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Sarkozy goes for broke but Le Pen scorns his advances

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Bahrain breaks up protests, faces calls to free prisoners

Murdoch unfit to run major company: UK lawmakers



Under-strength Liverpool beaten at home by Fulham




Bedoons protest against ID card ‘discrimination’ Riot police break up Jahra demonstration

Max 41º Min 28º High Tide 08:17 & 20:10 Low Tide 01:15 & 14:15

Qatar to allow unions, scrap ‘kafeel’ system DOHA: Qatar is to allow the establishment of a trade union to protect labour rights and scrap the “sponsor” system for foreign workers, a top official said in local dailies yesterday. The union, independent from the labour ministry, “will have the right to receive the complaints of workers and protect their rights,” the ministry’s undersecretary Hussein Al-Mulla told Alarab daily. The union “will be run by Qataris but as a foreigner you will have the right to vote but not run in the board of directors elections”, he said, adding that the project awaited the emir’s approval. The Gulf state will also scrap the much-criticised sponsor system for foreign labour, as it aims to gradually recruit one million workers for the 2022 World Cup tournament it is to host, said Mulla. “There is an intention to cancel the sponsor system and replace it with a contract between the worker and the employer,” he told the daily. Branded by human rights bodies as akin to slavery, the sponsor system requires that all foreign workers be sponsored by local employers, keeping them under the full control of their bosses. In some cases, employers hold workers’ passports and can deny them permission to change jobs. Gulf countries employ armies of foreign workers to run their oil-fueled economies, doing everything from menial jobs to running companies. Qatar has a population of about 1.5 million people, of which less than 300,000 are nationals. Of the six energy-rich Arab states in the Gulf, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman allow labour unions while they are still banned in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. — AFP

KUWAIT: (Left) Riot policemen take position opposite demonstrators during a protest by bedoons to demand citizenship and other basic rights in Jahra yesterday. (Right) Policemen arrest a demonstrator during the protest. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat By A Saleh and Agencies KUWAIT: Riot police used batons and armoured trucks to disperse a group of about 200 stateless protesters yesterday, the latest rally by bedoons seeking improved rights in the state. Gathering in a square in Taima in Jahra after prayers in a nearby mosque, the demonstrators called on HH the Amir to grant them citizenship. “We want this from your highness the Amir, not the government, not the ministers,” the mainly young men chanted as helicopters circled overhead. The Interior Ministry blocked all entrances and exits to Taima and warned that “any person found in Taima square will be arrested”. The bedoons were protesting a decision by the central department that deals with “illegal residents” to issue IDs

based on categories, some of which are considered for naturalization while others call for forcing bedoons to reveal their real nationality. The bedoons called for the demonstration to coincide with the start of issuing these IDs, which they considered evidence of the “department’s lack of intention to solve the problem”. Masked police dressed in black and wielding long batons charged the group and led away a handful of protesters, gripping them by the back of the neck. “Look at how they treat us, look at this!” shouted an older man, banging a cane on the ground. Most of the other demonstrators ran into the surrounding residential areas crammed with squat corrugated metal houses lined by dirt roads. “I came to be here with my stateless brothers,” Kuwaiti Nasser Al-Nanafan said, with the country’s flag

draped over his shoulders. “I am calling for their rights.” Numbering up to 180,000 people, the bedoons are denied citizenship under strict nationality laws in Kuwait, whose citizens are entitled to generous welfare benefits. Kuwait’s wealth has helped it avoid any major spillover of the “Arab Spring” pro-democracy revolts onto its territory. But a deadlock between parliament and the government and accusations of graft by the ex-prime minister have stirred unrest. Police over the past year have also broken up several marches of stateless demonstrators that attracted several hundred people in marginalised neighbourhoods in Jahra. Large demonstrations are rare in Kuwait. Kuwait’s population, including foreign workers, is around 3 million. It is considered the most democratic state in a Gulf region dominated by Western-backed dynasties.

Obama on surprise visit to sign Afghanistan deal Trip comes on anniversary of Laden’s killing

Probe panel summons PM Blasphemy law finalised By B Izzak

KABUL: US President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai shake hands before signing a strategic partnership agreement at the presidential palace yesterday. — AP KABUL: US President Barack Obama advisers, while tr ying to reassure arrived in Afghanistan yesterday to con- Afghans that they will not be abandoned clude an agreement charting future rela- when most NATO combat troops leave in tions with the country, making the unan- 2014. nounced trip in darkness on the first Obama’s plane landed with shades anniversary of the killing of Al-Qaeda drawn at Bagram Airbase, north of Kabul, leader Osama bin Laden. Shortly after he where only months ago thousands of arrived, Obama and Afghan President Afghans rioted after US troops burned Hamid Karzai signed the strategic part- copies of the Holy Quran. Obama got off nership pact, which sets out a future US the plane and then boarded a helicopter role in Afghanistan, including aid and Continued on Page 15

KUWAIT: The National Assembly panel probing allegations over illegal money transfers has summoned Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah to its next meeting on Saturday, head of the committee MP Faisal Al-Mislem said. The committee, formed by the assembly in March, is investigating claims that former prime minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad AlAhmad Al-Sabah has transferred millions of dinars of public funds into his private bank accounts overseas. Sheikh Jaber will be the highest official to testify before the panel which has powers to summon any official for investigations on issues related to the transfers. So far, the committee has heard the testimony of dozens of ministers, officials, bankers and others including the foreign and finance ministers and the former and present governors of the Central Bank. It has also heard the testimony of Kuwaiti envoys to Britain, Switzerland and the United States where the funds, estimated at KD 77 million, had Continued on Page 15

Iran plot to kill Saudi envoy foiled Tehran slams US F-22s in UAE RIYADH: Egyptian security services foiled an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Cairo several months ago, the legal advisor of the kingdom’s embassy said in local dailies yesterday. Egypt “arrested three Iranians planning to assassinate the ambassador, Ahmed Qattan”, Al-Hayat quoted Sami Jamal as saying. “Egyptian authorities informed concerned parties at the Saudi foreign ministry of the details of the plot, but the Saudi side opted to keep silent on the

matter,” Jamal said. The arrests were made three months ago. “Everybody was concerned that foreign parties would exploit demonstrations by some (Egyptians) outside the embassy (in Cairo) to attack members of the mission,” Al-Sharq daily quoted him as saying. Questioned about the reports, a spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry, Ramin Mehmanparast, told reporters in Tehran that the allegation was “absolutely incorrect”.

“Manufacturing such issues can only help divisions among Muslim countries and benefit the Zionist regime (Israel),” he said. Riyadh on Saturday recalled its ambassador from Cairo after angry protests outside the Saudi embassy in Cairo over the arrest of an Egyptian human rights lawyer in the Gulf kingdom. Saudi state news agency SPA said the Cairo embassy as well as the kingdom’s consulates in the Mediterranean cities of Continued on Page 15

MANILA: Militants and labour union members gather around a burning effigy of Philippine President Benigno Aquino as part of May Day protests yesterday. — AFP

Workers take to streets on May Day MADRID: On the frontlines of May Day protests this year, along with the traditional chants, banners and marches, a gamut of emotions flowed through the crowds. Anger. Fear. Elation. Satisfaction. Despair. With Europe’s unemployed denouncing austerity measures and Asia’s laborers demanding higher salaries, yesterday’s May Day demonstrations were less a celebration of workers’ rights and more a venting of fury over spending cuts, tax hikes and soaring unemployment. The protests came just days ahead of key elections in Greece and France, whose leaders have acutely felt popular anger over policies many feel are strangling any hopes of economic recovery. The rallies reflected deep pessimism in Spain, whose fragile economy is in the cross-hairs of the European debt crisis. Yet optimism and national pride emerged too. Over 100,000 turned out in Russia for May Day rallies that celebrated Vladimir Putin’s government. And tens of thousands of workers rallied with joy in France, hoping this would be the last week of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative leadership. In the United States, demonstrations, strikes and acts of civil

disobedience were planned, including the country’s most high-profile Occupy rallies since the anti-Wall Street encampments came down in the fall. Under a gray Madrid sky that reflected the dark national mood, 25-year-old Adriana Jaime turned out to march. Jaime speaks three foreign languages and has a master’s degree as a translator, but works for what she derided as peanuts in a university research project that has been cut from three years to three months due to a lack of funds. She sees her future as grim at best. “I am here because there is no future for the young people of this country,” she said as many marchers carried black-and-white placards with the word NO and a pair of red scissors. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is trying desperately to cut a bloated deficit, restore investor confidence in Spain’s public finances, lower its 24.4 jobless rate, and fend off fears the country will join Greece, Ireland and Portugal in needing a bailout. Despite his efforts, Ana Lopez, a 44-year-old civil servant, argued that the government is doing nothing to help workers and that the economic crisis is only benefiting banks. Continued on Page 15




KUWAIT: Bedoons gather to demand citizenship and other basic rights in Taima yesterday. —Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

‘Education can help eliminate stigma associated with organ donation’ Great act of altruism By Sawsan Kazak KUWAIT: Would you donate an organ to help a perfect stranger? Maxine, an American expatriate in Kuwait saw an advertisement in the newspaper of a man that desperately required a kidney. For reasons unknown to her, she felt the need to donate her kidney to this stranger. After going through all the preliminary tests, Maxine was a match with the prospective recipient but there was a complication, “I have two arteries going into my kidney, most people have one, some have three, but the surgeons here in Kuwait prefer to operate on those that only have one,” explained Maxine. The hospital asked the recipient to find another donor and Maxine was placed among a list of donors. “I am now on a list of only the most critical cases who will understand there is a risk involved,” says Maxine of her current situation. When asked about what inspired her to go through with such an altruistic act, Maxine answered, “I’m not an old woman but, I am getting older and felt like I should be doing more and more good things. I donate blood every two months and wanted to do more; I want to help humanity.” Maxine was not scared of any side effects or the aftermath of the operation. She says she researched the matter thoroughly and found that ‘people had more risk of being hurt in a car accident than during this operation.’ “I also talked to the surgeon about donating bone marrow. With this kind of donation, you can go home the same day. But it is more painful, well just grosser because they knock you out and stick a big needle in your hip and suck out the marrow. I’m weird I guess, I would rather be cut open and stay in the hospital than have a big needle pierced into me,” says Maxine. Maxine had informed some people of her future plan to donate her kidney to a stranger, but stopped sharing news when she saw their reaction. “People I told were horrified, they kept asking me ‘why do you want to do this? Are you crazy?’ and so on. No one understands,” she explains. But even with all the questioning and lack of understanding, Maxine still believes it is the right thing to do. “I told the surgeon that I was traveling this summer, and if he could hurry up and schedule something. He was laughing at me. It could happen anytime or not at all,” said the prospective donor. Personal experience “I donated my kidney to my brother about five months ago,” says Musaed, a Kuwaiti in his mid-twenties. Musaed said that within two weeks of having the operation, his life was back to normal. “I was instructed not to lift anything heavy or exercise during the first few weeks (after the surgery), but now you cannot even see where the staples were,” he explains, adding “the person donating does not really have serious side effects and their life goes back to normal, it is the recipient that has a harder time.” Musaed’s brother has to take over thirty pills a day and has not resumed a normal lifestyle. Musaed explains that he was not worried about what would happen to him, his only concern was his brother, “I would have done anything to help my brother and I didn’t think twice about giving him my kidney.”

Good Kuwait Samaritans “There are not a large number of people offering to donate their kidneys, because to donate a kidney is a great act of altruism, provided there is nothing behind it,” says Dr Mustafa AlMousawi, Consultant Surgeon and Head of Organ Procurement at Transplant Center in Kuwait. Apparently Maxine is a rarity as Dr AlMousawi explains “to my knowledge, most adverts that offer up kidneys to anybody, there is usually money transaction intended. To have pure altruism as motive for donation is very rare. In fact, to my knowledge we have only had about four or five people who have donated their organs without expecting any return; two of whom were Kuwaiti girls who donated their kidneys to someone they did not even meet. The so called ‘good Samaritan’ in Kuwait is rare,” says Dr Al-Mousawi about the state of donation in Kuwait. “In the past, people used to place advertisements asking for kidneys, not offering kidneys and most of these were commercial in nature. They would say they need a donor and then when the multiple donors would call them, they would negotiate an amount of money, this is against Kuwait and international laws, so I have written to the Ministry of Health many times and the ministry eventually contacted the Ministry of Information to prevent these advertisements from appearing,” says the doctor. He explains that there are still advertisements with people offering their kidneys, but he suspects that when these people are contacted, an amount is then discussed. “I’m not saying there are no good Samaritans but they are an extreme minorities,” said Dr Al-Mousawi. People who wish to donate organs have to go through a process. “Any person wanting to donate has to go in front of a committee, and this committee will meet the donor and find out why he really wants to donate. If they convince the committee that they are good Samaritans and want to donate for the sake of donating, they then pass,” explains the doctor. In the past, the committee was made up of transplant doctors which Dr Al-Mousawi saw as a conflict of interest and again wrote to the MoH. They were able to get that changed. “We believe that the committee should be independent. So now, we have an independent group of doctors who are not related to transplantation,” says Dr Al-Mousawi. Since this new independent committee was appointed last year, the number of living-unrelated donors has dropped drastically since the majority has been rejected. This is because it is sometimes obvious that there are ulterior or monetary motives. The donors who get accepted are able to prove that they are free donors or friends or emotional donors. Since last year, the number of living-unrelated donors is the lowest in the past ten years, and the number of livingrelated donors is the highest in ten years. Dr AlMousawi is happy with these numbers, “this means the system is working now.” Dr Al-Mousawi believes that ending the sale of organs lies in approaching families of the recently deceased. “Since 1996, we approach the families of patients in ICUs (intensive care units) in different hospitals and we ask them for organ

Bahrain vies for unification with Saudi Arabia KUWAIT: Leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council(GCC) states reportedly plan to discuss the idea of unification mentioned last December by King Abdullah Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia during Al-Riyadh’s consultative summit this month, a report stated yesterday. Sources speaking to Al-Qabas daily, stated that it was answering questions pertinent with recent reports hinting at a unification between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. This is despite King Abdullah’s earlier proposal to unify the six GCC states. “Since a full GCC unification still requires further procedures, the Kingdom of Bahrain pitched the idea of unification with Saudi Arabia due to the circumstances and threats Bahrain has been facing,” a source said, explaining the reasons behind the calls made between the two kingdoms. “Bahrain looks forward to achieving unity [with Saudi Arabia] and eventually will be joined by other GCC states,” the source adds.

donations. We approach everybody. Every day, we are getting referrals from hospitals either through SMS messages or emails from doctors working in the units, and they help us coordinate. After this contact, the families of the patient, some people accept, some do not. They are in large numbers yet. Every year, we get around 100 referrals, and out of these we probably get about ten,” says Dr Al-Mousawi. Socio-religious factors The transplant specialist believes that cultural and religious factors are some of the reasons behind such a low number of organ donations after death. “In Kuwait, you cannot separate culture from religion. We have an Islamic culture and many people have a great respect for the dead. Not only in Muslim countries, but in many other countries. For instance, in Japan the number of deceased donors per capita is less than Kuwait. So even though we have a small number, they have an even smaller number in Japan because people do not donate after death,” says the doctor. Dr Al-Mousawi believes there is a belief that the dead should go to the afterlife intact. “Just yesterday, I was talking to a relative of someone who died in the hospital. He was saying, ‘I would like my relative to go in one piece.’ I said, ‘suppose that somebody died in a train accident, the body will be buried in pieces and will eventually disintegrate.’ I explained to this man that the soul is the aspect that goes in one piece. He agreed with me but finally declined donating his relative’s organs,” he explains. Lack of education Dr Al-Mousawi believes that there would probably be more donations if there was more education about the topic. “I would like to see the culture and information on donation being taught in the schools. And to be part of the school curriculum, that children in primary schools could learn the benefits of donation, that donation help saves lives,” Dr Al-Mousawi says. In fact, he explains that one person who dies can save up to ten people from death or disease. “Imagine the heart can go to one person, the kidneys to another two people, pancreas for one, corneas can help two more people, the skin can help many people with burns, the intestines, lungs, liver, just imagine how many people you can save,” says the transplant specialist. The latest figures show that about 6,000 people living in Kuwait hold donor cards. This card informs the hospital of the patient’s wishes with regard to how his or her remains should be used. “This number is small. We have been trying, for the last few months, to encourage people to sign up. We have made it easy for people to obtain these cards, they can simply go online and visit our website ( and can apply online to be organ donors. The cards are delivered to them by mail,” he explains. It is preferable for people to keep these cards with them at all times, but the hospital has a way to access the database of people who have registered to be organ donors. “Fortunately, we have not had any cases of people holding donor cards dying in Kuwait. I am saying ‘fortunately’ because if you carr y a donor card you don’t die,” Dr AlMousawi says jokingly.

ICANN wins informatics prize KUWAIT: The Board of Trustees of Sheikh Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah Informatics Award announced the winner of the 11th “Informatics Medal” yesterday as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), headquartered in Los Angeles, in appreciation of its efforts to better organize and manage global internet infrastructure. In a press release, they praised the corporation for keeping up with the swift changes and developments in the online world. In addition, it said, ICANN helped to stress the importance of the Arabic

Language and help open up horizons for the promotion of Middle Eastern culture and knowledge by working towards the possibility of using Arabic domain names. The trustees said that the medal would be officially awarded at the annual informatics prizes ceremony, set for May 9, at Salwa Sabah Al-Ahmad Hall at the Marina. The Board of Trustees had decided, as of 2007, to award an annual award of merit, the Informatics Medal, to any public figure or institution with influential contributions in the fields of informatics and Internet development. — KUNA

Pollution rates between average, below average KUWAIT: Pollution monitoring stations south of the country often indicate high levels of air pollution resulting from the emissions of oil facilities and factories, yet recent readings indicate an improvement in the situation in Um Al-Haiman. This was pointed out by Environment Public Authority insiders, who further indicated that the pollution crisis in Um Al-Haiman is still far from over. Speaking to Al-Rai on the condition of anonymity, the sources explained that pollution rates in Kuwait vary from one zone to another, but in general remain “somewhere

below average and average” when it comes to their risk on public health. They further revealed that readings often indicate pollution increases in areas such as Rumaithiya, Salmiya and Salwa as a result of car emissions from traffic jams, noting that the levels sometimes reach, “Unacceptable levels that pose threat to public health.” Meanwhile, based on reports from pollution monitoring stations, the sources predicted an increase in pollution overall in Kuwait, “if solutions aren’t provided for power plants, which use heavy fuel.”

Iraq visit ‘important step’ in bilateral ties KUWAIT: Kuwait Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister, Sheikh Sabah Khaled AlHamad Al-Sabah, said yesterday that his just-concluded visit to Iraq was “an important step” that would serve bilateral relations and the region as a whole. Sheikh Sabah Khaled, also Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, said he signed the minutes of the Kuwait-Iraq commission meeting last night, which paved the way for the ironing out of outstanding issues. In an open discussion at the conclusion of the 9th Arab Media Forum, Sheikh Sabah Khaled said there was a clear understanding between Kuwait and Iraq over all issues discussed during the commission’s meetings. He said His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah would visit Iraq during the fourth quarter of this year. Iraqi Premier, Nouri Al-Maliki, also paid a visit to Kuwait recently. Sheikh Sabah said that the border signs between Kuwait and Iraq were installed and fixed, adding that they “...only need maintenance and the removal of some overlapping.” The Iraqi government pledged to finish this job before next October, and $600,000 was transferred to the UN for the maintenance works. Sheikh Sabah said that the Iraqi ministr y of human rights has vowed to search for the remains of Kuwaiti prisoners and missing persons in Iraq. The top diplomat asserted that Kuwait played a big role in helping Iraq regain its leading role in the Arab world, citing His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah’s attendance of the Arab summit, which was held last month in Baghdad. During his visit to Baghdad, he said that the Kuwaiti dele-

gation assured the Iraqis that Mubarak Al-Kabeer port would be environmentally safe and would not harm Iraq’s interests. On Syria, the Kuwaiti foreign minister said that the Arab foreign ministers held 14 meetings over the past 16 months to discuss a host of crucial matters, including the Syrian crisis. The Arab foreign ministers assigned Morocco as the only Arab member in the UN Security Council (UNSC) to convey the concerns of Arabs over the violence in Syria. On the memberships of Jordan and Morocco in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled said that the GCC decided to have long-term strategic partnerships with both countries, through which the Arab Gulf bloc would offer financial assistance to development programs. Sheikh Sabah AlKhaled said, on the other hand, that Kuwait has always backed the Palestinian cause. He called on the Palestinians to unify their ranks and implement the conciliation agreement. The foreign minister called on Iraq to respect their neighbors for the sake of regional stability. He recalled that the GCC condemned Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent visit to the UAE’s Abu Musa island, one of three isles occupied by the Islamic Republic since 1971. He said the GCC called upon Iran to solve this issue, either through direct negotiations with the UAE, or international arbitration. Sheikh Sabah said that the GCC formed a committee to study a proposal by Saudi King Abdullah to transform the GCC into a confederation. The committee will submit its report to the GCC leaders next month. — KUNA

Hidden truth behind fat, sugar-free products By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: The aisles of local as well as international supermarkets are stocked with food items like yogurt, milk, cheese and biscuits labeled as being ‘fat-free.’ As people become increasingly diet and fitness conscious, such new age products attract customers, especially if these earn their trust. Nicole, a 35-year-old woman trying to lose weight, has been using zero percent fat products. “I found cheese crackers that claim to not contain any percentage of fat. I eat to my heart’s content. I have also been consuming different dairy products which claim to be fat-free. I have not noticed a difference in my weight,” she said. If a product is advertised stating that it does not contain fat, it does not mean that it can be overeaten. ”In fact, I believe that the label’s claims are not always true. These products contain proteins and carbohydrates that provide calories. So people should consume them in moderation,” Fatin Garzideen, Head of Dietitian at the Diet Center told Kuwait Times. Some of these products are used at the Diet Center, “ We use the zero fat or skimmed products for our clients to treat high cholesterol, reduce weight and control diabetes. These products help us a lot. We also use them in weight loss programs and provide them to patients undergoing bariatric surgeries. These patients need to follow a low-fat diet. These products are proper,” she added. Different ingredients are used in these products. “The zero percent fat products contain more calcium than the full-fat products. Also, yogurt uses more culture for fermentation than other milk products, and also uses more protein and calcium. All low-fat or skimmed products have more calcium than the full-fat ones,” explained Garzideen. Different marketing techniques are used by companies. “For instance, vegetable oils are labeled to be free of cholesterol. We all know that there is no cholesterol in vegetables, so the oils from vegetable sources are free of cholesterol. There is no cholesterol in corn when compared to saturated fat present in animal fat. So, frying food in saturated fat or trans-fats can elevate blood cholesterol levels,” she pointed out. Also, people are misinformed about some products. “Oilve oil is better than other cooking oils, only if it is in its raw, crude form. Many people feel that frying food using olive oil is healthier. This is wrong,” stressed Garzideen. Talking about sugar-free products, Garzideen noted these products are made

KUWAIT: Some of the fat and sugar-free items displayed in one of the supermarkets. Image for illustrative purpose. from artificial sweetners or simple sugars. “Also the juices that are sugar-free are full of added sugar. But there is sugar present in fruits, but no extra or added sugar. While coffee products that claim to be sugar-free are not devoid of calories, as there is milk or cream added,” she concluded. Istiqlal Al-Musalam, Head of the Food Department at the Municipality noted that all food products imported from outside Kuwait are thoroughly inspected. “We transfer samples of food products to be examined at the official laboratory of the Ministry of Health(MoH) and they compare and check labels on the product to make sure that the information provided is true,” she stated.



Investigation committee remains firm as Audit chief skips meeting ‘Unacceptable, unconstitutional, illegal’ KUWAIT: Strains of tension appeared between lawmakers and Abdul-Aziz Al-Adasani, Head of the State Audit Bureau (SB) after the latter declined a request to attend a meeting for a parliamentary investigations committee probing the cash transfer case. According to a report, AlAdasani explained that the SAB is assigned by the Cabinet to probe the case in which former prime minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad AlSabah is accused of transferring public funds to overseas private accounts, therefore not being eligible to be summoned by the parliamentary

committee. The panel members refused to accept that excuse, and reportedly sent a new invitation to Al-Adasani to attend their meeting tomorrow. “Al-Adasani’s excuse is unacceptable, unconstitutional and illegal,” proclaimed the committee’s Head MP Dr Faisal Al-Mislem. Meanwhile, sources quoted in the report published by Al-Qabas yesterday indicating that committee members also believe that AlAdasani received a letter from the legal department in the SAB rejecting his excuses. In other news, MP Al-Mislem said that his Development

KUWAIT: Minister of Information Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah met here yesterday with Undersecretary of the Ministry of Information in Oman Ali Al-Jaberi, who is visiting Kuwait to attend the Arab Media Forum currently being held here. The two officials went over aspects of cooperation between their respective ministries, with the aspiration that there would be more interaction between them on developing their skills in fostering better radio and TV programs for Omani and Kuwaiti audiences.

and Reform Bloc(DRB) plans to meet within a couple of days with lawmakers to discuss constitutional amendments proposed in March last year. Also, the Cabinet reportedly discussed, during its weekly meeting held Monday, the grilling motion filed by MP Mohammad Al-Juwaihel against Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Ahmad Al-Hmoud Al-Sabah. Sources familiar with these discussions told Al-Qabas following the meeting that the Cabinet agreed to ‘support’ the minister, and also showed confidence in facing trouble during debate “due to the support he enjoys from the Parliament’s majority.” The minister is not likely to ask for the debate to be delayed, said sources who spoke anonymously. This is because they are not authorized to disclose unannounced insider information. A date for the interpellation motion’s debate is yet to be set, but speculations have been ongoing about whether a session will be held behind closed doors. Discussions may include the dual citizens issue. On that regard, one constitutional expert explains that the Parliament can start the debate session openly, then move it to a secret session once discussion of the dual citizens subject is brought up. “If it is necessary that a part of the grilling motion be debated privately, this can happen without the need to hold the entire debate behind closed doors,” Mohammad Al-Feeli, Kuwait University professor said. He further explained that confidentiality of grilling debate is described in the Parliament’s internal charter as an exception “but doesn’t provide certain conditions to implement it.” Separately, MP Ali Al-Rashid denied having discussed the issue with United States Ambassador Matthew Tueller who he met at the Parliament on Monday. “The ambassador and I maintain a good personal relationship since my time as minister,” said MP Ali Al-Rashid, who served as Minister of Cabinet Affairs. He insisted that the discussions focused on social subjects.

Kuwaitis’ travel spending up KUWAIT: Salary increases, combined with cash payments granted through an Amiri decree, have likely played a major role in the increase of Kuwaitis’ spending on travel and tourism last year compared to the year before, as shown by official statistics. These reasons were provided by sources familiar with the travel

market in Kuwait, who commented on Central Bank statistics which indicate that Kuwaitis spent KD 2.24 billion on traveling in 2011; up by 22percent from 2010, in which KD 1.84 billion was spent. The statistics, obtained by Al-Qabas daily, also suggest that the increase on travel spending could be a trend

since the average went up by 26percent between 2011 and 2009, when KD 1.78 was spent. The sources, spoke on the condition of anonymity, predicted that the spending could reach KD 2.5 billion in 2012. The prediction is based on the increase rate in the past three years. In addition to tourism, the travel

expenses covered in the statistics included expenses on trips for students on scholarships and patients seeking treatment overseas. The sources further indicated that the Arab Spring did not affect Kuwaitis’ traveling habits, “As many have changed their usual Arab destinations to other countries.”

Call for equal treatment KUWAIT: On celebrating World Labor Day, Kuwait Labor Union secretary, Fares Al-Sawwagh extended his congratulations to workers on the occasion. He also urged the Kuwaiti government to follow in the footsteps of the world and declare the day as a fully-paid day off as a token of appreciation to labor efforts in upholding the success of all economies worldwide. Al-Sawwagh further

announced the signing of an agreement with VIVA to provide special telecom and internet offers to laborers. On his part, the legal-staffs syndicate chairman, Hamad Al-Wardan, urged the government to keep the promises it made to legal staff members to adjust their job titles to be equal to those of their peers in the Fatwa and Legislation departments. He also called for the equal treatment of all laborers.


LOCAL kuwait digest

Local Spotlight

It is time to resume better relations

Polygamous non-Muslims

By Dr Hassan Abdullah Jouhar


s a Kuwaiti, one might not realize the significance of HH the Amir’s visit to Baghdad to take part in the recent Arab Summit, unless one is in Iraq and listens to public reactions to the visit. Iraqis appreciate it and look forward to considering it a fresh start in more serious relations. They have shown readiness to cooperate in finishing what is known as ‘the unsolved issues’ resulting in the aftermath of Saddam’s aggression. On top of those willing to cooperate is the Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki. He told a Kuwaiti journalists delegation that his country really wishes to solve all issues . As I see it, it is a must now, after over twenty years since the invasion, the radical change in the Iraqi regime, both countries and regional aspirations for a more optimistic and cautious future. This is to open new vistas of cooperation and normalization since both sides have no other choice thanks to their geographical proximity. Now might be the best time to do it, especially as fears of Iraq being divided and the spread of a civil war, terrorism are fading away in most Iraqi areas. Iraq, that used to be an arena for settling regional and international scores up till 2010, is now attracting investors from all over the world. All Iraqi officials prefer to lure Arab investors, namely Kuwaiti. It appears that Iraqis themselves are starting to realize that it is in their best interest and only option to peacefully co-exist and establish a state of law and institutions. No party can dominate the political power anymore; they all need to be partners. Various Iraqi political parties are now convinced that dialogue is far better than violence . All Iraqis, Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds and tribes display better attitudes towards Kuwait, which is a good indication. However, there are, indeed, some voices here and there who are against such rapprochement. This is, of course, understandable and justifiable since the remarks might act as ‘safety valves’ in the process of achieving better future relations. However, such oppositionists must not deprive both countries of resuming normal relations since the approach is seconded by top officials and the elite. They want to put an end to long years of hatred. — Aljarida

In my view

Israeli Illegal settlements By Abdullah Barrak


srael’s colonization policies are entering an alarming new phase, comparable in historic magnitude to the original plans to colonize Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem following the war of 1967. On April 24, an Israeli ministerial committee approved three settlement outposts - Bruchin and Rechelim in the northern part of the West Bank, and Sansana in the south. Although all settlement activities in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem are considered illegal by international law, Israeli law differentiates between sanctioned settlements and “illegal” ones. This distinction has actually proved to be no more than a disingenuous attempt at conflating international law, which is applicable to occupied lands, and Israeli law, which is in no way relevant. Since 1967, Israel placed occupied Palestinian land, privately owned or otherwise, into various categories. One of these categories is “stateowned,” as in obtained by virtue of military occupation. For many years, the “state-owned” occupied land was allotted for various purposes. Since 1990, however, the Israeli government refrained from establishing settlements at lease formally. Now, according to the Israeli anti-settlement group, Peace Now, “instead of going for peace the government is announcing the establishment of three new settlements...this announcement is against the Israeli interest of achieving peace and a twostate solution.” Although the group argues that the four-man committee did not have the authority to make such a decision, it actually matters little. Every physical space in the occupied territories - whether privately owned or “state owned,” “legally” obtained or “illegally” obtained - is free game. The extremist Jewish settlers, whose tentacles are reaching far and wide, chasing out Palestinians at every corner, haven’t received such empowering news since the heyday of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. The move regarding settlements is not an isolated one. The Israeli government is now challenging the very decisions made by the Israeli Supreme Court, which has been used as a legitimization platform for many illegal settlements that drove Palestinians from their land. On April 27, the Israeli government reportedly asked the high court to delay the demolition of an “unauthorized” West Bank outpost in the Beit El settlement which was scheduled to take place on May 1. The land, even by Israeli legal standards, is considered private Palestinian land, and the Israeli government had committed to the court to take down the illegal outposts - again, per Israeli definition on the specified date. Now the right-wing Netanyahu government is having another change of heart. In its request to the court, the government argued: “The evacuation of the buildings could carry social, political and operational ramifications for construction in Beit El and other settlements.” Such an argument, if applied in the larger context of the occupied territories, could easily justify why no outposts should be taken down. It could eradicate, once and for all, such politically inconvenient terms such as “legal” and “illegal.”

By Muna Al-Fuzai


kuwait digest

Is Arabic language dying? By Dr Yaqoub Al-Sharrah


was impressed by a recent article by columnist Dr Hamid Al-Hmoud in Al-Qabas in which he gave explanations to fend off allegations that the Arabic language could be dying. I don’t want to repeat or comment on what Al-Hmoud wrote, but I would like to address some of the aspects as a result of which Arab people can feel that their language is moving towards becoming obsolete. The main problem the Arabic language faces today is caused by speakers of the language rather than the language itself. Arabic is constantly being marginalized by its speakers in the social, economic, scientific and intellectual fields. Today, people impressed by foreign cultures are less dependent on their mother tongue during speech, or by making media statements or contributions in social networks. And while Arabic is stated as the main language in most constitutions in the Arab World, we find that English is used in teaching of several subjects in most Arab universities and educational instructions. Such reality, in which even commercial ads became published in English, led Arab people especially in the Gulf region take pride in the outcomes of English teaching. University graduates in medicine, engineering, science, management and many other fields are often more respected if they are fluent in English especially while being not the same when it comes to speaking in Arabic. What can we expect for the future of the Arabic language in societies where foreign languages are used to teach children from tender age until they graduate from university? It is therefore not abnormal for people living in these societies to have the impression that their language is becoming outdated. However, it is important to note that the Arabic language had been able to overcome many difficult stages in its history and remain intact, which is something often overlooked by people claiming that the language is dying. There have been many factors which helped the language maintain its presence. First of all, the revelation of the Holy Quran in Arabic played a major role in preserving it being considered by Muslims as a divine choice. Second, the versatility of the Arabic language and spread during the Islamic rule period helped it reach many civilizations around the world. The Abbassid Dynasty served as an important period in which Arabic flourished by being used in scientific research in medicine, mathematics, astronomy and other fields. Today, the Arabic language still survives despite being ignored by its people while other languages are continuously being

improved by their speakers. I’ll never forget an incident happened during a meeting for Arab health ministers, during which a minister favored using foreign languages while speaking at international conferences. A foreign expert from the World Health Organization who was in attendance asked him then about the reason why he chooses to ignore his own language. The minister couldn’t reply. His approach reflects the general lack of attention to improving the Arabic language the Arab governments have. Language is not only a mean of communication, but represents the nation’s identity, culture and existence. It therefore requires constant care and improvement to help it face challenges. — Al-Rai

It is important to note that the Arabic language had been able to overcome many difficult stages in its history and remain intact, which is something often overlooked by people claiming that the language is dying. There have been many factors which helped the language maintain its presence. First of all, the revelation of the Holy Quran in Arabic played a major role in preserving it being considered by Muslims as a divine choice. Second, the versatility of the Arabic language and spread during the Islamic rule period helped it reach many civilizations around the world. The Abbassid Dynasty served as an important period in which Arabic flourished by being used in scientific research in medicine, mathematics, astronomy and other fields.

Constitutional amendments By Abdullatif Al-Duaij


entirely different one. It is perhaps not a coincidence then that MP Faisal Al-Yahya said while announcing his proposals, the amendments aim to “change the political system in Kuwait,” instead of improving it. The changes in this case seek to alter the current political system completely, and adopt a full parliamentary system where the majority forms the government. What lawmakers are overlooking is the fact that such changes require that most constitutional articles be canceled, especially those pertinent with the authorities of the head of the state, the Cabinet formation mechanism. Furthermore, this change would basically render the constitution’s explanatory memorandum invalid because its’ main reason is to explain the current political system. Article 174 of the Constitution gives the Parliament the right to propose a revision by amending or deleting one or more of its provisions. Again, the term ‘one or more’ is chosen to indicate that

kuwait digest

Fully enforce Constitution By Thaar Al-Rashidi

kuwait digest

s part of efforts endorsed by the Parliament’s majority to amend the Constitution, MP Faisal Al-Yahya announced that amendments will be introduced to change the entire political structure and adopt a full parliamentary system. I previously wrote about the current lawmakers being incompetent when compared to the statesmen who found modern Kuwait. This situation has contributed to the deterioration of parliamentary and political work in the country today. With regard to the issue at hand, it is important to note that the Constitution explains in Article 174 that HH the Amir and most parliament members can agree that the Constitution be revised. The term ‘revision’ is carefully chosen to explicitly state that MPs do not have the right to radically change constitutional articles. Revision means adjusting an article to improve it while maintaining its essence. An amendment means completely modifying an article or replacing it with an

t is common to see Western nationals or Asians, originally Christians who are married, convert to Islam just to marry again. Some Muslims who marry for the second or the third time here dump the new wife when it is time to go home! Converting to Islam just to be able to marry again is an issue that needs to be addressed seriously. The bothersome part is that such marriages end when the man’s work contract expires. For heaven’s sake, this is marriage and not an employment contract! What are these men thinking and do when they view marriage as a convenient arrangement that can be contracted and terminated any time? I think those men who convert to Islam for the sole purpose to get married here are not true believers of Islam. They are misusing Islam to cover up their evil deeds. They pretend to be Muslim here and when they go back to their countries, they begin professing their abandoned religious practices. They leave behind innocent children here and go back to their old wives. Such marriages are based on a lie. It is not fair or right. I am not saying that all men are alike. There are some who convert to Islam because they want to and start a family here. I would like to focus on the ones who manipulate situations and the trust of unmarried women who trusted them. They learn the truth when it is too late! Most of the cases I have seen here end dramatically, leaving mothers in agony and children in orphanages. I hate the practice of abandoning women who have children in a foreign land, with no family to support. I think it is a crime. They get into fights over who gets custody of the children. Why do such men convert to Islam? Christians cannot afford to confront their first wives or seek divorce or don’t wish to divorce them. So, they find it easier to convert to Islam where a man can take two, three or even four wives! All they want is to avoid confronting the law for having an illegal affair, being charged with adultery or having a child out of wedlock. This is the scenario: The man cheats on his wife back home and then cheats on the second one. He then disappears when work is completed here. Here, you can find many single men. I don’t sympathize with men who cheat. Some may claim that life is hard and need a companion here. Fine, then they should go back home and settle their marital status and come back. They can then embrace Islam and not use it to fulfill ulterior motives. Those who claim that life is expensive here cannot afford to bring their wives here. I wonder how they can marry a second or third wife here? Doesn’t it involve money? It is just pretence. Let me warn women who are involved with married men. Firstly, this man will convert to another religion to marry you and will not admit the truth to his family or wife. If he is a true believer, he will not hesitate or lie about it. The man needs someone to satisfy his needs during the time spent here. The second wife may not be part of future plans when it is time for him to leave. Is this really worth it? Who loses more, you or him? if you are one such woman here who is trapped in such a situation, please think twice before it is too late!

MPs do not have the right to amend the entire Constitution as their recent proposals imply. Meanwhile, amending the Constitution requires a Parliament to be elected specifically for this job. The current Parliament was elected by voters looking for MPs who can help them with mediation, grilling ministers and legislating laws that do not necessarily maintain freedom of opinion all the time. Lawmakers were certainly not elected by people who look for them to create a new Constitution. Current lawmakers, or other MPs elected mainly for monitoring and legislating, should not be given the authority to change the ruling system. This is something that contradicts with the main goals, voters elected today’s lawmakers for. Therefore, I believe that the most probable or maybe the only way to carry out ‘amendments’ to the ruling system is to call for new elections in which voters elect MPs whose main duty is to amend the Constitution. — Al-Qabas


wo years ago in April 2010, the respected MP Ali Al-Rashid suggested that the Constitution be amended. The important points highlighted were: increase in the number of MPs to 72, with each constitution having 12 MPs, and create a sixth constituency. Also, he suggested that the prime minister not be interpellated unless it receives support from nine MPs, the draft grilling be presented by five MPs and not one lawmaker. He further added that a no confidence motion initiated against the prime minister be considered null and void unless signed by 15 MPs instead of 10. These suggestions, if implemented, would have made the interpellation motion neutral; bringing about a partial reduction in the power exercised by MPs. While MP Faisal Al-Yahya has proposed amendments calling for increasing the number of lawmakers to 75, and to rescind ministers’ membership in councils, he put forward the condition that the Minister’s Council approve the newlyformed government. These suggestions are in favor of increasing supervision. Here we face two demands: the first to limit supervision, and other which advocates that supervision be increased. In my opinion, the current Constitution should be fully enforced. The issue of amending the Constitution should not gain precedence over whether supervision should be curbed or increased. I am opposed to the Constitution being amended, whatever be the reasons. It has been since 50 years, and the Constitution has never been implemented except in interpreting certain articles. Had it been fully enforced, we would have been the best country in the world. Sadly, we are facing the same political crisis we did in the seventies. Political problems stem from administrative and financial violations caused by the lack of implementation. The problems were never with the Constitution but lies with the lack of effective enforcement. — Al-Anba



Kuwaiti woman attacks husband’s paramour Former lover held for blackmailing

VIVA receives ISO certification KUWAIT: VIVA, Kuwait ’s newest and most advanced mobile telecommunications service provider, reinforced its position among international companies after being awarded the ISO certification for the second consecutive year, following a rigorous assessment of its quality management system and services provided to clients. This prestigious certification demonstrates that VIVA’s departments and branches conform to internationally recognized administrative standards, and best industry practices. On behalf of Canadian SAI Global, Tawfiq Soukieh, managing director of Global Experience Consulting Company (GEC), one of the leading quality management companies in Kuwait, awarded the ISO certificate to Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Badran, VIVA’s chief executive officer. Commenting on the certification, AlBadran, VIVA’s CEO proudly stated: “We are proud to have received this prestigious certification; receiving the ISO certificate is an achievement that highlights our client-driven policy and our focus on providing the best available services and products that fulfill our clients’ needs and aspirations. It also reinforces VIVA’s leading position among communication providers in the region. In collaboration with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), VIVA’s documentation procedures follow the highest international standards. The company’s main operations were documented and tied to the internal work procedure network covering all departments. “ The efficiency of these operations was assessed regularly against key performance indicators that were also documented within each operation. This

allowed senior management to reach the highest technical and administrative performance and achieve expected outcomes and objectives within a record time in harmony with our corporate vision, policy, and aspirations of expansion in the local market, and in accord a n ce w i t h I S O 9 0 0 1 : 2 0 0 8 Q u a l i t y M anagement System requirements,” added Al-Badran. The ISO 9001: 2008 certificate is an international quality assurance certification that provides guidance to companies on how to ensure the quality of their operations and services. VIVA was keen on implementing these quality standards to offer services that comply with internationally recognised quality standards and best practices, in addition to work procedures and administrative practices VIVA is the newest, most advanced mobile telecommunications ser vice provider in Kuwait. Launched in D e ce m b e r 2 0 0 8 , V I VA m a k e s t h i n g s Possible for our customers by transforming communication, information and entertainment experiences. The company has rapidly established an unrivalled position in the market through our customer and employee centric approach. VIVA’s quest is to be the mobile brand of choice for Kuwait by being transparent, engaging, energetic and fulfilling. VIVA continues to take a considerable share of the market by offering an innovative range of best value products, services and content propositions; a state of the art, nationwide network and worldclass service. VIVA offers Internet speed up to 42.2Mbps due to the implementation of the most advanced third generation (3G and HSDPA) network in Kuwait resulting in superior coverage, performance and reliability.

KUWAIT: A female citizen told Al-Salam police, while being interrogated for allegedly insulting a friend after discovering an extramarital relationship with her husband, that she was first approached by her ‘friend’ who showered her with insults over the phone. When summoned, the accused confirmed that she dialed the number after finding it saved on her husband’s phone as ‘My Dear.’ She reportedly confronted her husband before calling her friend. She claimed he had been receiving calls from the number but the caller would hang up, the minute he answered the call. Investigations are ongoing in the case. Blackmailing attempt Police investigators arrested a male suspect who attempted to blackmail his ex-girlfriend using private photos. Officials at the Criminal Investigation Department were approached by a female citizen seeking assistance from a man she was romantically involved with. He reportedly demanded KD 5,000 to return some private photos she had gifted him. Investigators revealed the suspect had given the girl a fake identity and address, but were soon able to identify and locate him at a house in Al-Sulaibikhat. He was arrested

and taken to the department for further procedures. In-flight fight Two passengers were taken into custody after coming to blows when one of them disliked the other’s conversation with his mother. The incident took place in a flight bound from Dubai where a young Indian man became infuriated to watch his mother share a friendly chat with a citizen. Eventually, the overprotective son decided that he had enough and spoke rudely with the man. Heated words were exchanged and soon turned into punches. They were arrested by police at the Kuwait International Airport and taken to Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh police station. Sea pursuit A citizen was injured when the Coastguard’s boat collided into his ferry in an attempt to prevent him from carrying a firearm. The Coastguard went in pursuit of the suspect in response to an emergency call received from inspectors. He allegedly pointed a gun at them when they asked him to move out of a no -fishing zone. The Coastguard reportedly wanted to retrain the suspect when he waved the gun at their

direction during the chase. The violent confrontation left the suspect wounded. He was admitted to the Mubarak Hospital. Suicide victim dies A bedoon woman in her twenties was pronounced dead on Monday at the Jahra Hospital. She was admitted there a week before after attempting suicide. The victim was in a critical condition when she entered the Intensive Care Unit after consuming an overdose of prescription medications in a bid to end her life. The body was referred to the forensic department. Investigations are still ongoing to reveal the motives behind the girl’s suicide. Dead fetus case A Salmiya building watchman was arrested as the main suspect in a case involving a dead fetus that was found recently. Officers reached the building where an Egyptian janitor repor tedly found the fetus lay halfburied in sand in front of his building. Criminal investigators soon found out that the watchman is involved in the case. He was taken into custody after investigations were held. The man remains in custody as further investigations are on. — Al-Rai, Al-Anba

Kuwaiti investments in Jordan boost economy AMMAN: Kuwaiti investments in Jordan contributed in offering job opportunities to youth and eased problems such as poverty and unemployment besides enriching the state treasury, the daily AlDostoor said yesterday. Awni Al-Dawood, a famous writer and head of economic department in the newspaper, described, in an article published yesterday, the Kuwaiti investments in Jordan, which exceeded $10 billion, as the biggest in value among Arab and foreign businesses in the country. This was due to the deep-rooted ties between the two countries, and the wise political leadership of both countries that made such investments as the most successful and valuable in the kingdom, he added. The Kuwaiti-Jordanian economic and political relations formed a successful example in the region, he said. More than 3,000 Kuwaiti students are pursuing their studies in the Jordanian universities, he added. Kuwait has

always been keen on offering initiatives in the field of joint investments between Arab nations, he said, alluding in particular to adoption of regional projects during the Arab Economic and Social Summit, held in the Gulf country in 2009. The Gulf state supports a large number of projects through the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), Al-Dawood affirmed, also hinting at its distinguished economic performance among the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. Kuwait and Jordan should take advantage of all opportunities contributing in enhancement of bilateral ties through the Kuwaiti-Jordanian Higher Committee, parliamentary relations, industrial and commerce chambers and businessmen, he said. The writer cited remarks by the ambassador of Kuwait, expressing hope the Kuwaiti investments in Jordan would hit $100 billion during the coming years. —KUNA

VALLETTA: Kuwait’s Ambassador to Malta, Faisal Sulaiman Al-Musaleem, discussed yesterday with Maltese Prime Minister, Lawrence Gonzi, means of bolstering relations between Kuwait and Malta. Al-Musaleem said that it is important to exchange visits between both countries’ officials for the sake of boosting cooperation. He noted that the Prime Minister also praised the excellent role played by Kuwait in his country, hoping that ties will be further bolstered.

Falah affirms special respect for Prophet’s companions

KUWAIT: Sheikh Mubarak Al-Duaij Al-Ibrahim Al-Sabah is pictured with Kemal Ozturk yesterday.

KUWAIT: Undersecretary of the Ministr y of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Dr Adel Al-Falah yesterday stressed the necessity of maintaining special respect for companions of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and his family members, and urged believers to brush aside fanaticism. Dr Al-Falah made the call at the inaugural session of a forum, themed “Pioneers of Islam, Imam Al-Bukhari as an example,” organized by the charitable association, Marabrrat Al-Al Wa-Al-Ashab (family and companions of the Prophet),

under sponsorship of Minister of Justice, Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Jamal Al-Shehab. The undersecretary underscored the significance of studying personality and acts of the companions of the Prophet, “particularly at these critical times of divergent and distorted views.” He praised personality of the two-day forum, Imam Al-Bukhari, for his prudent and authentic documentation of sayings of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). Elaborating, Dr. Al-Falah said the ministry was

concerned with the issue of national unity, social cohesion, protection of peaceful communities’ co-existence, for sake of protecting the Kuwaiti society against calls for sedition and divisions. The ministry, in cooperation with the association, has shouldered responsibility of boosting Kuwait’s coordination with Gulf and foreign countries for sake of promoting high respect for the companions of the Messenger and their high status. Historical events should be studied and tackled in an objective

manner, he said, stressing that this approach should be free of extremism and sectarianism, perils that fuel seditions. For that purpose, the ministry organized 33 cultural weeks at the mosques and guided the lecturers to shed light in their sermons on special traits of members of the Prophet’s (PBUH) family and the esteemed personalities that lived close to him. It also produced television programs, held seminars and published books for sound education about these respectful characters. — KUNA

KUNA chief discusses cooperation with Turkish news agency KUWAIT: Chairman and Director General of Kuwait News Agency, Sheikh Mubarak Al-Duaij Al-Ibrahim Al-Sabah discussed yesterday with Executive Board Chairman and Director General of the Turkish Anadolu (News) Agency Kemal Ozturk about cooperation between the two news agencies. The talks, held at bureau of Sheikh Mubarak Al-Duaij at KUNA’s headquarters, also dealt with prospects of “activating provisions of an accord bounding the two sides.” Ozturk is heading a Turkish media delegation, currently visiting the country as part of a tour to the Arab Gulf states. The delegation, that came to the country in response to an invitation by the KUNA chief, includes the head of the Arabic service of the news establishment, and the top man of the department of international relations of Anadolu. Sheikh Mubarak Al-Duaij praised support, offered by the Turkish news agency, to KUNA’s bureau in the Turkish capital, Ankara, and its correspondent in the city of Istanbul, namely its help in supplying the staff with news and photos. Moreover, he affirmed keenness on boosting further the close cooperation between the two establishments. The Turkish guests expressed desire to pursue cooperation between KUNA and Anadolu, stressing on necessity of swap-

ping news and information as well as photos. They also underlined importance of Anadolu’s Arabic service, for it would contribute in cementing the solid and historic ties between the Turkish and Arab nations, hoping that the Arab media organizations would back it for realizing its missions. Following the talks, Sheikh Mubarak held a luncheon for the eminent guests. Earlier, Sheikh Mubarak Al-Duaij received the renowned journalist Samir Atallah. The pair reviewed regional issues and other topics, such as communication development. Sheikh Mubarak discussed with the writer, who is currently visiting Kuwait to take part in the 9th Arab Media Forum, the role of the Arab media in broadcasting facts and information and a means of utilizing the mounting development in communication. The two sides touched on efforts aimed at developing the Arab media for utilizing the potential in the Arab world for offering a distinguished message. The chief of the national news agency affirmed the necessity of bolstering media relations among Arab states and expanding cooperation among information institutions in Arab countries. Atallah, a veteran Lebanese journalist and columnist, praised Kuwait’s media, noting that it could play a leading role at the regional level. —- KUNA

KUWAIT: Dr Noura Al-Jandal speaking at the meeting yesterday.

Expert warns on risks of sewage in seawater KUWAIT: An expert from Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) has warned against the effects of flow of sewage into the sea waters, particularly on marine living creatures. Dr Noura Al-Jandal made the warning in a lecture titled “ Together Towards Sustainable Development,” organized by Kuwait Society of Engineers (KSE) in cooperation with KISR. Dr Al-Jandal, who ser ves at KISR’s department of environmental sciences, said in the lecture, which is part of the scientific week activities, that chemical components in the sewage affect physiology of various kinds of fish and deform their sex. Such chemical substances make

fish unable to reproduce in the short and long terms, and are of a great risk to the fisheries.

They would also affect human beings, considering that 70 percent of the fish were deformed sex

wise, she added. “Sewage is a secret killer of the marine environment,” Al-Jandal affirmed. There are a large number of studies prepared by KISR in support of projects protecting the marine environment, and reducing its pollution, like the study of chemical substances hindering reproduction. She stressed on importance of continuing awareness campaigns, and to teach children in schools how to contribute in protecting their environment. Adults are less responding to such campaigns, which makes imposing a financial penalty the only effective solution to stop them from polluting the environment, she said. — KUNA




in brief

Juwaihel’s membership to be annulled KUWAIT: Membership of MP Mohammed AlJuwaihel is subject to annulment after the Administrative Court wrote off a case he filed against the interior minister prior to the parliamentary elections demanding that he be allowed to run for office. Al-Juwaihel won the case then, and a sentence to prevent him from running for elections was suspended. However, both Juwaihel and his lawyer did not show up in court on the second hearing, compelling judge Nasser Al-Athari to write off the case. Commenting on the issue, legislatives stressed that unless Juwaihel enact this case, the Parliament will be entitled to rescind his membership.

HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah attends the Kuwait University graduation ceremony yesterday. — KUNA

Crown Prince attends KU graduation ceremony KUWAIT: HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah patronized and attended the annual ceremony of Kuwait University (KU) graduates for the academic year 2010-11 on Monday evening at the stadium in KU’s Campus. Sheikh Nawaf was received upon arrival at the Stadium by Minister of Education, Minister of Higher Education and KU higher president Dr Nayef Falah Al-Hajraf, KU Rector Dr Abdullatif Ahmad Al-Bader as well as Professors and members of the higher organizing committee. The graduation ceremony started with a recitation of the Holy Quran, after which Sheikh Nawaf addressed the graduates and congratulated them on their success. He said Kuwait was awaiting their service, “While I congratulate you on your graduation, I should remind you that you have rights and obligations to be faithful for your country,” said the Crown Prince. Sheikh Nawaf urged the fresh graduates to arm themselves with not just their knowledge, but also with teachings of Islam and principles of moderation.

Minister of Higher Education, Dr Nayef, thanked Sheikh Nawaf in his speech for his patronage of the graduation ceremony and wished the fresh graduates success in their careers. He said that KU and its teaching staff were keen on developing education in order to contribute to the sustainable development of Kuwait. KU rector, Dr Al-Bader, thanked the Kuwaiti leadership for its relentless support of KU and education in general. KU, said Dr AlBader, was keen on developing and evaluating its teaching programs in order to benefit society. Al-Bader called upon the fresh graduates to consider Kuwait’s interests above anything else. Graduate, Ibrahim Jamal Al-Munai’, in a speech on behalf of the graduates, said that it was high time that graduates pay back to their country, “ we contribute to its development.” He said that their love for Kuwait would be translated into deeds in its service. Al-Munai’ expressed gratitude to parents for providing support and encouragement. The graduation ceremony was attended by Parliament speaker Ahmad Abdulaziz Al-Saadoun, senior Sheikhs,

Kuwait urges Iraq to keep paying war compensations GENEVA: Kuwait yesterday “stressed need” for Iraq’s continuing regular deposits in the UN war compensation fund in line with relevant international resolutions. Kuwait stressed the need for continuation of regular deposits in the Compensation Fund, as provided for in UN Security Council Resolution 1956 (2010), of five percent of the proceeds from all export sales of petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas of Iraq; as well as five percent of the value of any non-monetary payments of petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas, said Chairman of the Public Authority for Assessment of Compensation for Damages Resulting from the Iraqi Aggression. Khaled Al-Mudhaf, who was addressing the 73rd session of the Governing Council of the United Nations Compensation Commission, thanked the Governing Council and the UNCC Secretariat for the distribution, on Oct 27, 2011, Jan 26, 2012 and April 26, 2012, of compensation amounts to Kuwait in accordance with Decision 267, noting that the Gulf State was looking forward to continuing to receive future installments of quarterly payments of the outstanding balance awarded to Kuwait by the Council. Moreover, he thanked Iraq for continuing with the previously established mechanism for the transfers, under oversight of international external auditors who will ensure that Iraq continues to meet its obligations as established in the provisions of paragraph 21 of resolution 1483 (2003), and “we also note that the UNCC and COFE are meeting on a regular basis and we welcome their cooperation.” Elaborating, he said the balance of the

award sums remaining to be paid to Kuwait from the Compensation Fund stands at about $16 billion. “From the outset when it was agreed in 2008 that Iraq and Kuwait would meet under the auspices of the United Nations Compensation Commission, to discuss the issue of the outstanding awards of Kuwait, the Government of the State of Kuwait has remained committed to the process. However, despite the efforts of the UNCC, since the first meeting that took place in May 2009 in Amman, no other meeting has been held to further discuss this issue or the proposal that Kuwait put forward as an option,” he stated. Kuwait again renews its commitment and readiness to discuss the issue of the remaining compensation owed to Kuwait through this mechanism and under the auspices of the UNCC and awaits confirmation of the Government of Iraq’s favorable response in this regard. In the meantime, “we would like to recall that guaranteeing the outstanding amount paid to Kuwait is indeed a responsibility of the Governing Council under its original mandate. Therefore, the UNCC should not relent in its efforts until the full amount is paid. “Alongside your mandate over the outstanding compensation payments is your mandate over the Follow-up Program for environmental claims awards, as established under Decision 258. Several issues arise in that regard, especially in connection with the establishment, by the State of Kuwait, of the systems and controls identified in Decision 269,” Al-Mudhaf added. — KUNA

Bedoon martyrs to be naturalized KUWAIT: Four servicemen killed while trying to save late Amir Sheikh Jaber AlAhmad Al-Sabah in 1985 from an assassination attempt will be included in future lists of naturalized bedoon (stateless residents) in the Ministry of Defense, a report stated yesterday. “HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah told MoD officials to include the names of the four martyrs

when the late Amir was assassinated among the list of servicemen approved for naturalization,” said a source. The list referred to in Al-Rai daily’s report includes servicemen who took part along with Arab armies in Middle East wars in 1967 and 1973. This includes four servicemen who are part of the prime minister’s plans to naturalize eligible servicemen, sources added.

KUWAIT: Under the patronage of Assistant Undersecretary of the General Director of Traffic Department Lt Gen Dr Mustafa Al-Zaabi and in the presence of the Assistant Director for Traffic Brig Saleh Al Najem, Assistant General Director Brig Ihsan Al Owaish and Brig Abdullah Al Sanafi, the first branch for Golden Sun Company for technical inspection of vehicles was opened yesterday. It is the second largest company accredited for technical test by traffic department.

His Highness Sheikh Nasser Mohammad AlAhmad Al-Sabah, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad AlSabah, ministers, governors and senior state

officials. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Sheikh Nawaf shook hands with the graduates and urged them to exert their best efforts in the service of Kuwait. — KUNA

MoH to refer certificates to KIMS KUWAIT: The Minister of Health, Dr Ali Al-Obaidi will soon issue a ministerial decree pertinent with referring certificates to Kuwait Institute for Medical Specialties (KIMS) for accreditation. Meanwhile, speaking during the launch of Haya Al-Mejel Dialysis Center, Al-Obaidi stressed on guarding against renal failure and other kidney-related diseases. KD30m to set up new MEW branches KUWAIT: The Ministry of Electricity and Water(MEW) has allocated KD 30 million to design and construct buildings in six governorates to serve consumers. Sources added that the ministry is expanding its services to include consumers in all governorates to facilitate easier paperwork instead of approaching the ministry’s headquarters. The ministry has allocated a budget of KD 30 million to local share holding companies that can finalize those projects. The tender will be floated at the end of this year and be finalized in two years. Ministry of Awqaf rift intensifies KUWAIT: The mosques expenses crisis has created a rift between the officials in Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, threatening more than 70 employees’ termination. There have been reports that housing rent and education allowances for the children of engineers and technicians and legal employees may be stopped. The Undersecretary Dr Adel Al-Faleh said that expenses incurred by Awqaf administration does not come under the ministry’s purview. He pointed out that those in charge of computing expenses at the administration are not employed by the Ministry of Awqaf.


Palestinians warn of major backlash if hunger strikers die

Five arrested for trying to blow up Ohio bridge

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Syria killings continue despite truce 9 family members killed in single attack

DARAA: A handout picture released by the Syrian opposition’s Shaam News Network shows a Syrian boy with his fingers painted in the colours of Syria’s pre-Baath national flag during an anti-regime demonstration in Dael in the southern province of Daraa, near the border with Jordan yesterday. Arabic slogan on the boy’s palms reads: “We shall not forget Hussein Harmush”. (Right) Destruction at a school in Qusayr. — AFP

BEIRUT: Violence erupted in two Syrian provinces yesterday, with a rights group reporting 10 civilians dead in an army mortar attack and 12 soldiers killed in a fire-fight with rebel gunmen as UN monitors sought to shore up a shaky ceasefire. The Britain-based Syrian Obser vator y for Human Rights, which tracks the 13-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, said nine members of one family died in mortar bomb blasts in a village in the nor thern province of Idlib. An activist on the Turkish border, Tareq Abdelhaq, said 35 people had been wounded and that some were being carried 25 km (15 miles) along mountain tracks to receive emergency treatment in refugee camps dotted

along the frontier. “Some are being smuggled over the border to Turkey. They had to carr y the wounded and go through the mountains to avoid checkpoints on the road,” Abdelhaq said. “One guy died on the way. He was 19 years old and had very bad injuries.” In the eastern Deir al-Zor province, troops hit back with mortar and heavy machinegun fire after losing a dozen of their own to insurgents, killing at least one villager and destroying a school, the anti-Assad Observatory added. The United Nations says Syrian forces have killed more than 9,000 people since the uprising began in March 2011. Its special envoy for children in war zones said more than 34 children were believed to have been

killed since the UN-backed ceasefire nominally came into force on April 12. Like other Arab revolts against autocratic rulers, Syria’s uprising began with peaceful protests but a violent government response has spawned an increasingly bloody insurgency. Damascus says rebels have killed more than 2,600 soldiers and police, and the speaker of Syria’s parliament, Mahmoud al-Abrach, said outside states backing the insurgency bore responsibility for the bloodshed. “ The escalation is continuing and it must be stopped from the outside - I mean those who are providing those groups with weapons and money,” told Reuters Television in Damascus. “They need to stop

this.” The ceasefire brokered by UNArab League envoy Kofi Annan briefly calmed but failed to halt the conflict. Rebels low on funds and ammunition seem to be stepping up a bombing campaign. Explosions blew the fronts off buildings in the northwestern city of Idlib on Monday, killing nine people and wounding 100, including security personnel, according to state television, which blamed the blasts on “terrorist” suicide bombers. Damascus has accused the United Nations of turning a blind eye to rebel ceasefire violations, although Secretary-General Ban KiMoon condemned the Idlib blasts and a rocket attack on the central bank in the capital as “terrorist

Israel’s Livni quits parliament JERUSALEM: Former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni announced her resignation from parliament yesterday, weeks after she was ousted as opposition leader, in a move that could shake up Israeli politics ahead of widely expected national elections. Livni, a one-time chief peace negotiator who is widely respected internationally, vowed to remain active in politics. She has been rumored to be considering joining a new centrist party being formed by popular former TV anchorman Yair Lapid. “I leave at this stage, but I’m not leaving public life,” Livni said. “ The citizens of Israel deserve more than the current polic y.” Just a few years ago, Livni was one of the country’s most popular politicians. A founder of the centrist Kadima Party, she served as foreign minister from 2006 to 2009, a time when she was Israel’s chief negotiator with the Palestinians. That experience gained her respect in international circles and helped land her on lists of the world’s most influential women compiled by such publications as Time, Forbes and Newsweek. But in her three years as opposition leader, she faced heavy criticism for what was widely seen as an ineffective term. K adima, which won 28 seats in 2009 elections, making it the largest par ty in parliament, has plummeted in opinion polls and is only expected to win about a dozen seats, if that,

in the next vote. Last month, Shaul Mofaz, a former Israeli militar y chief, trounced Livni in internal elections for Kadima’s leadership, setting the stage for her departure. By leaving the door open

more” than what the current leadership has given. With peace talks deadlocked for the past three years, she accused the government of ignoring the Palestinians. Israel is sitting on a “volcano”

JERUSALEM: Zipi Livni former Israeli opposition leader speaks to the press moments before handing in her resignation from the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament yesterday in Jerusalem. — AFP

to continued involvement in political life, Livni’s comments were likely to fuel more speculation that she would be joining Lapid’s new “Yesh Atid” or “There is a Future” party. She did not elaborate on her specific plans. Speaking to reporters at the Knesset, or parliament, Livni said the people of Israel “deser ve

and its sur vival as a Jewish, democratic state is in “mortal danger” if it does not find an accommodation with the Palestinians, she said. “The real danger is a politics that buries its head in the sand,” she said. The Palestinians, and Israeli doves, have warned that Israel risks turning into a “bina-

tional” state of Jews and Arabs if a Palestinian state is not established in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip. Some 4 million Palestinians live in these areas, and combined with Israel’s own Arab population, they could soon outnumber the roughly 6 million Jews living in Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled this week that he would soon call early elections. The next vote is scheduled in October 2013, but an array of issues, including disagreements in Netanyahu’s coalition over draft exemptions for ultra-religious Jews, threaten to tear the government apart. Netanyahu, who is mourning the death of his father, was expected to make a decision next week. An opinion poll this week predic ted Netanyahu’s Likud would remain the largest party in parliament if elections were held now, with 30 seats in the 120-member chamber. But the poll said an alliance joining Livni and Lapid would be the second-largest party, with 16 seats. Combined with the resurgent Labor Party and the remnants of Kadima, this dovish bloc could pose a formidable challenge to Netanyahu if he tries to cobble together another hard-line coalition. The poll of 500 people was published Monday by the Dahaf institute, a prominent polling agency. It had a four-seat margin of error and reflected other recent surveys. —AP

bomb attacks”. The United Nations now has 30 truce monitors in Syria, a nation of 23 million people, and expects to have 20 more of the planned 300strong mission on the ground by the end of the week. Their commander, Norway’s Major General Robert Mood, has acknowledged his mission could not solve Syria’s fundamental problems, but said the security crisis was not insoluble. “We have seen this in many crises before that if you simply keep adding to the violence with more bombs and weapons and more violence, it becomes a circle that is almost impossible to break,” he told BBC radio. “We are not in that situation.” Western governments have lost patience with

Assad, accusing him of breaking promises made to UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan that he would order troops and tanks back to barracks. Paris has called for UN sanctions against Damascus, but the West can do little given the diplomatic cover Syria enjoys at the Security Council from China and Russia. Moscow says the rebels are mainly to blame for the continued violence. Western states are wary of military intervention along the lines of last year’s anti-Gaddafi air campaign in Libya because of the political, diplomatic and military complexities of tackling Syria, as well as the potential repercussions on a volatile Middle Eastern neighbourhood.— Reuters

Japan FM warns on Iran strike JERUSALEM: Japan’s top diplomat yesterday reiterated Tokyo’s concern over a strike on Iran’s nuclear programme in an interview published as he began a two-day trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories. “Japan is ver y concerned over the Iranian nuclear issue,” Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba told the top-selling Yediot Aharonot daily, in remarks translated into Hebrew. “ The international community, including Japan, is putting unprecedented pressure on Iran, and the renewal of talks between the world powers and Iran is a result of this pressure,” he said. Six world powers, known as the P5+1 grouping of diplomats from the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, held a first round of talks with Iran over its contested nuclear programme in Istanbul last month, with a second round due to take place in Baghdad on May 23. Israel says a nuclear Iran would constitute an existential threat to the Jewish state and has not ruled out a pre-emptive strike on Tehran’s nuclear facilities. “The military option will not only give Iran an excuse to expedite its nuclear programme, but could also increase the instability in the region, which would threaten Israel,” Gemba warned. The minister’s remarks reiterated concerns that both he and Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda had raised in mid-February during a visit to Tokyo by Israeli Defence Minister

Ehud Barak. At the time, Noda warned that military action could be “extremely dangerous” as it risks “escalating” the current situation. And Gemba raised similar concerns, saying: “Using a military option would not only provide an excuse to Iran but could unite the Arab world against Israel.” On Monday evening, Barak said he had little confidence that the P5+1 talks would succeed in resolving the standoff over Tehran’s nuclear programme. “The P5+1 engagement with Iran, however, does not fill me with confidence. I may sound pessimistic but the state of Israel cannot afford to be duped,” he told reporters at a Foreign Press Association meeting in Jerusalem. He said that “all options to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons” were on the table, although he admitted that the military option would be “complicated.” “But a nuclear Islamic Republic of Iran would be far more dangerous,” he said. Gemba was due to arrive in Israel around midday for a two-day visit, which will see him meeting his Israeli counterpart, Avigdor Lieberman in Jerusalem. Today he was to meet senior Palestinian officials in the West Bank city of Ramallah. The UN Security Council has slapped four rounds of sanctions on Tehran over suspicions harboured by Israel and much of the West that Iran is seeking a militarised nuclear capability-a charge which Tehran denies.— AP


Palestinians warn of major backlash if hunger strikers die ‘We will not accept our prisoners returning in coffins’ NABLUS: Palestinian prisoners minister Issa Qaraqaa yesterday warned there would be a major backlash if any of the detainees on a mass hunger inside Israeli jails were to die. “We will not accept our prisoners returning in coffins from the occupation’s prisons,” Qaraqaa told a 3,000-strong crowd demonstrating in solidarity with the prisoners in the West Bank city of Nablus. “If anything happens to any prisoner, the explosion will not stay inside prison walls but will extend to the outside,” he said. Around a third of the 4,700 Palestinian prison-

ers being held in Israeli jails are currently on open-ended hunger strike, according to the Israel Prisons Service, which puts the number at 1,450. Most have been refusing food for around two weeks, but eight of them are at an advanced stage of their hunger strike and two-Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahla-have gone 63 days without eating. A doctor with Physicians for Human Rights who examined them on Monday found they were in danger of dying and were not receiving adequate medical care where they are being

WEST BANK: Palestinian protesters lie on the ground next to a national flag after being hit by pepper spray during clashes with Israeli troops outside Ofer military prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah yestertday, following a demonstration in support for prisoners held in Israeli jails. — AFP

held in the Ramle prison infirmary near Tel Aviv. “I appeal from Nablus to all human rights organisations in the world to act urgently to save the lives of Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahla who are in danger of dying,” Qaraqaa said. “I hold Netanyahu’s government responsible for everything that is happening to the prisoners,” he said, referring to the administration of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Late on Monday, Islamic Jihad also said Israel was responsible for the lives of Diab and Halahla, and warned it would no longer abide by a truce agreement in Gaza if either of them died in Israeli custody. “The death of either Bilal Diab or Thaer Halahla will nullify the truce,” Islamic Jihad official Khader Habib told reporters in Gaza City. “The enemy has to understand the message: any harm to the lives of the prisoners will lead to an escalation.” Meanwhile, 300 people gathered outside Ofer military prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah in a show of support for the prisoners. Clashes erupted between stonethrowing youths and the Israeli army, who fired tear gas, rubber bullets and a foul-smelling liquid known as “skunk” to break up the demonstration, according to an AFP correspondent at the scene. A photographer was badly injured after being hit in the head by a stone thrown by a protester, an AFP correspondent said. — AFP

US funds may have helped Iraq insurgents BAGHDAD: Some US commanders believe funds available for relief and reconstruction during the country’s war in Iraq may have ended up benefiting insurgents, a report released by a US watchdog said. The US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) surveyed officers and officials associated with the Commander’s Emergency Response Programme (CERP), a fund used by US military officers for projects to boost rebuilding in their areas of responsibility. The US Congress has allocated nearly $4 billion since 2004 for CERP. “Some commanders indicated that the diversion of CERP project funds may have benefited insurgents,” SIGIR said in the report published on Monday detailing the results of the survey. “Money... was found during raids on insurgents (along with) admission from contractors that they paid

money ‘for protection,’” the report quoted one US commander as saying. “There was substantial evidence that the local authorities ... were stealing right off the top,” another said. “Additionally, governors were offering insurgents money that was to pay for CERP activities to NOT attack certain CERP-funded programmes.” The number of US forces in Iraq peaked at nearly 170,000 several years after the 2003 US-led invasion, but the vast majority pulled out at the end of last year. Now, around 150 remain under the authority of the US embassy. SIGIR found that graft also posed a problem for the dispersal of CERP funds. “Corruption is an integral feature of Iraqi society and politics. Battling corruption in the Iraqi system is a Sisyphean task... It was generally understood and accepted as common practice,” one commander said. — AFP



Airlines ready to pay to end Heathrow delays: IAG LONDON: Airlines using London Heathrow airport would be prepared to pay higher landing fees to cut long queues at the British hub which have reached “crisis” levels according to the chief executive of British Airways owner IAG . Passengers arriving at BAA-operated Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport, have suffered lengthy delays at passport control in the past week. Travellers have complained of empty border control desks and the failure of iris scanners brought in to speed up the processing of arrivals. “We have had a crisis for some time and therefore we need urgent action ... we (airlines at Heathrow) have demonstrated we are prepared to pay where we get the right service,” IAG chief executive Willie Walsh told BBC Radio

yesterday. “We are not prepared to pay a government that will waste money and that will not address the problem that is faced ... the government is both the regulator and the service provider and is doing an inadequate job in both.” Walsh said the 45-minute maximum wait standard for passengers from outside Europe and the 25minute wait for European passport holders had been repeatedly breached in the past week. Heathrow handled 70 million passengers in 2011, and is operating at close to full capacity. BAA was prevented by the government from building a third runway at Heathrow because of environmental concerns. Britain’s immigation minister Damian Green said the hike in charges was being discussed by BAA and air-

lines operating from Heathrow but that the proposal had yet to be presented to the Home Office, which runs the UK border agency. A possible hike in airport charges would not be necessarily be welcomed by all airlines, however. Industry body IATA recently said the global airline industry would suffer in 2012 because of continuing high fuel prices and the euro zone debt crisis. Ferrovial-owned BAA, which earns more than 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) in annual charges from airlines operating at Heathrow, said recent waiting times during peak periods at the hub had been unacceptable and called on the British government to repair the situation. “Immigration is a matter for the Home Office,” BAA said in a statement.

“We have called on the Home Office to address the problem as a matter of urgency. There isn’t a trade -off between strong border security and a good passenger experience - the Home Office should be delivering both.” The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said the delays were having a negative impact on London’s image as a global business centre. “Not only do these queues project the wrong image about the UK being open to business and visitors alike, they risk undermining our reputation as a global trading hub,” Neil Carberry, a CBI director, said in a statement. The immigration minister Green on Monday told parliament heavy rain across the south of England was the main cause of the delays. He said the severe weather had led to diverted

flights and the bunching of arrivals. Green promised that immigration desks at British airports would be staffed during peak periods for the Olympic Games. “Next month we will have a completely new rostering system, which will make us more flexible,” Green told the BBC in response to Walsh’s comments. “Also, for the Olympic period, we are guaranteeing that there will be at peak times full manning across the board.” Green added that a control room to help with queues would be set up at Heathrow in the next few weeks, while mobile teams would be deployed in each terminal to help respond to problems. The border force’s headcount is due to be cut by a fifth by 2015 compared with 2010 levels due to austerity measures. — Reuters

Rupert Murdoch unfit to run company: UK lawmakers Report singles out three ex-Murdoch aides

PARIS: Far-right National-Front party leader and candidate for the presidential elections, Marine Le Pen, leading the party’s traditional May Day leaves after their ceremony to honor the birth of Joan of Arc in Paris, yesterday. Le Pen came in a strong third place in the first round of voting, and says she will announce later yesterday how she wants her voters to cast their ballots for the runoff. —

Le Pen not to endorse anyone for president PARIS: The leader of France’s resurgent, anti-immigrant far right, Marine Le Pen, has refused to endorse either candidate in the country’s presidential runoff, saying yesterday that she will cast a blank protest ballot. Le Pen, who came in a strong third place in the first round of voting April 22, told thousands of supporters at a march and rally to “vote according to your conscience.” The head of the National Front party assailed conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has borrowed some of Le Pen’s rhetoric about immigrants, Muslims and the inhuman face of Europe with its rules and regulations in his campaign, accusing him of impoverishing the French and giving up too much sovereignty to the European Union. Polls have consistently suggested that Socialist candidate Francois Hollande will defeat Sarkozy in Sunday’s final vote, and the incumbent is trying to win over the more than 6 million voters who supported Le Pen. Le Pen’s score in the firstround vote, nearly 18 percent, was the best ever by a National Front candidate. It propelled the party back onto the French political stage, where for decades Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, had played the spoiler in elections. In the 2002 presidential vote, the elder Le Pen reached the final round. The National Front, castigated by many as xenophobic, holds the May Day rally each year to honor Joan of Arc, the teen age warrior born 600 years ago who fought to oust the English from France. Le Pen laid a wreath at a gilded statue of Joan of Arc on the path of the march to the square in front of the ornate Paris Opera where she addressed the crowd. Le Pen threw cold water on Sarkozy’s

attempts to woo her voters. “I will cast a blank ballot,” she said. “Each one of you will make your choice,” she said, stressing that she could endorse neither Sarkozy nor Hollande - but would not call on voters to abstain because the act of voting is “essential.” Le Pen said the real election is the June legislative vote when she hopes to put legislators in parliament. The National Front had 33 lawmakers in the lower house until 1986, when voting rules changed. “It is not the president who will be elected (on Sunday) but a simple employee of the European Central Bank,” said the woman who bills herself as the “anti-system” candidate. Le Pen has said in the past that her goal is to “explode” the right and become the main opposition under a Socialist president. Sarkozy’s Union for a Popular Movement party, or UMP, which combines various right-wing tendencies, is already showing signs of stress as he pitches to the far right. Across town, Sarkozy held a campaign rally of his own Tuesday where he reached out once again to the far right, evoking France’s Christian roots and a heritage that must be dearly guarded - a theme dear to the National Front which fears that Muslim immigrants are intent on destroying old France. In a radio interview yesterday morning, he was asked whether France has too many immigrants, and he answered, “yes.” “Our system of integration doesn’t work. Why? Because before we were able to integrate those who were received on our territory, others arrived. Having taken in too many people, we paralyzed our system of integration,” he said on RMC radio. — AP

Nigerian forces raid Islamist base in Kano KANO: Nigerian forces raided the hideout of suspected Islamist militants in Kano yesterday, killing one of them in a gun battle that shook the main northern city. The raid followed a series of attacks believed to have been carried out by Islamist sect Boko Haram in the past days which killed 30 people and dampened hopes that tighter security in the north had drastically reduced their capability. Residents of the Sabuwar Gandu area of Kano awoke to several loud blasts and the sound of gunfire. “Our men just raided one of the hideouts of the elements ... where we discovered explosives and weapons,” said a spokesman for the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Kano, Lieutenant Iweha Ikedichi. “The main suspect has been killed and we made many arrests but I can’t say how many yet,” he said, referring to an attack on a university in Kano, Nigeria’s second biggest city, on Sunday. Gunmen attacked a lecture theatre being used for Christian worship in Kano and a church in northeast

Maiduguri, Boko Haram’s headquarters, on Sunday, killing 19 people. A bomb blast struck a police chief’s convoy in eastern Taraba state on Monday, killing 11 people. Commissioner of Police in Kano State Ibrahim Idris told Radio Nigeria the raid targeted suspects from the Kano attack. “Based on intelligence report on the suspects’ hideout, a joint team comprising the soldiers, police and ... the State Security Service commenced that operation this morning,” he said. “One of the suspects was killed in the process, three women and two children were taken into custody.” He said several AK-47 assault riffles, 467 rounds of ammunition and 45 cans filled with explosives were seized. The shadowy sect says it is fighting to reinstate an ancient Islamic caliphate in Africa’s most populous nation, whose 160 million people are split roughly evenly between Muslims and Christians along nor th-south lines. — Reuters

LONDON: News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch showed “wilful blindness” over the News of the World phone-hacking scandal and is not fit to lead a major company, British lawmakers said in a scathing report yesterday. Parliament’s influential culture committee said Murdoch’s British newspaper division News International had misled lawmakers, adding that the 81-year-old tycoon and his son James should take corporate responsibility. But the committee itself was divided, with four members from Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives refusing to approve the long-awaited report against six members from other parties who backed the findings. “Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company,” said the report, the result of hearings that started shortly after the News of the World shut last July. “News International and its parent News Corporation exhibited wilful blindness, for which the companies’ directorsincluding Rupert Murdoch and James Murdoch-should ultimately be prepared to take responsibility.” The report singled out three ex-Murdoch aides-former News International executive chairman Les Hinton, the News of the World’s final editor Colin Myler and legal manager Tom Crone-for deliberately misleading parliament. The cross-party panel said it was now for parliament’s lower House of Commons to decide on a punishment for those it thinks have treated the committee with contempt. Broadcasting regulators said meanwhile they would consider the report as part of its probe into whether pay-TV giant BSkyB, which is part-owned by News Corp., is still fit to hold a licence in Britain. News Corp. said it was “carefully reviewing” the report and would “respond shortly”. “The company fully acknowledges significant wrongdoing at News of the World and apologises to everyone whose privacy was invaded,” it said in a statement. News Corp. shares were up 1.35 percent at $19.87 in early trading in New York. Hinton, who resigned as head of News Corp.’s Dow Jones unit last year, said the committee’s findings were “unfounded, unfair and erroneous”, while Myler, who is now editor of the New York Daily News, said he stood by his testimony. Murdoch shut the News of the World in July 2011 as the phone-hacking scandal exploded with revelations that the tabloid had accessed the voicemails of a murdered

schoolgirl. Rupert and James, 39 — who quit as executive chairman of News International in February-both gave evidence to the committee on July 19. Murdoch senior was attacked with a shaving foam pie by a comedian during the hearing.

in Britain, and the Wall Street Journal and Fox News in the United States. The report’s effectiveness could however be hobbled by the divisions on the committee. Conservative committee member Louise Mensch complained the report was “partisan”,

LONDON: Chairman of News Corporation Rupert Murdoch, right, and his son James Murdoch, chief executive of News Corporation Europe and Asia arrive at his residence in central London. An influential group of British lawmakers say Rupert Murdoch is unfit to lead his global media empire, in a scathing report that says his company misled Parliament about the scale of phone hacking at one of its tabloids. — AP The 121-page report released yesterday accused News International of instinctively trying to “cover up rather than seek out wrongdoing and discipline the perpetrators”. “Corporately, the News of the World and News International misled the committee about the true nature and extent of the internal investigations they professed to have carried out in relation to phone hacking,” it said. While it did not directly accuse the Murdochs of misleading the committee, it had harsh words for the Australian-born tycoon. “If at all relevant times Rupert Murdoch did not take steps to become fully informed about phone hacking, he turned a blind eye and exhibited wilful blindness to what was going on in his companies and publications,” it said. Murdoch’s empire still comprises The Sun, The Times and the Sunday Times newspapers

adding that she and her party colleagues could not back it as a whole because of the declaration about Murdoch being unfit to run a company. But Labour member and leading Murdoch critic Tom Watson, who was responsible for adding that clause, said it was disappointing there was no unanimous vote. Phone hacking at the News of the World came to the fore in the trial of its royal correspondent Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator, who were jailed in 2007 for illegally accessing voicemails. Scotland Yard reopened an investigation in January 2011 and more than 40 people have been arrested. A judicial inquiry into the scandal is also under way. News International has paid millions of pounds in compensation to hacking victims. — AFP

Mali junta says overnight counter-coup defeated BAMAKO: The soldiers who staged a putsch in Mali five weeks ago said early yesterday they had defeated an overnight countercoup by foreign-backed forces loyal to ousted president Amadou Toumani Toure. Gunfire had erupted at the national TV and radio station, the airport and at the garrison town near the capital Bamako that is the headquarters of the rebel soldiers led by Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo. An employee of the TV and radio station, which had been held by rebel soldiers since the March 22 coup, told AFP that “there were deaths” in the gunfight, without giving casualty figures. The resurgence of fighting dimmed hopes for a quick return to order in the west African countr y where political chaos has allowed Tuareg rebels and Islamists to seize swathes of the vast desert north. A soldier reading out a message on television on behalf of Sanogo said “foreign elements backed by dark forces from inside the country carried out these attacks,” adding that some of them were arrested. The coup leaders, under intense regional and international pressure, have allowed a civilian interim government to take over but have kept making arrests, which witnesses said

sparked the latest violence. The fighting followed an attempt by junta loyalists to detain Abidine Guindo, the former chief of staff of toppled president Toure. Guindo was the head of the “Red Berets” presidential guard. After an evening when gunfire echoed through the capital, Sanogo declared early Tuesday in a message that scrolled across the screen of state television that “the situation is under control”. The coup leader said his troops were in control of the airport, the state TV and radio station and the Kati army barracks. A

statement repeatedly broadcast by the private Kayira radio station and attributed to Sanago deplored the presence of “mercenaries” and “foreign troops” fighting alongside the Red Berets. Despite the junta’s assurances, there was confusion in the capital Bamako. Early in the night, a regional diplomatic source indicated that the Bamako airport was under the control of loyalist forces. The situation remained unclear near the headquarters of the TV and radio station, which had been partly controlled by the presidential guard before

BAMAKO: A Malian soldier standing guard at the entrance to the Kati military camp, the headquarters of the rebel soldiers. The soldiers who staged a putsch in Mali five weeks ago said early yesterday they had defeated an overnight counter-coup by forces loyal to ousted president Amadou Toumani Toure. — AFP

renewed firefights, local media said. By all accounts, the fighting centered around the military camp of Kati, the headquarters of the junta troops, located about 15 kilometres (nine miles) from the capital. The road between Bamako and the Kati camp was blocked by elements of the loyalist forces who, diplomatic sources said, had surrounded the city. “Obviously, there is a coup against Sanogo” attempted by supporters of Toure, said a government source in a neighbouring country. When the renegade soldiers staged their coup on March 22, shortly before scheduled elections, their power grab shattered the country’s image as a democratic success story in the region. Under diplomatic pressure from Mali’s partners and military pressure from the advancing rebellion in the north, the junta agreed to hand power over to Dioncounda Traore, the former parliament speaker. Traore was sworn in as interim president on April 12, but the situation in the country has remained volatile. In the north, an area the size of France is now in the hands of Islamist militias and Tuareg separatist rebels, many of them battle-hardened and wellarmed after serving as mercenaries in the Libyan conflict. — AFP




Iowa case asks: Is it a crime to harass animals? IOWA CITY: Prosecutors hope to use a rarely enforced federal law to punish two Iowa pilots whose low flying disturbed thousands of resting migratory birds in a case that centers on this question: Is it a crime to harass animals? In a case drawing attention from bird lovers, two Des Moines men have been charged with violating a federal law that prohibits using aircraft to harass animals. A judge is expected to decide soon whether the Airborne Hunting Act is constitutional. Attorneys for the two men, Paul Austin and Craig Martin, say it’s not. Among the questions being debated: Are birds capable of feeling harassment? And if harassing birds is a crime, wouldn’t Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger have violated the law when he accidentally struck a flock of geese before famously

landing his plane safely on the Hudson River? Both sides agree Austin and Martin were flying low on Nov. 16 as they passed over Saylorville Lake, a reservoir north of Des Moines known for birdwatching. Tens of thousands of pelicans, ducks, geese and other birds stop there every fall to rest and feed before continuing south. A natural resources specialist for the US Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the lake, saw the two planes pass about 20 feet above the water, disrupting thousands of white pelicans and other birds. Once the birds settled on another part of the lake, the planes passed by again, sending them back into flight, prosecutors said. Natural resources specialist Jonathan Wuebker snapped photographs and eventually cited Austin and Martin for flying “in

a careless, negligent or reckless manner” over protected land. Then in February, a grand jury indicted the men on charges of violating the Airborne Hunting Act, which carries up to one year in jail. Prosecutors also aim to seize their small planes - a 1974 Magnus Bowers Fly Baby and a 1946 Aeronca. Prosecutors say the law applies even though the pilots weren’t hunting because its ban on harassment makes it a crime “to disturb, worry, molest, rally, concentrate, harry, chase, drive, herd, or torment” animals with a plane. Wuebker compared it to using a car to chase deer through a field. “When it is intentional or blatantly obvious, I would definitely consider that harassment. But that’s not my decision,” he said, noting trial is scheduled for May 30. Austin

and Martin have asked a judge to dismiss the case, arguing the law is unconstitutionally vague. In a court filing, defense attorneys said it “seems doubtful” that animals experience the kind of human emotional response necessary to feel harassed. And how can pilots know? “Flying is what birds do. Who can say if the bird is pleased or annoyed to have taken flight? Indeed, who can say whether the bird’s flight was the result of any cognition and not just impulse?” they asked. Austin’s attorney, William Ortman, said Monday that the law doesn’t draw a clear line between legal and illegal behavior. In court documents, defense attorneys noted that planes routinely strike birds on accident. They cited the 2009 incident in which Sullenberger successfully ditched US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River

after a flock of geese hit it following takeoff. Under the government’s theory, they argued, Sullenberger “likely ‘harassed’ the flock of birds that downed his plane, and he probably ‘harassed’ fish when he arrived in the Hudson.” Martin’s attorney and a spokesman for the prosecution did not immediately return phone messages. In a filing last week, assistant US Attorney Cliff Wendel rejected the idea that Congress meant to punish pilots for something “so common and unavoidable” as bird strikes. But he said reasonable pilots know that flying planes at a low altitude above thousands of resting birds would be considered harassment. It’s like one famous legal definition of pornography, he said: you k now it when you see it. —AP

Santorum wants promises from Romney before backing Plans to meet Romney on Friday privately WASHINGTON: Rick Santorum wants to ensure the GOP’s policy platform represents conservatives’ interests. Newt Gingrich wants help retiring his campaign debt and repairing his reputation. Both Republicans are expected to endorse their former rival Mitt Romney - and signal to their backers to fall in line behind the party’s presumptive nominee - but each wants assurances that Romney will deliver for them. Neither is rushing toward the task. Meanwhile, it doesn’t appear that Rep. Ron Paul of Texas is going to go that way. Paul is still in the race and hasn’t yet recognized Romney as the party ’s nominee. The tea party favorite and former Libertarian presidential nominee seems unlikely to endorse given deep differences with Romney on economic and foreign policy issues. Romney plans to meet Santorum on Friday and Gingrich plans to endorse him this week, an end-of-primary dance that happens every four

proper endorsement. Gingrich all but bowed out last week, saying: “It’s clear Romney is the nominee and the focus should be on defeating Obama. We should not focus on defeating ourselves.” He plans to officially end his campaign in the coming days and endorse Romney. Romney, for his part, has been working to bring the party together after a bruising primary season, and nods from Santorum and Gingrich could help mend those wounds. Both Santorum and Gingrich have fervent followings among conservatives who make up the base of the party and who generally view Romney skeptically because of his positions on a host of issues. Romney has changed his position on bedrock issues such as abortion and gay rights. He supported the 2008 Wall Street bailout that angered conservatives and paved the way for the rise of the tea party. And he signed a health care overhaul as governor that provided the groundwork for

SHAWANO: Former Pennsylvania Sen Rick Santorum speaks in Shawano. Santorum advisers say he will not back Romney until he is convinced that Romney is committed to upending it, as well as ensuring conservatives’ views are represented in the party’s platform and in Romney’s campaign. —AP years once the party settles on a nominee. Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, quit the race April 10 but has stopped short of publicly embracing Romney as the GOP’s standard bearer after a bitter primary season that featured Santorum calling Romney “the worst Republican in the country” to run against Obama. Not long after, Santorum was telling CNN’s Piers Morgan about Romney, “It’s very clear that he’s going to be the Republican nominee and I’m going to be for the Republican nominee and we’re going to do everything we can to defeat Barack Obama.” Morgan could not goad him into a

Democrats’ national law that requires all Americans to buy insurance or face a fine. Romney’s health care overhaul in Massachusetts required health care coverage. That’s the primary issue Santorum plans to discuss Friday when he meets privately with Romney. “We want to make sure he doesn’t replace it with any kind of mandate,” Santorum adviser Hogan Gidley said. He added, “Rick just wants to have a candid, open conversation about making sure the folks in the 11 states that voted for him, and the conservative movement, have a voice in the Romney campaign.”

Advisers caution that an endorsement - or a public appearance for that matter - is unlikely to immediately follow Santorum’s private meeting with Romney. Santorum is in no rush to rally to Romney’s side. People close to Santorum said deep resentment remains between the men. But he also recognizes he risks looking like a sore loser and is expected to eventually support Romney. Even so, key members of Santorum’s team have rallied behind Romney in recent weeks. Mike Biundo, Santorum’s former campaign manager, signed on with the Romney campaign in Boston to lead outreach to conservatives. Foster Friess, the driving force behind a pro-Santorum super PAC that kept his presidential ambitions afloat, has agreed to rejoin Romney’s camp. For Santorum, there are political considerations if he is to keep the door open to a future presidential run. He has tremendous sway among conservatives, and is mindful of his personal political brand. Embracing a candidate whom some conservatives don’t trust could backfire in the long run because many of Santorum’s supporters voted for him in hopes of preventing Romney from winning. So, people close to Santorum said, he wants assurances from Romney that the party’s platform would represent conservatives’ interests, and that Romney would govern as a conservative. Unlike Gingrich, Santorum also doesn’t need Romney’s help to retire campaign debt. Gingrich has reported more than $4.5 million in debt. He is looking for other quick ways to pay off vendors and has rented out his e-mail lists to private businesses. A better option would be a nod from Romney to his supporters that it’s time to help the one-time foe, much as he did for former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who bowed out last summer and locked arms with his rival. Romney thanked him with a check for $2,500 - the maximum personal donation allowed - as did at least 12 other family members. Gingrich also leaves the GOP campaign with his reputation battered. He is looking to repair his standing as one of the party ’s intellectual heavyweights. Romney, now the party’s leader, could afford him that platform. But Gingrich hasn’t yet committed to a joint appearance with Romney. He might just do it on his own and be done with it. Understated endorsements have been the norm this year. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced he was backing Romney in a written statement, and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman announced his withdrawal from the race and endorsement of Romney without Romney at his side. —AP

Wrongly convicted Colorado man set free after 16 years GRAND JUNCTION: A Colorado man wrongly convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the rape and murder of a woman found strangled with a dog leash was exonerated on the basis of new DNA evidence and set free on Monday after spending more than 16 years behind bars. Robert “Rider” Dewey walked out of a courthouse in Grand Junction, Colorado, a free man after a judge found him innocent of the 1994 k illing and said his exoneration marked a “historic day” for the state. “Mr. Dewey spent 6,219 days of his life incarcerated for a crime he did not do,” Mesa County District Judge Brian Flynn said during the brief hearing. “This is a reminder to the entire system that it’s not perfect.” Flynn said prosecutors had not committed misconduct, Dewey had been represented by good defense attorneys, and an impartial jury had heard the case but added: “Despite all these things, the system didn’t work.” Prosecutors announced earlier on

Monday they were seeking an arrest warrant for a new suspect in the 1994 killing who was identified by DNA testing and is already serving a life sentence for a similar 1989 murder. Dewey was sentenced to life without parole for the rape and murder of 19year-old Jacie Taylor in the western Colorado town of Palisade. Taylor’s partially clothed body was found in her bathtub in June 1994. She had been beaten, sexually assaulted and strangled with a dog leash. Dewey, wearing a blue dress shirt and slacks and long brown hair held in place by braids, left the courthouse with his attorneys and pen-pal girlfriend Angela Brandenberg, who had not met him in person until Monday’s hearing. His first act of freedom was to inhale deeply from a burning sprig of sage lit by Brandenburg, which he described as a Native American ritual. “I get to step outside there, touch a tree, get a dog and kiss my girl,” he said on his release. A smiling Dewey

also told reporters he was not angry about the injustice, asking, “What good would it do me?” “They threw me into a dark hole with just a pinhole of light,” he said. “I had to stay positive.” Dewey said his immediate plans were to take his mother, stepfather and Brandenberg to the best restaurant in Grand Junction, about 250 miles (400 km) west of Denver, and order a filet mignon. The latest DNA testing ruled out Dewey as the source of blood found on a shirt that also bore blood stains from Taylor. The original DNA analysis had already excluded him as the source of semen recovered from the crime scene and of scrapings taken from under the victim’s fingernails. New analysis showed those additional samples matched the DNA of Douglas Thames, who is serving a life sentence without parole for the 1989 rape and strangulation of Susan Doll, 39, of Fort Collins, according to court papers filed in the Dewey case. —Reuters

CLEVERLAND: This combination of handout booking photos provided yesterday by the FBI shows L-R: Connor Stevens, Brandon Baxter, Douglas Wright, Anthony Hayne and Joshua Stafford. The five selfdescribed anarchists were arrested in a plot to blow up an Ohio bridge but the public was never in any danger, the FBI said yesterday. —AFP

Five arrested for trying to blow up Ohio bridge CHICAGO: Five self-described anarchists were arrested in a plot to blow up an Ohio bridge but the public was never in any danger, the FBI said yesterday. The anarchists spent months discussing several different attacks before settling on the bridge near Cleveland. They did not realize they were being closely monitored and had purchased inoperable explosives from an undercover FBI agent until they were arrested after trying to detonate the bombs. “The individuals charged in this plot were intent on using violence to express their ideological views,” Stephen Anthony, special agent in charge of the Cleveland division of the FBI, said in a statement.

“The Joint Terrorism Task Force will continue to be vigilant in its efforts to detect and disrupt any terrorism threat, domestic or international.” The FBI began to infiltrate the group at a protest in October after a confidential informant sent there heard them complaining that the rest of the people did not want to “act violently,” the criminal complaint stated. In later meetings, the group of young men said they wanted to attack “corporate America and the financial system” and discussed how they could make sure people didn’t think their actions were “random acts” of violence, the charging paper said.

They initially plotted to distract the police with smoke grenades while knocking signs off bank buildings, but decided there weren’t enough people in Cleveland willing to participate in a riot. They eventually settled on the plot to blow up a bridge that spans the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, although they had also discussed blowing up a bridge downtown. “Taking out a bridge in the business district... would cost the corporate big wigs a lot of money not just because of structural damage to the bridge but because it’s going to stop a lot of people going to work,” Brandon Baxter, 20, allegedly said in a secretly recorded conversation. —AFP




Philippines appeals for US help in building armed forces WASHINGTON: The Philippines, lamenting the poor state of its armed forces, appealed Monday for US and international help in building a “minimum credible defense” amid an escalating territorial dispute with China. Philippine Foreign Secretary Alberto del Rosario and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin made the pitch in unprecedented joint talks in Washington with their US counterparts Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta. Del Rosario lamented how the international news media has accurately described the poor state of the Philippine armed forces. “It sounds terribly painful for the Philippines, but more painful is the fact that this is true, and we only have ourselves to blame for it,” del Rosario said candidly as Clinton and

Panetta listened across a table. “For the Philippines to be minimally relied upon as a US regional partner... it therefore behooves us to resort to all possible means to build at the very least a most minimal credible defense posture,” del Rosario said. “On our own, we will do the best we can,” the top Philippine diplomat said. “Developing a minimum credible defense posture may however be hastened mainly through an enhancement of the activities we do together with our singular treaty and through a positive consideration of increased assistance that we seek at this time as well,” he said. The two nations, which completed extensive war games earlier this month, are bound by a mutual defense treaty in which the United

States has pledged to come to the aid of its weaker ally if it faces military aggression. “We are concurrently seeking a higher level of assistance from other international partners,” del Rosario added. Gazmin alluded to tension with China over islands in the South China Sea as he called for the need to “intensify our mutual trust to uphold maritime security and the freedom of navigation.” “We should be able to work together to build the Philippines minimum credible defense posture, especially in upholding maritime security,” Gazmin said. The Philippines and China have been embroiled in a dispute over a shoal in the South China Sea, with both nations stationing vessels there for

nearly three weeks to assert their sovereignty. The Philippines says Scarborough Shoal is its territory because it falls well within its 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone, as recognized by international law. The Philippines has called for arbitration through the United Nations to end the dispute, but China has refused. In a press conference after the talks, the Philippine officials stressed diplomacy when asked what aid they had sought from Washington to bolster Manila’s ability to patrol its waters and deter what they call intrusions. “The assistance we have sought is to help us bring the case to international legal bodies so that the approach is the legal rules-based approach in resolving

the issue in the South China Sea,” Gazmin said. Clinton, the US secretary of state, told reporters that the first meeting of the two countries’ four key national security officials is “a testament to our shared commitment to write a new chapter” in their partnership. She voiced concern about Scarborough Shoal, repeating that Washington does not take sides on competing sovereignty claims there but has a national interest in maintaining freedom of navigation as well as peace and stability. “The United States supports a collaborative diplomatic process by all those involved for resolving the various disputes that they encounter,” she said. “We oppose the threat or use of force by any party to advance its claims.” —AFP

Clinton heads to China to press on human rights Blind dissident wants to stay in China

ABBOTTABAD: Pakistani schoolgirls walk by municipality workers fixing electrical wires in Abbottabad, Pakistan. One year since US commandos flew into this army town and killed Osama bin Laden, Pakistan has tried to close one of the most notorious chapters in its history. The compound that housed him for six years was razed to the ground, and the wives and children who shared the hideaway were flown to Saudi Arabia just last week. —AP

Afghan leaders should raise their game: EU KABUL: Just after news broke that US special forces had killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, the top EU diplomat in neighbouring Afghanistan received a flood of emails from jubilant Afghans. The death of the Al-Qaeda leader a year ago raised hopes in Kabul, Brussels, Washington and elsewhere that a devastating blow had been dealt to Islamist militancy in one of the most unstable regions in the world. On the eve of the first anniversary of Bin Laden’s killing, Vygaudas Usackas, the European Union’s ambassador to Kabul, reflected on how that optimism had faded. The Afghan Taleban, whom Washington accused of sheltering bin Laden before US troops helped Afghan forces remove the group from power, have suspended reconciliation talks with the United States. And discussions with the Afghan government are limited. “Immediately I got dozens, if not hundreds, of emails from different ordinary Afghans in a very celebratory mood, expressing their satisfaction that it may provide a game-changer in terms of the future reconciliation,” Usackas told Reuters in an interview. “Unfortunately, as we all know, the peace process is not as easy as one may have expected a year ago after bin Laden’s death. That will require long-term commitment from both sides.” Two years into his posting, lack of commitment in Afghanistan seems to be the most troubling issue for Usackas. Western nations have poured billions of dollars into aid and reconstruction yet, he says, President Hamid Karzai’s administration has not kept up its end of the bargain-to improve governance and transparency. While the European Union has no intention of abandoning Afghanistan after most foreign troops withdraw in 2014, some countries will have to justify further heavy spending. Taxpayers squeezed by hard economic times may ask tougher questions if there are no tangible signs of improvement, said Usackas, a former Lithuanian diplomat. “President Karzai personally, and the political establishment of Afghanistan, are fully aware that the future development aid for the country will certainly be influenced by greater

and genuine steps to improve governance, dealing with corruption and moving towards elections which will be credible for Afghan people,” he said. The international community must shoulder a large part of the blame for failing to ensure proper accountability and oversight of aid spending, Usackas acknowledged. The end result is economic and political stability are elusive despite the presence of 130,000 NATO-led foreign troops and over $57 billion already spent in aid. Karzai’s unpopular government remains fragile, struggling to deliver basic services to most of the 30 million population outside major cities-support that is vital to preventing Afghans from joining militant groups. And with Karzai considering bringing 2014 presidential elections forward by a year to avoid overloading the country with security challenges as most foreign combat troops exit, the world should not expect a perfect election process, Usackas said. “There will still be shortfalls,” he said. “But it’s important that they are being organised in a way that people would perceive them in Afghanistan as credible.” Karzai is barred by Afghanistan’s constitution from seeking a third five-year term, although Kabul is rife with rumour that he could seek to extend his term through political manoeuvring, or look to install an ally and rule by proxy. Usackas said that while it was up to Afghans to decide on the timing of the vote, any hint of political manipulation could demolish already shaky voter confidence in the government. “I think it’s very important that 2014 produces a peaceful transfer of power in a way which is organised in more inclusive, transparent and credible free and fair elections,” said Usackas in the garden of his Kabul residence. With NATO leaders gathering in Chicago in late May for a meeting on future backing for the 352,000-strong Afghan security forces, expected to cost around $4.1 billion a year to sustain, Usackas said the gravest error the world could make would be to turn its back on Kabul after 2014. “I’m afraid this country may turn not only to internal war, but also a source of regional conflict,” he said. —Reuters

PHNOM PENH: Cambodian protesters chain their hands as they block the road in front of Cambodia’s National Assembly in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, yesterday. The demonstrators yesterday began what they said would be a week-long protest to pressure the government for the titles. They said they were residents of Phnom Penh’s Boueng Kak lake area whose land was awarded by the government to a Chinese company to be redeveloped commercially. —AP

WASHINGTON/BEIJING: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton left yesterday on a high-stakes trip to Beijing, where a blind dissident is reportedly holed up in the US embassy in a drama threatening to overshadow top-level meetings between the two governments. Dissident Chen Guangcheng, according to one of his helpers, will demand to stay in China and press on with his campaign for reform, adding to tension between Beijing and Washington that poses risks for both governments as well as to relations between the world’s two biggest economies. Both governments have scrupulously avoided official comment on the Chen case and neither has confirmed that he is under US protection in Beijing. Chen’s audacious escape from house arrest, under the watch of the world’s largest domestic security apparatus, was a “miracle” of planning and endurance, said Guo Yushan, a Beijing-based researcher and rights advocate who has campaigned for Chen and helped bring him to the Chinese capital after his escape. But he said the 40-year-old, self-taught lawyer wants to stay in China and campaign for reform. “He was adamant that he would not apply for political asylum with any country. He certainly wants to stay in China, and demand redress for the years of illegal persecution in Shandong and continue his efforts for Chinese society,” said Guo on Monday, speaking in his first long interview since he was released from days of police questioning. Chen, who campaigned against forced abortions as part of family planning, was confined to his village home in the eastern province of Shandong since September 2010, after release from jail on charges he rejected as spurious. US President Barack Obama nudged China to improve its human rights record, saying the two countries’ relationship “will be that much stronger and China will be that much more prosperous and strong as you see improvements on human rights issues in

that country”. But at a news conference, he walked a fine line between not saying anything that would make it harder to resolve Chen’s case while conveying US concern for human rights and appreciation for wider cooperation with China. It is a politically fragile period for both countries. Obama, in this presidential election year, wants to avoid giving any political ammunition to his Republican foes who already accuse him of being too

between the two countries in the more than two decades since the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. Clinton ducked a question about Chen, but hinted that she would not be shy about the matter in Beijing. “A constructive relationship includes talking very frankly about those areas where we do not agree, including human rights,” she told a news conference. The Chen case has already distracted attention from this week’s

have two options: going into exile or getting the Chinese authorities to allow him to live in freedom within China, a challenge at best. Yang Jianli, who runs the USbased pro-democracy group Initiatives for China, said he believed that both the United States and China would prefer that Chen go into exile but that he did not think the dissident would. “He is not the (kind of ) person who will give in,” Yang said. “He is so determined to stay in China.”

BEIJING: Chinese police keep watch beside Tiananmen Square in Beijing yesterday. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton headed to China as US officials raced to find a solution to a sensitive row over a top dissident reportedly holed up at the US embassy in Beijing. —AFP soft on China and have demanded he ensure Chen and his family are protected from persecution. In Beijing, the ruling Communist Party is gearing up for leadership changes later in the year but the carefully choreographed planning has already been jolted out of step by the downfall of top official Bo Xilai, in a case linked to the apparent murder of a British businessmen. Before leaving, Clinton promised to press China’s leaders on human rights, an issue that has dropped down the agenda

two-day talks, which US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will also attend amid some progress in long-standing disputes over currency, trade and market access. The talks also give Washington a chance to win more Chinese cooperation on international issues including pressuring Iran and North Korea over their nuclear programmes, halting Syria’s continued crackdown on unarmed protesters and reducing tensions over competing territorial claims in the South China Sea. Analysts said Chen appears to

Bob Fu, whose religious and political rights advocacy group ChinaAid has been a source of information about Chen, suggested the most plausible solution would be for him to leave China for the United States with his family, ostensibly for medical care. Fu, who said he has spoken with senior US diplomats in China about Chen’s case, suggested the dissident ultimately may have little choice. “At the end of the day, that is the only option that is left, if he wants safety and freedom for himself and his family.” —Reuters

Philippines rewards the poor as Asia’s income gap widens MANILA: Fe Capco and her five children live in a shack with no running water along a dirt track in eastern Manila. She earns about $100 a month washing clothes and her husband used to bring in about $70 a month driving a motorcycle taxi until he went blind. But things are better than they used to be. Through a program in the Philippines called Pantawid Pamilya (Family Subsistence), 3 million poor households like Capco’s get small grants from the government if they keep their children in school and take them regularly to health centers. “It’s really a big help because now we don’t have a problem about whether we can have food to eat or if the kids have money to go to school,” Capco, 43, said with her two-year-old daughter Rihanna in her lap. A high school graduate with gleaming eyes and a ready smile, Capco has been in the ramshackle community for 18 years. None of her neighbors has a steady job. With a quarter of its people below the poverty line as the population crests 100 million, the Philippines points to the need for developing Asia to reverse worsening inequality and broaden the benefits of the region’s tremendous economic growth. Conditional Cash Transfer schemes like Pantawid Pamilya - so named for the conditions imposed to qualify for benefits - were pioneered in Brazil and Mexico and have proven very effective in giving immediate help to the poor and breaking vicious cycles of poverty by improving health, education and opportunities. Narrowing the wealth gap has become as pressing as poverty alleviation, making it a key theme of this week’s annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila with government officials, bankers and civil society groups from 67 coun-

tries. Inequality is rising in 11 countries making up 82 percent of Asia’s population, the ADB says. That list includes China, India and Indonesia three huge economies driving much of the growth. “Relative to other regions, the recent period of growth in Asia has been both less inclusive and less pro-poor,” the International Monetary Fund said in a report. Even wealthy countries are feeling the pain. In Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, a rapidly ageing society is putting pressure on a pension system designed when it was assumed contributions would rise in perpetuity. In South Korea, the 15th largest economy, relative poverty has worsened, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development said in a recent survey of the country. In 1990, about 8 percent of South Koreans lived on less than half of the median income. These days, it is about 15 percent. For Rajat Nag, the ADB’s managing director general, growing inequality “threatens to undermine the region’s stability”. Governments in Asia have the resources to promote inclusive growth, he said in mid-April, and they should adopt more targeted social spending. That means rolling back poorly focused schemes like the fuel subsidies in Indonesia that the government finds hugely costly but politically difficult to kill. “Countries have often felt that they first need to grow and they need to grow fast,” Nag said. “But a principle of rising tides will lift all boats makes an assumption that no boat has a hole in the hull.” Conditional Cash Transfer schemes in the Philippines and Indonesia - and more limited ones in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Cambodia - are seen as one of the best ways to target spending. —Reuters

Bangladesh widens opposition crackdown DHAKA: Bangladesh police said yesterday they had arrested a top politician and raided the houses of several others as the government launched a crackdown on the opposition amid a deepening political crisis. Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, deputy secretary general of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), was arrested Monday night over charges of blasts at a key government compound, Dhaka police spokesman Masud Ahmed said. “He was wanted in a case of blasts in the Secretariat. We have also raided the houses of several other BNP leaders who are wanted over charges of blasts and violence during Sunday’s opposition strike,” he told AFP. Ahmed said at least 100 opposition officials have been charged and 27 others were arrested since Sunday including Sirajul Haq, an ex-junior health minister, and Kamruzzaman Ratan, an-ex BNP student wing leader. Nine small bombs rocked the capital Dhaka on Sunday, including two explosions inside the Secretariat, home to most government ministries and the cabinet office where the prime minister holds weekly meetings. No one was injured and damage was minimal. BNP spokesman Nazrul Islam Khan told AFP police had raided the houses of at least 20 top BNP officials including the second-highest leader, secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Alamgir, since Monday. Most BNP leaders have gone into hiding to escape arrest, he added. Khan rejected the charges as “false and fabricated” and said they aimed at “muzzling the opposition’s rightful protests”. Deputy home minister Shamsul Haq said police had filed cases “based on concrete allegations”. The BNP has been organising protests across Bangladesh since one of its regional leaders, Ilias Ali, went missing on April 17 in a case it believes was an abduction by the security forces. Police found Ali’s car abandoned in an upmarket district of Dhaka. His driver is also missing. —AFP





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Arab Spring frees media By David Rosenberg or the first time in eight years, freedom of the global press was not in the decline in 2011 and for that the world can thank protestors who brought down dictatorships in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, the human rights monitor Freedom House said in its annual survey of the media. Led by dramatic improvements in press freedom in Libya and Tunisia, and with some help from Egypt, Freedom House said its index of global press freedom edged up 0.14 point last year, offsetting declines in most other parts of the world. Libya, which under Muammar AlGaddafi’s rule had one of the world’s most suppressed media, was designated “partly free” in 2011. Tunisia, which also enjoyed a huge rise in its score, won the same designation. At the same time, the Arab Spring protests that unleashed a new era of media freedom also elicited a pushback from the region’s authoritarian regimes still fighting to stay in power. Moreover, the infant democracies the turmoil has created are fragile and have already experienced some reversals, Freedom House President David Kramer said. “The newly opened media environments in countries like Tunisia and Libya, while still tenuous and far from perfect, are critical for the future of democratic development in the region and must be nurtured and protected,” he said. “Also of great concern are those countries, both in the Middle East and around the world, where authoritarian regimes are now on the defensive, creating an even more perilous situation for journalists.” In fact, the Arab Spring had the perverse effect of sparking crackdowns on media all around the world, Freedom House said. Fearing their own people might be inspired to revolt, China and many African countries took steps ranging from information blackouts in the state media to sophisticated Internet and text-message filtering. The percentage of the world’s population enjoying free media declined by half a percentage point last year to its lowest since 1996, when Freedom House began incorporating population data into its survey. Moreover, the big improvement in press freedom last year did not have a big enough impact to change the status of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as the world’s chilliest place for journalists and bloggers. Even though the average score for MENA countries jumped 2.9 percent last year after three years of declines, it had the poorest ratings of any of the world’s regions. Only one MENA-region country, Israel, was rated “free”, but its score of 30 barely enabled it to squeeze into the category. Five countries were designated “partly free” and 13 as “not free”. Those 13 accounted for more than 70 percent of the region’s population, according to the report, Freedom of the Press 2012: A Global Survey of Media Independence. Four countries - Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain were testing the bottom of the list, which ranked 197 countries and put North Korea at the bottom. “Although transnational satellite television and Internet-based information platforms have had a positive impact, the media in much of the region remained constrained by emergency rule, state ownership and editorial directives, harsh blasphemy legislation, and laws against insulting monarchs and public figures,” the report said. In Bahrain, whose king, Hamad bin Isa bin Salman AlKhalifa, is contending with protestors demanding more democracy and an end to discrimination against the Shiite majority, journalists and bloggers have been harassed and arrested. Its press freedom rating dropped 12 points to 84 last year. Syria’s rating fell five points to 89 in 2011 as it barred foreign journalists from covering the 14-month-old rebellion against the role of President Bashar Al-Asad. Independent media outlets have been forced to close, giving the state media a monopoly, Freedom House said. Although the Arab Spring is little more than a year old, many of the democratizing governments that have arisen from it have sought to restrict press freedom, the report found. The transitional Libyan regime has liberalized the media environment but hasn’t established institutions that would guarantee it. In Egypt, “many features of the old regime” have survived and the interim military government has reportedly interfered in television news, Freedom House said. In fact, other rights groups have been much more critical than Freedom House about press freedom in Egypt. Last month, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information and the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights asserted that Egyptian media outlets are reluctant to criticize the courts and rarely explore “the most important issues, such as purging the judiciary of corruption.” State media showed the ruling military council the same deference they once showed Mubarak, their report said.— Media Line


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

Saudi arrest lays bare Egypt resentments By Joseph Mayton ussif Gamal smiled widely as he watched a group of Egyptian protesters spray paint on the walls of the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Cairo. Ostensibly, the demonstration he was joining is aimed at freeing Egyptian human rights lawyer Ahmed ElGizawi, whose arrest by Saudi authorities created a firestorm of protests and led Riyadh to recall its ambassador. But for Gamal, like many other Egyptians, there is a subtext to their anger and it is the treatment of the million or so Egyptian guest workers in Saudi Arabia. “I think the Saudi government will have to realize the Egyptian people are no longer weak,” Gamal told The Media Line. “We are ready to make this a struggle for El-Gizawi and our dignity as workers.” Some 1.7 million Egyptians work in Saudi Arabia, according to the United Nations International Labor Organization (ILO), and some estimates put the number higher. They help fill a shortage of skilled labor in the wealthy, oil-rich kingdom while alleviating unemployment back in Egypt and sending hundreds of millions of dollars to their families at home, providing critical foreign exchange. But Egyptians, like other expatriate workers in Saudi Arabia, are subject to discrimination and abuse. Among the biggest problems is the system of sponsorship, or kafala, under which foreigners can work in the country only if they have a sponsor, who organizes contracts, salaries, visas and repatriation. Sponsors often use that control to exploit workers by taking away their passport or iqama (residence permit) or by failing to pay wages on time. Gamal knows the reality of working in Saudi Arabia: In 2006, he left Cairo shortly after finishing his medical degree to work in a hospital in Riyadh. He was optimistic about his first professional appointment, but his mood quickly changed after his sponsor refused to allow him to return home to visit his ailing


mother. Two years later, with his mother’s condition worsening, Gamal decided he would not renew his contract with the hospital. But his Saudi sponsor refused to return his passport, forcing him to stay in the country. “That was when I sought legal help, and although I finally got my passport and was able to leave the country, I heard about this man El-Gizawi, who was helping Egyptians like me, who faced bad conditions in Saudi,” Gamal says, as cheers erupted once more in front of the embassy building. To the Saudis’ misfortune, El-Gizawi’s arrest has served to point up the kind of abuses Gamal suffered. El-Gizawi flew to Saudi Arabia on April 17 to take part in the umrah pilgrimage but was arrested upon arrival on charges of hiding more than 20,000 Xanax anti-anxiety pills in his luggage. Xanax is banned in the kingdom. With drug-related crimes in Saudi Arabia penalized with lengthy jail terms and possible death, El-Gizawi’s situation remains tenuous and far from being solved. Egyptian human rights activists say the charges are false and that the real reason the Saudis detained him is because El-Gizawi is a prominent figure in the fight for the rights of Egyptian guest workers in the kingdom. ElGizawi had recently filed a suit against the Saudi government on behalf of hundreds of Egyptian guest workers over its refusal to take action against the horrific conditions. The protests prompted Saudi Arabia to close its embassy in Cairo and recall its ambassador, Ahmed Abdel Aziz Al-Qattan. Even though the Egyptian government - controlled by an interim military council - has sought to make amends, relations between the two countries are at their lowest since Hosni Mubarak was ousted as president 15 months ago. Under Mubarak any signs of popular anger over Saudi treatment of Egyptian guest workers would have been suppressed. But even if public protests were discouraged, the huge numbers of Egyptians working in the kingdom

ensured that stories leaked back home and fueled resentment. One of the most wellknown cases involved an Egyptian doctor accused of causing the death of a Saudi citizen while on the job in 2010. Fady Samuel Bannon Bishay’s case sparked major concerns about the rights of workers in the kingdom. Bishay denied the charges, saying he was wrongfully charged by a Saudi royal, and sentenced to jail. The Egyptian Embassy in Riyadh has also faced massive criticism over its handling of the debacle, which has been seen as supporting the Saudi charges. Aside from the important role worker remittances play in the Egyptian economy, Saudi Arabia is also a major trade partner, investor and source of tourism for Egypt. “We know they are lying and the Egyptian ambassador to Saudi is a former Mubarak-era official who has long been known to sit close with the Saudi palace,” says Salem, a 28-year-old migrant worker, who asked not be identified by his full name. He told The Media Line that he had bitter experiences as a guest worker in Saudi Arabia in recent years. “They treat us like second class citizens.” Rights and activist groups in Egypt are directing their demands for the release of ElGizawi toward their own government as much as at Riyadh. They are demanding that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), the interim military government, step-up pressure on Saudi Arabia to free El-Gizawi. “Everyone should forget Mubarak’s Egypt, we are not second class citizens and everyone should fear the new revolutionary Egypt that will preserve its people’s dignity,” says Engy Hamdy, member of the political office of the 6th of April movement, the opposition group leading the protests. “It is as if Mubarak and Suleiman passed their experience in framing people to the Saudi side,” Hamdy said in a statement, referring the latter case to Omar Suleiman, Mubarak’s former intelligence chief. The group

has accused the Saudi authorities of lying about the charges and has demanded they release the video capturing the procedures of arresting El-Gizawi. El-Gizawi’s wife, who was with him when he was arrested, told Egyptian television that her husband was arrested before the luggage was searched. Mahmoud Afifi, head of the group’s media office, said last week that the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has insulted Egyptians abroad by neglecting their rights and failing to come to the aid of El-Gizawi. The ministry said in response to the protests that it is “tentatively” following the case and is in contract with its Saudi counterparts, but it made no mention of the drug smuggling allegations. On the other hand, the Egyptian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, lashed out at the public response in Egypt, denouncing the mass demonstrations and calling ElGizawi a “drug smuggler”. Many Egyptians residing in Saudi Arabia attacked the ambassador through social media. One called him “a royal palace dog” and accused him of working against Egyptians, neglecting their every demand and never intervening to help. Another who works in the Saudi commercial center of Jeddah said on Facebook that in order to get the ambassador to intervene, one must get a recommendation of a Saudi royal, as he only listens to them. Others have called for the resignation from the ambassador, who was appointed Mubarak, accusing him of being corrupt and still loyal to the former dictatorship. Labor activist and legal aid worker Ahmed Nobar, who has penned reports for the ILO, told The Media Line that the time has come to finally “come to an understanding that the Gulf nations and Saudi Arabia cannot use Egyptian citizens for their own purposes without facing justice in the face.” For Gamal and others, who know the struggle of workers first hand, they hope that change is coming. “We want our dignity back and El-Gizawi can give that to us, and we will stay ready to fight.” — Media Line

Iranians bravely air views on satellite TV By Felice Friedson here is often a disconnect between what the people of the street are witnessing and feeling and the agendas of governments, media and advocates alike. Despite the fixation of Western media with Iran, for example, the lack of complete information becomes clear and often manifests in poor judgment, mixed messages, tardy reactions and an irresolvable endgame on the part of those charged with formulating policy and managing international relations. Sadly, the cornerstone values of freedom and democracy espoused by the US and its Western allies are sometimes missing from policy when decisions have been implemented on the ground. A few months ago, I interviewed Iranians at home through encrypted phone lines as part of an ongoing effort by The New Iran, an opposition group established in 2010, that reaches an estimated millions of Iranians weekly via satellite television. Iman Forouton, founder of the group, invited me back to cohost his program using simultaneous translation from English to Farsi. Although my audience was seeking a much desired point-ofcontact with an American entity, I was seeking answers to questions about the current crisis from the perspective of the Iranians themselves - not third-party reference to what residents of Tehran and towns and villages across the country, but explanations and illustrations from those about whom so much is being told. In my first interaction, I had been warned that if the Iranian government found out that our guests were speaking to the American media they would be taken with no further warning to a notorious prison in Tehran. With that in mind, I sought answers to what motivated the opposition and what price the opponents of the Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei and President Mahmoud


Ahmadinejad were willing to pay. The most powerful message I came away with from the first conversation is that the Iranian people are profoundly disappointed by what they say is the US failure twice in the past three years to help them overthrow the regime. The first time was during the street rioting that followed the 2009 presidential election and the second time right now. Yet, they were vague on what kind of help they expected. In my more recent conversation, I was told that US President Barack Obama had surprised many when he said he has no problem with a nuclear Iran as long as it doesn’t include nuclear weapons. It’s a position that is apparently a popular one on the streets. But when I asked whether the US should accept Tehran’s claims that it is not seeking nuclear weapons, nothing convincing was forthcoming. Some of the Iranians calling in to the talk show disguised their voices. Some expressed the belief that sanctions are working. Others were less optimistic, and many were adamant that despite their effect on the population, more sanctions should be invoked “sooner and stronger”. This, despite a consensus that the sanctions have increased the cost of daily necessities. Forouton, an Iranian expatriate living on the US west coast and the program host, introduced a woman he described as a fellow expat with a Green Card - an increasingly rare achievement for Iranians - who had just returned to the States from Tehran. She reported that in the last few weeks alone the value of currency has depreciated by half and that regular food staples have become difficult to find. The cost of basic food items, she explained, has jumped significantly as has the price of homes. Traditionally, during the Nowrooz, the Iranian new year’s holiday, government employees would receive bonuses. But a retired army friend told this woman that he

received less than half of last year’s bonus. He also reported that shelves in stores were bare several weeks before the new year and the explanation given was that preparations were being made for an attack by Israel or the US. In a further sign of the economic impact of sanctions, high profile stores selling luxury items such as jewelry have closed and many couples are scrambling to make ends meet by holding down two jobs. Forouton pointed out that because the Revolutionary Guard controls large parts of Iran’s industry and is a major importer of food, the sanctions are effecting the government. People are angry now - angry at their government. The woman with the Green Card predicted that if shortages continue pressure will explode into new street demonstrations despite the ban on congregating in public. “But,” she says, “if it becomes life and death...When you have so many poor people and five-year olds begging in the streets for bread, why would you want your government to be paying for atomic energy? The people can live without it and know that Iran has been paying the Russians for [power].” Forouton says the sanctions should have been put into place long ago. “The generals and US government [policy makers] can’t point to any slowing of atomic activities due to the sanctions,” he says. “ This Islamic Republic is an ideological country, an apocalyptic country, and they see the American reactions to other nuclear countries like North Korea and Pakistan so they won’t be persuaded by sanctions.” Founded by Forouton and his colleagues in Sept 2010 and with a $500,000 annual budget, The New Iran is against military action against the country, favoring instead a multi-tier platform that includes encouraging support for the opposition from foreign governments and industry. The group is one of a number of organizations looking toward the establishment of a new government struc-

ture for a post-Ayatollah Iran, including the drafting of a constitution that would support a replacement regime comprised of educated, secular leaders who embrace a separation of religion and state. While eschewing violence, Forouton’s suggestions for ways in which the US can help includes the powerful symbolism of an invitation to the White House for his group. This, he says, “would put fear into the [present] government. We would see the generals flee Iran and the information now lacking - from the status of nuclear development to the locations of mass graves - would become known.” Forouton says an embrace beneath the White House portico would generate a moral imperative that would enable the opposition to mobilize the Iranian street and shut down refineries and critical government services. He says he doesn’t believe Israel or the US will attack Iran. He does believe, however, that economic sanctions will get the job done, along with bribing the appropriate generals, providing safe havens for opposition leaders and creating what he calls “a catalyst for a Tahrir Square”. The same sense of frustration that emanates from the anonymous Iranian callers is visible in Forouton. Having failed to alter its official policy not calling for regime change, the American administration will not meet with Forouton or allow his colleagues air time on Voice of America because it’s funded with American tax dollars. The Iranians we heard from believe the US should be embarrassed. “The US is using delay tactics rather than standing for the principles of freedom and democracy,” he admonishes. “And it’s a mockery.” As the broadcast wound down, discontent and disappointment with American policy came through loud and clear, the final voice predicting sadly that “the US will cut a deal with the Iranians in the end”. — Media Line



MANAMA: A crowd watches as riot police chase Bahraini anti-government protesters through the main market yesterday. — AP

Bahrain breaks up protests, faces calls to free prisoners MANAMA: Riot police firing tear gas and stun grenades routed protesters in Bahrain’s capital yesterday as the government came under mounting international pressure to release jailed leaders of last year’s uprising. An appeals court decision on Monday to grant a retrial to 21 opposition figures was not enough to defuse resurgent unrest among the Gulf Arab state’s majority Shiites, and street rallies resumed yesterday. A heavy riot police presence cut short a demonstration in the market area of Manama, as tear gas and stun grenades were unleashed at several dozen who chanted anti-government slogans. Some demonstrators were arrested, residents said. The interior ministry said on Twitter that police took “legal procedures” against the “illegal rally” after warning the protesters and asking them to disperse. Activists also reported protests on the occasion of World Labour Day in a number of Shiite districts. Several thousand pro-

testers and suspected supporters were sacked or suspended from work last year during a crackdown on the uprising and some say they have not got their jobs back. According to Bahrain’s labour union, 455 private and 116 public sector workers remain dismissed from their jobs. The labour ministry says the number is only a few dozen and that the rest have been reinstated. “Returning to our jobs is a right,” read the banners of the protesters who gathered for the May Day rally organised by the February 14 Youth Movement. The protesters also chanted slogans against Asian policemen, notably Pakistanis, recruited by the kingdom’s Sunni rulers. Shiites, whose unrest is seen by the Sunni Muslim ruling elite as a subversive bid to put US-aligned Bahrain under the sway of Shiite Iran, complain of discrimination and marginalisation in political and economic life. The government says many

Shiites hold state posts and help run the economy and that police and judicial reforms have begun. But there has been no progress on the main opposition demand for a parliament with full powers to legislate and form governments. The cassation court, the highest judicial body in the state, on Monday shifted the case of 21 men who were convicted in a military court to a civilian court and freed one, lesser-known prisoner. Seven of the 21 are abroad or in hiding. But the court ruled the men would remain in jail, including Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, who has been on a hunger strike for three months. A BBC team was given access to him yesterday and a published photograph showed him sitting up in bed, looking thin but alert. He was drinking fluids. “More than a year af ter they were arrested, the Bahraini authorities have produced no evidence that the jailed leaders were doing anything but exercising their

Iran plot to kill Saudi envoy foiled Continued from Page 1 Alexandria and Suez were closed. In October, the United States accused Iran of plotting to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington. Iran has fiercely denied any involvement in the alleged plot. Separately, Iran warned yesterday the United States’ deployment of cutting-edge F-22 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates “will endanger the region’s security”. “We do not in any way approve the presence of foreign forces in the region. We advise the regional countries against providing a basis for their presence,” foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters. His comment reinforced criticism voiced on Monday by Defence Minister Ahmad Vahid, who was quoted by the Al-Alam channel as saying: “Such deployments in the region are both harmful and useless. They are mostly done to create a psychological trend and a sense of insecurity in the region.” US officials speaking on condition of anonymity on Monday said an unspecified number of F-22 Raptors had been sent to the Al-Dhafra air base in the United Arab Emirates. A US Air Force spokeswoman confirmed the presence of the aircraft - the most advanced fighters in the US arsenal - in the general region, while a Pentagon spokesman, Captain John Kirby, described it as “a very normal deployment”. The dispatch of the F-22s, though, comes at a moment

of high tension in the Gulf. The United States is leading its allies in a showdown with Iran over its controversial nuclear program. While the issue is currently the subject of talks, the next round of which will take place in Baghdad on May 23, Israel and the United States have both warned that military action remains an option should diplomacy fail. Iran has hit back, saying it could close the strategic Strait of Hormuz at the entrance to the Gulf to oil tanker traffic if it is threatened. At the same time, Tehran has criticised UAE neighbour Saudi Arabia over its pledge to pump more oil at a time when Iranian oil exports are being cut by Western sanctions. And Iran and the UAE have been locked in a simmering row over ownership of three islands in the Gulf that both countries claim. Washington has sided with the UAE in that dispute. In December, the United States announced a $3.48 billion arms sale to the UAE for missile defence batteries and radars. Two US aircraft carriers and their escort ships are currently in the Gulf. Mehmanparast said in his briefing: “Regional countries should resort to collective cooperation to ensure their security. Seeking foreign countries or their equipment not only will not provide security but will endanger the region’s security.” Vahadi likewise said Gulf countries should cooperate on security, and was quoted as saying: “The presence of foreign forces in the region will only complicate the situation further and lead to insecurity.” — AFP

Workers take to streets on May Day Continued from Page 1 “Money does not just disappear. It does not fly away. It just changes hands, and now it is with the banks,” Lopez said. “And the politicians are puppets of the banks.” In France, tens of thousands of workers, leftists and union leaders marked May Day with glee, hoping that a presidential runoff vote Sunday will put a Socialist Francois Hollande - at the helm for the first time since 1988. Many voters fear Sarkozy will erode France’s welfare and worker protections, and see him as too friendly with the rich. “Sarkozy has allowed himself for too long to manhandle the lower classes,” said Dante Leonardi, a 24-year-old in Paris. “Today we must show ... that we want him to leave.” Hollande has promised high taxes on the rich. “ We are going to choose Hollande because we want something else for France. We want to keep our jobs, we want to keep our industrial jobs, we want a new economy,” said protester Serge Tanguy. Even in Germany, where the economy is churning and unemployment is at a record low, unions estimated that 400,000 people showed up at over 400 May Day rallies. The DGB union group sharply criticized Europe’s treaty enshrining fiscal discipline and the resulting austerity measures across the continent, calling instead for a stimulus program to revive the eurozone’s depressed economies. DGB chief Michael Sommer told thousands of workers in Stuttgart that a “Marshall Plan” worth billions of euros (dollars) was needed to stimulate Europe’s economy, the German news agency dapd reported. In debt-crippled Greece, more than 2,000 people marched through central Athens in subdued May Day protests centered on the country’s harsh austerity program. In Moscow, the mood was resolutely pro-government, as 100,000 people - including President Dmitry Medvedev and President-elect Putin - took part in the main May Day march. The two leaders happily chatted with participants as many banners criticized

the Russian opposition movement. One read “Spring has come, the swamp has dried up,” referring to Bolotnaya (Swampy) Square, the site of some of the largest opposition demonstrations. Communists and leftists held a separate May Day rally in Moscow that attracted about 3,000. Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov decried international economic troubles, saying that “without socialism, without respect for the working people who create all the main value in this land, it is not possible to get out of this crisis.” Police arrested 22 people at the rally. Earlier, thousands of workers protested in the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan and other Asian nations, demanding wage hikes. They said their take-home pay could not keep up with rising food, energy and housing prices and school fees. An unemployed father of six set himself on fire in southern Pakistan in an apparent attempt to kill himself because he was mired in poverty, according to police officer Nek Mohammed. Abdul Razzaq Ansari, 45, suffered burns on 40 percent of his body but survived. In Manila, capital of the Philippines, more than 8,000 union members clad in red shirts and waving red streamers marched under a brutal sun to a heavily barricaded bridge near the Malacanang presidential palace, which teemed with thousands of riot police. Another group of left-wing workers later burned a huge effigy of President Benigno Aquino III, depicting him as a lackey of the United States and big business. Aquino has rejected their calls for a $3 daily pay hike, which he warned could worsen inflation and spark layoffs. In Indonesia, thousands of protesters demanding higher wages paraded through traffic- clogged streets in the capital, Jak ar ta, where 16,000 police and soldiers were deployed. Protests were also held in Malaysia and Hong Kong. In Athens, Ilias Vrettakos of the ADEDY union summed up the mood. “(We need) new policies that will satisfy the needs of workers and not of bosses and banks,” he said. — AP

basic human rights,” New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a statement. “The Court of Cassation made no reference, however, to the fact that the defendants had merely been exercising their basic human rights.” In response, Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Mubarak Al-Khalifa, adviser to the government’s Information Affairs Authority, said: “We have full faith in the independent judiciary system in Bahrain and will wait to see these appeals take place. We are confident the outcome will be just.” He said the defendants faced serious criminal charges that went beyond the exercise of basic human rights. Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN human rights agency, told a news briefing in Geneva yesterday that it had urged Bahraini authorities to bring about the release of Khawaja. “There is no reason for him to be held incommunicado and he should be given immediate access to his family, to the Danish ambassador...and to a

doctor and a lawyer of his own choosing.” Bahrain, where the US Fifth Fleet is based as a bulwark against Iran across the Gulf, remains in turmoil over a year after Shiite-led protests first erupted, inspired by uprisings against autocratic regimes in Egypt and Tunisia. Opposition parties stage big rallies every week and clashes between riot police and youth protesters break out nightly in Shiite neighbourhoods around the island country, whose government is dominated by the Sunni AlKhalifa family. The unrest has cracked the stability of Bahrain and spurred Saudi calls for a union of oil-exporting Gulf Arab monarchies to help counter Iranian influence and neutralise protest movements. The Manama government brands the opposition as Shiite Islamist extremists in the pocket of Shiite clergy-ruled Iran. The opposition denies this, saying such accusations are a pretext to cling to unfair privileges. — Agencies

Obama on surprise visit to sign Afghanistan... Continued from Page 1 with senior aides to meet Karzai at his walled garden palace in Kabul, where they signed the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) and shook hands. “The wages of war have been great for both our nations,” Obama told Karzai, adding that he looked forward to a future of peace. Obama’s trip appeared to have multiple audiences. To US voters in an election year, he sought to signal that the US combat role in Afghanistan is drawing to a close, and to remind them of the May 2011 raid in Pakistan that killed bin Laden. Within Afghanistan, the palace signing ceremony may be aimed at sending a message to the Taleban and other insurgent groups that they cannot wait out the 130,000 foreign troops in the country, and retake power. It could help push the insurgency’s leaders to re-enter reconciliation talks with both the US and Afghan government. But a senior US official cautioned that no matter what pacts are signed, “Afghanistan is still going to be the third poorest country in the world with a 70 percent literacy rate and some huge sectarian schisms”. “This is still going to be tough,” the official said, adding that the expectation was that the Afghan government will be able to maintain basic security. As he fights for his re-election, Obama is seeking to portray his foreign policy record as a success. His campaign has made bin Laden’s death a key part of that argument,

and the president’s visit to the country where militants hatched the Sept 11, 2001, attacks will reinforce that message. It also opens him up to criticism from Republicans, who say Obama has politicized bin Laden’s death. Republican Mitt Romney, Obama’s likely opponent in the November election, has criticized Obama’s handling of Afghanistan, saying the timeline for a withdrawal will only embolden militants and could leave the country vulnerable to a return to power of the Taleban, which ruled Afghanistan prior to the US-led invasion. The agreement does not specify whether a reduced number of US troops - possibly special forces - and advisers will remain behind after NATO’s 2014 withdrawal deadline. That issue will be dealt with in a separate status of forces agreement expected to take another year to conclude. After meeting Karzai, Obama was expected to meet troops at Bagram and deliver formal remarks about the Afghanistan war to Americans. The speech was to focus on the partnership pact and emphasize his plans to wind down the costly and unpopular Afghanistan war where nearly 3,000 U.S. and NATO soldiers have died since the Taleban was ousted in 2001. Large parts of central Kabul surrounding Karzai’s palace were locked down for the Obama’s arrival, with police sealing off streets around the city’s walled Green Zone, home to most embassies and NATO’s Afghanistan headquarters.

Insurgents staged coordinated attacks in the same area only weeks before, paralyzing the capital’s center and diplomatic area for 18 hours. The Taleban claimed responsibility for the attacks, but US and Afghan officials blamed the militant Haqqani network. After a US troop surge that Obama ordered in late 2009, US and NATO forces have managed to weaken Taleban militants, but the movement is far from defeated. The White House wants to paint Obama’s strategy in Afghanistan as successful, despite continued violence there and problems with corruption that have raised concerns about the country’s future stability. Obama plans to host NATO leaders in Chicago on May 20-21 for a summit to discuss the specifics of the troop withdrawals and look at ways to ensure that Afghanistan does not collapse into civil war when foreign forces leave. The strategic partnership agreement could also help paper over strains in relations between Washington and Kabul which have been hurt by a number of incidents involving US soldiers that have infuriated public opinion, including the massacre of 17 civilians in Kandahar and the Quran burnings at Bagram in February. Negotiations on the SPA were delayed for months until US negotiators agreed to Karzai’s demands to hand over operation of American prisons in the country to Afghan control and give leadership of night raids on homes to Afghan forces. — Reuters

Probe panel summons PM Continued from Page 1 been transferred at the instructions of senior officials of the previous government. The committee plans to summon the former prime minister at a later date to inquire about his role in the transfers and where the funds went. Last week, head of the independent accounting watchdog - the Audit Bureau - Abdulaziz Al-Adasani declined a similar summons under the pretext that the bureau has been asked by the government to investigate the issue. But M islem and opposition MP Musallam Al-Barrak strongly criticized Adasani, saying his action amounted to disrespect for the Assembly and called for dismissing him from his job. Pro-government MP Nabeel Al-Fadl meanwhile slammed the two MPs saying that they have no power to dismiss Adasani and criticized the two parliamentary investigation panels as “unconstitutional”. The Assembly’s legal and legislative committee meanwhile yesterday completed the final revision of a law that stipulates the death penalty for blasphemy, rapporteur of the panel MP Mohammad Al-Dallal said. The law was passed in the first round by the Assembly about three weeks ago and is intended to specifically

punish those who insult God, prophets, wives of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and some of his companions. The Assembly is scheduled to hold a special session tomorrow to discuss the law and pass it in the second round despite stiff opposition from liberal and Shiite MPs. In another development, MP Mohammad AlJuwaihel - who has filed to grill the interior minister over his failure to clamp down on holders of dual citizenships - claimed yesterday that “some MPs who hold a dual nationality offered to support the grilling if their names were not mentioned”. Juwaihel, who has launched a campaign against Kuwaitis who hold a second nationality, made dual citizenship as the main issue in his grilling expected to be debated next week. The lawmaker gave no names of the MPs whom he claimed hold a second citizenship, which is forbidden under Kuwaiti law. Juwaihel said that he may add another issue to his grilling about the alleged mistreatment of Kuwaiti Shiites who visit Shiite holy sites in Iraq. He said that such visitors are made to sign an undertaking that they are responsible for whatever happens to them in Iraq and that the government is not responsible.


sp orts Arthur backs Ponting for another Ashes series

Indian team annoyed over hotel mix-up

PERTH: Australia coach Mickey Arthur has thrown his support behind former captain Ricky Ponting’s bid to contest a fifth Ashes cricket series against England next year. Since handing the Australian test captaincy to Michael Clarke, Ponting has been dropped from the ODI squad, putting the 37-year-old’s playing future in doubt. But Arthur, who is also on the board of selectors, reaffirmed his commitment to Ponting, backing the batsman to play a key role in Australia’s quest to regain the Ashes. “I know there was a lot of media pressure and talk around Ricky, but Ricky’s not going anywhere,” Arthur said arriving back in Australia on Tuesday following Australia’s 2-0 test series win against the West Indies. Australia’s next test is not until the home series against South Africa starting in November, but Arthur said he has no concerns about Ponting losing his touch with the bat. — AP

MUMBAI: India’s Olympic shooters are annoyed about being forced to leave their London hotel a day early after a booking mixup at the shooting World Cup, a test event for the Olympic Games. “It’s very impolite of the administration or the hotelier, we don’t know exactly who did it. It was not good for the athletes,” Joydeep Karmakar, who will represent India in the men’s 50-metre rifle prone event at the London Games, told CNN-IBN channel. “We were looking for a good experience because they are the hosts for the Olympic Games also. We had expected much better treatment from them.” The Indian high commission in London found alternative accommodation for the team after their hotel asked them to vacate their rooms on Saturday, ahead of Sunday’s final day of the twoweek competition, officials said. “Some of our shooters had to spend time in the hotel lobby or on the roads for more than eight hours,” National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) advisor Baljit Singh Sethi told Reuters by telephone. “I really don’t understand why the treatment can’t be proper. Shooting is the country’s main hope and incidents like these can affect the performance of our athletes during the London Games.” — Reuters

Arizona 9, Miami 5; Texas 4, Toronto 1; NY Yankees 2, Baltimore 1; Philadelphia 6, Chicago Cubs 4; Boston 11, Oakland 6; Tampa Bay 3, Seattle 2 (12 innings); Pittsburgh 9, Atlanta 3; Houston 4, NY Mets 3; Colorado 6, LA Dodgers 2; LA Angels 4, Minnesota 3; Milwaukee 8, San Diego 3.

GB 1 1.5 3 3.5 1 1 5.5 6 6.5 6.5 9

National League Eastern Division Washington 14 8 .636 Atlanta 14 9 .609 NY Mets 13 10 .565 Philadelphia 11 12 .478 Miami 8 14 .364 Central Division St. Louis 14 8 .636 11 11 .500 Cincinnati Milwaukee 11 12 .478 Pittsburgh 10 12 .455 Houston 9 14 .391 Chicago Cubs 8 15 .348 Western Division LA Dodgers 16 7 .696 .545 San Francisco 12 10 Arizona 12 11 .522 Colorado 11 11 .500 San Diego 7 17 .292

.5 1.5 3.5 6 3 3.5 4 5.5 6.5 3.5 4 4.5 9.5

TORONTO: Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish throws to the Toronto Blue Jays during the second inning of a baseball game. —AP

Rangers beat Blue Jays TORONTO: Yu Darvish won his third straight start, while Mitch Moreland and Craig Gentry homered as the Texas Rangers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 Monday night. Darvish (4-0) allowed his first home run but remained unbeaten in five major league starts. He gave up four hits in seven innings, walked two and struck out nine. In winning his past three starts, Darvish has allowed just two earned runs over 21 2-3 innings against Detroit, the New York Yankees and Toronto. His season ERA is 2.18. Mike Adams worked the eighth and Joe Nathan finished for his sixth save in seven chances. Texas slugger Josh Hamilton was held out of the lineup with a sore back. He is day to day. Moreland and Gentry, the eighth and ninth hitters in Texas’ lineup, hit back-toback solo shots off rookie Evan Crawford in the seventh. Blue Jays right-hander Kyle Drabek (22) allowed two runs in six innings. He struck out a career-high eight, including five straight during one stretch. Yankees 2, Orioles 1 At New York, Hiroki Kuroda pitched seven neat innings and combined with catcher Russell Martin to nab Nick Markakis at the plate in the key play of the game, lifting the Yankees over Baltimore. Eric Chavez hit an early two-run homer as the Yankees beat Baltimore once again. They are 4-0 against the Orioles this year, 43-15 over the O’s since 2009 and have not lost any of the last 14 season series to them. The loss denied Buck Showalter his 1,000th win as a big league manager ‚Ä” his first victory came in 1992 next door at the old Yankee Stadium. Baltimore lost for the second time in eight games. New York made several sparkling plays in the field, including two by novice left fielder Eduardo Nunez. Kuroda (2-3) allowed one run and four hits while outpitching steady Jason Hammel (3-1). David Robertson struck out the side in the eighth for the Yankees and Mariano Rivera closed for his fifth save in six chances.

NEW ZEALAND: John Wright will step down as head coach of New Zealand after their tour to West Indies, the country’s cricket governing body said yesterday. Wright, who took on the role at the end of 2010, had declined an offer to extend his contract, citing a desire to pursue other interests. “I appreciate the offer to extend my contract but after much consideration I feel it’s the right time to move on and look at other opportunities,” the 57-year-old said in a statement issued by New Zealand Cricket (NZC). NZC chief David White said: “John has been an outstanding servant for cricket in New Zealand over a long time and it is disappointing to lose someone of his calibre. “We were keen to see him continue his head coach role, however understand and respect his decision to look for another challenge. “We are keen to fill this critical role as soon as possible but are conscious that we need to take the time to find the right candidate who can take us through to the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup.” —Reuters

Nicasio steers Rockies past Dodgers

MLB results/standings

American League Eastern Division W L PCT Tampa Bay 15 8 .652 Baltimore 14 9 .609 NY Yankees 13 9 .591 Toronto 12 11 .522 Boston 11 11 .500 Central Division Cleveland 11 9 .550 Detroit 11 11 .500 C White Sox 11 11 .500 Kansas City 6 15 .286 Minnesota 6 16 .273 Western Division Texas 17 6 .739 Oakland 11 13 .458 Seattle 11 13 .458 LA Angels 8 15 .348

Coach Wright to step down

Red Sox 11, Athletics 6 At Boston, David Ortiz finished the best April of his career with a pair of solo homers and Mike Aviles hit a three-run shot in Boston’s victory over Oakland. Darnell McDonald had a two-run homer and Marlon Byrd drove in a pair of runs to support Clay Buchholz (3-1), who held Oakland to one run until he gave up five in the seventh inning. Ortiz hit .405 in April with six homers and 20 RBIs. He batted .543 at Fenway Park (19 for 35). It was Boston’s seventh win in eight games, coming off a 6-1 road trip. Former Red Sox outfielder Josh Reddick hit a three -run homer for Oakland, which dropped its third straight. Athletics starter Tommy Milone (3-2) allowed eight runs ‚Ä” seven earned ‚Ä” in 4 2-3 innings. Rays 3, Mariners 2 At St. Petersburg, Elliot Johnson hit an RBI single with one out in the 12th inning, giving Tampa Bay a comeback victory over Seattle. Playing before a crowd of just 9,458 — the smallest at Tropicana Field since September 2007 — the Rays twice rallied from one-run deficits before winning it against Brandon League (0-2), who failed to hold a 2-1 lead the Mariners took on Jesus Montero’s homer in the 11th. J.P. Howell (1-0) pitched a scoreless inning for the win. B.J. Upton’s RBI single in the 11th wiped out the short-lived lead the Mariners took on Montero’s homer off Wade Davis. Seattle ace Felix Hernandez struck out nine in eight innings. Angels 4, Twins 3 In Anaheim, CJ Wilson held Minnesota scoreless into the eighth inning, guiding Los Angeles to a tight win. Torii Hunter homered and drove in three runs for Los Angeles, which returned from a rough road trip with a much-needed victory. It was the first time in eight games that the Angels had managed to scored five runs. The Twins opened a six-game West Coast road trip with their seventh loss in eight games. Minnesota has the majors’ worst record at 6-16. —AP

DENVER: Colorado’s Juan Nicasio pitched six solid innings to steer the Rockies to a 6-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday in the first of 18 meetings this season between the National League West rivals. Continuing his remarkable comeback from a broken neck sustained last August when he was hit in the head by a line drive, Nicasio (2-0) gave up only two runs. Troy Tulowitzki hit a two-run double for the Rockies, who went ahead with a three-run fourth inning off Los Angeles starter Aaron Harang (2-1) who went 5-2/3 innings, giving up five runs. Matt Kemp hit his major league-leading 12th homer of the season for the Dodgers, who have the best record in the NL at 16-7. Pirates 9, Braves 3 In Atlanta, Pedro Alvarez and Yamaico Navarro each hit tworun homers as Pittsburgh enjoyed a long-awaited offensive breakthrough and beat Atlanta. The Pirates, last in the major leagues with 58 runs in 22 games, almost doubled their previous season high of five runs. Neil Walker had three hits and drove in a run. It took the Pirates 22 games this season to score more than five runs. That was the longest streak since the 1972 Milwaukee Brewers went a major league-record 31 games into the season without surpassing five runs, according STATS LLC. The last National League team with a longer streak was the 1919 Boston Braves, who went an NL-record 23 games into the season without topping five runs. James McDonald (1-1) set a career high with 10 strikeouts as he improved to 3-0 in six career appearances against the Braves. Navarro homered off Mike Minor (2-2) in the sixth. Astros 4, Mets 3 In Houston, Matt Downs hit a

two-run homer as Houston edged New York. The game was tied 3-3 starting the bottom of the eight, when Jordan Schafer

by scoring three times in the seventh. Astros reliever Fernando Rodriguez (1-3) got the last out of the eighth for the

to lift the Phillies over the Cubs. Bryan LaHair hit a tying, tworun homer off Chad Qualls (1-0) in the eighth after Vance Worley threw seven impressive innings for Philadelphia. But the Phillies answered in the bottom half. Scott Maine (01) hit pinch-hitter Juan Pierre with a one-out pitch and Jimmy Rollins singled off Rafael Dolis with two outs. Polanco, who had just two RBIs in his first 71 at-bats, drove in two with a hard liner to the wall in left. D’backs 9, Marlins 5 At Miami, left-hander Patrick Corbin pitched 5 2-3 innings to win his major league debut, and Arizona beat the slumping Marlins. The 22-year-old Corbin, who was called up from Double-A Mobile, struck out six and allowed three runs. Cody Ransom and Justin Upton hit two-run homers, and Willie Bloomquist had a two-run double for Arizona. Mark Buehrle (1-4) endured his worst outing this season. The left-hander lasted only five innings and allowed seven runs - four earned - and eight hits.

DENVER: Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Juan Nicasio (44) pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fourth inning of a baseball game. —AP reached first base on an infield single. He stole second with one out and scored on a single by Jed Lowrie, which Mets eliever Manny Acosta (0-2) deflected into the outfield. New York had tied the game

win and Brett Myers pitched a perfect ninth for the save. Phillies 6, Cubs 4 At Philadelphia, Placido Polanco hit a tiebreaking, tworun double in the eighth inning

Brewers 8, Padres 3 In San Diego, Ryan Braun had his first three-homer game and added a two-run triple to tie his career high with six RBIs, leading Milwaukee to victory over San Diego. The reigning NL MVP became the first player to hit three home runs in a game at spacious Petco Park since it opened in 2004. Braun hit a solo homer in the fourth and a two-run shot in the fifth. Both were off rookie Joe Wieland (0-4). His third shot came in the seventh. Braun came up again in the ninth and nearly equaled the major league record of four home runs in a game when he hit a triple that short-hopped the fence. Milwaukee starter Randy Wolf (2-2) got the win after allowing three runs and nine hits in five innings. —AP

Capitals square series 1-1 NEW YORK: Washington’s Alex Ovechkin’s scored on a power play with 7:27 remaining to give the Capitals a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers on Monday that squared their NHL Eastern Conference semifinal series 1-1. Just under 6 minutes after Ryan Callahan had put the Rangers level with a power-play goal, Ovechkin put the Capitals ahead for good as the visitors salvaged victory despite having blown a 2-0 lead. Mike Knuble and Jason Chimera scored first-period goals for the Capitals, who will host the next two games of the series. Washington is trying to repeat its first-round feat when it lost the series opener but rallied to beat Boston in seven games. Brad Richards had a goal and assist for the topseeded Rangers, who got forward Brian Boyle back from a three-game injury absence but couldn’t turn it into a commanding lead in the series. Kings 5, Blues 2 In St. Louis, Los Angeles’ Anze Kopitar scored twice in a four-goal, first-period blitz that set up the Kings for a win over St. Louis that delivered a 2-0 series lead. Mike Richards and Jeff Carter had a goal apiece in the big opening period that was one goal shy of the franchise playoff record of five in 1993 against Vancouver. Los Angeles has won five staight road games in this postseason. Andy McDonald scored 18 seconds into the second for St. Louis but Justin Williams squashed thoughts of a comeback when he scored on the Kings’ first shot of the period, then they sat on that cushion, taking only five more shots for the remainder of the game. Matt D’Agostini scored in the third for St. Louis, which was 0 for 9 on the power play. —AP

Sumai’e wins KBC Bowling Masters KUWAIT: Within the activities of the Bowling Championship organized by the Kuwaiti Banks Club (KBC) for bankers, the masters competition was recently concluded with KFH player, Waleed AlSumai’e winning first place followed by Juicy Rail from GB in second place and ABK’s Fareed Ghobrial in third place, according to a KBC press release. Also within the same championship, top four teams competition is due to kick off next Saturday afternoon (May 5th) at the Cosmo Court in Salmiya, where ABK will meet NBK. The winner of this game will meet Ahli United Bank team and the winner therein will ultimately meet KFH on Saturday, May 12 for the final game when a special ceremony will be held in the presence of leading bankers.



Looking at Britain’s real austerity Olympics: 1948

BUDAPEST: In this Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010 file photo Norway’s Alexander Dale Oen celebrates winning the gold medal in the Men’s 100m breaststroke final at the Swimming European Championships. — AP

Swimming world champ Dale Oen dies in Arizona STOCKHOLM: Alexander Dale Oen, a world champion swimmer who was one of Nor way ’s top medal hopes for the London Olympics, died from cardiac arrest after collapsing in his bathroom during a training camp in Flagstaff, Arizona. He was 26. The president of the Norwegian swimming federation, Per Rune Eknes, confirmed the death to The Associated Press via telephone yesterday. He said it was still unclear what led to the cardiac arrest. In a statement, the federation said the 100 meter breaststroke world champion was found collapsed on the floor of his bathroom late Monday. He was taken to the Flagstaff Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. “ We’re all in shock ,” Nor way Coach Petter Loevberg said. “This is an out-of-the-body experience for the whole team over here. Our thoughts primarily go to his family who have lost Alexander way too early.” Hospital spokeswoman Starla Collins confirmed the death, but did not provide further details. Dale Oen earned his biggest triumph in the pool at last year ’s worlds in Shanghai when he won the 100 breaststroke, a victory that provided some much-needed joy back in Norway just three days after the massacre by right-wing extremist Anders Breivik that killed 77 people - including children at a summer camp. Dale Oen dedicated the win to the victims of that massacre, pointing to the Norwegian flag on his cap after the finish to send a message to his countrymen back home. “We need to stay united,” he said after the race. “Everyone back home now is of course paralyzed with what happened but it was important for me to symbolize that even though I’m here in China, I’m able to feel the same emotions.” His death dominated the news in Nor way on M onday, and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said on Twitter that “Alexander Dale Oen was a great sportsman for a small country. My thoughts go to his family and friends.”

The Norwegian team is holding a camp in Flagstaff ahead of the Olympics, and the federation said Dale Oen had only under went a light training session on Monday, and also played some golf that day. But teammates became worried when the swimmer spent an unusually long time in the shower, and entered his bathroom when he failed to respond to their knocks on the door. The federation said “they found Dale Oen laying partly on the floor, partly on the edge of his bathtub.” Team doctor Ola Roensen said he immediately began performing CPR until an ambulance arrived. “Everything was done according to procedure, and we tried everything, so it is immensely sad that we were not able to resuscitate him,” Roensen said. “It is hard to accept.” In his last tweet on Monday, Dale Oen said he was looking forward to going back home: “2 days left of our camp up here in Flagstaff,then it’s back to the most beautiful city in Norway.. (hashtag)Bergen.” Dale Oen was born in Bergen, Nor way ’s second largest city, on May 21, 1985. He was the second son of Mona Lillian Dale and Ingolf Oen. He started swimming at the age of 4, and said on his website that the sport “came very easy and natural for me.” He is the second high-profile athlete to die from cardiac arrest recently, after Italian football player Piermario Morosini collapsed on the pitch during a S erie B game for Livorno last month. That incident came just a month after Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba also collapsed during a game, but survived. “It feels unreal that Alexander Dale Oen is no longer with us,” Norwegian skiing champion Aksel Lund Svindal, the two-time overall world Cup champion, said on Twitter. “My thoughts go out to his family, friends and his whole team in Flagstaff.” Keri-Anne Payne, the 10-kilometer open water world champion from Britain, said: “Such sad news for swimming.”— AP

LONDON: Athletes bought their own uniforms, and some their own food. They stayed in private homes, schools and military barracks. If eggs appeared on the training menu, it was a cause for celebration. When London hosted the Olympics in 1948, organizers did it on the cheap - and they made no apologies about it. “We talk about austerity now, but it isn’t anything like right after the war,” said Janie Hampton, who recounted the joy and sacrifice of athletes in “The Austerity Olympics.” “They had to buy their own shoes, their own kit (clothing).” The 1948 Games have been recalled often as the global banking crisis and the European debt crisis dogged the run-up to the 2012 London Olympics. As pressures build on Britain’s government to stay within its 9.3 billion pound ($14.6 billion) budget for the games, historians note that London in 1948 spent 730,000 pounds - roughly 20 million pounds in today’s money, Hampton said. But 1948 was a different, more innocent time. Britain’s ability to stage an Olympics before wartime food rationing had ended says a lot about how the UK has often risen from impossible circumstances, banking on grit to make up for what it may lack in luster. England was only barely ready for the Olympics in 1948, coming so soon after World War II. London itself was dotted by rubble. Milk and meat were luxuries. “Nobody had cars. Nobody had television. Nobody had traveled,” Hampton said. “It was real austerity.” Mindful of the scarcities, the Americans flew in steaks and fruit; the French red wine. But the cash-strapped Brits attempted to make up in goodwill and chutzpah for what they lacked in funds. In interviews with The Associated Press, many athletes who took part recalled those games warmly, not because of the facilities or even the competition, but because of the hospitality of people who had so little themselves. “I admired the spirit of the people in London,” said diver Sammy Lee, a gold medalist in 1948. “What got me, it was (people asking), ‘Do you want a cup of tea?’” World War II forced the cancellation of the games in 1940 and again in 1944. But the nearly bankrupt British government agreed to support the games, in part hoping for the hard currency the tourists would bring in. Distinguished former athletes stepped up to organize, including Harold Abrahams, whose victory in the 100 meters in the 1924 Paris Games became the subject of the Oscar-winning film, “Chariots of Fire.” With no money to build new stadiums, the organizing committee identified structures that hadn’t been bombed that could be transformed into venues. Wembley Stadium, the showpiece for the ceremonies, had to be converted from a greyhound racing track. There was no athletes’ village for the 1948 Olympics:

Competitors stayed in private homes, classrooms and summer camps. Torchbearers received instructions on how to carry the Olympic flame by reading directions pasted on the side. John Peake, 87, who played field hockey for Britain, recalls being put up in a military barracks in Uxbridge 18 miles (30 kilometers) away. Although the accommodations were hardly luxurious, he remembers getting eggs for breakfast, which was so unusual at the time it was considered exciting. “Sometimes people ask what it was like,” he said. “It might have been rough, all things considered. But it was improving.” Many had wondered whether the Olympic movement would continue at all. The war had decimated many countries and much goodwill. The final event before the war - the Nazithemed 1936 Berlin Games - tarnished most memories of the sporting competition. London had to give people inspiration - and make the public forget the past. But expectations at the time were very different. “I don’t think there was any razzmatazz that there is now,” Peake said as he recalled marching into the stadium. “We were the last ones in. We were being boiled in the sun what felt like hours. When everyone was assembled, then of course the torch comes around. That was extraordinarily special. It was really, very great.” London was the Olympics of Fanny Blankers-Koen, the 32-year-old Dutch mother who won four gold medals after being dismissed by many as too old. Czech distance great Emil Zatopek took gold in the 10,000 meters. Bob Mathias, a 17-year-old from Tulare, California, became the youngest decathlon gold medalist. Many athletes, having waited out the war, couldn’t wait for their chance to compete. Lee, who spent the war in the military studying medicine, tried out for the team after seeing a poster recruiting potential athletes. But when he stood on the platform to dive, the sun started to shine - and it was brighter than the water. He had flubbed a dive previously in a similar situation and kept saying to himself “don’t mistake the water for the sky” - an error that would ruin the timing of his dive. “For 16 years, I’d waited for this moment,” he said. “I was tingling all over. ... and for the second time in history, a man walked on water.” He won gold. Lee, 91, who lives in Huntington Harbor, California, plans to return to London this summer. And he won’t be alone. Several athletes who competed in London in 1948 will be coming back - anxious to see the city that holds so many memories. “I’m coming for the diving,” he said eagerly. This time, he’ll be inside, watching at the swim stadium, a sweeping wavelike building designed to international accolades by architect Zaha Hadid. Lee won’t have to worry about the sun, but he’ll be free to remember the moment he walked on water.—AP

LONDON: In this photo taken Tuesday, March 27, 2012, a copy of a programme collected by London 1948 British Olympian Dorothy Tyler is seen during an interview with The Associated Press at her home.—AP

Argentine gymnast hopes to break new ground BUENOS AIRES: No one would have dared to bet a few years ago that Argentine gymnast Valeria Pereyra would be competing at the 2012 Olympic Games but the late starter puts her place in London down to five years of sacrifice. Most Olympic gymnasts start formal training as young two or three years old, however, Pereyra, who at 16 will be the youngest Argentine competing at the London Games, did not get serious about gymnastics until she was 11. “I think it’s all a reward. I started training late, because at 11 years old as a gymnast you’re already old. You already have a base and it’s difficult to improve that base,” she told Reuters in an interview at the Cenard national high performance training facility on the edge off the capital. “I think the sacrifice I’ve made for the last five years is showing results. And obviously it was not just me, because I have a lot of people around me who help and support me. I’m very happy,” added the blonde schoolgirl with an easy smile and braces on her top teeth. Pereyra’s days are gruelling. She gets up at five in the morning to make the one-and-a-half-hour bus ride to the gym, where she runs through four-hour training under the eye of coach Daniela Conde. A lover of Twitter who messages fans about what she is doing, she eats a quick lunch before hustling off to high school in the afternoon. Conde has Pereyra working

hard on all disciplines, floor routine, which is her favourite, uneven bars, vault and balance beam, and hopes she can put in a strong overall performance and make it to the final. “I qualified for London 2012. The idea is to train hard with the clear objective of making it into the top 24 and getting into the final round. It’s a pretty high goal, but we really want to do it. We are working at 100 percent to get closer every day,” Pereyra said. The young Argentine booked her Olympic place at trials in London in January, where she finished 21st among the 30 who directly qualified. “The fact that I’m going, I think changes my situation, to have on my resume the Olympic Games is no small thing. And obviously I have the pressure on me that a ton of Argentines are going to be watching me, but I want to do it,” she said. She will be the first Argentine woman gymnast to compete at the Games since Celeste Carnevale went to Athens in 2004. With Federico Molinari also going to take part in men’s events it will be the first time since Atlanta in 1996 that Argentina will be represented at the Games by gymnasts of both sexes. Gymnastics in Argentina lags behind other Latin American countries like Mexico and Brazil, who each won three gold medals at the Pan-American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico six months ago, half the number won by the United States. Argentina won no medals at all. — Reuters

Abu Dhabi Volvo crew running out of rations

Al-Adwani, first Kuwaiti to win gold at Jiu-Jitsu Championship KUWAIT: Under the auspices of the Kuwait Finance House, the SideKick Academy team won three medals for the first time ever at the World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship held in Abu Dhabi on April 13-14, 2012. Abdul Mohsen Saleh Al Babtain, founder and coach of Sidekick Academy team said that the participation of Sidekick Academy is the living proof of the players’ capacity and the success of the training programs adopted at the academy. He further added : “ Sidekick Academy players have made an honorable achievement. And I would like more particularly to congratulate Abdul Hadi Al Adwani for winning first place during his first participation in a world championship, and Nasser Al Qattan who ranked second

in the blue belts category (under 82 kilos) and who had also won third place in last year’s championship. At that time, the Kuwaiti team had the chance to make it to the finals if Abdullah Al Shemari would have not ranked third during the pre-final match. Al Babtain also stated : “Sidekick Academy team has proven that the word” impossible” does not exist in the world of sports. We are assured that we will be making more important achievements in order to raise the name of Kuwait in the biggest championships. Furthermore, I would like to thank the official sponsors of the team for having continuously supported and encouraged us, whether materially or morally, starting from the Kuwait Finance House, Tri Alpha Co. for

General Trading and Contracting and Mprints Co. for their continuous support to youth and sporting fans. The World Jiu-Jitsu Championship is the biggest championship with regard to the number of participants (more than 500 players) and to the value of the prizes offered to participants. Sidekick Academy achievements at the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2012 • Abdul Hadi Al Adwani- White Belts, First place (Gold Medal), under 64 kilos. • Nasser Al Qattan- Blue Belts, Second place (Silver Medal), under 82 kilos. • Abdullah Al Shemari- White Belts, Third place (Bronze Medal), under 64 kilos.

MIAMI: British double Olympic silver medallist Ian Walker ordered rations to be imposed on his Abu Dhabi crew’s dwindling food supplies yesterday as the sixth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race to Miami reached its halfway stage. With around 2,400 miles and at least a week’s sailing still to go, Walker’s team were facing the reality of several days with little food at the end of the leg, which is taking longer to complete than expected due to light winds in the Atlantic Ocean. “Despite a reasonably quick passage so far it is becoming increasingly clear that we will run out of food,” said Walker, skipper of the race’s first ever Emirati team, currently in fourth place. “This is in no small part due to the fact we cut everything right back to keep the boat light for the downwind sailing. “We took two weeks’ worth of food - we have food until Monday and our routing is saying a Wednesday arrival at the moment. “We’ll just have to be a bit hun-

gry for the last couple of days.” Abu Dhabi’s rivals meanwhile were grateful of their decision to pack more food even though it would make their boats heavier during the 4,800-mile leg from Brazil. “We didn’t pack light with food, we packed for 16 days,” said Ken Read, skipper of American crew Puma as they led the fleet towards the Caribbean Sea. “Getting through the Caribbean will be the big one - if we can get through unscathed then we’re pretty set on 16 days. “But if things get bogged down again around there we could have to ration food yet again.” Will Oxley, navigator on second-placed Spanish/Kiwi team Camper, added: “We ignored the advice of our weather team and packed what we thought was correct, otherwise we might have been in trouble. Really, we couldn’t care how long the leg takes as long as we win it.” The fleet are expected to arrive in Miami on May 9, with the 39,000mile round the world race ending in July in Galway, Ireland.—AFP




Heat scorch NY Knicks MIAMI: Dwyane Wade scored 25 points and Chris Bosh added 21 as Miami beat New York 104-94 on Monday night, sending the Knicks to an NBA-record-equaling 12th straight post-

ately release any details on how it happened, and coach Mike Woodson - who saw the cut declined to offer specifics. LeBron James finished with 19 points, nine

from Stoudemire and 13 apiece from Tyson Chandler and J.R. Smith. The only other team to lose 12 straight playoff games is the Memphis Grizzlies, who dropped their first dozen postseason contests from 2004 through 2006. New York’s last postseason win came April 29, 2001. The Knicks get another chance to snap the drought tomorrow when they host Game 3. Thunder 102, Mavericks 99 At Oklahoma City, Russell Westbrook scored 29 points and Kevin Durant added 26 as Oklahoma City took a 2-0 lead in the first-round playoff series. Durant hit two free throws with 50.4 seconds left to give Oklahoma City a 98-97 lead, and James Harden hit four more foul shots to close it out for the Thunder. Jason Terry missed two 3-point attempts from the left wing in the final 5 seconds that could have leveled it. Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 31 points and Shawn Marion scored 15. The Mavericks led in the closing minutes of both road games but couldn’t even manage a split. Game 3 is tomorrow in Dallas. The Thunder lost both home games to Dallas in last year’s Western Conference finals. Durant hit a jumper with 1.5 seconds left as Oklahoma City overcame a seven-point deficit with 21/2 minutes left to win Game 1 99-98.

OKLAHOMA: Dallas Mavericks forward Shawn Marion (right) is fouled by Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (left) as he shoots in the fourth quarter of Game 2 in the first round of the NBA basketball playoffs. —AP season loss. Making matters worse for the Knicks: center Amare Stoudemire cut his left hand in a postgame incident. The Knicks did not immedi-

assists and seven rebounds for the Heat, who lead the Eastern Conference first-round series 20. Carmelo Anthony scored 30 points on 12-for26 shooting for New York, which got 18 points

Pacers 93, Magic 78 At Indianapolis, David West had 18 points and 11 rebounds to help Indiana level the Eastern Conference first-round series at one game apiece. Danny Granger and George Hill each added 18 points and Paul George had 17 points and eight rebounds for Indiana. Glen Davis led the Magic with 18 points and 10 rebounds, but he shot 5 for 16 from the field. J.J. Redick scored 13 points and Jameer Nelson added 12 for Orlando. The Pacers were heavy favorites in the series because Dwight Howard, Orlando’s All-Star center, is out with a back injury. Indiana lost Game 1 81-77 on Saturday, and the frustrated Pacers fought hard to avoid taking a two-game deficit to Orlando on Wednesday. Indiana outrebounded Orlando 26-13 in the second half and held the Magic to 36 percent shooting overall. Indiana has held the Magic below 40 percent shooting in both games. —AP

Shooting tourney on target KUWAIT: Secretary General of the Arab and Kuwait Shooting Federations said the shooting club completed its preparations for HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad shooting tournament which marks the conclusion of the local season. He said the tournament which is organized under the patron-

age of HH the Amir will be in the Olympic disciplines: Skeet, trap, double trap, 10m pistol and rifle, 50m prone rifle, 50m free pistol, 25 meter pistol in addition to Olympic archery. Al-Osaimi said that all technical and administrative preparations are completed, and Sheik h Sabah Al-Ahmad

Olympic Shooting Complex witnessed the presence of a large number of shooters training for the championship. He said that HH the Amir gave the shooting club a lot since its establishment, and he gave the shooters the most important event shooting sees, by organizing this tournament

annually, for the club to conclude its season. He said HH the Amir has a great role in supporting this noble sport and supported it morally and materially and gave it special attention by building an Olympic Complex that is considered among the best in the world.

LISBON: Russia’s Maria Kirilenko celebrates a point during her Estoril Open first round tennis match against Britain’s Elena Baltacha yesterday. —AP

Former champions find winning formula in Estoril ESTORIL: Former women’s champions Maria Kirilenko and Anabel Medina Garrigues opened with contrasting May Day victories at the ATP-WTA Estoril Open yesterday. It was the same on the men’s side of the draw, with 2009-2010 winner Alber t Montanes advancing over Australian Matthew Ebden 6-2, 6-3. Second-seeded Russian Kirilenko, who lifted the title at the Estadio Nacional in 2008, overcame Briton Elena Baltacha 7-6 (8/6), 6-1 in a struggle which began with a first set lasting exactly one hour in front of holiday crowds. Spain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues, the third-seeded holder, got past German Kristina Barrois with more ease as she posted a 6-4, 6-1 win. That win was a repeat of last year’s final won by the Spaniard. “I played pretty well considering I wasn’t able to warm up due to rain this morning,” said the winner. “The start felt strange but after a few games I managed to feel better and get comfortable. “I won in the end so I’m quite happy. When you win an event you want to come back the next year and defend the title. “But all the matches are difficult and this one was not an exception. I’m taking it step-by-step and see how I go.” Medina Garrigues, a 29-year-old who has won 10 of her 11 career trophies on clay, broke Barrois five times in their match lasting just under 90 minutes. Kirilenko, losing finalist in February at Pattaya, Thailand, battled the 63rd-ranked

Baltacha as the Briton tried in vain to win only her third WTA match of the season. The Russian seed finally claimed an opening set featuring six breaks of serve in a tiebreaker, earning the lead on her first set point after saving two for Baltacha. In the second Kirilenko stamped her authority on the contest after another 45 minutes. Three more seeds took opening wins, with number four Petra Cetkovska defeating Alexandra Panova of Russia 6-2, 6-1 and number six Kaia Kanepi of Estonia crushing US qualifier Sloane Stephens 6-1, 6-0. Eighth seed Polona Hercog beat Austrian Tamira Paszek 6-0, 6-3. Australian Jarmila Gajdosova defeated MarÌa-Teresa TorrÛ-Flor of Spain 6-3, 6-1, while Briton Heather Watson, a qualifier who last played more than a month ago in Miami, beat Czech Lucie Hradecka 6-4, 6-4 to next face Cetkovska. Men’s ATP play was highlighted by locals as Portuguese players went into action. The 2010 quarter-finalist Rui Machado rallied past wild card compatriot Pedro Sousa 6-7 (3/7), 6-1, 6-2 in two hours, breaking six times. Italian eighth seed Flavio Cipolla defeated Argentine Diego Junqueira 6-1, 6-4. Three Spaniards won, with Ivan Navarro, Inigo Cervantes and Daniel Munoz-de la Nava all reaching the second round. Top seed Juan Mar tin del Potro, Frenchman Richard Gasquet and Swiss debutant Stanislas Wawrinka all have byes in the first round. —AFP

16th Asian Squash Championship KUWAIT: Competitions of the 16th Asian Squash Championship, being held under the patronage of HH the Premier Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah will witness 14 men’s matches today

Kuwait’s team represented by Abdallah Al-Muzayen, Ammar AlTamimi, Salem Al-Fayez and Yousuf Nizar will face the Chinese team in the morning session in the fourth group, which will wit-

between India and Singapore, in the first group Iran and Malaysia, Japan and Palestine in the second group, Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei, Iraq and Korea in the third group.

Kuwait squash team to conclude the groups rounds for this category, while there will be four matches in the second round for women.

ness another match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Five other matches will be played in the morning session

In the evening session, there will be an important match between Kuwait and Pakistan which is expected to produce the

leader of the fourth group. In the same group, Sri Lanka and China will meet, followed by India and Jordan in the first group. Malaysia and Japan, Palestine and Iran will meet in the second group while the third group will see Hong Kong against South Korea, while Chinese Taipei will meet iraq. Meanwhile, in the ladies category there will be four matches Hong Kong against South Korea in the first group which will witness another match between Japan and Iran. In the second group Malaysia will meet China, and India will meet Sri Lanka, bearing in mind that the holder of the first and second place in each group qualify for the Semi final round to be held Friday. Meanwhile, representative of the Asian Squash Association, and the Technical Director of the tournament Carl Mak, lauded Kuwait’s association for its organization of the tournament, and pointed to the success of the organization of the tournament in 2008, which made the association to ask Kuwait to organize the most important event on its calendar for the second time. About the level of the Arab tournaments, the Asian official said the teams made great strides towards developing and improving the per formance of their players, especially the Kuwaiti team, which started to move up the rankings recently.

Tiger ready for Quail Hollow with ‘fixed’ swing CHARLOTTE: Tiger Woods returns to PGA Tour action at this week’s Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina, confident he has solved the ball-striking problems which plagued him at this month’s Masters. The former world number one failed to break 72 in any of his four rounds at the year’s opening major, completing his worst performance at Augusta National since he turned professional. He battled his way to a closing two-over-par 74 for a five-over total of 293, ruing his tendency to allow old habits to creep back into a swing he has grooved with coach Sean Foley over the last two years. “At the Masters, I was kind of struggling with my ball-striking a little bit,” Woods

said during a question and answer video session with his fans posted on his website on Monday. “Sean and I fixed it. It had to do with my posture. My setup wasn’t quite right, as well as my takeaway so we worked on that. I just needed to do hundreds of (repetitions). I’m getting dialed in.” Woods, a 14-times major champion, took a week off after the April 5-8 Masters and has since spent the past fortnight working on his game. Asked if he liked his chances of winning a 73rd PGA Tour title in this week’s event at Quail Hollow, he replied: “I feel like I do, yes. “I feel like if I can do the things that we’ve been working on, and get my posture and my

takeaway dialed in, then yes, I have a good chance. “I’m going to a golf course I like in Charlotte. I’ve won there before. The very next week is a tournament that I’ve also won at,” the 36-year-old American added, referring to the May 10-13 Players Championship at Sawgrass. Woods triumphed at Quail Hollow in 2007 and won his only Players title in 2001 at the event regarded by many as the unofficial ‘fifth’ major. Monday’s video session, based on questions sent in by fans via Facebook and Twitter, was an interesting choice by Woods who will not be giving his customary pre-tournament news conference ahead of the Wells Fargo Championship. —Reuters

JAIPUR: Delhi Daredevils Pawan Negi celebrates the dismissal of Rajasthan Royals’ Shane Watson during their Indian Premier League (IPL) match. —AP

Sehwag hits 5th straight Twenty20 half centuries JAIPUR: Swashbuckling opener Virender Sehwag became the first batsman to hit five consecutive Twenty20 half-centuries when he scored 73 in Delhi Daredevils’ sixwicket win over Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League yesterday. Sehwag smashed a six and 12 fours in 38 balls as Delhi reached 144-4 in 15.2 overs after Rajasthan had scored 141-6 at Sawai Man Singh Stadium. England batsman Kevin Pietersen, playing his last game before returning home for the test series against West Indies, chipped in with 36. Rajasthan faltered after a steady 71-run stand between Rahul Dravid (57) and Ajinkya Rahane (42). Delhi left-arm spinner Pawan Negi took 4-18, including key batsmen Brad Hodge, Shane Watson and Rahane. Delhi increased its lead in the standings havign recorded eight wins from 10 games, two more than Kolkata Knight Riders. Rajasthan has four wins from 10. At Barabati Stadium in Cuttack, blistering half-centuries from Kumar Sangakkara and Cameron White helped Deccan Chargers score a 13-run win over Pune Warriors. Sangakkara scored 82 off 52 deliveries with two sixes and 10 fours while White hit 74 off 45 with four sixes and four fours as Deccan amassed 186-4 on a good batting pitch. Pune scored 173-5 in reply. Deccan was struggling at 23-2 in the fifth over when Sangakkara and White came together to produce the team’s best stand for any wicket this season, a 157-run partnership that started steadily before gathering pace. The pair added 49 runs off 11 balls dur-

ing the 18th and 19th overs before Wayne Parnell bowled a tight last over in which he conceded only six runs to limit the damage. Sangakkara smashed offspinner Marlon Samuels for 19 runs in an over that included four fours, and struck Ashish Nehra for 24 with two sixes and two fours in the penultimate over. He was then bowled off the last ball of that over from Nehra. White bludgeoned three consecutive sixes as part-time seamer Sourav Ganguly went for 25 in the 18th over. He was out in the last over from Parnell as he holed out to long-off. For Pune, Australian allrounder Steven Smith slammed an unbeaten 47 to keep the team in contention after captain Sourav Ganguly (45) and Michael Clarke (41) had done the initial hard work. Smith hit two sixes and three fours off 27 balls but with 23 needed off the last over, it was always going to be only an outside chance of a win for Ganguly-led team. Bottom-place Deccan’s only previous win also came against Pune and it now has two wins from nine outings with six losses and a no-result. Pune has four wins and six losses from 10 outings. Scores: Deccan Chargers 186-4 (Kumar Sangakkara 82, Cameron White 74) def. Pune Warriors 173-5 (Steven Smith 47 not out, Sourav Ganguly 45, Michael Clarke 41). Delhi Daredevils 144-4 in 15.2 overs (Virender Sehwag 73, Kevin Pietersen 36, Brad Hogg 2-32) def. Rajasthan Royals 1416 (Rahul Dravid 57, Ajinkya Rahane 42, Pawan Negi 4-18). —AP




EPL title race heading for tight finish LONDON: Manchester United or Manchester City. Which of those two names - one globally famous, the other quickly becoming so - will be engraved on the base of the English Premier League trophy remains anyone’s guess, even after nine months and 36 rounds of matches in a crazy season embroidered with more twists and turns than a night at the Bolshoi. Even had they crossed all their fingers and toes, the league’s sponsors and marketeers cannot have dreamed of a climax more engrossing and uncertain than this: Two games left to play, everything still up for grabs. The one certainty is that nothing will ever be the same again. Because after years when English football was largely bathed in United red, this is the season when the pendulum swung, the page turned and the guard changed. United may still win the league title, its 20th. The winning habit that manager Alex Ferguson has woven into the fabric at United may get it over line again. Having lost both home and away to City this season, there’s an argument to be made that United is no longer Manchester’s dominant team, nor even its best. Neutrals can now convincingly claim that City, not United, is

Manchester’s most entertaining side, often producing better football and, increasingly, fielding better players. The future in Manchester - and, by extension, England - looks more blue than red. City’s 1-0 defeat of United in the manic Manchester derby on Monday was more than just a result which ensured that the title race will remain undecided until the final day, on May 13. This looked and felt like the shape of things to come. One of City’s best players was attacking midfielder Samir Nasri. The France international who quit Arsenal last year could have played for United, but instead was lured by City’s Abu Dhabi owners whose seemingly limitless petrowealth has completely transformed the fate of the club that shared the same city as United but which was poor, sorry and for decades had none of its success. Against United, Nasri was inventive, persistently troublesome and won the corner from which City captain Vincent Kompany headed in the winning goal. Darting David Silva and striker Sergio Aguero, both hired from sides in Spain, also were pests in attack for City. Yaya Toure, pinched from Barcelona, threw his weight and power around in City’s midfield. In fact, across the field, in almost

every department, was evidence of City’s huge spending power. That is why City has become such a problem for United. That wealth has forced Ferguson’s respect. “They aren’t going away,” he said pre-match. “The financial support they have means that we are going to be playing them in a lot of big games.” Not for the first time this season, City manager Roberto Mancini outthought Ferguson on Monday, too. The last time they met in the league, in October, City won 6-1. Ferguson called it his worst defeat in a half-century of football. To avoid a repeat, Ferguson erected barricades on Monday, stuffing his midfield with Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Park Ji-sung and Michael Carrick, veterans he trusts. Together, they have played more than 1,700 games for United, some bigger and more important than this one. Ferguson’s containment strategy paid a compliment to the attacking strengths of City, the league’s highest-scoring team, and it showed that Ferguson recognized, respected and perhaps even feared City’s ability to hurt him. But it was also unambitious and it didn’t work. Ferguson acknowledged as much by resorting to Plan B in the second half, pulling off Park then Scholes and sending on dynamic Danny Welbeck and

winger Antonio Valencia. But still United could not manufacture the goal it needed to cancel out Kompany’s. It never really came close. Ferguson lost his cool, exchanging furious words and yap-yap-yap hand gestures with Mancini on the touchline. That suggested the extent to which the challenge from City is unsettling the peace of mind and legacy of the manager who has seen everything. “They’re in the driving seat now,” Ferguson said of City afterward. “They only need to win two games of football.” City’s last two opponents - Newcastle and Queen’s Park Rangers - won’t be pushovers. Newcastle needs wins for a chance to qualify for European football next season. QPR could drop out of the Premier League if it loses its last games. United’s final opponents, Swansea and Sunderland, look easier, because both are lodged in the middle of the league table and thus, in theory, have less to play for. If City and United both win their final games, then the blues will likely be champions because they’ve so far scored more goals and conceded fewer than United. If that happens, Ferguson will rue even more the goals United conceded in the 6-1 loss to City.

“It’s his worst nightmare,” said Gary Neville, Ferguson’s former captain and defender who made 566 appearances for United and now is a commentator for television broadcaster Sky. “Losing the championship on goal difference is what he always talks about, every single season.” And once this newlook City side has its first championship which would be the club’s first since 1968 - then it could become a very tough juggernaut to stop, as United was. That was the warning from United captain Patrice Evra before Monday’s game. “If they win the Premier League, a page is turned and it’s a revolution, and revolutions have always been about Manchester United,” English newspapers quoted Evra as saying. Or, as a banner at the City stadium said: “The noisy neighbors are getting louder, Alex!” A quarter century ago, when he took over at United, Ferguson’s challenge was to usurp Liverpool. As he famously later said, he wanted to knock England’s dominant team off its (expletive) perch. Ferguson did that last year, when United won its 19th league title. Now, the process of revolution, renewal and change is happening all over again. Only this time, Ferguson is on its receiving end.—AP

Hodgson gets England’s hot seat

LONDON: Chelsea’s Fernando Torres celebrates after scoring a goal in this file photo. —AP

Cech wants to unleash Torres and Drogba LONDON: Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech believes Roberto Di Matteo should play both Fernando Torres and Didier Drogba against Newcastle today in a bid to blow their rivals out of the race for a top four finish. Blues interim boss Di Matteo has rotated between Torres and Drogba as the focal point of his attack with impressive results in recent weeks. However, Cech would like to see the in-form duo unleashed when Newcastle visit Stamford Bridge for a crucial Premier League clash. After enduring a miserable 15 months with Chelsea, Torres has suddenly sparked into life. He scored a vital late goal in last week’s Champions League semi-final win against Barcelona followed by a hat-trick-his first since September 2009 — in Sunday’s 6-1 demolition of QPR. Torres’s resurgence has come at the same time as Drogba’s most vibrant period of the season and between them the forwards have scored six goals in Chelsea’s last five matches. With Chelsea desperate for a victory on Wednesday as they try to leapfrog the fifth placed Magpies and fourth placed Tottenham in the battle for Champions League qualification, Cech said: “I don’t know whether it would be done, but I’d start both. “I believe it is possible. I am sure one day it will happen and there will be goals.” Di Matteo may take a more conservative view however as he has yet to start the pair together. The Italian would have to tinker with his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation to use both and is likely to want to keep one of his senior forwards fresh for Saturday’s FA Cup final against Liverpool. For his part, Torres is just relieved to be somewhere close to his best again, but the Spaniard would love the chance to fire his side’s top four challenge and strengthen his claims to feature in the FA Cup final in the process. “We need to win,” he said. “We will

be closer to reaching the top four and, of course, if we win this game, we will approach the game against Liverpool in the FA Cup final with more motivation. So, it can be a great week.” Regardless of who leads the Chelsea forward line, Cech expects Chelsea to maintain their renaissance under Di Matteo by putting Newcastle to the sword. Alan Pardew’s team are surprise contenders for a Champions League spot, but showed signs of nerves in a 4-0 defeat at Wigan on Saturday and Cech is convinced Chelsea’s wealth of big-match experience will prove decisive. “I think our greater experience will be really important on Wednesday because Newcastle are in a position they haven’t been in for a long time, only once maybe, and we have been there many times,” he said. “It could be the decisive factor but they and we have everything to play for. It will be an exciting game but our experience will help.” Newcastle manager Pardew doesn’t disagree with Cech and admits his side won’t be favourites for a match they must take at least a point from to keep Chelsea at bay and stay in contention with Spurs. The defeat at Wigan was a significant setback and Pardew acknowledges that the losing team on Wednesday could well be out of the race. “Although we are a point above Chelsea, we are certainly the outsiders. But Wednesday is a key night, I think,” he said. “Tottenham have to go to Bolton and we play Chelsea and it might be just down to two after that - but then again, it might not be, so we will have to wait and see. “I just think you have to put it into the perspective of the season we have had. “To be, with three games to go and regardless of what fixtures they are, a point above Chelsea and level with Spurs is just outstanding. “We would have settled for that at the start of the season, for sure.”—AFP

Redknapp focuses on the job LONDON: Harry Redknapp will try to put the disappointment of being overlooked for the post of England manager behind him when his Tottenham Hotspur side resume their challenge for a place in next season’s Champions League at Bolton Wanderers today. Redknapp always maintained the speculation linking himself with the England vacancy had played no part in Spurs’ alarming dip in form. But the Football Association’s decision to make Roy Hodgson their number one choice for the post means it will not even be a factor as Redknapp’s team enter the final three games of the season. The weekend victory over Blackburn Rovers settled nerves at White Hart Lane after a run that had brought just one win in nine league games. That win left Tottenham ahead of fourth place Newcastle on goal difference, with Chelsea a further point behind in fifth. Those two teams will meet at Stamford Bridge at the same time Spurs face Bolton, presenting Redknapp’s side with a chance to steal ground on at least one of their rivals. Victory will also move Tottenham to within two points of third-placed Arsenal and with the fourth place side set to miss out on a Champions League spot if Chelsea beat Bayern Munich in this season’s final, a top three spot remains the number one

objective. “It is all to play for, we have got a difficult couple of away games,” said Redknapp. “I can’t see Chelsea losing many games at the moment either, they are looking really strong whatever team their manager picks. “They have got Newcastle in the week and that is a big game. Newcastle have got tough fixtures-they have got to go to Everton on the last game of the season, you wouldn’t want that one and they’ve got Manchester City at home so we have just got to keep going and see what happens, you never know do you?” Kyle Walker emerged as the unlikely hero of the victory over Blackburn with a stunning free kick to seal the 2-0 victory. And the right back admitted: “I don’t practice free-kicks, but I just felt it was right. “Rafa (Rafael van der Vaart) placed the ball down and I said ‘Can I have it?’ and he said ‘No chance’. But then he said I could have it and that was that.” Tottenham’s defeat of Blackburn boosted Bolton’s hopes of survival. Owen Coyle’s side remain in the bottom three on goal difference but this match marks the game in hand they have on their relegation rivals. And Coyle’s squad may be given the further lift of a dressing room visit from Wanderers’ Fabrice Muamba who is recovering after suffering a serious cardiac arrest when these two teams met in the FA Cup at White Hart Lane in March.—AFP

LONDON: Roy Hodgson was appointed England manager on a four-year contract, the Football Association announced yesterday. The West Bromwich Albion boss emerged as the surprise front-runner for the England job on Sunday as the FA confirmed it had ignored the popular clamour for Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp to be appointed. “It is a very proud day for me, I’m a very happy man to be offered the chance to manage my country,” Hodgson told reporters at a Wembley press conference. “I’m looking forward to the task ahead. Everyone knows it is not an easy one but I’m hoping that everyone, fans and supporters will get behind the team. “It’s the team that counts, they go out and win football matches. “What I’ll do is try to make sure the team is well prepared for the challenge ahead. I’m really looking forward to it.” Hodgson had held around four hours of discussions with senior FA officials at Wembley on Monday, paving the way for the 64-year-old’s appointment to the most demanding role in English football. Since Italian coach Fabio Capello resigned as England manager in February, in protest at the FA’s decision to strip John Terry of the England captaincy, Stuart Pearce has been in caretaker charge of the national side. That is despite the former England defender also being the manager of England’s Under-21s and the British Olympic team. Concerns have been raised about the FA’s ‘delay’ in getting a permanent manager on board so close to the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine, where England

LONDON: Newly appointed England soccer manager Roy Hodgson poses for a photograph in the tunnel at Wembley Stadium in London yesterday. —AP begin the tournament against France in Donetsk on June 11. Hodgson’s first game as England manager will be the warm-up match away to Norway in Oslo on May 26. That is followed by another friendly, with Belgium at Wembley on June 2, before their Euro 2012 opener. Hodgson admitted he had little time to acclimatise to his new job before Euro 2012. “It’s going to be difficult of course but hopefully I’ve got time. Obviously I’ve been working here for the last five years so the players are pretty well known to me even though I haven’t worked with them all,” he said. “I’ve done as much research and spoken to as many people as I can.”

Hodgson meanwhile would not be drawn on some of the thorny selection issues he is likely to face, such as whether his Euro 2012 squad would include John Terry and Rio Ferdinand. Terry has denied criminal charges of racially abusing Ferdinand’s younger brother Anton. Hodgson also declined to speculate on whether he was likely to reappoint Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard to the England captaincy. But Hodgson refused to write off England’s prospects at the Euros. “England always have to go in tournaments to win them because we are a major football nation,” Hodgson said. “I certainly think the players

would be very disappointed if we expected anything less of them than to win the tournament.” The FA statement said Hodgson would see out the current Premier League campaign with West Brom, who have two games left to play. “Roy’s appointment as England manager is obviously disappointing news for the club as we would have liked him to sign a new contract, which was in the process of negotiation, and remain as our head coach,” Baggies chairman Jeremy Peace said. “But we understand Roy’s desire to take the England job and he will leave us after the Arsenal game on May 13 with our best wishes.”—AFP

Napoli win to keep in control of CL destiny ROME: Napoli kept in the Champions League driving seat with a crucial 2-0 victory over Palermo yesterday. The victory maintained the southerners’ grip on third place ahead of today’s games when either Udinese, Inter Milan or Lazio could join them. With just two games to go, Napoli are ideally placed to qualify for Europe’s premier club competition for the second time in a row. Head-to-head records and not goal difference count if teams finish level on points at the season’s end and Napoli have the edge on both Udinese and Inter, although not Lazio. First half goals from Edinson Cavani and Marek Hamsik did the damage as Napoli showed they are past the blip that recently saw them lose three in a row and fail to win in five. They almost got off to a flying start in the derby of the Two Sicilies as Gokhan Inler thudded the post with a rising shot from outside the box. But goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis had to come to their rescue moments later with two quick-fire saves, first with his knees from Josip Ilicic and then at full-stretch from Abel Hernandez’s header. However, Milan Milanovic inadvertently handled Goran Pandev’s cross, the ball rebounding off his thigh onto his arm, and the referee point-

ed to the spot. Palermo complained bitterly but Milanovic’s arm clearly prevented the ball from going into the danger area and Cavani improved his poor penalty record this season-he has missed five out of nine-with the goal from the spot on 16 minutes. Ilicic produced a moment of magic to skip away from Salvatore Aronica but Paolo Cannavaro came quickly across to snuff out the danger. But Napoli doubled their advantage when Pandev’s great vision released Hamsik to prod home from 15 yards. Cavani could have had a second but failed to hit the target when escaping alone after the break. Abel Hernandez thought he had reignited the fire in this clash between two cities known for their mafia connections but his strike was ruled out for offside. Roma’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League next season all but mathematically died following a 0-0 draw at Chievo in sopping wet conditions in Verona. Roma trail Napoli by six points with just two games left, giving them little realistic hope of closing that gap. And in fairness they were lucky to come away from Verona with a point in a match made hugely difficult by wet conditions that affected the way the ball rolled and

bounced. Roma coach Luis Enrique couldn’t hide his frustration. “That wasn’t a match it was water-polo,” he complained. “A point is useless to us. We needed to win but it was difficult on this pitch. “This hasn’t been a happy year, I don’t know what will happen in the future but a coach has to accept criticism: it’s the results that judge a coach. “Several times we’ve had the possibility of going third but we’ve not done well.” Chievo had much the better of the chances and Roma barely troubled home goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino. American international Michael Bradley put Alberto Paloschi in behind the Roma backline but Gianluca Curci saved his left-footed shot. Finland midfielder Perparim Hetemaj was then put clean through by Rinaldo Cruzado. He tried to dink the ball over Curci but the pitch contributed in him failing to get the ball off the ground and the goalkeeper saved easily. —AFP

Matches on TV (Local Timings)

English Premier League Chelsea v Newcastle Abu Dhabi Sports HD Bolton v Tottenham Abu Dhabi Sports HD

21:45 22:00

Spanish League Barcelona v Malaga Aljazeera Sport +2 Bilbao v Real Madrid Aljazeera Sport +2

21:00 23:00

Italian League

SAN PAOLO: Napoli’s Slovak forward Marek Hamsik shoots to score during an Italian Serie A football match between Napoli and Palermo. —AFP

Parma v Inter Aljazeera Sport +7 Milan v Atalanta Aljazeera Sport +5 Lazio v Siena Aljazeera Sport +8 Juventus v Lecce Aljazeera Sport +1

21:45 21:45 21:45 21:45

Hodgson gets England’s hot seat

Swimming world champ Dale Oen dies in Arizona




EPL title race heading for tight finish

Page 19

LONDON: Fulham’s Clint Dempsey (right) vies for the ball with Liverpool’s Sebastian Coates during the English Premier League football match. —AFP

Fulham record historic win Liverpool 0

Fulham 1 LIVERPOOL: A Martin Skrtel own goal allowed Fulham to record their first ever top flight league win on Merseyside in 42 attempts as the London club prevailed 1-0 over Liverpool yesterday in their Premier League clash. The home defeat hardly represented Liverpool’s best possible preparation for Saturday’s FA Cup Final date with Chelsea. In a meeting between two of new England manager Roy Hodgson’s most

recent employers, Liverpool’s wretched home league form continued as they failed to record a victory for the 13th time in 18 games. More alarmingly, Liverpool could also end the season outside the top eight in the top division of English football for the first time since 1954. Manager Kenny Dalglish elected to leave four potential Wembley starters out of his line-up - goalkeeper Pepe Reina, plus Steven Gerrard, Daniel Agger and Luis Suarez - and his decision looked a costly one when Fulham took the lead after only five minutes. From the game’s first attack, Clint Dempsey’s pass sent former Liverpool fullback John Arne Riise down the left-hand touchline and his cross into the six-yard box was met by another former Anfield

player Alex Kacaniklic. The 20-year-old’s mishit shot bounced against Skrtel’s legs, wrong-footing Doni on its way into the net. Liverpool responded in reasonably impressive fashion, Skrtel quickly trying to make amends as he headed wide from a Fabio Aurelio free-kick, although Fulham might have doubled their lead on 15 minutes when Dempsey threaded through for Pavel Pogrebnyak whose first-time shot was well parried by Doni. Maxi Rodriguez collected Dirk Kuyt’s lay-off and sent a shot soaring over the Fulham bar although Andy Carroll was becoming the most impressive attacking presence in a red shirt. After 23 minutes, Kuyt latched onto a loose ball after Carroll’s progress was blocked and volleyed inches wide. Before the half-hour, Mark Schwarzer

mis-handled a cross under pressure from Carroll, allowing Maxi to square the ball for Jonjo Shelvey whose shot beat the Fulham keeper but not defender Brede Hangeland who cleared off the line. Dalglish brought on Stewart Downing and switched to a 4-4-2 formation at the interval with early second half signs looking promising as Shelvey volleyed over and Jay Spearing dispossessed Dempsey before testing Schwarzer with a 20-yard shot which the goalkeeper kept out at full-stretch. Hangeland was also required to make an impressive and timely tackle to halt the progress of Maxi as he surged into the area and bore down on Schwarzer’s goal. But Fulham began to exploit some of the gaps created by Liverpool’s increasing attacking urgency.

Late Lee double stuns Guangzhou SINGAPORE: Ex-Middlesbrough striker Lee Dong-Gook scored twice in injury time to put 10-man Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors on the brink of the AFC Champions League knock-outs in a dramatic night of action yesterday. Lee’s late heroics stunned Chinese champions Guangzhou Evergrande 3-1, while Kashiwa Reysol’s 1-0 win over Buriram United gave all four Group H teams a chance of reaching the last 16 in their final pool games later this month. Elsewhere Central Coast Mariners clobbered China’s Tianjin Teda 5-1 to resurrect their campaign, while Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma and Nagoya Grampus played out a 1-1 draw to leave Group G also undecided. Jeonbuk’s win in Guangzhou was sweet revenge for last year’s runners-up, who were humiliated 5-1 at home by the Chinese team and lost by the same score to Kashiwa, but who are now top of Group H after three wins in a row. Guangzhou’s record signing Dario Conca, reportedly one of the world’s best paid players, put the hosts ahead with an early penalty before Lee Seung-Hyun levelled just before half-time. And 2006 champions Jeonbuk, fresh from clinching the K-League title, then shrugged off the dismissal of defender Cho Sung-Hwan, as Lee Dong-Gook netted in injury-time and swiftly followed it up with a penalty. There were more fireworks in the group as J-League champions Kashiwa Reysol downed Thailand’s Buriram United 1-0, leaving all four clubs separated by just

three points with one round to play. Kashiwa’s goal came after 23 minutes when Hideaki Kitajima dribbled through to the left of the goalmouth before sending in a cross that Brazilian midfielder Leandro Domingues netted in the right corner. The hopes of Buriram, who had surprisingly topped the group for much of the campaign, took a dive when defender Yves Ekwalla Herman of Cameroon was sent off shortly before half-time for a second yellow card. Jeonbuk, now two points clear on nine points, host Kashiwa and Buriram, who have dropped to the bottom of the table, entertain Guangzhou in the crunch final group games on May 15. In Group G, Central Coast Mariners hauled themselves back into contention with a 5-1 beating of Tianjin Teda, the first win of their campaign, which simultaneously sent the Chinese club crashing to the foot of the table. Veteran striker Daniel McBreen scored a first-half double and Josh Rose, New Zealand international Michael McGlinchey and Borussia Dortmund-bound Mustafa Amini weighed in after the break to put the Mariners one win from the last 16. An away victory against second-placed Nagoya Grampus in their last game would secure progression for Australia’s Mariners while Seongnam, top by virtue of their head-to-head record, travel to Tianjin. “It feels great to get that win,” Amini said. “We were going for the jugular and got it, and now we’re still in the competition.” Japan’s Nagoya had a second-half

EPL results/standings Stoke City 1 (Jerome 69) Everton 1 (Crouch 45-og); Liverpool 0 Fulham 1 (Skrtel 5-og) English Premier League table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Man City Man Utd Arsenal Tottenham Newcastle Chelsea Everton Liverpool Fulham West Brom

36 36 36 35 35 35 36 36 36 36

26 26 20 18 18 17 14 13 13 13

5 6 6 8 8 10 10 10 10 7

5 4 10 9 9 8 12 13 13 16

88 86 68 59 53 62 47 43 46 41

27 33 44 39 46 39 39 38 48 47

83 83 66 62 62 61 52 49 49 46

Dempsey headed just wide from Damien Duff’s 53rd minute corner, substitute Kerim Frei created room for himself

Sunderland 36 Swansea 36 Stoke 36 Norwich 36 Aston Villa 36 Wigan 36 QPR 36 Bolton 35 Blackburn 36 Wolves 36

11 11 11 11 7 9 9 10 8 5

12 11 11 10 16 10 7 4 7 9

13 14 14 15 13 17 20 21 21 22

44 43 34 47 36 38 40 41 47 38

43 49 50 63 50 60 63 69 75 79

45 44 44 43 37 37 34 34 31 24

on the edge of the area and saw his wellhit shot impressively touched onto the post by Doni.—AFP

Villarreal clinch win over relegation rivals

JEDDAH: Lekhwiya’s French defender Dame Traore (left) challenges Al-Ahli’s Brazilian striker Victor Simoes during their AFC Champions League Group C football match. —AFP own goal from Seongnam’s Park Jin-Po to thank as they kept pace with the 2010 winners with a 1-1 draw away from home. Han Sung-wun had put the hosts ahead on 12 minutes. Later, Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal went top of Group D with a 1-0 win over Iranian side Piroozi, with Moroccan striker Youssef El Arabi firing home the secondhalf winner in Tehran. Al Hilal now lead Piroozi by one point. Al Gharafa beat Al Shabab Al Arabi 2-1 in Doha. In Group C, Sepahan inflicted a 3-0

rout on 10-man Al Nasr of the United Arab Emirates. Bruno Cesar scored the opener before Sepahan’s keeper Abdulla Moosa was sent off. Both sides then missed penalties before Xhevahir Sukaj and Mehdi Seyed-Salehi sealed an emphatic win. Saudi Arabian outfit Al Ahli defeated Lekhwiya by an identical scoreline. The final group games will be played on May 15 and 16 with the two-legged round of 16 starting a week later and concluding on May 30. — AFP

MADRID: Villarreal took a huge step to securing their position in La Liga yesterday with a 3-2 away victory over relegation rivals Sporting Gijon. Sporting meanwhile are almost certainly returning to the second-rung of Spanish football after three seasons in the top division. Full-back Mario Gaspar put the away team ahead on 19 minutes only for Alberto Lora to level 20 minutes later. The all important third goal came from the penalty spot when Marcos Senna put Villarreal ahead just before half-time after Sporting defender Gregory Arnolin had inexplicably brought down Marco Ruben. Hernan Perez added a third on 56 minutes and although Alejandro Galvez gave the home team some hope with five minutes remaining, it was Villarreal who deservedly took the crucial three points. The referee threatened to remove the teams in injury-time as the home fans showed their discontent by throwing objects onto the pitch. With only two games remaining, the ‘yellow submarine’ who reached the Europa League semi-final last season and narrowly lost a Champions League semi to Arsenal in 2006, move seven points clear of Sporting in a game that was always going to be decisive for the losers. Villarreal will be safe if Zaragoza fail to beat Levante on Wednesday while Sporting’s only hope of survival come

with gaining two wins in their final two games and hoping Rayo Vallecano, currently six points ahead, do not pick up another point. Earlier Nigerian forward Odion Ighalo scored a first-half double for Granada to help the Andalusian club to a vital 2-1 home win over Espanyol that also almost guarantees they will be playing in the first division next season. Didac Vila got a goal back for Espanyol but Granada hung on for the win that puts them eight points clear of Sporting, who now can’t catch them, and Zaragoza who play on Wednesday. If Zaragoza fail to beat Levante at home then Granada will be playing their second season in La Liga since 1976 after their promotion back to the top division last summer. Also yesterday Getafe wasted a chance to improve their hopes of qualifying for next season’s Europa League after drawing 1-1 at home to already relegated Racing Santander. Miku scored a 59th minute penalty for the home team but Pape Diop levelled the game five minutes later to earn a deserved point for Racing. Getafe remain 10th with 46 points only 3 points from a Europa League place, but seem destined to miss out on Europe as a host of teams above them play today. Real Madrid will win their first league in four seasons today if they beat Athletic Bilbao or if second-placed Barcelona fail to beat Malaga. —AFP

Dubai sukuk to fund airport expansion Page 25

UK at risk of longer slump as euro crisis hits factories Page 25 WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 2012

KIPCO records KD 8.5 million Q1 net profit

Dadida opens store in Al-Shaab Entertainment Park Page 25

Page 26

Growth worries mount; austerity bites World shares soften on global growth fears LONDON: World shares eased and the dollar hit a two-month low against the Japanese yen yesterday, after signs of recovery in China’s vast factory sector failed to offset worries over the health of the global economy and the euro zone crisis. But activity was limited with many markets in Asia and Europe closed for the May Day holiday. The MSCI’s world equity index was down just 0.1 percent to 328.40, as it added to losses of about 1.5 percent in April. The stronger yen hit Japan’s export-related equities, sending the Nikkei index to a 2-1/2 month closing low. “In general, stock markets and risk assets seem to be extremely resilient in the face of the news flow which has undoubtedly been in the more negative nature,” James Ferguson, strategist at Westhouse Securities, said. In foreign exchange markets, a view that the weaker growth outlook could encourage

the US Federal Reserve to consider further easing monetary policy helped send the dollar to a two-month low against a basket of currencies. Against the Japanese yen it fell to a low of 79.64 yen, its weakest point since Feb 21. ECONOMIC CLOUDS Worries about the health of the global economy have resurfaced since last week’s initial releases of US and UK first-quarter growth figures disappointed the market. Business sentiment surveys and data across the euro zone have also pointed to a worsening outlook as government austerity measures bite. This came into sharp focus on Monday when Spain officially joined a long list of European nations in recession. The weakness in the euro zone was cited as a big factor behind a dip in Britain’s manufacturing

KABUL: An Afghan boy carries a sack at a vegetable market in Kabul yesterday. The total labor force in Afghanistan was 10,642,376 in 2009, according to a World Bank report. — AFP

UAE’s Etihad acquires 3% stake in Aer Lingus Shares up 1.7% DUBLIN: Etihad Airways has bought a 3 percent stake in Irish airline Aer Lingus as a precursor to a commercial tie-up that could help Abu Dhabi’s flagship carrier gain more European routes to catch up with Middle Eastern rivals. The deal also positions state-owned Etihad as a potential buyer of the indebted Irish government’s 25 percent stake in Aer Lingus, which it is considering selling as part its international bailout. After months of speculation about a possible deal, the airlines said yesterday that Etihad’s stake purchase reflected “its desire to forge a commercial partnership,” with Aer Lingus. Aer Lingus said talks with Etihad, which operates 10 flights a week between Abu Dhabi and Dublin since launching the service in 2007, so far have centered around a code-share agreement and have been extended to include cost savings through joint procurement. Aer Lingus said Etihad had told the Irish carrier that it did not intend to increase its stake pending the outcome of the talks. Eight-year-old Etihad is attempting to gain scale quickly - particularly in Europe - as it bids to catch up to rivals such as Dubai government-owned Emirates and Qatar Airways. In December, it raised its stake in Air Berlin to nearly 30 percent from just under 3 percent, paying approximately 73 million euros and lending the carrier $255 million. In return, Etihad received a code-share agreement giving it access to Air Berlin’s dense European short-haul route network and

to the German capital ahead of Emirates, one of the fastest-growing carriers in the world, which has been lobbying for years to get into Berlin. Etihad has already flagged its interest in the government’s stake in Aer Lingus, with Chief Executive James Hogan telling an Irish newspaper in February that the group would be open to talks. “The addition of Etihad to the carrier’s equity base provides the Irish government with an additional potential bidder for its 25 percent stake when that is offered for sale,” analysts at broker Bloxham said yesterday. But analysts said Etihad would likely want to resolve uncertainty over whether Aer Lingus may eventually have to contribute to a pension deficit that rose to 700 million euros ($926.49 million) at the end of 2011. “The reality is that they (Etihad) are going to want to wait to see the pension issue cleared up first before they begin to act,” said Brian Devine at NCB Stockbrokers, who anticipates it to be resolved during the year. “The state is definitely going to be involved at this stage in trying to bring the whole thing to a head,” he added. Rival airline Ryanair, which owns nearly 30 percent of Aer Lingus, warned in a separate statement that if the government sold its stake to Etihad, this could result in a break-up of the Irish airline and a potential loss of its prize slots at London’s Heathrow Airport. Aer Lingus shares were up 1.7 percent at 1015 GMT in a thinly traded market that was 0.4 percent higher.— Reuters

activity in April, seen in the latest Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a leading indicator of economic activity, published yesterday. The UK PMI dropped to 50.5 in April from a downwardly revised 51.9 in March, keeping the sector just above the 50 level which separates growth from contraction. “It seems that weaknesses in our major trading partner, the euro zone, are starting to hit home,” said Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit, which compiles the PMI survey. Over the past 24 hours, Australia and Canada, whose economies are closely linked to demand in the global economy, have both added to the concerns. The Reserve Bank of Australia cut its official interest rates by a surprisingly aggressive half point to 3.75 percent, due to sluggish economic growth and lower than expected infla-

tion. The announcement sent the local dollar down about three-quarters of a cent to $1.033 and government bond yields to 60-year lows. Canada said its economic output dropped by 0.2 percent in February from January, surprising analysts who had expected a 0.2 percent increase and dampening speculation the Bank of Canada was preparing to shift to a tighter monetary policy. But against this, China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to a 13-month high in April, signaling the world’s second-largest economy has found a footing and may be recovering from a first-quarter trough. “I think it’s not all bleak,” Mike Lenhoff, chief strategist at Brewin Dolphin, said. “Europe is stuck in a bit of a dump at the moment ... but outside of Europe life goes on. The earnings results are pretty good out of America.” The US ISM manufacturing index later and non-farm payroll

figures on Friday will be next to offer investors clues on the shape of the US economy and whether the Fed will have to lean towards offering more support. The European Central Bank’s policy meeting tomorrow precedes weekend elections in France and Greece that could determine future progress in the euro zone’s austerity efforts, and may prompt more growth-oriented policies. Meanwhile commodity markets were caught between the conflicting signals of a gradual recovery in China and a rise in worries about the health of the US economy, the world’s top two consuming nations. Brent crude held above $119 a barrel while US crude CLc1 ticked up 3 cents to $104.90. Copper traded near $8,400 a ton after rising to its highest level in nearly a month on Monday. Gold inched up to a two-week high, supported by weakness in the dollar. — Reuters



Malaysia plantation giant’s listing faces headwind BUKIT KUANTAN: A planned corporate listing aimed at transforming Malaysia’s vital palm oil industry has been clouded by allegations it could short-change the country’s politically powerful farmers. Prime Minister Najib Razak touts the plan as a new era for Malaysian palm oil, but charges that farmers will be hurt pose a political dilemma for the premier as he tries to shore up support ahead of the next elections. Najib announced plans in October to float the commercial arm of the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda), an agency that grants land for smallholder farms and is the world’s biggest plantation entity at 850,000 hectares. But vocal farmers and the political opposition have cried foul, alleging that smallholders who have tilled Felda-granted plots for decades could lose control of their futures in the complicated scheme-and possibly their land. “Now my children and I have new fears that our land will be grabbed,” said Osman Abdul Rahman, 80, who began farming in the eastern Malaysian town of Bukit Kuantan in the 1970s, when tigers and wild elephants still roamed. Felda pioneered resettlement of poor rural Malays onto farmland

after it was founded in 1956, and many now enjoy solid incomes and rising land values. Rocking that boat is considered politically risky. While multi-ethnic Malaysia has sizeable Chinese and Indian minorities, Muslim Malays or “sons of the soil” make-up up about 60 percent of its 28 million people and their support is considered vital in winning elections. Palm oil is a key ingredient in soap and a range of food products, and consumption of the commodity is predicted to soar in the coming decades. The listing of Felda Global Ventures Holdings (FGVH) would be one of Malaysia’s largest ever, part of a plan to attract billions in foreign investment. FGVH would seek to sell 2.19 billion shares, it told Malaysia’s securities regulator this week, amid estimates it could raise up to $3.0 billion, making it one of the world’s largest IPOs this year. “It is big. It is big, God willing,” FGVH President Sabri Ahmad said. Analysts say the scheme will help Malaysia’s $27 billion palm oil sectorthe world’s second largest-compete with top producer Indonesia. Under the plan, a profitable palm-fruit producing cooperative owned by Felda’s

112,000 smallholders would be lumped in with other state-held Felda land and assets to form the listed entity. Felda currently sells palm fruit or crude palm oil to third parties, but the aim is for it to expand into palm oil processing and other downstream businesses to create a more fully self-contained global palm oil player. “Foreign investors will be cautious due to the dissent,” said Yeah Kim Leng, chief economist with research firm RAM Holdings, but they could be tempted by earnings growth potential “as palm oil is considered green gold”. A planned May listing was pushed back after a farmers’ group won a court injunction, but it was later overturned and a June date set. At a recent meeting in Bukit Kuantan, the Felda Settlers Children’s Association, which opposes the flotation, urged dozens of farmers to block it. “The listing is a way of robbing settlers of their land,” said Mazlan Aliman, the group’s chairman. But the government dismisses the allegations, saying smallholders’ plots will not be part of FGVH. Najib has promised farmers a one-off “windfall” from the stock sale and the option of purchasing further shares, as well as

future dividends, and many of them welcome the scheme. “Malays are split now. Those who oppose it do not understand the benefits,” said Bukit Kuantan farmer Abdullah Lotin, 69,

BUKIT KUANTAN: A farmer carries palm oil fruit at a plantation in Malaysia’s eastern town of Bukit Kuantan. — AFP

American companies open up on Myanmar

RBA cuts rates to 3.75% Australia surprises with aggressive half point cut SYDNEY: Australia’s central bank cut its main cash rate by a surprisingly aggressive half a point yesterday and said inflation would likely be lower than expected for the next two years, leaving the door ajar for further easing if needed. The local dollar fell half a cent and government bond yields hit 60-year lows as the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cuts rates to 3.75 percent, a level not seen since late 2009. Markets had only looked for a quarter point easing. “In considering the appropriate size of adjustment to the cash rate at today’s meeting, the Board judged it desirable that financial conditions now be easier than those which had prevailed in December,” RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said in a brief statement after the bank’s monthly policy meeting. “A reduction of 50 basis points in the cash rate was, in this instance, therefore judged to be necessary in order to deliver the appropriate level of borrowing rates.” Some easing had been widely expected given a background of benign inflation and disappointing economic growth. In a Reuters poll of 22 analysts, 21 had expected a move of 25 basis points, with another cut for June. Rates are now the lowest since December 2009, but still far above those in the United States, Japan and Europe. And that’s one reason investors are pricing in a further 69 basis points of cuts within a year. If they are right, that would see rates return to the record lows of 3 percent plumbed during the depths of the global financial crisis. Any easing would be warmly welcomed by a Labor government that is trailing badly in opinion polls yet is set to deliver a tough budget next week aimed at returning to surplus years before most other developed economies. Australian households are highly sensitive to mortgage rates as over a third

have home loans, most of which are variable. Mortgage debt totals around A$1.2 trillion, or 1.5 times household disposable income, and paying the annual interest on it takes almost a tenth of those earnings. A reduction of 50 basis points in the standard variable mortgage rates saves an average borrower around A$1,080 a year. Australia’s banks are expected to only pass on some of this easing to their customers, choosing instead to maintain profit margins in the face of higher funding costs. SLOWER GROWTH, LOWER INFLATION The RBA has been on hold since cutting rates last November and December, but recently adopted an easing bias as growth in the A$1.4 trillion economy disappointed outside the booming mining sector. A strong currency and intense foreign competition has pressured manufacturing and tourism, while a shift in spending habits by penny-pinching consumers has hit retailers hard. One result has been a sharp slowdown in employment growth, though the jobless rate remains historically low at 5.2 percent. Housing has been particularly weak with the government’s measure of city house prices falling 1.1 percent in the first quarter, twice the drop forecast. Prices were down 4.5 percent on the same quarter last year, a far cry from the heady growth pace of 19 percent seen as recently as 2010. Still, the lofty local dollar has also helped restrain inflation by driving down prices for a whole raft of imported goods, from cars to computers, clothes and TVs. The RBA’s preferred measure of underlying inflation braked to a decade low around 2.15 percent in the first quarter, near the floor of its long term target band of 2-3 percent. The RBA is now expected to cut forecasts for both

who relishes the thought of dividends and capital gains. Sabri acknowledged change would be “painful” for farmers, but added: “Are we just going to be happy being farmers?” — AFP

economic growth and inflation in its quarterly statement on monetary policy, to be released on Friday. “Over the coming one to two years ... inflation will probably be lower than earlier expected, but still in the 2-3 per cent range,” Stevens said yesterday. — Reuters

SYDNEY: A woman walks past the Reserve Bank of Australia building in central Sydney yesterday. Australia’s central bank slashed interest rates by a shock 50 basis points, bringing them down to 3.75 percent based on weaker economic conditions and easing inflation. — AFP

WASHINGTON: Fearing they will be left out of a growing economy, US companies are calling for an end to sanctions on Myanmar but are facing a cool reception from policymakers and human rights groups. US firms had long been shy about openly seeking to enter the resource-rich nation-a perennial top violator of human rights on annual listsand the few companies that do business there have faced a backlash from activists. But Myanmar has embarked on reforms over the past year that have surprised even critics, leading the European Union and Canada to suspend most sanctions and Japan to step up assistance. China already has an outsized role in Myanmar’s economy after two decades of Western sanctions. In a letter to President Barack Obama, leading US business groups urged his administration to go beyond announced plans for a limited easing of sanctions such as allowing US credit cards in the country formerly known as Burma. “Permitting certain US sectors to invest while excluding others will not prevent those sectors from being developed in Burma,” said the letter signed by the US Chamber of Commerce, American Petroleum Institute and US-ASEAN Business Council among other groups. “It will simply ensure that our competitors fill the void, as they are already doing, and that jobs which could be given to American workers will go to workers in Asia and elsewhere,” they wrote. Clay Thompson, director of corporate government affairs at Caterpillar Inc., said that the US equipment giant expected strong growth as Myanmar builds its infrastructure. Thompson said Caterpillar had essentially ceded business to Chinese competitors, even though the US company supported restrictions on dealing with specific people or businesses blacklisted for wrongdoing by the Treasury Department. “We’re coming to the view-along with, I think, several important voices in the US government-that at this point the sanctions are impeding the

reform rather than driving it,” Thompson said. “What reformers in the country now really need is economic growth, which will certainly come if US companies are allowed to provide financial services and invest there,” he said. The Obama administration has been at the forefront of diplomacy on Myanmar, entering talks in 2009 aimed at ending the country’s long isolation. Since taking office a year ago, President Thein Sein has freed prisoners, opened dialog with rivals and allowed an election that gave democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi a seat in parliament after years under house arrest. Kurt Campbell, the assistant secretary of state for East Asia, recently told Congress that the United States needed to maintain “leverage” to press for further actions, such as pressing the military to end ethnic violence. While saying that US firms had the “right values” and governance to promote reform, Campbell said that the administration wanted to move in a “careful” way and did not plan a full-scale lifting of sanctions. In their own letter to Obama, rights groups including Human Rights Watch and the AFLCIO, the leading US labor confederation, backed “the broad position” of the administration but voiced fear it would move too quickly. The groups said that each step in easing sanctions should be linked to measurable progress on goals, including the release of remaining political prisoners, the end of abuses in ethnic-minority areas, and the fairness of elections due in 2015. Aung Din, a former political prisoner who heads the US Campaign for Burma advocacy group, said there was a vital need to maintain pressure as Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy only was allowed to seek a small number of seats in parliament. “I hope US business leaders look at my country beyond business opportunities,” he said. “There are millions of people who have sacrificed so much in their lives to achieve democracy, human rights, equality and permanent peace. — AFP

EXCHANGE RATES Commercial Bank of Kuwait US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian Dollar Australian DLR Indian rupees Sri Lanka Rupee UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi riyals Omani riyals Philippine peso Egyptian pounds

.2730000 .4480000 .3650000 .3030000 .2800000 .2880000 .0040000 .0020000 .0751190 .7318660 .3830000 .0710000 .7174620 .0040000 .0430000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2767000 GB Pound/KD .4501220 Euro .3667520 Swiss francs .3052400 Canadian dollars .2822030 Danish Kroner .0493240 Swedish Kroner .0411970 Australian dlr .2897740 Hong Kong dlr .0356600 Singapore dlr .2236140 Japanese yen .0034470 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 Pakistan rupee .0000000 Bangladesh taka .0000000 UAE dirhams .0753640 Bahraini dinars .7342440 Jordanian dinar .0000000 Saudi Riyal/KD .0738060 Omani riyals .7189810 Philippine Peso .0000000

.2805000 .4560000 .3730000 .3110000 .2870000 .2950000 .0070000 .0035000 .0758740 .7392210 .4000000 .0760000 .7246730 .0072000 .0500000 .2788000 .4535380 .3695350 .3075570 .2843450 .0496990 .0415100 .2919730 .0359300 .2253110 .0034730 .0053460 .0021570 .0030790 .0034190 .0759360 .7398170 .3943420 .0743660 .7244380 .0066540

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. Currency

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

277.900 3.056 5.295 2.135 3.400 6.620 75.765 74.265 738.800 45.947 457.900 3.090

Yemeni Riyal Euro Canadian Dollars Nepali rupee

1.550 373.800 289.200 3.350

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

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

277.550 370.500 453.500 285.200 3.495 5.283 45.914 2.130 3.387 6.548 3.060 739.100 75.600 74.100


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

295.33 287.99 311.44 371.61 455.14 3.54 3.393 5.277 2.120 3.314 3.058 75.62 739.20 45.90 395.36 722.24 76.63 74.20

292.00 284.50 307.50 369.00 447.00 3.65 3.550 5.700 2.550 4.000 3.250 76.50 741.00 47.25 394.50 726.00 77.75 74.25

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd Rate for Transfer

US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro Swiss Frank Bahrain Dinar

Selling Rate

278.950 281.210 444.240 365.770 303.830 738.695

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

SELL CASH 290.900 739.210 3.660 285.100 545.900 45.300 50.500 167.800 47.630 372.600 36.500 5.550 0.032 0.159 0.228 3.580 393.910 0.188 93.850 45.400 4.270 230.400 1.801 49.700 721.980 3.140 6.810 76.890 74.210 226.120 38.110 2.649 455.000 42.400 310.500 4.300

9.400 198.263 75.780 278.300 1.340

9.250 75.680 277.900

GOLD 1,734.770

10 Tola Sterling Pound US Dollar

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 453.000 277.900

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co.

Bahrain Exchange Company

UAE Exchange Centre WLL COUNTRY

Thai bhat Tunisian dollar UAE dirham U.S. dollars Yemeni Riyal

75.925 76.570 74.345 392.660 46.178 2.189 5.426 3.082 3.411 6.549 684.255 4.440 9.120 5.875 3.480 92.305

SELL DRAFT 289.400 739.210 3.394 283.600

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

3.502 5.283 3.050 2.129 3.315 225.730 35.865 3.394 6.589 9.016 91.989 GCC COUNTRIES 74.190 76.443 722.620 738.940 75.756

226.100 45.966 371.100 36.350 5.285 0.031

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

393.860 0.187 92.850

ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 47.650 Egyptian Pound - Transfer 45.920 Yemen Riyal/for 1000 1.298 Tunisian Dinar 182.12 Jordanian Dinar 392.880 Lebanese Lira/for 1000 1.866 Syrian Lier 4.853 Morocco Dirham 33.506

3.330 228.900 721.800 3.070 6.600 76.460 74.210 226.120 38.110 2.134 453.000 309.000 4.300

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 278.100 Euro 369.73 Sterling Pound 453.020 Canadian dollar 282.77 Turkish lire 158.340 Swiss Franc 308.31 US Dollar Buying 276.300 20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

GOLD 298.000 149.000 75.500



Malaysia to introduce minimum wage KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will introduce a minimum wage for the first time in a move to bolster incomes amid rising living costs and speculation of a snap general election, a report said yesterday. An estimated 3.2 million workers are expected to gain from the move but labor unions, which have been battling for a minimum wage for the past 15 years, described the base rate as too little. Private sector workers in peninsular Malaysia will receive a minimum salary of 900 ringgit ($297) a month while workers in the states of Sabah and Sarawak on Borneo island will get 800 ringgit. “This is a special present from the federal government to all employees of our beloved country,” Prime Minister Najib Razak was quoted as saying by the Star newspaper as he marked Labor Day. Najib is trying to woo voters back to his ruling National Front coalition, which has governed Malaysia since independence in 1957, and speculation is rife that he could call polls as early as last month. The due date is March 2013. At the weekend police in Kuala Lumpur fired tear-gas at thousands of protesters calling for the elections to be free and fair and urging the

government to clean up the electoral roll. Malaysia, a trading nation, primarily in electronic parts, palm oil and oil, is South East Asia’s third-largest economy and has set a goal to achieve rich nation status by 2020. Awang Ibrahim, general-secretary of the Union of Beverage Industry Workers, said he was disappointed with the level of the minimum wage. “The Malaysian Trades Union Congress asked for a 1,200 ringgit minimum wage 15 years ago and I believe the amount announced by the prime minister is insufficient for those living in cities,” he said. Najib did not set a fixed timeline for the implementation of the new policy. He said it could start from October and small businesses may be given a 12-month grace period to adjust to the new system. The Socialist party criticized Najib for not setting a definite starting date. “The most alarming feature of this announcement is that there is no actual time set to implement this minimum wage policy,” S Arutchelvan, secretarygeneral of the party said in a statement. “With Najib’s constant flip flopping, we would never see the daylight for this policy.” — AFP

KUALA LUMPUR: Workers march on a street during a May Day rally to call for a minimum wage law in Kuala Lumpur. — AP

Delta buys refinery, becoming first airline to make own fuel Deal seen aiding US gasoline, diesel supplies

TRAINER: The ConocoPhillips refinery is seen in Trainer, Pa. ConocoPhillips. — AP

‘No more easing’: Fed, hawk and dove agree LOS ANGELES: Two top Federal Reserve officials - one with a dovish, employmentfocused bent, and the other a self-avowed inflation hawk - on Monday both said they see no need for the US central bank to ease monetary policy any further. But the comments, from San Francisco Fed President John Williams and Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher, do not mean they believe the central bank should quickly move to raise rates, which it has kept near zero for more than three years. The economy grew at a 2.2 percent pace last quarter, down from its 3 percent growth rate in the final three months of the year. Recent economic data, including a gauge of business activity in the US Midwest, signal growth may slow further this quarter. “I don’t think we are ready to exit yet,” Fisher, an inflation hawk, told Reuters at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles. Fisher said he would oppose the extension of Operation Twist, the Fed bond-buying program that is set to end in June, but stopped short of calling for outright monetary tightening. “We’ll have to see how the year works out,” he said. Speaking to the German financial daily Handelsblatt, San Francisco Fed’s Williams suggested the Fed might need to push rates still lower if the US unemployment rose substantially and growth slowed. “But I’m today more optimistic about the economy than in January,” Williams, a voter this year on the Fed’s policy-setting panel, was quoted as saying. “So far there is no need for further monetary measures,” he said, pointing to an improvement in US consumption and avail-

able income as well as positive signs in the property market. Fed policymakers have been at odds for months over whether continued high unemployment - which registered 8.2 percent in March - and a moderate pace of economic growth should force them to try to push rates down further in hopes of boosting the recovery. Doves like Chicago Fed President Charles Evans have called for further action, while hawks like Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker have opposed it. Last week, the Fed held its policy line, reiterating its expectation that it will need to keep rates low through late 2014. And while Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke held the door open to further easing, he did not suggest it was imminent. ‘EAT YOUR VEGETABLES’ Fisher’s opposition to further easing is rooted less in a conviction that the recovery has strengthened than in his long-held view that lower rates are doing little to boost jobs and may simply be giving Congress an excuse not to tackle the difficult job of reining in deficits and the national debt. “By providing monetar y accommodation, we are saying, in essence, ‘Congress, you better eat your vegetables, or we are going to serve you a big plate of monetary cookies,’” Fisher said at a panel on job creation at the Global Conference. The Fed’s program of bond purchases is pushing down the price of debt, interfering with a pricing mechanism that would otherwise force Congress to come to terms with its “fiscal misfeasance,” he said.— Reuters

BOWLING GREEN: Shoppers scramble for door buster deals at Target, in Bowling Green, Ky. Americans increased their spending more slowly in March this year, suggesting some could be worried about the economy. — AP

Gold hits 2-week high SINGAPORE: Gold inched up to a two-week high yesterday, supported by weakness in the dollar after latest data indicated the US economic recovery might be losing steam. Though the disappointing data may fuel expectations that the US Federal Reserve might launch more quantitative easing, the top two Fed officials both said they saw no need for further easing but also said they do not believe the Fed should quickly move to raise rates. Bullion ended April in the red for the third consecutive month after data showed improvement in the US economy and the Fed’s stance became less dovish. More monetary easing raises inflation pressure and burnishes gold’s appeal as a hedge against rising prices. “The market has been let down a few times by the Fed, but gold should benefit as the Fed is likely to hold off tightening until 2014 and Japan

has eased again,” said a Tokyo-based trader. Spot gold edged up 0.2 percent to $1,667.45 earlier, its highest since April 13, before giving up the gains to trade flat at $1,664.11 an ounce by 0559 GMT. US gold was little changed at $1,665.20. The dollar index languished near a two-month low hit in the previous session, giving some support to dollar-priced commodities. Trading was slow as a number of markets, including China, Hong Kong, India and Singapore, were closed for the Labor Day holiday. Investors are keeping a watchful eye on weekend elections in France and Greece and a European Central Bank meeting on Thursday, after data showed that Spain sank into recession in the first quarter. China’s official purchasing managers’ index rose to a 13month high of 53.3 in April from 53.1 in March, indicating a further expansion in the vast factory sector. —Reuters

PENNSYLVANIA: Delta Air Lines Inc will buy a Pennsylvania oil refinery from ConocoPhillips for $150 million, an audacious bid to save money on fuel costs by investing in a sector shunned by many of the biggest oil firms. Atlanta-based Delta said the first ever purchase of a refinery by an airline would allow it to cut $300 million annually from jet fuel costs, which reached $12 billion last year. It said production at the refinery along with other agreements to exchange refined products for jet fuel would provide 80 percent of its fuel needs in the United States. The deal for the idled 185,000 barrel per day Trainer, Pa., refinery, which has puzzled analysts since it first surfaced last month, will come as some relief to politicians and officials, who had feared thousands of lost jobs and a potential summer spike in fuel costs if the plant was shut permanently. And while the initial investment is no more than a widebody jet liner, even including an additional $100 million to upgrade the plant to maximize jet fuel production, it will put Delta in the unique position of hoping that the recent rebound in refinery profit margins-normally an indication of added costs for a fuel consumer-doesn’t prove too fleeting. While Delta will remain hostage to fluctuating crude oil costs, the facility would enable it to save on the cost of refining a barrel of jet fuel, which is currently more than $2 billion a year for Delta and has been rising in the wake of US refinery shutdowns, said Delta Chief Executive Richard Anderson. “What we’re tackling here today is the jet crack spread, which you cannot hedge in the marketplace effectively,” Anderson told reporters during a phone briefing. “It’s the fastest single growing cost in our book of expense at Delta.” As expected, Delta will effectively outsource all the oil trading requirements for the refinery, an increasingly frequent arrangement for smaller or less-experienced operators. But instead of JP Morgan, which had been initially named as the trader last month, oil major BP will supply crude oil to be refined at the plant under a three-year agreement. And BP and former refinery owner Phillips 66 will get a share of the gasoline, diesel and refined fuel to sell, in exchange for supplying Delta with jet fuel in other locations. It will be a familiar role for BP, which owned the plant in the 1990s before selling it to independent refiner Tosco in 1996 for $59 million, coupled with some additional assets. Tosco later merged with Phillips, which then merged with Conoco. The refinery is expected to resume operations in the third quarter, Delta said, about a year after ConocoPhillips idled the plant as rising imported crude oil costs, a collapse in demand and tough competition from foreign refiners crushed margins. Delta said the deal will include pipelines and other assets that will provide access to the delivery network for jet fuel reaching its Northeast operations, including its increasingly important hubs at New York’s LaGuardia and JFK airports. Fuel costs pushed major US airlines into the red for the first quarter, although oil prices have since eased from March peaks. US crude traded around $105 a barrel on Monday, while Brent crude was about $119 a barrel. CAUTIOUS RESPONSE The deal offers a reprieve to one of two key refineries that had been earmarked for permanent closure this year unless buyers were found. Delta said it would get $30 million in state government assistance on the deal. “This announcement means the preservation of more than 5,000 jobs at the Trainer facility and in related industries,” Pennsylvania Gov Tom Corbett said in a statement. But at the same time it will raise questions among oil sector analysts about whether the rush to revive one of the halfdozen East Coast facilities that has been shut in recent years may be premature given lingering questions over whether these plants can compete without access to cheap crude. Profit margins in April rose to their highest since 2008, according to a Credit Suisse analysis, and are up more than 60 percent from the average of last year as the planned closure of some 1.5 million bpd, including

CHANTILL: A Delta Airlines aircraft at Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Virginia. — AFP

two refineries in the Carribean, threatened to cut East Coast capacity to just a third of its peak in 2008. The cuts are deeper when factoring in Europe. But in addition to Trainer, private equity fund The Carlyle Group is in talks to buy the biggest refiner y in Philadelphia, potentially pulling another plant back from the brink. The analysts at Credit Suisse say another 2.6 million bpd of refining capacity across the globe must be shut “to hit the “sweet spot” utilization level of 87 percent”. The Delta refinery would be run by a leadership team headed by Jeffrey Warmann, who last ran Murphy Oil USA’s Meraux, Louisiana, refinery. East Coast refineries, among the oldest and least advanced in the country, have been hammered by a series of bad turns: the 2008 recession that cut demand; the rapid injection of ethanol into the US gasoline mix; tougher environmental norms; and the rise of new, more sophisticated plants in India and elsewhere. The final blow for many has been the surge in cheap shale oil production from

North Dakota and West Texas, which has handed a bounty of cut-priced crude to Midwest and Gulf rivals who are now running their plants flat-out. WILL IT WORK? Robert Mann, an airline consultant in Port Washington, New York, said Delta’s statement did not address how it will handle exposure to fluctuations in energy prices or refined product costs or the actual refining process costs. “It’s clearly a very innovative approach, but I think it will be a number of years before we know whether it actually works out,” Mann said. Delta is the world’s second-largest air carrier, behind United Continental Holdings. The airline expects the purchase to add to its earnings in the first year of operations. Delta’s Monroe Energy LLC unit expects to close the purchase in the first half. JP Morgan Chase advised it in the purchase, Delta said. Delta shares were little changed in extended trading after the announcement, which was widely expected. — Reuters

Man Group’s CEO hits back at critics Shares down 5.6 percent LONDON: The chief executive of beleaguered hedge fund manager Man Group sought to defend his position, saying shareholders supported him despite further withdrawals of clients’ money and poor returns from its flagship fund. Peter Clarke has been under growing pressure as the company’s share price has fallen by almost 60 percent since September, sparking market talk of a takeover or a change of management. Clarke yesterday dismissed the need for a bid from a rival, despite recent speculation by analysts at UBS that the company was a “likely take-out candidate,” and said he had shareholders’ support. “We do not feel we need a big brother in order to achieve our strategic objectives,” said Clarke, who took over as CEO from industry ‘godfather’ Stanley Fink in 2007. “I do not feel our shareholders do anything other than support existing management, as witnessed by the proxy votes.” Man shares were down 5.6 percent at 97.52 pence at 0901 GMT, underperforming the slightly higher FTSE 100 blue-chip index. In November, Reuters reported one top 15 shareholder saying the fund manager was “ripe for a management reshuffle”. Last Friday the Financial Times reported that top 10 institutional investors had given Clarke a “window” in which to lift the share price. Clarke’s comments come as Man said client withdrawals had slowed to a net $1 billion in the three months to March 31. Analysts at Numis had expected a $1.5 billion net outflow. In comparison, the firm saw $2.5 billion of net outflows in the final three months of 2011. Total assets under management fell to $59 billion from $59.5 billion at the end of February. Outflows were largely at its $21 billion

‘black box’ hedge fund AHL, named after 1980s founders Michael Adam, David Harding and Martin Lueck, which is down 2.2 percent so far in 2012 after falling 6.4 percent last year. In contrast, the hedge fund industry as a whole is seeing modest inflows, helped by buoyant markets. Data from GlobeOp shows investors’ demands to pull money out of hedge funds fell in April. Funds at Man’s manager-driven GLG unit - which it bought for $1.6 billion in 2010 made gains this year. Its European LongShort hedge fund, run by star manager Pierre Lagrange, was up 8 percent in the first three months of the year. “We do not see enough here to trigger re-rating or share price recovery,” said analysts at Citi in a note. “AHL performance and rebalancing continues to be the key issue.” Man has been weighed down by the sluggish performance of AHL, which tries to make money following trends in futures markets and which suffered last year as its programs focusing on short-term market movements were hit by volatility. Last year, around 70 percent of group revenue was generated by AHL funds or funds that allocate to AHL. Man said yesterday that at the end of March, AHL was on average 14 percent away from its so-called high-water mark, above which it can earn lucrative performance fees. Citi analysts estimate that after losses in April it is now around 17 percent away from that mark. Outflows from AHL were largely from Nomura Global Trend - an open-ended version of AHL - which Man launched in Japan only last year, raising $2 billion by last May. “Sales will remain subdued until we see positive performance enduring there,” Clarke said on a call to journalists. — Reuters





in brief

Tabreed Q1 net up 15% DUBAI: National Central Cooling Company (Tabreed) reported a 15 percent rise in first quarter profit yesterday as operating costs declined by a quarter for its chilled water business. Tabreed made a net profit of 36.8 million dirhams ($10 million) in the three months to March 31, up from 31.9 million dirhams a year earlier, a company statement said. Net profit was lifted by a 5 percent increase in chilled water revenue, and a decline in operating costs of 25 percent. Total revenues in the first quarter declined 11 percent however to 219 million dirhams which the company said was expected as it continues to phase out noncore businesses. “Due to our continued cost control and improved organizational efficiencies, operating costs declined 25 per cent and operating profit increased 14 per cent compared to the same period last year,” Sujit S. Parhar, Tabreed’s chief executive said. “Net finance costs were notably lower reflecting our stable and improved capital structure.” Qatar Airways to convert 20 A330 jets to freighters DUBAI: Qatar Airways, which last year took a big stake in a European freight carrier, will convert up to 20 of its Airbus A330 passenger jets into freighters, its chief executive said yesterday. Akbar Al Baker said an announcement could be made at the Farnborough air show in July. “We are in talks with EFW, negotiations are going on about the delivery schedule. We should be able to come up with something at Farnborough. It should be about 15 to 20 aircraft,” he said at a Dubai travel show. Airbus unveiled the “passenger-to-freight” option for the A330 at the Singapore Air Show in February, in a deal with Singapore’s ST Aerospace and EADS EFW of Germany. The plan involves giving a second life hauling cargo to mid-sized passenger jets. Al Baker had previously threatened to buy converted Boeing 767 aircraft because of a gap in Airbus’s cargo strategy. Qatar Airways, half-owned by sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority, bought a 35 percent stake in freight carrier Cargolux Airlines International last year. Saudi Tasnee eyes debut riyal sukuk DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s National Industrialization Company (Tasnee) will begin meeting investors next week ahead of a potential debut Islamic bond, or sukuk, the petrochemicals firm said in a regulatory filing. HSBC’s Saudi Arabian unit has been selected to organise the roadshows, which could lead to a privately-placed transaction, according to a statement published late on Monday. A number of Saudi entities have priced their first local currency sukuk this year as interest in the country’s debt market grows on the back of high investor liquidity and a desire to diversify funding sources away from bank loans. The largest of these was a 15-billion riyals ($4 billion) trade from the General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) in January. Diary firm Almarai Co and AJIL Financial Services Company completed deals worth 1 billion riyals and 500 million riyals in March and April, respectively.

US business hopes rise on Beijing reform vows Lawmakers focus on market access, not yuan WASHINGTON: US businesses are optimistic that vows of economic reform by Beijing will lead to an opening of China’s financial system, and they are not worried diplomatic strains over a Chinese dissident will undermine highlevel talks later this week. Despite tensions over blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, who escaped house arrest last week and is believed to be under US protection in Beijing, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are still heading to Beijing for annual meetings. “The fact that the trip is going forward for both cabinet secretaries, I think is a sign that they are planning on doing some work,” said Erin Ennis, vice president with the US-China Business Council. The council, which represents some 240 large companies that do business with China such as Dow Chemical, Ford Motor and Apple, wants China to reduce investment barriers and foreign ownership restrictions, among other things. Over the past few months, the Chinese government has pledged to improve the climate for investors, admitted its banks are a monopoly, widened the trading ban for its currency and said it was time to allow markets to set interest rates. The vows of reform from top Chinese regulators and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao have given US businesses hope that Beijing will start addressing their long list of complaints and make it easier for them to invest and compete in China. “We see this as a very significant and positive development for China and the United States,” said Rob Nichols, the chairman of Engage-China, a coalition of 12 powerful trade and lobbying groups representing every part of the US financial sector. US financial firms, which have long pressed for more access to China’s state-dominated market, have sensed a change in Beijing’s commitment to reform, and they want Geithner to seize the moment when he meets with top Chinese officials in Beijing tomorrow and Friday. Expanding opportunities for US companies, leveling the playing field for American firms and liberalizing China’s finance sector top Geithner’s list of topics to tackle at the fourth so-called Strategic and Economic Dialogue talks. Engage-China

traces Beijing’s new-found reform commitment to a World Bank report released in February that warned that China’s economic model was outdated and, if unattended, could precipitate a financial and fiscal crisis. The report, requested by Beijing and coauthored by an influential Chinese government think tank, urged an overhaul in the structure of China’s economy, in part by privatizing its state-owned enterprises, to keep income and productivity rising. “There is some hope that we will see some greater liberalization that can benefit US companies, particularly in financial services,” said Jeremie Waterman, executive director of China policy at the US Chamber of Commerce. While the Chamber, the biggest US business lobby, has been a frequent critic of the Obama administration, it says it is largely in synch with the White House on China policy and gives it credit for deepening ties with Beijing. MARKET ACCESS, NOT CURRENCY There also appears to be some change in

sentiment toward Beijing among traditionally hostile lawmakers in Washington, who are shifting their focus away from what they view as China’s undervalued yuan currency and toward issues of market access. It is not clear whether lawmakers have been influenced by Beijing’s recent comments on financial reform, the wider yuan trading band or the fact that the currency has appreciated 40 percent against the US dollar since China stopped pegging the yuan to the greenback in 2005. But in letters to Geithner ahead of the talks, lawmakers have refrained from criticizing China’s currency practices. “Fair and competitive access to China’s fast-growing middle class and business sector represents an enormous opportunity for American manufacturers, service providers and farmers,” said one letter signed by an eclectic group of lawmakers that included Democrats, Republicans and ultra-conservative Tea Party representatives. David Lampton, a professor at John Hopkins University and director of its China studies program, believes

the rise in the yuan has helped take the issue off the table for lawmakers. “It appears that market access and China’s interest rate, the price of money broadly speaking, and subsidies are going to be the new focus of discussions in the future,” he said. Since 2005, US lawmakers have repeatedly threatened legislation that would punish Chinese exports with tariffs designed to offset the effect of China’s stockpiling of US dollars to hold down the value of the yuan. A bill aimed at forcing China to allow its currency to appreciate more rapidly passed the Senate last year, much to Beijing’s dismay. Republican Senator Mike Johanns, who voted in favor of the Senate’s currency bill, urged the administration to work with the Chinese government as it reforms and diversifies its financial sector. “If they do, they will find allies” in the US Congress, Johanns said. “As our economy continues to struggle and unemployment remains unacceptably high, expanding our economic markets is a common-sense way to spur job creation,” he said.— Reuters

SICHUAN PROVINCE: Chinese workers assembling circuit boards at a factory in Mianyang, southwest China’s Sichuan province. — AFP




Used Airbus for sale — contact Boeing In rare move, Boeing agrees to buy Airbus jets NEW YORK: Boeing may soon be looking for buyers for long-range passenger jets built by arch-rival Airbus under a rare trade-in deal with China’s third largest airline that underscores all-out competition between the planemakers. The US planemaker has agreed to buy half of China Eastern’s fleet of 10 Airbus A340 jets as part of a $6 billion deal to sell 20 Boeing 777s to the airline, the Shanghai carrier said in a stock exchange filing on Monday. Airbus has itself agreed to take back the other half of China Eastern’s A340 fleet as part of a separate deal to sell 15 A330 jets, but faces likely delays in getting the deal done due to a row between China and Europe over emissions. The two deals lift a veil on an obscure corner of the jetliner industry, where planes are traded in like used cars. Just like car dealerships, the world’s dominant aircraft manufacturers sometimes offer to take back their old models when trying to persuade airlines to upgrade to the latest models, in an industry with $100 billion in annual new sales. But experts agree it is unusual for aircraft to cross over the barrier separating Airbus and Boeing in their combative duopoly, and when

they do it stokes up emotions on both sides. “It sometimes happens but it is not their preferred route at all,” said Karl Bruenjes, managing director of UK-based RPK Capital Management, a specialist in secondhand aircraft. The deal echoes a move by Boeing to buy A340s from Singapore Airlines in the mid-1990s including some still in assembly. Back then, the aim was to support a blockbuster sale of 777s. When delivery came there was a brief spat over whether Airbus would support the A340s, according to people familiar with the deal. The subsequent trading spawned a joke inside Boeing headquarters that Boeing had placed more A340s than Airbus that year-a source of irritation for Airbus that may be repeated if Boeing quickly sells the jets it plans to buy this time. Airbus halted production of the slow-selling A340 last year. In 1984, according to industry sources and web databases, Boeing bought a handful of brand-new Airbus A310 models assigned to Kuwait Airways to allow the airline to take Boeings instead. In the European camp, in 2008 Air Algerie told the United States that Airbus had offered to

buy its entire Boeing fleet to prise open a key Boeing client, according to an unconfirmed account in a

in this industry that someone buys their competitor’s aircraft. We do not do it,” sales chief John Leahy

NORTH CHARLESTON: The Boeing logo is seen at Boeing’s new production facilities in North Charlston, South Carolina. Boeing has rolled-off its first South Carolina made 787 Dreamliner aircraft. —AFP cable marked “sensitive” and released by Wikileaks. Airbus said its policy was not to buy Boeing airplanes. “It is very rare

said. Boeing said it did not comment on specific transactions, but a spokesman added: “In general it is fair to say that at times we do take

airplanes in trade, including occasionally non-Boeing airplanes, as part of our orders transactions.” DIFFICULT SECOND-HAND MARKET The A340 entered service boasting “four engines for long haul” in 1993, shortly before the 777 ushered in an era of two engines for all but the biggest aircraft or the longest routes. While the 777 enjoyed record sales last year, Airbus decided to halt production of the A340, which was outsold four to one. China Eastern’s A340 fleet includes five A340-600s, until recently the world’s longest jetliner and still relatively young at an average age of 8.3 years. According to UK consultancy Ascend, the notional market value of these jets, which are due to be sold to Boeing, is $55 million each, but some dealers called the figure optimistic. “The A340 is a difficult market and they will be competing with the manufacturer,” Bruenjes said, noting that Airbus already has nine A340s on its own list of trade-ins for sale. “The value will mainly be in the engines, not so much the airframe. An existing operator might be interested in getting some at cheap

prices, but we wouldn’t pay more than $30 million each, and that’s if we looked at them at all,” Bruenjes said. Airbus faces an even tougher task if gets the green light from Beijing, since its half of the proposed A340 fleet trade-in is older at roughly 15 years and the model has less range. Ascend’s market value for those five A340-300 jets is $15 million each, but Bruenjes estimated a seller would be lucky to get much more than the value of the engines-some $4 million. The A340 averaged $250 million new at list prices before it was taken out of production. In practice jetmakers take trade-ins to facilitate new sales rather than make extensive profits. Airbus says a future jet, the carbon-composite A350-1000, will leapfrog the 777 and wrest back one of the most lucrative parts of the global airliner market from Boeing. Pending that jet’s arrival in 2017, the smaller A330 is selling well and the 777 is said to compete on occasions with the much larger A380. Boeing is considering revamping the 777 to protect its grip on the 300-400 seat market and try to pre-empt the challenge from the A350-1000, which is still trying to establish momentum. — Reuters

UK at risk of longer slump as euro crisis hits factories Weakness fuels talk of more stimulus

Dadida opens its branch in Shaab Entertainment Park KUWAIT: Implementing on its expansion plan, Dadida for children’s apparel and shoes has opened its first branch in Al-Shaab Entertainment Park. Dadidas organized a special event of the first integrated store that contains all children’s needs be it clothes, toys, shoes and accessories from newborns up to 15 years, in cooperation with the Shaab Entertainment Park, in the presence of company owners, several dignitaries, guests and media. Dadida seeks expansion in Kuwait and the Arabian Gulf. It has future plans to open 10 branches within the next two years and will soon open its Marina Mall branch. Dadida is available in 200 cities and has more than 2000 branches

around the world. The Operations and Sales Director Alfredo Canya delivered the opening speech as he welcomed the guests and thanked them for participating in the magnificent event. “Every mother wants her children to have a good appearance, and for that, Dadida offers many outstanding choices that guarantee magnificent and attractive look during the year’s seasons,” The the Marketing Director Salsabeel Badar said. “There are various unique designs. They are different from what we know in children’s fashion. We should not forget the collection of the newborns with its beautiful designs, which are ideal gifts for mothers and children,” she added.

LONDON: British manufacturing output barely grew at all in April as an economic slowdown in the euro zone curbed demand for goods made in Britain, a survey showed yesterday, raising the risk of a longer recession. The unexpectedly sharp slowdown is fuelling a debate over the chances of further monetary stimulus from the Bank of England (BoE), after central bankers hinted that they might not extend their asset purchases later this month following a run of stronger economic data and sticky inflation. Sterling fell against the dollar and euro after the PMI release. The weak Markit/CIPS Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) also cranks up the heat on the governing Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, grappling with a shrinking economy and a series of political blunders as they go into local elections tomorrow, a test of popular support. The manufacturing PMI dropped to 50.5 in April from a downwardly revised 51.9 in March, keeping the sector just above the 50 level which separates growth from contraction. “It’s all apiece with recent data, which tells us that the economy is weak and likely to remain so for some time,” said Peter Dixon, economist at Commerzbank. The reading, the lowest since December, fell short of economists’ forecasts for a dip to 51.5 and lent some credence to disputed official data that showed an economic contraction in Britain in

early 2012, tipping the country back into recession. The BoE and many economists have argued that the official figures understate the economy’s true strength, pointing to more upbeat evidence from surveys, including earlier PMIs. In other quarters the mood is more somber. The chief executive of British bank Lloyds warned yesterday of a “long and difficult” path to economic recovery in Britain. “We think that the economy will be reasonably flat this year, but it is going to be a long and difficult recovery,” Antonio Horta-Osorio said. “We expect it to recover to growth in 2013 and expect unemployment to peak at close to 9 percent by early next year.” The weakness in manufacturing was replicated in Britain’s small neighbor Ireland, where growth in the sector almost ground to a halt in March as output fell. Economic fortunes were better further afield, with China’s official PMI rising to a 13-month high in April, signaling that economy has found its footing and may be recovering from a first-quarter trough. DEPRESSION Britain’s economy has not fully recovered from the steep slump caused by the 20072009 financial crisis and is stuck in what some economist already describe as a depression. British manufacturing output did expand for the fifth consecutive month in April, but it was

Dubai sukuk to fund airport expansion

British taxpayers profit in Actis private equity deal LONDON: The British government is selling its stake in emerging markets private equity group Actis in a move that could pull in tens of millions of pounds for British taxpayers, reversing what it viewed as a poor deal under the previous government. Actis, one of the largest private equity investors in the world’s poorest countries, said yesterday it is buying out the government’s 40 percent stake in the company for 8 million pounds ($13 million) in cash. The deal represents a successful payday for the government and International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell in squeezing value out of an investment that had been valued at between zero and $3 million by the government’s independent financial adviser Canaccord Genuity Hawkpoint. More lucrative will be the share in profits that the government will receive over time from the sale of companies in which Actis has invested. Canaccord Genuity Hawkpoint has estimated that the payments could be worth more than $100 mil-

lion, which will flow back into public coffers. “Today’s agreement represents a much better deal for the taxpayer. While Actis has generated significant profits, the previous shareholding structure meant the taxpayer and Government did not receive any direct financial return at all,” said Mitchell. “This sale now gives the British taxpayer an opportunity to share in the future profits of the funds managed by this highly successful business.” Mitchell was highly critical of the deal in 2004 that saw the government invest in an independent Actis, claiming that it represented poor value for the taxpayer. Despite the successful performance of funds managed by Actis, the ownership structure and agreement put in place under the previous government, meant that the Department for International Development received no payments or direct financial benefit from Actis. He argued last year that the government should sell out if it could realize proper value for its position. —Reuters

DUBAI: Dubai will employ $1.25 billion raised through an Islamic bond last week to fund the expansion of its airport and sees no risk to repaying creditors at its flagship conglomerate Dubai World on time, a top Dubai official said yesterday. “We will use proceeds from the $1.25 billion sukuk to fund Dubai International Airport expansion,” Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, a close advisor and uncle to Dubai’s ruler and a key figure in the emirate’s recovery from its 2009 debt debacle, said in an interview on the sidelines of a Dubai travel show. Sheikh Ahmed, a charismatic figure who has been the public face of Dubai in recent years, holds a host of top positions in the glitzy emirate including the chairman post at its largest bank Emirates NBD, Dubai World and at crown jewel Emirates airline. The emirate is steadily recovering from a 2009 debt crisis which saw Dubai World stun global markets with plans to delay repayment on $25 billion of debt. The conglomerate reached a deal in 2010 to repay lenders over five and eight years. Other state-linked firms are in the midst of restructuring debt. “We (Dubai World) are committed to the plan set in 2010. Dubai World and its companies are making excellent revenues and we expect the debt to be paid on time. There’s no need to extend debt when it falls due,” said Sheikh Ahmed, who also heads the Supreme Fiscal

Committee. The emirate has been rehabilitating its reputation in the aftermath of the debt crisis, helped by a revival in trade and tourism and its safe-haven status amid the Arab Spring popular revolts. Dubai has long touted its position as travel hub and rapidly expanded its Emirates airline. The carrier, among the top 10 in the world by passenger numbers, and top customer of Airbus’ A380 superjumbo, expects 2011 profits to be better than those in 2010 despite higher fuel costs, Sheikh Ahmed said. Fuel costs were about $2 billion last year, accounting for 40 to 43 percent of the airline’s costs, he added. The airline has a $500 million bond maturing in June. “ The Emirates cash reserve is good. It’s excellent, I must say. We have 4 billion dirhams in cash so we are capable of paying off the debt in June...but we’re still weighing options,” the airline’s chairman said. Investors are closely watching two significant maturities in 2012 from statelinked firms, Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) and DIFC Investments, which have to repay a combined $3.25 billion this year. The emirate’s five-year credit default swaps, used to insure against a sovereign default, have narrowed more than 85 bps since the start of this year, to around 358 bps, according to Thomson Reuters data. That is far below the 650 basis points level hit in late 2009 at the height of the crisis.—Reuters

at the weakest pace since December, partly due to the sharpest fall in new export orders since May 2009, Markit said. The index measuring overall new orders dropped for the first time since November, with manufacturers blaming sluggish overseas demand and strong competition. And a strengthening in sterling to its highest in more than two and a half years on a tradeweighted basis poses another threat to exporters by either sapping foreign demand for British wares or squeezing firms’ profits via lower prices. Production of consumer goods fell, while output of intermediate goods, such as car engine, and investment goods, such as factory equipment, both rose. “It seems that weaknesses in our major trading partner, the euro zone, are starting to hit home, especially for consumer goods producers,” said Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit, which compiles the PMI sur vey. Factory-gate price inflation reached a sevenmonth high, even though manufacturers’ costs rose at a much slower pace than in March. The signs of slower growth but higher output prices will compound the central bank’s dilemma over quantitative easing. Most economists do not expect another round of QE after the current one runs out this week, although the surprise fall in GDP has raised the prospect of the bond-buying being extended. —Reuters

Oil hovers around $119 LONDON: Oil hovered around $119 a barrel yesterday as economic expansion in China helped counter a sluggish US economy and bubbling euro zone debt crisis that may depress demand for fuel. China’s factory sector grew at a slightly higher rate in April from the previous month, a sign its economy may have bottomed out in the first quarter. The world’s no 2 oil consumer is expected to account for nearly half of global incremental oil demand this year.

WILMINGTON: Gas prices appear on a Sunoco station sign located in Wilmington, NC. Energy Transfer Partners is buying Sunoco in a $5.3 billion deal that creates one of the more diverse pipeline companies in the country. —AP

Brent crude slipped 47 cents to $119 a barrel by 1112 GMT. US crude eased 30 cents to $104.57. “China is still in an expansionary phase and we saw a slight tick-up on the month,” said Ben Le Brun, a Sydney-based market analyst at OptionXpress. But debt woes in Europe continued to cast a pall over the region’s economies, with Spain, the fourth-largest economy in the euro zone, sinking into recession in the first quarter. In the United States, where the economy slowed going into the second quarter, spending increased only modestly last month and a gauge of Midwest business activity fell sharply. Higher OPEC output and expectations for a sixth weekly rise in US crude inventories could also weigh on prices. “OPEC pushing production to the limit in the weakest demand quarter is clearly a recipe for lower prices,” said David Hufton of oil brokers PVM in a report. OPEC’s April output was at its highest since 2008 as extra crude from Iraq and Saudi Arabia helped make up for tighter sanctions on Iran, whose own oil output sank to the lowest in two decades, a Reuters survey found. Iraq’s crude exports rose to 2.508 million barrels per day (bpd) in April from 2.317 million bpd in March as new offshore export terminals helped increase sales, the head of its State Oil Marketing Organization said yesterday. —Reuters




KIPCO records KD 8.5 million Q1 net profit KIPCO’s consolidated assets KUWAIT: KIPCO - the Kuwait Projects Company - has announced net profit increased in the first quarter of 2012, of KD8.5 million ($30.6 million), or 6.51 to KD6.1 billion ($21.9 billion) from KD fils ($ 2.34 cents) per share for the first 5.8 billion ($20.8 billion) for the year three months of 2012 - an increase of end 2011. Tariq Abdulsalam, KIPCO’s Chief Executive Officer five per cent comInvestments, said pared to the KD 8.1 KIPCO’s first quarter million ($29.2 million) results were in line with profit, or 6.49 fils the expectations out($2.34 cents) per share, lined by the company at reported for the same its recent Investor ’s period last year. Forum: “At our KIPCO’s total revenues Shafafiyah Investor ’s for the first three Forum in April, we said months of 2012 we expected growth increased by 16 per from our financial serviccent to KD108.4 miles and media businesses lion ($390.3 million) during this year. This from KD 93.2 million ($ expected growth is now 336.2 million) in the beginning to emerge first quarter of 2011. Tariq Abdulsalam and its impact is reflected The company also reported a year-on-year rise in operat- in our first quarter results. We expect ing profit to KD24.1 million ($86.8 mil- these growth trends to continue and lion) for the first quarter of 2012 - an perhaps accelerate, as the year proincrease of 32 per cent from the gresses. If this happens, we hope to KD18.2 million ($65.6 million) in the meet - or even exceed - the expectations we have for our year-end results.” first quarter of 2011.

Arab Bank Group posts 10 percent rise in profit Diversified portfolio helps weather regional unrest AMMAN: Jordan-based Arab Bank Group posted a 10 percent rise in quarterly profit yesterday to $204 million, as revenues rose and its wide geographical spread left it less exposed to the region’s political turmoil than some of its peers. The bank, one of the Middle East’s major financial institutions with a presence in 30 countries across five continents, saw assets grow 1.5 percent to $46.3 billion at end-March 2012, according to a bourse statement. Gross income for January-March rose 8.5 percent to $459.6 million with a healthy rebound in the bank’s core commission and trade finance business. Arab Bank Group chairman Abdel Hamid Shoman said in March he hoped the bank would continue the steady performance it achieved last year with 13 percent growth in net profit to $306 million, even though unrest in the Arab world made it difficult to predict the outlook. He said growth in the bank’s balance sheet last year reflected its financial strength despite a difficult business climate that saw

many global and regional banks’ earnings fall. Bankers said Arab Bank set aside nearly $1 billion in provisions in the last two years to cover non-performing loans by businesses reeling from the global downturn, but was cushioned by a healthy capital base. Figures show shareholder equity rose 1.3 percent in the first quarter to $7.7 billion at end-March 2012 against the same period last year. Nonperforming loans stood at $1.6 billion at the end of March and comprise 7.5 percent of total credit facilities with non-performing loans covered by 102 percent of provisions as of March 2012. Investment analysts say the bank has traditionally had a lower risk appetite than peers and its favoring of capitalization and liquidity versus profitability. The Amman-based Arab Bank’s growth has long been tied to its regional and global expansion and it has built a reputation for low vulnerability to major political upheaval. Despite the regional downturn, the bank’s traditionally loyal, mainly Arab customer base

DIFC Investments returns to profit

Homeownership rate drops to 15-year low WASHINGTON: The share of privately-owned US homes fell to a 15-year low in the first quarter of the year as falling house prices and stringent lending conditions push younger Americans, in particular, into renting. The homeownership rate slipped to 65.4 percent, the lowest since the first quarter of 1997, the Commerce Department said, with the rate for Americans under the age of 35 dropping to an 18-year low. “You are seeing the perfect storm of age, financing and the business cycle coming together to push down the homeownership rate,” said Steve Blitz, chief economist at ITG Investment Research in New York. The homeownership rate, which was measured at 66.0 percent in the last quarter of 2011, peaked at 69.4 percent in 2004 at the height of a housing market boom fueled by cheap credit. The collapse of the US housing market bubble triggered the 200709 recession. With house values tank ing, many - especially the younger generation - are rethinking the so-called American dream of owning a home. House prices have dropped about 32 percent from their peak at the end of 2005, leaving millions of Americans with properties worth far less than their mortgages and forcing many others into renting. The median asking sales price for vacant homes on the market this year was $133,700, the lowest since the first quar ter of 2005, the Commerce Department said. That compared with $133,800 in the fourth quarter. The homeownership rate for those aged 35 and under fell to 36.8 percent in the first quarter, the lowest since 1994. This group was seen as the hardest hit by the recession, driving many into their parents’ basements or to share lodging with friends and relatives. Although young people are starting to find employment as the economy gradually improves, many either just do not have the savings to put down a deposit for a home or

Indian exports rise, but deficit hits record high NEW DELHI: India’s exports grew 21 percent in the last financial year to beat the government’s target, data showed yesterday, but the country’s trade deficit surged to a record high. India’s merchandise exports crossed the government’s $300 million goal to reach $303.7 billion in the financial year ended March 2012, according to Commerce Ministry data. But imports soared by 32 percent to $489 billion, pushing India’s trade deficit to an all-time high of $185 billion. The trade deficit was more bad news for Asia’s third-largest economy after global ratings giant S t a n d a rd & Po o r ’s d o w n g r a d e d India’s credit outlook last week to negative, saying a slowing economy and swelling fiscal deficit was putt i n g t h e co u n t r y ’s p r i ze d i nve s t ment-grade rating at risk. Energy-hungry India’s huge energy purchases accounted for a large chunk of the import bill, with rising fuel prices pushing up the bill. Oil imports went up by 47 percent to $156 billion in 2011-12 with the country sourcing 80 percent of its crude abroad. “The growing trade deficit,

DUBAI: DIFC Investments, the investment arm of the company running Dubai’s financial free zone, swung to a full-year profit in 2011, financial statements showed, and is close to a bank deal to refinance an upcoming Islamic bond maturity. The firm is “committed” to the repayment of its $1.25 billion Islamic bond, or sukuk, Chairman Abdulla Mohammed Saleh said in a statement to Nasdaq Dubai. DIFC Investments’ financial records stated that an agreement to refinance the sukuk was close and that management was confident that final agreements were “imminent.” The company made a net profit of

feel too insecure in their jobs to make such a financial commitment. NO MONEY FOR DEPOSIT “They are not financially able to purchase a home and many are just coming into their first job and just don’t have the savings and job security to be homeowners,” said Celia Chen, a senior director at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Home buyers are required to put down as much as 20 percent of the asking price, a challenge given the 8.2 percent unemployment rate. By contrast, the homeownership rate for people aged 65 and over was 80.9 percent in the first quarter, unchanged from the OctoberDecember period. Homeownership was lowest in the West, while higher rates were reported in the Midwest. Economists do not believe that the national homeownership rate will rise significantly from current levels, but expect gains in parts of the country not saddled with high unemployment. “The population that is going be selling homes is growing faster than the population that is going to be buying houses, against a high inventory of existing homes,” said ITG’s Blitz. “Credit might get easy for creditworthy borrowers, but you are not going to see the same drive to bring in the broader demographic into home ownership you had in the early 1990s and 2000s. Renters are going to be renters, they will not become buyers,” he added. Growing demand for rentals is boosting rents, with the median monthly asking rent for an unoccupied property in the first quarter at $721, the highest since the first quarter of 2009. That compared with $712 in the fourth quarter. But economists do not believe the rental market is tightening enough to ignite a run-up in inflation pressures. Stronger demand for rental apartments is seen helping to stabilize the housing market as builders break more ground on multifamily housing projects. — Reuters

which is the highest in the history of India’s trade, is a cause for concern,” said Rafeeque Ahmed, president of the Federation of Indian Expor t Organization. The trade deficit has raised worries about India’s current account deficit the gap in trade as well as capital flows-which stands at nearly four percent of GDP, the highest on record. The country is no longer able to depend on the combination of revenues from its flagship outsourcing sector, remittances from Indians working abroad and foreign capital inflows to cover its ballooning imports. The weak Indian currency, which has fallen by about 20 percent against the US dollar in the last 12 months, is making it even harder to attract foreign capital. Also, while India’s exports grew on an annual basis, overseas sales fell 5.7 percent to $29 billion in March from a year earlier as demand slowed in India’s major European and US markets. It was the first monthly export fall since late 2009 when India was feeling the effects of the last global financial crunch. — AFP

remained steady, with deposits reaching the level of $28.6 billion at the end of March. Bankers say the bank’s geographic spread - 70 to 80 percent of its assets, funding, capital and revenue lie outside Jordan in 30 countries across five continents - would help the bank weather the turmoil that has hurt many of its peers. Growth in Arab Bank’s traditional trade finance business conducted by its European and Asian subsidiaries helped buck the trend, with a healthy 6 percent rise in commissions last year, especially in the oil producing Gulf and Algeria, bankers say. A rebound in global oil prices was expected to improve the bank’s operations in the oil producing Gulf Arab states. Arab Bank Group’s focus on top-tier assets and its steering away from significant lending to governmental entities has served it in a climate where banks exposed to former toppled governments in the Middle East had suffered, bankers say. Arab Bank owns 40 percent of Saudi Arabia’s Arab National Bank ANB. — Reuters

DUBAI: Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer Marwan Koleilat (right) is presented with the airline’s Business Traveller Middle East award for Best Business Class in the World by renowned Michelin star Italian chef and restaurateur Giorgio Locatelli at a ceremony in Dubai.

Qatar Airways named ‘Best Business Class’ DUBAI: Qatar Airways has been honored in Dubai for the second consecutive year with the Best Business Class in the World award by readers of the Middle East edition of the prestigious industry magazine Business Traveler. The Doha-based airline beat off stiff competition from neighboring regional airlines to take home the coveted award, presented at a lavish ceremony held at the Emirates Towers hotel. Guests from across the regional and global travel, tourism and hospitality industries attended the annual event. It was a fitting start to Qatar Airways’ week-long presence at Arabian Travel Market (ATM), the Middle East’s premier regional travel trade show, starting today in Dubai. Qatar Airways Chief Commercial Officer Marwan Koleilat collected the award on behalf of the airline from renowned Michelin star Italian chef and restaurateur Giorgio Locatelli, adding to the carrier’s growing list of international honors. Voting by readers of Business Traveler Middle East was based on the strength of the airline’s inflight service, cabin comfort, ground hospitality and product offerings for travelers in Business Class. Superior seating with a pitch of up to 78 inches, above the industry norm, and fully flat beds are a hallmark of the airline’s Business Class cabin onboard its flagship long-haul aircraft, the Boeing 777. In addition, voters gave their thumbs up to the airline’s Oryx Multiplex in the Sky interactive inflight entertainment system offering passengers across all cabins with over 1,000 diverse audio and video options covering music, games, movies, TV programs and much, much more. Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the latest award reflected the airline’s continued commitment to excellence. “On behalf of Qatar Airways, I would like to thank the readers of Business Traveler Middle East magazine for once again giving their vote of confidence to us and strongly believing in our product, service, hospitality and professionalism in the air and on the ground,” he said. “Our customers are true advocates of our product and it is a delight to see their support of our premium cabin across the network, whether on short- or longhaul routes for which we promise an unrivalled experience.” Qatar Airways is exhibiting at ATM throughout the week, promoting its new Business and Economy Class seats on its soon-to-be-delivered Boeing 787 aircraft. The carrier is the Middle East launch customer of the 787 Dreamliner with 60 aircraft on order. During ATM taking place at the Dubai Convention and Exhibition Centre, Qatar Airways is also promoting its new routes for 2012 and will unveil expansion plans covering a wide network of destinations across the carrier’s global network, during a press conference hosted by Al Baker tomorrow (May 1). Over the next few months, Qatar Airways will launch flights to Baghdad, Erbil, Kilimanjaro, Mombasa, Perth, Zagreb, Helsinki, Zanzibar, Belgrade and Yangon. Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 15 years of operation, currently operating a modern fleet of 108 aircraft from its Doha hub to 113 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific, North America and South America.

$130.5 million last year compared to a net loss of $272 million in the previous year, after the impact of discontinued operations. Profit from continuing operations totaled $185.4 million compared to a loss of $286 million in 2010. Rental income increased last year by 1.8 percent over 2010 and total rental income generated from investment properties was $128 million. During 2011, DIFC Investments sold Despec International, an IT distribution firm, for $27 million, with payment to be received in three installments by Dec. 31 2013. The company received an amount of $15 million in 2011, in line with the installment plan, it said. — Reuters

ABK launches a new and exciting account Al Tajer: What Your Business Needs To Succeed KUWAIT: Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait, in a business requirements whether they bid to specifically support customers are starting out or if they already have a who own point of sales (POS) has business that we can support them launched a new and exciting account with.” Lockie further explained that, “By related to it, to further facilitate especially those that own small or medium connecting their POS machines to their enterprises, or those wishing to start a Al Tajer Account they will get a free new business. ABK is here to offer busi- credit card, a free cheque book as well ness solutions combined with great as receiving a free statement of account service. By linking your POS materials to for the transactions made through the POS machines, in addition to the Al Tajer Account ABK so many other benefits. provides with innumerI encourage all of ABK’s able benefits, to name a clients and others to apply few: free credit card for to open the Al Tajer Account the first year, free local and enjoy the advantages and international telex provided for them today as transfers, a free life time it is an exceptional offer and cheque book, free account one that your business and POS online stateneeds to succeed!” For more ments among many othinformation about this latest ers. account, please visit any of Stewart Lockie, General our ABK branches throughManager of Retail Banking out Kuwait or call Ahlan Ahli explained that, “At ABK we at 1899899. Alternatively support our clients with you can visit our website at all of their banking needs Stewart Lockie where you and we are very excited can chat live regarding any of because now we have launched a new account that addition- your banking queries, with our Client ally supports people with all of their Service Manager on Ahli Chat.

KIB hosts Chief Risk Officers periodic meeting for banks KUWAIT: Kuwait International Bank is glad to announce that it has recently hosted the Chief Risk Officers (CROs) periodic meeting that took place at the Missoni Hotel in Kuwait. KIB the meeting brought together CROs from different banks and aimed at building up relationships and touching base on latest economic and risk issues and banking practice as well as regulatory requirements. Dr Nasreen Al QaseerGM of Risk Management Department attended on behalf of KIB and said: “It was an exciting experience for us to be the h o s t o f t h i s m e e t i n g gi ve n h ow much it adds value to our banking industry and our position in the

Ku w a i t i m a r k e t .” A l Q a s e e r a l s o a d d e d : “ Th e m e e t i n g a g e n d a addressed a variety of topics and highlighted on latest global practices and challenges in the industry whereas a number of panel discussions were held during the productive evening. KIB would like to thank everyone that has attended the meeting and looks forward to hosting and organizing similar initiatives in Kuwait. For more information on KIB’s, please visit the bank’s website on or check the latest updates on or follow us on Twitter @alDawliBank or call customer service on 1866866.



Zuckerberg shuns luxury for startup life SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook co-founder and former Mark Zuckerberg roommate Dustin Moskovitz is by many accounts the world’s youngest self-made billionaire. But the 27-year-old isn’t partying in the Caribbean. Instead he’s thrown himself back into San Francisco’s startup mix, even as Facebook’s looming IPO seems likely to send his wealth spiralling even higher. Moskovitz and his friend Justin Rosenstein, a former Facebooker himself worth $150 million, head a company called Asana, which just launched the first paid version of its online project management service. During a recent interview at their inconspicuous Mission District offices, the pair said they come to work every day because, their fortunes already made, they still have to do something with their lives. “When we think of work, we think of work as an act of service, as an act of love for humanity,” said Rosenstein, 28. Added Moskovitz: “If we were just retired, we wouldn’t be serving anyone.” While such idealistic sentiments might

sound too easy coming from two guys who never have to worry about money again, they both do keep working even though they’d never have to again. And like Zuckerberg himself they seem uninterested in the flash and status-hoarding that great wealth makes possible. In keeping with the recent startup trend of shunning hierarchies, the pair do not have separate offices but sit among the other employees at Asana, which numbers 24 in all. They don’t have an entourage. Rosenstein likes to cycle (he recently had his bike stolen). Also like Zuckerberg, they dress down, Moskovitz in an untucked shir t, Rosenstein in a sweater and Chuck Taylors. On the streets of their neighbourhood, which brims with twentysomething hipster geeks, they’d blend right in. What sets them apart, they acknowledge, is their absolute freedom to pursue their particular vision of how to change the world. And they seem to have no doubt that their software will

do just that. After all, as some of Facebook’s earliest engineers, they’ve seen their code change the world once already. Asana will speed human progress by changing the way people work together, Rosenstein said. Too much time at work is spent doing “work about work,” Moskovitz said. They say Asana will free people up to do more important things. “We could go work on curing cancer. We could go work on building spaceships. We could go work on art projects,” Rosenstein said. “What’s fun about working at Asana is we get to work on all of them at the same time.” Or as Moskovitz, the more circumspect of the two, said, “We’re working on a meta-problem.” Whether Asana’s world-changing potential exceeds that of competitors in the crowded project and task management software marketplace remains to be seen. Like other similar products, their software lets users set up Web-based todo lists that any group focused on a

common goal can use to assign jobs and keep track of what gets done. The pair believe Asana will win out on its speed, versatility and ability to maintain the flow alluded to in its name, which in yoga refers to the poses meant to aid the flow of spiritual energy in the body. (Regular yoga sessions are among the perks of office life at Asana. Other benefits include an inhouse chef and $10,000 for new hires to set up their desks with whatever computing gear they want.) Several marquee tech companies have embraced Asana, the company reports, such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Foursquare. Individual backers betting on Asana include venture capital celebrities like Peter Thiel and Mark Andreessen, as well as several of Facebook’s earliest employees. None go as far back as Moskovitz, however. He spent two years at Harvard where he helped Zuckerberg start the site before they dropped out and moved to Palo Alto. He left Facebook in 2008 and start-

ed Asana with Rosenstein. According to Facebook’s pre-IPO filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Moskovitz holds nearly 134 million shares of Facebook stock, giving him a 7.6 percent stake in the company. Based on the value placed on Facebook’s stock in its $1 billion cashand-stock deal for Instagram, Moskovitz’s pre-IPO net worth stands at more than $4 billion. Like many of the richest Americans, Moskovitz has signed a pledge initiated by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett to give away most of his money. His wife runs his philanthropic foundation, which is still getting off the ground. For now, he said he’s focused “110 percent” on Asana. To hear Moskovitz tell it, the choice of coming to the office doesn’t come at the expense of some wished-for life of luxury. “It feels very much like a default. Of course you do that,” Moskovitz said. “We’re fortunate not to have things that would distract us from being able to act.” — AP

Microsoft eyes tablet lift via Barnes & Noble deal Microsoft struggles with smartphone revolution

Menlo Park-based Nanosys has developed a material that can be added to televisions that helps them display a much wider range of colors than they can presently. — MCT

Nanosys promises better colour in digital devices SAN JOSE: Televisions, computer monitors and smartphones display only a fraction of the colours the human eye can see. But thanks to a new technology developed by a Silicon Valley nanotechnology company, they may soon get a lot more colourful. Palo Alto, Calif.-based Nanosys, which works with materials up to 100,000 times thinner than a human hair, has crafted a thin film laden with minuscule particles that can be placed inside a display to dramatically boost the color range it can show. “Around 30 percent of what the eye can actually perceive in the real world, your TV can reproduce faithfully,” said Jason Hartlove, Nanosys’ CEO. “ That’s pretty limited. Everything is pretty dull and washed out compared to reality.” He said his company’s technology can effectively double that range of colour. Samsung, a leading television and display maker, was impressed enough to invest in Nanosys last year. It and LG, another big display maker, are Nanosys partners. With their backing and the interest of other major TV makers, Nanosys expects the first devices containing its technology - probably tablets or notebook computers - to hit store shelves in the first half of next year. Televisions with its technology should hit the market by the end of next year. “It seems very close” to being ready for use in actual products, said Paul Semenza, an analyst at DisplaySearch, a market research company that focuses on the digital display industry. “It strikes me as something that is feasible to implement today.” The vast majority of televisions sold today are LCD TVs. Among those, a growing portion use LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, for backlighting. LEDs have caught on, because they are smaller,

longer-lived and more efficient than fluorescent lamps, which is the alternative lighting source. Thanks to LEDs, manufacturers are making big-screen televisions that are as thin as a finger. LED-backlit displays are the dominant kind in mobile phones, tablets and notebook computers. The problem with LEDs is that by themselves, they don’t emit a wide colour range. Instead, each kind of LED emits a singular colour of light and none emit pure white, which is a combination of all colours. To create white light from LEDs, manufacturers usually take blue LEDs and cover the lamps with a phosphor coating. But the white light emitted by such LEDs typically doesn’t include much red or green light. The end result is that LED-backlit televisions can’t reproduce deep green or red colours; instead, those colours tend to be more yellow or more blue than they are in real life. Hartlove says the phosphor coating applied to the LEDs can’t be tuned to emit precise wavelengths of light but that Nanosys’ technology, called quantum dots, can. Nanosys has developed a way of producing nano-size crystals that, when struck by a photon of light from a blue LED, will emit a photon of a particular wavelength, such as a specific shade of red or green. The company has come up with process of mass producing nanocrystals of particular sizes, embedding them in a solution and then coating a thin sheet of film with it. Light passing through the sheet emerges in shades of pure red, green and blue, which can be used create a wide range of colors or pure white. And depending on the tastes of manufacturers or their customers, Nanosys can produce crystals that generate slightly different shades of red or green.— MCT

Online counterfeit market beating out street sales WASHINGTON: Street sellers of counterfeit brand-name perfumes and purses will soon see their illegal market overtaken by the Internet, a new US report on pirated intellectual property said Monday. The US Trade Representative’s annual Special 301 report-which designates the world’s worst offenders of US intellectual property rights-said there was “sustained growth” in copyright and trademark piracy “in virtually all formats.” But increasingly the Internet is the sales medium instead of mall shops and street carts, it said, and crackdowns on Internet sellers on one website just push them to another. “Continued growth in the online sale of pirated and counterfeit hard goods that will soon surpass the volume of such goods sold by street vendors and in other physical markets,” the report said. “Enforcement authorities, unfortunately, face difficulties in responding to this trend.” It said that in China, perennially branded one of the worst sources of piracy, even though web portals have bowed to pressure and tried to shut down sellers, the pirated goods sellers just crop up on new sites hawking the same goods. “Even though major online sellers and distributors seem to be making efforts to ensure that the content

available on their websites is legal, more than 75 percent of illicit sellers have reportedly re -listed the infringing goods,” the USTR office said in the report. It also said that a rise in the use of legitimate courier services to deliver bogus label goods is “making it more difficult for enforcement officials to detect these goods.” Another growing trend is separating the shipping of the goods and their labels for reassembly in the end-market country. The US added Ukraine for the first time as expanded its “priority watch” list of the most egregious offenders and non-protectors of US intellectual property rights to 13. On the list are China, Russia, Algeria, Argentina, Canada, Chile, India, Indonesia, Israel, Pakistan, Thailand, Ukraine and Venezuela. Some like China are major exporters of bogus goods, while Canada is faulted mainly for not having adequate legislation and for its weak law enforcement that allows transshipment of pirated and counter feited goods. A secondary “watch” list of offenders included 26 countries, with Malaysia and Spain both dropped due to legislation the US said increased the protection of copyrights. In both countries the US said it remains concerned about enforcement. — AFP

NEW YORK: Microsoft Corp is jumping into the fast-growing ebooks market by investing $605 million over five years in Barnes & Noble Inc’s Nook e-reader and college business, as it looks to unlock and Apple Inc’s grip on the exploding tablet computer market. The move comes just six months before the world’s largest software maker is due to launch its new touch-enabled Windows 8 operating system, and the inclusion of a Nook app on Windows tablets should allow them to compete with Apple’s iPad and Amazon’s Kindle Fire. It also gives Microsoft a direct interest in electronic publishing just as the market for downloadable college textbooks starts to take off and the publishing industry undergoes a radical shift toward electronic distribution. “It’s a good strategic deal,” said Sid Parakh, an analyst at fund firm McAdams Wright Ragen. “It gets Microsoft in the game for e-readers, and gives them access to a market that has been growing nicely and they’ve basically sat out of. It also makes Windows 8 a more compelling platform from an e-readers perspective.” In turn, Barnes & Noble gets a much-needed capital injection and a way to enter the digital books market outside the United States. The new unit will be run and majority owned by Barnes & Noble and will maintain a relationship with the US bookstore chain’s nearly 700 stores. Shares of Barnes & Noble soared as much as 90 percent in early trading, before sliding back and ending with a 52 percent gain at $20.75. Microsoft shares, which recently hit a four-year high, edged up 0.1 percent to close at $32.015. Microsoft’s initial investment of $300 million, which will give it a 17.6 percent stake in the newly created Barnes & Noble subsidiary, values the new unit at $1.7 billion. Over the next five years, Microsoft has committed to invest another $305 million. The deal - initially worth only 0.5

percent of Microsoft’s cash hoard is financially small, but strategically important for both companies. Microsoft’s Windows software still runs on more than 90 percent of the world’s personal computers, but the company has been left behind in the mobile revolution as

“The deal brings Microsoft technology and engineers into the Nook business - that talent will be tapped to make the Nook even better,” said Albert Greco, a book industry expert at the business school of Fordham University in New York. “It gives Microsoft a

CHICAGO: A man walks by the entrance to a Barnes & Noble store. — AFP millions of people do more computing on smartphones and tablets running Apple or Google’s Android software. Microsoft has also struggled to make its mark on internetbased commerce, which is dominated by Amazon, or rival Apple and Google’s online app stores.

tablet already, and Barnes & Noble global reach for the Nook platform, through Windows 8.” Barnes & Noble Chief Executive William Lynch told Reuters that the investment would go primarily to fund the international rollout of the Nook’s digital bookstores and new

reading software for the Windows platform. Microsoft backs Android Under the deal announced early on Monday, Microsoft will get a 17.6 percent stake in a new Barnes & Noble unit combining the bookseller’s college bookstore and Nook businesses. Those areas made up just over $1 billion in sales last quarter, about 40 percent of Barnes & Noble’s total. Microsoft, which will get an unspecified share of the new unit’s sales, will pay $25 million a year for the first five years to help with development costs and acquiring content, and will make an upfront payment of $60 million a year for the first three years after the launch of Windows 8, essentially guaranteeing minimum sales of that amount to Barnes & Noble. That means Microsoft’s total outlay will be at least $605 million. As part of the deal, Microsoft has dropped a patent lawsuit against Barnes & Noble over the Nook, which runs on Google’s Android system, and will get royalties on those patents. There is a possibility that future Nook models will be based on the Windows operating system, but executives would not comment on that in a call with analysts. Barnes & Noble gets a muchneeded capital injection and a way to enter the digital books market outside the United States. The new unit will be run by Barnes & Noble and will maintain a relationship with the US bookstore chain’s nearly 700 stores. Barnes & Noble’s Nook has found a strong following, allowing it to garner some 27 percent of the US e-books market in the 2-1/2 years since the device was launched, compared with Amazon’s 60 percent and Apple’s 10 percent. But battling Amazon’s market-leading Kindle has proved expensive. “It gives them a much larger partner with deeper pockets, it gives them increased reach,” said Morningstar analyst Peter Wahlstrom. “In the last two years they’ve had their backs against the wall.”—Reuters

An app to help autism SAN JOSE: As a commercial software expert for the financial services industry, Ted Conley was frustrated with the technology that a speech therapist recommended to help his developmentally disabled son. So he decided to build his own application. In place of an unwieldy and expensive device with buttons that his son struggled to press, Conley developed a series of apps that allow the now 3year-old Pierce to signal words and sentences by lightly touching a series of familiar pictures on an iPad screen, which prompts an audio pro-

gram to play the words out loud. Conley’s line of “TapSpeak” programs are among scores of new apps available to help children with autism or other conditions that interfere with their ability to speak, learn or socialize. Most of the early apps have been associated with Apple’s iPad, but some are available for a variety of touch-screen gadgets, including those running Google’s Android. Hewlett-Packard recently announced plans for a volunteer “hackathon” to create a series of touch-screen apps in conjunction

CUPERTINO: Marquis Alforja, 3, who suffers from autism (not seen) plays with Park Math on an iPad, at the Via West Campus in California. — MCT

with a national advocacy group, Autism Speaks. Parents and educators say the ease of use, visual impact and intuitive nature of a touch screen, combined with the portability and “cool factor” of a tablet computer, have led to near-miraculous breakthroughs for children with a variety of disabilities. “These tablets are giving children a voice,” said Gary James, a Connecticut father who started a website to review apps for children with special needs, based on his own experience with a 6-year-old son, Benjamin, who has autism. For some children with autism, experts say, images on a computer screen draw closer attention than pictures on paper. For older kids, a sleek tablet doesn’t carry the stigma of bulky, conspicuous special education equipment. Most importantly, a touch screen eliminates the difficulty that a child with autism or motor disabilities might have with manipulating a keyboard or understanding the connection between a mouse and cursor. “All you need is a finger on the screen. There’s no disconnect,” said Shannon Des Roches Rosa, a Redwood City, Calif., blogger and mother of a 10-year-old with autism; her son Leo is learning to recognize words and read them with the help of iPad apps. Parents are learning about these apps by word of mouth and autism blogs, as well as from

therapists, teachers and programs run by nonprofits like Santa Clara, Calif.-based Via Services. Apple has also featured the apps in its iTunes store and some promotional materials. Apple CEO Steve Jobs told an interviewer last year that he hadn’t foreseen the appeal of Apple’s devices for the autism community, but he was pleased to hear that people found them beneficial. There are apps available, for example, to help children learn to spell by tracing letters with their fingertip. Others help sound out words. Another category lets parents use pictures to help a child understand tasks and schedules - such as getting dressed before eating breakfast and then boarding the bus for school. Dozens of apps have been created by independent developers and parents like Conley; others have been adapted by established educational software companies. But while they are thrilled by the proliferation, many advocates for children with autism and related conditions have wish lists for additional programs, such as software to help older children with disabilities, and apps for other devices besides Apple’s. “I think it’s always good to have more options and choices,” said Danielle Samson, a speech pathologist who has demonstrated iPad apps for families of autistic children, in seminars organized by Via Services.—MCT



Football knee injuries more likely on artificial turf NEW YORK: College football players suffer knee injuries about 40 percent more often when playing on an artificial turf versus grass, according to a US study. The findings, published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine, were part of research that looked back on knee injuries among college football players to see when they might be most vulnerable to getting hurt. “ We thought it was interesting because many universities are switching to the new generation artificial turf,” said Jason Dragoo, the study’s lead author and a professor at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dragoo said turf

provides a more consistent playing field, and is expected to deliver better performance, but it has not been considered any less safe than grass. “This doesn’t say there’s conclusive evidence that turf increases the injury rate, but maybe we can say it’s not as safe as we thought it was,” he told Reuters Health. The research team examined cases of tears to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee that were reported to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Injury Surveillance System. The surveillance system includes about 10 percent of schools in the NCAA, and the study period spanned

the 2004-2009 playing season. Dragoo’s group found 318 injuries to the ACL during those seasons, which translated to a rate of 14 injuries for every 100,000 “exposures.” Each time a player practiced, scrimmaged or played a game was counted as one exposure. ACL injuries were 10 times more common during games than during practices, and close to five times as common during scrimmages than during regular practice. Athletes were also 1.39 times as likely to be injured when playing on modern artificial turf as when playing on grass. The newer types of artificial playing fields are called “infill surfaces.” They

have a layer of synthetic grass over a field of rubberized pellets called fill. There were close to 18 injuries for every 100,000 exposures among athletes playing on infill surfaces, compared to 14 injuries for every 100,000 practices or games that took place on artificial turf without fill, or on natural grass. James Bradley, the chief orthopedic surgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers and a clinical professor at the University of Pittsburgh, said the findings support what’s also been observed in the National Football League. The problem may be how good a grip players can get on the surfaces with their shoes, with

turf perhaps providing too good a grip, he and Dragoo said. “So if you are in the wrong position, because your leg doesn’t give way as it does on grass, it can distribute that force to your knee and cause an injury,” Dragoo said. He added that specialized footwear may help, along with ACL injury prevention training. “The way that you move and the way that you pivot and change direction will determine your risk of having an ACL tear. So even if we do have increased risk on the turf with the shoes, we can modify that by making sure that the athletes are moving right,” he added. —Reuters

Africa has more than a million new cancer cases Fighting a nameless enemy

MAASTRICHT: A demonstrator holds a sign reading “get rid of the weed pass” outside coffeeshop Easy Going in Maastricht, southern Netherlands, yesterday. A policy barring foreign tourists from buying marijuana in the Netherlands went into effect in parts of the country yesterday, with a protest planned in the southern city of Maastricht. — AP

Dutch roll out ‘cannabis card’ to stop pot tourists THE HAGUE: Keen to stub out an era of dope tourism, the Netherlands yesterday starts restricting cannabis sales in the country’s south to residents only, despite opposition from pro-pot lobby groups. Famous for decades for its laid-back attitude to marijuana, the Netherlands will now require so-called coffee shops in some regions to only sell to signed-up members who live in the country, not to foreign visitors. The tougher rules, set to take effect nationwide from next year, effectively turn coffee shops into private clubs with no more than 2,000 members, who must be over 18 and legal residents of the country. Starting yesterday in three provinces, coffee shops will have to turn away those without the so-called “cannabis cards”, which allow locals and foreigners living in the country to enter and light up. A last-minute challenge seeking to declare the law discriminatory by coffee shop owners-including in the Limburg, North-Brabant and Zeeland provinces on the Belgian and German borders-failed last week. Coffee shop owners say the ban on for-

eigners will cut into profits. But many local residents have welcomed the change, saying they have had enough of traffic jams, nocturnal disturbances and drug pushers catering to the millions of foreign visitors drawn by the relaxed cannabis laws. The southern city of Maastricht, a popular destination for some 1.4 million “drug tourists” every year from Germany, France and Belgium, said last week it was ready to enforce the “weed-pass” legislation.It said in a press release that from May 1 “Maastricht adjusts its policy on coffee shops” and warned that violators face administrative sanctions, including having their business shut down. Some coffee shops have already signalled they intend to break the law. The centre-right government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte has for years prepared the ground for making the “cannabis card” obligatory when visiting one of the country’s 670 licensed coffee shops. Although cannabis is technically illegal in the Netherlands, the country in 1976 decriminalised possession of less than five grams (0.18 ounces) of the substance under a socalled tolerance policy. —AFP

ACCRA: In Emanuel Adu’s language, Twi, people call the skin cancer that is invading his cheek and nose “sasabro”. It means a disease that eats away at you. The 73-year-old former cocoa farmer has come to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, miles from his home, to be treated with one of the two radiotherapy machines in Ghana. “I had heavy bleeding and discharge from my nose. The doctor told me it was cancer, a cancer called melanoma, but I had not heard those words before,” he explains in the consulting room. Most of Africa’s around 2,000 languages have no word for cancer. The common perception in both developing and developed countries is that it’s a disease of the wealthy world, where high-fat, processed-food diets, alcohol, smoking and sedentary lifestyles fuel tumour growth. Yet Adu’s is one of an estimated one million new cancer cases sub-Saharan Africa will see this year a number predicted to double to 2 million a year in the next decade. How can a continent hope to diagnose and treat, let alone fight to prevent a disease that has no name? It’s a question David Kerr has been struggling with for several years. A cancer specialist based at Britain’s Oxford University and former president of the European Society of Medical Oncology, Kerr set up the charity AfrOx in 2007 to help African countries seek to prevent and control cancer. “There have been some marvellously effective campaigns around AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria, and of course infectious diseases like those are terribly important,” he said in an interview. “But already there are more deaths in the world from cancer than from AIDS, TB and malaria combined.” By 2030, according to predictions from the World Health Organisation (WHO), 70 percent of the world’s cancer burden will be in poor countries, a prediction Kerr says leaves most lay people, and even many doctors, “utterly astonished”. “They think cancer is a disease of the wealthy. But the reality is that, in part because of success in tackling infectious diseases, Africans are living longer. It’s almost a booby prize that they’re now living long enough to get cancer.” For many women in Africa, that means diseases like breast and cervical cancer have become common causes of death before their victims have begun to learn about them, let alone find words for them. A study published in 2011 found that since 1980 new cervical cancer case numbers and deaths have dropped substantially in rich countries, but increased dramatically in Africa and other poor regions. Overall, 76 percent of new cervical cancer cases are in developing regions, and sub-Saharan Africa already has 22 percent of all cervical cancer cases worldwide. The same research found that some poorer countries saw a rise in breast cancer cases of more

than 7.5 percent a year over the 30 year period studied - more than twice the global rate. Such data come as no surprise to Verna Vanderpuye, a clinical oncologist and radiotherapy consultant at the Korle Bu hospital where Adu will come for his treatment every day for the next two weeks. “There’s an explosion of cancer here,” she said in an interview in her overrun consulting room. Unlike the diseases she is trained to treat, the oncologist is a rare thing in Ghana. She is one of only six trained cancer doctors who serve a country of 24 million people. Good quality data are hard to come by, but Vanderpuye says the two main hospitals equipped to treat cancer - hers and another further north in Ghana’s second city of Kumasi - are seeing between 5,000 and 7,000 new cancer patients a year. “That’s just the tip of the iceberg. That’s only those who actually come to the health facilities. We don’t really know what’s really happening across the country,” she says. It seems a drastic situation. But Ghana has come a long way. Until 2007, there were no oncologists at all - and that’s still the case in some neighbouring countries. Sierra Leone, for example, has more than 6 million people and no cancer doctors. “Countries in the region like Sierra Leone, Togo, Guinea have absolutely nothing in terms of cancer care,” said Kerr. “That means Ghana’s six or so oncologists have to serve neighbouring countries as well.” The result is that the reality for many in Africa is that a cancer diagnosis means a painful and distressing death. The overwhelming number of cases and the paucity of funds, doctors and treatment mean it’s difficult to know where to start, Kerr says. But cancer experts - foreign and African and patients and advocacy groups say what’s needed first is greater awareness. Ellen Awuah-Darko is doing what she can. The 75-year-old founder of the Accra-based Jead Foundation for breast cancer says her own experience - of finding a lump and ending up paying tens of thousands of dollars to be treated in the United States - made her to try force change. “In America I had to put down $70,000 before they’d even talk to me,” she said. “I was lucky, I could afford it after my husband died and left me money, but I thought ‘why should I get treatment when others can’t’.” Now, every Wednesday, Awuah-Darko goes with healthcare workers into communities in the Eastern Region of Ghana to offer women breast screening. It’s not the high-tech mammogram or ultrasound scan women in wealthy countries are used to, but a simple breast examination and a lesson in how to self-check. “Early detection can save your life. I want everybody to know that. It’s not something people should be ashamed of or embarrassed about,” she said. But she and the handful of cancer specialists

are fighting deep cultural resistance - not only to the idea that cancer affects people here, but also to the idea they must talk about it, look for it and recognise it to start fighting against it. Even among the young and educated, cancer is often taboo. “They don’t want to use the C-word,” says Vanderpuye. “That’s also one of the main reasons why someone wouldn’t want to come here because it means she has ‘the C’. In the chemotherapy ward at Korle Bu, oncology nurse Juliana Tagoe, explains why patients often don’t want to talk about cancer. Many people see the disease as a spiritual punishment, she says. “They think someone has done wrong and this is the effect - God is punishing them. They feel stigmatised.” In rural communities where spiritual and tribal leaders are revered, the use of prayer, ritual and herbal remedies is common. Awuah-Darko says witch doctors tell patients with tumours to “treat it like a boil, and just put some herbs on it”. Others are told simply to pray for it to be taken away. In the months or years that intervene, the tumours spread and grow to sizes barely seen by doctors in developed countries. Kerr talks of patients in Africa with tumours that protrude through the breast or encircle the whole chest, while Vanderpuye describes patients with “humongous, foul-smelling tumours” she has little hope of treating. Both Kerr and Corey Casper, who runs the Uganda Programme on Cancer and Infectious Disease associated with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, say another focus of efforts to tackle this looming cancer epidemic is to try to prevent the cancers caused by infections. While many cancers are linked to lifestyle factors such as unhealthy diets and smoking, a large number - particularly in Africa - are caused by infections likes hepatitis B and C, which cause liver cancer, and the human papillomavirus (HPV) that causes almost all cervical cancers. In wealthy countries, having hepatitis vaccines as part of routine childhood immunisation programmes, and introducing national campaigns programmes with new HPV vaccines from drugmakers Merck and GlaxoSmithKline has brought rates of liver and cervical cancer down significantly. If such nationwide HPV vaccine campaigns could be introduced in Africa, experts say, the effect on rates of death and disease could be dramatic. Global health groups are working with drugmakers on securing a discounted price for HPV shots for poor countries, but getting them to Africa could take years. Akosua - a name meaning “Sunday” that this patient gives instead of her real name - has no concept yet of how an injection made by a Western pharmaceutical company could have prevented the cancer spreading inside her.— Reuters

Judge stops Texas law on women’s health

PARIS: A photo taken on October 13, 2011 at Sotheby’s auction house in Paris shows a Triceratops dinosaur skull which was sold yesterday 150.000 euros ($205.728). Large, plant-eating dinosaurs were already in decline by the time a meteorite smashed into Earth 65 million years ago and wiped out most life forms, according to a study published yesterday. — AFP

Space rock caught some dinosaurs already in decline PARIS: Large, plant-eating dinosaurs were already in decline by the time a space rock smashed into Earth 65 million years ago and ended the reptiles’ long reign, a study published said yesterday. The findings by scientists in the United States and Germany do not dispute the mass extinction that so dramatically ended the Cretaceous era. But they suggest the dinosaur kingdom, or at least some of its species, was not struck down in its prime as is often hypothesised. “A lot of the time people think of the dinosaurs going extinct: ‘oh, you know, an asteroid did it ... the dinosaurs were doing just fine, an asteroid came along and killed them all off’,” Steve Brusatte, a palaeontologist at the American Museum of Natural History, told AFP. “I think now we can say it was probably more complicated than that. You had some dinosaurs that were doing just fine, but you had others like these big plant eaters that were maybe in trouble. “This was a world that was undergoing a lot of changes before the asteroid hit. It wasn’t quite such a nice, easy story as we might like to think.” The study compared the skeletal structure of 150 different species of land-bound dinosaurs to see how they changed over time, the idea being to see if a species was up,

down or stable in survival terms. By this benchmark, the large herbivores-specifically, horned and duckbilled dinosaurs-were becoming less and less diverse during the last 12 million years of the Cretaceous. The four-footed giants “were becoming more similar to each other, they were losing variability,” said Brusatte. “Usually when you see these big decreases in the anatomy like this, that means that a group is in trouble.” Groups that show an increase in variety boost their chances of survival because they can fill new habitat niches or adapt to changing conditions, he explained. But if big herbivores were on the skids towards the end of the Cretaceous, carnivorous dinosaurs and medium-sized herbivores were thriving, say the researchers. “What we can say for certain now is when the asteroid hit and when these volcanoes began erupting, they didn’t hit a world that was totally OK, they didn’t hit a static world,” said Brusatte. “At the time, dinosaurs, at least some of them, were undoing major evolutionary changes and at least these plant eaters were declining.” The reason for their downward spiral is unclear but “was probably something ecological,” he said. The findings are published in the journal Nature Communications. — AFP

AUSTIN: A federal judge on Monday stopped Texas from preventing Planned Parenthood from getting funds through the state’s Women’s Health Program - a decision the state immediately appealed. US District Judge Lee Yeakel in Austin ruled there is sufficient evidence that a law banning Planned Parenthood from the program is unconstitutional. He imposed an injunction against enforcing it until he can hear full arguments. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott appealed Yeakel’s decision to the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals, asking that it remove the injunction. The law passed last year by the Republican-controlled Legislature forbids state agencies from providing funds to an organization affiliated with abortion providers. Texas law already required that groups receiving federal or state funding be legally and financially separate from clinics that perform abortions. Eight Planned Parenthood clinics that do not provide abortions sued over the new law. The clinics say it unconstitutionally restricts their freedom of speech and association to qualify to take part in state health programs. The judge accepted Planned Parenthood’s argument that banning the organization from the program would leave women without access to clinics for basic health services and check-ups. “The court is particularly influenced by the potential for immediate loss of access to necessary medical services by several thousand Texas women,” Yeakel wrote in his ruling. “The record before the court at this juncture reflects uncertainty as to the continued viability of the Texas Women’s Health Program.” Texas offi-

cials have said that if the state is forced to include Planned Parenthood, they will likely shut down the program that serves basic health care and contraception to 130,000 poor women. Yeakel acknowledged that was a risk. “The court observes that if the federal funds are phased out, Texas does not provide another source of

said she received abnormal test results and needed a follow-up appointment just before the state law took effect in March, and her area Planned Parenthood clinic lost funding. She said she couldn’t afford the lab fees and other costs of going to another provider. She said she is thrilled she can return to Planned Parenthood to follow up.

MIAMI: Paramedics with American Ambulance, Camilo Gonzalez (L) and Noelia Naranja place a sick patient into a bed at the University of Miami Hospital’s Emergency Department yesterday in Miami, Florida. —AFP funds, and the Women’s Health Program terminates, the controversy now before the court may be of no consequence,” he wrote. The Women’s Health Program was established to provide care for poor women who would not otherwise qualify for Medicaid. It supplies cancer screenings, annual exams, and access to birth control. Xelena Gonzalez of San Antonio

“It’s a tremendous relief that someone is looking out for women,” Gonzalez said Monday, referring to the judge’s decision. “It makes me upset that these are men, for the most part, who are making decisions affecting our reproductive health and that they would try to shame us.” Catherine Frazier, spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Perry, said the state will pursue all legal options to keep the

law. “Texas has a long history of protecting life, and we are confident in Attorney General Abbott’s appeal to defend the will of Texans and our state law, which prohibits taxpayer funds from supporting abortion providers and affiliates in the Women’s Health Program,” Frazier said. Patricio Gonzales, CEO of Planned Parenthood Association of Hidalgo County, called on the Republican governor to stop trying to shut down Planned Parenthood in Texas. “No woman should ever have to fear being cut off from her doctor’s care because of shortsighted political games,” Gonzales said. The court’s decision comes after the federal government cut off funding to Texas because of the state regulation excluding affiliates of abortion providers. Federal officials said the rule violates federal law by restricting women from choosing the qualified medical provider of their choice. Perry promised to make up for the lost federal funds. State health officials say maintaining the program was cheaper than allowing it to expire, because ending the program would result in a spike in unplanned pregnancies among poor women who rely on Medicaid, which is also funded by the state. Planned Parenthood won a similar injunction earlier this year against the state’s new requirement that doctors perform a sonogram before conducting an abortion. That injunction was overturned by the New Orleansbased 5th Circuit and the law allowed to stand. No matter what the appeal court decides, Yeakel’s decision is temporary. A final decision will come after he presides over a full trial. Whatever decision he reaches will likely be appealed. — AP



Number of US newborns with drug withdrawal triples ‘It’s really hard when your daughter is born addicted’

New Mowasat addresses Psoriasis lecture series KUWAIT: Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease indicated by red hues of scaly patches appearing on the top first layer of the skin. It often appear on the scalp, knees, elbows, lower back, ankle, fingernails, feet, chest and abdomen, the back of the arms and legs, and the palms of hands and feet. As part of its public awareness lectures series, New Mowasat Hospital organized an educational lecture to address the advanced treatment methods of “Psoriasis” on the 23rd of April. As a contribution from New Mowasat to raise health awareness in the society, the lecture was organized in association with “ABBOTT” Pharmaceuticals under the title of “A New Era Psoriasis” in which advanced technologies used in the medical field of

Dermatology was highlighted in general and those related to “Psoriasis” in particular; in regards of innovative methods of diagnosis and treatment. The lecture was given by Dr. Hisham Al Khatib, Consultant Dermatology and Venereology in New Mowasat’s Dermatology, Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery Center; in which he basically discussed the biologic treatment of psoriasis and other chronic skin diseases. Informatively, Dr. Hisham further discussed the use of this type of medications, side effects, precautions and complications. Dr. Hisham Al Khatib explained that the biologic therapy is a huge step in medicine as it is used in the treatment of many chronic diseases like rheumatoid , asthma; and not only skin diseases.

World failing to meet HIV/AIDS targets: UN UNITED NATIONS: The world is falling behind in its pledge to reduce HIV/AIDS infections and improve treatment, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a UN report released Monday. The report by UN SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon said that “critical challenges remain” if the world is to make good on promises made at a UN-sponsored meeting on HIV/AIDS in June 2011. Funding for anti-HIV/AIDS projects has been inadequate, the report said, and a UN goal to halt and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015 may not be met. The report to the UN General Assembly said that some $15 billion was available to respond to the HIV pandemic in 2010, but it estimated that $22 billion to $24 billion will be needed by 2015 to achieve the UN’s HIV/AIDS targets. “It will be impossible to achieve global targets without sufficient financial resources,”

Ban said, calling for public, private and charitable funds. He urged the international community “to now stand up to meet the commitments it has made.” The report said that more than 7 million people in low- and middle-income countries were receiving antiretroviral treatment in 2011, and the goal is to more than double that total to 15 million people in 2015. There were an estimated 34 million people living with HIV as of December 2010, about half of them women, the report said. “Sub-Saharan Africa remains most heavily affected, accounting for 68 percent of all people living with HIV and 70 percent of all people newly infected in 2010,” it said. Death rates have fallen, and new infections are down from a peak in 1997, but many populations remain vulnerable, the report said.— AP

CHICAGO: Less than a month old, Savannah Dannelley scrunches her tiny face into a scowl as a nurse gently squirts a dose of methadone into her mouth. The infant is going through drug withdrawal and is being treated with the same narcotic prescribed for her mother to fight addiction to powerful prescription painkillers. Disturbing new research says the number of US babies born with signs of opiate drug withdrawal has tripled in a decade because of a surge in pregnant women’s use of legal and illegal narcotics, including Vicodin, OxyContin and heroin, researchers say. It is the first national study of the problem. The number of newborns with withdrawal symptoms increased from a little more than 1 per 1,000 babies sent home from the hospital in 2000 to more than 3 per 1,000 in 2009, the study found. More than 13,000 US infants were affected in 2009, the researchers estimated. The newborns include babies like Savannah, whose mother stopped abusing painkillers and switched to prescription methadone early in pregnancy, and those whose mothers are still abusing legal or illegal drugs. Weaning infants from these drugs can take weeks or months and often requires a lengthy stay in intensive care units. Hospital charges for treating these newborns soared from $190 million to $720 million between 2000 and 2009, the study found. The study was released online Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Savannah is hooked up to heart and oxygen monitors in an Oak Lawn, Ill., newborn intensive care unit. In a pink crib, she sleeps fitfully, sometimes cries all night, and has had diarrhea and trouble feeding - typical signs of withdrawal. Some affected babies also have breathing problems, low birth weights and seizures. It nearly breaks her young mother’s heart. “It’s really hard, every day, emotionally and physically,” said Aileen Dannelley, 25. “It’s really hard when your daughter is born addicted.” Doctors say newborns aren’t really addicted, but their bodies are dependent on methadone or other opiates because of their mothers’ use dur-

ing pregnancy. Small methadone doses to wean them off these drugs is safer than cutting them off altogether, which can cause dangerous seizures and even death, said Dr. Mark Brown, chief of pediatrics at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. Newborn drug withdrawal is rampant in Maine, Florida, West Virginia, parts of the Midwest and other sections of the country. Dr. Stephen Patrick, the lead author of the study and a newborn specialist at the University of Michigan health system in Ann Arbor, called the problem a “public health epidemic” that demands attention from policymakers, as well as from

researchers to clarify what longterm problems these infants may face. University of Maine scientist Marie Hayes said her research suggests some affected infants suffer developmental delays in early childhood, but whether those problems persist is uncertain. It’s the 21st century version of what was known as the “crack baby” epidemic of the 1980s. Some experts say that epidemic was overblown and that infants born to mothers using crack cocaine face no serious long-term health problems. Some think the current problem is being overblown, too. Carl Hart, an assistant psychiatry professor at

In this undated photo provided by the family, Aileen Dannelley holds her baby, Savannah, at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill. The one month old baby is being treated with methadone for withdrawal while she and her mother both fight addiction to powerful prescription painkillers. The number of US babies born with signs of opiate drug withdrawal has tripled over a decade because of a surge in the use of illegal narcotics and powerful prescription painkillers among pregnant women, researchers say. —AP

Columbia University and a substance abuse researcher at the New York Psychiatric Institute, noted that only a tiny portion of the estimated 4 million US infants born each year are affected. Hart also said the study probably includes women who weren’t abusing drugs during pregnancy, but were taking prescribed painkillers for legitimate reasons. He said he worries that the study will unfairly stigmatize pregnant women who are “doing the right thing” by taking methadone to fight their addiction. Doctors pushing power ful painkillers “like candy” contribute to the problem, said Arturo Valdez, who runs the Chicago substance abuse program that Aileen Dannelley attends. Patients at his West Side clinic include men and women who are prescribed opiate painkillers for legitimate reasons, such as car accident injuries, and find themselves addicted when the prescriptions runs out. Some turn to street drugs, which can be cheaper and easier to obtain, Valdez said. In some states, mothers of newborns with drug withdrawal are arrested and jailed, but Valdez said addiction is a brain disease that should be treated like other illnesses, not stigmatized. Aileen Dannelley said she started abusing drugs after an adult neighbor introduced her to crack when she was 14. She said she would “never have touched it” if she had known how addictive drugs can be. She said she has abused Vicodin, which a doctor gave her to treat back pain from sitting all day at an office job, as well as other prescription painkillers and heroin. Dannelley was still abusing drugs early in her pregnancy but decided in December to quit, vowing: “I’m not going to go back to that lifestyle. There’s a baby inside me.” Now she is trying to get her life back on track. Estranged from her husband, she is living with her parents and just signed up for nursing classes at a local junior college. She visits Savannah every day. The baby has been in the hospital since she was born in early April, and her mother hopes to take her home soon. “I am doing so good for the first time in my life,” Dannelley said. — AP



W H AT ’ S O N Longest Pizza to be unveiled at Lulu Hypermarket


he ongoing Food Festival 2012 at Lulu Hypermarket, the largest retail and lifestyle shopping destination in Kuwait and the shopping center of choice among discerning customers looking for quality retailing, is drawing large crowds every day. Numerous interactive promotional events at the two outlets of the hypermarket make this year’s food festival all the more exciting. Today, the Al-Qurain branch of Lulu Hypermarket will witness the making of the longest pizza ever made in Kuwait. The pizza, with a total length of 50 meters, will be cooked in association with the international Pizza Inn chain. From start to finish the baking of the longest pizza, which is expected to take over two hours, will be held in front of live audience of shoppers at the Lulu Hypermarket in Al Qurain. The event will begin at 5pm and will culminate at 7pm with the cutting and distribution of the baked pizza. Other activities planned to keep the momentum of the food festival rolling, are several cooking demos by renowned chefs from Kuwait and India. Tomorrow, at 6pm, there will be a live cooking demo by Zafran restaurant’s Master Chef Mohit Dhingra, famous for his cooking schools in Kuwait. Chef Dhingra will be joined by Chef Ankur and together the two will reveal some of the culinary arts that have made Zafran one of the leading restaurants in town. Zafran, the quintessential contemporary Indian dining experience, is especially famous for their incredible ability to combine different food items and create unique dishes that are throughout the menus at Zafran. The Food Festival 2012 is part of Lulu Hypermarket’s initiative to continuously bring the best of the world to their customers, by providing the right products in the right place at the right time. Catering to over 400,000 customers every day across the Gulf, and with one hundred outlets open throughout the region, Lulu stores account for over a third of the retail market share in the GCC.

Crowne plaza Kuwait participates in global earth day


n line with its social responsibility towards not just the community of Kuwait, but also towards planet Earth, Crowne Plaza Kuwait participated in Earth Day on April 22, 2012. With a minimum amount of lighting, the hotel management, guests and staff met at the lobby with candles to symbolize hope for a brighter tomorrow. Switching off the lights expressed the thoughts of the people and the management of the Crowne Plaza Kuwait as they stood together in the soft glow of the candlelight in the hopes of working together to better the future and bring about a brighter future for our planet. Taking part in the world’s largest global climate change initiative, the management also marked the day with the planting of saplings and trees in and around the vicinity of the hotel. People from all walks of life came together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing they have in common - Planet Earth.

Announcements People of Uttrankhand state form association It gives us pleasure to inform you that we, the people of Uttrankhand \ state from India, have decided to form an Association which will soon be registered with Indian embassy Kuwait. Nearly 200 people have already been connected and have given their valuable views and suggestions. All people have given their positive response. Anyone from Uttrakhand who is interested in joining the Association can contact Ravindra Singh Rawat on 6609 4925, for more information. Frontliners function Frontliners Association, Kuwait is conducting a star-studded “National Integration and Grand Cultural Show’ on May 4, 2012 (Friday) at 6pm at Al-Jeel Jadeed, School, Hawally. The highlight of the function will be the release of “Frontliners Book - series 16” by writer NC Mohandoss. Three eminent persons with illustrious career will grace the occasion of the Book release. Gopalaswami, Former Chief Election Commissioner will be the Chief Guest. V. Ponraj, Scientist & Advisor to former President Dr Abdul Kalam, is a key public figure whose recent tasks included the preparataion of “Koodankulam Report” and conducting special training session for the MLAs after the Assembly election last year and Vivek, the special guest for the evening - is a ‘Padma Shri’ awardee and a popular Tamil film comedian known to south with a string of awards for his hilarious and stylish performances. For details contacy 99816937, 55483266. ‘Arangetram 2012’ Nandhanam School of Dance, an institute to promote India’s rich culture and values in Kuwait, is conducting its first “Arangetram 2012”, a student’s debut on stage dance performance, at the American International School, Maidan Hawalli - Kuwait on Friday, May 4, 2012. The program will start by 05:45 pm and the guests are requested to be seated 15 minutes before the program. For information contact 97895754, 99129611, 67057758.

Residence Inn by Marriott Kuwait City set to open in 2015


arriott International, Inc. has announced the signing of a long term agreement with Family United General to manage the Residence Inn by Marriott Kuwait City, a 143-unit quality tier property scheduled to open in 2015. Representing the company’s third Residence Inn by Marriott for extended stay travelers in the GCC and an important milestone in its aggressive growth plans for the region, the new hotel will bring the total number of announced properties joining Marriott International’s Middle East and Africa portfolio by 2017 to 43 - 21 of which will be in the GCC. “We are thrilled by the robust expansion of our regional hotel portfolio,” said Alex Kyriakides, President and Managing Director of Marriott International Middle East and Africa speaking at the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) 2012. “The region remains a key market for tourism development because of its oil wealth, high disposable income, demographic growth and proven resilience to crisis. In fact, at the end of last year, UNWTO Secretary-

General Taleb Rifai said that the number of visitors is expected to rise from over 70 million last year to 195 million by 2030. “This indicates further growth potential for the hotel industry, and with this new hotel signing and more to come in 2012, Marriott International will be perfectly placed to accommodate the increasing number of visitors to the region with our network of seven diverse lodging brands.” The Residence Inn by Marriott Kuwait City will offer 143 spacious and modern studios, one, and twobedroom suites. Designed for stays of five nights or more, each suite will include a fully functional kitchen and separate living area, flat screen TV and Marriott’s highly acclaimed bed and bath linens. Rates will vary depending on length of stay. A special feature will be the Residence Inn lobby that will offer a communal environment and include a self-service lounge, casual restaurant and a meeting room. A “grab and go” kiosk/market offering snacks, basic food items, newspapers, magazines and various sundries will be located

adjacent to the front desk. Residence Inn also features excellent fitness facilities that allow the traveler to maintain a healthy balance and routine while on the road. “Our first Residence Inn by Marriott in Bahrain has been extremely well received and our second property within the brand is on track to open in Jizan, Saudi Arabia later this year. We are delighted to have reached this agreement to take the brand into our third Gulf country, Kuwait,” added Kyriakides. Now in its eighth year, the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) is held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airlines & Group, organizer MEED Events in

partnership with Bench Events. The three-day event will comprise a program designed to explore the outlook for investment in the Middle

East’s changing landscape and will take place from 28 - 30 April at the Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai.

Intensive Free Arabic Course in IPC IPC is opening an intensive Basic Arabic Course for ladies commencing from June 3-July 8, 2012. The class will be from 5 -7 pm and 3 days a week. Registration is on! For information, call: 22512257. Iranian Contemporary Art Date: 23rd April to 10th May, 2012 These are images of conflations and juxtapositions. Sabzi’s paintings signify the crossroad of cultures and evoke one of the most pertinent signs of the multiculturalism that has been the hallmark of the arts in late twentieth and early twentyfirst centuries. His art represents that humanized perspective where in memory persists across cultural zones, even when and where it has no relevance. So many of his works speak of conditions where values and perspectives seep through the chinks of any culture’s shield of protection. They are about the kind of interconnectedness that can no longer be undone; they are about the end of purity and the end of searching for origins and essence. The Event-Art & Fashion Date: April 28-May 1 The Event will be sponsored by Goji Boutique and Qumarl4 and will be filled with an eclectic mix of designers who compliment each other, providing the visitors with an inspiring and unique shopping experience. To add to excitement Join them and feast your eyes! Dar Al Funoon is located In Al-Watiah, Behbehani Compound, House No.28. For more Information please call 22433738 or log onto Sadu House Opening: 7 May 2012 5pm-8pm Exhibition Hours: 8 May, 9am - 1pm & 4- 8pm, 9 May, 9am - 1pm For its launch exhibition, Zen Crafts presents the richness of Gulf handicrafts, blending traditional and modern design to create unique and expertly crafted contemporary pieces. An exquisite limited collection of hand-woven textiles inspired by the bedouin art of Sadu weaving, and award-winning designer/ silversmith Nedda El-Asmar’s take on the modern mabkhar, the Gulf’s iconic incense burner, will be unveiled. Join us on this cultural journey from Kuwait to Laos and Brussels in the brand’s quest for new interpretations of our Gulf heritage. Sodu House is located in Kuwait City, on Gulf Street, next to the Kuwait National Museum. For more Information please call 99402406 or email Visit

GUST hosts ‘The Social Life of Dignity’ symposium


he Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) welcomed Al-Sheikha Fadyah Al-Sabah, the Al-Saad Foundation for Knowledge and Scientific Research for the First Annual Public Symposium “The Social Life of Dignity” honoring the legacy of the Late Amir Sheikh Saad Saad Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah as an important symbol of dignity. The Foundation’s main objective and dedication is to advancing social discourse. The event began with a keynote speech by Shaikha Fadyah Al-Sabah, the late Emir’s daughter stating that without dignity; wealth, working, and education would be without value emphasizing the importance of dignity in the social life. The debate moderator -Dr. Mark Juszczak from Columbia University, began by introducing the panelists: Prof. Gerd Nonneman, Dean of Georgetown, Qatar, Edrex Fontanilla, Brown University, Hanaa Helmy, EFGHermes Foundation, Cezary Michalczuk from EULUX Commission Kosovo and Professor Tomasz Zarycki from the University of Warsaw. The debaters were divided into two panels,

and each panelist had to answer a certain question in a period of three minutes. The three questions were; “Does material security take precedence over the defense of dignity?”, “Is the dignity of women better upheld by a society that recognizes gender differences?”, and finally “Does personal autonomy take precedence over family/community standards?” Each question was answered by each panelist and the audience gave their piece afterwards. Whilst the debate took place a slide show was shown showcasing the late Amir acts as a true leader who was influential, a father figure, a man of honor, a prominent figure in society and an unforgettable liberation hero. It was an enlightening experience for the audience and panelists alike proving that listening to different views is the key to the development of a society. The panelists’ day started early on with a morning meeting with GUST’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Abdulrahman AlMuhailan, Dr. Sabah Al-Quaddoomi, VP for Academic Affairs, Dr. Lee Caldwell, Dean of the College of Business, Dr. Ali Ansari, Dean of the

College of Arts and Sciences, Ms. Afaf AlRukhayis, President’s Advisor, Dr. Masoud Asad, Director Public Affairs, Dr. Mesfer Mesfer, Student Affairs Consultant and Anwar Al-Sabah, Head of the Student Life Office. Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Muhailan started the meeting giving the guests background on the university, its 10-year journey to where it is today: with over 3,500 students, well underway with its accreditation processes, highest rate of faculty publications in peer-reviewed journals worldwide and an extensive e-library with over 100,000 publications. He also mentioned GUST’s strong partnership with University of Missouri - St. Louis, as well as its growing cooperation with Sun Yat-Sen University in China, the Missouri University of Science and Technology and with Florida International University to work on more Masters Programs and possibly a PhD program in the future. And hopes that these cooperations grow and for many more partnerships to flourish. Prof. Gerd Nonneman, Dean of Georgetown in Qatar, was particularly impressed with the

size of the e-library at GUST since Georgetown Qatar takes pride in its own library, which they have opened to the public and has created a name for itself as the best library in the country. The group then talked about the issue of dignity, which was the main focus of the symposium. Dr. Juszczak noted that dignity was a foundational issue and that was why the symposium is so important - “to start a discussion and give people the place and context for discourse.” Dr. Al-Quaddoumi said that Sheikh Saad was very interested in education and that he was a “service leader.” Dr. Al-Muhailan talked about many of the Sheikh’s known stories of honor and valor - “he was a gentleman of mission.” GUST is proud of what Sheikh Saad stood for and proud to carry on what he stood for in any way. GUST gifted the panelists a token of appreciation - a small symbolic dhow - which stands for Kuwait’s glorious past and a symbol for a prosperous future. The token was inscribed with a quote by Sheikh Saad Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah: “There is no dignity without freedom and no freedom without honor.”



W H AT ’ S O N

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

MEA hosts reception for travel agents


n appreciation of their support, Middle East Airlines hosted a dinner reception for their travel agents in Kuwait. Regional Director for MEA, Marwan Abdul Baqi, welcomed agent officials, as well as media representatives, to the dinner reception held at Sheraton Hotel Kuwait, in the presence of the Commercial Manager Nizar Fawzi and sales

and distribution manager, Gabi Hallaq. Abdel Baqi hailed the supportive role of Kuwait to Lebanon, emphasizing on the importance of the Kuwait market for MEA. Shields of honor were distributed to the travel agents in appreciation of their achievements.

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 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 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 ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF CYPRUS The Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus requests Cypriot citizens living in Kuwait to register with the Embassy has moved. This registration service is provided so that the Embassy can update its contact list and assist Cypriot citizens in cases of emergencies. Registration information can be emailed to or faxed to 22253227 or given by phone to 65906048 (Mrs Christine). ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF INDIA The Embassy of India will remain closed on Sunday, May 6, 2012 on account of ‘Buddha Purnima’. ■■■■■■■

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

Yoga with the Golden Era Club


he Golden Era Club presents ‘The Eight Fold Path to Yoga’ on Fridays, 11th and 25th May; 5 to 7 pm. Yoga here! Yoga there! Yoga everywhere! Yet, few comprehend Yoga’s true nature! Join Yoga Guru - Aacharya Shashikala Pushkarna - on this unique journey to the true ‘union’ between the mind, body and spirit. All seniors (60+) are cordially invited. Venue- House #34, next to Abu-Tammam Intermediate School for Boys, Sate Alhusari St., Block 2, Rumaithiya. For details call 97172788/ 66208183 or drop a line to

Indian overseas congress Arts competitions 2012


ndian Overseas Congress, Kuwait is conducting 6th Arts Competitions, 2012, on the 11th and 12 May 2012 at United Indian School. IOC once again welcome the growing buds of the Indian expatriate community in Kuwait from various disciplines to test their talents and competency in the field of arts. The winners of this prestigious competition will be awarded with trophies and medals later in the IOC function. The competitions are for

Elocution, Solo, Poetry Recitation, Classical Dance, Folk Dance, Group Dance (Cinematic), Indian Patriotic Song, Mono Act, Drawing/Painting and Poster Poetry writing. Although the competitions are meant for children from various disciplines, Elocution, Solo and Indian Patriotic Song Competitions will be held for contestants above 18 years also. The closing date of receiving entry forms is 4th May, 2012. The entry forms are available at the following places: Abbassiya -

Hidine Super Market, Sakina Book Stall; Salmiya - Uduppi Restaurant, Sakina Book Stall; Riggae - Al Dallah Super Market, Fahaheel -Royal Mobile Services and Sales. Filled forms can be sent to fax : 24331461 or Email : Or delivered to Sakina Book Stall, Abbassiya. For more details, please contact: 24316426, 66110570, 66853100, 99827113, 99576162, 99325841.

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

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

EMBASSY OF ROMANIA The Embassy of Romania to the State of Kuwait would like to inform that the Consular Section of the Embassy will be closed for construction works beginning with 18 April 2012, till 10 May 2012. During this period of time the Consular Section will not issue any type of visas for Romania and will not issue any Romanian passports or travel documents. The Consular Section will only be able to assist with notary deeds. We would like to apologize for any inconvenience. ■■■■■■■

EMBASSY OF SLOVAKIA The Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Kuwait would like to inform the public that on the occasion of Labor Day, the Embassy will be closed on Tuesday, May the 1st. The Embassy will also be closed on the occasion of Liberation Day on Tuesday, May the 8th. ■■■■■■■

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

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

Write to us Send to What’s On upcoming events, birthdays or celebrations by email: Fax: 24835619 / 20

Classifieds WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 2012




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Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page ( Prayer timings

112 Ministry of Interior website: For labor-related inquiries and complaints: Call MSAL hotline 128

Fajr: Duhr: Asr: Maghrib: Isha:

03:39 11:45 15:21 18:26 19:49

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

ACCOMMODATION Room available in New Riggae in a central AC flat without kitchen facility for single, non-smoker, south Indian executive bachelor. Contact. 99515956. 2-5-2012 Sharing accommodation available with Pakistani family in Kheitan, bachelor or couple. Please contact: 99868113. (C 3972) Sharing accommodation for decent bachelor (non smoking) or working ladies. Location: Amman street, opposite to Al Rashid Hospital, Salmiya, building no: 44 2nd floor, room no: 10. Contact: 66232356, 50223132. (C 3976) 26-4-2012


CHANGE OF DOB I, Afzalur Rahman, son of Fazlur Rahman, holder of Bangladeshi passport No. E0982724 hereby change my date of birth from 0301-1968 to 03-01-1967. (C 3960) 19-4-2012

MATRIMONIAL Marriage proposals are invited from parents of well educated boys preferably employed abroad for an ezhava girl, 24 years, height 159cm, fair good looking, star: Ailyam-Shudham, MSc (biotechnology) employed as JRF doing Ph.D at Central Govt. Institute in Kerala. Contact Email: (C 3964) 21-4-2012


PC Desktop Siemens, Core2 Duo, Ram 2GB, HD 160GB, DVD Writer, multi card reader, CPU in small shape, Windows-7 Ultimate, Multimedia, LCD Screen 17”, excellent condition. Contact: 50505120. (C 3973)

An experienced M.Sc lady teacher is organizing home private tuition only for class 10 students in Abbassiya. Contact: 99396335. (C 3978) 28-4-2012

Mitsubishi Colt model 1993, white color, engine & transmission (gear), external (body) all in good condition, insurance till 25th Januar y 2013, price KD 220/-. Contact: 99337034. (C 3974) 26-4-2012

Teacher available to teach Mathematics B.Maths, Algebra, Calculus, Geography, Science and Statistics for British, American and bilingual school and university students. Contact: 97170935. (C 3954)

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

CHANGE OF NAME Name: Vir Niqel A. Tagongtong has filed with Phil Embassy Kuwait for change of first name from Abel C to Vir Niqel who was born on May 31, 1993 at Al Jahra Kuwait. Any person affected by said publication his/her written opposition w/ Phil Embassy Kuwait not later than May 21, 2012. (C 3977) 29-4-2012 I, Nazia Begum, D/o Syed Aziz, R/o 18-8-134, Dargah Barhaneh Shah, Santoshnagar, Hyderabad, having passport No. E8384809, have changed my name, henceforth I shall be known and called as “Nazia Syed Aziz”. (C 3969) I, Sajna Kunhi Mohamed, holder of Indian passport No. E2271200 hereby change my name to Ayesha Mohammed hereafter. (C 3970) 24-4-2012 I, Penigalapati Chinnanarsaiah, holder of Indian passport No. G9940624, residence of Venkatanarayanampalli, Chakrampeta post, Rajampeta, Kadapa District, Andhra Pradesh, have changed my name to Polarapu Babu Naidu. (C 3967) 22-4-2012

Math teacher for secondary stage, language schools, bilingual schools and intermediate stage: Algebra, Gmath, Geometry, Statistics for arts and science branches. Tel: 66974020.

Hospitals Sabah Hospital


Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital


Chest Hospital


Farwaniya Hospital


Adan Hospital


Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital


Physiotherapy Hospital


Clinics Rabiya














Abdullah Salim




Industrial Shuwaikh






Bneid Al-Ghar






Ayoun Al-Kibla




English language teacher specialized in starting elementary and intermediate, 10th and 11th experienced in starting functions, grammar, set book, vocabulary, notes and model exams available. Tel: 65791555.







Maidan Hawally






Arabic language teacher, masters in methods of teaching for secondary and intermediate students. Tel: 50644685.







New Jahra


West Jahra


South Jahra


North Jahra


North Jleeb












SITUATION WANTED Accountant, MBA Finance has 5 years experience looking for part time job, can prepare your all business accounting reports and financial statements independently. Call 55829223. (C 3979) 29-4-2012

No: 15436



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


Plastic Surgeons Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf


Dr. Khaled Hamadi

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari


Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed

Dr. Abdel Quttainah


Family Doctor Dr Divya Damodar


Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari


Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan


Gynaecologists & Obstetricians DrAdrian arbe


Dr. Verginia s.Marin

2572-6666 ext 8321



Dr. Zahra Qabazard

25340300 25710444

Dr. Sohail Qamar


Dr. Snaa Maaroof


Dr. Pradip Gujare


Dr. Zacharias Mathew


(1) Ear, Nose and Throat (2) Plastic Surgeon Dr. Abdul Mohsin Jafar, FRCS (Canada)


Dentists Dr Anil Thomas


Dr. Majeda Khalefa Aliytami


Dr. Shamah Al-Matar


Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly


Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed


Dr. Salem soso


Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer


Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan


Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash


Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan


Dr. Bader Al-Ansari


General Surgeons Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer


Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher


Internists, Chest & Heart Dr. Adnan Ebil


Dr. Mousa Khadada


Dr. Latefa Al-Duweisan


Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra


Dr. Mobarak Aldoub


Dr Nasser Behbehani


Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688

Neurologists Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri


Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan


Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman


Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly


Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali


Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa, Ph.D. 2290-1677 Susannah-Joy Schuilenberg, M.A. 2290-1677


Dr. Ahmad Al-Ansari 25658888 Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr 25329924 Physiotherapists & VD Dr. Deyaa Shehab


Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees


Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi


Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan

Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman


Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah


Internist, Chest & Heart DR.Mohammes Akkad

24555050 Ext 210

Dr. Mohammad Zubaid MB, ChB, FRCPC, PACC Assistant Professor Of Medicine Head, Division of Cardiology Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital Consultant Cardiologist Dr. Farida Al-Habib MD, PH.D, FACC Inaya German Medical Center Te: 2575077 Fax: 25723123


William Schuilenberg, RPC 2290-1677 Zaina Al Zabin, M.Sc. 2290-1677





















Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh












POLICE STATION Al-Madena Police Station Al-Murqab Police Station Al-Daiya Police Station Al-Fayha’a Police Station Al-Qadissiya Police Station Al-Nugra Police Station Al-Salmiya Police Station Al-Dasma Police Station

22434064 22435865 22544200 22547133 22515277 22616662 25714406 22530801



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

Untamed & Uncut Human Prey Safari Vet School Safari Vet School Wildlife SOS Saving A Species Going Ape Wildlife SOS Dolphin Days Dolphin Days Orangutan Island Wild Animal Orphans Natural Born Hunters The Really Wild Show Cats Of Claw Hill America’s Cutest Pet Saving A Species Animal Precinct Animal Cops South Africa Cell Dogs RSPCA: On The Frontline Wildlife SOS Saving A Species Animal Battlegrounds The Really Wild Show Breed All About It Breed All About It Dogs 101 Project Puppy Project Puppy Wildlife SOS Going Ape Orangutan Island Animal Battlegrounds Safari Vet School Safari Vet School Wildest Arctic Wildest Africa Animal Cops Phoenix

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

20:00 20:30 21:00 21:30 21:45 22:00 22:30 22:45 23:00 23:30 23:45

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

BBC World News America Hardtalk BBC World News World Business Report Sport Today BBC World News America Asia Business Report Sport Today BBC World News Asia Business Report Sport Today

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

00:30 Bakugan: New Vestroia 00:55 Bakugan: New Vestroia 01:20 Powerpuff Girls 02:10 Courage The Cowardly Dog 03:00 The Amazing World Of Gumball 03:25 Ben 10 03:50 Adventure Time 04:15 Powerpuff Girls 04:40 Generator Rex 05:05 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 05:30 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 05:55 Angelo Rules 06:00 Casper’s Scare School 06:25 Eliot Kid 06:50 The Amazing World Of Gumball 07:15 Adventure Time 07:40 Regular Show 08:05 Grim Adventures Of... 08:55 Courage The Cowardly Dog 09:45 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 10:10 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 10:35 Powerpuff Girls 11:25 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated

11:50 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 12:15 Ed, Edd n Eddy 13:05 Ben 10: Alien Force 13:30 Bakugan: Gundalian Invaders 13:55 Camp Lazlo 14:45 Powerpuff Girls 15:35 Angelo Rules 16:25 Grim Adventures Of... 17:00 Total Drama: Revenge Of The Island 17:25 The Amazing World Of Gumball 17:40 Adventure Time 18:05 Regular Show 18:30 Ben 10 18:55 Generator Rex 19:20 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 19:45 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 20:10 Courage The Cowardly Dog 21:00 Star Wars: The Clone Wars 21:25 Star Wars: The Clone Wars 21:50 Cow And Chicken 22:00 Codename: Kids Next Door 22:50 Ben 10 23:15 Ben 10 23:40 Chowder

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 19:40 20:05 20:35 21:00 21:30 23:20

Miami SWAT Destroyed In Seconds Fight Quest One Man Army An Idiot Abroad Miami SWAT How It’s Made How Stuff’s Made Coal Futurecar Mythbusters Ultimate Survival Border Security Auction Hunters How It’s Made How Stuff’s Made Dynamo: Magician Impossible Mythbusters Penn & Teller Tell A Lie Border Security Auction Hunters Coal Futurecar Wheeler Dealers Ultimate Survival Mythbusters How It’s Made How Stuff’s Made Border Security Auction Hunters Scrappers Mythbusters Penn & Teller Tell A Lie

00:35 How The Universe Works 01:25 The Tech Show 01:50 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 02:40 Space Pioneer 03:35 How Does That Work? 04:00 How Does That Work? 04:25 Stunt Junkies 04:50 Stunt Junkies 05:20 Smash Lab 06:10 How The Universe Works 07:00 The Gadget Show 07:25 The Gadget Show 07:50 Mighty Ships 08:40 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 09:35 Space Pioneer 10:25 How Does That Work? 10:50 How Does That Work? 11:20 Smash Lab 12:15 Stunt Junkies 12:40 Stunt Junkies 13:05 How The Universe Works 13:55 The Gadget Show 14:20 The Gadget Show 14:50 Weird Connections 15:15 Weird Connections 15:40 The Tech Show 16:05 Smash Lab 17:00 Mighty Ships 17:50 How The Universe Works 18:40 Weird Or What?


19:30 19:55 20:20 20:45 21:10 22:00 22:50 23:15 23:40

Cool Stuff & How It Works Cool Stuff & How It Works The Gadget Show The Gadget Show Smash Lab Weird Or What? Cool Stuff & How It Works Cool Stuff & How It Works Mighty Ships

00:10 00:35 01:00 01:25 01:50 02:15 02:40 03:05 03:30 03:55 04:20 04:45 05:10 05:35 06:00 06:15 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 11:26 11:40 12:05 12:30 12:55 13:20 13:45 14:10 14:35 15:00 15:25 15:50 16:15 16:40 17:00 17:30 17:55 18:20 18:45 19:10 19:35 20:00 20:25 20:50 21:15 21:40 22:05 22:30 22:55 23:20 23:45

Fairly Odd Parents Fairly Odd Parents Brandy & Mr Whiskers Brandy & Mr Whiskers Replacements Replacements Emperor’s New School Emperor’s New School Brandy & Mr Whiskers Brandy & Mr Whiskers Replacements Replacements Fairly Odd Parents Fairly Odd Parents Fish Hooks Recess 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 Recess So Random Hannah Montana Fish Hooks Fish Hooks Jake & Blake Sonny With A Chance Wizards Of Waverly Place Phineas And Ferb Recess Jessie A.N.T. Farm Good Luck Charlie Suite Life On Deck Shake It Up Phineas And Ferb Jessie A.N.T. Farm Recess Wizards Of Waverly Place So Random Fish Hooks Shake It Up Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Hannah Montana Phineas And Ferb Shake It Up Jonas So Random Good Luck Charlie Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place Wizards Of Waverly Place Kim Possible

00:55 Style Star 01:25 Cheating Death 03:15 Behind The Scenes 03:40 Extreme Close-Up 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Extreme Hollywood 06:00 THS 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 E! News 09:15 Giuliana & Bill 10:15 THS 12:05 E! News 13:05 Kendra 13:35 Kendra 14:05 Kourtney & Khloe Take Miami 14:35 Kourtney & Khloe Take Miami 15:00 Style Star 15:30 E!es 16:25 Behind The Scenes 16:55 Dirty Soap 17:55 E! News 18:55 E!es 19:55 Ice Loves Coco 20:25 Ice Loves Coco 20:55 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 21:25 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 22:25 E! News 23:25 Chelsea Lately 23:55 Keeping Up With The Kardashians

00:05 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 00:30 Unique Sweets 00:55 Guy’s Big Bite 01:20 Guy’s Big Bite 01:45 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 02:10 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 02:35 Meat & Potatoes 03:00 Meat & Potatoes 03:25 Meat & Potatoes 03:50 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 04:15 Good Eats 04:40 World Cafe Asia 05:05 Gourmet Farmer 05:30 Chopped 06:10 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 06:35 Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger 07:00 Food Network Challenge 07:50 Gourmet Farmer 08:15 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 08:40 Kid In A Candy Store 09:05 Good Eats 09:30 Paula’s Best Dishes 09:55 World Cafe Asia 10:20 30 Minute Meals 10:45 Reza, Spice Prince Of India 11:10 Unwrapped 11:35 Easy Chinese: San Francisco 12:00 Food Network Challenge 12:50 Aarti Party 13:15 Cooking For Real 13:40 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 14:05 Healthy Appetite With Ellie Krieger 14:30 Reza, Spice Prince Of India 14:55 30 Minute Meals 15:20 Mexican Made Easy 15:45 Iron Chef America 16:35 Cooking For Real 17:00 Barefoot Contessa - Back To Basics 17:25 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 17:50 Aarti Party

18:15 18:40 19:05 19:30 20:20 21:10 21:35 22:00 22:25 22:50 23:15 23:40

Kid In A Candy Store Guy’s Big Bite Mexican Made Easy Food Network Challenge Iron Chef America Unique Sweets Unique Sweets Kid In A Candy Store Kid In A Candy Store Unwrapped Unwrapped Meat & Potatoes

00:00 Meet The Amish 01:00 Weird & Wonderful Hotels 01:30 Young Global Hotshots 02:00 Miracle On Everest 03:00 Somewhere In China 04:00 Banged Up Abroad 05:00 A World Apart 06:00 Meet The Amish 07:00 Weird & Wonderful Hotels 07:30 Young Global Hotshots 08:00 Miracle On Everest 09:00 Somewhere In China 10:00 Banged Up Abroad 11:00 A World Apart 12:00 Meet The Amish 13:00 Word Travels 13:30 Word Travels 14:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 14:30 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 15:00 Food School 15:30 Food School 16:00 Long Way Down 17:00 Bite Me With Dr. Mike Leahy 18:00 Bluelist Australia 18:30 Bluelist Australia 19:00 Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet 19:30 Bondi Rescue: Bali 20:00 The Green Way Up 20:30 The Green Way Up 21:00 Making Tracks 21:30 Making Tracks 22:00 On Surfari 22:30 On Surfari 23:00 Dive Detectives

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

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

Engineering Connections Inside Air Crash Investigation Hunter Hunted Inside Air Crash Investigation Hooked Big, Bigger, Biggest Engineering Connections Inside Air Crash Investigation Mega Factories World’s Deadliest Animals Shark Men Lockdown Inside Megastructures Fight Science Naked Science 2.5 World’s Deadliest Animals Perilous Journeys Rescue Ink Animal Mega Moves Nomads

Shadow Hunters Golden Seals of Skeleton Monster Fish Insects From Hell Superfish Insects From Hell Animal Underworld The Lion Ranger Journey Into Amazonia Monster Fish Insects From Hell Insects From Hell Animal Underworld Shark Men Built For The Kill Predator CSI Lizard Kings Hooked World’s Weirdest Animal Underworld Shark Men Built For The Kill Wildlife Rescue Africa Monster Fish Insects From Hell Insects From Hell Animal Underworld Shark Men Built For The Kill

00:00 The Silence Of The Lambs-18 02:00 The Godfather-18 06:00 Ladder 49-PG15 08:00 Superman/ Batman: Apocalypse-PG15 10:00 Camp Hope-PG15 12:00 Arctic Predator-PG15 14:00 Superman/ Batman: Apocalypse-PG15 15:30 Stonehenge ApocalypsePG15 17:15 Arctic Predator-PG15 19:00 The Godfather-18 22:00 Homecoming-18

00:45 The Deep Blue Sea-PG15 02:30 Swansong: Story Of Occi Byrne-PG15 04:15 True Story Of Puss’n Boots-PG 05:45 The LXD: The Uprising BeginsPG15 07:15 The LXD: Secrets Of The RaPG15 09:00 Swansong: Story Of Occi Byrne-PG15 11:00 The 19th Wife-PG15 13:00 Waiting For Superman-PG15 15:00 Bright Star-PG15 17:00 Make It Happen-PG15 19:00 The Social Network-PG15 21:00 Daydream Nation-PG15

00:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:00 The Colbert Report 01:30 Enlightened 02:00 Hung

DAYDREAM NATION ON OSN CINEMA 02:30 American Dad 03:00 Perfect Couples 04:00 Friends 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 Seinfeld 06:00 Weird Science 06:30 Dharma And Greg 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Friends 08:30 Perfect Couples 09:00 Seinfeld 09:30 The League 10:00 Breaking In 10:30 Dharma And Greg 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:00 Weird Science 12:30 Friends 13:00 Seinfeld 13:30 Dharma And Greg 14:30 Breaking In 15:00 The League 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 Weird Science 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 Perfect Couples 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia 22:30 Hung 23:00 American Dad 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

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

Private Practice House The River Grey’s Anatomy Boardwalk Empire Live Good Morning America Switched At Birth Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show The Martha Stewart Show The View Private Practice Grey’s Anatomy Live Good Morning America Switched At Birth The Ellen DeGeneres Show Emmerdale Coronation Street Once Upon A Time Grimm The Glades Law & Order: Criminal Intent Boardwalk Empire

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

Parenthood The River House Grey’s Anatomy Private Practice Friday Night Lights Parenthood Emmerdale Coronation Street Surface The Ellen DeGeneres Show Grey’s Anatomy House Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Surface Parenthood Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Surface Once Upon A Time Grimm The Glades Law & Order: Criminal Intent The Tudors

01:00 03:00 05:00 07:00 09:00 12:00

Fear Island-PG15 Kull The Conqueror-PG15 Kull The Conqueror-PG15 Last Breath-PG15 The Postman-PG15 King Arthur-PG15

14:30 16:30 18:30 20:15 22:45

Hurricane Season-PG15 Wild Bill-PG15 Maximum Risk-18 Bram Stoker’s Dracula-18

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

Miami Rhapsody-PG15 A Fork In The Road-PG15 A Pyromaniac’s Love Story-

01:30 03:15 05:15 07:00 09:00 11:00 13:00 14:45 17:15 19:00 21:00 PG15 23:00

Miami Rhapsody-PG15 Our Family Wedding-PG15 Inspector Gadget (1999)Double Wedding-PG15 Straight Talk-PG15 Inspector Gadget (1999)-

10:30 Live ABC World News Now 11:00 NBC Early Today 11:30 ABC America This Morning 12:00 ABC America This Morning 12:30 Live ABC America This Morning 13:00 Live ABC America This Morning 13:30 MSNBC First Look 14:00 Live NBC Today Show 17:57 Live MSNBC Hardball W/ Chris Matthews 18:38 Live MSNBC The Ed Show 19:19 Live MSNBC The Rachel Maddow Show 20:00 MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports 21:00 MSNBC Newsnation 22:00 MSNBC Martin Bashir 23:00 MSNBC The Dylan Ratigan Show

Griff The Invisible-PG15 Airheads-PG15 Team America: World Police-

Light It Up-PG15 Dick Tracy-PG15 Greener Mountains-PG Light It Up-PG15 Espions-PG15 South Solitary-PG15 Catch That Kid-PG 2001: A Space Odyssey-PG15 Divorces!-PG15 Grace Of My Heart-PG15 Moonlight And ValentinoRed Rock West-18

01:15 Barry Munday-18 03:00 African Cats: Kingdom Of Courage-PG 05:00 You Again-PG15 07:00 My Girlfriend’s BoyfriendPG15 09:00 Battle: Los Angeles-PG15 11:00 Forrest Gump-PG15 13:30 Celine: Through The Eyes Of The World-PG15 15:30 Good Hair-PG15 17:15 Battle: Los Angeles-PG15 19:15 Death At A Funeral-PG15 21:00 Daydream Nation-PG15 23:00 Knight And Day-PG15

00:00 In Search Of The Titanic-PG 02:15 The Thief Of Baghdad-PG 04:00 Moomins And The Comet Chase-FAM 06:00 In Search Of The Titanic-PG 08:00 The Enchanted Mountain-PG 10:00 Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil-PG 12:00 Alex & Alexis-FAM 14:00 Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed-PG 16:00 Jetsons: The Movie-FAM 18:00 Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil-PG 20:00 Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure-PG 22:00 Alex & Alexis-FAM

00:00 MSNBC Hardball W/ Chris Matthews 01:00 MSNBC Politicsnation 02:00 Live NBC Nightly News 02:30 ABC World News W/ Diane Sawyer 03:00 MSNBC The Ed Show 04:00 MSNBC The Rachel Maddow Show 05:00 MSNBC The Last Word W/ Lawrence O’Donnell 06:00 NBC Nightly News 06:35 ABC Nightline 07:00 ABC World News W/ Diane Sawyer 07:30 Live NBC Nightly News 08:00 MSNBC The Rachel Maddow Show 09:00 MSNBC The Last Word W/ Lawrence O’Donnell 10:00 ABC World News Now

01:00 Trans World Sport 04:00 Futbol Mundial 04:30 Volvo Ocean Race Highlights 05:00 WWE SmackDown 07:00 Snooker World Championship 10:00 Super Rugby 12:00 Live Snooker World Championship 16:30 Live Snooker World Championship 20:00 Super Rugby Highlights 21:00 Live Snooker World Championship

00:00 01:00 01:30 02:00 04:00 06:00 07:00 07:30 08:00 10:00 10:30 11:00 11:30 12:30 13:30 14:00 16:00 17:00 18:00 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:45 21:15 21:45

AFL Highlights Futbol Mundial Mobil 1 The Grid NRL Premiership NRL Premiership Trans World Sport Futbol Mundial SPL Highlights Scottish Premier League City Center Races Adventure Sports Adventure Sports Adventure Sports Super Rugby Highlights Mobil 1 The Grid NRL Premiership AFL Highlights Super Rugby Highlights Trans World Sport Top 14 Highlights NRL Full Time Volvo Ocean Race Futbol Mundial SPL Highlights Live Scottish Premier League

03:00 Snooker World Championship 06:00 World Cup Of Pool 07:00 Golfing World 08:00 Asian Tour Highlights 09:00 Super Rugby Highlights 10:00 AFL Highlights 11:00 Golfing World 12:00 NRL Premiership 14:00 Volvo Ocean Race 15:30 Golfing World 16:30 European Challenge Cup 18:30 AFL Highlights 19:30 Trans World Sport 20:45 Scottish Premier League Highlights 21:15 European Tour Weekly 21:45 Live Scottish Premier League

01:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 08:00 09:00 12:00 12:30 13:00 15:00 16:00 16:30 17:30 18:00 19:00 20:00 22:00

PrizeFighter UFC Unleashed UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC Unleashed WWE Vintage Collection WWE NXT PrizeFighter Mobil 1 The Grid This Week in WWE WWE SmackDown UAE National Race Day Mobil 1 The Grid WWE Vintage Collection V8 Supercars Extra V8 Supercars Highlights V8 Supercars Highlights UFC Unleashed UFC The Ultimate Fighter



stars CROSSWORD 664



Aries (March 21-April 19) For the most part, your time is spoken for—particularly today. It may be difficult to tend to what you feel you would like to accomplish just now. Compromise, cooperation and determination may be the only way to handle such a day. Teamwork gets a big plus for you and this is where you shine. It is good that you work to be as flexible as possible; it is how you will become favored. You have lots of eagerness to be productive no matter how you work. You are drawn to many forms of self-improvement this afternoon. Practice using your energies in positive, constructive and creative ways. If change comes to your attention, do not ignore it. Do not look now . . . your actions are mimicked by a young person this evening—there is time to share a smile.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Probing conversations find you grasping at a few memory pegs, so to speak. You will find that you are able to find solutions to several difficult problems this morning. You are patient with underlings and have a great deal of understanding of the needs of others just now. Investments show positive rewards throughout this whole month. You might be wise to let an investment grow before cashing in on your share. If you are not with friends this evening, you are inspired to entertain soon. It may be best, however, to just stay home now and see only close loved ones for now. You look to strengthen ties with family members—possibly a father. Plans for attending fun events together create opportunities to be pleasantly animated with each other.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. A recurring sleep state during which dreaming occurs. 4. A city in central Illinois on the Illinois River. 10. Not divisible by two. 13. An agency of the United Nations affiliated with the World Bank. 14. Shrubby plant with aromatic grayish-green leaves used as a cooking herb. 15. The use of nuclear magnetic resonance of protons to produce proton density images. 16. Tropical American plants with basal rosettes of fibrous sword-shaped leaves and flowers in tall spikes. 18. Little known Kamarupan languages. 19. A port in southwestern Scotland. 20. (Judaism) Not conforming to dietary laws. 22. High quality grape brandy distilled in the Cognac district of France. 24. A public promotion of some product or service. 25. Mentally or physically infirm with age. 26. A member of the Iroquoian people formerly living east of Lake Ontario. 28. An index of the cost of all goods and services to a typical consumer. 35. A member of a North American people formerly living in the Colorado river valley in Arizona. 39. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 40. (informal) Of the highest quality. 41. The area of a baseball field that is enclosed by 3 bases and home plate. 42. The seventh month of the Moslem calendar. 44. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 46. The vein in the center of a leaf. 52. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 53. (Arthurian legend) The battlefield where King Arthur was mortally wounded. 57. Hormones (estrogen and progestin) are given to postmenopausal women. 58. Naked freshwater or marine or parasitic protozoa that form temporary pseudopods for feeding and locomotion. 59. A master's degree in business. 60. A sweetened beverage of diluted fruit juice. 61. African tree having an exceedingly thick trunk and fruit that resembles a gourd and has an edible pulp called monkey bread. 62. A light touch or stroke. DOWN 1. A long noosed rope used to catch animals. 2. Having a specified kind of border or edge. 3. A flat-bottomed volcanic crater that was formed by an explosion. 4. Manufactured in standard sizes to be shipped and assembled elsewhere. 5. (Akkadian) God of wisdom. 6. A member of the Siouan people formerly living in the Missouri river valley in NE Nebraska. 7. Take something away by force or without the consent of the owner. 8. A drug (trade name Inocor) used intravenously in heart failure. 9. American professional baseball player who hit more home runs than Babe Ruth (born in 1934). 10. Of or relating to Oman or its people. 11. A deity or nymph of the woods. 12. Deciduous shrub of North America. 17. Prolific Spanish playwright (1562-1635). 21. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 23. A person with an unusual or odd personality. 27. French cabaret singer (1915-1963). 29. A humorous play on words. 30. Scottish sea captain who was hired to protect British shipping in the Indian Ocean and then was accused of piracy and hanged (1645-1701). 31. An association of people to promote the welfare of senior citizens. 32. A Hindu prince or king in India. 33. South American wood sorrel cultivated for its edible tubers. 34. A long projecting or anterior elongation of an animal's head. 36. A person who has lied or who lies repeatedly. 37. A tricycle (usually propelled by pedalling). 38. A state in the southeastern United States on the Gulf of Mexico. 39. A member of the Siouan people formerly living in the Missouri river valley in NE Nebraska. 43. A resource. 45. Jordan's port. 46. A Chadic language spoken in northern Nigeria. 47. A United Nations agency created to assist developing nations by loans guaranteed by member governments. 48. The specified day of the month. 49. (pathology) An elevation of the skin filled with serous fluid. 50. A small cake leavened with yeast. 51. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 54. The sound made by a cow or bull. 55. Tag the base runner to get him out. 56. A doctor's degree in dental medicine.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You may shine in your particular job—a promotion is possible. You could represent or speak for your company the rest of this week and may even find yourself involved with some business travel. This might also involve trips to colleges or high schools in a recruiting type of mode. You may be required to do the bidding of someone in a higher position than you this week. Your management skills are in high focus. This is not, however, a good time to make any concrete decisions about a relationship or a private business deal. Others may find you especially witty just now. For a short while, a few responsibilities that are above and beyond the usual may be asked of you this evening in your personal surroundings. Later there is time to relax.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) Your inventive imagination will get you out of some tight places today, including a difference of opinion in the workplace. You may have some breakthroughs with regard to your living situation or life circumstances. You are open-minded, democratic and enthusiastic. You gain a definite sense of mission today. When it comes to teaching or coaching young people, you are a natural, always able to motivate and inspire others. You may find yourself guiding someone in matters of importance. You may find yourself pulled between an environment that is very comfortable and supportive versus a real need to push out on your own. You could be neglecting either home, family or career due to social involvement—easy does it.


Leo (July 23-August 22) You may be considering just what you want out of life. There may be an increase in your responsibilities at work this day. However, you must know that you wouldn’t be given additional responsibilities if the people in management did not think you could handle them. After making sure you have the authority, try to allocate the work that slows you down and keeps you from reaching the main goal. You have an increased influence over others and must not be afraid to seek assistance. Do not let the enormity of any one project overwhelm you. Make a start, no matter how small and then when you look back later, you will be pleased at the progress. Honor priorities but try not to ignore demands close to home.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) You are at your mental best with sharp ideas and clear thoughts. You can add some creative and unusual touches to whatever you are working with—or on—today. You are able to cut through the red tape and get at what is behind most problems. You come up with new solutions or inventions easily. This is an excellent time to make decisions and take care of mental work. Your career gets plenty of support from other people and you feel at home making practical and management decisions at this time. There is a strong urge to invest, own and build upon whatever comes your way. There is an urge now to express yourself— to speak out and be heard. A short journey to visit a sibling(s) is in the forecast for this evening. Things are better than they seem.

Libra (September 23-October 22)


Scorpio (October 23-November 21) You are really understanding of other people’s attitudes and reactions today. Perhaps you are testing the waters in new surroundings, taking a survey or just particularly sensitive for now. The energies are positive toward your teaching or instructing abilities. If you take a positive attitude and expect positive things to happen, you will have nothing over which to worry. Your negotiation skills are in fine form. Think about your decisions and then stay focused. There will be a great deal of conversation in the work arena and your contribution can make a positive difference. This proves to be a busy day and outdoor exercise with your friends will be welcomed this afternoon. Enjoy these times with your friends.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Keep your mind on the important and grand things you would like to do. As the days go flying by, you will find yourself automatically moving toward the opportunities that are required for the fulfillment of your dreams. Your inner resources and emotions are accented at this time. Expect a sense of support and goodwill from those around you. You are able to find the source or cause of a problem, in order to make the necessary changes to improve situations. You may be able to bring a group of people together with words or ideas that transport others. This would not be the best time, however, to make big decisions regarding life changes. Poetry and art may be enjoyed this evening. Movies, books and all forms of escape could prove very enjoyable.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)


Yesterday’s Solution

This is an active day with an exchange of ideas in the workplace. Patient and consistent effort on your part will bring excellent results. You seem to be enjoying the way in which your work and personal life is taking shape these days. You may be forced to weed out old friends, activities and responsibilities for new ones that enhance your life. You are beginning to realize that holding on to the past no longer suits your purpose. Creating money is easier for you now, but so is spending it. You first need a plan for multiplying your money and then the means to achieve your financial goals and lastly you should always keep your eye on the goal. You always like to learn new things and may find yourself looking forward to a lecture this afternoon. Romance is possible.

This is a good time to be sensible in your financial decisions. You should expend great zest in your moneymaking plans. Do not pick out that new car today as your sense of value may be stressed. You could make some wrong choices, particularly as they affect your living situation. Visiting with friends this afternoon may help you to form new plans for your future goals. Broadening your intellectual and spiritual horizon takes on a high priority now. Being in touch with ideas and people on a large scale keeps your mind busy. A manipulative person in your life today gives himself or herself away—be grateful. Movies, books and all forms of escape could prove very enjoyable this evening. Consider the art of writing music.

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) This is a very good day for job-related events—practical insights come with ease. You could represent or speak for your company and may find yourself communicating about your skills. You could be most persuasive with others today. The situation is a natural for self-expression and lends itself to your particular ideas. There is an emphasis on ideas of fairness and harmony. The intellectual and communicative talents of those close to you take on greater importance. Any shortcomings of this kind stick out like a sore thumb. A young person, perhaps in the neighborhood, has come to your attention this afternoon. You could be a positive influence for this person. Seek ways now, in which you can help create this influence.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

You can take full advantage of your position today. The energies now focus on material gain—it is certainly a time when material things have a great deal of importance. There is a greater appreciation for things of value and there may, in fact, be increases in your financial affairs through unexpected boons. Now is a good time to select the perfect investment. If you are purchasing something of great expense, compare prices. Some sort of temporary obstacle may appear this afternoon. With patience, you will be able to clear away any block. If you disagree with someone—state the facts and stay away from the more emotional responses. You will be pleased with the results. A marriage or other partnership brings positive aspects.



lifest yle G o s s i p

ans bidding in a charity online auction to buy a teacup used once by pop diva Lady Gaga had offered more than four million yen ($50,000), with five days left before the hammer falls. The china cup and saucer set was used by the star at a press conference in Tokyo three months after the massive tsunami of March last year swamped a large stretch of coastline. Lady Gaga told reporters at the time that she would auction the cup, marked with her lipstick


and bearing the Japanese message “We pray for Japan” along with the star’s autograph. All the money raised will be used to help young Japanese artists who want to study in the United States. The cup was put on “Yahoo! Japan Auctions” at midday Monday, with the starting price of one yen. The auction is set to finish at 1400 GMT Sunday. Yesterday more than 500 bids had been placed, with the top offer at more than 4.1 million yen. The quake-tsunami catastrophe killed

elena Bonham Carter gets “sent off” by partner Tim Burton if he disapproves of her behaviour. The ‘Dark Shadows’ actress says the American filmmaker - with whom she has two children, Billy, eight, and fouryear-old Nell - is obsessed with soccer and mimics the disciplinary process used in the game to reprimand her. She said: ‘He’s become a real soccer fanatic, so he has yellow cards and red cards. “I’m always being sent off. It’s pretty playful but that’s good for me. ‘We do have a laugh!” Helena - who lives in London with Tim and their kids - went on to explain she receives yellow card warnings for things such as twitching eyebrows and moving hands. In ‘Dark Shadows’ - a comedy vampire film directed by Tim - Helena plays psychotherapist Dr Julia Hoffman


Duran Duran to headline London Olympics concert uran Duran will headline a concert in London’s Hyde Park to coincide with the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games, organizers announced yesterday. The 1980s rockers will represent England at the BT London Live concert on July 27, sharing a stage with Welsh band Stereophonics, Northern Ireland’s Snow Patrol and Scottish singer Paolo Nutini. Concertgoers will be able to watch the opening ceremony live on giant screens. Organizers said the performances would be timed so the audience at the concert will be able to watch TV coverage of the opening ceremony from the Olympic Park. A sold-out concert headlined by Britpop band Blur will be held to coin-


some 19,000 people on Japan’s northeast coast and sparked the world’s worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, leading to a plunge in visitors to the country. The songstress visited Japan twice after the disaster and called on tourists from around the world to follow suit. She is due back in Japan next week as part of an Asian tour.

and based her research for the role on her mother, who held a similar profession. However, the 45-year-old star admits she used to “resent” her parent’s job because she always took a professional stance to her daughter’s moods when she was younger. Helena added to the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper: “She’s obviously been our live-in one, too. And it’s really resented, it’s horrible when your mother turns round and tries to psychoanalyse you and says that you’re just ‘projecting’ or you’re being ‘remorseful’. She was always taking the professional stance when I was little. It was very irritating!”

cide with the Games’ closing ceremony on August 12. Britain doubled its budget for the opening and closing ceremonies in December to £81 million ($131 million, 99 million euros). The theme of the opening extravaganza, directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Danny Boyle, will be “Isles of Wonder”, inspired by a passage from William Shakespeare’s comedy “The Tempest”.

Madonna is

renting her new home he ‘Girl Gone Wild’ hitmaker has been living in the $6 million mansion on Blank Lane in Water Mill in New York State since January. According to the New York Post newspaper, The 8,500 square foot home features seven bedrooms, a media room, a chef’s kitchen and two fireplaces, in addition to a swimming pool and a tennis court. It is her third property in the state she currently owns; she also has a $5 million horse farm in Bridgehampton which she purchased in 2009 and a $32 million mansion on the Upper East Side of New York. Last year, it was believed Madonna who has children Lourdes, 15, Rocco, 11 and adopted kids David and Mercy, six - was planning to move back to Britain after a brief period of relocating to New York following her divorce from Guy Ritchie. A source said: “Guy says she talks about their home in Wiltshire, the kids and their friends in London. She seems nostalgic for her old life. She had built up a big circle of friends and fell in love with London. She’ll always love New York but she feels more at ease in London.”


Cheryl Cole chills out in jammies he ‘Call My Name’ singer - who is known for her love of designer clothes - claims she is not above leaving her house in nothing but her nightwear, as long as no fans get too close and begin taking pictures. She said: “Sometimes I get up in the morning, have a shower and put fresh pyjamas on. I can go to the garage at the bottom of the road in my pyjamas. As long as someone doesn’t take my photo on their phone, I’m fine. I just nip in and nip out.” Meanwhile, the 28-yearold pop beauty has hit back at former protege Cher Lloyd - who she mentored on the UK version of ‘The X Factor’ - saying she has a “lot to learn” after she attacked her claiming she used auto-tune on her tracks. She told GQ magazine: “She’s new. She needs to learn a lot. I went through hell to get her on that program. “Everyone says stuff at the beginning of their career they will learn to regret. It’s disappointing because I fought for her. Maybe I didn’t teach her as well as I thought I had.”


Victoria Beckham forgets son on school run ictoria Beckham accidentally left her 13year-old son at home when she was supposed to drive him to school. The fashion designer - who also has sons Romeo, nine and Cruz, seven, as well as nine-month-old daughter Harper with her husband David Beckham - only realised she had left Brooklyn in the kitchen of her and the soccer star’s Los Angeles house when she was driving down the road. She said: “I jumped in my Range Rover, put the car seat in, put my iPod on and drove to school. “And then I realised I’d left Brooklyn in the kitchen. “I was driving along, talking away, and all of a sudden, I looked down at the seat, and I was like: ‘God, I’ve forgot something.’ “The 38-year-old star admits she “felt like such an idiot” when she realised her mistake and the former Spice Girls singer had to turn around immediately and drive back to collect Brooklyn. She added to Vanity Fair magazine: “I felt like such an idiot because I was in a huge rush. “Harper was in the car, I was in the car, and we were on the way to school - but we did not have the child who needed to go to school.” “I’d gotten down the road, and I literally had to turn around and drive straight back.”


he ‘American Idol’ judge has been served a lawsuit by a chauffeur who claims the singer’s powerful manager Benny Medina humiliated him. According to documents obtained by, Hakob Manoukian states he started driving for Jennifer and Marc Anthony in 2005. Apparently the now estranged husband and wife appreciated his work so much that they convinced him to shut down his company and serve exclusively as her personal Head of Security and Transportation. Hakob claims she agreed to pay him more than $200,000 per year but when she began filming ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ in 2011 he was forced to take on more duties with Medina. The Iraqi national suggests her manager disliked him from the start and says he would often criticise him for the way he dressed. In one incident he alleges the boss verbally abused him in public and told him “he could not speak English well enough”. Hakob claims Medina eventually persuaded the star to demote him, taking away his security responsibilities and demoting him to “merely be Lopez’s Los Angeles drive”. The driver says he was forced to resign and is now suing the performer and her manager for unspecified damages. However, Benny told TMZ, he was a “disgruntled employee who chose to quit”. — Agencies




LIFESTYLE F e a t u r e s

Denmark’s Noma retains world’s best restaurant title enmark’s Noma restaurant has been named the best in the world for a third year running in an international survey that also gave top rankings to establishments in Spain, Brazil and Italy. The Copenhagen restaurant, serving Nordic specialities in a quayside warehouse, topped the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list compiled for a 10th year by more than 800 international experts for Britain’s Restaurant magazine. The magazine called Noma’s chef Rene Redzepi “the standard bearer for the New Nordic movement,” citing his attention to detail and innovative approach. He also won respect for his use of local and seasonal ingredients foraged from the seashore or the forest. “We are a temple of deliciousness,” Redzepi told AFP after picking up his award. “We want to create deliciousness and we want to give people three, four or five hours where they come out of reality and become happier,” he added. Noma seized the top spot in 2010 from Spain’s El Bulli, which has since closed. But Spanish restaurants held onto the second and third spots on the global dining list this year. El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, run by three brothers and known for its dishes based on perfumes, came in second, while third place-plus the Chefs’ Choice award-went again to Mugaritz in San Sebastian, despite a devastating fire two years ago.


Brazil’s D.O.M., run by former DJ Alex Atala, made fourth place-up from seventh-after achieving growing popularity with its fresh, confident use of Brazilian ingredients such as acai and the fruit of the pupunha palm. Britain’s Heston Blumenthal pulled off a double entry, with his new restaurant Dinner going straight in at ninth place while existing venue The Fat Duck came 13th in the awards, presented at London’s Guildhall on Monday night. “Blumenthal’s historically influenced British cooking has proved hugely popular with both the local and international judging panels,” the magazine’s statement said. The list was dominated by European restaurants, but six Asian venues won places, with Iggy’s at the Hilton in Singapore the highest ranked at 26th. “The Asian contingent has secured its position on the gastronomic map,” organisers said. Four South American restaurants made the cut, plus 10 from the United States, where Thomas Kellerwhose Per Se in New York came in sixthwon a lifetime achievement award after his venues made the list for all 10 years. The One to Watch award went to La Grenouillere in northern France, with young chef Alexandre Gauthier credited with bringing a fresh approach to the venue’s nearly 100-year history of cuisine specialising in frogs’ legs.

If you look in

Chef Rene Redzepi

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Top 10 of Restaurant magazine’s 50 Best Restaurants 2012 (last year’s rank in brackets): Noma-Copenhagen, Denmark (1st) El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain (2nd) Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain (3rd) D.O.M., Sao Paolo, Brazil (7th) Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy (4th)


6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Per Se, New York (10th) Alinea, Chicago (6th) Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain (8th) Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London (n/a) Eleven Madison Park, New York (24th) —AFP

LA, plenty of noir is still there

The Los Angeles Police Historical Society Museum is dedicated to the LAPD but also has plenty of grisly exhibits about cases that defined the city from the Black Dahlia, the Manon Family and the 1973 Symbionese Liberation Army shootout in South LA. t was a dank, rain-sodden Raymond Chandler kind of morning, as if some omnipotent auteur had rung up the studio and ordered a classic film noir sky. Cumulonimbus clouds the color of a snub-nosed revolver hovered with ominous intent, and tires on slickened freeway lanes gave off a sinister, knifesharpening hiss. Only a sap would be out on a day like this, searching for the seedy, serrated soul of LA noir. Yet tourists often come here, searching for the Los Angeles of the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s. They seek remnants of a period when the city was an incubator of tawdriness, a place where corruption, double-dealing and unchecked passion gave rise to a literary and cinematic genre that to this day captures the imagination. Fitting, then, that the weather would cooperate and set the mood. But, really, the sun has never served as a nourishing, warming presence in LA noir; rather, it’s a carcinogenic inferno bent on mocking desperate dreamers with incessant, incongruous cheeriness. Already this morning, fueled by too many black and bitter cups o’ Joe, you’ve swung by the Southern Pacific Railroad Depot in Glendale. Scene of the crime in the seminal noir thriller “Double Indemnity,” you picture a hunch-shouldered, stubble-jawed Fred McMurray skulking around the tanned Mission Revival structure, not stopping to admire the twisted columns or handcrafted ironwork. Now, you head downtown and to the Hotel Barclay (ne Hotel Van Nuys), one of Chandler’s haunts and the setting for the gruesome ice pick-in-the-neck murder scene in his novel “The Little Sister.” All that remains is the art deco sign; the hotel has long been shuttered, its windows cracked and duct-taped. Move along, bub. Nothing to see here. Plenty to see at the nearby Millennium Biltmore, the famous, swanky downtown hotel that once hosted the Oscars and retains its ornate, retro opulence. This was, legend has it, the last place the Black Dahlia (aka Elizabeth Short) was seen in 1947 before her dismembered body was discovered in a weedy patch south of town.

Staff from Danish restaurant Noma, including head chef Rene Redzepi (front left) pose for photographs after winning first place at the S Pellegrino ‘World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards 2012 at the Guildhall in London on April 30, 2012. —AFP photos

The Los Angeles Police Historical Society Museum. —MCT photos

blackjacks merit their own display case, are not mentioned. Yet the museum facade? Well, who knows? That’s a real-life murder, pal, not as do gangster-period machine guns. provides plenty of grisly exhibits about Hollywood Boulevard can quickly some made-up movie plot. (Although, Lurid headlines, often flanked by finwear on even the most resolute cultural cases that defined the city, from the this being Los Angeles, where fact and gerprints and mug shots, from the periBlack Dahlia to the Manson Family and gumshoe, so you travel west on Santa fiction can quickly meld, it eventually od’s infamous kidnappings and murbeyond. Remember the 1973 Monica Boulevard to the blood-red became a feature film.) In its day, the ders line the walls. But, in an only-in-LA exterior of the Formosa Cafe, away from Symbionese Liberation Army shootout Black Dahlia case - still unsolved - creattwist, fiction mingles with fact with tribin South LA? It is memorialized pictorithe tourist hordes. Back in the day, this ed a media frenzy: Think O.J. Simpson utes to Jack Webb (“Dragnet” fame) and ally and on video. Evidence includes watering hole was said to be a policetrial to the nth degree. In the expansive the TV show “Adam-12.” gas masks and pipe bombs retrieved protected hangout for gangsters, molls lobby, featuring a stained-glass ceiling As you wander the drafty floors of from the SLA safe house, and a redand prize fighters. Los Angeles is so and marble fountains with water trickthe old police station, the museum and-black serpent flag like the one movie-saturated that you forget the ling out of lions’ mouths, you try to picseems to tell you that the good guys Patty Hearst posed in front of in her crimes were real. A trip northeast of ture the Black Dahlia in her black dress, (the cops) always won in the end. It’s a “Tanya” transformation. town to the Los Angeles Police snapping gum and batting heavily sunny and sanitized display, right down Remember the 1997 North Historical Society Museum - housed in mascaraed eyelashes as she slinks out to the life-size cutout of forthe door toward her fate. mer Police Chief Daryl Gates, You approach a dame toothy grin and all, at the behind a desk. She has an front desk. Your noir brain, alluring smile, one that can however, recalls that line in make even the most cyniOrson Welles’“Touch of Evil,” cal wise guy ask impertifilmed in nearby Venice: “A nent questions. She says policeman’s job is easy in a her name is Nicole Solum. police state.” Seeking Claims she’s the hotel answers, you buttonhole the concierge. You have no reaflatfoot in charge, museum son to doubt her. “We get director Glynn B. Martin, a people bringing it up all retired cop, whose enthusithe time,” she says. astic handshake crunches “Sometimes, we get tour your metacarpals. “These are groups. Sometimes, they’ll all materials given to us ask if (the Black Dahlia’s) through court processes or ghost haunts the halls.” the DA or the Police What of it? Is it true about Department,” he says in justghosts? Spill it, sister. “Well, the-facts-ma’am tone. “We this is an old hotel ...” she go through the formal dissays, leaving the answer position process. We’re a dangling. “We don’t mind stand-alone nonprofit but people asking.” obviously work in close Upon arrival, you see cooperation with the that the landmark restaudepartment. rant is smack dab in the “For the Black Dahlia middle of the area’s cheesiest tourist trap, an area The lobby of the Millennium Biltmore, the famous downtown Los Angeles hotel, (exhibit), robbery-homicide best avoided unless you retains its ornate, retro opulence. This LA landmark was, legend has it, the last has an entire file cabinet with want to beat yourself up place The Black Dahlia (aka Elizabeth Short) was seen in 1947 before her grisly tens of thousands of pages of materials and photowith existential ennui. murder. graphs, so we were able to Make a sharp right on Ivar draw from that. But nothing gruesome. Hollywood bank robbery shootout and a decommissioned police precinct Street and search for West’s rented cotWe’re not a ghoul show.” Sanitize it if daylong hostage situation played out headquarters - slaps some sense into tage, the place where he wrote “The you must, but noir can be gruesome. on live TV? The museum shows manyou. It also makes you realize that the Day of the Locust.” In the novel, he calls Quote Chandler from “The Long city’s noirishness both predates the film nequins dressed in the bloodstained Ivar Street “Lysol Alley” and says the genre and mutated into a surrealist noir body armor of the robbers and chilling- Goodbye”: “Out there in the night of a rooming house was “mainly inhabited thousand crimes, people were dying, ly displays the bulletproof bank teller’s in the ‘60s and beyond. by hustlers, their managers, trainers being maimed, cut by flying glass, window with gunshot indentations A museum dedicated to the LAPD and advance agents.” Now, it appears crushed against steering wheels or intact. But it’s the traditional period might at first come off as a mug’s game little more than a clean, middle-class under heavy tires. People were beaten, pieces that best recall the noir era. Jail for noir fans, given that the Rodney neighborhood of apartment buildings cells remain from the 1940s. Batons and robbed, strangled, raped and murdered King and Rampart corruption scandals and bungalows. Under the gentrified

...” Where to see the lurid underbelly? Tipsters point you to the Museum of Death on Hollywood Boulevard. There, beyond the serial killer and suicide cult memorabilia and the room dedicated to the embalming process, lies the California Death Room. You approach two young women, who don’t look to be the type to frequent a joint like this, but here they are. They say they’re tourists from Memphis, Tenn. They look honest, wholesome, not yet beaten down by the city. You take them at their word. You ask why they’ve come here. “This kind of thing always intrigues me, you know,” says Hannah McCaleb. “Like, we don’t know what death is so we want to come and find out as much as we can.” Cohort Felicia Hankins, unfazed by the carnage, adds slyly: “We know all about Manson. And I’ve seen the Black Dahlia movie. We had some chicken for lunch and then came on over here.” The femme fatale who runs the Museum of Death, a dazzling redhead named Kathy Schultz, says she has gotten death threats from people who say “we should not be promoting serial killers, these despicable people.” She adjusts her horn-rim glasses and casts a gimlet eye on you: “Look, I love life and all aspects of life. And part of life is death.” You have one last stop. You drive south on the freeway 20 miles to Rancho Palos Verdes and Green Hills Memorial Park. You’re looking for Charles Bukowski’s grave. It’s been said that Bukowski’s gritty, dissolute poetry and prose brought LA noir into modern times. All you see at plot 875, with its headstone overlooking Palos Verdes mansions to the right and the port of San Pedro to the left, are two wilted flowers in a cup, rain-soaked and missing a few petals. His epitaph reads: “Don’t try.” A perfect noir image. —MCT


lifestyle M u s i c



M o v i e s

Court denies Hudson getting star treatment

ennifer Hudson arrives each day at the trial of the man accused of killing three of her close family members with her personal bodyguards in tow. She uses a secret entrance to elude photographers, eats in private and waits for proceedings to start in normally off-limits judge’s chambers. The Oscar winner, recently named one of the world’s 50 most beautiful women by People magazine, slips from the courtroom during particularly gory testimony. Do the accommodations for the actress and singer add up to special star treatment? “Absolutely not,” said Irv Miller, a judge’s liaison at the trial, which is into its second full week. Most accommodations, he insisted, are courtesies routinely extended to victims having to endure the grim ordeal of sitting through a murder trial. Others, he conceded, are necessary because Hudson - a 2004 “American Idol” finalist and 2007 Oscar winner for her role in “Dreamgirls” - is a celebrity. “Star status means things have to be a little different,” he said. “You just can’t have a celebrity walking about, going to the cafeteria - people running up to ask for autographs.” Others, however, say the courthouse has gone too far. “It’s outrageous,” Manny Medrano, a Los Angeles-based defence attorney and former television reporter who regularly comments on high-profile cases. “It sends the wrong to signal to the world - that if you are a celebrity, you won’t be treated like everyone.”Her treatment may be a result of Chicago’s relative lack of experience with celebrity cases. In Southern California, said Medrano, people expect celebrities to be treated at court like everyone else. The unease of the Hudson trial judge shows. He spent months compiling special decorum rules, including bans on tweets from court, and appears to eye journalists’ every move in his courtroom He threw one out for half a day after spotting her holding a pen in the corner of her mouth, deeming it a distraction. The only recent examples of stars at Chicago’s criminal courts building were the 2008 child pornography trial of R&B singer R. Kelly and talkshow host Oprah Winfrey serving on a jury in a 2005 murder case. Winfrey was allowed to use a

hidden entrance. R. Kelly, whose trial and eventual acquittal took place in the same courtroom as the Hudson murders trial, came and left through the same front door as everyone else. Miller said Kelly’s treatment can’t be compared to Hudson’s. “He was a criminal defendant,” he said. “So, he wasn’t going to be accorded privileges. Not only is Hudson not a defendant, she’s a prosecution witness.” He also said it’s not uncommon for witnesses at sensitive trials to enter through a back way. Hudson was the first person to testify in the prosecution’s case against William Balfour, who has pleaded not guilty to murdering Hudson’s mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew. Prosecutors say he shot Hudson’s family members in a jealousy-fueled act of vengeance against his estranged wife, Hudson’s sister. Hudson, 30, has appeared in court each day since testimony began last week, and is expected to attend each day until it ends. Lindsay Lohan, who has had cases in different Los Angeles-area courthouses, always goes through a public entrance. Britney Spears, who sometimes goes to court for updates in her conservatorship, is brought underground and enters the courtroom through a back door. But in 20 years observing celebrity trials, Medrano said he’s never seen any court go as far as the one in Chicago seems to have gone for Hudson. “If Hudson got this kind of treatment in LA,” he said, “there would be an outcry.” She brings about a half dozen bodyguards, and Medrano particularly took issue with officials allowing her to have them in court. A few of her dapperly dressed security sit close, occasionally talking into microphones up their sleeves in the manner of Secret Service protecting a president. Others keep vigil by an elevator, holding it for their boss at breaks and shooing away those not in her entourage. But Miller insists that, in most respects, Hudson is treated like anyone else. For instance, prosecutors told Hudson before they exhibited grisly photos of her relatives’ bullet-riddled bodies so she could leave the room. Such forewarning is standard at murder trials to avoid putting victims’ relatives through unnecessary trauma. The way she’s getting into the building is a far

cry from red-carpet treatment. One possible entrance is via a tunnel connecting the courthouse to the 8-square-block jail looming next door. It would be an unsettling experience for anyone, said Steve Bogira, who wrote “Courtroom 302” about the complex and is one of few reporters to have gone into the bowels of the building. “It was dark and dank, and deputies said it was not uncommon to see rats down there,” Bogira recalled, adding it has been about a decade since he was there. “It would be depressing for anyone. A paint job wouldn’t make it less so.” Regardless, Hudson’s stealth entrance has been a particular source of frustration to photographers. More than 100 journalists were accredited to cover the trial, including from webbased TMZ. Their primary goal: to snap a money shot of Hudson arriving or leaving the courthouse. They staked out the complex in vain, though. After a few days, most packed up and left.—AP

File photo shows Jennifer Hudson performing ‘I Will Always Love You’ during the In Memoriam portion of the 54th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.—AP


ennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias and Wisin Y Yandel are touring together this summer. Lopez and Iglesias announced Monday in Los Angeles that the 20-city MEGA concert tour will begin July 14 in Montreal. “We are going to give you everything we got,” Lopez said. “I think it’s going to be one of the most historic tours ever. Because I don’t know that there has ever been something ... where these Latinos have come together like this as family.” Iglesias said the tour will include individual hits as well as collaborative performances. “I

have a bunch of songs with Wisin Y Yandel and obviously with Jennifer,” he told the crowd. Lopez said her 4-year-old twins, Max and Emme, will also be on the tour bus. And if they get stir crazy? “There’s always Grandma’s house,” she said. — AP


.o.B, “Strange Clouds” (Grand Hustle/Atlantic Records) B.o.B is a rapper who has totally gone pop, but that’s completely OK because it suits him. The Atlanta-based artist fused elements of hip-hop, R&B and rock on his 2010 debut album, “The Adventures of Bobby Ray,” which produced the charttopping “Nothin’ On You,” featuring Bruno Mars, and the top 10 hit “Airplanes” with Hayley Williams. The rapper-singer-producer sticks with the same formula on his sophomore album, “Strange Clouds,” while tapping pop’s most successful hitmakers, including Taylor Swift, Lil Wayne, T.I., Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj, for collaborations.—AP

Jennifer Lopez, center, addresses the audience alongside fellow Latin musicians Yandel, left, of the group Wisin Y Yandel, and Enrique Iglesias after the announcement of their summer tour together, Monday, in Los Angeles. — AP


hen Burmese filmmaker Htun Zaw Win decided to make a short comedy about the tragically bizarre process of getting movies made in his oppressed homeland, he knew exactly what to base it on: Real life. “Ban That Scene!” makes a daring mockery of Myanmar’s dreaded film censorship board, whose members are cast as comical guardians of a tyrannical state’s idealized image of itself. Sunk into the faux-leather chairs of a government screening the-

In this photo taken April 3, 2012, Myanmar filmmaker Htun Zaw Win poses outside his office in Yangon, Myanmar.—AP atre, they face off against a sputtering film projector that bathes them in the dim reality of their own fallen nation. The officials are offended at everything that appears on screen beggars, corruption, power outages, even a street fight because they all allegedly make the state look “undignified.” “Ban that scene! Remove it!” the bespectacled censor boss bellows over and over, jabbing an index finger through the

twilit darkness with a triumphant, lips-pursed “hrrrrummph.” Beyond its highly satirical take on modern day filmmaking in Myanmar, what’s most striking about the movie by Htun Zaw Win, who goes by the name Wyne, is that it was made at all. It’s existence, coupled with the fact that Wyne has seen no jail time, offers proof that some artists are growing brave enough to criticize the establishment as the nation’s new reform-minded government begins allowing a level of free expression that was unheard of here during decades of suffocating military rule. But the film also proves just how much here remains unchanged. Wyne says he never submitted “Ban That Scene!” to the government’s Film and Video Censor Board for approval because they would almost certainly have, well, banned the entire thing. The board’s mandate is limited to screening films made for sale, and Wyne says he chose to forgo all profit to ensure it would be produced uncut. The sacrifice was essential, he said, “to show the public both at home and abroad what barriers filmmakers are facing.” The 18-minute short was first shown in the former capital Yangon in January during a film festival dubbed “Art of Freedom” that was hosted by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the prominent local comedian Zarganar. It has been posted on YouTube and Wyne has so far distributed about 10,000 copies on DVD for free. But the movie’s impact has been limited. It cannot be shown in local cinemas, and the vast majority of Myanmar’s 60 million people are out of reach - living in thatched huts without electricity or Internet lines in a rural countryside that’s remained almost untouched for hundreds, maybe thousands, of years. Still, the work is remarkable for what it contrasts brilliantly throughout: on one hand, the sanitized image of Myanmar that the nation’s xenophobic former regime once wanted to portray to the world; on the other, the tumbledown reality of just how far this place fell under their rule. —AP


erformance artist who has staged works about the Incredible Hulk and Jabba the Hutt is among four finalists for Britain’s most influential and most-mocked art award, the Turner Prize Spartacus Chetwynd, who uses elaborate handmade costumes for anarchic performances inspired by everyone from the “Star Wars” villain to superheroes and Michael Jackson, is a contender for the 25,000-pound ($40,000) prize, awarded annually to

a British artist under 50. The other finalists announced Tuesday are film and video artists Paul Noble and Elizabeth Price and Luke Fowler, who produces drawings. Past Turner Prize winners include transvestite potter Grayson Perry, dungdaubing painter Chris Ofili and shark pickler Damien Hirst. The winner will be announced Dec 3. — AP

British actor Jason Statham signs autographs as he arrives for the British Premiere of his latest film ’Safe’ in Central London yesterday. — AFP


lifestyle M u s i c

The Treme Brass band performs at a sunrise concert marking International Jazz Day in New Orleans, Monday, April 30, 2012. — AP photos


M o v i e s

Bassist Roland Guerin performs.

Pianist Ellis Marsalis performs with Kermit Ruffins and Dr Michael White, left, at a sunrise concert marking International Jazz Day.


People in the crowd cheer at a sunrise concert.

Jennifer Jones dances with the Treme Brass band.


he romantic comedy “Think Like A Man” topped the North American box office for the second weekend in a row, industry figures showed Monday. The ensemble date movie based on the best-selling book by actor and radio talk show host Steve Harvey made $17.6 million in its second week despite mediocre reviews, according to Exhibitor Relations. That brings its two-week total to $60.5 million, the box office tracker said. In second place was “The Pirates! Band of Misfits,” a children’s stopmotion animated film from the studio that produced the “Wallace and Gromit” series that earned $11.1 million in its opening weekend. Smash action hit “The Hunger Games” remained in third place in its sixth week on the big screen. The movie, starring Jennifer Lawrence, earned just over $10.8 million and has raked in a total of $372 million since its opening. Legions of fans have flocked to see the movie, based on a book by Suzanne Collins, in which a teenage girl played by Lawrence fights to win a deadly television reality show featuring children in a post-apocalyptic world. In fourth place was tearjerker drama “The Lucky One,” an adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks book starring Zac Efron as a US soldier back from Iraq. The movie made $10.8 million in its second weekend.”The Five-Year Engagement,” starring Emily Blunt and Jason Segel, opened in fifth place, pulling in $10.6 million. In sixth place was another debut, the Jason Statham action flick “Safe,” which pulled in $7.9 million. It was followed by yet another new movie with mediocre reviews, “The Raven” starring John Cusack as 19th century American author Edgar Allan Poe, which collected $7.3 million.”Chimpanzee,” a true-life, child-friendly adventure about a special chimp in the jungles of Ivory Coast, sank to eighth place, pulling in $5.2 million. Ninth was the Farrelly brothers’ comedy “The Three Stooges,” in its third week. The tribute to the legendary US comedy trio brought in a little under $5.2 million, and a total of $36.9 million since opening. Rounding off the top 10 was “The Cabin in the Woods,” a horror movie co-produced by Joss Whedon of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” fame. The film, which plays with stereotypes from teen slasher movies, pulled in $4.6 million. — AFP


s the morning sun spilled over the New Orleans’ skyline Monday, jazz musicians Herbie Hancock, Ellis Marsalis and others kicked off International Jazz Day with a sunrise concert that included ritual drumming and a string of performances, a day that culminated in the evening with a grand all-star concert at the United Nations. In the morning, trumpeters Terence Blanchard and Kermit Ruffins, singer Stephanie Jordan and others performed “On the Sunny Side of the Street” and “Afro Blue” as the sun rose on Congo Square, an area near the French Quarter neighborhood where slaves once gathered on Sundays to play music. Hundreds crowded the stage, some dancing and waving white handkerchiefs to the music. Several hours later, amid the backdrop of the U.N.’s General Assembly Hall, Hancock joined other jazz luminaries, including Marsalis’ son Wynton, Tony Bennett and Quincy Jones, for a concert that paid tribute to the best in jazz as well as its musical inspirations and influences. Besides jazz, there was blues, world music, a bit of R&B and more genres represented, with performances that included Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Angelique Kidjo, Robert Cray, and Dee Dee Bridgewater, and appearances from Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Michael Douglas. “Jazz ... that’s America’s only true indigenous art form,” said Jones. “It’s our classical music, you’ve got to remember that.” “It’s the heart and soul of American music and we can’t afford to let it slip into obscurity,” he added. International Jazz Day was launched in Paris on Friday by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in partnership with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, of which Hancock is chairman. The Paris event included roundtable discussions, improvisational workshops and performances by artists from various countries. “Jazz is something very special, and it belongs to the world,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, who traveled from Paris to New Orleans for Monday’s sunrise concert. “Jazz music is an expression of freedom, of human rights and of human dignity.” Still, the genre’s roots cannot be denied, Hancock said. Jazz was born out of slavery, “the positive and creative response to slavery to elevate and lift the hearts of

dam Glasser has forged his career in jazz by re-interpreting classics from his native South Africa on his chromatic harmonica, a surprisingly challenging instrument he never expected to take up. “Harmonica can sound dreadful,” said Glasser, who admitted to trepidation at learning to play the tiny instrument first given to him by his father, famed South African composer Stanley Glasser. “My friends said, ‘why the hell are you playing harmonica?’, especially before I got some success. They said to ‘put that thing away’,” he told AFP. But the slight eight centimetres (three inches) of what once seemed indomitable metal has brought his greatest professional success, including performances with Eurythmics and Sting. His album “Free at First” was named the best in South African jazz in 2010 at the local music awards. This year he was nominated for his latest album “Mzansi”, a slang name for South Africa, that he said is about “my unconditional love for the jazz of my country”. That album gives his signature sound to classics of South African jazz by saxophonist Dudu Pukwana and pianists Adbullah Ibrahim and Tete Mbambisa. His instrument of choice is among the least popular in jazz. With 12 tiny holes, it can play 48 tones, similar to black and white piano keys. That makes the chromatic harmonica remarkably flexible, even though it’s still most associated with blues. Belgian master Jean “Toots” Thielemans pioneered the harmonica in jazz, giving it the same luster as a saxophone. Glasser is part of a new generation of musicians breathing new life into it. Born in 1955, raised in Cape Town and Johannesburg, Glasser’s childhood was unlike most during apartheid, as a parade of black musicians passed through his famous father’s living room. He ended up playing with many of

the slaves,” he said. “It really touches people’s hearts because they can identify and feel the sense of hope and voice of freedom that really comes from jazz,” Hancock said. “This is what makes it truly international.” In all, thousands across the globe were expected to participate in International Jazz Day at events in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Japan, Algeria, New Guinea, Russia and elsewhere. “This is the international celebration of jazz, which

in a sense, is a loss for America because UNESCO is proclaiming that jazz is not just American,” Hancock said.—AP

them, taking up the piano but eclipsed by his father. Stanley Glasser was perhaps best known for helping direct the 1950s hit musical “King Kong”, telling the story of a black boxer to the sounds of South African jazz. He brought the show to London, and helped launch the careers of South African icon Miriam Makeba. Adam Glasser also headed to London in the 1970s, spending the next two decades in piano bars around Picadilly Circus or in restaurants with diners fond of sappy Italian music. “In 1983, I got a job on a cruise, and thought, I have a harmonica and I took it,” he said. “We were backing cabaret artists on the cruise and one of them had a very good har-

File photo shows British jazz musician, Adam Glasser performing at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. — AFP

Roger Lewis, with the Treme Brass Band, performs.

Terence Blanchard, foreground, and Herbie Hancock perform.

monica player, and I said, ‘Look, I’ve got an harmonica but it doesn’t work’,” he said. “I had it from my father who gave it to me for Christmas in 1972, but it was so difficult, so I kept it in a drawer. But the guy took it and blew it perfectly, and said, ‘Don’t worry, you just need to learn this thing’.” Later that year, Glasser heard Stevie Wonder play the harmonica, and was inspired. “When I heard Stevie Wonder, I said, ‘Jesus, that instrument can do. I love that sound’,” he said. In London he spent 16 years as the pianist for the vocal group Manhattan Brothers, collaborating on the 2006 album “Inyembezi”. But it was only after he finally mastered the harmonica’s slide that the honours started pouring in, most recently with a spot at the Cape Town Jazz Festival. His magnificent solos run from jazz ballads to the furious sounds of township saxophonesmusic that has become a connection to his roots. On the eve of a recent Cape Town concert, he led a music workshop for children in the sprawling township of Gugulethu, where he interpreted the classic apartheid prison hymn “Bahleli Bonke” on his harmonica. It’s music that now defines his career. “But it took me ages to do,” he said. — AFP

New Orleans concert marks International Jazz Day



Performers take part in the Beltane Fire Festival on Calton Hill in Edinburgh on April 30, 2012. The annual event is inspired by the pre-Christian spring-time festival and is intended to emphasize a connection with the passing of the seasons. —AFP

A long fight begins to save World Chefs: Spain’s Arzak has no plans to leave the cutting edge


hef Juan Mari Arzak has done much to put Spain’s culinary heritage on the map and aims to keep it there despite an economic crisis by researching new ideas and giving free rein to the imagination. Arzak’s restaurant ranked eighth at the S. Pellegrino and Acqua Panna World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards on Monday night. His joint Head Chef and daughter Elena Arzak was given the Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef award. Arzak senior has won praise for taking Basque cuisine’s ancient traditions in new directions without going to quite the same innovative lengths as renowned compatriot Ferran Adria. Perhaps his most famous dish is pate made from the unsightly but tasty scorpion fish, which he cr ated more than 40 years ago and has since become a feature in restaurants and delicatessens across Spain. Rather than culinary foam or paella made from rice crispies, the Michelin three-starred Arzak restaurant draws from mainly local ingredients to dish up combinations like monkfish with bronzed onion, or lamb injected with freeze-dried beer. “Research is the way forward. We didn’t become avant-garde with traditional cooking, the baby squid my mother made, gazpacho or tripe,” Arzak told Reuters in an interview. “We are at the cutting edge due to modern cuisine, evolution and the avantgarde. I keep saying you need to build on what you have, on factories, workshops. It’s tough, but you have to carry on, bank on imagination,” he added during a visit to Madrid. Arzak, 69, fulfilled a long-held dream this year by opening the Basque Culinary Centre near his 19th century tavern in the well-heeled northern resort of San Sebastian. He has also branched out by designing menus for restaurants such as Sando in Madrid, which now carries the tag “with Arzak Instructions”. Located in the capital’s edgy Santo Domingo district, from which it draws its name, Sando offers a tasting menu for 49 euros ($64.72), which compares with around 200 for a full meal at Arzak itself. “We’ve just started, it’s early days yet. What we’re going to do is take a look at the cooking, traditional dishes or whatever they have, see if they can be improved or leave them be, and then add some new dishes and think it through,” Arzak said.—Reuters

Philippine languages


rnel Valencia felt humiliated at school when he was barred from using the language he spoke at home, part of a decades-long pattern of linguistic destruction across the Philippines. “‘Stop talking like a bird. You should use English or the national language,” Valencia, now 39 and a village elder, said his first-grade teacher told him. Valencia belongs to a small mountain tribe called Ayta Magindi that has for centuries inhabited the bone-dry, sparsely forested Zambales mountains just three hours’ drive from the nation’s megacity capital, Manila. There are only 3,000 tribe members left living in and around the small sugar farming town of Porac, guardians to one of the dozens of little-known languages in the Southeast Asian archipelago that are under dire threat. The Philippines, with 95 million people, is home to 175 languages, but some of them have just a few speakers left while others are already considered extinct because there are no more people who converse in them. Up to 50 of the country’s minor languages could be lost within 20 years, says Artemio Barbosa, chief anthropologist at the Philippine National Museum. “When they migrate to a certain place and they are assimilated, they no longer speak their own language because their main concern is to have an intelligible language that they can speak everyday,” Barbosa told AFP. Experts say another big part of the problem is that the only two languages taught at school in the former US colony are English and Filipino, which is based on Tagalog that is natively spoken by people in and around Manila. Valencia, who is a local village council member, complained that his children still could not use Ayta Magindi in school, while adults had to learn Pampangan, the main

An Ayta elementary student works on her assignment on a roofless classroom.

local language, to get factory or plantation jobs. “Our language is not the only thing that we stand to lose, but also our culture,” he told AFP. “The discrimination that we suffer has not abated.” But there is some hope, according to Catherine Young, an endangered languages expert at the US-based Summer Institute of Linguistics who has spent a lot of time studying many of the little-known languages of the Philippines. Parents were apprehensive “There’s a growing awareness of the value of languages in the Philippines, if you compare it with other countries in Asia where (some minority) languages are publicly dis-

Ayta elementary students attend a class on a roofless classroom.

Ayta elementary students smile as they are photographed at the Camias Resettlement Elementary School at Porac, Pampanga, north of Manila in a picture taken on February 14, 2012. — AFP photos

couraged,” Young said on a recent visit to Manila. She highlighted a national government decision to implement mother-tongue education from this year as an important step in that direction. From the start of the new academic year in June, 12 of the most widely used languages will replace English and Filipino as the language of instruction from kindergarten to third grade. The 12 languages have a combined base of more than 63 million speakers, or two-thirds of the national population. The Department of Education said the new policy was the result of a Summer Institute of Linguistics-backed project in the 1990s to train local teachers in using Lilubuagan, spoken by 14,000 members of a northern mountain tribe. American linguist Diane Dekker went to live with her husband and four children in the Cordillera highlands in 1987 to launch the programme, initially to local scepticism. “The parents were apprehensive that this was going to affect negatively their acquisition of English. That is very important for parents because they know that that’s crucial for getting a job,” Dekker told AFP.—AFP

2nd May 2012  

Kuwait Times

2nd May 2012  

Kuwait Times