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NO: 15225- Friday, September 30, 2011

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More Kuwaiti MPs probed in graft case See Page 9

RIYADH: A Saudi man signs next to his name before casting his ballot at a polling station in Riyadh yesterday as Saudi men voted in the second municipal polls. — AFP

Cricket match at the sea?

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shakes hands with Kuwait Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Sabah during meetings in Washington, DC yesterday. — AFP


Local FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

Off the record

They never ply on the roads, they fly By Sajeev K Peter

sajeev@kuwaittimes.net

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obody would like to read again on that clichéd subject of Kuwait traffic blues though the issue continues to create multiple headaches for both residents and the authorities. The government has tried every conceivable method to ease congestions on roads - expansion, broadening, diversions, building flyovers etc. But the roads get even more clogged than ever as hundreds of new vehicles race to join the cacophony with each passing day. Those car enthusiasts beg to differ. “Who said our roads are saturated? You see, in Kuwait, we have a population of about 3.5 million. But the number of registered cars in Kuwait is only 1,507,713 (2010 statistics). This means almost half the people in the country do not own a vehicle now,” he argues. He has a point there, I must admit. No one will dispute the fact that Kuwait has one of the best and advanced road networks in the world. Yet my mind races to wonder why we are caught in bumper-to-bumper traffic every day. Why does it take more than 45 minutes to reach Salmiya from Hawally? Why are so many precious lives lost on our roads every day? Some say it is because of reckless driving. Many of the motorists do not seem to honor the rules of the road. But there is another side of the story. A friend of mine who ran a red signal and was penalized told me she had a narrow escape. “It’s better to have a hole in the license card than to have a hole in the head,” she told me when I asked why did she jump the red light. “If I hadn’t accelerated then, the monster behind me would have crushed me to a pulp,” she said. But others say the models work the magic, not the motorists. Some models are born to excel on our roads with their ‘do-or-die attitude.’ Look at those blazing mid-size pickups and dazzling SUVs. They never ply on our roads, they fly instead. Their aweinspiring speed and ‘I care two hoots attitude’ towards other vehicles win them many accolades and fans! Never bound by those mundane traffic rules on redline crossing or speed limits, they have set a new benchmark for driving in the country. ‘We are coming, either you clear out or perish!’ But this modern day Silverado story is a pointer to the future. It could form the core of Kuwait’s response to its traffic blues. These ‘flying vehicles’ suggest that helicopters may be the answer to Kuwait’s traffic problem, not a metro rail nor a monorail network. Because, high-flying is today’s buzzword, either on the roads or in the skies.

In my view

Digital defectives in the wired world By Ruth Riegler ruth@kuwaittimes.net

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n the hi-tech modern world, there are digital natives who could wire up a Wii before they mastered speech; there are digital immigrants, including many silver surfers, who make up in enthusiasm and adaptability what they lack in hi-tech expertise. And there are the digital defectives, a.k.a. d.d’s or just plain diddies, who wait hopelessly at the electronic border for our techno-passports to be stamped while milling around slack-jawed, gawping at the gadgets on the other side and asking one another, ‘But who sorts the email? Is Kelihos Botnet good with fries? Why can’t I see the blue ray?’ While the clued-up residents of the wired world debate the latest apps and upgrades and converse fluently in techie jargon, we diddies react to an iPhone like educationally subnormal chimps glimpsing the Large Hadron Collider: ‘Coo, it’s a phone and it plays music? And you can send email too?! Oh, oh, you touch the screen and the picture moves!’ After which we need to go and have a lie down since too much technical stuff at once can be scary. For a diddy, a trip to the electronics store is a nerveracking experience. There will be people there who Know About This Stuff, the customs officers to the digital kingdom, or sales staff as they’re known. Our slack-jawed, mystified demeanor is a giveaway - we are commission on the hoof, the dupes - or indeed the diddies - who’ll buy the hunk of junk in the corner that the digital natives and immigrants shun like Ebola, the one that the shop’s been trying to shift for the last year.

Even when we try to appear knowledgeable, to brush up beforehand on the techno-basics, we can’t fool the digital customs officers, whose techie sixth sense can pick up our pathetic attempts at clued-up tech talk from 100 meters. ‘So wiseass, you looked up gigabytes and network routers in the dictionary,’ their scornful look tells us. ‘Big wow - I’m still going to sell you the hunk of junk in the corner, but I’ll give you ten minutes more technical jargon (diddy kryptonite) beforehand just to punish you for your attempts at digital deception.’ Emerging traumatized from these disturbing encounters with modern life, and equipped with cell phones/laptops less reliable than a politician’s promise, which were state-of-the-art at around the same time as whalebone corsets, we then scuttle back across the electronic border to analogue safety. On behalf of diddies everywhere, therefore, I want to appeal to the digital natives, immigrants and even computer salespeople for a little consideration for the diddy community, some patience and compassion for our digital deficiencies. We diddies may be digitally disgraced, but with encouragement and possibly the use of flashcards and an intensive Sesame Street-level remedial IT tutoring program we too could be brought into the modern age - well, 1990 or so, let’s not get carried away here.


Local FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

Local Spotlight

Satire Wire

A message to new Muslims

Prevent instead of cure By Sawsan Kazak

sawsank@kuwaittimes.net

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he building of eight new hospitals in Kuwait was recently approved by the Cabinet. It was reported that the new hospitals are being built to help cope with Kuwait’s increasing demands and continually growing population. The project is set to be completed in 2014 and will cost about KD4 billion. This is quite an investment for such a small country that already has many hospitals all across the country. Maybe some funds could be designated for a different purpose. I’m not against investing in public hospitals, in fact, I am completely for the project. Having more public hospitals is always good for a country and its people, but it shouldn’t be the only focus as hospitals are not the only measures when it comes to health. I do think that some thought should be given to the investment in prevention. More programs and organiza-

tions should be created to educate and inform individuals about the many options available before they need to go to a hospital. I feel as though there are a lack of these organizations that have the sole purpose of helping prevent avoidable and manageable diseases. It’s like only investing in organizations to deal with the mismanagement of personal funds and not offering any classes or information on how to manage funds. Hospitals usually cure the symptoms, but more attention should be paid to the cause. Instead of just treating a heart patient, there should be programs to educate people on prevention methods that could be used before it ever occurs. Instead of giving people medication to cure diabetes, why not explain to people how to avoid taking medicine in the first place by teaching them about diet and nutrition? There are many illnesses that can be cured without medication or hospital visits; but the information needs to be more easily available. Building hospitals to meet demands and helping alleviate the pressure on existing ones is a great initiative, but some studies should be conducted on the reason behind such demands and pressure right now. By investing in prevention, maybe less money will be needed in curing preventable diseases.

By Muna Al-Fuzai

muna@kuwaittimes.net

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really think there is a misconception about Islam among Western Muslims when it comes to the kind of clothing that men and women wear! I believe this issue is important to those who choose to become Muslims. I assume that they read a lot about Islam before taking such a vital decision in life. Iím sure they are convinced about what they want in life and are ready to manage it. That is alright. I would like to address another aspect today. Extremism has never been a part of Islam. The wrong perception has harmed Islamís image. A society that falls into the lap of extremist ideology can never succeed. Taleban is the perfect example. They portrayed themselves as a deeply religious Muslim community, but murdered and abused fellow Muslims. Islam has never advocated inhumanity. When women convert to Islam, they need to understand that Islam asks women to dress modestly. Where is it mentioned that Islam forces woman to wear a veil (niqab)? The need to wear a veil has been continuously debated among Muslims themselves. Even if a Muslim woman does not wear a veil, her piety cannot be questioned. The same applies to men who sport a long beard and untidy clothes. When a Muslim man does not wear a fancy suit, does he not qualify as a true Muslim? I think the Muslim NGOs here should instruct new converts, men and women, on what to wear and what colors suit them. As long as one mingles with society, the least they can do to keep up appearances is achieve a decent look. We cannot lead an isolated life. I keep wondering why they cannot dress better to portray Islam’s true image.

KUWAIT: Pigeons are captured enjoying a cool drink of water . — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat In my view

When ‘Blackberry’ and ‘Apple’ were just fruits By Sahar Moussa

sahar@kuwaittimes.net

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still remember the time when I was addicted to my Blackberry, iPhone and Facebook. My friend posted on her husband’s Facebook wall, “I wish I was your BB... you’d be holding me all the time, checking on me every second, thinking of me, taking me everywhere you go. Most importantly, call me BB (baby)!” Her status was a wakeup call and I decided to spend more time with my friends and beloved. Two days ago, I entered a coffee shop and to my surprise, I saw four different people, sitting alone at four different tables, busy tapping away at their BlackBerrys and

iPhones. Oddly and amusingly, the expression on their faces remained fixed! Internet is an essential tool for work, education, and communication but why are we so obsessed with social networking websites and devices? Whatsapp, Twitter, Facebook, Viber and Voxer are just a few. It is a doubleedged sword where it serves an important function but can be tremendously addictive. Not to be hypocritical, I do use all the technologies mentioned above but make sure never to lose communication with my family, have a face-to-face chat with my friends, and make sure I give them complete attention. I sympathize and give them a hug or touch their hands for support, and share a laughter or a tear. This I believe is called “human interaction.” I’m not denying that technologies help bridge the gap in long-distance relationships though. One of my friends was actually complaining about her staff at the workplace and how they are constantly on

their Blackberrys and iPhones causing a constant delay at the job. They do not concentrate much, not to mention how funny they look laughing alone with phones stuck to their ears, “They appear stupid sending each other jokes and chatting on their phones when they are a few steps away from each other,” she said. This trend interferes with our daily life, work and relationships, also known as ‘Cyber-Relationship Addiction’ according to helpguide.com. It is explained as an addiction to social networking, chat rooms and messaging to the point where virtual, online friends become more important than real-life relationships. I certainly miss the time when Blackberry and Apple were fruits. Sadly, these gadgets isolate you from social life. I’m not against the use of technology but feel strongly against destroying social interaction between human beings! I refuse to be replaced with a machine, using ‘lol’ instead of sharing a real laugh from the heart.


Local FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

red

Seeing when the signal goes

green

In a concrete war-zone, it’s only natural to develop road rage

By Sawsan Kazak

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s you slowly pull out of your driveway a car zooms up behind you, honking furiously. The angry driver gestures at you indicating you are in his way. As you merge onto a major road, vehicles whiz by you as they cut you off, only just missing you. Your exit comes up and you try to merge into the right lane, but no one will let you by. You miss your exit, the car behind you is flashing its high beams and the car in front of you is driving 30 miles per hour. With 10 minutes of driving, your stress levels jump up a few notches and you end up losing your cool. From the moment you get into your car, till you get to your desired destination, you are under attack; it’s a concrete vehicle-filled warzone. It’s only natural that you develop what is called road rage. This is when you get infuriated by other drivers and overreact to normal, everyday situations. Road rage can make people do some strange things, like screaming, flashing obscene gestures to other people and even driving dangerously. Driving in Kuwait could make a Buddhist

monk lose his cool and rear-end another driver. This road anger is detrimental to our society — not to mention our health — and finding a way to manage it could help us all. The sounds of peace You could start off by trying to make the interior of your car a peaceful and relaxing space. Why not play a relaxing CD, listening, for example to the sounds of the ocean or birds of the rainforest? Listening to waves hitting the shores or the chirping of little animals will calm you a little. Why don’t you try lighting a few scented candles around the car? The scent of lilacs or French vanilla could trick your senses into believing you are in a safe and relaxed location. Another great scent to try in the car is incense; a few sticks of sandalwood at the beginning of your drive should do the trick. Maybe if the interiors are extra relaxing, the exteriors won’t have such an effect on your driving. Be preemptive Even before you board your car, you could take a few safety measures to ensure your

anger levels won’t rise. Why not try some yoga? A few hours of yoga should release all the built-up stress and drain your body of the urge to explode. If yoga is not your thing, why not give meditation a shot? Imagine yourself getting to your location smoothly and easily. Sit in the lotus position in your car and imagine that every time you turn on your signal, other cars make way for your merge. Imagine yourself driving at your desired speed with no one flashing their lights at you. Imagine, if you can, an entire journey without someone cutting you off. If you don’t have the patience for meditation, try your hand at hypnosis. Go and visit the office of a professional hypnosis specialist and have him trick your mind into believing driving in Kuwait is a peaceful and pleasant experience; this way no matter what happens, you will think you are happy. Soothing hands Getting a massage is always a calming experience, leaving you relaxed for hours afterwards. Why not combine driving with getting a massage? Hire a personal masseuse to hang

out in the backseat of your car on a daily basis. The masseuse could rub your shoulders from the moment you get on the road until you reach your final destination; you will not only be calm during the drive, but also all day long. Breaking the bank You could start commuting by helicopter or private jet; this should be a final resort. Simply take out a personal loan and buy yourself your very own helicopter. This would of course require you to hire a full-time helicopter pilot. You will also need to move to a building that has a helicopter pad on the roof. This might break the bank and you may spend a few decades paying off the debt, but it’s so worth it if you really think about it. You will fly to and from work in a few minutes, instead of driving for a few hours. With all the time you will save on commuting, you could probably take up another job to help pay for your personal pilot and helicopter. Sure, these measures seem extreme, but so are Kuwait’s drivers. Maybe before we adopt such drastic measures, we could all just calm down a little and not take acts on the road so personally.


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Local

Years

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

By Nawara Fattahova

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he pressure on women in the Arab World to give birth to a son or face their husband marrying a second wife has prompted a new trend: baby gender choice. The new gender choice option guarantees conceiving a girl or a boy at 50 percent. To do so, neither ultrasound scans nor any other form of medical examination is required - only the right kind of product known as ‘Intimate Wash.’ The choice of right intimate wash helps women conceive a boy or a girl, say Kuwait-based pharmacists. One pharmacist, from Al-Safwa Pharmacy, explained that this wash has many benefits and that although the price varies from one brand to another, the product is generally affordable to any woman, “We have only one kind of the feminine wash that is used to determine the gender of a future baby. It’s made in Egypt and it costs only 950 Fils,” the pharmacist told the Friday Times. Expressing reservations about the reliability of the product, however, the pharmacist explained that, “nothing is 100-percent sure.” According to a few pharmacists in Kuwait, such products are sold without doctor’s prescription as they purportedly have no side effects. Women can buy a box containing 12 packets of the wash over-the-counter and are directed to administer the wash an hour before a couple attempts to conceive their future child. Ghernata Pharmacy, in Kuwait City, offers another kind of feminine wash: one produced in Greece that is slightly more expensive. One pharmacist here explained, “It’s made of natural materials and it therefore has no side effects. This wash is the best method available in today’s market to determine the gender of the baby - better than any other medica-

tion or food supplements.” As for the accuracy of the product, the pharmacist elaborated that, “The expected success rate of this product is about 50 percent, at least.” The KD 4.800 per box, however, is administered differently to its competitors, “It should be used one or two days before ovulation and again right after it. It’s recommended to use two packets each time,” the pharmacist at Ghernata Pharmacy explained. As to how precisely the wash works, one doctor at the Ahlam Pharmacy explained, “It works by altering the environment inside the woman’s womb. It changes the medium of the woman’s reproductive organ either to alkaline (for those who aim to have a boy) or to acid (for those who would like a baby girl).” Elaborating that she is unsure the wash’s precise success rate, the doctor explained that she has never heard first-hand testimonies. “No one who buys it comes back again,” she said. Elsewhere in Kuwait are pharmacists unfamiliar with the product. At three other pharmacies, staff explained they do not stock the wash, “The gender of the baby is dependent on God’s will, and I don’t think we can affect it,” one pharmacist said. “I haven’t heard of such an invention that enables people to determine the gender of their unborn baby. Perhaps such products exist in Europe, but I doubt that people can find it in the market here in Kuwait,” said one pharmacist whose pharmacy does not sell the intimate wash.


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Local

Palmtree pollen

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

An

‘Attar’

‘This is a guaranteed method that absorbs all the pain from the scalp. It is very cooling and soothing for migraines and headaches’

spells the power of herbs

By Hussain Al-Qatari

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ot only does herbal medicine compete with brand pharmaceuticals today, it is also transforming the entire industry, according to Saleh, an ‘Attar’ working at a Mubarakiya store. Attar is a Kuwaiti word for a natural remedies healer. “Many brand pharmaceuticals carried by pharmacies today have natural ingredients. People today are turning back to nature, and this is forcing pharmaceutical companies to cater to this trend,” he explains. Originally hailing from Yemen, Saleh has been working in the industry of herbal remedies for almost three decades. As it was recently Ramadan, Saleh says that best-selling item was palm water extract, known colloquially as “mai leggah.” Diluted with cool water, the mixture is said to quench thirst and sustain a person for hours without water. This regional super-water, usually imported from Bahrain, is made from the essence of palm tree pollen sacks and is believed to have a variety of health benefits. “It is prescribed to relieve stomach aches, relax the body from stress, quench thirst during the summer, and help fight insomnia. It helps relieve colon irritations and menstruation discomfort,” he says. The water is also believed to be a potent aphrodisiac that increases sexual stamina. For headaches, Saleh prescribes a scalp mask that is to be applied and kept on the scalp for 12 hours. “This is a guaranteed method that absorbs all the pain from the scalp. It is very cooling and soothing for migraines and headaches,” he says. The recipe for the scalp mask is a mixture of powders that include henna, fenugreek, nutmeg flower seed, parsley and orange oil. “A paste is made by mixing water with the powder until it reaches a thick consistency. After that, it is best to apply olive oil to the hair and scalp. Olive oil is easily absorbed into the scalp, and it makes a good base for a scalp mask. It Myrrh

allows the active ingredients in the mask to enter,” Saleh explains. After the mask is applied, one is advised to wrap the head with a cloth. “It is better to put this on and sleep or to keep it on during the day. Of course you don’t want to go out with your head wrapped like that,” he quips. The mixture costs KD 3, a price that Saleh believes is competitive with mainstream brand pharmaceuticals. “If you go to the pharmacy you will get three different kinds of pills, one for the fever, one for the pain, and one to help you sleep better. This alternative medicine does the job of all three. It relaxes you, soothes the pain and cools the fever,” he says enthusiastically. Another super-herb, Myrrh, is believed to help reduce blood glucose levels. Today, it is used widely by diabetics in Kuwait. It is also used for menopause-related issues, rheumatism and arthritis. A mouth wash can also be made by mixing Myrrh with water to relieve mouth sores and bleeding of gums. “Myrrh has strong and effective antibiotic properties. I always tell my clients to forget about the boxes of expensive antibiotics they buy from private clinics and instead recommend they buy Myrrh,” said Saleh. Camel grass Another medicinal plant, available not just in Saleh’s store but also growing wild in deserts and backyards, is camel grass. The shrub, usually fed to camels and cattle, is a plant whose medicinal value, Saleh says, was discovered by the Bedouins roaming the Arabian Peninsula. Its medicinal properties vary and it is used to treat different kinds of illness. A concoction of camel grass can flush the kidney of stones and impurities, explains Saleh. “You need two cups of grass to be boiled in water for at least five hours. When the drink is ready, you strain the grass and drink the water first thing in the morning for an entire week. It is a guaranteed remedy for all kidney problems,” Saleh the Mubarakiya Attar explains.


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Local

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 , 2011

By Lama Al-Haqhaq

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soft, soothing voice whispers quietly in the nursery room in the evening; it goes, “Tghatti mneeh, ou naami mneeh. Deek il hay bakeer biseeh, taywa’i il shams min il nawm. Lamma bitseeri sabiyeh, ou bitghani hal ghiniyeh, la tinsi shu ‘emelna ilyoum.” These are the words of a popular Arabic lullaby that Noura uses to put her daughter to sleep, “I personally feel that when I sing to my daughter, it creates a special kind of bond between us,” Noura, a new mother of a nine-month-old girl, said. “It’s like the music is bringing us closer together.”

‘I personally feel that when I sing to my daughter, it creates a special kind of bond between us’ To some, at first glance, the lullaby seems to be nothing more than pure gibberish. Yet to others, these words serve as sedatives upon entering the ears of young children. The translation of this Arabic lullaby is as follows, “Cover yourself well, and sleep well. The neighborhood rooster calls early in the morning, to wake the sun up from sleep. When you become a young woman, and sing this song, don’t forget what we did today. We sang, we ran, we played, we drew, we planted and grew tired. The day has ended, off to bed.” What is a lullaby? Lullabies are songs that are normally sung to children in order to smoothly and quickly help them transition into a deep sleep. Every region, and sometimes every country, has its own type of lullaby, sung in its own language and dialect. A countless number of them exist, from the widely popular Western song ‘Rock a Bye Baby,’ to the more local songs, such as the Arabic ‘Yalla T’naam’ (‘Come on, sleep’). The many benefits It is further believed that singing lullabies to children has numerous benefits other than assisting the transition to sleep. Laurel Trainor, an Associate Professor of Psychology at McMaster University in Canada, has researched such benefits. A study she conducted found that singing lullabies to babies calms them down as they focus their attention inward when reacting to the songs. Noura believes that singing lullabies helps her daughter feel safe, as she can sense a loving presence nearby, “Also, it helps me surround her with our Arabic culture through the songs,” she said. While there are a few common lullabies across the Middle East, there are many regional songs that are traditionally sung to children to put them to bed. Some of these stem from folk songs, while others tend to be more intimately related to religion. One Palestinian folk-based lullaby goes, “Nayamtak fi al’eliye, khoufi ‘alek min al hayeh. Hizeelo ya sabiyeh, barki ‘ala soutik iynaam.” Translated, the lullaby is as follows, “I put you to sleep in the small room, scared that the snake would get to you. Sway him young girl, maybe he’ll fall asleep at the sound of your voice.” In the Gulf, lullabies infused with Islam are more common. One will witness, however, that the basis of the lullaby-regardless of its cultural or religious origins - remains constant, as in the following example from the Gulf, “Allah Allah ya ma’bood, khaleq al namla wa al dood. Khal ibniti testawi, tikbar ou tirkath fi al hawi,” (“God, God the worshipped, creator of the ant and worm. Let my daughter mature, to grow and run in the yard,”). It is sung in a soft way that would almost seem to mesmerize the child and help the process of

sleep move along in a faster and calmer manner, older Kuwaitis say. This lullaby resembles a prayer to God, in which the parent elicits divine help for the child’s growth. “I remember my grandmother singing Arabic songs to me when I was younger,” Lamia Khaled, a Kuwaiti national, said. Lamia recalls singing those same songs to her younger sister when she was born. “I didn’t speak Arabic very well when I was six years old,” she explained, “but since my grandmother wasn’t there I felt like I had to be the one to sing to my sister, and the songs came out fluently.” However, it seems that these Arabic lullabies are being replaced within many Arab homes. Many people have resorted to singing lullabies to their

young children in other languages, such as English and sometimes even French. “I don’t think I even know an Arabic lullaby,” Lujain H, another Kuwaiti national, confessed. Nayla R, a Lebanese expatriate, talked of similar experiences mentioning that her sister usually sings her daughter, ‘Hush, Little Baby.’ Nayla says that she has never heard her sister sing any Arabic songs to her baby. “Even when we were younger, I remember my mother singing the French song ‘Frere Jacques’ to us, but never an Arabic one,” Nayla explained. A habit abandoned While many have held on to the age-old tradition of singing lullabies, some have taken the more extreme approach of completely giving up and have sought alternatives to lullabies. Musical toys or mobiles placed above the child’s bed, rotating while playing a gentle tune, are popular today, replacing mother’s tender voice over the cradle. Dina, a Kuwaiti, used to place a plastic dome, which would light up and play music when turned on, next to her son’s crib when he was younger. “Because you don’t really know how long it’s going to take him to fall asleep, such kind of toys continue to play until you turn them off. They’re perfect,” Dina said. Arabic lullabies are being kept alive by a number of people, yet others are slowly letting go of them. One result of this is that many songs passed down through the generations have disappeared with time. “It’s a shame to see that many people don’t sing to their kids,” Kahled, an individual with a fond recollection of the practice said, adding, “lullabies are a big part of my childhood memories.”


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Local

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

More Kuwaiti MPs probed in graft case Local media publishes names of MPs under scanner KUWAIT: The public prosecutor in OPEC member Kuwait has expanded an unprecedented probe into the bank accounts of several MPs suspected of receiving illegal deposits, local media reported yesterday. Citing sources, AlJarida daily said the bank accounts of four more MPs were referred to the public prosecution, raising the number of lawmakers under investigation to 14. The public prosecutor launched the probe two weeks ago after two banks reported large suspicious amounts being deposited into the bank accounts of a number of MPs. Al-Jarida and other local media expected the number of MPs under suspicion to rise to around 20 in the 50member parliament. Some local media

KUWAIT: The two Asians who were arrested by Ahmadi police in connection with brewing illicit liquor are pictured.

Spurious liquor makers arrested By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: In a routine police patrol conducted along Ahmadi governorate, Ahmadi police arrested two Asians in connection with brewing illicit liquor in Mangaf. They were arrested with the possession of 108 liquor bottles and plastic bags. The police also arrested reckless motorists for endangering others’ lives. Officials added that 80 traffic tickets were issued, and 16 vehicles were confiscated. Also, 18 illegal residents were arrested in connection with possession of expired visas. Freak accident A 26-year-old Indian elevator technician died instantly after falling into the lift shaft, said security sources. The Hilali fire and rescue forces rushed to the scene after learning that the man succumbed to serious head injuries. Street fight Two Egyptians suffered facial injuries in a scuffle that took place in Shuwaikh Industrial Area. Both men were admitted to AlSabah hospital for treatment. Corpse found A man’s corpse was found in a Bneid Al-Gar building yard. He had reportedly fallen from a height, permanently damaging his skull. The corpse was removed for an autopsy. Wounded man A 35-year-old Bangladeshi was spotted in Saad Al-Abdullah area with a bleeding forehead. A citizen who spotted him called an ambulance and told paramedical staff that he had a fight with a group of men, thereby sustaining an injury.

KFSD discusses fingerprint system By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: Kuwait Fire Services Directorate (KFSD)’s Deputy Director for Fire Fighting and Human Resources Development Brigadier Yousif Al-Ansari, yesterday met all the department heads in the presence of Brigadier Khaled Al-Terkait KFSD’s Deputy Director to discuss the fingerprint attendance system.

even published the names of MPs they said were under investigation, suggesting that all are pro-government MPs. Leading opposition figure MP Ahmad Al-Saadoun last week estimated the illegal deposits at $350 million, while the opposition suggested the money related to government efforts to buy the loyalty of MPs in crucial votes. Opposition activists have organized several protests to press for the dissolution of Parliament and the dismissal of His Highness Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. Two opposition groups have announced their intention to file to question the Premier in Parliament over the Government’s alleged failure to stop widespread corruption. Thanks to high

oil prices, OPEC’s third-largest producer has posted a budget surplus in each of the past 12 years. Its foreign investments currently top $300 billion, the largest ever. Corruption has been on the rise in the oil-rich Gulf state which amassed more than $200 billion of budget surpluses over the past 12 fiscal years, and is headed for another year with huge windfall. Between 2003 and 2009, the Emirate slipped 31 places to 66th position on the Berlin-based Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index among 178 nations. In 2010, however, it improved 12 places to the 54th position but still came last among the six-nation energy-rich Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), behind Saudi Arabia. —AFP

Kuwait’s UNDP launches WRSC project Kuwait eyes gender equality by 2015 By Nariman Moucer KUWAIT: The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Kuwait yesterday launched its Women Research and Studies Center, (WRSC) in collaboration with Kuwait University and the Planning and Development Secretariat General. It is the first of its kind in Kuwait and GCC states in terms of handling intergender gaps, integrating gender equality in all policies and evaluation programs and reinforcing women and youth participation in various national policy making. Notably, the UNDP cooperates with various governmental and non-governmental bodies in preparing to execute various projects designed to meet governments goals. In this regard, Kuwait is committed to achieving the third goal of the Millennium Development Goals, namely in the field of gender equality and empowering women by 2015. The United Nations Development Program is the UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to

KUWAIT: The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) yesterday launched its Women Research and Studies Center, (WRSC) in collaboration with Kuwait University and the Planning and Development Secretariat General. — KUNA help people build a better life. It exists in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national

development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and its wide range of partners.

Talks underway to include Egypt in GCC KUWAIT: The six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states are currently holding intensive talks with Egypt about the possibility of including it in the union, following on the heels of Jordan and Morocco. Sources explained that certain GCC states welcomed the idea thanks to the country’s potentials, strategic bonds with GCC states and historic commitment to the Gulf region’s security, reported Al-Watan. Furthermore, sources stressed supporters view Egypt as the best country to cooperate with the GCC in view of

the mutual interests it shares after Jordan and Morocco were invited to join the council. “Keeping the current situation in mind, Egypt should be conferred a more valuable status among Arab states in general, particularly after the change in Iraq and the outward Iranian interference in its affairs.” Officials also denied that such intentions were motivated by the GCC states’ wish to hinder attempts to enhance Egyptian-Iranian bilateral relations following the Egyptian revo-

lution and ouster of president Mubarak. “GCC states have no worries about this and strongly believe that any such relationship-building will be utilized to achieve more regional security and stability”, underscored sources. They noted that Egypt had always had its strategic principles, the most important of which, “GCC states security is an integral part of Egypt’s own security.” Moreover, officials highlighted that Egypt unconditionally welcomed the invitation to boost productivity at all levels.


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WASHINGTON: His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah is welcomed by US officials during his two-day official visit to the United States. — KUNA

PM in Washington for bilateral talks Dialogue to focus on Kuwaiti detainees WASHINGTON: His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser AlMohammed Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah met with US Vice-President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday. Sheikh Nasser arrived Wednesday in Washington, DC for a two-day official visit to the US. Sheikh

Nasser was received by US Chief of Protocol Capricia Marshall and Kuwaiti Ambassador Sheikh Salem AlAbdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in addition to several other Kuwaiti diplomats. The ambassador stated that “The strong relation between Washington and Kuwait requires us to

communicate with the US. Such communication is regular and constant at all levels.” Earlier yesterday Sheikh Salem said that bilateral relations would feature prominently during the talks. The two sides were expected to hold talks on bilateral military cooperation and Gulf

security as well as the latest developments in the Arab world, chief among them the so-called Arab Spring. Ambassador Sheikh Salem added that the PM is also due to discuss the issue of Kuwaiti detainees currently held at Guantanamo Bay when he meets with US officials. — KUNA

Kuwait border police organize tour for UK Defense officials KUWAIT: The Border Security Department at the Interior Ministry yesterday organized an air tour to visiting senior UK defense officials for territorial waters and surrounding waterways. This came after Assistant Undersecretary for Border Security Major General Sheikh Mohammad Yousuf Al-Sabah’s meeting with visiting UK Ministry of Defense’s Senior Adviser for Middle East Simon Mayall and the

UK Ministry of Defense’s Undersecretary for Parliamentary Affairs Lord Astor of Hever at Sabah coast guards base. During the meeting Maj Gen Yousuf underlined the strength of Kuwait-United Kingdom relations, especially in security affairs and defense. Yousuf and UK official tackled several issues of common concern, including joint security operations and exercises. — KUNA

Mexican official lauds relations with Kuwait MEXICO CITY: Chairman of the MexicanKuwaiti Friendship Society Carlos Peralta lauded here yesterday the relations between the two friendly nations, affirming that two countries were keen on seeking new frontiers to boost ties in all possible sectors. This came during his meeting with Kuwaiti Ambassador to Mexico, Samih Jawhar Hayat, who handed the Mexican official a reply letter on bilateral relations from His Highness the Kuwaiti Prime

Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad AlAhmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Peralta called on Kuwaiti business personnel to explore the numerous commercial and trade opportunities provided by Mexico, hoping that it would further bolster relations between the two nations. Hayat, on his part, offered Peralta a name-list of several prominent Mexican businessmen who could possibly help in boosting commercial and trade ties between Kuwait and Mexico. — KUNA

MEXICO CITY: Chairman of the Mexican-Kuwaiti Friendship Society Carlos Peralta is pictured with Samih Jawhar Hayat Kuwait’s Ambassador to Mexico. —KUNA

KUWAIT: The Assistant Undersecretary from the Interior Ministry for Border Security Affairs, Major General Sheikh Mohammed Al-Yousif Al-Sabah received Lord Astor UK’s Defense Undersecretary and the Spokesman on Defense, and Field Marshal Simon Mayall, UK Ministry of Defense’s Senior Adviser for Middle East and Commander of British Defense forces at Sabah Al-Ahmed Coastguard.

KUWAIT: KJA recently held a workshop on press freedom and media reforms at the Arab Journalists’ Union. —KUNA


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Renewed fighting kills two in Sanaa

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Libya’s NTC forces retake Sirte airport

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Aircraft with 18 aboard crashes in Indonesia

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RIYADH: A Saudi man casts his ballot at a polling station in Riyadh yesterday as Saudi men were voting in municipal elections, with a poor turnout in the last all-male polls in the kingdom after King Abdullah this week gave women the right to participate in four years’ time. — AFP

Saudi vote in last all-male polls ‘Women still have a long way to go’ RIYADH: Saudi men voted yesterday in municipal elections, the last all-male affair in the Muslim kingdom after a royal decree this week gave women the right to cast ballots in four years. Some 5,324 candidates are competing for 1,056 seats-only the second elections in Saudi Arabian history-to fill half the seats in the country’s 285 councils. The other half are appointed by the government. The first elections in the Gulf kingdom, which has a population of around 27.5 million, including around 19 million Saudis, were held in 2005, but the government extended the existing council’s term for two years. Around 1.2 million male voters have registered to take part. The early hours of voting appeared to attract little interest on the first day of the Saudi weekend yesterday and today. Just a few voters showed up before

midday at a polling station in Al-Olaya neighbourhood in central Riyadh, an AFP correspondent reported. “The movement is slow before noon. People are still asleep because it is a day off,” said candidate Abdulwahab alMaliki. Voting was also slow in the country’s economic capital, the port city of Jeddah on the west coast. The results of the vote are expected on Sunday. Yesterday’s polling comes just four days after absolute monarch King Abdullah granted women the right to vote and run in the next municipal elections in four years, a historic first for the ultra-conservative country. Women’s rights activists had long fought for the right to vote in Saudi Arabia, which applies a strict version of Sunni Islam and bars women from driving or travelling without the consent of a male guardian. In addition to participating in the only

public polls in the country, King Abdullah also announced he had decided to admit women to the Shura Council, an all-appointed consultative body. Saudi Arabia does not have an elected parliament. The monarch’s move was hailed by the United States and Britain, with both calling it a significant “step forward.” But the moves were also seen by some as insufficient. Hussein Sharif, head of the human rights association in the western city of Makkah, said: “Women still have a long way to go” to gain their rights. And Fahad Al-Harithi, head of Asbar Centre for Studies, Research and Communications, said: “The road for women to gain their rights is still too long. She is still marginalised... in terms of her rights and duties.” Advocacy group Human Rights Watch also welcomed the king’s decision but said it came

too late. “King Abdullah’s promise that women will finally be allowed to vote is a welcome move away from the discrimination and exclusion that Saudi women have suffered for so long,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW’s Middle East director. “Sadly, King Abdullah’s promise of reform in 2015 doesn’t come soon enough for women to vote in upcoming municipal elections,” Whitson said of yesterday’s vote. Amnesty International cautiously welcomed the decision but said the kingdom was moving much too slowly on women’s rights. “It is a welcome, albeit limited, step along the long road towards gender equality in Saudi Arabia,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa. “It is, however, much overdue and does not go nearly far enough.” — AFP


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Saudi king ‘revokes’ woman driver’s lashing sentence JEDDAH: Saudi King Abdullah has revoked a sentence of 10 lashes imposed on a woman for breaking the ban on women driving in the conservative kingdom, a Saudi princess said late Wednesday on her Twitter account. “Thank God, the lashing of Sheima is cancelled. Thanks to our beloved King. I’m sure all Saudi women will be so happy, I know I am,” said Princess Amira Al-Taweel, wife of billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. “In tough times we stand together; in good times we celebrate together,” the princess said. “I’m proud to be Saudi. To all Active Saudi women thank u for ur efforts.” Sheima Jastaniah was sentenced on Monday by a court in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, where she was caught driving in July, a rights activist said. “We were shocked yesterday (Monday) that she was sentenced to 10 lashes,” the activist said, adding Jastaniah would appeal the verdict. The sentence came a day after the king

announced women would be allowed to vote and to run in municipal polls, and to join the all-appointed Shura (consultative) Council, a first in a country that imposes many restrictions on women. Amnesty International condemned the sentence, saying it demonstrated the “scale of discrimination against women in the kingdom.” “Flogging is a cruel punishment in all circumstances but it beggars belief that the authorities in Saudi Arabia have imposed lashes on a woman apparently for merely driving a car,” said Amnesty’s Philip Luther. “Belatedly allowing women to vote in council elections is all well and good, but if they are still going to face being flogged for trying to exercise their right to freedom of movement then the king’s much-trumpeted ‘reforms’ actually amount to very little,” he said. “Saudi Arabia needs to go much further. The whole system of women’s subordination to men in Saudi Arabia needs to be dismantled,”

added Luther. Also on Tuesday, women rights activist Madiha al-Ajrush was detained briefly in Riyadh after she was caught driving around the capital with a French freelance journalist who was working on a video documentary on women. The journalist said she herself was set free after her consulate intervened, while Ajrush was later released according to posts by the Women2Drive campaign on the group’s Twitter page. Women2Drive said police requested a male guardian to sign a pledge that Ajrush would not drive, but when no one was reached, she was told to sign herself and leave. A group of defiant Saudi women got behind the wheels of their cars on June 17 in response to calls for nationwide action to break the ban. The call spread through Facebook and Twitter was the largest mass action since November 1990, when 47 Saudi women were arrested and severely punished after demonstrating in cars.

The is no law banning women from driving. But the minister of interior formally banned women from driving following the protest staged in 1990. Ajrush was one of the women who took part in the protest. In a February 2009 interview, Princes Amira said she was frustrated that she was not allowed to drive in her own country. She told the Al-Watan newspaper she was ready to get behind the wheel as soon as the government in Riyadh gives women the right to do so. “I am certainly ready to drive. I have an international driving licence and I drive in every country of the world that I travel to,” she told the paper. “I would like to drive here with my sister or my friend next to me instead of a driver.” Prince Alwaleed, a nephew of the king, has been outspoken in promoting more freedoms for women in Saudi Arabia, where strict Islamic rules also prevent them from going out on their own without a male guardian. — AFP

Renewed fighting kills two in Sanaa Fresh clashes, explosions rock Yemen capital

KIRKUK: Iraqi security forces and civilians gather at the site of a blast outside a bank where police officers were collecting their salaries in the ethnically-mixed oil-rich city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq yesterday. — AFP

Bahrain sentences protester to death DUBAI: Bahrain’s special security court yesterday sentenced a protester to death for killing a policeman, and gave doctors and nurses who treated injured protesters during the country’s uprising earlier this year lengthy prison sentences, a lawyer said. Attorney Mohsen al-Alawi said the tribunal, set up during Bahrain’s emergency rule, convicted and sentenced 13 medical professionals each to 15 years in prison. In addition, two doctors were sentenced to 10 years each while five other medics got 5-year prison terms. The harsh sentences in the two separate court cases suggest the Sunni authorities in the Gulf kingdom will not relent in pursing and punishing those they accuse of supporting the Shiite-led opposition and participating in dissent that has roiled the tiny island nation. Earlier this year, the same special court sentenced two other protesters to death for killing a police officer in a separate incident. Al-Alawi, who was the defense lawyer for several medics, said the 20 medical professionals, who were charged with various anti-state crimes, and the protester who got the death sentence on Thursday can all appeal their verdicts. A Bahraini rights group identified the protester as Ali Yousef Abdulwahab al-Taweel. The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights said that another suspect, Ali Attia Mahdi, was convicted on Thursday as al-Taweel’s accomplice and sentenced to life imprisonment. The tribunal’s military prosecutor, Yousef Rashid Flaifel, said the two men were convicted of premeditated murder in the killing of an officer in the oil hub of Sitra. In comments to the state-run Bahrain News Agency, Flaifel said the men committed a “terror act” by running over the policeman with two cars. He didn’t say when the incident occurred. — Reuters

SANAA: Heavy clashes rocked northern neighbourhoods of Yemen’s capital Sanaa at dawn yesterday, killing two people and breaking a truce aimed at ending the worst violence since a popular revolt against President Ali Abdullah Saleh began eight months ago. A Reuters reporter at the scene said shelling and gunfire had engulfed three areas in north Sanaa as troops battled armed followers of powerful tribal leader Sadeq Al-Ahmar, who supports opposition demands for an end to Saleh’s 33-year grip on power. A doctor tending to the casualties said two people had been killed and six wounded in the violence. Many residents fled their homes as the fighting intensified, shattering three days of calm in the capital after Saleh ordered a ceasefire upon his surprise return to Yemen today. “I only returned to the streets two days ago after clashes stopped, but I’ll stick today to the south of Sanaa because it’s safer,” said icecream vendor Abdullah Al-Wasabi. “We’re tired of this crisis and we’re losing our business, while these tribes and the president’s soldiers don’t tire of fighting.” The truce had calmed a week of fighting that killed more than 100 people and revived fears that Yemen, which borders top oil exporter Saudi Arabia, would tip into civil war. The United States and Saudi Arabia fear lawlessness in Yemen could embolden the al Qaeda wing based there, endangering Western interests in the Gulf and oil transit routes via the Red Sea. Even before protests paralysed the impoverished state, Yemen was grappling with a tenacious wing of al Qaeda, a separatist insurgency in the south and a sectarian rebellion in the north. In the war-torn northern governorate of Saada,

which borders Saudi Arabia, aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said it had been forced to suspend its activities on Monday after local authorities imposed new conditions on humanitarian organisations operating there. MSF said the conditions, which included a ban on international staff supervising operations, would “greatly affect” its ability to guarantee the quality and effectiveness of its work. “We had no choice but to suspend our activities,” it said in a statement. Until last week, Saleh had been recuperating in Riyadh from a June assassination attempt. Western diplomats had pressed him to stay in Saudi Arabia while they struggled to push through a long-stalled power transition plan to defuse the Yemeni crisis. The president has hung on in the

face of nationwide protests that drew strength from popular revolts in Egypt and Tunisia. Former Saleh allies, such as Ahmar and Ali Mohsen, a general who defected to the opposition in March, have deserted him. The conflict has divided Sanaa into warring zones of influence. Thursday’s fighting pitted Ahmar’s tribesmen against state security forces and troops from the elite Republican Guard, commanded by Saleh’s son. It was unclear how the battle flared. During the lull politicians and diplomats had scrambled to revive a Gulf-brokered plan under which Saleh would stand down. Gulf nations and Western powers have been exasperated by Saleh’s repeated last-minute refusals to sign agreed transition deals. — Reuters

SANAA: A protestor with Yemen’s flag painted on his face and writing Arabic on his chest reading, “ if you (the regime) see youth with bare chest, don’t think that youth will be defeated,” reacts and shouts slogans during a demonstration to demand the resignation of Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa, Yemen, yesterday. — AP


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Pressure mounts on Israel over settler homes JERUSALEM: International pressure was mounting on Israel yesterday over its plans to add another 1,100 homes to the east Jerusalem settlement neighbourhood of Gilo. The Palestinian leadership has said the move effectively rebuffs a proposal from the Middle East Quartet for fresh peace talks, though senior Israeli politicians have given the Quartet’s plan a cautious welcome. Former friend turned bitter critic Turkey said yesterday that the construction plan further underlined the need for the world to back the Palestinian bid for full UN membership. “Israel’s decision raises serious doubts about its sincerity and its true intentions,” Turkey’s foreign ministry said in a statement. “It consti-

tutes a flagrant violation of international law and is unacceptable.” Relations between Israel and Turkey have steadily deteriorated since May 2010, when an Israeli assault on an aid flotilla bound for the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip left nine Turkish nationals dead. On Wednesday, after the European Union and the United States condemned the Gilo project, China, Egypt, Russia and other major powers voiced their opposition. “China deeply regrets and opposes Israel’s approval of plans for expansion of Jewish settlements in east Jerusalem,” foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters in Beijing. “China urges Israel to act prudently.” Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Amr also

denounced the plans in a statement issued from Washington. “Such an Israeli step reflects the country’s intention to continue with its provocative policy and defiance of the international consensus regarding the illegitimacy of settlement activities,” he said. “Israel should shoulder full responsibility for the repercussions of such provocative policies in light of the latest developments in the region,” he added. Russia called on Israel to reconsider. “We are particularly concerned that decisions on such a sensitive matter should be taken at an extremely important time for the future of the peace process,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement. “We are counting

(on Israel) so that the construction projects in east Jerusalem are reviewed.” Britain, France and Italy also condemned the move, but Israel dismissed their objections. “Gilo is not a settlement, nor is it an outpost,” Mark Regev, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told AFP on Wednesday. “Gilo is a neighbourhood in the very heart of Jerusalem some five minutes from the centre of the city,” he added. “There is no contradiction between this decision, which is only a planning decision, and the government’s pursuit of peace through the principle of two states for two peoples.” — AFP Palestinian leaders have nevertheless

Muslim Brotherhood threatens Egypt boycott CAIRO: The credibility of Egypt’s first elections since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak was thrown into question yesterday after a coalition led by the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood threatened a boycott. A statement late Wednesday by the Democratic Coalition said its members would not stand in November’s legislative elections if a controversial article in the new electoral law was not amended. They objected to Article Five of the electoral law, which bans political parties from running in a third of the seats in parliament, which are reserved for independent candidates. The measure has already been rejected by more than two dozen political parties, who object that it could help return old regime figures to parliament. “We refuse to take part in elections if Article Five of the electoral law is not cancelled,” said the Democratic Coalition statement. The coalition comprises more than two dozen groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party and the liberal Wafd party. Egypt’s interim military rulers-the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces announced on Tuesday that the first stage of parliamentary elections would be held on November 28. But in an amendment to the electoral law, it said two-thirds of parliament would be elected through a party list under the proportional representation system. The rest would be elected through a simple majority, which only independent candidates would be allowed to contest. The Democratic Coalition said they were “astonished” at the Supreme Council’s position. They had, it argued, “refused the request of the political forces to elect all members of parliament by the closed, proportional lists system.” Under Article Five, it argued, a third of the seats would be exclusively for “independents and candidates from the old regime.” The Democratic Coalition and many other political parties have already called for a pure proportional representation system. They also want to see the activation of a law that would ban corrupt politicians from running for office. Under the old system, hundreds of candidates ran as independents if they did not make it onto Mubarak’s National Democratic Party lists, only to join the party after winning seats. Under Mubarak independents affiliated with his party used patronage or pressure to garner votes, something that the proportional list system would help avoid, the parties say. Article Five of the new electoral law specifically forbids those elected as independents from joining a parliamentary bloc once elected-on pain of losing their seats. The military had promised that it would not conduct the election under a state of emergency, which was widened in scope this month after protesters ransacked the Israeli embassy in Cairo and clashed with police. The controversial emergency law-which has been continuously in place since Islamists assassinated president Anwar Sadat in 1981 — had been regularly extended under Mubarak’s regime. A military official has told state media the emergency law could stay in place until mid-2012, although the military wanted to end the state of emergency as soon as possible. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday she hoped Egypt would lift its emergency law before June 2012, speaking at a press conference in Washington with Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr.— AFP

TRIPOLI: In this undated photo made available Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011, Al-Saadi Gadhafi, center, and Hannibal Gadhafi, right, sons of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, are seen in the audience at a military exercise by the elite military unit commanded by their brother, Khamis, in Zlitan - 90 miles (140 kilometers) southeast of Tripoli.—AP

Libya’s NTC forces retake Sirte airport Gadhafi son on most-wanted list SIRTE: Libyan interim government forces recaptured the airport in Sirte, Muammar Gaddafi’s birthplace, yesterday, amid mounting concern for civilians trapped inside the besieged city. National Transitional Council (NTC) fighters took full control of Sirte airport, Reuters witnesses said. They had taken it two weeks ago, but then lost it again. Sirte’s pro-Gaddafi defenders have used sniper, rocket and artillery fire to fight off two full-scale NTC assaults on the city in the past week. Each side has accused the other of endangering civilians.”They’re shelling constantly. There’s indiscriminate fire within individual neighbourhoods and from one area to another,” Hassan, a resident who escaped the city, told Reuters. Civilians have been fleeing Sirte, a coastal city of 100,000 that is also under NATO aerial attack, and Libyan authorities have asked the United Nations for

fuel for ambulances to evacuate wounded, a UN source in Libya said. The United Nations is sending trucks of clean drinking water for civilians crammed into vehicles leaving Sirte for Benghazi in the west or Misrata in the east, the source said. But fighting has prevented UN aid workers from reaching Sirte and Bani Walid, another town held by Gaddafi loyalists. “There are two places we’d really like access to, Sirte and Ben Walid, because of concern on the impact of conflict on the civilian population,” the source told Reuters in Geneva. UN officials do not have any direct contact with pro-Gaddafi forces holed up in Sirte, where both sides accuse the other of cutting off water and electricity, he said. Aid agencies said on Wednesday that a humanitarian disaster loomed in Sirte amid rising casualties and shrinking supplies of water, electric-

ity and food. Fighting on Sirte’s eastern and western approaches was less intense on Thursday than on previous days, but the NTC said it had cleared a route between the two fronts, allowing its forces to link up-a strategic boost along with retaking the airport. More than a month after NTC fighters captured the capital Tripoli, Gaddafi remains on the run, trying to rally resistance to those who ended his 42-year rule, although some of his family members have taken refuge in neighbouring Algeria and Niger. Interpol issued an alert calling for the arrest of Gaddafi’s son Saadi who fled to Niger three weeks ago. The Lyon-based police agency said it was acting at the request of the NTC, which accuses Saadi of leading military units responsible for crackdowns on protests and of misappropriating property. — Reuters


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Tymoshenko says Ukraine trial is out to lynch her KIEV: Ukraine’s ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko yesterday defiantly told a Kiev court trying her for abuse of office that she was the victim of a “lynching trial” that had brought humiliation on Ukraine. Tymoshenko, speaking at the end of a trial in which the prosecutor has called for a seven-year jail sentence to be passed on her, said: “You should have already brought in an acquittal sentence and ended this humiliation of Ukraine. But the show goes on.” Standing up dramatically after weeks of remaining seated in defiance of the judge, the opposition

leader turned to her supporters in the courtroom and said: “This has been a classic lynching trial by a group of people who were given the task of sorting out a mess.” Tymoshenko, 50, is charged with abuse of office linked with a gas deal signed with Russia in January 2009 which the leadership of President Viktor Yanukovich says saddled Ukraine with an exorbitant price for gas. She denies this, and says she is the victim of a vendetta by Yanukovich who beat her narrowly in an election for president in February 2010. The United States and the

European Union say the trial, which began at the end of June, is politically motivated. They have urged Yanukovich to find a way of ending the case against her. The Yanukovich leadership says her action in pressuring the state energy firm Naftotgaz into signing an agreement with the Russian gas giant Gazprom in 2009 endangered the national interest. Referring to those negotiations with the Russians, she said on Thursday: “I acted legally, effectively, in a correct manner of state ... If the circumstances were the same today, I

would act in the same way. “We don’t have anything to justify and nothing to defend ourselves against,” she said. The trial has polarised public opinion in the ex-Soviet republic and caused street demonstrations against Yanukovich. The EU, with which Ukraine is hoping to sign an association agreement and creat a free trade zone, has warned Yanukovich that these deals will be in jeopardy if Tymoshenko is jailed. Yanukovich himself faces EU officials today and Saturday at an ‘Eastern partnership’ summit in neighbouring Poland. — Reuters

US fugitive lived openly in Africa Wright was convicted of 1962 murder

MARSEILLE: Arnaud Montebourg, candidate for the Socialist Party (PS) primary vote for France’s 2012 presidential election arrives, surrounded by journalists, yesterday in Marseille, southern France, for a campaign visit. — AFP

Top French candidates promise to rein in banks PARIS: The top Socialist candidates for France’s presidential election next year promised to bring the banking system to heel, punish tax evaders and empower the government to steer a faltering economy toward recovery. In their second televised debate ahead of a Socialist party primary next month, the six contenders argued over how much of a role the French state should play in nursing the economy to health and fixing a beleaguered banking system. “I’m worried that this is a race to see who can make the most interventionist proposal of all,” said Manuel Valls, who has the support of 5 percent of Socialist activists, according to an OpinionWay-Fiducial poll published on Tuesday. He spoke after Segolene Royal, who lost to Sarkozy in the 2007 election, proposed to ban what she called “stock market layoffs”-or staff reductions by companies which made a profit in the preceding fiscal year-and empowering the state to “move faster than speculators”. Asked if she feared being accused of trying to turn back the clock to the 1970s, she said: “Well, they can say that and it will not bother me. The seriousness of the crisis is forcing us to change the rules of the game.” The debate on iTele was a chance for the candidates to address a national audience and mark their independence from a Socialist party platform which some have criticised as too restrictive, seven months before a presidential election against President Nicolas Sarkozy. Polls show a deeply unpopular Sarkozy losing against Francois Hollande, the Socialists’ leading candidate, in the April 2012 race as France’s economic outlook darkens and corruption scandals circle closer to the head of state. Socialist Party leader Martine Aubry, the second most popular Socialist behind Hollande, said she would travel to Germany immediately after her election to discuss with Chancellor Merkel radical measures to deal with Europe’s crisis. “We need to change Europe deeply,” said Aubry, who had the backing of 30 percent of Socialist voters in Tuesday’s poll. “We need a Europe that innovates, that brings the banks to heel and makes them work for the economy.” — Reuters

LISBON: An American fugitive who brazenly hijacked a plane in the 1970s lived openly in the African nation of Guinea-Bissau during the 1980s under his real name, a former US ambassador said yesterday. Retired Guinea-Bissau Ambassador John Blacken told The Associated Press the embassy knew George Wright - captured this week in Portugal - but did not know he was a fugitive. Embassy officials would have taken action if they had known Wright had escaped from jail while serving time for murder, and was wanted in the case of the jet hijacked by his American radical group to Algeria in 1972, he said. “If we had received such a cable, we would have responded,” said Blacken, who said he was stunned upon hearing news reports about Wright’s detention in Portugal. Wright used his own name while in Guinea-Bissau, and Blacken remembered meeting Wright socially in the former Portuguese colony where Black was ambassador from 1986 to 1989. “All this was a big surprise, my goodness, murder and everything else,” Blacken said in an interview from Guinea-Bissau, where he retired. “No one imagined him being a murderer - of course we didn’t know him that well. He seemed like an ordinary

person and not radical at all.” Blacken could not recall what sort of work Wright did in Guinea-Bisseau. He said he remembered Wright’s Portuguese wife better because she had worked for as a translator for either the embassy or for a GuineaBissau trade and investment project he launched in 1993. “It’s strange that (US officials) never

PRAIA DAS MACAS: In this photo released by Noticias de Colares yesterday, US fugitive George Wright is seen in a post office in Praia das Macas, Portugal in 2000. — AP

tracked him down here,” Blacken said. Wright has lived for at least the last two decades in Portugal, and a photocopy of his Portuguese residency card that AP viewed listed his home country as Guinea-Bissau. A woman who answered the phone at the Guinea-Bissau embassy in Lisbon said no one was available to comment on whether Wright obtained citizenship from the country. The secretary for Ambassador Fali Embalo said he would not be in his office yesterday. Wright was convicted of the 1962 murder of gas station owner Walter Patterson, a decorated World War II veteran shot during a robbery at his business in Wall, New Jersey. Eight years into his 15- to 30-year prison term, Wright and three other men escaped from the Bayside State Prison in Leesburg, New Jersey, on Aug. 19, 1970. While on the run, the FBI said Wright joined an underground militant group, the Black Liberation Army, and lived in a communal family with several of its members in Detroit. In 1972, Wright - dressed as a priest and using an alias - is accused of hijacking a Delta flight from Detroit to Miami along with four other Black Liberation Army members and three children, including Wright’s companion and their 2-year-old daughter. — AP

Knox ‘crucified’ in Italy murder case PERUGIA: Amanda Knox’s defence urged jurors to overturn her murder conviction yesterday and condemned media coverage of the trial that “crucified” the American as the appeal in Italy moves to a verdict. “It’s possible that there’s been a mistake. No-one is infallible,” Carlo Dalla Vedova told the court in the university town of Perugia where the shocking 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher took place. He condemned “fantastical reconstructions” of the grisly killing made by prosecutors and said a review of the forensic evidence that cast doubt on some of the DNA analysis in the case had given the defence “some comfort.” “If there’s no proof, you have to absolve,” he told jurors,

as an ashen-faced Knox looked on. Knox walked into the courtroom in a black coat and green blouse to the sounds of dozens of camera shutters clicking. Dalla Vedova also accused the media of setting up a parallel trial of Knox based on sensationalist information on her sex life and her character. Knox “has been crucified, humiliated in the public square... She has been overwhelmed and raped” by scurrilous news reports, he said. Knox, 24, is set to make a statement to the court later today. Earlier this week a lawyer for the man she identified as the killer in a deliberate lie to police in her first interrogation said she had “a two-faced soul” divided between the “angelic” and the “demonic”. — AFP


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Colombia sends more troops to restive southwest BOGOTA: Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos ordered a brigade of Marines to the restive southwestern Pacific coast to help crack down on rampant crime. Santos said the 2,500 fresh troops will be based in the port of Tumaco, 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) southwest of Bogota, and will strengthen forces already in the region. Some 380 extra police officers have also been deployed to the area. The southwestern Narino region, on the border with Ecuador, is one of the most violent areas in Colombia. Leftist guerrillas, criminal gangs and former right-wing paramilitaries are all active in the region and

engaged in an ongoing battle over control of the lucrative coastal Pacific drug trafficking routes. The goal of the Marines will be to “close the corridors of mobility and logistical support for drug traffickers” from the nearby Cauca department to the border with Ecuador, Santos said. Santos, a former defense minister, said that over the next months the number of troops in the region will increase from 2,800 to 3,350.Last weekend seven people were murdered in Tumaco, Colombia’s southernmost port on the Pacific. Rebels with Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have launched 10 attacks in the

Tumaco area this year, killing 14 police officers, according to city officials. In mid-September at least four guerrillas were killed when Colombian Air Force planes bombed a FARC camp in the region located mere kilometer (0.6 miles) from the border with Ecuador.The Colombian government has been battling the FARC-Latin America’s oldest rebel movement, estimated to have some 8,000 fighters-since 1964. In March 2008, Colombian military forces raided a rebel camp just across the border inside Ecuador, killing Raul Reyes, the FARC’s number two commander. — AFP

Aircraft with 18 aboard crashes in Indonesia Search and rescue team trying to reach site

LA PAZ: Bolivia’s President Evo Morales, second from left, accompanied by Bolivia’s Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera, left, shakes hands with a Kallawaya indigenous during a ritual ceremony honoring Pachamama, Mother Earth, at the government palace in La Paz, Bolivia. — AP

Chavez in hospital for emergency care MIAMI: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who has been fighting cancer, was rushed to a military hospital for emergency care following kidney failure, El Nuevo Herald newspaper reported late Wednesday. The leftist, staunchly anti-US stalwart Chavez went into the Military Hospital in Caracas on Tuesday morning, the report on the newspaper’s website said, citing anonymous sources with knowledge of the case. “He was in fairly serious overall condition,” one of the sources told the Miami-based Spanish-language daily. “When he arrived, he was in quite serious shape and that is why he was brought in for emergency care.” On Sunday, Chavez sought to assure Venezuelans he was healthy, telling them that cancer-fighting chemotherapy treatment has not left him with any debilitating side effects. Chavez returned to Venezuela late Thursday following what he described as a fourth and hopefully final round of chemotherapy in Cuba. Chavez, 57, had a cancerous tumor removed on June 20 in Havana, but officials have provided little information about the nature of the disease. Officials have said the tumor was removed from his “pelvic area,” but

have given no indication of the severity of his condition. After returning to Caracas and giving a brief statement early Friday, he stayed uncharacteristically out of the media spotlight and sent no messages on his Twitter feed, which has more than two million followers. Official handout photos from Cuban state media showed a hairless Chavez bidding farewell to Cuban leader Raul Castro after completing the latest round of treatment. But the silence of a leader who has been omnipresent in Venezuelan public life revived the mystery surrounding his health, which only increased on Friday when a meeting between Chavez and his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad set for this weekend in Caracas was postponed indefinitely. Chavez has been in power since 1999 and has said he would recover in time to win re-election by a “knock-out” in 2012. A staunch and vocal critic of the United States, he has used his country’s petrodollars to become the region’s leading sponsor of leftist cooperation agreements, subsidizing oil distribution and helping prop up the Cuban regime, the Americas’ only one-party communist government. — AFP

MEDAN: A passenger plane with 18 people on board crashed in fine weather on Indonesia’s Sumatra island yesterday, officials said, the sprawling archipelago’s fourth serious air accident this month. The flight run by Indonesian airline Nusantara Buana crashed at 1,100 metres (3,600 feet) in a mountainous area around 70 kilometres (43 miles) northwest of Medan city, transport ministry aviation head Herry Bakti said. The Casa 212 turboprop plane, carrying 14 passengers and four crew, left Medan at 7:18 am (0018 GMT) bound for the nearby province of Aceh when it came down after sending a distress signal. A search and rescue team was still trying to reach the remote crash site in the early afternoon and there was no word on the fate of those on board, who included four children. Bakti said there were no foreigners on the flight. “We have found the plane, and the body is still intact, so we hope that the passengers have survived,” Bakti said, after the plane was sighted in aerial surveillance. “It crashed some time between 7:28 and 8:05 this morning around Bohorok Mountain,” he said. Local search and rescue chief Suhri Sinaga said that the aircraft had sent an emergency signal near Bahorok Mountain shortly before losing contact with air traffic control. Bakti said that the weather in the area was fine and that the pilots would have had clear vision. “At this point we don’t know what caused the crash,” he said. Nusantara Buana regularly runs commercial flights in Sumatra. The airline has six aircraft in its fleet, according to the CAPA Centre for Aviation. The plane that crashed is a 1989 model that has flown over 11,000 hours. Bakti said that the craft’s last inspection was in November 2010. The company, however, told news website Detik.com that the plane had undergone a routine check on September 22. “When the aircraft left, it was in airworthy condition,” said Nusantara Buana safety manager Robur Rizallianto. Bakti said the government would bring in tougher

MEDAN: A relative of a plane crash victim cries at the airliner’s office in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, yesterday. A small plane on a local flight in western Indonesia crashed into a mountainous area yesterday and the 18 people aboard were feared dead, officials said. — AP safety regulations and ask operators to carry out more training to prevent future accidents. The vast Indonesian archipelago relies heavily on air transport and has a poor aviation record. A helicopter chartered by US giant Newmont Mining crashed on Sunday in central Indonesia, killing two people on board. Earlier this month, an Australian and a Slovak pilot were

killed when their small Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft, which was carrying fuel and food to a remote area in Papua province, went down. Another small aircraft, which was also transporting supplies to remote villages for a Christian humanitarian association in Papua, crashed last week, killing its American pilot and two passengers. — AFP

Relatives unsure of killer’s claim in Texas deaths HOUSTON: At age 84, Elmer Pitchford knows time is running out for him to learn who killed his teenage daughter four decades ago in Houston. “I would like to know before I die, that’s for sure,” he said. But the retired dock worker said he’s not sure what to think of claims being made by Edward Harold Bell, a 72-year-old Texas prison inmate who claims he killed nearly a dozen young girls found murdered in southeast Texas in the 1970s including Pitchford’s 16-year-old daughter, Kimberly. Part of him wants to believe that Bell had something to do with the unsolved murder, but he also thinks Bell may turn out to be a “kook.” The aunt of another slain girl also expressed mixed emotions, saying it makes her question whether the suspect con-

victed in her niece’s death was the right man. Investigators said that while the Bell’s claims aren’t entirely new and were previously investigated, they are looking at them again after he told the Houston Chronicle he was responsible for the deaths of as many as 11 girls. “The bottom line is Ed Bell has said these things (before). Is it fodder? I don’t know. I’ve never been able to prove anything he has said,” said Capt. Chris Kincheloe of the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office, which has four of the unsolved murders for which Bell is claiming or hinting responsibility, including Kimberly Pitchford. Bell is serving a 70-year prison sentence for the 1978 killing of a Houston-area Marine who tried to stop him from masturbating in front of a group of girls. — AP


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Activist unfazed by N. Korea assassination threat SEOUL: Undeterred by an alleged North Korean plot to assassinate him, a South Korean activist yesterday launched leaflets across the tense border calling for the overthrow of Pyongyang’s leader Kim Jong-Il. Park Sang-Hak said he and fellow campaigners launched some 200,000 leaflets slung under large helium-filled balloons from a hilltop in Gimpo, a western suburb of Seoul. Early this month Park said he was the target of a would-be North Korean assassin sent in response to the leaflet launches, which infuriate Pyongyang. The North’s agent, posing as a defector, was arrested early this month after being tracked down by the South’s

intelligence agency, according to Park himself and a news report. The agent was in possession of a poison-tipped needle and other weapons at the time of his arrest, Yonhap news agency said. Prosecutors said Park was questioned this week over the case. “He has been questioned, but we cannot disclose details because our investigation was not completed,” a spokeswoman for the Supreme Prosecutors Office told AFP. Park, himself a former defector, vowed to continue the leaflet launches. “My mission is always risky but I will never give up under the threat of their dirty plot,” he told AFP. Timing devices

were attached to scatter the bundles of leaflets when the balloons reach the North. The balloons also carried onedollar bills, an incentive for North Koreans to overcome fears of punishment and pick up the flyers. Park, an outspoken critic of the North’s communist regime, regularly sends leaflets across the border, sparking angry protests from Pyongyang which has threatened to open fire to halt what it calls a smear campaign. He said he would launch leaflets again on October 10 when the regime celebrates the 66th anniversary of its ruling party. There has so far been no official confirmation of the assassination bid,

with the intelligence agency refusing comment. But North Korea has a history of trying to silence critics in the South. In January a court jailed a North Korean spy for 10 years for plotting to assassinate Hwang Jang-Yop, the highest-ranking defector ever to flee to the South. In July last year, two other North Korean spies were sentenced to 10 years in prison for plotting to murder Hwang, who died of natural causes at his closely guarded Seoul home last year at the age of 87. In 1997 Lee HanYoung, a nephew of Sung Hye-Rim-the deceased first wife of North Korean leader Kim-was shot dead outside his apartment in South Korea. — AFP

China successfully launches ‘Heavenly Palace’ space craft Eyes putting man on the moon

TARLAC: Residents use a hand tractor locally known as “Kuliglig” for transport as floodwaters continue to inundate La Paz township, Tarlac province in northern Philippines, yesterday, three days after typhoon Nesat lashed northeastern provinces and flooded low-lying areas. — AP

Typhoon arrives in China after hitting Philippines HONG KONG: A powerful typhoon slammed into southern China yesterday after skirting Hong Kong and bringing death and widespread flooding to the Philippines earlier this week. Typhoon Nesat made landfall on the eastern tip of China’s Hainan island at 2:30 pm and was packing winds as high as 94 miles (150 kilometers) an hour, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The storm blew down trees and flooded streets as it moved across Hainan, photos on state media showed. A large tree toppled onto a parked car in the provincial capital, Haikou. Flood control officials said nearly 58,000 people were evacuated from low-lying areas in eastern Wenchang city and 67 flights were canceled at the island’s two airports, Xinhua said. Hainan authorities closed schools, suspended ferry services and recalled fishing boats as the storm made its way across the South China Sea from the Philippines, where it killed 35 people and left another 45 missing. The storm swept past Hong Kong earlier in the day, forcing the stock market to suspend trading and shops and businesses to close but causing little damage. The Asian financial center’s normally bustling streets were eerily quiet, with few people venturing outside to brave the rain and fierce winds. Two people were injured when bamboo scaffolding was blown over and collapsed onto a taxi, while a man was injured by a falling tree, local broadcaster RTHK said. A barge ripped free from its moorings in the rough seas and slammed into a seawall on Hong Kong Island, forcing some nearby apartments to be evacuated, news reports said. Local broadcaster Cable TV showed footage of tour groups from mainland China, some heading to Macau, who were temporarily stranded after cross-border ferry services were suspended. At Hong Kong’s airport, 245 flights were delayed, 20 were canceled and 22 diverted to other airports by 3 pm. The storm came within 220 miles (350 kilometers) of Hong Kong in the morning before moving away, said the Hong Kong Observatory, which lowered its gale-force wind warning by late afternoon. —AP

JIUQUAN: China successfully launched an experimental craft paving the way for its first space station yesterday amid a blaze of national pride, bringing the growing Asian power closer to matching the United States and Russia with a long-term manned outpost in space. The Tiangong 1, or “Heavenly Palace”, blasted off from a remote site in the Gobi Desert at 9:16 pm (1316 GMT), adding a high-tech sheen to China’s National Day celebrations tomorrow. Premier Wen Jiabao watched as the small, unmanned “space lab” and the Long March rocket that heaved it skyward from a pad at Jiuquan in northwest Gansu province, lifted off under clear skies, in images shown live on state television. It is the latest show of China’s growing prowess in space, and comes while budget restraints and shifting priorities have held back U.S. manned space launches. The big test comes weeks after its launch, when the eight tonne craft attempts to join up with an unmanned Shenzhou 8 spacecraft that China plans to launch. Space docking tests conducted with the Tiangong 1 will provide experience for the building of a permanent manned space station around 2020, mission spokeswoman Wu Ping said. China’s government will hope to set a successful Tiangong mission alongside other trophies of its growing technological prowess, including the launch of a trial aircraft carrier. And the launch, just before China’s National Day holiday, was accompanied by an outpouring of proud support for the country’s technological achievements. “I feel great pride in being Chinese today. This is another great step forward for China in space,” wrote Shi Zhongshan on the popular Twitter-like microblogging site Sina Weibo. Engineers had been watching launch preparations nervously, after another Long March rocket malfunctioned and failed to send an experimental satellite into orbit last month. Beijing is still far from catching up with space superpowers. The Tiangong launch is a trial step in Beijing’s plans to eventually establish its

own space station. Russia, the United States and other countries jointly operate the International Space Station, to which China does not belong. But the United States will not test a new rocket to take people into space until 2017, and Russia has said manned missions are no longer a priority for its space programme, which has struggled with delays and glitches.

craft in 2008. It plans an unmanned moon landing and deployment of a moon rover next year, and the retrieval of lunar soil and stone samples around 2017. Scientists have talked about the possibility of sending a man to the moon after 2020. China is also jostling with neighbours Japan and India for a bigger presence in space, but its plans have faced international wariness. Beijing says its aims are

GANSU PROVINCE: In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, a Long March-2FT1 carrier rocket loaded with Tiangong-1 unmanned space lab module blasts off from the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China’s Gansu Province, yesterday. — AP Earlier this month, NASA unveiled plans for a deep-space rocket to carry astronauts to the moon and Mars. President Barack Obama has called for a human expedition to an asteroid by 2025 and a journey to Mars in the 2030s. China launched its second moon orbiter last year after it became only the third country to send its astronauts walking in space outside their orbiting

peaceful, and military involvement natural given the enormity of the undertaking. “The military enjoys unique advantages in organizing and coordinating such large-scale activities, and its involvement in aerospace missions is an international practice,” Defence Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said this week. — Reuters


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Pakistan PM leads talks on US pressures Pakistan denies support for attacks

ISLAMABAD: This handout photograph released by Pakistan’s Press Information Department (PID) yesterday shows Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani (3L) flanked by former premier and opposition leader Nawaz Sharif (2L), and other politicians Imran Khan (R), Asfandyar Wali Khan (2R), Chaudhry Shaujaat (3R) and Hyder Abbas Rizvi (L) as Gilani chairs a cross-party meeting in Islamabad yesterday to build unity in the face of mounting pressure from the US to act against the Al-Qaeda-linked Haqqani network or face the consequences. — AFP

Afghan elite questions future of peace talks KABUL: Afghanistan’s political elite, at a meeting with President Hamid Karzai to discuss the future of peace talks with the Taleban, questioned whether the insurgents were able to seek a political settlement and blamed Pakistan for fomenting instability. Karzai, who has long been a staunch advocate of trying to negotiate an end to the decade-long war in Afghanistan, hosted the meeting to discuss the future of talks after the assassination of the government’s top peace envoy. Former President Burhanuddin Rabbani was killed last week by a suicide bomber who posed as a reconciliation envoy sent by the Taleban’s leadership council. The meeting included legislative chairmen, cabinet ministers, former mujahideen commanders and his two vice-presidents, the statement from the Presidential Palace said. The assembled Afghan elite took a swipe at neighbouring Pakistan, according to the statement, saying it was clear the Taleban leadership was not independent enough to make its own decisions about how it conducted the war, and suggested talks with Islamabad instead. “During our three-year efforts for peace, the Taleban has martyred our religious ulema (leaders), tribal elders, women, children, old and young,” Karzai’s office quoted the assembled “mujahideen leaders, national figures and politicians” as saying. “By killing Rabbani, they showed they are not able to take decisions. Now, the question is (should we seek) peace with who, with which people?” The statement did not say if anyone in the meeting disagreed with those sentiments, or detail Karzai’s response. The death of Rabbani, the most prominent surviving leader of the ethnic Tajik-dominated Northern Alliance of fighters and politicians, had raised concerns that his assassination would not only scuttle the peace process but exacerbate ethnic rifts among Afghans fighting the Taleban. Hundreds of Rabbani’s supporters protested in Kabul on Tuesday against his killing,

chanting “death to Pakistan, death to the Taleban” and demanding the government scrap plans to hold dialogue with the insurgents. Rabbani was chairman of the High Peace Council, formed by Karzai in October last year to reach out to the Taleban. Although the Council was considered more an official endorsement of negotiations than a real body for discussions, contacts continued through other channels, often involving foreign countries with a stake in Afghanistan’s future. Karzai announced in June that the United States had made contact with the Taleban but had yet to reach a stage where the government and insurgents were meeting. Preliminary investigations into Rabbani’s killing, presented to Karzai by the country’s intelligence chiefs on Tuesday, said the attack was plotted outside Afghanistan and the Taleban’s powerful Quetta Shura may have been involved. Many Afghans have long accused Pakistan and its main spy agency, the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of backing insurgent groups to further Islamabad’s own interests. Pakistan denies this. Top US officials also accused Pakistan of supporting insurgent groups active in Afghanistan, after a 20-hour attack on diplomatic targets in the Afghan capital earlier this month. The outgoing chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, testified before the US Senate last week that the Taleban-linked Haqqani network believed to be behind the siege was a “veritable arm” of the ISI. Pakistan and the Taleban have strongly rejected his claim. The elite that met with Karzai also complained that Afghanistan’s efforts to improve ties with Pakistan had not been reciprocated, the palace said. “Pakistan did nothing to destroy terrorist strongholds, or avoid them training in its territory,” the statement quoted the group as saying. “And now, if the Taleban is being used ... by the ISI, then Afghanistan has to talk with Pakistan and not the Taleban,” the statement quoted the group saying. — Reuters

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan yesterday held rare cross-party talks designed to build unity in the face of mounting American pressure to act against the Al-Qaeda-linked Haqqani network or face the consequences. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Washington is conducting a final review on whether to blacklist the network, linked to Pakistani intelligence, as a terror group, which risks then exposing Pakistan to economic sanctions. The outgoing top US military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, has accused Pakistan of exporting violent extremism to Afghanistan and called the Haqqani network a “veritable arm” of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency. American officials want Pakistan to launch an offensive against the Haqqanis, but the military says it is too over-stretched fighting local Taleban to open a new front against a US enemy that does not pose a threat to Pakistan. Pakistan officially denies any support for Haqqani attacks in Afghanistan, but has nurtured Pashtun warlords for decades as means of influencing events across the border and offsetting the might of arch-rival India. Unease is now growing over the US pressure, with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani expected to use the conference to rally support behind the government and military, which is traditionally the arbiter of Pakistani foreign policy. Pakistan’s most senior military officers will attend the conference, but it was unclear to what extent civilian politicians would question them on the merits of policies exposing Pakistan to risk of international isolation. ISI chief Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha will brief the conference with Forei gn Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, who has just returned from talks in the United States and at the UN General Assembly, a senior official told AFP. Army chief of staff General Ashfaq Kayani, considered the most powerful man in Pakistan, and the ceremonial head of the armed forces, General Khalid Shameem Wynne, will also attend, the official said. Prominent among the politicians will be members of Gilani’s fragile coalition, opposi-

tion leader Nawaz Sharif and heads of Islamic parties such as pro-Taliban cleric Fazlur Rehman. Gilani’s office said they would adopt a “joint stand on national security”. His main ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), which leads a precarious majority in parliament, faces strong domestic criticism for supporting the United States in its war on terror and providing logistical support. Overnight, Washington appeared to tread more carefully on Pakistan, with White House spokesman Jay Carney saying he would not have used the same language as Mullen, and Clinton saying the countries have to “work together”. But Pakistanis are deeply suspicious of US intentions and fearful of unilateral action similar to the raid that killed Osama bin Laden on May 2. The covert raid humiliated the army, embarrassed the government and brought relations between Pakistan and the United States to their lowest point. More probable American action would be continued drone strikes targeting Islamist militants in Pakistan’s semi-autonomous border areas with Afghanistan, or a cut in financial aid to the cash-strapped country of 167 million. Pakistan’s establishment newspaper Dawn advised the conference to become a first step towards recrafting US relations, appealing on politicians to question the military on its traditional policies in Afghanistan. “Does Pakistan’s approach to Afghanistan serve this country’s interests? Does a policy of tolerating, or covertly encouraging, militant groups operating on Pakistani soil have any benefits, if not high costs? “Pakistan continues to make choices today that harm this country’s interests. We hope the conference will be the smallest of steps in the right direction: Pakistan has taken too many steps backwards already.” Retired general turned political analyst Talat Masood told AFP that the conference would send a strong signal that the political parties stand united behind the military, and as an opportunity to defuse the latest crisis. “Although everybody knows that it is the military that will decide what type of relationship it wants with the United States,” he said. — AFP

India govt attempts show of unity NEW DELHI: India’s beleaguered government attempted yesterday to end a damaging period of speculation about splits and rivalry in the cabinet with a joint statement by leading figures. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, considered the number two of the left-leaning administration, backed Home Minister P. Chidambaram publicly following the leaking of an internal memo from his ministry last week. The memo implied Chidambaram was responsible for failing to prevent the sale of second-generation (2G) telecoms licences in 2008 at rock-bottom prices during his time as finance minister. The sale, overseen by former telecom minister A. Raja, who is in jail awaiting trial on fraud charges, is estimated to have cost

the country anywhere between $7 billion and $39 billion. “Certain inferences and interpretations were made in the 2G spectrum note which do not reflect my views,” Mukherjee told reporters, flanked by Chidambaram and other senior cabinet colleagues. Chidambaram said he now considered that “the matter is closed.” The existence of the note from Mukherjee’s ministry raised the prospect of internal fighting over the blame for the 2G scandal, which has crippled the government since it exploded late last year. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, widely criticised for his failure to stop the scandal, backed Chidambaram earlier this week after unsubstantiated reports on local television stations that he had offered to resign. — AFP


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Disaster aid donors shun ‘bad brand’ Pakistan ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s image of a haven for Islamist militants is making it a “bad brand” to sell to global donors, despite an urgent need for money to help millions of people who are struggling to survive after devastating floods, aid agencies said yesterday. The disaster, sparked by monsoon rains last month, has killed 430 people and disrupted the lives of nine million people in the southern province of Sindh, many of whom are camping out in the open with little food, water or shelter. Yet appeals to foreign governments which might potentially give money to help these people have largely fallen on deaf ears as a result of accusations Pakistan is sheltering insurgents, aid workers say. “Within the international community, there are negative perceptions of Pakistan and we believe they are impacting humanitarian fundraising efforts,” said Joe Cropp, communica-

tions delegate for the Red Cross movement (IFRC) in Islamabad. “While we are a neutral and impartial organisation, we are not politically naive. We do engage with diplomats, we do engage with governments and we’ve l arnt this from them. As one diplomat said to us last year, ‘Pakistan is a bad brand’.” Earlier this month, both the IFRC and the United Nations launched appeals to raise $12 million and $357 million respectively for flood victims, but the organisations say less than 3 percent of amount they need has been received. While a combination of factors-donor fatigue, the global financial slump, competition from other crises such as the East African famine-have all played a part, geopolitics and security remains one of Western donors’ major concerns. “We are aware of the situation between Pakistan and the United States and we are watching it closely

and with concern,” said a Western diplomat in Islamabad. “There are numerous factors which decide whether we respond to an appeal or not. We are still assessing the situation and needs of the people who are affected by the disaster.” Growing tension between the US and Pakistan over Washington’s accusations that some in Islamabad are sheltering and supporting Islamist militants linked to Al Qaeda have made many western donors wary, say aid workers. Last week, a top US official accused Pakistan’s Inter Service Intelligence agency of supporting the militant Haqqani network’s Sept. 13 attack on the US embassy in Kabul, while Pakistan said yesterday it wants Washington to stop blaming it for regional instability. Pakistan, which has received billions of dollars of US aid, has been reluctant to pursue the Haqqani group, straining relations with its biggest ally and donor. Ties

have been under pressure since the May raid in Pakistan by US Special Forces that killed Osama bin Laden. “The ongoing situation between Pakistan and the US has cast a shadow over the understanding of the world vis-a-vis Pakistan,” said Mubashir Akram, Oxfam’s communications manager in Islamabad. “I would like to appeal to the world to separate humanitarian issues from political and geo-strategic issues. Pakistan is a country of 180 million people. Not every one of them is a militant.” The UN says the floods have wiped out massive swathes of agricultural land, killed thousands of livestock and destroyed food stocks in the region, leaving more than 70 percent of people acutely short of food. If donations do not arrive soon, warn UN officials, an even bigger disaster of malnutrition, disease and more deaths looms over the villages of Sindh. — Reuters

India prepared for nuclear crisis 77% concerned about atomic safety

HERAT: Medical staff help an injured civilian as they transfer her to a hospital in Herat yesterday. Two Afghan policewomen and a civilian were killed when a remote controlled mine blew up the vehicle taking them to work at an airport in the west of the country. —AFP

Five NATO troops, three Afghans killed HEART: Two Afghan policewomen and a civilian were killed by a mine on their way to work yesterday, a day after another five NATO soldiers died in the 10-year war against the Taleban. The policewomen and civilian died when their vehicle was blown up by a remote-controlled mine on their way to work at the civilian airport serving the western city of Herat, officials said. Three foreign soldiers were also killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) in eastern Afghanistan Wednesday, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said, along with two others in separate incidents. The latest deaths came a day after the United Nations released figures saying that violent incidents in the Afghan war increased nearly 40 percent in the first eight months of this year compared to the same period last year. ISAF, which is leading efforts to reverse the Taleban insurgency, disputes the figures, calling them “inconsistent with the data that we have collected”. Mohammad Rafiq Shaheer, a spokesman for Herat hospital, said: “A remotecontrolled mine explosion on a police vehicle on the Herat airport road has killed three people, two policewomen and a civilian, and wounded 10 people, four policewomen and a policeman and five other civilians.” He added that the attack took place at around 8:00am. Noor Khan Neikzad, a police spokesman in Herat, confirmed the blast but said he did not have the toll. The incident came two days after 16 wedding guests including 11 children were killed when their bus hit a roadside bomb elsewhere in Herat province, which borders Iran. — AFP

MUMBAI: India has improved procedures to deal with a nuclear emergency in the wake of the Fukushima crisis in Japan, the country’s atomic energy watchdog said yesterday, after criticism of its preparedness. “After Fukushima, we have drawn lessons on all aspects of reactor safety and one positive development is the integrated disaster management plan,” the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board chairman S.S. Bajaj said. Earlier this year, Bajaj’s predecessor at the AERB, A. Gopalkrishnan, criticised India’s readiness to deal with emergencies of any kind and said that plans to tackle major nuclear incidents were largely a paper exercise. Drills were infrequent “half-hearted efforts which amount more to a sham”, he said after an massive earthquake and tsunami struck the Japanese Fukushima plant in March, forcing a re-think on nuclear power around the world. A survey of nearly 10,000 Indians at the time also suggested that 77 percent of people had concerns about atomic safety while 69 percent believed the authorities could not handle a nuclear disaster on the scale of that in Japan. Bajaj told AFP on the sidelines of a nuclear energy summit in the financial hub Mumbai that India’s nuclear emergency plan “was not that positive” in the past but added: “These weaknesses have been plugged.” M.C. Abani, a nuclear specialist at the National Disaster Management Authority, said that six emergency exercises had been conducted at

Indian nuclear power plants since March and procedures strengthened. “NDMA has raised 10 battalions of National Disaster Response Force. Each battalion has 1,150 soldiers and officers. They are trained in handling

India is increasingly looking to nuclear power to meet the demands of its fast-growing economy and burgeoning population as well as to provide energy security. The South Asian country currently

MUMBAI: Dr Srikumar Banerjee, Chairman Atomic Energy Commission, speaks at the India Nuclear Energy 2011 summit in Mumbai yesterday. India has improved procedures to deal with a nuclear emergency in the wake of the Fukushima crisis in Japan, the country’s atomic energy watchdog said. — AFP nuclear, chemical, biological and radiological incidents,” he said. Medical professionals working in and around existing and proposed nuclear power plants were also being trained in how to deal with the aftermath of a nuclear incident, he added.

has 20 nuclear power plants, generating some 4,780 megawatts of power. Seven other reactors with a capacity of 5,300 megawatts are under construction. The government aims to increase nuclear output to 63,000 MW by 2032. — AFP


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Nokia to cut 3,500 jobs in Romania, Germany, US PAGE 23

BERLIN: German MPs queue to cast their ballot yesterday at the Lower House of German parliament Bundestag in Berlin during a vote on legislation to expand the EU’s rescue fund. German Chancellor battled to contain a backbench rebellion as the world looks to her for a solution to the euro-zone debt crisis. The euro fund bill passed by the German parliament with large majority. — AFP

Merkel wins crunch vote on euro fund Rebels worry German taxpayers will be asked for more BERLIN: Angela Merkel won her toughest challenge yet as German chancellor by pushing through changes to a rescue fund for the euro-zone debt crisis yesterday without the humiliation of relying on opposition support. Germany’s approval of the beefed-up bailout fund with stronger support than expected in the Bundestag (lower house of parliament) provoked a sigh of relief in markets worried about Berlin’s commitment to resolving the debt crisis. “The broad majority in parliament clearly shows Germany is committed to the euro and to protecting our currency,” said the second-in-command of Merkel’s Christian Democrats(CDU), Hermann Groehe. Merkel’s parliamentary leader Peter Altmaier was in charge of persuading rebels MPs, who were worried about throwing good money after bad with successive bailouts of Greece and other highly-indebted states, to relent. “This is a strong statement of support for Angela Merkel,” he said. But CDU lawmaker Wolfgang Bosbach, one of 10 conservative MPs to vote ‘no’, said of the armtwisting that went on behind the scenes that “in 40 years in parliament I have nev-

er experienced anything like it. It got really personal”. Opposition support meant there had been no doubt Germany would okay new powers for the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), which some reticent countries like Finland have ratified but others, including Slovakia, are dragging their feet on. In the event, 315 lawmakers from the centre-right coalition voted in favor-just over the 311 Merkel needed to show she can pass crucial euro-zone policy without opposition help. In total 523 lawmakers voted for the bill, 85 against and there were only three abstentions. “For Merkel this is without doubt a great success and it will be a great relief for her party,” political scientist and Merkel biographer Gerd Langguth said. Relying on the pro-euro Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens would have seriously undermined Merkel’s authority and ability to pilot fresh measures to combat the euro crisis. “This is a great success for Merkel and will strengthen her position,” said Berenberg bank economist Holger Schmieding. French Finance Minister Francois

Baroin said the result “confirms the German determination to preserve the financial stability of the euro-zone”. The euro and European stocks ticked up on the news and German Bund futures fell. But analysts said the markets still wanted a more comprehensive response from European Union policymakers to the debt crisis. Merkel was successful in persuading MPs that taxpayers’ money would not be wasted by supporting bailout measuresbut she could not rule out that the money might be written off if, as financial markets increasingly fear, Greece defaults. Germany will shoulder up to 211 billion euros of the fund’s 440 billion euros worth of guarantees, but critics in the Bundestag fear it is already clear this will not be enough and taxpayers will be asked for more. That impression was reinforced by talk at the International Monetary Fund last weekend of the need to beef up the EFSF even more-on top of the extra powers decided by European leaders in July-by leveraging its capital and bring forward the permanent scheme supposed to replace it in mid2013. — Reuters

Fewer apply for US jobless benefits WASHINGTON: The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell sharply last week, an encouraging sign that layoffs are easing. The Labor Department says that weekly applications dropped 37,000 to a seasonally adjusted 391,000, the lowest level since April 2. It’s the first time applications have fallen below 400,000 since Aug 6. Applications typically need to fall below 375,000 to signal substantial job growth. They haven’t been that low since February. A Labor Department spokesman said some of the drop was due to technical difficulties related to seasonally adjusting the figures. The spokesman said some states also reported higher applications in previous weeks due to Hurricane Irene. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell to 417,000, the first drop in six weeks. Despite the signs of improvement, the job market remains sluggish. Many businesses have pulled back on hiring in the past few months as the economy has weakened. Consumers are reluctant to spend, with unemployment high, wages stagnant, and gas prices at about $3.50 a gallon..—AP


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Kuwait urged to probe offshore for more gas State hopes to quadruple gas output by 2030 MANAMA: Kuwait must probe offshore for nonassociated gas it needs to meet rapidly rising domestic demand for gas without overshooting its OPEC production targets, a Kuwait Oil Co (KOC) official told Reuters. Kuwait hopes to nearly quadruple its gas output to 4 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) by 2030, including 1.5 bcfd of gas not tied to oilfield output, Khalid al-Sumaiti, deputy managing director for exploration and production at KOC said. By 2012 Kuwait expects to be pumping 600 million cfd from existing Jurassic era gas discoveries in the north of the country, rising to 1 bcfd by 20152016, he said. But the Gulf OPEC oil producer, one of the world’s biggest crude exporters, must delve deep for the gas it needs to keep the lights on at home over the next few decades. “The critical issue here is that we need to discover more gas for reaching that (4 bcfd) figure,” Sumaiti told Reuters in an interview. “We have to produce oil to get the gas. What is helping us now is the Jurassic gas... it does not affect our quota with OPEC.” Oil exporters’ group OPEC agrees oil production limits among members to try to avoid oversupply and weak prices, which is

increasingly problematic for Middle Eastern countries where gas demand has risen rapidly over the last few years. Like many of its neighbors, Kuwait has been slow to develop its gas reserves to meet domestic demand, mostly for power generation, and has had to fill a growing gap between supply and demand with imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Last year, Kuwait signed an agreement with Royal Dutch Shell and Vitol to supply LNG from 2010-2013. Sumaiti said Kuwait should be able to find enough non-associated gas to hit its 1.5 bcfd target in under 20 years, if work starts immediately. “You have to start now to survey all your area, understand what is there, make the interpretations, drill holes, prove oil then go for development,” he said. By the end of this year a tender for conducting seismic studies offshore to target deep oil and gas formations should be ready, he said. Of the 4 bcfd target, some 1 bcfd is expected to come from existing discoveries, while Kuwait expects about 1 bcfd to come from associated gas production in 2030 and hopes to pump another 0.5 bcfd from the Dorra field which it shares with Saudi Arabia. — Reuters

Kuwait crude up $0.23 to settle at $102.39 pb KUWAIT: Kuwait Petroleum Corporation announced yesterday that the Kuwaiti crude price increased $0.23 in Wednesday’s trading to settle at $102.39 per barrel, compared to $102.16 per barrel in Tuesday’s trading. The slight increase in the crude oil prices yesterday was due to the continuous retreat of US dollar against other main currencies. The enthusiasm of investors besides the efforts of euro-zone leaders of easing tension in the markets is another reason that backed up the crude prices. The euro-zone leaders are working to support the European countries from the sovereign debts by expanding the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). This will be of a great effect in supporting the oil prices. The unstable status continues in the markets due to the conflicting economic data. The price of 12-crudes basket of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) were up $2.72 on Tuesday, settling at $104.53 per barrel, compared to $101.81 per barrel last Monday. Kuwaiti crude is one in a basket of 12 crudes produced by OPEC members, along with Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia), Murban (UAE), and Merey (Venezuela). — KUNA

Bahrain oil output up at 45,000 bpd MANAMA: Non-OPEC oil producer Bahrain is now pumping 45,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil from its Bahrain oilfield, an executive from field operator Tatweer Petroleum said. Tatweer, formed in 2009 is a joint venture between Occidental Petroleum Corp, the United Arab Emirates’ Mubadala Development Co and the National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA) of Bahrain. “Tatweer’s production is 45,000 bpd now from around 30,000 bpd in 2009 and hopefully we are moving to reach 50,000 bpd by early next year,” Adel Khalil Almoayyed, deputy chief executive offi-

cer at Tatweer told Reuters. “And then target 70,000 bpd within the next three to four years.” The venture aims to produce 100,000 bpd of oil from the field by 2017 and raise gas output. “We are targeting 2 billion cfd in terms of nonassociated gas in the next two to 3 years,” Almoayyed said. He added current production capacity of gas is around 1.7 billion cfd. Gas demand in the small Gulf oil producing country has grown rapidly in the last few years, pressing the island nation to consider imports from countries including oil and gas giant Russia. — Reuters

FRANKFURT: The curve of Germany’s share index DAX is displayed on a screen yesterday at the German Stock market in Frankfurt am Main, as lawmakers had to vote on legislation to expand the EU’s rescue fund in Berlin. —AFP

MAHSHAHR: Workers stand on a ship docked at the Imam Khomeini port in the Iranian city of Mahshahr in the southwestern province of Khuzestan on Wednesday. Mahshahr is notable for its petrochemical industry. — AFP

Market eyes impact from Singapore fire GULF PRODUCTS REPORT DUBAI: Middle distillates came under pressure in the Middle East this week with demand tapering off, while gasoline and fuel oil remained tight. Traders weighed the potential impact of the Singapore refinery fire, which has forced the plant partially shut. A fire at Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s largest refinery, with a capacity of half a million barrels, surged again yesterday despite efforts to contain it since Wednesday. In Asia oil products’ swaps timespreads surged as Shell was forced to shut down a diesel-making unit. In total, Shell has shut at least 340,000 barrels-perday of capacity. Production of light distillates - gasoline and naphtha - at the third unit has been stopped. “Eastern pricing is now well supported,” a Gulfbased trading manager said. “Intermonth spreads strengthened for some products (very steep backwardation) and east to west arbitrage is now well shut. Flat price strength will be balanced by adjustment in premiums and discounts in the Arabian Gulf,” he said. Traders could not yet predict potential changes in the trade flow but said gasoline and fuel oil, already tight in supplies, could see a shortage of availability in the near term. “If they are shut down for a long period of time then we would see increased gasoline from India to Singapore,” a gasoline trader said. Gasoline premiums held firm with over $110 a ton over Middle East benchmark naphtha spot quotes. Major buyer Aramco looks to have stopped buying for now, traders say but there is still strong demand. “PSO came out with a new tender. India, Jordan are buying,” the gasoline trader said. Gas oil and jet fuel have been wobbly, traders said, but the premiums have managed to hold above $3.30-3.40 a barrel. Bahrain’s state-owned refiner Bapco continued to sell spot cargoes of both jet and gas oil, traders said. Bapco achieved premiums of around $3.75 a barrel for December loading and around $3 a barrel for October loading. —Reuters


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Gold firms on physical demand, stronger euro Prices still vulnerable to market volatility

THESSALONIKI: High school students shout slogans as they hold a banner reading, ‘’Give us the power to change the country’’ during a protest in the northern port city of Thessaloniki yesterday. The rally was organized to protest against shortages of school books and other supplies in the crisis-hit country. — AP

Greek leaders occupied as EU-IMF resume audit ATHENS: Head auditors from the EU and the IMF were yesterday to resume an audit to save Greece from the brink of default, sparking a barrage of ministry occupations by austerity-opposing civil servants. “The mission is coming today and will meet the finance minister in the evening,” a ministry source told AFP. The two organizations and the European Central Bank, which together rescued Greece from default last year with a 110-billion-euro ($150-billion) loan, had suspended the audit nearly a month ago over lack of reform progress. The delay once again plunged the debt-hit country into uncertainty as state reserves to pay wages and pensions run out next month. Greece needs an eight-billion-euro loan slice from the rescue package to stay afloat. To placate its creditors, the Greek government has announced additional measures over the month, including pension cuts, civil service layoffs and a controversial property tax that will cost salary-hit Greeks hundreds of euros. Unions have reacted with a new wave of strikes. The Greek capital was paralysed by transport strikes for three days. Civil servants will stage a mass walkout on October 5 and a general strike will be held on October 19. And as the auditors from the three organizations, or ‘troika’, were to resume the audit, civil servants occupied a host of ministries over the cuts. “Staff associations are staging occupations at most ministries and services,” the Adedy union said, adding that nearly a dozen buildings had been taken over. “The occupations are held as the ‘troika’ returns, and in view of the new barbarous measures decided to further slash wages, introduce poverty pay rules, impose new taxes and carry out mass layoffs,” the union said. “Street protests are the only way to go,” read a banner placed outside the interior ministry while another sign reading ‘For Sale’ hung from the fence. The ‘troika’ of international creditors-the EU, the IMF and the European Central Bank-have mandated tough economic reforms in Greece after rescuing the country with a 110-billion-euro ($150-billion) loan in May 2010. Nearly all major ministries were occupied by protesting staff, including the ministries of finance, development, justice, labour, health, interior affairs and agriculture, Adedy said. A police source said the ministries were held by 50-member staff groups. The occupations began before official opening hours at 0330 GMT and were to continue until today, state television NET said. The mission’s report will determine if the debt-hit nation can again escape default. Though the ruling party’s narrow parliamentary majority has pushed through every reform through the chamber, there is visible friction in the cabinet about the ongoing austerity drive after nearly two years of sacrifices. A senior government official yesterday admitted he was unable to pay the new property tax and would have to sell assets to cope. — AFP

LONDON: Gold rose yesterday, lifted by strong physical demand and gains in the euro, but was back from earlier highs as the German parliament’s approval of new powers for the euro zone rescue fund damped interest in the metal as a haven from risk. Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,611.49 an ounce at 1152 GMT. Earlier it rose as high as $1,633.59 on talk that German Chancellor Angela Merkel could face dissent in her own party in the rescue fund vote, but eased as this dissipated. Concerns over the ability of euro zone authorities to tackle the bloc’s worsening debt crisis were a key issue pushing gold to a record $1,920 an ounce this month. Traditionally the metal has been seen as a safe store of value at a time

of volatility in other assets. Although recent hefty losses have undermined this reputation, it remains more stable than many other assets, particularly among currencies. “Gold is the one currency without debt liabilities, so if you are worried about the debt situation in the US and euro-zone, an obvious currency to look towards is gold,” said Danske Bank analyst Christin Tuxen. “There are still reasons for it to be regarded as a safe haven.” Gold remains supported by strong interest in physical metal after a series of sell-offs this week took prices to multi-week lows. Investors have been forced to liquidate their highly-valued gold holdings to cover losses on other markets. Investors remain wary that fresh financial market ructions linked

to the euro zone debt crisis could spark more losses in the precious metal, which this week has fallen as much as 20 percent from September’s record highs. Stocks markets climbed in early afternoon trade and the euro rose as the German parliament approved the euro-zone rescue fund’s new powers. “A stronger euro on a ‘good vote’ will probably help gold given the way the metal has been reacting to EUR/USD of late,” said UBS in a note. The dollar index pared losses, however, helping to pressure gold. The dollar-priced metal becomes more expensive for other currency holders when the US unit strengthens. US gold futures for December delivery were down $5.20 an ounce at $1,612.90. — Reuters

Taqa says former CEO’s US lawsuit dismissed ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi National Energy Company said yesterday a US court had dismissed a lawsuit filed against the company last year by its former chief executive Peter Barker-Homek. Barker-Homek sued the Abu Dhabi company in a US court, alleging he was forced out for trying to stop kickbacks, bribery, accounting fraud and corruption. Barker-Homek alleged he was presented with a “severance agreement” to step down. “TAQA, the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, yesterday announced the dismissal of the United States lawsuit brought by former employee Peter Barker-Homek against TAQA, TAQA New World Inc. —Reuters

WASHINGTON: Job seekers stand in line during US Rep Jaime Herrera Beutler’s “Getting Southwest Washington Back to Work Job Fair,” on Wednesday in Vancouver, Washington. The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in 5 months. —AP

Taiwan keeps rates on hold TAIPEI: Taiwan’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 1.875 percent yesterday, as expected, taking advantage of easing inflationary pressures to offer the exportled economy some support in the face of a worsening global slowdown. It was the first pause in a tightening cycle that began in June 2010, and Taiwan joins Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, South Korea and the Philippines in holding rates amid concerns over escalating problems in Europe, a possible recession in the United States and slowing growth in China. “Only central banks in China and India are still more hawkish. It looks like Asian central banks are playing it safe: they prioritize downside growth risks over inflation at this juncture,” said Selena Ling, economist at OCBC bank in Singapore. In a Reuters poll of 15 economists, 12 had predicted rates unchanged at

1.875 percent while three had forecast a rise to 2.0 percent. Rates are set quarterly in Taiwan. Taiwan’s central bank has a reputation for pre-emptive action. It was one of the first central banks in Asia to cut rates when the global crisis hit in 2008, and among the earliest to start lifting them again in 2010. “Taiwan’s major trading partners are facing downside risks,” central bank Governor Perng Fai-nan told a media briefing. “Taiwan is like a small ship, sailing between two big carriers (the US and Europe). We are trying to sail stably.” Taiwan’s economy is heavily dependent on exports, especially of hi-tech gadgets, for growth. But orders for Taiwan’s exports, a leading indicator of demand, tumbled in August from the previous month, pointing to a sharp slowdown. Actual export growth in the month, meanwhile, also came in well

below forecast. Furthermore, the HSBC/Markit Taiwan PMI index fell to its lowest level in 31 months in August, partly as new export orders had their sharpest fall since early 2009. Companies have expressed caution over demand, with notebook maker Quanta Computer forecasting weaker second-half shipments , while rival Compal has also lowered its 2011 notebook shipment forecast. . Yesterday the chairman of top LCD panel maker AU Optronics told local media that he did not rule out more cuts to capital expenditure this year due to weak demand. Concern over the global outlook outweighed the question of inflation, which is traditionally a key issue for Taiwan’s central bank, whose chief mission is to preserve financial and price stability. “Due to price falls of global crude and other commodities, imported inflationary pressure has been eased. — Reuters


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China web users top 500 million BEIJING: China’s online populationthe largest in the world-has topped half a billion, the state Xinhua news agency reported yesterday, citing a senior official. Wang Chen, chief of the information office of China’s State Council, or cabinet, said more than 15 million

people had gone online since the last official figures were released in July. The growing strength and influence of the web population has fuelled concern in Beijing about the Internet’s potential as a tool for generating social unrest, and authorities have stepped up surveillance in

recent years. The government blocks web content that it deems politically sensitive in a vast system dubbed the “Great Firewall of China”. But it has struggled to control the increasingly popular weibos, or microblogs-sites similar to Twitter that provide a new avenue for

mass expression in a tightly controlled information landscape. Speaking at an industry roundtable, Wang said China now had more 300 million microbloggers, while the number of rural rural Internet users had reached 130 million. — AFP

Bernanke: Fed would act if inflation drops Unemployment is a ‘national crisis’ CLEVELAND: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank might need to ease monetary policy further if inflation or inflation expectations fall significantly. In his first public remarks since the Fed launched a fresh measure aimed at keeping down long-term borrowing costs, Bernanke indicated a willingness to push deeper into the realm of unconventional policy if economic growth remains anemic. “It is something that we’re going to be watching very carefully,” Bernanke said in response to questions from the audience at a forum sponsored by the Cleveland Fed. “If inflation falls too low or inflation expectations fall too low, that would be something we have to respond to because we do not want deflation,” Bernanke said. The comment was made in response to a question about a recent decline in market-based inflation expectations, which policymakers see as a good gauge of future inflation trends. The gap between yields on 10-year Treasury notes and their inflation-protected counterparts fell to 1.70 percent last week, the lowest since September 2010. It has edged up slightly since then and last stood at 1.86 percent. In an effort to stanch the deepest recession in generations and help the recovery, the Fed not only slashed benchmark interest rates to effectively zero, but also more than tripled its balance sheet to around $2.9 trillion.

Despite these measures, growth has remained quite soft, averaging less than 1 percent on an annual basis in the first half of the year. Bernanke signaled he remains concerned about risks to the

CLEVELAND: Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke speaks as part of the Cleveland Clinic “Ideas for Tomorrow” speakers’ series, in Cleveland on Wednesday. —AP

economy, which the Fed described as “significant” in its September policy statement. “We have a lot of problems both in terms of recovery and in terms of longer-term growth,” he said. US Treasuries barely reacted in Asian trading to the possibility of more monetary accommodation from the Fed, not surprisingly since it has few options left and plenty of skeptics arguing that monetary policy will not help an economy struggling to create jobs. Ten-year Treasuries were up about 1/32 in price to yield 1.981 percent , little changed from late US trade on Wednesday. “I feel that the market may gradually wake up to his comments,” says Teppei Ino, a currency analyst at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ. Last week, the Fed said it will sell $400 billion in short-term Treasury securities and invest them into longer-dated ones to try to put downward pressure on borrowing costs over a longer period. Investors have dubbed the program Operation Twist after a similar measure undertaken by the Fed in the 1960s. The central bank will also renew its help to the housing finance sector by reinvesting maturing mortgage bonds in its portfolio back into that market. Bernanke called for the US government to beef up its assistance to the ailing housing sector, the epicenter of the 2008 financial meltdown. — Reuters

ROME: Italian Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti, foreground, flanked by cabinet undersecretary Gianni Letta, looks on during a meeting at the Economy Ministry headquarters in Rome yesterday. At left is Treasury’s general director Vittorio Grilli. — AP

Italy public deficit rises, bond rates up MILAN: Italy’s public deficit climbed to 3.2 percent of the gross domestic product in the second quarter, compared to 2.5 percent a year earlier, according to official figures released yesterday. This brings it slightly over the European Union ceiling of 3.0 percent of GDP for public deficits on budgets by the central state, welfare systems and local authorities. In the first six months of the year, the public deficit had dropped by 0.1 percent to 5.3 percent, the National Institute of Statistics ISTAT said. The figures are preliminary and vary strongly from quarter to quarter, ISTAT said, adding that the calculations do not exactly match the European Commission’s annual figures because certain operations are not included. Italy’s public deficit for the year is forecast at 3.9 percent, but according to Fabio Fois from Barclays Capital, in light of the half-year primary deficit, the government may miss its target by 0.2 or 0.3 percent. The rise in deficit in the second quarter was due to a 1.6 percent increase in public spending over a year, while government revenue rose 0.1 percent. The primary deficit, excluding interest payments on debt, dropped to 2.1 percent of GDP in the second quarter, ISTAT said. The primary deficit, excluding interests on debt, went up to 2.1 percent of GDP. Italy’s enormous debt of over 1,900 billion euros, which comes to around 120 percent of the Gross Domestic Product, spooked markets over the summer, as investors feared the country may succumb to the eurozone debt crisis. — AFP

Cuba gives green light to buying, selling cars HAVANA: For the first time since the 1959 revolution, Cubans will have the right to buy and sell cars in a much-anticipated reform under President Raul Castro, another step toward greater economic freedom on the communist-led island. An official government decree published on Wednesday said Cubans and foreign residents would now be able to do with their cars what they wanted “without any prior authorization from any entity.” The regulations, which take effect on Saturday, are not without limits, but they were welcomed by Cubans, most of whom have not been able to own cars for more than five decades. “It’s great because it was something for-

bidden and prices were really high-and if you had a car you weren’t able to do anything with it,” said office worker Silvia Santos. “It’s a way of freeing something,” she said. The liberalizing of car sales was one of more than 300 reforms put forth by Castro and approved in April at a congress of the Communist Party, Cuba’s only legal political party. The proposed changes put a greater emphasis on private initiative, which had been largely stifled under Cuba’s Soviet-style system, and less government control. Previously, only automobiles that were in Cuba before the 1959 revolution could be freely bought and sold, which is why there

are so many 1950s or older cars, most of them American-made, rumbling through Cuban streets. There are also many Sovietmade cars, dating from the era when the Soviet Union was the island’s biggest ally and benefactor. They have been available for those with government permission, including assorted officials, athletes, artists and doctors returning from service overseas. A black market in which people illegally purchased cars licensed to somebody else has also been active. The new regulations will only allow Cubans with government permission and foreign residents to import cars, while all others will be limited to autos already on the island. They also allow Cubans migrating from

the island to sell their cars or to give them to family members, neither of which they could do in the past. Foreign residents temporarily living on the island will be limited to buying two cars, imported or not, during their stay. Castro’s reforms, which he says are needed to ensure the survival of Cuban communism, are wide-ranging, but have been slow in developing. “It’s a law that should have been approved a long time ago,” said taxi driver Fabio Brito, 54. “This exists in all countries in the world. Why should we be different?” Reaction to the change was swift on Revolico.cu, a website where Cubans buy and sell goods and services. — Reuters


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US to take closer look at Google’s Motorola deal SAN FRANCISCO: The US Justice Department is taking a closer look at Google’s proposed $12.5 billion acquisition of cellphone maker Motorola Mobility, raising the hurdle that must be cleared before the deal can be completed. The extended review disclosed on Wednesday had been widely expected since Google Inc. announced its plans to buy Motorola Mobility Inc last month. Most of Google’s big acquisitions have been closely scrutinized by federal regulators in the past few years because of the power the company has gained as the Internet’s search and advertising leader. Google also makes Android, a leading software system for mobile phones. The competitive advantages that Android has given Google in the increasingly important mobile market may be one of the focal points of the Justice Department’s inquiry. Despite the increased scrutiny, Google has won government approval for all its acquisitions so far. Antitrust experts expect regulators to sign off on the Motorola Mobility deal too because there will still be plenty of other mobile phone manufacturers competing in the market. If it’s approved, the otorola purchase will be by far the largest acquisition in Google’s 13-year history. It has taken the company eight months to nearly a year to gain the necessary approvals for some major deals. “We’re confident that the DOJ will conclude that the rapidly growing mobile ecosystem will remain highly competitive after this (Motorola) deal closes,” Dennis Woodside, a Google senior vice president overseeing the Motorola acquisition, wrote in a Wednesday blog post. A rejection of the deal would be expensive for Google, which has promised to pay Motorola Mobility $2.5 billion if it isn’t completed. Google, based in Mountain View, California, is more interested in Motorola Mobility’s patent portfolio than its lineup of phones and other gadgets. With about 17,000 patents already approved, Motorola would offer Google a way to shield Android from lawsuits alleging the software is illegally using the intellectual property of other companies. Regulators don’t often dig deeper into an acquisition with the tool of the so-called “second request” for information that the Justice Department issued to Google in the Motorola Mobility deal. Last year, just 4 percent of the transactions reviewed by the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission received second requests, according to the agencies’ statistics. — AP

TOKYO: President of Japan’s telecommunications company Softbank, Masayoshi Son (left), character “Ultraman” (C) and Japanese actress Aya Ueto (right) take part in a press preview of Softbank’s new high-speed mobile wi-fi router called “Ultra Wi-Fi 4G”, which will provide a high speed data communications service early next year, in Tokyo yesterday. Softbank also announced a line of smartphones with 3G high-speed communication. —AFP

Nokia to cut 3,500 jobs in Romania, Germany, US Layoff part of radical restructuring effort HELSINKI: The world’s largest mobile phone maker Nokia said yesterday it planned to cut 3,500 jobs in Romania, Germany and the United States by the end of 2012. “Nokia plans to close its manufacturing facilities in Cluj, Romania, by the end of 2011 ... and plans to close its (locations and commerce development) operations in Bonn, Germany and Malvern, US,” by the end of next year, the Finnish company said in a statement. These cuts are in addition to the 4,000 job cuts and 3,000 outsourced jobs the company announced in April as part of a massive restructuring effort. The company also hinted at more job cuts next year, saying that it would review the long-term role of its factories in Salo, Finland, Komarom, Hungary, and Reynosa, Mexico and adding it expected to have more details “into the possible headcount impacts” at these sites in 2012. “We must take painful, yet necessary, steps to align our workforce and operations with our path forward,” chief executive Stephen Elop said in the statement. The reductions are part of Elop’s radical restructuring plan, announced in February, which included abandoning the company’s Symbian smartphone platform, closing a number of sites globally, re-organising business and devel-

opment units, and streamlining management. When Elop revealed in April that these changes would result in 4,000 job cuts, he said the company had no plans to cut more jobs further down the line, adding this was the “full plan for as

market share to RIM’s Blackberry, Apple’s iPhone and handsets running Google’s Android platform. The former undisputed world leader saw its market share fall to around 23 percent in the second quarter of this

JUCU: A Romanian worker leaves the site of the new Nokia factory in Jucu, central Romania, after the official opening of the first production line. —AP far as we can see into the future.” Nokia’s new strategy marks a radical effort to stop the haemmorrhaging of its

IMDb launches trivia app on Apple’s iOS NEW YORK: Buoyed by the success of its original IMDb app, the popular entertainment database has launched a brand new mobile app-IMDb Trivia. The application, which offers quizzes on movies, television and celebrities, debuted on Apple’s iOS operating system Tuesday and is available for free. “It’s not news to us that our users love trivia, we know from analytics and message boards,” said Kintan Brahmbhatt, IMDb Everywhere’s Head of Products. “Trivia has been on our mind for a long time.” Users can choose from five categories of questions, and each quiz has five levels. They can purchase more packs of questions in the app. However, it does not appear that CEO Col Needham or Brahmbhatt see this as a primary revenue source. Not only will the app be free, but it will display a limited selection of ads. “People use our apps and come to the site or use the site and come to the app,” Needham said. “They become more engaged with IMDb, more loyal to the website and more loyal to IMDb as a whole.” To expand IMDb’s reach, Android is likely the next step. The original IMDb app has more Apple users than Android users, but the iOS app also debuted first. Needham said that this app’s Android debut will depend on consumer response, but he seemed pretty confident that the appetite for the app would be there. “The core app has been so successful, and mobile is such a successful environment that it makes sense to be wherever our audience wants to engage with IMDb content,” Needham said. —AP

year, according to analysts, compared with a peak of 40 percent in the first half of 2008. —AFP

Yahoo touches up Flickr amid internal turmoil SAN FRANCISCO: It isn’t a pretty picture at Yahoo Inc. right now, but that’s not stopping the beleaguered Internet company from touching up its popular photo-sharing service, Flickr. Yahoo made that clear Wednesday with the introduction of a new way for friends in different locations to simultaneously browse through pictures. The company also unveiled its first official application for the millions of devices running on Google Inc.’s Android software. It’s part of a broader effort by Yahoo to recapture some of the ground that it has lost in recent years to Facebook, which has emerged as an advertising and photo-sharing hub. Yahoo touted its free Android app as a sign of its determination to become a bigger force on mobile phones and tablets. Yahoo’s product managers are making the push at a time of internal turmoil. The company, which is based in Sunnyvale, Calif., is trying to figure out whether it makes sense to sell part or all of its business after firing tough-talking Carol Bartz as CEO earlier this month. Employees were told the process could take several months in an email last week from Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock and cofounders Jerry Yang and David Filo. In the meantime, Chief Financial Officer Tim Morse is also filling in as

interim CEO. “Our mission is to speed innovation, to bring great new products to the market,” Steve Douty, Yahoo’s vice president of applications management told reporters Wednesday. “That is not going to change. We are moving ahead full steam just like we have before.” Flickr’s newest sharing tool, called “Photo Session,” is designed to replicate the experience of leafing through an old-fashioned photo album, even if the people who are browsing are located thousands of miles apart. Any of Flickr’s nearly 170 million users can activate a session by obtaining a special link that can be sent to other invitees. A photo session can be done on iPhones, iPads and personal computers using the Safari, Firefox and Chrome browsers. The feature doesn’t currently work on Internet Explorer or Opera browsers. Photo Session also doesn’t work on the new Android app, but Yahoo plans to address that shortcoming in future updates. Until now, the millions of people with Android devices had to rely on apps designed by non-Yahoo programmers. Douty cited the Android app as just one of several that Yahoo will be releasing in the next few months to expand its reach beyond the 137 million mobile devices that currently use some of its services. —AP


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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

BOA, Merrill back Lehman exit plan Latest in string of key settlements with creditors NEW YORK: Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc unveiled the latest in a string of settlements with major financial creditors, reaching deals with Bank of America Corp and Merrill Lynch that will reduce the banks’ claims against Lehman by a combined $7.5 billion. As part of the settlement, the banks have pledged support for Lehman’s $65 billion bankruptcy exit plan, according to court papers filed late on Wednesday in US Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. Bank of America will reduce its derivatives claims against Lehman entities by $4.5 billion, Lehman said. Merrill Lynch, a Bank of America subsidiary since 2008, will lower its claims by an additional $3 billion, court papers show. Bank of America will also withdraw an appeal of a bankruptcy court’s ruling rejecting its $500 million setoff claim against Lehman, and will return about 71 percent of that total — $356 million-to the Lehman estate, according to the filing. The deal still requires bankruptcy court approval, and is set for hearing on Oct. 19. A Lehman spokeswoman did not provide an immediate comment Wednesday night. Bank of America lauded the “reasonable resolution,” saying in a statement that there are “compelling reasons” the deal should be approved by the court. The settlement is part of a larger effort by Lehman to resolve complex claims from big banks that were counterparties in various derivatives transactions totaling more than $20 billion. Lehman in May unveiled a framework for settling those disputes, and so far, eight of 13 banks have agreed to

NEW YORK: Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc unveiled the latest in a string of settlements with major financial creditors on Wednesday.

abide by the framework and pledge support for Lehman’s plan, court papers show. If approved, the pledge of support from Bank of America and Merrill would extend even further the list of creditors that have agreed to get behind Lehman’s $65 billion creditor payback plan. Touted by Lehman as a compromise that would pay creditors about 20 cents on the dollar, the plan was unveiled in June after earlier proposals met with harsh opposition from creditors. Two creditor groups holding a combined $100 billion in claims went as far as to propose competing plans in efforts to wrest control of the bankruptcy away from Lehman. But those groups-bondholders led by hedge fund Paulson & Co,

and derivatives creditors which include Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Morgan Stanley-have each since jumped on board with Lehman’s latest proposal. Asian affiliates holding about $20 billion in claims have also pledged support, and Lehman announced earlier in September it was close to a similar deal with its European affiliate, Lehman Brothers Inc Europe. Creditors are set to vote on Lehman’s plan Nov. 4. If approved, it would go before a bankruptcy court for confirmation in December. Lehman could conceivably end its bankruptcy in early 2012. The company filed the biggest bankruptcy in US history in September of 2008, listing $639 billion in assets. —Reuters

Funds rebuild stocks in Sept; cash at highs LONDON: Investors are entering the fourth quarter with a slightly raised exposure to shares and holding high reserves of cash that could quickly be used to fuel a stock rally, Reuters polls showed yesterday. Surveys of 59 leading investment houses in the United States, mainland Europe, Britain and Japan showed an average of 50.5 percent of a balanced portfolio was held in equities in September, up from 49.2 percent in August. The shift was mainly the result of a move away from bondsdown to 34.6 percent from 36.1 percent. But investors also showed their concern about the state of global finance by pumping money into safe-haven cash. Cash allocations were at 6.3 percent, the highest since the polls were first conducted in their current form at the start of 2009. High levels of cash have in the past been counter-indicators, a precursor to a stock rally. “The main risk to our current (underweight equities) asset allocation strategy is that at the end of September, we consider that investors’ sentiment has reached an extreme negative level,” said Jean-Yves Dumont, head of asset allocation strategy and funds at Dexia Asset Management. “We could therefore experience a significant (stock) rally should the newsflow turn more positive on the US economy or a concerted European (debt crisis) solution.” Global equity markets have rallied over the past week. Traditionally, the fourth quarter also is one of stock market gains, most of which come in December. Nonetheless, there are few signs at the moment that the issues that have been limiting risk investment-the slowing global economy and the euro zone debt crisis-are going away. For that reason, cash remains so popular. “It is best to remain cautious for the time being with higher than usual exposure to core developed market government bonds and cash,” said Neil Michael, executive director of investment strategies at London & Capital. The investors raised their allocation in equities to 64.1 percent from 63.0 percent in August. They also cut their bond allocation to 27.1 percent in September from 28.7 percent the previous month. Cash was slightly up at 2.9 percent. European investors slightly raised stock holdings. The survey of 17 Europe ex-UK asset management firms showed a typical balanced portfolio held 42.4 percent of equities in September, down from the August trough of 41.2 percent. Bond holdings dipped to 40.9 percent from last month’s 41.9 percent, which was their highest in at least a year. Cash holdings were at 10.3 percent, down slightly from 10.4 percent but staying historically high and almost double December’s level . — Reuters

Asian markets mixed prior to Germany vote HONG KONG: Asian markets were mixed in choppy trade yesterday ahead of a key vote by Germany’s parliament on whether to approve an expansion of the euro-zone’s rescue fund. A new European UnionInternational Monetary Fund audit of Greece’s progress under its 110 billion euro ($150 billion) bailout also weighed on sentiment. Tokyo reversed early losses to finish 0.99 percent higher, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 index rising 85.58 points to 8,701.23 as the market welcomed a rebound in the euro. But Seoul was the standout performer, putting on 2.68 percent amid growing expectations that Germany will likely be the latest of the 17 eurozone parliaments to ratify an expansion of the 440-billion-euro ($599 billion) fund. “Of course it won’t solve the euro-zone’s fundamental debt

problem, but at least it will provide some relief,” Tong Yang Securities analyst Cho ByungHyun told Dow Jones Newswires. Sydney slipped 0.77 percent, but finished off its lows, while Chinese shares finished 1.12 percent lower on fears of a domestic slowdown due to the woes in Europe and the US. The Shanghai Composite Index, which covers both A and B shares, was down 26.72 points at 2,365.34 on turnover of 57.0 billion yuan ($9.0 billion). The key index is close to a 15-month low of 2,363.95 points reached on July 5, 2010. China’s economy expanded 9.5 percent year-onyear in the second quarter of this year, slower than the 9.7 percent posted in the first quarter and 9.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010. “With weakness in US and European markets, domestic markets are likely to follow. Added to

this, there is also concern about slowing domestic economic growth,” said Zhang Gang, an analyst at Central China Securities. Copper plays also dropped on recent falls in international copper prices and expectations of weak demand amid a slumping global economy. Jiangxi Copper was down 2.7 percent at 26.46 yuan and Jingcheng Copper plunged 5.7 percent to 13.63 yuan. Shippingrelated firms, too, suffered as investors worried about a slowdown in global trade. China Shipping Container Lines shed 1.0 percent to 2.97 yuan, while Shanghai International Port lost 1.3 percent to 3.00 yuan. The tone was set by see-sawing sessions in the United States and Europe. Bourses opened higher but sank towards the close, with US stocks taking a sharp drop in the last hour of trade to break a three-session run of gains. — AFP

JAKARTA: A customer (left) counts Indonesian rupiah at a currency exchange office in Jakarta yesterday. — AFP


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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

Economic fears reverberate across globe Grim mood evident as policymakers fail to stem the tide

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he strain of deteriorating economic conditions and the failure of governments to contain the damage are raising fears that a new financial market meltdown may be unavoidable. The grim mood was evident worldwide as a cascade of selling in stocks and commodities was triggered by concerns that policymakers lack the firepower and political consensus to revive their faltering economies. The Federal Reserve’s latest move to push interest rates lower failed to assuage investors, who appear to be giving in to anxieties about a doubledip recession. Global markets buckled last Thursday. Asian and European stocks spiraled downward and pulled the Dow Jones industrial average down almost 400 points toward its worst week since the depths of Wall Street’s meltdown in 2008. Even gold wasn’t a safe place to turn.

Just as massive loan losses at Wall Street banks threatened the global economy three years ago, stubbornly high US unemployment and persistent European government debt problems have shaken confidence today. The fear is evident among ordinary Americans such as Darla Davis. Dismayed about the economy and the stock market, the part-time teacher’s aide from Frazier Park, California, is considering a return to full-time work to prop up her family’s income. “I can’t afford to lose any more money,” Davis said. “It’s just not stable. I think the economy is going to tank.” Davis, 52, pulled her money out of a mutual fund two years ago after it lost one-quarter of its value, and stashed the proceeds in a low-yielding retirement account. The bottom-line worry is that politicians around the globe can’t — or won’t — take the steps necessary to breathe

run for cover,” said Keith Wirtz, who oversees nearly $17 billion as chief investment officer at Fifth Third Asset Management in Cincinnati. Though a pair of US economic reports on Thursday were mildly encouraging, investors focused on disappointing data from China, whose rapid growth has been a buoy for the rest of the world. Investors fear that any slowing of China’s growth could hit Europe and the US. The latest steps by the Fed illustrate the severity of the deadlock in Washington, where Democratic calls for additional growth measures have been countered by a Republican push to slash government spending. Republican congressional leaders wrote to Fed Chairman Ben S Bernanke this week urging the Fed not to take any more stimulus steps. House Speaker John A Boehner on Thursday said the central bank was “enabling”

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Brent Spence Bridge in Ohio, urging Congress to pass the American Jobs Act. —MCT Meanwhile, interest rates on US Treasury bonds fell to lows not seen since the 1940s as investors rushed to lock in yields. “The fear is that this is another event of the magnitude of 2008,” said John Bollinger, head of Bollinger Capital Management in Manhattan Beach, Calif. “This is entirely being driven by fear.” The hailstorm of selling came a day after the Federal Reserve unveiled its latest unorthodox attempt to spur growth. Investors doubted the move would have a measurable effect, and many were jolted by the central bank’s bluntly worded rationale, which warned of “significant downside risks” to the economy.

life into battered economies. The Fed’s latest plan is to adjust the mix of US Treasury bonds in its massive portfolio. The central bank plans to sell shorter-term US Treasury bonds and use the proceeds to buy longer-term Treasuries. With short-term interest rates already near zero, the Fed is hoping to pull longer-term rates lower and spur consumers and businesses to spend more. But by telling the world that it will buy longer-term bonds, the Fed in effect recommended that other investors do the same. Many did exactly that on Thursday, selling anything seen as riskier than government bonds. “It looks like the Fed told people to

Washington’s political gridlock by again intervening in the economy. “We continue to have concerns with the activities of the Fed because it appears to us that they’re taking actions because they don’t believe the political system can do what needs to be done,” Boehner said. In Europe, the situation may be more dire as the inability of policymakers to solve Greece’s debt crisis over the last two years has allowed its problems to ripple into Italy, Spain and other struggling economies. The stock market’s slump this week resumes the sell-off that slammed share prices in early August. The Dow dived 2,000 points, or nearly 16 percent, from

July 21 to Aug 10. Markets were hammered in part by Standard & Poor’s decision Aug 5 to downgrade the US government’s debt rating for the first time in history.

On Wall Street, there is increasing discussion of the US being in what’s known as a liquidity trap, similar to what Japan fell into in the 1990s: Interest rates keep falling, but it fails to spur borrowing and spending because consumers and investors have no confidence that the economy will get better. Since mid-August, US stocks have traded back and forth. Even after Thursday’s dive, the Dow is slightly above its summer low reached Aug. 10, and is down 7.3 percent for the year to date. But if the market’s drop accelerates, “it becomes self-fulfilling” as more investors decide to sell, said Michael Brandes, head of fixed-income strategy at Citi Private Bank in New York. On Wall Street, there is increasing discussion of the US being in what’s known as a liquidity trap, similar to what Japan fell into in the 1990s: Interest rates keep falling, but it fails to spur borrowing and spending because consumers and investors have no confidence that the economy will get better. “You could make the argument that we’ve hit a liquidity trap,” Brandes said. “There is a lot of cash around, but everyone is sitting around just looking at each other, and no one is spending and no one is hiring.” Still, many analysts say the US economy hasn’t fallen off a cliff. Whether it will depends on how American consumers react to the latest market turmoil because consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of economic activity. “The key is whether consumers keep spending and don’t make sharp cutbacks as they did in 2008,” said Dean Maki, chief economist at Barclays Capital in New York. Consumer spending has held up better than many analysts have predicted, but that could be upset by the steady patter of disheartening news. Davis, the teacher’s aide, has reined in her spending until she feels more comfortable. “I’m unwilling to purchase,” she said. “I shop sales, I don’t travel as much, and I look for free activities.” —MCT


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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

US foreign policy and local realities By George Friedman

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he United States remains the center of gravity of the international system. The sheer size of its economy (regardless of its growth rate) and the power of its military (regardless of its current problems) make the United States unique. Even more important, no single leader of the world is as significant, for good or bad, as the American president. That makes the American presidency, in its broadest sense, a matter that cannot be ignored in studying the international system. The American system was designed to be a phased process. By separating the selection of the legislature from the selection of the president, the founders created a system that did not allow for sudden shifts in personnel. Unlike parliamentary systems, in which the legislature and the leadership are intimately linked, the institutional and temporal uncoupling of the system in the United States was intended to control the passing passions by leaving about two-thirds of the US Senate unchanged even in a presidential election year, which always coincides with the election of the House of Representatives. Coupled with senatorial rules, this makes it difficult for the president to govern on domestic affairs. Changes in the ideological tenor of the system are years in coming, and when they come they stay a long time. Mostly, however, the system is in gridlock. Thomas Jefferson said that a government that governs least is the best. The United States has a vast government that rests on a system in which significant change is not impossible but which demands a level of consensus over a period of time that rarely exists. This is particularly true in domestic politics, where the complexity is compounded by the uncertainty of the legislative branch. Consider that the healthcare legislation passed through major compromise is still in doubt, pending court rulings that thus far have been contradictory. All of this would have delighted the founders if not the constantly trapped presidents, who frequently shrug off their limits in the domestic arena in favor of action in the international realm, where their freedom to maneuver is much greater, as the founders intended. The Burden of the Past The point of this is that all US presidents live within the framework in which Barack Obama is now operating. First, no president begins with a clean slate. All begin with the unfinished work of the prior administration. Thus, George W Bush began his presidency with an Al-Qaeda whose planning and implementation for 9/11 was already well under way. Some of the Al-Qaeda operatives who would die in the attack were already in the country. So, like all of his predecessors, Obama assumed the presidency with his agenda already laid out. Obama had a unique set of problems. The first was his agenda, which focused on ending the Iraq war and reversing social policies in place since Ronald Reagan became president in 1981. By the time Obama entered office, the process of withdrawal from Iraq was under way, which gave him the option of shifting the terminal date. The historic reversal that he wanted to execute, starting with healthcare reform, confronted the realities of September 2008 and the American financial crisis. His Iraq policy was in place by Inauguration Day while his social programs were colliding with the financial crisis. Obama’s campaign was about more than particular policies. He ran on a platform that famously promised change and hope. His tremendous political achievement was in framing those concepts in such a way that they were interpreted by voters to mean precisely what they wanted them to mean without committing Obama to specific policies. To the anti-war faction it meant that the wars would end. To those concerned about unilateralism it meant that unilateralism would be replaced by multilateralism. To those worried about growing inequality it meant that he would end inequality. To those concerned about industrial jobs going overseas it meant that those jobs would stay in the United States. To those who hated Guantanamo it meant that Guantanamo would be closed. Obama created a coalition whose expectations of what Obama would do were shaped by them and projected on Obama. In fact, Obama never quite said what his supporters thought he said. His supporters thought they heard that he was anti-war. He never said that. He simply said that he opposed Iraq and thought Afghanistan should be waged. His strategy was to allow his followers to believe what they wanted so long as they voted for him, and they obliged. Now, this is not unique to Obama. It is how presidents get elected. What was unique was how well he did it and the problems it caused once he became president. It must first be remembered that, contrary to the excitement of the time and faulty memories today, Obama did not win an overwhelming victory. About 47 percent of the public voted for someone other than Obama. It was certainly a solid victory, but it was neither a landslide nor a mandate for his programs. But the excitement generated by his victory created the sense of victory that his numbers didn’t support. Another problem was that he had no programmatic preparation for the reality he faced. Sept 2008 changed everything in the sense that it created financial and economic realities that ran counter to the

policies he envisioned. He shaped those policies during the primaries and after the convention, and they were based on assumptions that were no longer true after Sept 2008. Indeed, it could be argued that he was elected because of Sept 2008. Prior to the meltdown, John McCain had a small lead over Obama, who took over the lead only after the meltdown. Given that the crisis emerged on the Republicans’ watch, this made perfect sense. But shifting policy priorities was hard because of political commitments and inertia and perhaps because the extremities of the crisis were not fully appreciated. Obama’s economic policies did not differ wildly from Bush’s indeed, many of the key figures had served in the Federal Reserve and elsewhere during the Bush administration. The Bush administration’s solution was to print and insert money into financial institutions in order to stabilize the system. By the time Obama came into power, it was clear to his team that the amount of inserted money was insufficient and had to be increased. In addition, in order to sustain the economy, the policy that had been in place during the Bush years of

US President Barack Obama waves after speaking at a campaign fundraiser Sept 25, 2011 at the Paramount Theater in Seattle. — AFP maintaining low interest rates through monetary easing was extended and intensified. To a great extent, the Obama years have been the Bush years extended to their logical conclusion. Whether Bush would have gone for the stimulus package is not clear, but it is conceivable that he would have. Obama essentially pursued the Bush strategy of stabilizing the banks in the belief that a stable banking system was indispensible and would in itself stimulate the economy by creating liquidity. Whether it did or it didn’t, the strategy created the beginnings of Obama’s political problem. He drew substantial support from populists on the left and suspicion from populists on the right. The latter, already hostile to Bush’s policies, coalesced into the Tea Party. But this was not Obama’s biggest problem. It was that his policies, which both seemed to favor the financial elite and were at odds with what Democratic populists believed the president stood for, weakened his support from the left. The division between what he actually said and what his supporters thought they heard him say began to widen. While the healthcare battle solidified his opposition among those who would oppose him anyway, his continuing response to the financial crisis both solidified opposition among Republicans and weakened support among Democrats. A Foreign Policy Problem This was coupled with his foreign policy problem. Among Democrats, the anti-war faction was a significant bloc. Most

Democrats did not support Obama with anti-war reasons as their primary motivator, but enough did make this the priority issue that he could not win if he lost this bloc. This bloc believed two things. The first was that the war in Iraq was unjustified and harmful and the second was that it emerged from an administration that was singularly insensitive to the world at large and to the European alliance in particular. They supported Obama because they assumed not only that he would end wars - as well as stop torture and imprisonment without trial - but that he would also re-found American foreign policy on new principles. Obama’s decision to dramatically increase forces in Afghanistan while merely modifying the Bush administration’s timeline for withdrawing from Iraq caused unease within the Democratic Party. But two steps that Bush took held his position. First, one of the first things Obama did after he became president was to reach out to the Europeans. It was expected that this would increase European support for US foreign policy. The Europeans, of course, were enthusiastic about Obama, as the Noble Peace Prize showed. But while Obama believed that his willingness to listen to the Europeans meant they would be forthcoming with help, the Europeans believed that Obama would understand them better and not ask for help. The relationship was no better under Obama than under Bush. It wasn’t personality or ideology that mattered. It was simply that Germany, as the prime example, had different interests than the United States. This was compounded by the differing views and approaches to the global financial crisis. Whereas the Americans were still interested in Afghanistan, the Europeans considered Afghanistan a much lower priority than the financial crisis. Thus, US-European relations remained frozen. Then Obama made his speech to the Islamic world in Cairo, where his supporters heard him trying to make amends for Bush’s actions and where many Muslims heard an unwillingness to break with Israel or end the wars. His supporters heard conciliation, the Islamic world heard inflexibility. The European response to Obama the president as opposed to Obama the candidate running against George Bush slowly reverberated among his supporters. Not only had he failed to end the wars, he doubled down and surged forces into Afghanistan. And the continued hostility toward the United States from the Islamic world reverberated among those on the Democratic left who were concerned with such matters. Add to that the failure to close Guantanamo and a range of other issues concerning the war on terror and support for Obama crumbled. A Domestic Policy Focus His primary victory, health-care reform, was the foundation of an edifice that was never built. Indeed, the reform bill is caught in the courts, and its future is as uncertain as it was when the bill was caught in Congress. The Republicans, as expected, agree on nothing other than Obama’s defeat. The Democrats will support him; the question is how enthusiastic that support will be. Obama’s support now stands at 41 percent. The failure point for a president’s second term lurks around 35 percent. It is hard to come back from there. Obama is not there yet. The loss of another six points would come from his Democratic base (which is why 35 is the failure point; when you lose a chunk of your own base, you are in deep trouble). At this point, however, the president is far less interested in foreign policy than he is in holding his base together and retaking the middle. He did not win by a large enough margin to be able to lose any of his core constituencies. He may hope that his Republican challenger will alienate the center, but he can’t count on that. He has to capture his center and hold his left. That means he must first focus on domestic policy. That is where the public is focused. Even the Afghan war and the US withdrawal from Iraq are not touching nerves in the center. His problem is twofold. First, it is not clear that he can get anything past Congress. He can then argue that this is Congress’ fault, but the Republicans can run against Congress as well. Second, it is not clear what he would propose. The Republican right can’t be redeemed, but what can Obama propose that will please the Democratic core and hold the center? The Democratic core wants taxes. The center doesn’t oppose taxes (it is merely uneasy about them), but it is extremely sensitive about having the taxes eaten up by new spending - something the Democratic left supports. Obama is trapped between two groups he must have that view the world differently enough that bridging the gap is impossible. The founders gave the United States a government that, no matter how large it gets, can’t act on domestic policy without a powerful consensus. Today there is none, and therefore there can’t be action. Foreign policy isn’t currently resonating with the American public, so any daring initiatives in that arena will likely fail to achieve the desired domestic political end. Obama has to hold together a coalition that is inherently fragmented by many different understandings of what his presidency is about. This coalition has weakened substantially. Obama’s attention must be on holding it together. He cannot resurrect the foreign policy part of it at this point. He must bet on the fact that the coalition has nowhere else to go. What he must focus on is domestic policy crafted to hold his base and center together long enough to win the election.— Stratfor


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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011 Actress Elizabeth Hurley makes an appearance at Selfridges department store in central London in support of Breast Cancer Awareness, yesterday. — AP

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

When artificial intelligence gets more real A Japanese housekeeping robot can move chairs, sweep the floor, load a tray of dirty dishes in a dishwasher and put dirty clothes in a washing machine.

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obots are gaining on us humans. Thanks to exponential increases in computer power which is roughly doubling every two years robots are getting smarter, more capable, more like flesh-and-blood people. Matching human skills and intelligence, however, is an enormously difficult - perhaps impossible - challenge. Nevertheless, robots guided by their own computer “brains” now can pick up and peel bananas, land jumbo jets, steer cars through city traffic, search human DNA for cancer genes, play soccer or the violin, find earthquake victims or explore craters on Mars. At a “Robobusiness” conference in Boston last week, companies demonstrated a robot firefighter, gardener, receptionist, tour guide and security guard. You name it, a high-tech wizard somewhere is trying to make a robot do it. A Japanese housekeeping robot can move chairs, sweep the floor, load a tray of dirty dishes in a dishwasher and put dirty clothes in a washing machine. Intel, the worldwide computer-chip maker, headquartered in Santa Clara, California, has developed a self-controlled mobile robot called Herb, the Home Exploring Robotic Butler. Herb can recognize faces and carry out generalized commands such as “please clean this mess,” according to Justin Rattner, Intel’s chief technology officer. In a talk last year titled “Crossing the Chasm Between Humans and Machines: the Next 40 Years,” the widely respected Rattner lent some credibility to the often-ridiculed effort to make machines as smart as people. “The industry has taken much greater strides than anyone ever imagined 40 years ago,” Rattner said. It’s conceivable, he added, that “machines could even overtake humans in their ability to reason in the not-sodistant future.” Programming a robot to perform household chores without breaking dishes or bumping into walls is hard enough, but creating a truly intelligent machine still remains far beyond human ability. Artificial intelligence researchers have struggled for half a century to imitate the staggering complexity of the brain, even in creatures as lowly as a cockroach or fruit fly. Although computers can process data at lightning speeds, the trillions of ever-changing connections between animal and human brain cells surpass the capacity of even the largest supercomputers “One day we will create a human-level artificial intelligence,” wrote Rodney Brooks, a robot designer at the Massachusetts Institute of

Technology, in Cambridge, Mass. “But how and when we will get there - and what will happen after we do - are now the subjects of fierce debate.” “We’re in a slow retreat in the face of the steady advance of our mind’s children,” agreed Paul Saffo, a technology forecaster at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif. “Eventually, we’re going to reach the point where everybody’s going to say, ‘Of course machines are smarter than we are.’ “The truly interesting question is what hap-

so-called “Turing test.” In the test, devised by British computing pioneer Alan Turing in 1950, a human judge chats casually with a concealed human and a hidden machine. If the judge can’t tell which responses come from the human and which from the machine, the machine is said to show human-level intelligence. “We can expect computers to pass the Turing test, indicating intelligence indistinguishable from that of biological humans, by the end of the 2020s,” Kurzweil wrote

Peeling a banana is easy for a human, but a tough challenge for a robot, like this one from MIT’s computer science laboratory. — MCT pens after if we have truly intelligent robots,” Saffo said. “If we’re very lucky, they’ll treat us as pets. If not, they’ll treat us as food.” Some far-out futurists, such as Ray Kurzweil, an inventor and technology evangelist in Wellesley Hills, a Boston suburb, predict that robots will match human intelligence by 2029, only 20 years from now. Other experts think that Kurzweil is wildly over-optimistic. According to Kurzweil, robots will prove their cleverness by passing the

in his 2005 book, “The Singularity Is Near.” To Kurzweil, the “singularity” is when a machine equals or exceeds human intelligence. It won’t come in “one great leap,” he said, “but lots of little steps to get us from here to there.” Kurzweil has made a movie, also titled “The Singularity Is Near: A True Story About the Future,” that’s due in theaters this summer. Intel’s Rattner is more conservative. He said that it would take at least until 2050 to close the mental gap between people and

machines. Others say that it will take centuries, if it ever happens. Some eminent thinkers, such as Steven Pinker, a Harvard cognitive scientist, Gordon Moore, a cofounder of Intel, and Mitch Kapor, a leading computer scientist in San Francisco, doubt that a robot can ever successfully impersonate a human being. It’s “extremely difficult even to imagine what it would mean for a computer to perform a successful impersonation,” Kapor said. “While it is possible to imagine a machine obtaining a perfect score on the SAT or winning ‘J eopardy’ - since these rely on retained facts and the ability to recall them - it seems far less possible that a machine can weave things together in new ways or... have true imagination in a way that matches everything people can do.” Nevertheless, roboticists are working to make their mechanical creatures seem more human. The Japanese are particularly fascinated with “humanoid” robots, with faces, movements and voices resembling their human masters. A fetching female robot model from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology lab in Tsukuba, Japan, sashays down a runway, turns and bows when “she” meets a real girl. “People become emotionally attached” to robots, Saffo said. Two-thirds of the people who own Roombas, the humble floor-sweeping robots, give them names, he said. One-t hird take their Roombas on vacation. At a technology conference last October in San Jose, California, Cynthia Breazeal, an MIT robot developer, demonstrated her attempts to build robots that mimic human and social skills. She showed off “Leonardo,” a rabbity creature that reacts appropriately when a person smiles or scowls. “Robot sidekicks are coming,” Breazeal said. “We already can see the first distant cousins of R2D2,” the sociable little robot in the “Star Wars” movies. Other MIT researchers have developed an autonomous wheelchair that understands and responds to commands to “go to my room” or “take me to the cafeteria.” So far, most robots are used primarily in factories, repeatedly performing single tasks. The Robotics Institute of America estimates that more than 186,000 industrial robots are being used in the United States, second only to Japan. It’s estimated that more than a million robots are being used worldwide, with China and India rapidly expanding their investments in robotics. — MCT

Did you know?

Five new patches close Microsoft security gaps BERLIN: Microsoft has released five new patches to seal a total of 15 security gaps. Most of the problems were in the database program Excel and the Sharepoint platform software, both of which are primarily used by businesses. Four of the problems were directly linked to the operating system, reported the company. Users of Windows, Office or Sharepoint who have activated the automatic Windows update function need do nothing else. Everyone else should find the updates and install them, for example, by visiting the Windows update website at

http://www.windowsupdate.com. Security gaps reported in Adobe Reader Adobe has plugged critical security gaps in its PDF programs Reader and Acrobat. Users should be sure to use the software’s integrated update function, advises the German Federal Office for Information Security. The update function is available by first going to the help tab and then seeking updates. Without the updates, hackers could gain extended user rights and install dangerous software. To make sure the

programs update themselves in the future, users should set the programs to update automatically. Firefox tool allows view of unencrypted passwords Security measures that automatically mask a password when it’s typed in online are there to make sure others can’t sneak a peek at a password over the user’s shoulder. But if access is denied, that security feature makes it impossible to tell if it’s a case of an incorrect password or a simple typing error. Here’s where the Firefox browser

helps with a simple add-on, fittingly called Show My Password. After installation of the add-on, the password is disguised as other symbols, as usual. But if you drag your mouse over those symbols or right-click on them, you get to see the original characters. The different options are laid out in the settings. They include a setting to hide the password as soon as the mouse is moved elsewhere on the screen. The add-on also allows users to copy passwords and cut and paste them. Delete unnecessary data before your hard drives runs over. — dpa


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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

Timely canine intervention helps For dogs and their owners, farm gives A New Leash on Life

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n the first Sunday of every month, folks with cancer or those who have loved ones with the disease can escape with their dogs to the country, arriving at a place far removed from thoughts about suffering and fear and grief. On a 10-acre farm in Pleasant Grove, California, that doubles as a dog training operation, there is a low-key program called A New Leash on Life. “Being around your dog helps you focus on something other than yourself and what you are going through,” said Nola Jones, owner of Performance Dogs in Action and dog trainer. Her facility 25 minutes north of Sacramento, California, in Sutter County provides obedience training, an agility course, sheep herding, dock jumping and, perhaps best of all in the dog days of summer, a pond for dogs to splash and swim and chill. All of the activities are part the business Jones started 18 years ago. She charges $75 a month for agility lessons, $45 per session for herding, and $15 for 30 minutes of flying leaps off the dock. The new cancer program, however, provides participants with access to the facility at no charge. It’s something of a fantasy world for the dogs and an escape for their human companions. Recent visitors to the farm said their dogs helped them through the worst of times. A cold nose, a wagging tail and unconditional love have a way of doing that. “You know dogs love you no matter what,” said Jamie Swanson, taking a break from the obstacle course with Daz, a hairless Chinese crested dog. “Your dog always thinks you’re the best cook in the world and the best person in the world.” Swanson wore a yellow Livestrong wristband. She had cervical cancer 15 years ago and has long considered the now-retired cycling star Lance Armstrong an inspiration. “I’ve worn it for years. I mean, Lance Armstrong - come on,” she said with a smile. Dennis Driver went to the Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals not long after he had surgery for prostate cancer. He walked out with a border collie named Babycakes. That was four years - and a gazillion tosses of the Frisbee ago. In the dog world, that would be called a rescue. But Driver saw it the other way around. “I frequently think of our relationship as being one of divine intervention. I felt an empathy that existed within my dog,” he said. “My dog was the one that rescued me. She made me focus on something other than myself.” Driver added: “I experienced cancer as a journey, one that has taken me down many roads, several I would not have chosen for myself. It has actually proven to be a very enriching experience. “It has heightened my personal level of compassion, made

me more in tune with my surroundings and has helped me know there are people who care.” About 18 months ago, Driver, a human resources vice president for a Bay Area biotechnology company, began looking for a place to board his dog and found Jones’ facility. He and “Cakes” soon became a fixture at the farm. Not long after Driver shared with Jones his story about cancer, A New Leash on Life was born. Jones had already planned to use her property for community outreach. “I was reminded of how many women I have known through dog agility who have had cancer,” said Jones, 52, who has been showing dogs and training them since she was a child. Jones lives on the property by herself - but not alone. In addition to her eight border collies, she has 30 sheep, 22 geese, 27 ducks, a pot-bellied pig, a couple of rabbits, three guinea pigs and a variety of birds: pheasants, doves and a parakeet. Pam Lunsford, whose husband died of cancer seven years ago, wishes her husband could have seen the farm and all the dogs. “He was sick for seven years and I was all the care at the end,” she said. “When he passed away, there was a big void in my life.” She now has two dogs. She first visited Jones’ farm four years ago for agility training and has since won a national agility title. “It’s a whole new, wonderful family of people that I never would have met,” she said. Harold Toback made the trip from Fair Oaks to Performance Dogs in Action after hearing about A New Leash on Life. A nonsmoker and regular jogger for years, the 57-year-old has been going through chemotherapy for lung cancer since he was diagnosed four months ago. He has an 8-month-old Labradoodle - a poodle mixed with a Labrador retriever - named Josie. “I’ve never been scared by anything until this. I’ve had to experience that,” he said as Josie played with several dogs near the pond and his wife looked on. Along with the fear came change. “I’ve learned to be more receptive and aware of life around me,” he said. “I’m not just going through the motions. I’ve had to look inside and find out who I really am. In doing that, I’ve become a better dad, a better companion, a better friend.” Standing nearby was Diane Russell, only days away from her final radiation treatment for breast cancer. Her chow/Australian shepherd mix named Shadow has gotten closer and more intuitive as her treatments progressed. “He’s been my buddy, my companion,” she said, noting that he used to sleep next to her but on the floor, then began sleeping across her feet. “When I got my last treatment,” she said, “he slept right across my chest.” —MCT

Harold Toback, of Fair Oaks, gets acquainted with a miniature schnauzer named Oscar.

PLEASANT GROVE: Nola Jones, owner of Performance Dogs in Action, holds on to a dog during A New Leash on Life program for dog lovers who are coping with cancer in California. — MCT photos


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Everyday cooking

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

Basic bread recipe • 1kg strong bread flour • 625ml tepid water • 30g fresh yeast or 3 x 7g sachets dried yeast • 2 tablespoons sugar • 1 level tablespoon fine sea salt extra flour for dusting Stage 1: making a well Pile the flour on to a clean surface and make a large well in the centre. Pour half your water into the well, then add your yeast, sugar and salt and stir with a fork. Stage 2: getting it together Slowly, but confidently, bring in the flour from the inside of the well. (You don’t want to break the walls of the well, or the water will go everywhere.) Continue to bring the flour in to the centre until you get a stodgy, porridgey consistency - then add the remaining water. Continue to mix until it’s stodgy again, then you can be more aggressive, bringing in all the flour, making the mix less sticky. Flour your hands and pat and p ush the dough together with all the remaining flour. (Certain flours need a little more or less water, so feel free to adjust.) Stage 3: kneading! This is where you get stuck in. With a bit of

elbow grease, simply push, fold, slap and roll the dough around, over and over, for 4 or 5 minutes until you have a silky and elastic dough. Stage 4: first prove Flour the top of your dough. Put it in a

bowl, cover with cling film, and allow it to prove for about half an hour until doubled in size - ideally in a warm, moist, draughtfree place. This will improve the flavour and texture of your dough and it’s always exciting to know that the old yeast has kicked into action.

Stage 5: second prove, flavouring and shaping Once the dough has doubled in size, knock the air out for 30 seconds by bashing it and squashing it. You can now shape it or flavour it as required - folded, filled, tray-baked, whatever - and leave it to prove for a second time for 30 minutes to an hour until it has doubled in size once more. This is the most important part, as the second prove will give it the air that finally ends up being cooked into your bread, giving you the really light, soft texture that we all love in fresh bread. So remember - don’t fiddle with it, just let it do its thing. Stage 6: cooking your bread Very gently place your bread dough on to a flour-dusted baking tray and into a preheated oven. Don’t slam the door or you’ll lose the air that you need. Bake according to the time and temperature given with your chosen recipe. You can tell if it’s cooked by tapping its bottom - if it sounds hollow it’s done, if it doesn’t then pop it back in for a little longer. Once cooked, place on a rack and allow it to cool for at least 30 minutes - fandabidozi. Feel free to freeze any leftover bread.


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Types of

yeast

A

ctive Dry Yeast is the most commonly available form for home bakers. It’s available in 1/4-oz packets or jars. The yeast is dormant, needs to be “proofed” and rehydrated before using.

•To proof yeast, sprinkle the yeast over warm water (105-115 degrees F) and a pinch of sugar, and let it stand for 10 minutes until creamy and bubbly. •Dry yeast should be stored in a cool dry place; but do not use it after the expiration date on the package. Store open containers in the refrigerator. Instant Yeast is a dry yeast developed in the past thirty years. It comes in smaller granules than active dry yeast, absorbs liquid rapidly, and doesn’t need to be hydrated or proofed before being mixed into flour. •Bread Machine Yeast and Rapid Rise Yeast is instant yeast that may include ascorbic acid, a dough conditioner. •Again, store the yeast in a cool dry place, or in the refrigerator once the package has been opened. Do not use yeast after the expiration date. Fresh Yeast, also known as compressed or cake yeast, is active yeast. It’s sold in tiny cakes in the refrigerated section of many supermarkets. •Fresh yeast does not keep well; it will last about two weeks if refrigerated. The yeast should be pale gray-brown, fragrant, soft and crumbly—not hard, dark brown, or crusty. Any mold growing on the surface is an indication that the yeast should be discarded. •Fresh yeast should be proofed in tepid water (80-90 degrees F) without contact with salt or sugar. This yeast type is a good choice for breads requiring a long cool rise, or for breads made using the sponge method. Wild Yeast and Starters Before yeast was available in grocery stores, bakers kept colonies of yeast for making bread. These colonies were known as starters, and were sometimes passed on from generation to generation. You can make your own starter using commercial yeast, by using potato water (from boiled potatoes) to attract and feed wild yeasts present in the air around us, or by using the yeast found on the skins of organic grapes or organic raisins. Keep the starter in a one-quart crock, jar, or airtight container. — (www.allrecipes.com)

Mediterranean black olive bread 3 cups bread flour 2 teaspoons active dry yeast 2 tablespoons white sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup chopped black olives 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C) 1 tablespoon cornmeal 1.In a large bowl, mix together flour, yeast, sugar, salt, black olives, olive oil, and water. 2.Turn out dough onto a floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside, and let rise about 45 minutes, until it doubles in size. Punch down. Knead well again, for about 5 to 10 minutes. Let rise for about 30 minutes, until it doubles in size. 3.Round the dough on kneading board. Place upside down in a bowl lined with a lint-free, well floured towel. Let rise until double in size. 4.While the bread is rising for the third time, put a pan of water in the bottom of the oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C). 5.Gently turn loaf out onto a sheet pan that has been lightly oiled and dusted with cornmeal. 6.Bake loaf at 500 degrees F (260 degrees C) for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Bake for 30 more minutes, or until done.

Sun dried

tomato focaccia

Pineapple banana bread 3 cups all-purpose flour 2 cups sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 3 eggs 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained 2 cups mashed ripe bananas 1.In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. In another bowl, beat the eggs, oil and vanilla; add pineapple and bananas. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Pour into two greased 8-in. x 4-in. x 2-in. loaf pans. 2.Bake at 350 degrees F for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

Zucchini bread 1 cup water 3 cups bread flour 2 tablespoons dry milk powder 3 1/2 tablespoons white sugar 1 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons margarine 2 teaspoons active dry yeast 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese 2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed 1 teaspoon garlic salt 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 1.Place water, flour, powdered milk, sugar, salt, butter or margarine, tomatoes, and yeast into bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Set to Dough cycle, and start the machine. Dough will be 1/2 pound. 2.When the bread machine has finished the Dough cycle, take the dough out. Knead for 1 minute by hand. Place in an oiled bowl, and turn a few times to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise for 15 minutes in a warm place. 3.Dust a 10 x 15 inch baking tray with cornmeal. Roll out dough to fit the pan. Make indentations in the dough with your finger tips. Brush top surface with oil, and cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise for 30 minutes. 4.Sprinkle with parmesan, rosemary, garlic salt, and mozzarella. 5.Bake at 400 degree F (205 degrees C) for 15 minutes, or until nicely browned. Cool slightly, and cut into squares for serving.

3 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon 3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil 2 1/4 cups white sugar 3 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 cups grated zucchini 1 cup chopped walnuts

1.Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). 2.Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl. 3.Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans. 4.Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.


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 : When a village in Kenya is overrun with mosquitoes, THE MUBDIAYN figure out a solution. SAMI will drive the mosquitoes away from the now-evacuated village with intense sound, while DARR and BARI protect three old people too frail to be moved…

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

www.the99.org


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Tr a v e l FRIDAY, septembeR 30, 2011

Road Trip Planning

What do you need to know to make your vacation truly great

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oad trip planning, like many things in life, is harder than it looks. The fantasy is the idea of just jumping in your car and heading off to experience wonderful adventures. Any problems? They’ll just turn into hilarious stories you’ll be able to tell everyone. There are so many things to consider when planning a road trip, especially if you want it to make it a great one. Think about it, with what little vacation time we have these days, don’t you want your vacation to be the kind that you remember forever and talk about for years to come? Don’t you want it to be jam-packed with good times? Without the right planning, that may not happen! Everything you need to plan a road trip is on this site or there’s a link to the resource you need. There are so many road trip planning articles and tools that it can be hard to figure out where to begin. Here are some ways to approach all the information here in a way that will best help you plan your vacation The Number One Thing Start by reading the article The #1 Thing -

one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make when planning a road trip. Read this even if you’re traveling with family as it’s important to remember your traveling companions when selecting your destination and route. Select your destination Next, if you haven’t already, select a destination. There are multiple articles here that include trip ideas, free road trip plans, and tips regarding specific destinations. My Top Ten Road Trip Destinations article is a popular one. ● Road Trip Planning Basics - This is the stuff that will help protect you from all of the common road trip problems and dangers. The Road Trip Planning Toolbox includes road trip planning articles and tools that cover the “big stuff” like mapping out your trip, preparing your car, home and road safety, and preparing a budget. ● Road Trip Games and Songs - This is where the FUN comes in! Road trip games are always a great idea, and the longer your trip is, the more you’ll enjoy them. Creating

your own soundtrack is another key to a fun road trip. Whenever you hear those songs long after your trip, they will bring memories flooding back and a smile to your face. I save some of my songs just for those gloomy days when I need a pick-meup. Put one on and I’m dancing! Packing Lists and Tips - Before you go, you’ve got to figure out what to pack. My road trip packing lists and tips cover every kind of trip from camping to family to Spring Break to romantic. There are also general tips including how to pack a suitcase, create a packing list, and pack your trunk most efficiently. What to Eat - Road trips are a great chance to try new foods (see my road food section for state-by-state tips and places to eat) as well as try some new recipes. Using my road trip recipes you can make some of your own trail mix, pack some delicious sandwiches, or pull off the road and grill your dinner at a scenic rest area. These road trip recipes will inspire to think outside the vending-machine/fast-food box.

Save Money - Some people might say - isn’t a road trip itself frugal? Not necessarily. Things can add up fast. These frugal road trip tips will help you cut corners a little, making your vacation that much more affordable. ● Maximize Your Travel Experience - Having traveled all over the world since I was a child, I’ve gained some insights into getting the most out of traveling. Travel is more than just going to a place, it’s an inner journey as well. Growing as a person while on a road trip - or any kind of vacation - is the best kind of souvenir to bring home. Please note that there are tons of linked articles on every guide - particularly towards the bottom of each guide. They include free road trip itineraries, road trip destinations, top ten lists, and much more, so don’t miss out. Enjoy this road trip planning guide and get ready to plan your best road trip yet! (www.planning-fun-road-trips.com) ●


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Tr a v e l FRIDAY, septembeR 30, 2011

Top 10

best value destinations for 2011

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orried that the economy might put a crimp in your travel plans next year? Never fear: travel doesn’t have to break the bank. Your currency may be depressed, but that doesn’t mean you have to be; there are still many destinations around the world that can be enjoyed on the cheap. If you let the global economic ups-and-downs work to your advantage, adopt some personal austerity measures in pricier destinations, and head towards up-andcoming destinations, you can stay on the road longer for less. 1.Bangladesh This subcontinental treat might just be the cheapest place on earth to travel. Bangladesh offers marvellous meals for under US$1, a midrange hotel room for less than 10 times that. This means that anyone who isn’t a masochist goes up a price bracket or two. You’ll pay a little more to get around the Sunderbans National Park on a tiger-spotting tour - US$150 or thereabouts - but it’s still peanuts, even compared Crimea in the to what you pay next door in India. Black Sea coast of Bangladesh is Ukraine almost disgracefully under-visited. Here, paddleboat is one of the main forms of transport and you can trek, canoe and even surf to your heart’s content with some of the world’s friendliest people for company. The Rocket is Bangladesh’s most famous ferry, running daily between the capital Dhaka and Khulna. First-class river cruising for 27 hours will cost US$15. 2. Nicaragua As other Central American destinations inflate prices with an influx of travellers, there are still a few good value delights to be found in the region. Nicaragua is somewhere where the careful traveller can get by spending US$15 a day, and midrange comforts can be had for less than double that amount. What you get for your money is nothing short of spectacular: hammock-hanging opportunities on the mythically unspoilt Corn Islands, bar-hopping and live music in colonial Leon and Granada, and volcano trekking on the Isla de Ometepe. Paying departure tax when flying out of Nicaragua may be the single most expensive thing you do at US$32, and this is usually already included in the price of your ticket.

3. Washington, DC Lincoln Memorial: free. National Air and Space Museum: free. Capitol: free. Library of Congress: free. White House and State Department: tough to get in, but free. Get the picture? Washington is a city packed with iconic things to do and very few of them ask for an entry fee. If you’re happy to walk and bring your own lunch bag, you can absorb centuries of American history, politics and culture without having to so much as touch a dollar

gain hunters should head for Namibia. Well set-up for backpackers, this is still a territory of US$50 or less a day if you’re careful, with an excellent network of local minibuses and tours aimed at budget travellers to go to places public transport won’t. And if you go up a price bracket you’ll eat and sleep well in excellent-value midrange options that bring South Africans flocking over the border year after year. Admission to the Cape Cross Seal Reserve on the Skeleton Coast costs

those years, Argentina still offers a terrific deal. Characterful mid-range hotels start at around AR$180 (US$46) per night in Buenos Aires and Patagonia, and half that in other places. Argentina’s gourmet eating houses usually won’t charge more than US$30 a head and you can enjoy wonderful meals on much less. Best of all, you get great quality food, wine, lodging and transport throughout Argentina for your money. Bounce up and down with some of Buenos Aires’ more

be pricey, especially in the capital, Kyiv, but good budget options in Lviv and Odesa are available for less than US$50. Once on the ground you’ll find your funds go a long way. Public transport is fantastic value, with a train between Kyiv and the lovely city of Lviv costing less than US$10, and a tram ride from the station into town a hundredth of that. If you know where to look, food, beer and coffee can be really very cheap. One of Ukraine’s top sights is the immense and moving Lychakiv

Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. bill all day. DC’s Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens is the only national park in the USA devoted to water plants. It’s free. 4. Paris The French capital is never going to win any awards for cheapness, but here’s a winning formula that anyone can afford. First, you need a Swiss Army knife. Then stroll into a boulangerie - every neighbourhood has several - and buy a freshly baked baguette for €1 (US$1.35) or thereabouts. Follow your nose to your next stop, a fromagerie, and grab a fist-sized hunk of cheese. Lastly, grab a bottle of wine, nothing fancy, and head for the banks of the Seine opposite Notre Dame or the garden adjacent to Pont Neuf on a sunny day, preferably with a friend or loved one. Zut alors - a Parisian dining experience for under €10 (US$13.50) per person that any local would declare formidable! You’ll find everything for a picnic on Rue Montorgueil in the 2nd arrondissement. 5. Namibia Botswana wants big spenders only and South Africa’s not the deal it once was, so southern Africa bar-

a mere US$3 per person. 6. Philippines The Philippines may be just about to rudely shove Thailand off the ‘best cheap beaches’ perch it’s occupied for the best part of two decades. While travellers argue long and hard about which is cheaper, there’s no denying Thailand is more popular. For those who desire nothing more than to find great, undiscovered beaches, surf the odd wave and eat unique, distinctive food for under US$20 a day, the Philippines has the edge. Add in the possibility of beach camping along the Zambales Coast or in the Bacuit Archipelago and you’ve got the recipe for timeless island hopping that suits any budget. Ferries link many idyllic destinations in the Philippines. Expect to pay around US$5 for each hour you’re on the water. 7. Argentina The Argentine peso is the currency that keeps on giving. In the middle of the last decade, incredulous visitors regularly queried bills for being too cheap after feasting on fine steak and red wine. While not quite the bargain it was during

raucous citizens at a footbol (soccer) match. Terrace tickets for Boca Juniors, River Plate and others cost from AR$14 (US$3.60). 8. Naples Italy: not cheap. Even a slice of pizza can seem like lousy value if you’ve come from a part of the world that uses a currency that’s slumped against the euro. Thank heavens then for Naples. Here’s one Italian city that prefers food that’s fresh, simple and good value. You can dine brilliantly on the city’s spectacular street food alone. Naples eschews budget-blasting frills in favour of small and simple B&Bs charging around €75 (US$100) per night. Best of all, Naples is a city full of life being lived for its own sake, with few of the tourist hordes who descend on other Italian classics further north. The ferry from Naples to the idyllic island of Capri, one of Italy’s classic journeys, costs a mere €10.50 (US$14) with Caremar. 9. Ukraine Eastern Europe isn’t the US50c-abeer haven for bargain hunters it once was, but good deals are still available. OK, mid-range hotels can

Cemetery in Lviv; it includes the final resting place of national poet Ivan Franko and thousands of dramatic tombstones. You get hours of fascinating wandering for less than US$1. 10. Syria (Travel advisory: Note that since March 2011, there’s been a surge in violence in Syria due to an uprising against the government and subsequent crackdowns. Many countries are advising their citizens against travel to the country. Check the latest news before heading to Syria.) While some neighbouring countries up the entry costs to ancient sites, Syria remains an excellent-value place to travel. As you might expect, there are superb street shwarma (sandwiches), felafel and eye-tightening qahwa (coffee) available for small change. A ride between Aleppo and Damascus won’t touch US$5, and a daily budget of US$50 will get you well into the mid-range bracket. Best of all, the delights of the Old City of Damascus and the souq at Aleppo are free. If you get locked into a tussle with a carpet merchant in the latter, though, you’re on your own. (www.lonelyplanet.com)


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Books

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

Claire Tomalin: ‘Writing induces melancholy. You’re alone, a hermit’ T

hanks to a childhood spent poking my nose through bannisters, I think of landings as places for eavesdropping, for the discovery of shocking adult secrets. So it seems appropriate that it is to a landing, albeit one with chairs and a small table, that Claire Tomalin leads me when I arrive at her house in Petersham, west London. Tomalin is a famously formidable woman, cool, clever and not much given to spilling her guts. She became a writer long before the cult of personality took publishing hostage and so believes that, in life, it is one’s work that should count with the public, not one’s ex-boyfriends. But she is also, being a biographer, a dedicated purveyor of secrets, a person whose job is to hunt down whispers and clarify them in black and white and extensive footnotes. Her books are fantastically well-researched and, on the surface, dispassionately written. But they also gratify what her latest subject, Charles Dickens, called “staring curiosity” (Dickens, trembling in the certain knowledge that no man can own his life once he is dead, claimed to disapprove of the biographer’s art). You turn their pages and what you feel most of all is the thrill — piercing, but complicated — of disclosure. What’s new? Is there anything left to disclose about Dickens? Perhaps not. His biggest secret — the existence of a carefully closeted mistress, a one-time actress called Ellen Ternan (Nelly), with whom he may have had a child (the baby probably died) — was, after all, revealed to its fullest extent in Tomalin’s groundbreaking 1990 book, The Invisible Woman. Unless more diaries or letters unaccountably turn up, a new life is a matter of emphasis, mostly. Nevertheless, her skill is such that you read her Dickens with a mounting sense of amazement (and sometimes horror), the small things taking a hold of you as much as the large. It is wonderful. Two weeks after I finished it, I still cannot get out of my mind the fact that, once it was over, Dickens’s feckless parents never again referred to the year they forced him to spend working in a blacking factory (he was just 12 years old), as if it had never happened. Nor can I stop thinking about the way Dickens signalled to his long-suffering wife, Catherine, that their marriage was effectively over (he simply got a workman in and divided their bedroom in two). Next time I see a photograph of Dickens — it won’t be long; next year is the bicentenary of his birth — I will remember Eleanor Picken, who met him in Broadstairs when she was 19. Thrilled to know the famous writer, Eleanor sunned herself “in his smiles”, but she thought, too, that his eyes were sometimes like “danger-lamps”. Like Dickens, Tomalin is fiercely energetic, and mordantly funny, but today she also has the slightly frail aspect of one who, having completed a vast undertaking (Dickens’s life is so incredibly voluminous: his letters alone run to 12 volumes, each one some 800 pages long), now awaits the verdict of the various partisans who patrol this sacred ground. Her eye wanders to the window. “You feel exhausted, low, terrified. When I was young and books were published, no one made any

his younger children was cold and occasionally cruel.) “I agree. It’s a basic question. I suppose it wasn’t respectable to think about it. I think he was rather embarrassed about sex. I think he thought of it as a necessary, hygienic thing.”

Claire Tomalin, author of the new Dickens biography.

sort of fuss. Now... you feel people are going to jump on you. You can’t help it.” It would be the same with any book, but in the case of Dickens, who induces such intense (and intensely odd) passions in his devotees, you can multiply this by five. “The great weirdness has always been the protection of Dickens’s name by Dickensians [this started early: a biographer, Thomas Wright, who dared to mention Nelly in his 1913 biography, was widely attacked] and it still goes on. They don’t like the stuff about Nelly. I’ve already given a few talks and there was a man there with a notebook.” An intentionally sinister pause. “In particular, they’ve never liked the stuff I suggested about Dickens’s death. But I haven’t changed my mind. I’m sticking to it.” Tomalin has believed ever since she wrote The Invisible Woman that it is possible that Nelly was with Dickens in Peckham when the final crisis came and that she took him home to his daughters and sister-in-law at his Kent house, Gad’s Hill — possibly he was already unconscious — in conditions of utmost secrecy in order to protect both their names. Victorian image She is confounded by this desire to preserve the Victorian image of Dickens as a monogamous and kindly husband. “When Anthony Burgess reviewed Peter Ackroyd’s biography [Ackroyd, whose book came out in 1990, strikingly failed to acknowledge Nelly], he said, ‘Now we know. Dickens was a good man. He didn’t have a mistress.’ What? There are other ways of being good. All writers behave badly. All people behave badly.” She agrees with Dickens’s clever daughter, Katey, who believed that in the second half of his life, when he rejected Catherine and cruelly forbade her children and even her sister, Georgina, to see her, the great writer went a little mad. “The young Dickens was so alive, so selfconfident, so funny. His wonderful glossy hair! His capacity for friendship, and for work! And then... yes, he went mad. But I know that people do go mad. I expect you do, too. Old biographers have got something extra: they’ve lived a long life themselves. They’re more able

to see things in perspective. It’s not a matter of forgiving. That would be an impertinent thing to say. But it is a case of trying to understand. “I think what he did [to Catherine] was unforgivable, but I also think it’s hard to make Catherine into a heroine. She’s pregnant in the first month of the marriage and they have 10 children in the next 16 years; he leaves her no space to be anything. Poor Catherine. But it doesn’t make me hate him. I think Dickens had a problem with women. I think the appeal of Nelly was partly that she was difficult. As a young man, he’d had his heart broken by another difficult woman, Maria Beadnell. He thought: never that again. So he warned Catherine not to be difficult, to do what he wanted, and she did, and she did, and she did...” But Dickens was a modern man; he made sure that Catherine received chloroform, then popularly believed to result in imbecile babies, during the birth of one of their children. Why did he not try to limit their family? (He had wanted only three babies and his attitude to

Hate figure And what she does she make of Georgina Hogarth? She is my hate figure, siding with her beloved brother-in-law as her poor abandoned sister enters a lonely exile in another part of London. “Yes, awful. But I do try to speak for her. What would have happened to her? She’d come [to live with Dickens and Catherine] at 16, her parents were poor and she’d already turned down a marriage proposal. There was nothing for her. She was completely in thrall to Dickens.” Georgina ran Dickens’s household until his death in 1870. She then co-edited the first published volume of his letters without ever mentioning, in her biographical introductions, the separation from Catherine. Her by now dear friend, Nelly, meanwhile, adjusted her age, making herself younger by some 14 years. She got married (to a man who knew nothing of her past or, indeed, of the fact that she was more than a decade his senior) and had children. She lived in fear of her relationship with Dickens being exposed, but on Georgina she could always rely. Tomalin’s book, a page-turner, seems to me to be an effective reproof to those who, like Michael Holroyd, believe literary biography to be in its death throes. But what does she think? Are publishers going to dispense with fat lives? “No! I think people are always saying things are over. Fiction has been regularly over since the 19th century. You can’t entirely talk about books in groups like that. Some work and some don’t. Clearly, we have got a public with a shorter attention span, but there is also this great interest in history. I’m devoted to Michael. He’s adorable. But I rather think he’s enjoying being Cassandra about this.” On the other hand, so far as her own career goes, she would like to work on slightly more manageable subjects in the future (Dickens follows Hardy, who followed her award-winning Samuel Pepys). “I have grandchildren and step-grandchildren and I would like to spend time with them. I’m 78 and Michael [Frayn, the novelist and playwright, and her husband] is 78, too, and he also needs a bit of attention.” She sighs. “People say I should write a memoir, but I don’t think I can.” Why not? She is quiet for a moment and then she says: “Because I don’t have enough sense of myself. I know it sounds pathetic, but I don’t know who I am. One of the things I have done since I started writing biography is live through them. Those lives are still with me. It’s as Katherine Mansfield said, ‘One life is not enough.’” About the author Claire Tomalin was born in London in 1933. Her mother, to whom her biography of Dickens is dedicated, was a musician. Her father, who worked for Unesco, was French. Her relationship with them was complicated. “My father didn’t want another child and my


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mother had me against his will; he didn’t like me at all for many years. Once he realised I was clever, it was fine and we were great friends, but it is a funny beginning to know that you’re disliked by your father. Of course, my mother adored me. In her eyes, I could do no wrong.” Her parents separated when she was seven — “They really got on very badly” — and she didn’t see her father for a long time. “My mother and sister and I, we were very poor. But I never felt poor. We had music, and we had poetry, and — this will sound very priggish — we had this tremendous high-thinking life. My mother had had a painful childhood and she said to me, ‘Books are wonderful because you can always go into a book [to escape]’ and she was right. The other thing was that I had a French name — Delavenay — and so I was a mysterious person who could not immediately be classified by class. I was quite confident in that way.” When she did realise she had a brain? “Well, I started writing poetry when I was seven and even my father was surprised; he had some of it typed out.” Her schooling, though, was a muddle, thanks to the war, and to the custody battle fought by her parents. What can she remember of the war? “Oh, lots. I remember it being declared. I was reading Black Beauty and I said, ‘Oh, the poor horses’ and my father said, ‘You stupid child’, with great contempt. I remember people hiding the fronts of newspapers because they had pictures of Russian partisans being hanged. I remember when I was at the French lycee, we sang ‘The Marseillaise’ on July 14 and all the teachers had tears running down their cheeks. For a time, my mother was living in Welwyn Garden City and I remember the Italian prisoner of war camp. I used to go out on my bicycle and they were so sweet, those men in brown uniforms.” She completed her education at Dartington Hall, where she won a place at Newnham College, Cambridge, the headmaster having warned her not to wear lipstick at her interview. “The sense of privilege was enormous: we [women] were only one in 10. But equally, you were a princess if you had any charms of any kind. I thought it was wonderful, though they weren’t particularly happy years. There were love affairs and Newnham was rather a puritanical regime.” By the time she graduated, though, she was in love with a wannabe journalist, Nick Tomalin, and together they moved to London. She rented a basement in the house of the artist Roger Hilton for which she paid £2 a week; Nick lived in a rented room around the corner, in a house belonging to the artist Patrick Heron. Her work This was the summer of 1954 and, as she writes in her book Several Strangers (a collection of her criticism leavened with a series of short autobiographical essays), she was “an innocent, dreamy, not to say dozy” young woman. What to do next? Her father pronounced that shorthand and typing were the thing, so she did a secretarial course, after which she applied to the BBC, only to be told — her first-class degree could go hang — “that the competition for general trainees is confined to men”. So she went for a job at the publisher William Heinemann. A few minutes into her interview for this position, a man in heavy glasses walked into the office: the poet James Michie. “Later, he told me he had been awarding me marks for my looks. Seven out of 10, he gave me, just enough for the job of secretary/editorial assistant, at £5.10 a week. This was how things were done in 1954.” The following year, she and Nick, who was

literary editor went on holiday for four whole weeks. “It was the most generous gift he could have given me. For a month, I had a headache and for a month I was the happiest person in the world. My pages, my writers, my decisions.” Meanwhile, her precarious marriage somehow endured. She and Nick decided to have another baby and, in 1970, their second son, Tom, was born. But he had spina bifida; this time, she could not go straight back to work. Instead, with her new baby in a basket beside her, she began work on her first biography, a life of Mary Wollstonecraft. She started to feel a little happier. However, in September 1973, Nick was killed by a Syrian missile on the Golan Heights, where he was reporting on the Yom Kippur war, and the world turned again, although Tomalin has always been clearsighted about what his death meant for her. “It was... a huge drama,” she says. “It was absolutely appalling... his parents and his children. And I’ve always said that I wish terribly that he hadn’t been killed. But I have also said that our marriage was effectively at an end by

On the eve of her eagerly awaited life of Dickens, the grande dame of literary biography talks about seeing the world through the eyes of her subjects — and why the one remarkable life she is reluctant to write is her own by now working on the Daily Express, got married: another instance of how things were done. They planned to have six children and she quickly became pregnant. She went back to work after the birth of her first daughter, Josephine (there was no maternity leave), but when her second, Susanna, arrived, she began working at home as a reader. She also began doing some journalism. But then, “disaster and sorrow”. Her third child, a boy, died when he was a month old. She had another daughter, Emily, born on her missing brother’s first birthday but then, more pain. Nick, her charming and successful husband, became a bolter. “And he was a real bolter. He was always off with somebody and then he would come back again. I can remember saying to my eldest daughter, ‘Daddy wants to come back: what do you think? Because he’ll do it again.’ She was about 12, by this time, and she said, ‘I want him back’ and I said all right... but perhaps I shouldn’t talk about my children. It’s not fair.” She felt low; the bolting brought her own situation miserably into relief. In a review of Janet Malcolm’s book, The Silent Woman, about Sylvia Plath, Tomalin wrote: “... one of my most vivid memories of the 1950s is of crying into a washbasin full of soapy grey baby clothes — there were no washing machines — while my handsome and adored husband was off playing football in the park on Sunday morning with all the delightful young men who had been friends to both of us at Cambridge three years earlier. I had wanted to do something with my life — I thought I had some capacities and here they were going down the plughole with the soapsuds.” The jobs She resolved to find what a stern friend of her mother’s called “proper work”, landing a job first on the London Evening Standard and then a position as assistant to the literary editor of the New Statesman. One summer, said

then. I tried not to put on any inauthentic displays of grief.” It was the editor of the New Statesman, Tony Howard, who insisted that it would be better for her to work than to stay at home (she became the magazine’s new literary editor) and years later, her eldest daughter, Jo, told her that it was during this period that she became recognizably the person she is now. She commissioned Clive James, Paul Theroux, Jonathan Raban, Alison Lurie and Victoria Glendinning, and her assistants included Martin Amis and Julian Barnes. She acted confident and, in doing so, her confidence grew and she loved it. Even so, it must have been tough. She was a widow, with four children, one of whom was disabled. How did she do it? “I don’t know. I used to bicycle back and take my bike into the kitchen and start cook-

ing supper, I remember that. Adrenaline flows and that’s what you live on. The family My children remember that at Christmas, when I had some time off, I was always ill.” Did she feel guilty? “Not really. They were at school. Though with hindsight... my youngest, Emily, who is an engineer, said she wasn’t going to work when her children were little and that’s because she can remember coming home and finding someone else there, not me.” And work was a balm? “Yes, absolutely. That’s what I do. If I’m upset about something, I go into my study and I work.” She was by now in her 40s, the period she thinks of as her youth: liberated and busy. The Mary Wollstonecraft book came out and was a huge success, so in 1977, she left the Statesman, thinking she would be a full-time writer. Only once she had left did she realise this was a mistake: she missed office life. So she accepted a new job as literary editor of the Sunday Times under Harold Evans (“We were all, men and women, a little in love with him”) and all was well until the arrival of Andrew Neil as editor in 1983. They didn’t get along. She eventually left in 1986, shortly before the newspaper moved to Wapping, writing in her letter of resignation that Neil was “a mouthpiece for a ruthless and bullying management”. She was, she says, lucky to be able to afford to leave. “I feel in general that I belong to a very lucky generation. We had birth control, and mothers’ helps were affordable, and the value of our houses — I had owned mine since 1963 — went up and up. I can see why the next generation might feel quite bitter.” She married Frayn in 1993 (though they’d got together years before, following a bit of uncertainty on his part; he was married to someone else) and, eight years ago, shortly after they were both shortlisted for the Whitbread (now Costa) book of the year (she won), they moved from north London to this fabulously comfortable house — it has the biggest garden I have ever seen — where their studies, his neat and hers rather messier, are separated only by a small room full of box files. They are each other’s first reader, though he is the strict one. “No, he’s not kind. And he’s been absolutely savage about my public speaking! I used to read my talks and he said, ‘Don’t do it, it’s so boring, it’s absolutely ghastly.’ And he was right.” The isolation of writing She has, she says, long since come to terms with the isolation of writing; these days, she likes nothing more than “to sink down into the mud”, undisturbed. “But my default mode is melancholy. It’s partly because of losing my daughter [Susanna committed suicide when she was an undergraduate]; there are things that you never get over. But it’s also that writing induces melancholy. It is lonely. You’re alone, alone, alone, a hermit, an absolutely intolerable person, and then you finish, and what’s coming towards you is talking, talking, talking. I’m in a misery thinking about it.” Except she doesn’t look miserable. Her cheekbones glow. My hunch is that she is as close to being contented as any writer can be. Then again, as she knows better than anyone, this might not be saying very much. Dickens — “the meteor... the brilliance in the room, the inimitable” — loved his creations, Smike and Sam Weller, Ebenezer Scrooge and Sissy Jupe. But he could no more have rested on his laurels than he could have become a clergyman or a Cistercian monk.—Guardian


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Beauty FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

How To Pick the Perfect Foundation

Tips: 1.Try the color out on your jawline, not your wrist or hand 2.Remember to stand in a doorway or outside to see if the color matches 3.A foundation with sunscreen is a safe bet, but you will still need to wear sunscreen under your foundation. Also considering skipping foundation and opting for a tinted moisturizer (Laura Mercier makes a great one) instead. 4.Believe it or not, today foundation is totally optional. It’s healthier for your skin NOT to wear foundation daily. If you have blemishes or pimples, try strategically placed concealer instead. Or just wear the foundation on the parts that need it most, likely around your nose and eyes and on your chin. Just make sure to blend properly. 5.Go for different looks for evening and day. A light foundation is perfect for work or weekend. While a sexy shimmer is great for evening.

P

icking the perfect foundation for your skin can be daunting. Here’s how to go about it while shopping in a department store. Remember, you always want to test before you buy. This is why it’s best to get your foundations from department stores rather than from the makeup aisle at your local pharmacy or grocery store. If you do buy from a drugstore, make sure it has a liberal return policy. Here’s How: 1.Before you pick the formula, you need to find out the right formulation for your skin. If you’re oily, look for words like “oilfree,” “oil-control” or “mattifying” on the bottle. Got dry skin? Go for moisturizing foundations with “hydrating” or “moisture-rich” wording on the bottle. Foundations containing glycerin glide on easily. For combination skin, determine if you’re more oily or dry and go from there. Cream-to-powder bases work great for combination skin. Mineral foundations work well on all skin types, especially sensitive skin. 2.Consider if you want a light or medium-coverage. If you have good skin, but want to even out a few ruddy areas, consider a light coverage. For women with really uneven skin tone or blemishes, consider a medium-coverage foundation. Some women swear by mineral foundations, so you might want to try these out as well. 3.Show up to the makeup counter with a clean, fresh face. It’s OK to wear eye makeup or lipstick, even moisturizer on your face, but you don’t want to show up already wearing foundation. 4.Select a few colors that seem close to your natural skin tone. Go for the yellow-based foundations, which look most natural on all skin tones. However, if you’re very fair, try a pink,

Orange-citrus bath herbs 1 oz Orange peel (Cut and Sifted) 1 oz Orange flowers, WH (Whole) 1 oz Lemon peel 1 oz Comfrey leaves Camomile, WH 1 oz Almond meal Quantity: Makes 6-12 baths. To Make: Mix together and store away for use. To Use: At bath time you may, 1) put a large handful of the mixed herbs into a muslin bag and drop the bag in the hot tub; 2) drop the herbs directly into the water; 3) put the herbs into a perforated metal ball available in the cooking section of department stores and often used in the cooking of

rice; 4) make an infusion of herbs and strain the liquid into the tub. Why: In this bath mixture, Orange peel soothes the skin, Orange flowers impart fragrance, Lemon peel is an astringent, Comfrey leaves are a healing emollient and astringent, Camomile is soothing and a healer, and Almond meal adds a slippery feel. Tip: There are several kinds of metal balls used in cooking rice. Some have chains attached that can be hung from the edge of pot or tub. One small 3” diameter ball I purchased came equipped with a cork float that was perfect in my tub. Now I can always keep track of my bath ball.

cooler shade. 5.Apply a stroke of up to three colors on a cheek (the inner wrist or hand aren’t the best spots, contrary to popular belief). The one that disappears is the right shade. 6.Take a good, long look — near a window. Ask to borrow a hand mirror and stand near a doorway, or step outside, to see which foundation looks best in the natural light. The right shade is one that you can’t see because it blends in so well. If you are purchasing from a drugstore, take a couple bottles to a doorway, hold them up to your neck and see which one matches the best or if you have a favorite shade you want to match, match the colors of the bottles, never the swatch on the display. 7.Once you’ve bought the foundation, take it home and try it out. If you don’t like it you can return it. If you’re buying from a drugstore, purchase from one with a liberal return policy (like Rite Aid).


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Style FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

2012 Spring and summer trends and fashions that defy time T

his spring and summer you will find yourself wrapped in heavenly fabrics, adorned with fabulous vivid color, as well as soft neutrals. Look again this spring to seeing lace, and floral prints on the racks... As always, black and white fashion’s defy time, and keep their well earned place as big colors for spring and summer of 2012. Black and white fashion’s were big on the runways this season, most fashion designer’s showed black and white in some fashion or another . Let’s face it - you can’t go wrong with the traditional black and white outfit. The designer’s know this little fact, and continue to cash in on it. This season dresses, and skirts will remain must haves... But this season fashion designers have also given us all kind of fun fashions, fashions that will offer wonderful vivid prints, stripes, and geometric prints... The main theme this spring is somewhat tailored, and classic, but with a touch of bold, and edgy. Let’s start out with Oh so trendy Preppy Inspired espadrilles... Think plaids, stripes, and nautical navy. 70’s glam is back in the form of one piece jumpsuits ! With a smaller shoulder pad, to square off the shoulder line. Think of the days of Disco - “Studio 54, sequins, but add a bit shorter sleeve to this new souped uo version of the jumpsuit. Do you Crochet? Well it’s back... Crochet vests are big this spring, maybe you can look to the back of your closet . maybe you might have a bit of a crochet number lurking. The color that jumps out at the head of the line for spring is orange! Less face it there is no other color that can make a loud fashion statement as orange. So need a new dress? Make it an orange. Belt bags are one of the great big trends... However, I am not talking “fanny packs’...Stick to the new small square flat belt bags - so cute, and less weight to carry on that shoulder. This spring kitten heels are big... The kitten heel is a good choice this spring. They are feminine, and classic, as well as comfortable. Creamy neutrals, all done up to give you a very feminine look. Flowing pajama - styles, tunics. All meant to be classical, and again comfortable. Think whimsical patterns. From bird prints to deer, fruit, feathers, you name it, tops with whimsical prints are big. You will see everything from blouses to dresses all sporting Whimsical prints. Stripes - Stripes seem to hold a place in fashion year after year. You can’t go wrong wearing stripes, from head to toe... High-Waisted flare pants are so big this spring... The pant that Katharine Hepburn made so popular, is back... I suggest you pair this style of pants with a great heel, just to give the old look a bit of flare. The new flare pant as a rule have loops for a skinny belt, so you can flash up the look with a flashy thin belt. Trends That You Need To Know About... Designers this spring and summer are utilizing heavenly fabrics, light as a cloud so to say... - and putting out some wonderful heaven inspired designs. Soft and feminine dress-

es, and blouses, to make you feel like a bit of an angel. Designers have not left all you little devils out. This spring and summer you will see a big come back in red! A bold color that is not just for you red hot gals. Many fashions this season will be sewed up with the up most intricately, touting pleats, folds, and draping. Giving references to ancient Greece and Rome. The oh so sexy one shoulder look is also big for this summer. Lots of designers have given the a two-sleeve look the cold shoulder ... The Katharine Hepburn’s influence as always still reigns. You will continue to see tailored blazers, cute fitted cardigans, and ties ... As mentioned above floral’s are so big this spring and summer...You will see the racks over loaded with wonderful floral’s, from soft muted pastels, to South Pacific inspired with bright and bold floral’s - just about in every shade you can imagine... It seems more than a few designers are adding the sexy silk robes look to their line this spring. Not to mention drawstring shorts, and vertical stripes. The pajama party look with an elegant twist... Color was everywhere on the runways for spring/summer. However , many top designers mixed in black and white creation’s, and also dull neutrals seem to hold on this season. This great design is by Michael Kors. Note how he incorporated lace in the skirt, and mixed it all up with a sporty strip mix at the top. Lace is big this season, it is being used as never before. It is popping up not only in evening wear and lingerie, but ready to wearnot to mention its covering shoes, and handbags, you name it... Check out the fab handbag - bright white clutch with shiny chains. The biggest trend in handbags this spring/summer - short strapped oversized handbags or totally over sized clutch’s... Another big trend in handbags that was evident on this springs runways, lots of shiny hardware. Stripes Are Still Hot For 2012 ! One of the big trends this season is anything striped... Expect to see lots of stripe, not only on wonderful nautical knit tops, but dresses, handbags, and even shoes... Check out f “Michael Kors” design - He used a very simple classical nautical striped top, and mixed it up with a long button cardigan, and flare a-line skirt ... The results - a chic casual look.


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Health

Years

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

Overcoming insomnia

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nsomnia is a sleep disorder that is characterized by difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. People with insomnia have one or more of the following symptoms: ● Difficulty falling asleep ● Waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep ● Waking up too early in the morning ● Feeling tired upon waking ● Types of Insomnia ● There are two types of insomnia: primary insomnia and secondary insomnia. Primary insomnia: Primary insomnia means that a person is having sleep problems that are not directly associated with any other health condition or problem. Secondary insomnia: Secondary insomnia means that a person is having sleep problems because of something else, such as a health condition (like asthma, depression, arthritis, cancer, or heartburn); pain; medication they are taking; or a substance they are using (like alcohol). Acute vs. Chronic Insomnia Insomnia also varies in how long it lasts and how often it occurs. It can be short-term (acute insomnia) or can last a long time (chronic insomnia). It can also come and go, with periods of time when a person has no sleep problems. Acute insomnia can last from one night to a few weeks. Insomnia is called chronic when a person has insomnia at least three nights a week for a month or longer. Causes of acute insomnia can include: ● Significant life stress (job loss or change, death of a loved one, divorce, moving). ● Illness. ● Emotional or physical discomfort. ● Environmental factors like noise, light, or extreme temperatures (hot or cold) that interfere with sleep. ● Some medications (for example those used to treat colds, allergies, depression, high blood pressure, and asth-

ma) may interfere with sleep. ● Interferences in normal sleep schedule (jet lag or switching from a day to night shift, for example). ● Causes of chronic insomnia include: ● Depression and/or anxiety. ● Chronic stress. ● Pain or discomfort at night. ● Symptoms of Insomnia ● Symptoms of insomnia can include: ● Sleepiness during the day. ● General tiredness. ● Irritability. ● Problems with concentration or memory. ● Diagnosing Insomnia If you think you have insomnia, talk to your health care provider. An evaluation may include a physical exam, a medical history, and a sleep history. You may be asked to keep a sleep diary for a week or two, keeping track of your sleep patterns and how you feel during the day. Your health care provider may want to interview your bed partner about the quantity and quality of your sleep. In some cases, you may be referred to a sleep center for special tests. Treatment for Insomnia Acute insomnia may not require treatment. Mild insomnia often can be prevented or cured by practicing good sleep habits. If your insomnia makes it hard for you to function during the day because you are sleepy and tired, your health care provider may prescribe sleeping pills for a limited time. Rapid onset, short-acting drugs can help you avoid effects such as drowsiness the following day. Avoid using over-the-counter sleeping pills for insomnia since they may have undesired side effects and tend to lose their effectiveness over time. Treatment for chronic insomnia includes first treating any underlying conditions or health problems that are causing the insomnia. If insomnia continues, your health care provider may suggest behavioral therapy. Behavioral

approaches help you to change behaviors that may worsen insomnia and to learn new behaviors to promote sleep. Techniques such as relaxation exercises, sleep restriction therapy, and reconditioning may be useful. Good Sleep Habits for Beating Insomnia Good sleep habits, also called sleep hygiene, can help you get a good night’s sleep and beat insomnia. Here are some tips: Try to go to sleep at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning. Try not to take naps during the day because naps may make you less sleepy at night. Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol late in the day. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants and can keep you from falling asleep. Alcohol can cause waking in the night and interferes with sleep quality. Get regular exercise. Try not to exercise close to bedtime because it may stimulate you and make it hard to fall asleep. Experts suggest not exercising for at least three to four hours before the time you go to sleep. Don’t eat a heavy meal late in the day. A light snack before bedtime, however, may help you sleep. Make your bedroom comfortable. Be sure that it is dark, quiet, and not too warm or too cold. If light is a problem, try a sleeping mask. If noise is a problem, try earplugs, a fan, or a “white noise” machine to cover up the sounds. Follow a routine to help you relax before sleep. Read a book, listen to music, or take a bath. Avoid using your bed for anything other than sleep or sex. If you can’t fall asleep and don’t feel drowsy, get up and read or do something that is not overly stimulating until you feel sleepy. If you find yourself lying awake worrying about things, try making a to-do list before you go to bed. This may help you to not focus on those worries overnight. (www.webmd.com)


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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

Get Fit! Oprah’s Trainer Shows You How F

itness guru Bob Greene, Oprah Winfrey’s longtime personal trainer, has been in the business 30 years. So he’s heard the laundry list of excuses for not exercising and not eating right — from the ‘’hectic schedule’’ copout to “I have small children at home,” and lots of others in between. Greene, 52, has personally overcome those obstacles, and others. He and his wife have two young children, so they know about fitting in fitness between parental responsibilities. He travels, writes books, lectures, trains, and makes appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Recently, he’s become more concerned not just about our less-than-stellar lifestyle habits, but the harm they can do — such as the diabetes epidemic. It alarms him, he says, from a global and a personal perspective: Both his parents have type 2 diabetes. “For the most part, type 2 is preventable,” he says, citing research that a healthy diet and physical activity go a long way. To help the estimated 23 million people in the United States with diabetes, he’s written the Best Life Guide toManaging Diabetes and Pre-diabetes, applying the principles of his Best Life Diet (healthy eating plan, calorie control, physical activity) to those who have been diagnosed with diabetes or told they are on the borderline. Greene has also recently released his first fitness DVD — the Total Body Makeover DVD, aimed at people with hectic schedules. Despite his own hectic schedule, Greene manages not only to stay in top shape but to help keep his high-profile clients healthy, too. Lack of motivation? Not a problem. He’s woven dozens of no-fail tips into his life. Here, he shares some of his best — and perhaps surprising — ways to stay motivated with weight loss and fitness goals: 1. Get Serious About Your Efforts Greene knows that not everyone will tune in to his healthy messages. ‘’When you launch a new program or a new book, you will reach maybe 20% of your readers,” he says. “I don’t get too frazzled by the stats. I concentrate my energy on those willing to change their life.” Only by making a serious commitment to change, he said, will you achieve success. To get there, he says, stop expressing negative thoughts about the lifestyle changes required to lose weight and get fit. “Stop fighting it and stop negotiating with yourself,” he says. “Do it because you care about yourself, not to lose 10 pounds.” 2. Ease Into Weight Loss When most people decide to lose weight, they go cold turkey on the Chunky Monkey and chips and dive into a Spartan menu of vegetables and cottage cheese, determined to do an immediate overhaul of their diets. Wrong approach, Greene says. Gradual is better. “Don’t radically change your entire diet overnight,” he advises. Phase in healthier foods a little at a time. “Don’t give up all your comfort foods at once, and don’t look at snacks as foods that get you into trouble,” Greene says. Eating right can and should include snacks, he says: “Snacks are effective weight loss tools. They bridge hunger and help you not to overdo it at a meal.” 3. Skip the Scale It’s a knee-jerk reaction. You’ve been on a diet for oh, 24 hours, and you’re eager to see progress. Of course, you’ll weigh in. Think again, Greene says. “Stay off the scale for the first month to six weeks,” he suggests. This will be a challenge, he knows, for most people, who can’t wait to see the pounds drop off. But the scale gives you a somewhat inaccurate idea of what is going on. You may have lost only water weight, for instance, or you may get discouraged if you haven’t lost as much as you hoped for. If you’re dying for feedback, focus on how your clothes fit, he suggests.

4. Shift the Diet Focus “Instead of focusing on cutting calories [only], which drops your metabolism, focus more on activity levels,” Greene says. “It’s the bigger of the two.” Activity burns calories. Exercise like weight training also builds lean muscle, helping to boost your metabolism over time. So it offers a short-term and long-term advantage to meeting your fitness and weight loss goals, Greene says. Many people plan to diet first, then incorporate exercise. But Greene says that if you have to do them one at a time, make exercise a habit first, then focus on cutting calories. 5. Make Your Workout a Meditation It’s easily done, Greene says, just by listening to great music when you walk or jog, for instance. If you’re on a treadmill, watch a show you enjoy. Find a way to exercise that takes your mind off the activity itself, such as running or walking in an outdoor setting. “When Oprah and I meet in Hawaii and we are hiking, it’s hard work going up the mountain but it’s joyful,” he says. 6. Build Exercise Into Your Life Creatively One of Greene’s business partners built a desk on his treadmill, taking phone calls and working while he works out. “He’s writing, he is making his marketing calls, and he is on the treadmill,” Greene says. Greene adapted the idea himself. “I was training for a cross-country ride, and had the phone by my indoor bike,” he says. Those examples are extreme, Greene says, but they can get you thinking about weaving exercise in when you have even a few spare minutes during the day. The more you do that, the more likely you are to reach your fitness goals. 7. Focus on the Outcome

Focus on how you know you will feel when you’re done with your workout. “Everybody loves exercise when it’s done,” Greene says with a laugh. “Exercise, when done right, is never painful, but involves discomfort. Focus on the effects.” And he doesn’t just mean tighter muscles or flatter abs. “I’ve never had anybody say they don’t feel better, sleep better, after exercising,” he says. (www.webmd.com)

Oprah’s trainer Bob Greene offers seven no-fail tips on how to stay motivated with your fitness and weight loss goals


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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

Is postmodernism Gaga,

Warhol or a wooden toaster? W

hat kind of person queues up to be first into a show called Postmodernism: Style and Subversion, 1970-1990? At 9am yesterday outside the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the answer to that question was a stark one: me. I’d come along early in the hope of finding a line of ironic overnight sleepers, a distracted gaggle of the self-aware emerging from kitsch tents and eating knowing bacon sarnies on uncomfortable-looking deckchairs fashioned from shopping trolleys. But there was no one. Perhaps that was a postmodern statement in itself. The question that has dogged our postmodern era is exactly what po-mo means. When other -isms crop up in conversation we at least have the vague sense of where we are: say “impressionism” and a myopic vaguery of haystacks and water lilies comes to mind; mention “cubism” and there is an immediate mental image of chopped up noses and ears; “surrealism”, melting clocks. But postmodernism? A sort of edgy blank that never quite forms an actual mental picture. Anyhow, here was an exhibition that boldly purported to offer the answer. Didn’t anyone at all want to know? By the 10 o’clock opening a disparate crowd is mooching on the V&A steps. In place of the urgency or excitement that might attend the first morning of a show dedicated to Michelangelo or Van Gogh, there’s a sort of pre-emptive ennui. Postmodernism, some say, is an attitude more than a style. One or two seem dressed for the occasion, in retro trainers and geometric hair; most have come with just a sense of shopworn curiosity. The exhibition begins categorically enough with definitions in large letters at every turn. Postmodernism is a “broken mirror, a reflective surface of many fragments,” it announces confidently. It is a geometric modernist chair burning in a quarry. But as we early punters start to move through the show the confidence ebbs. An air of puzzlement takes over. Very quickly each of the exhibits seems to offer a little rival definition of its own. Therefore postmodernism is broken statuary

and plans for underground skyscrapers, it’s “ironic pediments” and chairs on wheels. It’s an Andy Warhol dollar sign, and everything corrupted by money. It’s wooden prototype toasters. It’s a dental hospital designed to look like a metal Noah’s Ark. It’s Grace Jones out Gaga-ing Lady Gaga. It’s Las Vegas. It’s Boy George staring at you from a hologram. In the neon-lit gloom of the exhibition’s three rooms we stare at these curios as if they are religious relics and try to make sense of them, all the while half-realizing that making sense is beside the point. Some of the early arrivers essay fake laughs. Some earnestly examine Jeff Koons’s silver Louis XIV, or make a scribbled note of the gospel according to Martin Amis: “Money doesn’t mind if we say it is evil, it goes from strength to strength.” About halfway through even the show’s curator seems to be losing heart about pinning a definition down. “No single strategy binds postmodernism together” runs the preface to a section that includes a guitar made from a twin tub washing machine, and a concrete stereo player, and Vivienne Westwood’s voodoo clothes, and an expensive black jumper by Rei Kawabuko on a mannequin of a crippled beggar woman. One mystery leads to another. People stare at a startling green silk dress with a geometric step design incorporated in its silhouette. They dutifully read the captions. The dress was made in homage to the anthropologist Claude LÈvi Strauss. Not only is it postmodern; apparently “the garment is the perfect attire for the hyper-real lifestyle”. There was a time, in about 1987 when I could have offered a semi-confident definition of postmodernism; I wrote a dissertation on the subject as it was manifested in the work of a group of American poets who invented one version of the term at Black Mountain College in the late 1950s. I came across that dissertation recently while moving house. It appeared to be written in a for-

eign language. In the years since, postmodernism became everything and nothing. The great thing about the exhibition, you begin to realize, is that it is the -ism that allows you to make up your own definitions. Thus: postmodernism becomes a middle-aged couple sitting under a neon sign saying The New Wave. It’s a grey-haired dad trying to explain to his teenage son why plastic soap powder boxes might be art. It’s a museum guard staring vaguely at a New Order video while his walkie-talkie crackles about potential security issues in the Renaissance rooms. Not much the wiser I catch a few of the other postmodern pilgrims as they leave. What does it all mean? Those who remember a life before post-modernism are most clear. “It’s vanity,” says a Mr Robinson, who describes himself as a dedicated modernist who worked in local government. “I tell you what it is, it’s contemporary existence, it’s Facebook. It’s destroying an idea of society, it’s all about me. It’s rap music.” Paul Hurrell, of a similar vintage, agrees: “It’s about Thatcherism and a reaction against Thatcherism,” he suggests. “It’s about making money, about everything becoming the experience of making money.” Others who have known nothing else are not so sure. “It’s pick and mix, it’s ephemera,” says a man, like me in his 40s, who is amused by seeing a lot of his youth in a museum. “It’s my life.” A woman of a certain age, called Marianne, sums it up rather well: “It seems like postmodernism is anything that happened between 1970 and 1990.” She pauses. “And possibly since.” A German man thinks in silence when I ask him, before concluding: “No, I’m sorry about this, what is there to say?” My favorite comment, though, comes from a young Japanese woman, who rushes past: “I don’t know,” she says, before hurrying back to ask, either of the show in particular, or life in general, “Is this the end?” —Guardian


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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

Elizabeth Neel This New York artist’s seductive paintings veer between abstraction and depiction as she wrestles with themes of nature and death

C

an a picture ever be as good as the real thing? That’s one of the age-old problems Elizabeth Neel faced up to when her work first made a splash in her hometown, New York, a few years ago. The artist’s answer was to create pulsing, gestural paintings veering between abstraction and depiction, where thick pigment in fleshy hues was stirred into turbulent layers. As seductive as her swirls were, there was also something violent and dangerous in these works, where snarled, dense brushstrokes suggested bloody body parts. In Thanks Giving from 2008, a gush of pale rose shooting from a brown, feathery mass could only be a turkey recently parted from its head. Condolences, where scrunched-up shapes in pink and beige suggest the wilting blooms of a funereal bouquet, is similarly morbid. Translating nature into the manmade ... Gate the Shades (2011, detail). Photograph:

Elizabeth Neel and Pilar Corrias Gallery Nature and death have been big themes for this artist, who grew up on a farm with these daily realities. However, her source material is images from the internet, which she interprets not literally, but using abstraction to translate some of the stories and feelings carried by the chosen images. Take the ominous Swamp Dump from 2005, where sludgy brushstrokes set against a pitch-black ground suggest an overgrown wilderness. Its backstory is sinister: the painting is based on the story of a horrific plane wreck in the Florida Everglades, where rescue teams famously struggled to find human remains any surviving passengers were believed to have been eaten by alligators while awaiting rescue. A watery world ... Relation of a Journey (2011, detail) Photograph: Elizabeth Neel and Pilar Corrias Gallery

In Neel’s current London debut, her latest work shows a fresh, more conceptual direction. She still seems interested in the dance between abstraction and representation, but now she’s underscoring the process behind her paintings. Paper print-outs of images including wolves, baby birds and braided hair are scattered on the floor, their forms echoed in the canvasses’ stencilled patterns and the twin black orbs which stare like lupine eyes from a number of works. There are still clouds of spraypaint in luscious colours like autumnal gold and mottled purple to get lost in. Yet Neel has offset her wilder mark-making by leaving sharp lines and squares of bald unpainted canvas.

Balancing flurries of paint with patches of plain white, these striking compositions are a reminder that paintings are created using both spontaneity and control, translating nature into the manmade. Why we like her: For the exquisite Relation of a Journey, where intense ocean blues, the pale green of pond lily leaves and effervescent aqua sprays suggest a watery world of springs, stained rocks and rippling pools. Super-gran: The young Elizabeth caught the painting bug from her grandmother, the iconic portraitist Alice Neel. Where can I see her? At Pilar Corrias gallery, London until 7 October. — Guardian


Comics

C R O S S W O R D

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

To Yester

Word Sleuth Solution

Yesterday’s Solution

ACROSS

1. A Kwa language spoken by the Yoruba people in southwestern Nigeria. 4. Surveying instrument consisting of the upper movable part of a theodolite including the telescope and its attachments. 10. A doctor's degree in preventive medicine. 13. (slang) A gangster's pistol. 14. A member of an agricultural people in southeastern India. 15. 10 hao equal 1 dong. 16. (Babylonian) A demigod or first man. 18. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 20. A member of the Siouan people formerly living in the Missouri river valley in NE Nebraska. 22. Large snake mackerel with rings like spectacles around its eyes. 24. The branch of computer science that deal with writing computer programs that can solve problems creatively. 25. An accountant certified by the state. 27. The sense organ for hearing and equilibrium. 30. Advanced in years. 34. Of or relating to a member of the Buddhist people inhabiting the Mekong river in Laos and Thailand. 36. A state in north central United States. 38. Any of various primates with short tails or no tail at all. 39. An honorary arts degree. 41. Unarmed feather palms of central and northern South America. 43. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deitiesworshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 46. A Gaelic-speaking Celt in Ireland or Scotland or the Isle of Man. 47. (Old Testament) In Judeo-Christian mythology. 49. A unit of heat equal to the amount of heat required to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit at one atmosphere pressure. 51. A stipulated condition. 54. American professional baseball player who hit more home runs than Babe Ruth (born in 1934). 58. A river in north central Switzerland that runs northeast into the Rhine. 59. Lessen the density or solidity (of a substance). 62. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 63. A benevolent aspect of Devi. 64. A new embodiment of a familiar idea. 65. Payment due by the recipient on delivery. 66. A boy or man. 67. West Indian tree having racemes of fragrant white flowers and yielding a durable timber and resinous juice. 68. Large brownish-green New Zealand parrot. DOWN 1. Small terrestrial lizard of warm regions of the Old World. 2. A family of Sino-Tibetan languages spoken in southeastern Asia. 3. A state in the western United States. 4. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 5. A white soft metallic element that tarnishes readily. 6. An agency of the United Nations affiliated with the World Bank. 7. (British) An open river valley (in a hilly area). 8. Lower in esteem. 9. An official prosecutor for a judicial district. 10. Tropical woody herb with showy yellow flowers and flat pods. 11. (obstetrics) The number of live-born children a woman has delivered. 12. A blind god. 17. Large burrowing rodent of South and Central America.

19. (Greek mythology) Daughter of Zeus and Demeter. 21. King of Saudi Arabia since 1982 (born in 1922). 23. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 26. An anxiety disorder associated with serious traumatic events and characterized by such symptoms as guilt about surviving or reliving the trauma in dreams or numbness and lack of involvement with reality or recurrent thoughts and images. 28. A wine bottle made of leather. 29. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 31. Offering fun and gaiety. 32. A fencing sword similar to a foil but with a heavier blade. 33. Made of fir or pine. 35. A constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma. 37. A unit of weight equivalent to 1000 kilograms. 40. Speaking a Slavic language. 42. Largest known toad species. 44. Any of several plants of the genus Manihot having fleshy roots yielding a nutritious starch. 45. Without moral standards or principles. 46. Fermented alcoholic beverage similar to but heavier than beer. 48. English theoretical physicist who applied relativity theory to quantum mechanics and predicted the existence of antimatter and the positron (19021984). 50. Long-tailed arboreal mustelid of Central and South America. 52. Avatar of Vishnu. 53. Toward the mouth or oral region. 55. Framework for holding objects. 56. A slender double-reed instrument. 57. A quantity of no importance. 60. The 7th letter of the Greek alphabet. 61. Extremely pleasing.

Yesterday’s Solution


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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

‘Sound of Music,’ schoolgirl style, at Carven F

ashion was alive with the sound of music yesterday with a Tyrolean- flavored spring-summer 2012 ready-to-wear display at Carven. Models sported lederhosen short shorts with starched white shirts, and abbreviated leather dresses with flippy skirts were emblazoned with the little metal cutouts found on Alpine cows’ bells. It even sounded a bit like an Alpine pasture. Above the din of the soundtrack, came the jangle of little brass bells which, hung from the models’ shoes, jangled as they walked. Happily, the Bavarian influence wasn’t served up

straight, but rather distilled through the nerdy-sexy schoolgirl look that has become the label’s signature style under French designer Guillaume Henry. The high-rise shorts and flippy mermaid shirts couldn’t be have been shorter if they’d tried, but their overt sexiness was counterbalanced by the sort of willful dowdiness of some of the other pieces. It was hard to imagine anyone besides very young girls with very long legs and very deep pockets being able to pull off many of the looks in yesterday’s collection. But perhaps that was precisely the point. — AP

A model presents a creation by French designer Guillaume Henry during the Carven Spring/Summer 2012 ready-towear collection show. —AP photos (Above) A model presents a creation by French designer Guillaume Henry during the Carven show. (Left) Models wear creations by French fashion designer Guillaume Henry for Carven’s spring-summer 2012 ready-to-wear collection presented yesterday in Paris.

Jimmy Choo plans huge China expansion J

immy Choo founder Tamara Mellon said yesterday the upscale shoemaker hopes to open up to 50 stores in China over the next five years in what she dubbed an “exciting” market for high-end goods. China is the world’s fastest-growing market for luxury products and an ongoing economic boom is creating new dollar billionaires every year in a huge explosion in wealth. Jimmy Choo currently has just two shops in China-one in Beijing and another in Shanghai. A third will open at the end of the year in the eastern

city of Nanjing, said Mellon, the shoemaker’s “chief creative officer”. “Our (China) business has increased 100 percent (in terms of profits) in the last year on the existing locations we have,” said Mellon, who was in Beijing as part of a British delegation to the Chinese capital’s first design festival. She said the British firm-whose shoes cost anywhere from $300 to $1,600 would open at least 30 stores in China by 2016. “But the potential over the next five years could be up to 50,” she told AFP. In comparison, Jimmy Choo has just 40 stores across

the United States. Forbes magazine said earlier this month that China had a total of 146 billionaires this year-up 14 percent from 2010, and second only to the United States with 413. The brokerage firm CLSA AsiaPacific Markets said in January that China would account for 44 percent of worldwide sales of luxury goods by 2020 — bigger than the entire global market is now. Mellon said that many of China’s rich were only in their 30s and 40s- relatively young compared with other markets. “The wealth here is... very young, which is great

because they love luxury, they love fashion, so this is a very exciting market.” She said that consumers of luxury products have also changed over the past few years. “What we found a few years ago was that... men were making money, men were buying brands, they were shopping. Men’s brands did phenomenally well much sooner than women’s brands,” she said. “Now, there are a lot more women who are working and who are shopping. The market is really taking off now.”— AFP


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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

Models wear creations for Thierry Mugler fashion house’s spring-summer 2012 ready to wear collection presented Wednesday in Paris. —AP

Gaga stylist disappoints at Paris fashion week T

A model wears a creation by Belgian fashion designer Dries van Noten for his springsummer 2012 ready-to-wear collection, Wednesday in Paris. —AP

he alchemy was off at the house of Mugler, where Lady Gaga’s stylist, Nicola Formichetti, again failed to live up to his reputation as a sort of Generation Y Midas who turns everything he touches into gold. Formichetti’s second effort as Mugler creative director fizzled Wednesday, as the label fielded a less-than-convincing spring-summer 2012 ready-to-wear collection of willfully wacky sci-fi garb in neutral shades. It was as if the show, which garnered only a tepid round of applause before fashion insiders fled into the hot Paris night, had been tailor-made to drive home a crucial point: That buzz does not a fashion house make. No one knows that better than Dries Van Noten, the modest and affable Belgian designer who, working quietly over the past quarter century, has built an empire on the quality of his clothes alone. Van Noten delivered another tour de force Wednesday, with a collection of sculptural skirts and jackets printed with cityscapes by night. It looked as if Damir Doma were following in Van Noten’s footsteps, not aesthetically - the designers have radically different visions - but by allowing his clothes to mature naturally and to speak for themselves. Rochas’ Marco Zanini held fast to his chaste vision of early 1960-era glamour with a slight patina of nerdiness, and big, bold retro-futuristic glamour was in the air at Brazilian wunderkind Pedro Lourenco’s polished show. Zippers to nowhere embellished the peppy sportswear numbers from Portugal’s Felipe Oliveira Baptista, and models were encased in cages and plastic masks at the day’s most disturbing display, by soft-spoken British bad boy Gareth Pugh. Paris’ nine-day-long readyto-wear extravaganza moves into day three on Thursday with shows by California-born designer Rick Owens, cov-

eted Paris label Balmain and Indian madcap Manish Arora. DRIES VAN NOTEN Romantic, boulder-strewn landscapes and anonymous cityscapes - their neon lights shining in the dark - were the dreamscapes of Van Noten’s haunting spring-summer collection. The Belgian critical darling projected these topos onto the ladylike shapes of 1950s-era couture, sending out classic bell-shaped shirts and ample cocoon coats illuminated by urban lights or covered in dramatic black and white etchings of mountains and waterfalls. Suddenly, the mothball-laden retro air that clings to these shapes evaporated, replaced by a crisp, of-the-moment freshness. These were the kind of clothes that you would never suspect you could want, but once you see them, you can think of nothing else. MUGLER Whether he dresses her in meat or swathes her in a gown made entirely out of stuffed animals, Formichetti can do no wrong when it comes to outfitting Lady Gaga. But at his day job as Mugler creative director, the stylist has yet to hit on the winning formula. After his widely panned debut at Mugler last season with a collection that was all about plastic pants and other garments normally sold at sex shops, Formichetti was back Wednesday with a radically different - but no more successful - approach to spring-summer 2012. Gone were the bustier dresses in transparent latex, replaced by what could only be described as the wardrobe of a sophisticated Trekkie with a penchant for demure neutral shades. Taupe catsuits were riddled with oblong cutouts, and futuristic pointy-shouldered jackets in camel were hung with a complicated web of useless bands. A step up from last

A model presents a creation by Indian designer Manish Arora during the Spring/Summer 2012 ready-to-wear collection show yesterday in Paris. —AFP season? Undoubtedly. But did it feel like Mugler? Sadly, no. Re-launching a storied fashion house is no easy task, particularly with a label with as strong an identity as that of Mugler. But it increasingly feels like Formichetti and the brand’s ready-to-wear designer, Sebastien Peigne, are grasping at straws, trying to come up with an outrageous new look that can become the brands


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new identity instead of finding a way to update its historical legacy. The label continues to be oriented away from its past and its rich archive and focused nearly exclusively on its new muse, Lady Gaga, the trump card that Formichetti pulls out again and again. Though not present in the flesh as she was last season - when she walked the catwalk in a sheer black tip and painted-on pencil skirt - the pop sensation was there in spirit on Wednesday night: The show opened with a video showing the singer, fitted out with two glow-in-the-dark buck teeth, praising Mugler. But having a video of the world’s biggest star is simply not the same thing as seeing strut her stuff on the catwalk, and the show fell flat even before it started. GARETH PUGH If Yves Saint Laurent was widely hailed as a feminist for freeing women from pinching bustiers and nip-waisted dresses, what does that make Pugh, who sent models out in convict stripes, leather cages and head-enclosing plastic tears? Pugh’s artistry is easy enough to appreciate: From a purely aesthetic point of view, his abbreviated sheath dresses made out of vertical strips of black or white leather were indisputably beautiful. But as clothing, meant to be worn by women, there was something deeply disturbing about the cage garments particularly when fitted with matching cage muzzles, as they were at Wednesday’s ready-to-wear show. Beyond the jarring antifeminist context, the clothes were simply too rigid to be anything more than statement pieces for women determined to make a big entrance. Pugh’s misogynistic message didn’t end there, though. The show’s finale saw models clad in layers of gleaming gray robes and jackets that looked as if they’d been fished out of an oil spill, their heads completely encased in elongated plastic masks. If the caged girls were barely able to move, these poor models looked as if they were hardpressed even to breathe. ROCHAS “Mad Men” has been off the air for months, but Rochas’ Zanini is betting on the enduring popularity of the ladylike retro styles the hit show helped to relaunch. For spring-summer, Zanini delivered sober sheath dresses and demure

A model presents a creation by Indian designer Manish Arora during the Spring/Summer 2012 ready-towear collection show yesterday in Paris. —AFP V-necked gowns with full skirts and skinny belts in ivory, powder pink and seafoam green that felt like they’d been plucked straight out of the first two seasons of the AMC series. With its modest lines, Wednesday’s collection was more demure housewife than va-va-voom secretary, or in “Mad Men” terms, more Betty Draper than Joan Holloway. You could almost picture the sullen Ms Draper skulking around her kitchen in one of the poof-skirted shirtdresses. A certain frigidity infused the whole collection: Taupe pencil skirts were worn with plain-fronted blazers that stood stiffly out from the models’ bodies, and knit sweaters and skirts shot with Lurex had a prudish bulkiness about them. The models’ hairdos - towering beehives topped off with organza handkerchiefs - did nothing to ramp up the sexiness factor, nor did the eyewear, pointy hornrim glasses. Still, not all clothes have to ooze sex appeal, and Zanini’s sober, almost nerdy, styles have plenty of other attributes to recommend them. DAMIR DOMA Like a stone tumbled and polished into a gleaming gem, Doma buffed his

signature raw, hermetic aesthetic until it shone with understated sophistication. For spring-summer, the Croatianborn, German-raised designer delivered Wednesday simple-lined dresses in supple washed silks, their raw edges embellished with flashes of hammered gold hardware. The heavy raw fabrics and bulky shapes that Doma has built his name on were still there, but in more refined incarnations, as if he’d taken a buffer to his signature stone-hewn silhouettes. And whereas his previous collections have felt earthy - their nubby fabrics heavy and almost loamy Wednesday’s collection was more connected to the air. Whisper-light trench coats that billowed like capes were worn over shorts in gleaming gold lace, and square-cut pillowcase dresses were fitted out with panels like floating tails. Doma also branched out from his usual palette of somber shades and neutral tones, delivering fetching pairings of navy and ocher that were themselves a breath of fresh air. It was another strong showing from one of Paris’ most unique new talents. PEDRO LOURENCO With a spring-summer collection that seemed drawn from the same well of retro-futuristic cool as the ne plus ultra of Paris labels, Balenciaga, Lourenco underscored his status as one to watch. Louren co, a Brazilian who was just 19 years old when he made his impressive Paris debut a year and a half ago, ratcheted it up a notch with Wednesday’s collection of colorblocked dresses and low-slung skirts and cropped trousers that couldn’t have been cooler if they’d tried. A-line skirts hung with long leather fringe, like straw, were paired sheer tank tops and punctuated at the waist by oversized rectangular panels in shiny silver lurex. Sleeveless vests with sculptural collars were worn with oatmeal-colored pants that had just the right dose of slouch. Though Lourenco’s collection felt fresh, the sweet spot he hit between a kind of hokey but appealing retro look and something sleek and futuristic was not uncharted territory: Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquiere has been mining it for seasons. Still, there are worse things than winning comparisons with Paris’ hottest label. —AP

A model wears a creation by British fashion designer Gareth Pugh for his spring-summer 2012 ready-to-wear collection presented Wednesday. —AP

Models present creations by Indian designer Manish Arora during the Spring/Summer 2012 ready-to- wear collection show yesterday in Paris. — AFP


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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

Spain passes over Pedro Almodovar as Oscar candidate

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In this file photo taken June 1, 2011, a man passes the new Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York. The $41 million movie complex, designed by architect David Rockwell, will host the New York Film Festival which begins today and runs through Oct 16. —AP

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sense of expansion presides over this year’s New York Film Festival, the 49th and first since Lincoln Center’s new $41 million film center was opened. But as with all things NYFF, any growth is measured and restrained. The annual movie event, which begins today and runs through Oct 16, is the country’s most prestigious film festival. Presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, it has long defined itself by its boutique selections of international cinema: a small slate of 26 films; no awards; no rabid industry marketplace auctioning; no fluff. There’s a purity of movie-going to the festival, with the intention of gathering the best pictures a year has to offer. Earlier this year, Lincoln Center expanded its cinema footprint by opening the 17,000-square foot (1,600-square meter) Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, which includes two more theaters, an auditorium, cafe and bookstore. That’s in addition to the Walter Reade Theater and Alice Tully Hall, the grand, 1,100-seat concert hall in which all main slate festival selections play.

That means more films, more screenings and a larger audience. Amid an increasingly cacophonous festival world, the New York Film Festival, as it nears its 50th anniversary, is carefully broadening. “When we looked at it, the decision was to not change the festival,” says Rose Kuo, the Film Society’s executive director. “We realized that we weren’t going to change as much as add to the festival.” This will be the first NYFF Kuo has overseen. Formerly the artistic director of the AFI Fest in Los Angeles, Kuo came aboard in July 2010, replacing former studio executive Mara Manus, whose relatively brief stewardship of less than two years was marked by staff turnover. On adjusting to Lincoln Center and its passionate patrons, Kuo says, “It’s like a marriage: The good things are better and the bad things are worse than you thought.” “I’m very aware of not deluding the reputation and the heritage of the festival, so the tweaks have to be modest and really thought out,” she says. This year’s festival includes more free screenings and events, and more family programming and

panel discussions presented by film industry groups such as the Writers Guild. The new theaters allow for more screenings of festival selections, and the flexibility of devoting a theater to such presentations as a complete retrospective of the Nikkatsu Corporation, the famed Japanese studio. More anniversary screenings, such as those scheduled for Oliver Stone’s “Salvador” and Wes Anderson’s “Royal Tenenbaums,” are also now easier to mount. “Our public has been expanding quite a lot in recent years, more and more as the festival has grown, perhaps, more international in profile,” says Richard Pena, selection committee chair and program director of the Film Society. “We’re bringing in a lot of new people.” The festival opens today with Roman Polanski’s “Carnage,” an adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s Tony Award-winning play “God of Carnage,” starring Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly. It’s the first film by Polanski (who will not be attendance today) to screen at the festival since his directorial debut, “Knife in the Water,” in 1963. —AP

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Witness Faheem Muhammad testifies during the second day of Conrad Murray’s involuntary manslaughter trial in the death of pop star Michael Jackson in downtown Los Angeles, on Wednesday. Faheem Muhammad was the head of Jackson’s security. — AFP

wo paramedics who battled to save Michael Jackson’s life are among key witnesses taking the stand yesterday, the third day of his doctor Conrad Murray’s long-awaited manslaughter trial. A bodyguard who was among the first on the scene and the pop icon’s personal chef are also expected to testify in Los Angeles, where a string of grisly details have already emerged about Jackson’s demise two years ago. On Wednesday Jackson’s personal assistant and security chief recounted Murray’s “frantic” efforts to save Jackson’s life while his children wept-and how the doctor suggested a cover-up minutes after he died.

The court also heard that Murray claimed repeatedly that the pop icon was in good health during the days and weeks before his death from an overdose of the powerful sedative propofol on June 25, 2009. Yesterday paramedics Richard Senneff and Martin Blount are expected to confirm that Jackson already appeared dead when they arrived at his rented mansion in the plush Holmby Hills district. The pair, who rushed Jackson to hospital, will testify alongside bodyguard Alberto Alvarez, while the Los Angeles Superior Court will also hear evidence from chef Kai Chase, legal sources said. —AFP

nce again, Pedro Almodovar has been snubbed by the Spanish Film Academy, putting him in the middle of yet another Academy Awards foreign-language controversy. At the same time, Italy passed over Nanni Moretti’s festival favorite “Habemus Papam” to submit a lesser-known film, “Terraferma.” Almodovar’s new film, “The Skin I Live In,” which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival and will be released in North America by Sony Pictures Classics, made the shortlist of three finalists but was not chosen as Spain’s official submission in the Oscar Best Foreign-Language Film category. The same fate befell his previous films, “Volver” and “Broken Embraces.” Instead, Spain chose Agusti Villaronga’s “Black Bread” (“Pa Negre”), a drama set in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War that has been compared to a more mainstream version of Guillermo del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth.” To be fair, “Black Bread” won nine awards, including Best Film and Best Director, at this year’s Goya Awards, Spain’s version of the Oscars. It was nominated in five additional categories. But “The Skin I Live In” had the highest profile of Spain’s three announced finalists, with generally positive reviews for the creepy drama starring Antonio Banderas as a doctor performing unusual procedures on a woman in his house. (The third finalist was “The Sleeping Voice” by Benito Zambrano.) The snub is nothing new for Almodovar, whose films routinely prove to be too daring for the Spanish selection boardalthough when it did submit his 1999 film “All About My Mother,” that movie won the Foreign-Language Oscar. Spain’s only nomination (and win) since then came with 2004’s “The Sea Inside,” directed by Alejandro Amenabar. In 2002, Almodovar won the Original Screenplay Oscar for writing “Talk to Her,” which had not been submitted in the Foreign-Language category. When Almodovar won for that film, he spoke for so long that he had to be jokingly dragged from the stage by Banderas. Afterward, he berated Oscar show producer Laura Ziskin for not letting him finish and for the Academy’s policy of not inviting ForeignLanguage directors to the Nominees Luncheon. In neighboring Italy, meanwhile, Nanni Moretti’s Cannes and Toronto entry “Habemus Papam,” which has US distribution via IFC, was passed over in favor of “Terraferma,” a drama by Emanuele Crialese focusing on an Italian fishing family that rescues a group of shipwrecked illegal immigrants from North Africa. Though Italy has more wins than any other country, it has been on a cold streak lately. “Don’t Tell” in 2005 gave the country its only nomination since it won for “Life Is Beautiful” in 1998, and in recent years Italy failed to land a nod after submitting the critics’ favorite “Gomorrah” in 2008 and the crowd-pleasing “The First Beautiful Thing” last year. “Terraferma” recently screened at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the Special Jury Prize, as well as in Toronto, where it received mixed reviews.— (TheWrap.com)


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This undated photo of a pendant called ‘Le gran Faune,’ created by artist Pablo Picasso in 1973, was released Museum of Arts and Design.

This undated photo of a necklace called ‘Necklace’ created by artist Frank Stella in 2008, was released by the Museum of Arts and Design, in New York, Tuesday.

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n enamel black-and-white brooch by Roy Lichtenstein that recalls his pop art designs. A bold gilt-painted necklace twisted into a bowtie by Frank Stella inspired by his sculptural forms and reliefs. These wearable works of art are at once different but recognizable as the designs of their creators, and are among nearly 200 oneof-a-kind and limited edition jewelry pieces in a new exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design. “Picasso to Koons: Artist as Jeweler” features bold, whimsical and even wacky creations, all conceived to be worn, by some of the most noted artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Culled from private collections, the show features jewelry by 135 artists, including masters Georges Braque, Max Ernst, Alexander Calder, Salvador Dali, Man Ray, modern artists Arman, Cesar, Robert Rauschenberg, Louise Nevelson and contemporary artists John Chamberlain and Anish Kapoor. The show will surprise many visitors because “people don’t know that these artists did jewelry,” said Diane

This undated photo of a necklace with a cast of the artist’s own hand, created by artist Magdalena Abakanowicz, was released by the Museum of Arts and Design, in New York, Tuesday. —AP photos

Culled from private collections, the show features jewelry by 135 artists, including masters Georges Braque, Max Ernst, Alexander Calder, Salvador Dali and Man Ray. Venet, the exhibition’s guest curator. “It’s a very intimate part of their work and their life.” Visitors also will have fun recognizing the artist in the pieces, she added. The Stella necklace belongs to Venet. It was a gift from the artist, made in 2008 after repeated requests by her husband, French sculptor Bernar Venet, whose unique jewelry also is featured in the exhibition. “We were at dinner and my husband said ‘you know (John) Chamberlain did a piece for Diane ... It’s a pity you don’t do anything,” she recounted. At that, Stella got up from the table, went to a drawer, pulled out a bag and gave it to Diane Venet. Inside was the necklace. “It’s a huge pendant that looks like a bowtie,” she said. It’s a large piece measuring 11 inches (28 centimeters) in length and 1 5/16 inch (3.8 centimeters) in diameter of gold-painted titanium, delicately bent into a bow and a central gold medal knot. He designed it in the same way that he creates his sculptures, using a computer. Two years later, Stella made a ring, in an edition of five. After that, he never did any more because “jewelry is not his thing,” Venet said. With the exception of Kapoor, Arman and Calder, who produced 1,800 pieces of jewelry in his lifetime, few of the exhibited artists are known for their jewelry. Many of the pieces were created in small editions of 10-50 with a special person in mind, as a commission or as a challenge. “These miniature works of art . also give many artists the opportunity to test their practical ability and to confront unprecedented constraints,” Venet writes in a

This undated photo of a pendant called ‘Rabbit Necklace,’ by artist Jeff Koons was released by the Museum of Arts and Design, in New York.

fully-illustrated book that accompanies the exhibition. She said her passion for artist-designed jewelry began 25 years ago when her artist husband wrapped a slender piece of silver around her finger, a wedding ring he crafted. Her collection has grown to include other pieces from him and many of the other artists in the exhibition. She describes the works as a miniature museum that can be worn on the wrist, the neck or the finger. “I don’t wear jewelry,” she said, “I wear a work of art.” The show is “a wonderful way to look at artists who are primarily painters and sculptors and are also making jewelry,” said Holly Hotchner, director of MAD, one of the only US museums with a designated contemporary jewelry gallery. For instance, a painted and crumpled piece of aluminum conceived as a brooch by John Chamberlain is a

wonderful miniature sculpture. “He didn’t just miniaturize what he does in larger scale, he actually made something that has its own power as a brooch,” the director said. One of her favorite pieces in the show are a pair of George Rickey earrings that have their own stand so “when they’re on the stand they’re actually an amazing piece of kinetic sculpture in their own right.” The earrings, each long double pieces of stainless steel, are perfectly balanced and move “like a miniature mobile,” Hotchner said. They are like Rickey’s huge site-specific sculptures that defy gravity and move in the wind, “except that he engineered the earrings for a head and an ear,” she said. The exhibition highlights the surprising range of very well-known artists who were intrigued with creating something for the body. “All these artists move freely across a lot of media. I don’t think people normally realize that,” Hotchner said. They may know that about Picasso and Calder, “but otherwise people think of an artist as a painter, potter, sculptor.” For Cesar, his jewelry is closely derived from “compressions” of automobiles and use of discarded metal and rubbish. His “microsculpture” pieces are compressed from unwanted jewelry. For Venet, he created a rectangular box pendant from her old gold chain bracelets and childhood medals. “It’s my jewelry but it’s in a different presentation,” Venet said. Among some of the crazier wearable objects in the exhibition are a one-of-a-kind circuit board necklace by Nam June Paik and a necklace of real cigarettes and matches titled “New York Survival” by Donald Sultan. The exhibition runs through Jan 8, 2012. —AP


Lifestyle FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

Visitors look at the work titled “Pergamon - Panorama of the Ancient Metropolis” during a preview yesterday at the Pergamon museum in Berlin. The giant 360 degrees panorama by Austrian-born artist of Iranian origin Yadegar Asisi measuring 103 meters in length and 25 meters in height will be on display at Berlin’s Pergamon Museum. —AFP

Afghan Arnies

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This file picture taken on April 19, 2010, shows an Afghan weight lifter. —AFP

eneath a poster in a Kabul gym of muscular US movie star and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger, scores of young Afghan men are pumping iron to Western dance music and dreaming of looking like their idol. The urban youths, sporting spiky hair and tight T-shirts, have few memories of the oppressive Taleban regime ousted in 2001 by a US-led invasion, and grew up in a city where many people have grown rich on the war economy. They love Hollywood and Bollywood movies-Sylvester Stallone and Salman Khan are other popular stars-and spend hours in Kabul’s roughly 200 gyms honing their biceps to perfection. “I don’t care what’s happening in the world,” 18-year-old Hamid tells AFP, taking a break from his weights. “I want to look good and party, man. I want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger... it’s my dream to look like him.” It is all a far cry from the days of the hardline Islamist Taleban, who now lead a bloody insurgency against foreign troops and President Hamid Karzai’s government. While

in power, the Taleban banned most sports and all music but allowed bodybuilding on condition that men wore traditional dress while training. However, there is a dark side to the recent craze for bodybuilding. As more young Kabulis hit the gyms, the market for steroids in Afghanistan is growing fast. In a country where the government struggles to exert authority in many areas due to the fierce insurgency, there is no licensing regime for drugs, meaning youngsters can buy steroids with no restrictions. Hamid, who does not want to give his surname, admits to using performance-enhancing drugs and says many of his friends do too. Another gym user, Waheedullah, adds that it is easy to get hold of steroids. “All you have to do is go to a pharmacy and say you need to build your muscles. The pharmacists would happily offer you various types of tablets, powders and vials,” he says, stressing he himself does not use them. The most popular place to buy the drugs is Kabul’s Bush Bazaar, a huge outdoor market selling everything from pilfered military rations to knives. ‘Catch up with the world’-

The bazaar is named ironically after US former president George W Bush, who ordered the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Here, prices range from around $1 to around $25 for performance-enhancing drugs. One shop owner in the bazaar, Zalmay, has shelves stacked with different types of bodybuilding supplements and powders in his cramped store, where an international cricket match plays on television in the background. He denies selling steroids but says that other vendors often do. “Steroids are not illegal-I don’t sell them but some vendors here keep the vials and tablets,” he explains. “However, they only sell them to gym trainers, not to everybody. Then the trainers will give them to some athletes.” The rising use of steroids causes concern among officials, who say they will take steps soon to address it. Mujeeb Ul Rahman Rahmani, spokesman for Afghanistan’s National Olympic Committee (NOC), the official body responsible for all sports-related issues, said it would launch an educational campaign on steroid abuse “in the near future.” —AFP

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aced with sky-high gold prices, groom-to-be Mustafa said he considered not saving for a year just to buy jewellery for his fiancee Sura, but quipped ruefully: “I don’t think that is allowed in Iraq!” Mustafa Kadhim’s dilemma is one faced by families across the Arab world. As prices for the precious metal have risen dramatically in recent months, the longheld tradition of buying gold to mark a marriage has become an increasingly expensive one. Kadhim has already agreed to buy five million Iraqi dinars ($4,300) worth, but a recent trip to the famed gold souk, or market, in the north Baghdad neighbourhood of Kadhimiyah brought home his powerlessness in the

face of global markets. “I was shocked and bitter,” said the 23-year-old Baghdad resident who makes $700 a month working in construction. “I am really worried about the priceseverything is getting more expensive, including gold.” But, he added, “buying gold is a tradition, everyone should do it.” The price of gold rose on September 6 to an all-time high of $1,921.15 per ounce, a 35 percent increase since the start of the year. It has since fallen somewhat, but remains high enough to generate frustration in the region where the idea of a groom not gifting gold to his bride during a wedding is unheard of. —AFP

Iraqi women look at the display window of a jewellery store in Baghdad on September 14, 2011. Families across the Arab world are facing a dilemma. As prices for the precious metal have risen dramatically in recent months, the long-held tradition of buying gold to mark a marriage has become an increasingly expensive one. —AFP


Stars

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

Aries (March 21-April 19) Someone may challenge your values or good taste today. You could find it difficult to be appreciative of others just now. This is not the best time to shop, choose colors, etc. You may not find full support for your particular tastes. Some of the planets are in position to create a tendency to lack any real sense of yourself or be unable to communicate or convey your ideas—patience. Take your breaks—stay away from greasy, heavy meals, drink plenty of water and exercise this afternoon. You will find a return of your energies in no time. Although you have the ability to rally support, today is a day to seek solitude. The afternoon and evening will be much more positive for you and a walk after the evening meal can be quite enjoyable.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) Everything points to your taking the initiative. You could feel great support from those around you, or circumstances could dictate your taking action. You feel healthy and natural. This is a time of good fortune when things open up in a very natural way for you. Seek to expand your horizons so as to advance your career. You may more easily make a positive impression on someone in an influential position now. Opportunities present themselves and you may find yourself wanting and able to do almost everything. Confirming your plans will secure the outcome. This is a very good time to communicate your goals and put them into words. It is also a good time for carrying out your plans. The attention of young people this evening is joyful.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) This is a time of change and this change may manifest as an inner search for a deep meaning of some spirit-filled situation. If an unusual opportunity presents itself, give it your attention and ask plenty of questions. You may have flashes of insight and breakthroughs regarding your deepest sense of truth. Perhaps unconventional, you are straightforward about getting to the heart and truth of things. Getting your message across to others is at a high this afternoon. A commitment you make now may bring opportunities for career advancement soon. You are ready to take an intimate relationship to the next level. You might enjoy planning a trip together. Take time to get away from the everyday hassles this coming weekend.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) You may wish you had more of the self-assurance of a friend or co-worker. Never fear . . . you appear perhaps more charming and refined than usual. Now could be the time to set up an appointment, apply for a job or otherwise make yourself known. Contact with important individuals and making personal appeals is advised today. Perhaps a small amount of insecurity is good—you will not rush into chancy opportunities for now. You are, however, driven and passionate in your pursuit of inner growth at this time. You search for opportunities to grow and enhance your life. You use as much passion to improve your health this afternoon. You find a good outlet for your extra energy and are to be praised for your efforts.

Leo (July 23-August 22) Travel and other contacts with faraway people and places will play a bigger role for you now. Such things bring love and gain in one way or another. Higher education or philosophical or religious contacts could have a part in making good things happen. This is a great time to work and be with others. You may be sought after as just the person for a particular job. You are an aggressive prime mover, a starter, able to initiate and get things moving. Not always hot on the follow-up, you may tend to get the ball rolling and get out and go on to other things. This is one of the things that make you a better leader than a follower. You may be sought after for your advice regarding very personal issues this evening. There is a new understanding.

Virgo (August 23-September 22) People enter and exit your area of work; you process paperwork, look up files and check on benefits and even answer phones—the day is a busy but successful one. Think about your choices before you make them today—circumstances could be misleading. You are coming into new energies that are centered on taking what you know and what you have achieved and making the most of it. Assimilating information and learning lessons and putting them into practice is the focus now. It’s a time for prudence and stewardship, a time to tend to the details. Your intuition is strong and can guide you accurately in making forecasts or decisions. A positive attitude will help you overcome any difficulties now. Hug your family members for no reason.

COUNTRY CODES Libra (September 23-October 22) There is a drive to probe and penetrate the actions of another today. Be patient with yourself as well as others just now and you will gain the positive response you need at this time. Your struggle to succeed is aided when you show self-control. You may find yourself working on several difficult projects today. Checking your thoughts may be the most essential skill for shaping both your inner and outer experience. This afternoon you may be moved to appreciate the beauty in your life and in those around you. Taking some time to relax, you may notice the many blessings around you . . . you will be pleased. Be careful that you do not overspend or indulge too much just now. You are rewarded by saying no to a get-richquick scheme tonight.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Working in groups or as a team player proves most profitable today. You may be sought after as just the person for a particular job. Real power is always hidden—finding it means delving into the secret places and that’s where you are bound to look now. The forbidden, the taboo areas, the great mysteries that no one speaks about in “polite” company seem to hold the answers and you seem compelled to deal with them. You are having fun today—your mind is stimulated and there is much to accomplish. This afternoon seems to hold the same pattern as you may find yourself being put to good use by your friends, or it could be that circumstances force you to reorganize and be more conservative. All of this should go smoothly—be guided by your common sense.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) You may find yourself confronting an authority figure today. This could be a good thing if you are friends as well because a clear understanding may be what is needed to push for positive results concerning a whole group. If you are not close, phrase your question carefully and show that you want what is best for the whole. Do not push if your questions do not receive clear answers. Radical and inventive ideas may hold the key to realizing your ambitions and advancing your status—a shake-up could be in the works. The new broom sweeps clean; old patterns of organization and power are ripe for an innovative approach. You are gifted and even lucky when it comes to career decisions. Things will manage to work out well for you at this time.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) Your job may be one where the direction is already planned. Perhaps there are schedules and steps by which you are guided. This creates the best working condition and you can outshine anyone as you support those in control. Others love to be with you and have you work for them. Once the ground rules are laid out, you can take the bull by the horns and make most businesses profit high above the others. There is something about you that others cannot seem to get enough of; yet for all your confidence, you may depend on outside advice and counsel. This could be a wise move as you may sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture. Do be careful, however, in whom you confide. Travel, education and other ways to stretch your horizons are available now.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) You may find yourself handling a personnel problem at work today. It is up to you to smooth the ruffled feathers and you are able to smooth problems out very well. Handling a problem is perhaps the key element in your personality make-up. How you manage difficulties, find that diplomatic solution, or come up with the right approach are all built around your talents. You sometimes forget that you have this ability to charm others, solve problems and put others at ease. Keep an eye on expenses. Continued success on the career level may point to your abandoning some of your ideals. While success is important, do not throw the baby out with the bath water. Try for a good compromise—opportunities continue.

Pisces (February 19-March 20) In-depth discussions and probing conversations will find you at your mental best today. Your analytical abilities are praiseworthy. Your perception is heightened as you become involved in some problem solving. Your career motivation is constant and relentless. You will prosper by staying focused. You may win favor with your superiors by determining and honoring their expectations and showing outstanding effort. In a community organization this afternoon, pay attention to rumors and confront anyone who might be undermining your position or efforts with the truth. Expect a sense of support and goodwill from those around you. You get the attention of others when you speak. Tonight is all arranged . . . bring a camera and enjoy.

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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Filipino Kitchen band rocks

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itchen of Rock, a band of musicians comprising Filipino youth and an Indian drummer is making its way through a flood of music bands in Kuwait. Named Kitchen of Rock, the band plays a variety of music from kitsch to Bollywood numbers. On September 9, the band performed at Asia Asia before a large audience. The band has acquired more performances from birthday parties to professional music programs. The thriving band members are Jayson, Rhea, Jhun, Dante, Christopher and Tony Goan, the drummer. Tony, a salesman at a music store in Salmiya, is the only non Filipino member in the band. Tony was asked to join the band-in-the-making when one of the band members visited Tony’s music store for some purchase. The acquaintance turned friendship became an association for the salesman-cum-percussionist. The band with a distinctive name is slowly coming out from the Filipino audience to a much wider music lovers of Kuwait.

KDA reception to MP today Kozhikkode District Association welcomes member of Indian parliament MK Raghavan today, 3.30pm, at Jawaharat AlSalah School Auditorium, Ramada Hotel round-about, Riggae. Laif annual convention Here comes LAIF Annual Convention. The Life Abundant International Fountain Kuwait is holding its first annual convention at the National Evangelical Church, Kuwait (Neck Compound-Hall of Faith), Near Parliament House, Kuwait City from Thursday, October 6-9, 2011. It will commence on Thursday at 7 pm, Friday at 10 am, Friday at 10 pm, Saturday at 6 pm and Sunday at 6:30 pm. For more information, contact and transport, call 66332844 50611737, 66922052, 665SO209 or e-mail: laifkuwait@yahoo.co.uk, www.facebook.com/L.A.I.F.CHURCH.

Nafo celebrates Onam and anniversary today

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he stage is set for National Forum Kuwait’s (Nafo Kuwait) Onam and anniversary celebrations today at the Indian Community School (Senior Girls), Salmiya from 9.30 a.m. onwards. Indian Ambassador Satish C Mehta will be the chief guest of the event. The program committee has lined up a variety of cultural programs highlighting the rich heritage of Kerala. NAFO members will present dance items like Bharatanatyam, fusion dance, folk dance etc while the Ladies Wing will perform ‘Thiruvathira Kali,’ epitomizing the cultural uniqueness of the state. Other attractions such as folk songs, ‘vanchi pattukal’, mono act, ‘kathaprasangam etc, are certain to regale theatre, music and dance lovers. This year also, NAFO will honor a distinguished elderly member from the NAFO family during the celebration. A traditional Onasadya will also be served, according to office-bearers. For more derails please contact Te: 99660428/97824780/66415157/ or contact@nafoglobal.com

Free Arabic courses by IPC

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ake the opportunity to learn and improve your Arabic skills. The women section of Islam Presentation Committee will be conducting FREE Arabic Language Course in Basic & Advance Level for non-Arab LADIES commencing on September 30, 2011. Islamic subjects and Quran classes are also offered in different languages. Classes are offered only once a week. Register now! For more information: Rawdah-2251225797290278; Salmiya-25733263-97533263; Khaitan-24730137-99285459; Mangaf23723002; Jahra-24558830-67720696.

Preety & Ranjan Sahu to perform

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alanjali Kuwait is celebrating its 7th anniversary on Oct 7, 2011 at Indian Community School, Khaitan branch. There will be a dance competition and Tarun Kumar, a well-known choreographer from South Indian film industry, who has done a lot of choreography to Rajnikanth in many movies including Muthu, Arunchalam, Annamalai and many others, will be the Judge for the dance competition. Well-known stage performer and Bollywood singer Preety Bhalla and wellknown standup comedian from Orissa Ranjan Sahu will enthrall the audience. Kailash Raj from Rajasthan will present some of the Bollywood dance numbers before the audience. Preety Bhalla: Preety burst into the Indian pop scene with her song "Damadam Mast Kalandar" from the album "Jalwa II" released by Times Music in 2001. The music video featured Preety was shot in the magnificent 'Qutub Shahi Tombs' in Hyderabad. The song was a great hit and still plays on all radio channels. From her sufi song "Damadam Mast Kalandar" to the Marathi flavored "Saangu Nakaa" and her love ballad "Mera Yeh Mann" to a Spiritual album, she definitely has a vast vocal range, is a versatile singer and creates magic with her voice that touches one's heart and soul.

Announcements

Annual competition Tulu Koota Kuwait has great pleasure in inviting its valuable members to Tulukoota Kuwait annual competitions on 14th October 2011. It’s a unique opportunity to our members & their children to showcase their talent at the varied competitions. There will be singing, dance, fancy dress competitions for all age group, cute baby photo contest etc. Competitions will be held on Friday 14th October from 10 am onwards in Indian Community School (Senior Girls), Salmiya. For details, competition rules and registrations please contact 65044521, 65013887, 66958848, 97834578 Or visit our website www.tu1ukootakuwait.org or mail us at secretary@tulukootakuwait.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 Alva- 23726164, Suma Bhatt97834578 Salmiya & Hawally: Swarna Shetty- 99006934, Kripa Gatty- 66044194 Kuwait City, Jahra, Sharq : Rekha Sachu65044521,97862115 Farwaniya, Abbassiya, Shuwaikh & Khaitan: Sathyanarayana- 66585077 Sanath Shetty- 67712409. ‘Mother’s Day’ Theater Xavier-Manuel productions presents a super hit theater of this season from Goa titled “Mother’s Day.” It will be a Konkani drama dedicated to all mothers with loads of comedy, solos, duets, trios, etc. and all new songs! The event is today September 30th at 3:30pm at Kuwait Medical Association Hall (Beside Blood Bank, near Mubarak Hospital, Jabriya). YMCA membership YMCA Kuwait is conducting membership campaign from 1st September to 30th November, 2011. Persons who wish to become members of YMCA Kuwait and person who would like to contribute their time, efforts and services for the society and humanitarian causes may please contact: 97542985, 99498369, 99046751, 99607230, 55120208.

Ranjan Sahu: Ranjan Sahu is standup comedian, mimicry artist, dubbing artist and an anchor. Ranjan has performed with most of the playback singers such as Asha Bhosle, Sonu Nigam, Sunidhi Chauhan, Alka Yagnik, Shaan, Shanker Mahadevan, Sukhvinder Singh, Kay Kay, Sudhesh Bhosle, Hariharan, Babul Supriyo, Vasundra Das, Hema Sardesai, Jaspinder Narula, Mahalaxmi Iyer, Jojo, to name a few and film stars from Bollywood, including Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Karishma Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Lara Dutta,

Raveena Tandon, Neha Dhupia, Celina Jaitley, Mallika Sheravat, Mahima Choudhary, Diya Mirza, Rakhi Sawant to name a few. He can imitate 50 voices non-stop without break, without breathing and coughing, though he has the capacity to imitate 94 voices of Hindi film actors. All are welcome and do contact Kalanjali committee members on 66457286 / 97214325 / 66568147 / 97242726 / 97481272 more for details... You can also send an email to kalanjaliq8@gmail.com for more details...

Brain Bang Calling all students aged 11 and above, Support Group for Accelerated learning under the umbrella of FOCC (Friends of CRY Club, Kuwait), BRAIN-BANG invites you to join us in our fortnightly Friday Class from 11.45 am to 13.45 pm in Salmiya starting October 7th for the next 6 months. Successfully running for the seventh consecutive year. Areas of development are : l Memory tools to Understand and Learn Better l Tools and Techniques to empower your mind l Activity, fun, games and worksheet based assignments l Practical Experiments l Mind Gymnastics l Application of Learning Techniques to conventional study. Register before October 5th 2011. Limited seats. Register early to avoid disappointment. Website: www.focckwt.org E-Mail: brainbang@focckwt.org


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Embassy Information EMBASSY OF ARGENTINA In order to inform that 23rd of October 2011, will be Argentine national election where all Argentinean citizen residents permanently in Kuwait can vote only if they are registered at the Electoral Register of the Argentine Embassy. The procedure of inscription ended on 25 of April 2011. To register it is necessary that Argentinean citizens should come personally at the Argentinean Embassy (Block 6, street 42, villa 57, Mishref) and present the DNI and four personal photos (size 4x4, face should be front on white background). For further information, contact us on 25379211.

NSS Kuwait celebrates Onam

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air Service Society (NSS Kuwait) celebrated its 10th Onam celebration “ONAM 2011” in the traditional style with gaiety and pomp on the Friday, 23rd of September, 2011 at the Indian Community School, Khaitan. Members with their families, friends and well - wishers along with many dignitaries constituted the large assemblage of over 1,200 attendees. Satish C.Mehta , the Indian Ambassador to Kuwait was the chief guest and renowned master of traditional Kerala kitchen Pazhayidom Mohanan Namboothiri was the guest of honour. Ambassador Mehta was accompanied by his wife Preeti Mehta. ‘Onam 2011’ was inaugurated with lighting of the ‘Bhadradeepam’ by the chief guest and supported by dignitaries including RC Suresh (patron NSS Kuwait), Pancily Varkey (Country Head, UAE Exchange), Rajan Daniel (hon secretary ICSK), Dr Narayanan Nampoory (IDF president), E D Titus (director-Bahrain Exchange Co), Dr Amir Ahmed (Vice President-IDF), Vijayan Karayil (Jt

Secretary ICSK), Dr Nandakumar Moorkath (chairman-Obs and Gyn Dept, Kuwait University), Damodaran Nair K (former president-NSS Kuwait) and Smitha Sumod ( Vanitha samajam convener). President, Murleekrishnan P presided over the function . General secretary K P Manikandan, delivered the welcome speech and treasurer Prasad Padmanabhan expressed vote of thanks. The ‘Paachaka Shiromani’ title was conferred on Pazhayidom Nampoothiri. The cultural programs started with

Ranga Pooja by Mangaf area members, followed by folk dances by members from Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh area with performances on Vallapattu, Krishnaleela and Mahishasura Mardini. Salmiya area members arranged a classical fusion dance depicting the different months and seasons in Kerala consisting around 45 participants. Mangaf/Abuhalifa members presented the traditional Thiruvathira and cinematic dance. Musical show (Ganamela) by Kuwait’s leading Indian artists added to the glory of the celebration.

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-ukkw.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

‘Most Beautiful Egyptian Child’ Contest begins

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he ‘Bawabat Al-Masreyeen’ (Egyptians Gate) blog in Kuwait launched a course in operating the photoshop program which deals with editing pictures and prepare designs. A contest for the picture of the most beautiful child among Egyptian community children in Kuwait began yesterday and will continue until Wednesday, September 28, and results will be announced on Saturday, October 15. It is worth mentioning that the gate began dealing with the community’s problems two weeks ago, as it presents them to concerned officials, and the most important problem is that of Egypt Air so far. The gate met with the Director of Egypt Air in Kuwait to find a quick solution for the problem. http://www.facebook.com/egykwt

Marthoma Church holds motivation program

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uwait St John’s Mathoma Church held a preschool motivation program with thanksgiving service at the NECK for the tiny tots starting their schooling this year for the first time. Parish Vicar Rev Genil Abraham initiated each child in the world of letters by making them to write the first letters of the alphabet. At the close of the ceremony each child was awarded a certificate and presented with an attractive kit containing story and painting books, crayons, sweets and juice. The parents appreciated the enlightening programme while the children enjoyed it. The program convener Santhosh Kozhencherry supervised the arrangements.

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 Cana dian 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/IMM5 257E.PDF. A guide explaining the process can be found here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/kits/guides/5256E.P DF.


TV Listings FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

00:45 Untamed & Uncut 01:40 Sharks: Anatomy Of An Attack 02:35 Big Five Challenge 03:30 I Shouldn’t Be Alive 04:25 Dogs 101 05:20 Animal Cops Houston 06:10 Bad Dog 07:00 Meerkat Manor 07:25 The Really Wild Show 07:50 Crocodile Hunter 08:40 Breed All About It 09:10 My Cat From Hell 10:05 Dogs 101 11:00 Animal Cops Houston 11:55 E-Vets: The Interns 12:20 Wildlife SOS 12:50 Clinically Wild: Alaska 13:15 Clinically Wild: Alaska 13:45 Cro codile Hunter 14:40 Sharks: Anatomy Of An Attack 15:30 Monkey Life 16:00 The Really Wild Show 16:30 Baby Planet 17:25 Project Puppy 17:50 Project Puppy 18:20 Breed All About It 18:45 Crocodile Hunter 19:40 Echo And The Elephants Of Amboseli 20:10 Dogs 101 21:05 Ultimate Air Jaws 22:00 Whale Wars 22:55 Monster Bug Wars 23:50 Search For The Knysna Elephants

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

Last Of The Summer Wine Last Of The Summer Wine The Weakest Link Casualty Eastenders Doctors Last Of The Summer Wine Balamory The Roly Mo Show Me Too Tellytales Tellytales Poetry Pie Balamory The Roly Mo Show Me Too Tellytales Poetry Pie Balamory The Roly Mo Show Me Too Tellytales Tellytales Poetry Pie Balamory The Roly Mo Show Me Too Tellytales Tellytales Poetry Pie Last Of The Summer Wine Last Of The Summer Wine The Weakest Link Coast Doctors Eastenders Casualty Last Of The Summer Wine Last Of The Summer Wine Coast The Weakest Link Doctors Eastenders Casualty Coast The Weakest Link Doctors Robin Ho od True Dare Kiss After You’ve Gone Little Britain

00:40 The Naked Chef 01:10 Come Dine With Me 02:00 What Not To Wear 02:50 Come Dine With Me 03:40 What To Eat Now - Autumn 04:10 The Naked Chef 04:40 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 05:05 James Martin’s Brittany 05:30 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 06:15 Antiques Roadshow 07:10 Daily Cooks Challenge 07:40 Come Dine With Me 08:30 What To Eat Now - Autumn

15:05 15:30 15:55 16:25 16:26 16:31 16:50 17:15 17:40 18:05 18:30 18:55 19:20 19:45 20:10 20:35 21:00 21:25 21:50 22:00 22:25 22:50 23:15 23:40

Camp Lazlo Chowder Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy Cow & Chicken Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy Cow & Chicken Courage The Cowardly Dog I Am Weasel Adventure Time Codename: Kids Next Door Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated Ben 10: Ultimate Alien Generator Rex Star Wars: The Clone Wars Hero 108 Bakugan: New Vestroia Total Drama Is land Adventure Time Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy Ben 10 Bakugan Battle Brawlers The Secret Saturdays Samurai Jack Megas Xlr

00:00 00:30 01:00 02:00 03:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 06:30 07:00 07:30 08:00 09:00 10:00 10:30 11:00 11:45 12:00 12:30 13 :00 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 Report World Sport The Best Of Backstory World Business Today CNN Marketplace Middle East American Morning: Wake-Up Call The Best Of Backstory World One Piers Morgan Tonight News Stream World Business Today International Desk The Brief World Sport World Report CNN Marketplace Middle East International Desk The CNN Freedom Project Quest Means Business CNN Marketplace Africa Piers Morgan Tonight Connect The World

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

Smash Lab Building the Biggest Prototype This Bang Goes the Theory Bang Goes the Theory Thunder Races How Stuff’s Made Building the Biggest One Step Beyond Eco-Tech Thunder Races Sci-Fi Saved My Life The Gadget Show The Gadget Show Smash Lab Brainiac Sci-Fi Science How Stuff’s Made Prototype This Bang Goes the Theory Bang Goes the Theory One Step Beyond Stunt Junkies Building the Biggest Weird Connections Thunder Races Tank on the Moon Sci-Fi Science The Gadget Show The Tech Show The Tech Show The Gadget Show Smash Lab The Gadget Show The Tech Show The Gadget Show

00:00 00:25 00:50 01:15 01:35

Kim Possible Fairly Odd Parents Fairly Odd Parents Stitch Stitch

The Order On OSn ACTIOn hd 08:55 The Naked Chef 09:25 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 09:50 James Martin’s Brittany 10:10 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 11:00 Antiques Roadshow 11:50 Come Dine With Me 12:45 Daily Cooks Challenge 14:40 Bargain Hunt 15:25 Antiques Roadshow 16:20 Antiques Roadshow 17:10 Come Dine With Me 18:00 New Scandinavian Cooking With Andreas Viestad 18:25 What To Eat Now - Autumn 18:55 The Naked Chef 19:20 James Martin’s Britt any 19:45 Come Dine With Me 20:35 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 21:20 Antiques Roadshow 22:15 Come Dine With Me 23:05 Masterchef Australia 23:30 Masterchef Australia

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

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

05:45 Sport Today 06:00 Newsday 06:30 The Bottom Line 07:00 BBC World News 07:30 World Business Report 07:45 BBC World News 08:30 World Business Report 08:45 BBC World News 09:30 World Business Report 09:45 Sport Today 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 World Business Report 10:45 Sport Today 11:00 BBC World News 11:30 The Bottom Line 12:00 BBC World News 12:30 World Business Report 12:45 Sport Today 13:00 BBC World News 13:30 World Business R eport 13:45 Sport Today 14:00 GMT With George Alagiah 14:30 GMT With George Alagiah 15:00 BBC World News 15:30 World Business Report 15:45 Sport Today 16:00 Impact 16:30 Our World 17:00 Impact 17:30 World Business Report 17:45 Sport Today 18:00 World Have Your Say 18:30 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

00:05 00:30 00:55 01:20 01:45 02:10 02:35 03:00 03:25 03:50 04:15 04:40 05:05 05:30 05:55 06:20 06:45 07:00 07:25 07:50 08:15 08:40 09:05 09:30 09:36 09:40 09:55 10:20 10:35 11:00 11:25 11:50 12:15 12:40 13:05 13:30 13:50 14:15 14:40

Robotboy - Elements Squirrel Boy George Of The Jungle Cramp Twins Chop Socky Chooks Best Ed My Gym Partner’s A Monkey Ben 10: Ultimate Alien Generator Rex Adventure Time Flapjack Chowder The Powerpuff Girls Ed, Edd n Eddy Cow & Chicken Squirrel Boy I Am Weasel Eliot Kid Angelo Rules Best Ed Flapjack My Gym Partner’s A Monkey Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy Courage The Cowardly Dog Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy Courage The Cowardly Dog Cow & Chicken I Am Weasel Adventure Time Ben 10 Bakugan Battle Brawlers The Secret Saturdays Samurai Jack Ben 10: Alien Force Codename: Kids Next Door Skunk Fu! My Gym Partner’s A Monkey Flapjack Ed, Edd n Eddy

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

Replacements Replacements Emperor’s New School Stitch Stitch Replacements Replacements Fairly Odd Parents Emperor’s New School Suite Life On Deck Phineas And 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 Imagination Movers The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody Phineas And Ferb Good Luck Charlie Phineas And Ferb Suite Life On Deck Wizards Of Waverly Place Sonny With A Chance Good Luck Charlie Hannah Montana Suite Life On Deck Wizards Of Waverly Place Suite Life On Deck Good Luck Charlie Phineas And Ferb Fish Hooks Shake It Up Jake & Blake Wizards Of Waverly Place Good Luck Charlie Fish Hooks Suite Life On Deck Den Brother Fish Hooks Sonny With A Chance Good Luck Charlie Shake It Up Suite Life On Deck Sonny With A Chance Wizards Of Waverly Place Jonas Los Angeles

00:25 Kendra 00:55 Extreme Close-Up 01:25 15 Most Shocking Political Sex Scandals 03:15 25 Most Stylish 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Extreme Hollywood 06:00 25 Most Sensational Hollywood Meltdowns 07:50 Behind The Scenes 08:20 E! News 09:15 The Dance Scene 09:45 The Dance Scene 10:15 30 Best & Worst Beach Bodies 12:05 E! News 13:05 Kendra 13:35 Kendra 14:05 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 14:35 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 15:30 THS 16:25 Behind The Scenes 16:55 Khloe And Lamar 17:25 Khloe And Lamar 17:55 E! News 18:55 THS 19:55 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 20:25 Kourtney & Kim Take New York 20:55 Chelsea Lately 21:25 Giuliana & Bill 22:25 E! News 23:25 Chelsea Lately 23:55 Keeping Up With The Kardashians

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 10:45 11:10 12:00 12:50 13:40 14:30 14:55 15:20 15:45 16:10 17:00

Ghost Lab A Haunting Cuff Me If You Can Fugitive Strike Force Dr G: Medical Examiner Ghosthunters Ghost Lab Diagnosis: Unknown Murder Shift Forensic Detectives Street Patrol Real Emergency Calls Diagnosis: Unknown I Was Murdered I Was Murdered FBI Files On The Case With Paula Zahn Extreme Forensics Diagnosis: Unknown S treet Patrol Real Emergency Calls I Was Murdered I Was Murdered FBI Files Forensic Detectives


TV Listings FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

17:50 18:40 19:05 19:55 20:20 21:10 22:00 22:50 23:40

Murder Shift Real Emergency Calls Diagnosis: Unknown Street Patrol On The Case With Paula Zahn Extreme Forensics Ripped From The Headlines Disappeared Dr G: Medical Examiner

00:00 Reverse Exploration 01:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 01:30 Bondi Rescue 02:00 Bondi Rescue: Bali 02:30 Travel Madness 03:00 City Chase: Argentina 04:00 Adventure Wanted 05:00 Ultimate Traveller 06:00 Reverse Exploration 07:00 David Rocco’s Dolce Vita 07:30 Bondi Rescue 08:00 Bondi Rescue: Bali 08:30 Travel Madness 09:00 City Chase: Argentina 10:00 Adventure Wanted 11:00 Ultimate Traveller 12:00 Reverse Exploration 13:00 Earth T ripping 13:30 Earth Tripping 14:00 Treks In A Wild World 14:30 Amazing Adventures of A Nobody UK 15:00 Amazing Adventures of A Nobody USA 15:30 Amazing Adventures Of A Nobody: Europe 16:00 Extreme Tourist Afghanistan 17:00 Meet The Amish 18:00 Departures 19:00 Earth Tripping 20:00 Treks In A Wild World 20:30 Amazing Adventures of A Nobody UK 21:00 Amazing Adventures of A Nobody USA 21:30 Amazing Adventures Of A Nobody: Europe 22: 00 Extreme Tourist Afghanistan 23:00 Meet The Amish

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 23:00 23:30

Community Outsourced The Daily Show With Jon Stewart The Colbert Report Weird Science Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Mad Love The Office Outsourced Modern Family The Tonight Show With Jay Leno The Daily Show With Jon Stewart The Colbert Report Family Guy Entourage State Of The Union Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

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

The X Factor (US) Treme Bones One Tree Hill Good Morning America Persons Unknown Emmerdale Turn Back Your Body Clock The Ellen DeGeneres Show The Martha Stewart Show The View The X Factor (US) Live Good Morning America One Tree Hill The Ellen DeGeneres Show Love Bites Glee The X Factor (US) Survivor: South Pacific Frid ay Night Lights

00:00 01:00 02:00 03:00 05:00 06:00

Psych Treme No Ordinary Family The X Factor (US) Bones Psych

07:00 07:30 08:00 09:00 10:00 12:00 12:30 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 16:30 18:00 19:00 20:00 22:00 23:00

According To Jim According To Jim Body Of Proof Bones The X Factor (US) According To Jim According To Jim The Ellen DeGeneres Show Body Of Proof Psych According To Jim According To Jim Hawthorne Glee The X Factor (US) Survivor: South Pacific Friday Night Lights

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

Se7en-18 Menace II Society-18 Orphan-18 Spiderman 2-PG15 Bad Girls-PG15 Goal III-18 The Snow Walker-PG15 Bad Girls-PG15 Windtalkers-PG15 Splinter-18 Paranormal Activity-PG15 Luster-PG15

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

Under The Tuscan Sun-PG15 Dragnet-PG15 The Boys Are Back-PG Heart And Souls-PG Hope Springs-PG15 Rugrats Go Wild-FAM How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days-PG 500 Days Of Summer-PG15 Under The Tuscan Sun-PG15 Someone Like You-PG15 Without A Paddle-PG15 American High School-18

00:15 I Dreamed Of Africa-18 02:15 Soul Food-18 04:15 Titanic-PG15 07:30 Sweet Liberty-PG15 09:15 Jesse Stone: No Remorse-PG15 11:00 The Cake Eaters-PG15 12:45 Simon Birch-PG 15:00 The First $20 Million Is Always The Hardest-PG15 16:45 Le Code A Change-PG15 18:30 Forrest Gump-PG15 21:00 Mona Lisa Smile-PG15 23:00 Husbands And Wives-18

01:00 03:00 05:00 07:00 09:00 11:00 12:30 14:00 17:00 19:00 21:00 PG15 23:30

The Last Airbender-PG15 Mee Shee-PG Far North-PG15 Furry Vengeance-PG15 Paper Man-PG15 The Karate Kid-PG Mammoth-PG15 Motherhood-PG15

00:30 01:00 01:30 02:00 02:30 03:00 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

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart The Colbert Report State Of The Union Funny Or Die Presents Entourage Friends Two And A Half Men The Tonight Show With Jay Leno Will And Grace Coach Weird Science Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Two And A Half Men Friends Will And Grace Community Outsourced Coach Weird Science The Tonight Show With Jay Leno Two And A Half Men Friends Will And Grace Coach

Case 39-18

00:00 A Simple Wish-FAM 02:00 The Amazing Zorro-FAM 04:00 Adventures Of A Teenage Dragonslayer-PG 06:00 The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie-PG 08:00 Tom Tom & Nana-FAM 10:00 Bambi-FAM 12:00 Bambi II-FAM 14:00 Tangled-FAM 16:00 True Story Of Puss’n Boots-PG 18:00 Bambi-FAM 20:00 Bambi II-FAM 22:00 Tangled-FAM

00:30 Battlestar Galactica: The Plan-18 02:30 Bad Boys II-PG15 05:00 Tortured-PG15 07:00 The Librarian: The Curse Of Judas Chalice-PG15 08:45 Star Runners-PG15 10:15 The Order-PG15 12:00 Shanghai Knights-PG15 14:00 Star Runners-PG15 16:00 Ballistica-PG15 18:00 Shanghai Knights-PG15 20:00 Killshot-18 22:00 Clive Barker’s Book Of Blood-18

00:45 02:30 04:15 06:15 07:15 FAM 09:00 11:15 13:00 14:45 16:30 18:30 21:00 23:15

Tucker Max-R Stone Of Destiny-PG15 You Again-PG15 Astro Boy-FAM The Sorcerer’s Apprentice-PG15 Bambi-FAM Bambi II-FAM My Name Is Khan-PG15 The Sorcerer’s Apprentice-PG15 The Ugly Truth-PG15 Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps-

The Waiting City-PG15 Love N’ Dancing-PG15 The Brothers Bloom-PG15 MacHEADS-PG15 Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea-

The KaraTe Kid on oSn CineMa

00:00 02:00 04:00 05:45 08:00 PG15 10:00 12:15 14:15 16:00 PG15 17:45 20:00 PG15 22:15

The Spirit-PG15 Whip It-PG15 Daddy Day Care-PG Glorious 39-PG15 The Loss Of A Teardrop DiamondCarnera: The Walking Mountain-PG Get Low-PG15 Accidents Happen-PG15 The Loss Of A Teardrop DiamondIron Man 2-PG15 Wall Street: Money Never SleepsJake’s Closet-PG15

00:00 WWE NXT 01:00 The Ultimate Fighter Season 14 02:00 Le Mans Series Magazine 03:00 European PGA Tour 07:00 WWE NXT 08:00 WWE Vintage Collection 09:00 Trans World Sport 10:00 Live RWC Matchday 10:30 Live Rugby World Cup 12:00 Live RWC Matchday 12:30 Total Rugby 13:00 Speedway FIM World Championship 14:00 WWE NXT 15:00 European Tour Weekly 15:30 LIVE European PGA Tour 19:30 RWC Matchday 20:00 Rugby World Cup 21:30 RWC Matchday 22:00 WWE Bottomline 23:00 The Ultimate Fighter Season 14

01:30 01:45 02:15 03:15 04:15 04:30 06:30 07:00 09:00 09:30 10:00 10:30 12:00 12:30 13:30 14:00 16:00 16:15 19:30 20:00 21:30 22:00

RWC Highlights Total Rugby Trans World Sport AFL Highlights RWC Highlights Premier League Snooker Futbol Mundial Premier League Snooker ICC Cricket World Total Rugby Live RWC Matchday Live Rugby World Cup Live RWC Matchday Golfing World Total Rugby Premier League Snooker RWC Highlights Masters Football RWC Matchday Rugby World Cup RWC Matchday Live Super League

02:00 04:00 05:00 05:30 06:00 06:30 07:00 08:00 12:30 13:30 14:00 14:30 16:30 19:30 20:00 22:00 22:15

Premier League Snooker Golfing World NRL Full Time World Hockey Scottish Premier League Highlights Total Rugby Golfing World PGA European Tour AFL Highlights Futbol Mundial Euro Tour Weekly Golfing World Live PGA European Tour Total Rugby Live Rugby Union Currie Cup RWC Highlights PGA European Tour

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

WWE NXT UFC The Ultimate Fighter Speedway WWE NXT UFC 135 WWE NXT WWE Vintage Collection V8 Supercars Championship Speedway FIM World Mobil 1 The Grid WWE NXT Prizefighter V8 Supercars Championship Speedway UFC The Ultimate Fighter V8 Supercars Extra WWE Tough Enough WWE SmackDown WWE Bottomline UFC The Ultimate Fighter

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

Tokyo Revealed The Blue Continent World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides Glutton For Punishment Chef Abroad Globe Trekker Tokyo Revealed Distant Shores Cruise Today Globe Trekker Intrepid Journeys Cruising the South China Sea Planet Food Distant Shores Globe Trekker Opening Soon Hollywood and Vines Intrepid Journeys The Blue Continent Globe Trekker Special Distant Shores Opening Soon Hollywood and Vines Globe Trekker Tokyo Revealed Globe Trekker Africa Trek

00:00 Jerseylicious 01:00 Videofashion News 01:30 Videofashion News 01:55 Big Boutique 02:25 How Do I Look? 03:20 Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? 05:10 Homes With Style 05:35 Area 06:05 Clean House 07:00 Big Boutique 08:00 Videofashion News 09:00 Open House 09:25 Open House 09:55 How Do I Look? 10:50 Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? 11:50 Clean House: Search For The Messiest... 12:50 Clean House 13:45 Videofashion News 14:15 Videofashion News 14:45 How Do I Look? 15:40 Ruby 16:35 Jerseylicious 17:30 Top 10 17:55 Top 10 18:25 Big Rich Texas 19:25 Open House 21:15 My Destination Wedding With The Knot 22:10 Clean House 23:05 How Do I Look?

00:00 01:00 02:00 07:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 17:00 19:00 20:00

Music For The Masses Greatest Hits VH1 Music Aerobic VH1 Hits Music For The Masses Top 10 Music For The Masses Lazy Weekend Music For The Masses Guess The Year Before The Weekend

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

Declassified Ice Road Truckers Ax Men Ax Men Deep Sea Salvage Deep Sea Detectives Declassified Ice Road Truckers Ax Men Ax Men Deep Sea Salvage Deep Sea Detectives Declassified Ice Road Truckers Ax Men Ax Men Deep Sea Salvage Deep Sea Detectives Declassified Ice Road Truckers Mummy Forensics Ancient Discoveries Engineering An Empire


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Information

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 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 UAE ETD DHX MSR FDB GFA QTR THY KAC JZR JZR BAW KAC KAC KAC KAC FDB KAC KAC KAC KAC UAE QTR ABY IRA ETD GFA MEA RBG JZR IYE MSR JZR KAC MSR UAL RJA FDB OMA QT R BBC KAC KAC KAC KAC JZR QTR JZR JZR MLR ETD UAE GFA SVA RBG JZR ABY FDB JZR KAC KAC

Flt 642 267 772 620 853 305 370 614 67 211 138 770 544 503 555 157 416 206 284 302 53 332 678 352 362 855 132 125 619 301 213 404 3555 165 825 623 561 672 610 982 640 57 645 140 43 546 552 788 618 257 134 201 535 403 303 857 215 510 3557 239 127 63 177 166 502

Arrival Flights on Friday 30/9/2011 Route AMMAN BEIRUT ISTANBUL ADDIS ABABA DUBAI ABU DHABI BAHRAIN CAIRO DUBAI BAHRAIN DOHA ISTANBUL CAIRO LUXOR ALEXANDRIA LONDON JAKARTA/KUALA LUMPUR ISLAMABAD DHAKA MUMBAI DUBAI TRIVANDRUM MUSCAT/DUBAI COCHIN COLOMBO DUBAI DOHA SHARJAH LAR ABU DHABI BAHRAIN BEIRUT ALEXANDRIA DUBAI SANAA SOHAG SOHAG DUBAI CAIRO WASHINGTON DC DULLES AMMAN DUBAI MUSCAT DOHA DHAKA ALEXANDRIA DAMASCUS JEDDAH DOHA BEIRUT DOHA DAMASCUS CAIRO COLOMBO/DUBAI ABU DHABI DUBAI BAHRAIN RIYADH SOHAG AMMAN SHARJAH DUBAI DUBAI PARIS/ROME BEIRUT

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

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

542 213 744 614 102 674 774 227 975 572 562 61 787 647 81 402 786 506 372 217 304 136 981 85 9 135 185 612 636 441 539 447 481

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

Flt 677 390 637 44 982 206 773 621 94 854 68 371 615 306 139 771 560 164 643 212 545 156 54 534 787 177 671 551 256 617 856 126

CAIRO DEIREZZOR/ALEPPO DAMMAM BAHRAIN NEW YORK/LONDON DUBAI RIYADH COLOMBO CHENNAI/GOA MUMBAI AMMAN DUBAI RIYADH MUSCAT BAGHDAD BEIRUT JEDDAH JEDDAH BAHRAIN BAHRAIN RIYADH DOHA BAHRAIN DUBAI BAHRAIN DUBAI CAIRO FRANKFURT LAHORE CAIRO AMSTERDAM/BAHRAIN SABIHA Departure Flights on Friday 30/9/2011 Route DUBAI/MUSCAT MANGALORE/KOZHIKODE FRANKFURT DHAKA AHMEDABAD/CHENNAI LAHORE ISTANBUL ADDIS ABABA DUBAI/KANDAHAR DUBAI DUBAI BAHRAIN CAIRO ABU DHABI DOHA ISTANBUL SOHAG DUBAI AMMAN BAHRAIN ALEXANDRIA LONDON DUBAI CAIRO JEDDAH FRANKFURT/GENEVA DUBAI DAMASCUS BEIRUT DOHA DUBAI SHARJAH

18:50 19:05 19:15 19:20 19:25 19:25 19:25 19:30 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 22:50 23:00 23:05 23:30 23:35 23:50

Time 0:10 0:25 0:40 1:00 1:05 1:10 2:15 2:45 3:30 3:45 3:50 3:55 4:05 4:05 5:00 5:10 5:50 6:55 7:00 7:10 7:40 8:25 8:40 8:50 8:55 8:55 9:00 9:10 9:10 9:35 9:40 9:50

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

133 117 302 214 618 200 3558 405 541 212 238 103 501 825 624 176 611 641 58 982 561 646 785 673 XXXX 480 773 141 613 743 786 538 304 404 135 858 216 3556 128 184 511 64 134 283 361 228 571 62 528 343 351 648 403 507 373 218 381 137 301 205 102 502 554 860 981 411 613 442

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

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

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available for single bachelor near Khaitan Garnatha Cinema bus stop with a Mangalorean R/C bachelor, KD 25. Contact: 66036893. (C 3658) 29-9-2011 Sharing accommodation available for Indian bachelors in two bedroom two bathroom flat near Garanada cinema, Khaitan. Call 99775589 / 66141908. (C 3652) 28-9-2011

FOR SALE

Mercedes S350L model 2009, one owner from AlBisher, black color - Beige leather inside - full options + AMG body kit + panorama sun roof + 2 TV in the back seats + 20 inch alloy wheels, low mileage, 16,000 km, price KD 22,000. Contact: 90000162. (C 3653) Volkswagen Tiguan 2010, manual gear box, special

order from Bahbahani white color - black/beige cloth inside - 21,000 km like new, price KD 5,750. Contact: 99283882. (C 3654) Volkswagen Passat R36, model 2009, silver color brown leather inside - special options, original price KD 14,750 - include special seats + navigation + many other options, mileage 32,000 km. Selling price KD 6,900. Contact: 90080013. (C 3655) Toyota Prado 2008 VX limited silver color - beige leather inside - options No.1, 81,000 km, with navigation system, price KD 8,750. Contact: 66161766. (C 3656) 29-9-2011 MATRIMONIAL CHANGE OF NAME I, Sukhraj Singh, holder of Indian Passport No. F9950973 hereby change my name to SUKHRAJ SINGH BRING. (C 3657) 29-9-2011

Orthodox well-settled parents invite proposals for their son, 28 years, 180 cm, fair, MBA (Finance) from a reputed institution, employed in a reputed bank in Kuwait from parents of professionally qualified Godfearing girls. Email: dr.matt32@gmail.com (C 3652)

Inviting proposals for Marthomite boy B.Com, MBA, 26/172 employed in MNC Kuwait from parents of professionally qualified girls of Marthomite/ Orthodox. Email: welcomingproposal@gmail.com (C 3647) 27-9-2011


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Years

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

Rays clinch AL wild card ST PETERSBURG: The Tampa Bay Rays clinched the American League wild card with a stunning rally Wednesday, overcoming a late seven-run deficit and then beating the New York Yankees 8-7 on Evan Longoria’s home run in the 12th inning. The Rays’ win came four minutes after Boston blew a one-run lead in the ninth at Baltimore and lost 43. The Red Sox, who held a nine-game lead over the Rays early this month, and Tampa Bay began the final day of the regular season tied for the wild card. Longoria hit a three-run homer in the eighth that capped a six-run burst. Pinch-hitter Dan Johnson’s two-out, two-strike solo homer in the ninth tied it for Tampa Bay. Longoria won it with a one-out shot barely inside the left-field foul pole. Tampa Bay will open the playoffs Friday at Texas. Orioles 4, Red Sox 3 At Baltimore, the Red Sox completed their September collapse in horrific and historic fashion, falling out of the playoff chase by allowing two ninth-inning runs against Baltimore. The Red Sox held a nine-game lead in the AL wild-card race after Sept. 3, but a 7-19 swoon left them tied with Tampa Bay entering the final day of the regular season. The Rays rallied for an 8-7 win over the New York Yankees in 12 innings. The Orioles won the game in the ninth against Jonathan Papelbon (4-1), who struck out the first two batters before giving up a double to Chris Davis. Nolan Reimold followed with a double to score pinch-runner Kyle Hudson, and Robert Andino completed the comeback with a single to left that Carl Crawford couldn’t glove. Boston became the first team to miss the postseason after leading by as many as nine games for a playoff spot entering September, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Rangers 3, Angels 1 At Anaheim, California, Mike Napoli broke a tie in the ninth inning with his fourth homer in two games as Texas finally clinched home-field advantage in the AL division series. Napoli, the longtime Angels catcher, also homered in the second inning as the Rangers set a franchise record with their 96th victory - including six straight heading into the postseason.

With 14 wins in their final 16 games, Texas (96-66) held off Detroit (95-67) for the right host the wildcard winner at Rangers Ballpark on Friday. Gil Velasquez drove in the only run for the Angels, who were in playoff contention until Monday. Los Angeles (86-76) lost six of its last seven. Tigers 5, Indians 4 At Detroit, Miguel Cabrera singled and doubled, wrapping up the American League batting title as Jhonny Peralta hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth for Detroit. Cabrera entered the day hitting .343, five points ahead of Michael Young of Texas and Adrian Gonzalez of Boston. He raised his average another point against the Indians, and the other two were unable to catch him. Peralta hit his 21st homer of the season off Vinnie Pestano (1-2) after Ryan Perry (2-0) allowed Cleveland to tie it at 4 in the top of the eighth. Jose Valverde pitched the ninth for his 49th save in 49 chances. The AL Central-champion Tigers will start the playoffs on the road against the Yankees tonight. Twins 1, Royals 0 At Minneapolis, Trevor Plouffe’s RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning helped Minnesota stave off a 100-loss season. Carl Pavano (9-13) went the distance for the win, the first time he pitched nine scoreless innings since July 22, 2010. He gave up five hits and struck out three. Bruce Chen pitched eight shutout innings against the Twins for the second time this month, and the Royals turned to Blake Wood (5-3) for the ninth. Pinch-hitter Denard Span hit a one-out double, took third on a groundout and trotted home on Plouffe’s sharp single to left. The Twins (63-99) still finished with the second-worst record in their 51 years in Minnesota. The Royals finished 71-91, a slight improvement from last season, but their cadre of rising stars gives them plenty of eagerness for 2012. Blue Jays 3, White Sox 2 At Chicago, Chris Sale issued a pair of basesloaded walks in the ninth inning to send the White Sox to the loss. It seemed to be a fitting finish for the White Sox, whose year spun out of control. Earlier in

BOSTON: Members of the Baltimore Orioles surround teammate Nolan Reimold (14) after he scored the winning run in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011, in Baltimore. — AP the day, Ozzie Guillen was announced as the new manager of the Florida Marlins - the White Sox released him from his contract Monday. Hitting Coach Greg Walker also announced before the game he was stepping down. Expected to be a contender in the AL Central, the White Sox wound up 79-83 with pitching Coach Don Cooper serving as interim manager the last two games. The Blue Jays’ victory gave them an 81-81 mark under rookie manager John Farrell. Shawn Camp (6-3) got the win and Frank Francisco worked the ninth for his 17th save. Athletics 2, Mariners 0 At Seattle, Gio Gonzalez pitched eight innings of two-hit ball, leading Oakland to

the victory. Gonzalez (16-12) gave up just one hit through six innings, a liner into right field by Chris Gimenez leading off the third. He struck out the side in the sixth and matched a career high with 11 strikeouts. Jai Miller hit his first career homer in the second inning against Seattle starter Anthony Vasquez (1-6), who lasted just two innings. The Mariners and A’s will see each other again on March 28 and 29 in Tokyo as they will become the latest teams to open a season playing in Japan. The announcement of the two-game series was made on Wednesday.— AP

Cardinals clinch as Braves falter HOUSTON: Chris Carpenter and the St Louis Cardinals completed one of the more remarkable comebacks in baseball history, clinching the National League wild card Wednesday with an 8-0 win over the Houston Astros and a later loss by Atlanta. The Cardinals got their playoff spot when the Braves fell to Philadelphia 4-3 in 13 innings. St Louis trailed Atlanta by 10.5 games on Aug 25. The Cardinals won 23 of thei r last 31 games. The Cardinals will open the postseason tomorrow at NL East champion Philadelphia. Carpenter (11-9) struck out 11 and allowed two hits in his 15th career complete-game shutout as St Louis kept up its improbable September charge. The Cardinals won for the 23rd time in 31 games, having trailed Atlant a by 10Ω games on Aug 25. Houston took a 5-0 lead in the first inning against Brett Myers (7-14). Phillies 4, Braves 3, 13 innings At Atlanta, closing pitcher Craig Kimbrel surrendered the tying run in the ninth inning and Hunter Pence came through with a two-out, runscoring single in the 13th to give Philadelphia the win that ended Atlantaís season without a trip to the playoffs that looked like a certainty just a few weeks ago. The game ended more than an hour after St. Louis routed Houston 8-0 to claim at least a share of the wild card. The Cardinals earned it outright when David Herndon earned his first career save by getting Freddie Freeman to hit into a season-ending double play. Brewers 7, Pirates 3 At Milwaukee, Zack Greieke capped a perfect

season at home to help Milwaukee clinch homefield advantage in the first round of playoffs. Carlos Gomez, Corey Hart and Jonathan Lucroy homered for the Brewers, who set a franchise record with 96 wins and open an NL division series against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Miller Park tomorrow. If the NL Central champions had tied with NL West winner Arizona in the standings, the Brewers would have started the playoffs on the road. Ryan Braunís pursuit of Mets shortstop Jose Reyes for the NL batting title ended early. He went 0 for 4 to finish at .332. Reyes hit .337. Greinke (16-6) allowed two runs in six innings to finish 11-0 in 15 starts at home, where the Brewers were a major league best 57-24. Gomez hit a three-run shot with two outs in the fourth off rookie starter Jeff Locke (03) that put Milwaukee ahead 5-1. Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 5 At Phoenix, Matt Kemp hit a two-run homer to become the first Dodger in 70 years to lead the NL in home runs and RBIs. Arizona locked up its NL West title last week and will open the NLDS on the road against Milwaukee. The Diamondbacks were quiet in the season finale until the bottom of the ninth when Cole Gillespie hit a grand slam off Ramon Troncosco and Henry Blanco followed with a solo shot. Kenley Jansen ended the rally, getting the final two outs for his fifth save. Kemp hit his 39th homer in the seventh to pass Milwaukeeís Prince Fielder for the league lead and finished with 126 RBIs. Dodgers infielder Eugenio Velez made history when he grounded out as a pinch-hitter in

the seventh to set a modern-day record for nonpitchers with his 46th straight hitless at-bat. Mets 3, Reds 0 At New York, Jose Reyes bunted for a base hit in the first inning against Cincinnati and was lifted for a pinch-runner but it was enough to give him the NL batting title with a .337 average. Ryan Braun, who was at .334 heading into Milwaukeeís regular-season finale against Pittsburgh, went 0 for 4 and finished at .332. Miguel Batista (5-2) pitched a two-hitter for his 11th complete game, his first since July 19, 2006, for Arizona. He allowed a one-out single to Edgar Renteria in the first and leadoff double to Chris Heisey in the second. Mike Baxter hit his first major league homer, a two-run shot off Edinson Volquez (5-7) in the sixth. Nick Evans singled in a run in the fourth. The Mets their third straight losing season at 77-85, two more losses than last year. Cincinnati also had a disappointing season, winding up at 79-83 after winning the NL Central last year with a 91-71 record. Rockies 6, Giants 3 At San Francisco, Kevin Kouzmanoff had three hits and drove in two runs as Colorado sent reigning World Series champion San Francisco into an early offseason. Drew Pomeranz (2-1) outpitched fellow rookie Eric Surkamp (2-2) in their second matchup in two weeks and Jordan Pacheco added two RBI singles for the Rockies (73-89), who snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Giants. San

Francisco (86-76) wound up in second place in the NL West behind Arizona, becoming the first defending champion not to make the playoffs since St Louis in 2007. Mark DeRosa hit a tworun single for the Giants. Nationals 3, Marlins 1 At Miami, Stephen Strasburg allowed one hit and struck out 10 in six scoreless innings for Washington to earn his first win since July 2010 as Florida bid its much-maligned stadium goodbye. Next year the Marlins move into a new ballpark with new manager Ozzie Guillen, who held his introductory news conference before the game. Strasburg (1-1) made his fifth start since returning from elbow surgery. He finished the season with 24 strikeouts in 24 innings and an ERA of 1.50. The Nationals finished 80-81 - their sixth consecutive losing season. Florida wound up last in the NL East at 72-90. Drew Storen completed a three-hitter with a perfect ninth for his 43rd save in 48 chances. Ian Desmond had a two-run single for Washington. Padres 9, Cubs 2 At San Diego, Will Venable hit his first career grand slam and Nick Hundley hit a three-run shot to lift the normally punchless San Diego to a season-ending victory. Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro became the youngest player - at 21 years, 188 days - to lead the NL with 207 hits. He doubled in the eighth to reach base in a career-high 40th straight game and extended his hitting streak to 10 games. He also hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth. The teams both finished 71-91.— AP


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United and City eye League redemption LONDON: Midweek European disappointment for both Manchester clubs could lead to United and City taking out their frustrations on Premier League lesser lights Norwich City and Blackburn Rovers respectively tomorrow. Norwich, who have eased up into mid-table after backto-back wins, should be in for a testing time against the league leaders at Old Trafford (1400 GMT) where Alex Ferguson will have made it quite clear that a second successive slip-up will not be tolerated. United were cruising with a 2-0 lead at home to Basel in the Champions League on Tuesday but in a stunning turnaround, conceded three times before rescuing a draw with a late Ashley Young goal. Ferguson blamed a “lax attitude at the back” for his team’s loss of concentration, although he pointed out that United’s attacking instinct had

lef t his midfield and defense exposed. Norwich are unlikely to cause as many problems as Basel, although the East Anglian side, back in the Premier League for the first time since 2005, have been boosted by wins over Bolton Wanderers and Sunderland. United are set to again be without injured striker Wayne Rooney as he recovers from a hamstring injury but fellow frontman Javier Hernandez could return after suffering a dead leg in the 1-1 draw with Stoke last weekend. “It can be difficult to assess a hamstring injury. Obviously we hope we have him back quickly,” Ferguson said. “(Hernandez’s injury) is straightforward, it’s a dead leg. He should be ready for next Saturday.” While Ferguson waits on news of his key strikers’ fitness, his opposite number across the city, Roberto Mancini,

Scoring records are not my goal: Messi MADRID: Lionel Messi has dismissed talk of chasing records after the Argentine struck twice in Wednesday’s 5-0 Champions League win at BATE Borisov to equal Ladislau Kubala as Barcelona’s second highest scorer of all time on 194 goals. As the Spanish and European champions prepare to take on struggling Sporting Gijon in La Liga on Sunday (1800 GMT), Messi said he was not focused on eclipsing top scorer Cesar Rodriguez, who scored 235 for the Catalan club, but merely wanted to perform for the team. “Cesar is not my goal,” the 24-year-old World Player of the Year, who has netted his goals in only 280 appearances, was quoted as saying on Barca’s website (www.fcbarcelona.cat). “It is to do things well in each match,” the Argentine added. “I know that I am making history and hopefully I can do more.” Messi already has eight goals in five La Liga games this season, including two hat-tricks, as Barca bid for a club record-equalling fourth consecutive domestic title. After a couple of away draws they are second on 11 points, one behind surprise leaders Real Betis, who host Levante, also on 11, earlier on Sunday (1400). Messi made his debut for Barca’s first team in October 2004 and became the club’s youngest league scorer when he netted against Albacete in May 2005 at the age of 17 years, 10 months and seven days. A string of breathtaking performances has landed him the world’s best player award the past two seasons and he has topscored in the Champions League, Europe’s elite club competition, the past three campaigns, when Barca twice won the title and reached the semi-finals. “What Messi is doing is extraordinary, accumulating these numbers and playing for the team,” Spain midfielder Xavi, one of Barca’s club captains, said after the BATE game. “Having the best footballer in the world is priceless.” Striker David Villa, Xavi’s Spain and Barca team mate, added: “Messi is incredible. He will keep exceeding him-

self. We are just happy to help him out in all this.” Barca could be without Carles Puyol for Sunday’s game in Gijon after the shaggy-haired centre back, who has only just returned from knee surgery, picked up a knock in Minsk.

FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi Puyol’s defensive partner Gerard Pique, however, could make his first start since recovering from a calf strain. Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid, who are fifth on 10 points, warmed up for Sunday’s match at Barca’s city neighbours Espanyol (2000) with a 3-0 win at home to Ajax in Champions League Group D on Tuesday. Sevilla, level with Levante on 11 points, play at Atletico Madrid on Sunday (1600), while Valencia, on 10, host promoted Granada tomorrow (1800) following Wednesday’s 1-1 Champions League draw at home to Chelsea. — Reuters

again finds himself embroiled in a row over controversial front man Carlos Tevez who was suspended by the club late on Wednesday. Mancini was also annoyed by his side’s slack defending in a 2-0 Champions League loss at Bayern Munich on Tuesday but was even more irked by Tevez’s apparent refusal to come on a second-half substitute, a move that may have seen him play his last game for a club he desperately wanted to leave over the summer. BAD SITUATION “He refused to come on the pitch. For me that is a bad situation. It’s impossible for a player to refuse to help the team. I can’t accept that one player refused to go in,” Mancini told the club’s website. Argentine Tevez later denied he did not want to play, saying: “There was some confusion on the bench and I believe my posi-

tion may have been misunderstood.” Tevez is suspended for up to two weeks suspension “pending a full review into his alleged conduct” by the club. City, level with United on 16 points but with a worse goal difference, will be confident of quickly returning to winning ways at Ewood Park (1400) against a Blackburn side with just one league win from six games. Thirdplaced Chelsea will be without suspended striker Fernando Torres for their trip to bottom club Bolton on Sunday (1230) following the Spaniard’s red card against Swansea City. Elsewhere, it’s derby day on Merseyside and in North London. Everton host Liverpool at Goodison Park tomorrow (1145) where Liverpool talisman Steven Gerrard should get more playing time after two brief runouts following a six-month layoff with a groin problem. — Reuters

Young guns fire Brazil to 2-0 win over Argentina Captain Ronaldhino targets London Olympics BELEM: Two second half goals to teenage forwards Lucas and Neymar inspired Brazil to a 2-0 victory over arch-rivals Argentina in a friendly played only with home-based players in Belem on Wednesday. The 19year-old Sao Paulo forward Lucas, one of the leading lights in the South American under-20 title earlier this year, capped off an exhilarating run from Brazil’s own half with a well-placed shot nine minutes after the break. Neymar added the second for the hosts in the 76th minute from close range after a low cross from the left from substitute Diego Souza to thrill home fans in the Amazonian city. While Argentina had virtually no senior players on the field, Brazil were boosted by former FIFA player of the year Ronaldinho and 19-year-old Neymar, who has become a first-choice player in the national team despite his youth. Brazil missed out on an early goal when Neymar just failed to connect with a cross in front of the goal line. Captain Ronaldinho also had a chance go begging from a free-kick that sailed just over the bar. Ronaldinho, who has been in fine

form for Brazilian championship contenders Flamengo, was recalled to the national side earlier this month for the 1-0 friendly win over Ghana in London, his first start in nearly a year. The former Barcelona forward, a World Cup winner in 2002, is now seen by Brazil coach Mano Menezes as a mentor for the new generation of players being groomed in the leadup to the 2014 World Cup on home soil. “It’s wonderful to play with Neymar and Lucas, the young talents ... I was called here for that, to give support to these young people,” Ronaldinho told reporters, adding that he was targeting a spot on the team for the London Olympics next year as one of the three permitted over-23 players. “I go step by step, my dream now is to win the Olympic gold that is missing in my career, and then get really well in the 2014 World Cup,” he added. The match in Belem was the second leg of a friendly tournament held annually with only home-based players. The teams drew 0-0 in the first on Sept. 14 in Cordoba, Argentina. — Reuters

Interpol wants Gaddafi son for ‘football crimes’ LYON: World police body Interpol issued an arrest notice yesterday for fallen Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s playboy son Saadi for alleged crimes while head of the country’s football federation. The new Libyan authorities requested the notice against Saadi, believed to be in Niger, “for allegedly misappropriating properties through force and armed intimidation when he headed the Libyan Football Federation,” Interpol said in a statement. Saadi, 38, was last seen in Niger and the red notice calls particularly on countries in the region to help locate and arrest him

“with a view to returning him to Libya where an arrest warrant for him has been issued,” Interpol said. “As the commander of military units allegedly involved in the repression of demonstrations by civilians during Libya’s uprising, Saadi Gaddafi is also subject to a United Nations travel ban and assets freeze,” it said. Interpol said it was the first red notice issued at the request of the National Transitional Council, with previous such notices issued for Gaddafi himself and other members of his family at the request of the International Criminal Court. — AFP


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Italian League Preview

Inter, Napoli clash gets added spice ROME: Inter Milan v Napoli has long been an eagerly anticipated north against south clash in Italian soccer and a strong South American influence now gives the Serie A clash an extra edge. When the teams run out at the San Siro tomorrow (1845 GMT) for a crucial earlyseason contest in the race for the scudetto, well over half the players could hail from that continent. Internazionale Milano, traditionally Italy’s team with strong international links, could line up with nine South Americans. Mauro Zarate, who scored the winner in the Nerazzurri’s midweek Champions League win at CSKA Moscow, looks set to join Uruguay’s Diego Forlan and Argentina’s Diego Milito in attack after Italian Giampaolo Pazzini twisted his ankle in Russia. The team from Naples, the city from which many Italians emigrated to South America at the beginning of the 20th century, is catching up fast. Aurelio De Laurentiis, the Azzurri’s film producer president, undertook a summer spending spree in Argentina, homeland of former Napoli great Diego Maradona, and five south Americans could start despite the loss of Edinson ‘El Matador’ Cavani through injury. Inter’s Argentine captain Javier Zanetti, who this week celebrated a club record 757 appearances, said he would like to remain in Milan even longer. “I would love to stay at Inter and have other responsibilities but it’s not something I’ve thought too much about,” the 38year-old Argentine told club website (www.Inter.it). “I want to dedicate all my energy to the final years of my playing career.” BUOYANT MOOD Fifth from bottom after failing to win any of their opening five matches under Gian Piero Gasperini, Inter, scudetto winners from 2006-2010, go into tomorrow’s match in buoyant mood with two wins out of two for new coach Claudio Ranieri. “Ranieri’s done very well, beyond expectations,” president Massimo Moratti told reporters of his fourth coach since Jose Mourinho led Inter to the Champions League title 16 months ago. “It wasn’t easy but he’s been able to take the squad in hand as much on the psychological side as in tactics.” Moratti, whose side are again likely to be wihout Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder due to a muscle strain, confessed to a soft spot for the big club in Italy’s impoverished south. “We all cheered Napoli on the other night (against Villarreal),” he said. “They are a nice team with players desperate to succeed, but it’s too early to say which one of us is the more likely to challenge for the scudetto.” Napoli, whose title aspirations last season were dented by away defeats to their closest challengers, are banking on a return to form for Macedonian striker Goran Pandev, on loan from Inter. “Unfortunately, Edy [Cavani] is out but we have to give other players their chance to grow,” De Laurentiis, whose side lie fourth after four games, told local station Radio Marte. “I would be pleased if Pandev is fired up to score a goal against his former team mates.” The impressive performances of Juan Zuniga in the right wingback position make the Colombian favorite to start ahead of fit-again Christian Maggio with centre half Ignacio David Fideleff set to replace the injured Salvatore Aronica. Serie A’s other big game of the weekend sees champions AC Milan travel to Turin for the first heavyweight clash at the state-ofthe-art Juventus Arena (Sunday 1845). Juventus, top of the standings alongside Udinese despite two draws in their last two matches, have striker Fabio Quagliarella back after being out for most of 2011 and Milan’s Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic should play after shining in the Rossoneri’s 2-0 Champions league defeat of Viktoria Plzen. Promoted Atalanta travel to resurgent AS Roma in tomorrow’s early game (1600), while on Sunday (1300) Udinese host Bologna and inconsistent Lazio visit fifth-placed Fiorentina. — Reuters

French League Preview

Lyon quartet running out of time to face PSG PARIS: The top two in Ligue 1 lock horns on Sunday in an early battle for supremacy but Olympique Lyon may wish they were visiting Paris St Germain (1900 GMT) just a few days later with four major players probably missing out. Brazilian midfielder Ederson is back in training after missing several months with a knee problem but is unlikely to be risked at PSG with playmaker Yoann Gourcuff and forward Lisandro Lopez also not yet fully fit after injuries. Clement Grenier also looks set to miss out after hobbling off in Tuesday’s 2-0 Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb. Lyon’s good form and the fact Brazil winger Michel Bastos has committed himself to the club until 2015 having seemed poised for a move a few months ago will soften any blow though. Striker Bafetimbi Gomis is also in red-hot form meaning Lisandro is not being missed as much as expected. “Gomis is walking on water right now, we are really happy for him,” team mate Jimmy Briand told reporters.

Lyon and PSG have identical records of 17 points from eight games with the same goal difference and, despite Lille winning the double last term, the duo are favorites with the bookmakers for title glory in the current campaign. The capital side made a slow start after their closeseason spending spree having been bought by ambitious Qatari investors but they are now really hitting their stride. Record French signing Javier Pastore is showing his worth, with the Argentine’s silky skills and eye for goal rarely seen at previous club Palermo, while another recruit from Italy, ex-Juventus midfielder Mohamed Sissoko, is finally fit for a debut. “Players like Sissoko are integrating into the group and are ready to play,” PSG coach Antoine Kombouare told reporters. Inconsistent but seemingly improving Olympique Marseille, who easily beat Borussia Dortmund 3-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday, host Stade Brest on Sunday when Lille in sixth welcome dangerous Stade Rennes. — Reuters

German League Preview

Stevens in spotlight as Schalke face Hamburg

KANSAS: Columbus Crew forward Andres Mendoza (left) and Sporting Kansas City defender Julio Cesar watch the ball get away during an MLS soccer game on Wednesday, Sept 28, 2011. — AP MLS Roundup

Sporting Kansas City beat Crew KANSAS CITY: Sporting Kansas City reclaimed Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference lead after Columbus defender Julius James conceded an own goal in the Crew’s 2-1 loss Wednesday. In the other match, Marco Pappa scored three goals to lift the Chicago Fire to a rare road victory with a 3-0 win at Real Salt Lake. Kei Kamara of Sierra Leone converted a penalty in the 15th minute to open the scoring for Sporting after Chad Marshall brought down C.J. Sapong in the area. Kansas City now has 44 points, two ahead of Houston and three ahead of the Crew. Columbus lost its third straight and fifth from its last six matches. Emilio Renteria equalized for the Crew in the 34th minute after gathering a Robbie Rogers pass. The own goal came in the 74th minute when James headed a Kansas City throw-in back and over keeper Will Hesmer. A record setting crowd of 20,762 at Sandy, Utah watched as Pappa scored in the 9th, 36th and 75th minutes to give Chicago only its second away win of the season. The loss spoiled the return of midfielder Javier Morales, who entered the match as a substitute in the 60th minute. It was the first match for Morales since suffering a gruesome ankle injury in May. — AP

MUNICH: Newly appointed Schalke 04 Coach Huub Stevens will have a baptism of fire on Sunday with his team travelling to Hamburg SV, the club he was negotiating with before surprisingly joining the German Cup winners this week. Angry Hamburg abruptly ended their bid to sign Stevens and cut off negotiations when it became clear that the Dutchman was also talking with Schalke, the club he had led to the 1997 UEFA Cup title. Stevens, who also had a brief stint at Hamburg and saved them from the drop in 2008, was supposed to be the fireman again with Hamburg lying in bottom place on four points from seven games. Instead it will be interim coach Rodolfo Cardoso again sitting on the Hamburg bench (kickoff 1530 GMT) after steering them to their first league win of the season last week. Sports director Frank Arnesen, who joined form Chelsea with the mandate of turning around the former European champions, had to deal with the Stevens fiasco, the latest embarrassment for the only Bundesliga team to have never played in the second division since the introduction of the top flight. “I want a coach who will be 100 percent in favor of working here, that is the feeling I want to have,” Arnesen told the club website (www.hsv.de). “After talks with Stevens I decided it would not be. As to the reasons behind my decision and the details, I would not like to say anything.” Stevens himself was surprised by Hamburg’s decision but hours later signed with Schalke. “These were hectic days. First this story with Hamburg and then Schalke appeared. Obviously you think about it and I think it is legitimate to hold talks. Hamburg were not only talking to one coach either,” he told reporters. Tomorrow (1330), League leaders Bayern Munich, who have won 10 straight games in all competitions, including six in the league, without conceding a single goal, will travel to Hoffenheim, who have moved up to fourth in the league on 12 points under new coach Holger Stanislawski. Bayern are top on 18, two ahead of Werder Bremen and Borussia Moenchengladbach who play Hanover 96 (1330 Sunday) and Freiburg (1330 tomorrow) respectively. Champions Borussia Dortmund, who were crushed 3-0 by Olympique Marseille in the Champions League on Wednesday, should have an easier task at home against promoted Augsburg (1330 Saturday), who are still looking for their first win of the season. — Reuters


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‘Crisis, what crisis?’ asks France defense guru AUCKLAND: If there are deep divisions and rumblings of rebellion running through the French camp at the rugby World Cup, it is news to the squad’s defense guru Dave Ellis at least. Reports about rifts between France coach Marc Lievremont and his players have been rife in the French media since before the tournament started, sparking fears of a meltdown like that suffered by the country’s team at last year’s soccer World Cup. Englishman Ellis, the ‘Rosbif’ who has been helping organize the French defense for the last 12 years, said any putative uprisings had entirely escaped his notice. “It’s quite interesting because lots of friends back home in England or in France send me text messages or emails asking how I am and how I’m coping with all the problems,” he said. “I have to say, what problems?” The Yorkshireman,

speaking before the team headed to Wellington for their final Pool A match against Tonga, said the perception of a troubled camp might come from Lievremont’s sometimes abrasive relationship with the media. “It’s just that Marc at some of the press conferences gets agitated with some of the questions and that evidently makes people think there’s a spanner in the works with everything else that’s going on,” he added. “If there’s problems going on, I certainly haven’t seen them.” Ellis, one of the most highly-regarded defense coaches in rugby, thinks with victories over Japan and Canada and a defeat to the All Blacks, France’s World Cup campaign had started pretty much as most would have predicted. “If you are going to win the World Cup and you’re in a pool with the All Blacks, you’re never going to beat them twice in their own

Scotland out to crush England AUCKLAND: England play Scotland for the 129th time at Eden Park here tomorrow but rarely has so much been at stake as there is for this World Cup Pool B showdown. With Argentina odds on to get the qualifying points they need against Georgia the following day, it is either England or Scotland who will likely be starting to pack their bags for the journey home after they meet. Following the agonizing 13-12 loss to Argentina last weekend, the Scots must win, and win handsomely, if they want to maintain their record of always reaching the quarter-finals of rugby’s top competition. The reward for a Scotland upset win would probably be a matchup against the All Blacks back at Eden Park on October 9. England will be looking for a fourth straight win to set up a quarter-final match with France and they have already made it clear no mercy will be shown to the Scots. The two sides have only met once before in the World Cup when England won 9-6 in the semifinals of the 1991 tournament. It will also be the first time they have played at a neutral venue since they took part in the very first rugby international played in Edinburgh in 1871. Scotland’s players know they have to produce the collective performance of a lifetime if they are to have any chance of ruining England’s hopes of a second World Cup victory. “There’s everything to play for. They’ll be coming out fighting and it’s a classic Scotland-England derby - here we go again,” said Sean Lamont who switches from the wing to inside centre. “We know the job we need to do, but it’s still a lot of pressure. None of the boys are ready to go home yet. None of them. “It’s not a pile of points. Eight points, we need, it’s not a massive difference. “England can leak tries and they’ve shown in this tournament that they can concede, so there’s no reason why we can’t get a few points against them.” Scotland coach Andy Robinson, who formerly coached England, has brought in six new players for the match with the captaincy reverting to lock Alastair Kellock, who missed out on the Argentina game. Also back in are Joe Ansbro, who lines up with Lamont at centre and prop Euan Murray who was not considered for the Pumas game as he opts not to play on Sundays due to his religious beliefs. Mike Blair gets the start at scrum-half in place of Rory Lawson, who was captain against Argentina, Simon Danielli comes in on the wing in place of Lamont and Richie Vernon is at No.8 in place of Kelly Brown. England show three changes to the side that overwhelmed Romania 67-3 in their last match. Matt Stevens, Courtney Lawes and Delon Armitage come in for Alex Corbisiero, Tom Palmer and Mark Cueto. The first two drop to the bench and Cueto has been left out of the match-day 22. Lawes is back in the side at lock after serving a two-match ban for kneeing an opponent in the win over Argentina. “Courtney’s playing very well. He hasn’t played for two weeks but we’re very comfortable with having him in the team,” Johnson said. “We’re reasonably healthy which is great at this point in the tournament and we thought this was the right team.” ”— AFP

country,” he said. “It’s a case of qualifying and if you finish first or second, once you get into the quarter-finals, it’s do or die, you’ve got to win the game.” While disappointed with some of the defending against the All Blacks in last week’s 37-17 defeat, Ellis said knowing France would still be alive even if they lost, and would be in the easier half of the draw, may have played a part in the loss. “You don’t know how that affected them, knowing that you’ve always got a second chance, a get-out-of-jail card if you like,” he said. “I imagine it’s had some sort of effect, knowing that if you get to the quarter-finals you’re going to be playing England and then in the semifinals it’s either South Africa-Australia or Ireland-Wales. “No disrespect to Ireland or Wales but I know which everybody’s choice would be.” France need just one point from their final pool match against

the Tongans in Wellington tomorrow to progress to a likely quarter-final against England and Ellis said he thought they could still go all the way in the tournament. “What you’ve got to look at with France is that with all the other major countries, they need to build consistency,” he concluded. “England need to build consistency and they’ve got to be getting better and better all the time. With the French, they have ups and downs but they can always pull one out of the bag. “They can have a shocker, like in certain periods against the All Blacks, but then the following week they can come out and raise the standards and beat the best in the world. “I think that’s the worrying factor for the other teams, knowing that while France are in the competition, that could happen to anybody.”—Reuters

Injured Sharapova bows out of Pan Pacific Open TOKYO: Maria Sharapova’s effort to avenge her Wimbledon final loss to Petra Kvitova was brought to an abrupt end yesterday after she twisted an ankle in the quarter-finals of the Pan Pacific Open. The Russian world number two was serving 40-15 up at 34 in a well poised first set when she twisted her left ankle on landing after a serve. Sharapova received court-side treatment but decided to retire soon afterwards, giving the Czech a free ticket to the semi-finals. Kvitova, who claimed her first Grand Slam title beating Sharapova in June’s Wimbledon final, will play Vera Zvonareva, in the semis after the Russian beat compatriot Maria Kirilenko 6-3, 6-3 earlier in the day. “It always feels great to be in a semi-final. I’m excited about it. It is always nice to go a little bit further than the previous year. I’m looking forward to my semi-final match,” said Zvonareva. Zvonareva, who stood firm in her game while breaking Kirilenko three times, stretched her winning streak against her rival to six in a row without a loss. “I have no secret,” said the fourth seed. “I’m just trying to play my game, trying to find some chances that can cause her discomfort and trying to execute the way I can. So far it’s been working good for me.” Third seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus produced a storming finish by taking the last nine games to beat Marion Bartoli of France 7-5, 6-0 for a place in the other semi-final. “It was a battle in the first set. Second set I stepped up my level and played a more aggressive style of game. I’m really happy to be in the semis after a little bit of a break as it can sometimes be difficult to get the momentum going,” said Azarenka. Djokovic out of Beijing World number one Novak Djokovic yesterday pulled out of the China Open with injuries he aggravated during Serbia’s Davis Cup semi-final defeat, the tournament website said. The Serb, who had needed treatment on his back during his US Open final win, could be joined as an absentee from next week’s WTA-ATP tournament by Maria Sharapova. The second-ranked Russian rolled her ankle yesterday in a Tokyo loss to Petra Kvitova and quit trailing 4-3 in their quarter-final. Djokovic was told by doctors after the Davis Cup semi-final earlier this month that he would need a month of rest. But he was seen running around a Belgrade football pitch this week in a charity exhibition match. His participation in the Shanghai Masters starting on October 9 appears to be in doubt. World number three Roger Federer has already withdrawn from that event due to injury, insisting he needs rest after a grueling year.— Agencies

TOKYO: Russia’s Maria Sharapova serves to the Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova during their quarterfinal match of the Japan Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament in Tokyo yesterday. Sharapova retired from the match due to an injury. —AP


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Sports

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBNER 30, 2011

England admit cheating in ‘ballgate’ AUCKLAND: England made further unwanted headlines yesterday when they suspended two coaches for illegally swapping match balls, as the World Cup prepared for the make-or-break last round of pool matches. Kicking Coach Dave Alred and strength and conditioning staffer Paul Stridgeon were reprimanded and barred from Auckland’s Eden Park stadium for Saturday’s game against Scotland following the incident last week. The two admitted using different balls for conversions than the one used to score the tries, which is against rugby rules, during England’s 67-3 win in Dunedin against Romania. They were warned twice by referee Romain Poite. “Two members of the team management, David Alred and Paul Stridgeon, mistakenly thought that there was an

issue with some of the match balls,” said a statement from England’s Rugby Football Union (RFU). “Those team management members took it upon themselves to substitute balls during the match in contravention of both the laws of the game and the spirit of the game. “The RFU fully accepts that the action of those team management members was incorrect and detrimental to the image of the tournament, the game and to English rugby.” England have had to deal with a number of untoward incidents including stories about centre Mike Tindall, who was seen embracing a blonde woman at a dwarf-throwing contest, just weeks after marrying royal heir Zara Phillips. And lock Courtney Lawes became the first player to be suspended at the World Cup after kneeing Argentina hooker Mario Ledesma in the

head during a tackle. Wilkinson insisted the latest problem had not distracted the team from preparations to face Scotland at Auckland’s Eden Park on Saturday, where both teams can clinch a quarter-final spot. “You’d be surprised that it doesn’t impact upon the rugby side of things. There’s two sides of life when you’re out here, you’re on the field and off the field,” he told reporters earlier. Lawes returned to the England team after serving his two-match ban while Coach Martin Johnson preferred Delon Armitage on the wing to Mark Cueto, despite his hat-trick of tries against Romania. “Delon has played very well. We’re very comfortable with him playing there and Mark has obviously had limited game time since he’s been here, so another good week of training for

him will be great,” said Johnson. Scotland made six changes for the game while Australia, who face Russia, are in the midst of an injury crisis so severe they named a backrower on the wing with two scrumhalves and two hookers on the bench to make up the numbers. “We’ve got four backs coming back to us next week so (injuries) shouldn’t be an issue going forwardunless we have a train smash this weekend,” said coach Robbie Deans, fearing further casualties in tomorrow’s game. France are likely to book their quarterfinal berth against Tonga on Saturday and Wales also have a straightforward task against Fiji. But Ireland and Italy face a Six Nations shoot-out for a qualifying spot in the very last pool game on Sunday, with the winners due to join Australia in the next round. — AFP

World Cup braces for weekend showdowns

AUCKLAND: Combo shows Russia’s Alexander Yanyushkin (right) and Australian Wallabies Luke Burgess in Sydney. Australia will play Russia their 2011 Rugby World Cup pool C match in Nelson today. — AFP

Bruised Wallabies pray for clean injury sheet DUNEDIN: Robbie Deans hopes to avoid a “train smash” this weekend after Australia’s lengthy injury list forced the coach to name loose forward Radike Samo on the wing against Russia for their final rugby World Cup Pool C match tomorrow. The 35-year-old Samo scored a try on the wing in Australia’s costly 675 win over the United States that left the Wallabies reeling with a number of backline injuries. Pat McCabe (shoulder), Kurtley Beale (hamstring), Digby Ioane (broken thumb), Rob Horne (broken cheek) and Anthony Faingaa, who was knocked out against the US, are all on the sidelines, leaving the rampaging number eight Samo to start out wide for the match in Nelson. “It’s a position he’s familiar with,” Deans said of Samo’s role. “He started on the wing and as recently as last weekend you saw him there. “He’s a remarkable athlete. He’s 35, I understand, and he can still run really fast.” Samo’s pace was on show in the Wallabies’ 25-20 Tri-Nations victory over the All Blacks in Brisbane when he burst clear and outsprinted winger Cory Jane and fullback Mils Muliaina to the line to score a memorable 65-metre try. Samo will run outside

Adam Ashley-Cooper after the versatile back was shifted from the wing to centre. Despite the injury crisis, Deans was confident of more options when the quarter-finals begin on Oct 8. ONLY TWO BACKS Autralia are expected to finish second in Pool C after their earlier 15-6 loss to Ireland and play the winner of Pool Dlikely to be world champions South Africa-in Wellington. “We’ve got four backs coming back to us next week so it shouldn’t be an issue going forward, unless we have a train smash this weekend,” he said. Deans may well have his fingers crossed. Due to World Cup rules that only allow teams to replace injured players that have been definitively ruled out of the tournament, the New Zealander has only two backs at his disposal on the bench for tomorrow-Will Genia and Nick Phipps, a pair of scrumhalves. “They’re both pretty able to that end,” Deans said when asked about the likelihood of their playing out of their favoured positions should further injuries strike. “Will (Genia) is clearly able, he’s a good organizer, he’s got good

speed. Nick Phipps has got a sevens background so he’s played in nearly every role as well. “That’s the way we tend to approach our work anyway. We don’t stick to the traditional role-play of numbers on backs.” Loose forward Wycliff Palu was ruled out of the tournament earlier this week after he suffered a hamstring injury, though the decision on a replacement for the number eight may not be made until after the Wallabies finish pool play. There was some good news for Deans, though, with openside flanker David Pocock returning to the side after missing games against Ireland and the US with a back injury. Berrick Barnes, who impressed when he came on as a replacement against the US, also makes his first start of the tournament at inside centre for the match, where he teams with Ashley-Cooper, who scored a hattrick of tries in seven minutes last week. Captain James Horwill is back in the starting side after missing the US match to rest a nagging shoulder injury, while utility back James O’Connor and Scott Higginbotham will also start after recovering from a hamstring and back complaint respectively. — Reuters

DUNEDIN: The rugby World Cup paused for breath yesterday with a rare rest day as attention turned to the preparations of the 13 teams hoping this weekend’s final round of pool games will send them into the quarter-finals. Several nations in action over the weekend have drawn on recent clashes for inspiration, or as a warning, but when it comes to England against Scotland they have 140 years-worth of rivalry to call upon. The British neighbors, who played rugby’s first international match in 1871, meet for the 129th time but their first on neutral ground in Auckland in tomorrow’s night special. England, who lead Pool B after three wins, are favorites and need only a draw to top the group while Scotland will almost certainly need not only a win but one with a bonus point to maintain their record of reaching at least the quarter-finals of every World Cup. Mark Cueto, who scored a hat-trick against Romania last week after coming back from injury, was left out of England’s match 22 as manager Martin Johnson opted for converted fullback Delon Armitage on the left wing. Scotland captain and lock Alastair Kellock returns amid seven changes from the side beaten at the death by Argentina last week as coach Andy Robinson said he wanted to introduce more pace to the side. “There’s a lot of chaos in England-Scotland games and the thing is to be able to think clearly in that chaos, and one of the things we’re looking to do tomorrow is play really quickly,” said Robinson, who faced Scotland as an England player and coach. Johnson said he had not spent any time considering the bonus point situation and group variables. “It’s knockout rugby, let’s not worry about points differences and things like that. We’ve got to win, they’ve got to win, it’s what World Cups are about,” he said. COACHES BANNED England’s preparations suffered a minor blip yesterday as they banned assistant coaches David Alred and Paul Stridgeon from tomorrow’s match as punishment for switching balls used by Jonny Wilkinson to kick conversions in Saturday’s win over Romania. Tournament organizers said there would be no further sanctions but warned of “severe punishment” if there was any repeat. While England have reached their fourth game relatively unscathed, Australia have been so hard-hit that coach Robbie Deans was forced to name 35-year-old loose forward Radike Samo, who scored a try against the US, on the wing for tomorrow’s game against Russia. Fortunately for Deans, he could probably field the entire 1991 Wallaby backline and still get the bonus-point victory that should send them through. “We’ve got four backs coming back to us next week so it shouldn’t be an issue going forward, unless we have a train smash this weekend,” said Deans, who expects to have more selection options for a probable quarter-final with South Africa. The Springboks should take their place by beating Samoa today but winger Bryan Habana, who scored four tries in his side’s 59-7 victory over the islanders at the last World Cup, said he expected a hard night’s work. “That first 20 minutes against Samoa in 2007 was some of the toughest test match rugby I have ever played,” Habana said.—Reuters


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Sports

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

West Indies’ Samuels cleared to bowl NEW DELHI: The West Indies were given a boost yesterday ahead of their Bangladesh tour when allrounder Marlon Samuels was cleared to bowl by the sport’s world governing body. The off-spinner, a key member of the West Indies Test, one-day and Twenty20 squads for the tour, had been suspended from bowling after being reported for a suspect action in 2008. The International Cricket Council (ICC) said an independent test had found Samuels’

action to be legal following significant remedial work, and he could resume bowling. “A comprehensive analysis revealed that his mean elbow extension was now comfortably within the 15-degree level of tolerance permitted under the relevant regulations,” the ICC said in a statement. The independent analysis was performed by Bruce Elliott, a member of the ICC’s panel of human movement specialists, at the University of Western

India selectors axe Harbhajan CHENNAI: India’s cricket selectors yesterday left out star spinner Harbhajan Singh for the first two one-day internationals of next month’s home series against England. Harbhajan, 31, paid the price for a poor Test series in England where India were humbled 4-0 and lost their number one ranking, before suffering a 3-0 defeat in one-dayers. The off-spinner bagged just two wickets in as many Tests at an average of 143.50 before heading home with an abdominal strain. Harbhajan has been a regular member of the Indian team since his debut in 1998, claiming 406 wickets in 98 Tests and 259 wickets in 229 one-day internationals. His absence further weakens the injury-ravaged world champions, who picked three rookies in a new-look 15-man squad for the first two matches in Hyderabad on October 14 and New Delhi on Oct 17. Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina are the only survivors from the side that defeated Sri Lanka in the World Cup final in Mumbai on April 2. Missing are batting stars Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh, three frontline seamers, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel and Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, and Harbhajan. Sreesanth and Harbhajan were not considered for selection, while the others have not recovered from injuries suffered during the England tour. Tendulkar, 38, the world’s leading Test and one-day batsman, is one century away from becoming the first player to score 100 international hundreds. Leg-spinner Rahul Sharma, 24, left-arm seamer Sreenath Aravind, 27, and fast bowler Varun Aaron, 21, are without international experience. Aaron was part of India’s one-day squad in England but did not play a match. The selectors named Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Sharma as the three spinners, while Praveen Kumar will lead the new-ball attack that also includes Umesh Yadav and Vinay Kumar. The squad for the remaining matches in Mohali (Oct 20), Mumbai (Oct 23) and Kolkata (Oct 25), and the lone Twenty20 international in Kolkata on Oct 29, will be named later. The series will be India’s first at home since winning the World Cup.—AFP

Misbah eyes top four Test spot for Pakistan KARACHI: Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul Haq yesterday said he has targeted a top four Test spot for his side with an eye on qualification for the inaugural World Test Championship in 2013. The four top teams in the ICC (International Cricket Council) standings in mid-January 2013 will progress to the first World Test Championships scheduled to be played in England later that year. “We can come in the top four to feature in the Test championship and that’s one of the aims in our next three important series,” said Misbah, appointed captain for all three formats of the game last month. Misbah led Pakistan to a clean-sweep over Zimbabwe earlier this month, winning the one-off Test, all three one-days and both the Twenty20 internationals. His team now plays Sri Lanka over three Tests, five one-days and a Twenty20, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) next month because of security fears in Pakistan. Pakistan currently lie sixth in the ICC Test rankings and need to win against fifth-placed Sri Lanka and their next two seriesagainst world number one England and Bangladesh, who are ranked ninth.—AFP

Australia, Perth, this month. The spinner’s action, however, will continue to be scrutinized by match officials to ensure it remained legal, the ICC statement added. Samuels, currently in Dubai with the West Indies team for a one-week camp ahead of the Bangladesh tour, said he was pleased to know he could resume bowling in international cricket. “I have been waiting for this moment for a while now,” a West Indies Cricket Board statement quoted Samuels as say-

ing.”I am mainly a batsman in the team but it feels good to know that I can again contribute to the team in another area-with the ball. I am the kind of player who likes to be always involved in the game.” Part-time spinner Samuels, 30, has so far bagged 57 wickets in one-day internationals and seven in Tests. The West Indies, who arrive in Dhaka on October 4, will play two Tests, three one-day internationals and a one-off Twenty 20 match in Bangladesh.— AFP

World’s craziest sporting fixtures Cricket match at the sea? THE SOLENT: With military precision, a flotilla of eccentric Englishmen took to the waves Wednesday to contest one of the world’s craziest sporting fixtures: a cricket match played in the sea. To the certain bemusement of passengers on ocean liners sailing past, cricketers dressed in traditional whites jumped out of their boats and did what madcap Brits do in the middle of busy shipping lanesplay cricket. The annual match takes place on Bramble Bank, a tiny patch of sand that emerges for 30 minutes at the year’s lowest tide in The Solent, the strait separating the south coast of mainland England from the Isle of Wight. Every September, the Royal Southern Yacht Club from Hamble on the mainland takes on The Island Sailing Club from Cowes, meeting half way on a few square metres of soggy sand. With dry land-and anyone with any common sense-several nautical miles away in either direction, yachts drop anchor at the still-invisible pitch an hour before the Moon and Sun combine to reveal the Brambles. “We wait for the covers to be removed,” said umpire Philip Gage, eagerly watching the sonar depth reading on board his yacht. “The fact is, this is total nonsense, and total nonsense is extremely enjoyable,” he said, with a smile. The vanguard jumps overboard to test the water, plunging in waist deep. When it finally reaches the ankles, dozens leap out from their rib boats, scramble towards the largest dry patch, and quickly set up the stumps. The wicket is damp to say the least, with puddles and channels between the two ends. With barely 30 minutes to play around with and seven overs per side to cram in, the teams get straight down to action. The action is comical, with fielders diving into the water for catches and easy run-outs as batsmen stumble over in the puddles. Some impressive sixes have brave fielders wading out towards Southampton to retrieve the ball, while a young schoolboy standing in the square leg position was in up to his knees as he prepared to catch anything heading Portsmouth way. A Labrador dog roamed around the pitch, as did a man on an old-fashioned penny-far-

The Solent: A cricketer takes part in an annual cricket match at sea on Bramble bank, in The Solent, near the Isle of Wight. — AFP thing bicycle. In beautiful autumn evening sunshine, more than 100 spectators crammed around the exposed sand, standing within meters of the batsmen, and many got a good soaking as they dodged shots. “This is extreme cricket,” said onlooker Tony Scarth, 54, an engineer from Warsash on the mainland. “It’s also pretty English. Where else do they play cricket in the sea?” Batting at number four for the Royal Southern was Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. The first man to circumnavigate the globe non-stop single-handed scored nought, but trudged back into the shallows insisting: “I maintained my average!” Anything landing in the sea should score six, but in truth the scoreboard is farcical and each club takes it in turns to win and host the post-match supper. At the change of innings, the players rushed down a gin and tonic, with Royal Southern having scored an improbable 284. “The key to the bowling is to pitch it just at the edge of a puddle,” said Knox-Johnston. “That way the batsman gets a face full of water and the ball might still reach him,” the 72-year-old said. One Island batsman was clean bowled, knocking over not only his offstump but several drinks too.

Independence of the Seas, a giant 15deck cruise ship heading to Spain, honked its horn as it passed the bizarre spectacle. With the rising tide slowly flooding the wicket, umpire Gage called time, sparking a scramble to get back on the boats as within minutes, the entire pitch had vanished. The annual match has been played for nearly 30 years, though cricket on the bank dates back to at least the 1960s. “Everyone can go out on boats, mysteriously this bit of sand appears and everyone can go and play on it. That’s the magic of it,” said former Royal Southern commodore Tom Richardson, who founded the contest. “This year was a gentle match. In the past, an element of rugby has crept in.” The trophy ceremony back at the Royal Southern clubhouse was held up as Island forgot to bring the shield with them and had to return to the Isle of Wight to fetch it. In his jovial victory speech, Royal Southern cricket captain Mark Tomson summed up the fun and games. “There are few days every year that one really looks forward to: your birthday, wedding anniversary if you can remember it, the day your wife agrees to have sex and the Brambles cricket match!”—AFP


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The Solent: A cricketer takes part in an annual cricket match at sea on Bramble bank, in The Solent, near the Isle of Wight. —AFP

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World Cup braces for weekend showdowns Page 62

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World’s craziest sporting fixtures Page 63


Friday Times - 30 Sep