent to 5,490 points. BAHRAIN The measure gained 0.1 percent to 1,073 points. — Reuters

Oman invites foreign firms to bid for oil blocks MUSCAT: Oman has invited foreign oil companies to bid for exploration and development rights in six oil blocks around the country, the oil ministry said yesterday, as it pushes to raise production to 1 million barrels per day. “ Two blocks will be awarded next month and the other four will be evaluated in the coming months,” a ministry of oil and gas official told Reuters, declining to be named under briefing rules. The total area of the blocks being awarded is around 12,000 square kilometres (4,600 square miles), the official

added, declining to reveal the names of the firms bidding. According to official statistics, Oman currently produces an average 902,000 bpd of oil. Its oil and gas minister Mohammad bin Hamad al-Rumhy said last year that the non-OPEC producer was aiming for production of 1 million bpd in the next three years. Twenty-five international firms are currently exploring for oil and gas in the sultanate under exploration and production-sharing agreements. — 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 Egyptian pounds

.2740000 .4420000 .3490000 .2910000 .2820000 .2890000 .0040000 .0020000 .0764060 .7444030 .3870000 .0720000 .7297540 .0430000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2814500 GB Pound/KD .4441700 Euro .3529240 Swiss francs .2938350 Canadian dollars .2843790 Danish Kroner .0473810 Swedish Kroner .0429090 Australian dlr .2920610 Hong Kong dlr .0362890 Singapore dlr .2246030 Japanese yen .0035810 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 Pakistan rupee .0000000 Bangladesh taka .0000000 UAE dirhams .0766580 Bahraini dinars .7468490 Jordanian dinar .0000000 Saudi Riyal/KD .0750730 Omani riyals .7313240 Philippine Peso .0000000

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. ASIAN COUNTRIES

Japanese Yen Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar Bangladesh Taka Philippine Peso Thai Baht Malaysian Ringgit

3.553 5.072 3.053 2.141 3.173 220.090 36.173 3.425 6.439 8.876 89.338

.2860000 .4550000 .3600000 .3030000 .2950000 .3040000 .0067500 .0035000 .0771740 .7518840 .4100000 .0780000 .7370890 .0510000 .2835500 .4474840 .3555580 .2960280 .2865010 .0477340 .0432290 .2942400 .0365600 .2262790 .0036080 .0051170 .0021500 .0030010 .0035030 .0772300 .7524210 .4010610 .0756340 .7367810 .0067490

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

GCC COUNTRIES 74.883 77.158 729.380 745.850 76.464

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 48.250 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 46.466 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.309 Tunisian Dinar 176.65 Jordanian Dinar 396.190 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.884 Syrian Lier 4.899 Morocco Dirham 32.64 EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 280.700 Euro 354.52 Sterling Pound 441.820 Canadian dollar 274.79 Turkish lire 152.400 Swiss Franc 295.01 US Dollar Buying 279.500 GOLD 293.000 148.000 75.250

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

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

SELL CASH

297.200 751.810 3.720 288.800 555.200 46.000 48.400 167.800 48.570 356.800 37.130 5.370 0.032 0.161 0.236 3.690 400.610 0.191 93.760 44.500 4.360 232.000 1.831

49.700 734.320 3.080 6.960 78.190 75.480 226.680 36.490 2.693 450.000 43.800 297.400 4.400 9.390 198.263 77.080 283.100 1.360

10 Tola

GOLD 1,769.680

Sterling Pound US Dollar

734.140 3.004 6.690 77.760 75.480 226.680 36.490 2.133 448.000 295.900 4.400 9.220 76.980 282.700

COUNTRY

Currency

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 448.000 282.700

SELL DRAFT

295.700 751.810 3.453 287.300

226.700 46.464 355.300 36.980 5.070 0.031

SELL DRAFT

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

SELL CASH

297.76 290.10 299.95 357.86 282.25 449.11 3.67 3.463 5.072 2.136 3.178 2.990 76.91 751.53 46.40 402.11 734.58 77.94 75.48

310.000 289.000 297.500 357.000 283.150 449.000 3.630 3.560 5.350 2.310 3.650 3.150 77.400 750.000 48.600 400.000 736.000 78.000 75.850

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd 400.580 0.190 93.760 3.180 230.500

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

290.575 748.180 76.920 77.570 75.325 398.365 46.498 2.138 5.081 3.002 3.454 6.702 693.220 4.580 9.060 4.385 3.285 90.285

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co.

UAE Exchange Centre WLL

Bahrain Exchange Company COUNTRY

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

Selling Rate

282.600 288.830 443.975 348.970

Rate per 1000 (Tran)

US Dollar Pak Rupees 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

282.600 2.978 5.078 2.139 3.453 6.715 77.045 75.515 751.300 46.376 451.700 2.990 1.550 358.600 291.100 3.200

Al Mulla Exchange Currency

Transfer Rate (Per 1000)

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

282.500 355.550 447.750 287.050 3.610 5.068 46.398 2.133 3.455 6.680 2.985 751.600 76.930 75.430


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

BUSINESS

Big cuts still ahead on Britain’s road to clear deficit LONDON: Two years into an unpopular austerity programme, recession and bleak public borrowing figures have heaped pressure on Britain’s government to change course. The cuts have been so painful that nearly half of voters believe finance minister George Osborne should be removed from his post. But if he stays and sticks to his plan to eliminate most of the deficit by 2017, much worse is to come. He has made a less of a dent in the deficit than hoped, and three quarters of the pain still lies ahead with widespread cuts to spending and benefits likely to have a bigger impact on voters’ wallets than the tax rises and reduced investment to date. A return to strong growth might make cuts easier but economists do not forecast this for at least a couple of years, a problem for the government with an eye on re-election in 2015. “It is going to be a long, hard slog,” said Simon Hayes, chief UK economist at Barclays. “Reforms of welfare have only just started. It is inevitably the case that the first things you do are the easiest, and things get tougher as you go on.” Progress on cutting Britain’s budget deficit has been slower than planned since the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties formed a coalition in May 2010 with the chief aim of getting Britain out of the deepest fiscal hole of any major economy. Osborne’s original goal of eliminating most of the deficit before the 2015 election has already slipped to 2017,

led coalition came to power - smaller than the United States’, but still higher than anywhere in the euro zone other than Spain, Greece or Ireland. More significant is the cyclicallyadjusted current budget, the part of the deficit which will not evaporate when the economy starts growing again at its long-run average, and which strips out long-term investment projects. This is what Osborne wants to bring into surplus by 2017, and is a hole that any future government will need to fill. In 2009/10, it amounted to 5.5 percent of GDP, and two years later it has only fallen to 4.6 percent. To close this deficit, the Treasury estimates that 155 billion pounds of permanent savings need to be found, of which 41 billion pounds were achieved over the past two years - just over a quarter the total required. Part of the savings - around 17 billion pounds - come from lower debt interest costs, which helps explain why the Treasury is so keen British bonds do not lose their safe-haven status. But the rest will be a very different type of austerity to what has come before, w ith much more emphasis on saving money spent on existing government programmes and benefits. So far most fiscal consolidation has come through tax hikes notably a rise in sales tax to 20 percent - cuts to central government capital spending, and lower grants to local authorities for services ranging from libraries to social care. One example of the

and two ratings agencies have put Britain’s prized triple-A debt rating on a negative outlook. Lower than expected growth over the past two years is the main reason for the budget shortfall, and the opposition Labour Party has stepped up calls for the government to slow spending cuts, which it blames for “a recession made in Downing Street”. Britain has recovered much more slowly than other countries from the financial crisis, and apart from Italy is the only one of the world’s 20 biggest economies that is back in recession. However, Britain’s finance ministry strongly resists any deviation from Osborne’s goal of eliminating Britain’s structural current budget deficit over the next five years. “The coalition inherited ... a huge fiscal challenge, and we have always been clear that dealing with that was going to be a slow and difficult process,” junior finance minister Chloe Smith told Reuters last week, after data showed public borrowing from April to July was 11.6 billion pounds higher than a year before. The size of Britain’s challenge becomes clear with a close look at Osborne’s budget statements - published in a largely monochrome format that contrasts with his Labour predecessors’ glossy, full-colour publications. Britain’s budget deficit in the 2011/12 fiscal year was down to 8.2 percent of GDP from its peak of 11.2 percent just before the Conservative-

impact, according to a study for the Unison trade union, is that the fees for day care centres for vulnerable adults have been raised from nominal levels to as much as 50 pounds a day and some centres have shut altogether. Much more of this is to come. While 60 percent of planned tax rises and cuts to capital spending have been achieved, around 90 percent of cuts to ongoing central government spending and benefits are yet to take place, and few departments have published detailed plans on how to achieve them. Around one third of cuts to socalled ‘non-interest annually managed expenditure’ - mostly benefits - are due to come in the next fiscal year, when fresh restrictions to rent subsidies and disability and child benefits kick in. For example, every working-age claimant of disability benefit will be reassessed by a government contractor rather than their family doctor to see if they are fit to work - which the government hopes will cut benefit payments by 20 percent. How cuts to other areas of spending will be made is less clear. One way is through reducing the amount of money the government pays private companies for goods and services, which Barclays economist Simon Hayes says seems to be the main area where savings have been made so far. “To some extent that seems to be to just getting better value for money. That’s a positive,” he said.

An example of this at local level is the case of Britain’s biggest outfitter of fire trucks, John Dennis Coachbuilders, whose chairman Alan McClafferty is promoting smaller fire engines to cash-strapped fire authorities. Rather than a 20-tonne behemoth arriving to extinguish a smouldering rubbish bin - the sort of small-scale incident that accounts for the bulk of emergency calls - a 10-tonne engine, costing about half the price, might come instead. But McClafferty also said that salaries and pensions for firefighters, not new engines, accounted for the overwhelming bulk of a fire authority’s costs. Staff costs are a major issue for central government as well, where wage costs have risen to 88.9 billion pounds from 87.2 billion in 2009-10, despite a wage freeze that started in 2010 and widespread job cuts. Barclays’ Hayes says this unexpected increase may be down to one-off redundancy and retraining costs. But others worry total public sector job cuts could need to be higher than the 730,000 predicted by the government’s budget watchdog, of which 400,000 have taken place, most in local government. “Maybe it will prove really hard to cut non-wage costs. If you look at a school or a hospital, the heating bill isn’t really in your control,” said Carl Emmerson, deputy director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank. —Reuters

Ford Motors to sell luxury Lincoln brand in China Eager to grab a piece of China’s growing market BEIJING: Ford Motor Co., eager to grab a piece of China’s growing luxury market, plans to start selling its Lincoln luxury brand here in 2014. It will be the first time that the nearly 100-year-old brand will be sold in China. At an event at a converted 600-year-old temple in Beijing, CEO Alan Mulally and other Ford executives said they believe Chinese customers will appreciate Lincoln’s heritage as well as its new lineup of vehicles. Ford is introducing seven new Lincolns over the next three years. “Lincoln is well known in China. Our opportunity is to fill in the blanks of what the brand is now,” Ford’s global marketing chief Jim Farley said. The announcement was a surprise for Ford, which had previously said it wanted to re-establish the struggling brand’s reputation in North America before taking it abroad. Lincoln was the best-selling luxury brand in the US two decades ago but gradually fell to last place in the market because Ford failed to invest in new products. But Mulally said Ford has been quietly plotting to bring Lincoln to China for the last two years, and considered Chinese customers’ tastes when it was designing the 2013 MKZ. The midsize MKZ, which goes on sale this fall in the US, is the first of Lincoln’s revamped products. “This is the perfect time, with the vehicles that we have here,” Mulally said. The Lincolns sold in China will be made in North America, at least initially. Dave Schoch, chairman and CEO of Ford China, said the company will consider making Lincolns in China if sales demand it. Schoch wouldn’t say how much Lincolns will cost in China, but they will be more expensive than in the US because of luxury taxes, which are based on engine size, and import duties of 25 percent. The 2013 MKZ starts at $35,925. Ford will start meeting with interested dealers in China this fall. The company wouldn’t say how many Lincoln dealerships it hopes to open, but it envisions stores with warm, personalized service that could be a model for US Lincoln dealers. “The Chinese customer is begging for a new type of experience when they purchase and service a vehicle,” Farley said. Luxury cars now make up 6 percent of Chinese sales, but they’re expected to rise to 10 percent by the end of this decade, Farley said. That’s comparable to the US, where luxury sales now make up around 12 percent of the market. German luxury brands Audi, BMW

and Mercedes-Benz were the top-selling luxury brands in China in the first six months of this year. German brands control about 80 percent of China’s luxury market, independent auto analyst Michael Dunne said. While it will take a lot for Lincoln to catch up to those brands, Farley said Lincoln can distinguish itself by promoting its history, which will appeal to Chinese customers. The Lincoln brand, which dates to 1915, was a style icon in the early 1940s with the elegant Continental sedan. Lincoln limousines carried presidents from Franklin Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan. Later, the Lincoln Navigator SUV was a favorite of rappers and sports stars. But Ford stopped paying attention to Lincoln in the 1990s and 2000s when it bought other luxury brands like Jaguar and Volvo. Lincolns started sharing more parts and looks with their lower-priced Ford siblings. Sales suffered. Ford has since sold off its other luxury brands and shuttered its near-luxury Mercury nameplate so it can concentrate fully on Ford and Lincoln. The company hopes to start reversing Lincoln’s slide with the new MKZ,

which has a wider and more luxurious look, a toned-down grille and a clean dashboard with flush buttons for controls instead of knobs. It also offers a panoramic glass roof that slides open to give passengers a convertible-like ride. Farley said Lincoln designers paid close attention to the materials and feel of the back seat, since many Chinese luxury buyers and chauffeured. It also designed the dashboard in an unfussy, balanced way, which the Chinese seemed to prefer over a busy, driver-focused dashboard. The hood has a more fluid, rounded design, because Chinese customers didn’t like squared-off shapes. Farley said Lincoln will also offer a less powerful engine for Chinese buyers because of concerns about fuel economy. Dunne said Ford’s decision to bring Lincoln to China is a smart one, even if the company’s product revamp in the US is incomplete. “Chinese consumers look for the flagship to define the brand, and this is the flagship,” Dunne said. “It’s really important to them to make a statement. With an American luxury car, you’re driving something different.” — AP

BEIJING: In this photo released by Ford Motor Co., Chief Executive Alan Mulally, right, and Joe Hinrichs, President of Ford Asia and Africa introduce the Lincoln concept car during a press conference in Beijing yesterday. Ford Motor Co., eager to grab a piece of China’s growing luxury market, plans to start selling its Lincoln luxury brand here in 2014. — AP

HONG KONG: A person walks past a Samsonite shop in Hong Kong yesterday. US luggage maker Samsonite yesterday posted record first-half sales, boosted by strong global travel demand as well as growth in Asia and North America. — AFP

Samsonite posts record H1 sales HONG KONG: US luggage maker Samsonite yesterday posted record firsthalf sales, boosted by strong global travel demand as well as growth in Asia and North America. The firm said net profit for the six months to June 30 leapt 400 percent to $82.3 million compared with the previous first half, when it booked almost $60 million in one -off costs including the financing of its Hong Kong float. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation climbed 15.8 percent to $136.5 million, on the back of a 14-percent rise in revenue to $846.7 million. Net sales rose 13.8 percent to a record $846.7 million, boosted by 21.3 percent growth in Asia to $324.6 million and 27.7 percent growth in North America to $238.5 million. Chairman and chief executive Timothy Parker said the luggage maker was on track to beat last year’s net sales of $1.57 billion. But he said it would not match the unusually high 29 percent net sales growth recorded last year, when the market was picking up from the global credit crisis. “We will be around $1.75 billion this year. If you’re in global consumer markets today, to do somewhere around 15 percent growth is actually a pretty good outcome,” he told AFP. The company said emerging middle-class consumers in

Asia were eager for branded luggage despite the slowdown in the Chinese economy, where growth has dipped below eight percent. “Things are slowing down in China but they’re not stopping,” Parker said. “We’ve got a lot of new customers to garner in China and a lot of cities where we have very small shares of the market.” Net sales in Europe fell two percent to $221.2 million as the ongoing eurozone crisis affected sentiment. “The situation in Europe is, if anything, bottoming out... So I think the climate there will improve,” Parker said. “The climate in America, once the election is over, will be quite promising.” Investors reacted negatively to the results, selling the stock down 3.71 percent at HK$13.48 at noon. The broader Hang Seng Index was 0.16 percent lower. Samsonite raised more than $225 million in an initial public offering in Hong Kong in June last year, pricing its shares at HK$14.50. By listing in Hong Kong, Samsonite has joined a slew of Western brands seeking to use the southern Chinese city to boost their presence in fast-growing Asian markets. “Being listed in Hong Kong makes a lot of sense because our business is bigger here than anywhere else. It’s been good for the profile of the brand,” Parker said. — AFP

Portuguese budget slips as international auditors arrive LISBON: International creditor representatives were back in Portugal yesterday to check on its progress meeting budget targets that are proving elusive and might lead Lisbon to seek easier terms. Like many heavily-indebted eurozone countries, Portugal is in an economic recession exacerbated by sharp budget cuts which took effect starting in May 2011 as Lisbon was granted a bailout worth 78 billion euros ($97 billion). Last Thursday, official figures indicated that the government would probably miss its target of cutting the public deficit to 4.5 percent of output this year unless it found ways to tighten the budget further. Auditors from the so-called creditors troika of the European Central Bank, European Union and International Monetary Fund find themselves faced with the question of demanding more rigour or cutting Lisbon

some slack. They could also compromise at the end of a two-week visit by doing a bit of both. “Barring any new measures, the deficit could reach almost 6.0 percent of GDP,” or gross domestic product, this year, analysts at the French bank BNP Paribas said in a research note. They forecast that Portugal’s current fiscal targets would probably be amended, but that “given the size of the slippage, new targets could be accompanied by additional savings” measures. Eurozone countries are supposed to run public deficits of no more than 3.0 percent of GDP, and to work towards a balance or even a surplus in times of economic growth. Portugal is one of three eurozone countries now receiving international financial aid, along with Greece and Ireland. Greece has managed to renegotiate

some terms of its bailout, and is now pushing for an extension, and Portugal could well try to obtain better terms as well. But as he finished his summer holiday, Portugal’s centre-right Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho insisted that the government’s finances would be brought under control and said the country was “closer to beating the crisis.” He did not speak about the visit of the auditors however, which will represent their fifth review of the Portuguese programme. If they approve the government’s current measures, Portugal is to receive a loan installment valued at 4.3 billion euros, on top of the 57.1 billion already paid out. In mid-July however, troika representatives voiced concern over risks to Portugal’s budget targets owing to declining tax receipts. “If fiscal revenues continue to fall,

(budget) targets are at risk,” IMF mission head Abebe Selassie said. Opposition leaders in Portugal’s Socialist party and some observers argue that Portugal cannot take any more austerity measures, pointing to a forecast economic contraction of 3.0 percent of GDP this year. Unemployment also hit a record level of 15 percent of the workforce in the second quarter, and tightening the fiscal screws further would very likely push that even higher. Any easing of the troika’s loan terms to Portugal would undoubtedly lead to similar calls from Greece and possibly Ireland as well. “How could you explain easing terms for the Portuguese when you don’t do the same thing for the Greeks,” asked an editorialist at the daily Jornal de Negocios. Greece is pushing for a two-year exten-

sion to the period in which is is expected to come up with substantial spending cuts and privatisation revenues. But Lisbon can point to the fact that it has respected “the vast majority of demands” by its creditors, the daily Diario Economico said. “It is undeniable today that in the eyes of all, Portugal is a different case than Greece,” it added. Troika auditors will also be helping government officials draw up a 2013 budget, which could be tricky since the country’s constitutional court overruled a proposed suspension of year-end payments to civil servants and pensioners equivalent to two months of wages. To bring the public deficit back down to 3.0 percent of GDP, the government will now have to implement additional measures that affect the population as a whole. — AFP


24

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

business

Gold-based scam unravels, robbing Poles of savings WARSAW: It was pretty much all the money Bozena Oracz had after a working life as an accountant: the equivalent of $15,000. She placed it in a fund investing in gold, with the hope of paying for her daughter’s studies and getting treatment for a bad knee. Those dreams were dashed when she discovered she had fallen victim to an elaborate fraud scheme that has left thousands of Poles, many of them elderly, facing financial ruin. The so-called Amber Gold affair is one of the biggest financial scandals to hit

Poland since the fall of communism in 1989. The extent of wrongdoing is still murky, but it seems to have some elements of a pyramid scheme, meaning the financial institution used funds from new clients to pay off older clients rather than investing them. Consumed with anger and desperation, 58-year-old Oracz traveled last week from a small town near Warsaw to a law firm in the capital to consider whether, after losing 50,000 zlotys, she should risk another 3,000 zlotys ($920; ?730) on the fee to join a class-

WARSAW: An outlet of the financial institute Amber Gold in Warsaw, Poland, is seen after the organization was liquidated and has emerged as an unsustainable pyramid scheme. — AP

action lawsuit seeking to recover some of the losses. “This was a lot of money to me it was my savings,” Oracz said, fighting back tears. Now retired and living on a small pension, she sees no way of building another nest egg. “My pension barely covers my needs,” she said. The affair has raised questions about the effectiveness of Poland’s justice system and government because authorities failed to act against the scheme despite red flags from regulators and the criminal record of its young owner. Scrutiny has also focused on the prime minister due to business dealings his son had with those running the scheme. The scandal has even touched democracy icon Lech Walesa, who fears it could tarnish his good name. Prosecutors say investors lost about 163 million zlotys ($50 million; 40 million), a number that has been mounting as more and more victims come forward. Any law suits could take care years to go through the courts, with no guarantee of their outcome. “People are desperate,” said Pawel Borowski, a lawyer preparing the class-action suit that Oracz is considering joining. “In most cases the clients lost life savings or sold family properties to make investments.” The financial institution, Amber Gold, promised guaranteed returns of 10 to 14 percent a year for what it claimed were investments in gold. Many of its clients were older Poles who grew up under communism and lacked the savvy to question how a financial firm could guarantee such a high return on a commodity whose value fluctuates on the international market. The promised returns compared well to the 3 to 5 percent interest offered by banks on savings accounts -

earnings essentially wiped out by the country’s 4 percent inflation rate. “These were people with a low level of financial education,” said Piotr Bujak, the chief economist for Poland at Nordea Markets. “They think it’s still like in the old times, where everything was guaranteed by the state. They underestimated the risk.” Amber Gold launched in 2009, opening branches in city centers alongside respected banks, with white leather sofas and other sleek touches that conveyed sophistication and respectability. It bombarded Poles with convincing advertisements. Some early investors got out with their expected gains, adding to the fund’s credibility. The company, based in Gdansk, capitalized on gold’s allure while playing on people’s anxieties in unpredictable financial times. “We are dealing with a loss of confidence in the entire financial system and an urgent need for safe investments,” one ad said. “The environment for gold is perfect.” Amber Gold drew in 50,000 investors over its three years of operation, though the company’s founder, Marcin Plichta, said there were only about 7,000 at the time of liquidation. Soon after Amber Gold began operations, the Polish Financial Supervision Authority put it on a “black list” of institutions that operate like banks without authorization. There are 17 other such black-listed institutions in operation, but the regulators lack the authority to shut them down. This has sparked a debate in the government and news media about whether courts should be more aggressive in intervening. According to prosecutors, the company did use some of its money to invest in at least one legitimate business: It was the main investor in budget airline OLT Express. It was this investment that

brought Amber Gold down - when the airline filed for bankruptcy, Amber Gold entered liquidation and its scheme of investments unraveled. Its bank accounts were blocked and it was unable to return the money of thousands of its customers. Plichta was charged this month with six counts of criminal misconduct. Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s center-right government went into damage-control mode when it emerged that the leader’s son, Michal Tusk, had done PR work for the airline. Tusk said he had warned his son against doing business with Plichta but that ultimately he son makes his own decisions. Leszek Miller, the head of the opposition Democratic Left Alliance, asked how Tusk could warn his son against involvement in the airline but not warn the thousands of Poles who invested in the fund. Miller has called for a parliamentary inquiry into the scandal. Public discontent is also centering on the justice system because Plichta, 28, has past convictions for fraud, and many Poles are asking why authorities - aware of his criminal record - didn’t stop him sooner. Born Marcin Stefanski, he took his wife’s last name to distance himself from his past crimes. The country’s top prosecutor, Andrzej Seremet, admitted Monday that prosecutors were negligent in failing to heed multiple warnings since 2009 about Amber Gold from the financial supervisory body. He announced personnel changes in the office he blamed for mistakes. The affair also has an unlikely connection to the Solidarity leader and former president, Lech Walesa, because an Oscar-winning director, Andrzej Wajda, was relying on money from Amber Gold to produce a film about Walesa’s struggle in the 1980s.— AP

Inflation rate unchanged at 2.8% in June, 3.4% in H1 NBK ECONOMIC BRIEF KUWAIT: Inflation in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 2.8percent yearon-year (y/y) in June, similar to its May rate, and still the lowest figure for more than two years. This was the second consecutive month where food price inflation was much lower than previous averages, coupled with subdued inflation in most other segment. Inflation averaged 3.4percent for 1H 2012. • Core CPI inflation was 2.1percent y/y (chart 1). It has remained under control for the first half of 2012 and should continue to be for the remainder of the year. The core measure excludes food and beverage prices, and therefore is less affected by variation in international commodity prices.

• Food prices went up 0.6percent month-on-month (m/m) and 4.9percent y/y. Food inflation for June is still considered to be relatively on the low side, as the average for 1H2012 was 6.9percent (and 9.7percent for full year 2011). Fruit and vegetable prices fell for the third month in a row, as they went down -2.8percent m/m and 0.4percent y/y. Meat, poultry, and fish prices were up 6.1percent y/y, as the fish component remains the most volatile. Food prices may see some upward pressure in the near term as Ramadan effects show up in the data, and also perhaps in the long term as the effects of unfavorable weather conditions in the US and Europe reaches the consumer level.

• Prices for household goods and services were flat m/m and up 1.4percent y/y. Inflation has also remained in check in most other components. Transport and communication, education and medical care, as well as other goods and services all stayed within their normal ranges, similar or lower than their May levels and below 3percent. Overall, this is a clear sign of tame inflation in many of the consumer segments. • Halfway into the year, inflation remains modest, averaging 3.4percent. We may see some seasonal upward pressures over coming months (summer season and Ramadan). Nevertheless, we expect inflation to remain steady and low, averaging close to 3percent in 2012.

EQUATE: EG unit to be back online in mid-November KUWAIT: EQUATE Petrochemical Company said that its Ethylene Glycol (EG) Unit is estimated to be back online mid-November 2012. An EQUATE official added, “This was a change in schedule from what was issued on August 2nd, 2012, which had stipulated that the 550,000 MTA EG Unit will be back online within approximately six weeks from the fire that took

place on July 31st, 2012.” The official noted, “EQUATE is the only entity authorized to issue statements regarding this matter and all other issues relevant to its operations.” Established in 1995, EQUATE is an international joint venture between Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC), The Dow Chemical Company (Dow), Boubyan

Petrochemical Company (BPC) and Qurain Petrochemical Industries Company (QPIC ). Commencing production in 1997, EQUATE is the single operator of a fully integrated world-scale manufac turing facility producing over 5 million tons annually of high- quality petrochemical products which are marketed throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe.


25

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

business

Australia scraps carbon floor price, agrees to EU link CANBERRA: Australia and the European Union yesterday agreed to link their carbon trade schemes by 2018, allowing Australian firms to immediately buy cheaper EU carbon credits in a move expected to boost demand for EU carbon allowances. Australia will also scrap its planned A$15/tonne ($15.58) carbon floor price when its emissions trading scheme starts in July 2015. Currently, Australia’s carbon tax is fixed at A$23 a tonne. Ditching the floor price is the first major change to Australia’s controversial plan to price carbon following concerns from businesses facing higher costs than European competitors. The move means business in Australia will be able to use EU allowances, which they can buy now, to cover up to 50 percent of Australian liabilities from July 2015 but European companies will have to wait until 2018 to use Australian allowances. Carbon permits in the European Union are currently trading around 8.16 euros a tonne ($10), although Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said he remained confident the price would recover by

2018, when the full linkage would start. Combet said he stood by government budget forecasts for a carbon price of around A$29/tonne by 2015/16. Australia is one of the world’s highest per capita emitters of pollutants blamed for causing global warming, due largely to its reliance on coalfired power stations. Putting a price on carbon is Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s key policy to fight greenhouse gas emissions and to help cut emissions by 5 percent of year 2000 levels by 2020. Combet said the link with 30 nations in the European scheme would provide more business certainty and would eventually see a levelling in the price of carbon permits between Australia and Europe. “This means that from July 1, 2015 Australia’s carbon price will effectively be the same as that that operates in our second largest trading bloc,” he said. “The same carbon price will cover 530 million people.” Neighbouring New Zealand also has an emissions trading scheme, China is developing schemes in some provinces, while South Korea plans to price

carbon from 2015. Some parts of the US and Canada also have plans to price carbon. Combet said talks about linking with New Zealand’s scheme were ongoing. Australia’s price on carbon covers around 300 of the country’s biggest polluting companies including mining giant BHP Billiton, Qantas Airways and BlueScope Steel , and 60 percent of the country’s 550 million tonnes of annual emissions. Australian companies will be able to cover up to 12.5 percent of their liabilities with UN-backed Certified Emissions Reduction credits (CERs), currently trading near record lows of around 3 euros ($3.68). The international linkages could boost demand for credits from the EU’s $130 billion trading scheme, and the smaller $2 billion UN scheme, by up to 165 million tonnes a year. Combet said business had made it clear they wanted more flexibility on the carbon price once Australia moves to a trading scheme. The Australian Greens, who support the minority government and whose support is crucial for the government to pass laws, said the link with the EU

scheme would be good for business certainty. “We are effectively exchanging a short-term floor price for a long-term trajectory, for stability,” Greens leader Christine Milne told reporters. “Companies from today will know that they are going to be dealing with the European price, and that has to be good news.” Environment groups also welcomed the change, although business and Australia’s resources industry continued to condemn the price on carbon. “Europe cheering the Australian carbon tax, as they did when it was announced last year and as they have done today, is Europe breathing a sigh of relief at our expense,” said Peter Anderson, chief executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Minerals Council of Australia, which represents the booming mining industry, said the announcement would do nothing to alleviate the cost of the carbon tax over the next three years. “Australia’s carbon tax and emissions trading scheme is far more onerous than any other scheme in the world, including the European Union’s,” council chief executive Mitch Hooke said. — Reuters

Airbus wins $7bn Philippine Air order Flag carrier orders 44 small jets, 10 A330 jets

HANOVER: A Picture taken on April 22, 2012 shows German Chancellor Angela Merkel and China’s State Premier Wen Jiabao posing before opening the Hannover Messe (Hanover Fair), in Hanover, western Germany. German Chancellor Angela Merkel this week makes her second trip of the year to China, with the eurozone debt crisis taking centre stage as it begins to drag on the two global economic powers. — AFP

Euro crisis weighs on Merkel’s China trip BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel this week makes her second trip of the year to China, with the eurozone debt crisis taking centre stage as it begins to drag on the two global economic powers. Merkel was due to take nine ministers with her for the visit tomorrow and Friday to Beijing and Tianjin which includes talks with Premier Wen Jiabao and a joint cabinet meeting. And with the near three-year-old eurozone debt crisis showing signs of spreading even as far as China, Beijing increasingly sees Germany and Merkel as key players in tackling the problem, say analysts. “The euro crisis seems to have led to an increased Chinese focus on Germany in particular,” Hans Kundnani from the European Council on Foreign Relations, a think-tank, told AFP. Chinese officials “see Germany playing an increasingly decisive role in EU decision-making and therefore feel they have little choice but to approach Europe through Germany,” he added. “We have noticed that there is a tendency for her to speak for Europe. China is increasingly looking to her for answers,” said the expert. Europeans have expressed hope that China could deploy some of its huge foreign currency reserves to invest in EU bailout funds, although there is little sign of this happening as yet. Nevertheless, at an EU-China meeting in Beijing in July, Dai Bingguo, the Chinese cochair of the talks, pledged that “China is sincere and firm in supporting European efforts to deal with the sovereign debt problem.” Merkel and Wen will also be looking to strengthen their own economic ties, amid signs both are being affected by the eurozone crisis. In its latest report on China, the International Monetary Fund warned the crisis was the biggest external risk facing the fastgrowing economy. And after initially proving resilient to the crisis, forward-looking indicators suggest

Germany, Europe’s top economy, is beginning to feel the pain as well. Germany is China’s top trade partner in the EU with nearly half of all European exports to China coming from Germany. Meanwhile, nearly a quarter of all EU imports from China land in Germany. Bilateral trade between the two powers reached $169 billion in 2011, an 18.9-percent rise on the previous year. Gu Junli, an expert in Germany at the government-backed Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, said the focus would be at least as much on bilateral economic cooperation as on Europe’s sovereign debt crisis. “Germany’s technology has a dominant position, but it needs a market and China is a big market,” said Gu, citing energy, environmental protection and manufacturing as possible areas of cooperation. Reports in the German press have raised the possibility that European plane manufacturer Airbus could win a large order from China during the visit. However, Merkel was also expected to raise non-economic issues with Wen, including Syria, human rights and freedom of the press. China has joined Russia in repeatedly using their vetoes to scuttle UN Security Council resolutions aimed at tackling the deadly conflict in Syria, putting them at odds with western powers. And Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters Monday the chancellor would raise the issue of the freedom of the press with Wen amid complaints of a “deteriorating situation” for German journalists in China. German journalists working in China wrote a letter to Merkel saying authorities in Beijing had been “willfully obstructing” their work by threatening not to renew their visas and intimidating local assistants. “We just request the same working conditions that Chinese journalists enjoy ... in Germany,” the reporters wrote. —AFP

India raps oil explorer after taking aim at coal NEW DELHI: India’s state auditor has hit out at the country’s biggest explorer ONGC for its tardy exploration and lax efforts in development in a report published on the heels of a damning view on coal which triggered a massive political row. The report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) aimed to assess whether ONGC was up to meeting domestic energy targets set for 2025 by the world’s fourth-largest oil importer and one of Asia’s largest economies. It said ONGC needed to focus more on exploration and ensure that it produced more from discoveries that it does make, adding that the Oil Ministry should reset ONGC’s annual targets. “ONGC mainly operates in its producing fields to meet both reserve accretion and production targets,” the report said. “Lack of adequate efforts and results in new fields, coupled with the ageing of producing fields, is a matter of concern for future,” it added. Output by ONGC had been almost static with a downward trend over the last decade from 2001/02, the report said. The state-run company produced 46.48 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe) in 2010/11, down from 48.29 mtoe in 2007/08. The auditor said despite getting 89 prospective blocks out of

120 blocks auctioned in the first eight rounds of New Delhi’s exploration auctions, ONGC has made only 11 discoveries in 8 blocks and did not complete work commitments elsewhere. “A comparison of discoveries ... shows that despite its large acreage and rich experience in exploration and production sector, ONGC made lesser discoveries than new entrants like Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation,” the CAG report said. ONGC did not place the desired emphasis on its core exploration activity and average metres drilled per day by ONGC were below the drilling performance of state-run Oil India Ltd and private operators.The report should now be discussed in parliament, although proceedings there are paralysed by a political row over the CAG’s criticism of the government in its report on the coal industry. The ONGC report also said the explorer had monetized only 73 out of its 158 discoveries made during 2002-2011. “Though ONGC operates in a field of cutting edge technology, it did not have a system of independent assessment of its technical capacity which fails to assure its stakeholders,” it said. The auditor also noted cost overruns and shortfall in survey and drilling targets of ONGC’s exploration process. — Reuters

MANILA/PARIS: Airbus won a $7 billion order to help more than triple Philippine Airlines Inc’s fleet, beating Boeing Co to a deal despite US support for Manila in a diplomatic dispute with China. The flag carrier plans to buy up to 100 new jets in total within the next five to seven years, its biggest ever fleet expansion in its 71-year history, as it restructures operations to become a low-cost carrier and regain dominance of the local market from arch-rival Cebu Air Inc. Those purchases would take its fleet to around 140 planes, far ahead of Cebu’s 38strong fleet, which it plans to double. Philippine Airlines (PAL) said it was still in talks with both Airbus and Boeing for its next tranche of planes. For this stage of fleet expansion, the airline has ordered 10 long-haul A330-300s and 44 jets from the A321 family, with delivery starting in 2013, Asia’s oldest airline said in a statement. Philippine Airlines will pay Airbus in cash, with part of the money to come from bank loans, said President Ramon Ang, who also heads Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corp. The carrier is also ready to issue more shares to fund its jet purchases, it said in a statement. “The good Boeing planes we are looking at are the 777-300 ER and the upcoming 777-X. We’re also interested in the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner,” Ang told reporters on the sidelines of the deal signing event in Manila yesterday. “We have the option on whichever type of aircraft to go,” he said. Boeing and Airbus are locked in a global contest for market share, in some cases more than halving prices to bolster orders of the newly revamped models of best-selling narrowbody jets, industry sources and analysts say. San Miguel, which bought a 49 percent stake in PAL and a sister airline in April from Filipino billionaire and brewing rival Lucio Tan in a deal worth about $500 million, controls the management of the airline. A territorial spat in the South China Sea, Asia’s biggest potential military flashpoint, appears to have added a diplomatic dimension to the aircraft order talks as Washington seeks to cement a growing alignment with Manila on the issue. One person familiar with the matter said there had been significant

MANILA: Jean-Francois Laval, center, senior vice president for sales asia of Airbus, Lucio Tan, left, chairman and CEO of Philippine Airlines, and Ramon S. Ang, president and COO of Philippine Airlines hold an Airbus A321 model aircraft in a news conference yesterday in Manila, Philippines. Flag-carrier Philippine Airlines says it has signed a $7 billion deal to buy 54 Airbus jets as part of an ambitious plan to overhaul its fleet to meet higher demands for transporting passengers and cargo in Asia, the Middle East and Australia. — AP “commercial and political pressure” on the airline to secure a deal with Boeing. Boeing declined to comment on the negotiations. In Washington, the State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Beijing’s sovereignty claim over the huge area has set it against Vietnam and the Philippines as the three race to tap possibly huge oil reserves. The United States pledged in April to triple military aid to Manila in 2012 while remaining broadly cautious on defence ties. Philippines President Benigno Aquino visited the United States in June, highlighting the archipelago’s growing importance in US thinking and temporarily raising US hopes of a commercial aviation deal benefiting export jobs.With prestige, jobs and often influence at stake, experts say diplomacy is an occasional weapon in jetliner deals. A 2005 diplomatic

cable released by Wikileaks said US diplomats in Manila were “working closely” with Boeing, which had formally requested diplomatic support for previous efforts to sell the Boeing 777 to PAL, resulting in an order in 2007. Analysts say Airbus-originally a consortium between France, Germany, Britain and Spain-also benefits from diplomatic support from European nations for major contracts. Recent French presidents Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy both regularly promoted Airbus overseas, especially in Asia. Airbus hopes to win orders to sell up to 100 A320 planes to China when German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits the country this week, industry sources said on Monday. China regularly places three-figure plane orders tied to state events held with US or European leaders. — Reuters

Asian shares mixed, Hong Kong steady HONG KONG: Asian shares were mixed yesterday as fears about the euro-zone and a slowdown in China were offset by hopes the US central bank chief would this week outline steps to boost the world’s biggest economy. Trade was light after US stocks ended mixed on Monday and the London stock exchange was closed for a public holiday. Tokyo fell 0.57 percent, or 52.10 points, to 9,033.29, weighed down by a strong yen and a bleak government report, which cut its view on the economy for the first time in 10 months amid slow exports and consumer spending. Seoul edged down 0.08 percent, or 1.54 points, to 1,916.33, with shares in Samsung Electronics rebounding 1.27 percent following a plunge on Monday after a US court fined the firm $1.05 billion for breaching Apple’s patents. Sydney gained 0.36 percent, or 15.7 points, to 4,359.4, while Hong Kong was flat, edging up 0.07 percent, or 13.13 points, to 19,811.80. Shanghai jumped 0.85 percent, or 17.44 points, to 2,073.15 as investors cheered a plan by bluechip Baoshan Iron and Steel to buy back its shares, raising hopes of similar moves by other companies, dealers said. Asian shares have been driven higher in August on hopes of fresh central bank stimulus but the euphoria has been tempered in recent sessions by fears expectations may not be met. Investors were waiting to see what central bankers say about stimulus measures when they meet in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke set for a key address on Friday. “People are waiting for Jackson Hole,” Paul Chan at Invesco in Hong Kong, told Dow Jones Newswires. “If anything disappoints the market, we could have a pretty nasty pullback.” US stocks were subdued on Monday before

the meeting, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.25 percent, the S&P 500 off 0.05 percent, while a surge in Apple shares on its Samsung victory gave the tech-rich Nasdaq a small gain. Traders are also hoping for hints about the European Central Bank’s plans for a new programme to buy bonds of struggling euro-zone states, and signals China could move to arrest its slowing growth by easing monetary policy. “Investors are staying sluggish and balancing global easing expectations and worries over an economic slowdown in Europe and China,” Tomoichiro Kubota, senior market analyst at Matsui Securities in Japan, told Dow Jones. They were also waiting for the outcome of a meeting later yesterday between European Union president Herman Van Rompuy and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. “Any hints as to how close Spain is to formally requesting assistance from her EU partners will be important given this is a precondition for the ECB resuming secondary market bond buying,” National Australia Bank said in a note. The euro slipped in Asia Tuesday after a key German business sentiment indicator released the previous day fell to its lowest level since March 2010. The Ifo measure dropped for the fourth month running as Europe’s biggest economy showed signs of being affected more and more by the euro-zone crisis. On currency markets in Asian afternoon trade, the euro bought $1.2488 and 98.08 yen, down from $1.2535 and 98.41 yen in New York late Monday. The dollar also edged lower to 78.53 yen from 78.74 yen. Oil slipped, with New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in October, down one cent to $95.46 a barrel in volatile trade, and Brent North Sea crude for

October delivery down three cents to $112.23. Gold was at $1,661.90 at 1845 GMT compared to $1,670.90 on Monday. In other markets Taipei fell 1.42 percent, or 106.28 points, to 7,361.94. Hon Hai Precision shed 3.77 percent to Tw$84.2 while Acer was 1.32 percent lower at Tw$26.1. Wellington rose 0.16 percent, or 5.82 points, to 3,629.05. Telecom Corp rose 0.62 percent to NZ$2.43. Manila rose 0.63 percent, or 32.27 points, to 5,175.62. Alliance Global Group Inc rose 4.09 percent to 11.72 pesos and Metropolitan Bank and Trust added 0.81 percent to 93.55 pesos. Singapore closed down 0.15 percent, or 4.42 points, to 3,040.07. Singapore Airlines gained 0.56 percent to Sg$10.80 and Sembcorp Industries added 0.55 percent to Sg$5.49. Kuala Lumpur stocks fell 0.06 percent, 1.02 points, to close at 1,647.11. Hong Leong Bank lost 1.2 percent to 13.50 ringgit, Tenaga Nasional shed 0.7 percent to 6.82 while AirAsia gained 0.6 percent to 3.55 ringgit. Jakarta fell 0.07 percent, or 3.03 points, to 4,142.85. Coal company Bumi Resources fell 15 percent to 760 rupiah, heavyweight Telkom slid 1.6 percent to 9,300 rupiah and mining company Aneka Tambang fell 0.78 percent to 1,270 rupiah. Bangkok fell 0.05 percent, or 0.57 points, to 1,233.16. Power giant EGCO rose 1.73 percent to 117.50 baht while Siam City Cement lost 2.31 percent to 338.00 baht. Mumbai fell 0.27 percent or 47.10 points to 17,631.71. Sterlite Industries, the local arm of global resources group Vedanta, fell 5.13 percent to 104.5 rupees while private steel producer Jindal Steel slid 4.88 percent to 358.75. — AFP


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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

BUSINESS

DCB consolidates Dubai’s role as leading MICE destination DUBAI: The Dubai Convention Bureau (DCB), a division of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), has, in line with their vision to position Dubai as the leading tourism destination and commercial hub of the world, collaborated with a number of private and public sector organizations to secure some of world’s leading conferences and exhibitions for Dubai. DCB has in the past contributed to bringing such prestigious events and conferences to Dubai such as the International Diabetes Federation, World Heart Federation, International Bar Association and the World Energy Forum and is continuing to solidify Dubai’s place as a leading MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) destination. Commenting on Dubai’s growing success as a destination for business tourism, Hamad Mohammed Bin Mejren, CDME Executive

Director, Business Tourism said, “The leadership of the UAE has continually underlined and supported the importance of the development of the MICE industry in the Emirates, recognising that congress development is key to tourism success. The strong infrastructure network, air accessibility and abundance of hotel options in Dubai make it an ideal choice for international meetings. Dubai has established a considerable reputation as an exceptional destination for meetings and conferences and has hosted some impressive international events. In 2011 Dubai hosted 34 international association meetings, not taking into account corporate meetings, incentives and exhibitions. The International Convention and Congress Association (ICCA) ranked Dubai as first in the Middle Eastandas one of the major international meeting destinations globally, with Dubai surfacing as a top contender amongst well estab-

lished meetings destinations such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Melbourne. This year Dubai will be hosting

Hamad bin Mejren The World Conference on International Telecommunications, the Global Standards Symposium and The World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly, with a

total number of delegates expected to be over 11,000. In 2013 the Emirate will be playing host to the Interdisciplinary World Congress on Low Back and Pelvic Pain, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication Congress & Exhibition, and the International Destination Expo 2013. Further major international events are also set to take place in Dubai in 2014, namely the duel events of the Congress of the Asian Pacific Dental Federation (APDF) and the Scientific Conference of Asian Pacific Endodontic Confederation (APEC) and the International Symposium on Electronic Art, which will be taking place outside of Europe for the first time since its inception. DCB prides itself on providing its clients with expert assistance in the planning and organization of virtually any kind of MICE and have played a pivotal role in creating an environment that is conducive to attracting these major conven-

tions. The services they provide include bid assistance, convention planning, building attendance, onsite event servicing, and destination expertise. Remarking on the importance of MICE tourism on the economic front, Jerad Bachar, CDME Director of DCB said, “The recent volatility in the international financial markets has put a major strain on many facets of the tourism trade. MICE is however the one sector of tourism that has bounced back, perhaps even stronger and with great speed. As such, meetings, events, and other business tourism segments have a major role to play in injecting funds into our economy. Apart from the direct revenues that these events generate, there is a more far-reaching secondary effect, as delegates to any conference invariably will return to the destination for other commerce and trade activities or even for leisure vacations.”

The Dubai Convention Bureau is a division of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, a non-profit government funded organization, whose aim is to further develop and increase Dubai’s share of the international MICE and special events markets, whilst maximizing the economic prospects of Dubai. The DCB is dedicated to pursue and win events through national and international promotions to advance the position of the Emirate as a leading business tourism destination. The DCB’s service standards are accredited by Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance LRQA as part of the BestCities Global alliance, convention and visitor bureaus that deliver the world’s best service experience for the meeting industry. Consistently high service standards and close cooperation among the partners yield great results for our customers.

Canon products recognised in 2012-13 EISA awards Four best Canon products in respective classes DUBAI: Canon yesterday announced that the company has been honoured with four product awards by the European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA). The EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR has been awarded ‘European Advanced SLR Camera 2012-2013’, the PowerShot G1 X has been named ‘European Compact Camera 2012-2013’, the LEGRIA HF M52 camcorder has won ‘European Camcorder 2012-2013’, and the PIXMA PRO-1 has been awarded the ‘European Photo Printer 2012-2013’, highlighting the marketleading quality of Canon’s photo and video products from input through to output. The EISA awards are voted by panels of editors representing 50 prominent magazines across 18 countries. The awards recognise the products that combine the most advanced technology, desirable features and leading design with genuine value, and this year’s

Commenting on the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, the EISA judging panel said: “The Canon EOS 5D Mark III is an extremely versatile still camera as well as being an easy-to-use, professional quality, DSLR movie camera. While the specification seems similar to its predecessor, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III is a substantial improvement in real life photography as well as in performance. Its 22-million-pixel CMOS sensor yields great results under normal and low light conditions, and the camera gets its advanced 61-point AF system from Canon’s new professional models. Additionally, this new EOS 5D generation has significantly improved weather resistance and 6fps continuous shooting speeds.” European Compact Camera 2012-2013: Canon PowerShot G1 X The PowerShot G1 X raises the bar for image

Canon EISA award winning products 2012 judging panel has heralded these Canon products as the best in their respective classes. “We want to empower everyone to capture and share special moments, whether in stills or video, in such quality that each individual feels like they were there,” commented Hendrik Verbrugghe, Marketing Director, Canon Middle East. “The industry recognition that these EISA awards represent rewards the dedication of our product teams who constantly strive to offer market-leading quality to consumers and professionals at every stage of the process.” European Advanced SLR Camera 20122013: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Building on the success of the renowned EOS 5D Mark II, and incorporating feedback from professional photographers around the world, the EOS 5D Mark III offers unparalleled artistic freedom for even the most demanding shoots.

performance in a compact camera and has been acclaimed by Canon as the finest compact camera ever produced by the company. Designed to be the perfect complement to a professional DSLR and an incredible camera in its own right, the PowerShot G1 X sits at the top of Canon’s renowned G-series and is the ideal camera for professional and serious photographers who demand professional quality from a compact camera. Commenting on the Canon PowerShot G1 X, the EISA judging panel said: “The image quality produced by the Canon PowerShot G1 X is at a level that can compete with many DSLRs. This is quite amazing for a camera with such a compact body. Using a sensor size that is between the APS-C and micro four thirds formats helps this PowerShot to keep noise well under control even at ISO settings as high as 12800. The powerful DIGIC 5 processor also plays a major role in reducing image noise and also helps to process the camera’s 14.3-million-

pixel, 14 bit, images at top speed. Serious amateurs and professionals alike will appreciate the camera’s ability to save files in RAW and in JPEG formats. The 4x zoom, according to EISA magazine tests, offers good image quality for such a compact design, and the built-in stabilizer, that uses the same hybrid IS technology as some professional Canon lenses, is very efficient.” European Camcorder 2012-2013: Canon LEGRIA HF M52 Designed to make it easy to capture and share high-quality, Full HD movies, the LEGRIA HF M52 excels in low-light situations and Wi-Fi (MPEG4) functionalities. New Intelligent IS makes it easy to capture smooth, shake-free footage and Story Creator acts as a personal movie director, guiding users through the types of scenes they could shoot to tell a particular story. Commenting on the Canon LEGRIA HF M52, the EISA judging panel said: “The compact, handheld Canon HF M52 camcorder gives you the opportunity to shoot high-quality video with ultra-fast focusing and effective picture stabilization. The 32GB built-in flash memory provides up to three hours shooting capacity at the highest picture quality, while the camcorder also accepts external SD flash memory cards, including SDXC, meaning you should never run out of space. Built-in Wi-Fi makes it easy to share your footage via social media, DLNA-certified TV screens and iOS devices but the standout issue is the superb picture quality, courtesy of Canon’s HD CMOS Pro sensor, and the option of improving sound quality by connecting an external microphone.” European Photo Printer 2012-2013: Canon PIXMA PRO-1 The PIXMA PRO-1 is the world’s first A3+ printer to feature a 12-ink system and has become the new flagship model within the company’s acclaimed Pro series. Designed for professional photographers, the PIXMA PRO-1 features an EOS-inspired design and produces the highest-possible print quality, both in colour and in monochrome, making it ideal for use in studios and commercial exhibitions. Commenting on the Canon PIXMA PRO-1, the EISA judging panel said: “With 12 highcapacity pigment-ink cartridges the PIXMA PRO-1 is the perfect choice for making longlasting prints of outstanding quality. This is a printer aimed at serious amateurs as well as professional photographers. Not only is the colour rendering excellent and consistent, but also, with five dedicated monochrome inks, black-and-white prints are highly detailed and really stand out. In colour, skin tones appear natural and are reproduced with a high level of accuracy. The printer supports media of up to A3+ and works quickly, taking less than three minutes to print an A3 photograph, and a second paper feeder adds extra flexibility for those using extra thick media. The PIXMA PRO1 is full of modern technology that delivers excellent quality with relatively low running costs.”

X-cite by Alghanim Electronics launches Preethi mixer grinder KUWAIT: X-cite by Alghanim Electronics introduces the launch of Preethi Steele, an exclusive class of mixer grinders from India. Preethi, India’s largest mixer grinder brand and a leading kitchen appliances company has emphasized its strong presence in over 9 million homes in India and abroad. The Preethi range of kitchen appliances, includes mixer grinders, electric pressure cookers, wet grinders, coffee makers, kettles and irons amongst others. Currently four models of Preethi Steele mixer grinders are launched in Kuwait. The brand has grown from its modest beginning to become the market leader in the mixer-grinder market. The company has 7 manufacturing facilities spread across India. The brand was introduced in 1978 and over a span of 33 years of continued commitment to quality, Preethi has grown to establish No: 1 position in India and is now globally recognized and sold across various countries including USA, Canada, Sir Lanka, Indonesia and Middle East. X-cite believes in commitment to quality and a

major insight about Preethi is the quality that is highly associated with the brand. Preethi mixer grinders are well known for their ruggedness. Powerful motor, turbo vent for effective cooling and low noise, faster grinding are some of the main features that contribute to its superior performance. Preethi Steele mixer grinders made out of 100 percent stainless steel are ideal for preparation of South Indian delicacies such as dosa, chutney, idli etc which requires powerful grinding compared to the other conventional mixers. X-cite is constantly exploring new products and the Indian market has a lot of innovative products to offer such as wet grinder, spice mills, food steamers etc. X-cite continues to enhance customer satisfaction by bringing in these innovative products and making it available in our showrooms. Once again Xcite is very delighted with this new venture of bringing India’s largest mixer grinder brand to Kuwait and enabling our customers to enjoy the quality of Preethi’s products and services.

BMW’s driving pleasure extended with cool air-conditioning promotion KUWAIT: Reaffirming its commitment to providing BMW customers with a premium ownership experience and a first-class after-sales service, Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive the BMW Group importer in Kuwait has launched a cool air conditioning promotion during these hot summer months. The promotion, carried out by highly trained BMW technicians includes cleaning of the evaporator fins, humidifiers and air compressors with BMW Air Condition Disinfectant Solution, which eliminates odours and unpleasant smells, and sanitizes the interior of the car to ensure a fresh and hygienic driving environment.

“Most people have their car air conditioning systems operating to the maximum during the hot summer months, so it’s important to have them cleaned so the air circulating is cool, fresh and clean. The promotion costs minimum and only takes around 1 hour to complete so we would like to encourage our customer to take advantage of this promotion which runs till end of September,” said Yousef AlQatami, General Manager of Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive. The service which is approved by the German Society of Hygiene is offered at the Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive Showroom and service centre in Shuyoukh.

SHANGHAI: Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer James Hogan and China Eastern Airlines Chairman Liu Shaoyong preside over the signing of the original MoU by Etihad Airways Chief Strategy and Planning Officer Kevin Knight and China Eastern Airlines Marketing Director Dong Bo, flanked by cabin crew from both airlines in Shanghai, China.

Etihad Airways signs codeshare with China Eastern Airlines ABU DHABI: Etihad Air ways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has signed a codeshare agreement with China Eastern Airlines. The new agreement is the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s 37th codeshare. It follows the exchange of a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding with the Shanghai-based Chinese carrier in March this year. The President and Chief Executive O fficer of Etihad Air ways, James Hogan, expressed appreciation to the government regulators for approving the new agreement. “The codeshare with China Eastern Airlines is a win-win for both businessesand for travellers across our combined global networks. “It expands our networks in a commercially viable and mutually beneficial way, and offers our customers more choice of destinations, schedules and loyalty benefits.” Liu Shaoyong, Chairman of China Eastern Airlines, said: “China Eastern is very pleased to cooperate with Etihad Airways and values the partnership.

Signing the codeshare agreement has great significance for increased cooperation in a range of areas which will be for the benefit of our shared customers.” Initially, China Eastern Airlines will place its ‘MU’ code on Etihad Airways’ flights between Abu Dhabi and Shanghai. The airlines have plans to expand the partnership in subsequent phases of cooperation. For example, China Eastern will place its ‘MU’ code on Etihad Airways flights to destinations not on the Chinese carrier’s network while Etihad Airways plans to codeshare on China Eastern’s domestic services beyond its Shanghai hub. The two airlines also plan to offer reciprocal benefits such as mileage earn and burn to members of their frequent flyer programs, Etihad Guest and Eastern Miles, in the fourth quarter of 2012. The new codeshare ser vices between Abu Dhabi and China go on sale on August 30, 2012 for travel from September 3.


27

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

TECHNOLOGY

Apple jurors grappled with complex patent issues SAN JOSE: The youngest juror, a 24year-old whose favorite court attire was T-shirts bearing names of rock bands, chose a Beatles sweatshirt for Friday’s dramatic unveiling of the $1.05 billion verdict in favor of computer titan Apple Inc. One of the oldest was a retired electrical engineer who, as foreman, signed the unanimous verdict that Samsung Electronics Co. copied Apple’s patented technology for the iPhone and iPad. Among the other seven jurors were a homemaker, a bicycle shop manager and a US Navy veteran. The decision Friday by this panel of people from many walks of Silicon Valley life was one that experts say could dramatically alter the future of computer tablet and phone design if the verdict stands. But the case also is part of a trend that has accompanied

an explosion in the number of patent infringement cases, especially in the technology sector. Increasingly, these highly complex disputes are being decided by juries, rather than judges, and the juries tend to issue more generous awards for patent violations. That has companies on the receiving end of successful patent infringement lawsuits crying foul and calling for reform in the patent system, but it also has some legal experts questioning whether ordinary citizens should be rendering verdicts and fixing damages in such high-stakes, highly technical cases. “That’s a great question ... and it’s the subject of a fair amount of current debate,” said Notre Dame University law professor Mark McKenna. Deliberations in the Apple v.

Samsung battle were far more challenging than most. The jury was confronted with hundreds of questions on a 20-page verdict form that was more complicated than a US tax return. They had in the jury room more than two dozen electronic devices at issue, 12 patents to decipher and 109-pages of instructions from the judge on rendering a verdict. “This case is unmanageable for a jury,” Robin Feldman, an intellectual property professor at the University of California Hastings Law School, said before the verdict. “There are more than 100 pages of jury instructions. I don’t give that much reading to my law students. They can’t possible digest it.” “The trial is evidence of a patent system that is out of control,” Feldman

said. “No matter what happens in this trial, I think people will need to step back and ask whether we’ve gone too far in the intellectual property system.” Apple filed suit in April 2011, accusing Samsung of essentially selling illegal knockoffs of its popular iPhones and iPads. Apple demanded $2.5 billion in damages and an order barring US sales of the Samsung products in question. Samsung countered with its own claims, accusing Apple of using wireless technology it owned. The jury rejected Samsung’s claims and refused to award Apple the maximum amount demanded, finding that fewer Samsung products violated Apple’s patent than alleged. The jury arrived at its verdict after less than three days of deliberations, far swifter than many experts thought

in view of the many complex issues. The foreman, Velvin Hogan, a 67year-old electrical engineer, told the San Jose Mercury News on Saturday that the panel was methodical. “We didn’t whiz through this,” said Hogan, who relied on his own experience patenting inventions. “We took it very seriously.” Hogan, who does not own Apple products, said the first task was to determine if Apple’s patents were valid. Using his own experience getting a patent, Hogan said he had a revelation on first night of deliberations while watching television. “I was thinking about the patents, and thought, ‘If this were my patent, could I defend it?’” Hogan recalled. “Once I answered that question as yes, it changed how I looked at things.” —AP

Samsung vows ‘all measures’ to keep products in US Apple seeks ban on 28 devices

Nano revamping its marketing plans NEW DELHI: Ratan Tata, head of the 143year-old Indian conglomerate that bears his family name, is known as a passionate innovator so committed to risk-taking in his $83 billion empire that he gives an annual award for the “best failed idea.” But that prize could go to Tata himself for one of his own dream projects: the Nano car. The launch of Tata Nano in 2009 was hailed as a milestone in automotive history. At 123,000 rupees, or $2,400, the Nano was dubbed “the world’s cheapest car” and called a flagship example of Tata’s idea of frugal innovation. It illustrated how engineering could be used to open markets in a country where per capita income is around $1,000 a year. At first, Tata’s “people’s car” looked as if it could be India’s Model T. Where Ford had used assembly-line innovations to create the first mass-market car, the Nano would push affordability to an extreme. Tata’s engineering team introduced a lightweight hollow steering column and tore up plans for the car’s floor 10 times. Smaller tires were designed using less rubber and the wheels have three lug nuts instead of four. According to the market research firm Frost and Sullivan, the German auto supplier Bosch stripped out as many as 700 of the 1,000 functions of its electronic fuel injection and engine controls to develop cheaper versions for the Nano. All told, Tata filed around 35 patents on the technology that went in to the car’s design. When the Nano was unveiled, accolades rolled in, including the Frost and Sullivan Innovation Award. Analysts predicted that the vehicle would increase by a staggering 65 percent the number of Indian families able to own a car. Instead, the Nano has become a hard lesson in marketing to the bottom of the economic pyramid. Just 70,432 of the cars were sold during the fiscal year ending in March. At first, some target customers were intimidated by Tata’s glitter-

ing showrooms (about half of Nano buyers had never owned a car before). Others apparently just didn’t like the idea of purchasing the world’s cheapest car. In a country where incomes have doubled in the past five years, the Nano is seen as a glorified version of a tuk-tuk, the threewheeled motorized rickshaw often seen on the streets of developing nations. Many consumers stretched their budgets to buy the Maruti-Suzuki Alto, which has a bigger 800cc engine. Tata may have misjudged the market by offering too little with its people’s car. “If you start with a very basic product, soon the customer wants more,” says David Cole, chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research, a nonprofit automotive-industry research group. “To precisely hit the market when you are pioneering a segment is difficult.” Tata says it is “confident” in the Nano but has been revamping its marketing plans. Ratan Tata himself went out to meet with dealers and executives even struck a deal to display cars at Big Bazaar, a chain of retail discount stores where one can buy plastic buckets and curry powder. So far, sales continue to be choppy and are falling well short of Tata’s ambition of selling 20,000 cars per month One answer could be more technology. Tata has diesel and electric, versions of the Nano on the drawing board, although Cole wonders if such strategies will work. “If the market is soft, you cannot solve market problems by adding technology features,” he says. “Hybrid or diesel versions can potentially double the costs of Nano-a very risky step.” Tata continues to push ahead with frugal innovation, including a $700 prefabricated home and a low-cost water filter called Swach. One idea that didn’t make it was an inexpensive all-plastic door designed for the Nano. But it was a good effort. The door was a nominee for the “Dare to Try” award, the one for the best failed idea. — MCT

Xerox harnessing force of disruptive innovation BERLIN: It has been a long time since anyone considered Xerox an innovation powerhouse. On the contrary, Xerox typically serves as a cautionary tale of opportunity lost: many obituaries of Steve Jobs described how a fateful visit by Jobs to the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center in 1979 inspired many of the breakthroughs that Apple built into its Macintosh computer. Back then, Xerox dominated the photocopier market and was understandably focused on improving and sustaining its high-margin products. The company’s Connecticut headquarters became the place where inventions in its Silicon Valley lab went to die. Inevitably, simpler and cheaper copiers from Canon and other rivals cut down Xerox in its core market. It is a classic story of the “innovator’s dilemma.” Xerox struggled to defend against threats at the low end of its business, failed to create growth in new markets, and found itself on the brink of irrelevance, if not extinction. But now Xerox is turning things around. In the fall of 2009, the first order of business for its new CEO, Ursula Burns, was to

buy Affiliated Computer Services for $6.4 billion. The 74,000-employee services company had built a powerful new business model by taking over document management from corporations, state governments, and law firms, typically using nonXerox equipment. For companies, outsourcing was simpler and cheaper than doing it themselves. Under Burns, Xerox was now redefining its mission. “I kept asking people: What is it that we do?” she said in a recent speech at the Churchill Club. “ The answer was always: ‘We’re a copier company, a printer company, a document company.’ ‘No, that’s not what we do,’ I said. ‘We help companies transform very complex and burdensome business processes.’” As Burns plunged Xerox into the services business, she devoted R&D resources-at the storied PARC lab and elsewhere-to developing simple, Web-based document tools such as BlitzDocs, which enables banks to streamline the mortgage approval process, and CategoriX, which helps law firms increase their analytical capabilities and manage millions of documents. — MCT

SEOUL: South Korea’s Samsung Electronics vowed yesterday to take “all necessary measures” to keep its products on US store shelves, in response to Apple’s request for a ban on sales of some smartphones. After winning a $1.05 billion US court judgement in a patent suit last week, Apple on Monday filed a court request to ban eight Samsung mobile devices including versions of its Galaxy and Droid smartphones. Samsung, the world’s biggest technology firm, countered in a statement: “We will take all necessary measures to ensure the availability of our products in the US market.” Rival Apple says that it reserves the right to seek permanent injunctions banning the sale of all 28 Samsung devices which a jury on Friday found infringed its patents. But it presented a shorter list of Samsung products “to address a portion of the immediate, ongoing irreparable harm that Apple is suffering”. The phones that Apple included on its list for a sales ban are old models but still

available through wireless carriers and online retailers. Samsung’s newest flagship products-Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note-were not included. The jury in San Jose, California decided Friday that Samsung “wilfully ” infringed six Apple patents for smartphones or tablet PCs. Samsung has vowed to contest the verdict, saying courts in other countries had previously ruled it had not copied Apple’s designs. The company did not elaborate on its strategy but it is considering removing or modifying features found to have infringed Apple’s patents to keep its products on the market if the sales ban is granted. “As a last resor t, we can think about workarounds,” a Samsung official told AFP on condition of anonymity, referring to possible modifications. Judge Lucy Koh has set a hearing for September 20 to consider enforcement of injunctions against Samsung devices. She will also hear Samsung motions to reduce or dismiss charges and Apple’s

request for “punitive” damages, which could triple the award. Friday’s ruling-part of a legal battle in nine countries between the two technology titans — was seen as a major defeat for smar tphone makers that use Google’s Android operating system. More than 90 percent of the latest smartphones from HTC, Lenovo Group, ZTE Corp., Huawei Technologies and LG Electronics use the Android operating platform. Samsung officials say their company could develop new products or software to avoid being a future target of patent litigation. Samsung and other smartphone makers are working with Microsoft to launch Windows-based devices later this year. Samsung also has been working with Intel on a free and open mobile platform. Samsung shares ended 1.27 percent higher at 1,195,000 won yesterday, a day after plunging 7.5 percent-the biggest single-day percentage drop the electronics giant has seen in nearly four years. — AFP

Why publishers don’t like Apps NEW YORK: By the time Apple released the iPad in April of 2010, only four months after Steve Jobs first announced his “magical and revolutionary” new machines, traditional publishers were gripped by a collective delusion. They had convinced themselves that tablet computers and smart phones would allow them to unwind their unhappy histories with the Internet. For publishers whose businesses had evolved during the long day of print newspapers and magazines, the expansion of the Internet was terribly disorienting. The Web taught readers that they might read stories whenever they liked without charge, and it offered companies more efficient ways to advertise; both parties spent less. Yorker’s editors gushed: “This latest technology ... provides the most material at the most advanced stage of digital speed and capacity. It has everything that is in the print edition and more: extra cartoons, extra photographs, videos, audio of writers and poets reading their work. This week’s inaugural tablet issue features an animated version of David Hockney’s cover, which he drew on an iPad.” Giddiest of all was the chief executive of News Corp., Rupert Murdoch: he lavished $30 million on the launch of The Daily, an experimental iPad-only newspaper with a $39.99 subscription price. Smart phones and tablets seemed to promise a return to simpler days. It was true that digital replicas of print newspapers and magazines (most often read inside Web browsers) had never been very popular, but publishers reasoned that reading replicas on desktop computers and laptops was an unpleasant experience. The forms of the new smart devices were a little like those of magazines or newspapers. Couldn’t publishers delight readers by delivering something similar to existing digital replicas but suitably enhanced with interactive features? They told themselves that the new digital replicas would be better than their Web-bound kin because they would run in “native” applications on mobile operating systems like Apple’s iOS, and thus would possess the dazzling functions of true software. For traditional publishers, the scheme was alluring. Because they were once again delivering a discrete product, analogous to a newspaper or magazine, they could charge readers for single-copy sales and subscriptions, reÎducating audiences that journalism was something valuable for which they must pay. Software vendors like Adobe promised that editorial created with their print-oriented copymanagement systems could be “seamlessly” transferred to the apps. And as for software development ... well, how hard was that? Most publishers had Web-development departments: let the nerds build the apps. Publishers also expected to revive the old print advertising economy. The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), the industry organization that audits circulation and audience information for magazines and newspapers in North America, said the replicas inside apps would count toward “rate base,” the measure of publications’ total circulation, which includes subscription and newsstand sales. Rate base had been the metric for setting advertising rates in publishing before the emergence of online banner and keyword advertising, where electronic arcana like click-throughs and ad impressions are the accepted currencies. — MCT

NEW DELHI: Managing Director Fujitsu India, Mark Wilson and Country Manager Fujitsu India, Alok Sharma pose with the newly unveiled Fujitsu LIFEBOOK notebooks in New Delhi yesterday. Fujitsu, which provides information technology services and makes consumer products including computers and mobile phones, booked a net loss of $304 million company wide in the three months through June 2012, compared with a loss of $258.9 million in the same period last year. — AFP

Google plans to build a digital wonderland NEW YORK: At first glance, Thad Starner does not look out of place at Google. A pioneering researcher in the field of wearable computing, Starner is a big, charming man with unruly hair. But everyone who meets him does a double take, because mounted over the left lens of his eyeglasses is a small rectangle. It looks like a car’s side-view mirror made for a human face. The device is actually a minuscule computer monitor aimed at Starner’s eye; he sees its displaypictures, e-mails, anything-superimposed on top of the world, Terminator-style. Starner’s heads-up display is his own system, not a prototype of Project Glass, Google’s recently announced effort to build augmented-reality goggles. In April, Google X, the company’s special-projects lab, posted a video in which an imaginary user meanders around New York City while maps, text messages, and calendar reminders pop up in front of his eye-a digital wonderland overlaid on the analog world. Google says the project is still in its early phases; Google employees have been testing the technology in public, but the company has declined to show prototypes to most journalists, including myself. Instead, Google let me speak to Starner, a technical lead for the project, who is one of the world’s leading experts on what it’s like to live a cyborg’s life. He has been wearing various kinds of augmented-reality goggles full time since the early 1990s, which once meant he walked around with video displays that obscured much of his face and required seven pounds of batteries. Even in computer science circles, then, Starner has long been an oddity. I went to Google headquarters not only to find out how he gets by in the world but also to

challenge him. Project Glass-and the whole idea of machines that directly augment your senses-seemed to me to be a nerd’s fantasy, not a potential mainstream technology. But as soon as Starner walked into the colorful Google conference room where we met, I began to question my skepticism. I’d come to the meeting laden with gadgets-I’d compiled my questions on an iPad, I was recording audio using a digital smart pen, and in my pocket my phone buzzed with updates. As we chatted, my attention wandered from device to device in the distracted dance of a tech-addled madman. Starner, meanwhile, was the picture of concentration. His tiny display is connected to a computer he carries in a messenger bag, a machine he controls with a small, one-handed keyboard that he’s always gripping in his left hand. He owns an Android phone, too, but he says he never uses it other than for calls (though it would be possible to route calls through his eyeglass system). The spectacles take the place of his desktop computer, his mobile computer, and his all-knowing digital assistant. For all its utility, though, Starner’s machine is less distracting than any other computer I’ve ever seen. This was a revelation. Here was a guy wearing a computer, but because he could use it without becoming lost in it-as we all do when we consult our many devices-he appeared less in thrall to the digital world than you and I are every day. “One of the key points here,” Starner says, “is that we’re trying to make mobile systems that help the user pay more attention to the real world as opposed to retreating from it.” — MCT


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

H E A LT H & S C I E NC E

Can Curiosity Mars mission inspire like Apollo? LOS ANGELES: Neil Armstrong inspired millions with his moonwalk. Can a feisty robotic rover exploring Mars do the same for another generation? With manned missions beyond the International Space Station on hold, the spotlight has turned on machines. While it did not rise to Armstrong’s “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”, interest was so high in the rover Curiosity’s “seven minutes of terror” approach to the red planet earlier this month that NASA’s website crashed after receiving nearly 2 billion hits. The rover last week beamed home photographs of its first wheel tracks on the Martian soil since its daredevil landing “There’s something exciting about reaching another place in the solar system. If you think about the kind of interest the landing of Curiosity had, you get a sense of that,” said Smithsonian Institution space curator Roger Launius. It wasn’t on the same level as Armstrong’s feat, “but it was pretty darn exciting,” he said. When Armstrong, then fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin, stepped on the moon on July 20, 1969, an estimated 600 million people watched and listened. “Virtually the entire world took that memorable journey with us,” recalled Buzz Aldrin after Armstrong’s death Saturday. Early in the Space Age, the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts were the public face of NASA’s space endeavor while the unmanned lunar missions that paved the way were in the shadows. The public craved adventure and the manned missions delivered. Aiming for the moon was new and exciting - not to mention dangerous - and the US was locked in a Cold War space race with the Soviets. Next, the space shuttle ferried a new crop of astronauts to low-Earth orbit, but after three decades of service, it became routine. And the Cold War thawed with the Russians and Americans cooperating on the Russian space station Mir and the International Space Station.

With the space shuttle fleet retired, the space station is all that’s left. Its crew of six for the most part quietly goes about doing its job about 250 miles above the Earth. President Barack Obama nixed plans for returning astronauts to the moon in favor of landing on an asteroid and eventually Mars. These days, space exploration is carried out by robotic spacecraft commanded by human handlers on Earth. Advances

in technology have allowed unmanned spacecraft to go farther and peer deeper, with craft circling Mercury, Saturn, asteroid Vesta and others headed for Jupiter and dwarf planet Pluto. The twin Voyager craft are still going strong at the fringes of the solar system 35 years after their launch in 1977. American University space policy analyst Howard McCurdy said today’s generation of explorers was

PASADENA, California: NASA scientists comment on the newest image of the tracks left by NASA’s Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Monday. — AP

raised on technology and tends to get more jazzed about delivering a car-size rover to Mars. “Robotic exploration has taken more of a center stage,” he said. “It gets more publicity now than the International Space Station.” When the first Mars rover Sojourner landed in 1997, science fiction writer Arthur C Clarke rephrased Armstrong’s famous line and said the event was “one small step for the rover”. Three other rovers have followed including Curiosity, which landed Aug 5 by executing an intricate routine that ended with it being lowered by cables to the surface. Curiosity’s acrobatics proved so popular that its Twitter followers surged from 120,000 the eve of landing to more than a million (the tweets are being written by the public affairs office at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which manages the $2.5 billion mission.) Curiosity chief scientist John Grotzinger said Monday the wheel prints on Mars may turn out to be an iconic image just like those first boot prints on the lunar surface. “Instead of a human, it’s a robot pretty much doing the same thing,” he said. Henry Lambright, a professor of public policy and space scholar at Syracuse University, said while Curiosity is inspiring, the world still needs to send humans beyond low-Earth orbit. “It can’t inspire to the degree that Apollo did because a robot can’t inspire the way a man can,” Lambright said. On Monday, NASA played a recording from Administrator Charles Bolden that had been sent up to the rover on Mars and relayed back to Earth. In it, he thanked scientists and engineers for their achievement. David Lavery of NASA headquarters said the hope is that someone will be inspired by Bolden’s message and become the first human to stand on Mars. “Like the great Neil Armstrong, they’ll be able to speak aloud - the first person at that point, of the next giant leap in human exploration,” he said.— AP

US OKs once-a-day pill to treat HIV

A color image released by NASA yesterday and taken on Aug 23 shows the gravelly area around Curiosity’s landing site in the foreground. Farther away, about a third of the way up from the bottom of the image, the terrain falls off into a depression (a swale). Beyond the swale, in the middle of the image, is the boulder-strewn, red-brown rim of a moderately-sized impact crater. Farther off in the distance, there are dark dunes and then the layered rock at the base of Mount Sharp. —AFP

NASA likens Mars rover to Armstrong landmark LOS ANGELES: NASA beamed back more spectacular pictures from Mars yesterday and a first voice message - likening it to the lunar landmark led by Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon who died last week. In the audio message, broadcast from the surface of the Red Planet by the Curiosity Rover, NASA administrator Charles Bolden forecast that a manned mission to Mars could happen “in the not too distant future”. “Another small step has been taken extending the human presence beyond earth,” said NASA expert Dave Lavery, echoing Armstrong’s famous first words on the Moon in 1969. Exper ts at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California released more pictures taken by the $2.5 billion rover, which landed at Gale Crater on the Red Planet on Aug 6. One showed a panorama, in pin-sharp resolution showing individual rocks, of the landscape visible from the rover, including Mount Sharp, the slopes of which Curiosity plans to drive toward in the coming weeks and months. Mission chief scientist John Grotzinger said the landscape looked like “something

that comes out of a John Ford movie”, referring to typical backdrop in films by the classic Western director. And he compared the tyre tracks made by Curiosity, visible in some of the photos, to images of the first footprints on the Moon made by Armstrong, whose death at 82 was announced by his family on Saturday. “What we are seeing here is the results of tracks involving the first motions of the rover. I think instead of a human it’s a robot pretty much doing the same thing,” said Grotzinger. In a pre -recorded voice message, uploaded to the rover before being beamed back to Earth, Bolden said he was “speaking to you via the broadcast capabilities of the Curiosity rover which is now on the surface of Mars”. “Since the beginning of time, humankind’s curiosity has led us to constantly seek new life new possibilities just beyond the horizon,” he said, adding that the rover “prepares the way for a human mission in the not too distant future.” “This is an extraordinary achievement. Landing a rover on Mars is not easy. Others have tried. Only America has fully succeeded,” he added. — AFP

Extra weight tied to breast cancer recurrence, death NEW YORK: Among women who have been treated for breast cancer, heavier women are more likely to have their disease come back and more likely to die of cancer, according to a US study. Previous studies have tied obesity to a higher chance of getting breast cancer and a worse outcome in women who have already been diagnosed. But the current study - which appeared in the journal Cancer - makes the post-diagnosis picture clearer, said lead researcher Joseph Sparano, associate chairman of medical oncology at the Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care in the Bronx, New York. “Obesity seemed to carry a higher risk of breast cancer recurrence and death, even in women who were healthy at the time that they were diagnosed, and despite the fact that they received the best available chemotherapy and hormone therapy,” he said. The relationship with weight may be because certain hormones that are linked to body weight may also fuel tumor growth in the most common form of the disease, known as estrogen receptor-positive cancer. Data for the study came from trials sponsored by the US National Cancer Institute of women with stage I, II and III breast cancer who were given standardized treatment, with drug doses adjusted based on weight. Out of close to

5,000 women treated for cancer, about onethird were obese and another one-third were overweight. Over the next eight years, one in four women had their cancer come back and 891 died - including 695 from breast cancer. Sparano and his colleagues found that compared to women of normal weight, obese women were 40 percent more likely to have a breast cancer recurrence over the study period and 69 percent more likely to die from breast cancer or any other cause. Even among overweight but not obese women, there was also a general trend toward a higher risk of recurrence and death with increasing weight. The link was especially strong for women with estrogen receptor-positive cancer, which accounts for two-thirds of breast cancers. Although the new study can’t prove that extra weight and fat have a direct impact on certain breast cancers, Sparano said it was “biologically plausible”. Women carrying extra fat have been shown to make more estrogen, meaning that this may fuel the growth of the estrogen receptor-positive tumors, he said. “Insulin levels are known to be higher in patients who are obese because they develop insulin resistance... (and) insulin can stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells,” he added. — Reuters

WASHINGTON: A new pill to treat HIV infection combining two previously approved drugs plus two new ones - has been approved for adults living with the virus that causes AIDS, US regulators said yesterday. The single daily dose of Stribild provides a complete treatment regimen for HIV infection, the US Food and Drug Administration said in a statement, and is meant for people who have not already received treatment with other HIV drugs. “Through continued research and drug development, treatment for those infected with HIV has evolved from multipill regimens to single-pill regimens,” said Edward Cox, director of the Office of Antimicrobial Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “New combination HIV drugs like Stribild help simplify treatment regimens.” The new pill, previously called Quad, is made by Gilead Sciences in California and “should be available to patients by the end of the week”, company spokeswoman Erin Rau told AFP. The company said it tested the pill in two doubleblind clinical trials of more than 1,400 patients. Results showed that Stribild performed as well or better than two other treatment combinations, and brought virus readings down to undetectable levels in around nine of 10 patients after 48 weeks. “Therapies that address the individual needs of patients are critical to enhancing

adherence and increasing the potential for treatment success,” Gilead chief John Martin said in a company statement. But some advocates say the new pill is priced far too high. “We wanted to see (a price of ) no more than the current drug,” said Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, referring to Gilead’s previously approved three-in-one pill, Atripla. But he said the price will be about a third higher than the three-pill combo. The new drug “is not a significant improvement over existing therapies”, Weinstein told AFP, adding the cost will “severely limit access” to the new medication. Gilead is charging wholesalers $28,500 a year for the drug, but said it will provide discounts to state assistance programs and has created a patient financial-assistance program, Rau said. This is Gilead’s third single-tablet anti-HIV combination therapy, the company noted, adding it is still seeking approval for the newest offering in Australia, Canada and the European Union. To get the drug to HIV patients in the developing world, where millions lack access to effective treatment options, generic versions are being developed - with permission and help from Gilead - by a number of Indian manufacturers and the Medicines Patent Pool, a non-profit that helps facilitate generic drug-making. The drug combines Truvada - another Gilead

Arctic ice melts to record low WASHINGTON: The sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has melted to its smallest point ever in a milestone that may show that worst-case forecasts on climate change are coming true, US scientists said Monday. The extent of ice observed on Sunday broke a record set in 2007 and will likely melt further with several weeks of summer still to come, according to data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center and the NASA space agency. The government-backed ice center, based at the University of Colorado at Boulder, said in a statement that the decline in summer Arctic sea ice “is considered a strong signal of long-term climate warming.” The sea ice fell to 4.10 million sq km, some 70,000 sq km less than the earlier record charted on Sept 18, 2007, the center said. Scientists said the record was all the more striking as 2007 had near perfect climate patterns for melting ice, but that the weather this year was unremarkable other than a storm in early August. Michael E Mann, a lead author of a major UN report in 2001 on climate change, said the latest data reflected that scientists who were criticized as alarmists may have shown “perhaps too great a degree of reticence”. “I think, unfortunately, this is an example that points more to the worst-case scenario side of things,” said Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University. “There are a number of areas where in fact climate change seems to be proceeding faster and with a greater magnitude than what the models predicted,” Mann told AFP. “The sea ice decline is perhaps the most profound of those cautionary tales because the models have basically predicted that we shouldn’t see what we’re seeing now for several decades,” he added. Arctic ice is considered vital for the planet as it reflects heat from the sun back into space, helping keep down the planet’s temperatures. The Arctic region is now losing about 155,000 sq km of ice annually, the equivalent of a US state every two years, said Walt Meier, a scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center. “It used to be the Arctic ice cover was a kind of big block of ice. It would melt a little bit from the edges but it was pretty solid,” Meier told reporters on a conference call. “Now it’s like crushed ice,” he said. “At least parts of the Arctic have become like a giant slushie, and that’s a lot easier to melt and melt more quickly.” The planet has charted a slew of record temperatures in recent years, with 13 of the warmest years ever taking place in the past decade and a half, along with extreme weather ranging from severe wildfires in North America to major flooding in Asia. Researchers have also reported a dramatic melt this summer on the ice sheet in Greenland, which could have major consequences for the planet by raising sea levels. Scientists believe that climate change is caused by human emissions of carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions.— AFP

offering approved in 2004, that combines emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate to fight an enzyme that HIV needs to replicate with elvitegravir, another enzyme-fighting drug, and cobicistat, which enhances the effects of elvitegravir. The FDA said further study is required to determine the quad-drug’s safety for women and children, how resistance may develop, and whether the drug interacts with other drugs. Stribild will also be required to carry a label warning patients and health care providers the drug can cause fatal side effects, including severe liver problems, and a build-up of lactic acid in the blood. The FDA said the label is also required for many other HIV-fighting drugs. But Gilead said that during the studies, “most adverse effects were mild to moderate”. The FDA said patients commonly experienced nausea and diarrhea. The drug also weakened bones and caused or worsened kidney problems - both of which will be mentioned in a warning on the drug’s label. Truvada was previously approved as a treatment for people infected with HIV to be used in combination with other antiretroviral drugs. In July, it was also approved for use by healthy at-risk adults to prevent HIV, the firstever daily pill approved for that purpose. This year, the FDA also approved the first rapid HIV test that can be bought without a prescription and taken at home.—AFP

Climate change, Clinton hot topics at Pacific meet AVARUA, Cook Islands: The challenges of climate change and protecting one of the world’s last pristine ocean environments are set to dominate this week’s Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in the Cook Islands. But the expected presence of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will ensure geopolitical concerns, particularly China’s growing influence in the South Pacific, are also high on the agenda at the regional summit. The 15nation PIF grouping is largely made up of small island states, along with resource-rich Papua New Guinea and regional powers Australia and New Zealand. Many of the low-lying island nations are on the front line of climate change, rising just a few metres above sea-level and in danger of being swamped if global warming causes the world’s oceans to rise. “We’re very exposed to climate change impacts, loss of fresh water, coastal erosion, acidification of water with impacts on coral reefs,” PIF secretary-general Tuiloma Neroni Slade told reporters Monday. “So we’ll be paying particular attention to these issues.” While the landmass of many PIF nations is tiny, with the Cook

Islands barely larger than Washington DC, their marine territories are vast, covering 10 percent of the world’s oceans, according to Conservation International. Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna was expected to announce the creation of a huge marine park stretching more than one million square kilometres at the PIF opening ceremony yesterday. Puna has described the plan as “a major contribution to the well-being of humanity”, which will help preserve delicate ecosystems and maintain the Pacific Ocean’s health. On the sidelines of the summit, officials are abuzz about the planned visit later this week by Clinton, the most senior US official to attend the PIF. Puna said Monday that the trip, seen by analysts as sending a pointed message to China that Washington wants to re-engage with the South Pacific, had not been officially confirmed but he was confident it would go ahead. Beijing is believed to have poured hundreds of millions of dollars in aid into the region in recent years and Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr said China’s presence in the South Pacific was now “a fact of life”. — AFP

RAROTONGA: Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna (center) talks to the media while Christopher Loeak President of the Marshall Islands (right) and Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat listen during a press conference at the Edgewater Resort on the largest island in the Cook Islands yesterday. —AFP


H E A LT H & S C I E NC E A snapshot of unloved aliens Following is a snapshot of some of the most notorious invasive species: • Rat (Rattus rattus): Originally a native of Indian subcontinent, the black rat, also called the ship rat or house rat, has spread almost everywhere, usually by hitching a ride on ships. Rats that crept aboard oceangoing canoes decimated island bird species as the Polynesians spread across the Pacific. Plants and other small mammals are also victims. • European wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus): Introduced by Europeans to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and elsewhere as a food animal. Now a pest that causes billions of dollars in damages to crops and native plants. • Nile perch (Lates niloticus): Vorarious freshwater fish that can grow up to 200 kg and two metres. Introduced to Lake Victoria in East Africa in 1954 for game fishing, the carnivore has contributed to the extinction of more than 200 endemic fish species. The Nile perch starred in a 2006 Oscar-nominated documentary, Darwin’s Nightmare. • Cane toad (Bufo marinus): Central American toad introduced to Australia in the 1930s in the belief it would eradicate beetle pests, and instead became a pest in its own right. Weighing up to 1.3 kg, the toad has poisonous skin that can kill predators such as snakes and freshwater crocodiles. Current total estimated at more than 200 million. • Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes): Aquatic plant of tropical South America that flourishes in warm climates in Central America, North America, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. The hyacinth grows in thick rafts, deoxygenating the water for other species and impeding water flow and navigation. In Africa, the economic impact may be as much as $100 million annually.

• Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopic tus): Black-and-white striped carrier of West Nile virus, dengue, St Louis encephalitis and a painful disease of the joints called chikungunya. Now a major worry in the United States, and a source of concern in Europe’s Mediterranean rim. I n both cases, the insec t is believed to have landed in shipments of old car t yres, which retained pockets of moisture enabling it to survive the sea trip from Asia. • Zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha): Small stripey freshwater mollusc native to southern Russia and the Caspian which has spread to par ts of Nor th America, Britain, Ireland, Italy and Spain by hitchhiking a ride in the ballast water of ships. Mussel infestations are a major cost for power stations because they clog coolant pipes. • Burmese python (Python molurus): First found in Florida’s Everglades swamp in 1979, where it may have been abandoned by a pet owner, the Burmese python took only 21 years to become an established species there. Lacking natural predators, the snake snacks on native birds, deer, bobcats and other large animals. Current estimate of its population run as high as hundreds of thousands. In August, University of Florida scientists examined a record 5.36-m specimen that had 87 eggs. • G or s e (Ulex euro paeus): Thorny shrub native to nor thern Europe that has been introduced to many countries by farmers seeking cheap enclosures for grazing animals. It becomes a pest by displacing native and cultivated plants and acidifying the soil. Gorse now grows in the Caribbean, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, S outh Africa, the United States and elsewhere. —AFP

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Invasive species: The spiralling cost of the enemy within PARIS: Some aliens arrived as stowaways. Others were brought in deliberately, for fun or profit. And others were so tiny that nobody noticed them until way too late. They became a nightmare. They killed and devoured natives, stole their homes, sickened them with pathogens. Sci fi? No: the alien invasion is happening right now. It could be occurring in your garden. In the forest where you like to feel in harmony with Nature. It is almost certainly unfolding on the farms which produce your food. It’s the tale of species that mankind brings to new habitats where they spread uncontrollably, ousting endemic wildlife and becoming major pests. “Invasive species have a huge impact worldwide. In some countries, the cost is astronomical,” says Dave Richardson, director of the Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology at South Africa’s University of Stellenbosch. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), staging a conference in South Korea next month, says foreign encroachment is the third biggest source of species threat. Take the American grey squirrel - “a rat with good PR”, say enemies - which is displacing Britain’s scrawnier red squirrel. Or the Burmese python, gorging on small mammals in Florida’s Everglades. Invasive species inflict more than $1.4 trillion in damage each year, or five percent of global GDP, according to an estimate made 11 years ago. “Those numbers are controversial because it’s difficult to put finite figures on these sorts of things,” said Tim Blackburn, director of the Institute of Zoology at the Zoological Society of London. “But the impacts are pervasive and affect so many aspects of life. The cost has the potential to escalate as we take more species to more areas where they don’t naturally occur.” Many costs are indirect. For instance, US farmers use truckloads of pesticides to control foreign weeds, while in central Europe, their counterparts are surrendering tracts of land to the giant hogweed, a toxic Asian shrub. There is the bill from the European rabbit, introduced for food by British settlers to Australia and New Zealand only to become cursed for ravaging grasslands and crops. In the southern United States, Asian carp were imported in the 1970s to help clean up algae in commercial catfish ponds. Flooding washed the carp into the Mississippi River system, where they now threaten commercial and game fishing in the Great Lakes. Invasive species have followed man throughout

his odyssey. Polynesians wiped out innumerable bird species as they island-hopped across the Pacific over eight centuries, bringing in rats that had stowed away on their ocean-going canoes. The trend accelerated in the early- to mid-19th century. European species were shipped out to the colonies in Africa and Australasia to provide food or company, and exotics were brought back to Europe. “There was a great flowering of ‘acclimatisation societies’, which were specifically set up to introduce new species to areas around the world,” Blackburn recounted. “In fact the Zoological Society of London, the organisation I work for, envisioned a golden age where we would have herds of elands roaming over the south of England.” Faster travel - steamship, then jet plane - accelerated the problem as global trade really took off. Headaches include the zebra mussel, which has infested US waterways after hitching a ride from Europe in ships’ ballast water. Another is the verroa mite, reported in countries in three continents, which is wiping out honey bees that pollinate many crops. Even tinier is the chytrid fungus being spread to wild amphibians through the sale of pet frogs and frogs for food. As frog numbers plummet,

insect populations surge - another hidden cost. In many countries, national border controls are often lax and laws are riddled with loopholes because of interest groups that trade in non-native species, said Richardson. He said he knew of nowhere that firmly applies “polluter pays” principles, whereby someone who introduces a pest pays the bill to get rid of it. As for international cooperation, there has been progress - for instance, in marine conventions which oblige ships to exchange ballast water in mid-ocean. But “in many instances, treaties and conventions do not have teeth,” said Richardson. Eradicating these threats is costly and often impossible, for it requires lots of manpower, sometimes over many years. Introducing a predator animal or insect to attack the invader sometimes makes things worse. Jean-Philippe Siblet, director of Natural Heritage at France’s Museum of Natural History, said eradication had to be “smart”. Conservationists must distinguish between useful, introduced species and those that become a burden. “It’s the globalisation of nature, and we’re going to have a hard time stopping it,” he said. — AFP

KASINYI, Uganda: In this photo taken on May 30, 2008 a man carries an 80-kg Nile perch in Entebbe. —AFP


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WHAT’S ON

Aware Diwaniya e AWARE Center cordially invites you to its diwaniya presentation entitled, “Basic concepts of communication across cultures,” by Laurie Santos on Tuesday August 28 at 7:00pm. If you have lived or worked in a culture that is different from the one in which you were raised then chances are that you have experienced some difficulty in communicating with others. Even when people speak the same language their cultures still play an important role in what they say and how they say it. In fact, the more differences that exist between two people’s cultures, the more difficult it can be for them to communicate effectively. This talk will introduce guests to some basic concepts from the field of intercultural communication, which is an area of research dedicated to better understanding the role played by culture in people’s interactions. By developing a greater awareness of culture (our own and others) we can find ways to better connect with one another. If you are interested in the topic, AWARE Center is the most appropriate place to be on August 28, 2012 at 7:00pm. Laurie A. Santos, is a Certified Coach with a Master of Science in Law and Justice and a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology. She has over 15 years in Behavioral Sciences and her prior work includes several Managerial and Training positions, as well as a long career with the United States government as a Federal Parole Officer and liasion to federal judges. While Laurie has lived all over the globe including Europe, Asia, North America, and Africa, she is currently calling Kuwait home but owns a home in Oakland, California. For more information, please call 25335260/80 or log onto: www.aware.com.kw.

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SEND US YOUR INSTAGRAM PICS hat’s more fun than clicking a beautiful picture? Sharing it with others! This summer, let other people see the way you see Kuwait - through your lens. Friday Times will feature snapshots of Kuwait through Instagram feeds. If you want to share your Instagram photos, email us at instagram@kuwaittimes.net

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Greetings

DSP 2nd anniversary function eiva Sekkizhar Pcravai (DSP) Kuwait celebrated its 2nd anniversary on August 15 2012 at Abukhalifa. Poem session was conducted by Poet Dr Kumar. The poets Vidhyasagar, Sivakurnar, Sadiq Basha, Baskar and Sathyan recited their poems. The 66th Indian

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Independence Day cake cutting ceremony was presided over by Sankar Ramesh. The forum secretary Kavisac briefly explained the activities of past and forthcoming events of DSP. Tamilisai Singar Ovia Selvi sadagopan sang the Devaram concert. The quiz program was conduct-

ed by A N Natarajan. Thayumana Meenaki Sundarain won in the Quiz program. The special draw was organized by Sam for the participants. The winner was Senthai Ravi. The prize was handed over to winner by Kumaresan. Kannan delivered the vote of thanks.

Happy birthday to Mohd Sium Islam, who celebrated his 1st birthday yesterday. We wish you good health and happiness throughout your life. Greetings from father, mother, brother, sister, grandfather, grandmother, family and friends in Bangladesh and Kuwait.

Arabic courses PC and all its branches are opening Free Arabic Language Course for non-Arab ladies accessible in beginners and advance levels. Class will commence in September 14, 2012. Islamic and Quran courses are also presented in different languages. Registration is on! Call the nearest IPC branch: Salmiyah: 25733263, 97533263; Kheitan: 24730137, 99285459; Mangaf: 23723002 ext. 124/123; Jahra: 24558830, 97533948.

I Happy birthday Zainab and Yousef Fahad Refai. Greeting from your Baba, Mama, friends and family members. May Allah grant all your prayers and bless you more! Happy Birthday Hi vangie Cadano is enjoying 31st Happy Birth Anniversary. We wish more-much, more birthdays to come in your life and we wish to your more Colorful life and your Dreams come true, With more Glorious life. From your best friend, Well wisher and with all of your Relatives mylen Iara, Sarah Ramos Gomez, Jho Babl & others.

Indian Embassy Announcements Indian Embassy passport and visa Passports and visa applications can be deposited at the two outsourced centers of M/S BLS Ltd at Sharq and Fahaheel. Details are available at www.bls-international.com and www.indembkwt.org. Consular Open House 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 at the Embassy. For any unaddressed issues, Second Secretary (Consular) can be contacted. Furthermore, the head of the Consular Wing is also available to redress grievances. Indian workers helpline/helpdesk Indian workers helpline is accessible by toll free telephone number 25674163 from all over Kuwait. It provides information and advice to Indian workers as regards their grievances, immigration and other matters. The help desk at the Embassy (Open from 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 4:30PM, Sunday to Thursday) provides guidance to Indian nationals on routine immigration, employment, legal and other issues. It also provides workers assistance in filling up labour complaint forms. For any unaddressed issues, the concerned attachÈ in the Labour section and the head of the Labour Wing can be contacted.

Manikgonj Expatriate Co-operative Society organize’s an iftar Mahfil anikgonj Expatriate Co-operative Society Kuwait recently organized an iftar mahfil in The hotel Rajdani Kuwait city on Friday 2012. The program began with the recitation holy Quran by Abul Hasan A K Azad Nur, President Manikgonj Expatriate Co-operative Society Kuwait. The chief guest was K M Ali Reza 1st Secretary (Labor) Bangladesh Embassy Kuwait.

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Winter 2012 AMIE examination

Kala(Art) celebrates ‘Keraleeyam 2012’ ala(Art) Kuwait, a leading Progressive Art and Socio Cultural Organization among the Indian Community in Kuwait will conduct its variety entertainment program titled “Keraleeyam 2012” with “ONAM (Keralites Festival) and “Eid Al-Fitr” together on Friday, the 31st August 2012 at 03:00pm at Indian Community School, Khaitan.

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The Indian Ambassador Satish C Metha is the Chief Guest. The program has been scheduled with an event of giving away “Kala(Art)Kuwait-Sambasivan Award” to the well known Socio-cultural activist Dr M N Karassery. There will be variety of cultural activities and traditional dances by distinctive artists to entertain the Indian expa-

triates. “Kala Kuwait-Sambasivan Award” was instituted in memory of eminent ‘Katha Prasangam’ artist late V Sambasivan. The award comprises Rs 25,000 and citation. Dr M N Karassery was selected for the prize in view of his outstanding contribution to Malayalam Literature.

Focus Kuwait 6th annual day s a part of the 6th anniversary celebrations, Forum of Cadd Users (FOCUS Kuwait), a nonpolitical, non-religious organization is set to stage a mega cultural event “Focus Fest-2012”. This mega event will be a blend of traditional and contemporary dance and musical extravaganza by renowned South Indian playback singers Jyotsna and Sudeesh. Scheduled for the afternoon of Friday, October 12, 2012, at the Al-Jeel Al-Jadeed School

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Auditorium, Hawally, the mega musical show, is expected to be a super-hit in Kuwait. Joseph Panicker, Chairman of the Institution of Engineers India (IEI) has released the Raffle Coupon of “Focus Fest-2012” handing over a copy to Thomas Itty, one of the Conveners of Program Committee, in the function held at Ebenezer Auditorium, Abbassiya on the evening of August 13. An attractive program flayer also has been

released by him handing over a copy to Sam Pynumood, the popular social activist and former advisory board member of FOCUS. The function was presided over by FOCUS President Sasi Thompson. General Secretary M N Saleem, Vice President Manoj George, Joint Secretary Shaheed Labba and various sub-committee conveners and members present on the occasion.

Send to What’s On upcoming events, birthdays or celebrations by email: local@kuwaittimes.net Fax: 24835619 / 20

he AMIE Winter 2012 examinations will be held between Dec 01-07, 2012 as follows: Section A (Diploma) - December 1-4, 2012 Section A (Non-Diploma) - December 1-7, 2012 Section B - December 1-7, 2012 The last date for submission of examination application forms are given hereunder: Candidates not appeared at Summer 2012 Exam: Aug 21 - Sept 21, 2012 Candidates appeared at Summer 2012 Exam: Sept 21 - Oct 19, 2012 Candidates intend to appear for the Winter 2012 examination must apply directly to Kolkata by filling the prescribed application form along with requisite amount of demand draft in favour of The Institution of Engineers (India), payable at Kolkata. The details of the examination is available at the website www.ieindia.org.

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‘Leniency of Islam’ Audition for ZEE International Antakshari or the first time Indian Cultural Society brings you live excitement of ZEE - International Antakshari in Kuwait. Audition & first round will be held in Kuwait, thereafter followed by semi finals in India & Grand Finale in Dubai. Complete team of Carnival films and Zee TV will be in Kuwait for the final round of selection on Friday 5th October with Jaaved Jaaferi: Celebrity Judge, Akriti Kakkar: Female Bollywood singer and host of Antakshari, Manish Paul: Host for auditions, Sarfaraz Khan: actor, director and producer. Michael Amin: Producer & director Carnival Films

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World. Musicians, male singers and many more for live performances. Final audition at 10am & music show at 7.30 pm at AIS-Hawally. Criteria for audition entry 1. Age - 15 years and above 2. Ability to sing 3. Bollywood trivia knowledge 4. Registrations are open to all nationalities residing in GCC countries. Participant should be present on audition date as per given time frame.

NSS Kuwait Onam celebrations on Sept 28 Write to us

AWARE Arabic courses highlights * Introductory to Level 4 Arabic language basics * Better prepare you for speaking, reading and writing Arabic * Combine language learning with cultural insights * Taught in multi-nationality group settings * Provide opportunities to interact with Western expatriates and native Kuwaitis/Arabs. For more information log onto: www.aware.com.kw.

SS Onam will be celebrated on September 28 (Friday), at Carmel School, Khaitan from 9:30 am. Nair Service Society (NSS) Kuwait is one of the largest socio-cultural organization in Kuwait formed in the year 2001 and now has more than 3,000 Indians as members. On Sept 28, a full day variety entertainment program depicting the rich heritage and art forms of Kerala has been planned and the major attractions are drama “Aaal Roopam” (Dummy) directing by Shemej Kumar and musical drama “Ravanaputri” a unique art form, organizing by NSS Vanitha Samajam.

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Raveendran Nair, President of Nair Service Society (NSS), Kuwait will preside over the function and . KR Rajan, Secretary, HRD, Nair Service Society (NSS), Changanassery, Kerala will be the Chief Guest. Nair Service Society (NSS) Kuwait is introducing first time in Kuwait “Onam Valla Sadhya” a vegetarian banquet with around 50 dishes. The renowned Master of the Kitchen Aranmula Nadamangalath Vijayan and his team, will be supervising NSS Kuwait’s Onam Sadhya kitchen this year. This year more than 1,500 people are expected to enjoy the NSS taste of Vijayan.

n 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 qislam@tv.gov.kw and sms can be sent to- 97822021 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.

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Register and Win promotion at Q8India.com ity Centre, Kuwait’s premier mega-market, in association with Q8India.com, a leading online Indian community portal, is holding a month-long ‘Register and Win’ promotion campaign. Any resident in Kuwait can participate in the promotion by visiting www.Q8India.com and registering their name, email and phone number. A winner will be picked each day (except Friday), from the list of names registered on the previous day, and receive a free shopping voucher worth KD 10 from City Centre.

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Embassy Information

Bangladesh Awami Seschsasebak League observes ‘August 15’ angladesh Awami Seschsasebak League Kuwait chapter had observed the 37th tragic death anniversary of the Father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahaman through a discussion meeting that was held on 23rd August, Thursday at gulshan hotel in Kuwait City. Mohammad Masud Karim, President of Awami Seschsasebak League Kuwait chapter presided over the meeting. Akbar Hosen

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advisor to the Bangladesh Awami Seschsascbak League Kuwait chapter attended the meeting as the chief guest. The program commenced with the recitation of verses from the Holy Quran recited by Murshcd Alam badal, and was gracefully presented by Kabir Hosen the joint secretary of Seschsasebak league Kuwait chapter. Prior to the meeting a one minute silence was observed in honor of

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahaman and all martyrs of fateful August 15, 1975. It was followed by the introductory speech delivered by Mohammad Masud Karim. Mohammad Mastim Karim delivered his speech - urging the Bangladesh government to establish the rule of justice by executing immediately the concerned miscreants, fugitives roaming around the world. A cross section of Bengalis in Kuwait as well as

representative, activists of political, social, cultural organizations, journalist association and business organization leaders participated in the observance. The meeting had ended with a special prayer- seeking divine grace for the departed soul of Bangabandhu and all the martyrs of the fateful August 15, 1975.

‘IKEA Catalogue 2013’ launched KEA, the globally renowned Swedish home furnishings chain, has launched its signature annual publication in Kuwait- the ‘IKEA Catalogue 2013’. The door-to-door distribution this year will cover over 500,000 homes throughout Kuwait and began on August 26. The new catalogue comes with 324 pages of IKEA products, tips and inspiration for a better everyday life at home. It will be distributed in 43 countries with 62 versions and many new features. Deriving insights from everyday life, this year’s IKEA Catalogue focuses on textiles and their importance at home while emphasizing on creativity and how to utilize the new products to decorate a personalized feel to the home .Moreover, IKEA has developed films and interactive features that bring the catalogue to life and provide free home furnishing ideas. “With this year’s catalogue, we wanted to offer more on how to express and build a home that reflects each and everyone’s personality. What better way to do that except through colorful and inventive textiles that are zestful and filled with promise of new life and its endless possibilities” said Adel Al-Shamali, General Manager, IKEA Kuwait. Al-Shamali added, “The 2013 catalogue is revamped with smart ideas, fun stories and beautiful products that serve as a testament to the past year’s success and the lifecycle it has completed. This is translated through our different ideas both digitally and on paper. For the first time, we have designed films on how to’s and behind the scenes clips, image galleries, and stories from product designers, all in 3D and interactive views.” Not only that but the catalogue has also been designed bearing in mind sustainable challenges in order to ensure the least negative impact on the environment since IKEA places sustainability and environmental concerns in the forefront of its all of its business. The catalogue also features an extensive buying guide to help customers around while at the IKEA Store and information on guarantees and services. The daily distribution schedule can be seen on the website or through calling IKEA s customer service at 1840408. If you haven’t received the IKEA ‘Bring New Life to your Home’ Catalogue 2013, you can browse the online catalogue at www.IKEA.com.kw. The catalog will be available at the store for pick up after September 16. The IKEA Catalogue has been redesigned and structured to help you shortlist the products you want to buy, with price information that helps you prioritize your shopping within your planned budget. If you have a smartphone or a tablet, then you can download the IKEA application from iTunes App Store or Google play and look for the phone symbol throughout the catalogue and scan the whole page to access the extended content.

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EMBASSY OF ARGENTINE

The Embassy of Argentina requests all Argentinean citizens in Kuwait to proceed to our official email ekuwa@mrecic.gov.ar 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 Argentinean Government to contact and assist Argentineans living abroad in case of any emergency. ■■■■■■■

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 nonnotarial consular issues or have a consular emergency, please call 2259 4355/7/8 or email us on consularenquirieskuwait@fco.gov.uk. If you require consular assistance out of office hours (working hours: 0730-l430 hrs), please contact the Embassy on 2259 4320. ■■■■■■■

Mar Thoma Parish Harvest raffle uwait St Peter’s Mar Thoma Parish Harvest festival raffle coupon was released by the Parish Vicar Rev Chacko Thomas in the presence of C P Thomas (the Parish Vice President and General Convener) and K V Joseph (Parish Trustee). The event was held at Mar Thoma Hall Abbassiya on Friday, August 24, 2012. The Parish Vicar inaugurated the coupon sale by handing over the first coupon to Shibu D Varghese. Harvest Festival 2012 will be held at Integrated Indian School Abbassiya on Friday November 9, 2012.

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Kuwait International Bank organizes Training Program for staff’s families uwait International Bank (KIB) has recently launched the second Training Program especially designed for the children of employees in an effort to develop their skills in the banking sector and provide them with beneficial activities to do during their free time. On the occasion, Executive ManagerHuman Resources Department Salem Qabazard said: “It is our pleasure to host the young students during this field training program as we aim to enrich their knowledge and educate them on Islamic Banking practices.”

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Qabazard also added: “The program includes theoretical and

field training as students will be attending specialized lectures explaining the work process of the bank, which operates according to Islamic principles. The program will also include training that will familiarize the youth on the methods and techniques used within the bank departments and divisions and how to deal with different customers and the public. KIB is always keen to organize more training programs for the children of employees to enhance their skills and abilities and reinforce its relations with its own employees.”

Patriotic songs competitions ndo-Kuwait Friendship Society, Kuwait (www.indokuwaitfriendshipsociety.com) is planning to conduct competitions in Indian and Kuwaiti Patriotic songs. This is the first time in Kuwait, an Indian Association is organizing contests in “Patriotic Songs” for both Indian and Kuwaiti School students. The first 3 places will be declared separately by Judges who are experts in Indian and Kuwaiti Patriotic songs. Several prizes and awards will be handed over for the winning schools. Pradeep Rajkumar and A K S Abdul Nazar said that IKFS wants let our children learn what they mean as a “Patriotic” to their home country. 4 pages of spot Essay competition related to “Patriotism” also will be held in the

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: info.ausdxb@vfshelpline.com (VFS) immigration.dubai@dfat.gov.au (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, AlBanwan 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 online at www.immi.gov.au/e visa/e676.htm.

same day as a spot registration. 1 girl and 1 boy student from each school can participate in the essay contest. Dr Mohamed Tareq, Chairman of the First Indian Model School in Kuwait “ Salmiya Indian Model School (SIMS) already confirmed as a Co-Sponsor of the Program. Conditions apply 1) The competitions are meant for all the Schools located in Kuwait and should be nominated by school authority 2) Each school can select group of 7 students for the ‘patriotic songs’ (Indian and Kuwaiti)” and nominate separately 3) Children of above 12 years till 17 years (VII classes to XII

classes) are eligible for the contest. But if School is permitted 4) Musical instruments or KARAOKE mixer should be accompanied by the participating students/Children and the school team should operate and select the mixers 5) Time frame: 7 minutes - Names will be called as “First come” in the Registration The event will be held at the auditorium of “Salmiya Indian Model School” on Saturday, 27th October 2012 from 9:30 am onwards. It will be a full day program with fun and full of entertainments. Food-stalls of different Kuwaiti and Indian tastes will installed.

IMAX film program

EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakel St, Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at www.Kuwait.gc.ca. The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. The reception is closed from 12:30 to 01:00 pm for lunch break. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00 on Sunday through Wednesday. The Canadian Embassy will be closed on Sunday and Monday 19 and 20 August 2012 on the occasion of Aid Al Fitr. The Embassy will resume its duties on Tuesday 21 August 2012. The Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi provides visa and immigration services to residents of Kuwait. Individuals who are interested in visiting, working or immigrating to Canada are invited to visit the website of the Canadian Embassy to the UAE at www.UAE.gc.ca. ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF FRANCE The Embassy would like to inform that starting September 2nd, 2012, visa demands for France will be handled by the outsourcing company “Capago - MENA Company”. Capago - MENA’S Call Center will be operational starting Sunday August 26 for setting appointments beginning September 2nd (+965 22270555). During a transitional period Al-Qabas will continue receiving visa applicants until August 27, then the visa section at the French Embassy (Mansouriah, Street 13, House 24, (+965 22582020) will handle those applications from August 28 until August 30, 2012. ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF KENYA The Embassy of the Republic of Kenya wishes to inform the Kenyan community residents throughout Kuwait and the general public that the Embassy has acquired new office telephone numbers as follows: 25353982, 25353985 - Consular’s enquiries 25353987 - Fax Our Email address: info@kenyaembkuwait.com. ■■■■■■■

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, Al-Salaam 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, email:myankuwait11@gmai1.com. ■■■■■■■

Effective from August 26 2012 Today: ** 9:30am Showtime Available for Groups The Last Reef 3D 10:30am To The Arctic 3D 11:30am, 5:30pm, 7:30pm, 9:30pm Space Junk 3D 12:30am, 6:30pm Born to be Wild 3D 8:30pm Tomorrow: ** 9:30am Showtime Available for Groups To The Arctic 3D 10:30am, 6:30pm, 8:30pm Space Junk 3D 11:30am, 5:30pm The Last Reef 3D 12:30pm, 7:30pm

Born to be Wild 3D 9:30pm Friday: To The Arctic 3D 9:30pm Journey to Mecca Born to be Wild 3D Space Junk 3D The Last Reef 3D

2:30pm,

4:30pm,

7:30pm,

3:30pm 5:30pm 6:30pm 8:30pm

Saturday: ** 9:30am Showtime Available for Groups To The Arctic 3D 10:30am, 12:30pm, 3:30pm, 5:30pm, 8:30pm

Space Junk 3D The Last Reef 3D Journey to Mecca Born to be Wild 3D

11:30am, 4:30pm, 9:30pm 1:30pm, 7:30pm 2:30pm 6:30pm

Notes: - All films are in Arabic. For English, headsets are available upon request. - “Fires of Kuwait” is in English. Arabic headsets are available upon request. - Film schedule is subject to changes without notice. For information call 1 848 888 or visit www.tsck.org.kw.

EMBASSY OF NIGERIA The Nigerian embassy has its new office in Mishref. Block 3, Street 7, House 4. For enquires please call 25379541. Fax- 25387719. Email- nigeriakuwait@yahoo.com or nigeriankuwait@yahoo.co.uk. ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF SLOVAKIA

The Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Kuwait would like to inform the public that on the occasion of the Anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising, the Embassy will be closed today.


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

TV PROGRAMS

00:45 I’m Alive 01:40 Untamed & Uncut 02:35 Animal Airport 03:30 Wildlife SOS 04:25 Wildest Africa 05:20 Monkey Life 05:45 Snake Crusader With Bruce George 06:10 Wild Animal Orphans 07:00 Karina: Wild On Safari 07:25 Corwin’s Quest 08:15 Dick ‘n’ Dom Go Wild 08:40 Breed All About It 09:10 Growing Up... 10:05 Wildest Africa 11:00 Wildlife SOS 11:25 Orangutan Island 11:55 Animal Cops Houston 12:50 RSPCA: Have You Got What It Takes? 13:45 Animal Precinct 14:40 Wildest Africa 15:30 Ned Bruha: Skunk Whisperer 16:00 Dick ‘n’ Dom Go Wild 16:30 The Really Wild Show 17:25 Your Pet Wants This 18:20 Dogs 101 19:15 Wildlife SOS 19:40 Orangutan Island 20:10 Monkey Life 20:35 Snake Crusader With Bruce George 21:05 Wildest Africa 22:00 Wildest Latin America 22:55 Monster Bug Wars 23:50 Animal Cops Houston

00:30 Come Dine With Me 01:20 MasterChef Australia 02:50 Saturday Kitchen 2008/09 03:20 Saturday Kitchen 2008/09 03:45 MasterChef 04:10 Living In The Sun 05:40 MasterChef 06:35 MasterChef Australia 08:10 Holmes On Homes 09:50 Bargain Hunt 10:35 Antiques Roadshow 11:25 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 12:10 10 Years Younger 13:00 What Not To Wear 13:55 What Not To Wear 14:45 Bargain Hunt 15:30 Antiques Roadshow 16:25 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 17:10 Come Dine With Me 18:00 MasterChef 18:55 Rick Stein’s French Odyssey 19:20 James Martin’s Brittany 19:45 Come Dine With Me 20:35 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 21:20 Antiques Roadshow 22:15 Bargain Hunt 23:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

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

Puppy In My Pocket Tom & Jerry Kids Scooby Doo Where Are You! The Flintstones Pink Panther And Pals Looney Tunes Popeye Classics Dexter’s Laboratory Tom & Jerry Looney Tunes The Scooby Doo Show Johnny Bravo The Flintstones The Jetsons Wacky Races The Garfield Show Tom & Jerry Kids Bananas In Pyjamas Baby Looney Tunes Gerald McBoing Boing Ha Ha Hairies A Pup Named Scooby-Doo The Garfield Show Johnny Bravo Dexter’s Laboratory Pink Panther And Pals The Scooby Doo Show

10:30Scooby-Doo And Scrappy-Doo 10:55 Dastardly And Muttley 11:15 The Flintstones 11:40 Wacky Races 12:00 Jelly Jamm 12:15 Baby Looney Tunes 12:40 Ha Ha Hairies 12:55 Gerald McBoing Boing 13:20 Bananas In Pyjamas 13:35 Puppy In My Pocket 14:00 Looney Tunes 14:50 Scooby Doo Where Are You! 15:15Scooby-Doo And Scrappy-Doo 15:40 Dastardly And Muttley 16:00 Tom & Jerry 16:15 Tom & Jerry 16:40 Pink Panther And Pals 17:30 The Garfield Show 18:10 Johnny Bravo 18:35 Dexter’s Laboratory 19:00 Jelly Jamm 19:15 Baby Looney Tunes 19:40 Ha Ha Hairies 19:55 Gerald McBoing Boing 20:20 Bananas In Pyjamas 20:35 Dexter’s Laboratory 21:00 Johnny Bravo 21:25 Pink Panther And Pals 21:50 Tom & Jerry 22:15 The Garfield Show 22:40 A Pup Named Scooby-Doo 23:05 Popeye 23:20 The Jetsons 23:45 Duck Dodgers

00:30 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 05:55 Angelo Rules 06:00 The Marvelous Misadventures... 06:25 Casper’s Scare School 07:00 The Amazing World Of Gumball 07:15 Adventure Time 07:40 Johnny Test 08:05 Grim Adventures Of... 08:55 Courage The Cowardly Dog 09:45 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 10:10 Redakai: Conquer The Kairu 10:35 Powerpuff Girls 11:25 Chowder 12:15 Ed, Edd n Eddy 13:05 Ben 10 13:30 Sym-Bionic Titan 13:55 Foster’s Home For... 14:45 Angelo Rules 15:35 Powerpuff Girls 16:25 The Amazing World Of Gumball 16:40 Johnny Test 17:00 Level Up 17:30 Regular Show 17:55 Green Lantern: The Animated Series 18:20 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 18:45 Young Justice 19:10 Bakugan: Mechtanium Surge 19:35 Adventure Time 20:00 Ben 10 21:15 Grim Adventures Of... 22:00 Codename: Kids Next Door 22:50 Ben 10 23:15 Ben 10 23:40 Chowder

00:00 00:30 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 07:30 08:00 10:00 10:30 11:00 12:00 12:30 13:00 14:00 15:00

Amanpour World Sport Piers Morgan Tonight World Report Anderson Cooper 360 Piers Morgan Tonight Quest Means Business The Situation Room World Sport World’s Untold Stories World Report World Sport Inside Africa World Business Today Amanpour News Special World One Piers Morgan Tonight News Stream

16:00 World Business Today 17:00 International Desk 18:00 Global Exchange 19:00 World Sport 19:30 News Special 20:00 International Desk 21:00 Quest Means Business 22:00 Amanpour 22:30 CNN Newscenter 23:00 Connect The World With Becky Anderson

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

Weird Or What? Mobster Confessions Life On A Wire Finding Bigfoot Moonshiners Weird Or What? How Do They Do It? How It’s Made American Loggers American Chopper Mythbusters Ultimate Survival Border Security Dirty Money How Do They Do It? How It’s Made Stan Lee’s Superhumans Mythbusters Mythbusters Border Security Dirty Money Ultimate Survival American Chopper Fifth Gear American Loggers Mythbusters How Do They Do It?

00:35 Kings Of Construction 01:25 What’s That About? 02:15 Stuck With Hackett 03:05 The Gadget Show 03:35 Scrapheap Challenge 04:25 Race To Mars 05:15 Kings Of Construction 06:05 What’s That About? 07:00 Catch It Keep It 07:50 Head Rush 07:53 Weird Connections 08:20 The X-Testers 08:50 Sport Science 09:40 Scrapheap Challenge 10:30 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 15:35 The Gadget Show 16:00 Head Rush 16:03 Weird Connections 16:30 The X-Testers 17:00 What’s That About? 17:50 Sport Science 18:40 Race To Mars 19:30 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 20:20 Meteorite Men 21:10 The Gadget Show 21:35 The Gadget Show 22:00 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 22:50 Meteorite Men 23:40 Sport Science

00:10 01:00 01:50 02:40 03:30 04:20 05:10 06:00 06:15 06:40 07:05 07:30 07:55 08:20 08:45 09:10 09:25 09:35 09:45 10:00 10:25 10:50 11:15

Fairly Odd Parents Brandy & Mr Whiskers Replacements Emperor’s New School Brandy & Mr Whiskers Replacements Fairly Odd Parents Fish Hooks Timon And Pumbaa So Random Wizards Of Waverly Place Good Luck Charlie Shake It Up Phineas And Ferb Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates Handy Manny The Hive Mouk Jonas Los Angeles So Random Hannah Montana Fish Hooks

11:40 Jake & Blake 12:05 Sonny With A Chance 12:30 Wizards Of Waverly Place 12:55 Phineas And Ferb 13:20 Timon And Pumbaa 13:45 Suite Life On Deck 15:00 Austin & Ally 15:25 Shake It Up 15:50 Phineas And Ferb 16:15 Jessie 16:40 A.N.T. Farm 17:00 Wizards Of Waverly Place The Movie 18:30 Jessie 18:55 A.N.T. Farm 19:20 Good Luck Charlie 19:45 The Adventures Of Disney Fairies 20:40 Phineas And Ferb 20:50 Suite Life On Deck 21:15 Jonas Los Angeles 21:40 Shake It Up 22:05 Good Luck Charlie 22:55 Wizards Of Waverly Place

00:55 Style Star 01:25 E!es 02:20 THS 03:15 Behind The Scenes 03:40 Extreme Close-Up 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 THS 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 E! News 09:15 Giuliana & Bill 10:15 THS 12:05 E! News 13:05 Khloe And Lamar 14:05 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 15:00 Style Star 15:30 THS 16:25 Behind The Scenes 16:55 Mrs. Eastwood And Company 17:55 E! News 18:55 E!es 19:55 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 21:55 Mrs. Eastwood And Company 22:25 E! News 23:25 Chelsea Lately 23:55 Keeping Up With The Kardashians

00:05 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 00:30 Unwrapped 00:55 Guy’s Big Bite 01:45 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 02:35 Outrageous Food 03:25 Grill It! With Bobby Flay 03:50 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 04:15 Meat & Potatoes 04:40 Unwrapped 05:05 Unique Eats 05:30 Chopped 06:10 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 06:35 Extra Virgin 07:00 Food Network Challenge 07:50 Unique Sweets 08:15 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 08:40 Paula’s Best Dishes 09:05 Cooking For Real 09:30 Hungry Girl 09:55 Food (Ography) 10:45 Unwrapped 11:10 Unique Eats 11:35 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 12:00 Chopped 12:50 Jenny Morris Cooks Morocco 13:15 Cooking For Real 13:40 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 14:05 Hungry Girl 14:30 Unique Sweets 14:55 Paula’s Best Dishes 15:20 Unwrapped 15:45 Iron Chef America 16:35 Jenny Morris Cooks Morocco 17:00 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 17:25 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 17:50 Unique Eats 18:15 Food (Ography) 19:05 Unique Sweets 19:30 Chopped 20:20 Iron Chef America 21:10 Unique Sweets 22:50 Food (Ography) 23:40 Meat & Potatoes

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

MARS NEEDS MOMS ON OSN CINEMA

The Haunted Crime Scene Psychics Fatal Encounters Killer Kids Extreme Forensics The Haunted Crime Scene Psychics Disappeared Forensic Detectives Murder Shift Mystery ER Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Street Patrol Murder Shift Mystery Diagnosis Real Emergency Calls Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Forensic Detectives Murder Shift Real Emergency Calls Mystery Diagnosis Who On Earth Did I Marry? On The Case With Paula Zahn Disappeared Australian Families Of Crime American Greed Dr. G: Medical Examiner

00:00 Nomads 01:00 Travel Madness 02:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 02:30 One Man & His Campervan 03:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 04:00 Extreme Tourist Afghanistan 05:00 Deadliest Journeys 2 05:30 The Best Job In The World 06:00 Nomads 07:00 Travel Madness 08:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 08:30 One Man & His Campervan 09:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 10:00 Extreme Tourist Afghanistan 11:00 Deadliest Journeys 2 11:30 The Best Job In The World 12:00 Nomads 13:00 Travel Madness 13:30 Travel Oz 14:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The

Planet 14:30 One Man & His Campervan 15:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 16:00 Wheel2Wheel 17:00 Graham’s World 17:30 The Best Job In The World 18:00 Nomads 19:00 Danger Beach 20:00 Kimchi Chronicles

00:00 The Thaw-PG15 02:00 Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans-18 04:00 Blood Out-18 06:00 Anaconda-PG15 08:00 True Justice: Urban Warfare 10:00 Enter The Phoenix-PG15 12:00 Lords Of Dogtown-PG15 14:00 True Justice: Urban Warfare 16:00 Ladder 49-PG15 18:00 Lords Of Dogtown-PG15 20:00 The Kingdom-18 22:00 Tank Girl-PG15

01:00 Toast-PG15 03:00 Mars Needs Moms-PG 05:00 A Trace Of Danger-PG15 07:00 African Cats: Kingdom Of Courage-PG 09:00 Coyote County Loser-PG15 11:00 The Conspirator-PG15 13:00 Cars 2-FAM 15:00 According To Greta-PG15 17:00 Water For Elephants-PG15 19:00 Win Win-PG15 21:00 Bucky Larson: Born To Be A Star-18

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 Friends 02:30 Seinfeld 03:00 Bent 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 06:00 Friends 06:30 Samantha Who? 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:30 Bent 09:30 The Cleveland Show 10:00 The Office 10:30 Samantha Who? 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:00 Friends 12:30 Friends 13:30 Samantha Who? 14:00 Community 14:30 The Office 15:00 The Cleveland Show 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 Friends 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Bent 18:30 Community 19:00 Parks And Recreation 19:30 Parks And Recreation 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:30 Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne 23:00 Seinfeld 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

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 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 16:30 17:00 18:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00

Warehouse 13 Perception Grey’s Anatomy White Collar Royal Pains Grey’s Anatomy Warehouse 13 Emmerdale Coronation Street Private Practice The Ellen DeGeneres Show White Collar Homeland Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Private Practice Warehouse 13 Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Private Practice Bunheads Franklin & Bash Alphas Supernatural Grey’s Anatomy

01:00 03:00 05:00 07:00 PG15 09:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 17:00 19:00 21:00 23:00

Carriers-PG15 Blood Out-18 Men In Black-PG15 True Justice: BrotherhoodBlank Slate-PG15 Men In Black-PG15 Rocky IV-PG15 Blank Slate-PG15 Game Of Death-PG15 The Untouchables-PG15 Icarus-18 Neowolf-18

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

My Last Five Girlfriends-PG15 The Chaperone-PG15 Inspector Gadget (1999)Snow Dogs-PG The Chaperone-PG15 Whatever Works-PG15 Elevator Girl-PG15 Spud-PG15 Whatever Works-PG15 Tommy Boy-PG15 The Royal Tenenbaums-18 Next Friday-18

01:30 03:45 05:45 07:45 09:30 11:15 12:45 14:30 16:15 19:00 21:00 23:00

Dead Poets Society-PG15 Heart And Souls-PG Eight Below-PG Strength And Honour-PG15 Charlie St. Cloud-PG15 Lies In Plain Sight-PG15 Le Syndrome Du Titanic-PG15 Charlie St. Cloud-PG15 The Horse Whisperer-PG15 Tout Ce Qui Brille-PG15 A Soldier’s Love Story-PG15 The Social Network-PG15

01:00 03:00 05:00 07:15 09:00 11:00

A Closed Book-18 Prom-PG15 The Great Debaters-PG15 Ways To Live Forever-PG15 The Marc Pease Experience Hemingway & Gellhorn-PG15

LORDS OF DOGTOWN ON OSN ACTION HD 13:00 Oceans-PG15 15:00 Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story-PG 17:00 The Marc Pease Experience 18:45 Courageous-PG15 21:00 Bucky Larson: Born To Be A Star-18 23:00 Killer Elite-18v

02:00 Mia And The Migoo-PG 04:00 Rh+ The Vampire Of Seville 06:00 Gladiators: The Tournament 08:00 Christopher Columbus-PG 10:00 Last Of The Mohicans-PG 12:00 Open Season 3-FAM 14:00 Zorro’s Secrets-PG 16:00 The Enchanted Mountain-PG 18:00 How The Grinch Stole Christmas-PG 20:00 Open Season 3-FAM 22:00 Zorro’s Secrets-PG

00:00 Olympic Highlights 02:00 Senior European Tour Highlights 03:00 Cricket One Day International 10:00 The Rugby Championship 12:00 Trans World Sport 13:00 Olympic Highlights 15:00 Futbol Mundial 15:30 AFL Premiership 18:00 Super Rugby Highlights 19:00 Olympic Women’s Hockey 21:00 Olympic Highlights 23:00 Trans World Sport

00:00 WWE Experience 01:00 Super Rugby Highlights 02:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 03:00 NRL Premiership 05:00 Rugby League Challenge Cup 07:00 AFL Premiership 09:30 PGA European Tour Highlights 10:30 Rugby League Challenge Cup 12:30 Rugby Union - The Rugby Championship 14:30 This Week in WWE 15:00 NRL Premiership 17:00 Trans World Sport 18:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter 19:00 WWE Vintage Collection 20:00 WWE SmackDown 22:00 Trans World Sport 23:00 AFL Premiership

01:00 NRL Full Time 01:30 AFL Highlights 02:30 Triathlon 05:00 NRL Full Time 06:00 World Match Racing Tour Highlights 07:00 Golfing World 08:00 NRL Premiership 10:00 Challenge Series Golf Highlights 10:30 City Centre Races 13:00 Golfing World 14:00 NRL Full Time 14:30 AFL Highlights 15:30 World Match Racing Tour Highlights 16:30 Volvo Ocean Race Highlights 18:00 Premier League Snooker 21:30 PGA European Tour Weekly 22:00 Golfing World 23:00 NRL Full Time 23:30 City Centre Races

00:00 01:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 11:00 12:00 12:30 13:00 15:00 16:00 16:30 17:00 17:30 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00

V8 Supercars Prizefighter UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC Countdown UFC Unleashed WWE Vintage Collection WWE NXT NHL V8 Supercars Mobil 1 The Grid This Week in WWE WWE SmackDown WWE Vintage Collection Mobil 1 The Grid UAE National Race Day UAE National Race Day V8 Supercars UFC Countdown UFC Unleashed UFC Unleashed NHL Stunt

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

Pawn Stars Storage Wars Ax Men Storage Wars American Pickers The Universe Battle Of Britain Ax Men Pawn Stars Storage Wars The Universe Battle Of Britain Pawn Stars Storage Wars Ax Men Storage Wars Storage Wars American Pickers Battle Of Britain The Universe Storage Wars Storage Wars American Pickers Battle Of Britain The Universe Pawn Stars Storage Wars Ax Men Lock N’ Load Top Shot

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

Fashion Police Bridalplasty Videofashion Daily Videofashion News How Do I Look? Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? Clean House Videofashion News Videofashion News Videofashion Daily Open House Videofashion News How Do I Look? Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? Clean House Mel B: It’s A Scary World The Amandas How Do I Look? How Do I Look? Clean House Clean House Big Rich Texas Big Rich Texas How Do I Look? How Do I Look? Fashion Police Jerseylicious

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

00:05 Buccaneer And Bones 00:30 Jim Shockey: Hal And Len Edition 01:45 Western Extreme 03:00 Excalibur’s Deer City USA 04:15 Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures 05:30 Buccaneer And Bones 07:00 Stihl’s Dogs And Logs 08:15 Buccaneer And Bones 09:30 Stihl’s Dogs And Logs 10:45 Speargun Hunter 12:00 Saltwater Series 13:15 Trout Unlimited On The Rise 14:30 Speargun Hunter 15:45 Saltwater Series 17:00 Trout Unlimited On The Rise 18:15 Speargun Hunter 19:30 Saltwater Series 20:45 Trout Unlimited On The Rise 22:00 Stihl’s Dogs And Logs 23:15 Buccaneer And Bones

00:15 Little Einsteins 00:40 Jungle Junction 01:10 Little Einsteins 01:30 Special Agent Oso 02:00 Lazytown 02:25 Little Einsteins 02:50 Jungle Junction 03:20 Little Einsteins 03:40 Special Agent Oso 04:10 Lazytown 04:35 Little Einsteins 05:00 Jungle Junction 05:30 Little Einsteins 05:50 Special Agent Oso 06:15 Jungle Junction 06:45 Handy Manny 07:00 Special Agent Oso 07:15 Lazytown 07:45 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 08:10 The Hive 08:20 Handy Manny 08:35 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 09:05 The Hive 09:15 Mini Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 09:20 Mouk 09:35 The Hive 09:45 Cars Toons 09:55 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 10:20 Lazytown 10:45 Art Attack 11:10 Imagination Movers 11:35 Lazytown 12:00 The Hive 12:10 Handy Manny 12:25 Jungle Junction 12:40 Imagination Movers 13:05 The Hive 13:15 Special Agent Oso 13:30 Lazytown 13:55 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 14:20 The Hive 14:30 Handy Manny 14:45 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 15:00 Mouk 15:15 The Hive 15:25 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 15:40 Cars Toons 15:55 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 16:20 Lazytown 16:45 Art Attack 17:10 Handy Manny 17:40 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 18:10 Little Einsteins 18:35 The Adventures Of Disney Fairies 19:00 Mini Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh 19:05 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 19:25 101 Dalmatians 19:40 Mouk 19:50 Jake & The Neverland Pirates 20:20 The Hive 20:30 Mini Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh

02:20 03:50 05:25 07:00 08:55 10:20 12:10 13:55 15:35 17:40 19:45 22:00 23:35

Ride The High Country-PG Crest Of The Wave-FAM Invitation To The Dance-FAM Rhapsody-FAM A Yank At Eton-FAM Summer Stock-FAM Captain Nemo And The...-FAM To Have And Have Not-FAM The Journey-FAM The Hill-PG North By Northwest-PG The Hunger-18 Fame


Classifieds WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

DIAL 161 FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION

Airlines JZR QTR JZR MEA RJA RBG GFA UAE ETD THY FDB MSR QTR MSC KAC THY JZR DHX JZR KAC BAW JZR KAC KAC QTR FDB KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC UAE ABY QTR FDB IRA ETD BAB GFA UAE MEA JZR MSR IRM JZR IRC KNE MSR RJA GFA KAC FDB JZR QTR KAC SVA FDB KAC JZR KAC KAC QTR JZR KAC ETD IYE UAE UAL GFA SVA JZR JZR ABY KAC QTR BAB KAC KAC FDB KNE MSR RBG JZR KAC KAC JAI KAC KAC AXB FDB OMA MEA QTR GFA ALK KAC JZR KLM UAE JZR ETD BBC ABY QTR JZR AIC FDB GFA UAL FDB JZR DLH SYR MSR THY

Arrival Flights on Wednesday 29/8/2012 Flt Route 185 DUBAI 148 DOHA 267 BEIRUT 408 BEIRUT 642 AMMAN 3555 ALEXANDRIA 211 BAHRAIN 853 DUBAI 305 ABU DHABI 768 ISTANBUL 67 DUBAI 612 CAIRO 138 DOHA 2401 ALEXANDRIA 544 CAIRO 770 ISTANBUL 1541 CAIRO 170 BAHRAIN 555 ALEXANDRIA 412 MANILA 157 LONDON 529 ASSIUT 206 ISLAMABAD 382 DELHI 6130 DOHA 53 DUBAI 284 DHAKA 302 MUMBAI 352 COCHIN 362 COLOMBO 344 CHENNAI 855 DUBAI 125 SHARJAH 132 DOHA 55 DUBAI 603 SHIRAZ 301 ABU DHABI 436 BAHRAIN 213 BAHRAIN 871 DUBAI 404 BEIRUT 165 DUBAI 606 LUXOR 5066 MASHAD 561 SOHAG 6791 MASHAD 472 JEDDAH 610 CAIRO 640 AMMAN 219 BAHRAIN 672 DUBAI 57 DUBAI 535 CAIRO 140 DOHA 790 MEDINAH 500 JEDDAH 8055 DUBAI 788 JEDDAH 257 BEIRUT 546 ALEXANDRIA 502 BEIRUT 134 DOHA 173 DUBAI 538 SHARM EL SHEIKH 303 ABU DHABI 824 SANAA 857 DUBAI 982 WASHINGTON DC DULLES 215 BAHRAIN 510 RIYADH 177 DUBAI 777 JEDDAH 127 SHARJAH 542 CAIRO 144 DOHA 438 BAHRAIN 166 PARIS 786 JEDDAH 63 DUBAI 460 MEDINAH 620 ASSIUT 3553 ALEXANDRIA 787 RIYADH 618 DOHA 674 DUBAI 572 MUMBAI 102 NEW YORK 774 RIYADH 393 KOZHIKODE 61 DUBAI 647 MUSCAT 402 BEIRUT 146 DOHA 221 BAHRAIN 229 COLOMBO 514 TEHRAN 481 SABIHA 417 AMSTERDAM 859 DUBAI 135 BAHRAIN 307 ABU DHABI 43 DHAKA 129 SHARJAH 136 DOHA 539 CAIRO 975 CHENNAI 59 DUBAI 217 BAHRAIN 981 BAHRAIN 8053 DUBAI 239 AMMAN 636 FRANKFURT 343 DAMASCUS 614 CAIRO 772 ISTANBUL

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

Airlines AIC UAL DLH MSR PIA THY RBG MEA THY UAE FDB ETD MSR MSC QTR QTR JZR RJA JZR GFA THY JZR KAC KAC BAW FDB KAC JZR KAC ABY QTR KAC KAC KAC UAE KAC QTR FDB ETD BAB IRA GFA JZR KAC MEA MSR JZR UAE KAC KAC JZR JZR IRM KNE IRC GFA FDB MSR RJA KAC JZR FDB KAC SVA JZR QTR KAC KAC ETD JZR IYE QTR UAE GFA JZR ABY UAL SVA JZR QTR FDB BAB KNE RBG MSR JZR KAC KAC KAC JAI FDB KAC KAC OMA MEA KAC GFA JZR DHX ALK KLM JZR ABY ETD KAC UAE QTR KAC KAC JZR BBC QTR AXB FDB FDB GFA KAC JZR

Depature Flights on Wednesday 29/8/2012 Flt Route 982 AHMEDABAD 981 WASHINGTON DC 637 FRANKFURT 615 CAIRO 206 LAHORE 773 ISTANBUL 3556 ALEXANDRIA 409 BEIRUT 769 ISTANBUL 854 DUBAI 68 DUBAI 306 ABU DHABI 613 CAIRO 2402 ALEXANDRIA 139 DOHA 149 DOHA 560 SOHAG 643 AMMAN 164 DUBAI 212 BAHRAIN 771 ISTANBUL 534 CAIRO 545 ALEXANDRIA 537 SHARM EL SHEIKH 156 LONDON 54 DUBAI 175 FRANKFURT 256 BEIRUT 117 NEW YORK 126 SHARJAH 6131 DOHA 501 BEIRUT 671 DUBAI 787 JEDDAH 856 DUBAI 789 MADINAH 133 DOHA 56 DUBAI 302 ABU DHABI 437 BAHRAIN 602 SHIRAZ 214 BAHRAIN 172 DUBAI 541 CAIRO 405 BEIRUT 619 ASSIUT 776 JEDDAH 872 DUBAI 103 LONDON 785 JEDDAH 480 ISTANBUL 176 DUBAI 5065 MASHHAD 461 MADINAH 6792 MASHHAD 220 BAHRAIN 58 DUBAI 611 CAIRO 641 AMMAN 673 DUBAI 538 CAIRO 8056 DUBAI 617 DOHA 503 MADINAH 786 RIYADH 135 DOHA 513 IMAM KHOMEINI 773 RIYADH 304 ABU DHABI 238 AMMAN 824 SANAA 141 DOHA 858 DUBAI 216 BAHRAIN 134 BAHRAIN 128 SHARJAH 982 BAHRAIN 511 RIYADH 266 BEIRUT 145 DOHA 64 DUBAI 439 BAHRAIN 477 JEDDAH 3554 ALEXANDRIA 621 ALEXANDRIA 184 DUBAI 283 DHAKA 361 COLOMBO 153 ISTANBUL 571 MUMBAI 62 DUBAI 331 TRIVANDRUM 351 KOCHI 648 MUSCAT 403 BEIRUT 543 CAIRO 222 BAHRAIN 502 LUXOR 171 BAHRAIN 230 COLOMBO 417 DAMMAM 1540 CAIRO 120 SHARJAH 308 ABU DHABI 381 DELHI 860 DUBAI 137 DOHA 301 MUMBAI 205 ISLAMABAD 554 ALEXANDRIA 44 DHAKA 147 DOHA 394 KOCHI 60 DUBAI 8054 DUBAI 218 BAHRAIN 415 KUALA LUMPUR 528 ASSIUT

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

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (www.kuwait-airport.com.kw)

ACCOMMODATION Deluxe Villa in Block 5 Mishref suitable for diplomatic mission and organizations residence. Safety and security fence and ample parking space. For information, call: 99123411. (C 4113) 29-8-2012 Three bedroom CAC flat available with a South Indian family for Indian executive lady or bachelor. Contact: 99515956. 28-8-2012

SITUATION VACANT Looking for a Table Tennis partner who knows good English, have a great sense of humor and can play from 9am to 10am (one hour) in the morning in Mansouriya, on Friday & Saturday and on another day during the working days. Please send your reply to email giving your age and photo. Email: hgharbaly@hotmail.com (C 4110)

CHANGE OF NAME I, Loyela Joao Borges, resident of Grande Neura post, Neura IIhas Goa, have

changed my name from Loyela John Borges to Loyela Joao Borges. Herein after in all my dealings and documents I will be known by the name Loyela Joao Borges. 29-8-2012

MATRIMONIAL Proposals invited from parents of professionally qualified and well settled boys for a beautiful RC/SC girl, 26 years, 170 cm, M.Sc nursing (final year), wheatish complexion, belonging to an aristocratic family from Thamarassery diocese. If interested, please send your complete details to: matri3333@yahoo.com (C 4109) 27-8-2012

FOR SALE Mitsubishi Galant 2007 (new body) golden color, km 32000 only, excellent condition, KD 1900. Mob: 50699345. (C 4111) 29-8-2012 For sale villa furniture like new contains of one bed room , dining room, living room fully equipped kitchen. Washer & dryer. Very reasonable price . Tel 97211688 27-8-2012

Prayer timings Fajr:

04:02

Duhr:

11:49

Asr:

15:23

Maghrib:

18:14

Isha:

19:33

THE PUBLIC AUTHORITY FOR CIVIL INFORMATION Automated enquiry about the Civil ID card is 1889988

112 Ministry of Interior website: www.moi.gov.kw


34

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

stars CROSSWORD 780

STAR TRACK

CALVIN & HOBBES

Aries (March 21-April 19) Make sure your career is going in the direction that will most benefit you. It could be time to reassess your job position. Just keep an ongoing log of your accomplishments each day and when employee review comes up, you will be able to give a positive report. You will be in interesting places and meet interesting people . . . it is important to remember your manners. Behave in a way that you would want your children to behave if they were in similar circumstances. A continuing exercise program is beneficial not only for weight but for endurance. Others may comment on the results they see from your hard work lately. Tonight is a good time to go to a concert, buy the tickets for a concert, or to enjoy a shopping expedition.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) It is important to get plenty of rest as well as having an exercise schedule so you can continue to give to others as graciously as you have done in the past. You tend to enjoy charity work and helping others to have a good life. Shaving off some of your own personal time could cause you to feel blocked, so monitor your time and look to create a balance in all of your affairs. A little rest along with walking, climbing a few stairs, etc., will help you stay focused and relaxed. While there are some exciting new changes in your life, you may have scheduled too many projects for yourself in one day. There are new opportunities for fun and educational things to become available to you, so you will want to be available for new books, movies, science and lectures.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. (Roman mythology) Goddess of abundance and fertility. 4. A large fleet. 10. (slang) A gangster's pistol. 13. Committee formed by a special-interest group to raise money for their favorite political candidates. 14. A cylindrical drawstring bag used by sailors to hold their clothing and other gear. 15. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 16. A federal agency established to coordinate programs aimed at reducing pollution and protecting the environment. 17. An ascocarp having the spore-bearing layer of cells (the hymenium) on a broad disklike receptacle. 18. One of the most common of the five major classes of immunoglobulins. 19. Hungarian choreographer who developed Labanotation (18791958). 21. A period marked by distinctive character or reckoned from a fixed point or event. 23. Resinlike substance secreted by certain lac insects. 24. Aircraft landing in bad weather in which the pilot is talked down by ground control using precision approach radar. 26. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 33. Tropical American feather palm having a swollen spiny trunk and edible nuts. 35. Tall perennial herb of tropical Asia with dark green leaves. 37. (music) The pace of music measured by the number of beats occurring in 60 seconds. 38. A public promotion of some product or service. 39. A Chadic language spoken in Chad. 42. American professional baseball player who hit more home runs than Babe Ruth (born in 1934). 43. A state in southeastern India on the Bay of Bengal (south of Andhra Pradesh). 46. A software system that facilitates the creation and maintenance and use of an electronic database. 47. (Old Testament) The second patriarch. 49. Having help. 53. The residue that remains when something is burned. 54. A Bantu language spoken by the Kamba people in Kenya. 58. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 59. Consisting of or made of wood of the oak tree. 60. Render capable or able for some task. 62. Support resembling the rib of an animal. 63. A benevolent aspect of Devi. 64. Any of several small ungulate mammals of Africa and Asia with rodent-like incisors and feet with hooflike toes. 65. A potent estrogen used in medicine and in feed for livestock and poultry. DOWN 1. German industrialist who was the first in Germany to use an assembly line in manufacturing automobiles (1871-1948). 2. An informal term for a father. 3. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 4. (Hindu) A manner of sitting (as in the practice of Yoga). 5. A widely distributed system consisting of all the cells able to ingest bacteria or colloidal particles etc, except for certain white blood cells. 6. (trademark) A liquid that temporarily disables a person. 7. Little known Kamarupan languages. 8. The occurrence of a change for the worse. 9. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 10. (Greek mythology) Goddess of the earth and mother of Cronus and the Titans in ancient mythology. 11. Primitive chlorophyll-containing mainly aquatic eukaryotic organisms lacking true stems and roots and leaves. 12. An official language of the Republic of South Africa. 20. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. 22. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 25. Type genus of the Cariamidae comprising only the crested cariama. 27. Worthless or oversimplified ideas. 28. Electronic warfare undertaken to prevent or reduce an enemy's effective use of the electromagnetic spectrum. 29. A unit of absorbed ionizing radiation equal to 100 ergs per gram of irradiated material. 30. An independent ruler or chieftain (especially in Africa or Arabia). 31. A city in western Nevada at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. 32. Having or demonstrating ability to recognize or draw fine distinctions. 34. South African term for `boss'. 36. Inability to walk. 40. A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma. 41. Having a back or backing, usually of a specified type. 42. A radioactive transuranic element produced by bombarding plutonium with neutrons. 44. State in northeastern India. 45. The capital and largest city of Bangladesh. 48. A Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Christ. 50. Any of a group of Indic languages spoken in Kashmir and eastern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. 51. A member of an Iroquoian people formerly living on the south shore of Lake Erie in northern Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania and western New York. 52. United States labor organizer who ran for President as a socialist (1855-1926). 55. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 56. (computer science) A computer that is running software that allows users to leave messages and access information of general interest. 57. American prizefighter who won the world heavyweight championship three times (born in 1942). 61. The branch of engineering science that studies the uses of electricity and the equipment for power generation and distribution and the control of machines and communication.

Yesterday’s Solution

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Fair play is an important factor in your life. Be fair and reasonable to yourself as well as others. Take your time and give yourself praise for your accomplishments. There could be a lot of pressure to make decisions in a quick manner today—trust your decisions. You know your job and the techniques of your training will automatically kick in and take over to help you complete your tasks—trust your instincts. Trust in yourself . . . given only a few facts, you are able to take in a situation and come up with a real picture of what is happening. You should enjoy this busy, productive day. Company may come to your home after dark tonight. While you enjoy their company, you may not have accommodations . . . start now to think of places for them to stay.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) You have a natural sense of what the public wants at this time and it is important to be painstaking when sharing difficult information with others. You are a very forceful speaker and communicate with great enthusiasm. Words just flow out and may be followed by an emotional impact that brings them home to your listeners—careful. Some people take words very personally while others decipher words as information. Clear decisions affecting others is made now. You may be able to bring a group together with ideas that create a great deal of motivation. There is an emphasis on communication today. What goes on in your mind is the all-important motivation in your life—you admire intelligence. Poetry, movies, books could prove quite enjoyable now.

NON SEQUITUR

Leo (July 23-August 22) You may need to make impartial choices today. This matter of choosing can be rather difficult, particularly when it comes to employees, children, family and friends. You will be tempted to employ some partiality—do not. You might consider using a point system when choices move into the emotional. You develop a knack for organizing things and people, as a sense of ambition and practicality is good. Work, achievement and ambition are all the things that mean a lot to you and you do your best to do just that—achieve. Never fear . . . everything seems to be working together. In order to avoid a bottleneck where progress is concerned, you may need to create some sort of plan on paper for a near-future presentation. A positive attitude moves you forward!

ZITS

Virgo (August 23-September 22) Sometimes it is hard to do what your mother taught you when it comes to holding a civil tongue. If you just have not been able to hold your tongue, so to speak, then disassociate yourself from the cause and regroup. New ways to organize and discipline yourself are possible now—you will see things from a different perspective. A list of your constructive activities will help you to understand the importance of coming from facts and not what-if thinking. You have made good progress. You have the power to get things moving when others have a loss of ideas or incentive—this makes you a powerful asset in the working world. Through this week, love is all-encompassing. There is no doubt in your loved one’s eyes about how you feel.

Libra (September 23-October 22)

MOTHER GOOSE AND GRIMM

Many praise you for being so attentive to details, facts and other types of business concerns. You seem to shine when it comes to practical matters or those involving work and career. You could find yourself mentally acute and in a problem-solving mood most days. Your attention is needed in many ways—as an awareness of manipulation or agendas. If in doubt, always ask for clarity. It is easier to work with accounts on paper than it is to work with some people. However, this is a very favorable day for you. There is an opportunity to have a roundtable discussion that will reveal a forecast you can understand. Request new meetings if progress is not seen soon. At home this evening a close friend finds your listening ear a blessing.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) You are passionate in your search for truth—nothing superficial or temporary holds your attention. Your intense analytical approach to life cuts through to the heart of things. You have strong family, business or at least the property ties that affect your public image and goals. There may be some tricky finances connected with your business or profession and you will need to attend to this today. Your objective may need to be your constant reminder. You seek to understand and improve situations, finding new but secure ways to better conditions. There is an emphasis on communication, expression of ideas and the connections between things, places and people this evening. You could be planning or helping someone plan a thrilling vacation now.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You do not have to pretend to be; there is plenty of work to keep you at your desk or at your station for many busy hours. You may be very glad that the portion of work is considerable. You may surprise yourself with just how much you can accomplish by the end of the day. This afternoon will find you full of wit and sharp insights as you spend a little time with friends at a coffee shop or some other meeting place. This time with friends becomes an enjoyable time of stress relief for you and others. You might call the gathering at the table a mutual-admiration-society. There are chores this evening but you can enjoy your favorite music while you tend to them. A new magazine and some interesting mail are amusing sidetracks.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

To

If you have been looking for that right timing to ask someone for a date, this is the day to ask. Perhaps it is not a date but a request for a raise or hunting for a job. The positive vibrations are working for you today for whatever it is you seek to gain. If you are in the workplace today you will be able to quickly obtain information necessary to perform your work successfully. Obtaining and exchanging information takes on significance now. This afternoon, you and a neighbor may decide to devote some time to helping young people with a Junior Achievement award. Careful—you may be tempted to partake in a more than advisable amount of food. Open and lively communication is enjoyed and the young have lots of questions.

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You are courteous and you teach others to be courteous through your actions. You may be sought after for your advice and counsel regarding a business matter today. You are able to understand quickly and handle whatever is needed thoroughly; however, your patience can be tested. There is a point where you can excuse yourself to make phone calls or tend to some work that was a request from earlier in the day. You can breathe a little easier and then return to complete any obligations. Later today you may be working behind the scenes and surprise others with your techniques, advice or just general information that will make a difference in the positive outcome of a project. Get back to the exercise program and you will increase your endurance.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

Decisions that need to be made at this time are not delayed. Keeping alert and aware of the transactions each day, with a careful eye on delivery, accounts, etc., will keep you ready for needed answers. You have ideas and can make a good argument for some changes that will improve business. You may find that others are supportive of your desire to get ahead and may even have suggestions for you to make note of just now. Circumstances work together to help bring out your goals, making it easier to bring your dreams toward a reality. There is a surge of independence and a need for freedom to make your own way. There is an interest in trying new things or ideas at home this evening and this may mean a new hobby or a new talent.


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

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

24812000

Amiri Hospital

22450005

Maternity Hospital

24843100

Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital

25312700

Chest Hospital

24849400

Farwaniya Hospital

24892010

Adan Hospital

23940620

Ibn Sina Hospital

24840300

Al-Razi Hospital

24846000

Physiotherapy Hospital

24874330/9

Kaizen center

25716707

Roudha

22517733

Adhaliya

22517144

Khaldiya

24848075

Keifan

24849807

Shamiya

24848913

Shuwaikh

24814507

Abdullah Salim

22549134

Al-Nuzha

22526804

Industrial Shuwaikh

24814764

Al-Khadissiya

22515088

Dasmah

22532265

Bneid Al-Ghar

22531908

Al-Shaab

22518752

Al-Kibla

22459381

Ayoun Al-Kibla

22451082

Al-Mirqab

PHARMACY

ADDRESS

PHONE

Ahmadi

Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

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

23915883 23715414 23726558

Jahra

Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622

Capital

Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967

Farwaniya

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

Hawally

ST TATE T OF K KUW WAIT A

Te el.: 161

DIRECTORA ATE T GENERAL GEN OF CIVIL AVIA V ATION T METEOROLOGICAL DEP PARTMENT A

WWW.MET.GOV V.KW .

Humid with light to moderate south easterly to southerly wind, with speed of 12 - 32 km/h

BY Y DA AY:

Humid weather especially over coastal areas with variable wind changing to light to moderate south easterly wind, with speed of 08 - 30 km/h

WARNING A

No Current Warnings arnin a

KUW WAIT A CITY

45 °C

32 °C

KUW WAIT A AIRPOR RT

48 °C

28 °C

22456536

NUW WAISEEB A

47 °C

27 °C

Sharq

22465401

WAFRA A

50 °C

28 °C

Salmiya

25746401

SALMI

47 °C

28 °C

Jabriya

25316254

ABDAL LY

50 °C

28 °C 29 °C

25623444

JAL ALIY YAH A

48 °C

Maidan Hawally

FAILAKA A

43 °C

29 °C

Bayan

25388462

AHMADI POR RT

40 °C

34 °C

Mishref

25381200

UMM AL-MARADEM

38 °C

34 °C

W.Hawally

22630786

WARBA A A - BUBY YAN A

38 °C

27 °C

Sabah

24810221

Jahra

24770319

New Jahra

24575755

West Jahra

24772608

SFC. CHART

28/08/2012 1200 UTC

4 DA AYS Y FORECAST

North Jahra

24775992

North Jleeb

24311795

Al-Ardhiya

24884079

Temperatures DA AY

DA ATE T

WEA ATHER T

MAX.

MIN.

Wind Speed

Wind Direction

Weednesday

29/08

humid over coasts

45 °C

28 °C

VRB-SE

08 - 30 km/h

Thursday

30/08

hot

47 °C

27 °C

VRB

06 - 22 km/h

Friday

31/08

hot + raising dust

47 °C

29 °C

NW

20 - 40 km/h

Saturday

01/09

hot + raising dust

46 °C

31 °C

NW

20 - 40 km/h

AYER Y TIMES PRA

RECORDED YESTERDA AY AT KUW WAIT A AIRPOR RT

Fajr

04:01

MAX. Temp.

Sunrise

05:24

MIN. Temp.

48 °C 27 °C 50 %

Firdous

24892674

Zuhr

11:49

MAX. RH

Al-Omariya

24719048

Asr

15:23

MIN. RH

04 %

Sunset

18:14

MAX. Wind

W 50 km/h

Isha

19:35

TOT TAL AL RA AINF FA ALL L IN 24 HR.

N.Kheitan

24710044

Fintas

23900322

.12 mm

All times are local time unless otherwise stated.

PRIVATE CLINICS Ophthalmologists Dr. Abidallah Al-Mansoor 25622444 Dr. Samy Al-Rabeea 25752222 Dr. Masoma Habeeb 25321171 Dr. Mubarak Al-Ajmy 25739999 Dr. Mohsen Abel 25757700 Dr Adnan Hasan Alwayl 25732223 Dr. Abdallah Al-Baghly 25732223 Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) Dr. Ahmed Fouad Mouner 24555050 Ext 510 Dr. Abdallah Al-Ali 25644660 Dr. Abd Al-Hameed Al-Taweel 25646478 Dr. Sanad Al-Fathalah 25311996 Dr. Mohammad Al-Daaory 25731988 Dr. Ismail Al-Fodary 22620166 Dr. Mahmoud Al-Booz 25651426 General Practitioners Dr. Mohamme Y Majidi 24555050 Ext 123 Dr. Yousef Al-Omar 24719312 Dr. Tarek Al-Mikhazeem 23926920 Dr. Kathem Maarafi 25730465 Dr. Abdallah Ahmad Eyadah 25655528 Dr. Nabeel Al-Ayoobi 24577781 Dr. Dina Abidallah Al-Refae 25333501 Urologists Dr. Ali Naser Al-Serfy 22641534 Dr. Fawzi Taher Abul 22639955 Dr. Khaleel Abidallah Al-Awadi 22616660 Dr. Adel Al-Hunayan FRCS (C) 25313120 Dr. Leons Joseph 66703427 Psychologists /Psychotherapists

Paediatricians

Plastic Surgeons Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf

22547272

Dr. Khaled Hamadi

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari

22617700

Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed

Dr. Abdel Quttainah

25625030/60

Family Doctor Dr Divya Damodar

23729596/23729581

Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari

22635047

Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan

22613623/0

Gynaecologists & Obstetricians DrAdrian arbe

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36

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

LIFESTYLE G o s s i p

Oprah

Swift could ‘elope’ with Kennedy

tops Forbes’ high-paid celebrity list

er new television network is struggling, but Oprah Winfrey’s bank account is doing just fine, according to financial website Forbes.com, which on Monday named the talk show queen as the highest paid celebrity for the fourth straight year. Winfrey has failed to find major success with joint venture partner Discovery Communications on the OWN network, but her ownership in syndicated TV shows such as “Dr Phil,” “Rachael Ray,” “The Dr Oz Show” and other media products enabled her to earn an estimated $165 million between May 2011 and May 2012, Forbes.com said in a story posted on Monday. Close behind was movie director Michael Bay, whose actionpacked adventure flick “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” released last year, helped him earn $160 million based on participation in ticket and toy sales and other revenue. Another film director, Steven Spielberg, earned $130 million in the 12month period covered by Forbes from his participation with TV shows like “Smash” and the release of the movies “The Adventures of Tintin” and “War Horse.” Jerry Bruckheimer placed fourth with $115 million from TV shows and films including “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” and behind him at No. 5 was music producer Dr Dre, who earned $110 million based mostly on the sale of part of his stake in the Beats by Dr Dre headphone company. Rounding out the top 10, in order, were: Actor and producer Tyler Perry, $105 million Radio and TV personality Howard Stern, $95 million Author James Patterson, $94 million Movie producer George Lucas, $90 million Music producer and TV personality, Simon Cowell, $90 million.

H

he ‘Love Story’ singer is “inseparable” from Conor - who she began dating in June and even sent a plane to fly him to her home in Nashville, Tennessee, because she missed him so much and now pals admit they wouldn’t be surprised if they married in secret. A source said: “Taylor missed Conor so much; she sent a plane for him a few days later. He’s been with her ever since, and his family doesn’t know when he will be back. “Things have become so serious between them so fast that no one in the Kennedy family compound at Hyannis Port would be surprised if they eloped. “They are inseparable and are all over each other all the time.” However, some friends are concerned about how “hard” Taylor - who has previously dated Jake Gyllenhaal and Taylor Lautner - has fallen for Conor. Another source added to the New York Post newspaper: “She always falls very hard and becomes very intense very quickly, and this time is no exception. In fact she seems to have fallen even harder.” Taylor has already made an impression on the Kennedy family, with his aunt Rory saying she was great. She said: “She’s awesome. She’s a great friend of all of ours.”

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Stone’s

extreme breakup reaction

The ‘Easy A’ actress - who is currently dating British hunk Andrew Garfield is no stranger to feeling low and thought she had been “killed” when she once had to deal with the break-up of a relationship. She said: “I was crawling on the floor. I remember throwing up. I remember being on the floor - I have never felt anything quite like that. It was so visceral. It’s like someone has killed you and you have to live through it and watch it happen. It was awful.” Despite currently being happy with Andrew, Emma is still in touch with actor Ryan Gosling - who she starred with in ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’- and feels like he is on her “team”. She told Interview magazine: “I’ve asked him to read a couple of scripts. I just really like hearing his viewpoint because I know that it’s never going to be tainted. He’s very much his own person. I only met him two years ago, but it was like meeting a member of your team or something. I really like his brain.”

Warne, Hurley’s

lives to be made into a movie

he former cricketer’s sporting exploits are reportedly set to be the focus of a new TV film and his off-field romance with the ‘Bedazzled’ actress would also feature heavily in the project. Australia’s Channel 9 are planning the movie - which could also be exported over to the UK following on from the success of ‘Howzat!’ a miniseries loosely based on Shane. The sequel to ‘Howzat!’ is being fast-tracked and casting will soon be underway to find stars to play Shane, Elizabeth and the sportsman’s ex-wife Simone Callahan, with who he has children Brooke, 14, Summer, ten, and 13-year-old Jackson. One casting agent said: “From a casting perspective, there’s a huge amount of potential there. “But finding the right actors is key because these are characters that much of the Australian public have grown up with.” Names in the frame include Eddie Perfect, who played Shane in the stage production of ‘Shane Warne: The Musical’, Zoe Tuckwell-Smith and Madeline West for Simone and former ‘Neighbours’ star Nicola Charles as Elizabeth.

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Minogue: ‘Limousines are embarrassing’ he 44-year-old singer - who has lived in London for 20 years - admits she does not always like the glitzy side to being famous and is quite happy to be a “bush person” every now and again. She said: “I’m like, ‘Please don’t send a limousine!’ I find them embarrassing! I love to have this glamorous life sometimes, and if I didn’t have any of that, I would probably be dressing up a bit more each day or going out on the weekend and making a real effort. “But I get to live out those fantasies on stage, in videos or photoshoots. But if I can go somewhere you can wear wellingtons - and just be a total and utter bush

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Jonas

joins

person - I need that.” However, Australian-born Kylie does enjoy being on tour and often finds she wants to go back on stage when she is done with gigs. She told the New Review magazine: “You get to opt out of life for a little bit because you’re living in a tour bubble. And then sometimes when real life becomes difficult, we’ll joke, ‘Let’s go on tour again!’ “You know what you’re doing; someone puts a call sheet under you. You’re on this plane, that bus, you’re performing here, here and here. In a way, it simplifies life.”

Lovato

on ‘X Factor’

he 19-year-old singer - who has recently been campaigning to join the panel on ‘American Idol’ - will help his pal pick from the acts in her category to determine who will go through to the live shows, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Although it has not been confirmed, it has been suggested Demi will mentor singers aged 12 to 16, while fellow newcomer Britney Spears will take on those between 17 to 24. LA Reid will take those over 25, while Simon Cowell - who left the UK version of the show to begin work on the US adaptation in 2011 - will mentor the groups. Demi recently revealed she was a “happy” judge on the panel and has found it very exciting to take part in the second season of the show. She said: “The most fun about being on ‘The X Factor’ is seeing people that really wow you and knowing that you saw them before they were going to become stars. It really is an exciting feeling. “I would say that I’m a happy judge. I’m really, really honest. That’s the great thing about this panel we’re really honest.” —Agencies

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Pattinson ready to meet Stewart he 26-year-old actor was left devastated last month when his girlfriend admitted to cheating on him with married director Rupert Sanders but friends say he now believes her infidelity was just a “moment of stupidity” and is keen for a face-to-face meeting to try and repair their three-year relationship following an “emotional” telephone call. A source said: “They talked [on the phone] for about an hour - it was very emotional... “Kristen begged to meet face-to-face so they could talk. It was obvious she was getting through to Rob and he has agreed to see her. “Even though she made a horrendous mistake, Rob can’t just switch off his feelings. He was madly in love with her and I think believes that it was a moment of stupidity, not a long, drawn-out affair and it’d never happen again. “In Rob’s eyes, Kristen was seduced and she’s clearly not just sorry but completely destroyed by what she’s done.” However, if the ‘Cosmopolis’ star does agree to making another go of their relationship, he wants to establish some “ground rules” with Kristen. The source continued to LOOK magazine: “If Rob decides to take her back, he’ll have some ground rules. “Kristen would have to spend more time in his hometown of London. He also would want them to adopt the Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt way of working where they take it in turns to do a film so they can be around for time together.”

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Cole

to meet boyfriend’s parents

he ‘Call My Name’ singer - who has recently been on a number of dates with dancer Tre Holloway - will fly to the US to be introduced to his family as he is keen to ingratiate her with them. A source told Grazia magazine: “Tre sees something special with Cheryl. He’s desperate to take her to his hometown so she can meet his family.” Tre is the first boyfriend Cheryl that has gone public with since she split with husband Ashley Cole in 2010, although she has been linked to friend and manager will.i.am and ‘Dancing with the Stars’ professional Derek Hough. The 29-year-old beauty has already introduced Tre to her mother Joan Callaghan, who is said to “love” him. A source recently revealed: “Cheryl has described Tre as the polar opposite to Ashley. He’s intelligent, caring and understanding. “Many people think Tre’s like a blend of Cheryl’s exes, but he’s a well brought up middle-class boy with nice manners, just like Cheryl’s previous boyfriend Derek Hough. Yet he’s also got an edgy vibe to him, like Ashley. Importantly, Cheryl’s mum loves him.”

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37

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

LIFESTYLE

Rediscovering Bali’s serenity worth the effort he morning sun turned pools of water in the rice paddies into mirrors. A farmer swung a load of coconuts onto his shoulder. Somewhere, a cow was lowing. The scene should have been perfect, but something was off. After four years, I was back in Bali to relive a memory of a walk through the rice fields near the

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Photo shows tourists relaxing on Kuta beach, Bali, Indonesia. It can be hard to find Bali’s serenity and beauty amid the villas with infinity pools and ads for Italian restaurants. —AP photos

Photo shows tourists taking a surfing lesson on Kuta beach, Bali, Indonesia.

town of Ubud. My disappointment may have started with the bizarre signposts, on a dirt path in the rice paddies, advertising Italian restaurants and French rotisserie chicken. Or maybe it was the villas sprouting up in the green fields, boasting of infinity pools and yoga workout rooms. With Bali developing so fast, my husband and I realized we would have to look harder this time to rediscover the Indonesian island’s serenity and beauty.

We regrouped, got advice from locals, and found our travel pleasures in places we hadn’t known to look for - in a simple meal of fried rice and coconut juice at a deserted beach, and in the treasure bins of an out-of-the-way antiques row. Obviously, nobody heading to Bali expects to find an undiscovered paradise. It’s a longtime favorite of honeymooners, surfers and travelers drawn to its dancing, music and religion. Though Bali is part of the world’s most populous Muslim nation, Indonesia, most residents practice a form of Hinduism known for elaborate ceremonies and rituals. The tiny island offers a touch of adventure and all the creature comforts. You can hike up a volcano, then come

back to your hotel for a cappuccino and a massage. Bali, specifically Ubud, is where Elizabeth Gilbert put the “love” in “Eat, Pray, Love,” an inspiration for some tourists. But sadly, amid the island’s speedy, haphazard development, sometimes it can be hard to see past the construction cranes, traffic jams and trash on the

southern coast. Even in landlocked Ubud, the island’s supposedly laid-back cultural hub, my taxi got stuck in gridlock outside a Starbucks. It seemed a fitting symbol for a vacation going wrong. To tackle the infrastructure problems, the island’s dingy, overcrowded airport is getting an upgrade. Work is under way on toll roads to ease the traffic, especially bad around the built-up beach party town of Kuta. But the tourism numbers are grow-

ing so quickly, it’s hard to imagine how the island will cope. Last year brought 2.75 million foreign visitors, up more than 10 percent from 2010. Next year, the island will get a publicity boost by hosting two very different international events, the Miss World pageant and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. The Jakarta Post reported in July that Bali’s governor expected the number of foreign visitors to nearly double to 5 million by 2015. Domestic visitors should also nearly double to hit 10 million, he said. Though bombings by Islamic militants in 2002 and 2005 in Bali targeted Westerners at nightclubs and beach restaurants, killing a total of 222 people, the violence did not seem to deter visi-

tors in the long term. Some tourists in search of cleaner beaches and more authenticity are heading to nearby islands, including Lombok. In July, the French newspaper Le Monde published a much-discussed article declaring Bali a has-been under the headline, “Bali, c’est fini?” Yet I would argue that Bali, for all its troubles, still offers something special, if you can forgive its flaws - and if you can get there sooner rather than later. For me, the biggest draw is the intense moments of beauty that bloom up out of nowhere. Every day, you’ll happen upon “canang sari,” which are small, exquisite religious offerings made from leaves, flowers, rice and incense sticks. You’ll see Balinese in sarongs and lace blouses kneeling to pray at their family temples by the roadsides. Whizzing down the road in a scooter at dusk, you might hear a snatch of music from a rehearsing gamelan orchestra - percussive, chiming, and mesmerizing. The chairman of Bali’s tourism board, Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya, acknowledges the island’s crowding problems but says its culture and temples still distinguish it from other beach destinations. “The culture is still there, even in a place like Kuta,” the party beach, he told me when I called him after my trip. That’s true. But we felt much better about Bali the farther we got from the noise and traffic. If you go: Getting real: We spent a day driving around the Tabanan area, which boasts endless rice terraces with no luxury villas or tourists in sight. We also came across many tradesmen at work. Some were weaving thatched roofs from grass. Still others were extracting clay from the ground and stamping it into bricks and roofing tiles. It was an eyeopening outing, especially for kids. Tranquil beaches: To get away from the bikini-clad crowds at Kuta and Seminyak, try Kedungu beach, a lovely but not famous stretch of black sand where the only other beachgoers we saw were three surfers. We lunched on delicious corn-on-the-cob and nasi goreng, or fried rice, from a local food stand. Even more gorgeous is Padang Padang, a surfer’s paradise near the famous Uluwatu temple, where cliffs meet blue sky and waves. It has avoided mass development because it’s tricky to access, but it’s nonetheless getting more crowded. The northern coasts are quieter, but avoid the dawn dolphin-sighting outings at Lovina, where dozens of speedboats zigzag through the water chasing a few poor animals. Shopping: Ubud is famous for its market and boutiques, though many vendors there sell the same sarongs, baskets and figurines. Laurent Pickaerts, a Frenchman who runs the charming La Maison P&L guest house in Kerobokan, took us antiquing on Tangkuban Perahu Road in the Pengipian neighborhood, where dozens of shops sell antiques and handicrafts for reasonable prices. Here, you can find small statues, shadow puppets and drums that would fit in a suitcase. For baskets, kites and children’s souvenirs, try Unagi (Marlboro Road No. 383 in Denpasar). It’s a wholesale craft market where Seminyak’s chic boutiques buy their wares to sell at jackedup prices. What it lacks in charm it makes up for in choice and price. —AP

Photo shows young tourists releasing baby turtles on Kuta beach.

Photo shows a Chinese tourist getting a temporary tattoo.

Photo shows cranes next to a traditional Balinese statue called Dewa Ruci at the site of road construction in Kuta.

Photo shows Balinese men building a bamboo bridge next to a road construction site in Kuta.

World Chef Trotter marks milestone by closing restaurant harlie Trotter will mark the 25th anniversary of his Chicago restaurant on Friday by closing its doors permanently so he can pursue a master’s degree in philosophy. Charlie Trotter’s has won every major US culinary award for its innovative American cuisine, while its wine program with over 1,800 selections from around the world has garnered equal acclaim. The 52-year-old Chicago native spoke to Reuters about the current dining scene, his academic future and his last dinner at his restaurant.

C

Q: Has it been tough to close the restaurant? A: “ The hard part is settling your accounts, your affairs and in our case, (whether on) selling our wine cellar. Once we are closed, I will keep a small staff on hand. Of course, I will miss the interaction with the clients. I’ve been fortunate that the restaurant is almost like the old-style European salons that helped me introduce people to each other whom otherwise would have never met had they not been on the same night at the restaurant.”

Q: Will you open another restaurant after your academic hiatus? A: “I don’t know what am I going to do. I would never say never to the restaurant business. It’s in my blood. I’m taking a break now and I’ll determine whether I’d come back to the restaurant world in one form or another.” Q: How has the industry changed over the past 25 years? A: “Now people go out so much more. I remember in those early days, we had to explain every single dish. Now people are so much more informed about food just because of where we’ve come as a food culture. It probably started with the PBS (public television) food series with Julia Child, Jacques Pepin and some of the others, then you have the Food Network, then you have the shows on A&E (Channel) and the Travel Channel and things like that. People just dine out more. They dine out three to four nights a week. They don’t have time to cook at home like they used to.”

Q: What are you serving at the restaurant’s last dinner? A: “Our last dinner will the antithesis of what we have been doing the last 25 years, which is ‘Casual Charlie’ night. We are going to clear all the furniture out of the restaurant. We are going to have food stations, Philly cheese steak pizzas and dishes we are cooking up which have never existed. It’s going to be a big party with 200 people, a lot of chefs and friends of the restaurant. We are going to do the opposite of what we have done that’s very different from the reputation of the restaurant.” Q: You have inspired a lot of chefs. Who are your culinary inspirations? A: “There is Fredy Girardet (famed Swiss chef ). He actually cooked here for our 15th anniversary. That’s only the second time he cooked in America. He is the person who cooks in my style - being in the moment, Miles-Davis-like. There was also Fernand Point (a master French chef who died in 1955). He epitomized what is generosity in cuisine and what running a restaurant is all about.”

Q: What is your philosophy on food? A: “Food is a sensual experience that we have four, five times a day. It’s the one thing that brings us around the table, whether it’s a family getting together for dinner, whether it’s a romantic moment.” Recipe Braised Leek Soup with Sauteed Oyster Mushrooms (Serves 4) 2 large leeks (white part and 2 inches of the greens) 5 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock 2 sprigs rosemary 4 tablespoons unsalted butter Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 shallots, minced 1-1/2 cups oyster mushrooms, cleaned 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives To prepare the soup: 1. Cut each leek in half lengthwise and place in a shallow pan with the stock and the rosemary. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 25 minutes, or until the leeks are tender.

2. Remove and discard the rosemary. Remove the leeks and chop into bitesized pieces. 3. Puree two-thirds of the leeks, all of the stock, and half of the butter until smooth. Cover the soup in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, or until warm. 4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm. Reserve the remaining leeks for garnish. To prepare the mushrooms: 1. Sweat the shallot in the remaining butter in a medium saute pan over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until translucent. 2. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until tender season to taste with salt and pepper. 3. Spoon some of the mushrooms into the center of each bowl and top with the remaining leeks. 4. Ladle the soup into the bowls and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle the chives around the bowl and top with freshly ground black pepper. —Reuters


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

lifestyle M U S I C

&

M O V I E S

Predators prowl in ‘Cougar the Musical’ Review

I

n her new theatrical comedy “Cougar the Musical,” Donna Moore lifts the veil to reveal a rarely seen world of predators hunting in their natural habitat. And no, this isn’t a show about mountain lions. New York City is the wilderness in Moore’s expose, which takes a farcical look at the intertwining lives of three mature, single women and their spiritual awakenings while pursuing, or being pursued by, greener members of the opposite sex. “Cougar” is not without significant shortcomings, including a number of songs that suffer noticeably from melodic doldrums and an inexplicably drab set. But despite the nagging inadequacies, this understated production proves surprisingly charming with elegant flow from start to finish under the sure-handed direction of Lynne Taylor-Corbett (a Tony Award nominee in 2000 for direction and choreography in “Swing!”). Taylor-Corbett also provides choreography on some modest, but creative, dance numbers and efficiently utilizes the small stage at St Luke’s Theatre, where this week the show began an openended run. The capable four-person cast is led by the charismatic Catherine Porter as Lily, a 40-something divorcee struggling to overcome a confidence crisis and the emotional wounds left by her

failed marriage. Porter (“Next to Normal” on Broadway) displays an irresistibly likable disposition and a lovely voice on “Let’s Talk About Me” - a traditionally jazzy show tune with cute, clever lyrics - making it one the most memorable scenes in the one-act musical, which runs about 90 minutes. Complementing Lily is the always-entertaining

Brenda Braxton in the role of Clarity, a hard-driven, razor-sharp professional as opinionated and as she is unapologetic. Braxton’s voluminous Broadway credits include a 1995 Tony-nominated performance in “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” and a successful run in “Chicago” as Velma opposite Usher’s Billy Flynn. Her smooth style is a delight to see and hear, particu-

This undated image released by Bitten By a Zebra shows (from left) Catherine Porter as Lily, Babs Winn as Mary-Marie and Brenda Braxton as Clarity in a scene from ‘Cougar the Musical. —AP

larly on the reggae-infused “I’m My Own Queen” and the playful Latin romp “Julio.” The trio of divas is rounded out with the comic relief and Southern twang of Babs Winn as MaryMarie, a serial online dater and proprietor of Cougar Bar, home of the “Cougartini.” Danny Bernardy is the sole male cast member, bringing impressive energy and humor to several roles, including Buck the barback, Eve the beautician and a variety of “boy toys.” Moore collaborated on the music and lyrics for nearly every song, sharing credit with no less than five additional songwriters, which might explain why the score is somewhat varied and uneven. Still, her little show has a lot going for it and seems wellsuited to a small theater. Musical accompaniment is limited to two pieces - an upright piano (Jana Zielonka) and percussion (Sean Dolan) - giving the program the earthy, organic feel of a jazz club or music school audition. The women in “Cougar” do their best to hold true to a few important tenets while hunting their prey: keep expectations in check, don’t be afraid to enjoy a little good, cheap fun and don’t read too much into it. It’s advice their audiences would do well to keep in mind, as theatergoers hunting for something more meaningful will likely come away “Cougar” feeling unfulfilled. — AP

Malcolm Browne, photographer of burning monk, dies

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‘Expendables 2’ leads N American box office A

-list action romp “The Expendables 2” held onto the top rung of the North American box office for a second weekend, keeping “The Bourne Legacy” at bay, industry figures showed Monday. “ The Expendables 2”, which stars Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jet Li as mercenaries, raked in $13.4 million a week after its debut, according to movie tracker Exhibitor Relations. “The Bourne Legacy”-starring Jeremy Renner as a secret agent threatened by his employers in the latest installment of the popular series that had starred Matt Damon as Jason Bourne-took in $9.3 million for second place. Coming in third, also for a second week in a row, was “ParaNorman,” an animated movie about a boy who can speak with the dead. It earned $8.6 million in ticket sales. Political spoof “The Campaign,” starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, remained in fourth place, with box office receipts of $7.5 million. “The Dark Knight Rises,” the latest Batman film, climbed back up to fifth place, earning $7.2 million. The final installment in the trilogy directed by Christopher Nolan has so far raked in more than $422 million. Quirky fantasy-comedy “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” climbed to sixth place a week after its debut, bringing in $7.1 million. “2016: Obama’s America,” a documentary by conservative writer and commentator Dinesh D’Souza, shot to seventh place from a distant 13th last week, bringing in $6.5 million. “Premium Rush,” an action film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a bike messenger being pursued by a corrupt cop, debuted in eighth at just over $6 million. Rounding out the top 10 were Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones’s romantic comedy “Hope Springs,” with $5.7 million in ticket sales, and action chase film “Hit and Run,” which made $4.5 million in its opening weekend. —AFP

he phone calls went out from Saigon’s Xa-Loi Buddhist pagoda to chosen members of the foreign news corps. The message: Be at a certain location tomorrow for a “very important” happening. The next morning, June 11, 1963, an elderly monk named Thich Quang Duc, clad in a brown robe and sandals, assumed the lotus position on a cushion in a blocked-off street intersection. Aides drenched him with aviation fuel, and the monk calmly lit a match and set himself ablaze. Of the foreign journalists who had been alerted to the political protest against South Vietnam’s US -supported government, only one, Malcolm Browne of The Associated Press, showed up. The photos he took appeared on front pages around the globe and sent shudders all the way to the White House, prompting President John F Kennedy to order a re-evaluation of his administration’s Vietnam policy. “We have to do something about that regime,” Kennedy told Henry Cabot Lodge, who was about to become US ambassador to Saigon. Browne died Monday at a New Hampshire hospital at age 81. He recalled in a 1998 interview that the immolation was the beginning of the rebellion which led to US-backed South Vietnamese President Ngo

‘French Elvis’ ready to leave hospital

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rench rocker Johnny Hallyday, a legend in his homeland, was due to be discharged later yesterday or today from the Caribbean hospital where he was being treated for bronchitis, his manager said. The 69-year-old singer is “doing very well” and is determined to either return home or head to Los Angeles to complete the album he is working on, manager Sebastien Farran told RTL radio. Hallyday was being treated in Fort-deFrance on the French Caribbean island of Martinique. He was flown there Monday by helicopter from a hospital on the nearby island of Guadeloupe. He had been holidaying on the French Caribbean island of Saint Barts, a millionaires’ playground where he owns a house, when on Saturday he was tak-

en ill and flown by helicopter to Guadeloupe. French media reports said he had a bout of tachycardia, or abnormally fast heartbeat, but his entourage denied he had any cardiac problems. Hallyday, who last year had his artificial hip replaced, had emergency surgery and was put into an induced coma in late 2009 after falling ill on a flight to Los Angeles from Paris, where he had a hernia operation days before. He has sold more than 100 million albums and played 45 major tours in a career that began in the 1960s. He is currently in the middle of another major tour. Despite being a French national icon, Hallyday moved to Switzerland in 2007, becoming a symbol of an exodus of highearners fleeing France’s relatively high tax rates to neighboring jurisdictions. — AFP

disease in 2000 and spent his last years using a wheelchair to get around. He was rushed to the hospital Monday night after experiencing difficulty breathing, said his wife, Le Lieu Browne. Browne spent most of his journalism career at The New York Times, where he put in 30 years of his four decades as a journalist, much of it in war zones. By his own account, Browne survived being shot down three times in combat aircraft, was expelled from half a dozen countries and was put on a “death list” in Saigon. In 1964, Browne, then an AP correspondent, and rival Times journalist David Halberstam both won Pulitzer Prizes for their reporting on the conflict in Vietnam. The burning monk photo became one of the first iconic news photos of the Vietnam War. “Malcome Browne was a precise and determined journalist who helped set the standard for rigorous reporting in the early days of the Vietnam War,” said Kathleen

Carroll, AP executive editor and senior vice president. “He was also a genuinely decent and classy man.” In his 1993 memoir, “Muddy Boots and Red Socks,” Browne said he “did not go to Vietnam harboring any opposition to America’s role in the Vietnamese civil war” but became disillusioned by the Kennedy administration’s secretive “shadow war” concealing the extent of US involvement. Browne wrote a 1965 book, “The New Face of War,” and a manual for new reporters in Vietnam. Among its kernels of advice: Have a sturdy pair of boots, watch out for police spies who eavesdrop on reporters’ bar conversations, and “if you’re crawling through grass with the troops and you hear gunfire, don’t stick your head up to see where it’s coming from, as you will be the next target.” In addition to his wife, survivors include a son, Timothy; a daughter, Wendy, from a previous marriage; a brother, Timothy; and a sister, Miriam. — AP

This Feb 24, 1965 file photo shows Malcolm Browne, Associated Press correspondent in Saigon, South Vietnam. Dinh Diem being overthrown and murdered, along with his brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu, the national security chief. “Almost immediately, huge demonstrations began to develop that were no longer limited to just the Buddhist clergy, but began to attract huge numbers of ordinary Saigon residents,” Browne said. Hal Buell, who was a deputy photo editor in New York when the photo of the burning monk was taken, said, “That picture put the Vietnam War on the front page more than anything else that happened before that. That’s where the story stayed for the next 10 years or more.” Browne was diagnosed with Parkinson’s

A picture taken on August 27, 2012 shows the entrance of the Pointe-a-Pitre CHU (University Hospital) in the French Caribbean overseas department of Guadeloupe, where French rock star Johnny Hallyday was hospitalized before being transferred for a cardiological assessment to Fort-de-France CHU in the Caribbean island of La Martinique. —AFP

In this June 27, 1963 file photo AP Saigon correspondent Malcolm Browne interviews Quang Lien, leading spokesman for the Xa Loi Buddhist pagoda in Saigon. — AP photos

In this May 4, 1964 file photo, Malcolm Browne, then Associated Press correspondent in Vietnam, home on leave, reads New York newspapers at a newsstand near his parents’ residence in New York following his Pulitzer Prize award.

New clues in Taylor Swift video? MTV offers a look

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ans of country singer Taylor Swift looking for new clues on the subject of her hit song, “We Are Never Getting Back Together,” may want to watch the video premiering this week on MTV and sister TV network CMT, the television channel said yesterday. The video, in which the 22-year-old gets personal about her dating life, will debut on “MTV First: Taylor Swift” on MTV Thursday at 7:49 pm EDT and on country music sister channel, CMT. MTV News will air a 30-second “sneak peek” yesterday. Swift will also perform the song live on the MT V Video Music Awards on Sept 6, the network said. The song, the first single from the countr y star ’s

upcoming album “Red,” has already become a hit. Last week, it broke the Billboard chart record as the most downloaded song by a female artist in its first week, selling 623,000 copies. I t also has spurred a guessing game among fans about which ex-boyfriend Swift is singing about in lyrics such as: “I’m really gonna miss you picking fights/And me, falling for it screaming that I’m right/And you, would hide away and find your peace of mind/With some indie record that’s much cooler than mine.” Swift has won legions of fans with raw lyrics and songs inspired by her life. In the past, she has dated Joe Jonas,

Jake Gyllenhaal, Taylor Lautner and most notably John Mayer, who was the subject of Swift ’s 2010 song “Dear John.” The singer has become a signature performer at the MTV VMAs since 2009 when rapper Kanye West stormed on stage and interrupted the then 19year-old Swift’s acceptance speech for the award for best female video. West’s interruption stunned audiences worldwide and Swift was praised by critics and fans alike for her handling of the situation. She received a wave of support after she returned to the show to perform. Swift addressed the incident at the 2010 MTV VMAs performing her song, “Innocent,” which was directed at West. —Reuters


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

lifestyle M U S I C

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M O V I E S

Bollywood plans biopic of boxing hero Mary Kom A

Bollywood film-maker is working on a movie about Indian boxing star and mother-of-two Mary Kom, whose bronze medal at the London Olympics cemented her status as a national hero. Sanjay Leela Bhansali said yesterday he was moved by the story of Kom, a poor farmer’s daughter from the remote northeast of India who overcame the odds to become a five -times world champion and Olympic medallist. “Here’s a person so splendid, so inspiring, so wonderful,” Bhansali told AFP. “Her story needs to be told to the world. It’s a wonderful story of a fighter in life.” Bhansali, who directed the 2002 hit movie

Devdas, said biopics were not made frequently in Hindi-language Bollywood, but he was “very, very moved” when he read the script. He admitted he has not yet found an actor for the lead role. “We’ll be auditioning a lot of people for it. Let’s see,” he said. Bhansali will be producing the film, while Omung Kumar, who wrote the script, will direct, with a scheduled release date in the middle of next year. Kom, 29, told The Times of India she hoped the film would improve ties between the marginalized northeast region where she comes from and the rest of the country. Earlier this month, thousands of migrants fled from south

Chinese director Wong Kar Wai to lead Berlin fest jury

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ward-winning Chinese director Wong Kar Wai will lead the jury of the 63rd Berlin film festival in February, which traditionally highlights Asian cinema, organizers said yesterday. Wong, best known for his 2000 slow-burn drama “In the Mood for Love”, will lead a panel that will tap the win-

File photo shows film director Wong Kar Wai speak at the Hong Kong Film Awards ceremony in Hong Kong. — AFP

ners of the Golden and Silver Bear prizes at one of Europe’s top cinema showcases running February 7 to 17. “Wong Kar Wai is one of the most celebrated film-makers of our time. His distinctive signature and the poetry of his works have fascinated all of us,” festival director Dieter Kosslick said in a statement. “For him to become jury president is a wish comes true. Since the 1980s, the Berlinale has established itself as a platform for contemporary Chinese cinema, which is another reason why we are greatly honored that Wong Kar Wai will be presiding (over) the International Jury 2013.” The festival quoted Wong, who was born in Shanghai and grew up in Hong Kong, as saying he was “truly honoured” by the invitation. “It would be a fulfilling experience for any cineaste,” he said. Wong made his international breakthrough in 1994 with “Chungking Express”. In 2006, Wong became the first Chinese director to sit on the jury at Cannes, where he had picked up a best director prize in 1997 for “Happy Together”. “2024”, a science fiction-tinged follow up to “In the Mood for Love”, won a European Film Award in 2004 while “My Blueberry Nights” starring Jude Law and singer Norah Jones opened Cannes in 2007. He is currently working on “ The Grandmasters” with Chinese superstars Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi. This year’s Berlinale jury president was British director Mike Leigh, who awarded the Golden Bear to Italy’s veteran film-makers Paolo and Vittorio Taviani for “Caesar Must Die”, a docu-drama about inmates at a high-security prison staging Shakespeare. — AFP

Christina Aguilera:

New album is a ‘rebirth’

and west Indian cities after rumors they would be attacked in retaliation for violence in Assam state, which lies in the volatile northeast. — AFP

File photo shows, Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte of India is declared winner on points over Maroua Rahali of Tunisia in the womenís flyweight boxing quarter-finals of the 2012 London Olympic Games at the ExCel Arena in London. —AFP

Fact check

Anti-Obama film muddy on facts

This undated image provided by Rocky Mountain Pictures, shows an undated film clip from ‘2016: Obama’s America’ Hollywood. — AP

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016: Obama’s America,” a new conservative film exploring the roots of President Barack Obama’s political views, took in $6.2 million to make it one of the highest-grossing movies of last weekend. The film, written and narrated by conservative scholar Dinesh D’Souza, argues that Obama was heavily influenced by what D’Souza calls the “anti-colonial” beliefs of his father, Barack Obama Sr, a Kenyan academic who was largely absent from the president’s life. To document that claim, D’Souza travels to Kenya to interview members of Obama’s extended family as well as to Hawaii and Indonesia, where Obama grew up. He also cites several actions and policy positions Obama has taken to support the thesis that Obama is ideologically rooted in the Third World and harbors contempt for the country that elected him its first black president. The assertion that Obama’s presidency is an expression of his father’s political beliefs, which D’Souza first made in 2010 in his book “The Roots of Obama’s Rage,” is almost entirely subjective and a logical stretch at best. It’s true that Obama’s father lived most of his life in Kenya, an African nation once colonized by the British, and that Obama’s reverence for his absent father frames his

best-selling memoir. D’Souza even sees clues in the book’s title: “Notice it says ‘Dreams From My Father,’ not ‘of’ my father,” D’Souza says. But it’s difficult to see how Obama’s political leanings could have been so directly shaped by his father, as D’Souza claims. The elder Obama left his wife and young son, the future president, when Obama was 2 and visited his son only once, when Obama was 10. But D’Souza frames that loss as an event that reinforced rather than weakened the president’s ties to his father, who died in a car crash when Obama was in college. D’Souza interviews Paul Vitz, a New York University psychologist who has studied the impact of absent fathers on children. In Obama’s case, Vitz says, the abandonment meant “he has the tension between the Americanism and his Africanism. He himself is an intersection of major political forces in his own psychology.” From there, the evidence D’Souza uses to support his assertion starts to grow thin. D’Souza says Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, shared his father’s left-leaning views. After living in Indonesia for several years, D’Souza said, Dunham sent the younger Obama to live with his grandparents in Hawaii so he would not be influenced by her second husband, Lolo Soetoro, an

Indonesian who worked for American oil companies and fought communists as a member of the Indonesian army. “Ann separates Barry from Lolo’s growing pro-Western influence,” D’Souza says in the film. Obama has said his mother had sent him back to Hawaii so he would be educated in the United States. In Hawaii, D’Souza asserts with no evidence, Obama sympathized with native Hawaiians who felt they had been marginalized by the American government when Hawaii was becoming a state. D’Souza also asserts again with no evidence - that Obama had been coached to hold those views at Punahou, the prestigious prep school he attended in Honolulu. “Oppression studies, if you will. Obama got plenty of that when he was here in Punahou,” D’Souza says, standing on the campus. In Kenya, D’Souza interviews Philip Ochieng, a lifelong friend of the president’s father, who claims the elder Obama was “totally anti-colonial.” Ochieng also discloses some of his own political views, complaining about US policy in Afghanistan and Iraq and saying the US refuses to “tame” Israel, which he calls a “Trojan horse in the Middle East.” D’Souza seems to suggest that if a onetime friend of Obama’s late father holds those opinions, so too must the presi-

Two ‘Star Wars’ films getting 3D re-release in Fall 2013 G

File photo shows Christina Aguilera performing at the 39th Annual American Music Awards in Los Angeles. —AP

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hristina Aguilera is comparing her upcoming album to a “rebirth.” With more than a decade in the music business behind her, the album will be a culmination of “everything I’ve experienced up until this point,” the 31-year-old pop star says, including divorce. Aguilera and Jordan Bratman were married

for five years before they split in 2010. They have a 4-year-old son, Max. The singer says the album will be “super expressive” and “super vulnerable” but also fun. The album doesn’t have a release date, and the title hasn’t been announced. Aguilera, a coach on NBC’s singing contest, “The Voice,” will perform the first single, “Your Body,” on the show on Sept 17. — AP

eorge Lucas is following through on his promise that all of the “Star Wars” films will be re-released in 3D. Fox released a 3D version of “Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace” in February, and Lucas Film announced on Monday that two more films, Episodes II and III, will bow in the fall of next year. “JUST IN: Episodes II and III to be theatrically released in 3D back-toback in Sep & Oct 2013. #StarWars #StarWarsCVI,” the Star Wars Twitter account posted.

“Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones,” the second of the more recent trilogy, will be released in theaters Sept 20, 2013, while “Revenge of the Sith,” the final original “Star Wars” film, will bow Oct 11, 2013. Lucas and Fox’s first “Star Wars” 3D re-release, “Phantom Menace,” grossed $102 million at the global box office. Since the cost of converting a film to 3D is substantially lower than the cost of making an original “Star Wars,” such rereleases turn a quick profit. Lucas and Fox are going on chrono-

‘Hard Candy’ writer adapting

‘Taped’ for Columbia

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olumbia Pictures has hired Brian Nelson (“Hard Candy ”) to write “ Taped,” a remake of the Dutch thriller of the same name for “Lawless” producers Red Wagon, a representative for Red Wagon told TheWrap on Monday. The studio acquired the rights to the film in February, shortly after it opened in the Netherlands. Red Wagon’s Lucy Fisher and Douglas Wick are producing the remake. NL Films, the producers of the original feature, are serving as executive producers. The story follows a couple that videotapes a murder by a bad cop while they are on holiday in Argentina. They become

embroiled in the drama and end up fighting for their lives in order to escape. The original film was directed by Diederik van Rooijen and starred Barr y Atsmer and Susan Visser. Nelson’s other credits include “30 Days of Night” and “Devil.” Red Wagon’s “Lawless” hits theaters in the US on Aug 29. Released in 2005, “Hard Candy” was nominated by the British Independent Film Awards for Best Foreign Film and won a slew of other prizes. The film tells the story of a teenage girl who raids the home of a man that she believes to be a pedophile with the intent of exposing him. —Reuters

Singer Jordin Sparks performs at the opening ceremony of the US Open tennis tournament, Monday, in New York. —AP

logical order with these releases, at least in terms of story. The first three “Star Wars” film to open in theaters, Episodes IV, V and VI, are the last three in terms of the Skywalker family narrative. While many critics derided the second trilogy of Star Wars films, as compared to the beloved originals, each one was a huge hit at the box office. These releases also provide a big boost to merchandise and video game sales, which have been a profit center for Lucas for some time. —Reuters


Christina Aguilera: New album is a ‘rebirth’

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012

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Dancers wait for the final results of the 2012 Tango Dance World Cup salon finals in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday.

Argentina crowns new tango champs A

rgentine dancers Facundo de la Cruz added Tango to its world heritage list of and Paola Sanz have won the ball- intangible treasures in 2009, and a half milroom competition at the tenth World lion people, including some 70,000 foreignTango Championship, beating out 42 pairs ers, attended this year’s competition, of finalists from around the globe. “This is a according to organizers. The initial field magical moment,” Sanz, 29, said late boasted 487 pairs of dancers from 32 counMonday. “My grandfather listened to a lot tries. A Colombian couple and an of tango, and I started to dance at free Argentine-Ecuadoran couple won the comclasses in my province” of Chubut, in the petitions in 2011. — AFP Latin American nation’s south, she said. Facundo de la Cruz, 26, originally from the central province of Cordoba, said he learned to tango-at least at firstto be with his girlfriend. “I never listened to it,” he admitted, but it “quickly became a passion.” Forty-one other couples, including Belgians, Canadians, Russians, Americans, Japanese and contestants from across Latin America performed in the finals at Buenos Aires’s Luna Park stadium, before an audience of 6,000 people. The Argentine capital’s culture minister, Hernan Lombardi, said the couple would travel to Paris at the end of the year Argentina’s Facundo Gomez Cross and Paola Palavecino before heading on to Florence Sanz dance after winning. Japan, another world tango capital, for 40 days. There are two categories at the international competition: traditional ballroom tango and the flashier, acrobatic genre called tango ‘escenario,’ the Spanish word for stage. Twenty couples will compete in the tango escenario competition today. UNESCO

Superman, Wonder Woman lock lips as power couple

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onder Woman and Superman are an item, locking lips in a passionate embrace as the pair realize that there’s no one out there like them. The couple’s kiss is the culmination of a dramatic story in “Justice League” No. 12, which marks the first full year since DC relaunched its stable of heroes with new stories, new costumes and revised origins. DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee, who has drawn each issue of “Justice League” since its debut, called the canoodling in Wednesday’s issue not a stunt or an alternate reality smooch. “This has been in the works for some time and we certainly wouldn’t have pulled the trigger on without there being great creative benefit to the liaison,” he said in an email. “Beyond the joy and sorrows of new love, there are potentially huge ramifications and dramatic ways this single relationship between these iconic characters will change the entire political and interpersonal landscape of the DC Universe.” The characters have long formed, with Batman, the triumvirate of DC Entertainment’s heroes and are among the most powerful and bestknown. In the 1980s, the pair had a brief fling but Superman went on to marry Lois Lane. They also kissed in Frank Miller’s “Dark Knight Strikes Again” a decade ago. In a 2006 epilogue to 1996’s “Kingdom Come,” the couple asks Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, to stand as godfather to their unborn child. Since DC relaunched its characters and universe nearly a year ago, some of the origins have changed - Wonder Woman is now the daughter of Zeus and the costumes have, too. One aspect that did not survive the relaunch: Lois Lane’s role as Superman’s love. She’s still around, but the two have never dated, nor are they likely to. Geoff Johns, who writes “Justice League” is laying out a story that looks not only at the couple but the effects on others, too, Lee said. “The way Geoff unfolds the story and the implications of two of the most powerful characters in the DCU becoming a team is something that goes beyond the question of ‘What about Lois and Clark?’” Lee said. “This is a statement to every nation and geopolitical organization in the entire DC Universe giving creative teams ample material to explore this relationship on so many different levels.” — AP

Argentina’s Facundo Gomez Cross and Paola Palavecino Florence Sanz hold their trophies after winning the Tango Salon category on August 27, 2012 at the Tango World Championship in Buenos Aires. — AFP photos

Russia’s tango couple Dmitry Vasin, right, and Taya Finenkova compete.

Argentina’s dancers Facundo de la Cruz Gomez Palavecino (left) and Paola Sanz reacts after winning.

Bride, groom climb WVa Mountain in tux and gown

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ob Ewing has gotten a lot of mileage out of his decade-old tuxedo and has even run a couple of marathons in it. Now he’s been married in it, after he and his new bride made the 900-foot sheer climb on one of West Virginia’s most striking landmarks in full wedding regalia. Photos of the bride and groom atop the narrow peak of Seneca Rocks in West Virginia have become a hit on the Internet, with more than 500,000 views. The bride, Antonie Hodge Ewing, made the climb in her mother’s wedding gown. Her mother, Evangeline Hodge of Los Alamos, NM, made the climb as well. “I had to prove to myself I could do it,” said Evangeline Hodge, a novice climber who refused permission to print her age, telling a reporter to come up with a creative adjective for “old.” “I did it for all the old people out there.” It was Antonie’s idea to get married on the peak. Ewing proposed to her in March as the couple scaled the rocks, and after she said yes, she informed him that she wanted to get married there as well. The family pitched in. Brother Scott Ewing got himself ordained and performed the ceremony. A second brother, John Ewing, made a separate climb and photographed the ceremony with a rented, high-pow-

ered lens. Family and friends who couldn’t make the Aug 11 climb participated in a second ceremony and reception the next day. Initially, the plan was for immediate family and some close friends to all make the climb, Antonie said. But it became unwieldy, and they had to cut most everyone from the climbing party. “We didn’t have a lot of space. It’s a small mountaintop,” she said. But Antonie really wanted her mother to be there with her, and she was sure her mom was in good enough shape to make the climb. “She wasn’t even sore the next day. She was on the dance floor doing the salsa,” Antonie said. Arthur Kearns, owner of the Seneca Rocks Climbing School, said people have occasionally gotten married at the peak, but he’s not aware of anyone doing it in formal attire. He planned himself to get married at the peak 19 years ago, “but the minister tapped out... about 200 feet off the ground,” apparently afraid of heights. Kearns said he understands the appeal, as Seneca is a special place for many people. “It’s probably our favorite place we’ve ever been,” Bob Ewing said. “I think Antonie and I have a special relationship. I’m lucky to have found someone who complements me so well.” — AP

In this Aug 11, 2012 family handout photo, Bob Ewing, 32, right, and Antonie Hodge, 30, both of Arlington, Va, pose at Seneca Rocks in WVa. —AP


29th Aug