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Birth anniversary of the great leader, Kim Jong Il

US Marines face fierce resistance in Afghan assault PAGE 12

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in the news 5-day holiday from Feb 25 KUWAIT: The National Day and Liberation Day holidays which this year coincide with Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) birthday will last for five days, beginning from Thursday, Feb 25 to Monday, March 1. Civil Service Commission Chairman Abdulaziz Al-Zibn announced workplaces will reopen on Tuesday, March 2, reported Al-Qabas. Al-Zibn explained that Monday, March 1 has been allocated as a national holiday to compensate for Liberation Day and the Prophet’s (PBUH) birthday falling together on Friday, Feb 26.

Daily fined over Israel ad KWUAIT: A Kuwaiti newspaper was fined KD 3,000 ($10,400) for printing a pro-Israeli advertisement justifying the Jewish state’s war on Gaza, Al-Jarida newspaper reported yesterday. The fine was slapped on Al-Watan Daily for allowing the printing of the advertisement in the International Herald Tribune, which it prints and distributes locally in the state. The advertisement was sponsored by the US-based Jewish Anti-Defamation League (ADL) during the 22-day Israeli offensive on Gaza Strip that was launched on Dec 27, 2008. Al-Watan’s lawyer, Rashid Al-Radaan, told AFP that he has challenged the verdict at the appeals court, saying that the newspaper did not deliberately allow the printing of the advertisement. “The printing of this advert was not done on purpose,” he said, adding that the IHT goes directly to the press without being checked by AlWatan. Three Kuwaiti lawyers sued Al-Watan Daily although the paper had issued an apology to its readers for running the advertisement. About 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed during the Gaza offensive.

NO: 14642

South Africa strike after Sehwag, Tendulkar centuries

Saudi Arabia preparing for oil demand to peak PAGE 21


Busairi to probe KAC violations Financial panel completes debating half of privatization bill By B Izzak

Jazeera buys leasing firm KUWAIT: Kuwaiti carrier Jazeera Airways said it has fully acquired Sahaab Aircraft Leasing Co, a leasing firm launched in 2008 for KD 25.6 million ($88.77 million). “The acquisition gives Jazeera Airways a platform to pursue strategic vertical integration initiatives lined up for 2010 and 2011 that include an airline acquisition and access to global leasing markets,” Jazeera said in a statement yesterday. “Sahaab will have a minimum fleet of 38 Airbus A320s by 2016 based on confirmed orders with the manufacturer,” the statement said. It currently has a fleet of nine Airbus A320s. Jazeera, which competes with United Arab Emirates-based carriers Air Arabia and flydubai, has a firm order for 29 Airbus A320 aircraft and currently operates 11 planes across the Middle East and Egypt. (See Page 23)

KUWAIT: Security personnel with sniffer dogs search the Philippines Embassy after a bomb threat was made over the phone, which turned out to be a hoax. — Photo by Joseph Shagra (See Page 3)

Houthis free Saudi soldier SANAA: Yemeni Shiite rebels handed over yesterday the first of five Saudi soldiers held captive since their three-month border war, amid efforts to consolidate a four-day-old ceasefire with the Sanaa government. “The Saudi soldier, Yahya Abdullah al-Khuzai, was handed over today (Monday) in the city of

Saada to mediators,” working on implementing the truce, rebel spokesman Mohammed Abdul Salam told AFP by telephone. “This is a humanitarian gesture to ease tension. The other side (Saudis) should work now to end the prisoners issue,” he said, adding that Khuzai had a leg injury. A mediator

confirmed the release and told AFP that efforts were under way to “release the other four captives within hours.” The official Saudi news agency SPA, meanwhile, said the prisoner was evacuated by helicopter to Sanaa where he was handed over to Continued on Page 13

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KUWAIT: Communications Minister Mohammad AlBusairi said yesterday that he informed the National Assembly’s budgets committee that he has ordered the formation of an independent committee to probe violations cited by the Audit Bureau in the closing statements of Kuwait Airways Corp (KAC). Busairi told reporters after a meeting with the budgets committee that “no one will escape accountability if proven to be involved in the violations at KAC whether before or after its privatization”. The meeting was held at the request of the committee to study wide-ranging violations in KAC’s last four fiscal years in which between KD 150 and 200 million of accumulated losses were reported. Busairi said the meeting was positive as he answered questions about the KAC closing statements between 2004-2008, adding that these closing statements should be approved in order to complete the privatization procedures of the carrier. The Assembly must approve the closing statements of KAC in order for the government to pay the shortfalls. Busairi said that all violations reported by the Audit Continued on Page 13

Kuwait to restudy 2 key oil projects KOC eyes more gas production KUWAIT: OPEC member Kuwait plans to re-examine two key oil projects soon, a top oil executive said yesterday, after political disputes stalled the ventures, estimated to cost about $30 billion. “The two projects will shortly be referred to the Supreme Petroleum Council which has the ultimate decision-making authority on oil projects,” Saad Al-

Shuwayeb, chief executive of national conglomerate Kuwait Petroleum Corp, told the official KUNA news agency. The projects include building a 615,000-barrels per day refinery for an estimated $15 billion, and upgrading two of three existing refineries at the cost of another $15 billion. Continued on Page 13

6,000 expats to get free checkup 1,000 domestics deported KUWAIT: Executive Director of Al-Rahma (Mercy) committee for medical services of AlNajat charitable society Dr Salah Malallah said yesterday that the committee would hold a medical charity forum to examine foreign workers free of charge on the occasion of the national holidays of Kuwait on

Feb 25. Malallah said in a statement that the activities of the forum will be held in workers’ camps in Amghara, home to more than 6,000 workers with the participation of more than 15 volunteer doctors from all disciplines as well as pharmacists, nurses and volunteers. Continued on Page 13

Bharti eyes Africa in bid for Zain ops Kharafi confident of cash deal NEW DELHI/LONDON: Bharti Airtel is in exclusive talks to buy most of Kuwaiti telecom group Zain’s African business, the Indian firm’s third attempt at gaining a foothold in a continent that offers a last opportunity for

major subscriber growth. Under the exclusivity period the companies have until March 25 to seal the $10.7 billion deal - the second largest in the industry this year after Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim’s Continued on Page 13

Clinton: Iran becoming a military dictatorship

HALLE, Belgium: An injured passenger on a stretcher is helped out of the wreckage by rescue workers following a collision yesterday. — AP

18 killed as Belgian trains crash head-on BRUSSELS: A rush-hour commuter train sped through a red signal and slammed into an oncoming train as it left a suburban Brussels station yesterday, killing at least 18 people and disrupting rail traffic in northern Europe. Investigations into one of the worst accidents on the Belgian rails were likely to focus on whether human error was responsible or if it could have been influenced by the persistently freezing temperatures that have iced up the European capital. Officials said 80 people were injured, 20 of them seriously, and the death toll - 15 men and three women was not considered final. As darkness fell more than 10 hours later, rescuers were still looking for victims in the wreckage, said Jos Colpin, the spokesman for the federal prosecutor’s office. The fate of the two drivers

was not immediately known, and officials said they were having difficulty identifying some of the victims. The trains, carrying a total of about 300 passengers, collided in light snow just outside of the station at Buizingen about 15 km from Brussels around 8:30 am. The impact peeled away the front of one train car and threw at least one other off the tracks, severing the limbs of some passengers, witnesses and officials said. One engine was thrust high into the air and snapped overhead power lines. “When we came out we saw dead bodies lying next to the tracks, some mutilated,” said Patricia Lallemand, 40, who was in a middle car of one train and was unhurt. Lodewijk De Witte, the governor of the province of Flemish Brabant, told reporters one Continued on Page 13

different points of RIYADH: US Secretary view within the leadof State Hillary Clinton ership circle, that is held talks in Saudi part of the reason Arabia yesterday looking why we are so conto rally support for cerned with what we tough new UN sanctions see is going on against Iran, which she there.” warned is turning into a The Revolutionary “military dictatorship” Guards continue to be bent on building a the military guardian nuclear weapon. The US of revolutionary chief diplomat flew in on leader Ayatollah her first visit to the oilRuhollah Khomeini’s rich kingdom after using Islamic ideology, but some of the strongest own large language yet about RIYADH: US Secretary of also events in Iran from an State Hillary Clinton drinks tranches of Iran’s administration which traditional Arabic coffee economy. The United just a year ago had upon her arrival at the air- States last week imposed a fresh sought to hold out the port yesterday. — AP round of sanctions hand of friendship. She went straight into talks with against the elite force and hopes for her Saudi counterpart Prince Saud Al- UN sanctions. Clinton told reporters on the plane Faisal before heading to Rawdat Khurayim, King Abdullah’s desert to Saudi Arabia that Iran’s clerical and camp 60 km northeast of Riyadh, for political leadership was either distracttalks in a tent-like air conditioned ed by the political turmoil over last June’s disputed presidential election building. Speaking to students earlier in elections last June or “ceding ground” neighbouring Qatar, just across the to the Guards. Asked whether she was Gulf from Iran, Clinton said that the pessimistic about the chances that whole region had reason to fear Iran’s Iran’s nuclear program could be nuclear program and the growing influ- reversed under such circumstances, ence of the elite Revolutionary she replied: “It depends on whether Guards. Clinton said the United States the clerical and political leadership was not aiming to use military action begin to reassert themselves.” US officials acknowledged that to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions but rather seeking to build support for Clinton had used the most forceful lantough new sanctions at the UN guage yet about Iran from the administration of President Barack Obama. In Security Council. She said the package Washington her talks in Saudi Arabia, aides said wanted adopted “will be particularly she would press Saudi leaders to use aimed at those enterprises controlled their influence with China to secure a by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, change of heart on Iran sanctions. which we believe is in effect supplanti- China appears to be the strongest ng the government of Iran. “We see holdout to sanctions among the five the government of Iran, the supreme veto-wielding permanent members of leader, the president, the parliament is the UN Security Council. Clinton’s top assistant for the being supplanted and Iran is moving toward a military dictatorship,” she Middle East, Jeffrey Feltman, told said. “They are in charge of the reporters travelling with her that nuclear program. It’s a far cry from the China had an “important trading Continued on Page 13 Islamic republic that had elections and

Dubai: A combo of pictures released yesterday by Dubai Police shows the pictures of 11 suspects the Gulf emirate’s police announced they are searching over the murder of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh, a top Hamas militant, on Jan 20. — AFP

Dubai: Mabhouh killed by European hit squad 11 suspects named • Two Palestinians held DUBAI: Dubai’s police chief said yesterday an 11-member hit squad with European passports was responsible for killing a Hamas commander in his hotel room last month, and did not rule out Israeli involvement. The Gulf emirate released photos, names, nationalities and passport numbers of all 11 suspects. Hamas military commander Mahmoud AlMabhouh was found dead in a Dubai luxury hotel last month, and the Palestinian Islamist militant group has blamed the Jewish state for

Dhahi Khalfan Tamim

the killing. Israel has declined to comment. The suspects included people from Britain, Ireland, Germany and France, Dubai police chief Dhahi Khalfan Tamim told reporters. One is a woman. A leading suspect, who carried a French passport, had lef t Dubai for Munich via Qatar after the killing, Tamim added. “We have no doubts that it was 11 people holding these passports, and we regret that they used the travel documents of friendly countries. Continued on Page 13



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sheikh Ahmad may lose information post

Limited cabinet reshuffle in the pipeline, say insiders KUWAIT: MPs who still support bringing a grilling motion against Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah, the Minister of Oil and of Information, are reportedly optimistic that the government may still dismiss him from the information minister’s post while retaining him as oil minister. One political insider has predicted that there may shortly be a limited cabinet reshuffle, Meanwhile, rules created prior to the establishment of the constitution remain valid as long as they do not conflict with the constitutional regulations, according to a senior Kuwaiti academic discussing the current controversy over the country’s Chamber of Commerce. Speaking in an interview broadcast on Al-Watan TV, Dr. Obaid Al-Wasmi, a professor of procedural law at Kuwait University, suggested that there is a pro-

Study on AIDS in Kuwait

UK ambassador presents credentials KUWAIT: A celebration was held at the Bayan Palace yesterday morning to mark the presentation of the new UK Ambassador to Kuwait’s credentials to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. The celebration was attend-

ed by the Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah Deputy Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Ali Jarrah Al-Sabah and

Undersecretary Ibrahim Mohammad Al-Shatti. The event was also attended by the director of His Highness the Amir’s office Ahmad Fahad Al-Fahad, head of Amiri Protocol Sheikh Khalid AlAbdullah Al-Sabah and other senior officials. — KUNA

KUWAIT: A study is currently being carried out about the prevalence of the HIV virus in Kuwait by an international consultant for the Global HIV/AIDS Program, with a report to be issued containing the study’s findings. Dr. Shadi Saleh, the consultant in question and the official in charge of the study, is being assisted in his investigation by local consultant, Dr Hind AlShumar, reported Al-Qabas. The biennial report studies all aspects concerning the disease in countries around the world following international standards, with its findings including the percentage of governmental and international spending on treating those with the disease. Speaking at a press conference following his meeting with the Ministry of Health’s Deputy Assistant for Public Health Affairs, Dr Saleh explained that the report gives details of the percentages of HIV positive individuals receiving treatment in each country. The report on Kuwait’s HIV statistics will be released in two parts, Dr Saleh revealed, adding that he will be returning to the country in March.

cedural flaw in the chamber’s governing regulations, which came about as a result of the law in force at the time of its establishment three years before the introduction of the constitution. The prominent academic said that the laws governing the Chamber of Commerce became legal as per the customary rules after the procedures carried out prior to their introduction. Dr. Al-Wasmi also indicated that a law

envisaging that prominent local media figure Sami Al-Nisf may be promoted to the information minister’s post, reported Al-Rai. The insider said that MPs who support Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah’s grilling over his performance in the information minister’s post are currently “holding fire” in anticipation of the rumored reshuffle. which conflicted with subsequent legislation could be annulled, reported AlWatan. He also described the ministers’ responses to questions from MP Dr. Hassan Jowhar about the issue as “political answers,” asserting that the failure of four ministers to take responsibility for providing satisfactory responses to the MP’s queries was politically unacceptable. The professor also called for a parlia-

mentary question to be submitted to His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah, asking the premier to specify which body has the right to monitor and audit the Chamber of Commerce’s activities, as laid out in the 1959 legislation governing it. Dr. Al-Wasmi also explained that, from the constitutional viewpoint, the Ministry of Commerce is responsible for the Chamber of Commerce.

local spotlight

Terror gets an easy ride! By Muna Al-Fuzai


ould you g i v e money online to an individual or organization which you don’t know in person? How many people are actually willing to donate to unfamiliar charity groups? If you’d guess that it would be only a few, I have a surprise for you; down the years, I’ve seen many people in Kuwait giving money for a cause and sometimes for no cause without knowing where their money is going, having any idea about who they’ve given their money to or knowing who are the real beneficiaries. The worst part is the misuse of the term ‘charity’ by many organizations, even by terrorist groups, as a justification for collecting money! I have to say that, in Kuwait for example, not all charity organizations are legal or authorized or approved by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor or any official state departments to raise funds. There

are many people here, however, who don’t really care about this - these people are not naive and may even be well educated in some cases, but they simply don’t care enough to check out who they are donating to, giving their money in the belief that it will be used for a good cause. Many here don’t care what happens to their money, wanting only to enjoy the feeling of giving something. If that money is misused, however, how can one take pleasure in having given it? Recent reports in local media suggest that the Al-Qaeda terrorist group is in financial trouble and has thus chosen an easy way of raising money from those who still believe in its cause or from those who want to give to a charity and will consider donating to any organization claiming to be doing charity work, such as saving the poorest, most helpless women and children, which is the line used by all charity groups, even those belonging to the UN. All these charities use women and children, even the terrorist groups which kill and abuse women day and night and will use any money coming their way to kill anyone who gets in their way. Here in Kuwait, you may know some-

body who claims to be doing some charity work for such an organization, but knowing a person doesn’t justify the cause he or she is supporting or exclude the possibility that he or she is as naive as you are and doesn’t know who s/he’s working for. Just remember that terror attacks are enabled because of a lack of caution, rather than a lack of knowledge or technical equipment. My advice is to never give money to any organization unless it is authorized by a body recognized by the international community, such as the UN, and never donate money through your credit card. If you really want to do some good by giving, find someone who you know, perhaps someone who’s been hit due to the recession or who’s lost a job and as a result is about to lose his or her house back home; that person will be thankful to you, unlike those terrorists. Alternatively, think of anyone who’s sick and needs medicine or other items and give him or her a helping hand. In the end, after all, terrorists may use your own money to kill you.

Exxon Mobil supports educational initiatives KUWAIT: Exxon Mobil Exploration and Production Kuwait Limited, is “dedicated to supporting programs that generate an interest in science education and provide career options for students,” company President John Hoholick said. His comments were made at an event honoring the winners of a scientific competition hosted by the company at Bayan Bilingual School. “Kuwait needs future scientists and engineers and such activities are an investment in the future of these students,” he noted. The remarks were made in a press release announcing the eight winning papers and projects presented for the competition. The release announced that the winners will be awarded an opportunity to visit the company’s refinery in the UK to expand their knowledge of the oil and gas sector. The winners will also visit The Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, in April. The scientific competition, Hoholick said, was part of an ongoing policy to expose students and young people to the possibilities and advances in the oil sector beyond the class room and the limited school curricula. High School Principal of Bayan School, Jihad Sadeddin said “we are happy our students got the chance to express their views on scientific developments in the past decade. Writing an essay on a specific scientific topic helps them add their own knowledge to the things they learned in the classroom. The students can put it all into a framework based on analytical thinking skills, which will expand their awareness and capabilities,” he said.— KUNA

KUWAIT: King Letsie III of Lesotho and his accompanying delegation visiting the Scientific Center yesterday.

Human trades at ‘Jleeb’ cells KUWAIT: Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh continues to be a safe haven for violators where an ‘Asian mafia’ disobeys the law and enforces their own set of rules. Frequent violations in this area include the theft of state property such as copper cables from power plants, steel covers from manholes and illegal international phone call centers. Also quite common in the area is the robbing of camps,

farms, chalets and stables, reported Al-Watan. Other violations include bootlegging, prostitution and pornography. A new kind of lawbreaking has emerged in the area recently. Individuals have built hidden prisons in traditional homes to lock up those they find guilty of breaking their own set of rules. These cells are also used to hold maids abducted from homes or

streets. They are then sold in the ‘Market of Thieves,’ which is located in front of an area commonly known as ‘Satan’s Roundabout.’ These human traffickers sell maids at prices ranging between KD 150 and KD 300, depending on their outside appearance and nationality. This latest discovery was made by Farwaniya police who raided a brothel based on a tip

regarding these types of operations. After authorities broke through a wooden front door they discovered that the brothel was shielded by a steel gate. It took great effort from officials to break in. Once inside, police found several Asian women locked up and ready to be sold. These steel gates have spread rapidly in the area and police report facing several similar incidents lately.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010


No suspicious package located

Bomb threat causes alarm at Philippine Embassy By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: ‘Your embassy will explode in thirty minutes.’ That was the alarming SMS message received by the Philippine embassy hotline yesterday which they instantly relayed to local authorities here. Police and bomb squad officers,

KUWAIT: Runaway housemaids are seen here walking back to their temporary shelter inside the embassy compound after spending more than two hours outside the embassy.

KUWAIT: Labour Attache Josephus Jimenez (wearing black suit) is seen here outside the embassy compound.

Strict security measures ahead of Kuwait national holidays KUWAIT: The Ministry of Interior has taken the necessary preparatory steps ahead of the National Day and Liberation Day celebrations. Stringent security measures will be enforced so that celebrations are conducted in a sober manner. The Director of Security Press Administration and official speaker of the Ministry of Interior (MoI) Colonel Mohammad Hashem Al-Sabr made the announcement. He said, “This comes during the time of an occasion that is very dear to us. This marks four years of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlSabah’s ascension to power and the coronation of Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad AlSabah. Security awareness and traf-

Col Mohammad Al-Sabr fic awareness are key focus among other formalities undertaken by the Ministry of Interior in cooperation with other media,

which displayed cooperation and coordination with the permanent committee. Al-Sabr warned against using silly strings and fireworks and abide by traffic rules without honking cars late at night. He also urged the youth not to drive cars above the permissible speed limit depending on the street they are in and refrain from vandalizing traffic signals. He also asserted that a growing number of hoax calls were being closely monitored by senior MoI officials. In a special statement issued yesterday, he emphasized that all hoax calls received from local callers or abroad were being scrutinized. He added that coordination was in progress with relevant authorities to eliminate the phenomena.

Disabled pupils to be integrated into mainstream schools: MoE KUWAIT: The Ministry of Education (MoE) plans to integrate school pupils with visual, hearing and basic mobility disabilities into the mainstream student population in Kuwait’s state schools within the next five years, said a senior ministry official on Sunday. Mohammad Al-Kandari, the MoE’s Assistant Undersecretary for Education Quality, revealed the ministry’s plan in a statement, explaining that the MoE’s Educational Facilities department would provide the necessary facilities for the schools to receive pupils in these categories. The ministry’s Public Education department will also

conduct special courses for teachers on working with pupils with these disabilities, reported AlJarida. The senior MoE official revealed that the ministry is working closely with the Ministry of Health to provide all the necessary medical facilities and medicine to combat swine flu and prevent it from spreading among pupils. The items provided include antiseptics, disinfectant handwash, medicine and medical equipment, he explained, while medical staff at local schools will be offering regular medical examinations.

After an intensive two-hour search, however, no bomb or any suspicious package was located; leading police to surmise that the message had been a cruel ‘prank.’ “There was no bomb found! It turned out to be a hoax,” said Josephus Jimenez, the Philippine Labor Attaché in Kuwait. “We at the Philippine Embassy and the POLO office condemn the bomb hoax. We are happy that there was nothing, but it created chaos and confusion for all of us here, and most of all it disrupts our regular functions and activities.” Speaking to the Kuwait Times yesterday at his office after the short-lived scare, Jimenez called upon Filipinos in Kuwait not to panic as the Philippine and Kuwait governments are here to assist them in whatever situation they may face. “Any problem that may cause some discomfort to anybody will be addressed properly according to the procedures provided by the law,” he stressed. Jimenez asserted that the perpetrator of the bomb hoax message will be dealt with according to Kuwaiti law. “I am sure the perpetrator will be apprehended because the host government has the capability to trace the telephone line which was used to commit this crime,” he said. “I call upon the [person who sent the SMS message] to come forward and if he has any problem or concern or such, maybe we could sit down and talk about it and address his concerns in the proper forum.” Authorities here suggested that yesterday’s bomb hoax, the most recent in a string of such hoaxes, is most likely related to previous ones, as the telephone number used originated in the UK, as have others. The Ministry of Interior’s security media department and the ministry’s official spokesman, Colonel Mohammed Hashem AlSabr, stressed that the hoax calls are being strictly monitored, adding that the Kuwaiti authorities are coordinating closely with their counterparts elsewhere to eliminate this phenomenon, which he said is an alien one to Kuwaitis. One Philippine Embassy official said yesterday that the latest hoax bomb threat could have come from a specific disgruntled white man who had called the embassy many times to enquire about the whereabouts of his Filipina wife and daughter. “Before we received the SMS message, informing us about the bomb, we got a call from certain Caucasian guy asking about the whereabouts of his Filipina wife and daughter. We told him that we didn’t have them at the embassy. He called [the embassy hotline] many times. Then, at 10:45am, we got a message stating ‘Your embassy will explode in thirty minutes’. We believed it came from him, but we don’t really know if the roaming number identified as being from London could be his as well.”

accompanied by specially trained sniffer dogs, were quickly at the scene, along with firefighters and paramedics. All staff and visitors there, including the 200 runaway housemaids currently being housed there were moved out while the search was underway. The streets around the embassy were also cordoned off and police prevented anyone from approaching the surrounding area.

KUWAIT: Authorities armed with bomb sniffing dogs arriving at the embassy yesterday. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

in my view

Can one be Muslim and secular? By Fouad Al-Obaid


an one be a d e v o u t Muslim and believe in secularism at the same time? Do these two concepts complement one another or does endorsing one mean rejecting the other? The Middle East has hosted the worlds’ three major monotheistic religions. Its religious core has been the root of much benefit and drama for the past several thousands of years. Today we are still in a situation where religious differences hinder development, progress and a wider Middle Eastern peace initiative. Nation states in the latter half of the century have emerged as the de facto political entity of excellence. The state has become the country’s highest authority and the role of the clergy has, for the most part, faded. Such is the case in most of the Middle East. A few, nevertheless, utilize a theological authoritarian style, especially in regard to the rule of law. The

vast majority of countries in the Middle East have secular laws, except perhaps when considering laws that govern family. If we look at Kuwait’s society, many people seem to hate the word secular. To them it is equivalent to the word atheist! A few days ago a controversy emerged when Dr Ebtehal Al-Khattib went on a TV show and expressed her views openly to an audience who hate such concepts and would rather be sheep following orders. These questions and notions are particularly shocking to a region that has integrated religious doctrine to all aspects of life. Questions regarding homosexuality, human rights and how to interact with different religions may seem like no brainers to a Western audience. In the Middle East however, these questions are the easiest way to spark fury from the masses of sheep! I believe that personal freedoms should be respected, even if it can lead to unnecessary backlashes and at times be fruitless. However, it is also important to respect the traditions and cultures of different societies. One thing I would advocate is that secularism is the best way to allow for a multi-religious, multi-cultural

society to be united. Religion is the relationship between humans and their God and law is what regulates human-tohuman interaction. Humans will never be able to judge according to God’s standards and divine law must be kept in the hearts of believers. Judgment passed by humans will never be perfect! I have observed a trend in the region. Modernity for the most part leads to openness and tolerance of other people’s way of life. It has also meant accommodating to the Western model of development. Relevant to this time of year is the celebration of Valentine’s Day. It is one of the celebrations in this country that has altered culture and society on a cosmetic level but left the local traditions still present. One could perhaps hope that if Valentine’s Day is a joyful commercial celebration of love, more useful models could and should be imported from the West. Ethics, higher work standards, educational prowess, innovation and technology have yet to find their way to this region.

MoE stresses importance of teaching students patriotism KUWAIT: Kuwaiti Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr. Moudhi Al-Humoud yesterday emphasized the significance of establishing and strengthening national patriotism and unity through education. Speaking to KUNA on the occasion of Kuwait’s forthcoming national festivities, the minister said that all of the ministry’s sectors and departments assume responsibility for the proper upbringing of children in tandem with their families. The ministry is eager to help in creating an

integrated patriotic character in all its students, which accords total loyalty to the nation through diverse educational methods, she said. Schools’ curricula and extra-curricular activities are intended to establish and inculcate Islamic and Kuwaiti values into students’ hearts and minds so that they can become good citizens who give top priority to their nation, she added. The right path to progress and prosperity should proceed from true citizenship, the minister asserted.

Kuwaiti envoy, Saudi transport minister discuss cooperation RIYADH: The Kuwaiti Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Sheikh Hamad Al-Jaber AlSabah met with the Saudi Minister of Transportation Dr. Jabarah Al-Siriri yesterday to discuss means of bolstering bilateral relations between the two countries. Sheikh Hamad

said that the meeting falls within the framework of both countries’ desire to develop the already-strong and historical relations, taking them a further step ahead. Means to develop transportation between both states was discussed during the meet-

ing, said the Kuwaiti diplomat, lauding the developments in Saudi Arabia’s transportation system. Sheikh Hamad was accompanied at the meeting by Advisor at the Kuwaiti Embassy in Riyadh Saleh Al-Saqobi and First Secretary Adel AlGhunaiman. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Sheikha Fariha Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah (left), and Faisal Al-Jazaf (right) touring the booths at the event.

KUWAIT: The Kuwaiti delegation’s booth. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

Young GCC women’s forum opens By Rawan Khalid KUWAIT: The Social and Cultural Gathering for Young GCC Women opened yesterday at the Movenpick AlBidaa Hotel. The event, being held under the patronage of Faisal Al-Jazaf the head of the Public Authority for Youth and Sport (PAYS) and with the participation of Sheikha Fariha AlAhmed Al-Sabah, sees young Kuwaiti

women meeting with counterparts from other GCC nations. The opening ceremony began with a rendition of the Kuwaiti national anthem, followed by readings of some verses from the Quran. The members of the Kuwaiti delegation attending the event then gave brief speeches welcoming their peers from elsewhere in the GCC. This was followed by the showing of

a short video on women’s roles in Kuwait. The event continues today, with the Kuwaiti delegates due to take their counterparts on a tour of facilities in Kuwait to let them find out more about the country. “It’s our pleasure to host these guests from the GCC countries, especially since these are young women and it’s a positive thing for young women from each country to get to

know one another and exchange cultural knowledge,” said Sheikha Fariha Al-Ahmed. “I welcome this delegation to Kuwait, their second home, and hope they’ll have a good stay here.” The event features separate information booths for each of the GCC nations, each staffed by citizens of the relevant country, with the items available including flags, local cuisine, books and pictures.



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

World Bank criticizes Kuwait’s Recruitment agency owners immigration, salary policies Establishment of state-owned body under fire

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s existing immigration policy and the current salaries system in the public sector is dampening to workers’ productivity and promotes ‘masked’ unemployment, say World bank experts. “In view of the current immigration policy and the current system of salaries and incentives for the civil servants, this status will directly lead to a low productivity whether at the public or private sector along with high rates of unemployment, low rates of joining the educational institutions and complementing study,” Head of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) Abdul Aziz Al-Zabin yesterday quoted a report compiled by experts from the World Bank. The official made this announcement after a meeting of the Civil Service Council that was presided by Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Acting Head of the Civil Service Council Sheikh Dr.

Mohammad Al-Sabah. Al-Zabin said that he listened to a review by the World Bank experts who currently on a visit to Kuwait to analyze a study of the salaries system and privileges reserved for the public sector civil servants. Al-Zabin added, in a statement to the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) following this meeting, that this study came out with a report that focused on studying the salaries system and civil service advantages on one hand and the dominant trends and their correlation to the development model in Kuwait on the other hand. He went on to say that, “this report drew some conclusions on the public recruitment policy that is marked by accepting the majority of Kuwaitis in the civil service compared with the policy of bringing labor from abroad to work in the private sector and the influence of this on the market labor structure, the produc-

tivity rates and the job performance.” On the nature of the recommendations embedded in the private report of the analytical study of the salaries system and the privileges reserved to the public servants, Al-Zabin said that the World Bank experts asserted that the main goal of this report is to verify the analysis of the data of this study. He added that the World Bank experts, “focused on the analytical studies that paid attention to the outcomes including the hierarchy system of the civil service salaries and the recruitment policies according to the productivity and the influence of all of this on the market labor in general in what includes both of public and private sectors and its relation to increasing incentives of achievement in study and the educational development.” Al-Zabin also said that all experts, “asserted that the out-

comes of this report point out that all effects resulting from the current system poses a big challenge and a hurdle before investment in the human resources and if given measures are not taken, their consequences may last for many generations in the future, pointing to some international models of expertise that can be followed on this respect in what is most suitable to Kuwait’s condition.” The Kuwaiti cabinet had before entrusted the World Bank of offering technical assistance to the CSC in order to evaluate the salary structure and the privileges accorded to the civil servants alongside appraising a number of other patterns in order to be taken into account when reviewing the current system. This aims at raising the productivity rates of the civil servants and improving the levels of public service provided to the citizens. —KUNA

Simplified procedures attract visitors By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: Gold and jewelry lovers are invited to visit the ongoing 8th Gold and Jewelry Exhibition that began yesterday and will last till 21st of this month. The Kuwait International Fair Ground (KIF) is hosting the event that sprawls across an area of 7,000 square meters. A total of 120 companies (55 local, and 65 international) are participating in this exhibition. “The large number of participating companies signify the importance of this exhibition. Besides Kuwait, there are companies from Thailand, Italy, Hong Kong, Singapore, USA, India, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and other countries that are participating,” said Rashid Al-Tabtabae, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, during the launch of the Gold and Jewelry Exhibition yesterday. New simplified procedures have been applied this year. “The Ministry of Commerce and Industry, in cooperation, with the General Administration of Customs has set a new system by simplifying the entrance to the exhibition. Now, goods are transferred from the airport directly to the location and random samples are taken from the goods and tested before placing them at the exhibition hall. There is a laser and X-rays test for pearls and diamonds. This procedure is easier than before,” added Al-Tabtabae. The government supports the holding of these exhibitions. “This new system has introduced facilities, making the situation more attractive for exhibitors to come and participate. Also, the Ministry of

KUWAIT: Al-Tabtabae cheking out a diamond bracelet.

KUWAIT: Models exhibiting some jewelry. — Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat Interior plays a great role in protecting the exhibits displayed during this fair. The estimate value of pieces of jewelry on display amounts to KD 37 million. Furthermore, more items will be added within the

coming days of the fair,” he explained. The jewelry and gold sector is a fast-moving market in Kuwait. “This exhibition is a marketing technique. The gold and jewelry is an independent

market, and such, exhibitions play a role in reviving the economy. This fair presents the latest trends in jewelry industry, and I invite the public to come and visit the exhibition,” AlTabtabae pointed out.

slam private sector labor law By Rawan Khalid KUWAIT: The owners of local employment and recruitment agencies held a press conference on Sunday at the Hyatt Hotel to protest the problems they will face under the recently passed private sector labor law. Under the new legislation, a state-owned company will assume responsibility for recruiting foreign staff, replacing the existing private

sector agencies. “Our aim in holding this conference today is to publicize the suffering of the owners of domestic staff recruitment agencies,” said Abdulaziz Al-Ali, the former head of the Union of Domestic Staff Recruitment Agencies. “The other issue to be discussed today is the establishment of a shareholding company that will assume the recruitment duties currently performed by private sector employment agencies.”

Ali-Ali criticized the establishment of the state-owned recruitment body, saying, “The purpose for establishing this company is to remove the name of Kuwait from the blacklist and preserve the rights of domestic staff, including their rights to food, accommodation, health insurance and return tickets.” The existence of this body will “compel private sector domestic staff recruitment agencies to increase the cost of recruiting maids by opening training centers for maids in their home countries to teach them about Kuwaiti society and traditions. Six branches of the state-owned company will be opened, one in each of Kuwait’s governorates, with the cost of insurance rising from KD 5,000 to KD 20,000 in order to break the monopoly of private sector recruitment agencies, obliging the agencies to offer apartments with full facilities, reduce sponsorship periods from six months to 100 days, coordinate with the embassies to eliminate the phenomenon of maids running away from their employers, and bring competition under control.” Al-Ali also complained about what he said was a smear campaign waged by the Ministry of Interior against private sector domestic staff recruitment agencies, which he said had helped to tarnish the country’s reputation with human rights bodies.

the owners of these offices and this is the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor’s problem.” The establishment of the state-owned domestic staff recruitment agency will simply increase the magnitude of the problems in this area, AlDerbas insisted, since the new body will have a monopoly, leading to sponsorship cost increases for the employers of domestic staff, which could reach as high as KD 1,000 per maid. Another domestic staff recruitment agency owner present at Sunday’s press conference, Khalid Al-Qallaf, said that the problems surrounding

KUWAIT: As part of the British Council’s new global arts project called ‘New Work, New Audiences,’ it arranged a concert entitled ‘Flavours of Sound’ at the Al-Maidan Cultural Center (Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyya) on Sunday night. The audience enjoyed the performance of musicians, who had met last Monday.

In the past week, it brought together thirteen musicians from the UK and the Arabian Peninsula in Kuwait for creative collaboration. The project provides a unique opportunity for talented musicians from four countries to learn from each others’ cultures and musical traditions, and explore the potential to generate something new and thought-provoking. At the heart of ‘New

Work, New Audiences’ is the presentation of British work across all art forms. It allows influential audiences around the world to experience the transformational effect of the arts and their power as a catalyst for developing understanding, trust and dialogue. Following research conducted by the British Council’s music advisers on an initial visit to the Middle East, and a subsequent visit to the Celtic Connections festival, Glasgow by Middle Eastern music delegates in January 2009. It became clear that there was mutual interest in creating a platform for UK and Middle Eastern musicians to work together. In the Middle East, research showed an interest in conserving local musical traditions, while also appealing to younger

generations. The UK has witnessed a success story in the folk sector: Practitioners, artists and all parts of the industry have worked together to celebrate the traditional music of the British Isles, whilst giving space to fresh interpretations, and support to emerging talent. The UK now enjoys a revitalized and vibrant folk scene through the engagement of younger artists embracing older musical forms in new and dynamic ways, and artists such as Bellowhead, Laura Marling, Jim Moray and Tunng have been at the forefront of this. “We are very pleased to have some members of Bellowhead, including our Musical Director, Andy Mellon with us for this project in Kuwait.” Denise Waddingham, Assistant Director of the project said, “We are very

the employment of maids are based in the lack of regulations covering these staff and the non-existence of any comprehensive legislation on employing domestic staff. Because of this, he claimed, some sponsors violate their maids’ rights, with a number failing to pay their maids any salary at all before sending them back to their home countries. Al-Qallaf was also critical of the media, saying that it had focused on the negative aspects of domestic workers’ employment in Kuwait, which had tarnished Kuwait’s reputation abroad.

CP receives KSC board members KUWAIT: His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf AlAhmad Al-Sabah yesterday received the chairman and members of the Kuwait Science Club (KSC) at his Bayan Palace office. During the meeting, HH the Crown Prince lauded the club’s members and their achievements, saying that these had laid the groundwork of future development and made a vital contribution to construction. The State of Kuwait is keen on supporting the country’s young people and takes an interest in strengthening the nation’s human resources in ways that will help to achieve overall economic and social development. Also yesterday, Sheikh Nawaf received the team behind a new work, the ‘Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Coral Reefs in the State of Kuwait,’ who dedicated the book to HH the Crown Prince.

British Council holds ‘Flavours of Sound’ concert By Nisreen Zahreddine

KUWAIT: Officials who attended the conference yesterday. He further condemned the new regulation that maids must be provided with uniforms, saying that this is in itself a violation of their human rights and contrary to human rights organizations’ guidelines. Assad Al-Derbas, the owner of one local domestic staff recruitment agency, condemned the new legislation, saying, “The aim of today’s gathering is to clarify the true picture on the issue of human rights violations which Kuwait was accused of. The solution to this problem is very simple in our opinion. We are not responsible for this issue, as the facts show; we are

grateful for the unstinting support of our partners in Kuwait who have made putting on a project of this scale so much easier.” The American University of Kuwait (AUK) has provided all the workshop and rehearsal space for the past week and also the venue for the Monday 15th February performance. She continued to express her gratefulness, “ Our particular thanks go to Dr Lisa Urkevich, Director of the Arabian Heritage Project at AUK and to Dr Amer Jaafar and staff at Harmony Art Productions who have coordinated the whole project with us from the outset”. “We are also indebted to the Movenpick Hotel and Resort, Al-Bidaa, and its General Manager Gary Moran for providing the musicians’ accommodation, and to Sheikha Hussah Sabah Al-Salam Al-Sabah and the staff of the Dar AlAthar Al-Islamiyyah for supporting this event and for providing theater for the February 14 concert.” One of the audience members summed up the feeling after the show in his evaluation form, “I have experienced a great variety of music at the Dar Al-Athar, but none as unique and excellent as ‘Flavours of Sound.’” The musicians received a standing ovation at the end of the performance.

KUWAIT: A paramedic expert illustrates first-aid measures for accident injuries. —- Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

KOC promotes safe driving By Hussain Al-Qatari KUWAIT: The Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) launched a three-day awareness campaign entitled ‘Safe Driving’ yesterday in Ahmadi. The event’s main focus is to encourage drivers to take safety precautions and to make safe driving part of everyday routine, not only for the KOC employees, but to all citizens. It was held under the patronage of the Minister of Oil Sheikh Ahmed Abdullah AlSabah. The launch, which took place at Ahmadi Sports Stadium, was co-organized by the Ministry of Interior’s Traffic Department and the Fire Department. In his speech during the opening, Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic Affairs Major General Mahmoud Al-Dousari commended the KOC’s great efforts at ensuring the safety of its employees and those living in the township of Ahmad. “This is a very good example of all the private sector companies, governmental bodies and institutes. If they would do what the KOC has been doing in raising awareness and ensuring the safety of its employees, we would succeed in making a big difference,” he said to the audience attending the event. The KOC has installed numerous speed cameras along road junctures that lead to remote areas where oil facilities are in order to ensure the safety of its employees who commute to these destinations on a daily basis. According to Abdullah Al-Abdulsalam, the

KUWAIT: Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic Affairs Maj Gen Mahmoud Al-Dousari speaking during the event. Head of the Organizing Committee of the campaign, the KOC has installed over twenty speed cameras on the road to Burgan and Kabd, and bought at its expense, ten mobile speed cameras which are installed in cars that are constantly on that road. Speaking to the Kuwait Times, he explained, “We want to ensure that our employees drive safely. Safe driving not only prevents accidents but it also ensures the efficiency of the car lives and cuts down on the use of gas, the costs of maintenance, and most importantly protects the lives of our employees.” The KOC has installed safety systems in all the cars given to employees at senior posts in order to ensure that they practice safe driving. The device monitors the driver’s behavior on certain parameters, based on which the driving on the employee is assessed. The

device is mandatory on all employees at senior posts such as managing directors and team leaders, and is optional to all other employees. Al-Abdulsalam says that after having installed the system in the employees cars in 2006, a significant change occurred in the course of three years. “We have noticed a significant change in the driving habits of employees. This is indeed very encouraging to us,” he added. The event includes a gallery of paintings and drawings submitted by school students in the district of Ahmadi, as well as documentaries and photographs. Lectures about safe driving will also be held throughout the campaign, as well as an awards ceremony for ideal drivers. The event is open to the public and being held at the Ahmadi Stadium and its conference centers in Ahmadi’s northern residential district.

The General Administration of Customs also presented a pavilion that showcased its achievements.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Haris murder suspects narrowed down to 3 By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: The number of suspects in the recent murder of an Egyptian expatriate working as a haris (janitor) in a Hawally apartment block has been drastically narrowed down from 20 to three. Fingerprints from the crime scene Drug arrest Two Kuwaiti men, one of them a soldier, have been arrested on charges of dealing in drugs. The men were caught redhanded after an investigation was launched into their activities following a tip-off from an informer, with an undercover General Department for Drugs Control (GDDC) agent arranging to buy a quantity of hashish from them. When they were arrested at the prearranged rendezvous point, officers discovered a half kilogram of hashish in their possession. Both are in custody awaiting trial.

kuwait digest

The present ‘chamber’ issue any politicians and columnists have erroneously referred to the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce (KCC) in many ways wrote Rashid Al-Radaan in Al-Watan. He illustrated with an example that is commonly referred to as ‘the Chamber of Commerce’s officials who defended the Constitution and people’s rights, and protected parliamentary life and achieved freedom of trade that allowed major companies and banks to be established.’ While undoubtedly, the contributions made by the Chamber’s founders to the State’s economy as part of its national


duty cannot be ignored, the issue is about the chamber’s list of so-called achievements. This holds true of the claims to any other achievement that the members of the Chamber have achieved, the writer states. While it is unfair to disregard the achievements and contributions of the Chamber’s members, it pertains to the legality of the chamber as an entity. Even the chamber’s members do not approve of the situation of the chamber to remain illegal, and work toward rectifying the situation. Furthermore, it’s believed that these members were the first to demand that the legality of the

chamber’s regulations be reviewed, AlRadaan pointed out. Therefore, there is no reason that a conflict should occur. To question MP Hassan Jowhar’s ulterior motive by raising the issue, or accusing some family members of seeking to overrule the procedures of the chamber, are worthless, the writer asserts. He also wrote that leveling allegations against the chamber’s members have helped certain MPs assume power. ‘Continuing to attribute achievements to them and allowing them to take credit for liberating Kuwait from Iraqi Invasion and financing the rebuilding process is farfatched!’ he concluded his article.

Exam papers KUWAIT: Ministry of Education (MoE) Undersecretary Muna AlLughani has defended her controversial call for the ministry to hire armored vehicles to transport exam papers to local education directorate offices before they are distributed to schools. Al-Lughani said that her recommendation was based on a study into previous problems with the distribution of the papers to the directorate offices, reported Al-Rai.

By Hanan Al-Saadoun KUWAIT: The Kuwait Fire Services Directorate (KFSD) participated in the opening ceremony of the ‘Safe Driving Campaign’ that was held yesterday. It was organized under the patronage of Oil and Information Minister, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdallah Al-Ahmad at the KOC stadium in Ahmadi. The KFSD participated in a photographic exhibition that relates to car accidents with explanations and lessons.

Defense minister promotes officers KUWAIT: First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Jaber AlMubarak Al-Sabah yesterday decorated a number of officers, formally promoting them to higher ranks. Among those promoted was former Major General Salah Meshari Al-

Humaidhi, who has now assumed the rank of Lieutenant General. The ceremony, which was held at the Kuwaiti Air Force Academy, was attended by the Kuwaiti Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Sheikh Ahmad Al-Khaled Al-Sabah

and members of the Defense Council. In his speech at the event, the defense minister lauded the efforts of the newly decorated officers, calling on them to increase their efforts to serve the country’s leadership and people. — KUNA

Khaitan killer The lawyers appointed by the Egyptian Embassy in Kuwait to defend the Egyptian man accused of murdering a woman have been told by the suspect that he gave his confession to the police freely, without being subjected to torture or coercion in any form. Drugs bust Hawally police arrested a

Green Line to sue MP KUWAIT: The Green Line environmental organization plans to take legal action against MP Saadoun Hammad Al-Otaibi over comments made to the media. He raised questions about the legitimacy and legality of the organization. This announcement was made by the chairman of the organization, environmental activist Khalid Al-Hajri. He criticized Al-Otaibi and claimed that the organization was not an official entity, reported Al-Watan. In his statement, Al-Hajri defended his organization’s position by arguing that the voluntary work it has undertaken is official and is compatible with the regulations that meet with the nature of its activities.

match those of three men who the victim had apparently previously sent money abroad on behalf of for a small fee; recently, however, the money they had given to him for safekeeping had not been sent, meaning that they are being considered as serious suspects in the case. The investigation is continuing.

Kuwaiti man who was found to have a bag of Keptagon amphetamine tablets in his possession. The man was taken into custody. Drunk, disorderly A drunken Kuwaiti man was arrested by police in Salmiya who spotted him behaving in public in an intoxicated manner. They confiscated half a bottle of liquor from him and took him to the local police station. Drug Abuse Police arrested four youngsters under the influence of drugs and operating a vehicle in Al-Faiha. Authorities also found five envelopes of heroin in their possession during the search. They were taken to the proper authorities. Fireworks Ahmadi police apprehended 25 mobile vendors for selling fireworks and other illegal materials used for the National Holidays celebrations. They were referred to the local police station.

KUWAIT: The drug duo pictured after their arrest.



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Majority of organizations likely to hire in year’s time

Employment prospects brighten in Kuwait KUWAIT: More than half of the region’s employers, 56%, plan to recruit over the next few months, according to the new Jobs Index study conducted by the region’s number one job site, in conjunction with research specialists YouGov Siraj. The solid number of employers planning to recruit shows an improvement on the last wave, when 52% said they planned to hire during the quarter. In Kuwait, almost a third of the respondents (29%) said that their organizations would definitely be hiring in the next three months - one of the highest figures among the surveyed countries, and another 29% said they would probably be hiring. By contrast, just 13% said they probably or definitely would not be hiring in the next quarter.

KUWAIT: NBK officials along with Basma Al-Saeed and her parents inaugurating the exhibition yesterday.— Photos by Joseph Shagra

Visually-impaired child’s paintings displayed By Ben Garcia KUWAIT: An exhibition of paintings by 11-year-old Basma Al-Saeed, a child who lost her eyesight after being afflicted with glaucoma, was inaugurated yesterday at the National Bank of Kuwait Hospital at the Sabah Hospital complex. The inaugural ceremony began with a colorful circus presentation that was enjoyed by hospital patients and visitors. Basma was five when she completely lost her eyesight. However, the Almighty has bestowed her with a wonderful gift, that even a person with normal eyesight cannot perform—paint on clay. Her works are displayed at the reception gallery of the NBK Hospital. Visitors have termed her a miracle painter, others call her ‘gifted.’ “I am very proud of my child, even though she has lost her eyesight completely. However, she can see everything with her heart. She can paint almost every object, getting exactly the same image you expect with her project, really she’s a miracle painter,” said Dalia Al-Khalid, Basma’s mother. Basma is also an outstanding student of Al-Noor and AlAmal School. The school helps her academically but they shifted towards assisting her on her greatest passion. “We tried to save Basma’s eyes but we found out that it was very late. So we were disappointed. Now, we see the real purpose of Allah,” she said. The NBK on their part, supports Basma Al-Saeed’s endeavor.

Across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the countries recorded varying propensity to hire as part of the Jobs Index. Respondents in Saudi Arabia, followed by Oman, had the highest propensity to hire, with 33% and 29%, respectively, saying that their organizations will definitely be recruiting new staff in the coming months. The study also found that 26% of respondents in Qatar and 24% in the UAE will definitely hire in the next three months. At the other end of the spectrum, just 19% of respondents in Jordan said they will definitely be hiring in the next three months, while 22% in Egypt believe that their organizations will definitely be looking for new staff in the next quarter. Overall, the figures indicate that the Gulf region is faring the best during the current economic cycle. The Jobs Index (JI) is conducted to gauge perceptions of job availability and hiring, to identify job trends and to provide an understanding of the key skill sets and qualifications required in the Middle East job market. The survey asked the respondents how many positions their organizations would be aiming to fill in the next three months. For the most part, organizations are looking to recruit staff for less than ten positions: 44% said that less than five jobs will be available, and 22% said that between six and 10 jobs will be available. Interestingly, 3% of respondents said that they will be looking to fill more than one hundred vacancies in the coming quarter. “During the recession, a number of the region’s professionals lost their jobs as organizations cut their human resources budgets in a bid to save money and ride out the recession,” noted Rabea Ataya, chief executive officer, “Now, as the region recovers from the recession, one of the first things that companies look at sourcing is the right talent to fit their new business needs.” Asked at what level they are looking to recruit in the coming three months, the survey found that junior executives are the most likely to find themselves with a job offer: 30% of organizations said that they would be looking to employ junior executives, followed by 26% that said they would be looking to hire on an executive level. As in the previous wave, and unsurprisingly given the level of experience and knowledge required, limited C-suite jobs are going to be on offer: 4% of the respondents said they would be seeking to appoint a new president, 6% said they plan to appoint a CEO, and another 6% said they would advertise vacancies for a COO, CFO or CMO. Of those that are likely to be employed, graduates or postgraduates in business management stand the best chance. According to the study, 24% of organizations around the Middle East favor employing staff that are

qualified in this field. Furthermore, graduates or postgraduates in commerce, engineering and administration are equally sought after by the region’s organizations, with 22% of respondents citing personnel in these fields as highly desirable. Less attractive to organizations in the region were those with qualifications in interior or fashion design, and in flight training: just 3% and 2% of organizations, respectively, agreed that these are important qualifications that new staff should possess. “Clearly, the Middle East, and more specifically the Gulf, is growing as a global finance and commerce hub, and as such, graduates in these fields are likely to find it easier than others to find employment,” said Joanna Longworth, chief marketing officer, YouGov Siraj. “The figures also indicate what types of industries dominate in this region, and it is clearly those concerned with business and trade.”

they will definitely be hiring in 12 months’ time. In Kuwait, 32% of those surveyed said they will definitely be hiring in a year’s time. By contrast, just 9% said they will probably or definitely not be hiring in a year. Respondents in Tunisia were also highly confident that their organizations will be hiring in the future: 33% said they will definitely be hiring after a year; while another 32% in Morocco and Lebanon said they will definitely be hiring in a year’s time. This is contrasted with just 23% of respondents in Jordan - the lowest figure among all of the surveyed countries. When asked how they rate their current country of residence as a job market compared to those around the rest of the region, respondents in the UAE, joined with Saudi Arabia, were the most positive about their country: 46% each said it was much more attractive than other countries. Positivity about current

Over half of Kuwait’s employers plan to recruit in next quarter, finds new research by and YouGov Siraj

Being able to communicate in both English and Arabic is a desirable trait that employers look for when selecting new staff according to the study - 64% of respondents agreed this is what they look for most in a potential new employee. Being a cooperative, flexible, and helpful team player is also a clear skill priority among the region’s organizations, with 48% agreeing it is the most desirable trait. Having an overall good personality and demeanor was cited as the most desirable trait by 44% of the survey’s respondents. “The figures suggest that when recruiting, employers will not immediately choose the most qualified candidate; rather, the region’s organizations place much more emphasis on key skills such as communication and teamwork, and personality traits such as having a pleasant demeanor,” noted Longworth. The JI is in part gauged by asking the respondents what their hiring expectancy is in a year’s time; this forms the Hiring Expectancy Index (HEI). In the long term, 69% of the region’s organizations expect to hire, suggesting widespread optimism for the future. Job seekers in Saudi Arabia, followed by Oman, are likely to be the luckiest at finding work in a year’s time, with 40% and 35% of the countries’ respondents, respectively, stating

country of residence was also felt in Qatar (38%) and Kuwait (30%). The respondents were also asked to name which industries they feel are attracting or retaining top talent in their country of residence today. As in the previous wave, the banking and finance (37%) and telecommunications (37%) sectors took the top spots in terms of those that attract the region’s top employees. “The studies that conducts alongside YouGov Siraj aim to provide the region’s organizations and HR professionals with regularly updated research that sheds light on various elements of the region’s job market. The Jobs Index has been designed to chart how the region’s job market changes from quarter to quarter, which will allow the region’s employers and other industry stakeholders to benefit from up to date job market information, which can be used for affecting positive organizational change,” concluded Ataya. Data for the January 2010 Jobs Index was collected online between Jan 4 and 30, with 3,942 respondents from the UAE, KSA, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Pakistan. Males and females aged over 18 years old, of all nationalities, were included in the survey.

Amir to honor outstanding high school graduates KUWAIT: Basma’s paintings are displayed at the NBK Hospital gallery.

Praise for Kuwait’s exhibition in Singapore SINGAPORE: The inauguration of Kuwait’s ‘Treasury of the World’ exhibition at the Asian Civilizations Museum which coincided with the 25th anniversary of launching Kuwait ties with Singapore displayed a unique cultural phenomenon, Kuwaiti Ambassador to Singapore Abdulaziz Al-Adwani said yesterday. Kuwaiti Embassy organized visits grouping His Highness the Amir’s representative the Minister of Information and Minister of Oil Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and Dar Al-Athar Curator Sheikha Hessa Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah to discuss bilateral cooperation with Singapore’s leadership, he said. Kuwait is Singapore’s forth Middle Eastern partner as trade exchange between the two countries was at KD 850 million, he said, adding that agreements such as double tax relief, encouraging and protecting investment along a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) were ratified to boost the private sector participation. Singapore was named world’s number one business attraction zone due to premium investment services that the former presented investors with, he said. He said that the banking system in Singapore was characterized with high transparency and low corruption rates, and noted that the embassy would support Kuwaiti investors in Singapore. Al-Adwani said, though Kuwait and Singapore were small in size and population, both played a vital role in regional and international domains. Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad Sabah AlSalem Al-Sabah is scheduled to arrive in Singapore in May to take part in the upcoming meeting of the foreign ministers of the Gulf and Southeast Asian countries. The Minister of Labor and Public

Works Dr Fadhel Safar will also attend the international water conference that will take place in Singapore in June, he said. Al-Adwani, in the meantime, congratulated His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf AlAhmad Al-Sabah and His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah and the people of Kuwait on the upcoming National Day and Liberation, prayed for the the safety and prosperity of Kuwait. Meanwhile, the Italian city of Gerosseto in Tuscany region was the second place to host KUNA’s photography exhibition after Florence. The exhibition was inaugurated yesterday at the exhibitions hall of the chamber of commerce in the presence of Kuwait’s First Secretary Ghazi Al-Fadhli, representing the state’s Ambassador to Italy Sheikh Jaber Duaij Al-Ibrahim AlSabah, head of Chamber of Commerce of Grosseto Gianni Lamioni, representatives of the Kuwaiti-Italian friendship society and KUNA, senior officials, and figures from the city and the region. In a speech, Lamioni welcomed AlFadhli and expressed happiness for holding the exhibition which was a joint initiative by the Kuwaiti-Italian friendship society and KUNA. The exhibition is a cultural opportunity to interact with Kuwait, whose trade ties and cooperation with Italy is important, he stressed. He expressed hope that the exhibition, which documents the start of development in Kuwait, would be a beginning for joint initiatives to strengthen cultural, economic, and trade relations with the Gulf state. Al-Fadhli praised the cultural initiative aiming to stress understanding and bring together the Kuwaiti and Italian people.

He pointed out that the visit of His Highness the Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to Rome last November was a big boost to the two countries’ relations. He stressed the importance of the exhibition which has rare photos and hailed KUNA’s role on presenting Kuwaiti’s achievements. Meanwhile, head of the Kuwaiti-Italian friendship society said the attendance of important civilian and military figures to the exhibition’s inauguration was an expression of friendship and acceptance Kuwait receives in Italy, in addition to the keenness to boost ties with it. He expressed gratitude to KUNA and emphasized that the society will hold the exhibition in many other Italian cities. The inauguration was attended by the President of Grosseto Province and representative of the Italian government Leonardo Marras, Mayor of Grosseto city Emilio Bonifazi, and a number of civilian, media, and cultural figures. Local television stations and several papers covered the event. Later, Al-Fadhli and the main visitors went to another exhibition of industrial and food products. The Kuwaiti-Italian friendship society was established in 1990 as the first popular initiative to support Kuwaiti after the Iraqi invasion of the state. The exhibition was first held in Florence with the attendance of KUNA’s Chairman and Director General Sheikh Mubarak Al-Duaij Al-Ibrahim Al-Sabah and senior Italian officials. Al-Sabah said that each of the exhibition’s photos was a friendship message to the Italian people which supported Kuwait. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Out of keenness to guarantee the homeland a bright future, and in harmony with constant stress on human development as key factor in overall progress and development, His Highness the Amir is to honor top high school graduates and high achieving students in other stages in a ceremony today. The issue of human development and arming the new generation with the right tools for the future always come into focus in the Amir’s speeches. His Highness further stressed, on many occasions, that care to education was an actual and “guaranteed” investment for the state. Maintaining high quality and encouraging creativity and productivity among all those involved in the educational process, His Highness often remarked, was the best means to secure overall social development and prosperity. An even greater push in this direction and encouragement of effort towards this end came in February 2008, when the National Conference for Development of Education was held upon Sheikh Sabah’s request. His Highness had also always stressed the role of teachers as role models and inspiration for the new generations. Devotion today in preparing our teachers to counter the challenge and meet the demands of the future is the means by which we can get devoted teachers who lead our children on the right path tomorrow, he had often remarked. His Highness pointed out the material aspects of the educational process, such as supply of equipment and preparation of building and so on, should be the means to an end and not the ultimate goal, for equipment without proper utilization would be sheer waste.—- KUNA

AMMAN: Kuwait’s ambassador to Jordan, Sheikh Faisal Al-Hmoud AlSabah, pictured yesterday with members of a Ministry of Education committee dispatched to Jordan to interview, select and hire new teachers to work in Kuwait. —Photos by KUNA

Kuwait recruiting Jordanians AMMAN: Recruiting qualified educational staff to work in Kuwait’s educational institutions is vital, said the Kuwaiti Ambassador to Jordan Sheikh Faisal Al-Humoud Al-Malek Al-Sabah yesterday. Speaking during a meeting with members of the commission assigned to recruit Jordanians to work as teachers in Kuwaiti schools, the ambassador called on them to select only the most highly qualified applicants who he said are the best suited to serve in such a sensitive posts.

Ambassador Al-Sabah also expressed his admiration of Jordan’s excellent education sector workers. Badriya Al-Khaldi, the head of the recruitment commission, explained that the body has been tasked with selecting 175 Jordanians to teach the English language, along with Mathematics and Physical Education. It will hire only those applicants who match the stringent criteria governing recruitment, who will best serve Kuwait’s educational needs, he added. — KUNA

Tuesday, February 16, 2010



Anti-Saddam purge both Washington targeting woos and worries voters Revolutionary Guards Fears of Baath party’s return stoked ahead of March vote BAGHDAD: Government rhetoric against Saddam Hussein’s Baath party will woo some Iraqi Shiite voters ahead of an election, but many people feel uneasy about a return to the sectarian politics that has spilled so much blood. In the sprawling Shiite slum of Sadr City in northern Baghdad, a panel’s move to ban scores of candidates for alleged Baathist links is the talk of the town in teahouses where men smoke Arabic water pipes and argue over sugary glasses of tea. Many feel the candidate ban and vows by Shiite parties including Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki’s Dawa to purge the civil service of Baathists is sweet revenge for Saddam’s brutal rule and oppression of the Shiite majority and minority Kurds. “I would rather elect the devil than a Baathist,” said factory owner Ahmed Hanoon, 40, whose older brother was killed by Saddam’s government during a Shiite uprising. “They showed no mercy to the people and made us afraid of each other.” Abdul Karim Hussain, 50, a Sadr City shop

owner, said the decision to exclude alleged Baath party sympathizers from the March 7 parliamentary vote was the right one because the party destroyed Iraq through wars and killed thousands of Iraqis. “The return of Baathists to power would be disappointing because they will take revenge and their revenge will be very severe,” Hussain said. In the holy Shiite city of Najaf, labourer Hussain Kadhim, 38, said he was stunned at how “brazen” Baath loyalists were. “They used to kill for no reason and now they want to be legislators. Baathists should be removed, we don’t want the Baathists to have their knives at our throats again,” he said. Yet many Iraqi Shiites are also concerned that campaign rhetoric against Baathists could spark sectarian tensions and tip the country back into violence between Sunnis who dominated Iraq under Saddam and majority Shiites. SECURITY GAINS FRAGILE While major attacks by Sunni insurgents

like Al-Qaeda continue, the broader sectarian slaughter that killed thousands after the 2003 US invasion has given way to a fragile peace. The Iraqi Baath party, originally founded in Syria to promote pan-Arab nationalism, included Shiites but was mainly led by Sunnis. The candidate ban, in particular, is viewed by Sunnis as an attempt to deny them a fair share of power. Some Shiite voters also view the government’s rhetoric against Baathists as an obvious attempt to divert attention from rampant corruption, shoddy public services and continuing attacks that have undermined confidence in the police and army. “It is a despicable decision. They are doing this because they failed to provide security and services and have become obsessed with stealing. They know that the Iraqi people will not vote for them again,” said federal employee Bilal Ouda, 44. “After this decision I do not think Iraq will stabilize and we will not see national reconciliation.”— Reuters

The Revolutionary Guards The United States believes Iran may be heading toward a military dictatorship and that its Revolutionary Guard Corps is supplanting its government, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday. Here are some questions and answers about the IRGC, which has expanded in the last 30 years into a potent force with sprawling military, political, social and economic interests: WHAT IS THE IRGC? The IRGC was set up after the 1979 Islamic revolution to protect the ruling system against internal and external threats and to uphold revolutionary values. It answers to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Islamic Republic’s top authority. It controls the Basij religious volunteer militia, famed for “human wave” attacks in the 198088 war with Iraq. The Basij are Iran’s moral police, enforcing Islamic social codes and quelling civil unrest. They are said to number millions. Qods (Jerusalem) Force is a shadowy IRGC special operations unit, handling activities abroad. The United States, which says the Qods Force backs militants in Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan, has imposed sanc-

tions on firms and individuals linked to what it brands a terrorist organization. The United States has also designated the IRGC a proliferator of weapons of mass destruction for what it says is its role in Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Tehran says its nuclear program has only peaceful purposes. WHAT ARE THE IRGC’S MILITARY CAPABILITIES? The IRGC, initially focused on internal security, became a more organized combat force during the war with Iraq, and now has about 125,000 fighters with army, navy and air units. It operates separately from the 350,000-strong regular army. Guardsmen fought in conventional battles against Iraq, but they also developed irregular tactics, such as hit-and-run raids using small craft targeting shipping to try to knock out Iraq’s oil exports. Such tactics could be revived. An Iranian military commander has said “martyrdom-seeking” Basijis could disrupt Gulf oil shipping routes if the need arose. The IRGC controls Iran’s strategic missile forces and has played a key role in developing advanced systems such as the Shahab-3 missile with a range of 2,000 km.

HOW DOES IRGC OPERATE IN THE POLITICAL SYSTEM? The IRGC’s mandate to protect revolutionary values has prompted it to speak out when it felt the system was threatened. The IRGC’s influence appears to have grown since hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to power in 2005. Twothirds of his first 21-man cabinet were IRGC veterans, like himself. Some analysts have suggested the corps’ political power already eclipses that of Ahmadinejad. Given Khamenei’s reliance on the Guard to quell dissent, the supreme leader himself may now be hostage to the force he commands, some analysts argue. Others have said the IRGC leadership is factionalized and lacks the cohesion to exercise power independently. Some ex-Guard officers, such as Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, Tehran mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf and defeated presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaie, are critics of Ahmadinejad. The IRGC also conducts popular military training, operates a domestic media apparatus and runs education programs to inculcate loyalty to the revolution. — Reuters

TEHRAN: Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, the target of new US sanctions and fresh criticism yesterday by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is a pillar of the Islamic republic and the driving force behind its controversial nuclear program. More than three decades after the 1979 Islamic revolution, the Guards continue to be the military guardian of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s Islamic ideology. But they also own large tranches of the country’s economy. On a visit to Doha across the Gulf from Iran, Clinton said yesterday she feared Iran is moving “toward a military dictatorship,” with enterprises controlled by the Revolutionary Guard “supplanting” the government. And on Sunday she said in a speech in Doha to the US-Islamic World Forum, Clinton said: “I fear the rise of the influence and power of the Revolutionary Guard... poses a very direct threat to everyone.” The United States last week imposed a fresh round of sanctions against the Revolutionary Guards and hopes for UN sanctions to target the group blamed for Iran’s nuclear program and alleged support to militants in the region. The Guards, who claim to have the capability to face down any threat internal or external, have had an increasingly high profile since the hotly disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June 2009. The Guards’ militia wingthe feared Basij, which has hundreds of thousands of volunteers in training at some 11,000 centers across the country-was at the forefront of the suppression of the mass protests that followed the vote. The unilateral US sanctions imposed on Wednesday designated a Revolutionary Guards commander and four subsidiaries of a construction firm owned or controlled by the Guards as “proliferators of weapons of mass destruction and their sup-

porters.” But it is the growing economic power of the Guards that Washington has been targeting for several years. The Guards now permeate all of Iranian society, with their engineering arm picking up massive contracts and former cadres, like ex-commander Mohsen Rezai who has stood twice for

the presidency, moving into politics. The Guards reap an increasingly substantial income from their business activity, which the United States is seeking to block. In 2006, the Guards won a contract worth more than two billion dollars to develop phases 15 and 16 of Iran’s biggest gas field, South Pars, and another

contract of around one billion dollars to build a pipeline towards Pakistan. It is also part of a consortium contracted to build a high speed rail link between Tehran and the central city of Isfahan, shipping ports on Iran’s south coast, and a major dam in Khuzestan province.— AFP

Militarily, the Guards work in parallel with Iran’s regular armed forces but have their own land, sea, air and missile units. They have repeatedly warned they have US bases in Iraq and Afghanistan under watch, implying the force will pound these targets and could shut down the sea lanes to the oil-rich Gulf if the United States launches a military attack. - AFP



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hundreds protest at funeral of ‘tortured’ Darfur student KHARTOUM: Hundreds of protesters gathered at the funeral of a Darfuri student whohose colleagues said was abducted, tortured and killed by Sudanese authorities in a case that has sparked tensions ahead of elections. Sudanese security services have denied any involvement in the death of Mohamed Musa, 23, who fellow students told Reuters was abducted in Khartoum on Wednesday and later found dead and disfigured. Around 600 Darfuris, students and other protesters gathered outside Musa’s family house in the Khartoum suburb of

Omdurman on Monday morning chanting “justice” and “revolution till victory”, said a Reuters witness. Scores of armed riot police and security officers surrounded the home while mourning relatives sat inside with the student’s body. “I have lost my son ... I want justice from the government, justice for my son. I want to know who killed him,” Musa’s father Musa Abdullah Bahar Al Din said, breaking down in tears. The funeral comes days after the start of campaigning in Sudan’s first multiparty elec-

tions in almost a quarter of a century, due in April. Sudan’s seven-year Darfur conflict, and the powers of Sudan’s extensive securi-

he arrived at the house with other candidates from his party, the former southern rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement

Funeral raises pre-election tensions ty services, have become central issues in the election campaign that sets Sudan’s sitting president Omar Hassan al-Bashir against 10 other candidates. Presidential candidate Yasir Arman was greeted with chants of “Yasir for change” as

(SPLM). Arman earlier said the case raised questions about the excessive powers of Sudanese security, adding there were doubts over whether Sudan could have fair elections.

Police officers on Saturday told Reuters they had found Musa’ body in the street and denied he had ever been arrested. “We consider this to be a normal crime,” a security source said. Khartoum University students who gathered around a morgue where Musa was taken earlier in the week said they had seen the body, adding his hands were burned, his head and body beaten, cut and swollen and his clothes soaked in blood. They blamed President Bashir’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) for the

abduction, saying they were always targeting and beating Darfuri students. Sudan’s opposition say April’s elections cannot be credible while the conflict continues in the vast western region of Darfur. It remains under emergency law, with sporadic clashes and more than 2 million people languishing in camps. The United Nations estimates 300,000 people have died in Darfur’s humanitarian crisis since mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms in early 2003 accusing central government of neglect of the region. —Reuters

Pope, Irish bishops hold talks on abuse scandal Sinners must admit blame: Vatican VATICAN CITY: A top Vatican official yesterday told Irish bishops in Rome for talks with Pope Benedict on the Irish church’s vast pedophilia scandal that clergy who had sinned must admit blame for “abominable acts”. The message

came in the sermon of a mass in St Peter’s Basilica shortly before the bishops began two days of crisis talks with the pope to formulate a response to the revelations of abuse by clergy that have shaken devoutly Catholic Ireland.

VATICAN: Pope Benedict XVI (background center) meets with Irish Bishops at the Vatican.— AP

Liberal Democrats deny ruling out coalition LONDON: Britain’s third biggest political party denied yesterday it had ruled out entering a coalition government if this year’s election produces no clear winner. “We’re not ruling anything out,” a Liberal Democrat source said in response to a newspaper report that party leader Nick Clegg had no interest in taking cabinet posts in a hypothetical coalition government and would focus instead on winning support for left-leaning Liberal Democrat demands. “We have not made any decision in terms of what happens after the election,” the source said. The main opposition Conservatives are favorites to win the election, expected in May, and to end 13 years of Labor rule. But a series of polls has shown the Conservatives falling short of the support needed for a parliamentary majority. Such a result would potentially put the Liberal Democrats, who have 63 seats in the current 646-member parliament, in the position of being kingmakers. The possibility of Britain’s first “hung parliament” since 1974 has unsettled financial markets because of fears it would produce a weak government that

would not act decisively to bring down Britain’s gaping public sector deficit, forecast to reach 178 billion pounds ($279 billion) this year or more than 12 percent of Gross Domestic Product. A poll of economists for Reuters last month predicted a 20 percent chance of a hung parliament, up from 15 percent in a similar poll in October. KEY DEMANDS The Guardian reported yesterday that the Liberal Democrats were planning to rule out forming a coalition government with either the Conservatives or Labor if the party held the balance of power after the election. It said the Liberal Democrats would be prepared to support either main party if that party made concessions on four key Liberal Democrat policies on education, tax reform, the economy and political reform. Clegg has refused to be drawn on whether he would support a minority administration in the event of an inconclusive election, saying he would not sacrifice his core polices for the sake of power. The four Liberal Democrat priorities, set out by Clegg at a Reuters Newsmaker event last month, are:

Economic reform. The Liberal Democrats want to shift the economy away from what they see as over-reliance on financial services and promote “green” technology. Tax reform. The Liberal Democrats would close loopholes for the richest and introduce a “mansion tax” on homes worth more than 2 million pounds ($3.13 million) to fund tax cuts for others and to take millions out of paying tax altogether. Education. The Liberal Democrats propose to put an extra 2.5 billion pounds into schools, providing more money for deprived children. Political reform. The party would respond to a scandal over politicians’ expenses by reducing the number of members of parliament and giving voters the right to fire corrupt MPs. The speculation about a hung parliament has led top civil servants to make preparations, the Guardian said yesterday. It reported that Gus O’Donnell, cabinet secretary, had distributed secret memos among senior officials on how to handle a hung parliament. The memos date back to 1974, the last time Britain had a hung parliament. The Cabinet Office had no immediate comment. — Reuters

France tackles an explosive debate on pension reforms PARIS: French President Nicolas Sarkozy said yesterday a bill on reforming the costly pension system would be ready by September, in an overhaul that is unpopular with voters but hard to avoid given creaking public finances. Sarkozy met leaders of the main union and employers’ federations yesterday to discuss a timetable for negotiations, insisting he would listen to all sides while promising to secure solid financial foundations for the payas-you-go system. “If we want to save our pension system, we can no longer put off the decisions,” Sarkozy told reporters after the meeting, adding that negotiations would begin in April. “We are not going to push it through by force,” he said in a separate speech to union leaders, who have threatened mass protests if the government hacks back at pension rights. France spends 12.4 percent of gross domestic product on its pensions, against a euro zone average of 11.1 percent, according to OECD data. An ageing population coupled with crisis-related state spending have increased the need for change. The president ruled out a cut in pension pay-outs, which was one of the options to reduce costs.

PARIS: France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy delivers a speech after talks with unions and employers representatives at the Elysee Palace yesterday. —AP Other options include raising the retirement age from the current 60 years or hiking the number of years people have to work before getting a full pension. Unions have rejected both ideas and want to see higher taxes to pay for the shortfall. Sarkozy had hoped to delay the reform until after the next presidential election in 2012. But the economic

crisis has hammered revenues and blown up public spending, forcing France to get tough on its deficit-set to climb to 8.2 percent of GDP this year, the highest for at least half a century. FRENCH RESIST WORKING LONGER While the government is trying to sell the policy plan as a painful but inevitable step, the

public remains unconvinced. The government projects a trend of fewer workers and more pensioners that will lead to an annual deficit of 100 billion euros ($136.1 billion) for the pensions system by 2050, from a forecast 25 billion in 2010. However, 59 percent of French oppose a rise in the retirement age, an Ifop poll for newspaper Dimanche Ouest-France showed on Saturday. A majority also rejected other options, such as an increase in pension contributions or a cut in pay-outs. A separate poll from BVA for broadcaster Canal+ showed that French workers and students on average expect to retire at 62 beyond the current age but earlier than in comparable European economies such as Germany, where the retirement age is 67. Facing public opposition to the prospect of having to work longer, on top of discontent over high unemployment and reforms in other sectors such as education, Sarkozy yesterday tried to take a conciliatory approach. “We are going to take the time that’s needed to engage in a dialogue, to make sure everyone’s positions are understood and the French will be clearly informed of the stakes and solutions,” Sarkozy said.—Reuters

“Yes, storms spark fear, even those that rock the boat of the church because of the sins of its members,” Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, number two in the Vatican hierarchy, told the bishops. Bertone said trials within the church “are naturally harder and more humiliating” particularly when “men of the church were involved in such particularly abominable acts”. The meetings, the first of their kind at the Vatican in eight years, will discuss a plan of action and could lead to more prelates resigning in a shakeup of the Irish church hierarchy. Four have already quit. Benedict, the 24 Irish bishops and top Vatican officials will hold three sessions in response to outrage in Ireland over the Murphy Commission Report, a damning indictment of child sex abuse by priests. Bertone said God’s mercy could “pull one out of the deepest abyss” but “only if the sinner recognizes his blame in full truth”. CHURCH ‘OBSESSIVELY’ HID ABUSE The report, published in November, said the church in Ireland had “obsessively” concealed child abuse in the Dublin archdiocese from 1975 to 2004, and operated a policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell”. It said all Dublin bishops in charge during the period under study had been aware of some complaints, but the archdiocese had been more preoccupied with protecting the reputation of the church than safeguarding children. Four bishops have offered their resignations and the pope has so far accepted one. Victims’ group One in Four called on other bishops throughout Ireland who engaged in a “culture of cover-up” to step down. Victims’ groups said they would seek monetary compensation, which could lead to a financial crisis for the Irish church. In the US church, hit by a similar scandal in 2002, seven dioceses have filed for bankruptcy protection in the wake of thousands of sex abuse claims against priests. The Vatican said in December the pope would write to the Irish people about the crisis-the first time a pontiff will have devoted a document solely to clergy’s abuse of children. The pope has strongly condemned such abuse during his trips to two countries hard hit by scandals-the United States and Australia. In December, he expressed his “outrage, betrayal and shame” over the Irish case. But critics say the Vatican and the church have not gone far enough in handing over suspected abusers to civil justice. The current archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, who took his post after the period covered by the report, has said he expected “a very significant reorganization of the church in Ireland”. The church’s prominent role in Irish life was one of the reasons abuses were allowed to go unchecked, the report said. One priest admitted abusing more than 100 children. Another said he had abused children every two weeks for over 25 years. —Reuters

KHARTOUM: Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir (right) arrives to a campaign rally with his second wife Widad Babiker at Al-Hilal Stadium in Khartoum. Presidential hopefuls in Sudan, Africa’s largest country, began campaigning for the first multi-party poll since 1986, with the nation wondering whether an end might be in sight to incumbent Bashir’s many years in power. — AFP

Sudan SPLM launches poll campaign to unseat Bashir Candidate aims to reach across ethnic, regional divide KHARTOUM: Sudan’s former southern rebels launched their campaign on Sunday for the nation’s first multi-party elections in 24 years, fielding the man likely to be President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir’s strongest challenger. Targeting the country’s marginalized millions, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) is campaigning for the presidential and legislative polls in April under the slogan “hope for change”. Presidential candidate Yasir Arman, who is actually a northerner, stressed the SPLM’s appeal to voters of different religions throughout Africa’s largest nation. “Before we are northern or southern, Muslim or Christian, first of all we are Sudanese,” Arman said. “Our country links the Arabs with the Africans,” he said at the former home of Ali Abdel Latif, who led a revolt against British colonial rule in 1924. The SPLM joined Bashir’s National Congress Party (NCP) in an uneasy coalition government after ending 22 years of civil war between the mainly Arab and Muslim north and the south where people are largely Christian or animist. Arman said the SPLM supported “voluntary unity”, referring to a referendum on independence which will be held in South Sudan next January. SPLM Chairman Salva Kiir left Arman, a lower level figure in the party, to run for the national presidency and instead chose to stand for president of South Sudan, which many analysts believe will vote for secession. SERIOUS CHALLENGE With the south dominated by the SPLM and com-

posing a quarter of Sudan’s electorate, Arman could pose a serious challenge to Bashir who is the favorite, analysts say. Bashir’s NCP asked the SPLM to withdraw Arman’s candidacy, a move analysts say shows they are worried by the competition. If no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two presidential aspirants would face off in May. Most of the opposition say they would unite in a second round against Bashir, who is wanted for war crimes in Sudan’s western Darfur region by the International Criminal Court. Arman enjoys support in Darfur and the east, but many people in the north worry that there would be a political limbo if the SPLM won the presidency and the south decided to separate. Sudan’s north-south civil war, fought over ethnicity, ideology, religion and oil, claimed 2 million lives and destabilized much of east Africa. Arman said the SPLM stood for justice for the victims of Darfur, where the United Nations estimates some 300,000 people died in a humanitarian crisis sparked by a counter-insurgency campaign. “We’ll take the town to the countryside, not the country to the town,” he said, quoting former SPLM Chairman John Garang who died in a helicopter crash weeks after taking office as Sudan’s first vice president following a 2005 north-south peace deal. Reluctance from the NCP and a lack of capacity in the SPLM to implement the deal has strained relations. The Umma Party, led by the last democraticallyelected prime minister, Sadeq Al-Mahdi, is the other main contender for Bashir’s job. He launches his campaign yesterday. — Reuters

in the news Plane makes u-turn LONDON: A British Airways plane flying from London to Mexico was forced to do a U-turn over the Atlantic after concerns about a passenger on board, the airline said yesterday. Amid tightened security following the failed Detroit bombing in December, the flight carrying 318 passengers returned to London’s Heathrow airport Friday after a “data discrepancy” involving a US passenger, BA said. “BA Flight 243 returned to Heathrow on Friday afternoon due to a data discrepancy with a US citizen. The passenger was asked to leave, which he duly did, and collected his bags,” said a BA spokesman. “The plane was refueled and left later that day,” he added. No further details were available about whether the US national, reported to be 55 years old, was detained or allowed to go free. Transatlantic airline security has been stepped up after Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, allegedly tried to blow up a plane from Amsterdam as it prepared to land at Detroit on December 25. Abdulmutallab, who had studied at University College London, has been charged with attempting to blow up a US airliner.

British Sikh to become first non-white in BNP LONDON: An Indian-born Sikh pensioner is hoping to become the first non-white member of the far-right British National Party (BNP) because he wants to fight Islamic extremism, he said yesterday. Rajinder Singh, 78, is joining the BNP-whose policies include stopping immigration-after the party voted Sunday to change its constitution to admit ethnic minorities for the first time, following a court ruling. Singh, a retired teacher, was born in West Punjab and left India in 1967. He said he had seen the “potential of Islam”, witnessing extensive violence after partition in 1947, and wanted to “save” Britain by working to prevent similar scenes here. “Islam is global, it has zero loyalty to Britain,” he said. “The BNP are sons of soil and they are standing up for their soil. I wish we had a counterpart of the BNP in India in 1946.” He said he had adopted the “British way of life” but denied

he had renounced Sikh values. “Some Sikhs say ‘You are not a Sikh’, but I have core Sikh values,” he added. “Britain is changing, it’s not the Britain I came to when I came in. The British people are worried, and the BNP is the expression of their worry”.

UK journalist in Hamas net GAZA: British officials met yesterday with a detained journalist in Gaza amid calls for Hamas to release the Briton, the first foreigner the Islamists have arrested since seizing power in Gaza in 2007. Paul Martin was arrested on Sunday in a Gaza Strip courtroom while testifying for a Palestinian friend accused of “collaborating with Israel,” Hamas and British officials said. “We are very concerned about the situation and we are attempting to provide consular assistance,” a spokesman for the British consulate in Jerusalem said, adding that the British authorities were in touch with Martin’s family. A statement on the Hamas interior ministry website said Martin was ordered held for two weeks for “violating Palestinian law and security in the Gaza Strip,” but did not elaborate. “A representative from the British consulate entered (Gaza) yesterday and has met with the British journalist,” it said, adding that Martin had entered Gaza on Sunday. The Foreign Press Association (FPA), which groups journalists in Israel and the Palestinian territories, said it was “deeply concerned” over the arrest and called on Hamas to free the reporter.

Moldovan rebels offer to host Russia missiles MOSCOW: Moldova’s rebel region of Transdniestria said yesterday it was ready to host Russian tactical missiles if the Kremlin were to ask, escalating growing tensions about defense between Moscow and Washington. NATO and European Union member Romania, which borders Moldova, this month approved a U.S. plan to deploy interceptor missiles which Washington says aims to defend against current and emerging ballistic missile threats from Iran.



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

‘March of Anger’ in Mexico against military’s drug war CIUDAD JUAREZ: Hundreds of people took to the streets Sunday to protest Ciudad Juarez’ record-setting crime wave civil rights groups say is made worse by the presence of 6,000 Mexican combat troops. “The army’s presence is anticonstitutional and violates citizens’ rights. That’s why we’re asking them to withdraw,” National Front Against Repression leader Javier Contreras bellowed at some 1,300 people taking part in the “March of Anger” in the center of the

city. Across the border from the US city of El Paso, Texas, Ciudad Juarez is a battleground for rival drug cartels seeking control of lucrative drug smuggling routes into the United States. Despite 6,000 troops sent in to reinforce local police in fighting crime, last year 2,660 people were murdered in the city, making it the murder capital of Mexico. When 15 innocent youths were gunned down at a party on January 31,

civil rights groups staged a demonstration to vent the local population’s anger at the seemingly endless bloodshed. The National Front and other civil right groups maintain innocent civilians are sometimes harassed or tortured by law enforcement officials in their zealous crackdown on organized crime. “You can’t fight violence with more violence and breaking the laws,” Contreras said, speaking to the protesters. President Felipe Calderon visited

Ciudad Juarez last week and apologized to the bereaving families of the young party goers for initially blaming last month’s massacre on gang warfare. The president admitted that his three-year crackdown on crime with more than 50,000 troops spread across the country “is not enough,” and vowed to redesign a new strategy against crime and violence with community cooperation. Drug-related crime has left more than 15,000 dead in the past three years in Mexico.— AFP

White House ignores Beijing’s protest over Dalai Lama visit Beyond diplomatic tussle lies a running quandary WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama’s upcoming meeting with the Dalai Lama has already angered China, but beyond the diplomatic tussle lies a running quandary: Can foreign pressure sway Beijing on Tibet? Obama plans to receive the Tibetan spiritual leader on Thursday at the White House, ignoring China’s protests. The National Endowment for Democracy, which is funded by the US Congress, will also present the Dalai Lama with a medal. Obama avoided meeting with the Dalai Lama last year in hopes of starting off his relationship on a good foot with China, which presses other nations to ostracize the internationally respected Buddhist monk. While the White House said Obama will see him in the Dalai Lama’s role as a religious leader, experts believe the exiled Tibetan leadership also has a strategy-to keep attention on China’s treatment of the Himalayan region. “The Chinese are increasingly trying to put pressure on the Dalai Lama to stop these visits so it’s obviously something they’re concerned about,” said Robert Barnett, director of the Modern Tibetan Studies Program at Columbia University. “But it’s also been very effective for the Tibetan side and also the American agenda in that it does seem to be something that gets the Chinese to the table,” he

TOKYO: Combo of file photos shows US president Barack Obama (left) in the Oval Office of the White house and Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, before a lecture in Tokyo. — AFP said. China recently held the first round of talks in more than a year with envoys of the Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet for India in 1959 amid a failed uprising against Chinese rule in his homeland. But Barnett added: “What it doesn’t seem to do is to bring the Chinese into making concessions in the talks-that seems to be a long way off.” Both sides reported wide gaps in the talks, with China renewing charges that the Dalai Lama was a separatist. The Dalai Lama has repeatedly said he is

only seeking greater freedoms for Tibetans under Chinese rule. Elliot Sperling, an expert on Tibet at Indiana University, said that China appeared set on dragging out the periodic talks until the 74-year-old Dalai Lama dies-and with him, Beijing hopes, the Tibetan cause. “The Dalai Lama and the people around him have refused to realize this and that the talks have a strategic value for China-they’re useful for thwarting criticisms as to why isn’t the Chinese gov-

ernment talking to the Dalai Lama,” Sperling said. “China feels that it has all the cards and it doesn’t see any reason at all to compromise,” he said. He said that China felt emboldened after protests in Tibet in March 2008 - and foreign criticism of Beijing’s handling of them-failed to derail the Olympic Games later that year. Instead of seeking meetings with foreign leaders and talks with China, the Dalai Lama may be better off to realize that a solution is unlikely in his life-

time, Sperling said. “The least he could do would be to preserve the integrity of the movement,” Sperling said. “He has already gone to the length of saying he recognizes Tibet as part of China, something a large segment if not the majority of Tibetans do not agree with.” But Barnett said that critics of the Dalai Lama’s strategy offered no alternatives. He noted that China was facing growing pressure on issues ranging from climate change to Internet censorship to Taiwan. The United States last month agreed to sell 6.4 billion dollars in weapons to Taiwan, which Beijing claims. “Suddenly Western powers are looking a little more resolute in their attitude to China,” Barnett said. “This might not last, it might not produce change and it might make China more assertive, but China will have to consider which of these issues is most important.” Jeffrey Hopkins, an emeritus professor at the University of Virginia who was formerly the Dalai Lama’s chief English interpreter, said that the globally famous monk felt personally compelled to raise the grievances of his people. “One of his prime responsibilities is the welfare of the Tibetan people and I know he feels a great burden for not having succeeded more in that task,” Hopkins said. “He doesn’t give up. He’s not that kind of person,” he said.— AFP

CIUDAD JUAREZ: Patricia Davila (center) aunt of the teenagers Marcos Pina Davila and Jose Luiz Pina Davila, both killed by unknown assailants, shouts slogans during a protest against violence in Ciudad Juarez. — AP

Would-be bomber trained with other English speakers WASHINGTON: The Nigerian suspected of trying to blow up a jet as it prepared to land in Detroit on Christmas Day has told the FBI he trained in Yemen with other English-speaking terrorists, a report said yesterday. The would-be bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, reportedly told interrogators he met with other English speakers at a terrorist training camp in Yemen run by the group Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The Washington Times, a newspaper in the US capital known to have good sources in the intelligence community, quoted three US intelligence officials speaking on condition of anonymity. Abdulmutallab, 23, is accused of trying to detonate explosives hidden in his underwear on a Northwest Airlines plane with 289 people on board as it approached Detroit on December 25. FBI agents interrogated Abdulmutallab for 50 minutes after he was arrested on Christmas Day,

but for the next five weeks he refused to share information before relenting after relatives visited him from Nigeria, the Times reported. “It’s safe to say that Abdulmutallab is not the only bullet in the chamber for Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” an unnamed official told the Times. The information is believed to be a factor behind congressional testimony on February 2 by the most senior US intelligence officials, including Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, that Al-Qaeda is sure to mount an attack on the United States in the next three to six months. Blair was asked about the prospects of AlQaeda striking over that period. “The chances of an attempted attack are certain. They’re going to try,” he told members of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula called in an Internet audio message in early February for more US targets to be hit around the world. — AFP

US forces scale back Haiti role Thousands of American troops pack up their tents PORT-AU-PRINCE: The biggest US military surge since Iraq and Afghanistan is scaling back a month after the troops arrived in haste to aid victims of Haiti’s catastrophic quake. Great gray ships have been leaving behind Haiti’s battered shores as thousands of American troops pack up their tents. The mission, however, is far from over. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the US will be in Haiti for the long haul, although troop strength is down to 13,000 from a Feb 1 peak of 20,000. Those who remain will accompany Haitians in an arduous struggle toward recovery. Within a broad international relief effort, US forces have provided some of the most visible support to a nation whose government and infrastructure were nearly wiped out in less than a minute on Jan 12. They have shored up the capital’s quake-damaged port to operate at several times its pre-quake tonnage, while acting as a security and logistics mainstay for UN food distributions. Military choppers have delivered life-sustaining relief to isolated villages. The flow of injured quake victims to the USNS Comfort hospital ship has eased, but the need for medical facilities remains overwhelming in Port-au-Prince. “We’re pretty saturated. This is the chokepoint,” said Air Force Maj John Mansuy of St Clairsville, Ohio, the operating room nurse in a tented, full-service unit with zipper doors and a positive air flow to keep out choking dust that blankets a landfill in the teeming Cite Soleil slum. His medical team takes in people strapped to stretchers with fractures, open wounds and other life-threatening maladies before rushing them offshore to the Comfort. The Haiti aid operation, costing the Pentagon $234 million and counting, has added a new strain to an already overtaxed military. About seven in 10 members of the Cite

PORT-AU-PRINCE: People chant in prayer as they walk the streets of Port-au-Prince in procession Sunday. – AP Soleil’s modern-day MASH unit are veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - and many are scheduled to return there. US Southern Command chief Gen Douglas Fraser would not specify during a weekend visit what US troop levels would be in the coming months. “Remember that the capability and the capacity the United States military brought in was for immediate relief,” he told reporters. The US military already is turning certain tasks back over to the Haitians, such as daytime air-traffic control at Port-au-Prince’s damaged international airport, where commercial flights are expected to resume by Friday. The Haitians have generally greeted the Americans with warmth and appreciation, despite language barriers in the Creole- and French-speaking Caribbean nation. One day at the gates of the collapsed Hotel Montana, a group of Haitian children greeted soldiers with the 82nd Airborne with a rendition of Michael Jackson’s moonwalk. The soldiers replied with a moonwalk of their own. “Hey,

you’re good!” one of the kids shouted. “No one is scared of them. They aren’t aggressive, they wave hello. They have a peaceful attitude,” said Jacques Michilet, 31, who lost his home and is raising two daughters in roadside shack. Like many impoverished Haitians, Michilet doesn’t just want the soldiers to stay: He said he wants his country taken out of the hands of its current business and political leaders and annexed by the United States. US forces have not always been so welcome in their long history of intervention in Haiti. A Marine-led occupation from 1915 to 1934 is widely seen among Haitians as a high water mark of US imperialism. Troops returned repeatedly, paving the way in 1994 for President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s return to power and then quelling widespread violence in 2004 after Aristide flew into exile aboard a US plane. Critics say American perception of Haiti as an innately violent place drove the troops to focus unduly on security, at the

expense of some humanitarian aid. Patrick Elie, a former Haitian defense minister now helping restructure the country’s dismantled security forces, said the US troops have done good but were too focused on security initially. “The foreign countries that came to our aid fell victim to their own propaganda,” Elie said. “They were afraid of a monster that never existed except in their own fantasies ... that Haitians are bloodthirsty savages.” After the disaster, there were isolated street fights and killings of looters by security guards, and some gang violence in slums driven by leaders who escaped from prison. But the capital has been largely calm and orderly as Haitians organize themselves from the ground up. On Sunday, volunteers with whistles directed traffic around fallen buildings and rubble in the hard-hit Bel Air slum. Uniformed scouts routed cars around singing church parades - a toned-down substitute for this year’s missed Carnival season. Still, US military analyst Loren Thompson of

the Lexington Institute said the security precautions were warranted. “Desperate people do desperate things,” he said. “It would be dangerous and probably counterproductive to put US civilians on the ground there without military forces to ensure order.” A 9,000-strong Brazilian-led UN peacekeeping force has been in place since 2004 to help Haiti contain gang violence and maintain basic order. Earlier this month, Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive defended the size of the American military presence when confronted by wary Haitian senators. He said the government’s acceptance of the US military force boiled down to “a reality of capacity, of power, of proximity, of logistics.” Half of the 13,000 current US troops in Haiti are on the ground, with the others offshore on hospital boats or handling deliveries and logistics. Many Haitians said they are most grateful for the US troops providing security during food distributions, a life-and-death matter for most of the 1.2 million made homeless by the quake. The US said it has helped deliver food to 160,000 people a day, but meals remain scarce and food has been diverted or stolen because of inadequate protection. Far smaller contingents of Canadian, French, Italian, South Korean and Japanese troops are also in Haiti, and European Union engineering units are expected in coming weeks to help build temporary shelters. But the American contingent is the one that Haitians worry about losing in their greatest time of need. Told that some US troops are leaving, 29-year-old rooster trainer Watson Geranson grew worried. “Haiti needs help, we had a catastrophe,” he said as a US Humvee rumbled by a new shantytown of quake refugees, where signs were posted pleading for food. “I don’t see why they should go.”— AP

JAKARTA: Workers remove the statue of President Barack Obama as a 10year-old boy from a Menteng Park in Jakarta. — AP

Obama statue removed from Indonesia’s park JAKARTA: Authorities removed a statue of Barack Obama from a park in the Indonesian capital due to a public backlash and moved it yesterday to a nearby elementary school that the US president attended as a child. The bronze statue, inspired by a childhood photograph of a 10-year-old Obama in shorts with a butterfly perched on an outstretched thumb, had been targeted by critics since it was erected in the Jakarta park last December. Detractors argued that an Indonesian hero should have been honored instead, noting that Obama still could pursue policies that hurt Indonesia’s interests. Obama, whose American mother married an Indonesian after divorcing his Kenyan father, went to school in the capital from 1967 to 1971 and is regarded fondly by most Indonesians. Edi Kusyanto, a teacher at the affluent government school Obama attended, said the 43-inch statue would be standing in the school grounds by the time the president visits Jakarta from March 20-22. “There is no controversy about the statue being here. Everyone at the

school welcomes it,” Kusyanto said. The statue was erected with private funds raised by the Jakarta-based nonprofit group Friends of Obama Foundation, but Jakarta Gov. Fauzi Bowo is paying for its relocation. Ron Mullers, an American living in Jakarta who came up with the idea for the statue and raised money for it, declined to say whether he thought moving it was an overreaction. “It’s a beautiful statue and it had become a tourist attraction,” Mullers said. “My feeling is that the park is a place where more Indonesian people can see it,” he said. Still, he said he was happy that the statue might inspire the school’s students to follow their dreams. Heru Nugroho, leader of a Facebook campaign to remove the statue, welcomed the move but added that the decision had taken too long. He said he would now drop court action seeking the statue’s removal. Indonesia is home to the world’s largest Muslim population and many here believe Obama will improve relations with the West. — AP


Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Yemen’s biggest port offers gleam of economic hope ADEN: Yemen, grappling with violent conflicts, Al-Qaeda militancy and severe poverty, is not everyone’s idea of an alluring investment opportunity. But Indian entrepreneur Ravinder Singh waxes lyrical about the advantages of doing business in a country that attracted little attention until Al-Qaeda’s Yemenbased wing said it was behind a botched Dec 25 attempt to blow up a US airliner. “I’m amazed at the quality of Yemeni manpower,” said Singh, who set up a steel plant in the southern port of Aden in 2005. “I’ve worked in India for more than 30 years in several places, but I’ve never seen manpower with the commitment of Yemenis.” This might seem an unusual tribute in a land where UN agencies estimate that only 54 percent of adults are literate and only 55 percent of children go to school. Most Yemeni men spend half the day chewing qat, a mild

amphetamine-like drug. But Singh, whose plant’s yearly output of 100,000 tons of steel covers a sixth of Yemen’s demand, described his workers as intelligent, with “virgin minds” that were easy to train. He thinks Yemen is ripe for a spurt of industrial growth, an outlook at odds with widespread economic gloom focused on the country’s dwindling oil production and collapsing water supply. Singh, who works for the YemeniSaudi Arab Iron and Steel Corp, is overseeing a $1.6 billion expansion of the Aden plant to boost capacity to 1.5 million tons a year within a decade. The company is building 150 factory sheds and housing units for investors who, Singh is convinced, will flock to the plant which now employs 400 Yemenis, a number he plans to increase. The factory is near the road leading to Lahej province, scene of many separatist

protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s government in the north, but this doesn’t bother Singh. Nor is he worried about al Qaeda’s appeal for young Yemenis. “I have met hundreds of them. They want to work, they want to participate,” he said. POPULATION PRESSURE The southern Arabian peninsula country could certainly do with an economic success story-and more jobs for its young population of 23 million, which is set to double in 20 years. Already 45 percent of Yemenis live on less than $2 a day. Some investors are deterred by the weakness of government authority in many areas. Diplomats say other obstacles to investment include rampant corruption and cronyism, with top jobs often assigned on the basis of loyalty not competence. Despite Yemen’s meager resources, funds are available for infrastructure and

other projects. Donors pledged $4.7 billion in 2006, but the bulk of the money has yet to be spent. “Many projects get delayed because you find few resources or competent people in ministries,” said a diplomat working for an international organization in Sanaa. “Often you have to hire expatriate staff to realize a project.” For better or worse, Yemen is one of the few countries in the world without a McDonald’s or Burger King restaurantbut it is at least trying to draw foreign investors to the Aden free trade zone, where Singh’s steel plant is located. For years the zone has offered tax-free profits, no limits on ownership and cheap land to investors, who have committed about $800 million so far, according to its manager Abdul-Galil Al-Shaibi. “We have been moving fast but in my view not fast enough,” Shaibi said, adding that the zone hoped to double investments within

five years with the help of Yemenis living abroad. “We have cheap labor...The process is to interest Yemenis in their country, to develop it so others will come,” he said. AIR OF DECAY Aden, once one of the world’s biggest ports, is home to much of Yemen’s oil and gas industry, but the city’s drab residential blocks and potholed roads testify to years of neglect. The port authority building, with its English signboards and wooden stairways, has changed little since British rule, which ended in 1967 and gave way to a Soviet-backed republic. Many southerners say they were better off before their former socialist state joined the north in 1990, only to fight and lose a war for secession four years later. Since then, they complain, northerners have grabbed most jobs and resources. Yet there are small signs of new econom-

ic activity. Dubai port operator DP World is expanding the container port, hoping Aden will become a regional hub for ships sailing to or from the Suez Canal-despite the threat from piracy in the Gulf of Aden. It has up to 700 staff and is seeking more. “We’re working with a local university to help us evaluate and assess staff,” said John Fewer, a DP World adviser in Aden. Yemen is also in talks with investors to modernize the ailing Aden oil refinery, although experts say this will be daunting job requiring billions of dollars. The refinery was built in the British era and damaged during the 1994 civil war. Preparatory work for a sugar refinery to be built by Saudi investors has just started, Shaibi said. Some other plans for the free zone are unlikely to see the light of the day, such as construction of a new airport. The existing terminal handles only a few flights a day. — Reuters

5 jihadists jailed in Australia Plotters: Australians of Lebanese, Libyan, Bangladeshi descent SYDNEY: Five Muslims who plotted an attack using guns and explosives to protest against Australia’s part in the “war on terror” were jailed for up to 28 years yesterday, after the country’s longest extremism trial. The men, who cannot be named, were convicted in October of gathering firearms, chemicals and bomb-making instructions, along

PYONGYANG: North Korean leader Kim Jong Il’s image is projected in the screen above the stage during schoolchildren’s performance to celebrate the Lunar New Year in Pyongyang. — AP

North Korea’s Kim hands gifts to kids on birthday SEOUL: North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il handed out gift bags to children yesterday as part of official celebrations ahead of his 68th birthday, media reports from the impoverished communist state said. Japan’s Fuji television network carried images from North Korea of Kim taking gifts to children on a remote island by helicopter on the eve of his birthday today. In the capital Pyongyang children were seen receiving gift bags or skipping ropes and spinning tops at a department store jam-packed with shoppers. “Thank you very, very much, Great General Kim Jong-Il!” a formally-dressed woman with her arms around two girls said emotionally. North Korean authorities usually hand out gift bags on Kim’s birthday, a national holiday on which the regime stresses the need for national unity and loyalty to the leader. Presents include sweets and snacks for chil-

dren, while adults receive liquor, fruit or household necessities. North Korea is currently locked in a battle of wills with the United States and Western nations over its decision to pull out of nuclear disarmament talks last year. Despite this tension and reports of widespread poverty in North Korea itself, official state media said Kim had received congratulatory messages from wellwishers across the nation and the world. Celebratory rallies and events were held in the leader’s honor and he also attended a Lunar New Year year concert accompanied by top military, government and party officials. Kim, like his late father Kim Il-Sung, the nation’s founder, has built up a personality cult that ascribes to him almost supernatural powers. On Saturday, more than 100,000 people rallied in Pyongyang to mark an anniversary of the ruling communist party and show support for Kim. — AFP

Anti-immigration Hanson quits Australia for Britain SYDNEY: Australian antiimmigration firebrand Pauline Hanson is selling up and heading to Britain after becoming disillusioned with her home country, a magazine reported yesterday. The former One Nation party chief, who infamously warned Australia was in danger of being “swamped by Asians” in her maiden parliamentary speech, told Woman’s Day she would be away “indefinitely”. “I know I will never be given a chance to re-enter parliament again,” Hanson was quoted as saying. “I’m 56 this year. So, while I’ve still got my health, I want to get out there,” she added. Hanson, who left the door open for a possible return to Australia, has abandoned hope of a political comeback

after losing a Queensland state election bid last year. The former fish and chip shop-owner complained Australia had become a “harder” place to live with fewer opportunities. She said she was selling her property southwest of Brisbane and was leaving her home state for good. “Our governments lack enough people with the fortitude to speak up without fear or favor,” she said. “Overregulation, increasing taxes and lack of true representation are affecting our way of life. “I feel very much for the young ones. Once it was common for them to own their own home. Not now. It’s a harder place. Sadly, the land of opportunity is no more applicable.” Hanson drew

international condemnation but briefly won domestic support in the 1990s with her anti-immigration and trade protection policies, before losing her seat in 1998. She spent several weeks in jail in 2003 for fraudulently spending electoral funds before the judgment was overturned. In 2007, she ran unsuccessfully for a national Senate seat, switching her target from Asians to Islam and calling for an end to immigration by Muslims to protect “Australian culture”. Last year, Hanson blamed her failure in the Queensland state election on the publication of raunchy photos purportedly taken by an exboyfriend. The pictures turned out not to be of Hanson. — AFP

“There is no reason to doubt that, absent the intervention of the authorities, the plan might well have come to fruition in early 2006 or thereabouts,” Whealy told the hearing of New South Wales Supreme Court. The men from Sydney, who are Australian citizens of Lebanese, Libyan and Bangladeshi descent, were handed maximum terms of 23 to 28 years, with the shortest non-parole period being 17 years and three months. The five, aged 25 to 44, showed little emotion and some of them smiled at each other when Whealy left court. “That’s a very big sentence-not even murderers get sentenced that much,” the sister of one of the men told reporters. “Twentythree years, that’s half of his life. It’s not fair to him, our community or our religion.” The judge had said there was overwhelming evidence they wanted to create “at the very least, serious damage to property” and posed a “serious risk” to the public, although it was not clear that they intended to kill. “On occasions they were inept and clumsy, but these factors did not make their conspiracy any less dangerous,” he said. Australia’s former conservative government was closely aligned to the policies of former US president George W Bush, and the country was one of the first to commit troops to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The five took Australia’s involvement in those conflicts as “acts of aggression against the wider Muslim community”, prosecutor Richard Maidment told the court earlier. They spent months collecting chemicals, firearms and ammunition, and raids on their homes found “large quantities of literature which supported indiscriminate killing, mass murder and martyrdom in pursuit of violent jihad”. The men had pictures and videos showing the hijacked aircraft smashing into the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001, as well as beheadings and death on the battlefield, Maidment said. They also had documents glorifying Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and showing how to make a pipebomb with common ingredients such as citric acid and hair bleach, he said. The court was shown more than 3,000 exhibits and heard from about 300 witnesses during the 10-month trial. However, the jury was spared being shown footage of hostages being executed by Muslim extremists. “These were particularly distressing and graphic. It is impossible to imagine that any civilized person could watch these videos,” Whealy said. “So disturbing were they, that none of the executions was shown to the jury.” Lawyers for the five, at least one of whom is set to appeal, had argued there were innocent explanations for much of the material and labeled the case “propagandist”. Four co-conspirators pleaded guilty and were sentenced earlier. In August five other men were arrested and charged over an alleged plot to attack a Sydney military barracks. The 92 million dollar (82 million US) court complex was described as “Fort Knox” by ex-state premier Morris Iemma when he opened it in 2008. It includes two highsecurity courts with docks shielded by shatter-proof glass, and 500 CCTV cameras. — AFP

with a mass of Islamist propaganda, for the attack on an unknown target. Justice Anthony Whealy, who handed down the sentences at a purpose-built courthouse in Sydney’s west, said the plans were “often lacking in cleverness” but were well advanced when the five were arrested in 2005.

SYDNEY: Police make preparations shortly before driving out a police van from a courthouse in Sydney’s west, believed to be holding five men who plotted an attack using guns and explosives to protest against Australia’s part in the ‘war on terror’ and who were jailed for up to 28 years yesterday. — AFP



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Nationalists blame Pakistan for bombing in India Security forces put on high alert at airports, train stations, markets PUNE: India said it would wait for the findings of an investigation into this weekend’s bakery bombing before responding to Hindu nationalists’ demands to cancel upcoming peace talks with Pakistan, amid suspicions Islamic militants plotted the attack. The explosion Saturday, caused by a bomb left in an unattended bag at a venue popular with tourists, killed nine people and wounded 60. It was the first major terrorist attack in India since the 2008 Mumbai massacre when Pakistan-based militants ran amok in the country’s financial hub. Security forces were immediately put on high alert at airports, train stations and markets across India. The bombing came just a day after nuclear rivals India and Pakistan set a date for their first formal dialogue since the Mumbai attacks prompted New Delhi to suspend wide-ranging talks aimed at normalizing relations after six decades of hostility. On Sunday, Hindu nationalist leaders blamed the attack in the western city of Pune on majorityMuslim Pakistan and demanded the

government call off the talks, scheduled for Feb 25 in New Delhi. Arun Jaitley of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party said India shouldn’t restart peace talks until Pakistan stops allowing terrorists to base themselves there and punishes those involved in the Mumbai attacks. “Terrorism and talks can’t coexist,” Jaitley said. Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said he would wait for the forensic experts’ report on the bombing before commenting on the opposition demand. In Pakistan, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani denounced the blast and indicated his government still wants the new talks to go ahead. “We condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” Gilani told reporters. The blast ripped open the German Bakery in Pune, 125 miles southeast of Mumbai. Thick patches of blood and severed limbs littered the popular hangout, which is close to the Osho Ashram, a popular meditation retreat, and a Jewish center officials say were previously scouted by a terrorist suspect now detained in

PUNE: Indian police inspect the site of an explosion outside a German Bakery business close to the Osho Ashram in Pune. — AP

27 Taleban killed in west HEART: Afghan police said yesterday that an anti-Taleban operation in the relatively peaceful west of the country had killed 27 militants, as a USled offensive in the south faced stiff resistance. Afghan police, supported by international forces, launched an operation against Taleban in the Bakwa district of Farah province on Sunday, provincial police chief Mohammad Faqir Askar said. “So far 27 Taleban have been killed and another five, including their commander Mullah Abdul Bari, have been arrested,” Askar said, adding that the operation was continuing. Two heroin-processing laboratories had also been destroyed, he said. Meanwhile, the Afghan military said yesterday that US-led troops had taken almost full control of a Taleban bastion at the centre of a massive ground and air assault that was in its third day. The offensive is the first major test of US President Barack Obama’s strategy to reverse the Taleban insurgency and end the eight-year war, and one of the biggest since the 2001 US-led invasion brought down the Taleban. US Marines were leading 15,000 US, NATO and Afghan troops in the ground and air operation designed to clear the Taleban from the Marjah region of the southern province of Helmand and make way for Western-backed authorities. So far at least 12 Afghan civilians and two NATO soldiers have been killed in Operation Mushtarak (“Together” in Dari). Another five NATO soldiers have died elsewhere in southern Afghanistan since the assault began Saturday. Speaking to AFP behind the front line in the provincial capital Lashkar Gah, a senior Afghan general said troops had captured nearly all the targeted territory in the Marjah and Nad Ali areas of Helmand. “All of the areas of Marjah and Nad Ali have been taken by combined forces. They are under our control, almost all Nad Ali and Marjah,” said General Aminullah Patiani, the senior

Taleban bastion ‘almost’ under control

MARJAH: Members of the F Company (Fire Support) 1 Royal Welsh take position during operation “Moshtarak” in Afghanistan’s Helmand province. — AP Afghan commander in Operation Mushtarak. “The Taleban have left the areas, but the threat from IEDs remains,” he said, referring to improvised explosive devices, which have become the biggest killer of NATO troops in Afghanistan. In Kabul, General Mohammad Zahir Azimi, the Afghan defence ministry spokesman said: “Marjah has been almost cleared and our forces are in control. “There are some small-scale, sporadic firefights. We are mostly busy with clearing the area of IEDs. The operation is nearing its end,” he added. Despite upbeat assessments from Western leaders and military commanders, however, a spokesman for the US Marines urged caution. “There is still fighting in certain areas of Marjah. We have found very little opposition but

there have been a couple of difficult areas where the Marines have met stiff resistance,” said Marines spokesman Captain Abe Sipe. In some villages around Marjah, the Taleban were “standing and holding” and combined forces were under gun and rocket-propelled grenade attack, he said. An AFP photographer on the outskirts of Marjah said Sunday that troops had advanced painstakingly, coming under Taleban fire and hunting for IEDs, as they sought to reassure residents that they were in the area to stay. Obama has ordered the deployment of over 50,000 American troops to Afghanistan since taking office in January 2009, with the final reinforcements due to bring to 150,000 the total number of US and NATO-led troops in the country

Suspected US drone kills 3 in Pakistan MIR ALI: A suspected US drone fired a missile at a vehicle in Pakistan’s volatile northwest yesterday, killing three people in the second such strike in as many days in an area dominated by militants who regularly attack US and NATO troops in Afghanistan, officials and residents said. President Barack Obama has stepped up the use of missile strikes in Pakistan’s lawless tribal area since taking office, partly in response to the Pakistani government’s reluctance to target Taleban militants who are not deemed a direct threat to the state. The vehicle hit Monday was traveling through the North Waziristan tribal area, a region inhabited by militants who helped orchestrate the Dec 30 suicide bombing against a remote CIA base in Afghanistan that killed seven

of the agency’s employees. Yahya Khan, a schoolteacher in Tapi village where yesterday’s strike occurred, said he saw a drone fire a missile and went to inspect the damaged vehicle with one of his students. “We saw the car had turned into pieces,” said the student, Sabir Nawaz. “We saw at least two bodies.” Local government official Wazir Gul said three people were killed and he identified them as militants. Pakistani intelligence officials provided conflicting accounts of the nature of the blast and the identities of those killed. Two officials confirmed the drone strike and said it killed three militants. Two others said the vehicle hit a land mine and could not confirm the identities of the three killed. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to

talk to the media. The US is thought to have launched more than a dozen missile strikes in North and South Waziristan since the CIA attack, including one on Jan. 14 that Pakistani and US officials believe mortally wounded Pakistani Taleban leader Hakimullah Mehsud. A US missile strike also killed Mehsud’s predecessor in August. The Taleban continue to deny Mehsud is dead but have failed to provide evidence he is alive. The US does not talk publicly about the secret CIArun drone program in Pakistan, but officials say privately that the strikes have killed several senior Taleban and Al-Qaeda leaders. Pakistani officials regularly protest the strikes as violations of the country’s sovereignty. But US officials say privately that the government supports the program. — AP

by August. Western commanders say Mushtarak seeks to implement counter-insurgency tactics drawn up by ground commander General Stanley McChrystal in order to push out militants and pave the way for Afghan sovereignty. Afghan officials say they have a government-in-waiting ready to sweep in and set up institutional services and security that will ensure the Taleban do not return. Intrinsic to the strategy is the need to limit civilian casualties in a bid to foster public confidence. The Red Cross has warned that war casualties rose in the build-up to the highly publicized offensive. NATO on Sunday acknowledged responsibility for the deaths of 12 Afghans who were killed when two rockets missed their target and landed on a compound as troops came under

fire in Nad Ali district, where Marjah is located. McChrystal apologized for the deaths as US national security adviser James Jones said the offensive was going well after the first 24 hours. British military spokesman Major General Gordon Messenger said British commanders were also “very much of the view this has gone according to plan”. Of the seven NATO soldiers killed in southern Afghanistan since the start of the offensive, at least four have been American and two British. In a statement released by the Taleban, a commander named Mullah Abdul Rezaq Akhund was quoted condemning the offensive as a public relations stunt “to give some prestige to the defeated and failed military commander... McChrystal”. — Agencies

Lankan lawyers slam govt over crackdown COLOMBO: Lawyers in Sri Lanka accused the government yesterday of illegally suppressing protests at the arrest of former army chief Sarath Fonseka. Thousands of people taking part in peaceful protests have been attacked by pro-government supporters despite the presence of armed police, the independent Lawyers for Democracy said in a statement. “We were shocked to witness that protesters were first attacked by hooligans and thugs who were provided protection by the police. Subsequently the same peaceful protesters were beaten by the police,” the lawyers said. Thousands took to the streets to protest against the arrest of Fonseka, who lost a January 26

presidential election to the incumbent Mahinda Rajapakse. Smaller protests were continuing yesterday. Two weeks after the election, Fonseka was arrested for plotting a coup when he was army chief. The lawyers said peoples’ right to protest and expression guaranteed by the constitution were “severely undermined by the law enforcement authorities and supporters of the government”. On Sunday, the heads of Sri Lanka’s influential Buddhist clergy backed opposition demands for the immediate release of Fonseka, a decorated war hero who helped crush Tamil Tiger rebels and their 37-year separatist campaign in May. — AFP

the US officials said one or two people posing as customers left a backpack containing a bomb in the bakery that exploded at 7:30 pm Saturday after a waiter apparently attempted to open it. Two foreigners - one Iranian and an Italian - were among those killed in the blast, said Satyapal Singh, the city police commissioner. Twelve foreigners were wounded - five Iranians, one Yemeni, two Sudanese, two Nepalese and one each from Germany and Taiwan. Police and forensic experts cordoned off the blast site and searched the debris for clues, but Singh said Sunday police were yet to detain any suspects. The bakery is about 200 yards from the meditation center that Home Secretary GK Pillai said had been surveyed by David Headley, who is facing charges in Chicago for allegedly scouting targets for the November 2008 Mumbai attack. Another senior official said Headley had also observed the Chabad House Jewish center near the bakery. The center’s rabbi, Betzalel

Kupchik, told Israel’s Army Radio station that four months earlier, Pune police warned him of possible attacks and stationed a guard around the clock at the center. “We are not worried,” Kupchik said. “We sleep here and eat here and hope for the best.” Saturday’s bombing was the first major terrorist strike in India since 10 Pakistanbased gunmen rampaged through hotels and a train station in the financial hub of Mumbai for 60 hours in November 2008, killing 166 people. Some 15 months on, and ties between India and Pakistan appear to be warming, although there are still occasional skirmishes on their disputed border in the Himalayan region of Kashmir over which the South Asian neighbors have fought two wars. The Indian army accused Pakistani soldiers of unprovoked firing at Indian positions on the cease-fire line late Saturday using automatic guns and rockets for nearly two hours. There was no immediate comment from Pakistan’s army. — AP

What is Pakistan’s latest judicial dispute about? Pakistani lawyers boycotted courts yesterday in a protest against unpopular President Asif Ali Zardari, who is in a dispute with the Supreme Court over the appointment of judges. On Saturday, a Supreme Court panel blocked an order from Zardari issued earlier that day appointing two judges, one to the Supreme Court and the other as chief justice of the high court in the city of Lahore. Following are some questions and answers about the dispute. WHAT IS THE ROW ABOUT? Zardari issued an order on Saturday appointing two judges, one as a judge of the Supreme Court and the other as chief justice of the high court in the city of Lahore. Hours later, the Supreme Court suspended the order on the grounds that Zardari had apparently violated the constitution by not consulting Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. WHAT ARE THE RULES? The constitution says judges shall be appointed by the president after consultation with the chief justice. The constitution defines “consultation” as discussion and deliberation which, except in respect to the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and high courts, shall not be binding on the president. WHAT IS THE DANGER FOR ZARDARI? The row comes two months after the Supreme Court threw out an amnesty that had protected Zardari, several top aides and thousands of political activists and civil servants, mostly from old corruption charges. Zardari denies any wrongdoing and says the old charges from the 1990s were politically motivated. Although Zardari cannot be prosecuted as he is

protected by presidential immunity, he is likely to face legal challenges to his 2008 election as president on the grounds that the old charges made him ineligible. His row with the Supreme Court over the appointments could spur the court into more vigorous action on the cases challenging his immunity. Scattered protests, both against the president and in favor of him, broke out on Sunday and lawyers boycotted courts yesterday in a show of opposition to the president. At the same time, opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, who had been largely supportive of the government, denounced the president on Sunday as “the biggest threat to democracy”. He also said Pakistan’s rulers wanted “to hide their corruption” by targeting the judiciary, Dawn newspaper reported. Sharif could call for street protests against the president. Zardari, husband of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, has failed to match his wife’s popularity, but a ruling coalition led by his party has a comfortable majority in parliament. The row could blow over if Zardari backed down and left the appointment of judges to the chief justice. HOW DO INVESTORS SEE THE RISK? Investors in Pakistani stocks have become largely used to militant violence, especially in the remote northwest along the Afghan border. But stocks fell yesterday as investors worried about the potentially destabilizing judicial dispute. Dealers said the political uncertainty was likely to keep foreign investors away and they could start selling if the dispute intensified. At 1040 GMT, the Karachi Stock Exchange’s benchmark 100-share index was down 1.07 percent at 9,701.250. — Reuters

Nepalese president scraps virgin farewell KATHMANDU: Nepal’s head of state yesterday dispensed with a centuries-old tradition of having five virgin girls bid him goodbye as he left on a foreign visit, an aide said. Heads of state in Nepal have traditionally been seen off by five pre-pubescent girls representing the Hindu goddesses Durga, Sarshwati, Laxmi, Radha and Annapurna who perform religious rituals to bring success. They are presented with traditional marigold garlands in a ceremony designed to bring good fortune to the departing leader. But Rajendra Dahal, spokesman for President Ram Baran Yadav, said: “The president felt sorry for the students who used to have to wait outside in the sun for hours, so he scrapped the tradition.” Yadav, who took over as head of state following the abolition of Nepal’s 240-year-old Hindu monarchy in 2008 by the then Maoist government, left Monday for India where he will spend four days on a “goodwill visit”, Dahal said. The trip to India is his first foreign visit as president.

India has long been Nepal’s closest ally and main trading partner, but relations became strained when the Maoist party formed a government in 2008 following a surprise election win. Their leader broke with tradition by visiting China before India, and the ultra-leftists-now in opposition-have since accused New Delhi of interfering in Nepal’s affairs. Yadav will meet his Indian counterpart and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on a visit aimed at strengthening ties between the two countries, his spokesman said. “This is purely a goodwill visit. President Ram Baran Yadav will seek to strengthen the mutual understanding between the two neighbors and will extend the good wishes of the Nepalese people to the Indian people,” said Dahal. Yadav, Nepal’s first president, will be accompanied on his trip by Nepal’s Tourism Minister, Sharad Singh Bhandari, as the government seeks to boost the number of visitors to the impoverished Himalayan nation. — AFP

KATHMANDU: In this file photo, Nepal’s then Crown Prince Paras (center) and Crown Princess Himani (second left) receive flowers from a group of five children during a ceremony prior to their departure for China at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. — AFP


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Busairi to probe KAC violations Continued from Page 1 Bureau will be referred to the public prosecution for action. The minister reiterated statements he made over the weekend that maintenance of the KAC aircraft are being made in accordance with high standards, adding that the lives of people are more important than anything else. Busairi said he informed the committee that he will form an independent committee to launch a probe into violations committed during the last fiscal year of 2008/2009 as reported by the Audit Bureau. Asked about fears of some MPs that referring the violations to the public prosecution may not achieve the desired accountability, Busairi stressed that the

Audit Bureau reports are very clear. The minister however declined to name officials who are implicated in the violations, saying that names will be announced only after establishing their responsibility. Meanwhile, MP Jamaan Al-Harbash said Busairi pledged that the investigation committee will comprise of members from outside the KAC and that the committee is expected to be announced next week. Harbash said the committee will focus its investigation on violations committed by KAC officials in the past two years when preparations were being made to transform the corporation into a private company. In another development, the financial and economic affairs committee yesterday completed the debate of 13 of 27 arti-

cles of the key privatization draft law which sets the ground for privatizing public utilities and services. Head of the committee MP Yousef Al-Zalzalah said the discussions focused on the share of private firms that will manage or own public services after privatization. Zalzalah said there has been an agreement between the committee and the government over the bill and it is expected to finalize it on Sunday. The lawmaker said that the committee made certain amendments to the bill so as to prevent the violations that were committed in KAC from occurring in other public services or companies. Rapporteur of the committee MP Abdulrahman Al-Anjari meanwhile expected the report on the draft law to be ready in three weeks.

Houthis free Saudi soldier Continued from Page 1 the kingdom’s embassy, and would soon be flown home. The mediator, who requested anonymity, said the rebels were “convinced” during lengthy talks “to leave the question of their prisoners taken by the Saudis, numbering 31, to the Yemeni authorities to follow up.” The rebels complained on Sunday that Saudi Arabia was refusing to release the prisoners it is holding in exchange for the five soldiers. The truce, which came into force late on Thursday, continued to hold on Monday and joint mediation commissions were meeting to implement its terms, both sides said. Though the fighting has stopped, casualties in the north continue to mount. Seven people - two soldiers, three rebels and two civilians - were killed yesterday when an anti-tank mine exploded under a demining vehicle in Al-Iqab, south of Saada city, local sources said. On

Sunday, 13 Yemeni soldiers died when a military helicopter evacuating wounded servicemen crashed in the northern mountains, the defence ministry said. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday welcomed the ceasefire but expressed concern for the plight of the 250,000 people who have fled six years of fighting between the rebels and the Yemeni army. “We understand that a mediation commission representing all parties is monitoring compliance with the terms of the ceasefire and beginning the urgent process of reconciliation and reconstruction needed to bring this conflict to a permanent end,” she said. “The United States remains concerned about the humanitarian situation in the area, including the approximately 250,000 Yemenis displaced by the fighting. To assist displaced Yemenis, the United States has thus far provided 19.3 million dollars during fiscal years 2009 and 2010. We urge other donor nations to

support international relief agencies.” The six-point truce requires the rebels to reopen three major routes in the first stage: the road between Saada, Harf Sufian and the capital, Sanaa; the road from Saada west to Malahidh, and the road from Saada east to Al-Jawf. The rebels said yesterday that they have opened the road from Saada to Sanaa, along with two other roads. The truce agreement also calls for a rebel withdrawal from government buildings, the return of arms seized from security forces, release of all prisoners including Saudis, handover of captured army posts, and a pledge not to attack Saudi Arabia. The Saudis joined the fighting in November after accusing the rebels of killing a border guard and occupying two small villages. Saudi ground troops and aircraft engaged the rebels in operations which the rebels said continued even after their fighters had withdrawn from all Saudi territory. — AFP


Bharti eyes Africa in bid for Zain ops Continued from Page 1 move to consolidate his telecoms empire. Bharti, controlled by billionaire Chairman Sunil Mittal and Zain said the deal was still subject to due diligence and regulatory approvals. But Mohamed Al-Kharafi, chairman of Kuwait’s Kharafi group, which owns 11.47 percent of Zain through one of its units, told Indian television he was confident a deal would go through and that an all-cash transaction was planned. The move by Bharti, which is 30 percent-owned by Singapore Telecommunications Ltd, follows two failed attempts to buy South Africa’s MTN Group in a $24 billion deal. Analysts expect Bharti to raise debt to finance the Zain acquisition having last year scrapped a planned $3 billion to $4 billion loan linked to its planned tie-up with MTN. Bharti has been hunting for emerging market assets as its home turf becomes fiercely competitive. New entrants into the world’s fastest-growing mobile market have triggered a vicious price war which has seen some call charges slashed to a fraction of a US cent. Bharti posted its slowest profit growth in more than three years for the December quarter. “The competitive pressure in the Indian telecoms sector is so high that players such as Bharti will have to redefine themselves and look for overseas expansion,” said Rishi Sahai, director at M&A advisory firm Cogence Advisors. “Chances of a deal happening this time are very high unless some regulatory issues come up.” However, Bharti’s share price slumped more than 9 percent at the close of the Mumbai market, wiping around $2.4 billion off the firm’s market value and marking their biggest daily fall since Oct 6, amid reports about a possible Zain deal.

Kharafi said if the deal goes ahead Bharti aims to pay $10 billion in April for the African assets of Zain, which have $2 billion of debt on its books, and the remaining $700 million by the end of the year. Africa represents about 62 percent of Zain’s 64.7 million customers, but only 15 percent of its group net profit. Zain, with its African and Middle East businesses, had been considered a natural target for Bharti, which has thrived in an Indian market with low incomes and tariffs and a heavily rural population - characteristics shared by African nations. Mobile phone penetration in half of Africa’s countries was below 40 percent as of August and a dozen countries had penetration below 30 percent, according to a research report. Last month Bharti agreed to buy 70 percent of Bangladesh’s Warid Telecom from Abu Dhabi Group for an initial investment of $300 million. Offloading the operations, excluding those in Morocco and Sudan, would mark a strategic move for Zain, which has spent more than $12 billion expanding in Africa since 2005. “It’s a good deal with a win-win situation for both parties,” said Naser AlNafisi, general manager of Al Joman Center for Economic Consultancy in Kuwait. “For the Kuwaiti side it’s a company that is reducing its debt and will focus more on the Middle East. Zain is balancing between the interests of their lenders and shareholders.” Zain will use the proceeds to pay back debt and distribute cash dividends to shareholders, Group Chairman Asaad Al-Banwan told Kuwaiti daily Al-Seyassah yesterday. Zain pulled back from an expansion spree last year, rejecting an offer from France’s Vivendi for its African assets. Indian brokerage Batlivala & Karani Securities said Bhar ti’s move was

“directionally positive” due to challenging conditions at home. It said Bharti was valuing the Zain assets at an enterprise value of nine times EBITDA earnings and 13,000 rupees ($280) per subscriber. With 119 million mobile users in India at end-2009, Bharti accounted for 23 percent of the market, but it faces increasing competition from newcomers such as Nor way’s Telenor and Tata Teleservices, part owned by Japan’s NTT DoCoMo. So will it be third-time lucky for Indian telecoms czar Mittal? As the billionaire entrepreneur makes his third bid in as many years for a big acquisition in Africa, analysts say the persistent Mittal has a strong chance of realising his dreams of taking Bharti Airtel into the international arena. Mittal has come a long way from selling bicycle parts to creating India’s top mobile firm, ranking 8th on Forbes list of Indian billionaires, with a net worth of $8.2 billion. He has been aggressively hunting for emerging market buys as Bharti’s home market becomes increasingly competitive. “It’s my job to move forward and not look back,” Mittal told reporters in Geneva in October, soon after ending talks with MTN. “We will keep on looking at opportunities ... and will look at all the emerging markets.” Analysts said the MTN deal structure was complex from the beginning with a slew of legal, regulatory and political issues - issues which are unlikely to become dealbreakers this time. “I think the entire Bharti management is going to put in a lot of energy and effort into this latest attempt,” said Romal Shetty, executive director and head of telecoms at KPMG in India. “India is going to be a very difficult market for telecoms players,” he said. “If they don’t go for it now, they will miss the bus.” — Agencies

Kuwait to restudy 2 key oil projects Continued from Page 1 The two projects have been stalled for years as a result of political disputes between the government and the outspoken parliament. The government scrapped the new refinery project about a year ago, months after awarding contracts to four South Korean companies, a Japanese firm and US giant Fluor. MPs have opposed the project, citing flawed procedures in awarding the contracts, because it did not go through the state-run Central Tenders Committee to ensure transparency. The project to upgrade the refineries has been running years behind schedule and its tendering process has been repeatedly delayed. Once complet-

ed, the two projects would give the state a refining capacity of 1.4 million barrels per day, up from around 920,000 bpd at present. The 615,000 bpd plant is meant to replace the ageing 200,000 bpd Shuaiba plant. The refinery would produce low-sulphur fuel oil for burning in power plants. Kuwait has one of the highest per-capita power consumption rates in the world and has struggled to meet domestic power demand. It is importing gas to fire power stations. The government approved members of the SPC earlier this month. Separately, Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) is going ahead with its plan to produce more free gas in spite of many challenges ahead, its board chairman and managing director said yesterday. “The company is going

ahead with reaching a production capacity of one billion cubic feet of gas by 2015,” Sami Al-Rushaid told KUNA. The KOC’s plan for the free gas industry involves three stages. The first stage targets a production capacity of 175 million cu ft of gas per day, together with 50,000 barrels of light oil and condensates, he said. The second stage targets 600 million cu ft and 200,000 barrels of light oil and condensates per day by 2013. The third stage aims at reaching a production capacity of one billion cubic feet of gas per day, along with 350,000 barrels of light oil and condensates by 2015, he added. The plan is chiefly meant to fulfill Kuwait’s domestic gas needs, he added, but he admitted that it was not easy to put the blueprint in place. — Agencies

Dubai: Mabhouh killed by European hit squad Continued from Page 1 We do not rule out (the Israeli intelligence agency) Mossad, but when we arrest those suspects we will know who masterminded it. (We have not) issued arrest warrants yet, but will do soon,” he said. “Israel carries out a lot of assassinations in many countries, even in countries that it is allied to,” Tamim said, adding that Mabhouh may have been killed by electrocution. Tamim said two Palestinians suspected of providing logistical support in Mabhouh’s killing were being held by police. Al Arabiya television said the pair had been handed over by Jordan. The details given by Tamim are the most comprehensive accusations by Dubai authorities since the body of Mabhouh was found Jan 20 in his luxury hotel room near Dubai’s international airport. Tamim said it was possible that “leaders of certain countries gave orders to their intelligence agents to kill” Mabhouh, one of the founders of Hamas’ military wing. But he did not name any countries. Hamas has accused Israel and vowed revenge. Tamim sketched out a highly organized operation in the hours before the killing, clearly done with advance knowledge of the victim’s movements, and said the killers spent less than a day in the country. He said forensic tests indicate Mabhouh died of suffocation, but lab analyses are still under way to pinpoint possible other factors in his death. He showed a news conference surveillance video of the alleged assassination team arriving on separate flights to Dubai

the day before Mabhouh was found dead. The members of the alleged hit-squad checked into separate hotels. They paid for all expenses in cash and used different mobile phone cards to avoid traces, he added. At least two suspected members of the team watched Mabhouh check in to his hotel and later booked a room across from the Hamas commander, Tamim said. He added that there was “serious penetration into Mabhouh’s security prior to his arrival” in Dubai, but that it appeared Mabhouh was traveling alone. “Hamas did not tell us who he was. He was walking around alone,” said Tamim. “If he was such an important leader, why didn’t he have people escorting him?” Tamim said there was at least one unsuccessful attempt to break into Mabhouh’s hotel room. It was unclear whether he opened the door to his killers or if the room was forcibly entered. The killing took place about five hours after Mabhouh arrived at the hotel and all the 11 suspects were out of the United Arab Emirates within 19 hours of their arrivals, he added. Tamim claimed the suspects left behind some evidence, but he declined to elaborate. He urged the countries linked to the alleged killers to cooperate with the investigation. Tamim told reporters the alleged assassination team comprised six British passport holders, three Irish and one each from France and Germany. The group has accused Israel’s Mossad secret service of carrying out the killing and has pledged to strike back. Israeli officials have accused Mabhouh of

helping smuggle rockets into Gaza. Top Hamas figures have denied reports that alMabhouh was en route to Iran, which is a major Hamas backer. But the group has not given clear reasons for his presence in Dubai. Earlier this month, Hamas said it launched a floating explosives into the Mediterranean Sea to drift toward Israeli beaches to avenge Mabhouh’s death. Israeli authorities discovered at least two explosive-rigged barrels and launched an intensive search for new bombs, closing miles of beaches and deploying robotic bomb squads. A Hamas statement last month acknowledged Al-Mabhouh was involved in the kidnapping and killing of two Israeli soldiers in 1989 and said he was still playing a “continuous role in supporting his brothers in the resistance inside the occupied homeland” at the time of his death. More than 2,000 mourners attended Mabhouh’s funeral and burial at the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk, near Damascus. Violent crime is rare in Dubai, part of the UAE and a regional trading and tourism hub. Like most Arab countries, the UAE has no diplomatic ties with the Jewish state and Israelis are routinely denied entry. It refused a visa for Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer to take part in a $2 million tournament in Dubai last year, although she was able to enter for this year’s championship. The UAE has hosted Israeli officials. Infrastructure minister Uzi Landau attended a renewable energy conference in the UAE in January, the first visit by an Israeli minister. — Agencies

Clinton: Iran becoming a military dictatorship Continued from Page 1 relationship” with the Saudi oil kingpin and there were frequent official visits between the two countries. “We would expect them (the Saudis) to use these visits, to use their relationship in ways that can help increase the pressure that Iran feels,” said Feltman, the assistant secretary of state for Near East Affairs.Saudi leaders were also expected to raise the Middle East peace process in their talks with Clinton amid growing frustration with the failure of US efforts to secure a relaunch of talks frozen since Israel launched

its devastating offensive against Gaza in Dec 2008. “The peace process is the main issue, of course,” said Saudi foreign ministry spokesman Osama Nugali. “Our position is still the same... that we need to revive the peace process.” In Qatar, Clinton said she was optimistic that talks would resume this year. “I’m hopeful that this year will see the commencement of serious negotiations,” she said. She added that she hoped for the “kind of breakthrough” people were expecting after Obama said he would not stay on the sidelines and would actively promote peace between the two par-

ties. US Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell has proposed that Israel and the Palestinians hold indirect talks over a threemonth period to get round Israel’s refusal to accept Palestinian demands for a complete freeze on settlement construction before any direct negotiations. But the idea has met with little enthusiasm from the Palestinians or their regional backers, including Saudi Arabia. “They could be labelled the proximity talks but the more apt description is the nonsense of non-talks,” the government-linked Saudi daily Arab News commented yesterday. — AFP

18 killed as Belgian trains crash head-on Continued from Page 1 train “apparently did not heed a stop light.” One of the front cars appeared to have careened across the tracks, demolishing a small maintenance shed next to the rail line. A high concrete wall around the train yard seemed to have kept debris from hitting nearby houses. Herman van Rompuy, president of the European Council, expressed his “shock and sorrow” over the accident. King Baudouin and Prime Minister Leterme, who canceled a trip to Kosovo moments after landing in Pristina, visited the crash site. It was the first serious Belgian train accident since March 28, 2001, when eight people died when a crowded train plowed into an empty train driving on the wrong tracks. The worst European crash in recent history was near

the German town of Eschede in 1998 when around 100 people were killed when a cracked wheel hurled a train off the tracks. Belgian National Railways spokesman Jochen Goovaerts said his agency was awaiting the outcome of the investigation before discussing the cause of yesterday’s accident. Eurostar canceled its service from London to Brussels for yesterday and advised passengers the line was likely to remain closed today. The high-speed Thalys train suspended dozens of trains from Paris to the Netherlands and Germany for two days. At least four Thalys trains were stopped en route, and the railway operator deployed staffers to stations where they were rerouted to provide assistance to travelers on board, said spokeswoman Patricia Baars. “It was a nightmare,” Christian Wampach, 47, told AP after medical workers

bandaged his head at a sports complex where the less seriously injured were treated. Badly hurt victims were taken to 14 hospitals in the Brussels area, and the Red Cross appealed for blood donations. “We were thrown about for about 15 seconds. There were a number of people injured in my car, but I think all the dead were in the first car,” said Wampach, who was in the third car of a Brussels-bound train. Wira Leire, 20, said he was woken by a loud crashing sound and leapt to his bedroom window to see two cars jackknifed directly in front of his home. “There were people lying on the ground next to the train, so I grabbed some blankets and ran into the back garden,” he said. “But I couldn’t climb over the concrete wall, so I just threw the blankets to the rescuers who were already gathering.” — AP

6,000 expats to get free checkup Continuedfrom Page 1 He said the committee works each year to take into account the circumstances of all Muslim and non-Muslim expatriates, including Arab nationals, “where we make multiple medical examinations and dispense medications free of charge to assist and support those low-wage groups.” He noted that the committee’s goal is to bring happiness and joy to patients who are prevented by circumstances to be hospitalized, whether these be social or physical conditions. Separately, the manager of the domestic helpers’ department at the immigration directorate Col Abdullah Awadh Al-Ali said that the department has deported around 1,000 workers over the past two months

after they took refuge in their respective embassies. He also noted that twice as many were still at Asian embassies either because of being wanted for certain claims or because of lack of cooperation on some embassies’ side. “They are cramming their embassies with such workers for reasons they know well,” he told Al-Rai. Al-Ali added that a new law on domestic helpers had been submitted to the interior ministry for further study and that this law states that the domestic helpers’ offices should pay an insurance deposit of KD 20,000 instead of KD 5,000, offices could work with rejected helpers and allows domestic workers to transfer residency to other sponsors twice. Al-Ali also announced plans to establish a

Kuwaiti shareholding company to be owned by both the government, citizens and the owners of domestic labor offices that would be authorized to bring domestic helpers on behalf of citizens to work in steady jobs and on a per hour basis. In addition, Al-Ali highlighted that a special shelter would be built to accommodate 1,000 runaway domestic laborers instead of letting them seek help from their embassies. He also stressed that the immigration department was coordinating with other MoI departments and state establishments to work on lifting Kuwait’s name from ‘international black lists’ through setting stricter anti human trafficking laws and tracking down visa traffickers as instructed by senior officials in a bid to improve Kuwait’s image. — Agencies



Tuesday, February 16, 2010


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Who wins in US vs Europe contest? By Bernd Debusmann


n these days of renewed gloom about the future of Europe, a quick test is in order. Who has the world’s biggest economy? A) The United States B) China/Asia C) Europe? Who has the most Fortune 500 companies? A) The United States B) China C) Europe. Who attracts most US investment? A) Europe B) China C) Asia. The correct answer in each case is Europe, short for the 27-member European Union (EU), a region with 500 million citizens. They produce an economy almost as large as the United States and China combined but have, so far, largely failed to make much of a dent in American perceptions that theirs is a collection of cradleto-grave nanny states doomed to be left behind in a 21st century that will belong to China. That China will rise to be a superpower in this century, overtaking the United States in terms of gross domestic product by 2035, is becoming conventional wisdom. But those who subscribe to that theory might do well to remember the fate of similar long-range forecasts in the past. At the turn of the 20th century, for example, eminent strategists predicted that Argentina would be a world power within 20 years. In the late 1980s, Japan was seen as the next global leader. The latest pessimistic utterances about Europe were sparked by a debt crisis in Greece which raised concern over the health of the euro, the common currency of 16 EU members. Plus US President Barack Obama’s decision to stay away from a US-EU summit scheduled for May in Madrid, with a new EU leadership structure that should have made it easier to answer then US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s famous question: “Who do I call when I want to talk to Europe?” There are still several numbers to call in the complex setup, giving fresh reasons to fret to those crystal-gazers who see the future dominated by the United States and China, the so-called G-2. Pundits who see the European way of doing things as a model for the United States (and others) to follow are few and far between, not least, says one of them, Steven Hill, because most Americans are blissfully unaware of European achievements and, as he puts it, “reluctant to look elsewhere because ‘we are the best.’” As foreigners travelling through the United States occasionally note, the phrases “we are the best” and “America is No.1” are often uttered with deep conviction by citizens who have never set foot outside their country and therefore lack a direct way of comparison. (They are in the majority: only one in five Americans has a passport). Hill, who heads the political reform program at the New American Foundation, a liberal Washington think tank, has just published a book whose title alone is enough to irk conservative Americans: Europe’s Promise. Why the European

Way Is the Best Hope in an Insecure Future. It marshals an impressive army of facts and comparative statistics to show that the United States is behind Europe in nearly every socio-economic category that can be measured and that neither America’s trickle-down, Wall Street-driven capitalism nor China’s state capitalism hold the keys to the future. While China’s growth has been impressive, says Hill, the country remains, in essence, a sub-contractor to the West and is racked by internal contradictions. “When I talk to American audiences,” Hill said in an interview, “many find the figures I cite hard to believe. They haven’t heard them before. US businesses making more profits in Europe than anywhere else, 20 times more than in China? 179 of the world’s top companies are European compared with 140 American? That does not fit the preconceptions.” Such preconceptions exist, in part, because US media have portrayed Europe as a region in perpetual crisis, its economies sclerotic, its taxes a disincentive to personal initiative, its standards of living lower than America’s, its universal health care, guaranteed pensions, long vacations and considerably shorter working hours a recipe for low growth and stagnation. “In the transmission of news across the Atlantic, myth has been substituted for reality,” says Hill. He is in good, though numerically small, company with such views. The economists Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman, both Nobel prize winners, also have positive outlooks for Europe. In a recent column in the New York Times, Krugman said that Europe is often held up as evidence that higher taxes for the rich and benefits for the less well-off kill economic progress. Not so, he argued. The European experience demonstrates the opposite: social justice and progress can go hand in hand. The relative rankings of countries tend to be defined by gross domestic product per capita but Hill points out that this might not be the best yardstick because it does not differentiate between transactions that add to the well-being of a country and those that diminish it. A dollar spent on sending a teenager to prison adds as much to GDP as a dollar spent on sending him to college. On a long list of quality-of-life indexes that measure things beyond the GDP yardstick - from income inequality and access to healthcare to life expectancy, infant mortality and poverty levels - the United States does not rank near the top. So where is the best place to live? For the past 30 years, a US-based magazine, International Living, has compiled a quality-of-life index based on cost of living, culture and leisure, economy, environment, freedom, health, infrastructure, safety and climate. France tops the list for the fifth year running. The United States comes in 7th. —Reuters

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Challenging ‘West versus Islam’ media paradigms By Gabriel Faimau


t an international conference on “Islam and the Media” organised by the Center for Media, Religion and Culture at the University of Colorado-Boulder in January, many of the participants, including myself, examined the negative stigma attached by the media to Islam and Muslims, especially after 9/11 and various terrorist attempts made in the name of Islam by extremists and militants operating on the fringes of the larger mainstream Muslim community. In his influential 1981 book, Covering Islam, the late author and literary theorist Edward W. Said captured public attention regarding how experts and the media have determined the way we see Islam. At the heart of Said’s analysis is the notion that media coverage of Islam has closely associated Muslims with militancy, danger and anti-Western sentiment. In 1997, the Runnymede Trust, a UK-based think tank that promotes a successful multi-ethnic Britain, echoed the same idea in “Islamophobia: A Challenge for Us All”. A similar tendency was employed to read the events of 9/11 in 2001. Analysing these events, a good number of pundits, analysts, journalists and politicians believed that what we witnessed in the 9/11 attacks and its aftermath was a “clash of civilisations”, that is, a battle between Western and Islamic civilisations as predicted earlier by political scientist Samuel P. Huntington. For the past three decades, scholarly studies on Islam and Muslims in the media have heavily relied on frameworks such as Said’s analyses, Huntington’s “clash of civilisations” theory, Islamophobia or cultural racism to analyse the questions regarding representations of Islam and Muslims in

the media. These frameworks still have a big influence on current studies. In fact, a good number of papers presented during the recent “Islam and media” conference were based on these frameworks. Of course, the use of such frameworks undeniably shapes the outcome of such findings and analysis. The problem, however, is that at the heart of the above approaches is a binary way of thinking which puts the West on one side and Islam on the other. Why is the media so obsessed with this binary approach? In my opinion, the binary style of thinking raises two issues. First, it provides no space for understanding the productive side of the encounter of people with different cultural and religious backgrounds. In a society characterised by increasing complexity, society cannot be just simply painted black and white. After all, society is not static. It has always been dynamic. Second, the binary approach, which includes the idea of “West versus Islam” or the civilised versus the uncivilised, has been developed upon the premise that media discourse has the power to control the unjust social representations of other cultures or religions. This premise assumes that people are basically trapped, or even imprisoned, in a fixed context of clash. As a result, the binary approach is inadequate for the complex challenges faced by a multicultural society. The news, however, is not that bad. As we move on to a new decade, a continued exploration of cultural or religious representation based on dialogue offers more hope to the encounters of people from different cultures and faiths than what is currently portrayed in the media. Indeed, people of different cultures or faiths are naturally strangers to each other. For the possi-

bility of recognising and respecting each other to occur, a courageous step should be taken through which must move toward the other and allow the unusual and strange to become internalised. In this way, as argued by Zali Gurevitch, Professor of Anthropology

at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, one’s uniqueness is recognised and differences are accepted without hostility. If studies of media representations of cultures and religions give more space for analysis based on dialogue-centric approaches, in today’s multicultural society, we would move forward with

more confidence and hope. NOTE: Gabriel Faimau is a PhD researcher, focused on the representation of Islam and Muslims in the British Christian media, in the Department of Sociology at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom — CGNews

MI5’s propaganda own goal By Richard Norton-Taylor


n extraordinary spectacle is being played out with the head of MI5 publicly denouncing the media - and implicitly three of the country’s most senior judges - for reporting that officers in the security service were complicit in “at the very least cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” of Binyam Mohamed, a British resident, by the CIA. Jonathan Evans, in an article in London-based Daily Telegraph, referred to “conspiracy theory and caricature”, and to allegations that MI5 has been trying to “cover up” its activities. “That is the opposite of the truth,” he wrote. It all stems from an attempt by the government’s counsel, Jonathan Sumption QC, to suppress damning criticism of MI5 contained in the draft judgment of Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger, and endorsed by the other appeal court judges in the case. In a letter to Neuberger, Sumption complained that the draft judgment suggests that MI5 officers “deliberately misled” the UK parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, the ISC, shared a “culture of suppression” and “does not in fact operate a culture that respects human rights”. In what Neuberger admits was an “overhasty” response he excised the offending paragraph, a move now being challenged by lawyers representing Mohamed, Liberty, Justice, Index on Censorship, the Guardian, the Times, the BBC, and other UK media. The criticism of MI5 officers, to which Evans and the home secretary, Alan Johnson, responded in remarkably intemperate language yesterday, came not from the media, as they suggest, but from a senior judge, supported by two others. It is based on evidence, including 42 unpublished CIA documents, collected over the past 18 months by two high court judges and described in six separate judgments. Their judgments are strongly critical of David Miliband, the foreign secretary. They show how MI5 withheld evi-

dence from the ISC, contrary to claims made by its chairman Kim Howells. “We can ask for absolutely any classified material we want to see and we do it all the time,” Howells said. The trouble is he does not know what to ask for. It was clear from the evidence “that the relationship of the UK government to the US authorities in connection with Mohamed was far beyond that of a bystander or witness to the alleged wrongdoing”, the high court judges said. Only last summer, well over a year after the hearings began, did MI5 officers provide fresh evidence revealing the extent to which MI5 co-operated with the CIA in Mohamed’s interrogations, including sending it a list of 70 questions he should be asked, while the CIA passed back Mohamed’s answers. Evans expressed the hope in his Telegraph article that the US will not now be “less ready” to share vital intelligence with Britain. The same concerns, repeatedly expressed by Miliband during the court hearings, were dismissed by the appeal court as “logically incoherent and therefore irrational”. While the political and security establishment hits out at the British judiciary and media over revelaing sensitive information, the facts of the case were clearly laid out already in a US court that accepted as true detailed allegations of Mohamed being “physically and psychologically tortured”. The US judge added: “His genitals were mutilated. He was deprived of sleep and food”. Rather than focussing on accusations of cover-ups, Evans and MI5 should address the more profound failings. Evans argument suggests that the media reporting the findings of senior judges is dangerous, helping our enemies use “propaganda” to undermine our ability to confront them. Better to remember the government’s more traditional argument: it is the failure to uphold our values, and the law, that is the greatest propaganda own-goal. — Guardian

Nostalgia for Mandela overshadows Zuma address By Clare Byrne


t was a tall order for South African President Jacob Zuma to deliver a convincing State of the Nation address Thursday. Not only was antiapartheid icon Nelson Mandela present on the 20th anniversary of his release from prison, but Zuma also has a damaging sex scandal hanging over him. Key dates in the illustrious life of Nelson Mandela invariably create nostalgia in South Africa for his extraordinary leadership. Throughout Thursday, marked by a symbolic “freedom walk” and ruling party rally at his last place of imprisonment, Mandela’s voice rang out across the airwaves as broadcasters played and replayed his first historic address as a free man 20 years ago. Mandela gave that speech on the steps of Cape Town City Hall, a short distance from Parliament, where Jacob Zuma delivered his second State of the Nation address in a climate of nearly as much anticipation. One of the reasons for the excitement was Mandela’s attendance at the address. It was a rare public appearance by the frail statesman, who was greeted with ululations and

songs of praise by an admiring audience of parliamentarians and traditional, church and civic leaders, including Mandela’s former opposite number in negotiations on ending apartheid and co-Nobel-PeacePrize laureate, former president

FW de Klerk. Clad in a black silk shirt and trousers, a smiling Mandela entered the assembly through a back door with his wife, former Mozambican first lady and activist Graca Machel. Mandela, who became South Africa’s first

black president after the country’s first democratic elections in 1994, upstaged Zuma, who received a more muted reception on arrival and appeared nervous, missing the first line of his speech. The address was avidly

Former South African president and Nobel peace prize laureate Nelson Mandela (left) and South African president Jacob Zuma share a laugh during a lunch for Apartheid former political prisoners at Genadendal, the official residence of the president, in Cape Town on Feb 12, 2010. – AFP

watched in homes and bars across the country for any mention by Zuma of the sex scandal that has raised questions about the security of his tenure as leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC). Last week, the polygamist father of nearly two dozen children was forced to admit he had fathered a child out of wedlock with a woman other than his three wives and fiancee. The 4month-old girl brought to 20 the number of acknowledged Zuma children and has made the president’s sexual appetite the butt of jokes and a source of national embarrassment. Ahead of the speech, South Africans joked about the “father of the nation” attempting to be “father to all the nation”. Renowned satirist Jonathan Shapiro - also known as Zapiro reattached his infamous showerhead to Zuma’s bald pate in his cartoons. The showerhead is an allusion to Zuma’s admission at his rape trial in 2006 to having unprotected sex with an HIVpositive woman, and then showering afterward in a bid to prevent infection. Zuma was cleared of the criminal charges but was forced to apologize for his poor judgement. The latest revelations have

cast fresh doubts over Zuma’s judgement, at a time when the country is struggling to shake off a recession and is still battling an HIV/AIDS pandemic that is fuelled chiefly by unprotected sex. Although Zuma has apologized for the latest affair, and the ANC had outwardly supported him, many women particularly have declared him an unworthy heir to Mandela and Mandela’s first successor, the controversial but reserved Thabo Mbeki. On Thursday, Zuma played it safe by focusing on deliverables and promising “harder, faster, smarter” government action as the country emerges from its first recession in 17 years. Zuma, who was accompanied to parliament by the first of his wives, invoked Mandela’s ideal of “a better future for all South Africans, black and white”. While lacking rhetorical flourish and being short on specific targets, Zuma’s sober tone was that of a man chastened. “I think that last week’s events had a sobering effect on Zuma,” one male viewer told the South African Press Association. “He knows that when South Africans get gatvol (fed-up), they get gatvol. This has woken him up.” — dpa


Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Maliki weakened ahead of national vote By Mohammed Abbas rime Minister Nouri AlMaliki came out of local polls last year as Iraq’s dominant leader, but a string of bombings and alliances among rivals have weakened him ahead of a March national vote. A Shiite sentenced to death under Saddam Hussein, Maliki is likely aware of his dented popularity as he has reverted to proven vote-winning methods, like stirring up Shiite fears of a return of Saddam’s Baath party, to win the ballot, analysts say. Oil firms holding freshly signed deals to tap Iraq’s vast reserves, and the US military set to withdraw in 2011, hope for some form of political continuity after the March 7 parliamentary election, but Maliki’s former allies want change. Some voters who supported his State of Law coalition in the local election last January also seem to have second thoughts. “I will definitely not give my vote to a government that cannot provide security. Every day they take us back to square one by not stopping the merciless killing of Iraqis,” said Qassim Abdullah, a student, in the Shiite holy city of Karbala. Maliki was picked as prime minister in 2006 as a compro-


Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki gestures as he delivers a speech to supporters during a visit to the Shiite holy city of Karbala yesterday. – AFP mise between feuding factions, who thought he could be manipulated. In the past two years, however, he has emerged as a strong leader credited with reducing the sectarian violence that wracked Iraq after the 2003 U.S. invasion. With a nationalist, non-sectarian message and a law-and-order campaign platform, his State of Law coalition swept the Shiite south last

January. Since then, huge, coordinated suicide bombings have rocked Baghdad, killing hundreds at heavily guarded sites, and shaking confidence in the security forces and Maliki. Maliki blames the attacks on Saddam’s outlawed Baath party, and on Sunni Islamist insurgents like Al-Qaeda. As the rumble of bombs rolled repeatedly across Baghdad, Maliki’s

rhetoric seeking credit for improved security receded, while anti-Baathist rhetoric escalated. He has thrown his weight behind a Shi’ite-controlled body that banned scores of poll candidates for alleged Baathist ties. His Dawa party has also led calls for a purge of suspected Baathists from the public service. The Baath party brutally

oppressed Kurds and Shiites, Iraq’s majority Muslim sect, but Iraq’s once dominant Sunnis and cross-sectarian groups see both the candidate ban and calls for a purge as a witch hunt, and a return to sect-based politics. “I thought Maliki’s provincial election campaign message was that he could move away from that to rallying voters with a message of nationalism, law-and-order and a strong state,” said analyst Toby Dodge of Queen Mary College, University of London. “It seems to me that he’s lost his nerve, partly because the law-and-order campaign has proved to be much more difficult than he thought.” Maliki still holds some powerful cards. He is not seen as corrupt, has huge brand recognition in a sea of largely unknown candidates, is able to draw on an established and experienced campaign network, and also on state resources, such as Iraqiya television. Yet he has also turned powerful allies into opponents. The Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (ISCI), a major Shiite party, and followers of cleric Moqtada AlSadr once supported Maliki in parliament’s largest Shiite bloc, but analysts say they have become alarmed at his growing assertiveness.

ISCI and the Sadrists, who were enemies in the past, have banded together to form an election alliance while Maliki is running alone at the head of his own coalition. “They are held together by a common desire to do away with Maliki above all. They have little common ground beyond that. He’s succeeded in aligning the major Shiite players against him,” said International Crisis Group analyst Peter Harling. Many Iraqis say they are tired of sectarian politics after tens of thousands of deaths during the years of violence between Sunnis and Shiites. They are also tired of poor services under the Islamist leaders who have dominated Iraq since the invasion. By turning his back on non-sectarian nationalism, Maliki may lose the broad appeal that saw him do well in the local polls. “Back then, he managed to handle the security file in a nonsectarian way and that impressed many Iraqis,” said analyst Reidar Visser of “He has not managed to handle the de-Baathification issue in that kind of national spirit. Instead he has fallen back to the old Shiite Islamist hardliner rhetoric.” — Reuters

Lobbyists for cap and trade face daunting task By Timothy Gardner


he US Senate’s stalled climate bill is getting a last big push from an unlikely ally - a group of energy companies who say a carbon market will help them get financing for the next generation of energy production. But intensive lobbying by these climate bill proponents - including heavyweights like Duke Energy, Shell Oil Co and General Electric Co - may not be enough to counter powerful opposition and get a bill passed before the US mid-term elections in November. President Barack Obama says he still backs a climate bill but many have written off the chances of passing legislation with the most controversial provision: a market that aims to cut pollution by letting companies buy and trade permits to emit greenhouse gases. Nevertheless, some major US companies are pushing for a bill that would include this cap-and-trade system, saying it would create a modern energy economy and thousands of jobs. As a record snowfall stunned Washington this week, stalling legislation, executives at big energy companies met lawmakers to seek a compromise deal on cap-and-trade. Duke Energy Chief Executive Jim Rogers and Shell Oil Co President Marvin Odum met moderate lawmakers, seeking ways to push such a bill in the Senate that has made little progress. One idea is to allow cap-and-trade to be implemented on power utilities first, with regulations on oil refineries and other industries coming later. Proponents from industry are lobbying with environmentalists under the US Climate Action Partnership, who still want a bill regulating emissions of planet-warming gases across all sectors of the economy. They say cap-andtrade will create a lot of jobs and boost the economy. But climate legislation has fierce opponents in the main US business lobby, the US Chamber of Commerce, and most Republican law-

makers, some of whom doubt the threat of global warming. Few climate bill proponents are confident there are enough votes in the Senate to pass the bill, especially with Democratic fortunes falling ahead of the mid-term elections. A cap-and-trade system would reward companies for adopting clean energy technologies like nuclear plants and burying carbon emissions from coal generators underground. Rogers said this would give investors confidence to finance new power plants. “We have to retire or replace every plant by 2050,” he said. “The sooner we get about the business of doing that, the better.” He said wind and solar power markets would grow faster under a cap-andtrade system, which would help the United States compete with emerging powers like China. Odum said an emissions market would create hundreds of thousands of jobs as companies race to begin building a new energy system. In such markets, governments limit pollution and let cleaner companies earn valuable credits to sell. Lobbyists for cap-andtrade, who also include General Electric Co, must find ways to bring in other energy and industrial companies that have opposed the system, said Dan Weiss, an energy expert at the Center for American Progress. Otherwise, they will not be able to secure the 60 votes in the Senate needed to avoid a Republican filibuster and pass the bill. Passage will be more difficult since Senate Democrats lost their 60-seat super majority with the election of Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown. The Republican campaigned against a cap-and-trade bill, citing worries about higher energy costs. With the midterm elections 39 weeks away, many lawmakers may avoid controversial climate legislation and turn their attention to campaigning. “The bottom line is it will be hard to convince the fence sitters before the midterm elections that the new green jobs will replace jobs that will be lost in

the traditional energy economy,” said Divya Reddy, an analyst at the Eurasia Group. A compromise bill being hashed out by Senators John Kerry, a Democrat, Lindsey Graham, a Republican, and Joe Lieberman, an independent, is not expected to be out before March. Lobbyists for companies that support a cap-and-trade system have taken heart in signals from the trio of senators, and

in recent comments from President Obama, that a compromise could pick up votes. Rogers at Duke said the lobbyists are targeting 15 to 17 Democratic and eight to 10 Republican Senators to win votes. A “hybrid” bill, that would impose cap-and-trade on power plants and an emissions fee on other industrial sources of greenhouse gases, could break down resistance from lawmakers

in states that produce oil and natural gas. Shell’s Odum said such a bill could assure the petroleum industry that traditional fuels will be around for decades to come, freeing lawmakers in oil states to vote for a bill. But time is growing short. “It’s a tough sell,” said Eurasia Reddy, who added they would also need to convince lawmakers the bill would not raise short-term energy bills. — Reuters

Domestic logjam drag on foreign policy By Steven R Hurst


hile US President Barack Obama fights do-or-die political battles at home, his ambitious designs to overhaul US foreign policy - from the Middle East to Iran and Russia and North Korea - simmer on the back burner. A big success abroad would provide a major boost, a public distraction from his battle with a recalcitrant Congress and stomach-wrenching economic troubles that threaten to overwhelm his presidency. After a major initial thrust to improve America’s standing abroad, the domestic agenda has consumed Obama. So far, he has resisted the temptation, as many predecessors have not, to flee abroad to escape bad news troubles at home. Perhaps that’s because there soon could be a new arms control treaty with Moscow. Beyond that, the administration is talking confidently about Moscow and Beijing joining a push for new and punishing sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program. Both Russia and China have, in the past three rounds of sanctions, approved measures against Tehran only after making them - in UN negotiations - almost toothless. Winning over the Chinese, especially, would be a major coup. “In terms of public attention, the president has to keep things focused on jobs and the economy, thus it appears that less is happening on foreign policy,” said Jessica Matthews, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She says Obama has been hamstrung by a “broken Senate” that has frustrated him at most turns, particularly on health care reform and now jobs legislation. And with midterm elections looming in November, domestic issues cannot be set aside - particularly with the US suffering nearly 10 percent unemployment. Even so, important foreign issues languish. Obama’s pressure on Israel and the Palestinians - a bid to restart peace talks - appears stalemated. He assigned former Sen George Mitchell as special envoy to the region, but there’s

been no progress in winning Israel’s agreement to stop building settlements in the West Bank. The Palestinians refuse to return to talks until that happens. And there’s been little movement on a resumption of talks to de-fang North Korea’s nuclear program. Pyongyang has been talking positively in recent weeks, but hasn’t made any move toward the negotiating table. Relations with steadfast Asian ally Japan are moving through an uncustomary rough patch over US military installations on Okinawa. China, with its increasing economic and political clout, is peevish about US arms sales to Taiwan and Obama’s meeting this week with the Dalai Lama. Obama has taken strong action in the Afghan war, dispatching thousands more troops who are in the midst of a major anti-Taleban offensive in the south. But there is no way now to predict whether the U.S. effort in Afghanistan will crush the Islamic insurgency and deny Al-Qaeda sanctuary along the border with Pakistan. And the Islamabad government is extremely wobbly in supporting American efforts and faces its own threats from an increasingly potent Taliban at home. In Iraq, crucial national elections are finally set for next month. But the Shiite-dominated government of Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki is throwing up obstacle to a resolution of sectarian divisions - nixing the candidacies of most Sunni Muslim candidates. The United States is still on target to withdraw combat forces from Iraq by summer’s end. Unclear, however, is whether the country will descend again into violent sectarian turmoil without the major US military presence. In the eyes of Natalie Davis, professor of political science at Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama, Obama has been only able to deal “with the tips of a lot of foreign policy icebergs” while he tries “to put out domestic fires” started by the Republican opposition. There doesn’t look to be a break in the work on the domestic logjam and that’s going to make it difficult to steer out of the icebergs. — AP

Is the Copenhagen Accord already dead? By Marlowe Hood and Richard Ingham


ess than two months after it was hastily drafted to stave off a fiasco, the Copenhagen Accord on climate change is in a bad way, and some are already saying it has no future. The deal was crafted amid chaos by a small group of countries, led by the United States and China, to avert an implosion of the UN’s Dec 7-18 climate summit. Savaged at the time by green activists and poverty campaigners as disappointing, gutless or a betrayal, the Accord is now facing its first test in the political arena - and many views are caustic. Veterans say the document has little traction and cannot pull the 194nation UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) towards a new global pact by year’s end. Political momentum is so weak that so far only two negotiating rounds have been rostered in 2010, one among officials in Bonn in mid-year, the other in Mexico at ministerial level in December. Worse, the Accord itself already seems to have been quietly disowned by China, India and other emerging economies just weeks after they helped write it, say these sources. “Publicly, they are being bubbly and supportive about the Copenhagen Accord. In private, they are urinating all over it,” one observer, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP. The Accord’s supporters say it is the first wide-rang-

In a file picture taken on Dec 12, 2009 Nobel peace prize winner with his organization and Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Rajendra Pachauri gives a press conference at the Bella centre on the sixth day of the UN Climate Change Conference (UNCCC) in Copenhagen. – AFP ing deal to peg global warming to two degrees Celsius and gather rich and poor countries in specific pledges for curbing carbon emissions. And it promises money: $30 billion

for climate-vulnerable poor countries by 2012, with as much as $100 billion annually by 2020. Critics say there is no roadmap for reaching the warming target and point out the pledges are vol-

untary, whereas the Kyoto Protocol which took effect five years ago next Tuesday - has tough compliance provisions for rich polluters. Anger among small countries sidelined from the crazed huddle in Copenhagen was so fierce that the paper failed to get approval at a plenary session. That meant the Accord’s credibility rating is based on what happened on Jan 31, a self-described “soft” deadline set by the UNFCCC. Under it, countries would register their intended actions for tackling carbon emissions and say if they wish to be “associated” with the agreement. The roster on actions is nicely filled, but there are glaring gaps in the “association” side. China (the world’s No. 1 polluter), India, Brazil and South Africa, as well as Russia among the developed countries, have all failed to make this endorsement. The US sees this as backsliding which could return negotiations to the finger-pointing and textual nitpicking that brought Copenhagen so close to disaster. Its climate pointman, Todd Stern, said last Tuesday that he believed the big four developing countries “will sign on”. “The consequences of not doing so are so serious - in a word, leaving the accord stillborn, contrary to the clear assent their leaders gave to the accord in Copenhagen.” The Chinese and Indian governments, questioned by AFP, declined to comment on specifics of their positions. Michael Zammit Cutajar, former chair-

man of a UNFCCC negotiating group, said the Copenhagen Accord was flawed by “incoherence” as to how it should dovetail with the overall UNFCCC forum and parallel talks on extending Kyoto. “Beyond the lack of clarity in its drafting, its main weakness is the lack of ambition and identifying responsibilities,” he said in an interview. “Who should do what, and when, in order to limit warming to 2C?” Saleemul Huq with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) in London, said the developing majors, by refusing to endorse the Accord, “are clearly signalling their view that the UNFCCC process is still the only game in town.” “This means that any impressions that anyone might have had that the Accord had succeeded in hiving off the ‘main players’ into a separate process to the UNFCCC are just a delusion.” So does the Copenhagen Accord have any real future? Or is it doomed to be consigned to a desk drawer? “It’s still too early to know,” said Elliot Diringer of US thinktank, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. Seeking to breathe life into its provisions, the United States and others may launch a “friends of the Accord” process, running in parallel to the UN negotiations. But in the likelihood that China and India will snub this move, the document may end up as “a political reference point” within the UN process, said Diringer, who summarised: “It’s a messy situation.” — AFP


Currency union showing strains By Matt Moore and Arthur Max


an the frugal and the profligate cohabit the euro zone? With Greece overdrawn and no one eager to foot the bill, Europe’s messy debt crisis has exposed a fundamental weakness among the 16 countries that share the euro: different and often diametrically opposed approaches to spending don’t make for a happy union. By telling Greece they stand shoulder-to-shoulder as it struggles to rein in a runaway deficit and impose severe austerity measures, but offering little more than moral support, the European Union’s biggest hitters Germany and France - only slowed the market contagion afflicting Greece, and did not cure it. As a result, analysts, politicians and observers contend, that may brake momentum for countries like Latvia adopting the beleaguered euro. More broadly, it could force Europe, already in a winter of growing discontent, to reconsider how much of a union it really wishes to be. Its spending rules - limiting deficits to 3 percent of economic output have turned out to be more an honor system than a fiscal anchor. Can they be toughened to stop funny business like that in Greece, which faked budget numbers for years? Who pays if someone defaults? If countries that obey the rules pay for those that don’t, won’t more countries misbehave, knowing someone will protect them from the consequences of their behavior? If the answers mean moving authority from national capitals to the EU executive in Brussels, will people go along with that? In Greece, the flashpoint for the debate, Stavros Lygeros, a columnist for the Kathimerini daily newspaper, wrote Friday that the financial crisis brought “not only the collapse of our model of kleptocracy, but also the EU’s innate failings.” Lygeros wrote that while a union of states presupposes solidarity, “a monetary union without fiscal union, that is without political union, is a contradiction in terms.” Five years ago referendums in the Netherlands and France overwhelmingly rejected a proposed EU constitution that the public saw as further expanding the EU’s authority over its members. That deep reluctance to surrender sovereign power is one factor that has kept Britain, for instance, from abandoning the pound and joining the 16-nation euro zone. For opponents of the euro, Greece, and the lack of cohesion among the EU is a case of “I told you so”. “Greece is a living example of why you should never give up control of your own currency,” said Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the British Taxpayers’ Alliance. “The British economy and public finances are in a bad enough state as it is, without dishing out yet more of our money to solve the EU’s self-inflicted problems.” Rolf Englund, a Swedish economist who campaigned vigorously against the euro in a 2003 referendum whether to adopt it there, said the current crisis underscored why Swedes resoundingly decided to keep the krona. “It will crack sooner or later, because it’s impossible to have a common currency for such a big, and diverse area,” he said. “There’s no real EU solution for Greece. They’re helpless now, and they have no instruments to fend it off.” For newer EU members who have committed to eventually join the monetary union, feelings are split. Morten

Hansen, an economist at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, Latvia, says the debacle could give citizens there pause. “Should they go into a zone where there are countries not following the rules and then have to bail them out?” he asked. Yet the leadership in Latvia, whose economy the last two years has undergone the sharpest decline in the EU, remains resolved to adopting the common currency. “The Greek crisis has not dented Latvia’s determination to adopt the euro in 2014,” Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis told AP, adding that he regards the euro zone as “the key to economic stabilization and growth and to improving Latvia’s competitiveness.” But what happens if Greece’s woes spread and the bigger economies on shaky ground - Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland encounter similar problems? “Greece in itself is not a big thing,” said Sveder van Wijnbergen, of the Free University of Amsterdam, who says Athens’ budget shortfall of Ä54 billion ($75 billion) is small change by European standards. “I’m worried about what sort of message we give to other governments.” While the euro zone is unlikely to fall apart, a failure to stand together and protect one of its members would be a striking failure for the EU. That, the Financial Times opined in its lead editorial Friday, cannot be permitted to happen. “Euro members must start to build an explicit framework to govern their fiscal interdependence,” the paper said. “This crisis is a result of failed policies - but it presents an opportunity for setting them right.” Still, the hastily convened EU summit Thursday did not get beyond a vague statement of support for Greece. The leaders pledged to “take determined and coordinated action, if needed, to safeguard financial stability in the euro area as a whole,” but they left out any detail about what they might do to prevent Greece from defaulting on its massive debt. Greece is the test case that the euro was always going to face, said Sergio Romano, a leading Italian political analyst. “This crisis is an occasion for strengthening the European monetary union, for closing the gaps that existed from the very beginning. It had to come, and it finally came,” he told The Associated Press. “And if we make the right decision we can proceed from here to strengthen the monetary union. It has been what we have expected all the time.” At a time of financial hardship, most Europeans are worried about their own problems, and don’t like the idea of their tax money going to help Greece. “I’m going bankrupt due to this recession, so I really don’t care about Greece,” said Michele Fenizia, 55, who runs a takeaway kosher pizza place in Rome. “I don’t think we should focus on helping Greeks, we should mainly think of ourselves.” “If they take money out of France’s state cash box, I’m afraid people won’t accept it and will revolt,” said Parisian travel agent Brigitte Briard. But it’s not just the size of Greece’s deficit that has angered its European partners, but also the fact that previous Greek governments cooked the books to hide the losses. “It is not very reassuring that Greece has cheated not just once,” but several times, said Vladimir Gligorov, a researcher at the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies. “This is not something that makes people happy with Greece.”—AP



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

NHL results/standings WASHINGTON: National Hockey League results and standings after Sunday’s games: NY Rangers 5, Tampa Bay 2; Nashville 4, Pittsburgh 3 (So); Minnesota 6, Vancouver 2; Ottawa 4, NY Islanders 3; Chicago 5, Columbus 4 (SO); Anaheim 7, Edmonton 3. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division GP W L OT PTS New Jersey 61 37 21 3 77 Pittsburgh 62 36 22 4 76 Philadelphia 60 32 25 3 67 N.Y. Rangers 62 28 27 7 63 N.Y. Islanders 62 25 29 8 58

GF 162 195 179 161 159

GA 144 179 160 169 194

Ottawa Buffalo Boston Montreal Toronto

Northeast Division 63 36 23 4 76 60 33 18 9 75 60 27 22 11 65 63 29 28 6 64 61 19 31 11 49

178 166 149 164 162

179 152 154 176 208

Washington Tampa Bay Atlanta Florida Carolina

Southeast Division 62 41 13 8 90 61 26 24 11 63 60 26 24 10 62 61 24 27 10 58 61 24 30 7 55

247 160 182 155 168

177 182 194 177 194

Western Conference Central Division Chicago 61 41 15 5 87 Nashville 61 33 23 5 71 Detroit 61 28 21 12 68 St. Louis 62 28 25 9 65 Columbus 63 25 28 10 60

199 170 159 163 166

146 173 164 172 203

Northwest Division 61 37 22 2 76 61 35 20 6 76 62 30 23 9 69 61 30 27 4 64 61 19 36 6 44

194 178 156 171 153

152 158 156 178 211

Vancouver Colorado Calgary Minnesota Edmonton

Pacific Division San Jose 62 40 13 9 89 204 Phoenix 63 37 21 5 79 167 Los Angeles 61 37 20 4 78 185 Dallas 61 28 21 12 68 175 Anaheim 62 30 25 7 67 177 Note: Two points for a win, one point for time loss.

153 158 166 186 189 over-

OHIO: Columbus Blue Jackets’ Raffi Torres (14) skates down ice after stealing the puck from Chicago Blackhawks’ Colin Fraser (46) during the first period of an NHL hockey game.—AP

Predators edge Penguins, Ducks roll on PITTSBURGH: Cal O’Reilly and Martin Erat scored in the shootout as the Nashville Predators beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 on Sunday — a game in which Penguins and Team Canada star Sidney Crosby was seen wincing shortly after blocking a shot. Crosby, who tied Alex Ovechkin for the NHL lead with his 42nd goal of the season and also added an assist, appeared frustrated and in pain on the bench after an apparent injury to his right leg moments after he blocked a shot with his shin. The shot came about seven minutes into the second period. Crosby said he was fine and was traveling to Vancouver on Sunday night. Although he appeared tentative during his first shift

after the shot, by the end of the game the 22-year-old center showed no visible signs the foot was hindering him.

heads into the Olympic break. Ryan Potulny, Ethan Moreau and Lubomir Visnovsky scored for the NHL-worst Oilers.

Ducks 7, Oilers 3

Wild 6, Canucks 2

At Edmonton, Alberta, Ryan Getzlaf made a strong case to keep his spot with the Canadian national team, scoring twice and adding two assists in his first game back from a sprained left ankle to help Anaheim beat Edmonton. Saku Koivu, Corey Perry, Scott Niedermayer, George Parros and Bobby Ryan also scored for Anaheim, which trails Calgary by two points for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference as the NHL

At St. Paul, Minnesota, Niklas Backstrom got his first win in three weeks as Minnesota scored three power-play goals against Roberto Luongo, sending him to the bench early. Cal Clutterbuck’s shot off an uncovered rebound in the slot with 11:56 remaining slipped past Luongo for a 5-1 lead, prompting coach Alain Vigneault to summon backup goalie Andrew Raycroft to finish up. Defenseman Cam Barker made his

Minnesota debut and scored on a late slap shot. The third overall pick in the 2004 draft, Barker was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks in a trade on Friday.

Rangers 5, Lightning 2 At New York, Erik Christensen had two goals and an assist to lead the New York Rangers past Tampa Bay. Sean Avery, Vinny Prospal and Chris Drury also scored for New York, which heads to the Olympic break on a two-game winning streak. Steven Stamkos and Steve Downie scored for the Lightning, who have lost three in a row following a season-high fourgame winning streak. New York’s Henrik

Lundqvist, one of the goalies for Sweden in the Olympics, made 27 saves.

Senators 4, Islanders 3 At Uniondale, New York, Alex Kovalev, Jason Spezza and Mike Fisher scored in a 6:59 span in the third as Ottawa edged the New York Islanders. Ottawa won for the 14th time in its past 16 games, erasing a 3-1 deficit to head into the Olympic break with momentum. Jarkko Ruutu also scored. Blake Comeau posted had his first career two-goal game, and Matt Moulson added his team-leading 22nd goal for New York. The Islanders head into the layoff with nine losses in 11 games.

Blackhawks 5, Blue Jackets 4 At Columbus, Ohio, Troy Brouwer scored in the fourth round of the shootout to give Chicago the victory over Columbus. Jake Dowell and Patrick Sharp each had a goal an assist, and Bryan Bickell also had a goal for the Blackhawks, who won their fourth in a row. Patrick Kane, who bounced back to also score in the shootout after injuring a knee in the third period, had Chicago’s first goal. Jonathan Toews added two assists. Kristian Huselius had a goal and an assist and scored in the shootout for Columbus. Raffi Torres, Rick Nash and Fedor Tyutin added goals. —AP

Do a good job, beaten Bertarelli tells Ellison VALENCIA: Beaten Swiss team leader Ernesto Bertarelli had a parting shot for America’s Cup victor Larry Ellison on Sunday, urging him to keep the event’s best interests at heart after two years of bitter legal battles. Bertarelli’s Alinghi were soundly beaten by Ellison’s BMW Oracle in the second race of the best-of-three duel between the giant, hi-tech multi-hulls in Spain, surrendering their seven-year hold on sailing’s oldest trophy 2-0. The two races were the culmination of acrimonious legal wrangling as Bertarelli and Ellison, two of the world’s richest men, argued over who could contest the regatta, where it could be sailed and what kind of boats and technology could be used. The arguments over the rules-governed by a 19th century “Deed of Gift”-resulted in a two-boat series without a challengers series, an outcome even Ellison’s co-sponsor BMW described as a disaster. The arguments marked the event’s lowest point since similar squabbling in the late 1980s. “Now it’s for them to rebuild that and I hope they do

a good job. I wish them to do as well as we did,” a disappointed Bertarelli told reporters after congratulating Ellison. The legal battles are still going on, with a New York court to rule on Feb. 25 on a complaint by Ellison over the origins of Alinghi’s sails. Bertarelli urged Ellison to drop the case now the issue had been settled on the water. “We did everything we could but we never went to the courts unless we were forced to,” Bertarelli said. “I just hope he’s going to drop his legal cases. If he does so, we will do the same,” he said. Ellison did not respond directly to Bertarelli’s suggestion, saying instead the next America’s Cup would be a multi-challenge event offering “a level playing field” for all competitors. “The only thing we ever wanted was to meet Alinghi on the water with a fair set of rules and that’s what we got today,” the 65-year-old software mogul said. Bertarelli, the Cup’s first European winner, said the event’s arcane legal background gave American teams a natural advantage. “They had

a strategy, they got a little help in the legal system in New York. That makes it a little difficult for us in Europe,” he said. “But that’s the America’s Cup. It’s not the European Cup.” Bertarelli said he had not decided yet whether he would take part again. “It’s not for me to decide the future of the America’s Cup any more. I will wait and see where the future takes us,” he said. Ellison said his team had not decided on a venue or date for the next event. His native San Franciscothe team sails under the colours of the Golden Gate Yacht Club-would be a likely venue, although Newport is also a possibility. Ellison said he had also received notification of a “Challenger of Record”-a lead challenger who would help shape the next America’s Cup. Italian shipping magnate Vincenzo Onorato is the most likely candidate, Italian media reporting he had already made clear his intentions. “Vincenzo Onorato’s a close friend of ours and I’ve never known him to be untruthful about anything,” Ellison said.—Reuters

SPAIN: (From left) BMW Oracle Racing owner Larry Ellison, tactician John Kostecki and helmsman’s James Spithill raise their trophy after winning the 33rd America’s Cup against Alinghi in Valencia. —AP

Hidayat Arena plans to discover new talent JAKARTA: Maverick shuttler Taufik Hidayat has again chosen to go it alone by opting to help fund a new badminton arena in Jakarta after his disillusion at how the sport is run in Indonesia. Former world and Olympic champion, Hidayat, 28, controversially defected from the Indonesian national team in early 2009 and he plans to use his profile to help find the next generation of talent. “Sports in Indonesia aren’t being supported by the government,” Hidayat told

Reuters. “The rewards you get as a young player don’t match the effort you put in.” “I want to be different from other athletes, if not better, and I want to make something good out of my profile and help the younger players have opportunities.” Hidayat said his own private funds would help to pay for the running costs of the eight-court Taufik Hidayat Arena, with building due to start in March. “Rejuvenation of younger players should be the job of the Indonesian

Badminton Association,” he said. “But local competitions will help indentify new talent. I want to use the arena to hold local competitions.” “It is 6600 metres squared and each metre squared costs 1.5 million rupiah ($161), so you could just imagine the cost.” With the majority of tournaments not being broadcast on free-to-air television in Indonesia, finding sponsorship has been difficult for local players which is why Hidayat has felt the need to step in and help. “The

Indonesian brands aren’t interested in sports people, only movie stars, because they can get more exposure in the media,” he said. Hidayat, who has no immediate plans for retirement, said he does not regret his split with the Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI). “As with any association, there will always be rows, and you can find people in PBSI that aren’t in tune with my vision. I achieved so many things for PBSI, and I felt burdened by expectations.”—Reuters

Tuesday, February 16, 2010



First Int’l Police Shooting Championship kicks off today KUWAIT: The first International Police Shooting Championship kicks off here today under the patronage of HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. The championship is held with the participation of 437 shooters representing 38 countries, of which there are 13 Arab countries including Kuwait, the host state. The opening ceremony of this six-day championship will be attended by the Minister of Interior Sheikh Jaber Khaled Al-Jaber AlSabah as the representative of HH the Crown Prince. The firstday events of the championship includes official drills by the participating countries on the shotguns and pistols. Further, the championship’s competitions include 17 contests with 10 for men and seven for women under the supervision of 42 international referees, besides 36 Kuwaiti referees for pistols and 48 for guns and shotguns. The Arab countries participating in this championship are Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Algeria, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Oman, Qatar, UAE, Bahrain, Tunisia and Kuwait. As for the foreign countries, they are Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, Hungary, Macedonia, Cyprus, Norway, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine, Russia, Armenia, Malaysia, Khazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Singapore, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Iran and Nepal.—KUNA

KUWAIT: Salman and KSSC board members with the Omani delegation. Oman armed forces chief of staff and president of Oman Shooting Federation Lt General Staff Ahmad Bin Hareth Al-Nabhani, and Lt Colonel Pilot Ahmad Al-Hatali visited the Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Olympic Shooting Complex. The Omani guests toured the complex and inspected its facilities, as they lauded the development Kuwait shooting is experiencing.

Atletico inflict season’s first defeat on Barcelona

ITALY: Inter Milan’s Walter Samuel, of Argentina (right) vies for the ball with Napoli’s Fabio Quagliarella, during the Italian League soccer match.—AP

Inter held to draw at Napoli MILAN: Serie A leaders Inter Milan withstood a furious barrage from Napoli to earn a 0-0 draw on Sunday and end the weekend with a seven-point advantage. Flying AS Roma beat Palermo 4-1 on Saturday to keep up the pressure on Inter ahead of the meeting between the sides in Rome in March. Marek Hamsik rattled the bar early on amid a host of early chances for fourth-placed Napoli

before Jose Mourinho’s side struck the woodwork through Sulley Muntari and Fabio Quagliarella thumped a drive against the post for the home side. Alessandro Del Piero earlier converted a controversial penalty to give Juventus a 3-2 home win over Genoa and lift the Turin club to sixth after only their second victory in nine Serie A matches.—Reuters

America defeat Cruz Azul MEXICO CITY: Pavel Pardo and Jean Beausejour scored either side of halftime to give America a 20 victory over Cruz Azul in Mexico’s Clausura tournament Sunday. Pardo scored from a free kick in the ninth minute, and the Chilean Beausejour made it 2-0 in the 52nd with a shot in the area. It was the 16th straight match that America has won or drawn against Mexico City rival Cruz Azul. The victory improved America to nine points in the Clausura standings. Cruz Azul has only four points despite spending $7 million to improve the team going into this season. Chivas is the top club in Mexico with a perfect 15 points from five games. In Sunday’s other matches, Pumas drew 1-1 with Estudiantes, Pachuca defeated Puebla 5-3 and Defending champion Monterrey downed Tigres 2-1. Pumas took a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute after Pablo Barrera’s goal, but, despite their superiority over Estudiantes, settled for a draw when Argentine Rubens Sambueza equalized with a penalty late in the first half. Estudiantes’ Freddy Bareiro was sent off in the 23rd. Ulises Mendivil scored in the 26th and 63rd minutes in Pachuca’s win over Puebla. Damian Alvarez scored in the 32nd for Pachuca, while Francisco Torres found the net in the 84th and Dario Cvitanich scored in injury time. Puebla’s goals came from Alvaro Gonzalez in the 25th minute, Carlos Ruiz in the 44th and Marcelo Palau 14 minutes later. Aldo de Nigris scored for Monterrey in the 23rd minute with a shot in the area that was set up from a corner. Argentine Neri Cardozo made it 20 in the 39th before Jesus Molina got one back for Tigres. Monterrey’s win gives it 10 points on the standings.

On Saturday, Guadalajara Chivas defeated Atlante 2-0 for its fifth straight victory to start the season, a club record. Javier Hernandez and Alberto Medina scored. In other matches: Santos Laguna defeated Toluca 1-0, Queretaro beat Jaguares 1-0, Morelia was a 3-0 winner over Atlas, and San Luis drew Indios 1-1. —AP

MEXICO: America’s Aquivaldo Mosquera (right) of Colombia fight for the ball with Cruz Azul’s Emanuel Villa of Argentina during a Mexican soccer league match.—AP

MADRID: Diego Forlan’s clinical finish and a superb Simao Sabrosa free-kick fired Atletico Madrid to a 2-1 home win over previously unbeaten La Liga leaders Barcelona on Sunday. Second-placed Real Madrid’s 3-0 win at bottom club Xerez on Saturday had trimmed Barca’s lead at the top to two points and Pep Guardiola’s side, missing five first-team defenders through suspension or injury, failed to respond. With 22 matches played, Barca have 55 points, Real 53 and Valencia, who were held 11 at mid-table Sporting Gijon on Saturday, are third on 43. Erratic Atletico, who are through to the King’s Cup final, are 11th with 27. Barca’s last three visits to the Calderon had produced a blizzard of 19 goals and it took the home side, fresh from their qualification on Thursday for the Cup final, only nine minutes to grab the lead. Jose Antonio Reyes played Forlan through to lash the ball past Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes and the home side doubled their advantage in the 23rd minute when Simao arrowed a free-kick into the top corner. Zlatan Ibrahimovic pulled a goal back for the visitors four minutes later when he was left unmarked at the back post at a corner and volleyed high into the net from close range. The Swedish striker was twice denied by well-timed challenges from defender Luis Perea at the start of the second half and Valdes did well to keep out a fierce drive from striker Sergio Aguero. Barca probed forward in search of an equaliser and Guardiola replaced midfielder Xavi with forward Bojan Krkic with just over 10 minutes left but they were repelled by an unusually efficient Atletico back line. “Atletico played a good match, especially the defence,” Valdes said in a television interview. “We have to keep going, the league is long. We are still leading and we need to take advantage of that.” Barca’s injury woes were compounded when they lost midfielder Seydou Keita in the second minute and the club said later the Mali international would be out for around four weeks. Keita is the fifth Barca player to sustain an injury in the past week, joining defenders Daniel Alves, Eric Abidal and Dmytro Chygrynskiy and midfielder Yaya Toure. Earlier on Sunday, Brazil striker Luis Fabiano nodded in a Diego Capel cross to give Sevilla a 1-0 home win over Osasuna and lift the Andalusians to fourth on 39 points. Deportivo Coruna missed another opportunity to break into the top four when they lost 2-0 at Espanyol, Malaga won 30 at Racing Santander and there were draws between Real Valladolid and Real Zaragoza (11) and Getafe and Almeria (22)—Reuters

MADRID: Atletico de Madrid’s Diego Forlan from Uruguay celebrates after scoring against Barcelona during a Spanish League soccer match.—AP

Lyon need to keep Ronaldo quiet to beat Real Madrid LYON: Lyon will find out today whether its shaky defense has improved or not when it tries to stop tournament top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo and his Real Madrid teammates in the Champions League. After a midseason slump, Lyon has won four of its past five French league games, conceding only two goals, but keeping the Portugese star quiet in the first leg of the Champions League knockout round at Stade Gerland represents a far bigger challenge. Ronaldo added another two goals in the Spanish league against Xerez on Saturday, taking his tally to 17 in 17 games this season, including six in the Champions League. “I already played against him when he was at Manchester United,” Lyon’s Brazilian defender Cris said. “It’s not easy, you need a lot of experience.” Having failed to reach the quarterfinals in the past five years, Real Madrid is obsessed with making the final this season, as it will be held at its home ground, the Bernabeu. “We have to beat Lyon, all the players are ready for it. If we want to win the Champions League we can’t lose there,” Ronaldo said. “If Real Madrid can’t beat Lyon then we can’t think about winning the Champions League. I have played in Lyon a few times and I know it

is a difficult place, but it’s not impossible.” Brazil midfielder Kaka set Ronaldo up for both of his goals Saturday, putting an end to doubts as to whether the two could combine effectively. “We shouldn’t think about all the great players Real have, we shouldn’t be scared of them, we’re playing at home,” Cris said. “We’ve already lost twice in the last 16 by drawing twice at our place. We need to make sure this doesn’t happen again.” Madrid is in second place in the Spanish league, two points behind Barcelona. Lyon is in fourth place in France, eight points behind leader Bordeaux. There is a good and bad precedent for Real Madrid ahead of Tuesday’s game: Lyon managed to hold Manchester United and Barcelona to home draws in the past two years, but both those clubs went on to win the competition. The last-16 has proved a stumbling block for Lyon, which hasn’t reached the quarterfinals since 2006. Lyon was crushed 5-2 in the away leg in Barcelona last year, suggesting Lyon needs to win by a comfortable margin Tuesday if it is to win over two legs. “We know we’re not favorites, but we also know we have enough quality to do something against them.” Lyon

Wendel sparkles as Bordeaux win PARIS: Brazilian midfielder Wendel scored two goals and laid on another to guide Ligue 1 leaders Girondins Bordeaux to a 3-1 home win over lowly St Etienne on Sunday. Laurent Blanc’s side now have 51 points from 24 games, three more than second-placed Montpellier who beat Grenoble 1-0 on Saturday. Lille, 3-1 winners over Boulogne-surMer on Saturday, are third on 44 points, one ahead of Olympique Lyon who overcame Racing Lens 1-0. Wendel created the first goal for Bordeaux in the 13th minute, a header from striker Marouane Chamakh. The Brazilian then shot powerfully home 17

minutes later before Bakary Sako pulled one back for fifth-bottom St Etienne with a free kick from 25 metres on the stroke of halftime. St Etienne dominated possession in the second half and wasted a host of chances, including a penalty miss by Gonzalo Bergessio in the 71st minute after Chamakh handled. Wendel made them pay when he converted a cross by substitute Yoan Gouffran with 11 minutes left. Champions Bordeaux have seen their nine-point lead cut to three since play resumed last month after the winter break and went into Sunday’s match looking to repair a sequence of one win in four league outings.—Reuters

midfielder Miralem Pjanic said. For Lyon coach Claude Puel, Madrid poses a different kind of threat than Barca. “There is no comparison with the Barca game last year. Real are a different team,” Puel said. “Their teamwork may not be as good but they have better individuals.” As well as Ronaldo and Kaka, Madrid’s attacking force boasts Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema. Higuain has scored 12 league goals, Benzema has seven and was finding his best form when he was hit by an adductor injury. Benzema, who scored 72 goals in 172 games for Lyon, passed a late fitness test and is raring to play against his old club. “Whether I start or come on for the last 30 minutes, I know I will have a good match,” Benzema told RTL radio on Sunday. “Of course it’s nice to come back to Lyon. I will see my family and all my friends again, but the main thing is the match.” The France striker was an emerging talent when Lyon dispatched Madrid 3-0 at home during the 2005-06 season and then 2-0 the following year. Those defeats will be engraved in the mind of goalkeeper Iker Casillas, and coach Manuel Pellegrini will not be underestimating the seven-time French champion.—AP

Today’s matches on TV (local timings) UEFA Champions League Olympique v Real Madrid............22:45 Al Jazeera Sport +4 AC Milan v Man United..............22:45 Al Jazeera Sport +5 Al Jazeera Sport +3 Europa League Everton v Sporting.....................20:45 Al Jazeera Sport +10 English Premier League Stoke v Man City.......................22:45 ShowSports 1

Beckham not sure of place against Man United MILAN: David Beckham is not guaranteed to start for AC Milan in today’s Champions League last-16 first-leg match against former side Manchester United. The midfielder has been on the bench for the last two league games and the return from injury of forward Alexandre Pato makes it even less likely the 34-yearold will play. However, coach Leonardo knows how much it means for Beckham to face Alex Ferguson’s men for the first time even if the former England captain is trying to stay cool.

“I always said when I came to the club that I never expect to start any game,” Beckham, who won the 1999 Champions League with United before leaving in 2003, told reporters. “I’ve started the first three or four games. Obviously last week I didn’t play and then this week I came on so no I’m not frustrated at all.” Milan, who have never lost to United over two legs and have won their four encounters in Italy, snapped a four-game winless run in Friday’s 3-2 victory over Udinese watched by Ferguson.

On-loan Beckham came on with 15 minutes left and played one dreadful pass which almost led to an Udinese goal. Worse for Milan was a thigh muscle injury which forced centre back Thiago Silva to go off. The Brazilian is battling to shake off the problem for Tuesday and partner fitagain Alessandro Nesta at the back while striker Marco Borriello is a doubt and Klaas Jan Huntelaar could again deputise, having scored twice against Udinese. Ronaldinho had one of his better games on the left of the front three but the return

of Brazilian compatriot Pato, out since the start of the year with a thigh problem, will give Milan more pace on the right. English champions United have fewer injury worries but centre back Nemanja Vidic has stayed at home because of a nerve problem in his leg and Beckham’s ex-team mate Ryan Giggs is out with a broken arm. “It’s a big shame that Giggsy is out. To play on the same field as Giggsy against him would have been really nice. Hopefully he’ll be fit soon and may make the second leg (on March 10),” Beckham added. Last

season’s runners-up United, who lost to Milan in the 2007 semi-finals before winning the trophy for the third time in 2008, have had a free weekend because of their FA Cup exit and also welcome back Rio Ferdinand from a domestic suspension. Striker Wayne Rooney is in the form of his life but is taking nothing for granted against the seven-times champions. “Milan have a number of players who can score goals, particularly from set pieces, so I think we’ll have to be wary of that,” Rooney told United’s website (

Teams (probable): Mila n: 1-Dida; 20-Ignazio Abate, 25Daniele Bonera, 13-Alessandro Nesta, 77Luca Antonini; 8-Gennaro Gattuso, 21Andrea Pirlo, 23-Massimo Ambrosini; 7Alexandre Pato, 11-Klaas Jan Huntelaar, 80-Ronaldinho Manchester United: 1-Edwin van der Sar; 6-Wes Brown, 23-Jonny Evans, 5-Rio Ferdinand, 3-Patrice Evra; 25-Antonio Valencia, 24-Darren Fletcher, 16-Michael Carrick, 17-Nani; 10-Wayne Rooney, 9Dimitar Berbatov — Reuters

East edge West in All-Star game

TEXAS: East All-Star Dwight Howard (12) of the Orlando Magic sails in for a dunk in the second half of the NBA All-Star basketball game. The East beat the West 141-139. — AP

McMurray wins Daytona 500 DAYTONA BEACH: Jamie McMurray held off a hard-charging Dale Earnhardt Jr. over a wild, twolap sprint to win NASCAR’s Daytona 500 on Sunday. The race was stopped twice and delayed for more than two hours because of a pothole at Daytona International Speedway, and the setback nearly derailed the event — which ended more than six hours after the first green flag. NASCAR struggled to patch the hole, and drivers knew the pavement could tear at any time after the final repair. It meant they had to race hard the final 80 miles (128 kilometers). Then a flurry of late-race accidents put NASCAR’s “green-white-checker” policy — an overtime of sorts — to the test. McMurray, using a boost from former teammate Greg Biffle, pow-

ered into the lead on the second and final green-white-checkered attempt. But Earnhardt, who restarted the final sprint in 10th place, was slicing his way through the field. He weaved in and out of traffic, shoving his Chevrolet into threewide lines, eventually darting his way to McMurray’s bumper. It was vintage Earnhardt — he’s a 12-time Daytona winner spanning NASCAR’s top two series — and McMurray was terrified to see him growing in his rearview mirror. “When I saw the 88 behind me, I thought, ‘Oh no.’ He had a good car and I just thought _ Earnhardt and Daytona, they win all the time it just seems like,” McMurray said. “You never know what to expect.” But with just two laps to make up so much ground, Earnhardt ran out of time and had to settle for second

as McMurray sailed to his first career Daytona 500 victory. “I didn’t know where I was, you know, ‘til I really kind of got done almost wrecking down the back straightaway,” Earnhardt said of his charge. “Then I looked up — there’s just one car in front of me, ‘Jamie’s gonna win this damn race!’ “I was happy for him. He deserves it. They’ve been through a lot. It’s a great team.” McMurray climbed from his car and ran to the Daytona 500 logo in the infield, dropping to his knees and pounding on the painted grass. Overcome with emotion, he sobbed in Victory Lane as he celebrated with his Earnhardt Ganassi Racing team. It was McMurray’s first race back with Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates, who gave him his Sprint Cup Series shot in 2002. But McMurray left and

spent four frustrating seasons with Roush Fenway Racing, only to lose that ride at the end of last season when NASCAR forced Roush to drop a team to meet its four-car limit. McMurray had to fight to get a seat back with Ganassi, and it included convincing sponsor Bass Pro Shops owner Johnny Morris to take a chance on him. The risk was well rewarded Sunday with the biggest win of McMurray’s career. “It’s unreal,” McMurray sobbed. “You know, to be where I was last year and for Johnny Morris and Chip and Felix. What a way to pay them back. It’s just very emotional.” Clint Bowyer finished fourth and was followed by David Reutimann and Martin Truex Jr. — teammates for Michael Waltrip, who finished 18th in what’s expected to be his final Daytona 500. — AP

ARLINGTON: The largest crowd to watch a basketball game saw an all too familiar sight — Dwayne Wade dominating a big game in Texas — as the Eastern Conference beat the West 141-139 in Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game. Wade had 28 points and won MVP honors in a game watched by 108,713 at Cowboys Stadium. Chris Bosh make the winning free throws for the East with five seconds left. The West had a chance to win it, but Carmelo Anthony’s 3-point attempt came up short. “To be in front of 108,000 fans, that was actually what it was, that was not a false number. You could look up in the stands, and there was not a seat open,” LeBron James said. “To be part of history is something that you always wish and dream for.” The largest cheer of the night came earlier, when Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones came onto the court to announce the record crowd, which was also the largest in the $1.2 billion building’s short history. They were booing at the end when Wade went to the line and made two free throws with 12.7 seconds left. Dirk Nowitzki of the hometown Mavericks tied it with two of his own five seconds later before Bosh put the East on top for the final time. James had 25 points, and Bosh finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds for the East. For the West, Anthony scored 27 and Nowitzki had 22. Wade’s performance brought back memories of his MVP performance when Miami won the title in Dallas. “I’ve had a little luck in Dallas. Of course, 2006 is very, very memorable, something I dreamed of doing for a long time, winning the NBA championship and I was lucky enough and blessed enough to win the MVP there,” Wade said. “To come and do it again is special.” He shot 12 of 16 from the field and also had five steals. The real star, though, was the venue. The NBA brought its midseason showcase to a football stadium, and the arrangement worked perfectly. The league was predicting about 90,000 but ended up blowing past Jones’ and Cuban’s hopes to pass 100,000. It easily shattered the previous record for the largest crowd to watch a basketball game of 78,129, set for a college match between Kentucky and Michigan State at Detroit’s Ford Field in 2003. And the thrilling finish more than salvaged an occasionally rough All-Star weekend for the league. Injuries knocked out fan favorites such as Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul. Commissioner David Stern and players association executive director Billy Hunter indicated the sides are far apart on a new labor agreement that would prevent a work stoppage in the summer of 2011, and the slam dunk contest wasn’t pretty even with the presence of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. Players came out to the court — which appeared much smaller than 94 feet from the highest levels of the venue — more than an hour before the game to check out the scene and the challenges it could create. Having hundreds of feet behind the baskets had some All-Stars wondering if their depth perception could be thrown off while shooting. —AP “Usually in All-Star games, not everybody is going out to shoot and warm up, but if you looked an hour before the game, both teams, all players were almost out there shooting, because it’s so different in a huge dome with the background,” Nowitzki said. “And for the size of this arena, both teams were shooting pretty well.” —AP

SAN JOSE: Fernando Verdasco, of Spain, holds up his trophy after beating Andy Roddick 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the finals of the SAP Open tennis tournament. — AP

Verdasco dumps Roddick to clinch SAP Open title SAN JOSE: Second-seeded Fernando Verdasco rallied to beat top-seeded Andy Roddick 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 Sunday in the SAP Open for his fourth career title. Verdasco had lost 15 straight matches against top-10 players before breaking through against seventh-ranked Roddick. Verdasco became the first Spaniard to win a title in the Bay Area since Manuel Santana did it in 1964 in Berkeley. This matchup lacked the high level of play and intensity of the last final between the top seeds in this tournament back in 2002, when top-seeded Lleyton Hewitt beat Andre Agassi 4-6, 7-6, 7-6. But there were a few tense moments in the final set when both players were dominating their serves. The servers lost only two points in the first five games of the final set with Roddick taking a 3-2 lead. Verdasco earned the only break point of the final set with a backhand cross-court winner at 30-all in the ninth game. Roddick then hit a forehand volley into the top of the net on the following point, giving Verdasco a 5-4 lead. Verdasco lost the first two points on his service game, before winning the final four. His 141 mph ace made it 30-all and Roddick followed by hitting a forehand long off a 93 mph second serve. Verdasco then closed it out his 15th ace. Verdasco had lost seven consecutive matches to Roddick. His only previous wins came when Roddick retired in a 2005 match and when Roddick overruled a linesman on what would have been his match point only to see Verdasco rally for the three-set win in Rome. After breaking Verdasco’s serve twice to win the opening set, Roddick seemed in control of the match. But Verdasco broke through for his first break in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead. He hit winners on the first two points, then was the beneficiary of a fortunate net-cord winner to earn three break-point chances, leading Roddick to throw his racket at the net. Roddick erased one break opportunity before hitting a backhand wide to lose the game. He whacked a ball into the second deck, earning a code violation warning from the umpire. The frustration only grew later in the set. Roddick blew four break-point chances in the following game, then took out his anger on the officials in the sixth game. Roddick was upset at a ball that he thought should have been called out and yelled at the umpire, “You can’t see if the ball is an inch out! ... It’s not possible!” After Verdasco held in that game for a 4-2 lead, Roddick screamed into his towel, “Make them all machines! All of them! Automated scorekeeper.” Roddick held his tongue the rest of the match, often

muttering to himself after his mistakes. Roddick had won in his three previous trips to the final of this tournament but was unable to pull off his fourth despite having his swimsuit model wife, Brooklyn Decker, watching courtside on Valentine’s Day. In the doubles final, Americans Mardy Fish and Sam Querrey beat Benjamin Becker and Leonardo Mayer 7-6 (3), 7-5. — AP

Mirza’s careerthreatening injury returns DUBAI: Sania Mirza, the first Indian woman to score high profile success in tennis, admitted yesterday after defeat in the first round of the Dubai Open that a career-threatening wrist injury had returned. Mirza was beaten 6-3, 6-4 by Anabel Medina Garrigues, the world number 33 from Spain, and her performance looked little like those of the zingy, dynamic player who has become the heroine of much of Asia. “It hurts when I stretch to a forehand. It hurts when I try to hit a hard cross court backhand,” the 23-year-old from Hyderabad said. “So you know it’s tough when you’re playing with that and then mentally you’re struggling, thinking ‘oh great the wrist is back. Oh how am I going to deal with it’.” “I was thinking during the match. And ‘okay, what am I going to do? Do I play Malaysia? Do I go back home? Do I see my doctor?’ All these things were going on in my head at that point in time.” Mirza did pause to acknowledge that Garrigues was “a very good player, no doubt about it,” and to state that the injury was not the main reason for her defeat. She also revealed that after a doctor came on court, taping the wrist and taking a few anti-inflammatory tablets were the only shortterm remedies possible. Mirza apparently began to feel the injury again two days ago and since then it has kept getting worse. When she tried to take a more optimistic view, she vacillated between doing so and admitting increasing worry about her future. —AFP

EQUATE increases local sales capacity by 200%

Jazeera buys Sahaab Aircraft Leasing Co for KD 25.6m



Worried Japan braces for global 3rd spot


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Saudi bracing for oil demand to peak JEDDAH: A top Saudi energy official expressed serious concern yesterday that world oil demand could peak in the next decade and said his country was preparing for that eventuality by diversifying its economic base. Mohammed Al-Sabban, lead climate talks negotiator, said the country with the world’s largest proven reserves of conventional crude is working to become the top exporter of energy, including alternative forms such as solar power. Saudi Arabia was among the most vocal opponents of proposals during the climate change talks in Copenhagen. And AlSabban criticized what he described as efforts by developed nations to adopt policies biased against oil producers through the imposition of taxes on refined petroleum products while offering huge subsidies for coal — a key industry for the United States. Al-Sabban said the potential that world oil demand had peaked, or would peak soon, was an “alarm that we need to take more seriously” as Saudi charts a course for greater economic diversification. “We cannot stay put and say ‘well, this is something that will happen anyway,” Al-Sabban said at the Jeddah Economic Forum. The “world cannot wait for us before we are forced to adapt to the reality of lower and lower oil revenues,” he added later. Some experts have argued that demand for oil, the chief export for Saudi Arabia and the vast majority of other Gulf Arab nations, has already peaked. Others say consumption will plateau soon, particularly in developed nations that are

Riyadh charts economic course for greater diversification pushing for greater reliance on renewable energy sources. With oil demand only now starting to pick up after it was pummeled by the global recession, some analysts say consumers may have learned to live permanently with a lower level of consumption. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, as well as other international energy organizations, is forecasting a slight rise in oil demand this year, based mainly on increased consumption in Asia after last year’s sharp hit. Either peak oil scenario presents grave challenges for the Gulf region and OPEC, whose countries rely on oil sales for as much as 90 percent of their budgets. Al-Sabban, who also serves as the chief economic adviser to Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi, said an oil demand peak would be “very serious” for the country. Saudi has about 264 billion barrels of crude reserves and currently produces about 8 million barrels per day out of its overall output capacity of around 12 million barrels per day. The kingdom, widely seen as the de facto leader of the 12-member OPEC, has embraced an ambitious expenditure program aimed not only at further developing its oil base but also expanding and diversif ying its economic base. Its expansionary policies came even as other nations were tightening purse strings in response to the world’s worst financial

crisis in over six decades. The outlays included billions of dollars for a new research university that opened last year, as well as major ventures such as the construction of new economic cities and other infrastructure. Oil’s pre-recession price boom also helped pad Saudi Arabia’s foreign reserves, now in excess of $400 billion, and have helped the government weather the worst of the global crisis. International ratings agency Moody’s, in a reflection of the country’s macroeconomic position, on Monday upgraded Saudi Arabia’s foreign and local currency government ratings to Aa3 from A1 citing “the continued solid state of government finances which have largely withstood oil price volatility and the global economic crisis.” Al-Sabban said that along with investing in education and economic diversification, Saudi must ensure that it become the top energy exporter, including in solar power, to keep moving forward. The country recently launched its first solar-powered desalination plant and AlSabban said oil giant Saudi Aramco was working on a pilot project to inject carbon emissions back into wells to help boost output. The carbon sequestration project, which he said would be operational by 2012, was a sign of Saudi Arabia’s commitment to environmentally sound energy development. The push for cleaner technology is pivotal for the oil. — AP

JEDDAH: Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) secretary general Abbas Naqi addresses the 2010 Jeddah Economic Forum in the coastal Saudi city yesterday. — AFP

Moody’s urges debt-laden Dubai World to sell assets DUBAI: Dubai World will have to sell more assets in order to restructure about 22 billion dollars of debt owed by the state-owned conglomerate’s subsidiaries, global ratings agency Moody’s said yesterday. “We believe that further major asset sales will constitute one of the conditions of any amicable restructuring agreement with Dubai World’s creditor banks,” said Philipp Lotter, senior vice president of Moody’s in Dubai. Moody’s pointed out that Dubai World’s

investment subsidiary, Istithmar, had sold by the end of 2009 some of its real estate assets, including properties in London and the “W” Hotel in New York. It said in a statement that Istithmar was preparing to sell its shipping business, Inchcape Shipping Services. Moody’s said Dubai Inc., the term used to refer to state-owned corporations, had “started to place some of its performing non-core assets up for sale” to address the mountain of debt accumulated by

the emirate’s firms. “The more distressed companies like Dubai World or some of the leveraged investment companies may not have a choice but to sell assets fast, particularly as banks press for tangible restructuring aimed at partially settling payments on extended terms,” Lotter said. Dubai had rocked global financial markets late November when it said it may need to freeze debt payments by its largest conglomerate Dubai World,

stoking fears of a state default over sovereign debt. Dubai World began in December negotiations with its creditors aimed at reaching an agreement to restructure its debt, shortly after the government covered due debts worth $4.1 billion, owed by Nakheel, the giant property arm of Dubai World. The Gulf emirate of Dubai was able to fork out the money thanks to a last-minute lifeline from neighboring Abu Dhabi. — AFP

UAE’s property prices seen flat DUBAI: UAE property prices are expected to be flat in 2010, as the market shows signs of maturity and investors eye opportunities locally instead of globally, a real estate investment and advisory firm said yesterday. “We expect prices being flat (in 2010), at best the market will be stable, up or down 5 percent,” Blair Hagkull, managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle for the Middle East and North Africa told reporters. “Growth is unlikely in the coming year.” He added some properties in non-central locations far from amenities could see declines of 1520 percent. Hagkull said the trend of Middle Eastern investors pouring their cash into foreign assets will change in 2010, which will see more capital flows within the region. In 2009, regional investors bought $1 billion worth of real estate in London alone, he said. House prices in Dubai, already off some 60 percent from their peaks, are set to fall a further 10 percent this year, while the emirate’s debt crisis could delay a recovery in the sector, a Reuters real estate poll conducted on Jan. 14

showed. Overall, the UAE market will witness a general decline in performance, Jones Lang LaSalle said. The market will move away from off-plan sales in 2010 towards a long-term model based on secure cash flows. It also sees less focus on new developments and more emphasis on completing or adding value to existing projects. Transparency and creation of an adequate regulatory framework for the market remain main challenges in 2010. “Lack of transparency and trust are major issues.... They have negatively impacted the UAE market and have eroded investor confidence,” the firm said. Investor confidence has suffered amid the debt troubles of Dubai World [DBWLD.UL], one of the emirate’s largest conglomerates, which came to light in November. The firm is still in talks with banks on its $22 billion debt delay, but has yet to present a formal proposal. The company avoided default on a $4.1 billion Islamic bond linked to its property unit Nakheel, after a last minute bailout from neighboring Abu Dhabi in December. — Reuters

Union Properties posts Q3 loss DUBAI: Debt-laden Dubai real estate developer Union Properties suffered an expected third consecutive quarterly loss yesterday on provisions for contracting and property valuation, sending its shares lower. The third-largest developer by market value made a loss of 148 million dirhams ($40.30 million), which Reuters calculated from previous statements. It made a net loss of 498 million dirhams for 2009, it said in a statement on Dubai’s bourse website. It did not provide a breakdown of its results. Dubai’s once-booming property sector has suffered as a result of the global downturn, with house prices off some 50 percent from their peaks in 2008, and billions of dollars of projects put on hold or cancelled. Union Properties’ shares were 2 percent lower at 0.5 dirhams a share at 0604 GMT, underperforming Dubai’s bourse, which was down 1.7 percent. The firm’s general manager Khalid al-Jarwan declined to comment when contacted by Reuters. It made a profit before provisions for contracting and property valuation of 373 million dirhams, it said in the statement. “The results are not without expectations. They fully flagged there would be additional contracting provisions,” said Chet Riley, equity analyst at Nomura International in Dubai. The firm’s chairman Khalid bin Kalban said in November it may take a valuation loss on its property portfolio and provisions in the fourth quarter. — Reuters

ATHENS: Protesters hold a banner in front of the Greek Parliament in Athens, demonstrating against the European Union’s Growth and Stability Pact limiting deficit to 3 percent. —AFP

Greece faces debt pressure at euro-zone talks BRUSSELS: Greece faced down pressure from euro-zone peers to step up budget cuts and stem a looming crisis in its debt markets yesterday, as the Brussels again questioned its past reporting of public finances. Greece is the first country in the euro’s 11year history to require an emergency statement of political support from other European countries as it struggles to weather pressure from financial markets worried about its massive debt. But Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou warned against asking the government, which faces growing public dissent over budget cuts, to do too much too fast. “We’re trying to change the course of the Titanic, it cannot be done in a day,” Papaconstantinou said ahead of meeting with euro zone finance ministers in Brussels. “If additional fiscal measures are needed, we will take them. Today it is Greece, tomorrow it can be another country. Any European country can be prey to speculative forces.” Greece faces two major hurdles in the coming months, with two lots of more than 8 billion euros of government bonds to refinance on April and in May. Markets had hoped last week that meetings this week might generate commitments of actual financial aid.

But European Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn suggested that the talks in Brussels, which officials said were not aimed at producing a concrete rescue plan, would focus on demanding more of Greece than it has announced. Rehn said ministers backed Greece’s threeyear plan and this year’s target of a four percentage-point cut in the deficit- to 8.7 percent of gross domestic product from 21.7 percent of GDP in 2009 — but that it might be hard to achieve. “We expect that in due course the Greek government will take necessary additional measures to reach that target. Our view is that risks related to the implementation and macro-economy and markets are materialising,” Rehn said. “And therefore there is a clear case for additional measures.” Greece confirmed last week it was still in recession in the last quarter of 2009. The euro zone as a whole barely grew as German economic growth halted and Italy and Spain also registered drops in GDP, making both deficit reduction and the provision of aid politically all the more challenging. Jean-Claude Juncker, chairing Monday’s talks, echoed Rehn’s remarks and noted that European leaders had pledged support at a

summit last Thursday on the condition that Greece stuck firmly to viable plans to fix its finances. “We will have a discussion on the basis of what the European Council (summit) agreed upon,” said Juncker, who is Luxembourg prime minister and chairman of the so-called Eurogroup forum where ministers confer regularly on pan-European matters. “It is clearly mentioned that Greece has to make sure that it cuts it budget deficit for 2010 by four percent and we have to check if this is possible or not and it will all depend on the answers given to that crucial question,” he said. EU leaders are hoping that pressure and a concerted effort by Greece will be enough to get on top of the country’s deficit and debt problems and assuage markets. Although leaders said little of how they may help, they have said they are ready to take “determined and coordinated” action to safeguard financial stability in the euro area if needed. That was designed to send a signal to the bond and currency marketswhere Greek bond yields have risen and the euro has weakened-that Greece will not be allowed to default on its debt and that the euro is not threatened. — Reuters

Oman eyes crude output hike as PDO pumps less MUSCAT: Oman aims to boost crude output for the third year in a row in 2010, a top official said yesterday, even after its largest producer, PDO, saw output fall in 2009. Oman is a small, independent producer, but has an influence on the price of more than 10 times more crude than it produces. Oman’s oil is part of a benchmark price used to value around 10 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude exports from the Middle East to Asia. The country plans to boost output to an average of 860,000 barrels per day in 2010, said State Undersecretary for Oil and Gas Nasser AlJashmi at a press conference in Oman. That would be up nearly 6 percent from output of 812,500 bpd in 2009 and would mark the third consecutive year of increased crude output from Oman. The sultanate has spent heavily to reverse output decline from its ageing fields. Output peaked in 2001 at 956,000 bpd before declining every year through 2007. The country’s largest oil producer, state-controlled Petroleum Development Oman, pumped less crude in 2009 than the previous year even as the country’s total output rose by 7.4 percent. PDO, an affiliate of Royal Dutch Shell, pumped 552,000 barrels per day of crude in 2009, the company said in a statement yesterday. That was down from the 566,000 bpd crude output the company reported for 2008. PDO pumps just under 70 percent of Oman’s crude output and sees little change in its production targets over the next few years, said Managing Director John Malcolm. “We will continue with the target of 540,000 bpd to 560,000 bpd for the next few years,” Malcolm said. That was steady from the previous two years. Still, PDO’s total oil output, which includes condensates and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), rose to 641,000 bpd in 2009 from 633,000 bpd the year before. PDO made four oil discoveries last year that could eventually add up to 1 billion barrels of recoverable reserves in Oman over the next 10-15 years, Malcolm said. Oman had reserves of 5.6 billion barrels of oil at the end of 2008, according to BP’s statistical review. Malcolm declined to say when the new discoveries might start producing oil. Oman aims to award 11 oil exploration and production deals in 2010, up from four last year, as part of efforts to boost longterm output, Jashmi said. Oman has struggled to meet rapid domestic gas demand growth. It has prioritized meeting local demand over meeting exports, leaving it with spare capacity at its liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal. There, Oman is only meeting its contract commitments and is offering nothing more to LNG buyers. “Our priority is to cater for domestic demand in gas,” said Jashmi. “Our LNG exports will stay the same level as now for the next few years.” — Reuters



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

EQUATE increases local sales capacity by 200% in 10 years KUWAIT: EQUATE Petrochemical Company’s President & CEO Hamad AlTerkait said that the company’s annual sales to local Kuwaiti plastic manufacturers have increased by 200% during 1998 to 2009. During “EQUATE’s Annual Local Customers Gathering 2009,” Al-Terkait said “During that period, the volume of local sales has increased from 11,000 Metric Tons Annually (MTA) to over 35,000 MTA in 2009 with a value of over USD 30 million,” adding that “This is true embodiment of one of the core objectives behind establishing EQUATE, which is encouraging Kuwait’s downstream industry.” Al-Terkait noted that in 2009, local plastic manufacturers have witnessed a 19% increase in consumption, adding that such a manufacturing hike is a great source of encouragement to EQUATE that supplies these consumers with their polyethylene demands. Al-Terkait stressed that “As you play a critical role in Kuwait’s overall sustainability and industrial growth, EQUATE has special interest in local customers through extending all necessary support to ensure the development of Kuwaiti downstream industries.” Hosting over 30 local customers, the gathering was attended by EQUATE Senior Vice President Dan Gibbs, EQUATE Business Director and EQUATE Marketing Company (EMC) President Adel Al-Munifi, as well as

Al-Terkait addresses annual local customers gathering

EQUATE’s annual local customers gathering

BlackBerry Bold 9700 Smartphone The BlackBerry Bold 9700 is the latest member of the BlackBerry Bold family of smartphones. This new smartphone provides an extensive array of highend communications and multimedia features in a compact and highly refined design that will appeal to both professional and personal users. The BlackBerry Bold 9700 builds on the success of the original BlackBerry Bold with new, state-of-the-art features and a smaller, lighter optimized design. It offers top-of-the-line performance, functionality and features with support for 3G HSDPA networks around the world, a next-generation (624 MHz) processor, 256 MB Flash memory, built-in GPS and Wi-

EQUATE Regional Sales Manager Muayad Al-Faresi along with several other senior officials from EQUATE and EMC. EMC is the marketing arm of EQUATE Petrochemical Company. Considered one of the world’s leading companies in producing Polyethylene and Ethylene Glycol, EQUATE was established in 1995 and it is presently a joint venture between Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC), The Dow Chemical Company (Dow), Boubyan Petrochemical Company (BPC) and Qurain Petrochemical Industries Company (QPIC). It commenced production in 1997 and currently provides markets in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe with high quality petrochemical products.

Fi(r), a 3.2MP camera and a sharp, dazzling display. The cutting edge engineering and premium finishes extend to the exterior of the handset as well, with a smoothly integrated touch-sensitive trackpad and a highly tactile, distinctive, fretted keyboard. The dark chrome frame and leatherette back add to the new smartphone’s sleek and elegant look, while the narrow profile, balanced weight and soft-touch sides allow it to feel incredibly comfortable in one hand. Services for the new BlackBerry Bold 9700 smartphone include a growing catalog ue of mobile applications that includes games, entertainment, news, weather, productivity, IM and social networking.

BlackBerry Bold 9700 Smartphone

Aramco to inject CO2 into biggest oilfield by 2012 JEDDAH: State oil giant Saudi Aramco plans to inject carbon dioxide into the world’s biggest oilfield by 2012, a year ahead of previous plans, a government official said yesterday. The giant field Ghawar pumped 5 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2008, more than half of top oil exporter Saudi Arabia’s output. The kingdom announced plans last year for a pilot project to pump the climate-warming gas into the field to both “This is a major project that will be implemented by Aramco by 2012,” said Muhammed Al-Sabban, head of the Saudi delegation to UN talks on climate change and a senior economic adviser to the Saudi oil ministry. “It is a pilot project that will try to reduce or sequester carbon emissions.” The project would be entirely financed by Aramco, he added. The kingdom plans to inject 40 million standard cubic feet per day (cfd) of CO2 into the field, and has said this is part of the global push to trap emissions rather than because it needs to enhance oil recovery from the field. Carbon capture and storage is looked upon favourably by oil producers as they need to inject gas into oilfields anyway to maintain oil pressure. If they can use CO2 instead of natural gas, they can send the natural gas to local grids where it can be used by industry or in power plants. Aramco is also making efforts to reduce emissions from oil products it makes by upgrading refineries to produce cleaner fuels. The kingdom has said it supports moves to reduce climate change, but registered opposition to schemes that singled out oil’s role in global warming while promoting other fuels. Last month, Sabban told Reuters the United Nations’ climate talks are a bigger threat to Saudi Arabia than increased oil supplies from rival producers. Sabban reiterated yesterday that the top oil exporter was looking to start exporting power from solar energy by 2020. —Reuters

TVM Capital MENA and DIFC officials

DIFC-based fund seeks to tap healthcare market in MENA TVM Capital starts investment operations DUBAI: TVM Capital MENA yesterday announced that it has received the approval of the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) to start operation of its first regional healthcare growth capital fund with $40 million of subscriptions from founding investors, Saudi Health Investment Company (SHIC), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and GE Healthcare. TVM Capital MENA Ltd., the fund’s operator, is based in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and is licensed and regulated by the DFSA. The fund established by TVM Capital MENA is the first healthcare-dedicated fund in the MENA region to be operated by a leading global healthcare and life science manager with a significant track record in the sector. The Fund will seek to capitalise on the substantial growth opportunities in the healthcare service and pharmaceutical/life science sectors in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. On the services side, the focus will be on investments in specialised clinics, medical laboratories, small hospitals, diagnostic imaging centres, providers of outsourced services to healthcare delivery facilities, clinical trial management services, and healthcare IT and insurance. On the life science product side, investments will focus on pharmaceutical and other life science product companies that are involved in the licensing, import, manufacture and distribution of medicines, medical devices and diagnostics. Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of the DIFC Authority said: “While the current economic environment has posed many challenges, it has also presented several new opportunities for private equity funds. The global financial crisis has shown the need for private equity firms to focus on the fundamental profitability and growth of the companies they invest in. In this light, some of the most exciting opportunities for private equity in the MENA region lie in the healthcare sector. By providing a world-class legal

and regulatory framework, DIFC offers a secure and productive platform for private equity firms like TVM Capital MENA to operate their funds and develop their business.” Kevin Birkett, Executive Director - Asset Management, DIFC Authority said: “DIFC’s commitment to maintain the highest global standards of transparency and integrity has made it a natural base for financial services firms. Funds management is one of the strategic sectors that DIFC is focusing its development efforts on. Over the last few years, DIFC has introduced supportive legislation specifically aimed at tapping the growth potential of this sector in the MENA region. Healthcare represents one of the most promising growth areas for private equity funds in the region and we are keen to provide all the support we can to facilitate the growth of such funds TVM Capital MENA’s healthcare fund.” Dr. Helmut Sch¸hsler, Chairman of the Board of TVM Capital MENA Ltd. and a Managing Partner of TVM Capital GmbH, Munich said: “The Fund will draw from TVM Capital’s 25 plus years of experience and success in investing in the health market, the firm’s global network in industry and academia as well as the relationships we have built regionally to add significant value to healthcare investment opportunities.”. “Our TVM Capital MENA team will have a strong collaborative relationship with our founding investors. GE Healthcare will add considerable value as a strategic partner to TVM Capital MENA with its expertise in assessing investment opportunities and executing projects in the region. Our relationship with SHIC will translate into an increased presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other countries, especially in the GCC and Egypt, where SHIC is a leading investor in healthcare services. The IFC has a strong presence in several countries in the region and a large team dedicated to healthcare investments,” he added.

CBK customers discovering Europe The Discover Europe Campaign organized by the Commercial Bank of Kuwait with the support of MasterCard has come to an end, with six winners who have proudly received their prizes for a destination of their choice in Europe. The Campaign started in July 2009 for a period of 6 months till December 2009 and all CBK customers were entitled to enter the draw by using their CBK MasterCard Debit Card outside Kuwait. In addition, customers who spent more earned more chances to enter the draw. The last draw took place last Sunday Feb 7th and this way 6 winners were identified

Ramzi Sabboury to discover Europe and major cities were chosen to be visited like London and Paris. Ramzi Sabboury, Executive Manager in Retail Banking at the Commercial Bank of

Kuwait claimed that “The fascinating campaign held by the Bank has proved to be very delightful to both customers and the Bank and the usage of debit card outside Kuwait has really improved”. Sabboury also mentioned that the Bank intends to have more campaigns throughout the current year 2010 with more exciting offers and chances to always encourage customers to use the secured chip cards in Kuwait and abroad. The tight relation between the Bank and MasterCard will always bring to the end customer the best offers and exclusive privileges from which they can benefit all year long.

EXCHANGE RATES Commercial Bank of Kuwait US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian Dollar Australian DLR Indian rupees Sri Lanka Rupee UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi riyals Omani riyals Philippine peso Egyptian pounds US Dollar/KD GB Pound/KD Euro Swiss francs Canadian dollars Danish Kroner Swedish Kroner Australian dlr Hong Kong dlr Singapore dlr Japanese yen Indian Rs/KD Sri Lanka rupee Pakistan rupee Bangladesh taka UAE dirhams Bahraini dinars Jordanian dinar Saudi Riyal/KD Omani riyals Philippine Peso US Dollar Sterling pounds Swiss Francs Saudi Riyals

.2830000 .2930000 .4480000 .4580000 .3890000 .3970000 .2650000 .2740000 .2720000 .2790000 .2530000 .2610000 .0045000 .0075000 .0020000 .0035000 .0781400 .0788250 .7612940 .7689450 .4020000 .4180000 .0750000 .0790000 .7460570 .7535550 .0045000 .0072000 .0500000 .0580000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2878500 .2899500 .4504040 .4535850 .3917180 .3944840 .2669430 .2688330 .2738770 .2758170 .0526170 .0529890 .0396880 .0399690 .2555380 .2573420 .0370440 .0373060 .2038370 .2052800 .0031920 .0032140 .0062230 .0062670 .0025250 .0025430 .0034060 .0034300 .0042170 .0042470 .0783410 .0784090 .7639110 .7687820 .4070970 .4099800 .0767990 .0772880 .7480340 .7528030 .0062570 .0063010 TRANSFER CHEQUES RATES .2899500 .4535850 .2688330 .0772280


US Dollar Transfer Euro

289.150 394.830

Sterling Pound Canadian dollar Turkish lire Swiss Franc Australian dollar US Dollar Buying

454.540 276.430 191.100 269.600 256.340 287.000 ASIAN COUNTRIES Japanese Yen 3.218 Indian Rupees 6.231 Pakistani Rupees 3.400 Srilankan Rupees 2.523 Nepali Rupees 3.907 Singapore Dollar 205.400 Hongkong Dollar 37.240 Bangladesh Taka 4.182 Philippine Peso 6.243 Thai Baht 8.729 Irani Riyal - Transfer 0.301 Irani Riyal - Cash 0.292 ARAB COUNTRIES Egyptian Pound - Cash 56.000 Egyptian Pound 52.680 Yemen Riyal 1.364 Tunisian Dinar 209.530 Jordanian Dinar 408.520 Lebanese Lira 195.400 Syrian Lier 6.324 Morocco Dirham 35.700 GCC COUNTRIES Saudi Riyal 77.150 Qatari Riyal 79.480 Omani Riyal 751.530 Bahraini Dinar 768.300 UAE Dirham 78.790 GOLD 20 Gram 215.000 10 Gram 110.000 5 Gram 57.000

Bahrain Exchange Company COUNTRY Australian dollar Bahraini dinar Bangladeshi taka Canadian dollar Cyprus pound Czek koruna Danish krone Deutsche Mark Egyptian pound

SELL CASH 260.300 768.780 4.480 278.800 567.700 15.800 53.800 167.800 58.010

SELL DRAFT 258.800 768.780 4.187 277.300

206.300 52.890

Euro Cash Hongkong dollar Indian rupees Indonesia Iranian tuman Iraqi dinar Japanese yen Jordanian dinar Lebanese pound Malaysian ringgit Morocco dirham Nepalese Rupees New Zealand dollar Nigeria Norwegian krone Omani Riyal Pakistani rupees Philippine peso Qatari riyal Saudi riyal Singapore dollar South Africa Sri Lankan rupees Sterling pound Swedish krona Swiss franc Syrian pound Thai bhat Tunisian dollar UAE dirham U.S. dollars Yemeni Riyal 10 Tola Sterling Pound US Dollar

398.000 37.910 6.600 0.034 0.292 0.260 3.300 410.220 0.195 87.370 37.200 4.260 205.500 2.183 50.100 750.950 3.500 6.420 79.950 77.190 206.290 40.0200 2.777 458.000 40.800 271.900 6.400 9.100 217.900 78.880 289.500 1.410

396.500 37.760 6.230

408.830 0.194 87.370 3.920 204.000 750.770 3.420 6.245 79.520 77.190 206.290 40.020 2.522 458.000 270.400 8.900 78.880 288.100

GOLD 1,182.790 TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 456.000 289.100

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd US Dollar Canadian Dollar Sterling Pound Euro Swiss Frank Cyprus Pound Bahrain Dinar UAE Dirhams Qatari Riyals Saudi Riyals Jordanian Dinar Egyptian Pound Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees

289.000 278.900 458.690 400.410 267.555 708.355 766.370 78.660 79.305 77.095 407.820 52.690 6.240 3.410

Sri Lankan Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Pesso Japanese Yen Thai Bhat Syrian Pound Nepalese Rupees

2.525 4.180 6.240 3.205 8.700 5.564 3.910

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. Currency Rate per 1000 (Tran) US Dollar 289.150 Pak Rupees 3.415 Indian Rupees 6.240 Sri Lankan Rupees 2.530 Bangladesh Taka 4.180 Philippines Peso 6.275 UAE Dirhams 78.695 Saudi Riyals 77.280 Bahraini Dinars 768.300 Egyptian Pounds 52.675 Pound Sterling 457.700 Indonesian Rupiah 0.0000312 Nepali rupee 3.900 Yemeni Riyal 1.550 Jordanian Dinars 410.500 Syrian Pounds 5.750 Euro 398.000 Candaian Dollars 282.100

Al Mulla Exchange Currency Transfer rate (Per 1000) US Dollar 289.000 Euro 396.300 Pound Sterling 454.250 Canadian Dollar 277.150 Japanese Yen 3.220 Indian Rupee 6.215 Egyptian Pound 52.675 Sri Lankan Rupee 2.520 Bangladesh Taka 4.173 Philippines Peso 6.225 Pakistan Rupee 3.400 Bahraini Dinar 768.650 UAE Dirham 78.675 Saudi Riyal 77.000 *Rates are subject to change


Tuesday, February 16, 2010


GCC fund managers favoring Saudi Arabia: Markaz study KUWAIT: A recently published report by Kuwait Financial Centre “Markaz”, which aims to analyze the performance of equity funds across the region, states that, GCC markets swung between gains and losses throughout the year; the first quarter showed lingering losses from the previous year, while the second and third quarters produced significant gains as markets rallied on the back of recovering commodity prices and a global market rally. The fourth quarter saw a reversal of fortunes as GCC markets turned south led by Dubai sentiment. MSCI GCC lost 8% in the fourth quarter bringing the annual gain to 18%. The quarter’s best performance was from MSCI Saudi Arabia which limited its loss to 1%, bringing full year gain to 33%, which was the second best performance in 2009 (MSCI Indices). The worst performer for 4Q09 was MSCI Kuwait, which lost 19% bringing the full year decline to 11.7%. AUM’s ended the year at $12bn representing an institutionalization rate (AUM/Mcap) of almost 2%. Both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait saw their AUM decline in the fourth quarter by 3% and 10%, respectively. Fund managers favored Saudi Arabia throughout the year, allocating between 36% and 42% of assets to the Kingdom in 2009 (Table 3). Confidence in the Kuwait market

Markets lost in Q4 2009

declined dramatically, from 20% in June to 11% in December; the same can be said for the UAE, where managers allocated 17% of their assets in September before cutting exposure to 10% in December. Exposure to equities increased throughout the year as managers took advantage of a second and third quarter rally; allocation was at 87% in December from a low of 70% in March whereas Cash began the year with 28% of manager assets steadi-

ly declining to 12% by December. Saudi Arabia equity funds Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) lost 3.17% in 4Q09, bringing the full year gain to 27%, the highest among GCC markets. Banks & Financials lost 9% in the quarter while Petrochemicals and Energy gained 5% and 8.8%, respectively. Liquidity in the Saudi market was down by 35% for the year, with Value Traded at $338 bn. In December, fund managers

decreased allocation to cash to 1.5% (on an asset weighted basis) and held 98% of assets in equities. AUM’s were flat in the final quarter of the year at $4.7bn after expanding by 6.5% in the third quarter and 14% in 2Q09. Kuwait Equity Funds The Kuwait market faltered again in the final quarter of the year, losing 10% in 4Q09 after declining 3.25% in the third quarter. Losses were led by the Investment,

Banking, and Industrial sectors. AUM’s declined 10% to $3.75 bn in 4Q09. Kuwait Financial Centre “Markaz” was the top equity fund manager with an AUM of $752 mn, representing a 20% market share. Qatar Equity Funds Qatar’s Doha Securities Market (DSM) saw two consecutive quarters of gains; 33% in 2Q09 and 14% in 3Q09, however, the trend reversed in 4Q09 with the market recording a loss of 6.14%. This brought the Doha Exchange to a flat close with a gain of just 1%. All sector indices saw quarterly losses, the largest of which was in Banking & Financials, down 7.71% in 4Q09. Liquidity was down on the Doha Exchange, with value traded ending the year at $26 bn, an annual decline of 46%. AUM’s for Qatari equity funds decreased 7% in 4Q09 to $155 mn.

Other GCC Equity Funds UAE Equity Funds - Dubai (DFM) underperformed the Abu Dhabi Exchange (ADX) for the quarter, losing 17.68% versus a loss of 12% for the ADX. Full year gain on the DFM was 10% versus 14.79% for the ADX. The DFM’s loss was led by the Investments & Financials sector which was down 26% in 4Q09. Abu Dhabi’s quarterly loss was led by the Real Estate and Construction sectors which were down 24% and 21.5%, respectively, in 4Q09. Liquidity in the UAE was down; value traded on the ADX was down 77% in 2009 to $18.9 bn while the same on the DFM contracted by 24% to $47.6 bn. AUM’s for UAE equity funds contracted 11% in 4Q09 to $611mn. Oman Equity Funds - The Muscat Securities Market (MSM) lost 3% in 4Q09 after clock-

ing in substantial gains in the second and third quarter of 22% and 17%, respectively. The market ended the year with a 17% return, i.e. the second best performer within the GCC. AUM’s for Omani equity funds were flat at $65mn for 4Q09. The majority of Omani funds underperformed the index in the fourth quarter. Bahrain Equity Funds The Bahrain Exchange showed another year of losses, closing out 2009 with a decline of 19%. In the fourth quarter, the index was down 6% making it the fourth consecutive quarterly loss. Sectoral returns were mixed, from a high of 12% for Hotels & Tourism to a low of -8% for the Investment index. SICO Selected Securities Fund outperformed the benchmark, MSCI Bahrain index, which lost 13.4% in 4Q09. Bahrain AUM’s were at $9mn in 4Q09.

Deal to help airline boost profitability, facilitate growth

Jazeera Airways acquires Sahaab Aircraft Leasing Co for KD 25.6m KUWAIT: Jazeera Airways yesterday announced it has fully acquired Sahaab Aircraft Leasing Co. (Sahaab), a private aircraft leasing firm established in late 2008, for KD25.6 million. The acquisition gives Jazeera Airways a plat-

DUBAI: Georgian PM Nikoloz Gilauri receives a memento from DIFC Governor Humaid Al-Tayer.

Georgia PM visits DIFC DUBAI: Nikoloz Gilauri, the Prime Minister of Georgia visited the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and held discussions with senior officials there. Ahmed Humaid Al-Tayer, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre received him at DIFC. Accompanying the Prime Minister was a highlevel Georgian delegation that included Alexander Khetaguri, Minister of Energy; and Ekaterine Meiering-Mikadze, Ambassador of Georgia to GCC. The delegation held discussions on a wide range of economic issues, including opportunities for cooperation between the UAE and Georgia, with senior DIFC officials. Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer said: “The changing global economy has greatly increased the scope for cooperative ties between Georgia and the UAE. Our discussions with the Georgian Prime

Minister gave us a chance to explore mutual interests and complementarities between the financial industries of our two countries. Our meeting also gave us an opportunity to share ideas on how both of our countries could contribute to the process of revitalizing the global economy.” Abdulla Mohammed Al-Awar, CEO of the DIFC Authority said: “As DIFC enters a new phase of development, we seek to reach out to promising new financial markets that offer opportunities for mutual cooperation. We are very keen to explore new linkages with the Georgian financial services industry. The visit of the Georgian Prime Minister gave us a chance to discuss ways of initiating new financial industry ties with Georgia.” Following the discussions, the Georgian delegation was taken on a tour of the DIFC financial district. The Georgian delegation, headed by the Prime Minister, is on a state visit to the UAE.

Wataniya releases New Blackberry: Bold 9700 KUWAIT: Devoted to providing its customers with the latest and updated service, Wataniya Telecom announces the release of the new Blackberry Bold 9700 (Onyx). The Bold 9700 is the latest Blackberry device available in the market and is now sold at all of Wataniya stores! In recent months, there has been a wide spread in the use of the Blackberry in Kuwait, and at Wataniya Telecom all prepaid and postpaid customers ranging have been able to enjoy the practicality and luxury of owning a Blackberry device along with the Wataniya Blackberry service. For those who already have a Blackberry it is time to spoil yourself and upgrade your smart phone to Bold 9700 and enjoy its new features: touch sensitive keypad, 3G enabled, Wi-Fi, 3.2 megapixel cameras, GPS and lots more. And for those who do not own a Blackberry yet it is time to for you to enter the wonderful world of Blackberry and be part of it! “With the latest Blackberry Bold now available in all Wataniya stores, we are making sure our customers are up to date and are not missing out on anything. We will continue to offer them the premium products because after all, they are our

main priority,” Scott Gegenheimer, GM&CEO explained. Today you have the opportunity to keep in touch with all your friends, have access to your email 24/7, and enjoy the wide range of social networking applications (Facebook, MSN messenger, Yahoo etc...) all available to you with

Wataniya’s Blackberry service and devices. In order to purchase the Bold 9700, customers should buy one of Wataniya rate plans. Because Wataniya invests in servicing both its post paid and pre paid customer base, now there are different rate plans available for everyone to choose from.

Scott Gegenheimer, GM&CEO

Sahaab currently owns a fleet of nine Airbus A320s that were purchased and leased back to Jazeera Airways, and will continue to operate as a fully-owned subsidiary of the airline catering not only to Jazeera Airways but also other airlines, both regionally and globally. Sahaab will have a minimum fleet of 38 Airbus A320s by 2016 based on confirmed orders with the manufacturer. Sahaab was founded by the group of investors who established Jazeera Airways with the backup of a group of leading international financial institutions including DVB Bank, Natixis, and National Bank of Kuwait. Sahaab posted earnings of KD2.2 million in 2009; and projects earnings to reach KD4.6 million in 2010. The acquisition brings the following benefits to Jazeera

form to pursue strategic vertical integration initiatives lined up for 2010 and 2011 that include an airline acquisition and access to global leasing markets.

Jazeera Airways Chairman Marwan Boodai

Airways: • Predictable revenue streams for the airline through leasing arm • Immediate earnings and return contribution to Jazeera Airways • Stronger shareholders’ equity capitalization expected to reach over KD50 million • New stand-alone regional leasing platform Jazeera Airways Chairman Marwan Boodai said: “As we implement our strategy to build Jazeera Airways into one of the leading regional airlines in the Middle East, this acquisition is the first in a series of vertical integration initiatives planned for 2010 and 2011 to drive growth and profitability for the airline through acquisitions, infrastructure investments, and strategic partnerships. “This acquisition is instantly accretive to Jazeera

Airways, will immediately boost shareholder return on equity, and give our shareholders access to steady revenue streams as well as access to the global aircraft leasing industry, which is expected to experience longterm growth. As a result of this acquisition, Jazeera Airways will now be even more strongly capitalized to pursue its strategic aspirations, regardless of any prevailing market environment.” The acquisition, expected to be completed prior to March 31, 2010, will enable Jazeera Airways to consolidate Sahaab’s earnings beginning from January 1, 2010, adding an expected KD1.2 million in earnings in the first quarter of 2010. Funding will be completed through a rights issue in Q3 to existing shareholders, following customary government approvals.

LG helps greenize kitchens Industry’s biggest capacity bottom freezer helps ‘greenize’ modern kitchen KUWAIT: LG Electronics (LG), the world’s leading innovator of home appliances, highlighted their commitment to “greenizing” customers’ kitchens through innovations such as its Linear Compressor and Light Wave Technology at the MAISON & OBJET living design exhibition (January). Chief among the company’s “eco-chic” range was the newly-launched 385-liter bottom freezer, which offers the industry’s biggest capacity in a standard size and raises the bar for green technology. The new bottom freezer’s enhanced efficiency is underpinned by LG’s unique Linear Compressor technology, which provides customers with a fresher, more naturefriendly way to store food through improvements in energy efficiency, space and accessibility. The Linear Compressor also helps the new bottom freezer achieve an A++ rating for energy consumption, meaning lower electricity bills for consumers. LG’s commitment to promoting a greener way of life was the centerpiece of its appearance at MAISON & OBJET. LG’s refrigerators with Linear Compressor technology - which includes the bottom freezer - were selected as best examples of “ecochic” products by MAISON & OBJET in recognition of their stylish and environmentally friendly innovations and designs. With this, LG is in a unique position to define for the industry what it means to be “eco-chic”. For LG, green products aren’t just about energy savings and economic benefits. Green also means making improvements in functionality and customers’ lifestyles. LG’s Linear Compressor reduces energy consumption by streamlining mechanical operations to circulate refrigerant without unnecessary rotating or reciprocating motions. Compared with an average refrigerator, which emits around 336KG of CO2 per year, LG’s Linear Compressor provides energy savings of up to 20 percent annually, or the equivalent of planting 24 pine trees. Fewer friction points (one instead of the four in a conventional compressor)

work to significantly reduce noise levels while also enhancing durability, allowing LG to offer a 10 year warranty on refrigerators utilizing the Linear Compressor. On average, LG refrigerators are more effective in maintaining a constant inner temperature than conventional models with the same large capacity, thus helping keep food fresher longer. The compressor’s slow speeds-maintained even under maximum cooling conditions - also make for quieter operation. Along with its Linear Compressor technology, LG showed its commitment to green technology with such innovations as the Inverter DirectDrive(tm), Light Wave Technology and the KOMPRESSOR. All of these technologies make for more efficient products, providing savings in space, energy usage and in the amount of time spent on housework. “Helping people lead more eco-friendly lives has been a focus for many consumer electronics companies,” said H.S Paik, President of LG Electronics Gulf FZE. “At LG, we’re focusing on the concept of eco-

chic lifestyle because we believe the home is where green innovation must start. LG engineers are constantly thinking of the importance of energy efficiency and they’ve worked this philosophy into all our core technologies and products. Our new bottom freezer showcased in the MAISON & OBJET is an example of what results from this higher level of thinking.” In addition to energy efficiency, the industry’s largest capacity of 385 liters in a standard two-meter-tall bottom freezer fits perfectly into European kitchens, occupying minimal space and enabling customers to cut back on trips to the supermarket. The two-tone finish of the new bottom freezer adds a modern, simple, sophisticated look to the kitchen and seamlessly matches with other appliances. At the show, LG also presented its vision of an eco-friendly urban life facilitated by LG’s range of built-in appliances. LG’s built-in appliances focus on providing a total solution for those who want to lead eco-friendly lifestyles by applying the company’s green innovations including steam

LG built-in appliances

LG Bottom Freezer technology, Light Wave and the Linear Compressor. LG integrates features in its built-in appliances to offer a safer and more hygienic kitchen work area. Some of these enhancements include oven doors that remains cool to the touch, a visual cooking zone on LG’s induction hob, a smart filter in the range hood and a frostless indirect cooling system in LG’s refrigerators. Cleaning features include UV sterilization and dual wash on LG dishwashers and an easy-toclean interior in its microwave ovens. LG’s built-in refrigerators also provide enhanced efficiency through proprietary Linear Compressor technology and includes an Opti Temp Zone(tm) which helps keep food fresher longer. The refrigerator allows consumers to store more food thanks to two extra shelves made available through the inclusion of a door-mounted ice maker. Overall, LG’s built-in kitchen package can make consumers’ lives more comfortable, convenient and eco-friendly.



KSE stocks hit 2010 record KUWAIT: The Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) ended yesterday’s session reaching record levels in 2010. Global General Index (GGI) and the price index record the highest levels since the beginning of the year. While the total volume traded during yesterday’s meeting was the highest level recorded since the beginning of the year as well. GGI added 2.71 points (+1.37 percent) during yesterday’s session to reach 199.80 points. Furthermore, the KSE Price Index increased by 75.10 points (+1.03 percent) and closed at 7,378.70 points. Market capitalization was up KD442.79mn yesterday to reach KD32.66bn. Market breadth During the session, 150 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards advancers as 73 equities gained versus 52 that retreated. A total of 82 stocks remained unchanged during yesterday’s trading session. Trading activities ended on a positive note yesterday as volume of shares traded on the exchange increased by 2.60 percent to reach 913.18mn shares. In addition, value of shares traded gained by 7.40 percent to stand at KD141.91mn. The Investment Sector was the volume leader yesterday, with 31.99 percent of total traded volume. While the Services Sector was the value leader, with 24.83 percent of total traded value. Kuwait Real Estate Company saw 132.96mn shares changing hands, making it the volume leader. National Bank of Kuwait was the value leader, with a total traded value of

KD15.33mn. In terms of top gainers, Kuwait Cable Vision Company was the top gainer for the day, adding 17.50 percent and closed at KD0.094. On the other hand, Real Estate Asset Management Company shed 7.81 percent and closed at KD0.118, making it the biggest loser. Sector-wise Regarding Global’s sectoral indices, six out the eight ended in the green with Global Food Index being the top gainer. The index ended the day up 5.06 percent backed by heavyweight Kuwait Foodstuff Company

(Americana) being the top gainer in the sector. The scrip ended the day with a 6.25 percent gain and closed at KD1.700. Danah Al Safat Foodstuff Company also contributed to the index’s gain by posting a 5.56 percent increase in value. Global Industrial Index ended the day with a 4.25 percent increase making it the second biggest gainer in the market. Contributing to the index’s gain was National Industries Group (Holding) which ended the day up 7.04 percent and closed at KD0.380. Furthermore, Gulf Cables & Electrical Industries Company aided

the sector’s gain by ending the day with a 5.68 percent increase. Regarding the decliners, Global Insurance Index took the top spot with a 0.66 percent decline. Warba Insurance Company and Gulf Insurance Company, the only decliners in the sector, ended the day down 3.31 percent and 1.19 percent, respectively. Global’s special indices ended on a positive note with Global High Yield Index being the top gainer. The index ended the day up 1.68 percent backed by heavyweight Kuwait Foodstuff Company (Americana).

Oil news The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at $71.55 a barrel on Friday 12/2/2010, compared with $71.81 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations. Future Communications Company Board of Directors proposed the following annual dividend plan to shareholders of record on the general meeting date. Dividend payout at 25 percent of stock par value (25 fils per share). Bonus share distribution at 5 percent of paid-in capital (5for-100). This recommendation is pending the approval of shareholder meeting and competent authorities.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dubai debt, Q4 loss hit UAE; Zain news lifts Kuwait MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS DUBAI: UAE markets extended losses yesterday as dire earnings and continued worries over Dubai’s debt position spurred selling, while Kuwait hit a 16-week high as Zain’s likely asset sale lifted related companies. Elsewhere, trading was subdued, with the Saudi bourse rising for a fourth day and Qatar, Oman and Egypt ending almost flat. Kuwait’s index added 1 percent to its highest finish since Oct. 28. Zain has entered exclusive talks with India’s Bharti Airtel to sell most of the mobile operator’s African assets, in a deal worth $10.7 billion. “Zain had a major shareholder, the Kharafi group, that consistently back (former CEO) Saad al-Barrak’s throughout the company’s explosive growth,” said Simon Simonian, Shuaa Capital telecoms analyst. “Then the global crisis came and the major shareholder had liquidity issues and so needed to sell some assets.” Barrak resigned earlier this month in a move that implies he was against the African sale, Simonian said. In September, the Kharafi group said it had agreed to sell a 46 percent stake in Zain to another consortium, but this deal now seems dead. “Selling the African assets is good news for minority shareholders, who would not have benefitted if the Kharafi stake sale had gone through instead,” added Simonian. Zain’s shares were suspended for a second day, but other Kharafi companies surged, with National

Investments Co, National Industries Group and Kuwait Food Co all rising more than 6 percent. Dubai’s index slumped to a two-week low, taking its losses to 3.7 percent since a report on Sunday that government conglomerate Dubai World may offer creditors 60 cents on the dollar, with repayment over seven years. In November, Dubai World asked for a standstill as it restructures around $22 billion of debts. “If the rumors are true, then (the index fall) was not an over-reaction - people are getting concerned that there haven’t been any announcements on the progress of talks with creditors,” said Robert McKinnon, ASAS Capital chief investment officer. “This would typically indicate that Dubai does not have much room to negotiate - if the best Dubai can offer is 60 cents on the dollar over seven years, then it’s concerning and will damage Dubai’s potential to borrow in the future.” Union Properties dropped 2 percent to a seven-year low after posting a third straight quarterly loss. In Abu Dhabi, Aldar Properties slumped 4.1 percent to a 31-week closing low after reporting a surprise quarterly loss as it failed to make any land sales. “It’s not about the profit and loss statement at the moment what’s important is the cashflow and what worried us more was the receivables,” said ASAS’s McKinnon. “There will be mediumterm pressure on the stock as

there’s not going to be a sudden turnaround in the real estate sector, but overall, we’re not too concerned about Aldar - it’s a sovereign company.” Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank fell 6.6 percent after reporting a $170 million fourth-quarter loss, while Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (Taqa) dropped 1.6 percent as its full-year profit plunged. Egypt Kuwait Holding Co rose 5.2 percent as its earnings beat forecasts, helping Egypt’s index advance. HIGHLIGHTS DUBAI The index fell 0.2 percent to 1,614 points. Emaar Properties fell 1 percent. ABU DHABI The benchmark dropped 0.6 percent to 2,711 points. KUWAIT The index climbed 1 percent to 7,379 points. SAUDI ARABIA The index rose 0.8 percent to 6,332 points. EGYPT The index rose 0.2 percent to 7,019 points. OMAN The index eased 0.01 percent to 6,658 points. QATAR The measure rose 0.1 percent to 6,906 points. BAHRAIN The index fell 0.4 percent to 1,502 points. — Reuters


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

25 Japan dodges the bullet ‘for now’

Worried Japan braces for global 3rd spot after China TOKYO: Japan has dodged the bullet for now but may lose its status as the world’s number two economy to China as early as this year, a prospect that has already stirred much soul-searching. New data yesterday showed that

TOKYO: A cyclist passes in front of a share price board in Tokyo yesterday. Japanese stocks fell 0.40 percent in morning trade as investors remained cautious despite Tokyo’s release of data showing a robust fourth-quarter performance, brokers said. — AFP

Philippine remittances increase to $17.3 billion MANILA: Millions of Filipinos working overseas sent home a record $17.3 billion last year, helping the local economy amid the global financial crisis, the government said yesterday. Remittances grew 5.6 percent from a year earlier and accounted for 10.8 percent of the country’s annual gross domestic product. Nearly 10 percent of the Philippines’ 90 million people work abroad, and the money sent back fuels domestic spending.

The steady inflows were made possible by the sustained demand for Filipino labor, especially skilled workers like engineers, nurses and teachers, the central bank said. Other factors included the expansion of services for wiring money to the Philippines, such as remittance centers and banks. In 2008, remittances reached $16.4 billion. The major sources of remittances were the US, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Britain and Japan. — AP

Steel magnate is Russia’s new richest man: Report MOSCOW: Steel magnate Vladimir Lisin is Russia’s new richest man after a year which saw all the top oligarchs in the country defy the financial crisis and increase their fortunes, a report said yesterday. Lisin, the publicity-shy owner of leading steel producer Novolipetsk Steel, saw his fortune rise to $18.8 billion from $7.7 billion in 2009, according to the 2010 rich list of the Russian magazine Finans. The increase of his wealth on the back of a strong year for the company’s share price knocked off last year’s leaderthe billionaire owner of the Onexim investment fund Mikhail Prokhorov-from his perch. Prokhorov’s fortune amounted to $17.85 billion, compared with $14.1 billion last year, putting him into second place, Finans said. Third place was occupied by the owner of Chelsea football club, Roman Abramovich, who boasted a fortune of $17.0 billion compared with $13.9 billion last year. Oleg Deripaska, majority shareholder in steel maker UC Rusal and the oligarch who took the hardest hit from the crisis, also saw a recovery in his fortune to $13.8 billion. This put Deripaska, who in 2008 was Russia’s richest man with a colossal fortune of $40 billion according to Finans, in sixth place in 2010, the magazine said. Russia’s richest men-many of whom made their fortunes in the chaotic privatizations of the 1990s and then accrued major political influence-were hit hard by the onset of the financial crisis in 2008. They also now keep a careful distance from politics, especially after the jailing of former richest man and oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky in what his supporters say was punishment for daring to criticize the Kremlin. The Finans list showed that

while the fortunes of Russia’s oligarchs were still off their 2008 pre-crisis highs, they are making something of a comeback with all the top players increasing their value in the 2010 list. Lisin, whose base is the southwestern Russian city of Lipetsk, is less prominent than some of his more flamboyant predecessors as Russia’s richest man. Unlike some of his counterparts, he is rarely spied at glitzy socialite events. Finans said he was “the least expected pretender (to the title of richest man) in the history of the publication of the rich list.” But Finans described him as a “tsar” in the city of Lipetsk, where he also owns most of the local media, is one of the main

builders of homes and also has acquired an energy firm. It said he had profited from his cautious strategy in turbulent times and ability to keep profit margins high and expenditures low, helped by owning assets throughout the steel production chain. “Lisin’s strategy is well suited for work in stagnating markets. He acknowledges his mistakes on time, gets rid of risky assets. He keeps his distance from the Kremlin. He is happy not to have publicity,” said Finans. “His assets are a tasty morsel for investors.” Last year the US magazine Forbes estimated Lisin’s fortune at a much lower $5.2 billion, making him the 93rd richest man in the world. — AFP

JEDDAH: Supachai Panitchpakdi, head of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), addresses the 2010 Jeddah Economic Forum in the coastal Saudi city yesterday. The four-day forum is attended by experts, officials and businessmen from around the world. — AFP

Tata Motors appoints GM’s Forster as new group CEO MUMBAI: Carl-Peter Forster will take over as group chief executive officer of India’s Tata Motors, with responsibility for all global operations, including the troubled Jaguar and Land Rover brands, the company said yesterday. Forster, 55, was most recently the head of General Motors in Europe, looking after Opel/Vauxhall, Saab and Chevrolet’s European operations. He will fill the shoes of Ravi Kant, who served as managing director of Tata Motors from 2005 to 2009, when he stepped down to become vice chair-

man. In January, the head of Jaguar Land Rover, David Smith, resigned and Kant took over as interim chief executive. Smith was installed in 2008 after Tata bought Jaguar Land Rover from Ford Motor Co. for $2.3 billion. Spokesman Debasis Ray said yesterday that the company was still deciding whether to appoint a replacement for Smith. Tata Motors’ India business has been booming, with revenues from the December quarter up 88.7 percent, to 89.8 billion rupees ($1.9 billion), from that period a year ago. But Jaguar Land Rover has continued to

weigh on the company, despite aggressive cost control measures, including job cuts. Tata said the unit lost 60 million pounds ($98.3 million) during the quarter ended Sept. 30, even as Tata as a whole swung to profitability. Vaishali Jajoo, an analyst at Mumbai’s Angel Broking, said Forster’s appointment would allow Tata Motors, which has only recently pushed into Europe, to acquire overseas expertise and become a more successful global player. “Tata Motors is looking globally,” she said. “They want to export their products.” — AP

If those trends continue, the island-nation will soon give up its status as Asia’s top economy to its traditional rival, the population giant whose rapid rise many Japanese view with a sense of trepidation. Finance Minister Naoto Kan last month echoed the sentiments of many when he admitted to mixed feelings, even as he sought to focus on the bright side for Japan, which stands to benefit economically from China’s boom. “Generally speaking, we welcome the growth of China and Asia and believe that Japan must work hard to benefit from it,” said the 63-year-old. But he added: “Japan has long been called the world’s number-two economic power. For my generation, the people who grew up during Japan’s high-growth era, it is rather sad to give up that title to China, to be honest.” Others take a pragmatic view and say Japan must not dwell on the past. “It has been only a matter of time,” said Japan Chamber of Commerce chairman Tadashi Okamura, a former chairman of electronics giant Toshiba. “Japan must immediately rid itself of its identity as the world’s number-two economy.” The Japanese public is divided. A recent nationwide survey by the Yomiuri Shimbun daily found that 29 percent of respondents thought an ascendant China would benefit Japan, while 31 percent feared it would harm their country. The November poll reflected a wider unease about communist-ruled China, a former wartime enemy that is now a geopolitical heavyweight, a growing military power and a major competitor for energy and mineral resources. A full 69 percent of respondents believed “China cannot be trusted.” Business daily Nikkei in a recent editorial called on China to meet its responsibilities as a major power by respecting human rights, consumer safety and intellectual property rights and by fighting global warming. “The robust development of China creates opportunities for Japan and the rest of Asia. But we should not ignore it if China dodges its responsibility as the number one economy” in Asia, the Nikkei said. In some ways, China is now where Japan was when it emerged from wartime devastation to launch its “economic miracle”, with companies such as Toyota, Sony and Panasonic churning out exports that drove rapid growth. Japan overtook West Germany as the numbertwo economy in 1968, helped by an under-valued yen and at the cost of huge industrial pollution, in a rapid rise that sparked envy and triggered trade wars but also commanded global respect. The Asian juggernaut seemed unstoppable by the 1980s, when the Nikkei index boomed, Japanese companies were gobbling up Western competitors and real estate, and foreigners marveled at tales of luxury and excess in Tokyo. Then, 20 years ago, the inflated assets bubble burst, plunging Japan into two decades of stagnation, punctuated by repeat recessions, that dampened consumer spending and ended Japan’s jobs-for-life model. Intensifying global competition has since pushed Japan Inc. to squeeze costs, cut jobs and transfer factories to China and the rest of Asia, where an emerging middle class has become its new key market. Japan’s economy, as it now digs out from its worst post-war recession, has been hit by more bad news, from the bankruptcy of Japan Airlines last month to the global safety recall of more than eight million cars by Toyota. Japanese can take solace in the fact that they live in a peaceful and democratic country that remains a titan of innovation, and where per-capita income will remain higher than in China for many years. But more problems loom, including a ticking demographic timebomb. With the world’s lowest birth rate, Japan’s aging population of 128 million is projected to decline, cutting into its workforce and domestic consumer market. — AFP

Japan’s recession-hit economy shrank last year to a nominal gross domestic product of just under 5.1 trillion dollars compared to fast-growing China’s GDP of 4.9 trillion dollars.

TOKYO: Shoppers come out from an electronics store in Tokyo yesterday. Japan is still the world’s second-biggest economy as fourth-quarter growth beat expectations and kept the country just ahead of a surging China. — AP

Germany moves closer to naming next ECB chief FRANKFURT: Germany was set to step up its campaign to name central bank chief Axel Weber as the next European Central Bank president yesterday as euro-zone ministers met to decide on the next ECB vice president. In talks still primarily focused on the Greek debt crisis, euro area finance ministers must also choose between Portugal’s Vitor Constancio and Luxembourg’s Yves Mersch to replace Lucas Papademos when he steps down in May. Although ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet’s term runs until October 2011, nominations for the top job and the deputy are closely linked. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has officially termed the debate “premature.” Press rumors, however, say that Berlin has pressed hard for Constancio, currently the Portuguese central bank governor, to be named vice president, with the goal of getting the top spot for Weber. European Union horsetrading usually results in geographical balance when major positions are handed out. Countries that lie along the Mediterranean basin

also have a candidate for ECB president in the person of Italian central bank president Mario Draghi, according to an Italian finance ministry document leaked to the press. The choice of vice president thus gives a good idea of who will be the front runner for the top job. The German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung said in an editorial: “These political manoeuvres should not come at the detriment of Europe. “Weber is an excellent economist, a recognized central banker who has also shown he can resist political pressure.” The daily acknowledged that Draghi has similar qualities. “It is a political game, it’s no beauty contest,” ING senior economist Carsten Brzeski said. Weber, who will turn 53 in March, has the solid backing of German politicians and economic experts, though he is not particularly well known by the public. Placing him at the ECB’s helm would be a guarantee of the euro’s stability and a merciless fight against inflation, which for Germans is the absolute target since the country’s devastating financial crisis in

1923. A well-dressed former economics professor, Weber’s manner is sometimes abrupt but he has won widespread respect for his rescue of the German financial sector since September 2008. Being named head of the ECB would be a peak in a rapid career that saw the native of Kusel, western Germany, being named professor at the age of 37. At 45 he was already a member of the “Five Wise People,” a panel of government economic advisors. Two years later he was named head of the Bundesbank as it faced a crisis brought on by the resignation of Ernst Welteke, who had accepted a luxury stay in Berlin paid for by Dresdner Bank. Tasked with restoring the central bank’s reputation, Weber gave himself another job as well, watching over the banking sector. To do that, he brought in a close circle of aides, a move that irritated long-time “Buba” workers who form a tight group of their own. A string of regional Bundesbank offices were then restructured or closed, leading to the central bank’s first demonstration by Frankfurt staff in October. — AFP

Alaska looks to China as potential gas customer JUNEAU: Alaska officials are looking to China and what some believe will be that country’s strong demand for natural gas to help the state advance its long-held pipeline dreams. Gov Sean Parnell has invited an official with China’s National Energy Administration and others to visit Alaska, following up on a trade mission Lt Gov Craig Campbell helped lead to China in December. Campbell returned from that trip believing the rapidly developing communist nation, already a leading export market for such Alaska products as seafood, zinc and lead ore, could also become a major investor in or export market for Alaska natural gas or its byproducts. The potential for Alaska is huge, said Harold Heinze, chief executive of the Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority, who was with Campbell on the trip. He sees several possibilities for the Chinese, from building a plant to convert ethane to pellets that would be used in manufacturing to signing on with a major natural gas pipeline project. Ethane is a component for plastics that he says is found in the Prudhoe Bay

region. “One thing you look for in a partner is, do they have money and do they have more money than you. And these guys have money,” he said, adding: “They’re major players in the world.” In theory, if the interest and money are there, that could also spur progress on a pipeline that many Alaskans have long looked to for new jobs, reliable energy and as a source for more state revenue amid projections of slumping oil production. But there are plenty of uncertainties, from permitting and pricing - how gas holds up against other energy sources - to what China’s true longterm demands for gas will be over alternatives like coal, and the level of competition Alaska would face from other producers to meet the gas demand. And there are the various pipeline options and plans, each with diehard constituencies and questions about their viability. Estimates released last month by the companies working with the state to advance a major line put the project costs at $20 billion to $41 billion, depending on the route One route, the cheaper option, estimated at $20 billion to $26 billion, would run

from the harsh North Slope to Valdez, Alaska, where gas would be liquefied at a facility that another entity would build and then shipped elsewhere, possibly overseas. The plant cost isn’t included

in the estimates. The costlier option envisions a pipeline going from the North Slope to Canada, where gas could move on existing systems to North American markets. — AFP

BEIJING: Huang Guangyu, whose GOME chain of consumer electronics stores earned him the nickname ‘China’s Sam Walton’, a reference to Wal-Mart’s founder. A Chinese court has charged Huang—once the country’s richest man—with bribery, insider trading and illegal business dealings, state media reported yesterday. — AFP



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Recall woes show new challenges for ‘Toyota Way’ TOKYO: Assembly lines that run like clockwork. Supplies that arrive just in time. Dedicated workers trained to spot defects, churning out quality cars in the millions. Such are the trademarks of “Toyota Way” manufacturing. That’s why the automaker’s recent bungling over a spate of global recalls appears so out of character. Those very principles of efficiency and flawlessness that earned Toyota Motor Corp a near-perfect reputation couldn’t prevent problems cropping up in areas outside the factory, areas just as crucial these days in the industry — design development, crisis management and software programming. Toyota management simply failed to practice what they had long preached the rank-and-file, Anand Sharma, chief executive of TBM Consulting Group, based in Durham, North Carolina, told The Associated Press. “Toyota managers did not respond to the early signals. That’s when they should have identified the root causes,” said Sharma, who teaches Toyota production methods to businesses. “If the Toyota brand no longer stands for quality, what does it stand for?” Since October, Toyota has recalled 8.5 million vehicles around the world for accelerator, braking and floor-mat problems in the biggest recall in its seven-decade history. The gas pedal and floor-mat defects were design errors in supplier parts, and the faulty braking in hybrid models was caused by a software glitch. They weren’t manufacturing errors, the kinds of defects workers at plants have been trained to pick out — a piece that doesn’t fit, a crack in a part, something that diverges from the design. “As far as we know, Toyota is still the

best manufacturing company in the world when it comes to production management,” Michael A. Cusumano, professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, said in telephone interview from London. “Workers have nothing to do with this.” Toyota’s manufacturing prowess has been the topic of countless books, emulated by rivals, including Ford Motor Co, and viewed as critical in Toyota’s climb from a tiny Japanese carmaker to the world’s biggest, surpassing General Motors Co. in 2008. The Toyota Way, also known as “lean production,” was developed in the 1950s by engineer Taiichi Ohno, who is still revered at Toyota as “kamisama,” which means god. Based on a ruthless determination to eliminate waste, including avoiding inventory buildup, the Toyota Way has workers tackling their jobs with a passion, following instructions to a tee. Each worker is empowered to pull on a cord that stops the assembly line. Many work selflessly, at times giving up leisure time for quality improvement. Even today, Toyota factories are plastered with slogans that urge workers to come up with “kaizen,” or innovations to boost efficiency. Workers are praised for ideas leading to recycling or shortcuts so tiny in impact they almost look like jokes — squeezing mechanical oil out of rags or toylike mechanisms that use pulleys to move along items. Still, serious trouble was allowed to creep in — elsewhere. President Akio Toyoda acknowledged in an opinion piece he wrote for The Washington Post last week the company had “failed to connect the dots” between the sticky pedals in Europe, surfacing as early as December 2008, and those in the US that culminated in the massive recalls. The error in Europe was cor-

Toyota workers assemble parts on 2010 Prius hybrid vehicles at Toyota Tsutsumi Plant in Toyota, central Japan. — AP rected, starting with the Aygo hatchback in August 2009, and those models were not included in the latest global recalls. In principle, such fixes stemming from customer complaints are communicated via headquarters for speedy checks in other regions, Toyota Europe spokesman Colin Hensley told The Associated Press. Confounding the

effort were factors such as the European models being right-hand drives and mostly manual transmission, he said. With cars becoming more complex, packed with computerized parts and myriad of software, fears are growing old-style quality controls over manufacturing are rapidly becoming outdated, experts say.

Calls are growing for Toyota to equip more models with a brake override system, a mechanism that overrides the accelerator if the gas and brake pedals are pressed at the same time. Including such a system, although not required, brings a vehicle safely to a stop even if a gas pedal is depressed, and is a

good backup measure for the reported unexpected acceleration in some Toyota vehicles. While denying electronic or software problems, Toyota announced in November it will install a brake override system in the Camry, Avalon, Lexus ES350, IS350 and IS250, and is considering reprogramming more models. It has promised the system in new production of most Toyota and Lexus vehicles by the end of the 2010. Making the exact same product again and again — what’s known as “quality control” in manufacturing — isn’t the same thing at all as ensuring safety, according to Steven McNeely, who oversees safety management systems at Jet Solutions, a Richardson, Texas-based carrier. “Management’s attention and oversight was focused on the business bottom line, and those metrics were quality measures. Management was not focused on safety risk assessment or risk management,” he wrote in his essay, “Lessons Learned From Toyota.” Others say rigorous testing, managerial foresight and valuing customers are critical to the true Toyota Way, and the company has derailed from that path. “Toyota has been exemplary at surfacing problems in the factory and stopping production before a crisis was reached,” said Jeffrey Liker, professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan, who has written books on the Toyota Way. “Failure to follow all the principles of the Toyota Way led to this crisis. Now the Toyota Way is the only way out of it,” said Liker. In issuing an apology at a recent news conference in Tokyo, Toyoda paid homage to the history of the company his grandfather founded, and promised to listen better to consumers. “This is my own way of kaizen,” he said. — AP

Industry’s credibility has been ‘badly scarred’

Citi private bank eyes rich clients in emerging markets LONDON: Citi expects to win rich clients in emerging markets at a much faster pace than in the Americas, its top private banker said, as it rebuilds itself after taking heavy hits during the credit crisis. The US bank expects the share of client assets from the Americas to decline to a third in five years, as it targets superrich clients worth at least $25 million, instead of the merely moderately wealthy. “People tended to think of private banks as Swiss with wood-paneled offices ... and I think a torpedo has gone through that model,” Jane Fraser, head of Citi’s private banking arm, told Reuters in an interview late on Friday. “Across the industry we have to reearn client trust and that’s certainly the priority for us because the industry’s credibility is badly scarred,” she said. Heavy losses of client money, rising pressure on banking secrecy and spectacular fraud cases like that of Bernard Madoff have tarnished the reputation of the wealth management industry, which serves millionaires and billionaires. Citigroup has seen a net gain of clients over the last 12 months, Fraser said, reversing an earlier outflow. Now she has set her sights on increasing the private bank’s share of Citigroup’s revenues, and hopes to take market share from rivals like UBS and Merrill Lynch. Citi is the world’s third largest private bank by assets with around $1.3 trillion under management,

although this includes all Citi’s wealth assets, according to consultancy group Scorpio Partnership. Assets under management at the private bank alone are lower, Fraser said, but she did not disclose the total. SLIMMER BANK Citi does most business with wealthy clients in the Americas, particularly the United States, which accounts for close to half of clients and assets, with Asia at around 30 percent-but the number is set to grow. “That’s where a lot of the growth is going to be ... That’s where a lot of the conversations (with clients) are going right now,” London-based Fraser said. Citi moved to sell off non-core assets and slim down in the wake of the finan-

cial crisis, and Fraser was a key architect of the new bank, running the divestiture program that raised more than $20 billion through the sale of 25 business units. She has led the private bank since mid-2009 and is now upgrading it, in contrast with a severe belt-tightening drive at the group during the financial crisis. “You can’t turn yourself into a modern private bank ... if you don’t do some upgrading ... and don’t invest,” she said. Fraser estimates people are enriching themselves fast enough around the world for growth in the private banking market to be double that of global gross domestic product. A good private bank should be able to build its market share by increasing revenues by 50 percent more than that, and Citi plans to do better still, she said. “We would certainly

look at outpacing that.” Client dissatisfaction with badly-performing investments has made them tougher negotiators on price for private banking services, squeezing profit margins and making greater efficiency at the banks all the more urgent. Citi Private Bank is now part of the institutional business, both because its mega-rich clients demand institutional-style services and because many of them are owners of companies using Citi’s capital markets and other capabilities. The bank sold a controlling stake in its Smith Barney retail brokerage to Morgan Stanley, as Citi moves away from a US-style wealth management model catering to the moderately wealthy, the so called mass affluent. — Reuters

China tries to revive North Korea’s faltering economy SEOUL: China is arranging a huge foreign investment deal to revive North Korea’s faltering economy amid an international drive to coax Pyongyang back to nuclear disarmament talks, a report said yesterday. Beijing is helping the communist state obtain more than 10 billion dollars in investment from Chinese banks and multinational firms, the South’s Yonhap news agency said. The deal was discussed a week ago when North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il met China’s senior communist party official Wang Jiarui, it said. A North Korean body known as the Korea Taepung International Investment Group plans to conclude the deal in March, Yonhap said, adding that Chinese capital would account for 60 percent of total investments. Yonhap did not give any further details on what the investment plan would involve. It said China was brokering the deal because North Korea is demanding economic aid from Beijing along with other incentives before returning to the six-party nuclear forum which the North quit last April. South Korean officials were not available for comment. “China could provide humanitarian aid to help North Korea revive its economy before six-party talks resume,” Dongguk University professor Kim Yong-Hyun said. “However, any massive economic assistance or investments from China may come only after it gets strong commitment from Pyongyang about denuclearization.” Chinese and North Korean nuclear negotiators held several days of talks in Beijing last week aimed at restarting the forum chaired by China since 2003. Media reports said Pyongyang was sticking to its two conditions for coming back: a lifting of sanctions and a US commitment to discuss a formal peace treaty. Washington, Seoul and Tokyo say the North must return unconditionally and show commitment to scrapping its nuclear program before other issues are dealt with. Tough United Nations sanctions brought by the North’s pursuit of ballistic missiles and atomic weapons have hurt its economy, restricting the communist state’s access to international credit. The nation has relied on foreign aid to feed its people since it suffered a devastating famine in the 1990s. In recent years the regime has tried to reassert state control over the economy by restricting private markets, which sprang up after the state food distribution system collapsed in the famine years. Last November it decreed a currency revaluation to flush out private wealth but analysts said the move backfired disastrously, intensifying food shortages and fuelling inflation. The North is relaxing some curbs on the markets because of mounting public anger, South Korea’s spy agency has said. — AFP

MUNICH: Georg Pachta-Reyhofen, CEO of the MAN Group, poses in front of a V8 truck prior to the company’s annual press conference in Munich, southern Germany yesterday. — AP

S Africa FM Gordhan faces tough budget balancing act

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani brokers work during a trading session at the Islamabad Stock Exchange (ISE) building in Islamabad yesterday. Pakistan shares market has been flat in 2010 with minor bullish and bearish hiccups mainly because of uncertain political scenario and fragile law and order situation in the country as its army battles against the Taleban insurgents in the northwest. — AFP

UK will cut debt more if growth surprises: Darling LONDON: British finance minister Alistair Darling said yesterday he would do more to cut the budget deficit if the economy recovers faster than expected, but that current plans to halve it over four years were adequate. A group of leading economists this weekend urged the government to start cutting the deficitset to top 12 percent this year-more quickly to avoid higher interest rates and currency instability. The Labour government, expected to lose an election which must be called by June to the opposition Conservatives, plans to start tackling the deficit in earnest in 2011 to allow time for the economy to recovery from its worst recession in decades. The Conservatives plan to start cutting the

deficit this year if elected, as opinion polls indicate, although tepid economic growth in the final quarter of last year has led to the party softening its rhetoric. “My view and my judgment is that halving the deficit over a four-year period, the structural deficit coming down by two thirds, is the right one,” Darling said. “I’ve gone on to say if the forecasts turn out to be better than I think at the moment then, of course, we can go further.” Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said stronger growth could make more room to protect government spending, triggering speculation of a split at the top of government over what to do if the recovery turns out to be stronger than forecast. —Reuters

JOHANNESBURG: South Africa’s government has long prided itself on fiscal discipline, but will be forced to increase spending this year to help create jobs and cushion an increasingly restive population from the aftermath of recession. In only his second budget statement after his appointment last year, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan will tomorrow outline spending plans for 2010/11, days after President Jacob Zuma pledged to spend 846 billion rand ($110.8 billion) on public infrastructure over the next three years, and to improve schooling and employ more police. Zuma, also elected last year, is under increasing pressure from the ruling ANC’s labor union and communist allies to loosen government purse strings and improve the lives of millions mired in poverty nearly 16 years after South Africa achieved democracy. But this puts at risk years of fiscal prudence applauded by foreign investors who are key to boosting growth as Africa’s biggest economy recovers from its first recession in 17 years, brought on by depressed global and domestic demand. South Africa registered positive annualised growth of 0.9 percent in the third quarter of 2009 after 3 quarters of contraction, but the economy may have shrunk close to 2 percent for the whole of the year. Growth averaged about 5 percent in the five years prior to the downturn, and Gordhan’s new prediction for 2010

is unlikely to be far off a previously forecast 1.5 percent. One in 4 people remain unemployed after the recession slashed nearly 900,000 jobs, and South Africa’s millions are demanding the government also honour long-standing promises to boost employment and improve housing, education and health services. “I do not envy the Minister of Finance and his team who have to draw up this budget in the most challenging conditions faced by them since 1994,” said Jac Laubscher, group economist at financial house Sanlam. “To find the right balance between all the demands on the fiscus while keeping a close eye on the macro-economic consequences of fiscal policy will be no easy task.” With spending needs rising steadily and the economic downturn hitting revenue, the budget deficit could swell beyond the record 7.6 percent of GDP forecast for the current year ending March 2010, a far cry from the surpluses recorded in recent years. Gordhan estimated in October that tax revenue would be 70.3 billion rand less than initially budgeted for, and analysts in a Reuters poll last week forecast the 2009/10 deficit at 7.8 percent of GDP. This could unsettle international markets increasingly wary of splashing money in the wake of debt crises in Dubai and, more recently, Greece and several other European countries. Bigger budget deficit were largely expected due to the global downturn

but investors and rating agencies will want further confirmation of a return to more manageable shortfalls. “The big challenge globally is for governments to begin to address the damage done to the state of government finances by the global crisis,” said Andre Roux, head of fixed income at Investec Asset Management. “Countries which fail to do this, as the Greek example clearly illustrates, will be severely punished by the capital markets. This is a budget that is going to test Gordhan’s mettle.” Gordhan is also due to give an update on the debate around key policies like inflation targeting, which the government’s leftist allies say the central bank has pursued at the expense of economic growth by not cutting interest rates aggressively enough and saddling consumers with high debt costs. Unions want the 3-6 percent inflation target scrapped or widened, or for the central bank’s mandate to be broadened to take into account issues like job creation. “In the current global environment, it is arguable that there is greater investor tolerance for a broadening of central bank mandates to include growth as well,” said Razia Khan, Africa head of research at Standard Chartered bank in London. “The South African authorities may seize what could be the last opportunity to push for such a change while market tolerance for pro-growth policies persists and before inflation concerns take over globally.” — Reuters


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Birth anniversary of the great leader, Kim Jong Il

Self-reliance in DPRK any countries and regions of the world are now suffering from economic crisis, but the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is rushing ahead in order to build an economic power. What kind of mode is it going to apply in accomplishing its ambitious goal of an economic power today when it is faced with extremely difficult external circumstances? It is, in a nutshell, self-reliance, a unique mode of revolution adopted by the Korean people. They have so far made their progress on the strength of self-reliance. Looking back on the past, the Korean war (1950-1953) imposed by the United States reduced the DPRK to the dead ruins. At the time when an armistice agreement was concluded there were only two buildings that preserved their shapes in Pyongyang, the capital of the DPRK. The US claimed that the DPRK would hardly rise again even in a hundred years. To its dismay, however, the DPRK restored the ruined economy completely in less than three years and carried, out the industrialization, an epoch-making target, in a short period of 14 years. One of the key factors which brought about such miraculous reality is the spirit of self-reliance. The Korean people braved harsh trials and difficulties by displaying the staunch spirit of independence that they never wait for other’s help or assistance but build their country with their own efforts. Their Strong spirit of self-reliance is well illustrated by the fact that socialist Korea adhered to its line of building an independent national economy in defiance of outside pressure to join COMECON, the then economic cooperative of socialist countries. As it has invariably built a powerful independent economy, the DPRK could overcome the worst difficulties caused by the intensive anti-socialist offensive of hostile forces to safeguard themselves of the collapse of socialism in some countries in the latter half of the 1990s and the catastrophic natural calamities which continued for several years. Tremendous are the foundations of the DPRK’s independent economy built up for scores of years. At present it has large coal mines, mines, power stations and industrial establishments equipped with cutting-edge technologies for producing metals, machines, chemicals and light industrial goods. And it has local industry factories, middle and small, that are capable of fairly satisf ying local needs by using their own materials and resources. As it has built an economy which is free from dependence on others and which stands on its feet, an economy which develops on the strength of the resources of its own country and by the efforts of its own people under the banner of self-reliance, the DPRK remains unperturbed in any international economic fluctuations and makes progress to hit the target of building an economic power in the current economic crisis sweeping over the whole world. Many economic experts around the world say that the DPRK chose the mode of economic construction on the strength of selfreliance, not in dependence on imported foreign capital, and that it was a wise option which correctly reflected the demands and interests of its own people and a far-sighted decision which looked ahead into the distant future of the country. It is a well-grounded comment. The banner of self-reliance of the DPRK neither advocates a closed economy nor excludes economic cooperation with other countries. Its strategy of self-reliance is aimed at cementing the foundations of the independent national economy and further promoting cooperation and exchange with other countries. In fact, it has so far


exerted considerable efforts to strengthening the economic and technological cooperation with the developing countries (south-south cooperation) and others. It is wellknown that in the past it rendered great economic assistance and cooperation in such fields as agriculture and construction to the countries in Africa and other regions of the world. The DPRK’s’ self-reliance can be said to be an all-powerful treasured sword which enables it to overcome any trials and difficulties with ease and guarantees the prosperity of the country with credit. It has been subjected to ceaseless “sanctions” of the US and its followers. In particular, it has suffered from unprecedented economic pressure from outside forces in recent years. The US induced its allies and even international Organizations to join the anti-DPRK economic sanction. However, Koreans are the people who make redoubled efforts against the ever-growing pressure from the outside, and give fuller play to the spirit of self-reliance and fortitude under harsher conditions. They raised higher the slogan of self-reliance based on modern science and technology. Ii is well proved by the facts that over the last 10-odd years, the grimmest period for the DPRK, it has put a large number of factories and enterprises on a modern basis and completed the construction of important projects and thus further consolidated, the overall material and technological foundations of the economy and its production potentials. The large-scale projects for land realignment and gravityfed waterway construction were carried out in this period facelifting the appearance of the country. Eye-opening successes were also registered in the reclamation of tidelands and the construction of hydropower stations. They even built an UHP electric arc furnace the quintessence of metal industry, on their own efforts in a few months. What is more noticeable is the fact that it manufactured two artificial earth satellites completely with its own efforts and launched them successfully in 1998 and 2009. It can be said that the DPRK’s satellites are the crystallization of self-reliance based on modern Science and technology. All the Korean people are now giving fuller play to the spirit of self-reliance than ever before, while displaying their indomitable spirit in the drive to open the gate to a thriving nation without fail in 2012 which marks the centenary of birth of President Kim Il Sung, father of socialist Korea.

The birth anniversary of Korean leader Kim Jong Il is celebrated on Feb 16. He was born in the year 1942.

Popular policies of Korea opular policies that are in effect in socialist Korea are drawing the attention of the international community. Every Korean is enjoying the benefits of those policies. In the DPRX, children find no differences in receiving education, though their parents differ in social rankings. Nobody is denied medical treatment due to the money problem. In a word, all the people lead an equal and stable life in this country. Everybody, from the first day of their birth, is looked af ter by the State at the creches and kindergartens. Those at school ages are fully enjoying the right to learning under the free compulsory education system and bringing their hope into full bloom. They are total strangers to the word “monthly school fee”; rather, the students of colleges and universities receive the scholarship from the State. The universal free medical care system now in force In the country makes the people spend not a penny for diagnoses, tests, operations, admissions into hospital and medicines given by health organs, and women, regardless of their social positions and merits, have babies at the Pyongyang Maternity Hospital and other hospitals, receiving the best possible medical service. The State is wholly charged with the expense of building dwelling houses, which are offered to labourers, office workers, and even cooperative farm workers, and that free of charge. Other social policies, including the recuperation and vacation systems, the paid leave system, social insurance programs and social security system, are applicable to every Korean citizen. The DPRK’s popular policies have been consistently executed in varying conditions and situations. They were in effect not only at the good times when the country was well off, but


Kim Jong Il, the great leader of the Korean people

Short Biography of Kim Jong Il K

im Jong Il, the great leader of the Korean people, is General Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK and supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army. -Born the son of President Kim I1 Sung and the anti-Japanese heroine Kim Jong Suk at the Mt. Paektu secret camp on 16 February 1942. -Finished general education from September 1950 to August 1960. - Completed higher education at Kim Il Sung University from September 1960 to March 1964. - Admitted to the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) on July 22 1961. - Appointed an official of the WPK Central Committee in June 1964 and successively held the posts of section chief, deputy department director and department director of the CC until September 1973. - Elected member of the WPK CC at the Fifth Plenary Meeting of the Fifth CC in October 1972, and secretary of the CC at the Seventh Plenum of the Fifth CC in September 1973. - Elected to the Political Committee of the WPK CC and acclaimed heir to President Kim Il Sung at the Eighth Plenum of the Fifth CC in February 1974. - Elected member of the Presidium of the Political Committee of the WPK CC, secretary of the CC and member of the Party Central

Military Commission at the Sixth Party Congress in October 1980. - Elected to the 7th to 11th Supreme People’s Assemblies (SPA) of the DPRK between February 1982 and September 2003. - Elected first vice-chairman of the National Defence Commission at the first session of the Ninth SPA in May 1990. - Appointed Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army in December 1991. - Awarded the title of DPRK Marshal in April 1992. -Elected chairman of the National Defence Commission at the fifth session of the Ninth SPA in April 1993. - Elected general secretary of the WPK in October 1997. - Re-elected chairman of the National Defence Commission at the first session of the 10th SPA in September 1998 and at the first session of the 11th SPA in September 2003. - Published a great number of works, including those compiled in the 14-volume “Kim Jong Il’s Selected Works” and the 10-volume “For the Accomplishment of the Revolutionary Cause of Juche”, through his energetic and brilliant ideological and theoretical activities. - Awarded the title of DPRK hero three times in 1975, 1982 and 1992, the Kim Il Sung Order three times in 1978, 1982 and 1992, the Kim Il Sung Prize in February 1973, and many other decorations arid medals. - Received a large number of decorations and medals, honourary titles, titles of honourary professor and doctor from many countries.

Kim Il Sung University

also at the difficult times. The universal free medical care system, for instance, was proclaimed in November 1952, when Korea was at war (19501953). The system that requires heavy financial support from the State came into force in the wartime, when all the human and material resources of the country had to be directed toward the victory in the war. In the closing years of the 20th century, the Korean people were forced to make the “Arduous March” to defend socialism against the blockade and stifling offensives of the imperialist allied forces. But Korea’s popular policies continued to be exercised even in such hard times. All the children learned to their hearts’ content under the free compulsory education system just as they had done, and the people were still free from worries about the medical treatment under the universal free medical care system. Nice dwelling houses built all over the country were given to the people free of charge. At that time scenic places in the country including Mts. Kuwol, Chilbo and Jongbang, the Ryongmun and, Songam caverns, were wonderfully developed into holiday resorts for the people. Even the sanatoria and rest homes were open to the people as ever. Korea’s popular policies, which went consistently even at the time when the people of the world were anxious about the destiny of socialist Korea, evoked the admiration of the international community. It was also an occasion which made the world convinced that socialism of Korea is ever-victorious. Its popular policies are systematically improving the material and cultural life of the people. The country lays no limits to the effort to improve people’s living standards. The course of socialist construction in Korea has always been the one of developing the popular policies oriented to continuously improving the people’s material and cultural life. The DPRK government took a measure to abolish the agricultural tax in kind in the 1960s making the most of the prevailing situation and potentials in pursuance of its policy of phasing Out the tax system that had lasted for centuries. As the socialist system developed and the country’s self-sufficient economy grew, the taxation system was completely abolished in the 1970s. The universal free education system has systematically developed: the universal compulsory primary education was enforced in 1956, followed by the introduction of the universal compulsory secondary education in 1958, and the universal 11-year compulsory education was fully instituted in 1972. Entering the new century, Korea has been employing its popular policies on a higher level, including the refashioning of sanatoria and rest homes all over the country. The further the Korean policies for people develop, the deeper the people’s trust in and support for the State become and the more prosperous socialist Korea will be.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Idea of ‘By Our Nation Itself’ and Kim Jong Il hairman Kim Jong Il of the National Defence Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has led the Korean people for scores of years, regarding it as an iron rule to solve all the problems with an independent stand and in reliance upon the united efforts of all people. He maintained such standpoint in the issue for achieving Korea’s reunification, too. He considers that the division of Korea was caused by the United States and other foreign forces and their intervention and disturbance have prevented it from being reunified. Therefore, he regards it as the fundamentals for Korea’s reunification to reject dependence on foreign forces. preserve the national independence and achieve the great unity of the whole nation. He advocates that the consciousness of national independence is an ideological power to make a nation powerful and a country prosperous whereas flunkeyism and the idea of dependence on outside forces are ideological poisonings which reduce a nation into a subservient and feeble one, that, in order to defend the sovereignty and dignity of the nation and reunify the country peacefully to meet the will and interests of the nation, it is imperative to reject flunkeyism and dependence on outside forces and wage a staunch struggle against aggression and interference of foreign forces and that the great unity of the nation leads to reunification. “By our nation itself” can be said to be an idea which comprises such his stand in a plain and intensive word. Kim Jong Il made this idea as the basis and kernel for developing the relations between the north and the south of Korea.


The inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang in 2000 came into the world limelight, as it was the first-ever meeting in the 55year-long division of the Korean nation and, all the more, there were various speculations and anticipations about the results of the upcoming summit. Observers expected that the summit of two nights and three days would be of “great success” only if it reached agreements on economic exchange and the Red Cross humanitarian issue. The then south Korean President Kim Dae Jung, too, said in Berlin before leaving for Pyongyang that his immediate objective at the meeting was to achieve the end of the cold war and the settlement of peace rather than the reunification. Even when he met with Chairman Kim Jong Il he suggested to prepare a document containing such very technical designs as the installation of military hotlines and the establishment of a joint economic committee. Kim Jong Il answered him that this summit should produce a more declarative document instilling a new hope for and optimism about reunification into the mind of the whole Korean nation entering the new century. And he proposed to shake off the leftover of the old days and make a declaration on achieving the country’s reunification independently on the basis of a common idea of by our nation itself.” This is how the first article of the June 15 Joint Declaration came into existence, which read: “The north and the south agreed to solve the question of the country’s reunification independently by the concerted efforts of the Korean nation responsible for it.” In 2007, too, the heads of the north and the south made public the October 4 Declaration, the first article of which read that

both sides would uphold and positively implement the June 15 Joint Declaration and reaffirmed to settle the reunification issue independently in the spirit of “by our nation itse1f,” attach importance to the dignity and interests of the nation and orientate everything to this objective. Kim Jong Il has led the inter-Korean relations toward reunification under the banner of “by our nation itself.” In the last decade the idea has switched the inter-Korean relations from distrust and confrontation to reconciliation and cooperation. Kim Jong Il met with Jong Ju Yong, former honorary president of the south Korean Hyundai Business Group, and its successive presidents, the delegation of south Korean media organizations embracing most of presidents of south Korean leading newspapers and broadcasting corporations, and other persons and delegations and exchanged with them openminded opinions from the standpoint of national unity. As a result, the tour to Mt. Kumgang, one of the celebrated mountains in Korea, has come true, and the tour to Mt. Paektu, the ancestral mountain of the Korean nation, was also made possible. An industrial zone as a part of the national economic cooperation was set up in Kaesong, a city near the Military Demarcation Line which bisects Korea into the north and the south. The sports teams from the north and the south made joint entries with the reunification flag fluttering ahead into the venues of some international sports games including the 2000 Sydney Olympics, thus demonstrating the unity of the Korean nation. The military authorities of both sides made several contacts in order to provide a military guarantee necessary for

improving the inter-Korean relations, with the result that the work to remove mines from the sections of railways and roads in the demilitarized zone came to a successful end. KBS and other media of south Korea said that the south and the north cleared away the misgivings of distrust together with mines, and that the event showed confidence and pride that both sides could solve whatever difficult problems if they pool their will. The tendency to realize national cooperation and achieve reunification by pooling the efforts of the Korean nation under the banner of “by our nation itself” prevailed the Korean peninsula. Reunification-oriented rallies of workers, peasants, youths and students and women in the north, south and abroad were held, demonstrating the unanimous desire of the Koreans to reject foreign intervention and hasten the independent reunification through their concerted efforts. The south Korean people resolutely turned out in the struggle against foreign interference in and hindrance to the internal affairs, the reunification issue of the Korean nation. Violent demonstrations for peace against war exercises waged by the US and south Korea and a “Ten millionsignature campaign for the withdrawal of US troops,” hardly imaginable in the past, took place in south Korea. Peace against the US and war has now become an irresistible trend of the times there. The events of historical significance which have taken place on the Korean peninsula in the last decade strikingly substantiate that the idea of “by our nation itself~ put forth by Chairman Kim Jong Il is, indeed, the invariable banner for Korea’s reunification.

Juche steel production system completed For making metal industry Juche-oriented he Songjin Steel Complex has recently succeeded in establishing a Juche-based steel-making system which relies on locally available raw materials and fuel after years painstaking efforts. At this juncture of celebrating the landmark event tantamount to a revolution in steel industry the Korean people including the officials and workers of the complex recall the devoted efforts President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il had made to make metal industry Juche-oriented.


Gif t of foresight The country’s steel industry was relying on coke in the 1960s as it was the trend of economic development to build up industry by relying on such primary energy resources as coal and crude oil. Since the socialist market existed at that time there was no hitch in steel production. President Kim Il Sung, however, decided to make steel industry Juche oriented and blazed a trail for building a Juche-based steel industry. Frequent economic sanctions by big powers put unexpected obstacles in the way of economic construction. So the President set forth coke-tree iron making as the lifeline of metal industry, saying that the followers of the Juche idea must produce Juche iron. One day on his inspection tour he was told about the historical relics suggesting that the ancient Koreans produced iron with locally available fuel in the Kaechon and Mt. Kuwol areas. He said confidently that iron could be made with locally available fuel instead of imported one. Later, saying that it is the height of folly not to dig a well for the reason that one is not thirsty, he assigned to the Songjin Steel Complex (Songgang) the task to establish a Juche-based steel-making system that does not use coke. Visualizing the future of metallurgical industry, the President devoted his all to the establishment of the Korean iron- and steel-making methods to the last moment of his life, indicating the seed of original ironmaking method that meets the actual conditions of the country and saying that the introduction of oxygen into metal industry is a revolution. The officials, workers and technicians in Songgang set to establishing a new steel-making system. But it was a long way to go. Turning misfortune into blessing The 1990s was a decade of trying ordeals to the Korean people. Due to the collapse of socialism in Eastern Europe including the former Soviet Union the socialist market ceased to exist and the imperialists’ moves to isolate and stifle the DPRK

were intensified. The country’s economy, particularly metal industry, was at the worst. Like other iron and steel works, Songgang could scarcely produce steel due to shortage of coke in the period of the ‘Arduous March’ and forced march. In March 1998 Kim Jong Il, who visited Songgang, kindled the torch of upsurge there, calling on the workers to introduce the Juchebased steel-making method whose advantage had been proven in actual life in order to activate steel production. He sent a highly efficient oxygen plant to Songgang, settled problems and inspired researchers to conduct research into making Juche iron at the time when the imperialists were intensifying moves to cut the lifeline of the country’s steel industry by different means including sanctions and joint venture. Under his meticulous guidance, they came to conceive the idea of a new Juche-based steel-making system that suits the actual conditions of the country. The idea was designed to integrate revolving furnace, oxygen melting kiln and smelting furnace into one to make molten iron that has started to boil come out as steel ingot. It envisaged not using coke and scrap iron. While providing on-the-spot guidance to the complex on several occasions Kim Jong Il encouraged them, saying that their idea fully conformed to the scientific theory and he fully supported the idea. After over 200 rounds of test they finally succeeded in establishing the Juche-based steel-making system completely different from the existing metallurgical method. In December 2009 Kim Jong Il inspected the complex equipped with this system and described the perfection of the system as a landmark event that will go down in the history of steel industry and a greater victory than the third successful nuclear test, adding that the President would have been very pleased to see Juche iron. He saw to it that the Order of Kim Il Sung was awarded to the oxygen melting kiln and smelting furnace respectively and Kim Il Sung Prize to the complex and invited all the officials, technicians and workers who had been engaged in the research project to Pyongyang. Songgang workers, who added brilliance to the year of dramatic turn when a phenomenal age of realizing all the people’s ideals has come with the establishment of Juche-based steel-production system, say proudly that the system that has put an end to the longstanding iron-making process has come into being under the meticulous care of President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il.

Kim Jong Il gives on-the-spot guidance to Sungni Motor Complex

Spiritual strength of Juche iron makers T

he Songjin Steel Complex has established the Juche-based steelmaking system that integrates iron and steel-making processes, quite different from the existing metallurgical method. The new steel-making system was a long-cherished dream of the Korean people and it has freed the country’s steel industry from the yoke of coke, making it possible to turn out any kind of steel as they wish and contribute to economic development. There was a huge explosion of several production buildings in the complex in June nine years ago, a show of the determination of the Songgang workers to do away with the outdated steel-making process and produce Juche iron by their own efforts and technology. The efforts to set up a coke-free steel making system had long been made in the DPRK. For decades many scientists and technicians had racked their brains, trying to build coke-free steel industry, but their achievements were imperfect. In the late 1990s, the hard times of the ‘Arduous March’, it was urgently

Kim Jong Il gives field guidance to the Tongbong Cooperative Farm in Hamju County

needed to put steel production on normal track. The workers in the complex upheld the torch of Songgang, seed of a new upsurge, to perfect the Juchebased steel-making system. In the course of painstaking efforts they conceived an idea of getting rid of the troublesome processes and shortening the steelmaking process. A research team was formed for pilot production and technicians and workers pooled their intelligence. In spite of repeated failure they started to unravel complicated problems one by one in cooperation with the lecturers and researchers at the Metal strength of makers Chaek University of Technology. The successful intermediary pilot production convinced them of the new direct production process and they decided to blow up the outmoded processes. Asked about the secret behind their novel idea, they said the landmark of Juche always motivated them to create everything by their own efforts and wisdom and according to actual conditions. After the success in the pilot pro-

duction they buckled down to the completion of the Juche-based steel-making system. They came up with another striking idea of melting iron directly by linking the revolving furnace and oxygen melting kiln. The initiative was designed to remove the established major process of steel making and integrate the steelmaking processes with the introduction of oxygen for melting. It was a bold attempt tantamount to a revolution in the steel industry in the 2lst century. They launched the research into employing oxygen in steel production to meet the characteristics of the country’s natural resources and actual conditions. But their bid met an obstacle from the beginning. They had no information to refer to as regards how to shape kiln and where to install oxygen blower. Undauntedly, however, they went on with their scheme. As the feasibility of the scheme got barer some experts and officials set their face against the plan. Members of the research team weighed up any objection and redoubled their efforts. When blast accidents

Tower of Juche Idea and children

occurred during the tests they unhesitatingly risked their lives to find out the cause of the explosions and rebuilt the pilot kiln from the ashes. Their hard work bore fruit at the discharge from the revolving furnace boiled up in the oxygen melting kiln and the quality molten iron was turned out. In high spirits they newly developed refractory made of locally available materials to increase the durability of the oxygen melting. During the 100-day campaign last year they set a goal of attaining the cutting edge of the metallurgical industry and erected the smelting furnace, the final process of the Juche-based steelmaking system. On December 17 they gave birth to the coke-free steel production system that took them over a decade. The system is now proving its economic advantage. The original iron- and steelmaking method has brought about a breakthrough in making the metal industry Juche-oriented and instilled confidence in the future of an economically developed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010



First footage of new leopard species captured in Borneo KUALA LUMPUR: The Sundaland clouded leopard, a newly identified and little understood species of big cat in Borneo, has been filmed for the first time. The leopard, a healthy-looking animal a metre long (3 feet) and weighing about 40 kilos (90 pounds) was caught on video at night at the Dermakot Forest Reserve in Malaysian Borneo’s Sabah state. “What surprised us was that while clouded leopards are very elusive cats, this one was not scared at all,” said Azlan Mohamed, a field scientist with University Sabah Malaysia. “Despite our powerful spot lights and the roar of our vehicle’s engine, it walked around our vehicle calmly,” he told AFP. “It is rare to see the big

cat in the wild. These cats are usually shy of humans, it was by chance we caught it on video.” The Sundaland clouded leopard was classified as a new species through genetic studies several years ago and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature designated it as endangered in 2008. Previously all clouded leopards living across the Southeast Asian mainland were thought to be the same species. Azlan said the Sundaland species is the biggest predator on Borneo, a resource-rich island split between Malaysia and Indonesia where wildlife habitats are under pressure from logging and plantations. Because of their nocturnal habits,

secretive behaviour and small numbers, little is known about the beast, including how many of them are living in Borneo. However, Azlan said the researchers found the remains of a samba deer which had been killed by one of the big cats. Azlan is a member of a research team focusing on carnivores in Sabah, led by Andreas Wilting of the Leibnez Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research based in Berlin, Germany. This big cat can be found in lowland rainforest on Borneo and in small numbers in areas of logged forest. But environmentalist say that the clouded leopard faces the threat of poaching while rapid deforestation and the creation of rubber and oilpalm plantations in Borneo is

destroying its natural habitat. Azlan said Dermakot Forest Reserve, a 500 square kilometre (190 square mile) area which had been commercially logged but where replanting is now underway, is also home to four other threatened wild cats. Sixty cameras traps placed in Dermakot also captured images of the marbled cat, flat-headed cat, leopard cat and Borneo bay cat, all smaller in size than the Sundaland clouded leopard. “These small cats feed on rats and mice,” he said. Azlan said the research team was “surprised” to find all five cat species in Dermakot and four of them in the neighbouring Tangkulap Forest Reserve. — AFP

ShangRing could have a huge impact on reducing HIV transmission

DERMAKOT: An image grab taken on February 15, 2010 from video footage released courtesy of A. Wilting and A. Mohamed of the Cat News journal shows a newly identified Sundaland clouded leopard, caught on camera for the first time ever, stalking through the Dermakot Forest Reserve in Malaysian Borneo’s Sabah state. The Sundaland clouded leopard was classified as a new species through genetic studies several years ago and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature designated it as endangered in 2008. This is the first time that this little understood species of big cat has been filmed. — AFP

Space station’s new lookout in final resting spot CAPE CANAVERAL: Astronauts successfully moved the International Space Station’s fancy new observation deck to its final resting place yesterday after a long, frustrating night spent dealing with stuck bolts and wayward wiring. But they will have to wait a few more days before gazing out the $27 million domed lookout, expected to provide unprecedented 360degree views of Earth, outer space and the space station itself. The shutters on its seven windows, including the largest ever sent into space, will be unlocked during the mission’s third and final spacewalk Tuesday night and cranked open Wednesday or Thursday — and neither astronauts nor flight controllers can wait to soak in the views. “The cupola, I think, is really one of the most spectacular viewing platforms that we will have had in space ... so we’re eagerly awaiting the release of the shutters and the first views,” flight director Kwatsi Alibaruho told reporters yesterday. A pair of astronauts used a giant robotic arm to move the observation deck from one side of the space station’s newest room, called Tranquility, to the other. The lookout had been in a temporary position that allowed it

to fit inside shuttle Endeavour’s payload bay during launch. It took several hours for the shuttle and station crews to complete the relocation job. Space station commander Jeffrey Williams was loosening a series of bolts to release the lookout when several jammed late Sunday. With commands from Mission Control, astronauts were able to increase the torque and free the bolts — but then they saw an electrical connector popping out from the dome. Down in Mission Control, flight director Bob Dempsey clutched his head at the unwelcome news. As experts studied pictures that were beamed down from orbit, Williams assured everyone the wiring would not interfere, saying he had seen the wire like that before. He was right. Alibaruho said it was an exhausting process for everyone involved and, in the end, “a very sweet victory ... the latest of a series of victories that we’ve experienced on this mission.” On Saturday, a different set of bolts prevented the astronauts from attaching a thermal cover between Tranquility and the observation deck. Williams removed those bolts and managed to secure the hatch cover over Tranquility’s docking mecha-

nisms early Sunday. The lookout — described as a bay window — is 5 feet tall and nearly 10 feet in diameter at its base. Its round central window is the largest at 31 inches across. Because the port was going to be empty once the observation deck was moved, NASA wanted a cover there to keep Tranquility’s docking mechanisms from getting too cold. That port wasn’t going to be vacated for long. The astronauts planned to move a docking adaptor into that slot last night. Both the dome and $380 million Tranquility are European contributions to the space station and represent the last of the major building blocks. NASA’s part of space station construction will end with the retirement of the space shuttle fleet, scheduled for this fall. Given the imminent end of the shuttle program, Endeavour’s six astronauts are savoring their time in orbit more than might have otherwise, Alibaruho noted. Their 11/2-week space station visit will end Friday. “This crew has done a very good job of taking the time to really enjoy and reflect on the opportunities that they have in space right now, to see the wonder of it and just enjoy the time on the International Space Station,” he said. — AP

HAVANA: Younger doctors from 24 countries participate in a preparatory meeting at the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) in Havana, before departing to Haiti. More than 200 doctors graduated in Elam, members of the international medical project “Henry Reeve.” — AFP

Experts explore ways to circumcise men in Africa LONDON: The most powerful force against AIDS in Africa may be circumcision, a procedure that’s easily done in the developed world. But it’s a challenge on a continent where there are too few medical workers and a relucThe Chinese-developed device, the ShangRing, has been tested in a small study in Kenya and a larger test is set for later this year. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will invest about $4 million into studying the device. The drawback is that men must wear the ShangRing for 10 days, but at least one man who tried it found it surprisingly painless. Christopher, a Kenyan farmer who asked that only his first name be used, decided to get the ring after hearing how painful traditional circumcision was. “I thought it would be the best way to protect against diseases (like) AIDS,” he said, adding there was little pain when the ring was put on. He said more Kenyan men should be able to try the ring, and didn’t find it difficult to wear the ring for so long. Scientists think circumcision reduces the chances of HIV infection because the foreskin is particularly susceptible to HIV. The ShangRing consists of two plastic rings, one slightly smaller than the other, that trap the foreskin in between them. With the use of some anesthesia, the foreskin can then be snipped off without major bleeding or stitches. The device is kept on for 10 days to allow the wound to heal. According to Chinese data, the complication rate in thousands of men who have had the ShangRing is less than 5 percent. In traditional circumcisions in Africa, it can be as high as 15 percent. A surgical circumcision takes about 20 minutes; one with the ShangRing can be done in about five. “The ShangRing could have a huge impact on reducing HIV transmission,” said Marc Goldstein, a professor of reproductive medicine and urology at New York Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical Center. Goldstein, who does not have any financial ties to the ring, and colleagues conducted the Kenya testing. In the 40 men tested in Kenya, 90 percent said they were satisfied with the procedure. In recent years, health officials have been scrambling to figure out how to circumcise about 50 million men across Africa — where 70 percent of the world’s HIV-infected population lives. “Circumcision is unlike a vaccine,” said Dr. Renee Ridzon, an AIDS expert at the Gates Foundation. “It has certain challenges.” Countries with high HIV rates, including Botswana, Kenya, Rwanda, Namibia and Zambia, have all added circumcision to their prevention campaigns. While circumcision tools have long been used for babies, few have been developed for adults. The Gates Foundation had biomedical engineers examine the available handful of adult circumcision devices, including a clamp Ridzon described as “cage-like.” In some parts of Africa, cultural issues are a sticking point. Some tribes in South Africa perform circumcision as a rite of passage, but others do not consider circumcised men to be “complete.” Experts are also concerned men who get circumcised will mistakenly think they are immune to HIV. — AFP

tance by men for cultural reasons and fear of pain. Now there may be a new weapon in the arsenal — a ring-shaped device that is mostly painless and requires less time for health workers.

KAMPALA: This is a Monday, March 26, 2007 file photo of men eating lunch as they wait to be circumcised at the Rakai Health Sciences building in Kalisizo some 150 kilometers west of the Ugandan capital, Kampala. To fight the AIDS epidemic, experts have long relied on drugs, condoms and counselling. Several years ago, proof emerged that another tool might be even more powerful: published studies showed circumcision cuts men’s chances of catching HIV by up to 60 percent. Authorities have since scrambled to figure out how to circumcise millions of men quickly from mounting special events like “Circumcision Saturdays” to examining new ring-like devices to snip off the foreskin. — AP

TV medical dramas show viewers the wrong response NEW YORK: Medical teams from “ER” or “House” may race to respond to a seizure but nearly half of the time the TV doctors and nurses do the wrong thing, according to a Canadian study. Researchers from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, screened the popular medical dramas “Grey’s Anatomy,” “House,” “Private Practice” and “ER” to see if TV medical dramas were helping to educate the public about first aid and seizures. The researchers found in 327 episodes screened, 59 seizures occurred. Fifty-one

seizures took place in a hospital. Nearly all first aid was performed by nurses or doctors. But the study found inappropriate practices such as holding the person down, trying to stop involuntary movements or putting something in the person’s mouth, occurred in 25 cases, or nearly 46 percent of the incidents. First aid management was shown appropriately in 17 seizures, or about 29 percent, and appropriateness of first aid could not be determined in 15 incidents, or 25 percent, according to the study released

on Sunday. Researcher Andrew Moeller said television dramas were potentially a powerful method of educating the public so it was a concern to find that TV shows inaccurately showed seizure management half the time. “People with epilepsy should lobby the television industry to adhere to guidelines for first aid management of seizures,” Moeller said in a statement. The study is to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s Annual Meeting in Toronto in April. — Reuters

Japan Greenpeace duo pleads not guilty in whale meat trial TOKYO: Two Japanese Greenpeace activists pleaded not guilty yesterday to committing theft and trespass during their investigation into alleged embezzlement in the country’s whaling industry. The “Tokyo Two”, as the environmental group calls them, face up to 10 years in prison if convicted in the trial that started yesterday and which Greenpeace says “bears all the hallmarks of a political prosecution.” Japanese whalers kill hundreds of the sea mammals every year in Antarctic waters, where their fleet has repeatedly clashed in recent weeks with militant environmental activists

of the Sea Shepherd society. Commercial whaling has been banned worldwide since 1986, but Japan justifies its annual hunts as “lethal scientific research”, while not hiding the fact that the meat is later sold in shops and restaurants. Greenpeace says its investigation showed that whale meat from the state-funded expeditions has also been embezzled, with parcels of salted whale meat being sent to crew members for personal consumption or sale. The activists, Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki, have not denied taking a 23.5 kilogram (about 50 pound) box of whale meat in 2008 from a delivery service depot in Aomori. They

later presented it as evidence to state prosecutors. “It was an attempt to make an illegal sale of whale meat public, and the meat was not obtained for my personal consumption or resale,” Sato told the Aomori District Court, the Kyodo news agency reported. In a link posted yesterday on micro-blogging website Twitter, Sato said that the Greenpeace investigation had started with a tip-off from a whistleblower, a former whaler angered by widespread embezzlement. “When insider information is brought to non-government organisations and other third parties, I believe the freedom to investigate it should be guaran-

teed,” Sato wrote. “A society that protects its citizens’ actions to blow the whistle against wrongdoing leads to a democratic society that puts its citizens at its core.” The activists in May 2008 took the box to the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors’ Office, which launched a graft investigation. They dropped the probe on June 20 — the same day police arrested the Greenpeace activists. Sato and Suzuki were held in police custody for the maximum period of 23 days, during which they say they were interrogated for a total of about 200 hours, often tied to their chairs and without lawyers present. — AFP



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Egypt to unveil King Tut’s ‘family secrets’ from DNA CAIRO: Egypt is to unveil tomorrow results of DNA tests carried out on the mummy of the enigmatic boyking Tutankhamun in a bid to unravel the mystery concerning his lineage. Antiquities supremo Zahi Hawass will hold a much-anticipated news conference at the Cairo Museum, home of the fabulous treasure of Tutankhamun who died more than 3,000 years ago, to announce results of the study. The announcement is expected to reveal “secrets of the family and the affiliation of Tutankhamun, based on the results of the scientific examination of the Tutankhamun mummy

following DNA analysis,” Hawass said last month. The pharaoh known around the world as King Tut has been surrounded by mystery, ever since his solid gold and turquoise sarcophagus was found in a tomb unearthed by a British archaeologist in the Valley of the Kings in 1922. Howard Carter’s discovery was an international sensation as it brought to light a stunning treasure, including an 11-kilo (24-pound) solid gold death mask encrusted with lapis lazuli and semiprecious stones. But mystery has lingered through the decades concerning Tutankhamun’s ancestors-particu-

larly who his mother was-and his abrupt death at about 19 years old. Egyptian authorities have kept mum since Hawass first revealed in June 2009 that Egyptian researchers were using DNA tests to discover the lineage. Hawass refused to allow non-Egyptian experts to carry out the testing, saying at the time that experts would carry out the work at Cairo University’s faculty of medicine. A year earlier, in August 2008, antiquities authorities said they had taken DNA samples from Tutankhamun’s mummy, and from two stillborn babies found in his tomb to determine whether they

were his children. Hawass then said that the DNA tests would also determine whether the foetuses were fathered by Tutankhamun and Ankhesenpamon, the daughter of Nefertiti, who is renowned as one of history’s great beauties. It is generally believed that Tutankhamun’s father was Akhenaton, the pharaoh best remember for having converted his kingdom to monotheism with the worship of one sun god, Aton. But other Egyptologists say Akhenaton’s predecessor, Pharaoh Amenhotep III, could have been Tutankhamun’s father, while others say it was Smenkhkare, who is believed to have

succeeded Akhenaton. Experts are more confused when it comes to the identity of King Tut’s mother. Some say it was Akhenaton’s first wife Nefertiti but others believe it was Akhenaton’s secondary wife, the foreign princess Kiya. Maya, Tutankhamun’s childhood nurse, is another name which has surfaced. The boy king’s death more than three millennia ago remains the subject of dispute among historians, with some believing he died when a leg injury turned gangrenous, others saying he was murdered by a blow to the head. The mysteries surrounding his

ancestors and his abrupt death as he emerged from adolescence underscore “the romantic side of this story,” says French Egyptologist Marc Gabolde, an expert on Tutankhamun. In 2007, the reconstructed face of Tutankhamun was revealed to the public for the first time since his death. He is believed to have reigned from around 1333 BC to 1324 BC. Archaeologists are divided among those hoping the DNA results will lead to a scientific breakthrough and others who believe DNA testing can not be conclusive. “We need other archaeological proof to establish with certainty the

lineage of Tutankhamun,” said Cairo University professor Abdel Halim Nurreddin. “DNA testing is not enough.” Michel Wuttmann of a Cairobased French archaeology institute said Wednesday’s revelations could help unravel other “less spectacular” mysteries. American archaeologist Raymond Johnson meanwhile told AFP: “We are very interested in having another tool in the study of these ancient families.” “I think other analyses have proven that it can be very useful in showing close genetic relationship,” he added. — AFP

Overall UK obesity levels unchanged from 10 years ago

Teenage girls eat less healthy food: Survey LONDON: Teenage girls eat more unhealthily than any other group in the population, government research has revealed. The study, designed to shed more light on what the nation is eating, also shows that despite multimillion-pound government initiatives to encourage us all to eat more healthily, When they did eat, they consumed food and drink high in sugar and fat such as processed foods, sweets, chocolate and fizzy drinks, the FSA said, and failed to eat enough with important nutrients such as iron and calcium - found in leafy green vegetables and dairy products which are essential for strong bones and to prevent anaemia. The survey found that among those of secondary school age, 46% were failing to get the minimum recommended amount of iron or magnesium, and fewer than one in 10 (7%) were eating the minimum recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Dr Alison Tedstone, the FSA’s head of nutritional science, said the issue was “an area of concern” and added: “Broadly, teenage girls particularly don’t eat enough. Overall they are a group of the population whose diets are poor. Young children’s diets are generally OK, adults generally a similar picture, adolescents generally are poor. That’s been the picture for a number of years.” She agreed that parental influence was key to good eating, as teenage girls and boys slipped into bad eating habits once they had more freedom from the family home. “We know the girls are hard to reach,” Tedstone said, explaining that the FSA had launched a magazine, Blink, on Facebook and Bebo to try to target teenagers. Overall, teenagers are consuming too much saturated fat and sugar, despite government campaigns promoting healthier diets. Guidelines recommend that not more than 11% of energy should come from added sugars each day, but the figures are 16.3% for boys and 15% for girls aged 11 to 18. Younger children aged four to 10 fare little better, with 14.4% for boys and 14.7% for girls. But from 18 months to three years,

obesity levels in the UK are broadly unchanged from a decade ago. The research was commissioned by the government’s food watchdog, the Food Standards Agency (FSA), which said it was worried about girls between 11 and 18 failing to eat enough foods essential for growth and good health.

Britain’s teenage girls’ diet has been criticised by the Food Standards. — Guardian toddlers were near the recommended level at 11.2%. Tedstone said parental influence was a key factor: “There are two sides to this. There is telling people, and some people will change because you tell them, and there is reformulation [of products], which is changing things without people knowing about it. That will hit the teenagers. We have seen some changes in the teenagers’ diets, and the agency has only just started doing work with saturated fat, so we would hope to see more down the line.” Today’s findings are the first from the so-called national diet and nutrition survey, a rolling programme which is the first such exercise for 10 years and will be updated every year. It polled 1,000 adults and children across the UK from April 2008 to last March. Those who took part underwent a four-day dietary assessment and submitted food diaries, along with physical measurements, blood pressure checks and blood and urine samples. The programme is carried out by

a consortium of organisations led by the National Centre for Social Research and involving the departments of epidemiology and public health at the Royal Free hospital, north London, and University College London’s medical school. Despite government guidance recommending that children do not drink any alcohol, the survey also found that 4% of boys aged 13-15 and 12% of girls of the same age said they usually drank once a week or more. Overall, the survey showed that everyone from the age of four to 64 ate too much saturated fat, which can increase the risk of heart disease, although the amount has decreased slightly in the past decade. Although on average adults are eating 4.4 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, two-thirds are not eating their recommended five a day. Men and women are eating more oily fish, such as salmon, but still well below the recommended 140g of oily fish a week. Richard Watts, of the healthy eating charity Sustain, said: “We

have had 10 years of mostly weak or voluntary initiatives to improve diet, like Change4Life. Where the government has introduced tough rules, such as improving school food, we have seen real progress; but unless we really challenge our ‘obeseogenic’ culture by taking steps like introducing proper protections from junk food marketing, these unwelcome trends will continue.” A spokeswoman for the eating disorders charity Beat added: “This report is not really surprising but it is depressing. We must do more to both educate and support teenage girls both to eat more and eat more healthily. “In a world where teenage girls read magazines filled with often confusing and contradictory messages about food and dieting, it is not enough to police the school canteen. Teenage girls and indeed all teenagers need to have a better understanding of how healthy eating is a key part of ensuring long-term health.” For a nation that loves nothing more than a banner headline announcing that the contents of

our fridges are trying to kill us, the results of the first National Diet and Nutrition Survey are going to prove curiously disappointing. Yes, there are concerns about sugar consumption by children and about the diet of teenage girls in particular, but it seems the rest of us may not actually be determined to eat ourselves to death. Indeed, if anything we are eating a little more healthily. We may not have reduced the proportion of saturated fats in our diet to the recommended 11%, but at 12.8% we are not that far off. Likewise, the amount of trans fats is well below the recommended maximum and we’re not doing badly on our five a day. As the Food Standards Agency says, the report “does not identify any new nutritional problems”. Hurrah for us. The question is why - and on this the survey is less than revealing. The Department of Health can attempt to claim success for its five portions of fruit or vegetables a day campaign, launched in 2003, for getting us all to a heady 4.4 pieces. But even the FSA admits it has no comparable data with which to measure that change. This first report from a rolling study is merely a snapshot. On the fats issue, while there has been endless advice put out by the government, specific campaigns have been limited because the subject is so complex. Instead there may be grounds for cautious acceptance that media interest in what we eat, combined with an understanding by the industrial food giants that customers don’t really want to gorge themselves to an early grave, has resulted in change. It might be pushing it to call it a step change - obesity levels remain too high - but a genuine change it is: one led by consumers. — Guardian

Prosthetics expert struck off after giving patient two left feet BATHGATE: An expert in prosthetics who gave an elderly patient two left feet by fitting the wrong artificial limb has been struck off after he admitted a series of misconduct allegations. Malcolm Griffiths fitted a leftfooted lower limb instead of a new right leg to Patrick Morrison, 76, an amputee from Bathgate in West Lothian, and then failed to spot the mistake during two subsequent checkups. Griffiths voluntarily agreed today to be struck off at a hearing of the Health Professions Council in Edinburgh, where he formally admitted 16 charges of incompetence against him. He was not present at the hearing, and had already been sacked by NHS Lothian in 2008. The charges heard by the council’s conduct and competence committee focused on his treatment of 11 patients over three years in a rehabilitation clinic at the Astley Ainslie hospital in Edinburgh. Morrison was given a prosthetic foot in

November 2006 after an amputated toe on his right foot became infected with MRSA following hospital treatment. Griffiths then fitted the wrong lower limb and failed to give adequate follow-up care, which then meant the limb’s socket needed to be remade. Griffiths also admitted other charges of failing to keep proper notes, failing to deal with new patients on time, persistently missing deadlines, and failing to carry out repairs and leaving a patient in pain. The committee heard that Griffiths was under close scrutiny by his supervisors from 2007 due to “ongoing concerns regarding [his] poor performance”. But Griffiths failed to act on the recommendations made. The committee said that he had “demonstrated continual poor performance in several areas of ... work, failing to meet the standard expected of a qualified prosthetist”. — Guardian

BRUSSELS: Austrian health minister Beatrix Karl (C) and European health commissioner Androulla Vassiliou (R) speak with an undentified person prior to the EU education, youth and culture council meeting at the EU commission’s headquarters in Brussels yesterday. — AFP

Artist’s impression of Inuk, whose physical characteristics and lifestyle were reconstructed from hair preserved in permafrost. — Guardian

Genome from ancient human hair conjures up brown-eyed man LONDON: Scientists have reconstructed the genome of an ancient human from a tuft of hair that had been preserved in the Arctic permafrost for 4,000 years. Genetic analysis of the thick, dark hairs revealed that they belonged to a young man with dark skin, brown eyes and shovel-shaped teeth, whose metabolism and build were well adapted to life in a cold climate. The DNA encased in his frozen locks also revealed his blood group (A+), his risk of developing certain diseases, that he faced a high likelihood of going bald, and perhaps most improbably, the dry consistency of his earwax. Other tests on the hair suggest the man survived on a marine diet of seals and seabirds. “Because we found quite a lot of hair from this guy, we presume he died quite young,” said Eske Willerslev, who led the study at the Centre of Excellence in GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum in Copenhagen. “He’s genetically adapted to living in the Arctic, although it was not that many generations ago that his ancestors came to the New World,” he added. The work, a tour de force of modern genetic technology, is the first to piece together an almost complete genome of an ancient human. The feat is exceptional because DNA degrades over time, making it difficult to read and reassemble into a meaningful genome. The hairs were recovered from the permafrost in the Qeqertasussuk region of Greenland and are from an individual the scientists have named “Inuk”, meaning man or human in Greenlandic. Inuk was part of the Saqqaq culture, the first known people to inhabit Greenland. The origins of the culture are hotly debated by scientists, though most believe the Saqqaq’s ancestors were migrants from neighbouring populations, such as the Na-Dene of North America or the Inuit of the New World Arctic. Detailed analysis of Inuk’s genome allowed the scientists to compare his genome with that of several surrounding populations. To their surprise, they found that Inuk was most closely related to three Old World Arctic populations, the Nganasans, Koryaks and Chukchis of far eastern Siberia. The discovery suggests that there was a wave of migration from Siberia into the New World

some 5,500 years ago that was independent of those that gave rise to modern Native Americans and the Inuit. The study is published in the journal Nature (vol 463, pp 757-762). At the time, there was no land bridge over the Bering Strait, so Inuk’s ancestors must have reached Greenland by boat or crossed in the winter when it was frozen over, said Willerslev. The migration is curious since the climate to the south was warmer and more hospitable, though that land might have been dominated by other groups. “Maybe these guys who were adapted to marine hunting and a life in the high Arctic didn’t see it as we do - as a very hostile place - but in fact a place full of opportunities,” Willerslev said. Willerslev mounted an expedition to the high Arctic to look for human remains in 2006, after hearing that the local museum held only four tiny fragments of bone from Greenland, which could not be released for genetic analysis. “I was freezing my butt off up there in the high Arctic to try and recover human remains to do DNA on and I came back without anything,” Willerslev said. Soon after returning, however, he heard that some long-forgotten human hairs from the same spot in Greenland were lying in a drawer in the basement of a museum no more than a few streets away. The work raises the prospect of studying the origins of other fallen cultures and ancient migrations by recreating the genomes of individuals from remains held in museums around the world. The major technical hurdle will be reading genetic material from remains uncovered in more temperate climates, where DNA will not have been preserved in ice. Last year, anthropologists at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Leipzig, Germany, reconstructed the genome of a Neanderthal from strands of DNA plucked from a 38,000-year-old fossilised leg bone unearthed in a cave in Croatia. A year earlier, a Russian-American team sequenced the genetic code of a woolly mammoth from hairs taken from two mammoths recovered from the permafrost in Siberia. The work prompted speculation that scientists might be able to resurrect the extinct species, but most researchers are doubtful this could be achieved in the foreseeable future. — Guardian

Men’s Health retains top spot Men’s Health held on to its number one position in the men’s paid-for consumer magazine sector, stretching its lead over second-placed FHM to nearly 20,000 copies in the second half of 2009. The NatMag Rodale fitness title, which in the first half of last year dislodged Bauer Media’s FHM from the top spot after 13 years, had an average circulation of 250,577 in the second half of 2009, marginally up both on the previous six month period and year on year, according to figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations published today. FHM, under its new editor Colin Kennedy, had an average circulation of 231,325 in the second half of last year, down 15.2% year on year but only 1.6% down on the first six months of 2009. The gap between the two titles is now 19,342. A year ago FHM had a lead of 22,451. The lads’ weeklies Zoo and Nuts suffered the biggest year-on-year declines for the second successive ABC period. IPC’s Nuts retained third spot among the paid-for titles, despite a 24.4% decline to 176,835, down 6.2% on the previous six months. Bauer Media’s Zoo was down 29.9% year on year and 8.1% on the previous six months to 102,043. CondÈ Nast’s GQ remains in third place among the men’s monthly titles, down 7.7% year on year but flat on the previous six months, to 120,057. Its CondÈ Nast sister title, Wired UK,

debuted with an average circulation of 48,275. Haymarket Consumer Media’s gadget and technology title Stuff showed the biggest sixmonthly circulation gain, up 13.2% to 95,695, and up 0.7% year on year. There were also six-monthly gains for another technology title, BBC Worldwide’s BBC Focus, which was up 5.3% to 71,783, and 2.1% year on year, and the National Magazine Company’s Esquire, which was up 12.2% on the previous six months - but down 1.5% year on year - to 59,160. BBC Focus overtook IPC’s lads’ mag Loaded, which was down 20.9% year on year and 2% on the previous six months to 71,251. Loaded is now only narrowly ahead of Dennis Publishing’s Men’s Fitness, which was up 1.3% year on year but flat on the previous six months, to 68,037. Dennis Publishing’s Bizarre suffered a big slide, down 29.2% year on year to 28,979. But another lads’ monthly, Kane Ltd’s Front, was up 10.4% on the previous six months to 41,949. The men’s sector remains dominated by the two free weekly titles. ShortList, published by Shortlist Media, had an average weekly distribution of 513,148, up 1.4% year on year and 0.5% on the previous six months. Sport, owned by TalkSport parent UTV Media, was in second place with an average weekly distribution of 306,435, down 3.4% year on year but up 0.4% on the previous six months. — Guardian



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Embassy information EMBASSY OF KENYA The Embassy of the Republic of Kenya is happy to inform the general public and visitors to Kenya of a reduction in the cost of tourist visas by 50%, continuing through all of 2010. Additionally, in recognition of the family travel segment, Kenya is giving a complete waiver of visit fees to children aged 16 years and below. Visitors are urged to take this opportunity and experience unique Kenyan beach holidays on palm fringed, sandy beaches, safaris in the country’s famous national parks, and activity based tourism. For more information contact the Kenya Embassy located at Surra, block 6, Street 9, Villa No.3. Tel. 25353314/ 25353362 or visit the Mission’s websites & Official timings are 8:00 am 4:00 pm, Sundays through Thursdays. ter or call: 25318507 ext.106

IAA Kuwait Convenes Roundtable on Best Practice he Kuwait Chapter of the International Advertising Association (IAA) invited global not-for-profit media auditor, BPA Worldwide, to present on the theme of media auditing as a means to improve long-term industry success, transparency and accountability in the media planning, procurement and sales processes. The event, entitled “Buying and Selling ‘Safe Media’: An Introduction to Media Auditing,” was held on the 9th of February 2010 at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Kuwait City. In the first half of the session, Stuart Wilkinson, Managing Director, and Aspen Aman, Business Development Manager, both of BPA Worldwide introduced the internationally-recognized best practice of third-party media auditing, background and audit methodologies involved in verifying distribution of both print and digital media. Additionally, BPA shared its experience in developing an audited media environment in the UAE as a case study. A representative of Dubai’s Gulf News shared that paper’s experience of how audit-


NAFO to bid farewell to outgoing students n order to acknowledge the tremendous social and cultural contributions of outgoing students of NAFO, a Kudumbasangamam (family gettogether) is being hosted by NAFO, on February 19, at 10am, at Indian Community Junior School, Salmiya. All NAFO members and their families are kindly invited and requested to attend and bless the outgoing students. A delicious lunch will also be honorably served. Your gracious presence will be highly appreciated.


FINE ARTS HANDICRAFT CREATIVITY SOCIETY or all lovers of art and refined taste, and in appreciation of nimble fingers, the Fine Arts Handicraft Creativity Society is delighted to invite you to attend its first public exhibition of Drawing, Embroidery, Tailoring and Egg Drawing, which will be held at the house of the famous historian and astronomer, Dr. Adel Al-Saadoun at Fintas, Block 4, Street 9, House 21 on Saturday, February 20, 2010. The exhibition will be held for one day only from 10:00am to 8:00pm.


ing has impacted its business as well as the local and regional publishing and advertising industries. In the second half of the program, IAA Kuwait moderated a panel of leading media and marketing professionals from Kuwait to discuss the benefits and risks for the country’s media sector in adopting audits as a standard and expected practice for our industry. Louai Alasfahani, newly-elected President of the IAA Kuwait Chapter, welcomed the roundtable as a first for the Kuwaiti media industry. “We look forward to a lively and constructive debate among the panelists and audience to set an agenda for increased accountability, transparency and fair play in our market. The Kuwaiti media industry is maturing and increasingly participating in the global media industry, so we must recognize the need to provide third-party verified data to the media buying community in the buying and selling of advertising in our market.” In addition, he stated that “Auditing existed in Kuwait pre-invasion - it is not a new thing - it is

useful for the industry so we welcome it back with open arms”. Iqbal Al-Haddad, newly elected Vice President of the IAA Kuwait Chapter and representing the client’s side, has commented that she fully supports the auditing of all the publishing mediums which in return makes it much easier for the clients and agencies to know the actual print and circulation numbers of all publications. She hopes and encourages “all the publishers to take this step and apply it on their publications, as we all are seeking transparency and a more professional environment.”

• The panel for the roundtable, moderated by Alasfahani, included: • Iqbal Al-Haddad - Advisor for Advertising and Brand Management - National Bank of Kuwait • Omar Al-Houti - Marketing Communication Manager - VIVA • Marwan Farah - General Manager - RLP Int’l • Zeina Mokaddam - Managing Director - PH7 Publishing • Sanjay Malik - Group Circulation Director - Al Nisr Publications (UAE)

The World Health Care Congress Middle East nder the Patronage of H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates’ Armed Forces, the World Health Care Congress (WHCC) Middle East will begin a three-year endeavor on December 5-7, 2010 in Abu Dhabi. The support of the Crown Prince, the Health Authority - Abu Dhabi (HAAD), the regulative body of the Healthcare Sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), the body responsible for building and developing the Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry, for the World Health Care Congress Middle East is another important step in the strategic commitment to excellence and innovation in health care in Abu Dhabi to develop a global center for health care innovation and research. The World Health Care Congress Middle East is the most prestigious health care event convening global thought leaders and key decision makers from all sectors of health care to share global best practices in health care innovation and improvement. The Congress will feature the top industry influencers, including health Ministers, leading government officials, hospital Directors, IT innovations,


pharmaceutical and medical device companies and health care industry suppliers. H E Engineer Zaid Al Siksek, Chief Executive Officer of the Health Authority - Abu Dhabi said: “Abu Dhabi is committed to continuous improvement, innovation and excellence in health care for all of its residents, the Middle East in general, and to inspire health innovation and improvement worldwide. We envisage the event attracting a high regional and international turnout of health care executives, providers, and government leaders to explore fresh ideas and unique insights. World Health Care Congress Middle East will feature Executive Summits on: • Health care Innovation and Investment • Emerging Health Care Business Models • Public and population health • Hospital/Health Systems • Health Care IT • Chronic Care • Health Technology and Interoperability “The topics to be addressed at the summits will be actionable and strategic, designed to address local and global challenges in quality, cost effectiveness, outcomes, and new models for finance and improvements in healthcare delivery”, H E added.

Cinemagic’s schedule *Saturday, February 20th Requiem For A Dream, USA 2000 Director: Darren Aronofsky Genre: Adventure | Mystery | 102 min | English Subtitle Rated: 18 Drugs. They consume mind, body and soul. Once you’re hooked, you’re hooked. Four lives. Four addicts. Four failures. Doing their best to succeed in the world, but failing miserably, four people get hooked on various drugs. Despite their aspirations of greatness, they succumb to their addictions. Watching the addicts spiral out of control, we bear witness to the dirtiest, ugliest portions of the underworld addicts reside in. It is shocking and eye opening but demands to be seen by both addicts and non-addicts alike ■■■■■■■

*Thursday, February 25th Corpse Bride, USA 2005

Zeina Mokaddam, the newly elected General Secretary of the IAA Kuwait Chapter and representing the publishing side, commented “transparency is becoming a necessity as publishers are losing credibility and clients are lost amidst inflated figures that do not differentiate between circulation and readership.” Marie Claire of KUC is already in the process of auditing in the UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain and following the conference, STUDENTALK and BAZAAR signed up with BPA in the hope of starting a new trend for publishers in Kuwait.

Director: Tim Burton Genre: Animation | Drama | 80 min | English Subtitle Rated: PG 13 Set back in the late 1800s in a Victorian village, a man and woman by the names of Victor Van Dort and Victoria Everglot are betrothed because the Everglots need the money or else they’ll be living on the streets and the Van Dorts want to be hight in society. But when things go wrong at the wedding rehearsal, Victor goes into the woods to practice his vows. Just as soon as he gets them right, he finds himself married to Emily, the corpse bride. While Victoria waits on the other side, there’s a rich newcomer that may take Victor’s place. So two brides, one groom, who will Victor pick? ■■■■■■■

*Saturday, February 27th Sophie Scholl: The Final Days, Germany 2005

Director: Mark Rothemund Genre: Drama | 127 min | English Subtitle Rated: 15+ The Final Days is the true story of Germany’s most famous anti-Nazi heroine brought to life. Sophie Scholl is the fearless activist of the underground student resistance group, The White Rose. Using historical records of her incarceration, the film re-creates the last six days of Sophie Scholl’s life: a journey from arrest to interrogation, trial and sentence in 1943 Munich. Unwavering in her convictions and loyalty to her comrades, her cross-examination by the Gestapo quickly escalates into a searing test of wills as Scholl delivers a passionate call to freedom and personal responsibility that is both haunting and timeless . Contact via:; or join our Facebook’s group “Cinemagic Kuwait. • Screenings will be canceled when confronted with very bad weather. • Screenings will take place at our location in Old Salmiya, above LG Electronics.

“There is an increasing amount of innovation in health care throughout the world, yet often dramatically better health delivery practices and outcomes are not even widely recognized within their own countries,” said WHCC Chairman Vidar Jorgenson. “Abu Dhabi is providing a great service by sponsoring a World Health Care Congress that will focus on innovation, identifying and promoting these important health care innovations with recognition throughout the world, inspiring even more health innovation and sharing in the future.” The congress is seen as a welcome boost to Abu Dhabi’s expanding business tourism portfolio with the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) lending its support. HE Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), said: “Major international events of this nature have substantial tourism benefits for the destination bringing in speaker platforms and delegates who use our stateof-the-art facilities, put revenue into the local market and interact with the destination, some for the first time.” “It give us a great opportunity to showcase the destination to a highly influential international audience many of whom we hope to convince to return”, H E added.

EMBASSY OF INDIA The Embassy of India has further revamped and improved its Legal Advice Clinic at the Indian Workers Welfare Center, and made the free service available to Indian nationals on all five working days, i.e. from Sunday to Thursday every week. Kuwaiti lawyers would be available at the Legal Advice Clinic daily from Monday to Thursday, while Indian lawyers would be available on Sundays. Following are the free welfare services provided at the Indian Workers Welfare Center located at the Embassy of India: [i] 24x7 Helpline for Domestic Workers: Accessible by toll free telephone no. 25674163 from anywhere in Kuwait, it provides information and advice exclusively to Indian domestic sector workers (Visa No. 20) as regards their grievances, immigration and other matters. [ii] Help Desk: It offers guidance to Indian nationals on routine immigration, employment, legal, and other issues (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iii) Labour Complaints Desk: It registers labor complaints and provides grievance redressal service to Indian workers (Embassy premises; 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4.30 PM, Sunday to Thursday); (iv) Shelters: For female and male domestic workers in distress; (v) Legal Advice Clinic: Provides free legal advice to Indian nationals (Embassy premises; Kuwaiti lawyers 3 PM to 5 PM, Monday to Thursday; Indian lawyers 2 PM to 4 PM on Sunday); and (vi) Attestation of Work Contracts: Private sector worker (Visa No. 18) contracts are accepted at the Embassy; 9 AM to 1 PM; Sunday to Thursday; Domestic sector worker (Visa No. 20) contracts are accepted at Kuwait Union of Domestic Labor Offices (KUDLO), Hawally, Al-Othman Street, Kurd Roundabout, Al-Abraj Complex, Office No 9, Mezzanine Floor; 9 AM to 9 PM, Saturday to Thursday; 5 PM to 9 PM on Friday. EMBASSY OF PHILIPPINES The Embassy of the Philippines wishes to inform the Filipino community in the State of Kuwait, that the recent supreme court decision to extend the registration of voter’s applies only in local registration in the Philippines under Republic Act no. 8189 and does not apply to overseas voters which is governed by Republic Act no. 9189, hence it has no impact on the plans and preparations on the conduct of overseas absentee voting. The overseas absentee voting for presidential elections will start on 10 April 2010 and will continue uninterrupted until 10 May 2010 daily at the Philippine Embassy. Registered overseas absentee voters are advised to schedule their days off in advance to avoid complications in their schedules. Qualified voters are encouraged to get out and vote.

Enjoy Seafood nights at La Brasserie he renowned La Brasserie restaurant of the JW Marriott Kuwait City has launched an exciting seafood promotion for all seafood lovers in Kuwait. “Seafood lovers can enjoy a wide and exciting dinner buffet featuring a huge array of delicious and fresh fish, scallops, lobsters cooked to their taste,” says Hassan Yazbek, Food & Beverage Director, JW Marriott Hotel. “We invite connoisseurs of both gourmet and grill to savor an eclectic spectrum of sea food,” he adds. This exclusive and exotic buffet is served throughout the week daily from (Saturday-Wednesday). Diners visiting the La Brasserie restaurant can select from a wide variety of fresh fish, scallops, mussels, shrimps, octopus, clams and lobsters and have our chefs prepare the dish to their taste. The daily dinner timings at the La Brasserie restaurant are 7pm-11pm. Come and enjoy fresh fish and seafood choices with your family and friends.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010



Announcements FEBRUARY 19 Indian Lawyers Forum: Indian Lawyers forum, (ILF) the Association of Indian Lawyers & Law Graduates in Kuwait planning to conduct its annual programme & get together on 19-022010 Friday evening 6 pm at Hidine Restaurant Auditorium (Tel: 24312505) at Abassiya. Professional presentation, orchestra & variety entertainments arranged. All Indian lawyers & Law graduates with their families are cordially invited to attend the functions. For more information please contact. 97203939, 97260159 email: FEBRUARY 26 IOC fest ’09 winners: Indian Overseas Congress, Kuwait is conducting its 16th Annual day celebrations on Friday, 26th February 2010 at Indian Central School Auditorium, Abbassiya. Various Senior Congress leaders from Kerala including K.C Joseph MLA, E.M Augasthy Ex. MLA, V.D Satheeshan MLA will be attending the function. IOC as an organisation of equally minded people from India, have been anchored with a vision of imparting the spirit of economically prosperous, socialy just, politically united and culturally Harmonious India to the expatriate Indian Community. The uncomparable public speeches of V.D Satheeshan, E.M. Augusthy and KC Joseph will be memorable talks to the Congressmen in Kuwait. Since few years LOC is conducting Arts festival for all the Indians in Kuwait. More than one thousand participants from all States of India are participating in various competitions organised. every year. The winners of IOC Fest ‘09 will be awarded with prizes and certificates at the function. Various committees under the leadership of M.A Hilal, Somu Mathew Geevarghese Abraham, Raju Zakarias, K.J. John, John Abraham, Tony Mathew, Adv. John Thomas, C. Ramachandran, Thajudeen, Alex Bino Joseph, Varghese Mamparampan, Shaji Kavalam, are actively working to make this a memorable event among the Indians in Kuwait. IOC requests all the IOC Fest ‘09 winners to contact Tony Mathew (66853100) or Raju Zakarias (99234968). MARCH 26 CRYcket 2010: The 13th annual crycket tournament is scheduled to be held on Friday, 26th March 2010 at the KOC Hockey Grounds, Ahmadi. This tournament is organized by FOCC (Friends of Cry Club). Friends of CRY Club (FOCC) is associated with CRY (Child Rights and You), India and its main objectives are to create awareness of the underprivileged Indian children, help restore their basic rights, strive to provide support in personal development of the Indian children in Kuwait and bring out the qualities of social commitment in them. FOCC has been organizing CRY awareness programmes for children through its two annual events CRYcket (Cricket match for children below 14 years organized annually since 1997) and CRY chess tournament (for children of all ages organized annually since 2005) - and ‘Brain Bang’ programme which is an ongoing bi-weekly Accelerated Learning activity. CRYcket will be played by 24 teams of children and about 500 spectators are expected for this special one-day event. The deadline to receive the registration forms is 18th March 2010, however registration may be close earlier if the available slots of 12 teams in each category are filled. A colourful souvenir will be released to mark the 13th year of FOCC’s activities in Kuwait. For details how to become a sponsor and/or to advertise in the Souvenir or to volunteer as a FOCC member, pls visit or email April 16 Friends of Kannur holds drama competition: Friends of Kannur Expatriates Association (FOKE) is arranging a drama competition for their forthcoming fifth anniversary celebration. Competition will be held on April 16th at Daiya Auditorium. Applications are invited from all art lovers in Kuwait to participate in this drama competition. Drama should be in Malayalam language and should be less than 40 minutes duration. All those who wish to participate in this competition are requested to submit their application along with a copy of their script before February 15th 2010. For further details you may contact 65071434, 99860832.

The ICSK junior branch holds prize day ceremony he Indian Community School Kuwait Junior Branch, is always in the limelight for various activities and programs conducted on different occasions. On Monday, 8th February, 2010, the ICSK held a colorful prize distribution ceremony in its open-air auditorium, to award prizes to the winners of co-curricular activities, club activities and the winning class of the cleanliness month. Kumar Wadhawan, President of the Indian Business Council was the Chief Guest on the occasion. The other guests who graced this occasion were Ashok Kalra, Chairman Board of Trustees, ICSK, Veena Wadhawan, Francis Machado, Joint Secretary of the BOT, Board Members, Parent representative in the board Sherin Thomas Mani, Parent Council Members, All branch Principals, Vice Principals, Teachers , Parents and students. Co-curricular activities play a vital role in the all round development of the children. It is very essential that the children are well equipped to keep pace with the changing world.


So the ICSK Junior branch had organized various clubs such as reading, art & craft, music, theatre and public speaking, quiz, science, math, chess, computer clubs etc. Competitions were held and the winners were awarded trophies. Prizes were also awarded for the winners of the co-curricular activities held during the academic year. The chief guest S Kumar Wadhawan was very impressed with the program and congratulated the prize winners and the teachers for their best efforts. The Hon. Chairman Ashok Kalra in his speech appreciated the parents’ participations in the school activities. The winners of the Cleanliness Month were also awarded a trophy so as to develop the habits of keeping their classrooms neat and clean and also their personal hygiene. To everybody’s amazement the tiny - tots of KGA, emerged as the winner. The staff members with perfect attendance were also awarded. For consistently putting in

AWS are happy to announce their first event of 2010 will be the 5th Annual Paws for the Cause Dog Show in the beautiful British Embassy Gardens on 5th March 2010. Registration is now open for entry into the Dog Show. The gate will open at 11am and the show will close at 4pm. This year will be bigger and better than ever with 9 categories in all including the new category best Rescue dog. Whether your dog is the most obedient, can do the best trick or just simply looks adorable or is getting on a bit then there will be a category for you. There is even the most mysterious heritage category for those with a questionable pedigree! It’s a lot of fun and very light-hearted so why not see if


hard-work in academic activities Balamani, Math teacher, was given a special recognition. The highlight of the program was the Power-point presentation presented during the Welcome address by the Principal Madam Fathima M. The topic was ‘Know your child’. It was a learning experience for all the parents who were present on the occasion Principal Fathima stressed that these kinds of competition should be conducted to identify the latent talents and help them unfold and fine-tune their own special gifts. Sherin Thomas Mani, the parent representative to the board, in his felicitation address congratulated all the prize winners and mentioned that these kids would be stars and super stars of tomorrow and bring laurels to their almamatar. The Vice principal Sherly Dennis proposed the vote of thanks. Thus the Prize Day ceremony at the ICSK-Junior branch was yet another successful event conducted which has left sweet memories of the day for all the winners and everyone who attended the program.

PAWS 2010 dogs show your Mutt has a little bit of star quality. Alternatively you may just want to come and show off your pampered pooch and watch the show. The choice is yours. As well as the Dog Competitions there will be a Military Dog Display and stalls offering refreshments including a BBQ and tea and cakes so you can enjoy a tasty lunch in the gardens. Other stalls include pet products, a bookstall, Bric a Brac, bouncy castle, face painting and many

more. Dog Classes are already filling so hurry and get your application in. And remember You do not need a dog to come along and enjoy a fun-filled family day. This promises to be a great day out for the whole family so if you wish to attend then visit our website at to download the application form Completed registration forms can then be left at The Cutting Edge Salon, Salmiya 25718001 or Soho

Salon Fintas, 23902077. Please ensure your form, with correct admission fee, is placed in a sealed envelope at either salon. Registration closes March 2nd. There will unfortunately be no admittance to you or your pets to the British Embassy on the day without pre-registration. No ‘walk-ins’ by un-registered guests can be permitted. PAWS-Protecting Animal Welfare Society, Kuwait is affiliated to KEPS, Kuwait Environmental Protection Society, WSPA, World Society for the Protection of Animals, The RSPCA International and MENAW, Middle East Network for Animal Welfare E-mail at, Tel: 99440089

Adopt a pet

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


atchon is a very alert white persian cat! His eyes are wide - watching everything going on around him. Batchon would do best in a home with children over 8.


hoto is a 10 month-old male mix breed. Shoto is an active dog with a very loving temperament. Shoto gets along well with other dogs and needs room to run. He will do best in a villa with a garden and with children over 12.


llie is a male persian mix. He is sweet, psychic, and knows when you need a cat in your lap. He is friendly with other cats and is about two years old.



Tuesday, February 16, 2010 FIRE BRIGADE Operation Room 777 Al-Madena 22418714 Al-Shohada始a 22545171 Al-Shuwaikh 24810598 Al-Nuzha 22545171 Sabhan 24742838 Al-Helaly 22434853 Al-Fayhaa 22545051 Al-Farwaniya 24711433 Al-Sulaibikhat 24316983 Al-Fahaheel 23927002 Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh 24316983 Ahmadi 23980088 Al-Mangaf 23711183 Al-Shuaiba 23262845 Al-Jahra 25610011 Al-Salmiya 25616368

Ministry of Interior website:

For labor-related inquiries and complaints: Call MSAL hotline 128 HOSPITALS Sabah Hospital


Amiri Hospital


Maternity Hospital


Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital


Chest Hospital


Farwaniya Hospital


Adan Hospital


Ibn Sina Hospital


Al-Razi Hospital


Physiotherapy Hospital

POLICE STATION Al-Madena Police Station Al-Murqab Police Station Al-Daiya Police Station Al-Fayha始a Police Station Al-Qadissiya Police Station Al-Nugra Police Station Al-Salmiya Police Station Al-Dasma Police Station

24874330/9 CLINICS













Abdullah Salim




Industrial Shuwaikh






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New Jahra


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


PHARMACY Sama Safwan Abu Halaifa Danat Al-Sultan

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

PHONE 23915883 23715414 23726558


Modern Jahra Madina Munawara

Jahra-Block 3 Lot 1 Jahra-Block 92

24575518 24566622


Ahlam Khaldiya Coop

Fahad Al-Salem St Khaldiya Coop

22436184 24833967


New Shifa Ferdous Coop Modern Safwan

Farwaniya Block 40 Ferdous Coop Old Kheitan Block 11

24734000 24881201 24726638


Tariq Hana Ikhlas Hawally & Rawdha Ghadeer Kindy

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

25726265 25647075 22625999 22564549 25340559 25326554


PRIVATE CLINICS Ophthalmologists: Dr. Abidallah Al-Mansoor Dr. Samy Al-Rabeea Dr. Masoma Habeeb Dr. Mubarak Al-Ajmy Dr. Mohsen Abel Dr Adnan Hasan Alwayl Dr. Abdallah Al-Baghly

25622444 25752222 25321171 25739999 25757700 25732223 25732223

Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT): Dr. Ahmed Fouad Mouner 24555050 Ext 510 Dr. Abdallah Al-Ali 25644660 Dr. Abd Al-Hameed Al-Taweel 25646478 Dr. Sanad Al-Fathalah 25311996 Dr. Mohammad Al-Daaory 25731988 Dr. Ismail Al-Fodary 22620166 Dr. Mahmoud Al-Booz 25651426 General Practitioners: Dr. Mohamme Y Majidi 24555050 Ext 123 Dr. Yousef Al-Omar 24719312 Dr. Tarek Al-Mikhazeem 23926920 Dr. Kathem Maarafi 25730465 Dr. Abdallah Ahmad Eyadah 25655528 Dr. Nabeel Al-Ayoobi 24577781 Dr. Dina Abidallah Al-Refae 25333501 Urologists: Dr. Ali Naser Al-Serfy 22641534 Dr. Fawzi Taher Abul 22639955 Dr. Khaleel Abidallah Al-Awadi22616660 Dr. Adel Al-Hunayan FRCS (C) 25313120 Plastic Surgeons: Dr. Mohammad Al-Khalaf 22547272

22434064 22435865 22544200 22547133 22515277 22616662 25714406 22530801

Dr. Abdal-Redha Lari Dr. Abdel Quttainah

22617700 25625030/60

Family Doctor: Dr Divya Damodar 23729596/23729581

Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr.

Zahra Qabazard Sohail Qamar Snaa Maaroof Pradip Gujare Zacharias Mathew

25710444 22621099 25713514 23713100 24334282

(1) Ear, Nose and Throat Psychiatrists Dr. Esam Al-Ansari 22635047 Dr Eisa M. Al-Balhan 22613623/0 Gynaecologists & Obstetricians: Dr Adrian Harbe 23729596/23729581 Dr. Verginia s.Marin 2572-6666 ext 8321 Dr. Fozeya Ali Al-Qatan 22655539 Dr. Majeda Khalefa Aliytami 25343406 Dr. Ahmad Al-Khooly 25739272 Dr. Salem soso 22618787 General Surgeons: Dr. Abidallah Behbahani 25717111 Dr. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer 22610044 Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher 25327148

Paediatricians: Dr. Abd Al-Aziz Al-Rashed 25340300

Rheumatologists: Dr. Adel Al-Awadi 25330060 Dr. Khaled Al-Jarallah 25722290

(2) Plastic Surgeon Dr. Abdul Mohsin Jafar, FRCS (Canada)

25655535 Dentists:

Dr Anil Thomas


Dr. Shamah Al-Matar


Dr. Anesah Al-Rasheed


Dr. Abidallah Al-Amer


Dr. Faysal Al-Fozan


Dr. Abdallateef Al-Katrash


Dr. Abidallah Al-Duweisan


Dr. Bader Al-Ansari



Internist, Chest & Heart: DR.Mohammes Akkad 24555050 Ext 210 Dr. Mohammad Zubaid MB, ChB, FRCPC, PACC Assistant Professor Of Medicine Head, Division of Cardiology Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital Tel: 25339667 Dr. Farida Al-Habib MD, PH.D, FACC Consultant Cardiologist Tel: 2611555-2622555 Inaya German Medical Center Te: 2575077 Fax: 25723123

Dr. Sohal Najem Al-Shemeri 25633324 Dr. Jasem Mola Hassan

Internists, Chest & Heart: Dr. Adnan Ebil 22639939 Dr. Mousa Khadada 22666300 Dr. Latefa Al-Duweisan 25728004 Dr. Nadem Al-Ghabra 25355515 Dr. Mobarak Aldoub 24726446 Dr Nasser Behbehani 25654300/3

Physiotherapists & VD: Dr. Deyaa Shehab 25722291 Dr. Musaed Faraj Khamees 22666288


Gastrologists Dr. Sami Aman


Dr. Mohammad Al-Shamaly 25322030 Dr. Foad Abidallah Al-Ali


Endocrinologist: Dr. Abd Al-Naser Al-Othman 25339330 Dr. Ahmad Al-Ansari


Dr. Kamal Al-Shomr


Psychologists/Psychotherapists Soor Center Tel: 2290-1677 Fax: 2290 1688 Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa, Ph.D. 2290-1677 Susannah-Joy Schuilenberg, M.A. 2290-1677 William Schuilenberg, RPC 2290-1677 Zaina Al Zabin, M.Sc. 2290-1677

Kuwait Airways Wataniya Airways Jazeera Airways Jet Airways Qatar Airways KLM Air Slovakia Olympic Airways Royal Jordanian Reservation British Airways Air France Emirates Air India Sri Lanka Airlines Egypt Air Swiss Air Saudia Middle East Airlines Lufthansa PIA Alitalia Balkan Airlines Bangladesh Airlines Czech Airlines Indian Airlines Oman Air Turkish Airlines

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INTERNATIONAL CALLS Afghanistan Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antiga Argentina Armenia Australia Austria Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia Botswana Brazil Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Colombia Comoros Congo Cook Islands Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Cyprus Cyprus (Northern) Czech Republic Denmark Diego Garcia Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador England (UK)

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Electric cars: Put a battery in your roof PARIS: A nanoscale material developed in Britain could one day yield wafer-thin cellphones and lightweight, long-range electric cars powered by the roof, boot and doors, researchers have reported. For now, the new technology-a patented mix of carbon fibre and polymer resin that can charge and release electricity just like a regular batteryhas not gone beyond a successful laboratory experiment. But if scaled-up, it could hold several advantages over existing energy sources for hybrid and electric cars,

according to the scientists at Imperial College London who developed it. Lithium-ion batteries used in the current generation of plug-in vehicles are not only heavy, which adds to energy consumption, but also depend on dwindling supplies of the metal lithium, whose prices have risen steadily. The new material-while expensive to make-is entirely synthetic, which means production would not be limited by availability of natural resources. Another plus: conventional batter-

ies need chemical reactions to generate juice, a process which causes them to degrade over time and gradually lose the capacity to hold a charge. The carbon-polymer composite does not depend on chemistry, which not only means a longer life but a quicker charge as well. Because the material is composed of elements measured in billionths of a metre, “you don’t compromise the mechanical properties of the fibers,” explained Emile Greenhalgh, an engineer at Imperial College and one of

the inventors. As hard a steel, it could in theory double as the body of the vehicle, cutting the weight by up to a third. The Tesla Roadster, a luxury electric car made in the United States, for example, weighs about 1,200 kilos (2,650 pounds), more than a third of which is accounted for by batteries, which turn the scales at a hefty 450 kilos (990 pounds). The vehicle has a range of about 300 kilometers (185 miles) before a recharge is needed. “With our material, we would ulti-

mately lose that 450 kilos (990 pounds),” Greenhalgh said in an interview. “That car would be faster and travel further.” Vehicles with bodies crafted from the new material would likewise shed weight because it is four times lighter than steel, while remaining as strong and stiff. “It is the sort of thing you find in tennis rackets or fishing rods-a carbon fibre composite,” Greenhalgh said. “We aim to increase the surface area of the fibres as much as possible without degrading the mechanical

properties. The larger the surface, the more electrical charge they can store.” The European Union (EU) announced last week that it would sink 3.4 million euros (4.6 million dollars) over three years into developing the new technology, with Imperial College coordinating a project spread over nine companies and institutes in Britain, Sweden, Germany and Greece. Swedish car manufacturer Volvo has said it might build a demonstration panel into an existing electric car

prototype. Within three years, the researchers expects to have 15 percent off the weight of a car, and in five to six years, be able to integrate the material into the body. But it will take a decade before the new material could fully replace existing batteries, Greenhalgh cautioned. One of the question marks is cost. Carbon fibre is a lot more expensive than steel, but mass production should bring down costs dramatically, he said. — AFP

Google enters hardware business

Microsoft set to unveil new mobile platform BARCELONA: Microsoft, seeking to regain its footing in the fiercely competitive mobile market, was expected to unveil yesterday a new smartphone platform at the industry’s biggest trade show. The US software giant has remained tight-lipped about what chief executive Steve Ballmer will

BARCELONA: Samsung’s Director of Portfolio Management Thomas Richter speaks during a press conference at the Mobile World congress, in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday. The Mobile World Congress is being held from Feb. 15-18. — AP

Samsung, Sony Ericsson unveil new smartphones BARCELONA: Samsung Electronics and Sony Ericsson unveiled new smartphones yesterday as the two companies seek to catch up to their rivals in the fast-growing segment of the mobile phone industry. South Korea’s Samsung and SwedishJapanese group Sony Ericsson showed their new multi-media handsets in Barcelona, Spain, on the eve of the industry’s biggest annual gathering, the Mobile World Congress. The two companies trail far behind Nokia, iPhone-maker Apple and BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion (RIM) in the market for smartphones, devices with Internet, emails, music players and games. The touch-screen Samsung Wave, to be launched in May, is the first device fitted with company’s new mobile operating system, Bada, which was unveiled late last year. “This is a new era, the smartphone era,” JK Shin, Samsung Electronics head of mobile communications business, said at a launch party which featured a huge video presentation with splashing waves and a live dance act. “Samsung is committed to making the smartphone era available for everyone. We are committed to making the smartphone era a true democracy for billions of people on all continents in all corners of the world,” Shin said. Jean-Philippe Illarine, telecommunications marketing director at Samsung Electronics France, told AFP the Wave would be the crown jewel of about 15 smartphones that Samsung will launch this year. No sale price was released. The company aims to sell 18 million smartphones this year, tripling last year’s figure, Illarine said. Samsung, with a 20.1 percent share of the mobile phone market last year, is the world’s number two mobile phone maker after Finland’s Nokia, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. But it only captured 3.2 per-

cent of the smartphone market in the third quarter of last year, far behind Nokia, RIM and Apple, according to research firm Gartner. “Smartphones are sort of our weak point,” Illarine said. Consumers have shown a big appetite for smartphones. While global shipments of handsets grew by 10 percent in the last quarter of last year compared to the same period in 2008, smartphones jumped 30 percent, according to Strategy Analytics. And while handset sales are expected to grow by nine percent this year, smartphones will skyrocket by 46 percent, according to Gartner. The Samsung Wave has a 3.3-inch long touch screen with a five-megapixel camera, high-definition video and the all-important applications store, which allows users to download games and news programs. Shin said the Samsung applications store, which was launched in France, Britain and Italy last year, would be available in more than 50 countries this year. The Wave is among around five Banda smartphones to be launched this year, Illarine said. Samsung will also release five or six other smartphones this year powered by Internet giant Google’s Android operating system and a few more with Microsoft Windows. Sony Ericsson, the world’s fifth biggest mobile phone maker and a pioneer of the smartphone segment, has lost ground in recent years. Its chief, Bert Nordberg, conceded in Barcelona on Sunday that the company had gone through a “turbulent year”. The company unveiled its first Android smartphone, Xperia X10, in November. On Sunday, it displayed its touch-screen “little brothers”, the X10 Mini and the X10 Pro. Sony Ericsson will also launch Vivaz Pro, which includes high-definition video and works under Nokia’s Symbian operating system. — AFP

“They do seem to have been pushed on to the backfoot with the Android which seems to have caught them on hoof,” said Jeremy Green, mobile analyst at research firm Ovum. Google has made a splash in the mobile phone industry with its Android operating system, launched in 2007 in a direct challenge to Microsoft. Smartphones fitted with Microsoft Windows Mobile had 7.9 percent market share in the third quarter of last year compared with 11.1 percent in the same period in 2008, according to research group Gartner. The leaders during that quarter were phones with Nokia’s Symbian technology, with 44.6 percent market share, followed

by BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion (RIM) (15.9 percent) and Apple’s iPhone operating system (12.9 percent), according to Gartner. “A couple of years ago the perception was that the OS war was between Microsoft and Symbian and then suddenly nobody talks about Microsoft anymore,” Green said. “All the running and all the excitement have been about Android,” he said. South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung Electronics announced Sunday that it would launch five new smartphones powered by Android this year, in addition to five other handsets fitted with Samsung’s own Bada operating system and a handful with Microsoft’s platform.

announce at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, but analysts widely believe he will reveal an upgrade of the Windows operating system. Microsoft has been up against strong competition from telecommunications giant Nokia’s Symbian platform and Internet giant Google’s Android. Mobile operating systems are the lifeblood of the increasingly popular smartphones, which allows users to surf the Internet, check and send emails, play music and videos, and take pictures. Global shipments of smartphones surged by 30 percent in the last quarter of 2009, according to Strategy Analytics. By comparison, overall handset sales rose by 10 percent in the same period. Google also entered the hardware business last month when it launched its own smartphone, Nexus One, in a challenge against another big rival, Apple, which never attends the Mobile World Congress. In a signal of Google’s ambitions to become a leader to the mobile phone industry, chief executive Eric Schmidt will

address the Barcelona event for the first time. “The majority of people will access to the Internet through mobile technology moving forward. I think that drives obvious interest from online companies,” said Michael O’Hara, chief market officer of GSMA, the industry group that organises the Mobile World Congress. The competition from Google and Apple has fuelled speculation on industry blogs that Microsoft was working on its own mobile phone based on its Zune MP3 player, but reports say it will likely unveil its Windows Mobile 7 operating system. “They (Microsoft) will have some sort of announcement the question is how big and how significant it is,” Green said. — AFP

Mobile operators unite for single applications platform BARCELONA: A group of mobile phone operators launched yesterday an alliance to build a single platform for the hugely popular applications that allow users to play games and read news on their handsets. The goal of the 24 operators is to unite a “fragmented marketplace” and give developers of applications a single route to users of different devices and operating systems, the group announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The group, which includes AT&T, Vodafone and China Mobile, has three billion customers around the world, it said in a statement. Application stores are a key component of smartphones, but purchasers of a particular smartphone like those sold by Finnish wireless equipment maker Nokia and Apple cannot access stores provided by other makers. In a sign of the popularity of such services, South Korean mobile phone giant Samsung announced Sunday it would expand its app store to more than 50 countries this year after launching it in three European nations in 2009. Swedish telecommunications equipment maker Ericsson announced yesterday that it was launching its own online store, open to all types of devices. The eStore already counts 30,000 applications. The alliance launched by the 24 operators, named the Wholesale Applications Community, is backed by the GSMA, the industry group that organises the congress, and device manufacturers LG Electronics, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. The other partners in the project include Orange of France, Deutsche Telekom of Germany and NTT Docomo of Japan. The alliance “will build a new, open ecosystem to spur the creation of applications that can be used regardless of device, operating system or operator,” GSMA chief executive Rob Conway said. “This is tremendously exciting news for our industry and will serve to catalyse the development of a range of innovative crossdevice, cross-operator applications,” he said. — AFP

BARCELONA: A man works in the Microsoft stand before the opening of the Mobile World congress in Barcelona, Spain. — AP

World needs a reboot: TED

NEW YORK: Bioloid remote controled robots by Robotis on display at the annual Toy Fair, yesterday in New York. — AFP

LONG BEACH: Nobel laureates, technology titans, artists, scientists, and academics spent five days here grappling with how best to reboot the world. Outed CIA spy Valerie Plame Wilson urged wiping nuclear weapons off the planet while Microsoft co-founder turned-philanthropist Bill Gates backed a case for investing in “terrapower” nuclear energy plants. Author Michael Specter railed against a maddening societal shift away from scientific facts while fellow writer and philosopher Sam Harris argued that the separation between science and human values is an illusion. “We’ve never needed science and progress more than we have now,” Specter said at a prestigious TED Conference that ended Saturday. “Yet we’d have to go back before the Enlightenment to find a time that we fought things more than we do now. You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to you own facts; sorry about that.” The annual TED gathering was a thoughtsparking swirl of perspectives, revelations, and creative presentations delivered by vaunted personalities asked to pack the talk of a lifetime in an 18-minute punch. Physics string theory was spun with insights into spider silk, synthetic life forms, the psychology of happiness and even a prototype mosquito zapping laser. Ukelele-playing YouTube sensation Jason Shimabokuru captivated the audience with a performance that meshed Handel’s Ave Maria with Bohemian Rhapsody by classic rock band Queen. Natalie Merchant enchanted with new songs

she lovingly crafted from the lyrics of revered poets such as E.E. Cummings. Actress and comedienne Sarah Silverman rattled some in the famously upscale crowd with bawdy humor while former Talking Heads band front man David Byrne joined Thomas Dolby to sing “Nothing but Flowers.” The entertainment buoyed spirits and moods during days spent dissecting global woes from climate change and overfishing to disease, poverty and pollution. “I have been bottling up a fair amount of rage,” TED curator Chris Anderson said at the conference that ended Saturday. “At a time when there are so many smart people capable of solving problems, what happens? Nothing. Running into walls. Grubby murky compromise. I really hate this. What the world needs is a restart.” The 1,500 people attendees included entrepreneurs, celebrities, and founders of Internet stars Google, YouTube, Zynga, and More than 900 groups of people in 75 countries attended virtually, with talks and presentations streamed to them online. Recorded talks from gatherings are posted online at for free viewing. More than 200 million “TED talks” have been seen at the website, according to event organizers. Volunteers recently started translating the presentations into scores of languages. British conservative leader David Cameron made a teleconference visit to this year’s TED to say that he will use Internet technologies to better connect people and government if he becomes prime minister. — AFP



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Calvin Aries (March 21-April 19) You will probably pull

away from associates who have slowed your progress. This may even mean a new job. Whatever the case, much can be accomplished before the noon break. Updating equipment or skills seems to be the focus for the afternoon. New, futuristic ideas are part of this, but it’s much more than that: putting them into practice is essential. Any problems with personal relationship should melt away. Visiting with old friends will prove beneficial in that someone may offer you a chance to make some money. Charisma is high and first impressions are exciting. The accent this evening is on sociability, entertaining, love and affection. A new love interest could appear. You may be inspired to compose a bit of poetry. Taurus (April 20-May 20) The accent today is on

sociability. This should be one of those nice days when everything goes well, great for business transactions as well as for social get-togethers with lighthearted conversation. Any past tensions can easily be straightened out. You could be most persuasive with others and eloquent in your discourse with others. The situation is a natural for selfexpression and lends itself to your particular ideas. Though you may prefer to be around old friends, you certainly will not close the door on making new ones today. However you deal with people—interacting oneon-one, leading a group towards a common goal, convincing others in a sales or public relations effort—you will be a winner. All will feel your understanding ways.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. A condition (mostly in boys) characterized by behavioral and learning disorders. 4. Inventory accounting in which the oldest items (those first acquired) are assumed to be the first sold. 8. A drug combination found in some over-the-counter headache remedies (Aspirin and Phenacetin and Caffeine). 11. Leaf or strip from a leaf of the talipot palm used in India for writing paper. 12. A collection of objects laid on top of each other. 13. The syllable naming the sixth (submediant) note of a major or minor scale in solmization. 14. The capital and largest city of Yemen. 16. Any plant of the genus Erica. 17. Heal or recover. 20. A public promotion of some product or service. 21. A French abbot. 25. The last (12th) month of the year. 26. A town in north central Oklahoma. 31. Any of numerous local fertility and nature deities worshipped by ancient Semitic peoples. 32. A system of one or more computers and associated software with common storage. 35. An accountant certified by the state. 37. A pale rose-colored variety of the ruby spinel. 39. Make less active or intense. 43. Title for a civil or military leader (especially in Turkey). 44. One of a set of small pieces of stiff paper marked in various ways and used for playing games or for telling fortunes. 47. Headdress that protects the head from bad weather. 48. An enclosed space. 49. In bed. 50. A Kwa language spoken by the Yoruba people in southwestern Nigeria. 51. The compass point midway between northeast and east. 52. A small cake leavened with yeast. 53. The Tibeto-Burman language spoken in the Dali region of Yunnan. DOWN 1. Dance the slam dance. 2. (Scottish) Bluish-black or gray-blue. 3. (Irish) Mother of the Tuatha De Danann. 4. The federal agency that insures residential mortgages. 5. That is to say. 6. The syllable naming the fourth (subdominant) note of the diatonic scale in solmization. 7. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 8. American prizefighter who won the world heavyweight championship three times (born in 1942). 9. Large burrowing rodent of South and Central America. 10. Of or relating to or characteristic of the Republic of Chad or its people or language. 15. A flat wing-shaped process or winglike part of an organism. 18. The blood group whose red cells carry both the A and B antigens. 19. A light strong brittle gray toxic bivalent metallic element. 22. Any of various units of capacity. 23. Cubes of meat marinated and cooked on a skewer usually with vegetables. 24. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 27. A state in midwestern United States. 28. A metric unit of volume equal to one tenth of a liter. 29. North American republic containing 50 states - 48 conterminous states in North America plus Alaska in northwest North America and the Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific Ocean. 30. A radioactive element of the actinide series. 33. (Mesopotamia) God of agriculture and earth. 34. A point located with respect to surface features of some region. 36. A genus of Ploceidae. 38. Someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike. 40. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 41. The basic unit of money in Bangladesh. 42. Small ornamental ladies' bag for small articles. 45. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 46. (informal) `johnny' was applied as a nickname for Confederate soldiers by the Federal soldiers in the American Civil War. 47. An international organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) There is a tendency to be too strict with yourself today. You will probably insist that whatever does not contribute to security and other long-term goals is trivial. Take your breaks—there is a need for the accuracy that you are so well known for, so estimate the time it will take you to complete a job in an accurate fashion— give yourself plenty of time. Your ambition is intensified. You feel a love of order and law—an appreciation for responsibilities and duty. Business is growing and your skills are in demand. Do not settle for a second class job when you and your skills are first class. Demand proper pay for your work. You may be shopping this afternoon—looking for that perfect suit for your perfect job. Have faith in your ability to attain your goals.

Non Sequitur

Cancer (June 21-July 22) This is a very fast moving day—many things can be accomplished. Exercise, caution and care in business dealings, both in the physical and financial realm are important today. Exercise could be as simple as running up and down a flight of stairs. Self-discipline and a sense of self-worth become important issues in your life as a new phase begins. A fear of asserting yourself can hold you back—as can coming on too strong. The trick is in learning to strike a balance and make the most of your personal talents as well as to work within your limitations. Don’t be afraid to stretch your mind! Learn new things but set limits. You will enjoy a gathering with the neighbors and friends who are a part of your community this evening. Leo (July 23-August 22) Emphasis today is on your work, profession or public image—not your private life. You may wish to reflect on long-range plans and determine just how well things are falling into place. This may be a good time to announce your plans or take a stand on some issue and get a dialogue going between yourself and others. Clarification is the key. Delays, cancellations, difference of opinion would not be unlikely this afternoon. Through the process of elimination you will find just where the problem started—this is where you will untangle and fix most any problem. Good choices are available this evening for whatever you want to achieve. Having and appreciating things of beauty and value plays a big role now. A few quality items are worthy investments.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) You may be in a serious and a practical mood today. Hypothetical ideas are not for you just now. You would rather know the real value of something in order to find its’ right place. This is a period when you take your work most serious. A lot of time and thought goes into getting things scheduled and organized. As in the example of a nail that sticks up, gets hammered down. You will be good at polishing up details, whether as part of a project or an organization. You know instinctively what needs to be done to make something work. The broad picture can wait for another day. There may be instances when you will have to give a full accounting of your labors, particularly to superiors or those interested in buying your wares. Libra (September 23-October 22) You are a positive influence to others as this work week opens. There could even be an instance where others will change the wording of their sentences to a more upbeat and less corrupt content because of your presence. This is a lucky day and along with your ability to make things run smoothly, should produce some excellent results. If you are consulting others today, now would be a good day to take some extra time to mull over any financial questions. You encourage others to settle old debts and to finish projects before starting another one. This is an excellent time to emphasize practicality. This evening, you may be inclined to physical activities, like sports, especially with your close friends. Enjoy but do not over exert your energies.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) Your intellect is

sharp, making it a good day for study or work. You may however, feel that you are giving more than you are receiving in your job identification. It may be time for an employee review, if so, play it cool and list your goals and accomplishments. They will advise you and in this discourse, you will gain more than you think. It is important to effectively communicate your ideas to co-workers and those who work under you so that people will see you are an achiever. Work to put your plans into action; for action is where your words gain meaning. This is a good time to use the home as a vehicle for entertaining family and friends. Additionally, it is also favorable to make plans for spring cleaning/repairs or planting. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) When dealing with groups today, if changes are necessary, you will probably encourage sweeping changes. Whatever you do today, your ability to make things run smoothly should produce excellent results. Remove the emotions and go with the facts, especially when it comes to difficulties in communication. You can turn a difficult situation at work into a positive one. You may stumble upon a remedy to some long-term problem. An extra step can be eliminated with the information you now have to offer. This may also mean an elimination of some transportation schedule, faster mail turn-a-round or better dialoging between departments. People close to you are optimistic. This evening, an older friend will advise you; if you ask.

Yesterday’s Solution

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) If ever


Yesterday’s Solution


INTERNATIONAL CALLS Kuwait Qatar Abu Dhabi Dubai Raas Al Khayma Al-Shareqa Muscat Jordan Bahrain Riyadh Makkah - Jeddah Cairo Alexandria Beirut Damascus Allepo

00965 00974 009712 009714 009717 009716 00968 009626 00973 009661 009662 00202 00203 009611 0096311 0096321

Tunisia Rabat Washington New York Paris London Madrid Zurich Geneva Monaco Rome Bangkok Hong Kong Pakistan Taiwan Bonn

0021610 002127 001212 001718 00331 004471 00341 00411 004122 0033 00396 00662 00852 0092 00886 0049228

Word Sleuth Solution

there was a day to work with groups, this is it. You could be most persuasive as well as expressive in your communications. Others will listen to your ideas, plans or proposals. Your acute sensitivity to other people’s moods could enable you to fine-tune those moods as you would a violin. With your charisma, you could obtain anything you wish to obtain or sell anything you wish to sell to people—they will think you have done them a favor! You love being around people, especially those to whom you are emotionally attached. Better yet, old friends with whom you can reminisce. The power of attraction and desire for love is great and the only caution for you at this time is just that; caution. Take time to grow; enjoy the trip. Aquarius (January 20- February 18) This should be one of those easy-going days when nothing is a really big deal. It might be a good time to seek a solution to any technical or emotional problems that hang over your head. You have an open mind and are able to see all aspects of a situation. Do not compromise away anything that is important to you, though it may seem easier to do so. Your good feelings may tempt you to overindulge—put off any shopping until another day. If you are able to get together with friends for a while after work, do so . . . it is always good to have the opportunity to build on friendships. A secret may be revealed to you and will relieve you concerns from the past few days. Worry was not necessary—the secret was a frivolous one. Pisces (February 19-March 20) This is your lucky day! Schedule that conference, give that lecture and plan for that business trip. Whatever you do today, your ability to make things run smoothly should produce excellent results. Working with and discussing ideas with co-workers can be most beneficial and rewarding. You enjoy working in partnerships or group activities. The ability to communicate with superiors or describe what you see is important to any group. Your acute sensitivity to other people’s moods could help you to fine-tune those moods as you would a violin. Besides keeping the peace, you have good practical job-related ideas. Mental stimulation from others is key for today. Doing just about anything with friends or family later this evening will bring much joy.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

37 ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation furnished one room available in Sharq CA/C, 2 bathrooms, for Indian couple or 2 working ladies or one executive bachelor. Rent KD 100. Contact: 99849490. (C 20340) Sharing accommodation available for bachelors or a small family Goan or Mangalorean to share with a small Mangalorean family. Two bedroom flat, window A/C near Rashid hospital Shara Amman. Contact: 66132003 or 94969047. (C 20338) 16-2-2010 Sharing accommodation available in a C-A/C building for a small family or two working ladies in Abbassiya near Integrated Indian School & Bharathiya Vidhyabhavan. Contact: 97846304/ 24346984. (C 20334) Fully furnished one bedroom and separate bathroom available with Keralite family in new Vigi studio building near United Indian School at Abbassiya for couple or working ladies from 10/03/10. Contact: 97841925. (C 20335) 15-2-2010 Single room accommodation required for a decent Keralite Christian bachelor with a small family in Abbassiya. Contact: 97426334. (C 20330) 14-2-2010 Sharing accommodation available in 2 bedroom/bathroom C-AC flat in between Tunis & Al

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One room sharing accom-

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FOR SALE Magna 2002 model excellent condition, company maintained. Contact: 99928863, 24344176. (C 20333) Pajero 2001 model, green and silver, good condition, price KD 1950, and Out Lander red color 2003, price KD 1650 only. Phone: 99980087, 66052331. (C 20332) 15-2-2010 Household items, couch, throw rug 1 cabinet, stove, etc, ATV-50cc Eton runs good. Call day or night 67039015. ( 20329) 12-2-2010 Toyota Camry XLi, model 97, in excellent condition, regd up to Jan 2011. Asking Price KD 1,100. Contact 67056666 for inspection. Pajero io, model 2002, km 110,800, 5 doors, 4WD, full options with new 4 tyres, lady driven, super condition, KD 1,550. Contact: 55637587. (20314) Nissan Sunny, 4 cylinders, model 2009, silver color, done KM 14,000, excellent

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Looking for home nurse to take care of old Kuwaiti male. Salary 150 KD, send your CV immediately to fax: 24836310 contact Mob: 97687707. (C 20343) Required English speaking nanny/maid. If interested, please contact 99824597. (C 20339) 16-2-2010

Indian male MBA, B.Com (27 years) having 4 years experience in finance and investment in Kuwait seeking suitable placement. Proficient in MS Office & Tally. Fluent in English, Arabic, Hindi. Article # 18, transferable visa. Contact: 55492163. Email: (C 20336) 15-2-2010 Indian female (MBA in HR), 10 years experience in HR/Administration, specializing in recruitments, PMS, MIS Reports & Admin func-

tions. Well versed in computer applications. Please contact: 66634322. (C 20283) 10-2-2010

alliance from the parents of a born again girl, who is interested to serve the “Lord� in the ministry. Email: (C 20313) 10-2-2010



Proposals are invited for a Pentecostal boy (TPM), B.Sc-PGDCA, 29, 180cm from every Christian denominations. Email: (C 20322) 11-2-2010 Looking for a suitable

Policy No. 630001104 issued by State Life Gulf Zone life of Mr. Mohammad Akhtar has been lost. Anyone who finds should contact State Life Kuwait within one month from this date. Phone No: 22452208/9. (C 20323) 11-2-2010

CHANGE OF NAME I, Sumitra Boby became Muslim, married to Abdul Mubeen Mulla, my Passport No. F 4123443. I change my name to Nawal Abdul Mubeen Mulla. 12-2-2010

No: 14642

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Flight Schedule Arrival Flights on Tuesday 16/02/2010 Airlines Flt Route Jazeera 0263 Beirut KLM 0447 Amsterdam/Bahrain Wataniya Airways 1129 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 2103 Beirut Gulf Air 211 Bahrain DHL 370 Bahrain Turkish A/L 1172 Istanbul Emirates 853 Dubai Etihad 0305 Abu Dhabi Qatari 0138 Doha Ethiopian 622 Addis Ababa/Bahrain Jazeera 0637 Aleppo Falcon 201 Dubai Jazeera 0503 Luxor Jazeera 0527 Alexandria Jazeera 0529 Assiut British 0157 London Kuwait 412 Manila/Bangkok Kuwait 206 Islamabad Kuwait 352 Cochin Jazeera 0161 Dubai Kuwait 382 Delhi Kuwait 302 Mumbai Kuwait 676 Dubai Kuwait 284 Dhaka Kuwait 362 Colombo Emirates 855 Dubai Arabia 0121 Sharjah Qatari 0132 Doha Etihad 0301 Abu Dhabi Kuwait 344 Chennai Gulf Air 213 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 1121 Bahrain Jazeera 0447 Doha Jazeera 0165 Dubai Jazeera 0425 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 1021 Dubai Jazeera 0113 Abu Dhabi Middle East 404 Beirut Iran Aseman 6521 Lamerd Egypt Air 610 Cairo Jazeera 0171 Dubai Kuwait 672 Dubai Wataniya Airways 2301 Damascus Nas Air 745 Jeddah Jazeera 0525 Alexandria Jazeera 0257 Beirut Wataniya Airways 2001 Cairo Saudi Arabian A/L 500 Jeddah Kuwait 552 Damascus Jazeera 0457 Damascus

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

Qatari Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Royal Jordanian Jazeera Kuwait Emirates Gulf Air Saudi Arabian A/L Etihad Jazeera Jazeera Arabia Jazeera Wataniya Airways Sri Lankan United A/L Wataniya Airways DHL Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Jazeera Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Indian Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Jet A/W Oman Air Jazeera Wataniya Airways Gulf Air Middle East Qatari Emirates Kuwait KLM Wataniya Airways Jazeera Jazeera Global Jazeera Jazeera Tunis Air Pakistan Lufthansa Wataniya Airways Wataniya Airways

0134 284 548 546 678 800 0173 118 857 215 510 0303 0493 0239 0125 0367 2101 227 982 2003 473 1025 542 674 0177 786 614 744 575 774 104 618 572 0647 0459 2103 217 402 0136 859 502 0445 1129 0449 0429 081 0117 0185 327 239 636 2201 1029

Doha Dhaka Luxor Alexandria Muscat/Abu Dhabi Amman Dubai New York Dubai Bahrain Riyadh Abu Dhabi Jeddah Amman Sharjah Deirezzor Beirut Colombo/Dubai Washington DC Dulles Cairo Baghdad Dubai Cairo Dubai Dubai Jeddah Bahrain Dammam Chennai/Goa Riyadh London Doha Mumbai Muscat Damascus Beirut Bahrain Beirut Doha Dubai Beirut Amsterdam Bahrain Doha Bahrain Baghdad Abu Dhabi Dubai Tunis Islamabad/Sialkot Frankfurt Amman Dubai

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

Departure Flights on Tuesday 16/02/2010 Airlines Flt Route Jazeera 0528 Assiut India Express 390 Mangalore/Kozhikode United A/L 981 Washington DC Dulles Indian 982 Ahmadabad/Chennai Pakistan 206 Peshawar/Lahore Bangladesh 044 Dhaka Lufthansa 637 Frankfurt KLM 0447 Amsterdam Kuwait 283 Dhaka Turkish A/L 1173 Istanbul DHL 371 Bahrain Emirates 854 Dubai Etihad 0306 Abu Dhabi Ethiopian 622 Addis Ababa Qatari 0139 Doha Wataniya Airways 1020 Dubai Jazeera 0164 Dubai Jazeera 0524 Alexandria Wataniya Airways 2000 Cairo Jazeera 0112 Abu Dhabi Jazeera 0446 Doha Gulf Air 212 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 1120 Bahrain Jazeera 0422 Bahrain Wataniya Airways 2300 Damascus Kuwait 545 Alexandria Jazeera 0256 Beirut Kuwait 677 Abu Dhabi/Muscat British 0156 London Kuwait 671 Dubai Jazeera 0170 Dubai Kuwait 551 Damascus Kuwait 547 Luxor Jazeera 0456 Damascus Arabia 0122 Sharjah Emirates 856 Dubai Qatari 0133 Doha Etihad 0302 Abu Dhabi Wataniya Airways 2002 Cairo Gulf Air 214 Bahrain Kuwait 165 Rome/Paris Kuwait 541 Cairo Jazeera 0172 Dubai Wataniya Airways 2100 Beirut Jazeera 0492 Jeddah Jazeera 0366 Deirezzor Jazeera 0238 Amman Kuwait 103 London Middle East 405 Beirut Iran Aseman 6522 Lamerd Kuwait 785 Jeddah


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

Egypt Air Wataniya Airways Kuwait Nas Air Jazeera Wataniya Airways Jazeera Saudi Arabian A/L Kuwait Kuwait Kuwait Royal Jordanian Qatari Kuwait Kuwait Gulf Air Etihad Emirates Arabia Jazeera Saudi Arabian A/L Kuwait Jazeera Jazeera Wataniya Airways Jazeera Global Jazeera Wataniya Airways Sri Lankan Wataniya Airways Kuwait Kuwait Jet A/W Oman Air Gulf Air DHL Kuwait Middle East Kuwait Kuwait Jazeera Falcon Kuwait Qatari Kuwait Emirates KLM Jazeera Jazeera Jazeera Kuwait

611 1024 673 746 0176 2102 0458 501 501 773 613 801 0135 617 743 216 0304 858 0126 0262 511 543 0184 0116 2200 0448 082 0428 1128 228 1028 283 331 571 0648 218 171 675 403 381 203 0188 102 381 0137 301 860 0445 0480 0526 0502 411

Cairo Dubai Dubai Jeddah Dubai Beirut Damascus Jeddah Beirut Riyadh Bahrain Amman Doha Doha Dammam Bahrain Abu Dhabi Dubai Sharjah Beirut Riyadh Cairo Dubai Abu Dhabi Amman Doha Baghdad Bahrain Bahrain Dubai/Colombo Dubai Dhaka Trivandrum Mumbai Muscat Bahrain Bahrain Dubai Beirut Delhi Lahore Dubai Bahrain Delhi Doha Mumbai Dubai Bahrain/Amsterdam Sabiha Alexandria Luxor Bangkok/Manila

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



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Orbit / Showtime Listings

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

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

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

Doctor Who Life on Mars Knight Rider Dawsons Creek Life on Mars One Tree Hill Heroes Doctor Who Hotel Babylon Saving Grace Knight Rider Dawsons Creek Heroes One Tree Hill Knight Rider Life on Mars Hotel Babylon Saving Grace Doctor Who Heroes Inside the Actors Studio Flash Forward One Tree Hill Rescue Me

Animal Cops Phoenix Trophy Cats Untamed & Uncut I’m Alive Animal Cops Miami Animal Cops Phoenix Lemur Street Monkey Business RSPCA: On the Frontline Vet on the Loose Wildlife SOS Pet Rescue Animal Precinct The Planet’s Funniest Animals The Planet’s Funniest Animals RSPCA: On the Frontline Animal Cops Phoenix Corwin’s Quest Specials Wildlife SOS Pet Rescue The Planet’s Funniest Animals The Planet’s Funniest Animals Trophy Cats Lemur Street Monkey Business Pet Rescue Vet on the Loose Wildlife SOS RSPCA: On the Frontline Animal Cops Miami K9 Cops Daniel and Our Cats Animal Cops Phoenix Untamed & Uncut K9 Cops Animal Cops Philadelphia

00:45 Holby City 01:45 Coast 02:45 The Ship 03:35 Holby City 04:35 Holby City 05:35 Coast 06:35 Bargain Hunt 07:20 Balamory 07:40 Tweenies 08:00 Fimbles 08:20 Teletubbies 08:45 Yoho Ahoy 08:50 Tommy Zoom 09:00 Balamory 09:20 Tweenies 09:40 Fimbles 10:00 Teletubbies 10:25 Yoho Ahoy 10:30 Bargain Hunt 11:15 Coast 12:15 The Ship 13:15 The Weakest Link 14:00 Eastenders 14:30 Doctors 15:00 Bargain Hunt 15:45 Cash In The Attic 16:15 Blackadder Goes Forth 16:45 Blackadder Goes Forth 17:15 The Weakest Link 18:00 Doctors 18:30 Eastenders 19:00 Holby City 20:00 Holby City 21:00 The Weakest Link 21:45 Doctors 22:15 Eastenders 22:45 The Inspector Lynley Mysteries (2 part version) 23:45 Judge John Deed

00:05 The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook 00:30 Masterchef Goes Large 01:00 Masterchef Goes Large 01:20 Cash In The Attic Usa 01:45 Hidden Potential 02:15 Living In The Sun 03:00 Saturday Kitchen 03:30 Saturday Kitchen 04:00 Boys’ Weekend 04:30 The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook 05:15 Cash In The Attic Usa 05:45 Hidden Potential 06:15 Living In The Sun 07:00 Coleen’s Real Women 08:10 Antiques Roadshow 09:00 Cash In The Attic Usa 09:25 Hidden Potential 09:45 Gary Rhodes’ Local Food Heroes 10:30 Gary Rhodes’ Local Food

00:15 Streets Of Hollywood 00:40 E!es 01:30 25 Most Stylish 02:20 Sexiest 03:15 30 Best And Worst Beach Bodies 05:05 Dr 90210 06:00 THS 07:45 Style Star 08:10 Style Star 08:35 E! News 09:00 The Daily 10 09:25 Kendra 09:50 Kendra 10:15 THS 11:05 THS 12:00 E! News 12:25 The Daily 10 12:50 Wildest TV Show Moments 13:15 Wildest TV Show Moments 13:40 Beauty Queens Gone Wrong 15:25 Behind The Scenes 15:50 Behind The Scenes 16:15 E!es 17:10 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 18:00 E! News 18:25 The Daily 10 18:50 Streets Of Hollywood 19:15 Battle Of The Hollywood Hotties 19:40 THS 20:30 THS 21:20 Kendra

Awake on Show Movies Heroes 11:30 Living In The Sun 12:20 Antiques Roadshow 13:10 Coleen’s Real Women 14:00 Gary Rhodes’ Local Food Heroes 14:45 Gary Rhodes’ Local Food Heroes 15:40 Daily Cooks Challenge 16:05 Daily Cooks Challenge 16:30 Cash In The Attic Usa 16:50 Hidden Potential 17:10 Antiques Roadshow 18:10 Coleen’s Real Women 18:50 Living In The Sun 19:40 Daily Cooks Challenge 20:10 Daily Cooks Challenge 20:40 Masterchef Goes Large 21:05 New British Kitchen 21:30 New British Kitchen 22:00 The Home Show 22:50 10 Years Younger 23:40 The Naked Chef

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

On The Edge - 18 Combien Tu Gagnes - PG 15 Gloria - PG 15 Xanadu - PG An American Rhapsody - PG A Walk In The Clouds - PG 15 Under The Same Moon - PG Mean Creek - PG 15 Imaginary Heroes - PG 15 Her Name Is Carla - 18 Trainspotting - R City Of Ghosts - 18

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

Untamed & Uncut Miami Ink Street Customs American Chopper The Kustomizer Mythbusters How Stuff Works Ultimate Survival Extreme Engineering The Kustomizer Street Customs How Do They Do It? Mythbusters Ultimate Survival Destroyed in Seconds Destroyed in Seconds How Do They Do It? How Stuff Works Fifth Gear American Chopper Miami Ink Mythbusters Ultimate Survival Destroyed in Seconds Destroyed in Seconds Street Customs How Do They Do It? How Stuff Works Building the Future Man Made Marvels Asia LA Hard Hats

00:40 01:30 02:20 03:10 04:05 05:00 05:55 06:20 07:10 07:35 08:00 08:50 09:40 10:30 11:20

Dr G: Medical Examiner Fbi Files A Haunting Forensic Justice Dr G: Medical Examiner Forensic Detectives Real Emergency Calls Dr G: Medical Examiner Ghosthunters Ghosthunters Forensic Detectives Fbi Files Extreme Forensics Diagnosis: Unknown Forensic Detectives

12:10 13:00 13:50 14:40 15:30 16:20 17:10 18:00 18:50 19:40 20:30 21:20 22:10 23:00 23:50

Fairly Odd Parents Phineas & Ferb Replacements I Got A Rocket Wizards Of Waverly Place Hannah Montana Sonny With A Chance Fairly Odd Parents Phineas & Ferb Suite Life On Deck Wizards Of Waverly Place Hannah Montana The Replacements Jonas Suite Life On Deck Sonny With A Chance Hannah Montana Wizards Of Waverly Place The Suite Life of Zack & Cody The Suite Life of Zack & Cody The Replacements American Dragon Kim Possible Famous Five Fairly Odd Parents

Fbi Files Guilty Or Innocent? Diagnosis: Unknown Fugitive Strike Force Forensic Detectives Fbi Files Extreme Forensics Diagnosis: Unknown Forensic Detectives Fbi Files Guilty Or Innocent? Diagnosis: Unknown Fugitive Strike Force Deadly Women Undercover

00:40 China’s Man Made Marvels 01:30 Robocar 02:20 Mighty Ships 03:10 Mega Builders 04:00 Beyond Tomorrow 04:50 NASA’s Greatest Missions 05:45 How Does That Work? 06:10 Mean Green Machines 06:40 One Step Beyond 07:10 Robocar 08:00 Scrapheap Challenge 09:00 Sci-Fi Saved My Life 10:00 Mighty Ships 10:55 How Does That Work? 11:20 Stunt Junkies 11:50 Robocar 12:45 Mean Green Machines 13:10 One Step Beyond 13:40 Sci-Fi Saved My Life 14:35 Mighty Ships 15:30 Download: The True Story of the Internet 16:25 How Does That Work? 16:55 Scrapheap Challenge 17:50 Brainiac 18:45 China’s Man Made Marvels 19:40 Build It Bigger: Rebuilding Greensburg 20:30 Discovery Project Earth 21:20 How It’s Made 21:45 How It’s Made 22:10 Mythbusters 23:00 Build It Bigger: Rebuilding Greensburg 23:50 Discovery Project Earth

00:00 My Friends Tigger and Pooh 00:20 Handy Manny 00:45 Special Agent Oso 01:10 IMAGINATION MOVERS 01:35 Lazytown 02:00 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 02:25 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 02:45 HANDY MANNY NEW EPISODES 03:10 Special Agent Oso 03:35 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 04:00 Fairly Odd Parents 04:25 Hannah Montana 04:45 I Got A Rocket 05:10 Wizards Of Waverly Place 05:35 Phineas & Ferb 06:00 Higglytown Heroes 06:10 My Friends Tigger and Pooh 06:35 Handy Manny 07:00 Special Agent Oso 07:20 IMAGINATION MOVERS 07:45 Lazytown 08:10 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 08:35 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 09:00 HANDY MANNY NEW EPISODES 09:25 Special Agent Oso 09:45 Brandy & Mr Whiskers 10:10 Fairly Odd Parents 10:35 Hannah Montana 11:00 I Got A Rocket 11:25 Wizards Of Waverly Place 11:45 Phineas & Ferb 12:10 Suite Life On Deck 12:35 Replacements 12:55 American Dragon 13:20 Kim Possible 13:40 Famous Five

00:00 Chopped 01:00 Throwdown With Bobby Flay 01:30 Throwdown With Bobby Flay 02:00 Food Network Challenge 03:00 Iron Chef America 04:00 Throwdown With Bobby Flay 04:30 Throwdown With Bobby Flay 05:00 Teleshopping 05:30 Teleshopping 06:00 Teleshopping 06:30 Teleshopping 07:00 Teleshopping 07:30 Teleshopping 08:00 Giada At Home 08:25 Giada At Home 08:50 Barefoot Contessa - Back to Basics 09:15 30 Minute Meals 09:40 30 Minute Meals 10:05 Rescue Chef with Danny Boome 10:30 Rescue Chef with Danny Boome 11:00 Tyler’s Ultimate 11:30 Tyler’s Ultimate 12:00 Barefoot Contessa 12:30 Barefoot Contessa - Back to Basics 13:00 Nigella Express 13:30 Nigella Express 14:00 30 Minute Meals 14:30 30 Minute Meals 15:00 Barefoot Contessa 15:30 Barefoot Contessa 16:00 Grill It! with Bobby Flay 16:30 Grill It! with Bobby Flay 17:00 Barefoot Contessa - Back to Basics 17:30 Barefoot Contessa 18:00 Tyler’s Ultimate 18:30 Tyler’s Ultimate 19:00 Nigella Express

01:35 03:25 05:05 06:40 08:35 10:25 11:45 13:15 14:55 16:35 18:25 20:05 22:00 23:40

Hawks Slamdance Laws Of Gravity Jason’s Lyric Lady in White The Trip Fast Food Untamed Heart Cherry 2000 Just Between Friends From Noon Till Three Death Rides a Horse The House On Carroll Street Rikky and Pete

00:00 Billable Hours 00:30 Will and Grace 01:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 01:30 The Colbert Report 02:00 Best of Late night with Jimmy

Fallon 03:00 Monday Stand Up night 04:30 Sit Down & Shut Up 05:00 Billable Hours 05:30 Best of The Tonight Show 06:30 Tyler Perry’s House of Payne 07:00 Home Improvement 07:30 The Simpsons 08:00 Coach 08:30 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 09:00 The Colbert Report 09:30 Drew Carey Show 10:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 10:30 Frasier 11:00 All of us 11:30 Eight Simple Rules 12:00 Best of The Tonight Show 13:00 Will and Grace 13:30 Tyler Perry’s House of Payne 14:00 Home Improvement 14:30 The Simpsons 15:00 Coach 15:30 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 Drew Carey Show 17:00 Everybody Loves Raymond 17:30 Frasier 18:00 Eight Simple Rules 18:30 All of us 19:00 Rita Rocks 19:30 Will and Grace 20:00 The Tonight Show With Conan OBrien 21:00 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 21:30 The Colbert Report 22:00 Free Radio 22:30 Nutcase

00:00 The Martha Stewart Show 01:00 10 Years Younger 01:30 Eat Your Self Sexy 02:00 The Ellen Degeneres Show 03:00 Mom Gets Real / Now you know / Amplified 04:00 Huey’s Cooking Adventure 04:30 Fresh 05:00 The Best of Jay Leno 06:00 GMA LIVE 08:00 Ahead of the Curve 08:30 Nature’s Edge 09:00 The Martha Stewart Show 10:00 The Best of Jimmy Kimmel 11:00 Downsize Me 12:00 The Ellen Degeneres Show 13:00 Huey’s Cooking Adventure 13:30 Fresh 14:00 The Martha Stewart Show 15:00 GMA LIVE 17:00 GMA Health 17:30 What’s the Buzz 18:00 Eat Your Self Sexy 18:30 10 Years Younger 19:00 The View 20:00 The Ellen Degeneres Show

00:00 Awake - 18 02:00 Guilty Hearts - PG 15 04:00 Igor - PG 06:00 The Who Anthology - PG 15 08:00 Angus Thongs And Perfect Snogging- PG 15 10:00 Perfect Holiday - PG 12:00 The Water Horse: Legend Of The Deep - FAM 14:00 The Perfect Child - PG 15 16:00 Angus Thongs And Perfect Snogging- PG 15 18:00 Romulus My Father - PG 15 20:00 The Bank Job - PG 15 22:00 Baby Mama - PG

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

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

The Perfect Witness - 18 Shaft - 18 Snake In The Eagle’s Shadow Alone In The Dark 2 - PG 15 Death Warrant - PG 15 Taken By Force - PG 15 Rock Monster - PG 15 Death Warrant - PG 15 Last Lullaby - PG 15 Virtuosity - 18 Shoot ‘em Up - R They Wait - PG 15

The Go-Getter - 18 Election - 18 Loins Of Punjab Presents - PG First Kid - PG Picture This - PG 15 Superhero Movie - PG 15 Lock And Roll Forever - PG Good Burger - PG 15 The Go-Getter - 18 I Me Wed - PG 15 She’s The One - PG 15 Surfer Dude - PG 15

00:00 Scooby-Doo And The Loch Ness Monster - FAM 02:00 Mighty Joe Young - PG 04:00 The Witches - PG 06:00 Another Cinderella Story - PG 08:00 Yogi’s Great Escape - PG 10:00 The Witches - PG 12:00 Robin Hood: The Invincible Knight - FAM 14:00 Mighty Joe Young - PG

16:00 Stardust - PG 18:15 Free Willy 3: The Rescue FAM 20:00 Tales Of The River Bank FAM

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

Ugly Betty Desperate Housewives Every Body Loves Raymond My Name is Earl Sex and the City Sex and the City C.S.I Ally Mcbeal Emmerdale Coronation Street Every Body Loves Raymond My Name is Earl 24 C.S.I Ally Mcbeal Law & Order Emmerdale Coronation Street Every Body Loves Raymond My Name is Earl Ugly Betty Desperate Housewives Law & Order 24 Emmerdale Coronation Street Law & Order C.S.I: NY C.S.I: NY C.S.I Sex and the City

00:30 Premier League World 01:00 Premier League Classics 01:30 Barclays Premier League Highlights 02:30 Futbol Mundial 03:00 Premier League 05:00 Premier League 07:00 Barclays Premier League Highlights 08:00 Futbol Mundial 08:30 Premier League 10:30 Premier League 12:30 Barclays Premier League Highlights 13:30 Futbol Mundial 14:00 Premier League 16:00 Premier League Classics 16:30 Premier League Classics 17:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 17:30 Premier League World 18:00 Premier League 20:00 Portugol 20:30 Futbrasil 21:00 Premier League Classics

01:30 Weber Cup Bowling 02:30 Futbol Mundial 03:00 Scottish Premier League Highlights 03:30 PGA European Tour Highlights 04:30 World Sport 05:00 Super League 07:00 Super 14 09:00 Super 14 11:00 Weber Cup Bowling 12:00 World Hocky 12:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 13:00 Super 14 15:00 Super League 17:00 Weber Cup Bowling 18:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 19:00 Premier League Classics 19:30 Premier League Classics 20:00 Barclays Premier League Highlights 21:00 Futbol Mundial 21:30 Fut Brasil 22:00 PGA European Tour Highlights

08:30 09:30 11:00 12:00 13:00 15:00 16:00 18:00 19:00 21:00 22:00 23:00

Drambuie Pursuit NCAA Basketball Bushido WWE ECW Red Bull X-Fighters Drambuie Pursuit NCAA Basketball UFC 110 Countdown NCAA Basketball UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC The Ultimate Fighter

01:00 Expired - PG 15 03:00 American Violet - PG 15 05:00 Dr. Dolittle : A Tinsel Town Tail - PG 07:00 Iron Road Part 1 - PG 15 09:00 Barack Obama: The Man And His Journey - PG 11:00 Iron Road Part 2 - PG 15 13:00 El Escorial Conspiracy - PG 15 15:00 Broken Lines - PG 15 17:00 Phoebe In Wonderland - PG 19:00 Son Of The Mask - PG 21:00 From Time To Time - PG 15 23:00 Number 23 - PG 15

00:40 Where Eagles Dare 03:10 Somebody Up There Likes Me 05:00 Lies My Father Told Me 06:35 The Honeymoon Machine 08:00 To Have and Have Not 09:40 Where Eagles Dare 12:10 Anchors Aweigh 14:25 The Honeymoon Machine 15:50 The Alamo 19:15 Hearts of the West 21:05 The Year of Living Dangerously 23:00 After The Fox

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

Battle 360 Deep Sea Detectives Warriors Modern Marvels Ice Road Truckers 3 Ax Men Dogfights Battle 360 Deep Sea Detectives Warriors Modern Marvels Ice Road Truckers 3 Ax Men Dogfights Battle 360 Deep Sea Detectives Warriors Modern Marvels Ice Road Truckers 3 Ax Men Dogfights Battle 360 Deep Sea Detectives Warriors Modern Marvels Hell’s Battlefield

00:00 Ruby 01:00 Peter Perfect 02:00 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane

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

The Dish How Do I Look? Split Ends Dr 90210 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane How Do I Look? Style Star Style Her Famous My Celebrity Home Style Star Dress My Nest Peter Perfect Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? Ruby Giuliana And Bill Clean House Clean House Comes Clean Dress My Nest What I Hate About Me Split Ends Style Her Famous The Dish Running In Heels Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane Split Ends Clean House Dress My Nest Style Her Famous What I Hate About Me

01:00 01:04 01:35 02:00 02:45 05:00 05:04 05:18 08:00 08:04 08:35 13:00 13:04 13:50 16:00 16:04 16:35 18:00 18:45 20:00 20:04 20:35 21:00 22:00

Code RNB Playlist Urban Hit Playlist Code Guest Star Playlist Code New Playlist Code Urban Hit Playlist Code Hip Hop Us Playlist Urban Hit Playlist Code Latina Playlist Focus Playlist

00:00 01:00 01:30 02:00 03:00 03:30 04:00 04:30 05:00 06:00 07:00 07:30 08:00 09:00 09:30 10:00 10:30 11:00 11:30 12:00 13:00 14:00 14:30 15:00 15:30 16:00

Globe Trekker - U Angry Planet - U The Thirsty Traveler - U Planet Food - U Feast India - U Travel Today - U Essential - U Chef Abroad - U Globe Trekker - U Swiss Railway Journeys - U The Thirsty Traveler - U Angry Planet - U Globe Trekker - U Travel Today - U Rudy Maxa’s World - U Distant Shores - U Distant Shores - U Chef Abroad - U Entrada - U Planet Food - U Globe Trekker - U Chef Abroad - U The Thirsty Traveler - U Taste Takes Off - U Entrada - U Planet Food - U

01:30 Portuguese Liga 03:30 Premier League Classics 04:00 Super 14 06:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 07:00 Portuguese Liga 09:00 Barclays Premier League Highlights 10:00 World Sport 10:30 Premier League World 11:00 Premier League Classics 11:30 Premier League Darts 15:30 Premier League World 16:00 PGA European Tour Highlights 17:00 Barclays Premier League Highlights 18:00 Portuguese Liga 20:00 Super League

00:00 02:00 04:00 05:00 06:00 07:00 08:00

NCAA Basketball WWE Vintage Collection UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC The Ultimate Fighter UFC The Ultimate Fighter WWE ECW FIM World Cup

From Time To Time on Super Movies

Star Listings (UAE Timings) STAR Movies 21:05 A Date With Murder 22:30 The Delphi Effect 00:00 Up Close & Personal 02:00 While You Were Sleeping 03:45 French Kiss 05:35 The Delphi Effect 07:05 Up Close & Personal 09:05 While You Were Sleeping 10:50 French Kiss 12:40 Stolen Life: Caught On Tape 14:10 Goal Ii: Living The Dream 16:05 Solar Destruction 17:30 Home Alone 3 19:10 One Fine Day STAR World 20:00 Ugly Betty 20:50 Charlie’s Angels 21:00 Ghost Whisperer 21:50 Starsky & Hutch 22:00 [V] Tunes 23:00 [V] Tunes 00:00 [V] Tunes 01:00 [V] Tunes 02:00 7th Heaven 03:00 The Simpsons

03:30 04:00 04:30 05:00 05:50 06:00 06:50 07:00 07:25 07:50 08:00 08:50 09:00 09:30 10:00 10:50 11:00 11:50 12:00 13:00 14:00 14:30 15:00 15:30 16:00 16:50 17:00

The King Of Queens According To Jim According To Jim Ghost Hunters International Jackie Chan Adventures Bones Charlie’s Angels Scrubs Worst Week Starsky & Hutch Ugly Betty Jackie Chan Adventures Worst Week The Bold And The Beautiful 7th Heaven Charlie’s Angels Brothers & Sisters Starsky & Hutch [V] Tunes Ghost Hunters International The Simpsons The King Of Queens According To Jim According To Jim Kyle Xy Jackie Chan Adventures Reaper

17:50 18:00 18:50 19:00 19:50

Charlie’s Angels Stone Undercover Starsky & Hutch Ghost Hunters International Jackie Chan Adventures

Granada TV 20:00 Vincent (Series 1) 21:30 Airline (Series 5) 22:00 Diets From Hell 23:00 Come Dine With Me (Primetime Series 1) 00:00 The Jeremy Kyle Show 01:00 Come Dine With Me (Primetime Series 1) 02:00 Crime Monday: Vincent (Series 1) 03:30 Airline (Series 5) 04:00 Revenge TV 05:00 Emmerdale 05:30 Coronation Street 06:00 The Jeremy Kyle Show 07:00 Come Dine With Me (Primetime Series 1) 08:00 Crime Monday: Vincent (Series 1) 09:30 Airline (Series 5) 10:00 Total Emergency 11:00 Emmerdale

11:30 Coronation Street 12:00 The Jeremy Kyle Show 13:00 Trinny And Susannah Undress (Series 1) 14:00 Crime Monday: Vincent (Series 1) 15:30 Airline (Series 5) 16:00 Emmerdale 16:30 Coronation Street 17:00 The Jeremy Kyle Show 18:00 Trinny And Susannah Undress (Series 1) 19:00 Crime Monday: Vincent (Series 1) Channel [V] 21:00 [V] Tunes 22:00 Double Shot 22:30 The Playlist 23:00 Loop 00:00 Backtracks 01:00 Double Shot 02:00 [V] Tunes 02:30 The Playlist 03:00 Loop 04:00 [V] Special 05:00 [V] Tunes 06:00 Double Shot 07:00 Backtracks

08:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 12:30 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 18:00 18:30 19:00 20:00 21:00

Loop Double Shot Backtracks [V] Tunes Double Shot The Playlist Loop The List Keys To The VIP Backtracks [V] Tunes Double Shot The Playlist Loop The List Keys To The VIP

Fox New s 01:00 America’s News HQ host Shannon Bream 03:00 Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace (repeat) 04:00 The O’Reilly Factor(repeat) 05:00 America’s News HQ hosts Gregg Jarrett and Julie Banderas 07:00 FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace (repeat)

08:00 FOX Report Sunday host Julie Banderas 09:00 Huckabee with Mike Huckabee 10:00 Hannity with Sean Hannity 11:00 Geraldo At Large with Geraldo Rivera 12:00 Huckabee with Mike Huckabee 13:00 FOX Report Sunday 14:00 Geraldo At Large with Geraldo Rivera 15:00 Hannity with Sean Hannity 16:00 War Stories with Oliver North 17:00 Bulls and Bears (repeat) 17:30 Cavuto On Business (repeat) 18:00 FORBES on FOX (repeat) 18:30 Cashin’ In (repeat) 19:00 FOX & Friends First Live 20:00 FOX & Friends Live 22:00 America’s Newsroom 23:00 America’s Newsroom National Geographic Channel 20:00 Hunter Hunted -Kidnapped S2-5 21:00 Theme Week 30min -Marco Polo : The China Mystery Revealed 1 21:30 Theme Week 30min -Marco Polo : The China Mystery Revealed 2 22:00 Inside -Hong Kong’s Big Bang 23:00 Theme Week -Inside : Kung Fu Inc.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010


named PETA’S worst dressed celebrity he actress topped an annual list compiled by animal welfare organization PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) because of her “fetish for wearing anything that once moved”. The group even staged a protest outside New York’s Walter Kerr Theater where she is starring in ‘A Little Night Music’ on Saturday . PETA said: “With her cow-skin pants, ugly fox coat, and icky alligator bag, Catherine Zeta-Jones looks like she’s working her way through Noah’s ark with a knife. “Maybe she’s trying to get into character for an upcoming role as a serial killer - or a taxidermist.” Other stars to make the organization’s list included singer Aretha Franklin, US reality TV star Jill Zarin and singer-and-actress Jennifer Lopez, who was dubbed ‘Jenny from the butcher block’ for wearing fur. ‘How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days’ actress Kate Hudson - who recently split from baseball star Alex ‘A-Rod’ Rodriguez - also made the list. Describing Kate’s look, PETA said: “Kate, there’s no easier way to lose a guy in 10 days than by wearing a hairball. Maybe your furs are the reason why ‘A-Rod’ ran for home.” PETA also had harsh words for singer-and-actress Jessica Simpson - whose transition into country music flopped last year. The group said of her outfits: “All resemble her career - dead.” Kate’s mother Goldie Hawn and singer Rihanna were the other finalists on PETA’s Worst Dressed list.

Cruz to appear in the ‘Sex and the City’ sequel


Cole’s marriage is still ‘worth fighting for’ he Girls Aloud beauty whose husband Ashley Cole has been accused of sending explicit text messages to other women - gave an interview shortly before the revelations in which she admitted the couple have had problems, but refuse to give up on their union. She said: “If it’s worth fighting for, then fight. And in the case of me and my husband, it’s worth it. “Sometimes one of you makes a mistake, sometimes the other. Nevertheless, anyone who throws in the towel ends up achieving nothing. “Let’s just say that during the first six to 12 months everything is always great. You’re totally in love and everything works by itself. Then, at some point, everyday life takes over


Driver counts surfing and yoga as her religion

enelope Cruz has filmed a cameo appearance for the ‘Sex and the City’ sequel. The ‘Broken Embraces’ reportedly flew to New York to shoot a small scene which sees her playing herself on the red carpet. According to America’s OK! magazine, Penelope is not the only star shooting a guest role in the coming weeks. Although speculation Beyonce Knowles will appear has been dismissed, her song ‘Single Ladies’ will be featured. The track will be performed by musical legend Liza Minnelli at the wedding of Stanford and Anthony, which sees Sarah Jessica Parker’s character Carrie Bradshaw serve as Best Man. Miley Cyrus is also set to film a small part later this week. Although it is unknown what the 16-year-old ‘Hannah Montana’ star’s role in ‘Sex and the City 2’ will be, author Candace Bushnell on whose novel the original TV series was based - has previously said the singer-and-actress would make a perfect young Carrie Bradshaw. Revealing she was writing books about the gossip columnists teenage years, Candace said: “At school, Carrie did not follow the crowd - she led it. It was there that she began observing and commenting on the social scene. “I think Miley is adorable. The books aren’t going to come out until 2010, so it’s just too soon to predict anything - but again, I think she’s adorable.” Miley herself has previously expressed her desire to make a “younger” version of the original TV series. She said: “I’d love to do a younger, cleaner version of ‘Sex and the City’. I like to think of myself as the girl that no one can get, that no one can keep in their hand.” ‘Sex and the City 2’ - which features original stars Sarah, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis - is due for release next year.

again. I think that’s normal.” The ‘Fight for This Love’ singer - who has reportedly been advised to end her marriage by her bandmates and mother Joan Callaghan - even said she and Ashley are hoping to start a family, but admitted it won’t be in the near future. She told Britain’s Hello! magazine: “I’d like to start a family with Ashley. Not this year, but I don’t want to wait forever to have children.” Despite putting on a unified front, Cheryl is believed to have been living at the Kensington’s Baglioni Hotel in London since rumors of Ashley’s behavior emerged - although her publicist claims she is merely using the suite as a base while she is preparing for a promotional tour of Europe.

he British actress lives in Florida on the East coast of the US and said she can’t get by without her surfboard or the Indian meditative practice - though since becoming mother to Henry, 17 months, she’s had less opportunity to ride the waves. She said: “My church is surfing and yoga. If I can get in a surf or practice yoga then I will. “Yoga’s great for when you’ve got a full brain and can’t stop the mind chatter. “Surfing is an utter, necessary part of my life, though I’m less obsessive than I used to be. I used to be up at 4.30am in my car, driving, trying to see where there was a break and what was going on.” Minnie also told how she likes to take her young son to the beach, and that they learn about the sea life they find there together. She added: “If the tide’s out we’ll look at the anemones and the starfish and the crabs. “Somebody told me that if you hum next to a hermit crab, it brings it out - and it works. “Henry goes up and hums at any shell he sees now, because he thinks there’s going to be a crab in it.” Minnie’s next film, ‘Motherhood’ is released next month.



he actress-and-singer - who has twins Max and Emme with husband Marc Anthony believes she will add to her brood at some point but isn’t setting herself a definite date to get pregnant by. She is quoted by gossip website Absolute Now as saying: “I want more babies - definitely. But you can’t really plan your life. As much as you would like to and as much as you would like to say, ‘I want to do this then and that then and this by that time, it is all going to be perfect,’ that’s not life. That’s not how it is. You have to just be willing to go with what happens.” Jennifer, 40, recently revealed she refused to undergo IVF (In Vitro


Fertilization) when she was first trying to get pregnant. Although she and Marc were trying to start a family for a long time, ‘The BackUp Plan’ star didn’t want to seek medical help. Jennifer - who gave birth to Max and Emme in February 2008 - said: “When it comes to family and relationships, I’m quite traditional. Just because of the way I was raised. And I also believe in God and I have a lot of faith in that, so I just felt like you don’t mess with things like that. And I guess deep down I really felt like either this is not going to happen for me or it is. You know what I mean? And if it is, it will. And if it’s not, it’s not going to.”

Bridges admits he is a ‘pretty lazy guy’ he Oscar nominated actor who is tipped to win Best Actor at this year’s awards for his role as a country singer Bad Blake in ‘Crazy Heart’ - said


although he enjoys his work he is always “avoiding” it. He said: “I spend most of my time avoiding work. Honestly, I’m a pretty lazy guy. It’s a lot easier for me to

Hawn to set up a Buddhist school oldie Hawn wants to set up a Buddhist school in the UK. The ‘Death Becomes Her’ actress runs educational charity The Hawn Foundation in the US, which teaches children the Buddhist technique of Mindfulness training, which instead of testing young people instead encourages them to make social and emotional progress, and it is hoped her ideas can be used to set up similar establishments in Britain.. Goldie said: “We need to rethink our whole approach to classroom education, integrating neuroscience with the latest social and emotional learning techniques. “A peaceful, happy child is the first step

Lopez wants more children


towards a peaceful world.” The 64-year-old star has been approached by the Conservative Party, who want her to help with their education policies if they are elected into power. Conservative education secretary Michael Gove said: “We are meeting to discuss how she might be able to help education here. “We need more new schools outside local authority control to challenge the bureaucratic monopoly. Some parents would want a rigorous traditional academic education for their children with desks neatly marshaled and traditional football. Others will want something that is more flexible, more imaginative.”

turn down a role than take it. “I know the effort it takes once you engage and commit.” Jeff, 60, also said there is an upside to having been nominated for an Oscar five times previously but never winning - you don’t have to give a speech. He added: “I’d rather come in not having high expectations. There’s a certain weight and pressure with awards and fame in general that you have to work with. But there’s a downside to winning, too. “I’ve been nominated for Oscars five times, and you would think that being an actor for as long as I’ve been, I could get up in front of people and give a speech - but no, I’m just as nervous as anyone. “So it’s kind of a relief not to win, although I’d be lying if I said it wouldn’t be wonderful to get the Oscar.”

er boyfriend Henry Beckwith’s father Sir John Beckwith claims his son has had to adjust quickly to the former Spice Girl’s showbiz lifestyle, and is finding it hard to keep up. John said: “It’s very hard being with someone who gets red-carpet treatment all around the world. It’s like being Prince Philip. She is great fun, though - full of energy.” Despite John’s concerns, Geri, 37, is not going to change for her 31year-old beau. A source told the Daily Star newspaper: “Geri’s a total romantic and loves him dearly. “But Henry will need to get used to her getting the star treatment. It’s just a part of who she is.” The couple recently sparked wedding rumors after they were spotted visiting the St-John-at-Hampstead church, in north London. In January, Henry brought attention on himself when he was cautioned for possession of cocaine after being arrested outside Raffles nightclub, in London. A source said at the time: “Beckwith is a regular and was here partying. He was seen going outside and around the corner, where he was searched by police. “Raffles has a strict policy on drugs - anyone found with them in the club will be banned. So maybe he decided to take the drugs outside. I’m sure Geri wasn’t too delighted to hear he had been arrested for drugs.” — BangShowbiz


Halliwell is a high maintenance girlfriend



Tuesday, February 16, 2010


At NY Fashion Week, girls will be boys F

Vodianova’s finale pewter-collard metallic lame dress with delicate flower appliques hit on the surprising resurgence of the glittery fabric at this round of runway shows.

adapted menswear trend popular on other runways. Girlier looks with prairie patterns, tiered skirts, corsets and bunching on the behind were less wearable. But for Johnson, it’s all about the show. Sunday’s had nods to the death of Alexander McQueen-a model in a bodysuit held a “Long Live McQueen” sign-and a more playful tribute to Valentine’s Day, with models spelling out “LOVE” in sequins on their behinds. — AP

PRABAL GURUNG Prabal Gurung’s catwalk show was one of the hottest tickets of New York Fashion Week, with a a

BAND OF OUTSIDERS A favorite phrase of fashion insiders is “classics with a twist.” It seemed the mantra of Band of Outsiders. Designer Scott Sternberg is best known for menswear, winning the Council of Fashion Designers of America prize in that category last year. He continues to shrink preppy trousers and jackets, and, in a winter-vacation moment, added some parkas, flannel workshirts and wool sweatpants. Those Americana looks, displayed among skis, vintage luggage trunks and even an old Jaguar at the gallery space of Milk Studios, are Band of Outsiders’ bread and butter. What was more unexpected were the dressier looks for women, including a lovely blackand-gold silk V-neck top, a pencil skirt with zipper details, a tiefront skirt-worn with an enviable shearling coat-and a black wool pantsuit.

Betsey Johnson

front row that included Zoe Saldana of “Avatar,” designer Cynthia Rowley and celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe. He turned out a polished, cohesive collection, only the third under his own name, confirming the status of his label as one to watch. There were many graphic elements to the clothes with an emphasis on contrast colors-one outfit paired a camel-and-black jacket with capelike sleeves with a camel-andblack seamed pant. The star pieces were a black-and-white, motocross-style dress with crystals, pearls and palettes that was certainly red-carpet worthy, and a delicate strapless dress in camel and white tulle with laser-cut gazar, organza petals, ostrich feathers and crystals. It was, however, the chic everyday wear that was most impressive. He created unfussy dresses and

DKNY Donna Karan again reinvented her beloved young New York muse, dressing her in a patchwork of grid patterns, Art Deco sequins, equestrian plaids and schoolgirl sweetness. Some of the best looks were drop-waist minis that emphasized a long, lean shape with boyfriend jackets on top. The palette was very prep school: black, gray, brown and brick red. Sparkly blue beading turned up in unexpected places, giving some pops of energy. Yet,

The Band Of Outsiders

as youthful as the collection was, it was missing some of the bounce that DKNY usually weaves into its look. Karan, however, had more than a little spring in her step as she took her bow, holding the hands of her grandchildren. She wore the “To Haiti With Love” T-shirt that the fashion industry is using as a vehicle to raise money for earthquake relief efforts.

school girl styles also popular in the fourth day of fall runway previews. DIANE VON FURSTENBERG Diane von Furstenberg confessed to the crowd she has a more masculine side. “I always wanted to live a man’s life in a woman’s body,” she wrote in her notes left on the seats of editors, stylists and retailers at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Bryant Park. She went on to explain that her theme of metamorphosis aimed to capture the yin and yang of strength and sex appeal. Menswear jackets were worn over flowery dresses; chainmail decorated soft knits. A rose-printed velvet blazer over a stone-colored, soft-crepe dress captured von Furstenberg’s message in a single outfit, as did a chiffon, rosette-covered bolero worn over a gray felted wool blazer. Some big-gun models come out for von Furstenberg’s show, including Chanel Iman, Coco Rocha and Natalia Vodianova. And was that a smile on most of the catwalkers’ faces?

Diane von Furstenberg

coats, including a camel cashmere sheath with white, asymmetrical insets, and a fur-and-crocodile layered jacket. Still, Gurung is hardly a household name. The one person with the power to change that-even more than a a movie star like Saldana or a power player like Zoe-would be first lady Michelle Obama, who has a reputation of championing new designer names. She might want to consider the iridescent blackand-white tweed dress.

BETSEY JOHNSON Betsey Johnson took a tour through the Wild West, showing off a newly model-slim Kelly Osbourne as her head bandito. Some of the looks-inspired by saloon girls, vagabonds, gamblers and other ne’er-do-wells-will be available immediately in Betsey Johnson stores, a nod to the reality of fast fashion. Osbourne emerged as the first model of the evening with a bandanna mask, playfully wielding toy pistols before revealing her face. She later emerged in a handlebar mustache. Johnson had luck with some of her looks inspired by bank clerks, gamblers and robbers-perhaps tapping into the

Prabal Gurung

included trenches in her fall collection, shown to a handful of reporters in a flower-filled uptown townhouse. DKNY showed boyfriend jackets and Rag & Bone had a collection rooted in tailored suits. Oddly enough, the look melded seamlessly with

Kelly Osbourne

Donna Karan’s DKNY fall 2010 collection

ashionable women would do well to raid their boyfriends’ closets come fall, judging from the looks shown Sunday at New York Fashion Week. Menswear influences were everywhere during the week of previews, from the trendsetting runway of Alexander Wang to the typically ultra-feminine Victoria Beckham, who


Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Beckhamʼs classy & polish dresses


Custo Barcelona offers adventurous ‘hairy metal’ usto Barcelona has gone hairy. The loud, colorful Spanish label showed a collection Sunday inspired by “hairy metal.” It was a mishmash of shaggy fur and patterns delivered in extremes: ultra-short minis, leather hotpants, extra-shaggy fur and cropped jackets with knuckle-grazing sleeves. The brand, which landed in the fashion world with its graphic T-shirt interpretations of California surfer-wear, has wandered far from its roots. Save for the brightly patterned leggings, everything else for this autumn was mired in just how many ways shaggy fur can be woven into an outfit. The result was a line that seemed to reference the movie “Where the Wild Things Are,” but only if Max had dreamed in swirls and metallic. If Custo were ever difficult for the average person to wear, the fall 2010 collection could be a challenge for even the most adventurous. Designer Custo Dalmau sent down the runway fuschia and teal mini dresses adorned with a basketweaved sparkly strips, psychedelic prints and waves of shaggy fur that wormed across the body. A jacket with roots in the parka came out half fur coat on top. For men, he offered look-at-me variations on the two-piece suit in graphic prints, jacquard and shiny white pleather. And for the man who’s looking for a fur jacket: There’s a gray shaggy offering with your name on it. —AP


Models display designs by Victoria Beckham is modeled at a fashion show during Fashion Week in New York, Sunday. — AP photos rom the personal greeting she gave to her two dozen guests to the thoughtful answers to questions about her designs, Victoria Beckham staged an intimate preview that was all class and polish. The series of 26 dresses maintained her signature sleek, slim shape while adding new elements such as draping and textured fabrics. One of the gowns-a tan silk jersey with a touch of embroidery on one shoulder-is a contender for Beckham to wear to the upcoming Oscars. Her favorite dress, though, was a strapless minidress in a beige print that was hand-tucked to mimic the airiness of a cloud. “I wanted to push myself and work with structure and drapery,” Beckham said. She wore dress No 12, a gray wool tunic that, she said, “you can just throw on.” For inspiration, she studied the style of 1940s-era comic-strip detective characters and Hollywood femmes fatales. You could see the Dick Tracyinfluence in the trench-style pieces, and in the newsprint smudges in the blurred pixel print on the finale asymmetric column gown.-AP


The Custo Barcelona fall 2010 collection is modeled Sunday, during Fashion Week in New York. —AP

Malandrino, Yamamoto display prowess at fashion show ome fashion designers face financial difficulties, other are going through an expansion, but Catherine Malandrino and Yohji Yamamoto showed this Sunday that fashion, above all, will always be a product of technical prowess. During the fourth day of New York’s Fashion Week dedicated to fall-winter clothes that is moving forward at a frenetic pace, journalists, photographers and cameramen were shuttled between various venues in Bryant Park, Chelsea Museum and Park Avenue by bus. French designer Catherine Malandrino, who has been living in New York for about a decade, chose a traditional catwalk display to the rhythm of disco music. This way of presenting designs is more economical and allows access to a greater number of viewers. The clothes were also displayed on about 40 stationary models placed on pedestals, which allowed photographers and fashion editors to examine the designs up-close as they took notes. A Malandrino collection named “Khan” was inspired by Central Asian steppes-with added sophistication.

niques without forgetting any of the collection’s esthetic impact. The models displayed rusted red and gray, leather jackets, mini plaid skirts as well as a wide range of necklaces, bracelets and other accessories inspired by Central Asian motifs. The stationary models on


Fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto reacts to applause following the presentation of his Y-3 fall 2010, Sunday during Fashion Week in New York. — AP

The French designer has a passion for leather, fishnets, crochets and plaid fabrics, using high mastery in all her tech-

pedestals, who were served water from time to time, showed impeccably flowing dark blue dresses made of satin, crochet and other fabrics and appliques. As in other fashion displays, furs were also present. But they were never long, trimming jackets or bolero capes. Malandrino, whose designs have

already conquered Russia, is now preparing to move into China with dozens of boutique-style stores. She also has a line of shoes that remind of equestrian boots with a feminine touch provided by high heels. On the other side of town, Yohji Yamamoto presented his collection labeled J3, which belongs to athletic apparel maker Adidas, with which the designer has been cooperating for several seasons. The 66-year-old Japanese, whose company was placed under bankruptcy protection last fall, remained true to his style. Once again, he showed that he was a master of styling asymmetries and minimalist elegance. With a laser display on the background, a succession of male and female models displayed untraditionally structured coats with superimposed pieces of fabric, samurai-fashioned pant skirts, capes with sleeves and without them, with hoods or without them and other modern urban designs. In the afternoon, designer Diane von Furstenberg presented her “yin and yang” collection dedicated to those who live the life of man trapped in a woman’s body. —AFP

Rebecca Taylor tempers girly frocks with menswear ebecca Taylor’s vision for fall 2010 means a healthy dose of masculinity. The New Zealand native, whose feminine frocks and silky blouses have become a staple during New York Fashion Week, delivered a collection Sunday that tempered her girly look with touches of menswear. The clothes, in navy, gray, olive and black, combined tweed with silk, mohair with chiffon, and feathery fringe with wool. Cozy brown cable sweaters, reminiscent of those worn by grandfathers of another era, were remained in shorter lengths with braided collar trims and backward V-necks. The masculine feel was emphasized by oversized tuxedo blouses and skinny wool trousers that were paired with faux-fur jackets in animal prints. An oatmeal sweater,


covered with layers of knit ruffles, was shown with a silk blouse that the designer called “granddad.” And more than a few models, their bombshell cat eyes emphasized by heavy liner, contrasted the look with black wool bowler hats and structured handbags in faded colors of nubuck. Despite the homage to masculinity, Taylor didn’t lose sight of her feminine side. Tiered dresses in purple graphic prints were edged with sparkly sequinned hems, peering from under tweed blazers as if Taylor were offering a hint of afterhours fun. And it seemed to deeply satisf y front-row admirers Carmen Electra, Kristen Bell, Michelle Trachtenberg, Mena Suvari and Sophia Bush, who applauded enthusiastically as Taylor took her finale bow. —AP

From left, actresses Shenae Grimes, Kristen Bell, and Michelle Trachtenberg attend the Rebecca Taylor Fall 2010 collection on Sunday, in New York. —AP



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Music & Movies

Prison thriller ‘Celda 211’ sweeps Spain’s Goya film awards panish director Daniel Monzon’s “Celda 211” (Cell 211), a thriller set in a prison during a mutiny, dominated Spanish cinema’s Goya awards late Sunday in Madrid. The movie, a big favorite with 16 nominations, won eight Goyas including those for best film, best director for Monzon, best actor for Luis Tosar, best supporting actress for Marta Etura, best male newcomer for


Argentina’s Alberto Amman, and best adaptation. Another much-hyped film, Alejandro Amenabar’s “Agora”, swept seven mostly technical prizes after being in the running for best film and best director categories. Monzon also beat Fernando Trueba (“El baile de la Victoria”) and Argentina’s Juan Jose Campanella (“El secreto de sus ojos”) to be named top director. “Celda

Main awards: * Best film: “Celda 211” by Daniel Monzon * Best director: Daniel Monzon for “Celda 211” * Best actor: Luis Tosar in “Celda 211” * Best actress: Lola Duenas in “Yo, tambien” * Best supporting actor: Raul Arevalo in “Gordos” * Best supporting actress: Marta Etura in “Celda 211” * Best male newcomer: Alberto Amman in “Celda 211” * Best female newcomer: Soledad Villamil in “El secreto de sus ojos” * Best original screenplay: Alejandro Amenabar and Mateo Gil for “Agora” * Best adaptation: Daniel Monzon and Gorge Gerricaechevarria for “Celda 211” * Best director for a first film: Mar Coll for “Tres dias con la familia” —AFP

Spanish model Maria Reyes and her dog pose on arrival at the Goya 2010 film awards.

Luis Tosar celebrates after receiving the award for best actor in the film ‘CELDA 211’.

Spanish actress Penelope Cruz gives the award for best supporting actor to Raul Arevalo.

in “Los Abrazos rotos” directed by Pedro Almodovar. Argentine actress and singer Soledad Villamil won the Goya for best female newcomer for her role in “El secreto de sus ojos” which won the Goya for best Hispano-American film. It has been given a best foreign film Oscar nomination. “Slumdog Millionaire” by Britain’s Danny Boyle was chosen as best European film. —AP

Alberto Amman receives the award for best revelation actor.

Lola Duenas receives the award for best actress.

Marta Etura smiles as she receives the award for best supporting actress.

Alejandro Amenabar receives the award for best script.

Daniel Monzon receives the award for best director. —AFP photos

211” is based on the eponymous novel by Francisco Perez Gandul. It recounts the first day of a prison guard played by Alberto Amman who, confronted with a mutiny led by Luis Tosar, pretends to be a detainee. The film is one of the biggest successes of Spanish cinema. The Goya for best actress went to Spain’s Lola Duenas for her role in “Yo Tambien”. She beat star Penelope Cruz

Champion runner turned bank robber hits Berlin fest A

nary speed on foot until he could hop into his getaway car. All the while, he maintained a grueling training schedule, constantly recording his performance and pulse to achieve new levels of stamina. At one point, he was named “Austria’s fastest man” for his racing time. The final manhunt to capture him sparked the biggest police operation in Austrian post-war history. The German-Austrian production is the first feature in five years by director Benjamin Heisenberg, 35, who scored an art-house hit in 2005 with the thriller set in the world of science, “Sleeper”. Heisenberg, who is the grandson of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Werner

The Knack lead singer Doug Fieger dies he Knack lead singer Doug Fieger, who cowrote the 1979 hit “My Sharona,” has died at age 57, the band said on its website on Sunday. Fieger was living in Woodland Hills, California, and was


being treated for cancer, The Detroit News reported. “Our hearts are broken, we will miss you Doug,” band members said on The band built a large and influential following in the Los Angeles club scene of the late 1970s and recorded its debut album, “Get The Knack,”

which included “My Sharona,” in 11 days for $17,000. Capitol Records pulled out all the stops promoting the album and Rolling Stone magazine referred to the band as “the new fab four,” a reference to the Beatles. Billboard named “My Sharona” the No. 1 single of 1979. The song has been covered by numerous artists and returned to music charts in 1994 after it was included on the soundtrack for the hit movie “Reality Bites.” Fieger co-wrote “My Sharona” with bandmate Berton Averre after being initially rebuffed by a teenage girl of the same name in 1978. Fieger told People magazine in 1995 he had hoped she would be flattered by such lines as “I always get it up for the touch of the younger kind.” She eventually dumped her boyfriend, joined Fieger on tour, graduated from high school and became a rock-star girlfriend for three years. The woman, Sharona Alperin, has been selling real estate to entertainment industry clients in Los Angeles for over 20 years. —Reuters

actor playing a marathon runner but rather become a runner,” he said. He said running cleared his mind which helped him get inside his enigmatic

Heisenberg, best known for his uncertainty principle, said he was attracted to the “spectacular” material but primarily to its mysterious protagonist. “I don’t really understand this character’s psychology,” he told reporters after a warmly received press preview. “We have a phenomenon of a man who is so full of energy and this energy drives him. It seems the journey is the goal. But this is also about a person who has two sides to him which he carries with him as if in a cocoon.” Andreas Lust, who played Rettenberger, said he had adopted a grueling training schedule to prepare for the role. “I didn’t want to look like an

Pope takes on reality TV stars for music award ope Benedict XVI was nominated yesterday for a top British classical music award and will fight for the prize against reality television stars. The pontiff was shortlisted for the Classical Brit Awards album of the year for his singing on the album “Alma Mater-Music From the Vatican”. There are 10 contenders vying for the prize, including two from British reality television shows: Britain’s Got Talent star Faryl Smith and the XFactor’s Rhydian Roberts. Also up against the German-born pontiff are three Catholic clerics in a group called The Priests, with their second release “Harmony”. The winner of the album of the year, who is voted for by the public, will be announced in London on May 13. Last year the prize was won by the bagpipe music of Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. —AFP


(From left) Austrian actor Andreas Lust, Austrian actress Franziska Weisz and German film director Benjamin Heisenberg. —AFP character. “I wanted to understand this energy and power in a psychological and philosophical way. I didn’t want to start digging around in his troubled

childhood,” Lust said. The story was adapted into the novel “On the Run” by Martin Prinz, which served as the basis for the screenplay. The film is less a heist movie than an existential examination of one man’s obsessive drive to test his limits, and a doomed love story. “The Robber” is the eighth of 20 pictures competing in Berlin. Critics have given the highest marks so far to a new political thriller by Roman Polanski, “The Ghost Writer”, and the dark Romanian drama by Florin Serban, “If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle”. The prizes will be handed out Saturday before the festival wraps up the next day. —AFP

Simon seeking videos for ‘You’re So Vain’ C

arly Simon is giving fans and filmmakers an opportunity to have some fun with one of the biggest mysteries in pop music: Who is the narcissistic target of her 1972 charttopping tune “You’re So Vain”? The pop singer/songwriter has launched a competition seeking the first official video to accompany the song- either the original or the acoustic version released last year. Perhaps one of its widely rumored objects, Warren Beatty, will put his Oscar-winning talents to work. “People ask

Haiti earthquake charity single tops UK charts

movie telling the remarkable true story of a champion marathon runner turned serial bank robber joined the race for the Golden Bear top prize at the 60th Berlin Film Festival yesterday. “The Robber” is based on the short life of Johann Rettenberger, better known as Pump Gun Ronnie, who during his rash of heists in the 1980s was the most wanted man in Austria. He won his moniker for his weapon of choice and the Ronald Reagan mask he wore to disguise himself during the hold-ups. An adrenaline addict, Rettenberger was known to hit two or three banks in a day, eluding police with extraordi-

Carly Simon

charity single recorded to aid Haiti earthquake victims has gone straight to No 1 in the British singles charts, selling more than 450,000 copies in its first


week, the Official Charts Company said on Sunday. “Everybody Hurts,” organized by TV talent show judge Simon Cowell, notched up the biggest first-week sales of

me all the time why is there no video of this song,” Simon said in a video announcing the competition. “I think it’s that people were so busy asking me who the song was about that nobody thought to make a video of it.” Simon has never publicly revealed the identity of her inspiration. The usual suspects include first husband James Taylor or one of her many exboyfriends, such as Beatty or Mick Jagger or Cat Stevens or Kris Kristofferson. The song revolves around a self-assured

any charity single released this century, the company said. “The public have clearly taken the plight of the Haitian people to heart-this record is huge,” Martin Talbot, managing director, Official Charts Company, said in a statement. Performing on the re-recording of the REM track were Cheryl Cole, Kylie Minogue, Leona Lewis, Robbie Williams, Rod Stewart, Susan Boyle and Take That. Making way at the top of the chart was Owl City, an American synth-pop musical project by Adam Young, whose record “Fireflies” dropped to No 2. American Grammy award-winning rapper Timbaland, whose real name is Timothy Zachery Mosley, remained at No.3 with “If We Ever Meet Again.” There was no change in the album chart’s top three, with Alicia Keys and “The Element of Freedom” at No 1, Dutch violinist Andre Rieu at No 2 with “Forever Vienna” and Paolo Nutini on the third r ung with “Sunny Side Up.” —Reuters

man who makes girls quiver when he walks in to a party like he was “walking onto a yacht.” He is so vain, Simon sings in the chorus, “I’ll bet you think this song is about you.” Simon told entrants to draw on “all sorts of magic in the air” for their submissions, and offered a few video pointers such as a yacht, a Learjet and a horse race-all mentioned in the song. Further details can be found at her website, ( The contest deadline

is April 15. Simon will screen and judge all the entries herself. The winning video will be screened at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival in April, and Simon will present the director with a prize from her “personal archives.” It will also be featured on promotional partner AOL Music’s The new version of “You’re So Vain” was released last year on Simon’s album “Never Been Gone,” which largely featured rerecorded versions of her best-known tunes. —Reuters

R&B UK singer Estelle performs during a concert after a medal ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics at Whistler Medal Plaza venue in Whistler. —AFP


Tuesday, February 16, 2010



Centrepoint hosts ‘Art Olympiad’ Themes for the Olympiad include contemporary art concerning Haiti

KUWAIT: Centrepoint the popular shopping destination of Kuwait is all set to host the Art Olympiad 2010 for the third consecutive year on February 17th from 8am -2pm at JW Marriott. Judging the Olympiad this year will be famous Kuwaiti artists Mr Asaad Bunashi and Ms Maha Al Mansour along with the newly elected board members of the International Advertising Association (IAA) Marwan Farah and Adnan Saad. This initiative which has been a part of Centrepoint’s ongoing corporate social responsibility program intends to provide a grooming platform to the future citizens of the world by helping them to improvise their flair and encourage their innovative ability through art. As always Centrepoint is keen on maintaining an excellent rapport and creating awareness about relevant issues among the youth with constant activities and events and paves a platform for 150 students from 15 schools of repute across Kuwait. Mr Saibal Basu, Chief Operating Officer of Centrepoint Kuwait said, “As always we are committed to the Kuwaiti society and are happy with the enthusiastic feedback we get from students every year. I would like to thank Mr Assad Bunashi & Ms Maha Al Mansour for being on the judging panel for committing again this year as a judge and am also happy with the fact that we will have Mr Adnan Saad and Mr Marwan Farah from the IAA on board to co judge the competition” “By conducting the Art Olympiad on an annual basis, we hope to raise the spirits of the students and encourage them to express

their views strongly and in an innovative manner about anything and everything that concerns their world. This year we have included an additional theme in response to the recent calamity that took place in Haiti.” The participating schools for this year’s Olympiad are: Gulf English School, Kuwait English School, Fahaheel Al Watanieh Indian Private School, Indian English Academy School, Kuwait American School, Canadian School of Kuwait, British School of Kuwait, Dasman Model School, Al Bayan Bilingual School, Kuwait International English School, The Oxford Academy, Indian Educational School, The English School, The English School Fahaheel and Carmel School Kuwait. Students will be judged on themes including Life under water, Let’s Celebrate, Aliens, Transportation of the future, my neighborhood, a portrait of your choice, Kuwait in the future, Space adventure, Nature at its best, a musical concert and People of Haiti which has been included as a part of current world issues. The participants will be judged on the basis of Creativity, Workmanship, Overall impression and Relevance to the Theme. A total of 6 winners will be selected at the end of the competition. Each one of the 6 winners will be awarded with exciting grand prizes and many other valuable gifts. They will also receive certificates and trophies in recognition of their participation, and their schools will be given a plaque of appreciation. This event is co-sponsored by Sunrise International & Lucky Printing Press.

Revelers celebrate ‘Clean Monday’ as they participate in a ‘flour war’, a traditional festivity marking the end of the carnival season and the start of a 40-day lent until the Orthodox Easter, in the port town of Galaxidi, yesterday. —AP

UNESCO: Save, don’t bulldoze, Haiti’s heritage aiti’s historical heritage risks being bulldozed in the push to rebuild towns and cities flattened by last month’s earthquake, a leading cultural official warned yesterday. “There is a temptation to demolish everything. When the bulldozers come, it’s fatal,” Daniel Elie, director of Haiti’s governmental Institute for the Preservation of National Heritage, told The Associated Press at the Paris headquarters of the UN cultural agency. Keeping survivors alive and building solid shelter for the 1.2 million made homeless by the Jan. 12 quake are the most immediate priorities. But UN officials say preserving the country’s churches, artwork and mementos from its slave revolt will be crucial for Haitians’ long-term emotional recovery. Cathedrals and other buildings dating to the 17th century were among those damaged, some reduced to their foundations or a lone crum-


bling wall. In that state, Elie said, their cultural value isn’t obvious to demolition teams sent to raze neighborhoods, he said. His agency is compiling lists of buildings that should be protected to send around to other government agencies. Despite the country’s current administrative disarray, “We must make everyone, everywhere sensitive to this,” he said. Elie is joining Haiti’s culture and communications minister, Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue, and UNESCO officials for talks this week to determine the most urgent needs for restoring damaged historical and cultural sites. Irina Bokova, director of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, said the agency has contacted “quite a few donors who have expressed their availability to finance” restoration projects. She would not name them but said it could involve European governments or private donors.

This undated photo provided yesterday by the French Culture Ministry shows French military rescue workers standing by the painting ‘Serment des ancetres’ (Oath of the Ancestors), by Guillaume Guillon Lethiere, at the presidential palace in Port au Prince, Haiti. —AP Elie said “the priority of priorities” is restoring the historical center of Jacmel, a

17th- century coastal town once home to wealthy coffee merchants, with a turquoise

bay and a serene reputation that attracted tourists and expatriates. About three-quar-

ters of the homes in Jacmel’s downtown were damaged. “The historical center is the basis of tourism development” as the country tries to recover some semblance of a tourism sector, he said. Haiti wants UNESCO to make Jacmel a World Heritage site. L assegue argued that Haitians and their international backers must respect history and culture as they rebuild the nation. “Heritage is so closely linked to national identity,” she said. UNESCO is also pushing for a ban on international trade in Haitian cultural treasures to prevent pillaging of the nation’s museums in the aftermath of the quake, and international security forces to protect cultural sites. In one example of global efforts to protect Haitian artworks, French restoration experts will repair an 1822 painting found in the rubble of the Caribbean country’s presidential palace. French firefighters discovered the damaged, ripped painting. —AP

Beam her up: Scottie is the hot dog at Westminster he is a hot dog, this little Sadie. Tongue out and wagging tail up, the perky, 4-year-old Scottish terrier has won more than 100 best in show ribbons and is the overwhelming favorite to complete dogdom’s Triple Crown this week at Westminster. She’s already charmed the judge, in fact. What in the show world could go wrong for America’s top dog at America’s top pooch pageant? Well, plenty. Two years ago, she got spooked at Madison Square Garden. Her handler’s new shoes were too squeaky, the wooden boards covering the ice hockey rink thumped too loudly. There was a stray TV monitor that threw her, too. Then last February, she had a potty accident on the green carpet while coming out to take her place in the final ring. Come Tuesday night, it could be Sadie’s turn. Or not. Because inside those purple and gold ropes, the show world revolves around one guiding principle. Dog on the day. “That’s what we always say,” said David Frei, longtime host of the Westminster telecast on the USA Network and CNBC. “It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past. It’s what you do inside that ring on any given day.” So maybe there’s room for another contender, perhaps a prize Doberman pinscher, a familiar puli or a sweet golden retriever. Dogs from 173 breeds and varieties begin competing Monday morn-

Rosa Rein


Switzerland’s oldest person dies at 112 he oldest person in Switzerland, Rosa Rein, died on Sunday aged 112 having lived in three centuries and survived the Nazi occupation, the Swiss news agency ATS reported. The nursing home where she was living, in the southern town of Lugano, said that Rein had fallen asleep in the afternoon and not woken up, the agency reported.


Rein, who was Jewish, was born on March 24, 1897 and was one of the few women of her time to study at university. Her mother died in a concentration camp and in 1938 she fled the Nazis with her husband, living in Brazil for 20 years before moving to Italy and then back to Switzerland. Twice married and twice widowed, she had no children. —AFP

Worldʼs top fashion prize increased to 220,000 euros he coveted Andam fashion prize for emerging talent yesterday announced a more than 25-percent increase in its endowment, to 220,000 euros (307,000 dollars). The Paris-based prize, founded in 1989 and backed by the French state, is one of the world’s oldest institutions promoting new stylists. They may be of any nationality but must


work in France or plan to develop operations there. Heading the jury this year is Vogue Paris editor in chief Carine Roitfeld, with the awards set for Paris Fashion Week in October, and details on Last year’s winner was London’s Giles Deacon, the second consecutive British designer to scoop the prize after Gareth Pugh. —AFP

(Above) Former winners of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, from left, Rufus, a Colored Bull Terrier, JR, a Bichon Frise, Uno, a beagle, and Stump a Sussex Spaniel, pose for photographs before a fundraiser for Angel on a Leash, a therapy dog organization. —AP photos

Pugs Jeremy and JellyBean wait backstage during the first day of the 134th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

ing, with three newcomers to Westminster: the Irish red and white setter, the Norwegian buhund and the Pyrenean shepherd. There are a full 2,500 entries-up from last year, when a slow economy took a bite out of the show-including a 12-year-old shiba inu and 10-month-old miniature bull terrier. Australian shepherds are the most popular with 44 while there were just two kuvaszok. The hound, toy and non sporting groups were judged yesterday. The spor ting, working and ter rier groups go tomorrow. Then shortly before 11 pm, judge Elliott Weiss will make his pick for best in show. Chances are, Weiss will see Sadie among the final seven-oddsmaker John Avello playfully lists her as the easy 8-to-1 favorite at the Wynn Las Vegas casino. Weiss chose Sadie as best in show at an event in North Carolina in September. It’s common for top judges to see the best dogs at competitions around the country during the year.Plenty of judges have picked the coal-black Sadie, whose registered name is Roundtown Mercedes of Maryscot. She won the prestigious National Dog Show in November and the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in December. “Incredible,” praised Clint Livingston, handler of a golden retriever called Treasure who is the country’s No 4ranked show dog. —AP

Tears, tentative steps for preteen samba queen ulia Lira, Rio’s 7-year-old Carnival drum corps queen, didn’t like one bit of the cameras that homed in on her as she led a lavish samba parade, and reacted as any child might-by having a good cry. But the sprite of a samba dancer did her best to brush away the tears, and after a few minutes of holding her mom’s hand and resting in the arms of a doting official from her Viradouro samba group, she returned in front of the crowd to dance early yesterday. The samba parades-which pit 12 top-tier groups against one another in a competition that is closely watched by millions throughout the countrybegan Sunday evening and didn’t stop until the sun rose yesterday after six groups paraded. Yesterday evening, the final six will go before the cheering crowds of 80,000 in a specially designed stadium. Dressed in a sequined halter top and a miniskirt made of purple feathers, young Julia tentatively stepped through the first 50 yards (meters) of the parade.


and began to samba at the helm of the parade, television coverage steered clear of showing any more shots of her. Some in the audience thought she was not ready for the spotlight. “She is too young to be a drum corps queen,” said Marister Deniz, 60, who was watching from the stands. “A girl that size shouldn’t be thrust in such a role.” But Jorge Elias Souza, a member of the Viradouro drum corps, said he was proud of the girl regardless. “She is the embodiment of all the love in our school. Normally a famous person is the drum corps queen, but her father is our president and she is the center of our family,” he said. Putting Julia in the Carnival role drew the ire of child welfare advocates who were against a young girl taking on a role normally reserved for sultry models and actresses. Carlos Nicodemos, director of the Rio de Janeiro state Council for the Defense of Children and Adolescents, two weeks ago asked a judge to keep Julia from

Brazil carnival

Madonna, left, her daughter Lourdes Maria and Jesus Luz attend the carnival parade at the Sambadrome, in Rio de Janeiro, Sunday. —AP

Seven-year-old samba queen Julia Lira, member of the Viradouro samba school, performs ahead of the musicians. —AFP Her father-the president of Viradouro-then took her by the hand and presented her to the crowd. She smiled big for the photographers and adoring fans. But 10 minutes into the group’s presentation and surrounded by dozens of photographers and television cameramen, the youngster broke down in tears and was immediately scooped into the arms of her unofficial handler, the group’s spokeswoman Joice Hurtado, and taken away from the attention. After a five-minute cooldown, Julia returned to her place in front of the group’s massive drum line, but was quickly whisked through the parade grounds by her father and out of the media’s eye. “She just got scared after having all those cameras thrust in her face,” Hurtado said after the parade. “After we got her into her mother’s arms, she quickly calmed down and put on a great show.” While Julia bounced back

dancing, arguing that “what we can’t allow is putting a 7-yearold girl in a role that traditionally for Carnival has a very sexual focus.” A judge ruled last week that the girl could join the parade, and the overwhelming response in Brazil was a shrug and acceptance. Before Julia took to the parade ground, Rio’s reigning Carnival Queen Shayene Cesario Vieira, 24, said she thought “it’s cool” that the girl would participate. “I don’t remember hearing of a drum corps queen being so young,” she said. “But her dad is the president of the group and if he thinks it’s OK, it’s OK.” In the two weeks leading up to the Carnival parade, Marco Lira said repeatedly that he and his wife would be with Julia at all times-which they were-and they would carefully watch to make sure she doesn’t get too tired during the parade. Viradouro has a history of controversial themes.—AP

Giant Obamas, ʻThrillerʼ bankers at German carnival uge effigies of US President Barack Obama and bankers made up as zombies from Michael Jackson’s famous “Thriller” video starred in Germany’s biggest carnival procession here yesterday. More than a million people braved the snow to line the route of the sevenkilometer (four-mile) parade, where revelers traditionally poke fun at current events and enjoy tones of sweets hurled from the travelling floats.


Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s alleged night with a call girl was rewarded with a huge figure showing a beaming premier surrounded by breasts. Obama’s controversial Nobel Prize was also the butt of the joke on one stand, which featured a huge Uncle Sam receiving the prize while the Statue of Liberty applied her torch to the effigy’s behind. The economic crisis was never far from the action, with several floats depicting Greece’s debt woes and

A carnival float featuring upside down US President Barack Obama as ‘The liberator’. —AFP

the crisis afflicting the German automotive industry, with Opel portrayed as a martyr. One float showed effigies of bankers dolled up as Michael Jackson’s famous zombies from the hit video “Thriller”, as the banking world rises slowly again from the dead. The German carnival season kicked off November 11 and culminates this week with the observance of Ash Wednesday.

(Left) Effigies of US President Barack Obama and Chinese Prime Minister Hu Jintao are seen sitting together in a bed on a float. (Left below) Dressed up revelers celebrate during the carnival “Rose Monday” parade. For the first time, much to the annoyance of local brewers, authorities have banned the sale of bottled beer during the carnival, following a string of injuries from flying glass when the revelry got out of hand. “In recent years, we have seen more and more injuries from shards of glass, either due to accidents or fights,” a spokesman for the town hall told AFP. —AFP

A carnival float featuring German Foreign Minister and vice-chancellor Guido Westerwelle and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

A carnival float with bad bankers

16 Feb