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Amir begins consultations over premier, new Cabinet Opposition warns against changes in election system

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By B Izzak conspiracy theories

It’s easy to destroy

By Badrya Darwish


he last thing Muslims need in addition to being branded as terrorists by the West and killers of innocent people who commit suicide explosions, is to be branded heritage destroyers. When there is destruction or death, the title is: “Extreme Muslims are doing it.” We are also not that innocent, I am saying. Sometimes we are giving a reason to the world to brand us and tarnish our religion. For instance, the latest incident is of destroying heritage sites in the ancient Malian city of Timbuktu. Our Saharan friends who are the perpetrators this time call themselves Ansar Dine, or “Protectors of the Faith”, which by the way to me sounds more like a Christian title of the crusaders in the past. It links more to Christianity than the Muslim faith. But I digress. They decided after hundreds of years that mosques and tombs in Timbuktu are not abiding by sharia rules and they destroyed them. Who gave our Sahara Knights the right to classify and qualify religious places and mosques as abiding or non-abiding by sharia laws. The tombs that have been destroyed actually are not newly-built places of worship. One of them was built 600 years ago. One of the tombs they destroyed was of Sidi Mahmoudou, a Sufi who died in 955. Mali is known to have been inhabited by Sufis - a sect devoted to an extremely holy person. Why destroy the mosques and tombs? I have met a few Sufis in my life and I can say that we have a wrong interpretation of their faith. They do not worship a tomb. They believe that having a mosque near a tomb is OK. Some people donate money and come and worship at that mosque. The money raised by the mosque goes to charity. So what is wrong with that? Islam is a religion of tolerance. These places are historical sites recognized by UNESCO. Allegedly, these tombs are of very religious persons who died and mosques were built around them and people come to pray to these sites. Are these Saharan Knights going to ride their horses and go to demolish mosques in Algeria, Tunisia, Cairo, Damascus and Palestine? I am sure there are many mosques and tombs in the Far East too. By the way, all over Palestine, Syria and Egypt, we have hundreds of mosques built together with tombs. For instance, the most well-known Al-Amawi mosque in Damascus is built over the tomb of John the Baptist. Shall we demolish the Al-Amawi mosque?! You can demolish things using 101 justifications such as it will teach kids to worship a stone and it will divert people from worshipping God. This is empty rhetoric. If you want to serve Islam there are one million and one ways to do so. For example, by being helpful, honest, decent, tolerant and generous. The first thing to come to mind should not be to destroy. We are all tired of empty-headed extremists. Please, wake up! Islam is a religion of science and enlightenment, freedom and humanity.

Single female over 30 and Emirati? Hmm ABU DHABI: If you are a 30-year-old Emirati woman and still single, then you’ve have missed the marriage boat. By UAE standards, you are now considered to be an old maid. The problem, authorities in the Gulf state say, is that more and more women fall into this category: some 60 percent, according to the latest statistics, raising concerns among officials and sparking online debates as to why. The issue has been the focus of discussions for weeks at the Federal National Council, the country’s appointed consultative body, where members are scrambling to find a solution to what they believe could be a serious demographic problem. “This is very worrying,” FNC member Said Al-Kitbi told AFP, adding that there are now more than 175,000 Emirati women who are over 30 and unmarried. Though he conceded that being a “spinster” is “not a bad thing in itself”, he argues that the demographic consequences Continued on Page 13

CAIRO: Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah (left) hands over a message from Kuwaiti Amir HH Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah to Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi during their meeting at the presidential palace yesterday. Morsi, whose appointment is the fruit of Egypt’s own uprising, welcomed Syrian opposition groups to Cairo and stressed the need for a political solution to end the crisis. The foreign ministers of Turkey, Iraq and Kuwait were also attending the two-day meeting organised by the Arab League. — AP (See Pages 5 & 7)

KUWAIT: HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlSabah yesterday opened traditional consultations ahead of naming a prime minister to form a new Cabinet, highly expected to be outgoing premier Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah. The move came amid warnings by opposition figures against a reported plan to change the election system, saying such changes could drag the country into a real crisis that may become difficult to resolve. Sheikh Sabah held talks with former National Assembly speaker Ahmad AlSaadoun and current speaker of the revived 2009 Assembly Jassem Al-Khorafi and held talks over the phone with former prime minister Sheikh Nasser AlMohammad Al-Sabah. The Amir is expected to name the new prime minister within the coming few days and possibly today but the formation of the Cabinet is expected to take between one to two weeks and is not likely to be ready before the middle of the month. The government resigned last week days after a historical ruling by the constitutional court in which it nullified the February elections, scrapped the 2012 Assembly and reinstated the 2009 Assembly which was dissolved in December last year. The government said it had resigned only for constitutional reasons in a bid to avoid any constitutional suspicions that may result in a similar court ruling in the future. The new Cabinet must be sworn in by the Amir to assume its powers but there is a controversy over whether it should take the oath before the revived 2009 Assembly. Speaker Jassem Al-Khorafi said that he will invite MPs from the 2009 Assembly to hold sessions in order to allow the new Cabinet members to take the Continued on Page 13

Iran drafts bill to block Hormuz Saudi dissident, his group off Qaeda list Kidnapped envoy in new video UNITED NATIONS: A UN Security credible basis for concluding that an Council committee has removed Saudi individual, group, undertaking, or entidissident Saad Al-Faqih and his ty is associated with Al-Qaeda,” said Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia Wittig, who chairs the Al Qaeda sanc(MIRA) from the UN Al-Qaeda sanc- tions committee. tions list, Germany’s UN envoy conA UN diplomat told Reuters on confirmed yesterday. Reuters reported on dition of anonymity that Faqih “may Sunday that the decision not be a saint but he to delist Faqih came after doesn’t belong on this the 15-nation council’s list”. Faqih’s and his Al-Qaeda sanctions comgroup’s removal from the mittee failed to reach a list took effect at midconsensus to override night (0400 GMT) yesterthe Al-Qaeda-sanctionsday, diplomats said. list ombudsman, who Faqih told Reuters in had recommended London it had been “a removing Faqih from the laborious battle” to get UN blacklist. him off the list. “All that “After thorough conhas happened in the last sideration by the eight years is that an Committee the entries in innocent, peaceful the Al Qaeda Sanctions activist, acting within the List related to Mr Saad law, has been a victim of Abdullah Al-Khalidi Rashed Mohammed Ala conspiracy by tyrants in Faqih and (his group) were removed the Gulf supported by superpowers,” from the Al Qaeda Sanctions List he said. today,” German UN Ambassador Peter Formerly a professor of medicine at Wittig said in a statement. “The key a Saudi university, the exiled dissident question the Committee has to consid- has long insisted that he and his group er is whether there is sufficient infor- are committed to peace. mation to provide a reasonable and Continued on Page 13

BANDAR ABBAS: Iranian Revolutionary Guards drive speedboats in front of an oil tanker yesterday during a ceremony to commemorate the 24th anniversary of the downing of Iran Air flight 655 by the US navy. — AFP DUBAI: Iran’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee has drafted a bill calling for Iran to try to stop oil tankers from shipping crude through the Strait of Hormuz to countries that support sanctions against it, a committee member said yesterday. The Iranian parliament is vocal and sees itself as independent but does not hold much power. Bills are unlikely to get far unless sanctioned by the leadership. “There is a bill prepared in the National Security and Foreign Policy committee of parliament that stresses the blocking of oil tanker traffic carrying oil to countries that have sanctioned Iran,” Iranian MP Ibrahim Agha-Mohammadi was quoted by Iran’s

parliamentary news agency as saying. “ This bill has been developed as an answer to the European Union’s oil sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Agha-Mohammadi said that 100 of Tehran’s 290 members of parliament had signed the bill as of Sunday. However no details were given on how Iran would verify the destination of every ship passing out of the Gulf under the watchful eye of the US Navy. Iranian threats to block the water way through which about 17 million barrels a day sailed in 2011 have grown in the past year as U.S. and European sanctions aimed at Continued on Page 13

Saudis set rules for women competitors Athletes fear crackdown after Games RIYADH: Saudi sportswomen who have been given the go-ahead to compete in the Olympics for the first time in London later this month must respect the ultraconservative kingdom’s rules, its sports chief said in remarks published yesterday. All women competitors must dress modestly, be accompanied by a male guardian and not mix with men during the Games, Prince Nawaf bin Faisal told the Al-Jazirah newspaper. Saudi sportswomen may only take part if they do so “wearing suitable clothing that com-

plies with sharia” (Islamic law) and “the athlete’s guardian agrees and attends with her,” he said. “There must also be no mixing with men during the Games,” he added. “The athlete and her guardian must pledge not to break these conditions,” he said. Nawaf said that for previous Games “we had no women athletes... But now there are many Saudi female athletes who have expressed to the IOC and international unions their desire to participate.” Continued on Page 13

RIYADH: In this May 21, 2012 photo, Rana Al-Khateeb, a 23-year-old member of a Saudi female football team, practices at a secret location. — AP




KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah receiving former National Assembly Speaker Ahmad Abdulaziz Al-Saadoun at Seif Palace yesterday.

Kuwait stresses significance of Syrian opposition meeting Call to formulate joint priorities CAIRO: Kuwaiti Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Sabah AlKhalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah underlined here yesterday the significance of an ongoing meeting of Syrian opposition groups. Addressing the meeting, the Kuwaiti minister, who is the head of the current Arab League Council, said the gathering is part of Arab efforts to put an end to the Syrian crisis. He urged the conferees to shoulder responsibility at this critical time for resolving the Syrian problem, emphasizing that Syrian opposition groups should unite and offer concessions for the sake of an ailing nation whose people have legitimate goals of freedom, democracy and dignity. He hoped that the meeting would come up with a document to be agreed by all Syrian opposition groups to flesh out a joint vision on priorities. He also wished that the document would ensure to the Syrian people, the region and international community that the transitional stage in Syria would fulfill the expectations and hopes of the Syrians.

Today ’s long-awaited meeting comes at a time when bloody events are still continuing in Syria, with the countr y facing serious dangers threatening its unity, security and stability, he noted. The meeting is also part of Arab efforts to put an end to the volatile Syrian situation, stressing the country’s sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity and full support for the Syrian people’s rights of freedom and democracy, the Kuwaiti foreign minister pointed out. Syrian opposition groups have roundly rejected a U.N.-brokered plan on Syria, calling it ambiguous and a waste of time and vowing not to negotiate with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad or his regime. Earlier, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi met here Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah. Speaking to KUNA following the meeting, the Kuwaiti minister said he had delivered a letter from His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to the Egyptian leader. In the letter, HH the Amir hailed distinguished historical relations

between Kuwait and Egypt, stressing the significance of continuing mutual consultations and talks on bilateral, regional and international issues, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid said. He added that he had also handed an invitation from HH the Amir to the Egyptian president to visit Kuwait at the time he sees suitable. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid, who is here to attend a meeting of Syrian opposition groups, is the first Arab and foreign official to meet the new president of Egypt. On his talks with Morsi, he said they had shared the same views on several regional and international issues, underlining Egypt’s vital and significant role on both regional and international arenas. He also lauded Egypt’s leading role in the development and promotion of common Arab action and defending all Arab issues. He pointed out that he had told the Egyptian president that it would be necessary for both sides to step up mutual visits in order to discuss how to further develop Kuwaiti-Egyptian relations for the common interest of both sides’ peoples.

‘Nothing to do with court verdict’ KUWAIT: Sources revealed that His Highness the Prime Minister and his ministers tried, during the days following the constitutional court verdict ruling that the 2012 council was void, to explain to the majority of MPs that the government had nothing to do with the verdict of the constitutional court and that the government was as surprised as any other segment of Kuwaiti society about the verdict. Further, officials said the cabinet sympathizes with MPs from the 2012 council.

Sources added that the sympathy felt towards the 2012 council gradually disappeared after the majority of the MPs made declarations that have become a burden for the government, and upon the Prime Minister, in particular, after the attack by MP Obaid Al-Wasmi against Sheikh Mishall AlAhmad, in the determination yard last week, which shocked many observers of local affairs. Information leaked about Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak not attending 2009 sessions caused embarrassment to

the Prime Minister, which resulted in a change in the starting when Jassem Al-Kharafi announced he had received confirmation that the Prime Minister will attend 2009 council sessions. Sources said that escalations made by the majority MPs and their demands for elected government and creating a constitutional emirate, in addition to the unexpected offense in the determination yard to the ruling family, forced Al-Mubarak to back away from sympathizing with the majority MPs.

KUWAIT: His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received at Seif Palace yesterday the Minister of Education, Minister of Higher Education and Acting Minister of Finance Dr Nayef Al-Hajraf, accompanied by the Director General of Kuwait Institute For Science Research and staff members, to thank HH over his auspices of the honoring ceremony for outstanding achievements at KISR for the year 2011-2012. The KISR delegation briefed HH on the Institute’s activities and programs, including fish resources development.

Israel urged to cooperate with OHCHR GENEVA: Kuwait has asked the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Sunday to urge Israel to cooperate with the council’s activities, including the ones of the special rapporteur concerning human rights in Arab occupied territories. Malek Hussein Al-Wazzan, Advisor to the permanent Kuwaiti mission at the United Nations in Geneva, said that Kuwait condemns Israel’s continued occupation. “Kuwait reaffirms Palestinians’ right to determine their own destiny, end occupation of their country’s territories and establish a state according to

the 1967 borders that includes Jerusalem and return of refugees. That requires the international community to unite in order to shoulder its responsibilities and implement the relevant resolutions of the international legitimacy,” Al-Wazzan said. He also stated that Kuwait condemns the Israeli settlement plans in the Palestinian territories, confiscation of land, demolition and evacuation of villages, asking the international community to urge Israel to stop such practices which are contrary to international and human rights laws. Furthermore, Al-Wazzan said that the special rapporteur’s documented

information on the continuous human rights violations that show a degree of hardship of Palestinian and Arab prisoners in Israeli detention centers without trials. He also said that Kuwait condemns the Israeli occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights Shebaa farms in Lebanon. “Kuwait strongly supports the extension of mandate of the Human Rights Council’s special rapporteur regarding the situation of human rights in the Arab region, which are under Israeli occupation, and emphasizes the importance of its continuity,” Al-Wazzan concluded. —KUNA

‘Lack of harmony has caused political tension’

KUWAIT: The winner Abdulmajeed Haidar Al Taleb receives his prize from Ahmed K. Al-Khader, NBK Assistant General Manager, Consumer Banking Group.

NBK announces six winners in summer campaign KUWAI: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) announced the first six winners of up to KD 10,000 in cash prizes in its summer campaign. NBK Summer Campaign offers customers the chance to win an astonishing 2012 McLaren MP4-12C super car as a grand prize at the end of the campaign as well as up to KD 180,000 in cash prizes during the campaign. Eman Othman Al Foraih, Abdulmajeed Haidar Al Taleb, Mohammad Alsayed Al Tawil, Salah Fahad Fahad, Abdulla Al Rashidi and Sabah Ajam Al Enizi each won cash prizes up to KD 10,000 in the first draw. NBK Cardholders still have the chance to participate in the promotion and earn unlimited chances in the last two draws throughout the summer until 15 September 2012. In addition to the grand prize for the 2012 McLaren MP4-12C, 18 winners spread in to three draws will be

reimbursed for all their spending using NBK Cards up to KD 10,000 each. For every KD 20 spent in Kuwait with NBK Credit or Prepaid Cards, Cardholders will earn one chance to enter the draws. Cardholders will triple their chances by using their NBK Credit, Prepaid and Debit Card abroad or by shopping on international sites. NBK Cards are accepted worldwide and are the safest, most convenient and rewarding way to pay. For more information log onto or contact Hala Watani on 1801801. The new McLaren MP4-12C is one of the world’s most acclaimed luxurious supercars with its astonishing design that combines elegance and exquisiteness. Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive is the sole dealer of McLaren Automotive Ltd. and the exclusive importer of BMW Group vehicles in Kuwait.

KUWAIT: The ongoing tension in the political scene is a result of the lack of harmony between Cabinet formations and parliamentary elections results, a leading member from the opposition bloc said on Sunday. He asserted that the Parliament “must be given the chance to implement reforms.” Speaking to Al-Rai daily, Khalid Al-Sultan, Deputy Speaker of the annulled 2012 parliament said that “traditional forces are unable to evolve and adapt with the new challenges,” as the reason behind the “lack of response to the public drive towards reform.” Al-Sultan did not specify which kind of forces he was talking about, but said that “the matter lies in the approach by which the governmental line-up is run.” The opposition blocs plan to meet next week “to coordinate on a comprehensive picture to face the upcoming events especially when it comes to handling elections,” said Ammar Al-Ajmi, rapporteur of the coordination

committee from the majority bloc, a coalition of 35 oppositionist bloc members who formed a majority in the 2012 parliament. Oppositionist lawmakers reportedly plan to enter elections with a unified program seeking to help as many members as possible. MP Dr Jamaan Al-Harbash said that the Cabinet “will initiate a non- cooperation motion against 2009 parliament as soon as it is formed,” after HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlSabah accepted its resignation Sunday. AlHarbash believes that if the Cabinet attends a session for the 2009 parliament before its dissolution, it will prove the Cabinet’s vulnerability. Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah is expected to be reassigned as prime minister to form a new Cabinet this week. The Cabinet resigned to make sure that steps taken to dissolve the 2009 parliament are made constitutionally, which require that it swear- in before legislators. The Parliament’s failure to convene due to lack of

quorum could warrant for the Cabinet to file non- cooperation movement before swearing in, according to interpretations made by multiple constitutional experts. The 2009 parliament was reinstated by a recent Constitutional Court verdict which found its dissolution decree last December as being unconstitutional, according to the decree by which voters were asked to elect a new parliament. “Dissolving the 2009 parliament would be a legal step that falls in line with the best national interests, for which the initial dissolution was made,” reads a statement released on Sunday by the Group 26 which indicates that the reasons for the dissolution ‘continue to stand.’ The group which consists of 26 activists against corruption and waste of national wealth, called for new elections to be held as soon as possible “to avoid any harm that could result from a delay in taking constitutional procedures,” reported Al-Rai.

‘Kuwait to pay Jordan $1.25bn in two months’ AMMAN: Kuwait is expected to pay its $1.25 billion contribution to the Gulf fund to Jordan within two months, Finance Minister Suleiman Hafez told the Jordan News Agency, Petra, yesterday. He explained that the financial assistance will be directed to the Kingdom through the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) after the Kuwaiti government completes the necessary measures. The Gulf fund was allocated by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) during last year’s summit to support development projects in the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait and Qatar decided to extend $5 billion over a five-year period to support development schemes in Jordan. Each GCC nation will pay $1.25 billion. Hafez said the Kuwaiti grant will be allocated to finance capital projects included in the 2012 state budget. He made the remarks on the sidelines of a

loan guarantee agreement signed between the government and KFAED on Sunday, under which the Kuwaiti fund will extend a loan worth JD37 million to finance the third phase of the expansion project of the Samra Power Generation Company, according to a Ministry of Finance statement. The loan carries 3 per cent interest annually and will be paid back in 20 years with a grace period of four years, Hafez said in the statement. The expansion project includes the establishment of two power generation units, run by natural gas and diesel, with a capacity of 100 megawatts each. Abdul Wahab Al Bader, director general of KFAED, signed the agreement on behalf of Kuwait, the statement said. Also on Sunday, Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh stressed Jordan’s determination to attract new investments and create a suitable environment to guarantee their success. He made the remarks during a follow-up

meeting with Bader, during which talks focused on means to enhance economic and commercial cooperation between the two countries. Bader said Kuwait has received the projects presented by Jordan that would benefit from the $5 billion Gulf fund to Jordan, noting that a delegation will visit the Kingdom to determine the best ways to finance these projects. Tarawneh listened to a briefing on the talks held on Sunday between the Kuwaiti official and Hafez on the mechanisms needed to employ the Gulf grant to Jordan. Bader also met with Planning and International Cooperation Minister Jafar Hassan and discussed means for the fund to finance the establishment of a terminal for liquefied gas in Aqaba. During his visit to Kuwait last month, Tarawneh met with representatives of the fund and highlighted investment opportunities in Jordan, urging the KFAED to establish an office in Jordan to boost cooperation.



103,000 residency violators in Kuwait Nationalities of residency violators listed in report KUWAIT: The number of residency violators in Kuwait reached 103,000 as of Sunday, dropping from 116,000 recorded a few months earlier when the Ministry of Interior launched a series of wide scale crackdowns that are continuing throughout the country. The new official statistics obtained by Al-Rai daily indicate that Bengalese violators remain the largest group in Migration General Department records, with 26,000, followed by 23,000 Indian violators and 16,000 Sri Lankan violators. The list, which contains estimated numbers, indicates there are 9,000 Indonesian and 9,000 Egyptian violators in Kuwait, followed by 6,000 Filipino, 5,000 Pakistani, 5,000 Syrian, 3,000 Nepalese and 1,000 Ethiopian nation-

alities in violation of residency laws. In other news, sources told Al-Rai that the Interior Ministry has begun installing an “electric security system” covering a 237 kilometer long area along the southern border. The system includes “invisible detection systems” that help apprehend individuals who infiltrate through the borders for up to 40 km towards the south and 70 km towards the north. The sources, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, confirmed that the projects are designed to combat illegal activities, such as “illegal residence and smuggling of drugs, weapons, etc”. Other steps, as part of these efforts, include positioning coastguard patrol boats along the borders of Kuwait’s territorial waters.

PAHW to provide roadmap for housing problem KUWAIT: There are a number of future issues which PAHW has to take up, most notably a roadmap to end the country’s housing problem to coordinate with Kuwait’s Municipality by involving the private sector, said Subhi Al-Mulla Acting Director General of Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) on Sunday. In a press conference, Al-Mulla said that the decision by the housing sector took place unanimously, noting that a coordination was ongoing between PAHW and Kuwait Municipality to provide lands for housing. The official added that the two sides

presented a preliminary estimate of providing 100,000 housing units, noting that the Municipality has provided 52, 000 units. Al-Mulla explained that a coordination committee will be included in previously mentioned institutes, in addition to Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW), and the Ministry of Public Works (MPW). With regard to the private sector, the director general said that joint work between the private and public sectors was vital to execute government projects, in particular housing ventures without making citizens or the government sector bear an additional cost. —KUNA

Symposium on business crimes in Beirut BEIRUT: The Arab League’s judicial and legal studies and research center opened a symposium on businessmen’s crimes here Monday, with the participation of representatives from 13 Arab countries, including Kuwait. During the two-day symposium, the conferees are expected to thrash out three main subjects; businessmen’s commercial and financial crimes, relevant legislations and their role in the reduction of such crimes, the Arab League’s minister plenipotentiary Mohammed Al-Khateeb said.

The conferees will also seek to find a single Arab vision for combating the crimes of money laundering and rebate checks, he added. Al-Khateeb stressed the significance of enacting a single Arab piece of legislation on how to tackle such crimes, while respecting the monetary and economic policies of all Arab countries. The Arab League’s judicial and legal studies and research center is a specialized body that carries out legal research and studies for Arab countries. — KUNA

KUWAIT: After undergoing renovation for a year, the government’s polyclinic situated near Salmiya Fire Station [West Salmiya] has re-opened. Patients from nearby cities of Jabriya, Maidan Hawally and Salmiya are requested to proceed to the renovated premises. The Jabriya Polyclinic will be closed for renovation.—Photos by Ben Garcia

Filipino in jail for 16 years appeals for assistance Blood money too much for relatives By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: A Filipino prisoner who has been in a Kuwaiti jail for over 16 years is appealing for assistance from his government to secure his release. Joseph Urbiztondo, 41, from Bacoor Cavite, was sentenced by the Kuwaiti court to life in jail for accidentally killing his Bangladeshi co-worker in July 1996. Now, an agreed amount of ‘tanazul’, or blood money, has been accepted by the family of his victim, paving the way for his eventual release. However, the amount agreed upon has proven too much for Urbiztondo’s relatives in Manila to raise, despite repeated appeals from his family to the Manila government for financial assistance Urbiztondo remains imprisoned in

Accomplices of security vehicle driver arrested By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Following the recent theft of KD 60,000 by a Sri Lankan cash collection vehicle driver who fled the country after leaving the vehicle in the airport parking lot, detectives arrested three of the driver’s compatriots for helping him in the theft, said security sources. The sources added that a fifth suspect, a woman of the same nationality, is suspected to have assisted the culprits and left the country with KD 5,000 as her share of the stolen money. Investigations also showed that the suspects had hidden the cash inside milk powder can they shipped outside the country, but the shipment was confiscated by the police.

arrested. The same campaign arrested two citizens with the possession of 20 hallucination pills, arrested 15 illegal residents and filed 150 traffic citations. Minor thief arrested A ju ve n i l e was ar rested red-

Liquor factory busted Jahra detectives raided a homemade liquor factory in Saad AlAbdullah area, said security sources, noting that the factory was closed down and the Asians running it were

handed while breaking into a vehicle to steal its contents in Mubarak Al-Kabeer, said security sources noting that the minor confessed to committing over 20 similar thefts that had been filed against unidentified suspects.

KUWAIT: The Sri Lankan thief and his partner in custody.

Plan to face electricity, water demand KUWAIT: The M inistr y of Electricity and Water prepares an emergency plan to face potential increase in demand on power during R amadan, which include instructions to respond promptly to repor ts about blackouts or shortage in water supply, a local daily reported yesterday quoting ministry insiders. Speaking to Al-Rai on the condition of anonymity, the sources indicate that the ministry is relat i ve l y a s s u re d o f i t s a b i l i t y to meet the demand throughout the Holy Month, “especially relying on the fact that the majority of expatriates spend part of the summer

in holidays back in their home countries”. Th e M i n i s t r y wo r k e d fo r months before the summer to reinforce the electricity and water d i s t r i b u t i o n n e t wo r k t h ro u g h periodic maintenance operations. The concern lies in the fact that co n s u m p t i o n r a te s i n Ku w a i t re a c h t h e i r h i g h e s t d u r i n g Ramadan, and during the hottest period of the summer between July and August when temperature peak to the 50 C degrees level. The Holy month star ts this year around July 21. “ The ministr y plans to face R a m a d a n c h a l l e n g e s t h ro u g h

technical procedures by which overload on the distribution networks can be reduced during rush hours”, the sources said without specifying much details about the plans. Th e y m e n t i o n e d h owe ve r plans to “increase water supply an hour and a half before sunset and u n t i l t h e e n d o f t h e Ta r aw i h prayers”. Power generating and water desalination plants will be work ing at full force during Ramadan to meet the increasing demand, while the ministry also counts on “consumers’ awareness about the need to rationalize consumption”. —Al-Rai

Kuwait seeks missiles WASHINGTON: The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency reports that Kuwait is seeking 300 AGM-114R3 Hellfire II missiles from the United States. The deal under the Foreign Military Sales program would include associated equipment and support and would be worth about $49 million. “Kuwait intends to use these defense articles and services to modernize its armed forces and expand its existing air force archi-

tecture to counter threats posed by potential attack,” the agency said in its notification to Congress. “This capability will serve to deter potential attacks against strategic targets across Kuwait, to include infrastructure and resources vital to the security of the United States.” The package deal would include containers, spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, repair and return support, training equipment and personnel training.

the Sulaibiya Central Jail. Just recently, Urbiztondo once again requested his government’s assistance, this time through a letter addressed to Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay, who is President Aquino’s presidential adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) affairs. “According to my lawyer [Atty Ahmed Qurban], if KD6,000 is secured, my release papers will be issued soon and I could re-join my family,” he said in his letter. Since he was imprisoned, Urbiztondo admitted to having appealed for help from many people, private individuals, NGO’s, and his government. He mentioned that he also sought help from former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and the office of Philippine Senator Manny Villar but, according to him, all his

and his family ’s efforts did not result in assistance. Urbiztondo said: “There were five ambassadors who have come and gone and I asked for help to ever y one of them, but there’s been no help till now. The government is only focused on Filipinos who are sentenced to death and they tend to forget us,” he lamented. In Kuwait, there are some Filipinos who were convicted and sentenced to death, but after their government’s intervention and paying blood money, their sentences were commuted and they were eventually pardoned. A Filipino community leader, who requested his name be withheld, observed: “They could help death convicts, so why not the persons who are in dire need of small

amounts for their freedom? He could still change, he could fix his life when he returns to his home and family, so why not help him?” the community leader asked. Philippine Embassy Assistant to National Unit Daligdig Tanandato confirmed his knowledge about Urbiztondo and, according to him, the embassy is doing all it can to extend assistance, not just to his case but the cases of all Filipinos in jail. “I know the Urbiztondo case, I asked for help, we asked for help from our central office already. He’s been in jail for 16 years and if he committed that crime, he probably already paid for it. For our part, his name has been included in the request for executive clemency and for a pardon, so we are waiting for that,” he added.



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letter to Badrya

Start loving our Mother Earth

Concerns about liquor smuggling

Dear Badrya,


y name is Prashob, an Indian currently living in Salmiya on a driver’s visa. Whenever I get hold of Kuwait Times, I see your article on the front page. I am really excited to read your work, in fact your articles criticize constructively. You always have a solution for every situation. I have heard that a good journalist should be resourceful. Even you have the ability to always find a solution to difficult situations that can reach a dead end. On June 5 which was Environment Day, I expected you to write a few words on disappearing greenery. I feel that the main crisis facing the world today is the lack of adequate green cover on earth. In Kuwait, the government gives importance to several other things like the well-being of its citizens, but it is not much concerned about the environment. Here many apartment buildings keep mushrooming and the city is developing by the day. At the same time, the government should take an initiative to plant at least 10 saplings around one apartment building. By doing this, we can surely reduce dust storm which is a common happening in Middle Eastern countries. In Gulf countries, the temperature is very high during summer and during winter, it drops below zero degree Celsius. By planting trees some balance can be restored. If you write an article on this matter, I am sure someone will notice and put pressure on the government to act. I say this because you have the courage to write and stand for justice. Hope you have great days ahead, Prashob Madathil

By Hamad Al Sarie


fter stopping two containers loaded more than 1500 cartons of alcohol on June 12, 2012 by customs authorities and drug enforcement officials, it was learned that those containers were consigned to the US army. I have star ted researching that case and collected information with one question in my head, how

In the beginning, the US army used to monitor every small thing happening, but after withdrawing from Iraq, and keeping their forces in Kuwait, things have changed.

kuwait digest

kuwait digest

Opposition’s ceiling of demands

A spectacular democracy! By Dr. Shamlan Yousif Al-Essa

By Dr Hassan Abbas


m I against the demands of the oppositionist majority in the 2012 parliament? The answer is no. The demands oppositionists make in the media and social media are accepted both publicly and constitutionally. The problem I have is not with the demands the opposition make, but with their practices. The opposition’s main demands include a constitutional monarchy where the cabinet is formed by the political party that wins parliamentary elections. They assert the need to endorse a full parliamentary system and prevent authorities from interfering in the affairs of others. These demands are all due, especially given the need for a solution to the endless failure in political work. But can we guarantee that realizing these demands will bring political stability? Does the opposition today have the capability to implement these amendments? The main problem relies in the basic principle of respecting the constitution, which the opposition needs to maintain before demanding constitutional amendments. To quote outspoken oppositionist Obaid Al-Wasmi, he said that “the pattern of people’s participation in power adopted in the sixties no longer meets the ambitions of today’s public, especially after constitutional and democratic reform became a national demand”. These statements are fine. But how can constitutional reform be achieved? Should it come through constitutional principles, or through public chaos, social instigation and demanding rights for specific sectors while leaving out others? All matters of the state are addressed by the state’s constitution; even improving it for the better. We are not against constitutional reform, as long as it remains within the constitutional framework. Demands Al-Wasmi and other oppositionists make are understandable, but what is not is taking rights by force. Reform for the better must take place within the channels outlined by the constitution. Constitutional reform cannot be achieved through rejecting Constitutional Court orders, Islamizing constitutional articles, or give certain candidates an advantage to become prime minister. Leading opposition member Khalid Al-Sultan recently criticized veteran liberal politician Ahmad AlKhateeb for “criticizing the opposition for raising the ceiling of demands”. What Al-Sultan doesn’t realize is that Al-Khateeb isn’t against the demands the opposition make, but against the opposition making the demands. — Al-Rai

kuwait digest

local, imported bribe takers By Thaar Al Rashidi


hen a municipality closes any of the 5 stars restaurants in the state, and when you call the restaurant enquiring about the reason for the closures, they will tell you, “we are redecorating”. This trick is used by all 5 star restaurants whenever they are closed, though the closure is usually due to inspectors finding expired food items or even due to technical reasons by the municipality. The case of those restaurants when they are closed is very much like our political situation, as there is no government or NA council, and if any one asks us about the situation, we say “Things are good and we are all right.” But the truth is, and for those who do not know, we are going through a great and dangerous democratic emptiness, as if we are living in a case of linking work with the constitution, in a constitutional way. This emptiness shall prevail until next October, I believe. When a minister says that he is for reform, then starts to reform something and, at the same time, destroys something good, I tell him thank you, please keep your reforms to yourself. —Al-Anbaa


he democracy we academically studied and are teaching to our students today is much different from the one actually practiced by our legislature and executives. For each party claims that its own view of democracy is the correct one. We have repeatedly explained that democracy is not merely calling for elections and candidacies. Democracy is a huge responsibility that requires people who realize that the core of democracy is respecting others, absolute commitment to laws, respecting human rights, not violating the principles of the separation of powers, respecting freedom, justice, equality and the equality of opportunities for all. Despite our specialty in politics, we fail to understand what is going on in the country these days. Everybody is claiming to represent the majority, without having any statistics to prove it. We no longer understand the language of deception, maneuvering, love for power and hypocrisy. What is happening is a real conflict of classes, where the lower classes are tr ying to usurp power that had been restricted to the merchant class, according to a major opposition MP. The parliamentary majority offered many ideas to support its political attitudes and public movements. They intend to run for elections under the slogan of ‘Re-Elect Them’, which is electorally legitimate, but elections are usually run in an atmosphere of competition between various parties and political movements where the people have to choose the best group. This is absolutely different from the fact that 35-40 former MPs, belonging to different parties such as the Muslim Brethren, the Salafis, the Popular Action Bloc, the Development Party and tribes with their respective different special party or tribal interests, run for elections with nothing in common amongst them except their opposition

to the already-resigned Nasser Al-Mohammed cabinet and their rejection of the constitutional court ruling, yet they intend to seek re-election in the coming elections. The question is: Will tribesmen in suburban areas vote for the majority candidates from urban ones? Will the opposite take place? Will it be possible for a Salafi to vote for the Muslim Brethren and vice versa? Will an urban citizen vote for a tribal candidate? The answer is, of course not. All the currently used slogans, such as threatening to resign from the 2009 parliament and denying their resignation when the judge investigating their breaking into parliament asks them, are only meant to deceive voters. The former parliamentar y majority had declared an agenda focused on changing the constitution and calling for a parliamentary constitutional court, which involves long complicated procedures and the approval of HH the Amir. Any opposition has the right to have a political agenda, provided they fully observe transparency and credibility. The Muslim Brethren MP, Mohammed Al-Dallal, announced his acceptance of the constitutional court ruling while his colleague, MP Jam’an Al-Harbash, who is a Muslim Brethren MP, too, leads demonstrations at the determination yard. Who should we believe, people? The Salafi MPs, Khaled Al-Sultan and Ali Al-Omair, took part in the demonstrations despite the Salaf scholar’s call not to contradict rulers or guardians. Yes, each MP has the right to use any slogan, provided he does not deceive the people and pretend to possess qualities he lacks. Finally, fellow Kuwaitis, beware of the forthcoming elections. Make the best choices, as the deterioration we are suffering from are all because of your bad choices. So do it right this time, so that we might enjoy more stability! —Al-Watan

kuwait digest

Who are corrupt in Kuwait? By Abdullatif Al-Duaij


he opposition’s campaign has for years been focused on fighting corruption and what they describe as “corrupt media”, referring to media outlets they accuse of using falsified statements to attack the opposition. These allegations intensified before the elections last February as members of the opposition increased the number of fictional stories about their heroics in fighting corruption. In the end, all opposition candidates won the elections, while democratic candidates became the biggest losers. The 2012 parliamentary election results mean one of two things. First, the hidden and known forces that the opposition claims to be fighting against are fictional, and that the uproar they are making is a silly play we have to see every season, featuring failed actors looking to secure more votes. Either this scenario exists, or that the alleged ‘forces of corruption’ instead exists and helped the opposition secure the large and sudden win they had in the elections. It is both likely and

clear that there have been efforts to help new opposition members to be elected who don’t have previous experience in parliamentary work, which eventually happened at the expense of former MPs with significant experience who either failed or barely made it to the parliament. For example, let’s take the

It is both likely and clear that there have been efforts to help new opposition members to be elected who don’t have previous experience in parliamentary work. third constituency, being the most multicultural in Kuwait and includes members from all categories in Kuwaiti society. The opposition’s theory claims that the ‘forces of corruption’ secured the win of two candidates,

specifically Nabeel Al-Fadhl and Mohammad Al-Juwaihel. But the same constituency also saw all opposition candidates win, including inexperienced members such as Mohammad AlDallal and Abdul-Aziz Al-Yahya, who led all third constituency candidates by a large margin. On the other hand, national and democratic movement candidates all lost in the third constituency, the same as they did in the first election, while barely being elected in the second constituency. So, if corrupt people with influence and corrupt media outlets are working against the opposition, how were the oppositionists able to secure a landslide victory, unless that happened through support the oppositionist candidates received from corrupt forces. Of course, the opposition will deny this theory; but that doesn’t answer how they won a landmark victory, despite being fought, as they claim, by corrupt individuals, or how the democratic candidates failed, in the meantime. — Al-Qabas

smuggling happened through goods consigned to the US army and are there parties in the army involved in this smuggling or had this been a case of good intentions by the official who signed the order? I collected too much information using official documents and am publishing this with the hope that officials in the US Army or Ministry of Interior stop this smuggling, which might harm the American army or our state. Today, the American Army seems to be penetrated, to some extent. When the American army forces were in Iraq, they contracted with many local and international companies for logistics and transportation of its equipment and personnel and to provide basic services and foodstuff for the army. In the beginning, the US army used to monitor every small thing happening, but after withdrawing from Iraq, and keeping their forces in Kuwait, things have changed. The army’s main concern is to guard its equipment and personnel, which arrives in Kuwait from outside and is brought to its camps in convoys. Similar concerns apply when they export this equipment from their camps to Kuwaiti ports. Up until loading equipment aboard vessels, the cargo remains under guard. Regarding food supplies, this was assigned to local and international companies, and have deployed officers from the American army whose role was only to stamp the order papers, as those contracting companies brought whatever they wanted, claiming it was for the American army. According to the information I received, about 1,000 containers are shipped daily from Kuwaiti ports to the American army, including 700 containers through Shuwaikh Shuaiba port, and these containers are loaded with whatever the American army needs. Looking at carton declarations, I found large number of containers loaded with oil, battery water, and coolant water for radiators for the American army vehicles, though most of the vehicles do not move and have stopped in their place. These were the same cargo containers found to be loaded with liquor. We do not know if other containers were smuggled before, although the information supports that theory. Also, there are several containers still in the port awaiting completion of customs formalities. The contents of the trailers stopped by Kuwaiti officials had been unknown, though they were monitored by drug enforcement officials beginning immediately after leaving the port of Shuwaikh and heading to Arifjan camp, along with a convoy of trailers. When the trailer deviated from the convoy and headed to the Subhan area, it was stopped and the driver was arrested, along with the person who brought the shipment and another container was stopped after the completion of the formalities. When transporting containers to the American army, some contracting companies or persons might bring in whatever they want, under the guise that it is cargo for the American army and cannot be inspected, as per agreement with the two countries. If the American army is careless in protecting itself, and the army knows very well that war is not only a showdown between two armies, but also of how an army can be harmed through keeping poisonous materials in their food or through chemicals in their equipment, even if those materials were not important. We thank the ministr y of interior for stopping the two containers, yet the ministry is requested to take necessary precautions to apprehend those containers which might be loaded with arms or explosives and can cause harm to the security of our state. The American army can monitor those containers loaded on trailers through convoys traveling to their camps and know the number of containers that left the port and the number that arrive at the camps. — Al-Anbaa



Woman held for abusing Asian domestic worker Egyptian dies in work mishap KUWAIT: A Lebanese woman remains in police custody following her arrest Saturday over imprisonment and abuse charges pressed by her domestic worker. The Indonesian woman was brought to a Hawally police station by staff from her country’s embassy. The woman fled to the embassy after escaping from her employer ’s apartment, where she was reportedly held for four years. A medical repor t the housemaid received from the hospital where she received treatment indicates that she suffered a broken finger and distortions in a number of fingers as a result of repeated assaults. It also reports that she has a broken tooth caused by her having been beaten with a hard object, in addition to facial bruises and head wounds. Her employer arrived at the police station within 15 minutes after being summoned and was placed in custody after confirming that she used to “discipline” her housemaid through beatings.

KUWAIT: The Deputy Chairman of Kuwait Red Crescent Society Dr Hilal Al-Sayer asked humanitarian workers to develop skills by joining several programs and training courses. Al-Sayer, who spoke on the last day of the workshop on disaster management organized by KRCS over two days, said the development and proper use of human resources are among the fundamental factors that play an important role in the field. Al-Sayer distributed certificates to participants, along with the representatives of the International Union of Red Cross and Crescent Societies.


in brief

Constitutional oath KUWAIT: MP Saadoun Hammad emphasized the impor tance that His Highness the Prime Minister, Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak, gave to the constitutional oath after forming a new government in front of the 2009 council, or else the dissolution decree would be contested once again, since the government is unconstitutional. Any other action will be unconstitutional regarding the dissolution, and Sheikh Mubarak will be the one who caused it. Further, Hammad attacked the majority of the council and said they had an unrepeated majority, and controlled the NA Council, but have done nothing for the nation, such as focusing on issues such as housing, education, health and employment. He accused the majority of being busy with unimportant matters and campaigning for the 2009 council, as they raised only those issues which served themselves. If they cared about public money, they would have agreed on investigating the Dow case. He added that one of the majority MPs from the 2012 council entered Parliament and his wealth grew to become millions, but no one investigated that. So, what kind of honesty are they talking about? Social affairs inspections KUWAIT: Informed sources at the Social Affairs and Labor Ministry said that inspection teams found 13,377 companies had been cited for violations in 2011. The companies that violated occupational safety conditions employed 133,083 persons and were notified to eliminate the violations during inspections of 19,285 establishments, with 15,948 being for the first time. Further, they said that 5,908 establishments made changes to again meet proper conditions. 12,163 facilities were re-inspected, and the majority had eliminated the violations, while 318 facilities with 2,936 employees were still in violation of the law. 79 companies were sent to court and the rest are in the process of being brought before a judge. Alliance representatives KUWAIT: Sources revealed that consultations are continuing in the Islamic National Alliance in which both MPs Adnan Abdul Samad and Ahmad Lari are members as they seek to choose the alliance representatives for the coming elections. The alliance shall hold several meetings to prepare for the elections and choose its representatives, after Abdul Samad decided to quit politics, thus providing a chance for new faces from the group. Sources said that the replacement could be Abdul Samad Jaber Behbahani or Hassan Nazeer, who both ran for elections in previous years. The alliance decided to keep Lari to run for elections, and might nominate one female candidate in the first constituency. Lawyer sues oil minister KUWAIT: The Ministers’ Court has accepted a lawsuit filed against Oil Minister Hani Hussein by lawyer Nawaf Al-Fuzaie last Thursday. AlFuzaie has accused him of squandering public funds following the cancellation of the Dow Chemical deal. The panel probing the case is expected to inform the oil minister about AlFuzaie’s complaint, who previously sued former interior minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah. —Aljarida Citizens sent to Cairo for treatment KUWAIT: The Overseas Treatment Department has resumed sending citizens to Cairo for treatment. This is because the political situation there has calmed down, with normalcy restored. It said that all procedures have been taken by Dr Mansour Sarkhouh Health Office Director in Cairo.

Rahiya accident A worker was pronounced dead at a work site in Rahiya where he was buried under sand in an apparent accident. Police and paramedics rushed to an area used to collect sand for construction projects, following a report about an Egyptian

worker having been buried under a huge pile of sand. The body was taken to the forensic department after criminal investigators carried out investigations at the scene. Investigations continue to determine whether foul play was involved. False alarm Airport security officials were on high alert Sunday morning after being notified by German authorities about a telephone warning that explosives had been hidden in a German carrier at the Kuwait International Airpor t. The tele phone call was later determined to have been a hoax. The plane was quickly evacuated and moved to a secure location before a 3-hour search was carried out, during which no suitcase carrying a bomb, as described by the German authorities, was found. It later turned out that the phone call, which came from Canada claiming that the plane contains explosives, was false. Suicides A domestic worker was pronounced dead Sunday in Qadsiya after apparently committing suicide by jumping from her employer’s apar tment. The Asian woman reportedly jumped from the win-

dow of the third floor apartment when firefighters arrived. The body was taken to the forensic department while a case was filed at the area police station for investigation. Fatal fall A woman died in Al-Farwaniya after falling while trying to escape from a 7th floor apartment where she was being held to work as a prostitute. Her friend, meanwhile, escaped death when she fell onto the balcony of a 6th floor apartment. In the meantime, police arrested the apartment’s owner who, along with a friend who remains at large, had hired the prostitutes. The two Asian women had argued with their customers soon after entering the apartment. One of the Egyptian men decided to leave, as a result of the dispute, after which the other man locked the door of his apartment to prevent the women from escaping. The women reportedly tried to escape by using a piece of cloth as a rope but fell, which sent one of them to her death while the other was saved when she fell onto a balcony. Investigations are ongoing in search of the other man, as well as the woman who managed to enter the apartment after falling onto the balcony and escaping. — Al-Anbaa, Al-Rai, Al-Qabas, Al-Watan

Burgan Bank sponsors school graduation ceremony KUWAIT: Under the patronage of Sheikh Talal Al-Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and the attendance of Sheikh Meshaal Talal Al-Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Burgan Bank recently sponsored Al Imam Malek High School for Boys’ graduation ceremony, which was held in Movenpick Free Zone. Students were awarded certificates for their outstanding performance for the academic year 2011-2012. Representing the bank, Fahad Al Reshaid, Burgan Bank’s Public Relations Manager received a token of appreciation from Sheikh Meshaal Talal Al-Fahad Al-Ahmad AlSabah during the event. It is worth noting that student Talal Al Shgeih, who ranked first amongst Kuwaiti students across scientific studies, was amongst those who were honored during the ceremony. Such initiatives by Burgan Bank reflect its overall commitment to develop strong communications channels across the education sector in Kuwait with an aim to introduce the banking industry to students; a core part of the bank’s social responsibility framework. Established in 1977, Burgan Bank is the youngest commercial Bank based in Kuwait, with a significant focus on the corporate and financial institutions sectors, as well as having a growing retail and private bank customer base. Burgan Bank has four majority owned subsidiaries: Gulf Bank Algeria - AGB (Algeria), Bank of Baghdad BOB (Iraq), Jordan Kuwait Bank - JKB (Jordan) and Tunis International Bank - TIB (Tunisia), (collectively known as the “Burgan Bank Group”). The Bank has continuously improved its performance over the years through an expanded revenue structure, diversified funding sources, and a strong capital base. The adoption of state-of-the-art services and technology has positioned it as a trendsetter in the domestic market and within the MENA region. Burgan Bank’s brand has been created on a foundation of real values - of trust, commitment, excellence and progression, to remind us of the high standards to which we aspire. ‘People come first’ is the foundation on which its products and services are developed. Earlier this year, ‘Brand Finance’ - the international brand valuation company- rated Burgan Bank brand as AA with positive outlook. The rating places Burgan Bank Brand at 2nd amongst the most valuable banking brands in Kuwait. Excellence is one of the Bank’s four key values and Burgan Bank continually strives to maintain the highest standards in the industry. The Bank was re-certified in 2010 with the ISO 9001:2008 certification in all its banking businesses, making it the first bank in the GCC, and the only bank in Kuwait to receive such accreditation. The Bank also has to its credit the distinction of being the only Bank in Kuwait to have won the JP Morgan Chase Quality Recognition Award for twelve consecutive years. Burgan Bank won the prestigious “Banking Web Awards” prize in the commercial and corporate Category for Kuwait. In 2010 Burgan Bank was awarded with the “Best Internet Banking Service award” from Banker Middle East Awards. Burgan Bank was recognized in 2011 as Kuwait’s “Best Private Bank”, by World Finance. The bank also won, in 2011, the coveted “International Platinum Star for Quality” award from Business Initiative Directions, and “The Best Technical Award” from Banking Web Awards.

KUWAIT: Talal Al Shgeih, who ranked first amongst Kuwaiti students and Fahad Al Reshaid, Public Relations Manager at Burgan Bank.

KUWAIT: Children of Ministry of Interior employees paid a visit yesterday to the Kuwait Science Club where they were met by researcher Mohammad Al-Sadeq. He accompanied them on a tour of the facility and explained more about ‘Al-Ajairy Observatory.’ They also visited the planetarium and were briefed about it.



Low job satisfaction considered main reason for absenteeism Senior employees take more unplanned leaves KUWAIT: An ‘Absenteeism in the Middle East Workplace’ poll conducted by, the region’s number one job site, has shown that low job satisfaction and lack of responsibility are equally considered as reasons for employees to not attend work. The solution to this, according to 51 percent of poll respondents, is to reward regular attendance and punctuality. Absenteeism is considered to be harmful to business by eight out of ten poll-takers (79.8 percent, of which 58.2 percent state it is ‘very harmful’), with decreased overall productivity being seen as the most costly side effect of employee absence (26.8 percent). Possible loss of business or dissatisfied customers (22.3 percent) and problems with employee morale (21.3 percent) are considered to be the next most pertinent issues. When asked how often they take unplanned/unapproved days off work, 63.2 percent of poll-takers said that they do so ‘very rarely;’ however 11.9 percent claim to do so once a month. Almost half of the respondents (47 percent) believe that the level of absenteeism at their company is low, with a further 47.2 percent stating that they manage to easily

maintain a healthy work-life balance in their current role. Almost one in four (35.8 percent) say that although they do maintain a balance, it is not easy to do so. Female employees are seen to be absent more often than their male counterparts by 42.6 percent of respondents. Similarly, more than half (50.2 percent) of respondents believe that senior employees take more unplanned leaves than anyone else. The majority (58.2 percent) believe that management are treated preferentially when it comes to absenteeism; only 32 percent claim that everyone is treated equally. “Employers state that there are significant knock-on effects to absenteeism, and yet our survey has shown that there are a considerable number of companies that do not follow through on consequences for employees consistently taking unplanned leaves. This suggests that stronger measures should be considered, to ensure overall profitability and smoother operational functions,” said Suhail Masri, Vice President of Sales, Six out of ten (62.4 percent) say that their companies track employee absenteeism through ‘a specialized program with strict policies.’ Despite

this, a quarter of respondents (28.4 percent) say that their company tracks absenteeism, but ‘no serious measures are ever taken.’ A ‘lack of responsibility’ and ‘low job satisfaction’ ranked equally with 22.7 percent each as the main reason for absenteeism - conversely to the latter. However, seven out of ten employees claim that their working environment is good to excellent. Other leading reasons were lack of motivation (12.1 percent), bad employee/manager relations (9.1 percent), home and family responsibilities (7.5 percent) medical and health conditions (7.2 percent). Job stress and being overworked came in joint with six percent each. More than half of the poll’s respondents (51 percent) state that recognizing and rewarding regular and punctual attendance is the best way to lower rates of absenteeism. One fifth (18.5 percent) claim that a strict absenteeism policy will work, while nine percent believe that educating employees on the costs of absenteeism acts as a deterrent. Data for the ‘Absenteeism in the Middle East Work place’ poll was collected online from May 13 to June 21 2012, with 9,085 respondents covering more than 12 countries in the MENA region.

KUWAIT: The Embassy of Vietnam organized a presentation called “Vietnam -Timeless Charm” at the embassy over the weekend. Media people and tour operators attended the event. The total number of visitors to Vietnam reached 5,420,624 in 2011. The consul Thieu Tang Dzung urged the Kuwaitis and expatriates to visit his country to witness the beauty and hospitality of the people. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

Consumer complaints can be registered via hotline number KUWAIT: Consumers falling prey to deception can address complaints to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry over the telephone hotline number: 135, a senior official said yesterday reminding citizens of the country’s readiness to clamp down on commercial fraud. Consumers with complaints can contact the ministry around the clock to report their cases, said Rashed Al-Hajeri, Director of Department of Commercial Fraud and Awareness, who also affirmed the department’s keenness on boosting ‘the purchase education’ among consumers to protect them against deception and manipula-

KUWAIT: Al-Majed and Al-Hammad with program participants

Training program for Boubyan Bank staff KUWAIT: Boubyan ITQAN Academy launched its first training program aiming at developing young Kuwaiti leaders in cooperation with GUST, which are accredited by Missouri at St. Louis (UMSL) under the agreement entered into with GUST to act as “the exclusive academic partner” for Boubyan Bank in Kuwait. This special program for young leaders was held at ITQAN Academy headquarters and attended by 15 participants of the bank’s promising young Kuwaiti staff. In his speech to the first class graduating from the program, Adel Abdul-Wahab Al-Majed, the Chairman and MD of Boubyan Bank, underlined the importance of the step taken by the Bank to establish the ITQAN Academy that represents a qualitative leap in the field of professional and administrative training and development, not only on the local banks’ level but also on the regional level. “ITQAN Academy forms a new, distinguished addition as it shifts training and development concepts from the traditional style to a more advanced one as represented in granting the renowned academic certificates bachelor and master’s degrees in cooperation with the most prestigious American and international universities”, Al-Majed added. Al-Majed pointed out that the launch of the Academy and inception of its programs have come after a deliberated study based on the training requirements for staff and the care for developing their capabilities and enhancing their experience in an academic manner that will be reflected on their academic qualifications in

order to achieve better positive results for training and development. On his part, Adel AlHammad, GM- Human Resources Group- Boubyan Bank highlighted some details related to the Academy’s activities saying that its work is based on transforming specialized banking training programs into academic credits accredited by the most prestigious American, international and local universities. Al-Hammad added: “It was used to in all known training courses and workshops that participants obtain a course attendance or passing certificate, which is added to their professional record. However, in IQTAN Academy, the methodology is different, as the attendance of its courses will give Boubyan staff the opportunity to obtain an academic degree “MBA” after passing the pre-determined curriculum of training courses and programs.” The Academy’s trainees satisfying certain conditions will be able to obtain 24 accredited academic credits of the MBA at GUST, representing 53% of the program’s total accredited hours, which suits the key work requirements in Boubyan Bank. Trainees will also be given the opportunity to complete the remaining academic credits of the MBA program at GUST to obtain the certificate, in case they so desire. Regarding the interest in joining the Academy, Al-Hammad said that the interest of Kuwaiti fresh graduates was massive as expected due to the offered benefits that can be achieved for all in case of joining Boubyan Bank; basically obtaining high-level academic certificates

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

tion. In addition to the hotline number, the ministry has set up commercial supervision centers across various districts of the country, said Al-Hajeri, calling on consumers and dealers to cooperate with these authorities to maintain regular conditions in local markets. Such awareness is particularly required now, ahead of upcoming fasting month of Ramadan, he said, calling on consumers to stock up on food and necessities for the holy month in advance for the sake of taking advantage of current greater choices and availability of reasonable prices, clearly indicating the

cost of food products’ general increase during the month-due to begin in about three weeks’ time. He advised consumers to ensure that bills are received against purchased goods and compare prices of the item at various stores. On a separate issue, Al-Hajeri advised motorists to examine the condition of tires of their cars. With the arrival of the hot summer season, for sake of safety. He also cautioned that some dealers try to deceive the customers by selling them used and expired tires. Some also change name of the country of origin and manufacturing date. —KUNA

Arab Spring might inspire new theater: Al-Bassam KUWAIT: The current political happenings taking place in the Arab world, named Arab Spring, can provide inspiration to local theater, plays, and other forms of artistic expression, said Kuwaiti theater director Sulaiman Al-Bassam yesterday. Speaking to KUNA after his participation in ‘Arab World in Revolutions’ conference held in Paris last week, Al-Bassam said that the current situation has compelled him to focus on the creation of theatrical productions with political awareness messages. Al-Bassam revealed that he was working on a play that touches upon the revSulaiman Al-Bassam olution in the Arab world, and its impact on the region. He is a Kuwaiti playwright and theater director, and founder of Zaoum Theatre Company (London 19962001). From The Royal Shakespeare Company in the UK to Peter Brook’s legendary theatre in Paris, from Japan to the USA, Al-Bassam’s work has been celebrated

across four continents by the world’s most prestigious cultural powerhouses. The work of Sulaiman Al-Bassam Theater challenges the negative preconception surrounding Arab and Muslim culture today, it champions the Arab cause internationally and creates an intercultural space for Arab culture on the world stage. —KUNA

KUWAIT: A scene from one of the plays by Kuwaiti theater director Sulaiman Al-Bassam.

Kuwaiti diplomats on educational visit to EU institution BRUSSELS: A batch of six young diplomats from the Foreign Ministry have arrived in Brussels to visit the European Union institutions which are based in three cities, Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg. “It is our first visit from Kuwait and the Gulf area,” Counselor Abdullah Al-Yahya who supervises the diplomatic team told the Kuwait news agency, KUNA. He noted that the week-long trip

is taking place under the supervision of the Kuwait Diplomatic Institute. Al-Yahya who is also secretary of the Board of Directors said that the Institute was established in 2006 but officially began functioning in 2008 to train Kuwaiti diplomats. Until now three batches of diplomats have graduated from there. The visit follows a proposal by the Kuwait embassy in Brussels to give young Kuwaiti diplomats an idea

about how various EU institutions function and coordinate with each other. On Monday and Tuesday in Brussels, they will be meeting officials from the European Commission, the EU Council, NATO and the Belgian Foreign Ministry. Kuwait’s ambassador to Brussels Nabeela Al Mulla will also brief her country’s diplomats on relations shared between Kuwait and the 27member European bloc. — KUNA

Saudi warns citizens not to travel to Lebanon JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has urged its citizens not to travel to Lebanon, citing concerns over security in a country shaken by the uprising in neighbouring Syria, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday. The Saudis joined Gulf peers Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in advising citizens to stay away from Lebanon, where sectarian tensions fuelled by the revolt in Syria sparked street fighting earlier this year. “Considering the unstable situation in the Lebanese arena, the Foreign Ministry warns its citizens against travelling to Lebanon for their own safety,” a Foreign Ministry official was quoted as saying on the state news agency SPA. Gulf Arab states - particularly Saudi Arabia and Qatar - have thrown their weight behind the anti-gov-

ernment uprising in Syria, paying the salaries of members of Syrian rebel army and calling for the opposition to be armed. Wealthy tourists from Gulf states flock to Lebanon, particularly in the summer months, giving a boost to the economy that has been hit hard by unrest in Syria. Supporters and opponents of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have battled in the Lebanese port city of Tripoli, and the border area has been used by rebels to smuggle arms into Syria and take refuge from government troops. In April, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Lebanon to avoid Lebanon’s border areas after two Saudi citizens were kidnapped and tortured for eight days. The two were later freed in a joint Saudi-Lebanese rescue operation. — Reuters

KUWAIT: The Officers Club organized a trip to Umm Al-Maradem Island in cooperation with the Coast Guard. Assistant Undersecretary for Border Security Lt Gen Sheikh Mohammad Al-Yousuf received participants and welcomed them. Participants took part in a recreational competition and gifts were distributed.


Four aid workers freed in Somalia ‘happy to be alive’ Page 10

Pena Nieto victorious in Mexico presidential vote Page 9

HOMS: Members of the Free Syrian Army ride motorbikes in the village of Azzara on the outskirts of flashpoint city of Homs.—AFP

Syria helicopters strike suburb; diplomacy stalled Turkey scrambles jets near border BEIRUT: Syrian attack helicopters bombarded a suburb of Damascus yesterday and Turkey said it had scrambled warplanes near the border in the north, as a 16-month conflict entered a more violent phase and diplomacy appeared to have failed. Fighting has come to the gates of the capital in recent weeks and is also raging throughout the country as the battle to unseat President Bashar al-Assad increasingly takes on the character of an all-out civil war, fuelled by sectarian hate. Syrian government forces have launched an assault on Douma, a city on the edge of Damascus where they stormed a rebel stronghold two days ago leaving bodies rotting in the streets of the nearly abandoned town. “The bombardment of

Douma continued today using helicopters. Some activists entered the city today and they saw at least seven decaying bodies in the streets under the sun. One man had been executed inside his house,” said Mohamed Doumany, an activist who fled the city two days ago and was now nearby. “ There is huge destruction in the city, which is almost empty. Only a few of its people remain inside,” he told Reuters by Skype. Diplomats from the West and Arab states who oppose Assad met the Syrian leader’s allies Russia and China on Saturday in Geneva under the auspices of peace envoy Kofi Annan. But they made no progress persuading Moscow and Beijing to sign up to a statement calling for Assad

to leave power, leaving the effort to forge an international consensus in tatters. The failure of diplomacy to have any measurable impact on a conflict that the United Nations says has killed more than 13,000 people is testing the patience of countries in the region, especially Turkey, which reacted with fury 10 days ago when Syria shot down one of its warplanes. Turkey said yesterday it had scrambled six F-16 fighters in response to three separate incidents of Syrian helicopters approaching the border. Turkey also scrambled fighters on Saturday and has moved guns and soldiers toward the frontier. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told Syrian opposition figures gathered in Cairo that their struggle to unseat Assad

would end in victory. “ The Assad regime’s guns, tanks, weapons have no meaning in the face of the will of the Syrian people. Sooner or later the will of the Syrian people shall reign supreme. And you will lead this process,” he said. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, a former ally of Assad who has turned decisively against him, says Turkish military rules of engagement have been changed and any Syrian forces approaching the border and deemed threatening will be targeted. The Syrian government tightly controls access, making it difficult to verify accounts of fighting on the ground. AntiAssad activists said there were heavy clashes in Deir Ezzor province near the Iraqi border where villages were under army fire.

Syria’s paramilitary gangs, a law unto themselves HOMS: When rifle-toting members of Syria’s shabbiha progovernment paramilitary gangs strut into a shop, cowed residents of Homs know to clear out of their way. Accused of atrocities that include the massacre last month of scores of women and children - many of whose throats were slit and heads bashed in - the militiamen cut to the front of the queue as shoppers shrink back and staff rush to serve them. In their informal uniform of camouflage trousers and white sneakers, the young recruits swan down the streets of the Alawite neighbourhoods, set up checkpoints at a whim and stop traffic to question drivers. “We don’t know when they’ll show up and when they’ll disappear,” whispered Abu Tamam, from the Alawite neighbourhood of Zahra where hundreds of men have joined shabbiha gangs. “Some of their leaders are the biggest thugs in the neighbourhood. Now they’re supposed to be our saviours.” Lawless groups of shabbiha now style themselves as above the control of the very security forces that created them to support the brutal crackdown on the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad that began in March 2011. Homs is filled with men like short, fat, balding 40year-old Louay. He hardly looks like a gang leader. But he is not afraid of force, and he claims he takes orders from no one - not even the government he is fighting to protect. “If the government can’t end this farce, we will. I have boys who would eat rocks,” he growls. “Enough is enough. The army has been at it for a year and can’t put a stop to this.” Opponents of the government say shabbiha are a convenient cat’s paw manipulated by the secret intelligence apparatus of the Assad police state, ready to do the dirty work with no written orders so the state can deny responsibility. Sixteen months into a revolt that activists say has claimed at least 13,000 lives, the balance of power

between the military and the vigilante gangs is shifting. Shabbiha now operate on their own, and sometimes even in contempt of the army. “Bashar will stay in power as long as I have breath in my body, but his army leaders are rats,” Louay says. “My guys and I work for ourselves, without orders from anybody.” But despite their boasts of independence from the army, the shabbiha’s relationship with internal security and intelligence branches has become so close that some members said they have called on security forces to back up raids. Like most shabbiha men, Louay is from Assad’s own minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam. Alawite elites have dominated Syria for four decades under Assad and his father. Hardline Alawite loyalists insist they are not fighting a popular uprising, but battling for survival against Syria’s majority Sunni Muslim population that leads the revolt. The victims of army raids on rebellious Sunni areas say assaults usually start with army shelling but end with up-close killing by shabbiha guns and knives. Some come just to loot. Others shoot and stab those who have not fled the army barrage. Video records of the aftermath show brutal scenes of bloody bodies, children with smashed skulls. Military officers insist their relationship with shabbiha is a forced partnership developed by Syria’s security apparatus. “There is clear, mutual hatred between the soldiers and shabbiha,” said one army officer, who asked to remain anonymous. “All those things you see in the media have nothing to do with us - the random killings, stealing. We have cases of Homs massacres and we’re still looking for the culprits. Because inside their neighborhoods, the shabbiha are in charge.” The army theoretically controls Alawite areas in Homs. It has troops and heavy artillery on most street corners. But it is the shabbiha that residents fear. The term comes from the Arabic word for “ghost,” and was also the nickname of

gangs close to security forces in the 1980s, who ran smuggling and car theft rackets during the rule of Bashar’s father, Hafez al-Assad. But the roots of Syria’s new shabbiha have little to do with their mafia-style predecessors. The gangs spawned by the war are the ugly metamorphosis of “neighbourhood watch groups” organised by local security forces as the Syrian revolt grew. “The government’s biggest mistake was the community watch groups,” said another army officer who also requested anonymity. “They created the shabbiha, and now they are a force above the law. How can you trust them? If the situation continues like this, they will become fully-fledged militias,” he said. For most of the hundreds of young men who joined the ranks of the shabbiha, membership is a badge of pride and a way to defend a minority community they believe is under threat. Young recruits like 20-year-old Samir are called “chicks”. He shifts the kalashnikov over his scrawny shoulders as he walks the streets. His parents kicked him out of the house when he joined the shabbiha. “There are even younger ones, there’s a 16-year-old who helps us with some attacks,” he said. “We’re not ignorant you know, I’m a first year law student. But right now, our country is more important and those rebels are criminals. What is happening is a war against Alawites and we will not be silent.” Army sources say local security branches have given licences to many men in places like Homs to carr y weapons, officially for self-defence, due to deteriorating conditions in Syria. Shabbiha leaders now have a constant supply of income from raiding and looting rebellious areas and can easily buy more weapons and ammunition. In Hom’s Zahra neighbourhood, Murad holds court with his group of 30 men cradling rifles. A hulking former prison inmate, he says he now works closely with the security forces and has spies planted among the rebels.—Reuters

Rebels destroyed two tanks, they said. In rural areas near Aleppo south of the Turkish border there were clashes following explosions inside the city overnight. Forested areas near the border were on fire, activists said. Syrian artillery pounded the village of Talbiseh near Homs yesterday, targeting an area near the mosque. Video footage posted on YouTube showed a blast hitting the mosque’s slender minaret, engulfing it in a cloud of grey smoke and dust. O ther footage showed high explosive rounds slamming into an unseen target behind the mosque every minute. Security forces were also shelling towns in the province of Deraa, near the Jordan border, activists said. — Reuters

Indian teen girl kills father, brother over affair PATNA: Police arrested a teenage girl in eastern India on charges of killing her father and brother who opposed her affair with a lower-caste boy, in a reversal of the usual “honour killing” scenario. According to police, the 14-year-old confessed Sunday after her arrest to mixing poison with a vegetable curry that she served to her father and younger brother who both died after consuming the dish. The incident occurred on Saturday in Malpur village, 75 kilometers (45 miles) from Patna, the state capital of Bihar. The girl’s mother, Sunita Devi, told police she survived because she had been ill and refused to eat the food. “The girl took this extreme step as her family members, including father, brother and mother, were... against her love affair with a boy and her plans to marry him,” senior police officer Upendra Kumar Sinha told AFP. The boy was a member of India’s Dalit community. Dalits, or “untouchables” as they used to be known, occupy the lowest rung in India’s rigid caste hierarchy. Most live in poverty and do menial, supposedly “unclean” jobs like collecting garbage. The girl’s family, which belong to a higher caste, had previously beaten the boy when the couple were caught trying to elope. Such incidents resulting from disputed inter-caste relationships more commonly see male family members murdering their daughter or sister for bringing “dishonor” on the family. There are no official figures on honor killings, though an independent study in 2010 suggested as many as 900 were committed every year in the northern Indian states of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. Bihar is one of India’s most impoverished and caste-ridden states.—AFP



Palestinians detain dozens in crackdown on weapons JENIN REFUGEE CAMP: The Palestinian government has detained some 200 people in recent weeks, including security officers, in the biggest crackdown on illegal weapons in the West Bank in five years, a spokesman said yesterday. The campaign is unusual because it targets include alleged vigilante gunmen linked to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement. Previously, security forces went mainly after armed supporters of rival groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Of some 200 people detained since May, nearly half have been released after surrendering their weapons, while the others remain in custody, said police spokesman Adnan Damiri. In all, about 100 guns have been seized, he said. The weapons roundup was sparked by a shooting attack in May on the house of the governor of

the Jenin district, Kadoura Mousa, who later died of a heart attack. Damiri said suspects in that shooting are among those in detention. Others are being held on suspicion of illegal weapons dealing, extortion and attacks on security officers, he said. The operation focuses on the Jenin district, the largest contiguous area under Palestinian self-rule. Israel retains overall control of the West Bank, a territory it captured in 1967, along with the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. Palestinians have limited autonomy in 38 percent of the West Bank. The performance of Abbas’ security forces, key to buttressing Palestinian claims for independence, has won Israeli praise in recent years. At the same time, Palestinian officials complain that Israeli restrictions on the movement of the Palestinian security forces and frequent Israeli army

incursions into self-rule areas hamper their efforts. Jenin saw some of the worst IsraeliPalestinian violence during a Palestinian uprising a decade ago. At the time, gunmen fighting Israel emerged as local heroes, but also acted with impunity at home, terrorizing other members of the community, residents say. In recent years, the Palestinian Authority has gradually taken control in Jenin and other parts of the West Bank. Several high-profile shootings in Jenin in the past 15 months signaled that the campaign was far from complete. In a brazen daytime attack in April 2011, a masked gunman shot and killed Israeli-Arab actor Juliano Mer Khamis, who ran a local community theater, after stopping his car in the Jenin refugee camp. The killer remains at large.

That was followed by the attack on the governor ’s house in May. On Sunday, assailants fired at Palestinian lawmaker Shami al-Shami of Fatah, wounding him in the leg as he approached his home. Damiri said the motive remains unclear and that there are no suspects yet in Sunday’s shooting. Al-Shami said in an interview Sunday that he opposes taking weapons away from Fatah loyalists, arguing that the movement needs them for a possible future confrontation with Hamas and other rivals. The Islamic militant Hamas seized Gaza by force in 2007, leaving Abbas with only parts of the West Bank. In response to the Gaza takeover, Abbas cracked down on Islamic militants in the West Bank, arresting armed supporters and shutting down Hamas-linked institutions. Damiri said

the current campaign is the biggest since 2007. In another development, the Hamas government in Gaza has suspended efforts to update the registration of Gaza voters as a precursor to planned presidential and parliamentary elections in the Palestinian territories. The elections are linked to stalled efforts by Abbas and Hamas to implement a reconciliation agreement. Under the deal, Abbas would lead an interim unity government ahead of elections, while each side is supposed to stop arresting the other group’s activists. A Hamas official, Sami Abu Zuhri, said the work by the Central Election Commission is being suspended because of what he said is harassment of Hamas supporters in the West Bank. Hamas officials said Abbas’ security forces stepped up detentions of the movement’s supporters in June.—AP

Libya releases ICC legal team Release part of agreement with The Hague-based court

MOGADISHU: Somali women wave their national flag at Konis stadium, in Mogadishu, during a ceremony marking the anniversary of Somalia’s independence on Sunday Somalia gained its independence on July 1, 1960. —AFP

Israel’s Netanyahu dissolves committee to reform draft law JERUSALEM: Israel’s prime minister yesterday dissolved a high-profile committee assigned to reform the country’s military draft law to spread the burden among more sectors of society, conscripting ultra-Orthodox Jews and requiring Israeli Arabs to do civilian service. The issue is one of the most charged in Israeli society. The country’s secular majority considers the mass exemptions unjust, while the ultra-Orthodox claim they are serving the state by serving God. Compulsory service for Israel’s Arab minority is just as fraught. More than 60,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews are exempt from the compulsory service to pursue religious studies. Israel’s Supreme Court recently ruled that system illegal and ordered the government to come up with an alternative by July 31. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was committed to an “equal sharing of the burden,” but he said the committee failed to reach a consensus and would not be able to draw up legislation that could win parliamentary approval. The court-mandated aim was to end sweeping exemptions for ultra-Orthodox Jews, but Netanyahu has said national service is a burden that must be shared by all, including Israeli Arabs. The committee tackled that issue as well but failed to reach agreement. Arabs make up about 20 percent of Israel’s 8 million citizens. As ethnic Palestinians who enjoy equality with Israeli Jews on paper but have suffered from decades of discrimination and often feel like second-class citizens, most resent being told to serve. Israeli men are required to serve three years in the military and Israeli women about two years. In recent days, the com-

mittee began to unravel. First, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s nationalist Israel Beiteinu Party and another smaller coalition faction quit because civilian service for Arabs would not be mandatory. Then the ultra Orthodox parties’ de facto representative dropped out because the pending recommendation would have penalized rabbinical students who refused to serve. Kadima, the largest party in parliament, cited ensuring universal military service as its main justification for joining Netanyahu’s coalition government in May and has hinted it would quit if the draft law is not overhauled. UltraOrthodox Jews make up about 10 percent of the population. “I prefer an agreed-upon and gradual solution, but if we cannot reach such a solution by August 1, the military will draft according to its needs,” Netanyahu said in a statement, implying that all exemptions would technically expire because of the court order. “I believe that it will do so while taking into consideration the various publics so as to prevent a rift in the nation.” After the state was created in 1948, Israel’s founders set a precedent to give military exemptions to 400 exemplary seminary students to help rebuild great schools of Jewish learning destroyed in the Holocaust of World War II, when 6 million Jews were killed and entire communities wiped out. As ultra-Orthodox parties became political power brokers, the numbers of exemptions multiplied along with state support for their institutions. The number has ballooned from 400 to 60,000, and fewer than 1,300 were conscripted in the past year, according to military figures.—AP

JERUSALEM: The coffin of former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir is carried by an honour guard at the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) in Jerusalem yesterday. Shamir, who was a member of the right-wing Likud party, died on June 30 at the age of 96. —AFP

ZINTAN: Libya yesterday freed four envoys of the International Criminal Cour t who had been detained after visiting a son of slain dictator Muammar Gaddafi last month, officials said. “The four members (of the ICC team) were released,” Ajmi al-Atiri, commander of a brigade holding Seif al-Islam Gaddafi, told journalists in Zintan, southwest of Tripoli. The four, including Australian lawyer Melinda Taylor, had been held in Zintan since June 7 after travelling to the hilltop town to help prepare Seif al-Islam’s defence. Taylor was accused of carrying a pen camera and attempting to give Seif alIslam a coded letter from his former right-hand man, Mohammed Ismail, who is wanted by the Libyan authorities. The other three detained ICC staffers are Taylor’s interpreter from Lebanon, Helen Assaf, and two colleagues, Russian Alexander Khodakov and Esteban Peralta Losilla from Spain. Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed Abdel Aziz said the ICC envoys would leave the Nor th African country yesterday, as part of an agreement that his government reached with The Hague-based court. ICC president Sang-Hyung Song, speaking at the same news conference in Zintan, thanked the Libyan authorities for mediating the release of the court’s legal team. “ The ICC is grateful to the Libyan authorities for making the necessary arrangements to allow the release of the ICC members,” Song said. “I wish to apologize for the difficulties which arose due to these events. There will be an investigation following the return of (ICC) members to The Hague.

Any member found with any misconduct will face appropriate sanction.” Following the announcement, a late lunch was served for South Korea’s Song and the newly released ICC envoys who appeared to be in good health, an AFP journalist at the scene said. Taylor and Assaf were dressed in black abayas, a loose cloak worn by some women in par ts of the Muslim world, and matching Islamic headscarves, the reporter added. The ordeal of the ICC legal team might not be over just yet. Abdel Aziz said the four had been summoned to a Libyan court on July 23 to complete the judicial process which was set in motion by the prosecutor general’s investigations. Any verdict would be transferred by the ICC for follow-up, he said, adding: “The ICC has agreed to keep Libyan authorities informed on the results of its investigations.” It was unclear whether they would have to return to Libya for the case or be tried in absentia. Libyan officials have said that the actions of the ICC team represented a “breach of national security,” a matter Tripoli did not take lightly, despite its declared commitment to cooperate with the court. Ajmi said yesterday that he had anticipated there would be attempts to free Seif al-Islam by supporters of the former regime but not by members of a renowned international institution. “ What is regrettable is that these acts were carried out by an international institution which we respect and that played an important role during the Libyan revolution,” he said. The ICC wants to try Seif al-Islam, 40, for crimes against humanity allegedly committed last year when his father ’s regime

TRIPOLI: The President of the International Criminal Court, South Korean, Sang-Hyun Song (R) walks with Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim (C) and Justice Minister Ali Hmeida Ashur (L) after arriving at Tripoli’s Metiga military airport yesterday as court officials said Libya was poised to free a legal team detained after visiting slain leader Muammar Gaddafi’s jailed son. —AFP attempted in vain to crush a popular uprising. Tripoli insists he should be tried before a Libyan court and filed a motion on May 1 challenging the jurisdiction of the

International Criminal Court. But it has failed to secure the prisoner’s transfer to Tripoli from Zintan, where has been held since his capture last November.—AFP


in brief Yemen troops fire on unemployed protesters

ADEN: Yemeni troops yesterday opened fire on dozens of jobless protesters who demonstrated near an oilfield operated by French Total in the southeastern Hadramawt province, wounding 10 people, a local official said. ìTen demonstrators were injured, two of them seriously,î said the official on condition of anonymity. Witnesses said troops guarding the facility fired tear gas and live ammunition at the demonstrators who gathered on a road leading to the oilfield carrying banners calling on energy company Total to hire them. Yemen, the Arab worldís poorest country, has high unemployment rates and is suffering from an escalating humanitarian crisis, exacerbated by protests last year that forced veteran President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down after more than three decades of rule. Attacks on oil and gas pipelines by Al-Qaeda militants or tribesmen seeking to pressure the government into meeting their demands are common. Al-Qaedaís branch in Yemen has exploited the decline in central government control that accompanied the uprising. Total has been operating in Yemen since 1987 and has an almost 40 percent stake in the Balhaf liquid natural gas plant, an investment worth 4.5 billion dollars, the countryís biggest. Yemen produces only about 300,000 barrels of oil a day, most of which is destined for export.

Turkish warplanes bomb Kurdish hideouts in Iraq ANKARA: Turkish warplanes have struck several locations in northern Iraq believed to be Kurdish rebel hideouts, the army said yesterday. The strikes follow a June 19 rebel attack on an army outpost near the Iraqi border that killed eight Turkish soldiers and wounded another 19. The army command said in a statement that it hit ìthree targets belonging to the separatist terrorist organisation,î referring to the outlawed Kurdistan Workersí Party (PKK) rebels, after exploratory flights located their suspected hideouts. The jets safely returned to their bases in Turkey, the statement added, without specifying when the air strikes had taken place. In a subsequent statement, the army said it had also bombed PKK hideouts on June 24, when 25 rebels were killed and another 23 injured. Another 30 or so rebels were killed during the June 19 clash, according to the army.

BANDAR ABBAS: Iranian children throw flowers into the sea yesterday as they commemorate the 24th anniversary of the downing of Iran Air flight 655 by the US navy. The plane was shot down by mistake over the Gulf by the US navy’s guided missile cruiser, USS Vincennes, during confrontation with Iranian speedboats on July 3, 1988, killing 290 civilian passengers and crew members. — AFP

Iran wants ‘win-win’ in nuclear talks TEHRAN: Iran wants a “win-win” outcome in its talks with world powers over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program, the country’s foreign minister said yesterday, warning that the only other choice is confrontation. Three rounds of nuclear negotiations between Iran and six world powers have failed to produce a breakthrough. A lowlevel meeting of technical experts is scheduled for today in Istanbul to see whether there is enough common ground to return to full-fledged talks. “We want to see a win-win outcome,” Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told the semiofficial ISNA news agency on the eve of the discussions in Turkey. “In the talks, the other side has no choice but to find an agreement, otherwise confrontation will be the alternative. I don’t think that common sense is looking for a confrontation.” Iran is locked in a tense standoff with the West over Tehran’s nuclear program, which the Islamic Republic insists is purely for civilian purposes, such as producing energy and medical isotopes. The U.S., Israel and others suspect the program is instead a cover for building

nuclear weapons. Israel has accused Iran of stretching out the talks to move closer to the ability to make an atomic bomb, and it has threatened to attack Iran a last resort. Salehi said Iran prefers diplomacy to conflict, but stressed that it is prepared for anything. “We are looking for a deal and not a confrontation, but if they (world powers) want to react unwisely, they should know that Iran will firmly defend its rights as it did during the Iran-Iraq war” in the 1980s, he said. The U.S. and EU have imposed several rounds of sanctions to pressure Iran to give up it uranium enrichment program. On Sunday, an EU ban on the purchase of Iranian oil took effect, days after new U.S. sanctions prohibited the world’s banks from completing oil transactions with Iranian banks. Iran acknowledged that the measures were taking a toll, saying it has stockpiled goods and hard currency to help cushion the economy. The Islamic Republic initially responded to the sanctions by threatening to block the Strait of Hormuz, the strategic waterway through which about one -fifth of the world’s oil is shipped.— AP


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

At least 18 dead after US storms cut power in East WASHINGTON: Millions of people in a swath of states along the US East Coast and farther west went into a third sweltering day without power yesterday after a round of summer storms that killed more than a dozen people. The outages left many to contend with stifling homes and spoiled food over the weekend as temperatures approached or exceeded 100 degrees (38 Celsius). Around 2 million customers from North Carolina to New Jersey and as far west as Illinois were without power yesterday morning. And utility officials said the power would

likely be out for several more days. Since Friday, severe weather has been blamed for at least 18 deaths, most from trees falling on homes and cars. The power outages had prompted concerns of traffic problems as commuters took to roads with darkened stoplights. But throughout northern Virginia, there was less traffic than normal in many places yesterday as federal workers took advantage of liberal leave that was put in place for the day. To alleviate traffic congestion around Baltimore and Washington, federal and state offi-

cials gave many workers the option of staying home yesterday. Maryland’s governor also gave state workers wide leeway for staying out of the office. On Sunday night in North Carolina, a 77-year-old man was killed when strong winds collapsed a barn where he was parking an all-terrain vehicle, authorities said. In another part of the state, a couple was killed when a tree fell on the golf cart they were driving. Officials said trees fell onto dozens of houses, and two hangars were destroyed at an airport in Beaufort County. The damage was most-

ly blamed on straight-line winds, which are strong gusts pushed ahead of fastmoving thunderstorms like a wall of wind. Elsewhere, at least six of the dead were killed in Virginia, including a 90year-old woman asleep in her bed when a tree slammed into her home. Two young cousins in New Jersey were killed when a tree fell on their tent while camping. Two were killed in Maryland, one in Ohio, one in Kentucky and one in Washington. In West Virginia, authorities said one person died early Sunday when the all-terrain vehicle they were riding

hit a tree that had fallen over a road. From Atlanta to Baltimore, temperatures approached or exceeded heat records. Atlanta set a record with a high of 105 degrees (41 Celsius), while the temperature hit 99 (37 Celsius) at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport just outside the nation’s capital. With no air conditioning, officials urged residents to check on their elderly relatives and neighbors. It was tough to find a free pump at gas stations that did have power, and lines of cars snaked around fastfood drive-thrus.—AP

Pena Nieto victorious in Mexico presidential vote PRI gets 38 percent of votes

COLORADO: Jerry Lidenberg, 75, and his wife Beth, 71, look over the ashes of the home they lived in for 19 years on Sunday in the Mountain Shadows subdivision of Colorado Springs, Colo., after the Waldo Canyon fire ravaged the neighborhood. So far, the blaze, now 45 percent contained, has damaged or destroyed nearly 350 homes. —AP

For parts of the US, a fireworks-free Fourth DENVER: Drought and wildfire fears are snuffing out some Fourth of July festivities this year. From Utah to Indiana, state and local governments are calling off annual fireworks displays out of fear that a stray rocket could ignite tinder-dry brush and trigger a wildfire. They’re also warning residents not to use fireworks, sparklers or Roman candles in backyards. The worry is especially acute in the West, where crews are already battling out-of-control blazes in several states. Parts of the Midwest are affected, too, after weeks without any significant rain. “We usually have a fireworks barge and a huge gala that attracts thousands of people,” said Bill Appleby of the Grand Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, which represents the lakeside resort town about 90 miles northwest of Denver in the Rocky Mountains. The display is usually safe out on the water, but “we just can’t risk an errant ember.” It’s not uncommon for communities to delay or cancel fireworks shows because of drought conditions, but this year, the practice is more widespread. Last year, about a third of the country was in drought. Now nearly three-quarters is, according to the latest US Drought Monitor map, a weekly analysis of dryness across the nation. The parched conditions have been aggravated by a dry, mild winter and above-normal temperatures. Fires have charred more than 1.8 million acres this year in the U.S., and much of Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana have been under red-flag warnings for extreme fire danger. In Colorado, where hundreds of homes have been destroyed by flames in the past month, firefighters have said they don’t have the time or resources to stand watch over public events. At least nine public fireworks displays have been called off. Montana hasn’t called for an end to big displays yet, but Gov. Brian Schweitzer is urging people not to set off their own fireworks and has left the door open to canceling public shows. Officials have also canceled displays or issued warnings restricting private fireworks in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Utah and Wisconsin. “Nobody wants to not have fireworks,” said Chris Magnuson of Albion, Ind., a town of about 2,300 that postponed its annual July 4 fireworks show to Labor Day weekend after county officials banned outdoor burning. “It’s just not safe enough.” The danger is real: Fireworks were blamed for more than 15,500 blazes and $36 million in property damage in 2010, according to the National Fire Protection Association in Quincy, Mass. States have also clamped down on all kinds of outdoor fire hazards, including campfires, smoking and use of portable grills. Paul Forman, who owns Independence Fireworks and Forman

Blasters Pyrotechnics in Peru, Ind., said he understands the safety concerns, but his business has been devastated. Four customers called off fireworks shows this week, and he anticipated more cancellations before the holiday. He said his business had dropped from about 50 customers a day to a total of 11. “This emergency order hit me like a twoby-four,” Forman said.Forman was going to deliver the fireworks in Bunker Hill, Ind., which had scheduled a show Saturday night following a parade, a picnic and the local Little League championships. Instead, Little League officials in the town of 900 about 60 miles north of Indianapolis canceled the show because of the fire risk. Carol Russell had been looking forward to taking her family to the fireworks show. Her kids - three teens and a 9-year-old - are growing up, and she said this might be the last year they thought the display was cool. “Tradition is a big deal for us. It’s like a big bubble burst,” Russell said. Some states are grappling with just how far they can go in issuing bans. New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez said she considers fireworks a risk that can be avoided, but state law allows cities and counties to ban only certain classifications of fireworks and where they can be used. More than half of the state’s 33 counties and its largest cities have already imposed restrictions and urged residents to attend organized events instead of setting off their own. “We should all be able to agree that preventing fires that could devastate our communities is a priority that transcends politics,” said Martinez, who plans to push legislation again next year that would establish a system allowing for specially tailored temporary bans during extreme droughts. Leaders of the fireworks industry, which brought in nearly $1 billion in sales nationally in 2011, question whether firework bans are legal. Steve Graves, executive director of the Indiana Fireworks Association, said people should be given credit for common sense. Indiana law allows fireworks from June 29 to July 9 regardless of whether local burn bans are in place. Some communities have declared drought disaster emergencies to enact bans in an attempt to get around the law. “Instead of talking about safety, they decided to treat Hoosiers like they’re a bunch of idiots that can’t think for themselves,” Graves said. At the TNT Fireworks stand just outside Helena, Mont., some customers planned to heed the calls to keep their fireworks under wraps for July Fourth, said stand co-owner Anna Richards. “Would I rather make money or would I rather see Montana burn?” Richards said. “There’s more to life than these two weeks.” Wilson reported from Indianapolis. —AP

MEXICO CITY: Aided by fury at Mexico’s brutal drug violence, youthful leader Enrique Pena Nieto has delivered a stunning return to power for the country ’s once -reviled Institutional Revolutionary Party. Pena Nieto declared victory in the presidential election late Sunday, after poll monitors announced official results showing him with 38 percent of the vote, ending more than a decade in the political wilderness for the PRI. The winner’s nearest rival, leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador from the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), took 31 percent according to initial results, but was refusing to concede the race. The center-left PRI was synonymous with the Mexican state as it governed for seven decades until 2000 using a mixture of patronage and selective repression-isolating political foes through bought elections and skewed media coverage. Current President Felipe Calderon’s ruling right-wing National Action Party (PAN) was third, hemorrhaging support due to the brutal drug war that has claimed more than 50,000 lives since he came to power in 2006. “If these results are confirmed... Pena Nieto will be named president elect, and starting December 1, will be the next president of the republic,” Calderon said minutes after the early official results were out. “I want to sincerely congratulate him,” said Calderon. “My government is fully prepared to collaborate with his team to guarantee that the change of administration takes place in an orderly, transparent and efficient manner.” Elated by his poll triumph, the dapper, perfectly-coifed Pena Nieto, 45, entered the PRI headquarters in Mexico City to a hero’s welcome after the results were announced by the independent Federal Electoral Institute (IFE). “Presidente! Presidente!” the crowd chanted, with the victor emerging to address supporters in a tone that was magnanimous toward his opponents. “The day of voting has ended. The country now demands... the unity of all Mexicans,” he said, thanking the other candidates by name, including Calderon, for what he said was their contribution to democracy. Pena Nieto, an exgovernor of populous Mexico state, just west of the capital, is married to glamorous telenovela star Angelica Rivera, and benefited from his family connections with powerful old guard PRI politicos as well as a savvy media team that carefully stage -managed his appearances. IFE president Leonardo Valdes said the first

official results were based on returns from 7,500 polling stations and have a 0.5 percent margin of error. In 2006, when Lopez Obrador ran for president and lost by less than one percent, he organized protests that paralyzed Mexico City for more than a month, and swore in as the “legitimate” president and even appointed a cabinet. Far behind in the initial results was Josefina Vazquez Mota from Calderon’s PAN party with 25 percent, feeling the backlash from the incumbent’s effort to smash the drug cartels. Calderon’s military crackdown has turned parts of the country into war zones and despite presiding over a period of steady economic growth, he leaves as an unpopular president with a dubious legacy. The economy grew under Calderon, but so did poverty: 47 percent of the nation’s 112 million residents are poor, according to figures from the government, Latin America’s second biggest economy. Nearly one million Mexicans-including election workers, volunteer citizens and

MEXICO CITY: Supporters of Enrique Pena Nieto, presidential candidate for the Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI) celebrate at party headquarters as exit polls begin to come in for general elections in Mexico City, Mexico, Sunday.—AP

Montreal police probing Lin murder find possible body part MONTREAL: Montreal police have found possible human remains in a local park, fueling speculation they could be those of Chinese student Jun Lin, the victim of one of Canada’s most gruesome murders in recent memory. Police said they discovered what looked like a human body part late on Sunday after officers with the force’s major crime unit, which has been investigating the Lin murder, received information that led them to search the park. The object was sent to a lab for testing. Police said yesterday it’s too early to make any links to the murder in May of Lin, and a spokesman declined to provide fur-

ther detail. Local media, citing unnamed sources, said the object found on Sunday appeared to be a human head. Lin’s hands and feet were mailed to the offices of political parties in Ottawa and to schools in Vancouver, while his torso was found in a pile of garbage. His head is still missing. Luka Rocco Magnotta, a Canadian porn actor who is accused of killing Lin, dismembering and cannibalizing his body and posting a video of the crime online, last month pleaded not guilty to all charges. Magnotta, who was on Interpol’s most-wanted list, was arrested in Germany early last month and deported to Canada.—Reuters

Cuba’s Castro tours allies China, Vietnam HAVANA: Cuban President Raul Castro has departed on a tour of Asian allies China and Vietnam that will include four days in Beijing and a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao, officials said yesterday. The official Granma newspaper said Castro flew out of Havana on Sunday, but did not reveal other details about his visit to Cuba’s two key Communist allies in Asia, also its most important trade partners in the region. In Beijing, the Chinese foreign ministry confirmed that Castro would meet Hu during four days in Beijing, starting tomorrow. “Cuba is a major country in Latin America. It is also the first Latin

American country to establish diplomatic ties with new China. China pays great attention to his state visit to China,” said spokesman Liu Weimin. Liu said the two delegations would sign cooperation documents, without giving details. It is the first visit by Castro to either country since assuming power in 2008 from his ailing brother, former president and revolutionary icon Fidel Castro, who is 85. Raul Castro will be accompanied on his tour by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez and Ricardo Cabrisas, vice chairman of Cuba’s council of ministers, Granma wrote.— AFP

party representatives-as well as 700 international observers were at polling stations overseeing the vote. Election officials worked hard to convince skeptics that the ballot would be clean but faced a raft of complaints in the lead-up to the vote. The PAN accused the PRI of handing out more than 9,900 gift cards to influence voters. Election officials pledged an investigation but refused to freeze a bank account linked to the cards containing some $5.2 million. The PRI in turn accused the PRD and PAN of attempting to sway voters by handing out bags of food and building materials. And the PRD alleged “very serious irregularities” including PRI fuel charge cards. Media projections based on early results indicated that the PRI and its coalition partner, the Green Party, also took 232 of the 500 seats that were up for grabs in the Chamber of Deputies, and 57 of 128 seats in the Senate, which will force it to negotiate with political rivals in both.— AFP

CARACAS: Supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez hold a banner with his portrait during the opening rally of his campaign for reelection in Mariara, 120 km west of Caracas on Sunday.— AFP

Obama and Romney taking summer breaks WASHINGTON: For the past few days, President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney have been mostly out of sight if not exactly out of mind. Romney has been a little more accessible than Obama. But the best way to find the Republican candidate seems to be from a boat. Obama spent the weekend in complete isolation at the presidential retreat known as Camp David in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland, about 60 miles northwest of Washington, DC. He’ll be there until Tuesday. Then he returns to the White House for Independence Day before embarking on a two-day bus tour of Pennsylvania and Ohio. The Romney clan - including wife Ann, five sons, five daughters-in-law and 18 grandchildren - is spending this week at his $8 million estate on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. The compounds where Obama and Romney are staying have similarities. They’re both secluded, guarded by an entourage of Secret Service agents, and their nearest neighbors are some distance away. If Romney wins in November, he’s got a readymade 13-acre vacation White House. Romney and his family appeared briefly in public on Sunday as they attended worship services at a Mormon church in Wolfeboro, NH. His lakefront compound recalls President George W. Bush’s ocean-front getaway in Kennebunkport, Maine. As with Romney’s estate, photographers prowled offshore in rented boats seeking images of the Bushes, including shots of the president at the wheel of his powerboat. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush had their beloved ranches, Reagan’s in Santa Barbara, Calif. and Bush’s near Waco, Texas. President Bill Clinton didn’t own a vacation retreat and neither does Obama. However, Clinton often vacationed at Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. The Obamas also have vacationed there, as well as in the president’s home state of Hawaii. For sure, there won’t be much vacationing in the days ahead for either Obama or Romney as the presidential campaign heads into its final months.—AP



Pope fires Slovak bishop in rare show of authority VATICAN CITY: The pope fired a 52year-old Slovak bishop yesterday for apparently mismanaging his diocese, in a rare show of papal power. Usually when bishops run into trouble - either for alleged moral lapses or management problems - they are persuaded by the Vatican to resign. But Pope Benedict XVI has become increasingly willing to forcibly remove bishops who refuse to step down, sacking three others in the last year alone.

In the most notable case, Benedict fired Bishop William Morris of Toowoomba, Australia last year after he called for the church to consider ordaining women and married men. He also removed a Congolese bishop for management problems in his diocese and an Italian one in May for similar reasons. Yesterday, the Vatican said Benedict had “relieved from pastoral care” Bishop Robert Bezak of Trnava, Slovakia. No reason was given, but

Italian news reports said administrative problems in the diocese were to blame. Bishops normally hand in their resignation when they turn 75 years old, their customary retirement age. The exercise of this ability to fire a bishop has important implications, particularly concerning bishops who mishandle cases of sexually abusive priests. In the face of US lawsuits seeking to hold the pope ultimately responsible for pedophile priests,

the Holy See has argued that bishops are largely masters of their dioceses and that the pope doesn’t really control them. The Vatican has thus sought to limit any liability to the bishops themselves, arguing that the pope doesn’t exercise sufficient control over them to be held responsible for their bungled response to priests who rape children. The ability of the pope to actively fire bishops, and not just passively

accept their resignations, would seem to undercut the Vatican’s argument. Still, no bishop in recent memory has been forcibly removed for mishandling an abuse case. Even the most well-known case, that of Cardinal Bernard Law, ended when Law offered his resignation after the sex abuse scandal exploded in his Boston archdiocese 2002. Law subsequently was named archpriest of one of the Vatican’s basilicas in Rome, St. Mary Major. —AP

Four aid workers freed in Somalia ‘happy to be alive’ One kidnapper killed, three others arrested

VLADIVOSTOK: Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, center, speaks to the heads of Russian Far East region in Vladivostok yesterday. Medvedev arrived in Vladivostok beginning his four-day visit to the Russian Far East along with 10 ministers, which is expected to include a trip to one of the Russian held islands off Hokkaido claimed by Japan. —AP

NGOs to get ‘foreign agent’ tag in Russia MOSCOW: Russia’s parliament is to debate a bill forcing internationally-funded NGOs to register as “foreign agents”, a move that may stigmatise scores of groups under President Vladimir Putin’s new term. The bill which is scheduled to be debated this week comes after Putin accused opposition activists demonstrating against his 12-year rule of being in the pay of the US State Department. The ruling United Russia party, which sponsored the bill, says it is aimed at preventing foreign states from influencing Russia’s domestic politics and emulates US legislation on foreign-funded NGOs. “Obviously there are gaps in our legislation,” one of the bill’s authors, Alexander Sidyakin, a member of parliament for United Russia, said yesterday. He said the first reading was scheduled for Friday, while the second and third readings will take place next week. Under the broad bill, all Russian NGOs that are funded from abroad and ruled to be involved in politics or acting in the interests of foreign states and other international donors will have to register as “foreign agents” and submit to more rigorous checks by the authorities. A breach of the law would be punishable by hefty fines or jail time. Lyudmila Alexeyeva, 84-year-old head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, one of the first rights campaigners to appear in the Soviet Union, said her organisation would not register as a “foreign agent.” “They could cancel our registrationthen we will work without registration like in Soviet times,” she said. “The notion of ‘a besieged fortress’ has a strong hold on the minds in our country, and a ‘foreign agent’ is a stigma.” The label “foreign agent” in Russian does not necessarily implicate the individual or organisation in espionage but does signal they receive finances from abroad and are acting in the interests of a foreign power. Sidyakin is also an author of a controversial law that sharply raised fines for

opposition protesters. It was rushed through parliament last month despite pleas from rights activists. In the run-up to parliamentary elections in December, Putin lashed out at Western attempts to “influence the course of the election campaign” through Russian NGOs, warning this was “money thrown to the wind”. His stinging criticism was widely seen as being directed at Moscow-based Golos, a small foreign-funded election observer which said the December parliamentary campaign and March presidential polls were riddled with irregularities. A group of pro-Kremlin organisations launched an online petition in support of the bill, saying no one from abroad had the right to decide Russia’s fate. “Making use of the imperfection and backwardness of Russian legislation, multi-million budgets are being earmarked through foreign funds to finance activities directed against Russia. “Billions of dollars are being spent in order to undermine the integrity of our country, the stability of the political regime,” said the petition signed by more than 94,000 people. Foreign-funded NGOs say they are not afraid of additional checks but fear the bill will mar their image in the eyes of ordinary Russians. “The main purpose of this law is to defame NGOs in the eyes of society, to humiliate them,” Svetlana Gannushkina, co-founder of top rights group Memorial, told AFP. “No one among us has ever been a foreign agent but people can take this label seriously.” “This is one more way to discredit monitors during elections,” Golos executive director Lilia Shibanova told AFP, adding that as grant recipients they already have to undergo auditing checks every three months under current legislation. Liberal daily Vedomosti said the bill could affect virtually any NGO, adding its authors make no distinction between budget funds of foreign states, financing from international organisations or private donations. —AFP

German spy chief quits in neo-Nazi files scandal BERLIN: The head of Germany ’s domestic intelligence service resigned yesterday after admitting that his agency had shredded files on a neoNazi cell whose killing spree targeting immigrants rocked the country late last year. Heinz Fromm’s resignation is the latest in a series of embarrassing setbacks for Germany’s security services over their handling of the “National Socialist Underground” (NSU), which went undetected for more than a decade despite its murder of 10 people, mostly ethnic Turkish immigrants. An interior ministry spokesman confirmed that Fromm would quit his post, which he has held since 2000, at the end of July. German lawmakers said there was no suggestion that Fromm had ordered the destruction of the files but that he was taking responsibility for others’ failures. “Fromm was no firebrand but a solid custodian in the defence of the constitution.. He was no James Bond,” Wolfgang Bosbach, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling Christian Democrats, told Die Welt newspaper. He and other lawmakers called for a swift and thorough investigation into the matter. German media have said an official working in the intelligence

agency is suspected of having destroyed files on an operation to recruit far-right informants just one day after the involvement of the NSU in the murders became public. Fromm told the Spiegel weekly that the shredding of files in the case had done “grave damage to the reputation” of his agency, known in Germany as the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Despite his resignation, Fromm is expected to appear as a witness in the NSU case before a parliamentary committee later this week, lawmaker Sebastian Edathy said. Germans, burdened by their Nazi past, were mortified by last year’s news that three neoNazis had been behind the killings of eight ethnic Turks, an ethnic Greek and a police officer in a period running from 2000 to 2007. The NSU cell’s culpability only came to light after two of the neo-Nazis committed suicide following a botched bank robbery last autumn. A third member was later arrested. Chancellor Angela Merkel publicly apologised to the families of the murder victims for the catalogue of neglect and errors that allowed the NSU cell to operate with impunity for so long. —Reuters

NAIROBI: Four foreign aid workers kidnapped in Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp returned safely to Nairobi yesterday tired but smiling after being released overnight in southern Somalia following a short gunfight. “We are happy to be alive, we are happy this has ended,” said Canadian-Pakistan national Qurat-UlAin Sadazai as she and colleagues-from Canada, Norway and the Philippines-arrived in Nairobi by Kenyan military helicopter. The two men and two women with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) looked exhausted and were covered in dust after their three day ordeal, but managed a weary smile to reporters before they boarded buses and left the airport. NRC said in a statement it was “relieved and pleased” at their release, naming them respectively as Steven Dennis, 37, Astrid Sehl, 33, Glenn Costes, 40 and Sadazai, 38. Costes limped from a bullet wound to the leg, but the four appeared to be otherwise in good health after arriving from the southern Somali border town of Dhobley, where they been freed earlier yesterday. “They were released by a joint force of Somali and Kenyan forces, during which one of the kidnappers was killed,” Kenyan army spokesman Cyrus Oguna told AFP. Three others were arrested. Mohamed Dini Adan, a Somali military commander in Dhobley, an area under control of Somali forces allied to Kenya, said the army had stopped the “kidnappers who were trying to hide and sneak past the army.” Somali forces heard reports the gunmen were heading for a dense remote forest some 25 kilometres (15 miles) from Dhobley, and rushed to hunt them down. “Thanks to God we foiled their aims of taking the hostages into the forest,” said Somali General Osmail Sahardid, who led the operation. Residents in Dhobley said the local Ras Kamboni militia-commanded by a former powerful Islamist warlord now allied to Kenyawere also involved in the rescue. Kenyan security forces scrambled military helicopters and aircraft after gunmen attacked the NRC convoy at around midday Friday in Dadaab, some 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Somalia, killing a Kenyan driver and wounding two others. However, the aid workers’ vehicle seized by the gunmen was found abandoned a few

hours after the attack, and fears grew the gang had escaped with the hostages through the remote scrubland across the porous border into lawless Somalia. Kenya, which invaded southern Somalia in October to attack AlQaeda-linked Shebab insurgents, has troops some 120 kilometres (75 miles) deep into Somalia. However, the forces control only pockets of the vast territory. “We are thankful to know that our four colleagues have been found and safely returned to Kenya. This is a day of relief for us and for the families of the abducted,” the NRC chief Elisabeth Rasmusson said in a statement. “Our thoughts go to the family of the NRC driver, Abdi Ali, who was killed during the attack Friday, and to our two local employees who are currently undergoing treatment in hospital for injuries inflicted in the incident. “The attack in Dadaab will stand as a tragic incident in NRC’s history.” The kidnapping was the lat-

est in a series of attacks in Dadaab, where gunmen last October seized two Spaniards working for Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders). They are still being held hostage in Somalia. The abduction of the Spaniards was one of the incidents that spurred Kenya to send troops and tanks into Somalia to fight the hardline Shebab whom Nairobi blames for abductions and cross-border raids. On Sunday, gunmen killed 17 people in the worst attack in a decade that Kenya blamed on the Shebab, with masked insurgents hurling grenades into two churches in the eastern garrison town of Garissa before firing guns into the congregation. The Shebab still control large parts of southern Somalia, despite recent losses to African Union troops, government forces and Ethiopian soldiers, who have wrested several key bases from the insurgents. —AFP

NAIROBI: Four foreign aid workers kidnapped in Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp and working for the Norwegian Refugee Council, Steven Dennis, 37, Canadian-Pakistan national Qurat-Ul-Ain Sadazai, 38, Astrid Sehl, 33, and Glenn Costes, 40, arrive to board buses at the airport in Nairobi after having been freed the night before yesterday. —AFP

Islamists continue destroying Timbuktu heritage in Mali BAMAKO: Despite international condemnation, the radical Islamic faction controlling the northern Malian outpost of Timbuktu continued destroying the city’s ancient tombs yesterday, laying waste to the city’s five-hundred-year-old heritage. The destruction began on Saturday, after the Al-Qaeda-linked faction Ansar Dine secured its hold on the three main towns in northern Mali, including Timbuktu. They descended on the tombs of the city’s Sufi saints with axes and shovels, as well as automatic weapons, saying that they were idolatrous. Their destruction spree continued through yesterday. “This morning, the Islamists continued breaking the mausoleums. This is our patrimony, recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO,” said Aboubacrine Cisse, a resident of the town who slipped outside yesterday to witness the destruction. “They are continuing to destroy all the tombs of all the saints of Timbuktu, and our city counts 333 saints,” he said. The UN cultural agency has called for an immediate halt to the destruction of the sacred tombs. Irina Bokova, who heads the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, cited in a

statement Saturday reports that the centuries-old mausoleums of Sidi Mahmoud, Sidi, Moctar and Alpha Moya had been destroyed. Meeting in St. Petersburg in Russia, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, last week placed the mausoleums on its list of sites in danger at the request of Mali’s government. And in Dakar, Senegal, on Sunday, Fatou Bensouda, prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, said that the destruction of the city’s patrimony constitutes a “possible war crime,” according to private radio station RFM. Reached by telephone in an undisclosed location in northern Mali, a spokesman for the Islamic faction said that they do not recognize either the United Nations or the world court. “The only tribunal we recognize is the divine court of Shariah,” said one of Ansar Dine’s spokesmen, Oumar Ould Hamaha. “The destruction is a divine order,” he said. “It’s our Prophet who said that each time that someone builds something on top of a grave, it needs to be pulled back to the ground. We need to do this so that future generations don’t get confused, and start venerating the saints as if they are God.” For years before the north of Mali became a base for an offshoot of Al-

TIMBUKTU: A still from a video shows Islamist militants destroying an ancient shrine in Timbuktu on Sunday. Islamist rebels in northern Mali smashed four more tombs of ancient Muslim saints in Timbuktu on July 1 as the International Criminal Court warned their campaign of destruction was a war crime. —AFP

Qaeda, Timbuktu was a must-see for backpackers and package tour groups. Much of the city thrived on tourism, from young men who memorized the history of the tombs to act as tour guides to the numerous hotels and restaurants, nearly all of which are now shuttered. Hamaha said he didn’t care about the impact that their actions will have on tourism. “We are against tourism. They foster debauchery,” he said. — AP


in brief

65 migrants rescued off Croatian coast DUBROVNIK: Police say 65 illegal immigrants whose boat was drifting off the Croatian Adriatic coast have been rescued and will be towed to the southern Adriatic coast town of Dubrovnik. The Croatian coast guard spotted the small boat en route from Greece to Italy and packed with the migrants from Somalia, Egypt, Syria and Afghanistan days after it lost engine power in international waters. Greece is the main gateway into the European Union for illegal migrants who later try different routes to reach other European countries. 25 nations decide to end Kosovo’s supervision VIENNA: A 25-nation group supervising Kosovo’s democratic progress says its oversight will end in September. The decision, announced yesterday in Vienna by Pieter Feith of Kosovo’s International Civilian Office, was expected but is still a milestone in easing Kosovo’s path toward eventual EU and NATO membership. The ICO is the executive arm of the International Steering Group, encompassing the United States, the EU and other countries. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February 2008. That came after almost 10 years under a UN umbrella after a NATO bombing campaign that aimed to stop Serbian attacks on Kosovo’s independence-seeking ethnic Albanian majority. Significant Serb-Albanian tensions persist, but Feith and Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci expressed optimism they could be eased.




Mumbai terror suspect’s taped voice comes to life NEW DELHI: The voice had long haunted Indian police investigating Mumbai’s deadly 2008 terrorist attack. They had repeatedly listened to a tape of cell phone intercepts containing chilling words from one of the men guiding 10 terrorists through the gun-blazing rampage that killed 166 people in India’s financial capital. “Pass this message to the media-’This is just the trailer; the real film is yet to come,’” the voice said. Anti-terror police engaged in one of India’s largest investigations had no idea who the man was, only that he had a Mumbai accent and used Hindi words unusual for Urdu speakers like the attackers on the ground. Police believe they finally have the man behind the disembodied voice after ferreting out the suspect from Saudi Arabia where he was hiding, according to officials close to the investigation. They say he had given himself away to the police by opening a Facebook account under his real nameSyed Zabiuddin Ansari. Ansari - an Indian citizen whose aliases include Abu Humza, Abu Jindal and Abu Jundal - was arrested at New Delhi airport on June 21 after Saudi Arabia agreed to hand him to Indian officials and put him on a flight home. Indian investigators told The Associated Press that Ansari was considered a key player in the Pakistan-based Islamic terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba’s plans for attacks

on India. They say he was so central to the Mumbai attack plans he was among those giving orders by the minute to the attackers or directing them on their cell phones from a control room in Karachi, Pakistan during the Nov 26-28 bloodbath. The investigators spoke on condition of anonymity because they were disclosing sensitive information. Ansari’s interrogation is expected to bolster the Indian government’s accusations - and accepted as a fact by most ordinary Indians - that Pakistan was behind the attack, the most brazen terrorist operation on India’s soil. His arrest is a rare piece of good news for a government reeling from economic and political troubles. “Clearly there was state support for the 26/11 massacre,” Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said Friday. Indian investigators say Ansari has already told them that Pakistani intelligence officials were in the control room during the 60-hour siege - corroborating testimony by American terrorist suspect David Coleman Headley, who said during his Chicago trial last year that Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence officials were involved. Ansari has also told investigators he fled India in 2006 across the border to Bangladesh, escaping from a police raid in the western Indian town of Aurangabad on an illegal cache of

weapons and explosives intended for future attacks within India, the officials said. Ansari then moved to Pakistan, trained with Lashkar and joined in planning future attacks, officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case. Pakistan insists that the ISI, as its intelligence agency is known, has no links to Lashkar, and denies any connection to the Mumbai attacks. The assault was like no other India had experienced. Bombs and grenades went off at the famed Taj Mahal and Trident hotels. Then, 10 trained Pakistani militants fanned out through the hotels and through the main train station and a Jewish cultural center and gunned down people in their paths. The attack went on for three days, as Indian police scrambled to keep up with the militants who were receiving detailed instructions by cell phone. Eventually all but one of the gunmen were killed. The survivor, Ajmal Kasab, told a special Indian court he and the others were tutored by a man named Abu Jindal on how to speak with a Hindi accent to avoid detection in India and confuse police about their origins. Police are now looking for a second man who is heard on the tape from the Karachi control room. That man, who police believe is Lashkar-e-Taiba terror group commander Muzammil Butt, based on testimony from other suspects, is heard

cutting the attackers off as they exclaimed about the size of the television screens and the luxury fittings in the five-star hotels. At one point, he is heard saying: “How hard is it to throw a grenade? Just pull the pin and throw it.” Investigators had been looking for Ansari for years after he was implicated by other suspects in the Mumbai attacks, but they never knew his exact role in the attack, said officials close to the investigation. India learned Ansari was living in Saudi Arabia on a Pakistani passport, officials said. Both India and Pakistan then began lobbying for his release into their custody, but India clinched the arrest by providing DNA samples from Ansari’s Indian family members, who live in the western state of Maharashtra, where Mumbai is located, the officials said. Intelligence agents are now interrogating Ansari in a secret location on the outskirts of New Delhi. Ansari told Indian investigators he had gone to Saudi Arabia on Lashkar’s orders to raise funds and recruit more Indians as militants. Investigators say Lashkar and Islamic militant groups routinely try to recruit Indians from among the two million Indians living in Saudi Arabia or the millions who visit the country to perform the Haj. He might have remained in the shadows had he not opened a Facebook account in his real name to find new recruits, the officials said. The Times of India reported

last week that Ansari also used the account to contact Lashkar accomplices, who may have been under global scrutiny by intelligence agencies. Indian investigators followed his electronic trail to Riyadh, and this week used voice recognition tests to match Ansari’s voice with the man on the tape. While the Hindi he spoke is similar enough to Urdu that speakers understand each other, there are many words that differ. The man recorded giving instructions to the attackers used a few Hindi words an Urdu speaker would not use, such as “prashasan” for “administration,” officials said. The Urdu word would be “intizamiya.” Investigators have sent the voice samples to a lab for further analysis, newspaper reports said. Saudi Arabia’s decision to hand Ansari over to India, rather than Pakistan, appeared to surprise Indian officials. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have long held close ties. Foreign Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin described the arrest as something “rather new” in Saudi-Indian relations. “Our relationship with Saudi Arabia is expanding in a variety of ways.” Analysts said Riyadh’s decision marked a significant shift. “It is a signal to Pakistan that it will get isolated if it thinks state sponsorship of terrorism can be a viable policy option,” said Ajit Doval, former chief of India’s Intelligence Bureau. —AP

Afghan police officer kills 3 British troops Escalating ‘green on blue’ attacks

ASSAM: In this aerial photo released by the India Government Press Information Bureau, an area in Assam state are submerged following a heavy rain, India yesterday. —AP

Monsoon floods kill 81 in India’s north GAUHATI: The worst monsoon floods in a decade to hit a remote northeastern Indian state have killed more than 80 people and forced around 2 million to leave their homes, officials said yesterday. Nearly half a million people are living in relief camps that have been set up across Assam state, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told journalists in Gauhati, Assam’s capital. The rest of the 2 million displaced have moved in with relatives or are living in the open, sheltering under tarpaulin sheets. Assam officials say 81 people have been killed over the past four days. Most of them were swept away when the mighty Brahmaputra River overflowed its banks and flooded villages. Sixteen people were buried in landslides triggered by the rains. At least 11 people were missing in six districts, the state disaster management agency said in its bulletin. Air force helicopters were dropping food packets and drinking water to marooned people, Singh said after surveying the flood-hit districts. Army soldiers used boats to rescue villagers from rooftops of flooded homes. Teams of doctors have opened health clinics in the 770 relief camps that had been set up across Assam, one of India’s main tea-growing states. The hilly tea growing areas have not been affected,

but lower rice fields have been washed away. Thousands of cattle have perished after being swept away by the raging water or getting stuck in the mud. The stench of rotting animal carcasses was adding to the woes of the people in tents at the relief camps, officials said. In the worst-hit Dhemaji district, raging waters of the Brahmaputra River swept away entire villages. Officials said the entire Majuli island, one of the world’s largest river islands, was awash as water levels in the Brahmaputra rose above the danger level. “This is one of the worst floods to hit Assam,” Singh said. He announced the national government would give immediate assistance of 5 billion rupees ($90 million) to the state. Railway workers were working round the clock to restore train services disrupted after railway tracks became submerged in flood water. “Restoration of the railway line is a priority,” Singh said. Officials say the situation was expected to improve over the next few days as the rain was tapering off and water levels were beginning to recede. Monsoon floods hit Assam, with a population of 26 million people, almost every year, with heavy rains swelling the Brahmaputra and its innumerable tributaries that crisscross the state. —AP

KABUL: An Afghan police officer has killed three British soldiers serving with NATO in Afghanistan’s troubled south, the latest in a series of escalating “green on blue” attacks in the decade-long war. The deaths on Sunday take to at least 26 the toll so far this year from 18 attacks in which Afghan forces turned their weapons against their Western allies. The defence ministry in London confirmed the soldiers were British, serving with an Afghan police advisory team, and were killed after meeting local elders in the Nahr-e-Saraj district of Helmand province. In keeping with policy, NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) gave few details of the incident, which happened around 5:00 pm (1230 GMT) on Sunday, but said the gunman was wounded and detained after the attack. “An individual wearing an Afghan National Civil Order Police uniform turned his weapon against International Security Assistance Force service members in southern Afghanistan... killing three service members,” ISAF said. Helmand provincial spokesman Daud Ahmadi confirmed the man who opened fire was a member of the civil order police, an elite riot control force set up in 2006. An increasing number of Afghan troops have turned their weapons against NATO colleagues helping them fight a decade-long insurgency by hardline Taliban Islamists. The latest attack comes less than two weeks after three men in Afghan police uniforms killed a soldier with the US-led force, also in the south. Some of the assaults are claimed by the Taliban, who say they have infiltrated the ranks of Afghan security forces, but many are attributed to cultural differences and antagonism between the allied forces. ISAF has taken several security measures in response to the shootings, including assigning “guardian angels”-soldiers who watch over their comrades as they sleep. Prime Minister David Cameron said he was “deeply saddened” by the killings, while Defence Minister Phillip Hammond vowed that the “cowardly” attack would not deter British troops from their mission to build up Afghan forces. “Every day, tens of thousands of coalition forces, including UK personnel, live and work successfully with their Afghan counterparts to build an Afghan police force and army which can take the lead for their own security by the end of 2014,” Hammond said. “That process will continue, and though deeply tragic, yesterday’s incident and attacks like it will not derail the mission or distract us from the task in hand.” NATO has around 130,000 soldiers fighting alongside some 350,000 Afghan security personnel, but Western combat troops are due to pull out of the country in 2014. The coalition is to hand over security to local forces by mid2013 and will play a support role up to the final withdrawal by the end of the following year. —AFP

Afghanistan, Pakistan clash over border PESHAWAR: Pakistani officials accused up to 60 Afghan soldiers yesterday of crossing into Pakistani territory and sparking clashes that killed two tribesman. It was the latest in a series of escalating cross-border attacks reported in Afghanistan and Pakistan that are inflaming tensions along the porous border as NATO prepares to end its combat mission against the Taliban in 2014. Both countries blame each other for harbouring Taliban fighters active on both sides of their 2,400 kilometre (1,500 mile) border, fanning distrust between Kabul and Islamabad, and complicating a peace process in Afghanistan. Kabul threatened to report Islamabad to the UN Security Council over what it alleges is the shelling of villages, while Islamabad said it would protest formally to Kabul against the latest incursion. “If our bilateral discussions regarding this issue brings no result, we will refer this issue to the United Nations Security Council,” Afghan foreign ministry spokesman Faramarz Tamana told AFP. In Pakistan’s semiautonomous tribal belt, security offi-

cials said two tribesmen were killed in Upper Kurram district in clashes with 60 Afghan army soldiers. Another tribesman was also wounded “after they traded fire with Afghan army soldiers on seeing them inside Pakistani territory,” a senior official told AFP on condition of anonymity. The clashes lasted for more than 90 minutes after which security forces were sent to the area on the Afghan border, he said. Local residents said the Afghans were pursuing attackers fleeing Shehar-e-Nau village in Paktia province. Afghan defence officials denied the alleged incursion. “We are not aware of such an operation by ANA (Afghan National Army) in that area,” Daulat Wazir spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said. Colonel Ahmad Jan, spokesman for army corps 203 in southeastern Afghanistan said: “It is not true, our forces have not entered Pakistan. We have not had any operations near the border recently.” A spokesman for Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security intelligence agency said cross-border fire had killed four people, including a woman and a child,

and wounded six others, in the last week. Afghans and Americans blame Pakistan for not doing more to eliminate havens on its soil, which are used as launch pads for attacks across the border. Last month, the US commander of NATO in Afghanistan blamed the Pakistan-based Haqqani network for a siege on a lakeside hotel in Kabul that killed 18 people. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta also warned last month that Washington was running out of patience with Pakistan over militant havens. But in Pakistan, border attacks have raised fresh concerns that Pakistani Taliban, who fled a 2009 army offensive, have regrouped and again pose a threat. Officials said dozens of militants based in Afghanistan on Sunday attacked a checkpost in Upper Dir, a district in the government-controlled part of Pakistan, for the second time in eight days. They said six militants were killed after crossing into Sabir Killey village in the Soni Darr area of Upper Dir. One official told AFP the “firefight continued late into the night”. Another official said there were

reports “hundreds of militants” were gathering in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Kunar. “Authorities have alerted local lashkars (tribal militia) amid fears of a bigger clash,” he told AFP on condition of anonymity. Intelligence officials say the attackers are loyalists of Pakistani cleric Maulana Fazlullah, who fled into Afghanistan when the army recaptured the Swat valley after a twoyear Taliban insurgency ended in 2009. Swat neighbours Upper Dir, which is a key transit route between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The valley was once a popular tourism destination and unlike the semiautonomous tribal belt on the Afghan border, lies just 100 kilometres (60 miles) from the capital Islamabad. The Taliban released a video showing severed heads of 17 Pakistani soldiers who they said were killed in a similar cross-border attack on a check post in Soni Darr on June 24. A senior official confirmed that all 17 in the video were security personnel. Islamabad lodged a strong protest with Kabul over the June 24 attack. —AFP

DIYATALAWA: Sri Lankan cadets march at a ceremony for the graduation of 140 new army officers where Secretary to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, Lalith Weeratunga was the chief guest in the island’s central district town of Diyatalawa yesterday. —AFP

53 arrested in Lanka in anti-mosquito searches COLOMBO: Police arrested 53 people for failing to eliminate stagnant water and other mosquito breeding grounds as Sri Lanka tries to prevent dengue fever, which has infected thousands already this year. Police, army and health officers searched 11,500 houses in the capital Colombo over seven hours Sunday, police spokesman Ajith Rohana said. Those arrested for not cleaning up their surrounding environment face fines and up to six months in jail. He said this is the first time police made such a large number of arrests from Colombo for failing to clean mosquito breeding places. Dengue fever has killed 74 people this year and infected 15,000. Health officials say it has increased because residents have become more careless about cleaning their properties and eliminating mosquito breed-

ing grounds. The flu-like illness is spread by the Aedes mosquito and spikes during the annual monsoons, when the rains leave puddles of stagnant water where the insects breed. In Sri Lanka, the southwest monsoon that usually begins in May lasts until September. Dengue starts suddenly with a high fever, rash, severe headache and pain behind the eyes and in the muscles and joints. The severity of the joint pain has given dengue the name “breakbone fever.” Nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite also are common. The government said last week 10,000 security forces had been deployed to help dengue eradication efforts this month. They help to search houses and buildings to detect breeding places and join other public workers to clean public buildings and places. —AP

SRINAGAR: Kashmiri Muslim women wail outside the Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani shrine which was damaged in a fire last week, after it was reopened for the public in Srinagar, India yesterday. A fire destroyed the revered Muslim shrine in Indianadministered Kashmir last week, prompting anti government protests by residents angered over an alleged slow response by firefighters. —AP




Suspects dead in China plane hijack attempt BEIJING: Two men who allegedly tried to hijack a plane in far west China by battering the cockpit door with a crutch and trying to set off explosives have died from injuries sustained in a fight with passengers and crew, state media said yesterday. Earlier reports said six Uighur men were arrested Friday following the foiled hijack attempt in Xinjiang region. Four crew members were injured in the tussle. Xinjiang is home to a large population of minority Uighurs (pronounced WEE’-gurs), but is ruled by

China’s ethnic majority Hans. There have been clashes between authorities and Uighurs resentful of government controls over their religion and culture. An overseas rights group says the incident wasn’t a hijacking attempt but an in-flight brawl over a seat dispute. The state-run Global Times newspaper reported that two of the suspects had died in hospital from injuries sustained in the fight with passengers and crew, but didn’t say when. The report cited local officials who weren’t identified by

name. Global Times said two others were hospitalized after mutilating themselves, but gave no details. The report said authorities were investigating how the men, aged 20 to 36 and all from the city of Kashgar in the west of Xinjiang, managed to get the explosives past security checks. Xinjiang regional government spokeswoman Hou Hanmin yesterday said she was unable to confirm whether any of the suspects had died. Hou said the men took apart a pair of aluminum

crutches and used the pieces to attack people while trying to break into the cockpit. She said they also had material believed to be explosives but that was still being tested by police. The plane carrying 92 passengers and nine crew members safely returned to Hotan city in southern Xinjiang 22 minutes after takeoff, according to operator Tianjin Airlines. Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the German-based World Uyghur Congress which campaigns for Uighurs’ rights,

said Friday that it wasn’t a hijacking attempt but an in-flight brawl over a seat dispute. Friday’s incident occurred just a few days before the anniversary of the July 2009 riots in Urumqi when nearly 200 people were killed in fighting between Han Chinese and Uighurs. Tensions are already high in Hotan, where authorities raided a religious school recently and are conducting home searches, according to the Washington-based Uighur American Association. —AP

Revolt in Japan ruling party, but govt keeps majority Dozens of lawmakers quit ruling party TOKYO: Japanese political heavyweight Ichiro Ozawa and dozens of other lawmakers quit the ruling party yesterday over a plan to increase the sales tax, but the government will retain its majority in the powerful lower house of parliament. Ozawa has been described by some as the strategist who orchestrated the rise of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) to power in 2009.

whose backroom deals earned him the nickname “Shadow Shogun” in the past, and his backers had opposed the plan to double the sales tax to 10 percent in two stages over three years, saying it violated campaign pledges. The tax rise proposal, aimed at curbing bulging public debt, was passed by parliament’s lower house last week with the help of the opposition. But 57 Democrat

the tax at a time when Japan’s recovery from last year’s triple blow of a big earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis is not yet assured. But Noda, a former finance minister, has insisted it is vital to get Japan’s fiscal house in order and find ways to fund the bulging social welfare costs of a fast-ageing population. “This is not about giving priority to tax hikes, it is a

TOKYO: Lower House Parliament member Ichiro Ozawa reads a statement during a press conference in Tokyo, yesterday. Ozawa and 49 other lawmakers submitted their resignations to the Democratic Party of Japan and others could leave later, a party official said. —AP But the departure of him and his followers could put Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in a better position to consolidate control on the fractious party and cut deals with the opposition, whose help he needs to pass laws since they control the upper house, which can block bills. “I’m sure Noda has the champagne on ice. He’ll be happy to see the back of Ozawa,” said Jeffrey Kingston, director of Asia studies at Temple University’s Japan campus. “Ozawa has a lot of baggage and has just been a headache for the party and Noda in particular.” Ozawa, a 70-year-old veteran

lawmakers voted against it, with 15 others abstaining or absent. Ozawa said 38 lower house members and 12 in the upper chamber - many rookies - would quit the DPJ, bringing down DPJ seats in the 480-member lower house to 251. “While considering forming a new party, we want to return to the starting point of the change in government and create politics where people can have a choice,” Ozawa told reporters, adding opposition to the tax hike and nuclear power policy in the wake of the Fukushima crisis would be two key issues. Many people are also wary of raising

reform needed to safeguard the livelihoods of the present and future generations,” he told reporters. Analysts said the way now looked clear for the upper house to approve the tax rise. “I think the (main opposition) Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) will cooperate in passing through the sales tax hike bills and other budget-related bills through parliament,” said Koichi Haji, chief economist at NLI Research Institute. “This is a positive step forward.” Japan has suffered a string of credit downgrades in the past two years largely because of its

failure to make progress in tackling its debt, already twice its annual economic output and the worst among advanced industrialised countries. So the tax plan’s approval in the lower house marks a milestone for a nation long trapped in a cycle of revolving-door governments and policy gridlock. Ozawa’s defection could well make it easier for Noda to cooperate with the LDP and its onetime partner, the New Komeito party, in getting the legislation through the upper house. “We can keep the main scenario that tax and social security reform bills will be cleared at the upper house as well,” said Kyohei Morita, chief economist at Barclays Securities Japan. Ozawa has long been a paradox. Fans have seen him as a reformer for advocating a bigger global role for Japan and the reduction of bureaucrats’ control over policies. Critics paint him as an old-style schemer. Ozawa was a rising star in the LDP before he bolted in 1993, setting off a chain reaction that briefly ousted the conservative party. He then devoted the next two decades to creating a viable alternative. But he has suffered setbacks recently, including being forced to resign as DPJ leader over a funding scandal before its historic victory in 2009. He lost a party leadership race in 2010 and last year, his favoured candidate was defeated by Noda. Many analysts see his influence now waning, one reason being a generational shift in political circles and voter distaste for the old style politics he came to symbolize. Ozawa appears to hope his new party could join hands with other emerging groups in challenging the Democrats and the LDP in an election that could come as early as this year, but many potential allies - and voters - are cool. “Ozawa k nows what people want to hear ... (but) it’s a popular message by an unpopular man,” said Kingston at Temple University. —Reuters

Philippines may ask for US spy planes over South China Sea MANILA: The Philippines may ask the United States to deploy spy planes over the South China Sea to help monitor the disputed waters, President Benigno Aquino told Reuters yesterday, a move that could worsen tensions with its giant neighbor China. The two countries only recently stepped back from a months-long standoff at the Scarborough Shoal, a horseshoe shaped reef near the Philippines in waters they both claim - the latest round of naval brinkmanship over the resource-rich sea. The United States has stressed it is neutral in the long-running maritime dispute, despite offering to help boost the Philippines’ decrepit military forces. China has warned that “external forces” should not get involved. “We might be requesting over flights on that,” Aquino told Reuters in an interview, referring to US P3C Orion spy planes. “We don’t have aircraft with those capabilities.” There was no immediate comment from Washington. Last month, Aquino pulled out a lightly armed coast guard ship and a fisheries boat due to bad weather around the Scarborough Shoal, a group of rock formations about 140 miles (225 km) w es t of the main Philippine island of Luzon. The South China Sea is potentially the biggest military flashpoint in Asia, and tensions have risen since the United States adopted a policy last year to reinforce its influence in the region. At stake is control over what are believed to be significant reserves of oil and gas. Estimates for proven and undiscovered oil reserves in the entire sea range from 28 billion to as high as 213 billion barrels of oil, the US Energy Information Administration said in a March 2008 report. China, the Philippines, Taiwan, Brunei, Vietnam and Malaysia have competing claims on the sea, but China’s claims encompass almost all its waters. China said last week it had begun “combat-ready” patrols in waters it said were under its control in the South China Sea, after saying it “vehemently opposed” a Vietnamese law asserting sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly islands. “We hope the Philippines will no longer issue information that provokes public opinion and avoid complicating the situation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told reporters yesterday, responding to the Philippine military’s assertion that it could return to the Scarborough Shoal at any time. —Reuters

SEJONG CITY: This general view shows a residential area in Sejong City, 120 kms south of Seoul yesterday. South Korea inaugurated a mini-capital to house much of the nation’s government, ending a decade of wrangling over a project seen by critics as driven by politics. —AFP

South Korea opens controversial mini-capital SEJONG CITY: South Korea yesterday inaugurated a mini-capital to house much of the nation’s government, ending a decade of wrangling over a project seen by critics as driven by politics. About 2,000 residents and dignitaries from Seoul attended the launch of Sejong City, which will cost 22.5 trillion won ($19.4 billion) when completed. The stated aim is to rebalance national development in a country where Seoul and its satellite cities account for almost half the population, and to ease congestion in the capital area. “The city... will open a major new era in the history of the country’s balanced development,” Prime Minister Kim HwangSik said in a speech. Sejong City, 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of Seoul, will by 2015 house 16 ministries or agencies and 20 central government offices currently located in or near the capital. More than 10,000 civil servants will work there. But some 10 state bodies including the president’s office, the foreign ministry, the defence ministry and parliament will stay in Seoul. Critics say the split government will lead to wasted travelling hours and inefficiency. Some say the project was largely intended to win votes in the central Chungcheong region, traditionally the home of uncommitted voters wooed by both parties. “There are worries that the division of central government bodies can cause inefficiency,” Kim acknowledged. “We will try hard to quell such concerns and to forge a good balance and coordination among the agencies.” The new city, covering 465 square kilometres (186 square miles), is named after the revered 15th century king who developed Korea’s alphabet. The idea for it came from Roh Moo-Hyun when he

was running for president for the main left-leaning party in 2002. He envisaged Sejong as a new national capital, but the constitutional court rejected this in 2004. Roh modified his plan, keeping some ministries in Seoul. Conservative President Lee Myung-Bak took office in 2008 and wanted to scale down the project to make it a science, business and education hub instead of a government centre. But a rebel faction from his own party, lead by his rival Park Geun-Hye, joined the opposition to derail his plans. Park-a likely leading presidential contender in this December’s election attended yesterday’s ceremony, while Lee did not. The government estimates the city’s population-currently about 120,000 will rise to 500,000 by 2030, with its economy expected to grow steadily. Critics say this is wishful thinking. The state Board of Audit and Inspection said in February that a lack of private-sector investment was likely and the city could miss the 2030 population target. “Sejong City will be remembered as a colossal disaster, created by populist politicians afraid of saying no,” Cho Dong Keun, an economics professor at Myongji University, told AFP last week. Local residents were more bullish yesterday, saying many lives had changed for the better thanks to compensation payments for land. “Sejong City’s new start as the world’s top-class city,” read one of dozens of banners on display, amid hectic construction activity. “President Roh’s dream has finally become reality and so has the longtime wish of the Chungcheong people,” said a 61-year-old resident surnamed Lee. “Today is a very happy day for all of us.” —AFP

Most Australians oppose carbon tax, government

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim (L) talks to an unidentified man while leaving the court building in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.—AFP

Malaysia opposition leader Anwar faces more charges KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim yesterday faced more charges over his part in a mass rally for electoral reforms, which could see him disqualified from politics. Tens of thousands gathered in the capital Kuala Lumpur on April 28 calling for a cleanup of the voter roll and reforms to a system they say is biased towards Prime Minister Najib Razak’s coalition that has ruled since 1957. Police fired protesters with tear gas and water canon when some of them breached a barricade around a central square, and more than 500 people were arrested in clashes. Yesterday, Anwar and two opposition colleagues pleaded not guilty to a charge of encouraging the “riot” and helping three people who breached the barricade during the rally, Anwar’s lawyer Ram Karpal said. The charge carries a maximum prison sentence of two years and a fine. Ram said Anwar could be barred from politics if he is found guiltyanyone sentenced to more than six months

in jail or a fine of over 2,000 ringgit ($620) can be disqualified from standing in elections. Anwar and his two colleagues were already charged in May with breaking a controversial new law outlawing street marches and violating a court order specifically banning the rally from the centre of Kuala Lumpur. Anwar has dismissed the charges as a strategy to remove him from politics before elections that must be called by April next year after his opposition made unprecedented gains in the last polls in 2008. Anwar, 64, is fighting the first two charges and Ram said he would also do the same against the latest one. The court hearing for Anwar’s applications over the first two charges is on September 3, Ram said. Anwar has been in and out of court as the charges stack up against him in what he says are political ploys to tarnish his image and stifle his opposition. In January he was acquitted of having sex with a male former aide in a longrunning trial. —AFP

CANBERRA: Two-thirds of Australians oppose the country’s newly implemented carbon tax, and the government that created it would suffer a crushing defeat if an election were held now, a poll released yesterday said. The poll published in Fairfax Media newspapers shows that support for the tax aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions is at its lowest level since Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the measure in February 2011. Almost 300 of Australia’s biggest polluters will pay 23 Australian dollars ($24) per metric ton of carbon dioxide they emit under the tax, which took effect Sunday. The poll by market researcher Nielsen found that 66 percent of respondents oppose the tax and only 33 percent support it. It also found that 58 percent of respondents would vote for the opposition if an election were held now. National elections are due late next year. Gillard said yesterday that she expects many Australians will begin to realize that they are not financially worse off under the tax, and that coal will continue to the country’s most lucrative export after iron ore. “Now Australians get their own chance to judge, not based on what the politicians are telling them, but based on their own lives and their own experiences,” she told reporters. The government expects to raise about AU$9 billion a year from the tax. Most of that revenue will be used to

give people with low incomes tax cuts and increased welfare benefits to compensate for higher prices and electricity bills. Yesterday’s poll found that 51 percent of respondents believe they will be worse off financially under the tax, while only 5 percent believed they would be better off. Another 37 percent expected the tax would make no difference to them while the remainder were undecided. “The government has completely failed to sell the policy and I think they’ve left voters more confused than informed,” Nielsen director John Stirton said. He said the ruling centerleft Labor Party has not been competitive in opinion polls since Gillard announced the tax, breaking an election pledge that such a tax would never be introduced by a government that she led. She agreed to the tax in a deal with the minor Greens party, whose support enables her party to form a minority government. Australia is one of the world’s worst greenhouse gas emitters per capita, due largely to its heavy reliance on abundant coal reserves for power generation. Conservative opposition leader Tony Abbott has vowed to scrap the tax if he wins government, which all opinion polls agree is likely. The poll was based on a random telephone survey of 1,400 voters nationwide from Thursday through Saturday last week. It has a 2.6 percent margin of error. —AP



DUBAI: The Queen Elizabeth 2 is seen at dock in Port Rashid. (Inset top) The skyline of Dubai is seen from the rear deck of the QE2. (Inset center) Chief steward Ronald Gelmo welcomes visitors. (Inset bottom) Leili Gerami, QE2 project director, walks down the stairs under a painting of Queen Elizabeth II. — AP

Dubai unveils more modest QE2 hotel plans DUBAI: Dubai yesterday scaled back plans to turn the Queen Elizabeth 2 ship into a luxury hotel at the tip of the emirate’s famous palm-shaped island, saying she would be moored in an unglamorous part of town instead with many of her original fittings. Unveiling a more modest version of a project that was scuppered by Dubai’s 2008 debt crunch, the ship’s operator - the investment arm of indebted conglomerate Dubai World - said the ship would still become a luxury hotel, but that just 300 of the original 1,000 rooms would now be developed. Nor, as originally envisaged, would she be moored at Palm Jumeirah, a dramatic man-made island off Dubai hewn in the shape of a palm tree. “Unfortunately we had many ambitious plans but

they didn’t work,” said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman of Istithmar - the unit that bought the vessel for $100 million in 2007 - and the chairman of port operator DP World. “What we are doing now we should have done when we got it,” he said. The common areas, like the restaurants and entertainment areas, would be largely left as they are, he added. The QE2 ocean liner is currently moored in Port Rashid in Dubai - a gritty commercial port a long way from the touristfriendly neighbourhood of Palm Jumeirah - and will stay where she is, said Sulayem. “There have been many grand ideas. There were plans of renovating it in such a way that it becomes something totally different than what it used to be. But we realized soon that a lot of people like the ship as it was,” he said. — Reuters

Saudis set rules for women competitors Continued from Page 1 While Olympic leaders and human rights advocates are encouraged by signs that Saudi Arabia may bow to pressure and send female athletes to the Summer Games, women athletes in the kingdom are worried about a backlash at home. Under pressure from the International Olympic Committee to end the tradition of sending men-only teams to the Olympics, Saudi Arabia said yesterday it will allow women who qualify to compete at the London Games. The announcement came as the leadership’s favored candidate, equestrian Dalma Rushdi Malhas, was ruled out of the Olympics - sending officials on a hunt for other female athletes they could include on the Saudi team and avoid IOC sanctions a month before the start of the games. Women who play football and basketball in underground leagues around Saudi Arabia support those efforts, yet they also fear the hardline leaders will punish them for being pressured by the West and will crack down on women’s clandestine activities after the Olympic flame goes out in London. “We have to wait. I am afraid of their reaction, if we push too hard,” said Rawh Abdullah, a captain of a female football team in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. “We risk being shut down completely, and I do not want to reach a dead end because of impatience.” Also, she added, she and her teammates simply “are not ready to compete on such level” because they cannot train properly. Abdullah has given up her career as a teacher to run the all-women football club Al Tahaddi, Arabic for challenge. Since 2006, when the club was established, 25 team members meet four times a week to play after turning one of the players’ gardens into a field. The 28-year-old Abdullah, who serves as a coach and the captain on the team, charges each member 1,300 riyals ($350) annual fee to play. The money she gets covers players outfits, balls, makeshift goals, some fitness equipment and partly also trips to the port city of Jeddah or Dammam to play exhibition games or matches in the clandestine women’s league. Women are banned from entering all-male national trials, which makes it impossible for them to qualify for international competitions, including the Olympics. Female athletes like Abdullah fear that sending inadequately prepared athletes to the London Games could do more harm than good to their cause of making sports “part of our lifestyle” and achieve change for millions of women, who’s public lives are severely restricted in the kingdom. “If they do well, it will be OK, but if they have weak performance, they will turn to us, and say, ‘See, you

pushed, you went, and you lost. You shamed us,’” Abdullah said. “When we are prepared in four years’ time, and they have to send us, we can say to them: ‘You want me to go and represent my country? Now train us. Give us facilities to use and coaches to work with, and we will make you proud,’” Abdullah said in an interview with AP. Ahmad Salem Al-Marzooqi, the editor-in-chief of, an online magazine that aims to cover men’s and women’s sports events in the kingdom, said women need to obtain basic rights that are equal to those of men in Saudi Arabia before they can compete for their country abroad. “We are looking for ways to achieve rights for women inside Saudi Arabia,” Marzooqi said. “It’s a conflicting situation,” he said on the Olympics campaign. “If they send some to participate, it may be good for the future, but it’s definitely not good for the present situation. There will be side effects.” Rights groups claim a lot has to change for women in Saudi Arabia to convince international sporting community that the leadership in the conservative kingdom is - according to yesterday’s announcement from the country’s embassy in Britain - “looking forward to its complete participation in the London 2012 Olympic Games”. Saudi officials have repeatedly suggested they’d allow Malhas, the equestrian, who won a bronze medal in show jumping at the 2010 Youth Olympics in Singapore, to compete at the London Games. But the International Equestrian Federation said Monday the 20-year-old athlete has failed to qualify after her horse was sidelined by injury and missed a month’s work during the qualifying period. Female athletes in judo and in track and field are considered possibilities for the games, sports officials familiar with the negotiations said. Saudi officials, who have publicly adamantly opposed sending women to London had left open a possibility that women, studying abroad would be able to compete outside of the team as independent athletes. However, that option was quashed after pressure from human rights groups and the IOC. It was also criticized by Saudi-based athletes like Abdullah. “It’s a pity for us. We play sports in Saudi Arabia, but they get to compete abroad because our country does not want to give us a chance to prove ourselves,” Abdullah said. “Do I have to leave my country to show what we can achieve?” Most Saudis cannot afford to study abroad, she added. Besides, she is convinced she needs to stay if she wants to make a difference. “If I don’t achieve our goal to play and compete at home for me and for my team, then I will for those who will play after us,” Abdullah said. — Agencies

Amir begins consultations over premier... Continued from Page 1 oath, saying that taking the oath is a constitutional requirement. Khorafi however acknowledged that it may be difficult to gather the necessary quorum to hold the Assembly meeting and that if the first meeting fails, he will call for a second one, after which he will refer the issue to the Amir. Opposition figures however insist that there is no constitutional need to convene the 2009 Assembly and called on the new Cabinet to recommend to the Amir to dissolve it as soon as possible and call for fresh elections. The opposition has repeatedly warned against retaining the 2009 Assembly for a long time since almost one-third of its members are accused of corruption. Former opposition MPs yesterday renewed warnings

to the government against altering the election system amid reports that there are plans to reduce the number of candidates a voter can elect from the current four to just two. Salafi Islamist MP Khaled Al-Sultan charged that the plan is a government-liberal plot directed at the Islamist groupings in a bid to reduce their strength in the next Assembly. Sultan cautioned that changing the election system may lead to youth protests that may be difficult to control, thus aggravating the situation in the country. Former MP Mubarak Al-Waalan also issued a stern warning against any changes to the voting system, saying that reduction is targeting the tribal-dominated fourth and fifth constituencies. Islamist MP Jamaan AlHarbash said on Sunday that if the election system is changed, the opposition will call for boycotting the next polls.

Iran drafts bill to block Hormuz Continued from Page 1 starving Tehran of funds for its nuclear program have tightened. A heavy western naval presence in the Gulf and surrounding area is a big impediment to any attempt to block the vital shipping route through which sails most of the crude exported from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iraq and nearly all the gas exported from Qatar. A European Union ban on imports of Iranian oil started on Sunday. If the bill is approved by parliament it would then have to be approved by the 12-member Council of Guardians, made up of clerics and lawyers selected by the supreme leader, which can veto any

bill. Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia has already taken precautionary steps against the possibility of Iran shutting down Hormuz, including the reopening of an old pipeline built by Iraq to bypass the strait and export more crude via the Red Sea terminals. The United States has also sent four minesweepers to the Gulf to bolster the US Fifth Fleet after an Iranian military chief refreshed threats of blocking Hormuz. Meanwhile, Iran yesterday said it was readying ballistic missile war games simulating a counter-attack against US or Israeli targets in the region in the event of air strikes on its nuclear facilities. The three-day drill in Iran’s central desert region was starting on the eve of another round of negotiations with world

powers seeking to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. “All units and missile bases have commenced their preparation and movement to the designated areas,” the Revolutionary Guards, Iran’s powerful elite military force conducting the exercise, said in a statement published by the official IRNA news agency. It said the “tens of different missiles” to be used included the Shahab-3, a ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 km capable of hitting Israel. The other ballistic missiles it said would be used - the Fateh, Tondar, Zelzal, Khalij Fars and Qiam - have lesser ranges of 200 to 750 km. The exercise, dubbed Great Prophet 7, was to target a “replica air base” in the Kavir Desert, the statement said. — Agencies

Saudi dissident, his group off Qaeda list Continued from Page 1 Faqih is an outspoken critic of the Saudi leadership. Prior to Faqih’s delisting, there were 252 individuals and 69 entities or groups on the UN Al Qaeda sanctions list, including Faqih. All individuals on the list are subject to asset freezes and an international travel ban. Britain, Faqih’s current host, was one of only four council members that supported the recommendation of the al Qaeda sanctions committee ombudsman, Kimberly Prost of Canada, that Faqih be taken off the blacklist, despite strong objections from Riyadh, diplomats said on condition of anonymity. Council diplomats said the United States was among the 11 council members that supported the Saudis and opposed taking Faqih off the blacklist. A spokesman for Saudi Arabia’s UN mission did not respond to a request for comment. The other three countries supporting Prost’s recommen-

dation for removal from the AlQaeda blacklist, the envoys said, were Germany, South Africa and Guatemala. Separately, a Saudi diplomat kidnapped by Al-Qaeda-linked militants in Yemen appealed to his king in an Internet video not to forget him and to meet his abductors’ demand for the release of women prisoners. Abdallah Al-Khalidi, Saudi Arabia’s deputy consul in the Yemeni port city of Aden, appeared in good health as he reiterated his appeal to King Abdullah and other senior members of the ruling family. “I ask them: ‘Why did you refuse the organisation’s demand to release those women from prison?’ Don’t forget me, my fate is linked to those womens’,” the diplomat said in the video posted late on Sunday in an Internet forum used by Al-Qaeda members. It was the second video to show Khalidi since his capture in March. There was nothing in the video to indicate when it was recorded and its

authenticity could not be verified. “My fate is unknown as long as the women are in prison. Release those women, they release me the next day,” he said, wearing a traditional white robe and red headdress. The women, who are being held by Saudi security services, are relatives of al Qaeda fighters, he said. Khalidi made a similar plea in a video posted in May. In April, a militant who claimed responsibility for Khalidi’s kidnapping threatened to kill him unless a ransom was paid and al Qaeda prisoners were freed from Saudi jails. Yemen’s state news agency SABA reported that Saudi Arabia plans to reopen its embassy in Sanaa, which was closed after Khalidi’s kidnapping. SABA cited a telephone call between King Abdullah and Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi on Sunday night in which the Saudi king reportedly said he would soon order the opening of the embassy in the Yemeni capital. — Agencies

Single female over 30 and Emirati? Hmm Continued from Page 1 of these women not having children is the real problem. The United Arab Emirates is home to more than eight million people, only 950,000 of them UAE citizens. The rest are foreign, and young Emirati men are increasingly choosing to marry them instead. The latest government statistics show that at least 20 percent of UAE men are marrying non-Emiratis. The reasons behind this growing trend of spinsterhood are not entirely clear. UAE planning ministry statistics show that in 1995, only 20 percent of women over 30 were unmarried. By 2008, that figure was 50 percent. Some evidence suggests that excessively high dowries are preventing men without the means from choosing a spouse. The latest survey by the UAE Marriage Fund, a government institution that provides financial assistance to those who want to marry but cannot afford to, showed that 87 percent of respondents blamed high dowries for low marriage rates among Emirati women. The government has imposed a $14,000 ceiling on dowries, but many families still demand much more - in some cases over $135,000. “One of my friends is still paying his dowry bill and he’s been married nine years,” said Ali Mansouri, 30. To address the rising costs of marriage, the government has ordered that each Emirati man who wants to marry be given $19,000 - but on condition that it is his first marriage. However, the Marriage Fund will make an exception for men who married women who cannot conceive. In this case, the fund will give the man money to take a second wife. In the UAE, as in many Muslim countries, polygamy is sanctioned by both religion and the law. The Marriage Fund also routinely organises mass marriages to help cut costs and reduce the burden on individual men seeking a wife. There are also other reasons why Emirati women are not getting hitched before 30: they are opting for education

and a career before settling down. Take Mansouri: he is looking for a wife but says he prefers that she not work. And if she insists, he would rather that she do so part-time only. “Most men who succeed in their lives have wives who do not work, or do so from home,” Mansouri said. “It’s impossible to reconcile work and family life.” A survey of 200 medical students at the UAE University showed that 57 percent of respondents believed a desire to pursue higher education and a career were the main reasons why UAE women are not marrying before 30. The students, however, said they would not classify a woman as an “old maid” until she is 32. “We’re a little lost between tradition and modernity,” said Wafa Khalfan, a single Emirati in her twenties. “Many girls are pretty and all grown up but they can’t find a spouse,” she said, adding that “if liberal they’re considered easy, and if they’re conservative, men think they’re too uptight”. FNC member Kitbi says that the problem could be “the girls themselves, as they prefer to complete their university studies and work rather than get married”. He said it also seems that young Emirati men “prefer a woman who does not work”. Tribal traditions, meanwhile, have made an already difficult situation worse. Some families refuse to marry off “their younger daughter before the first-born,” while still others will not allow their children to marry into a family of “lower social status”, Kitbi said. Some of the most interesting statistics from a separate survey of 200 medical students show that many men and women believe polygamy may be the solution. Some 73 percent of those surveyed said encouraging polygamy was a reasonable solution to the spinster crisis - and 59 percent of women surveyed agreed. For Emirati writer and journalist Al-Saad Al-Minhali, however, polygamy is not the answer. “This is not a solution,” she said. “Marriage is a personal choice and should not be used to satisfy a national agenda.” — AFP





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Jordan courting Islamists after Morsi victory By Ahmad Khatib ordan is trying to woo the powerful Muslim Brotherhood after it gained more ground following the election of Islamist Mohamed Morsi as Egypt’s first civilian president, analysts said yesterday. Urging opposition Islamists to take part in early elections this year, King Abdullah II on Thursday ordered parliament to amend a controversial electoral law after they threatened to boycott the polls. On the same day, he hosted Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal on his second official visit this year since his expulsion in 1999. “The turning point in Jordan’s official position towards the Islamists following Morsi’s victory is very obvious,” Oreib Rintawi, who heads the Amman-based Al-Quds Centre for Political Studies, told AFP. “Decision-makers here have realised that the region is now in the ‘Brotherhood era.’ The Islamists are already ruling in some Arab countries.” In the wake of the Arab Spring, moderate Islamist parties recorded electoral victories in Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco. In 1946, Jordan officially recognised the Brotherhood as a charity, which in 1992 formed its political arm, the Islamic Action Front (IAF). The movement has never called for an Islamic state in Jordan, where it is tolerated by the authorities and has wide grassroots support. “One clear indication was the king’s order to amend the electoral law to convince them to take part in the upcoming elections,” said Rintawi. On Sunday, the Jordanian king said “our doors and hearts are open to everyone, including the Muslim Brotherhood and their party”. The Islamists and other opposition groups have said they are considering a boycott mainly because they can only compete for 17 of the lower house’s 140 seats. But the king has asked MPs to increase that number. Currently the IAF holds no seats because it boycotted the last election in 2010. “Jordan is trying to adapt, particularly after the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The king hosted Meshaal and received a delegation of Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood. This is another indication,” said Rintawi. Relations with Hamas have been strained since Jordan expelled Meshaal and three other Hamas members after the group had been accused of threatening security and stability. “I think Jordan’s Islamists are more confident now. We will see a new stage of relations between the kingdom and Islamists here and the entire region.” Islamist affairs expert Hassan Abu Hanieh agreed, but had a different point of view. “I think the regime still fears the Islamists. Until now the two sides do not trust each other,” he told AFP. “If the Islamists boycott elections, the political process will fail and Jordan could enter a dark political tunnel. So the idea now is win them over.” Abu Hanieh said receiving Meshaal in Amman “was definitely part of efforts to court the Islamists”. “Jordan has taken into consideration that the victory of Morsi and other Islamists in the region would help raise the demands of the Muslim Brotherhood. Amman now tries to act accordingly.” The Islamists and others have been staging almost weekly protests since last year, demanding reforms that could pave the way for a parliamentary system in which the premier is elected rather than named by the king. “I know that there is increasing pressure on Jordan after Egypt’s elections, but the kingdom’s policies should not turn into reactions to regional developments,” said analyst Labib Kamhawi. “It is smarter and better if Jordan acts objectively and comprehensively with these developments. Seeking to just satisfy one side or another is wrong, and Amman will pay for this later.” After Morsi was declared winner in Egypt on June 24, Jordan issued a cautious statement welcoming “the choice of the fraternal Egyptian people to continue on the democratic path,” without mentioning Morsi’s name. “The government’s reaction was slow. The next day, the king fixed the situation by sending a warm cable to Morsi,” Hamzeh Mansur, IAF secretary general, told AFP. “Morsi’s victory has given a boost to all Arab peoples, including Jordanians, strengthening their demands to see and feel sweeping reforms. We hope all this reflects positively on Jordan.” Zaki Bani Rsheid, deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, sought to calm fears. “Our demands are limited, clear and legitimate. They have no regional dimensions,” he said. “We simply seek reforms in line with Jordan’s national interests. Nothing more.” — AFP


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As crops rot, millions go hungry in India By Mayank Bhardwaj very day some 3,000 Indian children die from illnesses related to malnutrition, and yet countless heaps of rodent-infested wheat and rice are rotting in fields across the north of their own country. It is an extraordinary paradox created by a rigid regime of subsidies for grain farmers, a woeful lack of storage facilities and an inefficient, corruption-plagued public distribution system that fails millions of impoverished people. And it is an embarrassment for the government led by the Congress party, which returned to power in 2009 thanks in large part to pledges of welfare for the poor, who make up about 40 percent of the 1.2 billion population. Quite why the authorities could not simply offload the mountains of grain for free to fill empty stomachs is puzzling, but the explanation lies in the complex regulations that govern procurement and distribution. “This is a case of criminal neglect by the government,” said D Raja, national secretary of the Communist Party of India, an opposition group. “The ruling party has been the worst manager of the demand-supply of food grains.” Officials say that, in all, about 6 million tonnes of grain worth at least $1.5 billion could perish. Analysts say the losses could be far higher because more than 19 million tonnes are now lying in the open, exposed to searing summer heat and monsoon rains. Saddomajra, a village in the bread-basket state of Punjab, is one of the dumping grounds for the record stockpile of wheat that has accumulated after half a decade of bumper harvests in the world’s second-largest producer of the grain. Here there are thousands of sacks of decomposing wheat, occupying an area the size of a football field and towering in some places to the height of a house. Tarpaulins cover most of the mounds, but many of the bags are torn, spilling blackened grain blighted by fungus and insects. “The wheat has been lying there for the past five years. It smells very bad,” said Hakkam Singh, who works as a watchman at the open field. “Nobody steals it, but people use it to feed fish and poultry farms.” At another dump, on the outskirts of Punjab’s Amritsar city, locals told Reuters that officials sometimes dip into the sacks of rotting grain to mix it with fresh wheat for distribution to the poor who hold ration cards. In India the government buys rice and wheat from farmers at a guaranteed price, a support system akin to the subsidies that led to Europe’s notorious butter mountains and milk lakes. The government has raised the price it pays to buy wheat by more than 70 percent since 2007, which only encourages more production. As a result, stocks are now at an all-time high of about 50 million tonnes, 12 times more than the official target. “It’s related to pure economic secu-


rity for the farmers,” said Purnima Menon, a research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute in New Delhi. “They make a safe choice of crops.” Rajiv Tandon, a senior adviser for health and nutrition at aid organisation Save the Children in India, said that to diversify the country’s food basket farmers should be offered incentives to grow vegetables and other cash crops. However, he said root-and-branch modernisation is needed. The farm sector was transformed by the introduction of high-yielding seeds, fertilisers and irrigation during the Green Revolution nearly half a century ago, ending a dependence on imports, but it has seen only incremental reform ever since. Storage is one of the biggest problems of all. “For the last 25 years the storage capacity has not been upgraded at all,” Tandon said. “Part of the grain is officially stored outside store houses, where the chance of rotting is high. There are often not enough sacks and tarpaulins, and sometimes it is dumped by a graveyard or cremation centre.” Grain stocks officially deemed as stored in government warehouses now stand at a record 82.4 m illion tonnes. However, that is about 20 million tonnes more than actual capacity, which means grain lying in the open is being passed off as “stored”. State-run Food Corp of India (FCI), the main grain procurement agency, buys about one-third of total wheat output to run welfare programmes and keep stocks for emergency needs. What to do with the rest is a conundrum for the government, which is reluctant to sell wheat for less than the inflated support price it paid to farmers because it would put further strain on an already hefty fiscal deficit. Recently it offered 6 million tonnes of rice and wheat to state administrations for the poor at cheaper rates, in addition to 55 million already earmarked for financial year 2012/13. But there were not many takers because state governments are grappling with budget overruns themselves. Exporting wheat is not an attractive alternative. After buying wheat from farmers and adding freight, storage and transport costs, the free on board (FOB) price is around $346 a tonne. However, Indian wheat would only be competitive in the export market at around $260, which implies a loss - effectively a further subsidy, and this time to consumers in other countries - of $85-90 per tonne for the government. The brimming granaries forced India to lift a four-year-old ban on private exports last September, but lower global prices have scuppered those plans. Traders say that even if India went all-out to export wheat it could at best sell 6-7 million tonnes a year because of transport bottlenecks and doubts about the quality of the grain. New Delhi is considering the export of up to 3 million tonnes of wheat to sanctions-hit Iran, but traders say Tehran will not be falling over itself to buy

because of concern that Indian grain may be tainted by fungal disease. Last month the government decided to offer 3 million tonnes of wheat to local biscuit makers and flour millers at $205 a tonne against the $225 it paid to farmers in 2012. “Subsidising our bread and biscuit makers is easier than subsidising consumers of other countries,” said a senior government official, who did not wish to be identified due to political criticism of a solution to the surplus that benefits private companies rather than the poor. In China, a large portion of wheat stocks are channelled into the country’s rapidly expanding animal feed sector, replacing more expensive corn. However, India has an exportable surplus of corn and its meat consumption is far lower, so there is little demand for wheat as a replacement for other grains. A government-supported survey published earlier this year found that 42 percent of India’s children under 5 are underweight, almost double that of sub-Saharan Africa. The finding led Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to admit that malnutrition was “a national shame”. The cause of this widespread malnutrition cannot be tied mechanically to a lack of staples like rice and wheat. Indeed, many families living on less than $2 a day are fuelled and filled by subsidised carbohydrate-rich food like wheat chapatis. These lack the much-needed protein and other nutrients that come in more expensive food. Poor hygiene and contaminated water are also to blame because they cause illnesses like diarrhoea, which prevents nutrientabsorption. Still, there are real grain shortages in the poorest states. Here the problem is an inefficient and corruption-prone distribution system. Eighteen months ago investigators said millions of dollars worth of grain meant for poor families had been siphoned off and sold locally and abroad in a scam involving hundreds of government officials. In 2010 the Supreme Court urged the government to distribute grain free to the hungry rather than let it go to waste in warehouses and open fields, but that hasn’t happened. This is because state governments are reluctant to buy extra grain for distribution under the food welfare program and, even if they were, only people with under-the-poverty-line ration cards would be entitled to buy it in subsidised shops. “The problem of rotting grains and the poor going hungry lies in the system itself,” said Biraj Patnaik, principal adviser on food issues to the court. The government is now planning a food security scheme that will guarantee cheap grain to 63.5 percent of the population. However, critics see this as political gimmickry. They doubt that the new scheme will be less corrupt, more efficient or better targeted than current programs, and they suspect that the government will not be able to afford a plan that may cost as much as $12 billion in additional subsidies a year. — Reuters

Plan to end Syria crisis falls flat By Matthew Lee he much-hyped plan to end Syria’s misery and guide its transition to democracy appears to have fallen flat despite the endorsement of Western powers. Russia’s objections gutted the most stringent conditions on a potential interim leader in Damascus. The Syrian opposition quickly dismissed the proposal as a waste of time and with “no value on the ground”. The US and its allies insist the plan will force Syrian President Bashar Assad from power. Russia disagrees and Assad is unlikely to acquiesce. It all leaves UN envoy Kofi Annan’s efforts to end 15 months of bloodshed no better off than before. Western nations needed to win Russia’s backing for the plan at an international conference Saturday in Geneva, so they dropped the demand that “those whose continued presence and participation would undermine the credibility of the transition and jeopardize stability and reconciliation” would be excluded from the process. That was widely understood to mean Assad and much of his inner circle, and while the West insisted, Assad’s main allies in Moscow resisted intensely. As a result, the plan contains no criteria for excluding anyone from the transitional government and leaves its composition entirely up to the “mutual consent” of Assad administration and the fractured opposition. Both sides presumably have unlimited veto


power over members of the interim government, which could prolong the stalemate and keep Assad in charge. US and Western officials acknowledge the possibility of that scenario. But they insist that the “mutual consent” language puts the opposition on equal footing with Assad in determining who will be part of the governing body. Annan said he could not imagine that the Syrian people would choose anyone with blood on their hands to lead them. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton,

going further, said the plan requires Assad to leave because there is no chance he can meet the “mutual consent” standard. “What we have done here is to strip away the fiction that he and those with blood on their hands can stay in power,” she said. Yet as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov pointed out, the plan excludes no one. Nor does it give anyone without a vested interest any authority to suggest who might or might not be acceptable. That’s why Assad’s foes are skeptical, at the very least. “The country has been destroyed and

A handout image shows the funeral procession of people - including a child - killed by regime forces during violence in Daraa on Sunday. — AFP

they want us then to sit with the killer?” asked opposition figure Haitham Maleh. Bassma Kodmani, a Paris-based spokeswoman for the main opposition group, the Syrian National Council (SNC), said the agreement was “ambiguous” and lacks a mechanism or timetable for implementation. Western officials say they expect Russia and China, which have blocked UN action on Syria, to make the case to Assad that he needs to step down for the good of his country. They hope, as Clinton said Saturday, that Assad will “see the writing on the wall” and remove himself from the equation. So far, though, neither has shown any inclination to back away from defending Assad. Clinton and her Western counterparts will take the Annan plan to a meeting of the “Friends of Syria” group in Paris on Friday to get a broader endorsement of the deal. This, they hope, will raise the pressure on Russia and China to convince Assad of the need to get the transition started. Should that fail and the process remain stalled, they intended to return to the UN Security Council for a resolution that would compel compliance. The SNC said nearly 800 people have been killed in violence across the country in the past week and that more than 14,000 people have died in the 15-month-old uprising against Assad’s rule. There’s an urgent need for a solution because the conflict is threatening to spill across borders after Syria shot down a warplane from neighboring Turkey, which responded by setting up anti-aircraft guns along the frontier. — AP


sp orts Bayern replace Nerlinger

El Ahmadi joins Villa

Skater Kim to end career

BERLIN: Bayern Munich have appointed former Germany international Matthias Sammer as their sports director after parting ways with Christian Nerlinger following two seasons without a trophy, the Bavarians said yesterday. Sammer, who was released from his position as sports director at the German football association (DFB) earlier on Monday to accept Bayern’s offer, will start work immediately as the club seeks to end Borussia Dortmund’s two-year reign in Germany. “I wish Bayern all the best as I enjoyed a very intense and good time here,” said Nerlinger, who had replaced current club president Uli Hoeness in 2009. Bayern finished runners-up this season to Sammer’s old club Dortmund in the Bundesliga and German Cup while also losing to Chelsea in the Champions League final. The 1996 European footballer of the year, who was part of Germany’s last title-winning team at Euro 96 and also won the 1997 Champions League title with Dortmund, joined the DFB in 2006 and had a contract to 2016. Sammer also enjoyed success as a coach, leading Dortmund to the 2002 Bundesliga title and at 34 became the youngest leaguewinning coach, a record he still holds. —Reuters

L O N DO N : M o r o c c an i nt erna tional Karim El Ahmadi has completed his move from Dutch club Feyenoord to Aston Villa after signing a three-year deal, the English Premier League side said yesterday. Midfielder El Ahmadi, 27, played a major role in Feyenoord’s second-place finish in last season’s Eredivisie, which earned the club a place in the Champions League. “It was always a dream of mine to play in the Premier League,” El Ahmadi said on Aston Villa’s website ( “I think this is the best league in the world. It will be a challenge to show people what I can do.” El A hm adi i s new A st o n Villa ma na g er Pau l Lambert’s first signing as he looks to strengthen the squad that could only manage 16th in the Premier League last season. “Karim will help the team, I have no doubt about that,” Lambert said. “He’s a really good footballer and he’s played well in a good team, a big team, and I’m looking forward to working with him.” —Reuters

SEOUL: South Korean Kim Yu-na will make a final bid to retain her gold medal at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics before quitting, the figure skater said yesterday ending months of speculation on her retirement. The 21-year-old, one of South Korea’s most recognisable sporting figures, won gold with a record total of 228.56 points in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics but has barely competed since then. “I have decided to retire after the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia,” Kim told reporters in Seoul. “Although I wanted to end my career at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics during my adolescent years, I have decided to make a fresh new start to round off my career, by extending my final destination to Sochi Winter Olympics 2014.” Kim competed in the world championships in April last year where she finished second, burdened with what she described as the pressures of training and high expectations from fans. Short of competition, Kim said her focus would now be on improving her physical strength and performance in training sessions. —Reuters

Giants bring down Reds

TORONTO: Los Angeles Angels’ Alberto Callaspo (right) celebrates a two-run home run with Howie Kendrick, who also scored, against the Toronto Blue Jays during the fifth inning. —AP

Trout lifts Angels over Jays TORONTO: Rookie Mike Trout hit a tiebreaking home run in the eighth inning, and Mark Trumbo and Alberto Callaspo added two-run shots as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Toronto Blue Jays 10-6. Trout led off the eighth with a blast to center against Francisco Cordero (3-5) as the Angels spoiled Toronto’s Canada Day party and disappointed the crowd of 34,853. One out later, Albert Pujols singled and Trumbo, named an All-Star reserve before the game, followed with a drive to left, his 20th homer this season. Trout went 2 for 4 with a walk and scored three times, raising his American League-leading average to .339. Jason Isringhausen (3-0) worked one inning for the win despite allowing J.P. Arencibia’s tying home run in the seventh, and Los Angeles earned a split in the four-game series. Yankees 4, White Sox 2 At New York, Robinson Cano hit a tiebreaking two-run homer after wasting a chance with the bases loaded his first time up against Gavin Floyd and New York beat the White Sox for a series split between division leaders. Eric Chavez connected for a two-run drive in the second inning, helping New York raise its major league-leading total to 124 home runs. The power surge helped make Phil Hughes a winner on the Yankees’ 66th Old-Timers’ Day. Coming off eight scoreless innings in his previous start, Hughes (9-6) gave up two quick runs in the first inning. He then settled in nicely to limit the hard-hitting White Sox to just three more hits over his final seven innings. Cano homered in the third off Floyd (6-8). Indians 6, Orioles 2 At Baltimore, Justin Masterson pitched seven innings of five-hit ball, and Shelley Duncan homered and hit two doubles for Cleveland. Aaron Cunningham also homered for the Indians, who took three of four from the Orioles. Jim Thome went 0 for 4 in his Baltimore debut. Acquired Saturday in a trade with Philadelphia, the 41-year-old slugger struck out twice and grounded out twice against the team with which he broke into the majors in 1991. All-Star selection Adam Jones drove in a run and scored one for the Orioles, who have lost five of six and nine of 12. Tigers 6, Rays 2 At St. Petersburg, Florida, Rick Porcello allowed four hits in seven shutout innings and Austin Jackson hit a three-run homer as Detroit

downed Tampa Bay. Porcello (6-5) struck out four in winning for the third time in four starts. Jackson put the Tigers up 4-0 with his eighth homer in the eighth off Joel Peralta, who returned after serving an eight-game suspension for having pine tar on his glove. After Tigers reliever Joaquin Benoit gave up solo homers to pinch-hitter Jeff Keppinger and Carlos Pena in the eighth, Jhonny Peralta gave Detroit a 6-2 lead with a two-run single in the ninth. Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson (4-4) left in the third after being struck in the lower right leg by Prince Fielder’s liner. Red Sox 2, Mariners 1 At Seattle, David Ortiz hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning to help Boston beat Seattle and split a four-game series. Ryan Kalish, pinch-hitting for Brent Lillibridge, hit a one-out double off the right-center field wall against Seattle reliever Brandon League (0-5) in the 10th. Dustin Pedroia followed with a single to right, putting runners at the corners. Ortiz, announced earlier in the day as the AL’s designated hitter in the All-Star game, hit a 2-0 pitch to deep right field for the go-ahead run. Twins 10, Royals 8 At Minneapolis, Trevor Plouffe homered twice, and Josh Willingham and Drew Butera had one each for Minnesota. With one run already across in the sixth, Willingham hit a three-run homer to tie the game at 5. Two batters later, Plouffe hit a solo shot for his second of the day. Plouffe also hit a solo homer in the second inning. Butera added a three-run shot in the eighth. The home runs came off Kansas City starter Bruce Chen (7-7), who had mostly breezed through the first five innings. Athletics 3, Rangers 1 At Arlington, Texas, Yu Darvish threw a wild pitch that allowed the tiebreaking run and lost at home for the first time with Texas, losing to Oakland despite the Japanese ace’s 11 strikeouts in seven innings. Brandon Moss homered for Oakland and left-hander Travis Blackley (2-2) picked off two runners while holding a Texas lineup filled with All-Stars to one run over seven innings. The fifth 10-strikeout game for Darvish (105) matched National League All-Star pitcher R.A. Dickey for the most in the majors this year. The 11 Ks equaled his season high. —AP

MLB results/standings Miami 5, Philadelphia 2; Washington 8, Atlanta 4; Cleveland 6, Baltimore 2; Detroit 5, Tampa Bay 3; NY Yankees 4, Chicago White Sox 2; Minnesota 10, Kansas City 8; Milwaukee 2, Arizona 1; St. Louis 5, Pittsburgh 4; Chicago Cubs 3, Houston 0; LA Angels 10, Toronto 6; San Diego 2, Colorado 0; San Francisco 4, Cincinnati 3; Boston 2, Seattle 1 (10 innings); Oakland 3, Texas 1; LA Dodgers 8, NY Mets 3. National League American League Eastern Division Eastern Division Washington 45 32 .584 W L PCT GB NY Mets 43 37 .538 3.5 NY Yankees 48 30 .615 Atlanta 41 37 .526 4.5 Baltimore 42 36 .538 6 Miami 38 40 .487 7.5 Boston 42 37 .532 6.5 Philadelphia 36 45 .444 11 Tampa Bay 41 38 .519 7.5 Toronto 40 39 .506 8.5 Central Division Cincinnati 43 35 .551 Central Division Pittsburgh 42 36 .538 1 Chicago White Sox 42 37 .532 St. Louis 41 38 .519 2.5 Cleveland 40 38 .513 1.5 Milwaukee 36 42 .462 7 Detroit 39 40 .494 3 Houston 32 47 .405 11.5 Kansas City 35 42 .455 6 Chicago Cubs 29 49 .372 14 Minnesota 33 45 .423 8.5 Western Division Western Division San Francisco 45 35 .563 Texas 50 30 .625 LA Dodgers 44 36 .550 1 LA Angels 44 35 .557 5.5 Arizona 39 39 .500 5 Oakland 38 42 .475 12 Colorado 30 48 .385 14 Seattle 34 47 .420 16.5 San Diego 30 50 .375 15

SAN FRANCISCO: Angel Pagan hit a game-ending double that right fielder Jay Bruce misplayed in the wind with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, giving the San Francisco Giants a four-game series split with a 4-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday. Buster Posey poked a pitch from Jose Arredondo (4-2) down the right-field line that bounced into the stands for a two-out double. Then Pablo Sandoval was walked intentionally to set the stage for a wild finish. The crowd let out a sigh when Bruce drifted under Pagan’s fly ball to right until those whipping gusts along the bay carried the ball over his head. The 42,039 from the sold-out stands at AT&T Park erupted, Pagan tossed his helmet and the Giants streamed out of the dugout in celebration. Brewers 2, D’backs 1 At Milwaukee, pinch runner Carlos Gomez raced home following two throwing errors after he stole second base in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift Milwaukee over Arizona. Gomez entered after Aramis Ramirez drew a leadoff walk from Patrick Corbin (2-4). With one out, Gomez swiped second and jumped to his feet as the throw from catcher Miguel Montero ended up in center field. Outfielder Gerardo Parra picked up the ball but threw wildly to third, allowing Gomez to score the winning run. Nationals 8, Braves 4 At Atlanta, Ryan Zimmerman homered and drove in four runs and Gio Gonzalez scuffled for his sixth straight road victory to help Washington beat Atlanta. Gonzalez (11-3) capped his second All-Star selection despite allowing five hits, four runs and four walks in five-plus innings. Washington, which has won four of five, took a 4-0 lead in the first off Tim Hudson (6-4). The NL-leading Nationals are 10-2-1 in their last 13 series matchups against the Braves. Cardinals 5, Pirates 4 At St. Louis, Allen Craig

homered for the second time in three days and All-Star Yadier Molina also connected for the Cardinals. Pittsburgh was trying to sweep a series of at least three games in St. Louis for the first time since 1997. Jason Motte got the last four outs for his 17th save in 21 chances to end the Pirates’ fourgame winning streak. Jake Westbrook (7-6) beat the Pirates for the first time in six career decisions. Erik Bedard (4-9) threw 100 pitches in 4 2-3

also doubled and scored on Rizzo’s single in the sixth off Wandy Rodriguez (6-6). Marlins 5, Phillies 2 At Miami, Ricky Nolasco pitched seven strong innings and Hanley Ramirez hit a tworun home run as Miami completed a three-game sweep of struggling Philadelphia. It was the first Marlins sweep of the Phillies since August 2009 at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies have lost five straight.

day, pitched a perfect ninth to pick up his 12th save in as many chances. Wells (1-1) last won on Sept. 20, 2009, when he beat the Marlins as a member of the Cincinnati Reds. The Padres signed him to a minor league contract May 7. Drew Pomeranz (0-3) turned in an impressive outing after being recalled from the minor leagues before the game. He allowed an unearned run on two hits in six innings.

SAN FRANCISCO: Giants’ Angel Pagan swings for the game-winning hit off Cincinnati Reds’ Jose Arredondo in the ninth inning of a baseball game. —AP innings and gave up five runs. Cubs 3, Astros 0 At Chicago, Travis Wood pitched shutout ball into the eighth inning and used some nifty baserunning to set up Anthony Rizzo’s go-ahead single as Chicago completed a three-game sweep of Houston. Astros star first baseman Carlos Lee said he was still undecided on whether he will accept a trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was 1 for 4 with a double in the ninth. Wood (3-3) held the Astros to three hits in 7 2-3 innings. He

All-Star slugger Giancarlo Stanton also homered, and Omar Infante and John Buck each had RBI doubles for the Marlins, who have won four straight. Nolasco (7-6) won and Heath Bell earned his 17th save in 21 chances. Padres 2, Rockies 0 At Denver, Kip Wells tossed seven strong innings for his first win in nearly three years, and Chris Denorfia and Alexi Amarista had two hits apiece as San Diego beat Colorado. Huston Street, picked for the NL All-Star team earlier in the

Dodgers 8, Mets 3 At Los Angeles, James Loney had two RBIs, as the Los Angeles Dodgers turned three errors by New York into six unearned runs to help Clayton Kershaw win. Kershaw (6-4) allowed three runs one earned - and five hits over seven innings with nine strikeouts and three walks. The victory snapped a seasonworst seven-game losing streak by the Dodgers, who avoided what would have been the Mets’ first four-game sweep against them. New York didn’t get another baserunner after Ruben Tejada’s leadoff single in the fifth.

Storm beat Sun in OT UNCASVILLE: Camille Little scored five of her game-high 27 points in overtime and added nine rebounds and the Seattle Storm beat the Connecticut Sun 89-83 on Sunday. It was the sixth win in seven games for the Storm (7-8). Tina Thompson had 20 points, seven rebounds and four blocks for Seattle and Sue Bird added 11 points, eight assists and five rebounds. Reserve Ewelina Kobryn scored 13 points. The Storm played without starting center Ann Wauters (strained calf). Asjha Jones had 15 points and 11 rebounds for Connecticut (10-4) and Kara Lawson scored a team-high 22 points. Tina Charles, the Sun’s leading scorer, had 13 points and 14 rebounds. Sky 71, Dream 69 Rosemont, Illinois, Sylvia Fowles scored 21 points, including two go-ahead free throws with 33 seconds to play, as Chicago snapped a four-game losing streak. The Sky (8-5) rallied from a 14-point third-quarter deficit and led by as many as seven in the fourth before the Dream (7-8) briefly reclaimed the lead at 69-68 on Sancho Lyttle’s baseline 3-pointer with 47 seconds remaining. Fowles also had 12 rebounds while Shay Murphy scored 13 points, Sonja Petrovic had 12 and Le’coe Willingham added 11 for

the Sky. Angel McCoughtry paced the Dream with 21 points, Lyttle had 18 and Lindsey Harding added 13. Mystics 90 Mercury 77 At Washington, Crystal Langhorne scored 22 points and Noelle Quinn scored a season-high 18 and Washington earned a win over Phoenix. Rookie Natalie Novosel added 12 points for the Mystics (3-10), who entered the game averaging the fewest points in the WNBA, but produced their highest scoring total of the season. Washington also snapped a five-game skid, which included a loss at Phoenix 12 days ago. Charde Houston scored 17 of her 26 points in the second half for the Mercury (410). DeWanna Bonner and Samantha Prahalis each scored 20. Silver Stars 93, Lynx 84 At San Antonio, Becky Hammon scored 23 points and Sophia Young added 22 to lead San Antonio over Minnesota. San Antonio (7-5) never trailed, extended its home winning streak to five and won its fifth in six games overall. The Silver Stars have not trailed in their past three victories. Reserve Monica Wright led Minnesota (13-2) with 18 points, Lindsay Whalen added 15 and Rebekkah Brunson 13. —AP

Camille Little goes for a lay-up in this file photo


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Londoners prepare for transport disruption LONDON: When Londoners wake today they will see the latest sign of the Olympics impacting their lives, and probably the most annoying. As they slept, workmen painted the iconic Olympic rings on some of the capital’s roads, marking the 30 miles of tarmac which will be out of bounds to motorists between July 27 and Aug. 12. Although not operational until two days before the Olympics, the Games Lanes are shaping up to be one of the biggest irritants to those living in the capital. Used to crawling along the city’s clogged narrow streets, motorists will now have the added insult of watching 80,000 athletes, officials, sponsors and media moving freely in chauffeur-driven vehicles on the specially designated lanes. “I think it is unreasonable to expect London to have road closures and places closed off - people still have to get around,” said Steve Dixon, 45, a retailer from south London. “I don’t think London is being considered.” The fight for space is likely to be so keen that some taxi drivers are threatening to leave their car keys at home and go away. “I think it’s going to be a nightmare - I won’t be able to get around, the roads will be blocked,” said taxi driver Scott Rawlings, 45, his black cab idling as he waited to pick up a customer in central London. “People don’t like sitting in the back of a cab when it’s not moving.” London’s public transport authority Transport for London (TfL), aware of the potential additional gridlock, is keen for motorists to get out of their cars and on to their bikes and into their walking boots. Walking maps have been distributed at Underground rail stations and people will have access to the 8,000 self-service bicycles dotted around the city for hire as part of a drive to get an extra 16 percent walking or cycling. However, an early report suggested uptake may be only five percent. River and canal boat journeys are also being promoted but there is limited capacity. A new cable car, largely privately funded, opened last

week which should help ferry passengers across the River Thames near Olympic venues in Greenwich. Park-and-ride schemes will be put in place. TfL’s most high profile campaign during the past 18 months though has been to encourage com-

They have already held a 24-hour strike over their demand for an extra 500 pounds for the stress of working during the Games, pointing to other pay deals agreed with London’s rail staff. Another walk-out will take place this week, with a

LONDON: Markings are seen on one of the Olympic Lanes in central London in preparation for the London 2012 Olympic Games. — AP

muters and sports fans to plan their journeys before boarding buses and underground and overground trains. Posters have gone up on the Underground and a website has been launched to provide up-to-date information and advice on alternative routes. But catching a bus may not be so easy if bus drivers, who ferry about 6.5 million passengers a day, fail to settle their dispute over Olympic bonuses.

further one scheduled for shortly before the Games. “It’s not the bus drivers who will get stressed - it’s the public,” said Roz Conway, a 62-year-old artist waiting to hop on one of London’s red doubledeckers. The ageing underground rail system is already near capacity and is blighted by overcrowding and unreliability. Queues are already a common occurrence during rush-hour, compounded by engineering problems such as signal failure.

People have been warned they can expect to queue for more than an hour at certain key intersections, or “hotspots” during the Games. So TfL is also encouraging commuters to linger over a drink before going home and cajoling office workers to stagger their trips by offering a voucher scheme with cheap theatre and cinema tickets. The message has got through to some, including Marta Blanco, 28, a business development manager who has worked out an alternative route if things get too bad. TfL is also urging Londoners who do not go away on their summer holidays to work from home or change their working hours. Combined with a drop in the number of regular tourists, they hope to produce a 30 percent drop in transport use during peak times, leaving room for the anticipated extra three million daily journeys. TfL has also been working with businesses and has set up the first Olympic Twitter chat forum. Firms worried about supplies getting through should benefit from a more pragmatic approach adopted by authorities on strict night-time deliveries. Attempts to get businesses to change their work patterns has also had some success but a stress test held in May showed 20 percent of those companies taking part still found their preparations wanting. People will gain from a 6.5 billion pounds ($10.19 billion)national transport investment programme, including an upgrade to Stratford station, the main gateway to the Olympic Park in east London. Peter White, professor of public transport systems at the University of Westminster, told Reuters: “I know a great deal of planning effort has gone into handling the Olympics. “One can’t guarantee it will be 100 percent trouble-free, (but) I think all reasonable efforts have been made to anticipate the likely demand and encourage alternative measures.” TfL has also been able to draw on last month’s Diamond Jubilee, marking Queen Elizabeth’s 60 years on the throne, when hundreds of thousands of people spilled onto the streets to celebrate. —Reuters

Blake defeats Bolt again

McKayla Maroney

Concussion a dim memory for elated gymnast Maroney SAN JOSE: Three weeks after her Olympic dream appeared to be in tatters after she suffered a nasal fracture and mild concussion, smile was back on the face of vault specialist McKayla Maroney as she celebrated her selection for the London Games on Sunday. Maroney, who returned to training only a week ago, was one of the five gymnasts who made the US women’s Olympic team after two days of trials ended at a packed HP Pavilion. The 16-year-old world vault champion performed superbly in her favourite discipline to get the nod from the USA Gymnastics selection committee, despite finishing seventh in the overall standings. “This is the best feeling - it’s just so amazing,” a tearyeyed Maroney told reporters. “I’m in shock right now. I think this will be the happiest I’ll ever be in my life. “It’s so amazing just for all the hard times of that whole entire week and not even knowing if I was going be here today,” she added, referring to her accident on June 10 while warming up on floor for the finals of the US national championships. Maroney missed a landing in a triple twist, overrotating to hit the floor with a sickening thud. She lay prostrate for several minutes before being taken to hospital where she was diagnosed with a broken nose and concussion. Following subsequent tests, she was cleared to resume training and petitioned her way on to the U.S. national team to gain a spot in this week’s Olympic trials. “It’s the absolute best feeling knowing that I trained so hard for this and all the hard things that I have accomplished and now to be on this team,” Maroney said. “These girls are my best friends. My team mate Kyla Ross - we have been best friends since we were six years old so it’s just absolutely amazing to be going to the Olympics.” Maroney, who won the vault as well as team gold at last year’s world championships in Tokyo, is renowned for her execution of the Amanar - a Yurchenko-entry vault followed by two-and-a-half twists in the air. On Sunday, she thrilled the sell-out crowd of 17,526 at the HP Pavilion with her remarkable height on that move as she earned a best-of-the-night score of 15.950 on the apparatus. “I knew that I needed to do my job on floor and vault but the most important thing for me was vault and I did that today,” Maroney smiled. “I kind of had a little bit of a mess up on floor but I have only been training for a week so hopefully I can go home and get more consistent. I can’t wait for the Olympics.” — Reuters

KINGSTON: Yohan Blake set himself up as the man to beat in London with a stunning 200 meters victory, beating world record holder Usain Bolt for a second time in three days to bring the Jamaican Olympic trials to an explosive conclusion on Sunday. Blake, who shocked Bolt with an emphatic win in the 100m on Friday, followed it up with an even more impressive performance in the 200, catching the triple Olympic gold medalist down the stretch before holding him off in the closing meters. The winner clocked a time 19.80 seconds to a massive roar from a frenzied crowd at the National Stadium. Bolt secured his Olympic spot by taking second in 19.83, grinning as he hugged his training partner in the finish area. “He (Bolt) said, ‘Congratulations good run, you won,’” Blake told reporters. “‘You’re the better man on the day,’ and I just gave him thanks because he has always motivated. “He told me coming into the race to keep calm and that’s what I did. Warren Weir earned the third spot on the Jamaican team, taking third in 20.03. Bolt ended the race lying flat on his back on the track grimacing in pain as medical staff rushed to his side to work on a cramped right thigh. The lanky sprinter was quickly back on his feet accepting his defeat with grace and putting on a brave face after what had to have be an extremely trying weekend for the world’s fastest man. If Bolt was concerned, however, he did not show it, instead looking ahead to the London Games and defending his 100 and 200m titles. “Definitely (I have something to prove),” said Bolt. “I’m the Olympic champion so I have to show the world I am still the best. “It’s not like I was blown away, I know what I need to do to get it right. I just have to get my stuff together. “It’s all about putting in the work. I need to figure out what I did wrong and just work on that.” Bolt will certainly have plenty to occupy his time in the next four weeks before he settles into the blocks in London. His coach Glen Mills confirmed earlier in the week that Bolt was not 100 percent fit and it became obvious throughout the trials that he needs to spend time on his starts after struggling out of the blocks. “I’m a little bit weak but I have a few more weeks to get myself back into shape,” assured Bolt. “I’m not far off, I know I can get it done, I’m not worried. “Everyone is talking about Yohan Blake and he is proving himself as one of the greatest, but for me it is just going back to training and work on what I need to work on and get it done. “I can never be discouraged. I’m never worried until my coach gets worried and my coach is not worried.” Blake, who trains with Bolt, gave credit to his team mate for helping him get to the top of the podium in Kingston but the “The Beast” might not be getting too many more tips following four-days of total domination. Bolt ends the Jamaican trials still in possession of his world records in the 100 (9.58) and 200 (19.19) but those and his Olympic titles could soon be in the hands of the powerful Blake, who heads to London bristling with confidence.“He (Bolt) has helped me a lot in training and the mental part of the game,” said Blake. “I know Usain’s strengths and his level and he is not 100 percent so I will just keep working on my form going into the Olympics.” Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, winner of Friday’s 100m in a Jamaican record time of 10.70, also doubled up by powering her way to a convincing victory in the women’s 200m in 22.10, with Sherone Simpson a well-beaten second in 22.37. Veronica Campbell-Brown, the 200m gold medalist in Beijing and Athens, secured the third Olympic spot clocking 22.42 and heads to London bidding to become the first athlete to claim a 200m hat-trick. — Reuters

KINGSTON: Sprinter Yohan Blake (far right) crosses the finish line ahead of world-record holder Usain Bolt (second from left), Nickel Ashmeade (center), Warren Weir (left) and Jason Young to win the 200m final at Jamaica’s Olympic trials. — AP

Hamilton set to shine — with Olympic torch run LONDON: Next Monday will be a day to remember for Lewis Hamilton, regardless of who wins his home British Grand Prix the day before. McLaren’s 2008 Formula One world champion is due to run with the London Olympic torch, giving him another moment to shine and the chance of a double celebration if he can also win at Silverstone. Hamilton was invited to carry the torch through Stevenage, the commuter town 50km north of London where he was born and grew up, but one glance at the race calendar made that a nonstarter. The 27-year-old has his hands otherwise engaged when the flame is in town around lunchtime on Sunday - just before the start of a race he has every hope of winning - so it will have to be Monday instead at another location. The millionaire Monaco resident, who grew up in local authority social housing before moving away from Stevenage early in his racing career, said it would be “an incredibly proud moment” anyway. “I am so honored to have been asked to do it. I never in a million years would have thought I’d get to do something so cool,” Hamilton told Reuters. “I have no idea where I’ll be running but it’s great to be the one.” Yesterday’s leg of the relay, which culminates in London Lewis Hamilton

for the opening of the Games on July 27, visits Milton Keynes, Buckingham, Bicester and Oxford - all within easy reach of Silverstone. Hamilton will do all he can to make sure Sunday ends in a blaze of glory with the Briton seeking victory in the ninth race of the season in front of one of the most passionate crowds in motor racing. The 2008 British Grand Prix winner needs above all to reel in Ferrari’s championship leader Fernando Alonso, who is 23 points ahead of him after winning in Valencia to snatch the lead. That race was a miserable one for Hamilton, who was punted out on the penultimate lap by Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado while defending third place, but he has turned his back on that disappointment. “Just excitement, sheer excitement to get back on it, to get back to where I was,” was how the Briton, winner in Canada last month, described his feelings as he looked ahead to being back at Silverstone. “It’s just the amount of people that turn up, the fans and the roar and the atmosphere that they are able to create,” added Hamilton, who spent Sunday at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in southern England with singer girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger.—Reuters

Olympic fever revs up fitness routines NEW YORK: With the 2012 London Olympics just weeks away, weekend warriors, fitness fanatics and couch potatoes alike will soon be inspired to rev up their routines. The fitness industry is gearing up for Olympic fever with workouts that reflect the athleticism, competition and teamwork of the games. “Something about the Olympics makes people want to compete,” said Samantha Clayton, a Malibu, California-based personal trainer and track coach. “The athletes make it look so easy that everyone gets that I-can-do-it feeling, even if they can’t.” Clayton, who competed as a sprinter in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, has watched Olympic fever grip Pepperdine University, in Malibu, where she is head women’s sprint coach. “Around campus, it just inspires students to train hard and work harder, even if they aren’t that caliber,” she said. A native of Birmingham, England, Clayton is particularly excited about the Olympics, which will begin in London on July 27. “My entire family has a severe case of Olympic fever,” she said. “A lot of my friends are still competing.” Clayton thinks much of the appeal lies in watching the many televised sagas of struggle and determination of individual Olympians, whom she describes as often otherwise ordinary people. “It’s a raw sort of sport. There’s nothing fancy about it,” she said. “A lot of the competitors hold down regular jobs.” Some motivation comes from having a goal, she said. “Any training becomes easier when you have a purpose,” she said, whether it’s winning a gold medal or fitting into a wedding dress, and even a trainer wants something to work for. She said people who don’t care about sports still love the Olympics, and it only comes around every four years. “You’ll always have that one crazy person who thinks he can run 800 meters and pops a hamstring,” she said. “But I think people are more inspired than disappointed.” Lashaun Dale, national creative manager of group fitness at Equinox, said programming at the chain of fitness centers tends to be more athletically and sports inspired in Olympic years.—Reuters


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Douglas and Wieber book London berths

OMAHA: Anthony Ervin dives off of the starting block at the start of the championship final of the Men’s 50 m Freestyle during Day Seven of the 2012 US Olympic Swimming Team Trials.—AFP

Ervin caps comeback by qualifying for Games OMAHA: It took Anthony Ervin less than 22 seconds on Sunday to complete one of the most unlikely comebacks in American swimming. Twelve years after he won gold and silver medals at the Sydney Olympics and almost a decade after he quit the sport, Ervin is heading back to the biggest show in sports and swimming faster than ever. Now 31, Ervin said he surprised himself by making it back to the Olympics but had no expectations of adding to the two medals he won in 2000. “I just want to have a good time. I just want to keep this fun train chugging,” he said. “Whether I can land one or not, I hope so. I’m going to try my best. “But I can’t control what anyone else is doing. There are incredible swimmers around the world that will be there. All I can promise is I’m going to do what I can.” In his previous career, Ervin twice stunned the swimming world. The first time was in Australia when he was just 19. The first AfricanAmerican to represent the US in an Olympic team, he won the men’s 50 metres freestyle final, dead-heating with his best friend and team mate Gary Hall Jr. He also won a silver in the relay and a year

later he completed the 50-100m sprint double at the world championships in Japan. He seemed destined for more greatness but surprised everyone in 2003 when he suddenly hung up his goggles, saying he was fed up with swimming and wanted to find more meaning in his life. He auctioned off his two Olympic medals to raise money for the relief fund for the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and worked odd jobs until he waded back into swimming, as an assistant coach in California. Then last year, he decided to make a comeback as a competitor and it did not take long to pick up where he left off. Few expected him to make the team for London but he surprised the doubters when he qualified fastest for Sunday’s 50m final, a frantic splash and dash where the length of a finger can be the difference between winning and losing. He did lose the final, by 0.01 seconds to Cullen Jones, but finished second in 21.60, faster than when he won gold in Sydney, to earn an unlikely trip to London. “I touched the wall and then I looked at the scoreboard, but I couldn’t tell what happened,” he said. “I wasn’t sure what happened, and then someone looked at me and said ‘You made it!’ So it was overwhelming relief.”—Reuters

Strong US squad ready to haul in the medals EUGENE: Americans appear ready to swoop into London and grab a bountiful supply of athletics medals after some stirring performances at the just concluded US Olympic trials. From Ashton Eaton’s decathlon world record to seven other world-leading 2012 marks, US athletes showed strength and depth as they splashed through wet and often cool conditions to determine in headto-head competition their team for the upcoming Games. US coaches Andrew Valmon and Amy Deem declined to put numbers on their expectations in the British capital, but the word “strong” popped up frequently in conversations on America’s chances. “We have some areas that we are going to medal in we don’t traditionally medal in. I think that is what makes this team special,” Deem said without being specific. Valmon pointed to Eaton’s decathlon record, the emergence of a group of young 400 metres runners to back up reigning Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt and Galen Rupp’s distance double at the trials as positive signs for the US men. “I think we have a strong team,” he said. Aries Merritt, the year’s fastest hurdler; shot putter Reese Hoffa, the triple jump 1-2 of Christian Taylor and Will Claye and world high jump champion Jesse Williams, who narrowly made the team, add to the US men’s strong nucleus. The versatility is not as great on the women’s side, but sprinters Carmelita Jeter, Allyson Felix and Sanya Richards-Ross, long

jumper Brittney Reese and 400 metres hurdler Lashinda Demus provide a strong starting point. “I’m sure the US will continue to lead the medals table,” highly regarded international statistician Richard Hymans told Reuters. “The overall strength of the USA still far exceeds the brilliance of distance running nations like Kenya and Ethiopia, and the virtuosity in technical events of countries such as Germany and Russia.” But Hymans, the author of a history of the US Olympic trials, is not so sure the Americans will reach the goal of 30 medals former athletics chief Doug Logan set as a target and successor Max Siegel endorsed. Hymans suggested a medal count of 22-25 may be more likely. That would be in line with the 23 medals the United States claimed in 2008. The Beijing showing, which included only seven gold medals, set off an uproar especially after both the US men’s and women’s 4x100 metres relay teams dropped the baton in the opening round. US officials launched an investigation into how America prepares their team for the Games, and Logan’s call for 30 medals was one of its byproducts. Hymans, who is British, held out hope for improvement in London. “The US team is as good as the 2008 squad, and may turn out to be better,” he said. Gold could come from Eaton in the decathlon with world champion Trey Hardee in the mix, Merritt in the 400, the 4x400 metres relay, Taylor or Claye in the triple jump and any of a trio of US shot putters, Hymans said.—Reuters

SAN JOSE: An emotional Gabby Douglas earned the first spot on the US women’s gymnastics team for the London Games by overhauling favourite Jordyn Wieber to win the all-around title at the Olympic trials on Sunday. Teenager Douglas completed the two-day competition with an overall score of 123.450 after outshining world all-around champion Wieber, who finished close behind in second on 123.350 in front of a sell-out crowd of 17,526 at the HP Pavilion. Runner-up to Wieber in the battle for the US all-around title last month, the effervescent Douglas needed to score higher than 15.200 in her final routine of the night, and she dazzled on the floor exercise to earn 15.300. “I just wanted to go out there and perform as best as I could,” Douglas, waving her arms while her eyes flashed brightly, told Reuters of her final event. “After my floor routine, I was like, ‘Yes.’ I

SAN JOSE: Jordyn Wieber reacts after being named to the US Gymnastics team going to the 2012 London Olympics at HP Pavilion.—AFP

was just so happy at that moment. “All those years of training and hard work have paid off. Man, I’ve been so emotional. I don’t know to put it into words. I just can’t wait to wear those red, white and blue stripes down my back,” the 16-year-old said. Alexandra Raisman was third in the overall standings on 120.950 with Elizabeth Price fourth (120.100) and Kyla Ross fifth (120.000). The atmosphere in the HP Pavilion was electrifying as the crowd then waited for the final four Olympic spots, decided by a USA Gymnastics selection committee, to be announced. Mexican waves rippled around the arena before USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny slowly read out the additional names — vault specialist McKayla Maroney, Raisman, Ross and Wieber. The women’s team was then brought up on to the stage to be formally introduced as confetti reigned down upon them with chants of “USA, USA, USA” ringing out from the fans. “It was pretty much the happiest moment of my life,” Wieber, also 16, told Reuters. “It was just an amazing feeling knowing that we are all a team and we are all going to be going to London together and representing the United States.” Raisman, who won the balance beam and floor exercise at last month’s U.S. national championships, was also caught up in the moment. “It was really cool, and especially to be able to share the experience with my best friends,” the 18-year-old said. “We were all just so excited. This has been my dream ever since I was a little girl.” Wieber had led Douglas by 0.300 going into the final day of competition but Douglas, nicknamed the ‘Flying Squirrel’, immediately edged ahead when she nailed her opening routine on the vault with a near flawless Amanar to earn 16.000. Soon after, Wieber gained a score of 15.350 on uneven bars to remain in second place. Wieber, wearing a glittering purple leotard, had a slight early wobble on the balance beam before being awarded 15.350 and Douglas capitalised when she earned 15.900 with a fluent display on uneven bars. Trailing by 1.35 with two events left, Wieber laid down a marker to Douglas with a captivat-

ing floor routine of power, grace and agility to gain 15.600. “That was the highest score I have ever got on floor and I just had so much fun going out there and performing,” Wieber said of her high-octane routine. “That was the highlight of my day.” Douglas almost fell off the treacherous balance beam early on but recovered well to eke out a score of 14.850, though her lead was cut to 0.6. In her final routine of the night, Wieber piled on the pressure with a strong vault to earn 15.800, despite a slight hop on landing. With the all-around competition on the line, Douglas then delivered in champion style, oozing flair and athleticism on the floor for a score of 15.300 to claim the title and a place at the Olympics. “I told myself, ‘I’m going to go to floor and just rock it and perform.’ And I did it on floor. I was just awesome,” Douglas said.—Reuters

SAN JOSE: Gabrielle Douglas reacts after being named to the US Gymnastics team going to the 2012 London Olympics.—AFP

Gold and cash stir slumbering India NEW DELHI: India used to be content with a steady stream of Olympic hockey titles, but a first individual win-and millions of dollars in funding-may have prodded the Asian giant from its slumbers. Indian sports leapt forward when bespectacled shooter Abhinav Bindra won the 10m air rifle at Beijing 2008, making history as the country’s first individual Olympic gold-medallist. Bronze medals for wrestler Sushil Kumar and boxer Vijender Singh made it India’s most successful Games ever, beating the previous record of two medals at a single Olympics. India’s senior Olympic official Randhir Singh said the spark lit by Bindra’s breakthrough gold has fuelled optimism that the country can push on to new heights in London. “Beijing started it and London will carr y the dream for ward,” Singh, a member of the International Olympic Committee and a former international shooter, told AFP. Bindra, 29, training abroad to defend the gold medal in his fourth Olympic appearance, said the con-

fidence of India’s competitors gave him hope of a bright future. “Indian athletes today have more self-belief,” Bindra told the India Today magazine. “They’ve had more exposure, are more competitive.” The self-assurance stems from increased government and private funding that has given the top stars excellent training facilities, worldclass competition abroad, personal physios and strict dietary regimes. The government set aside $50 million-a 10-fold increase from 2000 — for preparing the contingent for the London Olympics under its ‘Operation Excellence’ programme. Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal’s Mittal Champions Trust, and the Olympic Gold Quest, founded by badminton star Prakash Padukone and billiards great Geet Sethi, have pumped in millions for India’s elite athletes. A nation once known only for its eight hockey golds, before cricket became an obsession, is finally producing world-beating athletes. Bindra’s toughest rival in the 10m air rifle will be compatriot Gagan Narang, who holds the world record for the event and

helped himself to four Commonwealth Games titles in New Delhi in 2010. “One can never predict how a shooting event will go, but I am confident of doing well in London,” said Narang, 28, who was honoured with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, India’s highest sporting honour, last year. Ronjan Sodhi, 31, is the world record-holder in the double-trap event and won the Asian Games gold medal in Guangzhou, China in 2010 and the World Cup finals twice in 2010 and 2011. Sodhi, who trains in Italy for six months a year, sees London as his last chance to win an Olympic medal before he takes time off to spend time with his wife and fouryear-old son. “It has not been easy for them,” the soft-spoken Sikh said. “I want to give my best shot in London and then take a break. This is the most crucial period of my career.” Five-time world champion Mary Kom remains a medal hopeful when women’s boxing makes its Olympic debut in London, despite being ousted in the quarter-finals at the world championships in China in May.

The 29-year-old, who moved up to the 51kg category this year because her pet 48kg event is not an Olympic weight, made the grade for London as a lucky loser. “That is not the way I wanted to qualify, but now that I have, I will make sure the opportunity is not wasted,” the feisty mother of two said. “I know I am good enough to win an Olympic medal.” Other contenders by virtue of being in the world’s top five are women’s badminton star Saina Nehwal, Asian Games boxing gold medallist Vikas Krishan and men’s discus-thrower Vikas Gowda. At the other end of the scale is wrestler Narsingh Yadav, the son of a milk-vendor father, who won the Commonwealth Games gold in the 74-kilo category two years ago. “Medal? Let’s see. But I am sure he will surprise many in London,” said Yadav’s coach Jagmal Singh. Sadly for India, their Olympic build-up was overshadowed by the ugly selection row engulfing the tennis squad which saw Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna insisting they will play doubles together which led to a spat with fellow professional Leander Paes.—AFP

Ainslie prepares for gold in classic style COWES: Ben Ainslie grins as he leaps effortlessly aboard “Eleonora” from the speed boat that has brought him alongside the 50 metre classic schooner waiting for him in choppy waters off the Isle of Wight. The British sailor, who is aiming for a record-breaking fifth Olympic sailing medal in the Finn dinghy class further west along the south coast of England at Weymouth in a month’s time, seems unperturbed by the swell in the Solent and the possibility of injuring himself. Ainslie, 35, has joined Eleonora from training at his Weymouth base to practice at the helm of the huge replica of an early 20th century racing machine called “Westward”. The huge steel hull and towering wooden masts, with a host of hands on deck to hoist and trim the billowing sails, are a world apart from Ainslie’s 4.5-metre, state-of-the art fibreglass Finn. The Round the Island Race, sponsored by one of Ainslie’s main financial backers, JP Morgan Asset Management, is his last before he takes to the waters off Weymouth to defend the gold medals he won in the Finn in Athens and Beijing. Handling the heavy wooden wheel of the 214 ton vessel in the blustery 20 knot winds tests even Ainslie, who has been bulking up his 1.85 metre frame to compete at the Olympic venue, where conditions could be equally blowy. Ainslie spends hours in the gym building up muscle he needs to sail the intensely physical single-handed dinghy, something he says is the biggest challenge in his preparation. “Fitness is a huge part of it. We are in the final weeks of preparation, which will taper off with a week to go,” Ainslie tells Reuters back on dry land at Cowes on the Isle of Wight. Asked what the worst part of the training regime is for him, Ainslie replies: “I don’t really like the protein shakes. It is hard to keep putting on weight.” At 93 kilograms, Ainslie is as heavy as he can be, but still some way short of bigger competitors in

the Finn who are taller and weigh around 100 kilos. Ainslie is going for his fourth consecutive gold at Weymouth, a record that would equal that of Denmark’s Paul Elvstrom and set a new record for the number of medals won in the discipline. At his first Olympics in Atlanta in 1996, Ainslie took silver in the Laser class at the age of just 19, moving on to Laser gold at Sydney in 2000. With huge expectations for him to succeed in front of his home crowd, Ainslie finds the best way of dealing with the pressure is to focus on his own preparation. “I keep my focus on the sailing. You have to be properly prepared with fitness and equipment. Then it’s a question of just going out there and racing. So far things are going well. The preparation is going well and it’s just a question of keeping focused on that.” Whereas at Beijing, Athens, Sydney and Atlanta, Ainslie could isolate himself from the public gaze, the demands on him on home waters are much greater. “I have to stop myself from thinking about it too much, just to keep myself relaxed.” But there is no question of Ainslie’s determination to win. “When you are obsessed with something it consumes your life. You have got to really want to do it. It’s not great for relationships and marriage and everything,” he says. What happens beyond London 2012 is still undecided, although Ainslie thinks that even if he does compete in Rio in 2016 he probably won’t be sailing in the Finn again. “I honestly don’t know. It depends on what the boats are in the next Olympics. It (the Finn) is unlikely, but never say never.” One option would be to move into the two-man Star class. That could potentially pit him against reigning Olympic champions Iain Percy, who won gold in the Finn in Sydney, and his crew Andrew Simpson. “The Star would be a great challenge. But it would put me up against Ian and Bart (Simpson)

and they are great mates of mine.” Another is a return to the America’s Cup. Despite disappointments so far, he still has his eye on the “Auld Mug”. Ainslie has already signalled he will launch his own racing team to compete in yachting’s blue riband event, which has been a long-held dream. “It would be an amazing thing to win that,” he says. But for now his attention is on fulfilling national hopes and expectations. Apart from local knowledge, the depth of talent among British Finn sailors will be one of Ainslie’s main advantages when he takes to the water on July 29 for the first of 11 gruelling races to decide Olympic gold. He was selected over current Finn world champion Giles Scott for the sole British place in the class and the sailor is one of five training partners Ainslie’s coaching team are using to make sure that their medal favourite is at the top of his game in Weymouth. “The training and testing group is awesome,” says Mark Andrews, 26, another British Finn sailor who lost out to Ainslie but is now also a training partner and knows what it is like to compete against him. “We have five guys that are top 10 in the world all training together.” Andrews says Ainslie’s time working with America’s Cup teams firstly Team New Zealand and then the now disbanded British syndicate of Team Origin-has helped the Briton redefine even his own high standards. The contacts it has given him have also meant that Ainslie is better funded than other Finn sailors and he has been able to focus on developing his equipment. But the extra backing has, if anything, made Ainslie even more of a perfectionist. “Even when he is winning, nothing is perfect. This time (at Weymouth) it’s a bit closer, especially with the breeze, to the other guys. He spends a lot of hours on the water. The desire is definitely there,” said Andrews, who thinks Ainslie should win, despite the tough competition.—Reuters

Al-Abdul Razzaq receiving the trophy from Maj. General, Al-Fahad

Double win for Al-Omar KUWAIT: Within the competitions of second round of the Jet Ski race organized by Kuwait Sea Sports Club (KSSC), promising Kuwaiti champion, Abdul Aziz Hamad Al-Omar achieved a double victory by winning the first place in the 1600 Stock race for beginners and the first place in the 800 standing category race. Meanwhile, the World Champion, Mohammed Bo Rabee’ maintained his superiority by winning the first place in the professionals 1600 stock race.

Abdul Aziz Al-Omar



sp orts

Woods wins AT&T National

COLOMBO: Pakistan cricket captain Misbah-ul-Haq looks back after hitting a ball to boundary during the third day of the second Test match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. —AP

Rain frustrates Pakistan COLOMBO: Pakistan’s bid for a series-levelling victory was further dampened when rain allowed only one session of play on the third day of the second test against Sri Lanka yesterday. The second day had also been badly affected by heavy showers with only 44.2 overs bowled on Sunday. In reply to Pakistan’s mammoth first innings 551 for six declared, Sri Lanka were 70 for one when play was called off yesterday. The home team, who need 352 to avoid the follow-on, lost an early wicket in the morning session when Tharanga Paranavitana was dismissed for a duck by Junaid Khan in the two hours of play before lunch. Paranavitana’s opening partner Tillakaratne Dilshan was his usual aggressive self as he hit nine fours in an

unbeaten 46. Kumar Sangakkara was 22 not out when the rain came. The two new-ball bowlers Junaid and Aizaz Cheema bowled some sharp deliveries and beat the bat several times without enjoying much luck. Earlier, Pakistan batted for 52 minutes to add 63 runs to their overnight 488 for four before declaring. They lost the wickets of Asad Shafiq for two, run out by a brilliant pick-up and throw by Dilshan, who also caught Adnan Akmal for five from a mistimed cover drive off Rangana Herath. Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq was left unbeaten on 66, having hit five fours. Abdur Rehman was 18 not out. Spinner Herath was Sri Lanka’s most successful bowler with three for 164. —Reuters

SCOREBOARD COLOMBO: Scoreboard at close on the third day of the second test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan yesterday: Pakistan first innings Mohammad Hafeez b Herath 196 Taufiq Umar c P b Mathews 65 Azhar Ali c Kulasekera b Randiv 157 Younis Khan lbw b Herath 32 Misbah-ul-Haq not out 66 Asad Shafiq run out 2 Adnan Akmal c Dilshan b Herath 5 Abdur Rehman not out 18 Extras (lb-5, nb-4, w-1) 10 Total (six wickets declared, 147 overs) 551 Fall of wickets: 1-78, 2-365, 3-435, 4-486, 5-491, 6-519. Did not bat: Saeed Ajmal, Aizaz Cheema, Junaid Khan. Bowling: Kulasekera 27-6-84-0, Mathews 15-1-55-1(nb-1), Pradeep 24-

3-103-0 (nb-3, w-1), Randiv 31-0-131-1, Herath 49-5-164-3, Dilshan 1-0-9-0. Sri Lanka first innings T. Paranavitana c Azhar b Junaid 0 T. Dilshan not out 46 K. Sangakkara not out 22 Extras (lb-2) 2 Total (one wicket, 15 overs) 70 To bat: M. Jayawardene, T. Samaraweera, A. Mathews, P. Jayawardene, N. Kulasekara, S..Randiv, R. Herath, N. Pradeep Fall of wicket: 1-11 Bowling (to date): Cheema 6-1-31-0, Junaid 6-1-22-1, Ajmal 2-0-11-0, Rehman 1-0-4-0.

Australia to play Afghanistan SYDNEY: Top-ranked Australia will play emerging cricket nation Afghanistan for the first time in a one-day international in the Middle East next month, Cricket Australia (CA) said yesterday. The game will serve as a warm-up for Australia’s series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, which immediately precedes the ICC World Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka in SeptemberOctober. CA chief executive James Sutherland said Australia had been looking for a chance to play Afghanistan and saw the opportunity once details of the the Pakistan ODI and Twenty20 series in the UAE had become clear over the weekend. While no venue has been yet finalised for the Afghanistan ODI, CA said the game was being scheduled to allow the Australian team time to acclimatise before taking on Pakistan in three ODIs

and three T20s in August. “Everyone in world cricket have been really impressed with how cricket has flourished in Afghanistan, despite its pressing national problems,” Sutherland said in a statement. “As an ICC member, CA strongly supports world cricket’s ambition for cricket to continue to develop as a global sport and that, combined with the strong relationships between our two countries, encouraged us to look at how we might recognise and encourage Afghanistan by playing them on the field.” Sutherland said Australia were also looking forward to hosting Afghanistan in the ICC Under-19 World Cup in Australia in August. He said the details of the Afghanistan fixture had been finalised in discussions at last week’s annual meeting of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in Malaysia. — AFP

Klitschko to face Charr in possible last fight BERLIN: World heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko will defend his WBC crown against little-known 27-year-old German Manuel Charr in Moscow on Sept. 8 in what could be his last career fight. The 40-year-old, whose younger brother Vladimir holds the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO belts, said he would focus on parliamentary elections in Ukraine after the fight against undefeated Charr and election to office could spell the end of his boxing career. “Depending on the outcome of the elections (in October) I will decide on the future of my sporting career,” said Klitschko in a statement. “Holding a political office and being heavyweight champion at the same time are not compatible.” Klitschko has won 44 of his 46 professional fights and his last bout was a points victory over Briton Dereck Chisora in February. He had said in March that his next fight would be against former WBA champion David Haye, who retired in October after losing his title to Vladimir in July 2011 but the much-awaited bout has failed to materialise on a number of occasions. “Charr is young, hungry and

undefeated,” said Klitschko. “He fears no one and always looks forwards. He will be very motivated against me and I will not make the mistake of underestimating him.” The Syria-born Charr has won all of his 21 fights since turning professional in 2005. —Reuters

Vitali Klitschko

BETHESDA: Tiger Woods overtook Jack Nicklaus in second place on the all-time PGA Tour winners list when he captured the AT&T National tournament at the Congressional Country Club on Sunday. The former world number one claimed the 74th PGA Tour event of his career when he shot a final round of two-under-par 69 to finish at eight-under 276, two strokes clear of the field. “It feels fantastic. It feels great to get to 74 wins and obviously pass Jack,” Woods told reporters after overcoming an overnight one-shot deficit to win. “I’ve had a pretty good career and to do it at 36, I feel like I have a lot of years ahead of me. I feel like I’ve got a lot more ahead of me.” Woods has won three of his last seven starts, having claimed the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Memorial Tournament earlier this season, and while it has been four years since his last major victory, the world number four believes the next one will come soon. “I remember there was a time when people were saying I could never win again. That was, I think, what, four months ago and here we are,” he said. “It was just a matter of time. I could see the pieces coming together. “(Coach) Sean (Foley) and I were working, and we see what’s coming, and we can see the consistency, and it’s just a matter of time.” Fellow American and playing partner Bo Van Pelt closed with a 71 to finish alone in second, one shot ahead of Australian Adam Scott, who charged up the leaderboard with a final round 67. The overnight leader, Zimbabwe’s Brendan de Jonge, fell out of contention when he finished with a 77. As the other challengers faded, only Van Pelt

was able to stay in touch with Woods but as the pressure mounted down the stretch, bogeys on the closing three holes brought his challenge to a screeching halt. A 10-foot birdie putt on the fifth gave Woods his first outright lead of the tournament but Van Pelt countered with a birdie on the sixth to draw level. Woods once again gained the ascendancy with birdie on the ninth but Van Pelt refused to wilt in the extreme heat, joining the leader once more when he picked up a shot on the 11th. Both men traded birdies on the 15th and bogeys on 16 to keep them locked together on eight-under par but Van Pelt’s drive on the penultimate hole sailed left and trouble ensued. His approach shot caught a flyer and sailed well over the green, and despite an impressive flop shot, he was unable to find the putting surface in three shots and walked off with another bogey. His final chance was to hole out from the fringe on 18 to force a playoff but his effort rolled past the pin and he missed the par putt to leave Woods celebrating a two-shot margin of victory. The only player with more career titles than Woods is Sam Stead, who won 82 times. —Reuters

BETHESDA: Tiger Woods poses with the trophy on the 18th green after winning the AT&T National golf tournament at Congressional Country Club. —AP

Donaldson clinches Irish Open ROYAL PORTRUSH: Briton Jamie Donaldson held his nerve to won the Irish Open on Sunday and claim his first European Tour victory. Battling against the wind and rain at Royal Portrush, the overnight leader shot a final round of six-under 66 to win by four shots, seeing off Anthony Wall, Fabrizio Zanotti and Rafael Cabrera-Bello, who finished in joint second place. Earlier, the Welshman had to cope with a late surge from Swede Mikael Lundberg, who gave the front runners a fright after moving up eight places following two birdies and an eagle.

However, after dropping a shot on the fourth, he fell away, leaving Donaldson to hit four birdies and establish a two-shot lead over his playing partner Wall and then finishing off with his best round of the day. Local hero Rory McIlroy finished on a disappointing 11-under. “It’s a bit surreal, to be honest,” Donaldson told the PGA website ( “I didn’t look at the leaderboard all day. I just felt really good out there. It’s just been a case of keeping going. I knew that what I was doing was all right.” —Reuters

Miyazato rallies to win title ROGERS: Ai M iyazato added another LPGA win to her resume on Sunday with a closing birdie at the NW Ark ansas Championship. The Japanese star shot a 6-under 65 to overcome a five-shot deficit and hold off a crowded leaderboard for her second LPGA Tour victory of the year and ninth overall. Miyazato’s 5-foot birdie putt on No. 18 sent her to 12 under for the tournament, and her victory at Pinnacle Country Club was secured one group later when fellow Japanese Mika Miyazato missed a 15-foot birdie attempt on No. 18. “I knew I needed to make lots of birdies today, but I didn’t have any expectation and I didn’t have any pressure in the front nine,” Ai Miyazato said. “So that’s why I think I could focus my game and have four birdies on the front nine.” The win came at the expense of good friend Mika Miyazato, who finished one back and was denied her first LPGA victor y. M ik a M iyazato congratulated her friend af ter the round, a bittersweet moment for both. “She said, ‘I’m very happy for you,’ but then at the same time she was crying,” Ai Miyazato said. “So I was like, I didn’t know what to say to her, but I just said, ‘Thank you and great playing.’ “You know, she’s still young and she still (has) a great future, and I know her win is coming definitely soon.” Ai M iyazato had seven birdies and one bogey in the final round to finish one stroke ahead of M ik a M iyazato and Azahara Munoz. Ai Miyazato had finished in the top 10 of the tournament in each of the last four years, including a fourthplace finish in 2008 and a third-place last year. Those disappointments were fresh on Miyazato’s mind following her only bogey of the day on No. 17, but she answered with an up-and-down from off the 18th green for her closing birdie. “I think last year I was pretty close to winning,” Miyazato said. “I think I’m one shot behind or something and I made bogey on 17, too. A few years ago, I did the same thing, too. “... But like I said to myself, you know, just one bogey so far during the round, so I think that’s pretty good. Then if I made birdie (on 18), I thought I still (would) have a chance to get in a playoff.” Miyazato, a 15-time winner on the Japan LPGA, also won the LOTTE Championship in Hawaii in April. She’s the third player on the LPGA Tour to win multiple events this season, joining top-ranked Yani Tseng, also a three-time winner, and No. 2 Stacy Lewis, and she’s projected to rise from sixth to third in the world entering the US Women’s Open next week. Mika Miyazato had a 67, and Munoz closed with a 65. Veronica Feliber t, the rook ie from Venezuela who opened the day with a

four-shot lead, shot a 72 to tie for fourth at 10 under. While Felibert struggled in only her fif th LPGA tournament, Ai Miyazato opened with a 32 on the front nine and reached 12 under after her sixth birdie of the day on the par-3 15th. She fell back to 11 under after her only bogey on the day at No. 17, but used a 3-wood to reach the front fringe of the 475-yard par-5 18th in two shots. After a chip to 5 feet, she calmly sank the downhill left-to-right putt to take a

on the LPGA Tour. Mika Miyazato said the firm miss was a result of several putts she had left short earlier in the round. “I tried to hit it too hard, so that putt, I need to make this putt,” Mika Miyazato said. “I understand, but (it was) still difficult, so I try it.” Felibert started the day at 11 under af ter only one bogey in the first t wo rounds. She reached 12 under twice on the front nine, but both times she quickly gave the shots back with bogeys.

ROGERS: Ai Miyazato, of Japan, poses with the championship trophy after winning the LPGA NW Arkansas Championship golf tournament. —AP one-shot lead over Munoz, who already had finished her round and made a par from the fairway on No. 18. Munoz eagled the par-4 No. 5 and reached 11 under with a birdie on No. 17, but she missed her approach shot on No. 18 wide to the right and left her third shot in the fringe before getting up and down to save par. “I played all day unbelievable,” Munoz said. “I barely missed any shots. On the last one, I hit a great drive and was in between clubs. I decided to go with the hybrid, and I just tried to hit it too hard and missed it right.” Mika Miyazato was also at 12 under on the back nine, but a bogey on No. 16 left her at 11 under and needing a birdie on No. 18 to force a playoff. She hit the fairway on the par-5 final hole but elected to lay up. She hit her approach shot 15 feet left of the hole, but her birdie attempt just went by to the left and kept her winless

Her bogey at No. 9 led to a brief threeway tie with Mika Miyazato and Inbee Park, but Felibert bogeyed Nos. 12 and 13 to fall out of the lead for good. The former Southern California standout entered the week ranked 723rd in the world and had earned only $2,489 in four previous LPGA events, in which she missed three cuts. Feliber t earned $93,770 for her fourth-place tie with Park, who shot a 68 on Sunday. “I didn’t play the way I wanted,” Felibert said. “I didn’t feel nervous at all, I was surprised. I thought I was going to be more nervous. But my swing wasn’t there, and I didn’t try to like fight it. I just played with what I got and it wasn’t enough.” Ai Miyazato earned $300,000 for the victory, while Munoz and Mika Miyazato each made $159,739. Lewis, the local favorite who played at the University of Arkansas, finished with a 70 and tied for 19th at 4 under. —AP




Euro 2012 leaves lasting impression

MADRID: Supporters of Spain’s national football team celebrate in central Madrid after their team defeated Italy 4-0 in the Euro 2012 football Championships.—AFP

Spain heroes bring Euro 2012 Cup home for fiesta MADRID: Spain’s conquering football heroes brought the Euro 2012 Cup home yesterday for a national fiesta big enough to chase away the clouds of economic crisis, at least for a while. After touching down in MadridBarajas airport, captain Iker Casillas in a red T-shirt emblazoned with the words “Champions of Europe” stood at the door of the Iberia Airbus A319 beside team coach Vicente del Bosque. Goalkeeper Casillas held the huge silver trophy aloft before descending the steps ahead of the squad, hailed as heroes after a 4-0 thrashing of Italy delivered an historic third straight international title. Players were to be congratulated by King Juan Carlos before touring Madrid in an open-top bus heading to a victory party in the central Plaza de Cibeles, where a huge stage and video screens have been set up. “Satisfied and happy for the success. It was difficult and we did it,” Casillas, hailed as a key ingredient in Spain’s triumph, told reporters at the airport where their plane was met by two fire engines. “Happy because people enjoyed it,” he added. Forward Cesc Fabregas admitted to being a bit tired. “We have been celebrating, we are very happy. The best is yet to come,” he said. Midfielder Xabi Alonso said the team was ready to celebrate. “We deserved to take the title,” he said. “We came with ambition and we still have strength. “We’re very good, very happy, keen to get here and enjoy it with the people.” A knot of fans in the airport joined the 50 or so journalists there for the arrival of the plane flying Spanish flags from the cockpit windows and declaring in words painted on the craft: “Proud of our squad”. “They didn’t just make history with the triple crown but also they scored four goals against Italy, which noone does,” said a 28-year-old fan who gave his name as Juan. “This victory boosts morale a bit, at least for two or three days we won’t think of the crisis,” he said. A red-and-yellow sea of fans had swamped central Madrid in an all-night party before their return. Young and old, Spaniards burst into

chants of “Champions!”, detonated bangers, danced in fountains, blared car horns and flew the national flag in their hands, through car windows and off the back of motorbikes. Tens of thousands of beer-soaked fans packed the Plaza de Cibeles, adorned with a stone fountain of the goddess of nature on a chariot hauled by lions. In Madrid’s Puerta del Sol, a dozen people leapt into the fountain and splashed water over scores of others dancing in joy. Goals from David Silva, Jordi Alba, Fernando Torres and Juan Mata on Sunday sparked a crescendo of joy across Spain. Some 15,481,000 people, or 83.4 percent of the television audience, saw Spain’s win in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev-the greatest audience recorded in Spain for a football match, industry figures showed. The victory also sparked a new sportsrelated record for tweets per second, Twitter said. Sunday’s final match resulted in 16.5 million tweets from fans around the world and total global traffic on the platform peaked at 15,358 tweets per second during the fourth goal, a new sports-related record on Twitter, the company said. Success on the field gave succour to a nation in crisis, said the leading daily El Pais, with the economy in recession, the jobless rate at 24.4 percent, and stricken banks struggling to stay afloat. “Spain’s footballing successes give indirect relief, if only ephemeral, to the destructive consequences of recession and unemployment from which the Spanish people are suffering,” it said. “Football is not a substitute for good political management nor for economic prosperity, nor should we ask it to be, but it can inject a dose of self-esteem in difficult times,” the paper said. “There are many reasons to claim this self-esteem.” Tens of thousands of people had been glued to giant screens in an official fanzone outside Real Madrid’s Bernabeu stadium as Spain added to their Euro 2008 and 2010 World Cup titles. Others swilled beers, cheering and gasping in bars across the nation as the match unfolded.—AFP

Spain turn thoughts to Brazil KIEV: Triumphant Spain turned their thoughts towards qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and retaining their world title yesterday even as they were celebrating success at Euro 2012. The Iberian nation became the first country to win back-to-back European championships with a World Cup in between when they thumped Italy 4-0 in Sunday’s final in Kiev. But such is their thirst for trophies that Vicente del Bosque’s side are already looking ahead to September’s opening Group I qualification match away to Georgia. Spain have set new standards on their way to an unprecedented third straight major title for a European team and, with a relatively young squad, must be firm favourites to win their second World Cup in South America in two years’ time. At his post-match news conference at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday, the 61-year-old Del Bosque paid tribute to the work of his predecessor Luis Aragones, who engineered Spain’s victory at Euro 2008 before stepping down. “We have followed the path laid out by Aragones and now we have new goals,” Del Bosque said. “France, Belarus, Georgia and Finland in World Cup qualification and then the Confederations Cup,” he added, in reference to the World Cup curtain-raiser in Brazil next year. “We want to put on a good show there.” His success at Euro 2012 means Del Bosque becomes only the second coach to win a European Championship and a World Cup title, joining Helmut Schoen, who achieved the feat with West Germany in the early 1970s. A key player in Spain’s success under Del Bosque is Xavi and the Barcelona playmaker came good in the final with two assists and a typically dominant dis-

Spain head coach Vicente del Bosque play after an indifferent tournament. Xavi, who will be 34 by the 2014 World Cup, said he would be available for the tournament in Brazil if he was in good shape. “If I am feeling good I will be there,” he told reporters after the final. “I will talk to the coach but basically yes. Let’s see.” Any team wishing to challenge Spain will have to work out how to breach their rock solid defences while attempting to thwart their relentless attacks. Spain have kept a clean sheet in their last 10 knockout matches at the European Championship or World Cup and Casillas has not conceded in an unprecedented 990 minutes.—Reuters

KIEV: With an average of 2.45 goals per game, Euro 2012 was the most low-scoring European Championship for 16 years, but what it lacked in rippling nets, it made up for in excitement and technical quality. After a build-up dogged by concerns about infrastructural problems and the potential for fan violence, the competition caught the attention from the opening game. Robert Lewandowski claimed the tournament’s first goal for cohosts Poland at Warsaw’s National Stadium, but their opponents Greece secured a 1-1 draw in a breathless game that saw both sides finish with 10 men. Poland were to entertain again, sharing a thrillingly open 1-1 draw with Russia in their second Group A game before falling to the Czech Republic and exiting the competition. Fellow hosts Ukraine also bade their farewells in the group phase, but they could at least treasure the sight of 35-year-old national icon Andrei Shevchenko claiming a match-winning brace in the opening 2-1 defeat of Sweden. By the mid-point of the group stage, journalists were already beginning to draw comparisons with the 2000 tournament in Belgium and Holland, widely seen as a high watermark in the recent history of European football. Portugal let slip a two-goal lead over Denmark in Group B, only to prevail 3-2 through an 87th-minute strike from Silvestre Varela that provided the spark that would take them to the last four. England also came from behind to beat Sweden 3-2 in Kiev, with substitute Theo Walcott lashing home an equaliser and then motoring down the right flank to tee up Danny Welbeck for a cunning improvised winner. Penalty shoot-outs were required to separate England and Italy in the quarter-finals, and Spain and Portugal in the last four. They made villains of Ashley Young, Ashley Cole and Bruno Alves, and heroes of Cesc Fabregas and Andrea Pirlo, who tipped the balance of the shoot-out against England in Italy’s favour with an audacious chipped spot-kick. Cristiano Ronaldo suddenly found form to score twice in Portugal’s 2-1 win over Holland,

MADRID: Spanish national football team goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas (center) and coach Vicente del Bosque (right) show the trophy of the Euro 2012 championships to Spanish King Juan Carlos (left) at the Zarzuela palace.—AFP before repeating the trick with the only goal against the Czechs in the last eight. Pirlo and Spain’s Andres Iniesta graced the turf wherever they trod, while Pirlo’s 21-year-old teammate Mario Balotelli came of age in stunning fashion with an emphatic brace against Germany in the semifinals. There were also several highprofile flops; most notably Holland’s Robin van Persie and England’s Wayne Rooney, who missed the first two games through suspension, scored against Ukraine, but then disappeared from sight. Beaten finalists at the last World Cup, the Netherlands vanished amid a cloud of in-fighting and insinuation after three consecutive defeats, with Bert van Marwijk losing his job as coach shortly after. France, meanwhile, failed to live up to expectations that they could prove to be the tournament’s dark horses, with Laurent Blanc leaving his post as coach following a cam-

paign marred by stories of off-pitch squabbles. Les Bleus did at least end a six-year wait for a major tournament win by beating Ukraine 2-0 in a game held up for over an hour by a massive thunderstorm at Donetsk’s Donbass Arena, but fell 2-0 to Spain in the last eight. Germany also met a disappointing end, strolling through Group B and crushing Greece 4-2 in the last eight before wilting meekly against Cesare Prandelli’s increasingly assured Italy. In contrast to the Germans, Italy seemed to grow in strength with each match, before their legs and their luck deserted them in the final. Spain found themselves unexpectedly assailed by complaints about the tediousness of their football, but there was nothing dreary about their record 4-0 demolition of the Azzurri at Kiev’s Olympic Stadium on Sunday. Despite a high-profile blunder in Ukraine’s group game with England, when Marko Devic’s goal

was not awarded even though the ball clearly crossed the line, the trial of extra officials behind each goal-line was a success. Their eagle-eyed presence seemed to afford greater freedom of movement to attackers, with only four penalties awarded over the duration of the tournament. The Adidas Tango 12 match ball was a notable improvement on the unreliable Jabulani from the 2010 World Cup, with Balotelli’s thumping second goal against Germany the pick of a collection of fine longrange strikes. “Poland and Ukraine organised an exceptional tournament, that will stay in people’s memories,” said UEFA president Michel Platini. “It was one of those unique moments that brings people together.” The Euro will expand to 24 teams in France in four years’ time, but the 16-team format bows out having delivered a rich concentration of highly watchable matches that may prove impossible to repeat.—AFP


Spain save their best for last KIEV: The greatest teams always peak at exactly the right time and Spain, giving an emphatic response to those critics who say their mesmerising possession football is dull, saved their scintillating best for last at Euro 2012. Vicente del Bosque’s side had struggled to get their fast-flowing game into top gear earlier in the tournament but it all clicked beautifully into place against Italy in Sunday’s final in Kiev. Some had labelled the Spanish dull after a couple of uninspired performances in Poland and Ukraine but their crushing 4-0 win at the Olympic Stadium was the biggest margin of victory in any World Cup or European Championship final. Spain took the game to the Italians from the start and there was a zip about their passing, with Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and David Silva buzzing around the opposition defence, to immediately get the the upper hand. With defensive midfielders Xabi Alonso and Sergio Busquets providing the foundation, Xavi was able to dictate from the central areas, feeding the runs of both the forwards and the fullbacks up the flanks. Del Bosque had again opted to play without a recognised striker, with midfielder Fabregas in a roving forward role, and it was his burst into the box and clever cut back that set up Silva to nod in Spain’s opener. The Spanish players looked far hungrier than their opponents, running into space and overlapping down the wings and creating a host of clear chances, while the Italians threatened only from long-range or set pieces. It was one such forward foray that led to Spain’s second. The goal came not from a trademark move of 20 passes or more but from a long Iker Casillas clearance that Fabregas leaped to nod back to Jordi Alba. The 23-year-old, one of the revelations of the tournament who is poised to join Barcelona from Valencia, laid the ball inside to Xavi and sped past a static Italian defence to receive a return pass that he slotted calmly past Gianluigi Buffon. Xavi admitted before the game he had not been at his best in recent outings but he was back to something close to that on Sunday and sent substitute Fernando Torres clear to score Spain’s third in the 84th minute. The Barca playmaker, who has been at the heart of Spain’s success over the past four years, is the first player to provide assists in two European Championship finals after he played Torres in to score the only goal in the Euro 2008 final against Germany. But it has not been merely their dominance in midfield and their attacking threat that has underpinned Spain’s success. The defence, marshalled by Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos in the centre and with captain Casillas almost unbeatable in goal, was again rock solid on Sunday. Spain have not conceded a goal in their last five Euro matches, a new competition record, and have kept a clean sheet in their last 10 knockout matches at a European Championship or World Cup. Casillas, who became the first player to notch up 100 international victories on his 137th appearance, has not conceded a goal in the knockout stage of the two competitions for 990 minutes. But it is Del Bosque to whom Spain’s victory on Sunday truly belongs. The sometimes gruff but unfailingly respectful 61-year-old built on the triumph of Euro 2008 and has turned Spain into a harmonious and incredibly effective unit that has taken its place at the summit of world football, smashing records along the way.—Reuters

Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta

Iniesta named Euro 2012’s best player KIEV: Andres Iniesta, who helped Spain to a second successive European Championship triumph in Poland and Ukraine, was named the best player at the tournament by UEFA yesterday. Iniesta played a central role for Spain in Sunday’s 4-0 win over Italy as they became the first country to retain the title. Andy Roxburgh, the head of UEFA’s technical group, told reporters: “Andrea Pirlo was magnificent for Italy, Xavi won it last time and could have won it again. Xabi Alonso was magnificent but Iniesta sends a message about creative and incisive football and was superb throughout.” Meanwhile, Spanish striker Fernando Torres won the Golden Boot award for top scorer at Euro 2012 edging out Germany’s Mario Gomez UEFA announced yesterday. The 28-year-old — whose goal in the 4-0 win over Italy in the final made him the only player to score in two Euro finals — like Gomez scored three goals and provided one assist during the tournament. However, UEFA gave it to him on the tiebreak of having had less game time during the finals, the Spaniard having had 189 minutes on the pitch compared to Gomez’s 280. Four other players also ended up with three goals, Italian striker Mario Balotelli, Portuguese captain Cristiano Ronaldo, rising Russian star Alan Dzagoev and one of the revelations of the tournament, Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic.

For Torres it sees him complete an incredible latter part of the 2011/12 season where he also collected FA Cup and Champions League winners medals with Chelsea having been all but written off for the majority of the campaign as he failed to fire for the English club. However, there was to be a let down for the former Atletico Madrid and Liverpool star as he missed out on being named in the 23-man squad of the championship named by UEFA yesterday. While he came on as a substitute during the final — he also set up Juan Mata for the fourth and final goal — rightback Alvaro Arbeloa was the only one of the starting XI against Italy who failed to make the UEFA squad. The UEFA squad of Euro 2012: Goalkeepers; Gianluigi Buffon (Italy), Iker Casillas (Spain), Manuel Neuer (Germany) Defenders: Gerard Pique (Spain), Fabio Coentrao (Portugal), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Pepe (Portugal), Sergio Ramos (Spain), Jordi Alba (Spain) Midfielders: Daniele De Rossi (Italy), Steven Gerrard (England), Xavi (Spain), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Sami Khedira (Germany), Sergio Busquets (Spain), Mesut Ozil (Germany), Andrea Pirlo (Italy), Xabi Alonso (Spain) Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Italy), Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Zlatan Ibrahimovoic (Sweden), David Silva (Spain).—Agencies

Blake defeats Bolt again



Woods wins AT&T National


Gold and cash stir slumbering India

Page 17

WIMBLEDON: Novak Djokovic of Serbia (left) embraces Viktor Troicki of Serbia after Djokovic won a fourth round singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships.—AP

Lisicki sends Sharapova packing WIMBLEDON: Top-seeded Maria Sharapova was knocked out of Wimbledon yesterday, losing 6-4, 6-3 to Sabine Lisicki in the fourth round just a month after completing a career Grand Slam. Lisicki, a 15th-ranked German, outplayed the 2004 Wimbledon champion in windy, rainy conditions on Court 1 for her first career victory over Sharapova in four matches. She avenged a loss in the semifinals to Sharapova here last year. Also advancing were four-time women’s winner Serena Williams, defending champion Petra Kvitova and second-seeded Victoria Azarenka, but four-time Grand Slam champion Kim Clijsters lost in what she says is her final Wimbledon before retirement later this year. In men’s play, six-time champion Roger Federer was the first to reach the quarters, overcoming an early back problem to beat Xavier Malisse 7-6 (1), 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 and extend his record for most consecutive Grand Slam final-eight appearances to 33. Federer said his back started hurting in the first few games of the match but he felt much better after taking a medical timeout and receiving treatment. “I feel way better than a few hours ago,” Federer said after the match. “Honestly, I’m not too worried. I’ve had bad backs over the years. I just have to keep an eye on it now ... I hope I’ll be 100 percent on Wednesday.” Sharapova, who won the French Open four weeks ago for her fourth Grand Slam title, is the biggest name knocked out of the tournament since twotime men’s champion Rafael Nadal was upset last week by Lukas Rosol. After smacking a second-serve 108 mph (174 kph) ace down the middle on her third match point, Lisicki collapsed to her knees on the grass and shook both fists. Among those cheering for Lisicki in the guest box was German NBA star Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks. “It’s just unbelievable,” Lisicki said. “For the third time I’ve beaten the French Open champion

here. I’m just so happy. I’ve lost the three previous meetings against her. Now I just played well and beat her for the first time.” Sharapova was trying to become the first woman since Serena Williams in 2002 to win the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year. “I just went for my shots. Really from the first point on I felt great out there,” Lisicki said. “It’s my favorite tournament, I love playing on grass, I love the crowd here. I just love it.” Lisicki will next face fellow German and No. 8 Angelique Kerber, who drubbed Clijsters 6-1, 6-1. The 47th-ranked Belgian has said she is retiring after this year’s US Open - this time for good, having returned to the sport in 2009 after a two-year break. Clijsters, who has been dogged by injuries this year, walked off Court 3 with a brief wave. Third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska also advanced, beating Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi 6-2, 6-3. Azarenka, the Australian Open champion, routed 14th-

seeded Ana Ivanovic 6-1, 6-0 in match that was played under the Centre Court roof from 4-1 because of rain. The match was briefly held up at 4-0 in the second set when Azarenka helped the ball boys pick up pigeon feathers that floated down onto the court from the roof. Azarenka, Williams and Kvitova are the only women’s players left who have reached a Grand Slam final - and they’re all in the bottom half of the draw. Sharapova’s defeat means there will be a first-time finalist from the top half. Leading Malisse 4-3 in the opening set, Federer called for a medical timeout and left Centre Court with the trainer for treatment in the locker room. When play resumed eight minutes later, Federer didn’t seem visibly affected - although the speed on his first serve lacked its usual velocity. Still, in the final game, Federer hit two serve winners and closed out the match with a 122 mph (197 kph) ace. He’ll next play Mikhail Youzhny, who beat Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan in five sets. “I felt the back going at the

Rain washes play at Wimbledon LONDON: Wimbledon chiefs face a fixture backlog after heavy rain forced play to be abandoned on every court expect the covered Centre Court yesterday. The constant downpours in south-west London caused two delays, with the second coming just before 5pm (1600GMT), and at 7.45pm (1845GMT) it was announced that there would be no further play. That left five men’s singles matches to be completed today, including world number four Andy Murray’s clash with Croatia’s Marin Cilic, which

had been called off with the Scot leading 7-5, 3-1 on Court One. French fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was trailing 6-4, 1-1 against America’s Mardy Fish when play was suspended, while Richard Gasquet, the French 18th seed, was 6-3, 2-1 down against Germany’s Florian Mayer. The remaining men’s last 16 matches-Spain’s David Ferrer against Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro and America’s Brian Baker against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber-were cancelled before play was able to start.—AFP

Olympic medals locked up in Tower of London

Cavendish wins second stage TOURNAI: Britain’s Mark Cavendish claimed his 21st victory on the Tour de France and his first as world champion yesterday after beating German sprint rival Andre Greipel to win the race’s second stage. Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara, of RadioShack, retained the race leader’s yellow jersey with his 7sec lead on Britain’s Bradley Wiggins (Sky) intact after the 207 km ride from Vise to Tournai in Belgium. Cavendish, the race’s defending green jersey champion for the points competition, has come into the race with, as usual, plenty of motivation to add to his record tally. But because Sky’s big aim is to secure the yellow jersey for Wiggins’ in Paris, he has no train of sprinters to help lead him into the flat finishes where support can often be decisive. On what was the first flat finish of the race, that decision proved no problem for the Isle of Man rider. He simply followed the trains of several other specialist sprint teams-Lotto, OricaGreenEdge and Argos-and did some slick manoeuvring before following Greipel when the German launched his final drive for the line. Thanks to his energy-saving efforts earlier, Cavendish emerged from Greipel’s slipstream to take the victory by half a wheel.

“I left it a bit late, with about 200 (metres) to go, I should have gone past Greipel a bit earlier. It was quite tight at the end,” said Cavendish, who said he was even more buoyed by winning in the rainbow stripes. “I wanted to show this jersey off, you know. I have massive respect for this jersey and everyone who’s worn it. Not just on the Tour de France, but on other races as well. “I’m really really happy. It’s very special to cross the line (as world champion). “I look down and see the rainbow bands and it just fills me with pride.” Team Sky chief Dave Brailsford told AFP: “Psychologically that was a big stage for all the sprint teams. “He (Cavendish) has proved there why he is the number one in the world and why he has been the number one for a long time. “He benefits from a sprint lead-out, there’s no doubt. But he showed today he doesn’t need one.” Australia’s Matt Goss, of OricaGreenEdge, took third place ahead of Tom Veelers, the Dutchman stepping up for more fancied Argos-Shimano teammate Marcel Kittel after he suffered stomach problems in the stage. Cancellara, meanwhile, will wear the yellow jersey into today’s third stage over 197 km from Orchies to Boulogne-sur-Mer when the

beginning of the first set,” Federer said. “It must be a mix of maybe the five-setter (against Julien Benneteau in the third round), two days off, the cold wind today. I was unlucky in this regard. Fortunately, I pulled out the match today.” The sixth-seeded Williams won the last three games of the final set to beat 65thranked wild card Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan 6-1, 2-6, 7-5, in cool and gusty conditions on Court 2. Williams hopped in joy with both feet in the air after hitting a big forehand that forced an error by Shvedova on the first match point, ending a hard-hitting contest that lasted nearly two hours. “I didn’t want to lose today and I thought, ‘Just stay relaxed,’” Williams said. “I knew the whole match I could play better.” Williams will next face Kvitova, who rallied from a set and a break down to beat former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 in an error-strewed match on Court 3. It was the second straight tough three-setter for Williams, who won 9-7 in the third to beat Zheng Jie in the third round. “I feel fine,” she said. “I’m not tired. I’m not anything. I feel good. I feel like bottom line I can play so much better than what I have been playing ... You know me. I’m never satisfied.” The match ended in a slight drizzle, with play suspended on some of the other courts. Shvedova removed her glasses in the final two games to keep the lenses from getting wet. “I think we both wanted to keep playing because it was so deep into the match,” Williams said. “I didn’t want to stop. Williams finished with 35 winners, including 12 aces, and 13 errors. Shvedova had 24 winners and 20 errors. The first player to reach the quarters was 37th-ranked Austrian Tamira Paszek, who beat Italy’s Roberta Vinci 6-2, 6-2 to reach the final eight for the second year in a row.—AP

TOURNAI: A combo picture shows (from top, left to right) France’s Anthony Roux being chased by the pack, a British fan supporting Mark Cavendish cheering on the pack riding, Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara celebrating on the podium his yellow jersey of overall leader and stage winner, Britain’s Mark Cavendish celebrating on the finish line. —AFP race heads into France. After two “intense” days of racing, the Olympic time trial champion admitted he was happy the peloton had not decided to really turn on the full gas, in a bid to catch an ealier three-man breakaway, until the final kilometres. “I’m happy to get to France with the yellow jersey on. I just hope my legs will be better than

they were today,” said Cancellara. “I was pretty tired today, but I suppose that’s normal when we’ve had two intense stages and all the commitments that go with having the yellow jersey. “Thankfully we only stepped up the pace in the final 25 km. “I know tomorrow will be a difficult stage, but we’ve looked at it in detail and hopefully it will be alright for me.”—AFP

LONDON: The medals for the 2012 Olympic Games were locked up yesterday in a vault at the Tower of London, where Britain’s Crown Jewels are kept under armed guard. The 4,700 gold, silver and bronze discs will not be seen in public again until they are hung around the necks of the winning athletes at the Games, which open in the British capital on July 27. London Games chief Sebastian Coe took the medals down to the vaults, where they will stay until they are due to be awarded. “For an athlete, winning an Olympic or Paralympic medal represents the conclusion of thousands of hours of training and reaching the highest level in sport,” said Coe, who is himself a two-time Olympic 1500-metre gold medallist. “The victory ceremonies then provide the moment they can truly celebrate their success.” The medals were greeted by a fanfare, as the tower’s Yeoman Warder guards commonly known as Beefeaters-watched with 150 schoolchildren from east London. The first medals will be awarded on July 28, in the women’s 10-metre air rifle and men’s 10-metre air pistol events. The gold medals are not actually made of solid gold. They are in fact 92.5 percent silver and 1.34 percent gold, while the rest is copper. Metals used in the medals were mined in Mongolia and Utah in the United States. Featuring some of the world’s largest diamonds, the Crown Jewels are used by the British monarch during coronations and other state functions. They have been kept at the tower since 1661. The imposing castle has stood in east London since the 11th century and has a famously grisly history. It was first used as a jail in 1100 and went on to witness the imprisonment and execution of many political and religious prisoners until the 17th century. It returned to this role during the two World Wars, with several spies executed there between 1914 and 1916. Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi deputy, was one of the last prisoners to be held at the tower in 1941.—AFP

ECB warns Greece on bailout as ministers plan softer bid Page 23

Islamic finance treads fine political line in Kazakhstan Page 24


Indian factory growth at four-month high in June Page 25

NBK maintained sound profitability ratios in Q1 Page 22 ST LOUIS: Construction workers restore a section of a storm sewer about 25 feet below ground in St Louis. Construction spending rose 0.9 percent in May, following a 0.6 percent rise in April, the Commerce Department reported yesterday. It was the biggest percentage gain since December.—AP

Barclays moves to repair ‘devastating’ damage Chairman quits over rate rigging scandal LONDON: Barclays chairman Marcus Agius resigned yesterday over interest rate rigging as the bank faced possible criminal prosecution in a scandal that has sullied London’s image as a financial centre. The beleaguered bank announced his departure, and promised an independent audit, amid questions about the future of its chief executive Bob Diamond and generally about morality in London’s financial sector, or City. Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said it was considering whether it was “both appropriate and possible to bring criminal prosecutions” over the issue, adding that it hoped to come to a conclusion within a month. British finance minister George Osborne was set to address parliament at around 1530 GMT to speak on the matter. The manipulation of interest rates, which may turn out to implicate some other international banks, concerned the Libor and Euribor rates which play a key role on global markets, affecting what banks, businesses and individuals pay to borrow. Barclays said that Agius, who has chaired the bank for six years, would remain in his post until a successor was found. But markets were also focused on whether Diamond, a highprofile and highly paid banker, would keep his job amid widespread calls for him to go. Markets were also wondering whether the latest banking scandal would result in a radical shake-up of the way in which business is conducted across the City, amid pressure from high up the political ladder. “I am truly sorry that our customers, clients, employees and shareholders have been let down,” Agius said in a company statement, less than a week after the bank was fined by British and US regulators for alleged rigging of inter-bank rates. Agius said: “Last week’s events-evidencing as they do unacceptable

standards of behavior within the bank-have dealt a devastating blow to Barclays’ reputation. “As chairman, I am the ultimate guardian of the bank’s reputation. Accordingly, the buck stops with me and I must acknowledge responsibility by standing aside,” he said in the statement.

Barclays chairman Marcus Agius Barclays added that it would launch an independent audit that would “undertake a root and branch review of all of the past practices that have been revealed as flawed since the credit crisis started” about five years ago. The bank insisted that it would establish “a zero tolerance policy for any actions that harm the reputation of the bank.” Britain’s Business Secretary Vince Cable on Sunday backed calls for a criminal investigation into bankers involved in the scandal. That was after Prime Minister David Cameron said he intended to bring Diamond and others at the bank to account. US national Diamond, who was in charge of Barclays’ investment arm at the time of the suspected manipulation, was to face questions from British lawmakers on Wednesday. The SFO yesterday said it had been working closely with the Financial Services Authority watchdog during the latter’s investigation into Libor

rate manipulation. “Now that the investigation into the issue of regulatory misbehavior has concluded, the SFO are considering whether it is both appropriate and possible to bring criminal prosecutions,” the independent government department said in a statement. Pressure on Barclays has risen after British and US authorities last week together fined the bank £290 million ($455 million, 360 million euros) amid international probes into several lenders over alleged rigging of overnight rates. Barclays is the first major financial institution to settle following investigations on both sides of the Atlantic. On Sunday it emerged that bailedout Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) had sacked four traders over their alleged involvement in the affair, raising suspicions that the practice was widespread. Meanwhile the true cost of the scandal risks ballooning for Barclays. “Civil suits represent a significant uncertainty” for Barclays, Deutsche Bank analyst Jason Napier said yesterday. “We see challenges for plaintiffs to show that artificially suppressed or raised Libor estimates from Barclays... shifted Libor on any given day and that financial loss followed as a consequence,” he said in a note. In afternoon London trading, the bank’s share price jumped 3.23 percent to 168.11 pence on the benchmark FTSE 100 index, which was up 0.62 percent. Yesterday’s gains helped the bank’s share price to recover from last week’s heavy losses that wiped billions of pounds from Barclays’ market value. “Talk of Barclays and the Libor scandal remains the focus of the London market... with the resignation of Barclays chairman, Marcus Agius, compounding fears that the City is facing a significant shakeup in light of last week’s events,” said Spreadex trader David White. — AFP

US data dents summits optimism in markets NEW YORK: Stocks retreated and the euro slipped yesterday as investor euphoria over Friday’s deal on the European debt crisis ebbed and weak economic data from around the world weighed on the outlook for global growth. US stocks and a measure of global equity markets turned lower after a report on US manufacturing showed the sector unexpectedly contracted in June for the first time in three years as new orders tumbled. The Institute for Supply Management said its index of US factory activity fell to 49.7 from 53.5 in

May, missing expectations of 52.0, according to a Reuters poll of economists. A reading below 50 indicates contraction. “ This is clearly very, very troubling,” said Hugh Johnson, chief investment officer of Hugh Johnson Advisors LLC in Albany, New York. “It indicates that at least in the month of June, the manufacturing sector of the economy contracted and there is meaningful evidence of, at a minimum, disinflation,” he said. The euro extended its slide against the dollar after the ISM report. The euro was pushed lower after

Finland and the Netherlands opposed a plan for the euro zone’s permanent bailout fund to buy government bonds in the secondar y market, casting doubt on the deal to keep Spain and Italy from falling deeper into the debt and banking crisis. The euro fell and was last trading at $1.2591. US shares had opened slightly higher and most European stock markets were up on relief some progress was made last week on the festering debt crisis and on hopes the European Central Bank would cut interest rates.—Reuters




NBK maintained sound profitability ratios in Q1

HSBC sees top Abu Dhabi names tap bond market Flurry of bond offering in H2 seen DUBAI: HSBC Holdings, the top arranger of debt issues in the Middle East so far this year, sees a flurry of bond offerings in the second half, including from prime sovereign-linked Abu Dhabi names yet to tap the market in 2012, a top executive said. Debt issuance from the Gulf Arab region has held up well so far this year, as a turn to Islamic bonds - with their specific liquidity pool - and strong local liquidity helped confound volatile markets which stymied other emerging market borrowers. During May, the only two dollar-denominated bonds issued in emerging EMEA were both from the Middle East, while total bond issuance from the Middle East in the first half year was up 51 percent on the same period last year at $16.9 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data. HSBC expects to arrange more debt issues in the remainder of the year, as issuers look to international bond markets to meet their capital needs. “Can we see a dozen (deals in our pipeline) materialize in next six months? Yes, it’s likely,” Georges Elhedery, head of global markets, Middle East and North Africa, at the UK-based lender told Reuters in an interview. “If you look at places like Abu Dhabi, in the GRE (government-related entity) space, we haven’t seen much issuance this year. We would expect in the second half of the year some of those entities will tap the market.” Abu Dhabi state-linked entities such as International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC) - which issued a three tranche $3.75 billion bond last October - and sovereign fund Mubadala are frequent issuers in the global debt markets but have stayed away so far this year. HSBC topped the Middle Eastern debt capital markets league table for the first half of 2012, arranging $2.23 billion of bonds and sukuk, according to Thomson Reuters data. The lender was followed in the rankings by Standard Chartered and Deutsche Bank. One trait of Gulf bond issuance in recent months has been the high allocation to regional investors, both as a result of high liquidity in local

NBK ratings reflect its dominant position: Fitch KUWAIT: Fitch Ratings, the international credit rating agency, said that National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) ratings reflect the bank’s dominant domestic franchise and international network, consistent profitability, strong capital base, sound asset quality, conservative risk profile and sound liquidity. “NBK maintained sound profitability ratios in 2011 and first quarter 2012,” said Fitch in a report published yesterday. “Net income is expected to remain sound in 2012, despite the continuing difficult conditions in certain Middle East countries.” Fitch affirmed NBK’s Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘AA-’ with a Stable Outlook. Fitch highlighted that NBK’s asset quality ratios remain sound, reflecting the bank’s conservative attitude to credit risk. Fitch added that NBK has a strong and stable deposit base, and has benefited from a “flight to safety ” during regional crises. Capitalization was strengthened in 2010, through a rights issue. At end of 2011 NBK’s Tier 1 ratio stood at 18.5%. NBK enjoys the highest credit ratings of all banks in the Middle East and North Africa region by the major international rating agencies: Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings. In their latest reports, the three rating

agencies affirmed NBK’s credit ratings with a stable outlook. In 2012, NBK moved up 14 positions to rank 33 among the 50 safest

banks in the world. NBK is the only Arab bank to be listed among the world’s 50 safest banks five times in a row.

Korean-American Kim takes helm at WB WASHINGTON: Korean-American physician Jim Yong Kim took over as the new World Bank chief yesterday, immediately challenged to ensure the euro-zone crisis does not set back global poverty-fighting efforts. “I’m humbled and inspired to take over today as president,” Kim said at the doorstep of the Washington-based global development lender as he launched into his first day on the job. “I can’t wait to get started,” he said. “I’ve spent most of my adult life working in some of the poorest communities in the world.” He pledged continuity in the bank’s mission to help the poorest countries get on their feet, giving no hint of any changes to the work pattern set by his predecessor, Robert Zoellick. “We will continue to do our work... with innovation, analytic rigor and with great passion, working in partnership with governments, civil society organizations, the private sector, and most importantly with the people living in poverty we aspire to serve,” he said. He acknowledged that he is taking over “at a pivotal moment for the global economy,” with the euro-zone crisis and economic slowdown in the largest countries impacting small, vulnerable economies around the world. He said the bank’s staff are “passionate about the twin aims of boosting prosperity and eradicating poverty.” He takes over a sprawling development institution with a staff of 9,000 economists and policy specialists, and which made loans, grants and guarantees of $52.6 billion in the year to June 30. Unlike the bankers, diplomats and economists who have run the World Bank in the past, Kim brings a background in medicine and a record developing programs to fight diseases like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis

in poor countries. His nomination to the post by President Barack Obama surprised many; his last job was as head of Dartmouth College, a small but prestigious university. But he has given little hint about any new directions he might plot for the bank. Ahead of his arrival Oxfam International called on Kim to “step up efforts to assist developing countries

threatened by the euro zone crisis fallout.” “Dr Kim will have to take fast action to protect developing countries from Europe’s debt crisis,” said Oxfam Great Britain’s chief executive Barbara Stocking. “The Bank has an obligation to urgently ratchet up efforts in countries that depleted their resources defending themselves during the last financial crisis.” — AFP

Egypt govt to approach IMF CAIRO: Egypt will approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other financial institutions to help get its economy back on track once new President Mohamed Morsi appoints a government, a financial adviser who helped draw up his manifesto said. A popular uprising last year plunged the economy into crisis, chasing away tourists and foreign investors and prompting government employees to strike for higher wages. Morsi was sworn in on Saturday as Egypt’s first Islamist, civilian and freely elected president and will begin working to form a new government in the coming days. “We intend to approach the IMF again,” said Amr Abu-Zeid, development finance adviser to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), which Morsi led until he became head of state. “Give him one week or two weeks, so at least he has a cabinet... I believe these issues will not go further until they have a cabinet at least,” he told Reuters.

Abu-Zeid is financial adviser to the FJP and helped draw up the Brotherhood’s Nahda, or Renaissance, economic program. The country’s army-backed interim government kept the economy under the limbo since the over throw of Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 through a series of short-term measures that include financing a burgeoning budget deficit by borrowing short term from local banks at high interest rates and by draining the country’s foreign reserves. The military council that took power from Mubarak rejected an agreement that Egypt negotiated with the IMF in mid2011, then resumed talks for a $3.2 billion loan early this year. The economy contracted by 4.3 percent in the first quarter of 2011 and stagnated in the following three quarters. “We are going back. We will negotiate with the IMF, with the World Bank, with the Islamic Development Bank, with anybody who wants to help. We are very open to this,” Abu-Zeid said. — Reuters

markets and the general reluctance of international investors to deploy capital in uncertain times. For instance, a $650 million sukuk from Dubai’s state-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone last month was 65 percent placed within the MENA region and 64 percent of the total with banks. Given the underdeveloped pension and insurance sectors in the Gulf, banks are by far the largest buyers of bond and sukuk debt, meaning local demand is reliant on lenders stepping up. “If you look at the United Arab Emirates alone, bank deposits have increased by around 80 billion dirhams ($21.8 billion) this year, while lending has mildly decreased. So banks are sitting on much bigger cash piles,” Elhedery said. Impending guidelines on debt exposures at UAE banks - under which lending to UAE governments and their non-commercial entities will be capped at 100 percent of a bank’s capital base and at 25 percent for lending to individual borrowers - are a factor which could influence the thinking of banks in the emirates towards buying bonds. Should there be a deleveraging of their bond portfolios by UAE banks currently over the limit - a category which includes Emirates NBD, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, according to a Deutsche Bank note from April Elhedery said HSBC could be a buyer. “We do have a trading team on the ground to trade the secondary market and they are always looking at interesting opportunities. So if there are bonds being offloaded as part of some new regulations, we will look at it as part of our normal course of business,” Elhedery said. International investors remain interested in some top quality regional names, especially Saudi Arabian issuers, Elhedery said. Offerings from Saudi borrowers are rare but, as exemplified by Saudi Electricity Co in March - when it attracted $17.7 billion of demand for its $1.75 billion sukuk they are highly sought after. “ We would like to see the international market in Saudi grow because investor appetite globally for Saudi assets is very strong,” said Elhedery. — Reuters

Weak farming, hotels slash Morocco growth RABAT: Morocco’s economic growth eased to 2.8 percent in the first quarter of this year from 5.3 percent in the previous quarter as weakening agriculture and tourism activities took their toll on the $100-billion economy, official data showed yesterday. GDP growth in the first quarter of 2011 stood at 5.6 percent, the country’s planning authority HCP said in a statement. Compared to their levels a year earlier, agricultural output fell 8.3 per-

cent and hotels and restaurant activity fell 4.9 percent in the first quarter of 2012, HCP said. After growing by close to 5 percent in 2011, the finance ministry expects GDP growth to ease to 3.4 percent in 2012 after bad weather slashed agricultural output and as the euro zone crisis hit the tourism industry. The central bank says GDP growth would stand at below 3 percent in 2012. — Reuters

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

.2740000 .4350000 .3500000 .2910000 .2720000 .2830000 .0040000 .0020000 .0757970 .7384640 .3850000 .0720000 .7239320 .0040000 .0430000

CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES US Dollar/KD .2792000 GB Pound/KD .4375480 Euro .3525600 Swiss francs .2934160 Canadian dollars .2741690 Danish Kroner .0474290 Swedish Kroner .0402670 Australian dlr .2856330 Hong Kong dlr .0359920 Singapore dlr .2201200 Japanese yen .0035010 Indian Rs/KD .0000000 Sri Lanka rupee .0000000 Pakistan rupee .0000000 Bangladesh taka .0000000 UAE dirhams .0760450 Bahraini dinars .7408780 Jordanian dinar .0000000 Saudi Riyal/KD .0744730 Omani riyals .7254770 Philippine Peso .0000000

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. ASIAN COUNTRIES

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

3.553 5.072 3.053 2.141 3.173 220.090 36.173 3.425 6.439 8.876 89.338

.2830000 .4450000 .3600000 .3000000 .2800000 .2920000 .0070000 .0035000 .0765580 .7458860 .4060000 .0780000 .7312080 .0072000 .0500000 .2813000 .4408390 .3552120 .2956230 .2762310 .0477860 .0405700 .2878120 .0362630 .2217750 .0035270 .0050790 .0021130 .0029850 .0034540 .0766170 .7464510 .3978780 .0750330 .7309340 .0067510

Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham

GCC COUNTRIES 74.883 77.158 729.380 745.850 76.464

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

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

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


290.500 745.440 3.630 279.300 550.500 45.700 48.700 167.800 48.310 358.600 36.820 5.200 0.032 0.160 0.235 3.650 397.230 0.190 91.810 44.600 4.310 228.100 1.816

48.200 729.090 3.130 6.790 77.540 74.840 223.000 36.200 2.670 443.600 41.500 298.800 4.300 9.240 198.263 76.420 280.700 1.350

10 Tola

GOLD 1,681.310

Sterling Pound US Dollar

727.910 2.975 6.695 77.110 74.840 223.000 36.200 2.096 441.600 297.300 4.300 9.060 76.320 280.300


TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 441.600 280.300


289.000 745.440 3.423 277.800

223.000 46.260 357.100 36.670 5.045 0.030


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


291.58 280.08 300.35 358.15 280.00 442.92 3.59 3.430 5.054 2.101 3.159 2.969 76.30 745.55 46.27 398.91 728.74 77.32 74.88

288.00 279.00 299.00 357.00 281.25 442.00 3.65 3.550 5.950 2.260 3.650 3.200 77.00 745.15 48.20 397.50 732.00 78.00 75.15

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd 397.190 0.189 91.810 3.170 226.600

Rate for Transfer

US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro

Swiss Frank Bahrain Dinar UAE Dirhams Qatari Riyals Saudi Riyals Jordanian Dinar Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupees Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Pesso Cyprus pound Japanese Yen Thai Bhat Syrian Pound Nepalese Rupees Malaysian Ringgit

292.990 743.276 76.415 77.060 74.825 395.200 46.304 2.091 5.050 2.976 3.431 6.634 688.675 4.530 8.895 5.910 3.165 88.595

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co.

UAE Exchange Centre WLL

Bahrain Exchange Company COUNTRY

Norwegian krone Omani Riyal Pakistani rupees Philippine peso Qatari riyal Saudi riyal Singapore dollar South Africa Sri Lankan rupees Sterling pound Swedish krona Swiss franc Syrian pound Thai bhat Tunisian dollar UAE dirham U.S. dollars Yemeni Riyal

Selling Rate

280.750 278.155 438.550 351.875


Rate per 1000 (Tran)

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

280.200 2.963 5.055 2.110 3.424 6.680 76.390 74.875 744.900 46.249 445.500 2.990 3.130 1.550 360.600 281.300

Al Mulla Exchange Currency

Transfer Rate (Per 1000)

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

280.450 356.700 441.000 277.100 3.565 5.030 46.347 2.100 3.421 6.640 2.970 745.700 76.250 74.800



European summit delivers small but hopeful progress NBK WEEKLY MONEY MARKETS REPORT


he weakness in German employment last Thursday after the soft inflation report helped hopes for an ECB rate cut and pressured the Euro down to the lowest level this week at 1.2407. There continues to be a never ending supply of European stories with themes to promote growth, speculation always denied by Germany to introduce a Eurobond program, and to protect Italy’s Monti increasingly fragile position. The latest news noted the possibility of giving the authority for the European Financial Stability Fund to insure private bond investors against 1020 per cent losses. The IMF seemed to suggest they would be open to consider amending Greek loan terms, however the National Bank of Greek noted the high level of bad loans and ratios are rising quickly. Spanish 10 year yields touched 7% and Italy’s saw a high of 6.18%. Although the German government continued to play down the likelihood of a total liability sharing agreements, the European Union president VanRompuy turned up with the European commission Barroso and gave a brief after the first day of the summit. He announced the 120bn growth plan and noted that no countries were very keen on short-term measures. Friday morning saw a first official statement from the European Summit, which helped markets explode into positive territory. While expectations were on the downside, European leaders surprised markets by agreeing to ease repayment rules for emergency loans to Spanish banks and relax conditions on possible help for Italy. European leaders also dropped the requirements that governments get preferred creditor status on crisis loans to Spain’s banks and opened the door to recapitalizing banks directly with bailout funds once Europe sets up a single banking supervisor. After reaching a low of 1.2407, the Euro ended the week at 1.2667 boosted by the positive outcome from the summit. The same trading pattern took place with the Sterling Pound as it reached a low of 1.5485 on Thursday to close the week at 1.5707. Commodities continued to trade under pressure on global growth concerns, with Brent sliding below the $90 level at the beginning of the week but closing on Friday at $97.80 after a positive European summit. Gold on the other side remains under pressure

as the Fed continues denying markets from further injection of monetary stimulus. The third estimate of the US economy’s growth rate was unchanged in June at 1.9%. Although consumer spending and inventories were revised lower, this was offset by a smaller trade deficit and stronger business investment. The concern remains with the persistence of slack in the economy that is continuously providing a reason for the Fed to keep monetary conditions highly accommodative and interest rate close to 0%. Additionally, the pace of growth slowed down from the 3.0% gain recorded in the fourth quarter of last year. In a different report, Jobless claims dropped to 386k from an upwardly revised 392,000 the previous week. Concerns over the fiscal cliff that the US faces at the end of 2012 and the deteriorating situation in Europe could be a reason why employers

April 2010. The index is also 13.3% higher than a year ago suggesting that the housing market has continues to heal after the bubble burst. Sales have been strong as long term interest rates have been the lowest on record and the supply of new homes remains extremely low.

are not expanding their workforce and are staying on the sidelines. On the other side, a cheaper energy bill might provide some comfort to boost consumer spending and offset the lack of growth later in the year.

have conceded some ground relative to its known though lines, the EU summit delivered two things; whereas on the fiscal side, the president of the European Council, Van Rompuy, has been tasked to develop a specific and time bound roadmap to further fiscal integration, which would go along with increased risk sharing. On the banking side, they agreed to move towards a single supervisory mechanism for Euro area banks headed by the ECB. As far as Spain is concerned, it remains the exception, as the financial assistance to the Spanish banking system via the ESM will not have seniority status. The headline implied that any further bank recapitalizations using the ESM will have seniority over other debt. German June Unemployment Rises in a Sign that Germany is not Immune to the Crisis

Consumer confidence remains low while pending home sales stabilizes Consumer confidence fell in June for the fourth straight month to reach the lowest level since the beginning of the year. US consumers remain worried about jobs creation and the overall economy even with the improvement of the housing markets and cheaper commodities prices. On the other hand, Pending Home Sales surged the most in the year. The US Home sales index surged 15.3% in May, the highest increase since

European summit An eventful end of the week for Europe as markets had set extremely low expectations for the European leaders’ summit. European officials surprised with the announcement of the ability for the European Stability Mechanism to recapitalize banks coupled with loans not having seniority. A move that provided markets some relief and positive sentiments coming into the end of the second quarter of the year. Nevertheless, this remains a long and bumpy journey for Europe. Although Germany seems to

Unemployment in Germany rose in June a seasonally adjusted 7,000 to 2.88 million. The adjusted jobless rate held at 6.8% after last month’s rate was revised up from 6.7%. The spreading crisis in Europe seems to have caught up with Germany. Although this number might not be a concern for Germany for the moment, it puts a dampening tone on growth prospect for Europe for the remainder of the year. Inflation in the euro-zone was unchanged from a month earlier at 2.4%. On the other hand, German inflation figures slowed more than expected in June. The annual rate of inflation eased from 2.2% Y/Y to 2.0% Y/Y, while the consensus was looking for a slowdown, to 2.1% Y/Y. German inflation is now at 2%, much earlier than markets had expected, mostly helped by a sharply lower oil price and consequently matching the ECB’s target for the first time since early 2011. That leaves the door open for a potential interest rate cut when the ECB governing council meets next week. In a statement issued on Thursday, Greece’s biggest lender National Bank said bad loans had more than quadrupled from 2008 and unveiled plans to sell stakes in profitable foreign units. With unemployment hitting record highs near 23 percent and businesses shuttering daily, banks have seen a surge in bad loans. Mentioning a weakening financial condition of Spain’s government, Moody’s Investors Service cut its credit rating this week on 28 Spanish Banks. Moody’s also said the banks are vulnerable to additional losses from Spain’s busted real estate bubble. Moody’s move came couple of days after they downgraded some of the world’s biggest banks, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs. UK GDP decreased 0.3% in the first quarter of 2012, following a 0.3% drop the previous quarter. The data reflects the ongoing weakness in the economy’s major sectors, where manufacturing contracted 0.5% while services advanced 0.2%. The Bank of England signaled it planned to restart its quantitative easing program as soon as next month to try to give the economy a lift. Kuwait Kuwaiti dinar at 0.27970 The USDKWD opened at 0.27970 on Sunday morning.

ECB warns Greece on bailout as ministers plan softer bid Samaras wants austerity eased, more time to cut debt

BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel (centre), publisher Sven Murmann (left) and author Christoph Schlegel (right) present the book “Dialog on Germany’s Future” at the Chancellery in Berlin yesterday. The book describes the dialog between Merkel and 129 experts and scientists on the future of Germany and will be released today. — AFP

Euro defeat for Merkel? Only time will tell BERLIN: At first glance, the big winners from Europe’s latest euro-saving summit were the leaders of Italy, Spain and France. By banding together in a powerful coalition to challenge Germany, the high-stakes meeting seemed to show, Mario Monti, Mariano Rajoy and Francois Hollande were able to wring major crisis-fighting concessions from a suddenly soft Angela Merkel. But if the euro zone is still intact years from now, the marathon session in Brussels may be remembered as much for what the German leader extracted from her combative partners as for the bitter policies she was forced to swallow. “That Monti, Rajoy and Hollande are now happily selling this as a victory says a lot about the diplomatic skills of Ms. Merkel,” said Holger Schmieding of Berenberg Bank. With her plans hinging on parliamentary votes scheduled for hours after the summit, Merkel took an unyielding public stance in advance. That made it appear as if she had retreated, when in fact she may have got much of what she wanted. Merkel’s biggest concession in the early morning hours of Friday was to agree to give the euro-zone’s new permanent rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the power to inject aid directly into stricken banks. According to the post-summit narrative, she flinched after Monti threatened to withhold his backing for a new European “growth pact” Merkel desperately needed to win crucial votes in the German parliament later that day. Several senior European officials in Brussels told Reuters however that Merkel had in actual fact signaled privately in the days before the summit that she could live with the idea of direct bank recapitalizations. Her condition was support for one of Berlin’s key demands the establishment of a central supervision authority for banks run by the European Central Bank (ECB). Agreed in Brussels, the details of how this new authority will work, what powers it will have and which banks it will supervise remain murky. But its creation may ultimately be seen as a victory for Merkel and her vision of a united, integrated Europe with strict central controls. The loss of sovereignty it implies may only dawn on Monti, Rajoy and Hollande once

EU officials put the meat on the bones of the plan in the second half of the year. “The tone of the summit certainly made it look like a big defeat for Merkel, but on the substance of what was agreed I don’t think it was,” said Guntram Wolff, deputy director of the Brussels-based Bruegel think tank. “The direct recapitalization of banks can only come once this new bank supervisory body is up and running. This has been her strategy all along yes to aid, but only once the proper controls are in place.” Despite a hard-line reputation that has turned her into a figure of hate in Greece and led left-wing British magazine New Statesman to anoint her “Europe’s most dangerous leader”, Merkel has shown an unusual readiness to compromise on short-term crisis-fighting steps recently. Last month Germany announced it was ready to grant Spain an extra year to reach its deficit reduction targets. German officials also broke a post-war taboo by signalling a tolerance for higher German inflation levels to help their southern European partners. At the summit in Brussels, Merkel agreed that ESM loans to Spain would not have “preferred creditor status”, a step that could slow a flight out of Spanish bonds by private investors. But concessions to Italy were modest at best, with German officials vigorously rejecting claims by Monti that any future purchases of Italian debt by Europe’s rescue fund would come with minimal conditions. The 120 billion euro “growth pact” unveiled in Brussels was celebrated as a big win for Hollande, who pledged during his campaign for the French presidency to push back against Merkel’s austerity policies and find new funds to support recession-hit economies along Europe’s southern periphery. But this victory was more symbolic than substantive. Much of the overall figure will come from already pledged, but unused, EU structural funds. So why was the summit seen by so many as a major defeat for Merkel? Topselling German newspaper Bild said the chancellor had been “blindsided” in Brussels, while influential weekly Der Spiegel wrote that she had become a “hostage” to southern euro states. — Reuters

ATHENS: The European Central Bank told Greece yesterday not to waste time trying to renegotiate its international bailout as government ministers hashed out a plan for easing its punishing terms before a review by the country’s lenders. Echoing Greece’s euro-zone partners, ECB policymaker Joerg Asmussen signalled that Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was unlikely to win much leeway in imposing austerity measures demanded by the European Union and IMF under its bailout program. “The first priority for the new Greek government has to be getting the program back on track,” Asmussen, an ECB Executive Board member, said in a speech in Athens. “The new government should not lose precious time looking to avoid or loosen the program.” Facing huge public pressure, Samaras wants more time to meet targets and to dilute the austerity measures that have helped condemn Greece to a fifth year of recession. Ministers from the conservative-led coalition were huddled in talks on Monday to work out the plan before “troika” inspectors from the EU, ECB and IMF begin their review of Greece’s faltering progress in fiscal adjustment and reforms. Greek and troika sources said the inspectors would start their work on Wednesday, with mission chiefs also visiting to meet the new government. The process could take weeks. “We haven’t seen any numbers for some time now. We need at least a week to catch up,” a troika official told Reuters. Samaras’s election victory on June 17 over a radical leftist bloc committed to tearing up the bailout deal removed the immediate threat of Greece crashing out of the euro. But his uneasy coalition of right and left was forged on a promise to ease the burden on a society struggling with the tax hikes, job losses and wage cuts imposed as the price of two multi-billion-euro bailouts since 2010. Samaras says the harsh austerity is only choking the Greek economy and delaying recovery. The euro-zone says the program can be adjusted to take account of weeks of political paralysis during elections in May and June and the deeper than expected recession. However, lenders led by Germany, the biggest contributor to the bailout, have ruled out any radical changes. Last week’s EU summit raised Greek hopes that it might win concessions similar to those granted to Spain, particularly the direct recapitalization of banks from EU rescue funds. In Greece’s case, direct recapitalization would cut about 50 billion euros ($64 billion) from the national debt. But in a newspaper interview on Sunday, Asmussen said there should be no illusion that the summit’s conclusions would change things for Greece. He cautioned on Monday that granting the country more time would only cost more money. “Delaying adjustment is risky,” he said. “And it is also not free.” Asmussen, a former adviser to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, later met Greece’s outgoing and incoming finance ministers, saying afterwards only that they had a “good first meeting”. Cabinet ministers gathered at the finance ministry to prepare for the troika visit and were expected to meet Samaras, who is recover-

ing from eye surgery, later in the day. Underscoring the scale of Greece’s problems, a survey released on Monday showed a manufacturing slump worsened in June between the two elections, leading to sharp drops in production and employment.

Markit’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ Index (PMI) for Greece dropped to 40.1 points last month from 43.1 in May, its weakest reading since February’s record low of 37.7 points and well below the 50 mark that divides growth from contraction. — Reuters

ATHENS: Leader of Greece’s left coalition leader, Alexis Tsipras delivers his speech at the 16th Economic Roundtable with the government of Greece entitled “Transforming uncertainty into stability, wisdom and growth” in Athens yesterday. — AFP

US manufacturing shrinks for first time in 2 years WASHINGTON: US manufacturing shrank in June for the first time in nearly two years, a troubling sign that the economy is faltering. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, said yesterday that its index of manufacturing activity fell to 49.7. That’s down from 53.5 in May and the lowest reading since July 2009, one more after the recession officially ended. Readings below 50 indicate contraction. Stocks, which had largely been flat when the market opened, fell immediately after the report was released at 10 a.m.. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 37 points. A measure of new manufacturing orders fell below 50 for the first since April 2009. And a gauge of production also fell to its lowest level in more than two years. US factories are also reporting much less overseas demand, likely because Europe’s financial crisis has lowered demand for US exports. A measure of exports dropped to 47.5, its lowest level since April 2009. A gauge of employment edged down but remained at a healthy level of 56.6. That suggests factories may still be adding jobs. Manufacturers have reported job gains for eight straight months. The sharp drop in factory activity overshad-

owed a positive report on US construction spending, which offered more evidence of a slow recovery in the housing market. Factories have been a key source of jobs and growth since the recession ended almost three years ago. But the sector has shown signs of weakness in recent months. Manufacturers produced less in May than in April, the Federal Reserve said this month. Automakers cut back on output for the first time in six months. In June, manufacturing activity barely grew in the New York region and contracted sharply in the Philadelphia area, according to surveys by regional Federal Reserve banks. Factory output ticked up in Chicago but only after sliding for three months. Consumers are less confident in the economy than they have been at any time all year, according to a measure of consumer sentiment released Friday. Worries about slowing job growth are outweighing the benefits of lower gas prices. A separate measure of consumer confidence, issued Tuesday, showed that confidence fell for the fourth straight month. Overall hiring has slowed sharply this spring, raising concerns about the pace of the recovery. Employers added an average of only 73,000 jobs per month in April and May. That’s much —AP



business Credit Agricole shares jump on Emporiki sale rumors PARIS: The price of shares in Credit Agricole soared yesterday on rumors that it might sell its Greek subsidiary Emporiki, while the National Bank of Greece said it had held talks with the French bank. The stock rose 7.69 percent to reach 3.74 euros in late morning trading, posting the biggest rise on the CAC 40, which was up 1.56 percent overall. At Kepler Capital Markets, Benoit Petrarque said that “the share is climbing solely on rumours of a divestment of Emporiki.” He said that Credit Agricole might be able to get Emporiki off its balance sheet by offering to pay a buyer 4.0 billion euros ($5.billion). “If ever it manages to get rid of it for less, it would be very good news,” he said. Since 2006, Credit Agricole has spent more than 5.0 billion euros to take control of Emporiki and then to shore up the subsidiary’s balance sheet. In Athens, National Bank of Greece said: “Following recent publications and a question raised by the Greek Capital Market Commission, NBG informs investors that there have been discussions between the heads of the National Bank and Credit Agricole.” It said in a statement at the Athens stock exchange that the talks had concerned “the possibility of future strategic alliances.” The bank said that “discussions are, for the time being, at an early stage,” and added that it would notify investors immediately in case of a “concrete result.” The Greek lender’s announcement comes after a Saturday report by the Financial Times that the French group had put Emporiki Bank up for sale and started looking for a buyer earlier this month. According to the business daily, NBG and two of the country’s other top lenders-Alpha Bank and Eurobank EFG-had expressed interest in taking over Emporiki. NBG was also on the rise at the Greek stock exchange on Monday with a gain of 2.86 percent by midday, while the FTSEB bank index of Athex showed a rise of 0.67 percent. Credit Agricole reported in May a 75-percent drop in firstquarter net profit, as a result of its exposure to the Greek debt crisis. The firm said that total losses on Greece were 940 million euros ($1.2 billion) including costs linked to the Greek sovereign debt swap agreed in March and provisions related to its majority stake in Emporiki. — AFP

Islamic finance treads fine political line in Kazakhstan 41-point roadmap extends to 2020 ASTANA: In Kazakhstan, a farmer and an imam approach the Islamic Development Bank for a loan. The farmer, an Orthodox Christian, needs tractors to plough his fields. The imam wants to repair the roof of his mosque. Which one gets the loan? Yerlan Baidaulet, a banker who is one of Kazakhstan’s foremost proponents of Islamic finance, received both requests. He sent the imam away with a donation from his own pocket on the grounds that Islamic banking permits charity or grants, not loans, to religious institutions. The farmer, an ethnic Russian, got the loan he needed. Long since repaid, it was the springboard to the growth of a major farming enterprise in the grain belt surrounding Kazakhstan’s futuristic capital, Astana. “Islamic finance isn’t only for Muslims,” said Baidaulet, executive director for the Commonwealth of Independent States and Eastern Europe at the IDB, a Saudi Arabiabased multilateral lender. “Even dollar bills are printed with the words: ‘In God We Trust’.” Two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union freed Kazakhstan from Marxist ideology, the country of 17 million people is making a bid to become a regional centre of Islamic finance, which is based on religious principles including bans on interest and pure monetary speculation. Strongman President Nursultan Nazarbayev, in power since Soviet times, has declared he wants Almaty to become a hub for Islamic banking in the former Soviet Union, which includes other majority Muslim

states and Russian republics such as Tatarstan. While that reflects growing demand among a generation of practising Muslims who grew up after the Soviet Union’s collapse, it could also bring direct economic benefits to Kazakhstan by linking the country to big pools of Islamic investment money in the Gulf and southeast Asia. On the face of it, the country is ideal for Islamic finance. About 70 percent of its population is nominally Muslim and, in the wake of the global financial crisis, people are more receptive to alternative forms of banking. According to Baidaulet, taxation is “the biggest trouble for Islamic finance in Kazakhstan”. Deals based on the murabaha model, the most widely used Islamic financing structure, require bonds to be backed by assets that change hands more than once. In Kazakhstan, each sale of such commodities is subject to 11 percent value-added tax. A 41-point government road map for Islamic finance, released in March, extends to the year 2020. It envisages the issue of Islamic securities for some industrial projects. Taxation rules would be amended and several Islamic banks created by 2014. Implementing the road map, however, may yet require a shift in mindset within the government. While debating the sovereign sukuk issue, some members of parliament expressed horror at the prospect, however unlikely, of state-owned assets falling into foreign hands in the event of a default. A tough new law on religion passed last year, which includes a ban on prayer rooms in

state institutions, hasn’t helped. The law has been interpreted as a means to curb religious radicalism after a series of Islamistinspired attacks unprecedented in Kazakhstan. While there is no suggestion that Islamic finance is linked with militant activity, few in government wish to appear overtly religious. But Islamic finance also challenges taboos on overtly religious practices in a society which is run along secular lines. In order to keep the peace in a multi-ethnic state, the government declares itself to be uncompromisingly secular. Three thousand copies of ‘The Handbook on Islamic Banking’ by Mervyn Lewis and M. Kabir Hassan, translated into Russian for the local market, have not sold well. “Some bookstores - the kind of stores that sell economic textbooks - have told us: ‘It’s a religious book. We won’t sell it’,” said Baidaulet, who also advises the Kazakh Ministry of Industry and New Technologies. Abu Dhabi-based Al Hilal Bank became the pioneer for Islamic banking in Kazakhstan by opening its doors there in March 2010. It employs nearly 50 people in the country and its investments to date are worth $90 million, said Prasad Abraham, the bank’s local chief executive, adding that it had set a target of $200 million by the end of 2012. So far, Al Hilal’s business has been in the corporate sector and with state-owned companies such as postal firm KazPost, with which the bank signed a wakala or agency agreement worth 1.5 billion tenge ($10 mil-

lion) in March. Legislation was passed in 2009 that would in principle allow the government to issue a sovereign sukuk or Islamic bond, which would be a big step in creating a sharia-compliant debt market. Zaratkazy Nurpiissov, chairman of the management board of Fattah Finance, the country’s first brokerage to offer sharia-compliant services, said there was demand for Islamic consumer finance to buy cars and household goods. Fattah Finance’s Hajj fund, in which pilgrims set aside cash to visit Makkah, has accumulated $150,000 in its first year. Nurpiissov said such numbers were the tip of the iceberg. “I would say there are more than 1 million people who wish to use Islamic finance services,” he said. “That number is growing every year.” Proponents of Islamic finance cite Kazakhstan’s painful recent experience with conventional finance to make their case; a crisis in 2007-2008 was triggered by banks’ exposure to bloated real estate markets and reliance on foreign funding. Islamic finance claims to be less risky because transactions are supposed to be based on income from real assets. “Why did so many real estate companies go bust?” said Nurpiissov. “Because they borrowed money to buy land next to their existing construction projects without having any cash flow. Then the price of that land fell. Islamic finance would only lend money to build that one block of apartments.”— Reuters

Oil falls towards $96 on Asian, EU factory data LONDON: Brent crude oil fell towards $96 a barrel yesterday after weak data from Europe and Asian economies including China, the world’s top energy consumer, deepened concerns that the world economy is deteriorating. Worries over the euro-zone crisis also pressured oil as enthusiasm faded over an EU bank bailout deal, which on Friday had helped crude to its fourth-biggest daily gain on record. Finland and the Netherlands added to fears over the fragile nature of the agreement by saying they would block a key element of a deal that would have allowed the euro zone’s new permanent bailout fund to buy bonds in the market. The impact of an EU embargo on Iranian oil shipments, which took effect on Sunday, was overshadowed by the grim global macroeconomic picture, analysts said. Brent crude fell $2.50 to a low of $95.30 a barrel before recovering to around $96.60 by 1310 GMT. US crude shed $1.80 to a low of $83.16 but then climbed back to around $83.80. On Friday, Brent crude rose more than $6 a barrel while US crude jumped by more than $7, their fourth-largest daily gains in dollar terms since the contracts were launched. “Oil is being driven by psychological fac tors,” said Eugen Weinberg, global head of commodities research at Commerzbank in Frankfur t. “Today’s sell-off is a natural reaction after such enormous gains at the end of last week.” Friday’s gains reflected optimism an agreement to strengthen European banks and cut borrowing costs for Italy and Spain would reduce the risk of a euro zone break-up. But that positive sentiment was tempered by data yesterday showing fac tor y ac tivity slowing in many key economies. Euro-zone

manufac turing took another downturn in June and factories are preparing for worse, according to business surveys showing jobs cut at the fastest in two-and-a-half years. The survey showed factories in Germany and France are succumbing to a downturn that started in southern Europe. Manufacturing in China, the world’s second-biggest economy, also worsened in June with export orders, usually an indicator of global economic health and trade flows, posting their biggest fall since December. China is the world’s secondlargest oil consumer and any sharp slowdown there could have a significant impac t on global oil demand growth. A firm dollar and weaker euro also weighed on commodities priced in the US currency. But oil found some support from a strike by Norwegian offshore oil workers, which entered its second week on Sunday. A well-placed trading source said the strike had begun to slow crude loadings in the North

Sea and had delayed a cargo of Norwegian Oseberg, part of the North Sea Dated Brent benchmark and the basis of many over-thecounter trades. Labor unions say they are bracing for a long conflict and possible escalation to further lower output from the eighth-largest oil exporter. This coincides with the EU ban on Iranian crude imports aimed at choking Iran’s export earnings to try to force it to curb a nuclear program they fear includes weapons development. Tehran says it has no such plan. Iran dismissed the embargo saying it was fully prepared to counter the impact of sanctions with a $150 billion war chest of foreign reserves. Iranian oil exports slipped by 180,000 barrels per day (bpd)to 2.95 million bpd in June, according to a Reuters survey of sources at oil companies, OPEC officials and analysts. That would be its lowest output since it produced 2.81 million bpd in 1989, according to figures from the US Energy Information Administration. — Reuters

EU, IMF officials off to Cyprus for bailout talks NICOSIA: A Cyprus finance ministry official says officials from the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund are on their way to the euro-zone country to begin talks on the terms of an EU bailout. Finance Director Andreas Trokkos has told the Associated Press on Monday the officials from the socalled ‘troika’ will begin discussions with Cypriot government and banking authorities on Tuesday. The Finance Ministry says in a statement yesterday said that Cypriot authorities will work closely with the troika officials to assess the banking system’s capital needs. Cyprus last week asked for an EU bailout to support its banks, which took huge losses as a result of the writedown on their Greek government bond holdings. The banks also have sizeable private loan portfolios in crisis-hit Greece. — AP

TOKYO: People walk past a digital display of Tokyo stock prices at a securities firm in Tokyo yesterday. Asian stock markets inched higher yesterday amid continued optimism over Europe’s moves to ease its debt crisis and economic malaise. —AP




Drive for status speeds Indonesia car sales JAKARTA: Tebet is a modest suburb of the Indonesian capital Jakarta, a district where houses cost around $100,000. On tiny lanes outside many of the red-tiled bungalows sit Mercedes-Benzes, BMWs and Jeeps imported cars worth as much as the houses themselves. In the city centre and its more exclusive districts, drivers show off sleek Italian hot rods, grand British-made Bentleys, and top of the range people carriers. The luxury motors are a sign of the growing wealth of Indonesia’s middle class, the bulging wallets of its rich after years of a mining and stock market boom, and the desire of both to convert their cash into the most prestigious set of wheels they can afford. Sabam Rajagukguk, who works for a company running nightclubs and bars, used to drive a Toyota SUV but recently traded up to a $190,000 Land Rover Discovery. “It makes me feel like the king of the road,” he said. “People care how others see them. A Range Rover is the car for the ‘haves’ now, for a weekday car.” “For a weekend car, the sky is the limit. I see 20-year-olds arriving at clubs in Lamborghinis.” In Jakarta there is a six-

month waiting list for Lamborghini sports cars carrying price tags of up to $1.2 million. The marque has long been a status symbol in Indonesia, having been majority-owned by a son of former president Suharto in the 1990s until he sold it in the 1998 Asian financial crisis. Slightly below that echelon of the market, Indonesian sales this year by the world’s largest premium carmaker BMW are up 45 percent, faster than its 25 percent growth in 2011. Overall car sales in May surged 57 percent, the highest in eight months and more than twice the growth seen in China. Also that month, sales doubled of cars with powerful engines above 3,000 cc, despite the nearimpossibility of hitting top speed on Jakarta’s gridlocked roads and many bumpy tracks outside town. For some, one or two cars are nowhere near enough. “This is for my family,” said Zainudin, the 47-year-old owner of a coal firm on Borneo island, handing over $300,000 for a RollsRoyce to add to his collection which already boasts Jeeps, a Land Rover and a Bentley. “I prioritize safety, comfort, a quality engine and better perform-

ance,” he said. Record numbers of vehicles bought in 2011 prompted automakers including BMW and General Motors to invest in manufacturing in Indonesia - a G20 member and the world’s fourth most populous country - as part of a global move towards developing economies as engines of growth. At the less prestigious end of the market, sales of motorbikes have started falling this year, showing some riders may be swapping two wheels for four, helped by low interest rates for loans. “The Indonesia market is growing but also the range is widening,” said Nissan’s chief operating officer Toshiyuki Shiga, during a visit to Jakarta in June to launch a new lowcost people carrier. Still, the real action is towards the top end of the market. Western automakers are stepping up their sales efforts, and they are beginning to make inroads in a country traditionally dominated by Toyota. Ford says it was the fastest growing brand in Indonesia in 2011, while Chrysler equalled 75 percent of its 2011 sales in the first five months of this year. “All premium cars are already

comfortable. I’m buying for prestige,” said Parlin Sinaga, a 38-year-old Jakarta lawyer, as he bought a canary yellow Ford sports car to go with his BMW. Long jams of Japanese four-wheel drives clog the entrances to Jakarta’s glossy malls, while inside, luxury automakers have started setting up impromptu showrooms to tempt shoppers to upgrade their rides. “It’s a unique concept that we started first in Indonesia ... Jakarta has become a mall city,” said Ramesh Divyanathan, the head of BMW in Indonesia, where the firm in June launched a new Phantom model of its Rolls-Royce brand. “Due to the traffic situation, it is easier for customers and the public to see our products at the malls rather than visiting our dealers,” Divyanathan said, adding sales were being driven by people in their twenties and thirties, and aspirational “social climbers”. BMW has a showroom featuring a sports utility vehicle (SUV), a sedan, a bicycle and toy cars to lure the groups of grandparents, parents and children, often ethnically Chinese, who take family promenades along the aisles of Plaza Indonesia, the traditional shop-

ping destination for the country’s elite. Nearby in the wealthy suburb of Menteng, tall gates at the bottom of driveways often guard four or more cars, typically Toyotas and at least one Mercedes-Benz, a part of the Daimler stable whose Indonesian sales have grown five times faster this year than in 2011. Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, where coal mining, palm oil plantations and retail businesses are the major growth industries, is producing millionaires faster than anywhere else, according to wealth management firm Julius Baer. In the Pacific Place mall across the road from the stock exchange, it’s this new money that the Jaguar and Bentley showroom, complete with a wine bar and leatherbound books to accentuate the cars’ English heritage, is targeting. The mall’s aisles are lined with Volkswagen’s Audis. At a dealership named ‘Glamour’, stocked with $100,000 Jeeps and $150,000 Range Rovers, a salesman reveled in the status-driven spending spree. “Customers already have other cars,” he said. “They are buying them for the prestige ... the rich are buying them like candy.” —Reuters

Indian factory growth at four-month high in June Survey shows business climate improves

BEIJING: Cyclists cross an intersection in Beijing yesterday. China’s economy grew an annual 8.1 percent in the first quarter of 2012 — its slowest pace in nearly three years. The government will release the gross domestic product (GDP) figure for the second quarter next week. — AFP

China manufacturing contracts in June SHANGHAI: China’s manufacturing activity contracted for the eighth consecutive month in June, British bank HSBC said yesterday, which analysts say will prompt more government moves to boost the flagging economy. The bank’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for China, which gauges the manufacturing sector, fell to 48.2 in June from 48.4 in May, according to an HSBC statement. A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 points to contraction. A preliminary reading for June was 48.1. The weaker manufacturing came despite an interest rate cut last month. The government has been trying to avert a hard landing for the world’s number two economy, which has been hit by weakness in key export markets such as the United States and Europe. China’s economy grew an annual 8.1 percent in the first quarter of 2012 — its slowest pace in nearly three years. The government will release the gross domestic product (GDP) figure for the second quarter next week. “As external demand has weakened and domestic demand hasn’t shown a meaningful improvement in response to earlier easing measures, growth is likely to be on track for further slowdown,” HSBC’s co-

head of Asian economic research, Qu Hongbin, said in a statement. HSBC forecast GDP growth could slow to 7.8 percent in the second quarter, before rebounding later this year. “Beijing has plenty of room and policy ammunition to avoid a hard landing. We expect more decisive easing efforts to come through in the coming months,” Qu said. The June 8 rate cut was China’s first in more than three years. The People’s Bank of China, or central bank, cut the benchmark one-year lending rate by 0.25 percentage points, while the one-year deposit rate fell by the same amount. Analysts also expect the government to further trim reserve requirements for banks, following three such moves since December last year. China’s official PMI has painted a slightly better picture of the economy. PMI fell to a seven-month low of 50.2 in June, industry group the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said Sunday, but manufacturing activity has not contracted since November last year. Analysts say the divergence in the PMI measures is caused by HSBC giving more weighting to small firms, which have suffered more than state-owned giants in the current economic downturn. — AFP

Nomura halves CEO pay in bid to close insider probe TOKYO: Nomura Holdings admitted to sweeping breaches of safeguards on confidential client information and will slash top executives’ pay and briefly shut an equity sales desk as Japan’s largest brokerage seeks to resolve a damaging insider trading probe. Nomura said CEO Kenichi Watanabe’s pay would be halved for six months to take responsibility for the brokerage’s third insider trading scandal since he took the helm four years ago. The announcement confirmed the terms of a Reuters report late on Thursday. In the year to end-March, 59-year-old Watanabe was paid 128 million yen ($1.6 million), including options. A panel of attorneys brought in by the company to investigate the insider trading cases said it found a culture where equity sales staff regularly pumped colleagues for inside information about upcoming share offerings and then shared tips with investors as a normal part of business. “The work environment appeared to be one in which employees would be willing to do anything to meet sales targets,” the report said. In some cases, members of Nomura’s syndicate desk leaked information to sales staff by

using a kind of code, the report said. They did so on the mistaken belief that it would not breach compliance standards as long as the literal name of the company involved was not used in phone calls and conversations, it said. At the same time, the report said some Nomura brokers believed they could convey insider information to funds and other clients as long as they qualified the tip on a coming share issue by hedging it with a qualification like, “This is just a rumor, but...” In an attempt to contain the damage, the broker said two executive officers - in charge of institutional sales and compliance - would resign from their positions after employees were found to have tipped off clients ahead of three planned share offerings Nomura underwrote in 2010. Those clients then traded on that information in a violation of insider trading laws. “I apologize for hurting the public trust in the country’s securities markets and for causing troubles to so many related parties,” Watanabe said, bowing deeply at the start of a packed news conference at Nomura’s headquarters in Tokyo. The probe has been costly for Nomura. — Reuters

MUMBAI: India’s factory sector expanded in June to a four-month high, a key survey showed yesterday, indicating an improvement in business conditions despite widespread concern over the nation’s economy. The HSBC India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a measure of factory output, was marginally up to 55.0 in June from 54.8 in May. A reading above 50 reflects expansion while a reading below 50 suggests contraction. The data comes when global ratings agencies have warned they may downgrade India’s debt to junk status with the economy reeling from gaping fiscal and current account deficits, strong inflation and a weak currency. While business conditions improved, costs rose at a faster pace in June than in May, which meant inflation remained high, HSBC said in a statement. “The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) does not have a strong case for further rate cuts, which could add to lingering inflation risks,” HSBC’s chief India economist Leif Eskesen said. The RBI kept interest rates unchanged last month after it had cut rates in April-its first such move in three years-after hiking borrowing costs 13 times since March 2010. Inflation, which was nudging double digits for most of 2011, has now fallen to just under seven percent but the previous rate hikes,

along with a sluggish global economy, dragged on gross domestic product growth. The economy grew just 5.3 percent in Januar y to March, its slowest quar terly

expansion in nine years. The rupee has lost more than a quarter of its value against the US dollar over the last 12 months to hit record lows. —AFP

SILIGURI: Indian women sell flowers at the roadside in Siliguri yesterday earning $2-3 per day to fulfill their daily needs like food and so on. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on taking over the finance ministry portfolio following the ministerial resignation of Pranab Mukherjee, urged finance officials to revive the economy’s ‘animal spirit’ and reverse a climate of pessimism at a time of sharply decelerating growth. — AFP

Japan business sentiment improves, risks remain

GURGAON: Maruti 800 (796cc) cars are parked at the sales and dispatch area at the factory of Maruti Udhyog Limited (MUL) in Gurgaon, Haryana on the eve of the 25th anniversary of Maruti Suzuki. — AFP

India’s carmakers post mixed sales in June MUMBAI: India’s largest passenger car maker Maruti Suzuki reported improved monthly sales yesterday, though rivals showed declining business on high taxes and fuel prices. Maruti Suzuki India, majority-owned by Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corp, said passenger car sales in June rose 19.3 percent year-on-year at 83,531 vehicles, after demand had slowed last year. Maruti’s compact cars and utility vehicles both showed improved sales as the firm increased production of diesel-powered cars. Diesel fuel, widely used to transport goods and services across India, is priced about 40 percent cheaper than petrol. While petrol prices have been deregulated, the government has kept diesel at below-market prices. The local unit of Hyundai Motor, which mostly sells petrol vehicles, posted flat local sales at 30,450 vehicles in June. Ford India domestic sales slid 11 percent to 6,257 vehicles in June while General Motors in India also fell 11 percent to 7,364 units. Tata Motors’ June car sales were down 22 percent at 17,244 units. Last month, Tata Motors and General Motors halted production at some factories to reduce stock-piling. “While the market continues to face difficult challenges, these are only cyclical and we are confident of the long term outlook,” said Michael Boneham, president and managing director of Ford India. India, which has been one of the world’s fastestgrowing car markets in recent years, suffered a slowdown in demand in 2011 as many buyers decided to defer purchases due to costly loans and high fuel expenses. The Society of Automobile Manufacturers forecasts car sales will grow 10-12 percent in the current financial year, which ends March 2013. — AFP

TOKYO: Sentiment among large Japanese manufacturers improved in the quarter ended June, the Bank of Japan said yesterday, although confidence remained weak amid a lumbering economic recovery. Large manufacturers’ sentiment rose to “minus one” from “minus four” in the previous quarter, according to the central bank’s Tankan survey, offering some positive news for the world’s thirdbiggest economy. The figures represent the percentage of firms saying business conditions are good minus those saying they are bad, and are a key measure used by the BOJ in formulating monetary policy. The result was better than the median forecast for “minus three” in a poll of economists by Dow Jones Newswires, and came after the central bank gave an upbeat outlook for Japan’s economy, although Europe remained a key risk factor. Maiko Noguchi, senior economist at Daiwa Securities said the Tankan “was positive as it shows that economic recovery is proceeding steadily”. Greater ero-

sion in business confidence would have heaped pressure on the BOJ for further easing measures, she said, “but today’s result will take the pressure off and make it possible for the bank to ‘wait and see’ before taking more action”. Last month, the central bank held off fresh easing steps, holding key interest rates steady at between zero and 0.1 percent and leaving unchanged a 70 trillion yen ($877 billion) asset purchase program. Japan has seen a mixed bag of economic data lately, with domestic demand and the employment picture improving, while factory output tumbled 3.1 percent in May amid a slump overseas, particularly in the euro-zone. The health of the 17-nation bloc has significant implications for Japan, which is a major exporter to Europe and holds large amounts of its public debt. A flight by investors from the euro has also helped push up the value of the yen, making Japanese goods relatively more expensive overseas, after the unit hit record highs against the dollar late last year. — AFP

TOKYO: A woman waits at a crosswalk in front of a large retail store in Tokyo yesterday. Big manufacturers have more confidence in Japan’s economy but remain pessimistic overall, a closely watched quarterly survey by the country’s central bank showed yesterday. —AP




Nokia 808 PureView launched in Kuwait World’s first 41 megapixel camera smartphone with packages from Wataniya Telecom KUWAIT: Nokia has announced the availability of the award-winning Nokia 808 PureView, the first smartphone in the world with a 41 megapixel camera in Kuwait through Wataniya Telecom, the country’s leading telecom operator. The smartphone which is set to revolutionize high-end mobile imaging will be available in exclusive contract packages on instalment starting from KD8 per month. Smartphone imaging enthusiasts can also get the Nokia 808 PureView for free with 18-month contract packages from KD40 per month with Wataniya. Various other packages including easy installment plans are also available by visiting any of the all Wataniya stores located across Kuwait.

“Nokia 808 PureView has completely revolutionized imaging performance for the whole smartphone industry - and Nokia is not stopping here,” said Vithesh Reddy, General Manager, Nokia Lower Gulf. “We are delighted to launch Nokia 808 PureView in Kuwait, which is a testament to Nokia’s commitment to delivering innovative mobile phone products for consumers and to imaging enthusiasts in the region.” “In line with our commitment to deliver the best value to our loyal customers in Kuwait, Nokia has been working closely with Wataniya to ensure that local customers are getting real value from the exclusive packages on offer. The partnership with Wataniya is yet another message to reinforce Nokia’s strong

regional relationships with the industry’s key players,” added Reddy. Since its global launch in February, the Nokia 808 PureView has received multiple awards, including Best Mobile Device at Mobile World Congress 2012, as well as an award for Best Imaging Innovation for 2012 from the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA). The Nokia 808 PureView uses a new technology originating from satellite imaging called Pixel Oversampling and combines Carl Zeiss’ exclusive optics and Nokia’s advanced algorithms, which combined will offer an unprecedented high-end imaging experience in a smartphone. The smartphone features a large, high-resolution 41 megapixel sensor with high-per-

formance Carl Zeiss optics and new pixel oversampling technology. At standard resolutions (2/3, 5 and 8 megapixels), this means the ability to zoom without loss of clarity and capture seven pixels of information, condensing into one pixel for the sharpest images imaginable. At full resolution, it means the ability to capture an image, then zoom, reframe, crop and resize afterwards to expose previously unseen levels of details. The camera offers unprecedented performance in lowlight shots, thanks to the pixel oversampling technology and amazing sensor that captures five times the amount of light. With superior lowlight performance and the ability to save in compact file sizes for sharing in social networks, email and MMS,

VIVA introduces BlackBerry Smartphone offer

45 years of AMG: Anniversary marks the start of a new era Mercedes-Benz: Growth with performance Affalterbach - As part of the anniversary marking “45 years of AMG”, Mercedes-AMG is providing an exclusive glimpse of the highlights of the A 45 AMG. With the powerful new top-of-the-range AClass model, the performance brand from Mercedes-Benz is marking the start of a new era. For the first time in the 45-year history of the company, AMG will offer an exciting high-performance vehicle in the compact class. The A 45 AMG is representative of the ambitious future strategy entitled “AMG Performance 50”, leading up to the 50th anniversary of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. Based on a

unique model offensive comprising additional high-performance compact cars as well as a number of AMG cars in higher classes featuring highly efficient drive systems, the company from Affalterbach is giving out clear signals for dynamic growth. And the offensive is all set to get under way this summer with new models including the SLS AMG GT and the GL 63 AMG. The AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine specially developed for the A 45 AMG is expected to set new standards in its displacement class: with maximum torque significantly above 400 Nm and low consumption levels, AMG is aiming to take the leading position among the competition. “Our goal is to build the most dynamic, most powerful and at the same time most efficient four-cylinder series production compact car.

Together with other future highperformance compact cars, the new A 45 AMG will embody exclusive dynamism and the “AMG Performance 50” growth strategy. With this passionate commitment to what for us is a new vehicle segment, Mercedes-AMG plans to make a significant contribution to the growth of Mercedes-Benz Cars”, according to Ola Kallenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. Perfect power transmission is ensured in the A 45 AMG thanks to the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-

speed sports transmission with dual clutch technology and performance-oriented all-wheel drive. The ideal basis for high cornering speeds and exciting, agile handling also comes courtesy of the AMG sports suspension with independently developed front and rear axles, electromechanical AMG speed-sensitive sports steering, AMG high-performance braking system and With the new A 45 AMG - the top-of-the-range Mercedes-Benz A-Class model - Mercedes-AMG is addressing a new target group: falling within an age range from 30 up to around 45, the target group is younger than the classic AMG customer. Professionally successful and independent, these customers are looking for a compact, dynamic and individual vehicle. They want to express their stylish, trend-oriented lifestyle

Gulf Bank to announce Al-Danah KD250,000 winner KUWAIT: Gulf Bank will be announcing the Al Danah KD250,000 winner at a live draw event to be held tomorrow at the Marina Mall. The draw event will be hosted by Khaled Al-Ansari from the 88.8 F.M. studio during the Dewaniya show from 1-3pm. The draw will be held in the presence of the Ministr y of Commerce and Industry representative. Gulf Bank encourages everyone in Kuwait to open an Al-Danah account and/or increase their deposits to maximize their chances of becoming a winner in the upcoming weekly (KD1000 for 10 winners) and the annual draw (KD1 million). Gulf Bank’s AlDanah allows customers to win cash prizes and encourages them to save money. Chances increase the more money is maintained and the longer it is

kept in the account. Al-Danah also offers a number of unique services including the Al-Danah Deposit Only ATM card which helps account holders deposit their money at their convenience; as well as the Al-Danah calculator to help customers calculate their chances of becoming an AlDanah winner. To be part of the Al-Danah draws, customers can visit one of Gulf Bank’s 56 branches, transfer online, or call the Customer Contact Center on 1805805 for assistance and guidance. Customers can also log on to, Gulf Bank’s website, to find all the information regarding AlDanah or any of the Bank’s products and services or log on, to find out more about Al-Danah and who the winners are.

with a car from a recognized performance brand. By being available at an attractive price, the A 45 AMG will appeal to prospective new customers and help to open up new markets. The A 45 AMG will celebrate its world premiere in the first quarter of 2013. Further AMG high-performance compact cars with a variety of different characteristic features are already in the pipeline and will follow on the heels of the A 45 AMG. When it came to the development of the compact Mercedes-Benz vehicle architecture for front and all-wheel drive, Mercedes-AMG has been involved

from the very beginning. The most dynamic versions of the A-Class, namely the A 250 Sport and the A 220 CDI Sport - both “engineered by AMG” - currently already feature a front axle developed by AMG as well as a correspondingly tuned suspension, AMG 5-spoke light-alloy wheels with 235/40 R 18 tyres all round, painted in highgloss black and with a high-sheen finish, and also red-painted brake callipers. The “Sport” designation is always used to characterize the most dynamic model series versions in the Mercedes-Benz product range. All-wheel drive is set to play a bigger role at Mercedes-AMG in the future too - being offered not just for SUVs and off-road vehicles, but also for other AMG high-performance vehicles. Mercedes-AMG currently has four all-wheel-drive models in its range: the ML 63

AMG, the G 63 AMG, the G 65 AMG and the GL 63 AMG. To mark the start of the new era, in 2013 the new A 45 AMG will be launched with a performance-oriented all-wheel drive system as standard. Consistent growth strategy AMG is enjoying strong demand for its vehicles, particularly in its three largest markets where the performance brand has witnessed extremely dynamic growth in the past year. Sales have increased by seven percent in the USA, 15 percent in Germany and almost 50 percent

in China. This growth is continuing in 2012. In the first quarter of the year AMG recorded growth of more than 30 percent, making it the best first quarter in the company’s history. As a result AMG is looking to continue its consistent growth beyond 2012 and to make a significant contribution to the sales achieved by Mercedes-Benz Cars. Based on the ambitious future strategy entitled “AMG Performance 50”, in the coming years AMG will be launching further unique high-performance models. According to Ola Kallenius: “We have decided to expand our model range from its current level of 22 vehicles to around 30 vehicles in the future. We are looking to increase our global sales, which today stand at around 20,000 vehicles, to more than 30,000 vehicles by the time of

the Nokia 808 PureView smartphone makes it possible for anyone to capture professional looking images in any condition, and view it on any device. The Nokia 808 PureView also includes full HD 1080p video recording and playback with 4X lossless zoom and the world’s first use of Nokia Rich Recording. Rich Recording enables audio recording at CD-like levels of quality, previously only possible with external microphones. The Nokia 808 PureView also features exclusive Dolby Headphone technology, transforming stereo content into a personal surround sound experience over any headphones and Dolby Digital Plus for 5.1 channel surround sound playback.

our 50th anniversary, and thereby assert our leading position in this exclusive segment.” In addition to the new performance compact car, the SLS AMG GT and the GL 63 AMG, in the future the S-Class segment will play an even greater role at AMG. The current offering comprising the S 63 AMG and S 65 AMG, as well as the CL 63 AMG and CL 65 AMG, will be extended further over the coming years. The “AMG Per formance 50” growth strategy also includes opening up new dynamic markets. AMG see significant potential for increasing demand in countries such as China, Russia, Korea and Brazil. Playing a central role as part of this strategy are the AMG Performance Centers: some 270 Centers have been opened in 24 countries around the globe since 2008, and there are plans to increase this number to around 350 Performance Centers by 2017. A current example for the regional growth strategy is China: the new AMG Performance Center Beijing Sanlitun opened on 22 April 2012 is situated in an exclusive prime location in the luxury Sanlitun Village North shopping mall, and reflects the pioneering role played by AMG when it comes to design and technology in a modern setting. Unlike previously, the new store in Beijing is not integrated into a MercedesBenz dealership as part of a “shop-in-shop” system. Instead, it is based on a so-called standalone concept, and focuses exclusively on the products and features of the AMG performance brand. Service quality An important part of the “AMG Performance 50” dynamic growth strategy is the expansion of the excellent service quality enjoyed by all AMG customers. With immediate effect, more intensive customer care will allow for vehicles to be collected direct from the AMG headquarters - where AMG customers can learn all about the spirit of Affalterbach in the AMG theme area. In a new, 360-square-metre delivery hall, AMG customers can now take receipt of their new high-performance vehicle direct from AMG.

KUWAIT: VIVA, Kuwait’s newest and most advanced mobile telecommunications service provider, introduced an exclusive BlackBerry offer for both postpaid and prepaid customers, making it more affordable and accessible for BlackBerry smartphone lovers. This new exclusive offer allows BlackBerry smartphone users to enjoy maximum calls and internet usage at lower monthly fees. VIVA’s postpaid and prepaid BlackBerry smartphone customers can enjoy the BlackBerry services at KD 3.9 per month. By activating the new BlackBerry smartphone offer, both postpaid and prepaid customers will have access to unlimited local BlackBerry services as well as dedicated Data for video streaming. Salman Bin Abdul Aziz AlBadran, VIVA’s Chief Executive Officer said: “We are always keen to offer the latest and best services to Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Badran our customers to ensure a high level of customer service satisfaction. VIVA continuously seeks to cater to the needs of its customers and through this new BlackBerry smartphone offer we are achieving just that. This offer is designed to be both convenient and affordable for both postpaid and prepaid customers who are using their BlackBerry smartphones. VIVA will continue to commit itself to providing its customers with fast and reliable services that exceed their expectations.” All postpaid and prepaid customers can enjoy this attractive ongoing offer starting as of July 1, 2012. For existing BlackBerry customers, the new service price will be made available to them automatically on the next subscriptions. Customers wishing to activate the latest exclusive BlackBerry smartphone services, they can simply call VIVA Contact center or visit any of VIVA’s 14 conveniently located branches across Kuwait or visit our website at

Free check up for Cadillac client: YAAS KUWAIT: Staying true to providing a rich ownership experience, Yusuf Ahmed Alghanim & Sons Automotive, the sole distributor of Cadillac vehicles in Kuwait, launched an exclusive free vehicle check-up campaign for Cadillac owners. This special service offered to Cadillac owners confirms Yusuf A. Alghanim & Sons commitment towards offering its customers the best aftersales services. All Cadillac owners are welcome to bring their Cadillac vehicle to Yusuf Ahmed Alghanim Automotive’s service center, the largest and most advanced in the world, to benefit from the free check up. The free check up service offers Cadillac owners a 21-point inspection of the entire car, a detailed condition report and cost estimate, special discount on spare parts and labor; and a free wash and vacuum. The free check up is available from June 12, 2012 until July 31, 2012. Due to the company’s keen attention on providing customers with an unparalleled experience, Yusuf Ahmed Alghanim & Sons’ service center gives Cadillac owners the opportunity to schedule an appointment by calling 24969000. Yusuf A. Alghanim & Sons Automotive operates under a simple philosophy to excel ownership experience for owners of Cadillac vehicles and will continue to launch initiatives to suit all of its customers’ needs to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction.

Cadillac ATS’s lighter weight is competitive advantage DETROIT: Like an athlete training for a major competition, Cadillac is completing its preparations for the all-new 2013 ATS, including finalizing key performance specifications. The ATS with the 2.5L engine and automatic transmission has an official base curb weight of 1503 kg- making it the lightest vehicle in its competitor segment. The all-new compact luxury sport sedan translates that mass efficiency into nimble, quick performance. The 1,570 k grear-wheeldrive ATS achieves 0-60 mph (0-96kph) acceleration in 5.4 seconds - among the fastest in its segment compared to mainstream competitor variants when equipped with a 3.6L V-6 and six-speed automatic transmission. “Being quick and agileare highly valued qualities in the compact luxury sport sedan segment,” said David Masch, ATS chief engineer. “ We designed and engineered ATS’s

all-new vehicle architectureto deliver a spirited driving experience that builds on Cadillac’s sport heritage and success with its performance-tuned CTS-V.” The lightweight construction combines with sleek aerodynamics and other efficient engineering techniques to enable excellent, GM-estimated fuel economy of7.35 l/100km highway and 10.69 l/100km in city driving for the 2.5L (EPA estimates are not yet available). An aluminum hood and front suspension parts, magnesium engine mount brackets and natural-fiber door trim panels contribute to ATS’s light weight. The ATS development team also reduced weight in the rear suspension by using specially engineered straight steel links with mass-reducing holes instead of using aluminum. ATS’s performance also benefited from efficient 50-50 mass distribution between the front

and rear. ATS’s segment-leading lower curb weight enabled the use of optimized high-strength aluminum 18-inch wheel forgings and front Brembo brakes that deliver a 60-0 mph (96-0 kph)stopping distance of

standard tempered glass and provide better wind and power train noise reduction for a quiet interior. Acoustically laminated glass also offers almost double the amount of ultraviolet ray protection.

approximately 39.3 meters. ATS also uses an acoustically laminated windshield and side windows that are lighter than

“With the ATS, Cadillac set out to deliver a leading compact luxury sport sedan that would be fun to drive year-

round, while providing all of the amenities and advanced technologies that luxury car buyers expect,” said Don Butler, US vice president of Cadillac Marketing.”ATS provides a new entryway to Cadillac for luxury car buyers, and strives to become a compelling challenger in a segment dominated by Europeans. The only way to achieve that mission was to create an excellent driver’s car.” The ATS will be available in the Middle East in the last quarter of this year. It will be offered in an efficient 2.5L engine and next-generation six-speed transmission and a 3.6L V-6 with a preliminary rating of 321 horsepower standard content that includes the Cadillac User Experience (CUE,) a comprehensive, in-vehicle user experience; leather seating surfaces are optional as well as eightway power front seats plus two-way power lumbar, adaptive remote start and more. Allwheel drive also is available.



Virtual Machines in GCC ‘underprotected’ KUWAIT: Only 19% of GCC companies are using dedicated agent-less security solutions to protect their virtual infrastructure - meaning many are throwing away one of the key advantages of virtualization by failing to make the most effective use of hardware resources. This is one of the findings of a survey conducted by Kaspersky Lab among GCC IT specialists. It has also emerged that 63% of all GCC enterprises prefer or plan to protect virtual devices using the same security solutions as on their physical computers. Moreover, 60% of enterprises have admitted that they use a single security policy for physical and virtual environ-

ments, and only 21% of them see this as a temporary measure until a dedicated policy is developed for the virtual infrastructure. Experts feel that this approach disturbs the balance between a virtual environment’s performance and security. In contrast to dedicated solutions, regular security solutions intended for physical devices require copies of signature databases and AV engines to be installed on each individual virtual machine. This may lead to adverse effects, including scanning storms and I/O storms that substantially slow down the host server - or even causes it to crash. “The main reason for this is a lack of

awareness in the business community about the different facets of securing a virtual environment. Despite the growing popularity of virtualization technologies, many companies appear somewhat careless in regard to IT security. Risks tend to be underestimated; many IT specialists share the misconception that virtual infrastructure is by nature more secure than it actually is. Last but not least, companies don’t know enough about dedicated security solutions,” says Vladimir Udalov, Senior Corporate Product Marketing Manager at Kaspersky Lab. “Our dedicated security solutions Kaspersky Security for Virtualization - a

product that was developed with a special focus on protecting virtual environments and recently launched onto the market.” Learn more about security for virtualization at Kaspersky Lab’s ‘Be Ready for What’s Next’ website: Detailed results of the survey are available in the Exclusive Content section of Kaspersky Lab’s web portal dedicated to virtual environment security. To gain access to the study “Implementing Virtualization and Ensuring IT Security in Virtual Environments: Trends in (country)’s Corporate Sector”, you need to complete a simple registration proce-

dure. Kaspersky Lab is the largest antivirus company in Europe. It delivers some of the world’s most immediate protection against IT security threats, including viruses, spyware, crimeware, hackers, phishing, and spam. The company is ranked among the world’s top four vendors of security solutions for endpoint users. Kaspersky Lab products provide superior detection rates and one of the industry’s fastest outbreak response times for home users, SMBs, large enterprises and the mobile computing environment. Kaspersky(r) technology is also used worldwide inside the products and services of the industry’s leading IT security solution providers.

Apple pays $60 million to end China iPad trademark row Long-running legal battle

SENDAI: Senior vice president of Google, Rachel Whetstone (left), answers questions during a press conference in Sendai, northern Japan, yesterday as special representative of the UN secretary-general for disaster and risk reduction Margareta Wahlstrom, country manager of Twitter Japan James Kondo and vice president of Google Brian McClendon (R) look on. Google hosted the one-day international conference to study the role of technology in disaster preparedness and relief. —AFP

Google urges govts to share disaster data SENDAI, Japan: Google yesterday urged governments to get better at sharing information to allow citizens and first responders to make better use of the Internet during natural disasters. At a conference in quake-prone Japan, Rachel Whetstone, the firm’s senior vice president of public policy and communications, said some countries hesitate over disclosing data. She said this prevents civil society from creating new services to help citizens in need. “We certainly have found access to data has enormously improved many of our products, including maps,” she said at Google’s “Big Tent” conference, designed to discuss issues related to the Internet and society. Roughly 430 participants gathered for the first “Big Tent” in Asia, held in this northern city, which was badly hit by the deadly earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. “We are still seeing quite a few governments globally who are quite closed with their data. If we could have... greater access to that data, I think we could do even more amazing things,” Whetstone said. Tokyo was criticised for not publishing data it had as reactors at Fukushima went into meltdown, spreading radiation over a large area and forcing tens of thousands of people from their homes. Public officials have said they were worried about sowing panic with information that was not readily understandable. Engineers at the Google event also complained how Japan initially released radiation contamination data in PDF format, making it difficult for scientists around the world to easily edit and analyse them. The global rush to access the data also caused the science ministry’s servers to crash, prompting private IT firms and academics to scramble to help disseminate the data in easy-to-use formats with English translations. “Scientists were very eager to attack this data if it could be organised,” Brian McClendon, Google vice president of technology.

Google strengthened its disaster response operations after Hurricane Katrina hit the southern United States in 2005. The IT giant offered “person finder” services in Japan to help reunite families along Japan’s northern Pacific coasts which were hit by the 9.0-magnitude quake and subsequent deadly tsunami, triggering the Fukushima nuclear meltdown. It also actively mapped areas hit by the tsunami, publishing photos of communities before and after the natural disaster. But useful data from governments around the world in crises are difficult to collect, McClendon said. “One of the challenges we have discovered in Katrina remains today, which is open data and being able to get it and deploy it and lay it on top of other data. It is what really makes a difference,” he said. Masaakira James Kondo, country manager for Twitter Japan, said he is now helping the Japanese government draft new guidelines for releasing information in crisis situations. “There are not a lot of examples, where an earthquake of this scale hit a highincome nation that has Internet readily available,” Kondo said. “The government probably was the single entity that lost the public trust the most,” he said. The chaos in Japan after the triple disaster was amplified by fear of unknown health effects from the nuclear crisis, said Margareta Wahlstrom, UN special representative for disaster risk reduction. Experts at the conference also stressed the importance of keeping a free flow of information on the Internet, even if it risked possible distribution of false information. Meanwhile, consumers of information must also be educated to maximise the benefit of IT in disasters, said Wahlstrom of the United Nations. “There is enormous work to do with the users-communities, individuals, organisations, local governments-about how to apply this data, and what to do with the knowledge actually at their fingertips today,” she said. —- AFP

Carbon neutral toner, ink cartridges recycling scheme launched in UAE DUBAI: Canon Emirates, a leader in imaging solutions, yesterday announced plans to launch a carbon neutral Toner and Ink Cartridges recycling program in the UAE. The program will be launched with the support of Industryre, a leading sustainable management consultancy firm. Shadi Bakhour, General Manager, Canon Emirates, said: “This announcement is part of our on-going commitment to be a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable company. At Canon, we continue to become more environmentally efficient across all our operations and to develop innovative technologies that can reduce the environmental footprint of our products and services. “We are very pleased that the UAE market is setting a precedent in the region with this pioneering project. This is in line with our corporate philosophy of Kyosei, which means living and working together for the common good, and given that the UAE is a commercial hub for the Middle East, we feel that it is only fitting that we start the roll-out with the Emirates.” In the long term, Canon Middle East plans to expand the program to all markets in the region. However, during the

initial rollout in the UAE, Canon Emirates will be aiming to cater to Canon’s corporate customers from all sectors in the UAE. A unique feature of the scheme is that any CO2 [AJ-J-1]emissions generated as part of this process, for example, during the transportation of the collection boxes, will be estimated and offset through a carbon credit offsetting procedure. Carbon credits are similar to certificates that represent a reduction of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Projects that prevent the generation of greenhouse gases or remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere earn these credits, which can in turn then be “sold” to other businesses and individuals to “offset” the emissions they generate. One carbon credit is the equivalent to a saving of one tonne of CO2 Industryre said: “We are delighted to partner with Canon on this project. At Industryre we are committing to help companies meet their sustainability and business objectives. We are looking forward to bringing together our worldclass expertise across the different sustainability disciplines to help launch this initiative in the UAE,” Ahmed Detta, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Industryre LLC.

SHANGHAI: Apple has paid $60 million to end a dispute over who could use the iPad name in China, a court said yesterday, giving the US tech giant more certainty in selling its tablet computer in the Chinese market. Apple paid the sum last week to settle its long-running legal battle with Chinese computer maker Shenzhen Proview Technology, the High Court of the southern province of Guangdong said in a statement. “This means that the dispute between Apple and Shenzhen Proview over the rights to the iPad brand is resolved in a satisfactory manner,” said the statement posted on the court’s website. The amount paid by Apple was well below the $400 million demanded by the Chinese firm. Both Proview, based in the southern city of Shenzhen, and Apple had claimed ownership of the Chinese rights to the “iPad” trademark. Proview’s Taiwanese affiliate registered “iPad” as a trademark in several countries including China as early as 2000 — years before Apple began selling its hugely successful tablet computer. Apple subsequently bought the rights for the global trademarkincluding from the Taiwanese affiliate. But the Shenzhen branch of Proview said the deal did not include the rights for mainland China and the two sides had been locked in a legal feud since the China launch of the iPad in 2010. Proview urged Chinese authorities to ban the sale, import and export of the iPad late last year after a Guangdong court issued a ruling against Apple. However, although a few Chinese cities reportedly ordered iPads to be seized, those calls were largely ignored. The Chinese firm also sued Apple in China’s commercial hub of Shanghai and in the US state of California, but the lawsuits were

SHANGHAI: A mother and daughter play with an Apple iPad at an Apple store in Shanghai yesterday. The US technology giant has paid a Chinese firm $60 million to settle a long-running dispute over the iPad trademark in China, a court said. — AFP thrown out. A lawyer for Proview, Xie Xianghui, said the debt-ridden Chinese company had originally sought $400 million in compensation for giving up the rights but settled for the lower amount out of “practical” considerations. “We previously hoped that the compensation would be $400 million, so that it would be enough to pay back all the debts,” Xie told AFP on Monday. “We have to say it is the practical choice. It is a comprehensive settlement and the end of the lawsuit in mainland China.” Xie said Proview felt “pressure” to settle, though he declined to say why. “Court mediation gave us some pressure,” he said. Analysts said the Chinese gov-

ernment wanted the matter resolved, wary of the damage a ruling against Apple could do for the foreign business climate in China. It is rare for a Chinese enterprise to accuse an overseas firm of trademark breaches-although foreign companies frequently complain of intellectual property rights violations in China. “It was clear the Chinese government would prefer a settlement,” said Shaun Rein, managing director for Shanghai-based China Market Research Group. “For Apple, it’s a cheap settlement. For Proview, they just needed the cash.” The legal battle did not halt sales of the iPad through Apple’s five retail stores in mainland China, its online store and many licensed dealers.

But, amid uncertainty over how the Chinese courts would rule, the row loomed as a potential huge roadblock for Apple if it lost. Rein said the settlement should allow Apple to focus more clearly on China. “Having these rights, they don’t have an excuse anymore to be slow in introducing the new iPad line into China,” Rein said, adding that although Apple products were wildly popular in China the company could still do much better. Greater China-which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan-has become Apple’s fastest-growing region, with revenues second only to the United States. Apple officials did not respond to requests for comment on Monday’s announcement. — AFP

EMC launches new data domain DUBAI: At EMC World 2012, EMC yesterday announced new EMC Data Domain and EMC Avamar deduplication systems and software that transform the backup and recovery landscape. The new products are high performance, scalable, purpose-built backup appliances that tightly integrate with each other, with backup software and with enterprise applications. These new capabilities further differentiate the EMC backup and recovery portfolio from competitors with point products, and chart the EMC vision for the future of backup and recovery. For years, the most common and daunting challenges backup administrators faced were backup window times and dealing with slow and unreliable tape-based recoveries. Data deduplication technology enabled high-performance purpose-built backup appliances to address these issues. Today, cloud and big data are transforming IT environments, but legacy backup systems can stall or cripple these valuable IT transformation projects. By delivering a capability-rich, next generation backup and recovery platform that builds in unprecedented levels of performance, integration and management, EMC frees customers from the complexities of protecting IT environments that are changing and expanding. This gives customers flexibility and choice in how they attack their most pressing data protection challenges. EMC once again establishes a new industry performance benchmark for the world’s fastest single controller deduplication storage system with the introduction of the new Data Domain DD990. Similarly, Avamar 6.1 deduplication software and system delivers the industry’s fastest backup and recovery performance for VMware environments, eclipsing the performance levels of its nearest competitor by 3x on backups and a staggering 30x on recoveries. Avamar 6.1 also simplifies backup management for key business critical applications with new support for SAP, Sybase and Microsoft SQL Server 2012 and enhanced support for Oracle. In addition, Avamar 6.1 further increases its support for virtual environments with expanded Microsoft Hyper-V features. Finally, new Data Domain software brings exciting capabilities to the Data Domain family, broadening Data Domain archiving capabilities for extended retention and regulatory compliance, expanding the Data Domain Boost ecosystem and enhancing the Data Domain Data Invulnerability Architecture. Combined, these announcements give customers tighter integration, simplified management and the world’s fastest backup performance. EMC Corporation is a global leader in enabling businesses and service providers to transform their operations and deliver IT as a service. Fundamental to this transformation is cloud computing. Through innovative products and services, EMC accelerates the journey to cloud computing, helping IT departments to store, manage, protect and analyze their most valuable asset - information - in a more agile, trusted and costefficient way.

Woman behind ‘Centipede’ recalls game icon’s birth NEW YORK: Dona Bailey was working as a computer programmer at General Motors when she heard the Pretenders song “Space Invader” and fell in love with it. The year was 1980. She had no clue about video games. A friend heard her say that she liked the song, and he got really excited. He told her there was a “Space Invaders” game at a bar nearby. They went to lunch so she could see what that song was about. “He gave me a quarter and I lost all my lives before I could even figure out what I was supposed to do on the screen,” she says. “But I got really intrigued.” That’s how she came to join Atari, the company that cemented the video game industry in the 1970s and early 1980s with “Pong,” and thanks in part to Bailey, “Centipede.” Though she stayed only two years, Bailey left her mark as one of the rare female programmers at Atari. There wasn’t any “Googling” in those days. Finding out more about the world of “Space Invaders” and arcade games meant asking around. “Within a month or so, I heard about Atari,” she says. She found out that the company, founded 40 years ago this week, was using the same Motorola processor to program games that she was using at a GM plant in Santa Barbara, Calif., to program climate-control displays in cars. She was hired at Atari in 1980 as the only female programmer in its nascent arcade division. When she left a muchlarger Atari two years later, she was still the only one in that division, and one of the few in the entire company. It would be tempting to say women have come far since then, and in some ways that is the case. It’s rare today to have just one token female engineer at a tech company.

Yet three decades later, there’s still a dearth of female programmers in Silicon Valley and beyond. Much of that goes back to education. Women receive fewer than a fifth of the bachelor’s degrees awarded in computer science, even though they get nearly 60 percent of all bachelor’s degrees, according to the National Science Foundation. In 1980, 30 percent of the computer science degrees went to women. Trailblazers such as Bailey often found themselves alone in a sea of men, giving them a peek at male culture that few women had access to. “It was interesting to see how a male society functioned,” she says. “It was kind of rough sometimes, too. It was a culture that I don’t think they were thinking ‘there is one woman, we should modify our behavior for her sake’ ... I grew a thicker skin.” She recalls a notebook that Atari had at that point, filled with ideas for about 30 game projects. The only idea that she didn’t find violent was a short, two-sentence description about a multi-segmented insect that walks out on the screen and winds its way down toward the player. — AP



Embryo test for breast cancer is feasible PARIS: A lab test to screen embryos for inherited risk of breast or ovarian cancer is “feasible” but controversy surrounding this method is unlikely to be stilled, a fertility conference heard yesterday. European researchers carried out the biggest-ever probe of a procedure to vet in-vitro embryos for gene mutations linked to these notorious cancers. Their work, presented at a conference in Istanbul, declared the test is a reliable indicator of whether the embryo carries the dangerous BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene variants. Even so, these genes are by no means a guarantee that cancer will occur, which

means a fierce debate over the technique will continue, they said. The method, called preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), entails taking cells from an IVF embryo while it is still in its earliest stage. If the embryo does not carry the flawed genes, it is deemed ready for transfer to the uterus, the next step of in-vitro fertilization (IVF). PGD has risen to prominence through screening for single-gene diseases such as cystic fibrosis that can doom a child to a life of sickness. Its use is now being widened to cover the inherited risk for cancer, but this is still at a fledgling stage as doctors debate the

pros and cons. Presented at the annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), the new research looked at 717 IVF embryos that were screened for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 variants. Seventy couples who took part in the study had sought PGD because one partner-usually the woman-had a family history of breast or ovarian cancer and they were afraid of handing on the risk to their child. Of the 717 embryos, 43.1 percent carried a mutation while 40.7 percent were unaffected. The others either had gene abnormalities or analysis of them was

inconclusive. “Our results suggest that PGD for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations is feasible, with a good treatment outcome,” Willem Verpoest, a professor at the Centre for Reproductive Medicine at Brussels’ Free University, said in a press release. “But controversy will still remain over the ethical acceptability of PGD for a susceptible, yet preventable, condition.” Cancer is a disease with genetic and environmental triggers. Female carriers of either BRCA1 or 2 mutations have a lifetime risk of 60-80 percent of breast cancer. Carrying just the BRCA1 mutation carries a 30-60 percent risk of ovarian cancer in the

course of a lifetime, which falls to five to 20 percent with BRCA2. Yet many of these cancers occur late in life and there are constantly improving options for preventing and treating them. This means that someone with the unlucky genes has a very high chance of many years of healthy life-and a good chance of not developing cancer anyway. In addition, many other genes play a greater or lesser role in cancer. PGD has also stirred ethical questions beyond the medical field, with critics fearing it could be used as a tool for creating designer babies.—AFP

Study shows spanking boosts odds of mental illness 32 nations ban physical punishment of kids

Guinness says Philippine croc world’s largest MANILA: A saltwater crocodile weighing more than a tonne and suspected of killing two people in the Philippines has been declared the largest such reptile in captivity by the Guinness Book of World Records. The 6.17-metre (20.24-foot) male, nicknamed “Lolong”, was captured in the Agusan marsh on the southern island of Mindanao last September after a two-year search following the killing of a girl and the disappearance of a fisherman. “The largest crocodile in captivity is Lolong, a saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), who measured 6.17 m,” Guinness said on its website. “Lolong’s weight was also measured at a nearby truck weigh-bridge and verified as approximately 1,075 kg (2,370 lbs).” Welinda Asis Elorde, media affairs coordinator for the town of Bunawan, which has custody of the new record-holder, said yesterday the local government, had received an official certifica-

tion from Guinness. “He’s doing well. I think he has already adapted to his new environment,” Elorde told AFP by telephone. At first, Lolong was fed the equivalent of 10 percent of his body weight in beef, pork and poultry every month, but an expert put him on a diet of eight to 10 kilograms a week to get him to be more active, she added. The expert also recommended that the meat be given with skin and feathers attached, to help digestion. “I was there (at the crocodile park where Lolong is kept) yesterday and he remains a big tourist attraction. Hundreds of people visit him in a day,” Elorde added. The Guinness record was previously held by Cassius, a 5.48-metre Australian saltwater crocodile weighing close to a tonne. Cassius has been kept at a crocodile park at an island off Queensland since his capture in the Northern Territory in 1984.—AFP

WASHINGTON: People who were hit or spanked as children face higher odds of mental ailments as adults, including mood and anxiety disorders and problems with alcohol and drug abuse, researchers said yesterday. The study, led by Canadian researchers, is the first to examine the link between psychological problems and spanking, while excluding more severe physical or sexual abuse in order to better gauge the effect of corporal punishment alone. Those who were spanked or hit as kids were between two and seven percent more likely to encounter mental issues later, said the research in the US journal Pediatrics, based on a retrospective survey of more than 600 US adults. That figure may seem low, particularly since about half of the US population recalls being spanked in childhood, but nevertheless shows that physical punishment can raise the risk of problems later on, experts said. “The study is valuable because it opens the conversation about parenting,” said Victor Fornari, director of the division of child and adolescent psychiatry at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System in New York. The rate “is not dramatically higher, but it is higher, just to suggest that physical punishment is a risk factor for developing more mental disturbances as an adult,” said Fornari, who was not involved in the study. Previous research has repeatedly shown that children who were physically abused as youngsters suffer from more mental disturbances as adults, and are more likely to

engage in aggressive behavior than kids who were not hit. But these studies have typically included more serious abuse. The current study excludes both sexual abuse and physical abuse that left bruises, marks or caused injury. Instead it focuses on “harsh physical punishment,” defined as pushing, grabbing, shoving, slapping or hitting as a form of punishment from elders. While 32 nations around the world have banned corporal punishment of kids, the United States and Canada are not among them. Using a nationally representative survey sample of 653 Americans, they found that those who recalled experiencing harsh punishment as children faced higher odds of a range of mental problems. Between two and five percent of disorders like depression, anxiety, bipolar, anorexia or bulimia were attributable to physical punishment as a child, the study said. From four to seven percent of more serious problems including personality disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder and intellectual disabilities were associated with such punishments in childhood. Researchers stressed that the study could not establish that spanking had actually caused these disorders in certain adults, only that there was a link between memories of such punishment and a higher incidence of mental problems. The survey data came from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions collected between 2004 and 2005, and included adults over age 20. Participants were asked: “As a child how often

were you ever pushed, grabbed, shoved, slapped or hit by your parents or any adult living in your house?” Those who answered “sometimes” or greater were included in the analysis. Roya Samuels, a pediatrician at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New York, said the parents’ genes may influence both their response to raising an unruly child as well as their likelihood of passing down certain ailments. “Parents who are resorting to mechanisms of corporal punishment might themselves be at risk for depression and mental disorders; therefore, there might be a hereditary factor going on in these families,” she told AFP. Future research could shed more light on the issue. In the meantime, the study offers a reminder that other disciplinary options such as positive reinforcement and removing rewards are viewed more favorably by doctors. “The reality is, if 50 percent of the population has experienced being spanked in the past year, most kids are resilient. It is just that there are better ways for parents to discipline kids than spanking,” Fornari said. “And for some vulnerable kids, the spanking may increase their risk for the development of mental disturbances. So for those reasons it is important to really minimize or extinguish physical punishment.” The American Academy of Pediatrics opposes striking children for any cause and the Canadian Pediatric Society recommends that doctors strongly discourage the use of physical punishment.—AFP

World has 5 million test tube people PARIS: In-vitro fertilisation (IVF) has given the world about five million new people since the first test tube baby was born in England 34 years ago, according to an estimate released yesterday. As the initial controversy over men scientific manipulation of nature has faded, about 350,000 babies conceived in petri dishes are now born every year, said the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE). That represents about 0.3 percent of the 130-million-odd babies added to the world population annually. “Millions of families with children have been created, thereby reducing the burden of infertility,” said David Adamson, chairman of the International Committee for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ICMART). IVF, which involves placing an egg and sperm together in a petri dish for conception, and a sub-category known as ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) where the sperm is inserted with a micro-needle directly into the egg, have become commonplace. But it has proven controversial over the years, with some fearing it paved the way for so-called designer babies whose characteristics are chosen by parents. The Vatican considers it immoral because of the wastage of a large number of embryos, and the procedure has been

criticized for allowing women to have children until a much older age. The five million milestones “justify all the legal and moral battles, the ethical debates and hard-fought social approval,” said Simon Fishel, a member of the team that helped conceive the world’s first IVF baby, Louise Brown, born in 1978. The bir th estimate was done by ICMART for the 28th annual meeting of ESHRE which opened in Istanbul, Turkey, on Sunday. It was based on the number of IVF and ICSI treatments recorded worldwide up to 2008, and estimates for the years thereafter for which confirmed figures are not yet available. The data showed that about 1.5 million IVF and ICSI treatments are now administered around the world every year-more than a third of them in Europe. Success rates have stabilized, with about a third of fer tilized embryos implanted resulting in a live birth. ESHRE said there was a trend in Europe to implant fewer embryos at a time, causing a drop in multiple births which carry a higher risk of complications for the mother, a lower baby birth weight, and developmental difficulties. The number of triplets has fallen below one percent, said the statement, “and for the first time, the twin delivery rate was below 20 percent.”—AFP

Philippines to vaccinate 700,000 babies this year MANILA: Philippine President Benigno Aquino said yesterday the government would vaccinate 700,000 babies this year to protect them from a virus that causes diarrhoea, a killer disease ravaging poor communities. While diarrhoea is a preventable disease, Aquino said health authorities had struggled to stop outbreaks from happening with many poor communities having no access to basic medical care. “In the Philippines alone, thousands of children suffer from diarrhoea each year, with over 3,500 cases leading to

death,” Aquino said. “For this year, 700,000 infants from families listed in our national household targeting system will be vaccinated,” he said. He said the vaccines would address infections from rotavirus, the most common cause of severe diarrhoea in babies and children aged five and below. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), diarrhoea is the third leading cause of child illness and the fourth leading cause of deaths among children less than five years in the Philippines.—AFP

INDONESIA: (Left) This photograph taken yesterday shows French environmentalist Aurelien Brule popularly known by his adopted nickname Chanee, meaning gibbon in Thai, anchoring his program at Radio Kalaweit in Palangkaraya, capital of Central Kalimantan province. (Right)This photograph taken yesterday shows a bridge over the Palangkaraya river in Palangkaraya.—AFP photos

Guerilla playlists for primates on Indonesian radio INDONESIA: With Justin Bieber, Rihanna and Katy Perry on heavy rotation, there seems at first little to distinguish Indonesia’s Radio Kalaweit from any other pop station. But in the breaks between the teen ballads and angst-rock from the likes of Linkin Park come darker messages that subvert those first impressions, bringing the issue of animal rights squarely into focus. In one message sounds of gunfire are punctuated by gibbon cries and a voice that says darkly: “For one baby, five gibbons are killed.” “God did not create wild animals to serve as garden decorations,” insists another jingle, between a piece of K-pop and the latest David Guetta tune. “We know that if we just preached directly about animal rights, listeners would flee,” said Aurelien Brule, a French national who founded Radio Kalaweit in 2003 and now goes by the name of “Chanee”-gibbon in Thai. Since he was 18 Chanee, now 32, has lived in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo, where he has worked to protect endangered gibbons whose ranks have been decimated by rampant deforestation. He said he fell in love with the primates after seeing them in a zoo as a child and was moved by

their sadness at being separated from parents or partners. “I wondered how we could get our message across to young people,” said Chanee. The idea behind the station was to use entertainment to educate and raise awareness of animal issues without beating listeners over the head about the plight of endangered species, he said. It has paid off, with ratings surging. “Since 2003, we have been number one,” said Willius Tinus, musical director and station organiser. “Music is as important as the message. If you create a radio station that only talks about the environment, we know we will have no listeners,” he said.Now many gibbons are discovered after tip-offs from listeners. Rescued primates are housed in a sanctuary, where Chanee and his team attempt to pair them up. Gibbons cannot be returned alone to the wild because they would be killed by pairs protecting their own territory. But rampant deforestation has wiped out “empty” forest sites suitable for single gibbons. Large tracts of Indonesia’s jungle have been cleared for palm oil plantations due to surging global demand, one of the main reasons Indonesia is the third biggest emitter of greenhouse gases

behind the US and China. Indonesia has implemented a two-year moratorium on issuing new logging concessions on peatland and in other high-conservation forests. But unsustainable logging continues within companies’ existing concessions. Naming and shaming Awareness is not all the radio station strives for. Kalaweit-meaning “gibbon” in the local dialectis also about what it sees as justice in shaming those who disregard laws against keeping gibbons as pets. “We broadcast the names of anyone found to be holding a gibbon in a cage, even if it turns out to (be someone) as high ranking as the police chief or governor. Most times you get the animal two to three months later”, Chanee explained. The “kalaweit” sanctuary is home to more than 130 gibbons and also other animals including birds and crocodiles. More than 60 percent of the animals who have been freed and now live there came as a result of “people who listened to the radio”, Chanee said. But to publicly pillory powerful Indonesian bureaucrats carries high risks. In 2006, police raided the station’s office in a modest neighbourhood of Palangkaraya,

the capital of Central Kalimantan province. “They wanted to confiscate the transmitter,” recalled Chanee. “But the DJs locked themselves in the building and they broadcast the raid on air. Five, then 10, and then 15 villagers arrived and the situation was defused.” As he speaks, French-Indonesian singer Anggun, who recently represented France at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Azerbaijan, can be heard imploring on the airwaves: “Gibbons are not pets.” With the help of what he calls “sexy packaging”, Chanee said Radio Kalaweit targets the 15-22 age group-”an age when it is not yet too late to change attitudes”. Broadcasting over the Palangkaraya area, the station’s audience varies “from 10,00015,000 listeners a day” and commercial advertising ensures it is self-financing, according to Chanee. “Kalaweit? It’s cool,” said Rabyatul Adawiyah who goes by the name “Zebi”, a 17-year-old schoolgirl who comes from time to time after school to do some volunteer work in the tiny, barely air-conditioned station. “Many people at school listen to it,” she said, adding: “Even if it’s the music that gets your attention, the environmental message is not far behind.”—AFP



Surgeon makes headway against rare lung cancer PHILADELPHIA: During a grueling operation early last year, when the intractable 5pound tumor seemed to mock his skills, thoracic surgeon Joseph S. Friedberg felt buoyed by what he and his scrub-suited crew had already achieved. The University of Pennsylvania team battles pleural mesothelioma, a rare, ferocious, incurable type of lung cancer. Typically, patients die within a year of diagnosis. Yet more than two years after treatment at Penn, 27 out of 38 patients (71 percent) were still alive, including four who had marked five years. These were advanced-stage cases, ostensibly hopeless, and they were defying the odds. Friedberg, who was about to submit a study on those results for publication, knew there would be skepticism. The number of patients was small. And the treatment was almost as formidable as the disease. He spent up to 14 hours stripping out the cancer while preserving the patient’s lung; then residual malignant cells were zapped with laser light therapy. He was disappointed, but not surprised, when the Annals of Thoracic Surgery demurred at publishing the study. “The reviewers said the follow-up time was too short and we were overestimating” the projected survival time, he recalled. The only way to address that concern was to let more time elapse. In May, with a fuller picture, the journal published the results, which are impressive. This story is about those results, and how the 25 members of Penn’s pleural and mesothelioma program are making remarkable progress against a dreadful disease. It’s also about the heartbreaking inadequacy of that progress. “I don’t particularly consider it a victory,” said Friedberg, codirector of the program. “‘Good’ for me would be 10 years. Every time these patients’ cancer recurs, it kills me.” Pleural mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, a once-ubiquitous building material. Decades after exposure, renegade cells arise in the mesothelium, a cellophane-thin membrane that lines the chest cavity, lungs, heart, and diaphragm. By the time the classic symptom of breathlessness shows up, the cancer usually has a stranglehold, invading all surfaces and organs in the cavity. Conventional treat-

ments _ chemotherapy, radiation and surgery have dismal outcomes. In the pivotal study of the only chemotherapy specifically approved for mesothelioma, 60 percent of patients did not respond. For the rest, it extended median survival just 13 weeks, to 12.1 months. Mesothelioma has become a big specialty for liability lawyers, but with 3,000 new cases a year in the United States, it is hardly a hot research field. Nonetheless, for more than two decades, Penn scientists have been doggedly pursuing innovations. They are combining conventional treatments with gene therapy, T-cell therapy and the laser technology, called photodynamic therapy. Patients come thousands of miles to Penn after exploring their options _ or lack thereof. William J. McQueen, 63, an earnose-and-throat doctor from San Antonio, Texas, is one of them. Because his cancer encased one lung the typical pattern and because he was in good overall health, specialists at several top hospitals recommended an “extrapleural pneumonectomy.” The harrowing surgery involves removing the lung, the lining of the chest, the heart’s sac and the diaphragm muscle, which controls breathing, then reconstructing certain tis-

sues with high-tech fabric. Up to 10 percent of pneumonectomy patients die of complications. The rest die of the cancer, which invariably comes roaring back, typically within months. McQueen asked about preserving his lung but was told that would depend on the extent of his cancer something that would be assessed on the operating table. “I got the impression they would not take the time to strip the tumor out,” he said. “They’d go in and take the lung out. That’s what most surgeons do.” That’s what Friedberg used to do. Theoretically, taking the lung left minimal cancer for conventional therapies to mop up, thus lowering the chance of relapse. In reality, he could see it didn’t work. It was like uprooting a garden to get rid of weeds, only to have the weeds grow back worse than ever. In the late 1990s, Friedberg teamed with Penn radiation oncologist Stephen Hahn, an expert in photodynamic therapy, to try it for mesothelioma. It requires injecting the patient with a drug, a photosensitizer that makes cancer cells ultra-sensitive to visible light. When the drug is exposed to red light, it sets off a chemical reaction that destroys the cells, damages blood vessels that feed

PHILADELPHIA: A monitor in the operating room shows a mesothelioma tumor (top right) just above the pulmonary artery as Thoracic surgeon Joseph S. Friedberg.—MCT

the tumor, and activates the immune system. The cell-killing effect only works near the surface, because red light penetrates only half an inch or less. Regulators have approved photodynamic therapy for several cancers, but evidence that it works for mesothelioma is mixed. In the most rigorous study, published in 1997, it did not improve survival or time to recurrence. But surgeons in that study were allowed to leave a thin layer of tumor too much, Friedberg speculated, for the laser light to reliably penetrate. Still, he knew that even if he cut out every speck of detectable tumor, preserving the lung would leave behind more microscopic disease than removing the organ would. So beginning in 2004, the team performed a modified pneumonectomy _ removing the lung but preserving the heart sac and the diaphragm _ followed by the light therapy. Then came a patient in her 80s. Taking her lung would be too risky, agreed the physicians _ Friedberg, Hahn, Daniel Sterman, Keith Cengel and Steven Albelda. To their shock, she was back on the golf course not many months after Friedberg preserved her lung. So he preserved the next patient’s lung. And the next, with perseverance and ingenuity, he found he could save the lung no matter the extent of the tumor. By 2008, it was clear the lung-sparing strategy was superior. The 14 patients whose lungs were removed had a median survival of only 8.4 months. But most of the 14 who kept their lungs were alive after more than two years at least twice as long as other studies had reported for such advanced disease. Though those with two lungs were physically better able to cope with a relapse, Friedberg believed the light therapy was playing a big role, somehow priming the immune system to keep resurgent cancer under control. “The cancer comes back more like a house cat than a tiger,” he said. To try to prove it, the team decided to treat 24 more patients 38 in all. On April 19, 2011, Bill McQueen was rolled into the operating suite, a three-ring medical circus of physicians, nurses, anesthetists, laser physicists and technicians. Some of the photosensitizer, given intravenously two days in advance, had migrated

into his healthy cells, as expected. To protect them from burning, the team covered the operating room lamps with protective filters, sewed blue surgical towels to the edges of his skin incision, and clipped the oxygen monitor to a different finger every 15 minutes. Even the tiny red light in that device could activate the sensitizer and burn his nail bed. Friedberg spent 11 hours cutting out the cancer. Though it had not penetrated into the airways of the lung it typically does not it formed a thick, reddish rind around the organ, and mottled the chest cavity with nodules and plaques. The volume of McQueen’s cancer, about a pint, was comparatively small. Some patients have a quart or two. But Friedberg also had to remove a rib, two nerves, parts of the diaphragm and heart sac, and lymph nodes. The thing that best prepared him for the arduous marathons, said the lanky 53-year-old, was being on the crew team at Penn. “You just keep going no matter how much it hurts or how tired you are. You just have to make the commitment that you’re not going to fail (patients) that way.” After the cancer was out, Friedberg sewed seven light detectors in strategic locations in McQueen’s chest cavity. These were connected to a computerized “dosimetry” system, enabling real-time calculations of the laser light dosage. Too little and the chemical reaction would not kill the cancer. Too much and a vital organ could be perforated, causing a fatal hemorrhage. Next, radiation oncologist Keith Cengel took over, looking a bit sinister in black goggles and protective garb. He poured warmed liquid containing fat particles into McQueen’s chest while moving a fiber-optic laser around the cavity. The fat particles reflected the light, dispersing it into the recesses of the chest and creating an eerie red glow that made McQueen’s torso seem like a magic cauldron. Despite the care and precision, McQueen had complications. Lymphatic fluid leaked from a thoracic duct, requiring eight more hours of surgery the next day. A small stroke temporarily impaired his vision. “But I came through it,” he said. Indeed, within four weeks, he was playing the tourist, wandering Reading Terminal Market with his wife, Karen.—MCT





Summer, Ramadan celebrations at Khairan Resort

Indian Embassy passport and visa Passports and Visa applications can be deposited at the two outsourced centers of M/S BLS Ltd at Sharq and Fahaheel. Details are available at and . Consular Open House Consular Wing is providing daily service of Open House to Indian citizens on all workings days from 1000 hrs to 1100 hrs and from 1430 hrs to 1530 hrs by the Consular Officer in the Meeting Room of the Consular Hall at the Embassy. For any unaddressed issues, Second Secretary (Consular) can be contacted. Furthermore, the head of the Consular Wing is also available to redress grievances. Indian workers helpline/helpdesk: Indian workers helpline is accessible by toll free telephone number 25674163 from all over Kuwait. It provides information and advice to Indian workers as regards their grievances, immigration and other matters. The help desk at the Embassy (Open from 9AM to 1PM and 2PM to 4:30PM, Sunday to Thursday) provides guidance to Indian nationals on routine immigration, employment, legal and other issues. It also provides workers assistance in filling up labour complaint forms. For any unaddressed issues, the concerned attachÈ in the Labour section and the head of the Labour Wing can be contacted. Legal Advice Clinic: Free legal advice is provided on matters pertaining to labour disputes, terms of contracts with employers, death/accident compensation, withholding of dues by employers, etc. by lawyers on our panel, to Indian nationals on all working days between 1500hrs to 1600hrs. Ambassador’s Open House: The Open House for Indian citizens by the Ambassador is being held on all Wednesdays at the Embassy for redressal of grievances. In case Wednesday is an Embassy holiday, the meeting will be held on the next working day. ‘Leniency of Islam’ An unprecedented initiative of KTV2 (English channel) is the new program by the name ‘Leniency of Islam’ presented by Shaikh Musaad Alsane and directed by Hamid Al-Turkait. The program is mainly meant to address the expatriates living in Kuwait. Religious questions are received through the program email and sms can be sent to97822021 and answered by the lecturer and Imam in Awqaf Ministry Shaikh Musaad Alsane a Master Degree holder in Sharia and fiqih from Kuwait University. So don’t forget to watch the program every Friday at 1:00 pm.

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


he Khairan Resort administration at the Touristic Enterprises Co. (TEC)’s prepared for the summer season special recreational programs for its visitors, their families and guests during the summer. Commenting on the preparations, Khairan resort manager, Adnan Zainuddin said that special offers


would be made during Ramadan including the stay of six nights for the price of four from Sundays till Saturdays, three nights stay for the price of two from Sundays till Wednesdays and a 20 per cent discount on two night stays on Thursdays till Saturdays in the period of July 19 till August 15. He added that bookings

could be made at TEC’s information center near the Sultan Center Restaurant that will be open mornings and evenings working hours. Further, Zainuddin said that special folkloric, sports, cultural and social recreational programs would be prepared for the guests. Notably Al-Khairan Resort is located

over an area of 2,650,00 square meters about 120 kilometers to the south of Kuwait city. It has been providing hotel services for over 25 years. It includes 40 luxury villas, 148 Deluxe chalets, 24 first floor Studios and 24 ground floor studios.

Aware Diwaniya he AWARE Center cordially invites interested Western expatriates to its diwaniya presentation entitled, “You and the environment: how can you make a difference?” by Dr Mohammed Al-Furgi. Environmental issues are sometimes classified as academic or elite issues and we may feel that we as individuals do not have a role to play. We do have a role to play in improving our environment and an important one indeed. We (the individuals) are by far the majority and we are the ones that dictate what will happen to our environment. We are targeted as consumers and by making the right choice we could force the producers to change their products. Kuwait a country with a relatively small population but high consumption rate suffers from environmental problems, and we as citizens or residents could make a difference in alleviating these problems through simple practices. What can citizens and residents do to reduce littering and conserve water and energy? In his 25-minute presentation, Alforgi will discuss these questions and many more. Dr. Alforgi graduated from the University of Tulsa, Tulsa Oklahoma with a B.Sc. in Petroleum Engineering and an M.S. in engineering management. He also holds a Ph.D. in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Wyoming, USA. Dr. Alforgi has taught petroleum engineering at the College of Technological Studies in Kuwait, as well as at universities in Libya, the United Arab Emirates and Wyoming. He was a chairman of the Department of Petroleum Engineering Technology, at the College of Technological Studies. He wrote several papers on petroleum economics and takes deep interest in socio-economic changes that occur due to this particular resource.


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

Gulfmart inaugurates 14th branch in Kuwait ulfmart, the fastest growing supermarket chain in Kuwait, added yet another outlet to its chain of stores across the country with the opening in Salwa of their 14th branch. The new store was inaugurated yesterday, by His Excellency Satish C. Mehta the Ambassador of India to Kuwait, in the company of Syed Shahed Reza Ambassador of Bangladesh, Madhuban Paudel, Ambassador of Nepal, Dasho Sherub Tenzin, Ambassador of Kingdom of Bhutan and Dasho Tashi Phuntsoq, Ambassador of Laos to Kuwait. The inauguration ceremony was also graced by the presence of Dr. Hanan Al-Mutawa Executive Director, the British School of Kuwait and Muhmood E. Muhmood, School General Manager, Kuwait English School, along with a large gathering of customers, well-wishers, senior management and staff of Gulfmart Group. Felicitating Gulfmart on opening yet another branch in Kuwait, Arif Sheikh, Managing Director of Gulfmart Group commented that back in 1999, when the brand initially launched in Kuwait, they had only modest expectations for expansion in the country. “However, within weeks of our inauguration, we came to realize that we had a hit-proposition in our hands. Our retail model of offering quality products at the right price point in a convenient shopping environment was an indubitable


winner in the Kuwait market. Since then we have continued to replicate this successful retail formula across the country.” The 10,000 square feet new outlet of Gulfmart in Salwa, located in Sheikh A. Al Sabah Complex in Block 11, opposite the Kuwait English School, offers easy access, convenient car parking facilities

convenient access, wide selection, competitive prices and great customer service. With the opening of our newest branch in Salwa, we are aggressively moving ahead with the second phase of our concerted expansion plan, said Yusuf Bhatti, Group Project & Development Head. “By the end of 2013 we expect to have

specific ethnic requirements of customers in a locality. Our business strategy of opening new stores in suburbs underserved by full-service retail supermarkets is definitely welcomed by residents in those areas,” said Nikil Ajagaonkar Gulfmart’s Operations Manager. Affirming that the new supermarket would offer amazing prices and

and a comfortable shopping ambience. The spacious supermarket, prepared by retail fitting specialists, International Interiors, with its wide aisles and easily accessible shelves is stocked with an extensive selection of products from around the world. Regularly refreshed array of fresh fruits and vegetables, highquality fish and meat, as well as an assortment of frozen and packaged food products are on display at the new supermarket. The venue offers shoppers enormous value through

in place an additional eleven more outlets in the country, including several more stores in our new mini-supermarket format. Plans are also afoot to launch the Group’s flagship in the form of a Gulfmart Hypermarket, in the coming year,” revealed Bhatti. “Gulfmart is renowned for carrying a wide variety of products that cater to shopping needs of the diverse population in Kuwait. The supermarket is especially popular for offering products that cater to

great promotions, the Group’s Centralized Merchandizing Department, headed by Jose Thomas, and including Raju Sawlani, Fakhruddin Kabir, Imran Sheikh, Zujer Saifee and Sameer Sheikh, confirmed that special offers would be introduced during the upcoming Holy Month of Ramadan. “The opening of yet another branch is part of our overall expansion strategy that envisions eventually having a Gulfmart outlet within

easy commutable distance of all population centers in Kuwait. The launching of this new branch in Salwa is also in line with our plan of being represented in areas underserved by traditional retail outlets,” said Remesh T.A., Gulfmart Country Manager in Kuwait. He added, “Our commitment to consistently deliver total customer satisfaction is reflected in our best-in-class services, convenient shopping locations, incredible promotions and delivery of quality products at competitive prices. It is this dedication and attention to customer needs that has resulted in the Group operating 14 successful outlets, in as many years, across Kuwait.” Retail analysts attribute the resounding success of Gulfmart to the brand’s perseverance in ensuring the patronage and loyalty of their customers, with an unrelenting commitment to customer satisfaction, demonstrated by offering good quality products at highly competitive prices from outlets that are conveniently located around the country. In addition to two branches each in Jleeb Al Shuyoukh, Hawally, Farwaniya and in Fahaheel, Gulfmart currently has full-service outlets in Shuwaikh, Salmiya, Fahaheel, Khaitan and Jahra, as well as a mini-supermarket in Salmiya.




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

QNB sponsors closing ceremony of students’ activities at the Kuwait Center for Autism s part of its belief in providing support to some groups of disabled people and sick children and helping them integrate into society, QNB Group, through its branch in Kuwait, sponsored the closing ceremony of students’ activities at the Kuwait Center for Autism, which included a number of workshops and entertainment programs.


This sponsorship aims at providing all aspects and requirements that contribute to engaging those people into society, in addition to strengthening its local activities, as well as activating and developing their capacities to reach the desired goals. Through its participation in sponsoring various social and humanitarian activities, The support provided by QNB Group comes as part of its key

responsibilities towards the community, where the Bank has supported that category of people to gain their most basic rights and helped them to grow and maintain social interaction. QNB Kuwait gives great importance to supporting many activities that help activating the abilities of special groups, as the Bank has earlier visited the sick children at Amiri hospital, and present-

ed gifts and toys for them. QNB Group is keen to be an example and role model; it seeks to achieve service excellence and focus on its commitment to participate in activities that contribute to the success of the bank, whether locally or in foreign branches.

IBS accepted as associate member of EBTN he Institute of Banking Studies (IBS), Kuwait’s leading provider of banking and financial services training and education, is pleased to announce that it has been accepted as an Associate Member of the European Banking & Financial Services Training Association (EBTN). The European Banking & Financial Services Training Association, formed in 1991, is an international not for profit association. It comprises of 26 leading bank training organizations in the Council of Europe and 9 similar organizations (Associate Members) outside Europe. All Members are institutes providing, on a regular basis, banking and financial


services education and training or whose objectives are related to banking and financial services education and training. The mission of EBTN is to become the main European association for accreditation, certification and qualification of knowledge, skills and competencies in the financial services sector. It has recently established a taskforce related to providing a Global Banking Education Standard Board, which aims to identify and set global benchmarks for banking education, including initial and continuing professional development and the IBS is delighted to be joining EBTN at this exciting time.

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

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

Kuwait Banks Club’s assistant secretary Jassem Al-Haidar (center) is seen rewarding staff from the Majd Al-Andalus Training Center for hosting tuition courses to children of local banks’ employees. The center also organizes summer activities for children aged between 10 and 17, which includes camps in London and Madrid featuring stops at Chelsea Sports Club and Real Madrid Sports Club respectively.

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

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

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

(From right) Abdurrahman Al-Hmoud, Abdullah Al-Khalid, Omar Abdurraheem and Hamad Al-Shatty.

Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Khalid, the top graduate among arts sector students with a 92.8% score, is seen with his mother Anoud Al-Thufairi.

Graduation ceremony


he Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah High School held a ceremony at the Radisson Sas hotel to celebrate its top graduates for the recently concluded school year. The event was attended by Sheikh Abdullah Mohammad Abdullah Al-Sabah who patronized the ceremony on behalf of his father, Minister of Information Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah.


Muzammil Malick recommended for India’s Prestigious ‘Padma Shri Award’ ell known Industrialist and Philanthropist Muzammil Malick, the Founding Chairman of ALKulaib International Trading Co. Kuwait has been recommended for the nomination of India’s 4th prestigious “Padma shri” award by visiting dignitary Sami Bubere, the Chief Editor of “Indo-Gulf Times” & “Subhe Ummed” magazines (published from India). Sami, is known closely with several academicians and political figures said that he is delighted to meet Muzammil and exchanged views and impressed very much with a strong vision of India’s prosperity. His contributions in the community affairs had earned a name as an Extra-ordinary Industrialist in GCC countries and can be considered as a personality of “India’s Pride”. In a recent courtesy meeting with H.E. Satish Mehtaji, Ambassador of India to Kuwait, IKFS executives Sami Bubere, Dr. Ghalib Al-Mashoor, Abdul Razzak Rumane, AK S Abdul Nazar introduced Muzammil Mullick and requested H.E. Satish Mehtaji also to recommend with the concerned authorities in India as


being one of the next nominees of India’s 4th prestigious “Padma shri” award, during the year 2012 or 2013 as being a successful NRI Industrialist. Muzammil Mullick, hails from Calcutta (India) and settled in Kuwait is a renowned Industrialist and businessman . His firm, M/s. Al Kulaib International Trading Company (, is a private Kuwait based company established in 1973, is specialized in construction and maintenance fields of Civil, Mechanical, Electrical and Instrumentation works for the Oil, Power, Water and Petrochemical sectors. Through Muzammil’s guidance M/s. Al Kulaib ITC has made potential growth in the Industrial projects and become as a multi-national company where more than 2000 highly efficient and dynamic workforce exists. Al-Kulaib’s team strengths are based on highly motivated management and execution staff with huge quantities of infrastructure

equipments and also, provides technical services and become as one of the leading pioneers in the field of mechanical, civil, electrical, instrumentation and technical support service. As per the latest survey, The company is functioning as one of the main support service providers in Kuwait and other Gulf region. The survey also extended personality level feed back of Muzammil Mullick, with some of the senior Kuwaiti and Indian personalities in addition to some Indian Associations in Kuwait. It has been noted that Muzammil has been chosen as in the forefront of the best personality in recognized Business profile as the highly respected Industrialist among Kuwaities and Indian Businessmen. Dr. Al-Mashoor said that he things that based on NRI quota from Kuwait , Mullick is the right candidate from the category of Foreigners/NRIs/PIOs/Posthumous for the nomination and he qualifies for the “Padma shri” award.

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

Janab: Muzammil Malik Saheb, also decorates the title of Patron at IKFS, Vice President of Indian Muslim Welfare Association (IMWA), and several other Indian Associations in Kuwait. His support to various Orphanage Houses and Rehabilitation Centers in Kuwait and India is well known among the people of Kuwaiti and Indian community. As the managing Partner of Al-Kulaib Tech. Gen. Trading & Contg. Co. he employs more than 2,000 Indians in his company. During 2011, President Pratibha Patil has conferred the Padma Awards to 128 awardees. A total of 13 Padma Vibhushan awards, 31 Padma Bhushan awards and 84 Padma shri awards, which include one duo case (actually counted as one) and 12 awards from the category of Foreigners/ NRIs/ PIOs/ Posthumous. Dr. Abdul Razzak Rumane, (Multiple International award winner in Engineering fields) the Patron of IKFS and the President of newly formed “Kokan Welfare Society” said that he is delighted to note that IKFS is recommending Muzammil sahib as the right person for “Padma shri” award, and he is certainly an asset to our beloved motherland India.

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

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

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

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



00:45 Your Worst Animal Nightmares 01:40 Untamed & Uncut 02:35 Great Animal Escapes 03:00 Great Animal Escapes 03:30 Must Love Cats 04:25 Wildest Arctic 05:20 Cheetah Kingdom 05:45 Predator’s Prey 06:10 New Breed Vets With Steve Irwin 07:00 Karina: Wild On Safari 07:25 Weird Creatures With Nick Baker 08:15 Dick ‘n’ Dom Go Wild 08:40 Breed All About It 09:10 Baby Planet 10:05 Wildest Arctic 11:00 Wildlife SOS 11:25 Going Ape 11:55 Animal Cops Philadelphia 12:50 Safari Vet School 13:15 Safari Vet School 13:45 Animal Precinct 14:40 Wildest Arctic 15:30 Karina: Wild On Safari 16:00 Dick ‘n’ Dom Go Wild 16:30 Growing Up... 17:25 Cats 101 18:20 Dogs 101 19:15 Wildlife SOS 19:40 Going Ape 20:10 Cheetah Kingdom 20:35 Predator’s Prey 21:05 Wildest Arctic 22:00 Rescue Vet 22:25 Rescue Vet 22:55 World Wild Vet 23:50 Animal Cops Miami

00:55 Eastenders 01:25 Doctors 01:55 Spooks 02:45 The Weakest Link 03:35 As Time Goes By 04:05 Balamory 04:25 3rd & Bird 04:35 Bobinogs 04:45 Gigglebiz 05:00 Teletubbies 05:25 Boogie Beebies 05:40 Little Robots 05:50 Balamory 06:10 3rd & Bird 06:20 Bobinogs 06:30 Gigglebiz 06:45 Teletubbies 07:10 Boogie Beebies 07:25 Little Robots 07:35 As Time Goes By 08:05 One Foot In The Grave 08:35 Dinnerladies 09:05 Eastenders 09:35 Doctors 10:05 Coast 11:05 The Inspector Lynley Mysteries 11:50 As Time Goes By 12:20 One Foot In The Grave 12:50 The Weakest Link 13:35 Eastenders 14:05 Doctors 14:35 Coast 15:30 The Inspector Lynley Mysteries 16:15 The Weakest Link 17:00 Eastenders 17:30 Doctors 18:00 Bleak House 18:30 Bleak House 19:00 After You’ve Gone 19:30 Gavin & Stacey 20:00 20,000 Streets Under The Sky 20:50 2 Point 4 Children 21:20 Lead Balloon 21:50 Life On Mars 22:40 Fawlty Towers 23:15 The Weakest Link

00:20 Come Dine With Me 01:10 Gok’s Fashion Fix 02:00 Gok’s Fashion Fix

02:50 The Boss Is Coming To Dinner 03:15 James Martin’s Brittany 03:40 MasterChef 04:05 Living In The Sun 04:55 Living In The Sun 05:45 The Boss Is Coming To Dinner 06:10 MasterChef 06:35 Living In The Sun 07:25 MasterChef Australia 08:10 MasterChef Australia 08:35 MasterChef Australia 09:20 Bargain Hunt 10:05 Antiques Roadshow 10:55 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 12:15 Holmes On Homes 13:50 Bargain Hunt 14:35 Antiques Roadshow 15:25 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 16:45 The Boss Is Coming To Dinner 17:10 Come Dine With Me 18:00 Rachel’s Favourite Food For Living 18:25 The Hairy Bikers Ride Again 18:50 Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey 19:40 James Martin’s Brittany 20:00 Come Dine With Me 20:50 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 22:10 Antiques Roadshow 23:00 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 23:40 Come Dine With Me

00:00 BBC World News America 00:30 BBC World News America 01:00 Newsday 01:30 Asia Business Report 01:45 Sport Today 02:00 Newsday 02:30 Asia Business Report 02:45 Sport Today 03:00 Newsday 03:30 Asia Business Report 03:45 Sport Today 04:00 BBC World News 04:30 Asia Business Report 04:45 Sport Today 05:00 BBC World News 05:30 Asia Business Report 05:45 Sport Today 06:00 BBC World News 06:30 Hardtalk 07:00 BBC World News 07:30 World Business Report 07:45 BBC World News 08:00 BBC World News 08:30 World Business Report 08:45 BBC World News 09:00 BBC World News 09:30 World Business Report 09:45 Sport Today 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 World Business Report 10:45 Sport Today 11:00 BBC World News 11:30 Hardtalk 12:00 BBC World News 12:30 World Business Report 12:45 Sport Today 13:00 BBC World News 13:30 BBC World News 14:00 GMT With George Alagiah 14:30 GMT With George Alagiah 15:00 BBC World News 15:30 World Business Report 15:45 Sport Today 16:00 Impact With Mishal Husain 16:30 Impact With Mishal Husain 17:00 Impact With Mishal Husain 17:30 World Business Report 17:45 Sport Today 18:00 BBC World News 18:30 Hardtalk 19:00 The Hub With Nik Gowing 19:30 The Hub With Nik Gowing 20:00 The Hub With Nik Gowing 20:30 BBC Focus On Africa 21:00 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 21:30 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 22:00 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 22:30 World Business Report 22:45 Sport Today 23:00 Business Edition With Tanya Beckett 23:30 Hardtalk

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

00:30 Bakugan: New Vestroia 00:55 Bakugan: New Vestroia 01:20 Powerpuff Girls 02:10 Courage The Cowardly Dog 03:00 The Amazing World Of Gumball 03:25 Ben 10 03:50 Adventure Time 04:15 Powerpuff Girls 04:40 Generator Rex 05:05 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 05:30 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 05:55 Angelo Rules 06:00 The Marvelous Misadventures... 06:25 Casper’s Scare School 07:00 The Amazing World Of Gumball 07:15 Adventure Time 07:40 Johnny Test 08:05 Grim Adventures Of... 08:55 Courage The Cowardly Dog 09:45 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 10:10 Redakai: Conquer The Kairu 10:35 Powerpuff Girls 11:00 Billy & Mandy’s Big Boogey... 12:15 Ed, Edd n Eddy 13:05 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 13:30 Sym-Bionic Titan 13:55 Foster’s Home For... 14:20 Foster’s Home For...


14:45 Angelo Rules 15:35 Powerpuff Girls 16:25 The Amazing World Of Gumball 16:40 Johnny Test 17:05 Adventure Time 17:30 Regular Show 17:55 Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated 18:20 Batman Brave And The Bold 18:45 Young Justice 19:10 Hero 108 19:35 Ben 10 20:00 Billy & Mandy’s Big Boogey... 21:15 Grim Adventures Of... 22:00 Codename: Kids Next Door 22:50 Ben 10 23:15 Ben 10 23:40 Chowder

00:00 Amanpour 00:30 World Sport 01:00 Piers Morgan Tonight 02:00 World Report 03:00 Anderson Cooper 360 04:00 Piers Morgan Tonight 05:00 Quest Means Business 06:00 The Situation Room 07:00 World Sport 07:30 African Voices 08:00 World Report 09:00 World Report 10:00 World Sport 10:30 Talk Asia 11:00 World Business Today 12:00 Amanpour 12:30 World’s Untold Stories 13:00 World One 14:00 Piers Morgan Tonight 15:00 News Stream 16:00 World Business Today 17:00 International Desk 18:00 Global Exchange 19:00 World Sport 19:30 World’s Untold Stories 20:00 International Desk 21:00 Quest Means Business 22:00 Amanpour 22:30 CNN Newscenter 23:00 Connect The World With Becky Anderson

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Weird Or What? One Way Out Hillbilly Handfishin’ Extreme Fishing River Monsters: Lair Of Giants Weird Or What? How Do They Do It? How It’s Made Gold Rush American Chopper Mythbusters Ultimate Survival Border Security Auction Kings How Do They Do It? How It’s Made Rattlesnake Republic Finding Bigfoot Tornado Road Border Security Auction Kings Ultimate Survival American Chopper Fifth Gear Gold Divers Mythbusters How Do They Do It? How It’s Made Border Security Auction Kings The Gadget Show Rattlesnake Republic Finding Bigfoot Wreckreation Nation

00:35 01:25 02:15 03:05 03:35 04:25 05:15 06:05 07:00 07:50 07:53 08:20 08:50 09:40 10:30 14:45 15:35 16:00 16:03 16:30 17:00 17:50 18:40 19:30 20:20 21:10 21:35 22:00 22:25 22:50 23:40

Superships Science Of The Movies Brave New World The Gadget Show Smash Lab Space Pioneer Superships Science Of The Movies Brave New World Head Rush Bang Goes The Theory Sci-Fi Science Sport Science Smash Lab Scrapheap Challenge Scrapheap Challenge The Gadget Show Head Rush Bang Goes The Theory Sci-Fi Science Science Of The Movies Sport Science Space Pioneer Catch It Keep It Scrapheap Challenge The Gadget Show The Gadget Show Stuck With Hackett Stuck With Hackett Scrapheap Challenge Sport Science

00:25 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 00:55 Style Star 01:25 20 Best & Worst Celebrity Plastic... 03:15 Behind The Scenes 03:40 Extreme Close-Up 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 THS 06:00 THS 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 E! News 09:15 Scouted 10:15 THS 12:05 E! News 13:05 Ice Loves Coco 13:35 Ice Loves Coco 14:05 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 14:30 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 15:00 Style Star 15:30 E!es 16:25 Behind The Scenes 16:55 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 17:55 E! News 18:55 E!es 19:55 Kourtney & Kim Take New York

20:55 21:25 22:25 23:25 23:55

Khloe And Lamar Giuliana & Bill E! News Chelsea Lately Fashion Police

00:30 The Haunted 01:20 Mysterious Journeys 02:05 Deadly Sins 02:55 Scorned: Crimes Of Passion 03:45 Extreme Forensics 04:30 The Haunted 05:20 Mysterious Journeys 06:10 Disappeared 07:00 Forensic Detectives 07:50 Undercover 08:40 Life Or Death: Medical Mysteries 09:30 Real Emergency Calls 09:55 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 10:20 On The Case With Paula Zahn 11:10 Disappeared 12:00 Street Patrol 12:25 Street Patrol 12:50 FBI Case Files 13:40 Life Or Death: Medical Mysteries 14:30 Real Emergency Calls 14:55 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 15:20 On The Case With Paula Zahn 16:10 Disappeared 17:00 Forensic Detectives 17:50 FBI Case Files 18:40 Real Emergency Calls 19:05 Mystery Diagnosis 19:55 Who On Earth Did I Marry? 20:20 On The Case With Paula Zahn 21:10 Disappeared 22:00 Killer Kids 22:50 Killer Kids 23:40 Dr G: Medical Examiner

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Madagascar Maverick Destination Extreme Destination Extreme Don’t Tell My Mother City Chase Marrakech Treks In A Wild World Endurance Traveller Madagascar Maverick Destination Extreme Destination Extreme Don’t Tell My Mother City Chase Marrakech Treks In A Wild World Endurance Traveller Madagascar Maverick Destination Extreme Destination Extreme Extreme Tourist Afghanistan City Chase Marrakech Treks In A Wild World Meet The Natives The Green Way Up The Green Way Up Travel Madness Travel Madness David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 Exploring The Vine Exploring The Vine Long Way Down Miracle On Everest

Madagascar Maverick Destination Extreme Destination Extreme Don’t Tell My Mother City Chase Marrakech Treks In A Wild World Endurance Traveller Madagascar Maverick Destination Extreme Destination Extreme Don’t Tell My Mother City Chase Marrakech Treks In A Wild World Endurance Traveller Madagascar Maverick Destination Extreme Destination Extreme Extreme Tourist Afghanistan City Chase Marrakech Treks In A Wild World Meet The Natives The Green Way Up The Green Way Up Travel Madness Travel Madness David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 1 Exploring The Vine Exploring The Vine Long Way Down Miracle On Everest

00:00 Animal Autopsy (AKA Inside Nature’s Giants) 01:00 Deadly Summer 01:55 Strike Force 02:50 Hooked 03:45 Sixgill Shark: Into The Abyss 04:40 World’s Deadliest Animals 05:35 Restless Planet 06:30 Fish Warrior 07:25 Strike Force 08:20 Hooked 09:15 Sixgill Shark: Into The Abyss 10:10 Among The Great Apes With Michelle Yeoh 11:05 Maneater Manhunt 12:00 I, Predator 13:00 Deep Jungle 14:00 Outback Wrangler 15:00 Hooked 16:00 Lost Sharks of Easter Island 17:00 Monster Fish 18:00 Rescue Ink 19:00 Fish Warrior 20:00 Strike Force 21:00 Hooked 22:00 Sixgill Shark: Into The Abyss 23:00 Among The Great Apes With Michelle Yeoh

00:00 Animal Autopsy (AKA Inside Nature’s Giants) 01:00 Deadly Summer 01:55 Strike Force 02:50 Hooked 03:45 Sixgill Shark: Into The Abyss 04:40 World’s Deadliest Animals 05:35 Restless Planet 06:30 Fish Warrior 07:25 Strike Force 08:20 Hooked 09:15 Sixgill Shark: Into The Abyss

CALVIN MARSHALL ON OSN CINEMA 10:10 Among The Great Apes With Michelle Yeoh 11:05 Maneater Manhunt 12:00 I, Predator 13:00 Deep Jungle 14:00 Outback Wrangler 15:00 Hooked 16:00 Lost Sharks of Easter Island 17:00 Monster Fish 18:00 Rescue Ink 19:00 Fish Warrior 20:00 Strike Force 21:00 Hooked 22:00 Sixgill Shark: Into The Abyss 23:00 Among The Great Apes With Michelle Yeoh

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

Army Of Darkness-18 Drag Me To Hell-18 Alien-18 All Star Superman-PG15 True Justice: Deadly Crossing-

Star Trek: First Contact-PG Ong Bak 2-PG15 The Grudge 3-18 Machete-18

01:00 03:00 05:00 07:00 09:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 15:00 17:00 19:00 21:00 23:00

Helen-PG15 Africa United-PG15 Calvin Marshall-PG15 Goodbye Solo-PG15 Helen-PG15 Kings Ransom-PG15 Unmatched-PG15 Water For Elephants-PG15 Yogi Bear-FAM Happy Ever Afters-PG15 13-PG15 Going The Distance-18 Bloodworth-18

Bangkok Adrenaline-PG15 Ong Bak 2-PG15 True Justice: Deadly Crossing-

00:00 King Of The Hill 00:30 The Daily Show Global Edition 01:30 Louie 02:00 Louie 02:30 American Dad 03:00 The Simpsons 03:30 Raising Hope 04:00 Til Death 04:30 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 05:30 The Simpsons 06:00 Friends 06:30 10 Items Or Less 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 Til Death 08:30 The Simpsons 09:00 The Simpsons 10:00 Happy Endings 10:30 10 Items Or Less 11:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 12:00 Friends 12:30 Til Death 13:00 The Simpsons 13:30 10 Items Or Less 14:00 Raising Hope 14:30 Happy Endings 15:30 The Daily Show Global Edition 16:30 Friends 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 2 Broke Girls 18:30 Man Up! 19:00 The Cleveland Show 19:30 Happy Endings 20:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 21:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 22:00 Eastbound And Down 22:30 Entourage 23:00 Enlightened 23:30 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 07:00 08:30 09:00 10:00

Justified Missing Luck Suits True Blood Good Morning America Terra Nova Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show The Martha Stewart Show

11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 16:00 17:00 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00

The View Missing Suits Live Good Morning America Terra Nova The Ellen DeGeneres Show White Collar Royal Pains House Luck True Blood

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

Unforgettable Luck Missing Justified Suits The Nine Lives Of Chloe King Unforgettable Emmerdale Coronation Street Body Of Proof The Ellen DeGeneres Show Missing Suits Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Body Of Proof Unforgettable Emmerdale Coronation Street The Ellen DeGeneres Show Smallville White Collar Royal Pains House Luck Boardwalk Empire

01:00 Jake’s Closet-PG15 02:45 Alien-18 04:45 X2-PG 07:00 Game Of Death-PG15 09:00 The Librarian: The Curse Of Judas Chalice-PG15 10:45 X2-PG 13:00 The Last Airbender-PG 15:00 The Librarian: The Curse Of Judas Chalice-PG15 17:00 Four Brothers-18 19:00 A Way With Murder-18 21:00 Machete-18 23:00 The Rig-18

00:00 Stealing Harvard-PG15 02:00 Frank McKlusky, C.I.-PG15 04:00 What’s The Worst That Could Happen?-PG15 06:00 Rat-PG15 08:00 Frank McKlusky, C.I.-PG15 10:00 That Old Feeling-PG15 12:00 Kung Fu Dunk-PG15 14:00 For Richer Or Poorer-PG 16:00 That Old Feeling-PG15 18:00 The Lonely Guy-PG15 20:00 Tank Girl-PG15 22:00 Palo Alto-18

01:00 Wild At Heart-18 03:15 Asylum-18 05:00 Coyote Ugly-PG15 07:00 Espions-PG15 08:45 At Risk-PG15 10:30 Antwone Fisher-PG15 12:30 Les Miserables 25th Anniversary-PG15 15:30 At Risk-PG15 17:15 The 19th Wife-PG15 18:45 Bobby Jones: Stroke Of Genius-PG 21:00 Walk The Line-PG15 23:30 Coach Carter-PG15

01:00 The Roommate-PG15 03:00 Real Steel-PG15 05:15 Gasland-PG15 07:15 Flipped-PG 09:00 Stomp The Yard Homecoming-PG15 11:00 Real Steel-PG15 13:07 Shanghai-PG15 15:00 Don’t Fade Away-PG15 17:00 Stomp The Yard Homecoming-PG15 19:00 The Smurfs-PG 20:45 Inception-PG15 23:13 Walk The Line-PG15



00:00 Winner & The Golden Child: Part II-FAM 02:00 Freddy Frogface-PG 04:00 Columbus III: The New WorldPG 06:00 Winnie The Pooh-FAM 08:00 Emperor’s Secret-PG 10:00 Scooby-Doo-PG 12:00 The Adventures Of Don Quixote-FAM 14:00 Winnie The Pooh-FAM 16:00 Free Birds-FAM 18:00 Scooby-Doo-PG 20:00 Gulliver’s Travels-PG 22:00 The Adventures Of Don Quixote-FAM

00:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 01:00 NRL Premiership 03:00 Super Rugby Highlights 04:00 Masters Football 07:00 NRL Premiership 09:00 Super League 11:00 Volvo Ocean Race 12:00 Masters Football 15:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 16:00 NRL Premiership 18:00 Super League 20:00 Volvo Ocean Race Highlights 20:30 Super Rugby 22:30 Super Rugby

07:00 08:00 09:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 20:00 20:30 21:30 23:30

Super Rugby Highlights PGA European Tour Highlights Volvo Ocean Race Super Rugby Super Rugby PGA European Tour Highlights Volvo Ocean Race Super Rugby Highlights Masters Football Futbol Mundial UFC Countdown WWE SmackDown WWE Experience

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

AFL Highlights Golfing World IronMan IronMan IronMan Mobil 1 The Grid World Pool Masters Golfing World AFL Highlights Volvo Ocean Race City Centre Races City Centre Races City Centre Races City Centre Races City Centre Races Golfing World ITU World Triathlon AFL Premiership Golfing World NRL Full Time Mobil 1 The Grid Futbol Mundial AFL Highlights ITU World Triathlon

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

Prizefighter UFC Unleashed UFC Unleashed UFC 148 Countdown WWE NXT WWE Bottom Line NHL UAE National Race Day Series UAE National Race Day Series V8 Supercars Extra Mobil 1 The Grid WWE Bottom Line WWE Vintage Collection V8 Supercars V8 Supercars V8 Supercars Extra WWE NXT WWE Experience UFC 148 Countdown UFC Unleashed UFC Unleashed NHL

Classifieds TUESDAY, JULY 3, 2012




Time 0:15 0:20 1:45 2:10 2:20 2:25 2:30 2:50 2:50 2:55 3:10 3:20 3:20 3:25 3:55 4:10 4:35 4:55 5:00 5:55 6:00 6:15 6:30 6:35 6:40 7:15 7:45 7:50 7:55 8:05 8:15 8:25 8:30 9:00 9:20 9:20 9:30 9:40 10:00 10:55 11:05 11:25 12:00 12:25 12:30 13:30 13:40 13:40 13:40 13:45 14:15 14:20 14:25 14:30 14:30 14:40 14:55 15:00 15:05 15:05 15:15 16:30 16:35 16:40 16:55 17:10 17:20 17:20 17:30 17:40 17:45 18:00 18:15 18:20 18:30 18:40 18:40 18:45 18:45 18:55 19:00 19:20 19:25 19:30 19:30 19:35 19:40 19:55 20:00 20:10 20:15 20:25 20:35 20:55 21:05 21:15 21:15 21:30 21:35 22:00 22:10 22:25 22:30 22:35 22:40 22:55 23:10 23:30 23:35 23:40 23:59



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

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (

FOR SALE Mitsubishi Pajero 2000 model, maroon color, full option, good condition, price KD 1,250/-. Contact: 66395004. (C 4063) Mitsubishi Lancer GLX 2009, golden color, excellent condition, price KD 1,700/-. Contact: 50699345. (C 4064) Toyota Prado (4 CLR), 2003 model, white color, 4 doors, price KD 3,650. Contact: 66729295. (C 4065) 1-7-2012 Apartment for sale 10x5 meters hall, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, well furnished in Salmiya, Block-10. Contact: 66647327. (C 4061) 30-6-2012 Toyota Corolla 2011 model, white color, well maintained low mileage, excellent condition, wanted price KD 3,750/-. Contact: 60099305. (C 4056) 26-6-2012

MATRIMONIAL NRI Orthodox parents invited from God fearing professionally qualified working boys from Orthodox, Jacobite, Marthomite for their daughter Kuwait Residence holder 26/160cm, BSc Nurse presently working in a reputed hospital in Mumbai arriving to Kerala middle of July. Please respond with recent photo and bio data to the e-mail: (C 4062) 30-6-2012

CHANGE OF NAME JABIR HUSAIN holder of Passport No: J0978818 has change my name JABIR HUSAIN LAKHARA. (C 4060) 28-6-2012

SITUATION VACANT Full time live out maid/nanny for three months, starting mid July. Must have own residency. Work from 7am to 7pm, Saturday - Thursday in Salwa. Call 97687172 for interview. 2-7-2012

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

No: 15497

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

03:18 11:52 15:26 18:52 20:24

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

112 Ministry of Interior website:



stars CROSSWORD 725



Aries (March 21-April 19) This should be a normally active, stimulating day, full of paperwork, conferences and communication. It is not a day to forget your plans about whatever it is you want to accomplish. Make a list and check it often. You could become sidetracked with questions; make sure you are on solid ground before you express any opinions. A simple statement will suffice. The business may profit from your ideas today, but politically speaking, you must be careful how you phrase your suggestions. You are always where the action is most intense. Your penetrating mind gets through the nonessential and straight to the bottom line every time. Exciting to be near, you are an entrepreneur, the big wheel. Communicating with friends this evening can be enjoyable.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Communications and connections of all kinds, news and so on, are furthered today. Self-doubts about your abilities may creep into the picture now—you will need to be your own advisor. Take this as a selfimprovement challenge. You know what you can do. Separate the difficult task and make a list of how you want to proceed to eliminate the difficulty. Before you know it, you will free up your time and mind for more enjoyable tasks. Nurturing is where it’s at in your life now: making things grow and taking care of them, planting seeds that will develop and survive far into the future. Harmony and beauty are deeply satisfying— and the lack of them can be emotionally unsettling. A visitor in your home today may compliment you on your tastes or belongings.

POOCH CAFE ACROSS 1. Hormone secreted by the posterior pituitary gland (trade name Pitressin) and also by nerve endings in the hypothalamus. 4. A unit of luminous flux equal to the amount of light given out through a solid angle of 1 steradian by a point source of 1 candela intensity radiating uniformly in all directions. 9. A metabolic acid found in yeast and liver cells. 13. Any thick messy substance. 14. (possibly Roman) Goddess of horses and mules and asses. 15. In bed. 16. (Babylonian) The sky god. 17. Swedish oceanographer who recognized the role of the Coriolis effect on ocean currents (1874-1954). 18. A Tibetan or Mongolian priest of Lamaism. 19. Large bamboo having thick-walled culms. 22. Before noon. 23. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 24. Resembling or characteristic of or appropriate to an elegy. 27. (astronomy) The angular distance of a celestial point measured westward along the celestial equator from the zenith crossing. 28. A large and stately mansion. 31. A unit of information equal to one million (1,048,576) bytes. 33. A state in north central United States. 34. A state in the eastern United States. 36. A very young child (birth to 1 year) who has not yet begun to walk or talk. 41. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 42. The capital and chief port of Qatar. 43. An officer who acts as military assistant to a more senior officer. 46. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 53. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 56. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. 58. The arch of bone beneath the eye that forms the prominence of the cheek. 59. American Revolutionary patriot. 61. Being one more than two. 62. An independent ruler or chieftain (especially in Africa or Arabia). 63. The seventh month of the Moslem calendar. 64. An agency of the United Nations affiliated with the World Bank.

DOWN 1. Small terrestrial lizard of warm regions of the Old World. 2. The Teutonic god of thunder. 3. A (usually canopied) seat for riding on the back of a camel or elephant. 4. Plant having a large slender white bulb and flat overlapping dark green leaves. 5. Activity involved in maintaining something in good working order. 6. Informal terms for a mother. 7. Hard white substance covering the crown of a tooth. 8. (British) Your grandmother. 9. Chiefly tropical trees and shrubs and vines usually having a tall columnar trunk bearing a crown of very large leaves. 10. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 11. Area around the altar of a church for the clergy and choir. 12. (Old Testament) In Judeo-Christian mythology. 20. Lower in esteem. 21. A tax on employees and employers that is used to fund the Social Security system. 25. An island of central Hawaii. 26. Type genus of the Gavidae. 29. A small ball with a hole through the middle. 30. Not in action or at work. 32. A flexible container with a single opening. 35. The Tibeto-Burman language spoken in the Dali region of Yunnan. 37. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 38. The compass point that is one point south of due west. 39. An insecticide that is also toxic to animals and humans. 40. An indehiscent fruit derived from a single ovary having one or many seeds within a fleshy wall or pericarp. 44. Measuring instrument in which the echo of a pulse of microwave radiation is used to detect and locate distant objects. 45. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 47. Mild yellow Dutch cheese made in balls. 48. An island in Indonesia east of Java. 49. Tropical starchy tuberous root. 50. Designer drug designed to have the effects of amphetamines (it floods the brain with serotonin) but to avoid the drug laws. 51. Harsh or corrosive in tone. 52. (Greek mythology) Goddess of the earth and mother of Cronus and the Titans in ancient mythology. 54. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 55. A pilgrimage to Mecca. 57. Being two more than fifty. 60. A metallic element having four allotropic forms.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Everything points to your taking the initiative in the workplace. You have great support from those around you. The dependency on you seems prevalent and although it is flattering to be depended on, you may be on vacation sometime and business would suffer. Encourage those with the potential to step up and follow through on some of the more difficult tasks. See to it that you make note of the person, date and time or other particulars so that higher-ups will know there are others that will be helpful and can do the work you do. It is not threatening to move up the ladder of success and that is what you will eventually achieve. Where a marriage partner or significant other is concerned, you will enjoy some fun time together this evening.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) Communicating and getting your message across to others is at a high. Your timing should be perfect and those around you should find you most spontaneous. Difficulties, blocks and all manner of hot spots that were present in your life a year ago are not in your life now—congratulations, you have made much progress. Life happens but you have matured enough to make great headway in solving whatever comes before you. One nice thing is that you are able to help others and set the example for others to follow. You may want to remember that a few thoughtful words are sometimes the best path on days that are extremely busy like this one. Consider developing steady domestic virtues: routine work, regular growth, commitments, etc.


Leo (July 23-August 22) New insights or breakthroughs are possible with authorities or someone older. One sign of progress is in comparing where you were this time last year. If you do not have the same sort of problems that you had last year, you know you have grown. If you are continuing to have the same sort of problems, it may be time to make some serious changes. Learn to recognize your choicemaking abilities and adjust accordingly. You have a clear vision into your own inner sense of values: how you appreciate and love. This is a good time to examine and think about what is important and of lasting value in your life. This evening there is a chance to have a special time with someone you love. General good feelings make this a full and happy time.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) You are inclined to make grand gestures today—buying a grand piano perhaps. Your interest is high, but you may act recklessly and try to outdo yourself. A bit of self-delusion is typical of this time, so you should take great pains to make sure you are dealing with facts in any choice-making situation that occurs. With good self-knowledge, you should succeed at any task that you set for yourself. Avoid impulsive actions. You will be tempted to wander away from the path, seeking a route out of the ordinary and familiar. This is not a safe time for casual flirtation for you could find yourself in a situation that could be injurious to yourself and someone you truly love. Harness this impulse to constructive purposes. A time of writing or composing is in order.

Libra (September 23-October 22)


Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Communicating is at a high today. New ways to communicate or an easy manner will make conversations and interactions go well. You may find yourself more talkative and easy going than usual. Your tendency to compromise and settle for less than you dreamed can be a problem— careful. Self-discipline and a sense of self-worth become important issues in your life as a new phase begins now. A fear of asserting yourself can hold you back—as can coming on too strong. Family, home and the other roots in your life give you a sense of mission. There is growth and gain through these things. Generally, this is a fruitful period for investments, particularly real estate investments, if you do not bite off more than you can chew.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) This is not exactly the clearest of times. There is the danger of foggy thinking and of your being misled or being too carried away with some plan or idea. There could be a lot of mental pressure. Maybe you missed your coffee this morning. Rest and laughter are important during your breaks as well as later in the afternoon. You are very gifted, having great magnetism and warmth and also having a keen and powerful mind. You can do anything you want to do in this life when you stay willing. Others learn from your willingness to learn, as well as teach. You enjoy your own situation today. Time to enjoy your favorite hobby this afternoon can be a great way to relax. You may become interested in joining a group of folks that enjoy the same hobby that you enjoy.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)


Yesterday’s Solution

You will be focusing on the deeper issues of your life just now. The process of growth, whether it be personal or in the arena of work, has many lessons to teach and you adapt very well to your position. You may decide to alter you career a bit and when that happens you will want to continue your education so it would be good to have a financial account for just such a time. You are always curious about life and how you might like to know what it would be like in a different country or place. The world is yours as the future is also yours . . . your choice is to plot your path and make it happen. Philosophy and religion appeal to you now. You may be tempted to wonder off the path from time to time, seeking a route out of the ordinary—make it count.

Your desire today is to experience everything as a whole person—body, mind and soul. This will cause you to seek out only those persons who can enhance this unity. Any new encounter with people today could be insightful. Put off, if possible, for another time, any planning or decisions that require complete objectivity. You could find yourself engaged in nonconformist causes, always ready to promote what is independent and innovative. Communication, computers, electronics and everything new wave excites you and you excel here. You discover new ways of working with traditional materials. Your creativeness is showing this evening . . . it could be your turn to cook, buy a take-home dinner or clean the living area. Your special touch is loving!

Yesterday’s Solution Yester

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Your optimism goes hand in hand with your common sense to help you grasp the grandiose picture. Do not forget, however, that the whole is made up of many parts. Each part must be considered and none can be missing or out of place. Someone could give you false information or lead you in the wrong direction. The motto today is to look-before-you-leap. Do not take someone else’s word for some important information. You may find yourself and a friendly coworker hovering over topics of trivia during the break times today. This is a good day for long-range planning—flexibility will grease the wheels. Your sense of humor is a very important balance to your day—others enjoy being near you. Young people cause you to chuckle.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Word Sleuth Solution

You should be in very close touch with your feelings today, making it easy to express your own emotions or be a sympathetic listener to others. Your logic is not clouded—you can give sound advice, or make thoughtful decisions. There is that feeling that you can do anything. You will accomplish whatever you set out to do. There is optimism, faith and a tendency to take chances at the deepest emotional levels. This is a time of exploring your feelings and perhaps those of a loved one. You can find new ways to relate and connect to others. This afternoon would be a good time to write a letter to a friend or tell that loved one exactly how you feel. This is the perfect evening to call someone you have not spoken to in a long time.


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


Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital


Chest Hospital


Farwaniya Hospital


Adan Hospital


Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital


Physiotherapy Hospital


Kaizen center














Abdullah Salim




Industrial Shuwaikh






Bneid Al-Ghar






Ayoun Al-Kibla





Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

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

23915883 23715414 23726558


Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622


Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967


New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638

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

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

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554 25721264 25380581 25628241



Tel.: e 161


26 - 2630 Ext.: 2627


Relatively hot with light variable wind, with speed of 06 - 28 km/h


Very e hot with light variable wind changing to light to moderate northerly wind, with speed of 08 - 30 km/h


No Current Warnings arnin a




47 °C

32 °C



48 °C

32 °C




44 °C

29 °C




48 °C

27 °C




47 °C

27 °C


48 °C

29 °C




47 °C

27 °C

Maidan Hawally



47 °C

29 °C




43 °C

31 °C




37 °C

30 °C




47 °C

27 °C






02/07/2012 1200 UTC







Wind Speed

Wind Direction



very hot

48 °C

32 °C


08 - 30 km/h

very hot + raising dust

49 °C

34 °C


20 - 45 km/h

New Jahra


West Jahra


South Jahra





45 °C

33 °C


25 - 50 km/h

North Jahra





46 °C

30 °C


25 - 45 km/h

North Jleeb
















MAX. Temp.



MIN. Temp.

47 °C 29 °C




20 %




04 %



MAX. Wind

N 57 km/h




00 mm

All times are local time unless otherwise stated.

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


Plastic Surgeons Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf


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lifest yle G o s s i p

atie Holmes is concerned she is being watched by private investigators hired by Scientologists. The former ‘Dawson’s Creek’ actress filed for divorce from husband Tom Cruise - a famous devotee to the sci-fi faith - late last week, but is now worried her actions are being monitored due to a car parked outside of her apartment building in New York with a number of “suspicious-looking” men inside. A source told The Sun newspaper: “About three days before the divorce was announced a Mercedes SUV was sitting outside Tom’s apartment in Greenwich Village. “They sat about a hundred yards from the


house - a couple of suspicious-looking characters in sunglasses. “When Katie came out they tried to discreetly follow her. It was obvious they weren’t paparazzi or press. “They looked like former military or police and were carrying a small pocket digital camera.” Katie - who is reported to be asking for sole legal and residential custody of their six-year-old daughter Suri - was so anxious she had her own security people take photographs of the men and forward them to the police. The source added: “Katie’s security came out and started recording the men. Then police were called and went back to the car to ask them what

they were doing.” The 33-year-old actress is believed to have become tired of Tom’s devotion to the quasi-religion - also followed by John Travolta - causing her to ask for the divorce as she wants what is best for her daughter. The insider said: “Katie just wants the best for Suri. This is awful for her but she is being very brave. It’s a terrifying situation for Katie.”

obbie Williams has pulled out of the Olympics closing ceremony because of the impending birth of his first daughter. The 38-year-old singer’s wife Ayda Field is due to give birth in August and although Robbie was set to perform solo and possibly with Take That, he has not backed out leaving organizers with a scheduling nightmare. A source told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “Robbie quit a few weeks ago. He had been lined up to perform solo material and it was hoped he would sing with Take That. “However, just as rehearsals were kicking off, he said there was an unfortunate clash of dates. It meant organisers had to adjust the entire schedule because Robbie is an extremely high-profile performer and had been given such an important role in the finale.”A lot of the organisers are now very unhappy. It’s such a huge moment for British music and they thought they had the perfect line-up. “Obviously Robbie has to put his family commitments first. It’s just a shame he didn’t realise earlier.” A spokesman for Robbie said: “He was asked to do the closing ceremony but due to the imminent birth of his baby, he couldn’t take part.” The two-and-a-half hour ceremony at London’s Olympic Park will feature George Michael, The Who. Emeli Sande and Take That.


mber Heard is a “sucker for romance”. The 26-year-old beauty - who is rumoured to be dating Johnny Depp - admits she loves watching old films because of the traditional views on courtship and can become “transfixed” while viewing them. She said: “I like Lauren Bacall and Rita Hayworth in 40s film, which my mother used to watch at home. I can sit in front of the TV and watch an old romantic film and be trans-


fixed. “I am just like any other girl, a sucker for romance.” Openly bisexual Amber - who first met Johnny on the set of ‘The Rum Diary’ while he was still with partner Vanessa Paradis - had an unusual upbringing in a liberal area of Texas, and thinks her mother Paige knew from an early age she was different from other children. She added to The Sun newspaper: “I think my mother realized she had a somewhat unusual daughter pretty early on. I went to a Catholic school but did not really fit in. I also had an obsession with cars. “Yet at the same time I was feminine and girly. I was still a bit of a bad-ass though! You wouldn’t find me at the school prom, that’s for sure. My mom allowed me time and space to become my own person, which is key when you are growing up.”

aty Perry “convulsed” when she found out Russell Brand had filed for divorce. The ‘Teenage Dream’ singer discovered her 14-month marriage was coming to an end last December, just as she was about to go on the stage to perform on her tour, and while she admits she had to “separate” herself from the problem because she was a “professional”, she still struggled to deal with the turmoil in her personal life. She said: “I was convulsing a little bit ... I still have to find the balance, I had to separate my personal from my professional. As an entertainer, I knew what my job was and I shouldn’t like take it out on my audience, they’ve always been there for me.” Footage of the split news is shown in her new


hitney Port wants to give Britney Spears a makeover. The new ‘Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model’ judge is a huge fan of the popstar but despairs of her style choices. She told More magazine: “I love her so much and want her to succeed and she has so much potential. Her style choices, as well as her hair and make-up, could do with a little sophistication and she could also do with a better bra. She has good perky boobs but doesn’t make the most of them.” However, there are some celebrities whose style Whitney admires, notably famous British faces such as Cheryl Cole and the Duchess of Cambridge. She said: “Cheryl Cole’s great. I love how


she defies fashion boundaries. And Kate Middleton is doing an amazing job staying appropriate with fashion in the role that she’s in with all eyes on her.” “British girls take so many more fashion risks. I especially love the grittiness of east London fashion - girls like Alexa Chung and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley have influenced a lot of my new Whitney Eve collection.”

lle Macpherson’s son is embarrassed by her. The 48-year-old supermodel has kids Flynn, 14, and Cy, nine, from a previous relationship and admits she has to keep her distance when dropping her eldest child at school. She said: “I have to park away from the school when I drop him off so we don’t get seen together - he gets so embarrassed.”


Despite her hectic work schedule, Elle insists her family always comes first. She added to Closer magazine: “I always prioritize my boys. I take them to school every day and we have the usual fights over homework. But they’re amazing.” The Australian beauty feels “lucky” to be very tall as she thinks it means she is able to be less strict with her diet as excess weight

movie ‘Katy Perry: Part of Me’, and she admits looking back at her life for the film has been a strange experience as she realized she has achieved everything she wanted out of life at the age of 27. Speaking on the ‘Kylie and Jackie O Show’ on Australian radio station 2Day FM, she said: “You see so much footage of me as a young kid, as 18, speaking to the camera telling the camera, this is what I want to do, this is where I want to go, this is what I want to achieve in life, it’s very surreal to be looking back at that and going ... ‘Oh, well I’ve done it.’ “

doesn’t show so much. She said: “I’m lucky to be 6ft tall as it makes you look slimmer. I eat carbs and cakes, but in moderation. “It would be a pretty sad existence if I had this great life, but had to starve myself.” — BangShowbiz



LIFESTYLE F e a t u r e s

Giant Uzbek artwork, 66 meters long, seeks to stun Europe t’s longer than an Olympic swimming pool, took two-and-a-half years to complete and fulfils a 40year dream-a new mega-canvas by one of Uzbekistan’s best-known artists, inspired by “One Thousand and One Nights”. Now, the immense painting by Lekim Ibragimov is on its way to Europe, where it will be put on show first in the Czech Republic and then in other European countries. Ibragimov started working on the project-named “One Thousand Angels and One Painting”-in 2010 and put the finishing touches on it in April. It measures eight metres (26 feet) high, an extraordinary 66 metres (215 feet) long, used several tonnes of paint and is so big it takes days to be installed on site. The work’s 1,000 paintings stand alone as individual pictures in their own right, but when put together also form a single continuous painting based on the classic oriental folk tale. “While every piece, each depicting an image of angel, is itself a painting of full value, they make a single unified painting when assembled together,” the 68-year-old painter told AFP. In each of the 1,000 pictures Ibragimov has included the


image of an angel, and visitors are encouraged to search hard in the picture to “find your own guardian angel”.

cal continuation of my creative career,” said Ibragimov, who is an academic at Uzbekistan’s Arts Academy and an honorary member of the

fresco painting styles with European colour-blending techniques, said he had been dreaming of such a megaproject for almost four decades. It is a

Uzbek artist Lekim Ibragimov shows sketches of his artwork. —AFP “In fact, the angels have always been present on my paintings and this is why the mega-project is a logi-

Russian Academy of Arts. The artist, who combined graphical and pictorial art mixing Uzbek and Chinese

File photo shows painting conservator Joanna Dunn removing varnish, which had yellowed with age. —AP photos

massive undertaking. With its installation equipment, the work weighs more than 20 tonnes, with 2.4 kilo-

metres (1.5 miles) of steel cables, and it will take four days for at least four people to instal its more than 500 square metres (5,500 square feet) like a giant curved panorama. Most of the cargo has already reached Prague, with several Czech companies providing logistical support. ‘Next stop Madrid and Florence’ The vast painting is marked by bold red and blue colours and exuberant brush strokes. When fully mounted it is displayed in a curved formation supported by a scaffold behind it, with visitors free to walk from each end. Ibragimov explains the presence of the Buddha-like figures and terracotta colour as a reference to the pre-Islamic history of Central Asia. The work will be displayed at the Incheba Praha exhibition centre in Prague from July 9-21 with free admission, according to Roman Masarik, the Czech Rebublic’s top diplomat in Uzbekistan. “We hope it will be very interesting for many people in Prague,” he told AFP. “We are very happy that Mr Ibragimov desired that his work first be shown in Prague.” Ibragimov was born in the

Almaty region of then-Soviet Kazakhstan but moved in the 1970s to Tashkent, where he was inspired by Uzbekistan’s eastern culture and its position on the fabled “Silk Road” of ancient trade. The Russia-based event-management company Global Festina helped him realise the megaproject, which has required a huge logistical effort to ensure the artwork is transported to Europe intact. After Prague, the mega-artwork will be displayed in Madrid, according to a Global Festina spokesman. “We are in negotiations with the Madrid city administration to display it in the city centre, in the open air. The next destination could be Italy’s Florence, but it depends on weather conditions,” Ulugbek Kasimkhodjaev told AFP. The project has been submitted to the Guinness World Records Committee as “the world’s largest painting consisting of 1,000 pieces”, according to Kasimkhodjaev, who argues that the artwork is unique and not a mosaic. —AFP

Joanna Dunn removes varnish, which had yellowed with age, as she restores a Gilbert Stuart painting of Luke White.

Conservation renews portraits of founding fathers ixteen paintings by American artist Gilbert Stuart of some of the nation’s founding fathers and other figures are showing their true colors for the first time in decades through a major conservation project at the National Gallery of Art. The project is restoring the original appearance of Stuart’s portraits of people including presidents George Washington and John Adams. Gallery conservators have been painstakingly removing yellowed varnish from Stuart’s paintings to reveal true flesh tones and clothing colors that had been hidden by a discolored old protective coating. Conservators told The Associated Press the work may reveal some new discoveries about Stuart’s work. His “Vaughan-Sinclair” portrait of the nation’s first president from 1795 may actually be a more finished painting from an earlier time than originally thought. It will likely draw interest from Stuart researchers, they said. In a portrait of Abigail Adams that took Stuart 15 years to complete, conservators believe they discovered traces of an original headdress that was changed later, perhaps to better match the changing fashions by the time the painting was completed in 1815. “What’s emerged now that time’s varnish is gone is everything we knew to be true and more,” said Nancy Anderson, a curator of American and British painting. “You get to see the virtuoso technique


because nothing’s obscuring it anymore.” The conservation project spans some of Stuart’s earliest paintings to portraits he completed late in life as one of the most famous portraitist artists. The gallery holds 42 paintings by Stuart altogether. He is most famous for his paintings of Washington, particularly the full-length “Lansdowne” portrait of the president. Stuart was born in Rhode Island in 1755 and trained with a Scottish portrait painter. At 19 during the start of the American Revolution, Stuart went to London and worked as an assistant to artist Benjamin West and later moved to Dublin to continue painting and perfecting his technique. He returned to the United States in 1793 with his sights set on painting Washington and making a name for himself. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Jay wrote a letter introducing Stuart to Washington to help the artist gain access to the president. Stuart had a list of subscribers clamoring for a depiction of the nation’s most famous politician and military figure. Eventually, Washington agreed to sit for Stuart in Philadelphia. Stuart painted three portraits while Washington was sitting. One bust-length portrait he supposedly didn’t like and rubbed out - but copied it several times before destroying it. One of Stuart’s original copies is believed to be the “Vaughan-Sinclair” por-

trait that has been conserved, said portrait conservator Joanna Dunn. She uses a mild solvent to remove the varnish with tiny cotton swabs to treat the paintings. Old restoration paint that no longer matches the original color also is removed. Damaged areas can be repaired with in-painting using a tiny brush filling in the losses of pigment to show the works as the artist intended. One of Stuart’s paintings of his uncle, Capt. Joseph Anthony, has a severe tear Dunn is working to cover. The most dramatic change as conservators demonstrate the process comes as the aged varnish is removed. The yellow layer has hidden Stuart’s brushwork for decades since they came to the National Gallery of Art from private collections. The varnish also changes the color relationships in the paintings, making them look flatter. “A painting is really like a trick of the eye,” Dunn said. “It’s a twodimensional thing that’s making it look three dimensional. So when you change those color relationships, you lose the depth of the painting.” Bright white collars have been restored, along with a glimmer of blue in John Adams’ eyes and the details of Washington’s face - the pink in his cheeks and his five o’clock shadow. “Prior to cleaning, he was quite jaundice,” Anderson said. “Now beautifully fresh, and you can see the life in his cheeks, the

blood beneath his skin instead of just the yellow varnish. He has just emerged transformed by the treatment.” The conservation treatment also indirectly extends the life of the paintings, Dunn said. If the varnish isn’t removed soon enough, it may never come off. Conservators would reach a point where removing the varnish also would remove the paint. And when the paintings become too discolored, they are rarely shown to the public because they are less attractive. Treatment of Stuart’s portrait of Abigail Adams revealed the style of her head gear changed from the time he started the painting in 1800 to its completion in 1815. He started with a much larger bonnet but covered it up and replaced it with a more stylish headdress later. Traces of the original bonnet were revealed beneath the varnish but were covered again with restoration paint as Stuart intended. Abigail Adams grew impatient with Stuart, admonishing him in letters to complete their commissioned paintings. He had apparently moved on to other works and was in high demand. “I just don’t know what to make of this Mr. Stuart,” she said at one point, Anderson recounted. She persisted, though, to have the paintings completed because the Adams family apparently thought Stuart’s skill in capturing the essence of personality was unmatched.

Six of the newly restored works will be unveiled to the public in October in a new exhibit, “Masterpieces of American Furniture from the Kaufman Collection,” pairing art from the period with furniture. Other Stuart portraits, including his depiction of the first five presidents, already are on display in the permanent collection. A grant from Bank of America funded the restoration project, speeding the work by years by providing funds to hire two outside conservators to work at the gallery. The bank began funding conservation projects in recent years since the economic downturn after seeing a need that was largely unfunded. It is committing $2 million a year to provide grants to museums for such conservation projects, and the National Gallery of Art is among its largest grants, said Allen Blevins, a senior vice president in charge of heritage and arts programs. The bank wanted to fund projects that would make such works more accessible to the public, Blevins said, and “this is going to allow them to loan more Gilbert Stuart portraits to museums around the country.” —AP

Parisians flock to US-style food trucks n the latest American food craze to catch on in France, Parisians are flocking to US-style food trucks for gourmet burgers, artisanal tacos and other decidedly non-French street foods. Usually uber-traditionalists when it comes to dining, Parisians have fallen hard for the food trucks, with some queuing for up to two hours at lunch time to sample their wares. Among the most popular is Le Camion Qui Fume (The Smoking Truck), a burger truck run by California native Kristin Frederick that on a recent afternoon saw a long line of customers waiting for a bite. “In Paris you can eat very well on the go, but often it’s very expensive. The truck is a good alternative,” said Frederick, who studied at a Paris culinary school and worked in a restaurant here before launching the venture. The truck’s speciality is an eight-euro ($10) hamburger — 10 euros with French fries-made with specially chosen ground beef, aged Swiss or French cheese and caramelized onions. Frederick said the ground meat found in French butchers-normally used for making the raw beef dish steak tartare-doesn’t work perfectly for making a burger. “I choose the pieces of beef myself to find the ‘real taste’ of meat and fat,” the 31-year-old said. Le Camion Qui Fume moves to different locations throughout the city and keeps fans posted of its travels


through its website. It’s proven so popular that Frederick said she’s planning to launch a second truck. “It’s a nice change from a ham sandwich” said one client, Myriam, as she enjoyed one of

truck, Cantine California, launched three months ago and serves tacos and burgers made with organic meat, a rarity in France. The truck uses hand-pressed tortillas with corn flour brought in

“There’s a meeting of different worlds and really good produce that I think meets people’s expectations on things just tasting good,” he said. He said working out of a truck did make cooking

People queue in front of a food truck to buy a hamburger on June 29, 2012 near the National Library in Paris. —AFP photos the truck’s burgers. “To find a good burger in Paris you normally have to go to posh hotels or bars. Here it’s more friendly and relaxed,” added her daughter, Annaelle. Another popular food

from Mexico from France that slow-cooked in adobe chipotle from Mexico, said its owner Jordan Feilders, a Canadian partly raised in France.

a knife missing, or a box of prep that didn’t make it into the truck, it can quickly turn into a disaster.” Customers said the truck’s food went far beyond what’s normally available for a quick bite.

A vendor prepares hamburgers in his food truck.

tricky though. “Being out on the road and having to rely on everything you have with you is very unforgiving, so we need to have everything with us, and a little bit more, ideally,” he said. “If there’s

“It’s really good,” one female customer said. “It’s excellent, very succulent.... Oh no, this is nothing like fast food, not at all.” —AFP


lifestyle A w a r d s

Kanye West, left, and Jay-Z accept the award for best group for ‘The Throne’ at the BET Awards on Sunday in Los Angeles. — AP /AFP photos

Chris Brown accepts the award for best male R&B.

Beyonce accepts the award for best female R&B.


Kanye West, left, accepts the award for video of the year.

Beyonce and Alan Ferguson accept the award for video director of the year.

he BET Awards became the Bleep Awards on Sunday, as entire segments of performances were muted out due to foul language. Still, censors failed to catch many vulgarities that were uttered onstage, from performances by Nicki Minaj to even a parody by Samuel L. Jackson and Spike Lee. It started during the opening number by Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. music group, which included Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz. There were extended moments of censored silence when the rappers performed “Mercy,” though not all the offending words were bleeped out. Moments later, Jackson, the show’s host, was joined by Lee as they did a comedic version of Jay-Z and West’s hit song “... In Paris,” to laughs. “Two distinguished Morehouse men,” Lee joked after the performance, referencing the alma mater of the two. The censor police also worked overtime when Rick Ross performed with his Maybach Music Group and during Minaj’s performance and acceptance speech for best female hip-hop artist. Minaj’s win was her third consecutive time taking the prize. “I really, really appreciate BET for keeping this category alive, and I appreciate all the female rappers doing their thing, past, present and future,” she said, before uttering an obscenity. Gospel star Yolanda Adams, who also performed, gently took some of her peers to task as she won best gospel artist, urging them to act mature and use their fame wisely. “We need all of ya’ll,” she said. “I’m saying the world needs everyone in this room. Please make sure that you use your gift responsibly, ‘because we’re watching. Our babies are watching, and they want to be like us.”

West and Jay-Z won the ceremony’s first award; at first, West arrived onstage alone, and alluded to his many awards-show mishaps. “I wish Jay-Z was here to say something politically correct for me,” he said, before his mentor came to the stage. Other early winners included Chris Brown for best male R&B artist, his second consecutive win in the category. Kevin Hart - who hosted the awards last year - also won for best actor, Big Sean was named best new artist and Wale and Miguel’s smooth hit “Lotus Flower Bomb” won best collaboration. West, who was up for seven awards, was the top nominee. Beyonce was the second most nominated act with six. She won best female R&B artist and thanked the genre and her female influences. “I fell in love with music by listening to R&B. It’s the core of who I am,” she said, giving special thanks to Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige and “Whitney Houston, my angel.” Later, she lost the night’s top award, video of the year, to Jay-Z and West’s “Otis.” When her husband won, she playfully hit him, as she laughed. The joking continued: Moments later, as West was giving his acceptance speech, Jay-Z interrupted him and said: “Excuse me Kanye, I’m gonna let you continue, but ...,” and the audience erupted with laughter, recalling West’s infamous interruption of Taylor Swift’s MTV Video Music Awards speech a few years back. The tone of night fluctuated frequently, as the show shifted from hotly anticipated performances to solemn moments to irreverence. Usher performed his groove “Climax,” and Nicki Minaj sported a blonde wig with pink tips as she performed the

Kevin Hart accepts the award for best actor.

Yolanda Adams poses backstage with the award for best gospel.

Host Samuel L. Jackson, right, and Spike Lee appear on stage.


Big Sean accepts the award for best new artist.

D’Angelo, right, performs.

Chris Brown performs.

Mindless Behavior pose backstage with the Coca-Cola viewer’s choice award.


lifestyle A w a r d s

Tyrese, left, and Frankie Beverly perform.

Frankie Beverly, center, accepts the lifetime achievement award.


Monica performs during the in memoriam for Whitney Houston.

Group: Kanye West and Jay-Z Best actor: Kevin Hart Sportswoman of the year: Serena Williams Sportsman of the year: Kevin Durant Best new artist: Big Sean Best male R&B artist: Chris Brown Best collaboration: Wale featuring Miguel “Lotus Flower Bomb” Best gospel: Yolanda Adams Best female R&B artist: Beyonce Best female hip-hop artist: Nicki Minaj Video of the Year: Jay-Z and Kanye West, “Otis” Lifetime Achievement: Frankie Beverly featuring Maze Humanitarian Award: Rev. Al Sharpton Viewer’s Choice Award: Mindless Behavior Video Director of the Year: Beyonce and Alan Ferguson Fandemonium Award: Chris Brown Centric award: Common — AP

Mariah Carey speaks during the in memoriam to Whitney Houston. Frankie Beverly featuring Maze were honoured with the lifetime achievement award, and they were serenaded with performances by Tyrese, Faith Evans and Joe. D’Angelo also performed his first televised performance in years as he attempts a comeback. The most-buzzed about performance, though, may be a tribute planned for Houston that will include the late singer’s mother, Cissy Houston, and other female singers, though BET didn’t release those names. Brown also performed in his first televised appearance since the New York City nightclub brawl between his entourage and Drake’s. Brown, his girlfriend, his bodyguard and NBA star Tony Parker were among those injured in the June 14 encounter, where bottles were thrown. Drake, however, wasn’t expected be at the event. Both singer-rappers are nominated for awards. — AP Chaka Khan

Cissy Houston

Wale accepts the award for best collaboration.

Nicki Minaj performs.

From left, Angela Bassett, Lela Rochon, and Loretta Devine speak during the memorial for Whitney Houston. songs “Champion” and “Beez In the Trap,” which featured 2 Chainz. The night also featured some tributes to deceased greats: Chante Moore performed a medley of Donna Summer’s hits and Valerie Simpson sang a song in honour of her husband and writing partner Nick Ashford. Don Cornelius, Dick Clark and Hal Jackson were given shout-outs Even West offered tributes: after his performance, he name-dropped Rodney King and Whitney Houston in a verse that got cheers from the crowd, including his girlfriend, Kim Kardashian. Presenters included Taraji P. Henson, Kerry Washington and Jamie Foxx, who wore a T-shirt that had a picture of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teen killed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman. Mariah Carey pauses as she makes an address during the in memoriam to Whitney Houston.

Kanye West

The Rev. Al Sharpton accepts the humanitarian award.

Jessica Reedy, left, and Amber Bullock


Beyonce, Brown, Kanye, Jay-Z win at BET Awards



Versace V

Models wear creations by fashion designer Donatella Versace during her Women’s Fall Winter 2013 haute couture fashion collection, for fashion house in Paris, France, Sunday. — AP /AFP photos

Models present creations by French designer Christophe Josse during the Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2012-2013 collections shows yesterday in Paris. — AFP


arcey Bussell is the first ever face of the new anti-ageing Sanctuary Spa skincare range. The ballet dancer stars in a stunning new campaign shot by Ellen von Unwerth who has photographed the likes of Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell andBeyonce Knowles - which features a radiant Darcy along with the tagling “reduce the lines, not the laughter”. Darcey, 43, said: “By the time I reached 40 I noticed my skin was showing signs of ageing. I don’t want to stop time, but I’d like a little help in ensuring I grow old gracefully!” “That’s why I’m delighted to work with the Sanctuary Spa; people who really understand womens’ skin and how to care for it, offering a real and noticeable difference. “I’ve noticed that the products really work...

since using Active Reverse my skin looks brighter, smoother and younger.” Her partnership with Sanctuary Spa marks a return to the brand’s dance origins; the Covent Garden based spa was originally set up as a retreat for Royal Ballet ballerinas before becoming the first British ladies only day spa. The new Sanctuary Spa Active Reverse skincare range is available now from—Bang Showbiz

ersace got the haute couture ball off to a bold start Sunday night in Paris, as the Italian house sent out creations of aerial chiffon, body-hugging leather and rich crystal embroidery. For the first of two dozen haute couture shows taking place until Wednesday night, the platinum blonde, permatanned designer Donatella Versace said she drew inspiration from the imagery of tarot cards. Abstract prints derived from the fortune cards-sun, moon, lovers-adorned billowing chiffon evening gowns or a strapless mini dress of silk satin, overlaid with plastic and sliced into fine horizontal strips. Hair in loose, bouncy curls, the models strode a catwalk directly above the swimming pool of

the Ritz hotel, covered up for the occasion. Their tight bustiers were fashioned from fine strips of shiny leather, or swirled patterns of crystal mesh and embroidery, flaring into generous sheer skirts, slit high on the thigh, in lime green, raspberry pink or sky blue. Versace, who took a bow in black to the sound of Prince’s “Kiss” mixed in with an operatic air, was showing her second haute couture collection since returning to the exclusive club after an eight-year hiatus. The show kicked off three days of autumnwinter couture collections headlined by such names as Chanel, Jean Paul Gaultier, Givenchy and Dior, whose new designer Raf Simons is making his hotly-awaited debut. Haute couture

is a protected appellation in France, awarded based on strict criteria like the amount of work carried out by hand and in-house, and the share of pieces made to measure. Two dozen houses will be sending out one-off creations at the exclusive shows in Paris, their dizzying artistry matched only by their astronomical price tags, with wedding dresses reaching 100,000 euros ($130,000) or more. — AFP

3rd Jul  

Kuwait Times

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