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Farmers refuse to move to new vegetable market

THULHIJA 30, 1431 AH

Russia spy uncovered in British parliament


NO: 14930

Joyous Serbs win first Davis Cup title

Iran, Yemen top agenda as US Gates visits Oman


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Kuwait crowned Gulf champions Amir congratulates Kuwaitis; Khorafi donates $500,000 to Kuwait team

ADEN: Kuwaiti players carry their trophy as they celebrate after winning the 20th Gulf Cup final football match against Saudi Arabia in the southern Yemeni city of Aden yesterday. (Right) Kuwaitis celebrate along the Gulf road yesterday. — AFP / Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat & Fouad Al-Shaikh ADEN: Kuwait clinched a timely morale boost ahead of January’s Asian Cup with a 1-0 victory over Saudi Arabia in the Gulf Cup final yesterday. The two-week tournament, which started on November 22, featured Yemen, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE, Oman and Qatar. Ali guided Kuwait to the football 20th Gulf Cup of Nations in Yemen, scoring his side’s 1-0 winner in a final against Saudi Arabia on extra time, after a goalless 0-0 draw in original time. Meanwhile, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has sent a cable of congratulations to Sheikh Talal Al-Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, expressing his delight at

Iran looms large as Gulf nations meet CAIRO: The leaders of six USallied Gulf Arab nations come together today for talks expected to span from Qatar’s surprise selection to host the 2022 World Cup to the region’s deep concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. The two-day meeting in Abu Dhabi will be the first gathering of Gulf leaders since US diplomatic memos released by WikiLeaks revealed the urgency of their fears about Iran’s nuclear ambitions - including appeals by some Gulf rulers for the US

to launch a military strike. The leaked memos give a sense of drama that is normally absent from the annual summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council, or GCC, a six-nation bloc that typically focuses on economic issues and prefers behind-the-scenes dealings to address disputes in their own backyard. But the group, dominated by powerful Saudi Arabia, may now feel pressure to publicly clarify its views on Iran. Continued on Page 14

Kuwait win 10th Gulf Cup title Kuwait’s winning of the Gulf Cup title. The Amir congratulated President of the Kuwait Football Association Sheikh Talal along with the Kuwait national football team players, backroom staff and officials. He praised the high-level performance of the team and the spirit of cooperation they exhibited, along with the huge efforts of the team officials and staff.

He also hailed Kuwaiti supporters who stood by their team, which he said was a key factor leading to the achievement. HH also praised the high spirit of other participating teams and the sense of sportsmanship they portrayed throughout the competition, along with the successful hosting of the tournament by Yemen. His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-

Mislem puts govt, oppn MPs on collision course Crucial session today; Assault on Juwaihel condemned By B Izzak KUWAIT: The National Assembly is scheduled to hold a crucial special session today to discuss the issue of a request to lift the immunity of MP Faisal Al-Mislem which has put the government and opposition MPs on a collision course. The government has

not said whether it will attend the session and a decision was expected late night during the weekly meeting of the cabinet which could go on until after midnight. Assembly speaker Jassem AlKhorafi told reporters that he has informed the government of the session today while the government has not

informed him it was boycotting. Opposition MPs have warned the government that boycotting the session would amount to a major political showdown that is likely to include grilling the prime minister. Side by side, the physical assault on former National Assembly candidate Continued on Page 14

ILO: Protect migrant workers By Ben Garcia and Agencies KUWAIT: The International Labor Organization (ILO) yesterday urged energy-rich Gulf countries to protect millions of migrant workers by reforming the sponsor system and introducing a minimum wage. ILO also called for allowing foreign workers to form representative organizations through which workers can seek redress for violation of their rights. The recommendations were issued at the end of a one-day symposium at which two survey studies on migrant workers in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates were released. “It is

Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah both sent similar cables. Also, Kuwait businessman, Nasser Al-Khorafi donated $500,000 to the Kuwait team after their triumph yesterday. Kuwait remains the most Gulf nation to have won the illustrious regional tournament, earning their 10th title, after an absence of 12 years, with their fierce rival Saudi Arabia, and Iraq winning it three times apiece. Ali scored his side’s goal in the fourth minute of the first half of extra-time, sending Aden Continued on Page 14

important that an introduction of a fair minimum wage be considered,” in line with international labor principles, said the ILO, suggesting a monthly KD60 for Kuwait. Cancelling the ‘kafeel’ system (sponsorship) will drastically improve the situation of migrant workers in Kuwait, and GCC countries in general, but will not guarantee workers’ complete protection, remarked an ILO representative. Speaking with the Kuwait Times on the sidelines of a one-day seminar organized by the Kuwait Economic Society yesterday, Dr Azfar Khan noted that certain mechanism should be put in place to guarantee the

full protection of workers. Kuwait has promised to abolish the ‘kafeel’ system in February next year. However, domestic helpers will not be covered by the cancellation of Kafala. The kafeel system operates by making foreign workers use a local sponsor. Kuwait authorities have said they were scrapping this system as a gift to foreign workers on the 50th anniversary of Kuwait’s liberation. Bahrain was the first GCC country to abolish sponsorship system in 2009. “We have to go beyond cancelling the kafeel system. A mechanism should be put in place and designed for the protection of workers. I did not say

that it will not help. As a matter of fact, the kafeel system is a big obstacle in providing proper protection to workers. If you eliminate that, you can protect the workers but again, certain mechanism should be designed for the real protection of workers; the question here is implementation,” he noted. In his presentation during the seminar, co-organized by the University of Sharjah (UAE), Dr Khan elaborated and discussed a survey conducted by ILO about temporary expatriate workers in both Kuwait and the UAE. In 2010, there are estimated 15 million Continued on Page 14

KUWAIT: Mohammad Al-Juwaihel seen at the Amiri Hospital after Saturday’s attack. — Photo by Fouad Al-Shaikh

Defiant Iran declares nuke ‘self-sufficiency’ Tehran produces first uranium yellowcake TEHRAN: Iran announced what it called a major step forward in its nuclear program yesterday, showing determination to pursue it - a day before talks with world powers which fear Tehran may be seeking atom bombs. Nuclear energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi said Iran would use domestically produced uranium concentrates,

known as yellowcake, for the first time at a key nuclear facility, cutting its reliance on imports of the key ingredient for nuclear fuel. “This means that Iran has become selfsufficient in the entire fuel cycle,” Salehi said. Western analysts say Iran sometimes exaggerates its nuclear advances to gain leverage in its stand-off with

the West. The announcement appeared timed to show Iran will not back down in a longrunning row over its nuclear program ahead of the Dec 6-7 meeting in Geneva where six powers are seeking assurances its atomic ambitions are peaceful. Salehi told a televised news conference that the announcement meant Continued on Page 14



Monday, December 6, 2010

Al-Juwaihel attack highlights heated constitution rally ‘Immunity’ remains hot issue KUWAIT: MPs participating in a rally to protest the request to lift the immunity of a fellow parliament member vowed to escala te the subject to the highest possible levels, reported Al-Qa ba s. Ga thered at vetera n oppositionist MP Ahma d Al-Saadoun’s diw aniya Sa turday night were 22 MPs w ho agreed to go as fa r as filing interpella tions aga inst His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Na sser Al-Moha mma d Al-Sa ba h as w ell as va rious ministers, if the Cabinet fails to attend an emergency parliamenta ry session scheduled today. During the meeting, many MPs are expected to a ttempt to stop the removal of MP Dr Faisal AlMislem’ politica l immunity as requested by the depa rtment of public prosecutor. While many expected that MPs would launch a heated attack against the government during Saturday night’s rally, another type of attack was not expected, especially one that would leave an attendee in critical condition. Although no official report has been issued regarding the assault of former parliamentary candidate Mohammad AlJuwaihel, most eyewitnesses agreed that he was assaulted after he committed a provocative act. According to eyewitnesses, Al-Juwaihel stood up soon after MP Musallam Al-Barrak took the podium to address the 500 capacity crowd and made obscene remarks or gestures at the screen outside the diwaniya. Some eyewitnesses claim that Al-Juwaihel made verbal insults against Al-Barrak while others say that he actually spat on the screen during Al-Barrak’s speech. Either way, AlJuwaihel’s actions provoked a group of attendees to assault him so harshly that he was left in a coma and with several broken bones. “Al-Juwaihel was brutally attacked by a large group of people attending the seminar,” said Assistant Undersecretary for Operation Affairs at the Ministry of Interior, Major General Dr Mustafa Al-Zaabi to reporters. He

KUWAIT: MPs talk to reporters after visiting Al-Juwaihel yesterday. made his comment after AlJuwaihel was put into an ambulance that took him to Amiri Hospital, reported Al-Rai. Furthermore, the ministry official indicated that several people surrounded the scene in order to prevent attempts to halt the attack. He added that authorities were unable to prevent the attack because they are normally instructed to remain outside of the seminar’s location and that no officers were inside when the attack took place. Al-Zaabi noted that police are currently using video footage broadcast on TV and uploaded online to reveal the iden-

tities of Al-Juwaihel’s attackers. Several MPs tried to discover what was going on when the chaos started and soon learned that Al-Juwaihel was being attacked, reported Al-Qabas. After the situation was put under control, MP Al-Saadoun accused the Cabinet of sending AlJuwaihel - a controversial activist who is known for his rowdy approach to addressing sensitive subjects - in order to sabotage the event. MP Al-Mislem, who was also present at the rally, held the Cabinet indirectly responsible for the attack and accused them of trying to ruin public ral-

lies. Initial reports on AlJuwaihel’s medical condition following the attack indicated that he suffered skull fractures that caused him to fall into a coma. Other reports indicated that he suffered spinal fractures and broken ribs, as a result of being stomped and attacked with hard objects. The public rally was called by MPs after two parliament sessions that were supposed to discuss lifting Al-Mislem’s immunity last week never took place due to a lack of quorum. Parliamentarians accuse the Cabinet of intentionally causing

lack of quorum by keeping ministers from attending the meeting and instructing pro-Cabinet MPs to do likewise. The Cabinet denied the accusation and pointed out that spokesman and Minister of Parliament Affairs, Dr Mohammad Al-Busairi was present during both sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday; indicating that his presence was enough for the sessions to be held. A majority of MPs are against lifting the MP’s immunity, a request that was filed by the public prosecutors department. Many believe that to do so would be a violation of the constitution, which protects MPs’ rights to say what they want while inside the parliament without being prosecuted against. The request was filed by the public prosecutor so that AlMislem can face charges filed by a local bank after the MP illegally exposed a check that belonged to the bank during a parliamentary session. Meanwhile, political forces that include the Islamic Salafi Assembly, the National Democratic Alliance, the Islamic Constitutional Movement and the Democratic Forum released a statement accusing the Cabinet of using the law to create tension between the two authorities.

KUWAIT: Firefighters in action after a fire broke out at a Nuzha home yesterday. — Photos by Hanan Al-Saadoun

Fire breaks out in Nuzha, Salmiya apartments By Hanan Al-S aadoun KUWAIT: A fire broke out at a Nuzha home. A 53-year-old citizen who suffered a case of smoke inhalation was admitted to Amiri Hospital, while two citizens aged 58 and 67 respectivley were administered first aid treatment. Apa rtment fire A fire broke out in a Salmiya apartment. In response to an emergency call, Salmiya and south Salmiya fire reached the scene and began rescue operation. People that were trapped in the third floor were evacuated, and the blaze was extinguished. Several injuries were reported including that of a one-year old toddler.

Motor accidents A 20-year-old bedoon suffered a back injury, and a 35year-old citizen sustained injuries to his head in a car accident. Both were admitted to Adan Hospital. In a motorcycle accident that took place in Qurtuba, a 16-year-old citizen suffered from abdominal pain and also grazed his knee. He was admitted to Amiri Hospital. In another incident, an 18-yearold Kuwaiti sustained a broken arm while a 27-year- old Saudi national succumbed to head injuries that were sustained in a car accident that took place along the Seventh Ring Road below the Sulaibiya bridge. The injured was admitted to Farwaniya hospital. A 35-year-

old citizen suffered injuries to the head and his lower back in a car accident that took place along King Fahad Road. He was admitted to Adan Hospital. In a similar incident, a 52-year-old Egyptian fractured his ribs and a 43-year-old compatriot fractured his arm in a car accident that took place along Arabian Gulf Road. Also, a 28-year-old Egyptian sustained head injuries in a car accident that took place in Khaitan. He was admitted to Farwaniya hospital. Ma n dies in fall A Bangladeshi expat leaped to his death from the ninth floor of a building behind Canary restaurant in Hawally. The body was left to the coroner.

local spotlight

Is this Kuwaiti democracy? By Muna Al-Fuzai


ohammad Al-Juwaihel has become a household name in Kuwait for good and bad reasons. Some hated him for his fiery remarks and open verbal wars with MPs and tribes on the country’s burning topics - dual citizenship and bedoon’s issues. Some applauded him for speaking on behalf of the oppressed and releasing the frustration they felt about these issues. So, he was labeled a controversial figure, although, I am not sure if this is the right term to describe the man and his attitude. This man was taught a lesson in the name of democracy and that too at the hands of people who attended a debate to speak about the Constitution! Al-Juwaihel is a former parliamentary candidate and a man who raised more questions than answers. He has had some difficult times with the law, and was accused of committing many inappropriate acts. He has survived to spread his message across, mostly owing to his ability to voice his opinions out to a private channel, through which, he divulged information about

many MPs. Of course, I cannot confirm or deny the truth behind his allegations. However, no official statement has been issued to deny them, only a barrage of angry comments have poured out so far. He was beaten up a few days ago and admitted to the hospital in a terrible condition. He had attended the MP Ahmad Al-Saadoun’ debate. According to witnesses, when MP Musallam Al-Barrak took the podium and began speaking, Al-Juwaihel stood up and spat at him. In retaliation, tens of spectators accosted AlJuwaihel and attacked him. This man may or may not lose his life because of his ill behavior. I do not see any reason why he had to insult a man that is respected by many, especially the tribes. Many look up to Al-Barrak as a role model as he has shown them sympathy and understanding. On the other hand, the treatment meted out to Juwaihel was harsh by all means. No one deserves to be physically assaulted. Differences in opinions should never result in inhuman treatment of the other. What is next? Should we keep dreaming on about democracy? I do not know. I think time will reveal the truth shortly. muna @kuw


Monday, December 6, 2010

3 Rally turns into a scuffle

Local farmers refuse to move to new veg market By Nawara Fattahova

KUWAIT: Some of the Kuwaiti farmers during the strike on Saturday night. —Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

in the news Blood donation at KBC KUWAIT: The Kuwait Banks Club will host a team from the Central Blood Bank on December 23, at the club’s headquarters in Al-Qadsiya. This announcement was made by KBC secretary general Osama Al-Rushaid in a recent press release. He said that the blood donation will take place in coordination with the Ministry of Health, as part of a commitment to participate in the campaign launched by the Bank recently to spread awareness on the importance of blood donation to secure the country’s inventories in blood. Osama Al-Rushaid During the donation day, employees from the banking sector and their families are invited to donate blood at the KBC headquarters from 4:00 pm till 8:00 pm, AlRushaid said.

detailed report following the conclusion of his visit. Al-Mansouri pointed out that the process of follow-up and monitoring of gas readings were continuing on a daily basis to provide safety for all.

KuwaitTube attracts viewers KUWAIT: An online project launched by the Kuwait Diving Team to showcase their activities in protecting Kuwait’s’ marine environment, has secured the participation of more than 200,000 participants from around the world since June. “The project provides footage of the volunteers’ work in helping Kuwait’s marine environment through serious and perfectly executed operations,” said team leader Waleed Al-Fadhel in a press release about the KuwaitTube project that also offers pages in seven different languages. Al-Fadhel further indicated that the website contains more than 20,000 photos and video footage in addition to documents showcasing the team’s accomplishments since 1986, adding that the idea was to spread awareness about the role of voluntary organizations in providing people outside Kuwait with the chance to see activities done with the help of local environment.

American expert KUWAIT: General Director of Kuwait Fire Service Directorate Maj Gen Jassim Al-Mansouri announced here yesterday that the hired American expert to inspect the gas leakage in Ahmadi would begin a field visit to Block 1 in the area soon. Al-Mansouri said that the expert would hold several meetings with the Kuwaiti team and would give his views on the leakage problem during his six-day visit. He added that the team will discuss with the expert details about the source of gas leakage, as well as any additional measures proposed by him, adding that he (the expert) would also send a

Indian cleaners to be hired KUWAIT: A ministerial delegation headed by the Human Resources Manager, Rashid Al-Ajeel,will leave for India shortly. It will recruit 1,000 cleaners, male and female, to work at various public schools and educational zone administrations, reported Al-Watan. The delegation will return on December 22. The hired cleaners are to receive a KD 140 salary and accommodation facilities will be offered to female cleaners.

KUWAIT: More than 100 Kuwaiti farmers held a rally in front of the old vegetable market in Shuwaikh as a refusal to move to the new market. The rally turned into a scuffle as Municipality officials present at the protest surrounded

entrance four with a barricade of cement roadblocks. Farmers who participated in the protest filed a case against Municipality officials at the Shuwaikh police station. It was the Kuwait Municipality that decided to move the vegetable market from ‘Chabra,’ or the old market in Shuwaikh, to ‘Furdha,’ a new market in Sulaibiya.

In an article published by the Kuwait Times last month about the market shift, it was reported that the decision was not welcome by many of the market’s vendors or customers. So far all the vendors from the old vegetable market selling imported goods have shifted to Sulaibiya. Only vendors from market number 4, who sell local products, are still at their old location in Shuwaikh, even though it was hard to reach as the main gate was closed by the Municipality. Most of the customers questioned about the market situation have said that they refuse to go to the new market in Sulaibiya to buy their vegetables and fruits. According to these customers the old market is closer to their residential areas in the Hawally and Asima Governorates. Customers have given many reasons for their refusal to visit Furdha Market and most complain about the market’s distance. They also point out that at the old market everything is in one place, such as fish, meat, rice and other goods, while that is not the case in Sulaibiya. Both customers and vendors complained about the roads, pointing out that they are in bad shape and are worried about the security of the location. The Kuwait Times met with the head of the Kuwait Farmers Union, Soud AlArada, who explained why so

“They promised to let the cars of the farmers enter and stay overnight at the market for free but now demand that we pay fees. Also, they said that the rent would be for free but are now asking us for between KD 500-600. They also ask us to pay fees for all the services they promised to provide us free of charge, and that in fact were free at the old vegetable market.” “The loading area at the new market is not sufficient,” said Jasem Al-Hazim, a local Kuwaiti farmer. “At the old market there is a large space for lorries and transportation vehicles to unload their goods. I visited

KUWAIT: Soud Al-Arada addressing the farmers. many local farmers and vendors insist on remaining at Chabra Market. “The private company that won the bid to build the new vegetable market in Sulaibiya committed several violations in their contract, so we refuse to move. We also filed cases with the court and are waiting for their final decision on December 14,” he said. Initially, the contract promised to provide farmers 12,000 square meters for their local products at the new market in Sulaibiya. “They promised to take only a two percent auction commission from local farmers but now they demand six percent,” said Al-Arada.

the new market and I noticed that there is not enough space to unload our goods, this is a big problem.” “I have been working in this field since 2001 and I haven’t made much of a profit from it,” continued Hazim. “I have spent more than KD 250,000 to maintain this business and provide local goods to customers but now I see that the government is putting more obstacles in our way. Aside from the price hike on all of the things we need, such as fertilizer, seeds and hoses, the government refuses to support us. We demand that the government let us stay here,” he concluded.



Monday, December 6, 2010

National firms to get permission to open branches in GCC states Al-Attiyah pins hopes on summit ABU DHABI: GCC Secreta ry General Abdulra hman Al-Attiyah sa id yesterda y the 31st GCC summit, to be held in Abu Dhabi on Dec 6-7, would give green light for national compa nies to open branches in other Gulf sta tes. The Gulf Coopera tion Council (GCC) summit, he said, “will a llow national compa nies in member states to open branches in other countries which is an important decision” and w ill boost economic integration, Al-Attiya h told reporters a fter the ina ugura tion of the press center and exhibition on sidelines of the summit.

KUWAIT: The Ambassador of Japan to Kuwait Yasuyoshi Komizo cuts the ribbon during the inauguration of Kei Cafe.

Asked about UAE’s membership in the monetary union, Al-Attiyah said the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was “major pillar” in the common action, but did not elaborate. The UAE, he added, was the second largest economy in the GCC. Oman, however, is not yet ready to join the monetary union, he noted. The resolutions of the GCC summits, said Al-Attiyah, aimed at strengthening security and stability, honoring ambitions of the Gulf peoples, and openness, mondernity and development. This is the sixth summit to be held in Abu Dhabi since the establishment of the GCC in 1981. Since then, said AlAttiyahn, the Arab Gulf bloc achieved

many accomplishments leading to integration. As for the issues to be discussed by the summit, the GCC chief said among the key matters would be the electricity linkage project, the railway, the common market and the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Al-Attiyah, praising the roles of the GCC leaders, said the future steps should be studied thoroughly to avoid “negative consequences.” Al-Attiyah, meanwhile, hoped a speedy recovery for King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. He said King Abdullah’s support for the GCC and attendance in summits were essential. The GCC chief congratulated Qatar

for winning the bid to host the World Cup 2022. Meanwhile, Kuwait’s Ambassador to the UAE Salah Al-Buaijan said the Arab Gulf leaders play a key role in utilizing oil revenues in developments and create safe environment for investments. He expressed confidence the December 6-7 summit of leaders of the six Arab Gulf countries would adopt resolutions that would further boost common action and honor ambitions of their peoples. Al-Buaijan said the United Arab Emirates (UAE) witnessed the launch of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in 1981, noting that the upcoming 31st summit would be held amidst security and

economic challenges in the region and the world. He asserted that the Abu Dhabi summit would continue with the achievements that saw light in previous meetings, like the electricity linkage project, custom union and common market. The importance of the Gulf region is not only linked to the fact that it sits over one-third of world’s oil reserve, he said, but the wisdom of the Gulf leaders to making good use of oil revenues in development. This wisdom, he continued to say, also resulted in creating prosperous life for the Gulf people, boosting security and food security. — KUNA

kuwait digest

Rights of MPs By Abdullatif Al-Duaij


KUWAIT: Fruits imported from Japan at Kei Cafe. — Photos by Joseph Shagra

Oishii introduces authentic Japanese food in Kuwait By Hussain Al-Qatari KUWAIT: The Embassy of Japan in Kuwait, in coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan held a tasting event yesterday, dedicated to Japanese fruits and cocktails. The event was held at the Marina Crescent in Salmiya. It also marked the official launch of Kei Cafe, a unique cafe that offers Japanese desserts, fruits, drinks in an authentic Japanese ambience. Kei Cafe presents a perfect balance of traditional and contemporary Japanese sweets such as Mitsumame (traditional fruit cocktail) and Tokyo kawaii parfait, fresh fruits plates consisting of seasonal fruits from Japan as well as selected cakes

imported or made locally in Kuwait by Japanese food chefs. The launch of the cafe is part of the Japanese government’s campaign entitled ‘Oishii Japan’ (oishii means delicious in Japanese) for promoting Japanese food export. As Japanese restaurants continue to gain popularity around the world, it has become extremely important to use best quality Japanese ingredients and present authentic food. “We are trying to introduce real authentic Japanese food in Kuwait,” said Yukiko Ibi, the guest relations officer at Kei Restaurant. “With so many restaurants labeling themselves as Japanese restaurants, we found it necessary to bring the true authentic Japanese cuisine experience to

food lovers in Kuwait,” she added. Japan produces a variety of fruits during all seasons. All sorts of wonderful tastes and sensations can be experienced throughout the year. Improvements in Japan continue to be made to cultivation techniques, producing a steady stream of enhancements to flavor, shape and color. The inauguration was followed by a press conference attended by the Operation Director of Food Supply Company (Kei Japanese Restaurant Group) and Kintetsu World Express Sales in the presence of Yasuyoshi Komizo, Ambassador of Japan to Kuwait. Kei Cafe is located inside Kei Japanese Restaurant in Marina Crescent, Kuwait.

Cabinet source recently indicated that some MPs are targeting the judicial sector in a manner that is divisive of parliamentary work and an insult to the judicial system. This situation is not acceptable for the Cabinet, especially considering that the public prosecutor’s department is part of the judicial sector. Furthermore, the Cabinet finds that discussing a subject related to judicial procedures is a violation to the judicial sector’s jurisdiction.” The statement was published recently in one of Kuwait’s daily newspapers. Regardless of the possibility that it may be propaganda issued by the Cabinet via a ‘source’, this statement not only represents the Cabinet’s policy, but also proves the level of ignorance of those who are against democracy. While the Cabinet sees that MPs have transcended their powers by targeting the public prosecutor, how can they justify the request to lift the immunity of a parliament member? Isn’t that a violation of articles 108 and 110 of the constitution? Shouldn’t this be considered targeting the parliament and its members as well as their right to pursue their duties? “Furthermore, the Cabinet finds that discussing a subject related to judicial procedures is a violation to the judicial sector’s jurisdiction,” the source was quoted as saying. According to this logic the Cabinet does not believe that MPs have the right to discuss lifting the immunity of one of their colleagues! So, to put things into perspective; the Cabinet believes that the parliament doesn’t have the right to discuss a request to lift the immunity of an MP because this subject is within the authority of the judicial sector. This is, if anything, a perception that reflects the government’s unawareness of the country’s political system. This is something that is not surprising in a country where the government aims to demean the role of the parliament. According to the articles of the constitution, parliament members not only have the right to discuss an MP’s immunity, or any other topic related to the judicial sector, but they are also entitled to discuss matters concerning the executive authority, namely the government. In addition to being a legislative authority - which is the side of the parliament that the Cabinet usually deals with - the parliament is also the representative of the nation, something that the government tries hard to overlook. — Al-Qa bas

Salmiya rapist a mere rumor, says official KUWAIT: A Ministry of Interior official recently denied rumors about the activities of a rapist that targets women who jog along the Salmiya beach during late hours. He dismissed them as mere rumors that have been circulating within the Filipino community. It has been rumored that an unidentified man has been attacking women at the popular walkway between the Scientific Center and the Marina Mall in Salmiya, in addition to adjacent areas. Several women who work at shops or as maids have been forced to stay indoors at night, during the past couple of weeks. Warnings about the alleged rapist were also posted on the Filipino community’s Facebook profile. In a statement made to the press, Brig Gen Sheikh Mazin Al-Jarrah Assistant Managing Director for Governorates’ Affairs at the Criminal Investigations Department, asserted that the rumors were completely untrue, noting that similar rumors made the rounds in Hawally a while ago, and were proved to be wrong, reported Al-Qabas.

KUWAIT: Tight security was visible in the area surrounding the Amiri Hospital where former parliamentary candidate Mohammad Al-Juwaihel is undergoing treatment. An enraged mob assaulted him while attending a rally organized by MP Ahmad Al-Saadoun on Saturday night. — Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

MPs waiting for Audio-Visual law amendments KUWAIT: A parliament member recently urged the Cabinet to tackle the subject concerning the request to lift MP Faisal AlMislem’s immunity wisely. He asserted on the importance of “the government correcting the mistakes it previously committed in order to prevent the issue from exacerbating.” In an interview, MP Abdurrahman Al-Anjari said that the Cabinet’s failure to attend an emergency parliamentary session that was scheduled to take place today, ‘is going to make things worse,’ adding that he would not make a personal decision. He indicated that MPs have expressed reservations on linking money laundering and anti-terrorism draft laws that were presented by the Cabinet. Al-Anjari also disagreed with the idea of financing the projects of the development plan through funds collected by the Cabinet, “since local banks are capable of this duty under the supervision of the Central Bank.”

Ex-prisoner caught By Hanan Al-S aadoun KUWAIT: The head of General Department of Drugs Control (GDDC) referred an ex-prisoner, a citizen, to the Prosecution Department in connection with possession of drugs, and weapons intended for sale. Maj Gen Sheikh Ahmad AlKhalifa, Director General of GDDC learnt about a citizen’s

return to drug trade after being released from prison recently. The suspect agreed to sell hashish to an undercover agent, and was arrested at the time of the substance’s delivery. Policemen also seized a firearm from his possession. After raiding his place of residence in Sabah Al-Salem, more drugs and four fire arms were confiscated.

KUWAIT: The drug dealer pictured after his arrest. — Photo by Hanan Al-Saadoun


Monday, December 6, 2010


American-Kuwait meeting on neurosurgery kicks off

KUWAIT: Yuki Angelet, Thongphachanch Sonnasinh, Ambassador of Laos to Kuwait, Damien Angelet Ambassador of Belgium to Kuwait, Olga Guy, Kinga Masternak and Witold Wnuk Director Kuwait Chamber Philharmonia. — Photos by Wendy Clayton

Belgian violinist captivates audience By Wendy Clayton KUWAIT: Belgian violinist of Russian origin, Olga Guy captivated the audience at the Radisson Blu Al Hashimi II Saturday evening with her rendition of selected works from celebrated Belgian violinist and composer Eugene Ysaye. The concert, held under the patronage of Damien Angelet, Ambassador of Belgium to Kuwait, was dedicated to the first anniversary of the Treaty of Lisbon’s enforcement. Guy was only eight when she first performed with an orchestra as a soloist. Considered a musical prodigy, she was admitted to the prestigious Central Special Music School at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Moscow. After studying in Russia and Europe, she graduated with several diplomas with the highest honors. Guy performed six violin Sonatas by the celebrated Belgian violinist and composer Eugene Ysaye. The works of Ysaye express joy and sorrow, which Guy was able to portray throughout her passionate and energetic performance. The Al-Hashimi was the perfect setting for the violin recital at the unique architecture captured every sound produced by Guy’s bow. Following a short intermission, Guy was joined on the stage by pianist Kinga Masternak. Graduating with honors in Piano at the Music Academy in Poland in 2006, Masternak is now based in Kuwait lecturing at Treasures of Talents Program and cooperates with the Kuwait Chamber Philharmonia. Masternak provided a beautiful backdrop to Guy’s violin presenting Pablo Sarasate’s Gypsy Air Op. 20 and Johannes Brahms Hungarian Dances, No 1 and No 5. Together, the women gave a wonderfully energetic performance delighting the audience. The next presentation, the opera Carmen, arranged by the Radisson Blu and Kuwait Chamber Philharmonia is scheduled for December 11 at the Al-Hashimi II. Tickets can be purchased from the Radisson Blu Hotel and Virgin Megastore.

GCC ‘prime objective’ is citizens’ well being ABU DHABI: Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah said yesterday the prime objective of the GCC Foreign Ministers was the well being of the Arab Gulf citizens. The well being of “the Gulf citizen and their strong bonds in economic, political and social issues are the major file” on the agenda of the Foreign Ministers, Sheikh Mohammad, also Deputy Premier said and Kuwait TV after arrival here for the Foreign Ministers’ preparatory meeting. The foreign ministers will be preparing for the two-day GCC summit, due here today. “We have seen the establishment of the infrastructure and now we are building upon it. There are many issues that we will be discussing to prepare for the Gulf summit,” said Sheikh Mohammad. He said he believed “our people in the GCC see that this blessed march is the torch and a civilization, and will prove to everyone that these (Arab Gulf) states are not only a place

for oil but a place of culture, civilization and hope.” Sheikh Mohammad said the GCC march has realized many accomplishments and succeeded in playing a major role in international politics, thanks to the late leaders who established the bloc and the march is continuous with the current ones. He cited the UAE’s being the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Qatar winning the bid to host the World Cup 2022, Saudi Arabia being a member in the G20, Oman’s in the water desalination projects and Bahrain having an advance banking and financial systems. “Even US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had to acknowledge these big achievements of the GCC,” said Kuwait’s top diplomat. The Foreign Ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are due to meet this evening to finalize the agenda, resolutions and final communique of the December 6-7 summit. —KUNA

Power cuts in fifteen areas

Alert at embassy in Vienna KUWAIT: The Kuwait embassy in Europe

Dr Youssef Al-Awadhi

Prices of dairy products may rise by 40 percent Call to offer more subsidies to grazers KUWAIT: Prices of locally obtained milk are expected to rise by 40 percent as a result of spiraling fodder prices, warned the head of the union of fresh dairy products in Kuwait. “The 42 percent increase in the prices of four types of fodder is certainly going to affect the prices of locally produced dairy products,” said Abdulhakeem Al-Ahmad in a press statement. He also urged the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) to intervene and ask the finance ministry to offer more subsidies to grazers. “We need intervention before merchants are forced to increase the prices in order to compensate for the losses suffered by the

KUWAIT: Olga Guy plays selection of works by Eugene Ysaye.

National Security College involves in intensive programs KUWAIT: The National Security College has been involved in intensive activities and programs during the 2009-2010 training season holding courses for promotion of skills of leaders and officers, with participation of up to 124 ranking personnel from various sectors. The Department of Security Information of the Interior Ministry said in a statement, released yesterday, eight training courses for the enhancement of skills of the leaders were held, by the center for preparing leaders, during the 2009-2010 training course, including programs on analysis of problems and decision-making in police services. The center organized courses for the leadership of collective police tasks, promotion of administrative, leadership skills and strategic security planning, with the participation of 124 officers with a lieutenant colonel

rank, from various security sectors of the ministry. Other activities were a course for strategic planning that involved 19 officers from the Ministry of Interior, the National Guards, the Fire General-Directorate. Seventeen other officers took part in a course for the enhancement of joint action, formation of teams. Other training programs dealt with problems analysis, management of crises and catastrophes. For its part, the College of Strategic Security Studies had held a series of seminars on threats against the national security, the concept of social policing, human rights, nuclear affairs, security precautions, the global financial crisis and its impact on the Kuwaiti society, Kuwait’s foreign policy and its ties with neighboring states. Number of the participants in these activities amounted to 478 - leaders and trainees. — KUNA

in the news KUWAIT: The Ministry of Electricity and Water has been conducting maintenance operations on a number of secondary transformers around the country, which will result in scheduled power cuts at certain areas. Operations are being conducted during winter ahead of next year’s summer when power consumption peaks. Some blocks in fifteen areas including Abdullah Al-Salem, Salmiya, Hawally, Mishref, and Salwa will experience temporary power disconnection from 7:30 am till 11:30 am, reported Al-Qabas. Separately, the Ministry’s Consumer Affairs Department has released a statement according to which KD2,000 will be written off from indebted citizens as long as they repay the remaining amount, summoning them to register their names before the end of this month.

KUWAIT: The Fourth American-Kuwaiti Neurosurgical meeting began yesterday under the auspices of Health Minister Dr Hilal AlSayer and the participation of 150 world-renowned professors. Speaking on part of Minister Al-Sayer, Health Ministry Undersecretary for Medical Services Dr Rashed AlRshoud said on the sidelines of the event that neurosurgery in all of its branches had witnessed a “huge leap” in recent years with the advent of new medical procedures and tools. He noted that the current meeting aimed at showcasing such advance medical treatments and exchanging ideas and expertise on how to further develop such field of medicine. On his part, Head of the Neurosurgery Department at Bin Sina Hospital Dr Youssef Al-Awadhi said issues concerning the field would be put on the table for discussions by the participants, hoping that such action would be beneficial for neurosurgery in the region and the world. — KUNA

was recently placed on high alert after it received threatening letters, as well as envelopes containing suspicious substances, that were determined to be harmless. In a statement issued to the press recently, Khalid Al-Jarallah Undersecretary of Kuwait’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that the envelopes containing white powder with a letter bearing threat messages, were received by the Kuwaiti embassy in Vienna, Austria. The Austrian authorities were immediately contacted, and it was verified that it did not contain any toxic or explosive substances, reported Al-Qabas. While investigation into the case is still ongoing, Al-Jarallah said that a former embassy staff member could be responsible for the action.

Kuwa it lauds IIS S MANAMA: The Seventh Regional Security Summit of the International

Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) asserted itself as a regional forum which has a voice heard worldwide, Kuwait Ambassador to Bahrain Sheikh Azzam Mubarak Al-Sabah said yesterday. The gathering, also known as the IISS Manama Dialogue 2010, was hosted by the Kingdom of Bahrain between December 3 and 5. Speaking to KUNA here, Sheikh Azzam said Kuwait’s participation by a senior-level delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Dr Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah shows the country’s keenness on taking part in the collective efforts aiming to protect security and stability in the Arabian Gulf region. “The annual gathering provides a platform for representatives of various countries from the region and beyond to probe the initiatives for strengthening security and stability of the Gulf area,” he pointed out.

increase,” Al-Ahmad further indicated. He added that the issue can also affect other products in which milk is a major ingredient, reported Al-Qabas. Reports indicate that the PAAAFR has held talks with the Kuwait Flour Mills and Bakery company which provides fodder to the local market. Meanwhile, municipality inspectors had a day full of unpleasant discoveries during an inspection campaign carried out on restaurants in Hawally and Salmiya, reported Al-Qabas. During the operation some restaurants were not only found lacking basic hygiene requirements but also had insects and rodents roaming freely inside the kitchens. At a restaurant in Salmiya that is well

known for their Indian-style chicken tikka, inspectors found a rat hiding amongst bags of rice and cockroaches around the tables. Following the discoveries the restaurant was issued several citations. Likewise, several roaches were found inside the kitchen of a popular restaurant chain coming out of a manhole left open in the middle of the kitchen. In Hawally, several citations were issued to restaurants found working in filthy conditions. Dead insects were found in one such restaurant’s freezer. Food inspection team leader, Riyadh Al-Sanea indicated that 20 citations were issued and that 241 kilograms of expired food was confiscated.



Monday, December 6, 2010

Campers attacked in Sulaibiya, Kabad Six seriously injured KUWAIT: While ca mping in Sulaibiya , five individuals w ere seriously injured after being attacked by a group of a ssa ilants, reported Al-Wata n. Initia lly, four campers w ere attacked a t one campsite and fled to a nother in a n a ttempt to seek help. The assailants follow ed them to the other ca mpsite and assaulted the person who w as camping there a s w ell. By the time police responded to the incident the a ttackers had fled the scene. The injured were brought to Farw aniya Hospita l and a n investiga tion w as la unched by authorities. In an unrelated incident, a camper was seriously injured after being assaulted by 15 assailants, reported Al-Rai. The incident took place at a camp site in Kabad where six campers attempted to flee their camp when they noticed a group of thugs approaching their campsite with knives. While five of them managed to escape, one was left behind because he was overweight. The group of thugs stabbed him repeatedly and ran him over with their car. Before fleeing the scene the assailants lit their victims’ tent on fire. The injured man was brought to Farwaniya Hospital by paramedics. Police launched an investigation in search of the assailants. Civilian kidnapped Police are looking for three criminals who kidnapped and raped a civilian before causing him serious injury when they tossed him out of their moving vehicle, reported Al-Rai. The man was kidnapped in Jabriya after visiting an ATM when he was asked to help a person with his malfunctioning car. The victim was forced into the car by two of the man’s accomplices, sexually assaulted and

robbed of his money. After being tossed from the car he was picked up by a police patrol that came to his aid after hearing his cries for help. He was brought to Razi Hospital by paramedics. An investigation was launched and police are looking for the kidnappers’ vehicle. Suicide attempt An Asian maid stabbed herself repeatedly in an attempt to commit suicide, reported Al-Qabas. Paramedics responded to the incident and admitted her to Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital where hospital staff saved her life. Paramedics responded to the scene of the incident in Bayan after a female citizen found her maid lying in a pool of blood inside her room. A case was opened and authorities are investigating the motives behind the maid’s suicide attempt. Drunk driver Police arrested a 36-yearold female drunk driver after she crashed into the wall of a house in Surra, reported AlWatan. After responding to the incident, authorities discovered that the woman was driving under the influence, a school teacher and on her way back

from a party. She was referred to the proper authorities. 6 injured in fire A fire in Salmiya resulted in the injury of six people, including a woman and two children, reported Al-Watan. The injured suffered from smoke inhalation but were successfully evacuated by firefighters. The fire, which occurred in a third floor apartment, was extinguished before it could spread to other apartments. The injured were rushed to a nearby hospital and an investigation was launched to determine the cause of the fire. Drug possession Three Kuwaiti juveniles were arrested for being in possession of illegal drugs, reported Al-Watan. The youths were arrested at a Julaiah camp site after the three were ordered to pull over their vehicle because police were suspicious of them. Upon searching the car police discovered that the youths, aged 17, 18 and 19 were in possession of an amount of hashish. They were referred to the proper authorities. Home mishap A woman and her maid

were rushed to Amiri Hospital after their cooking gas cylinder exploded in their Daiya home, reported Al-Rai. The victims were brought to the hospital with several injuries after being freed from the house by firefighters. An investigation revealed that the fire started in the kitchen and was the result of an exploded gas cylinder. Hospital fight A fight occurred in Jahra Hospital following a dispute in Naseem, reported Al-Anba. When questioned, one of the brawlers said that the incident began when he crashed into a car in the area where three thugs were attacking his sister. He said that when he went to a nearby hospital to have his shoulder examined he ran into his sister’s harassers and they got into a fight. A case was opened and charges were pressed against the brawlers. J leeb crackdow n Farwaniya police arrested 45 expatriates during a fivehour security campaign in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, reported Al-Anba. Those arrested were found violating residency laws and were wanted for pervious offenses. They were referred to the proper authorities.

kuwait digest KUWAIT: A minibus caught fire outside a gas station in Salmiya over the weekend. Firefighters rushed to the scene and contained the blaze successfully before the flames could spread to adjacent areas. No injuries were reported, and an investigation was opened to determine the cause. — Photos by Fouad Al-Shaikh

Tolerance means complicity in crime By Dr Yaqoub Al-Sharrah

Ahmadi plans new twin city agreement A

KUWAIT: Ahmadi Governor Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Duaij Al-Sabah heads to Vietnam today with an official delegation and is to sign a Memo of Understanding (MoU) between Ahmadi Governorate and Ho Chi Minh City. During the five-day visit, the delegation would discuss issues of mutual interest and possible tracks for future cooper-

ation.The Kuwaiti delegation is to hold an extended meeting with the Secretary General of the Communist Party in Ho Chi Minh City and the City Governor, as well as Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The officials would also visit the city’s industrial area, the war artifact museum, the presidential palace, and several other

regions of significance. Ahmadi Governorate had initialed twinning agreements with several world cities including two French cities, and Sarajevo, with the aim of boosting cooperation in several areas and particularly in the fields of preserving the environment, tourism, and investment opportunities. — KUNA

s newspapers continue to report about rotten and expired food that has been in stores that have been prepared for sale, questions have been raised about the efficacy of the government’s supervisory role over food suppliers and merchants’ activities, which have been observed by officials from the Kuwait Municipality, as well as the commerce and health ministries. Food that is unsuitable for human consumption causes diseases that can be spread in society either through consumption or contagion; from infected peo-

ple to the healthy. With the aim of protecting civilians’ safety, countries have imposed strict rules that organize the process of import and trade in food items. These undergo stringent supervision to ensure safe storage and marketing procedures. Furthermore, the rules also contain strict punishment against violators of safety regulations. While news reports indicate that several merchants have been prosecuted and their stores shut down for violating safety conditions, such practices have been going on for a long time now, in light of the lack of proper monitoring. Moreover, several newspapers have spoken previ-

ously about food items being stored in unsafe conditions, while ‘merchants’ use the lack of supervision to their advantage, in order to continue with their irresponsible acts. The government in Kuwait should ensure that the law is enforced on all. That is, actions should be taken not only against small traders, but also prominent merchants who do not care about the safety of the public as long as they can ensure profit growth. Strict supervision and accountability should be enforced on all merchants. Tolerance on such subject matters makes the government an accomplice to the crime. — Al-Rai

Helen portrait unveiled at Arab American museum

Nabeel Bin Salamah giving a speech during the event.

Nabeel Bin Salamah honoring top students in the gala dinner.

Zain holds ceremony in honor of NUKS conference in Miami MIAMI: On the occasion of the 27th annual conference of the National Union of Kuwaiti Students (NUKS) held this year in Miami on Nov 26 and 27 of which Zain Kuwait was the main sponsor, the company hosted a gala dinner ceremony on the final night during which it honored the top 16 students and distributed valuable prizes and gifts to the audience in the gala dinner. It is the third year in a row that Zain has lent its name to the event, an unequivocal demonstration of the company’s commitment to what it sees are the budding leaders and decision makers of the future. The theme of this year’s conference is “To make our nation the best”, a slogan that promotes the idea of nation-building as a

priority for all Kuwaitis. The gala dinner was attended by Zain Group CEO Nabeel Bin Salamah and Zain Kuwait CEO Khalid Al Omar along with many other dignitaries such as Kuwait’s Minister of Education Dr Moudhi AlHumoud as well as Kuwait’s Ambassador to the USA, Sheikh Salem Abdullah AlJaber Al-Sabah. Apart from the students, also in attendance were many prominent politicians, businessmen and media personalities. Speaking at the gala cermony, Zain Group CEO Nabeel Bin Salamah had this to say about the next generation of Kuwaiti leaders. “Studying in the US will have been a life changing experience that will give them an edge that they

will carry into their professional and personal lives,” he declared. “They will return having acquired vital skill sets and learned about another culture and we at Zain are proud to have played a part in this valuable process.” NUKS represents over 2,000 Kuwaiti students studying at universities across the US, where, through its activities and programs they can develop their personal and academic skills. “Zain’s participation at the event reinforces its commitment to improving society,” said CEO of Zain Kuwait, Khalid Al Omar. “Zain is in the business of communication so wherever the flower of our nation is in this wonderful world, we are there to reach out them and support them.”

From left Waleed Al-Khashti, Nabeel Bin Salamah, Khalid Al-Omar and Saud Al-Zabin

WASHINGTON: Renowned journalist Helen Thomas’ portrait was unveiled at the Arab American National Museum as a tribute to her unparalleled career marked by bravery, professionalism, and empathy with Arab American issues. During a private reception at the Arab American National Museum in Detroit, Michigan, Helen Thomas was a guest of honor where a sculpture of her was unveiled in a museum that seeks to illustrate the Arab American experience through collections, documents, arts and photographs. Helen was also a presenter at the “Images and Perceptions of Arab Americans” conference in Michigan, where she received a standing ovation. But, this short stay in her home state of Michigan did not go without controversy. Helen told the Dearborn conference that a great number of prestigious media and financial institutions are “owned by Zionists. No question, in my opinion.” Wayne State University’s journalism program, of which she is a graduate of the 1940s, subsequently announced it will no longer offer the Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity Award, dedicated to support undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds studying journalism. A school statement said it “encourages free speech and open dialogue,” but strongly condemns what it says are “antiSemitic remarks” made by Helen. The school, however, did not cancel an endowed scholarship in her name at Wayne State University. The Dean of the White House Press Corps, now 90 years old, retired on June 7, 2010 after controversial remarks made during a

brief informal interview with Rabbi David Nesenoff who questioned Helen on camera while she was leaving the White House, which was followed by her resignation from Hearst Newspapers and the loss of her White House front seat. Asked about comments on Israel, Helen replied, “Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine”, and she added “Remember, these people are occupied and it is their land.” Helen did not back away from those remarks. She told reporters at the Arab Detroit conference “I stand by it. I told the truth. I paid a price. But it is worth to speak the truth ... the truth is always a casualty in disputes like that.” Addressing the crowd in Dearborn, she noted that Arab Americans “who gave so much to this country are much maligned”, and that Arab Americans should learn from the African Americans’ civil rights movement. “We have to speak up for our rights even at a cost.” Helen was born to Lebanese immigrant parents in Winchester, Kentucky, but was raised in Detroit, Michigan. After graduating from journalism school, she joined United Press International (UPI) in 1943 and she covered all American Presidents since John Kennedy took office in 1961, before resigning from UPI in 2000 and becoming a columnist from Hearst Newspapers. She was the first female officer of the National Press Club and the first female member and president of the White House Correspondents’ Association; Thomas was known for her vocal objection to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and has written five books during her career. — KUNA

Monday, December 6, 2010



Mubarak’s party almost unopposed with opposition boycott

Egypt goes to polls as opposition cries foul CAIRO: Egyptians went to the polls for second-round runoffs yesterday of an election which President Hosni Mubarak’s party is poised to win almost unopposed in the face of an opposition boycott. Turnout picked up throughout

HAIFA: An Israeli firefighter takes a break as he fights a blaze in the youth village (boarding school) of Yemin Orde, near the northern city of Haifa yesterday. —AP

Israel overpowers deadly blaze after four-day battle HAIFA: Firefighters have overpowered the deadly blaze which tore through a forest in northern Israel after a four-day battle aided by aircraft from the around the world, officials said yesterday. “The fire is under control. There are no longer any major seats of the blaze. The task now is to make sure it doesn’t break out again,” fire chief Shimon Romah said. Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aaronovitch, quoted by his spokesman, said earlier: “I hope we will have finished in the coming hours” as aircraft from several countries worked to damp down the zone. The tide appeared to have turned as a flotilla of international firefighting planes was reinforced yesterday by a Boeing 747 supertanker, the world’s largest water-bombing aircraft, rented from the United States. “I haven’t seen any flame for the last hour. It is better than I have seen in the last three days. We definitively have the back of it (the fire) broken,” British helicopter pilot Euan Johnson told AFP at Haifa military base. By late morning, the Boeing supertanker was pouring 76,000 litres (20,500 gallons) of water and flame retardant on the fire on each pass. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said no more firefighting planes from abroad were needed, acting on the advice of professional firefighters, and thanked the many nations which contributed. Assistance came quickly, with at least 16 nations offering aircraft, personnel or material. The fire ravaged at least 5,000 hectares (12,000 acres) of land and five million trees in pine-covered hills known locally as “little Switzerland.” With the balance swinging, meteorologists said rain was expected within 24 hours.

In an act of solidarity, ministers held their weekly cabinet meeting in the Haifa suburb of Tirat HaCarmel, where some residents were evacuated from the path of the flames. They opened the session with a minute’s silence for victims of the fire, as Netanyahu pledged compensation for the injured and homes lost. The fire, centred on the Carmel hill range, just south and east of Haifa, claimed 41 lives and forced more than 17,000 people to flee their homes. It was the largest inferno in Israel’s 62year history. An Israel in mourning during its religious holiday of Hanuka buried 27 of the victims yesterday. Police have arrested two youths from the Druze Israeli village of Isfiya on suspicion of starting the blaze “through negligence” by leaving behind burning embers after a family picnic. More than 30 firefighting aircraft flew sorties over the forest and scrub early yesterday, Israeli media reported. As Israel does not have firefighting planes of its own, aircraft were brought in from several countries, including Greece, Britain, Cyprus Turkey, Russia and France. France’s ambassador to Israel, Christophe Bigot, said Paris had sent five of its total of 10 aerial firefighting units. In another sign of solidarity, 20 Palestinian firefighters joined the multi-national effort yesterday. In neighboring Lebanon, residents of a village north of Beirut began to flee yesterday as a forest fire which has raged out of control for the past week threatened to engulf homes. The blaze near Fatri, 45 kilometres (30 miles) from the capital, has so far devastated 15 hectares (37 acres) of woodland, without claiming lives.— AFP

The choice in the election was limited to candidates from the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) and independents, although the names of boycotting opposition candidates remained on the ballot papers. Egypt’s two main opposition blocs, the Muslim Brotherhood and the liberal Wafd party, withdrew from the race after official results from the November 28 first round gave the NDP around 95 percent of the seats decided outright. The conduct of the election drew criticism from human rights groups and also from the United States, Egypt’s key ally. The opposition boycott of runoffs in constituencies where candidates failed to win at least 50 percent of the vote, leaves the NDP with 383 hopefuls standing mostly against rivals from within the same party for 283 seats. “The NDP are dictators. But change is possible,” said Mohammed Magdi, 27, who planned to vote for an independent candidate running against the ruling party incumbent in a poor part of east Cairo’s Matariya district. “Look at this school!” he said, pointing to the shabby buildings around the school being used a polling station. “Is it good? Look at the road outside. Is it good?” The prospects for political change took a heavy blow when Egypt’s only serious opposition force, the Muslim Brotherhood, failed to win a single seat in the first round, while the NDP, which has dominated parliament for 30 years, won 209 out of 221 seats. The Brotherhood, which held a fifth of seats in the outgoing parlia-

ment of 508 elected MPs after Egypt’s last election in 2005, fields its candidates as independents to skirt a ban on religious parties. The Brotherhood’s decision to withdraw its remaining 27 candidates from the second round marked its first boycott of an election since the 1990s, although the group has com-

the day in some constituencies, despite the certain outcome of the parliamentary poll, with more than 100 voters crowding into one voting station in northern Cairo to cast their ballots.

plained of fraud in every poll it has contested. The Wafd, which usually has working ties with the government, won two seats in the first round, but also decided to pull out of yesterday’s runoff in a rare display of resolve for the fractured party. Three other parties which each won a seat last week decided to stay in the race.

According to Egypt’s electoral commission, 167 independent candidates were also on the ballot yesterday, but that figure included the Brotherhood members. Analysts said the NDP appeared to have overplayed its hand by virtually wiping out the opposition, strengthening the impression of a one-party state in an Arab

Shark attack kills woman off Egypt’s Sharm resort CAIRO: A shark mauled to death a German woman tourist snorkeling off Sharm el-Sheikh yesterday, in the third shark attack in Egypt’s popular Red Sea resort in a week, local officials told AFP. Mohammed Salem, director of South Sinai Conservation, said the woman died after a shark attacked her in Naama Bay, only one day after Sharm el-Sheikh reopened its beaches following two other attacks in which Russians were mauled. “There has been a death unfortunately. She was a German lady. We have taken everyone out of the water,” he said. Medical officials said the woman was pulled out of the water dead after the shark mauled her thigh and arm. Tourism minister Zuhair Garana told AFP all the resort’s beaches had been closed to swimmers, with the exception of Ras Mohammed, a nature preserve south of the city. “We are getting marine biologists from abroad to assess the situation and why there was this change in biological nature,” he said, referring to the repeated attacks, which one expert called unprecedented. “This is unnatural. It has never happened before,” he said. “We have no explanation.” He said so far there was only speculation. Government conservation experts said on Friday they captured two sharks, an oceanic whitetip and a mako, which they believed had mauled the two Russian swimmers last Tuesday and Wednesday. A Ukrainian suffered bruising on coral.

Government workers had dumped chum in the water to bait the two sharks. The resort’s mayor, Gamal al-Mahdi, told AFP the beaches were reopened after authorities deemed there was no further threat off the coast, which attracts between three and four million tourists a year. However, an Egyptian NGO warned on Saturday that at least one of the sharks behind the attacks was still at large. South Sinai governor Mohammed Shosha has said the sharks could have turned frenzied after a ship transporting livestock dumped dead sheep into the sea, while marine experts said overfishing may have forced them closer to shore. The string of attacks in Sharm el-Sheikh was “unprecedented,” according to an expert on sharks, Samuel Gruber, who heads Miami’s Bimini Biological Field Station. “The shark in one day bit more than one person. In all my years reading about shark attacks and writing about them you never hear about sharks biting more than one person,” he said, apart from feeding sprees on shipwreck survivors. “Then for it to happen the next day is almost like a ‘Jaws’ scenario,” he said, referring to the 1975 iconic Hollywood movie about a killer great white shark. Gruber said finding the predator or predators would be extremely difficult. Salem said the first shark to have been captured, the oceanic whitetip, was identified as the same one filmed by divers just minutes before it surfaced to attack the snorkelers. —AFP

country which Mubarak has ruled for the past three decades. “The pullout of the opposition adds to the legitimacy crisis. It means the opposition are no longer buying into the system. The damage done to the NDP is huge,” said Amr Hamzawi of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Human rights groups say they have evidence of fraud and vote-buying in the first round, after a campaign which had already made it tough for the NDP’s opponents to win seats. Police arrested more than 1,000 Brotherhood supporters and candidates faced campaigning curbs ahead of the vote, drawing protest from Washington which usually avoids mention of the Islamists in its rare criticism of Cairo. At least 11 Brotherhood supporters have been sentenced to two-year jail terms for distributing its campaign literature. The vote is seen as an indicator of Egypt’s more important presidential poll in late 2011. Mubarak, 82, has yet to announce whether he will stand and is widely believed to be grooming his son Gamal for succession. “A number of questions that have been raised during the present elections are very likely to be raised in the next election,” one Western diplomat in Cairo said on condition of anonymity. The near absence of opposition parties in parliament means whoever stands for the NDP in the presidential election will face almost no challenge, a scenario which could raise questions over the president’s legitimacy. —AFP



Monday, December 6, 2010

Trade breakthrough expected at summit

BRUSSELS: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and European Union leaders are hoping to sweep aside most remaining obstacles to Moscow’s entry into the WTO and further warm their ties at a Brussels summit next week. The last major world power still outside the Geneva-based world trade body, Russia “expects to sign a protocol agreement” today with EU president Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso, said Russia’s ambassador to the EU, Vladimir

Chizov. Moscow in October won US backing for accession to the WTO and “has negotiated longer than anyone,” said Chizov, whose country is looking at membership next year. “Seventeen years is far too long,” he added. But a European diplomat said unresolved problems remained, including Russian tariff hikes on European meat imports, before a deal could be struck on the WTO. Overflight charges levied against European planes for the right to pass over Siberia are another sticking-

point. Analysts estimate the annual royalties at up to 400 million dollars. Moscow has pledged to drop the levies as soon as it joins the WTO but the EU says the issue is not linked and that Russia pledged to end the Soviet-era system earlier. “Russia’s entry to the WTO would be very positive but other issues are showing little progress,” said Katinka Barysch of London-based think-tank, the Centre for European Reform. Last month’s proposal by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin

of a Lisbon-to-Vladivostok free-trade zone won a less than enthusiastic response from Berlin, while an agreement to ease visas for Russians seems a long way off. Held during the Cancun climate talks and a resumption of the long-stalled Iran nuclear talks in Geneva, the two sides are likely to address these questions. Moscow however is more inclined to put the onus on its bilateral dealings with the 27 EU states rather than on signing accords with the bloc as a whole. “The

EU is not a super-state, it’s not a federation, it’s still 27 countries,” Chizov said. Putin for instance entertains a warm relationship with Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi, who is considered by Washington, according to WikiLeaks’ latest revelations, as the leading spokesman and defender of Russian interests inside the EU. However Paris and Berlin too are keen to court Moscow. Medvedev last month met French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the French

seaside resort of Deauville and Putin was hosted by Merkel late last month in Berlin. But Moscow’s ties with other EU nations, in particular the former Sovietera satellite countries that tend to regard Russia with suspicious eyes, are often more conflictual. The exception is Poland, where relations are on the mend. And Medvedev will fly in to Brussels following a historic visit there in which the two countries are to sign a series of deals and turn the page on a bitter history.—AFP

Car plows into group of cyclists in Italy, 8 dead Driver had been smoking marijuana

LAMEZIA TERME: Sheets cover the bodies of cyclists after a speeding car, partially seen at right, plowed head-on into their group in southern Italy yesterday morning, killing eight of them, in Lamezia Terme, Italy. —AP

ROME: A speeding car plowed head-on into a group of cyclists in southern Italy yesterday morning, killing eight of them, officials said. The driver had been smoking marijuana, police said. Bent, mangled bikes were strewn about the scene, and the sheet-draped corpses dotted the two-lane road near Lamezia Terme, in the Calabrian “toe” of boot-shaped Italy where the accident occurred. In addition to the eight cyclists killed, four people were injured, said Gianluca Gioia, a spokesman for ANAS, the agency that runs Italy’s state roads and highways. Police confirmed the toll. The ANSA news agency said the driver, who was slightly injured, was placed under arrest. A police spokesman who declined to give his name said the man, a Moroccan national, had tested positive for marijuana. A preliminary investigation showed the speeding car ran headfirst into the group of cyclists who were riding in the opposite direction on state road 18, according to the highway authority. ANSA said the driver was trying to pass another car when he hit the group. Visibility and driving conditions were good at the time, reports said. The road was closed by authorities. It is common in Italy to see groups of amateur cyclists taking to small state roads on weekends. ANSA said the group hit yesterday was affiliated with a local Lamezia Terme gym.—AP

Greek weapons cache not linked to guerrillas ATHENS: Greek police said yesterday that a cache of weapons found in apartments in Athens this weekend did not match guns used in recent attacks by leftist guerrilla groups. Police raided 16 houses across Greece, detained 17 people and arrested four men on Saturday, two days before the anniversary of the worst riots in decades, sparked by the police killing of a teenager on Dec. 6, 2008. Seven handguns, three machine guns, boxes of bullets, grenades, explosives and other weapons were confis-

cated during the raids in Athens. But ballistic tests showed the guns seized were not the ones used in attacks by guerrilla groups. “The 13 guns found so far are not linked to terrorism activity. The investigation continues and the findings are being tested,” police spokesman Thanassis Kokkalakis told Reuters. Another police official said the type of weapons pointed to the Conspiracy of Fire Cells group or the Rebel Sect, who have been responsible for a series of attacks in recent years including the killing of a policeman and

a journalist. Greece has a decades-long history of leftist violence but some groups have sprung up or become more active after the 2008 riots which paralysed Athens for weeks and attracted global media attention. Investors will be watching this week whether protests on the anniversary of the 2008 riots will turn violent, as the Socialist government struggles with a severe debt crisis that has shaken the euro zone. The Socialists have vowed to crack down on leftist guerrilla groups. More than 20 suspected urban

guerrilla members have been arrested this year, but analysts say the groups’ loose structure makes them hard to eradicate. The Rebel Sect emerged in February 2009 in a gun and grenade attack on an Athens police station. It gunnded down a policeman in June 2009 and a journalist in July this year. The Conspiracy of Fire Cells initially staged arson attacks but turned to bombings in 2009. They claimed a wave of parcel bombs addressed to foreign governments and embassies last month. — Reuters

ABIDJAN: Former South African president Thabo Mbeki (L) meets with Ivory Coast incumbent Laurent Gbagbo (R) at the presidential residence in Abidjan yesterday. —AFP

Mbeki in Ivory Coast to mediate in election standoff ABIDJAN: Former South African president Thabo Mbeki arrived in Ivory Coast yesterday to try to mediate an end to a standoff over election results that were meant to resolve a north-south conflict but now threaten to renew it. Incumbent Laurent Gbagbo was sworn in as president as the world’s top cocoa grower on Saturday even though the electoral commission declared his rival, Alassane Ouattara, winner of a Nov 28 runoff election. Ouattara submitted a rival oath to undertake the presidency and said he would start a parallel government. “A situation like Rwanda or Kenya would be a nightmare, which we are working tirelessly to avoid,” South Africa’s envoy to Ivory Coast, Zodwa Lallie, told Reuters, noting similarities with Kenya’s election in 2007 when a disputed result degenerated into ethnic bloodshed that killed at least 1,300 people. Mbeki was holding talks with Gbagbo at his presidential palace in the morning and was due later to meet Ouattara at the UN-guarded Abidjan hotel he is using as headquarters. South African officials said the Mbeki visit was due to last one day. The Constitutional Council, the country’s highest legal organ with final word on the election and headed by an ally of Gbagbo, cancelled hundreds of thousands of votes in Ouattara bastions. It cited intimidation and fraud by rebel soldiers who run these areas, and declared Gbagbo the winner. But the result had been certified by the U.N. peacekeeping envoy to Ivory Coast, Y.J. Choi, who received copies of the count from almost every polling station. He said that even if all the fraud allegations were true, they still could not have changed the outcome announced by the election commission. The crisis in Ivory Coast, once West Africa’s brightest economic star, has sent cocoa futures up to two-week highs and forced up the

risk premium on the country’s $2.3 billion Eurobond. It is currently yielding 11.67 percent, from below 10 percent after the first election round. The vote was supposed to unite Ivory Coast after a 2002-03 war left the north in rebel hands. but that now seems unlikely. Small-scale protests and tyre-burning broke out on Saturday in several towns, including the largest city, Abidjan, and in Bouake in the north. At least 15 people have been killed in violence associated with the election. New Forces rebel commander Cherif Ousmane warned that his followers would “not rest for long without doing something” about Gbagbo if he continues to hold onto power. He did not specify what that would entail. Gbagbo has controlled the country for a decade but now faces isolation and possibly sanctions, after his win was rejected by the United Nations, United States, France, the European Union, the African Union and West African bloc ECOWAS. The United Nations has taken the unusually bold step of declaring Ouattara the winner and refusing to recognize Gbagbo. The International Monetary Fund said on Friday it would not recognise his presidency unless the United Nations did-a factor that could dash hopes for relief of $3 billion in debt. Gbagbo’s swearing-in was broadcast live on state TV and the head of the armed forces declared his continued allegiance to him the day before. Most diplomats boycotted the ceremony. The exceptions were diplomats from Angola, a longtime Gbagbo ally, and Lebanon, which has a large expatriate community in Ivory Coast. After the electoral panel announced provisional results giving Ouattara a win with 54.1 percent of the vote, several foreign broadcast media were taken off the air for their Ivory Coast audiences.—Reuters

Guinea’s Conde plans truth commission on violence

MAR DEL PLATA: Ibero American leaders pose for the official picture of the Iberoamerican summit in Mar del Plata, Argentina, Saturday. —AP

Iberoamerican summit moves to protect democracy MAR DEL PLATA: Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking nations wrapped up their annual meeting Saturday by adopting a provision threatening exclusion for any member country that doesn’t abide by democratic process. The 22-nation Iberoamerican conference said it was important for countries to respect the constitutional order. “This is a major advance for us,” the group’s secretary general, Enrique Iglesias, said of the provision. Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman added, “There is no Latin

American forum in which you can be a member if you do not respect the democratic order.” Under the group’s new provision, it would take unanimous approval to suspend a member nation for non-democratic actions, such as a coup removing an elected leader. Ecuador, meanwhile, failed in its effort to include in the meeting’s final declaration a criticism of the US diplomatic cables that have been released by WikiLeaks. Several leftist governments at the conference rejected the contents of the leaked documents, portraying

them as an attempt by the US to divide the region’s leaders. Bolivia’s vice president, Alvaro Garcia Linera, urged Saturday that Latin Americans not to allow “imperial diplomacy” that creates divisions. “These malicious acts are looking to separate us.” Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parilla said the released documents show that “behind the words and friendly smiles of the current US president, there has not been any real change of policy or ethics.” Spain, however, said the diplomatic messages are

not a concern. “In fact, no Latin American country, or any country in the word, named in these cables has reacted more than dismissively, because they know it is ... subjective information,” Spanish Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez said. The nations also adopted a statement promising to promote improvements in education and achieve full literacy by 2015. It says should ensure free primary and secondary education and require compulsory basic education for their citizens.—AP

CONAKRY: Guinea will form a truth and reconciliation commission aimed at healing the wounds of ethnic and political violence that has plagued the West African country for decades, President-elect Alpha Conde said on Saturday. The move will be modeled on South Africa’s post-apartheid commission formed by Nelson Mandela and is likely to be well received by human rights groups which have condemned the country’s repeated spasms of violence. This is “so that those who have made mistakes can ask forgiveness and that victims can accept this forgiveness”, Conde said on state television, days after Guinea’s Supreme Court validated his win in a hotly contested Nov. 7 poll in which voters largely followed ethnic lines. “I know that forgiveness does not replace the dead or the arms that were chopped off, but it’s an important step.” Conde, winner of Guinea’s first free election since independence from France in 1958, said reconciliation was critical to rebuilding the poor and unstable country. Guinea, the world’s top exporter of the aluminium ore bauxite, has seen numerous bouts of violence over past decades. At least 10 people died in election clashes last month. Among the most grim examples, former dictator and first post-independence leader Sekou Toure’s Camp Boiro still stands

in the capital Conakry. Rights group Amnesty International says more that 50,000 political detainees died in horrendous conditions in the prison, now a military camp. According to some witnesseses, Toure’s prisoners were locked into cells where they were given neither food nor water and their screams were ignored until they died-a slow form of execution the regime called the ‘dark diet”. Conde himself was sentenced to death in absentia by Toure’s regime, after he was implicated in a coup plot. Under Lansana Conte, Guinea’s second post-independence leader, at least 130 protesters were shot dead by soldiers in downtown Conakry. Nearly two years of military rule followed his death in 2008. Last year, now-exiled junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara drew condemnation after his security forces killed more than 150 prodemocracy demonstrators and raped scores of women gathered in a stadium. The violence is widely believed to have been driven in part by centuries-old tensions between the country’s two most populous ethnic groups, the Peul and the Malinke. The United Nations’ top official in West Africa has urged Guinea’s next government to put reconciliation high on the agenda and end the perceived impunity of its notoriously indisciplined army.— Reuters



Monday, December 6, 2010

US commanders at odds over lifting ban on gays WASHINGTON: Top US commanders have sharply disagreed over lifting a ban on openly gay troops serving in the military, drawing different conclusions from a new Pentagon study. The top US Army and Marine officers warned that repealing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” prohibition could prove disruptive at a time of war while other top brass backed the move, citing details of the study to bolster their arguments. The mixed message from commanders came as President Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats in the Senate pushed to scrap the ban during a year-end “lame duck” session, hoping to win over a handful of Republicans in a last-ditch effort. The commandant of the Marine Corps,

General James Amos, strongly urged Congress to put off any action, quoting the study’s findings that a majority of Marines in combat had misgivings about lifting the ban. “I cannot reconcile, nor turn my back, on the negative perceptions held by our Marines who are most engaged in the hard work of day-to-day operations in Afghanistan,” Amos told the Senate Armed Services Committee. But a fellow Marine, General James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Pentagon’s surveys showed troops who had served with homosexuals believed the change would pose no major problem. He told the same hearing that “when based on actual experience, our service

members seem confident in their ability to serve professionally and effectively alongside gay and lesbian service members. “I’m inclined to trust the real-world experiences of our men and women on the battlefield,” Cartwright said. The 1993 law, opposed by a majority of Americans, requires gay and lesbian troops to keep their sexual orientation secret or face discharge from the military. Along with the Marine Corps commander, the chiefs of the US Army and the Air Force also said ending the ban during a war carried risks, but appeared more open to the change. The chiefs of the US Navy and Coast Guard said their forces were ready for an end to the ban and could carry it out with-

out upheaval. General George Casey, US Army chief of staff, said repealing the law posed a “moderate risk” to military effectiveness, disagreeing with the Pentagon’s study that the change presented only a “low risk.” Opening the door to gays and lesbians serving openly would “add another level of stress to an already stretched force,” Casey said. But he said ending the ban would not upset “good order and discipline” in the ranks or prevent US forces from carrying out global missions. The chief of the Navy, Admiral Gary Roughead, said US allies that had ended their own bans on gays encountered no serious trouble. The change for those countries was a “non-event,”

Roughead said. “It just happened, and they got on with things.” The hearing came a day after the highest ranking military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, and the US defense secretary, Robert Gates, called on Congress to act quickly this year to repeal the ban and ensure an orderly process, warning of the risks of allowing the issue to play out in the courts. Opponents of the law, including Admiral Mullen, say it violates the military’s values by forcing homosexuals to lie about their identity and deprives the armed forces of skilled recruits. Republican senators argue that ending the ban poses risks to a military already strained by two wars in Afghanistan and

Iraq, pointing to study results showing 40 to 60 percent of troops in combat units feared the change would have a negative effect. The Pentagon study released Tuesday points out parallels with past changes that opened the military to African-Americans and to women, saying predictions have tended to underestimate the ability of the armed forces to adapt. When then president Harry Truman ordered the racial integration of the US military in 1948, surveys at the time revealed opposition among troops ran as high as 80 to 90 percent, the study said. “Today, the US military is probably the most racially diverse and integrated institution in the country,” the report said. — AFP

Four officers killed in Mexican border city Mexico arrests 14-year-old hitman CIUDAD J UAREZ: Gunmen a mbushed a police vehicle responding to an emergency call in the violent border city of Ciudad J uarez on Saturday, killing four officers and wounding tw o bystanders, authorities said. The officers’ vehicle was nea r an intersection w hen gunmen drove by and bega n shooting, sa id Adrian Sanchez, a public safety depa rtment spokesman. The officers died in their ca r. It wa s unclear how ma ny vehicles the gunmen used, and police did not relea se a motive for the shooting. Sanchez sa id one of the two injured bysta nders was a 10-yea r-old girl.

PUERTO SANTANDER: Residents sit on a flooded street in Puerto Santander, on Colombia’s northeastern border with Venezuela Saturday. —AP

Venezuela deals with trickery amid floods CARACAS: Swindlers are pretending to be victims of flooding that has killed dozens and left thousands homeless in Venezuela to try to cash in on a government offer of apartments for people whose homes have been damaged, an official said Saturday. Jacqueline Farias, an official appointed by President Hugo Chavez to govern Venezuela’s capital, condemned the alleged tricksters, saying “those people whose houses are falling apart or in danger on being destroyed are the ones who should be in the shelters.” “People who need new houses, but are not at risk, are appearing in shelters and taking up space for protecting those who are at risk,” she added. Farias did not elaborate on the purported scam. Floods and landslides unleashed by torrential rains over the last two weeks have killed at least 34 people and forced more than 5,000 Venezuelans from their homes, Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami told state television. More than 74,000 Venezuelans have fled their homes and taken refuge at 300 shelters, he said. El Aissami said the most recent

victims were two people who were killed when a mudslides crushed their vehicle as they drove along a highway in the western state of Tachira. The government has declared a “state of emergency” in the capital and three states: Miranda, Vargas and Falcon. But rains also pounded the western states of Zulia, Trujillo, Merida and Tachira on Saturday, El Aissami said. The heavy rains, officials say, have continued past the usual end of the region’s wet season. Falcon has been hit hardest by the floods. “It has not stopped raining in Falcon or other regions,” El Aissami said. People have attempted to take advantage of natural disasters in the past. Following devastating floods and mudslides that thundered down from the mountains towering over Caracas and the adjacent state of Vargas in December 1999, some people posed as victims of the disaster that killed more than 15,000 Venezuelans and left tens of thousands more homeless. Chavez complained that some of those who received newly constructed apartments

from the government later sold them and used the cash to move into cheaper dwellings. The floods and mudslides currently ravaging Venezuela are forcing Chavez to accelerate plans to build more low-income housing for the poor. Despite its immense oil wealth, Venezuela is struggling with a severe housing deficit. More than 1 million of Venezuela’s estimated 28 million inhabitants do not have adequate housing while millions more live in dangerous, laberinth-like slums. “During these recent days, it’s rained like never before in Venezuela. Just so we have an idea: We’ve reached twice the level of rainfall recorded in December 1999,” Chavez wrote in a newspaper column published on Saturday. “We’re facing an extremely complex situation of national emergency.” “It’s necessary to build houses fast enough to satisfy demand,” Chavez added. The self-proclaimed “socialist” also urged private construction companies to pitch in, saying “it’s time they assume their social responsibility.” — AP

Mexican judge absolves reputed drug cartel ‘queen’ MEXICO CITY : A Mexican judge Friday acquitted a reputed drug cartel “queen” of organized crime and other charges, the latest setback for a judicial system that has failed to convict the majority of suspects captured for drug crimes. Judge Fernando Cordova del Valle ruled that prosecutors failed to bring enough evidence against Sandra Avila Beltran, described by US and Mexican officials as a major decision-maker for the Sinaloa gang, Mexico’s most powerful cartel. The “Queen of the Pacific” had been charged with organized crime, conspiracy to traffic drugs and money laundering. Avila Beltran, who was arrested in September 2007 by more than 30 federal agents as she sipped coffee in a Mexico City diner, has faced a US extradition request since November 2007. The request relates to the 2001 seizure of more than 9 tons of US-bound cocaine aboard a fishing vessel in the port of Manzanillo, along Mexico’s west coast. It was unclear if Avila, who remains in a Mexico City prison, still faces lesser charges or if the ruling Friday would affect the

extradition process. The Attorney General’s Office said it could not immediately comment. Her boyfriend, Colombian Juan Diego Espinoza Ramirez, was also absolved in the same ruling. However, Espinoza was extradited to Florida in December 2008 on charges related to the cocaine shipment. Mexican law allows suspects to be extradited to the US even while they are facing trial in the Mexico. At the time of her arrest, prosecutors said Avila spent more than a decade working her way to the top of Mexico’s drug trade, seducing several notorious kingpins and uniting Colombian and Mexican gangs. Avila comes from a family of powerful drug lords: She is the niece of Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, “the godfather” of Mexican drug smuggling, who is serving a 40year sentence in Mexico for drug smuggling and the murder of DEA agent Enrique Camarena in Mexico’s western Jalisco state. Another uncle, Juan Jose Quintero Payan, was extradited to the US on drug-trafficking charges. Prosecutors had said it was Avila’s

romance with Espinoza that brought together the Sinaloa gang and Colombia’s Norte del Valle cartel. But Avila had largely gone unnoticed until police found the cocaine shipment in Manzanillo in 2001 and tracked it to Espinoza Ramirez. A few months later, her teenage son was kidnapped in the northern city of Guadalajara and she contacted authorities for help. The size of the ransom demanded, which police said was $5 million, raised suspicion. Officers began tracking Avila closely in Mexico City, where she frequented a pricey Thai restaurant and had her hair colored jet black and hands manicured in ritzy beauty shops frequented by TV stars. The story of her arrest enthralled Mexicans, inspiring a “narcocorrido” folk ballad by Los Tucanes de Tijuana that pays homage to her as “a top lady who is a key part of the business.” The brief statement on her acquittal offered few details on the case against her, saying only that prosecutors failed to prove the “time, place, methods” of her alleged crimes. — AP

Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, has become one of the world’s most violent cities as Mexico’s drug war escalates. The Sinaloa and Juarez drug cartels are battling for control of the city, and more than 2,000 people have been killed this year so far. In western Mexico, police in the Pacific resort city of Acapulco said two headless and handless bodies were hung from a freeway overpass in a gruesome display of the growing level of violence and retaliation by cartels. The two sets of hands were left on the overpass, each holding a bloody skull. Above the skulls on the railing were hung the skinned faces of the two male victims. A sign placed near their remains claimed they were working with an associate of Edgar “La Barbie” Valdez, a Texas native captured in August who is suspected of trying to seize control of the Beltran Leyva cartel. Mexican marines killed cartel leader Arturo Beltran Leyva in a shootout last December. In another development, Mexican authorities have arrested a 14-year-old boy possibly born in the United States and accused of beheading and mutilating his victims as a drug cartel hitman, officials said. The youth, identified as Edgar Jimenez and nicknamed “El Ponchis,” was arrested at an airport in central Morelos state around midnight as he attempted to board a plane to see his family in the border city of Tijuana, a military official said. Morelos Governor Marco Antonio Adame told reporters police found identity papers on the boy indicating he was born in San Diego, California on July 1996 on the other side of the US-Mexico border. “We’re trying to determine if they are authentic,” he added. Authorities had sought El Ponchis-”the cloaked one” since late October after military forces released him due to his young age. He had earlier been arrested along with six suspected hitmen for the South Pacific Cartel. The suspects, including Jimenez, allegedly confessed in videos posted online that they had killed several men found hanging from bridges in Cuernavaca, less than 100 kilometers south of Mexico City.

Canadian charged in crossbow killing

ACAPULCO: Forensic workers carry one of two bodies that were decapitated, their arms were cut off and then were hung from a bridge in the Pacific resort city of Acapulco, Mexico Saturday. — AP They said the boy was in charge of cutting the victims’ heads and genitalia, local media said. Jimenez, however, denied the reports in comments to reporters after his arrest. “I’ve killed four people. I slit their throats. I felt awful doing it. They forced me, told me if I didn’t do it they would kill me. I only cut their throats, but I never went to hang (people) from bridges, never,” he said outside the Morelos attorney general’s office. Jimenez also said he was arrested along with one of his sisters, aged 19 and with whom he was trying to fly to San Diego, home of their stepmother who had sent them money for the flight. According to the videos broadcast on Mexican media, the boy carried out his murders in complicity with his sisters, who sometimes served as decoys to lure victims. — Agencies

TORONTO: A Canadian man has been charged with firstdegree murder for fatally shooting his father in the back with a crossbow in a Toronto library as shocked mothers and children watched. Zhou Fang, 24, appeared in court to face the murder charge a day after Si Cheng, 52, was killed in the library about an hour after a nearby school let out for the day. The judge ordered that Fang be held without bail. Toronto police Const. Tony Vella said Cheng was pronounced dead at the scene and Fang was arrested later Thursday in a Toronto suburb. “The use of a crossbow is definitely a unique case in Toronto,” said Vella. “You hear about guns, you hear about knives being used, but you definitely don’t hear about a crossbow.” Earlier Friday police said the two men knew each other, and Vella later confirmed the men were father and son. Police did not say what caused the altercation. Toronto Public Library spokeswoman Anne Marie Aikins said the popular neighborhood library was busy with

its after-school and motherand-children programs at the time. Babies were among those in the branch when Cheng was killed, she said. Although there were many witnesses, police have not yet confirmed if anyone noticed the weapon before the attack. The library remained closed Friday for the police investigation. Residents near the library were stunned by the unusual attack. “This street is full of kids ... It’s very traumatizing,” said Linus Smith, who was sitting in a restaurant across the street when she said the suspect came out of the library with something in his hand, got into a U-Haul truck and drove off. “It’s shocking,” said Troy Ross, 39, who lives across the street from the library and often takes his children there. “You don’t think of a crossbow as something for killing people, just as something for recreation.” The Royal Canadian Mounted Police reports the only crossbows prohibited in Canada are those that can be fired with one hand and are 19 inches or less in length. — AP



Monday, December 6, 2010

Thailand-Myanmar refugee ‘ping pong’ slammed by Rights group BANGKOK: Thailand must stop treating refugees fleeing conflict in eastern Myanmar as “human ping pong balls” who are returned to their home country prematurely, a top rights group warned yesterday. Since fighting erupted in November more than 20,000 people have escaped across the border to Thailand, and while many returned

within days, refugees continue to flee renewed conflict, said a Human Rights Watch (HRW) statement. An election on November 7 has done nothing to change the Myanmar army’s tactics of “terrorizing” civilians, who need expanded protection when they seek refuge in Thailand, according to HRW deputy Asia director Elaine

Pearson. “People fleeing conflict in Burma are being treated like human ping pong balls-reluctantly allowed into Thailand when fighting flares, but then returned to Burma (Myanmar) at the first sign of quiet,” said Pearson. “Thailand should not return refugees until the risk to them in Burma truly ends, but should allow

them to stay in safe areas away from the border with access to protection services and assistance from humanitarian agencies.” Tensions soared in Myanmar on polling day when Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) ethnic rebels occupied Myawaddy town in Karen state, sparking a state army counter-attack and a mass exodus

of civilians into Thailand. Subsequent sporadic fighting at several points along the border, with state troops conducting a major build-up in the area, has caused continued displacement. “Sadly, so far neither side in the recent fighting has shown much regard for the civilians caught in the crossfire,” said Pearson, adding

that they suffered from indiscriminate shelling and rights abuses such as forced labor. Civil war has wracked parts of Myanmar since its independence in 1948, although most insurgent groups-who seek more autonomy and rights-have agreed to ceasefires with the junta. Military-ruled since 1962, Myanmar barred swathes of ethnic minorities

from taking part in last month’s vote-the country’s first in 20 years, which was widely derided by Western nations. Ahead of the poll, the regime pressured armed movements to give up their weapons or come under state control-a move most resisted, sparking fears of renewed conflict. —AFP

North Korea lambasts South Korea’s new defense chief South causes uncontrollable, extreme tension on peninsula: North SEOUL: North Korea lambasted South Korea’s new defense chief yesterday for threatening to launch air strikes against the North and accused the South of causing “uncontrollable, extreme” tension on the peninsula. The South’s Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin told a confirmation hearing last week that

jets would bomb the North if it stages another attack like the shelling on a front-line island that killed four South Koreans. Kim took office Saturday, replacing a predecessor who resigned amid criticism that South Korea’s response to the Nov 23 shelling was too slow and weak.

PAJU: South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin, left, shakes hands with a South Korean Army soldier during his visit to the base in the Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas in Paju, South Korea yesterday. —AP

14-year-old’s marriage sparks call for debate KUALA LUMPUR: The public marriage celebration in Malaysia between a 14-yearold girl and a 23-year-old teacher has triggered a call for a fresh debate on child marriage. On Saturday, schoolgirl Siti Maryam Mahood and Abdul Manan Othman celebrated their marriage at a mosque in the capital Kuala Lumpur, after a religious Sharia court approved the union. “It has been hard trying to juggle two roles-as a student and a wife-but I am taking it in my stride,” Siti Maryam was quoted as saying by the New Sunday Times newspaper. “My

husband is a teacher at a primary school and he is a family friend,” she said according to the daily which said the girls’ parents matchmade the couple and that the Sharia court granted them permission to marry in July. Ivy Josiah, executive director of leading activist group Women’s Aid Organization, said that laws which allow underage marriage in certain cases must be dumped by Malaysia, a conservative and mainly Muslim country. “I certainly hope this will spark a fresh round of open debate. There should not be any road-

blocks... that it involves culture and religion and hence we cannot talk about it,” she told AFP. Josiah has previously said that “child marriage amounts to paedophilia”. Muslims below 16 who want to get married must obtain the permission of the religious courts. Those of other religions aged below 17 must have the consent of civil authorities. “We need to remedy the flaws in the law. There are exceptions in the law. These exceptions should be removed. The government can no longer turn a blind eye,” Josiah said.

“The government should set the minimum marriage age of 18 for all races-boys and girls since the Child Act recognises a child as anyone below 18,” she said. “We need to protect the child.” In Malaysia, Muslims make up about 60 per cent of the 28 million population. For certain issues including family law they are subject to Sharia which operates in parallel with the civil legal system. Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, the minister for women, family and community development, said in July that underage marriage was “morally and socially unacceptable”. —AFP

GUIZHOU: In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, firefighters enter an Internet cafe following an explosion, downtown of Kaili city in Miao-Dong Autonomous Prefecture of Qiandongnan, in southwest China’s Guizhou Province yesterday. —AP

Chemical blast kills 7 at Internet cafe in China BEIJING: An explosion caused by illegally stored chemicals killed seven people and injured 37 at an Internet cafe in southwestern China, state media and the local government said yesterday. The blast occurred late Saturday in a shop next to the cafe, located under a bridge, the Kaili city government in Guizhou province said in a statement. The official Xinhua News

Agency said eight of those hurt were seriously injured. Six people were killed on the spot and one woman died of extensive burns yesterday after treatment at a hospital failed, Xinhua said. Investigators are identifying the bodies, which included one child, the report said. Packs of highly concentrated aluminum chloride and sodium nitrite, which are hazardous, were stacked up against a wall in a

shop that sold chemicals next to the Internet cafe, the report said. It did not say how the chemicals were ignited. Police detained a person for illegal possession of the chemicals, while the cafe’s boss and manager were also being held by police for questioning, it said. The explosion shattered the windows of nearby residential buildings, Xinhua said. —AP

The North’s official Korean Central News Agency issued a statement yesterday accusing the South of staging a series of “frantic provocations” including the defense minister’s remarks. “The frantic provocations ... are rapidly driving the situation on the Korean peninsula to an uncontrollable extreme phase,” the official Korean Central News Agency said in a dispatch from Pyongyang. The dispatch said South Korea plans to stage new naval drills with the United States soon, start its own livefire drills from Monday and deploy missiles, rockets and other sophisticated weapons to Yeonpyeong Island that was hit by the artillery barrage. “The puppet military warlike forces were reported to have already worked out the so-called ‘retaliatory plan’ which calls for sparking off an armed clash after getting on the nerves of the (North Korean) military and taking a large-scale counteraction under this pretext,” it said. South Korea’s military declined yesterday to confirm whether it has such a military plan. Joint Chiefs of Staff officers only said a new joint drill with the US , which would follow last week’s massive joint naval drill in the Yellow Sea , is still under discussion with Washington and the live-fire exercise is a routine drill that was scheduled well before the artillery barrage. Kim inspected an army base near the heavily fortified land border yesterday and urged troops to strengthen their combat capability and mental toughness, according to his office. A day earlier, he visited Yeonpyeong Island and vowed to take strong measures to ensure North Korea would not dare to make more provocations. Despite the recent attack, the Defense Ministry believes it’s unlikely North Korea would launch a full-scale war as it could not wage a conflict for long and because of South Korea’s solid military alliance with the US, Yonhap news agency reported yesterday citing the military. The report said South Korea plans to put the assessment in a defense white paper to be published later this month. A Defense Ministry official, however, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said the ministry has yet to finalize the contents of the assessment. Skirmishes occur periodically along the two Koreas’ disputed western maritime border, but the latest assault on Yeonpyeong Island, home to both fishing communities and military bases, was the North’s first to target a civilian area since the 1950-53 Korean War. The attack came eight months after the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship blamed on a North Korean torpedo attack , also near the tense maritime border. Forty-six sailors were killed and North Korea has vehemently denied involvement. The North also stoked regional tension last month by revealing a large uraniumenrichment facility that would give it a new method of making material for atomic bombs in addition to its known plutoniumbased program. Top diplomats from the US, South Korea and Japan were to meet in Washington today to discuss the North’s nuclear program and its artillery barrage. The Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty, technically leaving the peninsula at war. The US stations 28,500 troops in South Korea to deter potential aggression from North Korea, which considers the troops a threat rather than a deterrent. —AP

BANGKOK: In this photo released by the Thai Royal Household, Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej delivers his annual birthday speech as part of his 83rd birthday celebration at the Amarindhara throne hall inside the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand yesterday. —AP

Thailand marks king’s 83rd birthday BANGKOK: Thailand yesterday marked the 83rd birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world’s longest-reigning monarch, but elaborate celebrations could not mask concern over his health and the future of the royal institution. In his annual birthday speech, the king sounded what has become a routine, general call for unity and hard work to keep the country happy and prosperous in the face of the sometimes violent political conflict it has endured in recent years. Thousands of flag-waving citizens cheered his car’s journey to the ceremonial Grand Palace from Siriraj Hospital, where he was admitted in September 2009 with a lung inflammation. There has been no detailed explanation of his extended hospitalization. The king’s health is a matter of immense public concern, both because he is widely admired and because he is regarded as a unifying figure in times of national crisis. Shouts of “Long live the king” rang out as he entered the hospital lobby in a motorized wheelchair and headed to board a van, in which Queen Sirikit also sat. On sidewalks close to the hospital, the crowd was five or six deep, with those immediately along the street kneeling reverentially. Police and soldiers lined the entire route for the 12minute journey through Bangkok. Massive ceremonies were held later in the day, as on past occasions honoring the king. They included a candle-lighting

show of devotion led by the prime minister, fireworks, the release of thousands of small hot-air balloons and a nighttime boat procession on Bangkok’s Chao Phraya river. Speaking briefly in a slow and rasping voice to dignitaries at the Grand Palace, the king urged people to be clear about their duties and carry them out to the best of their ability. He called for them to perform “justly and firmly, doing your duties correctly in an appropriate manner, for the security of the country and its benefit.” The annual birthday speech has for several years been the main forum for the king to present his ideas directly to the public. Bhumibol’s near-disappearance from public life has coincided with a period of political instability after a 2006 military coup against Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra polarized the country. The king has been unable or unwilling to play his traditional mediating role to ease the conflict. Defenders of the status quo, including the current government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, say the monarchy is under attack by radicals who wish to undermine its authority and prestige, or even abolish it. While serious opponents of the royal institution are a tiny minority , and liable to long jail terms if they speak publicly , the past few years have seen unprecedented questioning of the monarchy. Traditionally, the palace managed to stay aloof from the parry

and thrust of politics, its influence exercised behind the scenes or only in extreme cases where a crisis posed an immediate threat to the kingdom’s peace and stability. However, the 2006 coup ousting Thaksin opened a political and social schism that has still not healed. Thaksin had been popularly elected in landslide victories, but his critics accused him of corruption and disrespect to the crown. His supporters say he was toppled at the behest of a Bangkok-oriented elite, with elements of the palace and the military playing key roles because they felt their power and influence were threatened by Thaksin’s popularity, which was greatest among the country’s poor rural majority that benefited from his populist policies. The polarization became greater as gestures made by the king’s top aides and even Queen Sirikit seemed to give a nod of approval to Thaksin’s opponents, including “Yellow Shirt” protesters who in 2008 occupied the prime minister’s office for three months and took over Bangkok’s two airports for a week. Their protests were aimed at ousting two successive pro-Thaksin prime ministers. As the crisis deepened, the health of the king began to decline, and he sharply curtailed his public appearances. That has intensified long-standing concern about the royal succession, though it is still not acceptable as a matter for public debate. —AP

China, Taiwan, Philippines search for ship crewmen MANILA: Coast guard rescuers from China, Taiwan and the Philippines battled rough seas and fierce wind yesterday to search for up to 10 crewmen from a cargo ship that sank two days ago. At least 14 others have been rescued, officials said. The 27,996-ton Hong Wei sent a distress call that was picked up by the Japanese coast guard before sinking Friday in the high seas between Taiwan and the northern Philippines, Filipino coast guard chief Wilfredo Tamayo said. A passing Chinese cargo ship plucked 12 sailors from the rough sea while a Taiwanese coast guard helicopter rescued two others, he said. Taiwan’s coast guard on Saturday reported that 16 crewmen have been rescued and eight

others remain missing. There was no immediate explanation for the discrepancy in the reports of the two coast guards. Rescue teams aboard ships and planes from China, Taiwan and the Philippines were jointly searching for the missing crewmen of the Panamanian-registered ship, Tamayo said. Their efforts were hampered by monsoon wind and big waves, he said. An oil slick has been sighted near where the ship was believed to have sunk but it was too far from land to affect any coastal community, he said. The ship was carrying iron ore from Indonesia to Dalian port in northeastern China when it sank midway due to still-unknown causes, Taiwanese officials said. — AP


Monday, December 6, 2010


Taleban claims responsibility for attack

Suicide bomber kills 4 at Afghan army base FATEHPUR SIKRI: French President Nicolas Sarkozy, second left, and his wife Carla Bruni, third left, walk with Sufi Muslim priests during a visit to the Fatehpur Sikri, a town that was the capital of the Mogul empire in the 16th century, near Agra, India yesterday. —AP

Sarkozy and wife Bruni hit Indian tourist trail AGRA: French President Nicolas Sarkozy took his glamorous wife Carla Bruni sight-seeing in India yesterday, with the ancient city of Fatehpur Sikri reported to be on their itinerary. The couple had altered their schedule to sneak in a romantic sunset visit to the Taj Mahal on Saturday evening, when security staff rushed to turn tourists and press away from the white marble “monument to love”. The French president is on a four-day visit to India, and was due to travel with his wife to the capital New Delhi later yesterday to attend a dinner hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The couple’s sight-seeing plans were not released by the president’s office, which described the day as private time-off, but Indian officials said they were expected to visit Fatehpur Sikri, a ruined 16th-century Mughal city. Sarkozy last visited India in 2008, just before he married pop star and former model Bruni, and he vowed then to return with her to see the Taj Mahal, located in the city of Agra 200 kilometres (120 miles) from Delhi. “The cosy twosome reached the monument alone and spent nearly an hour with only two groups of French security men keeping a discreet watch from a distance,” the Times of India reported. “It was Bruni’s first visit to the Taj and she seemed completely floored by what she saw.” The Times said the last-minute decision to visit

the Taj on Saturday evening rather than yesterday had caused a headache for managers of the 17th-century mausoleum. It reported heated exchanges between officials and frustrated tourists who were either unable to enter or were hurriedly cleared out of the site shortly before the couple arrived. Captain A S Tiwari, a senior state official in Agra, said Sarkozy and Bruni was to tour the Fatehpur Sikri ruins for about an hour yesterday afternoon. “We will close the area off from the public and have deployed at least 1,000 police personnel,” he told AFP. “Local people are anxious to get a glimpse of Carla, but we couldn’t allow that because of the security measures.” Sarkozy began his Indian trip in the southern city of Bangalore, a major technology centre, where he reiterated France’s support for India to gain a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. He also welcomed cooperation in space that will lead the two countries to jointly launch satellites to monitor the climate and oceans next year, and expressed a desire for more Indians to study in France. During talks in Delhi today he is expected to lobby on behalf of French companies looking to do business in the fast-emerging country. He completes his visit on Tuesday with a trip to Mumbai, India’s commercial capital that was hit by Islamist militant attacks two years ago in which 166 people died.— AFP

KABUL: A Taleban suicide bomber blew himself up next to a collection of Taleban claimed responsibility, saying it was a suicide attack by a Taleban shop stalls inside an eastern Afghan army base yesterday, killing two sleeper agent who had joined the Afghan army so that he would be able to NATO service members and at least two civilians, officials said. The kill foreigners. The explosion occurred in an area of the Gardez army base where shopkeepers sell goods to both Afghan soldiers and their partnered NATO troops, said Rohullah Samon, a spokesman for the Paktia provincial government. NATO said in a statement that two members of the military coalition died in the suicide attack. They did not identify the victims or give their nationalities. Most of the NATO forces in Gardez are American. Two shopkeepers were killed and at least 18 people were wounded in the blast, Samon said. He said he did not have information on any military deaths. A Taleban spokesman said in an email sent to media outlets that the civilians who were killed were not innocent because they had collaborated with government and NATO forces. “They were at the service of the foreigners,” Zabiullah Mujahid said. In southern Afghanistan, another NATO service member was killed in an insurgent attack while an Afghan employee of an American contractor was shot dead in the city of Lashkar Gah, officials said. NATO did not proKABUL: Doctors treat an injured man at a hospital, wounded by a suicide attack in Gardez, east of Kabul, vide any further details on the dead service member. The victim Afghanistan yesterday. —AP in the Lashkar Gah shooting worked for International Relief and Development, said Daoud Ahmadi, a spokesman for the Helmand provincial government. ISLAMABAD: Dozens of Pakistani families Rummery told AFP. “There is strong desire among people living have returned to South Waziristan with UN and Rummery said the UNHCR was helping peo- in camps to return home,” Rummery added. The The company, known as IRD, government help to rebuild their lives after ple returning home with transport, tents and Pakistani military carried out a sweeping offenworks on infrastructure and other major fighting against the Taleban, a UN official other non-food and household items, adding that sive last year into parts of South Waziristan in aid projects for the U.S. governsaid yesterday. Thirty-five families were the government was giving each family 25,000 order to disable the headquarters of the counment. The killing comes after an returned yesterday with 48 families already hav- Pakistani rupees (292 dollars). The process is try’s main Taleban faction, following an increase attempted attack on the IRD office ing resettled on Saturday under a repatriation expected to see people from 8,000 registered in militant bomb attacks in late 2009. Many of in March during which two wouldprocess due continue until next year, the official families go to more than 10 villages in South the Taleban commanders and their footsoldiers be suicide attackers tried to storm said. Waziristan, part of the tribal areas that are believed to have fled into the neighbouring the building. Those attackers “Thirty-five families left today from north- Washington has branded a global headquarters district of North Waziristan, where Pakistan has were killed by security guards western city of Tank to return home,” UN of Al-Qaeda and the most dangerous place on so far resisted American pressure for a similar before they could enter the buildrefugee agency (UNHCR) spokeswoman Ariane Earth. offensive, and into Orakzai. —AFP ing. —AP

Pakistan families return after Waziristan offensive

Court issues warrants over Bhutto’s death ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani court has issued arrest warrants for two senior police officials accused of negligence in the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, a prosecutor said yesterday. Prosecutors accuse one of the officials of failing to provide proper security for Bhutto and the other of cleaning the crime scene before evidence could be collected. Bhutto was killed in a Dec 27, 2007, gun and suicide-bomb attack as she was leaving a rally in the garrison town of Rawalpindi, where she was campaigning for parliamentary elections just weeks after returning to the country from years in selfimposed exile. A UN commission in April said her assassination could have been prevented and blamed all levels of government for failing to provide adequate security. It also accused intelligence agencies and other officials of severely hampering the investigation into those behind her murder. Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali said yesterday that an

anti-terror court has ordered the arrest of former Rawalpindi police chief Saud Aziz and Superintendent Khurram Shahzad at the request of the Federal Investigation Agency. “We have filed an application for the trial of two police officials - one was responsible for deliberate negligence in Benazir Bhutto’s security and the other was responsible for washing down the crime scene instead of preserving it,” Ali told The Associated Press. The UN commission said in its April report that the Rawalpindi police’s decision to hose down the crime scene and its failure to collect and preserve evidence “inflicted irreparable damage to the investigation.” Ali said the two police officials could be arrested at any time and would be in court for another hearing set for Dec 11. The officials could not be reached for comment yesterday. Presently five accused militants are facing trial for alleged involvement in the killing. The government of then-President Pervez Musharraf blamed Bhutto’s death on

Baitullah Mehsud, a Pakistani militant commander with reported links to Al-Qaeda who has since been killed. Officials at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency also said Mehsud was the chief suspect. But Bhutto’s party has repeatedly hinted that Musharraf or his allies were involved and demanded a UN investigation, claiming it was the only way the whole truth would be revealed. In its report, the UN commission said Musharraf’s government, though fully aware and tracking threats against Bhutto, did little more than pass them on to her and to provincial authorities and did not take action to neutralize them or ensure “that the security provided was commensurate with the threats.” The commission urged Pakistani authorities to carry out a “serious, credible” criminal investigation that “determines who conceived, ordered and executed this heinous crime of historic proportions, and brings those responsible to justice.”—AP

Islamists demand Pakistan abandon alliance with US

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani mother carries a photograph of her missing son during a Jamaat-e-Islami rally in Islamabad yesterday. Thousands of Pakistani Islamists rallied in Islamabad and demanded the government to abandon alliance with the United States and halt military operations in the tribal regions. —AFP

ISLAMABAD: Thousands of Pakistani Islamists rallied in Islamabad amid tight security yesterday demanding the government immediately abandon its unpopular alliance with the United States. Around 3,000 people shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is greater) in the rally organised by the radical Jammat-iIslami (JI) outfit near parliament house. “The time has come for our rulers and policy makers to tell America ‘no more’ and the whole nation should become part of the ‘Go America Go’ movement,” said a declaration. “We are holding this rally to register our protest against government’s alliance with the US, increasing inflation, unemployment and social injustice in the country,” JI chief Syed Munawar Hassan said. He warned that any military operation in the lawless North Waziristan tribal region would trigger a new wave of terrorism in the country. The US has been asking

Pakistan to launch a major ground offensive in North Waziristan, a hub of Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants on the Afghan border. But Islamabad says its military will first consolidate gains against militants in other tribal regions and the northwest. The US considers Pakistan’s tribal belt an AlQaeda headquarters and the most dangerous place on Earth and wants Islamabad to act decisively against militants. People of all ages arrived in the capital on buses, in cars, auto rickshaws, motorbikes and bicycles to attend the rally, as armed policemen and bearded party activists tightly guarded the protest. “We want the government to halt military operations in the northwest and the tribal regions,” Hassan said. A covert US drone campaign in Pakistan has stepped up strikes in the tribal belt, claiming that these attacks have been helpful in taking out important Taleban and Al-Qaeda members. —AFP



Monday, December 6, 2010


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Iran’s nuke talks: Strong rhetoric, low expectations By George Jahn ran and six world powers are heading into negotiations about the country’s nuclear program today with low expectations, at odds on what to talk about and with tensions high over the assassination of one of Tehran’s most prominent scientists. The talks in Geneva - the first in over a year - are meant to ease concerns over Iran’s nuclear agenda. Tehran says it does not want atomic arms, but as it builds on its capacity to make such weapons, neither Israel nor the US have ruled out military action if Tehran fails to heed UN Security Council demands to freeze key nuclear programs. Iran’s bold stance was highlighted yesterday, when it announced it had delivered its first domestically mined raw uranium to a processing facility, claiming it is now self-sufficient over the entire nuclear fuel cycle. A senior diplomat in Vienna who is familiar with the issue said the move was expected and mainly symbolic. Still, the timing of the announcement was significant in signaling just a day ahead of the Geneva talks that Tehran was unlikely to meet international demands that it curb its nuclear activities. Over two planned days, Saeed Jalili, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, will meet with EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, with Ashton’s office saying she will act “on behalf” of the US, China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany. In fact, senior officials for those six powers will attend and do much of the talking with Tehran. Chances of meaningful progress were low even before the assassination late last month of a prominent nuclear scientist and the wounding of another further clouded hopes of success at the talks. Jalili called the killing a “disgrace” for the Security Council on Saturday, claiming the attacks were linked to efforts to implement international sanctions. He did not elaborate. Still, the expected presence of Ali Bagheri reflects the importance Iran attaches to the meeting. Officials familiar with the composition of the Iranian delegation say Bagheri has a direct line to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Western officials urged Tehran to meet international concerns about its nuclear activities. Invoking possible military confrontation over Iran’s nuclear defiance, British Defense Secretary Liam Fox said Saturday that the Geneva talks need to make a serious start toward resolving the issue. “We want a negotiated solution, not a military one - but Iran needs to work with us to achieve that outcome,” he said. “We will not look away or back down.” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said it was up to Iran to restore trust about its nuclear intentions, urging it to come to Geneva prepared to


“firmly, conclusively reject the pursuit of nuclear weapons.” But for Iran the main issues are peace, prosperity and nuclear topics only in the context of global disarmament. “Iran has not and will not allow anybody in the talks to withdraw one iota of the rights of the Iranian nation,” President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said before the scheduled talks, warning the other nations at the table to “put aside the devil’s temper” and negotiate in good faith. Expectations are suitably low, even allowing for the fact that both sides are likely talking tough going into the talks with the purpose of maximizing their starting negotiating positions. Glyn Davies, the chief US delegate to the International Atomic Energy Agency, said the talks were meant to shape conditions for “a new start,” even while insisting that Iran’s nuclear program “has to be first and foremost on the agenda.” Other officials from the four Western nations coming to the table acknowledge that the six powers are coming without a firm agenda. One of them used freestyle wrestling as an analogy of what to expect. “Think of this as a sort of catch-as-catch can,” said the official, a senior diplomat who asked for anonymity because he was briefing The Associated Press on privileged information. “I don’t think we are going to get into any kind of substantive discussions - the best we can hope for is a second round of meetings.” Such caution is understandable. The last Geneva meeting of the seven nations in October 2009 appeared to put Iran nuclear talks back on track after a fouryear hiatus, but Tehran and the six powers began to quibble about what was agreed on only days after they ended. Iran initially seemed to accept a plan to export 75 percent of its low-enriched uranium to be made into special fuel for a Tehran reactor making medical materials - a move that would have stripped it of much of the material it then had stockpiled that could have been turned into a bomb. But it then started putting conditions on the deal, which unraveled, deepening mistrust between the two sides. A fourth set of UN Security Council sanctions because of Tehran’s continued expansion of uranium enrichment has further burdened relations. Nations have a right to enrich domestically and Iran insists it is doing so only to make fuel for an envisaged network of reactors and not to make fissile warhead material. But international concerns are strong because Tehran developed its enrichment program clandestinely and because it refuses to cooperate with an IAEA probe meant to follow up on suspicions that it experimented with components of a nuclear weapons program something Iran denies. — AP

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WikiLeaks highlights diplomatic writing tradition By Christopher Torchia he diplomatic dispatch got straight to the point. “Emperor Dead,” cabled John Foster from Russia to the US State Department on the 1881 assassination of the Czar, Alexander II. Then there was the 1946 “Long Telegram,” George Kennan’s treatise from Moscow (with apology for “this burdening of telegraphic channel”) that laid down the philosophical underpinnings for the Cold War. Today, the slow-drip release of US cables by WikiLeaks shines a light on the inheritors of a fertile tradition of diplomatic writing, a mostly unheralded army of envoys whose messages from former imperial capitals and far-flung outposts help to shape American foreign policy. For the United States, the WikiLeaks dump is a grave embarrassment. But if there is a silver lining, it is the revelation or reminder that American diplomats, often maligned at home and abroad, have a gift for language and detail, keen analysis, and a wry and occasionally mischievous sense of humor. The cables strip away stereotypical images of American diplomats, or perhaps diplomats of any country, as bland bureaucrats, pampered socialites, or anonymous figures with muffled voices behind a thick glass window in the visa section. “There’s kind of an image of the striped pants set that’s pushing cookies and attending cocktail parties,”


lamented Peter Eicher, a former American diplomat and editor of the book “‘Emperor Dead’ and Other Historic American Diplomatic Dispatches.” Such perceptions exist because much of what diplomats do happens discreetly, in private conversations and tough negotiations masked by the smooth veneer of protocol. Even so, the dispatches confirm that some diplomats just can’t resist a dose of catty gossip. Some of the most arch and entertaining observations have come from the embassy in Kazakhstan, where Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was, uncomfortably, on a visit this week. A 2008 missive about a dinner hosted by tycoon Aleksandr Mashkevich for two visiting US congressmen sniffs at the boiled meat and noodles. “It is not clear what Mashkevich is spending his billions on, but it is certainly not culinary talent,” a diplomat wrote. “The wine, at least, was somewhat upscale with reasonably good French vintage bottles uncorked for the guests.” The cables labeled Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as “feckless” and a party animal. One from 2004 cited contacts reporting that Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, had Swiss bank accounts, which Erdogan called slander motivated by “the personal hatred” of a former ambassador. Yet a 2010 cable from Ankara grasps the complexity of Turkey, a NATO member and EU candidate with an Islam-

inspired government that has sought more robust ties in the Balkans and the Middle East. The country has been seen as veering away from the Western line in its close ties with Iran and harsh criticism of Israel. “Does all this mean that the country is becoming more focused on the Islamist world and its Muslim tradition in its foreign policy? Absolutely,” read the cable. “Does it mean that it is ‘abandoning’ or wants to abandon its traditional Western orientation and willingness to cooperate with us? Absolutely not.” It makes for colorful if controversial reading in its descriptions of the “special yen for destructive drama and rhetoric” of Turkey’s political leaders, as well as the nation’s “neo-Ottoman posturing” and “Rolls Royce ambitions but Rover resources.” Christopher Dell, US ambassador in Kosovo, wrote a sober assessment of Zimbabwe before leaving the top diplomatic post there in 2007, describing the opposition as “far from ideal” and President Robert Mugabe as “more clever and more ruthless” than political rivals. “I don’t know whether to be pleased or annoyed that the reaction seems to be ‘gosh, they know what they’re doing after all,”‘ Dell wrote on his Facebook page after WikiLeaks began dumping embassy files onto the Internet. Literary figures who served as American diplomats include Nathaniel Hawthorne, Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper, all of whom

were posted to Europe in the 19th century. James Russell Lowell, poet and essayist, made trenchant observations during a royal palace ceremony while stationed in Spain. “It was a very picturesque spectacle, and yet so comically like a scene from Cinderella as to have a strong flavor of unreality,” he wrote in 1878. “It was the past coming back again, and thus typified one of the chronic maladies of Spain.” Later, Lowell joined other diplomats at a dinner hosted by the king: “A dinner where one is planted between two entire strangers, and expected to be entertaining in an alien tongue, will, one may hope, be reckoned to our credit in another world.” Modern cable-writing begins when an embassy’s political section advises the State Department on what topics they plan to report - for example, a country’s political opposition and then Washington signs off on the plan. Once dispatched, the cables circulate among agencies in the American capital. “A lot of these things don’t get read, which is why, not unlike in the news business, people start writing snappier subject lines. It might include a little more humor,” said Christopher Hill, a former US negotiator on the Balkans and North Korea, as well as a former US ambassador in Iraq and South Korea. He is now dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver in Colorado. “As ambas-

sador, I would always say, ‘What are you guys doing here? You should be out talking to people,”‘ Hill said. “People don’t tell you interesting things on the phone. They’ll tell you in the coffeeshop, or in their office, or taking a walk somewhere.” He described the potential damage of the leak by using a comparison from journalism. “It would be like every source of the New York Times is somehow put on the front page of the Washington Post,” Hill said. “People are reluctant enough to spill their guts to an American diplomat and now it’s going to be even worse.” Diplomatic parties are more than an opportunity to sip champagne and nibble on hors d’oeuvres. They can be a vital way to pick up titbits of information and communicate with foreign governments in a way that would be impossible in a more rigid setting, flanked by aides and notetakers. “If you happen to sort of bump into the foreign minister, and there she is, you can deliver a very informal, sometimes not that easy a message, sometimes a message of caution ... You don’t want to build a whole formal meeting around you,” said Brandon Grove, a US ambassador in Zaire under President Reagan and author of “Behind Embassy Walls: The Life and Times of an American Diplomat.” Grove said diplomatic dispatches fell into categories: the “straight reporting” cable on, for example, a meeting with

an official; the cable about an event such as an election, written from the viewpoint of US national interests; the analytical summary, often crafted by the chief of mission; and the “predictive” cable that recommends a course of action. Only the ambassador is entitled to write in the first person, a technique that grabs the attention of cable-weary officials in Washington. “A good ambassador will use the word ‘I’ sparingly,” Grove said. “It’s valuable currency.” The State Department sees a positive glimmer, noting the cable dump shows American diplomats at work. “What you see in the full context of these documents is United States diplomats fully engaged around the world,” said Philip J Crowley, assistant secretary for the bureau of public affairs. “And that is not going to change.” Some of the most celebrated American citizens have reported on some of the most epic world events. Thomas Jefferson wrote - and yes, dispatches were hand-written in the days before “cables,” itself an outdated term - about the 1789 storming of the Bastille in Paris, and John Quincy Adams updated Washington on Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow in the winter of 1812. “The diplomatic archives are largely unmined and they’re full of nuggets,” said Eicher, the “Emperor Dead” editor. “The stuff that’s being done now isn’t so different from what was being done then.” —AP

Doctors testing warm, beating hearts in transplant By Alicia Chang ndrea Ybarra’s donated heart was beating rhythmically by the time she awoke from the grogginess of her surgery. Lub-dub. Lub-dub. Lub-dub. In fact, it was warm and pumping even before doctors transplanted it. Ybarra belongs to a small group of people who have had a “beating heart” transplant, an experimental operation that’s mostly been done in Europe. The donor heart is placed into a special box that feeds it blood and keeps it warm and ticking outside the body. “I felt peaceful when I woke up. I wasn’t scared,” recalled the 40-year-old from Los Angeles who suffers from lupus. “It felt like the heart was a part of me all the time.” Despite advances in heart transplantation, the way hearts are moved around the United States and most places remains low-tech. A team of doctors and organ recovery specialists stuffs an off-the-shelf picnic cooler with ice and jets off at odd hours to a donor hospital where a heart from a brain-dead patient awaits. They inject a chemical to stop the organ and preserve it in the ice chest for the trip home. Once a heart is harvested, it’s a race against time. A heart can stay fresh in the cooler for 4 to 6 hours before it starts to deteriorate.


Because of this constraint, doctors can’t travel too far to heart-hunt. It’s been done this way for more than four decades, ever since the first US heart transplant was performed on Dec 6, 1967. Research has shown that the longer it takes to remove a heart and transplant it, the greater the patient’s chance of death or heart disease. But what if a heart could beat on its own after removal from a cadaver? It may sound a bit macabre, more like an Edgar Allan Poe story. The new high-tech heart box circulates blood from the donor to the heart so that it continues throbbing while in transit from hospital to hospital. Based on some success overseas, the University of California, Los Angeles is currently heading an experiment along with several other schools that compares the safety and effectiveness of the new preservation method versus the standard cooler. If the new technology succeeds in preserving hearts longer, it could change the field, experts say. No longer will patients be limited by location. Doctors could make cross-country heart runs without worrying about how long it takes. Hearts are now given first to people on the waiting list who live near where the donor is hospitalized. If there’s no match, then the circle widens until a recipient is found.

“The rush factor will be taken out. I can go all the way to the West Coast to get a heart,” said Dr Bruce Rosengard of Massachusetts General Hospital, who performed the first beating heart transplant in the United Kingdom in 2006. It may also potentially help ease the organ shortage crisis. Some 3,000 Americans are currently on the heart transplant waiting list. Last year, 359 died waiting for a heart - almost one person a day. The thinking is that hearts may be in better condition if they’re kept beating instead of being cooled in ice. And if hearts can be monitored outside the body, proponents say this may help increase the organ pool by allowing less-than-perfect hearts to be transplanted. Ybarra’s surgery began like any other. The call came in to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center shortly before 4 pm on Aug 24. There is a heart available. Do you have a match? The transplant team dialed Ybarra. Her lupus, an immune system disease in which the body attacks its own organs, had ravaged her heart, leaving it enlarged and weak. She desperately needed a transplant. The following day, a brigade of doctors and technicians set off before dawn by limo to the Van Nuys Airport to board a private jet to the donor hospital in the Palm Springs area east of

Los Angeles. Since Ybarra signed up to be part of the beating heart experiment, she had a 50-50 chance of having the new operation. Before the team left, a nurse practitioner drew a card at random: Ybarra was getting the experimental heart transplant. The doctors arrived at the donor hospital at 6:20 am and cut open the patient’s chest an hour later. After examining the heart, they stopped it to remove it. Instead of packing the heart on ice, doctors transferred it to a box filled with blood and nutrients to revive it. The box was then tucked inside a portable machine for transport. On the way back to UCLA, the heart was closely checked to make sure it was stable. In the meantime, Ybarra was wheeled into the operating room and put under. She was placed on a heart-lung machine as doctors took out her failing heart. The new one was ticking nearby. Surgeons restopped the donor heart and sewed it into Ybarra. As her own blood coursed through, it began to pound. All told, the donated heart had been beating in the box for a little over three hours. If a heart can survive outside the body longer than the current limit, heart transplants may someday be less an emergency procedure and more like an appointment that can be

scheduled - a convenience for both patients and doctors. “If you knew an organ could be preserved, instead of doing a transplant at 3 am, you can push it back to 6 am,” said UCLA’s Dr Richard Shemin, who performed Ybarra’s operation on his 39th wedding anniversary. The world’s first beating heart transplant was performed in Germany in 2006, using an organ box invented by TransMedics Inc., a private medical device company in Andover, Mass., as part of a multi-center study in Europe. The company followed up with a pilot study in the U.S. It is currently funding the UCLA-led experiment, which will enroll 128 patients nationwide, randomly chosen to get a beating heart transplant or the traditional kind. About 100 patients, mostly in Europe, have had a beating heart transplant, according to TransMedics. Early signs from two European experiments involving 54 patients are encouraging. There has been 97 percent survival a month after the operation and few episodes of rejection and heart-related complications. But since there were no comparison groups in either study, it’s impossible to know whether a beating heart transplant is actually better. The current US study is the first to test the methods head-to-head. —AP


Monday, December 6, 2010


US fights to open school in Taleban heartland By Todd Pitman ver the past six months, US troops have wrested the school away from insurgents. They have hired Afghan contractors to rebuild it, and lost blood defending it. The tiny school has yet to open, and nobody’s quite sure when it will. American commanders have called the Pir Mohammed primary school “the premier development project” in Zhari district, a Taleban heartland in Kandahar province at the center of President Barack Obama’s 30,000soldier surge. The small brick and stone complex represents much of what American forces are trying to achieve in Afghanistan: winning over a warweary population, tying a people to their estranged government, bolstering Afghan forces so American troops can go home. But the struggle to open Pir Mohammed three years after the Taleban closed it shows the obstacles US forces face in a complex counterinsurgency fight, in which success depends not on firepower, but on the support of a terrified people. Similar battles are occurring across the country. In Marjah, for example, a former Taleban stronghold in neighboring Helmand province, several schools have opened since American-led troops overran the district in February. But many parents still are too afraid of violence and Taleban threats to let their children attend. In Senjeray, too, “there are teachers ... and we’ve found them and talked to them,” said Capt Nick Stout, a company commander from the 101st Airborne Division’s 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment. “We say, ‘When the school’s built, do you want to come teach?’ And they say, ‘No, no, I don’t, not at all.”‘ Perched amid majestic mountain crags at the base of a fertile river valley, the village of Senjeray resembles a walled fort, 10,000 people living in a labyrinth of steep, hardened mud walls. Pir Mohammed sits at the southeastern edge of the village, a pair of modest, single-story buildings that once served hundreds, maybe thousands of children. A small plaque at the entrance engraved with black words on light gray marble indicates US troops refurbished the school “in friendship with the People of Afghanistan” in November 2002, a year after the American-led invasion. Canadians finished the school and opened it in 2005. But in 2007, Taleban fighters attacked it, breaking windows and wrenching doors from their hinges. They took away a dozen students, cut the fingers off some and killed the parents of others, said Bismallah Qari, a 30-year-old blackbearded mullah from Senjeray. The Taleban opposes Westernstyle education, and apparently saw the school as a symbol of government authority. Qari said the Taleban also believed children would be forced to study Christianity there. Since then, Senjeray’s children have had only one place to go: a handful of Islamic madrassas run by conservative mullahs like Qari that some American commanders say are radicalizing a new generation of Afghan youth, turning them away from President Hamid Karzai’s government and the NATO coalition. Speaking through an interpreter as American troops searched a recently filled hole in his madrassa they suspected held a weapons cache, Qari said he wanted his kids to attend Pir Mohammed, too, but “we can’t do it.” “The Taleban won’t allow us to go there,” he said. “They’ll kill us; they’ll kill our children.” Pir Mohammed occupies ground highly valued by the insurgency - part of a corridor the Taleban use to traffic arms and guerrillas through villages along the Arghandab River and into Kandahar city. In April, American troops seized the school in a military operation backed by Afghan troops. They found it in ruins, its rooms reduced to toilets littered with needles, apparently for drug use. When Stout’s unit


KANDAHAR: An Afghan soldier looks out from a guard tower above the Pir Mohammed school, in Zhari district, Kandahar province, south of Kabul, Afghanistan. — AP arrived in May, he deployed two platoons to protect the school around the clock. On their second day, a US soldier was shot in the lung, but survived. For weeks, firefights erupted almost daily. US engineers knocked down walls and trees nearby where insurgents hide. Afghan security forces set up checkpoints on surrounding roads. And armored American trucks stood guard to defend the school’s crumbling outer walls. The school itself was turned into a de facto military base: Stout’s men stacked sandbags in the windows and installed machine gun nests on the rooftops. They filled rooms with metal boxes of ammunition and antitank rockets, and slept on cots inside it. The American occupation drew the ire of village elders. In mid-July, more than 300 turbaned men from Senjeray urged the provincial governor to pressure the Americans to leave Pir Mohammed. Stout said that in meetings afterward, elders told him the Taleban had pressured them to do so. Nevertheless, they reiterated the plea, and made a crucial promise in return. “They were saying, ‘Look, if you get out of the school, we’ll protect the school,”‘ Stout recalled. “They said, ‘We got it. We’ll keep attacks from happening. And people will go there.”‘ Withdrawing, in fact, was exactly what Stout wanted. It fit with the wider strategy of letting Afghan forces take on security, and freed

Stout’s troops to secure more ground elsewhere. So the American platoons pulled out in mid-August, leaving their Afghan counterparts in charge. Instead of the peace the elders promised, attacks increased, Stout said. Within days, the school suffered two grenade assaults and a pair of shoulder-fired rocket strikes, one of which killed a 7-year-old boy playing outside. At meetings that week with mullahs and elders, Stout’s team displayed a poster-sized photo of the wounded boy just after the explosion, his face bloodied with shrapnel. “We said, ‘Look, how does this sit in your stomach? Does this bother you?”‘ Stout recalled. “We told them: ‘These people clearly don’t care about you, your family, or your livelihood.”‘ The elders agreed, and Stout made a proposition: “Come bleed with us and defeat the bigger problem: help drive the insurgents out.” At that, the elders drew back. Some said they did not know who had carried out the attack. Others said there were no insurgents in Senjeray. Most said they were mere farmers, and if they cooperated with the Americans, the Taleban would cut their heads off. Stout rebutted with a grim warning: “As long as you guys tolerate this, as long as you turn your backs, your children are going to continue to suffer.” The elders nodded. They promised to escort American troops through Senjeray, where attackers

hidden on rooftops tossed grenades at US patrols nearly every time they passed by. But in the weeks that followed, nobody ever turned up. Qari, the local mullah, said Senjeray’s residents were caught in the middle and could not control the insurgency. “We told the Taleban we don’t want your support, and we don’t want the support of the US Army,” he said. “We told them: ‘We can ensure our own security; just leave us alone.”‘ Part of the difficulty of winning over people in Afghanistan is that NATO-led forces are trying to do it in full body armor. American troops live in fortified bubbles surrounded by blast walls and dirt-filled barriers. Their window onto the country is often an alien landscape that is hard to see through inches-thick bulletproof glass covered in dust. On the ground, American strategy often rests on fragile agreements between two groups worlds apart: young muscle-bound troops with crew cuts and tattoos and conservative whitebearded elders in turbans. There may be no place tougher to win hearts and minds than Zhari. Here is where the Taleban movement was founded 16 years ago. A few miles to the west is Singesar, where Taleban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar once ran an Islamic school. “Obviously there’s a lot of Taleban sympathy out there,” Stout said. “These people don’t give a damn about us, ... and quite frankly, why would they? We’re strangers,

KANDAHAR: Staff Sgt Brandon Griffis (right) of Pendleton, Ind works on a crossword puzzle inside the Pir Mohammed school, in Zhari district, Kandahar province, south of Kabul, Afghanistan. — AP

we’ve been here for a few months, we walk around the town with guns, 40 pounds of body armor and (a lot of) grenades.” Afghan troops, too, acknowledge the cold reception in Senjeray, where they are seen as foreigners trying to finish off an old war. Much of the Afghan army’s rank and file here are drawn from the north - Tajiks, Uzbeks, Hazara - who fought the overwhelmingly Pashtun Taleban in the 1990s. “The people in this town hate us,” said Lt Said Abdul Ghafar, an ethnic Tajik soldier based at Pir Mohammed. “The Taleban tell them we’re not real Muslims, that we’re infidels. So the children throw rocks at us and won’t even say hello.” Ghafar said 12 of the three dozen Afghan troops at the school were wounded in their first three months there. Eight others never returned from leave. On Sept 6, just after midnight, US soldiers inside a truck pulling security at the school spotted someone turning a flashlight on and off in a nearby orchard. The Americans fired a yellow illumination round that fell gently from the sky. Suddenly, a silhouetted figure stood up and ran, and the gunner on the American truck opened fire. Within seconds, the entire undergrowth lit up with muzzle flashes. Red tracer rounds crisscrossed the sky. Orange rocket trails streaked by. After about 20 minutes, US mortars ended the battle. The next day, Stout made a decision. US forces would occupy the school again. The elders had proved incapable of protecting it, and the Afghan troops could not do it alone. That night, two American soldiers at Stout’s outpost grabbed drinks from a dining hall. “I really don’t want to go back down to that school,” one of them said, shaking his head. “Why do we have to do the ANA’s job for them?” - the Afghan National Army. His colleague, equally frustrated with the struggle to open Pir Mohammed, spat a few words of dark humor back. “We should just drop a J-DAM on it,” he said, referring to a bomb weighing up to 2,000 pounds. Sitting on a step behind his plywood office, Stout dug his combat boots into the dirt and pondered the war. The captain was part of the 2007 surge into Iraq, and said it took 10 months before things turned around there. Senjeray, too, will take time, he said. Despite months of fighting, the Americans have readied the school to open. They hired Afghan contractors to paint stone walls and install new windows and latrines that together cost around $70,000. They also spent some $150,000 on security, building the shell of an adjacent police post. But building a school like Pir Mohammed “is not just putting in windows and whatnot,” Stout said. “Building is people actually buying into it.” American commanders no longer speak of military victory. The goal is to push the Taleban far enough away so teachers and childrencan attend without fear of firefights or reprisals. A recent US operation has accomplished much of that: many Taleban fighters have fled Zhari, along with thousands of residents - some of whose abandoned homes were bulldozed or destroyed because they were booby-trapped by insurgent mines. Convincing residents the school is truly safe is going to be “another battle,” Stout said. “If we can create an environment where neither of us interfere with their lives, that’s winning for us,” he said. “And that’s what the people want. They don’t like us. But they don’t like the Taleban either.” For now, the American strategy appears to be working. Hundreds of people line up daily at the US hilltop outpost for a cash-forwork program, something they would not have dared do just a few weeks earlier. But the Taleban are not gone. On Nov 1, a motorcycle bomber blew himself up at the entrance to Stout’s base, killing two American soldiers. The school was attacked the same day. It has yet to open. — AP

Flown alone: 14,000 Cuban kids in US Cold War exile By Juan Castro Olivera aunched 50 years ago by the Catholic Church and US government, Operation “Pedro Pan” flew 14,000 children out of Cuba to Miami on the promise their parents would soon follow, but for most the wait turned out to be years. Angel Canete was 10 years old when he arrived from Havana on a commercial flight alone, with nobody in Miami to meet him. Like many others, he was relocated to an orphanage, in his case in faraway Michigan state. “It was tough settling in. My parents came over five years later,” Canete, now 60 said during a gathering Wednesday of Operation “Pedro Pan” migrants, 50 years after the airlift began. The operation-named after the first child flown out, Pedro, and the Pan American airline mostly used for


the airlift-was secretly organized by the Roman Catholic Church and the US State Department in response to requests by Cuban families. One year after Fidel Castro’s revolution, many parents in Cuba did not want their children to be indoctrinated in Castro’s new schools. They though that their gut-wrenching short-term sacrifice would guarantee a better life for their kids. The secret airlift was agreed to in early December 1960 and the first flight of Cuban children landed in Miami December 26.The US government waived visa requirements for Operation Pedro Pan, and over the next two years it became the biggest child migration in the history of the Americas. “Initially, the program was meant to bring over some 200 children. Nobody imagined it would go on for so long,” said Carmen Valdivia, a Miami architect who came here in

August 1962, when she was 12. When the airlift finally ended in December 1962, after the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Cold War severed US-Cuban relations for good, a total of 14,048 Cuban children were brought to the United States without their parents. “The real stars of this story were our parents, who decided to get us out of the country and then stayed there without being able to leave,” said Valdivia, who first lived in “Florida City Camp,” one of several that sprang up in the Miami area to house the newcomers. Her parents finally joined her three years later. “When I sent my daughters over and was left alone, I thought I couldn’t survive,” said Carmen’s mother, Leonor. Tense relations between communist Cuba and Washington made family reunification impossible until 1965. Former US senator Mel Martinez, the first

Hispanic elected to the body and also to head the Republican Party, waited four years to reunite with his parents, who finally flew here from Havana in 1966.”When I got to Miami, I felt very sad, very much alone,” Martinez said in 2008. “They put me in the care of a US family in Orlando (Florida) who did not speak Spanish, and I couldn’t speak any English.” Salsa star Willy Chirino and Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado are other Pedro Pans who grew up to be famous. Many Pedro Pan children were lucky to live with relatives in the Miami area, with a familiar climate and a growing Cuban-American community. But many others were placed in Catholic institutions, relocation camps or in foster homes around the huge United States. Rosa Bagley lived for a year with a family in West Orange, New Jersey. “Last

year, 48 years later, I met up with them in Facebook,” she told AFP. In all, the children in Operation Pedro Pan “were taken to 187 cities, in 45 (US) states,” said Juan Pujol, who heads the non-profit Pedro Pan organization that is putting together a data base with all the information and history of the 1960s airlift. Pujol was 16 when he was flown to Miami and placed in Camp Matacumbe, where he met his wife, another Pedro Pan like himself. “I trained to be a locksmith and over the years I was able to buy the company I worked for,” which now installs security systems in buildings, he said. “It was really tough being so far from my family, but I’ll be forever grateful for my mother’s decision to send me here, because it was for my good,” said Pujol, who unlike most Pedro Pans was never reunited with his parents. — AFP


Terrorism makes NY more wary, gradually By Chris Hawley ot far from the New York Stock Exchange, a small crowd of tourists stopped to watch as a bombsniffing dog checked out a delivery van. The cobblestone street was blocked by a line of brass cubes with holes that glowed red like the inside of a toaster. Suddenly an entire section of the street rotated, cobblestones and all. The cubes moved out of the van’s way and their holes turned green. The crowd “ahhed” with surprise. Welcome to New York, a city where every year since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, tighter security has changed the landscape a little bit at a time, more noticeable to the tourists crowding the streets for the holidays than the residents who have been here all along. “There are so many police,” said Jackie Carey, 71, of Wilmington, Delaware, as she looked over Rockefeller Plaza crowds from the steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. “There’s like about five policemen on the corner. How many policemen does it take for you to get across the street?” At Radio City Music Hall, guards check holiday tourists’ purses for weapons before the Rockettes’ Christmas Spectacular. In Herald Square near Macy’s department store, new cameras stare down at shoppers. In rail stations, travelers are bombarded with messages warning them to be on the lookout for suspicious activity. There are poison-gas sensors and radiation detectors, automatic license plate readers and random bag searches in the subways. The Woolworth Building, a 1913 skyscraper that used to attract hundreds of tourists a day to its ornate lobby, now has a sign at the door saying “Tourists Are Not Permitted Beyond This Point.” Visitors to the Statue of Liberty must go through two separate, airport-style security checkpoints. Taking pictures of the PATH trains that run under the Hudson River to New Jersey is illegal. Even the city’s architecture is changing: closed “sky lobbies” are replacing groundlevel public spaces; vehicle barriers are de rigueur. At Rockefeller Plaza, concrete barriers emblazoned with “NYPD” blocked part of the streets running through the promenade, which draws thousands of visitors to see its Christmas tree and ice skating rink. In the subways, train conductors tell passengers, “If you see something, say something.” So do posters and ticket machines. Police conduct occasional spot checks, setting up a table in stations and searching


travelers’ bags at random. Times Square - now partly transformed into a pedestrian mall - sports wider sidewalks aimed at creating buffer zones around high-profile buildings. Nearly every lamppost now has at least two domed cameras and an antenna for beaming live images to police. “Cameras, cameras and more cameras,” said Robert Jacobs, 30, a visitor from Chicago. “Makes you wonder who’s got time to watch it all.” Computers, that’s who. In a command center that opened in 2008, software searches constantly for suspicious activity, such as an object that does not move for a long time. The computers can also search for specific shapes and colors, such as a suspect wearing a green jacket. In September, police added 500 more cameras to the system. Farther south, parts of lower Manhattan are now thickets of vehicle barriers and police checkpoints. Steel plates secured to the ground with thick black chains jut out of the ground in the alleys near Wall Street. Yellow barriers rise and drop silently from the ground at an inspection point near the World Financial Center. A once-bustling four-lane road that runs past a federal courthouse and the federal jail has been closed to most traffic since 9/11. At the New York Stock Exchange, a metal fence keeps tourists 30 feet from the building. Security concerns have also begun to change the look of New York’s buildings. New skycrapers place office workers higher, beyond the reach of a bomb explosion. In One World Trade Center, the 102-story tower under construction at ground zero, the first office floors will be built 200 feet above the ground. “Now architects are more concerned about the vulnerability of their buildings to say, a truck bomb,” said Robert McCrie, a professor of security management at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Most New Yorkers appreciate the security. But some say they miss the days before terrorist plots became a constant worry. Ilene Zatal, 62, says she used to look forward to buying her monthly Metrocard because of the poetry the city printed on the back of them. She pulled out a stack of her favorites. “Within five miles of where you live, there are enough strange things to keep you wondering all your life,” she said, reading a verse from E W Howe. “Wonderful. Before, they used to all say things like that.” Then she pulled out her current card. “If you see something, say something,” it said in Spanish. —AP

What’s on the table at UN climate talks ollowing is a snapshot of issues at the November 29-December 10 UN climate summit in Cancun, where environment ministers start meeting from tomorrow: EYES ON 2012 The talks are taking place under the banner of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), gathering 194 parties. The ultimate goal is a post-2012 pact on curbing greenhouse gases and aiding to countries badly exposed to climate change. This accord notoriously eluded the December 2009 UNFCCC summit in Copenhagen, and the hope now is to advance pragmatically, perhaps reaching an overall deal in December 2011 in Durban, South Africa. COMPLEX TWIN-TRAC K PROCE SS There are many issues on the table, all of them touching on major economic and national interests. This makes the task of getting an overall deal very tough, as decisions must be reached by consensus. The horse-trading is made more difficult as there are two negotiating arenas, which themselves are interlinked. One track gathers all UNFCCC members, for so-called Long-term Cooperative Action, or LCA. The other comprises all the parties to the Kyoto Protocol, which was abandoned by the United States in 2001. “LCA” NEGOTIA TIONS Under pressure to restore faith in the UN process after Copenhagen, countries are being urged to advance on: launching a new financial vehi-


cle, unofficially dubbed the Green Fund, to help poor countries cope with the impact of climate change. It could be the main source for aid, promised in Copenhagen, that could reach 100 billion dollars a year by 2020. Poor countries want the UNFCCC to be the Fund’s manager, suspicious of US efforts for the World Bank to be in charge, agreeing on ways to measure and monitor countries’ actions, including emissions curbs. Progress has been made between China and the United States in smoothing an agreement, but thorny details remain to be sorted out - offering a financial carrot to tropical countries so that they preserve their forests rather than cut them down. Logging and land clearance have accounted for between 12 and 25 percent of global emissions annually over the past 15 years. The so-called REDD scheme has made headway, despite concerns over how to make it work in practice and preserve environmental integrity. There has been little talk about two of the most explosive issues: how to ratchet up national pledges on carbon emissions and crafting the legal architecture for climate promises. These are likely to be postponed until 2011. The mood in the LCA track has sometimes been soured over how to include the “Copenhagen Accord,” the controversial document crafted by a couple of dozen leaders in Copenhagen but never adopted by the full UNFCCC.—AFP



Monday, December 6, 2010

Russia spy uncovered in British parliament LONDON: A young Russian woman working for a British lawmaker is facing deportation af ter security services detained her on suspicion of espionage, the Sunday Times reported yesterday. The paper reported that Katia Zatuliveter, 25, secretly worked for the Russian intelligence as a “sleeper” agent. She had been working for Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock who sits on parliament’s defense select committee which examines defense policy but has no access to secret material. Hancock, who is also an MP for Porstmouth in southern England where there is a large naval base, denied his research assistant had done anything wrong. “She is not a Russian spy. I know nothing about espionage, but she has been subjected to a deportation order,” Hancock said in a statement. He said she

would appeal moves to deport her. The lawmaker said that the domestic security service, MI5, had never raised any concerns about her with him. “No one has ever said to me under any circumstances whatsoever that she has been involved in anything like that,” he said. “It is now in the hands of her lawyers. I am sure that in the end she will be proved to be right.” Hancock told the BBC in an interview she was arrested on Thursday morning and taken to an immigration detention centre in London, before being moved to another centre where she is being held and putting her appeal together. “Nobody has shown me any evidence to support the view that she is any way a threat to the United Kingdom,” Hancock said. He said his assistant, who had worked for him for close to three years,

had passed strict security vetting procedures to work in parliament. The paper said her removal was approved by Home Secretary (interior minister) Theresa May after being briefed about her activities. The Home Office said it could not comment on individual cases or confirm deportation orders were in place. London’s Metropolitan police referred all queries to the UK Border Agency, who was not answering calls. The Russian embassy in London could not be reached for comment. A security source told the Sunday Times Zatuliveter’s presence was not “conducive to national security”, and the intention was to “show her the door”. The paper said it was the first time since the end of the Cold War that someone working in parliament had been accused of spying for the Russians. — Reuters

China ‘ordered’ Google hacking BEIJING: Contacts told American diplomats that hacking attacks against Google were ordered by China’s top ruling body and a senior leader demanded action after finding search results that were critical of him, leaked US government memos show. One memo sent by the US Embassy in Beijing to Washington said a “well-placed contact” told diplomats the Chinese government coordinated the attacks late last year on Google Inc under the direction of the Politburo Standing Committee, the apex of Communist Party power. The details of the memos, known in diplomatic parlance as cables, could not be verified. Chinese government departments either refused to comment or could not be reached. If true, the cables show the political pressures that were facing Google when it decided to close its China-based search engine in March. The cable about the hacking attacks against Google, which was classified as secret by Deputy Chief of Mission Robert Goldberg, was released by WikiLeaks.

The New York Times said the cable, dated early this year, quoted the contact as saying that propaganda chief Li Changchun, the fifth-ranked official in the country, and top security official Zhou Yongkang oversaw the hacking of Google. Both men are members of the Politburo Standing Committee. The cable notes that it is unclear if Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao were aware of the reported actions before Google went public about the attacks in January. The Times, however, said doubts about the allegation have arisen after the newspaper interviewed the person cited in the cable, who denied knowing who directed the hacking attacks on Google. The Times did not identify the person it interviewed. Another contact cited in that cable said he believed an official on the top political body was “working actively with Chinese Internet search engine Baidu against Google’s interests in China.” Google’s relations with Beijing have

been tense since the US-based search giant said in January it no longer wanted to cooperate with Chinese Web censorship following computer hacking attacks on Google’s computer code and efforts to break into the e-mail accounts of human rights activists. Google closed its mainland China-based search engine on March 22 and began routing users to its uncensored Hong Kong site. Google’s spokeswoman in Tokyo, Jessica Powell, said the company had no comment on the cables released by Wikileaks, and on the hacking attacks, referred to a January statement that said it had evidence that the attack came from China. Google at the time declined to say whether the government was involved. A man who answered the phone at the spokesman’s office of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said no one was available to comment Sunday. Calls to the Foreign Ministry and the State Council Information Office, which is responsible for regulating Internet contact, rang unanswered. — AP

Defiant Iran declares nuke ‘self-sufficiency’ Continued from Page 1 “we will be taking part in the negotiations with strength and power”. He insisted the Geneva talks were for the benefit of the other countries, not Iran. “These talks are a way out of a political deadlock for the other side. We want to create a graceful solution out of the political deadlock for those who have pressurized us.” Iran says its nuclear program is aimed at power generation while the West suspects Tehran wants it to yield atom bombs, and has tightened sanctions on the Islamic state in recent months. Western diplomats say the sanctions are hurting Iran’s oil-dependent economy despite the Tehran leadership’s denials of any such impact, and they hope this will persuade them to enter serious negotiations about its nuclear program. Western powers want Iran to suspend uranium enrichment activity, which can produce fuel for nuclear power reactors or provide material for bombs if refined to a higher degree. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said Iran’s enrichment will not be discussed in Geneva, though it is the central concern of the six powersthe United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany-that will be present. Asked upon his arrival in Geneva whether he was optimistic about the talks,

Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said: “Everything depends on the other party’s attitude.” “Is there any need to do that?” said another Iranian official, who declined to be named, when asked whether Iran’s enrichment activities would be discussed at the meeting. Asked whether the yellowcake announcement showed Iran would press ahead with its activities, he said: “Of course.” Analysts expect no breakthrough in Geneva, the first such meeting in over a year. At most, they believe, the gathering will recreate a climate conducive to negotiations and lead to more meetings that would tackle substantive issues. Last week’s killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist in Tehran, which Iran has blamed on Western intelligence services keen to impede its nuclear advances, could cloud the atmosphere for dialogue in the Swiss city. “Once again I am telling the ill-wishers and international criminals ... that we are here and we are resisting and will continue our resistance,” Salehi said. “No matter how much effort they put into their sanctions and in creating all sorts of hindrances, our nuclear activities will proceed.” Yesterday’s announcement that Iran would use yellowcake, a uranium concentrate powder, processed in the country, at its Isfahan conversion plant was the first

step in becoming entirely self-sufficient in nuclear fuel production, Salehi said, as progress was also being made developing domestic uranium mines. “Over the next five years we hope we can reach a point when Iran can meet all nuclear fuel needs inside the country.” The country has previously used yellowcake bought from South Africa in the 1970s, but some Western analysts have said Iran may be close to exhausting its supply of this material. The enriched uranium required for use in nuclear reactors or weapons is produced in centrifuges that spin uranium hexafluoride gas UF6 at high speeds. The UF6 is derived from yellowcake, a concentrate processed from mined uranium ore. In its latest report on Iran’s nuclear program last month, the UN nuclear watchdog said no uranium hexafluoride gas had been produced at the Isfahan facility since August 2009. Meir Javedanfar, an Iran analyst based in Israel, said: “It is very likely Iran is running out of its supplies of yellowcake and raw uranium, which is why it’s turning to local mines. “This is also likely to be an Iranian tactic to improve its negotiation position at the upcoming talks, by sending the message that its dependence on the outside world for its nuclear needs are diminishing,” Javedanfar said. — Reuters

Iran looms large as Gulf nations meet Continued from Page 1 The leaked memos drove home that Saudis and other Gulf states with close ties to Washington view Tehran’s nuclear program and its support of militants in the Middle East with serious alarm. “The Gulf leaders know they are on the front lines against Iran. They make their fears known in private,” said Sami Alfaraj, head of the Kuwait Center for Strategic Studies. “The summit in Abu Dhabi could give some clue if they are now willing to take a harder line in public.” The meeting also comes after a diplomatic blitz through the Gulf with Iran as the central theme. In Bahrain, US Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton told a security conference Friday that Iran must prove to the world that its nuclear program is peaceful. A new round of nuclear talks between Iran and world powers, including the US, are scheduled to open today in Geneva. The

day after Clinton’s speech, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki assured the same Bahrain conference s a pivotal moment for the region, which is investing heavily in sports, hotels and international commerce to move beyond its role as simply an oil spigot for the world. “That Qatar now stands to host the most popular sporting event on Earth is an indication of how far that country, and indeed the region, has come in the last decade,” said an editorial in Abu Dhabi’s state-backed newspaper The National. “Such a scenario would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.” Efforts at greater economic integration for the Gulf states, however, have faced hurdles. Proposals for a common Gulf currency are now stalled. But this week’s meeting could bring some headway in other fronts, including possible approval for unified rules on foreign investment and the green light for a $20 billion rail network linking

the six nations. Still, the toughest decisions could be how or even whether - to respond the contents of the US diplomatic cables on WikiLeaks. The blunt language in the memos - including a call from Bahrain’s king for the US to “terminate” Iran’s nuclear program “by whatever means necessary” - is in stark contrast to the carefully chosen words Gulf monarchs and their top officials use in public. “The essence of much of the contents of the memos was already known,” said Amr Al-Shobaki, an Egyptian analyst. “But they add spice and details to what everyone already knew on relations between Gulf Arab nations and Iran.” Offering a hint that the public tone could changing among Gulf leaders, Bahrain’s foreign minister, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, said Friday that the Middle East “can never live with” a nucleararmed Iran. — AP

Kuwait crowned Gulf champions Continued from Page 1 Stadium into raptures. The winger sticking to his position on the left, had a run on goal before passing a defender on his way to firing a shot into the top far left corner of goal. After an intense two halves which began with Kuwaiti dominance in the first half and Saudi in the second, the two teams took the game to extra time after a 0-0 draw. The match between two of the most successful national teams in the Gulf region, was dominated by cautious

play, which depended on a tough defense and several counter-attacks. Having been down by a goal minutes into the second half of extra time, the Saudi side continued the last minutes of the match with 10 men, with striker Mohannad Asiry taking his second yellow card of the match after a desperate attempt to earn a penalty with a dramatic fall to the ground. Handing out the awards after attending the match were Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Kuwait Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Minister of State for Development

Affairs and Minister of State for Housing Affairs as well as President of the Olympic Council of Asia Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. As well as winning the 20th title, Kuwaiti midfielder Bader Al-Mutawa won the golden boot award, with the award for best player in the tournament going to winger Fahad Al-Enezi and the golden glove award to Nawaf Al-Khaldi. The last Gulf Cup encounter in a final between both teams was in the 1974 tournament held in Kuwait, which ended in a 4-0 win for the hosts. — Agencies

MUSCAT: US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (left) meets with Sayyid Badr Bin Saud Bin Harib AlBusaidi, the Oman Defense Minister yesterday. Oman is the first stop in a visit to the Arabian Sea region for Gates. — AP

Iran, Yemen top agenda as US Gates visits Oman MUSCAT: Tensions with Iran and the escalating terrorist threat in Yemen were main topics of discussion during US Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ meeting yesterday with leaders in Oman. An ally of both the United States and Iran, Oman has served as an intermediary in negotiations with Tehran, including successful mediation in October that led to the release of an American hiker held in an Iranian prison for more than a year. Gates’ visit comes against the backdrop of the recent WikiLeaks release of some quarter million sensitive and classified diplomatic memos or cables in diplomatic parlance. Many underscore the Arab world’s anxiety about Iran and its nuclear ambitions. The cables detailed pleas from Arab leaders for action against Tehran, making public a broad sentiment that the largely Sunni Arab world generally only discusses in private about Shiite Iran. One of the stronger comments came from Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah urging a US-led attack against Iran to “cut off the head of the snake” and cripple its nuclear weapons program. Leaders across the Middle East fear that Iran’s development of nuclear power will trigger a deadly

nuclear arms race in the region. The US and others, however, have employed a two track strategy with Iran, that is one part diplomacy and one part increased sanctions aimed at crippling Tehran’s economy. A senior US official traveling with Gates said that Oman’s Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al-Said can communicate with Iran, and that productive relationship is valuable to the US. Tehran, meanwhile, claimed another advance in its nuclear activities, saying yesterday that for the first time Iran had mined its own uranium, which can be processed into material used to make nuclear energy or nuclear weapons. The advance would give Iran a way to bypass UN sanctions. Iran is under four sets of UN Security Council sanctions that forbid the supply of nuclear materials to Tehran. Also worrisome is Oman’s neighbor to the west - Yemen, where Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has been gaining strength and plotting attacks against the US and other Western interests. Officials have been trying to rally a more regional effort to help the poverty-stricken Yemen battle extremists within it borders while bolstering its economic and political stability.

Senior defense officials traveling with Gates said the secretary’s trip is largely a courtesy call and a stopping-off point for a planned visit to the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, which is in the Arabian Sea between Oman and Pakistan. Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said this will be Gates’ first visit to an aircraft carrier since he took the Defense Department post four years ago. The carrier is involved in operations in Afghanistan, regularly launching fighters to the battlefront to support the troops on the ground. The WikiLeaks document release has set off a global uproar, with its public airing of diplomatic cables laying out blunt and critical assessments of world leaders and nations. Gates’ meetings may well touch on the often embarrassing revelations, and concerns about America’s inability to keep such sensitive reports private. Hiker Sarah Shourd of California and two male companions were walking near the Iran-Iraq border in July 2009 when they were detained by Iranian authorities and accused of illegally crossing into Iran and spying. Negotiations are continuing to gain the release of the other two, including Shourd’s fiance. — AP

ILO: Protect migrant workers Continued from Page 1 migrant workers in the GCC countries. In fact, in Qatar and the UAE, 90 percent of labor work force comprise expatriates, the survey showed. The ILO study found that various low-paid, dangerous and demanding jobs were mostly performed by foreigners, while highly paid government jobs are reserved for their locals. Dr Khan dwelled on the history of migration patterns and why the proportion of Arab workers has declined in the GCC countries over the past years as compared to the steadily growing numbers of rest of Asian workers. According to Dr Khan, the trend suggested that other Asian workers are more willing to risk and accept poor working conditions and terms, including low wages, unlike Arabs. Based on their study, UAE expatriate workers have no passport in his/her own possession as compared to 20 percent of workers in Kuwait who admitted to keeping passports in their possession. Based

on the ILO survey, 17 percent of Kuwait workers say they have been abused in the last 12 months and that 43 percent of these abused workers want to leave their jobs but cannot do so without the consent of their employer who retains their passports. “As much as they want to leave their work sites, but cannot do so because their passports are being retained by employers. Confiscation of passport is illegal by international law, GCC countries are signatory to that. Why don’t we just leave the passport alone with the workers who is the real co-owner besides his/her government,” he added. The ILO report also noted that 80 percent of the surveyed workers in both the UAE and Kuwait were not aware of the general procedures to be followed, in case they are dismissed from the job. Most are blamed of the lack of awareness on stipulated terms and ignorance on the written language in contracts. In Kuwait, according to ILO, 51 percent of the surveyed say that they worked more than

eight hours and up to 16 hours a day, especially domestic helpers. At least 25 percent are employed in the services jobs. In the UAE, many of them worked for over 10 hours a day without overtime pay, the result of survey showed. While wages are generally lower in the UAE when compared to Kuwait, Dr Khan stressed that UAE workers receive other incentives and bonuses, paid medical care and free subsidized foods which are not (for many) available to Kuwait’s expats workers. At least 18 percent of female workers, a majority of them domestic laborers, also complained of lack of sleep or less than six hours of sleep a night in Kuwait. Also, 70 percent of people questioned in Kuwait (87 in the UAE) feel that there is a lack of representation of their interests at work. “Protests and demonstrations by migrant workers have been rare lately in both samples. This was due to lack of representation or labor unions that look into their needs/welfare,” he pointed out.

Mislem puts govt, oppn MPs on collision course Continued from Page 1 Mohammad Al-Juwaihel has attracted massive condemnation as his condition was reported to be stable and recovering. Juwaihel was beaten badly by a number of people attending a public rally at the diwaniya of veteran MP Ahmad AlSaadoun which aimed at sending warning signals to the government over Mislem’s issue. Juwaihel is a highly controversial activist who has launched scathing attacks on the opposition and Kuwaiti tribes through a satellite television he is running. It was not immediately known how the incident happened, but witnesses say that Juwaihel was prevented from attending the rally but still decided to sit in the garden attached to the house where a big screen was showing the rally. Witnesses said that Juwaihel spat at the screen when opposition MP Mussallam Al-Barrak started to speak. At this point, a large number of men started beating him until he fell unconscious. But his condition improved yesterday although he was still at the Amiri

hospital. His lawyer has filed a criminal case at Khaldiya police station alleging attempted murder of Juwaihel. A large number of MPs strongly condemned the attack as “barbaric” “undemocratic” and “brutal” calling on the government to arrest the culprits and refer them to justice. A number of MPs who did not attend the public rally also blamed MP Saadoun as being responsible for the attack since it happened at his diwaniya. But the organizing committee of the rally denied the allegations, saying that Juwaihel was outside of the diwaniya when he was assaulted and his protection is the responsibility of the interior ministry. The Reform and Development Bloc said it totally rejects violence, but added that it was Juwaihel who provoked the people and had it not been for organizers and Saadoun family members, the consequences would have been much worse. The Bloc also said that the attendance of Juwaihel raises question marks. The liberal National Action Bloc condemned the assault but blamed the government for it saying it is the result of the government’s

failure to apply the law. Today’s session is very crucial as it could open a new chapter of useful cooperation between the assembly and government or herald a serious showdown between the opposition and the government. Opposition MPs insist that the public prosecution request to lif t Mislem’s immunity is unconstitutional because it wants to interrogate him for something he did in the assembly chamber which the constitution fully guarantees. Opposition has formed a new broad group in the defense of the constitution, consisting of around 27 MPs. If the assembly does not officially reject the request, Mislem’s immunity will be lifted automatically by the weekend. Under the law, the assembly must review a request by the prosecution on MPs’ immunity within one month. It can accept or reject but if one month lapses without a decision, the request is automatically lifted. Opposition MPs insist that lifting Mislem’s immunity amounts to undermining the constitution and charged the government of plotting against the 1962 constitution.


Monday, December 6, 2010


NHL results/standings Results and standings from NHL games on Saturday. Philadelphia 5, New Jersey 3; Montreal 3, San Jose 1; Toronto 3, Boston 2 (SO); Buffalo 1, Ottawa 0 (SO); Atlanta 3, Washington 1; Pittsburgh 7, Columbus 2; Tampa Bay 6, Colorado 5; Nashville 5, Carolina 2; Dallas 4, Minnesota 3 (OT); Florida 2, Phoenix 1 (SO). Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L OTL GF Pittsburgh 18 8 2 89 Philadelphia 16 7 4 92 NY Rangers 16 11 1 82 New Jersey 8 16 2 49 NY Islanders 5 14 5 51

GA 66 67 74 79 80

PTS 38 36 33 18 15

Montreal Boston Buffalo Ottawa Toronto

Northeast 17 8 14 8 11 13 11 14 9 12

Division 2 71 3 72 3 68 2 58 4 54

53 50 73 80 72

36 31 25 24 22

Washington Tampa Bay Atlanta Carolina Florida

Southeast 18 8 15 9 14 10 11 12 11 14

Division 2 92 3 84 3 85 3 75 0 64

74 94 78 84 66

38 33 31 25 22

Detroit Chicago Columbus Nashville St. Louis

Western Conference Centra l Division 17 4 3 84 14 12 2 86 14 10 1 67 12 8 5 63 12 9 4 64

62 82 69 65 70

37 30 29 29 28

Vancouver Colorado Minnesota Calgary Edmonton

Northwest 14 7 13 10 11 11 11 13 10 12

61 82 76 78 93

31 29 26 24 24

Division 3 78 3 91 4 63 2 72 4 70

P acific Divisio Dallas 16 8 1 74 66 33 Los Angeles 15 10 0 69 61 30 Phoenix 12 7 6 71 72 30 Anaheim 13 12 3 71 84 29 San Jose 12 9 4 73 71 28 Note: Overtime losses (OTL) are worth one point in the standings and are not included in the loss column (L)

NASHVILLE: Martin Erat No. 10 of the Nashville Predators skates against Ian White No. 7 and Cam Ward No. 30 of the Carolina Hurricanes at the Bridgestone Arena.—AFP

Penguins rout Blue Jackets, Flyers beat Devils COLUMBUS: Sidney Crosby had two goals as the Pittsburgh Penguins won their ninth straight by routing the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-2 in the NHL on Saturday. Crosby has had five goals in his last two games, including a hat trick against Atlanta on Thursday. Paul Martin scored two first-period goals for the Penguins, who have points in 12 consecutive games (11-0-1). Michael Rupp, Tyler Kennedy and Deryk Engelland also scored for Pittsburgh. Marc-Andre Fleury tied a career high with his eighth consecutive win, stopping 21 shots. The Blue Jackets dropped their fifth in a row and have lost by a combined 12-2 in the past two games.

Flyers 5, Devils 3 In Philadelphia, Mike Richards scored a tiebreaking goal early in the third period to lead Philadelphia over New Jersey. James Van Riemsdyk, Claude Giroux, Danny Briere, and Jeff Carter also scored for the Flyers, who were 0-1-2 in their previous three games. Carter and Matt Carle each

added two assists. Patrik Elias, Ilya Kovalchuck and Travis Zajac scored for the Devils, and Jamie Langenbrunner had two assists.

Carey Price stopped 26 shots for Montreal, which is 3-1-0 in its last four games. Benn Ferreiro scored his third goal in four games for San Jose.

Brandon Yip, Kevin Shattenkirk, Philippe Dupuis and Matt Duchene scored for Colorado.

Thrashers 3, Capitals 1

Maple Leafs 3, Bruins 2

In Washington, Ondrej Pavelec stopped 45 shots and Andrew Ladd and Rich Peverley each had a goal and an assist as Atlanta beat Washington. It was the seventh win in eight games for the Thrashers, a run that began with Pavelec blanking Washington in Atlanta on Nov. 19. The Thrashers are 3-1-1 against the Capitals after going 0-6 in last season’s series. Alex Ovechkin’s goal-scoring drought ended at a career-high tying nine games, but the Capitals fell to 12-2-1 at home. Washington went 0 for 5 on the power play.

In Toronto, Kris Versteeg scored the tying goal with just over 40 seconds left in regulation and Phil Kessel netted the winner in a shootout as Toronto beat Boston. Carl Gunnarsson also scored for the Maple Leafs, who broke a two-game losing streak. Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell had goals for the Bruins, who lost for the fourth time in 10 games.

Lightning 6, Avalanche 5

In Ottawa, Thomas Vanek scored the winning goal in a shootout to lift Buffalo past Ottawa. Vanek fired a slap shot past Brian Elliott from the slot to give the Sabres the victory. Ryan Miller was perfect at the other end for Buffalo, stopping 32 shots for his second straight shutout. Ottawa has been shut out in two consecutive games and hasn’t scored in 177 minutes, 30 seconds. The Senators have won just three of their last 12 games and have been outscored 38-17.

In Tampa Bay, Florida, Martin St. Louis and Simon Gagne each had a goal and two assists to lead Tampa Bay over Colorado. St. Louis, Mattias Ritola and Gagne all scored in the second period to give Tampa Bay a 4-2 advantage. The Avalanche pulled within one in the third before Ryan Malone scored for Tampa Bay and set up Sean Bergenheim to make it 6-3. Paul Stastny,

In Nashville, Tennessee, Patric Hornqvist, Shea Weber and Marcel Goc scored in the first period as Nashville beat Carolina. Cal O’Reilly and Steve Sullivan had the other goals for the Predators, who have won three straight. Joe Corvo and Jiri Tlusty scored for Carolina, which has

Canadiens 3, Sharks 1 At Montreal, Mathieu Darche, Tomas Plekanec and Michael Cammalleri scored for Montreal to win consecutive games for the first time in more than two weeks.

Sabres 1, Senators 0

Predators 5, Hurricanes 2

dropped three of four.

Panthers 2, Coyotes 1

Kings 3, Red Wings 2

At Glendale, Arizona, Michael Frolik scored his second goal in the fifth round of the shootout and backup goalie Scott Clemmensen stopped 40 shots to lift Florida past Phoenix. Frolik scored in the second period, then squeezed a shot between the pads of Ilya Bryzgalov in the shootout. Florida had lost five of its previous six games. Martin Hanzal scored for Phoenix and Bryzgalov made 36 saves, but the Coyotes fell for the third time in four games.

At Los Angeles, Anze Kopitar scored 4:04 into overtime and Jonathan Quick made 27 saves as Los Angeles beat Detroit. Justin Williams and defenseman Alec Martinez also each had a goal and an assist for the Kings. Chris Osgood, starting in goal for Detroit for the first time since late October due to a groin injury, made 22 saves. Jonathan Ericsson and Todd Bertuzzi had the Red Wings’ goals.

Stars 4, Wild 3

In Edmonton, Alberta, Taylor Hall scored the winner 23 seconds into overtime as Edmonton extended its winning streak to four with a victory over St. Louis.Hall, the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, was sent in on a breakaway by Ryan Whitney and scored his ninth goal of the season and third in two games. Ryan Jones also scored for the Oilers, who have won five of six. Eric Brewer had the lone goal for St. Louis, which has dropped five straight.—AP

In Dallas, Stephane Robidas scored a power-play goal at 3:37 in overtime to lead Dallas past Minnesota for the Stars’ sixth straight win. Adam Burish, Karlis Skrastins and Steve Ott also scored for the Stars, who are 8-0-1 in their last nine at home. Kari Lehtonen made 28 saves for Dallas. Antti Miettinen, Chuck Kobasew and Martin Havlat scored for Minnesota, which rallied from a deficit of

showed what this team is capable of doing when it has to. No one connected with South African rugby has ever doubted the real quality and natural skill and strength we have. “It’s just getting it altogether on the field and fulfilling the expectations,” de Villiers, South Africa’s first non-white coach, added. “Of course it is going to be tough defending our title but it is something we will go into 100 percent ready and excited about. “We know just what it will take to win the biggest trophy in the sport once again,” de Villiers insisted. Juan Smith, who captained South Africa against the Barbarians in the absence of the injured John Smit and Victor Matfield, echoed his coach’s confidence for a successful 2011. “Being in the thick of it, I can see just how the team is moving on,” the flanker said. “The South African public should not be worried. We will be primed and ready come New Zealand at the end of next year. “It was a shame we could not win our final game of this year but this was an inexperienced Springbok team, and the guys who came in will have learned so much from it.” De Villiers added: “You have to remember this Barbarians side was full of world stars, mainly from Australia and New Zealand. There’s no disgrace in losing to a team of that quality at the end of a long, hard season. The boys gave it everything and we were strong at the finish so I am not too unhappy. “We now need a long break. The

Oilers 2, Blues 1

Yankees and Jeter agree to $51m deal

S Africa boss upbeat ahead of World Cup LONDON: South Africa coach Peter de Villiers feels his side’s dreams of retaining the World Cup in New Zealand next year have been given a big lift by their hard, if only half successful, campaign in the Northern Hemisphere. The Springboks boss was upbeat and certainly not feeling deflated despite seeing his men lose 26-20 to a Barbarians side full of Wallaby and All Black stars at Twickenham on Saturday. Defeat ended a 2010 full of turmoil on and off the field for de Villiers and his world champions, who were beaten in five of their six Tri-Nations matches and saw dreams of a first ‘grand slam’ in 50 years disappear with a shock 21-17 loss to Scotland last month. But an injury-hit side could also reflect on a 21-11 win over England at Twickenham the week before they lost to the Barbarians. De Villiers is confident the future is bright for a Springbok side he expects to peak in time for the World Cup, which gets underway in September. “As everyone has seen over the past few weeks on this tour of the Northern Hemisphere, we have many exciting young players coming through who could certainly push for a World Cup place,” de Villiers said. “We still have ten months to go before the start in New Zealand and so much can happen between now and then. The team is still developing and, hopefully, will improve considerably between now and then. “Our victory over England

2-0 but couldn’t pull off the win.

LONDON: South Africa’s Ryan Kankowski (left) breaks past the tackle from Barbarians’ Will Genia during their exhibition rugby union match at Twickenham stadium in this file photo. —AP guys have been through a lot this year and are naturally pretty tired.” The Barbarians’ former South Africa turned Italy coach Nick Mallett said the conclusion to be drawn from the November international programme was that Europe’s best were still some way off matching the Tri-Nations. “I’m still convinced there is still a huge gap between the two hemi-

spheres in terms of rugby ability and performances,” Mallett said. “If the guys can’t knock over the Southern Hemisphere sides when they are tired and still acclimatising to conditions, clearly there is a difference. “England played one great game. They played out of their skins to beat Australia (35-18). “And Scotland beat South Africa

because the Boks were not at their best and not ready for it. So, yes, there is still a gap.” Two tries from Wallaby wing Drew Mitchell and one apiece from James O’Connor and Quintin Geldenhuys won the day for the Barbarians, with South African’s tries coming from Odwa Ndungane, Bakkies Botha and Bandise Maku.—AFP

NEW YORK: Shortstop Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees reached a preliminary agreement Saturday on a $51 million, three-year contract with an $8 million player option for 2014, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. The person spoke Saturday on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made. While negotiations moved slowly, there was little doubt that the Yankees captain would remain in New York. Beloved by fans and respected by his peers, Jeter wants to be a Yankee for his entire career in the mold of Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. The guaranteed portion of the contract includes a $3 million buyout if the option is declined. If it is exercised, Jeter would earn $56 million over four seasons. The player option can escalate up to $17 million. The amount depends on a points system. He earns points based on if he finishes anywhere among top six in American League Most Valuable Player voting and if he wins World Series MVP, league championship series MVP, Gold Glove or Silver Slugger awards. If he earns the maximum, he would get $65 million over the four years. Jeter has finished in the top six in the MVP voting four times, placing second in 2006. He won the World Series MVP award in 2000 and has five Gold Gloves and four Silver Sluggers. There is deferred money included, which for the purposes of baseball’s collective bargaining agreement and the luxury tax brings its average annual value to about $16 million annually, just above the $15,775,000 average in the 10-year deal agreed to this week by Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki.

Coming off a $189 million, 10-year contract, Jeter initially had been offered a $45 million, three-year deal. After a Nov. 8 meeting, talks came to a standstill as the sides expressed frustration with each other. But talks resumed Tuesday with a meeting in Tampa, Florida, and the sides negotiated over the rest of the week until they reached the agreement. New York has a roster filled with veteran players, many in their 30s with highpaying long-term deals topped by the record $275 million, 10-year contract running through 2017 for 35-year-old third baseman Alex Rodriguez. Unlike A-Rod, who admitted using steroids before his time with the Yankees, Jeter has been a model citizen since coming up to the Yankees in 1995 and winning the AL Rookie of the Year award the following season. He helped lead the team to World Series titles in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2009, setting a standard admired and envied throughout baseball. Jeter’s 2010 season made the contract situation more complicated. Despite winning his second consecutive Gold Glove and becoming the oldest AL shortstop to win the award, he showed less range. And he declined at the plate to a .270 average with 10 home runs, down from a .334 average and 18 homers the previous season. While his RBIs increased by one to 67, his on-base percentage fell from .406 to .340 and his slugging average dropped from .465 to .370. New York also has been working to finalize a $30 million, two-year agreement with closer Mariano Rivera, which also contains deferred money. The Yankees also are awaiting a decision by left-hander Andy Pettitte, who told the team he was leaning toward retirement.—AP



Monday, December 6, 2010

Woods stays in control at Chevron Challenge

THOUSANDS OAKS: Tiger Woods hits from the 18th fairway during the third round of the Chevron World Challenge golf tournament. — AP

Ogilvy ends season as he started, with a win SYDNEY: Geoff Ogilvy achieved a 26-year old long dream of capturing the Australian Open title when the 33-year-old from Melbourne cruised to an emphatic victory in Sydney yesterday. Ever since he witnessed Tom Watson’s 1984 success at Royal Melbourne, Ogilvy has longed for the day to also be handed the gleaming Stonehaven Trophy. Ogilvy could not have wished for a better scenario than walking up the final hole of The Lakes course enjoying a four-stroke cushion. He calmly two-putted for a par in carding a three-under par 69 to win with a 19-under par total from fellow Australians Alistair Presnell (67) and Matt Jones (68) on 15-under par. His four-round tally of 269, earning him a cheque for A$263,414 ($257,013), was the lowest in 22-years since American Mark Calcavecchia won the 1988 Australian Open at Royal Sydney. “Ever since watching Tom Watson win in 1984, Ive dreamed of winning the Australian Open,” Ogilvy told Reuters. “Seeing Tom win at Royal Melbourne was something special and that really got me excited about golf because I was back at Royal Melbourne in 1985... the year (Greg) Norman won and then a year later, I was also at Royal Melbourne when Rodger Davis won. “I was just so lucky to have grown up so close to Royal Melbourne because the course hosted just so many big tournaments like the Australian Open.” Ogilvy went into the closing round with the comfort of a five-shot lead but afterwards admitting his final round was the least comfortable of his four days on the inner-Sydney course. “It was an odd feeling having such a large lead standing on the first tee today,” Ogilvy said. “Today was the day I struggled the most with my game, not that it was a real struggle. “But then my attitude was that they had to come to me

and go past me if anyone else was going to win, and while Alistair was doing a pretty good job, I really never had to worry about it too much. “I knew if I made two or three birdies I would be okay.” Ogilvy commenced his final round at 16-under par and made the turn in 18-under courtesy of birdies at four and eight before stamping his 2006 US Open-winning stature on the event with back-to-back birdies at 13 and 14 to move to 20-under par. However, Ogilvy let slip the chance to record the second lowest four round total in the 106-year history of the event since the inaugural running in 1904, had his par putt at 16 not lipped out. He parred the 17th to then walked up the par-three last with the luxury of a four-shot lead. “I would always like to go into any event leading by

five and its more of a mental challenge than if you were leading by just a shot.” he added. Victory also ended a near 12-month winless run for the world number 43, who captured the 2010 PGA Tour opening event, the SBS Championship in Hawaii. “I won the first week and then play relatively horrible golf all year,” Ogilvy added. “I didn’t enjoy golf as much this year because how I was playing.” Fellow former US Open champion Michael Campbell of New Zealand recorded his best finish in over two years with a closing day 70 to share 12th place on seven-under. Five-times winner Greg Norman signed for a last round 72 to share 32nd spot on three-under par with defending champion, Adam Scott (71). — Reuters

SYDNEY: Australian Geoff Ogilvy kisses the trophy after winning the Australian Open golf tournament at The Lakes in Sydney. — AP

THOUSAND OAKS: Tiger Woods is one round away from ending his worst year with a familiar finish. Woods regained control with three straight birdies early in his round, then finished with a shot that covered the flag for a tap-in birdie that gave him a 4-under 68 in the Chevron World Challenge on Saturday. It was the first time all year that Woods has posted four straight rounds in the 60s, dating to his final-round 65 in Australia. What mattered was keeping his four-shot lead over US Open champion Graeme McDowell, who also had a 68. No one else was within eight shots of the lead. “I’m excited about tomorrow because of the way I’m playing,” said Woods, who has never lost a tournament that he has led by at least three shots going into the final round. Woods, who has gone more than a year without winning — or even close to winning — was at 17-under 199. He won the last two times he played Sherwood Country Club, where he was the tournament host, missing in 2008 after knee surgery and last year when his personal life was caving in around him. But after eight months of looking like an ordinary player, he is starting to resemble the guy who has won 82 times around the world and 14 majors. It was his lowest score and largest lead after 54 holes since the BMW Championship last year, which he won by eight. McDowell, trailing by four going into the second round, quickly closed within a shot with a two-putt birdie on the second and daring tee shot to the top-right hole location on the par-3 third. Woods quickly pulled away. He hit a blast-and-run from a plugged lie in the bunker on the par-5 fifth to 2 feet, rolled in a fast 20-foot birdie on the sixth and then covered the flag on the seventh to about 3 feet. Just like that, his lead was back to five. The back nine could have gone either way. Woods was in trouble off the tee at the 11th, put picked it clean off the dirt to about 12 feet for a two-putt birdie to keep his lead at four shots. He looked to expand that lead when McDowell hit out-ofbounds on the par-5 13th, but he somehow managed a par. On the next hole, McDowell had 6 feet for birdie and Woods was 20 feet away for par. Woods made, McDowell missed. That’s why Woods is taking nothing for granted going into the final round. Sherwood is the kind of course where low scores are available because of the five par 5s, but it’s easy to post a big number if a player gets out of position. Dustin Johnson found that out the hard way, playing the final four holes in 7 over for an 80 that left him at the bottom of the pack. Woods appears to be making big strides toward getting his game back. He still sees it as baby steps. “Since the PGA, there has been incremental progress, little stepping stones along the way,” he said. McDowell has reason to see it differently. He played with Woods in the first two rounds in the HSBC Champions at Shanghai, when Woods fell out of the hunt quickly with errant shots and suspect putting. This was a different Woods he saw on Saturday under a cloudy sky. “I thought the ‘wide’ was still there,” McDowell said of Woods’ tee shots in Shanghai. “I thought he controlled it very well today. He really only had one bad drive, and he’s so impressive around the green. He’s the best there ever was around the greens.” Paul Casey got off to a fast start, 5 under through seven holes, until he four-putted the eighth for double bogey. He had to settle for par on the next seven holes and wound up with a 69. He was in third place, eight shots behind. With the greens still slick and the pins slightly tougher, Woods and McDowell matched the best score of the third round. That’s why they’ll be in a two-man race on Sunday with a title on the line. It’s not an official US PGA Tour event, although it might feel like one to Woods. —AP

SUN CITY: South Africa’s Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe (right) hands over the trophy to England golfer Lee Westwood (left) for his victory in the Nedbank Golf Challenge. —AP

Westwood triumphs at Sun City SUN CITY: Lee Westwood confirmed his year-end No. 1 ranking with an eight-shot win at the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City yesterday. The top-ranked Englishman sailed to a 4-under 68 in the final round at the Gary Player Country Club for a 271 total, chipping in from the fringe on 18 for a birdie finish. “It was the stuff that dreams are made of, I guess,” Westwood said of the pitch and run that nestled in the cup for a three on the last hole in front of a packed gallery. “I didn’t want to get ahead of myself but I knew I was playing well. It was a professional round I thought. Recently, I really felt there was a

good week coming.” Westwood had five birdies and a bogey, on No. 17 to secure the top ranking for the remainder of 2010. The 37-year-old Westwood led the 12-player field since Friday and was unchallenged on the final day to win his first Nedbank title on his seventh attempt, collecting $1.25 million in prize money. It was his second tournament win of the year in his final event of the season. He carded under-par rounds of 68, 64, 71 and 68 through the tournament. South Africa’s Tim Clark shot a 1-under 71 to finish second on 9-under 279, one bet-

ter than compatriot Retief Goosen and Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez. Paired with Westwood Sunday, Clark rolled in a seven-foot putt on 18 to save par and clinch second place — and a check for $660,000. “I had a pretty good idea what was at stake there (with the putt on 18),” said Clark, who bogeyed his first hole of the day and never threatened a dominant Westwood despite three birdies in his back nine. “I don’t think it would have been possible to catch Lee today. There’s no question he is the world’s No. 1. It’s not just points on a sheet. I think he has that belief right now,” Clark said. —AP

Yang leads, Kerr aims for history ORLANDO: Cristie Kerr hopes to become the first American in 16 years to win US LPGA player of the year after trailing leader Amy Yang by three strokes entering the final round of the US LPGA Tour Championship on Saturday. “Everybody can imagine how much it would mean to me and for American golf,” Kerr said. Kerr shot a 1-under 71 for the third straight round to put her in a tight pack at Grand Cypress Golf Club where anybody under par is in contention. She is the only one to shoot under par in all three rounds. Kerr, 33, needs nothing short of victory to unseat points leader Yani Tseng. All that might take is another solid round of golf to become the first American since Beth Daniel in 1994 to claim the LPGA’s most prestigious annual award. “We also do need an American to win awards like player of the year and really start to bring the LPGA Tour back to the United States,” Kerr said. There’s not many in her way. Yang (73) has led all three rounds, Maria Hjorth (71) was one shot back of Yang and Seon Hwa Lee (73) was also tied with Kerr. Only five players were under par for the tournament. “If you are under par, I still think there’s a chance,” Hjorth said. This year’s season finale isn’t following the usual script.

ORLANDO: Amy Yang of South Korea hits her drive on the 10th tee during the third round of the LPGA Tour Championship golf tournament. —AP For the first time in a decade, the player of the year award will be someone other than Lorena Ochoa and Annika Sorenstam now that both are retired. And since Ochoa bid farewell to the tour in May, the No. 1 ranking has shuffled nine times among three players — Jiyai Shin, Ai Miyazato and Kerr.

Five in the field had a chance to grab the honors — plus the Vare Trophy for the year’s lowest scoring average _ when the tournament began, and Kerr is in prime position to take them all. Anything under par might be good enough again for the 2007 US Women’s Open champion. But only a victory would give Kerr enough to take player of

the year honors from Tseng, who made the 54-hole cut on the number after shooting a 2over 74 in the third round. Tseng is at 6 over for the tournament and doesn’t sound too confident of earning the award. “I think Cristie is gonna be winning the tournament to take this title,” Tseng said. That’s because the American has been by far the most consistent in the field. She had three birdies but only two bogeys on Saturday on a course where cold conditions and have made firm and fluctuating greens even faster. Although after near-freezing temperatures the first two days, a picturesque day in the mid-60s made conditions ripe for low scores. But it didn’t happen. Kerr saved par all day with big putts, including one from about 12 feet on the 17th hole to stay on the heels of the leaders. The tournament also had an additional cut after 54 holes to 34 players — the lowest 30 scores and ties — that gives Kerr and others near the top of the leader board an even better chance of holding off any major final-day pushes. It also puts Kerr only 18 holes away from a monumental victory for American golf. “I have to put the awards and all of those different things away and I just have to win (Sunday),” she said. “I have to win the day.” —AP

Karlberg bags Indian Open NEW DELHI: Rikard Karlberg of Sweden shot a 2-under 70 Sunday to win the Indian Open after overnight leader Baek Seukhyun of South Korea faltered on the final day. Karlberg’s 11-under total of 277 put him two shots clear of Baek, who only managed a final-round 73. The Indian duo of Manav Jaini and Shiv Kapur tied for third, while five players were another stroke back in fifth. Karlberg said he was confident because he had won another Asian Tour event, the SAIL Open tournament, at the same course earlier this year. “I feel so comfortable when I am here,” said the 24-year-old golfer. “The putting was just unbelievable in the SAIL Open but here, my chipping and bunker shots were really good.” Baek, who led the field for two days, said a missed putt on the first hole and some bad tee shots pushed him off the pace. “I was really nervous until the par five, where I made an eagle when I was coleader, but I bogeyed the 16th,” said Baek, who secured a Tour card for next season. “Rikard played really good the last two holes for those birdies,” Baek added. Among the Indian challengers, the littleknown Jaini impressed and even led the field for a brief period on the last day. He was 11 under but let the opportunity slip with back-to-back bogeys on the 16th and 17th that dropped him to 39 on the back nine.

NEW DELHI: Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg poses with the trophy after winning the Hero Honda Indian Open golf tournament. —AP “I am very disappointed,” he said. “I was 11 under, Rikard just finished with 11 under. Going on the back nine, I would have put money on myself to shoot level par. I guess it’s the pressure of big events,” he said.

Kapur said he was aiming for a score of 11 under. I gave myself a lot of opportunities and it was nice to finish with two birdies to move up the leaderboard,” he said. “Overall it is nice to finish on a good note and post a high finish.” —AP

Monday, December 6, 2010



Pietersen’s double ton keeps England on top

LAKE LOUISE: Maria Riesch of Germany blasts down the course on her way to winning the Lake Louise Women’s World Cup downhill ski race. —AP

Riesch captures back-to-back downhills LAKE LOUISE: Germany’s Maria Riesch captured her second World Cup downhill in as many days on Saturday and again forced Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn to settle for second place. In one minute 29.60 seconds, Riesch added a sixth victory in the discipline to her World Cup record and can now set her sights on compatriot Katja Seizinger’s feat, who won all three races on the weekend menu in the Canadian resort 13 years ago. “We all skied to the limit and it was down to the one making the fewer mistakes,” said Riesch, now a comfortable leader in the

World Cup standings, 189 points ahead of Vonn. And that is precisely what the slalom world and Olympic champion did, keeping a clean line from start to finish while rival Vonn and Austrian Olympic bronze medallist Elisabeth Goergl were too aggressive and nearly crashed. Vonn narrowly avoided disaster, her hip touching the snow at the end of a wide turn, but managed to finish 0.10 seconds behind Riesch. “To finish second in these conditions is more than I could hope for. When I reached

the finish area I thought I’d be 10th at best,” said Vonn. “To stay in the race was a matter of power, coordination and control and it is satisfactory in spite of the defeat.” The American had bagged the five previous downhills held on the Olympic Run and won at least one every winter since 2004. She must now look to late yesterday’s Super-G for her revenge. While Goergl had to settle for fifth place after her spectacular near-crash, the last podium spot went to Swiss Dominique Gisin, who had clocked some of the best times in practice. —Reuters

BEAVER CREEK: Austrian racer Georg Streitberger races past a gate on the way to winning the men’s World Cup super-G ski race. —AP

Streitberger clinches Super-G race BEAVER CREEK: Georg Streitberger raced to victory in a men’s World Cup Super-G on Saturday, confirming Austria’s recovery in the speed events. It was a second World Cup success for the 29-year-old who finished 0.11 seconds ahead of runner-up Adrien Theaux of France with world champion Didier Cuche 0.02 seconds away in third. His only previous win, in Norway in March 2008, had been overshadowed by a tragic accident to team mate Matthias Lanzinger who had a leg amputated after breaking it in a crash. Streitberger recalled after Saturday’s victory: “At the time it was not easy for me cope with the situation of winning on such a day. It was my first win for sure, but it didn’t feel like it. “I had mixed feelings. I won but my

friend Matthias was injured. It took me a while to be able to take risks again.” If March 2008 remains a tragic date, Saturday was a day for celebration for Streitberger on the classic Birds of Prey piste. Austrians have struggled in speed events in recent years but this success followed Michael Walchhofer’s victory in the Lake Louise downhill last week and as a result three Austrians are now topping the World Cup overall standings with Mario Scheiber on 175 points leading Walchhofer and Streitberger. “I think a lot of skiers like me struggled after Matthias’s crash but now I’m in great shape and this is like my first victory,” said Streitberger. The winds that forced Friday’s downhill to be called off had calmed and the conditions helped runner-up Theaux to his first

career podium. Third-placed Cuche was the only favourite to fare well on an icy slope, making his first podium this season. American Bode Miller tried too hard and slid out on a sharp turn and other big names were also below par. World Cup champion Carlo Janka was never in contention and finished one and a half seconds off the pace in 23rd place. Fellow-Swiss Tobias Gruenenfelder, winner of the first Super-G of the season in Lake Louise, was also out of the top placings. Olympic champion Aksel-Lund Svindal of Norway was ninth. The Beaver Creek programme ends on Sunday with a giant slalom which sees the return to competition of Swiss Daniel Albrecht nearly two years after his near-fatal crash in Kitzbuehel. —Reuters

ADELAIDE: Kevin Pietersen replaced Alastair Cook as Australia’s tormentor with a majestic double century as England took a commanding first innings lead before rain curtailed the third day of the second Ashes Test yesterday. The 30-year-old Pietersen still looked hungry for more on 213 not out alongside Ian Bell (41) as England moved to 551-4 and a lead of 306 when the rain came down at the tea break and prevented any further play. England declared on 551 in the corresponding test four years ago and incredibly lost by six wickets but Australia, who made 245 in their first innings, can only hope the rain continues as they battle for a draw at best over the next two days. Pietersen reached the second double century of his career with a sprinted single off spinner Xavier Doherty before dropping to one knee and pumping his fist as England’s “Barmy Army” of supporters gave him a huge ovation. “It’s wonderful to get runs and put our team in a position to win a test match in Australia,” Pietersen told reporters. “I really do believe we’re in a very strong position in this game. Obviously the rain didn’t help us out this afternoon but to get a team into a position is great.” For Australia, the weather might have been milder than the 37 degrees Celsius they fielded in on Saturday but it was another day of toil with scant reward for their bowlers. Local quick Ryan Harris and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin did finally manage to finally remove Cook off an inside edge for 148 in the morning to end to 17 1/2 hours of unbeaten batting since the Englishman was dismissed in the first innings at the Gabba. Australia skipper Ricky Ponting admitted, however, that his team had been outplayed over the last five days going back to the drawn first test in Brisbane and needed to “bounce back”. “We’ll see what we’re made of, simple as that,” he said. “They’ve shown us how to bat on this wicket so far. I think their skills and their application in their batting in the last couple of games has been terrific and we have to emulate that in the last couple of days of this game.” While Cook would not pretend to be a great technical batsman, even the locals who booed Pietersen onto the pitch on Saturday could not deny the quality of his innings. Pietersen secured his first test century in 18 matches going back to March last year in the morning, celebrating the single off Harris with a roar that rang around the ground. “I do love the big stage,” Pietersen said. “It’s been quite tough over the last 18 months. “I’ve got high standards and to get 80s, 90s, 99s, 60s, 50s, does my head in. Yes, so it was great for that one to go down fine leg.” Pietersen relaxed a little after reaching his 100 and was soon peppering boundaries around the Adelaide Oval, where he scored 158 in the corresponding test four years ago. His double century came off 283 balls and included 29 fours and one six. He had a minor scare when he was on 91 and Australia requested a review of a refused lbw appeal but the television pictures showed Harris’s delivery had hit his pad outside the line of the wickets. Shane Watson trapped Paul Collingwood lbw for 42 three overs after lunch but apart from Harris (2-84), the specialist bowlers struggled on the lifeless wicket. Quicks Doug Bollinger (1121) and Peter Siddle (0-100) were expensive while left-arm spinner Doherty (0-120) never looked like giving Pietersen the sort of problems he was brought into the side to provide. “They’re toiling away, they’re doing their best, there’s not much in the track,” Ponting said. “We’ve just got to keep hanging in there and see if we can make some breakthroughs, but I think to tell the truth now most of the work for the rest of the game’s going to be done with our batting. —Reuters

ADELAIDE: England batsman Kevin Pietersen celebrates scoring a double century against Australia on the third day of the second Ashes cricket Test match in Adelaide. —AFP

Scoreboard ADELAIDE: Scoreboard at close of play on the third day of the second Ashes test between Australia and England at the Adelaide Oval on yesterday: Australia won the toss and chose to bat I. Bell not out 41 28 Australia first innings 245 (M. Hussey 93, B. Extras (lb-12, w-8, b-8) Total (for four wickets, 143 overs) 551 Haddin 56, S. Watson 51; J. Anderson 4-51) Fall of wicket: 1-2 2-176 3-351 4-452 England first innings (overnight 317-2) To bat: M. Prior, S. Broad, G. Swann, J. A. Strauss b Bollinger 1 Anderson, S. Finn. A. Cook c Haddin b Harris 148 Bowling: Harris 29-5-84-2 (w-1), Bollinger 27-1J. Trott c Clarke b Harris 78 121-1 (w-6), Siddle 26-3-100-0 (w-1), Watson 19K. Pietersen not out 213 7-44-1, Doherty 24-3-120-0, North 18-0-62-0. P. Collingwood lbw Watson 42

Sri Lanka-Windies Test series drawn PALLEKELLE: Sri Lanka and West Indies drew their three-match test series 0-0 after the final match had to be abandoned because of rain. Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara won the toss and invited the visitors to bat first. But the weather allowed just 103.3 overs for the entire match, during which the West Indies scored 303-8. Persistent rain yesterday forced Australian match referee Alan Hurst to call off the day without a ball being bowled at Pallekelle International Stadium. Darren Bravo top-scored with 68 and Brendan Nash made 67, while Sri Lankan spin bowler Rangana Herath returned the best bowling figures 4-51. The entire series has been hit by bad weather as a total of 694 overs have been lost, which is over seven days of play. The series is the worst hit by rain in Sri Lanka. West Indies captain Darren Sammy said he was happy with the team’s performance despite rain spoil-

ing the series. “When we left home, we said we will settle for a draw if not a win,” Sammy said. “Despite the weather, which has been totally out of our control, the one test match where we had five days of cricket we basically dominated. “We have lot of positives after the test series and looking to build for the future.” West Indies drew an inaugural one-test tour to Sri Lanka in 1993 but were thrashed 3-0 in two subsequent tours. The fivematch one-day international series starts in the southern Suriyawewa stadium on Thursday. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara called for cricket officials to analyse weather patterns thoroughly before hosting Test matches after the third and final test against West Indies ended in a tame draw at the Pallakele Stadium yesterday. “It will be nice to see if we can make sure the weather patterns and all of

these things are properly analysed. But it is tough these days; the weather’s all topsy turvy,” said Sangakkara. “It’s probably the worst test series I’ve ever experienced. I’ve never seen anything like this before. It was pretty frustrating to sit in the dressing-room and watch the rain. “It would have been nice to see if we had alternative venues as well to see if one failed and the weather was not great and the preparations not great, we could have gone somewhere else. “But from the reports I hear that it is raining everywhere. I don’t know how feasible that would have been. But it’s always nice to have something as a backup.” Only 103.3 overs were bowled in the entire test and West Indies scored 303-8. The bad weather enabled West Indies to draw a test series in Sri Lanka for the first time. The two previous series played in 2001 and 2005 had ended in 3-0 and 20 defeats.—Reuters

Scoreboard PALLEKELLE, Sri Lanka: Final scoreboard yesterday’s on the last day of the third test between Sri Lanka and the West Indies at Pallekelle International Stadium: Total: (for eight wickets) 303 West Indies 1st innings Overs: 103.3. (Overnight 303-8) Batting time: 425 (No play on Day 5). Chris Gayle lbw b Lakmal 0 Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-115, 3-142, 4-241, 5-242, 6Devon Smith lbw b Mendis 55 252, 7-253, 8-274. Darren Bravo lbw b Fernando 68 Shivnarine Chanderpaul c M. Jayawardene b Did not bat: Nelon Pascal Bowling: Suranga Lakmal 17.3-5-41-1, Angelo Mendis 54 Mathews 10-4-34-0, Tillakaratne Dilshan 10-1Brendan Nash c P. Jayawardene b Herath 67 20-0, Dilhara Fernando 15-2-72-1 (1w), Ajantha Dwayne Bravo st P. Jayawardene b Herath 0 Mendis 28-6-78-2 (3nb), Rangana Herath 23-5Carlton Baugh lbw b Herath 2 54-4. Darren Sammy lbw b Herath 8 Toss: Won by Sri Lanka. Sulieman Benn not out 29 Result: Match Drawn Kemar Roach not out 12 Series: Three-match series drawn 0-0 Extras: (4lb, 1w, 3nb) 8



Monday, December 6, 2010

NBA results/standings Results and standings from NBA games on Saturday. Miami 89, Atlanta 77; Philadelphia 109, Charlotte 91; Chicago 119, Houston 116 (OT); Minnesota 129, Cleveland 95; Milwaukee 96, Orlando 85. Eastern Conference Atlantic Division W L PCT Boston 15 4 .789 NY Knicks 11 9 .550 Toronto 8 11 .421 Philadelphia 6 14 .300 New Jersey 6 14 .300

GB 4.5 7 9.5 9.5

Centra l Division 10 8 .556 9 9 .500 7 12 .368 7 12 .368 6 14 .300

1 3.5 3.5 5

Southea st Division Orlando 15 5 .750 Miami 13 8 .619 Atlanta 13 8 .619 Charlotte 7 13 .350 Washington 6 12 .333

2.5 2.5 8 8

Western Conference Northw est Division Utah 15 6 .714 Denver 12 6 .667 Oklahoma City 13 7 .650 Portland 8 11 .421 Minnesota 5 15 .250

1.5 1.5 6 9.5

Chicago Indiana Cleveland Milwaukee Detroit

LA Lakers Phoenix Golden State Sacramento LA Clippers

MIAMI: LeBron James No. 6 of the Miami Heat is double teamed by Damien Wilkins No. 3 and Al Horford No. 15 of the Atlanta Hawks during a game at American Airlines Arena. — AFP

Pacific Division 14 6 10 9 8 11 4 14 4 16

Southw est San Antonio 16 Dallas 16 New Orleans 13 Memphis 8 Houston 7

.700 .526 .421 .222 .200

3.5 5.5 9 10

Division 3 .842 4 .800 6 .684 12 .400 13 .350

.5 3 8.5 9.5

Heat beat Hawks MIAMI: Chris Bosh scored 27 points and Dwyane Wade added 26 as the Miami Heat beat the Atlanta Hawks 89-77 in the NBA on Saturday for their fourth straight victory. LeBron James added 22 points for Miami. The three Heat stars combined for 75 points. Al Horford scored 22 points on 10-for11 shooting for Atlanta, which had its fivegame winning streak broken and lost for just the third time in 10 road games. Jamal Crawford and Josh Powell scored 12 points apiece for the Hawks, Josh Smith had 11 and Mike Bibby 10. Mavericks 105, Kings 103 In Sacramento, California, Dirk

Nowitzki scored 25 points and Jason Terry had 23 as Dallas rallied to beat Sacramento for its ninth straight victory. The Mavericks, who outscored Sacramento 15-4 in the final five and a half minutes, improved to 8-1 on the road and 16-4 overall. Tyreke Evans had 25 points and eight assists for Sacramento. The Kings have lost seven straight and 13 of 14. Bucks 96, Magic 85 In Milwaukee, Australian Andrew Bogut scored a season-high 31 points and had 18 rebounds in his return from a back injury as Milwaukee beat short-handed Orlando. Brandon Jennings added 27

points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Bucks. Vince Carter scored 20 points and Quentin Richardson added 16 for Orlando, who were down to eight active players because of illness and injury. The Magic had won six straight games before the loss. 76ers 109, Bobcats 91 At Philadelphia, Jodie Meeks scored a career-high 26 points, including 20 in a big first-quarter run, as Philadelphia beat Charlotte. Meeks matched Allen Iverson’s home record for points in a first quarter with 20, scoring all of them during a 26-5 run in a 5:11 span. Meeks made his first six 3-

pointers and finished 7 of 10 from behind the arc. Boris Diaw led the Bobcats with 19 points. Bulls 119, Rockets 116 In Chicago, Derrick Rose scored 30 points and hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer in regulation to send the game into overtime, and Chicago went on to beat Houston. Rose added seven rebounds, 11 assists and five steals, and Carlos Boozer had 25 points and nine rebounds. Brad Miller scored 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter to help the Rockets overcome a 14-point deficit. T’wolves 128, Cavaliers 95 In Minneapolis, Kevin Love had 28

points and 19 rebounds as Minnesota beat Cleveland, ending a six-game losing streak. The Timberwolves hit a franchiserecord 18 3-pointers to blow out Cleveland, two days after the Cavaliers were thrashed by LeBron James and the Miami Heat. Antawn Jamison had 17 points for Cleveland. Meanwhile, a stomach virus moving through the Orlando Magic has forced the NBA team to send home four key players during a Midwest roadtrip this weekend. The Magic said Jameer Nelson and JJ Redick took a flight back to Orlando, Florida, before the team’s game Saturday night against Milwaukee because of the

Oregon-Auburn set for National title showdown NEW YORK: Oregon and Auburn clinched spots in the national college football title game on Saturday, while the other undefeated team in the country, Texas Christian University, looked headed to the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. No. 1 Oregon (120) defeated Oregon State 37-20 and No. 2 Auburn (13-0) routed No. 18 South Carolina 56-17 in the Southeastern Conference championship to secure spots in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) title game on Jan. 10 in Glendale, Arizona. No. 3 TCU watched it all from home but got no help and got left out — the way some team does almost every year in a sport that refuses to adopt a playoff. The title game pairing will become official late yesterday when the BCS awards spots in the Rose, Sugar, Orange and Fiesta Bowls along with the national championship game. Going into Saturday, the top two teams were flipped in the BCS standings, with Auburn at No. 1 and Oregon ranked No. 2. “It hasn’t really set in yet,” said Auburn coach Gene Chizik, who has a month-plus to prepare for stopping the nation’s top-scoring offense in the title game. “I know that’s where we’re going.” Oregon is seeking the first national title in program history. Behind running back LaMichael James, the Ducks average more than 50 points per game. “The one thing I think, and now I hope, is that we’re not known for our uniforms, we’re known for the players inside the uniforms and that’s what makes this thing special,” Ducks coach Chip Kelly said. Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, who threw for 335 yards and four touchdowns Saturday, and James, who ran for 134 yards and two scores, are also among the favorites to win the Heisman trophy next Saturday. In other games with postseason implications: No. 10 Oklahoma rallied from 17 points down to edge No. 13 Nebraska 23-20 in the Big 12 championship, earning a spot in the Fiesta Bowl, set for Jan. 1 at the same stadium where Oregon and Auburn will meet. Tyrod Taylor threw for three touchdowns and ran for another as No. 12 Virginia Tech beat No. 20 Florida State 44-33 in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game, securing a berth in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 3. _ Unranked Connecticut got by South Florida, 19-16, on Dave Teggart’s 52-yard field goal with 17 seconds left to win a share of the Big East title and the league’s BCS slot. The Huskies made the BCS despite having a four-loss season. Stanford, Arkansas and Ohio State, all idle Saturday, are among the top choices for at-large spots in postseason bowl games. —AP

illness. Dwight Howard and Mickael Pietrus returned before the Magic played in Detroit on Friday night. Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said he’d never seen so many players from one of his teams ill at the same time. “Normally, it seems like you’d get one guy, two guys at a time, and maybe over time it runs through the team a little bit,” he said. “We were all hit with this from Tuesday night on. It’s different. It’s not something I’ve been through before.” Forward Ryan Anderson also is in a walking boot because of a sprained right foot and will not play, leaving Orlando with only eight players active against the Bucks. — AP

Donaire stops Sidorenko

HONOLULU: Hawaii slotback Kealoha Pilares leaps over UNLV defensive back Mike Grant during the first quarter of the NCAA college football game. — AP

Bjoerndalen wins sprint title OESTERSUND: Norway’s Ole Einar Bjoerndalen picked up his 93rd World Cup win yesterday with victory in the 12.5km pursuit as he made amends for the fall he suffered the day before which cost him the sprint title. The 36-year-old missed twice on the shooting range to earn two penalties, but still came home first in a time

of 35 mins 47.7 secs with compatriot Emil Hegle Svendsen second at 26.2 secs back with three penalties. The victory was all the more impressive as Bjoerndalen started 3.9 secs behind sprint winner Svendsen after the veteran finished second in Saturday’s race because he fell on the final hill. Slovenia’s Jakov Fak finished third at

one min 0.7 secs back as the two Norwegians dominated the competition. Bjoerndalen was in second place after the first two laps, but made the difference on the fourth and final visit to the shooting range when he missed one less target than Svendsen to pull away. Having won his sixth Olympic title

in Whistler during the 2010 Winter Olympics in February, Bjoerndalen has said he will not be racing at the next games in Sochi, Russia, in 2014. In the overall rankings, Svendsen retains first place with 174 points compare to Bjoerndalen’s 168. The second stage of the season begins on Friday in Hochfilzen, Austria. —AFP

ANAHEIM: Nonito Donaire stopped Wladimir Sidorenko at 1:48 in the fourth round Saturday, earning a bantamweight title shot with a dominant performance. In the co-feature between two Mexican opponents, Humberto Soto defeated Urbano Antillon by unanimous decision in a thrilling give-and-take fight to retain his WBC lightweight title. Donaire (25-1, 17 KOs), a Filipino-American making his bantamweight debut, dominated Sidorenko (22-2-2, 7 KOs) from the beginning, putting the Ukrainian down three times with overwhelming power shots. Donaire earned a chance to challenge Mexican Fernando Montiel for his bantamweight title, a bout already scheduled for Feb. 19. Donaire hurt Sidorenko with a left hook midway through the first round, then put him down with a left hook-straight right combination. Sidorenko, his face covered in blood from a possible broken nose, went down from another left hook in the third round. Midway through the fourth, a left-right combination sent Sidorenko to his knee and he declined to get up. The former bantamweight titleholder had never been stopped in his career. Donaire hasn’t lost since his second professional fight in March 2001. He was asked to compare this win to his sensational one-punch knockout of Vic Darchinyan in 2007 in the fight previously considered his biggest victory. “That was just one punch,” he said. “This was my best performance as a fighter.” Soto and Donaire headlined the card at in Anaheim after Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. of Mexico was forced to drop out of the main event Wednesday with a 103-degree fever. Chavez’s original scheduled opponent, countryman Alfonso Gomez, dropped out last week with an injury, and Pawel Wolak of Poland was recruited to replace him before Chavez’s illness. Chavez is among Mexico’s most popular fighters, but the reconfigured card drew just 3,253 fans to the Anaheim arena. Meanwhile, Ricky Burns of Scotland won a unanimous decision against Andreas Evensen of Norway in his first defense of the WBO superfeatherweight title at Braehead Arena on Saturday. Burns (30-2) knocked down Colombianborn Evensen (13-1) in the opening minute but couldn’t pin him again in an enthralling 12rounder which ended with a standing ovation for both fighters. Burns was favored 119-108, 119108, 118-109 by the judges in his first defense of the minor belt he won from Roman Martinez in September. —AP


Monday, December 6, 2010


Serbia captures first Davis Cup title BELGRADE: Serbia won its first Davis Cup title yesterday, rallying for a 3-2 victory over France when Viktor Troicki beat Michael Llodra 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 in the final singles match. Troicki dropped to the court in jubilation after the victory and his teammates fell into each other’s arms to celebrate Serbia becoming only the second unseeded nation after Croatia in 2005 to win the trophy. “This is unbelievable. I don’t know how to react, what to do. This is the best moment of my life,” Troicki said as his teammates kept their promise to have their heads shaved on court. France was leading 2-1 in the the best-of-five-series after winning the doubles Saturday in its bid to capture its 10th Davis Cup, and first since 2001. Novak Djokovic tied the series by beating Gael Monfils 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 in yesterday’s first reverse singles match. Troicki then played some of his best tennis, constantly passing Llodra, the serve-and-volley specialist who stood stunned at the net. “This is the best moment of my career and probably of my nation,” Djokovic said. “This is like winning the World Cup for us.” Troicki, ranked 30th in the world, broke Llodra twice in each set and hit 58 winners compared to the Frenchman’s 32. Serbia reached the final after beating the United States, Croatia and the Czech Republic. The team only reached the World Group for the first time in 2008, and twice had to win playoffs to stay in the top tier. “My players showed that they are mentally the strongest team in the world,” Serbia captain Bogdan Obradovic said. “We showed we are No. 1.” His players posed with the enormous trophy on court in front of 16,000 flag-waving fans in Belgrade Arena. The thirdranked Djokovic started the comeback, through the first two sets by breaking the 12th-ranked Monfils twice in each. The first break for the Serb came in the fourth game of the first set when Monfils attempted a cheeky forehand through his legs while leading 30-0. He failed, had to change his racket after hitting it on the turf, and lost the next four points. Djokovic won the set with a forehand that grazed the net. Monfils put up tougher resistance in the third set, saving three break points at 1-0 and then breaking Djokovic’s serve for 2-1. Djokovic broke back, but then again failed to hold his serve for 4-3 to the Frenchman. Djokovic had another break for 4-4 after a crosscourt volley. He held on to his serve and then broke Monfils to secure the victory. “It was unbelievable today,” Djokovic said after beating Monfils. “Under the circumstances, maybe one of the best matches I have played this year. It was definitely a lot of pressure, expectations.” Djokovic had 18 unforced errors compared to Monfils’ 37. The Serb, who won his seventh consecutive Davis Cup singles, had only one forced error, compared to the Frenchman’s 15 in a match that lasted 2 hours, 14 minutes. “I don’t know if I had a chance,” said Monfils, whose record against Djokovic fell to 06. “He was better than me tonight.” On Saturday, Llodra and Arnaud Clement rallied against Nenad Zimonjic and Troicki to triumph 3-6, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 in the doubles. —AP

BELGRADE: Serbian Davis Cup squad members pose with the Davis Cup after winning the last singles Davis Cup tennis match finals between Serbia and France. — AFP

Sunderland send West Ham back to the bottom Sunderland 1

West Ham 0

SUNDERLAND: Jordan Henderson pushed West Ham back to the bottom of the Premier League as the Sunderland midfielder’s goal

clinched a 1-0 win at the Stadium of Light yesterday. The Hammers had moved up into 19th place without playing on Saturday after Wolves’ heavy defeat at Blackburn, but Henderson’s first half winner ensured Avram Grant’s team finished the weekend back where they started. Henderson’s strike also secured a first win in three matches which lifted Sunderland into seventh place. Hammers

boss Grant made three changes to the side which dumped Manchester United out of the League Cup in midweek as Danny Gabbidon, Kieron Dyer and Scott Parker returned, but his established stars were unable to repeat that shock result. West Ham had a narrow escape when Luis Boa Morte was guilty of a two-footed tackle on Kieran Richardson which could have earned a red card but only brought a booking from ref-

EPL results/standings English Premier League results and standings yesterday: Sunderland 1 (Henderson 34) West Ham 0; West Brom 3 (Tchoyi 32, Odemwingie 71, 89) Newcastle 1 (Lovenkrands 90). Played Saturday Arsenal 2 (Nasri 14, 75) Fulham 1 (Kamara 30); Birmingham 1 (Gardner 81) Tottenham 1 (Bassong 19); Blackburn 3 (Dunn 29, Emerton 43, Nelsen 55)

English Premier League table after yesterday’s matches (played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points): Arsenal Man Utd Chelsea Man City Tottenham Bolton Sunderland West Brom

16 15 16 16 16 16 16 16

10 8 9 8 7 5 5 6

2 7 3 5 5 8 8 4

4 0 4 3 4 3 3 6

34 35 30 21 24 28 20 23

18 16 11 12 21 23 18 27

32 31 30 29 26 23 23 22

Wolves 0; Chelsea 1 (Drogba 42-pen) Everton 1 (Beckford 86); Man City 1 (Tevez 4) Bolton 0; Wigan 2 (Collins 30-og, Cleverley 40) Stoke 2 (Huth 18, Etherington 31).

early in the second half when Carlton Cole turned on Victor Obinna’s pass as John Mensah slipped and blasted a low left-foot drive just wide of the far post. Boa Morte was wasteful when Cole’s cross arrived at his feet beyond the far post four minutes later. But Sunderland rediscovered their rhythm and, after Welbeck’s shot had been blocked by James Tomkins, Richardson tested Green with a powerful long-range strike.

Green had to be at his best to parry Gyan’s driven shot after he surged clear of Matthew Upson. West Ham’s last chance for a draw came 11 minutes from time when Obinna’s shot through a crowded penalty area clipped the outside of a post. Welbeck should have made sure of the points when Steed Malbranque’s shot came back off Green, but the midfielder’s sidefooted effort was blocked by Tomkins. — AFP

West Brom see off Newcastle West Brom 3

Pla ying Monday: Liverpool v Aston Villa

Stoke 16 Blackburn 16 Newcastle 16 Liverpool 15 Blackpool 15 Birmingham 16 Everton 16 Aston Villa 15 Fulham 16 Wigan 16 Wolverhampton 16 West Ham 16

6 6 5 5 5 3 3 4 2 3 3 2

3 3 4 4 4 9 8 5 9 6 3 6

7 7 7 6 6 4 5 6 5 7 10 8

21 21 24 17 23 17 18 17 16 13 17 14

21 25 25 19 29 19 20 24 20 28 30 27

21 21 19 19 19 18 17 17 15 15 12 12

GERMANY: Dortmund’s Robert Lewanfowski (center) scores his side’s second goal during the German First Division Bundesliga soccer match between FC Nuremberg and Borussia Dortmund. —AP (Dortmund) are too far ahead,” van Gaal said after his Bavarian giants went down 2-0 at Schalke 04 to leave them seventh in the table. “We had to win this match to put the pressure on Dortmund. But with us and (second-placed) Mainz losing, Dortmund aren’t feeling any

Henderson struck in the 34th minute. Asamoah Gyan broke into space down the right and pulled the ball square for England midfielder Henderson, who deftly side-footed it past the goalkeeper to open the scoring with his first goal of the season. It could have been 2-0 within two minutes when Welbeck picked up possession on the left and cut inside before curling in a shot which clipped the top of the crossbar. The visitors went close

Postponed (frozen pitch): Blackpool v Man Utd

Dortmund win BERLIN: League leaders Borussia Dortmund took a big step towards their first Bundesliga title in nine years yesterday as a 2-0 win over Nuremberg extended their lead at the top to 10 points. In heavy snow, goals either side of half-time by Germany defender Mats Hummels and Poland striker Robert Lewandowski saw Dortmund, whose last league title came in 2002, pick up their 13th win of the season from 15 matches. It leaves them on 40 points with a massive goal advantage while second-placed Mainz are on 30 points. Defending champions Bayern Munich are now 17 points behind the leaders and their coach Louis van Gaal conceded his side may have already lost the title — five months before the end of the season. Second-placed Mainz blew their chance to close the gap on Saturday as they suffered their fourth defeat in their last six games when they were beaten 21 by Eintracht Frankfurt. Van Gaal says Mainz’s defeat has only served to strengthen Dortmund’s position. “Lots might still happen but I think

eree Martin Atkinson. Steve Bruce’s men dominated the early stages and Robert Green was called into action for the first time when Darren Bent and Danny Welbeck combined to set up Lee Cattermole, whose drive was well held by the Hammers goalkeeper. Green was in the right place again to keep out Bent’s dipping effort five minutes later, but there was nothing he could do to keep the home side out as

pressure at all,” the Dutchman added. Leverkusen stay third as goals by Patrick Helmes, Swiss midfielder Tranquillo Barnetta and defender Stefan Reinartz sealed the win which leaves them just a point behind Mainz. With Germany star Michael Ballack set to return from injury

in January, Leverkusen are in touch with the leaders with two league games left before the winter break. On Saturday, Real Madrid target Edin Dzeko fired a second-half penalty over the bar as Steve McClaren’s Wolfsburg were held to a goalless draw at home by Werder Bremen. —AFP

Newcastle 1

BIRMINGHAM: West Bromwich Albion maintained their impressive rise up the Premier League table as Nigeria striker Peter Odemwingie scored twice in a 3-1 win over Newcastle yesterday. Roberto Di Matteo’s side have made a surprisingly big impact following promotion from the Championship last season and they are now in the top eight after Cameroon midfielder Somen Tchoyi and Odemwingie sealed victory at The Hawthorns. Peter Lovenkrands got one back for Newcastle in stoppage time but it was too late to stop his team suffering their third defeat in five games. “I thought we played very well,” Di Matteo told Sky Sports 1. “We scored three great goals and we controlled the game for the majority of the time. I think we pressed them quite high up the pitch, we never let them settle in.” Newcastle boss Chris Hughton kept his players locked in the dressing room for more than an hour after the final whistle before finally facing the media. He said: “After most games, there tends to be an inquest into the game and today we didn’t do well enough to win a football match. “Some of it is about getting answers, some of it is about venting your anger. We weren’t good enough in enough departments and that is why we have been in there (the dressing room) so long. “I wasn’t happy with the performance. We’ve given away poor goals and you can’t do that against anyone in this division.” Newcastle defender Sol Campbell was making his 500th Premier League appearance, but the former Arsenal and England star was unable to keep Albion at bay. —AFP

LONDON: Newcastle United’s Jonas Gutierrez (right) competes for the ball with West Bromwich Albion’s Gonzalo Jara during their English Premier League soccer match. — AP

Espanyol in third spot as home run continues MADRID: Espanyol climbed to the dizzy heights of third in the Spanish first division, maintaining their 100 percent home record with a 1-0 win over Sporting Gijon at the Cornella-El Prat Stadium yesterday. Espanyol were reduced to ten men with midfielder Jose Baena sent off on 52 minutes but that did not stop forward Luis Garcia scoring a 69th minute winner to move them a point above Villarreal into third. It was a third consecutive league victory and a perfect seventh win from seven at home for Espanyol who join Real Madrid in having a flawless home record. At the wrong end of the table relegation rivals Almeria and Real Zaragoza shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw yesterday. Argentine Pablo Piatti equalised for Almeria in the 77th minute after Zaragoza had gone ahead with a penalty 10 minutes earlier. Zaragoza stay bottom with new coach Javier Aguirre still waiting for his first win in charge after collecting two points from his three games at the helm. New Almeria manager Jose Luis Oltra is also waiting for his first win as his side stay second from bottom a point above Zaragoza. In other matches, Malaga moved out of the bottom three with a thumping 4-1 home win over

Racing Santander yesterday. After failing to score in their last two matches Malaga went goal crazy with Venezuelan international striker Jose Rondon scoring twice in as many minutes as the club moved out of the relegation places with Sporting Gijon taking their place. Elsewhere promoted Real Sociedad host Athletic Bilbao later yesterday in the first Basque derby since the 2006/07 season. “Since the beginning of the week we have known it is going to be a special weekend because of the derby,” said Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente. “It has been three years without one and both teams will be fired up.” Sociedad and Bilbao are level on 19 points in 10th and 11th respectively. Fourth-placed Villarreal host Sevilla at El Madrigal later yesterday looking to reclaim third spot from Espanyol. “It is an important match against a rival for the Champions League spots,” said Villarreal coach Juan Carlos Garrido. “Sevilla have won trophies in recent years and always been up there at the top so we will have a lot of respect for them.” Sevilla are in poor form, having lost their last two league matches and tasted a 4-2 defeat against Paris Saint Germain in their midweek Europa League outing. —AFP

ADEN: Kuwaiti players celebrate after winning the 20th Gulf Cup final football match against Saudi Arabia yesterday. —AFP

Kuwait celebrate Gulf Cup victory

Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat, Joseph Shagra & Fouad Al-Shaikh

NBK well set to implement IBAN

Wataniya Telecom unveils latest branch in Jahra


Gulf Bank honors its longest serving employees



Monday, December 6, 2010

UAE, Oman seek to rejoin Gulf single currency GCC leaders to meet in Abu Dhabi today and tomorrow DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates hopes it and Oman will rejoin a planned Gulf single currency project one day, UAE economy minister was quoted as saying by a Saudi newspaper yesterday, ahead of a GCC leaders summit this week. Leaders from Gulf Arab countries will meet in UAE capital Abu Dhabi today and tomorrow to discuss political, security and financial issues affecting the world’s top oil exporting region. “The Emirates still hope that there will be a single currency for the countries of the (Gulf Cooperation) Council one day,” Sultan bin Saeed AlMansouri told Saudi newspaper Al-Eqtisadiah. The second largest Arab economy withdrew from the project last year in protest against placing the joint monetary council in rival Saudi Arabia. UAE policymakers had said rejoining was not on the table unless it is profitable. Neighboring nonOPEC Oman pulled out in 2006 and ruled out any comeback. Only four countries from the six-nation GCCSaudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain-remained committed to form the longdelayed monetary union but the project made little progress this year with the euro-zone debt crisis limiting its appeal. Mansouri said the goal was to reach an agreement among all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, adding Gulf policymakers would discuss the union during the forthcoming summit. “We in the Emirates believe our destiny is in the common Gulf region, whether economically, politically or socially,” he said. The GCC secretary general said in May the single currency was unlikely to be launched by 2015 after missing the initial 2010 deadline. Analysts have said Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter and the main driving force behind the monetary union, faces a challenge to keep the project rolling as the economic power of fellow crude exporters rises. — Reuters

Commodity weekly update

Back in vogue after recent corrections By Ole S Hansen


MADRID: A nun queues with other passengers at Barajas Airport in Madrid yesterday. Spain’s civil aviation agency said all airports were functioning normally yesterday after a wildcat strike by air traffic controllers was quashed by the government. —AP

Passengers clog Spain’s airports Wildcat strike lifts and flights resume

MADRID: Hundreds of thousands of passengers packed Spain’s airports yesterday as flights resumed af ter the military forced air traffic controllers to end a 24hour wildcat strike under threat of jail. The strike hit an estimated 300,000 passengers on a long holiday weekend, whipping up the most chaotic scenes since an Icelandic volcano erupted in April and halted 100,000 flights worldwide. Controllers had called in sick en masse on Friday, rapidly shutting down the nation’s airspace. The government then declared a state of alert for the first time since the death of General Francisco Franco in 1975, putting controllers under military command with the threat of jail terms for refusing orders. Public Works Minister Jose Blanco said 97 percent of controllers who were scheduled to work on Sunday had turned up and 162,000 passengers had been able

to fly since the nation’s airspace reopened on Saturday. “We are re-establishing normality bit by bit and now it is time to do justice,” he told a news conference before adding that airport operator AENA had opened disciplinary proceedings against 442 controllers. Traffic controllers told the press that troops forced them to work “at gunpoint” in Palma de Mallorca control tower, but there was little sympathy for the staff who ear n an average 200,000 euros ($267,000) a year. The state of alert will last 15 days and the government is ready to extend it if needed, Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said. “The government is absolutely determined this will not happen again,” the minister said, warning that Madrid had the powers to stop the strikers over Christmas and afterwards, and it would not hesitate to use them. A total 4,000 flights were scheduled, said AENA, but

many people gave up long weekend plans. Monday and Wednesday are days off and many Spaniards take Tuesday off too so as to have a five-day break. Newspapers ran photos of military trucks parked outside the main airports and personnel distributed yellow army blankets to passengers forced to spend the night on the floor. Dozens slept in the corners of Madrid-Barajas airport on Sunday, some lying on cardboard, others using bags as pillows. Long lines formed at check-in counters and customer service desks, all merging into a crowd. Miriam Mellado, 54, had been scheduled to leave for Rome with Iberia on Friday. She was told she could fly out Sunday but declined and joined a line of 30 people seeking a refund. “We are no longer interested. We have to be back on Tuesday so it no longer makes sense. All this because of people who a lot of money and do nothing,” she said.

Juan Seisdedos, 54, said he was happy to have seen an airport controller on television almost in tears as he described how shocked the staff had been when armed troops came in. Seisdedos, whose flight to Almeria was scrapped Saturday, said he had never voted for Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. “But in this situation he did things properly. They should all lose their jobs.” Resentment against the controllers was also reflected in the press. The front page of the centre-left El Pais splashed a photograph of an air traffic controller covering his head in his coat in an airport hotel and gesturing with two fingers at remonstrating passengers. The interior minister said the air traffic controllers were defending “intolerable privileges”. According to the transport ministry, there are 2,300 air traffic controllers in Spain earning an average of 200,000 euros a year. —AFP

Qatar at 2-year high over World Cup; Zain moves up MIDEAST STOCK MARKETS DUBAI: Qatar’s index rose to its highest close in more than two years yesterday, after the Gulf Arab state won the right to host the 2022 soccer World Cup. Most regional bourses ended with gains, boosted by Qatar’s successful World Cup bid. Doha’s benchmark ended 3.6 percent higher at 8,477 points, its highest close since October 2008, after rising more than 7 percent in early trading. Volumes hit an 18-month peak. All shares on the bourse ended positive, with banking and infrastructure stocks being the biggest gainers. Barwa Real Estate Co, Qatar’s second largest developer by market capitalization, climbed 6.2 percent. Qatar National Bank, the largest lender by market value, gained 4.5 percent to a high of at least two years. Islamic lender Masraf Al-Rayan gained 5.5 percent and Industries Qatar climbed 4.3 percent. Qatar, which has never qualified for the World Cup finals, will be the first Middle East nation and Arab country to host the tournament. It will also be the smallest nation ever to host the World Cup. “After the initial knee-jerk reaction (up), there was some profit-taking before the market gradually rose,” said Shakeel Sarwar, head of asset management at Securities & Investment Co (SICO) in Bahrain. “Developed markets are closed, but foreign investors should come in tomorrow so short-term traders probably built positions ahead of tomor row’s opening,” Sar war

added. In Egypt, Orascom Constr uction Industries (OCI) gained 4.1 percent as investors speculated it may win extra contracts in Qatar. Some 59 million Egyptian pounds ($10 million) of shares in OCI changed hands on Sunday, making it the most active stock on the Egyptian Exchange. “Qatar’s World Cup deal is the name of the game,” said Omar Dar wish of CIBC Brokerage. “It’s driving OCI up 4 percent on very good volumes as they are expected to be awarded more contracts in Qatar.” The benchmark added 1.1 percent closing at 6,726 points, with twelve stocks gaining. Kuwait’s Zain rebounded from Thursday’s four week low, despite a shareholder threatening to sue potential buyers of the firm’s Saudi unit. Zain’s shares gained 4.4 percent. It fell 2.9 percent on Thursday. Abu Dhabi’s Etisalat has agreed to buy a 46 percent stake in Zain in a deal led by the Kharafi group. This means Zain must sell its 25 percent stake in Zain Saudi to meet regulatory requirements because Etisalat already has a Saudi Arabia unit, Mobily. “Zain doesn’t have a cer tain trend-it’s all just speculation because no one knows whether the (Etisalat) deal will go through,” said a Kuwait-based trader who asked not to be identified. Kuwait’s index gained 0.7 percent. — Reuters

BERLIN: Two boys carry flatscreen TVs after a successful Christmas shopping yesterday in Berlin. Retailers in the German capital are allowed to open their shops on two Sundays in Advent. — AFP

Danger, doubt stalk euro-zone crisis talks BRUSSELS: Europe’s finance ministers meet in Brussels today with Ireland’s bailout endangered by domestic politics and the response mechanism to the wider euro-zone debt crisis surrounded by doubts. When euro-zone ministers gather, followed by their full European Union partners tomorrow, they will seek to move from fire-fighting to securing solid future foundations for the euro-zone at the December 16-17 EU summit. “If the 1990s was the decade of constructing the economic and monetary union, and the 2000s the decade of turning it into reality, we are now at the beginning of

the decade of its fundamental reform,” the EU’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said in a speech to employers Friday. He said the challenge posed by the debt crisis, which has seen markets push up borrowing rates for heavily indebted countries, is of “finally creating a real and functional economic union.” Such an economic union is required to “create a solid foundation for the euro, and thus for European integration” as a whole, he added. The debt crisis has exposed the fundamental flaw of the euro-zone as a monetary union without a functional fiscal union, and the markets are now forc-

ing euro states to slash spending as they have been unable to police themselves. The 16 euro-zone states have agreed in principle to tighten fiscal monitoring and to strengthen elements of the currency union, but giving up sovereignty over budgets will likely prove a difficult political pill to swallow. Moreover, it may be early to put away the fire-fighting equipment. Portugal is widely seen as in imminent need of aid. Ireland’s new austerity budget-an essential condition for 67.5 billion euros ($90 billion) of international loans and guarantees-is likely to receive a difficult reception by lawmakers on Tuesday. —AFP

he global economy continues to show signs of improving as stronger manufacturing reports have helped cyclical commodities rallying strongly this past week. The European sovereign debt situation has not gone away but fear of contagion was reduced somewhat this week as the ECB stepped in aggressively buying Irish and Portuguese government bonds. This saw the spreads over German government bonds reduced by more than one percent and helped investor sentiment. The Euro which had been under severe pressure during November at one stage falling nine percent from the recent high versus the dollar recovered a few percent but the jury is still out as to whether this will be enough to steer the Euro zone out its problems. Turning to commodities this is the time of year where the major research houses releases their outlooks for 2011 and based on those seen so far next year is building up to become another strong year for the sector. Cyclical commodities like energy and base metals are forecast to perform strongly on the back of a continued global recovery with the US market in par ticularly playing an important part. China will undoubtedly apply the economic brakes further in order to reduce their inflation which is currently running at an annualized rate of eight percent. They have also recently introduced measures to reduce speculation in commodities. Whether these initiatives will have a detrimental impact on the demand for raw materials remains to be seen. The Reuters Jefferies CRB index is up 3.8 percent at the time of writing, having recovered more than two thirds of the early November sell off, bringing the annualized gain to ten percent. The energy and base metals performed strongly on top of other strong gains from cotton, silver and wheat. Natural gas took a breather af ter recent strong gains showing a small loss on the week. Gold having shrugged of the recent 100 dollar correction moved back to 1,400. This is within striking distance of the 1,425 dollar record set three weeks ago. The dollar decoupling has been noticeable across different commodities as markets have managed to rally despite the dollar strengthening at the same time. This decoupling helped gold priced in Euros to reach a new record high last Tuesday. Turning to China the news that a local fund received permission to invest in gold ETFs out-

side the country caused some initial excitement. This initiative would make it possible for investors in mainland China, how faces negative interest rates on bank deposits and fear higher inflation, to invest in gold. Copper also caught the headlines as it rallied strongly heading for the biggest weekly gain since July. The rally was brought about by fear that the economic recovery in the US, the world’s second largest consumer af ter China, and elsewhere could trigger supply shortages in 2011. The rally has been exacerbated by news that one single trader holds more than half of all available stock in L ondon Metal Exchange warehouses. Cr ude oil rallied strongly as cold weather swept across the northern hemisphere increasing the demand for products. Investors increasingly convinced that energy prices will be rising over the coming months have been adding to existing long positions. The global recover y especially in the US, the world’s largest consumer, continues to erode the elevated inventory levels. WTI Crude has been stuck in a relatively tight range for more than a year now as present reality constantly was lagging behind the future expectations. As we approach 2011 and many economies, minus certain parts of Europe, continues to improve it looks as if reality is catching up with expectations. The flattening seen on the forward curve over the last month suppor ts this assumption and could potentially lead the way to the existing range being broken. Brent crude from the Nor th Sea traded back above 90 dollars for the first time in two years on a combination of freezing temperatures and the economic recovery which has lead to an increase in demand. Just a month ago OPEC increased the top end of their comfort zone to 90 dollars and could find them having to adjust either that or increase production sooner than they would have thought necessary. The price of wheat has rebounded strongly rallying 11 percent this past week due to reduced supplies of high quality wheat. The quality and quantity of the crop in Australia, the world’s fourth largest exporter, is deteriorating due to heavy rain while dryness in the US may limit the output of winter wheat. The dampness could result in the effected wheat will have to be downgraded for use as feed instead of the higher dryer quality that is used for milling. With less than a month to go before the books finally closes below table shows the winners and the ver y few losers of 2010. Weather and economic uncertainty have been the main drivers throughout the year.



Monday, December 6, 2010

NBK well set to implement IBAN Applicable to all incoming and outgoing payments locally and internationally KUWAIT: National Ba nk of Kuwa it (NBK), the leading bank in Kuw ait and the highest rated in the Middle East, is well set to introduce IBAN (Interna tional Bank Account Number) to a ll local and internationa l incoming pa yments a s w ell a s outgoing pa yments to other IBAN complia nt countries. IBAN is simply a customer’s existing account number in a format/structure tha t ma kes it interna tionally recogniza ble.

Abdulla Abu Al-Hous

The implementation of the IBAN, which will come into effect on 1 January 2011, is in compliance with a directive by the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK). Commenting on IBAN, Deputy General Manager: Operations Group, Abdulla Abu Al-Hous said that IBAN, is a simple, standard way to identify account details and helps to

speed up the clearance of payments. This will be to the benefit of all retail and corporate customers who make or receive payments. “Under the new system, no outgoing payments will be made to IBAN compliant countries such as Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Mauritius, Turkey and Europe amongst others, as these payments will be immedi-

ately rejected by NBK if it does not have an IBAN. This will eliminate these payments being rejected by the beneficiary bank resulting in delays for the customer. “NBK customers will be able to get their IBAN from NBK’s online banking service, Watani Online (WOL) or Watani Online Corporate (WOLC), by speaking to an

agent at Hala Watani (1801801) or visiting one of NBK branches. Regional customers can also visit their local NBK branches e.g. NBK Lebanon to get more details regarding IBANs for Kuwait,” Abdulla concluded. He indicated that IBAN, which will become compulsory in Kuwait from 1 January 2011, will apply to several types of payments i.e. payments made

or received from another local bank, international payments and standing orders to other IBAN compliant countries as well as new local standing orders established after 1 January 2011. Customers who are receiving their salaries through telex transfers from abroad will have to ensure that their employers include their IBANs.

Ben Simpfendorfer delivers Asia outlook for 2011 KUWAIT: KCIC, an investment firm specializing in investments in Asia, recently hosted a closed discussion with Ben Simpfendorfer, Chief China Economist at the Royal Bank of Scotland and author of the book ‘The New Silk Road’, on the economic and investment outlook on Asia’s markets for the year 2011. Simpfendorfer is an expert in the economic and social interaction between the Middle East and China. He joined the Royal Bank of Scotland in 2005, having previously been Senior China Economist at JPMorgan. He regularly appears on CNBC and Bloomberg and is quoted in major daily newspapers such as the Financial Times and the New York Times. Simpfendorfer speaks Arabic and Chinese and has lived in Beirut, Damascus, Beijing and Hong Kong. KCIC Chief Economist Alessandro Magnoli Bocchi said: “As the world’s centre of economic gravity is moving “East”, the “New Silk Road” is reemerging as an important East-East corridor. Asia and the Gulf are rising, and their cooperation is deepening. We are hence pleased to host Ben Simpfendorfer for the second time in Kuwait, as he continues to share invaluable information about the Asian markets with Middle East’s investors and analysts. As we come to the closing of the year, we particularly appreciate his outlook and projections on Asia, and China specifically.” Talking to an audience of Kuwait investors and analysts, Simpfendorfer delivered an outlook for market opportunities and risks present in Asia on short-term, medium-term, and longterm. He based his projections and analysis on multiple sets of key economic indicators, including labor movement changes, Chinese and Asian currency policies, export and import projections, sector-based insights, financial policy, and real estate trends, policy and analysis. Simpfendorfer’s short-term outlook for Asia: China’s economy expected to grow robustly in 2011. In spite of worries about policy tightening and asset bubbles, China’s economy will continue to grow robustly in 2011 as domestic demand remains firm and inflation pressures ease temporarily in the second half of the year. After a massive destocking in 2010, China has started restocking and the trend is expected to continue until next year. China’s restocking means an increase in imports: 30% of what the

KCIC hosts ‘the New Silk Road’ author and RBS chief China Economist

Aly Shalaby, General Manager of Consumer Banking at Gulf Bank

Gulf Bank provides Enaya’s Travel Smart and Home Smart insurance packages

Simpfendorfer (left) delivers an outlook for market opportunities and risks present in Asia on short-term, medium-term and long-term. look for Asia: China’s inflation risks will worsen in the medium-term. While China’s inflation problems will ease in the second half of 2011, any improvement will be temporary and a result of higher food output. Structural inflation problems continue to worsen and will threaten growth in the medium-term. Asia’s rebalancing is slow. While Asia appears to have recovered robustly from the crisis, the region is still overly reliant on exports. Governments have yet to aggressively raise the share of domestic demand to growth. China’s property sector is still a risk. China’s recent tight policies on the property sector have not resolved fundamental imbalances in the property sector, including high savings rates, tight capital controls and limited investment options. The risks of a property bubble could possibly grow.

country imports is related to its exports. Over the next year, China will continue to shape global economy with an expected 9% growth in 2011. China’s currency expected to appreciate only modestly. The Renminbi is forecast to appreciate just 5% in 2011, as the government focuses on real appreciation of the currency, not only nominal. The risks of growing trade protectionism are thus rising. Capital inflows threaten regional asset bubble. The region is receiving record amounts of foreign investment as a result of its buoyant outlook and, to a lesser extent, undervalued currencies. The U.S. Federal Reserve’s second round of quantitative easing (QE2) will only result in even larger inflows raising the risk of asset bubbles. Simpfendorfer’s medium-term out-

Furthermore, with the increase of the population, the property sector continues to offer high to medium residential housing, overlooking the need for public housing which today represents 5% of total residential buildings (25% previously), an important change in fundamentals. Simpfendorfer’s long-term outlook for Asia: China’s urbanization rates to rise. China’s urbanization rates are low relative to the rest of the region. The migration of villagers to cities will be an important long-term driver of property demand and economic growth. Asia’s domestic demand to grow. Asia’s domestic demand will strengthen only to slow, but will become a major long-term growth driver. Outsourcing from China expected to be slow. China’s export sector is suffering from higher prices, but there are only

limited alternatives to China owing to the country’s economies of scale and logistics sector. Outsourcing from China to other countries, such as India, will be slow. KCIC was founded in 2005 with a capital of KD 80 million by an Amiri Decree with a mandate to develop investment opportunities in Asia towards building an Asia focused asset management company. The public company employs a team of specialists in markets in Asia and currently manages assets in excess of $450 million. Key shareholders include the Kuwait Investment Authority, the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Kuwait, National Investment Company, one of the leading investment banks in the Middle East, and Al-Ghanim Industries, one of the largest conglomerates in the Middle East.

KUWAIT: Gulf Bank has partnered with Enaya Insurance Company to provide its customers with quality insurance packages to all Gulf Bank customers. The Travel Smart schemes provide customers with a wide range of cover for customers and their dependants at the all inclusive price of KD 37. Re-insured by Lloyds of London, the Travel Smart Insurance package is a one year plan that provides annual worldwide family coverage. Taking a vacation is something everyone looks forward to. However, situations often arise that are beyond our control; flight cancellations, baggage loss or delays or medical emergencies. Travel Smart is accepted at all foreign embassies and offers worldwide coverage including the United States and Australia. The policy insures customers up to the age of 75 with no additional premium payments. Home Smart insurance package covers residential buildings less than 15 years old as well as home contents. The policy also includes a wide range of additional coverage such as personal

baggage, accidents, and legal protection, additional living expenses, domestic servant cover, and loss of rent. Terms and conditions apply for both the Travel Smart and the Home Smart packages. Aly Shalaby, General Manager of Consumer Banking at Gulf Bank said: “Gulf Bank’s latest insurance packages aims to provide customers with the best value possible. They aim to give our customers greater financial security by providing maximum financial protection when at home or abroad.” Customers can obtain their pre-approved travel and home insurance certificate at any one of Gulf Bank’s 52 branches. To find out more about the Bank’s latest insurance offering, customers are encouraged to visit any of Gulf Bank’s 52 branches, or call the Telebanking service on 1805805. They can also log on to Gulf Bank’s bilingual website on to be fully acquainted with all the benefits associated with the Travel Smart and Home Smart insurance packages.

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

.2750000 .4380000 .3730000 .2850000 .2760000 .2760000 .0045000 .0020000 .0760400 .7408400 .3900000 .0730000 .7262610 .0045000 .0480000 CUSTOMER TRANSFER RATES .2801000 .4419840 .3758240 .2875030 .2790540 .0504280 .0412240 .2781390 .0360800 .2149650 .0033910 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0000000 .0762800 .7431680 .0000000 .0747230 .7281000 .0000000

Al-Muzaini Exchange Co. Japanese Yen Indian Rupees Pakistani Rupees Srilankan Rupees Nepali Rupees

ASIAN COUNTRIES 3.452 6.301 3.295 2.539 3.928

.2860000 .4490000 .3810000 .2940000 .2850000 .2840000 .0075000 .0035000 .0768050 .7482850 .4100000 .0780000 .7335600 .0072000 .0560000 .2822000 .4452970 .3786420 .2896590 .2811460 .0508070 .0415330 .2802250 .0363510 .2165770 .0034170 .0063060 .0025420 .0033010 .0040310 .0768520 .7487400 .3991510 .0752830 .7335590 .0064870

Singapore Dollar Hongkong Dollar Bangladesh Taka Philippine Peso Thai Baht Irani Riyal - Transfer Irani Riyal - Cash Saudi Riyal Qatari Riyal Omani Riyal Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Egyptian Pound - Cash Egyptian Pound - Transfer Yemen Riyal Tunisian Dinar Jordanian Dinar Lebanese Lira Syrian Lier Morocco Dirham

217.750 36.479 4.014 6.460 9.468 0.271 0.273 GCC COUNTRIES 75.518 77.812 735.750 752.170 77.119 ARAB COUNTRIES 52.150 48.935 1.329 198.650 399.920 188.300 6.094 34.734

EUROPEAN & AMERICAN COUNTRIES US Dollar Transfer 283.080 Euro 383.290 Sterling Pound 450.660 Canadian dollar 286.810 Turkish lire 191.840 Swiss Franc 294.570 Australian dollar 276.570 US Dollar Buying 281.895

SELL CASH 284.800 752.600 4.280 286.200 552.600 14.100 52.400 167.800 52.160 384.200

10 Tola

GOLD 1,477.230

36.820 6.240 0.032

397.670 0.189 92.000 3.920 217.900 730.630 3.295 6.440 77.390 75.120 215.670 43.610 2.525 445.900 291.200 6.200 9.560 76.570 281.300

TRAVELLER’S CHEQUE 445.900 281.300

Dollarco Exchange Co. Ltd

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

37.180 6.510 0.033 0.264 0.251 3.500 401.880 0.191 92.530 46.700 4.430 220.700 1.913 48.000 735.100 3.400 6.650 78.280 75.560 217.940 43.850 2.695 450.500 41.900 294.400 6.200 9.780 198.263 77.220 283.400 1.380

Sterling Pound US Dollar

GOLD 270.000 136.000 70.000

20 Gram 10 Gram 5 Gram

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

SELL DRAFT 281.700 748.230 3.995 283.100

216.700 48.660 380.500

Rate for Transfer 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

Selling Rate 281.250 281.970 444.665 379.630 288.345 689.330 744.402 76.550 77.229 74.969 396.864 48.635 6.266

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

3.283 2.521 4.004 6.402 3.405 9.347 6.135 3.870

Kuwait Bahrain Intl Exchange Co. Currency US Dollar Pak Rupees Indian Rupees Sri Lankan Rupees Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso UAE Dirhams Saudi Riyals Bahraini Dinars Egyptian Pounds Pound Sterling Indonesian Rupiah Nepali rupee Yemeni Riyal Jordanian Dinars Syrian Pounds Euro Candaian Dollars

Rate per 1000 (Tran) 281.300 3.285 6.255 2.535 3.995 6.435 76.675 75.220 747.800 48.645 449.400 0.00003280 4.025 1.550 399.600 5.750 383.100 285.900

Al Mulla Exchange Currency Transfer Ra te US Dollar Euro Pound Sterling Canadian Dollar Japanese Yen Indian Rupee Egyptian Pound Sri Lankan Rupee Bangladesh Taka Philippines Peso Pakistan Rupee Bahraini Dinar UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal *Rates are subject to change

(Per 1000) 280.950 379.200 444.500 279.200 3.399 6.255 48.640 2.524 3.988 6.458 3.303 747.500 76.600 75.000


Monday, December 6, 2010


PPPs help fund core projects in Kuwait KUWAIT: Regional governments, including Kuwait, are turning to new financing strategies to fund crucial infrastructure projects with Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) being an increasingly popular model in the region. After a challenging year in 2009, in which the value of project finance deals plummeted to $20 billion from more than double that figure in 2008, investors are more optimistic about the prospects of the coming couple of years. This optimism springs from the list of large projects expected to be executed during the period. The lending power of some of the major banks may have been affected by the global financial crisis, but the infrastructure needs of Kuwait and the region are still present. During February of this year, the new economic development plan received its final approval from the Kuwaiti Parliament. This bill has great significance to the Kuwaiti economy since it is the first development plan to be approved since 1986. This new plan includes developments on some new projects such as the Kuwait City metro and railway and some long awaited projects such as the multi-billion dollars Silk City business hub project, Boubyan port, the Subiya causeway, as well as improving education, healthcare, power and transportation systems. The final cost estimate of the bill was reduced to KD 30 billion ($110 billion) from KD 37 billion, with the government and the private sector contributing roughly equal portions. Creation of durable and high quality infrastructure is a prerequisite for rapid economic development and requires sustained investments supported by technological innovation, a skilled workforce and excellent project management. The task of pooling together all these resources often proves to be a burden far too heavy for the government to carry alone. This realization has brought together the public and the private sector in a mutually beneficial rela-

tionship in the form of PublicPrivate Partnerships (PPPs) to execute not only infrastructure projects but also engender innovative strategies for social development. The basic intent of a PPP is to encourage the private sector to capitalize on its capacity to raise capital and its ability to complete projects on time and to budget, for the welfare of the community, without having to compromise on its profit-seeking motive. At the same time, the public sector would retain its responsibility to provide goods and services to the public at affordable rates. For Kuwait, this will enhance the private sector’s expertise and increase its production capacity. Wh at is a Pu blic-Pr iva te Par tners hip (PP P)? According to Kuwait’s Partnerships Technical Bureau (PTB), PPPs are “means for the state to introduce private-sector capital and expertise in sectors traditionally under public control without losing its supervision of output quality and tariff levels”. PPPs describe a government service or private business venture which is funded and operated through a partnership of government and one or more private sector companies. It involves a contract between a public sector authority and a private party, in which the private party provides a public service or project and assumes substantial financial, technical and operational risk in the project. In projects that are aimed at creating public goods like in the infrastructure sector, the government may provide a capital subsidy in the form of a one-time grant, so as to make it more attractive to the private investors. In some other cases, the government may support the project by providing revenue subsidies or by providing guaranteed annual revenues for a fixed period. Typically, a private-sector consortium creates a company called a “special purpose vehicle” (SPV) to

KAMCO RESEARCH REPORT develop, build, maintain and operate the asset for the contracted period. In cases where the government has invested in the project, it is typically allotted an equity share in the SPV. The consortium is usually made up of a building contractor, a maintenance company and lenders. It is the SPV that signs the contract with the government and with subcontractors to build the facility and then maintain it. A typical PPP example would be a hospital building financed and constructed by a private developer and then leased to the hospital authority. The private developer then acts as landlord, providing housekeeping and other non-medical services while the hospital itself provides medical services. Partnerships are now an increasingly relevant and globally popular public policy option, and the methodology is evolving. For the private sector, organizational and fundamental risk management analysis is a key to their successful partnership and operation of the public project.

PP Ps Mo del Str uctur e & the Flo w of Fun ds There is no set form of PPP structure and there are differences of opinion as to what is a true PPP structure. Essentially, the term reflects the relationship between the government and the private sector, ranging from total project outsourcing, to a maintenance contract whereby the parties have a shared equity interest. The structure of a PPP will vary depending on the project and the amount of risk allocated to the private sector. Exhibit A represents the flow of funds during the ‘Planning, Design & Construction’ Phases where the project company receives funds from Investors in the form of equity and from banks in the form of loans or bonds. Funds are then directed to the Design & Construction Consortium, of which, the sponsor company has to be a Kuwaiti entity. Exhibit B represents the period following the construction phase which is the ‘Operation and Maintenance’ phase where the pro-

ject company distributes project proceeds to investors in the form of dividends and to banks in the form of loan repayments and interest on the loans. It also pays an operation and maintenance company for overseeing the project over its operational period. Le gal D evelopme nts Created under Article 12 of Law No.7 of 2008, which was established for the regulation of Build, Operate, and Transfer (BOT) projects and similar operations, the Partnerships Technical Bureau (PTB) represents the focal point agency of the PPP program, where it is involved in all phases of the Project, from inception to financial termination. T he P PP L aw The PPP Law established a legislative framework to promote and facilitate PPP’s in public infrastructure and land-based development projects in the State of Kuwait. According to the newly passed law, no government body is allowed to

enter into a PPP agreement, which involves government owned land without obtaining the approval of the new Supreme Committee. However, it is important to point out that PPP projects that were awarded prior to the ratification of the law cannot be amended, extended or renewed. A significant aspect of the new law is the lifespan of PPP projects, which has been amended to 30 years. After this, the project is to be handed back to the government without any considerations or compensations. However, in certain cases, the committee could approve a lifespan extension of a project up to 40 years. If the project’s term is not specified within the project’s bid documents, then the lifespan of the project is assumed to be 25 years. In terms of the cost, if the total cost of a project exceeds KD 60 million, a special purpose vehicle (SPV), such as a Kuwaiti joint stock company needs to be set up. Furthermore, two approved appraisers are to value the project, one of which should include the market value of the land, and the lower of the two will be assumed as the value of the project. As for the PPP Project Company’s share capital, it will consist of the following: 1.40% of the shares are offered in a public auction to companies listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange or approved by the Supreme Committee. Shares will be allocated to the highest bidder; 2.10% will be sold off to the company that will implement the project at a share price that is 50% less than the share price accepted by the highest bidder; 3.The remaining 50% will be offered for public subscription by Kuwaiti citizens. The recent legal developments in terms of supporting the Public Private Partnerships emphasizes the significant role that the private sector is expected to play in the post financial crisis era.


Privatization law new privatization


passed during May 2010 is seen as a testimony to the new political and economic reality in the State of Kuwait. The contents of the newly issued law stipulated a foundation for the privatization of public services with the exception of some sectors such as oil, health-care and education. The law provided grounds for privatization through a public shareholding company in which Kuwaiti citizens would be offered 40% of the shares through an initial public offering, another 5% would be distributed to Kuwaiti employees, 20% will be held by the government, while the remaining 35% stake would go to private investors. However, strong opposition to this law has emerged after it was passed and managed to win great concessions in terms of sectorbased exemptions for the oil industry and social services, as well as a government “golden share” which would allow it to veto any decision made by the newly established entity to regulate privatization. Given these concessions, the bill is still regarded as highly controversial as many MP’s considered that the efforts were aimed at stripping the country from its wealth, while others considered it biased towards serving the interest of the wealthy minority. It is worth noting that privatization efforts in various other countries, such as in Eastern or Western Europe, during the 1990’s lead to conflicting opinions about the concept of privatization and its effects on the economy. But it has, nonetheless, proved to increase the output efficiency of privatized industries as well as competitiveness in the local and global economies. As for Kuwait, it is estimated that approximately half a million Kuwaiti citizens would enter the work force over the next 16 years, which would make it extremely challenging for the government to create enough jobs to employ them all. —To be concluded

Wataniya Telecom unveils its latest branch in Jahra The first telecom branch to offer B2B services

Certina DS First Lady Ceramic Decidedly sporty chic in rose-colored dress Active, independent and explorative, the woman of today is a rich, captivating blend. In touch with her dynamic time, she is equally at ease in sporty outdoor settings or quiet moments indoors, on her own or busy with friends. The new Certina DS First Lady is a tribute to this free femininity, a sporty chronograph of great style in a warm, rose-tinted PVD finish that blends expressivity and charm in perfect measures. Irresistibly modern, it also brings a distinctly classical note with a gorgeous, graceful counterpoint of shiny black ceramic accents on both bezel and crown tip. Originality and rose-coloured passion in one unique model, sure to please the dynamic woman of today. Certina has always drawn an important part of its inspiration from the very essence of womanhood. Since 1888, its many ladies’ models stay in touch with the aesthetic currents of the day, breaking distinctive new ground at every turn. The new DS First Lady reasserts this important tradition, a founding principle at the well-known Swiss brand, in accord with the most tantalizing and latest trends. It is dynamic, elegant and free, full of radiant charisma and chic. The DS First Lady reveals its passionate character in an

undeniable sport-classical style. Gracious yet decisive, it captivates with its blend of originality and contrasting design elements, true to cutting-edge fashion. The bright PVD rose 316L stainless steel case is smartly equipped with a toothed bezel in matching PVD inlayed with ceramic, with white numerals on a black background to mark fiveminute increments. The tip of the crown is adorned with an additional touch of brilliant ceramic, for a complementary touch that is at once visually powerful and technically original. The chrono counters and their delicate rose hairline rims reinforce the sporty, technical feel of this new timepiece while keeping it gently feminine, in a composition which includes matching PVD rose hands and 12 gorgeous pyramid-shaped indexes around an

uncluttered dial with a black background. Short white indicators delightfully mark minutes between each tiny pyramid, while a date window outlined in white adds a further rhythmic touch to this clear face, at the four-o’clock position. The exquisite PVD rose case exudes sportiness throughout, with generous and uncompromising chrono-function pushbuttons next to a central protected crown, and polished horns leading into a black rubber strap equipped with a butterfly clasp. The overall feel of the new DS First Lady is one of exceptional harmony and uncompromising design conviction, at once sporty and elegant, dynamic, bold yet feminine, with just a touch of danger in its rose and black dress. It is of course equipped with Certina’s famous DS Double Security protection system and

sapphire crystal, and is water resistant to 100 m. A three-hand model is also available, with a small-second counter at the six-o’clock position, for an original and slightly dressier look, and the chronograph version can also be obtained with a white dial and PVD rose hands and indexes, and equipped with a white rubber strap. Reliability, precision and innovation have underlined the Certina philosophy since 1888, year of the foundation of the company by the Kurth Brothers. In 1959, Certina developed its famous Double Security DS Concept, to bring to its watches exceptional sturdiness and outstanding water resistance. Certina has a longstanding commitment to sport, and motor racing in particular. It has stood next to an evergrowing list of great sport stars such as Mike Doohan, Alex CrivillÈ, Petter Solberg, Sete Gibernau, Thomas L¸thi, Timo Glock, Robert Kubica and also boxing legend Muhammad Ali. Since 2005, Certina has been Official Partner of the BMW Sauber F1 Team. A subsidiary of the world’s largest international watchmaking organization Swatch Group, Certina is currently world leader in the sport watch segment, and is represented in more than 60 countries.

KUWAIT: As part of its expansion strategy and in its endeavor to offer the highest quality of customer service, Wataniya Telecom proudly opened a new branch at the Jahra Co-op yesterday. This is the first branch to have a business section that will provide assistance and tailored services to small and medium sized enterprises. Held under the patronage of Jahra’s Governor, Sheikh Mubarak Al-Hamoud Al-Jaber Al-Sabah the opening ceremony was attended by Mokhtar AlJahra Mishal Al-Ayaar, as well as Wataniya’s CEO and GM Scott Gegenheimer and DGM Fouad Al-Ablani. Expressing his views about Wataniya’s latest achievement, Scott Gegenheimer said, “Opening a Wataniya branch in Jahra falls in line with our expansion strategy within Kuwait and it brings more convenience to our customers residing and working in this neighborhood.” He continued, “By opening the Jahra branch we aim to satisfy the consistently growing demand for Wataniya products in this area. In addition the Jahra

Scott Gegenheimer, CEO and GM of Wataniya Telecom

branch was designed as per our new brand image; there are interactive panels that will give customers a chance to live the Wataniya experience. The new B2B section will provide exclusive service to small and medium sized companies located in Jahra.” Wataniya’s latest branch, is the first of its kind in Kuwait, it was designed to offer efficiency and give customers a live experience of Wataniya services. They will not only be able to touch and operate different handsets, test the different internet options but panels have been set up across the store through which customers can try out different services and enjoy the experience before they join. Wataniya aims to educate and entertain its customers by creating many more branches and stores that are interactive and friendly. This way every visit to a Wataniya store will be a memorable experience for its customers. For more information on Wataniya and the availability of its branches and authorized dealers around Kuwait please visit or feel free to call us on 121.



Kuwait stocks rebound KUWAIT: Kuwait stocks rebounded strongly yesterday after Zain’s announcement that it has appointed Swiss banker UBS to sell its 25 percent stake in Zain Saudi. The news helped the Global General Index snap a three-session losing streak, also a rally in mid cap shares contributed to a double-digit gain on the KSE Price Index. In general, the announcement gave investors some hopes that Zain deal in the right track. Zain rose 4.41 percent to close at KD1.420. Opportunities in Kuwait’s $200 billion development projects as well as progress made so far in major construction and infrastructure initiatives came under discussion at a recent conference in Kuwait City. The opening day of the sixth MEED Annual Projects Conference 2010 at the JW Marriott Hotel focused on the national plan, the oil and gas sector and water projects, while day two was dedicated to mega-infrastructure and real estate projects. Global General Index (GGI) closed 2.68 points up (1.27 percent), at 214.17 point as the Market capitalization increased reaching KD34.65mn. On the other hand, Kuwait Stock Exchange Price Index closed in the green zone adding 47.10 points (0.69 percent) from its value and closed at 6,865.4 point. Market breadth During the session, 108 companies were traded. Market breadth was skewed towards advancers as 63 equities advanced versus 17 that retreated. Volume of shares traded on the exchange increased by 13.41 percent to reach 134.63mn shares, the value of shares traded decreased by 22.89 percent to stand at KD25.30mn. The Investment Sector was the volume leader yesterday, accounting for 29.55 percent of

total shares and the Services Sector was the value leader, with 46.02 percent of total traded value. Company-wise, Abyaar Real Estate Development Co was the volume leader, with a total traded volume of 13.36mn shares. changing hands. Zain was the value leader, with a total traded value of KD7.23mn. In terms of top gainers, Ekttitab Holding Co was the biggest gainer for the day, adding 7.14 percent and closed at KD0.0375. On the other side, Gulf Rocks Co came in as the biggest decliner, dropping by 20.83 percent and closed at KD0.190.

Sector-wise By sector, Services stocks spearheaded advancers, clocking 2.88 percent in gains. Sector heavy-weight National Mobile Telecommunications Co (NMTC) managed to eke out 1.06 percent gains yesterday., NMTC reported that the initial public offering (IPO) of the affiliate Wataniya Palestine was 150 percent oversubscribed. A total of 38.7mn shares, or 15 percent of authorized capital, were floated, at $1.30 each. Proceeds will be used to finance operations and repay the remaining license fees. The telco’s market capital will reach approx. $335.4mn upon listing. The names of shareholders will

be announced by mid-December. The stock will be listed on the Palestine Exchange (PEX) in early January 2011. Kuwait National Airways Company recoiled by 6.49 percent. Shares of Kuwait Projects Company (Holding) rose 2.30 percent sending the Global Investment Index up by 1.68 percent. Yesterday’s sole loser was the banking sector, down by a marginal 0.09 percent. Gulf Rocks Company retreated by 20.83 percent. Updating its previous announcement dated July 28, 2010, Kuwait Company for Process Plant Construction &

Contracting KSC (KCPC) has been awarded tender No. S/95, worth KWD 24.73, for which it had submitted the lowest bid. The award was announced on Central Tenders Committee (CTC) website. Under the 3-year agreement, KCPC will renovate the sewage network in Kuwait City, eighth phase, section B in Al-Firdous area, north of Ardiya 2. The company will inform KSE management of receiving the formal letter of award from CTC. The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at $86.14 a barrel on Thursday, compared with $84.13 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations.

Monday, December 6, 2010

S Korean trade minister defends deal with US SEOUL: South Korea’s top trade official yesterday defended a hard-fought compromise with the United States to salvage a stalled free trade agreement, rejecting accusations that his government gave up too much to seal the deal. Trade Minister Kim Jonghoon and US Trade Representative Ron Kirk reached a final agreement Friday after four days of negotiations focusing on US demands that South Korea rework the accord to address its big trade surplus in automobiles. The South Korea-US free trade agreement was originally signed in June 2007, but steps to ratify it stalled amid changes in government in both countries, the global financial crisis and American demands that South Korea take steps to reduce their imbalance in auto trade and ease restrictions on imports of American beef. South Korea, which long said it would not budge on the initial deal, ultimately compromised and addressed key US concerns on cars, though it also received benefits in return such as a two-year delay in the elimination of its tariffs on American pork. Beef was not included in the deal. “I cannot agree with some views that (the agreement was the result) of our unilateral concession,” Kim, the trade minister, told reporters yesterday, calling it a “win-win” deal. Kim returned to South Korea on Saturday after participating in the talks near Washington. Before becoming trade minister he was South Korea’s chief negotiator for the original agreement. The pact, which requires approval by the US Congress and South Korea’s National Assembly, is the largest for the US since the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico in 1994.

Among key provisions of the revised deal, Seoul would allow the US to lift a 2.5 percent tariff on South Korean passenger cars four years after the agreement takes effect, instead of immediately. South Korea, meanwhile, would halve its tariff on US cars to 4 percent from 8 percent and eliminate it after four years. Also, each US automaker would be able to export up to 25,000 cars to South Korea as long as they meet US safety standards. Disputes over safety standards had stood as a barrier to US auto exports to South Korea. The Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association welcomed the agreement, saying it eliminated uncertainties in the US market and that South Korean automakers were forecast to increase their market share, Yonhap news agency reported. The new agreement, however, does not address South Korean restrictions on American beef. The US has sought greater access to the market in South Korea, which imposes controls on shipments of US meat from older animals over fears of mad cow disease. The renewed push to move the deal forward came after talks last month in Seoul between President Barack Obama and his South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-bak failed to achieve a breakthrough. Last week’s negotiations also took place after a deadly North Korean artillery barrage on a small South Korean island, though Kim said the attack did not affect the talks and that he engaged in them completely from an economic point of view. Since negotiations for the ambitious deal began in 2006, both countries have touted it as good for their economies but also as a way to solidify their six-decade political and securi-

ty relationship. Kim emphasized that again yesterday, saying if the agreement is ratified smoothly it will “lay a good foundation for strengthening overall relations between the two countries.” Hours before Kim spoke in Seoul, Obama praised the deal as a landmark agreement that promises to boost the US auto industry and support tens of thousands of American jobs. “This agreement shows the US is willing to lead and compete in the global economy,” he told reporters Saturday at the White House, calling it a triumph for American workers. The breakthrough can be seen as an achievement for Obama, who has drawn criticism over the slow US economic recovery and stubbornly high unemployment rate. He had long criticized the original deal as being bad for the US South Korea’s president, meanwhile, has drawn flak at home for an allegedly weak and indecisive response to the North Korean artillery attack. His government has come under further scrutiny over the trade deal, with opposition parties seeing it as a capitulation to Washington. Lee Chun-seok, spokesman for the main opposition Democratic Party, accused the government of making “massive concessions against our national interests,” his party said. “We cannot find the principle of reciprocity anywhere in the agreement.” Kang Ki-kab, a legislator with the small Democratic Labor Party, said the deal highlights South Korea’s “diplomacy of submission to America.” Protesters, including Kang and other opposition lawmakers, shouted slogans and held up signs Sunday in central Seoul criticizing the president and his policies. Police said the crowd numbered about 2,200 and the protest was peaceful. —AP


Monday, December 6, 2010


Dollar gains ground amid European woes KUWAIT: The US dollar started the week with a strong footing against the majors and gradually lost its gains towards the end of the week following the release of the job report in the US on Friday, which came out much worse than expectations. The euro started the week at 1.3315 and reached a low of 1.2964 after the negative sentiment surrounding the European countries, especially Ireland and Portugal. However, the euro recouped its losses and strengthened against the USD to a high of 1.3436, and ended the week at 1.3417. After opening at 1.5590, the Sterling Pound reached a low of 1.5483, but the trend reversal pushed the currency to a high of 1.5786. The Swiss franc followed suit and broke parity against the US Dollar closing the week at 0.9738. Finally, the Japanese Yen range traded throughout the week between the 84.40 and 82.50 levels to close higher against the dollar at 82.54. Unemployment US employment increased far less than expected in November and the jobless rate jumped to a seven-month high of 9.8%, dampening hopes for a self-sustaining economic recovery. Non-farm payrolls rose 39,000 against expectations of an increase by 150,000. Unemployment rate was expected to remain unchanged at 9.6%, hardening views the Federal Reserve would stick to its $600 billion plan to shore up the fragile recovery. Mixed numbers House prices in the US rose in

September at the slowest pace in eight months adding concerns over the housing industry. The S&P Case-Shiller index showed that prices in the largest 20 US cities rose by 0.6% versus expectations of a rise by 1.2%. A drop in demand, led by the end of a government tax credit and a high unemployment rate, curbed the recovery in house prices. Meanwhile, pending home sales rose unexpectedly in October surging to a record high of 10% in October after dropping 1.8% in September, mainly led by low borrowing costs and reduced house prices.

million people in October mainly due to the unemployment rate in Italy, the third biggest economy in the Euro-zone, which increased from 8.3% to 8.6%. In addition to Italy, Spain holds the highest unemployment rate at 20.7% showing that the effects of the global recession continue to hit hard as one fifth of the nation are jobless. However, in Germany, the biggest economy in the euro-zone, unemployment fell 9,000 to reach 3.14 million for a 17th month in November as companies picked up hiring amid improving business optimism, helping support Europe’s recovery.


Consumer sentiment Confidence among US consumers rose in November to the highest level in five months, a sign that the biggest part of the economy may pick up strength. The Consumer Confidence index increased to 54.1, exceeding expectations of a rise to 52.7 from the previous figure of 49.9. Stability The US manufacturing sector continued to show stability in growth indicating a slight decline in activity in November. The ISM manufacturing index dropped slightly to 56.6 against expectations of a drop to 56.4 by the market from the previous figure of 56.9 last month, still indicating stable growth in the industry. On the services sector, numbers came out slightly better than expected. The ISM services index stood at 55.0 in November, compared with 54.3 in October and higher

Inflation Consumer prices in the euro-zone remained unchanged in November after inching closer to the ECB’s target of 2% in October. Consumer prices in the 16-nation region were steady at 1.9% annually in November as widely expected by the market. than the expected 54.8 figure. ECB rate decision The European Central Bank kept its key lending rate unchanged at the record low of 1% for the 20th month, as widely expected by the market. In a conference after the meeting, the ECB president, Jean-Claude Trichet, said that they will delay plans to withdraw emergency liquidity measures in order to overcome market tensions; he also added that the bank will continue to offer banks unlimited loans “for as long as necessary, and at least until

the end of this year”. The decision comes as European officials are trying to find ways to stabilize the bond markets and prevent the crisis in Ireland from spreading to Portugal, Spain and other countries. Trichet also stated that “the current monetary policy stance remains accommodative.” Unemployment Unemployment in the euro-zone reached a 12-year high rising to 10.1% in the 16-nations region. The number of unemployed rose by 80,000 to reach 15.95

Manufacturing The manufacturing industry in Europe expanded at the fastest pace in four months in November, led by Germany, the region’s largest economy. The final manufacturing PMI rose to 55.3 in November from 54.6 in October. In parallel, the services sector expanded as the services PMI rose slightly to 55.4 from a previous 55.2. House prices in UK UK house prices fell for the fourth month in November, in a sign that the

downturn in the country’s housing market is becoming more entrenched. The Nationwide house price index showed that the average price of a property fell by 0.3% from the previous fall of 0.7% in October. Manufacturing UK manufacturing growth unexpectedly accelerated to its fastest pace in 16 years in November as export orders climbed. The Manufacturing PMI rose to 58 from 54.8 as expectations were for a rise to 54.7, mainly led by exports as a lower pound is supporting demand for British goods abroad. Meanwhile, the services sector in the UK is still showing expansion in November but at a slower pace from the previous month. The Services PMI eased to 53.0 in November, slightly down from October’s 53.2. This marks the 19th consecutive month of growth rather than contraction. Japan Japan’s unemployment rate unexpectedly rose as employers cut payrolls the most since May, indicating weakening in the job market as the expiry of the stimulus programs weigh on domestic demand. The jobless rate climbed to 5.1% from 5% in September. Kuwait Dinar at 0.28065 The USDKWD opened at 0.28065 yesterday morning.

Land rows hitting Indian infrastructure schemes Farmers, fishermen protest MUMBAI: Protests against a proposed Indian nuclear power plant this weekend highlight a growing problem facing developers, experts say, as the country tries to upgrade or build much-needed infrastructure. Thousands of fish-

Qatar Airways begins services to Nice Three flights a week to the French Riviera KUWAIT: Qatar Airways has continued its European expansion drive with the French Mediterranean city of Nice becoming the first of five route launches across the Continent over the next few months. Complementing double daily flights between the airline’s Doha hub and the French capital Paris, the new Doha - Nice operations strengthen the carrier’s presence in France. Qatar Airways is the only Five-Star carrier flying to one of the world’s leading tourism hot spots on the charming French Riviera. Following the touchdown of flight QR035 at Nice Cote d’Azur Airport, the aircraft was welcomed by a traditional water salute and met by senior airport officials and local dignitaries. On board the maiden flight to Nice was Qatar Airways’ Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker, who led a high-profile delegation and key media from across the Middle East and later thanked the authorities for their support in facilitating the latest route developments in France. “Qatar Airways appreciates the support provided by the French government to further consolidate our presence in France, where we have grown as an airline of choice over the past 10 years,” he said. “The Doha - Nice route launch coincides with Qatar Airways’ 10 years of flying to France and we are delighted to start on this occasion flights to Nice as our 95th

destination.” The President of the Directory of the Cote d’Azur Airports, Herve de Place added: “I am very pleased with Qatar Airways’ new route from Nice to Doha and I thank the airline for the trust they have put in Nice Cote d’Azur Airport. These new flights will allow our region to increase its economic and tourism ties with the Middle East and even onwards to Asia Pacific. Nice, in the proximity to Cannes, Monaco, St. Tropez and Antibes, is the perfect gateway to southern France and offers great potential based on significant business and leisure traffic for Qatar Airways. The French Riviera is known for its “art de vivre” and beautiful scenery, which attracts over nine million visitors each year. The region is also an important hub for research in industry, science and technology and an attractive business destination, with many major conferences and prestigious events like the International Film Festival in Cannes and the Monaco Grand Prix. Flights on the Doha - Nice operate via Milan with an Airbus A330-200 in a two-class configuration. Featuring 24 seats in Business Class and up to 248 seats in Economy, the aircraft offers passengers seatback TV screens giving them the opportunity to watch programmes at the time of their choice. Regardless of class of travel, passengers can

enjoy the next generation interactive onboard entertainment system with a choice of more than 900 audio and video on demand options. With a pitch of 60 inches, the 2-2-2 configured Business Class convert into flat beds offering premium passengers to and from Nice with the long-haul experience of a Qatar Airways widebody aircraft. In line with the airline’s Five Star hospitality, Qatar Airways has multi-lingual cabin crew, among them French and Arabic speakers, to deliver the highest personal attention to passengers on the Doha - Nice route. To please the palate, Qatar Airways offers a mix of Mediterranean and Oriental culinary delights across all classes, which embrace regional specialties and local flavours. The launch of flights to Nice sees Qatar Airways’ European route network extend to 21 destinations. Globally, Qatar Airways has launched 10 new routes since February 2010 - Bengaluru (Bangalore), Copenhagen, Ankara, Tokyo, Barcelona, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires, Phuket, Hanoi and now Nice. The airline’s growth in Europe is further reflected through Qatar Airways introducing four new European destinations in 2011 including Budapest (January 17), Bucharest (January 17), Brussels (January 31) and Stuttgart (March 6). On April 6, Qatar Airways introduces its 100th destination - the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Caribou Coffee spices this season by launching spicy chocolate drinks ... Al-Sayer Franchising the master franchisee for Caribou Coffee announced yesterday the successful launch of Holiday Promotion program in its stores in Middle East. The program features the introduction of 3 new enticing flavors namely Spicy Milk Chocolate Mocha , Ho Ho Mint White Mocha and Dark Chocolate Mocha. Hamad Musaed Al-Sayer, Managing Director of AlSayer Franchising explained the reason for the introduction: At Caribou Coffee we are focused on offering our guests

a new and unique experience of enjoying Chocolate during this holiday season. Coupling the growing popularity of Chocolate and our guest’s need for new taste has led to the development of these new innovative products. Boulos C Younes, General Manager stated, “In response to the overwhelming response of the guests to premium quality and exceptional value we have introduced these Spicy, Minty and Sweet drinks which will surpass their expectations. “Our unique technique of

infusing steamed milk and chocolate microchips makes the best Mocha available in the Middle East. A special spice blend is ground to perfection to hand craft the Spicy Milk Chocolate Mocha. Celebrating the Season’s Spirit the Ho ho Mint White Mocha has a minty taste. Dark Chocolate Mocha is rich, creamy, bittersweet leaving a lingering impression in the minds of our guests. Thus we have used chocolate and spice and everything nice to enrich our guest’s experience.”

The long-running protest has already seen a government compensation package rejected as “derisory” compared with the estimated $22 billion that the plant will cost. Environmentalists also oppose building the Frenchbacked facility because of its location in the ecologically-sensitive Western Ghats mountain range and a high-risk earthquake zone, plus India’s lack of an independent nuclear regulator. “The authorities are trying to spin this as people wanting more money,” Lauri Myllyvirta, an energy campaigner at Greenpeace, told AFP. “But the people just want to have their land and have the security of that lifestyle and income. They’re very concerned about the radiation risk and whether there will be a waste-reprocessing facility on the site.” Years of wrangling over land, compensation and environmental impact have become a regular feature of many projects aimed at developing modern India. High-profile disputes include plans for a second airport on protected wetlands to service India’s financial hub of Mumbai and a plan by Tata Motors to build a new manufacturing plant for the world’s cheapest car, the Nano. India’s environment ministry approved the much-delayed airport project last month but Tata Motors aborted its move to West Bengal state in 2008 after weeks of violent protests by farmers angered by the forced purchase of their land. ArcelorMittal, South Korea’s POSCO and Vedanta Resources have all recently been forced to look elsewhere for large-scale steel plant and mining projects after opposition in the eastern state of Orissa. Special economic zones-a government initiative aimed at turning India into a manufacturing powerhouse by offering tax breaks and other incentiveshave also been hit by claims of illegal land grabbing and corrupt practices. The editor of India Infrastructure magazine, Shubhra Puri, said such disputes were now a major problem, as ordinary Indians, with the help of campaigners, become more savvy. “Whatever settlement was given to them earlier, they used to think this was a boon and it helped them alleviate their economic status, but today they are wiser,” she said. “They talk to other people in other areas to see if they’re getting a lucrative deal... If they get together these projects will not happen. They’re negotiating very, very smartly.” — AFP

ermen, farmers and their families in Jaitapur in western Maharashtra state turned out in force Saturday to denounce the loss of homes and agricultural land, as well as voice fears about radiation and pollution.

KUWAIT: A group photo of Gulf Bank employees that have worked at the Bank for over 20 years.

Gulf Bank recognizes, honors longest serving employees Over 70 employees, each with over 20 years employment at the bank, are rewarded at a special event held in their honor KUWAIT: Gulf Bank has recognized and honored its longest serving employees at a special event at the Sahara Kuwait Resort. Gulf Bank’s Chairman, Ali AlRashaid Al-Bader hosted this special occasion, which was organized for over 70 members of staff, each of whom have been with the Bank for more than 20 years. The event was also attended by Mahmoud AlNouri, Deputy Chairman of the Bank, Michel Accad, CEO and CGM, as well as the Bank’s Executive Team, including Surour Alsamerai, Gulf Bank’s General Manager for Human Resources. Al-Bader said: “Today we welcome and pay tribute to all our valued employees, but particularly the ones who have been with us for over two decades. The foundation of Gulf Bank’s strength lies in the diversity, involvement and performance of its employees. “The Bank’s commitment towards its employees is guided by trust, objectivity, collective support, proactive attitudes,

Ali Al-Rashaid Al-Bader, Gulf Bank’s Chairman, Salem Saeed- Gulf Bank’s longest serving employee, Michel Accad-Gulf Bank’s CEO and CGM and Surour Alsamerai-General Manager of Human Resources and personal organization development. These are principles which we have consistently held throughout our development and ones which we will continue to maintain. I would like to

thank all our valued staff for their outstanding commitment and professionalism and look forward to the continued development of the Bank in the future.” Guests relived valuable

memories of their time with Gulf Bank during the event. A gallery of images covering Gulf Bank’s history was on display along with a live traditional Kuwaiti band and a dinner enjoyed by all.



Monday, December 6, 2010

ECB intervenes in bond markets, presses politicians to act FRANKFURT: The European Central Bank has decided to calm financial markets by buying huge amounts of public debt and extending generous liquidity conditions, and is pressing European leaders to step up to the plate in turn. After its governing council met here Thursday, ECB president JeanClaude Trichet said only that the bank would keep buying government bonds through a controversial program launched in the midst of the Greek debt crisis in May. At he was speaking

however, the bank was buying huge amounts of Irish and Portuguese bonds, traders said. On Friday, the central bank pursued purchases “that began massively two days ago,” traders at the Natixis investment bank said. The ECB’s own figures will only be published on Monday, but “I would not be surprised that they reveal purchases of between 3.5 and five billion euros ($4.7 and $6.7 billion), mainly in Irish and Portuguese debt, along with some Greek debt,” said BNP

trader Patrick Jacq. In the first week of its Securities Markets Program, the ECB bought 16.5 billion euros in government bonds but the amounts quickly tapered off to nearly zero in early August. They have picked up again since then however and last week the central bank bought 1.3 billion euros worth of public debt, twice the level of the previous week. The massive purchases helped ease tension on government bond markets, with the interest rate for 10-year Irish bonds falling late

Friday to 7.928 percent and those issued by Portugal to 5.734 percent from record highs reached earlier in the week. “But the ECB measures by themselves are not enough. They must be a part of a larger program, otherwise they will just be another band-aid,” Carregosa bond strategist Filipe Silva told AFP in Lisbon. “It does not settle anything fundamentally but provides a couple of weeks of respite” for European Union leaders to finalize a crisis resolution

mechanism, Deutsche Bank economist Gilles Moec added. While it has agreed to cover market dysfunctions for the time being, the ECB also urges EU leaders repeatedly to work out an effective monitoring system for debt-laden governments. On Friday, Trichet appealed again to “the capacity of European authorities to draft and implement a truly effective system of macroeconomic and budgetary surveillance.” He also later urged them to increase the EU’s 440-billion-euro

($590-billion) rescue fund, which many analysts have expressed doubts would be sufficient to bail out both Portugal and Spain, which have both come under intense pressure. It is “important that their capacity be as effective as possible including when quantity is at stake,” he told journalists. At Morgan Stanley, economists said: “In the ECB’s view, the next step-change towards a solution to the sovereign debt crisis has to come from governments. We agree.” Moec said the ECB’s intervention on bond mar-

kets last week was a clear message intended for investors tempted to speculate against the euro-zone’s weaker members. Trichet reiterated on Thursday that markets “should never underestimate the determination” of euro-zone leaders to preserve the European Monetary Union. For Moec: “That should be interpreted as a warning to those who bet on a euro-zone bond market meltdown that they could be slammed at some point by decisive ECB action.” —AFP

FM may slash spending, lift taxation

Ireland facing tough annual budget to secure bailout

DUBLIN: A man sells newspapers in Dublin, Ireland. The debt crisis has forced euro-zone governments to rewrite some of the currency union’s most fundamental rules. But to dig the region out of its current predicament, governments might have to rattle some of the bloc’s other taboos. —AP

Brazil’s Vale says it will list in Hong Kong HONG KONG: Brazil’s Vale said yesterday that it would list on the Hong Kong stock exchange this week as the mining giant looks to boost its presence in key Asian markets, including China. Sao Paulo-based Vale, the world’s second-biggest mining firm, said it would list about 652 million common shares and class A preferred shares on the financial hub’s bourse on Wednesday. The firm is not raising new money. Vale shares will be traded in the form of Hong Kong-dollar depositary receipts, which mirror the miner’s stock, the company said. Vale, which has a market capitalization of about $176 billion, is also

traded in Brazil, New York and Paris. More than half the company’s $23.31 billion in sales last year were from Asia with almost 38 percent of that total from China, Vale said. “Listing in Hong Kong will increase the investor base,” chief financial officer Guilherme Cavalcanti told a press briefing in Hong Kong yesterday. “We expect demand for our shares will increase.” The firm was looking to Asia as the region spends heavily on infrastructure projects, including building new airports and roads, Cavalcanti added. “This will increase demand a lot for minerals, including iron ore,” he said. Vale, the world’s

largest iron ore producer, has previously said it would spend $24 billion next year to finance operations, research and development, and carry out projects. Cavalcanti said Vale had no plans to raise new money in Hong Kong, but added that there was “always a possibility in the future.” Companies are increasingly looking to Hong Kong as a gateway to the Chinese market with Russian mining giant UC Rusal raising $2.2 billion in Hong Kong earlier this year. The city’s bourse is on track to lead the world in initial public offerings in 2010, raising about $51.49 billion as of Thursday, according to figures from Dealogic. —AFP

MENLO PARK: Venture capitalist and Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen (left) and his longtime business partner, Ben Horowitz, pose in their office in Menlo Park, California. It seems Washington is all ears these days. President Barack Obama says he’ll take a great idea to fix the economy anywhere he hears it. The Republican leaders in Congress can’t say enough how determined they are to “listen to the American people.” —AP

UK economy growth expected to slow down in 2011 LONDON: The British economy will grow by less than expected next year, but growth in 2012 will be better than predicted, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) predicted yesterday. Unemployment in the UK will fall in the second half of 2012, the BCC said in a new report. In the meantime, growth in 2012 will be better than predicted, the British Chambers of Commerce forecasts. It downgraded its forecast for the UK’s GDP growth in 2011 from the 2.2 percent it predicted in September to 1.9 percent. The BCC blamed the euro-zone debt crisis, austerity cuts, weak housing market, and VAT rise from 17.5 percent to 20 percent for the change. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR)

recently downgraded its 2011 growth forecast from 2.3 percent to 2.1 percent. The BCC was even more bearish, suggesting year-on-year growth will slow from 3 percent in the final quarter of 2010 to 1.4 percent in the second half of next year. However, it said the economy was sufficiently robust to avoid slipping back into recession - and was more upbeat moving forward because of private sector growth. It upgraded its GDP growth forecasts for 2012 from 1.8 to 2.1 percent- but that was still significantly lower than the OBR’s 2.6 percent estimate. The BCC, which represents hundreds of small businesses, also reduced its unemployment forecast for the second half of 2012, estimating the number

of people out of work to fall by 50,000 to 2.6 million. Inflation, meanwhile, would remain above 3 percent for the whole of 2011, it added. “British business is willing and able to drive the recovery, but it can only do so if the government will back its words with deeds,” BCC Director General David Frost said in the report. “The government must avoid at all costs new business taxes and measures that damage initiative, enterprise, and innovation.” He predicted the Bank of England will keep interest rates on hold at 0.5 percent next week, and will continue to hold them at historically low levels until at least the second half of 2011. —KUNA

DUBLIN: Crisis-hit Ireland, buckling under huge debts, will this week launch its 2011 budget to slash spending and lift taxation, as part of ongoing efforts to secure a huge EU/IMF international rescue package. Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan is due tomorrow to address the Dail, or lower house of parliament, and is expected to unveil savings of about six billion euros ($8 billion). Tomorrow’s statement will be the first in a series of budgets to implement a combined fiscal correction of 15 billion euros over the next four years. Lenihan is seeking to slash Ireland’s public deficit from about 32 percent of GDP this year-a record high for the euro-zone-to below the target deficit of 3.0 percent by 2015. The former Celtic Tiger nation wants to win a huge rescue package of up to 85 billion euros ($113 billion) from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to help fix its devastating debt crisis. After tomorrow’s budget, lawmakers will hold a vote over the measures-but the outcome of this is shrouded in uncertainty, analysts said. “The recent Irish rescue package was dependent upon the passing of the budget through parliament,” said Investec economist Philip Shaw. He added: “Current thinking is that it will pass, either via the necessary independents backing the bill, or by the main opposition party, Fine Gael, abstaining. However, there remains an air of uncertainty.” Ireland’s governing Fianna Fail/Green party coalition, led by Prime Minister Brian Cowen, is nursing a slender parliamentary majority of just two after losing a recent byelection. As a condition for the huge bailout, the EU/IMF has said that Dublin needed to “rigorously implement the budget for 2011 and the fiscal consolidation measures announced afterwards”. Dublin, savaged by bank bailouts, a property market meltdown and recession-ravaged tax revenues, unveiled a four-year strategy last month to slash a huge deficit and save 15 billion euros by 2014. That represents a huge amount for a country with a population of almost 4.5 million people. Unpopular Cowen, a member of the Fianna Fail party, has promised to hold a general election in the new year-as soon as parliament passes his tough budgetary measures. His personal and party support has slumped to record lows following the EU-IMF bailout deal, a recent poll showed. The Red C survey for The Irish Sun newspaper, the first conducted since the bailout was unveiled one week ago, shows that Cowen’s personal rating is just eight percent. His centrist Fianna Fail party has also plummeted to 13 percent compared to the 42 percent backing it received in the 2007 general election. Last month, the government presented a series of tax rises and cuts to public sector pay, pensions and social welfare in a bid to slash a huge deficit by 2014. Cowen has vowed to keep Ireland’s prized low rate of corporation tax, but has pledged to overhaul income and sales levies over the next four years. —AFP

BRUSSELS: A statue which depicts a woman holding up the symbol of the euro is seen at the European Parliament in Brussels. The debt crisis has forced euro-zone governments to rewrite some of the currency union’s most fundamental rules. —AP

German jobs ‘miracle’ as a tale of two cities NEUBRANDENBURG: The German jobs motor is turbo-charged these days but stark regional differences point up the potential and pitfalls in Europe’s biggest economy. The town of Neubrandenburg, a two-hour drive north of Berlin in the former communist east, had an unemployment rate of 13.8 percent in November according to figures published this week, twice as high as the national average. But Heiko Mirass, head of the local labor agency office, insists: “The time of mass employment (of more than 20 percent) is behind us.” However the lower jobless rate in this city of 70,000, where a handful of medieval buildings stand in the shadows of rundown housing blocks, is not the product of a recovery but rather of its ageing and shrinking population. In the 20 years since national reunification, the city has lost one-third of its citizens due to a falling birthrate and an exodus to the west in search of jobs. Many of those who remain are no longer of working age and thus no longer counted as unemployed. There is little sign of the “jobs miracle” frequently evoked by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government in this notch of the east German rust belt. More than one-third of those without work are over the age of 50 and more than one-quarter are long-term unemployed. “We are witnessing a certain fossilization of unemployment,” with little mobility for those trapped in joblessness, Mirass said. Nearly 700 kilometers (400 miles) to the south, the wealthy Munich suburb Freising seems a world away with more demand for labor than available employees. The jobless rate was 2.3 percent in November, the lowest in the country. It has held that title for more than a decade, said Karin Weber, Mirass’

counterpart in Freising. She said Freising’s proximity to the international airport, Munich and the city of Ingolstadt, home of automaker Audi, as well as a network of booming small- and mediumsized companies kept the want-ad pages full. Anyone who is registered as unemployed is truly “between jobs,” says Weber. Last month 1,500 people went on the dole while 1,800 found employment. The labor market now looks stronger than before the economic crisis, which sparked Germany’s worst postwar recession with a contraction of nearly five percent last year. “But that does not mean we have nothing to do,” said Michael Schmidt, operations director at the labor agency. Challenges include getting older and handicapped workers into viable employment but Schmidt said it was possible that the jobless rate could sink even lower than 2.3 percent. In Neubrandenburg, the labor agency does what it can to get older Germans working again. At the training centre, seated in front of a blackboard, Elke Roedel scribbles in her notebook. At 49, she aims to become a caregiver for the elderly. “It is difficult going back to school,” she sighs, confiding that her “dream” would be a permanent work contract. Jens Junghaeel, out of work since March, has a better chance of getting back into the labor market than Roedel. Wearing a blue shirt and a focused expression, the young man types away at a computer in his machinetools programming class. “I have worked for nine years, with interruptions. But always in the west. What I want is to work here,” he said. In the area, the unemployment rate among 15 to 25 year olds has fallen steadily and is now at about 10 percent-” a figure they could dream about in Spain,” Mirass said, where the jobless rate is hovering around 20 percent. —AFP

Wealth management focus of AXA merger, says AXA SYDNEY: Australia’s AMP said yesterday its merger with AXA Asia Pacific was focused on growing its wealth management business, creating a “fifth pillar” to compete against the nation’s four big banks in that sector. AMP said it wanted to grow its banking arm, but it was funds management expansion that was driving its 14.6 billion ($14.4 billion) takeover of AXA Asia Pacific Holdings (APH). “We’d like to over time grow that banking business once securitisation markets recover, but it’s fundamentally about taking the major banks on in their wealth management business,” AMP chief executive Craig Dunn said. “When we talk about the fifth pillar, we are talking about a bringing together of both businesses such that in wealth management, we’ve got a capacity to take on the wealth management businesses of the four major banks,” he said in an interview broadcast

Sunday. The government is yet to announce measures to increase competition in financial services in Australia, where the banking scene is dominated by the “big four”-ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank (NAB) and Westpac. Dunn said the recovery from the global financial crisis was still in train, adding that the impact of the slump had reduced competition in banking. “I don’t think there’s a magic wand that any government can wave and suddenly cause there to be more banking competition,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Under AMP’s bid for AXA Asia Pacific Holdings, AMP will integrate the group’s Australian and New Zealand businesses with its own and sell the Asia businesses to AXA’s French parent company AXA SA. Dunn said AMP and AXA SA had different goals from the deal which AMP is

expected to put to shareholders in early 2011 and on which regulatory approvals are still incomplete. “We’re free to develop our businesses in Asia as we see fit but again we’ve got a pretty significantly different strategy to the one that exists or will exist in AXA SA which is more about growing life insurance businesses,” he said. “Our focus is more on asset management and pensions.” Dunn said AMP was starting to expand into Asia in asset management. “We’ve now got a small presence in four countriesJapan, China, India and Singapore so that’s another longer term growth strategy,” he said. The AMP offer for AXA APH followed its failed play last year which was trumped by a higher offer from major Australian bank NAB. The NAB bid was then dropped in September after being twice rejected by competition regulators. —AFP


Monday, December 6, 2010


US works to secure networks as hackers advance

ARLINGTON: The National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) prepares for the Cyber Storm III exercise at its operations center in this photo. It will take several more years for the government to install high-tech systems capable of detecting and blocking computer intrusions, giving hackers more time to figure out how to breach networks and steal sensitive data. The government’s computer security weaknesses were laid bare with the WikiLeaks release. — AP

China to lead the world in innovation by 2020 China and India seen eclipsing US and Japan LONDON: China is set to become the w orld’s most important centre for innovation by 2020, overtaking both the United States and J a pan, according to a public opinion survey to be published toda y. China is already the world’s second-la rgest economy, after esta blishing itself a s the globa l w orkshop for manufa cturing. Now it wa nts to move up the value chain by lea ding in invention as well. Today, the United States ranks as the world’s most innovative country, with 30 percent of people surveyed taking that view, followed by Japan on 25 percent and China on 14 percent. Fast-forward 10 years, however, and 27 percent of people think China will be top dog, followed by India with 17 percent, the United States 14 percent and Japan 12 percent, according to the survey of 6,000 people in six countries done by drugmaker AstraZeneca. The shift is not because the United States is doing less science and technology, but because countries like China

and India are doing more-a fact reflected in a spike-up in successful Asian research efforts in recent years. A study last month from Thomson Reuters showed China was now the secondlargest producer of scientific papers, after the United States, and research and development (R&D) spending by Asian nations as a group in 2008 was $387 billion, compared with $384 billion in the United States and $280 billion in Europe. ASIAN CONFIDENCE Working out just how fast the world’s new emerging mar-

ket giants are developing their know-how is critical to many technology-focused companies in the West, as they seek to redeploy R&D resources. The pharmaceutical industry, in particular, has been anxious to tap into China’s science base and many companies, including AstraZeneca, have established Chinese centers as they try to reignite R&D productivity in laboratories at home. The survey across Britain, the United States, Sweden, Japan, India and China found a strong sense of optimism amongst people living in China and India, in contrast to relative

pessimism in the developed Western economies. More than half of those in China and India thought their home countries would be the most innovative in the world by 2020, while just one in 20 Britons thought Britain would be able to claim this title. There was an notable east-west divide in views of what had been the most important scientific breakthroughs. People in Asia put communications and computing top, while US and European respondents placed equal importance on the invention of vaccines and antibiotics, the survey found. — Reuters

Barbra Streisand Effect keeps WikiLeaks online PARIS: Mirror sites are keeping WikiLeaks up and running despite the loss of its original address, shut down by an American provider: welcome to the Barbra Streisand Effect. The elusive, intangible nature of the Internet has allowed the whistle-blowing website to keep a step ahead of its enemies. For after its original web address was shut down, it was able to move to a second home at a Swiss address ( And in less than 24 hours, dozens of mirror image sites were up and running across the Internet. Some were set up by WikiLeaks, others by computer-savvy sympathizers determined to keep the information the website is leaking online.For the mirror sites are just that: a replica of the contents of the original site, ensuring that the thousands of US diplomatic cables WikiLeaks has been leaking since last Sunday remain available for inspection. By 1630 GMT several hundred WikiLeaks mirror sites were listed at one online directory ( For as industry specialists explained, the strong libertarian sensibili-

ty shared by large parts of the online community means that any hint of censorship provokes an instant riposte designed to produce the opposite effect. “As soon as a case of censorship blows up on the Web, a community forms spontaneously and everyone replicates everywhere,” explained Gregory Fabre, a systems engineer and co-founder of the site. With information copied on to servers that could be anywhere in the world, trying to stop the information getting out is like trying to plug a leaking sieve. “It’s as old as the Internet,” said Fabre. This is known as the Barbra Streisand Effect, said Jean-Marc Manach, a journalist specializing in Internet rights and surveillance issues. “A few years ago, a photographer took a photo of one of the singer’s houses,” he said. She filed a complaint for breach of her rights and tried to get the photo pulled from the Internet: inevitably, hundreds of people responded by copying the photo on to their website-thus, the Barbra Streisand Effect. And as Fabre pointed out, many of the mirror sites could just as well be the product of individuals with no direct connection to WikiLeaks. — AP

CrowdFlower cultivating office-free work styles SAN FRANCISCO: Labor-ondemand startup CrowdFlower envisions future workplaces without stifling offices and unyielding daily schedules. The San Francisco firm will take another step in that direction today with the launch of a Business Listing Verification service that lets people ranging from stay-athome moms to refugee camp dwellers cash in on idle moments. The service essentially parses and distributes to many hands the daunting task of checking to make sure

each business contact in a colossal database is accurate. CrowdFlower does this by using online labor distribution tools such as Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and adding to the mix safeguards to ensure accurate results. “There has been this model of everyone driving to a building where they have someone watch over them, hire them and fire them,” CrowdFlower chief executive Lukas Biedwald said. “The Internet has this potential to democratize work.” As computers become

core to business operations, work done digitally has growing potential to be sent directly to people who can tend to tasks away from overheadcausing office buildings and management layers, he explained. CrowdFlower takes tedious big jobs-such as checking business contact lists-breaks them into small tasks that can be accomplished in minutes and then pays per piece. For example, someone might earn 20 cents for confirming the address of a restaurant or coffee shop during a

television commercial break or while a baby is sleeping. “What I love about it is that it gives anyone access to work,” Biedwald said. “There are people that want to capitalize on downtime, or who have trouble with traditional kinds of employment.” Since launching in 2007, CrowdFlower has been parsing and farming out micro-jobs, such as finding products that match precise descriptions or gathering menus from every restaurant possible. “We

focus on short tasks that people can do in their extra time and that are verifiable by us,” Biedwald said. Demand was so strong from businesses interested in updating contact databases that CrowdFlower created the service being launched today. “If a business has a huge database of contacts, we can get it done in days when it might take them weeks,” Biedwald said. “A lot of companies that sell these lists have let the quality deteriorate over time. If you actually

drive to a location and the business has moved, that is a big problem.” He highlighted the outdated contact list problem with US Small Business Association figures showing that slightly more than 550,000 new US firms opened for business in 2009 and nearly 661,000 closed that same year. CrowdFlower “harnesses a scalable” labor pool of more than 500,000 people in over 150 countries. “I’ve learned how much having a job means to people,” Biedwald said. — AFP

Satellites crash into the Pacific Russia fails to get satellites into orbit MOSCOW: Three Russian satellites were believed to have crashed into the Pacific yesterday after the rocket carrying them failed to reach orbit following a launch from Baikonur, the defense ministry said. The rocket carrying the Glonass navigation satellites, Russia’s answer to the US Global Positioning System (GPS) blasted off as planned from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1.25 pm, Interfax reported. However, a second-stage booster rocket failed to carry its payload into orbit and is believed to have crashed into the Pacific off the US island state of Hawaii, space industry sources told Russian news

agencies. “The ballistics experts have checked everything: the upper-stage rocket with the satellites is not on the main, intermediate nor emergency orbit,” a source told the RIA Novosti news agency. “Our calculations show that the upper-stage rocket with the satellites probably fell into the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii,” the source said. However, Interfax cited another source as saying that the satellites likely burned up in the atmosphere. The Glonass system, developed by the Russian military in the 1980s, is being vaunted as Russia’s answer to the GPS and to Europe’s fledgling Galileo system.

The three Glonass-M satellites, weighing 1.4 tons, were supposed to complete a constellation of satellites already put in place by Russia. Russia’s defense ministry confirmed the loss, but said it would not affect the roll-out of the new positioning system. “There are currently 26 satellites in the Glonass constellation, including two emergency satellites. This allows complete coverage of Russian Federation territory,” the ministry said in a statement. “The Russian space industry’s capacity enables us to react rapidly to what’s happened,” it said, adding that the system would be fully in place next year. — AFP

BAIKONUR: Photo shows A Proton-M rocket, carrying three satellites for Russian Glonass navigation system, transported to the launch pad at the Baikonur cosmodrome. Russia failed yesterday to send three Glonass navigation satellites into orbit after they were launched by a rocket from Baikonur cosmodrome, space industry sources told Russian news agencies. — AFP

WASHINGTON: It will take several more years for the US government to fully install high-tech systems to block computer intrusions, a drawn-out timeline that enables criminals to become more adept at stealing sensitive data, experts say. As the Department of Homeland Security moves methodically to pare down and secure the approximately 2,400 network connections used every day by millions of federal workers around the world, experts suggest that technology already may be passing them by. The department that’s responsible for securing government systems other than military sites is slowly moving all the government’s Internet and e-mail traffic into secure networks that eventually will be guarded by intrusion detection and prevention programs. The networks are known as Einstein 2 and Einstein 3. Progress has been slow, however. Officials are trying to complete complex contracts with network vendors, work out technology issues and address privacy concerns involving how the monitoring will affect employees and public citizens. The WikiLeaks release of more than a quarter-million sensitive diplomatic documents underscores the massive challenge ahead, as Homeland Security labors to build protections for all of the other, potentially more vulnerable US agencies. “This is a continuing arms race and we’re still way behind,” said Stewart Baker, former Homeland Security undersecretary for policy. The WikiLeaks breach affected the government’s classified military network and was as much a personnel gap as a technological failure. Officials believe the sensitive documents were stolen from secure Pentagon computer networks by an Army intelligence analyst who downloaded them onto a CD. The changes sought by Homeland Security on the government’s nonmilitary computers would be wider and more systemic than the immediate improvements ordered recently by the Departments of Defense and State as a result of the WikiLeaks releases. Those changes included improving the monitoring of computer usage and making it harder to move material onto a portable computer flash drive or CD. “There are very few private sector actors who depend on information security who think that installing intrusion prevention systems is sufficient protection against the kinds of attacks that we’re seeing,” Baker said. Navy Rear Adm. Michael Brown, Homeland Security’s director for cybersecurity coordination, said that slightly more than half of the government’s 2,400 network connections are already protected by Einstein 2 - the automated system that monitors federal Internet and e-mail traffic for malicious activity. Those, however, cover fewer than 20 of the 110 federal agencies. Einstein 2 is installed and working at 13 of the 19 agencies that plan to police their own networks, with two others close to completion. The remaining 91 departments will go through one of four major communications companies for the monitoring. So far just four to six agencies have put the program in place, he said. In the end, all network traffic with flow through 72 sites called Trusted Internet Connections, including eight operated by the four communications companies and 64 operated by individual agencies. A more sophisticated system known as Einstein 3, which will detect and automatically block intrusions, has just completed testing and will take several years to fully implement, Brown said. Brown insisted that the government is not lagging behind private industry in its efforts to secure computer networks. He said each agency is responsible for setting up safe cybersecurity practices. Criminals these days “are more targeted, are more professional, and have greater sophistication and capabilities,” he said. Einstein will add a valuable safeguard to government agencies but “there still is not a magic bullet” to defeat the increasingly sophisticated threats, said Jerry Dixon, former director at Homeland Security’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team. “We’re always playing catch-up or reacting to the last major cyberincident or event but not doing a lot to think about what the future might hold,” said Dixon, who is now director of analysis at the Internet security firm Team Cymru. Complicating the Einstein installation process is that federal agencies have offices and personnel strewn around the globe, from post offices to nuclear labs and national parks. They can be small outposts with a handful of workers or huge complexes employing thousands, and they are operating under many contracts with different Internet vendors. Baker said legal questions bog down the process. There are concerns that the monitoring programs could violate privacy safeguards for federal workers, members of the public who communicate with them, or other individuals whose e-mail might accidentally get caught in the system. “The search for legal certainty and legal guarantees may be part of the problem,” he said. US officials and security experts have warned that government networks are persistently scanned and attacked millions of times a day. The recent discovery of the Stuxnet worm, which experts say appeared to target Iranian nuclear plants, stunned and worried US officials, who said it could be modified to wreak havoc on industrial control systems around the world. Those systems control vital facilities like the electric grid, water plants, traffic systems and industries that produce everything from deadly chemicals to baby formula. — AP



Monday, December 6, 2010

Estrogen plays major role in breast cancer Risk level assessed by age, genetics Assessing a woman’s odds of getting breast cancer is a tricky, imprecise and evolving business. Yet for all its imperfection, it is Step 1 in any decision a woman makes about prevention measures. Three factors overwhelmingly

influence a woman’s risk of developing a solid tumor that invades her breast tissue and threatens to spread, says UCLA oncologist Patricia Ganz: her age, genetic makeup and lifetime exposure to estrogen. Age is straightforward enough - as it advances, a woman becomes more likely to develop breast cancer. Research suggests that breast cancer is largely a disease of aging. If something else doesn’t kill women first, common precancerous changes in the breast will progress down the path of uncontrolled growth and invade healthy breast tissue. The contribution of genes to a woman’s breast cancer vulnerability is more complex. But physicians can look to DNA to identify women whose risk is extreme enough to justify radical preventive measures. Finally, estrogen plays a pivotal role in breast cancer risk. It is made by the ovaries and several other organs in the body. Exposure is heavily influenced by inheritance: Her mother’s genes are key in determining when a woman begins to menstruate and when she enters menopause, which dictates how long she is exposed to BALTIMORE: Olivia DeLore, 6, who has been diagnosed as type 1 diabetic since 13-month-old, has learned to estrogen of her own making. But that exposure can be test and manage her blood sugar level several times daily. — MCT dialed up or down by various factors, such as food, drink and medication. Physicians use the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool - better known as the Gail Model - to tote up these factors and gauge a woman’s personal breast cancer risk. Published in 1989 and named after Dr Mitchell Gail of the BALTIMORE: The first day of school is har- extra monitoring the children require. “I wanted to, that when she got a cold, we worNational Cancer Institute’s rowing enough for any parent of a young wouldn’t call it stressful,” says Gene ried more than usual, because a little illness Cancer Epidemiology and child. But for Mimi Delore, whose 6-year- Saderholm, deputy director of school health can trigger a much bigger illness with a diaGenetics Division, the model old daughter, Olivia, was diagnosed with and support for the Anne Arundel County, betic child. considers: A woman’s age, the “For the first few months, we would juvenile diabetes at 15 months, the day was Md., Health Department. “What I would call age at which she began menespecially unwelcome. For almost the first it is learning to trust one another.” monitor her, check her blood sugar every struating and, if applicable, time in three years, Olivia’s fate was going Nationally, Counts says, one in 400 children two to four hours. And then we would check the age at which she complether before bedtime, she would have a snack to be out of her mom’s hands. She wouldn’t is diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. ed the transition to Reassuring parents, Saderholm acknowl- and go to bed, and then we would check her be there to monitor what Olivia ate, to test menopause. Whether she has her blood sugar, to make sure her insulin edges, is important. “We spend a lot of time again in the middle of the night. It was like children and the age at which levels were OK. It would be up to Olivia’s working with them and with their doctors, having a newborn again.” Researchers don’t her first child was born. Any teacher and school nurse to shoulder those making sure the children are comfortable know exactly what causes Type 1 diabetes family history of breast or responsibilities, and Delore wasn’t taking coming to the health staff and that the par- or how to cure it. But they do know how to ovarian cancer. Any personal the change well. “I’ve been in control for the ents are comfortable with the health staff.” manage it - by carefully monitoring bloodhistory of breast changes that last four years, and now I have to go and Type 1 diabetes affects the body’s ability to sugar levels, trying to keep them as normal are frequently precancerous, meet a stranger and turn over eight or nine produce insulin, which is necessary for cells as possible. That involves regular doses of such as ductal carcinoma in hours of her care to somebody else?” she to absorb sugars and other foods. While insulin and careful monitoring of diet, espesitu, lobular carcinoma in situ says from her Taneytown, Md., home. “It rarer than Type 2, sometimes called adult- cially carbohydrates. or atypical hyperplasia. Such monitoring is tough enough for onset, diabetes, it is more often found in was so nerve-racking for me.” Answers to these quesTwo months into the school year, and so young children. Unmonitored, it can lead to older children and adults, who have to contions are used to calculate her far, so good, a relieved Delore says. But complications including severe heart and stantly watch what and when they eat, give risk of developing breast canwhat she faces, forced to relinquish a mea- liver disease, nerve damage and vision prob- themselves up to four insulin shots a day cer in the next four to five and check their sugar levels every few sure of control over her child’s life that lems. Untreated, it can kill. years. “Normal risk” meaHealth officials have been warning of a hours. For young children, such a responsicould mean the difference between life and sured by the model moves death, highlights the pressures faced by steep rise in Type 2 diabetes, largely thanks bility seems both impractical and unfair. upward as a woman ages. But young children with diabetes and their fam- to the nation’s chronic problem with obesity While they’re at home, children have their unless a woman is at least 60, ilies. “It’s an extra thing that needs to be and Americans’ increasingly sedentary parents to keep an eye on them. “I am her five-year risk should fall paid attention to,” says Debra Counts, direc- lifestyles. That condition, which often is blood- and needle-phobic,” Clegg says. “So below 1.67 percent. A 40tor of pediatric endocrinology at the inherited and involves the body building up for me, to have to take care of a diabetic year-old with that number is University of Maryland Joslin Diabetes a resistance to insulin, is relatively rare in child was ...” She gropes for the right word at “very high” risk, and a 50Center. “The schools need to do exactly very young children. Type 1, once referred and fails to find it. “But you find the strength year-old is at “high” risk. The to as juvenile diabetes, is caused by a com- to do for your child what you couldn’t do for what the parents do.” more elevated her risk score, Schools, she notes, have guidelines to bination of inherited and environmental fac- yourself.” the more serious the meaAt some point, that includes allowing follow that ensure diabetic children are tors; although there is a genetic predisposisures a woman might consider properly cared for. But that doesn’t neces- tion for the condition, it is usually triggered others to care for your child. For Clegg, just to reduce her odds of breast sarily make it easier for the parents. “There by factors not fully understood by like Delore, taking that leap of faith has been cancer. A slightly elevated are always parties in schools, for Halloween researchers. The New York-based Juvenile anything but easy. “This is the first time score might justify more freand this and that. Then, the parents have to Diabetes Research Foundation says nearly that she’s been away from me and someone quent breast checks by a clinbe proactive and either send something or 24 million Americans are diabetics; of those, else has been responsible,” she says. “She ician. Women with particular goes to lunch everyday at about 10 of 12. At figure out something that their child can an estimated 3 million have Type 1. variants of the BRCA1 and That number includes 6-year-old Ellie 11:45, I kind of sit and wait for the phone to have. Maybe they’ll need extra insulin, so BRCA2 genes that are known they can have what everyone else is having. Clegg, who lives in Pasadena with her par- ring. I don’t really relax until a few minutes to boost cancer risk are Again, it’s an extra thing that needs to be ents, Kristen and Rusty. Kristen Clegg after 12.” So far, Clegg says, the phone has increasingly having their paid attention to.” The school nurse must be remembers well the day Ellie was diag- rung only twice; both times, the issue was ovaries and often their breasts available when the child needs to have a nosed at age 2{, and the fear she couldn’t minor, the question simple. She’s reasremoved as a preventive meashot of insulin. The teacher must be aware shake. “We just really quickly had to adapt sured, but still anxious. “I don’t know,” she sure. And for women in to a new normal,” she says. “The new nor- says with a nervous laugh, “maybe when of the child’s dietary needs. between, options include And everyone needs to understand the mal was that she couldn’t eat anytime she she starts college ...” —MCT lifestyle changes and medications. The Gail Model has been found accurate for white women and has been updated - most recently in 2007 - to BERLIN: Polar bear better reflect risk for African American women. But in Knut stands behind Latinas and Asians, its precihis ‘birthday cake’ to sion has not been widely tested. Researchers continue to celebrate his 4th look for ways they can birthday in the Zoo improve estimates of breast risk and make them yesterday. Berlin’s cancer easier to understand and comfamous polar bear municate. One alternative risk called Wisdom, Knut, who was reject- calculator, considers breast cancer risk ed by his mother but in the broader context of how went on to win the a woman manages her health as she enters menopause. The hearts of millions Gail Model is rough and across the globe, inflexible because it relies on broad population studies, not celebrated his 4th the fine details of a woman’s birthday yesterday life, says Dr Nancy Davidson, director of the University of with a cake made of Pittsburgh’s Cancer Center. ice, fishes and some “But it’s the best one we have for the vast majority of vegetables. —AP women, and it’s the only one that’s linked to something we can do.” —MCT

Young diabetics at school require more medical care

CHICAGO: Cathy Risberg (right) a volunteer at Lutheran General, checks in on Grayson Cacal, 2, left, and his mother, Sara, of Chicago, with gifts from the “humor cart” at Lutheran General. —MCT

Hospital’s ‘Humor Cart’ brings funny distraction CHICAGO: If laughter is the best medicine, Cathy Risberg was wheeling a traveling pharmacy through the hallways of Park Ridge’s Advocate Lutheran General Children’s Hospital one recent morning. Wearing a set of bobbing antennae, the retired teacher pushed a “Humor Cart” laden with toys, coloring books and jokey doodads. She stopped first at the room of Bill Haverty, a 5-yearold from Island Lake, Illinois who’d been hospitalized with mysterious back pain. She plied him with a few things from the cart - including a rubber duck, a bottle of bubbles and a dancing hamster - before going to the closer: a truly awful joke. “Why did the boy throw the butter out the window?” Risberg asked. “I don’t know,” Bill said. “So he could see a butterfly.” Bill smiled and gave a small giggle. Mission accomplished, Risberg moved to the next room. So it goes with the Humor Cart, a decade-old program at Lutheran General hospital designed to lighten the spirits of young patients. One of several humor-based projects in Chicago-area hospitals, it aims to use fun to prompt serious health improvements. “Laughter releases endorphins, and that helps us feel better and heal,” said Melodie Merrick, clinical manager of pediatrics at Lutheran General. “It decreases anxiety and can mean less pain medicine. It takes a kid away from a fear of the hospital, and that’s important to building a trusting relationship.” Risberg, who said she learned the value of humor in her teaching days, started volunteering with the Humor Cart four years ago. Because children come to the hospital with all sort of maladies, from broken legs to swollen tonsils to cancer, Risberg quickly learned how to take the temperature of a room and work in delicate circumstances. Usually, though, everyone is happy to see the Humor Cart arrive. Mason Davito, 7, of Morton Grove, Illinois, who suffers from complex partial seizures, gave a sly smile when Risberg came into the room bearing a yo-yo, a pair of giant sunglasses and another joke. “Why did the football coach go to the bank?” she asked. “Because he wanted to steal money,” Mason said. “Well, um, that’s a possibility,” Risberg said. “He wanted to get his quarter back.” Mason’s mother, Melissa Davito, gave a little laugh. She said she appreciated the cart as much as her son did, knowing the importance of staying upbeat. “You really don’t have a choice,” she said. “If you’re not, he’s not.” The hospital’s comic campaign has extended to Oakton Community College

in Des Plaines, Ill., where a band of students has formed the Dr Clown Club. Established a year ago, the club sends volunteers to wheel the Humor Cart around Lutheran General. One of them, aspiring teacher Jen Rhine, 20, of Park Ridge, Ill., said the children can be a tough crowd. She recalled one little boy who adamantly rebuffed her attempts to cheer him up, shaking his head “no” every time she suggested an activity. “By the end ... he was pushing his (adjustable) bed up and down, playing games with us,” she said. “He really opened up.” The group would like to expand its audience, and on a recent afternoon, it rehearsed for a performance at Mooseheart, a residential school near Aurora, Illinois, that serves children from troubled backgrounds. Wearing their uniforms - white lab coats emblazoned with a clown’s goofy face - club members ran though several skits, some of which demonstrated their experience in hospital rooms. One routine featured a patient describing his difficulties to a doctor (played by a puppet) whose only reply was, “Really?” Another offered a patient whose strange malady, mistaking pink for green, befuddled a physician, only to be solved when the patient removed her oversize pink sunglasses. “You should go back to medical school,” bragged the patient, played by Jennie Koval, 20, of Skokie, Ill. “I’ve fixed this whole thing by myself.” Some of the students said their adventures in therapeutic comedy had paid unexpected dividends. “The stuff you learn, you can apply it to your life,” said Anna Okowinski, 19, of Park Ridge. “I like making people happy. It’s not just the club. It’s more like a hobby.” Back at the hospital, Risberg arrived at the room of Grayson Cacal, 2, of Chicago. He was diagnosed with leukemia in July, and ever since has shuttled between home and hospital. He was amused by the clown nose Risberg offered him, though he had more fun throwing it than putting in on. His mother, Sara Cacal, who put on her own nose, said the cart’s visit was the high point of the day. “He heard the wheels and knew it was coming,” she said. “He knew he was getting something special. It’s just a little treat. It’s that element of forgetting where we are.” That, Risberg said later, was the point. “I have friends who say, ‘I could never do this,’ but this place is filled with the promise of tomorrow,” she said. “Most of (the children) can smile, and those who can’t, I make sure I’m smiling at them.” —MCT

Hunting moose is a Swedish passion KUSSJOEN: With a thick carpet of snow softening his footsteps, Stefan Nordstroem creeps slowly between the tall pine and birch trees, his rifle at the ready. He is hunting moose, the towering symbol of Sweden and a prized catch for hunters in the Scandinavian country every autumn. “One bullet is enough, if you aim well,” says Nordstroem, a 61-year-old entrepreneur who made his first kill when he was 20, showing off a 9.5 millemetre bullet. “The animal usually continues on for about 50 meters (yards) before collapsing,” he explains. Every hunting season, which lasts from the beginning of September to the end of January, nearly 270,000 hunters set off to track moose across Sweden, killing more than 80,000 of these giant kings of the forest. That, according to the Swedish Hunting Association, accounts for between a fifth and a quarter of the country’s entire moose stock. Not everyone can get the job done with a single shot though, Nordstroem jokes, mentioning a friend, Peter, who once used a full five bullets to make his kill. “Since then, just between us, we named him re-Peter,” Nordstroem laughs, fondly patting his rifle, dubbed “the moose sweeper”. It is 8:00 am, and as he heads back to his lookoutpost, a thin sliver of sunlight is just pushing up behind the tree-

tops in this dense forest in the Swedish region of Norrland, some 250 kilometers (155 miles) south of the Arctic Circle. The former army reserve officer and his hunting buddies have this year been handed a quota of 10 adult moose and 10 young ones, and are permitted to track the animals across 60,000 hectares (148,000 acres) of sparsely inhabited land surrounding the Kussjoen lake. The waiting game The long wait begins, and Nordstroem is quiet, motionless. The silence is heavy and palpable, only interrupted by the occasional distant barking of dogs or by a word or two whispered into the walkie-talkie to check on the other hunters in the group who are spread out at other strategic locations in the forest. Even the wind is still. After more than two hours of shivering in well-below freezing temperatures, there is still no moose in sight, the radio is still, the dogs drowsy. Then suddenly, a noise. Nordstroem points his rifle as a female suddenly bursts from the brush, thundering past only about 15 meters from his position. He lowers his gun. His team has already killed too many adults, and he can only shoot if he spots a young animal born this past spring. With their agedivided quotas, Swedish authorities aim to ensure a balance between the numbers of fertile adults and young-ones in a bid to

keep the number of births each year at an optimal level. “Really unlucky,” Nordstroem complains, slumping back down. He consoles himself with the fact that he at least will not be going home empty-handed. In the rudimentary hunting shack he’s using, a 250-kilo (550-pound) moose is already hanging from the ceiling-the fruit of a recent and more successful hunt. The animal, skinned and with its intestines and internal organs removed, will hang this way for around 10 days to help tenderize the meat. “An adult moose generally ways around 400 kilos. But it can reach 800 kilos, and about half of that is meat,” Stefan explains, chewing on a piece of dried moose meat and relaxing with his hunting companions. After Russia, Sweden counts Europe’s largest population of moose, which are also found in Norway, Finland and the Baltic countries. Moose hunting, even in Sweden, perhaps the world’s most feminist countries, remains an almost exclusively male pastime. That is something Nordstroem and his friends don’t seem to mind, as they sit around a campfire eating lunch and telling dirty jokes. Behind them, an old magazine clipping is tacked to the look-out post wall. “Man’s final frontier,” reads the caption above a picture of a rugged hunter perched on his watchtower. —AFP

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Library week at ICSK Khaitan

India International School to host:

2nd Yousef Saleh Alyan Memorial Inter School Debate Competition India International School, TingheMangaf, is organizing an interestInter School Debate Competition in recognition of selfless service rendered in the field of media by the founder Editor of Kuwait Times newspaper in Kuwait, late Yousef Saleh Alyan on Saturday, 11th December, 2010 at the auditorium of India International School, Mangaf, at 5.30 pm. Late Yousef Saleh Alyan was the great architect of Kuwait Media. He put his heart and soul in starting the English newspaper in Kuwait before any modern development took place in this small country. Indeed, it was the great show of contemporary Arab society’s participation in the field of education. He was the most respectable and towering personali-

Monday, December 6, 2010

ty among Kuwaitis and expatriates. He is a pioneer in the field of Kuwaiti media. It is a fitting tribute conducting Inter school Debate Competition in his memory. All the Indian Schools in Kuwait are enthusiastically participating in this competition. The topic of the debate is ‘ Television is the leading cause of violence in today’s youth’. Students are eagerly looking forward to participate and manifest their talent at this grand event amidst many great luminaries in the field of education and media. This day will be a great day for the spectators who love to witness the children debating on a hot topic amidst a large crowd. Indeed this spectacular show will identify the young ones who will be torch bearers of tomorrow’s world.

Khaitan celebrated ‘Library Week’ from 21st to 26th of November with variIetyCSK of educational and informative programs. The lofty aim of the week-long celebration is to highlight the importance of books and to foster the habit of reading among students. As libraries preserve the world knowledge base, such celebrations instill good educational values in children. “A book is like a little garden carried in the

pocket”, as the Arabic saying goes; but these days getting children to explore the books has become very difficult. The week included many competitions in which children took part with great enthusiasm. Competitions like book review, word building, quiz and story writing helped the students to understand the importance of developing good reading habits.

A special assembly was held to mark the end of the celebrations. Snehlatha Sharma, librarian and coordinator of the program, spoke on the occasion and elaborated the values good books can inculcate in young minds. The highlight of the program was the release of the manuscript magazines designed by the four houses of the school. Students along with their house mentors gave shape to the magazines dur-

ing the week. This has been the glorious tradition of the school for the last eight years that every house compiles the literary and artistic works of the members in the form of a manuscript magazine. The house magazines were released and handed over to the librarian. The library week once again proved to be a success, in imparting the message that books are the best friends for life.

Chef Indika wins 7 medals, the only Chef to receive such acclaim hef Indika De Silva, Kitchen Sous-Chef of Crowne Plaza C Hotel Kuwait won seven medals in the 14th “Salon International de la Gastronomi”- EXPOGAST 2010, organized by the “Societe des Faires International de Lixembourg’ “Luxexpo” in collaboration with the “Vatel Club

Luxembourg” world Association of Chefs Societies and the Amitie Gastronomique Francois Vatel’. The event took place from the 20th to 24th of November 2010 at the ‘Centre d’Exposition et de Conferences des Fairs lnternationles’- Luxexop in Luxembourg. This international culinary

event ranges second on the worldwide level and features 25 national teams, 10 national military team, 10 national Junior team, 10 collective catering teams and many individual chefs and confectioners who all competed in this outstanding culinary event. Indika expressed his happi-

ness in this great victory, with total of 7 medals: 1 Gold, 2 Silver, 4 Bronze. This, however, was not the first instance of such an achievements by chef INDIKA. In 2004, he won gold silver and bronze medals at the culinary Olympics in Germany in all three events

he took part and a Silver Medal in Food Asia 2004 in Singapore. Chef Indika has 14 years of experience in various countries around the world, such as Dubai and Singapore. He joined the Crowne Plaza in 2008. He dedicated this win to all Crowne Plaza staff and management.

About 1000 patients live with Crohn’s disease in Kuwait rohn’s disease is a serious chronic, inflammatory disease of the gastroC intestinal (GI) tract. Crohn’s disease most commonly affects the end of the small intestine (the ileum) and the beginning of the large intestine (the colon). However, it may involve any part of the GI tract. Crohn’s disease affects equally men and women of all ages, but it is primarily a disease of young adults, mainly those between 15 and 35. Although its exact cause is unknown, studies indicate that the inflammation involves a complex interaction of inherited genes, the immune system and environmental factors. About 20 to 25 percent of patients with Crohn’s disease have a close relative with either Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, the other major form of inflammatory bowel disease. In Kuwait, there are approximately 1000 patients (of whom 85 percent are between 12 and 35 years of age) suffering from Crohn’s disease: 40 percent of these cases are mild, and 60 percent moderate to severe. Previously 80 percent of Crohn’s disease patients proceeded to surgery but since the introduction of biological therapy, surgical interventions dropped to 20%. However, Dr Ahmad Fadli

emphasizes that more investigation and research is needed to really assess the impact of Crohn’s Disease on the Kuwaiti community. Dr Walid Al Azmy, Consultant in Gastro-intestinal and Hepatic Diseases and Associate Professor in the Internal Diseases Department of the Faculty of Medicine - Kuwait University, reports that (1) Crohn’s disease afflicts young people 18 to 25 years old, affecting their education, career and social lives if left untreated; (2) Genetic predisposition is a strong factor of etiology; (3) Smoking contributes strongly to the exacerbation of the disease and decreases the chances of successful therapeutic treatment. Moreover, Dr Khaled Al-Sarraf Pediatric Gastro-intestinal, Hepatic and Nutrition Consultant in Al-Amiri Hospital - Kuwait, stated that during the last 10 years an increase in the incidence of both ulcerative colitis and acute Crohn’s disease has been noted in patients younger than 17 years of age in Kuwait. Dr Al-Sarraf added that new therapies have helped control the symptoms and improve both social and psychological states of affected children. Common symptoms of Crohn’s disease include diarrhea, cramping,

abdominal pain, weight loss, fever, and in some cases, rectal bleeding. Consequently, symptoms are of general nature and can be misleading because they are similar to those of other intestinal conditions. Crohn’s

disease is characterized by periods in which the disease flares up, is active and causes symptoms. These episodes are followed by times of remission periods in which symptoms disappear or decrease.

The most common complication is blockage of the intestine, which occurs because the disease tends to cause swelling and scar tissue in the intestinal wall, which leads to a narrowing of the passage. Other compli-

cations can include sores or ulcers in the intestine, which can turn into fistulas (tunnels that connect between one loop of the intestine and another, or an abnormal connection between the intestine and the surrounding tis-

sues), abscesses (pockets of infection) and fissures. Over the course of their disease, up to 75 percent of patients with Crohn’s disease will undergo surgery for complications or disease resistance to treatment. Of those who undergo surgery to remove a portion of the intestines (resection), half experience a relapse within five years. Dr Ahmad Al-Fadly, Consultant in Gastro-intestinal Diseases in Kuwait reports that (1) Crohn’s disease is a chronic, life-long condition that is clearly and steadily increasing both worldwide and in Kuwait; (2) Diagnosing Crohn’s disease is quite tricky and needs specialized know-how in order to study individual cases through patient history, clinical examination and blood tests, in addition to colonoscopy (3) Biologic treatment is a revolutionary therapy that has changed the course of the disease, alleviating pain and improving patient’s quality of life. Dr Maasoumah Al-Ali, Consultant in Gastro-intestinal and Hepatic Diseases reports that due to the high impact of Crohn’s disease on patients’ quality of life, treatment goals have evolved to primarily aim at achieving sustained deep remission.


Monday, December 6, 2010


BSK students undertake desert trek ilver participants of the International Award at The S British School of Kuwait (BSK) were challenged beyond all expectations as they completed their 42km practice trek through the southern

desert near Wafrah. The students involved are training for their Silver Award after successfully completing their Bronze Award last year. The adventure took the form of 2 days and 2 nights of route navigation,

hiking in the desert near the farms of Wafrah. With the weather absolutely perfect, the setting was idyllic as the 35 participants showed true International Award determination. Meandering through sand

dunes and struggling through huge open expanses with only the aid of a compass for direction, each student realized that they were pushing their bodies to the extreme. With no complaints of fever, pain, allergy,

dizziness, sore throat or tummy ache, each student pushed themselves beyond their comfort zones closer the finish line. It was delightful to see how all the students represented BSK in a triumphant fash-

ion; working as a team, helping one another and making decisions. All of the Award staff were impressed by the great teamwork, resilience, resourcefulness and determination demonstrated by all the young

adults that were involved. They now look forward to completing the final leg of the award in Thailand in February 2011. Full details of the BSK International Award Scheme are available on

Indian Community School hosts Children’s Day he world is as many times new as there are children in our “T lives” declares Robert Brault proclaiming the beauty of life owing to the presence of children. November 14th every year is celebrated as the Children’s Day commemorating the birth of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. At ICSK, Amman, a special program was conducted on 25th November to celebrate the occasion. The teachers of various levels conducted special assemblies to entertain the children. The day started with the assembly of the Primary teachers, followed by the middle section and finally the senior section. The agenda included the prayer, the thought for the day, the vocabulary, the speech and then the variety program.

Children were thrilled to see their teachers singing and dancing. The teachers showed no inhibition when they performed on stage with the sole aim of cheering up the kids and cheered they were! It was a spectacular sight to see one of the teachers dressed up as ‘Chacha’ Nehru waving at the ecstatic children. The solo instrument of Emmanuel, the music teacher and the song dance combo of “Made in India” by the teachers including the Principal and the Vice Principal let the children demanding for an ‘encore’. The show came to an end with the principal applauding the teachers for their concerted efforts and the children for their exemplary behavior. “Do it with style” seems to be the motto of ICSK Amman and they have proved it again.

‘Love the one you’re with!’ to give away free coffees at select Caribou stores across RIM Kuwait to say ‘Happy Thursday’ to all BlackBerry users Research In Motion (RIM) and Caribou Coffee will welcome BlackBerry smartphone users into stores at the Avenues Mall, 360 Mall, Al-Kout Mall and Salhiya Mall, during December to make Thursday afternoons just that extra bit special. From 12 noon onwards, the first 4,000 users to arrive and display their own BlackBerry smartphone will be offered a Caribou loyalty card with a complimentary coffee and free donuts. Customers will also go into the draw each Thursday to win one of the latest BlackBerry smartphones, as well as designer skins. The promotion will run on the Thursdays 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th of December. Get there early to take advantage!

Iraqi artist exhibits in Fa Gallery a Gallery hosts a solo exhibition for the Iraqi artist Mohammed Al-Shammarey titled “Rain Song”. The exhibition will be on view until December 11. Mohammed AlShammarey was born in Baghdad in the 1962. His work was exhibited widely in galleries and museums throughout the Middle East, Europe and USA. He had participated in group shows at the British Museum, Columbia University and the Station Museum of Contemporary Art in Houston, Texas. Lately he has showed his recent work titled “Rain Song” in the Museum of Juniata college in Houston, where his work received a lot of welcome and admiration due to its artistic and cultural originality and specificity. “FA” focuses on introducing and promoting the modern art works from international art community such as paintings, sculptures, photos and even installations. Fa Gallery is located next to Al-Amiri Hospital, Gulf road, Sharq.


TULU KOOTA Kuwait to hold annual general meeting EMBASSY OF BANGLADESH The Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in Kuwait has taken up an initiative to update the database of Bangladesh nationals residing in the State of Kuwait. For inclusion in the database all the Bangladesh nationals are requested to collect the Registration Form from the Labour Wing of the Embassy. The forms can also be collected sending request to e-mail address. The filled-in forms can also be submitted by hand, by email or by fax (number 24913204). EMBASSY OF CANADA The Embassy of Canada is located at Villa 24, AlMutawakel St., Block 4 in Da’aiyah. Please visit our website at The Embassy of Canada is open from 07:30 to 15:30 Sunday through Thursday. Consular Services for Canadian Citizens are provided from 09:00 until 12:00 on Sunday through Wednesday. Canada offers a registration service for all Canadians travelling or living abroad. This service is provided so that Consular Officials can contact and assist Canadians in an emergency in a foreign country, such as a natural disaster or civil unrest, or inform Canadians of a family emergency at home. The Embassy of Canada encourages all

Canadian Citizens to register online through the Government of Canada Travel Website at Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi provides visa and immigration services to residents of Kuwait. Individuals who are interested in visiting, working or immigrating to Canada are invited to visit the website of the Canadian Embassy to the UAE at 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 com-

plaints 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 India would like to inform that application forms for passport/visa services and labor contracts that are on its website,, have been upgraded to include the facility for online data entry. Affidavit forms on the embassy website have had this facility since May 6, 2009. EMBASSY OF THE US The United States Department of State announces the increase in various visa fees to ensure sufficient resources to cover the increasing cost of processing nonimmigrant visas (NIVs). US law requires the Department to recover the cost of processing non-immigrant

visas through the collection of the application fees. The increased fees are to take effect June 4, 2010. Under the new rule, applicants for all visas that are not petition-based, including B1/B2 tourist and business visitor visas and all student and exchange-visitor visas, will pay a fee of $140. Applicants for petition-based visas will pay an application fee of $150, as each of the below categories requires a review of extensive documentation and a more in-depth interview of the applicant than other categories, such as tourists. These categories include: H visa for temporary workers and trainees L visa for intra-company transferees O visa for aliens with extraordinary ability P visa for athletes, artists and entertainers Q visa for international cultural exchange visitors R visa for religious occupations The application fee for K visas for fiance(e)s of US citizens will be $350. The fee for E visas for treaty-traders and treaty-investors will be $390. EMBASSY OF THAILAND All foreigners who apply for Tourist Visa at the Royal Thai Embassies and the Royal Thai Consulate General worldwide, including eligible foreigners who apply for Visa on arrival at designated checkpoints, will be exempted from tourist visa fees until 31 March 2011. Such arrangement is for Tourist Visa only.

Koota Kuwait is pleased to invite its members for the 11th Annual General TBodyulu Meeting to be held at Indian Community School (senior girls) Salmiya on Friday 17th December 2010 at 4pm. Last date for submission of nomination for the managing committee is on or before 9th Dec 2010 by 5pm. Last date for withdrawal of nomination for the managing committee is on or before 11th of December 2010 by 5pm. A series of cultural activities are planned for the evening. For more details please contact General Secretary Sathya Narayana Mobile Number: 66585077.

TIES Center announces Winter schedule Center announces its schedule of TfromIES Winter Arabic Courses which will extend October 29, 2010 through December 23, 2010. The courses are offered with the following options: Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 The Arabic courses at TIES Center are designed according to the students’ needs and requirements. These courses are intended for all expatriates who wish to learn the Arabic language and culture. Upon completion of these courses the student will have a) Confidence in conducting basic Arabic communication (speaking, reading & writing) b) A basis for developing Arabic as a second language c) A better understanding of Arabic Culture d) Ability to interact with their classmates and learn about their background and culture For more information please contact us on 97144138 or visit our website

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



Monday, December 6, 2010

Orbit / Showtime Listings

00:00 The Ellen Degeneres Show 01:00 Kathy Griffin: My Life On The DList 02:00 Live Good Morning America 03:00 Momma’s Boys 04:00 The Invisible Man 05:00 The Philanthropist 06:00 Live Good Morning America 07:00 Private Practice 08:00 Eureka 09:00 Criminal Minds 10:00 The Ellen Degeneres Show 11:00 Damages 12:00 The Invisible Man 13:00 Momma’s Boys 14:00 Eureka 15:00 Live Good Morning America 17:00 Criminal Minds 18:00 The Ellen Degeneres Show 19:00 Royal Pains 20:00 Big Love 21:00 Rescue Me 22:00 Happy Town 23:00 The Janice Dickinson Modelling Agency

00:50 Shark Attack File 01:45 Untamed And Uncut 02:40 The Most Extreme 03:35 Untamed And Uncut 04:30 Your Worst Animal Nightmares 05:25 Animal Cops Philadelphia 06:20 Untamed And Uncut 07:10 Wildlife SOS 07:35 Sspca: On The Wildside 08:00 Corwin’s Quest 08:50 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 09:40 Groomer Has It 10:35 In Too Deep 11:55 Monkey Life 12:20 Rspca: Have You Got What It Takes? 12:50 Miami Animal Police 13:45 E-Vets: The Interns 14:10 Pet Rescue 14:40 Animal Cops Houston 15:35 Wildlife SOS 16:00 Rspca: Have You Got What It Takes? 16:30 Dogs 101 17:25 Project Puppy 18:20 The Planet’s Funniest Animals 19:15 Wildest Africa 20:10 China’s Last Elephants 21:10 Dogs 101 22:05 Max’s Big Tracks 23:00 Killer Aliens

00:25 Life On Mars 01:15 The Jonathan Ross Show 02:05 Casualty 02:55 Casualty 03:45 The Weakest Link 04:30 Penelope K, By The Way 04:40 Me Too 05:00 Forget Me Not Farm 05:15 The Roly Mo Show 05:30 Fimbles 05:50 Teletubbies 06:15 Penelope K, By The Way 06:25 Me Too 06:45 Forget Me Not Farm 07:00 The Roly Mo Show 07:15 Fimbles 07:35 Teletubbies 08:00 Penelope K, By The Way 08:10 Me Too 08:30 Forget Me Not Farm 08:45 The Roly Mo Show 09:00 Fimbles 09:20 Me Too 09:40 Forget Me Not Farm 09:55 The Roly Mo Show 10:10 Fimbles 10:30 Mastermind 2006 11:00 Only Fools And Horses 12:00 The Weakest Link 12:45 Heart And Soul 13:35 Doctors 14:05 Mastermind 2006 14:35 Michael Palin’s New Europe 15:35 Only Fools And Horses 16:35 Heart And Soul 17:25 The Weakest Link 18:10 Doctors 18:40 Mastermind 2006 19:10 Michael Palin’s New Europe 20:10 Heart And Soul 21:00 The Weakest Link 21:45 Doctors 22:15 Eastenders 22:45 Holby City 23:45 Conviction

00:05 Masterchef 02:15 Saturday Kitchen 2008/09 03:10 Living In The Sun 04:00 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 04:45 The Home Show 05:30 Cash In The Attic 06:15 Fantasy Homes In The City 07:00 Masterchef 08:05 Hidden Potential 08:25 Antiques Roadshow 09:20 What Not To Wear 10:10 The Home Show 10:55 Antiques Roadshow 11:45 Hidden Potential 12:05 Cash In The Attic USA 12:25 Cooked 12:55 What To Eat Now - Autumn 13:20 The Home Show 14:05 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 14:50 The Restaurant UK 15:40 What Not To Wear 16:35 The Home Show 17:20 Cooked 17:50 Bargain Hunt 18:30 Masterchef 19:20 Daily Cooks Challenge 19:50 The Restaurant UK 20:40 Masterchef 21:10 Glamour Puds 21:35 Chef At Home 22:05 The Home Show 22:55 Fantasy Homes By The Sea 23:40 The Restaurant UK

00:40 Destroyed In Seconds 01:35 Motor City Motors 02:30 Wheeler Dealers 03:25 I Could Do That 04:20 How Stuff’s Made 04:50 How Do They Do It? 05:15 Destroyed In Seconds 06:05 Extreme Engineering 07:00 Fifth Gear 07:25 Extreme Engineering 08:15 American Chopper 09:10 Mythbusters 10:05 Ultimate Survival 10:55 Overhaulin’ 11:50 The Gadget Show 12:20 How Stuff’s Made 12:45 How Do They Do It? 13:15 Mythbusters 14:10 Miami Ink 15:05 Ultimate Survival 16:00 Dirty Jobs 16:55 Overhaulin’ 17:50 Mythbusters 18:45 Cake Boss 19:10 Border Security 19:40 The Gadget Show 20:05 How Do They Do It? 20:35 How Stuff’s Made 21:00 Dual Survival 21:55 Deadliest Catch 22:50 Swamp Loggers 23:45 Undercover

:40 2012 Apocalypse 01:30 Engineered 02:20 How The Universe Works 03:10 Space Pioneer 04:00 The Colony 04:50 The Colony 05:45 Weird Or What? 06:40 How Stuff’s Made 07:10 The Future Of... 08:00 Thunder Races 09:00 Sci-Trek 10:00 What’s That About? 10:55 Stunt Junkies 11:20 The Gadget Show 11:50 The Future Of... 12:45 How Stuff’s Made 13:15 Scrappy Races 14:10 Weird Connections 14:35 What’s That About? 15:30 Nextworld 16:25 The Gadget Show 16:55 Sci-Trek 17:50 Mega World 18:45 Brainiac 19:40 Mega Builders 20:30 Superships 21:20 How It’s Made 21:45 The Gadget Show 22:10 Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman 23:00 Mega Builders 23:50 Superships

00:20 Replacements 01:10 Fairly Odd Parents 02:00 A Kind Of Magic 02:45 Stitch 03:35 Kim Possible 04:25 Emperors New School 05:15 Stitch 06:00 Phineas And Ferb 06:45 Fairly Odd Parents 07:05 Sonny With A Chance 07:30 Kim Possible 07:50 Wizards Of Waverly Place 08:12 Cars Toons 08:15 Stitch 08:35 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 09:00 Handy Manny 09:25 Special Agent Oso 09:50 Jungle Junction 10:10 Imagination Movers 10:35 Special Agent Oso 10:50 Handy Manny 11:15 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 11:35 A Kind Of Magic 12:00 Jonas 12:25 Fairly Odd Parents 12:45 Phineas And Ferb 13:07 Cars Toons 13:10 Hannah Montana 13:30 Sonny With A Chance 13:55 Hannah Montana 14:20 Jake And Blake 14:50 A Kind Of Magic 15:15 Fairly Odd Parents 15:40 Kim Possible 16:00 Hannah Montana 16:23 Cars Toons 16:25 Sonny With A Chance 16:45 Jonas 17:10 Jake And Blake 17:40 Wizards Of Waverly Place 18:23 Cars Toons 18:25 Hannah Montana 19:10 Jonas 19:30 Cars Toons 19:35 Wizards Of Waverly Place 20:00 Sonny With A Chance 20:25 Jake And Blake 20:50 Hannah Montana 21:15 Phineas And Ferb

00:40 Dr 90210 01:30 Ths 03:15 Extreme Hollywood 04:10 Sexiest 05:05 Battle Of The Hollywood Hotties 05:30 Streets Of Hollywood 06:00 Ths 07:45 Behind The Scenes 08:10 Fashion Police 08:35 E! News 09:25 Giuliana And Bill 09:50 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 10:15 Ths 12:00 E! News 12:50 Fashion Police 13:15 Pretty Wild 13:40 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 14:05 Kendra 14:30 Beauty Queens Gone Wrong 16:15 Behind The Scenes 17:10 Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane 18:00 E! News 18:50 Keeping Up With The Kardashians 19:15 Pretty Wild 19:40 Ths 20:30 Kendra 20:55 Chelsea Lately 21:20 The Spin Crowd 22:10 E! News 23:00 Fashion Police

00:00 King Of The Cage 1 00:50 King Of The Cage 2 01:40 Clay Marzo - Just Add Water 02:30 Fantasy Factory 03:20 Crossing Borders 03:45 Crossing Borders 04:10 Fim World Supermoto Championships 2009 05:00 Fim World Supermoto Championships 2009 05:50 Winter X Games 14 07:30 I-Ex 09:00 Winter Dew Tour 09/10 11:30 Rebel Tv 17 11:55 Fim World Motocross Mx1 = Mx2 12:45 Fantasy Factory 13:10 Fantasy Factory 13:35 Mantracker Series 1 14:00 Mantracker Series 1 14:25 Eds Up 14:50 Eds Up 15:15 Alpine Adventurer 16:05 Fim World Motocross Mx1 = Mx2 16:55 Fantasy Factory

From Mexico With Love on Show Movies

17:20 Fantasy Factory 17:45 Winter Dew Tour 09/10 18:35 Winter Dew Tour 09/10 19:25 Winter Dew Tour 09/10 20:15 Rebel Tv 17 20:40 Mantracker Series 1 21:05 Mantracker Series 1 21:30 Fantasy Factory 21:55 Fantasy Factory 22:20 Fim World Motocross Mx1 = Mx2 23:10 Alpine Adventurer

00:00 Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas-18 02:00 The Young Americans-PG15 04:00 Almost Famous-PG15 07:00 Four Extraordinary Women-PG15 09:00 Coeurs-PG 11:00 Bottle Shock-PG15 12:45 A Dance For Bethany-PG15 14:30 Kit Kittredge: An American Girl-PG 16:15 Australia-PG 19:00 Ripley’s Game-PG15 21:00 Mesrine: Killer Instinct-18 23:00 Dead Man Walking-18

00:40 Couples Who Kill 01:30 Serial Killers 02:20 True Crime With Aphrodite Jones 03:10 On The Case With Paula Zahn 04:05 Couples Who Kill 05:00 Serial Killers 05:55 Crime Scene Psychics 06:20 Ghost Lab 07:10 Real Emergency Calls 08:00 Mystery ER 08:50 Real Emergency Calls 09:40 Forensic Detectives 10:30 On The Run 11:20 Murder Shift 12:10 FBI Files 13:00 Ghost Lab 13:50 Disappeared 14:40 Mystery ER 16:20 Murder Shift 17:10 Forensic Detectives 18:00 On The Run 18:50 FBI Files 19:40 Mystery ER 20:30 Real Emergency Calls 20:55 Real Emergency Calls 21:20 Ghost Lab 22:10 Disappeared 23:00 Serial Killers 23:50 FBI Case Files

00:00 Kath And Kim 00:30 The Simpsons 01:00 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 01:30 The Colbert Report 02:00 Entourage 02:30 Curb Your Enthusiasm 03:00 Saturday Night Live (Uncut) 04:30 Entourage 05:00 Curb Your Enthusiasm 05:30 8 Simple Rules ... 06:00 Hope And Faith 06:30 The Drew Carey Show 07:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 08:00 The Simpsons 08:30 8 Simple Rules ... 09:00 Hope And Faith 09:30 The Drew Carey Show 10:00 Will And Grace 10:30 Better Off Ted 11:00 8 Simple Rules ... 11:30 Hope And Faith 12:00 The Tonight Show With Jay Leno 13:00 The Simpsons 13:30 8 Simple Rules ... 14:00 Hope And Faith 14:30 Kath And Kim 15:00 Better Off Ted 15:30 The Daily Show With Jon Stewart 16:00 The Colbert Report 16:30 The Drew Carey Show 17:00 Late Night With Jimmy Fallon 18:00 The Simpsons 18:30 Will And Grace 19:00 Better Off Ted 19:30 Kath And Kim 20:00 Cougar Town 21:00 The Daily Show Global Edition 21:30 The Colbert Report Global Edition 22:00 Comedy Central Presents 23:00 The Cleveland Show 23:30 Better Off Ted

01:15 Dastardly And Muttley 01:40 Top Cat 02:05 Popeye 02:30 King Arthur’s Disasters 02:55 Droopy: Master Detective 03:20 Looney Tunes 03:45 The Flintstones 04:10 The Jetsons 04:35 Pink Panther And Pals 05:00 Tom And Jerry 05:25 Popeye Classics 05:50 Scooby Doo Where Are You! 06:15 Tom And Jerry Kids 06:40 A Pup Named Scooby-Doo 07:05 Yogi’s Treasure Hunt 07:30 Tex Avery Show 08:00 Tom And Jerry 08:25 Looney Tunes 08:55 The Flintstones 09:20 The Jetsons 09:45 Tom And Jerry Kids 10:10 The Garfield Show 10:35 Duck Dodgers 11:00 The Scooby Doo Show 11:30 Wacky Races 12:00 Dastardly And Muttley 12:25 King Arthur’s Disasters 12:50 Help! It’s The Hair Bear Bunch 13:15 A Pup Named Scooby-Doo 13:40 Popeye 14:00 Looneynoons 17:00 Tom And Jerry 17:20 Top Cat 17:45 Wacky Races 18:00 Dastardly And Muttley 18:30 The Scooby Doo Show 19:00 Johnny Bravo 19:30 Dexter’s Laboratory 20:00 Looney Tunes 20:20 Duck Dodgers 20:45 The Garfield Show 21:10 The Flintstones 21:35 The Jetsons 22:00 Yogi’s Treasure Hunt 22:25 Tom And Jerry 22:50 The Scooby Doo Show 23:15 Droopy And Dripple 23:40 Top Cat

00:20 Sonic Underground 00:45 Nancy Drew 01:10 The Hardy Boys 01:30 Inspector Gadget 02:00 George Shrinks Marathon 07:00 Dennis The Menace 07:25 Beverly Hills Teen Club 07:45 Pelswick 08:00 Programmes Start At 8:00pm KSA 13:00 Programmes Start At 8:00pm KSA 20:00 Sonic Underground 20:20 Dino Squad

20:45 The Future Is Wild 21:10 Rescue Heroes 21:30 Ace Lightning 22:00 Even Stevens 22:25 Sabrina The Animated Series 22:50 Tales From The Cryptkeeper 23:10 Rescue Heroes 23:35 Ace Lightning

00:15 NFL TBA at TBA 03:00 Golf Central International 03:30 Golf Central International 04:00 Golf Channel - TBA 06:30 Pac-10 Men’s Basketball Hardwood SeriesTexas at USC 08:30 PGA Tour: Qualifying Tournament Rd. 5 Winter Garden, FL 11:30 LPGA Tour: LPGA Tour Championship Final Rd. Orlando, FL 13:30 ACC Sunday Night Hoops Virginia at Virginia Tech 15:30 Pac-10 Men’s Basketball Hardwood SeriesOklahoma at Arizona 17:30 NFL TBA at TBA 20:30 PGA Tour: Qualifying Tournament Final Rd. Winter Garden, FL FOX SPORTS HD 00:15 NFL TBA at TBA 03:00 Golf Central International 03:30 Golf Central International 04:00 Golf Channel - TBA 06:30 Pac-10 Men’s Basketball Hardwood SeriesTexas at USC 08:30 PGA Tour: Qualifying Tournament Rd. 5 Winter Garden, FL 11:30 LPGA Tour: LPGA Tour Championship Final Rd. Orlando, FL 13:30 ACC Sunday Night Hoops Virginia at Virginia Tech 15:30 Pac-10 Men’s Basketball Hardwood SeriesOklahoma at Arizona 17:30 NFL TBA at TBA 20:30 PGA Tour: Qualifying Tournament Final Rd. Winter Garden, FL

00:00 BBC World News 00:30 World Challenge 2010 01:00 BBC World News 01:10 World Features 01:30 Ideas That Changed The World 02:00 BBC World News 02:10 World Features 02:30 Asia Business Report 02:45 Asia Today 03:00 BBC World News 03:10 World Features 03:30 India Business Report 04:00 BBC World News 04:30 Asia Business Report 04:45 Asia Today 05:00 BBC World News 05:30 Asia Business Report 05:45 Asia Today 06:00 BBC World News 06:30 Asia Business Report 06:45 Asia Today 07:00 BBC World News 07:30 Hardtalk 08:00 BBC World News 08:30 World Business Report 08:45 BBC World News 09:00 BBC World News 09:30 World Business Report 09:45 BBC World News 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 World Business Report 10:45 Sport Today 11:00 BBC World News 11:30 World Business Report 11:45 Sport Today 12:00 BBC World News 12:30 Hardtalk 13:00 BBC World News 13:30 World Business Report 13:45 Sport Today 14:00 BBC World News 14:30 World Business Report 14:45 Sport Today 15:00 Gmt With George Alagiah 15:30 Gmt With George Alagiah 16:00 Impact Asia With Mishal Husain 16:30 Impact Asia With Mishal Husain 17:00 Impact Asia With Mishal Husain 17:30 World Business Report 17:45 Sport Today 18:00 BBC World News 18:30 Hardtalk 19:00 The Hub With Nik Gowing 19:30 The Hub With Nik Gowing 20:00 The Hub With Nik Gowing 20:30 World Business Report 20:45 Sport Today 21:00 BBC World News 21:30 World Business Report 21:45 Sport Today 22:00 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 22:30 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 23:00 World News Today With Zeinab Badawi 23:30 World Business Report

00:00 Live!-18 01:45 You Don’t Know Jack-PG15 04:00 Sugar-PG15 06:00 From Mexico With Love-PG15 08:00 The Pink Panther 2-PG15 10:00 Max And Co.-PG 12:00 Skellig-PG15 14:00 The Shock Doctrine-PG 16:00 The Pink Panther 2-PG15 18:00 My Sister’s Keeper-PG15 20:00 New York I Love You-18 22:00 Pride And Glory-18

01:00 The Bleeding-18 03:00 Angels And Demons-PG15 05:15 Night Of The Living Dead 3D-PG15 07:00 Mean Machine-18 09:00 The Truth About Charlie-PG15 11:00 The Objective-PG15 13:00 Messengers-PG15 15:00 The Truth About Charlie-PG15 17:00 The Purifiers-PG15 19:00 Dark Island-PG15 21:00 Raising Cain—PG15 23:00 Amusement-18

00:00 Ghost Town-PG15 02:00 Doctor Detroit-18 04:00 Corky Romano-PG15 06:00 The Longshots-PG15 08:00 Hotel For Dogs-FAM 10:00 Mr. Baseball-PG 12:00 Beverly Hills Chihuahua-PG 14:00 Rrrrrrr!!!-PG15 16:00 Ghost Town-PG15 18:00 Lonely Street-PG15 20:00 Black Dynamite-18 22:00 Tomcats-18

00:00 Super 7-FAM 02:00 Curious George: Follow That Monkey-PG 04:00 Dr. Dolittle: Million Dollars MuttsPG

Changeling on Super Movies 06:00 Wild Records!-PG 08:00 Barbie In The 12 Dancing Princesses-FAM 10:00 Dr. Dolittle: Million Dollars MuttsPG 12:00 Winx: Secret Of The Lost Kingdom-PG 14:00 Curious George: Follow That Monkey-PG 16:00 Alexander The Great-FAM 18:00 Ramses Of Egypt-PG 20:00 Little Hercules In 3-D-PG 22:00 Winx: Secret Of The Lost Kingdom-PG

00:00 C.S.I. New York 01:00 Kings 02:00 The Martha Stewart Show 03:00 House 04:00 The View 05:00 Downsize Me 06:00 Emmerdale 06:30 Coronation Street 07:00 House 08:00 The Martha Stewart Show 09:00 Downsize Me 10:00 House 11:00 The View 12:00 Emmerdale 12:30 Coronation Street 13:00 The Martha Stewart Show 14:00 C.S.I. New York 15:00 Kings 16:00 What’s Good For You 17:00 The View 18:00 Emmerdale 18:30 Coronation Street 19:00 C.S.I. Miami 20:00 Desperate Housewives 21:00 House 22:00 The View 23:00 What’s Good For You

01:30 FIA GT1 World Championship 03:00 Live Ashes Test Cricket 10:00 ICC Cricket World 10:30 IRB Sevens 13:30 Test Cricket 20:30 Live Goals On Monday 21:30 Scottish Premier League Highlights 22:00 IRB Sevens

02:00 World Match Tour Racing 04:00 IRB Sevens 07:00 The Nedbank Golf Challenge 12:30 World Match Tour Racing 14:30 World Pool Masters 15:30 Live UK Championship Snooker 21:30 World Sport 22:00 Live UK Championship Snooker SHOW SPORTS 4 01:00 WWE Bottom Line 02:00 WWE NXT 03:00 WWE Vintage Collection 04:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter Finale 07:00 WWE Bottom Line 08:00 FIM World Cup 08:30 Full Throttle 09:00 UAE National Race Day 10:00 Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge 11:00 V8 Supercars Championship 13:00 FIA GT1 World Championship 14:30 Full Throttle 15:00 WWE Smackdown 17:00 UFC The Ultimate Fighter

MGM 01:50 Road House 03:40 Staying Together 05:10 Witness To The Mob 07:10 Dead On Sight 08:45 Spikes Gang 10:20 Beat Street 12:05 It Runs In The Family 13:30 Impasse 15:10 Pink Panther Strikes Again 16:50 Return Of A Man Called Horse 18:55 Strictly Business 20:15 Tennessee Nights 22:00 Diamond Skulls 23:25 Hannah And Her Sisters

00:45 Changeling-PG15 03:15 Capitalism: A Love Story-PG15 05:30 Sins Of The Mother-PG15 07:00 The People Speak-PG15 09:00 Operating Instructions-PG15 11:00 Witness: The Kidnapping Of Patty Hearst-PG15 13:00 I Love You Beth Cooper-PG15 15:00 Operating Instructions-PG15 17:00 Love Happens-PG15 19:00 The Proposal-PG15 21:00 Rocknrolla-18 23:00 Cirque Du Freak : The Vampire’s Assistant-PG15

00:50 Brother John 02:25 The Comedians 05:00 The Screening Room 05:25 Poltergeist 07:20 The Screening Room 08:00 Silk Stockings 09:55 Key Largo 11:35 A Man For All Seasons 13:35 Blackboard Jungle 15:15 The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn 17:00 Bachelor In Paradise 18:45 Butterfield 8 20:30 The Comedians 23:00 2010

00:40 MysteryQuest 01:30 Cities of the Underworld 02:20 The Universe 03:10 How the Earth Was Made 04:00 America: The Story of the US 04:55 Life After People 05:50 The Doomsday Flu 06:40 MysteryQuest 07:30 Cities of the Underworld 08:20 The Universe 09:10 How the Earth Was Made 10:00 America: The Story of the US 10:55 Life After People 11:50 The Doomsday Flu 12:40 MysteryQuest 13:30 Cities of the Underworld 14:20 The Universe 15:10 How the Earth Was Made 16:00 America: The Story of the US 16:55 Life After People 17:50 The Doomsday Flu 18:40 MysteryQuest 19:30 Cities of the Underworld 20:20 The Universe 21:10 How the Earth Was Made 22:00 Life After People

01:00 Music For The Masses 02:00 VH1 Music 06:00 Chill Out 08:00 VH1 Hits 10:00 Aerobic 11:00 VH1 Hits 12:00 Music For The Masses 13:00 Top 10 14:00 Music For The Masses 15:00 VH1 Pop Chart 16:00 VH1 Hits 18:00 Music For The Masses 19:00 VH1 Loves 20:00 Guess The Year 21:00 Music For The Masses 22:00 30 Seconds To Mars Top 50 Us Rockstars

00:00 Fareed Zakaria Gps 01:00 The Best Of Backstory 01:30 World Sport 02:00 World Report 03:00 World Report 04:00 World Business Today 04:45 CNN Marketplace Middle East 05:00 World View 05:30 Living Golf 06:00 News Special 06:30 Eco Solutions 07:00 World Sport 07:30 Inside The Middle East

08:00 World Report 08:30 The Best Of Backstory 09:00 World Report 10:00 World Report 11:00 World Business Today 12:00 World Report 12:30 World View 13:00 Larry King Live 14:00 World Report 14:30 World Sport 15:00 World Report 15:30 African Voices 16:00 World Report

07:00 Phineas & Ferb 07:35 Phineas & Ferb 07:50 Pokemon 08:15 Phineas & Ferb 08:40 Phineas & Ferb 09:05 Kick Buttowski 09:30 American Dragon 09:55 Have A Laugh 10:00 Zeke & Luther 10:50 I’m In The Band 11:15 The Super Hero Squad Show 11:40 Suite Life On Deck 12:05 Suite Life On Deck 12:30 Aaron Stone 13:00 Phineas & Ferb 13:30 Phineas & Ferb 14:00 Kid Vs Kat 14:20 Cars Toons 14:30 Kid Vs Kat 14:55 Have A Laugh 15:00 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 15:25 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 15:50 Zeke And Luther 16:15 The Super Hero Squad Show 16:45 Kick Buttowski 17:10 Have A Laugh 17:15 I’m In The Band 17:40 Suite Life On Deck 18:05 Zeke And Luther 18:30 Zeke And Luther 18:55 Phineas & Ferb 19:20 Phineas & Ferb 19:45 Kick Buttowski 20:10 Pokemon 20:35 American Dragon 21:00 Aaron Stone 21:30 Kid Vs Kat 21:55 Cars Toons 22:00 Phineas & Ferb 22:25 I’m In The Band 22:50 Have A Laugh 22:55 The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody 23:20 The Super Hero Squad Show

00:00 Good Eats 00:30 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 01:00 Food Network Challenge 02:00 30 Minute Meals 02:30 Tyler’s Ultimate 03:00 Food Network Challenge 04:00 Barefoot Contessa 04:30 Unwrapped 05:00 Iron Chef America 06:00 Good Eats 06:30 Guys Big Bite 07:00 Chopped 08:00 Paula’s Best Dishes 08:25 Good Deal with Dave Lieberman 08:50 Guys Big Bite 09:15 Barefoot Contessa 09:40 Everyday Italian 10:05 30 Minute Meals 10:30 Tyler’s Ultimate 11:00 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 11:30 30 Minute Meals 12:00 30 Minute Meals 12:30 Paula’s Party 13:30 Guys Big Bite 14:00 Good Deal with Dave Lieberman 14:30 Paula’s Best Dishes 15:00 Barefoot Contessa 15:30 Everyday Italian 16:00 30 Minute Meals 16:30 Good Eats 17:00 Iron Chef America 18:00 Barefoot Contessa 18:30 Unwrapped 19:00 Paula’s Best Dishes 19:30 Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives 20:00 30 Minute Meals 20:30 30 Minute Meals 21:00 Food Network Challenge 22:00 Barefoot Contessa 22:30 Everyday Italian 23:00 Iron Chef America

Monday, December 6, 2010


ACCOMMODATION Sharing accommodation available in Farwaniya for couples / visiting families / one decent executive bachelor (Keralite / South Indian only) to share with a small Keralite family in a two bedroom C-A/C flat, easy access to bus stops, Jamiya. Contact: 97508939. (C 2962) Sharing room accommodation available for a decent and non-smoking Keralite bachelor from December onwards near High Way Center Supermarket in Abbassiya, rent KD 40. Contact: 66130689, 55420571. (C 2964) Sharing accommodation available in a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom CAC flat for South Indian family or bachelor in New Riggae from Jan 1. Contact: 99515956. 5-12-2010 Fully furnished new flat at Amman Street, Round about in Salmiya with 2 bedrooms, servant room, balcony and covered private parking ready, all the furniture of the house on sale, with or without flat. Please call Kumar: 97852962. (C 2896) Accommodation available for a small family/couple, or one or two decent nonsmoking/non-drinking bachelors in a two bedroom flat

at Abbassiya near Paradise Restaurant/Holy-Sweets from 1 Jan 2011. Please contact: 97669236 or 24315927 after 5 pm.

MATRIMONIAL Proposals are invited from parents of professionally qualified Keralite Sunni Muslim girls for 28 years, BSC MLT, working in Ministry of Defence as LabTechnician. E-mail: (C 2963) 5-12-2010 Orthodox parents invite proposals for their son 27/172 wheatish complexion, BE MBA, working in Kuwait, from professionally well educated Christian girls from Kuwait or outside Kerala. Contact email: (C 2899) 1-12-2010

FOR SALE Toyota Corolla Box 2002 model 1.3 white excellent condition. Good for family or contracting company. Contact: 66233022. (C 2961) Toyota Corolla, model 2006, colour white, km done 67000, excellent condition, cash price KD 2400. Contact: 99934965. (C 2960) Toyota Corolla, model 2008, white color, engine 1.8, well maintained, 72,000km, price KD 3400.


Contact: 55160100. (C 2959) 5-12-2010 Mitsubishi Nativa 2008 model, color blue, km 75000, good condition, price KD 3200. Contact: 99719942. (C 2954) Lexus RX 330, model 2003, steel grey, 165,000 km, regularly serviced, in excellent condition, price KD 4200. Please contact: 97915262. (C 2955) 1-12-2010

No: 14930


Wanted cook (Christian) non-smoker, for decent Kuwaiti family must be professional in Kuwaiti dishes and sweets and bread. (Temporary or Transferable). Tel: 97596289. (2958) 2-12-1010

CHANGE OF NAME I, Mohammed, holder of Indian Passport No: G 9944972, hereby change my name into my previous name Geddam Devanand. (C 2952) 1-12-2010


In case you are not travelling, your proper cancellation of bookings will help other passengers to use seats Airlines KLM WAN JZR WAN GFA ETH THY UAE QTR DHX ETD JZR FCX JZR BAW KAC JZR KAC KAC FDB KAC KAC KAC KAC KAC JZR UAE QTR ABY ETD GFA KAC WAN WAN JZR MEA MSR IRC MSR KAC FDB UAL OMA KAC SVA


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Departure Flights on Monday 06/12/2010 Airlines





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Directorate General of Civil Aviation Home Page (


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Monday, December 6, 2010



Aries (March 21-April 19) You may be put in

control of people today. Orientation, controlling a crowd and organizing people are just part of what you do well. You encourage others to ask questions and this eases any frustrations for them at a later date. You encourage and instruct and could be a good part of a team that enlists the public in education, military or any new beginnings of a number of professions. This group you are leading today will probably be full of young people. Listening to some of the young people in this country may be like listening to the sages of the ages. Anything is possible and ideas for investments in the future may be apparent. By the end of this day, you will find that you will be looking for more opportunities like this day offers.

Taurus (April 20-May 20) You set life examples for

your family and friends. Today, however, you will want to leave the door open to some beneficial changes. A family meeting is the perfect time for decisions regarding the way that money is spent or the introduction of budgeting or entertaining requirements. You make group decisions about who is responsible for what decorations and respect thereof. You will be guiding or helping along the way but you will be pleased at the amount of cooperation and interest that you have ignited. You teach commonsense thinking when scheduling comes in to play. You may also discover it is a relief to be able to share the responsibility of decision-making. An open mind and a positive attitude equal success.

Pooch Cafe

ACROSS 1. Anterior pituitary hormone that stimulates the function of the thyroid gland. 4. A percussion instrument consisting of a pair of hollow pieces of wood or bone (usually held between the thumb and fingers) that are made to click together (as by Spanish dancers) in rhythm with the dance. 10. A federally chartered savings bank. 13. South American wood sorrel cultivated for its edible tubers. 14. Of or relating to a creed. 15. (Irish) The sea personified. 16. A Russian prison camp for political prisoners. 18. Swift timid long-eared mammal larger than a rabbit having a divided upper lip and long hind legs. 19. A period marked by distinctive character or reckoned from a fixed point or event. 20. An organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the sale of petroleum. 23. A communist state in the Caribbean on the island of Cuba. 24. A federal agency established to regulate the release of new foods and healthrelated products. 26. The sixth month of the civil year. 29. Fertility goddess in ancient Greek mythology. 34. A short sleeveless outer tunic emblazoned with a coat of arms. 36. A city in the Saxony region of Germany on the Saale River. 38. A lyric poem with complex stanza forms. 39. A room or establishment where alcoholic drinks are served over a counter. 41. A small cake leavened with yeast. 42. A genus of Ploceidae. 44. Type genus of the Papaveraceae. 46. A white crystalline double sulfate of aluminum. 48. Hormone released by the hypothalamus that controls the release of thyroidstimulating hormone from the anterior pituitary. 49. According to the Old Testament he was a pagan king of Israel and husband of Jezebel (9th century BC). 52. Personification of the sky or upper air breathed by the Olympians. 56. English theoretical physicist who applied relativity theory to quantum mechanics and predicted the existence of antimatter and the positron (19021984). 60. A loose sleeveless outer garment made from aba cloth. 61. (Irish) Mother of the ancient Irish gods. 62. Any of various deciduous or evergreen ornamental shrubs of the genus Abelia having opposite simple leaves and cymes of small white or pink or purplish flowers. 64. (computer science) Memory whose contents can be accessed and read but cannot be changed. 65. A doctor's degree in dental surgery. 66. African tree having an exceedingly thick trunk and fruit that resembles a gourd and has an edible pulp called monkey bread. 67. A nucleic acid consisting of large molecules shaped like a double helix. DOWN 1. A republic on the western coast of Africa on the Gulf of Guinea. 2. Flesh of fish found in colder waters of northern Atlantic coast of the United States. 3. Exhibiting or restored to vigorous good health. 4. One millionth of a gram. 5. A colorless and odorless inert gas. 6. Hear or try a court case anew. 7. (Old Testament) In Judeo-Christian mythology. 8. A bottle with a stopper. 9. Fermented alcoholic beverage similar to but heavier than beer. 10. Any wingless blood-sucking parasitic insect noted for ability to leap. 11. A member of a Slavic people who settled in Serbia and neighboring areas in the 6th and 7th centuries. 12. (informal) Exceptionally good. 17. The capital and largest city of Ghana with a deep-water port. 21. A small pellet fired from an air rifle or BB gun. 22. A white metallic element that burns with a brilliant light. 25. The longer of the two telegraphic signals used in Morse code. 27. An informal term for a father. 28. In bed. 30. A collection of objects laid on top of each other. 31. Speaking a Slavic language. 32. A river in central Europe that arises in northwestern Czechoslovakia and flows northward through Germany to empty into the North Sea. 33. Not far distant in time or space or degree or circumstances. 35. The basic unit of money in Iran. 37. At or near or toward the stern of a ship or tail of an airplane. 40. Sweet liqueur made from wine and brandy flavored with plum or peach or apricot kernels and bitter almonds. 41. Fermented alcoholic beverage similar to but heavier than beer. 43. A Chadic language spoken south of Lake Chad. 45. Manufactured in standard sizes to be shipped and assembled elsewhere. 47. A monarchy in northwestern Europe occupying most of the British Isles. 50. Located at or near the back of an animal. 51. A river that rises in northeastern Turkey (near the source of the Euphrates) and flows generally eastward through Armenia to the Caspian Sea. 53. Not easy. 54. Very dark black. 55. Avatar of Vishnu. 57. A compartment in front of a motor vehicle where driver sits. 58. The corporate executive responsible for the operations of the firm. 59. A white linen liturgical vestment with sleeves. 60. A heavy ductile magnetic metallic element. 63. A soft silvery metallic element of the alkali earth group.

Gemini (May 21-June 20) You could be looking to add a little color to your life, allowing your unique and unusual qualities to surface. It may surprise you to know that someone close to you understands you and is supportive of your eccentricities. You could establish some new solutions or stumble on to something very inventive today. Allowing your creative and intuitive talent to evolve can bring you many nice surprises. You just somehow know that anything is possible if you will just set your sights high enough. You are not afraid to take risks at the deepest emotional level. Optimism and faith are the two guiding words and allowing yourself the luxury of exploring your feelings helps in understanding. Make an outline of the steps needed to get where you want to go.

Non Sequitur

Cancer (June 21-July 22) Your attitude seems at peace—others only hope to become as evolved as you appear to be. You take problems as valued lessons, rather than obstacles. You find a deep appreciation for responsibilities and duty. Nurturing is a larger than usual component in your life just now. Caring for others or having them return the favor is essential to your well-being. Although you very seldom ask for affection, you can successfully fit the two together well. Managing and directing others wherever you find yourself seems to be your specialty. Someone in authority recognizes your talent in these areas and may decide to put in a request for your time. Today, your private life has moved into the direction of music or a religious group gathering. Leo (July 23-August 22) You are able to captivate and spellbind the audience today. A birthday party, a teaching lesson, a story reading class or whatever you have gotten yourself into will certainly have positive returns for your effort. The audience is appreciative and you may decide this activity is something you would like to add to your life experiences. Note that this activity was a voluntary activity and there was no paycheck. Being optimistic and having faith in yourself will assure your success in other areas of your life. The experience today is a good practice, albeit a worthy one! You are ready, willing and able to accept new emotional experiences. This could mark a time when your life path changes. You and a mate open up to better communication at this time.


Virgo (August 23-September 22) Your close friend has a business dinner to go to next week and wants to ask your loved one to go with them. You might smile and then offer to help them with a little money for an escort service. This is the most appropriate route to take. It will soon be time to take the next step in updating the place where you live. Take the opportunity this evening to get ideas from the rest of the family or others that live with you. Set a timetable and stick to it. This will help you to see progress all around you at all the right times. You could be feeling very optimistic this whole day. You have a great deal of faith and you enjoy living and experiencing life each day. This afternoon you make it a point to spend time with loved ones. Paint or photograph the sunset.

Libra (September 23-October 22) It should be a breeze for you to do any work requiring discipline or organization. There may be some very serious or meditative moments and you may find yourself in a very businesslike mood, although you will not be working in an office. This could mean you are at a bazaar and will be helping to sell some fun items. Some of the items people buy are to encourage and lift the spirit with a more positive mood. Someone could be seeking you out for your sidewalk psychology. Procuring and sharing information is emotionally significant to you at this time. Communicating your feelings becomes quite essential. Take turns enjoying a massage therapy session with your lover later today. Enjoy feeling luxuriously lazy this evening.

Mother Goose and Grimm

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) The emotions that

you have or the way that you feel should be very clear. It’s a great time to understand your own situation, just how you feel about yourself. Things seem to be working together on the outside to help you develop peacefully on the inside—or it could be the other way around. Whatever the case, your energies are peaceful and others take their guidance from your presence. You seem to truly understand anything of a theoretical nature and know just how to present or communicate this to others. You could be performing or enjoying a performance of some type this afternoon. Keeping up-to-date with the way entertainment trends develop can be a lot of fun for you—as well as a study in humanity. Your outlook on life is very optimistic. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) A powerful need to nurture is a bigger than usual component in your life now. You could be feeling the need to care for others or to have them care for you, possibly on a public as opposed to a private level. You have needs and you sense the needs of others. Being able to piece the two together well is what will make for positive results. Accepting praise for your tastes or belongings helps to make your day even a bit more pleasant. You may not have any problem in valuing your own life situation today. This could be the perfect time to think and study. You could find yourself enjoying a long conversation, writing a letter or making a special phone call. Long-distance conversations can be productive. Study for a class is easy this evening.

Yesterdayʼs Solution

Capricorn (December 22-January 19) You could find yourself in or around the activities that come with a parade or some other similar high-energy activity. The positive and magical looks on the faces of children delight everyone present for the experience. The air is crisp and people are talking, laughing and pointing to all sorts of eye-catching fantasies. You help to teach others through your actions and today you might have volunteered to help a wheelchair rider or handicapped person see this event. Your friends or family members may have decided they liked your idea and joined to help you share the day with others. There is much to learn from those less fortunate. Creative energy this evening may open a door to poetry, musical lyrics, advertisement jingle, etc., etc.

Yesterdayʼs Solution

Aquarius (January 20- February 18) Those around you are going to find it very easy to understand exactly what you mean when you speak. You should find it a good time to read a romantic novel or to take in a movie. You may decide to read a book to a young person, even though the young person is not present. A tape recorder can come in very hand for playing another day. This method would also be fun when creating a story of your own. A typist could listen to your recording and type the story into a manuscript to submit to a publisher. You may be quite eloquent in speaking or communicating. Knowing how you feel about life should make the telling of some true story fun and captivating. Picture albums, hot tea and a bicycle ride for two ends this weekend with a smile.

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

Pisces (February 19-March 20) You should be feeling quite healthy and natural today. Everything points to your taking the initiative in some group endeavor. You may have a job that is part-time, perhaps as a tour guide. You could be giving assistance to newcomers in a religious group. Whatever the case, you really are involved in conversations that involve memories of the past, as well as places of interest from your travels or from reading. The elderly love to talk about these things and there are much laughter and fun conversations in your part of the world today. Taking chances on the emotional level just seems somehow natural to you. Commonsense keeps you financially in check when it comes to a bit of shopping this afternoon. Do not loan or borrow money this month.


Monday, December 6, 2010

35 FIRE BRIGADE Operation Room 112 Al-Madena 22418714 Al-Shohada’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:

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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


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24575518 24566622


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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. Amer Zawaz Al-Amer 22610044 Dr. Mohammad Yousef Basher 25327148

(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



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

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

22433377 24379900 177 22924455 22423888 22425747 22434940 22420002/9 22418064/5/6 22433388 22425635 22430224 22425566 22438184 22424444 22421578 22421516 22426306 22423073 22422493 22421044 22414427 22416474 22452977/8 22417901/2433141 22456700 22412284/5 22453820/1

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)

0093 00355 00213 00376 00244 001264 001268 0054 00374 0061 0043 001242 00973 00880 001246 00375 0032 00501 00229 001441 00975 00591 00387 00267 0055 00673 00359 00226 00257 00855 00237 001 00238 001345 00236 00235 0056 0086 0057 00269 00242 00682 00506 00385 0053 00357 0090392 00420 0045 00246 00253 001767 001809 00593 0020 00503 0044

Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guinea Guyana Haiti Holland (Netherlands) Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Ibiza (Spain) Iceland India Indian Ocean Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Italy Ivory Coast Jamaica Japan Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Liberia Libya Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Macedonia

00240 00291 00372 00251 00500 00298 00679 00358 0033 00594 00689 00241 00220 00995 0049 00233 00350 0030 00299 001473 00590 001671 00502 00224 00592 00509 0031 00504 00852 0036 0034 00354 0091 00873 0062 0098 00964 00353 0039 00225 001876 0081 00962 007 00254 00686 00965 00996 00856 00371 00961 00231 00218 00370 00352 00853 00389



Monday, December 6, 2010

Kate Moss is desperate to

get pregnant he 36-year-old supermodel is said to be trying for a baby with her rocker lover Jamie Hince and was advised to take Horny Goat Weed pills by her designer pal Sadie Frost. A source told The Sun newspaper: “Kate thought it was worth a go, even though she killed herself laughing at the name of it.” Also known as Yin Yang Huo, Horny Goat


Brangelina donate $150,000 to kids’ charity

Weed is extracted from a Chinese mountain plant which is said to improve reproductive health. Kate - who already has an eight-year-old daughter Lila Grace from her relationship with publisher Jefferson Hack tried hypnotherapy earlier this year to help her give up cigarettes and alcohol in her bid to get pregnant. The British beauty - who in the past has insisted

on having 100 cigarettes near her at all times - went to see a Harley Street therapist to help break her bad habits after deciding to have a child with The Kills guitarist Jamie. A friend said at the time: “Jamie is keen to start a family and Kate knows that it would be wise to try and conquer her vices before she gets pregnant again.”

he 20-year-old country singerwho made her acting debut in ‘Valentine’s Day’ this year - is the youngest-ever star to be given the honor by Entertainment Weekly magazine, who also paid tribute to the 2010 achievements of 14 other famous faces including James Franco, Kanye West, Katy Perry, John Hamm, and Ben Affleck. In an interview to accompany her honor, Taylor - who is believed to be dating Jake Gyllenhaal and has previously romanced stars including Taylor Lautner and Joe Jonas - admitted that she laughs at constant speculation as to which of her former lovers she writes about in her songs. She told the publication: “Sometimes I would laugh because I would see it in print and it would say, ‘This song, which is written about her ex, so-and-so...’ And they would write about it as if it was fact. “The fact is, I haven’t ever confirmed that any song is about any particular person. There’s something kind of freeing about that. As far as I’m concerned, it’s all still up in the air.” Taylor also spoke about why she decided to perform her song ‘Innocent’ which is rumored to be about Kanye - at the MTV Video Music Awards, a year after the rapper stormed the stage to protest to her being given an award ahead of Beyonce Knowles. She said: “I had decided that I didn’t want to perform on the show. Or even go. Then I woke up in the middle of the night and I realized that I had to, and that I wanted to perform that song.”


he couple gave the sum to SOS Children’s Villages, USA - which supports adoptive families and highlights the needs of children without parental care - in recognition of National Adoption Day through their Jolie-Pitt Foundation. Dr Heath Paul, CEO of SOS Children’s Villages, USA, said: “I am truly thankful that Angelina and Brad understand the power of family - the kind of stable family that SOS holds as an essential part of healthy child development. “Together, Angelina and Brad have been eye-witnesses to the great work of SOS Children’s Villages in Ethiopia, Jordan, a Darfur refugee camp in Chad and Haiti. Angelina and Brad know that children’s need for a family is universal.” The donation from the couple - who have adopted three children, Maddox, nine, Pax, six, and Zahara, five, as well as three other kids, Shiloh, four, and two-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne - will provide the long-term financial support needed for a family of four foster children in one of the US SOS Children’s Villages. Last year, the couple donated $100,000 to two of the organization’s centers in Florida and Illinois after being impressed by their work. Angelina said of the generous gift: “We have seen firsthand the remarkable job SOS does to raise orphaned and abandoned children and keep families together. No one ‘ages out’ of an SOS Village: vocational training, advanced education, living assistance and moral support are there forever.” The SOS Villages house over 200 children and last Christmas Brad insisted it was important to show gratitude for the work the organization does. He said: “In this holiday season, many of us take for granted that we are surrounded by loving family members. The poor outcomes for foster children indicate that we must do a much better job of supporting them.” It was revealed last year Brad and Angelina donated $6.8 million to charity in 2008 after raising the money through their Jolie-Pitt Foundation.


Westlife are secret party animals he Irish boyband - who are known for their clean-cut image - have admitted they can get away with “leading double lives” because no-one is aware they have such a rebellious streak. Kian Egan explained: “We can put the drink away, sure we can. Come on, we’re Irishmen! We’ve been at parties where we’ve got away with murder because everyone assumes we’re boring. The paparazzi never hang around for us, so we can almost lead a double life. “Mark and I are probably the worst. We’ve done 40


Katie Price piles on the pounds he British star has been scoffing too many calorific treats over recent months and, as a result, has put on 7lb even though she is still getting regular exercise. In an interview in the new issue of heat magazine, the mother-ofthree said: “I’ve put on seven pounds. But it’s no wonder, as I eat a big curry at least once a week - normally when watching ‘The X Factor’ on a Saturday night. I ride every morning, so I know I’m getting exercise, but I haven’t been eating well. Normally I’m quite healthy the rest of the week, but lately I’ve been eating McDonald’s with the


kids, too.” Katie - who is married to cage-fighter Alex Reid - is determined to lose the extra weight as she doesn’t like to be unhealthy. She said: “I’m not happy at this weight. I want to lose it. We’re never happy with how we look, though, are we?” While she has gained weight over recent months and is keen to lose it, Katie, 32, is currently putting all her efforts into her beloved horses as well as her new home. She said: “I love my horses and I’m getting another one. I can’t wait. I’m also waiting to move into my new home. I’m still decorating right now in different shades of pink.”

nights on the trot before.” However, despite the band’s boozy nights out, Kian confessed the group - completed by Nicky Byrne, Mark Feehily and Shane Filan - have a strict anti-drugs policy. He added to Fabulous magazine: “We’ve never gone down that road. I’ve never been offered hard drugs and if we’ve been at parties where it’s going on we’ve left immediately. I don’t want to be around it. “And anyone who works with us knows that if there’s even a whiff of drugs they’ll be sacked.”

he 29-year-old pop star loves to sing lullabies to two-year-old Max whose father is her estranged husband Jordan Bratman though she admits she has to alter her performing style when she is at home to make the youngster happy, though he is still often left underwhelmed by her efforts. Christina said: “I tone it down when I’m singing lullabies to him, I don’t sing ‘Lady Marmalade’. I definitely don’t bring out the pipes for lullabies. “He does have a mind of his own though. Sometimes he’ll be my worst critic and he’ll go ‘No mommy not ‘Twinkle Twinkle’, not tonight. Not that one, sing ‘Wheels on the Bus’ instead.’ “ Although Christina’s son is not impressed with her vocal talents, she revealed she knew she wanted to be a singer when she was Max’s age. She explained to US TV talk show host Conan O’Brien: “I was in diapers when I knew that I wanted to be a singer, as a little girl I would just open my mouth and sound would come out. I would throw a towel on the floor as my stage and use a shampoo bottle for my microphone.” — Bangshowbiz


Christina Aguilera’s son is her worst critic


Monday, December 6, 2010

Peaceful life makes for happy cows at Hare Krishna farm By Julie Jammot ilked by hand, allowed to breed naturally and free from the threat of slaughter, the cows at Gokul farm near London could be possibly the happiest in Britain. The 44 animals are owned by a community of Hare Krishnas, who live on the site at Aldenham bequeathed by Beatles guitarist George Harrison. As believers of a branch of Hinduism, the Hare Krishnas view cows as sacred and treat them with respect, milking them by hand for the animals’ comfort and allowing them to calve less intensively than in industrial farms. Crucially, the community members are also vegetarian, guaranteeing that the cows are at no risk of slaughter. “They are very sensitive animals. It’s like if you have a dog-how you feel, the dog senses that,” said Shyamasundara Das, the head of the farm at Aldenham. “Here, because we have an atmosphere of cow care, the animals themselves are a lot more peaceful and tranquil, and maybe it’s also because there is no sense that they are going to be killed by us.” Despite occasional massages, careful milking twice a day, and the spacious living quarters-the community has recently installed new cowsheds in French oak-the farm is not the bovine equivalent of a five-star hotel. The cattle pay their way by pulling carts to take groups of school children or young families around the farm, as well as powering a traditional mill to grind the cereal that feeds the cows. The farm is built next to the Bhaktivedanta Manor, which Harrison donated to the Hare Krishna movement in the early 1970s and is now their British


base. The presence of the sacred cows adds a spiritual element and brings the community closer to the Hindu ideal of a simple life in harmony with nature. “Krishna is always seen surrounded by cows. He was a cow herd boy 5,000 years ago in India,” said Kripamoya Das, a Hare Krishna priest. There is also a more practical link between the believers and the cows. The flowers used to decorate statues in the temple next to the manor, where barefoot believers pray morning, noon and night, are fed to the cows once they begin to droop, as a thank you for all their hard work. Although their humane approach means that calves are allowed to continue suckling their mothers’ milk for far longer than in industrial farms, the cows at Gokul still produce a large amount of milk. At the moment this is drunk only by the community at Aldenham, but Shyamasundara Das is keen to begin selling it the world outside. However, the cost of such a feel-good product is a barrier. The milk currently costs about three pounds (3.5 euros, 4.7 dollars) a liter and, pending the approval of regulators, would be sold at a hefty 3.5 pounds a liter, making it perhaps the most expensive cow’s milk in Europe. And is it any better than normal milk? Mark Gardener, a vet who regularly visits Gokul farm, won’t say either way although he is confident that the cows here are likely to be happier. “Normally in a dairy farm each cow has to justify his position” by having calves every few months or producing sufficient milk, and if they don’t they will be sent to slaughter, he said. “Whereas here the cows aren’t under that pressure.” — AFP


Indian students dressed as peacocks wait their turn to perform during an annual school function at the Shri Ram Ashram School in Amritsar on December 4, 2010. The peacock or Blue Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) is the national bird of India. — AFP

Argentina inaugurates rescued Siqueiros mural By Vicente L Panetta ubmerged in obscurity and perilous conditions for most of its nearly 70-year history, a mural by painter David Alfaro Siqueiros, now carefully restored, was inaugurated Friday by the presidents of Mexico and Argentina in a place of honor just steps from the presidential palace. Moments after Felipe Calderon and Cristina Fernandez honored the work Siqueiros created in 1933, titled “Ejercicio Plastico” or


“Plastic Army,” hundreds of people rushed in to see what Siqueiros created in 1933 during his stay in the Argentine capital - an imaginary underwater world with a type of bubble where sensual feminine figures float in the water. The mural is now carefully installed as the centerpiece of the newly named Museum of Political Art, in a former customs office just behind the Casa Rosada. “True art is alive and constructed when the people have access” to it,

Fernandez said with Calderon at her side before both leaders left for the Iberoamerican summit in the northeastern coastal city of Mar del Plata. She called the restoration “a debt that Argentina had with its own history and with the Mexican people.” Fernandez also recommended that people see “The Mural,” a documentary about the work by filmmaker Hector Olivera that also was opening Friday in Buenos Aires. An active communist, Siqueiros (1896-1974) was a strong advocate of public art.

He, Diego Rivera and Miguel Clemente Orozco were among Mexico’s most famous muralists. Siqueiros painted “Ejercicio Plastico” on the walls, ceiling and floor of a basement in a house outside Buenos Aires that belonged to Natalio Botana, director of the Critica newspaper where Siqueiros was a columnist for more than a year. The mural was deteriorating due to the lack of interest of later owners of the house, which was ultimately abandoned in the 1980s and about to

be demolished. Amid various legal disputes, businessmen and artrestoration experts managed to rescue the work. Divided into seven parts, it was held outdoors in containers for 17 years and was nearly shipped out of the country before the late President Nestor Kirchner declared it part of the country’s historical and artistic patrimony. “I think the spirit of Siqueiros took care of the mural,” said Ambassador Magdalena Faillace, who handled cultural affairs for Kirchner. — AP

‘Adriana’ a treat at Covent Garden By Mike Silverman igh-class hokum it may be, but when “Adriana Lecouvreur” is cast with terrific singers and staged with old-fashioned opulence, who cares? David McVicar’s new production for the Royal Opera House pretty much sweeps aside all reservations, as do the international stars who performed on Saturday night: Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu, German tenor Jonas Kaufmann, Russian mezzo-soprano Olga Borodina and Italian baritone Alessandro Corbelli. Francesco Cilea’s best-known opera, which premiered in 1902 and hadn’t been staged at Covent Garden since 1906, is an easy work to ridicule. Based on a play about real characters in 18th-century France, it recounts a love triangle that pits Adriana, an actress at the Comedie Francaise, against the imperious Princesse de Bouillon for the love of Maurizio, the dashing count of Saxony. The overly complicated plot turns on such improbabilities as hidden identity, a purloined love note, a confrontation in a darkened room, a secret door, and to top it off, a poisoned nosegay of violets which the princess sends Adriana to kill her when she inhales its fragrance. Musically, it’s a bit like watered-down Puccini. There are some lovely tunes (mainly the two big arias for the title character) and moments of impressive melodramatic bombast. But “Adriana” also has more than its share of arid stretches. The only way to pull it off is for everyone involved to take the piece absolutely seriously - and that’s what the crew at the Royal Opera has done. To start with, in Gheorghiu the performance had a soprano with a beautiful voice who is also a gifted actress. That’s crucial, because Adriana is always acting. Her very first appearance finds her rehearsing her lines for that evening’s play (In McVicar’s clever staging, a curtain is suddenly swept aside to reveal her seated in her dressing room). And the opera’s climax comes when she publicly humiliates the princess by pointing at her while declaiming a speech from Racine’s “Phedre” that talks of a bold-faced, brazen woman. Vocally, Gheorghiu may have a slender thread of a voice, but what a gorgeous thread it is. And she milks every ounce of emotion possible out of the softly soaring phrases in Cilea’s music. Borodina was in resplendent form as the princess, unleashing her plush, powerhouse voice without ever sacrificing refinement for sheer volume. Eyes smoldering as she paced the floor, she surely would have easily devoured any rival less formidable than Gheorghiu. Kaufmann had a few hints of hoarseness in his delivery, but for the most part he used his supple tenor to thrilling effect, whether on his commanding high notes or his ravishing, extended soft phrases. Together, they made for such a glorious trio - visually as well as vocally - that it was easy to overlook a few shortcomings: Gheorghiu’s lower register is barely audible; Borodina sometimes hits her notes slightly under pitch; and Kaufmann’s dark, baritonal coloring won’t please those who want a brighter sound from their tenors. —AP


Every dog has his day


Lase Strum watches her dog Vhoebe catch a toy, as it prepares to land in a water tank during the Dock Diving heats of the 10th annual AKC/Eukanuba National Dog Championship in Long Beach on December 3, 2010. Nearly 2,500 dogs will compete for more than $225,000 in cash prizes at the National Championship and dogs from 43 international countries will also compete in the Eukanuba World Challenge including dogs from Australia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The Eukanuba World Challenge is a unique event offering top dogs from countries around the world the opportunity to compete for prestigious international recognition. — AFP photos

Wyatt the English Cocker Spaniel, gets wrapped in a towel as he is groomed.

A pitbull named Muffassa participates in a Christmas dog custome exhibition in San Salvador, El Salvador on December 4, 2010.

Pistol, the Cocker Spaniel is groomed by Kim Carrol.

Vhoebe the dog attempts to catch a toy, as it prepares to land in a water tank.



Monday, December 6, 2010

Nicki Minaj (left) and Keri Hilson are seen at the “Vh1 Divas Salute the Troops” on Friday, Dec 3, 2010 in San Diego, Calif.

(From left) Keri Hilson, Grace Potter, Kathy Griffin, Nicki Minaj and Katy Perry are seen on stage.

Katy Perry supreme as ‘Divas’ salutes troops By Mike Cidoni aty Perry loves a man in a uniform. The pop superstar met dozens of service members while working on the special “VH1 Divas Salute the Troops” this weekend near San Diego. “There was a kid who I met backstage who was rather chatty, but adorable,” Perry recalled. “He was really sweet. He was 19. He had such a good heart. He said, ‘Yes, ma’am’ to me. ‘Yes ma’am!’ I was like, ‘O.K.! Yes, sir!”‘ A VH1 publicist estimated an audience of 27,000 attended nearly three-hour taping of the concert Friday night at the Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar. The show, which airs Sunday night, features a bounty of what the network has dubbed “divas” - female or female-lead musical acts, including established stars such as Heart, Paramore and Sugarland, as well as hot newcomers Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, Keri Hilson and Nicki Minaj. But if one diva emerged supreme, it was Perry, who both opened and closed the show, and performed solo or with others on a half-dozen songs - twice that of anyone else in the lineup. “I really had to live up to the definition of a ‘diva’ in all senses of the word,” Perry joked. “So, I had to be very difficult today, and late,” she continued, adding she was really neither and then referencing Beyonce’s song “Diva” and then losing the lyric. “Blaaah! Obviously I’m not Beyonce,” Perry laughed. “She is the true diva.” Onstage, Perry pulled out the stops - and the costumes - with the opening number featuring Perry, Hilson and Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles in WAC uniforms for a cover of The Andrews Sisters’ ‘40s classic “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” Perry closed the show with her current smash “Firework,” which concluded, appropriately, with a fireworks display. For that finale, Perry wore a cherry-red beaded gown with thigh-high slit that looked as if it was borrowed from Jessica Rabbit’s closet. “You know me, I love vintage,” Perry explained. “I love pinup girls. So, I tried to recreate that. I think any Army guy has a soft spot for a girl that can be painted on their plane.” Perry, 26, and her new husband, British actor-comedian Russell Brand, will be spending their first holiday season together as husband and wife. “What do I want for Christmas? Well, I think what is appropriate now is, I hope the troops come home very safely,” she replied, then delivered a message to service members. “Be careful out there during the holidays,” Perry told them. “Keep your Skype and your iChat on because I know some of them are away from all their family and wives. I can understand that feeling every once in awhile because I am on the battlefield myself, but I am just singing pop songs,” she laughed. —AP


Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi, Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino (center) and Kathy Griffin (right) are seen performing on stage.

Katy Perry (left) and Kathy Griffin are seen on stage. — AP photos

Latin Beat band at Movenpick Hotel he South American Duo “Latin Beat” performing up beat Latino and Samba style rhythm every night at Cuts and Al-Dente restaurant. Cuts the only Churrascaria restaurant in town and Al-Dente the award winning restaurant at the Movenpick Hotel Kuwait are delighted to welcome the famous duo from Columbia “Latin Beat” as one of the only hotels in Kuwait that has live music performance every night. “Latin Beat” Band, with Deigo on the guitar and Angelica with her stunning voice, came from Colombia to perform exclusively in Movenpick Hotel Kuwait. Watching them perform is an experience that you don’t want to miss, so book your table in Cuts or Al-Dente from now and get ready to be mesmerized. “It’s an honor and an


By Charles J Gans ave Brubeck gingerly made his way to the bandstand through a packed Blue Note jazz club, and a smile lit up his face after he sat down at the piano and began playing a Duke Ellington medley he dedicated to “my favorite jazz composer, pianist, musician and friend.” Brubeck, who celebrates his 90th birthday on Monday, mixed standards and originals drawn from his nearly 70-year career in a 90-minute set that left time for only a shortened version of “Take Five,” the late alto saxophonist Paul Desmond’s catchy odd-metered tune that surprisingly put the Brubeck Quartet at the top of the pop charts nearly 50 years ago. Brubeck could easily have excused himself from last weekend’s sold-out Blue Note gig: It came just a month after he was discharged from Bridgeport Hospital in Connecticut following heart surgery to install a pacemaker. But he felt a strong motivation to perform with his quartet. “It’s the love of the music and the love of being with the group because we have such a great time,” said Brubeck, speaking by telephone from his home in Wilton, Connecticut. “I could kind of not work so hard anymore, but that might be a bad thing. My personal doctor said, ‘You know, Dave, when you start playing things start looking up, so I don’t advise you to stop. You need to play.”‘ His doctors were concerned that Brubeck might not be able to perform again when the jazz icon checked into the hospital on Oct. 11 after complaining of dizziness and fatigue. His recovery after surgery hastened when his manager, Russell Gloyd, brought him an electric piano to play, and his doctor noticed an almost instant improvement. “He said ... you know what this does for you is maybe more than I can do for you. I think you’ll be able to play again just from hearing you,” said Brubeck, who thanked hospital staff by playing the standard “Show Me the Way to Go Home” on a piano in the hospital foyer as he was being discharged on Oct. 27. His quartet ended a three-month hiatus at a Nov 19 concert in Worcester, Massachusetts. Brubeck got an early 90th birthday present in December’s DownBeat magazine when his quartet was voted the best small jazz group in its annual Readers Poll - an honor the Brubeck Quartet first received in 1953 and would repeat frequently until the mid-1960s. “My first reaction to them was this is the longest intermission I’ve ever taken,” Brubeck joked. “It’s really a triple surprise to have this happen at this time in my life.” Brubeck’s current quartet has developed the intuitive interaction that comes from years of playing together. Drummer Randy Jones has been in the band since 1979, alto saxophonist-flutist Bobby Militello since 1982, and bassist Michael Moore since 2001. Last year, Brubeck’s Dec. 6 birthday fell on the day he received the Kennedy Center Honors with a White House reception hosted by President Barack Obama followed by a gala concert that included a surprise performance by his four sons. Brubeck is celebrating his 90th birthday more intimately with a party for family and close friends Saturday night at his son, Chris’


exciting opportunity to perform for the first time in the Middle East and with Movenpick Hotel Kuwait. The guests are amazed by our performances, every night is a

different musical adventure, as we play lots of different Latino music Salsa, Meringue, Cumbia, Chachacha, Vallenato, Son Cubano, Boleros, Bashata you name it” said Deigo.

Franklin ‘doing very well’ oul singer Aretha Franklin is “recovering and her spirits are high” after surgery for an undisclosed health issue, according to US civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson. “She’s doing very well. She’s very prayerful. She’s a woman full of deep religious faith,” Jackson was quoted as telling the Detroit News after a private visit with Franklin at an undisclosed location in the city on Friday. Franklin’s publicist Tracey Jordan on Saturday confirmed the Jackson visit.


Brubeck at 90 overcomes illness to make more music

Neither said what was ailing the 68 year-old singer, who last month canceled all her appearances until May 2011. Franklin said in a statement on Thursday that she had undergone “highly successful surgery” but no-one has disclosed the nature of her illness. The legendary singer of 1960s hits like “Chain of Fools” and “Respect” had continued a busy schedule of touring and recording until late October. In January 2009, she sang at the inauguration of US President Barack Obama. — Reuters

In this Dec 4, 2010 publicity image released by Disney, R&B artist Sean Kingston performs while taping a segment for the “Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade” at the Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The annual holiday telecast airs Dec 25, 2010 on ABC-TV. — AP

home, in Wilton. Three of his sons - Chris (bass and trombone), Darius (piano) and Dan (drums) - just completed a “Brubecks Play Brubeck” British concert tour honoring their father’s work. “I love very much to see my sons carrying on the tradition,” said Brubeck, who no longer performs outside North America. On Monday, four generations of Brubecks, including several great-grandchildren, will gather in the family home in the Connecticut woods to watch Turner Classic Movies broadcast “Dave Brubeck: In His Own Sweet Way,” a new documentary directed by Bruce Ricker and narrated by Alec Baldwin. Its executive producer was Clint Eastwood. “Dave is an authentic American hero who is grounded in creating beautiful music,” said Ricker. “His character is formed by his fingers at the piano and there’s no dishonesty when you hear the music.” Eastwood, who also appears on camera inter-

their first date. Brubeck said the final scene moved him the most: It’s when he is seated at the piano at Eastwood’s ranch with Iola, who asks him to perform “All My Love,” a ballad he wrote for their 1999 wedding anniversary. The documentary is complemented by two 90th birthday, double-CD anthologies, “The Definitive Dave Brubeck on Fantasy, Concord Jazz and Telarc” and “Dave Brubeck: Legacy of a Legend” (Sony Legacy) that together “give a complete picture of Dave Brubeck” with recordings from 1942 through 2004, said Gloyd, who produced both compilations. “Legacy” includes the two best-known tunes from his classic quartet with Desmond, bassist Eugene Wright and drummer Joe Morello: “Blue Rondo a la Turk” and “Take Five,” from the breakthrough 1959 album “Time Out” which experimented with exotic time signatures. Brubeck recalled that Columbia executives blocked the album’s

In this undated photo provided by Hank O’Neal, pianist Dave Brubeck (right) sits beside actor and producer Clint Eastwood. Brubeck, who turns 90 today, will celebrate the day by gathering in the family home in the Connecticut woods to watch Turner Classic Movies broadcast “Dave Brubeck: In His Own Sweet Way,” a new documentary directed by Bruce Ricker, produced by Clint Eastwood and narrated by Alec Baldwin. — AP acting with such Brubeck admirers as “Star Wars” director George Lucas and Sting, enthusiastically backed the project. “My early love of jazz coincided with Dave Brubeck appearing on the scene in the late 1940s and ‘50s,” Eastwood explained in a statement. “This gave me the opportunity to see Dave in person. And as jazz was developing as a great American art form, this provided an inspiration for artistic achievement as I began pursuing an acting career.” Ricker, who had access to Brubeck family photos and rare BBC performance footage, said the film shows that Brubeck has “this artistic ambition that really transcends jazz,” evidenced by his embrace of classical music and his later interest in composing sacred music. Ricker says a central theme is Brubeck’s relationship with his wife, and lyricist, Iola, whom he married in 1942 after proposing on

release for almost a year before the label’s president Goddard Lieberson intervened. “They said we never put out music that people can’t dance to and they can’t dance to these rhythms that you’re playing,” said Brubeck. “And you broke another rule when you have all originals on one LP, and also you want a painting on the cover and we’ve never done that. ... I insisted that we go with something new and to their surprise it became the biggest jazz recording they ever made.” Brubeck based “Blue Rondo” on a 9/8 rhythm that he heard Turkish street musicians playing during a 1958 State Department-tour that also took him to Poland, where he composed the Chopininspired “Thank You (Dziekuje)” as a tribute to the freedom-loving Polish people. That tour deepened his belief that jazz could absorb foreign influences like a sponge. —AP


Monday, December 6, 2010


Actors and directors stand on stage during a tribute to French Cinema at the Marrakech 10th International Film Festival in Marrakech, Morocco, as French actress Catherine Deneuve poses with the French cinema award, Saturday, Dec 4, 2010. The festival runs from Dec. 3-11. — AP

Polanski wins best European picture award By Jari Tanner oman Polanski’s “The Ghost Writer,” a story of a journalist hired to write the memoirs of a British prime minister, has won the prize for best film at the European Film Awards. Polanski, who was awarded the Silver Bear for best director at the Berlin Film Festival, also took five other key prizes at the ceremony held in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, late Saturday. Nominated in seven categories, the movie won the best director prize, best actor for Ewan McGregor, and best screenwriter went jointly to Robert Harris and Polanski. “You have awarded a truly European venture. This is too much ... thank you very much,” Polanski said in an acceptance speech through a Skype connection from an unknown location. “I wish to thank - before anything - this wonderful crew I had, a


truly European crew.” It was not the first time that the Polish-born director has received recognition from the European Film Academy. The 77-year-old Oscar winning director of movies like “Rosemary’s Baby” and “Chinatown” was honored with a lifetime achievement award in 2006 in Warsaw, Poland. In Tallinn, French composer Alexandre Desplat was awarded for best composer while his compatriot film editor Herve de Luze won the production designer prize for Polanski’s movie, which was mainly shot in Germany. “The Ghost Writer,” about the memoirs of a politician, played by Pierce Brosnan, is loosely based on former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Its production was a tangled tale for Polanski. As he was finishing the movie in September 2009 Polanski was taken into custody at Zurich airport by Swiss police at the request of U.S. authorities to

Polish-born French director Roman Polanski smiles on video link after receiving the European director award for “The Ghost Writer” on December 4, 2010 at the 23rd European Film Awards in Tallinn. — AFP

face prosecution in a 1977 child sex case. He had to finish editing the film while in Swiss prison before being released on house arrest. In July, Polanski was freed after the Swiss government declined to deport him to the United States. But he still faces an Interpol warrant in 188 countries. Most European nations, including Estonia, have an extradition treaty with the United States. McGregor, who played the ghostwriter, said he had a “fantastic time” while making the film. “More than any other part I’ve played I feel like the director Roman Polanski had his hands really on my performance and is as worthy of this award as I am,” McGregor told the audience through a video message from Thailand, where he is currently shooting a film. Among other prizes at the academy’s 23rd annual awards ceremony, Swiss actor Bruno Ganz was honored with a

lifetime achievement prize handed out by German director Wim Wenders. Ganz, 69, with a screen career that spans five decades with memorable performances in Wenders’ “Wings of Desire” and “The American Friend,” in which he costarred with Dennis Hopper. He is also remembered from his acclaimed performance as Adolf Hitler in the 2004 German drama “Downfall” that portrays the last days of the Third Reich. French actress Juliette Binoche presented the European achievement in world cinema award to Lebanese composer and musician Gabriel Yared, who has written scores for “The English Patient” and “The Talented Mr Ripley.” The prizes - the European equivalent of the US Academy Awards - have been presented since 1988 by the European academy to celebrate the continent’s film industry as a European counterweight to the Oscars. — AP

Michael Douglas feels ‘stronger every day’ eteran Hollywood star Michael Douglas says he feels stronger every day after cancer treatment he described as “hell,” in comments published Thursday. But the 66-year-old actor, who was diagnosed with throat cancer in August, must wait for a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan in January to see whether the walnut-sized tumor has been successfully eradicated. “I’m five weeks out after treatment and starting to get my energy back. They warn you that even when you


stop, the next few weeks you’re still getting knocked out by the radiation, so it’s a slow recovery,” the two-time Oscar winner told the LA Times. “I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy,” he added. “It’s a haul. But I’m feeling hopeful and just trying to get my energy back. That’s the biggest problem.” Douglas only revealed his diagnosis when he returned to the United States from a family holiday. In September, he said he was in stage-four cancer but with an 80-percent chance of beating it.

Douglas’s wife, Welsh-born actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, voiced anger at the time that doctors had not diagnosed the cancer sooner, thus reducing his chances of beating the disease. In a separate interview with People magazine, Douglas admitted the eight-week course of chemotherapy and radio therapy treatment had been grueling. “The first four weeks after treatment were hell. That was the worst part,” said the actor, who lost 20 pounds (nine kilograms) and


ʻBlack Swanʼ is a pretty nightmare By Christy Lemire lack Swan” is at once gorgeous and gloriously nutso, a trippy, twisted fantasy that delights and disturbs in equal measure. Darren Aronofsky takes the same stripped-down fascination with, and appreciation for, the minutiae of preparation that he brought to his Oscar-nominated “The Wrestler” - the best film of 2008, according to yours truly - and applies it to the pursuit of a different kind of artistry: ballet. All the intimate, behind-the-scenes moments are there, the matter-of-fact glimpses of the tricks that go into the performance as well as the toll this demanding activity takes on the body. But then the director mixes in a wildly hallucinatory flair as “Black Swan” enters darker psychological territory. Working with his frequent cinematographer, Matthew Libatique, and incorporating some dazzling visual effects, Aronofsky spins a nightmare scenario within a seemingly gentle, pristine world. The camera swoops and swoons, making us feel as off-kilter as the film’s tormented heroine. The visions and dreams soar seriously over-the-top at times, but always knowingly so, and with great style; “Black Swan” wallows in its grandiosity, and if you’re willing to go along with it, you’ll find yourself wowed by one of the best films of the year. Natalie Portman gives it her all, physically and mentally, in a brave and demanding performance as Nina, a driven New York City ballerina who has zero life outside of dance. Portman had studied ballet growing up, but “Black Swan” required a grueling regimen of training five hours a day, everyday, for 10 months before production even began. Innocently enduring a sheltered existence with her smothering mother, Erica (a deeply creepy Barbara Hershey), a former ballet dancer herself now living vicariously through her daughter, Nina is stuck in a state of arrested development. She’s immensely talented and dedicated but still a child inside, as evidenced by the fluffy stuffed bunnies that populate her girlypink bedroom, and the way her mommy still tucks her in at night. When it comes time to

“B Indian Bollywood actor Ranvir Singh (left) and actress Anushka Sharma pose during the promotional event for their new hindi film ‘Band Baja Baraat’ in Mumbai on December 4, 2010. — AFP

Disney’s hairy princess takes box office crown By Carl DiOrio angled” could move up to the top spot at North American box office this weekend, after the animated take on the Rapunzel fable narrowly failed to unseat Harry Potter during last weekend’s Thanksgivingstretched session. “Tangled” enjoyed a five-day debut of almost $69 million, with $49 million of that coming Friday through yesterday. So even with half as much box office this weekend, that would be a $25 million haul for the Disney cartoon’s second session. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” fetched $50 million during the three-day period, a 60 percent slide, and is thus sitting in a similar situation. After 13 days, the seventh film in Warner Bros.’ boy-wizard series has earned $225 million. While “Tangled” was one of four wide new releases last weekend, the upcoming round sees just one rookie: “The Warrior’s Way,” which is likely to debut in the middle singledigit millions. A $42 million New Zealand project, the Relativity Films-distributed R-rated pic is set in the U.S. badlands and thus something of a Western. Korean actor Dong-gun Jang plays an Asian warrior assassin forced to hide in a small town. Geoffrey Rush, Kate Bosworth and Danny Huston also star. —Reuters


stage a bold, new production of “Swan Lake,” the company’s artistic director (a skeevy and manipulative Vincent Cassel) thinks Nina is perfect to play the White Swan. But he needs a dancer who also can portray the fierce sexuality of the Black Swan. Enter Lily (Mila Kunis), a savvy and confident newcomer who represents Nina’s biggest threat to getting the lead role. So yes, the script from Mark Heyman and Andres Heinz and John McLaughlin does have its obvious influences - “The Red Shoes,” “The Turning Point” and “All About Eve” among them - and yet “Black Swan” emerges as a fascinating entity all its own. Nina snags the part, with Lily as her understudy. The two women don’t exactly become friends but achieve a sort of competitive symbiosis; the deeper Nina gets into rehearsals, the more she sees Lily in her mind, both as a frightening force and as the kind of woman she’d like to be. The fact that Portman and Kunis resemble each other in features and stature greatly enhances this effect and yes, the hotly anticipated love scene between the two is indeed hot. —Reuters

battled fatigue. But now, he said: “I feel stronger every day. But it’s a long way back,” adding that he and his wife “are very happy and thankful with the way things are going.” The veteran actor, son of Hollywood icon Kirk Douglas, told the LA Times he felt “well” but added: “I really won’t know the results until January, when I’ll get my first PET scan. That will tell me if I’m completely rid of it or not. “It looks highly unlikely that I’ll have to have surgery,” he added. Douglas is

already preparing for his next movie, the title role of a biopic of flamboyant entertainer Liberace, and hopes to promote his latest films “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” and “Solitary Man” for the Academy Awards in February. But he had some scathing comments on the state of the movie industry. “The business has gotten nasty... it’s tough. Before, you always felt there was a little balance between art and commerce, it kind of kept things going. Now it’s strictly commerce. It’s all commerce.” — AFP

Filmmaker works 40 years to make ‘Nutcracker 3D’ By Cristy Lytal very adult has a child-like soul,” says 73 year-old Andrei Konchalovsky. And as the co-writer/director of “The Nutcracker in 3D,” Konchalovsky called upon his inner child to muster the enthusiasm and optimism to get the long-delayed project to the big screen-after 40 years of trying. The Russian theater and film director has modernized the classic tale, which enters wide release in the United States on Friday, by bringing it out in 3D. He also changed the setting and some of the characters. Elle Fanning stars as nine-year-old Mary, who receives an enchanted nutcracker as a gift from her eccentric Uncle Albert, played by Nathan Lane. On Christmas night, the Nutcracker (Charlie Rowe) comes to life and leads her to a kingdom of living toys threatened by an evil Rat King (John Turturro). Konchalovsky wrote the first version of the script for director Anthony Asquith in the late 1960s, but when Asquith died “the script went to oblivion,” Konchalovsky told Reuters. More than 25 years later, in 1995, Konchalovsky decided the time had come to make a film for his children and grandchildren, and he remembered the shelved script. Instead of attempting to film a ballet because “film kills ballet,” Konchalovsky turned to German author ETA Hoffmann’s original story and Russian composer Pyotr Tchiakovsky’s music.


He shifted the setting from the early 18th century to 1920s Vienna, allowing him to draw inspiration from sources as varied as Gustav Klimt, Sigmund Freud, the Futurism movement and Albert Einstein-the model for Layne’s Uncle Albert. The other major modification was to transform Hoffmann’s mice into rats. “Humans have this resentment of rats, so I thought rats would be much better for the film,” he said. Pink Floyd rats Konchalovsky dressed his anthropomorphic rats in

military uniforms inspired by Pink Floyd’s concept album and film “The Wall,” but he tempered this grim aesthetic by casting comic actor Turturro as the Rat King. “I didn’t want to make the film repulsive,” said Konchalovsky. “I had to make it a tongue-in-cheek character.” For every villain, there must be a heroine, and Konchalovsky found his in Fanning, the younger sister of Dakota Fanning, who in her own right has worked in films including “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” —Reuters

Thereʼs a new spin on hen the closing credits roll in the Oscar-winning “Slumdog Millionaire,” stars Dev Patel and Freida Pinto dance with a cast of hundreds on a railroad-station platform. Pinto wears jeans, a simple white T-shirt and the accessory of the moment: a long, gauzy scarf. Hers is yellow, splashed with gold medallions. The scarves hanging or heaped in shops this spring come in every shade and pattern - brights and neutrals, paisleys and zigzags, batiked and dip-dyed. Priced from less than $10 to more than $1,000, they come fringed, embroidered or sequined. And yes, you read that right: “scarves” and


“spring” in the same sentence. Even in warm climates. These are not your fall/winter scarves, warm and woolly. These are the lightweight scarves that started showing up last summer, draped casually around the necks of the fashionistas who inhabit the pages of InStyle, People and Lucky magazines. Accessories that were quickly dubbed “summer scarves.” They promise to be the accessory this spring and summer, says Wendy Ricchi, owner of ZouZou boutique in Orlando, Fla. “Worn with little dress-

es, they’re almost like necklaces,” she says. “They’re non-functional, just decorative.” “Scarves are hot,” says Mary Beth Fox, a spokeswoman for Bealls stores - referring to their trendiness, not temperature. So hot, in fact, that Bealls associates have been trained to demonstrate for shoppers eight different ways to tie their new scarves. No matter how a scarf is tied or what it is worn with - suit, T-shirt or sundress - the secret to the summer-scarf look is to make it appear casual and effortless. — MCT

Stylish options Ways to wrap How to wear your new spring scarf? Simply draped around your neck, ends flowing free, is the most basic style. But for variety, try any or all of these wraps, suggested by the style directors of Bealls department stores: Swept away Hold scarf flat and wrap it around the back like a shawl. Leave one end hanging down the front, the other draped across the chest and tossed over the shoulder. Thread the needle Fold scarf in half lengthwise. Drape around the neck, threading the ends through the loop formed at the fold. Wear with the knot in front, or at a shoulder with one end hanging down the front, the other down the back. The sophisticate Hold scarf flat and fold lengthwise. Hold at opposite ends. Tie each end together with a small knot behind the neck. Adjust the hanging corners in front to form a cowl. The aviator Drape scarf around the neck. Toss one end over the opposite shoulder. Adjust for comfort. The knotical Wrap scarf around the front of the neck, cross ends behind the neck, bring ends back to the front. Knot loosely, leaving ends hanging. — MCT

Germany’s most-watched TV show off air after accident ermany’s most popular TV show was abruptly pulled off air for the first time in its 29-year history on Saturday night after a contestant was seriously injured as millions of people watched live. “Wetten, dass...?”,


Contestant Samuel Koch, wearing spring shoes, attempts to jumps over a moving car, driven by his father, during the live broadcast of ‘Wetten dass?’ (Bet it?), a top show of German TV channel ZDF in Duesseldorf, western Germany, Saturday Dec 4, 2010. — AP

which roughly translates as “You want to bet?”, sees members of the public attempt outrageous stunts, interspersed with celebrity chat, and regularly attracts some

10 million viewers. But Samuel Koch’s attempt to leap lengthways over a moving car wearing springloaded stilts went horribly wrong, and the 23-year-old was knocked unconscious after he fell. The show was abandoned as Koch was rushed to hospital where he regained consciousness and was able to speak, although the extent of his injuries was not known. Doctors were due to give an update later in the day. The accident was so calamitous that the show’s host, Thomas Gottschalk, was interviewed live on the late news on national television, defending the decision to let Koch attempt his stunt. “In 29 years we have had lots of dangerous bets, young people climbing up walls and one young man who jumped over a house on a skateboard, and the worst we have ever had is a broken leg,” a solemn Gottschalk said. “I ate with the young man (Koch) and I was reassured to see how much he was looking forward to the show, how motivated he was ... I am so sorry that it ended like this.” — AFP

German TV hosts Thomas Gottschalk and Michelle Hunziker watch contestant Samuel Koch. — AP

6 Dec  

Kuwait Times