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NO: 15554- Friday, August 31, 2012

Morsi roasts Iran

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TEHRAN: Leaders of the NonAligned Movement (NAM) pose for a family photo before the start of the NAM summit yesterday. (Inset) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (left) speaks to Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi during the summit. — AFP

Local FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Just kiddin’, seriously

Mismanaging managers By Sahar Moussa


obody leaves a bad job but people will leave a bad boss. The manager and the employee relationship is not always like bread and butter. Sometimes, if not most of the time, it’s like a predator and a prey. If you think I’m exaggerating then you would be one of those people who are lucky and haven’t come across a bad manager or a boss. There are so many kinds of managers and here are some examples: Managers who cannot work alone but can with their own team: These managers are a fatal threat to new employers. It’s like a pack of wolves that stick only with each other and reject any outsiders. The new employee will feel like he’s entering a lion’s den. This kind of manager will make the new employee’s life miserable in every sense until they push them to quit. They will intimidate him; weave untrue stories to put him in trouble until he leaves. Managers who take advantage of employees: These kinds of managers will oblige the employee to work their backside all day and night and take complete credit for it. Managers who perceive a smart employee as a threat: Some managers push the employee to the corner when they are threatened by a smarter, more knowledgeable and

KUWAIT: Watermelons are piled up in front of an ‘electronics’ shop with its signboard only in Bengali with a bit of English and no Arabic in Hasawi. — Photo by Fouad Al-Shaikh

charismatic employee. They feel threatened to the extent of using every trick in the book to safeguard their ‘throne’. May God have mercy on the employee. Managers who don’t appreciate a good employee and end up taking him for granted by never giving him a bonus or promotion. Managers who misuse their power and position and end up using it for their own personal advantage by sexually harassing them. Managers who are not fair and not even close to knowing what this word means, by not giving the employee his salary or any extra money for any overtime job. Managers who are workaholics and don’t have a life and assume that their employees don’t have one either. Managers who create problems and talk bad about employees, following the rule: ‘When you divide, you rule’. Managers who use employees to get what they want by manipulating them to do their dirty jobs. And finally, managers who simply excel at mismanaging. To be objective, there are managers who give you inspiration and you learn a lot from them, and consider them as leaders but I believe that they are only few. I write this column because it applies to every country and employee in the whole world. This topic deserves attention as Kuwait has a large number of expats who come from all over the world just to work here. Many silently suffer bad bosses because they have no choice. I hope that Human Resources team in every firm or company will pay more attention to helpless employees and listen to their complaints with compassion and understand where they’re coming from. To every bad boss you should know that Karma is bad too.

Kuwait’s my business

D: The personality we love to hate! By John P Hayes


t my business seminars, the majority of attendees are Dominant personalities, as opposed to Influencers, Steadies or Compliants (also known as Competents). In business, the D personality rules! And why not? Ds are problem solvers, decision makers and goal getters. If you want to sell something, or build a business, you need Ds. The Ds are hard working and energetic. Ds aren’t troubled by challenges, or people who say “No.” The D says, “Tell me what you want done, and then get out of my way and I’ll do it!” Dominants (sometimes called Drivers) are popular because they naturally take charge and get results. They are leaders. Board Chairs, CEOs, Vice Presidents, Directors - they are almost always high D personalities. They are known for getting things done! But it’s the way they get things done that gets them into trouble. If you get between a D and his goal, you will be ignored, run over, or worse. At a minimum you will be blamed for getting in the way or slowing things down! Ds don’t like rules and regulations. They invented the saying, “Rules are made to be broken.” And they break the rules hourly. Ds are “fault finders,” and it’s never their fault. Consequently, they’re often seen as rude and selfish. They’re rarely good team players, unless they lead the team, and things will always be done their way. The D’s saving grace: Performance! Ds will make more sales, recruit more people, and climb more mountains than anyone else in the company. Perhaps it’s easy to see why other personalities clash with Ds. If you’re a people person (an Influencer), a loyal person (a Steady), or a stickler for details (a Compliant), you get easily irritated by brash Ds, both at work and at home. You can get the best of the Ds, however. And by the best, I mean you can let them do their thing while also appreciating them. A good D can’t be stopped, so put them into situations where you need results. Give them the authority to make decisions, but check on them - every day. Even the Chairman of the Board must be accountable to other board members. Most importantly, praise the Ds! In spite of their gruff exterior, they seek your praises. They want to be congratulated and rewarded. They want everyone to know - friends, family, colleagues that they’re important. Shower the D with gifts and awards they prefer cash! - and the D will continue to perform for you. NOTE: Dr John P. Hayes is a marketing professor at Gulf University for Science & Technology. Contact him at or via Twitter @drjohnhayes.

Local FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Parks get kid-friendly Kuwait’s public parks undergoing facelifts, new children’s playgrounds open By Ben Garcia uwait’s public parks, normally used for jogging, contemplating, playing and other forms of entertainment and recreational activities, are now slowly being renewed and upgraded. Many of them have built sections dedicated for children’s playgrounds. The usually secluded or fenced-in public parks are now open, without fences or barriers. Further, improvements are ongoing and are estimated to be completed within a year. In Salmiya Park, for


example, there is a new children’s corner, albeit with one problem - lighting. “It could only be used in the early morning hours since there are no lights installed for our children to see and play safely at night,” an Indian mother told Kuwait Times. “You know the weather in the afternoon in Kuwait; its unbearable, so the best time for children to play is the evening. But how can they enjoy the play area if they can barely see it?” she added. Another complaint she had were the closed and filthy washrooms. “I don’t know why they leave the park without toilets - it is a necessity and they have to provide it for users. Even the smallest establishment anywhere in the world has to have washrooms. Why don’t we?” she asked. Water fountains are also installed in some public parks, as well as basketball and football courts, walking or jogging paths, and even picnic areas. Public parks in Kuwait are maintained by the municipality, supplying them with water and making sure that sur-

roundings are clean and, if possible, green. There are also mini-parks in various locations and districts in Kuwait, although some of them are mere playgrounds for children, attached to known establishments. In Soukh Mubarakiya,

for example, a newly renovated playground is now being used by many children from various locations. It is equipped with new amenities children can enjoy, including slides, swings, seesaws and even water fountains.

— Photos by Ben Garcia

Local FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

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


Photos from Instagram account: SCWD

Local FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Kuwaitis looking for a

home away from home By Nawara Fattahova


bdullah, 30, currently a government employee in a ministry, sits at his desk for five hours every day, sipping tea and reading Tweets. On rare occasions he will send out CVs to large, pri-

vate companies as he seeks employment and professional growth. “The restricted growth opportunities in the public sector and the lack of trust in us as Kuwaiti employees are forcing me to reconsider my options here and move back to the UK where I studied,”

Abdullah said. Abdullah’s case is not isolated. In a country where two-thirds of the labour force is made up of foreigners and the government provides a cradle-to-grave social system, Kuwaitis who want to grow and develop are increasingly considering greener pastures. In the current post-recession mode, the social insecurity for private sector employees, the political vacuum, the continuously skyrocketing cost of living and the regional turmoil that has taken hold in the Gulf, have all conspired to create a new migratory wave for Kuwaitis. Fresh graduates and other young professionals are starting to look at opportunities away from home. To exacerbate the sense of insecurity, the constant spread of rumours about possible Gulf turmoil with serious repercussions for Kuwait have sent shivers down the collective Kuwaiti spine. Just in the last week, a Whatsapp broadcast spread false information that the United States embassies in Kuwait and Bahrain advised their citizens not to register their children in schools for this year and to send them home before Oct 2012. The American Embassy in Bahrain officially denied issuing any statement warning its citizens to leave the country before October. Some Kuwaitis seek refuge from the domination of big business and contemplate moving abroad to settle, while people like Salah, a 29year-old businessman, laments the wasta. He said, “Although I am financially comfortable, I feel I am lacking many other things. I’m doing well in my business, but I’m still a small businessman in a place where all privileges go to the big businessmen from well-known families. There is no chance for competition in our country, and the situation is different elsewhere, places where they respect work and performance, rather than wasta or family position.” For Salah, settling abroad is being triggered by the dearth of equal chances between citizens in the community. “The problem of inequality exists in many different fields, not only in business,” Salah said, providing an example from his own job application experience. “Many times I tried to apply to different institutions, and although I met the conditions I didn’t succeed because I don’t have wasta,” he said. To illustrate his point, he said he once submitted a proposal for executing a project to recycle car tyres, but he never received approval. “Then I opened my

garage alone, without the government’s support,” he said. “All that we hear about supporting young Kuwaitis in starting small businesses is not true. Maybe if I demanded doing a project for cookies or cupcakes they would agree,” added Salah. He is now considering moving to France. “I have received an offer from a person I know to move to France and be paid $15,000 a month. I am really considering this offer,” he said, noting the bitter disappointment he feels due to the political and social situation in Kuwait. “I have lived here for the first 29 years of my life, so why not try to shift somewhere else to see how my life could be there?” he asked. Mansour, 26, a scriptwriter and a “person of art”, as he describes himself, was actively participating in the rallies, hoping for a change in the current stagnation of the country. Today, he says he is facing the dilemma to either stay in Kuwait, receive all the social benefits the country offers and “pass time”, or move somewhere else where he has a chance to become someone. “My craft is unique and you cannot make it here,” he says. Meanwhile, Nawaf, 32, has a relative who has lived in France for over 20 years. He explained that his father’s uncle, at over 60 years of age, is now working in a popular international institute in France representing Kuwait. After he retired, he decided to stay there with his two children. “Here he owns a house which he is renting and doesn’t want to come to live here. Before moving he was a teacher at Kuwait University. His uncle married a British woman when he was in Kuwait and moved with her. The fact that it’s been easy for him to adapt to life abroad means that it is not so hard,” Nawaf said. Nawaf, however, finds constantly moving has made another of his relatives less happy. He tells the story of his single 55-year-old uncle, who has to change locations every four years because of his work for the Kuwait Airways Corporation in their different branches around the world. “He moves to different countries, mostly in Asia and Europe. For more than 20 years he has been living in these countries and has never come back to Kuwait. Only during Ramadan he comes and rents a room in a hotel. He is not married and I feel sad for him,” he said. (Velina Nacheva contributed to this report)

Local FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Young pearl divers return to shore By Nawara Fattahova


he annual pearl diving organized by the Kuwait Sea Sports Club (KSSC) and held from Aug 23-30, 2012 concluded yesterday at the club with the welcoming of the participants’ families. This year the trip was shortened to one week due to the holy month of Ramadan and Eid. The divers returned from their expedition with 500 pearls of varying sizes. Celebrating its 24th year of preserving Kuwaiti tradition, nine traditional dhows were used in this year’s diving trip, carrying about 160 young men. The annual pearl diving is held under the patronage of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Not only were the sailors happy about participating in this activity, but so were their family members. “This is the second time for my brother to participate in the pearl diving trip. He is 16 years old and he also participated last year. Although we missed him a lot around the house, especially since he is my only brother, I’m happy he participated. I think this traditional activity teaches him to depend upon himself and be strong in any situation. He loves the sea, so he enjoys going along on this trip. We encouraged him to participate,” Ghaida, a sister of one of the divers told Kuwait times. Older people were reminded of their past during the gathering. “My 17 year old grandson, Abdulrahman, is participating in the pearl diving trip for the first time. I think it’s great, as it shows the new generation how we lived in the past before the oil era. I heard from my father about the pearl diving, which was difficult at that time and lasted for many months. Today, everything is easy and the young people should know how their fathers lived. I love the idea of this activity and I think all young men should try it,” said Um Khalil. Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs Jamal

— Photos by Joseph Shagra

Shehab, representing the Amir during the ceremony, praised the achievements of the participants. “This year’s collection of pearls was better than in previous years. Also, there are seasoned divers and captains participating on this trip to share their experiences with the young divers,” he pointed out. “This activity awakens different emotions in me, as a Kuwaiti, and it reminds me of our fathers’ work. We call it an activity today, while it was a source of living in the past. Celebrating this day expresses our respect to the past and traditions. This activity teaches self-confidence and strengthens the young people’s love of their country. It also teaches them teamwork. The government should support the KSSC to help it organize this traditional activity every year,” he added. Director General of the Public Authority for Youth and Sports (PAYS) Faisal Al-Jazzaf said that the participants returned safely and learned of their Kuwaiti heritage during the diving trip. “PAYS always supports the activities of our youth, and pearl diving is one of the most significant activities. Pearl diving connects the past with the present. The sea heritage of old Kuwait represents the main pillar or base on which the modern economy of Kuwait was built. And I would like to thank everybody who supported these young men in their trip,” he stressed. After the dhows arrived on the beach at KSSC, the divers were welcomed by their family members. Some of the participants then performed a traditional Kuwaiti maritime song and dance routine.

Local FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Kuwait donates $1.25bn to Jordan Money to be used on crucial projects AMMAN: Jordan said Kuwait has agreed to donate $1.25 billion for Jordanian development projects. Planning Ministry Secretary General Saleh Kharabsheh said the money will be spent on water, renewable energy and other crucial projects. A planning ministry statement said the first batch of $250 million will be dispersed soon through the Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development. It said Jordan will receive a similar amount every year until 2016. The statement said an agreement to that effect was signed in Amman yesterday. With limited resources, Jordan depends on foreign donations to keep its sluggish economy afloat. Jordan’s longtime ally, the United States, is the largest aid donor to the Arab kingdom, with contributions exceeding $10 billion in the last decade. — AP

AMMAN: KFAED and Jordanian officials sign an agreement yesterday. — KUNA

4 new departure gates open at Kuwait Airport KUWAIT: Director General of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Fawaz Al-Farah said yesterday that the directorate has recently completed the construction of four new departure gates at Kuwait International Airport (KIA). Al-Farah told KUNA that these gates include lounges for departing passengers and directly overlook the aircraft runway. The gates are reached by buses that ferry passengers back and forth. He said that these gates include numbers (9) and (10) in the south-eastern terminal and (27) and (28) in the southwestern terminal of the building. He said that the addition of these new gates will lift the terminals’ capacity by 40 percent to keep pace with the continuous increase of air traffic and number of passengers at KIA. Farah noted that the directorate is currently working on the completion of the contractual procedures to schedule additional renovations and is awaiting the approval of funds in the state budget in order to sign a contract for this project with the winning company. — KUNA

Qatar’s Rasgas hit by computer virus

LONDON: HH the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah left yesterday for the United States on a private visit. The Amir was seen off here by National Assembly Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi, Kuwait’s Ambassador to the UK Khaled Al-Duwaisan and other officials. — KUNA

DUBAI: Qatar’s Rasgas has found a virus in its office computer network, the world’s second-biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter said yesterday, just two weeks after the world’s biggest oil producer in neighbouring Saudi Arabia was hacked into. “The company’s office computers have been affected by an unknown virus ... It was first identified on Monday,” Rasgas, one of two Qatari LNG producers, said in a statement. “Operational systems both onsite and offshore are secure and this does not affect production at the Ras Laffan Industrial City plant or scheduled cargoes.” It was not clear whether Rasgas has been victim of the same malicious software or hacker group that targeted about 30,000 desktop PCs at Saudi Aramco on Aug 15. Saudi Aramco also said oil production and key data were unaffected by the intrusion into its office networks by a virus thought designed to wipe files from desktop hard drives. But two weeks on, the Saudi Aramco website which was taken offline by the company to limit options for further attacks, remained down yesterday. — Reuters

Bahrain police charged over teenager’s death DUBAI: A Bahrain policeman has been charged over shooting dead a Shiite teenager when a group of protesters attacked security forces with petrol bombs, an investigator said. The public prosecution “accused the policeman who opened fire on one of the attackers of premeditated murder,” said official, Nawaf Hamza, late on Wednesday, according to BNA state news agency. He said the accused was released but has been banned from travel. His name and nationality have not been revealed. But the public prosecution issued a later statement saying the charge against the policeman was “preliminary”, pending an investigation which so far shows the killing was “likely a case of self defence”. Sixteen-year-old Shiite Hussam AlHaddad died of his injuries on August 17, after police opened fire under attack from petrol bombs in Sunni-dominated Muharraq, close to the capital, according to the interior ministry. The Sunni-ruled kingdom, home to the US Fifth Fleet and strategically situated across the Gulf from Iran, has continued to witness sporadic Shiite-led demonstrations mostly outside the capital since it crushed a pro-democracy uprising in March last year. Hamza said the investigation revealed that police fired warning shots at 25 to 30 protesters attacking their patrol with petrol bombs, and that the defendant shot Haddad as he was about to hit him from close range with a Molotov cocktail. The ministry had said at the time that security forces acted in self-defence. — AFP


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TEHRAN: Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (centre) delivers his speech as his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (left) and the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh look on during the Non-Alligned Movement (NAM) summit yesterday. — AFP

Syria’s ‘oppressive regime’ must go Iran summit stumbles on nuclear, Syria criticism

TEHRAN: A showpiece summit hosted by Iran stumbled as soon as it opened yesterday when the head of the UN pressed Tehran on its nuclear stand, and Egypt’s new leader publicly sided with Syria’s opposition. The double challenge, before the leaders and delegates of the 120-member Non-Aligned Movement, upset Iran’s plans to portray the two-day summit as a diplomatic triumph over Western efforts to isolate it. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei opened the event with a speech blasting the United States as a hegemonic meddler and Israel as a regime of “Zionist wolves.” He also stated that his country “is never seeking nuclear weapons” and accused the UN Security Council, under US influence, of exerting an “overt dictatorship” over the world. UN chief Ban Ki-moon, who looked irritated at Khamenei’s remarks, shot back that Iran should boost global confidence in its nuclear activities by “fully complying with the relevant (UN) Security Council resolutions and thoroughly cooperating with the IAEA,” the UN’s nuclear watchdog. He warned about the current state of bellicose rhetoric coming from Israel and Iran, saying “a war of words can quickly spiral

into a war of violence.” Egypt’s new President Mohamed Morsi-making the first visit to Iran by an Egyptian head of state since the 1979 Islamic revolution-in turn embarrassed his hosts by voicing support for the opposition in Syria, which is fighting the Damascus regime unwaveringly backed by Iran. “The revolution in Egypt is the cornerstone for the Arab Spring, which started days after Tunisia and then it was followed by Libya and Yemen and now the revolution in Syria against its oppressive regime,” Morsi said. That contradicted the line put out by Damascus and Tehran, which assert that the Syrian uprising is a “terrorist” plot masterminded by the United States and regional countries. Morsi’s address prompted a walkout by the Syrian government delegation and drew a sharp response from Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, who accused the Egyptian leader of inciting further bloodshed in Syria. Iran’s state media failed to mention the contentious parts of Ban and Morsi’s speeches in their coverage of the summit. Morsi reportedly had a short one-on-one with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad before leaving Tehran,

in which they discussed Syria and possibility of reviving ties. Iran nuclear activity under UN scrutiny The summit to-and-fro over Iran’s nuclear ambitions had its roots in an unusually frank meeting Ban held with Khamenei and Ahmadinejad after arriving on Wednesday. Ban told them Iran needed to provide “concrete” steps to ease the international showdown which has raised the spectre of airstrikes on nuclear facilities, threatened by both Israel and the United States. Tensions have been raised by the International Atomic Energy Agency unveiling a new Iran “task force” to scrutinise Tehran’s nuclear programme and its compliance with UN resolutions. Additionally, the latest IAEA report on Iran’s nuclear progress was expected to be released this week-possibly even during the Tehran summit. The report is said to highlight expanded enrichment in Iran and suspicions concerning an off-limits military base in Parchin, outside Tehran, where warhead design experiments might have taken place. Ban, whose presence at the summit had been criticised by the United States and Israel,

also took Iran’s leaders to task for recent comments calling Israel a “cancerous tumour” that should be cut out of the Middle East. He urged both Iran and Israel to cool the bellicose language. “I strongly reject any threat by any (UN) member state to destroy another, or outrageous comments to deny historical facts such as the Holocaust,” Ban said in his summit speech. “Claiming another UN member state does not have the right to exist or describe it in racist terms is not only utterly wrong but undermines the very principles we have all pledged to uphold,” he said. “I urge all the parties to stop provocative and inflammatory threats. A war of words can quickly spiral into war of violence. Bluster can so easily become bloodshed. Now is the time for all the leaders to use their voices to lower, not raise, tensions,” he said. A total of 29 heads of state or government are attending the Tehran summit, including those of Afghanistan, India, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority, Sudan, Qatar and Zimbabwe. North Korea was represented by its ceremonial head of state, parliamentary president Kim YongNam, rather than the country’s leader Kim Jong-Un. — AFP

International FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

UN warns against threats to Lebanon UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council warned yesterday against attempts to threaten the security and stability of Lebanon amid outbursts of violence and escalating tensions in the country fueled by the 17-month conflict in neighboring Syria. The warning was contained in a resolution unanimously passed by the council to renew a 11,500-strong UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon, known as UNIFIL and based in a Hezbollah stronghold in the south to monitor a cessation of hostilities

with Israel. The resolution condemned “all attempts to threaten the security and stability of Lebanon, reaffirming its determination to ensure that no such acts of intimidation will prevent UNIFIL from implementing its mandate.” A roadside bomb wounded five French peacekeepers in southern Lebanon in December, one of several attacks on the UN force last year. France blamed Syria for the attack, saying it had acted through its Lebanese ally, powerful

Shi’ite Muslim militant group Hezbollah. Syria, which has had far-reaching influence in Lebanon for decades, denied any links to the attack. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad withdrew troops from Lebanon in 2005 after a 29year presence and Hezbollah remains a strong ally. France, Lebanon’s former colonial power, has contributed the largest number of troops to the UN peacekeeping force and is increasingly concerned the Syrian crisis-which

began as peaceful pro-democracy protests-could spread into Lebanon. In an annual foreign policy speech on Monday, French President Francois Hollande said a solution to the Syrian crisis had to be found before it spread beyond its borders. “I realize the difficulty of the task and the risks, but what is at stake goes far beyond Syria,” he said. “It concerns the entire security of the Middle East and especially the independence and stability of Lebanon.” —Reuters

Fall of Maldives president not a ‘coup’, claims panel COLOMBO: A Commonwealth-backed investigation in the Maldives yesterday dismissed claims that a coup forced Mohamed Nasheed from the presidency in February and declared it was a legitimate transfer of power. The panel’s report concluded that Nasheed, who alleged he was ousted in a coup, had resigned voluntarily-a judgment promptly rejected by his party which staged another street protest and clashed with police. The Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI), consisting of four nationals named by political parties and a Singaporean judge nominated by the Commonwealth, found the change of president was “legal and constitutional”. “The resignation of President Nasheed was voluntary and of his own free will,” it said in a 62page report which was also signed by a Canadian and New Zealander who functioned as observers for the UN and the Commonwealth. Nasheed’s departure “was not caused by any illegal coercion or intimidation,” the report said. Nasheed has previously told his supporters that it would be legitimate to challenge the current government through “street action” if the report rejected his claims that he was overthrown in a military and police coup. Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) activists took to the streets yesterday night in a repeat of protests that have gripped the capital Male for the past six months. Police Superintendent Abdulla Nawaz said they arrested at least 23 activists. “They have assaulted one of our officers and damaged the windows of a police vehicle,” Nawaz said when contacted by telephone. MDP activists said about 50 of their supporters had been arrested within a two-hour period and accused police of clamping down on their nightly street demonstration. “We will keep up our campaign to press for early elections,” MDP spokesman Hamid Abdul Ghafoor told AFP by telephone. He rejected the CoNI report as a “total outrage”. However, both the Commonwealth and the United States welcomed the report. “We urge all parties to respect those findings, to exercise restraint, obey the rule of law, and continue to express themselves in a peaceful and non-violent manner,” the US state department said in a statement. Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma said that “the task ahead for all Maldivians must be to strengthen democracy”. “An atmosphere of peace and public order is essential for that to happen,” he said. Nasheed’s nominee on the CoNI panel resigned late on Wednesday saying that it had ignored vital evidence, including photographs and videos. —AP

MALE: A supporter of former president Mohammed Nasheed is detained during a protest after the commission of national inquiry released its report yesterday. — AP

SYDNEY: A poster promoting an Australian television documentary “Go back to where you came from” a campaign for refugee rights are dispayed on a street board yesterday. — AFP

55 rescued from missing Indonesia asylum boat Rush of asylum-seekers before Australian crackdown SYDNEY: Rescuers plucked 55 survivors from the ocean yesterday, more than a day after an asylum-seeker boat heading for Australia disappeared off the Indonesian coast with 150 people aboard. After Indonesia abandoned its search, six people were rescued overnight by a cargo ship and 49 more were pulled from the water by an Australian navy crew after being located by spotter planes late yesterday. “The vessels have recovered 55 survivors. Three have serious injuries but are in a stable condition,” the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said, adding that the search was being scaled back. “Vessels will remain on scene overnight, but have limited search capability until daylight Friday.” The head of Indonesia’s rescue mission at Merak port in western Java said it appeared that one of the survivors had been bitten by a shark. Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) received an alert from AMSA early Wednesday that a boat was in distress between Java and Sumatra, 220 nautical miles from the Australian territory of Christmas Island. Basarnas sent two police rescue boats and a helicopter but found noth-

ing and returned to base, only for AMSA to task the cargo ship APL Bahrain, which responded to an earlier broadcast to shipping, to attend a broader search area. The captain of the Bahrain said screams and whistles alerted his crew as it scoured the Sunda Strait in darkness. “We were doing scheduled searching. At the last moment when I was thinking to abort, I heard some noises, and we spotted them in the water,” Captain Manuel Nistorescu told the Sydney Morning Herald’s website. “I (sent) a crew to get them and it was not easy... It was dark.” He said the rescued men appeared to be in good condition, adding that they said the pump on their boat failed and the vessel began taking on water. “They had an engine break and the water was coming, and the pump for pumping out the water was not working and the boat sinks. This is what I understand from them,” he said. Australian Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said there were serious concerns for those still missing, who include women and children. “We have grave fears for a lot more,” he said. “Don’t underestimate how hard it is to find people in the middle of the sea.” AMSA said the survivors were expected to be

taken to Merak in Indonesia’s Java for medical attention. An Indonesian rescue boat carrying doctors was steaming to the area where the boat sank along with a police ship. Four merchant vessels were continuing the search alongside HMAS Maitland and two Australian P3 Orion aircraft. Australia is facing a steady influx of asylum-seekers arriving by boat, many of whom use Indonesia as a transit hub, paying people-smugglers for passage on leaky wooden vessels after fleeing their home countries. Canberra this month said 300 boatpeople had died en route to the country this year, with vessels being intercepted by the Australian navy on almost a daily basis. Two weeks ago, Canberra announced its intention to transfer asylum-seekers to Nauru and Papua New Guinea in the Pacific as part of a tough new policy to deter them from making the dangerous sea voyage. But more than 1,000 boatpeople have arrived since the policy was adopted. “My message to them is, don’t get on the boat,” said Clare. “What we’ve seen today is there is a real risk people will die... that people will end up at the bottom of the sea.” — AFP

International FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

US charges Saudi at Gitmo with plotting to bomb oil tankers Prisoner Ahmed Al-Darbi could face life in prison

LAGOS: This file photo shows a Nigeria secret service officer standing guard during a court hearing. — AP

Nigeria secret police details leaked: Report LAGOS: Personnel records of former and current members of Nigeria’s top domestic spy agency, including home addresses and names of immediate family members, leaked onto the Internet in a threatening message that claimed to come from a radical Islamist sect that’s killed hundreds of people this year alone, The Associated Press has learned. The leak of personal data of more than 60 past and current employees of Nigeria’s State Security Service remained easily accessible on the Internet for days and had details about the agency’s director-general, including his mobile phone number, bank account particulars and contact information for his son. Many of agents listed who could be reached by the AP said they received no official warning from the spy agency that their information had been posted online nor been otherwise alerted. The material has been deleted from the comment section of a website, but the security breach astonished spy service veterans and calls into question whether Nigeria’s intelligence community, whose agents already have released suspected terrorists out of religious and ethnic sympathies, are too compromised from within to stop the violence now plaguing Africa’s most populous nation. A senior Nigerian intelligence official said authorities were aware that the leak had happened and that many were embarrassed by it. He spoke on condition of anonymity as information about the leak was not to have been made public. Marilyn Ogar, a spokeswoman for the State Security Service, declined to answer questions Thursday about the posting of the information. The State Security Service, created in 1986 by then-military ruler Gen Ibrahim Babangida, monitors domestic dissent in Nigeria, an oil-rich nation of more than 160 million people. Though geared toward stopping terrorism and destabilizing coups, the agency routinely faces criticism for targeting government critics. In Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, the agency operates out of cars made to look like the many green taxis that roam the streets. Plain-clothed agents of the service routinely question foreign journalists at airports, border crossings and on city streets if they see reporters conducting interviews. Agents carrying assault rifles often guard major events in the country. Many agents for the typically secretive agency are preoccupied with concealing their identities, as most try to blend unnoticed into society. The information leak came in two postings earlier this month on a website that provides rewritten news on Nigeria. The first posting threatened to kill agents of the State Security Service on behalf of Boko Haram, a radical Islamist sect responsible for more than 660 killings this year alone in Nigeria. The second posting simply offered a block of text containing biographical and other details about the agents. Though the comments have been removed, the AP is not identifying the website involved as cached versions of the comments remain online and intelligence service agents have been killed by Boko Haram members in the past. The list includes former and current agents across the country, including DirectorGeneral Ekpeyong Ita. Those reached by the AP who were willing to talk expressed disbelief that sensitive information like that could make its way to the Internet. “I was shocked to see my details posted on the Internet,” said one former agent, who declined to be named out of safety concerns. “I’ve not heard anything from anybody. I was surprised that such information could be leaked.” Another man on the list said he simply once served as a doctor to help the agency on an on call basis only. The list appeared to include lower-ranking agents, as well as one-time state directors for the agency.—AP

MIAMI: Prosecutors in the Guantanamo war crimes tribunals have filed new terrorism charges against a Saudi prisoner accused of plotting with Al-Qaeda to blow up oil tankers off the coast of Yemen, the Pentagon said on Wednesday. Ahmed al Darbi could face life in prison if convicted on six charges that include conspiracy, aiding and abetting the hazarding of a vessel and aiding and abetting terrorism. Darbi, 37, is accused of working as a weapons instructor at an Al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan in the late 1990s and meeting al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden there. He also is charged with abetting a plot to bomb civilian tankers in the Strait of Hormuz and off the coast of Yemen from 2000 to 2002. Specifically, he is accused of using al Qaeda money to buy a boat and GPS navigational devices and helping obtain travel documents for al Qaeda operatives. He also is accused of abet-

ting the plot to bomb a French oil tanker, the MV Limburg, off Yemen in 2002. The blast killed a Bulgarian crewman and dumped tens of thousands of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Aden. “Mr Al-Darbi’s alleged crimes are serious violations of the law of war that were committed to terrorize and wreak havoc on the world economy,” Brigadier General Mark Martins, the chief prosecutor for the Guantanamo tribunals, said in a statement. Darbi’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. Darbi, who was captured in Azerbaijan in 2002, said previously said he used his boat only to carry sheep across the Strait of Hormuz. If Darbi were to plead guilty and cooperate with Guantanamo prosecutors in exchange for leniency, he could be a useful witness against another prisoner facing death penalty charges stemming from al Qaeda attacks on vessels. That prisoner, alleged al Qaeda

chieftain Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, is accused in the plot to attack the Limburg, as well as sending suicide bombers to ram a boat full of explosives into the side of the USS Cole in the Port of Aden in 2000. The attack on the US warship killed 17 sailors. Charges similar to those announced on Wednesday were filed against Darbi in 2007 and referred for trial in 2008 in the Guantanamo war crimes tribunals. A lawyer familiar with the original charges said Darbi was given $50,000 of al Qaeda money to further the boats plot but spent a lot of it on prostitutes and drugs. Those charges were dismissed in 2009 to give the Obama administration time to review its Guantanamo policy. President Barack Obama tried unsuccessfully to shut down the Guantanamo detention camp, which still holds 168 foreign prisoners, and move the prosecutions into US civilian courts. — Reuters

Palestinians backtrack on bid for UN upgrade RAMALLAH: Palestinian officials yesterday appeared to backtrack on a pledge to make a fresh bid for upgraded UN membership on September 27. Nabil Abu Rudeina, spokesman for Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, told AFP the date would be decided next week when Abbas meets the Arab League in Cairo. “The president will have Palestinian, Arab and international consultations to set a date for the UN bid to present the request for non-member state status for Palestine,” he said. “After the Tehran summit, the president will go to Cairo to attend the Arab League follow-up committee meeting on September 5 and 6 which will set a date for the Palestinian bid seeking a status upgrade to non-member state.” Abbas was yesterday at a Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran where members are expected to vote on a political declaration endorsing Palestinian plans for upgrading their status from observer entity to a non-member observer state. Last September, Abbas made a high-profile effort to obtain full member status for Palestine at the UN, but the request was never put to a vote in the Security Council where the United States had pledged to veto it. The outcome of the NAM summit would have a “big effect” on Palestinian plans, Abu Rudeina said. “The decisions taken at the NAM summit will have a big effect on the bid to seek non-member UN status for Palestine,” he said, without explaining further. On August 4, Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki had said Abbas would make the upgrade request on September 27 during the UN General Assembly. “In the upcoming session of the General Assembly next month, President Abbas will speak about this on the 27th. Palestine will apply immediately to the UN, and the head of the General Assembly will be informed that Palestine wants to obtain non-member status,” he told reporters. “After that, we will begin communicating with all components of the General Assembly to talk about the appropriate date” for a vote on the issue. Nimr Hammad, political adviser to Abbas said the UN upgrade request would definitely go ahead, but confirmed the date would only be set “in the upcoming weeks.” —AFP

ISTANBUL: Turkish soldiers march during a military parade marking the 90th anniversary of Victory Day yesterday. Turkey commemorates the anniversary of the day in 1922 that marked the end of Turkey’s independence war with a victory over Greek occupation troops in Anatolia. — AFP

Tunisia media accuses govt of clampdown TUNIS: Tunisian journalists and media figures yesterday accused the government of clamping down on freedom of expression, as the Islamist-led state is criticised for tightening its grip on the press. Two state-run newspapers said their new director, who they consider too close to the ruling Ennahda party, censored an article they were to publish criticising his appointment by the government. And the head of a TV channel gave himself up to the authorities yesterday under an arrest warrant, claiming this was ordered in retaliation for a political satire show his station aired. International NGOs have recently criticised the Tunis government for seeking to manipulate the media, including by appointing new directors to head public media groups without consulting their staff. “This is harassment,” a journalist and unionist said of the alleged censorship by state-owned Dar Assabah press group director Lotfi Touati of newspapers Le Temps and Essabah. The two dailies were to run an article criticising Touati’s recent appointment to his position by the gov-

ernment, but he stopped it being printed overnight Wednesday and called the police to the office, Sana Farhat told AFP. “The new heads want to control the newspapers’ editorial line,” Farhat added, accusing the director of taking orders from the government. She said the article, which was also to announce a September 11 strike, was replaced by commercials. Meanwhile Sami Fehri, head of Ettounsiya TV, turned himself in to the attorney general’s office almost a week after his arrest warrant was issued, his lawyer told AFP. In a video statement released during the night, Fehri said he was going to the attorney general to allege unlawful prosecution and an attack on freedom of expression. “Freedom of expression with which we live since January 14 (2011, the day Ben Ali fled Tunisia) is threatened,” said Fehri. He believes his arrest was ordered because of his channel’s satirical puppet show, which was recently and abruptly halted allegedly under pressure from the authorities. Fehri last week told Express FM radio he would not fight the warrant.—AFP

International FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Former rebel bastion now battleground in Angolan vote HUAMBO: Once the stronghold of the feared Unita rebels, Angola’s second city Huambo has emerged as a key battlefield in Friday’s general elections as the party struggles in politics to regain its territory. “This year the battle is going to be competitive. The ruling party is no longer certain of easy victory, and its historic rival needs to prove that it can still mobilise” its supporters, said Alicerces Mango, a local official with the new Casa opposition party. Huambo resonates with symbolism from the 27year civil war. As the stronghold of the Union for the Total Independence of Angola (Unita), the city of 400,000 people suffered some of the war’s most crushing battles. The southern city infamously lived under siege for 50 days. After the war, Huambo was left devastated. It finally fell to President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and the ruling MPLA in 2008 elections, when the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola won the province’s five seats in parliament. That vic-

tory more than anything exposed the frailty of Unita as an opposition party, without its notorious leader Jonas Savimbi who was killed by the army in 2002. Unita took only 10 percent of the ballots in 2008. “Today we are better organised,” said Liberty Chiyaka, Unita’s provincial secretary. “We have visited all the villages to explain that their vote is secret. We will have two party representatives at each polling station, and will do our own compilation of the results.” “Unlike in 2008, we can monitor the vote, and we will do everything to minimise the impact of fraud,” he said. Unita has used its campaign to underscore worries about the election, from the integrity of the voter roll to the MPLA’s use of public resources-especially the broadcast media-in its campaign. The party faces other challenges from within. Top Unita leader Abel Chivukuvuku split away in April to form the new Casa party with a top MPLA figure and a clutch of smaller opposition parties.—AFP

LUANDA: National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) supporters react as they listen to a speech of their leader Isaias Samakuva (unseen) during the final rally campaign. — AFP

2,000 students at risk of deportation from UK ‘Problems with one university, not whole sector’

MOMBASA: Local tourists walk at the Kenyatta public beach yesterday. — AFP

Kenyan prez visits riot-hit port city MOMBASA: Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki arrived in the port city of Mombasa yesterday after days of violence sparked by the killing of a radical Muslim cleric, as authorities insisted security has been restored. Hundreds of armed security officers have been deployed in Mombasa to quash stonethrowing rioters who took to the streets in their hundreds following the assassination of preacher Aboud Rogo Mohammed on Monday. “We have tightened security, we have enough security forces,” said regional police chief Aggrey Adoli, speaking a day after attackers hurled a grenade at a police truck, wounding at least four officers. “We have not had problems today.” The attack, in which the Red Cross said one person was killed, was the second such blast since riots broke out on Monday, with an earlier grenade killing three policemen on Tuesday. Kibaki flew to Mombasa to open an agricultural trade fair, a longstanding engagement, but one which is also viewed as a government effort to show confidence in security in the city, Kenya’s main port and a key tourist hub. For two days, angry youths fought running battles with police, looting churches and torching cars. But Muslim leaders said yesterday the situation had improved, with many businesses closed during the rioting now open. “Things

are much calmer after last night’s house to house searches by the police... Mombasa is slowly returning to normal,” said Khalid Hussein, head of the local organisation Muslims for Human Rights. “All we can do is pray that police do not go out on a revenge mission since some of their own have fallen victim to the violence. This might provoke the rioters again.” The murdered cleric-popularly known as Rogo-was on US and UN sanctions lists for allegedly supporting neighbouring Somalia’s Al-Qaedalinked Shebab militants. Rogo had fiercely opposed Kenya’s invasion of southern Somalia last year to attack Shebab bases. The United States and United Nations had accused him of recruiting and fundraising for the extremist insurgents. Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Wednesday visited Mombasa, where he called for the nation to come together to stop religious violence. “We are not going to allow outside forces to incite Kenyans to create religious war,” Odinga said, after meeting with religious leaders from the majority-Muslim region, which also has a significant Christian population. Foreign embassies-including those of Australia, Britain, France and the United Stateshave issued travel warnings for Mombasa, where several large tourist resorts are based. —AFP

LONDON: The British government has stripped a London university of its right to sponsor visas for overseas students, leaving 2,000 of students facing possible deportation. London Metropolitan University had its Highly Trusted Status-which allowed it to sponsor visas for students from outside the European Unionrevoked by the UK Border Agency on Wednesday over alleged failings in its procedures. The move means current overseas students have 60 days to enrol on a course elsewhere, with more than 2,000 students facing deportation if they fail to find another university, according to the National Union of Students (NUS). The union warned of “catastrophic” effects on Britain’s industry for educating students from overseas, which was estimated last year to be worth £14 billion (17.7 billion euros, $22.2 billion). Almost 300,000 non-EU foreign students were enrolled in Britain in the 2010-11 academic year. The university said on its website: “The implications of the revocation are hugely significant and far-reaching... Our ABSOLUTE PRIORITY is to our students, both current and prospective, and the University will meet all its obligations to them.” Immigration minister Damian Green told BBC radio that after an audit lasting six months, the Border Agency found “a serious systemic failure where it appears that the university doesn’t have the capacity to be a proper sponsor”. He said that a quarter of students there lacked permission to stay in the country, while there was insufficient evidence that students spoke English and no proof that half of those enrolled had been attending lectures. But he sought to reassure prospective students that “this will not be replicated across the university sector”. The government had formed a task force to assist current students whose visas are set to be revoked, he added. The NUS labelled the move political, linking it with promised immigration quotas brought in by Prime Minister David Cameron’s government. It said it had contacted Cameron to “express anger at the way decisions have been made in recent weeks and to reiterate the potentially catastrophic effects on higher education... as an export industry”. A Border Agency spokesman said: “The latest audit revealed problems with 61 percent of files randomly sampled. Allowing London Metropolitan University to continue to sponsor and teach international students was not an option.

“These are problems with one university, not the whole sector.” London Metropolitan is in the top 20 British recruiters of international students, with 6,000 EU and non-EU overseas students in 2010-11, according to government figures. It said it was working closely with bodies including the Border Agency to try to resolve the problems. — AFP

Killer wants Punk Riot freed: Russia MOSCOW: The bodies of two slain women were found in Russia beneath a scrawled message demanding freedom for the jailed members of the Punk Riot band, officials said yesterday. While a Russian investigator cautioned that the killer was possibly trying to mislead police by drawing attention to the punk provocateurs, the alleged link between a killer and anti-Putin protesters was immediately seized upon by Russian media and proKremlin publicists. Some publications ran headlines claiming that Punk Riot supporters “committed” or “inspired” a double homicide. The coverage was full of the mostly negative terms used by Kremlinfriendly television networks and media in their coverage of the protesters’ trial. A Moscow court earlier this month sentenced three Punk Riot members to two years in jail for performing a “punk prayer” against President Vladimir Putin at a Moscow cathedral in February. The trial, widely seen as Kremlin-orchestrated, caused an international furor, with celebrities such as Paul McCartney urging Russian authorities to free the band. The jailed band members’ attorney said on Twitter that “what happened in Kazan is horrible,” calling the case “either a horrendous provocation or a psychopathic” case. “I am sorry that some freaks are using Punk Riot’s band name,” Nikolai Polozov was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying. Russia’s Investigative Committee said the women, aged 76 and 38, were killed late last week in their apartment in the central city of Kazan with the words “Free Punk Riot” written on the wall in English, “presumably” with blood.—AP

International FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Ghana ruling party meets to endorse prez candidate KUMASI: Ghana’s ruling National Democratic Congress met yesterday and was expected to endorse President John Dramani Mahama for December elections following the death of John Atta Mills last month. Mills had been set to run for re-election in the December vote before he died on July 24 at age 68. No official cause has been given, but there have been unconfirmed reports that he suffered

from throat cancer. Some 2,000 delegates, including Mahama and former president Jerry Rawlings, were attending the congress in Kumasi in south-central Ghana, traditionally a stronghold of the opposition but where the NDC is seeking to make inroads. Mahama, who had been vice president before Mills’s death, was sworn in to serve out the remainder of the late leader’s term, as dictated by

the west African nation’s constitution. Mills’s death upended the presidential race in a country that recently became a significant oil producer and is praised as a stable democracy in an often turbulent region. The transition has so far gone smoothly. Analysts say the election is likely to be close. Mills won the 2008 vote with less than a one percent margin. — AFP

Moscow sells celebrated Metropol hotel for $277m Drive to privatise thousands of non-residential properties

SENEGAL: Protesters gather outside the Gambian embassy yesterday to demand President Yahya Jammeh halt the mass execution of prisoners, and urging the international community to intervene. The banner reads: “Stop summary executions. The African Union and ECOWAS must react”. — AFP

Senegalese protest mass execution of prisoners DAKAR: Scores of Senegalese protested outside Gambia’s embassy yesterday to demand that President Yahya Jammeh halt the execution of prisoners as another 38 convicts face the firing squad in coming weeks. Demonstrators implored the international community to intervene after nine prisoners, including two Senegalese citizens, were executed for their crimes last Sunday in the tiny country which is wedged into Senegal. The protesters chanted “Yahya assassin! Jammeh criminal!” and “Jammeh to the ICC (International Criminal Court)” as a handful of riot police kept watch. “We want to alert the international community to say there are 38 people on death row and if nothing is done ... these people will be executed and thrown into mass graves,” said Alioune Tine of the Dakar-based African Assembly for the Defense of Human Rights. “As we speak no remains are in the hands of families.” Tine said the 47-yearold Gambian leader was a “modern day Idi Amin” referring to the former Ugandan dictator, and: “We must absolutely end the regime of this dictator.” The former soldier who seized power in a bloodless coup in 1994, has vowed to carry out all death sentences by midSeptember. Sheriff Bojang, a Gambian journalist exiled in Dakar like many of his colleagues who have fled persecution, is the first cousin of one of those executed on Sunday, Lieutenant Lamin Jarjou - one of three soldiers killed. He said his cousin was accused of involvement in a bloody counter-coup attempt in 1994, and another several years later. “That is what they said. He was tried, obviously they were beaten, coerced into signing things. We believed there was never a fair trial,” Bojang told AFP. Like most prisoners in Gambia, Jarjou was convicted by judges known locally as “machinery judges”, hired by Jammeh from Nigeria. “He has the right to fire and hire them anytime so they only do what

he wants them to do.” In all the time Jarjou was in prison, the only person to see him was his brother, for 10 minutes, during a hospital stay, said Bojang. “Everybody was shocked ... nobody was aware of it,” he said of the execution. His body has also not been returned to the family for proper Muslim burial rites. Amnesty has said many on death row were tried on “politically motivated charges and subjected to torture and other ill-treatment to force confessions.” Last year eight military top brass, including the former army and intelligence chiefs and the ex-deputy head of the police force, were sentenced to death for treason. Jammeh, who claims he can cure AIDS, is often pilloried for rights abuses and the muzzling of journalists. He has in the past threatened to cut off the heads of homosexuals and heaps derision on any criticism from the West. Often accused by observers of paranoia, seeing coup plots around every corner and regularly reshuffling his government and top military officials, Jammeh rules the tiny nation with an iron fist. “We have information that he has become completely mad; it is that in fact, there is no explanation,” said Diene Ndiaye of Amnesty Senegal. Mahawa Cham, a former Gambian lawmaker (2001-2006) and member of Jammeh’s party, has no doubt that the president will continue his plans to execute the remaining prisoners. “I believe he will continue to carry out the executions. This is a man who doesn’t have sympathy for a human being. He thinks he is always right,” Cham said. Senegal has another citizen on death row awaiting execution and Jammeh’s move to execute its citizens has caused a diplomatic spat between the nations. On Wednesday Gambian Ambassador Mass Axi Gey was summoned by Senegal’s Prime Minister Abdoul Mbaye to inform him of “the unacceptable” nature of the executions and urge Jammeh to spare the life of the third prisoner. — AFP

MOSCOW: Moscow yesterday sold off for $277 million its landmark Hotel Metropol near the Kremlin, an iconic Art Nouveau building where Lenin once gave speeches and stars like Michael Jackson have stayed. Starting at 8.7 billion rubles ($270 million), the auction rapidly ended after just two bids with the winner being a Russian subsidiary of the current operator, which is linked to the country’s largest hotel chain. No international chains were among the three participants in the auction. The winner, a company called Okhotny Ryad Deluxe, is a subsidiary of the current operator of the five-star hotel, spokeswoman for Moscow’s property department Oksana Vaghina told AFP. The operating company, also called Metropol, is controlled by the chairman of the board of Azimut Hotels, Russia’s largest hotel chain, Alexander Klyanchin, the Interfax news agency said. General director of Metropol Yevgeny Ustenko told journalists he would ensure that the establishment, just a short walk from the Red Square, was “the best hotel in Moscow”. Asked whether the hotel would become part of the Azimut chain, which specialises in business travellers, he said, “I can’t tell you yet, probably not.” The high-end auction was part of a drive to privatise thousands of publiclyowned non-residential properties in Moscow, which began in 2004. Experts said the city hall sold the hotel for a good price, since the starting price was high, and that international chains would be wary of taking on such a major project in Russia at present. “The starting price is high, appropriate to the market price,” said Olga Kochetova, director of valuation services at Knight Frank in Russia. “Probably international chains didn’t take part because they aren’t up to this at the moment. Considering the situation in Europe, they’re afraid to buy such properties in Russia and Eastern Europe, seeing such investments as quite risky.” “The amount of investment is large, and the starting price is high. There could not have been many participants. This isn’t unusual for such tenders,” said Sergei Lyadov, public relations chief at City-XXI Vek property developers. The auction sold off both the building measuring almost 40,000 square metres (430,000 square feet) and its land. It did not include the moveable contents, which the hotel’s website lists as hundreds of antiques from Meissen porcelain to hardwood furniture and

MOSCOW: Cars pass five-star hotel Hotel Metropol in central Moscow, yesterday. — AFP paintings that still belong to the state. One of Moscow’s most ornate buildings, the hotel was designed by British architect William Walcot and completed in 1905 on the commission of one of Russia’s richest entrepreneurs and patron of the arts, Savva Mamontov. Its facade is decorated with a ceramic panel by Russian artist Mikhail Vrubel called the “Princess of Dreams” and bas-reliefs depicting the four seasons. The Bolshevik authorities took over the hotel, then the largest in Russia, after the 1917 revolution and Lenin used to declaim to supporters from a balcony in one of the restaurants. The hotel was managed by the Intourist travel agency during the Soviet era. It underwent a major refit of

its 362 rooms in 1991, becoming the country’s first five-star hotel. Among those who stayed there were singers such as Michael Jackson and Montserrat Caballe, film stars Marlene Dietrich and Arnold Schwarzenegger and world leaders including former French president Jacques Chirac. However the Metropol’s glamour has faded lately and stars recently visiting Moscow such as singer Madonna and actor Johnny Depp have favoured another central hotel in the luxury RitzCarlton chain. The Metropol’s building and its interior is listed as a historic monument of national significance, meaning that the new owner must not destroy its period features in any restoration work. — AFP

Hopes high for resolution at S African mine standoff JOHANNESBURG: World number three platinum producer Lonmin and mediators were optimistic about a breakthrough in talks with workers yesterday to end a three-week strike after violence left 44 people dead. Talks brokered by South African government officials resumed after negotiators met for 12 straight hours the day before in the northwestern town of Rustenburg. “I think today will be the deciding day in terms of the way forward. I think it’s D-Day,” mediator Bishop Jo Seoka from the South African Council of Churches told AFP. Lonmin spokeswoman Sue Vey said the government mediation was “very constructive”. “We hope to find a resolution today,” she told AFP. The company wants a “peace accord” sealed before starting negotiations on workers’ wage demands. But workers, who say they earn 4,000 rand ($470, 380 euros) a month and want 12,500 rand, insist they will not go back underground until their demands are met. Representatives of big player the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the smaller Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), whose bitter rivalry has been blamed for the unrest at the mine, were also at the talks. At the Wednesday meeting there was “a general understanding that everybody wants peace, a stable environment conducive to work,” said Seoka. But little progress was made on workers’ demands.—AFP

International FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Twin typhoons raise fears in disaster-prone N Korea Second typhoon pounds S Korea, kills two

SEOUL: A South Korean protester shouts slogans during a rally against Japan’s sovereignty claims over disputed islets called Dokdo in Korean and Takeshima and demanding an apology and compensation for the victims during Japanese colonial rule yesterday. — AP

Japan, N Korea meet for second day of talks BEIJING: Japan and North Korea were in close contact for a second day, officials said yesterday, as the countries seek to find enough common ground for possible future discussions at a higher level. Diplomats from the two sides held their first face-to-face encounter in four years Wednesday in Beijing, in relatively low-level talks Japan characterised as “matter-of-fact and frank.” The countries, which have no formal diplomatic relations, have long been at odds over numerous issues including North Korea’s abduction of Japanese citizens and the legacy of Japan’s colonial rule of the Korean peninsula. Beyond their bilateral relationship, however, the meetings in China’s capital are being closely watched for any clues as to whether North Korea’s foreign policy could change under new leader Kim Jong-Un. Kim, believed to be in his late 20s, took over leadership of the communist state after his father Kim Jong-Il died in December. Diplomats began the second day of meetings shortly before midday at North Korea’s embassy after having met the previous day at Japan’s diplomatic mission, according to a Japanese official, who declined to be named. Yesterday’s encounter ended after a little less than two hours and the two sides were keeping in touch, though it was unclear if they would gather again, said the official with the Japanese embassy. In Tokyo, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura emphasised that the talks were very much alive even if yesterday’s physical meeting had ended for the time being. “We have continued coordination with each other,” he told a news conference. Japanese broadcaster NHK television reported North Korean and Japanese diplomats were staying in contact by phone while receiving instructions from their governments. In another sign the sides were making some headway, news agency Jiji press said Japan’s delegation had postponed its return to Tokyo until today. A key issue for Japan is the fate of its citizens abducted by North Korean agents to help train spies, amid suspicions that Pyongyang has failed to provide all the information it has about them. “The abduction issue is among the most important of the various problems between Japan and North Korea,” Fujimura said. “As a matter of course, there won’t be any change in our stance that we want to discuss it.” Secretive North Korea admitted in 2002 its agents kidnapped Japanese in the 1970s and 1980s to help train spies by teaching them Japanese language and culture, and later allowed five of them and their families to return home. It said a number of others died, though many in Japan hold out hope they remain alive. There are also suspicions that Pyongyang’s agents abducted more Japanese than they admitted. Japan says North Korea agreed to reopen investigations into the fate of abducted Japanese when the two sides last met in 2008. Impoverished yet highly militarised North Korea remains suspicious of Japan, which is a close military ally of the United States. Pyongyang also regularly blasts Japan for its colonisation of the Korean peninsula in the first half of the 20th century and treatment of ethnic Koreans in Japan. — AFP

SEOUL: Twin typhoons are renewing fears of a humanitarian crisis in North Korea, where poor drainage, widespread deforestation and crumbling infrastructure can turn even a routine rainstorm into a catastrophic flood. Typhoon Bolaven struck the North on Tuesday and Wednesday, submerging houses and roads, ruining thousands of acres of crops and triggering landslides that buried train tracks - scenes that are all too familiar in this disaster-prone nation. A second major storm, Typhoon Tembin, pounded the Korean Peninsula with more rains yesterday. The storms come as North Korea is still recovering from earlier floods that killed more than 170 people and destroyed thousands of homes. That in turn followed a springtime drought that was the worst in a century in some areas. Foreign aid groups contacted yesterday said they are standing by in Pyongyang, but had not received new requests for help from the North Korean government. They had little information on the extent of damage and were relying on reports from state media. The country’s wariness toward the outside world, as well as a primitive rural road system, means aid may be slow arriving, if it is allowed to come at all. “These fresh storms, coming just a few weeks after the serious flooding - they do raise concerns because we see parts of the countryside battered again that have already been left in a vulnerable state,” said Francis Markus, spokesman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in East Asia. Tembin’s strong winds and hard rain were pounding South Korea yesterday, as residents of some cities waded through streets flooded with murky, knee-deep water. The national weather

agency in Seoul said the storm would move off the peninsula’s east coast and that some cities in North Korea would see severe weather conditions. There were no deaths reported from Tembin; 20 people were dead or missing in South Korea from Bolaven. North Korea has yet to release casualty details, though heavy rains that might be little more than an inconvenience elsewhere can be calamitous there. Downpours trigger landslides that barrel down the country’s deforested mountains. For years, rural people have felled trees to grow crops and for fuel, leaving the landscape barren and heavily eroded. Rivers overflow, submerging crops, inundating roads and engulfing hamlets. Since June, thousands have been left without clean water, electricity and access to food and other supplies. That leads to a risk of water-borne and respiratory diseases and malnutrition, aid workers say. Because the North annually struggles to produce enough food from its rocky, mountainous landscape to feed its 24

million people, a poorly timed natural disaster can easily tip the country into crisis, like the famine in the 1990s that followed a similar succession of devastating storms. A North Korean land management official acknowledged in an interview with The Associated Press that widespread deforestation and a lack of basic infrastructure have made the country vulnerable to the typhoons and storms that batter the peninsula each year. “It’s important for the future of our children to make our country rich and beautiful,” Ri Song Il, director of external affairs for the Ministry of Land and Environmental Protection, said in June. He said a campaign is under way to replenish forests, build highways and construct proper irrigation at the order of North Korea’s new leader, Kim Jong Un. He held up a green pamphlet on land management that was the first official document Kim published after taking power from his father. But it may be too little, too late, for this year’s summer rains. — AP

SEOUL: A man carries his dog to safer place from the cage yesterday. — AP

Parents reject China’s classrooms BEIJING: Giving up his successful career as the head of a medical research firm to spend his days at home reading from children’s story books was a tough choice for Chinese father Zhang Qiaofeng. But Zhang, one of a small but growing number of Chinese parents who are turning their backs on the country’s rigidly exam-oriented state-run school system, felt he had no choice. “China’s education system has special problems,” said Zhang, a wiry-looking graduate of one of the country’s top universities. “I want my son to receive a style of education which is much more participative, not just the teacher talking while students listen. Most of my son’s time is set aside for following his interests, or playing.” From a small apartment on the outskirts of Beijing, Zhang teaches his son Hongwu for four hours a day, in contrast to the six hours of compulsory classes the seven-year-old used to sit through at primary school. In the living room where he holds most of his classes, Zhang rattles through a long list of gripes with China’s education system, from what he calls its “obsession” with exam results to an overly authoritarian teaching style. China has made impressive progress in rolling out universal education across the country, with urban areas such as Shanghai claiming a perfect school enrolment rate. The United Nations says China has a youth literacy rate of 99 percent. But many parents complain about the focus on rote learning and passing exams, which means that children spend long hours in class. Chinese children spend an average of 8.6 hours a day in school, with some spending 12 hours in the classroom, according to a 2007 survey conducted by China’s Youth

and Children Research Center. Lao Kaisheng, an education policy researcher at Beijing Normal University, said growing numbers of Chinese parents were demanding more of a say in how their children were educated. “There’s been a rapid rise in home schooling, especially in the past few years,” he told AFP. “Parents who home school tend to have more strict requirements for their children’s education, and feel that schools won’t meet their children’s individual needs.” No official figures are available for the proportion of Chinese parents educating their children at home, but Lao estimates it at less than one percent. One of the most prominent is Xu Xuejin, who moved from the booming eastern Chinese manufacturing hub of Zhejiang to the picturesque but sleepy southwestern town of Dali to provide a better environment for his two children. “Chinese children are taught to compete from a young age,” Xu told AFP by phone. “Students who can’t compete are eliminated... there’s too much pressure on them.” Xu, a Christian, said he wanted to give his children a more “Bible-centred” education than they could get in school, a key motivating factor in countries such as the United States where home schooling is becoming more popular. An Internet discussion forum he started in 2010 for Chinese home schoolers to swap classroom materials and discuss educational theory now has more than 4,000 registered members. Worries about the legality of home schooling feature heavily on the forum Chinese law states that children must be enrolled in school aged seven and receive compulsory education for nine years. — AFP

International FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Abuse allegations mount against Afghan police force CHAR DARAH: Fahima had just arrived home from school when members of the Afghan Local Police (ALP), a UStrained militia charged with making Afghans in Taleban strongholds feel more secure, started hammering on the front door searching for her father. They elbowed it open and, frustrated at not finding him, started beating her younger brother, prompting 17-yearold Fahima to intervene. One of the men turned and shot her dead. “She was in her first days as an eleventh grade student,” said Fahima’s father, Khuja, who believes the killing was score settling over an old land dispute. “Offenders are still serving as local policemen and they are free. Police say the killer has escaped but he’s walking in public with his gun and no one is able to catch him.” The ALP was set up in 2010 in villages where the national force is weak, a flagship project of U.S. General David Petraeus, who stepped down as commander of foreign forces in Afghanistan in 2011. The government began recruiting everyone from farmers to shopkeepers for the militia, hoping to take the edge away from the Taleban in their rural bastions. American officials have hailed the ALP as an effective homegrown force which has restricted the ability of the Taleban to move in the countryside. In northern Kunduz province’s Char Darah district, a Taleban stronghold until recently, people credit the ALP for making it safer to travel and

send children to school against frequent insurgent opposition to education, especially for girls. “The Taleban here were demanding money from local people, beating them if they refused. Now we don’t let them do it,” said Gul Ahmad, an ALP commander in Sarak Bala village. But security gains made by the now 20,000-strong militia are often overshadowed by mounting accusations of abuses, including rape and murder. Human rights groups say ALP members sometimes act like warlords, demanding bribes, skimming contracts and committing the kind of atrocities that rattled Afghanistan in a civil war that killed 50,000 people before the Taleban took over in 1996. Afghans already have enough to worry about. Many fear the United States and other Western allies will abandon Afghanistan after 2014, when most NATO combat troops will have gone, leaving them at the mercy of the Taleban. There is widespread talk of another civil war. The ALP was supposed to ease public anxiety, not fuel it. Uniforms, a salary, but little discipline Duties range from manning checkpoints and running patrols to providing security forces with intelligence on insurgents. Each member gets a monthly salary and food worth about $180 and are issued brown uniforms and an AK-47 rifle. Some acquire heavier weapons like machineguns or rock-

et-propelled grenades on their own and prefer the traditional flowing shirt and baggy trousers to mix in with the population in farming villages with mudbrick homes. Many complain they are underpaid and have to borrow or steal from the poor locals they are meant to protect. “My father works as a farmer and I have to help him live. If I don’t get enough money then I’ll have an eye on other local people’s pockets,” said Lutfullah, 28. Their pasts often don’t inspire confidence either. Rights groups say some were former Taleban fighters or members of militias that wreaked havoc in Afghanistan for decades. There are reports of the ALP joining the Taleban. “Some of them are guilty of repeated killings,” said Hussain Ali Moin, coordinator for the Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission. More than 100 ALP members have been jailed for crimes including murder, bombings, rapes, beatings and robbery, according to chief military prosecutor Mohammad Rahim Hanifi. In one of the most high-profile cases, an ALP commander and four of his men entered a house in Kunduz province, assaulted a family and abducted their 18-year-old daughter, Lal Bibi, in May. She told her family she was chained to a wall and repeatedly raped before being brought home a week later. “She says if she does not get justice

she will set herself on fire,” her 56-yearold father, Hajji Rustam, told Reuters. The trauma was so severe, it made him long for the days when rapists were publicly stoned to death or flogged under Taleban rule. “The Taleban were better than the ALP,” he said. “At least they respected our honour. They opposed only women’s activities in public, but these people assault us in our homes.” Stricter vetting The problems may multiply, with plans to boost the force to 30,000 and make it operational over most of the country. Some of the attacks allegedly committed by the ALP also seem to be motivated by sectarian rivalries, which could complicate efforts to tame the force. In southern Uruzgan province, an ALP commander belonging to the Hazara minority ethnic group in late July gunned down 15 Pashtun civilians in Khas Uruzgan, a day after the Pashtun Taleban killed two of his friends, officials said. “Commander Abdul Hakim Shujahi took nine villagers out of their houses and took them to the Matakzai area of the village and killed them with stones and gunshots,” said Mohammad Waris Faizi, who heads the Independent Human Rights Commission investigation office in the province. “Then he and his people arrested six villagers from the Khak Afghan area and killed them too,” Faizi said. — AFP

Pakistani officials confirm death of crucial militant

JAMNAGAR, India: Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel and volunteers pull the wreckage to look for survivors after two air force helicopters collided and crashed at a field in Sarmat village yesterday. — AP

9 killed as Indian helicopters collide NEW DELHI: Nine Indian air force personnel were killed yesterday when two Russiandesigned military helicopters apparently collided in mid-air, the military and police said. Air force spokesman Wing Commander Gerard Galway said the two Mi-17 helicopters were “flying in close formation” over a firing range in the western state of Gujarat when they crashed. “It is likely it was a midair collision,” Galway told AFP, confirming that all nine on board the two aircraft had died. Galway said an inquiry would establish exactly how the accident occurred. An air offi-

cial who did not want to be named said the two helicopters were practising firing over the range near a military airbase in Jamnagar district when the accident happened. Jamnagar police chief Harikrishna Patil told AFP by telephone from the accident site that the aircraft appeared to have collided before they came down in cotton fields near a village. “One of the helicopters also caught fire after hitting a high-tension power cable,” he said. India plans to buy up to 400 helicopters, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, to replace its ageing fleet of Russian- and Britishsupplied aircraft. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani intelligence officials confirmed yesterday that a US drone strike last week near the Afghan border killed the son of the founder of the powerful Haqqani militant network, a major blow to one of the most feared groups fighting American troops in Afghanistan. Badruddin Haqqani, who has been described as the organization’s day-today operations commander, was killed on Aug. 24 in one of three strikes that hit militant hideouts in the Shawal Valley in Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal area, said two senior intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. The presence of the mostly Afghan Haqqani network in North Waziristan has been a major source of friction between Pakistan and the US. The Obama administration has repeatedly demanded Pakistan prevent the group from using its territory to launch attacks in Afghanistan, but Islamabad has refused - a stance many analysts believe is driven by the country’s strong historical ties to the Haqqani network’s founder, Jalaluddin Haqqani. The Pakistani intelligence officials didn’t specify which strike on Aug. 24 killed Badruddin, but said he was leaving a hideout when the US missiles hit. The confirmation of his death came from their sources within the Taleban, which is allied with the Haqqani network, and agents on the ground, they said. But neither the officials nor their sources have actually seen Badruddin’s body. Pakistani intelligence officials previously said they were 90 percent sure Badruddin was killed in a drone strike in a different part of North Waziristan on Aug 21. It’s unclear what caused the discrepancy. Afghanistan’s intelligence agency said several days ago that its operatives had confirmed Badruddin’s death,

but did not provide any details. A senior Taleban commander has also confirmed the militant’s death. A Taleban spokesman in Afghanistan, Zabiullah Mujahid, has however rejected reports of Badruddin’s death, calling them “propaganda of the enemy.” The US does not often comment publicly on the covert CIA drone program in Pakistan and has not said whether Badruddin was killed. The areas where the American drone strikes generally occur are extremely remote and dangerous, making it difficult for reporters or others to verify a particular person’s death. Badruddin is considered a vital part of the Haqqani structure. He is believed to be the network’s day-to-day operations commander, according to a report by the Institute for the Study of War. — AP

HYDERABAD: Indian policemen detain activists of various student organizations during a protest yesterday. The students were protesting against the Andhra Pradesh state government’s decision to put a cap of 35,000 rupees ($625)on funds released under the fee reimbursement scheme for engineering and other professional courses. — AFP

International FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

New Orleans levees hold as Isaac floods Gulf coast Isaac rainfall lifts US farmers’ spirits NEW ORLEANS: Severe flooding from Tropical Storm Isaac inundated the Gulf Coast early yesterday, but the multi-billion-dollar defenses built after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans seven years ago held firm. The National Hurricane Center said Isaacwhich was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm on Wednesdaywould continue to weaken as it moved north into the US state of Arkansas, but it warned of further flooding. The Miami-based forecasters said at 0900 GMT that Isaac would likely be downgraded to a Tropical Depression later yesterday, but that the slow-moving storm would continue to batter the region with heavy rain and high winds. Officials on Wednesday ordered the evacuation of some 3,000 people in coastal Plaquemines Parish, the area hardest hit by the storm, with top winds still gusting at 45 miles (75 kilometers) per hour, hindering rescue efforts. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said at least one person may have died as a result of Isaac, which made landfall as a hurricane late Tuesday. Dozens of people were forced to huddle on roofs and in attics waiting hours for rescue from their homes after a massive storm surge spilled over levees in low-lying areas outside the stronger defenses built around New Orleans. Isaac was nowhere near as strong as Hurricane Katrina, which struck exactly seven years ago, but has already caused significant damage to about 800 homes in Plaquemines Parish alone, Jindal told reporters. Residents were urged to stay indoors, with officials warning it would be at least a day before winds calmed enough for crews to repair downed power lines. Heavy rains-up to 25 inches (64 centimeters) in some areaswill continue through today, the NHC said. Isaac may wind up causing as much as $2.5 billion in damage in and

around Louisiana and in the offshore oil sector in the Gulf of Mexico, according to early estimates from natural disaster modeler Eqecat. More than a half million people were left without power in Louisiana, and tens of thousands more huddled in darkened homes in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi after Isaac snapped utility poles and downed power lines. In New Orleans, Mayor Mitch Landrieu declared a dusk-to-dawn curfew after Isaac made landfall twice as a category one hurricane. ‘Part of my roof is missing’ Plaquemines Parish president Billy

Guard in high-water trucks. Rescues were also under way in suburbs west of New Orleans late Wednesday after the storm surge swelled Lake Pontchartrain on the city’s north side. Claude Jones, 61, was trying to nap on a cot in the Belle Chasse high school gymnasium without much luck. He had spent two nights there already and with his trailer home likely destroyed-could be there for many more. “I’m worried about my family,” he told AFP. “My cousin’s still down there and they say they can’t rescue him because the weather’s so bad.” Sharon Sylvia said she spent the night trapped on her roof in the

LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN: A sherriff’s vehicle sits in flood waters caused by Isaac yesterday. — AP Nungesser said damage from Isaac in some areas was worse than that wrought by Katrina, citing his own home as an example. “Part of my roof is missing. The back wall has moved and the water is being pushed through the bricks into the house,” he said Wednesday. Across the state, more than 4,000 people were crammed into shelters. Dozens of nursing home residents, many in wheelchairs, were among those taken to higher ground by the National

pounding rain, calling for help that did not arrive until morning. “Water’s over the top of the roof,” she told WWL television. “We had to break through the ceiling and out through the attic. It’s very bad down there. Very bad.” US President Barack Obama, who has been regularly briefed on the storm, late Wednesday declared a “major disaster” exists in Louisiana and Mississippi, paving the way for more federal aid to local authorities.— AFP

Mexican police attack CIA officers TRES MARIAS: Mexican federal police shot and wounded two CIA operatives last week, security sources said, in an apparently deliberate attack that could hurt US-Mexico cooperation in their war against drug cartels. The two experienced officers were just south of the capital on their way to a Mexican Marine base on Friday, working with local authorities on a training mission, when federal police riddled their armored van bearing diplomatic plates with bullets. The men, traveling with a Mexican Marine captain, were wounded and taken to a hospital for treatment, though their injuries were not life-threatening. Their vehicle’s tires and rear windshield were shot out. A dozen federal police officers detained and questioned over the attack have been ordered held in custody for 40 days. In initial statements to federal prosecutors, they claimed they confused the Americans for criminals. However, witnesses who saw the shooting at a bend in the road outside the small town of Tres Marias told Reuters the gunmen were dressed in plain clothes and pursued the

Americans firing from unmarked cars and on foot-a classic style of gangland hits in Mexico. “We had no idea at all they were police. They looked like criminals,” said one woman who witnessed the incident but asked not to be named for fear of repercussions. A Mexican government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the evidence suggested gang members and corrupt police had carried out the attack before other police arrived at the scene and prevented the men being killed. “This was not an accident,” the official said. Witnesses said the CIA driver made impressive evasive maneuvers which likely saved the lives of those inside the car, and they believe they heard hundreds of bullets fired, estimating the incident lasted around six minutes. The Mexican official said the vehicle was chased for about 4 km (2.5 miles) before it was halted, and that shell casings from AK-47s, which are not used by Mexican police and are a weapon of choice for drug cartel members, were found at the scene. — Reuters

Obama still a draw on college campuses CHARLOTTESVILLE: The crowds may be smaller and the candidate grayer, but college towns are still proving to be President Barack Obama’s best shot at enthusiastic audiences. More than 26,000 people combined showed up to hear the president speak during his three-state college town tour this week, which ended Wednesday with a rally near the University of Virginia. The crowds at the outdoor rallies have tilted younger, underscoring the Obama campaign’s efforts to target college students as they return to school and re-energize a constituency that was critical in propelling Obama to the White House. “Change was possible because you made it possible,” Obama told 7,500 people at a pavilion near the University of Virginia. “So you can’t get tired now because we’ve got more work to do.” The school declined the campaign’s request for the president to speak on campus, saying it would disrupt classes on the second day of the semester. By the standards of most presidential campaigns, Obama is speaking to impressively large audiences. But Obama is being held to the standards he set in 2008, when the youthful candidate with the rousing speeches attracted jawdropping crowds. With thousands of young people crammed into the sweltering, standing-room-only open-air pavilion on Wednesday, hundreds more stood outside its fenced perimeter, in some places shoulder-to-shoulder 40 to 50 feet deep. But even some of those who went through heavy security to see Obama speak said their enthusiasm had waned. “It no longer has the distinctiveness that it used to have,” said William Proffitt, a University of Virginia student. “That was amazing, seeing the first AfricanAmerican president elected, but that died off within a year.” In 2008, more than 100,000 people showed up to hear him speak in Denver. He spoke on the same trip at Colorado State University, where upwards of 50,000 people filled a quad in the center of campus. When Obama returned to Colorado State on Tuesday, the crowd totaled 13,000. Obama’s campaign dismisses the notion that the smaller crowds equal less enthusiasm for the president this time around. Aides suggest the numbers are purposely being kept low, citing the cost of holding larger events and the president’s desire to travel to smaller cities in battleground states. Security restrictions are also tighter around a current president than a candidate. Obama drew his largest crowd in May, during his first re-election rally at Ohio State University. More than 14,000 people showed up to hear the president and first lady Michelle Obama speak, short of the 18,000 people the campaign predicted would fill the campus basketball arena to capacity. Away from the college town circuit, the president has been generated even smaller audiences, often 3,000 people or less. Campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said the president would still have “plenty of time for big rallies between now and Election Day.” The campaign is banking on big numbers next week when Obama accepts the Democratic nomination at an outdoor football stadium in Charlotte, NC. The stadium holds up to 74,000 people. Campaign aides won’t say whether the full stadium will be open for seating during next Thursday’s primetime speech. Tens of thousands of tickets, called “community credentials”, have been distributed, according to the campaign. Obama also accepted his party’s nomination in 2008 at an outdoor football stadium. His campaign had little trouble filling the 84,000 seats. The president’s aides say crowd size is one issue they’re happy to debate with Republicans. Even though Obama’s audience numbers are down compared to his 2008 campaign, he is still drawing larger crowds than GOP rival Mitt Romney. Most of Romney’s events are carefully choreographed in made-for television settings that provide seating for hundreds of people, not thousands. — AP

International FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Romney’s speech to Republican convention to be vital moment Big speech culminates Tampa convention TAMPA: Mitt Romney faces a critical test in his White House bid yesterday when he addresses the Republican National Convention, an opportunity to convince millions of Americans that he can forge a path to economic rebirth and provide better leadership than President Barack Obama. It will be Romney’s biggest television audience to date as much of the nation tunes in, giving some voters their first extended look at the 65-year-old former Massachusetts governor who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination in 2008. Romney, who can often come across as stiff, faces the challenge of making Americans feel more comfortable with him. He has a hard act to follow after the ringing “you can trust Mitt” endorsement delivered by his wife, Ann, on Tuesday night, a speech that was widely viewed as one of the most significant ever given by an aspiring first lady. Romney got a strong testimonial on Wednesday night from his vice presidential running mate, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, who generated the most enthusiasm so far at the convention with his address. “After four years of getting the run-around, America needs a turnaround, and the man for the job is Governor Mitt Romney,” said Ryan. As portrayed by Democrats, Romney is alternately a heartless corporate raider, wealthy elitist, tax evader and policy flip-flopper who should not be trusted with the keys to the White House. Despite the attacks, Romney is running even with Obama in the polls in a race that is too close to call. A Reuters/Ipsos poll on Wednesday showed the two men tied at 43 percent each. But Obama has the advantage over Romney in likability, an important characteristic that may mask other problems that the Democratic incumbent has in persuading voters to give him four more years. Arizona Senator John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee in 2008 who lost to Obama, said Romney needs to accomplish two tasks: one, convince Americans “that they believe in him and trust in him, and two, that he has a concrete plan

to get our economy back on the right track.” “We’ve got to reduce the unfavorables, and many Americans will be looking at him for the first time,” McCain told Reuters. Long journey Romney’s big speech culminates a long journey. After failing to win the Republican nomination in 2008, he plotted a return to the political arena. This year he was tested time and again by a series of conservative

blizzard of negative television ads about him. Republican delegates at the Tampa convention recommended Romney be himself in his speech, talk about his background as a businessman and Olympic organizer, and offer a way forward. New York State Senator Mike Nozzolio said Romney needs to explain to voters in an understandable way that he is “competent, directed, focused, and can make the message appeal to folks

TAMPA: US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney along with his grandchildren watches the Republican National Convention on television in their hotel room. — AP alternatives from Newt Gingrich to around the kitchen table. “He’s going Rick Santorum. He outlasted all of to be the guest of millions of them. Romney has some inherent Americans in their living rooms, and advantages in his race against this is a wonderful opportunity for Obama. He is topping the Democrat people to understand what he knows in campaign donations, and the and where he wants to take us,” weakness of the U.S. economy, with a Nozzolio said. Donna Gosney, of staggering 8.3 percent unemploy- Boone County, West Virginia, wearing ment rate, gives him a lethal argu- a plastic coal miner’s helmet festooned with political stickers, said ment for change. Even so, Romney is far from clos- Romney simply needs to say what he ing the deal. It is unclear whether his would do to reignite substantial job economic proposals for tax cuts and growth.“We’ve got 2,000 reasons in deregulation of industries would Boone County to vote for Mitt rekindle growth and keep taxpayers Romney. They’re all miners without dollars flowing into the Treasury to jobs,” she said. Frank Steed, of Navarro pay for expensive government enti- County, Texas, said Romney should tlement programs, such as the not worry about trying to appear Medicare health insurance program warm and fuzzy. “He is who he is,” said for seniors, which he wants to reform. Steed. “And I think he ought to be Romney’s convention speech offers proud of that. He’s a businessman. him a chance to break through the He’s not a politician.” — Reuters

Brazil enacts university quota law BRASILIA: Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff enacted legislation Wednesday that reserves half the enrollment at federal universities for students from public schools and gives priority to black, indigenous and mixed-race students. The law was approved earlier this month by the Senate after 13 years of debate, and was enacted by the president alongside the ministers of education and racial equality, Aloizio Mercadante and Luiza Bairros, the presidential press service said. “The legislation addresses a double challenge: first, democratizing access to universities and maintaining high quality of education,” Rousseff said. The law requires 50 percent of seats at federal universi-

ties to go to students who completed their secondary education in public schools. In Brazil, many wealthy families send their children to private schools, where the standard of education is often much higher. The 50 percent quota will include a number of seats for ethnic minorities, proportional to the demographics in each state of the South American country. Of Brazil’s 59 federal universities, 32 already have limited quota systems in place. More than half of Brazil’s population of 191 million is of African origin, but recent findings show that only 2.2 percent of Afro-Brazilians currently have access to universities. — AFP

200 US Marines join anti-drug efforts GUATEMALA CITY: A team of 200 US Marines began patrolling Guatemala’s western coast this week in an unprecedented operation to beat drug traffickers in the Central America region, a US military spokesman said Wednesday. “I’d say it’s extremely unique. This is the first Marine deployment that directly supports countering transnational crime in this area, and it’s certainly the largest footprint we’ve had in that area in quite some time,” said Marine Staff Sgt. Earnest Barnes at the US Southern Command in Doral, Florida. It was 50 years ago when the US military last sent any significant aid and equipment into Guatemala, establishing a base to support counter-insurgency efforts during a guerrilla uprising. That movement led to 36 years of war that left 200,000 dead, mostly indigent Maya farmers. The US pulled out in 1978. Guatemalan authorities say they signed a treaty allowing the US military to conduct the operations on July 16. Less than a month later an Air Force C-5 transport plane flew into Guatemala City from North Carolina loaded with the Marines and four UH-1 “Huey” helicopters. After two weeks of setting up camp, establishing computer connections and training at the Guatemalan air base at Retalhuleu, the Marines ran through rehearsal exercises, Barnes said. Last week, their commander “gave us the thumbs up” to begin active operations, he said. This week the Marines have been patrolling waterways and the coastline, looking for fast power boats and self-propelled “narco-submarines” used to smuggle drugs along Central America’s Pacific Coast. US officials say the “drug subs” can carry up to 11 tons of illegal cargo up to 5,000 miles. Col Erick Escobedo, spokesman for Guatemalan Military Forces and Defense Ministry, said that so far the Marines have brought about the seizure of one small-engine aircraft and a car, but made no arrests. He said he expected the Marines to in Guatemala for about two months. If the Marines find suspected boats, Barnes said, they will contact their Guatemalan counterparts in a special operations unit from the Guatemalan navy that will move in for the bust. Barnes said the Marines will not accompany arrest mission, but they do have the right to defend themselves if fired on. The Marines are deployed as part of Operation Martillo, a broader effort started last Jan. 15 to stop drug trafficking along the Central American coast. Focused exclusively on drug dealers in airplanes or boats, the US-led operation involves troops or law enforcement agents from Belize, Britain, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama and Spain. Eighty percent of cocaine smoked, snorted and swallowed in the US passes through Central America, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Eight out of every 10 tons of that cocaine are loaded on vessels known as “go fasts,” which are open hulled boats 20 to 50 feet long with as many as four engines, according to the Defense Department. In a recent congressional briefing in Washington, Rear Adm. Charles Michel said the boats, carrying anywhere from 300 kilograms to 3.5 metric tons of cocaine, typically leave Colombia and follow the western Caribbean coastline of Central America to make landfall, principally in Honduras. In the Pacific, the same type of vessels will leave Colombia or Ecuador and travel to Guatemala, Panama, Costa Rica or Mexico, Michel said. “We fight a highly mobile, disciplined and wellfunded adversary that threatens democratic governments, terrorizes populations, impedes economic development and creates regional instability,” he said, noting that authorities are able to stop only one out of every four suspected traffickers they spot. This month’s Guatemala operation by the Marines comes soon after raids under an aggressive enforcement strategy that has sharply increased the interception of illegal drug flights in Honduras resulted in the death of one person in June and four in May. — AP

Business FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Egypt index climbs, UAE falls before Fed signal

JAL to raise up to $8.4bn in share sale PAGE 20


ATHENS: A woman is reflected in a graffiti-covered mirror as she waits for customers outside her sign-making shop in central Athens yesterday. Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras promised his austerity-weary countrymen yesterday that new spending cuts planned for 2013-14 will be the last, but warned that without them the nation would have to leave the 17member eurozone. — AP

US shares follow Europe lower Euro gains ahead of Bernanke speech NEW YORK: Stocks fell yesterday on uncertainty over the prospect for economic stimulus by the US Federal Reserve while the euro edged up after China voiced some support for the debttroubled euro zone. A successful Italian bond sale pointed to growing confidence among investors that the European Central Bank will take measures shortly to tackle more effectively the debt crisis that has plagued the 17-member currency bloc. Investors waited to see if Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke delivers firmer hints on more monetary easing at a meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming today. US and European stocks declined as investors closed out positions ahead of Bernanke’s speech, which is expected to provide some clues to the Fed’s next move. “People are taking money off the table ahead of the Fed meeting, but this isn’t a panic move as seen by all sectors being impacted about the same,” said Jerry Harris, president of asset management at Sterne Agee in

Birmingham, Alabama. “I wouldn’t call this a run from risky assets. We were overdue for some profit taking.” All 10 S&P sectors were lower. The cyclical groups, which closely track the pace of economic growth, declined. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 91.33 points, or 0.70 percent, at 13,016.15. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 9.92 points, or 0.70 percent, at 1,400.57. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 27.43 points, or 0.89 percent, at 3,053.75. In Europe, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.6 percent at 1,079.39. MSCI’s all-country world equity index, which has edged down over the past seven sessions, was 0.8 percent lower at 320.73. Any signal from Bernanke that the US central bank will embark on another asset buying program would weigh broadly on the dollar. The euro was up 0.2 percent at $1.2501, while the US dollar index was up 0.2 percent at 81.676. A rise above $1.2590 would mark the euro’s

strongest level in eight weeks. Investors and economists have become more skeptical over the past two weeks that the Fed will announce another round of bond buying, or “quantitative easing,” at its mid-September meeting, according to Reuters polls during the last week. “The risk with Jackson Hole is that unless there are further strong signals of more easing, the market will take it as a disappointment,” said Christian Lawrence, currency strategist at Rabobank, adding that this would be positive for the dollar. “The bar is quite high, and if there is any paring back of talk of QE, the market is likely to react more because it is more or less expecting it.” The euro gained some support after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, who met German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Beijing yeterday, said he was confident the euro zone could pull out of its debt crisis and that China would be willing, after a proper risk assessment, to keep buying the region’s government debt.

US Treasuries gained in price. Discounting the likelihood of the Fed’s launching new stimulus when it meets next month has been the predominant trade in recent weeks despite uncertainty over what debt would be purchased in any new program. The benchmark 10-year US Treasury note was up 7/32 in price to yield 1.6276 percent. Growing expectations of a beefed-up bond-buying program from the ECB encouraged solid demand at a sale of 7.3 billion euros ($9.15 billion) of new five- and 10-year Italian sovereign bonds on Thursday. Oil futures slid below $113 a barrel as investors looked to forthcoming data to shed light on the direction Bernanke might take. The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index and factory orders are due out on Friday and could shed light on the economy of the world’s largest crude buyer. Brent crude for October delivery fell 2 cents to $112.52 a barrel. US crude fell for a second session, down $1.23 to $94.26 a barrel. — Reuters

Business FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

BP’s UAE rebuff shows British lustre faded in the Gulf ABU DHABI: BP losing the chance to bid to maintain its major role in the United Arab Emirates oil sector may signal not just irritation with the British flagship company, but a more serious rift caused by frustration with UK policies and even broadcasts from London. Perceived BP haughtiness, anger over the West’s support for the Arab Spring and a growing sense that the UAE’s future lies in stronger ties with Asia, may have all driven the decision to block the oil major from bidding to run its biggest onshore oil fields, several well-placed sources in the UAE said. British business has basked in the Gulf sun since a protection deal with local rulers in 1820. BP has played a role in the development of its oil from the start in the early 1930s. But the West’s support for revolutions that toppled Arab leaders in 2011 and concern in Gulf states it is too welcoming of the Islamists who replaced them, has worn Britain’s centuries-old ties particularly thin, sources close to the matter say. “There was some tension between the two governments,” an industry source in Abu Dhabi told Reuters, without elaborating. “BP is looking for ways to mend this relationship,” he said,

adding that attempts by the company to repair the rift with top UAE officials had been rebuffed. Three other sources close to the matter said BP had been frozen out from the pre-qualification stage for the onshore fields in part due to “tensions” between the UAE and London. UAE foreign ministry officials were not available for comment. A spokesman for Britain’s Foreign Office said only that he was aware of reports that BP has been sidelined. The UAE is Britain’s largest export market in the Middle East with construction, defence and education among the key sectors, according to UK Trade & Investment. In 2011, civil exports came to around 4.7 billion British pounds. A further factor cited by several sources in the UAE and London, is that a BBC Arabic report earlier this year on a government crackdown on Islamists in the UAE angered Abu Dhabi. It contributed to a growing feeling among Gulf leaders that London and Washington were too welcoming of the Muslim Brotherhood which swept to power in Egypt. Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan last met British Prime Minister David Cameron in London in June. It is not clear whether

the BP role or BBC report was discussed or how the meeting went. Sources in the region also said that BP’s assumption that it would automatically be invited to bid irritated some in the UAE elite. Others have said BP executives may have angered one of the key decision makers by questioning the UAE’s plan to invite staterun Asian companies to take part, or the tight terms offered under the concessions. In addition, BP may have been sidelined because it is no longer a top three global oil giant and was left out to make room for Asian companies, which buy nearly all the UAE’s oil. UAE oil industry executives will be wary of shutting out all western oil company technology, decades of experience working on the fields that provide most of the country’s wealth, or alienating long-time western ally governments. But they may have judged that they can afford to exclude BP without doing serious harm to either, with top US oil giant Exxon and second placed AngloDutch Shell still in the running along with France’s Total. “The problem with BP is that they are living in the past... other companies, Asian ones, are more competitive,” onewell-connected

source in Abu Dhabi said. “The British media was also one of the reasons. They take a small thing and blow it out of proportion and take it as an excuse to write all the bad things about the country. They are very sensitive here about such things.” A spokesman for BP declined to comment on the tender process, saying it was for Abu Dhabi to say why it had not been invited. The London-based oil company still enjoys good relations in its other UAE operations, he said. BP also has a stake in an offshore concession which expires in 2018. “(BP’s exclusion) was unexpected, especially because of BP’s pioneering position in the region and given the vast interests and historical relationship,” said Kamel al-Harami, an independent oil analyst based in Kuwait. “This is very strange to us. It’s unhealthy bearing in mind the ties and Abu Dhabi’s interest in investing in the UK.” The concessions system in the UAE allows oil and gas producers to acquire equity hydrocarbons from the OPEC member in return for investing in projects. State-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) currently partners with Royal Dutch Shell, Total, ExxonMobil, BP and Partex Oil and Gas, in the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO) concession. — Reuters

Egypt index climbs, UAE falls before Fed signal Kuwait market rallies 3.2% from an eight-year low

BERLIN: A display of oled TVs is seen at the Samsung booth during the 52nd edition of the “IFA” (Internationale Funkausstellung) trade fair in Berlin yesterday. — AFP

Barclays picks Antony Jenkins as new CEO LONDON: British bank Barclays yesterday named retail and business banking head Antony Jenkins as its new chief executive, replacing Bob Diamond who resigned last month over the interbank rate-rigging scandal. “Barclays announce that Antony Jenkins has been appointed as a director and as group chief executive of Barclays with immediate effect,” the group said in a statement. The Briton’s appointment comes the day after Barclays revealed that the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has launched a probe into the 2008 investment deal between the bank and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund. Jenkins declared that his top priority would be to repair the bank’s damaged reputation in the wake of the Libor affair. “We have made serious mistakes in recent years and clearly failed to keep pace with our stakeholders’ expectations,” he said in the statement. “We have an obligation to all of those stakeholders-customers, clients, shareholders, colleagues and broader society-and a unique opportunity to restore Barclays’ reputation by making it the ‘go to’ bank in all of our chosen markets. “That journey will take time, we have much to do, and I look forward to getting started immediately.” Jenkins, 51, was head of Barclays’ Retail and Business Banking (RBB) business. He has been a member of the group executive committee of Barclays since 2009. — AFP

CAIRO/DUBAI: Egypt’s benchmark stock index rose yesterday to its highest close since March on renewed investor optimism towards the country’s political and economic stability, traders said. The index climbed 0.5 percent to 5,332 points, bringing it closer to major technical resistance at this year’s intra-day peak of 5,473. “The political front is looking somehow pretty stable. That’s what’s encouraging the retail investors,” said Amr Mostafa of Pharos Securities. “The main force driving the market is retail investors.” Financial stocks were the top gainers, with Citadel Capital gaining 5.4 percent and EFG-Hermes up 5.1 percent. The market has been buoyed by signs that President Mohamed Mursi is consolidating the authority of his new government and by Egypt’s request last week for a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, larger than the $3.2 billion originally envisaged. Egyptian officials said they hoped the loan would be signed by November or early December. “After the International Monetary Fund visit, the whole market will benefit but financials will definitely benefit the most,” said Mostafa. “The whole market is looking positive and looking to target the 5,500 level.” Technically, the index’s rise in August has triggered a reverse head & shoulders formation, a classic sign of the start of an uptrend; the measuring objective of the formation is about 6,000 points, which could be hit by the end of October if the uptrend line from the June low holds.SODIC fell 1.2 percent while Orascom Construction lost 1.2 percent.

United Arab Emirates bourses closed lower for the week as investors booked recent gains ahead of US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s speech today, which may signal further monetary stimulus. Other Gulf bourses were generally lacklustre. Trading activity has generally been quiet in the region in the last week of August, with investors sitting on the sidelines waiting for buying opportunities, and some still away on summer and postEid holidays. Dubai’s index finished 0.5 percent lower at 1,548 points, continuing its retreat from a 16-week closing peak of 1,587 hit on Aug. 23. Bellwether Emaar Properties declined 0.9 percent, Dubai Financial Market slipped 2.5 percent and Drake and Scull fell 1.3 percent. Abu Dhabi’s benchmark shed 0.5 percent, losing 1.3 percent for the week. “Barring economic disaster, any action out of the Fed in the next two-three weeks will not be a prudent move,” said Rakan Himadeh, equity portfolio manager at Al Mal Capital. “At best we’re likely to see continued hints of potential QE3. In the immediate term, risk-reward on stocks is not there for the bulls.” Elsewhere, Kuwait’s index eased 0.1 percent, down for only the second session in the last 11. The market has rallied 3.2 percent from an eight-year low hit on Aug. 12. Despite the continuing political deadlock in Kuwait, investor confidence has partially returned because companies have posted second-quarter earnings by the deadline, removing fears they could be suspended for failure to do

so in time. Thousands of Kuwaitis took part in a rally late on Monday to protest any changes to the electoral law which they said could harm the prospects of opposition lawmakers in upcoming elections. The opposition bloc will meet on Sept. 2 to discuss its next steps. “A lot of investors don’t like holding positions over the weekend due to uncertainties, so retails jump out,” said a Kuwait-based trader. Shares in Wataniya rose 1.6 percent to 2.56 dinars. The telco said Qatar Telecom’s offer to buy the remaining 47.5 percent stake at 2.6 dinars per share is “appropriate to shareholders interested in accepting the offer and selling their Wataniya Telecom shares”. The tender offer will start on Sept. 4 and end on Oct. 4, Wataniya said in a bourse statement. Traders believe the second-largest holder in Wataniya, Kuwait Investment Authority, has approved Qtel’s offer but KIA has not responded to queries by Reuters on plans for its stake. In Qatar, the index bucked the regional trend. It gained 0.5 percent, halting a three-day slide from Sunday’s 15-week high. Doha’s market is the second-worst performing Gulf market after Oman this year, with year-to-date losses at 3.4 percent. But some analysts and investors argue selling earlier this year was unjustified and that Qatari firms have strong fundamentals which benefit from clarity on government policy and economic growth. Heavyweight Industries Qatar gained 0.7 percent and Qtel climbed 1.3 percent. Qatar National Bank rose 0.5 percent. — Reuters

Business FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Brazil cuts rate, hints easing cycle may be over BRASILIA: Brazil’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate for the ninth straight time to a record low 7.5 percent, signaling that a year-long easing cycle may be over as the world’s No. 6 economy starts to recover. The rate decision came hours after the government unveiled stimulus measures to boost consumption and investment, a move that shows that officials remains worried about the pace of recovery. The bank’s monetary policy board, known as Copom, unanimously decided to lower the so-called Selic rate by half a percentage point, as expected. However, the central bank hinted in its post-decision statement that an extra rate cut may not be needed, or it could be smaller. “The Copom considers that, if future conditions were to allow for an

additional adjustment of monetary conditions, that movement should be conducted with maximum parsimony,” the bank said in the statement. It is the first time the central bank has clearly signaled in a post-decision statement that it might end the easing cycle that began in August 2011. After a year of aggressive rate cuts and more than a dozen government stimulus packages the Brazilian economy is finally showing some signs of life. Even with that massive stimulus, the Brazilian economy is seen growing less than 2 percent this year, much slower than the growth pace of its major emerging-market peers. The prospect of a stronger recovery in the second half has stoked fears of inflation becoming a problem next year after a jump in global food prices reversed the downward trend of 12-

month inflation in July and midAugust. Higher annual inflation, which at 5.37 percent is slightly above the official target midpoint of 4.5 percent, could add pressure on the central bank to end the rate-cutting cycle. “The easing cycle may have ended today, but the Copom is not altogether closing the door to a potential one last iteration in this cycle, which if it takes will be within the confines dictated by ‘maximum parsimony,’” Alberto Ramos, chief Latin American economist with Goldman Sachs, said in a note. In the past, the central bank used the word parsimony to communicate to markets it planned to reduce the size of future rate cuts. The central bank has hinted before in meeting minutes it was near the end of its easing cycle, only to dismiss its own guidelines as the recovery

failed to pick up speed. Most economists expect the bank to slash rates by 25 basis points in October before ending the cycle that has brought some of the world’s highest interest rates closer to that of other emergingmarket giants like India and Russia. Economists widely expect the Selic rate to remain in single digits for the foreseeable future, no small feat in a country with a long history of runaway inflation and where interest rates nearly hit 30 percent less than a decade ago. Lower rates are a top priority for President Dilma Rousseff, who has not bowed to pressure by thousands of striking public workers to raise spending. Higher government costs could stoke inflation and force the central bank to raise rates in the near future. — Reuters

JAL to raise up to $8.4bn in share sale Second-biggest share sale globally MANILA: Workers are seen at a construction site in Manila yesterday. The Philippines said yesterday the economy grew a better-than-forecast 5.9 percent in the three months to June, largely due to a strong services sector. — AFP

Philippine economy grows 5.9% in Q2 MANILA: The Philippines economy grew a better-thanexpected 5.9 percent in the second quarter, boosted by increased investment and a drive against corruption, the government said yesterday. The strong figure for April-June helped the country achieve 6.1 percent growth in the first half, with officials confident the good times would be sustained for the rest of the year. Socio-economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan credited President Benigno Aquino’s anti-corruption reforms for part of the growth, saying they had boosted the confidence of local and foreign investors. “We obviously would not have achieved (this growth) without the substantial improvement in the way people perceive the government... and the way we do business,” Balisacan told reporters. The economy grew a better-than-expected 6.3 percent in the January-March quarter, the government said, revised slightly up from an earlier estimate of 6.4 percent. Balisacan expressed confidence the momentum would continue, with 2012 growth settling at the “upper end” of the government’s target range of 5.0 to 6.0 percent. The second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) figure exceeded the 5.4-5.8 percent forecasts of independent analysts. Financial institutions also widely tipped growth to range from 4.8 to 5.4 percent. Balisacan said the second quarter figure was the third highest in the region, exceeding Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore. He credited the higher growth to stepped up government spending on infrastructure, low inflation, improved exports, rising tourist arrivals and the earnings sent home by about 10 million Filipino working abroad. — AFP

TOKYO: Japan Airlines said yesterday its relisting on Tokyo’s stock market could raise as much as $8.4 billion-a sum that would make it the secondbiggest share sale globally this year after Facebook’s IPO. It is nearly double the amount of public money spent to keep it afloat during a massive restructuring and would represent a dramatic turnaround for the company less than three years after being forced into bankruptcy. The proceeds would allow JAL to pay back the government bailout with its sale on track to be the secondbiggest globally behind Facebook following the social networking giant’s $16.0 billion initial public offering in May. The new shares in JAL, which went bankrupt in January 2010 and saw its shares delisted the following month with debts totalling 2.32 trillion yen, were scheduled to start trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on September 19. Yesterday, the carrier said it would sell 175 million shares at a price between 3,500 yen and 3,790 yen. The airline, which continued to fly during its time off the stock exchange, implemented massive job and route cuts as part of its overhaul. The airline underwent an aggressive cost-cutting plan guided by charismatic businessman Kazuo Inamori, who was brought in by the government to help turn the firm around. This month, the airline pointed to its improved financial health, saying net profit in the April-June quarter more than doubled to 26.9 billion yen. Cost-cutting and improved productivity were credited by the company for the result, which was up from a 12.7 billion yen net profit a year ago. Revenue climbed 12.5 per-

cent on the back of a pickup in international travel demand as a strong yen, which hit record highs against the dollar late last year, prompted more Japanese holidaymakers to venture overseas. Sales from domestic operations also improved as the market recovered from slumping demand after last year’s quake and tsunami disaster in northeast Japan. The carrier kept its annual forecast unchanged, expecting a net profit of 130 billion yen in the fiscal year through March 2013. The quarterly results were a major turnaround for the carrier, which exited bankruptcy proceedings in March last year. When the carrier announced its latest financial results, JAL president Yoshiharu Ueki apologised to credi-

tors and former shareholders who took a hit when the airline sought bankruptcy protection. He also said the airline would be able to return the 350 billion in bailout money through the share offer. Earlier this year, JAL said it had ordered 10 new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft as it looks to build on its recovery and fight off the threat from an emerging domestic budget sector. The announcement, part of a five-year plan, was in addition to an earlier order for 35 of the planes. Built largely with lightweight composite materials, Boeing said the Dreamliner is about 20 percent more fuel efficient than similarly sized aircraft and was the first mid-size airplane able to fly long-range routes. — AFP

TOKYO: Japan Airlines jets seen at Tokyo’s Haneda airport on August 3, 2012. JAL said yesterday, its relisting on Tokyo’s stock market could raise as much as $8.4 billion, as it continues a return to strength less than three years after being forced into bankruptcy. — AFP

Business FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Hyundai Motor reaches deal with labor union SEOUL: Hyundai Motor Co. and its labor union reached a tentative agreement yesterday to eliminate night shifts and increase wages, moving one step closer to end the company’s first strike in four years. The preliminary agreement means that workers will halt limited strikes they have been staging since July, which have resulted in 1.59 trillion won ($1.4 billion) of lost output for South Korea’s largest carmaker, the company said. Hyundai and union officials wrapped up their four-month

negotiations and agreed to scrap night shifts starting March 2013. Hyundai will invest 300 billion won, or $264 million, in facilities to help it maintain the current level of output despite reduced working hours. The deal will be put to a vote by Hyundai’s more than 40,000 unionized workers on Sept. 3. Kwon Oh-il, an official at Hyundai’s labor union, said it was uncertain whether the workers would approve the terms. “In previous years, there were cases when the tentative deal had failed to

win majority votes,” Kwon said by phone. Since July, Hyundai’s labor union staged a series of brief walkouts to put pressure on management during negotiations. Workers at Kia Motors Co. and General Motors Co. in Korea also have staged limited strikes to press demands for an end to night shifts and new wage terms. Earlier this month, unionized workers at GM’s Korea unit rejected a tentative deal reached between management and the union’s board. The union staged a partial strike Wednesday that

the company said caused a loss in production of 15,000 vehicles. The strike is expected to make a dent on Hyundai’s bottom line for the current quarter. However, the company will likely meet its sales target this year because it exceeded its production target in the first six months of the year, which could make up for the lost output, analysts said. “The strike is unlikely to have much impact on its annual earnings, though it will affect its quarterly financial results,” said Suh Sung-moon at Korea Investment & Securities. — AP

China’s Wen calls for action on Europe debt European debt crisis continues to worsen

HAMI: This picture taken on August 6, 2012 shows workers checking on a solar panel at a field in Hami, China’s farwest Xinjiang region. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday that a dispute between Chinese and European solar panel makers should be solved via talks, not trade limits. — AFP

HK shares slide, China lingers at 3-1/2-year low HONG KONG: Hong Kong shares closed at their lowest in a month yesterday, with bank shares hurting after disappointing earnings from China’s Agbank and property stocks slumping on media reports about imminent curbs on the sector. Turnover stayed weak, in line with low trading interest across asset classes this week ahead of today’s annual meeting of central bankers in Wyoming. The past two years, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke signalled new policy easing. Onshore Chinese markets yesterday lingered at their lowest levels since early 2009, with the metals and mining sector weak as iron ore prices sank to near three-year lows on sagging Chinese demand. Hong Hao, chief strategist at Bank of Communications International Securities, said that A-share underperformance is making more people look into whether there are bigger structural problems in the Chinese economy. He suggested that for now, investors should stay defensive and brace for more downward revision of earnings. “If you don’t have to do anything, then don’t-unless you have a strong view on quantitative easing from the Fed,” Hong said.” But even then, I’m not risking my money for a 5 percent gain in the short term.” The Hang Seng Index shed 1.2 percent to 19,552.9, the lowest close since July 27. It opened below its 200-day moving average, now at 19,763.7, which triggered stop-losses in the index futures market at around 19,700. That caused losses to accelerate, traders said. The CSI300 Index of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen listings slipped 0.2 percent to 2,211.4, the lowest close since March 2009. The Shanghai Composite Index ended flat as bourse volume rose 19 percent from Wednesday, almost in line with its 20-day moving average. Mining companies were weak, with Citic Pacific down 4 percent. But there was some respite for beleaguered steel companies, which need iron ore. Angang Steel jumped 4 percent in Hong Kong. Agricultural Bank of China (AgBank), the sector’s third-biggest lender, fell on a bigger-than-expected margin decline. Banks’ net interest margins measure loan profitability and are expected to shrink in the wake of China’s interest rate liberalisation, which has narrowed spreads between what banks pay depositors and what they charge borrowers. —Reuters

BEIJING: Expressing alarm at Europe’s debt problems, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao called on Greece, Spain and Italy to embrace budget cuts and get their finances in order after meeting yesterday with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Wen said Beijing is willing to keep buying European bonds but gave no sign Beijing will bail out the eurozone. Merkel was in Beijing for talks aimed at boosting trade and allaying Chinese fears about Europe’s heavy government debts. China has a stake in a resolution because Europe is its biggest export market and Beijing holds billions of dollars in European bonds. “The European debt crisis has continued to worsen, giving rise to serious concerns in the international community. Frankly speaking, I am also worried,” Wen told reporters. He cited uncertainty over whether Greece leaves the eurozone and whether Italy and Spain will take “comprehensive rescue measures,” a reference to spending cuts and tax increases to balance their budgets. “Resolving these two problems rests with whether Greece, Spain, Italy and other countries have the determination for reform,” the premier said. “Resolving the European debt problem requires fiscal tightening and finding balance within individual economies.” Wen’s comments were unusually pointed for China, which says governments should not interfere in each other’s affairs. But the country’s leaders are increasingly worried about the safety of their European debt holdings and European economies where Chinese companies are expanding. Wen said Beijing was willing to buy European bonds so long as it could evaluate the risks and to help the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank - the so-called troika - support indebted eurozone countries “in overcoming hardships.” Wen made a similar pledge of possible Chinese aid to European bailout funds during Merkel’s last visit to Beijing in February but it is unclear what the communist government has done. The European Financial Stability Fund, set up to lend to troubled governments, says China and other Asian investors have bought 40 percent of its bonds but has

released no other details. Merkel told reporters that while the crisis is not over, countries such as Italy and Greece were “on an intensive road of reforms. I am convinced that this will bear fruit.” Greek politicians agreed this week on an austerity package demanded by creditors but were negotiating details. Inspectors from the troika are due in Athens next month for a review, on which hinges a rescue loan installment of euro 31 billion. “I want Greece to remain part of the eurozone,” Merkel said. “I have at the same time indicated that credibility is very important in the eurozone. Therefore we expect the program to be implemented.” Ahead of Merkel’s visit, German officials told reporters Berlin wanted to reassure Beijing that European debt is a “safe and good investment.” Later, Wen and Merkel presided at a signing ceremony for billions of dollars in business deals - a regular event during visits by European leaders. Airbus Industrie, a unit of the FrenchGerman consortium EADS, committed to invest $1.6 billion in the second phase of an aircraft final assembly plant opened in 2008 in Tianjin, Wen’s hometown. A Chinese state company signed an agreement to purchase 50 Airbus jetliners valued at $3.5 billion. Volkswagen AG, Europe’s biggest

automaker, signed a deal to invest $219 million in an “environmentally friendly production facility” and vocational training initiative, also in Tianjin. Eurocopter, another EADS unit, signed an agreement to build a $12.5 million production facility in China. Officials of the two governments also signed agreements to collaborate in biotechnology, electric vehicles, agriculture, education, labor and the environment. The next round in a regular series of Chinese-German meetings was scheduled for next year, but German officials say Wen asked Merkel to come early before the Communist Party begins a once -a-decade handover of power to younger leaders in October. Merkel met later Thursday with Xi Jinping, who is due to become party leader and president. The two-day visit comes as Beijing is struggling to pull China out of its deepest economic slump since the 2008 global crisis. The government has cut interest rates twice and is pumping money into the economy with a wave of investments by state companies. A Cabinet official said Wednesday that official measures are starting to take effect and growth was “stabilizing at a slow pace.” But corporate profits are down and a survey of manufacturers released last week showed future export orders have fallen. — AP

BEIJING: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, shakes hands with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao after a joint press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, yesterday. — AP

THEY ARE THE 99! 99 Mystical Noor Stones carry all that is left of the wisdom and knowledge of the lost civilization of Baghdad. But the Noor Stones lie scattered across the globe - now little more than a legend. One man has made it his life’s mission to seek out what was lost. His name is Dr. Ramzi Razem and he has searched fruitlessly for the Noor Stones all his life. Now, his luck is about to change - the first of the stones have been rediscovered and with them a special type of human who can unlock the gem’s mystical power. Ramzi brings these gem - bearers together to form a new force for good in the world. A force known as ... the 99!

THE STORY SO FAR : Jami the Assembler’s new machine doesn’t work -- which should be impossible! New member Hamid the Praiseworthy tries to help Aleem and Mujiba to find out why... but then Aleem cries out in alarm...

The 99 ® and all related characters ® and © 2012, Teshkeel Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Opinion FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Afghanistan insider attacks roil NATO By Lawrence Bartlett


Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan delivers the keynote address during the third day of the 2012 Republican national Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum Wednesday in Tampa, Florida. — AFP

Ryan picks up bullhorn By Andy Sullivan


aul Ryan built his reputation as a fearless wonk who wasn’t afraid to put specific numbers on his small-government ideals. Now that he is the Republican Party’s vice presidential nominee, the devil lies in the details. In a speech that marked his ascension onto the national stage, Ryan spelled out his conservative vision in the broad brush strokes of the presidential campaign, rather than the pointillistic data sets of the House of Representatives Budget Committee. But the core message at the Republican National Convention was the same. Ryan said he and his boss, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, must place the federal government on a crash diet and overhaul popular benefit programs in order to avoid a European-style debt crisis. “The choice is whether to put hard limits on economic growth or hard limits on the size of government, and we choose to limit government,” Ryan said. The take-no-prisoners stance has made Ryan a hero to conservatives, but it carries risks with a broader electorate. While Americans may back the idea of spending cuts in the abstract, they tend to balk when presented with specifics. Polls show that more voters prefer keeping the Medicare health insurance plan for the elderly in

place, rather than overhauling it as Ryan proposes. “As rhetoric, it was an excellent speech in going over those broad principles. Likewise as rhetoric, it glossed over the hard realities of how you would achieve what he was talking about,” said Charles Franklin, a professor at Marquette Law School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that Ryan used personal stories to illustrate complex economic issues: the shuttered General Motors plant in his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin, the small business his mother started at age 50, and the importance of Medicare to his mother, who smiled from the audience. There were sins of omission. Ryan slammed Obama for ignoring a presidential debt panel, but failed to note that he himself served on the panel and voted against its findings. He also failed to mention that the GM plant closed before Obama took office. Left unsaid were the tradeoffs Ryan and Romney would make in order to scale back the government to the level they envision. “He didn’t say what the tough choices are,” said Steven Schier, a political science professor at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. “You get into that in a convention speech, you lose the crowd, you lose the TV audience.” As a vice presidential candidate, Ryan now must play second fiddle to a man who

has often been reluctant to provide details of his own economic policies. Romney has declined to say which tax loopholes he would close in order to lower income tax rates by 20 percent, and his own proposal for Medicare reforms lacks the specifics that would allow independent experts to determine how much they would cost taxpayers and beneficiaries. Democrats, of course, are happy to fill in the blanks as they argue that Romney and Ryan would gut programs that benefit the middle class and the poor in order to cut taxes for the wealthy. With Ryan’s long voting record in Congress and several years of detailed budget proposals, they have plenty of material to work with. Though Ryan is revered in Washington for his deep knowledge of fiscal policy, his skills as a salesman may be underappreciated. Only eight of his fellow Republicans in the House of Representatives backed his plan to overhaul the Medicare prescription drug program when he introduced it in 2008. Within three years, nearly all of them supported it. He has won reelection in his Democratic-leaning district by wide margins. And he sounded like he was ready for his biggest sales job yet. “Ladies and gentlemen, our nation needs this debate,” he said. “We want this debate. We will win this debate.” — Reuters

he scale of insider attacks by Afghan troops against their NATO allies is unprecedented in modern warfare and threatens to derail the West’s carefully laid withdrawal plans, analysts say. August has been the worst month for so-called green-on-blue attacks in Afghanistan in more than 10 years of war, with nearly one in three international coalition deaths caused by Afghan allies. Most of the dead are Americans, but the latest to die were three Australian troops killed by a member of the Afghan security forces in southern Uruzgan province on Wednesday. The assaults have spiked this year, with more than 30 incidents claiming the lives of 45 coalition troops, making up about 14 percent of the overall death toll in the war for 2012. Analysts and officers agree that no other modern war, including those in Vietnam and Iraq, has seen so many cases of allies turning their weapons on international troops, but wrestle with the reasons for the phenomenon. Taleban insurgents claim responsibility for many of the attacks, saying their fighters have infiltrated the Afghan army and police, but NATO says the majority of the incidents are due to cultural differences and personal animosities. The spike in attacks has alarmed the US-led NATO force to the extent that all soldiers have been ordered to be armed and ready to fire at any time, even within their tightly protected bases. That level of distrust undermines NATO’s plans to work increasingly closely with Afghan forces as they prepare to hand over responsibility for security ahead of the withdrawal of their 130,000 troops by the end of 2014. “I believe (the scale of the insider attacks) is unprecedented in the history of war,” Fabrizio Foschini of the Afghanistan Analysts Network told AFP. “It is one of the developments that ISAF is most concerned about because it represents both a military setback on the ground and it conveys a very negative perception to home public opinion.” Foschini agrees with NATO’s assessment that most attacks are due to cultural differences, and points out that many Afghans say they got on better with Russian soldiers during the Soviet Union’s 10-year occupation in the 1980s. The religious divide is also part of the picture, Foschini says, and some observers have linked the increase in attacks to the burning of Qurans at a US military base in February this year. But “the polarisation between who is a foreigner and who is an Afghan is becoming bigger because of the prolonged war and prolonged foreign presence, which is raising some hostility”, he says. Apart from the Quran burning, the image of US troops has taken a battering this year through pictures and videos showing soldiers abusing the bodies of the dead and a massacre of civilians by a rogue American trooper. Nick Mills, an associate professor of journalism at Boston University who served as a combat photographer for the US Army in Vietnam, also said he believed the green-on-blue attacks “have no parallel in recent military history”. “The Afghans know that once the Western troops leave, they are going to have to choose sides - the Kabul government or the Taleban - and the Kabul government has little respect or credibility,” he told AFP. NATO has tried to play down the importance of the attacks, pointing out that they are carried out by a tiny proportion of the Afghan forces that work with the International Security Assistance Force. But US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has acknowledged that he is “very concerned” about the attacks and the impact they are having on cooperation with Afghan allies. Afghan opposition leader Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister and potential presidential candidate in 2014 elections, also pointed to problems within the government as a reason for the attacks. Abdullah takes President Hamid Karzai to task for what he calls his “vague” message in which he regularly calls the Taleban “brothers”, urging them to talk peace, and criticises the United States. “Sometimes you don’t know who he calls the enemy - the Taleban or the Americans,” Abdullah said. — AFP



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A Black Crowned Crane (Balearica pavonina) watches the photographer in his enclosure in the zoo in Dresden, eastern Germany yesterday. —AP


Zucchini can create a variety of tasty summertime dishes


omatoes are summer’s glamour crop, round, red and ripe. But though zucchini will never get as many magazine covers, real cooks know you can’t beat it for versatility. If you’ve got a perfectly ripened backyard tomato, there are only a few things you should do with it (yes, admittedly, all of them are delicious). But if you’ve got a bag of zucchini, well, the sky is the limit. Here are some quick ideas. 1. Bulgur salad with arugula, zucchini and pine nuts: Salt zucchini and set aside until soft. Rinse, pat dry and combine with toasted soaked bulgur and minced red onion, dress with olive oil and lemon juice and at the last minute add torn arugula leaves and toasted pine nuts. 2. Ratatouille: Saute onions in olive oil until they’re tender and transfer them to a big pot. Saute zucchini until tender and add that to the pot. Saute eggplant

until tender and add that to the pot. Add peeled, seeded, diced tomatoes and red wine vinegar and cook until they thicken. Add them to the pot and heat everything through to combine flavors. 3. Zucchini-basil frittata: Saute sliced onion and shredded zucchini in a nonstick skillet until the zucchini is no longer moist. Stir the mixture into a bowl of beaten eggs along with grated Parmesan cheese and torn basil leaves. Return the mixture to the skillet and cook, stirring, until the egg mixture sets like soft scrambled eggs. Run the pan under a broiler just until it browns on top. 4. Zuni Cafe zucchini pickles: Slice the zucchini about 1/16 of an inch thick. Combine in a bowl with a sliced onion and salt generously. Cover with ice

Zucchini can create a variety of tasty summertime dishes like Zucchini Tian. — MCT photos

roasted, peeled, seeded poblano and zucchini cut into thick slabs and cook, covered, until the zucchini is tender. Add Mexican crema, increase the heat to medium, and cook until thickened. Just before serving, stir in chopped cilantro. 9. Garlic and herb-stuffed zucchini: Make a flavorful tomato sauce. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and use a melon baller to carefully remove enough of the flesh from the center to make a boat. Season lightly with salt and steam until tender. Grind fresh bread to crumbs in a food processor with basil and garlic. Pour into a bowl and stir in chopped anchovies and toasted pine nuts. Pour the tomato sauce into a lightly oiled gratin dish and spoon the breadcrumb mixture into the zucchini, mounding it slightly on top. Drizzle with olive oil and bake until the tops of the breadcrumbs are browned. Serve hot or at room temperature.

ZUCCHINI FRITTERS water and set aside until the zucchini is softened, about 1 hour. Rinse and pat dry. Combine vinegar, sugar, dry mustard, mustard seeds and turmeric in a small saucepan and simmer for 3 minutes. Set aside until just warm to the touch. Pour the brine mixture over the zucchini, transfer to jars, seal tightly and refrigerate for at least a day. 5. Braised zucchini with mint and lemon: Braise the zucchini in olive oil with chopped onion, garlic, lemon zest and mint. When you remove the lid and turn the heat up to high, add more lemon juice and cook until the liquid is reduced to a syrup. Cool to warm room temperature and stir in more mint and toasted pine nuts. 6. Zucchini and pine nut salad: This is another very simple (and delicious) adaptation of a basic technique. Salt zucchini as in the bulgur salad and combine it with minced red onion and pine nuts and dress with olive oil and lemon juice. Stir in shredded basil just before serving. 7. Zucchini in agrodolce: Cut the zucchini into large pieces. Heat olive oil and a whole peeled garlic clove until the garlic begins to brown. Add the cut-up zucchini and cook until the zucchini begins to brown, add white vinegar, sugar, toasted pine nuts, softened golden raisins and a chopped anchovy fillet and cook until the liquid reduces to a syrup. Remove from the heat, stir in chopped mint and season to taste with salt and black pepper. This can be served either warm or cold. 8. Calabacitas con crema: Cut an onion into thick slices and cook slowly until golden. Add sliced garlic, shredded

Total time: 30 minutes, plus draining time for the shredded zucchini Servings: Makes 8 fritters 1 pound zucchini Salt 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 1 teaspoon coriander seeds 1 green onion, chopped, green part only 2 tablespoons flour 1 egg, beaten Olive oil Greek-style yogurt 1. Shred the zucchini and put it in a colander. Sprinkle generously with salt, mix well and set aside for at least 30 minutes to drain. Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat until they begin to pop and smell fragrant. Grind in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. 2. Rinse the shredded zucchini under cold running water. Pick up a small handful, squeeze it dry and put it in the center of a linen dish towel. When you’ve squeezed all the zucchini by hand, gather the dish towel around the zucchini and twist, wringing out as much liquid as you can. The more liquid you remove, the lighter the fritter will be. 3. Put the zucchini in a bowl and add the green onion, jalapeno, cumin and coriander and stir to mix well. Stir in the flour and then the beaten egg. The mixture should be sticky, but there shouldn’t be any free liquid. If there is, stir in a little more flour. 4. Pour olive oil into a nonstick skillet to a depth of about one-fourth inch (it’ll take about one-fourth cup) and heat it over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot enough that a little bit of zucchini


sizzles immediately, drop 4 (2 to 3 tablespoon) mounds of the batter into the pan, flattening them slightly with the back of a spoon. 5. Fry until golden brown on one side, 3 to 4 minutes, then gently flip and fry until golden brown on the other side, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to a paper towellined plate and gently pat away any excess oil. 6. Serve immediately, with a dollop of thick Greek yogurt. Each fritter: 147 calories; 2 grams protein; 4 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 14 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 23 mg cholesterol; 1 gram sugar; 87 mg sodium.

WOVEN ZUCCHINI WITH FRESH GOAT CHEESE Total time: 20 minutes, plus draining time for the zucchini Servings: 4 3 to 4 (6- to 7-inch) zucchini Salt Olive oil 1 clove garlic, minced 1 tablespoon lemon juice 10 to 12 cherry tomatoes 8 ounces fresh goat cheese 1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Sicilian) 6 leaves fresh basil 1. Trim the ends of the zucchini to make them a uniform length. Slice them lengthwise as thin as you can, about one-eighth inch (this is most easily done with a mandoline, but if you’re careful, a very sharp knife will also work). You should have at least 24 thin strips of zucchini. 2. Place the zucchini in a bowl, salt generously and toss to coat, then transfer to a colander and set aside until the zucchini have softened, at least 30 minutes. 3. While the zucchini are sitting, whisk together 3 tablespoons olive oil, the minced garlic and lemon juice and season with a pinch of salt. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and season lightly with salt. 4. Rinse the zucchini slices under cold running water, then pat dry with a paper towel. Return to the bowl and season with just enough of the olive oil-lemon mixture to moisten lightly. 5. Weaving the zucchini may sound complicated (as with weaving a lattice-top pie), but it is not difficult at all. You’ll need 6 strips of squash for each plate.

Arrange three strips of zucchini sideby-side on the first plate. Lift the middle strip and place one strip of zucchini perpendicular to the other strips and over the two outer strips, making an “H.” Unfold the middle strip over the perpendicular strip. Fold back the two end pieces on one side and lay another perpendicular strip, then unfold the end pieces. Repeat at the other end, then use your fingers to gently push the pieces together to make a tightly woven mat of zucchini. Repeat for the three remaining plates. 6. Place the fresh goat cheese in a bowl and stir in the dried oregano and the remainder of the olive oil-lemon mixture to make a smooth, creamy mixture. If necessary, add a little more olive oil. 7. Divide the goat cheese mixture evenly among the four plates, spooning it in the center of the zucchini mat. Scatter the cherry tomato halves around the outside. Drizzle lightly with a little more good olive oil and sprinkle with

coarse salt. Tear the basil leaves into small pieces and scatter over top. Serve at room temperature. Each serving: 336 calories; 15 grams protein; 9 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 28 grams fat; 13 grams saturated fat; 45 mg cholesterol; 7 grams sugar; 599 mg sodium.

ZUCCHINI TIAN Total time: 30 minutes, plus 1 to 1 hour baking time Servings: 6 1 large onion Olive oil 3 cloves garlic, minced Salt 2 tablespoons slivered basil leaves 2 zucchini, cut into \-inch rounds 16 to 20 cherry tomatoes, quartered 3 tablespoons slivered, pitted black olives Freshly ground black pepper 4 ounces fresh goat cheese 1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the onion in quarters lengthwise and then

in one-fourth-inch crosswise strips. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is softened and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. 2. Generously oil an earthenware, glass or enameled cast-iron baking pan approximately 10 by 8 inches. Scatter the onions across the bottom, season lightly with salt and scatter the basil leaves over the top. 3. Arrange the zucchini on top of the onions in a single tight-fitting crosswise row. Arrange the remaining zucchini following the same pattern, overlapping each successive row by about one-half. Scatter the cherry tomatoes and black olives evenly over the top and again season lightly with salt (remember, the goat cheese will be slightly salty) and more generously with black pepper. 4. Crumble the goat cheese evenly over the top of the mixture, drizzle with olive oil and bake until the zucchini is very soft, the goat cheese is lightly browned, and most of the liquid from the vegetables has disappeared, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Each of serving: 166 calories; 6 grams protein; 8 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 13 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 15 mg cholesterol; 4 grams sugar; 137 mg sodium.

A LOOK AT SOME TYPES There are hundreds of varieties of summer squash sold as zucchini, but they break down into two main families. Though they can be used interchangeably, each has different strengths. The familiar deep green cylindrical zucchini tends to have the best flavor, and the darker the zucchini, the better it is. But the flesh can be soft and breaks down when cooked. The light gray-green slightly bulbous zucchini, which is common at Latino and Middle Eastern markets, has a milder taste but denser, firmer flesh that holds together during cooking. You may also sometimes see round zucchini, such as Ronde de Nice and Tondo di Piacenza. These are not technically zucchini but summer pumpkins. Nevertheless, they have firm flesh and mild flavor and are very good for stuffing. — MCT



id you ever go through a gothic phase in high school, when you couldn’t stand even a slight fade to your jet black hair color? Those days, you probably thought highlights were only meant for the carefree blondes or the sun-kissed brunettes of the world — tortured soul, much? Or maybe you had a head full of highlights — bright blonde strands scattered on top of your dark brown hair — and wish you could transport your current colorist back to your life circa college. You know, so he could talk you out of those fake-looking streaks. Whatever your highlight history, it’s time to think about revisiting them. Highlights offer the ability to switch up your hair color without getting a dramatic overhaul, and they can bring depth and life to an otherwise blasÈ brown or dull blonde. The key to great, natural-looking highlights, say experts, is knowing what shades will work best with your hair color. To get the inside scoop, we turned to hair colorist Marco Pelusi, owner of Marco Pelusi Hair Studio, Inc. in West Hollywood, Calif. Here are his best tips on how to get the right highlight shades for every hair color (even jet black, for all of you goth queens out there). Choosing the right highlights for you Before you find out what your best highlights are, read the following tips to avoid a hair coloring disaster: •

Go to a professional. While there isn’t much risk with doing an allover color at home, there’s a lot more room for error with highlights — from the thickness of the streaks to the tones and shades. Getting highlights should definitely be reserved for the salon.

Know if you look better in cool or warm tones. A simple way to figure this out is to hold a swatch of silver (cool tone) and a swatch of gold (warm tone) against your face. Whichever looks best against your skin tone tells what type of color family you should stay in. Just make sure you do this test without makeup and with sunlight.

Decide if you’re getting highlights, lowlights, or both. Pelusi says highlights are shades that are lighter than the allover hair color, while lowlights are dark colors applied to lighter hair. Lowlights tend to soften a dark color while highlights bring depth.

If you have platinum blonde hair Try lowlights in a deeper blonde shade. Gwen Stefani’s hair is as blonde as it gets. If you have similarly borderline-white hair, Pelusi recommends getting “lowlights in a deeper blonde color woven throughout.” It would require touchups every three to four weeks, and over time you can gradually move to a darker color if you wish. If you want to go for an edgier look, you can concentrate the streaks like Gwen with her lowlights in the center. If you have light to medium blonde hair Try lowlights in deep blonde. Reese Witherspoon is the quintessential blonde and can wear just about any hue. This light blonde shade has a sun-kissed look with highlights that are a few shades darker. For natural looking highlights, Pelusi recommends looking at your natural hair color when coloring any part of your hair, then picking a color in the same family, but lighter. If you have light brown hair Try ashy blonde highlights. Have gorgeous light brown hair like Jennifer Lopez, but looking to change up your look? Pelusi recommends incorporating more blonde pieces throughout the hair, specifically in the lower half, as J.Lo did. If you have dark brown hair Try caramel highlights. Pelusi recommends incorporating shades of caramel, not much lighter than your natural color, into your hair. “Caramel, rather than reds or oranges will produce a subtler look,” he says. And, to keep the look even more natural, start the highlights a “little off the scalp” so that they blend easily. The trick is to use two or three different shades to create a more natural and vibrant effect, as Jessica Alba did. —

Books FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

1. How to Win Friends & Influence People Dale Carnegie, 1936. Arguably the first self-help book in the genre. 2. Keys to Success Napoleon Hill, 1947. Interviews with Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller led to 17 “keys” to success. 3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Stephen Covey, 1989. Covey identifies seven qualities that we must develop in order to reach our potential. 4. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living Dale Carnegie, 1948. Tired of worrying about everything, Carnegie set out to purge worry from his life. 5. The Prophet Kahlil Gibran, 1923. Living a proper life is the aim, but Gibran says we can’t do by following others. 6. The Alchemist Paulo Coelho, 2006. A young Andalusian sheepherder sets out in seek of money and fame. 7. Who Moved My Cheese? Spencer Johnson, 1998. Two mice and two humans live in a maze where their cheese disappears. A parable for life. 8. The 48 Laws of Power Robert Greene, 2000. “The 48 Laws of Power” draws inspiration from war (Sun-Tzu) and politics (Machiavelli). 9. Rich Dad, Poor Dad Robert Kiyosaki, 2000. ‘What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money - That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!’ 10. Awaken the Giant Within Anthony Robbins, 1992. How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny. 11. The Secret Rhonda Byrne, 2006. The things that we think about determine our reality. It’s the ‘Law of Attraction.’ 12. The 4-Hour Workweek Timothy Ferriss, 2007. Practice “selective ignorance” to give yourself more time to join the new rich. 13. The Power of Myth Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers, 1991. A look at how ancient mythology is still relevant thousands of years later 14. The Power of Now Eckhart Tolle, 1997. Tolle teaches move beyond thoughts of the past or future, and live, finally, in the present moment. 15. The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire Deepak Chopra, 2003. ‘Coincidences’ offer glimpses of the infinite possibilities we could embrace. 16. The Art of Happiness Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, 1998. A readable and enlightening look at Buddhism and the Dalai Lama. 17. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, 1991. Artists, runners, chess playerseveryone can attain ‘flow,’ and there’s little else like it. 18. The Tipping Point Malcolm Gladwell, 2002. When ‘memes’ (viral ideas) come in contact with the right person, the world changes. 19. The Four Agreements Don Miguel Ruiz, 2001. The four agreements are pacts that he believes you must make with yourself in order to be happy. 20. The Aladdin Factor Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, 1995. Five things stand in the way of what we want: 1) Ignorance; 2) Limiting beliefs; 3) Fear; 4) Low self-esteem; and 5) Pride.

21. Self-Esteem Matthew McKay (Author), Patrick Fanning, 2000. ‘A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving, and Maintaining Your Self-Esteem’. 22. Unlimited Power Anthony Robbins, 1986. The sweeping and candid book that put Tony Robbins on the map. 23. Better Than Good Zig Ziglar, 2007. Ziglar’s ideas evoke a passion that goes beyond financial gain and status. 24. When Bad Things Happen to Good People Harold Kushner, 1981. Why are we here if terrible things can happen with no rhyme and no reason? 25. The One Minute Millionaire Mark Victor Hansen, 2002. A fictional tale of a woman trying to claw her way out of poverty, and real-world tips for quitting your nine-to-five. 26. Learned Optimism Martin Seligman, 1998. Pessimists believe external events are their fault while optimists view them as temporary roadblocks. 27. The PTSD Workbook Mary Beth Williams, Soili Poijula, 2002. Simple and effective techniques for overcoming traumatic stress symptoms.

CEOs to figure out how their thinking differs from that of everyone else. 40. Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment Deepak Chopra, 2008. As we learn about Buddha’s transformation we learn the core tenants of religion. 41. Wherever You Go, There You Are Jon Kabat-zinn, 1995. Like a poetic How-To manual, Kabat’s book is evidence that everyone can benefit from meditation. 42. Stumbling on Happiness Daniel Gilbert, 2007. The one ability we have above animals is to predict the future. Unfortunately, our predictions aren’t great. 43. Change Your Brain, Change Your Life Daniel G. Amen, 1999. A breakthrough program for conquering anxiety, depression, obsessiveness, anger, and impulsiveness. 44. Getting Things Done David Allen, 2002. Organizing your life too much is worse than organizing at all. Clear the clutter and focus on the task at hand. 45. The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook Edmund J. Bourne, 2005. A book that delves deeply into the causes of our fears and discomforts, then gives tips to overcome them.

28. The Last Lecture Randy Pausch, 2008. What wisdom would you try to impart to the world if you knew it was your last chance?

46. Goodbye to Shy Leil Lowndes, 2006. A former shy girl herself, Lowndes is now a professional speaker, and her book offers 85 ways to become more outgoing.

29. Finding Your Own North Star Martha Beck, 2002. The North Star is our driving motivation that hovers somewhere near our souls.

47. Conversationally Speaking Alan Garner, 1997. Tested new ways to increase your personal and social effectiveness.

30. I’m OK-You’re OK Thomas Harris, 1969. Too often, Harris argues, we fall prey to The Contamination of the Adult.

48. The Magic of Thinking Big David Schwartz, 1987. Don’t worry about the size of your brain so much as your ability to think outside the box.

31. A New Earth Eckhart Tolle, 2008. Tolle argues humankind is on the verge of a new, non-denominational spiritual awakening.

49. How to Talk to Anyone Leil Lowndes, 2003. Lowndes details 92 steps that focus largely on meeting new people and making them friends.

32. Outliers: The Story of Success Malcolm Gladwell, 2008. Why do some among us succeed while so many others fail to reach their potential?

50. Talent Is Overrated Geoff Colvin, 2008. What really separates world-class performers from everybody else.

33. My Stroke of Insight Jill Bolte Taylor, 2006. A Harvard-trained brain scientist suffers a stroke that eventually leads her to a new state of enlightenment.


34. Extraordinary Minds Howard Gardner, 1998. What traits are shared by Mozart, Freud, Woolf, and Gandhi? Gardner seeks out the ties that bind them. 35. The Intention Experiment Lynne McTaggart, 2008. Experiments on the fringe of science challenge some of academia’s most hallowed precepts about the power of the mind. 36. I Am a Strange Loop Douglas R. Hofstadter, 2007. Our personalities aren’t as entrenched as we like to think. Knowing how it works teaches us to manipulate it. 37. Who Are You Really, and What Do You Want? Shad Helmstetter, 2003. If you truly want to succeed, you must stack the cards in your favor. 38. What to Say When You Talk to Yourself Shad Helmstetter, 1990. Change your inner monologue from negative to positive and your life will change in unexpected ways. 39. How to Think Like a CEO D A Benton, 1998. D.A. Benton interviewed more than 100

Te c h n o l o g y FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Steve Jobs’ legacy: Best still to come from Apple


teve Jobs resigned as chief executive of Apple on the evening of August 24, 2011, six weeks before he lost his long battle against pancreatic cancer. But his ideas live on in the iconic technology company he co-founded in a garage. “I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it,” Jobs wrote in his open resignation letter as, with a heavy heart, he was forced by ill-health to relinquish his leadership of Apple. Debilitated by the long fight with cancer, his body was no longer able to cope with the daily stress of running a multi-national that had just eclipsed oil giant Exxon Mobil as the publicly traded company with the world’s biggest market valuation. Spurred by the success of the iPhone, Apple has gone on to become the most valuable company in the history of stock markets. This week, Apple’s surging sales and new products on the horizon propelled the company’s value to 624 billion dollars, topping Microsoft’s 1999 record market capitalization at the height of the internet bubble. Hollywood could not have scripted Apple’s history better. The college dropout Jobs builds one of the first home computers in a garage with friend Steve Wozniak. The company grows quickly, but a rift in management leads to Jobs’ ouster from his own company in 1985. In 1997, with Apple facing oblivion in the face of rival Microsoft’s dominant Windows operating system, Jobs returns as the saviour, redesigning the once-revolutionary Macintosh computer as the iMac and making it cool once again.

The first glimpse of Jobs’ greater goal emerges with the success of the iPod digital music players, and Apple’s iTimes ushers the company into the business of marketing music and later films and books. Apple is now more than a simple computer manufacturer. The first iPhone

was introduced in 2007. Initially laughed at by competitors such as Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer, Apple turned the entire mobile-phone market upside down with its smartphone. The iPhone’s touch screen quickly became standard, and industry giants such as Nokia and Blackberry-maker

Research In Motion began to shudder at the market power of Apple. PC manufacturers learned to fear Apple in 2010 when the company launched the iPad. Rather than trying to claw back long-lost market share in the computer industry that he helped pioneer, Jobs innovated PCs into obsolescence and positioned Apple to dominate the next big thing: mobile computing. Apple is still reaping the profits from the ideas and decisions of its founder, with the iPhone raking in profits while the iPad is the growth engine. Yet new Apple chief Tim Cook has managed to step out of the shadow of his long-time mentor. While Jobs often ruled like an emperor in his kingdom, Cook has made the company more transparent. Cook heeded criticism of work conditions for employees of Apple’s Chinese suppliers, putting in place reforms at the company’s manufacturing contractors. He has listened to calls from shareholders for the payment of a dividend and did a u-turn after coming under fire for dropping out of an environmental rating system. By comparison, Jobs was famous for letting such pressure simply bounce off him. Since Cook took the helm at Apple, the company’s value has doubled to more than 600 million dollars. Investors will speculate over the coming months about the new iPhone, a smaller iPad and a broader entry by Apple into the television business. “We simply remain true to our basic principles and build the best products,” Cook said recently. “And because we are doing that, we are convinced that good times lie ahead for us.” — dpa

old monitor

Your might have some life in it A

s people migrate to laptops, desktops are fading in importance and many are wondering what one does with an old monitor. There are all kinds of options... from a backup display for a laptop to a replacement for your TV. As an extra display for a laptop, a monitor delivers some clear health benefits. One no longer has to look down at a laptop screen, meaning, in the long run, benefits both for the back and eyes. This is especially important for people who have to spend long hours in front of their laptops. Those with original monitors that have small displays, or those wanting to upgrade to a flat screen monitor, could also benefit. “The prices have, on average, sunk to about 170 euros (210 dollars),” says Roland Stehle of the German Society for Entertainment and Communications Technology (gfu). Most new models usually have high-definition (HD) resolution. full HD - 1,920 X 1,080 pixels - is almost standard. There is a choice between TN, IPS and PVA/MVA models. Twisted Nematic (TN) is the oldest technology, offering fast reactions and only limited blurring during movement. But contrast can be a problem, especially with a limited viewing angle. In-Plane-Switching (IPS) models are more expensive, but offer solid contrast and colour. An updated S-IPS version provides reaction times that are

good for gaming, as well as good visibility at angles. MVA (multi-domain vertical) models offer the best contrast from all viewing angles, an aspect that’s even improved upon with patterned vertical alignment (PVA). However, neither has reaction times that match TN models. Always consider what you plan to use the monitor for before making a purchase. “If you just want a monitor for data crunching, then you don’t need to worry so much about reaction time,” says Stehle. But for gamers and those who want to watch HD films reaction times of more than three or four milliseconds are important. These models will come with higher resolutions, which, in turn, means they need a more powerful graphics card. And bear in mind that not every game can manage these resolutions. Make sure to get a monitor that fits on your desk. You should also be able to rotate it and set its height. “Anyone who can’t set the display optimally is going to be dealing with neck pain before long,” according to a test in the German computer magazine Chip Test & Kauf. HDMI, a standard port for televisions, is becoming the way to go with monitors, and more common than other ports like DVI and DisplayPort. But most manufacturers do not deliver an HDMI cable along with the monitor. Some come with two HDMI ports, while

others offer a variety to make sure users won’t need an adapter to hook up their monitor. The differences continue to melt away between monitors and televisions. Some flat screens already come with a

tuner for digital television or a built-in media player. That lets them pick up video from external hard drives without a computer. Of course, such features mean more energy consumption. — dpa

Lifestyle FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

This picture shows young Chinese women during an interview with the ‘appearance consultant’ arranged by Chinese Entrepreneurs Singles Club in Beijing. — AFP photos


oung Chinese women in swishy dresses and strappy sandals sit in a row clutching forms that list their weight and measurements as they wait for an interview with the “appearance consultant”. Dressed as if for a beauty contest, they are among more than 1,000 bidding to make it to the next stage of this bizarre competition-the chance to join an exclusive group of 50 vying for marriage to a multimillionaire. The testing process screens everything from looks and education to family background and astrological compatibility. The 50 lucky qualifiers win the chance to meet 32 men worth at least 100 million yuan ($16 million). Although it is at the extreme end of the scale, the matchmaking event arranged by the China Entrepreneur Club for Singles in Beijing reflects the growing challenges of finding a spouse in modern China. “I don’t need to be so rich. I’m just saying I want the ability to have a good lifestyle,” said Zeng Xie, 25, wearing thick mascara and a delicate dress as she slipped out between interviews to check in with her mother. Zeng’s mother, who gave only her surname, Niu, rated her daughter’s chances of finding love in the city as low, and bemoaned her unwillingness to return to the family’s home town. “She’s got a lot of great qualities, so she has quite high standards,” said Niu. “Kids these days are working and they are so busy, they don’t have time to make friends.” Experts say the material demands of some young Chinese

have escalated as the country’s wealth has grownwith home ownership a common requirement, according to Yale sociologist Deborah Davis. Davis says that transient urban lifestyles have combined with frenetic social change, booming wealth and more relaxed sexual mores to complicate the process of finding a partner in China. The escalating demands of potential spouses have come under the spotlight in recent years thanks to popular television dating shows featuring materialism so outrageous that worried authorities forced them to dial them back. One female contestant famously rebuffed a potential suitor, saying she would “rather cry in a BMW car than laugh on the backseat of a bicycle”, while another requested 200,000 yuan ($31,000) to allow a man to shake her hand. Many of China’s flourishing dating websites and other matchmaking businesses target the ultra wealthy, said Wu Di, a psychology consultant and television personality who discusses dating and marriage. The China Entrepreneur Club for Singles requires men to verify their net worth and pay a 200,000 yuan ($31,000) fee. Half are divorced and half of those have children-factors that might give some women pause. The criteria for women are pretty exacting. They should be 20 to 28 years old, 165 centimeters (five feet four inches) or taller, beautiful and gentle with at least a junior college education. Contest founder Cheng Yongsheng stresses that they also screen

This picture shows a group of young Chinese women waiting their turn for an interview.

women for character, putting them through a multiple-round two-month process of “in-depth tests” and interviews with family. They cannot be too poor or they will be gold-diggers, nor can they be too rich and not appreciate the value of hard-earned money, he said. On Sunday women were assessed not only by the appearance consultant but also three others asking questions such as how did they handle stress, how would their parents describe them and what did they want in a man? Several insisted they cared about more than money. Zeng said she was perfectly content to live on her 30,000 yuan monthly salary and, as an occasional model, did not lack potential boyfriends. She sought a husband who was responsible and treated her as an equal. Chen Li, 29, wanted a life partner of good character and sighed that this might not be the best place to find him. “Rich, divorced men just want a young and pretty woman who can have babies,” she said, adding that she did not think she fitted the bill. “Being successful and being good is not the same thing.” — AFP This picture shows a young Chinese woman during an interview.

Lifestyle FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Tommy Lee Jones to get award at Spanish film festival determined US Marshall Sam Gerard in the box office hit “The Fugitive”. His latest film “Hope Springs”, in which he co-stars opposite Meryl Streep, will be screened out of competition at the festival. Scottish actor Ewan McGregor and US director Oliver Stone will also receive a Donastia Award at San Sebastian this year. Previous recipients of the prize include Julia Roberts, Glenn Close, Ian McKellen, Richard Gere and Woody Allen. The 60th edition of the San Sebastian film festival, the oldest and most prestigious event of its kind in the Spanish speaking world, will take place between September 21 and 29. — AP

Poster girl for

Keaton cast as ‘RoboCop’ CEO in remake

women’s boxing is now Bollywood muse


ndia’s latest Olympic hero is hoping that a Bollywood movie on her life isn’t just about the sweat, tears and grime. Mary Kom, five-time women’s boxing world champion, won a bronze medal at the London Games, and her exploits will now be captured on the big screen. “I hope they show some romance in the film,” the 29-year-old told Reuters in a phone interview. “That’s also important, right?” The mother of two is married to Onler Kom, who is also her manager, and hopes director Omung Kumar depicts that part of her life in the film as well.

Trey Songz’s latest ‘Chapter’ takes Billboard No. 1


&B artist Trey Songz topped the Billboard 200 album chart on Wednesday with his latest album “Chapter V,” edging out three other new entries on the chart this week. Songz’s fifth studio album sold 135,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan, pushing last week’s chart-topper “Based On A T.R.U. Story” from rapper 2 Chainz to No. 2 with 48,000 copies. DJ Khaled’s sixth studio album “Kiss The Ring” debuted at No. 4 with 41,000 copies sold, behind the compilation of various artists on the “Now 43” album, which dropped one spot to No. 3 this week with sales of 45,000 units. Electronic-indie act Owl City (real name Adam Young) debuted at No. 7 with his fourth studio album “The Midsummer Station,” selling 30,000 copies in its first week, fueled by his hit single “Good Time” featuring Carly Rae Jepsen. Christian music band Tenth Avenue North had the fourth debut in the top ten of the Billboard 200 chart. Their third studio album, “The Struggle,” came in at No. 9 with 26,000 copies sold. Justin Bieber’s “Believe” took No. 5 in its 10th week in the chart, while Maroon 5’s “Overexposed” notched No. 6, Rick Ross’ “God Forgives, I Don’t” dropped from No. 3 to No. 8, and One Direction’s “Up All Night” rounded out the top ten. Over on the Digital Songs chart, Taylor Swift safely held onto the No. 1 position as her latest hit. —Ruters

Beanie Sigel


ichael Keaton is joining the cast of the upcoming remake of Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 cultclassic, “RoboCop,” for MGM and Columbia Pictures, MGM announced Wednesday. Keaton will play the CEO of the corporation that builds RoboCop. He joins previously announced stars Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman and Samuel L Jackson in the film, which is being directed by Jose Padilha. The project is due to begin filming next month, and is scheduled to be released on August 19, 2013. Recent reports noted that British actor Hugh Laurie was in the running to take on the role, as was Clive Owen. The film is set in a crime-ridden city in which a wounded cop returns to the force as a cyborg haunted by his memories. “Michael is the final addition to the amazing cast we have assembled for this film and it is so great to have the last puzzle piece in place,” said Padilha. “We’ve got a great script, a great cast, some killer ED-209’s and I can’t wait to get Alex Murphy back on the streets.” —Reuters

Tommy Lee Jones

Beanie Sigel arrested for drug, gun possession


hiladelphia rapper Beanie Sigel was arrested on Wednesday on drug and gun possession charges, celebrity website reported, days before he was headed to prison for tax evasion. The rapper, whose real name is Dwight Grant, was arrested during a traffic stop during which police found prescription pills, marijuana, a gun and cash in his car, said. Sigel, 38, best known for his collaborations with rapper Jay-Z and R&B artist R Kelly, was sentenced to prison last month after owing more than $728,000 in back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service, Philadelphia’s local Fox affiliate said. A judge ordered Sigel to pay all taxes, penalties and interest, which officials said he failed to do. The rapper was due to report to prison on Sept 12. Representatives for Sigel and the Philadelphia police could not be reached for comment.—Reuters

Mary Kom

Michael Keaton


scar-winning US actor Tommy Lee Jones will receive an award in honor of his career at the San Sebastian film festival in Spain next month, festival organizers said yesterday. The 65-year-old “Men in Black” star will collect one of the festival’s Donostia Awards, “awarded to a great film personality in recognition for their work and career”, at a ceremony on September 28, they said in a statement. Festival organizers praised Jones as “one of the most acclaimed and accomplished actors in Hollywood”, who has had “a brilliant career spanning four decades”. Jones won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1994 for his portrayal of

“They will show my struggle and how difficult it was, but I don’t know who will play me-that is up to them,” she said. Bollywood isn’t really known for its sports films, but movies such as “Lagaan”-a historical epic revolving around a cricket match that was nominated for a foreign-language Oscar in 2002 — and “Chak De India”, centered around the Indian women’s hockey team, have found box-office success. This year, film-maker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is working on “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”, a biopic on Milkha Singh, one of India’s greatest track athletes. Kom was first approached by Omung Kumar last year, but the director hadn’t found a producer at the time. Sanjay Leela Bhansali, one of Bollywood’s best known film-makers, has now been roped in to produce the biopic. “At first, I thought he (Kumar) was joking but then he did some research around my village and spoke to people, so I knew he was serious,” she said. Kom met both Kumar and Bhansali in Mumbai this week, but said she never considered playing the lead role in the project. “I cannot act, I can only box.” —Reuters

Lifestyle FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Thrills, chills, dramatic films dominate fall season


all brings colder weather across the Northern Hemisphere and Hollywood’s major studios will usher into theaters cool action thrillers, chilly horror movies and some dramatic Oscar hopefuls looking for a head start on awards season. From new James Bond flick “Skyfall” to another scary “Paranormal” installment and the long-awaited Paul Thomas Anderson Scientology drama, “The Master,” there is plenty for cinephiles to dissect in the season, which begins after this weekend’s US Labor Day holiday and runs roughly to Thanksgiving. The pace of movies is slower than the US summer when the studios bring out blockbusters like “The Avengers” and “The Dark Knight Rises” weekly. But don’t let the pace fool you; fall 2012 is neither short on quality nor quantity, experts say. “Early fall can often be a little bit of a lull at the movies, but it can also be a time when real quality films can take advantage of a quiet marketplace and really stand out,” Entertainment Weekly writer Dave Karger said. The season kicks into high gear on Sept 21, with Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena playing Los Angeles police battling a ruthless drug cartel in “End of Watch,” from writer/director David Ayer. Ayer, whose previous LA cop flick, “Training Day,” earned Denzel Washington a best actor Oscar, said the film shows “what it’s like to work the streets in a way very few films have ever shown,” pulling back the curtain on the cops’ lives, personal and professional. “It’s not your typical Hollywood movie. It’s very grounded, very real - almost a pseudo documentary. You’ll walk out of this movie wanting to hug a cop,” he said. Guns continue to blaze on Sept 28 when Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt play the same person - only 30years apart - in the time-travel flick “Looper” about assassins killing targets sent back from the future. Liam Neeson is back as the CIA-trained, overly protective father in “Taken 2” (Oct 5) when the kidnappers who swiped his daughter in the first “Taken” movie return for revenge. The best-selling Alex Cross crime novels get a reboot with Tyler Perry taking the lead role previously inhabited by Morgan Freeman in “Alex Cross” (Oct 19). This time, the detective psychologist takes on a hitman played by Matthew Fox. On Oct 12, crime takes a comedic edge in “Seven Psychopaths,” about a screenwriter (Colin Farrell) who gets involved in the Los Angeles underworld when his dog-snatching friend (Sam Rockwell) makes the mistake of kidnapping a Shih Tzu belonging to a crime boss (Woody Harrelson). The season ends with a bang as the highly anticipated “Skyfall” comes out on Nov 9, amid a celebration of 50 years of Bond movies. This time around, Daniel Craig takes his third turn as 007 with Oscar-winning filmmaker Sam Mendes at the helm of the movie and Javier Bardem as the villain, Silva. Halloween haunts & oscar bait Fall is long on horror as the studios play to fears ahead of Halloween. On Sept 21, Jennifer Lawrence finds herself haunted in “The House at the End of the Street.” On Oct 5, a ghostly entity threatens Ethan Hawke and his family in “Sinister.” If that’s not enough haunted house-themed flicks, the hugely popular franchise “Paranormal Activity 4” returns on Oct 19. For family frights, animated “Hotel Transylvania” (Sept 28) stars Adam Sandler as a hotelier to non-humans whose world turns upside down when an overexcited human shows up. And Tim Burton brings his usual ghoulish charm to the screen with the stop-motion animated “Frankenweenie” (Oct 5) about a young boy who resurrects his late dog, Sparky. Arf! Then, there is the Oscar race. In recent years, as Academy Award organizers moved their top film honors up by a month, to February from late March, the studios have been bringing more award hopefuls to theaters in September and October. Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” is creating Oscar buzz prior to its Sept 14 release. Set in the 1950s, the movie tells of a damaged alcoholic (Joaquin Phoenix) who is taken under wing by a charismatic leader (Philip

Seymour Hoffman) of a spiritual movement not unlike the controversial Church of Scientology. Also getting attention is “Argo” (Oct 12), directed by and starring Ben Affleck. Based on real events, the movie shows a CIA specialist’s mission to free six US diplomats in 1979 Iran by posing as a filmmaker and putting them among his bogus crew. Actor John Hawkes gives a tourde-force performance in “The Sessions” (Oct 26) playing a 38-year-old man who, having spent most of his life in an iron lung, decides to hire a therapeutic sex surrogate (Helen Hunt) to lose his virginity. But Hawkes will see Oscar competition from Daniel Day Lewis starring as Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s biopic, “Lincoln” (Nov 9). Fans of the filmmak-

ing Wachowski siblings (Lana and Andy of “The Matrix” movies) will try to wrap their heads around “Cloud Atlas” (Oct 26), starring Tom Hanks and Halle Berry in different roles throughout six interwoven tales. “‘Cloud Atlas’ is the complete wild card,” said Entertainment Weekly’s Karger. “A two and a half-plus hour movie by the Wachowskis that looks so bizarre. It’s probably going to be one of the most polarizing movies of the season.” Finally, there is sport-themed documentary “The Other Dream Team” ( Sept 28), chronicling members of the 1992 Lithuanian Olympic basketball team as they go from life behind the Iron Curtain to newfound independence - with financial assistance from the Grateful Dead. — Reuters

Kim Kardashian settles lawsuit with Old Navy K

im Kardashian has made nice with Old Navy, ending a yearlong battle with the clothing company over ads that allegedly used a Kim K look-alike actress to flog its togs. The ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ star has settled her lawsuit with Old Navy, according to her attorney, who told TheWrap that the suit ‘was resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties.’ The attorney did not disclose the specifics of the settlement. Kardashian filed suit against Old Navy and its parent company, The Gap, last July in US District Court in Central California. Kardashian asked for unspecified damages and lost profits in

the suit, though according to TMZ the reality TV sensation estimated that she had been damaged in the $15 million to $20 million range. The suit claimed that the Old Navy ads ‘used Plaintiff’s likeness in the form of a celebrity “look-alike,’’ which was ‘likely to cause confusion, and have caused actual confusion, in the minds of the consuming public as to an association of Kim Kardashian with Defendant’s products and services.’ That’s no small consideration, given that Kardashian has given her endorsement to myriad products, including ShoeDazzle and her own Dash designer boutiques. Old Navy confirmed that the suit had been settled. — Reuters

Kim Kardashian

Lifestyle FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Some 641 Thai masseurs and masseuses perform massages as they establish a new Guinness World Record for Thai massage at an indoor sport arena on the outskirts of Bangkok yesterday. — AFP photos

Thailand sets world record for mass massage H undreds of people pushed, prodded and stretched their way to a new world record for the biggest simultaneous group massage, in the Thai capital Bangkok yesterday, organizers said. A total of 1,282 entrants took part in the event at a convention centre, smashing the previous Guinness World Record of 526 people set in Daylesford, Australia, in March 2010. “I feel excited and thrilled. I want Thai massage to be famous all around the world,” said 50-year-old masseuse Pinprapar Meedej. The event was staged by the Thai government in

an effort to lure foreigners to a country whose touristfriendly image has been tested in recent years by deadly floods, political violence and concerns about crime and safety. “We had expected about 800 pairs but on the day of the rehearsal only this number showed up,” said event spokeswoman Supaporn Rungcharoenkiat. “But we’re sure that we broke the record.” The kingdom wants to shed its reputation for sex tourism-including brothels disguised as massage parlours-and promote itself as a growing hub for medical

tourism. Supporters of traditional Thai massage say people in pain need look no further than their local spa. “Thailand is the number one medical hub. You can be cured with Thai massage. There’s no need to use medicine and it’s 100 percent safe,” said 39-year-old massage instructor Duangvarat Insee. Most of the people who took part were qualified massage therapists, but others were just happy to enjoy a free session of “the lazy man’s yoga”. “That was great. My legs feel good and I can walk better,” said 72-year-old pensioner Mora Saelim. —AFP

Voices and images at Venice’s Palazzo Grassi exhibition


enetian canals transformed through a camera obscura, intimate snapshots of a prisoner’s life and a hall of whispers are among the installations on show at a new exhibition at Venice’s Palazzo Grassi. Around 30 works by 27 international artists, borrowed from French billionaire Francois Pinault’s private collection, explore how the medium of video has been used to capture and challenge sensory expression and perception. The hypnotic “For Beginners” videotape by contemporary American artist Bruce Nauman is among the highlights on show at the 18th-century Palazzo Grassi museum, which the French collector bought and revamped in 2006. The 70-year-old artist’s hands are captured on screen as they respond to verbal instructions on what positions his fingers must adopt. The video is just the latest in a series of his works which incorporate human body parts. “As soon as we saw this work, we were hooked. The artist wanted to give it to a Californian museum. We fought to have it,” Pinault told French Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti ahead of the exhibition’s opening. After months of wrangling, a deal was struck: the businessman was allowed to buy the work as long as a copy went to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Alongside the talking hands, American artist Zoe Leonard

captures the seductive beauty of the Serenissima’s waterways through a camera obscura. A light streaming in from outside pierces a lens and flips the image of the grand canal outside the Palazzo Grassi onto its head, so that the waters cover the ceiling and boats

pass upside-down as enchanted viewers loll on cushions. The sense of peace contrasts sharply with Algerian-born artist Mohammed Bourouissa’s “Temps mort” installation, which collates images and sketches filmed by an inmate of a

Palazzo Grassi’s director Martin Bethenod poses next to ‘For Beginners’ by Bruce Nauman exhibited during the ‘Voice of Images’ exhibition at PalazzoGrassi on August 29, 2012 in Venice. — AFP

federal penitentiary in France on a mobile phone. Bourouissa, who lives and works in Paris, asked the prisoner to film snapshots of inside-from chains to inmates gathered behind bars-to create a poor-quality video which evokes despair and violence in its banality. In “The Passion of Joan of Arc”, Venezuelan artist Javier Tellez reworks the 1928 movie of the same name by getting mental health patients to rewrite the script to introduce the theme of madness and paranoid schizophrenia. Tellez, who often works on questions of psychiatric illnesses, then has the patients become witnesses to the trials faced in mental health institutions. In American artist Bill Viola’s 1995 project “Hall of Whispers”, the pallid faces of ten people who have been gagged are displayed on a dark screen, with their eyes closed, while their protests and moans are clearly heard. Exhibition’s curator Caroline Bourgeois said video has stopped being a stand-alone medium and has become integrated into other art forms. While each of the works speak, they do not have a common message. Each visitor to the show takes away their own interpretation, she said. “Video does not have a cinematic type of narration. It’s victory that it is no longer billeted in a category but has become sculptural in a certain fashion,” Bourgeois said. “Voices of images” runs until January 13. — AFP

Lifestyle FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Jackson family in Gary to mark pop star’s birthday


he scene outside the childhood home of Michael Jackson resembled a party as fans joined members of the pop star’s family for a vigil Wednesday, which would have been his 54th birthday. Fans danced to Jackson’s music prior to the arrival of

ing books and posters in the teens’ faces. Jackson’s sister LaToya told the crowd the family’s musical fame started in the city, east of Chicago, and in “this little house.” After saying, “We all love you, Michael,” LaToya folded her hands and looked to the sky. Rainbow/PUSH Coalition leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson showed up at the tribute, stopping in the crowd before the vigil to pose for a photo with a Michael Jackson impersonator. Jackson later said he thanked God for Michael Jackson and led the crowd in chanting, “Long live Michael!” Michael Jackson spent the first 11 years of his life in Gary. The family moved out of the city known for its steel mills after the Jackson 5 struck it big in 1969 with the release of their first album. Aside from two concerts the

Prince, left, and Paris Jackson, son and daughter to the late pop icon Michael Jackson, display T-shirts given to them by Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson Wednesday. — AP photos

At Venice: Michael Shannon darkens ‘Iceman’ role

Paris Jackson, daughter of entertainer Michael Jackson, poses with a fan. his children and mother at the house at 2300 Jackson St, where the King of Pop, his siblings and their parents lived until 1969. In the days after Jackson’s death in 2009, the singer’s admirers piled stuffed animals, flowers and photos outside the tiny home in Gary. Among those at the Wednesday night vigil was Andrei Tejada, 32, a Chicago veterinary technician student who said she was pleased that Jackson’s relatives were attending the event. “They still remember where they started, and it shows they appreciate where they started. It’s a humbling experience to know they are here,” said Tejada, who said she visits the Jackson childhood home once a month. Other events planned by the family in Gary include a dinner Friday and a concert Saturday. Before the vigil, Jackson’s children, 14-year-old Paris and 15-year-old Prince Michael, were given blue “Team Gary” T-shirts by Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson as they posed for pictures at a casino overlooking Lake Michigan. “We just want you to know how much he meant to us and the city of Gary,” the mayor said. Paris and Prince Michael didn’t speak during the brief presentation. Later, in the moments before the vigil was to start, the two, joined by Jackson’s other child, Prince Michael II, signed autographs outside the Jackson home. A large crowd formed around them, with fans shov-

Paris Jackson, daughter of entertainer Michael Jackson, receives a poster of her family from a fan. Jackson 5 played at West Side High School in 1971, the only time the singer returned to his hometown was in 2003, when plans for a Michael Jackson Performing Arts Center in the city’s downtown were announced. It was never built. “Gary, you are family, you always will be, I love you,” Jackson said at the time. Last week, a Los Angeles judge appointed the pop star’s nephew, TJ Jackson, to share guardianship responsibilities for the late singer’s three children with family matriarch Katherine Jackson. TJ Jackson was appointed a temporary guardian last month when Katherine Jackson was incommunicado during a stay at an Arizona spa with relatives. Other family members have said Katherine Jackson was being improperly influenced regarding custody arrangements for the children, but her attorney disputed those claims. — AP


ichael Shannon is filmdom’s newest Mafia hit man, playing a killer-forhire who conceals the truth of his occupation from his picture-perfect suburban family in “The Iceman.” Israeli director Ariel Vroman says he fought for years to get Shannon into the role, fending off “more obvious choices.” Vroman said he wanted Shannon because “he comes with a darkness,” explaining it was more effective to “make that darkness more refined” than to “bring someone who is very cheesy” and try to add it. In the film, based on the real story of Richard Kuklinski, Shannon stars alongside Winona Ryder as his unsuspecting wife and Ray Liotta as the Mafia boss who recognizes hit-man potential. The film makes its world premiere yesterday in competition at the Venice Film Festival. — AP


Al-Madena Al-Shohada’a Al-Shuwaikh Al-Nuzha Sabhan Al-Helaly Al-Fayhaa Al-Farwaniya Al-Sulaibikhat Al-Fahaheel Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh Ahmadi Al-Mangaf Al-Shuaiba Al-Jahra Al-Salmiya

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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


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

03:58 11:50 15:25 18:19 19:39


The Public Institution for Social Security

Ministry of Interior

Public Authority of Industry

Public Authority for Civil Information

Prisoners of War Committee

Kuwait News Agency

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

















Abdullah Salim




Industrial Shuwaikh






Bneid Al-Ghar






Ayoun Al-Kibla










Maidan Hawally




Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affair

Kuwait Municipality

Ministry of Energy (Oil)

Kuwait Electronic Government

Ministry of Energy (Electricity and Water)

Ministry of Finance

Public Authority for Housing Welfare

Ministry of Commerce and Industry

Ministry of Justice

Ministry of Education

Ministry of Communications

Ministry of Information

Supreme Council for Planning and Development

Kuwait Awqaf Public Foundation

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Pe t s FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Joseph Luciano (right) and his wife Adriana play with their dogs in Clermont, Florida. — MCT

Taking on a dual


More hospices are stepping in to take care of dying patients’ pets


iobe and Cha-cha raced to the couch toward hospice volunteer Jim Hays during a visit to the home of patient Joseph Luciano, in Florida’s Four Corners area. The pooches competed to get the volunteer’s attention, barking and wildly waging their tails. They darted off only after he rubbed behind their ears. “They took to me right away,” said Hays, 64. “I just visit with them and show them a little attention - and I bring treats. It’s just part of the visit.” Hospice volunteers are stepping in more and more to care for the pets of dying patients - feeding and walking dogs, administering flea medication, driving pets to the groomer or veterinarian and more. “Hospice is supposed to take care of the patient and the family,” said Lisa Gray, volunteer department manager of Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care. “For a lot of them, their family is their pet.” Cornerstone, which rolled out the pet-care program a few months ago in Lake, Fla, paid to board Luciano’s dogs while the 85-year-old Navy veteran, his wife, Adriana, and Hays took a weekend trip to Pensacola, Fla. Adriana Luciano, 61, said she’s still able to feed and walk the dogs - Niobe is a bichon frise and Cha-cha a mixed breed - in between caring for her ailing husband. However, she said it’s a relief to have Cornerstone in case she needs help with the dogs, who sleep with them in the bedroom. “They’re like children. We can’t leave them alone for more than a few hours,” she said. Throughout the country, hospices are starting to recognize the therapeutic benefits of keeping the animal and owner together until the end, said Delana Taylor Mcnac, founder and manager of Pet Peace of Mind, a national organization that works with other hospices around

the country. Nationwide, 50 hospices offer the program. “It’s catching on now that hospice is beginning to see a cultural change on the importance of pets,” she said. Cornerstone, which serves more than 700 patients and already has volunteers bring their pets into assisted-living facilities to visit hospice patients, is one of two nonprofits in the state to partner with Pet Peace of Mind. It received a grant to provide pet care, such as buying food for those who can’t afford it. Taylor Mcnac, a former hospice chaplain and veterinarian from Tulsa, Okla, estimated that 10 to 20 percent of hospice patients have pets. But only about half of them are receiving pet- care assistance. She said some patients have refused to go into hospice centers out of fear of giving up their pets. “The pets provide them comfort when they’re aging and going through the end-of-life journey. It’s important to do whatever we can to keep them together,” she said. At least three other hospices in Florida have applied to the Pet Peace of Mind program, she said. Hospice of the Comforter, which serves about 500 patients a day in Florida’s Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties, doesn’t have a formal pet program, but its volunteers have been caring for patients and their pets as long as the nonprofit has been around, volunteer services director Rose van der Berg said. “Pets are another member of the family,” she said. “We recognize that.” Feeding an animal or dropping it off at the vet is considered a “standard” task such as doing household chores and running errands. Occasionally, hospice volunteers help find the pet a new home once the owner dies. “It gives them (patients) peace of mind to know that all those they

love, including their pets, will be taken care,” van der Berg said. That’s the spirit the South Lake Animal League brings as it helps Cornerstone Hospice provide a “safe haven” for orphaned animals until a home can be found to take them in, president Doreen Barker said. The league is looking for a permanent home for a cat in foster care and housing another cat at its no-kill animal shelter in Groveland, she said “We will love and care for these pets until we find them a happy new home,” Barker said. — MCT

Kathy Bailey (left) a volunteer with the Hospice of Summa Pet Peace of Mind, sits with hospice patient Dolores Starcher and her daughter Susan Oblisk and Starcher’s dog Catherine in Oblisk’s home. — MCT photos



Aries (March 21-April 19) Sympathy and understanding take on greater importance now. It is wisdom that counts most. This is a good time to be patient and tread lightly when it comes to indulgence and overextending yourself. Improved solutions, insights and approaches make this afternoon productive. Your approach to any problem is original and you will create new ways of doing things that make working conditions much more pleasant. Present a new proposal on paper to the proper person in authority now—satisfaction all around is possible. Communications in computers and the electronic revolution is a perfect career choice for you—whether you are selling, repairing or operating them. There are breakthroughs available in your career now.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Hurrying through the day may not be a wise choice, especially if you plan to make deliveries. Plan your arrivals early and if you must arrive late, then do so—do not try to make up for time in a vehicle. Tensions are high today so perhaps stopping to rest a few minutes would be a good idea. You may find yourself lecturing, entertaining or teaching at this time. You have a great love of the written and spoken word and ideas in all their flavors are what you like to work with best; if you are not teaching you are a good mentor. Your enthusiasm for the intellect and the world of ideas makes it easy for you to wisely communicate to others. You have no trouble putting your feelings into words. You could just as well choose to entertain.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You may appear very relaxed today. You may find your patience with some past difficulty has paid off now. People are listening to what you have to say and you can be most persuasive. A huge portion of your time is spent in helping others through the path of teaching and informing and sometimes translating. You look for ways to achieve something self-gratifying in your work as well as financially rewarding. You love to see the results of your work. There is much mental busywork today. You might decide that it is time to update your resume. You could negotiate with higher-ups for more responsible job opportunities. Your management and directional abilities are in high focus. There are ideas within your grasp for solutions or inventions.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) Your career direction gets some encouragement now and life’s problems should find easy solutions. You may benefit from an older person or one in authority today. You have an instinctive urge to get serious about taking care of yourself at many levels. Some study of herbs, health food and nutrition, holistic medicine as well as traditional care may be on your mind. Diet and exercise is important to you—you want to feel good about yourself and there is a search for that energetic feeling. Good health may be the topic of discussion as you visit with your co-worker friends today. A visitor in your home this evening brings a gift . . . this gift may not necessarily come in a package. You enjoy the company of an animal later tonight.

Leo (July 23-August 22) This day moves along quickly as you quickly make important decisions. You will find your way around almost any obstacle and you are in control and able to guide yourself with ease. You have a natural psychological ability, particularly when working with the public. You can handle emotional and personal issues—vulnerable areas— where angels fear to tread. Perhaps this is not your regular job . . . careful . . . you may be asked to do this job again since you do it so well. People trust you with sensitive matters, inner worries and questions of personal identity. Some of you are very spiritual and you may find the slow moving days beneficial in finding your inner self. Actually . . . some workdays next month may give you time to meditate.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) This workday moves along quite smoothly. You may be working on some legal matters, shuffling papers, etc. Your fine verbal skills and a natural sense of justice make legal work fall into your expertise. Working with laws, natural or fabricated, amounts to a real talent. Any improvements to your working style or organizational skills can be worked on now. Your love life is particularly good and passion to achieve and excel is high. If you are not married, this may be worth your consideration now. Expanding your family is another reflection worth your time. Close personal ties are most important to you now. Harmony is what you strive to achieve. Love is always good medicine for the soul. Take a walk with your sweetheart tonight.

Libra (September 23-October 22) You are charming and you always manage to enchant others with your words and manner. You bring a sense of the beyond to any conversation. You enjoy working with your mind and your sharp perceptions make finding new solutions easy. You always bring an unexpected twist or insight to anything you set your mind to accomplish. You are able to teach or help others today. Through your teaching, others will learn to be more original when it comes to the words or thoughts. You may feel like being different or trying something new and unusual. This is a perfect time for new ideas, a breakthrough in thinking and a novel approach. Perhaps this is a good time to think and study. You may find yourself enjoying a special phone call tonight.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) This is a favorable time for business relating to technology, the entertainment industries, scientific experiments or intuitive studies. There is a yearning for the stimulation of new experiences such as learning to fly a plane or glider, water or snow ski, hang glide, etc., you might even say it is time for a vacation. There may be opportunities to create a team sports activity for this fall. New friends and an involvement in idealistic groups take on a greater importance now. You may have trouble understanding those who seem emotional or sentimental, yet your own practicality and factuality may attract just such types into your life. You need to feel useful and wanted and are never happy unless you are active and involved.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You are enterprising in your outlook and can anticipate beneficial change. You may begin a new stage in your education, or use some new information that will increase your sense of independence. You value freedom and nonconformity. Your career will be anything but ordinary. If you so desired you could find unusual ways to support yourself—at least, bring in a little extra money for now. You bring a lot of mental skill and understanding to whatever you do and you could teach or help others to take a more independent approach to their life or career. You may pursue electronics, computers, etc. An invention comes into your thoughts and you wonder if you could create an invention and make lots of money. Keep notes of your ideas.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) This is a period of heightened communication with others. This could mean a rap session to discuss improvement of working conditions. Listen carefully, before making any final decisions today—you could be missing an important piece of information. People that offer information from their experiences and an intelligent exchange of ideas have a special appeal now. Any changes you want to see in the workplace, however, may have to wait until the end of the month. This is a productive time and it looks as though you will accomplish whatever you set out to accomplish. Realizing that your personal life has been on hold lately, you may find yourself thinking about weekend plans this evening. You may decide to invite someone to your place.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You take advantage of any spare time you have this morning to get some of your work organized and prepared for presentation or for a group or team meeting. You will be needing copies and other items that will make your meeting run smoothly. Something is not what it seems this morning and you take notes . . . later, you will be able to find out the correct step you need to take to either correct or ignore what you suspect. Take notes and add dates to your notes. This afternoon is a good day for making plans or decisions and finding your way through just about any problem you may discover. Good advice from a guide or older person may be expected. This evening there is a chance to have a little special time with someone you love.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) You should find everything running smoothly today. Ideas and interaction with authority figures or older people may be in the forecast. Working with—rather than against— the flow should be easy to do. You may find yourself put to good use by your friends later this afternoon—perhaps by helping someone move. You may be able to leave work a little earlier than usual and help gather a few boxes for this move. Your sense of appreciation for your friends is sharpened and you can see how they and their family interact with each other and this just makes you more fond of the people you call friends. You may learn of a special sale and decide to take some time later to look for a piece of furniture that is like something you particularly liked today.

COUNTRY CODES Afghanistan 0093 Albania 00355 Algeria 00213 Andorra 00376 Angola 00244 Anguilla 001264 Antiga 001268 Argentina 0054 Armenia 00374 Australia 0061 Austria 0043 Bahamas 001242 Bahrain 00973 Bangladesh 00880 Barbados 001246 Belarus 00375 Belgium 0032 Belize 00501 Benin 00229 Bermuda 001441 Bhutan 00975 Bolivia 00591 Bosnia 00387 Botswana 00267 Brazil 0055 Brunei 00673 Bulgaria 00359 Burkina 00226 Burundi 00257 Cambodia 00855 Cameroon 00237 Canada 001 Cape Verde 00238 Cayman Islands 001345 Central African Republic 00236 Chad 00235 Chile 0056 China 0086 Colombia 0057 Comoros 00269 Congo 00242 Cook Islands 00682 Costa Rica 00506 Croatia 00385 Cuba 0053 Cyprus 00357 Cyprus (Northern) 0090392 Czech Republic 00420 Denmark 0045 Diego Garcia 00246 Djibouti 00253 Dominica 001767 Dominican Republic 001809 Ecuador 00593 Egypt 0020 El Salvador 00503 England (UK) 0044 Equatorial Guinea 00240 Eritrea 00291 Estonia 00372 Ethiopia 00251 Falkland Islands 00500 Faroe Islands 00298 Fiji 00679 Finland 00358 France 0033 French Guiana 00594 French Polynesia 00689 Gabon 00241 Gambia 00220 Georgia 00995 Germany 0049 Ghana 00233 Gibraltar 00350 Greece 0030 Greenland 00299 Grenada 001473 Guadeloupe 00590 Guam 001671 Guatemala 00502 Guinea 00224 Guyana 00592 Haiti 00509 Holland (Netherlands)0031 Honduras 00504 Hong Kong 00852 Hungary 0036 Ibiza (Spain) 0034 Iceland 00354 India 0091 Indian Ocean 00873 Indonesia 0062 Iran 0098 Iraq 00964 Ireland 00353 Italy 0039 Ivory Coast 00225 Jamaica 001876 Japan 0081 Jordan 00962 Kazakhstan 007 Kenya 00254 Kiribati 00686

Kuwait 00965 Kyrgyzstan 00996 Laos 00856 Latvia 00371 Lebanon 00961 Liberia 00231 Libya 00218 Lithuania 00370 Luxembourg 00352 Macau 00853 Macedonia 00389 Madagascar 00261 Majorca 0034 Malawi 00265 Malaysia 0060 Maldives 00960 Mali 00223 Malta 00356 Marshall Islands 00692 Martinique 00596 Mauritania 00222 Mauritius 00230 Mayotte 00269 Mexico 0052 Micronesia 00691 Moldova 00373 Monaco 00377 Mongolia 00976 Montserrat 001664 Morocco 00212 Mozambique 00258 Myanmar (Burma) 0095 Namibia 00264 Nepal 00977 Netherlands (Holland)0031 Netherlands Antilles 00599 New Caledonia 00687 New Zealand 0064 Nicaragua 00505 Nigar 00227 Nigeria 00234 Niue 00683 Norfolk Island 00672 Northern Ireland (UK)0044 North Korea 00850 Norway 0047 Oman 00968 Pakistan 0092 Palau 00680 Panama 00507 Papua New Guinea 00675 Paraguay 00595 Peru 0051 Philippines 0063 Poland 0048 Portugal 00351 Puerto Rico 001787 Qatar 00974 Romania 0040 Russian Federation 007 Rwanda 00250 Saint Helena 00290 Saint Kitts 001869 Saint Lucia 001758 Saint Pierre 00508 Saint Vincent 001784 Samoa US 00684 Samoa West 00685 San Marino 00378 Sao Tone 00239 Saudi Arabia 00966 Scotland (UK) 0044 Senegal 00221 Seychelles 00284 Sierra Leone 00232 Singapore 0065 Slovakia 00421 Slovenia 00386 Solomon Islands 00677 Somalia 00252 South Africa 0027 South Korea 0082 Spain 0034 Sri Lanka 0094 Sudan 00249 Suriname 00597 Swaziland 00268 Sweden 0046 Switzerland 0041 Syria 00963 Taiwan 00886 Tanzania 00255 Thailand 0066 Toga 00228 Tonga 00676 Tokelau 00690 Trinidad 001868 Tunisia 00216 Turkey 0090 Tuvalu 00688 Uganda 00256 Ukraine 00380 United Arab Emirates00976



7 8 2


Word Sleuth Solution

Yesterday始s Solution

ACROSS 1. A zodiacal constellation in northern hemisphere between Cancer and Virgo. 4. Drought-resistant Asiatic treelike shrub bearing pleasantly acid small red edible fruits commonly used in sherbets. 10. Denoting a quantity consisting of six items or units. 13. Automatic data processing by electronic means without the use of tabulating cards or punched tapes. 14. Chipmunks of eastern North America. 15. A rotating disk shaped to convert circular into linear motion. 16. A sweetened beverage of diluted fruit juice. 17. (usually plural) Valuables taken by violence (especially in war). 19. Having a face or facing especially of a specified kind or number. 21. A genus of tropical American plants have sword-shaped leaves and a fleshy compound fruits composed of the fruits of several flowers (such as pineapples). 25. A woman hired to suckle a child of someone else. 28. Someone who is morally reprehensible. 29. An island in Indonesia south of Borneo. 33. West Indian tree having racemes of fragrant white flowers and yielding a durable timber and resinous juice. 35. Any of various strong liquors distilled from the fermented sap of toddy palms or from fermented molasses. 36. A unit of length (in United States and Britain) equal to one twelfth of a foot. 37. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 39. A ductile malleable reddish-brown corrosion-resistant diamagnetic metallic element. 40. A nucleic acid consisting of large molecules shaped like a double helix. 41. A state in midwestern United States. 43. (anatomy) A somewhat rounded subdivision of a bodily organ or part. 48. A republic in central Europe. 51. Genus of South and Central American heathlike evergreen shrubs. 54. 100 kopecks equal 1 ruble. 55. An anti-TNF compound (trade name Arava) that is given orally. 56. A unit of absorbed ionizing radiation equal to 100 ergs per gram of irradiated material. 59. A small cake leavened with yeast. 60. Exhibiting or restored to vigorous good health. 63. Tag the base runner to get him out. 64. A software system that facilitates the creation and maintenance and use of an electronic database. 65. (botany) Relating to or attached to the axis. 66. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. DOWN 1. The main organ of photosynthesis and transpiration in higher plants. 2. Tropical starchy tuberous root. 3. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 4. An anxiety disorder associated with serious traumatic events and characterized by such symptoms as guilt about surviving or reliving the trauma in dreams or numbness and lack of involvement with reality or recurrent thoughts and images. 5. An accidental happening. 6. Naked freshwater or marine or parasitic protozoa that form temporary pseudopods for feeding and locomotion. 7. Being two more than fifty. 8. Food mixtures either arranged on a plate or tossed and served with a moist dressing. 9. A very poisonous metallic element that has three allotropic forms. 10. The act of scanning. 11. The United Nations agency concerned with atomic energy. 12. A Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Christ. 18. A strong-smelling plant from whose dried leaves a number of euphoriant and hallucinogenic drugs are prepared.

20. An ancient Hebrew unit of dry measure equal to about a bushel. 22. A silvery soft waxy metallic element of the alkali metal group. 23. An early French settler in the Maritimes. 24. A public promotion of some product or service. 26. United States educator who introduced reforms that significantly altered the system of public education (1796-1859). 27. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. 30. A colorless and odorless inert gas. 31. British informal term. 32. A Kwa language spoken by the Yoruba people in southwestern Nigeria. 34. Minute floating marine tunicate having a transparent body with an opening at each end. 38. A copy of a written work or composition that has been published (printed on pages bound together). 42. A drug (trade names Atarax and Vistaril) used as a tranquilizer to treat anxiety and motion sickness. 43. Being one more than one. 44. An indistinct shapeless form. 45. A parliamentary monarchy in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. 46. (British) A game resembling handball. 47. A plant hormone promoting elongation of stems and roots. 49. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 50. Jordan's port. 52. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 53. Any of various aromatic resinous substances used for healing and soothing. 57. American prizefighter who won the world heavyweight championship three times (born in 1942). 58. A metric unit of volume or capacity equal to 10 liters. 61. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 62. A colorless odorless gaseous element that give a red glow in a vacuum tube.

Yesterday始s Solution

Sports FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Blue Jays, White Sox triumph NEW YORK: Yunel Esccobar hit a two-run homer, three doubles and drove in five runs as Toronto beat the New York Yankees 8-5 Wednesday, ending CC Sabathia’s five years of dominance over the Blue Jays. Escobar had a go-ahead RBI double in the third. His homer against Sabathia in the sixth gave the Blue Jays the lead again and his two-run double off Joba Chamberlain in the ninth helped secure Toronto’s first series win since July. JA Happ (3-1) overcame a season-high five walks for the win and Casey Janssen pitched a perfect ninth for his 17th save. Sabathia (13-4) was undefeated over his last nine starts against Toronto - 8-0 with a 2.48 ERA - since the beginning of his Cy Young Award season of 2007 with Cleveland. White Sox 8, Orioles 1 In Baltimore, White Sox rookie Dylan Axelrod took a three-hitter into the eighth inning and Chicago spoiled the Baltimore debut of Joe Saunders, scoring seven runs off the left-hander. Gordon Beckham had three hits and three RBIs to help Chicago snap a five-game road losing streak. Alexei Ramirez went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and scored twice for the White Sox, who will seek a split of the four-game series on Thursday. Omar Quintanilla drove in the lone run for the Orioles, whose four-game winning streak ended. Baltimore remained 31/2 games behind the first-place New York Yankees in the AL East. Rays 8, Rangers 4 In Arlington, Evan Longoria homered twice, Tampa Bay roughed up Matt Harrison and the Rays beat the Rangers to snap a four-game losing streak. After dropping the last two against the AL-West leading Rangers by one run, the Rays avoided the threegame sweep. Harrison (15-8) allowed seven runs and 12 hits in 5 13 innings. He took a no-hitter into the seventh and permitted two hits in eight shutout innings in his last outing Friday night against Minnesota. Tampa Bay had scored only 11 runs during their losing skid before breaking out for 16 hits against Texas. Josh Hamilton hit his 36th home run for Texas. Athletics 8, Indians 4 In Cleveland, Josh Donaldson hit a three-run homer and five Athletics pitchers combined to beat the Indians. Oakland took over the AL wild-card lead by one game over Baltimore with its 11th win in 13 games as Travis Blackley (5-3) gave up two runs over 5 2-3 innings. Ryan Cook got four outs for his 13th save. Donaldson connected off rookie Corey Kluber (0-3) in the fourth inning for a 3-2 lead. Shoddy fielding by the Indians, losers of 13 of 14, helped the Athletics later extend the lead.Jason Donald’s homer in the third broke the Indians’ 24-inning scoreless streak, but they fell to 5-26 since July 27. Royals 1, Tigers 0 In Kansas City, Bruce Chen allowed four hits over a seasonhigh eight innings, and Eric Hosmer’s infield single in the fourth drove in the only run in the Royals’ victory over the Tigers. The last time Chen (10-10) lasted eight innings was last September, in his final two starts of the year. The veteran left-hander hadn’t even gone seven in his past 11 outings. Anibal Sanchez (2-4) matched him pitch for pitch most of the night, finally looking like the guy the Tigers thought they were acquiring in a July trade with Florida. Sanchez allowed seven hits in seven innings, but the RBI single off the fists by Hosmer proved to be decisive. Twins 10, Mariners 0 In Minneapolis, Samuel Deduno dominated for seven innings, Trevor Plouffe homered and had four RBIs, and the Twins beat the Mariners. The normally wild Deduno (5-2) struck out a career-high nine with no walks to help the win for just the fourth time in their last 20 games. After Trayvon Robinson singled with one out in the first inning, Deduno retired the next 18 Seattle hitters, all but one on groundballs or strikeouts. Plouffe gave the Twins a 5-0 lead in the fourth with his 20th home run and first since returning on Aug. 13 after missing 21 games with a sore thumb.Jason Vargas (13-9) failed to finish five innings for his second straight start. He allowed six runs on eight hits over 4 2-3 innings. Angels 10, Red Sox 3 In Anaheim, Kendrys Morales and Chris Iannetta hit early tworun homers, C.J. Wilson snapped his 11-start winless skid and the Angels jumped all over new Boston starter Zach Stewart. Torii Hunter, Alberto Callaspo and Erick Aybar all contributed run-scoring doubles during the three innings pitched by Stewart (0-1), who yielded 10 hits and fell behind 9-1 in a horrific Red Sox debut. Five Angels had multihit games, led by Hunter’s 3-for-4 effort with two RBIs.—AP

Reds pound D’backs PHOENIX: Chris Heisey hit two of Cincinnati’s four late homers, including a tying shot in the seventh inning, to rally the Reds to a 6-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday. Dioner Navarro’s solo shot two batters after Heisey’s two-run drive put Cincinnati ahead. Brandon Phillips added a two-run homer in the eighth and Heisey capped the scoring with a solo homer two outs later. The NL Central leaders swept the threegame series and sent the reeling Diamondbacks to their sixth straight home loss. Mat Latos (11-4) pitched seven innings, allowing two runs and five hits with seven strikeouts. He also had two hits in his first win since Aug. 3 against Pittsburgh and his first at Arizona since August 2010. Cincinnati trailed 2-0 until the seventh, shut out on two hits by Patrick Corbin (5-6). Todd Frazier doubled with one out and scored on Heisey’s fifth home run. The Diamondbacks lost eight of 10 on their homestand.

the Nationals’ bats, and they had 14 hits. Kurt Suzuki hit his first homer with Washington and Ross Detwiler (8-6) allowed three runs in 5 2-3 innings. Drew Storen came on with runners at second and third in the eighth and retired three consecutive batters to protect a 6-4 lead. Miami rookie Jacob Turner (0-2), auditioning for a job next year, allowed five runs in five innings. Padres 8, Braves 2 In San Diego, with their new owners watching, Chase Headley and the Padres beat Atlanta for their ninth win in 10 games. Headley hit a two-run single and lefthander Eric Stults (4-2) won his fourth straight decision as the Padres took two of three from the Braves, who lead the NL wild-card race. The third generation of the O’Malley family was introduced at a news conference earlier Wednesday, promising to run the Padres in the same first-class manner that Walter and Peter O’Malley once ran the

Lehigh Valley. Josh Edgin, Robert Carson and Jon Rauch combined to get five outs before Frank Francisco finished for his 22nd save in 25 tries. Brewers 3, Cubs 1 In Chicago, Mike Fiers tossed 7 1-3 solid innings to lead Milwaukee to its eighth straight victory over Chicago. Fiers (8-6) held the Cubs to four hits and struck out six, helping Milwaukee beat its division rival for the 13th time in 16 meetings this season. The Brewers have won eight of nine overall and moved within five games of .500 for the first time since July 21. Fiers sent down 14 straight batters at one point and won his second straight start, but Milwaukee’s streak of eight straight games with at least 10 strikeouts came to an end. It was the longest such streak since 1900. John Axford finished for his 22nd save in 30 chances. Jeff Samardzija (8-12) gave up seven hits and three runs - two earned

Dodgers 10, Rockies 8 In Denver, Joe Blanton pitched effectively into the eighth inning for his first win with Los Angeles and A.J. Ellis hit his first career grand slam in a victory over Colorado. Hanley Ramirez, another midseason acquisition by the Dodgers, homered in his second straight game to help Los Angeles overcome Matt Kemp’s absence and withstand Colorado’s seven-run eighth. Kemp sat out because of a bone bruise on his left knee and a sore jaw after he crashed into the outfield wall the night before. He is day to day. Blanton (9-12), who was 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA in four previous starts since joining the Dodgers in an Aug. 3 trade with Philadelphia, struck out five in 7 13 innings. It was his first win since July 16 when he beat the Dodgers for the Phillies. Pirates 5, Cardinals 0 In Pittsburgh, Pedro Alvarez kept up his recent tear, hitting his 26th homer and driving in three runs as Pittsburgh rolled to a victory over St. Louis. Alvarez, who homered twice on Tuesday, added to his season-long dominance of the Cardinals. His three-run shot in the third gave him seven home runs and 23 RBIs in 15 games against St. Louis this year as the Pirates moved within one game of the NL’s second wild-card spot. Wandy Rodriguez (9-13) worked six tidy innings to pick up his first victory as a starter since being acquired by Pittsburgh in a trade last month. He walked three and struck out three while helping the Pirates shut out the Cardinals for the second straight night. Joe Kelly (4-6) battled control problems during five rocky innings, giving up five runs on eight hits. Nationals 8, Marlins 4 In Miami, Bryce Harper homered twice for the first time in his career and first-place Washington snapped a five-game losing streak by beating Miami. Harper hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning and a solo shot in the fifth, giving the rookie 14 this season. He had a chance for a three-homer night but grounded into a double play in the ninth, spiked his helmet in frustration after crossing the bag and was ejected by umpire C.B. Bucknor. Before the game, manager Davey Johnson called a brief team meeting, which he described as upbeat. The pep talk stirred

PHOENIX: Arizona Diamondbacks’ Jacob Elmore (right) connects on a run-scoring double as Cincinnati Reds catcher Dioner Navarro watches in the fourth inning of a baseball game. — AP Dodgers. The new ownership group includes Peter O’Malley’s sons, Kevin and Brian, and nephews Peter and Tom Seidler. It also includes San Diego businessman Ron Fowler, the executive chairman who has been designated as the team’s control person. The group bought the Padres for $800 million from John Moores. Headley’s two-run single in the fifth off Tommy Hanson (12-7) gave San Diego a 4-1 lead. Mets 3, Phillies 2 In Philadelphia, Lucas Duda hit a two-run homer, Matt Harvey had another sharp outing and New York beat the Phillies for its fourth straight win. The Mets have won five straight in Philadelphia and seven of eight overall this season. Harvey (3-3) allowed two runs and six hits, striking out six in 6 1-3 innings. He also had an RBI single. The rookie has a 2.76 ERA in seven starts. Tyler Cloyd (0-1) yielded three runs over six innings in his major league debut while filling in for Cole Hamels, scratched from the start because of a gastrointestinal illness. Cloyd allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings. The 25-year-old righty was 151 with a 2.26 ERA in the minors this season, including 12-1 with a 2.35 ERA at Triple-A

— in seven innings. He struck out 10. Jean Segura stroked a go-ahead single in the seventh and scored an insurance run when Chicago committed two errors after he stole second base. The bumbling Cubs have dropped 22 of 28 and fell 31 games under .500, their worst mark since Sept. 30, 2006. Giants 6, Astros 4 In Houston, Hunter Pence hit a threerun homer and Joaquin Arias drove in two with a triple to help San Francisco beat Houston. Pence has been an Astros nemesis since they traded him in July 2011, hitting four homers in seven games against his former team with the Phillies and Giants. The crowd of 13,207 was the smallest in the history of Houston’s 12-year-old ballpark. The previous low came a night before. George Kontos (1-0) struck out four in 2 2-3 scoreless innings for the win after Barry Zito yielded seven hits and three runs in a season-low 2 1-3 innings. Javier Lopez got two outs for his fifth save. Dallas Keuchel (1-7) retired 14 in a row after Pence’s homer. The Astros, who own the worst record in the majors, have lost four straight and 11 of 12. — AP

Sports FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Toulouse set for early showdown PARIS: Toulouse backs coach JeanBaptiste Elissalde says he is not too worried by his side’s tepid start to the Top 14 season ahead of the top-of-the-table clash with much-improved Biarritz tomorrow. The two sides both won their opening two games, but reigning champions Toulouse failed to impress, with a onepoint win over Castres on the opening day followed by a 37-22 victory over bottom side Mont-de-Marsan last weekend. Biarritz defeated Mont-de-Marsan and won away at Agen to go top, level on nine points with Toulouse, and one point ahead of the only other undefeated side, Toulon. Former international scrum-half Elissalde said that it was still too early in the season to draw firm conclusions about who would be the top teams.

“After just two games, you simply do not know enough,” he said. “After four games you start to get a better idea and after 10, then you have a really good idea of how things are panning out. So we will wait until then.” Still, Elissalde knows that the talentpacked Toulouse side will have to step up their game a notch if they want to keep their unbeaten record and go solo at the top of the league. “We are looking to improve week by week,” he said. “Against Mont-de-Marsan we made a lot of technical mistakes-too many mistakes. The new rules have something to do with it and if we lose so many balls at Biarritz, we are in for a tough time of it.” There was good news for Toulouse with the return to training of star utility back Maxime Medard, who needed a knee operation in February after tearing

cruciate ligaments in the Six Nations game against Scotland. Biarritz backs coach Jack Isaac was in complete agreement with Elissalde that it was too early to say who would be the top teams this season or whether his side could continue to bounce back from last season’s struggles. “Of course it would be stupid to say that I am unhappy with our results so far, but quite honestly we are only two games into the season and now we face up to Toulouse and that will be a real test for us against a team who have the potential to again win the championship. We must not get carried away,” the Australian said. The Basque side have been hit with the news that international scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili will be out for two to three months with a slipped disc in his back.Toulon coach Bernard Laporte has

already intimated that he will hand a call-up for the first time to the former golden boy of French rugby Frederic Michalek for a place on the bench for the trip to Mont-de-Marsan. The half-back returned to play in France in the close season after a stint with Super 15 outfit Coastal Sharks in South Africa, but was not included in the squad for the opening two games. Michalak is currently Toulon’s understudy at fly-half to England star Jonny Wilkinson, but is expected to get a place in the starting line-up soon. “The number 10 shirt is a difficult one to manage-very strategic,” former France coach Laporte said. “Fred has been with us for just three weeks and we do not want to ask too much of him too early. He has signed up with us for three years so we will give him the time to properly adapt.” — AFP

Offence is the best N Z defence, says captain Taylor MUMBAI: Attacking the Indian spinners is the best possible way to survive against them, according to New Zealand captain Ross Taylor. The visitors lost by an innings and 115 runs in the first test in Hyderabad with the Indian spin duo of off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha sharing 18 of the 20 wickets. New Zealand were bundled out for 159 and 164 in their first and second innings respectively and need to tackle the spinners better if they are to avoid a whitewash in the two-test series. “It’s never easy when you lose a test by over an innings,” Taylor told reporters on the eve of the final test in Bangalore. “We need to forget about it as quickly as possible, talk amongst the group and find ways of playing Ashwin and Ojha. “We have to be brave and courageous and attack them and hopefully put pressure back on them. “And when we attack them, there hopefully won’t be many men around the bat.” Ashwin picked up 12 wickets while Ojha bagged six as the match finished within four days in Hyderabad. But Taylor ruled out making any hasty changes for the second test. “We gave them faith in the BANGALORE: New Zealand cricket team first game and we’re going to captain Ross Taylor (rear) yawns as he give them a go in the next watches teammate Martin Guptill bat in game as well,” Taylor said. “We the nets during a training session. —AP didn’t play as well as we would have liked, but this is another opportunity to show how good we are as a team.” Taylor’s counterpart Mahendra Singh Dhoni will just try to stick to the tried and tested formula that worked perfectly for them in Hyderabad. “We don’t need to be overconfident... and whatever we did right in the first test, we have to repeat everything and try to stick to the basics and keep things simple,” Dhoni said. This is the first test series for India post the retirements of batting stalwarts Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman and the hosts chose Cheteshwar Pujara and Suresh Raina to fill the vacant spots in the batting order. While Pujara scored his maiden test hundred, Raina, who averages under 29 in the 16 tests he has played so far, could score only three. Dhoni threw his weight behind left-handed batsman, who is an integral part of India’s one-day side. “He has played just one game after Laxman has retired, so we have to give a fair amount of time to every individual who becomes the part of the side,” Dhoni said. —Reuters

NEW YORK: Andy Murray, of Britain, tracks the ball on a shot by Ivan Dodig, of Croatia, in the second round of play at the US Open tennis tournament. — AP

Clijsters knocked out of US Open

NEW YORK: Kim Clijsters’ illustrious singles career drew to an emotional close on Wednesday when the former world number one was knocked out of the second round of the US Open by Britain’s Laura Robson. Robson’s compatriot Andy Murray later made light work of Croatia’s Ivan Dodig to reach the third round but it was the 7-6 7-6 defeat of Belgian Clijsters that grabbed the attention as the first significant upset of the tournament. Murray’s 6-2 6-1 6-3 second round victory completed the third consecutive night of uncompetitive matches on the showcase Arthur Ashe Stadium. The big names have won six matches in prime time for the loss of only 24 games. Eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic earlier survived a major scare against Guillaume Rufin to be one of nine men to recover from two-set deficits in the opening round.Clijsters, threetimes a US Open champion, remains in the doubles and mixed doubles but the loss to Robson was her final singles match before she quits the tour to concentrate on family life. She saved two match points in the 12th game of the second set with a searing forehand volley and a huge first serve. The tiebreak was tense as Clijsters fought to extend her career but Robson, the world number 89 playing with fearless aggression and pinpoint accuracy, converted her third match point and it was all over for the 29 year old. “I have played some of my best tennis here and some of my best matches,” Clijsters said. “It is a place that has inspired me. This feels like the perfect place to retire - but I just wish

it wasn’t today. “I fought and gave it my all but just wasn’t good enough in the end.”It’s been a great adventure. It’s all been worth it but I’m looking forward to the next part of my life.” Robson paid tribute to Clijsters in an on-court interview. “I was just trying to play as well as I could because if I didn’t, I knew Kim would completely dominate,” Robson said. “I want to say thanks to Kim for being such a great role model for so many years. I have grown up watching you play and it has been an honour to finally play against you.” Other matches on Wednesday went mostly to script, the only mild surprises involving lower seeds. World number one Victoria Azarenka overpowered Belgian qualifier Kirsten Flipkens 6-2 6-2 in 65 minutes in a blustery Arthur Ashe Stadium before defending champion Sam Stosur recorded a routine 6-3 6-0 win over Edina Gallovits-Hall. Stosur met Redfoo of the music group LMFAO before he watched her match and his presence at courtside inspired a victory dance by the Australian. “I figured, well, there’s only going to be maybe one chance you can do that at the U.S. Open with him there,” Stosur said. “I’m sure I looked like a goose.” Russia’s third seed Maria Sharapova trounced Lourdes Dominguez Lino 60 6-1 in the first of two night matches. Murray was equally untroubled in his win over Dodig and thousand of spectators walked out before the match was completed. Scratchy in his opening round match against Alex Bogomolov, the Scot had all guns blazing against Dodig. —Reuters

Sports FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Man United rely on new signing Van Persie in Rooney’s absence LONDON: Manchester United will need new signing Robin van Persie to shoulder the goal-scoring burden when they travel to promoted Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday (1500 GMT) without the injured Wayne Rooney. Former Arsenal striker Van Persie scored on his first start for United in the 3-2 comeback win over Fulham last weekend and manager Alex Ferguson was delighted with the way the Dutchman linked up with fellow new signing Shinji Kagawa who was also on target. “I was pleased with both of them. It’s early on and they’ll have a better understanding as time goes on,” said Ferguson. Substitute Rooney suffered a deep gash to his thigh against Fulham and the England striker remained in the headlines this week as British media speculated the 26-year-old could be on his way out of Old Trafford after being left out of the starting lineup. “Read the nonsense in the papers and heard what people have to say,” Rooney said on Twitter. “Absolute rubbish. Here to stay.” United, who started the season with a defeat at Everton, could welcome back Jonny Evans after injury to ease their problems in defence. Southampton have been thrown in at the deep end in their first top-flight season since 2005 having opened the campaign against champions Manchester City. They gave City a scare before losing 3-2 and have yet to pick up a point from their two games. Fifth-placed City host Queens Park Rangers again on Saturday (1630) with the Londoners having a different look to the team that conceded two stoppage-time goals in May to hand their opponents the title after a busy time in the transfer market for manager Mark Hughes. QPR suffered a 5-0 home drubbing by Swansea City on the opening day before drawing 1-1 at Norwich City last week. “It’s important to remember there are a lot of new faces in this team,” striker Bobby Zamora told the club website ( “We are not all going to click straight away, it’s not going to be perfect from the get-go.” City drew at Liverpool last time out courtesy of a defensive error from Martin Skrtel which allowed Carlos Tevez to score his 100th goal in English football but it left manager Roberto Mancini conceding there was room for improvement. “We lost two goals from free kicks so I think we need to improve,” the Italian said. “We are not 100 percent for many reasons, for this it is important we didn’t lose this game.” Liverpool’s Turkey playmaker Nuri Sahin could make his debut in Sunday’s home match against Arsenal (1230). Sahin, on loan from Real Madrid, was not registered in time for the Europa League playoff against Hearts late yesterday. “We’ll assess the player and I’m sure he’ll be involved in the squad at the weekend,” manager Brendan Rodgers said. European champions Chelsea, top of the table with three wins from as many games, are not in action this weekend because they play Atletico Madrid in the Super Cup on Friday. — Reuters

Kuwaiti swimmers top Arab tourney AMMAN: Kuwaiti national team taking part in a regional Arab swimming tournament being hosted here snatched five gold medals, four silver and three bronze. Some 85 swimmers of both sexes representing nine Arab countries are taking part in this Arab sport gathering. Head of the Kuwaiti delegation Ahmed Mohamed expressed, in a statement to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) appreciation for the results achieved by the team and its efforts to keep at the forefront of other teams. Kuwaiti swimmer Abdullah Thuwaini won three gold medals in the 100-meter freestyle, 200-meter freestyle and 50 backstroke categories, while Abbas Qali snatched the gold medal in the 50-meter butterfly while Salman Qali won the gold medal in the 200-meter butterfly category. The silver medal went to swimmers Salman Qali in the 50meter butterfly and Saud Al-Tayyar in the 400-meter medley, while Mohammed Madouh competed in the 100 free, while Abdullah Al-Thuwaini, Mohammed Madouh, Ahmed Hussein Mohammed and Shoaib Al-Thuwainy won the 200 meters freestyle relay. The bronze medals went to the players Mohamed Madouh in the 200-meter freestyle and Jarah Al-Bakhit in the 1500 meters and 800 meters freestyle. The head of the delegation praised the results of the Kuwaiti team which has contributed to the raising high of Kuwait’s flag at this Arab sport gathering. — KUNA

KUWAIT: (Left to right) Abdullah Al-Rashidi, Fehaid Al-Daihani, Talal Al-Rashidi and Mariam Erzouqi.

Sheikh Mohammad honors Kuwaiti Olympic medalist KUWAIT: The Minister of Information and State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abdallah AlMubarak Al-Sabah hailed Kuwaiti Olympic double-medalist shooter Fehaid Al-Daihani on Wednesday in a ceremony organised by the Kuwait Shooting Club this evening, held to commemorate Al-Daihani for his accomplishment in snatching an Olympic bronze medal in double trap shooting, and his training team. “Fehaid Al-Daihani is one of the more accomplished Arab shooters, having succeeded in winning two medals in two Olympics,” said the minister. The sharp shooter had taken an earlier bronze in the Sydney 2000 Olympics in the same shooting discipline. The minister went on to commend Kuwaiti shooters for their international accomplishments, which led to a number of them qualifying for London. Shooters Talal and his father Abdullah Al-Rashidi “are the first (Kuwaiti) father and son to have both qualified for an Olympics,” he said. He also hailed Mariam Erzouqi for being “one of the first female shooters in the Gulf region to have achieved the feat.” Meanwhile, Director General of the Public Authority for Youth and Sports (PAYS) Faisal Al-Jazzaf expressed joy at the accomplishment, which was able to happen after His Highness the Amir’s

KUWAIT: Information Minister and State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Al-Abdallah (3rd from right) with other officials during the honoring ceremony. For her part, director of the Kuwaiti gesture in sending a letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Gulf Cooperation Council women’s to allow Kuwait to participate with its sporting bodies Sheikha Naeema AlAhmad Al-Sabah also hailed the own flag, instead of that of the IOC. “This accomplishment bestows upon achievement. Later, Fehaid Al-Daihani us a huge responsibility in making told reporters he was gratified for being future decisions that serve Kuwaiti honored. On his earlier announced plans to sports and national teams,” he said. On rewarding of athletes by PAYS, quit the sport, he said “I had originally he said that “the time has come to planned to quit after this medal, but I change many rules on this, which do not have now decided, at the behest of HH give us room to urge larger financial the Amir, to look forward to the upcoming Olympics in 2016”. —KUNA support.”

KUWAIT: Al-Daihani being Honored on stage by Infomation Minister and other officials.

Sports FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Udinese, homeless Cagliari add to Italy soccer troubles ITALY: Italian football has been given two more reminders of the sorry state of its domestic game by Udinese’s failure to qualify for the Champions League and the plight of homeless Cagliari. Udinese’s penalty shootout defeat to Braga, a side made up largely of journeymen Brazilian players, on Tuesday means Italy will have only two teams in the group stage. After falling to Arsenal at the same stage last year, Udinese’s latest setback has also raised worries about the future of the team who have habitually overachieved in recent seasons and been one of the success stories in the league. Coach Francesco Guidolin, who led them to a thirdplace finish last season, fourth the season before that and saw his best players sold off on both occasions, did not think he would get another chance to reach the group stage with the club. “Evidently I am not capable of leading a team into the Champions League,” said a dejected Guidolin, who has been persuaded to stay on. “When you get so close several times and can’t go through, you have to learn from that experience and accept the truth.” Before the match, he had warned that failure could be the end of Udinese’s impressive run. “It cannot be taken for granted that this team can carry on doing so well as, to do that, we would have to be magicians and I cannot perform miracles.” Udinese must now try and pick themselves up and face titleholders Juventus at home on Sunday (1600 GMT). Their defeat has led to soul-searching in the Italian media although, rather than looking for solutions at home, some are suggesting that it is time for UEFA to merge the Champions League and Europa League into one huge tournament. Italy had its quota of automatic Champions League places cut from three to two this season after Serie A dropped below the Bundesliga in the rankings used to calculate the number of berths per country. Udinese’s misfortune came on top of a miserable summer marked by the Calcioscommesse match-fixing scandal, which led to points deductions for four Serie A teams, and the failure to attract top names to the country. If Italy needed a timely reminder of why the top players no longer want to come, then the confusion over the venue for Sunday’s Cagliari-Atalanta match (1845) has provided it. The Sardinian side has moved out of Stade Sant’Elia, its home since 1970, due to disagreements with the local authorities and growing safety worries. During the second half of last season, these forced Cagliari to play home games in Trieste, 1,000 kilometres and closer to Belgrade than their own base. Cagliari had intended to move to the Is Arenas stadium in the commune of Quartu Sant’Elena, around five kilometres outside the city. But with workmen rushing to finish necessary improvements to the new arena, Cagliari said in a statement that permission to play the match had not been granted. —Reuters

SPAIN: Barcelona’s Lionel Messi from Argentina (right) and goalkeeper Victor Valdes (left) react in this file photo. —AP


Barcelona to work on defence MADRID: Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has work to do on his defence before the visit of Valencia this weekend after errors from Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano handed Real Madrid the Spanish Super Cup. Jose Mourinho’s men scored twice in the first 19 minutes at the Bernabeu on Wednesday, capitalising on mistakes from both central defenders to score and win 21 on the night and deal Vilanova his first defeat since replacing Pep Guardiola. In last week’s first leg, it was goalkeeper Victor Valdes who committed a howler allowing Angel Di Maria to grab a late goal for Real that effectively gifted them the first trophy of the season as they won on the away goals rule after a 4-4 aggregate draw. Barca, who host Valencia on Sunday (1930 GMT), top La Liga with two wins from two but have shown some lapses in

concentration at the back in their opening games. “There are things we need to correct,” Vilanova told reporters after the loss, preferring to focus on the way his side reacted to the goals and Adriano’s 29thminute red card to come back into the game with Lionel Messi’s freekick. Barca and Spain defender Pique told reporters: “We should have done better at the start of the game, but to play here with 10 men as we did deserves respect.” Barca captain Carles Puyol sat out Wednesday’s game as a precaution after fracturing a cheekbone against Osasuna last weekend, but could return wearing a face mask to tighten up the backline. The Catalans also have a slight doubt over fullback Dani Alves who was forced to drop out of the second leg just before kickoff after suffering a muscle twinge in the warm up. While Vilanova faces up to his first set-

back of the campaign, Mourinho has overcome his with flying colors. Real failed to register a victory in their first three outings of the season, drawing 1-1 at home with Valencia, losing the Super Cup first leg 3-2 in Barcelona and then suffering a shock 21 league defeat at Getafe. Mourinho criticised the attitude of his players after the Getafe game and appeared to have elicited the response he was looking for when they defeated Barca at home for the first time in four years. “This was the Madrid we all want to see,” Real and Spain defender Alvaro Arbeloa told reporters. “We are the first to acknowledge we didn’t give our best against Valencia and Getafe. The coach was right. This is the image we need to give.” Mourinho did not speak after their Super Cup triumph but returns to the Bernabeu for the visit of Granada on Sunday (1750 GMT). — Reuters

Lille take on big spending PSG PARIS: With a place in the Champions League group stage assured, Lille switch their focus to domestic action as they take on big spending Paris St Germain in a stern test of their Ligue One title credentials on Sunday (1900 GMT). The 2011 French champions needed an extra time goal on Wednesday to continue in the lucrative European tournament at the expense of FC Copenhagen in a game defender Franck Beria had labelled “the match of the year”. “It was important to qualify for the club and its future,” goalkeeper Mickael Landreau said after the 2-0 victory over the Danes. Lille, who signed France playmaker Marvin Martin and Ivory Coast forward Salomon Kalou this summer to make up for the departure of Eden Hazard to Chelsea, are widely regarded as the main challenger to PSG in this season’s title race. But the distraction of the European campaign has led to a disappointing league start. Lille could only

draw 1-1 at home to Nancy ten days ago then relied on Landreau’s superb performance to save a point at lowly Nice last weekend. “Now we will focus on resting and have only the PSG game in mind,” said coach Rudi Garcia, who had revamped his starting lineup at Nice to prepare for the European tie. Sunday’s clash will also be an important match for PSG, who lie 11th on three points from three games after two goalless draws in disappointing showings at Ajaccio and Bordeaux. Defender Thiago Silva, one of the biggest signings of the summer, could make his debut at Lille after joining from AC Milan, while another recruit, Argentina forward Ezequiel Lavezzi, is serving the second of his two-match ban. While PSG have endured a stuttering start, Olympique Marseille are enjoying a bright beginning, but the memories of their 10th-place finish last season have left them cautious when talking about their French title

chances. Marseille top the table on nine points from three games without conceding a goal and entertain European hopefuls Stade Rennes on Sunday (1500). “We have to keep both feet on the ground and appreciate this situation because we went through hard times,” defender Rod Fanni said this week. “After the end of the season, we said to ourselves that it should never happen again. We have a new coach, a fresh spirit. Last season was an accident,” added in-form striker Andre-Pierre Gignac, who has already doubled his tally from last season with two goals. Second-placed Olympique Lyon, who lie two points behind Marseille, face Valenciennes, also on seven points, on Saturday (1500) without forward Lisandro Lopez who faces three weeks out because of injury. Defending champions Montpellier, who are suffering their worst start to a season in 15 years with one point, travel to bottom-side Sochaux, the only team without a point. — Reuters

Sports FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Chelsea, United spared as Man City get difficult draw MONACO: Fate largely smiled on Manchester United and holders Chelsea in yesterday’s Champions League draw, but Manchester City found themselves drawn into a daunting group with Real Madrid, Ajax and Borussia Dortmund. Chelsea, who beat Bayern Munich on penalties in last season’s final to claim the trophy for the first time, were drawn in Group E alongside Italian champions Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk, and Danish debutants Nordsjaelland. Juventus will be appearing in the Champions League for the first time since the 2009-10 season and are likely to present the strongest challenge to Roberto di Matteo’s side. United found themselves in similarly benign surroundings in Group H, having been pitted against Portugal’s SC Braga, Galatasaray of Turkey and Romanians CFR-Cluj in the draw in Monaco. However, manager Sir Alex Ferguson will not need reminding that it was from a similarly straightforward

group-containing Benfica, FC Basel and Cluj’s domestic rivals Otelul Gelati-that the three-time champions failed to progress last season. United, beaten 3-1 by Barcelona in the 2011 final, are appearing in the group phase for a record 18th time. As in 2011, this season’s final will also take place at London’s Wembley Stadium, to mark the 150th anniversary of the English Football Association. City’s pool, Group D, unites the reigning champions of England, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands, and is sure to be dubbed the ‘Group of Death’. Roberto Mancini’s side were drawn in a similarly taxing group last season and failed to reach the knockout phase, with Bayern Munich and Napoli finishing above them on their first appearance in the Champions League. Along with Spain, England are one of only two countries with four teams in the group phase and their fourth representatives, Arsenal, will face Schalke, Olympiacos and debutants Montpellier, the French champions, in Group B.

There was one other newcomer in the draw in the shape of Malaga, who qualified by overcoming Panathinaikos in the play-off round earlier this week. The Spanish side were drawn in Group C with Zenit Saint Petersburg, Anderlecht and seven-time champions AC Milan, who will have been relieved to avoid a more difficult group after a summer in which they lost a glut of leading players. Barcelona, finalists in two of the last four seasons, landed in Group G, where they will have fellow former champions Benfica and Celtic for company, as well as Spartak Moscow. Big-spending Paris Saint-Germain, meanwhile, will fancy their chances of qualifying from a group that also includes FC Porto, Dynamo Kiev and Dinamo Zagreb. Last season’s beaten finalists Bayern Munich were placed in Group F alongside Valencia, they team they beat on penalties in the 2001 final, as well as Lille of France and Belarusian outfit BATE Borisov. The opening batch of group ties are scheduled for September 18/19. — AFP

Iniesta crowned European player of season MONACO: Barcelona’s Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta received the UEFA Best Player in Europe award yesterday after pipping Cristiano Ronaldo and club-mate Lionel Messi in a journalists’ poll. It is his second major individual honour of the summer, after he was named Player of the Tournament for his role in Spain’s triumph at Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine. The award was decided by 53 European journalists who cast their votes during yesterday’s Champions League group-stage draw in Monaco. Iniesta, 28, received 19 votes, with Ronaldo and Messi-the winner of last year’s inaugurual prize-each receiving 17. “I am very honoured and I dedicate this award to my Barcelona and Spain teammates,” said Iniesta, who received the award from UEFA president Michel Platini. “I am privileged to be here with two such great footballers as Leo and Cristiano.” An artful attacking midfielder, Iniesta has won every major honor in the game with Barcelona and Spain over the last four years and notably scored the extra-time winner against the Netherlands in the 2010 World Cup final in South Africa. Despite his success at Euro 2012, Iniesta saw Barcelona miss out to Ronaldo’s Real Madrid in last season’s La Liga title race, while the Blaugrana also fell to eventual champions Chelsea in the semi-finals of the Champions League. — AFP

Champions League Draw for the 2012-13 Champions League group stage, held in Monaco yesterday: Group A Porto Dynamo Kiev Paris St Germain Dinamo Zagreb Group B Arsenal Schalke 04 Olympiakos Piraeus Montpellier HSC Group C AC Milan Zenit St Petersburg Anderlecht Malaga Group D Real Madrid Manchester City Ajax Amsterdam Borussia Dortmund Group E Chelsea Shakhtar Donetsk Juventus Nordsjaelland

MONACO: Spanish player Andre Iniesta poses with the ‘UEFA Best Player in Europe 2012 Award’ yesterday in Monaco. — AFP

Real storm back to take Super Cup from Barca MADRID: Real Madrid claimed their first Spanish Super Cup in four years and a morale-boosting success against their arch-rivals when Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo struck in a 2-1 win against 10-man Barcelona on Wednesday. The victory over error-prone Barca, who had Adriano sent off in the 28th minute, meant the tie finished 4-4 on aggregate after the Catalans won last week’s first leg 3-2 at the Nou Camp and Real took the trophy on the away goals rule. It was a much-needed success for Jose Mourinho’s side after they failed to win in their opening three matches of the season and crashed to a shock 2-1 defeat at city rivals Getafe in La Liga on Sunday. Mourinho had warned his players he wanted a vast improve-

ment and they responded with two goals inside 20 minutes thanks to poor Barca defending that allowed first Higuain on 11 minutes and Ronaldo eight minutes later to burst free and score. Lionel Messi gave Barca a chance of pulling off an unlikely comeback when he curled in a spectacular free kick from 30 metres moments before the break. Pedro drew a brilliant save from Iker Casillas and both sides had chances in a frenetic ending but Real held firm to end Barca’s three-year grip on the trophy. The second-leg victory also broke Barca’s seven-match unbeaten streak at the Bernabeu and was Real’s first home win in a “Clasico” since May 2008. “At the Nou Camp they had a chance

for a fourth goal and in the next move we scored the one that kept us in with a chance,” Casillas said in an interview with Spanish television. “We dominated the first half and the match in general, although we had to suffer a bit at the end,” he added. “We were on a poor run and we owed this to the fans. We haven’t started the season well but some days you have good luck and some you don’t.” Real’s opening goal came when Javier Mascherano, playing his 100th game for Barca, failed to clear a long ball from Pepe and Higuain raced clear and fired a shot under Victor Valdes. Mascherano’s central defensive partner Gerard Pique was then at fault for Real’s second.—Reuters

Group F Bayern Munich Valencia Lille BATE Borisov Group G Barcelona Benfica Spartak Moscow Celtic Group H Manchester United Braga Galatasaray CFR Cluj First matches to be played Sept. 18 and 19.—Reuters

Sports FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012

Records tumble as China takes first Games gold LONDON: World records tumbled in the pool and on the cycling track yesterday, as the first day of competition at the London Paralympics got under way and China won the Games’ first gold medal. At the Velodrome, seven-time Paralympic champion Sarah Storey-who won five swimming titles before taking two more when she switched to cycling in 2008 — clocked a new world best 3min 32.170sec in the women’s C5 3km individual pursuit. The 34-year-old British cyclist’s time was quicker than the winner of the same event for non-disabled athletes at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup event held at the same venue in February. Joanna Rowsell, who was a member of the British women’s team that won gold in the team pursuit at the Olympics earlier this month, won that race in 3:32.364. Storey, who was born without a functioning left hand, now races against Anna Harkowska of Poland in the final and said the crowd had spurred her on to the record. “I know we heard our colleagues say this during the Olympics but it’s so hard to explain the energy they give you. I just can’t explain it really,” Storey told Channel 4. “On the last lap I could hear I was on for the record. This is everything. I’ve been working

on this in training so hard. I’m so chuffed.” Meanwhile two other world records were set in qualifying for the women’s C1-2-3 3km individual pursuit: Zeng Sini, a C2 rider from China, broke the world best to book a place in the gold medal race against Australia’s Simone Kennedy. Australia’s women then posted a new world record in the C4 3km individual pursuit, with Susan Powell qualifying quickest in 4min 03.306sec to earn the right to meet US rider Megan Fisher to win gold. Kieran Modra and Scott McPhee will race their Australian compatriots Bryce Lindores and Sean Finning for glory in the men’s blind and visually impaired 4km tandem pursuit. At the Aquatics Centre, Britain’s Jonathan Fox signalled his intent to upgrade his 100m backstroke S7 Paralympic silver four years ago, lowering his own previous world best by 0:59sec to 1min 9.86sec. The 21-year-old is now favourite for the title after US swimmer Lantz Lamback, the defending champion from Beijing, could only finish 10th quickest in his heat and failed to qualify. New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe then set a new world best of 2min 28.73sec in the women’s 200m individual medley, while Fox’s team-mate Nyree Kindred lowered the Paralympic record in the women’s 100m

backstroke S6 in 1min 27.96sec. The end of a morning of swimming heats coincided with the final of the women’s R2 10m air rifle at the Royal Artillery Barracks, which saw China’s Zhang Cuiping win the Games’ first gold, scoring 104.9 for an overall score of 500.9. Manuela Schmermund, of Germany, won silver while New Zealand’s Natalie Smith picked up bronze. A total of 28 medals were up for grabs on Thursday: 15 in the pool, five at the Velodrome in track cycling; four in judo; two in power lifting; and two in shooting. The day’s programme also includes heats in archery, equestrian, goal-

ball, table tennis, sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball. Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the Games at a showpiece ceremony on Wednesday involving more than 3,000 volunteer and professional performers, many of them with a disability, combining music, dance and aerial acrobatics. British scientist Stephen Hawking, described by organisers as “the most famous disabled person anywhere on the planet”, narrated parts of the ceremony, which was aimed at challenging perceptions about disability and changing attitudes. — AFP

LONDON: Members of the British team (bottom) watch the ball as they play Russia in a men’s sitting volleyball preliminary round pool A match at the 2012 Paralympics. — AP

LONDON: China’s Zeng Sini wins the women’s individual C1-2-3 pursuit final cycling event during the London 2012 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Park’s Velodrome. — AFP

Records tumble as China takes first Games gold Page 47

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