RI PT IO N BS C SU THE LEADING INDEPENDENT DAILY IN THE ARABIAN GULF
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2010
Pakistan Taleban deny leader Hakimullah killed
Miss Virginia wins 2010 Miss America crown
SAFAR 17, 1431 AH
Federer wins 16th major, prolongs British drought
Man United beat Arsenal 3-1 to stay near Chelsea
US beefing up Gulf defenses Patriot missiles deployed in Kuwait
EGYPT’S GOLDEN GENERATION: The Egyptian team celebrates with the CAF trophy at the awards ceremony after Egypt beat Ghana 1-0 during the African Cup of Nations football championships 2010 at the November 11 stadium in Luanda yesterday. (Inset) Egyptian fans in Kuwait celebrate their national teamí’s victory at a cafe in Salmiya yesterday. The Ministry of Interior had earlier urged residents to abide by public conduct regulations and celebrate in a manner that does not affect their safety as well as that of others. — AFP/Yasser Al-Zayyat (See Page 20)
in the news KIA invested in BlackRock KUWAIT: Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) invested about $750 million in US asset manager BlackRock last year, and eyes investments in Asia and Latin America in 2010, KIA’s managing director told Al Arabiya TV. “Last May we invested in raising BlackRock’s capital, I think $750 million...and I think until now we made 40 percent of profit,” Bader Al-Saad said in an interview aired yesterday. Saad also said that he still expected KIA to make a profit on its $2 billion investment in Bank of America, despite a current loss of between 30-40 percent on the investment. “We are looking at countries with 8-10 percent growth...mainly Asia, and mainly developing countries in Asia, and then Latin America,” Saad told Arabiya when asked about regions KIA is eyeing for investments in 2010. He said he expected KIA to post good results at the end of its fiscal year ending March 31. “God willing this will be one of the best years,” Saad said.
PIC mulls olefins complex KUWAIT: Kuwait’s state-run Petrochemical Industries Co (PIC) plans to build an olefins complex at a cost of about $3 billion, the firm’s managing director said in an oil ministry publication. “PIC plans to build a third olefins complex...The enterprise is still in the initial study phase and we expect to complete it by February 2010,” Managing Director of PIC Maha Mulla Hussain was quoted as saying in the Jan 2010 issue of the oil ministry’s quarterly bulletin.
Dubai says Mossad may have killed Hamas chief DUBAI: The police chief of Dubai said yesterday Israel’s spy agency Mossad or others with a vested interest could have killed a top militant of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas in a Dubai hotel room. “It could be Mossad, or another party,” police chief Dhahi Khalfan told AFP. “Personally, I don’t exclude any possibility. I don’t exclude any party that has an interest in the assassination” of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh, Khalfan said. “There were seven or more people holding passports from different European countries” in the group suspected of killing Mabhouh, he said. He refused to name the countries, but added, “we are currently in contact with these European countries to verif y the
Dhahi Khalfan authenticity of the passports”. The hardline Hamas on Friday accused Israel of killing Mabhouh, who was found dead in his hotel room in Dubai on Jan 20, and vowed revenge. Hamas has acknowledged that Mabhouh was in Dubai to buy weapons for
Hamas in its struggle against Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories. Mabhouh, born in Jabaliya in northern Gaza, was behind the capture of two Israeli soldiers, Avi Sasportas and Ilan Sadon, in separate operations in 1989. Both were later murdered. Khalfan said that “it seems (Mabhouh) opened the door” of his room, letting his killers in. “Mabhouh was suffocated,” he said, adding that “strangulation is possible”. According to Khalfan, Mabhouh entered the United Arab Emirates (UAE) a day before his death using a passport that did not bear his family name. “We were not informed by Hamas about the visit,” he said. Continued on Page 14
RIYADH: A Saudi couple forced to divorce on grounds they were not from equal tribal backgrounds has been reunited by a new court created as part of judicial reforms. The marriage of Mansour Al-Timani and his wife Fatima Azzaz was annulled after Azzaz’s half brothers persuaded judges at a first instance court in 2006 that Timani’s tribal background was not prestigious enough for his wife’s family. The case drew international criticism from human rights groups, but a new cassation court, created under reforms instituted by King Abdullah, has said the couple may be reunited. “Our lawyer told us that the Supreme Court overturned the previous ruling on Wednesday,” Timani told Reuters by telephone yesterday. “We still can’t believe this happened. May God give King Abdullah a long life since it was he who set up this court.” The couple is waiting for the ruling to be enacted, Timani said. Their lawyer, Ahmad Al-Sudairi, said it would take two days for it to be implemented.
KUWAIT: HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah (right) visits HH the Head of the National Guards Sheikh Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah at his diwan in Qurtuba yesterday. — Photo by Fouad Al-Shaikh
MPs seek to ban interest at banks Reporters threaten Assembly boycott By Izzak KUWAIT: Five MPs, most of them Islamists, have submitted a draft law calling for a total ban on what they described as “usurious interest” in all public and private banking and financial units in Kuwait. The bill, submitted by MPs Mohammad Al-Mutair, Marzouk Al-Ghanem, Ali Al-Omair, Hassan Jowhar and Khaled Al-Sultan, names the institutions covered by the ban as the Central Bank, government financing agencies, commercial banks, specialized banks, branches of foreign banks in Kuwait, financing and investment companies and brokerage firms in addition to money exchanges and insurance companies. MP Mutair said in a statement that the bill is in line with the constitution
and compliance with sharia law as a main source of legislation. Mutair said the bill will be a prelude for the Islamisation of the Kuwaiti economy and will spare financial institutions and the Kuwaiti people from dealing in usury, which is one of the biggest sins in Islam. The lawmaker provided evidence and examples from the Holy Quran and Islamic literature to prove that usurious interest is totally forbidden in Islam, adding that it also constitutes a major social problem and an economic crime. Mutair said the bill stipulates that banking and other financial institutions in Kuwait will have to adjust to the new regulations within three years of passing the draft law. It also stipulates forming a higher religious committee Continued on Page 14
HIV/AIDS drug mystery cracked
Agility hearing on Feb 8 KUWAIT: Kuwaiti logistics firm Agility’s court hearing has been rescheduled again, to Feb 8, the firm said in a statement on the Kuwaiti bourse website. “The (hearing) has been postponed to Feb 8, and the firm is still negotiating with the US government to solve the current case with the US Justice department,” Agility said yesterday. The hearing was initially scheduled for Jan 29. No settlement deal has yet been reached, Agility said, reiterating that talks do not guarantee a solution. In November, Agility was accused of overcharging the U.S. Army on $8.5 billion worth of contracts to provide food to soldiers in Iraq, Kuwait and Jordan. If Agility loses the case, it will face probation and a fine of up to twice the gain it realised or twice the loss to the United States.
Saudi couple reunited
WASHINGTON: The US administration is speeding up deployment of defenses against potential Iranian missile attacks in the Gulf to heed off any possible retaliation, The New York Times reported yesterday. The move involves placing specialized ships off the Iranian coast and anti-missile systems in at least four Arab countries - Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait - the Times said, citing administration and military officials. Oman has also been approached, although no Patriot missiles have been deployed there yet, US officials told the newspaper, adding that the willingness of other Arab states to accept the US defenses reflects growing unease in the region over Iran’s ambitions and capabilities. “Our first goal is to deter the Iranians,” a senior administration official told the newspaper. “A second is to reassure the Arab states, so they don’t feel they have to go nuclear themselves. But there is certainly an element of calming the Israelis as well.” Details have not been publicly announced, in part because of diplomatic sensitivities in Gulf countries which worry about Iranian military capabilities but are cautious about acknowledging US protection. The deployments could also forestall any Iranian retaliation in response to the sanctions, as well as discourage staunch US ally Israel from launching a military strike against Tehran’s nuclear and military facilities. Washington is seeking to win over its allies to slap a fourth set of UN sanctions on Iran that would target the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps believed to control the military aspect of Continued on Page 14
SAADA, Yemen: Yemeni soldiers raise their weapons at an area in the northwest Saada province where they are battling Shiite Houthi rebels yesterday. — AFP
Yemen govt rejects rebel ceasefire offer 24 Houthis slain in clashes SANAA: Yemen yesterday said it would stop its war on Shiite northern rebels only if they agree to a six-point truce offer, including a pledge not to attack Saudi Arabia, as fighting raged on three fronts. The offer came amid government claims that another 24 Houthi rebels were killed. “If the Houthi (rebels) agree to start imple-
menting the six points ... the government does not see a problem in stopping military operations,” Yemen’s Supreme National Defence Council announced. The rebels’ truce offer on Saturday was rejected, a government official told AFP, “because it does not include Continued on Page 14
LONDON: Scientists say they have solved a crucial puzzle about the AIDS virus after 20 years of research and that their findings could lead to better treatments for HIV. British and US researchers said they had grown a crystal that enabled them to see the structure of an enzyme called integrase, which is found in retroviruses like HIV and is a target for some of the newest HIV medicines. “Despite initially painstakingly slow progress and very many failed attempts, we did not give up and our effort was finally rewarded,” said Peter Cherepanov of Imperial College London, who conducted the research with scientists from Harvard University. The Imperial and Harvard scientists said that having the integrase structure means researchers can begin fully to understand how integrase inhibitor drugs work, how they might be improved, and how to stop HIV developing resistance to them. When the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infects someone, it uses the integrase enzyme to paste a copy of its genetic information into their DNA, Cherepanov explained in
the study published in the Nature journal yesterday. Some new drugs for HIV - like Isentress from Merck & Co and elvitegravir, an experimental drug from Gilead Sciences work by blocking integrase, but scientists are not clear exactly how they work or how to improve them. The only way to find out was to obtain highquality crystals - a project that had defeated scientists for many years. “When we started out, we knew that the project was very difficult, and that many tricks had already been tried and given up by others long ago,” said Cherepanov. “Therefore, we went back to square one and started by looking for a better model of HIV integrase which could be more amenable for crystallisation.” The researchers grew a crystal using a version of integrase borrowed from another retrovirus very similar to its HIV counterpart. It took more than 40,000 trials for them to come up with one crystal of sufficiently high quality to allow them to see the three-dimensional Continued on Page 14
LUXOR: In this Nov 4, 2007 file photo, the face of the linen-wrapped mummy of King Tut is seen in his new glass case in his underground tomb in the famed Valley of the Kings. — AP
Egypt set to announce King Tut DNA results CAIRO: One of the great remaining mysteries of ancient Egypt, the lineage of the boypharaoh Tutankhamun, may soon be solved, the country’s antiquities supremo hinted yesterday. Zahi Hawass told AFP he has scheduled a news conference for February 17 in the Cairo Museum to unveil the findings from DNA samples taken from the world’s most famous pharaoh. The announcement will be “about the secrets of the family and the affiliation
of Tutankhamun, based on the results of the scientific examination of the Tutankhamun mummy following DNA analysis,” Hawass said. The tomb of the boy king, who reigned from the age of nine and died under as yet unknown circumstances at about 19, was unearthed by British archaeologists in the Valley of the Kings in 1922, causing an international sensation. Continued on Page 14
Monday, Februaty 1, 2010
Threat to withdraw coverage
Journalists protest at NA pressroom relocation By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: The National Assembly’s Public Relations Department yesterday announced that it is to relocate the room used by media staff from its current location near the main ‘Abdullah Al-Salem’ hall - to a quieter spot. Journalists reacted angrily to the announcement, threatening to
KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah receiving at Seif Palace yesterday Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Minister of State for Development Affairs and Minister of State for Housing Affairs Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah. — KUNA
“I think that our work is very important since it reflects the improved level of democracy that we’ve reached. I was really surprised by this action by the PR office, which is limiting the media from carrying out their duties. I agree with the boycott if they don’t change the situation.” The parliament’s action was wholly unexpected, Al-Khaldi told the Kuwait Times. “We expected the parliament’s PR department to help us improve and simplify our work, but it seems they want to take our role. We are serving society and conveying the news to the nation and even abroad. When I travel abroad and people praise our parliament, that’s a result of our work since we’ve expressed the real democracy that we have here to [the outside world].” Other journalists expected
this action to be the first step in a series of restrictions. “Today we are living in a period of freedom from restrictions and oppression,” said Abdullah Al-Rashid of Al-Awan. “[The parliamentary PR department] is playing with the destiny of the Fourth Estate in Kuwait. This act by the PR department was the worst thing we ever expected to happen in the National Assembly. This should be the home of defending freedoms and protecting civil rights.” Al-Rashid suggested that this had not been a spontaneous move on the PR office’s part. “It seems that the Secretariat General was planning this procedure for some time, as they insisted on accrediting only two reporters from each daily,” he said. “This rule makes it difficult for the newspaper. I think
withdraw coverage of parliamentary events. They said that they considered the National Assembly’s move a threat to them or a way of suppressing their work. “We need to be near the events so that we can follow everything, that’s why this new room has been shifted to a distant location,” said Mohammed Al-Khaldi, Al-Watan’s parliamentary correspondent.
that they’re working on a programmed plan to oppress the media and the daily press in particular.” The parliamentary correspondents see the National Assembly’s Secretariat General’s restrictive moves as authoritarian in nature. “The most offensive step is putting barriers in the hallway, which prevents reporters from speaking to MPs,” said Al-Rashid. “We call upon the Speaker of the House to issue an order cancelling the Secretariat General’s decision, which limits our freedom and movements. The Kuwaiti press is a free press; it has never agreed with oppression in the past, so it won’t today.” The editors of some local dailies’ politics sections disagreed with their correspondents’ opinions on the issue,
however. “The transfer of the parliamentary pressroom’s location came after receiving the approval of the political editors with the local dailies,” said Mikhlid Al-Salman, Al-Rai’s chief politics editor. “We held a meeting with the parliamentary PR office and discussed the idea, which was approved by us. I don’t think the room’s new location is hampering the media’s work. The old room was small and shifting to the new one is an improvement; it gives the media more space. I also think that the reporters are only really objecting to the barricades put up in the hallway.” Other reporters, however, agree that the move proves that the parliament is up to no good. “I believe that this step is a preamble by the parliament’s PR department to further restricting procedures,” said
Mohammad Sindan of Seyassah. “When the Secretariat General met with the senior political editors, not all of them agreed to the idea of moving the pressroom. Those who refused saw this step as a move towards more bans in the future. And the barricades was the next step.” Sindan insisted that journalists would not accept the parliament’s recent moves. “We absolutely reject these barricades as they block us from reaching the MPs, ministers or other officials to get statements from them,” he asserted. “In our work we sometime need to clarify something, or to reply to certain questions, and this limits our job. The existence of these barricades inside the parliament is offensive and they should be removed. Otherwise we will boycott the coverage of parliamentary news.”
Amir’s support of Audio-Visual Law amendments culture extolled among issues discussed
KUWAIT: During its weekly meeting held yesterday, the Cabinet discussed the proposed amendments to the Audio-Visual Law that stirred controversy among MPs and media personnel. The steps taken aim toward achieving more coordination between the executive and legislative authorities to avoid instances of sectarian tension. The Cabinet will re-study the proposed amendments, especially on clauses that touch upon jail term and fines. The suggestions made by editors-in-chief of local newspapers and media personnel will also be considered. In the mean time, a number of MPs announced that they would forward a proposal to raise the salaries of employees and retirement pensions by KD 50, in response to reports of price rise of commodities at Co-op societies ‘in the absence of governmental monitoring.’ MPs Saad Al-Khanfour, Askar Al-Enizi, and Dulaihi Al-Hajri said that this increase (salary raise) should be implemented as the Civil Service Commission (CSC) has failed to revise citizens’ salaries once during every three year period. It accused the government of ‘failing to protect citizens from merchants’ greed.’ The MPs further indicated that they are likely to push their proposal to until the end of the week or the beginning of next week. This is in order to allow enough room to discuss the disabled citizens’ draft law which will be tabled during Tuesday’s session. Moving onto the draft law on loans write-off
issue, MP Daifallah Buramya stated that a decision should be made to approve it for benefit of citizens. He added, “The Cabinet should look into the needs of its own people before offering help to other countries.” He was hinting at the projects to build homes and hospitals for Iraqi farmers which was announced recently by the Cabinet, reported Al-Watan. Meanwhile, the National Assembly (NA) has been looking into a series of issues as part of its agenda. In a letter addressed to the Public Funds Protection Committee, it asked the committee to re-launch investigations into the Audit Bureau’s report on the Russian loan issue. In addition, the NA will look into another letter that contained complaints about the south Zour Power Plant. It will be sent to the ‘Emergency 2007’ investigations committee. Another issue that the Parliament will look into is a letter requesting the investigation period into the Mishref Sewage Plant mishap be extended by an additional three-month period. Also, MPs are trying to push for several draft laws that will be given priority. It will mainly pertain with issues that concern eliminating corruption and supporting transparency. On a separate note, the NA’s legislative committee will discuss removing immunity from MP Dr Faisal Al-Mislem to be tried in an ‘investigations misdemeanor’ case, in addition to MPs Mohammad Hayef, Dr Daifallah Buramya and Khalid Al-Sultan in ‘journalism misdemeanor’ cases.
Juwaihel requests to celebrate son’s birthday in parliament KUWAIT: Following in the steps of MP Musallam Al-Barrak, former parliamentary candidate, Mohammed Al-Juwaihel sent a letter to the speaker of the house, Jassim AlKhorafi, requesting permission to hold his son’s birthday party in one of the halls on the Parliament’s premises. Al-Barrak recently held a special party for journalists in one of the parliamentary halls to celebrate being acquitted of a number of cases filed against him, reported Al-Rai.
Al-Juwaihel pointed out that some people believe that the National Assembly (NA) had become a multipurpose hall where they could host parties. ‘We as citizens only follow the example of our MPs’ he added, and rejected the amazement expressed by many over his odd request. ‘What’s even more bizarre is that AlBarrak has been holding lunch banquets there as if the NA was his own ceremony venue,’ he concluded.
CAIRO: Assistant Secretary-General of the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters Abdul Hadi Al-Ajmi has asserted that the support of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to culture has made the State of Kuwait an oasis of freedom and dialogue. Al-Ajmi said on the sidelines of his chairmanship of the Kuwaiti delegation taking part in 42nd session of Cairo International Book Fair that the patronage of HH the Amir included all areas, especially the cultural field, which is characterized by transparency and credibility. He added that this support stems from his eagerness to promote the cultural field in the State of Kuwait to reflect on the distinct cultural status enjoyed by Kuwait among its fellow Arab states and its sense of national duty towards the Arab reader. He stressed that the State of Kuwait has always been active at all Arab gatherings, particularly in the cultural field. Al-Ajmi expressed happiness for chairing the Kuwaiti delegation participating in the Cairo International Fair this year. — KUNA
in the news MoE needs 1,950 teachers KUWAIT: The Ministry of Education announced its need of teachers in the 2010-2011 school year and declared that all new schools are prepared for the new school year. They estimate that 1,950 teachers are required, 900 male and 1050 female, from various specialties, reported Al-Jarida. The expected number of graduates from teacher training colleges is estimated at 40 male and 242 female teachers. The statistics include Kuwait’s needs of foreign contracts from four countries; Egypt, Tunis, Jordan and Syria. From Egypt 210 teachers are needed as well as 185 from Syria, 60 from Jordan and 25 from Tunis. The number of contracts needed of female teachers from the same country include 235 from Egypt, 25 from Syria, 115 from Jordan and 90 from Tunis. Due collection methods KUWAIT: The Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) has recently launched a new method to recover outstanding dues from citizens, firms and other business. The step has significantly helped reduce debt accumulation. The procedures involved in this method are said to be strict and includes a condition that requires companies to obtain a clearance certificate from the Ministry, proving that bills have been paid, before floating a tender or signing a contract, reported Al-Qabas. To deal with individual consumers, a procedure was adopted to allow legal actions
to be taken against consumers who fail to pay their dues. The Ministry has begun the process of adopting the procedure of making it compulsory for non-Kuwaiti employees to submit clearance certificates before applying for leaves. The Ministry further indicated that it will take legal action against a number of companies that have failed to pay dues.
New bedoon teachers KUWAIT: The Ministry of Education sent an official letter to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) asking for their reply on the possibility of appointing bedoon teachers. Their request comes at a time when the ministry is preparing for the 2010-2011 school year, reported Awan. The CSC nominated 600 teachers and said that appointing bedoon teachers is not a priority now. However, official sources expect the appointment of bedoon teachers to be approved based on merit and estimate their number at 324 teachers. Nuwaiseeb campsites razed KUWAIT: Campers have expressed resentment at not being given sufficient warning to remove their possessions before their campsites to the west of Road 290 were razed. The campers voiced anger at the financial losses they incurred, as well as insisting that there were no signs forbidding camping in the area, reported Al-Watan.
KUWAIT: Indian Ambassador Ajai Malhotra met with Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, recently and discussed cooperation between India and Kuwait in the field of defense.
No plans yet to reprivatize jakhour ownership: PAAAFR KUWAIT: The Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) is not expected to reconsider privatizing jakhours (livestock farms) any time soon, according to a PAAAFR official. The decision to put them under public ownership was made directly by the cabinet, the official explained, requiring another cabinet decision to allow them to return to private ownership. An estimated 18,000 Kuwaiti citizens have
reportedly applied to purchase jakhours, including 6,000 who already meet the criteria accepted under the previous system, reported AlWatan. Under the old system, livestock farm owners had to have a minimum of 100 livestock on a farm of between 1,250 and 2,500 square meters and to pay for three annual sets of vaccinations for their animals in order to qualify for licenses as official livestock farmers.
KUWAIT: Abdallah Al-Othman presenting lecture in Kuwait Economic Society. — Photo by Ahmad Saeid
Economic Society holds training on ‘derivatives’ By Ahmad Saeid KUWAIT: A training course on derivatives was concluded Thursday evening at the Kuwaiti Economics Society. The three-day workshop was the first of its kind to be held in Kuwait in the English language. The event was under the patronage of the Kuwait Establishment for the Advancement of Sciences and was presented by Abdallah AlOthman, a consultant of mathematical finance at Imperial
College. ‘There’s a lot of misconceptions about derivatives and the objective of this course is to make people aware of what derivatives really are,’ said AlOthman. He explained that a derivative is an asset that derives its value from other assets or variables. Al-Othman said that derivatives are a very important financial tool but still a relatively new concept in Kuwait. ‘That’s why there is a whole range of people who are interested to learn about it,’ he
explained. ‘We have 25 trainees from many backgrounds here. There are people from the financial sector, professors from Kuwait University and governmental employees.’ The head of the professional development committee at the Kuwait Economic Society, Nadia Al-Harby, said that the society hosts a training course every month. ‘Our training courses cover various economic and financial issues and are available to anyone wishing to take part in them,’ Al-Harby said.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Kuwait IT 2010 Market Analysis Report
in the news Al-Mislem rejection KUWAIT: MP Faisal AlMislem has rejected holding a special parliamentary session on national unity, reported AlRai. The prominent MP insisted that Kuwait’s political problems are ideological, national and constitutional in nature, saying that this means they require an increase in public awareness and the penalization of sectarian extremists, who he said have adopted foreign agendas, rather than holding political sessions. Al-Mislem also suggested pointedly that the decision to hold the session without the government’s attendance might force the government to attend it.
KUWAIT: Ambassadors of the African group met at the residence of Nigeria’s ambassador in Kuwait Ahmad Gusaw Bala over the weekend to discuss African nations affairs.
‘New measures to improve Kuwait social conditions’ KUWAIT: “Kuwait has taken several steady steps towards improving the conditions of women, combating human trafficking, in addition to improving the situation of bedoons,” said the Deputy Prime Minister for Legal Affairs, Minister of Justice and Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, Rashid AlHammad. He added that Kuwaiti women have always been entitled to full freedom and equal rights with their male counterparts as regulated by
Islamic regulations. AlHammad explained that the Kuwaiti law has protected women from domestic violence by placing penalties and granting women the right to seek divorce if domestic abuse is involved. On the issue of human trafficking, Al-Hammad said that Kuwait will soon adopt a law to address this issue. It is currently discussed by the Parliament before it can be officially enforced. He explained
that this law will shield Kuwait from such heinous practices, given the fact that the country is seen as one of the most desired destinations by domestic workers. Furthermore, on the bedoons issue, he said that the concerned committee formed by the Interior Ministry has informed the Ministry of Justice about accepting security cards that bedoons use to keep in touch with the committee to receive marriage certificates.
Wireless network KUWAIT: Preparations are underway at the Ministry of Education (MoE) to revamp internet connectivity at some of the ministry’s projects. The Information Center at the Ministry is provided with specification for cable extensions to be used in this process. The announcement was made by the Deputy Assistant for Educational Construction, Mohammad AlSayegh, reported Al-Qabas. Al-Sayegh explained that coordination goes through a construction period necessary to provide the phone line cables to make wireless connections to the Ministry’s ‘diwan’ with all the schools and educational directorates. Air pollution KUWAIT: At least ten thousand citizens suffer from air pollution-induced asthma, said the Environmental Voluntary Committee of Umm Al-Haiman. It accused the government of negligence in resolving citizens’ long years of suffering. The committee explained that previously made decisions to solve the problem were not enforced due to slow, bureaucratic practices and favoritism. It added that they continue to seek coordination with members of the Cabinet and the Parliament to reach a viable solution, reported Al-Qabas.
High connection prices cause low Internet penetration By Ahmad Saeid KUWAIT: While the InfoConnect exhibition continues to attract visitors seeking better technology deals, a recent report claims high subscription costs continue to restrict ‘The Kuwait IT 2010 Market Analysis Report’ says that Growth in the number of broadband subscribers has been stronger this year but that the numbers are still very low. “Competition is limited in the supply of broadband services and the prices have remained high, deterring many potential subscribers,” the report says. Residents of Kuwait are split over the impact of prices on internet subscription in the country. Tony Coelho says that he is able to
have internet subscription only because the building owner has a package that makes it cheaper for renters to connect. “I pay five Dinars every month. In order for me to get the same connection speed without this package I would have to pay 120 KD every year and that’s expensive,” he said. Tony added that he thinks Internet Service Providers (ISP) could still make a profit if they reduced subscription prices significantly. “There are so many people I know who are currently not con-
Security plan for Hala Feb already in effect KUWAIT: Interior Ministry personnel have already begun implementing a security plan to safeguard activities of Hala February Festival, a ministry official said yesterday. Col Walid Al-Ghanem, the assistant director of the information security department of the ministry, said in a statement during an inspection tour of the inauguration festivities at Sharq mall that the festivities would coincide with the National Day and the Liberation Day, thus double efforts by the security personnel would be needed to keep the public order. The ministry has intensified the campaigns to educate the public about the security precautions during the festivities and cooperated with the press and media to promote some guidelines against youth misconducts at public places. The security personnel will monitor conditions at the festivities sites round the clock, he said, calling on residents and nationals to cooperate with the security forces. Meanwhile, the head of the security commission charged with Hala February, Maj Gen Tareq Hamadeh, said the security personnel would be present at all the buildings that would host the activities, including the skating hall. He appealed to parents to keep close eye on their children at the crowded places. — KUNA
internet penetration in Kuwait. The report was conducted by online research website ‘companiesandmarkets.com,’ which looks into numerous aspects of information technology (IT) business in Kuwait. This includes analyzing hardware and software markets as well as e-readiness. nected because they can’t afford to pay the subscription fees,” he said. Other subscribers claimed that prices are suitable for the connection speed offered by ISPs. Falah Mustafa said that prices are not high in Kuwait. “From what I can see in Kuwait newspapers there are constantly offers and promotions for faster connections. Yes, the prices might not go down, but the speed constantly goes up,” he said. The report says that Kuwait is the third largest computer market in the Gulf
and that the Kuwait market was hit hard by the effect of the regional economic slowdown. However, it also says that the market is relatively well placed to withstand current economic headwinds and should continue to provide opportunities for IT vendors over the next five year period. “The Kuwaiti IT services market is projected to be worth around $236 million today and is forecast to grow at an eight percent CAGR to a value of $324 million by 2014,” the report says.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Info-connect Exhibition opens
Kuwait to enforce new IT rules to protect users By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: Laws pertinent to fast advancing communication and information technology will be enforced in Kuwait to protect users, a communication official said. Speaking to reporters after inaugurating the 29th Info-connect
KUWAIT: Al-Busairi speaks to some participating company representatives. —Photos by KUNA
“Rules will be in place to control and manage technology properly rather than place too many restrictions on it. The fast advancing technology is vital to country’s growth and we have to use them appropriately without violating others’ rights,” Busairi noted, without directly referring to the explosion of the internet and other media technology. He said that such exhibitions are needed to increase awareness and promote technology available to people. He was happy to see more than 80 private companies and 20 government agencies participate in the exhibition. According to the organizer, Mansour Hassan, Global Connection-Chief Executive Officer, for the past 30 years that the exhibition is being held, there has not only been just an increase in the number of participants but also in the number of clients who wait to participate in the Info-connect exhibition, that is held annually. “The average number of visitors per year is about 500,000
and increasing,” he declared. Participants include a large number of local and international companies. The exhibition will also showcase seminars and presentations by different groups on the latest technology and its importance to the government, private entities and individuals. “Our aim is to give a proper venue for the IT companies to exhibit their products and display it to the public. We help them promote their products and services. You will see here not just the latest products but also numerous other offers like cell phones, laptops and the smallest information gadgets. At the end of the exhibition, raffle draws will be held for shoppers to enjoy,” he said. Info-connect exhibition will last until February 4 (Thursday). Business timing falls between 9 to 1 pm (morning) and 5 to 9 pm (evening). The exhibition is being held at the KIFG Hall under the patronage of HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.
Exhibition held at the Kuwait International Fair Ground (KIFG) in Mishref yesterday, Mohammad Al-Busairi, Minister of Communication and Parliament Affairs said that instead of placing restrictions on the use of technology appropriate rules will be passed to safeguard security without compromising on users’ freedom.
KUWAIT: Mohammad Al-Busairi tours the venue.
Body of citizen found in Salmiya apartment Subbiya best venue for zoo KUWAIT: A 34-year-old citizen was found dead inside his apartment in Salmiya. Examination revealed that the death was caused by consuming large amounts of cologne. Police and paramedics responded to the emergency call placed by the building’s janitor.
Heart attacks A citizen in his 20’s died as a result of a heart attack that struck him while jogging near the seafront in Salmiya. The body was taken for an autopsy by paramedics. Meanwhile, a serviceman fell unconscious inside a military camp. His body was sent to the medical center and it was discovered that he died of a heart attack.
Escape plan foiled An employee working at Nuwaiseeb Port was arrested after he was caught trying to help his fugitive friend leave the country. The incident was discovered when the fugitive was rejected from the checkpoint for not having his passport stamped. Investigations revealed that he has a travel ban issued against him. When questioned he informed authorities about the man who assisted
him. The two were taken into custody.
Sailors saved Rescue teams saved a number of Iranian sailors from their sinking boat. It was discovered that overloading the vessel had caused it to take on water. The boat was carrying two vehicles as well as a large amount of catering equipment and food.
Truffle trouble Four youngsters were arrested by Farwaniya police for trespassing on Kuwait International Airport’s restricted zone. The youths told police that they were searching for truffles in the area. They were taken to the proper authorities.
received previous threats from him but never took them seriously.
occurred when two ATVs collided in Julaiah.
KD 25,000 pigeon
A precious pigeon, worth KD 25,000, was stolen from the farm of a bird keeper in Kabad. Police were informed of the incident by the owner as soon as he discovered the theft. Investigators are searching for the extremely valuable bird.
A Kuwaiti man in his 40’s was arrested outside of his home after his four children locked him out of the house and placed an emergency call to authorities. The children informed the police that their father had assaulted them and was under the influence of alcohol. Police found the man attacking the front door of the house with hard objects. While being arrested the man verbally assaulted and resisted officers. He was taken to the proper authorities.
Ardhiya fight A teenager sustained a broken shoulder during a fight between four juveniles in Ardhiya. Paramedics brought him to AlRazi Hospital and police arrested the three other brawlers.
A citizen with a history of misdemeanors set his family’s home on fire as a response to a domestic dispute. Firefighters, police, paramedics and rescue teams responded to the emergency and put the flames under control. The house was vacant at the time of the incident as the family members were out on a trip. When the man of the house was informed of the incident he accused his own son of setting the blaze. He explained that he had
Rescue teams saved an Egyptian family from their burning apartment in Hawally. Firefighters were able to put the flames under control and saved the family from suffering any injuries. The fire was prevented from spreading to other apartments.
ATV accident A 10-year-old Kuwaiti suffered severe injuries and was admitted to Adan Hospital under very critical condition. The accident
KUWAIT: All the animals housed at Kuwait Zoo in Omariya receive the highest standards of care from the moment they arrive in Kuwait, according to the zoo’s director Farida Mulla Ahmed. On arriving in the country, the animals receive the best veterinarian treatment and are carefully transported to the zoo, where their accommodation is tailored to their specific natural habitat in terms of environment, temperature and diet. Ahmed told Al-Rai, however, that she has proposed relocating the facility to Subbiya, away from its current location next to a residential area which has apparently prompted complaints from
nearby residents over visitor numbers, noise and the distinctive smells from the animals. She also revealed that the zoo has a number of problems, some of them caused by the visitors, such as massive amounts of litter, which cost as much as KD 90,000 annually to clear up. “This huge sum could be spent on other, more beneficial things if visitors observed the cleanliness regulations and kept the zoo clean,” she pointed out. The zoo director said that the main complaints filed by nearby residents concerned visitor numbers, especially during weekends and vacations, while “other citizens complained about the smells coming from the zoo because of the animals”
Explosives deactivated Bomb squads deactivated six landmines found accidentally by a Kuwaiti citizen in Sabbiya. The explosives were identified as remnants of the 1990 Iraqi Invasion.
Car burned A Crime Scene Investigations Department vehicle was set on fire in Jahra while parked in front of the department’s building. Investigations revealed that the attacker used a burning tire to torch the vehicle. The identity of the arsonist and his motives remain unknown.
KOC holds drill to put out oil tanker fire KUWAIT: Kuwait Oil Company affirmed yesterday its keenness on securing all safety requirements for personnel and oil installations and cope with accidents with maximum speed and preparedness. Khaled Madhi Khamees, the official spokesman and the deputy managing director of the KOC financial and administrative affairs, said in remarks that the company had carried out a drill to train personnel on dealing with a fake fire aboard an oil tanker off Ahmadi port. The scenario included taking necessary measures to cope with an explosion and fire during loading of crude oil at a nearby pier. It also envisaged that the blast caused a leakage of oil and injury of a worker. Marine units and fire engines as well as coast guard boats were called to the scene where acted rapidly to put out the blazes and repair the damage. The firemen extinguished the fire quickly and the injured was airlifted in coordination with the air force of the Kuwaiti Army for treatment at a hospital in AlAhmadi. —KUNA
Housing estates KUWAIT: Senior Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) officials are shortly to meet with counterparts from Kuwait Municipality and various ministries to discuss the new residential areas to be constructed as part of the government’s housing plan for 20152020. A PAHW official revealed that the municipality has supported using sites recently vacated by the Kuwait Oil Company to construct the new housing estates.
KUWAIT: A house located in Al-Oyoun, Jahra caught fire on Friday. The Jahra Vocational Fire Center and Jahra Center rushed to the three-storey building and put out the flames that had spread to a room located on the second floor. The interiors of the first floor were completely destroyed. The family members were not present at the house at the time of the incident. The blaze was brought under control and no casualties were reported. —Photos by Hanan Al-Saadoun
‘Unconstitutional’ interference KUWAIT: Those MPs who claimed to be reforming sports in the country for the past three years have been proven wrong. Examining the TV appearances, seminars, and statements of these MPs after meeting with HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Sabah reveals the contradiction between their promises and their actions.
This demonstrates their lack of respect to the constitution and the laws of the state, reported Al-Watan. These MPs complain about the ‘unconstitutional’ interference of two ministers in regard to the court ordered dissolution of the Fahaheel and Shabab sports club. However, the decision made
by the Fatwa and Legislation Authority falls under the jurisdiction of the Cabinet and allows ministers to supervise their decisions as regulated by the constitution. The actions of these MPs show their disrespect to court orders made with the approval of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al- Sabah.
Monday, February 1, 2010
5 Community’s duty to be highlighted
Arabs hold conference on special needs children CAIRO: The Arab Council for Childhood and Development (ACCD), in cooperation with the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), begin a conference here tomorrow entitled “The community’s duty towards the disabled child.” ACCD General Supervisor Dr. Hassan El-Beblawi said in a statement yesterday
KUWAIT: His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received yesterday at Seif Palace, with attendance of HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Sheikh Ali Bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa, the Deputy Prime Minister of Bahrain and his accompanying delegation. The meeting was attended by the Minister of the Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Nasser Sabah AlAhmad Al-Sabah. Sheikh Ali’s delegation arrived in the country earlier yesterday. They were received at the airport by the Deputy Minister of the Amiri Diwan Affairs, Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah and the Kuwaiti ambassador to Bahrain, Sheikh Azzam Mubarak Sabah Al-Nasser Al-Sabah.
in my view
‘I am Rohish from India’ By Dalaa Al-Moufti
ndia, a country which gave birth to Mahatma Gandhi, Shah Jahan, Aishwarya Rai and Amitabh Bachchan, has also given birth to the greatest scientists, writers, and geniuses throughout history. This subcontinent, which is the second largest country in the world in terms of population and is home to hundreds of races, religions, creed, languages and dialects, is a beautiful picture of the largest democracy in the world despite its diversity. Some people in our part of the world, rudely and ignorantly, connect Indians with poverty, simplicity, ignorance, janitors and domestic workers. Some fools even use Indian nationality as a curse word to insult others. They seem to forget (or pretend to forget) that senior nuclear scientists, technologists, writers, inventors, technicians and doctors come from India, which also has a large number of millionaires and Nobel Prize winners. Tagore received his Nobel Prize in
Egyptian youth council chief hails ties with Kuwait CAIRO: The head of the Egyptian National Youth Council Dr. Mohammed Safai Al-Din Kharboush, yesterday praised Egyptian-Kuwaiti relations, particularly in the field of youth activities, affirming the two countries’ governments’ willingness to promote cooperation. Kharboush said that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the two governments in December 2006 on cooperation in youthrelated activities, which was subsequently ratified by both. An executive program of cooperation in the field of youth and childhood was also introduced. The senior official pointed out that this program (2008-2010) was signed at the close of the seventh session of the joint Egyptian-Kuwaiti higher committee held in Cairo in July 2008, which included various items such as organizing fraternity weeks alternatively for young people from both countries. Kharboush explained that this program covers different activities, including folk arts, plays, scientific and environmental clubs, artistic, poetry and literary events and youth gatherings that promote the concept of voluntary work. On this regard, Kharboush noted that both the Egyptian and Kuwaiti sides have agreed to exchange invitations to participate in various regional and international youth events and festivals held in the two countries. This also covers environmentally-related and voluntary camps, the exchange of publications, leaflets and scientific bulletins related to young adults and children. He also drew attention to extending invitations to the Kuwaiti side to participate in all functions organized by the NYC at the Arab and international levels, noting the participation of the Kuwaiti side in the 11th Arab youth festival held in the port city of Alexandria in July 2008. Kharboush also referred to the participation of some young Kuwaitis in the fourth Youth Forum, which was part of the Arab Reform Forum held in Bibliotheca Alexandrina in February 2009. — KUNA
Literature as early as 1913, a century ago. Also S P Raman received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930 for his work in molecular scattering and detection of the socalled Raman Effect, which was named after him, along with many others. All my life I have loved India and Indians. I love their country and its practice of democracy. I love their diversity, principles, traditions, family values, songs, dances, and movies. I love their food, spices, and chilies. I love their clothes and colors. However, since a week ago I have begun loving them even more. On a trip to India, my daughter lost her handbag which contained her mobile phone and her friend’s mobile too. She spent hours, in tears looking for it, but could not find it. The fact that added to her panic is the fact that she had borrowed my bag before taking that trip, therefore, she did not know how to break the news to me. When she returned from her vacation, she was happy and saturated with the
smells and colors of India. However, she was filled with tears of remorse and apology. I sat down with her trying to ease her pain and said, “My dear, a handbag and two phones are worth a lot, and can help a poor family in India for a month because of the extreme poverty suffered by millions there.” Think of it as charity, and forget about them. She was able to follow the first suggestion but not the second. A week after my daughter returned, my mobile phone rang and a strange number appeared on the screen. All I heard was a young voice saying, “Hello Madam, my name is Rohish, from India. I found a black handbag with two mobile phones, one lipstick, and an eyeliner in it. Who can I contact to return the bag to its rightful owner?” You should’ve seen the look on my daughter’s face as her world spun in circles of joy and disbelief. After all of this, can you blame me for loving India and the Indians? firstname.lastname@example.org
Experts discuss constitutionality of Chamber of Commerce KUWAIT: A number of legal and constitutional experts participated in a seminar held recently to discuss the issue of the Chamber of Commerce’s legitimacy. The seminar was held by Kuwait University Professor Dr. Obaid Al-Wasmi, at his diwaniya. Dr. Al-Wasmi accused the Chamber of Commerce of interfering in the business of other directorates in dealing with legislative, executive and legal issues, which he insisted is a clear violation of the constitution. He was also critical of the lack of any supervisory body to monitor the Chamber of Commerce’s activities, calling for these to be suspended temporarily until its legal status is resolved. Another speaker at the seminar, Dr. Turki Al-Mutairi, a law
professor at KU’s commercial studies faculty, described the Chamber’s situation as “irregular,” given the fact that it is not supervised by any ministry or other governmental directorates. He proposed the introduction of new legislation that could put it under the control of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL) in order to provide an opportunity for questioning over its activities. Dr. Al-Mutairi also addressed the Chamber of Commerce’s divergent specialties, which he described as “unconstitutional.” Another KU academic, Dr. Thakal Al-Azmi, a professor of international law at the university’s law faculty, echoed Dr. AlMutairi’s accusations, saying that the specialties assigned to the
Chamber of Commerce lead to suspicions of “unconstitutionality,” since the laws covering its activities were formulated before the constitution was drafted. Al-Azmi also said that if the courts were to find the law governing the Chamber of Commerce unconstitutional, this would allow companies to call for the funds that they paid to the Chamber to be refunded, reported Al-Watan. The legal expert also said that this unconstitutionality could cause problems at the international level, since it violates a UN Security Council resolution, which states that all non-profit organizations should come under government jurisdiction in order to allow the state to monitor their income.
Dr. El-Beblawi further revealed that the conference will see discussion of 50 working papers dealing with various fields, including psychology, sociology, special education, media, the arts and counseling. ACCD expert Dr. Suheir Abdul Fattah affirmed that the three-day conference will take place “with the participation of trainees, writers, artists, journalists and professors specializing in the field of mass media, along with a number of specialists in education, sociology, psychology and medicine.” She noted that the conference will present events, workshop and a special play entitled ‘Nothing is impossible,’ in which all the parts are played by children with various special needs, allowing them a means of self-expression, as well as an opportunity to hone their talents. An exhibition of outstanding artwork by special needs children will take place on the sidelines of the conference, while other events include a
that the conference, which will be attended by a number of experts, professionals, government and civil institution representatives, is to be held under the slogan “There is no impossible.” “Disabled children are capable of achievement and participation which would give them confidence, value of life and a sense of belonging in society,” he asserted.
concert by an orchestra of blind female musicians and performances of Arab folk music by musicians with special needs. Meanwhile, Health Minister Dr Hilal Al-Sayer arrived in Abu Dhabi yesterday to take part in a meeting of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) health officials taking place there later this week. Dr. Al-Sayer is in the emirate to take part in the 68th Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) health ministers’ council, due to take place there on February 2 and 3, explained a statement released yesterday by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health (MoH). Dr. Yousef Al-Nisf, a senior MoH official and a member of the GCC Health Council’s Executive Authority, revealed that the two-day meeting will feature discussion of a detailed report on the GCC health ministers’ council’s activities and achievements, as well as the latest decisions, proposals and scientific developments which have
helped to develop the health services in the GCC member states. The agenda also includes discussion of various other issues, such as healthcare quality, patient safety, alternative and complementary medicine, the World Health Survey, the swine flu pandemic, primary healthcare and whether the media’s handling of health issues helps to spread awareness or panic. Other subjects under discussion will be the possibility for bulk joint purchases of pharmaceuticals, hospital equipment and materials and equipment used in oral healthcare, blood transfusion, heart surgery, bone and spinal surgery, and medical rehabilitation, the official explained. Dr. Al-Nisf expressed satisfaction at the level of coordination among the GCC countries and the overall keenness to implement the GCC health officials’ recommendations and directives. — KUNA
New steps to deepen EU-GCC relations BRUSSELS: A prominent member of the European Parliament wants the European Union to give more attention to the relations with the Gulf countries than it has done before and to deepen EU-GCC ties. “In the past years maybe we have not drawn our attention as intensively to this region as we should have done,” Dr Angelika Niebler, chairperson for the EP’s Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula, said in an interview. “We should really have a good and close relationship with this region. I will do everything in my responsibil-
ity as chairperson to build up and deepen relations between this Arabian Peninsula and the European Union” stressed the German MEP. Niebler described the Gulf region as “very interesting region,” and noted that the President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek is also very eager in building up close relations with the Gulf region. Niebler will be leading a visit of the Delegation to Kuwait which holds the current GCC Presidency, and Qatar at the end of March to boost relations. In June the EP will wel-
come a delegation from Oman. Energy cooperation with the Gulf countries is the focus of the EU and this is a topic which is of interest to both regions, said the European Parliamentarian and underlined that the GCC countries will continue to be important source of energy supply to Europe. Niebler belongs to the European Peoples’ Party (Christian Democrats) and has been an MEP since 1999. Asked why the name of the Delegation which was earlier called Delegation for relations with the Gulf Cooperation Council was
changed, Niebler replied that “we did a reshaping of all the Delegations and I think it made sense to group these seven countries (6 GCC countries plus Yemen). “They have geographically so close links that it would be good to have this in one Delegation,” she explained. The Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula is responsible for maintaining relations between European Parliament and the countries of the Peninsula (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen) and the Gulf Cooperation Council. — KUNA
Monday, February 1, 2010
Al-Khorafi sees positive efforts
PUIC members to hold special session to endorse reforms KAMPALA: Speaker of Kuwait’s National Assembly Jassem Al-Khorafi yesterday affirmed that participants in the sixth session of the Parliamentary Union of Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) Member States Union (PUIC) tended to hold an extraordinary session to adopt a report stipulating reforms of the union. Al-Khorafi said the conferees favored the holding of a special session to endorse the report of the special panel charged with map-
(Left to right) Central Bank Governor Sheikh Salem Al-Sabah, his Bahraini counterpart, Rasheed Al-Me’raj and Hisham Al-Razzouqi
He added that the delegates agreed on tackling some of the differences in views regarding the committee report. Speakers of Parliament of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) member states issued the Kampala Declaration of the Sixth Session of the Parliamentary Union of the OIC states (PUIC) here, yesterday. The declaration stressed all countries, including Iran, have a right to peaceful nuclear power within effective supervision by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and restraints of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The declaration criticized mounting pressure on Islamic countries to deny them the right to nuclear technology, stressing the need to settle such issues through diplomacy and peaceful negotiations, while still calling for ridding the Middle East of all Weapons of Mass Destruction. In this same context, the declaration urged Iran to allow and cooperate with IAEA inspection and joint the NPT, considering this a main basis that would guarantee the security and stability of the Middle East and also help cut off attempts at double standards. On Iraq, the declaration called OIC
members to support the government in Baghdad in its efforts to restore law and order and to restore national unity and complete sovereignty over all Iraqi territory. It particularly welcomed some members’ decision to re-establish diplomatic missions in Iraq and urged others to follow suit. It also stressed that rebuilding Iraq, reviving and bolstering its economy, and preserving its resources and encouraging investors to cooperate with it should remain a priority. On Palestine, the declaration stressed this issue should remain top concern and requires a joint stance by Islamic countries at international venues so that the rights of the Palestinian may be restored; namely the right to an independent state with Al-Quds as its capital. The document condemned the past and ongoing massacres in the Occupied Palestinian Territories by the Israelis and particularly in Gaza Strip, where thousands had been martyred or injured. The declaration expressed appreciation of the Goldstone report on human rights abuses in Gaza. Furthermore, it demanded Israeli officials be held accountable for all crimes of war in Gaza, condemning ongoing siege and persecution against the Palestinians.
ping out a plan for reforming the union and upgrading its statute and laws, considering the paramount importance of the report for boosting role of the union. “We had hoped that the union would have adopted the report of the special committee during this session,” he said, re-affirming that this was not possible due to the lack of quorum. The PUIC meeting quorum requires presence of two thirds of the member states. The declaration condemned crimes including assassinations, arrests, demolitions of homes, destruction of agricultural land, expansion of settlements, building the separation wall, and setting up barriers between the towns and cities of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The declaration also strongly condemned the digging, demolitions, and excavation work in the Holy Aqsa Mosque area which constitute an act of sacrilege, demanding the UN and the international community live up to the moral and legal responsibility and protect Al-Quds against all Israeli illegal acts. Moving on to Lebanon, the document stressed the state’s right to resistance to restore sovereignty over the Shebaa Farms Region, and all other territories. The OIC expressed satisfaction with the recent elections which reflected the will of the public with transparency and honesty and yielded a national unity government, and also welcomed the improvement in ties with Syria. The document also addressed the situation in Sudan, stressing support to the state’s national unity and expressing satisfaction with resumption of peace efforts and implementation of already reached peace agreements. The declaration particularly wel-
comed the voluntary return operations to the towns and villages of Darfur. The OIC urged all armed parties in the south to sign the Abuja peace agreement for Darfur. It also stressed opposition to any sort of sanctions on Sudan or interference in its internal affairs under any pretext. It also indicated rejection of the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant against Sudanese President Umar Al-Bashir issued in March 2009, calling for its abolition. Another focus of the document was Somalia, and it welcomed the election of Sheikh Sharif Shaikh Ahmed as president, urging all parties to immediately stop hostilities and engage in dialogue to restore stability to the country. The declaration also strongly condemned and called for an immediate stop to piracy activity which threatens international navigation activity as well as the state’s interests. The Kampala Declaration also demanded stress on and support to the OIC’s decision to establish an Islamic Court of Justice, stressed Muslim women’s right to don the hijab anywhere in the world, and condemned violation of such religious and civil right which is guaranteed in all international conventions and international law.—-KUNA
NBK’s Ibrahim Dabdoub welcoming Turkish businessman, Faret Shahink.
Gulf television officials meet in Kuwait
Arab League secretary general Amr Moussa with Mohammed Fuad AlGhanim
KUWAIT: The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) recently held a special dinner in honor of the Kuwaiti delegation that participated in the World Economic Forum (WEF) which was held in Switzerland from Jan 27 to 31. The dinner was attended by Kuwait Central Bank governor Sheikh Salem Abdul Aziz Al-Sabah, his Bahraini counterpart, the Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa and a large group of businessmen and bankers. Picture above shows Marwan Bodai speaking to Mohammed Fuad Al-Ghanim.
EQUATE provides update on Shuaiba Port incident KUWAIT: An EQUATE Petrochemical Company official said that the previously reported incident at Shuaiba Port on Thursday, Jan 28, 2010, was onboard a ship that is not owned or controlled by the company. The source added that the event took place at one of the port’s berths as the ship was loading one of its tanks with an EQUATE product. At the same time the product was being loaded into this tank, the ship’s crew had an incident at another tank. The crew members were
aided by their colleagues and transferred by emergency teams to a nearby medical center for evaluation. EQUATE noted that the incident appears not to have resulted in any fatalities or serious injuries. EQUATE emphasized that it does not own or control the ship and EQUATE has no role in the operations onboard this ship or any other ship at the Shuaiba Port. EQUATE further noted that reports claiming material release or spillage are unfounded.
KUWAIT: The directors of televisions of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members at the GCC Joint Program Production Institution kicked off their 24th meeting here yesterday to discuss new programs and production over two days. In press remarks today, Institution Executive Director Abdelmihsin Al-Bannai said the new productions are proposed based on analysis of the regional audience’s needs and with focus on current and recent developments. He explained that the programs convey messages to children, Ahmed and Kanaan in 20 episodes, and the series Tales of Amal - Part II in 20 episodes, and messages of environmental awareness addressed to all members of society in 30 five-minute long episodes. The institution also produced four films in the series Gulf culture and architecture, as well as a film on development and giving, and three films on the Gulf marine environment. He added the institution will screen five films about “Arab cities” in cooperation with the Arab Towns Organization, and had completed the series Tamasuk for youth, aimed at encouraging closer family relations in the Gulf societies. Al-Bannai said that the institution is also preparing for an animated series entitled Malsoon.com, in addition to the animated series Strength in Unity, and a number of new projects proposed by member states. Production of a number of other programs is also to commence soon, including the successes of the Gulf program, and the institution is still offering new episodes within the Ibn Battuta series in cooperation with a specialized Japanese company. He said other productions lined up cover climate, complemented by the series on Gulf culture and architecture, and also touch on the Future of Water in the GCC countries, food security and the future of agriculture in the GCC, sports, art, and museums in the GCC. Al-Bannai hailed the support of Oil Minister and Minister of Information and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah Al-Sabah, and Undersecretary of the Ministry of Information, Sheikh Faisal Al-Malik Al-Sabah, which enables the institution to carry out its duty in a satisfactory manner. — KUNA
Doctors save toddler’s life AJMAN: Doctors at the GMC Hospital in Ajman managed to resuscitate a three-yearold boy who almost died after falling into the swimming pool at his family’s home in Sharjah. The toddler’s distraught parents rushed him to the hospital at 10:00 pm on Saturday night after finding him unconscious in the pool. Doctors there, headed by
senior consultant Dr. Tamim, were initially unable to find a pulse and had to perform emergency resuscitation treatment on the boy, who they were thankfully able to revive without any harm coming to him. Dr. Tamim issued a warning to all parents following the incident to watch their children carefully in order to avoid such
occurrences taking place and instructing them, if such events do occur, to rush the child immediately to the nearest hospital. The little boy’s father voiced great relief at his son’s life being saved and expressed his immense gratitude to the doctors and all the members of the medical team responsible.
Fahad Al-Mailam and Dr Faten Al-Mailam receiving Canadian Accreditation certificate.
Hadi Clinic celebrates 33rd anniversary KUWAIT: Hadi Clinic celebrated its 33rd anniversary in a ceremony attended by the General Manager Fahad Al-Mailam, Sheikh Fahad Al Sabah, the Deputy General Manager, Dr Faten Al-Mailem, Mubarak Al-Mailam, the board member, Ibrahim AlMailam, Dr Youssef Al-Mailam and a number of the medical, nursing and administrative staff of the Hospital. The occasion also celebrated Hadi’s successful accreditation with Accreditation Canada. Hadi Clinic now joins the worldwide group of accredited hospitals and confirms its place as one of the leading providers of quality healthcare. The ceremony included an in-house production of a visual presentation that highlighted the phenomenal progress of Hadi Clinic in the journey towards Canadian Accreditation and Quality Patient Care. All members of Staff who participated were honored at the event. Dr. Faten added, “We are here today to celebrate not only the anniversary of Hadi but also our Accreditation with a leading International Accreditation body. We extend our thanks to all the Hospital Staff in each and every area who spared no effort in supporting our objective of achieving this accreditation, which will add value for both patients and visitors. In cooperating with the Canadian Council CCHSA, we express our sincere commitment to continue providing the highest level of healthcare, the highest standards of quality, the most accessible service and the safest and most caring patient environment possible. Concluding her speech, Dr Faten said, “For us, it is just a beginning. Reaching the top is difficult, but remaining on top is the most critical and the hardest part. We all have to keep working with dedication and professionalism to ensure that our hospital remains in a leading position and is able to celebrate greater success. Our ongoing commitment to quality and excellence will continue to guide our current and future strategies. At the end of the ceremony, Fahad Al-Mailem, General Manager said, “33 years ago, we, the founders, set the vision for this hospital. We have always looked beyond the ordinary. We wanted to develop a hospital that would become what it is today - an internationally accredited healthcare provider. Today, I feel proud of both our 33rd Anniversary and our amazing achievements. Accreditation is not the target, it is the tool that will lead us to a higher quality of service. It has been a long journey but a successful one because of the clearly defined and focused strategy of the Executive Management Team. “With each success and each achievement we get closer to our overall objective of keeping Hadi Clinic positioned as the safest and most advanced private hospital not only in Kuwait, but in the whole region.”
Fahad Al-Mailam honoring Sheikh Fahad Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.
Dr Faten Al-Mailam announcing the adoption of Hadi Hospital by Canadian Council.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Egypt questions suspects of new militant group CAIRO: Egyptian prosecutors are questioning 25 people suspected of forming a new Islamic militant group to carry out attacks inside the country, a security official and a lawyer said yesterday. The group was planning to attack
US ships in the Suez Canal and the tomb of revered Jewish holy man Abu Hatzira in the Nile Delta, according to Egypt’s independent Al-Masry AlYoum newspaper. Quoting security officials, the paper reported that the
group was also planning to ship weapons and explosives to the Palestinian militant group Hamas in Gaza for use in their rockets. The 25 Egyptians were arrested in November on charges of stockpiling weapons and
explosives to be used in “attacks against targets inside Egypt,” a security official told The Associated Press. They were arrested in Mansoura, northeast of Cairo. The official and the lawyer both
spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation. “They are accused of forming a new Islamic militant group based on ideas of Sayyid Qutb,” the lawyer said, referring to an Egyptian ideologue exe-
cuted in 1966 whose ideas provide much of the intellectual basis for today’s militant groups. The report in Al-Masry Al-Youm said some of the suspects received training in Sudan’s troubled Darfur
region. Egyptian security forces have recently reported the arrests of members of several new militant groups looking to carry out attacks against Egyptian and foreign targets, including U.S. and Israeli interests. —AP
Hired Iranian attorney denied visits
American hikers held in Iran for six months MINNEAPOLIS: It’s been six months since three young Americans were taken into custody in Iran, and the mother of one said even hiring an attorney in Iran has brought no new information on how they are doing. “It’s like there’s this brick wall in front of us, and we can’t get through,” Cindy Hickey,
KARBALA: Shiite pilgrims carry a flag showing Imam Hussein in Baghdad, Iraq, yesterday. Shiites are making their annual pilgrimage to Karbala to mark the end of the forty-day mourning period after the anniversary of the 7th century martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) grandson, in Karbala, 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Baghdad. —AP
Sudan rejects three presidential candidates KHARTOUM: Sudan has rejected three presidential candidates, including the only woman, for its first democratic elections in 24 years. The ruling has raised further doubts about the presidential and legislative elections after opposition accusations of fraud during registration and of intimidation and vote buying by the ruling National Congress Party (NCP). President Omar Hassan alBashir’s NCP denies fraud and says the opposition is unprepared. “Three candidates did not meet the requirements to run for the presidency,” National Elections Commission official Salah Habeeb said on Saturday, leaving 10 contenders for April’s vote. Sudan’s opposition has long complained the requirements for standing for the presidency were too tough in Africa’s largest country, devastated by decades of civil war. Candidates must gather 15,000 supporting signatures from 18 of 25 states. The opposition says the commission’s stringent rules are to skew the vote in favour of Bashir’s party, which has ruled since taking power in a bloodless coup in 1989. Many parties want to field multiple candidates to split the vote and prevent Bashir getting the 50 percent plus one vote he needs to win, forcing a second round where they would support the opposing candidate.
Jordan arrests militants AMMAN: A Jordanian security official says authorities have arrested dozens of Muslim militants in connection with a failed bomb attack on Israeli diplomats. The official said yesterday that dozens have been detained in a police crackdown mostly on Salafists — militants who seek to revive strict Muslim doctrine dating back to the era of the 6th Century Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He said the crackdown was continuing across Jordan. The official declined to provide other details and insisted on anonymity because he was not allowed to speak to the media. No one was killed or injured in the Jan. 14 attack on a convoy of Israeli diplomats heading home for the weekend. It was the first roadside bombing in Jordan and exposed a security gap for Israeli diplomats. —AP
The only female candidate, Fatima Abdel Mahmood, leader of the Sudanese Socialist Democratic Union, said the ruling was a conspiracy against women and the party would appeal to the courts. “This is a form of discrimination,” she told Reuters. Her deputy Abdullilah Mahmoud said the NEC rejected them as they had not stamped their papers at state level, despite being told by the NEC leadership that the central office in Khartoum could do that when they handed their papers in a day ahead of the Jan. 27 deadline. “We even collected our signatures twice because the first time they said it had to be done on their papers,” he said. “When we handed in our papers again they said they were accepted. This is their error not ours.” Independent candidate Abdallahi Ali Ibrahim said he
had expected to be rejected as he had collected 16,000 signatures from only 15 states, but had submitted his candidacy anyway to highlight the problems with the system. “We have a percentage of illiteracy of 70 percent in this country but they ask for 15,000 signatures,” he told Reuters. He said he doubted the elections would be free or fair “not just because the government is dictatorial but because the other dancer in this tango is a bad dancer.” Ibrahim was referring to what he called the weak opposition who have, despite complaints, accepted all the electoral irregularities and continued their campaigns. The election system will require about 1,000 different ballot papers for at least six different votes and has been called one of the most complex in the world. —Reuters
Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal were hiking in Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region in July when they accidentally crossed the border, their families have said. All three are graduates of the University of California at Berkeley. Iran’s foreign minister said in late December that the three would be tried in court, but he did not say when a trial would begin or what the three would be charged with other than to say they had “suspicious aims.” Earlier, the country’s chief prosecutor said they were accused of spying. Their families say that’s ludicrous and last month hired an Iranian attorney to press the case. But Hickey, who lives in the state of Minnesota, said the attorney, Masoud Shafie, has been denied visits with the three and hasn’t received any information on charges. “He’s being told it’s not time, it’s not time,” Hickey said. “We don’t understand this lack of movement.” The last time anyone sympathetic saw the three was at the end of October, when Swiss diplomats were granted a short visit. The US has no diplomatic relationship with Iran and is represented in such matters by the Swiss. At the time, the diplomats said the three were in good health. Their jailing comes amid continued tension between the US and Iran over that nation’s nuclear program. It also parallels in some ways the captivity of Roxana Saberi, an IranianAmerican who grew up in the state of North Dakota, and like Bauer, worked as a freelance journalist. Saberi was jailed in
the mother of Shane Bauer, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “The concern for me as a mother is how this has to be taking a toll on them psychologically, and I would like someone to see them physically to tell me that they’re in OK health.”
This combination of undated file photos released by freethehikers.org shows, from left; Joshua Fattal, Shane Bauer, and Sarah Shourd. It’s been six months since the three young Americans were taken into captivity in Iran, and the mother of one said even hiring an attorney in Iran has brought no new information on how they are doing. —AP Iran in February 2009, tried and convicted of espionage — but then released to return to the US after about four months. “I knew this wasn’t going to be done overnight,” Hickey said. “But I never dreamed we’d be in the same place six months later.” The hikers have family in California, Colorado, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. The families issued a joint written statement Saturday urging Iran to release their relatives. “If the Iranian judiciary has concluded that Shane, Sarah and Josh entered Iran without proper documentation, then surely six months in prison is sufficient punishment for any violation of regulations that may have occurred,” the families said. —AP
Israeli settlements could be ‘obstacle to peace’ JERUSALEM: Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories could be an “obstacle to peace” in an interview with an Israeli daily published yesterday. Berlusconi made the remarks ahead of a threeday visit to the Jewish state in which he was to deliver a speech in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset. “Israel’s settlement policy could be an obstacle to peace,” Berlusconi told the Haaretz newspaper. “I would like to say to the people and government of Israel, as a friend, with my hand on my heart, that persisting with this policy is a mistake,” he said. “It will never be possible to convince the Palestinians of Israel’s good intentions while Israel continues to build in territories that are to be
returned as part of a peace agreement.” At the same time, Berlusconi praised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “courage” for imposing in November a 10-month freeze on new construction in settlements in the occupied West Bank. The Palestinians have refused to relaunch peace talks with Israel without a full freeze, and said Netanyahu’s limited moratorium was insufficient because it excludes east Jerusalem, public buildings and projects already under way. Nearly a half million Israelis live in more than 120 settlements scattered across the occupied West Bank including east Jerusalem, territories seized by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War. —AFP
Monday, February 1, 2010
North Irish power-sharing talks run into sixth day “There has been considerable advancement. There seems to be greater certainty and clarity,” said Edwin Poots of the DUP. The parties will resume talks on Monday, Britain’s Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Shaun Woodward said, after Saturday’s talks ended at 2030 GMT. “We have made over six very long days considerable progress. There remains work to be done,” he said. A deal would give Northern Ireland its first justice minister and be one of the boldest steps since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which ended three decades of sectarian violence that killed 3,600 people. Prime ministers Gordon Brown of Britain and Brian Cowen of Ireland flew
HILLSBOROUGH: Rival Northern Ireland parties on Saturday inched towards a deal that would transfer police and justice powers to the province and end a row that has shaken their powersharing government. A definitive rift between the predominantly Roman Catholic Sinn Fein and the mainly Protestant Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) would almost certainly trigger a snap election in the British province, where the former foes share power. The two sides talked until 0230 GMT on Saturday and reconvened around 12 hours later in a sixth day of debate at Hillsborough Castle, outside Belfast. “I think they’re coming to the final phase. Progress has been made,” said Conor Murphy of Sinn Fein.
into Northern Ireland on Monday to try to broker agreement. They left on Wednesday, saying both sides had until Friday to find a solution or Britain and Ireland would publish theirs. Asked about the expired deadline, a British government spokesman said: “Talks are continuing between the parties and the government will review the outcome of these talks.” Northern Ireland’s uneasy powersharing system has fallen apart before, but both Sinn Fein and the DUP are considered anxious to avoid a snap election. The DUP is mired in a scandal involving the wife of Peter Robinson that forced him to stand aside temporarily as first minister even though he is overseeing the talks. Sinn Fein might be more relaxed
about a sudden poll, but the outcome is uncertain and it would be wary of incurring international opprobrium for undermining years of progress. Sinn Fein, which wants to see the province united with Ireland, has pressed for an early date for transfer of the justice powers most associated with British control during the years of violence. It has accused the DUP, which wants Northern Ireland to remain part of Britain, of stalling. The DUP denies the charge. Brown said on Wednesday he believed it was feasible for the Northern Ireland Assembly to consider plans on devolving policing and justice powers in March and to implement them “around the beginning of May”. — reuters
Brown likely to be questioned by the inquiry
Blair evidence leaves British premier facing grilling on Iraq LONDON: Tony Blair’s evidence to Britain’s Iraq war inquiry, notable for a lack of any apology, sets up an awkward appearance within weeks for Prime Minister Gordon Brown, ahead of a likely May election. Blair’s unrepentant
testimony sparked fury among military families and criticism from the press, reviving memories of what many commentators see as the ruling Labour party’s biggest blunder since taking power in 1997.
POLTAVA: Supporters of Ukraine’s Prime Minister and the Presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko greet her during a campaign rally in the city of Poltava late Saturday. The second round of voting in Ukraine’s presidential election is scheduled on February 7. — AFP
Ukraine’s PM accuses rival KIEV: Ukraine’s Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko yesterday accused her proRussian rival in next week’s presidential poll run-off, Viktor Yanukovich, of preparing to take power by force. She said Yanukovich, the favourite to win the February 7 poll, was massing supporters around the capital Kiev and preparing to use “any means” to take power. “The electoral commission acts like everything is fine, (but) in the polling stations there are falsifications,” Tymoshenko
said in the transcript of an interview with a Ukrainian television station made available on the government website. “And around Kiev, all the holiday centres are full of fighters who are ready to take power using any means,” the prime minister added. “We remember all that from 2004. Yanukovich hasn’t changed, his methods haven’t changed, and his policies haven’t changed,” Tymoshenko is quoted as saying. Mass rigging blamed on Yanukovich
supporters and resulting protests which brought hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians onto the streets in the Orange Revolution forced the annullment of the 2004 presidential polls. “As in 2004, we are going to put (Yanukovich) in his place in a severe manner and he will never get power in Ukraine, whatever the circumstances,” said Tymoshenko, who was one of the leaders of the Orange Revolution. Yanukovich led Tymoshenko by 10 percentage points in the first round. — AFP
Libya court clears Swiss of immigration violation ZURICH: A Libyan court has cleared Swiss businessman Rachid Hamdani of illegally being in the North African country, his lawyer and a spokesman for the Swiss foreign ministry said yesterday. Hamdani’s case, along with that of countryman Max Goeldi, head of Libya operations for Swiss-Swedish engineering firm caused a diplomatic row between Libya and Switzerland. It also unsettled foreign investors who flocked to Libya after the oil producer emerged from international isolation. “I can confirm (Hamdani’s acquittal),” a spokesman for the foreign ministry said. He declined to make any further comments. Salah Zahaf, the Libyan lawyer representing Hamdani and Goeldi said: “The court ruled that Hamdani is innocent of the charge of entering Libya illegally and has therefore decided to cancel the 16-month sentence.” But the lawyer said the court had ruled Hamdani still would stand trial on a second charge, of violating business
rules. Hamdani and Goeldi previously had been convicted of violating Libya’s immigration rules and sentenced to 16 months in prison. Earlier, Swiss television reported that Goeldi’s appeal against his immigration conviction had not
yet been decided. Like Hamdani, Goeldi also faces trial on the charges of breaking business regulations. Amnesty International said their earlier convictions did not meet international standards for a fair trial. The two men
were barred from leaving Libya in July 2008 after Swiss prosecutors briefly arrested Hannibal Gaddafi, a son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, on charges of mistreating two domestic employees during a visit to Switzerland. — Reuters
MOSCOW: Police officer detains a participant of an unauthorized anti-Kremlin protest in downtown Moscow, yesterday. Several hundred demonstrators gathered yesterday in a central Moscow square, defying a ban imposed by authorities. The protesters said their rally was banned in violation of the Russian constitution’s guarantee of the right to gather. Police quickly broke up the protest and detained several dozen demonstrators. — AP
The former premier told the Chilcot inquiry that he accepted “responsibility but not regret for removing Saddam”-prompting shouts of “liar” and “you’re a murderer” from the public gallery. Brown has talked little about his role in Blair’s decision to take Britain to war in 2003 alongside the United States and he oversaw the end of the country’s military mission in Iraq last year. But Blair’s former communications chief Alastair Campbell told the inquiry this month that Brown-finance minister for a decade before taking over from Blair in 2007 — was one of the “key ministers” his boss consulted at the time. This could raise tricky questions about Brown’s judgement and whether he tried to talk Blair out of launching into a war in which 179 British soldiers died, shortly before an election which opinion polls predict he will lose. “It would have taken resignation by just a handful of ministers and officials to prevent this war,” Polly Toynbee, a leading commentator on Labour, wrote in the Guardian newspaper Saturday. “Whatever Chilcot opines, long after the election is over, this extraordinary public inquisition of the recent prime minister (Blair) has been a raw reminder of the defining error of Labour’s foreign policy.” Brown is likely to be questioned by the inquiry in late February or early March. At least two government ministers have hinted the election could be held on May 6 and although informal campaigning is already well under way, the formal race would probably start in early April. Although the election seems likely to be dominated by the economy, Iraq could still play a role for some voters, according to experts. “It’s not going to be a decisive issue but there’s no doubt at all that it’s now a background hum in the build-up to the election and will reinforce certain impressions,” political commentator Steve Richards told BBC television Friday. “If people think this government is full of liars, that will be reinforced.” Some key members of Blair’s administration at the time of the invasion remain in power. As well as Brown, there is Jack Straw, foreign secretary in 2003 and now justice secretary. In addition, some media reports suggest Blair could return to help Labour’s general election campaign, a move likely to prove highly controversial, not least with many military families. Whether or not Brown is beaten by David Cameron and the main opposition Conservatives in the general election, Blair’s evidence may have implications for Britain way beyond the poll. Despite his warning that the West must be prepared to take a “very hard, tough line” with Iran over its disputed nuclear programme, it could now be much harder for Britain to commit its troops to foreign deployments. “If Tony Blair is right and Iran does kick off and there’s some kind of international force to be sent there, David Cameron as prime minister is really going to have to think hard... given what happened in Iraq,” Fraser Nelson, editor of current affairs magazine the Spectator, told the BBC Friday. — AFP
HILLSBOROUGH: Northern Ireland’s Secretary of State Shaun Woodward (R) and Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin (L) speak to the media outside Hillsborough Castle in Hillsborough, Northern Ireland Saturday. The talks are being held in an attempt to find agreement between Sinn Fein and the DUP on the devolution of policing and justice powers to Stormont. — AFP
British kidnap couple poorly treated, need urgent help AMARA: A British couple kidnapped by Somali pirates in October said they were not being well treated and needed urgent help, according to an AFP reporter who met them in captivity. “Please help us, these people are not treating us well,” said Rachel Chandler, captured by pirates with her husband Paul as they sailed their yacht, the Lynn Rival, in the Indian Ocean on October 23. They were brought ashore and have been held in separate locations in central Somalia. Rachel Chandler made her plea to a surgeon who was allowed to briefly examine the pair on Thursday, accompanied by an AFP photographer, the first journalist to see the Chandlers since their capture. The surgeon, Mohamed Helmi “Hangul”, said she was in poor mental and physical health. “She is sick, she is very anxious, she suffers from insomnia,” Hangul told AFP. “But I think she’s mainly mentally unwell, it seems. She’s very confused, she’s always asking about her husband-’Where’s my husband, where’s my husband? — and she seems completely disorientated,” he added. The pair are being held in separate locations in rugged areas between the coastal village of Elhur and the small town of Amara, further inland. During the visit Chandler looked pale, tired and distraught and pleaded to be
reunited with her husband. “I’m old, I’m 56 and my husband is 60 years old. We need to be together because we have not much time left,” she said. She spoke to the doctor in the presence of the AFP photographer, the first journalist to see the hostages since their kidnapping, from a tent where she is being guarded by pirates armed with assault rifles. Surrounded by trees, her tiny hideout consists of orange netting, tarpaulin and a few rugs. For his part Paul Chandler appeared psychologically more robust than his wife but admitted the conditions of their separate detention were difficult and he also pleaded for help. “Please help us, we have nobody to help us, we have no children... We have been in captivity for 98 days and we are not in good condition,” he said, also on Thursday. Hangul said Paul Chandler “had a bad cough and seemed to have some fever”. The surgeon, who had initially travelled to his hometown of Hobyo in early January to start building a hospital there, explained that it took him three weeks to obtain an authorisation from the kidnappers to visit the Chandlers. Hangul, a respected figure in the Somali clan to which the kidnappers also belong, said he was not allowed to bring drugs with him but left a prescription
with the captors. “I gave them some advice and told them: ‘Your hostages can die, all you want is money so treat them well, let them re-unite’,” the doctor said. “They said that they agreed but I cannot be sure what they’ve done.” Paul Chandler said in a phone interview to British broadcaster ITV News on January 21 that his captors had “lost patience” and set a deadline of three or four days before killing them. Neither the Chandlers nor their kidnappers made any reference to the ransom demanded for the couple’s release when Doctor Hangul spoke to them on Thursday. “We do not know what is happening right now, we have spoken to people and we are still waiting,” Rachel Chandler said, without elaborating. The hundreds of Somali sea bandits plying the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden generally hijack merchant vessels among the 20,000 ships that sail each year off the Somali coastline on one of the world’s busiest maritime trade routes. Those ships-which have included supertankers worth hundreds of millions of dollars-and their crews are generally released for a ransom after a few weeks or months. But in the relatively rare occurrences of small sailing yachts being taken, with no insurance companies and wealthy maritime operators to foot the ransom bills, the crew is the pirates’ only bargaining chip. — AFP
A photo made on January 28, 2010 shows Britton Paul Chandler (L) being examined by Somali doctor Abdi Mohamed Helmi “Hangul” (R) at a location in central Somalia, where he is being held since he and his wife Rachel were kidnapped as they sailed their yacht, the Lynn Rival, in the Indian Ocean on October 23, 2009. Since they were captured by Somali pirates, the Chandlers were brought ashore and have been held in central Somalia. — AFP
Monday, February 1, 2010
‘This is an abduction, not an adoption’
Americans arrested taking 31 children out of Haiti PORT-AU-PRINCE: Police in Haiti yesterday were holding 10 members of a US Christian ministry group on child trafficking charges, after they allegedly tried to leave the country with 31 Haitian children. Haitian Social Affairs Minister Yves Christallin said the police arrested five men
AFGHANISTAN: A Marine carry team loads a transfer case containing the remains of Marine Sgt. David Smith yesterday, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. According to the family, Smith died of injuries he suffered in an attack last week in Afghanistan. —AP
Investigator in US official’s slaying killed EL MONTE: The lead investigator in the slaying in Mexico of a Southern California school board member has been killed in an ambush, authorities said Saturday. Mexican officials wouldn’t say whether investigator Manuel Acosta’s killing was related to the killing of Agustin Roberto “Bobby” Salcedo last month. Acosta, 42, was ambushed near his office Jan. 15 by gunmen in a pickup truck. He was shot several times in the chest and torso, but survived in critical condition. He succumbed to his wounds Tuesday. Authorities didn’t immediately disclose the attack, saying they hoped to better protect Acosta by letting his assailants assume he was dead. Five others were killed in the attack. His death was first was reported in Mexico’s Milenio newspaper and confirmed to the Los Angeles Times Saturday by Martin Chavez, spokesman for the city of Gomez Palacio. It’s unclear what impact the death of Acosta will have on the case, in which little progress has been reported. US Rep. Judy Chu, who has pushed for strong response to the Salcedo case, said Salcedo’s
death was shocking and called Acosta’s “doubly shocking.” Chu, whose district includes El Monte, said she would continue to argue for the investigation to be put into the hands of federal authorities in Mexico instead of local ones. Mexican law requires that cases meet certain legal requirements to qualify for federal investigation, she said. Salcedo, a 33-year-old assistant principal, was killed December 31 while he and his wife were visiting relatives in Gomez Palacio. Salcedo and five other people were abducted from a restaurant and later found shot in the head, their bodies dumped in the outskirts of town. Salcedo, a Southern California native, is believed to have been the first US elected official killed in the 4-year-old Mexican drug war. Gomez Palacio is ground zero of the drug war. Authorities suspect a drug cartel was involved in the killings that included Salcedo. A few days after his death, about 5,000 people gathered for a vigil in Salcedo’s honor in El Monte, where he had been a teacher, coach and school administrator. — AP
Conviction angers anti-abortion militants WICHITA: Those living on the virulent edge of the anti-abortion movement pinned their hopes on Scott Roeder. Testifying in his own defense, a remorseless and resolute Roeder insisted he had committed a justified act for the defense of unborn children by killing Dr. George Tiller, one of the country’s few physicians to offer lateterm abortions. It was a bold legal strategy that, if successful, had the potential to radically alter the debate over abortion by reducing the price for committing such an act of violence. When it failed, those who share Roeder’s passionate, militant belief against abortion were outraged: One said they are getting tired of being treated as a “piece of dirt” unable to express the reasons for such acts in court. So while relieved at the outcome, abortion-rights advocates worry a verdict that should be a deterrent will instead further embolden those prone to violence. “Many of those who came here in his support will be key to making (Roeder) a martyr for their cause — all in furtherance of advocating deadly violence,” said Kathy Spillar, executive vice president of the Feminist Majority Foundation. Roeder faces a minimum sentence of life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after 25 years in prison when he’s sentenced March 9, although prosecutors will ask the judge to require the 51-year-old Kansas City, Missouri, man to serve at least 50 years behind bars before he is eligible for parole. His attorneys plan to appeal, arguing jurors should have been allowed to consider the lesser charge of
voluntary manslaughter, requiring proof that Roeder had an unreasonable but honest belief that deadly force was justified. The Rev. Donald Spitz, of Chesapeake, Virginia, who runs the Army of God Web site supporting violence against abortion providers, said the rejection of that argument has upset those who view Roeder as a hero. “I know there is not a lot of good feeling out there — everybody is pretty angry,” he said. Spitz was the spiritual adviser to Paul Hill and was with him at his 2003 execution for the killing of a Florida abortion provider and a clinic escort in 1994, an event that led to a lull in violence at abortion clinics. While saying he knows nothing of impending plans by others against abortion doctors, Spitz scoffed at suggestions that Roeder’s conviction will have a similar effect. “Times change,” Spitz said. “People are not as passive as they have been. They are more assertive.” Such comments terrify abortion-rights advocates, who say they’ll continue to press the Obama administration for deeper protections, such as buffer zones around clinics, to protect doctors against others who might follow in Roeder’s steps. Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation, said her group had noticed a rise in antiabortion violence over the past year. “We used to have members report incidents once a month _ now it’s every day,” Saporta said. “Every time, we forward it on to Justice Department task force, and they report it to FBI so nothing slips through the cracks.” Others are demanding a federal investigation and prosecution of
what they claim is a network of extremists, citing Roeder’s testimony that he talked to others about justifiable homicide of abortion doctors. “To see each murder as an isolated attack by one individual misses the fact there are these connections,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights. “It’s of extreme concern that some anti-choice fanatics will want to see themselves martyred in similar ways. It is a frightening possibility there will be copy cats.” Spitz said he has twice been subpoenaed to testify before grand juries in the past and FBI agents have been to his house several times. He disavows the existence of any organized conspiracy. “We don’t have a group,” he said. “It is a belief system.” At least one Justice Department official attended the trial, along with agents from the FBI. Justice officials in Washington declined to comment Friday. But in the wake of Tiller’s death, the Justice Department increased security around women’s health facilities and opened an ongoing investigation to try to determine if Roeder had accomplices. Among the other spectators at the trial was Randall Terry, the founder of Operation Rescue, which organized the 1991 “Summer of Mercy” protests that included attempts to block Tiller’s Wichita clinic and led to more than 2,700 arrests. As the jury was deliberating in Wichita, Terry said he believed that no matter the outcome of Roeder’s trial, more violence was inevitable. “The blood of these babies slain by Tiller is crying for vengeance,” he said. — AP
No sanctions for lawyers who okayed torture: Report WASHINGTON: Bush administration lawyers who drafted legal theories that led to waterboarding and other harsh treatment of terrorism suspects showed poor judgment but won’t face sanctions for professional misconduct, according to a published report. A forthcoming government ethics report initially concluded the two key authors of the socalled torture memos, Jay Bybee and John Yoo, who were officials in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel during the Bush administration, had violated their professional obligations as lawyers when they crafted the memos that allowed the use of harsh interrogation tactics. But a senior Justice Department official, David Margolis, later softened the department’s
finding to say the authors simply showed poor judgment, Newsweek reported. Margolis, who is a career lawyer and not a political appointee of the Obama administration, has supervised the department’s internal discipline through several administrations from his post in the deputy attorney general’s office. He declined to comment Saturday to The Associated Press. The finding is likely to unsettle interest groups who contended there should be sanctions for Bush administration lawyers who paved the way for tough interrogations, warrantless wiretapping and other coercive tactics. Bybee is now a federal appeals court judge in the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals covering several Western states, and Yoo is a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley. — AP
“This is an abduction, not an adoption,” he said, identifying the Americans as members of an Idaho-based charity called New Life Children’s Refuge. Christallin said the US citizens did not have the proper documents or authorization to take the children, who ranged in age from two months to 12 years, out of Haiti. The Haiti government has tightened its travel restrictions for children in the country, and said the prime minister for the time being will have to sign off on every minor’s departure abroad. “What is important for us in Haiti is that a child needs to have an authorization from this ministry to leave the country,” Christallin said. CNN reported that the leader of the group, identified as Laura Silsby, said the group’s aims were entirely altruistic. “We came into Haiti to help those that really had no other source of help,” she said, adding that the matter was a misunderstanding over documentation. “We are trusting the truth will be revealed, and we are praying for that.” A man identified as the father of 10 detained Americans told CNN that his daughter’s and her fellow church members’ sole aim was to provide aid and relief to needy Haitian orphans.
“Their attempt was to share the best. They want to bring kids out who have no home or parents, who have no hope. And this was an attempt to give them the hope that they have lost in Haiti,” the man told CNN in Idaho. A document posted online by the group asks for donations to bring 100 Haitian children to safety in the Dominican Republic and for volunteers to take care of the children during two-week stints. Under the heading “Purpose,” it reads: “Rescue Haitian orphans abandoned on the streets, makeshift hospitals, or from collapsed orphanages.” It says the group has leased a 45-room hotel in Cabarete as a temporary shelter for the children. It also includes a prayer request “for God to continue to grant favor with the Dominican government in allowing us to bring as many orphans as we can into the DR.” Haitian officials have voiced fears that child traffickers could take advantage of the chaos after Haiti’s massive January 12 quake to slip out of the country with children in illegal adoption schemes. There is also concern that legitimate adoption agencies may rush to take earthquake orphans out of the country
and five women with US passports, as well as two Haitians, as they tried to cross into the Dominican Republic with the children late Friday. Christallin said two pastors were also involved-one in Haiti and one in Atlanta, Georgia.
PORT-AU-PRINCE: Carla Thompson, Laura Silsby, Nicole Lark Ford American citizen Laura Silsby, 40, of Boise, Idaho, right, speaks as Nicole Lark Ford, 18, of Middleton, Idaho, left, and Carla Thompson, 53, of Meridien, Idaho, center, look on during an interview with the Associated Press at police headquarters at the international airport in Port-au-Prince, Saturday. Ten Americans were detained by Haitian police as they tried to bus 33 children across the border into the Dominican Republic, allegedly without proper documents. — AP before proper checks have been conducted to confirm their parents perished. Haiti’s quake severely crippled government agencies and pitched the country into a communications morass. Haitian police chief Mario Andresol said the Americans were being held at the Judicial
Police headquarters in Port-auPrince and that the children had been transferred to a facility north of the city, in Croix de Bouquets. He said an investigation was underway to determine how the children came into the Americans’ custody. “Now it’s up to the Justice
Department do to their job,” Andresol said. The United States has urged citizens moved by Haiti’s earthquake to show patience in adopting children, as reports emerge that some children have fallen prey to human traffickers, or even misidentified as orphans. — AFP
Monday, February 1, 2010
UN must speak out over Cambodian rehab centres PHNOM PENH: A leading rights group yesterday called on the United Nations to review its support for Cambodian government-run drug rehabilitation centres, where detainees allegedly suffer grave abuses. Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report last week calling for the closure of at least 11 centres nationwide, where it said detainees suffer “sadistic violence” such as electric shocks, forced labour and rape.
The government has denied the allegations in the HRW report, which also said people were often held in the centres without reasonable cause and were denied access to a lawyer. Though several UN agencies have since spoken out about the abuses, those working most closely with the government in detention centres and on drug policy have been less vocal, HRW said in a statement yester-
day. Government data revealed that more than 500 of the detainees were aged under 18, according to the latest HRW report. The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) “need to make clear to the Cambodian government that the centres should be shut down”, said Joe Amon, HRW health and human rights director. “Instead of remaining silent, the United
Nations should review its programmes and support for these centres,” he added. UNICEF’s Cambodia representative Richard Bridle said they would “like to examine all of the evidence before we examine what to do”. “We appreciate HRW is a serious organisation and does do good research but we’re not just going to act on the evidence it puts out in its reports.” Bridle also said UNICEF
had to take a “practical approach” to the centres and work with the government for the best interests of young detainees. The centres, run by various branches of the Cambodian state including the police and the ministry of social affairs, detained nearly 2,400 people in total in 2008, it said. Rights groups have in the past made allegations about abuse at Cambodia’s drug rehabilitation centres and UN health officials
have questioned their treatment methods. HRW’s report also said detainees were forced to donate blood, were fed rotten or insect-ridden food and chained while standing in the sun as punishment. Detainees were arrested for drug use and vagrancy but were also frequently rounded up in police sweeps of people considered “undesirable” in advance of national holidays or international meetings, it added. — AFP
UN chief to send envoys to N Korea
Koreas to resume talks after border artillery fire SEOUL: South and North Korea will resume talks to discuss revitalising a Seoul-funded joint industrial estate despite tension over days of a border artillery fire, officials here said yesterday. They will meet in the Kaesong estate, just north of the heavily fortified border, today for a follow-up to talks that ended in failure on January 21, the South’s unification ministry said. The
North at the weekend informed the South of its participation in the talks, approving a plan by southern delegates to cross the border into Kaesong, it said. Previous talks broke down as Pyongyang insisted on discussing a sharp pay increase for 42,000 North Koreans working for 110 South Korea-funded plants in Kaesong, which Seoul still refuses to discuss.
NORTH PYONGAN: This undated picture, released from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency yesterday shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Il inspecting the renovated Hyangsan Hotel in North Pyongan province in North Korea. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il has partially recovered his health and his country is not close to collapse despite grave economic problems, South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak says. — AFP
Moderate China quake kills one BEIJING: A moderate earthquake struck southwestern China yesterday, killing one person, injuring at least 11 others and collapsing some homes, the government said. The quake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale struck Sichuan province at 5:36 am (2136 GMT Saturday) with its epicentre near the city of Suining, the Sichuan earthquake authority said. The US Geological Survey rated the quake at magnitude 5.2. State television showed pictures of single-story homes that had collapsed into rubble. The reports indicated that dozens of homes were damaged or collapsed but did not give a precise figure. An 8.0-magnitude earthquake hit Sichuan in May 2008, leaving nearly 87,000 people dead or missing and more than five million others homeless. Chinese state media said last week that authorities would complete more than 90 percent of reconstruction in quake-devastated Sichuan province this year. — AFP
SICHUAN: A rescue worker crew stands amid the rubble of demolished buildings in Suining yesterday, in southwest China’s Sichuan province following an early morning moderate earthquake. A moderate 5.0 quake struck southwestern China, killing one person, injuring at least 11 others and collapsing some homes, the government said. — AFP
in the news Beasty fine KUALA LUMPUR: A news report says a Malaysian court has ordered two lovers to pay a fine of four buffaloes and a pig after they were found guilty of having an illicit affair. The Star newspaper says the Native Court in Penampang district on Borneo island ruled Friday that the man and woman must compensate their communities with the animals, valued at about 6,000 ringgit ($1,800), for their tryst. They were also fined 1,000 ringgit ($300) each. The man’s wife filed a complaint last year after finding her husband in shorts and her colleague in a sarong at the man’s second home. The court rejected their claim that they were just “best friends.” Officials could not immediately be reached Sunday for further details. Thai violence YALA: Suspected separatist militants have shot and killed five Muslim villagers, including a six-year-old boy, in the latest violence in Thailand’s insurgency-plagued south, police said yesterday. A 45-year-old man and his wife, 39, were shot dead in an ambush early Saturday on their way to work at a rubber plantation in Pattani province. Yesterday morning in the same province, a six-year-old boy and his parents, aged 42 and 50, were killed as they were travelling by motorcycle, police said. A bullet also grazed the couple’s youngest son, aged five, on the head, and he was taken to hospital. More than 4,100 people-both
Buddhists and Muslims-have died and thousands more wounded since shadowy separatist militants launched an insurgency in the Muslim-majority southern region six years ago. Border guard shooting TOKYO: Tokyo has lodged a formal complaint after Russian border guards shot at two Japanese fishing boats off the disputed South Kuril islands, the Japanese foreign ministry said. The guards fired warning shots from a helicopter and then shot directly at the boats on Friday when the fishermen failed to stop after straying into waters off Kunashir island, a Russian statement said. Kunashir, known as Kunashiri in Japanese, is the southernmost in the island chain, which is controlled by Russia but claimed by Japan. The Japanese trawlers returned to their home port of Rausu and what resembled bullet marks were found on them, the Japanese foreign ministry said in a press release late Saturday.It added the Russian action could have resulted in the loss of life and was “extremely inappropriate”. The ministry said the Japanese boats were operating in the waters in accordance of bilateral fishery arrangements. Japan and Russia have yet to sign a World War II peace treaty because they both lay claim to four islands off northern Japan seized in 1945 by Soviet troops, who expelled Japanese residents. The disputed territory is known as the South Kurils by Russia and the Northern Territories by Japan.
The South instead demanded that talks should focus on easier cross-border access to Kaesong and housing for northern workers there. The talks follow the communist North’s live fire which sent hundreds of shells near the disputed sea border in the Yellow Sea from Wednesday to Friday. No one was hurt but the drill prompted the South to fire warning shots in response and further raised tension between the two neighbours which remain technically at war since the 1950-1953 conflict. The sea border, drawn at the end of the war but never recognised by the North, has been a source of tensions between the two sides which had bloody naval clashes in November and in 1999 and 2002. The North has stopped artillery fire but the South closely monitors the communist neighbour which already declared two “no-sail” zones that straddle the disputed sea border, effective until March 29. On the eve of the talks in Kaesong, Seoul had little expectations for the upcoming round to produce any tangible results. “We have remained unchanged. The North’s demand for a pay rise should be excluded from agenda to be discussed at Monday’s talks,” a unification ministry spokesman told AFP on Sunday. Pyongyang had stunned Seoul by demanding a wage rise to 300 dollars per month for the employees in Kaesong, from around 75 dollars currently. Kaesong, the only cross-border reconciliation project still functioning since 2004, is designed to bring together the North’s cheap workforce and the South’s capital and expertise. But its operations have often been hit by political tension. It produces kitchenware, textiles, electronics and other light industrial goods. Meanwhile, United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon is to send two special envoys to North Korea to discuss restoring high-level talks and helping revive the nuclear disarmament process, a report said yesterday. Kim Won-Soo, an adviser to UN Secretary General Ban, and Lynn Pascoe, UN undersecretary-general for political affairs, will make a four-day visit to the communist state from February 9, Yonhap news agency said. Yonhap, citing an unnamed UN official, said the visit will aim primarily to resume the suspended high-level talks between the United Nations and North Korea. The UN envoys will also discuss issues related to North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme and humanitarian aid, according to Yonhap. The United Nations wanted to send envoys to Pyongyang early last year but North Korea rejected the offer, the agency said. North Korea has been under growing international pressure to return to six-nation nuclear disarmament talks that the communist state has boycotted for nine months. Tougher UN sanctions have been imposed on the North since its missile and nuclear tests last year. The North’s economy has been hit by the sanctions, which restricted its weapons exports. The nation has relied on foreign aid to feed its people since it suffered a devastating famine in the 1990s. The UN could decide to ease or roll back the sanctions if there is substantial progress on the talks which group the two Koreas, the US, Russia, China and Japan. But before rejoining the North has demanded an end to sanctions and talks on a peace treaty to formally end the 1950-1953 Korean War.— Agencies
NARITA: In this photo taken Dec. 18, 2009, Chinese human rights activist Feng Zhenghu speaks to The Associated Press near the passport control of Terminal 1 at Narita international airport in Narita, near Tokyo. Feng, who has been camping out at the airport being barred from going home, said yesterday, he plans to enter Japan and try again to go back to Shanghai in midFebruary. — AP
China activist to end protest at Tokyo airport TOKYO: A Chinese activist who spent nearly 90 days camping out at Tokyo’s international airport after being barred from going home said yesterday that he was ending his protest after Chinese officials visited him. Feng Zhenghu had stayed at Narita International Airport since early November to protest China’s refusal to let him return to his homeland from Japan. He angered the Chinese government with writings on alleged wrongdoing by local authorities and for supporting student protests. Amnesty International describes Feng, who spent three years in prison, as a prominent human rights defender. Holding a valid Chinese passport and a visa to enter Japan, Feng was free to leave the airport, but refused to pass immigration control. His decision to end the protest came after Chinese officials visited him at the airport last week — for the first time since he started camping out. “Chinese Embassy officials
came to see me several times. Now they seem to acknowledge the problem,” Feng told The Associated Press from the airport terminal on his cell phone. “I’ve decided to enter Japan, pull myself together and return to Shanghai for the Chinese New Year.” Feng has been denied entry to China eight times since June. On the last of his attempts to return, he got as far as Shanghai’s Pudong airport, where Chinese officials forced him to get back on a plane for Tokyo, which arrived Nov. 4. Since then, Feng staged a peaceful protest at the airport and through his cell phone and laptop, talking to supporters and posting blogs and tweets on Twitter. Feng said Sunday he planned to stay with his sister, who is married to a Japanese man and lives near Tokyo, until mid-February. “I believe next time I can return home,” Feng said, without elaborating. He declined to say if the embassy officials promised to guarantee his reentry. “As a Chinese citizen, I
have a right to return home.” He wrote Sunday on Twitter that the Chinese officials showed their diplomatic concern “sincerely” and “I will respond with sincerity as well.” He said he will formally announce his decision Tuesday before entering Japan, without giving reasons on the choice of date. It was not clear if Tokyo made any diplomatic efforts to resolve the case with Beijing. Calls to the Chinese Embassy were unanswered, and Japanese officials were not available for comment Sunday. As word of Feng’s predicament spread, he became something of a celebrity, with his situation reminiscent of that in “The Terminal,” the movie about a stateless man stuck at New York’s Kennedy Airport. He also seemed to have won over some airport officials, who looked the other way when he used the terminal’s power outlets to charge his batteries or a bathroom to change clothes and wash himself. “Life here has been tough,” Feng said. “I think I’ve done enough.” — AP
HONG KONG: Supporters of Falungong attend a protest beneath the International Finance Centre outside city hall in Hong Kong yesterday. The Falungong religious group, which is banned in China, on January 27 accused Beijing of forcing a dance troupe linked to the sect to cancel a Hong Kong performance tour by denying visas to key members. — AFP
8 missing after boat sinks in Philippines MANILA: Eight fishermen have been missing at sea for almost a week after their boat went down west of the Philippine capital, the coast guard said yesterday. The E.J. Brother was reported by its owner to have sunk in rough waters off the province of Bataan on January 25 with only two of its crew rescued by a passing vessel, said spokesman Commander Armand Balilo. It was unclear why the fishing boat’s owner only reported the sinking days later, the coast guard spokesman told AFP.
Coast guard investigators in the area have been instructed to question the owner and to find the two rescued fishermen to get more details on the incident, Balilo said. Shipping accidents are common in the Philippines and usually involve poorly maintained wooden vessels, which are relied on for much sea travel and for fishing in the archipelago. About 70 people were left dead or remain missing after two ferry mishaps in December alone. —AFP
Monday, February 1, 2010
January death rate signal of tough year ahead in Afghan war KABUL: The Afghan war has notched up another grisly record, with the number of international troops to die in the fight against the Taleban the highest for the month of January since the war began. With tens of thousands more international troops being deployed to Afghanistan this year, analysts and officials are warning the deaths of 44 foreign soldiers in January is a sign of things to come. The record death toll comes as the Kabul government and its international partners shift the war’s emphasis from battleground to development, and start focusing on attempts to convince Taleban infantry to lay down their arms.
In the meantime, experts say more troops means more casualties as foreign forces take the fight to the Taleban-with a major offensive planned for this week likely to be the first of a battle-scarred year. “With more foreign forces, and the enhanced quality and quantity of Afghan forces, the enemy will use all its capacity to show that the surge is causing further instability,” said defence ministry spokesman General Zahir Azimi. “When the fight increases, the area of the fight expands accordingly, so the casualties will increase,” he told AFP. The 113,000 troops fighting the Taleban under US and NATO com-
mand are being supplemented with another 40,000 arriving up to August, to fight with and train up Afghanistan’s security forces. January’s foreign troop deaths, reported by independent website icasualties.org, which keeps a running tally, compares with 25 in January 2009. The number of Americans who died last month in the conflict now in its ninth year was almost double the number for January last year, at 29 compared with 15, the website says. The January death toll follows records set in 2009 for total foreign troop deaths — 520 compared to 295 the year before-and Afghan civilians, which the United Nations put at
2,412, against 2,118 in 2008. “This year will be the worst fighting year in the last 30 years of war, because the soldiers being deployed here are not coming to play, they are coming to put pressure on the Taleban to accept peace talks,” said Ahmad Massoud, economics professor at Kabul University. Some 10,000 US Marines have poured into the Marjah region of Helmand province, preparing to flush the Taleban out of their major stronghold. The offensive is expected to get under way this week, and has been preceded by minor operations in the surrounding area, where most of the
world’s opium is produced and which helps to fund the insurgency. It mirrors a similar push into Helmand’s Garmser region last year, seen as a major success in paving the way for development and peace. As the nature of the fight has changed, the defence ministry’s Azimi said, with the Taleban increasingly using suicide attacks and remote-controlled bombs, there had been no traditional winter hiatus in the fighting and spring was likely to be ferocious. “We will have the most intense clashes come the spring, and will shed the most blood this year,” he said. Integral to the new strategy is
President Hamid Karzai’s desire to reintegrate those he calls his “disenchanted brothers” into Afghan society by offering them an alternative to the cash they earn fighting for the Taleban. This “reconciliation” was a focus of last week’s London conference attended by around 70 countries hoping to chart a roadmap for Afghanistan’s future. Taleban foot soldiers, many of whom are poor and unemployed, are to be offered jobs in return for renouncing violence as part of a project that will be funded with 140 million dollars in pledges in the first year. Political analyst Ahmad Saedi
said the plan is not likely to pay a peace dividend as he expects many people will pose as militants to get the cash. “I think this idea of making payments will see people such as criminals suddenly becoming ‘Taliban’, and others travelling from one part of the country to another to be paid, and that essentially this money is going to be wasted and will not serve any purpose in bringing peace,” he said. Afghanistan needed a political solution, he said, and the London conference had failed to come up with an effective way of folding neighbours, including Iran, Pakistan and China, into the country’s future. —AFP
State TV reports Hakimullah succumbs
Pakistan Taleban deny leader killed SRINAGAR: Kashmiri Muslims shout pro-freedom slogans after a gunbattle in Sopore, about 55 kilometers (34 miles) north of Srinagar, India, yesterday. Protests erupted in a town in Indian Kashmir yesterday with protesters alleging that government forces staged a gunbattle in the town. Police said they recovered a rifle, grenades and a laptop from a house after the gunbattle with suspected rebels in Sopore, but rebels managed to escape. —AP
Afghan leader appeals to Taleban to lay down guns KABUL: Afghanistan’s president appealed to Taleban fighters yesterday to lay down their weapons and accept Afghan laws as the government and its international allies push a program to entice militants away from the insurgency. President Hamid Karzai spoke three days after he and Western backers agreed at a conference in London to create a more comprehensive program to bring Taleban insurgents over to the government’s side in order to reduce violence that has raged in recent years. Incentives have existed for years for the Taleban to stop fighting, but these have generally been ineffective, attracting only the lowest-level fighters with no guarantees they wouldn’t return to the insurgency or that promised aid would come through. And despite incentives, the insurgency has expanded steadily in the past six years. In 2004, NATO estimated that fewer than 400 Taleban were left in Afghanistan. By last year that figure had grown to nearly 25,000, with the latest estimates in early 2010 putting the number of insurgents at close to 30,000. Karzai stressed he plans to reconcile with Taleban leaders as much as they are willing, but he made clear his offer of reconciliation did not extend to anyone in al-Qaeda, saying there was no room in Afghanistan for terrorists. “We are trying our best to reach as high as possible to bring peace and security,” Karzai said in his first news conference since returning from London. Karzai has said previously he is willing to talk to Taleban leader
Mullah Omar and welcome back any militants who are willing to recognize the Afghan constitution. However, the Taleban has always set the withdrawal of international troops as a precondition for any negotiations. Karzai called that unrealistic, saying the NATO coalition should be expected to stay until they achieve their goal of removing alQaeda and other terrorist threats. Afghanistan’s international backers agreed in London to provide funding for a renewed effort to woo Taleban away from al-Qaeda and the insurgency, given the commitment of the Afghan government to institute a more comprehensive and thorough program, including jobs and education. The details will be worked out in a meeting of elders, clerics and other representatives to be held “very soon,” Karzai said. Karzai is scheduled to travel this week to Saudi Arabia, one of the few countries that recognized the Taleban regime before it was ousted in 2001 and whose leaders have acted as intermediaries before. Karzai declined to say if he planned to discuss the new reconciliation plan with the Saudis. “The role of Saudi Arabia is extremely important for Afghanistan,” Karzai said. “This role we’re seeking is not only for talks with the Taleban. It’s a broader role that we’re seeking, which is for peace-building in Afghanistan, for improved relations with our nations and for reconstruction and assistance.” Saudi Arabia pledged an additional $150 million in aid to Afghanistan at the London conference. —AP
S Lanka editor detained for backing opposition COLOMBO: Media groups in Sri Lanka yesterday accused the government of detaining a senior editor and shutting down his newspaper because the publication backed the losing opposition candidate in elections. Press owners, editors and rights bodies issued a joint statement saying the closure of the pro-opposition Lanka weekly and the detention of Chandana Sirimalwatte was a “fatal blow to media freedom and democracy.” “Promises made during the presidential campaign to defend press freedom and speed up the investigations into assassinations of journalists have evaporated within
days,” the group said. —AFP “The repression against journalists and media that does not obey government orders and express dissenting voices has now culminated in acts unleashed against the Lanka newspaper.” Sri Lankan authorities have not said why the paper was forced to close and its editor taken into custody. However, the government, under criticism from international rights groups, on Sunday withdrew an expulsion order against Swiss reporter Karin Wenger, who covered the island’s fiercely fought presidential election last week. A government spokesman
said that “wrong information” had led to Wenger, of Swiss Public Radio, being ordered to leave the country. The department of information had accused her of damaging the image of Sri Lanka with “defamatory” reports. A government minister also criticised Wenger for grilling the authorities on allegations of irregularities in Tuesday’s vote, which was comfortably won by incumbent Mahinda Rajapakse. International rights organisations accused the government of harassing independent journalists who it believed sided with defeated opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka. —AFP
PESHAWAR: Pakistan’s Taleban denied a report yesterday that their leader said earlier it was investigating the report that Hakimullah died from wounds Hakimullah Mehsud had been killed in a US drone aircraft strike. “It is a total sustained in a drone attack and had been buried in the Orakzai tribal region in lie,” a spokesman for the group told Reuters by telephone from northwest the northwest of the country. “We’re inquiring further but so far there’s no conPakistan, referring to a report on Pakistani state television. Pakistan’s military firmation,” said army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas. Hakimullah’s death would likely create disarray in Pakistan’s Al-Qaeda-linked Taleban, analysts say, but it would not deal a major longterm blow to the group, which is fighting to topple the pro-American government. State television did not give dates for the drone attack. Pakistani intelligence officials said they had received unconfirmed reports that Hakimullah, the number one enemy of the Pakistani state, may have died of wounds after a drone strike on two vehicles carrying militants in North Waziristan on Jan. 17, days after surviving a similar attack. Hakimullah appeared in a farewell video with the suicide bomber double agent who killed seven CIA employees in Afghanistan on Dec 30. The footage suggested his Tehrik-e-Taleban Pakistan (TTP), Taleban Movement of Pakistan, BANNU: Pakistani police officers examine the damaged portion of a girls school wrecked by suspected militants which has focused on fighting in Kotka Maawia near Bannu, Pakistan yesterday. Militants target schools, particularly girls schools, because Pakistan’s government, had become more sophisticated, they deeply oppose to Western-style education. —AP taking part in the second deadliest attack in the CIA’s history. Pakistan’s Taleban issued an audio tape on Jan 16. purportedly from Hakimullah denying he was killed in a US drone strike two days earlier. The intelligence officials said reports indicated Hakimullah was taken to Orakzai tribal region after PESHAWAR: Fighter jets and helicopters yes- Khar. “Ground troops are also taking part in The military first launched operations the drone attack on the two terday pounded a district in northwest Pakistan this offensive.” A security official in the area against Islamist fighters in Mohmand and vehicles, and that he may where a suicide bomber killed 17 people a day confirmed the “severe” air strikes. Bajaur in August 2008 and have claimed severhave been killed or wounded. earlier, in a response described by authorities “There are training centres where militants al times to have quashed the militant threat, Washington sees Pakistan as as “severe”. It came as two security personnel trained suicide bombers and they have hideouts but clashes and attacks continue. a frontline state in its war were killed by another bomb yesterday. Pakistan’s northwest tribal belt has become in these areas,” he said. “We are going to clear against militancy and wants Saturday’s suicide blast in the town of Khar these areas. Militants are taking shelter there.” a stronghold for both homegrown Islamist miliit to go after Afghan Taleban was the latest in a string of attacks in Bajaur In neighbouring Mohmand district yester- tant groups and hundreds of extremists who groups who cross the border district, which borders Afghanistan. Senior day a roadside bomb exploded in the town of fled Afghanistan after the US-led invasion topand attack Western forces in administrative official Iqbal Khatak said the Safi, killing two security personnel who were pled the hardline Taleban regime in late 2001. Afghanistan. Pakistan’s military last year embarked on death toll had risen overnight to 17, with 46 riding in a water tanker, officials and residents But Pakistan says it does multiple new assaults into Taleban strongholds told AFP. injured. not have enough resources “The remote-controlled bomb was buried in in the northwest, aimed at crushing the feared Two soldiers were among the dead in the to open new fronts against Safi town-two security men were martyred and Tehreek-e-Taleban Pakistan (TTP) movement attack on a military checkpoint. militants and must concenAuthorities imposed an indefinite curfew in two injured in this incident,” said Major Fazal- blamed for Also yesterday, militants blew up a trate on homegrown Taleban Khar, Bajaur’s main town, and adjoining vil- ur-Rehman, spokesman for the paramilitary government-run girls’ primary school on the outskirts of the northwestern garrison town of lages, while all major roads were closed. Frontier Corps. insurgents seeking to “Fighter jets and helicopter gunships are Bajaur and Mohmand sit at the northern tip Bannu. impose their austere form of “They planted explosives around the walls bombing and shelling militant hideouts and of Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal belt along Islamic rule in nuclear-armed bases in Mamoond and Salarzai,” administra- the Afghan border. They have seen increasing and then dynamited the building,” said Pakistan. In August 2009, a tive official Jameel Khan said, referring to two unrest in recent weeks as security forces try to Mohammad Hussain Khan, a police official in US drone strike killed the area. —AFP towns within 15 kilometres (nine miles) of dismantle Taleban sanctuaries. Pakistan Taleban leader Baitullah Mehsud. The Taleban have hit back with bombs that have killed hundreds since a security offensive launched in October that destroyed Hakimullah’s bases in South Waziristan. Hakimullah’s deputy, WaliLONDON: Britain has temporariur-Rehman, is waiting in the ly suspended student visa appliwings if he is killed. cations from northern India, Nepal and Bangladesh after a Pakistan militants warned sharp rise in numbers, the UK of a full-blown war against Border Agency (UKBA) said yesthe government if security terday. forces launch any operation It has stopped accepting appliin the tribal region of North cations for at least a month while Waziristan, where it investigates. Hakimullah is believed to The UKBA has not released have fled after the South figures of numbers of applications, Waziristan crackdown. “We but the BBC said 13,500 from will not accept any sort of northern India alone were submitoperation and if there is any ted in the last three months of last preparation from the governyear, compared with 1,800 in the ment for an operation, or same period of 2008. Jeremy government forces enter any Oppenheim, of the UKBA, said: village in this regard, that “We continually check and monicould trigger a full-fledged tor all student applications and battle,” said the Council of education providers to ensure Mujahideen, which includes that they meet the required stanthe Pakistani Taleban, in a dards set by the Points Based System. —AFP statement. —Reuters
Fighter jets, helicopters pound NW Pakistan
UK takes action after student visa surge
Monday, February 1, 2010
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Pakistan’s Afghan influence limited By Zeeshan Haider and Robert Birsel
akistan has shown support for Afghanistan’s invitation to the Taleban to take part in a peace council but the old Taleban ally has only limited influence over the militants, who many expect will reject the offer. The Afghan government on Thursday invited the Taleban to a jirga, or traditional council, during an international conference in London as its Western allies worked out plans to try to end the war in Afghanistan. Taleban representatives were not at the conference. A spokesman for the group said on Friday his leaders would decide soon whether to join the talks. Pakistan, facing an insurgency by indigenous Taleban allied with the Afghan militants, wants a peaceful Afghanistan but more importantly, it wants the growing influence of old rival India in Afghanistan kept to a minimum. Pakistan is viewed with deep suspicion in Kabul because of its ties to the Taleban, whom Pakistan backed through the 1990s. The hardline Islamists are the only Afghanistan faction over which Pakistan has any influence and can use as leverage to try to limit India’s influence, and for the time being, Pakistan is likely to tread very carefully. Main Taleban factions, such as those led by veteran guerrilla commander Jalaluddin Haqqani and supreme Taleban chief Mullah Mohammad Omar, derive much support from supply networks and bases on the Pakistani side of the border. As efforts to stabilise Afghanistan gather pace, Pakistan is likely to use those groups as bargaining chips, said Khadim Hussain of the Pakistan-based Aryana Institute thinktank. “I don’t think Pakistan is going to put all of its cards on the table. They will try to keep some of them for their own interests and agenda,” Hussain said. “Pakistan will keep the whole thing very vague so it can address its own interests and foreign policy agenda.” In an indication of the quickening pace of diplomacy, a UN official said members of the Taleban’s leadership council had secretly met the UN representative for Afghanistan in Dubai last month to discuss the possibility of laying down arms. Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmud Qureshi said in London he
was satisfied with the outcome of the international conference, which he said had addressed all Pakistani concerns. Pakistan has long stressed the need for talks and Qureshi said Pakistan would help, if asked. “Pakistan has said that we want the reconciliation process to be Afghan-led,” Qureshi told a news conference. “If the Afghans so desire, we are willing to facilitate.” Underlining Pakistan’s determination to keep India out of any Afghan process, Qureshi expressed satisfaction a proposal to set up a regional body including India had been dropped. “Pakistan said there was no need for a new regional architecture ... Today, our point of view was understood and incorporated.” But analysts said the question of Pakistani pressure on the Taleban to get them to the jirga might be irrelevant if, as they expect, the Taleban reject the invitation. “Pakistan does not have as much influence over the Taleban as it used to,” said a former Pakistani ambassador to Afghanistan, Ayaz Wazir. Even when Pakistan was one of three countries to recognise the Taleban government, they never took orders, he said. “They would listen to Pakistan but then do whatever they wanted. Why would they accept our advice now when they’re fighting on their own?,” Wazir said, adding he thought the Taleban would reject the invitation to talks. “If they wanted to take part in such jirgas then they wouldn’t have fought for eight or nine years,” he said. “They don’t accept Karzai and say he is imposed by the United States, then why would they join this? First they want foreign troops to leave.” Veteran journalist and Afghan expert Rahimullah Yusufzai said the Taleban had shown signs of flexibility, saying they would not let Afghan soil be used for attacks on others in an apparent reference to reining in their Al-Qaeda allies. But he also said the Taleban were unlikely to attend the jirga and would repeat their demand for foreign troops to leave. However, the jirga could lure some ethnic Pashtun tribes allied with the Taleban back to the fold, said Hussain. “I don’t think there is going to be any compromise by those Taleban closely linked to the international jihadist network,” he said. “But as far as the affiliated tribes are concerned, they can be negotiated with.” — Reuters
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A Jewish voice against the ‘burqa ban’ By Joshua M Z Stanton
ven as a Jew in New York, I know what it is like to be Muslim in France. While studying abroad in the French city of Strasbourg in 2007, I decided to grow a bushy beard. Little did I know that in France only traditional Jewish and Muslim men don anything but the most finely trimmed moustache or goatee. Since I did not wear a yarmulke or other head covering, people who saw me on the street assumed that I was Muslim. I felt that police officers and passersby treated me with suspicion, and even on the crowded rush hour bus few chose to sit next to me if they could avoid it. On one occasion someone followed me home and tried to start a fight, only to find I was a bewildered American, not a French Muslim. Never before, and never since, have I experienced disdain of this sort. On a daily basis, I was made to feel badly because of my appearance-and what was presumed to be my corresponding religious affiliation. So when I read of the impending effort by parliamentary leader Jean-FranÁois Cope and his supporters to criminalise the burqa (and other garments that fully cover a woman’s body, head and face) in France, I understood it to be far more than a measure to protect women’s rights or preserve the concept of a secular society, on which the modern French state is built. In my opinion, it is easy to see how the “burqa ban” might be misused as a part of a broader effort to stigmatise a religious population, one that already perceives itself to be on the margins of society. Admittedly, I am fundamentally opposed to any garment or religious practice - including those found in my own Jewish tradition - that suggests women hold a different or subservient position than men. But the burqa ban in France will not achieve the aim of gender equality. If
anything, it will strengthen religious conservatives in France’s Muslim population by convincing members of the moderate majority of Muslims that the rest of French society will never accept them. While there are said to be only 2,000 women who wear burqas in all of France today, the entire Muslim population, estimated to be around five to six million, will take umbrage at another measure that singles out their community. If we assume that French President Nicolas Sarkozy is genuinely motivated by the belief that burqas are a “sign of subservience, a sign of debasement,” according to the 16 January edition of The Economist, his best response would in fact be to enact measures welcoming Muslim citizens more fully into French society. Such affirmations would undercut efforts by the small minority of religiously conservative Muslims to gather a following among disaffected coreligionists who feel unable to overcome anti-Muslim prejudice. The need for the French government to treat religious minorities with respect is bolstered by its own history. In 1781, the enlightened German thinker Christian Wilhelm von Dohm made what at the time was a revolutionary suggestion: “Certainly, the Jew will not be prevented by his religion from being a good citizen, if only the government will give him a citizen’s rights.” But it was the French who first put Dohm’s prophetic vision into action. In 1806, French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte emancipated French Jews by passing laws to improve their economic and social status. He invited them to live anywhere they pleased, as opposed to confinement in crowded city slums and frequent itinerancy in the countryside. He also officially recognised their religion and affirmed its permanent place within the private sphere of French life.
Through these acts of profound tolerance over 200 years ago, France set an example for all of Europe and proved that its open-mindedness was more than rhetorical. Modern France would
do well to follow its own admirable example and truly treat Muslim citizens as equal participants in society. Foregoing the burqa ban would be a sensible first step.
NOTE: Joshua M Z Stanton is coeditor of the Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue and a rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College in New York City — CGNews
The spirit of Mao Zedong By Lee Edwards
an you name the greatest mass murderer of the 20th century? No, it wasn’t Hitler or Stalin. It was Mao Zedong. According to the authoritative “Black Book of Communism”, an estimated 65 million Chinese died as a result of Mao’s repeated, merciless attempts to create a new “socialist” China. Anyone who got in his way was done away with - by execution, imprisonment or forced famine. For Mao, the No. 1 enemy was the intellectual. The socalled Great Helmsman reveled in his blood-letting, boasting, “What’s so unusual about Emperor Shih Huang of the China Dynasty? He had buried alive 460 scholars only, but we have buried alive 46,000 scholars.” Mao was referring to a major “accomplishment” of the Great Cultural Revolution, which from 1966-1976 transformed China into a great House of Fear. The most inhumane example of Mao’s contempt for human life came when he ordered the collectivization of China’s agriculture under the ironic slogan, the “Great Leap Forward.” A deadly combination of lies about grain production, disastrous farming methods (profitable tea plantations, for example, were turned into rice fields), and misdistribution of food produced the worse famine in human history. Deaths from hunger reached more than 50 percent in some Chinese villages. The total number of dead from 1959 to 1961 was between 30 million and 40 million - the population of California. Only five years later, when he sensed that revolutionary fervor in China was waning, Mao proclaimed the Cultural Revolution. Gangs of Red Guards young men and women between 14 and 21 - roamed the cities targeting revisionists and other enemies of the state, especially teachers. Professors were dressed in grotesque clothes and dunce caps, their faces smeared with ink. They were then forced to get down on all fours and bark like dogs. Some were beaten to death, some even eaten all for the promulgation of Maoism. A reluctant Mao finally called in the Red Army to put down the marauding Red Guards when they began attacking Communist Party members, but not before 1 million Chinese died.
All the while, Mao kept expanding the laogai, a system of 1,000 forced labor camps throughout China. Harry Wu, who spent 19 years in labor camps, has estimated that from the 1950s through the 1980s, 50 million Chinese passed through the Chinese version of the Soviet gulag. Twenty million died as a result of the primitive living conditions and 14-hour work days. Such calculated cruelty exemplified his Al Capone philosophy: “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” And yet Mao Zedong remains the most honored figure in the Chinese Communist Party. At one end of historic Tiananmen Square is Mao’s mausoleum, visited daily by large, respectful crowds. At the other end of the square is a giant portrait of Mao above the entrance leading into the Forbidden City, the favorite site of visitors, Chinese and foreign. In the spirit of Mao, China’s present rulers continue to oppress intellectuals and other dissidents such as humanrights activist Liu Xiaobo. He was sentenced last month to 11 years in prison for “inciting subversion of state power.” His offense: signing Charter 08, which calls on the government to respect basic civil and human rights within a democratic framework. . China presents itself as a vast market for US companies and investors. But some US companies are taking a second look at doing business in a country which considers Mao Zedong its patron saint. Google has said it is reconsidering its operations in China after discovering a sophisticated cyber attack on its email which the government must have initiated or approved. Google has revealed what many in the Internet world have known for some time - China routinely hacks into US and Western websites for national security and other valuable information. Mao would have enthusiastically applauded this intellectual rape. I wonder: would President Obama be so ready to kowtow to China if in the middle of Beijing there was a mausoleum of Hitler and, hanging from the gate to the Forbidden City, a giant swastika? NOTE: Lee Edwards is distinguished fellow in conservative thought at The Heritage Foundation and chairman of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation — MCT
Do blacks truly want to transcend race? By Jesse Washington
ive little words - “I forgot he was black” - have caused a furor in the United States and exposed a contradiction in the idea that it has become a post-racial nation since electing its first black president last year. The comment came from television host Chris Matthews after President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech Wednesday. “He is post-racial, by all appearances,” the liberal host of MSNBC said on the air. “I forgot he was black tonight for an hour. You know, he’s gone a long way to become a leader of this country, and past so much history, in just a year or two. I mean, it’s something we don’t even think about.” The staunch Obama supporter meant it as praise, but it caused a rapid furor, with many calling the quote a troubling sign that blackness is viewed perhaps unconsciously - as a handicap that still needs to be overcome. Apparently, Matthews forgot to ask black people if they WANT to be deraced. “As a black American I want people to remember who I am and where I come from without attaching assumptions about deficiency to it,” said Dr Imani Perry, a professor at Princeton’s Center for African American Studies. Although she thought Matthews was
US President Barack Obama speaks to both houses of Congress during his first State of the Union address at the US Capitol on Jan 27, 2010 in Washington. – AFP well-intentioned, she found his statement troubling, because “it suggests that if he had remembered Obama’s blackness, that awareness would be a barrier to seeing him as a competent or able leader”. “The ideal is to be able to see and acknowledge everything that person is, including the history that he or she comes from, as well as his or her competencies and qualities, and respect
all of those things,” Perry said. That’s a very different vision of “transcending race” - a consistent theme of Obama’s political history - than one in which race has disappeared altogether. “It’s important for us to remember that everyone has a race,” Blair L M Kelley, an associate professor of history at North Carolina State University. “When you say we’re going to tran-
scend race, are white people called on to transcend their whiteness?” “When (black people) transcend it, what do we become? Do we become white?” she asked. “Why would we have to stop being our race in order to solve a problem?” Matthews didn’t get that far down the post-racial road on Wednesday night. But his comments instantly exploded online, especially on Twitter. Ninety minutes later, he clarified his comments on the air. “I’m very proud I did it and I hope I said it the right way,” Matthews said, noting that he grew up in the racially fraught 1960s. “I walked into the room tonight, you could feel (racial tension) wasn’t there tonight and that takes leadership on his part, to get us beyond those divisions, really national leadership,” Matthews said. “I felt it wonderfully tonight, almost like an epiphany. I think he’s done something wonderful. I think he’s taken us beyond black and white in our politics.” Plenty of people supported Matthews on Thursday, saying his sentiments, although poorly worded, reflected the view that all Americans are now equal. But for many blacks, it was hard to forget the word “forgot”. Kevin Jackson, a black conservative and author of “The BIG Black Lie”, hews to the philosophy that people should be
judged on their merits, not their color. Yet Jackson does not want his blackness to be forgotten. “Absolutely not,” he said. “Because we have an amazing history.” Sophia Nelson, a black attorney, former lobbyist and founder of PoliticalIntersection.com, which focuses on politics, race and gender, said she has been offended by people calling her articulate and intelligent: “That’s saying that people who look like me normally aren’t those things.” She said Matthews’ comment showed the same unconscious bias as those by Vice President Joe Biden when he was still a senator that Obama was “clean” and “articulate”, and Sen Harry Reid’s saying that Obama was more electable because he was light-skinned and lacking a “Negro dialect”. “Matthews was saying exactly what he meant,” Nelson said. “He forgot he was black because he’s so articulate and so compelling.” Another common interpretation of Matthews’ comment was that if he forgot Obama was black during his speech, it must be part of his thinking the other 23 hours of the day. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, said Kelley, the North Carolina State professor. “Obama is forcing people to see blackness,” she said, “in a way they haven’t had to in the past.” — AP
Monday, February 1, 2010
Yudhoyono’s slow start bodes ill for reform iPad lays claim I to tablet market A focus
By Sunanda Creagh
ndonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s re-election victory last year raised hopes of a renewed reform push, hopes that now look over-optimistic and could eventually result in investor disappointment. The first three months of Yudhoyono’s second, five-year term have highlighted his weaknesses: his mistake of awarding cabinet seats to coalition partners who do not support his policies and his own ambivalent support for reform. His second term - like his first - continues to be overshadowed by the power struggle between the country’s reformers, intent on shaking up a bloated, corrupt bureaucracy, and the political old guard who stand to lose out. The outcome will determine the pace of reform in the civil service, judiciary, and police, seen as critical to spur the country to reach investment-grade status within the next five years, a prospect drawing investors to its bonds and currency. “The first 100 days ... have been a great disappointment, both for him and the electorate,” said Marcus Mietzner, a political analyst at Australian National University. “As a result, many key policy areas - economic reform, further institutional change, improvements to infrastructure, climate change - have taken a backseat. Only six months after his landslide victory, Yudhoyono appears defensive, insecure and selfabsorbed.” Indonesians, who gave him a 61 percent majority win, have also registered disappointment. Yudhoyono’s 100th day in office on
An Indonesian activist from Greenpeace wears a mask showing Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono holding a trophy of the ‘World Cup of Forest Destruction’ outside the Jakarta Convention Center where the real FIFA World Cup trophy was on public display during a protest against the government’s environmental policy in Jakarta on Jan 26, 2010. – AFP Thursday was marked by mostly peaceful anti-government demonstrations in Jakarta and other major cities. Public satisfaction with Yudhoyono has dropped 15 percentage points to 70 percent, a survey by the Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI) released on Wednesday showed, from 85 percent in July 2009. Last year, the prospect of continued political stability and reform measures fuelled a surge in Indonesian assets, driving stocks up 87 percent, local currency government bonds up as
much as 22 percent, and the rupiah up 17 percent. Fitch Ratings this week upgraded Indonesia’s sovereign debt rating to BB+, one notch below the coveted investment grade level that analysts said may take another two to three years to obtain. Investors see G20 member Indonesia, with 240 million people and abundant natural resources, joining the emerging market elite alongside BRICs Brazil, Russia, India and China. Analysts said even if
Indonesia muddles along at the same pace as during Yudhoyono’s first term, the sheer fact it is doing better than its neighbours, politically and economically, will still prove a draw for investors. “Investors are wary of Malaysia and concerned about Thailand. Indonesia is still the least problematic in the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) bloc,” said economist Song Seng Wun, of brokerage CIMB in Singapore. “Investors seem to be quite forgiving and look at Indonesia in a favourable light. It’s three steps forward, two steps back, but Yudhoyono’s administration is still heading in the right direction,” said Song. He expects demand for Indonesian bonds and stocks, especially banks, plantations and consumer plays, to remain strong this year, with the index forecast to gain a further 15 percent. The risk to that relatively rosy picture is if Yudhoyono loses his star reformers Vice President Boediono and Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati - a scenario which currently seems unlikely but could become a catalyst for investors to pull out funds. Boediono, a former central bank governor, and Indrawati, a former IMF executive, have been the subjects of a highly politicised parliamentary inquiry over their decision to bail out Bank Century, a small lender, at the height of the 2008 global financial crisis. Protestors on Thursday dragged a coffin with “Mulyani” written on it along the streets towards the Presidential Palace. Yudhoyono gave several cabinet seats to his coalition partners, hoping in exchange he would secure their
support in parliament and on influential parliamentary committees. Instead, his coalition partners have proved fickle allies who prefer to pursue their own diverse agendas. His coalition partners have attacked both Boediono and Indrawati, and opposed important policies including the China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement which came into effect this month, and the politically sensitive issue of fuel and electricity prices. For now, it seems likely Indrawati and Boediono will survive the Bank Century investigation given that the parliamentary committee lacks the power to force their resignations. But that is unlikely to end the power tussle between reformers and Suharto-era politicians such as Aburizal Bakrie, the tycoon who heads the Golkar Party. Yudhoyono himself has made few public pronouncements of support for either Boediono or Indrawati. And despite winning the election on an anti-corruption platform, he appeared slow to defend the Corruption Eradication Commission when evidence emerged of a police plot to frame anti-graft officials. After much public pressure, Yudhoyono vowed to address legal reform, putting another of his trusted technocrats, Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, in charge of a new legal reform unit. A prison official was fired this month after Mangkusubroto’s team conducted a spot check on a Jakarta jail, accompanied by TV cameras, and found that wealthy prisoners were living in the lap of luxury with access to karaoke rooms and spa treatments. — Reuters
US top court moves right, focus on social issues By James Vicini
he US Supreme Court’s conservative majority has drawn a rare rebuke from President Barack Obama for its corporate political spending ruling, but the justices are likely to move slowly into the economic arena, with hot-button social issues the main battleground. The court recently struck down election spending limits, prompting Obama’s criticism in his State of the Union address. But legal experts said it would tread carefully in dealing with the president’s other regulatory and legislative programs. The dispute took on a personal tone during the speech when Obama told Congress the 5-4 ruling “reversed a century of law” and “will open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limits in our elections.” Conservative Justice Samuel Alito, one of six court members in the audience sitting directly in front of Obama, shook his head and appeared to mouth the words, “that is not true.” Attorney Tom Goldstein, who argues before the Supreme Court, said the administration is on the opposite side to the conservative justices on an array of federal legal questions. Some major Obama initiatives, such as sweeping health care overhaul, regulating greenhouse gases and proposed bank fees, may not become law, leaving them outside the court’s purview. “Though the court’s conservative majority will likely continue to move the law in important areas like religion and abortion, don’t expect them to declare war on the agenda of the Obama administration,” Goldstein said. “The court has stayed away from redefining federal power over the economy, and that’s very unlikely to change,” said Goldstein, the founder of SCOTUSblog, which closely follows the Supreme Court. “There is no doubt that the current court is pro-business. But how far it will go in striking down Obama legislation is unknowable,” said Erwin
Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California, Irvine law school. He said the campaign finance ruling had been easier to predict because conservatives have long opposed the limits and they now had a solid court majority bolstered by President George W. Bush’s two appointees - Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts. That majority is expected to last for years, barring unexpected vacancies due to illness or death. With the court often split 5-4 between conservative and liberal factions, the decisive vote likely remains with Justice Anthony Kennedy, a more moderate conservative who wrote the majority opinion in the campaign finance case. If Democrats in Congress find a way to enact a healthcare law that requires all Americans to have health insurance or else pay a tax, opponents have vowed to bring a constitutional challenge that the Supreme Court could end up deciding. Wall Street’s main lobbying group, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, has hired a top Supreme Court litigator, Carter Phillips, to work on regulatory and legislative matters, including a possible constitutional challenge to a proposed bank tax. “There is not even legislative language and thus it is premature to speculate on any potential actions beyond opposing the proposal itself as both punitive and counterproductive,” a spokesman for the group said. Last week’s ruling struck down long-standing campaign finance limits, allowing them to spend freely in US elections for president and Congress. Obama, a Democrat, in his address urged Congress to correct some of the problems he sees arising from the decision. Senator Patrick Leahy, the judiciary committee chairman, on Thursday said it was the most partisan ruling since 2000 when the court effectively handed the disputed presidential election to Republican Bush over Democrat Al Gore. “This decision is broader and more damaging in that they have now decided to intervene in all elections,”
the Vermont Democrat said on the Senate floor. Experts said the free-speech issues in the campaign finance ruling would not apply to challenges to Obama’s proposed economic measures which are covered by the power of Congress to adopt such laws under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. “We have to be cautious about reading too much into any one opinion about major shifts in the court,” said Carl Tobias,
law professor at the University of Richmond. Justice John Paul Stevens, leader of the court’s liberal wing, offered an impassioned dissent in the campaign finance case, criticizing the majority for overturning precedents. There have been signs that Stevens, who turns 90 in April and the court’s longest-serving member, may be preparing to retire this summer. He has hired only one law clerk for the next term, instead of his
usual four. A retirement would give Obama his second Supreme Court appointment. Last year, he named Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who sided with the minority in the campaign finance case. Republicans said the recent election of a Republican US senator in Massachusetts could make it harder for Obama to get a liberal nominee approved by the Senate, especially ahead of the November congressional elections. — Reuters
Italy centre-left in tatters By Philip Pullella
wo months before regional elections that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi hopes will consolidate his coalition’s grip on power, Italy’s centre-left opposition is in tatters. Torn by seemingly interminable internal divisions and shaken to its core by sex scandals in two important regions, the opposition will have an uphill struggle before the March 28-29 voting in 13 of Italy’s 20 regions, analysts say. The centre-left controls 11 of the 13 regions where elections will be held and risks losing as many as five or six of the regions where it is now in power. Regional elections in Italy are seen as a barometer of the national political mood.“What we have is the absurd situation of an electoral period where a coalition that is struggling with unemployment and recession should be on the defensive and instead it is the opposition which is on the defensive,” said James Walston, political science professor at the American University of Rome. Commentators say many of the centre-left’s woes stem from divisions, ineptitude and scandals in its largest party, the Democratic Party (PD). Earlier this week, Flavio Delbono, the leftist mayor of Bologna, resigned over a scandal in which magistrates accuse him of using state funds for trips with his former lover. He denies any wrongdoing but the city which for most of its post-war history has prided itself on efficient leftist rule may be run by a special commissioner until it elects a new mayor. And last October, Piero Marrazzo, PD governor of the Lazio region that includes Rome, resigned after he was filmed with a transsexual prostitute in a cocaine and sex scandal. “The centre-left now has its own moral crisis,” Massimo Franco, political commentator for the leading Corriere della Sera newspaper, told Reuters. “Here is a party that criti-
cised Berlusconi for months over his extra-marital affairs and private sex life and now finds that some of its top leaders had the same problem,” he said. The day before the Bologna mayor resigned, the PD’s hand-picked candidate in a centre-left primary for regional governor in the southern Puglia region was trounced by a maverick upstart whom party leaders had wanted to isolate. “What happened in Puglia shows that the national party cannot control local leaders, the whole thing is coming unstuck, the national leadership model is not functioning,” Franco said. Most commentators expect the centre-left to lose at least two key regions to the centre-right - Lazio, which includes Rome, and Campania, which includes Naples. But two others are seen as probable losses - Puglia and Calabria - and two as possible losses - Piedmont and Umbria. “If they lose six or even five regions it will be a total disaster, a rout,” said Franco from the Corriere della Sera. While Berlusconi’s own legal woes and sexual scandals don’t seem to have severely dented his popularity - he said on Thursday his approval rating was “embarrassingly high” at 68 percent - the opposition is plagued by a leadership problem. “They are still not able to present something that is slick and unified, like Berlusconi can,” the American University of Rome’s Walston said. Berlusconi already has a strong majority in both houses of parliament and a defeat of the left in the March vote will only strengthen his hand nationwide and help him stay in power until the next national elections in 2013. Last October, the PD elected a new leader, Pierluigi Bersani and hoped to put its divisions behind it. But if anything, things have got worse, as the fiasco in Puglia showed. “It’s almost as if there are two parties which don’t mesh with each other and, depending on the results of the regionals, there are serious risks the PD could explode,” Franco said. — Reuters
Zuma and his government face tough 2010 By Peroshni Govender
outh African President Jacob Zuma and his government face a tough 2010, under pressure to improve the lives of millions of poor and convince the world that crime will not taint the FIFA World Cup. Growing noise from the ruling ANC’s trade union and communist allies have raised investor concern over future economic policy as Africa’s biggest economy emerges from a recession which saw around a million jobs lost. South Africa will be the first African country to host the football World Cup in just over 130 days’ time and the event could give a much-needed boost to the economy. Zuma needs to show bold leadership, follow through on tough talk on crime and pacify his bickering partners in the powerful COSATU labour federation and the South African Communist Party (SACP), analysts believe. “There has been very little new legislation and nothing in terms of bills with spending or economic impact. Many of the president’s early pledges, have simply not come about,” said Peter Attard Montalto, emerging markets economist at Nomura International. With a quarter of the workforce unemployed, the massive job losses due to the recession and the government’s failure to meet its target of creating 500,000 work opportunities in
South African President Jacob Zuma talks during the session “The outlook for South Africa” on the second day of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos on Jan 28, 2010. — AFP 2009, creating jobs is Zuma’s main priority. Political analyst Nic Borain said Zuma’s ability to deliver on ambitious election promises in the aftermath of the global credit crunch, like many other leaders, is constrained. “The resources to address unemployment are just not available. Unemployment is driven by processes over which he does not have control: global demand, capital markets and globalisation,”
Borain said. Almost 16 years after apartheid ended, many black South Africans still live in impoverished squatter settlements without quality education, healthcare or access to running water and electricity. Last year violent riots sparked by slow delivery of these basic services erupted in several townships across the country. Zuma enjoys strong support among the poor and cannot afford to ignore their
plight. Local government is in disarray and with council elections due next year, he must address the needs of the millions who live on the breadline. But despite the growing sense of neglect among the poor and high levels of crime - about 50 people are murdered each day - Zuma’s biggest threat comes from within his own ranks. Communists and trade unionists have been given key positions in Zuma’s cabinet, but they want to dictate policy and sway the current pro-business stance. The recession made it easy for Zuma to fend off this pressure but with the economy recovering, the left will renew their demands and fight efforts to rein in spending and debt. Zuma has called for unity in the alliance but critics say he should have been more outspoken over rifts that have emerged, particularly between the ANC’s youth and communist party. The increasing profile of Julius Malema, the controversial leader of the ANC’s militant youth league, has made investors wary about Zuma’s position on key issues. Malema is pushing for South Africa’s mines to be nationalised, which could scare off investors in the world’s biggest platinum producer. South Africa is also the third-biggest global producer of gold. A senior ANC source said COSATU and the SACP want more than a prominent role in government. “It’s about
power and positions. The ANC will elect a new president in 2012 and the COSATU and SACP secretary generals (Zwelinzima Vavi and Blade Nzimande) want the top positions,” the source said. Zuma has said he will only serve one term as president which means jockeying and lobbying to become the next ANC president, and almost certainly leader of the country, have already begun. “Zuma was the man they wanted to take control of the party but they don’t necessarily want him to lead the country for the next term,” the source said. Other politicians seen to be in the running for the presidency include Tokyo Sexwale, a billionaire businessman now serving as housing minister in Zuma’s cabinet. The ANC itself is facing internal strife. Malema and the youth league want ANC members to distinguish themselves from the alliance partners and for dual membership to be scrapped. In particular he has been gunning for ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe, who is also chairman of the SACP. “Malema represents a class of ANC elite who want the (communists and trade unions) suppressed. Not only because of the economic implications it could have for the country but because it would directly affect those who gain from their political connections,” the ANC source said. — Reuters
By Glenn Chapman
pple is shaking up the gadget world with an iPad that redefines the tablet computer and threatens with obsolescence electronic readers, digital photo frames and other mono-purpose gizmos. “Apple’s new iPad signifies another step toward the convergence between smartphones and mobile computers,” said Frost & Sullivan analyst Todd Day. “It’s more than a smartphone, less than a notebook, but just the right personal device for everyday users. The iPad will likely be the best selling electronics device of 2010.” Apple chief executive Steve Jobs on Wednesday revealed the iPod, iPhone, and Macintosh computer maker’s latest must-have device, a touchscreen tablet computer crowned “iPad”. The gadget has a 9.7-inch color screen and resembles an oversized iPhone. It is 1.3 cm thick, weighs 0.7 kg and comes with 16, 32, or 64 gigabytes of flash memory. The cheapest iPad model, with WiFi connectivity and 16GB of memory, is $499 while the most expensive - which includes 3G connectivity and 64GB of memory - costs $829. The iPad offers full color, Web and multimedia capabilities for just $10 more than Amazon.com’s top-of-the-line Kindle DX that presents digital reading material in black-andwhite. “Right now, if you are thinking about buying a Kindle you are probably reconsidering that decision,” Interpret analyst Michael Gartenberg said. Some book lovers overwhelmed by or uninterested in video, locationsensing maps, music and more might still cling to e-readers that only present on-screen versions of ink and paper. “I have a hard time believing that after seeing this folks are going to want an e-reader that just does plain text,” said analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group. “This is going to do some significant damage to existing e-readers on the mar-
ket, even the formatted ones like the Plastic Logic Que.” The iPad has a picture frame mode for presenting slide shows of stored photos and an optional charging stand to sit upright on a desktop. It has Google Maps coupled with geo-location software to pinpoint where users are and direct them where they want to go. Screen images flip between portrait and landscape modes depending on how an iPad is held. Mobile game applications for iPhone also work on the iPad, and developers are adapting software to take advantage of the extra screen “real estate”. “We think there will be a whole other Gold Rush for developers as they go to develop apps for the iPad,” Jobs said. Meanwhile, all of the iPhone or iPod Touch applications “you know and love” will run on iPads, which are being shipping worldwide in 60 days, according to Apple’s chief executive. “The iPad becomes a viable alternative to a netbook,” said Gartner analyst Van Baker. “And I get the 140,000 applications in the App Store. It is a pretty compelling value proposition compared to a Kindle.” Jobs laid claim to a new category of device that falls between a smartphone and a laptop. Any device competing in this third category “has to be better” at tasks such as email, enjoying pictures, watching video, listening to music, playing games and reading digital books, according to Jobs. “Otherwise, it has no reason for being,” Jobs said. Mobile game titans Electronic Arts and Gameloft jumped on the iPad wagon, joining Jobs to show off titles adapted for the devices. Enderle sees the iPad as “disruptive for a lot of markets” including handheld videogame devices, and eventually in-home consoles. “There were a lot of shots fired today,” said Interpret analyst Michael Gartenberg. “It is enough to make people want a third device, because they have demonstrated a reason for it. I think iPad is going to do well for Apple.” —AFP
Google row threatens development of Web By Allison Jackson
he row between Google and China is damaging for the development of the Internet in the country and it would be a major blow to the world’s biggest online market if the US firm were to leave, experts say. Both sides have much to lose if the dispute over cyberattacks which Google said were launched from China and state censorship is not resolved, they say, while warning that finding the acceptable middle ground will not be easy. “If Google does decide to withdraw from China, it will have a considerable negative impact on China’s search engine market,” currently dominated by homegrown provider Baidu, said Li Zhi, an analyst at Analysys International. “Competition is the main driver for any market’s healthy development,” Li said. Baidu’s share of the search engine market stood at 58.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, ahead of Google at 35.6 percent, according to figures from Analysys. Ted Dean, managing director of telecom and technology consultancy firm BDA, agreed, saying “in any market, competition is a good thing”. “If you end up with one dominant player in the industry, the victim will be the Chinese consumer and innovation,” he told AFP. Google has threatened to abandon its Chinese-language search engine google.cn, and perhaps end all operations in the country, following the hack attacks it says targeted the email accounts of Chinese human rights activists. It has also said it is no longer willing to bow to Beijing’s army of Internet censors - and will stop filtering search results soon, a move China says would violate its laws. US and Chinese officials have discussed the issue at length, with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton qualifying her latest talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi as “open and candid”. “They have to come to some sort of compromise,” said Francis Cheung,
an analyst with Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia in Hong Kong. “I think the potential for China’s Internet is huge and Google can do well as they have a leadingedge technology, are pretty popular and are gaining market share.” But Cheung admitted winning concessions from Beijing would be difficult, especially on the censorship issue. “I don’t think Google wants to leave China but they want to stay on their own terms,” he said. “I don’t think any government will negotiate laws, especially with an individual company.” Lu Bowang, managing partner with China IntelliConsulting Corp, agreed, saying one possible outcome is for Google to abandon google.cn but maintain a research institute and its business in Android-powered mobile phones. “The Chinese government would save face because people would think Google is withdrawing from China for commercial reasons that would be a convenient understanding,” Lu said. Whether it stays or goes, Google will find it tough to operate in China, said Shaun Rein, managing director of China Market Research in Shanghai. If they axe google.cn, “they could still have research and development in China but the government won’t make it easy for them and why would the top engineers want to work for them?” Rein said. “If they stay in China with the search engine, a lot of companies won’t want to do digital marketing with them because you can’t launch a campaign and expect to get a certain number of hits when Google might threaten to go out again.” Despite the hurdles facing both sides, analysts said it was too early to write off Google in China. “I think there are enough moving pieces that the end result that there isn’t a Chinese-language Google search in China is not preordained,” said Dean. “We are still watching the cards being played.” A spokeswoman for Google declined to comment on its plans for China. — AFP
Monday, February 1, 2010
MANILA: Filipino boys in costumes hold each other as they walk to join an annual procession of the Santo Nino, the infant Jesus, along a seaside boulevard in suburban Manila, yesterday. Thousands of devotees brought their Santo Nino images to the annual event to show their religious piety and in the belief that it will bring them luck and good health. – AP
US, China lock horns BEIJING: China and the United States were locked yesterday in an escalating row over US ar ms sales to Taiwan, with Washington rebuffing Chinese protests and insisting the deal promotes stability in the Taiwan Strait. The Pentagon Friday sparked the latest challenge to China-US relations under President Barack Obama when it approved the 6.4-billion-dollar sale of Patriot missiles, Black Hawk helicopters, mine-hunting ships and other weaponry. China responded furiously with a raft of reprisals, saying it would suspend military and security contacts with Washington and impose sanctions on US firms involved in the deal. Beijing warned of “severe harm” to relations. The Pentagon expressed “regret” over the bitter response, which reflected a rapid souring of relations with the United States amid strains over trade, climate change and China’s Internet controls. US State Department spokeswoman Laura Tischler told AFP the sale “contributes to maintaining security and stability across the Taiwan Strait”, a viewed echoed by Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou. “It will let Taiwan feel more confident and
secure so we can have more interactions with China,” Ma, who has overseen a historic warming in relations with China, was quoted as saying by Taiwan’s Central News Agency. But China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, which handles relations with the island, rejected that view as “totally untenable”. “The planned US arms sale sends the wrong signal to Taiwan and will only encourage the arrogance of Taiwan independence forces and hinder the peaceful development of cross-strait ties,” an anonymous official with the office was quoted saying by the state-run Xinhua news agency. In an official diplomatic protest, China said the row would endanger cooperation with the United States on “key international and regional issues”. It did not elaborate, but the comment comes as Washington seeks Beijing’s help curbing the nuclear programs of Iran and China’s ally North Korea. The United States is calling for tougher action, including possibly more sanctions, on Iran. China imports significant quantities of Iranian oil and has sizeable investments there. Jing-dong Yuan, a non-proliferation
expert at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California, said the dispute means Washington “should forget about” Chinese support for more sanctions against Tehran. “Even before the arms sale, China was reluctant to agree to additional sanctions because of its significant economic stakes in that country,” he said. Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said she expected Beijing to stay engaged on Iran but there was a risk China could overplay its hand out of anger over Taiwan. “There is a sense in China that their leverage over the United States and their position in the world is growing, and in that sense there might be a little bit of overreaching,” she said. Taiwan split from the mainland at the end of China’s civil war in 1949, but Beijing views the island of 23 million as part of its territory that must be reabsorbed. It has hundreds of missiles targeted against Taiwan. China’s state-run media was mostly mum on the rift yesterday but Xinhua said in a commentary the world needs “healthy, stable and developing China-US ties,” saying the two countries have many “common interests”. — AFP
US beefing up Gulf defenses Continued from Page 1 Tehran’s controversial nuclear program. On Friday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton upped the pressure on China to recognize the threat from Iran’s nuclear program which Washington and its Western allies aims to produce nuclear weapons despite Tehran’s insistence otherwise - and join international calls for sanctions. General David Petraeus, who heads the US Central Command that oversees US military operations stretching from the Gulf to Central Asia, said the sped-up deployment of missile systems included eight Patriot missile batteries, “two in each of four countries”. He did not name the countries, but Kuwait has long been known to have Patriots on its terri-
tory. A military official said Saturday that the three other countries are the UAE, Bahrain which also hosts the US Navy’s 5th Fleet headquarters - and Qatar, home to a modernized US air operations center that has played a key role in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The unusually public comments about the accelerated deployments, which began under President Barack Obama’s predecessor, George W Bush, came during an address at the Institute for the Study of War in Washington on Jan 22. “Iran is clearly seen as a very serious threat by those on the other side of the Gulf front, and indeed, it has been a catalyst for the implementation of the architecture that we envision and have now been trying to implement,” he said at the time.
The United States was also keeping Aegis guided missile cruisers, equipped with advanced radar and anti-missile systems that can intercept medium-range missiles, on patrol in the Gulf at all times, according to Petraeus. Though those systems are not designed to intercept Iran’s long-range missile, the Times noted that intelligence agencies estimate it will take Tehran years before it can place a nuclear warhead atop the Shahab III. A senior military official told the newspaper that Petraeus began speaking openly about the deployments about a month ago, as Tehran declined the Obama administration’s offer of engagement and Washington faced growing challenges to impose sanctions against the Islamic Republic. — Agencies
Dubai says Mossad may have killed Hamas chief Continued from Page 1 “It is strange that a person of his importance travelled alone.” Khalfan met Palestinian consul general Hussein Abdul Khaliq in Dubai yesterday to discuss the murder, saying police would “work day and night” to track down the suspects, the official WAM news agency reported. Israeli newspapers, meanwhile, hailed the killing, with the rightwing English-language Jerusalem Post calling it “another blow to the ‘axis of evil’” that will make it harder for Hamas to get arms into its Gaza stronghold. Yesterday, The Times of London cited unidentified Middle Eastern sources as saying Mabhouh’s body was found by staff at the luxury Al Bustan Rotana hotel. It said Mabhouh was travelling on a false passport and on arrival in Dubai was followed by two men described by local police as “Europeans carrying European passports”. The hit squad injected Mabhouh with a drug that induced a heart attack, photographed all the documents in his briefcase, and left a “do not disturb” sign on the door, The Times said. It added that the Hamas leader was on a mission to buy arms from Iran, and was tracked from the moment he boarded Emirates flight EK 912 from Damascus on Jan 18. A founder of Hamas’ military wing, Mabhouh was in charge of arms purchases for the group. Hamas spokesman Talal Nasser told the UAE newspaper The National that Mabhouh had “played a key role in supplying the Palestinian people with weapons and money”, including “special weapons” for his native Gaza, where Israel waged war a year ago. Contrary to other reports, Nasser said that Mabhouh had been vulnerable in Dubai because, unlike during other trips, he had
used a passport bearing his real name and had travelled without bodyguards. “His murder is not a victory for Israel,” he said. “The blood of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh will spawn a thousand more like him.” Hamas posted pictures of Mabhouh’s body on its website yesterday. The photos showed the body wrapped in a white burial shroud and a green Hamas flag and headband. Mabhouh appeared to have been beaten, with bruises and welts on his nose and cheeks. A former Mossad officer, Ram Yigra, suggested that Mabhouh may have fallen foul of criminal arms dealers rather than Israel. “In the end of the day, Mr Mabhouh was into arms smuggling, which means shady relationships,” he told Israel’s Army Radio. Fayek AlMabouh, the dead man’s brother, said however: “He wasn’t involved in any gang. He wasn’t involved in any crime ... So who had an interest in killing him? Israel.” Yigra noted the varying accounts of Mabhouh’s death, which included a UAE media report that he had been tortured by his killers, Palestinian poisoning allegations and a suggestion by Hamas official Mahmoud AlZahar that the assassins accompanied an Israeli cabinet minister who visited Abu Dhabi on Jan 15-17. The UAE does not have a peace treaty with Israel but has hosted Israeli officials and does business with Israeli firms. Israel rocked its relations with Jordan when assassins botched an attempt to poison Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Amman in 1997. Ex-spy Yigra said the Mossad had learned its lessons about the need for discretion. “When there cannot be foul-ups, then the thing is done quickly - and not in the course of torture and suchlike. And using visiting politicians (as cover) is not done,” he said. Israeli Cabinet Minister Uzi Landau also dismissed Hamas allegations that he brought
the assassins with him when he traveled to Abu Dhabi earlier this month to attend an international conference on renewable energy. “What we are seeing here is the wild Middle Eastern imagination coupled with Palestinian anger that the Israeli flag is formally flying at a conference at a hall in Abu Dhabi,” Landau told Israel Radio. Over the years, a number of Hamas leaders have died in what Israel calls “targeted killings”. In 2004, Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was killed in an Israeli helicopter gunship attack in Gaza. One month later, another Hamas leader in Gaza, Abdel Aziz AlRantissi, was killed when two missiles hit his car. Israel has also targeted Palestinian leaders outside the country and the occupied territories. In 1997, Israeli agents tried to poison Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Amman, while in 1995, Mossad succeeded in killing Islamic Jihad chief Fathi Shiqaqi in Malta. In 1988, Israeli commandos killed Abu Jihad, Yasser Arafat’s right-hand man, in Tunis. And in 1973, commandos - among them future prime minister and current defence minister Ehud Barak - killed three Palestine Liberation Organisation leaders in Beirut. Dubai, a rich and glitzy city-state in the UAE federation, has exposed its murkier side with several high-profile murders in recent years. Sulim Yamadayev, a bitter foe of pro-Russia Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, was shot dead there in March 2009. In Jan 2003, Dubai-based businessman Sharad Shetty, suspected to be a close associate of Indian underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, was shot in a gangland-style killing at Dubai’s India Club. Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim was found dead in her Dubai home in July 2008. She had been stabbed and her face was mutilated. — Agencies
MPs seek to ban interest at banks Continued from Page 1 for supervision over the financial sector and its decisions and rulings will be obligatory on the financial units. The bill must first be cleared by the legal and legislative committee before the financial and economic committee reviews it. In another development, reporters covering the National Assembly yesterday threatened to boycott Assembly news after what they called “repressive measures” by the public relations office of the Assembly. The threat came after the Assembly’s administration moved the press room from just outside the chamber’s gate to about 15 m away and informed them that journalists will no longer have access to mingle with MPs and ministers while leaving the Assembly. Reporters and cameramen stopped work for a while and said that if
the measures were not removed, they intend to stop covering the Assembly, including the Assembly’s bi-monthly meetings and committee meetings. Meanwhile, independent MP Saad AlKhanfour yesterday questioned Communications Minister Mohammad Al-Busairi about reports that Iraq was discussing with Kuwait a settlement for Kuwait Airways Corp’s claims on Iraqi Airways. Reports from Iraq quoted the Iraqi transport minister as saying that negotiations were ongoing with Kuwait for the settlement of the claims, estimated at around $1.3 billion. On his part, Busairi said that a draft law for establishing a regulator for the country’s telecommunications sector will be sent to the Cabinet this month. The bill calls for setting up an authority to regulate all activities in the sector. Also, Islamist MP Mohammad Hayef
yesterday sent a question to the interior minister about wanted Shiite activist Yasser Al-Habeeb. Hayef said that Habeeb was handed a 10-year jail term in May 2004 for derogatory statements against Islam’s first two caliphs - Abu Bakr and Omar bin Al-Khattab. He added that Habeeb was later released by a pardon by mistake and before the error was rectified, Habeeb managed to escape from the country and then reappeared in London, where he has been very active. Hayef asked the minister if an investigation was launched to establish who was responsible for pardoning Habeeb and if the ministry investigated how he managed to flee the country illegally. He also asked if the ministry has officially asked the British government for extraditing Habeeb and if the Cabinet has discussed withdrawing his Kuwaiti citizenship.
Yemen govt rejects rebel ceasefire offer Continued from Page 1 a sixth point, which demands a pledge from the Huthis not to attack Saudi territory.” Of the six points, the defence council stressed that the rebels should “pledge not to attack Saudi territory and to hand over Yemeni and Saudi captives without any delay.” Rebel leader Abdul Malak Al-Houthi had offered in an audio message released on the Internet on Saturday to accept the government’s “five” conditions to end the war, but demanded a halt to military attacks as a precondition. “I announce our acceptance of the (government’s) five points, after the aggression stops,” he said. “The ball is now in the other party’s court.” Initially, the government had set five conditions to end the war. The pledge to end attacks against neighbouring Saudi Arabia was apparently added after the rebels locked horns with Riyadh. The five conditions include a withdrawal from official buildings, reopening roads in the north, returning weapons seized from security services, freeing all military and civilian prisoners, including Saudis, and
abandoning military posts in the mountains. Houthi said in his message the rebels would accept the terms “in order to stop the bloodshed and the genocide against civilians, and to end the catastrophic situation in the country.” His statement came on the heels of another rebel announcement on Monday that they had withdrawn from Saudi territory they had occupied since November. Saudi Arabia entered the fight that month after Riyadh accused the rebels of killing a border guard and occupying two small border villages. A Saudi military source said rebel snipers were still crossing the border into Saudi territory and exchanging fire with Saudi troops daily, nearly a week after the rebels said they would withdraw from Saudi land. Saudi Arabia declared a full victory over the rebels on Wednesday. Meanwhile, clashes continued in northern Yemen, with the defence ministry yesterday reporting that 24 rebels were killed in separate clashes. Officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said fighting had erupted on three fronts near Saada, 240 km north of the capital Sanaa, and that government warplanes were carrying out air strikes in the area. The
defence ministry news website 26sep.net said a rebel chief, identified as Qaed Abu Malik, was killed along with 20 comrades in the Safia area of Saada province. It also claimed the killing of three other rebels near Al-Aqab, also in Saada province, a stronghold of the rebels. There was no way immediately to verify these claims. Government forces launched an all-out offensive against the rebels in August, with the aim of eradicating their five-year uprising. The UN refugee agency on Friday warned that a humanitarian crisis in northern Yemen was growing worse as the number of people displaced by the conflict has soared to about 250,000. Besides battling the Shiite rebels, Yemen has intensified military operations against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which said it was behind the botched Christmas Day attack on a US airliner approaching Detroit. An international meeting in London on Wednesday saw world powers pledge to stand side-by-side with Yemen to stop Al-Qaeda from creating a haven in the impoverished Arab country. Yemen also faces a growing secessionist movement in the south. — Agencies
Egypt set to announce King Tut DNA results Continued from Page 1 In August 2008, Egypt’s antiquities authorities said they had taken DNA samples from Tutankhamun’s mummy and from two foetuses found in his tomb to determine whether the still-born children had been fathered by the boy king. Hawass said then the DNA tests also would determine Tutankhamun’s lineage, and whether the foetuses were the offspring of Tutankhamun and Ankhesenpamon, the daughter of Nefertiti who is renowned as one of history’s great beauties. He had said the results of the studies would also help in identifying the mummy of queen Nefertiti. Mystery has surrounded the identities of Tutankhamun’s own parents: while his father was the Pharaoh Akhenaton, his mother remains unknown. Many experts believe he is the son of Akhenaten, the 18th Dynasty pharaoh who tried to introduce monotheism to ancient Egypt almost 3,500
years ago, and one of Akhenaten’s queens, Kiya. But others have suggested he was the son of a lesser known pharaoh who followed Akhenaten. The boy king’s death more than 3,000 years ago remains the subject of dispute among historians, with some believing he died when a leg injury turned gangrenous, and others saying he was murdered by a blow to the head. In 2007, the reconstructed face of Tutankhamun was revealed to the public for the first time since he died as the 12th and last pharaoh of the 18th dynasty. He is believed to have reigned from around 1333 BC to 1324 BC. Tutankhamun
achieved worldwide fame because of the stunning funerary treasure found in his tomb, including an 11-kilo solid gold death mask encrusted with lapis lazuli and semi-precious stones. Hawass has announced ambitious plans for DNA tests on Egyptian mummies, including tests on all royal mummies and the nearly two dozen unidentified ones stored in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. He has said the tests may show that some royal mummies on display are not who archaeologists thought them to be. One of his top goals is to find the mummy of Nefertiti, Akhenaten’s wife, the queen legendary for her beauty.
Hawass has long rejected DNA testing on Egyptian mummies by foreign experts, and only recently allowed such projects on condition they be done exclusively by Egyptians. A $5 million DNA lab was created at the Egyptian Museum, with funding from the Discovery Channel. Yesterday’s statement also said a robot would be sent into the Great Pyramid of Khufu to discover the secrets of its hidden passageways. In a widely publicized television show in Sept 2002, a robot designed by National Geographic explored some air shafts in the pyramid of Khufu, discovering secret doors with copper handles. — Agencies
HIV/AIDS drug mystery cracked Continued from Page 1 structure, they said. They tested the Merck and Gilead drugs on the crystals, and were able to see for the first time how the medicines bind to, and block, integrase. Almost 60 million people have been infected with HIV and 25 million people have died of HIV-related causes since
the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. There is no cure and no vaccine, although drug cocktails can keep patients healthy. United Nations data for 2008 show that 33.4 million people had HIV and 2 million people died of AIDS. The worst-affected region is subSaharan Africa, accounting for 67 percent of all people living with HIV. — Reuters
Monday, February 1, 2010
NHL results/standings NHL results and standings on Saturday. Philadelphia 2, NY Islanders 1; Ottawa 3, Montreal 2 (OT); Los Angeles 3, Boston 2 (So); Vancouver 5, Toronto 3; Carolina 4, Chicago 2; Columbus 3, St. Louis 2 (OT); Nashville 4, Atlanta 3; Phoenix 3, NY Rangers 2; Calgary 6, Edmonton 1; San Jose 5, Minnesota 2. (OT denotes overtime, SO denotes shootout) Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF New Jersey 35 16 2 144 Pittsburgh 33 21 1 173 Philadelphia 27 23 3 160 NY Rangers 24 24 7 140 NY Islanders 23 24 8 143 Northeast Division Buffalo 32 14 7 149 Ottawa 31 21 4 157 Montreal 25 25 6 143 Boston 23 21 9 130 Toronto 17 28 11 149 Southeast Division Washington 36 12 6 211 Atlanta 24 22 8 165 Tampa Bay 22 20 11 136 Florida 23 22 9 147 Carolina 19 28 7 145 Western Conference Central Division Chicago 37 14 4 180 Nashville 30 21 3 151 Detroit 26 19 9 141 St. Louis 24 22 9 143 Columbus 22 26 9 149 Northwest Division Vancouver 34 18 2 178 Colorado 30 17 6 155 Calgary 27 20 8 143 Minnesota 27 24 4 153 Edmonton 16 31 6 137 Pacific Division San Jose 36 10 9 187 Phoenix 32 18 5 150 Los Angeles 32 19 3 163 Dallas 24 19 11 155 Anaheim 25 23 7 152
GA 119 156 149 153 170
PTS 72 67 57 55 54
127 157 152 136 197
71 66 56 55 45
147 174 159 158 176
78 56 55 55 45
129 152 145 153 188
78 63 61 57 53
132 140 142 163 184
70 66 62 58 38
134 143 149 173 172
81 69 67 59 57
Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L).
GLENDALE: Vaclav Prospal No.20 and Marian Gaborik No.10 of the New York Rangers skate the puck out of the zone during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes. — AFP
Briere, Hartnell lift Flyers over Islanders PHILADELPHIA: Danny Briere and Scott Hartnell scored to help the Philadelphia Flyers beat the New York Islanders for the 14th straight time, 2-1 in the NHL on Saturday. Ray Emery made 31 saves for the Flyers, allowing only Josh Bailey’s goal. Dwayne Roloson stopped 30 shots for New York. The Islanders have lost four straight and five of six. Senators 3, Canadiens 2 At Ottawa, Mike Fisher scored 3:33 into overtime to give Ottawa a win over Montreal for its team-record ninth straight victory. Fisher scored during 3-on-3 play after both teams drew penalties in the extra period. He took a pass from defenseman Erik Karlsson and cut across the goalmouth to put a backhander past Jaroslav Halak. Alex
Kovalev and Jason Spezza also scored for Ottawa, and Brian Elliott made 27 saves. Benoit Pouliot and Brian Gionta scored for Montreal. Hurricanes 4, Blackhawks 2 At Raleigh, North Carolina, Brandon Sutter and Matt Cullen scored in a 26-second span in the third period, and Cam Ward made 39 saves in Carolina’s fifth win in six games. Only 6,896 fans attended the game after snow and ice blanketed the area. Sergei Samsonov and Jussi Jokinen also scored for the Hurricanes. Marian Hossa and Andrew Ladd scored for Chicago, 5-3 on its season-high, eight-game trip. Kings 3, Bruins 2 At Boston, Jaret Stoll beat Tim Thomas in the sixth round of a shootout to give Los
Angeles its fifth straight victory, and Boston its seventh straight loss and sixth in a row at home. Boston’s seven-game losing streak, which started with a shootout loss in Los Angeles, is the team’s longest since 1997. The Bruins’ six-game home losing streak is their longest since 1924-25. Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown scored for Los Angeles, and Marco Sturm and Mark Recchi countered for Boston. Flames 6, Oilers 1 At Calgary, Alberta, Jarome Iginla had two goals and two assists to help Calgary end its losing streak at nine and extend Edmonton’s skid to 13 games. Dustin Boyd had two goals and an assist, Rene Bourque and Dion Phaneuf also scored, and Miikka Kiprusoff made 27 saves. Sam Gagner
scored for Edmonton. Edmonton has lost 20 of its last 21 to fall to 16-30-6. The Oilers had a team-record 14-game winless streak in the 1993-94 season, losing 13 times and tying once. Coyotes 3, Rangers 2 At Glendale, Arizona, Shane Doan scored in his third straight game and Phoenix withstood a late rally to beat reeling New York. Sami Lepisto had his first career goal, and Mikkel Boedker also scored for the Coyotes, who have won three straight and six of their past eight to move three points ahead of Colorado for fourth place in the Western Conference. Marian Gaborik and Sean Avery scored third-period goals for the Rangers. New York has lost five straight and is 2-7-1 in its past 10 games.
Schumacher returns as F1 testing starts new season VALENCIA: The new Formula One campaign gets under way today with the start of preseason testing that will also bring the return of Michael Schumacher at Mercedes GP after three years out of motor racing’s premier sport. The three-day session at Valencia’s Cheste Circuit will be the first of four in February before the seasonopening Bahrain Grand Prix on March 14. It will offer the first glimpse of F1’s offseason shake-up, with defending champion Jenson Button’s move to McLaren to join 2008 winner Lewis Hamilton one of many driver changes. Also notably, two-time champ Fernando Alonso shifted to Ferrari. Polish driver Robert Kubica has joined Renault, while Rubens Barrichello left Mercedes to sign for Williams and partner GP2 champion Niko Hulkenberg — but it’s Schumacher’s return that is the most anticipated. The 41-year-old Schumacher, who hasn’t raced since retiring from Ferrari in 2006, has taken Button’s place at Mercedes. The team also signed fellow German Nico Rosberg from Williams as it embarks on its first campaign in more than 50 years since buying out constructors’ champion Brawn GP. Schumacher and Rosberg will both drive on the opening day of testing as it begins its chase for the championship. “That is what we aim for but we have to deliv-
er and that is our job,” Schumacher said in December when his comeback was confirmed. “Honestly, I can’t wait until the 1st of February when we will officially run the car.” Schumacher won five of his record seven F1 titles at Ferrari — all in a row, from 2000-04 — but former rival Alonso will now be the main man at the Italian team following a disappointing 2009 season for both Ferrari and the Spaniard at Renault. Today’s testing will provide a first clue over whether the iconic red car will rebound. It will also provide Felipe Massa with his first official drive since a lifethreatening crash in July before the Hungarian GP forced him to sit out the rest of last season. Of the front-runners, only Red Bull is missing from the first testing session, with Renault and Williams unveiling their new cars on Sunday and Toro Rosso doing so today. Button won’t get his first spin in a McLaren until Wednesday, a day after Hamilton takes control. “Testing is going to be very, very important for the start of the year,” Button said. Some of the changes to the cars from last year include heavier fuel tanks, with refueling banned this season. The KERS system — introduced to boost overtaking — is gone, while engineers will be able to employ the double diffuser despite it being questioned in court before the start of last season. — AP
Canucks 5, Leafs 3 At Toronto, Alex Burrows and Daniel Sedin each scored twice, and Henrik Sedin added a goal to help Vancouver rally for its season-high seventh straight victory. Vancouver overcame a three-goal, firstperiod deficit that resulted in the rare benching of star goalie Roberto Luongo. Phil Kessel scored twice, and Jamal Mayers also scored for Toronto, winless in its last six games. Sharks 5, Wild 2 At San Jose, California, Jason Demers and Patrick Marleau each had two goals, and Joe Pavelski scored the winner for San Jose. Evgeni Nabokov stopped 36 shots to help the Sharks win for the sixth time in seven games. Owen Nolan and Cal Clutterbuck scored for Minnesota.
Blue Jackets 3, Blues 2 At St. Louis, Kris Russell scored at 1:32 of overtime to give Columbus its first victory in St. Louis in nine games. Fedor Tyutin and Derek Dorsett also scored for the Jackets, and Mathieu Garon stopped 25 shots. David Backes and Andy McDonald scored for St. Louis. Predators 4, Thrashers 3 At Nashville, Tennessee, Jason Arnott scored 7 seconds into the third period as Nashville held off Atlanta to snap a fivegame losing streak. Joel Ward and Martin Erat each had a goal and an assist, and Jerred Smithson added a goal for Nashville. Bryan Little had two goals, and Chris Thorburn scored short-handed for Atlanta. — AP
Montoya, Ganassi lead in 24 Hours of Daytona
SPAIN: BMW Sauber Formula One drivers Pedro de la Rosa of Spain (left) and Kamui Kobayashi of Japan pose by the new BMW Sauber F1 car during the team’s official launch at the Ricardo Tormo race track. — AP
DAYTONA BEACH: Chip Ganassi Racing was on its way to reclaiming the 24 Hours of Daytona title, with Juan Pablo Montoya leading more than six hours into the sports car endurance race on Saturday. Montoya powered past Lucas Luhr on the outside of the slippery track after a restart on the 169th lap. He deftly guided the No. 02 BMW Riley with clean and crisp moves on Daytona International Speedway’s infield twists that had been pelted with rain early, causing cautions and skid outs. Montoya’s teammates and fellow Indianapolis 500 champions Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon held the top spot for a combined 91 laps when he regained the top spot. They considered the early lead a big accomplishment under the conditions. “The track is quite tricky, especially getting up to speed with cold tires,” Franchitti said. “And then once you do get up to speed, you have to be really careful because it’s only one lane out there in a lot of parts. But the car seems pretty quick. I’m quite happy right now.” There were nine other cars on the lead lap. Alex Gurney was in second when he handed off to teammate and four-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson for Gainsco/Bob Stallings Racing after about three hours. Johnson kept them in
contention, and Jimmy Vasser pushed them in the lead for three laps before pitting. Vasser was in seventh after six hours. Even being so close, so early was a big move for the No. 99 car, which started last among the Daytona Prototypes after Johnson crashed the car in practice and the team missed qualifying. The telemetry wasn’t working for most of Johnson’s ride — it was later fixed — so he drove conservatively under the lights on the damp track. “I wasn’t going to wreck the car on my watch,” Johnson said. “I’ve done that once this week.” But it was Ganassi making all the noise again. The organization had three straight wins in the prestigious endurance race until finishing second last year in the closest race in the event’s history. Ganassi drivers weren’t wasting any time coming back this year. Dixon broke away from the pack with some tight zigging and zagging on the narrow infield road course. He avoided spinouts — unlike some drivers — when the track was still soaked early, and he and his teammates didn’t lose ground on the straightaways to other Daytona Prototypes as Ganassi did a year ago. “In my opinion it’s a better car than we had last year, and probably better than when we won it in ‘08,”
Franchitti said. “It’s more competitive.” Other drivers tested the wet track too early. There were 10 cautions, including at the start with rain still falling, before the green flag was waved five laps into the race. Ricardo Zonta held a brief lead until he hit a turn too fast, braked too hard trying to recover and spun out into the tire wall like so many others in the back. “The first three laps were extremely difficult. It was very hard to put the power down and have any kind of hope to keep the grip,” said actor Patrick Dempsey, who had the No. 40 car in the pack of the other GTs. “It was certainly great television and fun to watch.” But there still was plenty of time to catch up. That alone was enough for the 44-car field — that included 29 of the slower GT class cars — to keep hope alive. The 3.5-mile (5.7-kilometer) road course that encompasses about three-fourths of the NASCAR oval was starting to dry, then a quick shower sprinkled the track again about five hours into the race. The flat infield course still had a few puddles and was perhaps the most difficult to navigate, especially with Daytona Prototypes trying to weave around the GT cars. “On some of those restarts,” Gurney said, “guys weren’t starting like it was 24 hours.” — AP
Monday, February 1, 2010
Canada’s Olympics city has notorious dark side VANCOUVER: Five streets away from the venue for Vancouver’s Winter Olympics opening ceremonies, four grizzled addicts huddle in the rain, injecting themselves with heroin behind a trash bin. This is the Downtown Eastside, where life is volatile and the slightest misstep can invite brutal retaliation. “It’s a jungle,” said Glen, a 49year-old heroin addict who goes by the street name Trouble. “You want to get out of here.” As Vancouver prepares for the Olympics and the descent of the world’s media, the Downtown Eastside remains a huge problem — 15 square blocks of despair, squalid rooming houses and alleys populated by thousands of addicts, the homeless, the mentally ill and the drug dealers who prey on them. This neighborhood is the most concentrated drug and poverty ghetto in North America, with high use of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, according to criminologist Benedikt Fischer of Simon Fraser
University. It also is the only place in North America where drug addicts can shoot heroin into their veins at an officially sanctioned injection site. At the center of the neighborhood is a neoclassical building endowed by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1903. Behind it, dealers and pimps hawk drugs and women in a filthy alley. On the building’s front steps is Vancouver’s largest open-air drug market, at the intersection of Main and Hastings streets, called “Pain and Wastings” by locals. Across the street is Vancouver’s biggest police station. Police Constable Lindsey Houghton said officers often find themselves in the role of social workers while continuing to target the drug trade. About 49 percent of Downtown Eastside calls are related to mental health, according to the Vancouver Police Department. “It’s a tremendous challenge that goes beyond the traditional scope of policing,” Houghton said. The
International Olympic Committee’s bid evaluation team did not see the Downtown Eastside when it assessed Vancouver’s bid in 2003. When it came time to tour Vancouver venues, the IOC’s bus took a wide detour around the neighborhood. The bid evaluation team did see the scenic but treacherous highway from Vancouver to Whistler, host of alpine and sliding events. While about $500 million has been spent on the road, the Downtown Eastside remains much the same. As they did in 2003, welfare recipients still line up once a month to receive their welfare checks. Welfare Wednesday is known as Mardi Gras in the area, a day the recipients become what they call “two-day millionaires.” Needle exchange staff work on the welfare lines. The area gained international attention when pig farmer Robert Pickton was arrested in 2002 and charged with the deaths of 26 prosti-
tutes and addicts from the Downtown Eastside, in what police say was Canada’s worst serial murder case. He was convicted of killing and butchering six of them at his suburban farm. Some remains he fed to pigs. The rest went to a rendering plant. Mona Wilson’s head, hands and feet were found in a bucket at Pickton’s farm. Her brother, Jason Fleury, called the Downtown Eastside a time bomb and accused officials of doing nothing to defuse it while spending millions on the Olympics. “It’s crazy. It’s insane,” said Fleury. Prostitution rights activist Jamie Lee Hamilton said little has been done to curb violence against prostitutes since Pickton’s arrest. “There is this perception that all the violence ended when Pickton was arrested,” Hamilton said. “We know it’s hunting grounds down there, and we’re doing nothing about it. The women, the men and the transgendered are living prey.”
Due in part to rampant intravenous drug use, the area’s HIV rate is the worst in the developed world, said International AIDS Society president Dr. Julio Montaner. The HIV rate qualifies the Downtown Eastside for World Health Organization epidemic status, he said. Montaner said the combination of drug and health programs as well as housing initiatives are beginning to slow the crisis. But progress may be halted by the increasing violence of Vancouver’s drug trade, as cocaine prices skyrocket in the aftermath of a Mexican crackdown on drug cartels. Critics allege the Downtown Eastside will be sanitized during the games under recently passed legislation that allows police to force the homeless into shelters in cold weather. That would violate bid assurances, they say. “Nobody has a right to move those people simply to accommodate a better visual image for the Olympics,” said provincial legislative housing critic Shane Simpson. Vancouver
Organizing Committee vice president of sustainability Linda Coady said the issue has nothing to do with the organizing committee, and that VANOC’s interest is what goes on inside games venues. “Outside is the domain of the Vancouver Police Department,” Coady said. Meanwhile, the safe injection site in the Downtown Eastside is the busiest in the world, with about 500 supervised injections a day, according to Russ Maynard, supervisor of Insite, a provincial governmentfinanced office for Downtown Eastside. Addicts shoot up at 12 booths with mirrors on the walls so that nurses on a raised platform can see them. Maynard said by the time addicts get to the Downtown Eastside, they are totally dysfunctional. Even trying to get help was hard, he said, as pay phones are used constantly to make drug deals. “You could get beat up for tying up a phone for five minutes,” he said. He said 90 percent of people using
Insite have Hepatitis C. The national rate is less than 1 percent. Insite has operated for six years under an exemption from Canada’s health laws. The federal government’s attempt to close Insite ended on Jan. 15 when the British Columbia Court of Appeal ruled addicts had a constitutional right to health care. Whether the case eventually reaches the Supreme Court of Canada remains to be seen. Above Insite is Onsite, a 12-bed operation offering detox and the start of a recovery program. “Those who come in are stick and bone,” said Onsite manager Liz Moss. “They need to rest. They need to eat.” Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said the city and province have opened hundreds of shelter beds and housing units in the past year, but the provincial government needs to put more money into addiction treatment and housing. “Every big city has these extremes now that are very uncomfortable and need to be remedied,” he said. —AP
Karlsson wins Qatar Masters
DOHA: Sweden’s Robert Karlsson holds his trophy after winning the Qatar Masters golf tournament at the Doha Golf Club. —AFP
Mickelson expects Tour to get into the groove dispute SAN DIEGO: Phil Mickelson expects the PGA Tour to take action after the world number two was accused of cheating by fellow American Scott McCarron at this week’s San Diego Open. McCarron criticised Mickelson for exploiting a loophole in golf’s new groove rules by using a 20-year-old Ping wedge during the tournament, although the club has been approved for play. “We all have our opinions on the matter but a line was crossed and I was publicly slandered,” Mickelson told reporters on Saturday after carding a two-under-par 70 in the third round at Torrey Pines. “Because of that, I’ll have to let other people handle it.” Asked whether he was considering legal action, Mickelson replied: “I’m not sure. I’m not sure. I think the (PGA) Tour will probably get on top of it.”
McCarron, who missed the secondround cut at Torrey Pines, said earlier this week that three-times major winner Mickelson was “taking an unfair advantage of the rules”. McCarron told Friday’s San Francisco Chronicle: “It’s cheating and I’m appalled Phil has put it in play. “All those guys should be ashamed of themselves for doing that. As one of our premier players, (Mickelson) should be one of the guys who steps up and says this is wrong.” As of Jan. 1, new rules relating to clubface grooves were implemented at the top level after research found modern configurations could allow players to generate almost as much spin with irons from the rough as from the fairway. All clubs, with the exception of drivers and putters, have been affected by the change which limits groove volume and groove-edge sharpness, effectively
replacing U-grooves with V-grooves. McCarron took exception to the PingEye 2 wedge used this week by Mickelson, a club with square grooves which is legal because of a lawsuit won by its manufacturer over the United States Golf Association in 1990. On Thursday, Mickelson agreed with McCarron’s overall stance but took exception at how his compatriot had made his point. “I totally agree with him (McCarron),” Mickelson said. “I think it’s a ridiculous rule. “But it’s not up to me or any other player to interpret what the interpretation of the rule is or the spirit of the rule. All my clubs are approved for play, and I take that very seriously not to violate any rule. “I don’t agree with the way he (McCarron) carried on about it, but that’s his choice.” —Reuters
LA JOLLA: Phil Mickelson tees off on the 18th hole during the third round of the 2010 Farmers Insurance Open. —AFP
DOHA: Sweden’s Robert Karlsson won the 2.5 million dollar Qatar Masters with a three shot win over Spaniard Alvaro Quiros at the Doha Golf Club yesterday. Karlsson shot a brilliant bogey-free seven-under-par 65 in the final round for an aggregate of 15-under-par 273, while last year’s winner Quiros shot a 67 for a total of 12-under-par 276. England’s Lee Westwood and Australian Brett Rumford were a shot behind in joint third with 11-under-par 277. England’s Oliver Wilson (71) finished with three birdies in a row to share fifth at eight-under-par 280 along with overnight leaders Bradley Dredge of Wales and Paul Casey of England. Karlsson, who was two shots off the pace set by Dredge after the third round on Saturday, virtually steamrollered the field on the final day as his rivals failed to exploit perfect golfing conditions at Doha’s only championship course. The 40-year-old, who became the first Swedish player to capture the Harry Vardon Trophy as Europe’s number one in 2008, suffered a frustrating 2009 when he missed several months of action due to blurred vision in his left eye caused by fluid build-up in his retina. But yesterday the Monaco resident produced near-flawless golf to pick up three birdies on the front nine and four, including two consecutives ones on the final two holes to comfortably win his first title in 16 months. Karlsson’s last title came at the Dunhill Links Championship in October 2008. “It was a tough time coming back,” said Karlsson. “I had a couple of good finishes at the end of last year with Henrik (Stenson) at the World Cup and with a second in Japan, but it is fantastic to be back now. “I am really happy to be back playing well, it is the first time I have played really well for a long time and the way I finished off today was very satisfying.” Karlsson was engaged in an engrossing duel with Westwood for the title but the Englishman’s hopes vanished on the 16th hole which he bogeyed after a string of four birdies on the 10th, 11th, 13th and 14th holes. However, in the final analysis, it was his poor front nine, during which he had three bogeys that put paid to his hopes of winning his first title in Doha. Westwood’s lacklustre final round helped Quiros the most as the Spaniard played steadily to finish second. Quiros, who was three shots adrift after the third round and had given up hope of winning the title saying all he could hope for was a decent finish, was surprised by his second place finish. “Yeah, this is better than what I expected,” said Quiros, one of the longest hitters in the game. “Really, I was very lucky - I holed a 30m putt on the ninth and chipped in twice so I am very pleased even though I was just a few centimetres away from an eagle on the last,” added Quiros. “But it’s a good defence. I was looking for a top five finish so I have to be happy.” Westwood said he was not pleased with his driving “I struggled with the driver, once I smashed the face in yesterday and I think I hit two fairways after that with the driver, which is not like me at all,” said Westwood. —AFP
LA JOLLA: Ryuji Imada of Japan waits to putt on the 17th hole at the South Course at Torrey Pines Golf Course during the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open. —AFP
Imada ahead at Torrey Pines, big names close SAN DIEGO: Japan’s Ryuji Imada pulled two shots clear after the third round of the San Diego Open on Saturday as some of the biggest names in the field moved into contention for a last-day push. After sharing the overnight lead with littleknown American DA Points, Imada fired a twounder-par 70 on another glorious day of sunshine at picturesque Torrey Pines to open a little daylight between himself and the chasing pack. Although the coastal breezes strengthened in the afternoon, the 33-year-old played bogey-free golf on the back nine to post a 13-under total of 203, ending his round in style with a 34-foot birdie
Gates wins New Zealand Open QUEENSTOWN: American Robert Gates became the 13th player to win his Nationwide Tour debut, closing with a 2-over 74 yesterday for a one-stroke victory over Australia’s Andrew Dodt in the tour’s season-opening New Zealand Open. Gates, who played the Canadian Tour last year, had a 14-under 274 total at The Hills. He opened with rounds of 65, 67 and 68 in the event also sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia. Gates, three strokes ahead entering the round, had a double bogey on the par-3 16th to fall into a tie with Dodt at 14 under, but Dodt followed with a double bogey of his own on the par5 17th. Dodt birdied the final hole for a 72. America’s Jamie Lovemark (68) was third at 12 under. Both Gates and Dodt shanked drives into the rough off the 17th tee. Although Gates crossed the fairway into a bunker, leaving him with a long a difficult second shot on the par-5, he reached the green and two-putted for his par. Dodt made a wayward recovery, leaving himself a long third, missing the green then taking three more to get down. —AP
putt. “The score looks pretty solid but it was a struggle out there,” Imada told reporters. “I struggled with my driver today and it took me nine holes to hit my first fairway. But I battled it out with a good short game and good putting. “I can’t really let my guard down,” added the 33-year-old from Hiroshima, whose only victory on the PGA Tour came at the 2008 AT&T Classic. “It’s a tough enough golf course where six, seven or eight shots could change in nine holes “I’ve got to keep playing well. I’m sure some of those guys are going to play really well tomorrow, so I’ve got to keep going, too.” Australian Michael Sim birdied two of the last three holes for a 70 and a tie for second place with American Ben Crane (69) at 11 under, a stroke in front of reigning U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover (68). Perhaps the most significant moves of the day, however, came from three-times winner Phil Mickelson and former world number one Ernie Els. Left-hander Mickelson shrugged off a doublebogey at the par-four seventh to card a 70 and end the round in a six-way tie for fifth, just four shots off the lead. South African Els, despite losing momentum after the turn, was a further stroke back at eight under after returning a five-birdie 69. “My short game kept me in it,” world number two Mickelson said after dumping his second shot into water at the last before getting up and down from 55 yards to save par. “I didn’t hit the ball the way I’ve been hitting it coming in, but I don’t feel like it’s far off. Hopefully I’ll make an adjustment tonight. “I’m only a few back,” he said of his victory hopes going into Sunday’s final round. “If I throw something in the mid to high sixties tomorrow, I think it has a very good chance.” Imada, who finished a distant second here behind Tiger Woods in 2008, duelled with playing partner Points for the lead over the front nine before taking control after the turn. —Reuters
Monday, February 1, 2010
NBA results/standings NBA results and standings on Saturday. Orlando 104, Atlanta 86; New Orleans 109, Memphis 102 (OT); Washington 106, NY Knicks 96; Milwaukee 95, Miami 84; Portland 114, Dallas 112 (OT); Charlotte 103, Sacramento 96. (OT denotes overtime) Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT Boston 29 15 .659 Toronto 25 22 .532 NY Knicks 18 28 .391 Philadelphia 15 31 .326 New Jersey 4 41 .089
GB 5.5 12 15 25.5
Cleveland Chicago Milwaukee Indiana Detroit
Central Division 37 11 .771 23 22 .511 20 25 .444 16 31 .340 15 30 .333
12.5 15.5 20.5 20.5
Orlando Atlanta Charlotte Miami Washington
Southeast Division 31 16 .660 30 16 .652 24 22 .522 24 23 .511 16 30 .348
0.5 6.5 7 14.5
Western Conference Northwest Division Denver 31 15 .674 Utah 28 18 .609 Portland 28 21 .571 Oklahoma City 25 21 .543 Minnesota 10 38 .208 LA Lakers Phoenix LA Clippers Sacramento Golden State Dallas San Antonio New Orleans Houston Memphis
Pacific Division 36 11 27 21 20 26 16 30 13 32
.766 .563 .435 .348 .289
Southwest Division 30 17 .638 27 18 .600 26 21 .553 25 21 .543 25 21 .543
3 4.5 6 22 9.5 15.5 19.5 22 2 4 4.5 4.5
WASHINGTON: New York Knicks center David Lee (42) battles for the ball against Washington Wizards center Brendan Haywood (33) during the second half of an NBA basketball game. —AP
Blazers beat Mavs, Magic down Hawks DALLAS: Andre Miller scored a career-high 52 points and Juwan Howard hit a jumper with 44.8 seconds left to lift the Portland Trail Blazers past the Dallas Mavericks 114112 Saturday. Miller was 22 of 31 from the floor and hit 7 of 8 from the foul line as the Blazers snapped a three-game losing streak. He hit 25 of his points in the fourth quarter and overtime. Portland scored the final six points, including Miller’s layup that tied the game at 112. On the Blazers’ next possession, Howard connected on a 15-foot jumper that gave Portland a 114-112 lead. Dirk Nowitzki scored 28 points, but he
missed two shots in the final minute and one just before the buzzer that could have sent the game into a second overtime. Magic 104, Hawks 86 At Orlando, Florida, Dwight Howard had 31 points and 19 rebounds as Orlando coasted over Atlanta. The Magic took over first place in the Southeast Division with the victory and beat the Hawks for the third straight time this season. Rashard Lewis added 17 points, Ryan Anderson had 16 and JJ Redick had eight points and a career-high seven assists as the Magic reserves had 32 points and 11 assists. Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford had 19
points apiece for the Hawks, who shot only 39.5 percent in the game. Hornets 109, Grizzlies 102 At Memphis, Tennessee, Emeka Okafor had 21 points, and Darren Collison added 17 points and a career-high 18 assists as New Orleans ended Memphis’ 11-game home winning streak. New Orleans overcame a 21-point deficit in the third quarter to win its third game out of the past four. Four of the Hornets past 10 games have gone to overtime, and New Orleans had lost the previous three before Saturday’s victory. David West led New Orleans with 22
points, while Peja Stojakovic had 20 points. Marcus Thornton finished with 14 for the Hornets. Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol had 25 points each for Memphis. Bucks 95, Heat 84 At Milwaukee, Hakim Warrick scored 10 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter as Milwaukee held off short-handed Miami. Andrew Bogut and Brandon Jennings each had 17 points for Milwaukee. Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 21 points, but was in foul trouble most of the game. Quentin Richardson had 16 points and Jermaine O’Neal had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Wizards 106, Knicks 96 At Washington, Mike Miller scored a season-high 25 points _ including seven 3-pointers _ and Antawn Jamison had 21 points and a career-high 23 rebounds to lead Washington over New York. Miller, who missed 26 games due to injuries this season, had four 3-pointers late in the third quarter and early in the fourth as the Wizards took an 85-73 lead with 10:45 to play in the fourth quarter. On Friday, Washington had a two-point win over the New Jersey Nets despite all five of its starters failing to score in double figures for the first time since Dec. 27, 2001.
Bobcats 103, Kings 96 At Sacramento, California, Gerald Wallace scored a season-high 38 points and had 11 rebounds as Charlotte defeated Sacramento. Wallace keyed the decisive third quarter when the Bobcats pulled away by outscoring Sacramento 34-13. He had 19 points to help Charlotte take a 90-67 lead into the fourth. Nazr Mohammed had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Bobcats. Stephen Jackson and Flip Murray each had 13 points. Kevin Martin scored 31 points for the Kings, who have dropped two straight and nine of 10. Omri Casspi scored 14 points and Jason Thompson had 12 points and 16 rebounds. —AP
Vonn bags World Cup Super-G title
SLOVENIA: Austria’s Reinfried Herbst reacts at the finish line after winning an Alpine Ski, Men’s World Cup Slalom race. —AP
Herbst masters slopes to clinch WCup slalom SLOVENIA: Austrian Reinfried Herbst finally mastered Kransjka Gora’s slopes to win his fourth World Cup slalom of the season yesterday. “I’ve been racing in Kranjska Gora for 12 years and it’s my first podium,” said Herbst, who clocked a combined time of one minute and 45.35 seconds. Under pressure from compatriot Marcel Hirscher, Herbst held his nerve to beat his young teammate by 0.40 seconds. France’s Julien Lizeroux was third and trails World Cup leader Herbst by 43 points with one slalom remaining in the season, which will be held at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in March. “I’ve had a great season so far and it could have been even better. But every time I went out, I was in the lead and it’s a great indication of the sort of form I’m in,” said Herbst. The Austrian slalom specialist, who has been hampered by back pains, now has almost a month
ahead of him to rest before the Olympic slalom. Hirscher, the great hope of Austrian skiing at 20, spent an ideal pre-Olympic weekend in Slovenia with one victory and two second places. “I came back from way back,” said the winner of Saturday’s giant slalom, who was only 15th after the first leg. “But on the other hand the piste was not too damaged when I started in the second run and I could make up for lost time.” Lizeroux made a mistake in the morning run and was happy to limit the damage. “The slalom World Cup will be decided on the last race but I don’t want it to spoil my pleasure. I’m having a great season and that’s what matters,” he said. Austria’s Benjamin Raich, who finished sixth, completed a great weekend for his team by increasing his overall World Cup over Swiss Carlo Janka to 110 points. —Reuters
ST MORITZ: American Lindsey Vonn, beaten for the first time this season in a downhill a day earlier, captured the World Cup Super-G title after winning yesterday. In the last race before the Vancouver Olympics, the American clocked one minute 1.77 seconds to grab her ninth overall victory of the season. With only two races left this season Vonn leads Swiss Fabienne Suter by more than 200 points in the Super-G standings and cannot be caught. Vonn also strengthened her overall World Cup lead over Saturday’s downhill winner Maria Riesch who now trails her by 137 points. Her German friend and rival hit a gate and finished 11th. “I saw that Maria had not been doing so well and I really went for the points. Luckily, there will be no points awarded at the Olympics. I will only think about victory,” Vonn said. “In a way, it was not so bad losing yesterday. I’d rather lose here and win in Vancouver.” It was the 31st career victory for Vonn who said she took inspiration from Roger Federer, who won the Australian Open tennis title yesterday. “I saw the beginning of Roger’s final in the start area and I saw he was taking a lot of risks. It gave me motivation to go for it today,” added Vonn. Austria’s Andrea Fischbacher, who beat the American in Friday’s Super-G leg of the super-combined on the same piste, and France’s Marie Marchand-Arvier were joint second on the same time. It was Marchand-Arvier’s best World Cup result after two previous third places. She and Fischbacher were 0.17 seconds behind the winner. The Frenchwoman, silver medallist behind Vonn at the world championships last year, is hitting form at the right time. By contrast, the Olympic hopes of Italy’s Nadia Fanchini, the world championships bronze medallist, ended after she tumbled down the Corviglia piste and screamed in pain. An Italian team spokesman said Fanchini had torn ligaments in both knees and would be out of action for at least six months. —Reuters
ST MORITZ: Lindsey Vonn of the United States speeds down the course during the women’s alpine ski World Cup downhill race. —AP
Pakistan star Afridi banned after biting ball DUBAI: Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi has been banned for two Twenty20 internationals after being caught up in a ball-tampering row during his team’s defeat in yesterday’s final onedayer against Australia. Afridi, who was captaining Pakistan in the absence of Mohammad Yousuf, was caught on TV cameras apparently biting the ball in the match at the WACA in Perth where Australia completed a 50 whitewash of the one-day series.
“Shahid Afridi has been banned for two T20Is after the incident,” a Pakistan team official told the www.cricinfo.com website. “He pleaded guilty to the charge.” Afridi, who captains the Pakistan side in Twenty20 cricket, will miss the match against Australia on February 5 as well as the first of two matches against England in Dubai on February 19. The International Cricket Council confirmed that Afridi had received two suspension
points after breaching the ICC Code of Conduct during the game. Two suspension points in the code means a ban of a Test, two ODIs or two T20Is. Shahid was charged with an article 2.2.9 offence of the ICC Code of Conduct which relates to “changing the condition of the ball in breach of Law 42.3 of the Laws of Cricket”. The charge was laid by onfield umpires Asoka de Silva and Paul Reiffel, as well as third umpire Rod Tucker and fourth official Mick Martell.
Match referee Ranjan Madugalle handed Afridi the maximum penalty under the provision of the code. “I imposed the maximum penalty under the code to Shahid and reminded him of his responsibilities as a national captain which is to ensure that the match is played according to the laws of the game and in the spirit in which it is intended to be played,” said Madugalle. “Shahid, when pleading guilty, apologised and regretted his actions.” —AFP
Monday, February 1, 2010
MELBOURNE: Combo picture shows Roger Federer of Switzerland holding up his 16 Grand Slam titles. Swiss great Roger Federer won his fourth Australian Open and 16th Grand Slam title yesterday in Melbourne. Federer’s 16 Grand Slam victories are: Australian Open 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, Wimbledon 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, French Open 2009, US Open 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008. —AFP
Murray weeps as Federer sweeps MELBOURNE: The Swiss master did it again. Roger Federer now has a 16th grand slam title, a fourth in Australia and a stranglehold over his rivals that shows no sign of ending. Britain’s long wait continues. The added burden of 74 years of expectation was too much for Andy Murray and he failed to produce his best when it mattered most. The Scotsman was brave but Federer was just too good, winning yesterday’s Australian Open final 6-3 6-4 7-6. It was not so much a match as a tennis lesson but Federer said it was players like Murray that brought out the best in him.
“I’m being pushed a great deal by the new generation coming up,” Federer said. “They’ve made me a better player, because I think this has been one of my finest performances in a long time, or maybe forever.” At the presentation ceremony, Murray broke down in tears, just as Federer had done when he won the 2006 final and again last year when he lost to Rafa Nadal. “I can cry like Roger. It’s just a shame I can’t play like him,” Murray said. Murray’s time may still come. He is just 22 and has already played in two grand slam finals, at the US Open two years ago and now Australia. At the same age, Federer had only made one grand
slam final. Murray might have lost both his finals in straight sets to Federer but there is no shame in that. The apprentice’s best years are still ahead of him and Britain
vinced he will win one.” Federer’s game is not quite as clinical and precise as it used to be but his grip on the game has never been tighter. Rarely was this better illustrat-
In the opening set, he broke Federer’s serve when he chased down a drop shot then whipped a forehand across the court, then in the third set he broke him again, with another sweetly
Swiss master now has 16 Grand Slam titles may yet get their first male grand slam champion since Fred Perry won the U.S. Open in 1936. “You’re too good a player not to win a grand slam so don’t worry about it,” Federer reassured him. Later he added: “The next one is not gonna get any easier. But his game is so good that I’m con-
ed than yesterday’s final at Melbourne Park as the pair captivated the Rod Laver Arena crowd with some absorbing rallies. Murray went into the match full of optimism and confidence and there were moments when he had the world number one under pressure.
struck winner. He also served for the third set in the ninth game and had five set points in the tiebreaker, but was unable to convert. “I thought I deserved to take it into a fourth, but it didn’t happen,” Murray said. “I had my chance to get back into the match. That was
probably why I was upset.” Throughout the match, Federer was always more aggressive. He made more unforced errors than Murray but also hit more winners, 19 with his forehand, six with his backhand and 11 thundering aces. He wasted two match points in the tiebreak but took the third that came his way when he thumped a return back to Murray that put the Scotsman on the back foot and ended when he lamely slapped a backhand into the net. “I’m over the moon, winning this again,” Federer said. “I think I played some of the best tennis of my life again the last two weeks. “This is also special because
it’s my first grand slam as a father. I’m looking forward to them watching me next year maybe.” Federer has already broken almost every record in men’s tennis. He has made the final in 18 of the last 19 grand slams but lost none of his enthusiasm. “There’s no secret behind it. I’m definitely a very talented player,” he said. “I always knew I had something special, but I didn’t know it was like, you know, that crazy. “I definitely had to work extremely hard so I would pick the right shot at the right time. “I haven’t put a number on how many grand slams I want to try to win. Whatever happens happens.” —AFP
Sports snippets Gobena wins marathon OSAKA: Ethiopia’s Amane Gobena has won the Osaka International Women’s Marathon. Gobena pulled ahead at the 39-kilometer mark yesterday and crossed the finish line at Osaka’s Nagai Stadium with a personal best time of 2 hours, 25 minutes, 15 seconds. Marisa Barros of Portugal was second with a time of 2:25:40 and Japan’s Mari Okazaki was third in 2:26:28. It was Gobena’s first marathon victory since winning in Toronto last year. “This was a tough race,” Gobena said. “It was a very competitive field so I’m very pleased with this win.”
Portuguese League LISBON: Benfica joined Braga at the top of the Portuguese league after beating Guimaraes 3-1 on Saturday. Carlos Martins scored twice and Pablo Aimar once for Benfica, which was enjoying its best start to a season in 19 years, while Guimaraes cut the deficit through Nuno Assis. On Friday, Braga went clear on 42 points after beating Sporting 1-0. Braga and Benfica have been neck-and-neck throughout the season and the Lisbon team was hoping to win the title for the first time in five years. Also on Saturday, third-place Porto beat Nacional 4-0.
Lolo sets new record KARLSRUHE: Indoor 60 metres hurdles world champion Lolo Jones set a new world leading time of 7.90secs at an indoor meet here yesterday to bounce back from defeat the day before to Britain’s Jessica Ennis. Jones, 27, who was crowned world indoor 60m hurdles champion in Valencia in 2008, was beaten on Saturday when world heptathlon champion Ennis ran 7.95secs in Glasgow, but the United States sprinter dominated here 24 hours later. Petr Svoboda of the Czech Republic set a national record of 7.55 in the heats of the 60m hurdles and the 25year-old surpassed that mark in the final, taking the win in 7.50 to move to second on the world-lists. All-Star Showdown IRWINDALE: Joey Logano raced to his second NASCAR Toyota AllStar Showdown victory Saturday, holding off 16-year-old Sergio Pena. Logano, the 19-year-old star preparing for his second Sprint Cup season, also won the 2007 race on the half-mile oval at Toyota Speedway. Two-time winner Matt Kobyluck was third, followed by Matt DiBenedetto, Andrew Myers, Eric Holmes, David Mayhew, Eddie MacDonald, Paulie Harraka and Steve Park.
MELBOURNE: Indian tennis player Leander Paes (left) poses with Zimbabwean partner Cara Black as they hold the trophy after victory in their mixed doubles match against Ekaterina Makarova of Russia and Jaroslav Levinsky of Czech Republic at the Australian Open. —AP
Mixed doubles title MELBOURNE: Zimbabwe’s Cara Black and Leander Paes of India won the Australian Open mixed doubles title yesterday, defeating Russian Ekaterina Makarova and Czech Republic’s Jaroslav Levinsky 7-5 6-3. The win gave Black and Paes another grand slam title, after their US Open triumph in 2008. It also helped erase some of the disappointment of failing to defend their
title at Flushing Meadows last year. “I think that just our expertise and the way we play doubles, the way we cover the right shots at the right time, and the fact we keep bringing it to our opponents (won it for us),” Paes told reporters. “That’s what won it for us today, is that our individual play, our instincts are very well matched well together.” After trading service breaks early, Black
and Paes broke Makarova at 5-5, then calmly served out the first set. They carried the momentum into the second, breaking Levinsky at 0-0, then again at 5-3 to seal the match. The win was also a measure of consolation for Black, who with American Liezel Huber lost the women’s doubles final against Serena and Venus Williams on Friday. —Reuters
Winter X Games ASPEN: Gretchen Bleiler has won the Winter X Games snowboarding superpipe contest, edging out fellow American Kelly Clark in an upset. Bleiler, the 2006 Olympic silver medalist, scored 96.66 on her second run Saturday to defeat Clark by .66 points. Clark, the 2002 Olympic gold medalist, had won four of the five pre-Olympic events heading into the Winter X Games, and Bleiler won the other one. Defending Olympic gold medalist Hannah Teter of the United States finished third. McMorris triumphs CALGARY: Canada’s Marc McMorris won gold at the first snowboard World Cup slopestyle event held in his country. McMorris scored 45.1 points Saturday in his first of two runs to take the top of the podium ahead of Belgium’s Seppe Smits in second with 42.9 points and Nick Brown of New Zealand in third. “It’s definitely the best feeling ever. I’ve never won a world-class event like this. It’s a dream,” McMorris said. In the women’s event, Sina Candrian of Switzerland won gold with 45.4 points ahead of Canadians Brooke Voight and Alexandra Duckworth. “I was looking forward to this World Cup here in Calgary.
GERMANY: Slovenia’s Robert Kranjec jumps in the men’s single FIS Ski Jumping World Cup in the southern German town of Oberstdorf. —AFP Ski flying event OBERSTDORF: Anders Jacobsen of Norway won a ski flying World Cup event yesterday for his first victory in nearly two years. Jacobsen soared 213.5 and 210 meters to collect 426.7 points. The Norwegian last won in February 2008. Robert Kranjec of Slovenia took second with 418.1 points from jumps of 202.5 and 214 meters, while Johan Remen Evensen of Norway was third with 416.2 points after the longest jump of the day at 217.5 meters and another of 200.5. Andreas Kofler of Austria crashed heavily but was not seriously injured. Kranjec won the sky flying title with 260 points.
Hewitt pulls out SAN JOSE: Former champion Lleyton Hewitt has pulled out of next month’s SAP Open in San Jose after undergoing surgery on his right hip. Hewitt told tournament director Bill Rapp on Saturday that he needed to withdraw. He had the operation on Thursday and hopes to be back in time to play the French Open. Hewitt, the 2002 champion and 2006 runner-up, injured his hip at the Hopman Cup this month. A left hip injury caused him to miss most of the 2008 season. Hewitt says he hopes to return to the event in San Jose next year.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Okaka leaves Roma with a parting gift
UK court lifts media ban on Terry’s life LONDON: As captain of England’s national team, John Terry is used to appearing in the sports pages. But on Saturday, his picture was splashed across the front pages of Britain’s newspapers, and not because of his skill on the field. A High Court judge lifted a court order Friday that had prevented the media from reporting allegations about Terry’s private life — a so-called “super injunction” which barred publication that any order even existed. The court order related to a story about the 29year-old Terry, who is married with two children, and his ties with another woman whom the judge did not name. After the injunction was lifted, it wasn’t just the country’s famously racy tabloids that published page after page about the football (soccer) star — some of Britain’s more conservative broadsheet newspapers followed the story as well for its longterm impact on the country’s strict media laws. Ambi Sitham, a media lawyer, called High Court judge Michael Tugendhat’s decision “hugely significant,” and said while those with legitimate privacy concerns would continue to be protected, people trying to escape scrutiny for other reasons won’t find relief in the courts. “It’s a big red flag for high-profile people, who are increasingly using privacy law to keep sordid details out of the press,” she said. In December, a similar injunction barred journalists in Britain from publishing material about Tiger Woods, even blocking the media from revealing the details of the order itself. Woods has since confessed to marital infidelities, lost millions as sponsorship deals evaporated, taken an unspecified amount of time off from professional golf and disappeared from public view. Terry, whose past bad boy antics have been frequently chronicled by the press, never had the saintly reputation of Woods. Still, he is one of the sport’s highest-paid stars playing the world’s most popular game for one of the most renowned clubs — Chelsea — in the English Premier League, the world’s wealthiest. Britain doesn’t have a formal privacy law, but is a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights. That guarantees the right to respect for privacy and family life, and this clause has been used repeatedly by celebrities to fight media exposes. The position of England captain is highly prestigious in Britain _ David Beckham was the team’s previous leader. Terry had been working on his image after a series of damaging incidents and last year was named “Dad of the Year” by a condiments company. The injunction was granted Jan. 22 after Terry learned that a newspaper was about to publish a story about his private life. Tugendhat, however, said Terry appeared more concerned about the effect that publication of the allegations might have on his public image rather than his private life, saying the “claim is essentially a business matter.” Terry — who is identified as LNS in the judgment — has several sponsorship deals on top of his reported weekly salary of 170,000 pounds ($275,000) with Chelsea. John Terry “I have reached the view that it is likely that the nub of LNS’s complaint in this case is the protection of reputation, and not of any other aspect of LNS’s private life,” the judgment says. “The real basis for the concern of LNS is likely to be the impact of any adverse publicity upon the business of earning sponsorship and similar income.” The judge did say the woman in question was “a famous person” but not from the sporting world — and not as famous as Terry. British papers on Saturday reported that the woman was a model who already had a son with one of Terry’s former teammates, a player who may also be chosen for England’s World Cup team. His team, Chelsea, has called the situation “a personal matter” and said they would give Terry and his family “all the support they need in dealing with it.” Much speculation Saturday focused on how the allegations could affect Terry’s position on the England team and its run at the World Cup this summer in South Africa. Coach Fabio Capello has instilled a strict disciplinary code within the squad, and could pull the captaincy from Terry if he thought his offfield behavior might affect the team. “The daily headlines will continue to question his fitness to lead. In Fleet Street parlance, this story has legs and will run and run,” sports columnist Henry Winter wrote in the Daily Telegraph. “If it seems that Terry’s conduct and continued ownership of the captain’s armband affects morale going into a World Cup, then Capello has no choice. Terry should go.” Terry has played for Chelsea his entire career. The Blues fended off an attempt by Manchester City to sign him last year by giving him a pay rise that reportedly made him the highest-paid player in the Premier League. Appointed Chelsea captain in 2004, he has won two Premier League titles, three FA Cups and two League Cups in the most successful period in the club’s history. He was first choice in central defense for England at the 2004 European Championship and 2006 World Cup, after which he was named national team captain when Beckham relinquished the role. But allegations of off-field transgressions have followed him throughout his career. He was fined by Chelsea after he and three teammates drunkenly abused American guests at a hotel the day after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Terry has also been ejected from nightclubs and newspapers have accused him of infidelities several times. But Terry has retained the England captaincy, even after the country’s failure to reach the 2008 European Championship, and appeared in advertisements for Samsung and sportswear manufacturer Umbro. Despite speculation that he might hide out after all the bad publicity, Terry started in his team’s game Saturday. He was booed by fans but scored the winning goal in Chelsea’s 2-1 victory over Burnley, keeping his team on top of the Premier League. “He is a fantastic player,” Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti said after the game. “That is his private life. He is about work. We don’t have to say nothing because heis very professional.”—AP
SPAIN: Mallorca’s Cameroonian forward Pierre Webo (left) celebrates with teammates Mallorca’s forward Aritz Aduriz (center) and Mallorca’s Uruguayan midfielder Chori Castro (right) after scoring during a Spanish League football match against Xerez.—AFP
Xerez stun Mallorca for second win of season MADRID: A brace from Carlos Calvo helped bottom side Xerez come from behind to beat high-flying Mallorca 2-1 and claim only their second win of the Spanish league season yesterday. Xerez had only one win to their name all season but took the game to Champions League chasers Mallorca from the start. Although Xerez enjoyed the bulk of the possession Pierre Webo scored against the run of play for Mallorca mid-way through the first half. Calvo restored parity in the second half after firing a right-foot rocket home from 30 yards and he then completed the turnaround with a second goal 12 minutes from time to give Xerez three vital points. The defeat left Mallorca fourth on equal points with fifth placed Deportivo La Coruna, and five adrift of third placed Valencia, who play away to Sevilla later Sunday. Villarreal’s 2-0 defeat to Osasuna proved another upsert, with Juanfran Torres scoring both goals. It was no more than the visitors deserved as they dominated the game and Juanfran lapsed on two defensive lapses to score in either half. Getafe’s push for a place in Europe suffered a blip as they were
held to a goalless draw by Racing Santander. In the first half there were chances for both sides, Getafe going closest with a Rafa Lopez shot which hit the post. After the interval and the sending-off of Jose Moraton, Racing sat back and held on for the draw. Zaragoza came from behind to beat Tenerife 3-1 and gain three crucial points in their survival battle. Juanlu Hens gave the home side the lead after the break but Zaragoza responded in the last 15 minutes with goals from Humberto Suazo, Adrian Colunga and Angel Lafita. In the other relegation battle Valladolid drew 1-1 against Almeria with Cesar Arzo equalising for the home side after Albert Crusat scored the opener. On Saturday Karim Benzema scored a brace as Real Madrid beat Deportivo la Coruna 3-1 thanks to a dominant first-half performance. Esteban Granero headed Real in front after 13 minutes with the game played out in the home side’s half. Raul Gonzalez had the chance to add to the lead with a close-range volley before a moment of real quality from Jose Maria Guti. Through on goal, instead of
shooting on his weaker right foot, he back-heeled the ball into the path of Benzema to slot home. In a late rally Ivan Riki scored from the penalty spot for Deportivo but Benzema had the last word with a goal in injury time. “I am very happy with the win because it was in a stadium which traditionally has been a difficult place to come for Real Madrid and also because we played well, although it did get a bit tight at the end,” said Real coach Manuel Pellegrini. Barcelona kept the pressure on with Pedro Rodriguez scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win over Sporting Gijon. He latched onto a defence splitting through ball by Andres Iniesta before finishing clinically. In the second half Barca had opportunities to extend their lead but in particular Leo Messi and Pedro were guilty of glaring misses. “This is a good result for us because we played in a stadium where very few teams have won,” said Barca coach Pep Guardiola. “My only regret is that we did not make the right decisions in the final moments of the game that would have made the result a lot more comfortable.”—AFP
ROME: Roma took advantage of second-placed AC Milan being held 1-1 at home by Livorno to catch up with them in Serie A yesterday by beating basement side Siena 2-1 with the help of a remarkable Stefano Okaka goal. Okaka, who is expected to join Premier League side Fulham today, back-heeled a cross from fellow substitute Adrian Pit to seal victory in the 88th minute. Second-placed Milan’s hopes of taking a big chunk out of Inter Milan’s lead after their city rivals’ visit to Parma was snowed off were dashed by Cristiano Lucarelli’s 53rd-minute goal after Massimo Ambrosini had put them in front just before half-time. Milan have 41 points from 21 games, eight points less than Inter, at the end of a disappointing eight days in which they were knocked out of the Italian Cup by Udinese and lost last weekend’s derby to Inter 2-0. Third-placed Roma also have 41 points although they have played one game more after beating Siena despite being depleted in attack, with captain Francesco Totti, Luca Toni and Mirko Vucinic all unfit. At the San Siro Milan tried to seize the initiative from the outset. But Livorno were well organised and proved difficult to break down until Ambrosini hooked in with the help of a blunder by keeper Francesco Benussi, who gifted the midfielder the ball in front of goal when he flapped at a David Beckham cross. Ronaldinho had come closest before that when he thumped the post with a right-footed strike from the edge of the area in the 36th. Both sides had penalty appeals denied after Lucarelli poked in a mis-hit Claudio Bellucci shot and Benussi produced a fine save to repel an Ambrosini header, while Klaas-Jan Huntelaar knocked a good chance over. “We lacked that little something,” Milan coach Leonardo said. “We went into the game after these (bad) results and we needed a good performance. “We didn’t play a great match but it wasn’t bad either. We didn’t take our chances against a side that came to defend.” John Arne Riise, who scored a stoppage-time winner against Juventus last weekend, gave Roma a deserved lead with a spectacular left-footed volley into the far corner in the 29th minute. The visitors responded four minutes before half-time when Simone Vergassola touched in the rebound of a Mato Jajalo effort only to come away empty handed because of Okaka’s ingenuity. “The goal was really satisfying. I wanted to put on a beautiful performance,” Okaka said. “I’m going to England to improve myself. This opportunity came up and I couldn’t say no.” Fiorentina, rocked by this week’s news that Romania forward Adrian Mutu had failed drugs tests, drew 2-2 at 10-man Cagliari. Midfielder Marco Marchionni tucked away a deflected cross to put them ahead in the eighth minute. Cagliari’s Andrea Lazzari charged into the
area and unleashed a thunderbolt to equalise in the 36th minute and in the 48th defender Davide Astori headed in for the Sardinian side, who had Andrea Cossu sent off for a second yellow card soon after. Stevan Jovetic was on target to earn his side a point on the hour. Sampdoria, who denied reports they plan to loan injured fan favourite Antonio Cassano after tension with coach Luigi Del Neri, beat second-from-bottom Atalanta 2-0 at home. Angelo Palombo drove in from outside the box in the 36th and Giampaolo Pazzini found the net from short range just before the break. Chievo and Bologna and Catania and Udinese both battled out 1-1 draws. Troubled Juventus face Lazio at home later yesterday in new coach Alberto Zaccheroni’s first game in charge after the Turin club sacked Ciro Ferrara on Friday.—AFP
Italian League results/standings Roma 2 (Riise 29, Okaka 88) Siena 1 (Vergassola 41); Sampdoria 2 (Palombo 36, Pazzini 45+1) Atalanta 0; AC Milan 1 (Ambrosini 44) Livorno 1 (C. Lucarelli 53); Chievo 1 (Pellissier 49) Bologna 1 (Di Vaio 11); Cagliari 2 (Lazzari 36, Astori 48) Fiorentina 2 (Marchionni 8, Jovetic 63); Catania 1 (Biagianti 80) Udinese 1 (Floro Flores 32).
Playing later Juventus v Lazio Postponed (snow) Parma v Inter Milan Played Saturday Bari 4 (Bonucci 5, Alvarez 7, P Barreto 62-pen, Koman 84) Palermo 2 (Cavani 28, Pastore 54); Napoli 0 Genoa 0. Italian league table ahead of Sunday evening’s match (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Inter Milan 21 15 4 2 45 19 49 AC Milan 21 12 5 4 36 22 41 Roma 22 12 5 5 37 26 41 Napoli 22 10 8 4 31 24 38 Palermo 22 9 7 6 29 25 34 Juventus 21 10 3 8 33 28 33 Sampdoria 22 9 6 7 28 30 33 Cagliari 21 9 5 7 34 26 32 Bari 22 8 8 6 30 24 32 Genoa 22 9 5 8 35 36 32 Fiorentina 21 9 4 8 28 24 31 Parma 21 8 5 8 24 29 29 Chievo 22 8 5 9 23 23 29 Bologna 22 6 6 10 24 31 24 Livorno 22 6 4 12 14 30 22 Udinese 21 5 6 10 23 28 21 Lazio 21 4 9 8 16 22 21 Catania 22 4 8 10 22 30 20 Atalanta 22 4 5 13 20 34 17 Siena 22 3 4 15 23 44 13
Spanish League results/standings Tenerife 1 (Juanlu 48) Real Zaragoza 3 (Suazo 77-pen, Colunga 79, Lafita 83); Valladolid 1 (Arzo 81) Almeria 1 (Crusat 12); Villarreal 0 Osasuna 2 (Juanfran 15, 85); Xerez 2 (Calvo 52, 79) Real Mallorca 1 (Webo 24); Getafe 0 Racing Santander 0. Playing later Atletico Madrid v Malaga, Sevilla v Valencia Barcelona Real Madrid Valencia Real Mallorca Deportivo La Coruna Sevilla Getafe Athletic Bilbao Villarreal Osasuna
20 20 19 20 20 19 20 20 20 20
16 15 11 10 10 10 10 9 7 7
4 2 6 4 4 3 1 3 5 5
0 3 2 6 6 6 9 8 8 8
50 47 35 34 24 29 27 24 31 20
10 15 18 23 22 21 24 25 29 21
52 47 39 34 34 33 31 30 26 26
Played Saturday Espanyol 1 (L. Garcia 58) Athletic Bilbao 0; Sporting Gijon 0 Barcelona 1 (Pedrito 30); Deportivo La Coruna 1 (Riki 87-pen) Real Madrid 3 (Granero 13, Benzema 40, 90). Spanish league table after Sunday’s early matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Sporting Gijon Racing Santander Atletico Madrid Espanyol Almeria Valladolid Malaga Real Zaragoza Tenerife Xerez
20 20 19 20 20 20 19 20 20 20
6 6 6 6 4 3 3 4 4 2
6 8 20 22 6 8 23 27 5 8 30 31 5 9 14 26 7 9 19 30 9 8 24 36 8 8 21 26 5 11 23 42 5 11 17 39 5 13 10 35
24 24 23 23 19 18 17 17 17 11
ITALY: Livorno goalkeeper Francesco Benussi (left) traps the ball as AC Milan midfielder Massimo Ambrosini (No.23) goes for a header, during the Italian League soccer match.—AP
Leverkusen blitz Freiburg to reclaim lead BERLIN: Leverkusen yesterday took over from Bayern Munich as Bundesliga leaders for the second week running after blitzing Freiburg with three goals in four minutes on their way to a 3-1 win. Leverkusen remain the only unbeaten Bundesliga side this season and stunned Freiburg with first-half goals by Germany striker Steffan Kiessling, Swiss forward Eren Derdiyok and ex-Liverpool defender Sammi Hyypia. Although Bayern picked up their seventh consecutive league win with a 3-0 victory over Mainz on Saturday, Leverkusen went back to the top of the German league
and two-points clear after Sunday’s win. Germany squad member Kiessling remains the league’s top scorer after he bagged his 13th of the season on 36 minutes with a well-taken header. Then Derdiyok bagged his eighth of the season when he capitalised on a mistake in the Freiburg defence just 60 seconds later for his eighth league goal of the season. And Hyypia made sure of the win with his second goal in two games when his header beat Freiburg goalkeeper Simon Pouplin five minutes before the half-time whistle. Defender Felix Bastians then pulled a
consolation goal back for Freiburg, but the defeat leaves them 15th in the table, just one off the relegation zone. Earlier, Stuttgart coach Christian Gross picked up his fourth-straight win and remains undefeated after seven games in charge as his Bundesliga side enjoyed a 4-1 win over Borussia Dortmund. Goals by Russia forward Pavel Pogrebnyak and Serbian striker Zdravko Kuzmanovic put Stuttgart in charge before Romanian striker Ciprian Marica and Christian Traesch scored late goals to put the result beyond doubt. The result means the home side have now claimed 12 points from their last four
league games with Spanish giants Barcelona beckoning in the Champions League last 16 clash on February 23. Schalke 04 are third after their 2-0 win over Hoffenheim on Saturday with goals by striker Kevin Kuranyi and midfielder Lukas Schmitz while the defeat leaves Hoffenheim ninth in the table. Dutch winger Arjen Robben, Germany striker Mario Gomez and defender Daniel van Buyten all scored in Bayern’s win over Mainz in snowy conditions which leaves Bayern second. Elsewhere, Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf is in a precarious position as his side have now gone seven German
league games without a win after they went down 4-3 at midtable Borussia Moenchengladbach. Second from bottom Nuremberg picked up only their second win in their last 10 games when they won 3-1 at Hanover and the result leaves bottom side Hertha Berlin five points adrift after a scoreless draw with Bochum in the capital. Cologne are up to 13th after their second consecutive win having beaten Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1. Defending champions Wolfsburg’s 1-1 draw at Hamburg on Friday leaves the team from the Hanseatic city fifth in the table.—AFP
German League results/standings
GERMANY: Leverkusen’s Arturo Vidal (right) and Freiburg’s Cedrick Makiadi challenge for the ball during the German First Division Bundesliga soccer match.—AP
BERLIN: Collated German league results after Sunday evening’s match: VfB Stuttgart 4 (Pogrebnjak 14, Kuzmanovic 77, Marica 88, Traesch 89) Borussia Dortmund 1 (Barrios 55); Bayer Leverkusen 3 (Kiessling 36, Derdiyok 37, Hyypia 40); Freiburg 1 (Bastians 66) SaturdayBorussia M’gladbach 4 (Reus 4, Colautti 13, Bodadilla 18, 35) Werder Bremen 3 (Oezil 26, Pizarro 40, Frings 85-pen); Eintracht Frankfurt 1 (Chris 76) Cologne 2 (Maniche 59, Russ 84-
og); Hertha Berlin 0 VfL Bochum 0; Bayern Munich 3 (van Buyten 58, Gomez 75, Robben 86) Mainz 05 0; Hanover 96 1 (Stajner 65) Nuremberg 3 (Banjaku 30, 64, 69); Schalke 04 2 (Kuranyi 19, Schmitz 49) Hoffenheim 0. Played Friday Hamburg 1 (Trochowski 90+2) VfL Wolfsburg 1 (Dzeko 34) German league table after Sunday evening’s match (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points):
Bayer Leverkusen Bayern Munich Schalke 04 Borussia Dortmund Hamburg Werder Bremen Eintracht Frankfurt Mainz 05 Hoffenheim
VfB Stuttgart VfL Wolfsburg Borussia M’gladbach Cologne VfL Bochum Freiburg Hanover 96 Nuremberg Hertha Berlin
20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20
12 12 12 10 9 7 7 7 7
8 6 5 6 8 7 7 6 4
0 2 3 4 3 6 6 7 9
45 42 31 28 37 37 25 24 27
16 17 15 23 21 24 27 29 24
44 42 41 36 35 28 28 27 25
20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20
6 6 7 6 5 5 4 4 2
7 7 4 6 6 3 5 4 5
7 7 9 8 9 12 11 12 13
24 36 29 17 22 20 22 16 16
25 39 34 21 36 39 34 35 39
25 25 25 24 21 18 17 16 11
LUANDA: Egyptian team celebrates with CAF trophy during award ceremony after Egypt won over Ghana 1-0 during Africa Cup of Nations. —AFP
Pharaohs retain African crown LUANDA: Egypt entered the record books here yesterday, beating Ghana 1-0 in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations with supersub Mohamed ‘Gedo’ Nagy lifting the Pharaohs to their third straight title. Gedo, who has scored from the bench in Egypt’s last four games in Angola, came on in the 63rd minute and produced his magic with five minutes left on the clock to cement Egypt’s standing as the kings of Africa. The win also gave veteran coach Hassan Shehata a historymaking third championship after Cairo in 2006 and Accra in 2008 and extended Egypt’s unbeaten record in the competition to an astonishing 19 games. Shehata’s assistant, Shawky Garib, said: “I’d like to congratulate Ghana for what they did
today (Sunday). “It’s important to take your chance, and today we took it. But we respect the Ghana team, they played a very good match today. “We said we were the champions from the first day we arrived in Angola, and we would defend our title. ‘We have won three titles in 2006, 2008 and 2010. This was the most difficult of all of them.’ Ghana coach Milovan Rajevic, who has worked wonders to put the World Cup qualifiers into their first continental final in 18 years with most of his top players injured, commented: “We are not so experienced, we wanted to win it so badly in our hearts but in the end Egyptian experience was crucial.” Egypt were unchanged from the XI that crushed Algeria 4-0
in the semi-finals save for the absence of suspended defender Mahmoud Fatalla — former Spurs midfielder Hossam Ghaly started in his place. Ghana named an identical line-up to their last four win over Nigeria, with captain Richard Kingson taking up residence between the posts despite a late fitness scare. The Black Stars made it to the final playing pragmatic rather than beautiful football, but they began in enterprising fashion, matching the Egyptians for speed and dexterity. In-form striker Asamoah Gyan had an early shot go high over the Pharaoh’s crossbar and Serie A-based Kwadwo Asamoah had a long range effort safely scooped up by Essam alHadary as the supposed ‘under-
dogs’ counter attacked with menace. Towards the end of the first period both skipper Ahmed Hassan, on his 172nd international appearance, and Emad Motaeb, failed to connect with a floating 25m Egyptian freekick into the box. Honours even it was as the sides re-emerged after the break with the 50,000 capacity Chinese-built stadium by now three-quarters full and the near 40 degree heat which greeted the players at kick-off cooling down as night fell. Opoku Agyemang went into Mali referee Coulibaly Koman’s book for an ill-judged tackle on Ahmed al-Mohamady and not to be outdone Egypt’s Sayed Moawad picked up a yellow card seconds later for handball.
Koman had his hand in his pocket again to fish out a card for al-Mohamady after a collision with Opoku. The game badly needed a goal but what it got was another booking, this time Ghaly for pulling Asamoah. Shehata brought on supersub Gedo with 20 minutes left for Motaeb hoping the Al-Ittihad striker would repeat his magic. Ghana’s best chance came in the 78th minute when al-Hadary did well to punch away Gyan’s lethal looking 28m freekick as Ghana’s youngsters had Egypt’s red shirts on the run. Then unbelievably, with the game heading towards extratime, Gedo conjured up the decisive goal with a sublime 12 with Zidan down the left to slot an angled shot past Kingson. —AFP
EPL results/standings Manchester City 2 (Adebayor 40, Kompany 45) Portsmouth 0; Arsenal 1 (Vermaelen 80) Manchester United 3 (Almunia 33-og, Rooney 37, Park 52) Played Saturday Birmingham 1 (Ridgewell 90) Tottenham 1 (Defoe 69); Burnley 1 (Fletcher 50) Chelsea 2 (Anelka 27, Terry 82); Fulham 0 Aston Villa 2 (Agbonlahor 40, 44); Hull 2 (Vennegoor of H e s s e l i n k 1 1 , H u n t 5 2 - p e n ) Wo l v e s 2 (Gardner 49-og, Jarvis 67); Liverpool 2 (Kuyt 37, K.Davies 70-og) Bolton 0; West Ham 0 Blackburn 0; Wigan 0 Everton 1 (Cahill 84) Playing Monday Sunderland v Stoke
LONDON: Arsenal’s Emmanuel Eboue (left) competes with Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney during their English Premier League soccer match at the Emirates Stadium.—AP
United destroy Arsenal Arsenal 1
Man United 3 LONDON: Manchester United closed the gap on Premier League leaders Chelsea as the champions swept to an impressive 3-1 win against title rivals Arsenal yesterday. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side stunned the Gunners with two goals in four minutes in the first half at the Emirates Stadium and were never in danger of surrendering their lead. Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia pushed Nani’s cross into his own net before Wayne Rooney put the champions in complete control with his 100th Premier League goal. South Korea winger Park Ji-Sung added United’s third goal in the second half to ensure Ferguson’s men moved within one point of Chelsea thanks to their most emphatic perfor-
mance of the season. England star Rooney demonstrated the predatory instincts that make him, on current form, the most lethal forward in the world, but it was Portugal winger Nani, revitalised in recent weeks, who stole the show with a superb display. Arsenal, beaten for the first time in 11 league games, had no answer to either player and, although Thomas Vermaelen got one back late on, Arsene Wenger’s team looked short of the resilience and cutting edge needed to win the title. Ferguson, who was without defensive duo Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, selected Nani ahead of in-form Antonio Valencia and Ryan Giggs and it proved an inspired decision. With Chelsea’s victory at Burnley on Saturday moving the leaders four points clear of United and five ahead of Arsenal, both teams knew a defeat could be disastrous to their title hopes. Arsenal’s Andrey Arshavin was a thorn in United’s side in the early stages and the Russian twice threatened to open the scoring. He curled a shot wide of Edwin van der Sar’s far post, then went closer when
he teased Wes Brown before tricking his way past the United defender and shooting narrowly wide. Nani, playing on the right flank instead of his usual left wing berth, led United’s response in imperious fashion. He was causing Gael Clichy problems with his pace and nearly scored with a close-range shot after a goalmouth scramble. Clichy had been warned but the French left-back had no answer to Nani again in the 33rd minute. Faced with Clichy and Samir Nasri on the touchline, Nani cleverly flicked the ball past both opponents and surged into the penalty area. Denilson couldn’t stop Nani either and the United star was able to loft a cross goalwards. Almunia had a chance to tip it over, but mistimed his attempted save and could only push the ball into his own net. Arsenal were rocked by Almunia’s mistake and, just as in United’s Champions League semi-final victory over the Gunners last season, Ferguson’s team were able to take full advantage on the counter-attack. —AFP
English Premier League table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Chelsea 23 17 3 3 57 19 54 Man Utd 24 17 2 5 56 20 53 Arsenal 24 15 4 5 60 28 49 Tottenham 24 12 6 6 45 25 42 Liverpool 24 12 5 7 42 26 41 Man City 22 11 8 3 44 30 41 Aston Villa 23 11 7 5 31 18 40 Birmingham 23 9 7 7 22 23 34 Everton 23 8 8 7 33 34 32 Blackburn 24 7 7 10 25 40 28 Fulham 23 7 6 10 26 28 27 Stoke 21 6 7 8 19 26 25 Sunderland 22 6 5 11 30 40 23 Wigan 22 6 4 12 24 47 22 West Ham 23 4 9 10 29 38 21 Bolton 22 5 6 11 29 44 21 Wolverhampton 23 5 6 12 19 40 21 Burnley 23 5 5 13 23 46 20 Hull 23 4 8 11 22 48 20 Portsmouth 22 4 3 15 19 35 15
CAIRO: Egyptian soccer fans celebrate around another fan twirling a Sufi robe covered with the Egyptian flag around his head in traditional manner, after their team beat Ghana 1-0 to win the Africa Cup of Nations. —AP
Egyptians dance in streets after African Cup triumph CAIRO: Cairo erupted with joy yesterday after the national football team’s 1-0 triumph over Ghana in the Africa Nations Cup final that secured Egypt’s third successive championship on the continent. A huge roar rose over the teeming Egyptian capital as national hero Mohammed “Gedo” Nagy scored in the 85th minute, clinching victory for the Pharaohs in the final played in the Angolan capital. Dancing and drumming broke out in the streets-from Giza in the south to Nasr City in the north-as delirious Egyptians rushed out onto the streets from homes and cafes, draped in the national flag and setting off bangers. Amid patriotic music on television stations, President Hosni Mubarak sent personal congratulations to the team which remain champions of Africa despite the disappointment of not reaching the World Cup finals in South Africa. The joy was shared by thousands of Palestinians in the neighboring Gaza Strip, where cars took to the streets of Gaza City blowing their horns accompanied by cries of “Egypt, Egypt!” Supporters waved Egyptian and Palestinian flags as police of the Islamist movement Hamas which controls the territory looked on. —AFP
Factfile LUANDA: Factfile of 2010 Africa Cup of Nations winners Egypt: Results (Benguela unless noted) Group C Jan 12 Nigeria 3-1 Jan 16 Mozambique 2-0 Jan 20 Benin 2-0 Quarter-final Jan 25 Cameroon 3-1 aet Semi-final Jan 28 Algeria 4-0 Final At Luanda Jan 31 Ghana 1-0 Scorers 5 - Mohamed ‘Gedo’ Nagy 3 - Ahmed Hassan 2 - Emad Motaeb 1 - Ahmed al-Mohamady, Hosny Abd Rabou, Mohamed Abdelshafy, Mohamed Zidan, Dario Khan (MOZ)-own goal
Captain Ahmed Hassan Coach Hassan Shehata Nickname Pharaohs FIFA rankings 4 - Africa 24 - World Previous appearances 21 (1957, 1959-hosts, 1962, 1963, 1970, 1974-hosts, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1986-hosts, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006-hosts, 2008) Best showing Champions (1957, 1959, 1986, 1998, 2006, 2008) Tournament record P90 W51 D15 L24 F154 A84 Record wins Ethiopia 4-0 (1957), Ethiopia 40 (1959), Congo 4-0 (1974), Gabon 4-0 (1994), Zambia 4-0 (1998), Algeria 4-0 (2010) Record losses Ethiopia 2-4 (1962), Guinea 2-4 (1976)
Adebayor sparks City win over Pompey Man City 2
Portsmouth 0 MANCHESTER: Emmanuel Adebayor signalled his return to the Manchester City starting line-up with the opening goal as City defeated crisis club Portsmouth 2-0 at Eastlands. Adebayor had not started for his club since returning home early from the African Cup of Nations earlier this month following the terrifying gun assault on the Togo team bus in Cabinda that left three backroom staff dead.
However, he told City manager Roberto Mancini on Saturday that he felt mentally strong enough to start the match and rewarded his manager’s faith with a 40th minute opener. Vincent Kompany added a further first half goal in injury time which ensured City could bounce back following their shattering League Cup semifinal loss to Manchester United last Wednesday. These two sides may play in the same division but they are in different leagues financially. City are the richest club in the world whereas Portsmouth face the ignominy of a winding-up order to be served on the club on February 10 if they do not somehow resolve their dire financial situation before then. Chief executive Peter Storrie also said last week that his
role is becoming increasingly untenable because of the boardroom problems, summed up by news that Portsmouth were trying to sell Younes Kaboul and Asmir Begovic without his knowledge. Matters are little better on the pitch either and they had won one of their last six before this encounter to leave them rooted to the bottom of the Premier League. However, they surprised everybody at the City of Manchester stadium by starting as the brighter side. After three minutes, Danny Webber delivered a cross which Shay Given juggled to the feet of John Utaka close out but he wasted the glorious chance by firing over. Jamie O’Hara, who has rejoined Portsmouth on-loan from Tottenham Hotspur, then also went close as he
drove a low shot into the City goalmouth which Given did well to smother. In what was generally a disappointing opening period, both sides were happy to merely amble along but City were not helped when they lost Pablo Zabaleta to a suspected broken nose after a heavy aerial challenge with Kevin Boateng. As they tried to temporarily readjust with only 10 men, Portsmouth had the best chance when superb interplay between Danny Webber and Boateng gave Anthony Vanden Borre the chance to shoot but he hit the crossbar. And Portsmouth were left to almost instantly rue that miss as Adebayor chased down Stephen Ireland’s through ball and smashed past David James to open the scoring. —AFP
Fajer Al-Eman’s dinner in Burj Al-Hammam
Grow and cut debt: Stark choice for governments
Obama budget plan aims to boost jobs, rein in deficit
Monday, February 1, 2010
Davos leaders find no way to speed up recovery 5-day forum ends on note of humility, no consensus on boosting growth DAVOS: The world’s foremost gathering of business and government leaders wrapped up a five-day meeting yesterday with widespread agreement that a fragile recovery is under way but no consensus on what’s going to spur job growth and prevent another global economic meltdown. In a group of big egos and many power players attending the annual World Economic Forum, there was even some humility and a realization that overcoming the first global financial crisis is uncharted territory. The gathering of some 2,500 VIPs in this Swiss alpine resort saw much spirited debate on whether more regulation is needed for the financial industry, how to boost sagging global unemployment, and finding ways to ensure the nascent recovery is kept on course through 2010. The atmosphere of doom and gloom that pervaded last year’s forum, which took place at the height of the economic crisis, was replaced this year by a feeling of some satisfaction that a modest recovery is under way but uncertainty about the way forward and how banks should respond. Deutsche Bank chief Executive Josef Ackermann told an AP-sponsored closing panel that the worst of the financial and economic crisis had been managed “quite successfully” but decision-makers now had a tough choice: “Should we take more risk, be a creative force for growth, or should we focus on security?” Peter Sands, the CEO of Britain’s Standard Chartered Bank, said at the panel that the right balance must be struck “between making a safer bank-
DAVOS: (From left) Senior Managing Editor for the Associated Press Michael Oreskes, Chairman of the Management Board of Deutsche Bank, Josef Ackermann, Chairman and CEO of Archer Daniels Midland, USA, Patricia Woertz, Chairman of Wipro, India, Azim Primji, Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered Bank, UK, Peter Sands and Chairman and CEO of Aetna, USA, Ronald Williams during a session ‘A Roadmap to Sustainable Recovery’ at the World Economic Forum in Davos yesterday.— AP ing system and a financial system that can support the sort of dynamism and growth in job creation.” “Get it wrong one way and we risk a new crisis; get it wrong the other way and we’ll take the steam out of the recovery and reduce the chances of creating new jobs,”
he said. At the same time, Sands said, everyone must have “a degree of humility about what we actually know, and how confident we can be, that the ideas we’re going to put in place are going to have the consequences that we thought
they were going to have.” At Davos, the pendulum swings between a focus on the economy and other global issues. The spotlight at past forums has been on celebrity guests like Angelina Jolie and Bono, but this year it fell on the big bankers and govern-
ment financial regulators. “It was all economics — and they were all lost,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. In the keynote speech, French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for a return to ethics and morality in business and gave a
broad riposte to free-market capitalism. Klaus Schwab, the forum’s founder, ended the meeting with a call to the business and government leaders to reflect “on values” and social responsibility. Sarkozy told international bankers and CEOs just what they didn’t
Lukoil, Statoil sign deal for Iraq’s West Qurna BAGHDAD: Russia’s Lukoil and Norway’s Statoil signed a final agreement yesterday to develop one of the world’s largest oilfields, Iraq’s West Qurna Phase Two, as the country rushes ahead with plans to become a top oil producer. The 20-year development contract for the 12.9 billion barrel supergiant field in Iraq’s south is the last to be signed of 10 deals with global energy firms that have the potential to make Iraqi oil output rival Saudi Arabia’s in seven years. The contracts face a potentially troublesome hur-
dle in a March 7 election, as there is no guarantee they will be accepted without modifications by the next Iraqi government. But if all 10 work out as planned, Iraq’s crude output capacity will vault to 12 million barrels per day from 2.5 million bpd now, potentially giving it the billions of dollars it needs to build prosperity and stability out of the debris left by years of war, sanctions and economic decline. Analysts say the terms for Iraq’s oil deals are tight-the companies will be paid a service fee and do not get a share
Mazaya IPO launched in tough conditions: CEO DUBAI: The initial public offering of real estate developer Mazaya Qatar is undersubscribed because of weak investor appetite and a sagging regional property market and may be extended, the company said. Mazaya, an affiliate of Kuwaiti real estate developer Al-Mazaya Holding, hoped to raise 500 million riyals ($137.4 million) in the IPO which was slated to close yesterday. “Some institutions have asked for a postponement,” CEO Seraj Al Baker said from Doha. “I lie if I tell you it was oversubscribed. That is not the case.” Sharia-compliant Mazaya plans to list on Qatar’s stock exchange within a month, said Al Baker, noting a successful IPO would be one that is “three, four, five times subscription.” “But no-one expects that in this environment,” he added. Mazaya had planned to kick off an IPO in 2008 but it was postponed because of the global financial crisis and economic slowdown. “Vodafone was ahead of us in the queue, and then the crash happened.” British phone group Vodafone’s Qatari unit raised $928.6 million in an April IPO. Mazaya has said it wants to benefit from a property shortage in Qatar, the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas. “I think the timing is right,” Al Baker said. “Qatar is an oasis where everything is a little different. They are looking for long-term stability, investing in education, research, sport. They have the money to pump into that, and they can do it. The company has signed an MOU with the Qatar Foundation, a non-profit organization, to build part of a convention centre. The foundation also plans to build 6,000 units of accommodation for students in the Qatari capital, he said. The IPO, which is open to citizens and 100 percent-owned Qatari firms, ran Jan. 17 to Jan. 31. The firm will offer 50 million shares, or 50 percent of its capital, with Qatar National Bank (QNBK.QA) as the lead manager. Nominal value will be 10 riyals per share. Kuwait’s Al-Mazaya Holding owns a 10 percent stake in Mazaya Qatar. —Reuters
of production — but they could give oil firms better access to as yet undiscovered reserves and other oil deals in future. The consortium clinched the contract with a proposed remuneration fee of $1.15 a barrel and a plateau production target of 1.8 million bpd, roughly equal to the entire output of Lukoil’s fields in Russia. Statoil, which has a 25 percent stake in the firms’ side of the joint venture, has said it would spend $1.4 billion over the next 4-5 years. The companies will partner with an Iraqi state oil firm.—Reuters
want to hear: Brace for bonus curbs, tighter banking regulations and new bookkeeping rules. He echoed rallying cries of workers from the United States to Europe and Asia, and hours later, President Barack Obama also called for reforms to Wall Street.
Perhaps the most important meeting was unscheduled. It came Saturday on the sidelines of the forum when government regulators, finance ministers and central bankers from the US and Europe laid out their financial reform plans during a two-hour meeting with bank executives. Sands called the discussions at this and other meetings “very constructive” but said: “They haven’t in a sense solved the issues, but they certainly, I think, pushed them forward.” Ackerman praised the major economic players for expanding their Group of Eight to the Group of 20. He said there should be a Business group of 20 to work alongside them and focus on business issues. With China and India spurring the global economy, Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro Limited, India, a global communications company, predicted that the difference between growth rates between the developing and developed worlds “are increasingly going to become larger.” The result, he told the AP-sponsored panel, is that richer countries will “more aggressively” invest in emerging markets in order to maintain their own growth, which will be “good for the emerging world.” Muhammad Yunus, managing director of the Grameen Bank, which pioneered microcredit, said in an AP interview that “this is a good time to redesign the entire financial system.” “Big guys are not the big sufferers,” he said. “Big sufferers are the small guys who lost their jobs, who lost their food, who lost their livelihood.” — AP
Saudi to spend $120bn on energy projects
BAGHDAD: Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein Al-Shahristani (left) meets with Vagit Alekperov, Lukoil president, in Baghdad yesterday. — AFP
Emirates NBD weighs on Dubai; markets mixed MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS DUBAI: Dubai lender Emirates NBD (ENBD) fell to its lowest close for more than two years yesterday as concerns about its exposure to troubled Dubai firms spurred selling ahead of the bank’s quarterly earnings. This weighed on Dubai’s index, while other Middle East markets were mixed. Kuwait and Qatar fell, but Saudi Arabia rose to end a three-session losing streak, Oman hit a two-week high and Bahrain and Egypt also advanced. “Company results have been largely as expected, but there have been no real surprises and they are not going to make much difference to the market,” said Haissam Arabi, chief executive and fund manager at Gulfmena Alternative Investments. ENBD fell 4.1 percent to its lowest finish since at least Oct. 2007. On Friday, Standard & Poor’s kept its negative outlook for the banks that merged to form lender and then withdrew its ratings, days after ENBD said it would stop working with S&P. This was unlikely to have made much of an impact on the stock, said Julian Bruce, EFG-Hermes director of institutional equity sales, because ratings actions are largely overlooked by local investors.
The bank’s exposure to Dubai World was a greater concern, he said, with selling pressure rising ahead of the lender’s fourth-quarter earnings. “Any orderly restructuring of the Dubai World debt will be the spark we need to kick-start the year, conversely any hiccups here will keep us at these levels for some time to come,” said Matthew Wakeman, a managing director at EFG-Hermes. Dubai World has asked for a standstill on about $22 billion of debts. Union Properties fell 1.9 percent after it agreed with creditors to reschedule $1.5 billion in debt. Emirates NBD holds a 48 percent stake in Union Properties. Emaar Economic City rose 3 percent as Saudi Arabia’s government prepared to give it a long-term loan, according to a source, boosting sentiment. “Saudi Arabia is different from other Gulf countries in that the government has not provided direct support to companies, but this loan shows the government will get involved when it needs to, which is giving comfort to the market,” said Saleh Al-Onazi, vice-president of principal investment at Swicorp in Riyadh. Agility fell 5 percent after a US court
case was delayed and Kuwait Finance House dropped 3.7 percent as Kuwait’s index fell for a third day in four. “People are selling the banks and the other blue-chips such as Zain and Agility and buying into ... small caps,” said Essa Al-Hasawi, of Noor Financial Investment. “It’s the end of the month and so funds want to either lock in gains or boost the value of their portfolio. That’s why Zain moved up.” Zain rose 1.1 percent, but was down 4.4 percent intraday. Industries Qatar was the main drag as Doha’s index fell for the sixth session in eight. The petrochemicals producer has dropped 10.4 percent since Jan. 11, tracking declines in oil prices, with crude falling 11.7 percent over the same period to end Friday below $73 a barrel. “There are fears of a major correction on the Chinese market, based on concerns the Chinese government is trying to slow down growth - this would be bad for oil and petrochemicals, which make up a good chunk of our market cap,” added Arabi. L ate selling on Orascom Telecom wiped out most early Egypt gains as speculators traded the stock following a dilutive rights issue. — Reuters
DUBAI: State-owned Saudi Aramco plans to invest around $120 billion over the next 5-6 years in developing projects in the oil and petrochemicals sectors, the company’s chief executive told Arabiya TV. The world’s top oil exporter has completed a number of refinery expansions and is now working at meeting the country’s gas demands in addition to moving downstream into production of petrochemicals. Saudi Aramco plans to spend $60 billion on the oil sector, while the remaining investment would be for the development of petrochemcial projects and foreign investments, said Khalid Al-Falih. “Over the coming five to six years the total investment for Saudi Aramco will be around $120 billon,” he said. “Funding investments for our other projects comes from joint ventures, loans and individual Saudi investors.” The world’s top oil exporter, completed a huge expansion plan to boost crude output capacity last year. Aramco concluded the expansion while world oil demand fell with the global recession, leaving the kingdom with a larger-thanexpected buffer to meet any future demand increase or surprise outage in global supply. Global oil demand was “fluctuating” and incremental demand growth would come from China, India and the Middle East, Falih said. Saudi is the only oil producer in the world with significant spare capacity that can be quickly deployed. The kingdom’s oil output capacity stood at 12.5 million barrels per day (bpd) Falih said. The Gulf Arab state pumped 8.18 million bpd in January, according to a Reuters survey. — Reuters
Saudi Emaar to get $1.3bn govt loan JEDDAH: Saudi developer Emaar Economic City, an affiliate of Dubai’s Emaar Properties, will receive a long-term loan of around 5 billion Saudi riyals ($1.33 billion) from the Ministry of Finance, a source close to the deal said yesterday. The firm, which is developing the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) project on the Red Sea coast, has faced delays in the execution of some of its projects. “The funds will be used to speed up the development of the city,” the source said. Officials at Saudi Emaar were not immediately available for comment. Emaar spokespeople did not immediately return requests for comment. KAEC is the most prominent among a series of “economic cities” that Saudi Arabia is planning in order to diversify the country’s economy away from oil and gas, as well as to provide jobs for the country’s growing population of around 25 million. Emaar Economic City has faced delays in delivering some housing and business units, as well as a delay on the first phase of the city’s port, which it expects to complete in 2012 after signing a 4 billion riyal ($1.07 billion) joint venture last year with Saudi Binladin Group to finance, develop, and operate the port. Emaar Economic City headquarters have already shifted a large number of its staff to the KAEC and have handed over some residential and commercial units by the end of last year and some plots in the industrial valley. —Reuters
Monday, February 1, 2010
Group revenues down moderately in past year
BMW Group: Positive group earnings in sight for 2009 MUNICH: Despite the ongoing worldwide financial and economic crisis, the BMW Group has, from today’s perspective, achieved the objectives for 2009 made known over the course of the past year. “We are confident that the BMW Group will, as planned, be able to post a profit before tax for 2009. This Despite unfavourable business conditions worldwide, the decrease in group revenues in 2009 was comparatively moderate, dropping to euro 50,681 million (2008: euro 53,197million /-4.7%). Revenues of the Automobiles segment fell to euro 43,737 million (2008: euro 48,782 million /-10.3%). The Motorcycles segment reported revenues of euro 1,069 million (2008: euro 1,230 million /13.1%), whilst the Financial Services segment increased its revenues by 0.5% to euro 15,798 million (2008: euro 15,725 million). The Annual Report 2009 will be presented at the Annual Accounts Press Conference on 17 March 2010. In total, the BMW Group sold 1,286,310 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand vehicles in 2009 (2008: 1,435,876 units /-10.4%). This performance enabled the BMW Group to increase its worldwide share of the premium segment and, as previously announced, to retain its position as the world’s leading premium auto manufacturer. The worldwide financial and economic crisis will continue to have an impact on the automobile industry during the current year. The BMW Group will, however, grow profitably due to new
models and the expected gradual global economic recovery in 2010. “The BMW Group can start the new year with a certain amount of optimism. New models will provide tailwind over the course of the year. We fully intend to remain the world’s leading provider of premium vehicles in 2010 and plan to increase sales within the single digit percentage range to over 1.3 million units”, added Reithofer. One of the most important model developments in 2010 is the new BMW 5 Series which will come onto the market at the end of March, providing further momentum from the beginning of the second quarter. The new BMW X1 and BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo models both of which were very successfully launched at the end of 2009 - will similarly have a positive impact on the sales volume performance in 2010. The MINI Countryman will also be introduced onto the markets during the current year. BMW Group forecasts growth in China and the USA in 2010 A total of 1,068,770 BMW brand cars (2008: 1,202,239 units /-11.1%) was sold in 2009, putting the BMW brand once again well ahead of relevant competitors
demonstrates that rigorous cost management and other wide-ranging measures to improve profitability in conjunction with our Strategy Number ONE are taking effect”, stated Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, on Friday in Munich. 101,685 units /-14.1%). The weak state of the global economy also cast its shadow over financial services business in 2009, with the volume of new retail customer contracts dropping by 15.8% to euro 24,709 million. The proportion of new BMW and MINI brand cars financed by the Financial Services segment amounted to 49.0%, up by 0.5 percentage points compared to the previous year. This increase was largely attributable to the higher volume of credit financing (up by 3.7 percentage points to 24.7%), while the proportion relating to lease financing decreased by 3.3 percentage points to 24.3%. Workforce of approximately 96,000 employees at end of 2009 The BMW Group’s workforce decreased over the past year as a result of a combination of natural attrition, preretirement and part-time working arrangements as well as voluntary contract termination agreements. The BMW Group workforce comprised 96,230 employees at the end of the year (December 31, 2008: 100,041 employees /-3.8%) worldwide. The number of trainees remained at a high level, namely 3,915 compared to 4,102 one year earlier.
in the premium segment. Good volume increases were achieved by the BMW 7 Series (52,680 units / +35.7%), the BMW X6 (41,667 units / +56.8%) and the BMW Z4 (22,761 units / +26.4%). In Germany, both 7 Series (7,439 units /+74.8%) on the one hand and the BMW X5 (10,933 units /-31.9%) and X6 (4,940 units /+51.0%) on the other, finished the year as clear leaders in the relevant segments. During the period from their launch at the end of October 2009 up to the end of the year, 8,499 units of the BMW X1 and 3,052 units of the 5 Series Gran Turismo had been sold worldwide. The MINI brand recorded a worldwide sales volume of 216,538 units in 2009 (2008: 232,425 units /-6.8%). Rolls-Royce sold 1,002 motor cars (2008: 1,212 units /17.3%) during the year, thus remaining the clear market leader in the ultra-luxury segment. The new Rolls-Royce Ghost made a good start, with 150 vehicles handed over to customers in December 2009. BMW Motorcycles performed better than the market as a whole in 2009, registering a comparatively moderate sales volume decrease with a worldwide sales volume of 87,306 units (2008:
ABK launches the ABK Geant La Carte Card KUWAIT: Al-Ahli Bank of Kuwait is proud to launch ABK Geant La Carte prepaid and credit cards. The first co-branded hypermarket card in Kuwait, the La Carte card will offer ABK’s valued customers a new ease of lifestyle by offering a cash back program in the form of shopping vouchers. Eugene Galligan, AGM, Retail Banking said, “We are happy to go into collaboration with Geant Hypermarkets and MasterCard Worldwide to bring Kuwait the first co-branded card with a hypermarket. Our constant endeavor has been to provide our clients with comfortable financial solutions. Introducing this card is a step further in that direction, to bring more value to each dinar that our customer spends. Geant stands as the third largest hypermarket in the world presently. Customers can avail of ABK Geant La Carte credit cards or prepaid cards and enter into the La Carte Loyalty program, which gives up to 1% cash back rewards
on purchases at the Geant outlet at the 360 mall. Of course, the cards can be used at any of the 29.4 million outlets that accept MasterCard as well.” He further added “customers using their cards at Geant at 360 mall will have a wide range of products which are especially discounted for them. Moreover, they can avail of specially designated check-out lanes, to make the whole Geant experience faster and pleasant. “There will be an ABK desk at Geant at 360, manned by ABK personnel to assist customers with procuring and reloading their cards. It will be a new experience for our customers; they can load their prepaid cards which become a convenient and secure mode of payment for them to use. We look forward to providing our clientele with this unique experience.” For more details and information log onto www.eahli.com or call Ahlan Ahli at 1899899.
Radisson Blu Hotel and Park Inn to woo Kuwaitis with properties on Yas Island Special opening rates for GCC travelers KUWAIT: Radisson Blu Hotel, Abu Dhabi Yas Island and Park Inn Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, two of the newest hotels on the multi-faceted entertainment and leisure destination taking shape off the UAEs capitals coast. Yas Island, which is home to the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, is offering Kuwait’s residents discount-
ed rates to celebrate their openings. With a night’s stay starting at AED 600 for Radisson Blu Hotel and AED 400 for Park Inn, the appealing introductory prices aim to attract repeat and new customers to the UAE capital, which was recently nominated as one of the top 10 cities to visit by renowned travel guide, Lonely Planet.
Strategically located just 20 minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi and 40 minutes from Dubai, the two properties are some of the first to open on Yas Island - which boasts the Formula 1 Yas Marina Circuit, the Links Golf Course, proposed to open in March 2010 and numerous other entertainment and leisure options including over thirty
restaurants and bars. “We are excited to have two new properties which are a part of such magnificent development. Both our hotels serve as the perfect base for business as well as leisure travelers to Abu Dhabi. Our hotels enjoy prime location on the island and offer spectacular views of the sea, Links Golf Course and Yas Marina circuit,” said Torbjorn Bodin, General Manager of the Radisson Blu Hotel and Park Inn Abu Dhabi, Yas Island. “With cultural icons like Louvre and Guggenheim and theme parks from Ferrari and Warner Brothers, Abu Dhabi in the near future will be a highly desired tourist destination. With the creation of Yas Marina Circuit and by playing host to Formula 1, Abu Dhabi is now on the map for tourists world wide.’’ added Bodin. With 10% of all Abu Dhabi’s inbound international hotel guests coming from the GCC, the introductory rates are an important tactic to tap into the booming intra-regional travel market. The Radisson Blu Hotel is the first in the UAE capital and the Park Inn Abu Dhabi, Yas Island is the country’s first ever Park Inn. Abu Dhabi is currently easily accessible to travellers from Kuwait who can fly to Abu Dhabi International Airport with Etihad, the national airline of the UAE which operates over 20 flights a week, or Kuwait Airways who offer 21 flights a week to the UAE capital.
VIVA to unveil exciting new products at Info-Connect KUWAIT: Kuwait’s leading telecommunication provider VIVA will be giving big offers at the upcoming Info-Connect exhibition being held at the Kuwait Exhibition Grounds from 31st January to 6th February, 2010. Talking of the event, VIVA’s Chief Executive Officer Najeeb Al-Awadhi states, “This is the second year VIVA participates at Info Connect. We were very pleased with the great success we had last year and hope to achieve even more in this year’s exhibition. Our theme this year is ‘Internet for everyone’ and it is VIVA’s wish to make Internet access available to every single person in Kuwait. We believe in making things possible and what better way to do so then through connecting to the World Wide Web. Consequently, VIVA will be offering valuable Internet packages that individuals, families, and businesses can make the most of.” Al-Awadhi explains, “VIVA
VIVA’s Chief Executive Officer Najeeb AlAwadhi has so many great services that we need to communicate to our customers. We are taking the opportunity of being available at one of the most sought after exhibitions of the year to let our customers know how much value we can add to their mobile experience.” In addition, VIVA will be offering customers the opportunity to learn more about their products and services through their specific stations which will be located in different
corners of the 300 square meter expanse they will occupy at Info Connect. VIVA will be offering also great Internet packages and will showcase its newest Internet access device: the smallest portable Internet router in the country. “The remarkable feature of VIVA’s new small router is that although it is roughly the same dimensions as a conventional USB that customers use to connect to the Internet, our new router allows up to 5 people to connect, so you can easily share the Internet experience wherever you go with no hassle”. In short VIVA will be turning up the heat at Info Connect offering great Internet packages as well as the latest devices and bundled voice and Internet packages that will give customers the best of both worlds in the convenience of one easy plan. VIVA invites everyone to visit their stand at Info Connect and take advantage of their big give.
EXCHANGE RATES TRANSFER CHEQUES RATES
Commercial Bank of Kuwait US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian Dollar Australian DLR Indian rupees Sri Lanka Rupee UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi riyals Omani riyals Philippine peso Egyptian pounds US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian dollars Danish Kroner Swedish Kroner Australian dlr Hong Kong dlr Singapore dlr Japanese yen Indian Rs/KD Sri Lanka rupee Pakistan rupee Bangladesh taka UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi Riyal/KD Omani riyals Philippine Peso
.2830000 .4620000 .4010000 .2720000 .2680000 .2550000 .0045000 .0020000 .0776790 .7568070 .4020000 .0750000 .7419170 .0045000 .0500000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2861500 .4638860 .4034570 .2741930 .2699760 .0541910 .0392950 .2572790 .0368280 .2038330 .0031820 .0062610 .0025100 .0034060 .0041920 .0779470 .7594070 .4046970 .0763460 .7436230 .0062200
.2920000 .4700000 .4090000 .2810000 .2770000 .2640000 .0075000 .0035000 .0784600 .7644130 .4180000 .0790000 .7493730 .0072000 .0570000 .2882500 .4671630 .4063070 .2761360 .2718890 .0545740 .0395730 .2590960 .0370890 .2052770 .0032040 .0063050 .0025280 .0034300 .0042220 .0784440 .7642510 .4075640 .0768330 .7483660 .0062640
US Dollar Sterling pounds Swiss Francs Saudi Riyals
.2882500 .4671630 .2761360 .0768330
Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES
US Dollar Transfer Euro Sterling Pound Canadian dollar Turkish lire Swiss Franc Australian dollar US Dollar Buying
288.350 404.000 465.700 273.320 192.700 275.930 254.500 286.000
ASIAN COUNTRIES Japanese Yen Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar Bangladesh Taka Philippine Peso Thai Baht Irani Riyal - Transfer Irani Riyal - Cash
3.240 6.251 3.407 2.513 3.909 206.000 37.160 4.171 6.174 8.745 0.301 0.292
ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash Egyptian Pound Yemen Riyal Tunisian Dinar Jordanian Dinar Lebanese Lira
55.500 52.780 1.386 213.430 407.400 194.830
Syrian Lier Morocco Dirham
6.327 36.134 GCC COUNTRIES
Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham
76.934 79.261 749.500 766.200 78.570 GOLD
20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram
205.000 101.000 52.000
Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro Swiss Frank Cyprus Pound Bahrain Dinar UAE Dirhams Qatari Riyals Saudi Riyals Jordanian Dinar Egyptian Pound Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Sri Lankan Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Pesso Japanese Yen Thai Bhat Syrian Pound Nepalese Rupees
288.150 272.350 468.280 406.000 273.012 706.265 764.111 78.435 79.079 76.870 406.616 52.780 6.230 3.405 2.514 4.180 6.165 3.235 8.724 5.555 3.960
Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. Currency US Dollar Pak Rupees Indian Rupees Sri Lankan Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso UAE Dirhams Saudi Riyals Bahraini Dinars Egyptian Pounds Pound Sterling Indonesian Rupiah Yemeni Riyal Jordanian Dinars Syrian Pounds Euro Candaian Dollars
Rate per 1000 (Tran) 288.150 3.410 6.230 2.525 4.175 6.220 78.495 76.960 766.200 52.775 467.800 0.0000306 1.550 409.400 5.750 406.500 275.900
Al Mulla Exchange Currency US Dollar Euro Pound Sterling Canadian Dollar Japanese Yen Indian Rupee Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupee Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso Pakistan Rupee Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal *Rates are subject to change
Transfer rate 287.900 403.000 464.500 272.000 3.198 6.230 52.780 2.512 4.168 6.185 3.410 766.200 78.550 76.950
Monday, February 1, 2010
Relationship with Kuwait is ‘stronger than ever’: Liveris
Dow Chemical CEO to Obama: Jobs must dominate speech NEW YORK: Dow Chemical Chief Executive Andrew Liveris says President Obama must talk exclusively about job creation in his State of the Union address, and that the chemical maker’s relationship with Kuwait remains
Sony Gulf unveils extensive VAIO notebook range in Middle East KUWAIT: Sony Gulf yesterday unveiled the latest range of VAIO notebooks - the VAIO CW-series, VAIO W-series, VAIO F-series, VAIO S-series and VAIO Y-series - suitable for both business and game-lovers looking for enhanced entertainment. With a 14-inch display and compact body for enhanced portability, the VAIO CW-series integrates Wireless LAN and Bluetooth(r), providing greater mobility and the ability to quickly surf the web even while on-the-go. Designed to handle 3D games and videos, enhanced picture performance and edit photos with ease, the CW-series is equipped with the powerful NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M GPU and 512MB of VRAM (VPCCW26FG). A swift, powerefficient DDR3 memory and Intel(r) Core i5-520M processor technologies support multimedia applications. Elegant in appearance, the VAIO CW-series is available in a spectacular collection of the finest glossy blue, red, pink, white and black colors with a high-gloss exterior and a subtle gradient lowkey interior on the palm rests. The VAIO W-series notebook features a number of environmentfriendly elements in its design, production and packaging. For consumers who appreciate a green lifestyle, the W-series is the perfect choice with its use of recycled parts for the top cover, palm rest and the bottom cover, to demonstrate its ecofriendliness. Featuring a 10.1-inch wide (WXGA: 1366 x 768) TFT colour display, the enhanced W-series offers a comfortable viewing experience. It also comes with an energy efficient Atom(tm)
Processor N450, 320GB hard disk, Intel(r) Graphics Media Accelerator 3150, and is compatible with the MS Duo PRO-HG Memory Card and SD Memory Card. The W-series is available in two color options a splendid new dark blue and white. A user’s ultimate Full High Definition studio, the new VAIO F-series handles all multimedia and entertainment needs with ease and features a 16.4-inch high-quality VAIO Display with a Full HD 1920x1080 resolution. Incorporating the latest line of Intel Core i7 processors (Quad Core, 8threads) for enhanced multimedia performance, the VAIO F-series additionally integrates a Bluray Disc writer, plus 8GB of DDR3 main memory to handle demanding HD video applications with ease. NVIDIA GeForce GT330M graphics combined with 1GB of GDDR3 VRAM with CUDA parallel architecture deliver superior, detail-packed 3D graphics and Full HD video playback. The F-series also incorporates the latest Dolby Home Theater v3 that provides an exceptionally good audio and video experience. Complementing the new VAIO line-up are the VAIO S-series and Y-series that feature a 13.3inch widescreen VAIO Display with LED backlight offering superb clarity, contrast and colour. For extra convenience and peace of mind, a front panel-mounted ASSIST button on both notebooks gives one-touch access to VAIO Care. This easy-to-use new program helps maintain, diagnose and troubleshoot the VAIO notebooks with just a few clicks.
Growth and innovations at large Oman Air sales action plan 2010 MUSCAT: The Oman Air Sales team is all geared to usher in innovative measures and selling techniques for 2010. Having closed the previous year with successful growth figures within an environment in recession, Oman Air is looking at setting a new record this year now that the global travel sector is poised for Recovery. Oman Air will be looking to achieve a competitive edge through a combination of service and destination choices. Abdulrazaq Al-Raisi, General Manager Worldwide Sales, Oman Air said that the recently concluded Sales Objective and Strategy Meeting held for three different regions highlighted a paradigm shift from the conventional approach to sales strategies. Al-Raisi said: “The three-day meeting was held for the three main regions namely, Europe, Asia Pacific and Gulf Middle East and Africa. The Country Managers and District Sales Managers of the respective countries and cities attended the meeting, which was an intense interactive session that discussed the various strategies, plans and projected results for 2010.” Among the various strategies discussed and decided to be put in action for this year were increased brand awareness, reduction in cost of sale, integration of sales and marketing planning, growth of premium leisure and development of sales personnel. Other focus areas of discussions were the identification of new channels of distribution as
strong. Obama must “focus on one thing: get the job equation back so we can fix this economy,” Andrew Liveris told CNBC on Wednesday from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“Give us the trajectory where we can see employment in the U.S. as an ongoing, sustainable thing.” For his part, Liveris said his company is in a “growth mode,” and that Dow will hire up to 1,500 more workers in the next year and a half, mostly in Michigan. “Business needs certainty,” said Liveris, who also sits on the board of directors of Citigroup. “Volatility is our greatest enemy.” Liveris, who has not shied in the past from publicly commenting on politics and policy, encouraged Obama to remove “all the vulgarities from the debate.” “If you can’t pass health care, then tell us that,” he said. “If you can’t do climate change or cap-andtrade, tell us that.” Obama is set to address a joint session of Congress at 9 pm EST on Wednesday. It will be broadcast on most major networks. KUWAIT Dow Chemical’s relationship with Kuwait, which backed out of a multibillion-dollar joint venture late in 2008, remains “stronger than ever,” Liveris said. Dow had expected about $7 billion in cash from the venture with a Kuwaiti state-owned company, but at the last minute the company pulled out of the deal, leaving Dow to scramble fast to fund part of its buyout of Rohm & Haas. That buyout, part of Liveris’s plan to transform Dow into a specialty chemicals company, heavily burdened the company with debt. The comments came as Dowdespite the failed joint venturepresses forward on other investments in Kuwait. Liveris declined to comment on current settlement negotiations with Kuwait over the failed joint venture, or a potential new joint venture in the region. Shares of Midland, Michigan-based Dow Chemical rose 30 cents to $28.39 in premarket trading. The stock has traded between $5.89 and $31.66 in the past 52 weeks.
Fajer Al-Eman Company officials during the dinner
Fajer Al-Eman’s dinner in Burj Al-Hammam By Rawan Khalid KUWAIT: The Fajer Al-Eman Company held a dinner in honor of initiation of the first stage of the Spanish Morbet system in the Saraya Al-Aqaba Project in Jordan. This project is for the Saudi company Oger and in collaboration with Spanish company Roklano. The dinner took place in the Burj AlHammam restaurant on Wednesday with partners, employers, managers and journalists participating in the celebration.
The project includes the development of four five-star hotels, two boutique hotels, 12 grand villas, 51 Villas, 184 townhouses, 376 apartments and 50 duplex beach clubs. The project also contains building a Saraya Old Market which will feature many restaurants, cafes, and shops. The project will also include the construction of the aqua park ‘Wild Wady’ which will be operated by Jembra company. The project also includes developing many other facilities such as confer-
ence centers, offices and business centers. Ali Khanafer, Manager of the Fajer Al-Eman company, said “The company’s strategy is to expand outside of Kuwait. The company is currently considering several projects in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.” He added that the increase of the company’s capital stock by 100% and the 50% purchase of the Khatef Holding Company provided enough liquidity to the company to expand on these new projects.
American Express ME appoints New CEO
Abdulrazaq Al-Raisi, General Manager Worldwide Sales, Oman Air well as ensuring operating within the budget at constant cost. Elaborating further, Abdulrazaq Al-Raisi said: “2009 witnessed a milestone in the transformation of Oman Air. A new fleet was inducted; new destinations were added, thus providing us with a whole new and extensive platform to build on the sales plan. The first and foremost goal in our plan will be to create an increased and positive awareness to our product offerings in all the markets that Oman Air reaches. With increased brand visibility that will also integrate the sales and marketing plan of each mar-
ket and their requirements, we can certainly boost the sales. With the opening of new destinations, there has arisen a need to address a very prominent market segment which is the premium and leisure market. In addition to Oman Air’s hospitality and exemplary service besides our expanding network, we plan to tap this market fully. Last but not the least, we have a well-motivated staff whose skills are honed further through tailormade training designed specifically for the Oman Air sales team. This will continue this year as well, as we continue to go through a rapid expansion mode.”
BAHRAIN: Leader in premium payment solutions, American Express Middle East (AEME) announced today the appointment of William C Keliehor as the new Chief Executive Officer based in the organization’s regional headquarters in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Keliehor brings with him over 19 years of multinational experience, with global leaders in the financial services and payments industry. In his new role, Keliehor will be providing strategic direction with a focus on growing the Card and Merchant business across the company’s 18 markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region by continuing to increase American Express’ presence, looking at new revenue streams while maintaining the unparalleled levels of service associated with the premium brand of American Express Commenting on his new appointment, William C
Batelco targets FY profit of at least $265m: CEO MANAMA: Bahrain Telecommunications Co (Batelco) expects its 2010 profit to be flat from last year as start-up costs for its new Indian unit weigh, its chief executive said yesterday. “Our target is again to achieve a triple digit million profit, that is a hundred million (Bahraini dinars) if not higher”, Peter Kaliaropoulos told a news conference in Manama. Batelco posted a net profit of 105 million Bahraini dinars ($278.6 million) for 2009. Kaliaropoulos added he expected “roughly the same level” as the 2009 profit if the company did not make any acquisition during 2010. He said that shareholders should at least expect the same dividend for 2010 regardless of whether the company will make its planned buy. He said that full-year profit would
be burdened by start-up costs of its new Indian subsidiary S Tel that started operations late last year and reached 500,000 subscribers last week. He said that while Batelco’s 2009 revenues grew by 9 percent, its net profit remained flat partially because the company booked provisions against a fine it potentially needs to pay to Bahrain’s telecoms regulator. The watchdog in November imposed a 5 million dinars fine on Batelco for allegedly not providing competitors sufficient access to a cable linking the Gulf Arab state to the global phone network. Batelco has rejected the allegation and said it would provide additional information to the regulator to avoid the fine. Kaliaropoulos reiterated Batelco plans to make an acquisition worth up
to $2 billion in Africa or Asia. Like other telecoms operators in the Gulf Arab region, Batelco is trying to grow abroad to counter rising competition at home where markets are increasingly being liberalized. The third mobile operator in Bahrain, the local unit of Saudi Telecom, is set to start operations later this quarter. “We have to have an acquisition this year,” Kaliaropoulos said. He said the company was looking in Africa, in particular in North Africa, and in Asia with a focus on South East Asia. He said Batelco was able to finance a buy worth up to $2 billion through raising debt and investing with equity partners. “Our preference is for existing companies with existing clients,” he said. — Reuters
William Keliehor, new CEO-American Express Middle East
UNB Q4 net rises, provisions weigh DUBAI: Fourth-quarter net profit at Union National Bank more than tripled but missed forecasts as customer deposits and bad loan provisions both grew. Earnings at Abu Dhabi’s fifth-largest bank by market value came in at 222.1 million UAE dirhams ($60.47 million), the bank said, compared with 65.8 million in the same period last year and analyst expectations of 254.5 million. The Abu Dhabi-listed bank said full-year net profit fell 20 percent to 1.16 billion dirhams from 1.44 billion in 2008. “The challenging credit conditions have resulted in increased delinquencies in line with the global trends,” according to the bank. Many banks in the UAE have seen provisioning levels on the rise due to the global downturn and the debt trouble at two major Saudi firms, putting pressure on their profitability. Earlier in January, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank posted a 1.2 billion dirhams fourth-quarter loss as it booked over 2 billion dirhams in provisions related to the crisis. First Gulf Bank reported a 27-percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit. “Overall, UNB’s results are decent, much better than ADCB although not as strong as FGB,” said a Dubaibased analyst. — Reuters
Keliehor, Chief Executive Officer, AEME said: “I am delighted to have joined American Express Middle East and am looking forward to working with the team to draw upon their collective expertise and skills in the payment industry and lead the organization in its quest to significantly grow the business across the region.” As a long standing player in the Middle East payments industry, American Express is a leading provider of premium products and services that meet the sophisticated lifestyle of the affluent and discerning segments of this region’s population. “The American Express Charge and Credit Cards are preferred methods of payment chosen by customers who appreciate flexibility, prestige, innovation, exclusivity and unparalled personal service,” continued Keliehor. “In addition, the American Express Corporate Card is a compre-
hensive and effective expense management solution that monitors and controls travel and entertainment expenditure to give significant cost savings to small business and large organizations.” Prior to joining American Express, Keliehor spent 11 years working for Citibank, in the USA, Russia and the Middle East. Keliehor’s last role was with Citibank based in Dubai as Managing Director, Cards Division Head Greece, Pakistan, Middle East and Africa. Keliehor holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Accounting from the University of Houston, USA. He has actively been involved in a number of forums as a guest speaker, at regional councils and on Visa and MasterCard Global Product Committees. Most recently, he played an instrumental role in setting up a Middle East and African Global Payments Council.
KSE stocks fall on lack of direction; banks bearish Global Daily Market Report KUWAIT: The Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended the last trading session of the month of January with a fall in the major sectoral indices and a significant decline in trading value as well. It’s worth to mention that Global General Index (GGI) registered a 2.74 percent loss for January. GGI shed 0.65 points (-0.36 percent) during yesterday’s session to reach 181.13 points. Furthermore, the KSE Price Index decreased by 9.40 points (-0.13 percent) yesterday and closed at 7,025.30 points. Market capitalization was down KD106.62mn to reach KD29.57bn. Market breadth During the session, 125 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards decliners as 50 equities retreated versus 32 that advanced. A total of 123 stocks remained unchanged during yesterday’s trading session. Trading activities ended on a negative note yesterday as volume of shares traded on the exchange decreased by 17.69 percent to reach 429.55mn shares. Furthermore, value of shares traded also decreased by a similar amount of 17.53 percent to stand at KD50.93mn. The Services Sector was the volume leader for the day, accounting for 31.65 percent of total shares traded. The same sector was also the value leader, accounting for 36.38 percent of total market value. Al-Safat Tec Holding Co saw 66.44mn shares changing hands, making it the volume leader.
In terms of value traded, International Financial Advisors took the top spot with a total traded of KD5.90mn. In terms of top gainers, Umm Al-Qaiuain Cement Industries Company was the top gainer, adding 9.43 percent and closed at KD0.058. On the other hand, Al-Abraj Holding Company shed 9.26 percent, making it the biggest loser. Regarding Global’s sectoral indices, they ended on a mixed note. Global Banking Index was the biggest decliner with a 1.26 percent loss backed by four banks in the sector ending in the red with the rest being
unchanged. Among the decliners, heavyweight Kuwait Finance House was the biggest decliner, down 3.70 percent and closed at KD1.040. Gulf Bank took second place with a 1.72 percent drop. Global Industrial Index was the second biggest decliner in the market. The index ended the day down 0.68 percent backed by National Industries Group (Holding) and Kuwait Cement Company ending the day down 1.67 percent and 1.69 percent, respectively. Global Food Index was the top gainer, up 3.55 percent. Heavyweight Kuwait
Foodstuff Company (Americana) contributed to the index’s gain by ending the day with a 4.41 percent increase. Danah Al-Safat Foodstuff Company was also noteworthy because the scrip ended the day up 4.94 percent. Global’s special indices ended on a negative note except for Global High Yield Index which was the only gainer. The index ended the day up 0.99 percent backed by Americana. Global Islamic Index was the top decliner, down 1.93 percent backed by losses witnessed in the Islamic banks. The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at
$71.40 a barrel on Thursday 28/1/2010, compared with $71.87 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. Al-Abraj Holding Company has not yet submitted FY09 financial statements, as per the Market Committee decision No. 16/1987 that obligates listed companies and funds to file their annual financial statements within three months from the fiscal year- end. Accordingly, the stock will be suspended, if Al-Abraj fails to submit FY09 financial results prior to 08:30 am, Monday, 01/02/2010. Kuwait Commercial Markets Complex Company made a clarification on the news published on a local gazette as regards generating earnings from selling a 50 percent owned property in Lebanon. The company indicated that it had inked a preliminary agreement to sell its realty located at Ain El Mraise, Lebanon. The deal is expected to be finalized within two months after meeting all prerequisites. The company is forecasted to make approx. KD1.40mn from the sale. Kuwait Gypsum Manufacturing & Trading Company board of directors recommended a cash dividend at 15 percent of par value, or 15 fils a share, for FY that ended on 31/12/2009. Shareholders of record till the general meeting date are eligible for the self-financed distributions. This recommendation is pending the approval of shareholder meeting and competent authorities.
Monday, February 1, 2010
OXFORD BUSINESS GROUP RESEARCH
Building Cargo Culture KUWAIT: Kuwait is stepping up efforts to position itself as one of the main transport and logistics hubs in the Gulf and the Middle East, investing heavily in new infrastructure to meet the country’s own needs but also those of the wider region. The country already has an extensive port network, with six maritime cargo facilities three for the export of hydrocarbons and the remaining three serving other trade requirements. Though there are road links with other Gulf states and air freight services connecting Kuwait to the rest of the world, seaborne trade remains the country’s main means of cargo transport. With this in mind, the government, in conjunction with the private sector, is developing a massive new port and logistics facility, to be built on Boubyan Island in the northwest of Kuwait. The first stage of the $3.4bn Boubyan project is nearing completion, with most of the initial infrastructure in place, including bridge links to the island. Late last year, officials announced a change to the original project - new plans that more than double the number of jetties from the initially proposed 24. The expansion takes the total to 60. On January 26, domestic media reported that local firm Kharafi Group and South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering and Construction had been awarded a $1.14bn contract for the second part of the first phase of the Boubyan island development, with the tender requiring the companies to design and build the expansion to the seaport. The development foresees a container-handling facility with the capacity to process 2.4m shipping containers annually. Kuwait has also signed up for the $15bn trans-Gulf railway project, which will see the country linked by broad gauge rail lines with Oman, the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Initial contracts for the scheme are expected to be awarded by December, with work on the 2200-km network scheduled to be completed in 2016. According to estimates, Kuwait’s share of the project cost is $1bn, which will give it 145 km of track within its borders, linking up with a planned internal rail network. While both the rail and port projects will directly serve the local economy, they also have a wider objective, namely putting Kuwait on track to tap into potentially one of the region’s largest logistics markets in the coming years - Iraq. When the original proposals for the Boubyan
Island development were unveiled in late 2004, state officials said the driving force behind building a new port was to take advantage of the expected increase in demand for inbound and outgoing goods from northern Gulf ports due to the regime change in Iraq. Kuwait already has extensive experience in serving the Iraqi market, having been used as a forward logistics base by US and coalition forces during the 2003 war and the subsequent years of occupation. While the Western military presence is scaling down, in line with the proposed withdrawal of combat forces in August 2010, Iraq’s logistic requirements are on the up, as the country increases imports of material needed to rebuild the economy and service domestic demand. Even after the main withdrawal, which will see some 1.5m pieces of military equipment transported from Iraq, at least 50,000 troops will remain in the country, requiring logistics support, much of which will continue to come through Kuwait. With the increased port capacity that Boubyan Island will provide, combined with a proposed main line rail link with Iraq that will also be connected to the trans-Gulf network, Kuwait will be well credentialed as a main entry point for Iraq. However, Kuwait still has some way to go before it claims the mantle of the best logistics hub in the region. A recent report by the World Bank ranked Kuwait 36th out of 155 countries in terms of how well the movement of goods and services is facilitated through the provision of logistics services. Regionally, Kuwait was placed third, behind the UAE and Bahrain, in the bank’s Logistics Performance Index (LPI) survey, but ahead of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman. Though only just behind Bahrain, both countries are well off the pace set by the UAE, which was placed 24th on the World Bank’s LPI ladder, having scored highly in the categories of infrastructure; efficiency of the cargo clearance processes, including border control and Customs; and competence and quality of services. Kuwait is already moving to improve its performance in some of the categories covered by the World Bank report, funding the expansion of its infrastructure is of course a significant step along the way. It is likely that an upgrade in rankings will follow soon enough. — Oxford Business Group
Monday, February 1, 2010
Greek woes boost dollar; euro bedeviled KUWAIT: The Greek’s debt crisis woes and the comeback of risk aversion provided support for the US dollar this week. The euro suffered as markets focused on Greece’s ability to survive the crisis and the potential similar scenario in Europe’s other weak economies such as the Spanish and the Portuguese ones. The euro weakened progressively during the week, starting above the 1.41 level before closing on Friday at a low of 1.3863. Similarly, the Sterling Pound performance was erratic during the week, where the British currency range-traded between the 1.61 and 1.63 levels before closing down at 1.5986 on Friday after the US GDP figures. The Japanese currency was hit during the first trading days after the outlook downgrade for Japan; the Yen started the week at 90.24, strengthened to 89.14 on Wednesday before paring again its gains on Friday and closing at 90.27. Housing Sector Sales of existing US homes plunged by -16.7% in December after a hike of 7.4% in the previous month, where first-time buyers benefited from the government tax credit program. Existing home sales came at 5.45 million on an annualized basis. On another front, the S&P/CaseShiller home price index showed a 0.2% increase in November - the sixth consecutive gain. On a year-onyear basis, prices are still down 5.3%, compared to the previous monthly figure of -7.2%. Finally, sales of new homes added to the signs that government support is causing swings in the performance of the
housing market; new home sales fell by -7.6% last month versus a consensus of an increase of 3%. Consumer Confidence The Conference Board’s confidence gauge rose in January from 53.5 to 55.9, the highest level in more than a year. Consumer confidence is still hindered by the high unemployment rate, currently at 10%. In parallel, the University of Michigan Survey, another widely used indicator for consumer sentiment, came at a 2-year high of 74.4, up from 72.8 in the previous month. Interest Rate Policy The US Federal Reserve on Wednesday maintained its current 00.25% interest rate policy and hinted that rates will remain low for an extended period as inflation remains subdued. The committee also affirmed its $1,750bn programme of bond purchases would be completed in March. The meeting marked the first dissenting vote in a year as the decision of keeping rates steady came at 9-to-1; member Thomas Hoening supported his “increase rates” vote by stating that financial conditions changed sufficiently to keep rates at the current exceptionally low levels. This vote sparked a selling in the short-term US treasuries. Fed Chief Ben Bernanke won a confirmation vote in the US Senate on Thursday for another 4-year term as Chairman of the Federal Reserve. The vote witnessed a debate that underscored the political and economic challenges that lie ahead. The Fed chief suffered the biggest show of dissent since voting
NBK WEEKLY MONEY MARKETS REPORT
on the position began more than 30 years ago: 30 senators, both Democratic and Republican, voted No and 70 voted Yes. Non-supporters critics questioned Bernanke’s approach to regulation, consumer protection, transparency and independence. The US economy grew in the 4th quarter of 2009 at an annualized rate of 5.7%, the fastest pace in six years, exceeding market consensus of 4.7%. Consumer spending, which accounts for about 70% of the US economy, rose at 2% annual rate last quarter after increasing at a 2.8% pace in the 3rd quarter. Growth was partly boosted by a sharp slowdown in the pace of inventory liquidation, a factor that could mask the strength of the economic recovery. Business inventories
fell only $33.5 billion in fourth quarter after dropping $139.2 billion in the July-September period. Adding to the increased worries about the risk of default in Ireland, Portugal and Spain, Greece came under pressure as markets questioned its ability in meeting its obligations. The week started with a sale of EUR 8 billion of Greek Treasury bonds at premium yields to attract global lenders. The situation remains unclear as contradictory comments keep emerging. Shortly after the bonds issuance, news indicated that China refused to purchase EUR 25bn of Greek debt. The Greek prime minister later on Thursday denied that his government had sought financing from China and assured that he had not and will not seek financing from
France, Germany or the European Union (EU). On the same day, highlevel EU officials signaled that they would help as a last-resort backing for Greece; the officials said the EU would not abandon Greece and let Athens’s debt crisis jeopardize the euro-zone. In the UK, Alistair Darling said Britain will not join any European effort to bail out Greece, but pledged not to use differences in global financial regulations to promote the city of London. Economic sentiment in the eurozone is continuing to improve at a sustained rate, according to a closely watched monthly survey released on Thursday, but worrying divergences are emerging between the region’s healthiest and weakest economies. The European Commission’s “eco-
nomic sentiment indicator” rose for a tenth consecutive month, up 1.6 points to 95.7, edging towards the long-run average of 100. Unemployment in the euro-zone rose to 10.0% in December, up from a revised level of 9.9% in November. The European region is suffering a divergence in employment rates among its members: unemployment for Italy and Germany came at 8.5% and 7.5% respectively, while France and Spain figures came at 10.0% and 19.5%. Economy emerges from recession The UK economy returned to growth in the 4th quarter of last year after the deepest recession since records began. The economy grew 0.1% in the final 3 months but was well below the 0.4% expansion expected by analysts and by an even more optimistic forecast from the Bank of England. Both the service and industrial output grew during the last quarter; however, activity in the construction industry was flat. The Nationwide house price index for January surged 1.2%, showing a year-on-year gain of 8.6%. The UK house prices are posting strong gains after weak advances at the end of last year, with year-on-year gains approaching double-digit territory. The figure came significantly above the market consensus of a modest 0.3% increase. BOJ holds rates The Bank of Japan held the overnight lending rate at 0.1% and said it remains committed to fighting deflation as gains in the yen risk
choking off the recovery from the country’s worst post-war recession. Later on the same day, Japan’s credit rating outlook was lowered by S&P, highlighting concerns about the falling prices and the strengthening yen. Deflations remains Consumer prices in Japan fell at a record pace in December, prompting the government to reiterate its call for the central bank to step up its fight against deflation. While the year-onyear fall in prices slowed from -1.9% in November to -1.7% last month, the core inflation, which excludes fresh food and energy prices, dropped by 1.2% in December from a year ago, the biggest decline since records began in 1971. Unemployment in Japan fell in December to 5.1% from 5.2% in November, better than the forecasted figure of 5.3%. Unemployment in Japan decreased progressively during the second half of 2009 from its 5.7% peak in July. India’s central bank took further steps to unwind the loose monetary policy it adopted during the global financial crisis, a sign of the gathering recovery across Asian economies. China had already raised its equivalent ratio earlier this month. The Reserve Bank of India announced a higher-than-expected 75bps rise in the cash reserve ratio, or the proportion of deposits banks must keep with the central bank, to soak up excess liquidity. Kuwait Dinar at 0.28760. The USD-KD opened at 0.28760 yesterday morning.
Focus on self-preservation, not development
Fear, uncertainty cast pall over Russian business DAVOS: (From left to right) Robert Lawrence who chairs the session, United Nations Environment Programme Executive Director Achim Steiner, Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry Rachid Rachid, Doris Leuthard, President of the Swiss Confederation and Federal Councillor of Economic Affairs, Pascal Lamy, Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma during a session “Rethinking Trade and Climate Change” at the World Economic Forum in Davos. — AFP
Peugeot-Citroen recalls 100,000 cars for pedal woe PARIS: French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen is recalling 100,000 cars across Europe to change accelerator pedals on two models. The company says the recall of the Citroen C1 and Peugeot 107 models produced in the Czech town of Kolin comes after Japan’s Toyota-which uses the same pedals on some Aygo modelsfound a defect.
A PSA spokesman said yesterday that owners of the two models will be notified by mail of the recall, which involves cars built between mid-2005 and mid-2009. Toyota on Friday recalled some 4.2 million cars and trucks on three continents because of a sticky gas pedal problem caused by condensation that builds up in the gas pedal assembly. — AP
DAVOS: Russian businessmen at the World Economic Forum in Davos struck a gloomy note this week, with many uncertain about the country’s direction and others warning a climate of corporate fear could hamper growth. The wealthy businessmen who ran Russia 10 years ago under President Boris Yeltsin lost their political influence during Vladimir Putin’s presidency in German Gref, CEO of Russia’s largest lender Sberbank, was the only Russian in Davos who spoke openly about the mood of fear gripping the private sector since the state takeover of oil major YUKOS several years ago. Gref, who also sits on the board of Russia’s largest private oil firm LUKOIL, said that since the YUKOS affair, “the main issue on LUKOIL’s agenda has been not development, but self-preservation”. “For me, it was a shock to learn that,” Gref told an audience of investors, as LUKOIL’s head and shareholder Vagit Alekperov looked on. Gref then called for a push to privatize state assets, suggesting a start with the bank he heads. YUKOS assets were nationalised and former CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky jailed for tax evasion after a protracted legal battle that has become a symbol of the fear and uncertainty governing business is Russia. Even the word YUKOS is taboo and officials and other businessman rushed to play down Gref’s words.
“It is for the government to decide,” about bank privatisation, said another state banker Andrei Kostin, CEO of second largest bank VTB. Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said that the sale was “too early to even talk about.” “It was very bold of Gref to say that,” said another businessmen, who declined to be identified. Gref, a prominent political and business figure, drafted the liberal reform programme for Vladimir Putin’s first presidential term. His plans were implemented but then partly reversed during the second term, with the YUKOS takeover seen as a turning point towards more authoritarian policies. Prime Minister Putin, whose speech in Davos on the state of the global economy last year was met with scepticism by international investors, did not come to the gathering this year — but even in his absence the businessmen did not talk freely. “There is no modernization. To carry
TARP rescue fails to meet key goals, says auditor
PARIS: A car carrier transporting Renault cars is seen at the Flins Renault plant in Aubergenville, west of Paris. French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen is recalling 100,000 cars across Europe to change accelerator pedals on two models, a PSA spokesman said yesterday.— AP
US satisfied with recall fix WASHINGTON: US safety regulators are satisfied with a Toyota Motor Corp plan for fixing an accelerator problem that is part of a widening global recall and unprecedented sales and production halt, a government official said. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) engineers have reviewed Toyota’s proposal for preventing gas pedals in eight models from sticking and have raised no objections, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan has yet to be publicly announced. Toyota has issued a series of recent recalls covering 5.6 million vehicles in the United states due to sudden acceleration in some vehicles. It is the largest ever recall for Toyota and among the biggest for an automaker in US history. The problem has affected popular selling Toyota cars as well as its luxury Lexus models and is suspected of causing crashes that led to 19 fatalities over the past decade, government officials have said. Nearly 2 million vehicles also have been recalled in Europe. PSA Peugeot Citroen said on Saturday it would recall 100,000 Peugeot 107 and
Citroen C1 models made at a factory in the Czech Republic where the French group and Toyota jointly make cars. Some 75,000 Toyota vehicles have been recalled in China. Toyota President Akio Toyoda apologized for the recall, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported on Friday. “We’re extremely sorry to have made customers uneasy,” Toyoda said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in comments that were broadcast by NHK. Toyoda last commented publicly on the matter in October, when he expressed regret for the deaths of four people in a California crash linked to the defects last year. Most of the vehicles recalled in the United States were singled out over concerns that gas pedals could get jammed on floor mats. Toyota is modifying gas pedals, redesigning floor mats, and taking other steps to address that issue. The subject of the fix reviewed by NHTSA this week and expected to be announced by Toyota within days covers more than 2 million vehicles equipped with gas pedals that may not spring back as designed. — Reuters
WASHINGTON: The $700 billion US government effort to rescue the financial system has failed to meet key goals such as sparking lending and curbing risky activities by banks, a special auditor said yesterday. The special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program said in a report to Congress that it is too soon to measure the overall success of the program passed at the height of the financial crisis in October 2008. The quarterly report said that because of TARP, “there are clear signs that aspects of the financial system are far more stable than they were at the height of the crisis in the fall of 2008.” But the report also stated that “many of TARP’s stated goals... have simply not been met” and that the potential for a new crisis looms without major reforms. “Even if TARP saved our financial system from driving off a cliff back in 2008, absent meaningful reform, we are still driving on the same winding mountain road, but this time in a faster car,” the report said. The program has fallen short in key areas such as boosting credit, curbing home foreclosures and deterring the risky behavior of financial firms that are considered “too big to fail,” said the report from inspector general Neil Barofsky. Despite the explicit goal to increase financing to US businesses and consumers, “lending
continues to decrease,” said the report from inspector general Neil Barofsky. It also noted that TARP has failed to live up to the “explicit purpose” stated by Congress of “preserving homeownership and promoting jobs. “The TARP foreclosure prevention program has only permanently modified a small fraction of eligible mortgages, and unemployment is the highest it has been in a generation,” it said. “Whether these goals can effectively be met through existing TARP programs is very much an open question at this time.” The report said that by coming the aid of the troubled housing market, the US government effectively “has become the mortgage market, with the taxpayer shouldering the risk that had once been borne by the private investor.” More broadly, the report said the underlying problems that led to the financial crisis remain, including the continued existence of financial firms that are “too big to fail” and engaging in practices that can destabilize the system. “The substantial costs of TARP-in money, moral hazard effects on the market, and government credibility-will have been for naught if we do nothing to correct the fundamental problems in our financial system and end up in a similar or even greater crisis in two, or five, or 10 years’ time,” the document said. — AFP
2000-08. During the global economic crisis, many have gorged on state bailouts. The state now controls about 60 percent of the economy and President Dmitry Medvedev’s call for modernization to lessen the dependency on oil is falling on deaf ears as entrepreneurs are too scared to show initiative after years of what they see as state bullying. out modernization you need leadership and there is no leadership,” said the head of a large Russian company. He declined to be identified, saying he did not want to put his business at risk. “I have thousands of people working for me.” The depth of Russia’s economic troubles last year brought new reform plans, with officials loudly talking about a new wave of privatization and even political liberalization, but rising commodity prices have put those ideas on the back burner. Anatoly Chubais-the architect of Russia’s first wave of privatization who now heads a state firm tasked with developing the hi-tech sector-was among those issuing a stark warning. “It is either modernization or degradation. There is no middle way for Russia,” Chubais told Reuters. Conversations with Russian delegates at Davos showed there was no common vision of what the modernization should mean. “It is your ability to compete in the
market which tells how “modern” you are. But I would first concentrate on cutting excess costs,” Oleg Deripaska, CEO of the world’s biggest aluminum firm UC RUSAL, told Reuters. Deripaska, whose business empire was bailed out by the state, was humiliated by Putin in front of TV cameras during the prime minister’s visit to one of his factories last year. “I think that the best modernization is the construction of roads,” said Mikhail Shamolin, CEO of the country’s biggest telecom company MTS. Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin offered his own plan of reform at Davos, focusing on improving the efficiency of state spending to achieve 20 percent in real term savings within two years. He was vague on details. To compensate for their fears at home, however, Russian businessmen descended en masse to a Ukrainian presentation- where most felt free to crack jokes about messy politics across the border. — Reuters
Grow and cut debt: Stark choice for governments PARIS: Sluggish recoveries and rising debt are forcing governments to grope for a delicate balance between spending money to spur growth while at the same time keeping the public finances in good order. “It’s difficult to find the balance because we want to finance the slight growth that we have while being sure that we are doing everything to reduce our deficits,” French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde told the US network CNBC on Friday. World leaders, notably US President Barack Obama and French counterpart Nicholas Sarkozy, are anxious to show that they are moving on two fronts, one to combat unemployment and another to rein in spending. “This two-pronged approach is aimed at different audiences, the general public and the markets,” said Jerome Creel of the French think tank OFCE. Analysts at ratings agency Fitch, which grades countries on their capacity to pay their debts, said rich countries such as France, Britain, Germany and the United States will have sufficient resources in 2010 to continue supporting their fragile economies. But the real test will come in 2011, when debt reduction will be critical, and governments should start now to draft plans to curb spending, Fitch analysts maintain. Under heavy pressure from financial markets, certain countries such as Greece do not have the luxury of waiting. Greek authorities, grappling with a huge debt and public deficit along with a loss of credibility in the financial markets, must each day reaffirm their commitment to fiscal austerity in order to calm mounting investor anxiety. For economist Charles Wyplosz of the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, “the market reaction is totally exaggerated. “Even if certain countries are known for their budgetary indiscipline, you cannot tell them to absorb their debts when the (economic) crisis is
DAVOS: French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde attends a session initialed “After the Financial Crisis: Consequences and Lessons Learned” at the open forum on the sideline of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos.—AFP still with us.” The International Monetary Fund has nonetheless warned that financial markets could still derail recovery by raising the cost of borrowing for households and governments. For governments, credibility is the key to securing public acceptance of their pledges to impose budgetary rigour. “France is a country with weak budgetary credibility because all of its commitments to the European Union are routinely ignored,” said Jean Pisani-Ferry of the Bruegel research institute. — AFP
Monday, February 1, 2010
Obama budget plan aims to boost jobs, rein in deficit WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama unveils a new spending plan today aimed at reining in a massive budget deficit while still supporting the economic recovery and job creation. The budget proposal for fiscal 2011, which starts October 1, comes with the US government seeking to wind down a huge stimulus aimed at lifting the economy out of its worst recession in decades. The multitrillion-dollar spending
plan is being unveiled amid intense pressure to bring down record deficit spending that analysts say could do long-term damage to US living standards and confidence of foreign investors in Treasury bonds. The latest Congressional Budget Office estimate projects a deficit of $1.35 trillion in 2010 and a grim longterm outlook for bringing down debt. At 9.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), the basic measure of
a country’s overall economic output, that deficit would be slightly smaller than the record 2009 shortfall of $1.414 trillion or 9.9 percent of GDP. The size of the deficit is one factoralong with high unemployment and the sluggish economic recovery from the worst financial crisis in decadesthat is helping to drag down public perceptions of Obama’s economic management. To help rein in the deficit, officials
said Obama will seek a three-year freeze on government spending that is not linked to security or mandated social programs, in a bid to save $250 billion over 10 years. White House officials have taken pains to argue that the freeze would not hurt efforts to foster an economic rebound or ease crippling 10 percent unemployment. Obama has vowed to cut the deficit in half by the end of his term in
2013, which is seen as an ambitious goal in view of the economic crisis. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Tuesday that if the government could not cut down on discretionary expenditures, it would have little hope of making further cuts in the budget. “If we can’t make these steps, how are you going to go after stuff that is politically hard? How are you going to create a coalition to do
that?” The fiscal straitjacket will lead to painful decisions on some government programs beloved of Democratic leaders and lawmakers in Congress and will crimp the spending plans of some members of Obama’s own cabinet. It may also force Obama to scale back the size of his ambitious reform agenda, just one year into his fouryear term of office. Republicans have hammered Obama for big spending
programs, including a $787 billion economic stimulus plan, and dismiss administration claims that the program saved or created two million jobs. They downplayed Obama’s freeze, saying it would not do enough to rein in wasted spending by lawmakers, and also pointed out in his 2008 campaign, the president had argued that such curbs never worked. —AFP
Greece’s spectacular deficit and debt in focus
ECB faces mounting financial tensions in euro-zone: Report FRANKFURT: European Central Bank policymakers will confront mounting euro-zone financial tensions at a meeting Thursday in the face of a brewing crisis brought on by Greece’s spectacular public deficit and debt. That the ECB’s main interest rate will stay unchanged at a record low of one percent
is considered a done deal for most, if not all, of 2010, analysts say. Although headlines are being grabbed by Athens and its deficit of 12.7 percent of gross domestic product and debt of roughly 113 percent of GDP, other euro-zone countries have serious problems too. Italy, whose economy represents a much bigger portion of the 16-nation euro-zone, has debt equivalent to 115 percent of output, also nearly twice the accepted euro-zone limit of 60 percent. Portugal’s public deficit last year was 9.3 percent of GDP meanwhile, more than three times the euro-zone ceiling of 3.0 percent, and Spain has estimated its shortfall at 11.4 percent. On Friday, the Spanish government unveiled an austerity plan to save 50 billion euros ($70 billion) over three years, while Ireland has also drafted a a drastic fiscal programme that includes public sector pay cuts. Analysts do not expect any country to leave the euro-zone, but they are worried about a widening growth gulf between northern and southern European countries. Investec securities analyst David Page said his firm anticipated “ongoing tensions that are beyond the scope of euro-zone monetary policy to address.” Support for Greece is BALTIMORE: US President Barack Obama greets workers during a tour of the Chesapeake Machine Company reportedly under considerain Baltimore. Obama spoke on the economy before heading to address the Republican retreat. —AFP tion, but the German foreign ministry has said that “Greece has the duty to live up to its responsibility for the eurozone’s stability by its own means.” French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde told CNBC television at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland however that “Greece is not alone.” LUANDA: India has stepped up its efforts payments on oil deals in Sudan while dis- Ghanashyam, believes the latest deal is just EU rules prohibit direct the start of co-operation with India and to gain an economic foothold in Africa in a cussing major new oil finds in Uganda. bail-outs but euro-zone neighNigeria is already India’s largest African pointed out that ONGC was already worknew scramble with China for the continenbors could extend bilateral t’s resources, signing energy deals with top trading partner, at about $10 billion annual- ing with Sonangol in Iran. loans to see Athens through its Trade between the two nations is oil producers Angola and Nigeria. India has ly, and Deora said in Lagos that his country crisis, though that might underlagged behind China’s aggressive courting wants to see that figure grow. India’s flag- expected to exceed two billion dollars this mine the credibility of criteria of African nations to secure rights to ener- ship gas company GAIL has expressed an year, up from $1.3 billion in 2007/8 and from that underpin the single curinterest in liquefied natural gas (LNG) pro- $300 million the year before, mostly in oil gy as well as raw materials. rency. The euro has fallen as a Beijing is using its deep pockets to build jects in Angola and Nigeria, Africa’s two top exports to India. result of the crisis, and hit a Trade with China last year totalled more roads, railways, even a new parliament oil producers. six-month low on Friday of India also offered to invest billions in than $25 billion, however, as Angola building in Malawi, to win favor across 1.3913 dollars in London tradAfrica, deploying at least half a million building and refurbishing refineries in became the country’s fifth-largest supplier ing. Chinese workers to labor on projects Angola and Nigeria, which cannot process of oil. China has granted Angola an estimatIndicators of euro-zone ecoed $10 billion in loans, compared to around around the continent. India’s democratic enough crude to meet their fuel needs. nomic health send contrasting “India has been trying to get its foot into $70 million in Indian loans, mainly for system and often lumbering bureaucracy signals meanwhile. Overall have left it slower to make inroads and less Angola for a long time so this is a significant rebuilding a railway in southern provinces. economic confidence rose for a In practical terms as well, China has a likely to fund big projects, since govern- development,” Edward George, Africa10th month running in January, ment must account for all spending to par- China specialist the Economist Intelligence larger physical presence in Angola, with the European Commission Unit in London told AFP. “The key will be more than 40,000 workers, compared to liament. said, but consumer confidence But this month India deployed two high- the next licensing rounds to see if ONGC 1,500 Indians. was just slightly better, “We are a much smaller country that level missions to the continent, with Oil can win oil blocks,” he said. because companies do not plan India had lost out on previous attempts China,” Ghanashyam said. “We have half Minister Murli Deora last week leading a to start hiring in the near future delegation of top energy executives to win contracts in Angola, much in part to their GDP and cover one third of the area and government spending has through Sudan, Nigeria, Angola and Chinese competition, but GAIL chairman but give us 20 years and we will catch them left populations wondering Uganda. India’s state Oil and Natural Gas Shri BC Tripathi played down rivalry up.” when they will have to pay the Analysts said Africa could benefit from Corporation (ONGC) left with deals for between the growing giants. bill. “We don’t see China as a direct com- increased competition. “It’s very good for $359 million worth of investments in “Deteriorated labour marNigeria and an agreement for joint explo- petitor but we know they are like us and Africa to have another investor to compete ket conditions combined with ration and refining projects with Angola, have a growing economy so need to source with China because it will drive competition fiscal consolidation will probaand hopefully bring benefits in terms of seen as a precursor to a broader future deal. oil,” he said in Luanda. bly weigh on private consumpIndia’s ambassador to Angola, AR quality and delivery,” George said. —AFP Deora also tried to patch up a dispute over tion,” Deutsche Bank economist Gilles Moec said. One in 10 workers across the euro-zone is unemployed, EU data shows, while the rate in Spain is nearly one in five. Partly as a result, inflation remains at a relatively tame 1.0 percent, even though the Greek crisis has caused the euro to fall against the dollar, raising the cost of imported commodities and energy. Elsewhere, the ECB’s latest bank lending survey determined that credit to households had improved but businesses faced tough conditions that could harbor “some tentatively unpleasant developments in the remainder of 2010,” Moec said. “Supply side constraints could kick in exactly at the time when the funding needs of the corporate sector start to rise” while banks fret about possible loan defaults, he explained. In London, the Bank of England will also meet this week to mull changes to interest rates and exceptional meaDAVOS: Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma (left) talks with Robert Hormats, US Under sures taken to spur growth, with economists forecasting no secretary of state for Economy, Energy and Agricultural Affairs during a televised session by NDTV at the change to the record low rate World Economic Forum in Davos. —AFP level of 0.50 percent. —AFP
India steps up scramble with China for African energy
DAVOS: European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet talks during a session ‘Redesigning Financial Regulation’ at the World Economic Forum in Davos. —AFP
Fiat unions chafe at boss’s aggressive decisions ROME: Admiration for Sergio Marchionne, the dynamic boss of Italian automaker Fiat, is giving way to grumbling as unions and the government question some of his more aggressive decisions. The Canadian-Italian credited with rescuing the Italian icon from the brink of bankruptcy in 2005 has come under fire recently for his “irreversible” decision to shut down Fiat’s Termini Imerese factory in Sicily. As workers called a fourhour strike over that decision next Wednesday, Fiat announced Tuesday it will halt production at all Italian plants for two weeks from February 22 because of a fall-off in orders. Guglielmo Epifani, secretary general of Italy’s largest labor union CGIL, said the move, which will temporarily lay off
some 30,000 workers, threw “fuel on the fire.” Other unions say the temporary layoff is aimed at pressuring the government to extend a “cash-for-clunkers” scheme. On Monday, Fiat said it could return to profit this year, after a heavy loss in 2009, only if European governments continued such incentives allowing consumers to trade in petrolguzzling cars for more fuel-efficient models. Economic Development Minister Claudio Scajola said the decision by Italy’s biggest private employer “doesn’t seem appropriate,” also expressing surprise at not having been informed of the move. The Italian Catholic Church also weighed in, asking that the “voices of families losing jobs be heard.” Marchionne dismissed the criticism, saying: “We are
the biggest investor in Italy but we are not the government.” Marchionne’s positions are a novelty in Italy, where Fiat was run for decades by the dynastic Agnelli family-”Italy’s Kennedys” — and was traditionally close to the government. Giuseppe Berta, professor at Bocconi University in Milan and an expert on Fiat’s industrial history, said Marchionne “wants to distance himself as much as possible” from Italy’s political and social debate. “It’s a break with history,” Berta told AFP. Marchionne may be expressing his Canadian side but he is also demonstrating to the United States-after acquiring a 20 percent stake in the ailing US giant Chrysler last year-”that he is capable of shutting down a factory in Italy,” Berta said. —AFP
Immigrants bear the brunt of Spain’s economic crisis MADRID: Alexandra, a 39-year-old Ecuadorian mother of three, lost most of her income when she lost her job as a cleaner last year. She now lives on 420 euros ($580) a month, 380 of which goes to pay a mortgage on her flat, and is forced to get lunch at a soup kitchen for immigrants to survive. “I don’t have a lot of work and I’m in debt,” she said at the centre run by the Madrid regional government. The soup kitchen “helps as we spend more on food than anything.” Alexandra is among many immigrants across Spain who have found themselves struggling to cover basic necessities after the country’s oncebooming economy slumped into recession at the end of 2008. Spain has around 5.5 million immigrants, most of them from Latin America, out of a total population of 46 million, up from 500,000 in 1996. Many came to work in the construction industry, the driver of more than a decade of economic growth in Spain but which collapsed when the bubble burst on its credit-fueled property market. Spain’s National Statistics Institute said
Friday that the country’s unemployment rate soared to almost 19 percent, or about 4.326 million people, in the fourth quarter of 2009, up 1.12 million from a year earlier. But the rate among immigrants was 29.7 percent, compared to 16.8 percent for Spaniards. Now many of the jobless immigrants, like Alexandra, have joined the queues at soup kitchens, bringing shopping trolleys and tupperware containers to collect food for the family. Manager Pedro Calvo says he serves 500 meals a day, 20 percent more than last year. “We are now getting more families coming back, who were here three or five years ago,” he said. Most, from Latin America, have with children and being unemployed are unable to support their families. Many are also from subSaharan Africa. The soup kitchen is not open to everyone. They must first receive a card from the Red Cross certifying that they are in desperate straits. “My wife is here legally in Spain but she still can’t find work,” said Angel Salinas, a 46year-old Bolivian who has been out of work for seven months. —AFP
Monday, February 1, 2010
Fears Australian piracy case could shut off Net SYDNEY: Australian Internet rights groups fear a piracy court case could force Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to become “copyright cops” and cut web access to customers who make illegal downloads. The Federal Court is on Thursday expected to hand down its judgment in the case, which has pitted Hollywood and Australian film and television producers against Australia’s third-largest Internet provider iiNet. The entertainment companies, which include Village Roadshow, Paramount Pictures Australia and Twentieth Century Fox International, say iiNet has not done enough to stop its customers illegally
sharing movies on the net. But iiNet argues it has never encouraged or authorized the illegal sharing or downloading of files in breach of copyright laws and specifically warned its users against doing so. Electronic Frontiers Australia, which aims to protect the civil liberties of Internet users, said the case goes further than any other similar case seen around the world in holding an ISP responsible for a customer’s illegal activities. “It doesn’t seem to be a paradigm that we are used to seeing in the rest of offline life,” spokesman Geordie Guy told AFP. “We’ve never seen a company which supplies electricity held
responsible for supplying electricity to a house which grows illicit drugs, for example.” The case hinges on more than 94,000 alleged infringements on the iiNet network over 59 weeks from June 2008, involving titles such as “Batman Begins” and “Dark Knight.” The consortium of 34 Australian and US media content providers sent iiNet notifications of the infringements but say nothing was done about them. The Australian Digital Alliance (ADA), which is pushing for intellectual property law reform, fears if iiNet loses it could set a precedent leaving ISPs no choice but to terminate the access of Internet users
accused of making illegal downloads without each case coming to court. The term intellectual property refers to areas such as copyright, designs, and patents, confidential information and trademarks. “The ADA believes that access to essential services, such as the Internet, should not be terminated without the fundamental protection of independent judicial oversight,” the alliance’s Matt Dawes told AFP. Dawes said ISPs were under mounting pressure to regulate the activities of those who subscribe to their Internet services. “The strategy of compelling ISPs to act as ‘copyright cops’ enforcing private rights is a
last-ditch response to the difficulties of preventing file-sharing,” he said. BitTorrent websites were hard to shut down while individual file-sharers were too numerous to sue, added Dawes. BitTorrent is a technology that allows online users to share parts of a large file such as a film or song over the Internet. The parts are then stitched together on the end user’s computer to create a complete file. iiNet CEO Michael Malone agreed in court that half or more than half of traffic by volume across the company’s network was BitTorrent traffic, and that the technology was frequently used to illegally download movies and TV shows.
“Placing responsibility for reducing file-sharing on ISPs is inappropriate because it will shift the cost of copyright enforcement on to customers and has great potential for abuse without proper supervision,” Dawes said. Whatever the court decides, there was likely to be legislative action in Australia to clarify how ISPs should implement a policy to terminate repeat copyright offenders, Dawes said. David Crafti, who heads the recently formed Pirate Party Australia, which wants to see intellectual property law reform, says the case could open up issues of privacy if ISPs were essentially expected to
spy on their customers. “In order to enforce copyright laws strictly, the problem is that nowadays what’s actually required is invasions of privacy which are actually anathema to a free society,” he told AFP. Crafti said lawmakers had been slow to respond to the enormous changes brought about by the Internet and needed to recognise there was currently no way to prevent illegal downloading without taking draconian measures. “The way I see it, the Internet is a utility. It should be on tap like water. And as soon as you start limiting that, you are limiting the freedom of your society,” he said. —AFP
Asian companies hope to harvest iPad boom iPad expected to fuel demand for high-tech components
SHENZHEN: This handout picture released by Shenzhen Great Loong Brother Industrial Co shows the company’s iPad-like “P88”. The unveiling of Apple’s iPad tablet computer was one of the most anticipated technology events in recent history, but the similar looking device has been on sale in China for nearly six months. —AFP
Amazon.com pulls out books in price dispute NEW YORK: New copies of Hilary Mantel’s “Wolf Hall,” Andrew Young’s “The Politician” and other books published by Macmillan were unavailable Saturday on Amazon.com, a drastic step in the ongoing dispute over ebook prices. Macmillan CEO John Sargent said he was told Friday that its books would be removed from Amazon.com, as would e-books for Amazon’s Kindle e-reader. Books will be available on Amazon.com through private sellers and other third parties, Sargent said. Sargent met with Amazon officials Thursday to discuss the publisher’s new pricing model for e-books. He wrote in a letter to Macmillan authors and literary agents Saturday that the plan would allow Amazon to make more money selling Macmillan books and that Macmillan would make less. He characterized the dispute as a disagreement over “the long-term viability and stability of the digital book market.” Macmillan and other publishers have criticized Amazon for charging just $9.99 for best-selling e-books on its Kindle e-reader, a price publishers say is too low and could hurt hardcover sales, which generally carry a list price of more than $24. Macmillan is one of the world’s largest English-language publishers. Its divisions include St. Martin’s Press, itself one of the largest publishers in the US; Henry Holt & Co., one of the oldest publishers in America; Farrar,
Straus & Giroux; and Tor, the leading science fiction publisher. Sargent credited Amazon in his letter, calling the company a “valuable customer” and a “great innovator in our industry.” But, he wrote, the digital book industry needs to create a business model that provides equal opportunities for retailers. Under Macmillan’s model, to be put in place in March, ebooks will be priced from $12.99 to $14.99 when first released and prices will change over time. For its part, Amazon wants to keep a lid on prices as competitors line up to challenge its dominant position in a rapidly expanding market. The company did not immediately return messages seeking comment Saturday. Barnes & Noble’s Nook and Sony Corp’s e-book readers are already on sale. But the latest and most talked about challenger is Apple Inc, which just introduced the longawaited iPad tablet computer and a new online book store modeled on iTunes. Apple CEO Steve Jobs, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, suggested publishers may offer some e-titles to Apple before they are allowed to go on sale at Amazon.com. The e-book market is an increasingly important one for Amazon. The company hasn’t given specific sales figures on the Kindle, but CEO Jeff Bezos said Thursday that “millions” own the device. The company now sells six digital copies to every 10 physical ones of books available in either format. To preserve the more
lucrative hardcover business, publishers including Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins Hachette Book Group USA have said they will impose delays on the release of digital copies. It’s not the first time that books have disappeared from Amazon’s virtual shelves. Last summer, Kindle users were surprised and unsettled to receive notice that George Orwell works they had purchased, including “1984” and “Animal Farm,” had been removed and their money refunded. It was a deletion of pirated copies that had been posted to the Kindle store, but the ordeal highlighted a concern - that a book already paid for and acquired can be revoked by an e-tailer. The Kindle operates on a wireless connection that Amazon ultimately controls. Bezos later apologized, and Amazon offered affected customers free books or $30. Late Friday, author Cory Doctorow, who is published by Tor, the Macmillan division, called readers and writers “the civilian casualties” of the dispute in a post on his popular Web site, boingboing.net. It’s a “case of two corporate giants illustrating neatly exactly why market concentration is bad for the arts,” he wrote. Another Tor writer, John Scalzi, speculated that Amazon’s move would have “a long-term effect on Amazon’s relationship with publishers, and not the one Amazon is likely to want,” he wrote on his Web site. —AP
NEW YORK: In this 2009 file photo, the Kindle 2 electronic reader is shown at an Amazon.com news conference. —AP
TAIPEI: The iPad may have been designed in the United States, but Apple’s Taiwan, China and South Korea will reap the benefits. “The iPad is likely to money-spinning products are manufactured in the high-tech factories of east stimulate global demand for high-tech products and components,” said Asia. If the new tablet computer follows the iPhone and iPod by capturing James Chen, the vice president of Taiwan-based display and touch panel the imagination of consumers around the globe, component makers in maker Wintek Corp. Confidentiality agreements between Apple and its suppliers means no company is willing to openly discuss who does what, but analysts are free to make informed guesses. Wintek is widely seen as a likely supplier of iPad parts, although Chen declined to either confirm or deny the company’s involvement. The new touchscreen device, which was unveiled Wednesday, seeks to establish an entire new category between laptop and smartphone, but it does so by combining well-known components, most of them produced in Asia. While the touchscreens are widely thought to be made by companies like Wintek, the chips are likely to come from companies such as Japan’s Toshiba and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics. South Korea’s LG Display is named as a probable supplier of the displays, while Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry, a veteran Apple supplier, is believed to be in charge of assembly. “In Taiwan, I expect Hon Hai will become the biggest beneficiary of Apple’s iPad,” said Mars Hsu, a TaipeiTAIPEI: A woman looks towards a website showing the latest Apple iPad. —AFP based analyst with Grand Cathay Securities. Hon Hai Precision was not immediately available for comment. However, an official at Innolux Display, Hon Hai Precision’s flat panel manufacturing arm, told AFP on condition of anonymity that the company will try its best to team up with Apple in the production of the iPad. Meanwhile, “We’ve had about 100 people a day intent, as he locked his hapless rival into SAO PAULO: An Internet festival in Simplo Technology and Brazil billed as one of the biggest in the come through, and there’s been quite an “kill cam” mode before a respawn. Dynapack, both of Taiwan, Elsewhere, past rows of laptops and world has proved an irresistible attraction interest in learning about the air force,” have been major battery pack not only for corporate technology spon- affirmed a colleague, Andrea Krauthein. desktops plastered with joke stickers like providers for Apple in the past, sors-but also for military recruiters and Just a few meters (yards) away, though, a “If you don’t follow me on Twitter, don’t and they could maintain their behind me” and politicians. All were out in force at the much bigger crowd was waiting for turns walk role, Taiwan’s Capital third annual week-long Campus Party to play another simulator whose theme- “C:/RUN/DOS/RUN,” officials from a govSecurities said in a report. which closed this weekend after gathering and popularity-dismayed the air force ernment department were readying a pre“They’ve already served as 6,000 web-savvy “nerds” from across team. Those players were battling their sentation on how sites such as Facebook component suppliers to Latin America. Among the areas promot- way through a split-screen duel based on can promote human rights. “We’re reachApple’s iPhone. That means ing robotics, debates, computer games, the hugely popular point-of-view shoot- ing out to young people... We have even they’ve reached economies of launched a web mascot to help fight design and programming were officials em-up game Modern Warfare 2. scale and enjoy cost advanThe made-up world they were blasting against child pornography,” explained looking to lure the young participants to tages,” said Taiwan their way through to bloody effect was a Mariana Carpanezzi, who was there for their missions. International Securities anaNext to a camouflage tent bedecked representation of a Rio de Janeiro slum. Brazil’s special secretariat for human lyst Michael Chiang. But on with a US Marine flag, Brazil’s air force One player assumed the role of a gun-tot- rights. the big question-how much The small number of chairs prepared had set up multi-screen, surround-sound ing gang warrior and the other a member money the iPad will make for flight simulators that officials insisted of Brazil’s brutal elite urban police unit. for that talk, though, contrasted with the the suppliers-the jury is still were not mere “games.” “It’s more his- The screen was set up in a booth belong- many rows already filled in front of a out. An official with South toric, to show how planes developed over ing to the telecom group Telefonica, neighboring podium where a talk on “Is Korea’s LG Display said the the decades,” said one which was ostensibly showing off the roll- the Internet for porn?” was about to start. latest Apple device was likely demonstrator/recruiter, Kurt Krause, out of its new 10-gigabyte broadband And then there were other areas pulling in to revitalize the market as a next to a 20-something “pilot” whose vir- offer. One player, 22-year-old student large number groups intent on just having whole. tual cockpit was being strafed by a World Rodrigo Prado Morena, quite cheerfully fun-even at the literal risk of mental “The iPad will help increase called it “just a game” with no hidden health. One such was a variation on the War II enemy plane. demand for new components,” bestselling “Guitar Hero” game. Only he said on condition of instead of the player standing in front of anonymity. Also among the screen and strumming a hooked-up guitar optimists was Taiwan-based in time to the music, this one featured a Topology Research Institute, wireless shaggy wig as the “instrument.” which this week raised its 2010 The aim: to shake, jerk and snap the head forecast for iPad sales to seven in time to heavy metal riffs. million units from five million Roge Delavi, a 27-year-old post-gradupreviously. In a statement, ate student who ignored the mandatory Topology said it based its highon-screen warnings of possible “neck er forecast on iPad’s pricing injury” and “brain trauma” to energeticalstrategy, with the cheapest verly flail his head around in front of a prosion costing as little as 499 US jected mock death-metal concert, gave his dollars. However, TLG Asset verdict. “It’s great,” he said after a twoManagement analyst Arch Shih minute workout, sweat trickling down his said it was too early to say how face. Almost forgotten up the back of the much iPad will do to lift conexhibition center, near the secure area tract makers’ profitability. where 3,000 tents had been set up to The reason is the global accommodate participants, a group of economic outlook, with further indigenous Brazilians from the Amazon volatility in US securities marproudly displayed their blog. “It’s a site kets threatening to spill over where Indian people exchange experiinto the real economy, he said. ences and maintain a presence in the vir“A market pullback could world,” said Poran Potiguara, a 20impact global demand for highSAO PAULO: A group of youths enjoy video games on their computers at tual year-old demonstrator wearing traditional tech products. At the moment, the world’s biggest online electronic entertainment event called ‘Campus feather headwear, as he clicked through I’m cautious about iPad sales,” Party.’ —AFP www.indiosonline.org.br. —AFP Shih said. —AFP
Brazil Internet fest targeted by military, political leaders
HEALTH & SCIENCE
Monday, February 1, 2010
Haiti health chief wants shelter ahead of rainfall UN warns rains may provoke public health catastrophe PORT-AU-PRINCE: Haitian Health Minister Alex Larsen said the government is “moving as fast as possible” to shelter quake-hit refugees ahead of heavy rains due as soon as next month that could trigger a public health disaster. “There’s discussion going on right now on how to deal with this issue quick enough,” Larsen told AFP after a briefing Saturday by World Health Organization (WHO) officials about the influx of desperately-needed medical supplies. The UN has warned that if heavy rains arrive-perhaps as early as mid-Februarywhile as many as a million Haitians are still homeless it could provoke a public health catastrophe, spreading disease through dense, insanitary makeshift encampments.
The disaster left over 170,000 people deadincluding thousands of bodies still rotting under the mountains of debris, increasing the risk of contamination especially if heavy rains soak through the tangled ruins. The beleaguered government, struggling to cope after the massive 7.0-magnitude earthquake destroyed much of the capital and surrounding areas, has set up “a commission to deal with this exact problemthey met this morning,” Larsen said, declining to provide further details. Hundreds of thousands of people in the capital have since the January 12 quake been sheltering in squalid encampments in city parks. The minister said it was necessary to ensure “better sanitation (in the camps) to prevent the emergence of communicable
diseases,” saying such a development was “the biggest concern for the government of Haiti.” Haiti’s wet season usually starts in May, but storms could come earlier. Larsen said the government anticipated “a small rain season” ahead of the full season around the time of normally joyous Carnival celebrations in mid-February-now cancelled due to the cataclysmic quake. “I believe the biggest problem right now is people sleeping in the street,” Larsen said, standing amid crate-loads of medical aid at the PROMESS (Program on Essential Medicines and Supplies) warehouse, Haiti’s main medical storage and distribution facility near the international airport. “We’re moving as fast as possible” to deal with this issue, Larsen insisted, after the WHO brief-
ing in which he praised the amount of foreign medical aid arriving in the country from around the world. Haiti’s President Rene Preval urged earlier this week for the foreign donors to send 200,000 tents to house families left homeless before rainfall blights relief plans. Larsen, lamenting security issues around aid drops as desperate residents scramble for supplies, noted that “food is being distributed, water is being distributed, but in a bit of a disorderly way.” The government needs to “get things organized more systematically, because some get plenty, while others get nothing.” He suggested more security from UN troops would help with distribution. The UN World Food Program said opened 16 fixed collection
sites across the capital yesterday in a bid to reduce long and often chaotic food lines at mobile handouts. Only women will be allowed to enter the sites to pick up supplies using coupons. Many of handouts have turned into dangerous scrums where women and children are shoved aside, said an WFP spokesman. Haitian authorities are also trying to ensure the provisional camps don’t become permanent, “because when people get used to being provided services they didn’t have before, it’s difficult... If people are comfortable where they are, they aren’t going to move,” Larsen said. President Preval made a rare public appearance at the ruins of his National Palace on Saturday and was promptly heck-
led by people who on seeing him gathered around the gates of the collapsed building. “Preval has done nothing for us since the quake,” “Preval doesn’t talk to the people,” a group of young protesters shouted after seeing the president. The president “should put young people at work. If they don’t have jobs, what else can they do?” asked 20-year-old Herbie. “He could at least lower the price of staples, because the aid won’t last forever,” John Bernis chimed in angrily. Both men said they were earthquake victims and suggested Jean-Bertrand Aristide could have done a better job helping people, referring to a former Catholic priest who served three times as Haiti’s president before going into exile in 2004. — AFP
China eclipses others in dino discoveries
At Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia, Dr David Loren uses laser light to kill cancer cells in a patient’s bile ducts. — MCT
Fighting cancer with light Photodynamic therapy is a technique that represents part of medicine’s continuing quest for treatments that target tumors while sparing the rest of the body from unpleasant side effects. Gloria Correa has tried all the standard weapons in her war against cancer: chemotherapy, radiation, and finally surgery. But when a surgeon opened her up last fall to cut out the deadly tumor that was squeezing her bile duct, he saw that it had engulfed nearby arteries. It was impossible to remove. Now Correa is trying a gentler-sounding approach at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital: light. First she was infused with medicine that made the tumor cells light-sensitive. Two days later, physician David Loren carefully threaded a flexible fiber down through her intestines and bathed the cancerous mass with the glow of a red laser. Called photodynamic therapy, the technique represents part of medicine’s continuing quest for treatments that target tumors while sparing the rest of the body from unpleasant side effects. Though far more common in Europe, this light-based therapy is gaining proponents in the United States, where it has long been approved for treating certain lung and skin cancers. Loren is among the researchers who seek to expand its use. He is participating in a University of Virginia-led effort to gain approval to use it on bile-duct tumors. Separately, researchers at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia are using the technique to combat prostate cancer in lab animals. Correa, 54, of Langhorne, feels like something of a lab animal herself. She is among just a handful of US patients who have gotten the treatment for bile-duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma), and at first she was a little hesitant. So were her two sons, both in their 20s. “They asked me if I was going to glow in the dark,” she said, before undergoing the first of several treatments last month. No, but the therapy does have one significant side effect: The medicine that makes the tumor cells sensitive to light has a similar effect on the rest of the body. Regular cells excrete the medicine more quickly than do cancer cells, yet the kind of drug Correa received still had a fairly long impact. She would have to stay away from bright light for several weeks, or else suffer a bad sunburn. So when Correa arrived at Jefferson for her first encounter with the laser, she wore a floppy, wide-brimmed hat and dark sunglasses.
Grim prognosis The bile duct plays a key role in digestion, ferrying bile salts from the liver to the small intestine, where they help break down fats. Developing a tumor in this duct is a grim fate, as it chokes off the path to the intestine, eventually leading to jaundice, malnutrition, and often infection. Such cancers kill more than 4,000 people in the United States each year - though it is likely even more common than that, as some patients are misdiagnosed with pancreatic cancer, says Michel Kahaleh, a bile-duct expert at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He is seeking funds for a trial at 15 medical centers, including Jefferson. Typically the first sign something is wrong is jaundice. By that time the disease is often too far along for surgery, says Loren, director of endoscopic research at Jefferson. Chemotherapy and radiation can buy some extra time for the patient, but Correa had been through that already and wanted no more of the nausea and other side effects. So she agreed to try light. In a randomized European study, photodynamic therapy had extended the life of patients with inoperable bileduct cancer by more than a year, on average - in some cases several years. It worked so well that the trial was stopped early. During that time, the patients reported having a better quality of life. And unlike with radiation, there is no limit to how much the body can take. Patients can repeat the process as much as needed. (Loren says the laser-light therapy, which costs about $5,500 per treatment and is covered by most insurers, need not be viewed as an alternative. Willing patients can receive it in addition to chemo and radiation.) Correa received her infusion of the lightsensitizing medicine, called porfimer sodium, on Dec 15. Two days later, she was placed under anesthesia, and Loren inserted an endoscope down her throat and into her small intestine. X-rays revealed that the tumor had reduced the flow of fluids through her bile duct down to a trickle. Upstream of the tumor, two branches of the duct were swollen with backedup fluid and measured six times their normal width. —MCT
‘Insolvents Anonymous’: German cure for crisis BERLIN: “Hello everyone. My name is Louise. I am 68 years old and I have been bankrupt since 2007.” Welcome to a session of “Insolvents Anonymous”, a German support group for failed business people based on “Alcoholics Anonymous”, the support group for drinkers that has boomed as the economy has bust. Like Alcoholics Anonymous, participants are known only by their first names. And like Alcoholics Anonymous, those attending run the meetings, sharing their bankruptcy pain in the hope of helping others come to terms with theirs. “There’s something particularly German in the fact that people here have so much difficulty bouncing back from bankruptcy,” said Attila von Unruh, the network’s founder. “There is this feeling of failure, of blame, that is very difficult to talk about, even with your nearest and dearest,” he added, noting that the word “Schuld” in German can mean both “guilt” and “debt”. Centuries ago in Germany, people were thrown into jail for bankruptcy and “the same taboo remains today,” he said. Unruh, a 48-year-old father of two, went bankrupt after his events agency went out of business and came up with the idea of “Insolvents Anonymous” to meet a growing demand. Germany last year suffered its worst
economic slump since World War II and the number of bankruptcies and insolvencies rose accordingly. According to specialist institute Creditreform, business insolvencies rose by 16 percent. Personal bankruptcies were broadly stable at just under 100,000 but were expected to shoot up in 2010 as the crisis takes its toll. The organization bears the motto: “Just at the moment the caterpillar thought his time was up, he turned into a butterfly”. It started with one meeting in the western city of Cologne and now has six groups across Germany. Others are set to open this year to meet “an enormous demand”, said Joachim Niering, a 50-year-old dressed all in black, who offers free advice to people who have been declared bankrupt. “You can’t rent a car or buy anything on the Internet because you’re not allowed a credit card. You are totally shut out of a whole part of social life,” he said. For this reason, “to know you’re not alone is a huge relief,” added Niering. Louise, an excitable lady with a streak of blue through her white hair, said: “This group is a blessing.” “I had stopped opening my post to avoid seeing the bills,” the former lawyer and notary said. She fell into debt then declared personal bankruptcy after suffering depression following a divorce. She now lives on 350 euros (488 dollars) per month. —AFP
Lost in time, hidden beneath the earth for millions of years, dinosaurs aren’t creatures that reveal their secrets quickly. Yet two new and surprising dino-discoveries recently have come out of the University of Kansas. Not surprising, both have emerged from fossils found in a nation that in the past decade has risen to utterly transform the study of the prehistoric past. More than ever, this is the age of the Chinasaurs. “Whether you are looking for marine reptiles or birds or dinosaurs, or whatever, China is developing so fast right now it is staggering.” said Philip Currie, professor of dinosaur paleobiology at the University of Alberta and vice president of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. “I’d say that right now it is number one in the world for most major fossil finds.” The first KU discovery, announced in December, looks at fossilized teeth of a nasty turkey-sized dinosaur to show that some meat-eating dinosaurs not only clawed or chomped their victims, but also oozed venom from glands in their mouths like cobras or Komodo dragons to poison their prey. The second finding, published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is sure to reignite the ongoing fight over the origin of flight. Paleontologists David Burnham and Larry Martin and animal flight expert David Alexander - all with KU - worked with Chinese scientists to create a model using bones cast from a 125-million-yearold, four-winged gliding dinosaur named microraptor to show that the pheasantsized critter probably did not run on the ground, as many scientists contend. The scientists instead present evidence suggesting that the sharp-toothed carnivore, an ancestor of modern birds, always lived in the trees, spreading its wings and coasting from branch to branch. The paper is a direct challenge to the “ground up” notion of flight, the theory that modern birds evolved from feathered dinosaurs that first ran on the ground before evolving the ability to take wing. “With 7-inch flight feathers on its feet, it was implausible that it would even walk,” Burnham said. To be sure, for nearly 130 years - ever since the late 1870s, when great longnecked dinosaurs were discovered in the American West - the United States reigned supreme as the site of new dinosaur discoveries. But in the past five years, China has usurped North America in a dino-race that, to the extent it exists, is as collegial as it is competitive. In fact, one of the most important figures in China paleontology, 45-year-old Zhonghe Zhou, the director of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, happens to be a KU grad. He earned his doctorate there in 1999. “We now have three people here from KU,” Zhou said in a telephone conversation from Beijing. “One guy on my team, he’s an expert on fossil amphibians. He got his master’s degree there. “When I was at KU, I was really interested in sports. I watched all the basketball games. Even when I come back, I still pay attention to KU.” In paleontology - whether the focus is dinosaurs, prehistoric mammals, 500-million-year-old sea creatures or even early humans - China is now ranked first among fossil-hunting sites. “It’s not just dinosaurs, but fossil mammals, too,” said famed dinosaur hunter Bob Bakker, curator of the Houston Museum of Natural Science. “They have great stuff: complete sabertooth cat skeletons, three-toed horses. The Chinese have magnificent fossil rhinos.” As far as dinosaurs go, University of Pennsylvania paleontologist Peter Dodson keeps a running tally of the number discovered in different countries. “I knew China had been close to the United States,” he said. “I discovered to my surprise, chagrin, amazement that as of last summer, China not only had already surpassed the United States, but shot past it. I honestly didn’t think we would ever relinquish our position, but things have happened so fast in China.” As of 1990, for example, a total of 64types of dinosaurs had been found in the US; 44 in Mongolia; 36 in China. In 2006, the US hit 108, China was second at 101, Mongolia had 61. Today: 132 have been found in China, 108 in the U.S. and 65 in Mongolia. “I had a Chinese graduate student,” Dodson said of his former student, You Hai-Lu. “In 2003, he accomplished a feat that nobody in the history of dinosaur paleontology had done. He named five new dinosaurs in one year.” Some 365 new dinosaurs have been discovered and named in the last 20 years alone, more than in the previous 130 years. About 650 types are now identified, with an average of 25 new ones found each year. —MCT
A joint team from the University of Kansas, including (from left) Larry Martin, David Alexander, Amanda Falk and David Burnham (front) have been studying fossils found in China in hopes of learning how bird flight began. — MCT
Indians faithful to Ganges despite pollution disaster KANPUR: For India’s devout Hindus, the sacred River Ganges is always clean and always pure-even if its waters are a toxic stew of human sewage, discarded garbage and factory waste. The belief that the Ganges washes away sin entices millions of Hindus into the river each year, and huge crowds of pilgrims are currently passing through the town of Haridwar for the three-month Kumbh Mela bathing festival. But concern over pollution along the length of the 2,500 kilometer (1,500 mile) river is growing, and the city of Kanpur-800 kilometers downstream of Haridwar-is the site of one of the worst stretches of all. Factories in the industrial city chug millions of liters (gallons) of polluted water into the river daily, rubbish forms into solid floating islands, and a foul smell wafts over the water’s murky surface. The situation is “acute and critical”, said DK Sundd, executive director of the Sankat Mochan Foundation, a non-profit group working to clean up the river. “The problem is worst in Kanpur. The city generates nearly half the volume of sewage and industrial waste as compared to the fresh water flow in the Ganges,” he said. Most communities located on the river from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal in Bangladesh lack proper sewage treatment facilities, and the river has for years “been misused as a convenient sink for raw waste,” said Sundd. Next to one Hindu temple in Kanpur, domestic waste water spills out of a giant drain, merges with a stream of white foam and flows into the river. Ganges water is considered by many to be blessed, and has for centuries served as an essential component of Hindu ceremonies, from childbirth to death-when ashes are often scattered in the river after cremations. Worshippers like Ram Sharma, who regularly wades in the water for an early morning bath with only a cloth tied around his waist, are proof that for many Indians faith outweighs science. “How can you call this water dirty?” asked Sharma incredulously. “For us it is holy water,” he said as he dipped his cupped hands in the river and took a slurp. Further down the banks, Mahinder Pal Singh rolled up his pants and stood knee-deep in the water praying. “You won’t find water this auspicious anywhere upstream,” he said proudly. He may be right-Sundd points out that the polluted segments are separated by cleaner stretches, one of
them being Haridwar, the site of this year’s Kumbh Mela. “Ganges water is well known for its extraordinary resilience and recuperative capacity,” said Sundd. In Kanpur, one challenge that the holy water must overcome is the leather industry, which employs around 50,000 people in more than 400 tanneries using chemicals such as toxic chromium compounds. Although factories are required to treat sludge and waste water before transferring it to a common effluent treatment plant, environmentalists accuse them of dumping waste directly into the Ganges. Imran Siddiqui, director of Super Tannery Ltd, one of Kanpur’s largest tanneries, said the leather business was unfairly being singled out because it was the city’s most prominent and profitable. “People are making culprits out of the tanneries, only it’s not true. Only two percent of total generation of effluent comes from
tanneries,” he said. “There is more toxic and hazardous waste compared to tannery waste, like that coming out of the electroplating and the dying industries,” Siddiqui added. The common effluent treatment facility in Jajmau, the hub of Kanpur’s leather trade, has a capacity of nine million liters (two million gallons) a day reserved only for industrial waste water. “Nobody knows how much waste water they generate but everybody accepts that tanneries produce more than nine MLD (Million Liters a Day), probably between 20 to 30 MLD,” said Ajay Kanujia, a chemist at the Jajmau plant. Siddiqui said Super Tannery had set up a state-of-the-art primary effluent treatment plant as part of its “moral responsibility”. But Kanujia dismissed the move, saying smaller tanneries were all dumping their waste water into storm drains. —AFP
ALLAHABAD: A Hindu priest performs rituals as he takes a holy dip on ‘Maghi Purnima’ during the Magh Mela festival at Sangam, the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati rivers. —AFP
WHATʼS ON IN KUWAIT Greetings
Monday, February 1, 2010
Movenpick Hotel hosts brunch on Fridays
Embassy information EMBASSY OF SRI LANKA The Embassy of Sri Lanka will be closed on Thursday, Feb 4, 2010 on the occasion of Sri Lanka’s 62nd National Day. The Embassy of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka will celebrate the 62nd Anniversary of Sri Lanka’s National Day at the Embassy premises at 8:30 am on 04.02.2010. The ceremony will include the hoisting of the national flag, reading of National Day messages, remembrance of national heroes, religious ceremonies followed by a reception. All Sri Lankan nationals and well-wishers are cordially invited for the event. Sri Lanka Embassy - Block-l0, Jabriya, Kuwait. (Tel. 25339140, 25339150) EMBASSY OF KENYA
any happy returns of the day to PriyaDharshini Selvam. Best wishes from sister Vishali, parents and friends.
appy birthday Pavithra. Best wishes from amma, appa, Annan’s Anirudh, Adhi, Chithi, Chithappa, uncles, aunties, friends Dhivakar, Rajkumar, Kenneth, Luka, Rutuja, Rugved, Aibel, Angel, Priya, and John.
The Embassy of the Republic of Kenya is happy to inform the general public and visitors to Kenya of a reduction in the cost of tourist visas by 50%, continuing through all of 2010. Additionally, in recognition of the family travel segment, Kenya is giving a complete waiver of visit fees to children aged 16 years and below. Visitors are urged to take this opportunity and experience unique Kenyan beach holidays on palm fringed, sandy beaches, safaris in the country’s famous national parks, and activity based tourism. For more information contact the Kenya Embassy located at Surra, block 6, Street 9, Villa No.3. Tel. 25353314/ 25353362 or visit the Mission’s websites www.kenyaembkuwait.com & www.magicalkenya.com. Official timings are 8:00 am - 4:00 pm, Sundays through Thursdays. nown for its wonderful range of live cooking stations, an array of Arabic and International food, freshly made pasta, and Chinese delicacies prepared in front of your eyes and the chocolate fountain where strawberries, fresh pineapple pieces and marshmallows disappear in soft dripping milk chocolate, the Friday brunch at the
Movenpick Hotel Restaurant displays a great place to be on Friday. Friendly team members welcome you with attentiveness and high level of standards and while you are attended to by your server of the day, pleasant care-takers of the ‘Kids Club’ will keep your little ones busy. You enjoy live entertainment, which contains a
marvelous blend of Oriental and international music. Highlights of the brunch are in fact all the action stations - May it be the fried noodles made to order, shawarma station or the fresh pasta station. The wide range of international specialties makes it hard to choose where to start. For parents and children equally
appealing is the Movenpick Ice Cream trolley and it is just perfect to combine this lovely melting sweet delight with some of the dipped fruits. The Friday brunch at the Movenpick Hotel and Resort Al Bida’a Kuwait just gets better and better! For reservations or more information, please call 22253100 extension: 5444.
IAA hosts best of Cannes Lions and Dubai Lynx
EMBASSY OF GREECE The Embassy of Greece has the pleasure to announce that with a view to promote business interaction and commercial relations between Greece and Kuwait and to present further support for the Kuwaiti importers, it requests all Kuwaiti Companies dealing with or representing Greek Companies in Kuwait to contact this Embassy as soon as possible and to provide by fax or e-mail the following information: (Name of the company, tel no, fax no, e-mail, type of business, name of the Greek companies/clients). The Embassy’s contacts are as follows: e-mail: email@example.com; fax: 24817103, and tel no: 24817100, 24817101, 24817102. EMBASSY OF INDIA
Louai Alasfahani he International Advertising Association Kuwait Chapter hosted the first ever screening in Kuwait of the Cannes Lions 2009 award winning TV, print, integrated and titanium entries at Cinema Sharqia on January 19, 2010. The event was attended by the advertising industry, comprising advertising
agencies, media, media buying units and clients. The screening was organized to encourage participants from Kuwait to compete in international advertising awards and festivals such as the Cannes Lions and the upcoming Dubai Lynx 2010. Terry Savage, Chairman of Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival and
Terry Savage Steve Lane, Festival Director Dubai Lynx Advertising Festival presented this exceptional portal for the local industry to be exposed to worldwide creativity in advertising. Terry Savage inaugurated the screening with a stirring speech addressing the creatives to support aspiring young profes-
sionals through participation in such festivals. He also emphasized the importance of portraying the local culture in advertising. GM Marketing, Cinescape Lujain Al-Saleh, extended the support of Cinescape towards the advertising industry through such IAA organized events. Louai Alasfahani the General Secretary, IAA Kuwait Chapter
announced that the IAA is moving towards bringing more such needed events to the Kuwaiti industry which will help achieve its mission to put Kuwait on the international map of advertising. In addition he thanked the Cinescape and Paragon Marketing Communications teams for their support in collaborating and co-sponsoring the event.
Samarpan organizes kite flying camp amarpan Gujarati Cultural Association in Kuwait , organized a Spring Camp for its members on January 22, 2010 for AGM and kite flying. More than 475 members attended this program of the year and had a day filled with joy and fun. More than 35 new members joined the association after witnessing the most exciting year 2009
of Samarpan. All members including children, enjoyed kite flying experience in the deserts of Kuwait. Pratik Desai, President, welcomed the members of association and thanked them for their constant support and appreciation during the year. He also thanked the committee members, volunteers, the sub-com-
mittee members and the advisors for their selfless commitment towards the society. The advisory board also appreciated new initiatives and efforts put by the executive committee for making it most memorable year in the history of Samarpan. They also acknowledged it as ‘The Year of Celebration’. Desai, President of Samarpan
2009 always believed that this was possible only due to the dedication and support of the members of Executive Committee 2009, constant inspiration of membership and support of Sponsors. Desai extended his best wishes to the new upcoming committee 2010 and confirmed his commitment towards the society.
Vipul Patel - Treasurer, presented statement of accounts for the year and last year’s executive committee was dissolved and this year’s committee was announced. Jaimin Trivedi, General Secretary concluded the program with a vote of thanks. The bi-annual magazine, covering all facets of 2008 and 2009 was also published on the day.
The Embassy of India has further revamped and improved its Legal Advice Clinic at the Indian Workers Welfare Center, and made the free service available to Indian nationals on all five working days, i.e. from Sunday to Thursday every week. Kuwaiti lawyers would be available at the Legal Advice Clinic daily from Monday to Thursday, while Indian lawyers would be available on Sundays. Following are the free welfare services provided at the Indian Workers Welfare Center located at the Embassy of India: [i] 24x7 Helpline for Domestic Workers: Accessible by toll free telephone no. 25674163 from anywhere in Kuwait, it provides information and advice exclusively to Indian domestic sector workers (Visa No. 20) as regards their grievances, immigration and other matters. [ii] Help Desk: It offers guidance to Indian nationals on routine immigration, employment, legal, and other issues (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iii) Labour Complaints Desk: It registers labor complaints and provides grievance redressal service to Indian workers (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iv) Shelters: For female and male domestic workers in distress; (v) Legal Advice Clinic: Provides free legal advice to Indian nationals (Embassy premises; Kuwaiti lawyers 3 PM to 5 PM, Monday to Thursday; Indian lawyers 2 PM to 4 PM on Sunday); and (vi) Attestation of Work Contracts: Private sector worker (Visa No. 18) contracts are accepted at the Embassy; 9 AM to 1 PM; Sunday to Thursday; Domestic sector worker (Visa No. 20) contracts are accepted at Kuwait Union of Domestic Labor Offices (KUDLO), Hawally, Al-Othman Street, Kurd Roundabout, Al-Abraj Complex, Office No 9, Mezzanine Floor; 9 AM to 9 PM, Saturday to Thursday; 5 PM to 9 PM on Friday. EMBASSY OF PHILIPPINES The Embassy of the Philippines wishes to inform the Filipino community in the State of Kuwait, that the recent supreme court decision to extend the registration of voter’s applies only in local registration in the Philippines under Republic Act no. 8189 and does not apply to overseas voters which is governed by Republic Act no. 9189, hence it has no impact on the plans and preparations on the conduct of overseas absentee voting. The overseas absentee voting for presidential elections will start on 10 April 2010 and will continue uninterrupted until 10 May 2010 daily at the Philippine Embassy. Registered overseas absentee voters are advised to schedule their days off in advance to avoid complications in their schedules. Qualified voters are encouraged to get out and vote.
Send to What’s On upcoming events, birthdays or celebrations by email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 24835619 / 20
Monday, February 1, 2010
WHATʼS ON IN KUWAIT
KNES holds annual Science and Technology Fair uwait National English School, Hawally, celebrated its best ever 2010 annual Science and Technology Fair on Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at Al-Farabi Theatre. For the first time, the entire age range of the school participated from the very youngest students in the early years right through to the Secondary Department. The event started on Monday afternoon by a full school assembly during which Madame Chantal Al Gharabally, School Director, addressed the school population and stressed on the importance of science and technology to the young generation. Her speech was centered on philosophical thought towards ethics in science through various examples such as climatic changes, cloning of genes, use of laser, radioactivity, nuclear weapons, conquest of the universe, global communication, water of life, etc. Madame Chantal highlighted the work of the famous scientists Pierre and Marie Curie on Radioactivity and explained the importance of their work. She concluded that mankind must team together to know when to start but most important where to stop. The School Head Girl, Anfal Abdulsalam AlEnizi, also addressed the audience and stated that “women have played a leading role in the development of modern science and it is important that more girls see science as a worthwhile career”. During the whole week, the entire school participated in a series of events: projects, drawings, writing poems, essay competitions, and displayed their exhibits and “hands on” experiments and showed an incredible knowledge and understanding of their topics in science and IT. Experiments included a working model of a volcano, a variety of electrical and electronic circuits, rowing machine, the production of our “Lava Lamps”, pasteurization of milk, testing of food, chromatogra-
phy, crystallization, diffusion, electrochemistry, simulating experiments using the school’s up-to-date state of the art IT technology, etc. It was very well attended and each year group took turns to attend the
event throughout the day. The day culminated with a science quiz with teams of students from primary and secondary departments competing to show their understanding of scientific facts and principles.
Winners among students from the early years (Drawing Competition), primary and secondary departments were rewarded with prizes and medals. The Kuwait National
aging to see this realized in the enthusiasm and achievement of the entire school. Madame Chantal Al Gharabally, School Director, and the team of Science & Technology teachers from the entire school have
English School Science fair was an excellent event that showcased the successes of our students. The school has invested extensively in science and technology over the last few years and this event is very encour-
been holding the event each year (since 1998) in January, on the occasion of the centenary of the discovery of radioactivity, as a way to develop students’ skills and interest in the subjects of science and technology.
This interest is obviously building each year as students seem to get an earlier start on their Science Day exhibits in order to know everything they can about their science topic before the fair begins.
Aware holds diwaniya on role of women veryone is cordially invited to Aware’s diwaniya on “The Ideal yet Unpopular Role of Women,” by Sharifa Carlo. The French economic philosopher, Jules Simon said “Women have started to work in textile factories and printing presses etc and the government is employing them in factories where they can earn a few francs. But on the other hand, this has totally destroyed the basis of family life. The husband may benefit from his wife’s earnings, but apart from that, his earnings have decreased because now he is competing with her for work.” What is the ideal role of women? Should women work? Can women work? Should women only be housewives? What is the best role for them? Come by and find out for yourself tomorrow at 7 pm.
BSK students visit Kuwait Natural History Museum
Pakistani pop star concert cancelled By Mohammad Omer
s part of their Humanities topic on ‘Local Area’, all students in Year 3 at The British School of Kuwait went on an exciting and educational visit to the Kuwait National History Museum. The children
learned about ancient artifacts and the way of life on Failaka Island, as well as the more recent history of Kuwait that existed before the discovery of oil. As an additional bonus the children were also able to visit the
Adopt a pet
atchon is a very alert white persian cat! His eyes are wide - watching everything going on around him. Batchon would do best in a home with children over 8.
illy is a 1-year-old female terrier mix. Lilly is a gorgeous dog that is just as happy as can be. She has a slight deformity to her front right leg that she was born with but she has no idea. She has a wonderful spirit and will do best in a home with children over 8 and gets along well with other dogs.
observatory where they learned about the planets in our solar system. In the photos, you can see a group of Year 3 BSK students enjoying looking at the old dhows outside the museum. Everyone enjoyed themselves thor-
oughly and had a chance to view history through the interactive exhibits which allowed the young students to get an understanding of what life was like in Kuwait for nine year old children before the age of oil.
llie is a male persian mix. He is sweet, psychic, and knows when you need a cat in your lap. He is friendly with other cats and is about two years old.
hoto is a 10 month-old male mix breed. Shoto is an active dog with a very loving temperament. Shoto gets along well with other dogs and needs room to run. He will do best in a villa with a garden and with children over 12.
undreds of Pakistani expatriates were shocked on Thursday when they reached the venue of a concert in Hawally. They were informed that the program was cancelled because the organizers could not acquire the visa for pop singer Ibrar-ul-Haq. This show was organized by the CEO of the Star Associate Real Estate Company. He announced that he was going to celebrate the fourth anniversary of his company by hosting a concert with the renowned Paksitani pop singer on Jan 28 and 29. Tickets were sold on a large scale and made available at Pakistani restaurants and several other locations. Hashim Khan and his organizers explained that they tried their best to obtain a visa for Ibrar’s visit. As soon as they succeed a new date for the show will take place and the old tickets will be valid, he said. A large number of Pakistani expats and families contacted the Kuwait Times and described their problem. They said that the sale of the tickets started 15 days earlier and that they were kept in the dark about the cancellation of the program. They demanded that the Pakistani Embassy take action against the organizers. They added that obtaining a visa for any celebrity is not a problem because they can be obtained from any hotel within 48 hours. Many who sold the tickets expressed concern because they are being questioned by those who bought tickets from them.
Monday, February 1, 2010 FIRE BRIGADE Operation Room 777 Al-Madena 22418714 Al-Shohada始a 22545171 Al-Shuwaikh 24810598 Al-Nuzha 22545171 Sabhan 24742838 Al-Helaly 22434853 Al-Fayhaa 22545051 Al-Farwaniya 24711433 Al-Sulaibikhat 24316983 Al-Fahaheel 23927002 Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh 24316983 Ahmadi 23980088 Al-Mangaf 23711183 Al-Shuaiba 23262845 Al-Jahra 25610011 Al-Salmiya 25616368
Ministry of Interior website: www.moi.gov.kw
For labor-related inquiries and complaints: Call MSAL hotline 128 HOSPITALS Sabah Hospital
Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital
Ibn Sina Hospital
POLICE STATION Al-Madena Police Station Al-Murqab Police Station Al-Daiya Police Station Al-Fayha始a Police Station Al-Qadissiya Police Station Al-Nugra Police Station Al-Salmiya Police Station Al-Dasma Police Station
THE PUBLIC AUTHORITY FOR CIVIL INFORMATION Automated enquiry about the Civil ID card is 1889988 AIRLINES
PHARMACIES ON 24 HRS DUTY GOVERNORATE Ahmadi
PHARMACY Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan
ADDRESS Fahaeel Makka St Abu Halaifa-Coastal Rd Mahboula Block 1, Coastal Rd
PHONE 23915883 23715414 23726558
Modern Jahra Madina Munawara
Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92
Ahlam Khaldiya Coop
Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop
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
Salmiya-Hamad Mubarak St Salmiya-Amman St Hawally-Beirut St Hawally & Rawdha Coop Jabriya-Block 1A Jabriya-Block 3B
25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554
PRIVATE CLINICS Ophthalmologists: Dr. Abidallah Al-Mansoor Dr. Samy Al-Rabeea Dr. Masoma Habeeb Dr. Mubarak Al-Ajmy Dr. Mohsen Abel Dr Adnan Hasan Alwayl Dr. Abdallah Al-Baghly
25622444 25752222 25321171 25739999 25757700 25732223 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-Awadi22616660 Dr. Adel Al-Hunayan FRCS (C) 25313120 Plastic Surgeons: Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf 22547272
22434064 22435865 22544200 22547133 22515277 22616662 25714406 22530801
Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari Dr. Abdel Quttainah
Family Doctor: Dr Divya Damodar 23729596/23729581
Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr.
Zahra Qabazard Sohail Qamar Snaa Maaroof Pradip Gujare Zacharias Mathew
25710444 22621099 25713514 23713100 24334282
(1) Ear, Nose and Throat Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari 22635047 Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan 22613623/0 Gynaecologists & Obstetricians: Dr Adrian Harbe 23729596/23729581 Dr. Verginia s.Marin 2572-6666 ext 8321 Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan 22655539 Dr. Majeda Khalefa Aliytami 25343406 Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly 25739272 Dr. Salem soso 22618787 General Surgeons: Dr. Abidallah Behbahani 25717111 Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer 22610044 Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher 25327148
Paediatricians: Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed 25340300
Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi 25330060 Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah 25722290
(2) Plastic Surgeon Dr. Abdul Mohsin Jafar, FRCS (Canada)
Dr Anil Thomas
Dr. Shamah Al-Matar
Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed
Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer
Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan
Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash
Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan
Dr. Bader Al-Ansari
Internist, Chest & Heart: DR.Mohammes Akkad 24555050 Ext 210 Dr. Mohammad Zubaid MB, ChB, FRCPC, PACC Assistant Professor Of Medicine Head, Division of Cardiology Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital Tel: 25339667 Dr. Farida Al-Habib MD, PH.D, FACC Consultant Cardiologist Tel: 2611555-2622555 Inaya German Medical Center Te: 2575077 Fax: 25723123
Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri 25633324 Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan
Internists, Chest & Heart: Dr. Adnan Ebil 22639939 Dr. Mousa Khadada 22666300 Dr. Latefa Al-Duweisan 25728004 Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra 25355515 Dr. Mobarak Aldoub 24726446 Dr Nasser Behbehani 25654300/3
Physiotherapists & VD: Dr. Deyaa Shehab 25722291 Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees 22666288
Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman
Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly 25322030 Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali
Endocrinologist: Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman 25339330 Dr. Ahmad Al-Ansari
Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr
Psychologists/Psychotherapists Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688 email@example.com www.soorcenter.com Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa, Ph.D. 2290-1677 Susannah-Joy Schuilenberg, M.A. 2290-1677 William Schuilenberg, RPC 2290-1677 Zaina Al Zabin, M.Sc. 2290-1677
Kuwait Airways Wataniya Airways Jazeera Airways Jet Airways Qatar Airways KLM Air Slovakia Olympic Airways Royal Jordanian Reservation British Airways Air France Emirates Air India Sri Lanka Airlines Egypt Air Swiss Air Saudia Middle East Airlines Lufthansa PIA Alitalia Balkan Airlines Bangladesh Airlines Czech Airlines Indian Airlines Oman Air Turkish Airlines
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INTERNATIONAL CALLS Afghanistan Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antiga Argentina Armenia Australia Austria Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia Botswana Brazil Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Colombia Comoros Congo Cook Islands Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Cyprus Cyprus (Northern) Czech Republic Denmark Diego Garcia Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador England (UK)
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Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guinea Guyana Haiti Holland (Netherlands) Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Ibiza (Spain) Iceland India Indian Ocean Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Italy Ivory Coast Jamaica Japan Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Liberia Libya Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Macedonia
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Monday, February 1, 2010
ACCOMMODATION One self contained room, suitable for single person, preferably Goans. Rent KD 60. Contact: 25627593. 1-2-2010 One room to let in a three bedroom flat in Khaitan on the airport avenue. Suitable for a Westerner ,a young couple or a single male high flying executive. Call 97850290 Sharing accommodation available for decent Indian bachelor at Salmiya near Edee store, rent KD 60. Contact: 99838117, 25635450. (C 20264) Furnished single room accommodation available in a 2 bedroom and 2 bathroom flat for Muslim working lady in Farwaniya. Contact: 67056991. (C 20265) 31-1-2010 Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya. Only for Keralite couples and ladies bachelors. Contact: 97134824. (C 20258) Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya with Malayali family, for decent bachelor or couples. Contact: 66332875. (C 20262) Sharing accommodation available in a C-A/C flat near Jabriya Indian school for decent family or working ladies, Jabriya, area 10. Contact: 99606946. (C 20257) 30-1-2010 Separate room available in Hawally Tunis street, Near Al
Ghanim in 2 bedroom/bathroom C-A/C new flat with separate bathroom & balcony with family. Contact: 99380453. (C 20252) Furnished single room accommodation available in a flat for executive Muslim bachelor in Abbassiya, near Hi Dine supermarket. Contact: 99702105. (C 20254) Flat available with household items in Abbassiya, hall very big and one spacious bedroom and kitchen items in good condition. Contact: 97143540. (C 20253) One room for rent, 2 bedroom flat for couple or two decent bachelors near Hi Dine supermarket, gents camp building from 25th January. Contact: 65500258, 66041367. (C 20255) To let from 1st February 2010, one furnished large bedroom with separate toilet in Bʼneid Al Gar area, for 1 decent executive bachelor. Contact: 60046720 for details. (C 20256) 28-1-2010 Sharing accommodation
available near Amiri hospital, Sharq, couple or working ladies or bachelor. Contact: 67766273. (C 20247) 27-1-2010 Sharing accommodation available with a Keralite Christian family in Abbassiya with separate bathroom in a C-A/C flat from 26th January. Call: 99412951. (C 20241)
CHANGE OF NAME I, Abbas Hajji Ali Shahab Shahida wife of Abbas Hajji Ali Shahab, born on 2nd September 1966, holding Indian Passport Number F8462504, shall henceforth be known as Shahida Abbas Hajji Ali Shahab Shahida. (C 20271) 1-2-2010
Internet card - Fast Telco for sale, original price KD 55, required price KD 10. Contact: 66451465. (C 20270) 1-2-2010 Toyota Camry, 1997 in excellent condition, registered until Jan 2011. Price KD 1,200 for interested buyers only. Call: 67056666. 1992 model Cressida Gl, excellent condition, price KD 600. Tel: 99687598. Seat Toledo, model 2003, 1.6cc, mileage 81,000, good condition, owned by KFH, lease to own KD 56, remaining KD 1444, golden insurance. Call: 99820216. (C 20260)
FOR SALE Pentium 4, Intel, 40GB HDD, 256 MB RAM, CD ROM, 56K modem, sound card, speakers, 17” CRT monitor, ready for internet, KD 35. PIII, Intel, 20 GB HDD, 128 MB RAM with 15” monitor, KD 15. Contact: 66244192. (C 20269)
Required cook for house, good experience all kinds of food continental, good salary. Part time/ full time. Contact: 66519719, 23901053. (C 20261) 30-1-2010
Egyptian accountant (English) seeking for job, having 2 years experience, prepared CMA part 1, proficient in Quickbooks, peach tree, hold ICDL. Contact: 65864734. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (C 20268) 1-2-2010
Groom wanted for RC girl, 23, 5.4, from Ernakulam, MBA (HR & MKT), working as Assistant HR Manager in a reputed MNC, seeking alliance from Roman Catholic family, professionally qualified persons. Chavara matrimonial ID: er15509. Contact: email@example.com (C 20263)
Damascus Doha Dhaka Alexandria Amman Dubai Dubai Bahrain Riyadh Abu Dhabi Amman Sharjah Deirezzor Beirut Riyadh Colombo/Dubai Washington Dc Dulles Bahrain Cairo Baghdad Dubai Cairo Dubai Doha Paris/Rome Dubai Bahrain Riyadh Chennai/Goa New York/London Amman Mumbai Jeddah Muscat Jeddah Damascus Bahrain Jeddah Beirut Doha Dubai Beirut Doha Bahrain Baghdad Abu Dhabi Dubai Cairo Luxor Lahore/Karachi Frankfurt Amman Dubai Bahrain Karachi
Departure Flights on Monday 01/02/2010 Airlines Flt Route Time Egypt Air 607 Luxor 00:01 Jazeera 0528 Assiut 00:05 India Express 390 Mangalore/Kozhikode 00:30 United A/L 981 Washington Dc Dulles 00:40 Tunis Air 328 Tunis 01:00 Indian 982 Ahmedabad/Chennai 01:05 Pakistan 206 Lahore 01:10 Bangladesh 044 Dhaka 01:15 Lufthansa 637 Frankfurt 01:20 Safi A/W 216 Kabul 02:30 Kuwait 283 Dhaka 02:55 Turkish A/L 1173 Istanbul 03:15 DHL 371 Bahrain 03:15 Emirates 854 Dubai 03:50 Etihad 0306 Abu Dhabi 04:10 Ethiopian 622 Addis Ababa 04:15 Qatari 0139 Doha 05:00 Air France 6770 Dubai/Hong Kong 06:20 Jazeera 0164 Dubai 07:00 Wataniya Airways 1020 Dubai 07:00 Royal Jordanian 803 Amman 07:05 Jazeera 0524 Alexandria 07:20 Wataniya Airways 2000 Cairo 07:30 Jazeera 0112 Abu Dhabi 07:35 Jazeera 0446 Doha 07:40 Gulf Air 212 Bahrain 07:45 Wataniya Airways 1120 Bahrain 07:50 Jazeera 0422 Bahrain 07:55 Wataniya Airways 2300 Damascus 08:10 Kuwait 545 Alexandria 08:30 Jazeera 0256 Beirut 08:35 British 0156 London 08:55 Jazeera 0170 Dubai 09:00 Kuwait 671 Dubai 09:00 Kuwait 551 Damascus 09:10 Jazeera 0456 Damascus 09:25 Arabia 0122 Sharjah 09:35 Emirates 856 Dubai 09:40 Kuwait 117 New York 10:00 Qatari 0133 Doha 10:00 Etihad 0302 Abu Dhabi 10:20 Kuwait 173 Frankfurt/Geneva 10:20 Wataniya Airways 2002 Cairo 11:30 Gulf Air 214 Bahrain 11:40 Kuwait 743 Dammam 11:55 Kuwait 541 Cairo 12:00 Jazeera 0172 Dubai 12:00 Wataniya Airways 2100 Beirut 12:05 Jazeera 0366 Deirezzor 12:20 Jazeera 0238 Amman 12:25 Kuwait 103 London 12:30 Iran Air 618 Lar 12:50
Flight Schedule Arrival Flights on Monday 1/02/2010 Airlines Flt Route Jazeera 0263 Beirut Tunis Air 327 Tunis/Dubai Wataniya Airways 2011 Sharm El Sheikh Royal Jordanian 802 Amman Wataniya Airways 2103 Beirut Gulf Air 211 Bahrain Kuwait 544 Cairo Jazeera 0513 Sharm El Sheikh Turkish A/L 1172 Istanbul DHL 370 Bahrain Jazeera 0241 Amman Emirates 853 Dubai Etihad 0305 Abu Dhabi Qatari 0138 Doha Ethiopian 622 Addis Ababa/Bahrain Air France 6770 Paris Jazeera 0503 Luxor Jazeera 0527 Alexandria Kuwait 416 Jakarta/Kuala Lumpur Jazeera 0529 Assiut Jazeera 0481 Sabiha British 0157 London Kuwait 352 Cochin Kuwait 206 Islamabad Jazeera 0161 Dubai Kuwait 302 Mumbai Kuwait 676 Dubai Kuwait 362 Colombo Emirates 855 Dubai Kuwait 286 Chittagong Arabia 0121 Sharjah Qatari 0132 Doha Etihad 0301 Abu Dhabi Gulf Air 213 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 1121 Bahrain Jazeera 0447 Doha Jazeera 0165 Dubai Jazeera 0425 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 1021 Dubai Jazeera 0113 Abu Dhabi Iran Air 619 Lar Middle East 404 Beirut Yemenia 825 Sanaa Pakistan 239 Sialkot Egypt Air 610 Cairo Jazeera 0171 Dubai Kuwait 672 Dubai Wataniya Airways 2301 Damascus Jazeera 0525 Alexandria Jazeera 0257 Beirut Wataniya Airways 2001 Cairo Kuwait 552 Damascus Kuwait 744 Dammam
Time 00:05 00:10 00:15 00:35 00:50 01:05 01:15 01:25 02:15 02:15 02:30 02:35 03:00 03:25 03:30 04:35 05:35 06:10 06:25 06:30 06:35 06:40 07:40 07:40 07:45 07:55 08:10 08:20 08:30 08:35 08:55 09:00 09:35 10:45 10:45 11:00 11:05 11:10 11:20 11:20 11:50 11:55 12:35 12:50 12:55 13:05 13:25 13:35 14:05 14:10 14:20 14:35 14:40
Jazeera Qatari Kuwait Kuwait Royal Jordanian Jazeera Emirates Gulf Air Saudi Arabian A/L Etihad Jazeera Arabia Jazeera Wataniya Airways Jazeera Srilankan United A/L Jazeera Wataniya Airways DHL Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Jazeera Kuwait Kuwait Indian Kuwait Kuwait Jet A/W Wataniya Airways Oman Air Saudi Arabian A/L Jazeera Gulf Air Kuwait Middle East Qatari Emirates Kuwait Jazeera Jazeera Global Jazeera Jazeera Egypt Air Egypt Air Shaheen Air Lufthansa Wataniya Airways Wataniya Airways Wataniya Airways Pakistan
0457 0134 284 546 800 0173 857 215 510 0303 0239 0125 0367 2101 0497 227 982 0427 2003 473 1025 542 674 618 166 0177 614 774 575 102 562 572 1201 0647 506 0459 217 786 402 0136 859 502 0449 0429 081 0117 0185 612 606 441 636 2201 1029 1129 215
14:45 15:00 15:10 15:30 15:40 16:05 16:55 17:05 17:15 17:15 17:35 17:40 17:45 17:50 18:00 18:05 18:15 18:15 18:20 18:30 18:40 18:50 18:55 18:55 19:00 19:05 19:20 19:30 19:30 19:35 19:40 20:05 20:15 20:20 20:35 20:40 21:05 21:10 21:20 21:35 22:00 22:00 22:10 22:15 22:20 22:25 22:40 22:45 23:00 23:05 23:30 23:40 23:45 23:55 23:55
FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION 161
Middle East Yemenia Pakistan Egypt Air Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Jazeera Jazeera Wataniya Airways Jazeera Jazeera Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Royal Jordanian Qatari Gulf Air Etihad Emirates Arabia Jazeera Saudi Arabian A/L Jazeera Jazeera Wataniya Airways Jazeera Global Jazeera Wataniya Airways Srilankan Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Wataniya Airways Jet A/W Oman Air Kuwait Gulf Air Saudi Arabian A/L DHL Kuwait Middle East Jazeera Qatari Kuwait Emirates Jazeera Jazeera Egypt Air Jazeera Kuwait
405 825 240 611 1024 673 561 0496 0176 1200 0426 0458 617 785 501 773 613 801 0135 216 0304 858 0126 0262 511 0184 0116 2200 0448 082 0428 2102 228 1028 361 343 1128 571 0648 331 218 507 171 675 403 0188 0137 301 860 0636 0526 613 0502 411
Beirut Doha/Sanaa Sialkot Cairo Dubai Dubai Amman Riyadh Dubai Jeddah Bahrain Damascus Doha Jeddah Beirut Riyadh Bahrain Amman Doha Bahrain Abu Dhabi Dubai Sharjah Beirut Riyadh Dubai Abu Dhabi Amman Doha Baghdad Bahrain Beirut Dubai/Colombo Dubai Colombo Chennai Bahrain Mumbai Muscat Trivandrum Bahrain Jeddah Bahrain Dubai Beirut Dubai Doha Mumbai Dubai Aleppo Alexandria Cairo Luxor Bangkok/Manila
12:55 13:35 13:40 13:55 14:25 14:30 14:35 14:40 15:05 15:10 15:25 15:30 15:35 15:45 16:10 16:10 16:20 16:25 16:30 17:55 18:00 18:10 18:20 18:25 18:30 18:35 18:40 18:40 18:50 18:50 19:00 19:05 19:15 19:30 20:20 20:50 21:00 21:10 21:20 21:25 21:55 21:55 22:00 22:10 22:20 22:30 22:35 22:45 23:10 23:20 23:25 23:45 23:50 23:55
34 CROSSWORD 887
Monday, February 1, 2010
Calvin Aries (March 21-April 19) This is an excellent
time to be in your office and get many things accomplished. You may decide to pay the bills— tend to chores, etc. You are very introspective today and able to express your feelings to others in a positive way. You may decide to strike out on your own this afternoon—giving your creative energies free reign. Some type of tourist attraction may have your interest this afternoon and if you are not dating, this may be the time to enjoy the company of your friends. A book, movie or vision from your own front door may be spiritually uplifting this evening. A higher consciousness fills you with the most exalted form of love. Look for ways to save your money-think about taking a class in finances and investing. Taurus (April 20-May 20) You appreciate your
independence and give others their space as well. You are learning that the young children under your care need more guidance than the friend type of relationship. You could teach baby-sitting care classes to young teenagers. In your own personal relationship, you and your sweetheart may have created a new rule-of-thumb, so-to-speak. Before turning that television on or settling down to a good book or hobby, you may have decided to ask about a loved one’s day. This way you will become more alert to the needs of those close to you, as well as they of you. You have a non-hostile manner that makes it easy for people to come to you and talk with you. A family time of closeness can be enjoyed this evening. Lots of laughter.
ACROSS 1. A law passed by US Congress to prevent employees from being injured or contracting diseases in the course of their employment. 5. A federal agency established to regulate the release of new foods and health-related products. 8. The part of the nervous system of vertebrates that controls involuntary actions of the smooth muscles and heart and glands. 11. Title for the former hereditary monarch of Iran. 12. Aromatic bulb used as seasoning. 13. The last (12th) month of the year. 14. A Tibetan or Mongolian priest of Lamaism. 15. A flexible container with a single opening. 16. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 17. A doctor's degree in optometry. 18. A heavy brittle diamagnetic trivalent metallic element (resembles arsenic and antimony chemically). 20. One of the evil spirits of traditional Jewish and Christian belief. 23. The 1st letter of the Hebrew alphabet. 26. Too numerous to be counted. 31. An alloy of copper and zinc (and sometimes arsenic) used to imitate gold in cheap jewelry and for gilding. 33. The dialect of Ancient Greek spoken in Thessaly and Boeotia and Aeolis. 34. Narrow wood or metal or plastic runners used for gliding over snow. 35. (Judaism) Sacred chest where the ancient Hebrews kept the two tablets containing the Ten Commandments. 36. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 39. A gonadotropic hormone that is secreted by the anterior pituitary. 43. The sixth month of the civil year. 45. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 48. A collection of facts from which conclusions may be drawn. 49. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 50. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 51. Mild yellow Dutch cheese made in balls. 52. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 53. Lacking in liveliness or charm or surprise. DOWN 1. The capital and largest city of Norway. 2. Bony flesh of herring-like fish usually caught during their migration to fresh water for spawning. 3. Thigh of a hog (usually smoked). 4. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 5. Extremely pleasing. 6. An ornamental jewelled headdress signifying sovereignty. 7. Primitive chlorophyll-containing mainly aquatic eukaryotic organisms lacking true stems and roots and leaves. 8. (Old Testament) In Judeo-Christian mythology. 9. (Babylonian) God of wisdom and agriculture and patron of scribes and schools. 10. The act of scanning. 19. A Greek island west of Greece. 21. A wrong action attributable to bad judgment or ignorance or inattention. 22. A crystalline rock that can be cut and polished for jewelry. 24. A white soft metallic element that tarnishes readily. 25. A solution containing a phosphate buffer. 27. Not only so, but. 28. A kind of person. 29. The branch of computer science that deal with writing computer programs that can solve problems creatively. 30. The district occupied entirely by the city of Washington. 32. Stout-bodied insect with large membranous wings. 37. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 38. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 40. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 41. A small cake leavened with yeast. 42. An Arabic speaking person who lives in Arabia or North Africa. 44. The most common computer memory which can be used by programs to perform necessary tasks while the computer is on. 46. A condition (mostly in boys) characterized by behavioral and learning disorders. 47. At a great distance in time or space or degree.
Gemini (May 21-June 20) You are a good listener— however, if you are not careful, you may find yourself listening to everyone’s problems today. You can use your inventory of one-liners for a needy friend or co-worker— not to be unfeeling, but to easily show the truth of a matter. You have lots of friends and even in the work place—your co-worker acquaintances can become life friends. If you are not going to be traveling today, you may find yourself planning a trip. Shopping, whether it is for a trip, a date or just some new clothes, you make good choices and enjoy showing off your purchases. A little writing exercise before bed this evening finds you expressing yourself in prose or story form. Your imagination is strong and a beautiful story is bursting to be born.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) You may be planning an adventure with your friends for the near future. This could be hunting, camping, fishing, climbing, etc. Much of your time at work is taken up with little snippets of conversation. You have quite a talent for communication and might consider broadcasting or public relations. This afternoon you enjoy puttering around the house and perhaps work on some on-going project. If you have adult children, you may find them underfoot but by giving them some art tools you may be pleased with the results. If any sort of sport contest is aired on television or in your community, you will be there to watch and so will your friends. You may finish your project quickly in order to run and visit with these friends later this evening. Leo (July 23-August 22) By becoming better organized, you can use your learned skills to improve production in the work place. You and your loved one, or even a good friend, may decide to take a class in problem-solving techniques. It will not be long before the problems you thought you had will be cleared away very quickly. Young people could learn from you as you proceed to balance the budget or pay those bills. You are a genius when it comes to keeping track of your money-and you are getting better every month. If you are brave, you can plan your investments in a timely manner. Most of your life-works this year is proceeding as planned. The only thing lacking is the fitness side of your life. Balance is everything and your fitness needs to merge into your routine now.
Virgo (August 23-September 22) Any projects that have had a confusing beginning may now seem as though they are developing on their own. Any finishing touches or additions can be completed with your own creative touch. Everything seems to run in a smooth manner, and you may feel that you do not want the merry-go-round to stop, soto-speak. This evening, people may find you with a notebook in your hand. You have new ideas and they just keep coming. You may try to keep up with the ideas that are bursting forth, but it is impossible—taking notes seems the more productive way to go; maybe a tape recorder would be helpful. It is possible that you will become published, or at the least, recognized for your works this year—you just feel it. Friends enjoy your wit this evening. Libra (September 23-October 22) The energies of the universe are working in your favor—there is an attitude change—for outward thinking. Spread your wings and try new skills. Be encouraged to discard limiting ideas of your personal capabilities. Do not allow false limitations to undermine your dreams. The creative works of others stimulate you into expressing your own creative side. You appreciate new discoveries and expect nothing but the truth. You use your knowledge to find answers for any given moment. This is the time to allow others to support you, especially if you are the one making new discoveries. You must also learn to enjoy the support and help that others extend to you. This could be the gift of money, possessions or the opportunity for adventure.
Mother Goose and Grimm
Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Whether you are at
home or at work, you will find this a very busy and productive day. There are plenty of interruptions this morning. Frustrations are visible but you rise above any delays and use them constructively. Some may not continue to interrupt or distract you if you give them a job when they do this distraction. You will also find brainstorming to be quite effective in finding imaginative solutions to difficult situations. This afternoon is a much better time to reflect and understand your own situation, just how you feel about yourself. Emotions and feelings of those around you may be very clear this afternoon. Young people seem to be pronouncing their words better. The end of this day is filled with sentimental conversations. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Changes you want to make around the office will be smart changes to make and quickly accepted. A round table discussion may also pull in new ideas. If you feel a new plan for your own business is necessary, now is the time to re-group. Consider gathering statistics or examples of what you want changed and the effects that will be created by the changes. You are not really in so much of a hurry anyway. This evening is a good time to try and foster a sense of togetherness with the family members. They want to be included in your ideas so . . . include them. Later tonight, a loved one is interested in getting out this evening to trip-the-lights-fantastic. If you have kids, call the sitter— now is a good time to enjoy a loved one’s company.
Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Home
INTERNATIONAL CALLS Kuwait Qatar Abu Dhabi Dubai Raas Al Khayma Al-Shareqa Muscat Jordan Bahrain Riyadh Makkah - Jeddah Cairo Alexandria Beirut Damascus Allepo
00965 00974 009712 009714 009717 009716 00968 009626 00973 009661 009662 00202 00203 009611 0096311 0096321
Tunisia Rabat Washington New York Paris London Madrid Zurich Geneva Monaco Rome Bangkok Hong Kong Pakistan Taiwan Bonn
0021610 002127 001212 001718 00331 004471 00341 00411 004122 0033 00396 00662 00852 0092 00886 0049228
Word Sleuth Solution
or family responsibilities seem to be on a much smoother path than ever before. You create for yourself a tremendous strength of character these days as you gain a focus and state your intentions. This could involve your goals and plans and the path to that result. Others will understand just what you mean and you may realize that as a well run machine, everyone has to work together for all things to work well and to profit. This evening, you should try and relax and enjoy your family or companions; balance is an important aspect in future happiness and success. A bicycle outing or visit to the library or preparing for the next camping trip can be lots of fun and you may be surprised at how much of the fun is in the planning. Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Your enthusiasm is high and your creative juices are flowing, ready to be applied to whatever you want to accomplish. Make sure both your expectations and abilities are realistic before diving into something you may not be able to get out of without harm or embarrassment. You have an increased desire to please others and help them make decisions. Realestate decisions are good and you can make a positive difference in someone’s future as you are good at listening to their needs before deciding on how best to help them. Relations with members of the opposite sex are strengthened. This evening is an excellent time to take it easy and reflect on your life and accomplishments. Your understanding of a love interest is enhanced now. Pisces (February 19-March 20) You are invigorated today and probably feel as though you could conquer the world. There is not only a desire for outdoor, physical activity at this time, but there will most likely be many opportunities to enjoy your surroundings. Do not become over-involved in games of chance; if you do . . . know when to walk away. You desire more excitement and may find it through altering an existing relationship or starting anew. The alignment of the planets today intensifies love and physical desires. Any relationships started today will be especially intense. If you are already in a relationship, you will find that relationships develop in a most positive way. By the way . . . now that January is at an end, chances of increasing your money gets better and better.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Orbit listings / Show listings AMERICA PLUS 03:00 The Closer 04:00 One Tree Hill 06:00 The Ex-List 08:00 Cold Case 09:00 One Tree Hill 10:00 The Closer 11:00 Dawsons Creek 12:00 One Tree Hill 13:00 The Ex-List 14:00 Knight Rider 15:00 Life on Mars 16:00 Cold Case 17:00 The Closer 18:00 Doctor Who 19:00 Heroes 20:00 Hotel Babylon 21:00 Saving Grace 22:00 Inside the actors Studio 23:00 Rescue Me ANIMAL PLANET 03:35 Untamed & Uncut 04:30 Animal Cops South Africa 05:25 Night 06:20 Animal Cops Phoenix 07:00 Wildlife SOS 07:25 Pet Rescue 07:50 Animal Precinct 08:45 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 10:10 All New Planet’s Funniest Animals 10:40 Aussie Animal Rescue 11:05 Animal Cops Houston 11:55 The Jeff Corwin Experience 12:50 Wildlife SOS 13:15 Pet Rescue 13:45 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 14:10 All New Planet’s Funniest Animals 14:40 Ocean’s Deadliest 15:35 Lemur Street 16:00 Monkey Business 16:30 Pet Rescue 16:55 Dolphin Days 17:25 Wildlife SOS 17:50 Aussie Animal Rescue 18:20 Animal Cops Houston 19:15 I’m Alive 20:10 How Not to Become Shark Bait 21:10 Animal Cops Houston 22:05 Untamed & Uncut 23:00 I’m Alive 23:55 Animal Cops Houston
14:00 Inside Track with Deidre Bolton and Erik Schatzker 15:00 Inside Track with Deidre Bolton and Erik Schatzker 16:00 In the Loop with Betty Liu 18:00 InBusiness with Margaret Brennan 19:00 InBusiness with Margaret Brennan and Francine Lacqua 20:00 Bloomberg News 22:00 Charlie Rose 23:00 Street Smart with Carol Massar and Matt Miller BOOMERANG 08:00 Looney Tunes 08:25 Tom & Jerry 08:55 Popeye Classics 09:20 The Perils of Penelope Pitstop 09:45 A Pup Named Scooby-Doo 10:10 Dexter’s Laboratory 10:35 Johnny Bravo 11:00 Dastardly And Muttley 11:30 The Flintstones 12:00 The Jetsons 12:25 Looney Tunes 12:50 King Arthur’s Disasters 13:15 Top Cat 13:40 Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo 14:05 Help! It’s the Hair Bear Bunch 14:30 Mike, Lu & Og 14:55 Time Squad 15:20 Sheep In The Big City 15:45 The Scooby Doo Show 16:10 Hong Kong Phooey 16:35 Popeye Classics 17:00 Tom & Jerry 17:20 Top Cat 17:45 Wacky Races 18:00 Dastardly And Muttley 18:30 The Scooby Doo Show 19:00 Johnny Bravo 19:30 Dexter’s Laboratory 20:00 Popeye 20:20 The Perils of Penelope Pitstop 20:45 King Arthur’s Disasters 21:10 The Jetsons 21:35 The Flintstones 22:00 Looney Tunes 22:25 Tom & Jerry
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BBC ENTERTAINMENT 03:40 Casualty 04:50 Doctors 07:20 Balamory 07:40 Tweenies 08:00 Fimbles 08:20 Teletubbies 08:45 Yoho Ahoy 08:50 Tommy Zoom 09:00 Balamory 09:20 Tweenies 09:40 Fimbles 10:00 Teletubbies 10:25 Yoho Ahoy 10:30 Bargain Hunt 11:15 Coast 12:15 Ancient Rome 13:15 The Weakest Link 14:00 Eastenders 14:30 Doctors 15:00 Bargain Hunt 15:45 Cash In The Attic 16:15 Blackadder II 16:45 2 Point 4 Children 17:15 The Weakest Link 18:00 Doctors 18:30 Cash In The Attic 19:00 Hustle 20:00 Antiques Roadshow 21:00 The Weakest Link 21:45 Doctors 22:15 Eastenders 22:45 Holby Blue 23:45 Holby City BBC LIFESTYLE 03:55 10 Years Younger 04:45 The Clothes Show 05:30 Saturday Kitchen 06:30 Living In The Sun 07:15 Coleen’s Real Women 08:15 Antiques Roadshow 09:00 Cash In The Attic Usa 09:25 Hidden Potential 09:45 Gary Rhodes’ Local Food Heroes 11:30 Living In The Sun 12:15 Antiques Roadshow 13:10 What Not To Wear 14:00 Gary Rhodes’ Local Food Heroes 15:45 Daily Cooks Challenge 16:30 Cash In The Attic Usa 16:50 Hidden Potential 17:10 Antiques Roadshow 18:00 What Not To Wear 18:50 Living In The Sun 19:40 Daily Cooks Challenge 20:40 Masterchef Goes Large 21:05 Saturday Kitchen 22:00 Cash In The Attic Usa 22:55 Coleen’s Real Women 23:40 Boys’ Weekend
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THE STYLE NETWORK 03:00 How Do I Look? 03:50 Split Ends 04:40 Clean House 05:30 Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? 06:20 Clean House Comes Clean 06:45 Area 07:10 How Do I Look? 08:00 Style Star 08:30 Style Her Famous 09:00 My Celebrity Home 10:00 Style Star 10:30 Dress My Nest 11:00 Peter Perfect 12:00 Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? 13:00 Ruby 14:00 Clean House 15:00 Clean House Comes Clean 15:30 Dress My Nest 16:00 How Do I Look? 17:00 Split Ends 18:00 Dallas Divas And Daughters 18:30 Dallas Divas And Daughters 19:00 Running In Heels 19:30 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 20:00 Split Ends 21:00 Clean House 22:00 Dallas Divas And Daughters 22:30 Dallas Divas And Daughters 23:00 What I Hate About Me TRACE 05:00 Code 05:04 Playlist 08:00 Code 08:04 Sound System 08:35 Playlist 13:00 Code 13:04 Urban Hit 13:50 Playlist 16:00 Code 16:04 Latina 16:35 Playlist 18:00 Urban Hit 18:45 Playlist 20:00 Code 20:04 Hip Hop Us 20:35 Playlist
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Monday, February 1, 2010
Music & Movies
Actress and singer Cher, left, and director Norman Jewison pose with his lifetime achievement award.
Director Lee Daniels, left, poses with his nomination plaque for best feature film director, along with actress Gabourey Sidibe.
Director Kathryn Bigelow poses with her feature film award along with in the press room at the 62nd Annual DGA Awards in Los Angeles on Saturday.—AP
Kathryn Bigelow tops directors with ‘Hurt Locker’ athryn Bigelow and “The Hurt Locker” became official awards-season front-runners Saturday after Bigelow won the top prize from the Directors Guild of America. The 58-year-old filmmaker is the first woman to win the guild’s top honor, which positions her and the Iraq war drama as strong favorites for the Academy Awards. The DGA boasts that its winner has gone on to win the Oscar for directing all but six times since 1948. Typically, the film that wins the Oscar for best director goes on to win for best picture. “This is the most incredible moment of my life,” Bigelow said backstage. She downplayed her gender, saying, “I suppose I like to think of myself as a filmmaker.” Bigelow was up against Quentin Tarantino for “Inglourious Basterds,” Jason Reitman for “Up in the Air,” Lee Daniels for “Precious” and her ex-husband James Cameron for “Avatar.” “Hurt Locker” star Jeremy Renner, who portrays the leader of a US Army bomb disposal squad in Baghdad, called Bigelow “a warrior, my champion and the most fortunate actor’s director.” Tarantino praised her as “queen of directors.” He said his fellow nominees have been spending so much time together, they have become “like a superstar rock band and we’re going to go on tour together.” Clutching a shiny medallion as a souvenir of his DGA nomination, Tarantino said, “I don’t give a (expletive) who wins, I am so happy to have this.” Daniels said the nominated directors, who have seen each other regularly throughout Hollywood’s awards season, are “like a support group” for one another. “We have each other’s backs,” he said. He told Bigelow, “You are bold. You are brave. You are gutsy.” Reitman told the winning director that he grew up watching her films. “You are more than a great director, you are one of the greats,” he said. “I’m in awe of
Director Quentin Tarantino you, too.” Cameron praised his competitors as “truly excellent and brilliant filmmakers.” Bigelow said just being nominated for the Directors Guild honor is “kind of the pinnacle for the already wild ride ‘The Hurt Locker’ has put me on.” Bigelow’s earlier films include “Point Break” and “Blue Steel.” The four-hour affair at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel drew a spate of celebrities, including Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Jodie Foster, Jon Cryer, Cheryl Hines and Jason Bateman. All but Jolie served as presenters during Saturday’s ceremony. Carl Reiner hosted the event recognizing achievements in directing, as he has for 22 years. “Modern Family” won the top honor for television comedy for its pilot, directed by Jason Winer. “I want to thank the DGA for validating the Napoleon complex I’ve had ever since I was a smaller boy,” the diminutive director said. The drama prize went to the cable television station AMC’s “Mad Men,”
about ‘60s-era advertising executives, and director Lesli Linka Glatter. Ross Katz was honored for the HBO movie “Taking Chance.” Louie Psihoyos’ film “The Cove” won the documentary award. “The film plays like a prequel to ‘Avatar,’ only it’s real and set in the present,” Psihoyos said. Cher presented Norman Jewison with the guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his career in film that included such hits as “In the Heat of the Night” and “Fiddler on the Roof.” “The studio heads maybe have all the power, but we’ve got the glory,” he said. “And when you receive the lifetime achievement award like this, it makes you very nervous, like maybe you’re going to fall off the perch or something.” The 83-year-old filmmaker accepted the award surrounded by his family, including his four grandchildren. Cher said she would have gone to the moon to present Jewison with the honor. “He has changed my life,” said Cher, who starred in “Moonstruck,” Jewison’s 1987 hit. “I love him so much.” Roger Goodman was presented the guild’s lifetime achievement award in news direction. Disney chief Robert Iger and Warner Bros. chief Barry Meyer were granted honorary life memberships in the guild. Among other guild w inners: • Reality programming: Craig Borders, “Hong Kong Bridge.” • Children’s programs: Allison LiddiBrown, “Princess Protection Program.” • Daytime serials: Christopher Goutman, “As the World Turns: Once Upon a Time.” • Commercials: Tom Kuntz. Among Hollywood’s many honors leading up to the Academy Awards, the Directors Guild prizes have one of the best track records for predicting eventual Oscar winners. Academy Award nominations will be announced tomorrow.—AP
Director James Cameron, center, poses with his feature film nomination plaque along with actress Zoe Saldana, left, and actor Sam Worthington.
Director Jason Reitman, center, poses with his feature film nomination plaque along with actress Anna Kendrick, left, and actor Jason Bateman.
Metallica rocks Latin America S heavy metal band Metallica belted out new and old songs from its three-decade career in concerts in Brazil on the weekend, halfway through a Latin America tour. The group, formed in California in 1981, made their guitars scream at
68,000 fans in a sports stadium in Sao Paulo Saturday night. A second concert in the same venue Sunday was undersold, with only 40,000 tickets bought, according to local media. Metallica already played Peru, Chile and Argentina over the last cou-
ple of weeks. In Santiago last Tuesday, a riot broke out as they were playing, forcing police to use water cannon and arrest 120 people, local media and music sites reported. After a month’s break, the band is to resume the tour in March with
Pauly Fuemana of ‘How Bizarre’ fame dies ew Zealand musician Pauly Fuemana, who found international fame with his country’s biggest selling record ever, “How Bizarre,” died in hospital yesterday after a short illness, according to media reports. The 40-year-old recorded under the name OMC, or Otara Millionaires Club, whose 1995 single “How Bizarre” reached No 1 in eight countries, including Canada, Australia and Ireland. It peaked at No 4 on the radio chart in the United States. The deceptively upbeat song-whose title was inspired by a ubiquitous catchphraserevolved around peculiar encounters with policemen and circus performers. But behind the catchy melody and Mariachi horns lurked a darker story, hinting at Fuemana’s upbringing in a crime-infested suburb of New Zealand’s biggest city. “I put a lot of hidden stories in there so people could read between the lines and sense it for what it is instead of telling them, ‘Yeah, we got pulled over by the cops, and my mate got his head smashed in, and we got arrested, and they found some pot on him,’” Fuemana told Reuters in a 1997 interview. Fuemana failed to match the success of “How Bizarre,” and was declared bankrupt in
OSN comedy brings you the funniest brand new hit shows omedy rules this month and we guarantee to have you giggling throughout the month when the latest comedic series’ on the small screen storm onto OSN comedy exclusively on OSN two years ahead of any other network. Courtney Cox stars in the new US hit comedy, Cougar Town which premieres Sunday, 5th February at 19:30 KSA. Courtney is on top comedic form as recently divorced Jules, a single mother in her forties, who finds herself back on the singles market faced with the honest truths about dating in a youth and beauty obsessed culture. There’s plenty to laugh at in the offbeat comedy series Bored to Death from studio giants HBO premiering Saturday, 6th February. The series follows the adventures of Jonathan Ames, a young Brooklyn writer. He’s just gone through a painful break-up, thanks in part to his drinking, can’t write his second novel. Rather than face reality, Jonathan
turns instead to his fantasies moonlighting as a private detective - because he wants to be a hero and a man of action. In the sneaky, madcap, and completely addictive series Better Off Ted, our main character Ted Crisp loves his job. He works for the team at Veridian Dynamics, where nothing is too far-fetched, or out of the ordinary. An average
day for Ted could easily involve creating a suicidal turkey, for instance. The only problem is, Ted is ethical and the company is not. Don’t miss Better Off Ted premiering Sunday, 7th February at 19:00 KSA. If you’re game for a laugh, then make sure you tune into OSN comedy this February. One condition: you can’t leave without a smile on your face!
stops in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Panama and Colombia. After that, it is to go on to Europe, performing in Norway, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Hungary, Ireland, Portugal, Poland and the Czech Republic.—AFP
Rip Torn arrested drunk, armed in Conn bank mmy award winning actor Rip Torn, who has had a recurring role in the NBC hit “30 Rock,” has been arrested af ter police found him intoxicated and ar med inside a Connecticut bank at the weekend. Torn, 78, was being held on $100,000 bond af ter state police responded to an alarm at the Litchfield Bank in Salisbury, the Connecticut town where the actor lives, and found him inside the closed bank “with a loaded revolver” and “highly intoxicated,” according to a police repor t issued on Saturday. He was charged with burglary, criminal trespass and criminal mischief and weapons charges. Tor n, who won an Emmy for “The Larry Sanders Show” in 1992, has most recently appeared in several episodes of “30 Rock” as network head Don Geiss. He star red in the hit film “Men in Black” and its sequel, as well as scores of other films and television shows over six decades. He was nominated for an Oscar for “Cross Creek” in 1983, two years before his wife, Geraldine Page, won
Pauly Fuemana 2006, losing his house and other assets, including his songwriting royalties. The Otara Millionaires Club was originally a rap group named for a suburb of Auckland where offshoots of Los Angeles’ Crips and Bloods gangs reigned amid fenced-off schools, run-down buildings and curfews. Brandishing machetes, the preferred means of settling gang disputes, the band would throw bottles at fans to hype them up. When things got too hot, Fuemana quit the group in early 1995, took the name
with him and recorded “How Bizarre” as a solo artist under the abbreviated moniker. It was produced and co-written by Alan Jansson . The followup album of the same name, made for just US$25,000, was released worldwide by PolyGram the following year. After Fuemana’s star faded he kept a low profile. He and Jannson reunited in 2007 to release a single “4 All of Us.” Radio New Zealand said Fuemana had been ill for several months and was surrounded by his family and friends when he died in Auckland.—Reuters
In this Feb 11, 2009 file photo, actor Rip Torn speaks during a news conference for the movie ‘Happy Tears’ at the Berlinale in Berlin, Germany. —AP the Best Actress Oscar. Torn, a cousin of actress Sissy Spacek, has been arrested several times in recent years for drunken driving and received a fine, license suspension or probation. He was also acquitted of one charge.—Reuters
Monday, February 1, 2010
‘Winter’s Bone,’ ‘Restrepo’ among honors he drama “Winter’s Bone” and the waron-terror documentary “Restrepo” won top honors Saturday among US movies at the Sundance Film Festival. Director Debra Granik’s “Winter’s Bone,” the story of a 17-year-old trying to uncover the fate of her father among the criminal clans of the Ozarks Mountains, earned the grand jury prize for American dramas at Sundance, Robert Redford’s showcase for independent cinema. Granik and co-writer Anne Rosellini also won the festival’s Waldo Salt screenwriting award for their script, based on the novel by Daniel Woodrell. The awards came hours after Roadside Attractions bought North American theatrical rights for “Winter’s Bone.” Roadside plans to release the film this summer. It was the second-straight Sundance drama winner featuring a breakout role for a young actress. Jennifer Lawrence, whose credits include Charlize Theron’s “The Burning Plain,” offers a fearless lead performance in “Winter’s Bone,” which follows Gabourey Sidibe’s sizzling debut in the title role of “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ By Sapphire,” last year’s Sundance dramatic winner. While “Precious” offered a view of a tough urban scene in Harlem, “Winter’s Bone” presents a glimpse of a harsh backwoods landscape in Missouri. “Life is really diverse on this continent that we happen to inhabit,” Granik said in an interview after the awards ceremony. “I think there’s something to understand that in any county, there’s a story that is somewhat universal, but that it’s also worth just to note the differences and appreciate the differences among the counties that make up the 50 states, that make up, then, the larger picture.” The US documentary prize went to “Restrepo,” which chronicles the lives of an American platoon fighting in Afghanistan, where the troops have erected an outpost to a fallen comrade, Pvt Juan Restrepo. The film was directed by journalist Sebastian Junger, author of “The Perfect Storm,” and photographer Tim Hetherington. “We’re in the middle of two wars,” Junger said. “If our movie can help this country understand how to go forward, we would be incredibly honored by that.” The audience award for favorite US drama chosen by Sundance fans was given to the romance “happythankyoumoreplease,” written and directed by and starring Josh Radnor, the star of “How I Met Your Mother.” “Waiting for Superman” — a study of the problems at US public schools that was directed by Davis Guggenheim, who made the Academy Award winner “An Inconvenient Truth” — earned the audience award for US documentaries. A special jury prize was given to “Sympathy for Delicious,” Mark Ruffalo’s directing debut, in which he co-stars with friend and screenwriter Christopher Thornton, who plays a paralyzed deejay with the power to heal others but not himself. Director David Michod’s Australian teen drama “Animal Kingdom” earned the dramatic jury prize for world cinema, while the world documentary award went to Danish filmmaker Mads Brugger’s “The Red Chapel,” chronicling a regime-challenging trip to North Korea. Javier Fuentes-Leon’s Peruvian ghost story “Undertow” won the world-cinema audience honor for dramas, and Lucy Walker’s British-Brazilian production “Waste Land,” about an art project at a massive landfill, received the documentary audience prize for world cinema. —AP
Director Debra Granik accepts the Grand Jury Prize for Dramatic Film for ‘Winter’s Bone’ onstage at the Awards Night Ceremony during the 2010 Sundance Film Festival on Saturday, in Park City, Utah. (Right) Director Eric Mendelsohn accepts the Dramatic Film Directing Award for ‘3 Backyards’. —AP photos
list of winners US Dramas: Grand Jury Prize, “Winter’s Bone” Audience Award, “happythankyoumoreplease” Directing, Eric Mendelsohn, “3 Backyards” Screenwriting, Debra Granik, “Winter’s Bone” Cinematography, Zak Mulligan, “Obselidia” Special Jury Prize, “Sympathy for Delicious”
Director/actor Mark Ruffalo accepts the award for Special Grand Jury Prize for Dramatic Film ‘Sympathy For Delicious’.
Documentaries: Grand Jury Prize, “Restrepo,” Audience Award, “Waiting for Superman” Directing, Leon Gast, “Smash His Camera” Editing, Penelope Falk, “Joan Rivers - A Piece Of Work” Cinematography, Kirsten Johnson, Laura Poitras, “The Oath” Special Jury Prize, “Gasland” World Cinema, Dramas Grand Jury Prize, “Animal Kingdom” Audience Award, “Contracorriente” Directing, Juan Carlos Valdivia, “Southern District” Screenwriting, Juan Carlos Valdivia, “Southern District” Cinematography, Mariano Cohn and Gaston Duprat “The Man Next Door” Special Jury Prize, breakout performance, Tatiana Maslany “Grown Up Movie Star”
Director Sebastian Junger accepts the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary Film ‘Restrepo’.
World Cinema, Documentaries Grand Jury Prize, “The Red Chapel” Audience Award, “Wasteland” Directing, Christian Frei, “Space Tourists” Editing, Joelle Alexis “A Film Unfinished” Cinematography, Kate McCullough, Michael Lavelle “His & Hers” Special Jury Prize, “Enemies of the People”
Director Leon Gast accepts the Directing Award for Documentary Film ‘Smash His Camera’.
NEXT low-budget filmmaking Best of NEXT, “Homewrecker” Alfred P Sloan Prize (science in filmmaking “Obselidia” Jury Prize Short Film US, “Drunk History: Douglass & Lincoln” International, “The Six Dollar Fifty Man” —Reuters
Director Juan Carlos Valdivia accepts the World Cinema Directing Award ‘Southern District’.
Director Mariano Cohn accepts the World Cinema Cinematography Award Dramatic ‘The Man Next Door’.
Director Lucy Ward accepts the World Cinema Audience Award for Documentary ‘Wastland’.
Sundance Film Festival director, left, John Cooper and host David Hyde Pierce perform at the 2010 Sundance awards.
Comedian Louis CK speaks at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival award.
Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock
Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Monday, February 1, 2010
Taylor rehearses, Ke$ha shares Grammy dreams he music world celebrated all over town with tributes, rehearsals, parties and, of course, a gift suite or two in anticipation of the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards last night at Staples Center.
Here’s a look: Dance commander: Ke$hawho has the No 1 song in the US with her dance groove “TiK ToK” - spent part of Saturday afternoon at the Grammys Styling Studio, picking out accessories and other fashions available for talent who are taking part of the show. While she’s not up for any awards, the singer is presenting the best new artist category. Ke$ha’s debut album was released this month, and she hopes next year she’ll be at the Grammys for a different reason. “It’s been a dream of mine to go to the Grammys. Now that I’m gonna be on the stage it’s pretty surreal, so I can only dream that maybe next year I can find my name in one of the categories,” she said. And while she’s dominated the airwaves with her party girl anthem, she took a bit of offense-playfully, of coursewhen she was described as such on Saturday. “Define party girl, because yeah, I’m a walking good time, but I’m not like some starlet who goes out, doesn’t wear underwear, gets a DUI,” said Ke$ha, referring to drinking and driving. “I’m so not that girl. But I am like a walking good time, but I’m having a good time just walking around here. I feel like a more proper title for myself would be a dance commander,” she said. A Swift rehearsal: Taylor Swift performed a rollicking version of her hit “You Belong With Me” as she rehearsed for her big Grammy moment, but she may have provided the most excitement when she came off the stage. Several young fans were waiting anxiously as Swift gave a couple of quick television interviews. Afterward, she posed for pictures, and made one young man swoon when she shook his hand. Swift was among a parade of A-list artists rehearsing at Staples Center on Friday, including Dave Matthews, Maxwell, Green Day, Black Eyed Peas, Sheryl Crow, Stevie Nicks, Mary J Blige, Andrea Bocelli, Drake, Eminem and Lil Wayne. As for Swift, she said she planned a low key night at her hotel after rehearsal, but with a treat-In-N-Out Burgers. Timeless tribute: Elton John, James Taylor, Dave Matthews and more than a dozen other artists honored Neil Young as the MusiCares Person of the Year at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The singersongwriter and more than 2,000 other guests were treated to new interpretations of 20 of his timeless songs, including “Harvest Moon” and “Cinnamon Girl,” during the nearly four-hour program. Young was feted Friday night for his decades of philanthropic service, including work with Farm Aid and the Bridge School Concerts, which raise money to provide services for kids with severe speech and physical impairments. “I’d forgotten how many songs I’d written,” the 64-year-old musician said. Young watched the show with his wife, Pegi, by his side. At the end of the night, a humble Young took the stage and said he hoped the songs he’s writing today are as good as the ones performed Friday. “It’s been a great night. It wore me out,” he said. “Now I’ve got to go back and try and write some songs.”—AP
Singer Ke$ha performs onstage at the annual PreGRAMMY Gala presented by The Recording Academy and Clive Davis on Saturday, at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly, Hills, California.
US singer Fergie and British-born US former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash.
CEO of Sony Music Entertainment Worldwide Clive Davis onstage.
Singer Sheryl Crow
Jamie Foxx, center, performs onstage at the annual Pre-GRAMMY Gala presented by The Recording Academy and Clive Davis.
From left, Singers Taboo, will.i.am, apl.de.ap and Stacy Ferguson, also known as Fergie, of The Black Eyed Peas perform onstage at the annual Pre-GRAMMY Gala.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Awards Michael Jackson, Leonard Cohen win Grammys ichael Jackson won yet another posthumous honor on Saturday, joining six other musicians including Leonard Cohen and Loretta Lynn who received Grammy awards for lifetime achievement. But Jackson’s family, whose members rarely turn down an opportunity to share his spotlight, did not attend the ceremony at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, despite speculation that some of his children might accept the statuette on his behalf. Instead, Jackson’s former manager, Frank DiLeo, did the honors, describing the pop star as “a funny guy, he had a sense of humor like none of you ever knew.” Jackson, who died of a drug overdose last year, aged 50, won 13 Grammys in his lifetime. An unshaved Cohen, sporting a fedora and bolo tie, wryly noted that he never won a Grammy for any of his recordings. “As we make our way towards the finish line that some of us have
US singers Carrie Underwood and Harry Connick Junior.
Singer Leonard Cohen at the Recording Academy’s Special Merit Awards Ceremony in Los Angeles, on January 30, 2010. —AFP already crossed, I never thought I’d get a Grammy award. In fact, I was always touched by the modesty of their interest,” he said to loud applause. The 75-year-old Canadian folk poet did receive a Grammy two years ago as one of the featured artists on Herbie Hancock’s surprise album of the year winner. As a bonus, he recited the lyrics of his comic tune “The Tower of Song” featuring such lines as “I was born like this, I had no choice. I was born with the gift of a golden voice.” Bobby Darin, the man behind such hits as “Mack the Knife” and “Splish Splash,” was another posthumous winner. The award was accepted by his son, Dodd, who tearfully recalled that his father knew “he wouldn’t be around for the long haul.” Bobby Darin, who had been born with a heart defect, died after surgery in 1973 when he was 37 and his only son 12. Noting that his father would be 73 now, Dodd Darin told Reuters that his father could have followed a similar trajectory to Tony Bennett, “connecting with 25-year-olds.” “Had he lived I think he would be performing and producing other artists. He loved music. I think he’d still be very active. He never had any quit in him,” he said. Age was also no impediment for another honoree, 95-year-old blues guitarist David “Honeyboy” Edwards, who just completed a European tour. “I can still knock ‘em dead,” he said. Another veteran, 89-yearold jazz trumpeter Clark Terry was also honored. Country star Loretta Lynn, marking her 50th anniversary in the music business this year, was a last-minute no-show because her brother was ill. The award was accepted by her twin daughters, Peggy and Patsy Lynn. Classical pianist, conductor and composer Andre Previn was prevented by ill-health from accepting his award, but sent in a video message. —Reuters
Jon Bon Jovi, center, with daughter Stephanie Rose Bon Jovi, left, and wife Dorothea Rose Hurley.
Mary J Blige
TV personality Ryan Seacrest speaks
Singer Chris Allen Katy Perry and Russell Brand
Mexican musician Carlos Santana (L) and US singer Rob Thomas.
Kevin Jonas, left, and Danielle Deleasa
Motown Founder Berry Gordy speaks onstage.
T-Pain, left, and Joe Jonas
—AP / AFP photos
Miss Virginia wins 2010 Miss America crown 22-year-old Virginia woman who said she once thought her only talent was singing is the newest Miss America, emerging from a field of 53 contestants. Caressa Cameron, a broadcast journalism student at Virginia Commonwealth University, now plans a second year away from college as she travels extensively to raise money for charity and carry the 89-year-old pageant’s crown. “I hope to gain inspiration, I hope to gain momentum so that when this 365 days is over, I can shoot through the moon,” Cameron told The Associated Press. Cameron, the first black Miss America since Ericka Dunlap in 2005, says she wants to get a master’s degree and eventually become a news anchor. Cameron, the daughter of a background researcher for the government and a contractor, said she was inspired to compete in pageants at age 14, when Miss Virginia 2003 Nancy Redd visited her school. “At that time, all I knew that I could do was sing-that’s all I had,” the Fredericksburg, Virginia, native said. Cameron said that after that visit, she decided to try out for a school musical, which snowballed into more opportunities in the arts, drama and other areas. “More doors and more doors continued to open,” she said. “It’s so important that we reach our young people, because there are so many young people that are at the very same crossroads that I was at.” “We need those people to let them know that just because your circumstances are a certain way, you don’t have to succumb to them,” she said. “You can do something amazing, like become Miss America.” Cameron won the title and a $50,000 scholarship Saturday night after strutting in a skintight yellow dress, belting Beyonce’s “Listen” from “Dreamgirls” and advising parents to limit video games and television when asked about childhood obesity during an onstage interview. “We need to get our kids back outside, playing with sticks in the street like I did when I was little,” she said. “Expand your mind, go outside and get to see what this world is like.” Miss California Kristy Cavinder was the first runner-up, winning $25,000. The young women who came out on stage at the beginning of the pageant and danced to “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas are from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. After a week of preliminary competition that counted 30 percent toward their final scores, they each introduced themselves to the crowd Saturday at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. The judges, the public and contestants themselves then trimmed the field over the next two hours. Actor and “Extra” host Mario Lopez hosted the 89-year-old pageant with help from Clinton Kelly of TLC’s “What Not to Wear.” The pageant was broadcast live on TLC. The panel of judges included conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, actress Vivica Fox, musician Dave Koz, Miss America 2002 Katie Harman, gymnast Shawn Johnson and former “American Idol” finalist Brooke White. Comedian Paul Rodriguez was set to be a judge, but organizers said he pulled out because of a family emergency. Each judge ranked their five favorites in order, and their ballots were used to pick Cameron as the winner. She was crowned by Miss America 2009 Katie Stam of Seymour, Ind. Cameron won her state’s title on her fourth try, and said she saw pageantry as a way to raise money and awareness for her platform issue, AIDS awareness. She said the issue is personal for her because her uncle died of AIDS and her family fostered a young girl who lived with the disease. She was recognized by Congress in 2007 for her work to bring instant-result HIV testing to her home state. During the Miss Virginia pageant last year, Cameron was asked her opinion about gay marriage, the same issue Miss California Carrie Prejean was asked about during the Miss USA pageant two months earlier. Cameron said she believed marriage should be between a man and woman because of her religious beliefs, but she didn’t think there should be laws against gay marriage. The crowning of a Miss America began in 1921 as a publicity stunt to persuade tourists on Atlantic City’s Boardwalk to stick around after Labor Day. The bathing revue blossomed in the age of television into an American pop icon before fading in later years and losing it place on network TV in 2004. It moved to the Las Vegas Strip in 2006 in an attempt to reinvent itself and has found a home on cable television. —AP
Host Mario Lopez watches Miss Virginia Caressa Cameron react after being crowned Miss America by Katie Stam Miss America 2009, Saturday at The Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
Miss Virginia Caressa Cameron reacts as she is named a semi-finalist.
Miss California Kristy Cavinder competes during the 2010 Miss America Pageant.
Miss California Kristy Cavinder competes during the 2010 Miss America Pageant.
Miss Tennessee Stefanie Wittler
Miss Virginia, Caressa Cameron reacts after being crowned Miss America, Saturday in Las Vegas. —AP photos
Miss Virginia Caressa Cameron
In Italy, ‘Madonna hospital’ cares for quake-damaged art A
rt restorers delicately suture together gashes in a priceless painting of the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus, one of hundreds of works of art damaged by an earthquake in central Italy last year. Looking for all the world like doctors in their white coats and rubber gloves, they lean over the 17thcentury “Pieta” at what has become known as the “Madonna hospital” near L’Aquila, the epicenter of the April 6, 2009, quake that claimed more than 300 lives. “This way we stabilize the deep cracks caused by the earthquake and stop them getting worse,” said Alessandro Verrocchia, whose equipment includes a syringe to inject glue without disturbing the pigments. “Nine months on, we’re still at the stage of emergency relief,” said Verrocchia’s colleague Gianfranco Quintiliani. The site in Celano, a 10minute drive from L’Aquila, serves both as a clinic and a warehouse for some 1,000 pieces of art rescued from the earthquake zone, half of them with some degree of damage. Most of the pieces are religious art from the
region’s myriad churches. Elisabetta Deltosto, whose family lost their home in the earthquake, said L’Aquila’s churchgoers were “very saddened” by the damage to centuries-old churches-and their con-
tents-in the medieval walled city’s centre. “My mother has been going to San Bernardino since she was a child,” Deltosto told AFP, referring to a 15thcentury church whose dome collapsed
An expert stands in the gallery where paintings are kept before being restored in Celano. —AFP photos
in the quake. “The older people prefer the churches in the centre city because they are older and more monumental,” she said. “Now they are in the red zone and inaccessible.” Some of the works of religious art were trapped in the rubble for days or weeks and were further damaged by rainwater seeping through, causing serious “biological harm”, said art restorer Stefania Montanaro. “Many pieces need just a dusting, while others are so damaged they could take up to 10 years to fix,” said the 54-year-old with intense blue eyes. Patience is a virtue for Montanaro, who has worked as an art restorer for 30 years. “The work doesn’t have a specific time frame. You take the time you need,” she said. “There are lots of things to take into consideration-the trauma of the earthquake but also previous restorations, the material and the work’s external environment,” she added. Awaiting attention in the storage area, crucifixes with centuries-old wooden sculptures of a bleeding Jesus Christ appear eerily at rest on the floor, one with his
View of torn Madonna painting waiting to be restored among other works of art in Celano, 50km from L’Aquila on January 14, 2010.
crown of thorns by his feet. Several sculptures of the Virgin Mary with the Christ child have suffered varying degrees of damage. “There’s a lot, really a lot, to do,” said Quintiliani, who at 56 does not expect to see the completion of the work before he retires. “We worked day and night for the first three months,” he said, joking: “My wife almost divorced me.” Then, pointing to a severely damaged painting that was pulled from rubble in L’Aquila, Quintiliani shook his head sadly. “I restored this 15 years ago and now it’s back,” he said. Even the pieces that did not suffer damage in the quake have a long wait ahead of them as their home churches in L’Aquila and other towns in the quake zone undergo reconstruction, Quiniliani said. Selected works have already gone on tour in the area, and a temporary exhibition space is under construction at a former slaughterhouse to display the undamaged works and, eventually, the newly restored pieces until they can return to their home churches, he said. —AFP