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Azraq trump Azkals

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MANILA: Kuwait’s midfielder Fahad Enezi (L) fights for the ball against Philippines midfielder Stephan Schrock during their qualifying match for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying football match between Kuwait and the Philippines at the Rizal Stadium in Manila yesterday. Kuwait won 2-1. — AFP


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FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

Graish: The evolution of an age-old tradition By Hussain Al-Qatari

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sian fusion dishes, Italian antipasti and miniburgers are now strongly present in outings and gatherings across Kuwait. The Kuwaiti palate has become very diverse, embracing different flavors and ingredients. Traditional events are not exempt from this transformation in flavors and dishes. Kuwaiti Girgian, Graish and Ghabqa, three traditions that happen during the month of Ramadan, are strongly affected by this transformation today. Graish in particular has witnessed a big transformation. The tradition originated in old Kuwait a few days before the beginning of Ramadan. Housewives would take all the leftovers and cook delicious traditional food with the remaining ingredients they have in their cupboards. It is like spring-cleaning for the kitchen. The food is set to make a big feast at the house of the oldest family member, usually the in-laws. Family members enjoy the scrumptious meal, socializing with one another until late into the night. Today, Graish remains a feast but it has become a different kind. As opposed to cooking with what they have at home, people today prepare for Graish by buying food especially for the occasion. While traditionally, people cooked dishes at home, many today order from restaurants and catering services. “Back in the days, we used to cook with whatever was available at home. Lentils, rice, dried shrimp, fish,

ing the heat and the thirst,” she explains. “This generation doesn’t remember Ramadan falling in the summer. We used to prepare special drinks for that, we used to make drinks with sweet rose water and almonds, and serve cold watermelons. These are very cooling and good for the body, helping you endure the heat,” she adds. Najat, a 45-year-old citizen says she remembers her family preparing Graish in her grandparents’ house, where all the aunts would bring pots of food. The children would stay up late and play. “Sometimes the neighbors join in too. Neighbors were a lot like family. Today families barely meet for Graish,” she notes. Najat’s siblings gather at her oldest brother’s house, since the parents are deceased. “No one really cooks

beans, every housewife would make a dish she knew with what she had at home. The purpose was to clear the cupboards of food so it wouldn’t expire, since for the whole month of Ramadan families have one main meal,” says Fatemah, a 76-year-old citizen. “Fish and shrimp in particular was consumed before Ramadan. During Ramadan no one ate fish; It makes you thirsty and that’s not good if you’re fasting,” she says. Some families also serve traditional Ramadan dessert like ‘Lugaimat’ and ‘Sabb algafsha.’ “These desserts are only made during Ramadan, so in the week before Ramadan some wives make them to test recipes,” adds Fatemah. She says that many families begin their fast weeks before Ramadan. “In the years when Ramadan falls in the summer, we used to fast during the month of Shaaban. Some people would fast every Thursday and Monday of every week. It’s an Islamic tradition, and it also helps you practice, endur-

except for dessert which is usually Lugaimat, but my sister-in-law prepares coffee and dates, and everybody brings food from a restaurant or a bakery. Mini pizzas, salads, sandwiches and pastries, things you pick up on your way. Also desserts like mini cheesecakes, cupcakes, muffins,” she explains. Some people go out for their Graish. Aisha, a 26year-old says she and her friends go out to their

Back in the days, we used to cook with whatever was available at home. Lentils, rice, dried shrimp, fish, beans, every housewife would make a dish she knew with what she had at home. The purpose was to clear the cupboards of food so it wouldn’t expire, since for the whole month of Ramadan, families have one main meal. favorite restaurant before Ramadan to have the last meal there before the beginning of a month of fasting. “We do that every year a few days before the end of Ramadan. Sometimes we go out for the entire week before Ramadan to do everything we won’t be able to do during Ramadan, like eating out and smoking shisha. In Ramadan, you have your Iftar at home and then if you’re lucky to avoid traffic, you can go have coffee with friends. Generally, I like Ramadan to be my month for social detox. I only see family and eat at home, unless the whole family wants to have Iftar out,” she says. Graish for Aisha this year is an outing with her best friends for sushi, and a movie.


Local FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

Satire Wire

Exotic is relative to your location

Conspiracy Theories

VIVA Singapore!

By Sawsan Kazak By Badrya Darwish sawsank@kuwaittimes.net

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just came back from a trip to Cuba and the reaction of my friends and family here in Kuwait has been quite interesting. Cuba seems to be this distant land, an exotic destination you only dream of going to. But being a true Canadian, I have already been there twice. I think every Canadian has visited Cuba at least once in their lives and stayed at the many oneweek-all-inclusive hotels. And if they haven’t already been there, are planning on doing so in the near future. This destination as well as Mexico and America are not very exotic to Canadians as it is so close by and so available. In Canada, Cuba is the poor man’s vacation place. For a few hundred KD you get your plane ticket, hotel stay, as well as breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks; not to mention a nightly show. Cuba is somewhat of a last minute destination, something you just plan last minute. This would be like telling a Kuwaiti that it was so exotic that they were going to Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Almost anyone living here has already been to Dubai, more than once. I once went to Dubai for one day (a piece of information that amazes my

Canadian friends back home). Anyone who lives in the Gulf isn’t very excited at the thought of traveling within the region; it’s a weekend destination. However, in Canada, the thought of hopping on a plane and heading to Dubai sounds like an adventure of a lifetime; like a far off destination that takes weeks of planning and a huge budget. Being a diehard traveler, I feel excited and thrilled about any destination I am about to visit, even if it’s just a new neighborhood in Kuwait. I love to notice the many social nuances that develop from one country to another, one state to another and even from one city to another. When learning how locals live, work, play and eat, you can truly know a culture. When comparing the differences and noticing the similarities of everyday life, one can begin to see the world in a different light. When you look at traveling in this sense, all destinations are exotic. All destinations offer a chance to learn, grow and encounter new experiences. I always suggest that travelers take advantage of the area they are living in and the many offers they find when stationed in a certain area.

Greetings Sawsan, I hope this email finds you well. Another article that kept me entertained while I was waiting for my coffee to warm up! By the way, your article seemed to go nicely with Hussain Al-Qatari’s article ‘Bureaucracy.’ I take it that it must be an extreme culture shock from what you have been used to in Canada. Some information I would like to provide you with, that might be contradictory to what you believe. There is very high competition in Kuwait, albeit not on a service level but rather a higher ownership level on the political side where business owners are the ones that have to secure the business via their connections and wheeling and dealing; plus the exclusive dealership system. To add, people don’t use the most powerful tool available to them: Boycott. Regards Omar

In my View

Jumping on the bandwagon By Jamie Etheridge local@kuwaittimes.net

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his week I made the trek all the way out to Al-Rai to the Avenues to try a newly-opened and much-talked about burger joint. The hype surrounding this particular place had percolated through Kuwait for the last few months, and like everyone else, I was eager to sink my teeth into a fat, juicy hamburger and crunch on some tasty, freshly made fries. I couldn’t say I was disappointed but neither did the dining experience leave me ‘wow’d.’ As a friend of mine succinctly put it, “I wouldn’t stand in line for one.” Of course, I had. In fact, it seems about half of Kuwait was either queuing up with me or sitting at one of the slightly uncomfortable tables, chowing down. After thinking about it for a while, I realized only one thing could explain the massive crowds lining up for a vanilla shake and a burger: Marketing. I blame marketing for all the social ills of the world. At the same time, what would we do without it? How else would we know where to eat or what new ‘hot’ bag to carry on our shoulders? Trends sweep Kuwait like the recent dust storms - they come in slow and grow, building up until they blanket the whole city, then disappear without a trace except for piles of sand left on our windshields. The ‘next hot thing’ was once yellow wrist bands, yogurt-cup stacked hijabs, and now burgers and fries. With each trend or fad sweeping through Kuwait, the buzz stoked first by advertising and social media grows until it becomes a din of ‘must try, must have.’ Been there and ate that, I now feel better. I have reconfirmed my place among the ‘in’ crowd or at the very least the ‘In-the-know’ crowd, which in Kuwait includes almost everyone from the office tea boys to the heads of major corporations. In reality, I got sucked in just like everyone else. After living here

badrya_d@kuwaittimes.net

Letters to Sawsan

for several years, I have seen enough fads and trends come, and got to know that often the reality doesn’t live up to the hype. But that’s not really the point. What’s important is that feeling of belonging, of being part of something - even if it’s a new eating experience or the gelling of Star Academy hair until it is standing straight up. There are those who pooh -pooh the fad. With dour faces and snarky comments, they deride the rest of us for blindly following the herd and trying out the new breakfast place by Seif Palace or raving about our latest froyo creations. I’ll admit, I’m guilty too of railing against following the crowd. But there is a reason why we do it and it’s not just about Kuwait being small or boring. Taking part in a fad, be it carrying the latest iPhone or spending hours tweeting is the modern equivalent of attending the monthly village fair. It’s a way of keeping in touch with our friends, of signaling our connection to the here and now, of appeasing our existential angst by being a part of something beyond just our everyday routines. With Ramadan just around the corner, I’m hoping the new fad won’t be food but charity. Yes, soap operas and fashion will make their presence known but there are a lot of people out there who are ‘doing good’ - packing bags and collecting shoes and sending aid to Somalia famine victims. Definitely fads worth jumping on board. In the meantime, I don’t’ think I’ll ever wear a henna glove but I am seriously considering buying a Smurf doll for my little girl.

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tiquette and human habits. Are they controllable or are we born with certain habits that we cannot part with till death? What habits do you think the human being is responsible for and can control? What are the things a human cannot control? I am not taking you on a philosophical journey. I was today in my sports club and while waiting, a young lady came in and sat beside me at the reception area. All that is normal. Since she barged through the door of the club she was chewing a gum. I thought, as she approached the reception that she would stop. No she didn’t. She continued talking to the receptionist and making loud clicking sounds with her gum. Then I told myself that she would stop. I did not mind her chewing as this is her personal freedom and private life. Chewing in such a cheap way was annoying to me. How would you feel if you encounter the same situation- somebody sitting next to you on the plane, at the doctor’s clinic, in the hospital or in the sports club and he is chewing a gum loudly and you could hear the funny sounds. Does it annoy you? Do you get nervous or is it just me and I am over-sensitive and stupid? I don’t know. To my bad luck, we were both booked for a massage. To my good luck she was in a room adjacent to mine. I swear, throughout my one-hour massage I could hear her chewing and making funny noises. Isn’t massage supposed to be about self-relaxation and quiet. I tried to cover my head with the towel but I could still hear: Click, click, click! I went to the massage to relax from the news I have been hearing all day from the newsroom and I met this chewing-gum addict. Guys, I love Singapore. I have to admit. I don’t mind to go there next time to book my relaxing massage. Mentioning Singapore, a friend of mine complained to me earlier. She went on a honeymoon with her husband and she forgot to take her stack of chewing gum. To her shock and amazement when she reached the airport there was no sign of a single chewing gum. Then my good friend learnt, bless her wherever she is now, she learnt that the Singapore miracle with cleanliness was related to a complete ban of throwing anything such as cigarette butts and gums on the streets. Gums, actually were banned and considered an illegal substance. Anyways, my friend Shurooq decided to shorten her trip and return to Kuwait because she was fighting with her husband at all times in the absence of chewing gum. Letters to Badrya Dear Ms Badrya, Good afternoon to you and your team! It is always a pleasure to read your articles in KT and it was great to see your openness and honesty on the topic of teachers. My mother was a teacher too and I know what kind of a struggle it has been for her. She was paid peanuts and even the pension was too much of a trouble for her to actually go and collect. Anyway, I am in touch with a few of my teachers from school and college (I am hitting 50 now) and it is a pleasure to be in touch with them. I take the opportunity to thank them by visiting them when I am in India for my holidays. Have a great weekend and keep up the great work and articles! Regards, Jude


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Haifa Wehbe tops list of celebrities patients ask to look like

By Lisa Conrad

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f you were to guess the most popular plastic surgery, which would it be? Liposuction? Breast augmentation? Rhinoplasty? Dimples? Dimples?! Yes, dimples. Popular Lebanese cosmetic surgeon, Dr Mohamad Kodeih, said: “Liposuction, breast lifting and dimple creation are very popular with my Kuwaiti patients. No one asks for dimples more than my Kuwaiti patients.” Dimple creation: who’d have guessed it? As more women and men go under the knife, cosmetic surgery is becoming commonplace. In the Middle East, women report being under especially high pressure to meet ever-rising standards of beauty. Cosmetic tourism within the region see’s many flocking to Lebanon in pursuit of renowned doctors and affordable prices. Known for its beautiful women and skilled doctors, this tiny Levantine state has managed to cash in on its reputation for surgical perfection. Many prospective patients approach cosmetic surgeons with an idea of how they want to look, which can oftentimes be inspired by celebrity faces: “In the Middle East, Haifa Wehbe tops the list of celebrities patients ask to look like,” says Dr Kodeih. Tiny nose. Large lips. Slim, yet curvaceous physique. Haifa checks the stereotypical boxes of beauty, but she certainly checks them well.

Before and after - dimple creation

Mixed motives But what exactly is sending Kuwaiti’s abroad in search of firmer thighs, revived busts and especially charming smiles? “I get some patients who are clearly feeling pressure from society to improve their looks. Others, however, genuinely just want to

change a certain element of their looks, purely for their own satisfaction. I’d say there’s an equal distribution between the two factors”, says Dr Kodeih. Interestingly, he adds that there are socio-economic factors surrounding motives for surgery: “From my experience, middleclass patients seem to be under the most pressure to get surgery. The more wealthy patients don’t seem as pressured; it appears more to be a matter of fulfilling their own desires. The rise of technology in promoting beauty has also greatly encouraged cosmetic surgery, as has increased travel and exposure to other societies and, inevitably, other forms of beauty. “ Whilst most patients only tend to undergo surgery for a certain, specific issue, some go a step further: “Whilst it’s not common, there are exceptions to the rule and some people really do become addicted to getting multiple procedures”, he adds. The intriguing factor here isn’t the pressure in general, but the specific types of pressure some Kuwaiti women face. Dr Kodeih explains: “Social and cultural issues definitely play a part. If a woman feels her husband is thinking about marrying a second wife, sometimes she decides on cosmetic surgery to encourage him to stay loyal. If there are two wives competing, sometimes one will have cosmetic surgery to encourage the husband to drop the other.” Kuwaiti national, Rawan, said: “I went to Lebanon for my nose job because of its reputation: it’s known that you’ll hear about the best surgeons when you ask around. My nose bothered me a lot personally, but the fact that I’m not married yet also encouraged me. It sounds awful, but I really felt it would affect my options when it came to potential husbands. Sad, but true.” She adds, laughing: “You’d better not be using my real name in this.” Choosing carefully Going for cosmetic surgery is certainly a personal decision, but it’s one that has to be taken seriously, approached responsibly and research thoroughly. “Deciding on surgery is the simple part, finding your doctor, however, requires careful attention. Word of mouth is a great start, and many of my patients approach me following recommendations from previous patients of mine. Nonetheless, patients should never ignore the importance of spending time with their potential surgeon. Intuition is an incredibly telling human strength: if you don’t feel calm, comfortable and happy when you meet with your surgeon, you should seriously think twice. You should be excited following your first consultation, not scared,” says Dr Kodeih. Kuwaiti patients tend to be among the most brave, however: “My Kuwaiti patients are pretty fearless. They tend to know exactly what they want as well. I’ve even had cases of multiple members of families coming in together to get different procedures. They’re very laid back about it, which makes them great to deal with,” said Dr Kodeih. “It’s a regular occurrence in the Middle East now. If you have something you want to change, cosmetic surgery has become an accessible, affordable option. That’s not to say that any flaw should be changed with surgery. The stigma around it is falling, while say it’s vanity, I think it’s pretty brave to make a decision regarding something that bothers you,” says 28-year-old Kuwaiti national Layla, who had a breast lift and tummy tuck after having children. Cosmetic tourism sees patients taking quick trips abroad, allowing just enough time for consultation, operation and recovery. But how can relationships be built up between surgeon and patient from afar? “When patients contact me from abroad, I make sure we discuss everything in advance, especially if I’m not going to get much time with them when they arrive. I need to know, in depth, exactly what they want, and they need to feel comfortable with their decision. That’s the absolute least that your surgeon should be doing in such circumstances, and

it’s important to demand nothing less,” says Dr Kodeih. Costly revisions are the first consequence of failing to choose carefully, as those undergo get surgery are unlikely to accept poor results: “I get patients who had bad experiences in the past and need revisions. Sometimes only minor revisions are needed, but occasionally we see really poor work and have to completely redo it. It’s a hassle for the patient as well as being incredibly daunting as they fear another negative result. That’s is why it’s worth doing your homework, it may be cosmetic, but it’s still surgery.”

Before and after- rhinoplasty

Continuing controversy More and more men and women are beginning their quest for beauty, whether pursuing their own interpretation of it or those of the society they live in. However, as with anything that becomes popular, many are protesting a pursuit they see purely as a method of satisfying vanity and succumbing to societal pressures. Passionate about perfection, Lebanese expatriate Lara disagrees: “The surgeries that I do are for me. I choose to do them, I pay for them, so how is it for anyone else to judge? Does it affect them if I have cosmetic surgery? Does it hurt their loved ones? No. I think there are more important issues to worry about, anyone who’s slamming cosmetic surgery has too much free time on their hands to care so much about everyone else’s personal decisions.”

Before and after - Upper and lower blepharoplasty. — Photos courtesy of Dr Mohamad Kodeih


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What’s the single common factor that’s present at weddings and funerals? By Sahar Moussa

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Weddings Wedding food is a major issue in every culture. There are people who attend weddings just to enjoy the wide array of food choices. “In Kuwait, food is the most essential thing at weddings,” said Kuwaiti gourmet Talal. “We must hire a catering company that brings food from every national cuisine, like sushi, mini-burgers and pizza, but the main dish that must be on the table is the famous Kuwaiti dish ‘machboos’,” he said. Desserts are also quintessential at weddings. “Dates that come with Arabic coffee, as well as traditional sweets even more sweets such as cheesecakes and chocolate are a must,” he said. Kuwait isn’t alone in its love of wedding food, as it seems that every religion has its own culture and its own wedding foods and traditions. For 27-year old Amrita, food is the centre of a wedding. “That’s what attracts people mainly and usually the bride’s family offers the vegetarian meals,” said Amrita, Hindu woman from South India. “It’s completely traditional and always served on banana leaves. In our ceremonies we don’t have enough entertainment so the focus is, naturally, on the food served.” Funerals Despite weddings and funerals being complete opposites, one celebrating the beginning of something, and the other mourning the end, food is central to both. Food takes such an important role in funerals that it sometimes seems to come before grief. In Lebanon, for instance, following a death the family of the deceased will start preparing black funeral clothes that they will wear, book an appointment at the hairdresser’s and, of course, call a catering agency to serve black coffee and food. In some areas the relatives are the ones who cook for the funeral guests but, either way, it’s an extremely important part in communicating to the people there that you have made an effort. “At my mother’s funeral I made sure that everything was perfect; there was lahem baajeen (meat on pastry with yogurt), mansaf (rice and meat) and of course black coffee. It’s our tradition to offer food the first day of the funeral,” said Tharwat, a Lebanese woman. Like the importance of traditional food at weddings, it is also customary to offer certain foods at funerals. As a celebration is marked in a

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Graduation While weddings are a signifier of a new, fresh start, and funerals pay respect to the end, food is also present at celebrations that fall into the middle. Graduation, for example. Natasha, a Bulgarian expat, said: “At graduations, the family of the graduating student hosts the extended family and friends with loads of sweets.” In this, it seems, the West and East are not so different.

Chocolate cake

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ive in Kuwait for some time and you will instantly remove the word diet from your vocabulary. Here it’s next to impossible to abide by any diet. Food isn’t like anywhere else here, it’s a major part of not only socializing, but also entertainment. However, apart from the usual breakfasts, lunches or dinners with friends and family, both planned and unexpected occasions, celebrations and traditions across the globe revolve around eating. People enjoy celebrating whenever they have the chance, especially in the Gulf and Middle East. As soon as any kind of occasion is mentioned, food is the first thing that comes to mind.

certain way, so is mourning. Jordanian and Palestinian traditions are almost the same when it comes to funeral food, with both serving mansaf and konafa (Arabic sweets) and, of course, coffee. Given the close proximity of the countries, it’s not surprising that they share such traditions. In the Gulf, however, it can be different and different not only by country but also by sect. For example, some Kuwaiti Shiites offer food on the third day of the funeral, whilst some Sunnis don’t offer any food or coffee at all. “On the third day of the funeral we make a lot of food like machboos with either chicken or meat and fruits then we open the door to everybody so they can come and eat,” explained Ali, a Shiite Kuwaiti. In some West African countries, people ‘celebrate’ during funeral especially when the deceased is more than 80 years old. There are lots of activities, including traditional dances. “In my state, we prepare different kinds of dishes to entertain the guests during and after the burial,” revealed John E, an expatriate from Southern Nigeria. “This can go on for more than two days, depending on how rich the family is. There are assorted kinds of food- including pounded yam, melon soup, fried rice, pepper soup etc.” Although the activities are different, there still appears to be a shared common factor in all, which is that they all turn to traditional foods. In Bulgaria, mourners gather around the grave of the deceased and eat food prepared by members of his or her family. It is traditional to prepare foods that the deceased were especially fond of.


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“I was so happy that my son passed his exams and graduated,” said Yousef, an elderly Kuwaiti. “I couldn’t hide my excitement and I wanted to share it with all my family, friends and neighbors so I was distributing baklava, konafa, cakes, chocolates and all kinds of sweets and drinks.” Birthdays The annual celebration of birthdays has to be highly organized and prepared when it comes to food. The cake is always the center of attention both for the eyes and the stomachs of guests. Appetizers and main dishes also attract a lot of attention, not to mention even more dessert choices. Once again, work turns out to be a place of culinary delight but diet disaster. The larger the office the more numbers of cakes pieces. Birthdays are similarly important elsewhere in the world: “Birthdays are also special occasions in Bulgaria when the person who is getting older invites family and friends to give them a treat for ‘good health,’” explained Natasha. “Unlike other parts around the world where a birthday girl or boy is taken out by his/her friends, here friends bring the presents and the birthday person chooses the restaurant and, after that, picks up the tab.” Food and Ramadan Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year for Muslims where they fast all day and break their fast at sunset. The idea of fasting is not supposed to be about food, but instead about feeling with the poor and hungry, and to be grateful and appreciative of what you have. However, during Ramadan Muslims break their fast usually with a big, extravagant meal with all different kinds of food with family and friends. Tradition also plays a large role in the meal choices. “Ramadan for me is a very special month where I try to pray and fast for the whole month,” said Jordanian expat Mohammed. “I love the idea of sitting with my whole family and eating all together; my mom cooks the best food in Ramadan. Dates are a must on the table to break our fast, then comes the soup and salads and of course the main dishes. The tradition also requires ‘Galab’ and ‘sous’ and juice on the table.” Christmas and Easter Christmas and Easter big occasions for Christians, with people rejoicing with family and gathering around lavish meals for the festival of joy and peace. Sarah, an American expatriate, comments, “When I think of Christmas I think of Turkey. It’s a foodies delight, because usually we spend those few days relaxing at home, eating all of the treats the house is stocked with and that we’ve given each other. The cold weather really promotes that homey, food-oriented atmosphere too.” The western experience with food at holidays is similar in Eastern Europe. “Every celebration in Bulgaria revolves around food, or rather a wealth

of dishes,” said Natasha. “For example, the Christmas table is the time when the table is loaded with an odd number of non-meat dishes usually seven. Tradition [in Bulgaria] requires the table to feature a potato dish, home-cooked bread, grape leaves stuffed with rice, a bowl of dried fruits, garlic and honey. There is symbolism behind the choice of dishes that according to Natasha are tied to good harvest, wealth and good health. Lamb and sweet bread are the Easter delight dishes that are prepared on every table in a Bulgarian family.” Helena, a half-Lebanese half-American who lived in England, explained the food traditions there, saying, “In England, fruit cake is present at major events such as weddings, christenings, funerals, Easter and Christmas. I don’t know why, because most people don’t actually like it. Even the icing, which is usually the savior of undesirable cakes, is dry and hard. The thing about it, maybe, is that it takes a long time to produce, and needs to sit for at least a month before it can be eaten. Maybe that’s the element about it that makes it special, that it takes so much time and effort, which sets it apart from other food offerings.”

Konafa

Match days Sportsmen and women are figures of discipline, hard work and stamina. Usually of a very high level of physical fitness, how do people around the world celebrate their triumphs? With food. Be it out with friends in one of Kuwait’s gems for good food, or at home over home-cooked delights, matches are more enjoyed with friend and a dish of sumptuous food. Birthdays, sports events, weddings, funerals and all - food will always remain a staple.

Quzi with dakkus


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By Sawsan Kazak

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School is never out

he office atmosphere and experience holds many resemblances to the sometimes tragic experience in high school. A large group of people are stuck together for hours on end, five days a week, just like back in high school. Forced to socialize and interact with each other, the office environment brings up many of the situations and dilemmas we were all obligated to endure back in school. Gossip, fights, cliques and alliances were all present in high school and then once again in the office. It might be more disguised at the work place, but if you stay long enough in one place, your work place will turn into a high school setting. Gossip galore Having to spend most of the day together, it is inevitable that personal life will begin to intertwine with work life. Just like back in high school, gossip is a very exciting part of the day. Who did what and with whom, who got a memo for coming in late and who forgot to send out an e-mail are very thrilling bits of gossip that are passed around the office. Juicy rumor gets passed around from one employee to another like a grownup version of the game ‘broken telephone.’ Most of the time the rumors are just that, rumors; but they still get passed around as though they were facts. Everything is up for gossip at the office: who is getting fired, who is travelling, even who is sick and with what. Just like high school, you cannot avoid gossip, you can only hope you are not the hot topic of conversation. Seniors and freshmen Like in high school, offices typically have ‘senior’ and ‘freshmen’ employees. There are the seniors that seem to have been there forever and know the system inside out. These people have been with the company through thick and thin, and it looks like they will be there forever. They are usually older and wiser to the workings of the office. At the office, there are the ‘sophomore’ employees too. These are the people who have been in the company for a few years. So they are not newbies anymore but don’t have as much seniority as the older generation of workers. At every company, there are the freshmen employees who have just come in and are eager to make their mark. They are oblivious to the system but try hard to fit in. Like in high school, the seniors are intimidating to the freshmen and sometimes try to bully them around. The dynamics between these workers is the same as school, complete with initiations sometimes.

Inevitable bullying Just like back in school, offices have bullies. Like in school, these bullies try to intimidate by humiliating others at the work place either through their performance at work, or for their personal life. Unfortunately, just like back in school, these bullies are relentless, sometimes forcing people to quit their jobs or get fired. The only way to stop these evil people is to tell a teacher, or rather, a manager at the office. Cliques and alliances High schools are notorious for the formation of exclusive cliques and weird alliances such as the cheerleader crew and the athletes alliances. The office place has its share of cliques and alliances as well. There are those who always eat together, sharing each other’s lunches or going out to the same restaurant, there are those who work together on projects and reports and there are those that simply hang out with each other and gossip about others. In high school, cliques form in the same grade or extracurricular activity. In the office, cliques form in the same departments or managerial statuses. The finance department will click together, the advertizing department will click together and upper management will form close work groups. Alliances between departments are also known to form, such as the accounting department with the human resources or the cafeteria with the cleaning department. Nerds, slackers and just getting by Nerds are characterized by their over achieving attitudes and every office has a few of those. There are those who strive hard to please the management to snatch up awards or promotions. Their

accomplishments usually make the others look bad and they are quite despised by their counterparts. Slackers are renowned for their ability to underachieve, and what office doesn’t have those? These people try to play the system by skipping classes (ie calling in sick) and cheating on their exams (ie having others do their work). These people usually do the bare minimum to get by, not very helpful to the whole. You also have those who are not trying to prove anything or cheat the system. These people are just trying to get a passing grade (ie their salaries). These people are usually quiet, do their job and get out of there. These are dependable people who are just trying to make a living without rocking the boat. The ‘high school’ work place situation can be tricky at times and just as frustrating as the school days. But at least this time around, there aren’t any dreadful ‘parent teacher meetings.’

You can take the

people out of high school, but you can never take the school out of the people


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Crimes

Ex-husband arrested over harassment charges

KUWAIT: Police arrested a divorcee after his ex-wife lodged a complaint against him. She claimed that he continually harassed her over the phone. The arrested man was referred to concerned authorities.

Drunk father

A female child called up police to inform that her father returned home in an inebriated state and made some vulgar dance moves. When his wife attempted to force him to the bedroom, he retaliated by physically assaulting her. The man was arrested and referred to higher authorities.

Girl attacks girl

An 16-year-old teenage girl escaped from another girl who lured her into a car with tinted windows and sexually abused her in Julaiah. The girl had been to a few restaurants in the area when the suspect spotted her and offered her some sweets. Then the suspect offered to take her on a ride. When the victim began screaming, the suspect quickly dropped her back.

Thwarted kidnap attempt

A Filipina girl escaped from three men who bundled her into their car. The victim leaped from the moving vehicle and reached Taima police station. Her clothes were torn and there were bruises on her body. In her complaint, the woman stated that she works with a fast food restaurant in Saad Al-Abdallah. While resting outside the restaurant, three men alighted from a car and grabbed her and bundled her into the vehicle, reported Al-Watan. The victim identified the culprits in an identification parade. They were arrested and referred to higher authorities.

Bedoon impersonates police

The capital police arrested a bedoon man in connection with posing as a detective and forcing a female citizen to perform lewd acts. The woman alerted police, who reached the scene and arrested the impersonator. He was also found to be in a drunken stupor. Police placed him under arrest.

Take action!

Airport police asked a woman to stop smoking near the passport control desk, but she ignored the request. He warned her that he would be forced to take action if she continued to do so. The defiant woman blew cigarette smoke onto his face and told him, “Take action!” The policeman informed other security personnel and the woman was whisked away to their office, reported Al-Rai. The woman was referred to Jleeb police station and charges were pressed against her in connection with insulting a public official in addition to violating the ban on smoking.

News in

Brief

KU to announce acceptance by weekend

KUWAIT: The total number of applicants to the Kuwait University till yesterday reached 10,954, Nada Al-Mutlaq Head of Admission and Registration at Kuwait University (KU) announced. Al-Mutlaq said that 10,425 of the applicants are citizens, and 1, 447 among them were accepted on the spot. In a press release, Al-Mutlaq said that the acceptance list of 2011-2012 will be announced by the weekend, where they will be sending out text messages to applicants. The text message will include the major of which the student is accepted in and the appointment to present their original papers and documents.

Cultural summer festival ends

KUWAIT: The Kuwait National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters(NCCAL) concluded its summer cultural festival ‘Saifi Thaqafi’ with a traditional Turkish dance performance at Dasma Theatre on Wednesday. The 42-year-old troupe swayed to the sounds of beautiful Turkish rhythms. The NCCAL tried to promote cultural tourism in the country during the summer, for the mind to journey through cultures of the world by music and art, a statement said. The festival contained many activities to suit different tastes, including; book exhibitions from various geographic locations, plays, art exhibitions, cinema screenings, music recitals and educational seminars. — KUNA

Capital police arrest fugitive By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: The capital police arrested an illegal resident for committing several breach of trust crimes, in addition to issuing several dud cheques. Acting on several complaints filed against the suspect, police traced his whereabouts and monitored his activities for a few days before

arresting him. The suspect has been previously sentenced in absentia in connection with committing several crimes. He was also a former Central Prison inmate. Major General Sheikh Ahmad Al-Khalifa Al-Sabah Acting Assistant Undersecretary for Criminal Security Affairs honored police for their efforts.


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Kuwait charity gets ready for Ramadan Seven areas under spotlight KUWAIT: The third Kuwaiti plane which is loaded with humanitarian aid is pictured before it heads to drought-stricken Somalia. — KUNA

Third Kuwaiti aid plane flies to Somalia KUWAIT: A third Kuwaiti plane loaded with humanitarian aid headed yesterday to drought-stricken Somalia. Media Officer of Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS), which organizes the trips, Khalid Al-Zaid said that the plane took off from Abdullah AlMubarak Air Base yesterday carrying food, medicine, baby-milk formulas and tents. “The new move comes in implementation of the directives of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to show Kuwaiti people’s solidarity with their brothers and sisters in Somalia and to contribute to efforts aiming at alleviating their sufferings,” he said. He stressed that KRCS was one of the first organizations to help victims of drought in Somalia. “The KRCS has launched an urgent airlift to offer humanitarian aid to Somalia and has purchased ship’s load of 2,500 tons of rice and distributed them there,” Al-Zaid noted. “The KRCS is keen to participate in the efforts that are aimed at saving millions of Somali people, who face one of the worst droughts due to lack of seasonal rains, depletion of water and rivers and the lack of developmental mechanisms.” He added that the KRCS will enhance its presence in Somalia to oversee the distribution of aid and to meet different needs of those affected. The KRCS praised the efforts of Acting Prime Minister and Defense Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah to launch and monitor relief airlift to Somalia. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Kuwaiti charity announced its seven-pronged Ramadan agenda which covers Kuwait and some areas abroad. The Charity’s Secretary General Dr Hashem Al-Hashimi said the focus this year is borrowed from a quote by the Prophet, (Peace Be Upon Him) on seven honorable deeds that will be rewarded beyond the grave. These seven areas of focus, Al-Hashimi said, are providing access to education, repairing a water source, digging up a well, planting palm trees, building mosques, providing copies of the Holy Quran, and providing good counsel to raise dutiful children. Accordingly, the charity financial activities of preachers and teachers, helps with providing water sources, and also plan to plant an agricultural lot with rice in the Philippines, to be harvested by an Islamic academy there. Al-Hashimi pointed out the charity is also active in building places of worship in countries like the Philippines, Yemen, Albania, Somalia, and else-

where with help from donations and alms. As for the Holy Quran, the charity has taken up projects to finance printing and then distributing copies of the holy book to communities and individuals in need, where they are handed down from one learner and seeker of Islamic teachings to the next. Then there is the effort to help with the proper upbringing of youth, including courses in Quranic sciences, and other social activities. The Ramadan season enables the charity to exert efforts where all seven points are covered simultaneously, he noted, and all in one place where the people are in most need. Mabarrat Al-Amal Al-Khairiya is a Kuwaiti charity active locally and abroad aiming to spread philanthropy and increase awareness on the importance and value of charity and volunteer work. It also aims to show charity work as the third track along with the government and the private sectors in the framework and dynamic of social development. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Fire-fighters help a colleague recover during the operation. — Photos by Hanan Al-Saadoun

‘Visit visas will not to be transferred’ KUWAIT: The Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) team poses for a picture in front of the aid to be sent to Somalia. — KUNA

Kuwait gets $1.06bn in Iraqi reparation GENEVA: The United Nations has released $1.06 billion in Iraqi compensation to Kuwait yesterday in the latest payment of a war reparation scheme that began in 1994. The payment brings the total sum of compensation paid to Kuwait to $33.3 billion. A further $19 billion is due. Most of the latest round went to state and private companies, and governments and international organizations, the UN Compensation Commission said in a statement. Following the 1991 invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein’s regime, Iraq is required to put five percent of its oil and gas revenues into the UN reparations fund. — AFP

KUWAIT: The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL) has decided to stop transferring commercial visit visas into work permits indefinitely. Jamal AlDousary, the Ministry’s Assistant Undersecretary for Labor Affairs said last week when he studied the proposal. The reasons given include limiting the number of superfluous workers, in addition to organizing the job market. The decision will be implemented with effect from August 1 in cooperation with the Interior Ministry. A study will be conducted on whether the decision is permanent or for a temporary period.

Fire-fighters douse flames in Sawaber complex KUWAIT: Several fire-fighting teams doused flames that broke out in Al-Sawaber Residential Complex building on Wednesday night. No casualties were reported. A statement issued today said a fire alert was received at pm and fire teams headed from Al-Hilali fire station and reached their destination within five minutes. Teams from AlSalmiyah and Al-Asema stations lent support, the fire was curbed after it erupted in the sixth floor and extended to the seventh. The entire building was evacuated and no injuries were reported among residents, but that two firemen suffered from heat exhaustion after battling the fire and are receiving hospital care. The whole operation lasted for 45 minutes, the department said. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Several fire-fighting teams doused flames that broke out in Al-Sawaber Residential Complex building on Wednesday night.


FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

12 killed in blasts in Tikrit

13

Norway ends search for bodies at island

15

South Koreans on mine alert after mudslides

17

RAMALLAH: Members of the Palestinian party Fatah and the Palestinian Legislative Council leave the house of ex-strongman Mohammed Dahlan (seen inset) in this West Bank city yesterday. — AFP

Police raid Dahlan home RAMALLAH: Scores of Palestinian police yesterday raided the Ramallah home of ex-strongman Mohammed Dahlan who is under investigation for murder and corruption. Witnesses in Ramallah’s Al-Tirah neighbourhood said a large number of police and security forces had surrounded his home at 7:00 am (0400 GMT) before forcing their way in and arresting around 10 of his bodyguards. They were also seen removing weapons, files and computers from his house, as well as the former internal security minister’s two bullet-proof cars. Dahlan, who continues to hold parliamentary immunity as an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, was understood to have been locked in a room of his house while security forces conducted the searches. Adnan al-Damiri, head of the Palestinian security forces, said the raid did not target Dahlan personally but was aimed at arresting militants who were understood to be hiding there. “This morning a special unit of forces surround-

ed an area where Mohammed Dahlan is living. They did this because they knew there were some militants there. We have a legal order to enter the building and we found a lot of weapons.” The forces arrested around 10 of his bodyguards and confiscated 10,000 bullets and about 17 weapons, among them Kalashnikovs and pistols, and a car, Damiri said. Most of them were not registered. Earlier, a security source told AFP they had seized twice the amount of bullets, while witnesses said they saw two cars being taken away. Asked if there was a confrontation when they tried to enter Dahlan’s home, Damiri said no. “They told him they knew he had parliamentary immunity, and just wanted to collect the weapons and anything illegal. The operation did not target Dahlan personally, it was against the militants,” he said, noting that a number of police officers had remained on site to protect Dahlan. Security officials would be investigating whether the bodyguards were

registered with the security services, he said. Last month, Dahlan was expelled from the ruling body of president Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party over allegations of financial corruption and murder. The raid was launched a day after officials at the Fatah Central Committee (FCC) said they had decided to refer his case to the attorney general and the anti-corruption commission. Also on Wednesday, a Fatah court rejected an appeal by Dahlan against his expulsion from the party. In its ruling, the court found that a June 12 decision by the FCC to expel Dahlan from the party was justified, thereby overturning his appeal, court official Jamal Muheisen told AFP. The FCC decision to expel him must now be approved by a two-thirds majority of the Fatah Revolutionary Council. Last month, the FCC had also backed a decision to extend the mandate of the committee probing Dahlan’s affairs, allowing it to look into the affairs of his friends and associates. — AFP

Qaeda chief praises Syrian protesters CAIRO: Al-Qaeda’s new leader praised Syrian protesters seeking to topple the regime of President Bashar Assad while trying to portray the uprising as an Islamic battle against American and Israeli interests. The video message posted on extremist websites Wednesday is Ayman AlZawahiri’s first since Al-Qaeda named him its new leader in June following the death of Osama bin Laden in a US commando raid in Pakistan. The Egyptian-born AlZawahiri, who long served as bin Laden’s top deputy, directly addressed the Syrian protesters who have risen up against Assad’s rule despite a bloody government crackdown. The

message appeared to be an attempt to place Al-Qaeda firmly on the side of the anti-government demonstrators. “You are an example, explaining lessons to your Arab and Muslim nation in sacrifice, steadfastness and the struggle against oppression,” AlZawahiri said of the protesters. “How could you not? You are the sons of the Levant, the front for jihad and martyrdom.”— AP


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Songwriter of uprising meets gruesome death BEIRUT: Ibrahim Qashoush’s lyrics moved thousands of protesters in Syria who sang his jaunty verses at rallies, telling President Bashar Al-Assad, “Time to leave.” So when his body was dumped in the river flowing through his hometown, his killers added an obvious message: His throat was carved out. Qashoush’s slaying underlines how brutal Syria’s turmoil has become as authorities try to crush a persistent uprising. His fellow activists are convinced he was killed by security forces and fear it could mark a new campaign to liquidate protest leaders. An estimated 1,600 civilians have died in the crackdown on the largely peaceful protests that have been raging around Syria for more than four months, most from shootings by troops on anti-Bashar rallies. Qashoush’s case was a rare, targeted killing of a promi-

nent activist ‚Ä” made more chilling by the clear intention to send a bloody message. The 42-year-old Qashoush, a father of three boys, was a fireman in the central Syrian city of Hama who wrote poetry in his spare time, said a close friend, Saleh Abu Yaman. Before the uprising began in mid-March, he’d write about love or hard economic times. “All the poems and songs he wrote were by instinct. He used to be sitting with his friends and then start reciting a poem,” Abu Yaman said. But once the protests erupted and spread, Qashoush turned his pen to the uprising. Hama became one of the hottest centers of the demonstrations. In early June, security forces shot dead 65 people there, and since then it has fallen out of government control, with protesters holding the streets and government forces ringing it, conducting

3,000 missing in Syrian uprising BEIRUT: A global campaigning organization said yesterday that one person disappears in Syria every hour and that almost 3,000 people have gone missing since the start of the uprising against President Bashar Assad more than four months ago. The online activist group Avaaz.org said its investigation has identified 2,918 Syrians who were arrested or abducted by force by security troops and whose whereabouts are now unknown. The group published the results of its probe in a statement, which was e-mailed to The Associated Press. It also kicked off a campaign called “Save Syria’s Disappeared” on its website yesterday. “Hour by hour, peaceful protesters are plucked from crowds by Syria’s infamously brutal security forces, never to be seen again,” said Ricken Patel, executive director at Avaaz. The group called on the international community to step up demands for the release of the disappeared and for a transition to democracy in Syria. Syrian activists say more than 1,600 people - most of them unarmed protesters - have been killed by security forces since the revolt against Assad’s rule erupted in mid-March. Although the uprising began with calls for reform, the steadily climbing death toll and slow pace of reform has enraged the protesters’ movement. Now, many of them say they won’t accept anything short of Assad’s ouster. Avaaz said it has identified 1,634 who were killed in the crackdown since March 15. Moreover, 26,000 have been arrested, and many of them were beaten and tortured. Some 12,617 are still in detention, the group said. It said it worked with Syrian human rights organizations to document the names and photos of each disappeared case. Assad has tried to deal with the extraordinary revolt against his family’s 40-year dynasty through a security crackdown, but has also acknowledged the need for reform. He has lifted the decades-old state of emergency laws and this week endorsed draft legislation that would enable newly formed political parties to run for parliament and local councils. The government also endorsed a draft law that it says will allow the formation of political parties alongside the Baath Party - something that had been a key demand of the protest movement. Still, opposition figures dismissed the moves as maneuvering tactics, insisting they want regime change. A group of government opponents known as the Change in Syria Conference on Thursday said the moves were “desperate attempts at cosmetic change,” coming from a regime that has lost national legitimacy. “The regime’s attempts to blunt international pressures through these two draft bills and others will not help and will not turn back the clock,” the group said in a statement. The military crackdown continued this week, with Syrian troops opening fire Wednesday on scores of people in the Damascus suburb of Kanaker, killing at least eight people. —AP

overnight raids into the city. The hometown son’s star rose with the city. At nearly every protest, the crowds were singing his most popular lyric, “Come on, Bashar, time to leave.” It was put to a bouncy, down-to-earth and jokey tune. “Screw you, Bashar, and screw those who salute you. Come on, Bashar, time to leave!” hundreds of thousands sang behind a singer on stage in Hama’s central Assi Square during a rally at the beginning of the month. “Freedom is at our doors. Come on, Bashar, time to leave!” Two days later, on July 3, Qashoush disappeared. Abu Yaman says he was told by witnesses that Qashoush was walking to work in central Hama when a white vehicle stopped, several men jumped out and muscled him into the car. They then sped away. “We immediately knew he

was captured by security agents,” Abu Yaman told AP. Early the next day, residents found his body in the Orontes River, which cuts through Hama. His throat had been cut away. YouTube footage of his body shows him being put on a bed, his head flopping loosely to show a gaping, bloody wound on the front of his neck where his throat used to be. “This is a purely criminal act,” said Omar Idilbi, a spokesman for the Local Coordination Committees, which track the protests in Syria. “They executed him.” Repeated calls to Qashoush’s home by the AP were unanswered over the past days. It is nearly impossible to independently verify the claims on either side of the conflict in Syria, where the government has banned most foreign journalists and restricts coverage by reporters inside the country. —AP

Libyan rebels seize Gaddafi frontier base Libyan leader remains defiant AL-GHAZAYA, Libya: Libyan rebels seized the town of Al-Ghazaya near the Tunisian border yesterday as part of a pre-Ramadan offensive aimed at unseating strongman Muammar Gaddafi, an AFP correspondent said. The heaviest fighting was on the eastern side of the town, some 12 km from the border with Tunisia, in a two-pronged attack that also came from the west and began around 8:00 am (0600 GMT). The capture of Al-Ghazaya, being used as a base by Kadhafi troops to fire rockets onto rebel forces in nearby Nalut town, followed a defiant speech by the Libyan leader that he is ready to “sacrifice” to ensure victory in the civil war. The early morning assault from the surrounding mountains was part of the offensive by the rebels aimed at marching on Tripoli and toppling Gaddafi. Initial attacks had begun on Wednesday, a military source told an AFP correspondent in Zintan, in the Nalut region of western Libya. Before the rebels overran the town, an AFP correspondent watching through binoculars saw dozens of army vehicles pulling out in the face of rebel artillery fire from heights overlooking Al-Ghazaya. The mountainous Nafusa region has seen some of the fiercest fighting between loyalist troops and rebel forces. The two sides had fought their way into a stalemate five months after the start of a popular uprising that quickly turned into a civil war. The Libyan leader controls much of the west and his Tripoli stronghold, while the opposition holds the east from its bastion in Benghazi. A defiant Gaddafi said late Wednesday he is ready to “sacrifice” to defeat the rebels after they warned the deadline for him to step down and stay in Libya has expired. “We are not afraid. We will defeat them,” Gaddafi said in an audio message, referring to the NATO alliance and the insurgents. “We will pay the price with our lives, our women and our children. We are ready to sacrifice

LONDON: A British police officer looks on as an unidentified man enters the Libyan embassy yesterday. — AP (ourselves) to defeat the enemy,” he added in a message to loyalists in the town of Zaltan, also near the Tunisian border. Gaddafi also called on his partisans to march on Nafusa and urged his opponents to surrender. “Traitors, surrender your weapons... Choose: death or surrender,” Gaddafi told the rebels, adding that without support from NATO the insurgents could not have seized the strategic mountainous region. Gaddafi’s message came after the chief of the rebel National Transitional Council said in Benghazi that an offer they had made through the UN that would have allowed the strongman to remain in Libya if he stepped down had lapsed. NTC chairman Mustafa Mohamed Abdel Jalil said the rebels had delivered to UN special envoy Abdul Ilah Al-Khatib “a very specific, well-intentioned offer that Gaddafi can stay in Libya under three conditions”. “We made a proposal. The deadline has

passed. The proposal has expired,” he told reporters of the month-old offer. Under the offer, Gaddafi would have had to step aside and relinquish all responsibilities, his place of residence would be the “choice of the Libyan people” and he would be under “close supervision”, Abdel Jalil said. “The period of this proposal has passed,” he said. Meanwhile, Britain gave a major boost to the rebels by inviting them to take over the Libyan embassy in London, which the Gaddafi regime slammed, while Washington said it was examining a request by the rebels to recognise the insurgents. In London, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Wednesday his country has expelled all remaining staff at the Libyan embassy and recognised the NTC as Libya’s sole legitimate government. The rebels yesterday said they had nominated Mahmud Nacua, a Libyan exile, as their ambassador to London. —AFP


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Palestinians fear for ancient water source RASHAYIDA, West Bank: Hewn from rock, the cavernous cisterns which dot the desert beyond Bethlehem have for centuries harvested winter rain to provide shepherds and their flocks with water through summer. Under a baking sun, an elderly Bedouin explains how cisterns he remembers from childhood, many of them restored to full working order in the last few years, are once again helping his goat-herding community to survive. That, he concludes, is why the Israeli authorities who control the West Bank have demolished at least three in the area since November. “Maybe they are doing this to make us leave. We will not leave,” said Falah Hedawa, 64, sitting on cushions in his tent home pitched in the hills that slope down to the Dead Sea. Out into the desert, a stagnant pool marked the spot where one of the cisterns, chiselled out of a hillside, had stood until its recent demolition. A mud trail on the otherwise dry ground indicated where the water inside had drained away towards a wadi, a valley which becomes a river when the rain falls. Israel has demolished 20 rainwater collection cisterns in the West Bank in the first half of this year, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which monitors conditions in the Palestinian territories. Their razing is part of a marked acceleration in demolitions of Palestinian structures

in “Area C” - the 60 percent of the West Bank where Israel exercises total control. Defined by interim peace agreements concluded between Israel and the Palestinians in the 1990s, Area C is where all of Israel’s West Bank settlements are located. In the first half of 2011, more Palestinians lost their homes in Area C than in the whole of 2009 or 2010, OCHA says. Many of them were Bedouin. A total of 342 Palestinian-owned structures have been demolished in the area so far this year. Typically, demolitions are carried out on the grounds that the structures, some of them as simple as tents, have been put up without Israeli permission - something Palestinians say is almost impossible to obtain. As for the cisterns, the Israeli civil administration for the West Bank says that in at least two cases, probably more, it took action because they were located in military training zones where live fire could pose a danger to people using them. That, Palestinians say, is just an excuse, part of a system of Israeli restrictions designed to curb their development while allowing the settlements to grow. The non-governmental organisations (NGOs) behind the cistern rehabilitation project are deeply concerned: the Bedouin, who number around 27,500 in Area C, are some of the poorest of all Palestinians. Rehabilitated, the cisterns have been providing them with a free water resource, easing their reliance on

Bahrain king approves reforms, oppn rejects DUBAI: Bahrain’s king approved parliamentary reforms yesterday after the suppression of pro-democracy protests, granting more powers of scrutiny for the elected lower house but preserving the dominance of an upper house appointed by the royal elite. King Hamad bin Isa was addressing a state-appointed body called the National Dialogue, set up to address popular grievances after martial law was rescinded in May, after it presented its final proposals on reforms. They fell far short of what opposition groups and protesters demanded in February and March, when the unrest was crushed. The country’s largest Shiite opposition group, Wefaq, walked out of the dialogue last week, calling it “theatre”. “We have ordered the executive and legislative authorities to take the necessary measures to approve the agreements,” the king said in a speech shown on state television. He also ordered a pay rise for civilian and military government employees-a move reminiscent of Saudi Arabia’s move earlier this year disbursing huge handouts to key sectors of society in a bid to prevent a popular revolt like those that have shaken other authoritarian Arab states this year. Bahrain’s Sunni Muslim rulers called in troops from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states in March to help quell protests dominated by the majority Shiite community. The government said the unrest was sectarian and backed by nonArab Shi’ite power Iran. Bahraini Shi’ites denied this. A summary of the National Dialogue’s proposals published on Thursday include a greater degree of oversight of government by the elected lower house but the key dispute over balance of power between different parliamentary chambers was not resolved. “They did not agree on whether the Shura Council (upper house) should be granted the same powers as the parliament, and whether the responsibility for lawmaking and oversight should be restricted to the elected chamber,” the summary sent to Reuters by the National Dialogue body said. “Delegates did not reach consensus on a number of further suggestions, such as limiting the term for ministers and head of government or a fixed quota for women in parliament.” The appointed upper house has just as many seats as the elected lower house and dominates the legislative process. Wefaq spokesman Khalil Al-Marzouq said the final proposals vindicated his group’s decision to boycott. It did not attend the ceremony with the king. — Reuters

expensive tankered water that they have to tow to their encampments by tractor. By reviving old cisterns, the project leaders hoped they could sidestep tight restrictions on the construction of new water infrastructure - a factor which the Palestinian Authority says has exacerbated water shortages across the West Bank. “These cisterns are licensed by history,” said Nadi Farraj, a Palestinian agricultural expert who has helped to rehabilitate around 140 old cisterns in the last four years. The Bedouin talk of cisterns dating back to the Nabatean era, some 2,000 years ago. During their rehabilitation, workers drawn from the Bedouin communities have uncovered artifacts including Ottoman-era military helmets. At one remote desert site, amid stone structures believed to be the remnants of an early Christian church, workers found parts of ancient mosaic floors while rehabilitating two cisterns where goats are today taken to drink. “It’s clear they have been here a long time from the days of our ancestors at least,” said Ibrahim Moussa, sitting in the shade underneath a rock outcrop as he watched over his herd. Photographs taken during restoration work reveal cavernous spaces, buttressed by supporting columns and archways. Not all the cisterns are underground. Some consist of pools dug at the end of wadis to trap the rainwater flows. Reaching the remote sites is often the hardest part of the work, Farraj

says. Once there, workers must remove sediment, waterproof the walls with plaster and then rebuild collection channels that funnel the rainwater into the cistern. In the desert outside the town of Zaatara, one cistern bears a Christian symbol which shows that it predates the 7th century spread of Islam from the Arabian peninsula, said Ahmad Abou Rabada, a local notable. The cistern is one of two where Israel ordered a halt to restoration work in June on the grounds the area was within a firing zone. Abou Rabada said firing had not been heard there for years. “They have presented many excuses,” he said. He fears it is now only a matter of time before the civil administration demolishes the cistern. The demolitions have drawn UN condemnation. DanChurchAid, a Danish NGO that has financed the project, says five of the cisterns it has worked on have been demolished this year, three by Israeli forces and two by Jewish settlers. “I find it extremely concerning. The whole Horn of Africa and the Middle East are facing major droughts this year,” said Mads Lindegarde, regional representative of DanChurchAid, part of an NGO coalition that has formed The Emergency Water Sanitation and Hygiene group in the Palestinian territories. “To destroy ancient water cisterns and water resources in general is madness, but particularly in a situation where people are suffering from an extreme lack of water,” he said. — Reuters

Blasts in Saddam hometown kill 12 Baghdad liquor stores bombed TIKRIT, Iraq: Twins blasts yesterday involving a car bomb and a suicide attack in Saddam Hussein’s hometown in central Iraq killed 12 people near a bank and a market, as shoppers stocked up for Ramadan. Another 31 people were wounded in the blasts in Tikrit, officials said, ahead of the holy fasting period and with just months to go before US forces must withdraw completely from Iraq. “A car bomb exploded outside the AlRafidain Bank in the centre of Tikrit, and one minute later a suicide bomber exploded his vest as people gathered,” said Dr Raad Al-Juburi, head of the health department in Salaheddin province, of which Tikrit is the capital. He gave a toll of 12 people killed and 31 wounded, saying three soldiers were among the dead. A military official confirmed the death toll but put the number of injured at 33. He said four soldiers were among the dead, and that the attack occurred at 11:45 am (0845 GMT). The bank had earlier been crammed with soldiers waiting to withdraw their salaries but they had been told to leave because the money had run out, the official said. A witness said the state-owned bank is close to the city’s wholesale food market, which was crowded with people shopping for Ramadan that begins early next week. “A booby-trapped (vehicle) exploded at a parking lot next to the bank. When people gathered, a suicide bomber exploded his vest,” said a policeman at the scene. He said nine parked cars were also damaged, together with several shops in the market. Police cars

BAGHDAD: Iraqis walk through the rubble of a liquor store that was targeted in a car bomb attack which wounded seven people and destroyed 11 liquor stores in Baghdad’s Al-Waziriyah neighborhood yesterday. — AFP were roaming the streets of Tikrit, 160 km north of Baghdad, blaring through loudspeakers that the streets were closed to cars, and only pedestrian traffic was allowed. “I wanted to go and help, but I couldn’t because soldiers fired their weapons into the air to warn us not to go near the attack site,” said 32-year-old Mohammed Abdullah, whose store lies 20 m from where the scene. Two other attacks in Tikrit this month killed 36 people, and one on March 29 on the Salaheddin governorate offices and claimed by Al-Qaeda killed 58. Tikrit is one of the strongholds of the Sunni insurgency and the hometown of dictator Saddam Hussein who was oust-

ed in the 2003 US-led invasion. Meanwhile, in Baghdad’s northern Waziriyah neighbourhood, seven people were wounded by a car bomb that destroyed 11 liquor stores. Islam forbids the consumption of alcohol, and militants are particularly sensitive to this during Ramadan. Violence has steadily been rising in the past few months as the 47,000 US troops still stationed in Iraq begin packing up to leave by the end of the year from the country they invaded in 2003 to topple Hussein. June was the deadliest month so far this year for the number of Iraqis killed, and the bloodiest in three years for US forces, who lost 14 soldiers in attacks. — AFP


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Yemen oppn fights stalemate, internal divisions SANAA: Frustrated over President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s staying power and desperate for change, Yemeni opposition groups have taken a gamble by forming transitional governance councils that risk further splintering their fragile alliance. Tens of thousands of people have massed across the impoverished Arabian Peninsula state for six months - a motley crew of secularists and Islamists, separatists and nationalists, tribesmen and urbanites, protesting at 33 years of Saleh rule seen as scarred by repression, corruption and joblessness. Yemenis had hoped to mimic the impact of Libyan rebels’ Transitional National Council, which has received international recognition. The problem is they have already formed two councils, and loyalties are divided. “The opposition was never really united except in its opposition to Saleh’s regime. The cracks that are appearing were destined to come sooner or later,” said analyst Ghanem Nuseibeh, founder of Cornerstone Global Associates. In “Change Square”, where thousands camp out daily in the capital Sanaa, youth groups credited as the driving force of Yemen’s protests have plastered their tents with signs trumpeting allegiance to their “Transitional Council”. They aim to set up a shadow government in a country facing a growing power vacuum, where a powerful branch of al Qaeda is thriving, since Saleh went to Saudi Arabia to recover from a June assassination attempt. He has vowed to return to rule. But other tents in Sanaa are conspicuously bare, a sign they back the “National Council for the Forces of the Revolution” being developed by the Joint Meetings Party (JMP), an opposition coalition that once was part of Saleh’s government. South of the capital, in the protest hotbed of Taiz, some JMP supporters

are not only chanting against Saleh, but the youth’s Transitional Council, which they argue weakens their fight against a president clinging to power. “No to the council of division,” they shout. Emerging fault lines could trigger fighting among some in a country where perhaps half the population of 23 million own a gun. Clashes have begun to flare near the border with Saudi Arabia, home to the world’s biggest oil fields that foreign powers are eager to protect from Yemen’s growing chaos. A tenuous partnership between Shiite insurgents known as Houthis and Sunni Islamists of the Islah party has been shattered by violence that has killed dozens in recent weeks. The United States and Saudi Arabia, both targets of foiled attacks by al Qaeda’s Yemen-based wing, are wary of turbulence ideal for the group’s operations. But they have yet to make decisive diplomatic moves and instead continue to back dialogue and a faltering power transition plan brokered by Gulf states. The JMP, under criticism from youth protesters for sticking with the plan, accepted three different versions of the deal. Each time Saleh backed out at the last minute. Saleh now says he will return to Yemen to lead a dialogue and may later call for elections. Critics accuse Saleh, a shrewd political survivor, of dragging out the political process until the opposition’s latent divisions begin to undermine it. “The opposition knows Saleh has always survived by playing them against one another. They were wary of falling back into that same old trap,” said Yemen scholar Gregory Johnsen of Princeton University. “So it was a gamble of desperation, I think, forming these councils.” As the deadlock drags on, conditions are growing worse for most Yemenis facing water, fuel and power shortages. Prices are skyrocketing for a population that cannot afford it. Even before

the transition crisis, around 40 percent of Yemenis lived on less than $2 a day and a third faced chronic hunger. As the wounded Saleh remains resolute, a full victory for the opposition looks less likely and analysts say neither Yemeni council stands much chance of drawing foreign support. But Transitional Council members said they faced pressure from the thousands of street activists to act. “The fear of dividing the opposition is no excuse. This council was demanded by the protesters,” said council member Houria Mashour, a fiery woman in her 50s, her hair covered in a colorful veil as she campaigned for the youth-backed body. To many protesters, forming councils was the only way they could think of challenging the months of political stalemate. “What else did the JMP want us to do? We waited six months and they did nothing. We gave hundreds of martyrs and thousands of wounded, and the JMP is still living in this delusion of a Gulf initiative,” said Sanaa protester Maysoon Abdulrahman, a supporter of the Transitional Council. Some JMP leaders insist the vying councils will not cause problems, and could eventually cooperate. “I don’t think this will deepen divisions as much as start moving stagnant waters,” said Abdelqawy Al-Qaisi, spokesman for the powerful tribal leader Sadeq Al-Ahmar, part of the JMP. But Qaisi warned of consequences of protesters’ eagerness to end the deadlock: “The opposition chose the political route, it is a long path but it is safe. The youth may not prefer this.” In Sanaa’s Change Square, angry Mahmoud Abdullah, an impoverished civil servant, demanded more action and less talk. “I’m not for any council. We need an escalation, to march to the presidential palace,” he said. “We can’t wait for America and Saudi Arabia to make our revolution for us.” — Reuters

Clashes break out in Somali capital WFP hopes relief efforts would not be impacted MITROVICA: A Kosovo Serb woman ask for direction from Slovenian troops serving in the NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Kosovo at a checkpoint in the bridge in this ethnically divided town yesterday. — AP

Crisis escalates in northern Kosovo BELGRADE: NATO peacekeepers occupied a border crossing with Serbia in northern Kosovo yesterday after it was firebombed and bulldozed, apparently by ethnic Serbs, in a spiralling dispute over a trade embargo. “We have enforced our presence at the customs post of Jarinje,” a spokesman for the NATO force known as KFOR told AFP. “There is only KFOR at the post at the moment.” A separate KFOR statement said the NATO force had also taken over command and responsibilities of a second crossing, at Brnjak. It was allowing only “small private cars” to cross - which would be searched for weapons and other prohibited goods - and no trucks. Dozens of masked youths, thought to be ethnic Serbs, attacked the Jarinje border post late Wednesday with Molotov cocktails and then flattened it with a bulldozer, according to witnesses. They forced some 25 Kosovar police and customs officers, as well as members of the European Union’s EULEX mission, to take refuge on the Serbian side of the border. The attack came two days after the government in Pristina dispatched police units to take control of the Jarinje and Brnjak crossings and implement a new ban on imports from Serbia. The move provoked an angry response, with one Kosovar police officer being killed and four others hurt in clashes with local Serbs at the border. It was the first time since Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008 that Pristina had moved to take over control of the region populated almost exclusively by ethnic Serbs. Belgrade and the ethnic Serb minority which is mainly concentrated in the north have never recognised the breakaway Pristina government’s authority. The mainly ethnic-Albanian government in Pristina had suspected local ethnic Serb police of turning a blind eye to goods being brought across the border despite the trade ban introduced by Kosovo authorities.—AFP

MOGADISHU: Heavy fighting broke out yesterday in the Somali capital Mogadishu as government forces backed by African Union troops launched an assault on an insurgent stronghold, officials and witnesses said. Several civilians were injured in the fighting, medics said. The clashes come just a day after the UN World Food Programme began an airlift of emergency relief into the war-torn capital, to bring supplies for thousands at risk of starvation from an extreme drought in the Horn of Africa. “There is heavy fighting this morning in several locations, it is too early to say about casualty numbers, but there are some civilians who were injured in the crossfire,” said Ali Muse, the head of Mogadishu’s ambulance service. Fighting erupted near the city’s key Bakara market and Suqbacad areas, with both sides exchanging heavy machinegun and artillery fire. Witnesses told AFP that the AU troops and tanks crossed a road that has acted as a frontline in their war with the hardline Shebab insurgents, and moved into the Suqbacad area. “The fighting is very heavy and there are tanks belonging to the AU forces,” said Muktar Ahmed, a resident of the Suqbacad neighbourhood. “The few people who still were in the area have now started to flee,” he added. Shebab Islamists have vowed to topple the Western-backed transitional government, and chase out the African Union force in Somalia (AMISOM) troops supporting it. The Al-Qaeda inspired Shebab have been losing ground in the capital in recent months as pro-government troops and AMISOM have clawed their way back to several key positions. AMISOM spokesman Paddy Ankunda said that a

MOGADISHU: Somali military vehicle transports troops to a frontline in Wardhigley district in restive Mogadishu yesterday. – AFP “limited and pinpoint offensive” had taken three positions in the city. “Our troops have dealt with specific security threats in a short tactical offensive operation,” Ankunda said in a statement. The assault was aimed to “ensure that aid agencies can continue to operate and get vital supplies to internally displaced persons,” he added. Somalia is the Horn of Africa country worst affected by a prolonged drought, that has put some 12 million people in danger of starvation and spurred a global fund-raising campaign. Nearly half of Somalia’s estimated 10 million people are in need of relief assistance, owing to the effects of the relentless violence and the drought that prompted the UN to declare famine for the first time this century. While thousands of Somalis continue to stream into neighbouring Ethiopia and Kenya seeking food and water, up to 100,000 people have fled into Mogadishu over the

last two months, according to the UN refugee agency. The WFP said that they hoped that relief efforts would not be impacted by the fighting. “The offensive and the increased security has potential severe implications,” said WFP spokesman David Orr, speaking from Mogadishu. “Our local partners who are transporting and distributing the food may be affected, but we are still hoping that most if not all operations will still be going ahead as planned.” Officials said the UN had received about $1 billion in pledges during a Rome conference on Monday on the drought, but needs a billion more by the end of the year to cope with the emergency. The World Bank on Monday pledged more than $500 million, with the bulk of the money set to go towards long-term projects to aid livestock farmers, while $12 million would be for immediate assistance to those worst hit by the crisis.—AFP


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Chavez says chemotherapy will make him bald CARACAS: President Hugo Chavez told Venezuelans yesterday that he expects to lose his hair as a result of his cancer treatment. Chavez underwent a first round of chemotherapy in Cuba last week, and he said he plans to keep working while undergoing a second phase of treatment. He joked that he may soon look like the late actor Yul Brynner with his shaved head. “Surely within not many days, you will see a bald Chavez. Do you remember Yul Brynner? I’ll be a bit like Yul Chavez. My hair is going to start to fall out ... for some months,” he said in a telephone call broadcast live on state television. Chavez said additional phases of chemotherapy will aim to “keep malignant cells from regenerating”. Chavez underwent surgery in Cuba on June 20 to remove a cancerous tumor, which he has said was the size of a baseball. He hasn’t said what type of cancer he has been diagnosed with or specified where exactly it was located, saying only that it was in his pelvic region. Chavez said earlier Wednesday during a televised Cabinet meeting that his levels of both white and red blood cells have decreased as a result of his chemotherapy. He said that due to his lower-than-normal immune defenses he has to be particularly careful not to catch an illness.

He said the lower level of red blood cells “diminishes the oxygen that reaches all parts, and so there are signs of exhaustion”. “One has to go little by little,” Chavez said, adding he is going easier during his daily exercises. Chavez said that once his levels of white and red blood cells recover, next will come “within a few weeks or a few days the second phase of chemotherapy and a third probably”. It’s unclear how long the process might continue. Chavez has said tests have not found any signs that malignant cells have reappeared. Chavez beat on his chest and part of his abdomen during his televised appearance, saying it wasn’t colon surgery and that his 40 stitches from the operation have been removed. “I’m quite recovered,” he said. Chavez, who turned 57 yesterday, accused his opponents of celebrating his illness in a “macabre show”. He also denied accusations by some opponents that he was using his illness for a “political show”. Chavez vowed to survive and scoffed at suggestions that his older brother, Adan, would be a possible successor. “Adan, are you ready for succession now?” Chavez joked, addressing his brother, a state governor who appeared at another televised event. In his later phone call on state television, Chavez

said he feels that despite his condition he is “starting a new life”. “I’m going to keep working,” Chavez said, his voice transmitted live to an event where his vice president, Elias Jaua, was addressing a crowd of business executives. “You motivate me a lot to live,” Chavez told the crowd. “I pray to God and I’m going to live with you. And we’re going to win those elections next year.” The leftist president has been in office since 1999 and is seeking another six-year term in 2012. He has suggested in the past that he hopes to keep winning re-election to remain president for many years to come. On Wednesday, he expressed optimism that he is headed “for 2031”. Chavez condemned recent remarks by officials in President Barack Obama’s administration, including the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, who reportedly expressed concerns about Venezuela’s growing ties with Iran. “Look at how they keep attacking us from the empire, different spokesmen condemning us,” Chavez said. “We’re a free country, Mr. Obama, and we have relations of cooperation,” he said. “Go worry about your own things, decadent empire.” Chavez said the US government should be worrying about its “internal crisis” and public debt rather than Venezuela’s close ties with Iran. — AP

Norway ends search for bodies at island Police to interrogate killer again

SAO PAULO: Raquel Borges takes care of paralyzed lion Ariel in this July 13, 2011 photo. — AP

Lion with paralyzed legs dies in Brazil SAO PAULO: Ariel, a paralyzed male lion whose fight to walk again became the focus of an Internet fundraising campaign and captured wide media attention in Brazil, died Wednesday, his owner said. On the lion’s Facebook page, owner Raquel Borges said: “Our beloved Ariel is gone. This is the saddest day of my life.” Further details were not immediately available. The Facebook page created by Borges was “liked” by more than 62,500 people. The lion’s death made headlines on Brazil’s biggest news portals and was a top worldwide trending item on Twitter. Borges said earlier this month that the $11,500 needed every month to pay for Ariel’s treatment was coming from donations from the people who clicked the “like” button on the Facebook page and another website dedicated to him. Veterinarian Livia Pereira who cared for Ariel recently had said that for unknown reasons, the lion’s white blood cells attacked healthy cells due to a degenerative disease affecting the medulla, a por-

tion of the brain stem involved in motor functions. The 3-year-old, 140-kg lion started limping one day last year after spending hours leaping and chasing balloons. Shortly afterward, Ariel’s two hind legs stopped working. Then, after surgery to remove a herniated disc, the lion was unable to move its front legs. Pereira said Ariel’s symptoms were similar to those of multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and GuillainBarre syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that can cause paralysis. A team of Israeli veterinary neurologists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem visited the lion to administer tests they hoped would determine what degenerative disease was involved. Results weren’t expected until the end of July. Borges said Ariel was born in the shelter that she and her husband run in the southern city of Maringa, where they care for sick and abandoned animals. “He was a perfectly normal and docile lion that slept with me until he was 10 months old,” Borges said. — AP

OSLO: Norwegian police yesterday ended a six-day search for bodies on the island where anti-Islamist extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 68 people and say they are increasingly certain he acted alone. Breivik, 32, killed a total of 76 people in a bomb attack in central Oslo followed by the shooting rampage at the island summer camp for the ruling Labour Party’s youth wing. “The search at Utoeya (island) has been completed,” police Chief of Staff Johan Fredriksen told a news conference. A search for bodies in the surrounding Tyrifjord lake was continuing. Police had received a number of bomb threats but that these were not considered credible, Fredriksen said. Police were trying to help Norwegians get back to normal after the trauma of the worst attack in their modern history. “In general we are trying to be visible to the public to try to contribute to the sense of security,” he said. Dressed in a police uniform, Breivik massacred youths trapped on the island and shot at those who tried to swim to shore some 500 m away, leading authorities to believe that a number may have drowned. Breivik has told police he was part of a network in his self-styled “crusade” against Islam and multiculturalism, but Norwegian authorities doubt this. “We have to consider the possibility but at this moment we have no indication of that,” police lawyer Paal-Fredrik Hjort Kraby said. “He said in his manifesto that he was all alone and we are tying to find out if this is correct.” Police will interrogate Breivik today for the second time since he was arrested. The investigation has been conducted in cooperation with other European countries and the United States. The risk of copycat bombings remains low, police said, even though the attack comes amidst a rise in antiimmigrant sentiment in Europe as countries struggle to contain spiraling debt crises and revive flagging economies. “Europe has received a clear warning from Norway,” wrote Thorbjoern Jagland, the former Norwegian prime minister who is now the leader of the Nobel Peace Prize committee and Secretary General of the Strasbourg - based Council of Europe. “It’s possible that Breivik has operated completely alone. But I’m afraid he may have initiated a new trend. While we’ve all been preoccupied with Muslims and radical Islam, this has been allowed to quietly develop,” Jagland wrote in an article called “The racism in Europe” published by daily Aftenposten. “We see a new form of

A combo made yesterday of four undated pictures shows reproduction of family pictures of (from top left) Sharidyn Meegan Ngahiwi Svebakk-Boehn, Margrethe Boeyum Kloeven (16), Diderik Aamodt Olsen (19) and Bano Abobakar Rashid (18), who have been confirmed as four of those killed in the tragic events at Utoeya and in Oslo on July 22, 2011. — AFP nationalism, in a new disguise. But the old wisdom is still valid: all nationalism comes from something bad and leads to something bad.” Norway has promised a review of the country’s security services and their actions during Breivik’s attacks. Police have come under criticism, including from some survivors, for taking an hour to get to the island 42 km from Oslo. On a pier jutting out from a campground across the lake from Utoeya, where some of the survivors first reached shore, mourners visit a memorial to lay flowers and pay their respect. Pictures and children’s drawings adorn the site. One crayon drawing shows the green island and dozens of frowning faces in the waters around it. A letter placed between the flowers and candles starts “Dear Synne” and simply ends “I love you”. “What happened here is not human,” said social worker Heidi Weum Knutsen, looking out at Utoeya. “Young innocent people were hunted down and killed. That is the worst thing someone can do.” — Reuters


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Crack the new nightmare of Rio street kids RIO DE JANEIRO: Sobbing and playful laughter echo off the walls at Casa Viva, a rehab center in Rio that takes in children who have become addicted to crack, living on the streets like zombies among the trash. Rio city officials have tallied almost 700 children and adolescents living on the streets who are hooked on alcohol or drugs. Though crack devastated many inner-cities around the world decades ago, it is just starting to do major damage in Brazil. Authorities said that of all the addicted street kids, some 10-15 percent are now dependent on crack, a cheap cocaine derivative. “They take crack because it is a less expensive drug, and one they get hold of easily. But the worst

thing is that it gets them addicted faster than other drugs, and causes serious neurological damage,” Monica Blum, a social worker, told AFP. At Casa Viva, there are a dozen kids aged 10-14 who are inpatients, being cared for by a team of specially trained doctors, psychologists and addiction counselors. Tossed out on the tile floor, one of the kids undergoing detox treatment is crying and sobbing: “I want to go home.” But, as he then told a reporter, his “home” is actually the street, to which he ran away about four years earlier to get away from his mother’s fearsome physical abuse at home. Matheus, Josephi and Adrieli are three teenagers proud they have been able to make

progress at the home, where they eagerly take part in program activities. “I was so wasted before coming here that at home, I beat up my grandmother. But then I told her ‘I need help’. And she brought me here. When I got here I weighed 23 kilos, but I am doing better now,” said Adrieli, 14. She followed her addict mother into the drug world at the age of 9, Adrieli said. While they are in treatment, Matheus and Josephi pass the time playing football and singing. Due to neurological damage, crack addicts often have unusual behavior that can become violent. The signs are easy to spot among kids who come to Casa Viva from hillside slums like Jacarezinho, on Rio’s north end.

Last week alone, 38 adults and 15 kids from the neighborhood were taken to drug treatment centers. Addiction treatment capacity is phenomenally below need: in a city of seven million there are three treatment centers and 150 beds for inpatients. Under a new law, authorities can force minors to undergo treatment. But adults have to agree to it. And in most cases, they are unwilling. “If they have a really high level of dependency, they suffer relapses,” said another social worker, Daphne Braga, as she walked toward an area nicknamed Crackland, where slum residents often gather to get high. Some, still wasted and glassyeyed, march mechanically to a bus

stop to head across town. Others want to stay put where their crack is. Like Rosangela who sleeps on a cardboard box on the sidewalk. “I am not leaving,” she screams. “And you cannot make me go,” she says claiming she has been hurt in an earlier effort to move her. The surge in Brazil’s crack consumption - there are no official statistics drove ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to launch rehab programs for young people. And many kids like Adrieli are grateful that they have seen light at the end of the tunnel. “I want to be a judge, or a lawyer, so that my grandma will be proud of me,” she smiles, her eye on a different path in life. — AFP

UK inquiry opens with warning to witnesses Panel to look into media ethics

This photo combo shows Frederick Barrett in 1979 and on Wednesday. — AP

Fugitive caught after 32 years DENVER; Officers posing as forest rangers surprised a 60-year-old escapee from Florida at a remote Colorado cabin on Wednesday, bringing a sudden end to his 32 years on the lam after a murder conviction in the 1970s. Frederick Barrett was arrested outside a makeshift but tidy cabin near Montrose, about 200 miles southwest of Denver, when the officers said they wanted to discuss fire danger, the US Marshals Service said. When they saw a tattoo on his hand that matched one that Barrett was known to have, they told him he was under arrest. “His whole face, every expression dropped out of his face,” said Charlie Ahmad of the Marshals Service, recounting what the arresting officers told him. Ahmad, the enforcement supervisor for the Marshals Service in Colorado, led the arrest team of marshals, Montrose County deputies and US Forest Service law enforcement officers. Ahmad and some of the team surreptitiously surrounded the cabin before other officers collared Barrett. Barrett was convicted of murder in the 1971 death of Carl Ardolino in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Corrections. Ardolino had picked up Barrett and another man who were hitchhiking, said Ron Lindbak, a deputy US marshal in Florida. Ardolino was choked and beaten until he was unconscious and then held underwater in a ditch until he died. Barrett escaped from Union Correctional Institution in Raiford, Florida, in Aug 1979 by climbing three fences at night during a power failure. Barrett had escaped and been captured twice before that, Lindbak said. The Montrose Daily Press reported Barrett had lived in Montrose County since 1994. The arrest took months of planning, but authorities didn’t say how they tracked Barrett to Colorado. Barrett had been using the alias “Neil Meltzer,” Florida authorities said. Barrett wouldn’t say how he had supported himself, Ahmad said. Barrett’s cabin was two stories and was connected to a camper, Ahmad said, with plywood floors, a wood-burning stove and a generator. “It was kept very clean, it was meticulously clean,” Ahmad said. Barrett was alone when arrested but there was evidence of a second person “coming and going,” Ahmad said. Authorities aren’t looking for anyone else, he said. “We rarely prosecute those (aiding and abetting cases), and when we do, we rarely win,” he said. — AP

LONDON: A British judge yesterday opened an inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal that has rocked the country, warning he would use his powers to compel witnesses to give evidence “as soon as possible”. Lord Justice Brian Leveson, the judge appointed by Prime Minister David Cameron to lead the inquiry, said it would start by looking at media ethics and press regulation, with the first public hearings in September. Cameron ordered the full public inquiry earlier this month into the swirling crisis that shut down the Rupert Murdoch-owned News of the World (NoW) tabloid and dragged in the police, politicians and the premier himself. “In the first instance, the inquiry will focus primarily on what I am calling the relationship between the press and the public, and the related issue of press regulation,” Leveson said in his opening statement. Sitting at a cramped table alongside the six other panel members at the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre in London, the bespectacled judge said he was entitled to compel witnesses to give evidence on phone-hacking. “I intend to exercise those powers as soon as possible,” he said. Evidence will be given under oath, an inquiry spokesman told AFP. Leveson said the inquiry would turn to press relationships with the police and politicians later on, he said. He added that it could be difficult to meet Cameron’s 12-month deadline for an initial report. He said his goal was to consider what lessons could be learned and what recommendations should be made for press regulation, governance and oversight. The inquiry would be careful not to conflict with an ongoing police investigation into hacking, Leveson said. Ten people have already been arrested, including the prime minister’s exmedia chief Andy Coulson, a former NoW editor. But the judge urged editors, journalists and proprietors across Britain’s media industry to flag up “inappropriate practices”, signalling that the probe will range further than the News of the World. “It

LONDON: Judge Brian Leveson (center) and panel members (from left) George Jones, Shami Chakrabarti, David Bell, David Currie, Paul Scott-Lee and Elinor Goodman pose during their first official meeting for the public inquiry into Britain’s phone hacking scandal at the QEII Centre yesterday.— AFP may be tempting for a number of people husband of Murdoch’s daughter to close ranks and suggest that the prob- Elisabeth, “by chance” at a dinner in Feb lem is, or was, local to a group of journal- 2010. He then attended two “large ists then operating at the News of the evening events” at Freud’s London home World,” he said. “But I would encourage in July 2010 and Jan 2011 in a professionall to take a wider view of the public good al capacity, he said. “Had I the slightest and help me grapple with the width and doubt about my own position, I would not have accepted the appointment and I depth of the problem.” The scandal has threatened to spread also make it clear that I am satisfied that out to other papers, with former Daily what the panellists have said creates no Mirror editor Piers Morgan, now a presen- conflict of interest for them or for me,” he ter with US TV network CNN, issuing a said. The scandal refused to go away followfresh denial on Wednesday that he used any stories knowingly obtained by hack- ing the jailing in 2007 of the News of the ing. It erupted earlier this month after it World’s former royal editor Clive emerged that the News of the World, Goodman and a private investigator, which has since been shut down, had Glenn Mulcaire, for hacking the phones of hacked into the voicemails of Milly British royals. Coulson, the editor at the Dowler, a missing 13-year-old girl who time, resigned but the paper claimed was later found murdered. In his opening Goodman was a rogue reporter. Police remarks Leveson sought to quash claims eventually reopened the inquiry in Jan about his own links to Murdoch’s empire 2011 and discovered that up to 4,000 after it emerged that the judge previously people may have had their phones had social connections with the tycoon’s hacked. Public outrage erupted after the hacking of Dowler’s phone became public daughter and son-in-law. Leveson admitted in a declaration to on July 4 and Murdoch’s News Corp. was the inquiry on Monday that he had met forced to shut the News of the World on public relations guru Matthew Freud, the July 7.—AFP


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Abu Sayyaf kills seven Philippine soldiers ZAMBOANGA, Philippines: Seven Philippine soldiers were killed and 21 were wounded in fierce clashes with Al Qaedalinked Islamist militants in the south of the country yesterday, the military said. Philippine marines fought a five-hour battle with members of the Abu Sayyaf group in one of the militants’ hideouts in the forests of Jolo island, local military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Randolf Cabangbang told reporters. “The encounter was fierce and troops encountered a big group of the Abu Sayyaf,” he said. Extra ground troops and two helicopter gunships were called into the area to cover the helicopter evacuation of the wounded to a military hospital on the island, and to track down the attackers, according to Cabangbang. He said it appeared the soldiers stumbled into a major Abu Sayyaf camp as they chased a small group of the militants on Jolo, which is roughly 11 times

the size of Hong Kong island with a rugged and largely lawless interior. “I think what happened was, the troops were on manoeuvres during the entire night, and in the morning that’s when they realised they were already in the (Abu Sayyaf) camp. That explains why we have so many casualties,” he said. He said the soldiers were initially trying to hunt down militants wanted for a series of kidnappings in the area in recent months, including the abductions of an Indian man visiting his Filipina wife’s hometown and a Malaysian trader. Cabangbang said it was believed the militants that the soldiers clashed with were under the control of senior Abu Sayyaf figures wanted for previous kidnappings and killings of foreigners as well as Filipinos in the south. One of those leaders is Isnilon Hapilon, the subject of a $5-million-dollar reward from the US government for information leading

to his capture. Another is Radullan Sahiron, an ageing Abu Sayyaf figure who lost his right hand fighting security forces in the 1970s and has a $1-million-dollar bounty on his head. However Cabangbang said it was not clear whether Hapilon and Sahiron were directly involved in yesterday’s clashes. The military was also unable to say if there were any Abu Sayyaf casualties. The Abu Sayyaf, a small gang of self-styled Islamist militants founded in the 1990s with seed money from Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda network, is blamed for the country’s worst terrorist attacks. These include the bombing of a passenger ferry in Manila Bay in 2004 that killed more than 100 people, as well as a string of high-profile abductions and murders in the south. Hundreds of US troops have been deployed on Jolo and other parts of the southern Philippines since 2002 to help

eliminate the Abu Sayyaf. However they are only allowed to train Filipino soldiers, and not engage in any combat operations. The Philippine and US militaries have described their joint operations in the south as a success, saying the Abu Sayyaf threat has diminished, with militant numbers down to a few hundred. However incidents such as yesterday’s clashes show the Abu Sayyaf, which the military says at times shelters with relatives or other armed groups in Jolo’s Muslim-majority population, remains able to conduct deadly operations. In Manila, armed forces spokesman Commodore Miguel Jose Rodriguez insisted that, despite the heavy military casualties, Thursday’s operation was an important step in quashing the Abu Sayyaf. He said the military had achieved a “strategic victory” in over-running the camp, even though there were no reports of any Abu Sayyaf militants being captured or killed. — AFP

South Koreans on mine alert after mudslides Rescuers search for victims

WENZHOU: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao speaks to reporters during a news conference at the site of the July 23 train crash yesterday. — AP

Wen to punish those blamed for crash BEIJING: China’s premier Wen Jiabao pledged yesterday to “severely punish” those responsible for a deadly train crash that has sparked public fury and triggered fears over the safety of high-speed rail. At least 39 people were killed and nearly 200 injured when two trains collided Saturday on the outskirts of the eastern city of Wenzhou, in the worst accident ever to hit China’s rapidly expanding high-speed network. Wen, a popular figure with China’s masses, visited the scene of the crash as the government tries to assuage mounting anger which has dominated the media and the blogosphere in recent days. “We will severely punish those responsible for the accident and those who hold responsibilities of leadership in accordance with the country’s laws,” said the premier, who has ordered an “open and transparent” probe into the incident. The accident has raised questions over whether safety concerns may have been overlooked in China’s rush to build the world’s biggest high-speed rail system, a feat it has achieved in just four years. China’s state-controlled media has been unusually outspoken in its coverage of the accident, defying directives not to question the official line. A comment piece on the front page of the People’s Daily, the Communist party mouthpiece, said yesterday that China “needs development, but does not need bloodsmeared GDP”. “Development is of overriding importance. But development should not be pursued at all cost,” said the article, which was attributed to “the newspaper’s commentator”. The Chinese company that designed the signalling equipment for the train line apologised yesterday after a senior railway official said “flaws” in the system caused the crash. — AFP

SEOUL: South Koreans were cautioned about rogue landmines and explosives yesterday after scores of deadly landslides in and around the capital swamped homes, a monastery and military sites after the heaviest rainfall in a century, officials said. At least 77 people died or are missing after landslides and flashfloods swept the Seoul region, home to about 25 million people and the damage bill is expected to run into hundreds of millions of dollars. The Defence Ministry said about 10 landmines buried near an air defence artillery unit at Mount Umyeon in southern Seoul had not been recovered after a mudslide in the area on Wednesday. The mines were placed during the 1950-53 Korean War. Explosives were also swept from an ammunition depot in Yangju, north of Seoul, when it collapsed under the weight of a mudslide. A military official said that all the explosives, including dozens of landmines, had been recovered. The Joint Chiefs of Staff ordered units to check for any misplaced explosives in the affected regions, but that did not allay residents’ fears. The microblog forum Twitter was abuzz with anxious chatter about the missing landmines. As more rain battered the mountainous region yesterday, authorities drafted in the military to help with rescue and clean-up operations. Hundreds of soldiers wearing helmets and long khaki coats shovelled mud from the site where the landslide slammed into an apartment block at Mount Umyeon. A wall of mud three storeys high hit the building, killing at least 15 people. President Lee Myungbak visited the command centre for emergency operations and one of the flood-hit sites. “If it keeps raining like this, no country in the world can

77 dead

SEOUL: South Korean soldiers remove debris around a wrecked vehicle after a landslide caused by heavy rains yesterday. — AP endure this,” he said. “We should raise the bar of safety standards to deal with such natural disasters.” More than half a metre of rain has fallen in the Seoul region since late Tuesday, the weather bureau said, in the heaviest deluge for July since 1907. The storms also hit secretive North Korea, but there were no immediate reports of damage in its state media. Experts are worried about landslides, as the eroded hillsides are unstable. Power outages hit Seoul again yesterday, including a cut in a business district, but the financial services industry and market trading were not affected. Dozens of landslides were reported around Seoul and streams turned into raging torrents, flooding low-lying areas and swamping thousands of cars. Some bridges over the main Han River, which runs through the centre

of the city, were closed. Train services were also disrupted. Rescue workers were searching around a Buddhist monastery in Dongducheon, northeast of the capital, where a girl was believed buried under a mudslide. Three others were killed in the area. Authorities in Seoul said more than 4,500 people had been forced from their homes and many houses were without power. Emergency services put the death toll at 67, with 10 people missing. The share price of insurers steadied after tumbling as much as 6 percent on Wednesday, but premiums are expected to rise causing further financial pain for homeowners already stung by rising inflation. The Financial Supervisory Service, the country’s financial regulator, estimated the bill for car damage alone would be about $38 million. — Reuters


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’Disappeared’ still haunt Pakistani province ISLAMABAD: The abductors often show up in sleek pickup trucks, wearing civilian clothes but sometimes flanked by Pakistani troops. They often beat and blindfold their victims before spiriting them away. And while the prisoners may wind up dead, odds are the captors will never face justice. Despite ousting a military ruler three years ago, Pakistan’s civilian leaders have failed to stop security agencies from carrying out such “enforced disappearances” in Baluchistan province, where Baluch separatists have led a long-running insurgency, according to a Human Rights Watch report released Thursday. The security practice of abducting people has grown rapidly since Pakistan officially sided with the US after the Sept 11 attacks and rounded up numerous AlQaeda and Taleban suspects to hand over to Washington without a trial. Islamabad soon began using the tactic against groups that it considered domestic threats, such as the Baluch nationalists, the report said. The report documents cases of such abductions, most of them from 2009-2010, and relies on interviews with more than 100 people, including relatives of victims

and people who were detained, then later released. Three cases involved disappeared children as young as 12. Though not limited to Baluchistan, the report found that such disappearances are “a distinctive feature” of the conflict in the southwest region, where ethnic Baluch have many grievances, including a desire for a larger share of the revenue from the area’s natural resources. Bashir Azeem, an activist with the Baluch Republican Party, was seized at least three times, in 2005, 2006 and 2009. He told the New Yorkbased rights group that he was subject to interrogations, threats and physical torture. In the last episode, he said “they pushed pins under my nails, put a chair on my back and sat on top of it, and put me for 48 hours into a room where I could only stand but not move. When they took me out, my legs were so swollen that I collapsed on the floor and fainted.” Baluchistan is Pakistan’s largest province, covering 44 percent of the country and bordering Afghanistan and Iran. It is also the most sparsely populated province, with around 8 million people out of the total population of 180 million. The

United States believes that the Afghan Taleban have their headquarters in the province, but the Pakistani military appears more concerned with the ethnic insurgency there. It’s unclear exactly how many people in Baluchistan have been detained in this manner or killed under such circumstances. Anti-government Baluch nationalists say thousands have vanished, while government officials have given numbers ranging from 1,100 to a few dozen. Some activists have been seized multiple times, the report found. Those in custody are typically tortured, through beatings, sleep deprivation and other methods, the report said. It noted that media organizations have reported more than 70 bodies of missing people were found between July 2010 and February 2011 in Baluchistan. The circumstances surrounding the abductions are often similar. Many are carried out during the day in busy areas, with witnesses around. Although the perpetrators usually wear civilian clothes, 16 cases documented by Human Rights Watch involved men in paramilitary uniforms. In March 2010, uniformed troops of the

paramilitary Frontier Corps snatched 14year-old Nasibullah Langao and 12-yearold Abdul Waheed in the Hudda area, the report said. The boys had been seeking information about the killing of Langao’s uncle a few days earlier by the Frontier Corps, according to a family friend. As of yesterday, the boys were still missing. Human Rights Watch found that most victims are apparently targeted for alleged involvement in Baluch nationalist movements or for certain tribal affiliations. The abductors - even those in uniform - never identify themselves or say why they are hauling someone away. The report alleged some of those abducted are held in unacknowledged detention facilities run by the Frontier Corps and intelligence agencies. One such facility is at the Kuli army cantonment, a military base in Quetta, the capital of the province, the report said. Families of victims often find that police won’t register the abduction nor bother to investigate it, saying they lack the jurisdiction to pursue the cases. When Noor Khan, 28, was taken by armed men in plainclothes while at a gas station in Turbat city, his relatives turned to local police for help. — AP

21 dead in Afghan suicide attacks BBC man among those killed BANGALORE: In this July 25, 2011 photo, BJP leader and Karnataka’s Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa speaks while defending his alleged corruption charges at a press conference. — AP

Graft probe accuses top Indian officials NEW DELHI: The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party yesterday asked its top elected official in a key Indian state to resign after an anti-corruption panel indicted him in a multibillion-dollar bribery scandal involving granting of mining contracts. The BJP, the main national opposition party and the ruling party in Karnataka state, is the latest to be hit by corruption controversies. The country’s ruling Congress party has been mired in a slew of corruption scandals - from the hosting of last year’s Commonwealth Games to handing out cellular licenses in 2008. B S Yeddyurappa, the chief minister of Karnataka state, was meeting with his supporters in the state capital and was expected to step down. Bangalore, the Karnataka state capital, is India’s key information technology hub. “Yeddyurappa has been asked to resign and a new leader will be chosen in his place,” BJP spokeswoman Nirmala Seetharamam told reporters in New Delhi yesterday. The anti-corruption panel recommended that lawmakers and hundreds of government officials be prosecuted on charges of bribery for handing out mining contracts in southern India, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. The three-member investigation panel, headed by retired Judge Santosh Hegde, found that the top elected official of Karnataka state, several ministers and opposition lawmakers also violated environmental laws. The recommendations were sent to the federally appointed governor of Karnataka on Wednesday. — AP

KANDAHAR: Triple suicide blasts and gun attacks killed 21 people including a local BBC reporter in an ongoing attack in the Afghan province of Uruzgan yesterday, officials said. The Taleban immediately claimed responsibility for the coordinated assault that began with suicide bombings on official buildings and a militia base in the provincial capital Trinkot. It is the deadliest insurgent attack in Afghanistan for several weeks and comes after NATO-led forces symbolically handed over security control of seven areas in the war-torn country to Afghan troops. “There are 21 killed and 37 people are wounded so far,” said provincial health director Khan Agha Miakhail, adding that there were children among the dead and warning that the toll may rise. The BBC said that one of its Afghan reporters, Omid Khpalwak, was among those killed. Khpalwak also worked for Afghan news agency Pajhwok and its regional editor Javid Hamim Kakar confirmed his death. “Yes. His brother confirmed that he died and his body is in the Uruzgan central hospital,” Kakar told AFP. One explosion happened just outside the gates of the deputy governor’s office, which is next to the main hospital for Trinkot. “There were two blasts at the deputy governor’s office. One was detonated by a suicide bomber and the other was caused by an ANA (Afghan army) soldier shooting another suicide attacker,” said army spokesman Hekmatullah Kuchi.

KABUL: Afghan army soldiers look on during their graduation ceremony at the National Army’s training center on the outskirts of Kabul yesterday. —AP “The second suicide blast took place at Matiullah Khan’s base, who is not wounded,” said Kuchi, referring to a well-known militia commander in the area. Public health ministry spokesman Kargar Noorughli told AFP that a policeman and a child had been among those killed in the suicide blast at the deputy governor’s office. An eyewitness who asked not to be named told AFP that five explosions were heard in the area. “I saw two myself from our roof. One near Matiullah’s (place) and the other by the government compound. There was shooting in the streets,” she said. The militia commander’s base and

the deputy governor’s offices are about one kilometre (less than one mile) apart, said Kuchi. Earlier reports said the police chief’s office had been targeted. A spokesman for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said it had sent reinforcements to the scene, including helicopters, to assist in quelling the assault. Taleban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi told AFP that the attackers were from the insurgent group, but denied killing the reporter, saying the police were responsible for his death. “Seven of our volunteers have attacked the deputy governor’s office and Matiullah’s base,” said Ahmadi. — AFP


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Volkswagen posts $6.9 billion profit PAGE 21

MUNICH: Planes of German Lufthansa are parked at Munich’s airport. — AP

Lufthansa records profits of $432 m FRANKFURT: German airline Lufthansa yesterday posted second quarter net profits of more than 300 million euros, a 55.2 percent rise on the same period last year when Iceland’s volcanic eruption hit the industry. Lufthansa reported a net profit of 301 million euros ($432 million) for the three months from April through June, a company statement said. Operating profit was 44.7 percent higher at 230 million euros, a sum that nonetheless fell well below an average analyst forecast compiled by Dow Jones Newswires of 318 million euros. Obstacles faced this year included the Japanese earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, and political unrest in North Africa, the airline noted. Shares in Lufthansa plunged in early Frankfurt trading, showing a loss of 2.83 percent to 14.065 euros, while the DAX index on which they are listed was 1.07 percent lower overall. “Lufthansa remains among the profitable airlines in the world even after six months of strong headwinds,” finance director Stephan Gemkow was

quoted as saying. The airline expects the situation in Japan to improve but saw additional challenges in high oil prices and “competitive pressure in certain markets.” Charges related to hedging its fuel costs had forced Lufthansa to post a net loss of 507 million euros in the first quarter of the year. It reiterated yesterday however its full-year forecast for higher sales and operating profit than in 2010, citing “the prospect of a positive development of business during the coming six months.” On Wednesday Lufthansa had reported a net loss of 206 million euros for the first half of 2011 but said it did manage to turn a small operating profit of 3.0 million euros over the period. The group, which also includes Swiss, Austrian Airlines and BMI, had posted a net loss of 104 million euros in the corresponding period in 2010. The company’s 3.0 million euro operating profit in the first half stood in contrast to an operating loss of 174 million euro a year earlier. Sales were 14.1 billion euros over the same period, a gain of 11.4 percent.—AFP

Rolls-Royce flies into profit LONDON: British aero enginemaker Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc posted a 28 percent rise in firsthalf profit, helped by a growth in engine servicing revenue and continued demand from planemakers working through hefty order backlogs. Rolls, the world’s second-largest maker of aircraft engines behind US group General Electric Co yesterday reported an underlying pretax profit of 595 million pounds ($972 million) on revenue up 4 percent at 5.46 billion. The company, whose order book jumped 4 percent to a record 61.4 billion pounds, said it would increase its interim dividend 8 percent to 6.90 pence. Rolls, which makes engines for planemakers Airbus and Boeing , said it was on course to deliver higher 2011 profit, also helped by its many long-term contracts to service the engines it sells to airlines and the military. “For the full year, we continue to expect good growth in underlying profit,” Chief Executive John Rishton told reporters on a conference call, adding that its joint $4.8 billion acquisition of German diesel engine maker Tognum AG with Daimler AG would boost the company further. “We believe that by using our understanding of the services and aftercare markets we can

help grow the revenues of Tognum significantly,” said Rishton. Rolls-Royce was on average expected to post a first-half pretx profit of 530.5 million pounds, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data. It is expected to report a full-year pretax profit of around 1.1 billion pounds. Shares in the company, which have risen 5 percent in 2011, were flat at 636 pence by 0840 GMT, valuing the company at around 12 billion pounds. “Rolls have significantly beaten our expectations for the first half,” said analyst Guy Brown at brokerage Evolution, who has a “buy” recommendation on the stock. “We continue to see significant value in the long-term growth of this business.” Revenue at its civil aerospace business grew 14 percent, reflecting the strength in international air traffic, which has, according to industry body IATA, grown 8 percent so far this year. Long-haul journeys require the use of wide-body aircraft, to which Rolls is heavily exposed. Rolls’ Trent XWB will be the exclusive engine for Airbus’ new A350 jetliner, which is due to enter service in 2013. Rolls-Royce also recently won a contract to build a new engine to further beef up the A350. — Reuters


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World stock markets sink over debt fears HONG KONG: World stocks sank yesterday as US lawmakers struggled for another day to come up with a compromise that would prevent a debt default in the world’s biggest economy. Oil fell to near $97 a barrel. The dollar weakened against the yen and strengthened against the euro. Investors were growing increasingly anxious as the US government came another day closer to an Aug 2 deadline to raise the country’s $14.3 trillion borrowing limit. If there is no legislation in place by then, officials say the Treasury will not be able to pay all the nation’s bills and possibly trigger a default on its debts. Investors are worried such a default would send shockwaves through the global financial markets as the US economy is still struggling to recover from the worst recession in decades. In early European trading, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 0.1 percent at 5,852.58 while Germany’s DAX fell 0.8 percent to 7,192.17. The CAC-40 in France was down 0.5 percent at 3,713.76. However, Wall Street appeared poised to rebound after a big drop

the day before. Dow futures were up 0.4 percent at 12,288 while the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 futures rose 0.4 percent at 1,304.70. Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average sank 1.5 percent to close at 9,901.35 and South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.8 percent to end at 2,155.85. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.6 percent to finish at 4,463.80. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index edged up 0.1 percent to close at 22,570.74 after spending most of the day in negative territory. Mainland China’s Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.5 percent to 2,708.78 while the smaller Shenzhen Composite Index lost 0.1 percent to 1,189.13. Shares in oil and coal companies led gains while cement companies weakened. Benchmarks in New Zealand, Taiwan and India also fell. The House of Representatives plans a vote yesterday on a Republican plan to cut spending and raise the borrowing limit. Senate leaders are watching what happens to that plan before moving ahead with their own. As the Aug. 2 deadline is “looming and no progress has been made

Cyprus cabinet resigns as fiscal woes deepen NICOSIA: The Cypriot cabinet resigned yesterday to try to damp down public fury over a fatal munitions blast that destroyed the island’s largest power plant and compounded its economic woes, possibly forcing an EU bailout. Government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said it would not necessarily need the help, but even before the energy crisis caused by the July 11 blast, borrowing costs had risen steadily because of Cyprus’s exposure to Greek debt. “Until now, Cyprus has managed to satisfy its financing needs until the end of the year. So don’t take it as a given that Cyprus will be admitted into a support mechanism,” Stefanou told reporters. Thousands of Cypriots have protested over the blast, blaming state incompetence for allowing the seized munitions to be stored near the power station in scorching heat. Facing probably the biggest challenge of his political career, President Demetris Christofias, elected for a five year term in 2008, has also been under pressure from coalition partners DIKO to create a broad-based unity government to tackle the crisis. When he did not immediately heed the call last week, DIKO on Wednesday asked its two ministers to resign. Christofias responded by asking all of the ministers to quit. “The president of the republic briefed ministers of his intention to proceed with a broad reshuffle of the government and asked they place their resignations at his disposal,” Stefanou said. Christofias wields executive power, and his own resignation is seen as very unlikely. ECONOMIC FALLOUT Cyprus, a euro zone minnow with a GDP of 17.4 billion euros, has been left shellshocked by the explosion and any prolonged political wrangling threatens to derail much-needed economic reforms. Preliminary Finance Ministry estimates suggest the blast will wipe out growth forecasts this year to zero and Moody’s on Wednesday cut Cyprus to three notches above junk. Last week, the island’s central bank governor and European Central Bank governing council member, Athanasios Orphanides, warned that without immediate action Cyprus might follow Greece, Ireland and Portugal in asking for an EU handout. The cost of damage from the explosion and subsequent disruption from rolling power cuts has been cited as anything between 1 and 3 billion euros. The Finance Ministry has not given an assessment, but 3 billion euros would represent 17 percent of Cyprus’s GDP. Bond yields, already under pressure because of Cyprus’s exposure to Greece, have risen since the blast. — Reuters

NEW YORK: People walk to work on Wall St in New York. — AP

so far, the worries over the US credit rating downgrade and debt default has spread to the equity market as well,” strategists at Credit Agricole CIB wrote in a research note. “For the day ahead, market mood will likely remain downbeat.” Investors have found little to offset fears that the debt deadlock could spoil the global economic recovery. “In Asia markets, all the news is bad news,” said Linus Yip, chief strategist at First Shanghai Securities in Hong Kong. He noted recent signs of economic trouble in Asia, including Indian authorities raising interest rates for the 11th time in less than a year and a half to contain inflation and South Korea’s economic growth slowing. Inflation also remains a major worry in China, he said. In currencies, the dollar weakened to 77.68 yen from 78.06 late Wednesday in New York. The euro rose to $1.4382 from $1.4372. Benchmark oil for September delivery was up 36 cents to $97.76 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude lost $2.19 to settle at $97.40 on Wednesday. — AP

Eurozone economic sentiment worsens Data signal slowdown, not new recession BRUSSELS: Economic sentiment in the euro zone worsened more than expected this month with optimism fading in all sectors, data showed yesterday, signaling slower expansion of the economy in the second half of this year. The European Commission’s monthly sentiment index, based on a survey of businessmen and consumers across the 17-nation euro zone, fell to 103.2 in July from 105.4 in June. This month’s figure was the lowest reading since 102.2 in August 2010. The index has been falling every month since February. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a fall to 104.0 in July. “It is a clear soft patch, worse than expected. Bad news, clearly. We are on a downward trend since the start of the year,” said Carsten Brzeski, economist at ING. He and other analysts said sentiment had been hit by the sovereign debt crises in several weak euro zone states, as well as by signs of weaker growth in countries such as China and the United States. But they said the euro zone was probably not

heading back into recession, after emerging from one in 2009. “Given that euro zone fundamentals remain sound, we stick to our view that this is not the beginning of a new downturn, but rather a mid-cycle slowdown,” said Chiara Corsa, economist at Unicredit. The Commission said sentiment in industry worsened to 1.1 from 3.5, in services to 7.9 from 10.1, and among consumers to -11.2 from -9.7. “Today’s data signal that the slowdown is set to continue in the second half of the year. The Composite Purchasing Managers Index for activity released last week showed a similar trend,” said Clemente De Lucia, economist at BNP Paribas. The sentiment data, as well as market jitters about Italy’s ability to cope with its sovereign debt, pushed the euro down to around $1.4280 yesterday morning from $1.4370. INTEREST RATES Combined with continued pressure for higher inflation in the euro zone, the data may sharpen the European Central

Bank’s dilemma over whether to raise interest rates further this year, after a 0.25 percentage point hike in its key rate this month. Although the survey showed selling price expectations among manufacturers fell sharply in July to 12.5 from 16.1, consumer inflation expectations 12 months ahead inched up to 25.4 from 24.6. “The ECB currently seems minded to raise interest rates again before the end of 2011 after hiking by 25 basis points in both April and July,” said Howard Archer, economist at IHS Global Insight. “However, while a further interest rate hike in the fourth quarter is clearly very possible, we suspect that markedly slower euro zone growth and likely recurrent sovereign debt tensions will present an increasingly compelling case for the ECB to hold off from further monetary policy tightening this year.” The Commission’s business climate index, which points to the phase in the business cycle, tumbled to 0.45 in July from 0.95, giving its lowest reading since June 2010 when it was 0.36. — Reuters

Italy comes under fire on financial markets MILAN: Italy came under fire on financial markets yesterday amid signs of government infighting and fears the eurozone’s third biggest economy could join Greece, Ireland and Portugal into a debt spiral. The Treasury had to pay sharply higher rates to sell off eight billion euros in bonds including 4.80 percent on bonds due in 2014 that had last sold for 3.68 percent, and 5.77 percent on bonds due in 2021 compared with 4.94 percent before. Stocks fell sharply following the bond auction with the

benchmark FTSE Mib index in Milan dropping by around 1.50 percent in afternoon trading. Shares in defense and aerospace giant Finmeccanica led the drop, plummeting 15 percent after the company issued a warning on this year’s earnings. Meanwhile the difference between the rate of return on Italian and German 10-year sovereign bonds-a key measure of the financial risks as perceived by investors-rose to nearrecord highs of around 330 basis points. — AFP


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BAE bounces on buyback, soothes US budget worries LONDON: BAE Systems Plc upped its dividend and announced a 500 million pound ($817 million) share buyback as it moved to reassure investors the British firm can navigate through military spending cuts in the UK and United States. Shares in Europe’s biggest defense contractor rose 5 percent as Chief Executive Ian King told reporters the company was in a “sweet spot” in the United States despite budgetary uncertainty there and falling sales across the group. “We still think we’re in the fast lane and the sweet spot of government spending in the US. We’re seeing contracts coming through-the order backlog is reducing,” King said during a conference call. “The order book is pretty strong relative to the conditions that exist; we also have an order backlog, so orders we have won, but are not yet funded because in the US it is done on a yearly cycle. That’s showing good progression.” King sounded the upbeat note as the maker of naval destroyers, submarines and Bradley mili-

Shares rise 5 percent tary vehicles said profit before tax in the first half of 2011 reached 691 million pounds ($1.1 billion), down from 781 million a year ago. The fall came after an anticipated 13 percent drop in headline sales to 9.2 billion pounds from 10.6 billion and profits took a further knock from a 160 million pound charge taken on a troubled Omani patrol vessel contract. The company warned last month that following sea trials it expected the program to suffer significant cost overruns. A one-off benefit of 125 million pounds from a settlement agreement with Britain’s Ministry of Defense mitigated some of the damage. “In aggregate, the group anticipates that underlying earnings per share for the year will be broadly similar to 2010’s restated earnings,” the company said yesterday. BAE, which is involved in the

production of F-35 jets and Astute class submarines, said it continued to expect a fall in sales for the full year, primarily due to weakness at its land and armaments unit, which makes artillery and armored vehicles. LOWER SALES Sales in the division fell 40 percent in the first half compared with the same period a year ago, reflecting lower levels of demand from the US government to which it supplies Bradley fighting vehicles and the end of a contract supplying the US Army with medium tactical vehicles. The group, which has cut around 15,000 employees in the last two years in a bid to lower costs, said the Land & Armaments division alone had now cut headcount by 40 percent since 2009. Britain last year slashed its defense budget by 8 percent to help reduce its deficit-cutting its army, navy and air force

- hitting arms makers such as BAE, which makes around a fifth of its revenue in the UK. The UK intends to publish a 10-year equipment plan in September and plans to increase the defense equipment budget modestly after the 2015 spending review. Uncertainty about the future path of US defense expenditure-the source of around half of BAE’s sales-has dominated sentiment towards BAE, whose shares had fallen 9 percent in the last three months. The stock was up 4.8 percent at 306.4 pence by 0810 GMT, valuing the group at over 10 billion pounds. “Today’s results are broadly in line and the weakness in (the) top-line was expected,” analysts at Morgan Stanley wrote in a note to clients, maintaining their “equal weight” rating on the stock. “The 500 million pound buyback announced today should be positively received (particularly given the stock’s recent weak performance). However, a material re-rating continues to depend upon BAE’s ability to offset the fall in US Land & Armaments.” —Reuters

Greece begins debt buyback talks ATHENS: Greece yesterday began talks with banks to buy back billions of euros of maturing debt under a new rescue agreed last week with the European Union, the finance minister said. “The operation to apply the (European Council) decision began this morning,” Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told parliament yesterday, according to news website in.gr. “The discussion began in very positive fashion. We want the framework to be applied immediately and we want the application period to be as brief as possible,” the minister said. Greece hopes to reduce its crushing debt, currently at over 350 billion euros ($506 billion), by 26.1 billion euros by buying back or rolling over maturing debt, and from lower interest on an earlier 110-billion-euro bailout from the EU and the International Monetary Fund. The finance ministry said Venizelos yesterday met with representatives of the International Institute of Finance, a global banking association which negotiates debt restructuring. The head of Greece’s debt management agency was also present, the ministry said. Athens on Wednesday named BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank and HSBC as co-sponsors to apply a “voluntary” exchange of Greek bonds held by private sector investors under the terms of the EU bailout deal. New Yorkbased law firm Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton were also appointed to provide legal advice while asset managers Lazard were tapped to offer financial advice. Last week, eurozone leaders agreed on a second rescue package for Athens worth 109 billion euros ($158 billion), plus about 50 billion euros from the private sector up to 2014 alone. Deputy finance minister Filippos Sahinidis this week said the process could start in August. European leaders hailed the bailout deal-which is designed to also relieve pressure on other weak EU economies-and markets initially rose in response. But once an initial wave of relief passed, analysts pointed out obstacles to it being implemented. Moody’s ratings agency on Monday downgraded Greek debt by three notches to only one notch above default status-which it warned was almost inevitable. Last Friday, French-US rating agency Fitch said that it would issue a restricted default rating for Greece. And on Wednesday, Standard & Poor’s cut Greece’s longterm credit rating to “highly vulnerable” status with a negative outlook, saying plans for restructuring its debt would entail a selective default. Cutting the rating from CCC to CC, deeper into non-investment or “junk” territory, S&P said that “the proposed restructuring of Greek government debt would amount to a selective default under our rating methodology.” The IIF has said that private sector investors “will contribute 54 billion euros from mid-2011 through mid2014 and a total of 135 billion euros to the financing of Greece from mid-2011 to end 2020.”— AFP

WOLFSBURG: A worker wraps a protective liner around a Volkswagen Tiguan at quality control portion of the production line in the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg, Germany. — AP

Volkswagen posts $6.9 billion profit FRANKFURT: Carmaker Volkswagen AG said yesterday that net profit more than tripled in the second quarter on booming sales in emerging markets, but its shares slumped after it warned of challenges in coming months. Net profit reached $6.86 billion, far above the euros 1.35 billion recorded in the same quarter a year ago and well above average analyst expectations. Revenues rose 21.5 percent. Unit sales were up strongly in emerging markets such as Russia, Turkey, South Africa, China and Argentina. US sales also rose, though not by as much. VW shares however slumped 5.9 percent to €126 in early afternoon trading in a broadly lower market as investors worried that the company would struggle to keep up its high profitability after it warned about challenges ahead. The carmaker fell just short of analysts’ estimates on operat-

ing profit, a key measure of earnings before interest and taxes - it came in at €3.17 billion, whereas analysts on average had predicted €3.21 billion. Analysts often consider operating earnings a clearer picture of how a company’s basic business is developing. The company warned that the rest of the year could prove challenging. “Volatile interest-rate and exchange rate developments as well as raw materials prices could weaken the positive volume effects,” it said in a statement. Chief executive Martin Winterkorn said that “the coming months will challenge us and demand effort in order to maintain this high level.” Winterkorn’s cautious outlook echoed statements from other large industrial firms such as Siemens AG and BASF SE, which also reported profits but foresaw less solid growth in months ahead. Analyst Max Warburton at Sanford C

Bernstein said that the results show “profitability at an enviably high level” but added that profit margins had not noticeably improved over the admittedly strong results from the first quarter. Profit margins were 7.9 percent compared with 7.8 percent in the quarter before. Luxury brand Audi remained the company’s leader in that category, with a 12.9 percent margin. Volkswagen has more mass-market brands than competitors Daimler AG and BMW AG, who focus on luxury models that have lower volumes but earn more per vehicle, and its plants are heavily based in higher-wage Europe. As a result Warburton said the company was “a fundamentally lower return business” than the other two German carmakers and rated the shares “market perform,” meaning returns are generally in line with market averages.— AP


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Abu Dhabi’s Sorouh to invest $381 million ABU DHABI: Sorouh Real Estate, which reported a fourfold surge in secondquarter profit yesterday, plans to invest 1.4 billion dirhams ($381 million) in completing and delivering its existing projects until year-end. Abu Dhabi’s secondlargest developer by market value made a net profit of 125 million dirhams compared with 31 million in the same period last year as it delivered more units and reduced bad debt provisions. Analysts had forecast, on average, profit of 157.17 million dirhams in a Reuters poll. “We plan to invest another 1.4 billion dirhams (in the second half). Our focus is on project delivery and we are expecting

Provision drops to 6 million dirhams good results for the year-end,” Richard Amos, chief financial officer, said in a conference call yesterday. Sorouh invested 1.4 billion dirhams in its projects in the first six months and plans to deliver some 1,000 homes by the year-end, he added. Profit for the first half rose 33 percent to 202 million dirhams, Sorouh said in an earlier statement. Revenue for the second quarter reached 1.22 billion dirhams, most of which was derived from the ongoing

handover of units in Sun and Sky Towers, revenue from housing projects awarded by the government and income from rental portfolio. Sorouh’s year-ago revenue stood at 189.8 million dirhams. Provisions for doubtful debts fell sharply to 6.2 million dirhams for the quarter, down from 41 million during the same period last year. Sorouh trimmed staff by 17 percent over the last year as part of cost cuts and more jobs could happen as projects are

completed, Amos said. The company has no immediate borrowing plans due to its strong cash position, he added. Sorouh’s shares dipped 1.6 percent to 1.2 dirhams, underperforming Abu Dhabi’s bourse which edged 0.1 percent higher. The developer said in June it would continue to focus on the delivery of existing projects in its home market in 2011 and has no plans to expand abroad yet. Most Abu Dhabi developers have been focusing on completion and delivery of existing projects after suffering big losses during the global financial crisis, which put an end to a six-year construction boom.— Reuters

GDF Suez eyes Bahrain power stake sale DUBAI: French gas and power group GDF Suez plans to sell its 30 percent stake in Bahrain’s Al Hidd power and water desalination plant and has mandated HSBC as an adviser, two banking sources familiar with the matter said. The stake held by the world’s biggest utility carries an enterprise value of $200 million, one of the sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, said. The sources did not want to be identified as the matter has not been made public yet. HSBC and GDF Suez Middle East were not immediately available for comment. Japan’s Sumitomo Corp holds a 30 percent stake in the plant while British utility International Power, which was taken over by GDF Suez early this year, holds the remaining 40 percent stake in the joint venture. IP’s stake is not being considered for sale, the source said. Sumitomo also has the right to acquire the stake before any other party and is likely to be a buyer from GDF, the source said. The purchase agreement, signed in 2006 with the Bahrain government for $738 million, was the biggest privatization project in the country’s history at the time. The joint venture planned an additional desalination plant, taking total project costs to $1.25 billion. GDF, owner of the largest gas transport network in Europe, is also the top shareholder in the $2.1 billion Al Dur power and water project in Bahrain with a 45 percent stake. GDF has several projects in the Middle East spanning countries such as the UAE and Oman. It is also the developer of Shuweihat 2 water and power project in Abu Dhabi.— Reuters

Algeria boosts food imports ALGIERS: Faced with crumbling regimes across the Arab world, Algeria has dramatically boosted its grain imports to contain social unrest ahead of Ramadan, when food prices traditionally shoot up. The strategy, analysts said, is designed to guard against a popular revolt like that in neighboring Tunisia, where a frustrated public-inspired by one man’s dramatic protest-brought down an entrenched regime. Five Algerians were killed and 800 injured during five days of riots in January, sparked by a rise in the cost of basic goods like oil and sugar. Protests have continued since, with workers hitting the streets in a series of demonstrations to demand higher wages and better housing. This week, Algeria’s customs bureau announced that total food imports for the first half of 2011 are up 59 percent compared to same period in 2010. The country also imported $2.04 billion (1.4 billion euro) worth of cereals, flour and semolina in the first half of the year, a 99 percent increase compared to 2010 figures, according to the customs board. The inspiration for the added imports “is of a political nature,” economist Abderrahmane Mebtoul said. “Faced with what’s happening in the Arab world, the Algerian government wants to avoid tension over bread and food products,” he added. — AFP

AHMEDABAD: Ford Asia-Pacific and Africa President Joe Hinrichs speaks as Michael Boneham, president and managing director of Ford India, looks on during a press conference in Ahmedabad yesterday. — AP

Ford to invest $1 billion in India NEW DELHI: US auto giant Ford said yesterday it would invest $1 billion to build a second vehicle assembly and engine plant in India as it ramps up production to exploit the country’s burgeoning car market. India has become a battleground for global car manufacturers such as Ford, GM and Toyota which hope to offset sluggish domestic sales by steering towards India and China, seeing huge potential in their billionplus populations. “Ford has very aggressive expansion plans in India and in Asia Pacific and Africa,” and this investment in the western state of Gujarat “will be important in realizing our growth strategy,” top Ford executive Joe Hinrichs said. The new factory in Sanand, 40 kilometers from Gujarat state’s main city of Ahmedabad, will employ 5,000 workers and be Ford’s second in India after its vehicle and assembly plant in the southern port city of Chennai. Gujarat has emerged as an investment magnet for car and other manufacturers with its business-friendly policies, despite controversy surrounding its Hindu nationalist chief minister, Narendra Modi, who is accused of turn-

ing a blind eye to deadly anti-Muslim riots in 2002 - an allegation he rejects. Modi said in a statement that Ford’s investment “will further strengthen the capability of Gujarat as an auto hub.” The Gujarat operations will have initial annual capacity of 240,000 vehicles and 270,000 engines. Ford’s Chennai plant near can assemble up to 200,000 cars and will raise its engine-making capacity to 330,000 by next year. Ford’s announcement, which hikes its investment in India to $2 billion, comes as the Detroit-based automaker stretches its reach in Asia where it is constructing or planning to build seven factories in Thailand, China and India. The Gujarat plant will help Ford boost global sales by nearly 50 percent by mid-decade to eight million vehicles a year. Up to 70 percent of growth is seen coming from the Asia Pacific and Africa regions over the next 10 years. “This is an investment in the future of Ford globally,” Hinrichs, president of Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, said. Last year, Ford launched its Figo subcompact in India and has sold more than 100,000 units, tripling the company’s sales in the

country. But Ford still has only three percent of India’s market, which grew nearly 30 percent last year to 2.5 million vehicles. The Figo was part of Ford’s goal of adding eight models to its India lineup by 2015. Ford would give no targets for future Indian growth but said it was “bullish.” The US group will start work on the Gujarat site this year with the first vehicle and engine slated to come off assembly lines in 2014. India’s car sales growth is forecast to slow to 10-12 percent as a streak of interest rate hikes to brake double-digit inflation raise borrowing costs but it is still the world’s second fastest-growing after China. India is “working very hard to control inflation, but we don’t see the (market) fundamentals changing,” said Michael Boneham, Ford India’s president. “The ride up won’t be in a straight line,” he said. “But growth will be order of the day with more people driving, infrastructure improving, incomes rising.”With just one in 10 households in urban areas owning a car and one in 50 in rural areas, India remains a highly under-penetrated market.— AFP


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National Express profit surges, bullish on margins LONDON: British transport group National Express is bullish on margin growth after reporting a 26 percent rise in first-half underlying profit, at the top end of forecasts. “There is more to come in terms of margin growth...we should see the margins continue to grow in the second half,” Chief Executive Dean Finch told reporters. “The summer is important to us, but it started well particularly in Spain... so we just see the trend continuing,” he added. National Express, an operator of coach, bus and rail services, said underlying profit for the six months to end June rose to 95.5 million pounds ($156 million), at the top end of forecasts. Analysts pointed to improvements in

the group’s UK bus and rail businesses, with earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) up 39 percent and 24 percent respectively. “National Express has replaced the recovery theme with an underlying growth story, although it still needs to repair the potential loss of rail franchises in 2012 and has headwinds in its bus and coach businesses for 2012,” said Paul Hickman at Peel Hunt, upping its target price and full-year numbers. National Rail’s operating margin improved by 150 basis points to 10.5 percent, recovering from historic lows in 2009. It said last month that first half revenues grew across its bus and rail businesses at home and abroad. The company, which operates in the UK,

Spain and North America, said it was eyeing bolt-on acquisitions, particularly in Spain and North America, where it is the second largest private operator of school bus services. Shares in National Express were up 2.76 percent at 08:14GMT. PETROL SQUEEZE The higher cost of fuel and motoring, particularly rising car park fees in city centers, are pushing people out of their cars and onto public transport said Finch. “The cost of fuel is an issue for private households,” he said, though noted the importance of customer experience so new passengers don’t return to their cars during better economic times. “A

combination of the higher cost of motoring and the high cost of fuel and the issue of car parking in many city centers...that’s all helpful to us,” he said, describing it nonetheless as an “ongoing trend”. National Express, which earlier this year reached a truce with rebel investor Elliott Advisors after it called for a boardroom shake-up, said it is now focusing on lowering its debt and investing in future growth, after it reported an interim dividend at 3 pence per share. National Express is forecast to post an average pretax profit of 173 million pounds on sales of 2.12 billion for 2011, according to a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll of 17 analysts. — Reuters

HSBC to cut more than 10,000 jobs Credit Suisse to slash 2,000 jobs

TOKYO: People cross at the intersection in front of the Tokyo stock exchange in Tokyo, Japan. — AP

Japan’s electronics firms slide into red TOKYO: Japan’s electronic giants plunged into the red in April-June after the March earthquake and tsunami hit production, as weaker sales and a strong yen pushed down profit forecasts, they said yesterday. Sony, Panasonic, Fujitsu and Sharp slumped to losses in a quarter that saw companies scramble to restore production facilities and component supply chains to revive halted output after the disasters that left 20,000 dead or missing. While Japanese firms, particularly automakers, have staged a quicker-thanexpected recovery from the disasters, the rise of the yen amid anxiety over US and European debt threatens to erode exporters’ earnings. Nintendo, under intense pressure from the growing smartphone gaming space, slumped to a 25.5 billion yen ($327.9 million) quarterly loss, drastically cut its profit forecast and slashed the price of its 3DS console by 40 percent less than six months after its launch. Sony, which is also reeling from a massive data breach on its online networks, revised down a May forecast for its annual net profit by 25 percent due to weak TV sales, also citing the rise of the yen versus the beleaguered euro. Chief Financial Officer Masaru Kato said the TV business-a long-time laggard-suffered from economic weakness in the US and Europe, exposing the company to foreign exchange pressures in highly competitive markets. “The euro is still an issue for us,” he said, adding that Sony would continue trying to move more operations out of Japan, where possible, as part of a 20-year trend. Its shares are trading at their lowest levels since March

2009. The March disaster ravaged Japan’s northeast coast and left some 20,000 dead or missing. The tsunami crippled a nuclear power plant, leading to reactor meltdowns and power shortages that along with supply chain problems sent Japanese production levels plunging as the economy tipped into a technical recession. Sony slipped to a 15.5 billion yen ($191 million) net loss in April-June, the quarter in which it was also hit by hacking attacks that compromised 100 million accounts on its PlayStation and other networks. The figure compared to a 25.7 billion yen profit in the same period a year ago. The Tokyo-based maker of PlayStation consoles and Bravia television sets were forced to shutter plants in Japan after the March quake and tsunami disaster battered supply chains, damaged facilities and dampened consumer demand. It lowered its May forecast for an 80 billion yen net profit in the current fiscal year ending March 2012 to 60 billion yen. Osaka-based Panasonic left unchanged its annual forecast issued in June, still expecting to post a net profit of 30 billion yen this fiscal year to March 2012, down from 74 billion yen a year earlier. But the firm, which is looking to streamline its business by reducing staff numbers and sell off appliance makers held by subsidiary Sanyo, swung to a net loss of 30.4 billion yen in April-June compared with a net profit of 43.7 billion yen a year earlier. Sharp Corp said it suffered a 49.3 billion yen loss for the three months compared with a net profit of 10.7 billion yen a year earlier. — AFP

HONG KONG: Banking group HSBC Holdings Plc may cut more than 10,000 jobs as part of its plan to slash costs by up to $3.5 billion a year, Sky News reported yesterday. New HSBC Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver in May announced a far-reaching plan to cut costs and revive flagging profits by exiting dozens of countries and refocusing on its areas of strength. Gulliver did not say how many jobs would go as part of the cuts, but analysts expect the bank to axe thousands from its 300,000 global workforce. Sky, citing people close to the bank, said yesterday the plans had not yet been finalized. HSBC declined to comment. The bank could provide an update along with its halfyear results on Monday, although analysts said costs are likely to have remained high in the first half of this year as the restructuring is a multi-year plan. “There was a lot of talk about streamlining going on at the last strategy day, so I suppose this is a function of that,” one top 10 HSBC shareholder told Reuters. “It is a quite sprawling bank, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it has got a bit bloated here and there,” he said. Europe’s biggest bank faces an urgent

need for action as more than two-fifths of its businesses are not delivering their cost of capital. “We clearly have a cost problem,” Gulliver said in May. HSBC said it will also sell, shut or slim down retail operations in 39 markets, where operations are sub-scale and unprofitable and is looking to sell its US credit card arm and shrink its network of 475 US branches. HSBC’s move would be the latest in a wave of cuts announced by the global financial industry, which has been hit by market volatility and lacklustre profits. Swiss bank Credit Suisse said yesterday it would cut about 2,000 jobs. Standard Chartered, Lloyds , Goldman Sachs and UBS are among banks that have announced job cuts in recent months, hit by rising costs and weak revenue growth. State Street Corp, one of the world’s biggest institutional investors, said earlier this month it would eliminate as many 850 jobs from its technology unit as it tries to curb costs. HSBC has already cut 700 jobs in its UK retail banking arm in June this year out of its staff of 55,000 in the country, one of many banks that have said they will cull jobs to save costs as lenders grapple with off a limp economic recovery. — Reuters

Shell profit nearly doubles to $8.7 bn AMSTERDAM: Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Europe’s largest oil company, reported yesterday a near doubling in second quarter profits to $8.66 billion, boosted by higher oil prices and new production from Canadian oil sands and natural gas in Qatar. Shell executives said plans are moving ahead to begin drilling next year in Alaska and to regain lost production in the Gulf of Mexico, as global production fell 2 percent to 3.05 million barrels per day. Output in the gulf, which is still recovering from a moratorium after last year’s deep water blowout, is around 200,000 barrels per day, or 50,000 below normal. Closely watching the deadlock in the US deficit debate, Chief Executive Peter Vosser warned of long-term uncertainty in the market and fears for global economic growth, but said it would not affect Shell’s short-term investment strategy. He cautioned against the impact of raising taxes on oil companies, including calls in Britain for a windfall tax on the profits of the oil

majors. “Taxes will immediately slow down investments,” which will translate into lower supplies and higher fuel prices when demand picks up, Vosser said in a conference call with journalists. He saw little long-term relief in oil prices, which will be driven by the increasing complexity of finding and drilling new wells and concerns over environmental protection. Second quarter results showed a 97 percent increase in net profit above $4.39 billion a year earlier. The figure was helped by a $1.44 billion gain booked on a mix of tax credits, trading activities, and asset sales. The company’s CCS profit, or profit at its current cost of supplies, was $6.55 billion excluding one-time gains, up from $4.21 billion a year earlier. The nonstandard measure, which seeks to strip out the impact of volatile oil prices on the company’s earnings, is closely watched by analysts and came in slightly lower than they had forecast. Shares fell 0.8 percent in early Amsterdam trading. — AP


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Gasoline supported, fuel oil remains tight DUBAI: Gasoline premiums in the Middle East Gulf were supported this week, while traders expected fuel oil market to stay tight for at least another month on the back of weaker Iranian exports. The Iranian volumes, which jumped to a record-high of 1.2 million tons for June arrivals and had averaged 550,000-600,000 per month up till this month, have fallen to less than 200,000 tons for August arrival, due to disruptions to its natural gas supplies. “I don’t see the market improving much until end-August,” one fuel oil trader said. He quoted premiums for 380 centistoke (cst) cargoes at $11 a ton over Middle East spot quotes from $7 to $8 a ton last week. The shortfall has also resulted in less Middle East inflows into East Asia next month as players in the region, with better freight economics, compete for sup-

Less Middle East inflows into East Asia plies. Middle East players might take up volumes from Saudi Arabia as well, with two cargoes of 90,000-95,000 tons each loading in August, offered on Monday. Another three were rare low-viscosity, low-density parcel lots, loading July 18Aug 3 from Aramco’s Rabigh plant, that became available because of an outage at its gasoline-making unit. All are remaining in the Middle East. Fuel oil traders in the Gulf do not see more cargoes coming out of Rabigh, where the outage has helped boost Aramco’s gasoline purchases, which are already high in the summer. “I am hearing they have bought 4 cargoes for August and that could be it,” one gasoline trader said. “The rumor previously was that Aramco was going to buy 8,” he

said. The state oil giant is a regular buyer of gasoline and it has lifted around 16 cargoes in June, both to stock up ahead of Ramadan that is due to start in August and on Rabigh outage. In July, traders estimate it bought 1012 cargoes. Saudi-based PetroRabigh delayed the restart of its fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCC) at the 400,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) refinery to end-July from a previous plan of mid-July. “For gasoline demand in the region, there isn’t much spot buying going on, all covered via term (contracts),” one gasoline trader said, adding he did not see Aramco buying more cargoes. He pegged premiums for 95 RON gasoline at $120 a tonne, pretty much unchanged from last week while another one said it

was around $110 a ton. “Gasoline/naphtha spread has narrowed since last week,” the second trader said. Asia’s naphtha price and cracks fell to a four-session low on Wednesday after another fire was likely to delay the restart of a cracker at Asia’s top naphtha buyer Formosa. “Naphtha is weak especially in the East,” one trader said. “There was another fire at Formosa, which means even less demand now,” he added. Naphtha prices in the region and in Asia had been depressed following Taiwan’s Formosa, Asia’s top naphtha buyer, shutting a cracker in May. Demand for low sulphur gas oil was lackluster and premiums for 500 ppm hovered around $3 a barrel, a middle distillates trader said. Indonesia said it would import 570,000 barrels of jet fuel in August in a rare move, but traders did not see a major impact on prices. —Reuters

Iraq’s car factory shows road ahead for industry ISKANDARIYA: In a country only slowly recovering from the impact of war and economic sanctions, Iraq’s state-owned car assembly plant is a hive of activity. Workers bustle around, fixing tyres and bumpers on to trucks. The sprawling plant in the town of Iskandariya, 40 km south of Baghdad, is filled with brand new vehicles. It has contracts with Scania, Mercedes-Benz and Renault, and has also linked up with China and Iran, importing car parts from those countries to be assembled in Iraq where China’s Chery, as well as Toyota and BMW, are popular brands. Within 10 years the bigger components should be produced in Iraq and the goal is eventually to manufacture a vehicle that is 100 percent Iraqi. But most of the country’s dilapidated factories are still lying idle more than eight years after the US-led invasion. Some were looted while others are located in areas that are still considered unsafe. High electricity costs, neglect, a huge overhang of workers at state factories who cannot be laid off, lack of investment and the influx of cheap imported goods also impede recovery. Iraq’s industrial sector contributes only 2 percent to the country’s gross domestic product, according to the central bank. In an effort to revive the sector, Iraq has pumped $2 billion over the past three years into some of its 260 factories, owned by 76 firms. “Most of our factories were losers,” said Adel Karim, a deputy minister of industry and minerals. “Now we have eight companies which are profitable and by the end of the year we hope to reach 20.” The State Company for Automotive Industry, established in 1976, lay idle from 1991 until 2005 when a series of contracts helped restart work at the plant. It signed a $42 million contract with Volkswagen’s Swedish brand Scania in 2008 to assemble 500 trucks and has also entered into deals with Germany’s Mercedes-Benz and French carmaker Renault to assemble vehicles, mainly trucks. In May, another contract with Scania was won to assemble 5,000 trucks and buses over a five-year period, with an annual production target of 800 vehicles. As part of the agreement, Iraq must manufacture some parts, such as tyres and batteries, locally. “Until June 2010, the company was considered a loss-making company and our sales did not exceed 500 million (Iraqi dinars, or $428,000) a month. We have currently reached 8.5 billion a month,” said Adnan Razeen, director general of the State Company for Automotive Industry. “Within a 10-year period we will be able to manufacture bigger components of the truck in Iraq and this is our plan ... to have a 100 percent Iraqi truck.” Karim said one of the biggest problems facing the ministry was overstaffing at factories. Under centralized economic policies established decades ago, the government is Iraq’s largest employer and has difficulty letting workers go, leaving state-run firms hugely overstaffed. The state car company finally started using all its employees this year. In 2010, 1,500 of its 3,700 paid workers had nothing to do. Similarly, Iraq’s General Company for Leather Industry needs only 2,400 of its 4,170 staff. Yet unlike Iraq’s car assembly company, the leather goods firm, which was set up in 1936, is struggling to get back on its feet. — Reuters

LAGOS: People wait to buy kerosene at a petrol station in Lagos, Nigeria. In this oil rich country, kerosene has become one of the most sought after fuel products, with prices rising sharply above the government subsidized price as ‘middlemen’ take advantage of the situation, which leaves many families unable to pay the price and now forced to cook on open fires. — AP

Brent oil tops $118 LONDON: Brent oil rose above $118 yesterday as a storm heading toward the Gulf of Mexico raised the threat of supply disruption and wary traders waited to see whether the United States could break a political deadlock over its debt limit. Brent gained 68 cents to $118.11 a barrel by 1122 GMT. US crude was up 2 cents to $97.42. The front-month contract hit a seven-session low of $96.51 earlier after data on Wednesday showed a rise in US inventories. “The first storms of the Atlantic hurricane season have hit the headlines, reminding the market of potential supply disruptions from an expected active hurricane season,” said Natalie Robertson, an analyst at ANZ. Traders said the market was rangebound and that volumes were subdued by protracted uncertainty over the health of the world’s biggest economy and top oil user. A vote on a bill to cut the US deficit-a necessary step before the debt ceiling can

be raised to avoid a potentially catastrophic US default-was expected to be nail-bitingly close yesterday. “We are now starting to see markets beginning to seize up in light of the dangerous game of chicken being played by the politicians in Washington,” Edward Meir of MF Global wrote in a daily note. Unease about the US impasse has weighed on a range of financial markets and helped to drive relatively safe-haven gold to a series of all-time highs. Brent has traded in a roughly $10 range since the International Energy Agency in late June added additional supplies to the market following the failure of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to agree to increase output. “Producer governments continue to send the message that they are perfectly happy with prices being precisely where they are, and consumer governments continue to send the message that while they do not like the level, they very much like

the lack of momentum,” Barclays Capital said in a note. Analysts and traders said the possibility of a further release from emergency stocks could cap gains over the medium term, although yestersday, the fourth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season provided modest price support. The US government’s weather agency has forecast an “above normal” 2011 Atlantic hurricane season, spawning six to 10 hurricanes of which around half could become major. At the same time, any weakening of the US dollar connected to the economy or attempts to stimulate it could also drive up the range of dollardenominated commodities, made cheaper for holders of other currencies. US jobless data at 1230 GMT could give new direction to foreign exchange markets. Potentially adding to US problems, Tropical Storm Don was heading towards the Texas coast and could threaten oil infrastructure in the US Gulf of Mexico.— Reuters


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BofA turning the corner? CEO seeks to convince Wall St on mortgage woes

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ank of America Corp’s chief executive is out to convince Wall Street that he’s finally bringing under control the financial disaster caused by the bank’s acquisition of mortgage goliath Countrywide Financial Corp. Brian Moynihan, who took the helm at

the second, Moynihan said. He said those loans near default — 90 days or more past due — also fell because of “our work with loan modifications, short sales, foreclosures, recoveries on loans that go back to current status.” The interview with Moynihan took

Protesters in a chant outside the Bank of America headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, where the bank’s annual meeting was being held on April 29, 2009. — MCT file photo the nation’s biggest bank in late 2009, has had the unrelenting task of cleaning up an institution in such financial disrepair that the bank needed $45 billion in federal bailouts to stay in business. The Charlotte, NC, bank posted an $8.8 billion second-quarter loss on Tuesday as it continued to deal with the aftermath of the housing bust. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times this week, Moynihan said Bank of America is finally gaining traction both in dealing with demands that it buy back bad Countrywide loans from investors and in whittling down the massive number of distressed mortgages it deals with as the nation’s largest provider of mortgage customer service. Years of work remain, Moynihan said, but his bank is now resolving the cases of seriously delinquent borrowers faster than new delinquencies are arising. “We had a period of (working out) things to do with the economic crisis — deal with capital markets, credit cards, things like that — and now the mortgages are the last piece,” he said. Cleaning up Countrywide, the Calabasas, California, home lender that teetered near bankruptcy when Bank of America bought it for $2.5 billion in July 2008, remains a difficult task. Even before the latest quarter, mortgage operations had lost about $16 billion since the acquisition was completed. One bright spot is that the number of loans that have fallen at least 60 days behind on payments — a key indication of serious delinquencies coming — has been declining, including a 5 percent drop from the first quarter this year to

place at the Los Angeles offices of Merrill Lynch, the giant brokerage that his predecessor, Kenneth Lewis, acquired in another controversial deal as the global financial system seized up in September 2008. He said the bank would be able to deal with its remaining mortgage problems without a need to boost its capital cushion to guard against losses. Some analysts have speculated that the bank might need to make such a move, perhaps by selling Merrill Lynch, which has proved to be profitable. He bristled at the reports: “Absolutely not. Merrill Lynch is part of Bank of America now.” Independent bank analyst Nancy Bush said Wall Street retained “a huge reservoir of goodwill” toward Moynihan. However, she believes more bad news — and a resulting need to raise capital — may be in store for his bank. And credibility issues exist. Moynihan’s biggest error so far, she said, was reassuring shareholders that he would raise the bank’s dividend, now just a penny a share per quarter, sometime this year. The Federal Reserve rejected his request to do so, and it may be well into 2012 before that can be done, he acknowledged. Moynihan also backed off a tough line he had taken with holders of privately issued mortgage securities, who had been demanding that he buy back soured Countrywide loans backing bonds that had plummeted in value. He had told the bondholders, including powerful institutional investors such as Blackrock Inc. and Pimco, that Bank of America would negotiate with them on a

case-by-case basis in a process that could have taken years. But Moynihan then worked out a deal to settle with them for $8.5 billion, part of the $20 billion in mortgage costs recorded in the second quarter, and earmarked an additional $5.5 billion for similar settlements in future. “The Street believes these types of charges are just going to keep dinging them,” said Bush, a contributing editor to banking information provider SNL Financial. The worries, she said, include the outcomes of negotiations over botched foreclosures by a coalition of state and federal officials headed by Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller; an investigation of mortgage securities by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman; and California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ announcement of her own investigation into the mortgage mess, including the sale of toxic securities to entities in California. “Every AG who has a political agenda has got their hand on this thing,” Bush said. “Everybody wants that final hack at Bank of America.” Before the mortgage meltdown, Bank of America was a $50 stock. Then came the roller coaster: The shares fell below $4 in early 2009, shot back above $17 a year later, and since have bumped lower again, hitting bottom at $9.57 on Tuesday. The stock fell 10 cents Friday to $10.13. Moynihan wouldn’t comment on the biggest immediate hurdle for Bank of America and four other big providers of mortgage customer service: settling with various state and federal officials. Major financial companies face financial penalties and an overhaul of procedures for dealing with distressed borrowers in the wake of revelations that the loan servicers cut corners at the expense of customers in processing foreclosures. The three largest servicers — Wells Fargo & Co and JPMorgan Chase & Co as well as Bank of America — were punished by the government last month for

Brian Moynihan, who took the helm at the US’ biggest bank in late 2009, has had the unrelenting task of cleaning up an institution in such financial disrepair that the bank needed $45 billion in federal bailouts to stay in business.

their handling of troubled borrowers. The Obama administration cut off incentive payments to the banks under its signature loan-modification program, saying they needed “significant improvement” in their servicing operations. To deal with the servicing troubles, Moynihan has assigned former OneWest Bank Chief Executive Terry Laughlin, a longstanding ally, to deal with soured loans and foreclosures. Bank of America has 35,000 employees of its own dealing with distressed borrowers, and in its recent settlement with the mortgage-bond investors, it agreed to outsource the handling of many of the loans to smaller loan-servicing firms. “Most importantly, the stuff’s moving through the system,” Moynihan said. “We’re modifying and short-selling and other things faster than they’re coming in.” — MCT

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan


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FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

Egypt media see changes in post-revolution atmosphere Less fear from above, but objectivity now threatened by the street By Joseph Mayton

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he summer sun bears down heavily on Cairo’s Tahrir square, its bare asphalt emptied of thousands of protesters who have sought refuge in the shade of their tents. They have been protesting in Cairo’s central square, the womb of the popular uprising that brought down President Husni Mubarak, since opening a sit-in on July 8 to demand quicker democratic reforms and putting former government officials on trial for killing protesters during the Jan 25 revolution. The difference between then and now is evident by the dozens of cameras perched on their tripods and shoulders, aimed at passersby and individuals giving statements nearly around the clock. The media in Egypt have changed. They no longer fearing the government’s heavy hand, or the military’s long reach that once interrupted interviews if activists spouted antimilitary sentiments. And yet, with the new freedoms come new challenges that reporters are learning to deal with on a daily basis. The revolution for many Egyptian journalists also flipped their world upside down as the self-censorship, rigid editorial lines of before disappear, often at the expense of neutral objectivity as they too become caught up in the post-revolution Egypt. “We all went through a lot, so when the protesters tell us thugs attack them, that is what we report, because we went through the violence as well,” says Mohamed Abdel-Salam, a journalist at Al-Dustor. Abdel-Salam recalls that during the winter uprising, police nabbed him as he left Tahrir Square and interned him in a holding facility somewhere in Cairo. For the next 24 hours he listened to the sounds of torture, he says. The reporter says that it was the editors who determined what stories reporters would write and what was ultimately published. Today, they are more willing to give reporters greater leeway than before in pursuing a story. “It all depends on the editorial policy of the specific publication,” Abdel-Salam says. “But journalists now are more willing to cover the stories that are happening because more often than not editors are okay with reporting because there isn’t a state of fear that was part of the pre-revolution journalism.” Objectivity That state of fear being removed is key, said Al-Fagr editor-in-chief Adel Hammouda, who published an article in June critical of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and was subsequently summoned for by the military for rebuke. “Through the last months, our experience has told us that we go forward with reporting. The people respect our work and they know nobody, even the state newspapers, are misleading the public,” Hammouda says. “People are beginning to trust journalists and newspapers for the first time in a long, long time because the government isn’t controlling our work (anymore,” Hammouda adds. Yet objectivity has also been a casualty of the birth of the new Egyptian media. AbdelSalam and others reporting from Tahrir admit

that they saw their work as part of the socially conscious effort to push forward the revolution and held a bias toward the revolutionaries. “This is our country and we all experienced the former regime for so long that it is hard to take us away from inside the story. We do our best, but in the end this is our Egypt,” he says. Egyptians are increasingly getting their news updates from televised reports. At a local cafe early last Friday morning, as a massive demonstration was planned, four employees stand around the television. They are flipping back and forth between ON TV - the network started by telecom billionaire Naguib Sawiris and which has garnered much respect among Egyptians in the past five months - and the national televi-

unrest. They know better now and this change in mindset is helping journalists to get their work done in an atmosphere where self-censorship could soon become a thing of the past. Reality “We are working hard to deliver the story as it happens and the way Egyptians have taken to the media is really positive because it means they understand more of the reality and are not so quick to dismiss one story or another because it comes from a certain paper,” said Mohamed Adel, a reporter with the Al-Youm alSaba’a newspaper. Adel says even his editors have loosened their apprehension of publishing material that before the revolution could have

ly because they have to understand what their actions mean”. Other journalists and photographers have even had their cameras searched by protest security in Tahrir square, a sign that there are still remnants of an older, possibly entrenched attitude in the country that only positive coverage can be tolerated. Pitching out words of wisdom as he peddles his bottles of water, Gamal says that the newfound respect for the media came from telling “all of the stories, not just one”. “Not all people are behind the protests and the only way for understanding Egypt is for the media to tell the story,” he adds. Under autocratic rule for much of its modern history, Egyptian media have towed the state’s

An Egyptian couple walk by a banner that reads in Arabic “The people desire and people will do” at the protest camp in Tahrir square in Cairo on July 26, 2011. — AP sion as live images streamed forward. They are arguing whether national television continues to portray the situation with blinders, deliberately leaving out the whole picture. “We watch ON TV because it gets people from different perspectives and tells the whole story,” says Karim, a 37-year-old “shisha man”, peddling his lit water pipes. He adds that national television is “okay because it shows live images usually, but they don’t really tell the story”. Another worker is more candid. “I know that ON TV is legit and they are telling the truth,” says Yussif, a 32-year-old waiter at the same cafe. This echoes the sentiments of many Egyptians, who during the uprising in January and February were bombarded by national television presenters reporting of the “Israeli and American infiltrators” who were causing the

found them inside court battling the government. “Things are definitely changing and we are able to report more freely and openly on what is happening in Egypt for the first time, maybe ever,” he added. Nevertheless, despite the overall optimism, the checkpoints erected by the protesters in Tahrir square are not immune to censoring reporters or media they believe are “giving them a bad name.” According to a youm7.com report published on Monday, the protesters barred Al Jazeera’s Arabic crew and a handful of other journalists from entering the square because they did not approve of their recent coverage of the demonstrations. One American journalist based in Cairo, who was not authorized to speak to the press by his publication, warns “it should be watched close-

line and themselves helped create a void of multiple perspectives. By dusk, Tahrir square began to stir to life and the protesters take a keen interest in the mushrooming number of journalists, cameramen and photographers who have come to report the sit in. The air is tense and the protesters don’t hide their desire for positive coverage. Adel from Al-Youm al-Saba’a spoke for many Egyptian journalists who suspect the revolutionaries were having too much of a say in what was being reported on them. “We must be careful not to get too close to the protesters, or we face the same problems that we did before, but from a different perspective,” says Adel. “There are good things and bad things with any revolution so I hope people understand that we are trying to do our best.” — Media Line


FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011 www.kuwaittimes.net

In this picture singers perform on a futuristic stage built into Lake Constance in Bregenz , Austria at a rehearsal of Umberto Giordano’s opera ‘ Andre Chenier’. —AP


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FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

The netbook for the Internet cloud

In theory, one can work all day long with the Chromebook

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oogle took two years to work out the concept for its Chrome operating system. Now the first Chromebook - from Samsung - is out. It’s fast and secure, but it doesn’t offer all the functions of today’s laptops - and it can do next to nothing without Internet access. But there are bright spots too. For instance: boot-up time. A Windows laptop can take two or three minutes until it’s ready to run. It’s a whole different story with the Samsung Chromebook: it takes nine seconds from pressing the start button until the login window pops up. Only two more seconds elapse after the password is entered. It takes about the same amount of time for the netbook to make a wi-fi Internet connection, pulling up the webbased user interface. Things go even faster - a total of three seconds - when it’s time for the Chromebook to wake up from standby and re-establish its wi-fi connection. That’s a feat so far only mastered by laptops like the MacBook Air, which has an SSD hard drive. But those SSD-enabled laptops usually cost twice the 400 euros (561 dollars) asked for the Samsung device. The operating system is key to the speed. Most laptops using either a Windows or Mac OS system open multiple layers of the system, as well as components and programs during start up, creating the impression that the process takes an eternity. Meanwhile, the Chromebook, at its core, is just a Linux operating system and the Chrome browser. Programs like email clients, word

processors, spreadsheets, games or photo processing programs are not stored on the computer, but accessed via the browser as web services. For working while online, Google has made available its reliable suite of web applications, including Gmail, Calendar and a series of apps like Google Docs. But users are not limited to Google programs. There’s also access to competitors like Yahoo and Microsoft. And, if the laptop is operated in guest mode, a Google login isn’t even necessary, meaning the user leaves no data trail on the Chromebook. A Web Store makes about 5,000 applications available. But a lot of applications that laptop users have come to expect on their machines - video editing software or Skype for Internet calls - aren’t there, even if Google does offer its own voice-over-Internet-protocol service. But the biggest drawback isn’t selection of programs - which is always growing - but the need to rely on a stable Internet connection. The Chromebook is capable of almost nothing when offline. Thus, the Chromebook, for now, is only of interest to people who can spend their entire day in a networked environment, like students on a campus or people with reliable Internet connections in their home or office. Of course, one can ensure a full time connection with a 450-euro UMTS version that accesses the Internet via mobile services. But that still means you’re offline if you wander into an area without serv-

ice or get onto an airplane. Chrome developer Sundar Pichai told the German Press Agency dpa that, in the near future, key applications like Gmail and Google Docs would work when offline. “Those already work on my personal Chromebook. We’ll free up this function for everyone soon, after we’ve cleared up a few small problems.” But he didn’t give a date. Another advantage of the Chromebook is that updates are automatically uploaded in the background. “Whereas as a stan-

dard laptop will generally get slower in the course of time, Chromebooks will always get better,” promises Pichai. One area where Google could expand its offerings is in the selection of multimedia formats for recording and playback. Right now that’s limited to MP3 and AAC files or pictures in the JPEG and PNG format. Quicktime films and data in the popular MKV format cannot be viewed. Users, however, don’t have to worry about regular updates of

antivirus software. That’s because the Google system’s architecture cannot be attacked by Trojans and other malware. Also, the Chromebook checks the integrity of the system at every startup. If the check finds damaged or dangerous code the computer starts a second version of the system software from a protected backup. In theory, one can work all day long with the Chromebook. Of course, if you spend all your time watching high-definition videos on YouTube, you’ll drain your battery in six hours, since the Dual Core Atom N570 Intel processor requires a lot of energy. The display offers a comfortably high resolution (1,280 X 800 pixels) and is matte, meaning there are no problems with reflections, as is the case with the screens of most of today’s laptops. But the image quality does drop off significantly if the screen is viewed from a sideways angle. But these pros and cons are secondary issues when it comes to the Chromebook. Whether you want to be online or offline is the key question. “Because of the small hard drive, everything has to go into the cloud,” says Christian Woelbert, an editor with the German computer magazine c’t. For most private users, the Google machine will probably only be a backup device. Matthias Kremp of Spiegel magazine’s website is critical of the complete reliance on web access. “Only when Google and the manufacturers of Chrome web apps can fix this problem, can netbooks become a true alternative to today’s laptops that can be taken seriously.” — dpa


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FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

When love is blind Grandchildren rule at ‘crazy house’

The home of Joel and Pamela Berman has been turned into a play paradise for their collective grandchildren, including Kyleigh Kennedy, 9 (far left), Karigan Kennedy, 8 (second from left), Joshua Hannah, 14 (second from right) and Katelyn Kennedy, 12 (right). — MCT

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ust steps from the monkey mural and pinball machine, the smiling blind man eases back in his recliner and laughs. Joel Berman, 57, has never been this happy. Car doors slam outside. Berman, looking like Roy Orbison with silver hair, hears them shut. His large toothy smile widens beneath his dark sunglasses. “I think we have guests,” he says with a laugh. Once again, his five young grandkids are about to descend upon “The House”- meaning their house, meaning the one-storey Overland Park, Kansas, ranch that over the last eight years Berman and his wife, Pamela Skillman-Berman, 56, have transformed into what anyone of pristine sentiments would view as utter kiddie chaos. But to the laissez-faire Bermans, whom the kids call “Papa” and “Nana,” it is a grandchild’s island paradise playground. “Just look for the house with the palm trees holding the porch roof,” Berman had said, jauntily, in offering directions. Though he could just as easily have said look for the house with the teak door and porthole windows. Or look for the house with a ship’s figurehead jutting from the back wall not far from the new above-ground pool, soon to be joined by a thatched tiki hut and putting

green. Here, at 85th and Nall, is an undersea-themed home put together expressly for the grandkids, where every room is crammed with hundreds of toys, tropical ceramic gewgaws, stuffed toy parrots, fish mobiles, palm trees, seashell light fixtures and wall-size painted murals of porpoises, jellyfish and, in one bedroom, monkeys. Here is a home where a pinball machine sits in what used to be the dining room, where there is no carpeting so the kids can roller-skate indoors, where every grandkid has his or her own TV, VCR, DVD and videos. Here is where doughnuts for breakfast are never dissuaded, where 30-odd jars of candy are spread throughout the house, where unfolded laundry lies in eye-high heaps, where three dogs gambol on hardwoods and linoleum, where kids can stay up as late as they wish and where the only rule, dietary or otherwise, is “no candy until you’ve finished your Pop-Tarts.” All of which, the Bermans know-as Josh, 14; Joe, 5; Katelyn, 12; Kyleigh, 9; and Karigan, 8, chase each other through the house-sounds like overindulgent grandparent madness. Their own adult children, until they finally just gave into it, tried in vain to tell them as much. “Who cares? We

don’t listen to them!” Berman hoots. Because beyond living in a house transformed, the Bermans have become a couple transformed. Fifteen years ago Joel Berman was a soberminded, suits-always executive with the US Postal Service who never in his life would have lived in such disarray. He was married to his first wife, though the marriage was crumbling. Together, they had three children in school and antiques in a clean and orderly home. Color: cream. “He was completely regimented, a lot more stern, a lot more serious,” Alyssa Berman, Berman’s 25-year-old daughter, said from her Minnesota home. “I think he was happy with his kids and family, but he was always concerned about money... He didn’t have a whole lot of fun in his life.” After his divorce, no fun became sadness. Then, unexpectedly, Berman’s Coke-bottle eyesight (a consequence of being born 10 weeks early back in 1947) went from bad to horrible when the retina in one, and then both eyes, permanently detached. More than a dozen operations later, his vision improved briefly, enough for Berman to watch a big screen TV with binoculars. But soon the world blurred toward darkness. So went Berman, falling into a major depres-

sion. He was 46 years old. His wife was gone. His vision was gone. Because of his blindness, the Postal Service said he had to leave his job, prompting him to sue. “It was horrible,” Alyssa recalled. “He talked about killing himself. We took everything out of his apartment. We took all the medicines he had so he couldn’t overdose. We took all the knives.” “You’re lying there in bed,” Berman said. “The first time you think about killing yourself, you say, ‘That’s a bad idea.’ Then the more you lie there, it becomes easier and easier to envision.” Until, one night, full of tears and self-pity, Berman did something he had yet to do. Crying in the middle of his living room, he fell to his knees and prayed. Unlike all of his other prayers for God to restore his sight, he prayed instead, “Please, God, help me get through this.” To this day, Berman swears he felt a hand touch his shoulder, sending a wave of warmth and comfort through his body. Later, it was Alyssa who wrote the personal ad that Berman placed in the newspaper. “I put something in there about him wanting to find someone who believed in his inner beauty,” she remembered. Somewhere in there was also an obscure reference to him

having 20/40,000 vision. When Pamela Skillman answered the ad, she figured Berman had vision problems, but she had no idea her “blind date” was really blind. “He told me he couldn’t drive. I went to pick him up, he answered the door. He had sunglasses and a cane,” Pamela says with a laugh. But she didn’t give it a second thought. On the phone, Pamela liked Berman’s buoyant voice. She liked the positive spirit that zipped over the line. At 45, she, too, was changing her life. Like Berman, she was divorced, and she had been running her own home-painting and wallpapering business for years. Like Berman, she had kids of her of her own - adult daughters Courtney, who had just had a son, and Christine. Raised by a military dad in a fundamentalist Christian household, she was looking for a man who shared her spiritual beliefs and love of family. But she also wanted something else: “I was raised by a man who was very fastidious. I grew up very fastidious. I kept my life that way,” Pamela recalled. She wanted fun. And why not? Blind now, Berman’s focus no longer was on his job (he won a settlement), or image or how he might appear to people. — MCT


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By Sawsan Kazak

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amadan is in a few days. The excitement of having lavish daily feasts, overindulging in sweets and overeating before bedtime is all exciting for the first few days, but can get very monotonous quickly. Within a week, we have usually exhausted our collection of recipes and are forced to

Vimto floats

start all over again. Adding a few twists to Ramadan favorites will keep things exciting and new. Add the following recipes to your Ramadan repertoire and you’ll never be bored. Ramadan Kareem Send your suggestions or favorite Ramadan recipes to: sawsank@kuwaittimes.net

Cans of carbonated Vimto vanilla ice cream

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our a large glass of fizzy vimto, add 1 or 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream. It is better to assemble these treats directly at the table, this way people can choose what Vimto to ice cream ratio they want.

Almond-stuffed dates

Everyday cooking

FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

24 blanched almonds 24 dates

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reheat oven to 180ÂşC. Scatter the almonds over a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes or until toasted. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool. Use a small sharp knife to cut a slit in each date. Remove seeds. Insert an almond in each date cavity. Arrange on a serving platter to serve.


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Fo o d FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

Chicken Biryani

Grilled Shrimp fattoush 2 large Arabic pitas 8 large romaine leaves 1 cup chopped parsley 1 small green pepper, chopped 1 cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices, halved 3 medium tomatoes, cubed 4 green onions, cut into 1/4 inch slices 1 small onion, sliced, halved 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tbsp sumac 1 tbsp oregano 1 tbsp mint 1 tbsp olive oil 3/4 cup lemon juice 1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined lemon-pepper seasoning

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n a large salad bowl, tear lettuce into small pieces. Add the chopped parsley, green pepper, cucumber, tomatoes, and onion. Toss. To prepare the dressing, whisk together the garlic, sumac, oregano, mint, olive oil, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Set aside. Prepare grill on high heat. Arrange shrimp on a grill rack or broiler pan and shake lemon-pepper seasoning over the shrimp. Spray with cooking spray. Place the shrimp on the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes or until done. Lower grill to a low flame and toast pita bread until it is crispy. Remove from grill and break the pita into 1-2 inch pieces. To assemble the salad, roughly chop the warm shrimp, reserving 3 or 4 whole for garnish. Add the chopped shrimp to the salad, then toss with the dressing. Finally, add the broken pita bread and toss once more. Top with the reserved whole shrimp. Serve immediately.

Rosewater cheesecake

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FOR MASALA Coriander seeds-1 tablespoon Cumin seeds-1/2 teaspoon Garam masala powder-1/2 teaspoon Small bunch of coriander leaves A few springs of mint leaves Red chillies-3 Small piece of ginger Garlic-3 cloves Chillies-3 green

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ash the rice and soak in water for 15 minutes. Cook separately by adding 1 1/2 cups of water for a cup of rice, along with some cardamom, cloves and cinnamon stick(2 each). Cook the rice until it breaks while pressing in hands(3/4th). After cooked remove the rice and spread it out on a big pan. In the mean time prepare the gravy, slice onions, tomato. Slice eggs length-wise in half. Clean and cut chicken into small pieces. Wash, peel and quarter the potatoes. Grind the ingredients for masala to a smooth paste. Heat ghee in a fry pan and fry the onions until brown. Remove half and keep aside for garnish. Fry the nuts, cashews and keep aside. Add ground masala to remain-

oil for frying a small piece ginger , peeled and grated 1 tsp cumin seeds a pinch chilli flakes 1 onion , finely chopped 2 large carrots , peeled and grated 150g red lentils 1l vegetable stock fresh, cube or concentrate 1 lime , juiced to taste a small bunch coriander leaves

250g digestive biscuits, crushed 100g unsalted butter, melted 4 gold-strength gelatine leaves 500g cream cheese 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar 3 tsp rosewater 300ml thickened cream 1/2 cup rose petal or strawberry jam 250g strawberries, sliced rease a 22cm spring form cake pan. Combine biscuits and butter, then press into base of pan. Place gelatin in a bowl of cold water, stand for 5 minutes, then drain and squeeze out excess water. Return gelatin to bowl and pour over 1/4 cup (60ml) boiling water. Whisk with a fork until smooth, then cool slightly. Whiz cream cheese and sugar in a food processor until smooth. Add cooled gelatin and rosewater. Process to combine. Whip cream with electric beaters until slightly thickened. Add cheese mixture, beat until smooth, then pour over crumb base. Cover loosely and chill overnight. When ready to serve, warm jam in microwave for 30 seconds, then stir in strawberries. Slice the cheesecake and top with strawberry mixture.

• Basmati Rice -500 gm • Chicken-1/2 kg • Hard boiled eggs-3 • Onions-1/4 kg • Potatoes-1/4 kg • Tomatoes-1/4 kg • Shelled peas-1 cup • Raisins-50 gm • Nuts (cashew nuts, pistachios)-50 gm • Ghee-250 gm • Juice of 3 limes • Yogurt-3 tbls

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eat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan and fry the ginger and spices for a couple of minutes. Add the vegetables and cook for 5 minutes more then add the lentils and stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the lentils are tender. Blend until smooth or leave chunky. Stir through a squeeze of lime juice and serve sprinkled with coriander.

ing onions and fry well. Add chicken pieces, potatoes, green peas, salt to taste, yogurt, tomatoes and fry well. Add 2 cups of water and cook until all the water is absorbed, and it forms a thick gravy. Put 2 tablespoons of ghee in an oven proof dish. Place a layer of cooked rice followed by a layer of chicken. Place a layer of fried onions, boiled eggs and scatter with sultanas. Repeat layers and finish with a layer of rice. Sprinkle some ghee and cashew on last layer of rice. Place in an oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the top gets brown. In case of stove you can keep in low flame and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from fire and mix evenly. Serve hot with spiced onion yogurt salad.

Spiced lentil soup


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 : A bridge has collapsed in Petra. THE 99 work as a team to help the injured. However a truck is still stuck on the bridge. Can Jabbar and Rafie rescue the trapped driver?

The 99 ® and all related characters ® and © 2011, Teshkeel Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

www.the99.org


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Travel

FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

Free things to do in Europe Think like a down and out artist and have a great time without spending money A Square Life Call it what you will, the piazza, platz, plaza or place, these are special places for informal gathering, especially on summer evenings. Your little foray into “experiential travel” should start in a public square teeming with locals. In Italy you can promenade to the piazza by joining in the Italian stroll called a Passiagiatta. In Spain, the Plaza Mayor (the large, main plaza) in Salamanca is so clean that students plop down in the center and play chess, while all around them folks stroll, musicians play, and waiters cross the cobbles balancing plates of Jamon Iberico. Don’t miss it. Cathedrals Europe’s grand Cathedrals took a little while for me to get used to. As huge, concentrated pockets of local wealth, cathedrals provided many of Europe’s best artists with commissions and fame. Along ancient pilgrimage routes, stories told through stone carvings became the touchstones of Europe’s illiterate peasants, and some of the work inside and outside these churches is extraordinary. Look for Romanesque churches from the 11th through 13th centuries, when rich pilgrims, fearing they wouldn’t get to heaven any faster than a camel passes through the eye of a needle, tried to garner God’s favor by using their wealth to building inns and hospitals for the poor. Markets - Covered and Open Air Markets of Europe Many of Europe’s larger cities have covered markets with an amazing array of fresh produce accessible to everyone. Port cities like Cagliary, Sardinia have covered fish markets that rival the

kind of fancy city aquariums you find in the US, except that everything is pretty much dead and therefore easy to look at and photograph. Gardens Every large city in Europe has a system of public gardens you can visit for free. In some places, the botanical gardens are under control of Universities who don’t charge, but sometimes they do. You’ll have to check. A good Summer morning in Europe can be spent at the local open-air market, where you can stock up on supplies and hang with the locals, followed by a picnic in the park. Walks, Waymarked Ways, and Pilgrimage In addition to its many trails in National and Regional parks, Europe has many more trails to allow you to get between villages than the US does, most of them well marked. For a taste, see our walking in France article. Other historic places to walk free that I like are Rome’s Appian Way and the other walks of our Great Walks of Europe article. Beaches While there are a surprising number of private beaches in Europe where you’ll pay for your lounge chair and two meters of raked sand, you won’t have trouble finding beaches of all sizes on the Med, including the ones where you don’t have to wear almost anything. Dune lovers won’t want to miss a visit the Dune du Pilat near Arcachon (France), the largest in Europe. — About.com


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Travel

Years

FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

Do your homework before you go on your European vacation H

ere are all the things you need to get done about six months before your European vacation. We’ll focus on buying some guidebooks, choosing a destination, and we’ll think about learning a bit of a language or two and renting an apartment. All of these things represent the first part of the travel planning experience, and can be done much earlier if you wish. Just don’t plan too early and lose your momentum!

order, and you’re starting to see a path between places. Now it’s time to think about the duration of your stay in each city or region. Most inexperienced travelers think that two days is enough in a large city. It’s not. Too little time in a city is almost equivalent to none at all; by the time you find out where everything is, your on your way to the next destination. Think four days minimum in a city like Paris, a week for a large region like Tuscany.

Buying a Guidebook Most of what you need to know at this point can be gleened from our extensive travel resources. Still, having a paper based reference can make sense of you’re still undecided. If you haven’t picked your countries, then you should just get a big, old Europe guide. Otherwise, get country guides. You’ll carry less bulk overall, and you’ll get more information.

Deep Travel - Taking Time to Know a Place

Top European Guidebooks: The Wish List Europe is a big, diverse place. Are there cities you’ve always wanted to visit? Make a list. Write down all your favorite places. Don’t worry, at this point there will be way too many of them. Haven’t a clue where to start? Then read about the best of Europe below, or let us suggest an itinerary for you with our suggested European itineraries. Considering Distances Once you’ve listed your dream destinations, chances are that you’ll need to pare it down. I’d start by considering distances between places. I usually don’t want to go more than 200 miles in a normal travel day. (There’s plenty of great places within 200 miles anywhere in Europe, don’t worry!) Use our Flash based Travel Planning Map to see how far 200 miles is by dragging a circle over the map - the radius is 200 miles. Use our calculator to find the distance between European capitals Time Must have a Stop Ok, so you’ve started to get your list in

The Middle Game Self Catering Let’s say your planned vacation is three weeks long. You’re never going to pack enough clothing to last that long without washing. Hotels will charge you an arm and a leg, and you don’t want to spend an entire day in a laundromat... What do I do? I rent a house for a week in the center of my vacation. I can wash my clothes, go to outdoor markets searching for food to bring home, and chances are I’ll save money over a hotel—especially if I’m traveling with family. Making Reservations If you’ve chosen to rent a house or apartment, start looking now if you’re traveling in the high season; the best ones are reserved far in advance. I also plan to stay at least one night close to where I land; you don’t want to plan a 300 mile driving trip when jet lag has the best of you. Start thinking about that place. If you’re going in the low season, you can wait on these reservations. Think About Learning Some Basic Words in a Foreign Language If you’re spending the bulk of your vacation in a single country, why not learn a bit of the language? Knowing even a few of the “polite” words will open doors and make your vacation far more memorable. Think about signing up for a language course at a local community college or cultural center, or learn online.


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Books

FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

Turn of Mind By Alice LaPlante

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lice LaPlante’s Turn of Mind is a spellbinding novel about the disintegration of a strong woman’s mind and the unhinging of her family. Dr. Jennifer White, recently widowed and a newly retired orthopedic surgeon, is entering the beginning stages of dementia - where the impossibility of recognizing reality can be both a blessing and a curse. As the story opens, Jennifer’s lifelong friend and neighbor, Amanda, has been killed, and four fingers surgically removed. Dr. White is the prime suspect in the murder and she herself doesn’t know if she did it or not. Narrated in her voice, fractured and eloquent, a picture emerges of the surprisingly intimate,

complex alliance between this pair two proud, forceful women who were at times each other’s most formidable adversaries. The women’s thirty-year friendship deeply entangled their families, and as the narrative unfolds we see that things were not always as they seemed. Jennifer’s deceased husband, James, is clearly not the scion he was thought to be. Her two grown children - Mark, a lawyer, and Fiona, a professor, who now have power over their mother’s medical and financial decisions respectively have agendas of their own. And Magdalena, her brusque live-in caretaker, has a past she hides. As the investigation intensifies, a chilling question persists: is Dr. Jennifer White’s shattered memory preventing her from revealing

the truth or helping her to hide it? Told through the voice of a woman with a powerful intellect that is maddeningly slipping away, Turn of Mind is not only a suspenseful psychological thriller that pulses with intensity but also a brilliant portrayal of the fragility of consciousness and memory, and of a mind finally turning on itself.

The Buddha in the Attic

Lost in Shangri-La

By Julie Otsuka By Mitchell Zuckoff

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n 1945, twenty-four American servicemen and women boarded a plane to see “Shangri-La,” a beautiful valley deep within Dutch New Guinea. But when the plane crashed, only three pulled through to battle for survival. Emotionally devastated and badly injured, the trio faced certain death. Caught between spear-carrying tribesmen and enemy Japanese, they trekked down the jungle-covered mountainside and straight into superstitious natives rumored to be cannibals. Drawn from interviews, Army documents, photos, diaries, and original film footage, Lost in Shangri-La recounts this true-life adventure for the first time. Mitchell Zuckoff reveals how the trio traversed the jungle; how brave Filipino-American paratroopers risked their lives to save the survivors; how a native leader protected the Americans; and how a cowboy colonel attempted an untried rescue mission to get them out. A riveting work of nonfiction that brings to life an odyssey at times terrifying, enlightening, and comic, Lost in Shangri-La is a thrill ride from beginning to end.

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ulie Otsuka’s long awaited follow-up to When the Emperor Was Divine (“To watch Emperor catching on with teachers and students in vast numbers is to grasp what must have happened at the outset for novels like Lord of the Flies and To Kill a Mockingbird” -The New York Times) is a tour de force of economy and precision, a novel that tells the story of a group of young women brought over from Japan to San Francisco as ‘picture brides’ nearly a century ago. In eight incantatory sections, The Buddha in the Attic traces their extraordinary lives, from their arduous journey by boat, where they exchange photographs of their husbands, imagining uncertain futures in an unknown land; to their arrival in San Francisco and their tremulous first nights as new wives; to their backbreaking work picking fruit in the fields and scrubbing the floors of white women; to their struggles to master a new language and a new culture; to their experiences in childbirth, and then as mothers, raising children who will ultimately reject their heritage and their history; to the deracinating arrival of war. In language that has the force and the fury of poetry, Julie Otsuka has written a singularly spellbinding novel about the American dream.


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Books

FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

Conquistadora

To Be Sung Underwater

By Esmeralda Santiago

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s a young girl growing up in Spain, Ana Larragoity Cubillas is powerfully drawn to Puerto Rico by the diaries of an ancestor who traveled there with Ponce de Leon. And in handsome twin brothers Ramon and Inocenteboth in love with Ana-she finds a way to get there. She marries Ramon, and in 1844, just eighteen, she travels across the ocean to a remote sugar plantation the brothers have inherited on the island. Ana faces unrelenting heat, disease and isolation, and the dangers of the untamed countryside even as she relishes the challenge of running Hacienda los Gemelos. But when the Civil War breaks out in the United States, Ana finds her livelihood, and perhaps even her life, threatened by the very people on whose backs her wealth has been built: the hacienda’s slaves, whose richly drawn stories unfold alongside her own. And when at last Ana falls for a man who may be her destiny-a once-forbidden loveshe will sacrifice nearly everything to keep hold of the land that has become her true home. This is a sensual, riveting tale, set in a place where human passions and cruelties collide: thrilling history that has never before been brought so vividly and unforgettably to life.

By Tom McNeal

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udith Whitman always believed in the kind of love that “picks you up in Akron and sets you down in Rio.” Long ago, she once experienced that love. Willy Blunt was a carpenter with a dry wit and a steadfast sense of honor. Marrying him seemed like a natural thing to promise. But Willy Blunt was not a person you could pick up in Nebraska and transport to Stanford. When Judith left home, she didn’t look back. Twenty years later, Judith’s marriage is hazy with secrets. In her hand is what may be the phone number for the man who believed she meant it when she said she loved him. If she called, what would he say? To Be Sung Underwater is the epic love story of a woman trying to remember, and the man who could not even begin to forget. —bn.com

The Man of Numbers: Fibonacci’s Arithmetic Revolution By Keith Devlin

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n 1202, a 32-year old Italian finished one of the most influential books of all time, which introduced modern arithmetic to Western Europe. Devised in India in the 7th and 8th centuries and brought to North Africa by Muslim traders, the Hindu-Arabic system helped transform the West into the dominant force in science, technology, and commerce, leaving behind Muslim cultures which had long known it but had failed to see its potential. The young Italian, Leonardo of Pisa (better known today as Fibonacci), had learned the Hindu number system when he traveled to North Africa with his father, a customs agent. The book he created was Liber abbaci, the “Book of Calculation,” and the revolution that followed its publication was enormous. Arithmetic made it possible for ordinary people to buy and sell goods, convert currencies, and keep accurate records of possessions more readily than

ever before. Liber abbaci’s publication led directly to largescale international commerce and the scientific revolution of the Renaissance. Yet despite the ubiquity of his discoveries, Leonardo of Pisa remains an enigma. His name is best known today in association with an exercise in Liber abbaci whose solution gives rise to a sequence of numbers-the Fibonacci sequence-used by some to predict the rise and fall of financial markets, and evident in myriad biological structures. One of the great math popularizers of our time, Keith Devlin recreates the life and enduring legacy of an overlooked genius, and in the process makes clear how central numbers and mathematics are to our daily lives.


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Beauty

FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

How to fix bad dye jobs? H

air dye mishaps can happen to anyone who is trying to change the color of their hair. In most cases, a bad dye job will happen to someone who is inexperienced with athome hair coloring systems; however, even getting your hair colored, tinted, highlighted or lowlighted in a salon isn’t a surefire way for perfect hair color. If you’re suffering from a hair coloring mishap, here are some tips to help you get back to looking normal again. Tips for Fixing Hair Color Mistakes If you had a hair color treatment performed at a salon, and the result left your hair an odd or splotchy color, then call the salon immediately to reschedule a consultation; most salons will provide a 48-72 hour opening for you to adjust to your new color. Assuming you’re unsure about the ability of the salon you’ve already visited, you should ask another salon to assess your hair so that you don’t end up with brassy, or ill-tinted hair. You can also visit a color correction specialist to have the color removed altogether; this requires multiple visits to the salon for it to be truly effective. Never try to fix a salon professional’s mistake at home because it could cause more coloring problems, and even lead to overprocessed hair. Also, if you have dyed your hair a darker color, don’t buy a new box of a lighter shade to cover up the dark - it won’t work! Color isn’t able to lift color, which basically means that you can’t remove a black hair dye by using a lighter color of dye. You need a product designed to remove the color from your hair before attempting to re-color.


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Beauty

FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

At-Home Hair Coloring Mistakes If you happened to muck up your own hair color at home with a hair coloring box kit, don’t worry because there is still hope for you. These products will have a 1-800 number found somewhere on the box for you to use during regular business hours. Customer service reps will be able to assist you over the phone, and answer any questions you may have after you’ve dyed your hair. Another thing you can do to fix a bad hair job at home is to purchase a darker semi or demi-permanent color, and re-dye your hair. If your hair has a green tint to it, you can often use a chlorine removal shampoo, or a tomato juice soak to get rid yourself of the green color. Color Removing Kits Keep in mind what chemicals you’ve already put onto your hair in the past, and the texture of your hair because some hair responds more or less to permanent hair dyes. If you’ve dyed your hair deep black, when you really wanted a dark brunette, hair color removers will get your hair ready for re-coloring. Sure it won’t be the original shade by using the hair color removal kits, and you will have an orangey-brown hair color that isn’t attractive; fortunately, this will easily be covered up with your next box of hair dye. The hair color removal kits contain bleaching agents to take the color from the hair follicle, leaving your hair ready for a re-color. Just remember that this is only suggested for someone with hair that is in great condition, other than the hair color mishap of course. Color “removers” should not be used on extremely dry, damaged hair. Since removers contain bleaching agents, they can be somewhat damaging to the hair follicle - especially if your hair is already damaged! Assuming you are lucky enough to have supple hair, go ahead and remove the dye with a remover kit. How To Fade Color This is the only time when heat is your hair’s best friend because heat will often fade colored hair. By using hot water and hot olive oil, you will open up the hair cuticle, which helps fade color faster. Fading your color may not be the perfect solution with green or orange hair, but it quickly reduces the dyed color. Recovering from Orange Hair If you’ve tried to bleach your hair and have ended up with an orange color, you have a couple of options. The first thing to consider is the health of your hair; if your hair is very dry or brittle, and is breaking off easily, you should not lighten it any more. But assuming you have fairly healthy hair, considering another lightening treatment is a possibility. However, for most people, darkening their hair is going to be the best solution for recovering from a bad bleaching. Use a light brown to dark blonde dye, in combination with an ash toner to take the reddish hue down a notch, instead of using another lightening treatment.

It’s always a good idea to condition your hair heavily before applying another round of dye. Remember, once hair is damaged, it cannot be restored to its natural condition; you must either cut if off, or let it grow out. Your hair can be conditioned to make it look and feel better, but risking further damage is often a bad choice, and can lead you to frustration and anger. And having to give up your dream of being blonde, for the moment, is much better than having no hair at all.


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Health

FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

In laughter yoga, people learn exercises that convert typical attitudes of anger into relaxed behavior

As healthy as a clown Why laughing illnesses away is the best medicine and it’s more easily available than over the counter

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t is medicine, it is free, and anyone can produce it anywhere at any time. What is it? Laughter. All you need for your brain to send a signal to the body to laugh is to hear a good joke, be tickled, have nice people around you or experience a funny situation. “Then the reward system is switched on,” is how Michaela Schaeffner of the European Professional Association for Laughter Yoga and Humor Training describes the impulse to laugh that triggers a chain reaction. An entire cocktail of happiness hormones flows through the body. Serotonin, dopamine and the “cuddle chemical” oxytocin, which plays a role in breastfeeding and sex, are thought to be released. The body goes into relaxation mode, Schaeffner said. Deep abdominal breathing ensues, pain tolerance can increase and blood pressure can drop. Laughter’s effects on the body are largely hypothetical because clinical studies of them have been few. The influence of feel-good endorphins, for example, is unproven. “They’re so ephemeral that you’d have to amuse test persons with a cannula stuck in a vein and simultaneously measure the concentration of these neurotransmitters. That’s tricky,” remarked Carsten Niemitz, a human biologist at the Free University of Berlin. Not much is known about the processes that take place in the brain, either, since the body movements during laughter make magnetic reso-

nance imaging impossible. Laughter is akin to strenuous manual labor. More than 100 muscles are involved, “ranging from the face, neck and respiratory muscles to the intercostal muscles” that run between the ribs, Niemitz noted. Forty muscles control facial expressions alone. The more intense the laughter is, the more muscles are moved from head to toe-the more the person is “convulsed with laughter,” as the saying goes. Someone who says that his or her “stomach hurts from laughing so hard” is describing the sore diaphragm that follows a good belly laugh. “Stop making me laugh! I hurt all over already,” is a plea when laughing becomes a full body workout. “Doubling up with laughter,” like a forward bend in yoga, trains the muscles between the breastbone and pubic bone. A kind of “internal mas-

sage,” laughter can alleviate physical complaints. The deep breathing during laughter facilitates expectoration in cases of colds and bronchitis. Smokers can benefit, too, from the removal of excess residual air in the lungs, according to Barbara Wild, professor of psychiatry at Tuebingen University in Germany. The pain threshold also rises, said Wild, citing Swiss researchers who found that test persons who genuinely smiled and laughed a lot while watching a Mr Bean film were able to hold their hands in ice water longer afterwards than test persons who had been less amused. “Cheerful people cope with illnesses better,” Niemitz said. Hospitals that employ clowns administer the psychological medicine of laughter, which touches people’s hearts and tells them, “Things aren’t so bad.” The goal, said Eckhart von Hirschhausen, a German comedian who studied medicine and has founded a club called Humor Helps Healing, is to “get people in an unpleasant situation involved in something positive.”

Laughter, he said, “is foremost a social signal that lowers aggression, binds people into groups and alleviates stress.” It relieves both social and physical tension, he added, so “we physically loosen up when be laugh out loud.” Laughter is a protective mechanism against mental illnesses, von Hirschhausen pointed out, and laughter therapy is used for depression as well as aggression. “In laughter yoga, people learn exercises that, among other things, convert typical attitudes of anger into relaxed behavior,” Schaeffner said. Someone who regularly slams doors, for example, learns to set the anti-stress mechanism into motion as soon as he or she grasps the door handle. This may inhibit the production of adrenalin, which normally puts the body in a state of alarm. People can clearly distinguish between hearty and derisive laughter. Laughing with the eyes closed for a fraction of a second and then looking past the other person comes across as likeable, Niemitz and his team found. “The other person doesn’t feel stared at and threatened,” he said. Giving vent to one’s amusement within a half-second is seen as sincere. Someone who takes longer produces “fake laughter” and forfeits sympathy. — dpa


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Health

FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

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Louder than a tractor

he noises in the bedroom are frightful, night after night after night: wheezing, whistling, snorting, gasping. Snoring can really put a strain on a relationship. While the slumbering partner saws wood, the wakeful one tosses and turns. Often the latter cannot take the chronic sleep deprivation any longer and urges the former to get to the bottom of his or her snoring, noted Alexander Blau, a physician at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Sleep Medicine at the Charite university hospital in Berlin. The central question is whether the snoring is merely a nuisance or a sign of a serious health condition. “Not everyone’s who snores is ill,” Blau remarked. He said the spectrum of snoring, caused by air flowing through relaxed throat tissues that partially obstruct the airway, ranged from completely harmless noise-making, to labored breathing, to life-threatening sleep apnea, a respiratory disorder “that can cause problems in waking hours as well as during sleep,” according to the German Sleep Society (DGSM). “Benign snoring merely causes noise and stress,” said Jan Loehler, a member of the German Association of Otorhinolaryngologists. Being overweight is one possible cause. Excess body fat stored in the neck and throat can constrict the airway during sleep. The simple remedy: weight loss. The DGSM also recommends a “stable circadian rhythm with corresponding sleep hygiene” because people who go to bed at irregular times are at a greater risk of snoring. People with loud, irregular snoring that is punctuated by breaks should by all means see a doctor, advised Blau. Waking up unrested after a night’s sleep and feeling exhausted during the day are also warning signs of what Loehler calls “malignant snoring,” medically known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This type of snoring can be particularly dangerous for people with a cardiovascular disorder such as cardiac arrhythmia or high blood pressure. In OSA, throat muscles can become so relaxed during the night that the upper airway repeatedly collapses and breathing stops for as long as 30 seconds. The body’s oxygen supply sinks, the amount of carbon dioxide rises and the heart rate slows. Every time this happens, an alarm goes off in the brain, after which blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension increase. This results in unusually deep breathing and loud snoring, and the snorer feels exhausted the following morning. “There are many methods of treatment, but their effectiveness in many cases hasn’t been scientifically verified,” Blau noted. One of the two standard treatments, he said, is to wear a mask over the nose at night, which keeps the airway open by means of continuous positive air pressure. An alternative is a dental mouthpiece that advances the position of the tongue and soft palate to keep the air passage open. “Theoretically, both the mask and mouthpiece also help in cases of harmless snoring,” Blau said. “But that would be like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.” Snorers should find out whether anatomical abnormalities of the nose and throat are causing them to snore, Loehler said. Enlarged tonsils, a deviated nasal septum (the partition between the nostrils) or an enlarged inferior nasal concha (a bone in the nose) can hinder breathing through the nose. While surgery can sometimes help, Blau said, much of the available medical literature on the effectiveness of such treatment is not clear-cut. He added, however, that some recent data backs the use of nasal plugs, which also keep the airway open by means of positive air pressure. According to Blau, in industrialized countries more than 50 percent of the men and about 30 percent of women snore. Breathing is medically problematic in 20 percent of the men and 10 percent of the women. Respiratory disorders requiring treatment are found in 4 percent of the men and 2 percent of the women. —dpa

Waking up unrested after a night’s sleep and feeling exhausted during the day are warning signs of ‘malignant snoring’


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Spotlight

FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

Portrait of the artist:

Ravi Shankar What got you started? Going to Paris with my brother Uday’s classical Indian dance troupe in 1930. I started out as a dancer, but gradually became more interested in music. What was your big breakthrough? Meeting [the composer and musician] Allauddin Khan when I was 15. He became my guru; I returned to India to study the sitar with him for seven years. Only then was I ready to become a professional musician. How does the Indian classical music scene compare with the UK’s? In the UK, classical music is composed by individuals, and written down. Indian music is based on certain sequences, called ragas. When I perform live, 95% of the music is improvised: it never sounds the same twice.

NEW BAND

Louise and the Pins Hometown: London. The lineup: Louise Hull, Bethan Gorman and Sara Templeman. The background: A young woman with a jet-black beehive, a bold gash of red across her lips, and a prematurely, almost preternaturally wise and weathered voice? We’d already trailed Louise Hull and her two backup singers known as the Pins as today’s new act, but she makes an eerily fitting choice, today of all days. Of course, there was always a good chance, as there is most weeks, of us featuring a New Amy, a girl with an arresting voice that speaks of many lives lived and as many lovers lost, because, whatever you thought of Amy Winehouse and the quality of her music, there was no denying the galvanising effect she had on a generation of women, to the point where, despite the Brit school background and mainstream success, it makes sense to compare her to Johnny Rotten. There have been, as we say, numerous new Amys, which is to say sub-Amys. But there has as yet not been a post-Amy: someone taking that retro-nuevo, hip-hop soul sound to another level. Louise and the Pins, who have already played with Martha Wainwright, Regina Spektor, Mumford & Sons and Laura Marling, aren’t a giant leap forwards, they’re a sideways move, mixing up but hardly offering a radical synthesis of torch balladry, folk harmony, jaunty country and 50s pop. Rather than the music, it is Hull’s vocals that will impress, or at least impress those listeners seeking yet another throwback to the old-school soulfulness of Julie London as opposed to the otherwordly soaring of Liz Fraser. She growls, she purrs, she does all the things fans of Adele will admire. She’s like Amy in another respect: she’s very Camden, which has a history of pop groups drawing on folk, pop, country and rock’n’roll. At their most bouncy, Louise and the Pins remind us of early-80s troupe theBoot Hill Foot Tappers, or the Shillelagh Sisters, although we’re sure they’d rather we described them as a latterday

Andrews Sisters backed by the Million Dollar Quartet. In fact, they’ll be resident at The Wheelbarrow in Camden every Tuesday in August. There’s even footage of them singing at The Hawley Arms, Amy’s old stomping ground, at an event called Apocalypstick. It’s of Louise and Co singing, with Marling, their debut single, Melancholy, “a maudlin treatise on whiskey, wine and the blues” that is as deeply predictable as the press release implies. Beauty Strange, the other track on the double A-side single, is a further amalgam of sultry mannerisms, designed for people who believe that technical excellence is 9/10ths of the pop law. You can’t fault it, even if it lacks the flaws and cracks that made Amy Winehouse so special. The buzz: “Their sound is a little 50s girl group, a little country and a little folk” - flyingwithanna.wordpress.com. The truth: It’s a familiar sound, but that might be to its advantage in the months ahead. Most likely to: Cover Prelude to a Kiss. Least likely to: Cover quisquose. What to buy: Debut single Melancholy/Beauty Strange is released on 5 September by Chess Club. File next to: Kitty, Daisy and Lewis, Paloma Faith, the Boot Hill Foot Tappers, Kirsty Almeida. Links: myspace.com/louiseandthepins

Is there a high cost to fame? Well, I’m 91 now, so if I haven’t learnt to live with it, I never will. But some periods have been more difficult than others. When I started working with George Harrison [in 1966], I became like a pop star myself: everywhere I went, I was recognized. I didn’t like that at all. What have you sacrificed for your art? I don’t think I have sacrificed anything. But I do think that my Indian classical audiences thought I was sacrificing them through working with George. I became known as the “fifth Beatle”; in India, they thought I was mad. What is your proudest achievement? Helping western audiences have a better understanding of Indian classical music. When I first started playing here, even the critics didn’t get it. At one concert in Madison Square Garden, we spent a few minutes tuning up, and then the audience started clapping. I said: “If you liked that, then you’ll definitely enjoy the concert.” Which other artists do you admire? I saw some music videos by Lady Gaga for the first time recently. I do admire her theatricality. She is a very intelligent performer. What work of art would you like to own? I love the work of Matisse and Picasso, but I don’t have enough millions to own one. And I don’t really believe in owning art, anyway. What advice would you give a young musician? I wouldn’t give them advice; I would learn from them.

—Guardian Is there an art form you don’t relate to? I don’t appreciate avant-garde, electronic music. It makes me feel quite ill. How would you like to be remembered? For my music, if I am remembered for anything at all.

In shor t Born: Varanasi, India, 1920. Career: Tours and records his own sitar compositions; has also collaborated with musicians such as George Harrison and Philip Glass. He performs at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester (0161-907 9000), tomorrow, then tours. High point: “Having a wonderful family.” Low point: “Now. In my mind, I am a young man - I have so many musical ideas, but my body is too frail to play them.” —Guardian

‘I saw some music videos by Lady Gaga recently. I admire her theatricality - she is a very intelligent performer’


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FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

Amy Winehouse joins the list of stars ravaged by drugs “N

ow he’s gone and joined that stupid club, I told him not to join that stupid club.” These were the rueful words uttered by Kurt Cobain’s mother, Wendy O’Connor, on hearing of her son’s death by suicide on 8 April 1994. The “stupid club” she was referring to included Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, Jim Morrison of the Doors, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, all of whom, like Cobain, died aged 27, having struggled with alcohol and drug addiction. Now, Amy Winehouse, the troubled wild child of British pop, has joined them. In many ways, Winehouse’s chaotic life in the spotlight echoed the excesses of other rock’n’roll eras, and recalled a time, not that long ago, when, to borrow music writer Nick Kent’s description of the young Keith Richards, being “elegantly wasted”, was de rigueur for all aspiring rock’n’roll outlaws. Except that the image and the reality, as Kent found out to his cost though his own long heroin addiction, are worlds apart. Kent survived to tell his cautionary tale in a recent, often self-lacerating, memoir; many of those he wrote about did not. They also include Keith Moon, Gram Parsons, Tim Buckley, Sid Vicious, Phil Lynott and Johnny Thunders, all of whom died from the chemical

excesses of the rock’n’roll lifestyle. That was then; this is now. Since the heady days of Britpop, when cocaine and alcohol fuelled a brief hedonistic home-grown pop culture, pop music has seemed to have cleaned up its act somewhat. What separated Winehouse and Pete Doherty from the dissolute rock stars that preceded them, though, was the public nature of their excesses and of their respective struggles. Back in the early

cameras on her regular late-night sorties to local shops to buy booze and fags. She lived out her tragically short post-fame life in the public gaze. In her book, Sexual Personae, Camille Paglia mapped out western culture as one long battleground between chaos and untrammeled desire. Rock stars, she wrote, are the great Dionysian heroes of our age, acting out our wildest desires and darkest dramas on our behalf so that we do not have to.

Despite the self-awareness in her lyrics, the singer’s death - like Kurt Cobain’s - was shocking in its awful predictability 1970s, when Keith Richards was, to quote Kent, “the world’s most elegantly wasted man”, avid readers of the music press could only have guessed at what exotic substances he had ingested alongside his daily bottle of Jack Daniel’s. Amy Winehouse did not just have the paparazzi to contend with, but also the public, several of whom trailed her with their mobile phone

What, though, was Amy Winehouse acting out on our behalf with each bedraggled public appearance, each chaotic drunken performance, each failed attempt at rehabilitation? Even her knowing and willfully self-celebratory song Rehab suggests she was more than aware of her status as the last wild child in an age when her pop contemporaries often seemed to be embracing a lifestyle choice, a

career rather than a vocation. That knowingness, though, was nothing but a hollow boast against the daily, dogged and increasingly demeaning horrors of addiction. Some will say that, ultimately, it was her choice, and that she was luckier than many in the escape routes from addiction offered by her wealth and fame. But in the maelstrom of sudden celebrity, the sensitive and the troubled can lose their moorings swiftly and with dreadful consequences. For me, the version of the rock’n’roll lifestyle that Amy Winehouse played out in public always seemed like a desperate disguise, much like the scary tattoos she sported on her stick-thin arms and that straggly beehive that also harked back to an older pop era. She did not so much embrace that outlaw lifestyle as attempt to hide in it. Her death, like Cobain’s, was not shocking except in its awful predictability. That, on reflection, like the deaths of so many of her predecessors, is the most shocking thing about it. —Guardian


Comic

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FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

To Yester

Word Sleuth Solution

Yesterday’s Solution

ACROSS

1. Botfly larva. 4. An esoteric or occult matter that is traditionally secret. 10. (computer science) A computer that is running software that allows users to leave messages and access information of general interest. 13. Leaf or strip from a leaf of the talipot palm used in India for writing paper. 14. (of reproduction) Not involving the fusion of male and female gametes reproduction". 15. Resinlike substance secreted by certain lac insects. 16. A white linen liturgical vestment with sleeves. 17. An Arab country on the peninsula of Qatar. 19. An Indian side dish of yogurt and chopped cucumbers and spices. 21. The fifth day of the week. 23. A set of tags and rules (conforming to SGML) for using them in developing hypertext documents. 26. A human being. 29. A tax on employees and employers that is used to fund the Social Security system. 33. With rapid movements. 34. A soft white precious univalent metallic element having the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal. 35. A light touch or stroke. 36. Common Indian weaverbird. 41. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 42. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 44. A federal agency established to coordinate programs aimed at reducing pollution and protecting the environment. 45. Type genus of the Alcidae comprising solely the razorbill. 49. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 52. Electronic warfare undertaken to insure effective friendly use of the electromagnetic spectrum in spite of the enemy's use of electronic warfare. 54. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 55. (Babylonian) God of storms and wind. 57. Marked by excessive complacency or self-satisfaction. 58. The arch of bone beneath the eye that forms the prominence of the cheek. 59. (British) Any elderly pompous reactionary ultranationalistic person (after the cartoon character created by Sir David Low). 61. An artificial language that is a revision and simplification of Esperanto. 62. An independent ruler or chieftain (especially in Africa or Arabia). 63. Tropical American tree producing cacao beans. 64. An associate degree in applied science. DOWN 1. Old World wild swine having a narrow body and prominent tusks from which most domestic swine come. 2. Leaf or strip from a leaf of the talipot palm used in India for writing paper. 3. A sock with a separation for the big toe. 4. A genus of Psittacidae. 5. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 6. A hostile meeting of opposing military forces in the course of a war. 7. A woman hired to suckle a child of someone else. 8. (Irish) The sea personified. 9. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 10. Pompous or pretentious talk or writing. 11. A small cake leavened with yeast. 12. Any of a number of fishes of the family Carangidae.

18. Lacking or deprive of the sense of hearing wholly or in part. 20. A case or sheath especially a pollen sac or moss capsule. 22. A son who has the same first name as his father. 24. A hard brittle gray polyvalent metallic element that resembles iron but is not magnetic. 25. A city in southern Turkey on the Seyhan River. 27. A translucent mineral consisting of hydrated silica of variable color. 28. A member of an American Indian people of Yucatan and Belize and Guatemala who once had a culture characterized by outstanding architecture and pottery and astronomy. 30. An agency of the United Nations affiliated with the World Bank. 31. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 32. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 37. The compass point that is one point east of due south. 38. The brightest star in Auriga. 39. Lacking motor coordination. 40. Aircraft landing in bad weather in which the pilot is talked down by ground control using precision approach radar. 43. Measuring instrument in which the echo of a pulse of microwave radiation is used to detect and locate distant objects. 46. (folklore) A corpse that rises at night to drink the blood of the living. 47. Any taillike structure. 48. An ancient city in southeastern Greece. 50. Mild yellow Dutch cheese made in balls. 51. An island in Indonesia east of Java. 53. A state of deep and often prolonged unconsciousness. 56. The elementary stages of any subject (usually plural). 57. A chronic inflammatory collagen disease affecting connective tissue (skin or joints). 60. A radioactive metallic element that is similar to tellurium and bismuth.

Yesterday’s Solution


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FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

Courtesy of Jeffrey Anderson shows Anderson Japanese Gardens. — AP photos

Anderson Japanese Gardens aim for

tranquility J

apanese gardens are about inspiring and soothing the soul. And you don’t have to be a gardening expert or Zen Buddhist to appreciate all they have to offer - the beauty, the tranquility, even the Zen. Anderson Japanese Gardens, a 12-acre (4.8-hectare) wonderland of landscaping and design, is regarded as one of the top Japanese gardens in North America, along with ones in Portland, Oregon, and Delray Beach, Florida. Most every day, diverse groups of visitors can be seen strolling through the site: hospice patients, cancer survivors, people practicing yoga and tai chi, brush painting classes, Red Hat women, grief counselors, church congregations holding services and just plain tourists. Reflecting a design that originated in 12th-century Japan, the gardens contain a large pond, a five-story waterfall, a granite pagoda, curving bridges over boulder-strewn streams, and wellmanicured plants and trees leaning toward the water. They attract about 40,000 visitors a year in this city 80 miles (128 kilometers) northwest of Chicago. “It’s a great space to cast away a lot of the baggage of the modern world and tune back into something more elemental,” says curator Tim Gruner. The gardens were the inspiration of industrialist John Anderson (no relation to the 1980 independent presidential candidate from Rockford with the same name).During a business trip to Oregon in 1977, Anderson visited the Portland Japanese Garden on a cab driver’s recommendation, and was so impressed by its calm and serenity that he decided to create his own version. He invited the garden’s highly regarded Japanese landscape architect, Hoichi Kurisu, to Rockford and asked him to design a garden around a swampy pond next to his new hillside house. Construction began the following year, with Kurisu remaining faithful to the style and methods used in Japan’s Kamakura period, for manmade structures as well as the dozens of natural features. An authentic Japanese guesthouse, tea house and gazebo were built by a traditional craftsman using just

files, chisels and hammers. The gardens were opened to the public in 1998 when the Andersons turned them over to a foundation. John Anderson, 69, recently handed off the chief executive’s duties to his son, David, but remains actively involved. Kurisu, too, still visits periodically to provide guidance. David Anderson, 40, first got to know the gardens as a “pretty cool” place to grow up next to, riding his bike, playing hockey and fishing there. Now his goals are to add a children’s garden, carry out a shoreline restoration and overcome patrons’ disappointment at the closure of the popular onsite restaurant, which he says had become a distraction. The gardens are costly to maintain and unprofitable, he says, breaking even only with several hundred thousand dollars in annual contributions from his father. This landscaping marvel shows no outward sign of financial challenges, however. The site is pristine, and reflects a devotion to daily pruning and upkeep - woe to the renegade pine branch that tries to grow upward rather than outward. And discoveries await visitors who take the time to examine nooks and crannies: the bamboo “deer chaser” fountain in the woods that periodically makes a knocking sound as it hits a rock; the coin basin; the detailed craftsmanship in the gazebo by the waterfall. ”There’s a lot of little detail,” says Anderson. “If you fly through, you miss it.” The gardens embody three essential elements of Japanese gardening: the permanence of stone; plants for texture and color; and the soothing, reflective qualities of water. Even the most basic of backyard gardeners can take home ideas on how to use those elements themselves. With input from curator Gruner, here are some tips to help create the feel of a Japanese garden: * Prune heavily. Pruning keeps plants in proper scale for their space. It also makes your garden more interesting if you can see through to the other side. Prune in a way that creates a sense of mystery - a little added texture and depth.

* Lean your plants. Lean plants in to a focal point, whether it’s a waterfall or your front door. Plants leaning in toward the sidewalk make for an inviting, comforting feeling. * Incorporate water features. The sound of running water creates interest in a garden. It also attracts frogs, dragonflies, and birds bathing and preening. * Use big rocks. Go with the biggest rocks you

Photo shows the Pond Strolling garden.

Photo shows the Garden of Reflection.

Photo shows the West Waterfall at Anderson Japanese Gardens.

can afford, handle and move. “You don’t have to have boulders, they’re just really great,” says Gruner. You can also use rocks to change the flow if you have a water feature. * Think character and color. Restrained use of unusual plants and trees, or those of contrasting color, will enhance a garden. One good option is dwarf white pines, which have great character, few disease problems and grow in small spaces. * Apply whimsy carefully. Whimsical features such as wind chimes, stone frogs or humorous sculptures can spice up a garden, but don’t overdo it. If the oddities play off nature (no gnomes, please) and are carefully integrated, whimsy can work. * Visit model gardens. Take a look at some other gardens that “really pop,” says Gruner, and adapt the features you think work best. —AP


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An Israeli (R) and a Palestinian (L) boxer train together at a boxing club that encourages breaking boundries between the two sides in West Jerusalem on July 14, 2011. — AFP photos

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veryone looked on curiously as the Palestinian squared off with the Israeli, each seeking to land the decisive punch that would floor his opponent. Within minutes it was all over, and the two youths briefly embraced before heading off in separate directions. This was no political battle-just a regular bout of sparring between youngsters from a local Jerusalem boxing club that is trying to break down barriers between the two peoples. The club, based in a converted underground bomb shelter in a ramshackle district of west Jerusalem, offers a rare opportunity for Palestinians and Israelis to meet twice a week to practice boxing, far from the realities of this divided city which has been at the heart of the conflict since Israel occupied its eastern sector in 1967. Known simply as the Jerusalem Boxing Club, it was set up in 1981 by Gershon Luxemburg, a champion boxer who emigrated from the Uzbek city of Tashkent in the former Soviet Union in 1972. “The club is open to everyone-to Jews and Arabs, women and men, religious people and secular people-it’s for everyone and everyone can come!” says Luxemburg in heavily accented Hebrew.”And everyone who comes here feels at home,” he adds, his enthusiasm for the venture still irrepressible after 30 years. A stocky, bearded man wearing a traditional Jewish skullcap, Luxemburg says the club seeks not only to promote acceptance and tolerance of the other, but also to nurture friendships. “It’s not about everyone just getting on-it is much more than that: we are friends here, like one body,” he says. “It’s not just people walking in and saying ‘hi’ and ‘bye’.” The entrance to the club is unobtrusive-a single door in a shabby concrete block set in the middle of a car park opens onto a set of stairs and a huge poster of American boxing legend Muhammad Ali. Down below, the walls are lined with photographs and certificates that tell countless stories of those who have trained there. In the airless basement, temperatures are high and the steady thud of boxing gloves competes with the whirr of electric fans pushing the sweaty air around. Ramzi Srour, a 19-year-old Palestinian from Jabel Mukaber in east Jerusalem, is a “veteran” of the club, where he has been training since he was eight years old. “Gershon is like a father to everyone here at the club, whether they are Jews or Arabs,” he says. ‘To meet without fear’ Down among the punchbags, all political differences are set aside, he tells AFP, clad in a black T-shirt and long sweat pants. “This is just sport,” he insists, in an interview between sessions in the ring. “Maybe outside this place they are our enemies, but our relationship in the outside world is very different to our relationship down here.” Srour dismisses out of hand the suggestion that he fights harder when faced with an Israeli opponent in the ring. “I want to win for the club and for myself, and not because I am an Arab,” he insists. “I’m competing

against both Arabs and Jews and all I want is to win.” Luxemburg says he started the club as a result of his experience growing up in Tashkent in what is now Uzbekistan. “My family came from the former Soviet Union where more than 100 peoples live together, and here in Israel it has given me a different perspective,” he says. “I can see how very easily you can get on with everyone in this world,” Luxemburg says. His liberal outlook is not shared by a majority of Russian-speaking immigrants, many of whom support right-wing Jewish nationalist parties and are perceived as hostile toward Arabs, as typified by the outlook of hawkish Moldovan-born Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Prominent among the young boxers is Akiva Finkelstein, a religiously observant Jewish 16-year-old who has won Israel’s youth boxing title seven times. Like Srour, he says his drive to win comes from desire a “to be the best”, and has nothing to do with whether his opponent is a Jew or an Arab. He sees boxing as an excellent way of building bridges between the two peoples. “I think if everybody was more together-like here, we are like one people-the relationship between us and the Arabs would get much better,” he said. “But not everybody does boxing.” Luxemburg agrees. The message he wants to get across to politicians on both sides of the political divide is that simply meeting people is a powerful way to break down barriers. “Give us the opportunity to meet without fear,” he says. “It doesn’t matter in what fieldwhether it’s through sports or music or culture-just let us meet so you can see that the person standing in front of you is not a wolf or a dog or some kind of animal! “You can see straight away that this person is a human being.”— AFP

Israeli and Palestinian boxers train together at a boxing club.

n a suburb once firmly controlled by the family of the ousted president, young Tunisians are singing and dancing in a break from the months of tension and fear that have followed their country’s revolution. Rap, reggae and house music boomed out through the old Tunis port of La Goulette as the International Festival of Carthage opened for the first time since the violent overthrow six months ago of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. The festival, based around the ancient ruins of Carthage, near Tunis, gained a reputation as one of the country’s most important cultural events and became a major draw for tourists visiting the north African country. While the “Jasmine Revolution” lit a fire that has burned through much of the Arab world, Tunisians have since had to contend with political uncertainty, seemingly endless demonstrations and fear of crime. Political reform under the new interim government is making slow progress, with elections to an assembly charged with drawing up a new constitution put back to October 23. But as groups of young musicians got the latest edition of the Carthage festival off to an ebullient start earlier this month, culture minister Ezzeddine Bachaouch said he hoped the event would “bring joy and happiness to the hearts of Tunisians who had not been able to rejoice after their revolution”. Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia on January 14 after violent street protests in which more than 300 people were shot dead by the police. Since then, many Tunisians have experienced feelings of fear despite their pride at having ousted the dictator who dominated their lives for 23 years. People are reluctant to go out at night as they used to and shops in central Tunis close early. Fear of crime has risen following several well-publicized jail-breaks while the police presence in some neighborhoods has been weak. So, in an effort to cheer people up, the Ministry of Culture put together a varied festival program of music, dance and theatre from Tunisia, the Palestinian territories, Serbia, Italy, Spain and Syria. In La Goulette, Hameda ben Amor, a young rapper known as the General, entertained hundreds of young people with his songs of freedom and revolution. The General became the voice of thousands of disadvantaged young Tunisians before the revolution when he used his songs to criticize Ben Ali, who had him thrown in jail. ‘Your people are dying’ Last December, just before the revolution, the General released a song on the internet entitled “President, your people are dying” that addresses the problems of youth unemployment, a major factor behind the revolution. A girl dancing and singing in the audience told Reuters: “These are great moments ... We forgot all our fear and we went out to celebrate. We are tired of staying at home because of the fear that we have lived with for months.” With a large security presence, the evening was quiet with no incidents reported. “It is fun to sing for the people in the street and give some joy .. I’m happy because I see happiness and joy in the eyes of the people and we sing for free for people who do not have money to buy tickets,” singer Sofian Safta told journalists. Girls and young men danced and sang “Glory to Tunisia”, waving the national flag in an expression of pride that the Arab Spring revolutions had their origins in Tunisia. “It is good to celebrate victory. The memory of our victory over a tyrant will not be erased from history,” one young man named Ayman Nasseri told Reuters. “We do not feel fear today. We forgot fear when we overthrew Ben Ali,” he said. “And while we are waiting to finally clean up the country of his ideas, let’s relax a little and celebrate a great victory which impressed the whole world.” Under the old regime, an event like that held at La Goulette would not have been possible. Under Ben Ali, politically activist singers, whether from Tunis or abroad, were discouraged.Events took place in closed venues surrounded by national flags and pictures of the former president and his wife, while singers were encouraged to include numbers that praised the modern development of Tunisia. Now, the culture ministry says: “Festivals after the revolution will give opportunities to artists who were marginalized previously.” —Reuters


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Father Christmas and Mrs Christmas pose for photographers with specially made Christmas-themed ice-cream at Harrods department store in central London yesterday, to mark the opening of the Christmas World 2011 department. —AFP

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Cambodia’s ‘orphan tourism’ sparks concern

ictures of hundreds of former volunteers line the walls of a muddy courtyard in Cambodia’s tourist hub of Siem Reap, their faces once familiar to the orphans playing there but now long gone. The colorful gallery at the Acodo orphanage illustrates a growing trend of holiday makers donating their time and skills to children in the impoverished country-but experts fear they could be doing more harm than good. Marissa Soroudi, a student in her 20s from New York, is one of the many volunteers teaching English at Acodo, near the famed temples of Angkor and home to more than 60 orphans between the ages of three and 18. The young American, who pays $50 a week to work at the orphanage, plans to stay for a few days before travelling on but she knows it is tough on the children to watch volunteers like her come and go. “There are so many people volunteering that it’s kind of like, one leaves and another swoops in,” she said. “They say better not to talk about it with them. Don’t say ‘I’m leaving in a week,’ don’t do any of that because then they get upset. Better to

just not come.” Short-term volunteers may have good intentions, but childcare experts say they are putting some of the most vulnerable children at risk. “Constant change of caregivers gives emotional loss to children, constant emotional loss to already traumatized children,” Jolanda van Westering, a child protection specialist at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) told AFP. “And the constant exposure to strangers poses risks of harm, of violence and abuse, because we know that oftentimes volunteers come to an orphanage without having their backgrounds checked.” As the gateway to the ancient temples of Angkor-which attract more than a million visitors a year-a steady stream of tourists passes through the sleepy riverside town. And many want to do more than just sightsee in one of the region’s poorest nations. ‘They want to do something’ On notice boards in hotels, cafes and souvenir shops, wide-eyed children stare from posters for

This photo taken on June 17, 2011 shows a female foreign tourist volunteer teacher teaching Cambodian students in a class at a community centre in Siem Reap province, some 300 kilometers northwest of Phnom Penh.

schools and orphanages, encouraging travelers to donate time and money for their particular cause. “Visitors see some poverty and they feel bad about it,” said Ashlee Chapman, a project manager with Globalteer, an organization that matches volunteers with local organizations. “They want to do something,” she adds, saying they might visit a children’s project for a few hours, donate money and toys, “take a holiday snap and feel that they’ve contributed.” As the so-called volunteer tourism sector flourishes, so too does the number of institutions housing children. In the past six years, the number of orphanages in Cambodia has almost doubled to 269, housing some 12,000 children, according to UNICEF. Friends International, a local organization that works with marginalized urban children and youths, says tourism has contributed to the increase. Visiting orphanages has become a tourist “attraction” in big cities like Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, said Marie Courcel, alternative care project manager at Friends International. That in turn

encourages the institutionalization of youngsters, many of whom are very poor but actually have at least one living parent, she said. Only one in 10 of the orphanages are funded by the state, the rest rely on charitable contributions to survive. At Siem Reap’s Acodo, huddled with the children in the shade of the only tree, Soroudi organizes the afternoon activity. Following her lead, the orphans make headpieces out of grass and add licks of paint to green and yellow conical hats, costumes they will wear in that evening’s traditional Khmer dance show. The daily half-hour event attracts a tourist crowd who thank the young performers with donations of money.

This photo taken on June 17, 2011 shows Cambodian students gathering to thank volunteer teachers at a community centre in Siem Reap province, some 300 kilometers northwest of Phnom Penh.


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FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

String of hits brings smile back to Bollywood

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ollywood has had a better start to the second half of 2011 after a tough first six months of empty cinemas and postponed releases caused by clashes with major cricket tournaments, analysts say. Long queues and “house full” signs have returned to cinemas in India’s entertainment capital Mumbai and across the country since the start of June for a string of films that have proved a hit with audiences. The upward trend started after the end of the back-to-back World Cup and Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournaments with the Salman Khan action comedy “Ready”. Since then, Sanjay Dutt’s slapstick “Double Dhamaal”, Aamir Khan’s comedy “Delhi Belly”, the thriller “Murder 2” and the Hrithik Roshan-Katrina Kaif road movie “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” (You Only Live Once) have all done well. The boxofficeindia.com website, which tracks industry takings, on Wednesday said that “Zindagi” had taken 443.2 million rupees ($9.9 million) since it opened on July 15, calling it a “hit”. “Murder 2” had taken 444.7 million rupees in under two weeks, deeming it a “blockbuster”, while “Delhi Belly” had returns of 540.3 million rupees in three weeks, classing it as a “super hit”. “Double Dhamaal” was assessed as “above average” with takings of 452.1 million rupees in four weeks, according to the site. “Singham”, a crime drama starring Ajay Devgn, has had rave reviews since it came out last week and is also expected

to do well.”We’ve never had it so good. We’ve never had four successes back to back,” said trade analyst Komal Nahta, referring to “Ready”, “Double Dhamaal”, “Murder 2” and “Zindagi”. “They were good films. There weren’t too many releases in March or April but thereafter ‘Ready’ worked and the other films worked,” Nahta, who writes for India’s biggest film trade journal, Film Information, told AFP. “When the World Cup and IPL were on there wasn’t much filmed entertainment, so there was a hunger for films and people rushed to the cinemas.” The Indian releases had been expected to suffer as they hit screens around the same time as the last installment of the Harry Potter series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” and the latest “Transformers” movie. The boxofficeindia.com site said that first-week takings for the English version of the final Potter movie were 102.6 million rupees and 61.4 million in Hindi, as of Wednesday. The English version of “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” had taken 125.3 million rupees and 49.6 million rupees in Hindi in three weeks, it added. The results were more positive news for the Indian film industry, which has seen overall revenues fall 20 percent in the past three years from $2.3 billion in 2008 to $1.85 billion in 2010.Domestic box office revenues still contribute 75 percent of an Indian film’s earnings, according to research by KPMG. —AFP

Gaza film-makers decry Hamas

censorship

“C

inema in Gaza is like writing on rocks with your fingers,” says Palestinian writer-director Sweilem Al-Absi. It’s not just the dearth of funds, equipment and studio facilities that prompts such laments from film-makers in the Gaza Strip. Four years into Islamist Hamas rule, cultural censors are fraying the already threadbare local movie industry. Locked in conflict with Israel and vying against secular Palestinian rivals in the occupied West Bank, Hamas has long invested in television- and Internet-based news, educational shows and even animated clips that advance its political views. But independent artists say Gaza’s Culture Ministry, where projects must be approved before public screening, is quick to crack down on content that does not conform to Hamas edicts. Such was the case with “Masho Matook” (“Something Sweet”), a 2010 short film directed by Khalil al-Muzzayen, which depicts the interaction between Israeli troops and soccer-playing Palestinian children in once-occupied Gaza. Though the video vignette was submitted to the Cannes Film Festival, Hamas banned its screening locally, citing a four-second scene where Israeli soldiers appreciatively eye a comely Palestinian woman who breezes past them, her hair uncovered. Culture Ministry director Mustafa al-Sawaf described the images as “out of context”. “She was leaning and laughing, looking at the Israeli soldiers, and that was not appropriate. Palestinian women would not do that,” said Sawaf, who described his ministry’s intervention in film and television productions as minimal. Much of the dispute stems from the fact that the film, set in the 1970s, shows a bare-headed woman-now a rare sight in Gaza, where Islamist mores have taken root. Denying reality While censorship is commonplace in conservative Arab and Muslim societies, some Palestinians see in Hamas’s version an over-zealousness born of its efforts to impose order on the poor territory penned in between Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean. “It was unjust to ban a movie just because of a scene showing a girl without a scarf. Why deny reality?” said 23-year-old filmmaker Ahmed Abu Naser, who, like his twin and artistic partner Mohammed, helped Muzzayen with Masho Matook. The brothers themselves cut unusual figures in Palestinian society, by wearing their hair long and smoking pipes. Gaza has no cinemas: three that existed before Israel withdrew soldiers and settlers in 2005 were torched during Palestinian factional clashes. Televisions, often with satellite feeds, are ubiquitous. But public screening venues are not. A film festival hosted by the Gaza Women’s Affairs Centre this month also fell foul of Hamas commissars. The line-up included documentaries and fictional pieces on women’s issues from Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia and Mexico. But all had to undergo the Culture Ministry’s “scissors,” said Absi. “What I saw would make me weep blood instead of tears,” he said. “Cuts, cuts, cuts.” One film had to shed a scene where a woman, speaking to her paramour from opposite balconies, lowered one shoulder of her dress. —Reuters

New biography portrays Mick Jagger as closet conservative

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ick Jagger, say it ain’t so. “BackStage Pass VIP,” a new Jagger biography being shopped around for a publisher, exposes the Rolling Stones lead singer as a closet conservative who brought his parents flowers during dinner visits and begged his ex-wife, Bianca, to wear a bra under her seethrough shirt during a surprise visit from

his mother. “Bianca refused, stormed out and Jagger was left to nervously fix a tray of tea and spread a bunch of pastries on a doily to cater to his mum,” writes Debra Sharon Davis. “It is the absolute opposite of everything the public thought they knew about Jagger.” Davis, who traveled with the Rolling Stones to Europe in the 1980s, interviewed

everyone from fans to culture commentators to Jagger’s bandmates. Her manuscript includes many never-before-heard stories of icons, from John Lennon to Janis Joplin. The book also exposes Jagger’s conservative subtleties, such as his affinity for eggs served soft boiled in a Wedgewood cup, “which Bianca always seemed to overcook.”


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Winehouse’s

‘Back to Black’ back on Billboard’s Top

Performer Justin Timberlake, right, and actress Mila Kunis pose for photographers after the premiere of “Friends with Benefits” in Moscow, Russia. —AP

Timberlake hits Moscow for

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my Winehouse’s music was said to be a big influence on Adele’s. And for at least one week, these two British neo-soul sisters get to share the top 10, as Winehouse reentered the Billboard album sales chart at No 9, while the indomitable Adele moved back up into the top position. Winehouse’s breakthrough “Back to Black” album, released in America in 2007, sold 37,000 copies for the sales period- virtually all of that between Saturday morning, when her death was announced, and Sunday night, when the SoundScan sales week closed. Her numbers could be as big or bigger on next week’s chart, which will reflect a full week’s worth of posthumous interest in the tragic star. Her far lesser known debut album, “Frank”-which was only issued in America after “Back to Black” became a smash-also reentered the chart, at No 57, after selling 7,600 copies over the weekend. According to Nielsen SoundScan, more than 95 percent of Winehouse’s album sales were digital downloads, which is not surprising, given how most music retailers shy away from carrying catalog nowadays and might have had one CD, at most, in stock. Things were a little less soulful in the No 2 position. The franchise that won’t die, Kidz Bop, had another strong bow for its latest volume of child-sung songs, which includes heavily bowdlerized versions of provocative hits like Britney Spears’ “Till the World Ends” and Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.” “Kidz Bop 20” entered in second place on sales of 69,000, a typical debut for the series. On the downswing, rock band 3 Doors Down entered two doors down from the top spot they’re accustomed to. “Time of My Life,” the group’s fifth album, sold an initial 60,000 copies — well under half the 154,000 units their previous effort debuted with three years ago (and an even farther sight away from the six-times-platinum status the outfit mined at their peak). Other debuting albums included DJ Khaled’s “We the Best Forever,” a personal best at 53,000 units, bowing at No 5; rock band 311’s “Universal Pulse,” in at No 7 with 46,000; and They Might Be Giants’ “Join Us,” which joined the Billboard 200 at No 32. All of last week’s top entries experienced at least a 60 percent decline, and only Blake Shelton’s held on well enough to stick around the top 10 at all. The “Voice” coach’s “Red River Blue” sold another 47,000 and dropped from the top position to No 6. With so little competition, Adele’s “21” climbed back to No 1 by selling 77,000. It was the album’s 11th non-consecutive week at the top, meaning it’s dominated all other albums in exactly half of the 22 weeks it’s been out. With a total of nearly 2.8 million copies, “21” continues to race far ahead of the pack in year-todate sales. The digital singles chart saw scant new action. The highest new entry was at No 26, for the Red Hot Chili. —AP

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‘Friends with Benefits’

ollywood star Justin Timberlake and Ukrainian-born Mila Kunis walked the red carpet on Tuesday evening to promote new film “Friends with Benefits”, the latest global stars to descend on the Russian capital. US filmmakers have discovered a rapidly emerging revenue source in Russia while the poor economy at home pulled ticket sales to 15-year lows. “Russia is not an emerging market, I think it has already emerged, it is a very

big market,” Will Gluck, the comedy’s director, told reporters on Wednesday. “We wanted to make a movie about our generation and we wanted to make it funny and I think our generation is selfdeprecating,” Timberlake said of the film. Asked if he would ever star in a Russian film, he replied: ”Only if it would take me across Russia”. In Gluck’s film, which has been translated into Russian as “Sex in Friendship,” Timberlake and Kunis play a couple of

friends who do not believe in true love, but decide to experiment and see if having sex would harm their friendship. The frivolous topic of the movie, Gluck says, is another reason to expect the movie’s success in Russia. “Everyone abroad, including Russia, likes watching movies about sex, because Russians have more sex than Americans do. And Americans don’t like talking about sex, but Russians do like talking about sex,” he said. —Reuters

S Africa’s iconic plucky pup ‘Jock’ goes 3D in film S

outh African literary classic “Jock of the Bushveld” has been turned into the country’s first 3D animation film and features the voices of global celebrities like Bryan Adams and Desmond Tutu. The film, which opens today in southern Africa, is based on the 1907 bestseller by Percy Fitzpatrick who details his true-life bush adventures during the 1880s gold rush with his pup Jock, who became a national icon. “Everyone loves dogs, it’s an inspiring story,” said director Duncan MacNeillie. The book traces Jock’s transformation from a sickly Staffordshire Bull Terrier pup to a brave companion in the wildlife-rich Eastern Transvaal, now called Mpumalanga. MacNeillie had brought Jock to the big screen with a 1986 movie that made a splash in South Africa but ignored everywhere else due to the cultural boycott of the prevailing apartheid regime. More than two decades later, he has resurrected the story as feature-length cartoon complete with musical score and 3D technology to capture the vibrant South African bush, and to appeal to children around the world. “It’s still based from the classic,” he said. “It’s from the dog’s point of view... There is a happy ending and good inspiration.” The film drew top names with the narrator “Fitz” voiced by Donald Sutherland, Oscar-winner Helen Hunt playing Jock’s mother, and South Africa’s “white Zulu” singer Johnny Clegg and English lyricist Tim Rice working on the music. Global peace icon Tutu voices a wise African “Tata”, which means “father” in South Africa, and his involvement led to Canadian rocker Adams’ signing up to play the browncoated, white-socked lead.”I went down to Cape Town to

Archbishop Desmond Tutu eats some popcorn at the Cape Town premiere of the first South African made 3D animated movie called “Jock of the Bushveld”, at its Cape Town. —AFP meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who has a small voice segment in the film,” said MacNeillie. “When I got there, there was Bryan Adams sitting in Tutu’s home having tea.” The film tells the story through the eyes of Jock, who remains a puppy through to the end, sparing him the book’s harshest knocks: he does not go hunting with his owner, does not lose his hearing after a kick from a kudu, and does not die at the end. Instead, a French girlfriend and a best friend rooster voiced by sitcom Cheers star Ted Danson have been added, and Jock’s escapades even involve an unlikely disco with dancing warthogs and baboons in an abandoned mine. —AFP


Lifestyle FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

California mulls microchip law on

pet shelter

adoptions

A visitor looks at the acryl painting ‘Universe/Final Fantasy’ by Japanese artist Yoshitaka Amano during a preview of the exhibition ‘Anime! High Art - Pop Culture’ at the Bundeskunsthalle museum in Bonn, western Germany, yesterday. From today to January 8, 2012, the museum presents the exhibition on the art of anime, Japanese animated cartoons. — AFP

Which superhero power would you

like most of all? File photo, Jacob Miller scans a cat for a microchip at the East Valley Animal Shelter in the Van Nuys section of Los Angeles. —AP

W

hen Gabriela Dorame of Fullerton, Calif, got a German shepherd puppy named Bolto last year, she and her kids decided to have a microchip implanted in the dog with an identification number that makes it easy to reunite lost pets with owners. It paid off a day later when the rambunctious puppy bolted through an open door. Animal control officers found the dog, scanned him and knew immediately where he belonged, Dorame said. In addition to avoiding the heartbreak of lost pets, some lawmakers believe that microchips can save money by cutting costs at shelters where lost cats and dogs are cared for and sometimes euthanized. California lawmakers will vote later this summer on a bill requiring microchips in every dog or cat adopted or claimed from a shelter. If passed, the measure, introduced by state Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, would be the first of its kind enacted in the US, according to Sharon Curtis Granskog, spokeswoman for the American Veterinary Medical Association. “A few states require shelters to scan but do not require them to actually microchip,” Granskog said. “New York has introduced a bill every year, including this year, that would make microchipping dogs mandatory.” But the efforts so far have failed. California taxpayers pay about $300 million every year to impound 1 million dogs and cats, house them and euthanize half of them, according to the Cities and Counties Annual Reports submitted to the state controller. Thirteen percent of lost pets entering shelters in California are reunited with owners, Lieu said, but studies show that number could grow to 75 percent with chips. Dr Linda K Lord, associate dean for student affairs at Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, studied 53 shelters in 23 states between August 2007 and March 2008. Co-authors included another veterinarian, a humane society representative and a consultant to a Canadian pharmaceutical company, which was also parent to a microchip manufacturer. They found shelters located owners of microchipped pets in three out of four cases. When owners couldn’t be found, it was because of incorrect or outdated contact information in the chipmaker’s registration database, Lord said. It is up to pet owners to register chips and keep the contact information updated. Costs for a chip and registration run $15 to $75. —AP

O

f all the powers of all the superheros in all the world, film fans think the most impressive is the quick healing ability of Wolverine, according to a poll. Wolverine’s power, which allows him to recover from almost any injury or disease, came top with 22 percent of the vote, followed by the telepathic powers of Professor X, another X-Men character, at 21 percent. Superman’s ability to fly was third while Spiderman fell from hero to zero in the poll, with only three percent of respondents believing web-spinning skills to be worthy of the ultimate superhero. The survey, carried out by the European film rental service Lovefilm, questioned 3,000 members about special powers that would make the ultimate superhero. “Having worked with comic books for most of my career and naturally being a huge fan of superhero films, a few of the results really surprised me,” said comic artist Jack Lawrence. Of course we all wish we had the claws of Wolverine or cruised along in the Batmobile, but I really expected Superman and Spiderman’s powers to feature higher up the list.”

The top 10 powers were: 1. Accelerated healing - Wolverine, X-Men (22 percent) 2. Telepathic/psionic powers - Professor X, X-Men (21 percent) 3. Power of flight - Superman, Superman (15 percent) 4. Super-strength - The Hulk, The Hulk (11 percent) 5. Invisibility - Sue Storm, Fantastic Four (8 percent) 6 (joint). Weather control - Storm, X-Men (7 percent) and Flame-on! - The Human Torch, Fantastic Four (7 percent) 8. Supersenses - Daredevil, Daredevil (4 percent) 9. Web-slinging - Spiderman, Spiderman (3 percent) 10. Super-speed - Dash, The Incredibles (2 percent)—Reuters

‘World’s best restaurant’ El Bulli set to close

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lBulli, the beachside Spanish restaurant repeatedly crowned the world’s best, will close tomorrow after pushing the boundaries of cuisine for more than two decades under chef Ferran Adria. The remote eatery in Cala Montjoi, some two hours north of Barcelona, will re-open in 2014 as a nonprofit culinary think tank that will investigate new cooking techniques and develop new flavors. The elBulli foundation plans to grant between 20 and 25 scholarships annually for chefs to spend a year working with elBulli’s core staff. It

will share its ideas and findings on the Internet. Adria, whose radical innovations since he became the head chef at elBulli in 1987 include foie grass noodles and potato foam, says he is dispensing with the Michelin three-star restaurant to spend more time being creative. ”elBulli is not closing, it is transforming itself, because its soul is going to remain,” he told a group of students in Valencia earlier this month. Under Adria, the eatery, known as El Bulli until 2008, has never been a commercial restaurant in the strictest sense.

Shortly after becoming head chef, Adria decided to open the restaurant for just half the year to give staff to develop his trailblazing approach to cooking, which uses hi-tech methods to “deconstruct” and rebuild ingredients in surprising ways. In 2001, just as El Bulli was becoming well known, he decided to close the eatery for lunch to give staff even more time to be creative in the kitchen. The 50seat restaurant fields more than two million requests a year for its roughly 8,000 sittings, with tables mostly allotted by form of lottery. —AFP


Stars

FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

Aries (March 21-April 19) This is a period of great mental activity and heightened communication with others. You communicate with consummate skill and it is stimulating just being with you. Your high degree of mental concentration makes you an excellent student, able to excel in speaking, writing and all types of communication technology. You could, however, become distracted if you allow others to take your vision away from your goals just now. Your ambitions go hand-in-hand with communication and using the mind and the two should never be far apart. You are your own vocation and you are at your best just being yourself. Your optimum job most times is just being you. Your friends might find you in front of the public—politics, entertainment, sales, etc.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) You may spend a great deal of time on the computer today. Research takes many avenues. Financial savvy is a quality that takes on greater importance in your life now. A knack for knowing how to put people, ideas and things together could be quite profitable for you. You hold your ideals up for all to follow and may be drawn to spiritual authorities, teachers and older persons. All that is mystical is your appointed territory. You feel at home in these spiritual realms. You work well with those in authority who are original. You could find yourself engaged in nonconformist causes, ready to promote what is innovative. You like radical approaches and may find yourself in support of whatever breakthrough advance is next.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) Concentration on work is always important, the plans you have made today will make the day go smoothly; you are appreciated for the way you take your co-workers into consideration. You concentrate on keeping a balance in all your affairs now. Home life has the potential to be exciting in a fun sort of way this afternoon. There are always needs for repairs and the duty of family and the refurbishment of the mind and spirit but this afternoon many of those family activity get together can be met in several ways. A community pool, a tourist attraction, a concert, or just a watermelon-spitting contest can be the source of bringing people together in an impromptu fashion. If you host, your rule for all is to embrace the day, not the emotions.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) There is a lot of energy available for whatever you decide you want or need to accomplish today. The word accomplish is used because that is your attitude and disciplined work is available. The training time is over and now is the time to follow through with your own abilities; trust. If you are working a rush job and have trouble getting help, the promise and order for cold drinks and pizza or fried chicken may get several people added to your team to finish the work quickly. After the work, the cold drinks and pizza or fried chicken will follow. Fun conversations and enjoyable times begin where people worked together for the greater good. It is very important to remember that if somebody needs you on their teem you volunteer; its is all teamwork.

Leo (July 23-August 22) You find yourself fighting to realize your goals—some long term—are within reach today. It may be difficult to let yourself dream as attention to some project is necessary. Patience may be uppermost important today. Solving dilemmas may call for some self-talk. You do not seem to trust your own idealizations, and you may struggle between your sense of ideals and your more realistic ambitions. Your practical concerns with getting ahead and fulfilling your ambitions tend to ignore your more deep-rooted ideals and dreams. Your interest in relationships, romantic and otherwise, is strong this evening. Careful—do not lose yourself in the social world and neglect your own development—be it creative, spiritual, family, etc. Are you keeping a dream diary?

Virgo (August 23-September 22) It is natural for you to put your practical abilities to work today; even if you are not asked to do so. Your keen organizational skills and clear insight into how things work make you an asset to those around you. Some difficulty in finding an item and forgetting an appointment is not in your line-up but may be with someone you know. Easy-does-it; let them stew a bit, they will learn and you can be helpful soon enough. Supervision and taking charge may fill your afternoon. There may be a party or an occasion to help care for children later today. Never-fear, this is an easy type of afternoon where the young people around you just want to be with you; perhaps you could make a few cookies. This evening you may enjoy the company of your eccentric friends.

Libra (September 23-October 22) You can really get your thoughts and ideas across to others this day. You enjoy deliberation and have a very methodical mind. You will continue to work at developing good, sound logic. You may enjoy arguments that go somewhere—productive and insightful. You would make a good student if you decided to complete or further your education. A fertile thinker, you are slow and steady but always down to earth. You are careful and considerate. Broadening your intellectual and spiritual horizons takes on a high priority now. Classes on all sorts of interests are opening up all around you—take a look. Being in touch with ideas and people on a grand scale keeps your mind busy. Travel and further education can help bring your dreams into focus.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Guilt has you up early this morning and the guilt is all in your head. If you need to accomplish a self-appointed list in order to lead a more orderly life, choose a more orderly life but take small steps to change the difficult life-patterns into which you have become temporarily comfortable. This is a very good time to communicate your goals and put them into words—a good time for support and personal decisions. You have emotional support and a sense of security from your friends and loved ones; they are pleased with your progress! There will soon be an urge to break with outmoded patterns from the past—one step at a time. Friends, family and plain old positive circumstances offer opportunities for relaxation tonight.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) New energies will boost your morale this morning. You are feeling good and your attitude is much more positive than in the past. Your mind is quick and you have insight and you work at becoming aware of the truth in world affairs and state, city or community changes. Politics may be an option for you at this time however, you may want to back a candidate instead of run for office; more than likely you just want to be in the know. Knowing different viewpoints on hot political topics helps you to see the options that will be future oriented. You are very gifted, having great magnetism and warmth and also a keen and powerful mind. You can do anything you want to do in this life when you stay willing. Others learn from your enthusiasm.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) This could be a time of change. You may be playing the waiting game and find yourself waiting for a big event or approval of a loan or a job acceptance. You will be pleased with the end result and if you are not working today, it would be good to fill your heart and soul with beautiful things. If you can volunteer to baby sit or dog sit for a friend, you will be kept so busy, you will forget about how some event is going to end. It is good to be around the young mind and the sponge-like ability they have to take in all they see and hear. A temporary setting, whether it is your own choice or not, can teach you many things, so be patient and let this short time be of benefit to you and the young. With your sense of duty, this side track will pass quickly.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Authorities and red tape may stand between you and your goals. Bide your time . . . you are professional enough to know—interruptions or slow-downs happen. You always seem ready to move forward with the next project, whether you are in a place of business, have your own business, attend school or you are raising a family. Patience with others and yourself could be in order now. You will find that your mind and thoughts are very intense. There could be a lot of pressure to make decisions today but if you just trust in yourself and your own experience and knowledge, you will do well. This is a good time to learn the art of meditation. Some good news on the home front is on the way. Relax tonight.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) Intriguing and stimulating conversations at coffee breaks do much to bring people together. A sense of nostalgia and domesticity begins, emphasizing a need for security and a sense of roots. Family, home, relatives and real estate may play on your mind. You may find good areas of the city in which to live or the best transportation system in your city. This evening you will benefit from quiet communication between you and a loved one. It is time to plan the future! It is natural to want to belong on a private, intimate, personal level; to be needed and to feel that it is okay to have needs. You may be moved to appreciate and discover the beauty in your life and in those around you. At the same time, everything could take on added value and importance.

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

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


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Leisure activities Kuwait Zoo The Kuwait Zoo is located in Omariya on the Airport Road. It is open everyday except on Saturdays. The timings during winter are 8am to 8pm. For more information contact: 24733389.

Announcements

is open from Saturdays to Thursdays from 9am to 10.30pm and on Fridays from 2pm to 10.30pm. For more information contact: 22240025 or visit their website at: www.tsck.org.kw. Art galleries and artifacts

Amusements Parks Aqua Park Aqua Park will be open from 1st April 2011 from 10am10pm everyday. For information contact: 22431960/1/3 or visit: www.aquaparkkuwait.com. Entertainment City Entertainment City is open from Sunday to Wednesday from 3pm to 11pm during winter. It is also open on Thursdays and Fridays from 10am to 10pm. For more information contact: 24879455. The Scientific Centre Scientific Centre is located on the Gulf road in Salmiya. It

a)Sultan Art Gallery The Sultan art gallery is located on Street no: 105, building no: 168, Subhan, Kuwait city. b)Boshehri Gallery Boshehri Gallery is located on the Al-Mobarak street, Salmiya, Kuwait. For more information on their collection please contact: 25714883/25724883. c)Tariq Rajab Museum This museum is open from Saturdays to Thursdays at 9am to 12pm and 4pm to 7pm. On Fridays it is open from 9am to 12pm. For more information on their location etc contact: 25317358 or visit their website: www.trmkt.com.

Summer Activities KAYAKING Kuwait Surf-Ski Kayak Club 99706742 Sea kayaking is one of the fastest growing water sports in the world today. Call if you are interested in purchasing a kayak, getting involved in the sport. MOTOR SPORTS Kuwait Motor Bike League / The Amateur Car & Motorbike Association Motorbike track (for trail/dirt bikes) and rally car-racing centre located behind the Science Club on the northern side of the 6th Ring Road (between roads 401 and 50). Car and bike races held on Fridays. Use of facilities and participation in competitions limited to members only. office on 3td Ring Road, near Road 50. NETBALL Kuwait Netball Meet Monday for mixed games 6:30 -7:30 and Tuesday for Woman only check the website for more info. www.kuwaitnetball.com RUGBY Kuwait Nomads The rugby season in Kuwait runs from September to May. Mens, ladies and minis rugby are played and the teams frequently travel to participate in AGRFU tournaments. Any interested child between the ages of 5-17 can participate in the Minis rugby. Training is held every Friday between 9am-llam on the grassed pitch at the Yarmouk stadium. The men’s and ladies teams have the pleasure of training and playing on the KOC sand pitch in Ahmadi, the home of the Kuwait Nomads. Training nights are Sundays and Tuesdays from 7pm-9pm. Inter-Gulf matches are played on Thursdays or Fridays. www.p8nompds.com RUNNING For anyone who likes walking, jogging or cycling in Kuwait there is a very good track around the area of Mishref.

Attention kids! CEF VBS 11 starting from August 22nd 2011. Six exciting days of singing, games & bible stories for children of all ages. Hurry !!!. Limited Seats. Register Online: www.cefkuwait.org Tulukoota talent hunt Tulukoota Kuwait will hold a “Talent Hunt 2011” a chance to prove an inborn trait in you that confirms your individuality, uniqueness. So step forward to grab this opportunity to show your caliber and entertain. Dance, music, art or any special talent- now is your chance to showcase it - and be part of this year’s Talent Hunt & Tulu Parba. Talent Hunt event is open to all Tuluvas. For more information and registration form kindly log on to our Website: www.tulukootakuwait.org or visit our facebook page - Tulukoota Kuwait Talent Hunt 2011. You could also email your form request to: secretary@tulukootakuwait.org or contact our area coordinators mentioned below. Mangaf, Fahaheel, Abuhalifa : Ronald Dsouza- 60035824, Shalini Alva23726164, Suma Bhatt- 97834578 Salmiya & Hawally: Swarna Shetty- 99006934, Kripa Gatty- 66044194 Kuwait City, Jahra, Sharq : Rekha Sachu- 65044521,97862115 Farwaniya, Abbassiya, Shuwaikh & Khaitan: Sathyanarayana- 66585077 Sanath Shetty- 67712409. Pathanamthitta’s Onam The executive committee of Pathanamthitta District Association has decided to hold 2011 Onam Festival celebrations on Friday October 28, 2011 with a grand public function attended by Member of Parliament from Pathanamthitta Loksabha Constituency, Anto Antony and other prominent dignitaries from Kerala and Kuwait. All residents of Pathanamthitta District and persons of Pathanamthitta District origin are hereby invited to attend this function and friends and families.

The track is 4.9km long and is marked out in distances of 100m. There are also a number of outdoor exercise machines located near the start and the end of the track. Please note, however, that the track is more of a horseshoe shape rather than a complete circuit as there is a gap of at least a mile between the start and finish. Decide how far you want to walk, walk half the distance and then turn back. There are roads to cross so take care if you have young children with you. Despite all of this, it’s still very worthwhile going along and trying it out. HASH HARRIERS 23982219 Social jogging on Thursday and Saturday evenings. Hash Harriers has been operating around the world since 1938. Hash is for a mixture of abilities from walkers to experienced runners. It is social rather than athletic. Length of course depends on time of year. Contact Gerry Burton on the above number or on 99764028. www.hasher.net SAILING The Arabian Gulf waters are an ideal environment in which to learn to sail. Offshore the seas are seldom rough and there is often a moderate breeze. Many of the sea clubs organize sailing activities.

CATAMARAN SAILING 66587737 Dive Caroline Beach Fafaheel The Kuwait Catamaran Club is a group of enthusiasts who love sailing on fast cats in the Arabian Gulf’s waters around Kuwait. Usually an informal group sail on Friday afternoons. Boats are privately owned but visitors are very welcome and can be taken out as crew. Boats for hire, a Dart 18 and Hobie 16. Contact John Morley johnmorley@hotmail.com Fahaheel Sailing Club (see Dive Caroline) 2371 9289 www.horn3.com KOSA 23983365 99745383 The Kuwait Offshore Sailing Association (KOSA) meets on the first Tuesday of each month (except July and August) at the Dive Caroline clubhouse, which is located at the Fahaheel Sea Club. Fortnightly racing plus International events in Bahrain and Dubai. Boats often require crew and will take you if you turn up! Catamaran racing is arranged after KOSA morning races, followed by a sunset barbecue on the beach. An Annual Regatta, usually during April, is also organised. www.kospg8.com

Art salon Bouhshari Art Gallery Exhibition runs through 15 September. Daily working hours: 10am - 1pm and 5 9pm, except on Friday and on Thursday evening. Indian bowling league Indian Bowling League Season 2 would like to invite you and your families to participate in an Indian bowling event where all nationalities, the young and the old can have fun playing an enjoyable game while meeting new people in a healthy competition from July 12th August 15th For more details contact: Uly 99503348, Amaldo 66052062, and Nasha 99516960. If anyone is looking to assist them in this event with sponsors, they will be really obliged to have your help to make this event a success. Registrations are open. Rink soccer Don Bosco Oratory is pleased to announce its Major 4A-Side “Rink Soccer Fiesta” in Kuwait! This event is for the soccer lovers in Kuwait and will be played on a League (round robin) cum knock out basis from August 2nd at the IEAS Quadrangle in Salmiya. Last date to register for participation is on July 28th. Draws will be announced on the July 30th. For details contact Chris: 6651-9627, Alex: 66069282 from 6-9pm. Konkani musical show Comedian Philip, the 1st NRI Goan comedian, is all set to entertain you with a Konkani music show titled “Ani, Anik Zaiem?” to be presented by the United Friends Club on September 9 at 4pm at the AIS (American International School) Auditorium, Maidan-Hawalli. This is Kuwait-based comedian Philip’s third musical show after the overwhelming success of staging “Tum Vhoir Aum Sokol” and “Hem Kazar Koslem” in Kuwait and overseas.


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Embassy Information EMBASSY OF AUSTRALIA The Embassy encourages all Australians to register their presence in Kuwait through Smartraveller Online (see link below). Australians who are registered are asked to update their details. The information provided will assist us in contacting you in an emergency. www.smartraveller.gov.au Kuwait citizens can apply for and receive visit visas to Australia online at www.immi.gov.au. This usually takes two working days. All others visa applications are handled by the Australian Visa Application Centre Tel. 22971110. Witnessing and certifying documents are by appointment only, please contact the Embassy on 2232 2422. The Australian Embassy is open from 8.00am to 4.00pm, Sunday to Thursday. nnnnnnn

Experience Ramadan at Radisson Blu Hotel

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his Ramadan, experience true Arabian hospitality on the world’s largest wooden dhow. Starting August 1st, the Al Hashemi II with its gold leaf interior will be the most stylish place to be. Come impress your clients and colleagues with this record breaking landmark and take advantage of our fantastic group offers. Packages start at KD11.500 per person - the choices are numerous. What’s more, your family and friends will love our Indian restaurant, with its many colors and flavors... and is nestled around our wooden dhow! Iftar nights will be nights to remember thanks to the Rangoli restaurant. Arabic delicacies as well as international flavors will be awaiting you from sunset on. Adults: KD11.000 and Children: KD5.500. Special offers are available for groups. Plus, we have perfect gifts for your clients and colleagues. Ramadan is the

time of giving so do not forget to ask about our Company Gift Vouchers. We know how it’s done. After 27 years of professional service and of loyal support from both our local and expatriate friends, we sure know how to pamper during this Festive time of the year. We offer Outside Catering for events of all sizes, no matter how big or small and invite you to select your favorite courses amongst our rich and varied menu to put together a unique feast delectable to your taste. Moreover, Functions will never be easier to plan! But we will make sure that each requirement will be fulfilled with our fully catered Ramadan offers including welcome drinks, coffee break and Ramadan buffet. The Radisson Blu Hotel Kuwait is located on Al Bida’a road (Gulf road), in Salwa. For further information and reservations, please call us on +965 2567 3000.

Adopt a pet I am Gary, a 9 month old mischievous and playful, bright, male domestic short-haired cat. After my time here at PAWS I am well socialised with people and other cats and am fully vaccinated. I am in fact all ready for my new home! Now all I need is you!! To adopt Gary, learn more about PAWS or make a donation please visit us at www.pawskuwait.org Protecting Animal Welfare Society At PAWS we work tirelessly to provide much needed care for entirely animals throughout Kuwait. PAWS relies upon donations and needs your help. Donate now.

Burti is a poodle cross. He is a very friendly little guy. He gets on very well with all of the dogs at the shelter and is a favorite among the volunteers. Burti would make a great family pet with his playful and affectionate nature. To adopt Burti, learn more about PAWS or make a donation please visit us at www.pawskuwait.org Protecting Animal Welfare Society At PAWS we work tirelessly to provide much needed care for entirely animals throughout Kuwait. PAWS relies upon donations and needs your help. Donate now.

Chess and scrabble clinic

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

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he Beta Sigma Fraternity and Sigma Beta Sorority Global Alumni Association in Kuwait (BSF-SBS-GAAK) launched a chess and scrabble clinic for the distressed overseas Filipino workers at the Filipino Workers Resource Center (FWRC) at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO). Beta Sigma Grand Princep Henry Jaramillo (CLSU 92A) formally opened the event under the auspices of the Philippine Labor Attache David Des Dicang. The chess and scrabble clinic is scheduled every Friday till the holy month of Ramadan, which will be followed by a tournament. Tournament grand winners will be awarded with scholarship grants for their kids or relatives. The Beta Sigma Fraternity (Brotherhood of Scholars) is the first post war fraternity established on July 14, 1946 at the University of the Philippines and has later on, branched out in various universities across the country and the world.

EMBASSY OF BRITAIN The Visa Application Centre (VAC) will be closed on the same dates above. The opening hours of the Visa Application Centre are 0930 - 1630 Application forms remain available online from the UKBAs’ website: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk or from the Visa Application Centre’s website: www.vfs-uk-kw.com. And also, from the UK Visa Application Centre located at: 4B, First Floor, Al Banwan Building (Burgan Bank Branch Office Building), Al Qibla area, opposite Central Bank of Kuwait, Kuwait City. For any further inquiries, please contact the Visa Application Centre: Website: www.vfs-uk-kw.com E-mail:info@vfs-uk-kw.com Telephone:22971170. The Consular Section will also be closed on the same dates. For information on the British Embassy services, visit the British Embassy website: www.ukinkuwait.fco.gov.uk nnnnnnn

EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, Al-Mutawakel St., Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at www.Kuwait.gc.ca. Canada offers a registration service for all Canadians travelling or living abroad. This service is provided so that Consular Officials can contact and assist Canadians in an emergency in a foreign country, such as a natural disaster or civil unrest, or inform Canadians of a family emergency at home. The Embassy of Canada encourages all Canadian Citizens to register online through the Government of Canada Travel Website at www.voyage.gc.ca. The Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi provides visa and immigration services to residents of Kuwait. Individuals who are interested in visiting, working or immigrating to Canada are invited to visit the website of the Canadian Embassy to the UAE at www.UAE.gc.ca. Effective January 15, 2011, the only Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) application form that will be accepted by CIC is the Application for Temporary Resident Visa Made Outside of Canada [IMM 5257] form. All previous Temporary Resident Visa application forms will no longer be accepted by CIC and instead will be returned to applicants. Should old applications be submitted prior to January 15, 2011 they will continue to be processed. To ensure that the most recent version of the Temporary Resident Visa application form is being utilized, applicants should refer to the CIC website. As of January 15, 2011, forms are to be filled in electronically. The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00 on Sunday through Wednesday. The forms are available on the internet at: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/kits/forms/IMM52 57E.PDF. A guide explaining the process can be found here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/kits/guides/5256E. PDF.


TV Listings FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

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

Dogs 101 Untamed & Uncut Escape to Chimp Eden Chris Humfrey’s Wildlife Seven Deadly Strikes Animal Cops Houston Dogs/Cats/Pets 101 Meerkat Manor The Really Wild Show Crocodile Hunter Breed All About It Must Love Cats Dogs 101 Michaela’s Animal Road Trip Meerkat Manor Wildlife SOS Clinically Wild: Alaska Animal Cops Houston Animal Precinct SSPCA: On the Wildside The Really Wild Show Animal Planet’s Most Outrageous Trophy Cats Breed All About It Orangutan Island Crocodile Hunter Dogs 101 Last Chance Highway Whale Wars Up Close and Dangerous Speed of Life

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2 Point 4 Children The Weakest Link Casualty Born And Bred Eastenders Doctors 2 Point 4 Children Tweenies Balamory Tikkabilla Charlie And Lola Tweenies Balamory Tikkabilla Tweenies Balamory Tikkabilla Charlie And Lola Tweenies Balamory Tikkabilla Charlie And Lola 2 Point 4 Children The Weakest Link Ray Mears Goes Walkabout Doctors Eastenders Casualty 2 Point 4 Children Ray Mears Goes Walkabout The Weakest Link Doctors Eastenders Casualty Ray Mears Goes Walkabout The Weakest Link Doctors Robin Hood Paradox The Cup Ideal

00:10 The Naked Chef 00:35 Come Dine With Me 01:25 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 01:50 New Scandinavian Cooking 02:20 Masterchef Australia 03:30 The Naked Chef 03:55 Britain’s Dream Homes 04:50 Daily Cooks Challenge 07:10 Glamour Puds 07:35 Glamour Puds 08:00 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 08:25 New Scandinavian Cooking 08:50 Antiques Roadshow 09:40 The Naked Chef 10:35 Ching’s Kitchen 11:20 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 11:50 New Scandinavian Cooking 12:15 Antiques Roadshow 13:05 Cash In The Attic 13:50 Bargain Hunt 14:35 Come Dine With Me 15:25 The Naked Chef 16:20 Ching’s Kitchen 17:10 Rhodes Across India

THE KARATE KID ON OSN CINEMA 18:00 18:50 19:40 20:25 21:10 22:00 23:00 23:45

00:00 00:30 00:45 01:00 01:30 01:45 02:00 02:30 02:45 03:00 03:30 03:45 04:00 04:30 04:45 05:00 05:30 05:45 06:00 06:30 07:00 07:30 07:45 08:30 08:45 09:30 09:45 10:00 10:30 10:45 11:00

New Scandinavian Cooking Antiques Roadshow Cash In The Attic Bargain Hunt Come Dine With Me Britain’s Dream Homes Masterchef Australia The Naked Chef

BBC World News World Business Report Sport Today BBC World News America Asia Business Report Sport Today BBC World News Asia Business Report Sport Today Newsday Asia Business Report Sport Today Newsday Asia Business Report Sport Today Newsday Asia Business Report Sport Today Newsday Peschardt’s People BBC World News World Business Report BBC World News World Business Report BBC World News World Business Report Sport Today BBC World News World Business Report Sport Today BBC World News

11:30 Peschardt’s People 12:00 BBC World News 12:30 World Business Report 12:45 Sport Today 13:00 BBC World News 13:30 World Business Report 13:45 Sport Today 14:00 GMT With George Alagiah 15:00 BBC World News 15:30 World Business Report 15:45 Sport Today 16:00 Impact 16:30 Our World 17:00 Impact 17:30 World Business Report 17:45 Sport Today 18:00 World Have Your Say 19:00 The Hub With Nik Gowing 19:30 BBC World News 19:40 Weekend World 20:00 The Hub With Nik Gowing 20:30 World Business Report 20:45 Sport Today 21:00 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 21:30 World Have Your Say Extra 21:40 Weekend World 22:00 BBC World News 22:30 Middle East Business Report 23:00 BBC World News America 23:30 Peschardt’s People

00:05 00:30 00:55 Mandy 01:20 01:45 02:10 02:35 03:00

Cow And Chicken Cramp Twins The Grim Adventures Of Billy And Courage The Cowardly Dog Eliot Kid Ed, Edd n Eddy Ben 10: Alien Force The Powerpuff Girls

03:15 Chowder 03:40 The Secret Saturdays 04:05 Samurai Jack 04:30 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 04:55 Best Ed 05:20 Skunk Fu! 05:45 Cramp Twins 06:10 Eliot Kid 06:35 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 07:00 Codename: Kids Next Door 07:25 Cow And Chicken 07:50 Angelo Rules 08:05 Cartoon Network Dance Club 08:15 Adventure Time 08:40 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 10:00 Batman: The Brave And The Bold 10:55 Ben 10 11:45 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 12:35 Samurai Jack 13:25 Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes 14:15 Robotboy 15:05 The Secret Saturdays 15:50 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 16:35 Bakugan: New Vestroia 17:15 Ben 10: Ultimate Alien 18:05 Hero 108 18:30 Cartoon Network Dance Club 18:45 The Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack 18:55 Chowder 19:20 Adventure Time 19:45 The Grim Adventures Of Billy And Mandy 20:10 Courage The Cowardly Dog 20:35 Cow And Chicken 21:00 Best Ed 21:25 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends 21:50 Robotboy 22:00 Adventure Time 22:25 Hero 108 22:50 Ben 10 23:15 Bakugan Battle Brawlers 23:40 Chowder

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

Backstory World Sport The Situation Room World Report World Business Today Piers Morgan Tonight Anderson Cooper 360 World Sport The Boss World Report Backstory World Report World Sport The Best Of Backstory World Business Today CNN Marketplace Middle East World One World Sport The Best Of Backstory Piers Morgan Tonight News Stream World Business Today International Desk The Brief World Sport World Report CNN Marketplace Middle East International Desk Talk Asia Quest Means Business CNN Marketplace Africa Piers Morgan Tonight Connect The World

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

Dirty Jobs Miami Ink Ultimate Survival Twist The Throttle Mythbusters How It’s Made How Does It Work? Dirty Jobs Twist The Throttle Street Customs Berlin How It’s Made Mythbusters Cake Boss Border Security Auction Kings Track Me If You Can Sons Of Guns Sons Of Guns Ultimate Survival Miami Ink Dirty Jobs Wheeler Dealers Mythbusters Survivorman Cake Boss Border Security Auction Kings How Does It Work? How It’s Made American Chopper: Senior vs

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

Weird Or What? Mighty Ships Prototype This Bang Goes The Theory Junkyard Mega-Wars How Does That Work? Mighty Ships One Step Beyond Ecopolis Junkyard Mega-Wars How The Universe Works The Gadget Show Brainiac Weird Connections Brainiac Cosmic Collisions Sci-Fi Science The Gadget Show The Tech Show 2012 Apocalypse Junkyard Mega-Wars The Gadget Show The Tech Show 2012 Apocalypse The Gadget Show

00:00 00:50 01:15 02:00 02:50

Kim Possible Fairly Odd Parents Stitch Replacements Emperors New School

Sea City: Building The Impossible Ultimate Car Build-Off Survivorman

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Emperors New School Stitch Stitch Replacements Fairly Odd Parents Emperors New School The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody Phineas & Ferb Wizards Of Waverly Place Suite Life On Deck Good Luck Charlie Fish Hooks Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Jake & The Neverland Pirates Jungle Junction Handy Manny Jake & The Neverland Pirates Sonny With A Chance Yr 2 Hannah Montana Phineas And Ferb Shake It Up Good Luck Charlie Suite Life On Deck Sonny With A Chance Yr 2 Wizards Of Waverly Place Hannah Montana Forever Phineas & Ferb The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody Fish Hooks Good Luck Charlie Wizards Of Waverly Place The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody Fish Hooks Shake It Up Wizards Of Waverly Place Hannah Montana Fish Hooks Hannah Montana Wizards Of Waverly Place Sonny With A Chance Yr 2 Cheetah Girls 2 (Cema) Sonny With A Chance Yr 2 Good Luck Charlie Shake It Up Hannah Montana Sonny With A Chance Yr 2 Wizards Of Waverly Place Jonas

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

Kid Vs Kat Kick Buttowski Pokemon Dp: Sinnoh League

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Kendra Extreme Close-Up E!es THS 25 Most Stylish Sexiest Extreme Hollywood 40 Smokin’ On Set Hookups Behind The Scenes E! News The Dance Scene 40 (More) Crimes Of Fashion E! News Kendra Kourtney And Kim Take New York THS Behind The Scenes Khloe And Lamar E! News THS Kourtney And Kim Take New York Chelsea Lately Kendra

Phineas & Ferb Kick Buttowski American Dragon Zeke & Luther I’m In The Band The Super Hero Squad Show Suite Life On Deck Pair Of Kings Phineas & Ferb Kid Vs Kat The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody Zeke & Luther Kick Buttowski Pokemon Dp: Sinnoh League I’m In The Band Suite Life On Deck Zeke & Luther Phineas & Ferb Escape From Scorpion Island Kick Buttowski American Dragon Aaron Stone Kid Vs Kat I’m In The Band The Avengers: Earths Mightiest Zeke & Luther The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody The Super Hero Squad Show


TV Listings FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

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

Kendra E! News Chelsea Lately Kourtney And Khloe Take Miami

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

Ghost Lab A Haunting True Crime With Aphrodite Jones Most Evil Dr G: Medical Examiner Amsterdam Vice Ghost Lab Mystery Diagnosis Murder Shift Forensic Detectives Street Patrol Real Emergency Calls Mystery Diagnosis Undercover FBI Files On The Case With Paula Zahn I Was Murdered I Was Murdered Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol Real Emergency Calls Undercover FBI Files Forensic Detectives Murder Shift Real Emergency Calls Mystery Diagnosis Street Patrol On The Case With Paula Zahn I Was Murdered I Was Murdered Serial Killers True Crime With Aphrodite Jones Dr G: Medical Examiner

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I, Predator Frogs: The Thin Green Line World’s Deadliest Animals Caught In The Act Hooked Built For The Kill Predator CSI How Big Can It Get The Living Edens California’s Wild Coast World’s Deadliest Animals Caught In The Act Hooked Crocs Of Katuma Living With Big Cats The Living Edens Warzone Gone Wild Built For The Kill Caught In The Act Hooked Living With Big Cats The Living Edens Warzone Gone Wild Built For The Kill Caught In The Act

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

Yes Dear The Tonight Show With Jay Leno Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne Seinfeld Coach Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Yes Dear Just Shoot Me Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne Community Happy Endings Seinfeld Coach The Tonight Show With Jay Leno Yes Dear Just Shoot Me Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne Seinfeld Community Happy Endings The Daily Show With Jon Stewart The Colbert Report Coach Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 10 Things I Hate About You The Office Outsourced Modern Family The Tonight Show With Jay Leno The Daily Show With Jon Stewart The Colbert Report Family Guy Party Down Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 07:00 08:00 08:30 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00

White Collar Burn Notice The Good Guys Bones Strong Medicine Good Morning America Glee Emmerdale Look-A-Like The Good Guys The Martha Stewart Show The View White Collar

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Bones Live Good Morning America Strong Medicine The Ellen DeGeneres Show One Tree Hill Drop Dead Diva Off The Map Big Love The Good Guys Psych

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

Smallville The Good Guys White Collar Burn Notice Bones The Gates Smallville Sons Of Tucson Look-A-Like No Ordinary Family The Good Guys White Collar Burn Notice Sons Of Tucson Look-A-Like No Ordinary Family Smallville Sons Of Tucson Look-A-Like Persons Unknown Drop Dead Diva Off The Map Big Love The Good Guys The Gates

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Night Of The Living Dead-PG15 Triangle-18 The Bleeding-18 Dick Tracy-PG15 Shanghai Knights-PG15 Enemy Of The State-PG15 I, Robot-PG15 Shanghai Knights-PG15

17:15 19:00 21:00 23:00

Unbreakable-PG15 Mindhunters-18 Killshot-18 Mirrors 2-PG15

00:00 02:00 04:00 06:00 08:00 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00 21:30

Sweet Liberty-PG15 Management-PG15 Leaving Normal-PG15 Houseguest-PG15 How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days-PG From Justin To Kelly-PG Daddy Day Care-PG My Bollywood Bride-PG15 Sweet Liberty-PG15 My One And Only-PG15 PJ Gallagher: Just Jokes-18 Funny People-18

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

Frenzy-PG15 The Damned United-PG15 No One Knows About Persian Cats-

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Witness To Jonestown-PG15 Guarding Tess-PG In God’s Hands-PG Make It Funky!-PG15 Mr. Jones-PG15 Ghost-PG In America-18 The Reckoning-18 I Like It Like That-18

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FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

DIAL 161 FOR AIRPORT INFORMATION In case you are not travelling, your proper cancellation of bookings will help other passengers to use seats Airlines RJA JZR THY ETH MEA MEA UAE DHX ETD MSR FDB GFA MEA QTR JZR THY JZR JZR JZR BAW KAC KAC JZR KAC KAC KAC KAC FDB KAC KAC KAC UAE QTR ABY IRA ETD GFA MEA JZR JZR IYE MSR JZR KAC RBG KAC MSR UAL RJA FDB OMA QTR KAC KAC JZR QTR JZR JZR MLR ETD UAE GFA SVA JZR ABY ALK JZR KAC

Flt 642 267 772 620 400 408 853 370 305 614 67 211 412 138 207 770 241 503 555 157 416 544 541 206 284 302 332 53 678 352 362 855 132 125 619 301 213 404 165 121 825 623 509 618 3553 672 610 982 640 57 645 140 546 788 257 134 201 535 403 303 857 215 510 239 127 227 177 166

Arrival Flights on Friday 29/7/2011 Route AMMAN BEIRUT ISTANBUL ADDIS ABABA BEIRUT BEIRUT DUBAI BAHRAIN ABU DHABI CAIRO DUBAI BAHRAIN BEIRUT DOHA DAMASCUS ISTANBUL AMMAN LUXOR ALEXANDRIA LONDON JAKARTA / KUALA LUMPUR CAIRO CAIRO ISLAMABAD DHAKA MUMBAI TRIVANDRUM DUBAI MUSCAT / DUBAI COCHIN COLOMBO DUBAI DOHA SHARJAH LAR ABU DHABI BAHRAIN BEIRUT DUBAI BAHRAIN SANAA SOHAG LUXOR DOHA ALEXANDRIA / SOHAG DUBAI CAIRO WASHINGTON DC DULLES AMMAN DUBAI MUSCAT DOHA ALEXANDRIA JEDDAH BEIRUT DOHA DAMASCUS CAIRO COLOMBO / DUBAI ABU DHABI DUBAI BAHRAIN RIYADH AMMAN SHARJAH COLOMBO / DUBAI DUBAI PARIS / ROME

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

KAC KAC JZR KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC AIC JAI KAC FDB JZR OMA VOS MEA KAC SVA DHX GFA FCX QTR UAL UAE JZR JZR MEA MSR DLH SAI MEA JZR KLM JZR

502 542 213 744 614 102 674 774 575 572 562 61 787 647 81 402 786 506 372 217 304 136 981 859 135 185 1408 612 636 441 406 539 447 481

Airlines LZB JZR AXB DLH AIC PIA THY ETH MEA MEA UAE FDB DHX ETD MSR ETD MEA QTR THY JZR JZR RJA GFA KAC VOS JZR BAW FDB JZR KAC KAC KAC JZR

Flt 7788 540 390 637 982 206 773 620 401 409 854 68 371 306 615 306 413 139 771 508 164 643 212 545 94 120 156 54 534 177 671 117 256

BEIRUT CAIRO DEIREZZOR / ALEPPO DAMMAM BAHRAIN NEW YORK / LONDON DUBAI RIYADH CHENNAI / GOA MUMBAI AMMAN DUBAI RIYADH MUSCAT BAGHDAD BEIRUT JEDDAH JEDDAH BAHRAIN BAHRAIN RIYADH DOHA BAHRAIN DUBAI BAHRAIN DUBAI BEIRUT CAIRO FRANKFURT LAHORE BEIRUT CAIRO AMSTERDAM / BAHRAIN SABIHA Departure Flights on Friday 29/7/2011 Route VARNA / SOFIA CAIRO MANGALORE / KOZHIKODE FRANKFURT AHMEDABAD / CHENNAI LAHORE ISTANBUL BAHRAIN / ADDIS ABABA BEIRUT BEIRUT DUBAI DUBAI BAHRAIN ABU DHABI CAIRO ABU DHABI BEIRUT DOHA ISTANBUL LUXOR DUBAI AMMAN BAHRAIN ALEXANDRIA DUBAI / KANDAHAR BAHRAIN LONDON DUBAI CAIRO FRANKFURT / GENEVA DUBAI NEW YORK BEIRUT

18:45 18:50 19:05 19:15 19:20 19:25 19:25 19:25 19:30 19:35 19:50 20:00 20:00 20:10 20:15 20:15 20:20 20:35 21:00 21:25 21:30 21:35 22:00 22:00 22:10 22:35 22:40 22:50 23:00 23:05 23:25 23:30 23:35 23:50

Time 0:05 0:20 0:25 0:40 1:05 1:10 2:15 2:30 2:45 3:05 3:45 3:50 3:55 4:05 4:05 4:05 4:15 5:00 5:10 5:55 6:55 7:00 7:10 7:40 8:00 8:20 8:25 8:40 8:50 8:55 9:00 9:05 9:10

KAC KAC UAE ABY QTR ETD GFA IRA JZR MEA KAC JZR JZR KAC KAC IYE MSR RBG JZR MSR RJA FDB UAL KAC OMA KAC KAC JZR KAC QTR KAC KAC JZR JZR ETD MLR QTR UAE GFA ABY JZR SVA ALK JZR KAC KAC JAI FDB JZR KAC KAC OMA MEA SVA DHX GFA KAC QTR KAC KAC FCX JZR JZR UAE JZR KAC MEA UAL MSR SAI

787 617 856 126 133 302 214 618 200 405 541 212 238 103 501 825 624 3554 176 611 641 58 982 561 646 785 673 480 773 141 613 743 786 538 304 404 135 858 216 128 184 511 228 134 283 361 571 62 528 343 351 648 403 507 373 218 381 137 301 205 102 502 554 860 240 411 1409 981 613 442

JEDDAH DOHA DUBAI SHARJAH DOHA ABU DHABI BAHRAIN LAR DAMASCUS BEIRUT CAIRO DEIREZZOR / ALEPPO AMMAN LONDON BEIRUT DOHA / SANAA SOHAG ALEXANDRIA DUBAI CAIRO AMMAN DUBAI BAHRAIN AMMAN MUSCAT JEDDAH DUBAI SABIHA RIYADH DOHA BAHRAIN DAMMAM RIYADH CAIRO ABU DHABI DUBAI / COLOMBO DOHA DUBAI BAHRAIN SHARJAH DUBAI RIYADH DUBAI / COLOMBO BAHRAIN DHAKA COLOMBO MUMBAI DUBAI ASSIUT CHENNAI COCHIN MUSCAT BEIRUT JEDDAH BAHRAIN BAHRAIN DELHI DOHA MUMBAI ISLAMABAD DUBAI LUXOR ALEXANDRIA DUBAI AMMAN BANGKOK / MANILA BEIRUT WASHINGTON DC DULLES CAIRO LAHORE

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

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ACCOMMODATION Room available for an executive bachelor with Malayalee family in Farwaniya near Gazali Street. Contact: 66790833. (C 3547) 27-8-2011 Furnished sharing accommodation available in a 2 bedroom, C-A/C apartment in Farwaniya good location, for decent working lady. Contact: 66235897. (C 3546) 26-7-2011 Sharing accommodation available opposite Khaitan Jamiya in a at from 1st August, for RC Goan or Mangalorean family. Contact: 99453500. (C 3543) Sharing accommodation available at New Riggae. Please contact: 65026013/ 69901960. (C 3544) 25-7-2011 Accommodation available in 2 bedroom and 2 bathroom C-A/C apartment for a decent couple, executive bachelor or working lady in Mahboula, close to Gulf Road. Contact: 66216713. (C 3534) 23-7-2011 FOR SALE Room available for an executive bachelor with Malayalee family in Farwaniya near Gazali Street. Contact: 66790833. (C 3547) 28-7-2011 Toyota Rav4 - Jeep 2007, 4 doors, full options, white color, 4 cylinder, KD 3,900/-.

Contact: 55323839. (C 3539) Honda City 2009, white color, full automatic, 16000km, KD 2,300/-. Contact: 65085629. (C 3540) Volvo S60 2001, light green metallic, run 190,000km, very good condition, price KD 900 only. Contact: 99881982. (C 3541) Chevrolet Tahoe 1996, two doors, dark green, very good condition, price KD 850. Contact: 97792794. (C 3542) 24-7-2011

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FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011

Angels triumph over Indians CLEVELAND: Ervin Santana pitched the first solo no-hitter for the Angels in nearly 27 years, striking out 10 batters to lead Los Angeles over the Cleveland Indians 3-1 on Wednesday. Santana allowed two runners - an error on the leadoff batter that resulted in a first-inning run and a walk in the eighth. Santana (6-8) threw the Angels’ first complete-game no-hitter since Mike Witt’s perfect game on Sept. 30, 1984, against Texas. Mark Langston (7 innings) and Witt (2 innings) combined to hold Seattle hitless on April 11, 1990. This was the third no-hitter in the major leagues this season. Minnesota’s Francisco Liriano did it against the White Sox on May 3 and Detroit’s Justin Verlander beat Toronto on May 7. This was the first no-hitter at Progressive Field, a ballpark that opened as Jacobs Field in 1994. The last pitcher to hold the Indians hitless was Jim Abbott of the Yankees on Sept. 4, 1993. The win was Santana’s third in 11 starts since May 30. Mariners 9, Yankees 2 At New York, Seattle ended its 17-game losing streak as Ichiro Suzuki and rookie Dustin Ackley led a 17-hit attack against New York. Felix Hernandez (9-9) pitched seven innings for his third straight win in the Bronx. Suzuki had four hits and scored two runs. Ackley tripled among his three hits and drove in three runs. Seattle scored five runs off three relievers in the seventh highlighted by Mike Carp’s bases-loaded triple. It was the longest skid in the major leagues since Kansas City lost 19 in 2005. The Mariners came in hitting .218 during the streak. Phil Hughes (1-3) allowed nine hits and two runs over six innings. White Sox 2, Tigers 1 At Chicago, Alejandro De Aza hit a two-run homer in his first at-bat of the season as Chicago downed Detroit. De Aza, who was called up earlier in the day to fill a roster spot opened by a trade, connected against Max Scherzer (11-6) in the second for his first major league homer. Austin Jackson hit a leadoff homer in the seventh but that was it for Detroit against John Danks (4-8) and two relievers. Danks matched a career high with 10 strikeouts while improving to 4-0 with a 0.98 ERA in his last six starts. The lefthander allowed six hits and walked three. Sergio Santos got the last out for his 21st save. Blue Jays 3, Orioles 0 At Toronto, Ricky Romero came within two outs of a complete game to win for the first time in five starts and J.P. Arencibia homered as Toronto blanked Baltimore. Romero (8-9) struck out Adam Jones to begin the ninth, but was replaced by Jon Rauch after Vladimir Guerrero reached on a wild third strike and Derrek Lee was hit by a pitch. The left-hander allowed four hits, walked three and struck out nine. Rauch got Matt Wieters and Mark Reynolds to fly out, recording his eighth save in 12 opportunities. Romero had not won since June 26 at St. Louis, going 0-2 with a 5.87 ERA in four starts. He is 5-1 in his past seven starts against Baltimore, including 4-0 at home. Red Sox 12, Royals 5 At Boston, David Ortiz hit a grand slam to cap a five-run fourth inning and Dustin Pedroia extended his career-best hitting streak to 24 games with a solo homer as Boston trounced Kansas City. Jacoby Ellsbury and Pedroia, Boston’s first two batters, homered. It was the first time since July 21, 1995, that the first two Red Sox homered. The Red Sox won for the 19th time in 23 games. Pedroia added two singles and a sacrifice fly. Adrian Gonzalez had three hits and three RBIs to raise his majorleague leading total to 87. Eric Hosmer hit a three-run homer and Billy Butler added a solo shot for the Royals. John Lackey (9-8) won his fourth straight start, allowing four runs - three earned - and 11 hits in 5 2-3 innings. Boston had 16 hits, reaching double digits for the 11th straight home game. Twins 7, Rangers 2 At Arlington, Texas, Joe Mauer and Michael Cuddyer homered to back a solid start by Minnesota’s Brian Duensing. Duensing (8-8) limited Texas to one run over 6 2-3 innings. Texas scored 28 runs in the first two games of the series. —AP

CINCINNATI: New York Mets left fielder Jason Bay catches a fly ball hit by Cincinnati Reds’ Drew Stubbs in the sixth inning of a baseball game. New York won 8-2. — AP

Giants top Phillies PHILADELPHIA: Matt Cain pitched into the eighth inning to outduel Cole Hamels and lead the San Francisco Giants to a 21 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday. The National League West leaders won for the third time in four games, and big-name help was on the way. The defending World Series champions agreed to a trade with the Mets for All-Star slugger Carlos Beltran, who told his New York teammates he had waived his no-trade clause and accepted the deal. The trade was expected to be announced early Thursday. Without Beltran, the Giants scratched out two runs to deny Hamels (12 6) his NL-best 13th win. Javier Lopez got three outs and Brian Wilson finished for his 32nd save. The Giants have won 12 of 17. Mets 8, Reds 2 At Cincinnati, Lucas Duda took over for Carlos Beltran and homered to help the New York Mets beat Cincinnati. Beltran showed up in the clubhouse before the game to say goodbye to his Mets teammates. Duda replaced Beltran in right field and the rookie homered off Bronson Arroyo (7-9), who couldn’t extend his long run of success against New York. Mike Pelfrey (6-9) gave up seven hits in his second complete game of the season, including Joey Votto’s second homer of the series. David Wright also homered and drove in four runs. Daniel Murphy had a career-high four hits. Braves 2, Pirates 1 At Atlanta, David Ross hit a bases-loaded single in the 10th inning as Atlanta beat Pittsburgh for its second straight victory in extra innings. The teams played 19 innings Tuesday night before Julio Lugo scored the winning run on a disputed call at the plate that umpire Jerry Meals later acknowledged was incorrect. Ross became Atlanta’s starting catcher Wednesday when the Braves placed Brian McCann on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique injury. Ross came through with two hits, driving in both Atlanta runs. Astros 4, Cardinals 2 At St. Louis, Astros rookie Jose Altuve drove in the goahead run in the ninth inning with his third hit as Houston snapped a five-game losing streak with a victory over St. Louis. Jason Bourgeois also had three hits and unintentionally helped the Astros score an insurance run on Altuve’s hit when center fielder Jon Jay’s off-line throw to the plate glanced off his leg. Bourgeois jumped at the last instant before the ball struck his leg and changed course en route to the backstop. Cardinals manager Tony La Russa made an unsuccessful protest. Chris Carpenter worked seven strong innings for the Cardinals, who fell a half-game behind the Brewers for the NL Central lead hours after acquiring pitcher Edwin Jackson in a three-team deal with the Blue Jays and White Sox that cost them outfielder Colby Rasmus. Clint Barmes hit a two-run homer for Houston.

Brewers 2, Cubs 0 At Milwaukee, Prince Fielder hit his 23rd home run and Rickie Weeks needed to be helped off the field when he injured his left ankle running out a throw to first in Milwaukee’s victory over Chicago. Fielder homered off Carlos Zambrano (7-6) to start the second before Weeks hit a bouncing ball to shortstop Starlin Castro. Weeks stretched to beat the throw, landing awkwardly at the bag and stumbling down the first-base line. The All-Star second baseman went to the hospital for further tests after being helped off the field. Brewers owner Mark Attanasio said during the game that initial X-rays showed Weeks’ ankle wasn’t broken, but Weeks was not putting weight on the leg after the injury. Marlins 7, Nationals 5 At Washington, Javier Vazquez pitched seven strong innings, Emilio Bonifacio extended his hitting streak to 25 games and Mike Cameron hit two home runs as Florida beat Washington for its fourth straight win. Vazquez (7-9) allowed one run and six hits. John Buck hit a two-run single off Livan Hernandez (5-10). Mike Stanton’s homer put the Marlins ahead in the second. Florida is 13-5 since July 5. Trailing 7-1, the Nationals scored four runs in the ninth off Steve Cishek. After allowing Michael Morse’s two-run single, Leo Nunez retired Laynce Nix on a fly to deep right to earn his 28th save in 31 chances. D’backs 4, Padres 3 At San Diego, Justin Upton homered twice and Xavier Nady added a two-run shot to lead Arizona past San Diego. Ian Kennedy (12-3) won his fourth straight start, limiting San Diego to two runs and four hits with nine strikeouts over six innings. Upton reached 20 homers this season and extended his hitting streak to eight games with two solo drives off Cory Luebke (3-5). During his hitting streak, Upton is batting .567 (17 for 30) with four homers and 15 RBIs. Nady hit his fourth of the year off Luebke in the seventh to break a 2-all tie and send Arizona to its fourth straight win. Rockies 3, Dodgers 1 At Los Angeles, Aaron Cook outpitched Hiroki Kuroda with seven scoreless innings and Troy Tulowitzki had two RBI singles among his three hits as Colorado avoided a three-game sweep. Cook (2-5) scattered six hits, struck out two and walked two in his longest outing of an injury-delayed season. The right-hander, who missed the first three months with a broken finger on his pitching hand, has won consecutive starts after going 0-5 with a 5.82 ERA in his first seven outings. Huston Street pitched the ninth for his 27th save in 29 attempts. Colorado broke through in the fifth when Tulowitzki drove in Eric Young Jr. from second with the Rockies’ third straight two-out single. — AP


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All Blacks open defence against battered Boks WELLINGTON: Defending champions New Zealand have not lost a Tri-Nations match since 2009 and look set to extend their winning streak in the competition to eight tests against a weakened South Africa side this weekend. The All Blacks warmed up for their title defence with a 60-point romp against Fiji last week and, with Daniel Carter restored to flyhalf, are back to almost full strength to face the Springboks at the Westpac stadium on Saturday night. Coach Graham Henry has trotted out the usual lines about not underestimating a team from such a proud rugby nation, but the

All Blacks should be rubbing their hands at the prospect of taking on a team which lost 39-20 to Australia last week. The Springboks, by their own admission, have been reduced to selecting virtually anyone who is fit after leaving 21 of their best players in South Africa and being further weakened by injuries this week. Whether or not the weak touring squad is a ruse to rest the 21 before the home Tri-Nations tests and the defence of the World Cup that follows, it has certainly given a makeshift look to the team. Coach Peter de Villiers joked last week that he was running out

American Felix may focus solely on 200 at London R A LE IG H : Twice US Olympic silver medallist Allyson Felix may put an allout bid for her first 200 metres gold ahead of making a run at a widely expected 200-400 metres double at next year’s London Games, the three-time world champion said on Wednesday. Felix will attempt to become the first woman to win gold at 200 and 400 metres in a world championship next month in South Korea but said a repeat bid at London is not a certainty. “I would not say it was set in stone ... just because that 200 in London is so important to me,” Felix told Reuters in a telephone interview from Los Angeles exactly one year to the start of the 2012 Games. Although three successive times a winner at 200 metres in the world championships, the versatile sprinter has twice come up short on the Olympic stage. Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown bested Felix for the gold medal in Athens in 2004 and in Beijing in 2008. “I have just been waiting for the Olympics to come around again to get an opportunity to tackle that again,” she said of the 200 metres. “Even if it did go well (at the world championships), I am still going to have mixed emotions about (trying for the double in London).” Felix had previously said she hoped whatever distances she ran at the world championship would be a dress rehearsal for what she did in London. But on Wednesday there appeared to be some doubt in that thinking. “At the Olympic stage, everything is raised,” Felix said. “I think it would be a more difficult path to do it there.” The feat has been accomplished twice. American Valerie Brisco-Hooks did it at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and France’s Marie-Jose Perec at the 1996 Atlanta Games.—Reuters

of lock forwards and that state of affairs is reflected in a second row featuring uncapped emergency call-up Gerhard Mostert alongside Alistair Hargreaves, who has won three caps. Patrick Lambie make his first test start at fullback rather than flyhalf in a team who will be expecting a lot from the experienced halfback pairing of Ruan Pienaar and in particular Morne Steyn, who has suffered from a slump in form recently. It was an insipid performance from the forwards that set the tone for the humbling by the Wallabies last week, however, and South Africa will be looking for a

more physical performance from them this week. “It’s going to be a fierce battle at the breakdown,” assistant coach Dick Muir told reporters yesterday. “It will be one of those battles on Saturday that determines the outcome of the match. “Our guys have not got a lot of caps but they have a bright future ahead of them and everyone has to start somewhere. These guys have been thrown in at the deep end and I’m sure they will make the most of the opportunity.” The All Blacks are certainly not a team to shirk a physical challenge either and Adam Thomson, impressive at blindside flanker

against Fiji and surprisingly moved to number eight for Saturday, cannot wait for the challenge. “They’re a physical side that you want to test yourself against,” he said on Thursday. “As a loose forward you love playing against the Springboks.” Thomson’s selection at the back of the scrum was part of a project to develop more versatility among their players for this year’s hosting of the World Cup, Henry said. “I don’t think you should take any notice of the number on the back. The players will play a different role defensively and a different role on attack,” Henry said. —Reuters

India, England with injury worries for second Test NOTTINGHAM: India and England could each be without their bowling spearhead for the teams’ second test at Trent Bridge starting today. Left-armer seamer Zaheer Khan has been ruled out of the tourists’ lineup because of the hamstring injury that prevented him from bowling in the second innings of England’s 196-run win at Lord’s, while opening batsman Gautam Gambhir is a major doubt with an elbow injury. “We will take it as a positive,” India captain Mahendra Signh Dhoni said. “It gives a chance for somebody else to be a hero.” England may be missing Chris Tremlett. The paceman left Thursday’s practice session for treatment and could be replaced by Tim Bresnan. “He’s had a bit of a niggle with his hamstring,” England captain Andrew Strauss said. “We’re confident he should be OK but we’ll see how he is in the morning. “You’ve always got to weigh these things in: it’s a short turnaround between test matches but we’re not going to pick someone in the side unless we’re sure he is 100 percent fit and able to get through the full five days.” Strauss said Bresnan would be a more than adequate replacement if needed. “Tim Bresnan’s certainly never let anyone down when he’s played for us,” Strauss said. “He was outstanding in Australia, he’s getting better and better and in many ways he’s unfortunate not to be in the side. If he does come in he’ll do very well.” Pacemen Munaf Patel, who has played only one test in more than two years, and Sreesanth are the contenders to replace Khan, who has the most wickets of any Indian bowler at Nottingham - 12 at 20.33 from two tests. Yuvraj Singh is Gambhir’s most likely replacement. “Being the world No. 1, the India team has conquered a lot of challenges on the way here,” opening batsman Abhinav Mukund said. “We’ve come here to take up this challenge, and will definitely give it a good fight.” Dhoni said yesterday lunchtime that Khan, the leader of the tourists’ attack, would not be risked. “He’s been our strike bowler for a long time,” Mukund said. “But Ishant (Sharma) has been doing really well - he was the man of the series in the West Indies - and Praveen Kumar has taken five wickets (at Lord’s). Sreesanth is waiting in the wings as well, so it’s not that we have a depleted attack.” Notoriously slow starters to test series, India is expected to put up more of a fight in Nottingham, although the side will again be without opener Virender Sehwag as he recovers from a shoulder injury. “When any team gets beaten, they generally come back

LONDON: India’s captain MS Dhoni throws a ball at nets a day before his team’s cricket Test match against England at Trent Bridge Cricket Ground.—AP stronger and have more fire in their belly,” said England swing bowler James Anderson, who took 5-65 to help bowl India out for 261 on the fifth day at Lord’s. “All we can do is concentrate on our game, prepare well the next couple of days and concentrate on that first hour on Friday.” England, which needs to win the series by at least a twomatch margin to supplant India as the world’s No. 1 test side, named an unchanged squad but may have to draft in Tim Bresnan to replace Tremlett. And coach Andy Flower believes controversy is just around the corner because of the tourists’ refusal to adopt the Decision Review System. There is growing concern within the home camp that the lack of DRS could lead to frayed tempers in the remaining three tests. Though it has recently softened its stance on

other aspects of the system, India remains firmly opposed to the ball-tracking used by DRS as it believes the technology is not foolproof. Umpire Billy Bowden turned down Stuart Broad’s lbw appeals against Sachin Tendulkar and Suresh Raina at Lord’s, though replays indicated the decisions were incorrect. It didn’t affect the outcome, but Flower says the situation is “unsatisfactory” and is predicting trouble. “It would have been wrong if the outcome of the game had been seriously affected by a couple of those decisions,” Flower said. “It’s unsatisfactory the way it is, there is no doubt about that.” Broad may have been denied those two wickets but the paceman did claim seven other scalps over the two innings, returning to form after a disappointing series against Sri Lanka earlier this summer.—AP


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Lincicome sets the pace at British Open CARNOUSTIE: Brittany Lincicome shot a 5under 67 to take the early clubhouse lead in the first round of the Women’s British Open yesterday. Five birdies and an eagle propelled the American to the top of the early leaderboard, despite picking up a couple of bogeys along the way. “I didn’t take advantage of some chances on the front nine, but then really got going from the 12th,” she said. “This is a great golf course and it seems top suit my game really well so I’m looking forward to the next three days.” Lincicome birdied the 2nd when she hit a gap-wedge to 15 feet and

holed it. She dropped a shot at the long 6th when her drive was just an inch in bounds and she had to take a drop, before hitting her third into a greenside bunker and failing to get up and down. She birdied the short 8th by holing from 40 feet just off the green, but then bogeyed the 10th. The fireworks started with consecutive birdies at 12 and 13 before Lincicome hit a long drive on 14 and followed up with a 6-iron to 10 feet and holed that for an eagle before birdying the long 17th. Fellow American Kristy McPherson got off to a flying start when she moved to 5-under with-

in the first six holes. McPherson birdied the 2nd, 4th and 5th holes before adding an eagle at the par-5 6th, and then parred the last three to be out in 31. Compatriot Angela Stanford leapfrogged three players on 69 to take over the early lead with a 68. She picked up four birdies in the first seven holes, dropped a shot at the 9th, and then had three more birdies and two bogeys on the way home. Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall hit the first tee shot of the day and then proceeded to card a 69, matched within the hour by Japan’s Momoko Ueda, then later by South

Sharapova tops Hantuchova, to make Stanford quarters STANFORD: Second-seeded Maria Sharapova set up a possible quarterfinal match with Serena Williams by beating Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 Wednesday at the Bank of the West Classic. The fifth-ranked Sharapova, who reached the Wimbledon final, questioned an out call that would have ended the match. She regrouped and won the next two points to set up the possible match between two former world No 1s. “It’s still about improving the little things to get more consistent,” Sharapova said. “I’ve had to make a lot of tough choices in the last year but I’m going in the right direction and, little by little, those choices are paying off.” Williams, playing in her first tournament on American soil since the 2009 U.S. Open, meets Maria Kirilenko on Thursday afternoon. “I’ve lost to both of them the last time I played them,” Sharapova said. “You can never rest against Serena. She hasn’t played in quite a while but she’s still a great competitor. At the end of the day she has 13 Grand Slam titles and I have three. That says a lot. Maria can produce great tennis and beat top players.” Sharapova got off to a slow start against Hantuchova before finishing strong in the first set. “Then I kind of lost it,” Sharapova said. “I got away from what I was doing well and she had all the confidence and all the momentum going into the third set.” Hantuchova grabbed a 2-0 lead in the third set before Sharapova regained the momentum and won four straight games to finish it off. “I was frustrated by the fact I wasn’t able to maintain what I was doing into the second set,” Sharapova said. “I was able to break her back and got the energy going again.” Hantuchova knew that was the turning point. “Leading 2-0 in the third set, that next game was crucial,” Hantuchova said. “She went on that unbelievable run and that’s where it changed a little bit. Even though I wasn’t playing my best tennis, I still felt like I had so many chances. I think I had 12 break points on two of those. It was a good fight.” France’s Marion Bartoli reached her seventh quarterfi-

STANFORD: Maria Sharapova, of Russia, celebrates after winning a point over Daniela Hantuchova, of Slovakia, during the Bank of the West tennis tournament. —AP nal of the year, beating Rebecca Marino of Canada 6-4, 6-3. The ninth-ranked Bartoli, who won this event two years ago, has won 18 of her last 21 matches. “I love this tournament. It’s a great way for me to start back,” Bartoli said. “I lost to Rebecca last year in Quebec, so it was good for me to take revenge. I really felt like I was moving well. I was hitting the ball well for having three weeks off.” Marino, ranked 40th, beat Bartoli at Quebec City last year - her only win over a top-20 player. In other matches, eighth-seeded Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia beat American Christina McHale 6-4, 2-6, 63, and fifth-seeded Agnieszka

Radwanska of Poland topped Taiwan’s Chang Kai-chen 6-4, 3-6, 6-0. “It was really difficult to play,” Cibulkova said. “I didn’t play my best and it’s not always easy to win matches like this.” The 20th-ranked Cibulkova reached her seventh quarterfinal of the year and will meet the winner of Thursday’s match between top-seeded and defending champion Victoria Azarenka and qualifier Marina Erakovic. “Sometimes a match like this gives you more confidence because you have to fight and play through it when you are struggling. Now in the next match, you can play even better knowing you just won a real tough match.” — AP

Korea’s Na Yeon Choi. The 22-year-old Hedwall, twice a winner on the European Tour this season and lying third in the tour rankings, dropped shots at 3 and 8 on the way out but picked up three birdies. She got to 2-under at the 10th, only to drop shots at 12 and 13 to go back to level. She finished with a flourish, however, with birdies at 14, 15 and 17. Last year’s winner of the Evian Masters, Ai Miyazato, had a disastrous start by bogeying the first five holes on her way to a 76, while three-time former champion, American Sherri Steinhauer slumped to a 78. — AP

Del Potro beats Blake to reach quarterfinals LOS ANGELES: Juan Martin del Potro battled back in the second set to beat James Blake 6-4, 7-6 (3) on Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals of the Farmers Classic. The No 2 seed and Blake traded the final eight games of the set, leading to the decisive tiebreak. Del Potro took control from there and won when Blake was unable to return his serve. Del Potro, the 2008 tournament champion, is still working his way back from wrist surgery last year that derailed his season. He is ranked 19th in the world after dropping as low as No. 484 in February. “I think I’m still a little far from the top-10 players,” Del Potro said. “It’s a long road to get there. I was playing really well before I got here.” Teenager Ryan Harrison continued his recent run of strong form by beating fellow American Michael Russell 6-3, 6-4 to claim a spot in the quarterfinals. Lu Yen-hsun of Taiwan had the day’s biggest upset, defeating No 3 seed Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-3, 6-4 to set up a matchup against Harrison, who is attempting to make consecutive semifinals appearances. Baghdatis, ranked 30th in the world, was playing his first match after receiving an opening-round bye. “It really helps that it was the same guy from two years ago,” said Lu, a quarterfinalist at last year’s Wimbledon. “It gave me a little bit of confidence.” Harrison is coming off a strong showing in Atlanta, where he won three matches before falling to Mardy Fish. The 19year-old’s win over Russell was his third in four career tries. Fish, the tournament’s No 1 seed, will play his first match on Thursday against Gilles Muller following a bye. Harrison moved into the world’s top 100 for the first time with his finish last week. His continual rise has some observers thinking he could assume the title as the next great American player. “It’s a privilege to be talked about like that. I’ve put myself in a position where people are even mentioning my name in the same sentence as Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras,” Harrison said. “I haven’t accomplished anything near what they have in their careers, so I have a long way to go. But I do believe in myself, I do believe that I have the ability to do it.” Ernests Gulbis of Latvia had little trouble in defeating qualifier Daniel Kosakowski 6-2, 6-4. Gulbis will play either No. 2 seeded Juan Martin Del Potro or Argentina and American James Blake, who take the court in Wednesday’s late match. Gulbis rode the momentum from Tuesday’s upset of fifth-seed Xavier Malisse against the inexperienced Kosakowski, playing in his first year as a professional. This is Gulbis’ third tournament under the tutelage of coach Guillermo Canas. The two began working together at Wimbledon and the relationship appears to be paying dividends. “On the court I didn’t really have someone to push me,” Gulbis said. “We were working hard, spending a lot of hours on court. And then everything just starts to come back. It’s all basically about practice and confidence. That’s all there really is to it.” — AP


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Sunshine do not fear mighty Kabylie JOHANNESBURG: African Confederation Cup surprise side Sunshine Stars of Nigeria refuse to be intimidated by multi-title winners JS Kabylie of Algeria ahead of their clash today. While Sunshine are appearing in a Pan-African competition for the first time this year, Kabylie have won the African Champions League twice, African Cup Winners Cup once and the CAF Cup three consecutive times. “We are not afraid of any team,” insisted Stars coach Gbenga Ogunbote to the Nigerian media this week. “Our target is to go all the way and win the African Confederation Cup. “My players are squandering a lot of scoring chances due to international naivety, but they compensate through determination. Our objective is to win at home and avoid defeat away.” Captain and striker Godfrey Oboabona added: “When we started our campaign no one gave us a chance, but we have already sent three teams packing in the qualifiers and also won our first group game.” Sunshine ousted Tiko United of Cameroon, USFA of Burkina Faso and Al-Ittihad of Libya in eliminators before moving to the top of Group B with a 2-0 home win over Daring Club Motema Pembe from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Kabylie had Bilal Naili sent off soon after half-time and conceded a late goal to fall 1-0 at Moghreb Fes of Morocco two weeks ago so they need a maximum points in eastern town Tizi Ouzou to get a title challenge back on track. The Algerian ‘Canaries’ boast a perfect home record in the secondtier African competition this season and did not concede a goal when defeating Tevragh Ziena of Mauritania, Missile of Gabon and Diaraf of Senegal. Former African Cup Winners Cup title holders Motema Pembe must solve a goal drought that has seen them fail to score in seven matches in all competitions if they are to defeat Moghreb in Kinshasa. Club Africain of Tunisia exceeded expectations by holding Group A favourites ASEC Mimosas 1-1 in Ivory Coast with a late Youssef Mouihbi equaliser followed by desperate defending after Wajdi Mechergui was red carded. The North Africans have home advantage over Nigerians Kaduna United, whose Belgian coach Maurice Cooreman insists they are going to lift the cup despite conceding a stoppage-time goal to draw 1-1 at home against InterClube of Angola. French coach Sebastien Desabre deployed a lone striker as ASEC won a domestic cup semi-final last weekend and is expected to stick with Koffi Boua up front for a Luanda showdown with InterClube. —AFP

HARRISON: Wayne Rooney (left) of Manchester United moves the ball against David Beckham (right) of the MLS All-Stars during a friendly match. —AFP

Rooney sets up 2 as Man Utd blank MLS HARRISON: Wayne Rooney set up two goals and Park Ji-sung danced around a defender for another as Manchester United put on another show during its tour of the United States with a 4-0 victory over the MLS All Stars on Wednesday. Anderson, Dimitar Berbatov and Danny Welbeck also scored for the reigning English Premier League champions, who have outscored their opponents 18-2 to win the opening four games on their US tour. “I liked the result,” manager Alex Ferguson said. Ferguson’s side will wrap up its preseason tour in Washington tomorrow against Barcelona in a rematch of the Champions League final which the Spanish team won 31. Then it’s back to England for the Community Shield game and the start of another season the following week. The final score might have been a little misleading because David Beckham and his MLS teammates had a couple of good shots at goal, but make no mistake - Manchester United was far superior in the game at Red Bull Arena that drew a sellout crowd of 26,760. The Reds didn’t have a lot of chances against the MLS, but when they did they were lethal, especially with Rooney setting up the goals. In the United States, football

fans have seen Rooney scoring again and again in replays of his bicycle kick in a match last season. This time, he was perfect with his passing. “He’s a good passer of the ball,” Ferguson said. Like most midseason classics, this one started with a show. Parachutists floated into the doubledecked arena that is in its second year of operation, fireworks lit the sky and a helicopter flyover all preceded the start of the game. The Major League Soccer side even looked good for about 18 minutes with Beckham, who starred for the Red Devils in his prime, having a great chance in the seventh minute, only to see his 25-yard strike slide wide of the goal. Rooney though gave the Manchester United faithful in the mixed crowd half for United, half for the MLS squad - something to cheer about in the 20th minute. “They are so quick to the ball, and it’s one or two touches and they are going and they are not letting up,” MLS defender Tim Ream said. “With Rooney, that just shows how much of a well-rounded player he is.” Rooney made a pass to Berbatov at the top of the box, took a return pass and then found Anderson breaking into the area alone for a wide-open shot that easily beat goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon. “I had no chance,” Mondragon

said. “It was like a penalty kick.” Beckham had a chance to equalize two minutes later, but United keeper Ander Lindegaard parried his 20-yard blast over the crossbar. Park broke the game open in the 45th minute when he took a pass from Patrice Evra at the top of the box, got around defender Sean Franklin and then launched a left-footed shot into the top right corner of the net. “To be honest I was more disappointed with the second goal because I got a piece of that,” Mondragon said. “But it was a great goal.” Rooney helped stretch the lead to 3-0 in the 52nd minute, looping a pass over the defense to Berbatov. The Bulgarian chipped the ball over rushing backup goalkeeper Tally Hall, only to see it hit the crossbar. Berbatov chested down the rebound and ripped a shot into the net. Welbeck closed out the scoring in the 68th minute with a shot from the top of the box that deflected off defender Geoff Cameron past Hall. While there was no more scoring, the crowd got a final thrill. Beckham curled a free kick around the wall in the 89th minute that just missed getting inside the goalpost. “I think the football is getting better,” Rooney said of the MLS, adding the game was competitive despite the final score. — AP


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World Cup qualifiers

Kuwait trounce Philippines MANILA: Kuwait beat the Philippines 2-1 in the second leg of their World Cup qualifier yesterday to win 5-1 overall and advance to the group stage third round. Stephan Schrock of the Philippines opened the scoring with a long-range shot in first-half injury time at Manila’s Rizal Stadium. Kuwait’s Yousef Nasser leveled the score in the 61st minute then Waleed Ali capped the victory with a goal in the 84th. Kuwait trounced the Philippines 3-0 in the first leg in Kuwait City last Saturday. Kuwait is looking to qualify for the World Cup finals for only the second time. In Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia won 5-0 at Hong Kong yesterday to complete an 8-0 win over two legs and progress to the third round of Asia’s World Cup qualifying. Carrying a 3-0 lead from the first leg, Saudi Arabia extended its lead through Hassan Fallatah in the 34th minute before second-half goals from Mohammed Noor, Nassir Al-Shamrani, Mohammed AlSahlawi and Osama Hawsawi. The result moves Saudi Arabia into the group-stage third round, which will include regional powers such as Japan, South Korea and Australia. Saudi Arabia did not qualify for last year’s World Cup the first time it had missed football’s main event since 1990. In New Delhi, United Arab Emirates advanced to the third round of Asian qualifying for the 2014 World Cup despite being held to a 2-2 draw by India yesterday. The UAE advanced 5-2 on aggregate courtesy of its 3-0 first-leg win at Al Ain last week. Mohammed Al Shehhi have the Emirati team a 1-0 lead on Thursday in the 39th minute on a wet pitch at Ambedkar Stadium. An unmarked Ali Al Wehaibi increased the lead in the 71st with a scorching right-footed shot. India reduced the margin three minutes later through striker Jeje Lalpekhlua’s header from a cross. Gouramangi Singh equalized in injury time. In Hanoi, Qatar took the next step in proving its World Cup credentials by advancing to the third round of Asian qualifying despite a 2-1 loss at Vietnam yesterday. The result was not enough to overturn Qatar’s 3-0 win from the first leg, and the 2022 World Cup host moved into the group-stage third round with a 4-2 aggregate win. Striker Yusef Ahmed Ali put Qatar ahead 4-0 on aggregate with a powerful volley from outside the penalty area in the ninth minute, before Vietnam responded through Nguyen Trong Hoang in the 60th and a Nguyen Quang Hai header in the 78th. In Bangkok, China and Syria were among the teams to progress in Asia’s World Cup qualifying on Thursday as crowd trouble forced the abandonment of Oman’s game at Myanmar. China won 6-1 at Laos to complete a 13-3 aggregate victory, and moved into the group stage third round, when the region’s heavyweights such as Japan,

Asian football execs face key leadership decision

MANILA: Fahed Al Ibrahim (right) of Kuwait steals the ball from Angel Guirado from the Philippines during their match. Kuwait beat the Philippines 2-1 in the second leg of their World Cup qualifier and advance to the group stage third round. —AP

South Korea and Australia will enter the fray. Syria also produced an authoritative 40 away win over Tajikistan for a 6-1 aggregate; Kuwait won 2-1 at the Philippines for a 5-1 aggregate and Jordan progressed after a 1-1 draw at Nepal and a 10-1 win over two legs. In Myanmar, fans threw stones, shoes, water bottles and other objects onto the pitch and at Oman players and officials, forcing a halt to the match with Oman winning 2-0 on the night and 4-0 on aggregate. At least one Oman player and one official were struck by objects as dozens of police tried to control the crowd. Myanmar football chief Zaw Zaw appealed for calm to no avail. The violence came after striker Ismail made it 2-0 from the penalty spot in the 39th minute, midfielder Amad Al Hosni having put Oman ahead in the 23rd minute. While there was no immediate announcment of the official result of the game, Oman is expected to progress to the third round and manager Paul Le Guen will continue his quest to get the Gulf nation into its first World Cup.

In Laos, China midfielders Deng Zhuoxiang and Yu Hanchao scored twice, with Qu Bo and Yang Xu also finding the net for the visitors, while Visay Phapouvanin scored for Laos. China’s comfortable margin of victory over two legs came after Laos had taken a shock 2-0 lead in last weekend’s away leg, before being overwhelmed 7 -2. Tajikistan’s match was up for grabs after Syria recorded just a 2-1 home win in the first leg. However Syria soon put the result beyond doubt Thursday as Raja Rafe scored twice in the first half, Nadim Sabagh made it 3-0 and a late own goal completed a comfortable victory. Jordan was never going to be threatened by Nepal after a 9-0 home win in the first leg. Saeed Morja made it 10-0 on aggregate but Nepal was able to salvage a draw and some pride thanks to a late goal by 41-year-old Bharat Khawas. The third round, which features five groups of four teams, is scheduled for Sept. 2 to Feb. 29, 2012. A fourth round of qualifying will decide which four Asian teams are guaranteed a place at the finals in Brazil, while a fifth round will provide Asia’s representative in an intercontinental playoff. — AP

SEOUL: A week that started with Asian Football Confederation president Mohamed Bin Hammam refusing to resign despite receiving a life ban from FIFA could end with the continental executive committee making steps toward calling an election to choose his successor. Bin Hammam wrote to the confederation’s 46 member associations on Monday to seek understanding, patience and support as he prepares to appeal against last weekend’s decision from FIFA’s ethics committee to ban him for life on charges of bribery during his election campaign against Sepp Blatter for the presidency of football’s world governing body. AFC statutes indicate that the office of president can be vacant for one year before a congress must be held to resolve the situation. The next ordinary AFC Congress will be held in 2013. An extraordinary congress can be convened at any time, however, if onethird of member associations or the executive committee calls for it. With the 23-member executive committee meeting today in Kuala Lumpur, the prospect of an extraordinary congress is a growing possibility as pressure builds for a quick resolution with Asian football facing a number of issues, not least match-fixing. FIFA vice president Prince Ali Al Hussein of Jordan, who defeated Bin Hammam’s close ally Chung Mong-joon at January’s AFC Congress for a seat on the FIFA executive committee, does not want the AFC presidency to remain unresolved for long. “Mr Bin Hammam has the right to appeal and that is his own personal decision and we respect that,” Prince Ali told The Associated Press in an email. “However, it would be unacceptable for anyone to try and drag AFC and Asian football into any process through irresponsible action. I certainly will not accept that.” Japan Football Association president, and former FIFA Executive Committee member, Junji Ogura echoed Prince Ali’s call, saying that Bin Hammam “has been banned for life so I think an election needs to be held.” “He doesn’t think he has done anything wrong and said he has no intention of quitting as AFC President and FIFA executive,” Ogura told reporters this week in Tokyo. These have been rare statements from senior Asian football figures with the confederation remaining even more tightlipped than usual and most national associations reluctant to comment while bin Hammam’s status remains unresolved. Acting AFC president Zhang Jilong declined an interview for this story and previous requests from The AP in his native China and at AFC headquarters. An advisory issued Wednesday by the AFC warned journalists that AFC House would be off limits for media on Friday and that any outcomes of the executive committee would be released in a statement only, meaning no news conference and no other comment from the executive or bureaucracy. Bin Hammam has been more forthcoming on his personal blog and Twitter, though his personal page on the AFC’s official site has been removed. —AP


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China’s teens full Of Olympic

promise SHANGHAI: China have rubber-stamped their status as swimming’s newest superpower at the world championships, showcasing a clutch of young stars who look set to make a big impression at next year’s Olympics. Led by teenagers Sun Yang, who grabbed his first world title in the 800m freestyle on Wednesday, and Ye Shiwen, who won the 200m women’s individual medley, the host nation is on an upward curve. At the Beijing Olympics in 2008, China picked up just one gold in the pool, but improved a year later at the Rome world championships to four golds and third place in the medals table. And at the halfway point in Shanghai, China already have three gold medals, just one fewer than leaders the United States, with the promise of more to come over the final weekend. Sun, 19, powered his way to victory in the 800m to the delight of the Chinese crowd, following his silver in the 400m, and is a hot favourite for the 1500m on the last night of action. On Sunday, he is expected to mount a serious challenge to the 2001 world record set by Australia’s Grant Hackett after missing out on the mark by less than a second at last year’s Asian Games in Guangzhou. “I’m delighted because it’s my first world title,” said Sun, who threw his victory garland into the crowd and high-fived supporters after his win. “I failed to win the gold in the 400m race, so I’ve done a lot of prep work for the 800m. It’s my personal best in this event. The victory gave me more confidence ahead of the remaining races and next year’s London Olympics.” Another of China’s top names is 15-year-old prodigy Ye, who put in a stunning freestyle leg to win the women’s 200m individual medley ahead of the world and Olympic title-holders. Following her win Ye, who won 200m and 400m gold at last year’s Asian Games and silver in both events at the world shortcourse championships, insisted she still had “much room for improvement”. “I thought I could (win) but I did not put too much pressure on myself. I try to remind myself that ranking is not important. As long as I do my best it’s OK,” she said. Among other young stars, China also have 17-year-old Li Xuanxu, who took bronze in the women’s 1500m freestyle. Zhao Jing, 20, won her third world title with gold in the 100m backstroke, while the Chinese camp also includes Olympic women’s 200m butterfly champion Liu Zige, who is 22. Head coach Yao Zhengjie said China were hoping to make some “breakthroughs” at the London Games, adding that the Shanghai world championships were a vital part of his squad’s preparations. “The Shanghai worlds is very important as it is the last worlds before the Olympic Games,” Yao said, according to official state news agency Xinhua. “We will take it as a good chance to find out problems and prepare for the London Games. Hopefully we can make some breakthroughs in London.”—AFP

SHANGHAI: US swimmer Ryan Lochte competes in the final of the men’s 200-metre individual medley swimming event in the FINA World Championships. —AFP

Lochte shatters record drought SHANGHAI: America’s Ryan Lochte broke a 19-month record drought and deepened Michael Phelps’s season of woe yesterday as he won a thrilling 200m individual medley at the world championships in Shanghai. In a high-tempo evening at Oriental Sports Centre, Australian hotshot James Magnussen delivered a fifth-to-first victory in the 100m freestyle and Jiao Liuyang claimed China’s fourth swimming gold in the women’s 200m butterfly. Lochte outduelled Olympic champion Phelps to win the medley in 1min 54.00sec, shaving one tenth of a second off his 2009 world record, with his team-mate taking silver and Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh third. With the win, the 26-year-old Lochte retained his world title and earned further bragging rights over his long-time rival, who is struggling to reach the level that has earned him 14 Olympic gold medals. Lochte also ended a lengthy barren streak which had seen no long-course records broken since super-fast polyurethane swimsuits were banned at the start of last year. “I knew it was going to be a battle between Michael and I. I got the better end this time,” Lochte said. “Any time you break a world record, you’ve got to be excited. I trained really hard and it paid off.” Phelps enjoyed a slim early lead over the butterfly leg but Lochte, swimming in the adjacent lane, edged it over the backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle sections to win by 0.16sec. Lochte had already beaten Phelps to win the 200m freestyle title, turning the screw on his out-of-sorts team-mate after Phelps was part of the United States’ relay team that lost its six-year grip on the 4x100m relay on day one. But Phelps stormed back with a dominant win in the 200m butterfly, which is not one of Lochte’s events, sealing the 23rd

world title of his record-breaking career as the clock ticks down to his retirement next year. “I felt good and I thought I was a little long at the finish, and that cost me the race,” Phelps said after the medley. “I’m a little disappointed but at the same time it’s faster than I went in 2008 at the Olympics, so that’s a good thing. That one frustrated me more than anything. I thought I was going to get that one but it is what it is.” In the 100m freestyle final, Magnussen was well out of the medals at the turn but he roared past the field over the second 50m to take it in 47.63sec ahead of Canada’s Brent Hayden and William Meynard of France. Brazilian defending champion and world record-holder Cesar Cielo, who has been in the firing line after testing positive for a banned diuretic, was fourth, just onehundredth of a second off a bronze medal. In the women’s 200m butterfly, Jiao led from start to finish to win ahead of Britain’s Ellen Gandy and world record-holder Liu Zige of China. Australia’s two-time defending champion Jessicah Schipper was joint last. Russia’s Anastasia Zueva won the women’s 50m backstroke in 27.79sec, ahead of Aya Terakawa of Japan and Melissa Franklin, who then led the United States to a rousing win in the women’s 4x200m. The American swimmers were never behind after Franklin’s strong start and Dagny Knutson, Kathryn Hoff and Allison Schmitt combined to take gold ahead of Australia and China. Earlier, Olympic title-holder Britta Steffen pulled out of the world championships after struggling in the women’s 100m freestyle heats, depriving the competition of one of its brightest stars. The double world and Olympic champion withdrew after scraping into the semi-finals with the

lowest qualifying time of 54.86sec, nearly two seconds off her 2009 world record of 52.07. “I gave everything-I had no more to give,” she said. “I can’t explain it. I was in great shape and very optimistic. I’m in good health. “I would give you answers if I had them.”In Steffen’s absence, Britain’s Francesca Halsall timed quickest in the semi-finals, ahead of Dutch swimmer Femke Heemskerk and Australian Alicia Coutts. “You’ve always got to save a bit for the final, haven’t you?” Halsall said. “Like we said this morning, that was a starter, this is the main course, you got to sweeten it up with the dessert tomorrow night.” —AFP Medals Table SHANGHAI: Medals table for swimming events at the world championships after the fifth night of pool action yesterday: United States China Australia Italy France Brazil Russia Denmark Netherlands Norway South Korea Japan Britain Canada Germany Hungary South Africa

Gold Silver Bronze 6 4 4 4 1 6 2 6 1 2 2 0 2* 1 3 2 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 1 0 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 3 0 0 2 0 0 2

Total 14 11 9 4 6 2 2 1 1 1 1 3 2 2 3 2 2

* France awarded two gold medals for dead heat in men’s 100 backstroke


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Sharapova tops Hantuchova, to make Stanford quarters Page 60

www.kuwaittimes.net SHANGHAI: In a picture taken with an underwater camera US swimmer Rebecca Soni competes in the semifinals of the women’s 200-metre breaststroke swimming event in the FINA World Championships. —AFP

Lochte shatters record drought Page63

29 Jul  

Kuwait Times

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