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Kuwait Times

April 2, 2010

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‘Witch’ neck on the block? Lebanese faces beheading in Saudi

I do... But don’t tell anyone else! PAGe 4

India begins world’s biggest headcount PAGe 15

Google becomes Topeka in April Fool’s spoof PAGe 55

James lifts Cavaliers over Bucks PAGe 64

BEIRUT: The lawyer of a Lebanese TV psychic who was convicted in Saudi Arabia for witchcraft said yesterday her client could be beheaded this week and urged Lebanese and Saudi leaders to help spare his life. Attorney May Al-Khansa said she learned from a judicial source that Ali Sibat is to be beheaded today. She added that she does not have any official confirmation of this. Saudi judicial officials could not be immediately reached for comment. Meanwhile, Lebanon’s envoy to Riyadh yesterday said he is yet to be informed of a Saudi decision to behead a former Lebanese TV presenter convicted of sorcery, which was expected to be carried out this week. Ambassador Marwan Zein said that “until now, the embassy had not been informed” that Sabat has been condemned to death, and that his case was “still being considered by the court.” The Saudi justice system, which is based on Islamic law, does not clearly define the charge of witchcraft. Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery, drug trafficking and sorcery are among the crimes punishable by death in Saudi Arabia, which strictly applies a version of sharia, or Islamic law. Sibat is one of scores of people reported arrested every year in the kingdom for practicing sorcery, witchcraft, black magic and fortunetelling. These practices are considered polytheism by the government in Saudi Arabia, a deeply religious Muslim country. Al-Khansa said she has called upon Saudi King Abdullah to pardon Sibat, a 49-year-old father of five. She also says she is in contact with Lebanese officials about the case. Sibat made predictions on an Arab satellite TV channel from his home in Beirut. He was arrested by the Saudi religious police during his pilgrimage to the holy city of Madinah in May 2008 and sentenced to death last November. “Ali is not a criminal. He did not commit a crime or do anything disgraceful,” Al-Khansa said. “The world should help in rescuing a man who has five children, a wife and a seriously ill mother.” She added that Sibat’s mother’s health has been deteriorating since her son was sentenced to death. New York-based Human Rights Watch said last year that Sibat’s death sentence should be overturned. It also called on the Saudi government to halt “its increasing use of charges of ‘witchcraft,’ crimes that are vaguely defined and arbitrarily used.” L ast year, the rights group presented a series of cases in the kingdom, including that of Saudi woman Fawza Falih, who was sentenced to death by beheading

in 2006 for the alleged crimes of “witchcraft, recourse to jinn (supernatural beings)” and animal sacrifice. On November 2, 2007, Mustafa Ibrahim, an Egyptian pharmacist, was executed for sorcery in the Saudi capital of Riyadh after he was found guilty of having tried “through sorcery” to separate a married couple, Human Rights Watch said. Riyadh announced in 2009 that it would launch a campaign to combat sorcery in the kingdom. Islamic scholars meet Meanwhile, Muslim scholars from around the world who met this week in Saudi Arabia’s holy city Madinah have denounced “terrorism” and appealed to “extremists” to repent, a statement said yesterday. The four-day Islamic conference, sponsored by Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz and organized by the Islamic University of Madinah, drew some 500 participants, according to press reports. The scholars condemned “all acts of terrorism wherever they take place and whoever is behind them,” said the concluding statement from the conference, which wrapped up late Wednesday. The scholars also criticized “the harm inflicted on unarmed civilians and civilian facilities under the pretext of combating international terrorism.” The statement published on the organizers’ website called on extremists to “return to their senses and follow the path of groups that have announced repentance and rejected acts of terrorism.” “Hold on to moderate Islam and tolerance towards others,” and “reject false interpretations of ... jihad (holy war),” it said, addressing Muslim youths. The conference urged Muslim communities in non-Muslim countries to encourage their children “to adopt a moderate understanding of Islam, respect for others and to comply with (local) laws.” It also urged the governments of those countries to respect the rights of Muslims and “treat them equally with other members of the community.” Saudi Arabia, which practices an ultra-conservative Wahhabi version of Islam, has in recent years cracked down on what it regards as extremist groups. Al-Qaeda, which has been blamed for killing between 150 and 200 people in the kingdom between 2003 and 2006, has in particular been in the firing line. Saudi King Abdullah last month said the kingdom is determined to halt extremism and a campaign was under way to try dissuade youths from joining Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), a merger of the Saudi and Yemeni branches of Osama bin Laden’s network. — Agencies


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Friday, April 2, 2010

Less than Kuwaiti? By Jamie Etheridge ationality precedes almost everything else in the Gulf. It comes before race, is as equally important as money and can determine everything from home ownership to job prospects to ease of travel. Recently, the issue of dual nationality has caused a stir in Kuwait. In mid March, the interior minister said he would withdraw Kuwaiti citizenship from anyone holding a second nationality. Dual citizenship is against Kuwaiti law. When someone is nationalized, they are required to relinquish their original citizenship and no one is allowed to hold a second passport from another state, even if they were born there. But many do. There are no official statistics but estimates suggest that as much as a quarter of Kuwait’s 1 million citizens hold a second

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Questioning loyalty to the state is a way of belittling or undermining political influence. It’s also a way to invent a controversy that will distract from larger issues. passport. Thousands are suspected of holding Saudi citizenship. Thousands more possibly as many as tens of thousands more - hold American, Asian or European passports. Everyone has his reasons. Most obvious is security. The 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait scarred the entire nation. The likelihood of another invasion may be minimal, but those who lived through it understand the value of having a place to go in times of trouble - whether that be America, Europe, India, Saudi Arabia or the Ukraine. Another issue - one not likely to be spoken about in public but one that will feed fears nonetheless - is the possibility of having citizenship withdrawn. In 2005, the Qatari government stripped 5,266 members of the AlGhfran tribe of their citizenship on the grounds that they also held Saudi passports. Kuwait is not Qatar and the politics of the two states are vastly different. Still, an uncertain future would lead many parents to want a second passport for their children. Foreign marriages also encourage the practice of dual citizenship. Children of Kuwaiti fathers and American or European mothers will often hold citizenship from both parents’ homelands. In the Arab world, citizenship can only follow from the father but in the West, a child can take the nationality of either mother or father. Many Kuwaitis have foreign mothers and second homes in other countries. A second citizenship means they can travel to their mother’s home, visit maternal relatives without having to worry about obtaining - and possibly being refused - a visa. Kuwaitis with second passports often find travel easier as well. Those holding Western passports often can take visas on arrival. At a time when Arabs face discrimination at airports around the world, traveling on a British or German passport, for instance, will also make

passing through customs easier and less nerve-racking. Dual nationality has become the most recent whipping boy in a long running political battle. The tribalists and the hadharis in parliament don’t necessarily represent every member of a tribe or ever urbanite, but they often think they do. Self proclaimed loyalists suggest that anyone holding a second nationality - including those who possess another GCC passport - are not loyal to Kuwait. But some have argued that this is simply a disguised attack on tribalism, a growing political force in the country. Questioning loyalty to the state is a way of belittling or undermining political influence. It’s also a way to invent a controversy that will distract from larger issues. At a time when Kuwait is still struggling to reform its economy, recover from the 2008 credit crisis and move away from dependence on oil income, parliamentary debates on dual citizenship seem like diversion from the critical to the inane. Loyalty to the state is fundamental. A nation cannot survive if its citizens do not believe in and support it. But questioning a citizen’s, a group’s or a political party’s loyalty and nationalism is often more about political wrangling than true patriotism. A tribal member, for instance, may be a citizen of a state and still not adhere to the nation-state. He might, alternatively, have three passports but still live, breathe, eat and think and act like a Kuwaiti. National identity stems from a common language, heritage, culture, political outlook and worldview and a common - if often differing belief in the possibility of a shared future. Thousands of Kuwaitis hold second passports which make them legally American or British or Egyptian or Indian or Saudi. But that does not necessarily make them any less Kuwaiti.


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Friday, April 2, 2010

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY FRIDAY TIMES!

consPIracy theorIes

Fake april Fool’s day By Badr ya Dar wish

ven April Fool’s Day has changed this year. I do not know what is happening to people. I expected the day before April 1, to receive a lot of lies and friends calling me with fake stories and joking with each other, as usual. I expected friends to be pouring over stories with funny lies. I expected my phone to start ringing in the morning, just like every year, and friends trying to play all sorts of tricks on me. Nothing happened. My phone was silent today. Except for the routine news SMS messages I receive. I arrived at the Kuwait Times office where usually there is laughter, chaos and discussion of bluffs that people heard throughout the day. I found it more silent and serene than my home. I asked everyone and people just shrugged their shoulders. Some hadn’t realized that it was April Fool’s. What has happened? Are people overdemoralized or life has taken its toll on them and they stopped caring and there is no place left in their hearts for a joke or a fake story? Can you blame them? Or is it the weather and the dust storms that makes everyone sluggish and sleepy? Or is it life with all its ups and downs affecting everybody around? I have no idea.

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KUWAIT: Representatives from Regency Hotel (left) and Sheraton Hotel (right) are seen with Kuwait Times Marketing Director Adnan Saad on the occasion of Friday Times’ fifth birthday yesterday. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

FrIday sPotlIght

Planting a money tree

HalluciNations

Plus Iran, minus Israel

By Muna Al-Fuzai

By Ahmad Saeid

could not believe the news article I read on money trees! If it were true, everyone would want to have one in their house. We would all be able to relax, if that were the case. The need to work wouldn’t arise and we would not be bothered by stressful jobs like teaching. How can you plant one and is it legal to do so? No one wants to be arrested by police and imprisoned because the Central Bank would go out of business! Everyone would grow a money tree in his or her own yard. We’ll have to stop worrying about how and where to deposit the money and the interests he or she would get. Let us see how such a tree can be planted without worrying about the legal aspects. The less water, the better. If you thought you need to bring an agriculturist to examine the land suitable for cultivation, well, not everyone has access to such luxury. This is not a new idea. It was suggested in April, 1955 when a TV channel broadcast a five -minute segment on a bumper coin harvest in southern Switzerland. The crop’s success was attributed both to an unusually mild winter and laborer’s hard work. They were rewarded with a money tree so that they would not have to work and dedicate more time towards enjoying life. The segment concluded with the catch line, “For those who love money, there’s nothing like real, home-grown money.” No one can accuse you of any theft as you did not steal the money. All you did was that you simply plant it in your own house. At that time, this advertisement had generated response from many viewers. Hundreds of people called up the TV station, wanting to know how they could grow money on trees! They were told that all information about it is available at the station but should be requested by post at the payment of KD 1 in local currency. I remembered this advertisement at this time of the year, keeping in mind about those of you who want to make quick money in their imagination. Of course, many thanks to April Fool’s Day! There is no feasible way to harvest a single fils in any land! I wish we could do so, everyone would be rich and happy then. That article was concocted on the occasion of April fool’s day! muna@kuwaittimes.net

any variables are changing in this region. Iraqi people are voting, and the result is not guaranteed for a single candidate. Yet, the winner is accusing Iran of interfering with the formation of an Iraqi government. Lebanese leaders, previously enemies of Syria, are visiting Damascus, the ally of Iran. Israeli press reported that the Jewish state has cancelled military exercises because it does not want to disturb Syria. The Turkish prime minister, despite all his EU ambitions, declared that Turkey is against imposing more sanctions on Iran, while standing next to Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel. Obama seems to be seriously willing to talk Israel into starting peace talks, against all odds. He might be doing so in order to form a coalition group between Arabs and Israelis against a new common enemy - Iran. Western powers, struggling their way out of a financial crisis are scratching their heads about coming up with the best way to approach the Iranian dilemma. Iran is here, and it can’t be overlooked. Before you jump into conclusions about my ‘political orientation,’ I want you to know that I am not an Iran ‘enthusiast’. I don’t completely believe that Iran’s nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but at the same time, I will choose a nuclear Iran over a nuclear Israel every day for the rest of my life. I don’t support everything that Iran does, especially the way it treats its citizens, and the level of freedom of speech and media enjoyed in the Islamic Republic. However, I don’t see that it is absolutely necessary, what Iran has been doing, to be compatible with my every goal as an Arab. This would be sentimental politics, that is practiced among many Arab leaderships, especially the dying

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ones. There’s nothing wrong with the fact that Iran is working towards its own best interest, not ours. There’s nothing wrong with the fact that Israel is working towards its own best interest, not ours. The two wrong policies adopted with regard to the Middle East are those stances of Arab countries and US. Both need to recalculate their alliances. Arabs need to re-evaluate their alliance with Israel, in accordance with the new formula of the Middle East, rewritten by the new Iranian giant. The US also needs to re-evaluate its alliance with Israel because the interests of the two countries are clearly contradictory in nature. This region is changing. Iran is growing more influential every day, and we need to learn to deal with that. We, as Arabs, need to know what it is that we have in common with Iran, and work with the country to achieve it. We also need to know what areas of disagreement we might have with Iran, and be aware of it. Most importantly, we have a common enemy with Iran - Israel. Israel is on the losing side, and Israeli politicians know that. The Zionist state is literally incapable of practicing its hobby of bombing its neighbors. Netanyahu seems to be aware of that. He knows that this is his last chance. Whatever lands or promises he takes from the Palestinians now is going to be the last, ever. That may be the reason why he is pushing so quickly for the ‘Jewification’ of Jerusalem. Israel can only defy the US if it is sure of the support it receives from its Arab allies. Therefore, we need to help Obama by supporting Hamas and other Palestinian resistance factions. By supporting Hamas and other Palestinian resistance movements, Obama will have a card to play against Israel: “If you don’t stop settlement, I can’t stop Arabs.” In that case, even Netanyahu can justify to his people about the stoppage of settlement-building, and start peace talks. To tell you the truth, I don’t think peace talks are necessary at this point because our ‘guests’ will be leaving soon anyway. saeid@kuwaittimes.net

I expected some lies to go li ke thi s: A) The government decided to give everybody KD 5,000 including to expats. B) Dual nationality is allowed and there are no more talks of stripping people of their citizenship and the government welcomes everybody who holds two or more passports. C) Permanent residency will be granted to those who have been working in Kuwait since 1960 provided that they have a clean police record. D) There is no more need for wasta to get your driving license. E) The bedoon case is over and a decision to grant them permanent residency was taken. F) Companies who traffic laborers into the country were suspended and those responsible are behind bars. G) The kafeel system (sponsorship system) is suspended and expats no longer need to have a Kuwaiti guarantor as they will be able to sponsor themselves, especially when they renew their driving license or their Civil ID. H) Osama bin Laden was caught at last and we no longer have to suffer by listening to his threats and tapes. Never mind if I woke up on April 1st and all these turned out to be mere April Fool’s stories. Even that did not happen. Have a good weekend! www.badr y ada rwi sh.co m


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I do... But don’t tell anyone else!

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Friday, April 2, 2010

A secret matrimonial arrangement known as Orfi usually works for the discreet groom By Rawan Khalid

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he unaffordability of marriage, religious differences or family disagreement over a choice of a spouse increasingly forces young couples in Kuwait to enter into a secret matrimonial arrangement known as Orfi. Religiously, Orfi is seen as a quasilegal marriage that is not binding or has no protection for either party of the matrimonial union. According to Sheikh Ahmed Khalil, Allah commands Muslims to observe certain conditions in a legal or halal marriage, such as a permission of the woman’s parents, presence of witness, the payment of dowry, contract, and a public announcement to all present at the event. Explaining the difference between a halal marriage and an Orfi, Sheikh Ahmed says that Orfi is a secret marriage which is legal provided that there are witnesses and the couple signs a contract between themselves. “If there is only one witness, Orfi will be illegal,” Sheikh Ahmed said. The Orfi marriage is legal and existent in most of the Arab countries. It usually occurs when married men want to take a second wife. They can marry the Orfi way, Sheikh Ahmed observed. “Otherwise Islam allows the man to marry four women, but some men prefer to do it in secret in order to avoid problems with the first wife,” Sheikh Ahmed said. Those aligning the Orfi way, Sheikh Ahmed says, escape from social responsibility such as handling a family life, money, house, fees and so on. Legal or quasi-legal youth find Mohammad Mohsen is a 36-year-old man from Egypt who lives and works here and wants to settle down with the girl of his dreams. However, religion became a barrier between that which fulfills his dream. “She was a Christian and she had one child from her first marriage who was a Christian also,” he said. “I didn’t have a problem with my family because of her religion, but she had a problem with her family, to tell them that she converted to Islam to marry me or reproach me,” Mohsen said. Facing such a difficulty has left the young man restless. “I love her kid so much and I treat her child as my own. The problem started three months into our marriage and she got pregnant,” Mohsen said. Her brother came to Kuwait to work here after a while. He called her up many times with the

intention of meeting her. She would make up an excuse because she now lives with me in my house and is also married to me. However, if he were to come here, he will see me and will see that she is pregnant,” Mohsen said with concern. “Once we were at Kuwait’s famous malls. She met her brother. He was shocked and started shouting at me saying ‘Who is this man?’ She replied crying that I was her husband. He brother said, “But he is a Sunni,” implying that he is a Muslim. He added, “how dare you marry a Muslim man.” She answered, “I am Muslim too.” The began shouting and threatening her, “What have you done? I am going to kill you. I am going to tell the family about this. You are pregnant by a Muslim man,” Mohsen added. Split between households Another family is also kept in the dark about their daughter’s secret marriage. She secretly leads a double life. During day time she is Mrs Basem and at night she goes back to her parents’ house and lives as a single girl. Basem M, 29, married Laura K ‘secretly’ without their families’ knowledge. For Basem who is from Egypt, it is easy to hide the secret but for Laura the situation is different. Her family lives in Kuwait. The reason behind the secrecy, as Basem puts it, is that he is an Orthodox Christian and Laura is a Catholic Christian. The two meet up in the morning and at night part ways when Laura goes back to her parents’ apartment. Laura works in a company in Kuwait and she can afford the secret marriage arrangement, by arranging a meeting place for them in the form of an apartment. Basem cannot afford the apartment which they share in Kuwait. This is because he earns lesser than her and sends money to his family back home. “I want this marriage to be announced. I think if we announce it, something horrible will happen to me and my husband. My family is very strict. Also, I want to have a normal life and live with my husband,” Laura said. She says that she wants to announce the marriage to her friends to whom she couldn’t tell because “the secret might be out and might reach our parents.” Laura worries that religion might be an issue for her parents. She wants to have a baby but says that she cannot do so in this case. She laments, “If this problem persists for a long time I am going to tell my family or to travel outside the country and never come back.”

Ganesh D Gureja

From ‘wasteland’ to ‘haste land’ By Sunil Cherian

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n a career spanning almost 30 years with the United Nations, 20 of them as United Nations International Program Officer in countries like Yemen, Bahrain, Yugoslavia, Somalia and Syria, septuagenarian Ganesh D Gureja, now retired from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), associates his life’s story with the tale of a nation’s progress. Indian-born Ganesh, now a freelance writer, is in Kuwait to visit his daughter’s family. Sitting in their Bayan home, he spoke to the Kuwait Times, gently reminding us that his words are not to be taken as official statements since he is a retiree. He shared his opinions at length about the UNDP, as an executive body within the UN General Assembly, its role in the Middle East, the socioeconomic changes that have occurred in the region, the remarkable advance Kuwait has made within a short span of time in terms of education, health and private sector. “Whenever I come to Kuwait, the skyscrapers and the modernistic shopping malls astonish me,” he said, adding that he felt like he was in America when he visited some areas here. “The development is not merely external,” he continued. “Look at the social changes, educated, vibrant youth asserting themselves; Kuwait is definitely evolving.” As a former UNDP team-member, he expressed amazement at the pace of progress in Kuwait, pointing out that some countries would take decades to realize the goals it has set for itself and achieve. The UNDP works in 166 countries and nurtures national leadership and expertise, with UN development assistance playing a direct role in the capacity development in the identified areas at national level, drawing upon the collective expertise and experience in the system. This capacity development aims at providing individual training, institutions and an enabling environment. “Considering the standard of living, life expectancy and literacy, Kuwait ranks 31st in the Human Development Index (HDI),” said Ganesh, referring to the 2009 Human Development Report. (The HDI represents a composite measure of three dimensions of human development: living a healthy life, measured by life expectancy; education, measured by adult literacy and gross education, and standard of living, measured by purchasing power). The first three countries in terms of HDI are Norway, Australia and Iceland respectively, while Cyprus, Qatar, Portugal and UAE come after Kuwait on the list. Ninety-seven percent of Kuwaiti families

live in accommodation with improved sanitation, while Kuwait has lowered its child mortality levels and improved its maternal health statistics compared to many countries and, more importantly, eradicated poverty among its citizens. Quoting United Nation’s Household Income and Expenditure Survey released a couple of years ago, Ganesh pointed out that

A former UN official looks back on Kuwait’s rapid changes in Kuwait the average daily per capita expenditure amounted to $11.80. “This postulates something important for Kuwait: the country has eradicated poverty and now may have to fight obesity. Spending outpacing income can create havoc, as with any economy”. “Among the far-reaching and incredible changes that Kuwait has witnessed, women’s empowerment could be seen as being of special significance. Giving Kuwaiti women the vote is a major step forward, a fact that Hillary Clinton mentioned in her recent article on women’s progress” he continued. Challenges: The other side of the coin Ganesh was not wholly buoyant, however. “There are challenges”, he admitted. “Reading from references, I understand that Kuwait still faces challenges in achieving goals in areas like gender equality especially in the political arena. Environmentally speaking, one could say that Kuwait’s economic reliance on oil causes a challenge on the environmental sustainability front, as I’ve learned from newspapers here and the UNDP literature. Ganesh turned radiant as Bayan’s tranquil twilight reflected on his stillyouthful face as he voiced hope at the scope of the gender and social development goal. “That is going to be virtuously exceptional,” he said, “Kuwaiti women are competent and one can only assume that within the next couple of years Kuwait will see its women playing roles that are unforeseen and unpredictable.”


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Friday, April 2, 2010

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Holding a mirror to society By Hussain Al-Qatari Three years after the success of his film ‘Paradoxes,’ Kuwaiti filmmaker Meqdad Al-Kout returns with his fourth short film entitled ‘Moustache’ (Shanab, in Arabic). The film will premiere at

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he film is a social commentary on Kuwaiti society’s norms and traditions. It portrays issues like discrimination between social classes as well as the prejudice people hold against each other for differing from them. Al-Kout spoke to the Friday Times about his inspiration to make this film, and how Al-Baqsami’s short story provided the perfect symbolism for him to tackle this issue. “Initially, I wanted to do something inspired by Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis. As someone who lives in Kuwait, I can relate to the absurd level of bureaucracy Kafka tackles as well as the discrimination based on apparent differences,” said Al-Kout. As he was trying to find a way to adapt this idea in a manner perfect for the Kuwaiti society, AlKout read a short story by Thurayya Al-Baqsami which uses the moustache metaphor. It was perfect and fit for the story Al-Kout wanted to tell in his film. “I find that theme of the moustache applies to our society,” he said.

filmmaking. “The submissions to film festivals from Kuwait are more than they were before,” he said, noting that many people are more aware of the importance of film as a form of art. The young filmmaker believes that people in Kuwait are ready to accept new and different films. “I can tell by my interaction with people that there is in fact some demand on what is new and not conventional,” he said, stressing that people here appreciate difference. Al-Kout’s previous three films discussed various issues that the Kuwaiti society faces. His first film, ‘The Beauty of Khaled’s Mind’ was produced in 2007. It tells the story of a man stuck in a troubling marriage. His second film, ‘Paradoxes,’ was the first regional success as it attracted the attention of media across the Middle East. It tells a number of stories of individuals in Kuwait in documentary style, tackling issues like religious extremism, oppression of laborers, and negligence of youth’s aspirations. His third film ‘Banana’ won the jury prize in the Gulf Film Festival last year. It tells the story of a young man who is emotionally disturbed and extremely obsessed with sex. ‘Banana’ generated a number of negative reviews for tackling the issue of temporary marriages, something allowed in the Shiite Muslim sect. Al-Kout admits that the people in Kuwait can easily be offended, and they misunderstand a lot of things and take them as personal attack on their beliefs. The film does not attack temporary marriages; rather it portrays a man who seeks this as a solution for his sexual obsession. The director plans to send his film to more festivals and film competitions not only regionally, but internationally. Speaking about his other future plans, he says he is developing a number of ideas for short films. “I would love to work on a feature film, but I feel that I am not ready just yet,” he said. Al-Kout is also working on a project for television that might be in production soon.

Filmmaker’s fourth project sheds new light on social differences

In love with cinema The filmmaker is an English Literature graduate from the Kuwait University. Much of his influences can be traced to his love for world cinema and his study of literature. “The experience of studying literature taught me quite a lot and opened my eyes to many things. It helped me think differently,” he said. Speaking about the current situation of filmmaking in Kuwait, Al-Kout said that despite the fact that films are being made, there is still no movie industry in the country. “There are only attempts by individuals passionate about film, and even though some of these attempts are excellent, there is no infrastructure yet,” he noted. What’s very difficult, says Al-Kout, is that today’s filmmakers and enthusiasts must start from scratch as there isn’t anything to build upon. “There is, however, a notable difference,” he said. On a bigger scale, Al-Kout sees that a lot of people in Kuwait are more aware of

the Gulf Film Competition this month in Dubai. Inspired by a short story written be renowned Kuwaiti artist Thurayya AlBaqsami, the film tells the story of a man who is unable to grow a mustache during a period of time when growing a mustache is considered a symbol of manhood and masculinity.


Rich man, poor man, beggar-man, thief

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Friday, april 2, 2010

By Nawara Fattahova

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large crowd of weeping women are dressed in abayas. There is a sentiment of sadness in the air. Amidst the mourning flock of women, resurfaces a preying middle-aged she-beggar. The woman convincingly reaches out her hand for a few dinars. The women consumed with grief quickly start rummaging through their wallets. Some shoo the lady off saying that they do not carry cash. Instead of a response, the beggar woman takes out a K-Net card and asks for a generous donation via the handy tool. Even if you are not rich, Kuwaitis give zakat (alms) to the poor. So, many feel obliged to give a few dinars to the expat woman who is in need. This is exactly what the beggar woman relies on: Compassion. Though illegal, begging is still prevalent in Kuwait. Earlier, beggars used to corner their prey near mosques, shopping malls, or co-operative societies. Today, they are everywhere and use more sophisticated ways to pinch people’s wallets. The woman beggar armed with a K-Net was seen not just at one funeral. She was spotted more than once at places of mourning. She, witnesses said, demands zakat through the handy device, provided that the prospective kind-hearted individual is not carrying cash. Sometimes, witnesses say, K-Net beggars request as much as KD 50 and more, mind you. The attendees at the funeral are sad and empathize with the family for their loss. Many women simply pay as an act of goodness in honor of the deceased. In return, the beggar promises to pray for the dead for a certain period of time. Often, women feel ashamed of not being able to donate any money, so they fork out cash. Many women beggars are impudent and they don’t feel ashamed of ambushing their prey during the most unexpected times and places. Some rent babies per day to tug at heart strings. Others relate stories of sadness and desperation that would make any heart open up and give in cash. The actions of some beggars border on theft. One family was robbed by a beggar during daytime. Umm Hamad, a friend of the victim explained that a woman beggar once entered the house of her friend at noon expecting it to be empty. “When she rang the bell, the maid who opened the door let her in, as she didn’t recognize if this woman was from the relatives or friends’ side of the owner’s family,” she said. She explained that the only one present in the house at the time was the grandmother and the visitor engaged her in a conversation. “After the maid went to do her

work, the beggar woman put some drug into the grandmother’s drink and the old lady went into a coma. The unknown woman then stole the gold from the old lady and ran away,” Umm Hamad said.

The repeat beggar Other beggars are regulars and as such are known to most people. “There is a woman beggar who comes to my house at the beginning of each month. She would recite prayers for me. Then we got used to her, and now we only find her during the start of the month, extending her hand waiting for alms; without even saying a word,” said Mariam a 35year-old Kuwaiti. Hospitals are other places favored by beggars. They flock to the private ones as the people visiting these hospitals are expected to be wealthy. A woman complained of two women beggars attacking her outside a private hospital in Salmiya. “When they attacked me, demanding money, I didn’t respond. I then complained to the management of the hospital who told me that they already called the police many times. But, when the police came they escaped. The two beggars were waiting on my way out of the hospital and followed all the way to my car. When I didn’t respond, they started knocking on the windows and I had to wait till they left,” stated Hana, a 28-year-old Lebanese national. The male beggar Male beggars prefer to spot different places to beg and use different techniques for begging. Some go to the mosque, especially during Friday prayers. They relay their sad stories and seek financial help. Other beggars jump in front of the cars saying they are hungry and need money for food. Another male beggar pretends to be sick and on the verge of death, asking for money so that he could go back home in order to die in peace. He managed to collect money from many people, until the same woman who had given him money earlier recognized the same person with his fake story. The beggars are seen in farflung areas. “We could not enjoy our camping in the desert, as beggars would reach us even in the middle of the desert. One man approached us, saying that he needs money to pay blood money ‘Diyya’ for his brother who had accidentally killed someone. Then, he also said that his father is imprisoned and needs money to let him out. He repeated it four or five times. This is really annoying,” highlighted Salah, a 30-year-old Kuwaiti. Other men prefer to beg after disguising themselves as women by playing on sentiments. After the abaya-clad man collects a decent amount of money, he takes it off and sits in his new car.


Friday, April 2, 2010

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Kuwait court jails journalist Al-Jassem says he will ‘challenge the ruling’ KUWAIT: A court yesterday sentenced a leading Kuwaiti journalist to six months in jail and a 17,500-dollar fine for allegedly slandering the prime minister, pending an appeal. The lower court, however, told Mohammed Abdulqader Al-Jassem to pay KD 5,000 to have the prison term suspended until the case has been heard by the court of appeals. Jassem said he will “challenge the ruling” before the appeals court, insisting on his innocence.

“This is just an initial verdict and I will appeal against it. I am confident that I have not violated the law in what I have said,” said Jassem, who is also a prominent lawyer. Jassem was charged with making offensive remarks against Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammed Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, a nephew of the Amir and senior member of the ruling AlSabah family, at a small public gathering in October. He allegedly criticized the premier’s

management of the oil-rich Gulf state and called on him to quit. Jassem said he is facing five similar lawsuits for criticizing the prime minister, three of them filed by the premier himself and two others filed by the information ministry. The journalist was arrested in November in connection with the case and detained for 12 days after refusing to pay a 3,500-dollar bail, arguing the procedures were illegal. — AFP

KUWAIT: Fire officials attempt to douse the fire which broke out at a stationery store at the Dasman Complex in Sharq. No casualties were reported.

Fire at Dasman complex By Hanan Al -S aadoun KUWAIT: A fire broke out at the ground floor stationery store at the Dasman Complex, Sharq over the weekend, officials said. Firemen from Al-Hilal and

the Kuwait City centers were dispatched to the scene. According to officials, the fire was spreading fast and the place was filled with smoke due to the nature of the merchandise that included papers, plastic material and paints. The whole complex

was evacuated as the smoke spread through the air-conditioning ducts. The blaze was brought under control and the building had to be ventilated in order to rid it of smoke. No casualties were reported.

Kuwaiti delegation visits NATO academy ROME: Relations between Kuwait and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have been significantly expanded incorporating intellectual and academic dimensions, a visiting Kuwaiti official said yesterday. Sheikh Thamer Al-Ali Sabah AlSalem Al-Sabah, Deputy Chief of the Kuwaiti National Security Apparatus, said in a statement to KUNA the co-operation with NATO expanded at the level of intellectual, strategic and academic levels, after being restricted to military, security and political domains. The senior Kuwaiti official is visiting the NATO Defense College, accompanied by a

delegation of ranking security officials and diplomats. Sheikh Thamer indicated in the statement that the visit, followup of a recent visit to Kuwait by senior personnel of the academy, was for exchange of experience. He thanked Lt Gen Wolf-Dieter Loeser, the head of the college, for the warm hospitality and the facilities given to the Kuwaiti delegation that included personnel from national military, diplomatic institutions, the ministries of defense, interior, foreign affairs and the National Guards. The personnel, during the two-day visit, examined curricula of the academy. — KUNA

crimes Asian woman raped in Salwa KUWAIT: An Asian woman filed a complaint stating that a man had kidnapped her. He took her to his apartment in Salwa where he raped her, officials told Al-Rai. According to case papers, the woman was trying to hire a taxi to Fintas, when a driver who passed by halted his car and offered her a lift. She added that the man, changed course and parked his car outside his place of residence and forced her into the apartment. He coerced her into undressing and raped her before ‘kicking her out.’ The woman immediately approached the police and filed a complaint against her. Thief apprehended Jahra night patrol forces recently arrested a nonKuwaiti national in connection with stealing copper wires, power generators and other electrical hardware, read a statement issued by Ministry Of Interior’s Security Media. It pointed out that a night patrol vehicle noticed the suspicious activities of the driver of a vehicle and that upon accosting him, stolen items were found hidden in it. The suspect admitted to committing several other robberies. A case was filed and the suspect was referred to relevant authorities. Kuwait actor injured Young Kuwaiti actor, Bader Al-Shuwaibi sustained several bone fractures, injuries and bruises after being run over by a speeding vehicle while stepping out of the High Institute for Musical Arts, where he studies, officials told Al-Watan. He pointed out that Al-Shuwaibi was rushed to Mubarak hospital for treatment. Man sexually assaulted A young citizen who resides in Ferdous was kidnapped and sexually molested by an acquaintance. The man forcefully took the victim to a ranch in Kabed where a group of friends also took turns to sexually assault the young man, reported Al-Watan. According to the victim, who later on managed to flee from his kidnappers’ grip and informed his parents and police, the kidnappers took him to a Salmiya apartment where he was withheld for twenty days and repeatedly raped. A case was filed and further investigations are in progress. Drug addicts arrested Farwaniya detectives recently arrested two Saudi nationals and a bedoon while abusing drugs in a vehicle, officials told Al-Watan. Official insulted A high school director in Ardiya filed a complaint stating that he was insulted and assaulted by an angry parent, reported Al-Watan.

KUWAIT: Trainees are seen with Brigadier Hameed Habib Al-Sammak at the police leadership skills training course which came to a close yesterday at the Leaders Training Center.

Police leadership course concludes KUWAIT: Under auspices of the assistant undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior for Training and Education Affairs, Maj General Ahmed Al-Nawaf and with the attendance of Training Director Brigadier, Hameed Habib Al-Sammak, a Police Leadership Skills Training Course was concluded yesterday at the Leaders Training Center. The course, held from March 7 till yesterday, included programs on police group work commandment, administrative commandment, strategic security planning, problem analysis and decision-making.

MOI issues traffic rules

ROME: Sheikh Thamer Al-Ali Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah (left) receives a memento.

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KUWAIT: The security media department at the Ministry of Interior yesterday issued an appeal to all motorists not to stop their vehicles or slow down on main lanes along highways to watch accidents while driving past them. “This causes traffic congestion and motorists will be ticketed and fined for it”, said the statement which urged motorists not to park their cars on emergency lanes, to observe speed limits, not to drive through red traffic lights and not to overload their vehicles for their own safety.

Suicide attempt An Ethiopian housemaid was recently rushed to Farwaniya hospital after swallowing a toxic detergent. She is suspected of trying to end her life, officials told Al-Watan. Case papers indicate that members of her sponsor’s family had heard the maid groaning in pain while clutching her stomach. She was immediately admitted to the Intensive Care Unit and a suicide attempt case was filed. Domestic quarrel A citizen filed a complaint with the police stating that her husband had assaulted her and had thrown an ashtray at her, thereby inflicting serious injuries on her, officials told Al-Watan. The wife had rushed to a police station and filed a complaint against her husband. Dog missing A German expatriate lodged a complaint with the police stating that his dog was missing, officials told AlRai. According to the dog owner, he had taken it for a walk in Sulaibiya farm and had left it unattended for a while, and failed to find the animal. ‘It got lost’, he told the police. Wrong identification card In a comical incident, detectives recently arrested an individual in a drug-induced stupor. When they asked him to produce an ID, he presented them with a card belonging to another individual who was serving time at Kuwait Central Prison, the police told Al-Rai. The identification card was confiscated and the suspect was referred to relevant authorities.


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Kuwait’s Oil Minister attends Energy Forum Sheikh Ahmad meets British counterpart

KUALA LUMPUR: Kuwaiti Ambassador to Indonesia Nasser Al-Enizi (right) is seen with an Indonesian official during his visit. —KUNA

Kuwaiti diplomat to Indonesia discusses humanitarian aid KUALA LUMPUR: the entry Facilitating procedures before Kuwaiti humanitarian aid to Indonesia was discussed by the Kuwaiti Ambassador to Indonesia Nasser Al-Enizi and former Indonesian vice president and Director of Red Cross Society Mohammad Yufus Kalla. The diplomat said he met Kalla at his office, and expressed his appreciation for his efforts to ease release of Kuwaiti aid shipments at Indonesia ports and docks. He also hailed Kalla for taking part in the distribution

of aid himself in some affected areas, along with embassy staff and city officials. Aid supplies were sent for Sumatra Island following the recent devastating earthquake. Kalla praised the humanitarian role of Kuwait and its people, especially the Kuwaiti Red Crescent Society and its initiatives in Indonesia. Kalla also recalled Kuwaiti aid offered after the tsunami disaster, wishing for further co-operation with Kuwait in order to best serve those in need. —KUNA

in the news Intel introduces HPC at KU KUWAIT: In a bid to establish High Performance Computing (HPC) Center at Kuwait University (KU), Intel Corporation has placed a 16-Node Xeon Quad Core cluster for use by faculty members and students. The cluster by Intel will provide the university with a fast and powerful computing facility in support of KU research objectives, KU’s Vice Rector for Research Dr Fahad Al-Thaqeb said in a press release Wednesday. Hosted at KU’s IT Centre, the cluster will contribute to the competitiveness of the institution and its researchers, while also introducing the university to the benefits associated with HPC. “As a university we strive to be a leading institution in Kuwait and the region and, as such, we recognize the importance of having industry leading partners on board with us. We look forward to our researchers making the most of the new HPC system so we can look forward towards establishing a HPC center equipped with more powerful systems as their computational needs evolve,” AlThaqeb said. The cluster will be made available for use by a multitude of departments, which have applications that require systems to perform high computational workloads, he pointed out. “Technological innovation is rapid and it is vital that educational institutions are equipped to the highest standards of technology where possible.

Kuwait features Germany’s cultural sites KUWAIT: German Ambassador to Kuwait Dr Michael Worbes said Wednesday his country has a large number of unique and useful natural and cultural sites, 32 of which have been chosen by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. Worbes said in a speech at a ceremony organized by the German National Office for Tourism in Kuwait to review the tourist attractions in Germany, that 2,000 years of history of European culture have left their mark on Germany, saying that his country is a unique in the world in terms of features and heritage. The organization of the event came within the “German Week in Kuwait”, which included several events. It was opened by the German ambassador in addition to the Secretary of State for Europe and the federal German state of Bavaria Emilia Muller. For her part, Director of the Gulf region in the office of the German National Tourism Ante Rodding said the event comes within a series of initiatives launched by Germany, aimed to stimulate the tourism relations between the two countries and become acquainted with requirements of the Kuwaiti tourists.

CANCUN: Kuwait’s Oil Sheikh Ahmad Minister Abdullah Al-Sabah exited Cancun late Wednesday where he took part in the two-day 12th International Energy Forum (IEF) and Fourth International Energy Business Forum (IEBF) that kicked-off on March 30. Kuwait and Germany were cohosts of the Forum that was concluded earlier today. Kuwait will be hosting the 13th IEF and Fifth IEBF, due in 2012, with Algeria and the Netherlands as co-hosts. Over 65 countries took part in the 12th IEF and 37 companies in the 4th IEBF, including the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), in addition to 14 international organizations, such as the Secretary General of OPEC, the World Economic Forum (WEF), and the World Bank. The Kuwaiti Minister chaired the fourth and final session of the IEF, entitled “The Global Energy Dialogue: The Way Forward”, during which he delivered a speech that focused on strengthening the energy dialogue and enhancing the role of the IEF as a “neutral facilitator to create a solid shared ground for the future.” During the session, the ministers commented on how the institutional recommendations prepared by the Expanded High-Level Steering Group will help boost the producer-consumer energy dialogue. They were also invited to provide guidance to the IEF Secretariat on issues that need to be addressed with the objective of reporting findings to the 13th IEF in Kuwait. In his speech, the Kuwaiti Minister said that “a historic turning

CANCUN: Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah discusses bilateral issues with his British counterpart at the two-day 12th International Energy Forum (IEF) and Fourth International Energy Business Forum (IEBF). —KUNA point had been achieved” with the approval of the Cancun Ministerial Declaration,” which was approved by 66 countries. Kuwait’s Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah Al-Sabah has met on the sidelines of the 12th International Energy Forum here with the British Minister for Energy and Climate Change Lord Phil Hunt during which they discussed the bilateral relations. Following the meeting, Sheikh Ahmad said that his talks with the British minister were “transparent” and that the level of the trade between Kuwait and the UK was “praised” not only in the oil field but on all levels. “We also thanked them for the support they offer the Kuwait Investment Office” there and that we aspire for further facilitations from the British government,” the Minister added. “There will be further cooperation not in the

oil field but in other domains such as in the education and trade fields” Sheikh Ahmad noted. For his part, the British Minister said in similar remarks that “we had a very good interesting and constructive meeting.” He affirmed that the UK and Kuwait have a “very strong relationship and we are very committed to having a very good dialogue between the producers and consumers of oil.” He stressed that this is “very important to get stability in prices and to get stability in prices is the best way to see the world moving out of recession into growth and to long term investment in the energy sector.” “Kuwait is taking on the chairmanship of the IEF for the next two years; this is a very important role and we are delighted that Kuwait is taking on this leadership role,” he remarked. The British Minister

indicated that they discussed “the work that needs to be done for the next two years and I was very encouraged by the determination of Kuwait to do everything they can to make it a success.” He indicated that the UK has “offered all the support it could give.” Meanwhile, Sheikh Ahmad indicated that early in the day it was expected that 60 countries will approve the Ministerial Declaration but then 66 countries actually approved it which reflects the “credibility and importance of this alliance between the energy consumers and producers.” He believes that there is a “greater challenge in the future over the method to translate all these challenges into actions.” He added that after two years this conference will be held in Kuwait in 2012 which is “an honor for us but at the same time there is a challenge.” —KUNA

Kuwait pledges additional $10m to reconstruct Haiti UNITED NATIONS: Kuwait pledged Wednesday additional voluntary contribution of $10 million through the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) to participate in the process of rebuilding and reconstruction of Haiti. The initiative was part of support of efforts of the international community and the belief of the need to stand by countries affected by natural disasters. The pledge came in a statement by the Permanent representative of Kuwait to the United Nations, Ambassador Mansour AlOtaibi at the donor conference for a new future for Haiti, which was called for by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon and the United States in coordination with the Government of Haiti.

Ambassador Al-Otaibi said he was pleased to announce an additional voluntary $10 million to assist efforts to reconstruct the quake-stricken Haiti, stemming out from “Kuwait’s continuing firm approach to stand by countries affected by natural disasters.” He added that this amount will be allocated for financing of infrastructure projects and will be presented by the KFAED and coordination with the Government of the friendly Republic of Haiti. AlOtaibi said that the State of Kuwait has, after the occurrence of the earthquake, made a voluntary donation of $3.5 million and assigned the Kuwait Red Crescent Society to secure and transport humanitarian aid to Haiti. He added that upon the decision of

the Kuwaiti Council of Ministers, 10 percent of this sum was allocated to the organizations and specialized international agencies operating in the humanitarian sphere, including the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Al-Otaibi thanked the UN Secretary-General for convening this “important meeting”, praising his continuing efforts to support and coordinate the activities of Humanitarian Affairs in the face of emergency situations, and to the progress that has been made in the speed of response of the United Nations to address humanitarian emergencies caused by various natural disasters. —KUNA


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Iraq’s Kurds want a voice in exchange for support Kurdish leaders, voters demanded real concessions on contentious issues SULAIMANIYAH: After years of what they consider allies following an election that has left the country’s unfulfilled promises, Iraq’s Kurds are hardening their future government unclear and the Kurds’ support more demands to wring out the best deal from prospective prized than ever. In interviews this week in their self-rule northern region, Kurdish leaders and voters demanded real concessions on contentious issues many feel have been left to wither under previous postwar governments, including that of longtime ally Nouri al-Maliki. Heading into the March 7 vote, a Kurdish alliance with alMaliki’s Shiite supporters was seen as the most logical choice. A shared resentment over perceived second-class treatment under Saddam Hussein’s Sunni-dominated rule helped seal that bond. But the results that thrust Ayad Allawi, a secular Shiite who relied on significant Sunni support, into the frontrunner’s spot have changed that dynamic. Many Kurds , who have been increasingly alienated from al-Maliki because of differences with ARBIL: In this photo taken Monday Barham Saleh, Kurdish regional the central government over Prime Minister talks with the Associated Press during an interview in oil contracts and other issues, say they are now Arbil, Iraq. — AP “On common issues, we’ll willing to shift alliances to government be put down lucrative deals in limbo. “These are the issues support them. But we won’t maintain a voice in Baghdad firmly in writing as a that affect the economic support them on points of despite the nationalist stance condition of their support. Gorran head “In previous alliances, the realities of Kurdish society,” dispute,” of many Allawi supporters. “We haven’t seen any Kurds have made the said Hiwa Mirza Saber, a Nosherwan Mustafa said in interview in his of making senior member of the an benefit from al-Maliki. He mistake hasn’t done anything for the agreements without signing Kurdistan Islamic Union. Sulaimaniyah home. While Iraqi people, let alone the any documents,” said Fadhil Kurdish leaders declined to Kurdish leaders say they are Kurds. Let’s try Allawi. At Mirany, a senior official from be more specific about their committed to remaining part least it’s a change,” said the Kurdistan Democratic demands as they play the of a federal Iraq, separatist Twan Mohammed, 35, a Party, which is allied with field by talking with all the sentiments remain high. mobile phone card salesman Talabani’s Patriotic Union of major vote-getting blocs in Portraits of Talabani and in Sulaimaniyah. The speed Kurdistan. “We won’t make heated jockeying to decide Kurdish regional President with which high-ranking the same mistake this time.” who will lead Iraq as US Massoud Barzani are the Iraq’s only leaders on display in officials from the leading High on the agenda, as troops leave. political hotel lobbies and market coalitions raced up to the always, is the resolution of fragmented three-province Kurdish long-standing disagreements landscape plays to the Kurds’ stalls in this rapidly although developing city, where a region in the days after the over disputed territory, advantage, election for a 325-member particularly the oil-rich city followers of anti-US cleric huge Kurdish, not Iraqi, flag parliament emphasizes just of Kirkuk, to Kurdish Muqtada al-Sadr also have dominates the downtown as key skyline. Much is at stake. how important the US -allied satisfaction. But that could emerged military prove more difficult after powerbrokers. No electoral American minority’s support will be. Allawi went to the Kurds split electoral control alliance came even close to a commanders have described majority, tensions between Kurds and Kurdish region at least twice, of Kirkuk’s Tamim province parliamentary and met with President Jalal with Allawi’s bloc after years making the support of the Arabs as the greatest threat Talabani, a Kurd, in Baghdad in the majority. Kurds say Kurds invaluable during to Iraq’s security as the US want the next efforts to cobble together a steps up troop withdrawals on Wednesday. Vice they government. this year. President Adel Abdul-Mahdi, government to abide by coalition Many Kurds are insisting a member of the Shiite-led Iraq’s young and largely Allawi’s Iraqiya bloc got the Iraqi National Alliance, untested constitution, which most seats, with 91, but that that they retain the federal traveled north as well, while includes provisions for a was just two more than al- presidency, a ceremonial but to settle Maliki’s State of Law still evolving role. Talabani al-Maliki appeared in a referendum The leading wants to return to the post chummy meeting before Kirkuk’s future along with coalition. complaints by Kurdish alliance, meanwhile, despite television cameras in other protections. of Allawi’s They are also demanding picked up 43 seats, while supporters Baghdad with Talabani. But Kurdish support won’t come greater clarity on the role of, smaller Kurdish parties winning coalition it ought to another 14 be in the hands of Iraq’s Arab cheap. “We must be very and more funding for, claimed majority. The current serious in terms of the regional security forces combined. Kurds are known for their president and his deputies commitments that will be known as the peshmerga, extracted from any future many of whom are former political unity in Baghdad. have veto power, but are government,” regional Prime militia members who fought While an upstart political expected to lose that once Minister Barham Saleh said Saddam and complain of party called Gorran , the new government is in an interview in his office in lower pay and fewer Change in English , has formed. “This is the window the regional capital Irbil. resources than their Iraqi broken the lock on power in history where they can held by the two traditional secure major concessions,” “Iraq cannot afford another army counterparts. Also still to be resolved is parties, its leader indicated Mustafa Alani, an Iraqi four years of political stagnation.” Some Kurdish the fate of oil and gas they would likely stick analyst at the Gulf Research officials are demanding that contracts Kurds have signed together on core demands on Center in the United Arab any agreements with would- without Baghdad’s approval. the national stage even as Emirates, said of the Kurds. be suitors in forming an The lack of a national oil law they disagree on local “Their support will come at a very high price.”— AP inclusive power-sharing has left the legality of those issues.

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Iran sees sanctions talk as empty threat TEHRAN: 0Iran said yesterday the talk of sanctions by world powers against the Islamic republic over its nuclear program is just an empty threat that has been ineffective against Tehran for the past 30 years. “The nuclear program of the Islamic republic is fully peaceful and the talk of sanctions is a threat that has been ineffective over the past 30 years,” foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said. World powers have stepped up pressure to impose a new round of UN sanctions on Iran for doggedly pursuing its controversial nuclear program which they suspect masks a weapons drive. Tehran has steadfastly denied these accusations and continued with its atomic work despite three sets of existing sanctions, saying Iran as a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty it has the right to nuclear technology. “We recommend that all countries accept the legal rights (of Iran) under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), instead of using wrong methods

such as sanctions and pressure,” Mehmanparast said, according to Mehr news agency. Efforts to impose fresh sanctions on Tehran have been stepped, with US President Barack Obama saying on Tuesday that the new measures could be levied within weeks. However, China, a key veto-wielding power at the UN Security Council, is still insisting on a peaceful solution to the crisis. China said yesterday it was working for a “peaceful resolution” of the Iranian nuclear standoff, as Tehran sent its top negotiator, Saeed Jalili, to Beijing for talks on the disputed atomic drive. “On the Iranian nuclear issue, China will continue to endeavour toward a peaceful resolution,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters. “We have always and will continue to push for a peaceful settlement of this issue,” Qin said, adding that the long-running crisis should be resolved by “diplomatic means”. Jalili arrived in China yesterday for talks with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and other Chinese officials.— AFP

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s Druze leader Walid Jumblatt holds a press conference at his house in Beirut yesterday a day after his visit to Syria. Jumblatt held a reconciliation meeting with Syrian President Bashar AlAssad on March 31, on a fence-mending mission to Damascus. —AFP

Israel ends probe into Palestinian protester death JERUSALEM: Israel’s military says it will not file any charges in the death of a Palestinian protester last year. Thirty-oneyear-old Bassem Abu Rahmeh was killed when a tear gas canister fired by troops hit him in the chest during a protest last April against Israel’s West Bank separation barrier. The army claimed Abu Rahmen was in a group of people throwing rocks at troops. But video footage showed the protesters shouting at soldiers, not throwing anything. The Israeli military said yesterday it closed the investigation after determining the canister was not intentionally aimed at Abu Rahmeh. The death occurred near Bilin, a village that holds weekly protests against the barrier. Israel says the structure is for security. The Palestinians say it has seized chunks of the West Bank. —AP


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Yemen authorities deny prisoners escaped

30 activists bust out of Yemen prison after blast CAIRO: Egyptian senior Embryologist Abdelshahid Azer examines a sample at his laboratory in Cairo on March 24, 2010. —AFP

Egypt sex selection clinics engender controversy CAIRO: Some consider it medical progress, but baby gender selection in conservative Egypt has caused a stir among traditionalists who see it as an affront to ethics and have lashed out at clinics offering the service. Ashraf Sabry, a medical doctor, has defied social opposition and uses in vitro fertilization (IVF) technology to allow the sex of unborn babies to be chosen by their parents, many of whom yearn for a son. “Many patients already have girls and would like a child of the opposite sex,” Sabry said at his controversial clinic in Cairo, one of about 50 in Egypt that offer the treatment. Sometimes “families are desperate for a boy to carry the family name,” he said. In a country where over 40 percent of the population lives below the poverty line according to World Bank figures, gender selection is out of the reach of most Egyptians. The procedure costs between $4,000 to $5,000. “I am married and I am a mother to four girls,”

said one former patient, who like most Egyptian Muslim women dons the Islamic headscarf. “My husband and I met with Dr. Sabry and thanks to IVF we have a little boy who is now two years old,” she said, preferring not to be identified by name. The argument that the procedure will alter demographics has been rejected by some doctors. “We are not changing the balance of the sexes. It is still God that decides whether the procedure succeeds or not,” said Cairo gynaecologist Ehab Suleiman. The practice has divided Muslim scholars. A leading Egyptian cleric, who asked not to be named, denied it was even possible to choose the sex of a child, saying that only God could decide the foetus’s gender. A group of Egyptian MPs recently presented a draft bill to parliament aimed at managing IVF treatment and banning sex selection for convenience purposes. —AFP

Lebanon journalist named international press heroine VIENNA: A Lebanese journalist who was maimed in a car bomb attack five years ago vowed she would never be silenced after winning the International Press Institute’s award for heroism yesterday. The Vienna-based IPI said that May Chidiac’s bravery since losing one of her hands and one of her legs when a bomb went off under her car in September 2005 had been a source of inspiration for journalists around the world. “May Chidiac’s refusal as a journalist to bow to the threat of violence nearly cost her her life, but has won her admiration around the world for her courage and resilience,” IPI director David Dadge said in a statement. Chidiac, a journalist for the private LBC network who has been openly criticial of Syria’s influence in neighboring

Lebanon, said she herself was inspired by the work of colleagues who have lost their lives. “I will never regret speaking my mind,” she said. “I have to be the voice of those who are not here anymore. This is now my mission. Nothing will ever stop me from saying the truth and what should be said.” Chidiac returned to work in July 2006 after undergoing a series of operations in Paris to attach an artificial hand and leg in the wake of the attack on the northern outskirts of the Lebanese capital Beiruit. Lebanon was plagued by a series of assassinations and attempted assassinations between October 2004 and September 2005, notably the murder of former premier Rafiq Hariri in a massive February 14 bomb blast. —AFP

SAN’A: Yemen’s interior ministry yesterday denied a fleeing is completely false,” the ministry said in a police report that around 30 recently arrested prisoners statement of an earlier police report that sympathisers of had made a run for it after a bomb exploded outside a jail a southern secessionist movement had escaped from in the south of the country. “Information about prisoners outside prison. Police had said a dispute broke out at a police post next to the jail between policemen and sympathisers of the breakaway movement arrested for taking part in a protest in Daleh, 280 kilometres from Sanaa. The detained protesters hurled a bomb, according to police, who said two policemen and three demonstrators were wounded. They said about 30 of those just arrested managed to flee during the mayhem. Members of the movement for the independence of south Yemen told AFP the bomb was thrown by police, but the ministry statement said one of 20 arrested demonstrators DALEH, Yemen: Supproters of the movement for the independence of southern detonated a bomb he had been hiding, wounding six Yemen demonstrate in the southern city of Daleh yesterday. —AFP people. Elsewhere yesteday, police shot dead one protester and wounded five others in the nearby city of Radfan as they opened fire to disperse a demonstration led by southern separatists, according to the secessionists. KHARTOUM: Southern Sudan’s main Al-Bashir’s most serious challenger in the Witnesses said the political party withdrew its candidate from presidential race. demonstrators, some of whom were armed, carried the country’s upcoming presidential On Wednesday the United States, flags of the former South election and said it will not contest Norway and Britain expressed worry about Yemen. parliamentary and local polls in Darfur, a reports of restrictions on political freedoms, Pro-independence move that erodes the credibility of Sudan’s saying in a statement that all parties must protests have multiplied in first multiparty election in decades. The make sure peaceful and credible elections the south amid a worsening surprise announcement from the Sudan are held in April. The national and economic situation in Yemen People’s Liberation Movement comes as presidential elections are a crucial step in and charges of discrimination more than a dozen northern opposition the 2005 north-south peace deal that ended in favour of northerners. parties and independent candidates also a 21-year civil war and paves the way for a On March 27, policemen consider a boycott of the April 11 vote amid referendum when southerners would decide opened fire in Daleh on the concerns that alleged government control of whether they will opt for secession from the funeral procession for a the media and biased legislation make a fair Muslim-dominated north. Some 2 million Southern Movement member vote impossible. people died during the war. It is separate killed by police gunfire a The decision was made as the US envoy from the Darfur conflict which erupted in week earlier, wounding 28 to Sudan, Scott Gration, arrived in 2003 and has left 300,000 people dead. No mourners, the movement Khartoum late Wednesday. Gration was comprehensive peace deal has been reached said. The man was to have been meeting yesterday with political leaders in for Darfur. buried a week before but Khartoum for talks tied to the upcoming Al-Bashir has already obtusely snubbed authorities prevented his vote, US Embassy spokeswoman Judith his southern partner, warning that the body from being released Ravin said. SPLM party spokesman Yien much-coveted 2011 referendum for from hospital, as they wanted Matthew told state radio yesterday the southern Sudan is in danger if opposition the burial to take place at party’s presidential candidate, Yassir parties press for postponing the elections. night rather than daylight to Arman, will not run in the national race. The opposition has accused the avoid protests. Matthew also said the party will not contest president’s National Congress Party of South Yemen was parliamentary polls in the volatile region of using state resources, limiting their access independent from 1967 until Darfur, but stressed it will participate in to the media and controlling the 1990 when it united with the parliamentary and local elections in the rest independent National election commission, north. The south seceded in of Sudan’s regions. undermining their chances and the fairness 1994, sparking a short-lived SPLM leaders decided to pull out of the of the process. International observers and conflict that ended when the contest late Wednesday because of rights groups have said all signs point to a south was overrun by “numerous violations” committed by flawed process where the independent northern troops. In a President Omar al-Bashir’s ruling party and National Election Commission is unlikely to message to Arab leaders who “instability and state of emergency in deliver a free and fair process and on time. held a summit in Libya last week, former southern Darfur,” Matthew said. The SPLM is the The SPLM’s secretary general said president Ali Salam al-Baid junior partner in Al-Bashir’s governing Wednesday his party was considering called for outside intervention coalition, and the party’s boycott throws its boycotting the elections in the north to call “to stop the massacre of our relations with the president’s party into for free and fair elections, and in a show of people.” —Agencies jeopardy. However, Arman was considered support for the northern opposition. —AP

Sudan’s main party pulls out of elections


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Friday, April 2, 2010

Pope’s Holy Thursday Mass dedicated to priests VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict XVI urged priests to oppose violence as he led a ceremony dedicated to the priesthood yesterday, marking Holy Week with his church buffeted by clergy sex abuse scandals in Europe. “As priests, we are called in fellowship with Jesus Christ, to be men of peace, we are called to oppose violence and trust in the greater power of love,” Benedict said in his Holy Thursday homily in St. Peter’s Basilica. He made no mention of the scandals, as some thought he might do on a day the church pays tribute to its priests. Spread out before him, in white robes, was row after row of priests, who responded in chorus to his chants in Latin. A choir of men and boys intoned solemn hymns. The late morning Mass, the first of several appearances Benedict will make in the final days of Holy Week before

Easter, was described by the Vatican as a sign of strict union between the pontiff in his role of pastor of the world’s 1 billion Catholics and his fellow priests. In the evening, Benedict will wash the feet of 12 a traditional sign of priests, humility, at a Holy Thursday ceremony in St. John Lateran Basilica in Rome. Benedict began the morning Mass by sprinkling incense, in a purifying rite, around the central altar of St. Peter’s. Revelations of scandals involving pedophile priests have exploded across continental Europe this year, including when the pontiff was an archbishop in his native Germany. The myriad of reports come atop of years of allegations and court cases involving clergy abuse in schools and other church institutions in the United States, Ireland, Australia, Canada and elsewhere. Victims are demanding that the

pope take responsibility for what they say were decades of systematic cover-ups by church hierarchy of clergy abuse, including a widespread practice of transferring pedophile priests from one parish to another after allegations of rape or other sexual abuses were made. They also want him to say what he did or didn’t do while he was Munich archbishop and in the nearly two decades that he led the Vatican office dealing with sex abuse as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger during John Paul II’s papacy. In one court case in the United States, plaintiff lawyers are working to get Benedict to testify, despite his diplomatic status as head of sovereign Vatican City State. Church officials insist Benedict has cracked down on sex abuse both as pope and in his early tenure as a top Vatican cardinal. The pope in his foreign travels has met with sex abuse victims, and shortly

before becoming pope in 2005, he denounced “filth” in the priesthood. Venice’s patriarch, Cardinal Angelo Scola, praised Benedict for his work on clergy sex abuse and expressed solidarity with the pope, describing him as a victim of “deceitful accusations.” In his Holy Thursday homily, Scola told the faithful in the lagoon city that the pontiff “has and is doing so much to remove all ‘dirt’ from the whole company of the men of the church.” Bishops across Europe this Holy Week have appealed to their ranks to do more to battle sexual abuse by clergy, and Scola promised that Italian bishops will “multiply their efforts to prevent cases of pedophilia.” But, he added, the church cannot undergo “strategies of generalized discreditation.” In his homily Thursday, Benedict said Christians “as good citizens” must “keep the law and do what is just

and good,” while not accepting “a wrong that is enshrined in law.” Benedict mentioned no specific laws. But in Washington, a compromise aimed at preventing federal taxpayer money from paying for abortions prompted several antiabortion Democrats to back President Barack Obama’s landmark health care bill. The U.S. Catholic bishops’ conference expressed skepticism about the measure, however, and abortion foes contend the separation of funds is just an accounting gimmick. In Italy, pro-Vatican politicians backed by Catholic bishops lobbied successfully so that a new law approving the use of the abortion pill RU-486 requires woman to be hospitalized when taking it. The Vatican has warned that doctors who prescribe the pill and women who use it could be excommunicated. —AP

Attacks refocus attention on violence

Medvedev promises ‘crueler’ measures MAKHACHKALA: President Dmitry Medvedev made a surprise visit yesterday to the violence-wracked southern province of Dagestan, telling police and security forces to use tougher, “more cruel” measures to

fight the “scum” responsible for terrorist attacks. In his dress, a black T-shirt under a black suit coat, and rough language, Medvedev was following the lead of Russia’s powerful prime minister, Vladimir Putin.

DAGESTAN: Investigators stand at a site of an explosion in Kizlyar, a town in southern Russian region of Dagestan Wednesday. —AP

Uganda govt says it will compensate rebel victims KAMPALA: More than 5,000 people whose lips and ears were cut off by rebels who have waged a more than 20-year insurgency in northern Uganda will receive compensation from the government, a presidential adviser said yesterday. Victims of the Lord’s Resistance Army already have begun signing up with the government, Richard Todwong told The Associated Press. “So far 5,000 have been registered but we expect many more,” Todwong said. “Some of

those reporting for registration have wounds that have not yet got completely healed. We send such people to hospitals for treatment.” Todwong could not specify when compensation payments would start being distributed, but said that funds are now available. The Lord’s Resistance Army has been waging one of Africa’s longest and most brutal rebellions, and its leaders are the subject of an International Criminal Court arrest warrant. The rebels are accused of cutting

off people’s lips and ears as warnings to other survivors. Human rights groups say the rebels also have attacked civilians in Congo, Central African Republic and Sudan. Human Rights Watch said in a report over the weekend that the Lord’s Resistance Army rampaged through at least 10 villages in Congo late last year, hacking people to death with machetes. The report said children abducted by the rebels were even forced to execute other children. —AP

Twin suicide bombings this week in Moscow, which Islamic militants from the North Caucasus claim to have carried out, has refocused attention on the violence that for years has been confined to the predominantl Muslim republics in Russia’s southern corner. An explosion killed two suspected militants and wounded a third in Dagestan near the border with Chechnya. Police said the men may have been transporting a makeshift bomb. The day before, two suicide bombings in Dagestan killed 12 people, including nine policemen, a frequent target of attacks because they represent Russian authority. The suicide bombings on the Moscow subway killed 39 people on Monday and have left nearly 90 hospitalized. Federal Security Service director Alexander Bortnikov said the organizers of the Moscow attacks have been identified as “bandits” from the Northern Caucasus, and some have been detained. “We know the personalities of organizers,” he said in televised remarks. “We have detained a number of people, conducted interrogations, got evidence.” Medvedev said much more needed to be done to stop the attacks. “The measures to fight terrorism should be expanded, they should be more effective, more harsh, more cruel,” he said during a televised meeting with local officials. —AP

VATICAN: Pope Benedict XVI blows inside an amphora containing holy oil during a Chrism Mass, in St Peter’s Basilica, at the Vatican yesterday. —AP

Nigerian Total employee kidnapped in Niger Delta LAGOS: Gunmen kidnapped a Nigerian working for French oil giant Total after he left his home early Wednesday morning in the country’s oil-rich delta long beset by violence, a police spokeswoman said. The man’s kidnapping comes after a threat by the region’s main militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, to target the French firm. However, MEND denied taking part in the kidnapping. Police spokeswoman Rita Abbey told The Associated Press police did not immediately know who was responsible. Militants in the delta have targeted oil workers for kidnapping in the past during their campaign to bring more oil money to a region that suffered environmental damage and economic neglect over 50 years of production. However, criminal gangs increasingly target wealthy

Nigerians and politicians for kidnappings. Abbey said the man was kidnapped as he drove his car outside the city of Port Harcourt around 6:30 a.m. She said investigators continued to look for clues in the attack. “We have not had any contact from the kidnappers,” Abbey said. Militant groups in the Niger Delta have attacked pipelines, kidnapped petroleum company employees and fought government troops since January 2006. The attacks have increased global oil prices greatly in the past and could in the future, as Nigeria exported more than 1 million barrels of crude a day to America in December alone. President Umaru Yar’Adua negotiated a cease-fire with militants with a promise of more government oil money coming to the region. —AP


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Alleged neo-Nazis register for Peruvian elections LIMA: An organization led by a man who criticizes Jews and sometimes wears a Nazistyle brown-shirt uniform has been allowed to register for elections in Peru. The group’s new party is named the Autonomous National Christian Equality, forming the Spanish language acronym INCA, a reference to Peru’s pre-Hispanic culture. Its registration was made public Tuesday by the Legal Defense Institute, or IDL, a nongovernmental human

rights organization, and was confirmed on the election commission’s Web site. The group’s leader is Ricardo de Spirito Balbuena, 50, whom IDL has referred to as “the Adolf Hitler of Tacna,” the southern Peruvian region where his Front for the Defense against Interest and Usury is based. De Spirito’s writings on the group’s Web page contain repeated denunciations of Jews, accusing them of inventing the concept of

interest and denouncing their influence , along with that of Masons , on Peru. Peruvian law bans parties that promote or justify “the exclusion or persecution of individuals for whatever reason.” De Spirito denies he is a neo-Nazi, saying in a video linked to the Front’s Web site that the aim of his group is “to rescue the dignity of the people.” “Are you a Nazi or not?” an unseen reporter asks on the video. “Absolutely not,” he replies. “I am a

National Christian.” However, he and members have made appearances in uniforms eerily like the brown shirts of Hitler’s National Socialist Party, complete with red arm bands bearing a “Z” rather than a swastika. De Spirito said one tenet of the group’s doctrine resembles that of the Nazis: “The wealth of the people is supported by work, not money.” Peru will hold municipal and regional elections at the end of this year. — AP

Rare encounter came on the sidelines of the UN donor conference

US, Cuba hold meeting at UN, with Haiti focus NEW YORK: Cuban a nd US diploma ts held a rare meeting at the United Nations that focused on a id efforts for quake-hit Ha iti, Cuba n Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Pa rrilla sa id. The m eeting

TIJUANA: A seized statue of the folk saint Santa Muerte, or Death Saint, is displayed as a police officer and soldier stand behind during the presentation of suspects and seized items to the press in Tijuana, Mexico Wednesday. — AP

18 gunmen killed in attacks on Mexican army bases VILLAHERMOSA: Dozens of gunmen mounted rare and apparently coordinated attacks targeting two army garrisons in northern Mexico, touching off firefights that killed 18 attackers. The attempts to blockade soldiers inside their bases , part of seven near-simultaneous attacks across two northern states , appeared to mark a serious escalation in Mexico’s drug war, in which cartel gunmen attacked in unit-size forces armed with bulletproof vehicles, dozens of hand grenades and assault rifles. While drug gunmen frequently shoot at soldiers on patrol, they seldom target army bases, and even more rarely attack in the force displayed during the confrontations Tuesday in the border states of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon , areas that have seen a surge of bloodshed in recent months. The violence mainly involves a fight between the Gulf cartel and its former allies, the Zetas, a gang of hit men. The cartel , which has apparently formed an alliance with other cartels seeking to exterminate the Zetas , has been warning people in the region with a series of banners and e-mails that the conflict would get worse over the next two to three months. Gunmen staged seven separate attacks on the army, including three blockades, Gen. Edgar Luis Villegas said Wednesday. He called the attacks “desperate reactions by criminal gangs to the progress being made by federal authorities” against Mexico’s drug cartels. Villegas said gunmen parked trucks and SUVs outside a military base in the border city of Reynosa trying to block troops from leaving, sparking a gunbattle with soldiers. At the same time, gunmen blocked several streets leading to a garrison in the nearby border city of Matamoros. Another gang of armed men opened fire from several vehicles on soldiers guarding a federal highway in General Bravo, in Nuevo Leon state. Troops fought back, killing 18 gunmen, wounding two and detaining seven more suspects. One soldier suffered slight injuries. Soldiers also seized 54 rifles, 61 hand grenades, rocket-propelled grenades, eight homemade explosive devices and six

bulletproofed vehicles used by the attackers. Mexico’s northern states are under siege from the escalating violence involving drug gangs. The U.S. consulate in the northern city of Monterrey warned American citizens who may be traveling for Easter week about recent battles in the states of Nuevo Leon, Coahuila and Durango. The consulate said U.S. citizens traveling by road from Monterrey to Texas “should be especially vigilant.” One of the clashes between soldiers and gunmen killed two gunmen on the highway connecting Monterrey and Reynosa, which is across the border from McAllen, Texas. Less than two hours before that shootout, Nuevo Leon Gov. Rodrigo Medina had assured citizens that authorities regained control over the state’s highways. “I’ve found the highways calm. We ask that if citizens have plans to go out and enjoy these vacations, they should do so,” Medina said. Also on Wednesday, authorities in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco announced that the nephew of one of Mexico’s most-wanted drug gang leaders was captured together with a police chief accused of protecting a notorious cartel in a key port city. Federal police detained Roberto Rivero Arana, who identified himself as the nephew of reputed Zetas gang leader Heriberto Lazcano, the Attorney General’s Office said in a statement issued late Tuesday. He was arrest along with Daniel Perez, the acting police chief of Ciudad del Carmen, an oil hub in neighboring Campeche state. The statement alleged Perez received 200,000 pesos ($16,000) a month for protecting the Zetas. The arrests come as the Zetas are under pressure from a bloody turf war with their former ally, the Gulf cartel. Authorities blame that fight for contributing to a surge of violence in Mexico’s northeastern border states north of Tabasco and Campeche. Perez was acting chief pending a permanent appointment, Ciudad del Carmen Mayor Aracely Escalante said Wednesday. “He’s an agent who had been with the police force long before we took over the town government,” Escalante said. “We had given him our trust.” —AP

The encounter came on the sidelines of the UN donor conference for Haiti. “Some cooperative activities have taken place between Cuba and the United States, in the effort to provide emergency care” following the earthquake, the minister said, adding that similar actions in the future are expected “to take place on the ground.” The United States broke off diplomatic relations with the communist island in 1961, but US President Barack Obama has said he

Wednesda y between Rodriguez a nd Cheryl Mills, chief of sta ff to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, “focused on rebuilding the hea lth system of ” Haiti, he sa id in a statement.

would seak to ease tensions with adversaries like Cuba. In the days following the 7.0magnitude quake that struck Haiti on January 12, killing more than 220,000 people and leaving 1.3 million more homeless, Cuba offered rare cooperation with Washington by letting aid missions pass through its airspace and opening up its hospitals for victims. Over the last year, the US administration has lifted travel and money transfer restrictions on Cuban-

Americans with relatives in Cuba, although it has urged Havana to free political prisoners and improve political freedoms. Last week Obama slammed the government over political and human rights repression and called for an end to the “clenched fist” policy against the Cuban people. Some 50 international donors made a 9.9-billion-dollar pledge at the UN conference Wednesday in a bid to help Haiti recover from the devastating earthquake.— AFP

GUANTANAMO BAY US NAVAL BASE: In this photo, reviewed by the US military, Guantanamo detainees jog together inside a recreation area at Camp 6 high-security detention facility at Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base, Cuba Tuesday. — AP

Gitmo fate unclear despite Obama’s vow to close it GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE: : Immediately after taking office in January 2009, President Barack Obama directed the government to close the widely unpopular military prison at Guantanamo within a year. He called it a recruiting tool for terrorists. But the president has had trouble lining up help from other countries and even his own political party: Republicans and some Democrats have vehemently opposed moving terror suspects to US soil, citing security fears. Today fewer than 200 detainees are in custody at the US naval base in southeastern Cuba,

compared with about 780 who have been jailed within its razor-wire fences at some point. Some of those who remain have been cleared for release by Pentagon review panels, but have not been repatriated for fears they could be mistreated in their native countries. Others are considered among the highest-value terrorism suspects, such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the selfprofessed mastermind of the 9/11 attack. The tribunal system for prosecuting terrorism suspects, which Obama had put on hold for months, is expected to begin revving up this

summer with modifications. The next inmate scheduled for trial is Omar Khadr, a Canadian accused of killing an American solider with a grenade in Afghanistan when he was 15. The Obama administration has said it wants to hold the detainees in an Illinois prison, but Congress first has to both approve the money to buy the prison and change current law barring detainees from entering the country for anything other than trial. The president’s selfimposed deadline to close Guantanamo passed in January. US officials refuse to predict when the detention center will get a new date for closure.— AP


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Changing position on sanctions key to passing resolution

China won’t confirm it’s ready for Iran sanctions BEIJING : China yesterday would not confirm US reports that it had dropped its opposition to possible new UN sanctions against Iran, as Tehran’s top nuclear negotiator met with senior officials in Beijing. China has veto power in the UN Security

Council, and changing its position on sanctions would be key to passing a resolution against Iran, which is suspected of developing nuclear weapons. Tehran says its nuclear program is for peaceful power generation. Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang would not confirm reports that China was willing to consider new sanctions, saying only that it was “concerned about the current situation.” “We will strengthen communication with other parties and engage all parties to promote a proper resolution by diplomatic means,” he said at a regularly scheduled briefing, repeating Beijing’s longtime stance of opposing sanctions. The Iranian nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, met with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi yesterday. “Your visit this time is very important. We attach great importance to China’s relations with Iran,” Yang told Jalili before their formal meeting. Just after arriving in BEIJING: Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, left, shakes hands Beijing, Jalili told reporters, with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi before a meeting at Foreign “The relationship between Ministry in Beijing, China yesterday. —AP Iran and China is very important, and it is very important for our two countries to cooperate on all the issues.” China depends MANILA: Former Philippine upscale Manila home. the country and which he said on oil- and gas-rich Iran for leader Joseph Estrada may But while personal he could quickly fix, including 11 percent of its energy walk more with a shuffle than redemption is often cited by a decades-long Muslim needs and last year became a strut nowadays, but his political observers as a driving insurgency. Without any hint Tehran’s biggest trading movie-star moustache force in Estrada wanting to of irony, Estrada also partner, according to Iranian remains perfectly manicured. figures. China traditionally return to the presidency, he highlighted corruption as one His famous charm also still opposes sanctions. Although says it is about completing the of the most corrosive forces shines through when meeting it went along with three tasks he set out to do in his in the Philippines. When he the media, while portraying earlier UN sanctions truncated first term. “I was was convicted in 2007 himself as a defender of the resolutions against Iran, it not able to finish the programs following a six-year trial, a Southeast Asian nation’s poor has been a vocal opponent of I had intended for the greater special anti-graft court found masses is a role he continues a fourth round, insisting that good of the greatest people, him guilty of plundering tens to play with ease. further negotiations with and that is the poor,” he said. of millions of dollars during And so at age 72, Estrada Tehran were needed. Estrada then listed a his less than three years as says he is ready to once again But US officials say a myriad of problems plaguing president. — AFP become president. “I work so Chinese representative hard, morning to night. made a commitment in a Sometimes I work until 3 phone call Wednesday with o’clock in the morning,” officials of the US, Russia, Estrada told AFP in an hourChina, Britain, France and long interview this week as Germany to discuss the he prepared for a final bout of specifics of a potential SEOUL: A second day of bad weather and rough seas campaigning ahead of national Security Council resolution, yesterday prevented divers from resuming searches for 46 elections in May. Estrada is and that on that basis the US sailors missing since a mysterious blast blew apart their making an unlikely attempt would press ahead with an South Korean navy ship last week, officials said. The Joint for political resurrection after effort to pass such a Chiefs of Staff said more than 100 military divers were on his first stint at the measure. The officials standby to go down to the wreckage of the Cheonan, but presidency ended abruptly in cautioned that this does not would hold off due to rain, strong winds, rough waves and 2001 amid allegations of mean there is a full low visibility. Parts of the ship remain submerged in the corruption and mass street consensus yet on UN rough Yellow Sea near Baengnyeong Island, just south of rallies. sanctions. The officials spoke the two Koreas’ maritime border. A crane was expected to While he was on condition of anonymity arrive at the accident site later yesterday to prepare for subsequently jailed for because the diplomatic talks salvaging the vessel, Defense Ministry spokesman Won plunder and later pardoned, were ongoing. “China has Tae-jae told reporters. Officials have said the salvage effort Estrada remains adamant he agreed to sit down and begin could last a month. Authorities have said the cause of the was the innocent victim of a serious negotiations here in blast likely won’t be known until the ship is retrieved; they conspiracy led by corporate New York ... as a first step titans and the equally have suggested several scenarios, including that a North toward getting the entire UN influential Catholic church. Security Council on board Korean mine hit it. “These big businesses and with a tough sanctions Divers have managed to get down to the section where the church... conspired to regime against Iran,” Susan sailors are believed trapped but heard no signs of life inside, oust me unconstitutionally Rice, the American the Joint Chiefs of Staff said. They attempted to get into a and illegally because I did not ambassador to the UN , told door in the stern Tuesday but made little headway, Rear Adm. give in to their requests,” CNN. Qin confirmed that Lee Ki-sik said. A 53-year-old diver who lost consciousness Estrada said as he puffed on a China participated in the during a rescue attempt died Tuesday. — AP filtered cigarette at his conference call. — AP

Estrada fighting to finish business

Weather prevents dive searches for S Korea sailors

KARAI: In an Aug 24, 2009 file photo Muslim model Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, 32, waves farewell to her family and supporters as she is taken away by Islamic religious officers at her father’s home in Karai, 200 kilometers (124 miles) north of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. —AP

Malaysian ruler commutes caning sentence for woman KUALA LUMPUR: A Muslim woman’s caning sentence for drinking beer has been commuted unexpectedly, ending a high-profile case that raised questions about Islamic laws intruding into personal matters in Malaysia. “I have very mixed feelings. I was shocked because this was unexpected,” Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, a 33year-old mother of two, told reporters yesterday after receiving the reprieve. She received a letter Wednesday from the Pahang state Islamic department informing her that the state’s sultan had decided to spare her the caning and instead ordered her to do three weeks of community service. Kartika said she will start work at a children’s home on Friday. The order is likely to cool a fiery debate over whether Islamic laws are intruding into people’s private lives in the Muslimmajority country, which has long been seen as a model of a moderate and progressive Islamic society. Many people had condemned the punishment, saying it shows conservative Islamists are gaining influence over the justice system. Kartika was sentenced last July to six strokes of the cane after being caught by morality police at a beach restaurant while drinking beer, which is forbidden by Islamic laws. She pleaded guilty and did not appeal her sentence, but the punishment was halted at the last minute following an uproar in the media and among rights activists. The former model said she felt

“tortured” while waiting to be caned and now feels the punishment should have been carried out. “But I will follow the sultan’s orders,” she said, adding that she has already expressed regret for drinking. Three other Muslim women were caned this year for having sex out of wedlock, becoming the first Muslim women to be caned. Their cases did not draw as much attention because the caning was kept secret until after it was done. Subsequently, the women appeared before local media and said they deserved the punishment. It was not clear what prompted Sultan Ahmad Shah to commute the sentence, but he could have been influenced by the negative publicity that Malaysia received after the caning sentencing. The sultan is the guardian of Islam in the state and its titular head. Most of Malaysia’s 13 states are ruled by sultans who usually play a ceremonial role in governance but have the power to rule in Islamic matters. Officials had said the caning would have been very different from the corporal punishment administered to male criminals under secular laws. Drug offenders, kidnappers and others are caned with a thick rattan stick on bare buttocks, breaking the skin and leaving lifelong scars. Kartika’s punishment under Islamic laws would have been delivered with a thin cane on the back with her clothes on. — AP


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India begins world’s biggest head count

NEW DELHI: Indian President PratibhaPatil, second left, puts her signature after being enumerated for the national census, at the presidential palace in New Delhi, India yesterday. —AP

India enacts law promising children free education NEW DELHI: A law making primary education compulsory in India came into effect yesterday, opening the door for millions of impoverished children who have never made it to school because their parents could not afford the fees or because they were forced to work instead. The new law entitles all children between the ages of 6 and 14 to a free education, regardless of their social status, gender or income level. Some 8 million children , mostly girls , are currently out of school, according to the UN children’s agency. The law is expected to also help educate Dalit children, who as members of India’s lowest caste are treated as outcasts and are often barred from class. “Today, our government comes before you to redeem the pledge of giving all our children the right to elementary education,” India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in a televised national address. “This demonstrates our national commitment to the education of our children and to the future of India.” Under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, passed by Parliament in August 2009, all costs that prevent a child from attending school will be paid by the government, which will also be responsible for enrolling children and ensuring attendance, a government statement said. Private schools must also reserve a quarter of their seats for children

from poor and d i s a d v a n t a g e d backgrounds, something elite private schools unsuccessfully challenged. Among those welcoming the law were human rights groups and UNICEF, the UN children’s agency. “Tens of millions of children will benefit from this initiative ensuring quality education with equity,” said Karin Hulshof, UNICEF Representative in India. Still, there are significant obstacles to adding millions of children to enrollment lists in this nation of 1.2 billion. Resistance to the law is likely in deeply conservative regions where families hesitate to send their daughters to school, especially when they are likely to interact with male students. Government-run schools in India are often dilapidated, lacking adequate equipment and trained teachers. The new law is expected to cost the government over $35 billion over the next five years, with most of the expense to be borne by the governments in each of India’s 28 states and the federal government. The law also requires all government teachers to follow new educational standards within the next five years, and all schools to ensure they meet certain basic guidelines within three years. The law also bans children from being denied admission to a school due to lack of documents like birth certificates, a frequent impediment for poor families. —AP

NEW DELHI: India began counting its billion-plus population yesterday, with 2.5 million census-takers fanning out across the country to photograph and fingerprint citizens for a new a database that will be used to issue its first national identity cards. President Pratibha Patil joined the start of the 11month exercise at her pink sandstone palace, which became the first household to be listed in the first phase of the census known as “houselisting.” Over the next six months, census-takers, or “enumerators,” will travel across more than 630,000 villages and over 5,000 cities in the country to visit every structure that serves as a home to put together the national database. From skyscrapers to tin shanties, census-takers will note details such as the

availability of drinking water and electricity and the type of construction materials used for a comprehensive picture of housing in India. The censustakers also plan to include millions of homeless people who sleep on railway platforms, under bridges and in parks. “It is for the first time in human history that an attempt is being made to identify, count, enumerate and record and eventually issue an identity card to 1.2 billion people,” Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said. India conducts a national census every 10 years, but it does not have a system of national identity numbers or cards for its citizens. The collection of fingerprints and photographs will be linked with another massive exercise launched last year to assign a number to every Indian.

Census-takers are typically government officials, school teachers or other local officials go home-to-home who collecting data on the size of families, marital status, and work education information. For the first time, they will also count bank account holders and cell phone users. While China, the world’s most populous country, also counts its population, its census is carried out by various agencies, including Communist Party units, commune leaders and factory heads, unlike the single New Delhi-based Registrar and Census Commission that carries out India’s count. India’s census will face a special challenge from leftwing extremists active in 20 of the country’s 28 states who have stepped up a campaign of violent attacks on government officials. — AP

Attack forces thousands of civilians to flee

Pakistani troops kill 28 militants in northwest PARACHINAR: Pakistani troops stormed militant positions and helicopters destroyed vehicles carrying insurgents near the Afghan border yesterday, killing 28 suspected militants and forcing thousands of civilians to flee, officials said. The offensive in the Orakzai tribal region is aimed at flushing out Pakistani Taliban insurgents who had fled an army onslaught further south. Government official Sami Ullah said at least 18 militants died in clashes with troops in Orakzai. As a group of insurgents fled to the

neighboring Kurram region, helicopters hit three vehicles, killing 10 more militants and wounding some others, local military commander Lt. Col. Akbar Butt said. Orakzai is a major base for supporters of Hakimullah Mehsud, the Pakistani Taliban’s top commander, who is believed to have died in a January US missile strike near Afghanistan. The Taliban deny Mehsud is dead. The militants have been fleeing to Orakzai and other parts of the northwest to avoid the army’s offensive in the South Waziristan tribal region, long a Pakistani Taliban stronghold.

Tens of thousands of Orakzai residents have fled the area over the past few months as the military has launched airstrikes and other operations there. Over the past 10 days, at least 10,000 civilians have moved to a camp set up by the government in the Kohat area just outside the tribal belt, said Janzeb Khan, a government official. The government is providing food and other facilities to them, he said. Orakzai usually has a population of 450,000 and borders the tribal regions of Khyber and Kurram. —AP

DEA says Afghan opium seizures soar in 2009 KABUL: Opium seizures in Afghanistan soared 924 percent last year because of better cooperation between Afghan and international forces, the top US drug enforcement official said yesterday. The Taliban largely funds its insurgency by profits from the opium trade, making it a growing target of US and Afghan anti-insurgency operations. Afghanistan produces the raw opium used to make 90 percent of the world’s heroin. The US Drug Enforcement Administration now has 96 agents in the country who joined with Afghan counterparts and NATO forces in more than 80 combined operations last year, acting DEA administrator Michelle Leonhart said at a news conference in Kabul. “That is the success of bringing the elements, civil, military Afghan partners

SALANG PASS: Afghan President Hamid Karzai, center, walks along with First Vice President Muhammad Qasim Fahim, right, during his visit to an avalanche site in the Salang Pass, north of Kabul, Afghanistan Wednesday. —AP together,” Leonhart said. Leonhart did not give figures for total amounts of drugs seized but said the increase was 924 percent between 2008 and 2009. The United Nations reported 50 tons of

opium was seized in the first half of last year. International groups estimate that only about 2 percent of Afghanistan’s drug production was blocked from leaving the country in 2008

for markets in Central Asia and Europe. The booming drugs trade has hindered US and Afghan efforts to turn back the insurgency, especially in southern Afghanistan, the heartland of the Taliban and the center of the drug trade. A British soldier died in a roadside bomb explosion near the town of Babaji in Helmand province in the southern Taliban heartland, the British Ministry of Defense said. In a sign of President Hamid Karzai’s increasingly tetchy relations with key international allies, the Afghan leader yesterday accused UN and European Union officials of interfering in last year’s flawed presidential elections. Karzai was forced into a runoff after a UN backed commission threw out nearly a third of his ballots, but it was scrapped when the president’s main opponent dropped out. — AP


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Zain deal plays to StanChart’s emerging markets strengths MUMBAI: Nobody likes to lose-least of all investment bankers. “It’s a winner-takesall business,” said Prahlad Shantigram, who heads the team at Standard Chartered that helped Indian cellular firm Bharti Airtel clinch a big acquisition in Africa at its third attempt. Getting close doesn’t count, as Bharti and its bankers found out the hard way after twice failing to seal a tie-up with South Africa’s MTN before this week signing a $9 billion purchase of most of Kuwait firm Zain’s African operations. “Most deals tend to take about as much time as childbirth. In this case, it’s been like three births over two years,” said Shantigram, global head of M&A advisory at Standard Chartered, which has advised Bharti

throughout its efforts to become a major player in Africa’s big-potential telecoms market. For Shantigram, 44, the deal caps a relationship with Bharti and its billionaire chairman Sunil Mittal, that dates back to when the banker was at Merrill Lynch and helped the mobile carrier go public in 2002. For Standard Chartered, which was joined by Barclays in advising Bharti and is a relative newcomer to M&A, the deal plays to its strengths as a specialist lender in emerging markets, including India and Africa. In addition to advising Bharti, Standard Chartered led the $8.5 billion financing package for India’s mobile leader and committed the biggest single chunk of funding at $1.3 billion. The

loan was priced aggressively, at under 200 basis points above Libor. Barclays, also trying to build a fledgling M&A business, was the next biggest lender to the deal, pledging $900 million. Swiss bank UBS advised Zain. Standard Chartered is a niche player in M&A, a business it only entered in late 2003. Shantigram, for example, heads global M&A for the bank but is based in Mumbai, not at headquarters in London. The Bharti deal, the second-largest overseas acquisition by an Indian firm, pushes Standard Chartered up to 21st this year on the global M&A league tables, from 56th in 2009, according to Thomson Reuters data. Goldman Sachs topped the

global first quarter M&A league table, preliminary data show. Standard Chartered, which also advised Bharti on its recent acquisition of Warid Telecom in Bangladesh, has been building its investment banking operations in Asia, its biggest market, taking on more established players. It bought Cazenove Asia in 2008, beefing up its equity capital markets business in the region, and plans to begin equity underwriting later this year in India, joining a fiercely competitive marketplace. Shantigram, born and raised in Mumbai and a graduate of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabad in the western state of Gujarat, described his “day job” as running the bank’s

global M&A business. “My night job is really dealing with transactions as and when they come along, where I have a personal relationship or things of that sort,” he said in a phone interview. Firming up a deal with a target whose operations are spread over 15 African countries presented plenty of challenges. The Standard Chartered team for the Zain deal was about 9-strong, spread across India and Africa, most of them veterans from the MTN bids. “I think the simple lesson in Africa is: whatever other rules of M&A that might apply in the rest of the world don’t necessarily apply there, because it’s a whole different ballgame,” he said. Africa has become an increasingly frequent target

for expansion by overseas firms, especially from China and India. “A lot of recent Indian acquisitions have been into relatively more stable jurisdictions, be it Europe or even certain parts of Asia, that are a lot more well researched and well understood relative to some of these countries in Africa,” Shantigram said. A heavy travel schedule limits Shantigram’s outside interests to movies, reading and finding time to spend with his family. He noted the Zain deal puts Bharti into just 15 of Africa’s 53 countries. “It’s at best a stepping stone to much larger ambition, I would say,” he said. “I’m sure we will do a lot more with Bharti in Africa.” — Reuters

DIB rallies on dividend plan

Zain rises on dividend, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi fall DUBAI: Zain rallied yesterday after the telecoms operator proposed a cash dividend, but selling of other Kuwait bluechips condemned the country’s index to its largest decline for six weeks. Other Middle East

markets were mixed, with Oman, Dubai and Qatar edging higher, while Egypt climbed 0.9 percent ahead of a long weekend and Abu Dhabi made its biggest loss for 14 weeks.

Zain rose 1.5 percent, with the prospect of a 170-fils per share annual dividend outweighing its surprise fourth-quarter loss. The operator is also expected to make an extra payout from a $9 billion asset sale and is up 28 percent since the deal with Bharti Airtel was first announced. “If you look at the dividend from a cash yield point of view it’s amazing,” said a Kuwait trader who asked not to be named. “We don’t care about Q4, we care about the dividend - Zain will have a huge influx of cash and even though the fundamentals point

drop since Feb. 17. Dubai Islamic Bank climbed 4 percent after approving to pay a 15 percent cash dividend and 5 percent bonus shares instead of 20 percent cash as previously proposed. “From a cash flow prospective, this is a good result for the bank, which will need to conserve liquidity given rising provisions during 2009 and associated compression on earnings,” Ian Munro, MAC Capital head of research wrote in a note. Dubai’s index rose 0.9 percent, but is down 1.1 percent since hitting a 14week closing high on Sunday. “Any pullback in the market is a good buying opportunity and there is still upside potential - technically, Dubai’s resistance is at 1,880 and for Abu Dhabi it is 2,900,” said Chamel Fahmy, Beltone Financial regional senior sales trader. “After the euphoria from Dubai World, the market is now slowing down. It’s still only short-term traders in the market. Other investors are still waiting for more clarification about the domestic economy.” Abu Dhabi made its largest decline since Dec. 23 as Emirates Telecommunications Corp (Etisalat) went exdividend. The telecoms operator, the largest listed company in the UAE, fell 4.5 percent, while the index lost 1.7 percent.

to a Q4 loss, the situation is very different today.” Naser Al-Nafisi of Al Joman Centre for Economic Consultancy in Kuwait was less enthusiastic. “There’s no serious reason for the stock to make more gains - it’s time for profit taking and I see it falling next week,” he said. National Investments Co (NIC) fell 3.5 percent and is down 12.8 percent since hitting a five-month peak on March 24. The stock had surged ahead of Zain’s asset sale, with the Kharafi group the major shareholder in both NIC and Zain. Kuwait’s index fell 0.8 percent, its biggest

CALIFORNIA: In this photo taken Tuesday, March 30, 2010, Paul Davis, top left, and Edwin Pollock, top right, help job seekers with their resumes at a career fair put on by National Career Fairs in San Jose, Calif. Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell slightly last week as the recovering economy moves closer to generating more hiring. — AP

Aabar rose 2.6 percent after saying it may issue convertible bonds worth up to $2 billion. Egypt’s Ezz Steel jumped 6.3 percent to a six-month high on price rises. Orascom Telecom rose 1.1 percent despite losing an Algeria tax appeal. “Fund managers have already priced in that they are going to pay the tax,” said Teymour Derini from Naeem brokerage. THURSDAY’S HIGHLIGHTS DUBAI The index rose 0.9 percent to 1,860 points. ABU DHABI The benchmark fell 1.7 percent to 2,860 points. KUWAIT The measure dropped 0.8 percent to 7,475 points. QATAR The index rose 0.1 percent to 7,472 points. EGYPT The index rose 0.8 percent to 6,863 points. OMAN The benchmark rose 0.4 percent to 6,723 points. BAHRAIN The index dropped 0.3 percent to 1,542 points. —Reuters

TOKYO: A customer walks by a Mitsubishi Motors Corp.’s electric car i-MiEV displayed in front of a showroom of the Japanese automaker in Tokyo, Japan, as Japan’s first mass-market electric car went on sale yesterday. — AP

Kuwait’s Global wins arbitration KUWAIT: Global Investment House, Kuwait’s biggest investment bank, received two arbitration rulings in its favour yesterday, sending shares higher after the bourse lifted a trading halt on the stock. Global’s shares closed 3.6 percent higher. They were halted most of yesterday. The Kuwait Stock Exchange said in two statements Global won disputes against Al Madina for Finance and Investment Co and Kuwait City Holding Co. It said the arbitration center at the chamber of commerce and industry ordered Al Madina to pay Global $10.01 million in addition to $300,000 in compensation. Kuwait City Holding was ordered to pay 11.57 million dinars ($40.15 million) plus 400,000 dinars in compensation. The bourse statement did not provide details about the disputes. — Reuters


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Shanghai set to step onto world stage with Expo SHANGHAI: Shanghai will raise the curtain in a month on the biggest-ever World Expo-where China’s most cosmopolitan city hopes to stake a claim to being in the same league as London, Paris and New York. Army trucks and contractors buzz around the Expo site-which is more than twice the size of Monacocompleting pavilions where more than 190 countries will show off their best in the sixmonth extravaganza, which opens on May 1. For China, the World’s Fair is the latest showcase for its growing global clout after the 2008 Beijing Olympicsand Shanghai has planned an Expo on an unparalleled scale to show it can rival the world’s greatest cities. “What Shanghai stands to gain from the Expo cannot be measured simply in financial terms,” said vice-mayor Yang Xiong, who is also an Expo deputy director. “Expo will have a deep

SHANGHAI: A picture taken on March 12, 2010 shows a general view of the World Expo 2010 site where a structure of the expo boulevard (L) and the Chinese pavilion (R) rise in the background in Shanghai. — AFP influence on Shanghai and will have an impact on several generations.” The massive Expo site is 20 times the size of the area used for the last Expo in Zaragoza, Spain, two years ago. Officials initially said they aimed to attract 70 million visitors — 95 percent of them Chinese-to the World’s Fair, but as the opening draws

Reliance not renewing Iran crude import deal DUBAI NEW DELHI: Reliance Industries will not renew a contract to import crude oil from Iran for financial year 2010, two sources familiar with the supply deal said yesterday. India’s top privately run refiner did not purchase any Iranian crude in February and March, the sources said, in line with a trend that has seen its purchases from the Islamic republic shrink rapidly over the past year. It is not immediately clear why Reliance is not renewing its annual import deal with the world’s fifthlargest oil exporter, but sources said it could be due to a price disagreement when the refiner has easy access to competing grades. “Currently for 2010 as of now, we don’t have a term contract with Reliance,” said a National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) source who declined to be named on company policy. “It has nothing to do with the US,” he said, adding that the deal has not been renewed due to differences over pricing of Soroush and Nowruz crudes. While the 90,000100,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian crude Reliance bought last year made up only 8 percent of its overall purchases, and just 2.4 percent of Iran’s sales, the move underscores a drift in Asia away from crude sourced from Iran. Japan’s Iranian crude imports in 2010 are set to fall 11 percent on year to

the lowest in 17 years, sources say, also citing high prices for Iranian grades, while China’s purchases from Iran fell nearly 40 percent in the first two months of the year. Reliance did not respond to Reuters enquiries on the move and Iranian officials declined to comment on the record. In January, Reliance’s monthly crude imports from Iran fell 13 percent and shrank by a sharp 83 percent on a year ago. Reliance’s sophisticated complex at Jamnagar in western Gujarat state can refine 1.24 million bpd of crude as varied as light West African to heavy sour Middle East grades, allowing it to switch to whatever crude is cheapest. The acceptance among Asian refiners of Russia’s new ESPO blend crude offers Reliance another option. “It could be they are not happy with the general reluctance of NIOC to drop their prices especially with more attractive competing grades like Russia’s ESPO coming onto the market,” said an Asia-based trader. Crude from the East Siberian-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline is gaining favour among refiners in Asia due to its attractive price and quality versus the Gulf’s heavier sour grades. “Reliance has been importing mainly Soroush and Nowruz from Iran, this is very heavy and extremely sour,” a trader said. — AFP

closer, they have boosted that figure to 100 million. Shanghai has been given a face lift ahead of their arrival. In the past month alone, the iconic Bund waterfront has reopened with a new look recalling its 1930s heyday, a new gleaming domestic airport has begun operation and the subway has been dramatically expanded. “Shanghai completed the

next 20 years worth of infrastructure investments in advance this year because of Expo,” said Chen Xinkang, head of the Institute of World Expo Economy at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. Shanghai residents will be treated to an Expo preview from April 20, allowing officials to test the facilities before the official opening.

The city has declared April 30 to May 4 a holiday. A record 192 countries are participating and national pavilion teams are racingwiring, painting and setting up displays-to meet the deadline. Despite the seemingly chaotic construction, Yang said fewer than 10 percent of the pavilions would not be ready by May 1. “We will go all-out to reduce the number of pavilions that are unable to open on schedule,” he said. Australia’s 56-million-USdollar pavilion is 99 percent finished, said director Peter Sams. He said this Expo has special significance for Australia, as it does for many other countries, because it offers an opportunity to engage with people in the 21st century’s rising power. “China is extraordinarily important to Australia and has been for a very long time,” Sams said. “Helping

China have a successful Expo is a very important part of our bilateral relationship.” For the director of Japan’s pavilion, Norishi Ehara, Expo will open a new chapter in Sino-Japanese relations. Although Japan’s pop culture exports have long fascinated young Chinese, many also feel simmering anger over Japan’s World War II-era aggression. “Historical is historical... now we are going to create new relations. This is it,” he said, gesturing around him inside the 140-million-dollar pavilion, where violin-playing robots will serenade visitors. Other countries are bringing national treasures to woo the Chinese. Denmark has sent its Little Mermaid sculpture out of Copenhagen harbour for the first time, France is showing seven priceless artworks from Paris’ Musee d’Orsay and Italy will display two Renaissance paintings by Caravaggio. — AFP

Major manufacturers forecast a 49.3% jump in pre-tax earnings

Japan business confidence improves for fourth quarter TOKYO: Japanese business confidence has improved for a fourth straight quarter as the world’s number two

economy slowly recovers from its worst slump in decades, the Bank of Japan said yesterday.

Sentiment among major manufacturers rose to its highest level since September 2008, with a reading of minus 14 in March from a revised minus 25 in December, according to the bank’s Tankan survey of more than 11,000 firms. The closely watched index, which measures the percentage of firms that think business conditions are good minus those that believe they are bad, hit a record low of minus 58 in March last year. Analysts pointed to the export-led nature of the recovery as being key to the improving confidence level. “Sentiment among major manufacturers was strong because it’s an export-led recovery, supported by the US recovery and resilient growth in Asia,” said Norio Miyagawa, economist at Shinko Research Institute. Sentiment among big nonmanufacturers also improved to minus 14 in the latest survey, from minus 21 in December. However, the negative reading signals that “sentiment among mediumand small-sized companies, especially among nonmanufacturers, is still weak”, Miyagawa added. While most firms are still cautious about the economy, the survey showed companies expect a bounce in profits and plan to ease spending cuts on

after a revised 21.5 percent plunge last year. The Tankan survey is a key indicator guiding the BoJ’s formulation of monetary policy. The bank has held its benchmark interest rate at 0.1 percent since December 2008, the depths of the global financial crisis. But the corporate world’s upbeat assessment comes amid signs Japan’s recovery from a year-long recession

TOKYO: Newly recruited employees (R) of Japanese shoe cream maker Columbus, shakes hands with senior employees (L) during an entrance ceremony at the company’s headquarters in Tokyo yesterday. — AFP factories and equipment, boosting Japan’s prospects of sustainable growth. Large manufacturers plan to cut capital investment by 0.9 percent in the fiscal year that started yesterday, the BoJ reported, compared to a revised 30.0 percent slash the previous year. Major manufacturers meanwhile forecast a 49.3 percent jump in pre-tax earnings for the new year,

remains fragile, owing to enduring deflation and low domestic demand. The economy grew at a slower rate than previously thought in the fourth quarter of 2009, at just 0.9 percent, a government revision in March said. And factory output fell for the first time in 12 months in February while unemployment remained at 4.9 percent. — AFP


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Issue is the largest in the world

Dai-ichi Life shares rise 14% on IPO TOKYO: Shares in Japan’s Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. rose 14 percent yesterday on their Tokyo Stock

Exchange debut in the world’s biggest initial public offering for two years.

TOKYO: Japan’s Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. President Koichiro Watanabe poses for photographers during a ceremony marking the company’s debut on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s First Section yesterday in Tokyo. — AFP

Bafin probing UBS unit FRANKFURT: German financial markets watchdog Bafin is investigating a subsidiary of Swiss bank UBS that German officials suspect may have helped clients avoid paying taxes, Bafin and the bank said yesterday. “We are checking whether directives against money laundering are respected by UBS,” a Bafin spokesman told AFP. UBS confirmed in a statement that its German subsidiary was the target of a probe by the German watchdog, with which it was working in “close cooperation.” A UBS spokeswoman contacted by the German magazine Spiegel said Bafin had launched its probe following one by prosecutors in Frankfurt, western Germany, to determine if the Swiss bank systematically helped clients avoid taxes. UBS is carrying out an investigation of its own, the spokeswoman said. Bafin cannot sanction banks directly if it uncovers evidence of wrong-doing, but can order that remedial measures be taken. The affair was revealed when a UBS customer told Frankfurt prosecutors the bank had helped him set up a false address in Zurich to

defraud the German tax system. In March, prosecutors in Duesseldorf, western Germany, opened a separate investigation of some 1,100 Credit Suisse clients suspected of tax fraud, a probe that included bank workers. German tax authorities can expect to rake in more than one billion euros (1.35

billion dollars) from tax dodgers after buying a CD containing their names, a German tax union said Saturday. Relations between Germany and Switzerland have been strained by alleged tax fraud for several years, and they are currently negotiating terms of a treaty to avoid double imposition. — AFP

Sina says reassessing Google partnership BEIJING: Popular Chinese web portal Sina said yesterday it was reassessing its cooperation with Google following the US Internet giant’s decision to effectively shut down its China search engine. A spokeswoman for Sina told AFP a state media report which said the company was “re-evaluating cooperation with Google” was accurate, but declined to give further details. “No details have been finalised,” a spokeswoman for Sina, who refused to be named, told AFP. “Google actually owes all its business partners in China a response.” Google announced on March 22 that it was redirecting mainland Chinese users to an uncensored site in Hong Kong, making good on an earlier pledge not to go along with the Communist Party government’s censorship rules. Google’s decision to defy Beijing was based on what it called concerns over censorship and cyberattacks it said originated from China. Since then, several companies have dropped partnerships with Google after reportedly coming under political pressure to do so, highlighting the wider ramifications from its decision to scale back its China operations. — AFP

The country’s secondbiggest insurer traded at 160,000 yen (1,712 dollars) against an IPO price of 140,000 yen, giving it a market capitalisation of more than 17 billion dollars. The issue is the largest in the world since US financial services group Visa launched in March 2008, and the biggest in Japan since mobile operator NTT DoCoMo in 1998. The Tokyo-based previously a company, mutual corporation owned by its eight million customers, decided to list to secure funds for investment in domestic and overseas operations. Facing a declining home market due to Japan’s ageing and shrinking population, Dai-ichi is raising funds for expansion, including in emerging Asian markets such as India, Thailand and Vietnam. “We believe the regions of Asia and Oceania will grow rapidly in the life-insurance industry, faster than the rate of general economic growth,” the company’s newly-appointed president Koichiro Watanabe told a news conference. He added that expansion in China was also on the horizon and was “one of the most important countries to consider” in terms of generating growth for the company, which has set up an office in Shanghai. Given the size of the offering, the Tokyo Stock Exchange made the unusual move of not allowing trading until the afternoon session. Instead, purchase and sales orders were accepted between 8:00 am and 1:00 pm (2300 and 0400 GMT) and orders then executed in a single block to determine the share price, before trading was suspended for the rest of the day. About seven million shares were placed on the market while three million securities were distributed to existing policyholders. Because the company’s IPO price was seen as being undervalued, dealers had widely expected a strong debut for Dai-ichi’s shares, citing solid demand from domestic investors familiar with the its brand and franchises. Analysts said they expect the shares to hold their market value over the mid-term. — AFP

SINGAPORE: A Resident walks in a new housing development area yesterday in Singapore. Singapore real estate prices rose for a third consecutive quarter in the JanuaryMarch period despite government efforts to cool the hot property market. — AP

Singapore property prices jump in Q1 SINGAPORE: Singapore real estate prices rose for a third consecutive quarter in the January-March period despite government efforts to cool the hot property market. Private residential property prices rose 5.1 percent in the first quarter after jumping 7.4 percent in the fourth and 15.8 percent in the third, the Urban Redevelopment Authority said yesterday. Prices have bounced back strongly after diving 25 percent in the 12 months to mid-2009 as the city-state’s economy rebounds from last year’s recession. Singapore’s leaders voiced concern last quarter that home values may be soaring too far, too fast, and implemented a series of measures to discourage short-term speculative investing in property. The government in February imposed a 1 percent to 3 percent tax on residential properties sold within one year of purchase and lowered the loan-tovalue limit to 80 percent from 90 percent on loans for private housing. Officials have also pledged to release more government land this year for real estate development to help boost housing supply. Policymakers throughout Asia have grappled with balancing low interest rates to spur economic growth and the danger that cheap credit can fuel asset bubbles. Shanghai’s luxury property prices jumped 52 percent last year, Beijing soared 47 percent, and Hong Kong gained 41 percent, according to London-based property consultancy Knight Frank. “If you put interest rates on the floor like they are in Asia, that’s the kind of trouble

you’re going to get into,” said David Carbon, head of economic research at DBS bank in Singapore. “Property is so interest rate sensitive so you’re getting the obvious reaction.” Singapore’s low inflation rate — it was 0 percent last year — has helped banks keep loans attractive. UOB bank, for example, offers a 30-year mortgage with the first two years fixed at 1.88 percent and subsequent years at 3.75 percent. The government expects inflation to quicken to as much as 3 percent this year as the economy grows up to 6.5 percent. Analysts point to Singapore’s clean and safe streets, low personal and corporate taxes and a ruling People’s Action Party that has held power for the last 51 years as the foundation of a solid property market. Add to that the opening of the island’s first two casinoresorts this year and property prices could soar in coming years. “Real estate prices here should really be catching up with places like London at some point,” said Burkhard Varnholt, who helps manage $30 billion as chief investment officer for Swiss bank Sarasin. “Given the quality of life here, the business-friendly environment, the political stability — capital will continue to flow into Singapore.” By the end of last year, Singapore prime residential property was selling at $1,500 to $2,000 per square foot — the same as Manhattan but still well behind London’s $3,600 to $4,400 per square foot or the $2,000 to $2,500 per square foot in Hong Kong, Asia’s most expensive property market, according Knight Frank. — AP


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Commodities, banks lead FTSE up 0.7 percent LONDON: Britain’s top shares gained 0.7 percent by midday yesterday, as miners and energy stocks, backed by higher commodity prices, and risk sensitive banks led a broad-based rally ahead of the Easter break. By 1045 GMT the FTSE 100 was up 40.30 points at 5,719.94 after ending up 7.32 points, or 0.1 percent, on Wednesday, the final session of the first quarter. Trade was light approaching midday, with the blue-chip index having traded around 25 percent of its average 90-day volume. “We’ve seen some gentle but fairly broad-based strength this morning, with the resources sector leading the

market higher on the first day of the second quarter,” said Anthony Grech, market strategist at IG Index. Miners delivered the bulk of the gains with the sector buoyed by firmer metal prices, which spiked after two surveys showed a climb in orders from China’s vast manufacturing sector, pointing to brisk first-quarter GDP growth. Rio Tinto, Xstrata, Lonmin, Anglo American, Kazakhmys and BHP Billiton added 1.9 to 3.6 percent. “With trading volumes likely to wind down in the run-up to the Easter break, we may see the market amble, rather than sprint, towards the finish line this afternoon,” said

Grech, who pointed out that investors will be eyeing the US Challenger job-cut report later in the session, ahead of the non-farm payrolls today. Analysts forecast a 190,000 increase in US jobs in March after a fall of 36,000 in February, but investors will have to wait until Tuesday to see equity market reaction as equity markets are closed today and Monday. The FTSE 100 gained 6.1 percent in March, its strongest month since last August, and is up 4.9 percent this year after gaining 22 percent in 2009. It has gained in four consecutive quarters after

seeing five quarters of losses prior to that. As investor confidence grew over the outlook for the global economy, so did their appetite for perceived riskier assets, with energy and banking stocks supporting gains in the FTSE 100. BG Group, BP, Tullow Oil and Cairn Energy added 0.4 to 3.3 percent, with crude heading above $84 per barrel. Banks Barclays, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group all gained between 0.5 and 2.2 percent. Adding to the optimism, British banks expect to strongly increase

corporate lending and unsecured lending to households over the next three months, a Bank of England survey showed. British manufacturing activity grew last month at its fastest rate since October 1994, when the economy was also recovering from a deep recession, a survey of purchasing managers showed. On the downside, mobile phone heavyweight Vodafone shed some recent gains and was the biggest drag on the index, down 1.5 percent after regulator Ofcom proposed cutting the cost operators can charge each other to connect calls on their network. —Reuters

Labour says opposition plan is unaffordable

UK business chiefs back Conservative stand on tax LONDON: Bosses at some of Britain’s biggest companies have backed the opposition Conservatives’ plans to curb a planned payroll tax rise in the latest pre-election skirmish. Conservative leader David Cameron said the declaration was a

“very important moment” ahead of an election expected on May 6, while ruling Labour hit back that unfunded Conservative policies implied a 22-billion-pound ($33 billion) “credibility gap”.

LONDON: Small and medium business breakfast meeting Prime Minister Gordon Brown, 2nd right, addresses a group of business leaders at 10 Downing Street in London yesterday, as Business Secretary Lord Mandelson, 3rd right, listens. —AP

Buyout firms ready to pay more for deals LONDON: Private equity firms expect to pay higher prices for assets in competitive sectors such as healthcare, as they see a pick up in deal activity after a torrid year for the industry in 2009, a survey said yesterday. Prices for quality businesses have bounced back in the first quarter, prompting some to believe a “mini-bubble” is brewing as deal-hungry private equity firms race to deploy some $500 billion in so-called “dry powder”. Buyout firms were, on average, ready to pay 7.9 times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for a healthcare

business at the end of the first quarter, compared with 7.1 times three months earlier, the study by accountancy firm Grant Thornton found. “The swell of quality assets coming to market in recent weeks has increased private equity appetite,” said Mo Merali, head of private equity. Buyout firms were prepared to pay 6.4 times for companies in the industrial sector, 6.2 for business support and 7.7 for high technology at the end of March. Those are up from multiples of 4.7 for industrials, 5.8 for business support and 7.2 for high technology three months earlier. Recent deals, such as Cinven’s

purchase of diagnostics business Sebia, Triton’s buy of care homes provider Ambea and KKR’s takeover of retailer Pets at Home have showed private equity firms are willing to pay over 10 times EBITDA for what they see as top quality assets. “Deal activity is also driven by the fact that half of the private equity firms still need to invest more than 50 percent of their funds,” Merali said. The survey of more than 100 private equity executives found 80 percent expect to see an increase in the volume of new deals over the next year, up from 71 percent at the end of December. —Reuters

In a letter to the Daily Telegraph newspaper published yesterday, 23 senior business leaders, including nine heads of FTSE 100 companies, welcomed the Conservatives’ pledge, saying a rise in national insurance contributions would harm the economy. “The government’s proposal to increase national insurance, placing an additional tax on jobs, comes at exactly the wrong time in the economic cycle,” they said. “As taxpayers we would welcome more efficiency in government. As businessmen we know that stopping the national insurance rise will protect jobs and support the recovery.” Signatories of the letter include Justin King, head of British supermarket chain J Sainsbury, Paul Walsh, chief executive of beverage giant Diageo and Stelios HajiIoannou, founder of low-cost airline EasyJet. Cameron, who will become prime minister if the Conservatives win the election, did a round of morning interviews to trumpet news of the backing from business leaders. “I think it is a very important moment in the election campaign,” he told the BBC. “These household names people like Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Mothercare are saying that Labour’s plans to put up national insurance contributions are the biggest threat to the recovery.” Three senior Labour figures mounted a counter-attack at a press conference during which they accused the Conservatives of making promises they would not be able to afford if elected. —Reuters

PAJU: In this file photo taken Dec. 1, 2009, a visitor looks at old North Korean banknotes at a souvenir shop at the Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, near the border village of the Panmunjom, South Korea. North Korea’s private markets closed temporarily due to a delay in setting prices after a currency redenomination but the economy has stabilized and markets reopened, a senior economist said in a rare interview broadcast yesterday. —AP

North Korea says no chaos followed currency reform PYONGYANG: North Korea’s private markets closed temporarily due to a delay in setting prices after a currency redenomination but the economy has stabilized and markets reopened, a senior economist said in a rare interview broadcast yesterday. The researcher denied reports of social upheaval due to the abrupt change in December, which analysts saw as an effort to cool inflation and reassert the communist government’s control over a growing market economy. The measure reportedly sparked anger among many citizens stuck with piles of worthless bills. “In the early days immediately after the currency change, market prices were not fixed, so markets were closed for some days,” Ri Ki Song, a professor at the Institute of Economy at North Korea’s Academy of Social Sciences, told APTN. “But now all markets are open, and people are buying daily necessities in the markets.” Ri was provided by the North’s government in response to a request to talk to an official who could explain its economic situation. It is very

rare for North Korean officials to discuss such policies with foreign media. Impoverished yet nucleararmed North Korea has in recent years allowed some free markets for food and consumer items, while others not sanctioned by the state have also sprung up as the public copes with declining living standards and food shortages. “Outside Korea, many people have been talking loudly about problems that occurred during the change of currency in our country, but there wasn’t any of the social disorder that they have been talking about,” Ri said. “Now the situation is being stabilized overall, and the economy is functioning well, thanks to some of the measures that have been taken.” Ri insisted the government’s objective is to phase out markets completely and rely on a state-controlled network of outlets to supply its citizens. South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported last month that a North Korean official was executed by firing squad as punishment for the upheaval that surrounded the bungled currency redenomination. —AP


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Toyota brand sales up 50.7% in Japan on-year in March TOKYO: Japan sales of the Toyota Motor jumped 50.7 percent from the previous year in March, an industry group said yesterday, despite the carmaker being hit by mass global safety recalls this year. Toyota sold 204,514 vehicles last month compared with 135,700 a year earlier, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said, adding that sales of its luxury Lexus brand cars nearly tripled to 4,919 units. The March figure also improved on February’s

146,145 units. The rise is widely attributed to the fact that the March figure includes orders for the popular petrol-electric Prius hybrid that the carmaker received months in advance, before the recall crisis. Automakers around the world are seeing a rebound from last year’s lows caused by the global economic downturn of 2008-2009, with demand boosted by cost cuts and government stimulus measures. Mizuno Credit Advisory analyst Tatsuya Mizuno said damage to

Toyota over its recall crisis has peaked in Japan compared to Europe and the United States where president Akio Toyoda was called to testify before Congress. “The media covering Toyota took on a different tone in Japan. Some people still say there was Toyotabashing in the US. Toyota’s brand image has suffered in Japan to some extent, but not as much as overseas,” he said. The Japan figures do not include sales of subsidiaries Hino and Daihatsu Motors.

The firm was to release its US figures later yesterday. US chief Jim Lentz said Wednesday sales in Toyota’s biggest market likely rose to 35 percent after it offered deep discounts to lure clients and compete against rivals that jumped to grab a piece of Toyota’s market share. Toyota in early March launched aggressive incentive programmes including zero percent financing on recalled models, low lease rates and free offer for maintenance

customers. Ford is expected to see sales jump 55.5 percent during the same month compared to the previous year, and General Motors up 27 percent. Chrysler meanwhile is expected to see sales contract by 6.5 percent. The world’s largest automaker in terms of revenue, Toyota pulled some 8.5 million vehicles worldwide to fix problems with sticky gas pedals and unintended acceleration, which have been blamed for 58 deaths in the United

States. The iconic carmaker, long reputed for safety and reliability, is also facing scores of lawsuits in the US over its slow response to safety problems that are expected to burn a hole in the company’s finances. Toyota’s Japan figure was also in line with a recovery in the broader auto industry, which saw sales of new cars, trucks and buses increase 37.2 percent in March from a year earlier, helped by government subsidies and tax breaks. — AFP

US Midwest business activity expands less than expected

Data spurs unease about labor market’s recovery NEW YORK: US stocks fell on Wednesday as a report showing a surprising drop in private-sector employment Wall Street took a onetwo punch from ADP Employer Services data showing US private-sector employers unexpectedly cut jobs in March and a separate report that showed US Midwest business activity expanded less than expected last month.

The news was a setback for investors anxious for more evidence that the recovery is economic gaining strength and led investors to lock in profits in strong-performing sectors, such as consumer discretionary shares, which rose more than 10 percent

stoked concerns about the health of the labor market two days before the government’s key jobs data. for the quarter. The ADP report “is not a good sign. We want to see some job growth,” said Sasha Kostadinov, portfolio manager at Shaker Investments in Cleveland. “Friday’s jobs data is going to be a big number because people are starting to get

PITTSBURGH: US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner greets ATI CEO Pat Hassey (R), USX CEO John Surma (far-R), far right, and members of the United Steelworkers Union at its headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. — AFP

Music group EMI in dire straits LONDON: Struggling music group EMI faces being taken over by its bankers after failing to clinch a deal to sell the North American distribution rights for its artists to Universal Music Group or Sony Music. EMI, which has the Beatles, Coldplay, Lily Allen and Pink Floyd on its books, had hoped to raise around 200 million pounds ($304 million) by offering its rivals a five-year licensing

contract. A source close to both sets of talks, who requested anonymity because the discussions were private, said yesterday that they fell apart after a failure to agree on price. That leaves EMI, owned by private equity group Terra Firma Capital Partners Ltd., battling to raise 120 million pounds by mid-June to meet its commitments on loans from

US bank Citigroup. Terra Firma, led by British financier Guy Hands, bought EMI in 2007 for 4.2 billion pounds. Hands is suing Citigroup over the deal in New York, alleging that the bank falsely claimed there were other bidders, encouraging the private equity firm to raise its own offer. Citigroup has denied the allegations. EMI declined to comment yesterday. — AP

anxious to see some growth.” Even so, the benchmark S&P 500 racked up its fourth straight quarterly advance. Analysts expect the second quarter to get off on solid footing if the upcoming earnings season proves stronger than expected. The session’s laggards included this quarter’s best performers such as Boeing Co, which fell 1.3 percent on Wednesday to $72.61, and consumer discretionary stocks, with Home Depot off 1.04 percent at $32.35, and Macy’s Inc, down 1.6 percent at $21.77. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 50.79 points, or 0.47 percent, to close at 10,856.63. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index shed 3.84 points, or 0.33 percent, to 1,169.43. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 12.73 points, or 0.53 percent, to end at 2,397.96. Technology shares, which have also underpinned the market’s run-up, sold off as well. After the bell, Research In Motion shares fell 7.4 percent to $68.50 after the BlackBerry maker posted quarterly results that lagged expectations. The stock had ended at $73.97 on Nasdaq, down 1.3 percent ahead of the earnings report. The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index showed business activity in the US Midwest slipped to 58.8 in March- falling short of economists’ consensus forecast. Investors were looking to the ADP report for insight into the coming March non-farm payroll number, which will be released on Good Friday, when the US stock market will be closed. —Reuters

BEIJING: People walk past a Volvo S80L parked in Beijing yesterday. Chinese carmaker Zhejiang Geely Holding hopes to use its takeover of Volvo to crack China’s fastgrowing luxury car market and vault into global contention using the Swedish brand’s cutting-edge technology, analysts say. — AFP

Virgin Blue to buy up to 105 Boeing planes SYDNEY: Australia’s Virgin Blue budget airline said yesterday it had signed a deal with Boeing for up to 105 new 737 aircraft. It will be the biggest aircraft order for the airline, Australia’s second largest, with 50 firm orders for B737-800NG planes to be delivered from June 2011. Virgin Blue said it was also Boeing’s biggest order in the last 18 months. The short to mediumhaul planes will be used to replace the airline’s current fleet of narrow bodied aircraft and be deployed on new routes and allow for more flights. “Securing this agreement now places Virgin Blue in a strong position to prepare for steady future growth as domestic and short haul markets recover,” outgoing chief executive Brett Godfrey said in a statement. While he did not disclose financial details of the deal, Godfrey said the airline, part-owned by British tycoon Richard Branson, had taken

advantage of a downturn in the market to secure pricing better than 2001 levels and help lower the airline’s operating costs. “We expect to finalise our funding arrangements for these aircraft shortly,” he added. Asia’s budget airlines have managed to fly above the industry gloom afflicting traditional flag carriers, with at least 45 low-fare operations based across the region from Japan to Pakistan. Virgin Blue’s order is a big boost for Boeing as the company continues to fight for the skies with its arch rival, the European planemaker Airbus. US senators on Wednesday pressed President Barack Obama to protect US aerospace firms from Airbus, citing “illegal subsidies” to the European aircraft maker. In a letter to Obama, the eight lawmakers notably called for action “without delay” on a lucrative US military contract for a new fleet of aerial refuelling tankers that had sparked a bitter feud between the aerospace giants. — AFP


Business

Friday, April 2, 2010

Page 21

Visitors returning to US hotels Occupancy gains, but room rates remain at bargain levels

otel visitors appear to be coming back in Southern Californiaand few are more grateful than A J Patel, general manager and owner of the Best Western Lake View Inn & Suites in Lake Elsinore. As have hoteliers around the nation, Patel suffered grievously during the Great Recession. From November through January, occupancy fluttered between 20 and 30 percent, near-catastrophic for a hotel. In February, though, occupancy nudged near the 40 percent level, close to the break-even zone for the hotel, Patel said. And if the trend continues and Lake Elsinore can deliver on ambitious plans to build up its tourism district, Patel and the city’s other hoteliers may have real reason to cheer. Figures from PKF Consulting in Los Angeles give them reason for optimism. Los Angeles-based PKF said its January figures showed occupancy at hotels in Western Riverside and San Bernardino counties fell by just 0.3 percent in January, as several rainy weekends doused occupancy at Temecula-area hotel. PKF said San Diego County North Coastal hotel occupancy rose almost 10 percent compared with the same month a year earlier. Hotels in Southern California should see slow improvement in occupancy in

H

Clare Sperber looks around her short-term housing at a retirement facility in Teaneck, New Jersey. Sperber was trying the housing for a month as part of a new program by the complex to allow short-term rentals for seniors to keep occupancy up and to offer seniors a chance to see if they would want to move in permanently. — MCT example, begin at $74. In June 2007, when the hotel opened, its lowest rate was about $89. About three

Hotels in Southern California should see slow improvement in occupancy in coming months, said Brandon Feighner, an analyst with PKF. Room rates will be slower to rise, he said, because hotels lack the occupancy demand to command a higher tab. coming months, said Brandon Feighner, an analyst with PKF. Room rates will be slower to rise, he said, because hotels lack the occupancy demand to command a higher tab. Room rates at the Best Western Lake Elsinore, for

months later, the hotel started feeling the tremors of the recession. A return to pre-recession room rates probably is unlikely before 2012, said Mark Kallenberger, a Costa Mesa-based hotel consultant. “Corporate profits are up, so

Skylights line a hallway at the IBM conference center in Palisades, New York. Hotels and convention centers that cater to corporate group meetings began reporting better occupancy rates as recession effects seemed to ease. — MCT

business is starting to come back” to hotels, he said. “But leisure travel will not be back until employment rises.” That, too, has been a slow chapter of the recovery. Patel’s challenge is greater, because the future of his hotel is closely tied to Lake Elsinore’s plans to remake itself as a destination. Back in 2003, when the economy was building toward its crescendo in 2006-2007, Patel bought 4 acres on the hillside just west of I-15 and a few hundred yards from The Diamond stadium, where the minor league Lake Elsinore Storm plays. It looked like a shrewd move. But the independent hotel about 100 yards south converted to a Quality Inn, and the nearby Lake Elsinore Hotel & Casino across the street from the Quality Inn is “extensively” renovating, according to the hotel’s Web site. Last year, a Holiday Inn Express opened on the other side of the freeway. Suddenly, Patel’s plans were looking less sure. Longterm, though, the city’s tourism future is bright, according to the Lake Elsinore Valley Chamber of Commerce Visitor Bureau. Plans include a pier and a boardwalk at lakeside, all connected to Main Street and

a visitor district stretching to the stadium area, which the bureau envisions becoming a hub for a range of sports and other events. In the long haul, “we’re woefully short of beds,” said Matt Norkin, marketing director for the chamber. He reckons the city needs at least 500 hotel rooms to be competitive in attracting events. That’s about twice the room total now. For special events, such as Lake Elsinore’s Frontier Days next month, filling the Best Western and the other hotels has been relatively easy. During weekends and events in Wine Country east of Temecula, Lake Elsinore gets some spillover visitors. Also next month, the Warrior Dash race is expected to draw 8,000 participants, organizers said. The race along the lake will start and finish at the stadium. “The trick is filling the gaps,” Norkin said. For now, keeping the hotel going requires 100-hour weeks of Patel. He starts each day at 7 a.m. working the front desk and then transitions into maintenance man in midafternoon. He finishes the workday at about 10 pm, he said. When was his last day off? Patel said he could not remember. — MCT


CAREERS

Page 22

Friday, April 2, 2010

Make a statement at work

t is important that you make a good impression at work. Not only does it make life pleasant and create a healthy working atmosphere, studies have shown that it also boosts your own productivity. Here are some ways to make a good impression at work:

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1. Use proper office etiquette Using good manners will help you make a good impression with your boss and also your co-workers. Office etiquette includes everything from the proper way to use email to knowing when, where, and how to use your cell phone while at work. 2. Face up to your mistakes When you make a mistake at work, which everyone inevitably does at some point, face up to it. Don’t ignore your error or place the blame on others. Take responsibility and come up with a solution to fix your mistake. Your boss may not be too happy about it, but she will at least be impressed with your response. 3. Know when to call in sick to work Do you think coming to work when you are sick instead of staying at home will impress your boss? Reasonable bosses know that a sick employee not only isn’t productive, he or she can spread an illness around the office rendering everyone else unproductive. Call in sick when you need to. 4. Come through in a crisis When the unexpected happens at work, who will make a better impression on the boss-the employer who wrings his hands and does nothing or the one who springs into action? Of course it’s the employee who deals with the crisis quickly and effectively. 5. Know what topics to avoid discussing Avoiding inappropriate topics may not help you make a good impression at work but it will keep you from making a bad one. Subjects that do not make for good workplace conversation include politics, religion, and health problems and other personal issues. 6. Manage your time effectively Your ability to complete projects in a timely manner will help you make a good impression on your boss. You should demonstrate that you know how to manage your time effectively by handing in projects when, or even before, your deadline. 7. Dress appropriately Make a good impression at work by wearing the right clothes. You should dress the right way for the “role you are playing.” If you aspire to be a leader at work, dress like one. 8. Represent your company well at business meetings When you represent your employer at a business meeting making a good impression on other attendees will in turn help you make a good impression on your boss. Dress appropriately, network on your employer’s behalf, and bring back information.

Top 10 ways to annoy your co-workers o you want to know how to make your coworkers hate you? Follow this advice. These are surefire ways to ensure your coworkers will look forward to the day you are gone. Avoid these behaviors if you want to help create harmony in your workplace.

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1. Talk loudly on your cell phone Your co-workers don’t want to listen to your cell phone conversations. They are not as entertaining to anyone as they are to you. More importantly, they don’t want to hear you talk on your phone while you are in the bathroom. It makes them uncomfortable. 2. Take credit for your co-workers’ contributions to a project When your boss congratulates you on a job well done, don’t mention that you had a lot of help. Why does she need

to know anyway? Team work, shmeam work. Better to look like you did it all on your own. And, when you need some help on the next project, where do you think your co-workers will be? Not on your team. 3. Come to work sick If you have a cold or a stomach virus, spread it around. Your co-workers will thank you. On second thought, no they won’t. Well, hopefully they’ll have the decency to call in sick and stop spreading the illness further. 4. Share everything with your co-workers Your co-workers are a curious bunch so it is in their best interests if you tell them everything about your personal life - even if, no make that especially if, it makes them uncomfortable. Your motto should be “too much information is never enough.”

5. Talk to your co-workers about religion and politics Ah, religion and politics ... two topics about which everyone is in total agreement. Well, not exactly. Your co-workers may be very sensitive about these topics so if you want to offend them in a hurry, make sure they know why your beliefs are the only right ones. 6. Tell your co-workers dirty jokes Everyone appreciates a good joke, right? That may be true, but while most people appreciate a good joke, many are put off by dirty jokes. It’s not your problem so keep telling those jokes, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself accused of sexual harassment one day. 7. Spam your co-workers Forward tons of email to all your co-workers. The content doesn’t matter. Send it all - chain letters, jokes, and petitions. They’ll be thinking of you as they

keep hitting that delete button. 8. Chew your gum loudly Nothing sounds as yummy as the noise made by someone cracking their chewing gum and smacking their lips. It may drive your co-workers crazy, but isn’t that what you’re trying to do? 9. Don’t carry your own weight If you don’t do your fair share of the work required by your department, your co-workers will have to pick up the slack. They’ll be so exhausted from doing all the work, they won’t be able to thank you. 10. Talk down to your co-workers You may think talking down to your co-workers will build you up, but a condescending attitude will not make you appear stronger. It will, however, make your coworkers resent you. —www.careerplanning.about.com


technology

Friday, April 2, 2010

Page 23

Top 10 guys who make bad look good Here is a list of the most diabolical villains in video games

10. King Bohan (Heavenly Sw ord) Arguably the best thing about PS3 exclusive slash-’em up Heavenly Sword was the diabolical King Bohan, voiced with maniacal glee by Andy ‘Gollum’ Serkis. Bohan is obsessed with obtaining the titular sword for his own dastardly deeds and never-ending quest for power. Throughout the game his hysterical, highpitched voice spits forth orders of murder and torture. His lack of compassion extends to his minions and even his own son Roach, whom he mercilessly mocks and sends to do his dirty work. 9. Gla Dos (Porta l) Waking in the clean, glass chambers of the Aperture Science test facility, the soothing voice of GlaDos is the first thing you hear. She promises cake, and even a party. What you get instead are a series of diabolical puzzle rooms, GlaDos putting you through hours of physical and mental trauma. She makes you incinerate the only friend you have, your faithful Companion Cube. Tells you, you were adopted. The cake turns out to be a lie and instead of a party, GlaDos tries to send you into a pit of fire at the end of the test. She’s about as mean as an insidious female AI construct can get, and that includes Shodan from System Shock 2. 8. Albert Wesker (Resident Evil series) Equal parts cheese and hairspray, Wesker is a former STARS team-member who turned on his comrades for heap-loads of cash paid to him by the not-soenvironmentally-friendly Umbrella Corporation. He then sold out his new employers when their plans went south and wound up injecting himself with a serum which enhanced his speed and ability to heal. Completely amoral and always one to hold a grudge, Wesker seems to be motivated only by filthy lucre and the demands of his own gigantic ego. He may look like a boyband reject, but you’re advised not to turn your back on him. 7. Andrew Ryan (BioShock) Players first meet the founder of Rapture, as they descend to his brokendown underwater city in a bathysphere. He’s introduced by way of a short propaganda film espousing his objectivist philosophies and presenting Rapture as a place where the gifted and exceptional are free to excel. However, the players soon find out (through a series of audio diaries) that Ryan was only keen to follow the principles of the free market until it turned against him. He then resorted to corruption and brutality to maintain his position at the top of Rapture’s food-chain. Damning him even further, Ryan, for the most part couches all of his insidious behavior in patriotic zealotry. Ultimately he emerges as a self-deluded hypocrite, who for all his pompous rhetoric about truth and the nature of man, is never able to own up to what he eventually becomes, which is a liar, and a murderer and a thief. 6. Ganondorf (The Legend Of Zelda series) Nintendo may have a reputation for being cute and cuddly, but they sure know how to create all round bad eggs. Ganondorf is a terrifying embodiment of evil; an ugly, twisted tyrant with an unquenchable thirst for power. When he finally get his hands on the beautiful world of Hyrule, he burns it to the ground and scorches the sky black to reflect the evil in his heart. At once a powerful sorcerer, thief and a grotesque beast, Ganondorf undoubtedly takes his rightful place on this list. Fearsome ginger chinstrap, too. 5. The Lich King (World Of Warcraft) Where do you start with the Lich King?

The nemesis of all that is good and pure on Azeroth seems to be comprised almost entirely of hate and cruelty. Not content with unleashing a plague upon Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms, the Lich King released undead horrors on both the Alliance and Horde lands in an attempt to lure powerful heroes into his domain, where he could consume their souls at his leisure. It’s perhaps fitting that the only villain evil enough to unite the warring factions of the orcs and the humans is himself an unholy union of both species. While we’re on the topic, he’s also quite cynical and condescending into the bargain. 4. Sephiroth (Final Fanta sy series) A former hero of the SOLDIER unit, Sephiroth became dark and twisted as his arrogant desire for power grew stronger. He mercilessly slaughtered anyone that stood in his way as he attempted to drain the lifeforce of the planet and use it for his own malevolent will. He’s also the man who killed Aeris, and for that, will remain the number one villain for many Final Fantasy fans. We must get the number of his hairdresser, though. 3. G Man (Half Life series) The mysterious nemesis of Dr Gordon Freeman is the creepiest antagonist on this list by a country mile. It’s not that G Man speaks in cryptic riddles and alludes to knowing more than he lets on about the horrors facing Freeman. It’s not even that he appears by turns to be a figment of Freeman’s imagination and a malevolent presence invading the good doctor’s mind. No, G Man’s power is wrapped up in his unblinking, piercing gaze which exudes gleefully sadistic malice and that rasping, sandpaper voice which only needs to hiss “Mr Freeeee-man” to make your flesh crawl. It’s a testament to the animation and voice-work that went into creating this character that out of all the horrors encountered in Half Life, this polite, besuited gentleman is the most likely to feature in your nightmares. 2. M Bison (Street Fighter II onwa rds) Players don’t need to think too hard to find a reason to both fear and loathe M Bison. He’s the leader of a global terrorist cell. He killed Guile’s best friend. He murdered Chun Li’s father. His organization destroyed T Hawk’s homeland for material gain. He brainwashed Cammy. His arsenal of moves contained the unblockable side-scrolling torpedo. He was the top choice for anyone butting into your game in the arcade. He was the ignorable swansong to Raul Julia’s esteemed career in acting. He is a character that is equal parts smarm and unstoppable brutality. Above all, anyone who ever played Street Fighter II remembers how much their palms sweated, their mouth went dry and their hands shook the first time they faced M Bison. 1. Bowser (Super Mario Bros series) The embodiment of all that is evil in video games, Bowser has been tormenting players probably longer than any other character in the medium. The oldest and most resolutely evil villain in Mario’s canon - ever since Donkey Kong sold out and turned good - Bowser remains steadfast in his belief that kidnapping a princess is clearly a key part in any plan for universal domination. This is a villain so evil, he attacks during the spring fair, destroys Mario’s holiday and even puts his own children to work in his never-ending quest to defeat the portly plumber. He probably works as a traffic warden on the weekends. What a meanie! —www.telegraph.co.uk

M Bison

The Lich King

Sephiroth

King Bohan

Bowser


Beauty

Page 24

Friday, april 2, 2010

Sun block: Your most important cosmetic We all get seduced by promises of younger looking skin or banish wrinkles overnight. But the sad fact is a lot of the pretty looking products out there do not do what they promise and the wrinkles, acne, broken veins or whatever ails you is still there the next morning.

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re you a skin care junkie? Is your bathroom closet overflowing with bottles and jars? Does the content of these bottles and jars actually do anything to improve your skin? My guess is “sometimes”. We all get seduced by promises of younger looking skin or banish wrinkles overnight. But the sad fact is a lot of the pretty looking products out there do not do what they promise and the wrinkles, acne, broken veins

or whatever ails you is still there the next morning. There is one cosmetic that stands head and shoulders above the rest - Sun block. Sun block is the best preventative of aging skin you can buy in a bottle. It won’t make you look younger in a few applications, you need to use it regularly - like every day - but over time it will make a tremendous difference to the appearance of your skin.

Sun block can be found as lotion, gel, roll on, or spray. If you’re on a tight budget you can usually buy a bottle for just a few dollars from a supermarket or drugstore. Test it on an inconspicuous part of you first in case you have an allergy to it! This is more important for the cheaper brands. Use sun block even if its cloudy outside. Ultraviolet (UV) rays can penetrate clouds by up to 80%, yes even if it’s raining. If you’re driving,

UV rays can penetrate glass, they can also be reflected off glass or water. And don’t just use sun block o\n your face. Put it on your hands, feet, arms or whatever bits of you that are not covered up. This is not just for appearances, sun block can prevent potentially fatal skin cancers and melanomas from developing. Even if you have never used sun block and you’ve already developed

premature aging, its not too late! Regular use of sun block and staying out of the sun can actually reverse some of the damage. Make sure you use a sun block which has a sun protection factor (SPF) of over 15 and apply it fairly generously for best results. Its also best to apply at least 20 minutes before venturing out. Remember - prevention is better than cure! (www.ambafrance-do.org)

Kiwi facial cleanser

(for dry or oily skin)

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his fruit is high in vitamin C and has enzymatic and detergency properties making it helpful for skin and hair preparations. 1 kiwi fruit 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt 1 tablespoon orange water 1 tablespoon apricot or almond oil 1 tablespoon honey 1 teaspoon finely ground almonds 2 drops orange (or your favorite citrus) essential oil Puree the kiwi fruit in a food processor until liquid. During processing, add yogurt, orange water, almond or apricot oil, and ground almonds. Process until thick and cream like. Add essential oil and stir to mix. To apply, massage gently over neck, face and decollete to cleanse. Rinse well. Makes one application. (www.allnaturalbeauty.us)


Beauty

Friday, april 2, 2010

Page 25

At-home hair color:

7 tips for great results D oing your own home hair color for the first time can be intimidating, to say the least. Have I chosen the right color? What if I make a mistake and wind up with green hair? What if I end up with over processed, dry damaged hair? The fact is that you can achieve excellent results and save a lot of money by coloring your hair at home as long as you know a few basics about how to select the right color and apply it correctly. Here are seven of the most common questions and my advice on hair coloring at home. Advice on Permanent Hair Coloring at Home 1. How do I know whether I should color my hair at home or go to a salon? Most people can successfully color their hair at home but there are exceptions. You should get a professional color job if your hair is in poor condition coloring dry damaged hair at home can result in uneven color. Also, if your hair has different shades and you want one even tone, a hairdresser

can apply different formulas to the different areas. Finally, it’s best to leave it to the experts if you want to make a drastic change to your hair color, say dark brown to platinum blonde, or you want special color effects or highlights. 2. Are drugstore hair colors just as good as salon hair color products? In general, salon hair colors contain higher-quality ingredients than the drugstore brands. Salons also offer a wider variety of colors and tones. But home coloring kits are getting better all the time and can deliver good results if used properly. 3. How do I pick a color that will look natural on me? When choosing a hair color, your skin tone and natural hair color are the two most important factors. Whether you’re going lighter or darker, stay within two or three shades of your natural hair color. Here is a guideline for selecting a compatible hair color for your skin tone: Dark/olive skin: Stay with darker hair colors. Yellow skin: Dark, rich colors like deep auburn.

Pale skin: Almost any color. Pink skin: Neutral tones like sandy or beige blonde or chocolate brown are best. Avoid reds or golden tones. If you know what clothing colors suit you, you can also use that to help in choosing hair color: If you look good in warm shades like red, orange, golden yellow, cinnamon brown, olive green, and rust, then warm hair tones like golden blonde, golden brown, strawberry blonde, and auburn will suit you best. Cool color favorites like bluish red, fuschia, black, royal blue, and pine green indicate that cool hair tones are best for you: platinum, ash blonde, ash brown, burgundy, and jet black. If you look good in true red, purple, charcoal grey, periwinkle, and teal, then neutral tones like sandy or beige blonde, chocolate brown or mahogany will suit you. 4. How do I get ready to color my hair the first time? It’s a good idea to gather a few materials together before starting: an old T-shirt, a few

old towels and a washcloth that you don’t mind getting stained, some hair clips for sectioning your hair, a timer, and a hand mirror to see the back of your head. 5. If I color my hair at home and hate it, what can I do? There are some home hair color products you can use to repair the damage, but it isn’t easy. The problem is that if you used a home hair color kit to obtain a lighter color, your hair has been bleached and colored in a single process. So the color needs to be added back in a process called “filling” before using the final color formula. Whatever you do, don’t simply buy a box of your

original color and try to cover over a bad dye job... it won’t work. Fixing hair color gone wrong is a multi-stage process so a trip to the salon may be in order. 6. I already have permed hair. Can I color it without damaging it? If your hair has been permed or relaxed, color has to be applied carefully or it can weaken the structure of your hair. Salons have colors specially formulated for treated hair. But if you insist on home hair coloring, choose a shade darker than you want since processed hair may come out lighter than expected. Then do a strand test to make sure your hair can handle the chemical

stress. 7. I love my new color... now how do I keep it looking good? You’ll probably want to recolor every four to six weeks. Make a record of the hair color product and shade you used, and how long you left it on the ends and the regrowth. Use shampoos and conditioners formulated for color-treated hair to prevent fading. Stay out of the sun and chlorinated pools. Hair that has been previously been bleached is prone to such effects and should be rinsed as soon as possible. Don’t use heavy conditioners and oil treatments after coloring... they can lift the color. www.ambafrance-do.org

Have I chosen the right color? What if I make a mistake and wind up with green hair? What if I end up with over processed, dry damaged hair? No need to worry, simply follow these rules for great results every time.


HEALTH

Page 26

Friday, April 2, 2010

to detoxify your diet will openly admit I love cheese puffs, cheese curls, pretty much any kind of baked cheese snack - the more neon in color, the better. I also really love artisanal cheeses - and, oddly, cheese puffs, cheese curls, and their brightly colored cousins really taste nothing like any type of real cheese. How do we come to crave these fake flavors? (I know I’m not the only one). More importantly, when did food become so un-natural? And, our food hasn’t

I 1.

2.

Ease up on animal fats. Animal products can contain synthetic hormones, antibiotics and organ chlorine chemicals, such as dioxin, DDT and other pesticides, which concentrate in animal fat. The same chemicals that accumulate in animal fats are transferred to our own when we eat them. Then they linger there for years quietly causing damage. When you buy meat, poultry or dairy, look for low fat options (get the unsaturated fats your body needs from plant sources like walnuts, flax seeds, and avocados). Trim all fats and skins and broil meats and fish so that the fats drain away. Avoid frying, which will lock in the contaminants. You can also do your body a favor by reducing how much meat you eat. Making even one vegetarian meal a week can make a big difference. Select safer seafood. Eating seafood is the primary way we are exposed to methyl mercury, a potent neurotoxin. Fish can also be contaminated with PCBs, which the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the Environmental Protection Agency have declared a probable carcinogen. Use the Environmental Defense Fund’s Safe Seafood Selector to find species that are lowest in chemical and heavy metal contamination and that are fished in ways that are not harmful to our Oceans. Or access the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, one of the more popular seafood guide’s online, who have now made it possible to get their website information with ease when you’re standing in

simply become more synthetic than ever before, it’s also laced with ingredients and contaminants that pose distressing health risks. They aren’t like salmonella, e-coli, or other pathogenic pollutants that can cause immediate illness or even death. These toxic impurities are more insidious subtly causing harm over time. Reduce your exposure to unwanted ingredients by following these 10 tips to detoxify your diet.

3.

4.

5.

Go organic. According to the Environmental Working Group, you can lower your pesticide exposure by 90 per cent simply by avoiding the most contaminated conventionally grown produce: peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, lettuce, imported grapes, carrots, and pears. If you’re really craving one of these foods, opt for organic. Conventionally grown fruits and vegetables that have the lowest levels of pesticide residue include: onion, avocado, sweet corn, pineapple, mango, asparagus, sweet peas, kiwi, cabbage, eggplant, papaya, watermelon, broccoli, tomato, and sweet potato. You can download the EWG pocket guide that lists these and the dirty dozen from Foodnews.org. Prep your produce. Wash all fruits and vegetables well to remove surface chemicals (and pathogens). It’s easiest and most efficient to wash everything right when you bring it home. You should even wash foods with inedible peels - like melons, bananas, and oranges. If there’s a contaminant on the surface, you can get it on the knife you use to cut it or on your hand, and then spread it to the part you eat. Ban the can. Canned foods and beverages are lined with a resin that contains bisphenol-A, a hormone-disrupting chemical that’s building up

easier to simply choose whole foods. Whole foods are not processed, so they have all their natural nutritional gifts. Look for foods made from whole grains (think whole wheat bread, oatmeal and brown rice) - and it should say “whole” on the label. Make more foods from scratch (it’s easier than you think). You’ll end up saving money, eating healthier and reducing all the waste created from packaging and processing foods.

in our environment and our bodies. Most manufacturers are beginning to explore safer alternatives, but in the meantime you should choose foods that are fresh, dried or frozen or packaged in glass jars or tetra packs.

front of the seafood case by using their free iPhone app.

6.

Bulk up. Bulk foods are often less processed so you reduce your exposure to questionable food additives. Buying it bulk can also save you up to $500 a year! Bulk cook staples like beans and other legumes and store them in your freezer in serving sizes that are appropriate for your family size. You can also buy dried pasta, nuts, seeds, and many other staples in bulk.

7.

Cook your cuisine safely. If you enjoy grilling or well-done meat, be advised - you are adding to your cancer risk. Grilling creates smoke laden with carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, which end up on the surface of whatever you’re cooking. When meat, chicken and fish are cooked at high temperatures for a long time (aka “well-done”), it creates carcinogenic heterocyclic amines, or HCAs.

8.

Read a food label - for real. Ever stop to read the ingredients label on packaged, processed foods? It’s usually a mouthful of words most of us have a hard time pronouncing, so what exactly are you eating? You can learn which food additives are safe and which are not by visiting The Center for Science in the Public Interest’s food safety guide, but it’s even

9.

Wet your whistle with water. Americans drink an overwhelming amount of sodas, sports drinks, energy boosters, juices (that often contain little juice), and other bottled beverages. The first problem with this is that most of these drinks are loaded with sweeteners and artificial flavors and colors. The second is that they’re bottled in plastic, which can leach additional chemicals into the drink. Your body is 70-75% water, so hydrate it with water! And, skip the single-use bottled water. Again, it can be contaminated by the plastic bottle. Also, it’s less regulated than tap water. Make an investment in a water filter and reusable stainless steel water bottles. They quickly pay for themselves.

10. Eat-in more often. When you eat at a restaurant or pick something up from a deli you have very little control over what you’re getting. Save money and protect your health by making food at home. When you do go out, make healthier choices. — Webmd


HEALTH

Friday, April 2, 2010

long with counseling, antidepressants are a common part of treatment for depression. And they are usually effective. Six out of 10 people treated with antidepressants feel better with the first one they try. If the first antidepressant medication doesn’t help, the second or third often will. Most people eventually find

Fears and facts about antidepressants

A

Fear: Antidepressants make you forget your problems rather than deal with them. Fact: Antidepressants can’t make you forget your problems, but they may make it easier for you to deal with them. Being depressed can distort your perception of your problems and sap you of the energy to address difficult issues. Many therapists report that when their patients take antidepressants, it helps them make more progress in counseling. Fear: Antidepressants change your personality or turn you into a zombie. Fact: When administered correctly, antidepressants will not change your personality. They will help you feel like yourself again and return to your previous level of functioning. (If a person who isn’t depressed takes antidepressants, they do not improve that person’s mood or functioning.) Rarely, people experience apathy or loss of emotions while on certain antidepressants. When this happens, switching to a different antidepressant may help. Fear: Taking an antidepressant will make me gain weight. Fact: Like all drugs, antidepressants have side effects, and weight gain can be a common one of many of them. Some antidepressants may be more likely than others to cause weight gain; others may actually cause you to lose some weight. If this is a concern, talk with your doctor. Fear: If I start taking antidepressants, I’ll have to take them for the rest of my life.

Page 27

one that works for them. Yet many people who could benefit from an antidepressant never try one, often because of fears and misconceptions about them, experts say. Here are eight common fears about antidepressants, as well as facts that can help you decide if an antidepressant might be right for you.

Fact: Most people who take antidepressants need to take them continuously for six to nine months - not necessarily a lifetime. Once an antidepressant gets depression under control, you should work with your doctor to decide when to stop your medication and then decrease your dose gradually. Discontinuing them suddenly may cause problems such as headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Fear: Antidepressants will destroy my sex life. Fact: Antidepressants can have an effect on sexual functioning. The problem is usually an inability to achieve orgasm rather than a lack of desire. But because depression itself decreases libido, a medication that eases depression may improve your sex life. As with other side effects, certain antidepressants may be more likely than others to cause sexual problems. Fear: Antidepressants are expensive and aren’t covered by insurance. Fact: Antidepressants are usually covered by insurance plans with prescription drug coverage. The cost of antidepressant therapy varies widely, depending on the dosage, the drug you are taking, and whether it is available as a generic. Even without insurance coverage, it is possible to purchase a generic antidepressant for as little as $15 per month. Fear: Taking an antidepressant is a sign of weakness. Fact: Like medical conditions such as diabetes or high cholesterol, major depression is a condition that often responds to medication.When depression

interferes with your ability to function normally, seeking treatment is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of good self-care. Fear: Antidepressants increase the risk of suicide. Fact: Studies in recent years have raised concerns that antidepressants may raise the risk of suicide among children, adolescents, and young adults. For example, a 2009 review in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) analyzed 372 studies involving nearly 100,000 people who were taking antidepressants. It found that compared to placebo, use of antidepressant drugs was associated with a small increased risk for suicidal thoughts in some children and young adults, have no effect on suicide risk among those 25 to 64, and reduce risk in those 65 and older. In 2004, the FDA required manufacturers of antidepressants to revise their labels to include a black box warning statement about these risks. Other studies paint a different picture. A 2006 study published in PLoS Medicine suggests that the use of antidepressants has saved thousands of lives. Data show that the U.S. suicide rate held fairly steady for 15 years prior to the introduction of the widely used antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac) and then dropped steadily over 14 years while sales of Prozac rose. The research team found the strongest effect among women. The bottom line: Regardless of your age or sex, it’s important to see a doctor immediately if you have suicidal tendencies or witness them in others. — www.webmd.com


petS

page 28

Trainers from Bergen and Passaic counties walk through terminal C with their guide dogs at Newark airport, March 20, 2010, in Newark New Jersey. —MCT

Friday, April 2, 2010

Sarah Aig, of Fair Lawn, sits with golden retriever Hoshi, as they ride a bus bound for Terminal C at Newark airport. —MCT

Seeing Eye pups train at the airport A group of Labradors, German shepherds and Golden Retrievers are bred by The Seeing Eye to serve as guides for people who are blind

N

ewark Liberty International Airport hosted a unique group of guests on a recent Saturday morning: 80-plus canines and their handlers. The group, affiliated with puppy-raising clubs for The Seeing Eye of Morristown, NJ, came to familiarize the future guide dogs with the airport - and its sights, smells and sounds. The group of Labradors, German shepherds and Golden Retrievers were are by The Seeing Eye to serve as guides for people who are blind. “It’s good exposure for the dogs to see how they react with a lot of

people and a lot of dogs,” said Wendy Darcy, 42, of Glen Rock, NJ, who was training her first canine Saturday. At 7 weeks old, the dogs are placed with foster families who train and socialize them. During that time, the dogs and handlers meet in groups and visit places such as the airport, baseball games or museums to expose the dogs to different settings and situations. Saturday’s event allowed the dogs to socialize with strangers and other animals and work in a chaotic, bustling atmosphere, said Claudia Tirello, club leader of the Seeing Eye Puppy Club of Bergen

County, NJ. The morning began with the dogs and handlers walking around two firetrucks that rumbled to life, blasted sirens and shot water from hoses. Then the canines boarded buses for Terminal C and walked downstairs to the baggage carousels. Later they went through a security checkpoint to board a docked airplane. Bill Baroni, deputy executive director of the Port Authority, said Saturday’s exercise helped airport staff and security personnel better serve the public by familiarizing them with guide dogs, he said. “It’s good

for the Port Authority,” he said. “It’s good for the community. It’s good for our future Seeing Eye dogs.” Most of the canines were quiet and seemingly unaffected by the loud noises and people around them. But a few were startled at times, such as Camry, a black Labrador almost 16 months old. “I think the vibration from the engine from that fire truck - that really scared her,” said her handler, Beate Amos, 45, who belongs to the Seeing Eye club in Pompton Lakes, NJ. The next step for the dogs at

14 to 18 months old is training at the Seeing Eye. If they pass, they’re matched with a person who’s blind, who then trains with the dog from 20 to 27 days. Playing a part in that process is rewarding, said Roger Woodhouer, 67, of Woodcliff Lake, NJ, who’s been coming to Newark as a foster owner since the visits began 10 years ago. But it’s also emotional. “You’ve had the dog for 13 to 15 months,” he said. “You come to love it. You trained it, and now you’ve got to give it back. And they’re looking at you, saying, ‘What’s going on?’” —MCT


RELATIONSHIPS

Friday, April 2, 2010

Page 29

Picking favorites: Every family does it

Siblings (from left to right) Khephera Jesal, 60, of W Bloomfield, Jesse Brown, 53, of Farmington Hills, and Marla Renee, 58, of Detroit, pose for portrait in Detroit, Michigan. Brown (center) was purportedly the favorite child in their family. —MCT

A

s a young boy, Jesse Brown got a canvas-covered red wagon unlike anything else seen in the entire northeast Detroit neighborhood where he grew up. Clearly, Brown was special. Years later, his three sisters had to buy their own cars. Brown got one courtesy of his parents. “He seemed to always get whatever he wanted,” recalls Marla Renee, 55, Brown’s sister. “We were kind of jealous. We used to beat him down sometimes, take his stuff or knuckle his head.” Every family with more than one child has one - the favorite. While the issue is often laughed off, having favorites in a family can have serious, long-lasting consequences - for both the favored child and the other children in the family. And experts say that whether most parents admit it or not, they will inevitably favor one child over another at some point in life. “It’s perfectly normal for parents to favor one child or another at one time or another. It’s what they do with that favoritism that can create problems,” says Dr. Arthur Robin, a psychiatrist and director of psychology training at Children’s Hospital of Michigan. While favorites and their siblings can grow up to become well-adjusted adults, family favorites can cause major problems. “I’ve had people say to me, ‘My siblings, to this day, resent it,’” says psychotherapist Ellen Weber Libby, who authored the book “The Favorite Child: How A Favorite Impacts Every Family Member for Life “, which was released in January. “I’ve had favorites say that the guilt they felt about being

the favorite caused them to bend over backward to show affection toward their siblings.” The notion of family favorites touches people from all walks of life. And it isn’t inherently bad, Libby says. Favoritism can have positive consequences for the favored child because it leads to feelings of confidence, love and power. The negative consequences of the over indulged family favorite show up most commonly in politicians and athletes, Libby says. She cited the scandalized Tiger Woods as a classic example of a favored child gone wrong. Woods has two half-brothers and a half-sister from his father’s first marriage. “He was his father’s favorite,” Libby says. “He wrote that at 9 months old, Tiger had a natural swing. I don’t know many babies at 9 months who walk well, let alone have a natural swing. Tiger acknowledged in his press conference that he felt entitled.” Libby says parents shouldn’t be afraid of acknowledging different feelings. Usually, the children know anyway, she says. “We can love all our children. We can be willing to go out on a limb for every child. That doesn’t mean a particular child doesn’t touch us in a particular way.” Althalia Brown of Detroit, the mother of Jesse Brown, now 53, sees it this way: “It’s true I prayed for him because I had three daughters and we did want a son. But I love them all the same,” she says. Looking back, Jesse Brown believes no harm resulted from being a favorite because his parents and sisters and extended family modeled self-reliance and

responsibility. “I don’t feel I was spoiled as much as I was nurtured and supported,” says Brown, who founded and runs the Detroit Wholistic Center, which promotes healthy lifestyles and practices. “The way they mentored me and the behavior they modeled helped to make me a stronger person.” Even though psychologists say

Experts say it’s bound to happen, but many parents strive to remain neutral favoritism is inevitable, some Michigan families insist it doesn’t exist in theirs. Reggie and Jahada Turner of Detroit say they make a point of avoiding any semblance of favoritism with their seven children who range in age from their 3-year-old daughter, Jahreena, to their 16-yearold son, Reggie Jr. They’re especially careful because each one experienced it while growing up.

“I’ve seen the ugly side of favoritism and I’ve tried not to repeat it,” says Jahada Turner, 42, a Detroit social worker. Turner said she once heard her mother identify her sister as the favorite, though it was already evident because her mother doted on her sister. “I think my mother is a loving mother with a great heart. But my sister was never wrong in my mother’s eyes,” she says. The Turners work at being consistent in how they reward and discipline their children, and are mindful that even little things mean a lot. “If we do something for one child and not the others, we make it a point to explain the reason,” says Reggie Turner, a marketing representative for Costco. For example, a few years ago, the couple decided to get cell phones for the three oldest children; they purchased a fancier phone for the oldest daughter because she earned exceptional grades on her report card. Later, when their son did well in school, they upgraded his phone. Their other children know the older children received phones because of their ages and because a family deal made it economical to get phones for three of them. Favoritism wasn’t evident in the house Karen Roys grew up in with 10 siblings in Ruth, a small town in Michigan’s Thumb area. “There are 17 years between the youngest and the oldest, and we lived in one house with one bathroom for many of those years,” says Roys, 41, of Imlay City, Mich. “I really don’t know that there was a favorite,” says Roys, who teaches third grade in Dryden. “They tried really hard to treat us the same.

If one was allowed to do something, we all were.” “There’s some degree of favoritism in every family with more than one child,” says Greenberg, a University of Maryland professor emeritus. “It can range from mild to severe, but it’s inevitable because children are different.” Problems arise, psychologists say, when favoritism is overt and only one child is consistently favored. Favored children sometimes grow up facing more stress because they’re held to higher standards or no standards. “Parents should realize they’re not doing that child a favor. It’s like being a teacher’s pet; teacher’s pets don’t do well with their peers or classmates,” says Greenberg. The child not favored may end up resenting the favored child. But they also can grow up welladjusted because they don’t have the stresses associated with being favored. If a child expresses concern about another child being favored, the parent should first appreciate the fact that child opened up about his feelings. Usually, young children don’t tell their parents if they feel that way. Instead they tell a sibling or someone else and the parent overhears it or is told by someone else, Greenberg says. Open communication is the very best thing. “Listen and then do a personal evaluation,” says Greenberg. “Maybe there’s a basis for the child feeling that way or maybe there’s some truth you have not seen.” Greenberg’s storybooks, part of a project called “A Snuggle-Up-Series,” are for children of all ages. He hopes books like “Tusky” will serve as a launching pad for discussion. —MCT


food

Page 30

friday, April 2, 2010

Grill zucchini with herb marinade 1 zucchini (225g) 1 teaspoon of thyme 2 teaspoons of olive oil 1 and the 1/2 teaspoons of black pepper 1/2 teaspoon of salt Cut the zucchini widthwise into 1/4-inch or so slices. Put the slices into large

Baked zucchini chips 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices 1/2 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese 2 egg whites Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C).

In one small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, pepper and Parmesan cheese. Place the egg whites in a separate bowl. Dip zucchini slices into the egg whites, then coat the breadcrumb mixture. Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes in the preheated oven, then turn over and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until browned and crispy.

mixing bowl. Add the olive oil first and mix well. Then add in the remaining ingredients, thyme, salt , black pepper. Add a small portion at a time and mix well. Put the zucchini slices in the refrigerator at least 1 hour before grilling. Preheat the oven to 150o C. Set the zucchini slices on the grill and cook for 10 minutes before serving.


Friday, April 2, 2010

FOOD

Page 31

Creamy zucchini soup 2 tablespoons margarine 2 onions, chopped 2 potatoes, peeled and diced 8 zucchinis, chopped 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary 1/2 teaspoon dried basil 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper 4 cups chicken broth 1 cup whole milk 1/4 cup dry potato flakes 1 tablespoon soy sauce 4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill In a large frying pan, melt butter or margarine; add onion and saute until translucent. Add diced potato, zucchini, thyme, rosemary, basil, and white pepper, and cook for 5 minutes. In a medium-sized cooking pot, add broth and bring to boil. Add zucchini/potato mixture; reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes. When cooked, puree in food processor or blender in batches. Return to cooking pot, add milk and bring just to boil, but do not boil. Add instant mashed potato flakes and soy sauce and stir well. Adjust seasonings to taste. Garnish with dill weed. Soup may be served hot or chilled.

ZUCCHINI - TOMATO SALAD 6 sm. zucchini, thinly sliced

1/2 tsp. garlic salt

4 tomatoes, cut into wedges

3/4 c. salad oil

1 green pepper, sliced into rings 1/4 c. onion 1/4 c. vinegar 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. pepper

Lettuce Combine zucchini, tomatoes, green pepper and onions. Toss lightly. Combine vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic salt and salad oil. Mix well and pour over vegetables. Chill for several hours, stirring occasionally. Serve on lettuce, if desired.

Blueberry zucchini bread 3 eggs, lightly beaten 1 cup vegetable oil 3 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 1/4 cups white sugar 2 cups shredded zucchini 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 1 pint fresh blueberries

All-in-One zucchini Casserole 2 tablespoons olive oil 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast cubed 2 (8 ounce) packages sliced fresh mushrooms salt and ground black pepper to taste 1 pinch garlic powder, or to taste 3 zucchinis, cubed 2 sweet potatoes, cut into cubes 2 large red potatoes, cut into cubes 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1/4 cup olive oil Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking dish. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir the chicken and mushrooms until the chicken breasts in the hot oil until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 15 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and remove from heat. Stir in the zucchini, sweet potatoes, red potatoes, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and 1/4 cup of olive oil; transfer to the prepared baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender and easily pierced with a fork about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease 4 mini-loaf pans. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Fold in the zucchini. Beat in the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Gently fold in the blueberries. Transfer to the prepared mini-loaf pans. Bake 50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.


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

THE STORY SO FAR : Jami, Jabbar, and Hadya travel to Germany to assist in upgrading one of the world’s fastest supercomputers. But a severe energy feedback draws their

www.the99.org

consciousnesses into the computer itself. Jami tries to figure out how to get them

The 99 ® and all related characters ® and © 2010, Teshkeel Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

out -- when suddenly the group is assaulted by strange electrical impulses!


TRAVEL

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Underwater garden

Virgin Islands’ Buck Island Reef offers vast wall of coral

Buck Island, covering 176 acres, is covered by a dry tropical forest. Visitors can hike and picnic on the island that is a mile long and a half-mile wide. —MCT

S Virgin Islands , Buck Island Reef, with its extraordinary coral and rich sea life, is very cool. The reefs and surrounding waters, ranked among the top snorkeling spots in the Caribbean, lie within a 19,015-acre national monument. It is one of three underwater parks in the national park system.

U

Snorkelers and divers at Buck Island Reef will find what has been described by the National Park Service as “one of the finest marine gardens in the Caribbean Sea.” Buck Island is the No 1 tourist attraction on St. Croix, the largest of the American Virgin Islands (with St. Thomas and St John). The barrier reef that surrounds twothirds of Buck Island is awesome, with elkhorn coral growing to 40 feet off the bottom in clear aquamarine waters off the north shore at St. Croix. It is a formidable wall of coral, unique in United States waters. The fire coral is spectacular: an eyepopping yellow on the bottom. Giant brain corals are found in the calmer lagoon waters inside the reef. Red and purple sea fans abound, along with gorgonians or sea whips. Unique elkhorn coral patches resembling haystacks are found outside the reef. Star coral may also be found outside the reef, except to the southwest. In the calmer lagoon waters, snorkelers and divers will find fish-filled grottos with

colorful corals that extend nearly to the water’s surface, along with sponges and crustaceans. It’s a marvelous underwater world of ever-changing shapes, colors, patterns, textures and movement that will take your breath away. The water is only 12 feet deep in most of the grottoes, so you are very close to the 250 species of fish found in the 80-degree water. There are colorful parrotfish, French angelfish, trumpetfish, box fish, butterfly fish and blue tangs. Some are easy to spot with their neon colors. Others hide in nooks along the reef. Some are solitary. Others travel in schools. A few barracudas up to 4 feet long flashed by on my recent snorkel trek to the reef and the designated underwater trail at the eastern end of Buck Island. Spotted eagle rays, nurse sharks, lemon sharks and juvenile blacktip reef sharks and whitetip reef sharks may be seen. Visibility underwater along the reef was excellent. The reefs are actually complex colonies of individual animals that produce calcium carbonate skeletons, cemented

together in massive but fragile formations. They grow 1 to 2 inches per year. Coral reefs are among the most diverse ecosystems in the world. They are vulnerable to pollution, sedimentation, overfishing, sea warming and boat damage. Buck Island is home to three species of sea turtles: the hawksbill, leatherback and green sea turtles, all at-risk species. The leatherback turtles come to Buck Island’s beaches in the spring to lay eggs. The green and hawksbill turtles nest in the summer. Other threatened or endangered species include the brown pelican and the least tern. The Buck Island Reef was first federally protected in 1948. The national monument was established in 1961 and was enlarged in 2001. It includes the 176-acre undeveloped island plus 18,839 acres of coral reefs and submerged land. The island is 6,000 feet long and a half-mile wide, covered by a dry tropical forest. It is 1.5 miles from shore and 5 miles from Christiansted, the Danish-influenced city that rules the sugar cane plantations that once dominated St. Croix. The national monument gets about 50,000 visitors a

year. The only way to visit Buck Island Reef is via the park-approved concessionaires that offer half-day and fullday trips. They will provide transportation, snorkel gear and instruction. Some stop ashore. The water on the reef can get a little choppy on windy days. That may provide problems for weak swimmers or inexperienced snorkelers. Risks include sharp corals, stingrays, sea urchins, fire coral, fire worms and barbed snails. Jellyfish are rare and barracuda and sharks are not aggressive around snorkelers, the park service says. Visitors can hike and picnic on the scrubby island. Its biggest attraction is Turtle Beach on the western end of the island with its white coral sand beach. It was voted one of the world’s most beautiful beaches by National Geographic. There is a poisonous plant ashore, the manchineel tree. Its sap, leaves, bark and fruit can cause a chemical burning of the skin. Hurricane Hugo in 1989 flattened most of Buck Island’s beach forest and destroyed most of the south barrier reef. Disease has also hit the corals, but they are making a


Friday, April 2, 2010 comeback, the park service reports. Scuba diving is permitted in two areas at Buck Island. No camping is permitted on the island. Water skiing, jet skiing and spear fishing are prohibited. Anchoring is prohibited in the lagoon. Boats must pick up a mooring. Buck Island is open from sunrise to sunset only. For information, write to the National Park Service, 2100 Church St., No. 100, Christiansted, VI 00820; call 340773-1460; or visit http://www.nps.gov/buis. Christiansted, the largest city on St. Croix (it’s pronounced Saint Croy), is a colorful community with lots of history. It was once the capital of the Danish West Indies and is filled with architectural treasures. The Christiansted National Historic Site, with five yellow painted buildings including an old fort, fills the waterfront. The site celebrates the island’s Danish past from 1733 to 1917. Fort Christiansted was completed in 1749 to protect the town from pirates, privateers and slave uprisings. St. Croix , it covers 84 square miles , was a major sugar cane and rum island. In 1803, there were 218 plantations with 26,500 slaves and 4,000 others on the island. The best beach on St. Croix, many say, is Sandy Point at its southwestern tip. There are more than 50 dive sites scattered around the island. The island’s eastern side is rocky and arid, while you can visit lush rain forests at its western end. St. Croix was once favored by such swashbucklers as Henry Morgan, Blackbeard, Captain Kidd and Jean Lafitte. Christopher Columbus dropped anchor in 1493 on the Salt River on the island’s north coast and named the island Santa Cruz (Holy Cross). The Spanish abandoned the island after fighting with native peoples. The Dutch and English tried to claim it. The Dutch fled; the English remained. They were ousted by the Spanish in 1650. The Dutch tried to reclaim the island. The French succeeded. The island was transferred to the Knights of Malta, a religious group of wealthy aristocrats. The Danish purchased the island in 1733. St. Croix does not get as many visitors as the glitzier St. Thomas or the more protected St. John. Some like that fact. The other two islands lie about 40 miles north of St. Croix. English is the official language, the dollar is the currency, but motorists drive on the left. Its average temperature is 82 degrees. — MCT

TRAVEL

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The boat arrives at Buck Island from Christiansted, St. Croix. The reefs surround much of the island. The elkhorn coral rises 40 feet from the ocean floor in spots.—MCT

Yellow-colored Fort Christiansted was completed by the Danish in 1749 to protect St. Croix and its sugar cane mills from pirates, privateers and slave uprisings. In the early 1800s, the island had nearly 220 plantations with more than 26,500 slaves. — MCT


BOOKS

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Great books for your kitchen W

e hope that the following list of books will help you find the perfect recipe for a warm pie, a delicious cake, a bun of bread, a delectable batch of cupcakes. This week’s books are not about villains and heroes, war-torn villages, terrorists and politicians; they are about putting on your apron and baking. For suggestions, write to: hussain@kuw aittimes.net

Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Hello, Cupcake By Karen Tack

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itty, one-of-a-kind imaginative cupcake designs using candies from the local convenience store. America’s favorite food photography team, responsible for the covers of America’s top magazines, shows how to create funny, scary, and sophisticated masterpieces, using a zipper lock bag and common candies and snack items. With these easy-to-follow techniques, even the most kitchenchallenged cooks can: • • • • • •

raise a big-top circus cupcake tier for a kid’s birthday plant candy vegetables on Oreo earth cupcakes for a garden party trot out a line of confectionery “pupcakes” for a dog fancier serve sausage and pepperoni pizza cupcakes for April Fool’s Day bewitch trick-or-treaters with chilly ghost chocolate cupcakes create holidays on icing with turkey cupcake place cards, a white cupcake

By Jeff Hertzberg, Zoe Francois

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Christmas wreath, and Easter egg cupcakes No baking skills or fancy pastry equipment is required. Spotting the familiar items in the hundreds of brilliant photos is at least half the fun.

wo years ago, the authors published Artisan Bread in Five Minutes, presenting Europeaninspired loafs and baked goods, relying on traditional baking ingredients. After the authors started a blog based on that book, they responded to readers requests for recipes for healthy breads, including those made with less white flour, lower refined sugars and gluten-free options. Relying on the same five-minute, no-knead method, a master recipe is the base for most of the 100 recipes. The book’s strength lies in the unusual selections inspired from around the globe including Turkish pear coffee bread;

The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes By Kris Holechek

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rom classic breads, cakes, and desserts to imaginative new creations, the recipes in this book eliminate the dairy and eggs without reducing the flavor. These homemade delights have been taste-tested to tantalizing perfection. Each bite proves that vegan-baked goods can be just as delectable as their animal-product counterparts. Whether one is motivated to do something positive for the earth, to show compassion for animals, or to be good for one’s health, these quick-to-make, easy-tobake recipes offer a proven new approach for novice bakers and professional pastry chefs alike. The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes features alternatives for favorites like cupcakes, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies while also offering treats such as lime coconut bars, blueberry streusel muffins, and rosemary focaccia. The author refrains from exotic ingredient lists while presenting straightforward guidance on how baking works and what to use to veganize

favorite recipes. From egg and butter replacers to nut and grain milks, The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes details all the tried, true, and tastiest substitutes.

tabbouleh bread with parsley, garlic and bulgur; and Indian-spiced doughnuts. A chapter entitled “Sneaky Breads” cleverly incorporates fruits and vegetables into doughs, resulting in tasty and healthy creations such as brown rice and prune bread and beet-red buns. A selection of pizzas and an entire chapter dedicated to gluten-free baked goods round out the title. The friendly tone, including headnotes and stories behind recipes, keep this from becoming a didactic diet book. Though traditionalists may shy away from the method and ingredient substitutions presented, others will find inspiration within the pages of this unconventional baking title.

My Bread By Jim Lahey

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inimalist” New York Times food journalist Mark Bittman credits Jim Lahey with a historic breakthrough. “Innovations in bread baking,” he wrote, “are rare. In fact, the 6,000-year-old process hasn’t changed much since Pasteur made the commercial production of standardized yeast possible in 1859. The introduction of the gas stove, the electric mixer and the food processor made the process easier, faster and more. I’m not counting sliced bread as a positive step, but Jim Lahey’s method may be the greatest thing since.” In My Bread, New York baker Jim Lahey describes his discovery and development of no-knead bread and shares recipes for the method that revolutionized the bread-making world. Cuttingedge bread news.


BOOKS

Friday, April 2, 2010

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Kneadlessly Simple: Fabulous, Fuss-Free, No-Knead Breads By Nancy Baggett

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avoring a loaf of fragrant, warm-fromthe-oven bread is one of life’s great pleasures. Now you too can experience the joys of home-baked breadwithout all the hassle and mess of traditional bread recipes. Taking recent advances in slow-rise, no-knead bread making to a whole new level, awardwinning cookbook author Nancy Baggett serves up seventy-five of the easiest, tastiest bread recipes ever developed. Baggett’s recipes involve no complicated procedures, no special equipment or baking expertise-and, of course, no kneading. The secret to her method is in the science: During a long, slow rise, the doughs actually knead themselves, and at the same time,

develop wonderful flavor. Many of the recipes require no hand shaping, and all include a “KS (Kneadlessly Simple) Quotient” that explains exactly what’s involved. With one bowl, one spoon, a few simple steps, and minimal kitchen cleanup, you’ll be on your way, even if you’ve never baked bread before. Inside, you’ll discover terrific recipes for every taste and occasion. Enjoy loaves with the aromas and textures of today’s best artisan breads-crusty Rosemary Focaccia, Ciabatta and Baguettes, plus buttery Brioche and other European classics. Savor all-American favorites like San Francisco-Style Sourdough and Cinnamon-Raisin Bread. Stay healthy with Hearty Multigrain Boule, 100 Percent Whole Wheat-Honey Bread, and GlutenFree Faux Rye Bread. And indulge with

Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes

Panettone, Spiced Cranberry Orange Coffeecake, and other sweet breads. You’ll even find recipes for bread-making kits you can give as gifts! To make sure every bread turns out perfect, Baggett provides detailed advice on ingredients and techniques as well as step-by-step instructions for each recipe, including a range of rising times that you can select to suit your schedule. She also gives you in-depth troubleshooting tips and explains how to convert favorite oldfashioned bread recipes into no-knead versions. With a whole chapter of “Easiest Ever Yeast Breads” to get you started, along with sixteen pages of tempting color photographs, Kneadlessly Simple is all you need to create fuss-free, artisan-quality breads in your own kitchen.

Baking: From My Home to Yours By Dorie Greenspan

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wirled and sprinkled, dipped and glazed, or otherwise fancifully decorated, cupcakes are the treats that make everyone smile. They are the star attraction for special days, such as birthdays, showers, and holidays, as well as perfect everyday goodies. In Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes, the editors of Martha Stewart Living share 175 ideas for simple to spectacular creations-with cakes, frostings, fillings, toppings, and embellishments that can be mixed and matched to produce just the right cupcake for any occasion. Alongside traditional favorites like yellow buttermilk cupcakes swirled with fluffy vanilla frosting and devil’s food cupcakes crowned with rich, dark chocolate buttercream, there are also sweet surprises such as peanut butter and jelly cupcakes, dainty delights like tiny almond-cherry tea cakes, and festive showstoppers topped with marizpan ladybugs or candy clowns. The book features cupcakes for everyone, every season, and every event: Celebrations (monogram heart cupcakes perfect for an elegant wedding); Birthdays (starfish-on-the-beach cupcakes sure to be a hit at children’s parties); Holidays (gumdrop candy ghouls and goblins ideal for Halloween revelers); and Any Day (red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for a picnic, or caramel-filled mini chocolate cakes for grown-up gatherings). In singular Martha Stewart style, the pages are both stunning in design-with a photograph of each finished treat-and brimming with helpful how-to information, from step-by-step photographs for decorating techniques to ideas for packaging and presentingyour cupcakes. Whether for any day or special days, the treats inMartha Stewart’s Cupcakes will delight one and all.

reenspan, coauthor of books with culinary icons such as Julia Child (Baking with Julia), Daniel Boulud and Pierre Herm , shares her favorite recipes in this tantalizing collection, which covers all the baking bases, from muffins, cookies and brownies to spoon desserts, pies and cobblers. Instructions are clear and easy to follow, and Greenspan uses everyday ingredients readily available to the home chef. Recipes like Perfection Pound Cake and All-American, All-Delicious Apple Pie convey a comfortable, almost homey, familiarity that will bring

readers back to this collection again and again. In addition, she provides insight into matters many cooks may not often consider, such as leaveners, technique and choosing the right pan. Numerous mouth-watering photos dot the book throughout, making it hard to choose which one to make first. Especially helpful is the Indispensables: Base Recipes section at the end of the book, which includes pointers for making key ingredients such dough, pastry cream, lemon curd and faux cr me fra che. This is baking at its best. Over 100 full-color photos. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Rustic Fruit Desserts

The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook

By Cory Schreiber, Julie Richardson By Cybele Pascal

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sing her GlutenFree Flour Mix-a combination of Authentic Foods superfine brown rice flour (worth its weight in gold), potato starch and tapioca flourauthor Pascal (The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook) offers baked treats for the 25 million Americans suffering from food allergies. With a wellstocked pantry, readers will be able once again to enjoy favorites like gingerbread, chocolate chip cookies, pizza, and brownies without fear of a reaction. Those without allergies can also benefit from Pascal’s collection100 dishes, in fact, are suitable for vegans. Though recipes call for more ingredients than bakers are probably used to-dairy-free, soy-free vegetable shortening, agave nectar, and xanthan gum make frequent appearances-Pascal’s sage advice on substitutions

(applesauce in lieu of eggs, canola oil for butter, rice milk for cow’s, etc.) should relieve some of the sticker shock. For sensitive diners and those who cook for them, Pascal’s winning collection deserves a look.

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n early fall cobbler with blackberries bubbling in their juice beneath a golden cream biscuit. A crunchy oatmeal crisp made with mid-summer’s nectarines and raspberries. Or a comforting pear bread pudding to soften a harsh winter’s day. Simple, scrumptious, cherished-these heritage desserts featuring local fruit are thankfully experiencing a long-due revival. In Rustic Fruit Desserts, each season’s bounty inspires unique ways to showcase the distinct flavor combinations that appear fleetingly. James Beard Award-winning chef Cory Schreiber teams up with Julie Richardson, owner of Portland’s Baker & Spice, to showcase the freshest fruit available amidst a repertoire of satisfying old-timey fruit desserts, including crumbles, crisps, buckles, and pies. Whether you’re searching for the perfect ending to a sitdown dinner party or a delicious sweet to wrap up any night of the week, these broadly appealing and easy-to-prepare classics will become family favorites.


children

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Solution

Sudoku for Kids

Friday, April 2, 2010


Friday, April 2, 2010

children

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OPINION

Page 40

Friday, April 2, 2010

Jerusalem house is a home divided The Sheikh Jarrah cases have drawn international attention, including calls from the United States for Israel to halt Jewish expansion in the East Jerusalem neighborhood

By Edmund Sanders

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tiny brick house. A disputed neighborhood. And a Solomonstyle court ruling that has placed two sets of strangers - with nothing in common but hatred - under the same flat roof. Since December, Israelis have resided in the front part of a house where Palestinians have long lived. All that separates them is a bedroom wall, a sealed door and, lately, the police, who visit regularly to break up the fights. The Jewish occupants accuse the Palestinians of throwing rocks through the windows and wielding sticks. The Palestinians say the Israelis brandish rifles and pepper spray when the police aren’t around. Even in a city like Jerusalem, where people of different faiths have lived side by side, often uncomfortably, for millennia, the battle of wills and square footage at House No. 13 Othman Ibn Afan frames the IsraeliPalestinian conflict in almost unbearable close-up. “We can never relax,” said Nabil Kurd, 65, head of the Palestinian family that has lived in the home since it was built in 1956. “Every time I pass them, I just want to cry.” No comment, say the Jewish settlers, who were recently given the key to the front rooms by a Jerusalem district court. Since then, decades of bad blood have played out daily on the front lawn of the run-down house, where the feuding inhabitants are so close to each other that they can hear sneezes on the other side of the wall, smell what’s cooking and brush shoulders at the front gate. Several times, the tensions have exploded into fistfights and brawls. But most days the residents try to keep enough distance to stay out of spitting range. Cursing is so commonplace that one of the first words the Kurds’ 2-yearold learned was the Hebrew word for “trash”, something both sides shout at each other. Even when there’s no physical confrontation, the residents, like rival siblings, have mastered the little ways to needle and provoke. Blue-and-white Israeli flags have been hoisted on the roof of the Jewish side. The new inhabitants make obscene gestures at the Palestinian women, calling to them as though they were dogs, and taunt the children with laser pointers, the Kurds say. “They call my 87-year-old mother a whore,” Kurd said. Friction The Palestinians give as good as they get. They cut off the water supply to the front part of the house, and Kurd’s boys beat on pots and pans to disturb their sleeping Israeli housemates, the parents acknowledge. Palestinian women line chairs along the front walkway, forcing the Israelis to pass through a gantlet of cold stares and curses to reach their door. Police, who respond to complaints from the street on average every other day, say it’s a miracle no one has been killed or seriously hurt. “The close proximity between the two is causing friction and

tension on a daily basis,” said Jerusalem police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. The fighting is equally intense in the courts, where lawsuits over who owns the land have wended their way to Israel’s Supreme Court more than once. The litigation centers on Jewish claims that the Palestinians are illegal squatters and Palestinian allegations that Jewish deeds to the land were falsified. For centuries, the property in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem contained nothing but olive trees. In the late 1800s, a couple of dozen Jewish immigrant families settled into temporary homes built by a Jewish group whose leaders say their organization bought the

property around 1875. After the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, the Jewish residents fled when the area came under Jordanian control. The Kurds were among 28 Palestinian refugee families relocated to the Sheik Jarrah neighborhood in 1956 by the United Nations and the Jordanian government. In exchange for turning in their U.N. ration cards, the Kurds, who had fled their home and business in Haifa, say they were promised title to the newly built home. But before any titles were given, Israel took control of East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East War. Jewish groups, asserting previous ownership of the land, moved to evict the

Palestinians. The Jewish title has been transferred to a company that says it wants to build 250 Jewish homes on the site. An attorney for the firm, Nahalat Shimon Ltd., declined to comment. To date, Israeli courts have upheld the Jewish claims and granted eviction orders against several Palestinian families who, during the last two years, have been forcibly removed from their homes. The Kurd family appears to be next, their attorney said. In December, an Israeli judge took the first step by permitting Jewish claimants to reopen and occupy the front part of the house, which the Kurd family had built in 2000 as an addition. Because the rooms

Nabil Kurd stands in front of the house in Sheikh Jarrah where his family has lived since 1956. – MCT

were constructed without permits, which Palestinians say are impossible to obtain, the court ordered them sealed and slated the addition for demolition. The front had remained padlocked and empty until the Israelis arrived with the key, Kurd said. Frat house At first, a family seemed to have moved in, with women and children, the Kurds say. Now, they say, only young Jewish men come and go at all hours of the day and night, often protected by private security guards. “It’s used almost like a Zionist frat house,” said one American activist with the International Solidarity Movement, a protest group that is supporting the Kurds. The garden wall tells the story. Nobody knows how many times it has been spray-painted with graffiti. Stars of David painted over Palestinian flags painted over Stars of David. Arabic slogans over Hebrew ones. Some chilly evenings, both sides light campfires along the front walkway, sitting less than 20 feet apart and trying to ignore each other. Then there was the prayer-off in February. Ultra-Orthodox Jews began dancing, singing and praying one Sabbath afternoon. Not to be outdone, Muslim men gathered a few feet away and kneeled in dueling worship. The household trash is a frequent weapon, getting tossed back and forth like a hot potato, and eventually ending up in the front yard, which has become a kind of no-man’s land and repository for garbage and abandoned household fixtures. One recent morning, an ultra-Orthodox teenager arrived at the front door to find a dead rat and a pile of trash left by the Palestinians. As the Kurd women tried to shoo him away, he kicked the trash into the yard and walked defiantly around the property before leaving. “They are not here to live,” said Kurd, who works as a cigarette company driver. “They are just here to disrupt our lives and provoke us.” Both sides have enlisted reinforcements. Jews throw parties in the yard and once invited a Zionist-themed tour group to gather at the property to discuss historic Jewish claims to the area. It turned into a shouting match, with the tourists and the Palestinians calling one another “murderers”. The Palestinians have invited international activists to live in a tent in the front yard. The Sheikh Jarrah cases have drawn international attention, including calls from the United States for Israel to halt Jewish expansion in the East Jerusalem neighborhood. This month, 3,000 people demonstrated in support of the Palestinian families. “It feels good to know that we are not alone,” Kurd said during the evening protest, hoisting his granddaughter on his shoulders. But when he returned home later that night, it was solitude that he missed. A light shining from the front house window and muffled noise on the other side of the wall was all it took to set his teeth in a clench and bring back that familiar knot in his stomach. — MCT


ANALYSIS

Friday, April 2, 2010

Page 41

Israel-Iran standoff challenges Mideast Conflict lurks below many investors’ horizons

By Alastair Macdonald

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hildren skip over the beach at Palmachim as parents ponder a lazy Mediterranean sunset; far away, in London, or New York, traders scan other horizons, of economic data, watching for growth, or debt crises. They may all be looking the wrong way. Looming over the dunes behind the Israelis at play, the dumptruck shapes of US-made Patriot missile batteries betray the presence of Palmachim air base - a keystone of the Jewish state’s defence should the war ever come with Iran that lurks, for now, just under the radar of the world’s financial markets. In Washington last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Iran’s nuclear program “an unprecedented threat to humanity”. He has likened Tehran to Germany in 1938, as it plotted the Holocaust. His words, aimed at Barack Obama’s bid to buy time for sanctions, reminded the US president of Israel’s readiness to stop talking and act in its own interest. “Israel expects the international community to act swiftly and to act decisively to thwart this danger,” Netanyahu said. “But we always reserve the right of self-defence.” Financial markets moved not a jot on those comments. Yet Israeli forces are training for a possible long-range strike on Iran, their submarines have sailed routes that could take them to the Gulf and civil defence authorities have tested bunkers, air raid sirens and gas masks. Intelligence sources talk of covert action under way to hit Iran’s nuclear industry. People living across the Middle East are anxiously aware of Israel’s record of air strikes on suspected nuclear sites, in Iraq in 1981 and in Syria less than three years ago. That such an attack might trigger a long missile war across the region or action by Iran’s guerrilla allies is a familiar fear to many. Traders, notably in oil, always price in some supply threat after years of angry words between Tehran and Israel. But beyond that, investors face a deep conundrum. The likelihood and timing of any conflict, as well as its geographical scope, duration and outcome, are all hard to judge. At their bluntest, investors’ big questions are: Will Israel strike? Will it go it alone? When? And what will happen next? The safest bet replies (probably) are: Very possibly; Quite possibly; Maybe within a year; and, well, Heaven knows. Though not even Netanyahu can know all the answers. Looking For Clues Scenarios for war range from Israeli strikes (from the air, by special forces or both) that Iran might not even respond to perhaps denying their impact, or even concealing them - to, in the grimmest forecasts, a prolonged missile duel that might, in time, even tempt Israel to use its assumed nuclear option. That’s a pretty perplexing spread of long-term imponderables but there are more immediate questions that may help narrow it. • Is Iran satisfying Western powers and Israel that it is halting progress toward nuclear weapons capabilities? Tehran, of course, says it is not seeking nuclear arms

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington on March 22, 2010. — AFP at all, but the coming months may see a change in Western, and Israeli, perceptions. • How far are Netanyahu and his Defence Minister Ehud Barak, who lead rival parties, committing themselves in Israeli eyes to action against Iran if sanctions fail, in their view, to stem the perceived threat? The more cautious their statements, the more they may be seeking room to step back from the brink. • How far are Israel and Washington in step on Iran, and if they are not, is Obama willing - or even able - to hold back an Israeli strike that might prove popular with US voters? Much of the information available to Reuters from parties involved is divulged in private, off-the-record conversations with senior officials. Some of that information can be trusted. Some is doubtless part of the bluffing game among the powers. Telling the difference is the hard part. American sources have told Reuters since Vice President Joe Biden’s uncomfortable visit to Israel in early March that they believe Israel gave an undertaking not to take overt action against Iran before a US move to force Tehran to change tack by means of international sanctions had had a chance to work. Israeli sources see it rather differently, suggesting no guarantees are on offer when Israel’s very survival is, in its own eyes, at stake. But restraint, at least in the coming months, to avoid outraging allies abroad, would make sense. At the same time, Israeli analysts who

claim some access to Netanyahu and Barak’s thinking, reckon Israel is ready and that when action comes it will surprise in both its timing and nature, as befits Barak and Netanyahu, both former commandos. Bluff? Maybe. Mixed Signals Under the previous, centrist-led coalition of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Israeli officials prepared a defence policy paper that suggested the Jewish state might be ready to settle into a regime of mutual deterrence with a nuclear Iran. As he prepared to resign, Olmert, once among Israel’s keener hawks, said the idea of attacking Iran alone was “megalomania”. But faced by leaders of the Islamic Republic who wish openly for Israel’s demise, Netanyahu might risk his own future if he is seen backing down. Still, the year-old Netanyahu government rarely commits to more than “all options are on the table”. Netanyahu and Barak do say that a clock is ticking toward an outcome Iranian ability, in terms of technology and supply of fissile material, to build a viable number of warheads within, say, a few months. And Israel finds that to be a mortal threat. US generals and officials have warned about “unintended consequences” from a strike that could destabilise the Middle East. They also suggest Iran’s pace of nuclear work is slowing. But Barak has told Washington that, if an Iranian nuclear arsenal seemed like something Americans could live with, his people felt differently and valued their independence.

“From a closer distance, in Israel, it looks like a tipping point for the whole regional order,” Barak said. “There is of course a certain difference in perspective ... and a difference in the internal clock, a difference in capabilities. “There should be understanding on the exchange of views, but we do not need to coordinate everything.” Sanctions Sceptics Israel is backing Obama over coordinating sanctions against Iran. But, in private, few Israelis share the confidence voiced by senior figures in Washington about their efficacy, especially if they are not as “crippling” to Iran as Netanyahu wants. As Israel’s Foreign Ministry phrases it in the bold headline over a major section on its Web site devoted to Iran: “The international community is moving toward lower-level sanctions, which are not unimportant, but may not be enough.” That is a quote from Netanyahu to parliament on March 3. It begs the question, what next if sanctions are “not enough”? Yet heavier sanctions might be called for, but Israeli officials are fearful that Obama could pursue such a track until, in their view, it is “too late” and Iran has, if not a weapon, the ability to make one fast. As Barak put it, Israeli and American clocks are running on different time partly because Israel’s limited firepower means that the longer it waits as Iran, allegedly, multiplies secret sites, the less chance Israel has of damaging them on its own. In any case, Israeli officials believe the kind of strike they are capable of mounting

could only delay, perhaps by a few years, any Iranian program. That delay, however, as with the pressure from sanctions, could, they hope, bring a durable halt to Tehran’s nuclear ambitions by bringing change in its leaders. Hence the notion, prevalent among Israeli analysts, that a “window” for an effective strike by Israel may only be open for a year or two more. So can Obama hold it shut? This month’s ructions in US-Israeli relations offered mixed signals. The Netanyahu coalition’s unrepentant approval of new Jewish homes on occupied land around Jerusalem marred a visit by Biden that was both intended to seal peace talks with the Palestinians and get Israeli buy-in for more diplomacy with Iran, including sanctions, rather than moving to a war footing. Some commentators saw Washington’s angry response as driving Israel toward more unilateral action. Others gave more weight to the view that Netanyahu was now less likely to annoy the United States any further by risking going it alone against Iran. Going It Alone The latest has been a concerted effort, especially from the Obama administration, to smooth over the rough patch, and speak of the “unbreakable bond” the United States has with Israel. Israel certainly does not seek a rift with Washington, its main arms supplier, guardian in terms of antimissile forces and broader military protection and prime diplomatic ally. But, as Barak made clear in Washington last month, each state has its own interests. In the case of the air strike on Syria in 2007 that targeted a suspected nuclear facility, Israel did inform Washington in advance that something of the sort was afoot - but it did not seek permission, a source familiar with the operation said. While such a strike, which triggered no clear retaliation, might be ideal for Israel against Iran, the risk of Tehran launching either its own missiles or asking its allies in Hamas or Hezbollah to mount attacks, means Israel will be wary of any action that Washington would repudiate, or seek even to punish. Israelis note, however, that Iranian leaders have said they would hit US interests if Israel attacked. In that case, Israel may have less risk of being left to face Iran alone. It remains a huge and unpredictable risk, however. That alone leads many to question whether Israel would take it. But those who believe they understand the enigmatic Netanyahu stress how the long term features in the prime minister’s thinking. While US officials may focus on a short domestic election cycle, Netanyahu, son of a noted Zionist historian, misses few opportunities to put his policy toward Iran in the context of millennia of struggle by the Jewish people. For example, he addressed American evangelical Christians in Jerusalem recently: “We must prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said of “tyrants in Tehran” who “hope to wipe Israel off the map”. And adding biblical context, he concluded: “After centuries in exile ... the people of Israel have come home and no force on earth will ever make us leave our home again.” — Reuters


SPOTLIGHT

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Papier-mache heads, used in commercials, sit on display at History for Hire, a prop shop in North Hollywood that specializes in period and historical props. —MCT

Hollywood prop shop helps re-create the past T he movie: an adaptation of Sara Gruen’s 2006 bestselling novel “Water for Elephants,” about a veterinary student who quits his studies to join a traveling circus. The scene: a group of students, circa 1931, on the campus of Cornell University. Jim Elyea’s task: to make sure the briefcases the students are carrying look authentic when the film begins shooting this May in Santa Paula, Calif. The co-owner of the History for Hire prop house in North Hollywood combs through a 1931 Sears catalog in his 5,000-book library, finds the correct design and selects the appropriate model among his collection of 400 vintage briefcases. It’s just another day at the office for Elyea, who could tell you what guitar and amp Elvis’ guitarist Scotty Moore played, or the type of powder horn used at the Alamo. Elyea and his wife and business partner, Pam, established their company 25 years ago and have managed to survive in a Hollywood sector that has suffered several casualties

over the last decade. Their secret weapon: avoiding debt and specializing in hard-tofind historical props, including Revolutionary War muskets, vintage

Rickenbacker electric guitars and film cameras from the dawn of Hollywood. The company’s props, which fill a 30,000-squarefoot warehouse, have been

used in films such as “Good Night, and Good Luck” and “The Aviator” and numerous TV shows, including “The Pacific,” the HBO miniseries produced by Steven

Spielberg. “You don’t just rent a physical item; you rent the research that goes with it,” said Jim Elyea, a 59-year-old Texan. “We know our

Jim Elyea, right, tosses a juggling pin to his wife Pam while gathering props, March 22, 2010, for a feature film, “Water for Elephants,” at their store, History for Hire. —MCT

history.” The business is a second career for the couple. Pam had worked as a manager for a media buying company and Jim was a courtroom artist, sketching the likes of Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt, before indulging his passion for antiques, which he developed hanging around his mother’s antique shop in Arlington, Texas. A banner from the shop hangs outside his office. The Elyeas were still living in their Hollywood apartment when Jim landed his first major job, supplying military gear to Oliver Stone’s film “Platoon.” He shipped 85 boxes of flak vests, helmets, machetes and other gear to the Philippines. Opening in a small storefront in North Hollywood, the company rapidly expanded after it acquired a warehouse full of props from Paramount Studios in 1989. A big break came a year later when director Richard Attenborough wanted to rent film cameras, dollies, eyeglasses and beach equipment for his movie “Chaplin.” “Richard Attenborough


SPOTLIGHT

Friday, April 2, 2010 told us that people learn their history from the movies, so it’s important to get it right,” Pam Elyea said. “That has been our philosophy.” Scores of other projects followed, and by 2007 the company’s annual revenue had climbed to about $2 million. History for Hire’s inventory includes about 1 million props, from a 1920s can of peaches that rents for $5 a week to a camera dolly from Hollywood’s silent-film era that goes for $3,500 a week. Painstaking historical research is a key part of the business. Hope Parrish, a veteran property master who worked with the couple on “The Aviator,” recalls how Jim drew a diagram on butcher paper showing precisely where microphones and cameras should be placed to re-create the actual Senate hearings depicted in the film. “Their attention to detail makes my job 120 percent easier,” Parrish said. Like many other prop houses, however, History for Hire was hard hit by a production falloff triggered by the writers strike, a standoff between the major studios and the Screen Actors Guild, and the recession, which caused studios to make fewer movies and dried up commercial filming. The downturn led several production support companies to slash their payrolls and prompted one of the industry’s largest prop houses, 20th Century Props, to announce that it would close. History for Hire saw a double-digit percentage drop in sales, but the company had built up enough savings to cover the falloff and has avoided long-term debt. The company cut salaries 15 percent but retained its dozen employees, including a former U.S. Navy petty officer who is an expert on weaponry and a onetime

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World War II paratroopers stand on display at History for Hire, a prop shop in North Hollywood that specializes in period and historical props. —MCT restoration specialist at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. History for Hire also diversified, renting out props not only for films and TV shows but also for commercials, music videos and magazines including Rolling Stone, which rented one of the company’s guitars for a cover featuring Melissa Etheridge. Rather than renting out larger props like furniture, History for Hire focused on smaller, mostly lightweight props that could be easily shipped around the country. The firm, for example, will ship cooking utensils, umbrellas and other items to New York for “Mildred Pierce,” an HBO series

starring Kate Winslet based on the Joan Crawford film set in the Depression. As the economy recovers and studios ramp up production again, business has begun to rebound for companies like History for Hire. Sales are projected to climb up to 25 percent this year over last year, says Pam Elyea, attributing part of the uptick to the effects of California’s new film tax credits. “Things are looking much better as far as production goes, although there is a huge concern about 2011, when the labor contracts expire,” Pam Elyea says. “Another strike would be devastating.”—MCT

A vintage movie camera against an old poster of the movie, “The Moth.v” —

Vintage baseball equipment sits on display at History for Hire, a prop shop in North Hollywood. —MCT


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Friday, April 2, 2010 CROSSWORD 946

Word Sleuth Solution

Yesterday’s Solution

ACROSS 1. (Norse mythology) Wife of Thor and guardian of the home. 4. (Old Testament) The eldest son of Isaac who would have inherited the Covenant that God made with Abraham and that Abraham passed on to Isaac. 8. A group of African language in the Niger-Congo group spoken from the Ivory Coast east to Nigeria. 11. A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma. 12. A book of the New Testament. 13. A graphical record of electrical activity of the brain. 14. A small cake leavened with yeast. 16. Before noon. 18. A state in northwestern North America. 19. Tag the base runner to get him out. 21. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 22. A colorless and odorless inert gas. 25. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group. 27. An independent agency of the United States government responsible for collecting and coordinating intelligence and counterintelligence activities abroad in the national interest. 29. How long something has existed. 31. A metrical unit with unstressed-stressed syllables. 32. An informal term for a father. 34. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 36. God of wealth and love.

37. A federal agency established to coordinate programs aimed at reducing pollution and protecting the environment. 40. A town and port in northwestern Israel in the eastern Mediterranean. 42. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 44. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 45. An intensely radioactive metallic element that occurs in minute amounts in uranium ores. 46. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 49. Plant with an elongated head of broad stalked leaves resembling celery. 51. (botany) Of or relating to the axil. 53. The cry made by sheep. 55. The state of matter distinguished from the solid and liquid states by. 56. Scottish sea captain who was hired to protect British shipping in the Indian Ocean and then was accused of piracy and hanged (1645-1701). 57. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural). 58. Fermented alcoholic beverage similar to but heavier than beer. DOWN 1. A island in the Netherlands Antilles that is the top of an extinct volcano. 2. A republic in the Middle East in western Asia. 3. Extremely pleasing. 4. (Akkadian) God of wisdom. 5. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 6. A unit of pressure. 7. North American republic containing 50 states - 48 conterminous states in North America plus Alaska in northwest North America and the Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific Ocean. 8. Large brownish-green New Zealand parrot. 9. Flightless New Zealand rail of thievish disposition having short wings each with a spur used in fighting. 10. Any culture medium that uses agar as the gelling agent. 15. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 17. A sock with a separation for the big toe. 20. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 23. An informal term for a father. 24. Small beads made from polished shells and formerly used as money by native Americans. 26. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 28. A state in midwestern United States. 30. Aircraft landing in bad weather in which the pilot is talked down by ground control using precision approach radar. 33. On a ship, train, plane or other vehicle. 35. Having undesirable or negative qualities. 38. Proceeding from or ordered by or subject to a pope or the papacy regarded as the successor of the Apostles. 39. Lower in esteem. 41. Bushy plant of Old World salt marshes and sea beaches having prickly leaves. 42. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 43. An associate degree in nursing. 47. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 48. A light touch or stroke. 50. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 51. Unknown god. 52. A public promotion of some product or service. 54. A radioactive element of the actinide series.

Yesterday’s Solution


Page 45

Friday, April 2, 2010

COUNTRY CODES

FREE WILL ASTROLOGY A r i es ( M ar ch 2 1 - A pr i l 19 ) I'm worried about your ability to sneak and fake and dissemble. These skills seem to have atrophied in you. To quote Homer Simpson, "You couldn't fool your own mother on the foolingest day of your life with an electrified fooling machine!" Please, Aries, jump back into the game-playing, BS-dispensing routine the rest of us are caught up in. APRIL FOOL! Everything I just said was a filthy lie. In fact, I admire the candor and straightforwardness you've been cultivating. My only critique is that maybe you could take some of the edge off it. Try telling the raw truth with more relaxed grace.

Lib ra (S eptember 23October 22) As I studied your astrological data, a curious vision popped into my mind's eye. I saw a scene of a perky possum in a superhero costume giving you a tray of red jello covered with marshmallows, gumdrops, and chocolate kisses. And I knew immediately that it was a prime metaphor for your destiny right now. APRIL FOOL! I lied, sort of. Your imminent future may feature an unlikely offering from an unexpected source, but that offering will simply be like red jello from a possum -- with no superhero costume, and no marshmallows, gumdrops, or chocolate kisses.

Ta u r us ( A p r i l 2 0 - M a y 2 0 ) You'll probably dream of falling off a cliff, or plunging out of a hot-air balloon, or skydiving without a parachute. I'm very disappointed in your unconscious mind's decision to expose yourself to such unpleasant experiences, even if they are pretend. APRIL FOOL! I told you a half-truth. While it is likely that you will dream of diving off a mountaintop or tumbling out of a hot-air balloon or flying through the big sky without a parachute, your unconscious mind has arranged it so that you will land softly and safely in a giant pile of foam padding and feathers next to a waterfall whose roaring flow is singing your name. Despite the apparent inconvenience in the first part of the dream, you will be taken care of by the end.

S co r pi o ( O c t obe r 23 - N ov em b er 21) I sincerely hope that 2010 will be the year you stop worshiping Satan for good. Luckily, the coming weeks will be an excellent time to get that worthy project in gear. Despite the odd pleasures your twisted devotion to the Evil One seems to bring you, it actually undermines your ability to get what you want. The ironic fact of the matter is that pure unrepentant selfishness -- the kind that Satan celebrates -- is the worst possible way to achieve your selfish goals. APRIL FOOL! I know you don't really worship Satan. I was just hoping to jolt you into considering my real desire for you, which is to achieve your selfish goals by cultivating more unselfishness.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) On the Ghost Hunters TV program, paranormal researchers investigate places that are thought to be haunted by supernatural entities. One commercial for the show urges us, the viewers, to "Get fluent in fear!" That exhortation happens to be perfect advice for you, Gemini. APRIL FOOL! I lied. This is not at all a good time for you to get fluent in fear. But more than that. It's actually a momentous time to get un-fluent in fear. You have an unprecedented opportunity to stop casually exposing yourself to anxiety-inducing influences. You have amazing power to shut down that place in your imagination where you generate your scary fantasies. The conquest of your fears could be at hand!

Sagittarius (November 22December 21) According to Uncyclopedia.com, Riding the Snake is a book co-authored by Oscar Wilde and Jesus Christ in 1429 B.C. If you can find a copy, I strongly suggest you read it. You could really use some help in taming the unruly kundalini that has been whipping you around. APRIL FOOL! I lied. There is no such ancient book. But that doesn't change the fact that you'd really benefit from getting more control over your instinctual energy. I'd love to see your libidinous power be more thoroughly harnessed in behalf of your creative expression.

Cancer ( June 21-July 22) Your gambling chakra is conspiring with your inner roughneck to pull a fast one on your dignity chakra and your inner wuss. If they get away with their scheme you may find yourself having ridiculous yet holy fun in high places. And I wouldn't be surprised if in the course of these hijinks, your spirit guides channeled some holistic karma into the part of your psychic anatomy that we in the consciousness business call your "spiritual orgy button." APRIL FOOL! Sorry if that sounded a bit esoteric. I was invoking some faux shamanic jargon in the hope of bypassing your rational mind and tricking you into experiencing a fizzy, buoyant altered state, which would be an excellent tonic for both your mental and physical health.

Leo ( July 23-August 22) "I eat pressure for breakfast," says Leo-born James Cameron, director of Avatar and Titanic, the two highest grossing films ever made. Like many in your tribe, he has a very high opinion of himself. "Anybody can be a father or a husband," he told his fourth wife Linda Hamilton. "There are only five people in the world who can do what I do, and I'm going for that." He's your role model. APRIL FOOL! I lied. While I do urge you to focus intensely on the quality or talent that's most special about you, I strongly discourage you from neglecting your more ordinary roles. In Cameron's case, I'd advise him to start working on his next fantastic project but also spiff up his skills as a husband and father. Virgo (August 23-September 22) Do NOT, under any circumstances, express your anger at the mainstream media by taking a baseball bat into a superstore full of electronic gear and smashing 32 TV sets. Keep it to a minimum of 15 sets, please! APRIL FOOL! I lied. I definitely don't recommend that you smash any TVs with a baseball bat. However, you do have permission to bash and smash things in your imagination. In fact I encourage it. Engaging in a fantasy of breaking inanimate objects that symbolize what oppresses you will shatter a certain mental block that desperately needs shattering.

Capr ico r n (Dec emb er 22 J a n u a r y 1 9 ) Supermodel Selita Ebanks is your role model. In accordance with the astrological omens, I recommend that you arrange for the kind of special treatment she enjoys as she's preparing for a runway show. That means getting five stylists to work for hours every day perfecting every aspect of your physical appearance. Please make sure they apply no less than 20 layers of makeup to your butt. APRIL FOOL! I lied. The omens say this is not a good time to obsess on your outer beauty. They do suggest, however, that attending to your inner beauty would be smart. So please do the equivalent of getting 20 layers of makeup applied to your soul's butt. Aquarius (Januar y 20Februar y 18) Would it be a wise idea for you to stage your own kidnapping and demand ransom money for your release? Should you appear on a reality TV show that will expose your intimate secrets to millions of viewers? Could you get your spiritual evolution back on track by joining a religious cult? APRIL FOOL! The questions I just posed were terrible! They were irrelevant to the destiny you should be shaping for yourself. But they were provocative, and may therefore be the nudge you need to get smarter about formulating your choices. It has never been more important than it is right now for you to ask yourself good questions. P i s c e s ( Fe b r u a r y 1 9 Ma rch 20 ) It's an excellent time to demonstrate how strong and brave and indomitable you are. I suggest you carry out some heroic feat, like lying on a bed of nails while someone puts heavy concrete blocks all over your body, then uses a sledgehammer to smash those blocks. APRIL FOOL! What I just said is only half true. While it's an excellent time to prove your mettle, there are far more constructive ways to do it than lying on a bed of nails. For example, you could try shaking off a bad influence that chronically saps your energy.

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) 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

0093 00355 00213 00376 00244 001264 001268 0054 00374 0061 0043 001242 00973 00880 001246 00375 0032 00501 00229 001441 00975 00591 00387 00267 0055 00673 00359 00226 00257 00855 00237 001 00238 001345 00236 00235 0056 0086 0057 00269 00242 00682 00506 00385 0053 00357 0090392 00420 0045 00246 00253 001767 001809 00593 0020 00503 0044 00240 00291 00372 00251 00500 00298 00679 00358 0033 00594 00689 00241 00220 00995 0049 00233 00350 0030 00299 001473 00590 001671 00502 00224 00592 00509 0031 00504 00852 0036 0034 00354 0091 00873 0062 0098 00964 00353 0039 00225 001876 0081 00962 007 00254 00686 00965

Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Liberia Libya Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Macedonia Madagascar Majorca Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar (Burma) Namibia Nepal Netherlands (Holland) Netherlands Antilles New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Nigar Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Northern Ireland (UK) North Korea Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Helena Saint Kitts Saint Lucia Saint Pierre Saint Vincent Samoa US Samoa West San Marino Sao Tone Saudi Arabia Scotland (UK) Senegal Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Korea Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syria Taiwan Tanzania Thailand Toga Tonga Tokelau Trinidad Tunisia Turkey Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom Uruguay

00996 00856 00371 00961 00231 00218 00370 00352 00853 00389 00261 0034 00265 0060 00960 00223 00356 00692 00596 00222 00230 00269 0052 00691 00373 00377 00976 001664 00212 00258 0095 00264 00977 0031 00599 00687 0064 00505 00227 00234 00683 00672 0044 00850 0047 00968 0092 00680 00507 00675 00595 0051 0063 0048 00351 001787 00974 0040 007 00250 00290 001869 001758 00508 001784 00684 00685 00378 00239 00966 0044 00221 00284 00232 0065 00421 00386 00677 00252 0027 0082 0034 0094 00249 00597 00268 0046 0041 00963 00886 00255 0066 00228 00676 00690 001868 00216 0090 00688 00256 00380 00976 0044 00598


what's on

Page 46

Friday, april 2, 2010

Cinemagic news April 2010 Around the world in 10 films

KALA conducted EMS, AKG & Bishop Palouse Mar Palouse commemoration

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erala Art Lovers Association (KALA) conducted EMS, AKG and Bishop Palouse Mar Palouse commemoration at Abbassiya Central School auditorium. In the meeting was presided over by Kala president J. Albert; Sanalkumar, Jose Muttam and Rajan C. Kulakkada presented memorial papers on EMS, AKG and Bishop Palouse Mar Palouse respectively. Vanitha Vedi president Sajitha Skaria also spoke on the occasion. It was followed by a lively discussion on “Central and Sate Budget Approaches”. Thomas Mathew Kadavil presented the subject. Sattar Kunnil, Habeeb

Rahman, Jothidas and G. Koickaleth participated in the subsequent discussion. R. Ramesh was the moderator. Then the stage became a venue for the send off of Balavedi president Kumari Anjali Anna Thomas who is leaving to India for higher studies. J Albert presented her with Kala’s memento. Kala’s Fahaheel area drama troupe, who won the second place award in the Kambiserry Drama Competition, presented it to Kala Central Committee. Kala general secretary J. Saji welcomed the gathering and vice president T Sudhakaran proposed vote of thank.

Catholicos Designate honored by Armenian Orthodox Church in Kuwait

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aulose Mar Milithios Catholicos Designate honored in public meeting organized by the Armenian Orthodox Church in Kuwait. The specially arranged event was held at Kuwait city during Palm Sunday on 28th March 2010, at the presence of the spiritual leader Armenian Arch. Bishop Dr Gorian Babian. In his reply speech, Paulose Mar Milithios Metropolitan, highlights the similarity in the leadership of both churches; because the Armenian Orthodox Church belongs to the family of Oriental Orthodox Churches of which the Malankara Church also

belongs. His Beatitude Paulose Mar Milithios Catholicos Designate pointed that; the recent apostolic visit of Catholicos Aram-I to India (The head of one of the ancient oriental Orthodox Church founded later half of the 1st century) shows the unique example of good relation and cooperation between two churches. Also, he urges to make more action plan and effort to strengthen this relation. Furthermore, Paulose Mar Milithios added that, the visit of His Holiness Catholicos Aram-I to India; the historical event has been a great success because of the great support which we

Discover Your Talent

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eachers also have talents. This was an amazing discovery when on 30th March 2010, some of the teachers of Mansouriya Secondary School, gathered in the show room to display their talent. There was a wide range of talents displayed —cooking, photography, painting, drawing, baking, knitting, fashion designing, and handicrafts. The two judges Sawsan Al-Shaiji, Principal of Mansouriya Secondary School and Amal Halabi, vice -Principal had a tough time to take a decision as to who was the best. Teachers discover the talents of their students but has anybody discovered their talent. This was what was discovered by the English Language Department of Mansouriya Secondary School, Ministry of Education, Kuwait. One thing is for sure: Teachers are also competitive and creative. Each one worked hard and in an innovative way to display their talent.

have received from the Armenian Orthodox Church in Kuwait. He proposed that, the educational exchange programs for the theological student between Theological Seminaries of each countries, would help to them gain more knowledge

about Biblical Tradition, Christian Roots and Heritage. Brief history of Malankara Orthodox Church has also been included in his speech. Members of Armenian Orthodox Church here gave him warm reception with great enthusiasm and respect.

Welcome aborad Cinemagic’s Around The World Trip. Be ready to discover a wide selection of award winning masterpieces. Get lost in Tokyo’s streets, Go on a road trip to Brazil, Uncover the hidden feelings of Russia, Dream of a weird world in Germany, Get rebellious in Iran, Dive in a world of madness in South Korea, Discover who your true friend is in Norway, Dance on the crazy rhythms of Serbia, Defy the rules of India’s society and finally See a different side of Morocco. Don’t forget that we started charging 1kd, for the venue fees including refreshments, popcorn and much more. Consider it a token of care for us to keep on the venue rolling. For its part, Cinemagic Kuwait, is organizing these events as part of its efforts to contribute to the development of an internationally competitive Kuwaiti audio-visual production industry, partly by bringing the filmmakers and audiences together and by Increasing the public’s interest in the art of filmmaking and appreciate it. Contact via: screenings@cinemagics.com; or join our Facebook’s group “Cinemagic Kuwait. Please note that: ● Screenings will be canceled when confronted with very bad weather. ● Screenings will take place at our location in Old Salmiya, above LG Electronics. Saturday, April 3rd at 07:00 PM Central Do Brazil, Brazil 1998 Director: Walter Salles Genre: Drama | 113 min | English Subtitle Rated: PG 13 Dora, a dour old woman, works at a Rio de Janeiro central station, writing letters for customers and mailing them. She hates customers and calls them ‘trash’. Josue is a 9-year-old boy who never met his father. His mother is sending letters to his father through Dora. When she dies in a car accident, Dora takes Josue and takes a trip with him to find his father. Thursday, April 8th at 07:00 PM Vozvrashchenie, Russia 2009 Director: Andrei Zvyagintsev Genre: Drama | 105 min | English Subtitle Rated: 15+ Director Andrei Zvyagintsev makes a phenomenally assured directorial debut with THE RETURN. The spare tale focuses on two young brothers, Andrey and Vanya, whose lives are thrown into a tailspin when their father returns after a 12-year absence. Bullish and intense, the patriarch takes the boys on a mysterious journey through a bleak yet beautiful Russian landscape. While Andrey looks up to his father, Vanya has trouble forgiving him for disappearing so many years ago. This strain adds even more drama to the already tense atmosphere, culminating in a shocking event that will change their lives forever. Saturday, April 10th at 07:00 PM Tuvalu, Germany 1999 Director: Veit Helmer Genre: Drama | 101 min | English Subtitle Rated: 15+ Young apprentice and daydreamer Anton is an eccentric loner who dreams of the open seas and works in a vast, oncegrand bathhouse. Now ancient and crumbling pool is where local citizens go to escape their dreary lives. Into this world comes the beautiful young Eva, who has a similar desire for adventure as Anton and finds herself drawn to his strange ways. Unfortunately Gregor, Anton’s evil older brother, plots to tear down the bathhouse and the surrounding town to make way for his real estate development, and Anton need to save both his bathhouse and win Eva’s heart. Thursday, April 15th at 07:00 PM Offside, Iran 2006 Director: Jafar Panahi Genre: Drama | 93 min | English Subtitle Rated: PG 13 In a country where women are forbidden to attend football matches, a group of Persian girls disguises themselves as boys in order to see an all-important world cup qualifier. With soldiers roaming the stadium and parents becoming suspicious, will the girls manage to fool those that stand between them and a dream ticket? Saturday, April 17th at 07:00 PM SURPRISE FILM - South Korea 2009 Thursday, April 22nd at 07:00 PM Salmer fra kj’kkenet, Norway 2003 Director: Bent Hamer Genre: Comedy | 95 min | English Subtitle Rated: PG 13 The film concerns a team of Swedish scientists—all men—hired to observe bachelors living alone in Norway. Their methods are absurd. The observers live in funny little trailers outside their subjects’ houses. They sit in high, intimidating chairs placed in the corner of their subjects’ kitchens where they take notes on a clipboard. Finally, there is a strict rule that the observer and the subject must not speak to each other or make contact of any kind.


what's on

Friday, april 2, 2010

The British Academy of International Arts Presents

Around the World in 80 Days

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he British Academy of International Arts is pleased to announce it will be performing ‘Around the World in 80 days’ from 23 to 24 April in the Shakespeare Theatre at the British School of Kuwait. Around the World in 80 Days follows English gentleman Phyllis Fogg (Surya Butterworth, Cassio in Othello, the Moor of Venice) and his bumbling servant Passpartout (Hassan Rawas and Yousef Al Nasser, Peter in

the Railway Children) as they endeavor to complete a trip around the world in eighty days. Directed by Principal Alison Shan Price and Head of Dance Michelle Henly, Around the World in 80 Days contains a host of colourful characters and a variety of memorable songs that will entertain and amuse audiences of all ages. There will be four production of the performance as follows: Friday 23 April: 14.00 (Matinee) & 18.00 (Evening)

Saturday 24 April: 14.00 (Matinee) & 18.00 (Evening) The British Academy of International Arts is aware of the disasters suffered by the world at the beginning of this year. All proceeds raised by this production will go towards aiding Haiti and Chile rebuild and recover. Tickets cost KD 5 for all ages and are now available from the British Academy of International Arts Office (Salwa, Area 1, Street 1, opposite the British School of

Kuwait) and the British Institute of Vocational Training (Salmiya, Area 3, Street 5, House 3.) Both offices are open from 09.0017.00 on weekdays. The British Academy of International Art is also open on Saturdays from 08.0016.00. As tickets are in high demand, book early to avoid disappointment. For more information or if you would like to reserve tickets, please contact us on administrator@baia.com.kw.

Young talent excels in IAS Examination

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afazah Sharafuddin a young talent and a class III student from India International School Kuwait hailing from Mangalore, Karnataka has secured ‘Country Topper’ award in IAS (International Assessment for Schools). With this distinguished achievement at this tender age, Mafazah has added a one more glittering feather to the glorious cap of achievements of her school. Mafazah grabs the prestigious gold medal and the meritorious title, ‘Country Topper’ awarded by Educational Assessment Australia of the University of South Wales, Australia and Macmillan India Ltd for securing highest grade in English of IAS Examination across schools of Kuwait in 2009. There are 207,683 participants from class III to Class 12 all over the world. It is really great that she has become one among the few toppers. Mafazah also has also secured first rank in academic performance in 2009. She has proved her excellence in co curricular activities such as elocution and comparing of program. She is the 3rd child of of Sharafuddin B.S and Sameena Afshan.

Indian embassy, KMCC help accident victim

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n Indian man who suffered injuries and was bedridden for several months after an accident last September in a car accident is finally going home with the help of the Indian embassy and Kuwait Kerala Muslim Cultural Center (KMCC). Siddique, the unfortunate Indian is the sole source for his poor family in India. After the accident and the treatment at Adan hospital he was unable to continue to work and was under the care of KMCC. When Kuwait Times published the news about him, Indian Embassy took a special interest in his case. The embassy has provided the traveling ticket for Siddique and one accomplice. KMCC which had been collecting fund for him raised KD 430. The money is handed over and Siddique is traveling tomorrow back to his eagerly waiting family.

Swimming is a life skill

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he British School of Swimming is now taking registrations for the summer course, with entry after the Easter break. Our ever popular Red School, swimming on Sundays and Wednesdays and Blue School, swimming on Mondays and Thursdays have limited vacancies, so please check (phone number below) before you register. These 2 schools have the full range of childrens’ classes available, from 3 year old beginners up to advanced swimmers. To cope with the ever increasing number of families wishing to enjoy the benefits of our programme, we have opened the Yellow School which has classes available from 11:00am on Saturdays and from 5:00pm on Tuesdays. There will be 3 levels of beginner classes and 2 levels of intermediate classes available in this school. The British School of Swimming also offers dedicated classes for ladies and men from beginner to advanced level. We also look after the youngest members of the family with our Water Babies classes. If you would like more information about our swim school, you are welcome to visit us at The British School of Kuwait in Salwa, Block 1, Street 1, any weekday afternoon from 3:30 until 6:30pm Alternatively you can visit www.bsswim.com or call David on 9965 6305.

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Embassy information Embassy of UkrainE The Embassy of Ukraine in the State of Kuwait informs that it has started updating the information about Ukrainian citizens, who live and work in Kuwait. In this connection, we are asking you to refer to the Embassy and update your file in consular register in order not to be excluded from it. For additional information please call: 25318507 ext.106 or visit the embassy of Ukraine in the State of Kuwait (address: Hawalli, Jabriya, bl.10, str.6, house 5). The consular section of the Embassy open every day from 09:30 till 14:30 except Friday and Saturday. Embassy of inDia 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. EMbASSY of NEthErlANDS On the occasion of Easter, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands will be closed on Sunday, 04 April 2010 and Monday 05 April 2010. The Embassy will reopen on Tuesday, 06 April 2010. Fridays and Saturdays are the usual weekend of the Embassy. Opening hours are: Sunday- Thursday 09.00- 12.00 hrs (visa section) and 08.00- 15.00 hrs (all other sections). EMbASSY of KENYA The embassy of the Republic of Kenya wishes to inform the general public that the embassy will remain closed on Sunday 4th and Monday 5th April, 2010 to observe Easter. Normal office operations will resume on Tuesday 6th April, 2010.


Page 48

Friday, April 2, 2010

FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION 161

FLIGHT SCHEDULE

“IN CASE YOU ARE NOT TRAVELLING, YOUR PROPER CANCELLATION OF BOOKINGS WILL HELP OTHER PASSENGERS TO USE SEATS”. Airlines Wataniya Airways Tunis Air Wataniya Airways Kuwait Gulf Air Wataniya Airways Pakistan Turkish A/L Wataniya Airways Jazeera Jazeera DHL Emirates Jazeera Etihad Qatari Air France Ethiopian Jazeera Jazeera British Kuwait Jazeera Kuwait Jazeera Kuwait Fly Dubai Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Emirates Arabia Kuwait Qatari Etihad Jazeera Iran Air Wataniya Airways Gulf Air Middle East Jazeera Wataniya Airways Jazeera Jazeera Yemenia Jazeera Egypt Air Jazeera Kuwait Jazeera Wataniya Airways Royal Jordanian United A/L Jazeera Wataniya Airways Global Kuwait Kuwait Jazeera Qatari Kuwait Jazeera Mihin Lanka Jazeera Etihad Emirates Gulf Air Wataniya Airways Saudi Arabian A/L Jazeera Jazeera

Arrival Flights on Friday 02/04/2010 Flt Route 188 Bahrain 327 Tunis/Dubai 306 Cairo 544 Cairo 211 Bahrain 408 Beirut 215 Karachi 772 Istanbul 322 Sharm El Sheikh 513 Sharm El Sheikh 267 Beirut 370 Bahrain 853 Dubai 241 Amman 305 Abu Dhabi 138 Doha 6770 Paris 622 Addis Ababa/Bahrain 503 Luxor 527 Alexandria 157 London 416 Jakarta/Kuala Lumpur 481 Sabiha 206 Islamabad 529 Assiut 302 Mumbai 053 Dubai 676 Dubai 352 Cochin 284 Dhaka 362 Colombo 855 Dubai 121 Sharjah 286 Chittagong 132 Doha 301 Abu Dhabi 425 Bahrain 619 Lar 182 Bahrain 213 Bahrain 404 Beirut 165 Dubai 102 Dubai 447 Doha 113 Abu Dhabi 825 Sanaa 171 Dubai 610 Cairo 457 Damascus 672 Dubai 525 Alexandria 432 Damascus 800 Amman 982 Washington DC Dulles 257 Beirut 422 Amman 075 Baghdad 552 Damascus 744 Dammam 693 Shiraz 134 Doha 546 Alexandria 173 Dubai 403 Colombo/Dubai 427 Bahrain 303 Abu Dhabi 857 Dubai 215 Bahrain 402 Beirut 510 Riyadh 211 Isfahan 239 Amman

Time 00:30 00:35 00:50 00:50 01:05 01:05 01:15 01:15 01:20 01:45 01:45 02:15 02:25 02:55 02:55 03:25 03:25 03:30 05:15 06:05 06:30 06:35 06:40 07:15 07:30 07:50 07:55 08:00 08:05 08:10 0820 08:25 08:40 08:45 09:00 09:25 10:25 10:40 10:45 10:45 10:50 11:05 11:05 11:10 11:20 12:00 12:50 12:55 13:10 13:15 13:20 13:35 13:35 13:35 14:10 14:10 14:20 14:35 14:40 14:45 15:05 15:30 15:55 16:40 16:45 16:50 16:55 17:15 17:15 17:20 17:20 17:35

Arabia Jazeera Jazeera Sri Lankan Wataniya Airways Kuwait Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Jazeera Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Indian Kuwait Fly Dubai Oman Air Middle East Global Jet A/W Saudi Arabian A/L Wataniya Airways Jazeera DHL Gulf Air Kuwait Qatari Emirates Jazeera Lufthansa Egypt Air Shaheen Air Jazeera KLM Egypt Air Wataniya Airways Jazeera

125 361 497 227 304 166 106 502 542 618 674 177 614 774 102 575 662 061 641 402 081 572 506 404 459 372 217 786 136 859 429 636 612 441 185 0447 606 108 263

Sharjah Deirezzor Riyadh Colombo/Dubai Cairo Paris/Rome Dubai Beirut Cairo Doha Dubai Dubai Bahrain Riyadh New York/London Chennai/Goa Amman Dubai Muscat Beirut Baghdad Mumbai Jeddah Beirut Damascus Bahrain Bahrain Jeddah Doha Dubai Bahrain Frankfurt Cairo Lahore/Karachi Dubai Amsterdam/Bahrain Luxor Dubai Beirut

Departure Flights on Friday 02/04/2010 Airlines Flt Route Bangladesh 044 Dhaka India Express 390 Mangalore/Kozhikode Lufthansa 637 Frankfurt 982 Ahmadabad/Chennai Indian 206 Lahore Pakistan 328 Tunis Tunnis Air 528 Assiut Jazeera Turkish A/L 773 Istanbul Pakistan 216 Karachi DHL 371 Bahrain 854 Dubai Emirates 306 Abu Dhabi Etihad 622 Addis Ababa Ethiopian 139 Doha Qatari Air France 6770 Dubai/Hong Kong Wataniya Airways 101 Dubai Jazeera 164 Dubai Jazeera 524 Alexandria Jazeera 112 Abu Dhabi Jazeera 422 Bahrain Jazeera 446 Doha Gulf Air 212 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 181 Bahrain Jazeera 456 Damascus Wataniya Airways 431 Damascus British 156 London Kuwait 545 Alexandria Jazeera 256 Beirut Fly Dubai 054 Dubai Kuwait 177 Frankfurt/Geneva Global 076 Baghdad Jazeera 170 Dubai

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

Kuwait Kuwait Wataniya Airways Arabia Emirates Kuwait Qatari Etihad Gulf Air Wataniya Airways Iran Air Wataniya Airways Middle East Jazeera Kuwait Kuwait Jazeera Jazeera Kuwait Jazeera Yemenia Kuwait Jazeera Egypt Air Jazeera Royal Jordanian Kuwait Wataniya Airways Kuwait Jazeera Jazeera Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Jazeera Kuwait Kuwait Qatari Global Etihad Mihin Lanka Gulf Air Wataniya Airways Emirates Jazeera Arabia Saudi Arabian A/L Jazeera Jazeera Sri Lankan Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Fly Dubai Kuwait Oman Air Middle East Kuwait Jet A/W Wataniya Airways Gulf Air Saudi Arabian A/L DHL Kuwait Qatari Kuwait Kuwait Emirates Jazeera Jazeera Jazeera United A/L Kuwait Egypt Air

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

671 551 421 122 856 117 133 302 214 401 618 303 405 172 743 541 692 366 103 238 825 501 426 611 216 801 673 105 561 176 496 403 617 785 458 773 613 135 082 304 404 216 305 858 262 126 511 184 428 228 107 283 361 062 343 648 403 331 571 187 218 507 373 675 137 203 301 860 526 502 636 981 411 613

Dubai Damascus Amman Sharjah Dubai New York Doha Abu Dhabi Bahrain Beirut Lar Cairo Beirut Dubai Dammam Cairo Shiraz Deirezzor London Amman Doha/Sanaa Beirut Bahrain Cairo Isfahan Amman Dubai Dubai Amman Dubai Riyadh Beirut Doha Jeddah Damascus Riyadh Bahrain Doha Baghdad Abu Dhabi Dubai/Colombo Bahrain Cairo Dubai Beirut Sharjah Riyadh Dubai Bahrain Dubai/Colombo Dubai Dhaka Colombo Dubai Chennai Muscat Beirut Trivandrum Mumbai Bahrain Bahrain Jeddah Bahrain Dubai Doha Lahore Mumbai Dubai Alexandria Luxor Aleppo Washington DC Dulles Bangkok/Manila Cairo

09:00 09:10 09:10 09:20 09:40 10:00 10:00 10:10 11:35 11:35 11:40 11:50 11:50 11:55 11:55 12:00 12:00 12:20 12:30 12:30 13:00 13:00 13:55 13:55 14:05 14:30 14:30 14:30 14:35 14:55 15:00 15:10 15:35 15:45 15:50 16:05 16:20 16:20 17:00 17:35 17:40 18:05 18:05 18:05 18:15 18:20 18:33 19:00 19:10 19:10 19:40 20:00 20:20 20:50 21:00 21:15 21:20 21:25 21:30 21:35 21:55 21:55 22:00 22:10 22:35 22:40 22:45 23:10 23:20 23:30 23:35 23:40 23:40 23:55


CLASSIFIEDS

Friday, April 2, 2010

ACCOMMODATION Accommodation available for a decent non-smoking Keralite in Abbassiya near Lovely/Garden stores. Contact: 24334851, 99185377. (C 2079) Sharing rooms available in CAC building near Salmiya garden and Maidan Hawally with bath, single or couple, rent KD 100, 50, 40. Call 97151921. (C 2075) Spacious one room with balcony available for rent in a double bedroom flat at Salmiya, behind Al Jazeera complex, Gulf road, close to Pizza Hut & Rays One restaurant, rent KD 70. Contact: 97471492. (C 2076)

Two central A/C rooms available in Benaid-AlGar, very near to Al-Salam hospital for decent working ladies from April. Contact: 97879611. 1-4-2010 Sharing accommodation available for Keralite couples in a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom new flat at Abbassiya, near United School. Mob: Indian 97345539. (C 2070) Sharing accommodation available in Abbassiya for decent bachelor or working lady with Keralite family. Contact: 97534972. (C 2072) Furnished room with attached bath next to the main street Farwaniya is available with a small Pakistan family from 1st

April for 2 months (possibility to continue) visiting family or working ladies can call. 66509289. (C 2068) Sharing accommodation for single family or working lady, Abbassiya nearest India house. Contact: 66670285. (C 2073) 31-3-2010 Sharing accommodation available for Indian working ladies or couples in a double bedroom flat in near Khaitan police station roundabout with all facilities. Call: 99480468. (C 2066) 30-3-2010 Sharing accommodation available for a Christian bachelor at Abbassiya near Neethi store from 1st April. Rent KD 25. Contact: 66063182. (C 2065)

No: 14686

Page 49

Sharing available for one or two Indian bachelors in a furnished big mulhaq room at Abrak Khaitan close to bus stop and Jamiya (kitchen and bathroom attached). Rent KD 25. Call: 66036893. (C 2059) Sharing accommodation in Abbassiya for working ladies or couple. Contact: 97501647. (C 2060)

FOR SALE Toyota Camry Grande model 2006, 6 cylinders, done 86,000 kms only, golden beige color, excellent condition, cash price 3,400. Contact: KD 66211779. (C 2078) Toyota Camry 2006 model, GL, 4 cy, white color, km 82,000, good condition, cash 3,200 KD. Contact: 97800987. (C 2080) 1-4-2010 Honda Accord, 4 cylinder metallic white color, alloy wheels, automatic, used 52,000 km, in excellent condition, model 2008. Price KD 3,600. Contact: 66659560. (C 2071) Toyota Camry XLi, model 2002, 4 cylinders, done 93,000 km only, white color, excellent condition, cash price KD 1,900. Contact: 97213518. (C 2069) 31-3-2010

SITUATION WANTED Sri Lankan housekeeper/ maid with very good references is currently available for work with European/ Western family either part time or live in. Please call

97413349. (C 2074) 31-3-2010 Indian female (MBA in HR), 10 years experience in HR/Administration, specializing in recruitments, PMS, MIS reports & overall Admin functions. Proficient in MS Office. Good communication skills. Please contact: 66634322. (C 2049) 29-3-2010 Indian male pharmacy graduate passed license exam MOH, seeking immediate placement in companies or pharmacies or hospitals. Please call 66076805, 66038171.

MATRIMONIAL Proposals invited from parents of well educated

qualified boys for a Keralite CSI girl, 24 years, 165 cm, B.Tech (electronic & communication) working as project engineer in a reputed company. Please respond with boy’s complete personal/career details to email kamkwt@hotmail.com (C 2077) 1-4-2010

SITUATION VACANT Full time Filipino live-in maid required for a European family with 2 children. Must speak good English, previous experience with young children and references required. Please contact: 65887206. (C 2067) 30-3-2010

PRIVATE CLINICS Ophthalmologists: Dr. Abidallah Al-Mansoor 5622444 Dr. Samy Al-Rabeea 5752222 Dr. Masoma Habeeb 5321171 Dr. Mubarak Al-Ajmy 5739999 Dr. Mohsen Abel 5757700 Dr Adnan Hasan Alwayl 5732223 Dr. Abdallah Al-Baghly 5732223 Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT): Dr. Ahmed Fouad Mouner Dr. Abdallah Al-Ali Dr. Abd Al-Hameed Al-Taweel Dr. Sanad Al-Fathalah Dr. Mohammad Al-Daaory Dr. Ismail Al-Fodary Dr. Mahmoud Al-Booz

4555050 Ext 510 5644660 5646478 5311996 5731988 2620166 5651426

General Practitioners: Dr. Mohamme Y Majidi Dr. Yousef Al-Omar Dr. Tarek Al-Mikhazeem Dr. Kathem Maarafi Dr. Abdallah Ahmad Eyadah Dr. Nabeel Al-Ayoobi Dr. Dina Abidallah Al-Refae

4555050 Ext 123 4719312 3926920 5730465 5655528 4577781 5333501

Urologists: Dr. Ali Naser Al-Serfy 2641534 Dr. Fawzi Taher Abul 2639955 Dr. Khaleel Abidallah Al-Awadi 2616660

Dr. Adel Al-Hunayan FRCS (C) 5313120 Plastic Surgeons: Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari Dr. Abdel Quttainah

2547272 2617700 5625030/60

Family Doctor: Dr Divya Damodar

3729596/3729581

Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan

2635047 2613623/0

Gynaecologists & Obstetricians: Dr Adrian Harbe Dr. Verginia s.Marin Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan Dr. Majeda Khalefa Aliytami Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly Dr. Salem soso

3729596/3729581 572-6666 ext 8321 2655539 5343406 5739272 2618787

General Surgeons: Dr. Abidallah Behbahani 5717111 Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer 2610044 Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher 5327148

Dr. Latefa Al-Duweisan Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra Dr. Mobarak Aldoub Dr Nasser Behbehani

5728004 5355515 4726446 5654300/3

Paediatricians: Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed Dr. Zahra Qabazard Dr. Sohail Qamar Dr. Snaa Maaroof Dr. Pradip Gujare Dr. Zacharias Mathew

5340300 5710444 2621099 5713514 3713100 4334282

(1) Ear, Nose and Throat (2) Plastic Surgeon Dr. Abdul Mohsin Jafar, FRCS (Canada) 5655535 Dentists: 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

3729596/3729581 2641071/2 2562226 2561444 2619557 2525888 5653755 5620111

Internists, Chest & Heart: Dr. Adnan Ebil Dr. Mousa Khadada

2639939 2666300

Neurologists: Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri 5633324 Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan 5345875

Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman 2636464 Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly 5322030 Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali 2633135 Endocrinologist: Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman 5339330 Dr. Ahmad Al-Ansari 5658888 Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr 5329924 Physiotherapists & VD: Dr. Deyaa Shehab Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees

5722291 2666288

Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi 5330060 Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah 5722290 Internist, Chest & Heart: DR.Mohammes Akkad 4555050 Ext 210 Dr. Mohammad Zubaid MB, ChB, FRCPC, PACC Assistant Professor Of Medicine Head, Division of Cardiology Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital Tel: 5339667 Dr. Farida Al-Habib MD, PH.D, FACC Consultant Cardiologist Tel: 2611555-2622555


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Friday, April 2, 2010

TV Listings Orbit /Showtime Channels

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

Starter Wife The Unusuals Life Murdoch Mysteries The Unusuals Sons of Anarchy CSI Starter Wife Without a Trace Ghost Whisperer Life Murdoch Mysteries CSI Sons of Anarchy Life The Unusuals Without a Trace Ghost Whisperer Starter Wife Inside the Actors Studio The Pacific Survivor The Closer The Tudors

00:45 Animal Cops Phoenix 01:40 Untamed & Uncut 02:35 Living with the Wolfman 03:00 Living with the Wolfman 03:30 Animal Cops Phoenix 04:25 Miami Animal Police 05:20 Going Ape 05:45 Planet Wild 06:10 E-Vets: The Interns 06:35 Aussie Animal Rescue 07:00 Wildlife SOS 07:25 Pet Rescue 07:50 Saba and the Rhino’s Secret 08:45 The Jeff Corwin Experience 09:40 Beverly Hills Groomer 10:05 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 10:30 All New Planet’s Funniest Animals 10:55 Going Ape 11:20 Planet Wild 11:50 Miami Animal Police 12:45 E-Vets: The Interns 13:10 Pet Rescue 13:40 Animal Cops Phoenix 14:35 Wildlife SOS 15:00 Aussie Animal Rescue 15:30 Saba and the Rhino’s Secret 16:25 All New Planet’s Funniest Animals 16:50 All New Planet’s Funniest Animals 17:20 Beverly Hills Groomer 17:45 Animal Battlegrounds 18:15 Ultimate Killers 18:40 Ultimate Killers 19:10 Great Ocean Adventures 20:10 Animal Cops Phoenix 21:05 Untamed & Uncut

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

Little Britain The Ship Red Dwarf Red Dwarf Green Green Grass Red Dwarf The Keith Barret Show The League Of Gentlemen The Ship Bargain Hunt Teletubbies Me Too Tweenies Teletubbies Me Too Tweenies Teletubbies Me Too Tweenies Bargain Hunt The Ship Red Dwarf Red Dwarf The Weakest Link Eastenders Doctors Bargain Hunt Cash In The Attic Red Dwarf Red Dwarf The Weakest Link Doctors Eastenders

18:00 18:30 19:00 20:00 20:45 21:15 22:50 23:35

2 Point 4 Children Green Green Grass Coast The Weakest Link Doctors After Thomas Robin Hood Holby Blue

00:05 Sweet Baby James 00:30 Rhodes Across India 01:15 Cash In The Attic USA 01:40 Hidden Potential 02:05 Antiques Roadshow 02:55 Antiques Roadshow 03:45 The Home Show 04:35 Cash In The Attic USA 04:55 Cash In The Attic USA 05:15 Hidden Potential 05:35 Living In The Sun 06:25 The Home Show 07:15 Cash In The Attic USA 07:35 Cash In The Attic USA 08:00 Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes 08:50 The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook 10:35 Ching’s Kitchen 12:15 Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes 13:05 Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes 13:55 Nigella Express 15:40 The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook 17:20 Ching’s Kitchen 19:00 Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes 20:40 MasterChef Goes Large 21:10 Come Dine With Me 21:35 Come Dine With Me 22:00 Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes 22:50 Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escapes 23:40 Nigella Express

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

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

Je Crois Que Je L’aime-PG15 Man On Wire-PG15 Diamond 13-18 Trekkies 2-PG Looking For Richard-PG15 Save The Last Dance-PG Travellers And MagiciansLosing Isaiah-PG15 Chariots Of Fire-PG Night Falls On Manhattan-18 No Country For Old MenCe Soir Je Dors Chez Toi-18

Rampage! Miami Ink Street Customs 2008 Heartland Thunder Ultimate Biker Challenge Ultimate Biker Challenge Mythbusters How Stuff’s Made Dirty Jobs Man Made Marvels Ultimate Biker Challenge Ultimate Biker Challenge Street Customs 2008 How Do They Do It? Mythbusters Ultimate Survival Heartland Thunder How Do They Do It? How Stuff’s Made American Chopper Miami Ink Mythbusters Dirty Jobs Verminators Street Customs 2008 Destroyed in Seconds How Do They Do It? How Stuff’s Made Fifth Gear Fifth Gear American Chopper

00:30 Human Cloning 01:20 The Future of... 02:10 I, Videogame

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

Beyond Tomorrow How Techies Changed the How Stuff’s Made Green Wheels One Step Beyond Human Cloning Junkyard Wars Science of Star Wars The Future of... How Stuff’s Made Stunt Junkies Human Cloning Green Wheels One Step Beyond Science of Star Wars The Colony The Colony How Stuff’s Made Junkyard Wars Brainiac The Greatest Ever Sci-Fi Science Sci-Fi Science Weird Connections Weird Connections How It’s Made How It’s Made Mythbusters Specials Sci-Fi Science Sci-Fi Science Weird Connections Weird Connections

00:00 Hannah Montana 00:20 Handy Manny 00:45 Lazytown 01:10 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 01:35 Imagination Movers 02:00 Special Agent Oso 02:25 Suite Life On Deck 02:45 Replacements 03:10 American Dragon 03:35 Kim Possible 04:00 Famous Five 04:25 Fairly Odd Parents 04:45 Phineas & Ferb 05:10 Fairly Odd Parents 05:35 Suite Life On Deck 06:00 Higglytown Heroes 06:10 Handy Manny 06:35 Lazytown 07:00 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 07:20 Imagination Movers 07:45 Special Agent Oso 08:10 Fairly Odd Parents 08:35 Suite Life On Deck 09:00 Wizards Of Waverly Place 09:25 Sonny With A Chance 09:45 Jonas 10:10 Hannah Montana 10:30 Princess Protection Programme 12:00 Hannah Montana 12:25 Hannah Montana 12:45 Hannah Montana 13:10 Hannah Montana 13:30 Hannah Montana 13:55 Hannah Montana 14:20 Hannah Montana 14:45 The Replacements 15:00 Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs 16:30 Sonny With A Chance 16:45 Fairly Odd Parents 17:10 Phineas & Ferb 17:35 Suite Life On Deck 18:00 Wizards Of Waverly Place 18:25 Hannah Montana 18:45 The Replacements 19:00 Tinkerbell And The Lost Treasure 20:35 Wizards Of Waverly Place 21:00 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 21:25 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 21:45 The Replacements 22:00 Fairly Odd Parents 22:25 Suite Life On Deck 22:50 Wizards Of Waverly Place 23:15 Sonny With A Chance 23:35 Jonas

00:15 Streets Of Hollywood 00:40 E!es 01:30 Extreme Hollywood 02:20 Sexiest 03:15 Ths 05:05 Dr 90210 06:00 Ths 07:45 Extreme Hollywood 08:35 E! News 09:00 The Daily 10 09:25 Keeping Up With Kardashians 09:50 Keeping Up With Kardashians

The The

10:15 Ths 11:05 Ths 12:00 E! News 12:25 The Daily 10 12:50 Bank Of Hollywood 13:40 40 Smokin’ On Set Hookups 15:25 Behind The Scenes 15:50 Behind The Scenes 16:15 Ths 17:10 Leave It To Lamas 17:35 Leave It To Lamas 18:00 E! News 18:25 The Daily 10 18:50 Streets Of Hollywood 19:15 Battle Of The Hollywood Hotties 19:40 Ths 20:30 E!es 21:20 Kendra 21:45 Kendra 22:10 E! News 22:35 The Daily 10 23:00 Dr 90210 23:50 Wildest Tv Show Moments

00:00 M1 Challenge 01:00 M1 Challenge 02:00 Greg the Bunny 02:30 Greg the Bunny 03:00 M1 Challenge 04:00 Saab Avalanche Trophy 2008 04:30 Saab Avalanche Trophy 2008 05:00 M1 Challenge World Motocross 06:00 FIM Championships 2009 07:00 Crossing Borders 07:30 Crossing Borders 08:00 LG Action Sports World Championships 2008 09:00 Winter X Games 13 10:00 Pro Bull Riders 11:00 Pro Bull Riders 12:00 FIM World Motocross Championships 2009 13:00 Saab Avalanche Trophy 2008 13:30 Saab Avalanche Trophy 2008 14:00 Crossing Borders 14:30 Crossing Borders 15:00 Winter X Games 13 16:00 FIM World Motocross Championships 2009 17:00 Winter Dew Tour 09/10 18:00 Saab Avalanche Trophy 2008 18:30 Saab Avalanche Trophy 2008 19:00 Winter X Games 13 20:00 Pro Bull Riders 21:00 Winter Dew Tour 09/10

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

FBI Files A Haunting On the Case with Paula Zahn Crimes That Shook the World Forensic Detectives Black Museum Dr G: Medical Examiner Ghosthunters Ghosthunters Forensic Detectives FBI Files CSU Solved Forensic Detectives FBI Files Diagnosis: Unknown Solved Mystery ER Forensic Detectives FBI Files CSU Solved Forensic Detectives FBI Files Diagnosis: Unknown Solved

01:15 03:10 05:05 06:35 08:45 10:10 12:05 13:35 15:10 17:00 18:45 20:15 22:00 23:25

The Big Man The Believers Chattahoochee The Hawaiians Conflict of Interest The Bridge At Remagen Ski Patrol Beach Party Queen Of Hearts Pascalis Island Interiors Futureworld Deadly Intent Mac and Me

Death Race on Show Movies

00:00 00:30 01:00 02:00 07:00 08:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 17:00 18:00 19:00 19:30 20:00 21:00 22:00 23:00

Fist Of Zen 2 Lick Shots Music Non Stop Music Mix Starter Mtv Breakfast Club Alarm Mtv Top 10  Daft Punk Music Non Stop Lunchbox Electrosync Weekend Mtv Icon Timbaland Worldchart Express Music Non Stop This Is The New Sh*T Dancefloor Chart Most Wanted (P) Taking The Stage 2 (P) World Stage

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

Bondi Rescue Bondi Rescue Wild Rides First Ascent Bondi Rescue Destination Extreme Surfer’s Journal Treks In A Wild World Madventures Chasing Time Lonely Planet Bondi Rescue Bondi Rescue Wild Rides First Ascent Bondi Rescue Destination Extreme Surfer’s Journal Treks In A Wild World Madventures Chasing Time Lonely Planet Don’t Tell My Mother... By Any Means Bondi Rescue Destination Extreme Surfer’s Journal Treks In A Wild World Madventures Chasing Time Lonely Planet Don’t Tell My Mother... By Any Means Bondi Rescue Destination Extreme Surfer’s Journal Treks In A Wild World Madventures Chasing Time

00:00 Modern Family 00:30 New adventures of old Christine 01:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 01:30 The Colbert Report 02:00 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 03:00 Family Guy 03:30 Hung 04:00 Sauturday Night Live 05:00 Modern Family 05:30 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 06:30 Everybody Loves Raymond 07:00 Just Shoot me! 07:30 Malcolm in the Middle 08:00 Frasier 08:30 Tyler Perry’s House of Payne 09:00 The Nanny 09:30 Drew Carey 10:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 10:30 Just Shoot me! 11:00 Frasier 11:30 Eight Simple Rules 12:00 The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson 13:00 New adventures of old Christine 13:30 Tyler Perry’s House of Payne 14:00 The Nanny 14:30 Three sisters 15:00 Modern Family 15:30 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 George Lopez 17:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 17:30 Frasier 18:00 The Bernie Mac Show 18:30 Dharma & Greg 19:00 How I met your mother 19:30 Two and a half men 20:00 Late night with Jimmy Fallon 21:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Cougar Town 22:30 East Bound & Down 23:00 Sauturday Night Live

00:00 01:00 01:30 02:00 03:00 04:00 Leno 05:00 07:00 07:30 08:00

What’s Good For You 10 Years younger Look A Like The Ellen DeGeneres Show The Monique Show The Tonight show with Jay GMA Live GMA Health What’s the Buzz What’s Good For You


Page 51

Friday, April 2, 2010 09:00 09:30 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 16:00 16:30 17:00 Leno 18:00 18:30 19:00 20:00 21:00 22:00 Leno 23:00

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

Look A Like 10 Years younger Jimmy Kimmel Live! The View The Ellen DeGeneres Show What’s Good For You GMA Live GMA Health What’s the Buzz The Tonight show with Jay Look A Like 10 Years younger The View The Ellen DeGeneres Show Jimmy Kimmel Live! The Tonight Show with Jay

04:30 Christmas In Wonderland-PG 06:00 The Nameless Warrior-FAM 08:00 Barbie Fairytopia-FAM 10:00 Christmas In Wonderland-PG 12:00 Chill Out: Scooby-Doo-FAM 14:00 The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian-PG 16:30 Yogi Bear and The Magical Flight of The Spruce Goose-PG 18:00 Justice League: The New Frontier-FAM 20:00 Aussie And Ted’s Great Adventure-PG 22:00 Chill Out: Scooby-Doo-FAM

= 01:04 02:00 02:45 08:04 08:45 13:04 13:50 16:04 16:45 18:00 18:45 19:00 20:04

The Monique Show

Little Einsteins Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jo Jo’s Circus Jo Jo’s Circus Higglytown Heroes Higglytown Heroes My Friends Tigger And Pooh Chuggington Handy Manny Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Special Agent OSO Chuggington Chuggington Imagination Movers Handy Manny Special Agent OSO Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Special Agent OSO Handy Manny Chuggington Handy Manny Handy Manny Chuggington Chuggington Chuggington Chuggington Chuggington Mickey’s Great Clubhouse

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

Bones Dollhouse Sex and the City Beauty and the Geek Every Body Loves Raymond Coach 24 Emmerdale Coronation Street Cold Case Every Body Loves Raymond Coach Beauty and the Geek 24 Cold Case Emmerdale Coronation Street Every Body Loves Raymond Coach Bones Dollhouse 24 Beauty and the Geek Better off Ted Billable Hours Parkinson Parkinson Flash Forwards Life on Mars Sex and the City Sex and the City Parkinson

00:00 Globe Trekker 01:00 Angry Planet 01:30 The Thirsty Traveler 02:00 Essential 02:30 Essential 03:00 Distant Shores 03:30 Wild At Heart 04:00 Julian and Camilla’s World Odyssey 05:00 Globe Trekker 06:00 Great Scenic RailwaysAustralia 07:00 The Thirsty Traveler 07:30 Angry Planet 08:00 Globe Trekker 09:00 Essential 09:30 Dream Destinations 10:00 Distant Shores 10:30 Distant Shores 11:00 Chef Abroad 11:30 Entrada 12:00 Planet Food 13:00 Globe Trekker 14:00 Chef Abroad 14:30 The Thirsty Traveler 15:00 Sophie Grigson in the Souk 15:30 Entrada 16:00 Essential 16:30 Essential 17:00 Globe Trekker 18:00 Essential 18:30 Journey Into Wine-South Africa 19:00 Chef Abroad 19:30 The Thirsty Traveler 20:00 Globe Trekker 21:00 Globe Trekker 22:00 Intrepid Journeys

Chuggington Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

00:00 Lions For Lambs-PG15 02:00 Guilty Hearts-PG15 04:00 Sarah Landon And The Paranormal Hour-PG 06:00 Drillbit Taylor-PG15 08:00 Gracie-PG15 10:00 For One More Day-PG15 12:00 The Bucket List-PG15 14:00 Mongol-PG15 16:15 Gracie-PG15 18:00 Leatherheads-PG15 20:00 Death Race-18 22:00 Get Smart-PG15

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

Alone In The Dark 2-18 April Fool’s Day-18 Lost-PG15 Fire From Below-PG15 Vantage Point-PG15 The Shepherd-PG15 Circus-PG15 Vantage Point-PG15 Palermo Shooting-PG15 Hush-18 Vacancy 2: The First Cut-18 The Blackout-PG15

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

Killer Bean Forever-PG15 New York City SerenadeTortilla Soup-PG15 Americanizing Shelly-PG Parenthood-PG15 Pretty In Pink-PG15 Short Track-PG Down To Earth-PG15 Killer Bean Forever-PG15 The Lonely Guy-PG15 Otis-PG15 How To Be A Player-18

00:00 Barbie And The Magic Of Pegasus-FAM 02:00 The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian-PG

01:30 Premier League World 02:00 Goals Goals Goals 02:30 Barclays Premier League Highlights 03:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 04:00 Premier League 06:00 Premier League Classics 07:00 Premier League World 07:30 Premier League 09:30 Premier League Darts 13:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 14:00 Brazil League Highlights 14:30 Portugol 15:00 Premier League Classics 15:30 Barclays Premier League Highlights 16:30 Premier League World 17:00 Live Premier League 19:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 19:30 Barclays Premier League Highlights 20:30 Goals Goals Goals 21:00 Premier League World 21:30 Live Premier League Preview Show 22:30 Premier League

01:00 03:00 04:00 06:00 06:30 07:00 10:00 10:30 11:00 11:30 12:00 12:30 14:45 17:00 19:00 21:00 21:30 Show 22:00

Super League AFL Highlights Guinness Premiership Futbol Mundial European Tour Weekly AFL Toyota Premiership Futbol Mundial Premier League World Mobil 1 The Grid European Tour Weekly ICC Cricket World Live NRL Premiership Live Super League Live Super League NRL Premiership V8 Supercars Premier League Preview Premier League Darts

00:00 Barclays Premier League Highlights 01:00 ICC Cricket World 01:30 SPL Highlights 02:00 Premier League Darts

Hit US Urban Hit Playlist French Only Playlist Urban Hit Playlist Africa Playlist Urban Hit Playlist Trace Video Mix New

The 11th Hour on Super Movies 06:00 Live NRL Premiership 08:00 ICC Cricket World 08:30 Futbol Mundial 09:00 Mobil 1 The Grid 09:30 Live Super 14 11:30 Barclays Premier League Highlights 12:30 World Sport 13:00 Live Super 14 15:00 Super 14 17:00 European Tour Weekly 17:30 Live PGA European Tour 20:30 WWE Smack Down 22:30 WWE Bottom Line 23:30 NRL Premiership

00:00 01:00 02:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 09:00 09:30 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 19:00 21:00 23:00

UFC - The Ultimate Fighter UFC Wired UFC Fight Night 21 UFC - The Ultimate Fighter UFC Unleashed UFC Wired NCAA Basketball FIM World Cup UAE National Race Day Ironman Bushido WWE NXT WWE Vintage Collection NCAA Basketball UFC Fight Night 21 UFC 112 Countdown UFC - The Ultimate Fighter UFC 104 UFC - The Ultimate Fighter

01:00 21-PG15 03:00 The Day The Earth Stood Still-PG15 05:00 The 11th Hour-U 07:00 Where God Left His Shoes

09:00 11:00 13:00 15:00 17:00 19:00 21:00 23:00

The Good Heart-PG15 Happy Go Lucky-PG15 Frame Of Mind-PG15 Kung Fu Panda-PG The Good Heart-PG15 Babylon A.D.-PG15 Fool’s Gold-PG15 The Eye-R

01:40 04:00 07:00 08:50 10:30 11:00 12:45 14:35 16:25 18:25 22:00 23:45

Kelly’s Heroes Mutiny On The Bounty White Heat Echoes Of A Summer The Screening Room Butterflies Are Free White Heat Meet Me In St. Louis The Yellow Rolls-Royce Gone With The Wind Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice The Collector

00:30 01:20 02:10 03:00 03:55 04:50 05:40 06:30 07:20 08:10 09:00 09:55 10:50 11:40 12:30 13:20 14:10 15:00 15:55

The Universe 3 Human Weapon Modern Marvels Life After People Evolve Dinosaur Secrets How the Earth Was Made The Universe 3 Human Weapon Modern Marvels Life After People Evolve Dinosaur Secrets How the Earth Was Made The Universe 3 Human Weapon Modern Marvels Life After People Evolve

16:50 17:40 18:30 19:20 20:10 21:00 21:55 22:50 23:40

Dinosaur Secrets How the Earth Was Made The Universe 3 Human Weapon Modern Marvels Ax Men 2 Tunnellers The Universe Mega Disasters

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

Dr 90210 Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane Dallas Divas & Daughters How Do I Look? Split Ends Dr 90210 Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane Area How Do I Look? Style Star Style Her Famous My Celebrity Home Style Star Dress My Nest Peter Perfect Whose Wedding Is it Anyway? Ruby Giuliana & Bill Clean House Clean House Comes Clean Clean House Comes Clean Dress My Nest Dress My Nest Dress My Nest Dress My Nest Dress My Nest Clean House Clean House Clean House Dress My Nest Style Her Famous Clean House Ruby Ruby

00:05 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends 00:30 Cramp Twins 00:55 George Of The Jungle 01:20 Adrenalini Brothers 01:45 Eliot Kid 02:10 Ed, Edd N Eddy 02:35 Class Of 3000 03:00 The Powerpuff Girls 03:15 Robotboy 03:40 The Secret Saturdays 04:05 Chowder 04:30 Ben 10 04:55 Best Ed 05:20 Samurai Jack 05:45 Cramp Twins 06:10 Eliot Kid 06:35 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 07:00 My Spy Family 07:25 Chowder 07:50 Best Ed 08:15 Chop Socky Chooks 08:40 Ben 10: Alien Force 09:05 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 09:30 Alien Force 60 10:30 Squirrel Boy 10:55 Robotboy 11:20 Camp Lazlo 11:45 The Powerpuff Girls 12:10 Class Of 3000 12:35 Ed, Edd N Eddy 13:00 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends 13:25 Codename: Kids Next Door 13:50 Ben 10 14:15 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey 14:40 Squirrel Boy 15:05 Eliot Kid 15:35 George Of The Jungle 16:00 Skunk Fu! 16:25 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 16:50 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 17:15 The Secret Saturdays 17:40 Ben 10: Alien Force 18:05 Casper’s Scare School 18:30 Squirrel Boy 19:00 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 19:25 Chop Socky Chooks 19:50 My Gym Partner’s A Monkey


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he ‘Fool’s Gold’ actress is throwing herself into the single life following her split from baseball star Alex ‘A-Rod’ Rodriguez - and has been growing increasingly close to photographer and cameraman Darren Ankenman, an unnamed stockbroker and Australian golfer Adam Scott. However, the star’s ex-husband, Black Crowes rocker Chris Robinson - with whom she has a six-year-old son Ryder - is said to be unhappy with her behavior. A source said: “Chris is concerned about Ryder and the effect all this dating will have on him. He knows there’s not much he can do about it. Kate enjoys the company of a man.” Although little is known about the

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he 40-year-old singer-and-actress is preparing to make a comeback with a world tour and new movie, ‘The Back-Up Plan’, two years after giving birth to twins Max and Emme - her children with husband Marc Anthony - and admits having such a long break has made her feel like she is starting out again. She said: “I feel like it’s a new beginning. It’s a bit like when I was a teenager about to embark on this career but it’s much more challenging, difficult and harder. “I have so much more

experience now but I feel just as fresh as I did back then and I’m excited about my life.” Despite enjoying her time at home with her family, Jennifer insists she has no plans to ever give up working. She added in an interview with the Daily Mirror newspaper: “I won’t stop doing what I do. Maybe I’ll get to a point where I’m tired and feel I’ve done enough, but right now I see myself always working and expressing myself - whether in music or movies or fashion or whatever. That’s what I love to do.”

Lopez feels like a teenager again

stockbroker, Kate met the other two guys while she was still seeing Alex, though did not get romantically involved with them until after her break-up. The source told the New York Daily News newspaper: “Kate met Darren when they were working on ‘Bride Wars’. They hit it off on the set, but nothing romantic happened until after she and Alex broke up during the winter. “She was casually seeing both Alex and Adam at the same time, but she broke things off with Adam when she got serious with ‘A-Rod’. She recently got back in touch with Adam when he was in Los Angeles, and they’ve been seeing each other. They’ve always gotten along really well.”

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er research h years ago to spaper 0 1 d n u o ar ew costs alcoholic n help her role as an the film ‘28 Days’. It will have to mes ck o ll u B th to n in ra o and sse Ja columnist ,000 to $64,000 a m ost husband Je h 0 4 a $ n re estranged addiction. The e e e h betw e-w x at the centr gedly been beat his se preneur - who has le be treated al e e av ss h tr e n s tr e famous face g Michael Douglas, motorcycle of cheating on the ac y f o d tl ie udin been accuse er women - is curren treated incl ston and Nicole Rich s. th d u o o n r u H u ro y fo g e n h n o e wit -acr Tucs Whit to be ted on 160 is the Sierra staying at n Center, in Arizona, d hich is loca dra ventured out th w an an io S ” , at y e it ar il it il h sc iv ab w O ls h u Re mp The Mean “sexual co t, it a friend. e treated for one former sex addic r week to vis ss was spotted at th er te e ri to n tr w g re ac S in B U g l rd e . in ri co al n ac ab uci win home of G pport is cr Sandra’s su et-Lewis - who wrote everly Hills vate investment firm n B iz -o is f pri Benoit Den ggle to overcome h t the head o rnational Group, LLC nd h ru li ig st te B E is In e s: h h r of ‘T about nymou Brene ay. A friend le.com: merica Ano ife’ - told sd ‘A e n in d e s e W rg u L ld Peop Search of a Side’ star to ere on business. Addicts in s outlet WESH: th t o n w ’s e “She s for Orlando n in sex been friend a lot of e ’v e y n e o h y T an s e d n ar e “For y sp e e th h hab, if decades. S ouse.” Gabriel and addiction re e their h is h v time at s at hoping to sa a lot of were guest ding d his family ed w ’s e marriage an Jess e Sandra and ywood beauty has them are, th obviously ll o n and the H h the family on participatio r the it o e if holidayed w ns. w e of th io ly as te cc lu o l so ra ab e v se partner is dra, 45, is an critical.” S e said to hav e th d e visit facility

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Friday, April 2, 2010

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ngelina Jolie’s former bodyguard claims she’s “totally psycho”. The man - who would only be identified as Bill - worked for the Oscar-winning actress at the start of her relationship with Brad Pitt and insists she’s nothing like her do-gooder image. He said: “Angelina has a public and a private persona. In my opinion, the real Angelina is self-centered and a control freak. She has no patience at all. She doesn’t do things out of the kindness of her heart. And she’s totally psycho ... she screams and yells a lot, then walks away.” Bill also alleged Angelina - who raises six children with Brad - would take her anger out on her partner and their kids, the number of which was unknown when Bill was working for them. He told In Touch Weekly magazine: “She would disappear into her suite for hours leaving the staff and Brad to

deal with the children. She would punish them with silence. I think she could be abusive at times in a mental way.” While Brad and Angelina - who officially got together in 2005, soon after his split from exwife Jennifer Aniston - enjoyed “spontaneous sex” at the start of their romance, their relationship has allegedly fallen apart so much they often sleep in different bedrooms. Bill blames their faltering romance on the fact Angelina doesn’t really trust Brad and always needs to find out what he’s been up to. The bodyguard added: “She’ll call him from the set to interrogate him. His face goes white, and he just stares at his feet. “When Angelina’s yelling becomes unbearable, Brad will put her on speaker and walk away from the phone. Angelina will hang up and continue calling until one of the staff picks up.”

Ex-bodyguard brands Angelina ‘totally psycho’

Ricky Gervais’ fat blast stop them.” Although Ricky - who lost a lot of weight last year - understands how difficult it can be to shift excess pounds, he still finds it funny to include jokes about fat people in his comedy sketches. He added to Britain’s GQ magazine: “I do a new routine where I say, ‘I don’t want to make any fat people feel uncomfortable, so next time, buy two seats.’ Are you asking me if I hate fat people? Do I think they eat too much? They eat too much if they want to be thin. If they want to stay fat, they’re eating just the right amount.”

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aris Hilton treats her dogs to snacks before bed. The animalloving star - who has several pet pooches - makes sure her beloved mutts go to sleep on a full stomach every night. She tweeted: “Just finished giving all my puppies their late night snack and now tucking myself into bed. Sweet dreams everyone!” Before she heads off to bed Paris - who is dating former ‘The Hills’ hunk Doug Reinhardt - sticks to a special routine to get herself ready for a good night’s sleep. She revealed in another twitter post: “A bubble bath is the perfect end to a long day.” As well as her dogs, Paris also has a pet parrot who likes to greet her when she gets home. She wrote on twitter: “Just got home from a long day of meetings. First thing I heard when I walked in was my Parrot Hank Bark, Oink, Whistle then say ‘Hello Hank!’ (sic)”

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Sting calls for the legalization of marijuana

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icky Gervais believes “fat people” are like heroin addicts. The British comic has no sympathy for overweight people because it is their “own fault” they’ve put on weight and they need to be weaned off calorific treats like “smack heads” - a slang term used for those addicted to the deadly drug - should be kept away from narcotics. Discussing whether or not he hates overweight people, he said: “Well, it’s their fault they’re fat. They ate too much. Those are the rules. I got fat because I ate too much. I knew why I was getting fat. I didn’t think I had a tumor up my backside. I thought it was because I ate cheese and pizza every f***ing night. I knew what I was doing. So there’s no point going round feeling sorry for them. It wasn’t a trick. “It’s like dealing with smack heads. We’ve got to

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he ‘Bounty Hunter’ actress who has dated stars including Vince Vaughn and John Mayer since splitting from husband Brad Pitt in 2005 - claims she’s ready to put the past behind her and explore different avenues within her career and personal life. She said: “The last five years have been about spring cleaning for me. Now it’s time for my rebirth. I love trying new things. I can’t just be put in a box.” The former ‘Friends’ star is planning on living more in “the now” like some of her friends in Hollywood because she has so many regrets about what she has not yet achieved. She told Britain’s Harper’s Bazaar magazine: “I love what Drew Barrymore is doing with directing. It’s so much about a rebirth for her, and I love it when people are living in the now, like her. “I hate it when people look back and

Hilton give s dogs bedtime sn a ck

he ‘Fields of Gold’ singer insists America should spend the money it uses jailing users of the drug on tackling poverty and global warming. Sting, 58, wrote on his blog how he feels marijuana users are imprisoned for a crime that doesn’t hurt anyone. He said: “The ‘War on Drugs’ has failed but it’s worse than that. It is actively harming our society. Violent crime is thriving in the shadows to which the drug trade has been consigned. “People who genuinely need help can’t get it. Neither can people who need medical marijuana to treat terrible diseases. “We are spending billions, filling up our prisons with nonviolent offenders and sacrificing our liberties.” Sting - real name Gordon Sumner - called for people to support the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), an activist group who campaign for those jailed for nonviolent drugs offences to be released from prison. He continued: “For years, the ‘Drug War’ has been used as a pretext to lock people in prison for exorbitant lengths of time - people whose ‘crimes’ never

hurt another human being, people who already lived at the margins of society, whose voices were the faintest and whose power was the least. “Meanwhile, resources to fight genuine crime - violent crime - have been significantly

diminished.” The comments immediately elicited an angry response from anti-drugs groups. A spokesperson for DARE, which teaches schoolchildren about the dangers of drug use wrote: “He should stick to singing and not meddle in matters he doesn’t understand. “We do not need pop stars coming out and making irresponsible statements like that.”

regret what they haven’t got. That’s how I feel about my own life now. And my God, let’s talk about how much I love Demi Moore as well. What kind of KoolAid is she drinking?” The 41-year-old actress tries her best to keep her feet on the ground and every day admits she feels lucky to be working in the showbiz industry. She added: “Just stay real and do your job. Everything is just so dramatic... but you have to remember that we’re the luckiest people in the world to do what we get to do and get paid for it.” —BangShowbiz

Jennifer Aniston ready to be reborn


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Lifestyle

Doherty’s ex band Libertines reform for British gigs

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ritish rock star Pete Doherty’s old band The Libertines confirmed they were reforming and played together for the first time in six years late Wednesday. The band recorded two albums before splitting in 2004 over Doherty’s erratic behavior but will be performing sets at Britain’s Reading and Leeds festivals in August. Doherty-who last year said The Libertines had been offered millions of pounds to reform-said it was “dead exciting” to be back together during a press conference and mini-gig at a north

Members of the indie band The Libertines, from left to right, Carl Barat, Pete Doherty and John Hassall perform following a news conference in a northern London pub. —AP

London pub. “To be honest, I’ve been chomping at the bit for a while now,” he told NME.com, though he acknowledged that the enterprise could be a “disaster” and that it was a “tinderbox waiting to go up so I think we just need to agree to be honest with each other”. Doherty, who was once engaged to supermodel Kate Moss, has had frequent brushes with the law over his drug use. Last week, media reported he had been arrested on suspicion of supplying drugs following the death of a 27-year-old heiress. — AFP

Musician remixes anti-war hit ‘19’ for Afghanistan

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ritish musician Paul Hardcastle is releasing an updated version of his international anti-war hit “19” 25 years on, but this time his focus is on the Afghan conflict rather than Vietnam. The 1985 hit topped charts in 13 countries when it was released, appealing to audiences with its dance beat, catchy tune, anti-war message and accompanying video featuring harrowing footage of US troops fighting in Vietnam. It was inspired by a documentary Hardcastle saw which stated that the average age of a combat soldier in Vietnam was 19, compared with 26 in World War Twofigures which are disputed by some. On April 19, the musician is releasing a re-mixed version and new video which cuts film of British troops serving in Afghanistan with the older footage in the original. “I was always going to do a 25th anniversary edition,” Hardcastle said in an interview to promote the single. “Seeing what is happening now, and my son’s friend is actually one of the people that died in Afghanistan ... I thought maybe I should feature what’s happening now as well, so that was the main reason of doing it I guess,” he added. Georgie Sparks, his son’s friend, was 19 years old when he was killed in 2008. While Hardcastle supports troops in the field, he criticized the government for failing to equip them as well as they would like, said they were paid too little and took issue with sending men and women into battle at such an early age. “I think being out there and not even knowing who you’re fighting-is that a family over there or is it someone who is about to blow themselves up? — I don’t think that’s fair on a 19-yearold kid. I think it’s too young. “At 21, you can’t even have a (alcoholic) drink in America, yet you can go into some battlezone when you’re 19 or 18. How does that work?”

Job squeeze Hardcastle acknowledged that the British army was voluntary, but believed many young people were forced into joining the armed forces due to economic pressures. “I know a few people that want to go into the army, and why do they want to go into the army? Because they can’t get jobs.” The musician, who spends most of his time working on smooth jazz, or instrumental “chill out music,” saw parallels between the Vietnam and Afghan conflicts. “There are parallels and that’s what it shows you on the video-you see two shots, one from 35 years ago and one from now and it almost looks like the same piece of footage. “It was all history repeating itself, as I say on the record. After seeing how long this Afghan thing is going to drag on, and it’s going to drag on for a long time, it could become another Vietnam, and that will be a big problem.” Hardcastle said his aim was to raise awareness and ensure that the British people did not forget that soldiers were fighting and dying in Afghanistan. “The fact that the families of the people that have died out there are saying to me ‘Thanks for keeping our sons’ names alive’, that’s one of the things that spurs me on.” — Reuters

Ailing Tom Jones cancels shows in Singapore, Seoul

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elsh crooner Tom Jones was forced yesterday to cancel shows in Singapore and South Korea after doctors warned he risked “serious permanent damage” to his legendary vocal chords if he performed. The ageing sex symbol was due to perform at Singapore’s Resorts World Sentosa casino resort on yesterday evening, and in Seoul on Saturday. The 69-year-old star, whose hits include “It’s Not Unusual” and “Delilah”, has been laid up in Singapore for a week after abruptly cutting short a previous show last Friday because of acute laryngitis. “Due to doctor’s orders, it is with deep regret that we have been forced to cancel tonight’s performance in Singapore at Resorts World Sentosa and Saturday’s show scheduled for Seoul, Korea at the Olympic Fencing Stadium,” Tom Jones’s management said in a statement. “Sir Tom has been resting his voice all

week in Singapore, with regular checkups with local specialists. Unfortunately, the doctors are nevertheless unable to guarantee that Sir Tom would be able to perform the full show tonight at 100 percent vocal strength,” it said. “In addition, they have warned that by performing, Sir Tom could risk serious permanent damage to his vocals.” Last week, he sang only two songs before begging off. His management said it was “deeply sorry” for disappointing fans and hoped that the singer would “find a time to come back in the near future and reschedule the shows”. Resorts World Sentosa, wishing Jones a full recovery, apologized to ticket holders and said they would be refunded. After Asia, Jones was scheduled to head onto South Africa next week for a pair of concerts in Cape Town and Johannesburg. There was no immediate word on whether the trip would go ahead. — AFP

In a file picture taken on June 28, 2009 Welsh singer Tom Jones performs on the Pyramid Stage on the third day of the annual Glastonbury festival near Glastonbury, Somerset. — AFP

Clowns perform during their traditional march in central Kiev to mark April Fool’s Day yesterday. —AFP

Hudson becomes Weight Watchers’ representative

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ennifer Hudson is the latest celebrity to become a weight-loss spokeswoman. The Oscar winner has signed to become the new rep for Weight Watchers. The announcement was made yesterday. The ads will start rolling out on Sunday. Hudson recently lost weight after the birth of her first child, a son. Hudson says that “it’s a lifestyle change, not a diet.”—AP


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Lifestyle Matisse ‘Bouquet’ painting up for auction in New York A Circassian folklore troupe performs at a concert in Amman, Jordan. —AP

I This image courtesy of Sotheby’s in New York shows Henri Matisse’s ‘Bouquet pour le 14 Juillet 1919’.—AFP

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painting celebrating Impressionist artist Henri Matisse’s joy at France’s first Bastille Day after World War I will be offered at auction on May 5 in New York, Sotheby’s said Wednesday. The painting, “Bouquet for July 14, 1919,” has an estimated value of between 18 and 25 million dollars, said Emmanuel Di Donna, who heads Impressionist sales office at Sotheby’s in New York. The 116 by 89 centimeter (45.5 by 35 inch) painting “heralds the fresh and colorful style that would define Matisse’s career from 1919 onward, and signals the artist’s renewed sense of optimism following one of the most troubling periods of his career,” read a Sotheby’s statement. Matisse presented the painting “to his dealers Bernheim-Jeune shortly after its completion and it remained in Bernheim’s family collection until it was sold at auction in France,” the statement read. A private European collector bought the painting in 1982 for 1.3 million dollars, which at the time set the record for a Matisse work of art. The painting will be shown in Hong Kong and London before it goes to the auction block in New York. The colorful work, which depicts a bouquet of flowers in a blue and white vase resting on a plain wooden table, is an expression of Matisse’s joy and optimism at the end of the war and after a difficult personal period, Di Donna said. The record price for a Matisse was set in February 2009, when the 1911 painting “Cuckoos on a blue and pink carpet” sold at auction in Paris for 45.2 million dollars. — AFP

Google becomes Topeka in April Fool’s spoof

nternet giant Google turned its mega search engine on its ear yesterday by changing its name to “Topeka” in a huge cyberspace April Fool’s joke. Google said the move was inspired by a Kansas town which in March changed its name to that of the Internet giant as part of a US bidding process to be the test hub for the company’s experimental super-fast broadband network. “Early last month the mayor of Topeka, Kansas stunned the world by announcing that his city was changing its name to Google,” Google chief executive Eric Schmidt said in the company blog. “We’ve been wondering ever since how best to honor that moving gesture. “Today we are pleased to announce that as of 1:00 am (central daylight time) April 1st, Google has officially changed our name to Topeka.” Initially it appeared that the change only applied to searches within the United States, as searches initiated elsewhere brought up the normal Google logo. “We didn’t reach this decision lightly; after all, we had a fair amount of brand equity tied up in our old name,” Schmidt added. “But the more we surfed around (the former) Topeka’s municipal website, the more kinship we felt with this fine city at the edge of the Great Plains.” While Google’s April Fool’s Day name change was clearly a joke, the mayor of Topeka, Kansas was deadly serious when he announced his stunning move. More than 600 communities across the United States are vying to test the project, after the

This screen grab shows the Google.com home page yesterday.—AP California-based Google promised to build an experimental super-fast broadband Internet network. Topeka, Kansas, jumped out to an early lead in the wackiness stakes by renaming itself “Google, Kansas-the capital city of fiber optics” for the entire month of March. Don Ness, the mayor of Duluth, Minnesota, then upped the ante by posting a joke video on YouTube decreeing that first-born males in Duluth will be named “Google Fiber” and first-born females “Googlette Fiber.” Google announced in February that the envisioned one-gigabit-persecond fiber-to-the-home network will be built in

“one or more trial locations,” serving at least 50,000 people and potentially as many as 500,000. The winner will be announced later this year. Schmidt said yesterday in his spoof that correspondence to corporate headquarters and offices around the world “should now be addressed to Topeka Inc,” but otherwise can be addressed normally. “Google employees once known as ‘Googlers’ should now be referred to as either ‘Topekers’ or ‘Topekans,’ depending on the result of a board meeting that’s ongoing at this hour. “Whatever the outcome, the conclusion is clear: we aren’t in Google anymore.” — AFP

A cat, part of an installation ‘How would you behave? A kitchen-cat talks’ by British artist Liam Gillick, sits on a cupboard at the ‘Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland’ (Art and Exhibition hall of the Federal Republic of Germany) in Bonn, western Germany. Gillick, whose work is exhibited in Bonn from yesterday to August 8, 2010 under the title ‘One long walk...Two short piers’, counts among the most distinguished representative of the post conceptual art.—AFP


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Fashion

A navy blue sheath.

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ashion is keeping it light this spring-so light that those loosely structured dresses, blousy tops, and cotton T’s are see-through sheer. But that doesn’t mean the season’s ensembles are about overexposure. Put barely-there tunics and dresses over opaque tanks in fleshy hues and punchy pastels. Then pair them with ankle-length leggings in metallics and denims, and presto: Fabric once reserved for bedroom lingerie goes from private to public. Think of the look as spring’s comfort clothes. Weightless and silky, these pieces help us feel relaxed and vibrant at the same time: Ah, the world is our oyster! “This season’s fabrics are about whimsy,” said Ann Gitter, owner of Philadelphia boutiques Knit Wit and Plage Tahiti. “These clothes are calming. And they have the versatility to take us from day to evening with relative ease.” Spring collections from heavy hitters Alberta Ferretti, Phillip Lim, Rebecca Minkoff, Max Azria, and Oscar de la Renta all feature filmy chiffons, silks, and organzas in cotton-candy pinks and sky blues. Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri added a hint of shimmer and lace for Valentino’s mostly transparent collection. (The designers even helped me get past my tulle hatred by using it as scrunchy detailing on the skirts of dresses.) Philadelphia’s own Paula Hian went see-through, too. She gave her structured spring pieces-with pencil skirts, bold prints, and exposed zippers-a bit of buoyancy with diaphanous bell sleeves. Blouses are so sheer that sexy underwear is a requirement.

Sheer tank dress with silk panels. All of it, including her cloud-colored blouses and tulle-flower appliques, was inspired by nature. “I was thinking the mood in the world is so heavy now,” said Hian, who is now producing her collections in Paris. “We’ve been destroying everything and now it’s about rebuilding. And you rebuild with the basics: flowers, moss, and bamboo. These are babylike-fresh and new.” Most of us won’t be wearing dainty cocktail frocks in our cubicles, nor will we be strutting around town in sparkling nearsheer jumpsuits, a la Jennifer Lopez on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. Gauzy sundresses, however, would work well for shopping at the Odunde festival, hanging out Sunday afternoons at the Piazza in Northern Liberties, or drinking cocktails on Wednesday evenings at Center City Sips. We Philly glam gals-practical as we are-

A mesh shirt with gold studs.

A sheer butterfly top.

Floral chiffon tunic — MCT photos

A black and white blouse with tie.

will feel good wearing easy chiffon tops by Blugirl or deep V-neck dresses by Twinkle Wenlan. Retro blouses are making a comeback, too. Remember your mother’s 1980s longsleeved number that tied at the neck? It’s back. Andrea Chila of Pileggi Boutique carries several indie labels that specialize in the sheer button-downs in black-andwhite and windowpane prints. Joan Shepp offers the same look, courtesy of European designers such as Dries Van Noten. Fashionistas can bring those yesteryear styles up to date by layering the tops over lacy bras, or, for the more demure, a slimming tank. Grab a jacket, tuck your blouse into a pencil skirt, and you’ll take

the look from night to day. Or wear these tops with indigo leggings. (Do that, and a heel is a must.) “It’s one of our hottest trends,” Chila said. “It’s very simple and clean, and it’s a quiet way for women to go over the top.” Jen Ford, fashion news director at Lucky magazine, says the industry’s sheer obsession is a throwback to Narciso Rodriguez’s minimalist 1990s designs. But this season, the gossamer fashions don’t hang any old way; they have definite shape and tailoring. As women rediscover their waists with the new silhouettes, the sheer fabrics can update those classic looks by mixing textures. (Sheer meets metallics! I love this.) Take, for example, designers Donna Karan and Cynthia Steffe. They both showed sheer blazers this season-a classic look with an unexpected texture. And Phillip Lim has a collection of tailored sheaths that feature netted fabric along the neck and hemline. Designers also are using sheer paneling in shirtdresses for optimum allure. “There is something about taking something that seems so bedroom-appropriate and making it reallife and real-body appropriate,” Ford said. “There are so many different ways to wear your sheer looks. But it is most flattering across the neck, on arm detailing, and on the back.” Keep in mind that this year’s sheers may reveal a lace bra through nude netting, but the vibe is far from lascivious or grungy. It’s a continuation of last spring’s all-things-nude look with a smidgen more peek-a-boo appeal. “It’s not an aggressive look,” Ford said. “It’s much more womanly, more elegant than in the past.” — MCT


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Luxury giant to buy former fashion editor’s web venture

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Fashion

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lobal luxury giant Richemont said yesterday it was buying up a pioneering 10-year-old web-based women’s fashion retailer, Net-a-Porter, founded by a former editor and valued at 350 million pounds. The Swiss group already owns one third of the business, which was created by Frenchwoman Natalie Massenet and employs 600 staff in London and New York. But its wholehearted venture into Internet fashion retailing would turn the website into one of the luxury goods company’s hallmark “maisons,” alongside standalone brands such as Cartier, Dunhill, IWC, Piaget and Van Cleef & Arpels. Massenet would remain as chief executive and will invest in a Richemont unit being created to own the online business, the Swiss group said in a statement. “Richemont announces that it has made an offer... to acquire all of the shares in Net-a-Porter,” the Swiss company said in a statement. “The offer values the equity of Net-aPorter at 350 million pounds.” Richemont said that it had already received firm acceptances for its offer to buy outstanding shares in Net-a-Porter from owners of stock representing more than 80 percent of the voting rights. The total valuation given by Richemont, equivalent to 395 million euros or 533 million dollars, amounts to about three times the website’s annual sales last year of about 120 million pounds. Net-a-Porter has adopted the lively style of a chic fashion magazine to sell collections from more than 300 wellknown designers, selling to customers in more than 170 countries. It offers some 300 brands including Jimmy Choo, Stella McCartney and Givenchy, delivering clothes and accessories from an 18 euro (24 dollars) triple pack of socks up to a 16,600-euro handbag with a few clicks of a mouse. It defied the recession in the 12 months to January 2009 after notching up a 234 percent rise in pre-tax profits to 10.1 million pounds. Massenet used to work for fashion publications Tatler and Women’s Wear Daily. In November 2009 she was awarded an MBE honor by the Queen of England. “Natalie has created a superb, customer-oriented business at Net-a-Porter in a relatively short period of time,” Richemont chief executive Johann Rupert said. Massenet commented that her team was proud of what they had built up in the 10 years since the business was founded. “Richemont has completely embraced our vision and strategy since they came on board as a shareholder and together we are going to continue to build the 21st century model for luxury fashion retailing,” she said. Massenet reportedly held an estimated 18 percent stake in the website before the deal and stands to make a substantial profit, estimated in some news reports at 50 million pounds. The luxury goods industry in general has traditionally been wary of online retailing. But a Richemont executive also pointed to recent web sales ventures by Cartier in Japan and the United States. “The ‘maisons’ in the Richemont Group are not afraid of the net,” he said. — AFP

Models parade fashion creations during the Cherry Cup 15th New Fashion Designer’s Award during China Fashion Week in Beijing. The biannual fashion event highlights the latest designs by domestic and international designers. —AFP


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Liverpool’s ambitions shrink to fourth place LIVERPOOL: A room set aside at the trophy-packed Liverpool Football Club museum at Anfield is devoted to endless replays of an astonishing night of European football. Seemingly down and out after trailing 3-0 at halftime to AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul, Liverpool came back to tie the match and win the penalty shootout. Although the memories are enshrined forever in the red section of Merseyside, manager Rafa Benitez’s ambitions five years on have shrunk to securing fourth place in the Premier League and a spot in the Champions League. “We know that we have to keep going,” the Spaniard said

after Liverpool romped to a 30 win over Sunderland last Sunday, courtesy of two goals from his compatriot Fernando Torres. “It will be difficult. If Torres can stay fit he will be very important. If a striker is scoring goals he is a very important player and in trying to keep him happy the first thing we can do is win the games this year and try to be in the top four.” The spring-heeled Spaniard has scored four goals in his last seven games, to bring his season’s tally to 20, but Liverpool still remain four points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur and the north London side have a game in hand. In an interview with a Spanish newspaper, Torres threatened to leave

Liverpool if the club did not invest in some quality players and, even though Liverpool are still involved in European competition this season through the Europa League, fifth place might persuade him it is time to leave. TORRES TARGETED Torres, 26, would then be the target of richer and more successful English clubs and the Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona. Reports from Italy say AC Milan are also interested. Both through word and deed, Torres appears at the moment committed to the Liverpool cause. “When you get injuries it is frustrating because every player wants to be able to play in every game,” he said. “Playing in less than 30

games is not too many for a footballer, especially a Liverpool player, but I am playing now and scoring goals and I just want to help the team. “The main thing is that I am close to my best now. I feel strong, I have stamina. If I can keep scoring goals until the end of the season we can do good things for Liverpool. “We have got 18 points to play for and all we can do is try to get them and wait to see what the results of the other teams ahead of us are.” Then there is captain Steven Gerrard, an England mainstay but a player who has scored only six league goals for his club this season. WORLD CUP Benitez, who has been

Rooney injury looms large over Chelsea showdown LONDON: The question that Manchester United fans have been asking all season will be addressed in tomorrow’s showdown when the champions take on chief Premier League rivals Chelsea without Wayne Rooney. The full extent of the ankle injury sustained by the England striker against Bayern Munich on Tuesday has yet to be revealed but he looks certain to miss tomorrow’s lunchtime clash at Old Trafford (1145GMT). It is the nightmare scenario that was always likely as he played week in, week out and thundered into every challenge from first minute to last-and one that England boss Fabio Capello will monitor in forensic detail with his World Cup hopes so dependent on the 24-year-old’s burly shoulders. United will point to last weekend’s 4-0 win over Bolton Wanderers as evidence that they can do well without him and Dimitar Berbatov, who scored two in that game, certainly seemed to enjoy the extra responsibility of leading the line. But Chelsea are another kettle of fish and Rooney, with 34 club goals this season, will be hugely missed in what could be the pivotal game of the whole campaign. “Obviously you want your full squad fit at this time of the season as every game is massive in the run-in so we are all hoping that Wayne is fit very soon,” said Ryan Giggs. With Michael Owen out for the season, United’s striking options suddenly look thin and Italian teenager Federico Macheda, with just five minutes of league action under his belt this season, could be brought into the fold. Last April he hit a vital injury-time winner against Aston Villa on his debut to halt a run of two defeats, then scored the winner against Sunderland to help United secure a third successive title. “Young Macheda’s had a terrible season with injuries but he made a return against Bolton and we were absolutely delighted,” manager Alex Ferguson said of the striker. “He’s one of the most exceptional young strikers I’ve seen in my time at United. He has every chance of taking part in big matches.” In contrast, Chelsea will reap the benefit of their Champions League exit as they arrive refreshed for the game and with manager Carlo

criticized for playing Gerrard in a variety of positions, mounted a robust defense after the Sunderland match. “Gerrard can play everywhere,” Benitez said. “It depends on the team. I told him before the Sunderland game he was playing in the middle and he was happy. He can help the team and that is the main thing.” Gerrard, who turns 30 next month, concedes he has not been at his best this season. However, the man who at his peak epitomizes the best qualities of a combative English footballer, thinks the spur of a place in Europe and the World Cup in South Africa can turn his year around. “It’s a big time for me, I am aware of my age and what I

want out of the remainder of my career,” he said. “I look after myself, and I’m in good shape physically so I believe I’ve still got five years to fight for all the big prizes in football. I’ll do everything I can to keep going. “You have to accept that as a team we have underachieved and I have to accept that there have been times when my form hasn’t been good. We deal with that and move forward. “There’s a chance to finish the season on a high with Liverpool now, by finishing fourth and going to (the Europa League) final. It would be fantastic if we could achieve both of those things. Then you focus on the World Cup. Things change quickly in football.” — Reuters

Wenger’s gamble backfires

England’s Wayne Rooney Ancelotti’s only striking problem being whether to start with Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka or both. Chelsea have beaten Portsmouth 5-0 and Aston Villa 7-1 in their last two games and Drogba watched the second of them from the bench as Frank Lampard took the honors with a fourgoal haul. Florent Malouda, with two goals in each of those games, is another player in top form and gives Ancelotti another attacking option from midfield as Chelsea seek their first Old Trafford win for five years. That goal rush has edged their goal difference ahead of United’s-plus-53 to plus-51 - with United top of the standings on 72 points to Chelsea’s 71 with six games to play. Hovering right behind them on 68 having lost ground with last

weekend’s draw with Birmingham City are Arsenal and a home win over Wolverhampton Wanderers will put them right back into the mix. They will probably have to achieve that without Cesc Fabregas, Andrei Arshavin and William Gallas, all injured in Wednesday’s Champions League draw with Barcelona. Tottenham Hotspur, in pole position in the race for fourth place, have an awkward-looking trip to Sunderland where their former striker Darren Bent, scoring for fun now having struggled horribly at Spurs, will be anxious to prove a point. Manchester City, two points behind Tottenham, visit Burnley, Liverpool are at Birmingham while Villa, now the outsiders for fourth, play at Bolton. — Reuters

LONDON: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger’s gamble on the fitness of Cesc Fabregas may have backfired after the Spain midfielder sustained a suspected broken leg that could end his season and rule him out of the World Cup. Wenger started Fabregas in Wednesday’s Champions League quarterfinal against Barcelona after he passed a late fitness test on a knee injury. The gamble looked to have paid off when Fabregas scored a late equalizer in a 2-2 draw but the Gunners captain left Emirates Stadium on crutches after again getting hurt. “We have to wait for tomorrow, but I hope I can wear the Arsenal shirt again this season,” Fabregas said. “I fear the worst, which is that I have broken something. “I do not think it is going to be good news, but still I hope there will be.” Fabregas said he thinks he damaged his fibula when he was fouled for his equalizing penalty and then hitting the kick with so much force. “When I took the penalty, I was quite strong, but after when I went to get the ball, I could not walk any more,” Fabregas said. Fabregas was preparing to shoot when his legs got tangled with those of defender Carles Puyol, who was challenging him from behind. The referee ruled that it was a foul and sent off Puyol. Fabregas got to his feet and hit the kick down the middle of the goal as Victor Valdes dived to his left. Wenger wanted to take Fabregas off the field for the final moments but had already used all three substitutes in his team’s comeback from 2-0 down. “I cannot give you any report yet. I’ve not spoken to the medical people,” Wenger said. “I couldn’t change anybody, I had to leave him on even though I wanted to take him off. “In any case, he wanted to stay on.” Fabregas will miss next week’s second-leg match at Camp Nou even if the injury proves to be minor. He picked up a yellow card for fouling Sergio Busquets and is suspended. Wenger acknowledged it was a risk to play Fabregas just four days after he was hurt in the English Premier League but said the 22-year-old midfielder insisted he was fit to face the club where he began his career. “You have to trust how the player feels,” Wenger said. Fabregas is Arsenal’s leading scorer this season with 19 goals in 36 matches from central midfield. A prolonged absence would severely threaten Arsenal’s surprise challenge for the Premier League title and could even have an impact on Spain’s attempt to add the World Cup title to its European Championship. Arsenal is third in the Premier League, just four points behind leader and defending champion Manchester United, while Spain kicks off its World Cup against Switzerland on June 16 in Durban. Fabregas’ injury came a day after an injury to Wayne Rooney threatened to derail England’s hopes of making a serious challenge at the World Cup. The Manchester United forward was hurt at the end of a 2-1 Champions League defeat at Bayern Munich, but is expected to be fit for the World Cup. Rooney will miss two to four weeks because of a sprained ankle, according to a person close to Manchester United. Wenger’s problems don’t end there, with injuries to William Gallas and Andrey Arshavin. Gallas returned to the Arsenal side for the first time in seven weeks but the France defender was carried off with a calf injury in the 45th minute. Arshavin departed in the 27th. “He will be out for a while now,” Wenger said of Gallas. “I took a gamble and it did not pay off. I can say now I regret that. Arshavin is the same. He’s done his calf.” — AP


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Chelsea may benefit from rivals’ injuries LONDON: Chelsea may benefit from its early elimination from Europe when Manchester United and Arsenal return to Premier League action hit by injuries sustained in the Champions League. Defeat to Inter Milan two weeks ago means Chelsea’s players were able to rest this week as they prepared for tomorrow’s trip to United, the only team ahead of the Blues in the standings. But United will be continuing its attempt to win a record fourth-straight Premier League title without Wayne Rooney after the 34-goal striker damaged his ankle in Tuesday’s defeat at Bayern Munich. Third-place Arsenal’s challenge may falter further if Wolverhampton

Wanderers can exploit the absences of Cesc Fabregas, Andrey Arshavin and William Gallas after they got injured against Barcelona on Wednesday. Chelsea lost 3-0 at Old Trafford last season but will be up against a team that has lost more than a third of its firepower with Rooney’s absence. “There is so much on the game tomorrow and the way we have played the last couple of games, we have to take that momentum and that same game plan into this match,” Chelsea captain John Terry said. “We have to approach the game with no fear and we must go into it playing our own game. “It is a tough place to go and the way we got beaten there and the way

we played there last year was not good enough.” Rooney’s absence could barely have come at a worse time for United, which leads Chelsea by just a point with six games remaining. The Red Devils have to overturn a 2-1 deficit against Bayern next week and have tough matches against Manchester City and Tottenham looming in the second half of April. And Chelsea has scored 12 goals in its past two Premier League matches, including last week’s 7-1 demolition of Aston Villa. Teenage striker Frederico Macheda, who scored winning goals in two crucial matches at the end of last season, could have a role to play in place of Rooney. “He’s one of the most exceptional young strikers I’ve

seen in my time at United,” United manager Alex Ferguson said. “He has every chance of taking part in big matches.” Arsenal has the easier opponent but more wide-ranging injury problems before Wolves visit Emirates Stadium. Arshavin said yesterday that he expected to be out of action for two or three weeks, which could also rule him out of the April 14 meeting with local rival Tottenham, while Gallas has a similar injury. “I took a gamble that didn’t pay off,” Wenger said. “I can say ‘yes, I regret that’ now.” Wolves has won two away games in a four-match unbeaten run that has lifted it five points clear of the relegation zone. Fourth-place Tottenham goes to Sunderland

‘Uncertain future’ for German coach Loew FRANKFURT: Germany travels to South Africa with a major distraction - the uncertain future of coach Joachim Loew. It’s the sort of situation the German football federation wanted to avoid when it sought to extend Loew’s contract well before the World Cup. DFB president Theo Zwanziger even reported in December that he and Loew had “shaken hands” on a new deal. Zwanziger’s optimism turned out to be premature. In February, talks between Loew and the federation collapsed over financial demands and the two sides agreed to drop the matter until the after the World Cup. Although the two sides have proclaimed peace until then, their relationship took a major hit. One of Loew’s staff is national team manager Oliver Bierhoff, who upset Zwanziger by demanding hefty bonuses for Loew and his assistants and more say in decision making for himself. Loew has stood by Bierhoff, who has a strained relationship with some in the DFB. Despite the DFB’s efforts to put the whole matter on a back burner until after the World Cup, it’s unlikely it will go away, especially if the tournament does not start well for the three-time champions. Captain Michael Ballack and several other top players have spoken out in support of Loew, but it remains to be seen how the entire team will respond to a coach who more likely than not is a lame duck. Since taking over from Juergen Klinsmann after the 2006 World Cup, Loew has taken Germany to a European Championship final and qualified the team for South Africa. Germany breezed through qualifying, winning both games against Russia, its toughest group rival. But it got a tricky draw for the tournament in South Africa, with Australia, Serbia and Ghana in Group D. Still, it

would be a huge surprise if the Germans failed to reach the second round. Germany is one of the most consistent World Cup campaigners, a team that usually excels in a tournament format. But its last title came in 1990, when Germany’s captain was Lothar Matthaeus. Germany has not had a genuine global star like Matthaeus, not to mention the likes of Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Mueller, in the last two decades. Ballack is 33 and still without a major title with the national team. South Africa is probably his last chance to come home as World Cup winner but the Chelsea midfielder may be past his prime. Loew’s real problem is not the contract talks but how to select a team and get it into proper shape for a tournament that traditionally raises huge expectations in football-mad Germany. “There are enough problems in the German team,” Kicker magazine chief editor Klaus Smentek wrote recently. “The defense often shakes like a pudding, the midfield has in Michael Ballack only one player who is consistently on an international level. And in the attack, it’s not really clear who is supposed to be awe-inspiring for our opponents at the World Cup.” Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski, the starting forwards of the past, are having difficult seasons. Klose is usually only a substitute at Bayern Munich, while Podolski has failed to jump-start his career again in Cologne after the frustrating years in Bayern. Stefan Kiessling of Bayer Leverkusen has led the Bundesliga in scoring but he has not received much attention from Loew. Mario Gomez has been scoring goals for Bayern, but he has rarely lived up to expectations at national team level. —AP

aiming for a sixth straight Premier League victory, while Manchester City plays at Burnley. Also tomorrow, Villa is at Bolton, Blackburn is at last-place Portsmouth and Hull is at Stoke. Liverpool is at Birmingham on Sunday, when Everton hosts West Ham and Fulham hosts Wigan. Newcastle could clinch promotion back from the second-tier League Championship with victory at Peterborough tomorrow and then over Sheffield United on Monday - if other results go its way. Wins for Newcastle and defeats for thirdplace Nottingham Forest against Bristol City and Cardiff would end the Magpies’ one-year absence from the Premier League. —AP

Chelsea ponder Drogba dilemma

Germany’s coach Joachim Loew

Bayern clash could be key to Kuranyi recall BERLIN: There will be more at stake for Kevin Kuranyi than just a twopoint lead in the championship race when Bundesliga leaders Schalke 04 host title rivals Bayern Munich tomorrow (1330). The Schalke striker, top scorer in the league this season, is hoping his current form will seal a return to the Germany team ahead of this summer’s World Cup, some 18 months after he walked out. Kuranyi, who has scored 17 goals in what has been an eye-popping season so far, stormed out of the stadium during halftime of a World Cup qualifier against Russia in Oct 2008 after being dropped. Germany coach Joachim Loew pledged never to call him up again for as long as he was

in charge but is now under rapidly mounting pressure to reverse his decision. Loew, who has so far refused to comment on the possibility of a Kuranyi return, will be watching from the stands tomorrow. The 28-year-old, who has won 52 international caps and scored 19 goals, is by far the country’s most effective striker at the moment, a lethal weapon in Schalke’s fast-paced counter-attacking style of play. Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski, Germany’s first-choice strikers, have a combined league tally of four goals and with Bayer Leverkusen’s Stefan Kiessling injured and Bayern’s Mario Gomez having just returned, Loew’s options look limited. —Reuters

LONDON: Although Didier Drogba has scored 30 goals for Chelsea this season, coach Carlo Ancelotti must be tempted to leave the striker out for tomorrow’s top-of-the-table clash with Manchester United. Champions United have a one-point advantage over their nearest rivals and, with Chelsea facing two more tough away assignments at Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur this season, the onus is on the Londoners to go for broke at Old Trafford. Ancelotti has favoured a 4-4-2 system, featuring a diamond shape in midfield, for much of the campaign but a switch to 4-3-3 since last month’s Champions League defeat by Inter Milan has led to an avalanche of 12 goals in two games. The tactics deployed in last week’s 5-0 rout of Portsmouth and 7-1 thumping of Aston Villa were a throwback to the formation used by former coach Jose Mourinho for Chelsea’s Premier League title triumphs in 2005 and 2006. The recent switch to 4-3-3 meant the Londoners could again play to their traditional strengths, with one centre forward (Drogba or Nicolas Anelka) flanked by two wingers. It is a system that seems to find favor with Chelsea captain John Terry. “The formation suits us probably a little bit better with the two wide men,” Terry told the club’s in-house television station. “Over the years we have had a lot of success with that. We stretch teams.” The simple truth is that Chelsea’s results this season are stunning with Anelka at centre forward. In the 10 games Drogba has missed and Anelka has led the line, Ancelotti’s men have a 100 percent winning record with a tally of 33 goals scored and only five conceded. LESS FLUID Chelsea appear less fluid when Drogba plays, not because of any lack of thrust from the Ivorian but because if he and Anelka play together it invariably means the Frenchman occupies a wide role in which he is less comfortable. In that position Anelka is unable to offer the same direct running and dribbling style as Florent Malouda, Joe Cole, Salomon Kalou or Daniel Sturridge, who are also more adept at filling wide defensive slots when Chelsea lose possession. Many pundits thought the Londoners would struggle when Drogba was away on African Nations Cup duty in January. However, the opposite was true as Anelka switched into the centre and Chelsea won all five games without Drogba, the team amassing 19 goals and conceding just three. Drogba was rested again last Saturday and Anelka led the attack in style for the 7-1 drubbing of seventh-placed Villa. Drogba has always linked well with Frank Lampard but it appears the England midfielder roams into even more dangerous positions when Anelka plays centrally. —Reuters


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Inter hope to end Serie A struggles ROME: Inter Milan is almost unbeatable in Europe. In Serie A, however, it’s a different story. Inter has won once in its last five games in the Italian league and holds a one-point lead over AS Roma with seven games remaining. Having edged CSKA Moscow 1-0 in the opening leg of the League Champions quarterfinals - its fourth consecutive victory in Europe - Inter hosts Bologna yesterday. Inter’s only loss in Europe this season was a 2-0 defeat at Barcelona in November. “Why is the squad more serene in Europe than the

league? Because it’s happier,” coach Jose Mourinho said after his side beat CSKA. “Why is it not as happy in the league? I don’t talk about the league.” Mourinho has responded to a series of multiple-game suspensions this season by not speaking to the press before and after Serie A matches. Inter was beaten 2-1 by Roma last weekend, with Diego Milito scoring Inter’s lone goal and hitting the woodwork twice. Milito also scored the winner against CSKA. Inter needs the Argentine to continue his

Italian League Preview scoring streak against Bologna, not least because strike partner Samuel Eto’o is suspended. Inter’s title chances have been hurt by a lack of discipline. Centre back Lucio, right back Maicon and captain Javier Zanetti are also suspended after picking up yellow cards during the Roma game. Zanetti will snap a 137game streak of playing in Serie A and Champions League games. “I’m going to rest today finally,” Zanetti said. Playmaker Wesley Sneijder could also miss the

game after hurting his left ankle late in the CSKA game. Making a possible return to the squad after being dropped for six games is 19-year-old forward Mario Balotelli, who reportedly met with Mourinho yesterday to settle their differences after a series of public rows. Roma travels to Bari on a high after beating Inter and is hoping for its first title since 2000-01. “The fans should start dreaming, but we can’t,” Roma coach Claudio Ranieri said. “We’ve really got to keep our feet on the ground

Mourinho toils with suspensions, rebel ROME: Coach Jose Mourinho is toiling with suspensions, an injury concern and an unrepentant teenage rebel as Inter Milan prepare to defend their one-point lead in tomorrow’s Serie A clash with Bologna (1300). Mario Balotelli, who has been frozen out for a month after a disagreement with the coach, is unlikely to play at the San Siro despite four players, including forward Samuel Eto’o, being suspended. Brazilian defenders Lucio and Maicon and captain Javier Zanetti are also suspended, while playmaker Wesley Sneijder is a doubt because of an ankle problem he suffered in Wednesday’s 1-0 win over CSKA Moscow in their Champions League quarter-final first leg. But 19-year-old Balotelli, of Ghanaian descent, dented his chances of coming back into the fold when he said this week that he had no intention of apologizing, amid media reports of an incident in training. “I don’t think he’ll be called up for tomorrow,” Mourinho told reporters after the CSKA game. “It doesn’t depend on me, it depends on Mario. “It’s not an issue between me and him, but between the club and the lad. He knows what he has to say. He either says it or he doesn’t. Eto’o was right when he said the team comes before any individual.” The row is the latest in a series of run-ins between Mourinho and the talented Italy under-21 international, who has frequently been hit by racist abuse from rival fans. Fortunately for Mourinho he should be able to count on in-form Argentine forward Diego Milito, who scored the winner against CSKA, as his side try to pull out of a poor domestic run against 15th-placed Bologna, who have lost their last three. Inter’s lead has been cut from nine points in mid-February after winning just two of their last nine league games. Second-placed Roma are expected to have captain Francesco Totti back in their starting lineup at Bari tomorrow (1300) after he came on as a late substitute in last week’s 2-1 victory over Inter following a knee injury. But Claudio Ranieri will be unable to field suspended midfielders Simone Perrotta and Jeremy Menez. AC Milan, who are three points behind Inter in third, will have Ronaldinho and Andrea Pirlo back from bans when they seek to end a three-match winless streak at Cagliari tomorrow (1300). Midfielder Mathieu Flamini is suspended this weekend and Leonardo’s injury list still includes centre back Alessandro Nesta and forward Alexandre Pato. — Reuters

and focus on these next seven games. We’re starting to head down the final straight, but it’s a very long straight.” Roma captain Francesco Totti is set to return to the starting lineup after a series of injuries and play alongside strikers Mirko Vucinic and Luca Toni, who scored the winner against Inter. Inter leads the league with 63 points, Roma has 62 and AC Milan is third with 60. All this weekend’s games are being played today due to the Easter holidays. Milan visits a dangerous Cagliari side led by Massimiliano Allegri - one of the top young

coaches in Italy and a possible successor to national team coach Marcello Lippi. Fourth-place Palermo, hoping to hold onto the final Champions League spot, visits Catania in a Sicilian derby. It’s three years since the death of a policeman in riots following the same matchup led to the suspension of all Serie A games. Juventus, three points out of the Champions League places, visits an Udinese side coming off a 4-1 loss to Fiorentina. Also today, it’s: Atalanta vs Siena; Chievo Verona vs Sampdoria; Genoa vs Livorno; Lazio vs Napoli; and Parma vs Fiorentina. — AP

Racing’s Canales out to impress new club Spanish League Preview

Inter Milan coach Jose’ Mourinho

Arsenal season in the balance LONDON: In the rarefied air of the quarter-finals of the Champions League, managers need to make big calls and Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger rolled the dice on Wednesday with consequences that could make or break their season. Such was the enormity of the challenge presented by European champions Barcelona that the Frenchman rushed central defender William Gallas back into battle and gambled on captain Cesc Fabregas’s bruised limbs lasting the course. Like the X-ray Fabregas underwent on what he feared was a cracked leg bone after his late penalty earned Arsenal an unlikely 2-2 draw in the first leg, the verdict on Wenger’s decisions remains inconclusive. Gallas looks like missing the rest of the season after the calf injury that had sidelined him since February returned while Fabregas, Arsenal’s talisman and key to their hopes of staying in the Premier League title race, is now a

major worry. Add to that the calf injury to Andrei Arshavin that saw the Russian livewire substituted before halftime and Arsenal’s hopes of ending their five-year trophy drought now look slim. “I took a gamble but it didn’t pay off and I regret it now,” Wenger said of the decision to start with Gallas. Fabregas, whose first-half booking means he was already ruled out of the return at the Nou Camp, was a rock for his side and managed to beat Victor Valdes from the spot after earning the penalty, but was wincing in pain straight afterwards. With no more substitutions available for Wenger, his skipper hobbled through to the end of the game. The Spaniard had only been declared fit on Wednesday morning after being injured at Birmingham the previous weekend and his courageous display against his old club could yet inspire Arsenal for one last push this season, although his absence over the coming weeks would be a body blow. — Reuters

MADRID: Racing Santander’s promising teenage midfielder Sergio Canales has a chance to impress Real Madrid, who will be his paymasters from next season, when the La Liga leaders visit the Cantabrians’ Sardinero stadium on Sunday. The 19-year-old caught Real’s eye in Racing’s 1-0 defeat at the Bernabeu in November, in which he had an effort wrongly ruled out for offside, and agreed a six-year contract in February that will take him to the Spanish capital in July. Some Racing fans were annoyed when he subsequently donned a Real shirt for a newspaper interview but club captain and former Real player Pedro Munitis is sure Canales will give his all in Santander on Sunday. “I am certain he’ll put 200 percent into the clash and he’ll bust a gut for Racing as he does in all the matches he plays,” Munitis told a news conference. “Nobody should be upset if he scores and celebrates the goal because Racing is still his team.” Real have netted 39 times on an 11-match winning run and are top on goal difference above champions Barcelona. The arch rivals are level on 74 points from 29 out of 38 matches and Barca can go three clear with a win at home to sixthplaced Athletic Bilbao tomorrow. Real host Barca for the potentially decisive second “Clasico” of the campaign on April 10, after which they will be separated by head-to-head record instead of goal difference if they are still tied on points. Barca currently have the advantage thanks to their 1-0 win at the Nou Camp in November. SIGNIFICANT ABSENTEES Real coach Manuel Pellegrini will be without the suspended Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos for the Racing game but may have Karim Benzema and Lassana Diarra back after the France internationals returned to full training on Thursday. Injured Brazil playmaker Kaka was still confined to the gym, along with defender Ezequiel Garay and midfielders Guti and Royston Drenthe, Real said on their website yesterday (www.realmadrid.com). Athletic are one of only six teams to avoid defeat to Pep Guardiola’s side this season thanks to November’s 1-1 draw in Bilbao and visit the Catalan capital ahead of Barca’s Champions League quarter-final second-leg against Arsenal on Tuesday. Defender Daniel Alves said after last weekend’s 1-0 win in Mallorca he had deliberately got himself booked so he would be suspended for the Athletic match and not the Real game and Guardiola is also without injured midfielder Andres Iniesta. “Barcelona have two very significant absentees in Alves and Iniesta but you can’t compare their bench with other teams,” Athletic striker Gaizka Toquero told a news conference. The Basque club are fighting for one of four spots in next season’s Champions League with clubs including third-placed Valencia, Real Mallorca (fourth), Sevilla (fifth) and Deportivo Coruna (seventh). Valencia, who host Osasuna on Sunday, are a massive 21 points behind the top two on 53, with Mallorca on 47, Sevilla and Athletic on 45 and Depor on 42. Mallorca play at in-form Almeria on Sunday, Sevilla host relegationthreatened Tenerife tomorrow and Depor play at Atletico Madrid in Sunday’s late kickoff. — Reuters


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Houston Open offers last Masters tune-up HOUSTON: A roster of Masters hopefuls will squeeze in one last tune-up before the year’s first major when they tee it up at the Houston Open starting yesterday. Resurgent South African Ernie Els, who has won his last two events after a two year victory drought, is among the contenders, along with Phil Mickelson and defending champion Paul Casey of England. So is Fred Couples, a former Masters champion who has won three straight starts on the Champions Tour and hopes to keep up that form this week and again at Augusta National. “I’m fading out on

the regular tour a little bit,” Couples said. “But this is a great opportunity for me, because I won the last three times on the Champions Tour. Winning is a lot of fun, and so far, this year has been a lot of fun.” Els can become the first player to win three straight starts on the US tour since Tiger Woods won five in a row in 2008. Despite his victories, Els says he has some work to do. He led by five shots with six holes to play last Sunday at Bay Hill but saw that comfortable cushion dwindle as he hit two shots into the water. He eventually came through in a rain-

delayed final round, but says his alignment is “out of whack”. He’s working with coach Butch Harmon here in a bid to get everything sorted out by the time he arrives at Augusta. “I’ve been working on that a little bit the last couple of days and I’d just like to have it under pressure,” Els said. “Obviously, next week, you’ve got to do everything right under the biggest pressure you’re ever going to find.” Mickelson is in search of his first title of the year, but like Els he’s got Georgia on his mind. “My game this year hasn’t been what I expected,” said Mickelson, who tied

for 30th at Bay Hill last week. “I keep saying it doesn’t feel far off. I haven’t put together the scores, and I think this week in Houston is an important week for me because I feel like my game has been pretty close.” Organizers again drew a strong field by setting up the Tournament Course at Redstone to simulate the fast greens and light rough found at the Masters. “I think it’s an advantage for the players who play here going into next week,” Mickelson said. “The ball will react certain ways out of the first cut of rough and fairway, getting adjusted to the speed of the greens - all that goes

into preparation for next week.” However, since the tournament moved to the before the Masters in 2007, the results don’t necessarily back up the idea that the Houston Open is the ideal warm-up. Last year Casey beat JB Holmes in a playoff in Houston but was tied for 20th at the Masters. “I think physically and emotionally, it took a little bit out of me,” Casey said of his playoff victory in Texas. “If you don’t have everything in place going into a major, then you’re going to be found out. I think that showed where I finished at Augusta the following week.” —AFP

In-form Davies targets ‘ultimate’ career goal RANCHO MIRAGE: LPGA Tour veteran Laura Davies, buoyed by a triumphant start to this year, believes she is close to the best form of her illustrious career. The 46-yearold won her 53rd title worldwide at the New Zealand Women’s Open in February and has set her sights on a fifth major victory at this week’s Kraft Nabisco Championship to put the seal on her glittering resume. “A win here would mean everything to me,” the Briton said at Mission Hills Country Club on Wednesday. “It’s the last leg of the (career) grand slam, it would get me in the Hall of Fame and it would get me in everything for the rest of the year and the next few years coming. So there is a lot on the line.” England’s Davies, who has piled up 20 LPGA titles, won her first major at the 1987 US Women’s Open before adding the McDonalds LPGA Championship in 1994 and 1996 and the du Maurier Classic, also in 1996. The du Maurier Classic was replaced as a grand slam event by the Women’s British Open in 2001. Victory at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, where she has posted four top-five finishes including a runner-up spot in 1994, would complete a longcherished career grand slam. “But you don’t think about that,” the long-hitting Davies said. “All you think about is getting off to a good start and having a chance (to win the

tournament) on Sunday morning. ULTIMATE GOAL “The ultimate goal, you try not to think about it or you put too much pressure on yourself.” Davies has made a fast start to her 2010 campaign, tying for sixth at the LPGA Tour’s season-opener in Thailand before following her New Zealand triumph with a runner-up spot at this month’s Australian Open. “My form is good, as good as it’s been for a few years playing at this event,” she said. “It’s probably not far off the best form of my career at the moment. “There are just a few things to sort out. My putting seems to come and go whereas before I was more consistent, I holed a lot more putts on a regular basis. Now I’m more streaky. “If I can just turn the putting around and hit a few more fairways, that would be my big thing.” Davies has relished competing on the challenging par-72 layout at Mission Hills since making her debut here in 1988. “It’s just such a lovely course,” she said. “It’s a hard golf course, it’s pretty long compared to what we normally play and the rough is normally up, which obviously makes driving extremely important. “And it rewards good iron play which is probably the best part of my game. If I can just hit a few more fairways than I’ve done in years gone by, you never know.” —Reuters

Lincicome back to defend her crown

CARLSBAD: Laura Davies of England hits her tee shot on the third hole at La Costa Resort and Spa. —AFP

Ochoa puts poor week behind her RANCHO MIRAGE: Lorena Ochoa struggled with her game at last week’s LPGA Tour event but her mood could hardly have been more upbeat on the eve of the year’s opening women’s major, Kraft Nabisco Championship. The Mexican world number one has always relished competing on the 6,702yard layout at Mission Hills Country Club where she romped to victory by a commanding five shots in 2008. “This is a great place for me and this is probably my favorite tournament of the year,” Ochoa told reporters after playing in Wednesday’s pro-am competition. “I like the course, I like

the way I feel and I have good memories here. I got a good practice on Monday and today was a good day with the proam. “To play a full round today was important to get the feel of the greens again. I’m ready to go tomorrow.” Ochoa, a winner of 27 LPGA Tour titles, finished a disappointing joint 52nd at last week’s Kia Classic at La Costa, California after closing with scores of 76 and 75. “I didn’t play the way I wanted to play, and it is not necessarily the best feeling to get (coming) into a major championship,” the 29-year-old said. “But I always try to just learn from what happened. I’m

going to play like every other tournament, being very positive. I’m going to play to win, and hopefully things go well.” BIGGEST CHANGE Asked to pinpoint the biggest change in her game since her 2008 victory at Mission Hills, Ochoa replied: “Mentally I’m tougher, and experience helps. “I’ve learned in the last two years from when I’ve made mistakes and gone through bad times. And I’m trying to be more consistent. “Once I find something that works, I just continue doing the same.” Ochoa will launch her bid for a third

major title when she tees off in Thursday’s opening round but readily admits that winning a fifth consecutive player of the year award at the end of the season would be even sweeter. “I don’t like people when they put so much attention on the majors, that you have to win a major to be a great champion,” she said. “If I win eight tournaments this season and I didn’t win a major, I’m going to be really happy and I’m going to get my player of the year. “My goal is to concentrate tournament-by-tournament and try to get that (player of the year) at the end of the year.”—Reuters

RANCHO MIRAGE: Brittany Lincicome returned to defend her title at the Kraft Nabisco Championship yesterday, but it’s unlikely she can produce a more dramatic finish in the LPGA’s first major of the year. Lincicome kept herself in the hunt in last year’s final round as her friend Kristy McPherson and Cristie Kerr traded the lead. Trailing McPherson by one stroke, Lincicome seized the victory with an eagle at the par-five, 485-yard 18th hole. She split the fairway with a 275-yard drive, then hit a hybrid from 210 yards that cleared the water and landed on the upper part of the green. The ball curled down and left her a four-foot eagle putt capture her first major title, and her third career victory. “Everybody always comes up to me, and they’re like, ‘I saw your shot. Talk me through it,’ Lincicome said. “It was really funny, yeah, I was there. I remember doing it. “It’s definitely a shot that I kind of reflect on just for confidence, just knowing that I can hit that shot under pressure will help me in the future,” Lincicome said. “My number one thought was just getting the ball on the fairway,” she recalled. “After I hit that tee shot, it was like, all right, I’ve got a chance, at least get it on the green, two putt and get the birdie and try to get in the playoff, hopefully Kristy doesn’t birdie on top of mine and beat me by one. But after I hit that hybrid, it was right in the middle of the green, right where we were aiming. I wasn’t anticipating it taking that slope that well, but I’m not complaining.” At Mission Hills Lincicome will be defending her title against a field that includes South Korean Hee Kyung Seo, who romped to victory in the Kia Classic on Sunday. Seo won by six shots over compatriot Inbee Park in the inaugural edition of the event, where Lincicome missed the cut. American star Michelle Wie will be trying to put another rules ruckus behind her when she tees it up, after a blunder that cost her 90,000 dollars last week when she was judged to have grounded her club in a hazard and penalized two strokes. —AFP


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Nadal blasts past Tsonga to meet Roddick MIAMI: Spain’s Rafa Nadal will face American Andy Roddick in the semi-finals of the Sony Ericsson Open after the pair enjoyed convincing victories on Wednesday. Roddick cruised with a 6-3 6-3 win over Spain’s Nicolas Almagro while Nadal was in blistering form in front of a packed crowd as he crushed France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3 6-2. The big serving Tsonga matched Nadal in the opening exchanges but never recovered after the Spaniard broke his serve in the seventh game of the opening set. From then on Nadal, wearing a bright yellow shirt, was in outstanding form, displaying his full range of strokes as he dealt with everything that Tsonga threw at him saving all eight break points in the match. Nadal, always a favourite among the heavily Hispanic crowd in Miami, survived a crucial break point when he was 3-1 up in the second set but facing Tsonga’s renewed determination and it was free cruising from that point. “I played well, his service is always tough but I think I also served really well today,” said Nadal, who now faces another big server in Roddick. “I have to be very focused on myself and try to play aggressively on the return. He is a big competitor and a very good player.” Sixth seed Roddick, who won this event in 2004, never looked back after breaking at the first opportunity in the opening set. In the second Roddick broke in the fifth thanks to two great forehand shots down the line and a delicate half-volley. But the American never really had to take any risks as he kept it tight and looked to take advantage of whatever loose returns came his way. “I felt like I played pretty clean today,” said Roddick. “He’s a guy who takes lots of risk himself, so you can keep it low because he’s the one kind of trying to hit the lines and being the aggressor. “I played within the margins today, and hit it well.” Yesterday’s quarterfinals saw Czech Tomas Berdych, who eliminated top seed Roger Federer in the previous round, will meet Spain’s Fernando Verdasco while Russian Mikhail Youzhny plays Sweden’s Robin Soderling. —Reuters

Henin, Clijsters set up Belgian blockbuster

FLORIDA: Rafael Nada celebrates after he defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, of France, 6-3, 6-2, during the Sony Ericsson Open tennis tournament in Key Biscayne. —AP

New Zealand teams face Super 14 crunch week WELLINGTON: Four of New Zealand’s five teams face critical matches in the weekend’s eighth round of rugby’s Super 14 as they attempt to remain in playoff contention. The Wellington Hurricanes, Auckland Blues, Otago Highlanders and last year’s finalist the Waikato Chiefs all hope to end midseason slumps and regain prominent positions in tournament standings. After seven rounds only the third-place Canterbury Crusaders of New Zealand’s five franchises remain strongly in contention for the semifinals. The Hurricanes have had four straight losses and face seven-time champions the Crusaders in the opening match of the eighth round, needing a win to remain in the

top eight. The Chiefs won their first three matches on the road but since have had three losses to drop to seventh ahead of tomorrow’s match against Otago. The Highlanders took a step away from the bottom of the ladder when they beat the Lions in round seven but must win again to keep the playoffs within reach. The Blues, ninth with a 3-3 record, take on the toughest assignment when they host South Africa’s unbeaten Bulls tomorrow. In other matches, the winless Western Force take on the second-place Stormers, the fourth-place New South Wales Waratahs meet the Cheetahs and the improving Sharks return home from a five-match road trip to face sixth-place Queensland. All

Blacks winger Hosea Gear returns to the Hurricanes starting lineup for today’s match after being sidelined with a knee injury and fellow international Piri Weepu starts at halfback in place of Tyson Keats. The Hurricanes have paid heavily in their last four matches for their high-risk style and a lack of discipline. “We’ve got to look at ourselves. It’s personal pride really,” captain Andrew Hore said. “We’re starting to run out of chances.” Coach Colin Cooper said his players had to lift their performance, reducing the handling and tactical errors which had littered their last two games. “We’ll be looking for a lot more composure than what we had against the Sharks,” Cooper said. —AP

MIAMI: Former world number ones Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters set up Belgian blockbuster in the semifinals of the Sony Ericsson Open Wednesday, while Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick booked a men’s showdown. Henin, playing her fourth tournament since returning from retirement, downed world number two Caroline Wozniacki 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-4. Clijsters, in her first full season since coming out of retirement last year, beat ninth-seeded Australian Samantha Stosur 6-3, 7-5. “It has always been special, and it will always be special,” Henin said of her long rivalry with Clijsters. “Because Kim and I grew up together. We arrived on the tour almost at the same time, we played good at the same time, we retired at the same time, and we came back at the same time.” Clijsters, who married and had a baby in her absence from the women’s tour, returned with a bang by winning the US Open last September. Clijsters triumphed in January when the two met in the final of the Brisbane International - Henin’s first tournament back. “That was one of the funniest, most exciting matches I think that I’ve played in my career,” said Clijsters, who saved two match points in that contest. “Hopefully we can both play the same kind of match level and intensity.” Nadal, the world number four who is the highest-seeded player left in the ATP Masters 1000 hardcourt draw, moved into the semifinals with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over eight-seeded JoWilfried Tsonga of France. Nadal saved all eight break points he faced and sealed the victory with a bistering cross-court winner. Nadal, playing his second tournament since injury cut short his Australian Open campaign, will continue his quest for his first title since last April when he faces in-form American Roddick, a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Nicolas Almagro. “When you play a lot of matches and kind of play a high level, it feels like everything kind of slows down a little bit,” sixth-seeded Roddick, the 2004 champion, said. “Muscle memory takes over a little bit more. I think I’m at that stage right now. Unfortunately with tennis, you have to start over every day.” The top three men’s seeds - Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray - were all eliminated before the quarter-finals. “Obviously you’re surprised any time he loses,” Roddick said of Federer, who lost to Czech Tomas Berdych on Tuesday. “But that’s tennis. That’s why you play.” Henin, currently ranked 33rd in the world and playing on wild card invitation, has already beaten four seeded players in a row. She’s 16-3 since ending a 20-month retirement in January, and she’ll move back into the top 30 in next week’s rankings. After her slow start, Henin was dominant on serve in the final set and closed out the 2hr 45min match with a love game. “I didn’t play for two years, so it’s good to be on the court a little bit longer,” she said. Henin, who had 31 unforced errors in the opening set, said Wozniacki’s variety kept her from finding a groove early. “She’s really smart,” Henin said. “She never hits two balls in the row with the same rhythm. She pushed me to play and work a lot.” Three-time champion Venus Williams played 13th seed Marion Bartoli in the other women’s semi-final late yesterday. Henin, winner of seven Grand Slam titles, has never won in Miami. Her best finish here was in 2007, when she lost to Serena Williams in the final. She was playing for the first time against the 19-year-old Wozniacki, who recalled watching Henin play on television. Wozniacki said she wasn’t surprised Henin’s comeback had gotten off to such a quick start. “It’s really difficult to play matches again after you haven’t played for a while, but I think she just didn’t feel the pressure,” Wozniacki said. “She just went out there and enjoyed it, and that’s why the results are coming.” —AFP


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Lightning overwhelm Penguins Ward keeps Habs from moving up in East NBA Results/Standings

PITTSBURGH: Steven Stamkos scored his 46th goal to edge within one of NHL leader Sidney Crosby as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-0 on Wednesday. Crosby and the Penguins couldn’t find the net on a 5-minute power play in the first period resulting from justrecalled defenseman Matt Lashoff’s boarding penalty and went on to lose their fourth in six games after winning their previous two. Pittsburgh missed an opportunity to take a three-point lead in the Atlantic Division over idle New Jersey. Lightning goalie Mike Smith made 27 saves for his second shutout of the season. Steve Downie also scored for Tampa Bay. Hurricanes 2, Canadiens 1 At Montreal, Eric Staal scored the goahead goal at 2:55 of third period and Cam Ward made 34 saves for Carolina. Brandon Sutter also scored for the Hurricanes. Carolina, which has won three of four, is 11th in the Eastern Conference with 75 points, seven behind Montreal. Marc-Andre Bergeron scored for Montreal. Stars 5, Sharks 1 At Dallas, Steve Ott had three goals for his first career hat trick, scoring short-handed early in the first period for Dallas and adding even-strength and power-play goals late in the second period. Loui Eriksson and Brian Sutherby also scored, and Marty Turco made 29 saves to help end San Jose’s winning streak at four games. Rookie Logan Couture had a power-play goal for San Jose, the Western Conference leader with 104 points three better than second-place Chicago. Sabres 6, Panthers 2 At Buffalo, New York, Jason Pominville scored his team-leading 24th goal as Buffalo inched closer to clinching the Northeast Division title with a victory over Florida. Raffi Torres had three assists in his first game back after missing six because of a hand injury, and Ryan Miller made 13 saves for his 39th victory - one short of matching a career high. The injury-depleted Sabres also got production from their role players as defenseman Henrik Tallinder, fourth-liner

WASHINGTON: National Hockey League results and standings after Wednesday’s games: Buffalo 6, Florida 2; Carolina 2, Montreal 1; Tampa Bay 2, Pittsburgh 0; Chicago 4, Minnesota 0; Dallas 5, San Jose 1; Anaheim 5, Colorado 2; Calgary 2, Phoenix 1.

NEW YORK: Florida Panthers’ Steve MacIntyre (foreground) is checked by Buffalo Sabres’ Craig Rivet (not shown) in front of Sabres goalie Ryan Miller during the second period of the NHL hockey game in Buffalo. —AP Adam Mair and rookies Tim Kennedy, Nathan Gerbe and Tyler Ennis also scored. Michael Frolik and Jeff Taffe scored for Florida, which is all but mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. Flames 2, Coyotes 1 At Calgary, Alberta, Miikka Kiprusoff made 29 saves as Calgary moved within two points of eighth-place Colorado for the final Western Conference playoff spot. Rene Bourque opened the scoring for Calgary with his 25th goal of the season, beating Jason LaBarbera on a power play in the second period. Ales Kotalik made it 2-0 early in the third, and Lee Stempniak scored for Phoenix with 6:52 left. LaBarbera also finished with 29 saves. Ducks 5, Avalanche 2 At Denver, Jason Blake had a goal and four assists and Saku Koivu added a goal and three

assists as Anaheim kept its slim playoff hopes alive. Playing some of their best hockey of the season, the Ducks have won seven of nine, including their last three wins with Curtis McElhinney in goal in place of ailing starter Jonas Hiller (back spasms). Curtis McElhinney made 27 saves. Steve Eminger, Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne also scored for Anaheim. Milan Hejduk and Darcy Tucker scored for Colorado. Blackhawks 4, Wild 0 At St Paul, Minnesota, Antti Niemi made 21 saves for his seventh shutout of the season and third in seven games to help Chicago snap a three-game losing streak. Ben Eager had a goal and two assists for his second multipoint game of the season, Tomas Kopecky scored twice, and Jonathan Toews added a goal. The Blackhawks won for just the third time in their last 10 games. —AP

Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF GA PTS Pittsburgh 44 26 7 237 219 95 New Jersey 44 26 6 203 184 94 Philadelphia 38 32 6 221 210 82 NY Rangers 34 32 10 201 206 78 NY Islanders 31 35 10 199 236 72 Northeast Division Buffalo 43 23 10 221 191 96 Ottawa 42 30 5 210 220 89 Boston 35 29 12 191 189 82 Montreal 37 32 8 205 210 82 Toronto 28 36 13 204 253 69 Southeast Division Washington 49 15 12 296 219 110 Atlanta 34 31 12 227 242 80 Carolina 33 35 9 212 237 75 31 34 12 201 240 74 Tampa Bay Florida 30 34 12 197 226 72 Western Conference Central Division Chicago 47 22 7 247 195 101 Nashville 44 28 6 214 214 94 Detroit 40 23 13 212 201 93 St. Louis 37 30 9 207 207 83 Columbus 32 32 13 208 246 77 Northwest Division Vancouver 46 26 4 248 196 96 Colorado 41 28 7 227 212 89 Calgary 39 29 9 196 194 87 Minnesota 37 34 6 208 230 80 Edmonton 24 45 7 194 260 55 Pacific Division San Jose 47 20 10 248 203 104 Phoenix 47 25 6 212 193 100 Los Angeles 43 27 6 220 202 92 Anaheim 37 31 8 216 229 82 Dallas 34 29 14 221 239 82 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L).

Squash yearn for Olympic bounce LONDON: Inside a gleaming, glassroofed building in the heart of London’s Canary Wharf banking district last week two of the world’s top squash players fought each other to a standstill. The fact that few people, apart from a few hundred business types who strolled from their offices to watch some enthralling sport, even knew the event was on, let alone who the players were, illustrated perfectly the problem facing squash. With virtually no television coverage, no superstar names and no Olympic profile, the game which is enjoyed by millions around the world seems to have hit a glass ceiling as a spectator sport. The Canary Wharf Classic, in which Britain’s Nick Matthew, the world number two, beat fellow Yorkshireman and world number four James Willstrop in a ferocious two-hour duel before claiming the title against Frenchman Gregory Gaultier, was so far under the media radar that not one of the national newspapers based across the street bothered to send a reporter. It is nothing new and the top players,

apart from Egyptian world number one Ramy Ashour, who is something of a celebrity at home, appear resigned to sweating profusely while chasing a small rubber ball for little more than the love of it. “We are proud of the sport and don’t seek publicity for ourselves, we seek it for the sport,” the 29-year-old Matthew, still catching his breath after a match that ended with Willstrop flat on his back with cramp said. “Without being arrogant, I feel that we deserve to be spoken about in the same way that tennis players like Andy Murray and other top sportsmen and women are spoken about. OLYMPIC DECISION “I’m number two in the world, Murray’s number four, maybe he should ring me for a bit of advice about how to get higher. It’s quite nice that I can walk down the street and nobody knows who I am but a small share of exposure would be nice.” Murray commands huge coverage in Britain, particularly during Wimbledon, and a millionaire’s lifestyle. While Matthew, who earns a decent living from squash, is full of respect for the Scot, he

says that while six British men are among the top 13 in the squash world rankings, Murray is the only Briton in the men’s top 200 in tennis’s ATP standings. What really hurts, however, is the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision last year to welcome golf and rugby sevens into the Olympic family for 2016 while squash was again left out in the cold. “You look at badminton and cycling which are no more popular worldwide than squash but they have a big profile now here because of the Olympics, deservedly so,” said Matthew, who will compete at the Commonwealth Games in India this year. “Squash is a worldwide sport, 170 countries play, and the top 20 are representing seven countries with however many more in the top 50. It’s a global sport and we think it ticks every box and we are proud of the product we put out there. “That was my worst moment in squash when I heard that we hadn’t got in to the Olympics.” MEDIA COVERAGE Peter Nicol, the former world number one who now promotes tournaments such

as the Canary Wharf Classic and a recent event held in New York’s Grand Central Station, believes the Olympics would be the pinnacle for squash players, whereas golf and tennis already have their majors. “The Olympics would have been the highlight for me,” he told Reuters. “If somebody had said to me when I was 29 that I would be playing in the Olympics in two years I wouldn’t have focused on anything other than winning the gold medal. “It should be an Olympic sport and it was frustrating that we didn’t get in. It’s about finance, which it has to be because the Olympics costs such a huge amount of money. “We have to turn it on its head, we have to appeal to the Olympic movement and get our house in order in terms of media coverage and profile in terms of sponsors so that they are there lobbying for us the next time the IOC are voting. We have four years to try and do something about it.” Australia’s David Palmer, who was runner-up to Nicol at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, agreed. “We’ve

played the last three Commonwealth Games and that is our biggest thing in squash but the Olympics is the next level up and it would be fantastic to play at the Olympics,” he said. “We thought we had a fantastic chance but unfortunately golf and rugby are more commercial and have a bigger commercial sell than us. But we are making changes and I heard that we may have a shot again for 2020.” One of the stumbling blocks in the past has been how to cover the sport on television-a problem now overcome by improved camera technology, glass courts and internet streaming which is taking it to bigger audiences. “We were told it has to work on TV and it needs to be more professionally minded and targeted at youngsters, that’s what we’re going after,” Alex Gough, chief executive of the men’s Professional Squash Association (PSA), told Reuters. “From my position we have to think what have we got to do better because every time somebody comes to see the sport they love it.” —Reuters


James lifts Cavs over Bucks CLEVELAND: Mo Williams made four free throws in the final 12.8 seconds as the Cleveland Cavaliers held on for a 101-98 win Wednesday over the vastly improved Milwaukee Bucks, who showed they might be a dangerous team in the playoffs. LeBron James scored 23 points and Williams 21 for the Cavs, who have won 10 of their past 11 and are closing in on the league’s best record and home-court advantage throughout the postseason. John Salmons scored 28 points and Andrew Bogut had 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Bucks, who attempted just nine free throws - none in the fourth quarter - to 45 for Cleveland. Raptors 114, Clippers 92 At Toronto, Chris Bosh had 34 points and 11 rebounds, and Andrea Bargnani had 21 points and eight rebounds. Sonny Weems scored 17 points and Antoine Wright and Jose Calderon each had 11 for the Raptors, who snapped a three-game home losing streak. Toronto has won four straight over the Clippers and seven of the past eight meetings. Chris Kaman had 22 points and 13 rebounds for the Clippers, who have lost 25 of 28 road games. Hawks 109, Lakers 92 At Atlanta, Joe Johnson scored 25 points and Jamal Crawford got plenty of help off the Atlanta bench in a win over Los Angeles. Kobe Bryant scored 28 points but only eight in the second half as Los Angeles lost back-to-back games for just the fourth time this season. The Lakers won twice on a five-game road trip and missed a chance to possibly clinch the Pacific Division title before heading back home. Suns 116, Nets 105 At East Rutherford, New Jersey, Steve Nash had 24 points and 14 assists, and Jason Richardson scored 23 points as Phoenix ran its winning streak to nine games. Amare Stoudemire had 15 points and three reserves were in double figures for the Suns, who followed a sluggish first half by hitting all six 3point attempts in a 38-point third quarter that turned around the game. Terrence Williams scored 21 points and Brook Lopez had 19 for New Jersey. Courtney Lee and Kris Humphries each added 17. Thunder 109, Celtics 104 At Boston, Kevin Durant scored 37 points, and Jeff Green hit two 3-pointers in the last two minutes as Oklahoma City edged Boston. Russell Westbrook added 21 points and 10 assists in the Thunder’s 46th victory of the season. Boston was led by Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace with 18 points each. Wizards 96, Hornets 91 At New Orleans, Mike Miller scored a season-high 27 points as Washington snapped a franchise-record 16-game losing streak. Andray Blatche scored 23 points, and Shaun Livingston added 18 for the Wizards. David West scored 18 points for the Hornets. Chris Paul had eight points and nine assists. Timberwolves 108, Kings 99 At Minneapolis, Al Jefferson had 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Darko Milicic also got a double-double to help Minnesota snapped a 16game losing streak. Jonny Flynn added 18 points while Corey Brewer scored 19 for Minnesota. Carl Landry scored 22 points and Donte Greene added 21 for the Kings. Sacramento has lost five in a row and 11 of its past 13 road games. Bobcats 103, 76ers 84 At Charlotte, North Carolina, Gerald Wallace had 24 points and 12 rebounds, and Tyson Chandler added a season-high 15 points as Charlotte moved a step closer to its first

NBA

Weems sparks Raptors with 8-for-8 performance NBA results/standings WASHINGTON: Results and standings after Wednesday’s National Basketball Association games: Atlanta 109, LA Lakers 92; Charlotte 103, Philadelphia 84; Cleveland 101, Milwaukee 98; Toronto 114, La Clippers 92; Oklahoma City 109, Boston 104; Miami 98, Detroit 81; Phoenix 116, New Jersey 105; Dallas 106, Memphis 102 (OT); Minnesota 108, Sacramento 99; Washington 96, New Orleans 91; San Antonio 119, Houston 102; Portland 118, New York 90; Utah 128, Golden State 104.

CLEVLAND: Cleveland Cavaliers’ JJ Hickson puts up a shot between Milwaukee Bucks’ Luc Mbah a Moute (left) and Andrew Bogut, from Australia, during the first quarter in an NBA basketball game in Cleveland. — AP playoff berth. Andre Iguodala scored 14 points amid foul trouble for the Sixers. Elton Brand was held to eight points on 4 of 13 shooting. Heat 98, Pistons 81 At Auburn Hills, Michigan, Michael Beasley snapped out of a slump with 28 points and nine rebounds as Miami won its sixth straight. Dorell Wright added 17 points off the bench for Miami, while Quentin Richardson had 16. Dwyane Wade finished with 10, shooting 4 for 13 on the night. Rodney Stuckey had 18 points for Detroit and Tayshaun Prince added 17. Mavericks 106, Grizzlies 102, OT At Memphis, Tennessee, Dirk Nowitzki overcame a poor shooting night, scoring 28 points to lead a late Dallas rally for its 50th game of the season. Jason Terry scored 29 points for the Mavericks, who have now won 50 games in each of the last 10 seasons. Jason

Kidd had 12 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, and Caron Butler had 11 points and a season-high 13 rebounds. O.J. Mayo led Memphis with 27 points, while Mike Conley scored 25. Spurs 119, Rockets 102 At San Antonio, George Hill scored a careerhigh 30 points and led two second-half pushes for San Antonio. Manu Ginobili added 18 points and 10 assists, and Tim Duncan had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs, who started the night in the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference. Jazz 128, Warriors 104 At Salt Lake City, Carlos Boozer had 25 points and 13 rebounds, and Deron Williams had a season-high 19 assists as Utah kept pace in a tight Western Conference playoff race. Kyle Korver added a season-high 21 points for

Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT Boston 47 27 .635 Toronto 37 37 .500 NY Knicks 26 48 .351 Philadelphia 26 49 .347 New Jersey 10 65 .133 Central Division Cleveland 59 16 .787 Milwaukee 41 33 .554 Chicago 35 39 .473 Indiana 28 47 .373 Detroit 23 51 .311 Southeast Division Orlando 52 22 .703 Atlanta 48 26 .649 Miami 41 34 .547 Charlotte 39 35 .527 Washington 22 52 .297 Western Conference Northwest Division Utah 50 26 .658 Denver 48 27 .640 Oklahoma City46 28 .622 Portland 46 29 .613 Minnesota 15 60 .200 Pacific Division LA Lakers 54 21 .720 Phoenix 49 26 .653 LA Clippers 27 48 .360 Sacramento 24 52 .316 Golden State 21 53 .284 Southwest Division Dallas 50 25 .667 San Antonio 45 29 .608 Memphis 38 36 .514 Houston 37 37 .500 New Orleans 35 41 .461

GB 10 21 21.5 37.5 17.5 23.5 31 35.5 4 11.5 13 30 1.5 3 3.5 34.5 5 27 30.5 32.5 4.5 11.5 12.5 15.5

the Jazz, who took control of the game early in the second quarter and had a season-best 73 points in the first half. Corey Maggette scored 22 points and Anthony Morrow added 21 for Golden State, which lost for the fifth time in seven games. Trail Blazers 118, Knicks 90 At Portland, Oregon, LaMarcus Aldridge scored 21 points before sitting out the final quarter as Portland clinched a playoff spot. The Blazers came into the game needing help to reach the postseason. San Antonio defeated Houston 119-102 and Dallas beat Memphis 106-102, meaning all Portland had to do was beat the Knicks to seal it. Portland has won four straight and 12 of its last 14, including six straight home victories. The Blazers have gone 15-5 since the All-Star break and since their acquisition of former Knick Marcus Camby in a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers. — AP


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